OpEd piece written by Fr. Au for the Baltimore Sun in June 2015. We have long known know what to do to stem city violence but lacked the will to do it. In the wake of the heartbreaking events that have troubled our city following the tragic death of Freddie Gray while in police custody, there has been a renewed public conversation about the need to address the systemic social issues and conditions which cause and find expression in such civil disturbances .....
From the Pastor's Desk
Below you will find select homilies of Fr. William Au, both written and audio sermons, as well messages and open letters to our parish. At the Shrine of the Sacred Heart, we are blessed to have Fr. Au's rich, relevant, and thoughtful homilies to regularly captivate our hearts, minds, and souls. We invite you to join us at a Mass to hear his weekly homily in person.
In the wake of the terrorist attacks in France the issue of free speech has become central to the discussion of the threat of terrorism and the relationship between Western societies and the Muslim world and the place of Islam in democratic societies. Unfortunately, much of this discussion has been premised upon an unbalanced understanding of free speech, and also fails to address important underlying questions of how Western societies view Muslims and how Muslims perceive how they are characterized in Western societies.
This warning and challenge is, I believe, drawn into sharp and practical focus for us as a church by the Synod on the Family that has been gathered by Pope Francis, and which is now completing its first session. As you know from the media, this Synod has become the focal point of controversy because of issues raised about the status of gay people in the church community and the issue of how we treat people who are divorced and remarried.
Francis too places before us the challenge to reconsider how we look at things as Christians and how we understand our faith and the nature and role of the church. Time will tell what his influence will be, but I believe he is raising the same challenges as Jesus was in the gospel accounts. For the problem Jesus was addressing is not peculiar to Judaism but is at the heart of all religions. So let us review briefly some of the things Francis has said and hear in them the echo of the voice of Jesus: