“Positive Orthodoxy?” What does that mean?

norbert_fillDonum Ipsum this week was much more informative than I was expecting! My previous Donum experiences have been more reflective, but this week was a fantastic learning opportunity and I loved what everyone brought to the table!

After watching a video from the Catholicism series, the twelve people gathered discussed the different aspects of Pope Benedict’s time as Pope. We talked about how he put emphasis on love, the things the Church says “yes” to instead of the usual “don’t do this and that”, and finally how he wanted to push towards a faith more centered on Christ. I had known little about the Pope’s opinions and it was so interesting to hear how these three ideals had changed (or not) everyone’s home parishes.

Next we learned about what was up next for the Catholic Church. Matt gave an awesome summary of how the process will be different and what we can expect for the coming weeks. Whether you agree with the Pope’s decision or it left you uneasy, I think everyone is excited to see what happens next and who we will call our new Pope! Being too young to remember much of the last conclave, I’m enthusiastic to see the process (even if it is a little different than usual!)

We ended our discussion with some opinions on who we hoped the next Pope would be, how his Papacy will affect the Church, and what we thought of the cardinals up for the position. Everyone discussed what each candidate would bring to the position and it seems like there could be some big changes in store for us in the near future.

The evening ended with prayer and good conversation (a lot of laughing in the middle too!). It was a great discussion and I’m excited to see what comes up next for Donum Ipsum.

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Brace Yourselves, A Conclave is Coming

In case you haven’t heard, Benedict XVI is resigning the Papacy.  This is the first time in over 600 years that this has happened.  There had been some speculation of it happening from Vatican insiders, and there have been many interesting posts about how the Pope has foreshadowed his own resignation by visiting, multiple times, the tomb of Pope St. Celestine V – a Pope who abnegated the Chair of St. Peter in the year 1294.  Though this is an unusual occurrence and many are debating the decision of the pontiff, the fact is that the Church will be called to move forward and elect a leader within 20 days of the current Pope’s resignation.  If you would like to know more about the process, please follow click here for a link about the upcoming conclave.  Let us pray that the Spirit may move through the Church to bend the wills of the Cardinals to elect a pontiff that will be able to help guide the Church through tumultuous times and bring us all closer to Christ.

A New Pope for Our Times


This morning, I was shocked to hear of the imminent resignation of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. Words can not truly express how I feel about this momentous occcasion in the life of the Church. While I am pleased that our Pope will be able to retire in peace as he wished to do so many years ago, I am still deeply saddened that the man who I have come to know and love as my Soverign Pontiff will be leaving his office. Benedict XVI has been very influential in the formation of my faith life ever since he was elected on April 19, 2005. I credit him and also Blessed John Paul II with bringing me back to the Church and renewing my faith after some years of lapsity. Through the writings and teachings of Pope Benedict I have come to a greater appreciation of the Church’s teaching and the message of Jesus Christ. I believe that Benedict XVI is a truly holy man, and a man who, through his ministry as Sucessor of St. Peter and Vicar of Christ has exemplified the central teaching of Christ, that we may love one another as Christ has loved us. I wish the Pope a happy retirement and may the Holy Spirit guide the College of Cardinals in selecting a new shepherd for the Church. His Holiness may never know the great impact that he has had on my life, nor how much he has meant to me, but still I must say thank you to Pope Benedict XVI. Thank you for everything.

by Matthew Mahon