My Catholic Source.com ™ News & Opinion Page (7/10 Archive)
Keywords: Catholic News, Catholic News Links, Catholic News Headlines, News Affecting Catholics, News From a Catholic Perspective, Catholic Opinions
A few more recent news highlights...
* Pope Benedict will visit the birthplace of Pope Leo XIII, Carpineto Romano, on September 5
* Italian officials are hoping to raise millions in private funds to pay for restoration work on the Colosseum
* A Washington Post article notes that "Vandals are increasingly on the prowl in the Eternal City - and now Italian authorities are fighting back, sending more police, installing cameras and even considering using [paroled] convicts to protect monuments and artworks"
* Once again the national motto of the U.S., "In God We Trust", has survived a constitutional challenge. The recent 3-0 decision by a federal appeals court in Washington, D.C. affirms that the motto does not violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment
* The estate of an alleged abuse victim is suing the Diocese of Pittsburgh after the alleged victim committed suicide this past May. The diocese had stopped paying for the man's mental health treatments after two previous suicide attempts
* A CatholicCulture.org article has highlighted the recent "explosive growth" of the Church in Africa, noting that "14% of Catholics worldwide now live there, nearly half of the children in Catholic elementary schools study there, and 43% of the world's adult baptisms - over a million a year - take place there. There are more Catholic hospitals in Africa than there are in North and Central America combined."
Some recent news highlights...
* With "overwhelming support", a group of Anglicans in Canada have voted to enter the Catholic Church under the provisions of Anglicanorum Coetibus
* Persons with an active arrest warrant in New Mexico can surrender at a Catholic parish in Las Cruces (Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church) until 7/31, between 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., in exchange for "favorable consideration" from the court
* Some controversy has erupted over payments pilgrims are expected to make in order to attend papal events during the Holy Father's U.K. trip this September. A Vatican spokesman has responded that the payments are "contributions" not fees and that payment will not be required for those who cannot afford to contribute. The contributions are needed to help cover costs associated with the papal visit
* Pro-lifers are planning to protest at a Catholic hospital in Durango, Colorado over the facility's keeping of a PP abortionist on staff. A pro-life representative noted that "Catholic parents...have a right to expect that their child will be received by the hands of a physician who holds all life sacred - not the hands that earlier that week held the instruments of abortion to destroy the life of some other innocent baby." The pro-lifers are calling for the abortionist to either resign from the hospital or stop performing abortions
* Two sisters of a deceased Catholic woman who suffered from cerebral palsy are suing organizers of a pilgrimage to Lourdes after the disabled woman fell from a hoist during a pilgrimage. The wheelchair-bound woman had hoped for a miraculous healing at Lourdes, but instead returned home with two broken legs after a fall of about four feet. She later died and her family now claims they are "trying to get justice." They claim the woman would still be alive if not for the fall. The matter is reportedly "in the hands of insurers"
* A federal judge has set a "very dangerous precedent" by ruling in favor of a public university which expelled a graduate student from a counseling program over the student's opposition to homosexuality. The Michigan based university claimed the student "violated school policy and the American Counseling Association code of ethics" by refusing to counsel homosexual clients ("the university determined that she would never change her behavior and would consistently refuse to counsel clients on matters with which she was personally opposed due to her religious beliefs – including homosexual relationships"). Some have called the case - which will be appealed - "a warning to Christians attending public schools" [Related: The End of Freedom in America?]
* Here we go again: A liberal 'Catholic' publication has published an article on the supposed "terrible position" of women religious who may fear "the likely possibility that religious life in the United States will be re-engineered in secret by the men in the Vatican" and that "the soul of a project rooted in and encouraged by the Second Vatican Council would be hollowed out." The article also refers to "an unthinking acquiescence to a male hierarchy" and references "battered wife syndrome." Liberal sisters in the U.S. - who have promoted dissent, radical feminism, anti-clericalism, paganism, New Age practices, witchcraft, and have talked of being "post-Christian" & "moving beyond the Church, even beyond Jesus" - have criticized the Vatican's (long overdue!) investigation of female religious, while orthodox, conservative sisters have embraced the investigation. While the article laments supposed "hypocrisy", "duplicity", "unseemly politics", and "a shameful betrayal of trust", no references were found concerning the necessity of Catholic female religious maintaining doctrinal orthodoxy or actually adhering to the Catholic faith. [Related: Rebellious Women Religious]
The following are some highlights from a circular of Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith in connection with "The Year of the Eucharist" he has proclaimed for the Archdiocese of Colombo (Sri Lanka), starting in August, 2010...
* "[The] Eucharist is Jesus' sacramental self-gift to us. The Church, therefore, draws life from this most wondrous Sacrament and cannot survive without it. For, it is the real and life-giving presence of the Lord and Master within the community of his disciples."
* "The Eucharistic Lord sustains the universal Church, and strengthens it so that it could withstand any evil onslaught from both within and without. This is effected by means of our intimate communion with Him. Each time we receive Him, in a state of grace, He draws us into His act of self-oblation; absorbs us unto Himself, and transforms us into His own likeness. That is the life-giving principle of the most Holy Eucharist."
* "Latin still remains the main liturgical language of the Church. In Sri Lanka we made a mistake in abandoning the language of our worship altogether. Let this Eucharistic Year be an occasion for us to resuscitate this lost tradition at least to some extent. I appeal to all priests, religious and laity to cooperate."
* "In chapter 6 of the Gospel of John Jesus asked the disciples whether they would also leave Him. And it was Peter who answered, and said Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Jesus said this because by that time, after His discourse on the Eucharist many people began to abandon Him. They wanted only miracles, but Jesus wanted to offer Himself as the true bread from heaven. In the present times also people seem to look for miracles, and often only for miracles. When Jesus begins to talk about belief in Himself, people seem to lose interest. They seem to go elsewhere, Let us remember that the Catholic Church is so rich because of the treasure of the Eucharist."
The Archbishop also called for "eliminating all erroneous practices regarding the celebration of the most holy Eucharist" and noted that "the renovation and construction of churches...need[s] to be done according to the guidelines". He also called for "think[ing] seriously about Mass vestments, altar linen, altar vessels and the liturgical vesture for various liturgical ministries. Let the Year of the holy Eucharist be an occasion to improve all such aspects of our celebration."
Further, he affirmed that the Sacraments may be celebrated according to the ancient rites in accordance with Summorum Pontificum and noted that "I myself hope to celebrate a solemn Eucharist in that rite sometime in the near future at the Archdiocesan Cathedral."
Curiously, however, the text also makes reference to "loving mother nature" so that "our Eucharistic spirituality would incorporate also an eco-spirituality." [Huh?]
[Credit: Rorate Caeli Blog]
Besides the spectacle of dissenting ads on buses, calls for the Holy Father's arrest, anti-Catholic protests, and a possible incitement to violence by an Islamic publication, it is expected that television coverage during the upcoming papal visit to the U.K. will "upset many Catholics." According to a recent Zenit article, "the BBC is expected to upset many Catholics when it broadcasts a program timed to coincide with the Pope's Sept. 16-19 visit." The article indicates that while details "remain under wraps", reports have indicated that the program may be "a 90-minute drama that puts the Pope on trial" for 'covering up' abuse by priests. Other programming during the papal visit may include a feature on Cardinal Newman - who is scheduled to be beatified by the Pope during his visit - which infers that the Cardinal was homosexual.
Some recent news highlights...
* The U.K. government has reportedly "moved to prevent the possibility of an arrest warrant being issued" against Pope Benedict when he visits this September. Atheists had called for the Holy Father's arrest for "crimes against humanity" over abuse scandals. A few months ago, the threat of arrest was called "merely a stunt to get public attention" by a Vatican spokesman. Also in the news are reports that a dissenting group will run ads on buses in the U.K. during Pope Benedict's visit. The ads - containing the slogan "Pope Benedict Ordain Women Now" - are expected to appear on routes that "feature on the papal itinerary" [Refresher: Top Reasons Why Women Can't Be Priests]
* A Mass & pilgrimage will commemorate the 100th anniversary of St. Pio of Pietrelcina's (Padre Pio's) ordination in Benevento, Italy on August 10, 2010. A plenary indulgence may be available to participants
* No agenda here: Electronic health records required under recent U.S. legislation reportedly must contain a Body Mass Index ("a measure of obesity"), but apparently patients can choose to exclude information regarding past abortions & positive HIV test results
* In the wake of recent articles condemning the Church for "lack of a zero-tolerance policy" concerning abuse, the Catholic League has noted the hypocrisy of some media outlets who do not themselves have a zero-tolerance policy. The CL also notes that the NY Times Business Ethics Policy requires that their employees report illegal conduct to "any supervisor or the legal department", but no mention is made about reporting illegal actions to law enforcement authorities. [Hmm...]
The following are some follow ups to recent news stories...
* A suspect has been arrested in connection with a recent Fort Lauderdale theft [See 7/2 news link: "Thief pries open donation box in Fort Lauderdale church using a crucifix he took from the altar..."]
* The Boston faithful continue to pray for the return of a relic of the True Cross which was recently stolen from the cathedral. The case is still under investigation
* The Connecticut priest charged with first degree larceny for alleged theft of $1.3 million in parish funds has pleaded not guilty
* In response to criticism and threatened legal action, the University of Illinois has claimed that the Catholic professor - who was reportedly fired for expressing Catholic teachings on homosexuality in connection with a course on Catholicism - has not been fired, although he "does not currently have any teaching assignments"
There are new concerns for Pope Benedict's safety during his September 2010 trip to the U.K. after an Islamic publication has called for Muslims to attend the Holy Father's open air Mass to preach Islam and tell the Pope "in no uncertain terms what Muslims think of his evil slanders" against Muhammad. The message is feared to be an "incitement to violence." Reportedly, Birmingham City Hospital - which has "expertise in dealing with bullet injuries" - is "on alert for an assassination attempt on the Pope."
Pray for the Holy Father!
[Note: Some prayers for the Pope may be found here]
Some recent news highlights...
* Contradicting feminists' claims that women 'prelates' would have stopped abuse cover-ups, the first female Lutheran 'bishop' recently resigned for allegedly mishandling abuse allegations. Don't hold your breath waiting for the anti-Catholic p.c. media to give this story equal attention since it involves Protestant female 'clergy'! [Reminder: Protestant sects that have not maintained apostolic succession do NOT have valid orders. Further, it is impossible to ordain women (click here for more information)]
* Once again, rumors are circulating that Pope Benedict celebrates the TLM in private. This time, a claim was made by the head of the SSPX who says that the Holy Father "regularly" celebrates the TLM in private and that a bishop has threatened to resign should the Pope celebrate the ancient Mass in public. Hasta la vista? [Related: The Traditional Latin ('Tridentine') Mass vs. the New (Novus Ordo) Mass]
* So sad: Atheists are reportedly using hair dryers in an effort to "de-baptize" persons, "symbolically drying up holy water long ago sprinkled on them." One atheist even called baptism of infants "child abuse" [Note: For Baptism apologetics, click here. Please note that this page is primarily directed at Protestants]
Despite misinformation, insults and (apparent) hatred spewing from various media outlets, Catholics should note that the Church's new norms dealing with abuse do NOT equate abuse by priests with attempted ordination of women ("attempted" because it is impossible to actually ordain women). This point was addressed when the norms were released (at the time, Monsignor Charles Scicluna specifically noted that "They are not on the same level" and that "they are [both] grave but on different levels"), but this fact has been "conveniently ignored" by much of the media.
To grasp the matter, it may be useful for Catholics to think in terms of civil law, for example misdemeanors vs. felonies. Should someone gather a comprehensive list of procedures for dealing with all felonies into a single volume, this does not mean that all felonies included in the volume are of equal gravity. For example, tax evasion and murder are both felonies, but these crimes obviously differ in gravity. Who would point to a volume covering all felonies and say the law equated all felonies simply because they appeared together in a volume which contained all felonies? Yet this misrepresentation is widely occurring in the media today with regard to the Church's new norms. Likewise, if a list of the 'top 20 felonies' were complied in a volume, the list would only mean they were all serious - not that they were all equal. Most reasonable people should be able to understand this distinction, yet much of the media seems unable (or unwilling?) to do so. Faithful Catholics should be prepared to clarify this issue, in charity, to persons who have been mislead by deceptive media coverage.
Those who love the Holy Eucharist and long for Vatican assistance in stopping the novel & typically disrespectful practice of dispensing Holy Communion in the hand - and the resulting sacrilegious treatment of Sacred Particles which frequently fall to the floor and are subsequently trampled on by laity - may be disappointed in a letter recently received by a Catholic lay person in response to their request for Vatican assistance. You can read the original letter as well as the response from the CDW here.
A few international news highlights...
* Argentina has passed a law 'legalizing' same sex 'marriage' in the majority Catholic country despite "strong opposition from the populace"
* The Taizhou Diocese in China recently saw the consecration of a new bishop who is approved by the Holy See and recognized by the Chinese government. Prior to his consecration, the see had been vacant for nearly 50 years. The Chinese government also recently released a 75 year-old 'underground' bishop who has been imprisoned numerous times
* Tensions are rising between the Church and Hugo Chávez's regime in Venezuela. Venezuelan bishops criticized "the imposition of a socialist state inspired by the Cuban communist regime that has been enforced through laws and facts that ignore the popular will and the Constitution." The Venezuelan president called for a review of diplomatic ties with the Vatican, insulted the Venezuelan bishops (calling them "cave dwellers"), and declared that the Pope is not Christ's ambassador
Cardinal Joachim Meisner on the "gift of celibacy": The German Cardinal said that "We must either say that the celibate man is crazy, or that there is a God", noting that "There is no other alternative. And when they realize he is not crazy... Convincingly lived, celibacy is the most striking proof of God."
Related: Why Priestly Celibacy?
Some more recent news highlights...
* Thanks partially to the efforts of the Catholic Church, Cuba has freed the first of 52 political prisoners the government has agreed to release. The former prisoners will live "as Cuban exiles in Spain"
* Catholics rioting over Protestant marches have injured more than 50 police officers in Northern Ireland. Reportedly the violence was "orchestrated by a very small number of people"
* Media reports indicate that the alleged Medjugorje 'seers' may be summoned to the Vatican and asked to disclose the 'secrets' they claim they have received from the 'Gospa' to the commission investigating the alleged apparitions [Related: Marian Apparitions at Medjugorje: True or False?]
* A SSPX leader has given an update on the doctrinal meetings between the SSPX & the Vatican which claims that "some of Rome's best brains are occasionally stopped in their tracks by the old arguments being newly put forward by the SSPX" [Related: Third Vatican-SSPX Meeting]
* The decision to allow female 'bishops'* in the 'Church' of England is said to be "paving the way" for a "mass exodus" of Anglicans (including hundreds of 'clergy'*) who are expected to join the Catholic Church under the provisions of Anglicanorum Coetibus. The decision comes a couple of months before the Holy Father is scheduled to travel to the U.K. [*Reminder: Anglican 'clergy' are not true priests - their orders have been ruled invalid by the Church: "Wherefore, strictly adhering, in this matter, to the decrees of the pontiffs, our predecessors, and confirming them most fully, and, as it were, renewing them by our authority, of our own initiative and certain knowledge, we pronounce and declare that ordinations carried out according to the Anglican rite have been, and are, absolutely null and utterly void." (Pope Leo XIII, "Apostolicae Curae", 1896 A.D., emphasis added). Remember also that the Catholic Church has definitively ruled that women are incapable of receiving holy orders (click here for more information)]
* Pope Benedict has chosen the theme "Religious freedom, the path to peace" for the 2011 World Day of Peace, stating that "It should never be necessary to deny God in order to enjoy one's rights"
The following are some highlights from a recent article by Fr. Mauro Gagliardi, consultor of the Office for the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff and professor of theology at the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum in Rome....
* "Vatican Council II ordered a general reform of the sacred liturgy. The [Novus Ordo Mass] was effected after the closing of the Council, by a commission commonly called, for reasons of brevity, the Consilium. It is known that, from the beginning, the liturgical reform was the object of criticisms, at times radical, as well as exaltations, in certain cases, excessive. It is not our intention to pause on this problem. We can say instead that it is generally agreed that an increase of abuses can be observed in the celebratory field after the Council."
* "...a great number of priests believe that ultimately the space left to 'creativity' must be enlarged, which is expressed above all with the frequent change of words or whole phrases in relation to those fixed in the liturgical books, with the insertion of new 'rites' often completely foreign to the liturgical and theological tradition of the Church and even with the use of vestments, sacred vessels and decorations that are not always appropriate and, in some cases, even fall into the ridiculous."
* "The phenomenon of 'liturgical disobedience' has extended in such a way, because of the number and in certain cases also because of the gravity, that the mentality has been formed in many by which the liturgy, with the exception of the words of the Eucharistic consecration, can be subject to all the modifications 'pastorally' considered suitable by the priest or the community... Particularly significant in this text is the appeal to the right of the faithful to have a liturgy celebrated according to the universal norms of the Church, in addition to stressing the fact that the transformations and modifications of the liturgy - even if done for 'pastoral' reasons - in reality do not have a positive effect in this field; on the contrary, they confuse, disturb, and tire and can also make the faithful abandon religious practice."
* "The problem indicated, however, subsists and it is important that the solution of the same begin with the priests, who must commit themselves first of all to know in a profound way the liturgical books and also to put faithfully into practice their prescriptions. Only knowledge of the liturgical laws and the desire to hold oneself strictly to them will avoid further abuses and arbitrary 'innovations' that, if at the time might perhaps move those present, in reality soon end by tiring and disappointing. Saving the best intentions of those who commit them, after forty years of 'liturgical disobedience' it does not in fact build better Christian communities, but on the contrary it puts in danger the solidity of their faith and of their belonging to the unity of the Catholic Church."
* "The more 'open' character of the new liturgical norms cannot be used as pretext to pervert the nature of the public worship of the Church"
Your choice: Today's most ridiculous news item is ...
A. The University of Illinois has fired a teacher because he said he agrees with the Church's teachings that homosexual acts are immoral. The teacher, who has taught courses on Catholicism, was accused of "hate speech" over his assent to Catholic teachings
B. A priest in Canada is expected to visit a water park (no doubt a bastion of modest dress) to view a flag that some say appears to contain "a shadowy image" that supposedly resembles Jesus (although one witness claims that the image "looks more like a gladiator, or the Beatles" and another skeptic describes it as a "water stain"). The owner of the park had been "praying for a miracle to improve business"
C. The 'Catholic' Health Association has praised the controversial recess appointment of Dr. Donald Berwick as administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Dr. Berwick has advocated healthcare rationing and has praised the British healthcare system. Dubbed a "one-man death panel" by pro-lifers, he supports "health care redistribution" and may also support euthanasia
D. All of the above
Some more recent news highlights...
* Before leaving for summer vacation, Pope Benedict blessed a new 18-foot marble statue of a Sicilian priest, St. Annibale Maria di Francia, at St. Peter's
* "One of Michigan's oldest newspapers" has laid off almost half its staff and will cut back its publication schedule after losing its annual subsidy from the Archdiocese of Detroit
* A client of St. Vincent Catholic Charities in Lansing, MI reportedly set fire to the charity's building and smashed several windows before being taken into custody. The motive was unknown and there were no reports of injuries
* LCWR's support of the recently passed healthcare reform bill was reportedly the topic of "lengthy discussions" between the dissenting LCWR and Vatican officials. Apparently disconnected from reality, the group - which lent its support for the bill in direct opposition to the U.S. bishops - claimed in a letter to their members that "We were very clear in stating that our actions were not in opposition to the U.S. bishops"
* Researchers have discovered that Cardinal Pacelli (the future Pope Pius XII) may have saved some 200,000 Jews during WWII by "secretly securing visas" which enabled them to escape Nazi Germany
* The recently circulated letter which purportedly came from Ecclesia Dei has been re-scanned at another site which claims to personally know the recipient. The letter confirmed that the TLM "envisages the reception of Holy Communion while kneeling, as the Sacred Host is laid directly on the tongue of the communicant. There is no provision for the distribution of Holy Communion on the hand in this Form of the Holy Mass." The letter has been questioned over various "peculiarities". The new image is in color and includes a view of the envelope containing postal markings and an Ecclesia Dei emblem, apparently providing additional support for its authenticity. [Let's hope it's real!]
* He's at it again: A bishop in South Africa, Bishop Kevin Dowling, has criticized the TLM in an address to a group of "leading laity" in his country. The misguided bishop complained about a "grandiose display", supposed lack of participation, all male servers, silence, triumphalism, "restorationism", etc., etc. He also lamented the "rise of conservative groups and organisations in the Church... which attract significant numbers of adherents, has led to a phenomenon which I find difficult to deal with." The liberal bishop also (wrongly) suggested that it's acceptable to question the all-male priesthood and complained about a supposed "policy of appointing 'safe', unquestionably orthodox and even very conservative bishops to fill vacant dioceses over the past 30 years." [Blah, blah, blah...] This is the same bishop who dissents from Church teachings regarding c*nd*ms and who has expressed disapproval of new, more accurate translations of the Novus Ordo liturgy. [Refresher: Top Reasons Why Women Can't Be Priests]
July 7th marks the 3rd anniversary of Pope Benedict's Motu Proprio 'Summorum Pontificum', formally 'freeing' the Traditional Latin Mass (it was issued on 7/7/07, however, the provisions of the Motu Proprio had an effective date of 9/14/07, the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross). In the MP, the Holy Father invited bishops to send an account of their experiences to the Holy See in three years so that remedies for "truly serious difficulties" which come to light could be sought. Recently, it was reported that Una Voce was likewise preparing a report that they claim "will be of vital importance in the safeguarding of the traditional Mass and liturgy."
Regarding the report, the President of Una Voce noted that "It is no secret that many bishops are against Summorum Pontificum and their reports may well reflect this antipathy. It is for this reason that I have asked our members for comprehensive reports and documentation that truly reflects the situation in their countries so that Rome will be in no doubt about the reality of the implementation of the motu proprio." The organization also presented a report to Pope Benedict for the 2 year anniversary of SP (click here for some highlights).
Overall, looking back at the last three years, it seems that - despite many obstacles - the Motu Proprio has made "a world of difference" for some Catholics, whereas others have not been so fortunate. Perhaps this third anniversary will be a positive turning point for the restoration of Catholic Tradition.
Agimus tibi grátias, omnípotens Deus, pro univérsis benefíciis tuis: Qui vivis et regnas in sæcula sæculórum. Amen. [We give Thee thanks, Almighty God, for all Thy blessings: who livest and reignest for ever and ever. Amen.]
"[The Tridentine Mass is] penetrated more than anything else by the spirit of true reverence, and it draws those who live it directly into this spirit." (Von Hildebrand)
"It would not be an exaggeration to describe this Missal as the most sublime product of Western civilization, more perfect in its balance, rich in its imagery, inspiring, consoling, instructive than even the most beautiful cathedral in Europe." (Davies)
"[T]he Tridentine Mass is something which must be experienced, and only then will it become clear why, in an article written fifteen years after the introduction of the Novus Ordo Missae, the Tridentine Mass can be termed with perfect accuracy: 'the Mass that will not die.'" (Davies)
Some recent news highlights...
* In response to abuse scandals, Las Vegas bishop Joseph Pepe has decreed that all parish volunteers must be fingerprinted, regardless of the scope of their activities
* With the Holy Father's U.K. visit on the horizon, the BBC is reportedly planning a "90-minute drama which will take as its premise what would happen if the Pope were to go on trial for covering up" abuse by priests. Critics note the "general hostility" of British television towards the Pope
* The retired ("notoriously liberal") former Bishop of Sacramento, Francis Quinn, has called for 'Vatican III' to deal with matters of "human s*xuality''. He apparently is under the mistaken notion that the Church can change its teachings about what is sinful in order to better please 'modern man' [Reality check: "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) | Can Dogmas Change? (click here)]
* An interview with Archbishop Samir Nassar of Damascus has highlighted the struggle Catholics face in this predominately Muslim area. The archbishop noted that Catholics "little by little they learn the Muslim more than their Christian faith" ("Little by little they get to know more about the Koran and Mohamed, more than Jesus Christ"), lamenting that "we don't have enough local support to be together, to strengthen our faith, to teach our children and keep our children in our local churches." He also notes that a Catholic has to convert to marry a Muslim and that it is illegal for him to baptize a Muslim convert. He says Muslim coverts can be Christian "if they want in their hearts but they cannot show it." Amazingly, the archbishop speaks of "tolerance of Christians" and claims that he & Muslim leaders "are really one family"
* A security incident was apparently avoided on the Pope's recent trip to central Italy as an unauthorized man "was stopped by the pope's security guards as he was seeking to approach the stage where Benedict was celebrating Mass." The man was escorted away and reportedly "got nowhere near" the Holy Father
* Vandals have left "vulgar and sacrilegious graffiti" on the walls of a Carmichael, CA parish which has been described as a "hate crime". Sheriffs are seeking information about the perpetrators who are still at large. The offensive graffiti marked "at least the third time" the parish has been vandalized over the last couple years
* The British coordinator for the Holy Father's upcoming visit to the U.K. has indicated that he is determined to make the papal visit a success "not only out of respect for the Pope, not only out of determination to enhance the reputation of the United Kingdom, but because this will be an event followed by millions of people around the world." Also in the news are reports that costs for the trip have "soared"
* A 'Catholic' dissident group recently took out "lengthy" newspaper ad calling for "compassion" from Bishop Thomas Olmsted in the case of a religious sister who was instrumental in an abortion at a 'Catholic' hospital. The abortion was supposedly done to 'save the mother's life' (although medical personnel have disputed this allegation). The dissenting group said they "wanted to make a statement against the Bishop's decision for excommunication". However, the truth is that the nun automatically excommunicated HERSELF under Canon Law. As Pope Paul II stated...
"[The 1983 Code of Canon Law] decrees that 'a person who actually procures an abortion incurs automatic (latae sententiae) excommunication'. The excommunication affects all those who commit this crime with knowledge of the penalty attached, and thus includes those accomplices without whose help the crime would not have been committed... I declare that direct abortion, that is, abortion willed as an end or as a means, always constitutes a grave moral disorder, since it is the deliberate killing of an innocent human being... No circumstance, no purpose, no law whatsoever can ever make licit an act which is intrinsically illicit, since it is contrary to the Law of God"
Unfortunately, the dissident group plans to run more ads in the future
* Holiness "never loses its power of attraction" according to Pope Benedict who spoke on his predecessor, Pope St. Celestine V...
"More than 800 years have passed since the birth of St. Peter Celestine V, but he remains in history on account of the notable events of his pontificate and, above all, because of his holiness. Holiness, in fact, never loses its own power of attraction, it is not forgotten, it never goes out of fashion, indeed, with the passage of time, it shines with ever greater luminosity, expressing man's perennial longing for God."
The Holy Father also noted that...
"[His] discovery of God was not only the result of his effort but was made possible by the grace of God itself that came to him. What he had, what he was, did not come from him: it was granted to him, it was grace, and so it was also a responsibility before God and before others. Even if our life is very different from his, the same thing is also true for us: the entirety of what is essential in our existence was bestowed upon us without our intervention. The fact that I live does not depend on me; the fact that there were people who introduced me to life, that taught me what it means to live and be loved, who handed down the faith to me and opened my eyes to God: all of that is grace and not 'done by me.' We could have done nothing ourselves if it had not been given to us: God always anticipates us and in every individual life there is beauty and goodness that we can easily recognize as his grace, as a ray of the light of his goodness. Because of this we must be attentive, always keep our 'interior eyes' open, the eyes of our heart. And if we learn how to know God in his infinite goodness, then we will be able to see, with wonder, in our lives - as the saints did - the signs of that God, who is always near to us, who is always good to us, who says: 'Have faith in me!'"
Apparently, Pope Benedict may have one less protester to deal with when he visits the U.K. this September since a prominent atheist-activist who wanted to have the Holy Father arrested must undergo treatment for esophageal cancer. The "rabid atheist" Christopher Hitchens had called for Pope Benedict to be tried for "crimes against humanity" over abuse scandals in the Church. He has also authored a bestselling "atheist manifesto" bearing a blasphemous title (not to be repeated here).
Pray that this ordeal will help Mr. Hitchens discover how truly great God is!
"If someone, at the Devil's prompting, had committed every sin against God and then, with true contrition and the intention of amendment, truly repented these sins and humbly, with burning love, asked God for mercy, there is no doubt that the kind and merciful God Himself would immediately be as ready to receive that person back into His grace with great joy and happiness as would be a loving father who saw returning to him his only, dearly beloved son, now freed from a great scandal and a most shameful death." (St. Bridget of Sweden)
"So great is the impetus of the river of God's goodness overflowing on mankind, that only the free will of man, which He has given to him in order to receive its benefits, can raise a dam against it; and whenever, through this free will, man resists the influence and force of the divine Goodness, he (according to thy mode of understanding), violates and grieves this immense love to its very essence. But if creatures would place no obstacle and permit its operations, the whole soul would be inundated and satiated with participation in its divine essence and attributes." (Ven. Mary of Agreda)
In the wake of the much anticipated official announcement of Cardinal Kasper's replacement, 'Fr. Z' (on his 'wdtprs' blog) has expressed the following hope for the outgoing cardinal's retirement...
"Hopefully Card. Kasper will have a good rest and not trouble himself with too much… writing."
No doubt many Catholics worldwide will join Fr. Z in his wish for His Eminence.
Note: Dates in brackets may refer to date news brief was added to MCS news page
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[Note: There were no news updates on 7/31]
Catholic professor who was fired from the University of Illinois for expressing Catholic teachings on homosexuality in connection with a course on Catholicism gets job back, but CL says the issue "is not entirely over" [7/30]
City officials in Jerusalem threaten to cut off free water supply to Church of the Holy Sepulchre; Officials also want payment for water usage dating back to 1967 [Note: Article has unfortunate reference to 'various Christian denominations'] [7/30]
Cardinal Jorge Medina Estévez reminds that "the Church distinguishes [between] homosexual tendency and homosexual practice"; Notes that "If a person has a homosexual tendency it is a defect, as if one lacked an eye, a hand, a foot" but prelate notes that some have overcome this tendency by "discipline, education, or reeducation"; Affirms that a man with a homosexual tendency "is not...fit to receive the sacrament of Holy Orders" [7/29]
New Irish bishop says "The surgeon's knife has been painful but necessary. A lot of evil and poison has been excised. There comes a time when the surgeon's knife has done what it can, is put away and a regime of rehabilitation for the patient is put in place" [7/26]
British representative on complexity of papal visits: "[P]eople had perhaps underestimated the complexity involved in fitting together the state visit aspect and the pastoral aspects as if they were a seamless whole. Its incomparably more difficult arranging the state visit of the Holy Father than arranging the state visit of even President Obama. President Obama doesn't go out and meet one hundred thousand people at an open air venue. The difficulties in getting all this together, were I think a little underestimated, but now I think we're on top of things" [7/26]
Power outage at USCCB [7/26]
Vicar General of Vatican City calls on families to "wake up" and love each other; Says we are experiencing "an emergency of the family" and that all families should be missionary, announcing "that which is God's plan for the family, that they courageously give witness to it" [7/26]
Legionaries make public Vatican decree detailing powers given to Archbishop Velasio De Paolis; Delegate's authority "covers the entire institute", including "all the superiors at the various levels" [7/24]
Scottish Bishop tells British PM: "[Y]ou and your Government need to be aware from the outset that the Catholic Church will not register civil partnerships nor celebrate same-sex unions: not now, not in the future, not ever, no matter what legislation or regulations your Government enacts or endorses" [7/23]
Cardinal Meisner highlights importance of sacrament of Confession in priestly ministry; Says neglect for the sacrament is "one of the most tragic failures that the Church has experienced in the second half of the 20th century" [7/22]
English priest says upcoming papal visit has caused "great excitement" in the diocese; Notes "growing awareness" of the "unique event" of Cardinal Newman's beatification, which is "the first beatification that's ever happened in England" [7/21]
Argentinean Bishop warns that consequences of gay 'marriage' will "become evident in many areas...there will certainly be repercussions in family life and in the formation of young people"; Prelate notes that "There is something that does not change and cannot change, and that is the law of God and the voice of conscience which is in every person. As believers, we must give a testimony of coherence and fidelity, without allowing ourselves to be influenced by the dominate, yet deceitful, trends of the day" [7/20]
Vatican website victim of cyber attack ('Google-bombed') over the weekend; Perpetrator unknown, but "indications suggested that the operation may have been carried out by someone who had significant knowledge of how Google functions" [7/19]
Misguided parishioners support irreverence, are "furious" over suspension of Dutch priest; Priest was suspended for sacrilegious celebration of Mass "in the spirit of the Football World Cup" with orange vestments & a soccer ball [7/19]
Vatican spokesman calls new norms called an "important step", but says "our commitment to a purer and more evangelical witness must be a long road"; Also notes that "civil laws must obviously be respected and put into practice by men of the Church" [7/17]
Papal delegate to Legionaries announces extraordinary general chapter to "reconsider the charism of the institute, and more concretely, the constitutional norms that are its expression and guarantee" [7/15]
Archbishop Kurtz denounces court rulings against DOMA; Notes that "Marriage - the union of one man and one woman - is a unique, irreplaceable institution. The very fabric of our society depends upon it" [7/13]
Cardinal Cañizares says a growing understanding of Summorum Pontificum "will benefit not only the acceptance and implementation of the motu proprio, but will also enrich the liturgical renewal and move it forward" [Note: On this site, it is necessary to scroll down to view the article] [7/13]
Catholic League says University of Illinois should be sued for firing teacher who expressed Catholic teachings on homosexuality; CL says "He was fired for his religious viewpoint, an unacceptable reason that will not stand up in court" [Note: Unfortunately, article takes position that "viewpoint discrimination is not tolerable, especially in higher education", without making the necessary distinction between truth and error (errors of false religious are rightly not tolerated since "error has no rights." As Pope Leo XIII stated, "...it is contrary to reason that error and truth should have equal rights.") While this case does not involve error, a clarification nevertheless seems necessary to avoid confusion] [7/12]
Six months after devastating earthquake in majority Catholic Haiti, "some 2 million Haitians are still living on the streets"; Apostolic nuncio says "The situation is still terrible as far as the practicability of the roads; it seems that the earthquake just happened yesterday" [7/12]
Cardinal Danneels filing civil complaint against investigators over leaked information which "tarnished his reputation beyond repair"; Prelate was exonerated after incriminating reports were published [7/10]
Argentinean Cardinal urges opposition to homosexual 'marriage' legislation; Says "Let's not be naive, we're not talking about a simple political battle; it is a destructive pretension against the plan of God"; Cardinal notes that "We are not talking about a mere bill, but rather a machination of the Father of Lies that seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God" [7/9]
CL on NY Times article [7/9]
Archbishop Robert Carlson says "People who are casual about the sin of abortion and who choose to view it as a political issue rather than the serious moral issue that it is are guilty of violating the Fifth Commandment"; Reminds that persons who support abortion should not receive Holy Communion [7/9]
ACLU presents "inaccurate image of Catholic hospitals on abortion"; Their letter "both attacks and misrepresents Catholic teaching by depicting it as though it forbids any attempt to save the life of pregnant mothers" [7/8]
Belgian Bishops respond regarding discovery of files relating to Dutroux case; Bishops note that what was found "was a small information file which was given a few years ago to the many journalists, also politicians and also Msgr. Leonard, who was in those days the bishop of Namur... [I]t surely wasn't a big dramatic information which reached the newspapers" [7/8]
Cardinal Danneels questioned by police for 10 hours over abuse scandals; Belgian Cardinal was reportedly "in a state of shock" after the questioning and was "visibly shaken by the interrogation" [7/7]
Pope Benedict appoints members of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, including Archbishop Raymond Burke; Holy Father also appoints new auxiliary bishop of San Francisco [7/6]
Vatican gives permission for Italian police to exhume grave of notorious Mafia figure buried in the crypt of the basilica of St. Apollinare; Authorities are seeking information in 1983 case of missing daughter of Vatican employee [7/6]
Letter purportedly from Ecclesia Dei confirms that the TLM "envisages the reception of Holy Communion while kneeling, as the Sacred Host is laid directly on the tongue of the communicant. There is no provision for the distribution of Holy Communion on the hand in this Form of the Holy Mass" [Notice: Peculiarities regarding the letter have led to questions about its authenticity. It has since has been removed from the above site.] [7/5]
Pope Benedict preparing for summer vacation "with U.K. visit on his mind"; British government said to be "very supportive of this visit, totally committed to its success and ready to meet its share of the costs" [7/6]
Bishop Olmsted of Phoenix affirms that "to remain silent about scandalous activity is not an act of charity; for charity is inauthentic if it is not linked with truth"; Says that "failure to call evil by its name inevitably leads to more evil acts in the future", noting that when perpetrators are not called to account "they are emboldened to do even worse deeds"; Bishop also reminds that fraternal correction "is not an act of presumed superiority", but rather "It is an act of fraternal love that desires our brother to see and admit his mistake, to repent and find new life in the rich mercy of God. It is also an act of love for all those who might otherwise be led astray if the scandalous behavior were not publicly confronted" [7/6]
Holy Father notes that "we live in a society in which every space, every moment must be 'filled' with initiatives, activities, sounds. Often there is not even time to listen or to converse. Dear brothers and sisters, let us not be afraid to create silence inside and outside ourselves if we wish to be capable not only of hearing the voice of God, but also the voice of those near us, the voice of our fellow man" [7/5]
Some good news: New FSSP & ICRSS ordinations [Note: For both links above, it is necessary to scroll down to view images] [7/5]
'Religion of peace' at it again: Muslim 'extremists' brutally attack Catholic professor for allegedly insulting Islam; Professor's elderly mother is also attacked [Warning: Article contains references to graphic violence] [7/5]
AP reports that "Dioceses also have found they do not have the housing, resources or experience to properly supervise accused abusers [that they had pledged to monitor]" and they therefore have removed "nearly all accused clergy" from the priesthood [7/5]
After Supreme Court refused to hear appeal in abuse case, Vatican's U.S. lawyer clarifies: "We haven't gotten anywhere near the question of whether there is liability in the case"; Attorney claims that talk regarding depositions of the Pope & Cardinals is "completely unfounded"; Says that "responsibility for damages for that suffering, which justly should be paid, fall upon the religious order which supervised [the priest], controlled his activities, and transferred him. Not on the Holy See" [7/3]
CL on NY Times article [7/2]
Faithful refuse to leave closed Cleveland-area church; Parishioners attempting to save church lock selves inside, stating they are ready to stay "for a long time"; The unknown - but reportedly growing - number of persons who are locked inside are said to be "well-stocked" with food [7/1]
Note: Dates in brackets may refer to date link was added to MCS news page
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