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NEWSFLASH: Apostolic Nuncio Reminds USCCB General Secretary that clerics and the faithful are "not permitted to participate" in events during which the alleged 'apparitions' at Medjugorje are "taken for granted"

A recent letter to the General Secretary of the USCCB has been made public in which the Apostolic Nuncio, writing at the request of the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, reminds that clerics AND faithful may not participate in "meetings, conferences or public celebrations during which the credibility of such 'apparitions [at Medjugorje]' would be taken for granted." The CDF is still investigating aspects of the alleged apparitions, which are controversial for a number of reasons (including frequency of alleged apparitions, promised healings & signs which never materialized, 'road show' apparitions, money-making aspects, contradictions/lies, disobedience, troubling messages, etc.). Past examinations of the alleged apparitions have found nothing of a supernatural origin.

 "I am sure that Our Lady does not appear. No miracles. The 'Messages' cannot be of our Virgin. They are the fruit of a fabrication, fraud and disobedience to the Church. It is about big money and personal interest too." (Michael Davies quoting Monsignor Zanic, bishop of Mostar-Duvno)

For a copy of the letter, try here [Note: For easier reading, we have cleaned up some of the image's background]

Related: Marian Apparitions at Medjugorje: True or False?

[11/6/13]

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NEWSFLASH: 'Habemus Papam!'

The Jesuit Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, age 76, has been elected pope. He has taken the name Francis.

Related: Vatican View

[3/13/13]

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OPINION: Five 'most troubling' aspects of Pope Benedict's resignation

For a number of reasons, the surprise abdication of the papacy by Pope Benedict XVI may be troubling to faithful Catholics. The following is a brief summary of 5 'most troubling' aspects...

1. Fathers don't resign. This action may been seen by some as abandonment / quitting / jumping ship (think 'Barque of Peter'). In some ways, it may even serve to cast a shadow over Pope Benedict's pontificate. His very name change signifies something lifelong -- Simon becomes Peter and stays so until death. Unlike other bishops, the Pope changes his name -- like Christ changed Simon's to Peter. This has a special significance. Now he will keep the name, but not keep the papacy -- the very reason for having a new name. It just doesn't seem right. Fathers don't resign for poor health or old age. Even with his difficult position, this action is not necessary from a purely earthly perspective (assuming for a moment such a thing could ever be 'necessary'). Clearly his mind is good and he could always have more help with his day-to-day activities. Many people looked up to Pope John Paul II for 'hanging in there', despite his having worse health than Benedict has now. Suffering is a key part of our faith, and the Holy Father's good example of patient suffering is priceless.

2. More novelty. Men occupying the Chair of Peter have gotten old all along - for 2,000 years - but they didn't resign the papacy due to old age or frail health. Throughout history they resigned only under extraordinary circumstances. With this novelty of a pope resigning for age/health related reasons, people may no longer see the papacy as a lifetime 'job'. One huge danger of this is that it may encourage external pressure on the papacy if a pope is especially disliked by the world - something that wouldn't be an issue if there was 'no chance' of a pope resigning. The idea that a pope may 'resign' due to age/health destroys the sense of certainty regarding a Pope reigning until his death - and like all novelties, it will have consequences.

3. Lack of the spiritual. Wouldn't it have been so much better for Pope Benedict to ask God for strength to do the job and the faithful for prayers for his strength rather than for him to 'examine his conscience before God' regarding a decision he apparently already wanted to make? It recalls to mind how Protestants 'pray on it' rather than use the head God gave them to think with -- as if they have a direct answer line to God. Instead, if we already know the right thing to do, we should pray for God's help with carrying that out. In this case, it seems obvious that the 'right thing to do' for a Pope is to continue on with his duties until God calls him (i.e. death). That's what's been done for 2,000 years - getting old/frail is nothing new to mankind. Although it seems certain that the Holy Father thinks his decision is for the good of the Church, he clearly could be wrong in this NOT infallible determination. In fact, effects of his decision to step down may impact the Church in negative ways for centuries, which brings us to the next point...

4. Possible effects in the future. One of the most concerning aspects of Benedict's abdication is the effects it may have on the Church in future. This is MUCH bigger than the resignation of one pope. In fact, the papacy may never be the same again. Now that a pope has 'resigned' for mere age/health related reasons, other popes may feel internal or external pressure to resign. Some may try to force a pope's resignation. It may 'set a precedent' and future popes may be criticized for not stepping down when they are older. Also, the decision may affect the choice of a pope - older men may be avoided. Later there could conceivably be multiple 'emeritus popes'. Furthermore, now that 'resigning' is a possibility, some popes may not bravely face the papacy and simply step down when things are 'too tough'. We can't pretend this decision of Pope Benedict's won't affect the Church in the future. His decision to unburden himself of the papacy for a few weeks, months or years risks causing serious harm to the Church. Why couldn't he have just hung on, with God's help, like the others before him did, for the good of the Church?

5. 'Lowering' of the papacy. The decision to resign for health/age related reasons may be seen as 'lowering the papal office' - as if it was any other type of human institution. Being Pope is somewhat like being a king and a king should remain the king until his death, regardless of age or health. The Pope is not a CEO. He is Christ's representative. Surely God can use even the most frail or weak of instruments to accomplish His designs.

Faithful Catholics may wish the next pope would condemn the decision and reinforce the idea that the papacy is for life. But, sadly, even that wouldn't carry the same weight as abdicating being something that is 'just never done'. The dam walls have been broken and may never be repairable.

O Iesu, Fili Dei vivi, miserére nobis! (O Jesus, Son of the living God, have mercy on us!) [Latin / English]

Related: Vatican View Section

[2/28/13]

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Pope Benedict XVI Resigns Papacy

Pope Benedict XVI has announced his intention to resign the papacy, effective February 28, 2013. It is the first time since the 15th century that a pope has abdicated the papal throne. The VIS announcement appears below...

POPE RENOUNCES PAPAL THRONE

Vatican City, 11 February 2013 (VIS) The Holy Father, at the end of today's consistory for causes for canonization, announced his resignation from ministry as Bishop of Rome to the College of Cardinals. Following is the Holy Father's complete declaration, which he read in Latin:

"I have convoked you to this Consistory, not only for the three canonizations, but also to communicate to you a decision of great importance for the life of the Church. After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry. I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only with words and deeds, but no less with prayer and suffering. However, in today's world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the barque of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfil the ministry entrusted to me. For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter, entrusted to me by the Cardinals on 19 April 2005, in such a way, that as from 28 February 2013, at 20:00 hours, the See of Rome, the See of Saint Peter, will be vacant and a Conclave to elect the new Supreme Pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is."

"Dear Brothers, I thank you most sincerely for all the love and work with which you have supported me in my ministry and I ask pardon for all my defects. And now, let us entrust the Holy Church to the care of Our Supreme Pastor, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and implore his holy Mother Mary, so that she may assist the Cardinal Fathers with her maternal solicitude, in electing a new Supreme Pontiff. With regard to myself, I wish to also devotedly serve the Holy Church of God in the future through a life dedicated to prayer."

Also from the VIS mailing...

"The Director of the Holy See's Press Office explained that the Holy Father 'will move to Castel Gandolfo on 28 February, and, once he has finished the tasks he has in progress, he will take up residence in the former cloistered monastery in the Vatican. The process for the election of a new Pope will begin on 1 March. We do not yet know the exact date of the conclave, but obviously there will be no need to wait the normal eight days of mourning (novendali) after the death of the Pope. Thus, in two weeks, during the month of March, in time for Easter, we will have a new Pope ... Benedict XVI will have no role in next March's conclave, nor in the running of the Church during the time between popes, the time of Sede Vacante. The Apostolic Constitution gives no role in this transition to a pope who resigns.'"

Related: Abdicated / Deposed / Overthrown Popes | Vatican View Section

[2/11/13]

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Highlights From Pope Benedict XVI's Motu Proprio On Charity

The following are some highlights from Pope Benedict XVI's recent motu proprio on Charity ("De Caritas ministranda"). The motu proprio is dated November 11, 2012 and takes effect on December 10, 2012.

Please Note: Paragraphs below may be combined and emphasis may be added. Reference numbers may be omitted.

* "In view of this, with the present Motu Proprio I intend to provide an organic legislative framework for the better overall ordering of the various organized ecclesial forms of the service of charity, which are closely related to the diaconal nature of the Church and the episcopal ministry. It is important, however, to keep in mind that 'practical activity will always be insufficient, unless it visibly expresses a love for man, a love nourished by an encounter with Christ'. In carrying out their charitable activity, therefore, the various Catholic organizations should not limit themselves merely to collecting and distributing funds, but should show special concern for individuals in need and exercise a valuable educational function within the Christian community, helping people to appreciate the importance of sharing, respect and love in the spirit of the Gospel of Christ. The Church's charitable activity at all levels must avoid the risk of becoming just another form of organized social assistance."

* "The Church as an institution is not extraneous to those organized initiatives which represent a free expression of the concern of the baptized for individuals and peoples in need. The Church's Pastors should always welcome these initiatives as a sign of the sharing of all the faithful in the mission of the Church; they should respect the specific characteristics and administrative autonomy which these initiatives enjoy, in accordance with their nature, as a manifestation of the freedom of the baptized. Alongside these, the Church's authority has, on its own initiative, promoted specific agencies which provide institutionally for allocating donations made by the faithful, following suitable legal and administrative methods which allow for a more effective response to concrete needs. Nevertheless, to the extent that such activities are promoted by the Hierarchy itself, or are explicitly supported by the authority of the Church's Pastors, there is a need to ensure that they are managed in conformity with the demands of the Church's teaching and the intentions of the faithful, and that they likewise respect the legitimate norms laid down by civil authorities."

* "The faithful have the right to join in associations and to establish agencies to carry out specific charitable services, especially on behalf of the poor and suffering. To the extent that these are linked to the charitable service of the Church's Pastors and/or intend to use for this purpose contributions made by the faithful, they must submit their own Statutes for the approval of the competent ecclesiastical authority and comply with the [indicated] norms."

* "In addition to observing the canonical legislation, the collective charitable initiatives to which this Motu Proprio refers are required to follow Catholic principles in their activity and they may not accept commitments which could in any way affect the observance of those principles."

* "It is the responsibility of the diocesan Bishop to ensure that in the activities and management of these agencies the norms of the Church's universal and particular law are respected, as well as the intentions of the faithful who made donations or bequests for these specific purposes (cf. canons 1300 CIC and 1044 CCEO)."

* "It is the responsibility of the diocesan Bishop, as indicated by canons 394 § 1 CIC and 203 § 1 CCEO, to coordinate within his territory the different works of charitable service, both those promoted by the Hierarchy itself and those arising from initiatives of the faithful, without prejudice to their proper autonomy in accordance with their respective Statutes. In particular, he is to take care that their activities keep alive the spirit of the Gospel."

* "The agencies referred to in Article 1 § 1 are required to select their personnel from among persons who share, or at least respect, the Catholic identity of these works."

* "To ensure an evangelical witness in the service of charity, the diocesan Bishop is to take care that those who work in the Church's charitable apostolate, along with due professional competence, give an example of Christian life and witness to a formation of heart which testifies to a faith working through charity. To this end, he is also to provide for their theological and pastoral formation, through specific curricula agreed upon by the officers of various agencies and through suitable aids to the spiritual life."

* "It is the duty of the diocesan Bishop and the respective parish priests to see that in this area the faithful are not led into error or misunderstanding; hence they are to prevent publicity being given through parish or diocesan structures to initiatives which, while presenting themselves as charitable, propose choices or methods at odds with the Church's teaching."

* "It is the responsibility of the Bishop to supervise the ecclesiastical goods of the charitable agencies subject to his authority."

* "It is the duty of the diocesan Bishop to ensure that the proceeds of collections made in accordance with canons 1265 and 1266 CIC and canons 1014 and 1015 CCEO are used for their stated purposes [cf. canons 1267 CIC, 1016 CCEO]."

* "In particular, the diocesan Bishop is to ensure that charitable agencies dependent upon him do not receive financial support from groups or institutions that pursue ends contrary to Church's teaching. Similarly, lest scandal be given to the faithful, the diocesan Bishop is to ensure that these charitable agencies do not accept contributions for initiatives whose ends, or the means used to pursue them, are not in conformity with the Church's teaching."

* "In a particular way, the Bishop is to see that the management of initiatives dependent on him offers a testimony of Christian simplicity of life. To this end, he will ensure that salaries and operational expenses, while respecting the demands of justice and a necessary level of professionalism, are in due proportion to analogous expenses of his diocesan Curia."

* "The diocesan Bishop is obliged, if necessary, to make known to the faithful the fact that the activity of a particular charitable agency is no longer being carried out in conformity with the Church's teaching, and then to prohibit that agency from using the name 'Catholic' and to take the necessary measures should personal responsibilities emerge."

* "The local ecclesiastical authority retains the full right to give permission for initiatives undertaken by Catholic agencies in areas of his jurisdiction, with due respect for canonical norms and the specific identity of the individual agencies. It is also the duty of the Bishop to ensure that the activities carried out in his Diocese are conducted in conformity with ecclesiastical discipline, either prohibiting them or adopting any measures needed in cases where that discipline is not respected."

[12/6/12]

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Pope Benedict XVI Establishes Pontifical Academy for Latin

Pope Benedict XVI has established a new Pontifical Academy for Latin. The VIS announcement reads as follows...

Vatican City, 10 November 2012 (VIS) - By the Motu Proprio "Latina lingua" published today, Benedict XVI has established the Pontifical Academy for Latin, which will be part of the Pontifical Council for Culture. The new academy will be directed by a president assisted by a secretary, to be appointed by the Pope, and will comprise an academic council. It will supersede the foundation "Latinitas", established by Paul VI with the Chirograph "Romani Sermonis" of 30 June 1976.

"The Latin language", says the Pope in his Motu Proprio, "has always been held in high regard by the Catholic Church and the Roman pontiffs, who have promoted the knowledge and diffusion of the language by making it their own, able to universally transmit the message of the Gospel, as was authoritatively confirmed by my predecessor Blessed John XXIII in the Apostolic Constitution 'Veterum sapientia'.

"Since the Pentecost the Church has spoken and prayed in all languages known to humanity; however, the Christian communities of the first centuries made extensive use of Greek and Latin, languages of universal communication in the world in which they lived, thanks to which the novelty of the Word of Christ encountered the heritage of Hellenistic-Roman culture. After the fall of the western Roman empire the Church of Rome not only continued to use Latin, but in a certain sense also became its custodian and promoter in the theological and liturgical fields, as well as in education and the transmission of knowledge.

"In our times too, knowledge of Latin language and culture remains as necessary as ever for the study of the sources of numerous ecclesiastical disciplines including, among others, theology, liturgy, Patristics and canon law, as confirmed by Vatican Council II. Furthermore, the 'editio typica' of the liturgical books of the Roman Rite, the most important documents of the pontifical Magisterium and the most solemn Acts of the Roman pontiffs are written in Latin, precisely to emphasise the universal nature of the Church.

"However, in contemporary culture, within the context of a generalised deterioration in humanistic studies, we see the danger of an increasingly superficial knowledge of Latin, which may also be detected in the philosophical and theological studies of future priests. On the other hand, in our world in which science and technology are so prominent, we also find renewed interest in the Latin language and culture, and not only in those continents with Greco-Roman cultural roots. This interest seems particularly significant inasmuch as it is present not only in academic and institutional environments, but also involves young people and scholars from very different nations and traditions.

"There is therefore an apparent pressing need to encourage commitment to a greater knowledge and more competent use of Latin, in the ecclesial environment as well as in the world of culture at large. To give prominence and resonance to this effort, it is important to adopt teaching methods adapted to contemporary conditions, and to promote a network of relationships between academic institutions and among scholars with the aim of promoting the rich and varied heritage of Latin civilisation".

The Holy Father concludes by saying that, "in order to contribute to the achievement of these aims, and following in the wake of my venerated predecessors, with the present Motu Proprio I today establish the Pontifical Academy for Latin".

By this Motu Proprio the Pope approves the statute of the new academy "ad experimentum" for a five-year period.

Related: The Latin Language | Latin Mass & Catholic Tradition

[11/12/12]

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NEWSFLASH: Two Saints Proclaimed Doctors of the Church

On October 7, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI proclaimed St. John of Avila and St. Hildegard of Bingen as Doctors of the Universal Church. St. John of Avila lived from 1500-1569, and St. Hildegard of Bingen lived from 1098-1179. There are now 35 Doctors of the Church.

Related: Doctors of the Church

[10/9/12]

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Highlights From 'Norms Regarding the Manner of Proceeding in the Discernment of Presumed Apparitions or Revelations'

The following are some highlights from a 1978 document that was recently published by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. According to VIS, "The document was approved by Pope Paul VI and issued by the congregation in 1978 though it was not then officially published as it was principally intended as a direct aid for the pastors of the Church."

Please Note: Emphasis may be added to text below. Also note that paragraphs below may be combined & some punctuation may be changed from the original.

* "Today, more than in the past, news of these apparitions is diffused rapidly among the faithful thanks to the... mass media. Moreover, the ease of going from one place to another fosters frequent pilgrimages, so that Ecclesiastical Authority should discern quickly about the merits of such matters. On the other hand, modern mentality and the requirements of critical scientific investigation render it more difficult, if not almost impossible, to achieve with the required speed the judgements that in the past concluded the investigation of such matters ('constat de supernaturalitate, non constat de supernaturalitate')"

* "When Ecclesiastical Authority is informed of a presumed apparition or revelation, it will be its responsibility: a) first, to judge the fact according to positive and negative criteria; b) then, if this examination results in a favourable conclusion, to permit some public manifestation of cult or of devotion, overseeing this with great prudence (equivalent to the formula, 'for now, nothing stands in the way') ('pro nunc nihil obstare'). c) finally, in light of time passed and of experience, with special regard to the fecundity of spiritual fruit generated from this new devotion, to express a judgement regarding the authenticity and supernatural character if the case so merits"

* "Positive Criteria (for judging, at least with probability, the character of the presumed apparitions or revelations): a) Moral certitude, or at least great probability of the existence of the fact, acquired by means of a serious investigation; b) Particular circumstances relative to the existence and to the nature of the fact, that is to say: 1. Personal qualities of the subject or of the subjects (in particular, psychological equilibrium, honesty and rectitude of moral life, sincerity and habitual docility towards Ecclesiastical Authority, the capacity to return to a normal regimen of a life of faith, etc.); 2. As regards revelation: true theological and spiritual doctrine and immune from error; 3. Healthy devotion and abundant and constant spiritual fruit (for example, spirit of prayer, conversion, testimonies of charity, etc.)."

* "Negative Criteria (for judging, at least with probability, the character of the presumed apparitions or revelations): a) Manifest error concerning the fact; b) Doctrinal errors attributed to God Himself, or to the Blessed Virgin Mary, or to some saint in their manifestations, taking into account however the possibility that the subject might have added, even unconsciously, purely human elements or some error of the natural order to an authentic supernatural revelation; c) Evidence of a search for profit or gain strictly connected to the fact; d) Gravely immoral acts committed by the subject or his or her followers when the fact occurred or in connection with it; e) Psychological disorder or psychopathic tendencies in the subject, that with certainty influenced on the presumed supernatural fact, or psychosis, collective hysteria or other things of this kind."

* "If, on the occasion of a presumed supernatural fact, there arises in a spontaneous way among the faithful a certain cult or some devotion, the competent Ecclesiastical Authority has the serious duty of looking into it without delay and of diligently watching over it. If the faithful request it legitimately (that is, in communion with the pastors, and not prompted by a sectarian spirit), the competent Ecclesiastical Authority can intervene to permit or promote some form of cult or devotion, if, after the application of the above criteria, nothing stands in the way. They must be careful that the faithful do not interpret this practice as approval of the supernatural nature of the fact on the part of the Church."

* "By reason of its doctrinal and pastoral task, the competent Authority can intervene 'motu proprio' and indeed must do so in grave circumstances, for example in order to correct or prevent abuses in the exercise of cult and devotion, to condemn erroneous doctrine, to avoid the dangers of a false or unseemly mysticism, etc."

* "In doubtful cases that clearly do not put the good of the Church at risk, the competent Ecclesiastical Authority is to refrain from any judgement and from any direct action (because it can also happen that, after a certain period of time, the presumed supernatural fact falls into oblivion); it must not however cease from being vigilant by intervening if necessary, with promptness and prudence"

* "It is up to the Sacred Congregation (for the Doctrine of the Faith) to intervene motu proprio in graver cases, especially if the matter affects the larger part of the Church, always after having consulted the Ordinary and even, if the situation requires, the Conference of Bishops."

Related: Apparitions (Topic Page) | Marian Apparitions at Medjugorje: True or False?

[5/29/12]

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Renewal of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious: It's About Time!

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) recently published its doctrinal assessment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), "the nation's largest umbrella group for Roman Catholic sisters" whose members are said to represent "about 95 percent of 67,000 sisters in the U.S." The LCWR is notable for liberalism, dissent, radical feminism, anti-clericalism, paganism, New Age practices, witchcraft, and for talk of being "post-Christian" & "moving beyond the Church, even beyond Jesus". The following are some highlights from the CDF's assessment of the LCWR...

Please Note: Emphasis may be added to text below. Also note that paragraphs below may be combined & some punctuation may be changed from the original.

* "While recognizing that this doctrinal Assessment concerns a particular conference of major superiors and therefore does not intend to offer judgment on the faith and life of Women Religious in the member Congregations which belong to that conference, nevertheless the Assessment reveals serious doctrinal problems which affect many in Consecrated Life. On the doctrinal level, this crisis is characterized by a diminution of the fundamental Christological center and focus of religious consecration which leads, in turn, to a loss of a 'constant and lively sense of the Church' among some Religious"

* "The decision of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) to undertake a doctrinal Assessment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) was communicated to the LCWR Presidency during their meeting with Cardinal William Levada in Rome on April 8, 2008. At that meeting, three major areas of concern were given as motivating the CDF's decision to initiate the Assessment: [1] Addresses at the LCWR Assemblies. Addresses given during LCWR annual Assemblies manifest problematic statements and serious theological, even doctrinal errors. The Cardinal offered as an example specific passages of Sr. Laurie Brink's address about some Religious 'moving beyond the Church' or even beyond Jesus. This is a challenge not only to core Catholic beliefs; such a rejection of faith is also a serious source of scandal and is incompatible with religious life. Such unacceptable positions routinely go unchallenged by the LCWR, which should provide resources for member Congregations to foster an ecclesial vision of religious life, thus helping to correct an erroneous vision of the Catholic faith as an important exercise of charity... [2] Policies of Corporate Dissent. The Cardinal spoke of this issue in reference to letters the CDF received from 'Leadership Teams' of various Congregations, among them LCWR Officers, protesting the Holy See's actions regarding the question of women's ordination and of a correct pastoral approach to ministry to homosexual persons, e.g. letters about New Ways Ministry's conferences. The terms of the letters suggest that these sisters collectively take a position not in agreement with the Church's teaching on human sexuality. It is a serious matter when these Leadership Teams are not providing effective leadership and example to their communities, but place themselves outside the Church's teaching. [3] Radical Feminism. The Cardinal noted a prevalence of certain radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith in some of the programs and presentations sponsored by the LCWR, including theological interpretations that risk distorting faith in Jesus and his loving Father who sent his Son for the salvation of the world. Moreover, some commentaries on 'patriarchy' distort the way in which Jesus has structured sacramental life in the Church; others even undermine the revealed doctrines of the Holy Trinity, the divinity of Christ, and the inspiration of Sacred Scripture."

* "On June 25, 2010, Bishop Blair presented further documentation on the content of the LCWR's Mentoring Leadership Manual and also on the organizations associated with the LCWR, namely Network and The Resource Center for Religious Institutes. The documentation reveals that, while there has been a great deal of work on the part of LCWR promoting issues of social justice in harmony with the Church's social doctrine, it is silent on the right to life from conception to natural death... Further, issues of crucial importance to the life of Church and society, such as the Church's Biblical view of family life and human sexuality, are not part of the LCWR agenda in a way that promotes Church teaching. Moreover, occasional public statements by the LCWR that disagree with or challenge positions taken by the Bishops, who are the Church's authentic teachers of faith and morals, are not compatible with its purpose."

* "All of the documentation from the doctrinal Assessment including the LCWR responses was presented to the Ordinary Session of the Cardinal and Bishop Members of the CDF on January 12, 2011. The decision of that Ordinary Session was: 1) The current doctrinal and pastoral situation of the LCWR is grave and a matter of serious concern, also given the influence the LCWR exercises on religious Congregations in other parts of the world; 2) After the currently-ongoing Visitation of religious communities of women in the United States is brought to a conclusion, the Holy See should intervene with the prudent steps necessary to effect a reform of the LCWR; 3) The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith will examine the various forms of canonical intervention available for the resolution of the problematic aspects present in the LCWR. The Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, in an Audience granted to the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal William Joseph Levada, on January 14, 2011, approved the decisions of the Ordinary Session of the Congregation, and ordered their implementation."

* "One of the principal means by which the LCWR promotes its particular vision of religious life is through the annual Assemblies it sponsors. During the Assessment process, Bishop Blair, in his letter of May 11, 2009, presented the LCWR Presidency with a study and doctrinal evaluation of keynote addresses, presidential addresses, and Leadership Award addresses over a 10 year period. This study found that the talks, while not scholarly theological discourses per se, do have significant doctrinal and moral content and implications which often contradict or ignore magisterial teaching."

* "Several of the addresses at LCWR conferences present a vision or description of religious life that does not conform to the faith and practice of the Church. Since the LCWR leadership has offered no clarification about such statements, some might infer that such positions are endorsed by them. As an entity approved by the Holy See for the coordination and support of religious Communities in the United States, LCWR also has a positive responsibility for the promotion of the faith and for providing its member Communities and the wider Catholic public with clear and persuasive positions in support of the Church's vision of religious life. Some speakers claim that dissent from the doctrine of the Church is justified as an exercise of the prophetic office. But this is based upon a mistaken understanding of the dynamic of prophecy in the Church: it justifies dissent by positing the possibility of divergence between the Church's magisterium and a 'legitimate' theological intuition of some of the faithful. 'Prophecy,' as a methodological principle, is here directed at the Magisterium and the Church's pastors, whereas true prophecy is a grace which accompanies the exercise of the responsibilities of the Christian life and ministries within the Church, regulated and verified by the Church's faith and teaching office. Some of the addresses at LCWR-sponsored events perpetuate a distorted ecclesiological vision, and have scant regard for the role of the Magisterium as the guarantor of the authentic interpretation of the Church's faith."

* "The analysis of the General Assemblies, Presidential Addresses, and Occasional Papers reveals, therefore, a two-fold problem. The first consists in positive error (i.e. doctrinally problematic statements or formal refutation of Church teaching found in talks given at LCWR-sponsored conferences or General Assemblies). The second level of the problem concerns the silence and inaction of the LCWR in the face of such error, given its responsibility to support a vision of religious life in harmony with that of the Church and to promote a solid doctrinal basis for religious life. With this Assessment, the CDF intends to assist the LCWR in placing its activity into a wider context of religious life in the universal Church in order to foster a vision of consecrated life consistent with the Church's teaching."

* "The program for new Superiors and Formators of member Communities and other resources provided to these Communities is an area in which the LCWR exercises an influence. The doctrinal Assessment found that many of the materials prepared by the LCWR for these purposes (Occasional Papers, Systems Thinking Handbook) do not have a sufficient doctrinal foundation. These materials recommend strategies for dialogue, for example when sisters disagree about basic matters of Catholic faith or moral practice, but it is not clear whether this dialogue is directed towards reception of Church teaching."

* "The Final Report of the Apostolic Visitation of Religious Communities of Women in the United States (July, 2011) found that the formation programs among several communities that belong to the LCWR did not have significant doctrinal content but rather were oriented toward professional formation regarding particular issues of ministerial concern to the Institute. Other programs reportedly stressed their own charism and history, and/or the Church's social teaching or social justice in general, with little attention to basic Catholic doctrine"

* "[I]t is clear that greater emphasis needs to be placed both on the relationship of the LCWR with the Conference of Bishops, and on the need to provide a sound doctrinal foundation in the faith of the Church as they 'work to achieve more fully the purpose of the individual institutes.' Therefore in order to implement a process of review and conformity to the teachings and discipline of the Church, the Holy See, through the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, will appoint an Archbishop Delegate, assisted by two Bishops, for review, guidance and approval, where necessary, of the work of the LCWR. The Delegate will report to the CDF, which will inform and consult with the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life and the Congregation for Bishops."

* "The mandate of the Delegate is to include the following: 1) To revise LCWR Statutes to ensure greater clarity about the scope of the mission and responsibilities of this conference of major superiors. The revised Statutes will be submitted to the Holy See for approval by the CICLSAL. 2) To review LCWR plans and programs, including General Assemblies and publications, to ensure that the scope of the LCWR's mission is fulfilled in accord with Church teachings and discipline. In particular: Systems Thinking Handbook will be withdrawn from circulation pending revision, LCWR programs for (future) Superiors and Formators will be reformed, Speakers/presenters at major programs will be subject to approval by Delegate. 3) To create new LCWR programs for member Congregations for the development of initial and ongoing formation material that provides a deepened understanding of the Church's doctrine of the faith. 4) To review and offer guidance in the application of liturgical norms and texts. For example: The Eucharist and the Liturgy of the Hours will have a place of priority in LCWR events and programs. 5) To review LCWR links with affiliated organizations, e.g. Network and Resource Center for Religious Life."

* "The mandate of the Delegate will be for a period of up to five years, as deemed necessary. In order to ensure the necessary liaison with the USCCB (in view of Can. 708), the Conference of Bishops will be asked to establish a formal link (e.g. a committee structure) with the Delegate and Assistant Delegate Bishops. In order to facilitate the achievement of these goals, the Delegate is authorized to form an Advisory Team (clergy, women Religious, and experts) to assist in the work of implementation. It will be the task of the Archbishop Delegate to work collaboratively with the officers of the LCWR to achieve the goals outlined in this document, and to report on the progress of this work to the Holy See. Such reports will be reviewed with the Delegate at regular interdicasterial meetings of the CDF and the CICLSAL."

Related Articles: LCWR annual meeting is true to form (8/09) | LCWR investigation already a success? (8/09) | Catholic Humor? (8/09) | More from those docile religious sisters (8/09) | Rebellious women religious (7/09)

Also See: Top Reasons Why Women Can't Be Priests | Catholic Teachings on Homosexuality (Topic Page) | Catholic Teachings on Contraception [Topic Page]

[4/19/12]

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NEWSFLASH: Good News Re: Instruction

A 5/19/11 letter signed by Mons. Guido Pozzo of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei which is presently circulating online confirms that the novelty of 'female altar boys' is not permitted at the TLM. The letter cites paragraph 28 of the recently issued 'Instruction On The Application Of The Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum' (Universae Ecclesiae).

Related: Traditional Latin Mass (Topic Page) | Summorum Pontificum Info. | Reflections: Proper Role & Behavior of Women

[6/8/11]

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Highlights From 'Instruction On The Application Of The Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum' (Universae Ecclesiae)

The following are some highlights from "Universae Ecclesiae" (Instruction On The Application Of The Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum Of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI Given Motu Proprio). The document, issued by the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei & signed by Cardinal William Levada, was approved by Pope Benedict XVI on April 8, 2011. The Instruction, dated April 30, 2011 (feast of Pope St. Pius V based on the Novus Ordo calendar), was released to the public on May 13, 2011 (anniversary date of the first Marian apparition at Fatima). Issuance of the Instruction was preceded by an "inquiry made among the Bishops of the world, and with the desire to guarantee the proper interpretation and the correct application of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum" by the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei.

Please Note: We have inserted some comments below [e.g. in brackets/headers]. We have also made a few spelling changes.

* Summorum Pontificum "has made the richness of the Roman Liturgy more accessible to the Universal Church". This 2007 document of Pope Benedict XVI "promulgated a universal law for the Church, intended to establish new regulations for the use of the Roman Liturgy in effect in 1962"

* "The Holy Father, having recalled the concern of the Sovereign Pontiffs in caring for the Sacred Liturgy and in their recognition of liturgical books, reaffirms the traditional principle, recognized from time immemorial and necessary to be maintained into the future, that 'each particular Church must be in accord with the universal Church not only regarding the doctrine of the faith and sacramental signs, but also as to the usages universally handed down by apostolic and unbroken tradition. These are to be maintained not only so that errors may be avoided, but also so that the faith may be passed on in its integrity, since the Church's rule of prayer (lex orandi) corresponds to her rule of belief (lex credendi).'"

* "The Holy Father stresses moreover that, among the sacred liturgical books, the Missale Romanum has enjoyed a particular prominence in history, and was kept up to date [e.g. prayers added for new canonizations] throughout the centuries until the time of Blessed Pope John XXIII." [Note: This does not mean the traditional liturgy was subject to continual change. Click here for a brief history of the Traditional Mass]

* "Many of the faithful, formed in the spirit of the liturgical forms prior to the Second Vatican Council, expressed a lively desire to maintain the ancient tradition." [Not to mention the many who have come to love the ancient liturgy since Vatican II!]

* "The Roman Missal promulgated by Pope Paul VI and the last edition prepared under Pope John XXIII, are two forms of the Roman Liturgy, defined respectively as ordinaria and extraordinaria: they are two usages of the one Roman Rite, one alongside the other. Both are the expression of the same lex orandi of the Church." [How then could the "chief architect" of the Novus Ordo proudly remark that "The liturgical reform (of the 1960's) is a major conquest of the Catholic Church" if the two liturgies are really the same?]

* "On account of its venerable and ancient use, the forma extraordinaria is to be maintained with appropriate honor." [Only on account of its "venerable and ancient use"? What about its manifest orthodoxy, proven good fruits, great reverence, ability to inspire the faithful...?]

* The Motu Proprio was "needed" and "it was a matter of overcoming a lacuna by providing new norms for the use of the Roman Liturgy of 1962". In fact, due to "the increase in the number of those asking to be able to use the forma extraordinaria, it has become necessary to provide certain norms in this area."

* The Instruction quotes Pope Benedict's statement that "What was sacred for prior generations, remains sacred and great for us as well, and cannot be suddenly prohibited altogether or even judged harmful."

* The Instruction cites three aims of Summorum Pontificum: "a.) offering to all the faithful the Roman Liturgy in the Usus Antiquior, considered as a precious treasure to be preserved; b.) effectively guaranteeing and ensuring the use of the forma extraordinaria for all who ask for it, given that the use of the 1962 Roman Liturgy is a faculty generously granted for the good of the faithful and therefore is to be interpreted in a sense favorable to the faithful who are its principal addressees; c.) promoting reconciliation at the heart of the Church."

* The Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei exercises power for "monitoring the observance and application of the provisions of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum" and exercises this power "beyond the faculties previously granted by Pope John Paul II and confirmed by Pope Benedict XVI (cf. Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, art. 11-12), also by means of the power to decide upon recourses legitimately sent to it, as hierarchical Superior, against any possible singular administrative provision of an Ordinary which appears to be contrary to the Motu Proprio." Also, "The decrees by which the Pontifical Commission decides recourses may be challenged ad normam iuris before the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura." Furthermore, Ecclesia Dei will "have the task of looking after future editions of liturgical texts pertaining to the forma extraordinaria of the Roman Rite." [Get out your rosary]

* Diocesan bishops "are to monitor liturgical matters in order to guarantee the common good and to ensure that everything is proceeding in peace and serenity in their Dioceses, always in agreement with the mens of the Holy Father clearly expressed by the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum. In cases of controversy or well-founded doubt about the celebration in the forma extraordinaria, the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei will adjudicate." Further, "It is the task of the Diocesan Bishop to undertake all necessary measures to ensure respect for the forma extraordinaria of the Roman Rite, according to the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum."

* The "group of the faithful" (coetus fidelium) referred to in the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum "can be said to be stabiliter existens ("existing in a stable manner")...when it is constituted by some people of an individual parish who, even after the publication of the Motu Proprio, come together by reason of their veneration for the Liturgy in the Usus Antiquior, and who ask that it might be celebrated in the parish church or in an oratory or chapel; such a coetus ('group') can also be composed of persons coming from different parishes or dioceses, who gather together in a specific parish church or in an oratory or chapel for this purpose."

* "In the case of a priest who presents himself occasionally in a parish church or an oratory with some faithful, and wishes to celebrate in the forma extraordinaria...the pastor or rector of the church, or the priest responsible, is to permit such a celebration, while respecting the schedule of liturgical celebrations in that same church." And, "Even in sanctuaries and places of pilgrimage the possibility to celebrate in the forma extraordinaria is to be offered to groups of pilgrims who request it", assuming there is a "qualified priest" (see below).

* Potential 'time bombs': "In deciding individual cases, the pastor or the rector, or the priest responsible for a church, is to be guided by his own prudence [wildly liberal though he may be], motivated by pastoral zeal and a spirit of generous welcome." And, "In cases of groups which are quite small, they may approach the Ordinary of the place to identify a church [perhaps a church in the most remote/undesirable corner of the diocese?] in which these faithful may be able to come together for such celebrations, in order to ensure easier participation [for who exactly?] and a more worthy celebration [?] of the Holy Mass."

* A new 'litmus test' for Mass? "The faithful who ask for the celebration of the forma extraordinaria must not in any way support or belong to groups which show themselves to be against the validity or legitimacy of the Holy Mass or the Sacraments celebrated in the forma ordinaria or against the Roman Pontiff as Supreme Pastor of the Universal Church." [How about the same 'litmus test' for liberals who "show themselves to be against the validity or legitimacy" of the Holy Mass or the Sacraments according to their traditional forms?]

* Regarding "qualified priests", the Instruction states that "a.) Every Catholic priest who is not impeded by Canon Law is to be considered idoneus ('qualified') for the celebration of the Holy Mass in the forma extraordinaria. b.) Regarding the use of the Latin language, a basic knowledge is necessary, allowing the priest to pronounce the words correctly and understand their meaning. c.) Regarding knowledge of the execution of the Rite, priests are presumed to be qualified who present themselves spontaneously to celebrate the forma extraordinaria, and have celebrated it previously." When diocese do not have "qualified priests", bishops "can request assistance from priests of the Institutes erected by the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, either to the celebrate the forma extraordinaria or to teach others how to celebrate it."

* Seminaries: "Ordinaries are asked to offer their clergy the possibility of acquiring adequate preparation for celebrations in the forma extraordinaria. This applies also to Seminaries, where future priests should be given proper formation, including study of Latin and, where pastoral needs suggest it, the opportunity to learn the forma extraordinaria of the Roman Rite." ["Asked to offer their clergy the possibility"? Merely asking? How imprudent has "asking" been for the Church over the past decades when even bishops themselves fail to obey papal instructions!]

* Celebrations sine populo: "The faculty to celebrate sine populo (or with the participation of only one minister) in the forma extraordinaria of the Roman Rite is given by the Motu Proprio to all priests, whether secular or religious (cf. Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, art. 2). For such celebrations therefore, priests, by provision of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, do not require any special permission from their Ordinaries or superiors."

* Follow the rubrics: "The liturgical books of the forma extraordinaria are to be used as they are. All those who wish to celebrate according to the forma extraordinaria of the Roman Rite must know the pertinent rubrics and are obliged to follow them correctly."

* Get out the Rosary again: "New saints and certain of the new prefaces can and ought to be inserted into the 1962 Missal, according to provisions which will be indicated subsequently." [How about a requirement that those inserted into the 1962 Missal be canonized under the more stringent 1962 canonization provisions?]

* Unfortunate: "As foreseen by article 6 of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, the readings of the Holy Mass of the Missal of 1962 can be proclaimed ... in Low Masses, solely in the vernacular." [Note: Click here for benefits of the Latin language]

* Disciplinary norms: "With regard to the disciplinary norms connected to celebration, the ecclesiastical discipline contained in the Code of Canon Law of 1983 applies."

* Vague: "Furthermore, by virtue of its character of special law, within its own area, the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum derogates from those provisions of law, connected with the sacred Rites, promulgated from 1962 onwards and incompatible with the rubrics of the liturgical books in effect in 1962." [Hopefully this may protect the faithful from novelties such as Communion in the hand, 'lay ministers', and altar girls, but this is not spelled out in the document... plus there is already concern over early (pre-1962) indults that may still exist somewhere...]

* The Instruction reiterates that Confirmation may be performed according to the traditional rite

* The Instruction indicates that "Only in Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life which are under the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, and in those which use the liturgical books of the forma extraordinaria, is the use of the Pontificale Romanum of 1962 for the conferral of minor and major orders permitted."

* Breviarium Romanum: The Breviarium Romanum in effect in 1962 "is to be prayed entirely and in the Latin language"

* Sacred Triduum: "If there is a qualified priest, a coetus fidelium ('group of faithful'), which follows the older liturgical tradition, can also celebrate the Sacred Triduum in the forma extraordinaria. When there is no church or oratory designated exclusively for such celebrations, the parish priest or Ordinary, in agreement with the qualified priest, should find some arrangement favorable to the good of souls, not excluding the possibility of a repetition of the celebration of the Sacred Triduum in the same church."

* The use of "liturgical books proper to the Religious Orders which were in effect in 1962 is permitted" as is the use of the "Pontificale Romanum, the Rituale Romanum, as well as the Caeremoniale Episcoporum in effect in 1962" in keeping with provisions of the Instruction

Related: Traditional Latin Mass (Topic Page) | The Traditional Latin Mass vs. the Novus Ordo (New) Mass

[5/13/11]

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NEWSFLASH: Motu Proprio 'Clarification' Release Date: 5/13/11

The 'clarification' regarding Summorum Pontificum will be released on 5/13/11. Sources indicate that the document is mostly positive for those who love the Traditional Mass. We will provide additional details after the document is released. Please check back soon.

Related: Traditional Latin Mass (Topic Page)

[5/12/11]

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Update Re: Motu Proprio

It is now believed that the expected 'clarification' regarding Summorum Pontificum will not 'water down' the Motu Proprio as previously feared. In fact, some provisions in the new document may serve to strengthen the '07 papal document. Reportedly the 'clarification', which is expected to be released before Easter, will...

* encourage training of seminarians in the ancient rite

* prohibit bishops from imposing unlawful restrictions on celebrating the TLM

* grant Ecclesia Dei additional powers

* clarify that the Triduum Sacrum may be celebrated in the traditional form

* *not* specify the number of persons which constitute a 'stable group'

Related: Traditional Latin Mass (Topic Page)

[3/9/11]

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NEWSFLASH: Motu Proprio in Danger? How To Help

Rumors are circulating that the long awaited 'clarification' of Summorum Pontificum may be expected shortly. It is feared that this 'clarification' may serve to 'water down' the Motu Proprio.

How you can help...

* Pray

* Sign relevant online petitions (e.g. the petition at www.motuproprioappeal.com) [Note: After signing the petition on the above site, a donation appeal may appear. This appeal may be ignored. Also, for those concerned about privacy or the receipt of future e-mail, note that an e-mail address such as 'not @ applicable . com" (without the spaces) may suffice at the above site]

* Send a polite letter and/or e-mail to appropriate parties at the at the Vatican

* Tell your friends

Related: Traditional Latin Mass (Topic Page)

[2/18/11]

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Alleged Marian Apparition in Wisconsin: Answers Still Needed

Some concerns regarding the alleged Marian apparition approved by a U.S. bishop in 12/10 were recently shared with a faithful priest. The priest reviewed the concerns and agreed that some elements involving the alleged apparition in Wisconsin appear 'strange'. If nothing else, it seems the following items at least deserve an adequate answer...

* Why is it that the alleged visionary in Wisconsin, Adele Brise, never took religious vows, yet she dressed in a habit and is referred to as "Sr. Adele"? The image of Adele wearing a habit is used to promote the shrine (see one such image below), and the laywoman's appearance as a 'nun' may therefore give an apparent air of credibility to the alleged apparition. Even her tombstone refers to her as "sister", yet she took now religious vows. Why is this?

Lay Woman, Adele Brise, Dressed Like a Nun

* Why did the apparition instruct a lay woman, rather than a priest or religious, to "Gather the children in this wild country and teach them what they should know for salvation". In contrast, Jesus instructed certain males (e.g. priests) - not women - to teach. As Pope John Paul II stated: "Priestly ordination, which hands on the office entrusted by Christ to his Apostles of teaching, sanctifying and governing the faithful, has in the Catholic Church from the beginning always been reserved to men alone" (emphasis added). St. Paul says, "A woman must receive instruction silently and under complete control. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man. She must be quiet." (1 Tm. 2:11-12) So, does it not seem strange that in a place where the Catholic Church was already established, an apparition would call on a lay woman - rather than the parish priest - to (apparently independently) teach other peoples' children "what they should know for salvation"? If the priest wasn't doing his job of teaching the children, why did the apparition not appear to him or to his bishop? Also, the apparition apparently did not instruct the lay woman to clear her new 'teaching assignment' with the parish priest or other Church authorities, the authentic instructors of the faith. Isn't that rather odd?

* Why was approval of the apparition referred to as a 'thank you' to Adele Brise, rather than simply an objective determination made after careful evaluation of the alleged apparition's authenticity? (Note: The bishop said "In many ways it is also a thank-you gift to Adele Brise, that Belgian immigrant who came here to this country...")

* Why did the bishop also give other reasons for approving the apparition which have nothing to do with authenticity? (Note: Reasons included these two: "My love for the Blessed Mother, and the simple messages to get the faith out there") Why would approval be given for any other reason than that the apparition was found to be authentic?

* Isn't it true that an examination conducted around 150 years after the fact may make it difficult for a careful review of contradictory evidence? (Note: By contrast, the Marian apparition Lourdes occurred less than two years earlier and was approved quickly by the Church)

* Why does the description of the Blessed Virgin's hair seem so unusual (she reportedly had "long, golden, wavy hair" which "fell loosely around her shoulders")? Also, isn't it rather odd that the description and associated image do not indicate that the Blessed Virgin wore a veil?

* Could the timing of the approval be considered strange / opportune since the diocese is embroiled in abuse scandals? (Note that the diocese was recently charged with obstruction of justice for allegedly destroying evidence related to abuse cases, but the diocese denies the claims and the bishop denies that the scandals influenced his decision regarding the apparition)

* Isn't it true that while some associated miracles may seem impressive, it is possible that they could be explained by natural means or as answers to prayers which were unrelated to the alleged apparition?

Especially in light of the various false alleged apparitions in recent times - and the large number of people willing to follow them - it seems especially important for the bishop to provide good answers to questions such as those above.

"The devil is most pleased when he sees that people desire to accept revelations and are inclined toward them. For then he has an excellent opportunity to inject errors and disparage faith as much as possible." (St. John of the Cross, Doctor of the Church)

Related: Marian Apparitions

[2/7/11]

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Previous News Below...


In the News...*

Some News Highlights

A few recent news highlights...

* Vandals have defaced a statue of Jesus at a La Marque (TX) parish. Police are seeking suspects

* Thousands of Catholics in Germany have left the Catholic Church this past year. A German bishop surmised that the exodus may be attributed to abuse scandals and noted that "every single departure is one too many". According to one report, there was a 20% increase in the number of Catholics joining (heretical) Protestant sects. [Refreshers: Necessity of being Catholic for salvation | Those Outside the Catholic Church (Reflections)]

* Pope Benedict recently gave support for the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin in his message for the upcoming World Day of the Sick. The Holy Father stated (emphasis added)...

"I still have in my heart the moment when, during the course of the pastoral visit to Turin, I was able to pause in reflection and prayer before the sacred Shroud, before that suffering countenance, that invites us to meditate on him who took upon himself man's suffering of every age and place, even our sufferings, our difficulties, our sins. How many faithful over the course of history have passed before that sepulchral winding sheet, which covered the body of a crucified man, which in everything corresponds to what the Gospels transmit about the passion and death of Jesus! Contemplating him is an invitation to reflect on what St. Peter writes: 'By his wounds we have been healed' (1 Peter 2:24)"

[12/20]

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Reflection of Pope Benedict on the Priesthood

The following reflection on the priesthood is taken from Pope Benedict's recent Christmas greetings given at the Apostolic Palace... [Note: We have changed spelling of two words below]

"[In the wake of the 'Year for Priests'] Among us as priests and among the laity, also and especially the young, a renewed awareness arose of the great gift of the priesthood of the Catholic Church, which was entrusted to us by the Lord. One again we came to understand how beautiful it is that human beings [priests] are authorized to pronounce the name of God and, with complete authority, the word of forgiveness, and thus that they are able to change the world, to change life. How beautiful it is that human beings [priests] are authorized to pronounce the words of consecration."

Related: Sacrament of Penance (Topic Page) | Priests / Holy Orders (Topic Page) | Holy Eucharist (Topic Page)

[12/20]

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A Few Updates

Some updates...

* Good news: Anglicans entering the Catholic Church under the provisions of Anglicanorum Coetibus will reportedly celebrate Mass ad orientem [For a refresher related to this topic, see: Why Doesn't the Priest Face the People in the 'Tridentine' Mass? (Q & A)]

* The Phoenix bishop who threatened to revoke the Catholic status of a hospital that performed an abortion has extended the deadline until December 21 due to "ongoing communication and attempts to rectify the situation" [Refresher: Catholic teachings against abortion]

* NY's Archbishop Dolan has come to the defense the Catholic League's president. He asserted that the organization's leader "hardly needs me to defend him" and said that he's "glad to express [his] encouragement for the work he does", adding that "Some may take occasional issue with his style. Fair enough, and he's open to such criticism. Some might even discuss whether the image is offensive. However, no one should doubt the high value and necessity of his efforts, or dismiss him in crude terms." "Keep at it...We need you!", he exclaimed. The prelate also said he "[looks] forward to the day when the work done by the Catholic League is no longer necessary", but notes that "as recent events have proven once again, that day still seems far in the future."

[12/17]

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Confused Calendars?

Some recent 'calendar confusion' items...

* Ridiculous: Secular media reports indicate that shoppers are 'stunned' to find Easter candy on store shelves in December. The items are being sold as 'stocking stuffers'

* 'Midnight at 10'? Pope Benedict will once again celebrate 'Midnight' Mass at 10 p.m. The Holy Father celebrated 'Midnight' Mass at this time last year in a 'surprising scheduling change' called 'a first'. Midnight is traditionally believed to be the actual time of Christ's birth.

* Is it April 1st? A headline appearing on the Vatican Radio website reads: "Celebrating the spirit of the Reformation" [Comment: Think about that for a moment... If only it really was an April Fool's Day joke - although some martyrs might not think it so funny!] [Refresher: Heresy (Reflections)]

[12/17]

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More Recent News Highlights

Some more recent news highlights...

* The recently retired bishop of Dodge City said being a bishop has always "felt like a burden" to him. He also said he has done "all I know how to do, all my strength permitted me to do, all my weakness allowed me to do" and asserted that "The good people of this Diocese deserve better from their bishop than what I was giving them"

* Northwest Catholic High School in West Hartford (CT) was evacuated Wednesday over a possible bomb threat. The investigation reportedly did not uncover any dangerous materials at the school

* Sad: The Phoenix hospital in danger of losing its status as a Catholic facility over an abortion has defended the killing of the unborn child [Refresher: Catholic teachings against abortion]

* Some good news: The Diocese of Honolulu is reportedly giving 'increased recognition' to the TLM. The bishop recently appointed a chaplain to the Latin Mass Community in Maui and will elevate a chaplain to become pastor of a parish in Honolulu which celebrates the TLM [Related: Traditional Latin Mass (Topic Page)]

* Pakistani bishops are calling for the prosecution of the imam who offered a reward for the killing of the Catholic mother already sentenced to death for 'blaspheming Mohammed'. Reportedly, some 'prominent Muslims' also signed the letter

* Vatican circus: As reported by various secular outlets, four shirtless men in tight pants recently performed in front of Pope Benedict. Scandalously, the muscular acrobats removed their shirts in front of the Holy Father - leaving only their snug pants and wrist cuffs - and proceeded to perform a routine that risked enticing both females and homosexual men to lust. In addition to the Pope, onlookers included clergy and nuns [sadly - at least from what one video showed - the nuns (in full habits) were smiling and taking pictures rather than averting their gaze from the topless male performers]. Unfortunately, Pope Benedict himself clapped and stood up for the performers (half-seriously dubbed 'Vatican Chippendales') [Commentary: How terribly sad (not to mention scandalous) that attending an audience with the Pope may be an occasion for sin! As Bl. Jacinta warns, "The sins which hurl most souls into hell, are the sins of the flesh." Christ Himself says, "But I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart." (Mt. 5:28) The Vatican's own Pontifical Council for the Family reminds that "The practice of decency and modesty in speech, action and dress is very important for creating an atmosphere suitable for the growth of chastity." Is it too much to ask that the Vatican heed its own advice?]

* The Holy Father's message for the upcoming 'World Day of Peace' asserts that religious freedom is "one of the ways to safeguard peace", yet it "does not imply that all religions are equal. Nor is it a reason for religious relativism or indifferentism" [Refreshers: Necessity of being Catholic for salvation | Traditional teachings on religious liberty]

[12/16]

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More News Highlights

Some more recent news highlights...

* Vatican spokesman Fr. Lombardi is reportedly 'downplaying' WikiLeaks disclosures, claiming that "There's nothing new, nothing that wasn't abundantly well known" in the disclosures

* Various reports indicate that the Vatican Bank is under 'new scrutiny' in the money-laundering case which led to the seizure of millions of dollars a few months ago. Reportedly, court documents indicate that the bank "deliberately flouted anti-laundering laws 'with the aim of hiding the ownership, destination and origin of the capital'" and "reveal investigators' suspicions that clergy may have acted as fronts for corrupt businessmen and Mafia"

* Cardinal Burke recently lamented that many American Catholic colleges are 'Catholic in name only'. In an address earlier this month, the prelate noted that "A Catholic college or university at which Jesus Christ alive in His Church is not taught, encountered in the Sacred Liturgy and its extension through prayer and devotion, and followed in a life of virtue is not worthy of the name"

* Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Ireland has apologized for the abuse scandals and subsequent cover-up. He noted that "Many of those who came forward did not want to damage the Church they loved; they simply wanted abuse to be stopped effectively and definitively" and noted that "Their love of the Church was betrayed by leadership in the Church"

* Scandalous: TFP volunteers examined websites of nearly 250 Catholic universities & colleges in America and discovered that "101 (41%) of Catholic universities and colleges currently list pro-homosexual student clubs on their web sites. Among Jesuit-run universities, however, the number increases to 100%" They note that "Many of these clubs sponsor events that promote the homosexual movement's most radical agenda, the redefinition of marriage and the social acceptance of unnatural vice, which is contrary to Catholic moral teaching". TFPStudentAction.org has launched a petition in protest [Related: Catholic teachings on homosexuality (Topic Page)]

* Here we go again: A dissenting priest in Wisconsin has questioned Church teachings concerning the all-male priesthood. His (inaccurate) comments appear in a newspaper column [Related: Top Reasons Why Women Can't Be Priests]

[12/13]

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Some News Highlights

A few recent news highlights...

* Close to 2,000 persons in the Netherlands have made abuse complaints against the Church. "Most" of the allegations trace back decades and involve the Catholic school system. Reportedly, the complaints include accusations against two former bishops

* A nun who served as vice president of finance for Iona College (NY) was recently arrested and charged with embezzling $850,000 from the school over a 10 year period. If convicted, she reportedly may face nearly four years in prison

* Vandals have chopped down a tree in Britain that is said to trace back to the staff of Joseph of Arimathea some 2,000 years ago (the 'Holy Thorn Tree' of Glastonbury). The tree - which blossomed twice a year, at Christmas & Easter - previously suffered harm but locals apparently managed to re-grow it from salvaged cuttings obtained from the original tree. Some claim the recent vandalism was a 'deliberately anti-Christian act', others speculate it may be part of a 'vendetta' against the landowner

* Thousands of misguided 'Catholics' in Minnesota have returned marriage-defending DVDs in protest. Sadly, the woefully misled 'Catholics' considered the archdiocesan efforts at defending true marriage to be in conflict with "core Christian values of love, compassion, tolerance, and respect" and think that the rejection of unnatural, sinful homosexual 'marriage' is an "attack on human dignity" [Commentary: Bet it's been a long time since they've heard sermons on these topics...

"If your brother sins, rebuke him" (Jesus Christ, Lk. 17:3)

"Likewise, Sodom, Gomorrah, and the surrounding towns, which, in the same manner as they, indulged in sexual promiscuity and practiced unnatural vice, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire." (St. Jude 1:7)

"Do you not know that the unjust will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators nor idolaters nor adulterers nor boy prostitutes nor practicing homosexuals nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God." (St. Paul, 1 Cor. 6:9-10)

"Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil, who change darkness into light, and light into darkness, who change bitter into sweet, and sweet into bitter!" (Isa. 5:20)

"Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many. How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few." (Jesus Christ, Mt. 7:13-15)

For more, try: "10 Commandments" According to the Ignorant & Misguided: PC & False Christianity: A Scriptural Response (user-submitted article)]

[12/10]

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Some Quotes

Some quotes regarding recent news items...

* A recently leaked cable from the U.S. Embassy to the Vatican concerning 'climate change' states that: "Conversi's offer to support the U.S., even if discreetly, is significant because the Vatican is often reluctant to appear to compromise its independence and moral authority by associating itself with particular lobbying efforts." [Related: 'Global Warming' / 'Climate Change' (Incl. 'Is global warming real?' & 'Scientific heavyweight' resigns over concerns related to "global warming scam") {Topic Page}]

* Pope Benedict on the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception: "[T]he most beautiful gift, and most pleasing to [the Blessed Virgin], that we offer is our prayer, the one we bear in our hearts and which we entrust to her intercession" [Related: Blessed Virgin Mary (Topic Page)]

* Some 19th century instructions attributed to the Blessed Virgin Mary (Our Lady of Good Help at Champion) from the recently approved apparition in Wisconsin: "I am the Queen of Heaven who prays for the conversion of sinners, and I wish you to do the same"; "Make a general confession and offer Communion for the conversion of sinners. If they do not convert and do penance, my Son will be obliged to punish them"; "Teach them [the children] their catechism, how to sign themselves with the sign of the cross, and how to approach the sacraments" [Related: Marian Apparitions]

* Damian Thompson, Editor of Telegraph Blogs, on the policy of the Bishops of England and Wales regarding the TLM: "(a) Do as little as possible to make it available and (b) announce that not many people are going to it." Regarding the apparently misrepresented statistics concerning TLM attendance, he asks "how many other dioceses' liturgical mafia are under-representing the number of Catholics attending EF Masses?" and says that "The only explanation I can come up with is that the great composer popped along to a Reading TLM one Sunday but, such were the clouds of incense, could make out only half the worshippers." [Related: Traditional Latin Mass (Topic Page)]

* Troubling plans for Christmas from the dissenting (homosexual activist) group 'Catholics For Equality' [commentary in brackets]: "One of the most interesting aspects of this campaign is our understanding that we don't need the consent of our hierarchy to effectively mobilize [!] our fellow pro-equality [read: pro-sin] parishioners inside our churches. This Christmas [!] we will be rolling out the [so-called] Catholics for Equality line of smartphone apps, which will allow supporters to connect with each other while they're sitting in the pews [that is, during Mass!] or attending an after-church social. The apps will also allow them to report hostile [!] activity [a sermon, perhaps, that condemns a sin which 'cries out to heaven'?] in their parish or make a special contribution to the campaign as the Holy Spirit [not!] moves them." [Refresher: "Do you not know that the unjust will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators nor idolaters nor adulterers nor boy prostitutes nor practicing homosexuals nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God." (St. Paul, 1 Cor. 6:9-10)] [Related: Catholic teachings on homosexuality (Topic Page)]

[12/9]

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Islamic Persecution In Pakistan

In what seems like a chapter from the 'Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam', an attorney for the American Center for Law & Justice recently interviewed for a Catholic Radio & Television Network (CRTN) program highlighted discrimination Pakistani Christians face in the Islamic country. The attorney reaffirmed that...

* Anti-blasphemy laws mean that "Basically if you say anything derogatory about Islam you can be prosecuted"

* The Pakistan Penal Code imposes the death penalty for cases where "Anyone who, by words either spoken or written or by visible representation defiles" Mohammed's name. The penal code also prohibits "saying derogatory words about religious personalities"

* Anyone can file a blasphemy complaint against another person, and the law is frequently used "for personal gain" - e.g. to settle disputes among individuals

*"A lot" of Pakistanis have been persecuted because of their Christian religion

* A Muslim may be punished by a simple fine, but in the event of a complaint of blasphemy against a Christian, "your whole life may be ruined. Your property could be vandalized. You could go to jail for life."

* Christians in Pakistan are treated as "de facto second-class citizens"

* "Most" of the cases brought under anti-blasphemy laws in Pakistan involve "false allegations"

* Even though there are no anti-conversion laws in Pakistan, "the society in general would not tolerate a [Muslim] person getting converted [to Christianity]"

* Police may act as 'judge and jury' against Christians, even applying punishment (e.g. torture) to accused Christians

* Muslims may take laws into their own hands, resulting in vandalism of Christians' property - and even death

The attorney called for "a lot" of prayers.

[Note: Link for the 'Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam' (click here) goes to a third party site under our referral / incentive programs. Shop at other sites to support this site!]

[12/7]

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Some News Highlights

A few recent news highlights...

* Bishop John Steinbock of Fresno died Sunday at age 73. He suffered for four months with lung cancer prior to his death

* St. Patrick's Old Cathedral was formally inaugurated as a basilica this weekend. The gothic style basilica was built in the early 1800's and was designated a NYC landmark decades ago

* The head of the U.S. bishops' conference has added his signature to an open letter defending marriage as "the permanent and faithful union of one man and one woman" that is "fundamental to the well-being of all of society". The 'shared commitment' letter was also signed by leaders of various (so-called) 'religious communities' (e.g. Protestants, Jews, etc.). Archbishop Dolan affirmed that marriage protects the common good and noted that "People of any faith or no faith at all can recognize that when the law defines marriage as between one man and one woman, it legally binds a mother and a father to each other and their children, reinforcing the foundational cell of human society." [Related: Catholic teachings on marriage (Topic Page)]

[12/6]

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News Highlights

Some recent news highlights...

* St. Patrick's Old Cathedral in NY will be formally designated a basilica on Sunday

* The recently released article concerning Pope Benedict's positive influence on the Church's penal law is expected to be published on Saturday in an Italian magazine

* The Bishops Conference in England and Wales has been charged with maneuvering to "ignore, block, and ultimately frustrate Summorum Pontificum" and has reportedly "spent a great deal of effort behind the scenes gathering data to support the idea that there is no demand" in England and Wales for the TLM [Related: Summorum Pontificum Info. (Latin Mass Updates) | The Traditional Latin ('Tridentine') Mass vs. the Novus Ordo (New) Mass]

* Where do they find these men? A Houston-area priest has been charged with public lewdness after he reportedly exposed himself at an adult book store

* Watch where your donations go: Catholic AIDS workers in South Africa are reportedly using Pope Benedict's recent comments to "justify" the distribution of c*nd*ms, even though the Pope did not say use of c*nd*ms can be justified [Related: Catholic teachings against contraception | Pope Benedict's Remarks On C*nd*ms: Facts, Falsities & Fallout]

[12/3]

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A Few Updates

Some updates...

* The new archbishop of Seattle, Archbishop Sartain, was installed Wednesday. Some protesters gathered outside the cathedral during his installation, upset over the prelate's previous decision to ordain a man who would later be accused of abuse

* Kenya's bishops have issued a statement regarding the media's misrepresentation of Pope Benedict's remarks on c*nd*ms. The statement begins with a reaffirmation that "the position of the Catholic Church as regards the use of [c*nd*ms], both as a means of contraception and as a means of addressing the grave issue of HIV/AIDS infection has not changed and remains as always unacceptable"

* Proposed revisions to the Church's penal provisions have been ongoing for two years and will reportedly be sent to members of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts 'in the coming weeks'

[12/2]

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More News Highlights

Some more recent news highlights...

* Pope Benedict met with some 26 victims of the Baghdad cathedral attack who are being treated in Italy along with their relatives in a private audience

* Police are investigating a recent 'series of burglaries' in the Bronx, which have included Catholic schools & churches

* Una Voce recently published its report on the third anniversary of Summorum Pontificum. The report is dated 9/14/10 [Note: See highlights below]

* Under pressure, the Smithsonian pulled a vile video that outraged many Catholics (details of the disgusting video not repeated here). The Smithsonian receives funds from the federal government [That is, your taxpayer dollars]

* Cardinal Bertone recently charged that "Christians are the most persecuted and discriminated against religious group" in the world and he called on the international community to "combat intolerance and discrimination against Christians with the same determination that it battles hatred for members of other religious communities"

* More 'ecumenical craziness': Cardinal Bertone has reportedly given the schismatic Orthodox a relic of the Apostle St. Andrew [Related: Ecumenism (Q & A) | There once was a vacuum cleaner salesman...]

* Anglican update: The ordinariate in Australia reportedly 'may be' established by Easter or Pentecost in 2011. Also, a group of Anglicans in Canada have voted overwhelmingly (90%) to enter the Catholic Church under the provisions of Anglicanorum Coetibus

[12/1]

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Una Voce Report on the Third Anniversary of Summorum Pontificum

Foederatio Internationalis Una Voce recently published its report on the third anniversary of Summorum Pontificum. The following are some excerpts from this report, which is dated 9/14/10... [Note: Formatting appearing in the original has been omitted below. Also, paragraphs may be combined/separated below, references may be omitted, and some spelling/punctuation changes have been made]

* "Now that the veil has been lifted and the traditional Mass declared always valid, people of all nations and of all tongues are returning to, or discovering, the great and historic liturgy that spread the faith around the globe."

* "And yet a great source of sanctification - the traditional Latin Mass - is being denied to those priests who wish to obtain the graces which flow from this form of Mass. Many bishops are not only refusing to allow their priests to celebrate this Mass but some are actually punishing their priests for daring even to think about saying it. The individual reports from our members...include a number of examples where this has happened. If the bishops are an alter Christus to their priests then they should follow the example of our Blessed Lord in his relationship with His apostles and disciples."

* "In a Church that places great emphasis on justice and peace, and in pursuit of these admirable causes supports all manner of diverse projects around the world, it is remarkable how so many of the bishops do not place the same emphasis on justice and peace among their own flocks whenever mention is made of the traditional Latin Mass; or Extraordinary Form, as Pope Benedict refers to it."

* "While there are many instances of bishops being obedient to Pope Benedict XVI and faithful to the motu proprio, there is also overwhelming evidence that a great many bishops seem determined that it shall be stifled at birth because it does not suit them. Although the Holy Father gave permission to each priest of the Latin rite to use the [traditional Missal], there are many bishops who are denying the authority of the Supreme Legislator and are placing their own negative and restrictive interpretations on the motu proprio. It gives us no satisfaction to state this because the laity are required to give obedience to their diocesan bishops as successors of the apostles. But we expect that our bishops give obedience to their legitimate authority, the Vicar of Rome. If our bishops are seen to be disobedient to Peter then they cannot be surprised if their flocks lose respect for their authority. Holy Mother Church is now in a state of chaos and anarchy because the management of the Church is rent with individual bishops, and bishops' conferences, thinking, and acting, as if they are the Pope with ultimate authority."

* "There has been some improvement [since 9/14/09] in a few countries but this, in the main, is due entirely to dedicated and active laity, who are prepared to overcome the antipathy and even hostility of many of the bishops. In a number of countries it is clear that many bishops are opposed to the resurgence of the extraordinary form and seem determined to thwart the will of the Holy Father and the desires of their flocks by direct refusal of requests, by simply ignoring requests and petitions, and by making their disapproval known to their clergy who reluctantly have to obey."

* "It is not too strong a comment to say that many bishops have turned their faces against the Vicar of Christ and have refused to open their hearts to their faithful. They continue to deny their flocks the form of Mass that spread the Catholic faith to every country of the world; the form of Mass that was the spiritual nourishment of countless saints and martyrs, the consolation of untold millions of the faithful down through the centuries, and a form of Mass that, in reality, is revitalizing seminaries and communities where it has been reintroduced."

* "In the USA the following members of the hierarchy have been very helpful. Francis Cardinal George, Archbishop John Myers, Archbishop Raymond Burke, Archbishop Timothy Dolan, Archbishop Alexander Brunett, Bishop Kevin Rhoades, Bishop James Timlin, Bishop David Foley, Bishop John D'Arcy, Bishop David Zubik, Bishop David Ricken, Bishop Jerome Listecki, Bishop Bernard Harrington, Bishop Thomas Doran, Bishop Robert Finn, Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz, Bishop Edward Slattery, Bishop John Wester, Bishop Gerald Kicanas, Bishop Allen Vigneron, Bishop Salvatore Cordileone, Bishop Clarence Silva, Bishop David Fellhauer, Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop James Johnston, Aux. Bishop John Dougherty, Aux. Bishop Joseph Perry, Aux. Bishop Robert Hermann"

* "His Holiness appealed to his dear brother bishops to generously open their hearts but the reality is that many have refused to do so and have used many means to obstruct the reasonable and legitimate requests from their flocks for the traditional Mass. There has been a collective abuse of power to maintain the status quo and deny any possibility of the restoration of the traditional liturgy. Evidence has been provided...of episcopal refusal of a great many legitimate requests, of ignoring legitimate requests, of creating impossible conditions for willing celebrants to comply with. Instructions have been issued that make their displeasure of the traditional Mass perfectly clear to their priests, thus creating an atmosphere of fear that parish priests are unwilling to act against. In many dioceses there is no visible evidence of a bishop's antipathy to the motu proprio but the diocesan priests have been made aware of the possibility of action being taken against them should they celebrate [the TLM]. The bishops refuse obedience to their legitimate authority, the Holy Father, but ruthlessly demand obedience from their priests and their flocks. "

* "One particular bishop imposed an 'examination' of those priests who wanted to say the traditional Mass in Latin in order for them to be 'approved', but there was no similar examination for foreign priests entering his diocese to celebrate the new Mass in the vernacular. No such 'approval' is required for them."

* "In one European country the bishop stopped a priest celebrating the traditional Mass until the diocesan board had discussed the case. After many months the bishop declared that any Mass with the public attending was not a 'private' Mass (i.e. without faithful) and threatened to punish the priest if he continued to be 'disobedient'. In some countries priests who have celebrated the traditional Mass have been 'relocated' from their parishes to remote areas and others have been removed entirely and deprived of all pastoral offices - and income."

* "Many bishops are adopting a strategy of refusing to acknowledge or reply to requests for the traditional Mass and are saying that in their diocese the 'problem' of Summorum Pontificum does not exist."

* "News and Extraordinary Form Mass listings are rarely carried in diocesan publications or on diocesan websites. There have been instances of diocesan publications refusing to cover Extraordinary Form affairs, e.g. the reference to 'Summorum Pontificum' in the entry supplied by one member for the 2009 edition of the diocesan directory was deleted by the directory's editor, and the diocesan newspaper declined to print an article which explained the provisions of 'Summorum Pontificum'."

* "There are many instances of priests all around the world responding generously to requests from their parishioners. Many often do so despite hostility from their fellow priests and also, it must be said, from ill-informed lay people who think these priests are acting against the Second Vatican Council. Although it is mainly younger priests who are responding to the motu proprio, there are many instances of retired priests who are very happy to return to the Mass of their younger days and help the faithful."

* "It is, in the main, younger priests who are willing to celebrate the traditional liturgy and some are acting courageously in the face of opposition from their older confreres."

* "Most Extraordinary Form apostolates are showing strong signs of steady growth."

* "[T]here is widespread ignorance as to the actual contents of the Holy Father's motu proprio and accompanying letter, and even of the existence of these documents."

* "Many requests have been made...and many reasons for refusal have been received in return. Bishops have said that a particular group is not large enough, or not sufficiently motivated for a wholly Latin liturgy, or that the suggested priest does not know Latin sufficiently well, or that other motu proprio places exist in the diocese."

* "What is beyond dispute is the phenomenal growth of internet websites and webblogs since the promulgation of Summorum Pontificum, despite the negative and stifling approach of many bishops around the world. The growth is exponential."

* "Many people drive for hours to attend a usus antiquior Mass which is a testament to the devotion it engenders. Many new attenders express surprise that it is not more extensively promoted by the authorities."

* "Federation members report that many priests have requested books, videos, and any resources to learn how to celebrate the traditional Mass. And many ask for anonymity for fear of reprisals from their respective bishops. This is a common theme because the Federation knows of many priests and religious who would like to learn or celebrate the traditional liturgy but have found difficulty with their bishops or superiors who have prevented them. This climate of rejection and persecution of the Extraordinary form, is preventing many priests, and their congregations, from benefiting from the spiritual graces that flow from the Mass in the Extraordinary Form."

* "Unfortunately, many [priests] prefer to celebrate only in private, especially those who are young because they want to avoid problems with their parish priest and do not wish to publicize the fact that they can say the traditional Mass. This atmosphere is reported by many of our members and is quite common."

* "Since the promulgation of Summorum Pontificum the International Federation Una Voce has received many enquiries from around the world from lay people, and clergy, and religious. Although many bishops seem to have a policy of silence about the motu proprio, the news is spreading world-wide, particularly via the internet, and the most noticeable phenomenon is that the great majority of enquiries are coming from young people. Many enquirers have received no response or encouragement from their own clergy and bishops and are turning to the Una Voce Federation for advice on how to obtain the traditional Mass in their area, and also for guidance on how to start Una Voce groups."

Related:

* Three Year Anniversary of the Effective Date of Summorum Pontificum (9/10)

* Three Year Anniversary of Summorum Pontificum (7/10)

* Una Voce's Report on the Motu Proprio (11/09)

* The Traditional Latin ('Tridentine') Mass vs. the Novus Ordo (New) Mass

* Summorum Pontificum Info (Latin Mass Updates:  7/07 & Later)

* Latin Mass Facts

* Why the Latin Mass?

* Traditional Latin Mass (Topic Page)

[12/1]

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[4/28/14]

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MCS Newsflash: Deo Gratias! Our 2,000,000th Visitor

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[7/10/13, updated 8/12/13]

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MCS Newsflash: Our Newest Productivity App Has Been Featured In iPhone Life Magazine

Speedy Dial!: Featured Product In iPhone Life Magazine (Featured Online In August, 2012)We are happy to report that our newest productivity app, Speedy Dial!, has been featured in iPhone Life Magazine! This app features fast one touch dialing for up to 48 numbers, three 'easy-use' dialing screens with 16 colorful speed dials per screen, customizable buttons with changeable button colors, easy input of names & phone numbers (including option to quickly retrieve name & phone numbers from Contacts), and a convenient prompt before dialing option that can help prevent accidental dialing. Proceeds may benefit MyCatholicSource.com. Get it today!

"Overall, if you are looking for a speed dial app, you should really take this one into consideration...it is packed with features, and is also very easy on the eye." ― The Smart Phone App Review (emphasis added)

"...one of the best speed dial applications we've seen yet on the iPhone." ― The iPhone App Review

Click Here For Video Demo / Review

Click Here For More Information

[8/20/12]

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MCS Newsflash: Our Second Productivity App Has Just Been Released

Our second productivity app, Speedy Dial!, has just been released and is now available on the App Store. Speedy Dial! App (click for more information)Speedy Dial! features fast one touch dialing for up to 48 numbers, three 'easy-use' dialing screens with 16 colorful speed dials per screen, customizable buttons with changeable button colors, easy input of names & phone numbers (including option to quickly retrieve name & phone numbers from Contacts), and a convenient prompt before dialing option that can help prevent accidental dialing. Avoid scrolling through favorites or contacts - put your most important 48 numbers in Speedy Dial! and dial them quickly and easily! For a limited time, this app is priced at only $0.99 and proceeds may benefit MyCatholicSource.com. Get it today!

Click Here For More Details

Shortcut: MyCatholicSource.com/Apps

[7/2/12]

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MCS Newsflash: Sign Up Today For Our Fourth Annual Rosary Week!

The online signup sheet for our Fourth Annual Rosary Week is now ready. Please sign up today at www.MyCatholicSource.com/RosaryWeek. For more information concerning Rosary Week, please click here.

Thank you for your participation!

[5/11/12]

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MCS Newsflash: Our First Productivity App Has Just Been Released [Updated]

Our first productivity app, Just Checkin' In, has just been released and is now available on the App Store. Use Just Checkin' In to quickly & easily stay in touch with friends, family, co-workers and more - even during those busy moments. This app is priced at only $1.99 and proceeds may benefit MyCatholicSource.com. Please download this useful app today!

Click Here For More Details

Shortcut: MyCatholicSource.com/Apps

3/15/12 Update: An Android ™ version of Just Checkin' In has now been released. For more information, please visit MyCatholicSource.com/Android

[2/23/12, updated 3/15/12]

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MCS Newsflash: Our First Android App Is Now Available For Download

Our first Android app, iStations for Android™, has been released and is now available for download at a discounted price $1.29 U.S. in the Android Market. This app is a convenient devotional aid for privately praying the Stations of the Cross (Way of the Cross). It features beautiful images, two traditional methods, a handy audio option, easy navigation, and in-app help. It's great for Fridays, Lent, penitential times, times of suffering, family devotions, and daily meditation. Please download it today!

Available at the following locations... [Note: Availability & pricing may vary and are subject to change without notice]

Android Market: https://market.android.com/details?id=com.bfsnet.istations

Amazon Appstore: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007014CYM

For more information & screen shots, please visit: http://www.MyCatholicSource.com/Android

For information on differences between apps running on different platforms, please visit: http://www.bfsnet.com/bfsapps/bfsapps-app_differences.htm

Note: Android versions of our other apps are still in development. To be placed on our waiting list to be notified when they are available, please submit your e-mail address at:  http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/fdb/app-wl.htm

[2/3/12]

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MCS Newsflash: Server Transfer Is Complete

The server transfer process is complete with the cancellation of our old server on 12/21/11. We still have some tests to perform over the next week or two, but everything seems to be gong well so far. Should you encounter any problems with this site, please let us know. We appreciate your feedback!

[12/21/11]

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MCS Newsflash: Upcoming Server Change For MyCatholicSource.com

To maintain security, we plan to move to a new server. We anticipate the switch will occur on or around 11/7/11. Please expect some outages and functionality issues during this time and shortly afterwards. If all goes well, we hope everything will be back to normal within a couple of weeks. We apologize if this change causes any inconvenience.

[10/18/11]

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MCS Newsflash: Amazon Associates Account Reinstated

Our Amazon Associates account has been reinstated as of 10/3/11. Earlier in the year, all California Amazon Associates' accounts were terminated by Amazon.com as a result of a newly enacted California law concerning the collection of sales tax. According to Amazon, the law has been repealed. We are happy to report that our account with Amazon.com has now been reinstated and we are therefore once again be eligible to receive financial incentives from Amazon.com. To shop at Amazon.com in support of MyCatholicSource.com, please click here. Thanks very much for your support!

[10/3/11]

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MCS Newsflash: iStations - The Newest MyCatholicSource.com App

The newest MyCatholicSource.com app, iStations, has just been released. iStations is a convenient devotional aid for privately praying the Stations of the Cross (Way of the Cross). Features beautiful images, two traditional methods, audio option with optional auto-advance, selected prayers in English & Latin, easy navigation, and in-app help. It's great for Fridays, Lent, penitential times & family devotions! If you have (or a loved one has) an iPad®, iPhone®, or iPod touch®, please consider purchasing this convenient app today!

Click Here For More Details

Shortcut: MyCatholicSource.com/Apps

 

Now Available! iStations

For the iPad®, iPhone®, and iPod touch®

Presented by My Catholic Source.com

"A Convenient Devotional Aid For Catholics"

iStations App (sample screen)

iStations, presented by MyCatholicSource.com, is a convenient devotional aid for privately praying the Stations of the Cross (Way of the Cross). Features beautiful images, two traditional methods, audio option with optional auto-advance, selected prayers in English & Latin, easy navigation, and in-app help.

iStations App (sample screen)

 Great for Fridays, Lent, penitential times & family devotions!

iStations

Available on the App Store (click to download)

Click Here For More Information / Screenshots

Buy this app to support this site!

[9/27/11]

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MCS Newsflash: Deo Gratias! Our 1,000,000th Visitor

We are happy to report that MyCatholicSource.com received its 1 millionth visitor* in the early morning hours of September 12, 2011, the feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary.

We send our thanks to all who have visited this site and we look forward, by God's grace, to welcoming many millions of visitors to this site in the years to come.

Laus tibi, Domine, Rex aeternae gloriae! (Latin for: Praise be to Thee, O Lord, King of eternal glory!)

Mater amóris, dolóris et misericórdiæ, ora pro nobis (Latin for: Mother of love, of sorrow, and of mercy, pray for us)

* Number of visits is based on raw, unfiltered access logs. Excludes traffic prior to our 'official unveiling'

[9/12/11]

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MCS Newsflash: Be Prepared the Next Time Someone Knocks at Your Door Trying to Convert You…

The newest MyCatholicSource.com app, Catholic Bible References, is now available for download on the App Store (SM). This app is a handy apologetics tool that can be used to help Catholics discuss & defend the faith. It features hundreds of key bible references conveniently arranged by topic as well as tips for locating related passages (including those related to defending the Catholic faith among 'Jehovah's Witnesses' & Mormons). If you have - or a loved one has - an iPad®, iPhone®, or iPod touch®, please consider purchasing this useful app today!

Click Here For More Details

Shortcut: MyCatholicSource.com/Apps

Now Available! Catholic Bible References

For the iPad®, iPhone®, and iPod touch®

Presented by My Catholic Source.com

"A Must-Have App For Catholics!"

Catholic Bible References App Sample Screen (In App, Tap Row To View Scripture)

Place hundreds of key Catholic bible quotes at your fingertips.

Be prepared the next time someone knocks at your door trying to covert you!

Catholic Bible References App (sample screen)

Includes:

* 100+ Tips For Locating Related Passages (including those related to defending the Catholic faith among 'Jehovah's Witnesses' & Mormons)

* Modern / Traditional Scripture Translations

* Convenient Index

* Handy Grouping by Titles

* Easy / Quick / Comprehensive Search

* Search By Category

* Selectable Text

* Old Testament / New Testament Indicator

Catholic Bible References (click for more information & screenshots)

Available on the App Store (click to download)

Get it today! (click here to download)

Click Here For More Information / Screenshots

Buy this app to support this site!

[9/2/11]

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MCS Newsflash: MyCatholicSource.com App

Earlier this year, we had to make some changes to our site in order to try to stay online. Another part of our plan was to develop a line of apps that could help support the MyCatholicSource.com website. Thanks be to God, we've received approval for our new app, Saints4U, and it is now available for download on the App Store (SM). If you have (or a loved one has) an iPad®, iPhone®, or iPod touch®, please consider purchasing this handy app today!

Click Here For More Details

Shortcut: MyCatholicSource.com/Apps

 

 Now Available! Saints4U

For the iPad®, iPhone®, and iPod touch®

Presented by My Catholic Source.com

"A Treasury of Saint Names, Patrons & Feasts!"

Saints4U App (sample screen)

With over 6,400 listings, including 1,000+ patronages, it's easy to find just the right patron saint, baby name or confirmation name. Search for male or female saint names, feasts falling on particular days or months, patronages, liturgical feasts, and more...

Saints4U App (sample screen)

Saints4U App (sample screen)

Saints4U

Available on the App Store (click to download)

Click Here For More Information / Screenshots

Please buy this app to support MyCatholicSource.com!

[8/15/11]

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MCS Newsflash: Third Annual Rosary Week Signup Sheet Is Now Available

The online signup sheet for our third annual Rosary Week is now ready. Please sign up today at www.MyCatholicSource.com/RosaryWeek . For further details concerning Rosary Week, please click here 

[7/22/11]

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MCS Newsflash: Amazon Associates Account Terminated [UPDATED]

Our Amazon Associates account has been abruptly terminated by Amazon.com as a result of a newly enacted California law concerning the collection of sales tax. The abrupt & unfortunate cancellation of our account was unexpected on our end and it was *not* caused by anything we did. Rather, it was a result of a new state law. All California Amazon Associates accounts were likewise cancelled. Please click here for further details.

10/3/11 UPDATE: We were notified today that the California law referenced above has been repealed. We are happy to report that our account with Amazon.com has now been reinstated and therefore we will once again be eligible to receive financial incentives from Amazon.com. To shop at Amazon.com in support of MyCatholicSource.com, please click here

[6/30/11, updated 10/3/11]

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So Let Me Get This Straight...

In a recent interview, Ecclesia Dei's Msgr. Guido Pozzo explained that the reference in the Instruction 'Universae Ecclesiae' concerning Catholics who may be against the 'validity or legitimacy' of the Novus Ordo ("The faithful who ask for the celebration of the [Traditional Latin Mass] must not in any way support or belong to groups which show themselves to be against the validity or legitimacy of the Holy Mass or the Sacraments celebrated in the forma ordinaria [that is, the post-1960's form] or against the Roman Pontiff as Supreme Pastor of the Universal Church") actually refers to...

"certain groups of faithful who consider or propose an antithesis between the Missal of 1962 and that of Paul VI, and who believe that the rite promulgated by Paul VI for the celebration of the Sacrifice of the Holy Mass is detrimental to the faithful." (Msgr. Guido Pozzo)

So, let me get this straight... Cardinal Ottaviani, if he was still alive, would NOT be qualified to request the TLM?

Cardinal Ottaviani

Recall that the prophetic Cardinals Ottaviani & Bacci said the following concerning the Novus Ordo... (emphasis added)

"To abandon a liturgical tradition which for four centuries stood as a sign and pledge of unity in worship, and to replace it with another liturgy which, due to the countless liberties it implicitly authorizes, cannot but be a sign of division - a liturgy which teems with insinuations or manifest errors against the integrity of the Catholic Faith - is, we feel bound in conscience to proclaim, an incalculable error." (Cardinals Ottaviani & Bacci)


"We have limited ourselves above to a short study of the Novus Ordo where it deviates most seriously from the theology of the Catholic Mass. Our observations touch upon deviations which are typical. To prepare a complete study of all the pitfalls, dangers and psychologically and spiritually destructive elements the new rite contains, whether in texts, rubrics or instructions, would be a vast undertaking." (Cardinals Ottaviani & Bacci)

Yet, while the illustrious Cardinal Ottaviani would apparently NOT be qualified to request the TLM, the following 'Catholics' WOULD presumably be qualified to request the TLM (not that they ever would)...

dissenters

Likewise, the following would presumably also be qualified...

dissenters

[Refreshers: Catholic teachings against abortion | Catholic teachings against homosexual acts]

What's wrong with this picture? And where does that leave Pope Benedict XVI? Recall that the Holy Father has said that...

"...in the place of liturgy as the fruit of development came fabricated liturgy. We abandoned the organic, living process of growth and development over the centuries, and replaced it - as in a manufacturing process - with a fabrication, a banal, on-the-spot product." (Cardinal Ratzinger, the future Pope Benedict XVI)

And, despite what the good Monsignor would like us to think, namely that...

"...it is clearly necessary to distinguish the rite and the Missal in themselves, celebrated according to the norms, and a certain understanding and application of the liturgical reform, characterized by ambiguity, doctrinal deformations, abuses and banalizations, events that are unfortunately so common that they led Cardinal J. Ratzinger to speak, without hesitations, in one of his publications of a 'collapse of the liturgy'"

...Pope Benedict could NOT have been speaking regarding results from a "certain understanding and application of the liturgical reform", because the Holy Father (when he was known as Cardinal Ratzinger) clearly stated, as indicated above, that we had "abandoned the organic, living process of growth and development over the centuries, and replaced it - as in a manufacturing process - with a fabrication, a banal, on-the-spot product." In his own words, he is referring to the "fabricated liturgy" itself, not to some distortion of it.

So given the above, who would be 'qualified' to request the TLM? Those in denial of or blind to the devastating fruits of the Novus Ordo? Those who do not know the TLM and who would therefore never request it? Those willing to say the emperor is fully clothed? Liberals & dissenters who are likely to be 'allergic' to the reverent traditional Mass?

Yet, good & knowledgeable Catholics who face facts are not 'qualified'? Besides the injustice of treating a certain group of good Catholics differently than others, it seems unconscionable to deny Catholics a spiritual good based on their discernment of the truths that are plainly before their eyes (e.g. that 70%+ of Catholics no longer believe in the Real Presence after 4 decades of the Novus Ordo). Even the 'chief architect' of the Novus Ordo admitted that he wanted to "strip from our Catholic prayers and from the Catholic liturgy everything which can be the shadow of a stumbling block" for heretics and he admitted that the liturgical reform he oversaw was a "major conquest of the Catholic Church".

That being said - by the 'chief architect' of the Novus Ordo himself - why can't good Catholics - armed with decades of hindsight - also believe this? And if they do, why does that fact disqualify them from requesting a form of Mass codified by Pope St. Pius V that was "grant[ed] and concede[d] in perpetuity that, for the chanting or reading of the Mass in any church whatsoever, this Missal is hereafter to be followed absolutely, without any scruple of conscience or fear of incurring any penalty, judgment, or censure, and may freely and lawfully be used" in a document that the Pope said "cannot be revoked or modified, but remain always valid and retain its full force"?

Related: Traditional Latin Mass (Topic Page) | The Traditional Latin Mass vs. the Novus Ordo (New) Mass

[6/25/11]

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Some Recent News Links

A couple recent news links...

The Remnant's 'Statement of Reservations Concerning the Impending Beatification of Pope John Paul II' [Related user-submitted article: When a Pope Should Be & Should Not Be Called Great]

TIA claims statements concerning the Jews in the Holy Father's new book contradict Scripture, 'the past Magisterium' & the 'constant teaching of the Church Fathers' and are "another affront made to the Catholic Religion and a grave offense that cannot be ignored by Catholics"

[3/22/11]

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Relevant Quote For Today

The following quotation seems especially relevant in light of recent events...

"Because men have forsaken God and Jesus Christ, they have sunk to the depths of evil. They waste their energies and consume their time and efforts in vain sterile attempts to find a remedy for these ills, but without even being successful in saving what little remains from the existing ruin. It was a quite general desire that both our laws and our governments should exist without recognizing God or Jesus Christ, on the theory that all authority comes from men, not from God. Because of such an assumption, these theorists fell very short of being able to bestow upon law not only those sanctions which it must possess but also that secure basis for the supreme criterion of justice which even a pagan philosopher like Cicero saw clearly could not be derived except from the divine law. Authority itself lost its hold upon mankind, for it had lost that sound and unquestionable justification for its right to command on the one hand and to be obeyed on the other. Society, quite logically and inevitably, was shaken to its very depths and even threatened with destruction, since there was left to it no longer a stable foundation, everything having been reduced to a series of conflicts, to the domination of the majority, or to the supremacy of special interests." (Pope Pius XI)

[2/7/11]

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'News Cartoon': Food For Thought

The following 'news cartoon' is respectfully, yet truthfully, presented in light of 'Assisi III' and the announced beatification of Pope John Paul II as 'food for thought'...

'News Cartoon'

"For all the gods of the Gentiles are devils" (Ps. 95:5, DR Trans.)

"Jesus said to him, 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'" (Jn. 14:6)

"Whoever possesses the Son has life; whoever does not possess the Son of God does not have life." (St. John, 1 Jn. 5:12)

"There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved." (Acts 4:12)

"Do not be yoked with those who are different, with unbelievers. For what partnership do righteousness and lawlessness have? Or what fellowship does light have with darkness? What accord has Christ with Beliar? Or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said: 'I will live with them and move among them, and I will be their God and they shall be my people. Therefore, come forth from them and be separate,' says the Lord, 'and touch nothing unclean; then I will receive you and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.'" (St. Paul, 2 Cor. 6:14-18)

"After a first and second warning, break off contact with a heretic, realizing that such a person is perverted and sinful and stands self-condemned." (St. Paul, Ti. 3:10-11)

"If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him in your house or even greet him; for whoever greets him shares in his evil works." (St. John, 2 Jn. 1:10-11)

Related: Ecumenism (Topic Page) | When a Pope Should Be & Should Not Be Called Great (User-Submitted Article)

[2/7/11]

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Previous News Below...


Selected News Links *

Reminder: Third party sites may contain undesirable content / images. View at your own risk.

Diocese of Green Bay responds to obstruction of justice claims; Diocese plans to "vigorously defend itself" and "demonstrate its innocence" [12/22]

Victims' group wants federal investigation of diocese for allegedly destroying 'potential evidence'; Former Green Bay bishop says he never ordered anyone to destroy documents or other evidence [12/22]

Pope Benedict speaks of the 'joyful expectation' of Advent, instructs: "Let us purify our minds and our lives from everything that contrasts with this coming" [12/22]

Irish Church braces for another report on abuse, this time in Cloyne diocese [12/22]

Archbishop Jose Antonio Eguren reminds that the birth of Christ - not gifts - is the true meaning of Christmas [12/22]

Catholic League 'names names' of persons who held erroneous theories concerning abusive priests [12/22]

Bishop of Phoenix strips 'Catholic' designation from hospital that performed an abortion; Besides the recent abortion, prelate discovered that "many other violations of the ERDs have been taking place at CHW facilities in Arizona" for decades [Refresher: Catholic teachings against abortion] [12/21]

CDF issues note regarding "erroneous interpretations" regarding the Pope's remarks on c*nd*ms; Note says Pope Benedict's comments have been "repeatedly manipulated for ends and interests which are entirely foreign to the meaning of his words" and that they "do not signify a change in Catholic moral teaching or in the pastoral practice of the Church" [Refresher: Catholic teachings against contraception] [12/21]

Scandalous: Report shows 'Catholic' Healthcare West has history of supporting abortion, contraception & sterilization [Refreshers: Catholic teachings against abortion | Catholic teachings against contraception | Catholic teachings against sterilization] [12/21]

Winning bidder of nuns' inherited rare baseball card fails to pay, but Catholic doctor steps in to buy the card [12/21]

Good news: Pontifical Solemn High ('Tridentine') Mass to be celebrated at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on April 9, 2011 [Related: TLM (Topic Page)] [12/21]

Seizure of Vatican Bank funds upheld in money laundering probe; Intended beneficiaries "still unclear" [12/20]

A "difficult Advent season": 'Radical Muslims' trying to rid Middle East entirely of Christians, says priest [12/20]

Encouraging: After five years of celebrating Mass ad orientem, Benedictine prior says he "never want[s] to have to return to the versus populum position"; Priest also lists 'ten advantages' of celebrating ad orientem [Refresher: Why Doesn't the Priest Face the People in the 'Tridentine' Mass? (Q & A)] [12/20]

Very sad, yet not at all surprising: New study shows primetime TV 'sexualizes underage girls' [Refresher: Catholic teachings on fornication] [12/20]

Msgr. Nicola Bux, Consultant to the Office of Liturgical celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff and member of two congregations, says refusal of the TLM could be considered 'a rupture of communion with the Pope' [Related: TLM (Topic Page)] [12/20]

Marine veteran says repeal of 'don't ask, don't tell' will turn the military into a tool to impose a 'radical social agenda' on the U.S. [Refresher: Catholic teachings on homosexuality (Topic Page)] [12/20]

Pope Benedict entrusts all the Church's pastors to St. Joseph; Holy Father calls the faithful to venerate the glorious protector of Jesus & the Blessed Virgin Mary [Related: St. Joseph (Topic Page)] [12/20]

Pope Benedict's Christmas greetings highlight abuse scandals, present turmoil, papal trips; Holy Father notes that Christians are now "the most oppressed and tormented minority" [12/20]

Message for 'World Day of for the Sick' is released [12/18]

Papal 'thank you' for Vatican Christmas tree [12/18]

Pope Benedict spends over an hour Saturday 'exploring the newly refurbished Vatican Library' [12/18]

Archdiocese of Boston to freeze employees' pensions [12/17]

'Christmas is in the air in St Peter's Square' [12/17]

Iraqi Christians - who "live in fear" - will face 'sharply limited' Mass schedules for Christmas due to threat of terrorism [12/17]

Vatican observer predicts 'major leadership change' for Legionaries in next few months [12/17]

Sad: Irish report reveals that Vatican wanted notorious abuser-priest to serve 10 years in a monastery rather than dismiss him from the priesthood [12/17]

Venezuelan archbishop describes information in WikiLeaks cable as "a science-fiction movie script that has absolutely no basis" [12/17]

After years of trouble, Japan's bishops want Neocatechumenal Way to cease activities for five years [12/17]

Pray for China: Vatican communiqué concerning Chinese assembly condemns "grave violation" of human rights and laments that an illegitimate bishop has been appointed president of the CPA; Recent actions, which displayed a "repressive attitude with regard to the exercise of religious liberty", have "unilaterally damaged the dialogue and the climate of trust that had been established" between the Holy See & China [12/17]

Pro-lifers decry European Court ruling against Ireland's abortion ban; Observer says case was "instigated by the international abortion lobby, which has the ultimate aim of forcing governments across the globe to recognize access to abortion as a legal right" [Refresher: Catholic teachings against abortion] [12/17]

Pope Benedict names new archbishop of Oklahoma City [12/16]

Catholic League erects life-size nativity scene in NY's Central Park [12/16]

Catholic response to anti-Catholic propaganda questioning whether Christ's birth really occurred on December 25 [12/16]

Will 'cult of (disgraced Legionaries founder) Fr. Maciel' be allowed to flourish underground? [12/16]

Knights of Columbus 'vigorously' denying allegations of abuse cover-up [12/16]

Redemptorists in Vietnam suffer 'new wave' of harassment [12/16]

Bishop of Charleston encourages visiting the forgotten in prison, reminding faithful of this work of mercy; Prelate notes that "While they have committed crimes for which they are rendering an account, they are still human persons in need of salvation and basic human contact" [12/16]

Phoenix bishop threatens to revoke Catholic status of St. Joseph's Hospital; Prelate 'deeply troubled' that Catholic Healthcare West operates hospitals that authorize immoral acts [12/15]

Holy Cross Congregation to merge two U.S. provinces [12/15]

Pope Benedict names new bishop of Dodge City, erects new Brazilian diocese [12/15]

WikiLeaks disclosures speak of 'known Al-Qaida antipathy to the Pope'; Cable says "Al-Qaida has publicly identified the Pope and the Catholic Church as an enemy" & reveals that the head of the Vatican Gendarme Corps sought security training from the FBI [12/15]

Archbishop Fabriciano Sigampa tells parishioners that they shouldn't confuse the birth of Christ with Santa Claus, a 'commercialized symbol of Christmas' [12/15]

Polish priest killed in Ecuador; Attacker struck victim with large crucifix [12/15]

Some good news: Archbishop of Guadalajara, Mexico erects personal quasi-parish entrusted to the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter [Note: On this site, it is necessary to scroll down to view the article] [12/15]

Not encouraging: Head of 'new evangelization' dicastery to hold meeting after Christmas to "clarify the concept of the 'new evangelization'"; Pontifical Council was formally established more than two months ago [12/15]

WikiLeaks disclosures 'giving insight into the Vatican's influential role on the world stage and the United States' efforts to cooperate with the Holy See in advancing common interests' [12/14]

Abuse lawsuit brought against Knights of Columbus [12/14]

Pope Benedict to make four foreign trips in 2011 [12/14]

Scandalized Legionaries to stop calling founder 'our father' [12/14]

Pope Benedict's initiatives for 12/26, 1/5 [12/14]

Pro-life groups applaud federal judge's ruling against ObamaCare [12/14]

Iraqis erecting concrete walls around churches to protect Mass-goers from attacks [12/14]

WikiLeaks document 'seriously inaccurate' in account of murder of Iraqi bishop, says Archbishop Louis Sako [12/14]

Recently consecrated Basilica of the Holy Family featured on papal Christmas cards [12/14]

Jesuit seminarian killed in Congo on 12/5; Killing is fourth in four years for the region [12/14]

Legionaries of Christ orders worldwide removal of disgraced founder's image; Celebrating founder's birthday, sale of his writings also prohibited [12/13]

WikiLeaks cables show Vatican 'horrified' over abuse scandal in Ireland; Disclosures portray Fr. Lombardi as 'overworked' and with little influence & Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone as a 'yes man' [12/13]

Vatican spokesman praises report documenting anti-Christian discrimination in Europe [12/13]

Vatican "offended" that Ireland failed to respect the Holy See's sovereignty, Britain feared anti-Catholic violence over Pope's outreach to Anglicans entering the Catholic Church, according to WikiLeaks disclosures; Vatican response: "Naturally these reports reflect the perceptions and opinions of the people who wrote them and cannot be considered as expressions of the Holy See itself, nor as exact quotations of the words of its officials" [12/11]

First International Conference on Eucharistic Adoration - to be held in Rome from June 20-23, 2011 - seeks to spread perpetual adoration worldwide; Speakers include Cardinals Burke & Ranjith [12/11]

Cardinal Antonio Cañizares says "the gravest threat of the most disastrous consequences for our time" is "the lack of faith in God [&] the loss of the sense of God that lacerates our world" [12/11]

Recent developments in China 'do not offer much cause for optimism' says Fr. Cervellera; Priest says Chinese officials are 'sending a clear message' that the communist party is in charge of the Chinese Church [12/11]

New lighting in Milan cathedral illuminates stained-glass windows from within [12/11]

Miracles, martyrdom, heroic virtues: Pope Benedict authorizes promulgation of decrees of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints [12/10]

Scandalous: 'Catholic' senators 'three times more likely to cast pro-abortion votes than pro-life votes' [Refresher: Catholic teachings on abortion] [12/10]

Scandalized Legionaries begin revision of their constitutions; Process expected to take 'several years' [12/10]

Delaware jury awards additional $30 million in abuse case, bringing total to $60 million [12/10]

"Completely inexplicable" Cloth of Manoppello bearing the Holy Face "has the exact same dimensions as the face imprinted on the Shroud of Turin" [12/10]

Records reveal that St. Louis archdiocese asked openly homosexual judge to recuse himself from case involving rebellious parish [Refresher: Catholic teachings on homosexuality (Topic Page)] [12/10]

Vatican announces plan to give 'hi-tech makeover' to more than 7 million photos in Vatican archives; Project may cost $3-$4 million and take 'at least' five years [12/10]

Catholic Church in U.S. to celebrate National Vocation Awareness Week from January 9-15, 2011 [12/9]

Talks resume between Holy See and PLO; Talks seek "comprehensive international agreement regulating and promoting the presence and activities of the Catholic Church in the Palestinian Territories" [12/9]

Elected leader of Chinese bishops not recognized by Rome [12/9]

New Missionary Museum of Propaganda Fide in Roman palazzo is presented [12/9]

Press release by dissenting homosexualist group 'Catholics for Equality' is a "nice piece of fiction", says archdiocesan spokesperson; Spokesperson affirms that the group "[is] not a Catholic organization. It was formed in opposition to Catholic teaching" [Note: Above link goes to print version of article | Refresher: Catholic teachings on homosexuality (Topic Page)] [12/9]

TIA article reprint concerning Luther's 'satanic pride'; Deceived & haughty heresiarch once asserted that "Whoever does not believe as I do is destined to hell. My doctrine and God's doctrine are the same. My judgment is God's judgment" [Refresher: Heresy (Reflections)] [12/9]

Late-term abortionist meets with 'stanch' resistance by Catholics in Maryland, Iowa; Bishop urges faithful to contact government officials in order to protect the unborn [12/9]

Bishop of Green Bay (WI) gives approval to 19th century Marian apparition, shrine; Apparition is first in the U.S. to receive approval of diocesan bishop [12/8]

Pope Benedict leads crowning of Mary, the Immaculate Conception, in Piazza di Spagna [12/8]

President Obama misstates national motto as 'E Pluribus Unum' instead of 'In God We Trust'; Bipartisan group sends letter asking for correction [12/8]

City of Boca Raton displays menorah in public buildings, but refuses to display nativity [12/8]

Threats to life 'slowly being transformed into a political emergency' according to Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski; Prelate notes "dramatic implications" of lack of respect for human life [Refreshers: Catholic teachings on abortion, euthanasia, artificial reproduction/IVF] [12/8]

Catholic actor criticized for his 'politically correct' Aslan comments; Comments called a "shameful distortion" [12/8]

More trouble in China: Chinese bishops forced to attend CPA meeting; Some bishops have gone into hiding [12/7]

Vatican's 5-ton Christmas tree to be 'officially lit' on 12/17 [12/7]

Work underway on Vatican's life-size Nativity scenes [12/7]

After Ecclesia Dei intervention, TLM will return to Croatia [Advisory: Inappropriate comments may appear after article] [12/7]

Fatwa issued against Pakistani Catholic cabinet minister [12/6]

Bishop Alexander Sample of Marquette to offer TLM 'approximately' once per month [12/6]

Vatican 'setting an example' with solar panel installation [12/6]

U.S. embassy to the Holy See condemns WikiLeaks disclosures "in the strongest terms" [12/3]

German cardinal asks abuse victims for forgiveness; Attorney claims archdiocesan documents concerning abuse were destroyed, manipulated [12/3]

Pope Benedict blesses Our Lady of Loreto statue for Rome's Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport [12/3]

Interview with Secretary of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei [Note: On this site, it is necessary to scroll down to view the article] [12/3]

Cardinal Giordano dies at age 80 [12/3]

Obama speechwriter makes anti-Catholic joke [12/3]

CNA analysis of WikiLeaks' disclosures says more than 50 cables originating from the U.S. embassy to the Holy See concern intelligence issues, and another five involve national security issues [12/3]

Bishop Padovese's killer ruled insane by Turkish court, despite evidence he 'was guided by Islamic nationalist ideology' and despite his being found sane by several psychiatrists prior to the killing [12/3]

Pro-abortion advocates vandalize home of 'pro-life hero' [12/3]

Cardinal's speech at Spanish university canceled after government said it 'could not guarantee his security' [12/3]

CNS says Vatican 'seems to be downplaying perceived crisis' over WikiLeaks disclosures [12/3]

'Catholic' governor of IL who supported same sex 'civil unions' bill is criticized by his bishop; Bishop Paprocki says the 'faith that animated him to support the bill' is 'certainly not the Catholic faith' [12/2]

Newly disclosed letter shows Cardinal Ratzinger - the future Pope Benedict XVI - sought a "more rapid and simplified penal process" against abusive priests back in 1988 [12/2]

Pope Benedict to visit Monaco in 2012 [12/2]

Pontifical Council for Culture pulls out of modern art exhibit [12/2]

New rector of La Sapienza University invites Pope Benedict for a visit; Says Holy Father would be "welcomed with open arms" and calls previous protest of the Pope "an outrageous error" and "an unforgivable act of folly" [12/2]

Historic relics stolen from Indian shrine [12/2]

Jury in Delaware awards 'largest single verdict' - $30 million - to alleged abuse victim; Parish liable for $3 million [12/2]

WikiLeaks disclosures: '852 of the communications involve the Vatican' [12/1]

Despite false reports, Vatican did not endorse statement on genetically modified crops [12/1]

Papal appeal for the Church in China [12/1]

New coadjutor bishop of Trenton, new auxiliary bishop of St. Louis [12/1]

Governors' responses to CL's nativity scenes has been 'overwhelmingly positive' [12/1]

Pope Benedict reaffirms that the Church cannot ordain women [Refresher: Top Reasons Why Women Can't Be Priests] [12/1]

Court rules nation's president cannot pardon Pakistani Catholic mother sentenced to death for 'blaspheming Mohammed' [12/1]

Encouraging: Efforts of Canons Regular of St. John Cantius to provide bishops with TLM training materials at last month's USCCB meeting met with "great success"; A number of bishops expressed their desire to celebrate Confirmation according to the traditional rite [Note: On this site, it is necessary to scroll down to view the article] [12/1]

» See Archive For More

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Special Blog Feature

Guest Article:

25 reasons to reject airport full body scans

By "Former Flier"

Note: This article has been updated, click here to view update: "Author was 'prophetic'"

It's sickening that many television personalities have been so willing to violate the privacy of honest Americans over fear due to the recent foiled terror attempt. On the matter of full body scans, they are wrong, not to mention terribly shortsighted. They have one - and ONLY one - supposed argument in favor of full body scans; that is, such scans MAY make airline travel safer. But will it? Certainly there is no guarantee that this will occur. Rather, it is their "hope" or "belief" that this will result. But it is wrong - immoral even - to subject innocent people to this degrading procedure.

The following are my 25 reasons to reject these full-body scans...

1. These scans are a total violation of privacy! (Have you seen the full body scan images on TV? You can see everything, and I mean EVERYTHING!)

2. This procedure is immodest and will further a sense of immodesty as people become accustomed to allowing strangers to examine images of their body.

3. It is wrong to allow strangers who are not doctors to examine images of your private parts and the private parts of your family members. You wouldn't dream of allowing this to occur in any other setting.

4. The people who will be viewing every single nook and cranny of your body are government employees. Think of that, government agents viewing full body images of you. Did such privacy violations even occur in Communist Russia on such a wide scale?

5. Most likely you won't be allowed to know, see, or give your consent to the individual chosen by the government to analyze your body scan from head to toe. You will not be given their resume or information on their criminal record (if any) or about their mental health or any past transgressions involving others' scans. For all you know, the person who views images of your entire body and the entire bodies of your loved ones will be a pervert. The person viewing the images will be able to focus on any part of your body they want, free from any objection of yours and with your knowledge & consent. (If you go through the scanners, you are consenting to this.)

6. I wouldn't allow my 13 year-old daughter's body to be viewed in the nude by a stranger - would you allow your daughter's to be? So why would you allow a revealing full body scan of your teenage daughter to be viewed by a stranger at the airport?

7. When this becomes widespread, EVERYONE who flies will be subject to this invasion of privacy - be they minor, grandparent, man, woman, priest, nun, or bishop. This is plain wrong.

8. When viewers of the full body images can't make out certain details on their screen, people will be subject to even more evasive, exploratory searches. Watch out if you have a safety pin, underwire, fancy zipper, unique button, or unusual growth!

9. Americans are supposed to be constitutionally protected from unreasonable searches. If revealing full body scans of INNOCENT people who simply want to visit relatives doesn't count as an unreasonable search, what does?

10. It is impossible for full body scans to be a foolproof security measure. Obviously they are only as good as the equipment and the (probably overworked) government employee viewing them. Eventually something will get through. People aren't perfect.

11. Full body images will eventually be stored. How would you like yours or your loved one's to turn up on the Internet? It WILL happen sometime, somewhere, to someone, especially to celebrities or "controversial" persons (e.g. pro-life activists). Do you bring forth the argument that they aren't saving the images? Maybe they aren't now, but after the first security breach, people will call for storing body scan images to see "what went wrong".

12. There can be no guarantee that these full body scans are safe. We often discover long after the fact that procedures that were supposed to be "safe" were more dangerous than first thought. Just recently, ubiquitous CT scans were shown to be much more dangerous than previously believed. Ironically, although CT scans may be used to detect cancer, they have been found to cause cancer in some patients. In contrast to CT scans done with "meticulous care" in medical facilities, full body scans in airports will be conducted by non-medical personnel on people in a rush. Even though a different technology is used in airport scans vs. CT scans, rushed patrons combined with non-medical government personnel in a public setting is not an especially good combination for personal safety. Plus, who will control any settings on the machines? Who will make sure all emissions are always within proper limits? How often will the equipment be tested for dangerous leaks? And what about the effect of these scans on pregnant women and their babies? What about the cumulative effects of exposure to this equipment on frequent fliers or airport personnel who will be standing next to the machines for hours at a time, day in and day out? The extent of the effects may be unknown for decades.

13. Some persons involved in the scanning process may use the opportunity to harass people (e.g. subject them to more searches, spend more time on "beautiful" bodies, force persons to engage in immodest postures, etc.). Once people are in the scanner, airline ticket in tow, with a booked hotel, car rental, and waiting relatives, most will probably just consent to whatever they are told to do. They may not have the will to complain or they may be embarrassed to do so. Even if they did, it will be one person's word against another's.

14. On one hand, certain body images may tempt some scan viewers to lust (Jesus says a person who looks at another person with lust has committed adultery with the person in their heart). On the other hand, body images of some persons will probably become the "butt of screeners' jokes" (pun intended). The job of airport scanner has got to get boring after a while and an unusual body shape here and there may provide the employees with some "comic relief"

15. This practice will further a loss of respect for the dignity of the human body, especially for operators who will view nude images all day

16. Since these revealing scans put bodies on display for strangers, they may be a violation of one's right over a spouse's body. In fact, strangers viewing full body scans that expose every crevice of someone's body may view more of that person's body than their own spouse does!

17. Conducting full body scans won't solve the terrorist threat. Terrorists will just get more creative - and we will keep trying to play catch up - spending endless sums of money and giving up more of our freedoms. Eventually they may require people to remove false teeth to look for contraband or force us to strip nude, all for the "privilege" of flying. If you think terrorists will just give up because we implement full body scans, you're sadly mistaken.

18. Full body scans are just one more example of the government punishing many good people for the crimes of a few bad people. The good people will be hurt by lost freedom & violations of privacy. The terrorists will be undeterred in their plans, and they will probably be happy to see the disruption & harm they have caused the good people.

19. What effect do you think the revealing full-body scans will have on rape survivors or others who have been violated? Wouldn't it be reasonable for them to feel as though they've been violated again?

20. If we allow full body scans at airports, we'll soon be forced to undergo them in other public places - schools, office buildings, sporting events, and the like. In many places, the scans will not be optional because people will not be allowed to avoid them. In time, police may start carrying portable versions of the scanners when the technology becomes available. Allowing this practice at airports is likely to unleash a slew of new privacy violations against innocent Americans.

21. Full body scanning at airports may give passengers a false sense of security. Recent events prove that it is dangerous to be complacent with regard to airport security.

22. Full body scans are unnecessary and may be overcome. We already have (non invasive) metal detectors in place for metal objects. At this point, the most feared items may be powder or liquid. While full body scans thoroughly expose the naked body to the gaze of the scan viewer, it is questionable whether the machines will be able to clearly indicate the presence of small amounts of powder or liquid, especially when you factor in a creative terrorist. For example, how can the scanning equipment differentiate stuffing in a jacket from stuffing plus powder? Talk about looking for a needle in a haystack! And certainly even the zealous airport workers may hesitate to make passengers cut open their jackets so they can inspect the stuffing inside them.

23. Full body scans focus on the external part of the body. They would not show items taken orally or other items hidden internally (e.g. in feces). As drug enforcement agents might tell you, criminal persons don't refrain from using such unsavory tactics if they work.

24. Full body scans are incapable of solving the problem. Even if a terrorist is prevented from hiding items on their person by a full body scan, they can still keep items in their bags (who would question a prescription medicine bottle which appeared to contain real pills or a sealed shampoo bottle which seemed to actually contain shampoo?). The scans also won't prevent terrorists from recruiting insider employees who can help them evade the procedure.

25. This practice will harm the airline industry. Some people (myself included) will stop flying altogether. Costs will go up to pay for the new equipment and the additional personnel required to operate it. Airport delays will increase.

This is not a case of sacrificing "a bit of privacy for the good of the many". This practice will bring harm to many - in fact, all of us! Even if we don't fly, we should be concerned for our bothers and sisters who do and who will either, unfortunately, agree to the procedure or be involuntary pressured into it. And, as time goes by, this precedent will spill into other areas and we will ALL suffer invasions of our privacy because "new threats" have been found.

Let's not allow this to happen. Those who support this practice have only one argument in their favor - that the scans MAY make airline travel safer. But this is not the case. It will NOT be a security panacea. Rather, it is a harmful and dangerous road that we should not go down. God Himself made Adam & Eve garments after the fall. Let's not allow the government to force us to "shed" ours.


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Guest Article:

Does the New Replica Disprove the Authenticity of the Shroud of Turin?

By: Ed Kelley

I love it when you can smell the bias right up front: "Shroud of Turin Once Again Proven a Fake". What can you expect from CNN and from a San Francisco "alternative" daily column by Tommi Avicolli-Mecca, author of something called "Smash the Church, Smash the State: The Early Years of Gay Liberation"? Hardly unbiased sources, are they?

As I look at the pictures, and read the articles one thing is for certain - they have made a cloth that looks like the face on the Shroud, but so far, that is it. The Shroud has undergone decades of research - it is the most studied relic in history - and yet there are still many characteristics that scientists cannot explain or reproduce. Several attempts to make a "copy" of the Shroud have scientifically turned out to be ridiculously simple by comparison to the actual Shroud. Some attempts to reproduce the Shroud have contained a few of the characteristics of the Shroud. Others have contained different characteristics of the Shroud. But none have even scratched the surface of the hundreds of known, unique and scientifically proven qualities that the Shroud holds. Most of these authentic characteristics would not be identifiable except for the many, very sophisticated modern tests that it has undergone. No attempted reproduction of the Shroud has passed more than a few of these scrupulous exams.

Only time will tell as to how accurate a copy this will turn out to be. I have rarely heard of any reproduction attempt that has continued to be studied after it has been initially revealed and held up as a "true copy" of the Shroud. Most likely, like all the other "explanations", it will turn out to be hollow 'gotcha' attempt, a "Hah!, look what we have done! We have created a copy that 'proves' the Shroud is a fake." Then, after the 15 minutes of fame has worn off, this fake will be tossed into the scrap-heap of other so-called proofs that go no further in their scientific study than the highly flawed radio carbon dating which "proved" the Shroud was a medieval fake based on a sample cut from an area still disputed as not being part of the original Shroud fabric.

The true Shroud is a photographic negative and the pictures shown in recent articles appear to show an image similar to the Shroud. Let's assume that the pictures in the articles exhibit the same photographic negative characteristic as that of the Shroud. That makes it similar to the Shroud in one instance. The scientific community and their biased media accomplices should be asking if it also projects 3D characteristics under the VP-8 Image Analyzer. The Shroud does. Only one other "copy" has shown some 3D characteristics, albeit very distorted and disfigured. The Shroud's 3D image is surprisingly detailed and clear.

They used pigmented paint, heating and washed the cloth afterwards to leave a stain on the cloth fibers. They suggest that the Shroud was similarly painted and that the pigment simply wore off over the centuries. Not true. The Shroud cloth's fibrils, the fine strands of material that form the woven-together threads of the cloth, are not stained. The fibrils that make the image have decomposed at a more accelerated rate that the rest of the cloth fibers, making the sepia colored image that can only be seen at distance. There is no seepage of materials or stains. The image does not go beyond the uppermost strands of the threads. How can these scientists conclude that this was made by "paint" when there is no stain, just discolored fibrils? Are the threads of the cloth they made stained through the threads with the pigment they used? I'll bet they are. An important note that frustrates scientists skeptical of the true Shroud - the only test that they have come up with that simulates rapid decomposition of the fibrils similar to Shroud - is enormous bursts of radiation, causing the exposed (upper fibrils on each thread) to decompose at a more rapid rate. (Can you say "Resurrection"?)

Other materials such as pollens that are only found in specific geographic regions that put the cloth in specific geographic areas are also on the Shroud. They did not "wear off over time" so why would we assume that pigment would be completely gone?

Why are there descriptions and drawings that show specific details on the true Shroud that predate any modern dating methods?

Is their image still visible when backlit or does it disappear like the image on the Shroud, indicating that there is no actual material comprising the image such as paint or stain?

Recently, scientists who work with and test the actual Shroud found that image information is on the topmost fibers of the other side of the cloth. But there is no image the fibers in the center of the threads. Can these scientists explain this? Get back to me when you have finished putting an image on the other side of your shroud and clean up the likely stained interiors of all the threads on your image. Make sure they line up exactly. Don't worry, I'll wait.

Why did they put blood on after they made the image? Tests show that there is no image under the blood stains on the Shroud, indicating that the cloth was touching the body before the image on it was created. Please remake your image and put on real human blood before heating and washing the cloth.

One could go on endlessly about how remedial an attempt this is at actual scientific study. File this under "One more critical self-proclaimed scientist attempts to make a Shroud copy and ends up looking the fool". We may never know for sure exactly how the image was made on the Shroud of Turin. But one thing is certain - few other relics are as truly miraculous as the Shroud. And, if it is a fake, and all of these critics have "proven" that it is, why are they still trying so hard?


Guest Commentary

The Shroud Debate

By: Deanne Costello

Summary: "The Shroud has been a topic of heated debate. This is where our faith is tested. Only God could have created this wonderful Shroud. I believe it to be very real! I enjoyed Mr. Kelley's article and agree with him. The Shroud was protected for centuries for a reason. Some things are meant to be left unknown, and only God knows why. Jesus was definitely covered with the shroud. Just my opinion. Thank you."

Commentary: "Science has come a very long way, but I don't need science to tell me if the Shroud is real. In my studies, no one can reproduce this great Shroud.

One book gave the blood type on the Shroud, after careful study. Think about it, do we need absolute proof that it is real? My faith tells me no. Science can do just so much. If God wants us to verify this God-given artifact, He will let us know.

When I first knew about the Shroud, there was a heated debate with my co workers, as to if it is real. Most were not sure, others said it is not real, but in the end, the most of us think it is a miracle of God, and I will believe it until I die.

Maybe the truth will never be known, but in my heart, I think there is a cover up, maybe to protect it from being stolen or other reasons.

Let science keep trying, they will never reproduce another Shroud. There is only one Shroud like The Shroud of Turin."


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What Not To Pray For

 Some Prayers Are An Abomination

By: Toby F.T.

Unfortunate numbers of Catholics today appear poorly educated in the true Catholic faith. I admit that certain activities & comments of some Catholics leave me quite exasperated. When it comes to prayer or invoking the saints, I wish Catholics would keep in mind that not all prayer is good. Surprised?

Did you know the Bible says some prayers are an abomination? Look it up. Proverbs 28:9 says "When one turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination."

The Bible also says some prayers are not heard, that to some He will turn His face against them:

Sirach 34:25-26: If a man again touches a corpse after he has bathed, what did he gain by the purification? So with a man who fasts for his sins, but then goes and commits them again: Who will hear his prayer, and what has he gained by his mortification?

Jn. 9:31: We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if one is devout and does his will, he listens to him.

Prov. 15:29: The LORD is far from the wicked, but the prayer of the just he hears.

1 Pt. 3:12: For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears turned to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against evildoers.

Jer. 11:10-11: They have returned to the crimes of their forefathers who refused to obey my words. They also have followed and served strange gods; the covenant which I had made with their fathers, the house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken. Therefore, thus says the LORD: See, I bring upon them misfortune which they cannot escape. Though they cry out to me, I will not listen to them.

Zech. 7:11-14: But they refused to listen; they stubbornly turned their backs and stopped their ears so as not to hear. And they made their hearts diamondhard so as not to hear the teaching and the message that the LORD of hosts had sent by his spirit through the former prophets. Then the LORD of hosts in his great anger said that, as they had not listened when he called, so he would not listen when they called, but would scatter them with a whirlwind among all the nations that they did not know. Thus the land was left desolate after them with no one traveling to and fro; they made the pleasant land into a desert.

Obviously then not all prayer is heard. A sure rule of thumb is to never pray for assistance with any action contrary to God's laws. All of the following would be examples of things NOT to pray for...

* for help with divorce (if lawfully married) & 'remarriage'

* that IVF will be successful

* that birth-control will not fail

* for a successful abortion

You cannot seriously expect that God will be happy to help you do something that will offend Him, can you? Isn't asking the all-holy God to assist in sin demonic? Do you imagine you please Him by such a request rather thank invoke His wrath?

Likewise, don't expect that a patron saint will help you sin. A patron who would assist in sin would be no saint! Listen to what a true saint, St. Alphonsus Liguori, has to say about the topic of prayer by obstinate sinners...

"There are some unhappy persons who love the chains with which the devil keeps them bound like slaves. The prayers of such men are not heard by God; because they are rash, presumptuous, and abominable. For what greater presumption can there be than for a man to ask favors of a prince whom he not only has often offended, but whom he intends to offend still more? And this is the meaning of the Holy Spirit, when he says that the prayer of him who turns away his ears so as not to hear what God commands is detestable and odious to God: 'He who turneth away his ears from learning the law, his prayer shall be an abomination.' To these people God says, it is of no use your praying to Me, for I will turn My eyes from you, and will not hear you: 'When you stretch forth your hands, I will turn away My eyes from you; and when you multiply prayer, I will not hear.'"

God does hear the prayer of sinners (we are all sinners), but don't ask Him to be a partner in your sin. Rather, ask to be delivered from your sins. If you mean it, He will definitely hear you.

May God hear your prayers.


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Reflection of Pope Pius XI

"We remember saying that these manifold evils in the world were due to the fact that the majority of men had thrust Jesus Christ and His holy law out of their lives; that these had no place either in private affairs or in politics: and We said further, that as long as individuals and states refused to submit to the rule of Our Savior, there would be no really hopeful prospect of a lasting peace among nations."

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Guest Article

Hawking Reveals Himself As Fickle

Challenge To Steven Hawking's New Book

By John C. Polasek, Ms/physics

Summary: The title of his new book, "The Grand Design", (Orlando Sentinel Sep. 3, 2010) says that Steven Hawking is entirely impressed with the design (of the universe), but concludes that "all you need is a Big Bang". He should be asked to explain how the Big Bang could formulate DNA, the code resident in each cell in the human body whose 3 billion base-pairs are organized into 25,000 genes.

Steven Hawking has written a dangerous book from which the uninformed might quickly conclude that Hawking has proved that God is not necessary, since he is acclaimed as a brilliant scientist. His new book, "The Grand Design", (Orlando Sentinel Sep. 3, 2010) implies that while Hawking is clearly impressed with the design (of the universe), he then argues that "all you need is a Big Bang".

His prior writings reveal familiarity with the intricacies of the DNA molecule*, and he says "We do not know how DNA molecules first appeared. The chances against a DNA molecule arising by random fluctuations are very small". He notes that entropy promotes progressively greater disorder, in the absence of outside intervention.

Why then did he choose to put these fundamentals aside to proclaim that the Big Bang, the ultimately disordered event, could foster DNA with its intricate code and all the other marvels of nature? It is hard to believe that he really believes the hypothetical Big Bang (in preference to an intelligent mastermind) has creative powers. He appears to have sacrificed scientific integrity, perhaps in the hopes of having a bestseller like his previous book about time.

Author's Addendum: "The latest scientific American (October 2010 page 61) shows that besides the Big Bang Hawking believes in string theory in which everything is made up of two dimensional strings waving in field of 11 tiny curled up dimensions. He loses credibility, because despite these absurdities, he stoutly resists the idea of a creator or intelligent designer."

* http://www.ornl.gov/sci/ techresources/ Human_Genome/faq/ faqs1.shtml

Author's Note: Author anticipates that above article will appear in the Florida Catholic

Signature ImageSignature: John C. Polasek, Ms/physics

E-Mail: jpolasek (at) cfl(dot)rr(dot)com

Note: Article was previously titled "Hawking Reveals Himself As Shallow: Response To Steven Hawking Book"


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"Food For Thought"

"For if any of those who are present should think to tempt God's grace, he deceives himself, and knows not its power. Keep thy soul free from hypocrisy, O man, because of Him who searcheth hearts and reins. For as those who are going to make a levy for war examine the ages and the bodies of those who are taking service, so also the Lord in enlisting souls examines their purpose: and if any has a secret hypocrisy, He rejects the man as unfit for His true service; but if He finds one worthy, to him He readily gives His grace. He gives not holy things to the dogs; but where He discerns the good conscience, there He gives the Seal of salvation, that wondrous Seal, which devils tremble at, and Angels recognize; that the one may be driven to flight, and the others may watch around it as kindred to themselves. Those therefore who receive this spiritual and saving Seal, have need also of the disposition akin to it. For as a writing-reed or a dart has need of one to use it, so grace also has need of believing minds." (St. Cyril of Jerusalem)

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Figuratively Speaking

Guest Article

There once was a vacuum cleaner salesman...

There once was a good vacuum cleaner salesman. He worked for the top company. He had an excellent product. A product so good in fact you "couldn't live without it", if you only knew! The product took a reasonable amount of work, but the results were wonderful beyond any possible expectation. The product was priced fairly and was unquestionably within the reach of every potential customer. The good salesman had been commissioned by the good & honest manufacturer in an exclusive arrangement to promote the good vacuum to all persons. The manufacturer was upright & caring and always looked out for the good salesman and for his customers. The manufacturer trained the good salesman with meticulous care and left him with all instructions and helps necessary for his customers to use the product properly. The salesman was repeatedly warned about his "competitors", who were "wolves."

For many years the good salesman presented his product just as the manufacturer had guided him. He did so well, in fact, that a very large percentage of the entire earth's population used his product. Taking to heart the manufacturer's instructions, he promoted his product and expended every effort to warn customers and potential customers everywhere about the imposters who lurked around every corner who might try to sell them a dangerous vacuum that could have tragic consequences.

There once was a bad vacuum cleaner salesman. He joined up with a dishonest manufacturer who made illegal, dangerous contraptions that resembled vacuums. The bad product may have been somewhat easier to use than the good salesman's product, but it was almost impossible to escape the serious consequences that were likely to result from its use. In fact, those who used his product risked having their house entirely destroyed by fire. The bad salesman didn't tell anyone about this (he may not have even known himself). Nevertheless, he continued selling the product to misguided and unsuspecting people. He would even promise potential buyers things "too good to be true" (which of course weren't true at all). At one point the bad salesman started wearing a uniform and driving a vehicle that closely resembled the good salesman's uniform and vehicle so that many people could not tell the difference between the good and the bad salesman. In fact, to hear the bad salesman explain things, he worked for the good manufacturer (even though he could produce no contract or proof that he worked for the good manufacturer and it was known that the good manufacturer had an exclusive contract with the good salesman).

The rivalry between the good and the bad salesman continued for many years. The good salesman often pointed out the danger inherent in the bad salesman's product while the bad salesman spoke errors and lies about the good salesman and his product. Despite the persecution, the good salesman worked tirelessly to protect his customers and others by explaining the superiority of his product as well as the dangers of his competitor's product. Due to his efforts, his customers could easily identify and explain the difference between the two products, as well as describe the risk of using the bad salesman's product. They knew to stay away from the competitor's dangerous product and they also realized the benefit of trying to help others avoid the bad salesman's dangerous goods.

Then suddenly things changed. The good salesman stopped warning people about the bad vacuums. He also stopped warning people to avoid the bad salesman. He stopped calling the bad salesman a "wolf" and began to call the bad salesman his brother. He cultivated a friendship with the bad salesman even as the bad salesman continued selling the dangerous, illegal vacuums to unsuspecting customers - and his own customers as well. In a surprising turn, the good salesman could be found referring to the bad salesman - in public - by the title the bad salesman chose for himself - a title which gave the impression that the bad salesman worked for the good manufacturer (even though he didn't).

In an effort to foster friendship, the good salesman decided to put some stickers on his vehicle to cover up parts of his vehicle that the bad salesman found offensive. The changes made the good salesman's vehicle more closely resemble the bad salesman's vehicle. He was delighted.

However he was still not satisfied. Eventually, the good salesman was found to occasionally praise the bad salesman. He sometimes even managed to find some good words for the bad salesman's dangerous, illegal goods. Occasionally the good salesman would share company property with the bad salesman, even though people may have found this action confusing (at best).

As time marched on, the good salesman became loathe to talk about deficiencies in the bad vacuums and he came to find the idea of criticizing the bad salesman "outdated" or even offensive. From now on he would only speak positively about the bad salesman and his product.

All along, he knew - or should have known - that the bad salesman continued selling dangerous, illegal contraptions to people who would ultimately suffer the consequences. Not only that, but the bad salesman presented these dangerous, illegal contraptions to people as if they were equivalent to the good vacuums that the good salesman sold. He also knew that the bad salesman held himself out as a representative of the good manufacturer - for which the good salesman knew he didn't work for. And, of course, every sale of a bad vacuum meant one less sale of the good vacuum (especially since the good salesman now preferred to remain silent about the superiority of his product and the serious dangers of the competing product).

The good salesman apparently began overlooking the fact that houses were burning - or would burn. He instead focused on unity between the users of the bad vacuums and the good vacuums, leading some to wonder if they still had to worry about using the bad vacuums at all. The good salesman certainly didn't want to criticize the bad vacuum and at times acted as if he saw "very little difference" between the two products. He no longer seemed overly concerned if people chose the bad vacuums - as if these people might somehow escape the imminent consequences he had so consistently warned of in the past. No, he would no longer sound the alarm that houses would be destroyed by fire as a result of using the dangerous product. He didn't want to offend the bad salesman or the bad salesman's customers by sounding a warning.

As time went by, sales of the good vacuum went down. Houses burned. Many who used the good vacuum modified it in dangerous ways to better suit their liking - ways that more closely resembled the bad vacuum. Houses burned. Numerous people could no longer tell the difference between the good and the bad product. Houses burned. Sales of the bad vacuum remained strong. Houses burned. Some preferred the bad vacuum because it seemed easier and because no one had told them of the danger. Houses burned. A relatively small group of people tried to warn of the danger, but they were usually written off. Houses burned.

Were the homeowners well served?

Is the good manufacturer happy?

By the way, the good manufacturer built each home that burned and lovingly regarded each one. Still think the good manufacturer is happy?

Houses continue burning.

Can you say 'false ecumenism'?

[Related: Ecumenism Q & A]


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"Food For Thought"

"But what is it, dearly beloved, to have peace towards God, except to wish what He bids, and not to wish what He forbids? For if human friendships seek out equality of soul and similarity of desires, and difference of habits can never attain to full harmony, how will he be partaker of divine peace, who is pleased with what displeases God and desires to get delight from what he knows to be offensive to God? That is not the spirit of the sons of God; such wisdom is not acceptable to the noble family of the adopted. That chosen and royal race must live up to the dignity of its regeneration, must love what the Father loves, and in nought disagree with its Maker, lest the LORD should again say: "I have begotten and raised up sons, but they have scorned Me: the ox knoweth his owner and the ass his master's crib: but Israel hath not known Me and My people hath not acknowledged Me."

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"Food For Thought"

"By the consideration of time--for seeing that time seizes upon all things human, we also in turn ought to snatch from it something which may profit us to eternal life, especially since a certain awful expectation of the approach of the divine judgment importunately demands increased earnestness in religion, while the subtle craftiness of new heretics calls for no ordinary care and attention." (St. Vincent of Lerins)

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"Food For Thought"

"Observing the institutions of the Apostles' tradition, dearly beloved, we exhort you, as watchful shepherds, to celebrate with the devotion of religious practice that day which they purged from wicked superstitions and consecrated to deeds of mercy, thus showing that the authority of the Fathers still lives among us, and that we obediently abide by their teaching. Inasmuch as the sacred usefulness of such a practice affects not only time past but also our own age, so that what aided them in the destruction of vanities, might contribute with us to the increase of virtues. And what so suitable to faith, what so much in harmony with godliness as to assist the poverty of the needy, to undertake the care of the weak, to succor the needs of the brethren, and to remember one's own condition in the toils of others. In which work He only who knows what He has given to each, discerns aright how much a man can and how much he cannot do. For not only are spiritual riches and heavenly gifts received from God, but earthly and material possessions also proceed from His bounty, that He may be justified in requiring an account of those things which He has not so much put in our possession as committed to our stewardship. God's gifts, therefore, we must use properly and wisely, lest the material for good work should become an occasion of sin. For wealth, after its kind and regarded as a means, is good and is of the greatest advantage to human society, when it is in the hands of the benevolent and open-handed, and when the luxurious man does not squander nor the miser hoard it; for whether ill-stored or unwisely spent it is equally lost." (Pope St. Leo the Great)

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Prayer of St. Thomas Aquinas

Ineffable Creator, Who out of the treasures of Thy wisdom hast appointed three hierarchies of Angels and set them in admirable order high above the heavens and hast disposed the divers portions of the universe in such marvelous array, Thou Who art called the True Source of Light and super-eminent Principle of Wisdom, be pleased to cast a beam of Thy radiance upon the darkness of my mind and dispel from me the double darkness of sin and ignorance in which I have been born. Thou Who makest eloquent the tongues of little children, fashion my words and pour upon my lips the grace of Thy benediction. Grant me penetration to understand, capacity to retain, method and facility in study, subtlety in interpretation and abundant grace of expression. Order the beginning, direct the progress and perfect the achievement of my work, Thou who art true God and Man and livest and reignest for ever and ever. Amen.

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Reflection of Pope Pius XII

"We do not hesitate to affirm again publicly that We put great confidence in the Holy Rosary for the healing of evils which afflict our times. Not with force, not with arms, not with human power, but with Divine help obtained through the means of this prayer, strong like David with his sling, the Church undaunted shall be able to confront the infernal enemy"

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