Most people have heard of the ancient Greek philosopher Socrates. However, it is a real raity to encounter a modern individual in today's world having the given-name of Socrates. A few weeks ago, I wrote to the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan in the Philippines. His name is Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas. He tells me that they have launched a program of "spiritual deepening" in his Archdiocese. He gave me his blessing "for health for my body, joy for my heart, and peace for my soul." I gratefully appreciate all three elements, especially since I was recently seriously hurt in a tree-accident in which a large diameter limb fell in an awkward way and gashed my forehead, causing extensive bleeding. So, I am appreciative of his prayers. He asks in his letter that I pray for "your unworthy friend from Dagupan City" (meaning himself). I can attest he is worthy ... and I shall reciprocally PRAY FOR HIM, as well.

Totally separare from this: The Archdiocese of Freiburg, Germany. The nation's second-largest local Church - said it would begin administering sacraments to divorced and remarried Catholics in individual cases after consultation with a parish priest or deacon. The policy, which violates a longtime Vatican prohibition, has been debated in many dioceses around the world the past several years. I am so happy that internal reforms are taking place in the Church under the flexible, compassionate guidance of Pope Francis ... and they exhibit the prudence and wisdom of the ancient philosopher Socrates.


James A. Marples, Esbon