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Faith and Values: Never, never, never

There are some things better left unsaid in marriage, or at least said differently than those first words out of our mouths. If you don’t believe me, search, ‘things never to say to your spouse.’ Using one search engine, I got over 79 million results and after reading each one (huge exaggeration for effect), I’ve selected a few of my favorites for this piece. You’re Overreacting This works as well as mixing flour with a very large fan. Since there’s probably not an agreed-upon standard that identifies their correct reaction level, you’ve started off by saying ‘you’re wrong’ and that rarely goes well. Instead, how about trying to find out what’s behind their reaction by listening with understanding. That tells them, “I Care”. We Can’t Afford It Slap in the face. If the item in question appeals to you and there’s a working budget, you can avoid this type of statement by saying, “I’d like that. Have you figured out what area of the budget it will come from?” Now the issue has become, ‘how do we pay for something we’d both like’ instead of ‘you haven’t even thought far enough ahead to see it costs too much.’ My Mom/Dad Never… Thanks honey, that makes me feel like I’m in a competition I can’t win. A biblical principal, in the book of Genesis, has a married couple leaving their father and mother and forming a separate union, perhaps to avoid just this type of situation. The separation acknowledges and supports that this new union is unique and the parties must work together within that framework for the marriage to thrive. Does that mean you ignore everything good from your parent’s marriage? Nope! But you could mention the principle you saw at home without identifying mom or dad as the source. You Never… Your spouse likely won’t take to heart what you’re commenting on, especially if he’s a guy (this piece is written by one of them so he probably knows what he’s talking about…sometimes). Instead, they may log into their memory banks for the last time they did exactly what you said they never do and then they’ll have proof that you don’t ever get things right.

Pope Benedict, in retired seclusion, looms in the opposition to Pope Francis

UPDATED: Sun., Sept. 2, 2018, 9:55 p.m.

Ever since Pope Benedict XVI became the first pontiff in six centuries to abdicate the papacy, transitioning to a life of near seclusion in a Vatican City monastery, there have been questions about how the notion of two living popes would impact the Roman Catholic Church.

Fear and pain motivate both bullies and victims

I purposely began writing this reflection on the one-year anniversary weekend of the Charlottesville riot over racism and white supremacy. It was a tragic dramatic reminder of what bullying is about, and a powerful reminder of how victims don’t have to remain victims.

Catholics consider withholding donations amid scandals

Across the U.S., Catholics once faithful with their financial support to their churches are searching for ways to respond to the constant sex-abuse scandals that have tarnished the institution in which they believe, with back-to-back scandals in the past two months.

Faith and Values: Man up, Spokane

Four times a month, community columnists weigh in on matters of faith and values. The Faith and Values column appears Saturday and features retired Methodist minister Paul Graves, of Sandpoint; Steve Massey, a pastor from Hayden; SpokaneFaVS.com editor Tracy Simmons; and a guest columnist from the SpokaneFaVS.com ranks.

Diocese holds forgiveness Mass in wake of grand jury report

A Pennsylvania bishop named in a grand jury report on rampant sexual abuse by Roman Catholic clergy is holding a Mass of forgiveness, as the Vatican expresses “shame and sorrow” over the burgeoning scandal.

Faith and Values: Caring for our sacred places

E-mails have started to trickle back into my inbox from students and colleagues, signaling the end of summer and the beginning of another semester at Gonzaga University. In just a few weeks it’ll be writing lectures and grading papers again, which can be taxing and overwhelming.

Pope Francis accepts resignation of U.S. prelate Theodore McCarrick after sex abuse claims

UPDATED: Sat., July 28, 2018, 5:03 p.m.

In a move described as unprecedented, Pope Francis has effectively stripped U.S. prelate Theodore McCarrick of his cardinal’s title and rank following allegations of sexual abuse, including one involving an 11-year-old boy. The Vatican announced on Saturday that Francis ordered McCarrick to conduct a “life of prayer and penance” even before a church trial is held.

Faith and Values: A politics worthy of the human spirit

I’m sick and fatigued nearly to the point of despair – only nearly! – by the divides we must navigate over matters political and religious, especially when they combine into a cesspool of disrespect and dishonesty. So let’s take a breath and uncover our deeper human spirit that’s been smothered by so much fearful dehumanizing talk and action.