My Catholic Source.com News & Opinion Page (11/09 Archive)
Keywords: Catholic News, Catholic News Links, Catholic News Headlines, News Affecting Catholics, News From a Catholic Perspective, Catholic Opinions
The deacon who believes he was miraculously healed after praying to Cardinal Newman is now attempting to "erase references" to his recent meeting with Cherie Blair - a supposed Catholic - after learning about her views on abortion and "s*xual morality." He is reportedly "shocked and horrified" at her rejection of Catholic teaching. Although her dissenting views have been well documented in the media, he claims he was not aware of them until after the meeting. He has reportedly asked newspapers and other media to "delete references" to their meeting, a meeting which he had previously praised.
Voters have approved a constitutional ban on construction of new minarets ("spires from which criers traditionally call Muslims to prayer") on mosques in Switzerland whose population is reported to be 44% Catholic and 4% Muslim. Bishops and the Vatican had opposed the ban, as did the nation's government. Those opposed to the ban claim it is a "setback" to religious freedom. Voter turnout was "high" and the measure was approved by about 58% of those voting. A "backlash" is feared by some.
A number of blogs are reporting that FSSP Masses are being temporarily suspended in Calgary, Alberta by the area's bishop who attempted to (illegally!) deny parishioners the right to receive Holy Communion on the tongue as a 'precautionary measure' due to the swine flu. The FSSP priest reportedly refused to comply with the bishop's illegitimate request and the bishop is said to have suspended Masses until the "temporary sanctions" have been lifted. Just a few days ago, a letter from the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments was made public that acknowledges the right of the faithful to receive Holy Communion on the tongue, noting that Redemptionis Sacramentum "clearly stipulates that 'each of the faithful ALWAYS has the right to receive Holy Communion on the tongue'" (emphasis added)
[Related Resource: Communion in the Hand: Why Not?]
The future head of the Swiss Bishops Conference is making waves by calling for an end to priestly celibacy. He claims the bishops are "quite unanimous" in supporting his view. His proposals to the Vatican, thankfully, have been rejected. If only the Vatican would finally silence those who attack priestly celibacy - "one of the purest glories of the Catholic priesthood" (Pope Pius XI), "among the most precious treasures" (Pope Pius XII), "a brilliant jewel" (Pope Paul VI), "a gift...In it is contained a spiritual treasure" (Pope John Paul II)
"It deeply hurts Us that...anyone can dream that the Church will deliberately or even suitably renounce what from time immemorial has been, and still remains, one of the purest and noblest glories of her priesthood. The law of ecclesiastical celibacy and the efforts necessary to preserve it always recall to mind the struggles of the heroic times when the Church of Christ had to fight for and succeeded in obtaining her threefold glory, always an emblem of victory, that is, the Church of Christ, free, chaste and Catholic." (Pope John XXIII, 1960 A.D.)
[Related Resource: Why Priestly Celibacy?]
Not unexpectedly, the outrage has been intense in the wake of the release of the "shocking" report concerning abuse allegations and subsequent cover-ups in the Dublin Archdiocese. Recent developments include...
* Some bishops are said to be "resisting calls for their resignation"
* New allegations are reportedly being pursued
* There has been a call for prosecution of those behind cover-ups
* Victims have called for a wider, nationwide investigation
* Support groups have reported a "surge" in calls to helplines
* Some victims are calling for Pope Benedict to offer a personal apology to victims and to the nation
Again no surprise, those who hate the Church and her teachings - and even some who claim to love her - above & beyond justifiable anger, have been given a fertile new opportunity to unleash bitter invectives against her.
Related Resource: Scandal in the Church (apologetics)
* Fortunately, an offer to allow Anglicans the use of a Catholic church in Australia for their pretend 'ordinations' was withdrawn after an "unnamed Vatican department" complained. [Reminder: The Church has ruled that Anglican 'orders' are "absolutely null and utterly void"] Regrettably, some misguided local Catholics have "criticized the decision and apologized to the Anglicans" who had wanted to confer pretend 'orders' on (heretical) Anglican women (& men) inside a Catholic church [Note: Click here for 'Top Reasons Why Women Can't Be Priests' | Click here for information on the necessity of being Catholic for salvation]
* Good news: A Catholic college in Iowa has received $500 cash along with an anonymous handwritten apology letter regarding a radio stolen from the teacher's lounge back in 1955. The repentant thief said he/she "regretted this foolish act ever since and have resolved many times in these past years to make restitution" and asked for forgiveness and prayers.
Refresher: "[If] the penitent has taken anything from his neighbor, he is bound to restitution. Likewise if, by word or deed he has injured his neighbor's honor or reputation, he is under an obligation of repairing the injury by procuring him some advantage or rendering him some service. Well known to all is the maxim of St. Augustine: The sin is not forgiven unless what has been taken away is restored." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)
* Here we go again: Woman sees "image of Jesus" in brownish residue on the bottom of her iron. The woman, who is separated from her husband, feels the image in the residue is a reassurance that her "life is going to be good." She hopes the supposed residue-image will "inspire others during the holidays"
* Dissent female religious at it again: One of the rebellious U.S. women religious - who, as a whole, are "almost unanimously" refusing to cooperate in the Vatican's investigation - has claimed that it has been a "challenge" to "respond to the Vatican in a way that breaks a cycle of violence." The dissident sisters find language in the Vatican questionnaire to be "violent" (oh please!), while finding their "resistant" responses to be "creative and affirming"
* Ecumenism at it again: The President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue has visited the Istiqlal mosque, which was designed by a Protestant architect and is "the largest in Southeast Asia." [Now hold your cookies...] The cardinal "walked barefoot" in the mosque and claimed "It seems there is no gap between Muslims and Catholics."
* Irish citizens are "stunned, furious, and sad" over the contents of a recently released abuse report concerning the Archdiocese of Dublin. The report concluded that there was "no doubt" of a "decades-long cover-up of abusive clergy coupled with the mistreatment of survivors." It was acknowledged that "no words of apology will ever be sufficient."
Also, since the release of the report, at least one commentator has complained that a "spin" is being put on the scandal, namely that "there is an effort to implicate the 'pre-Conciliar' Catholic Church in the wrongdoings." As proof, it is noted that one of the Archbishops who was a "Vatican II skeptic" is being "unjustly dragged into the scandal." The Archbishop in question had resigned years before the period covered by the report. The commentator notes that the image of abusers that is being propagated is one of traditional clergy whereas he claims "the nightmare...of relentless mortal sin recorded in this report was committed by modern priests" who "[devastated] their church sanctuaries as badly as they devastated children's lives, abolishing all the devotions such as Benediction, the Rosary, regular confession, devotion to saints, etc. that had sustained Irish faith for centuries." In short, he claims that this "filthy abomination was a scandal of the post-Vatican II, open-windows, relevant, touchy-feely" 'post-Conciliar Church'. [Note: Some typographical errors appearing in the original quotations have been corrected herein]
* Could it be, an end to ecumenical talks? A "third phase of official dialogue" with Anglicans will reportedly take place next year and will cover "divisive issues." One report claims that this third phase of ecumenical dialogue is "likely final"
* The president of the Pontifical Council for Culture has expressed "alarm" over an "immoral trend" of former churches being used as bars & nightclubs. He called on dioceses to use "great caution" in insuring that former church buildings are not used for immoral purposes
* NLM is reporting that a seminary will open next year in France that will be "dedicated to both forms of the Roman rite" (Traditional Latin Mass & Novus Ordo)
* Unbelievable: Archbishop Nichols of Westminster has shocked & outraged Catholics by offering flowers "at the altar of Hindu deities"
* Sickening: Priest in the Diocese of Cloyne captured his abuse of a boy using his cell phone. He has been sentenced to five years in prison
* U.S. bishops plan to urge immigration reform, including amnesty for illegal aliens, using a postcard campaign & social networking sites
Some recent news highlights include...
* FBI data shows spike in "hate crimes" against Catholics in 2008. Incidents against Catholics jumped from 61 the previous year to 75
* Excommunicated priest from schismatic St. Louis parish says he would be willing to step down if it would help the parish
* Catholic bioethics expert notes that the case of a paralyzed man who was misdiagnosed as comatose for 23 years and who is now communicating shows the "the wisdom of Catholic teaching" regarding the duty of providing sustenance to sick persons
* No surprise here: Pro-abortion 'Catholic' politicians overlook killing of babies to (ignorantly) defend Patrick Kennedy in dispute with Bishop Tobin
* MSNBC's Chris Matthews, a supposed Catholic, has come under fire over his treatment of Bishop Tobin. The host arrogantly & disrespectfully lectured, interrupted and berated the bishop on his television program over the bishop's stand against abortion, while "feigning respect" for the bishop by calling him "Your Excellency"
* Bishop Tobin turns up the heat: Says that maybe Patrick Kennedy should leave the Church if he cannot abide by her teachings
* Regarding proposed healthcare legislation, Cardinal Rigali says that Catholic legislators must reject "any bill that has abortion in it"
* Vatican "expert" releases book supporting Pope John Paul II beatification; Late Pope was said to often practice self-flagellation
* The Catholic bishops of England and Wales have set up a "task force" to assist with the possible exodus of thousands of Anglicans who may be entering the Catholic Church
* The Archdiocese of Baltimore has determined that abuse allegations against a former Cumberland pastor are "credible"
In the wake of the recent revelation concerning Patrick Kennedy's being asked to refrain from Holy Communion, numerous news reports contain misinformation. The facts are:
* Abortion - the killing of the unborn - is a grave sin, "a most serious and dangerous crime" according to Pope John Paul II. It is a sin which results in excommunication: "Can. 1398 A person who procures a completed abortion incurs a latae sententiae excommunication." Pope John Paul II also stated that "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."
* In the case of grave sin, Canon Law requires that obstinate public sinners be denied Holy Communion: "Can. 915 Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion." (1983 Code of Canon Law)
* The head of the Catholic Church's "supreme court", Archbishop Raymond Burke, earlier this year confirmed to an anti-abortion activist that Canon 915 forbids administering Holy Communion to those publicly and obstinately in grave sin ("The Canon is completely clear, it is not subject in my judgment to any other interpretations") and said that laity should pressure their bishops and priests over the scandal of notorious sinners receiving Holy Communion ("I would encourage the faithful when they are scandalized by the giving of Holy Communion to persons [who] are publicly and obstinately in sin, that they go to their pastors, whether it's their parish priest or to their bishop, to insist that this scandal stop").
* Scripture says those who receive Holy Communion unworthily "will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord" (St. Paul, 1 Cor. 11:27)
Those who claim to love Christ should object to the sacrilege of notorious public sinners daring to receive the Precious Body & Blood of Christ, not to a bishop's attempt to enforce Canon Law against such obstinate public sinners.
Recent news items of interest...
* The "most senior Catholic in England and Wales" has emphasized that Anglicans who enter the Catholic Church must accept the Pope's authority if they wish to convert
* A new homosexual website is threatening to publicly "out" supposed homosexual priests in the Archdiocese of Washington in an effort to intimidate them from voicing their objections to homosexual 'marriage'
* The CDC has announced that it will no longer require female immigrants to receive the controversial Gardasil vaccination [previous story here]
* Pope Benedict met with hundreds of artists in the Sistine Chapel on Saturday. In his talk, he emphasized beauty, noting that "Beauty, whether that of the natural universe or that expressed in art, precisely because it opens up and broadens the horizons of human awareness, pointing us beyond ourselves, bringing us face to face with the abyss of Infinity, can become a path towards the transcendent, towards the ultimate Mystery, towards God."
* Pope Benedict met privately with the 'archbishop' of Canterbury* on Saturday. The discussions were called "cordial." Days before the meeting, the Anglican 'archbishop' insolently criticized the Catholic Church for her (irreformable!) position against the ordination of women, a teaching which is supported by both Scripture & tradition. [Note: Click here for 'Top Reasons Why Women Can't Be Priests'] During the meeting, the 'archbishop' expressed concerns to the Pope over the handling of the recent Apostolic Constitution which he said put him in an "awkward position." Furthermore, to the confusion and dismay of many Catholics, the 'archbishop' was presented with a pectoral cross - a symbol of bishops' authority.
Just a few questions: (1) Given the mission of the Church and her constant teaching on the necessity of being Catholic for salvation, who cares if a decision of the Supreme Pontiff - a decision which could assist in the salvation of many souls - made a phony 'archbishop' feel he was in an "awkward" position? - In fact, shouldn't certain actions of the Supreme Pontiff actually be expected to make those outside the only true Church of Christ a bit uncomfortable?, and (2) given the fact that the heretical 'archbishop' of Canterbury has invalid orders - and is therefore not a bishop at all - why was this pro-homosexual, pretend prelate given a (real bishop's!) pectoral cross so that he could continue to play dress-up, now in Catholic-provided garb? Such unfortunate gestures are confusing at best.
* 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)
* Amazing: In the wake of controversy over its funding of groups which violate Church teachings, Archbishop Nienstedt and Archbishop Chaput have claimed that that the CCHD - which at one time funded ACORN and has also funded pro-abortion groups - does "much good", despite its "mistakes." [Should we tell that to babies who were killed by abortion?]
* Another writer has added to the mounting criticism of Christopher West's TOB presentations, calling some of his ideas "profoundly troubling." Previously, critics have said that his approach "totally lacks reverence" and is "vulgar and in bad taste." Earlier this year one critic, Alice Von Hildebrand, said she was "shocked and horrified" by West's words.
* A number of Catholic prelates in the U.S. have joined representatives of various non-Catholic religions in signing a document defending "the sanctity of life, traditional marriage, and religious freedom." The declaration - "which was more than a year in the making" - includes a pledge that "no power on earth, be it cultural or political, will intimidate us into silence or acquiescence" and says that "we will not comply with any edict that purports to compel our institutions to participate in abortions, embryo-destructive research, assisted suicide and euthanasia, or any other anti-life act; nor will we bend to any rule purporting to force us to bless immoral sexual partnerships, treat them as marriages or the equivalent"
CatholicCulture.org is reporting that two documents thought to be forthcoming soon are now not thought to be imminent. The documents are (1) the expected Vatican statement on Medjugorje, and (2) the anticipated clarification regarding the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum.
Monsignor Franco Perazzolo of the Pontifical Council of Culture has condemned the new 'blockbuster' movie "New Moon, the latest in the Vampire saga Twilight" as a "moral vacuum with a deviant message." He said,
"This theme of vampires in Twilight combines a mixture of excesses that as ever is aimed at young people and gives a heavy esoteric element.
Men and women are transformed with horrible masks and it is once again that age old trick or ideal formula of using extremes to make an impact at the box office.
This film is nothing more than a moral vacuum with a deviant message and as such is something that should be of concern."
Some newsworthy items regarding the Fall meeting of the USCCB...
* The document reaffirming the Church's position against certain 'reproductive technologies', including in vitro fertilization (IVF), has been approved. The document hopes to clear up confusion, because as one Cardinal noted, some mistaken persons wrongly consider "any method of making babies" to be "pro-life"
* The directive regarding nutrition and hydration for the sick has been approved, confirming that there is, "as a general rule", an obligation to "provide patients with food and water, including medically assisted nutrition and hydration for those who cannot take food orally" which "extends to patients in chronic conditions (e.g., the 'persistent vegetative state') who can reasonably be expected to live indefinitely if given such care." The document also indicates certain instances where this obligation would no longer apply.
* The pastoral letter on marriage - "part of a campaign launched in 2004 to counter the breakup of traditional families" - has been approved. The letter condemns c*ntraception & homosexual 'marriages' and addresses divorce and cohabitation (which "involves the serious sin of fornication" and "is always wrong and objectively sinful"). Not surprisingly, it also - many argue, dangerously - "encourages" use of NFP, which they claim promotes "an attitude of respect and wonder" (as opposed to trusting in God's providence?). Some other "pastoral language" in the document is equally...um, interesting.
* The new translation of the Roman Missal (Novus Ordo) has finally been approved. The translation - which corrects some decades-old translation errors - is said to be more faithful to the official Latin edition. The proposed translation must be confirmed by the Vatican before implementation.
* A preliminary report to the bishops claims evidence does not show that homosexual priests are more likely to abuse children. Despite the fact that the "overwhelming majority" of victims have been male, researchers claim they "do not find a connection between homosexual identity [of clergy] and the increased likelihood of subsequent abuse from the data that we have right now." Unbelievably, they attribute the homosexual actions on "access" to boys rather than to "homosexual identity." A full report is expected to be released by the end of next year.
A 13 year-old boy attending a Catholic school in France left home Tuesday morning with a loaded rifle and a plan to shoot his teachers and take his own life. His plans were foiled when police arrested him after being warned by his parents. The boy - who was reportedly considered "a good pupil from a good family" - had posted a message on his blog that read: "This is the last day of my life"
Some recent news highlights include...
* The U.S. bishops' meeting began on Monday, November 16, in Baltimore. Topics include healthcare reform, the new translation of the Roman Missal, a pastoral letter on marriage, 'reproductive technology', and directives for the sick concerning nutrition & hydration. The meeting is scheduled to conclude on November 19.
* Concerning the healthcare bill which recently passed the House, pro-lifers have revealed that this massive bill creates a federal grant program in which taxpayer dollars will be used to fund programs which "improve rates of c*ntraceptive use" among teens. Therefore, due to increased use of abortifacient c*ntraceptives, taxpayer money will be used for abortions - despite the Stupak amendment which purports to prohibit taxpayer funding for "most" abortions. Pro-lifers are calling on the bishops to be "more forceful" in their pro-life efforts.
* The former PP director turned pro-lifer says Planned Parenthood "frequently threatens people who go against them" and says that the organization "runs on fear. They are scared of what they do know, and they are scared of what they don't know."
* Cardinal Schönborn ("rock-balloon Mass" participant) will make a "completely private visit" to Medjugorje, according to "leaked" reports. Local authorities "have declared that the alleged apparitions are not to be published or promoted", and Bishop Peric recently said that "we cannot behave as if these 'apparitions' are authentic and approved." One CDF official told CNA that "The local bishops have the ultimate authority on this matter, and their arguments against the alleged apparitions are doctrinally solid." [Click here for more on alleged apparitions at Medjugorje]
According to the ever-ecumenical Cardinal Kasper, the group of Anglicans who have decided to enter the Catholic Church under the new provisions established by Pope Benedict are not technically Anglicans. He says that we "cannot close our eyes to the fact that they have not been in communion with Canterbury since 1992" so they are therefore "not technically leaving the Anglican Communion to join the Roman Catholic Church."
Damian Thompson, Blogs Editor of the Telegraph Media Group, has published a stinging review of the new album featuring the Pope's voice. He calls the album "the worst CD I've heard for many years" and says it "transcends is every consideration of good taste." He claims it "seems like the most terrible indignity to visit on the Successor of Peter, to say nothing of the Blessed Virgin Mary" and says the "prevailing musical flavour of the album" is "Catholicism as imagined by Hollywood." He closes his article with the following criticism: "The Catholic Church may have abolished the Inquisition, but it still knows the meaning of torture."
Although observers have praised the Pope's voice, the album has generated some controversy over its label and over its use of "composers, producers and musicians includ[ing] (so-called) Christians of various denominations, a Muslim and nonbelievers" in songs to Our Lady. The album is scheduled to be released on November 30.
Fearful of provisions in a proposed homosexual 'marriage' bill in Washington D.C. which may require the Church to engage in activities contrary to her teachings, the Archdiocese of Washington has said it will be unable to continue its social service programs in the area. A spokesperson for the diocese said that "The city is saying in order to provide social services, you need to be secular. For us, that's really a problem." Backlash from certain observers and the media has - not surprisingly - been harsh (including at least one charge of "blackmailing the city"). There appears to be no shortage of misguided persons who seriously expect the Church to act contrary to her own beliefs, even if the proposed end (helping those in need) is good. Is there any doubt that these same persons who think the Church should be obliged to go against her religious principles also claim they support "religious freedom"?
"It is never allowed, even for a good intention to do a thing that is bad in itself." (Baltimore Catechism)
Recent news items affecting the pro-life community include the following...
* A Texas judge has refused to issue a "gag order" against the former Planned Parenthood clinic director turned pro-lifer. PP wanted to silence the former employee who quit after watching an abortion via an ultrasound.
* The Fort Hood shooter whose victims included a pregnant woman may face murder charges for the killing of her unborn child.
* The man charged with first-degree murder of a late-term abortionist admits to the killing but says "I don't like the accusation of murder whatsoever, because when you protect innocent life, that's not murder." While maintaining his plea of not guilty, he is apparently hopeful for a "fictional defense of necessity" since he says he was defending preborn children's lives. Pro-lifers have strongly condemned his reasoning.*
[* Reminder: We condemn abortion-related violence. Do not inflict violence on those who procure, advise, support, or participate in abortion.]
The promised Apostolic Constitution ("Anglicanorum Coetibus") designed to make it easier for Anglicans to enter the Catholic Church has been issued. As reported previously, the provisions allow married Anglican (so-called) 'priests'* to be ordained as Catholic priests on a "case-by-case" basis, however "The possibility envisioned by the Apostolic Constitution for some married clergy within the personal ordinariates does not signify any change in the Church's discipline of clerical celibacy", according to the Vatican.
* 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)
[Related Resource: Why Priestly Celibacy?]
Foederatio Internationalis Una Voce recently presented Pope Benedict with a report on the 2 year anniversary of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum (more on the motu proprio here). Even more recently, an abridged version of this report was reported on by the Rorate-Caeli blog. The abridged version of this report is available here. Some highlights appear below... (Note: Italics & an instance of extra punctuation appearing in the original have been omitted below)
* "Perhaps the greatest reason for the current crisis in the Church is that too many people in the Church, particularly in senior positions, no longer accept the authority of the Pope. Where there is dissent, and where personality and self-interest are uppermost, there is decay and lapsation. Where Christ and obedience are to the fore the traditional life of the Church is allowed to flourish unhindered and the spiritual life of the Church flourishes, parish life flourishes, priestly and religious vocations flourish, and the vitality of the faith flourishes. The evidence for this is becoming more clear as each year passes. Those who refuse to recognise this are allowing their own human rationale and agenda to blind them to the undeniable growth that is taking place before their very eyes. They wilfully refuse to see what is becoming incontrovertible."
* "Since the promulgation of Summorum Pontificum the signs, increasingly, are encouraging; tradition is no longer fighting a losing battle, it has been restored to its rightful place in the Church and is now making quite clear progress. It may not be evident in some places but the positive and confident public statements by an increasing number of senior prelates on the Missal of 1962, on a return to the celebration of Mass ad orientem, and on reception of Holy Communion on the tongue and kneeling are becoming more widespread."
* "The iron grip of Modernism is finally being loosened. It is a movement that has no past and no future. It is of the present, selfish and self-centred, with a blinkered vision that does does not extend beyond the minds of its adherents. On the other hand, tradition has a secure foundation, a history, a present, and a future; a continuity."
* "We refuse to loosen our grip and abandon the faith and traditions so dear to our parents and grandparents, our great saints and humble sinners. We are adamant that we will not consign their lives, their faith, their liturgy, their fortitude and sacrifice in times of adversity to the fading memory of history. Tradition is a living thing and cannot be cast aside; it is impossible. Tradition is the lifeblood that flows through the veins of the Church and without it the Church will die. Our faith lives in the vibrancy of tradition as it has lived for 2,000 years and we will not dishonour the memory and steadfastness of our forebears by casting it aside in favour of an experimental modern creation; no matter how many times we are told that the new model is better for us."
* "By his courageous action in promulgating Summorum Pontificum, our Holy Father has now generated a debate at all levels in the Church about what was actually authorised by the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council. For forty years it has been taboo to discuss any aspect of the liturgical reform as though it were to be seen as a sign of disloyalty to Blessed Pope John XXIII and Pope Paul VI; as an act of disobedience to the Council, and a desire to turn back the great progress we are told, ad nauseam, supposedly has been made under the revised liturgy. Debate has been ruthlessly stifled and the liturgy has deteriorated as the nebulous 'spirit' of Vatican II has permeated every aspect of liturgical life."
* "It can be said, with some justification, that a desire for a critical examination of the liturgical reform has been driven, in great part, by the laity. Countless millions of the faithful have given their opinion of the liturgical reforms by abandoning the practice of their faith. This fact is incontrovertible."
* "Since the end of the Second Vatican Council the essential truths of the Catholic faith have been jeopardised in the headlong pursuit of ecumenism; a pursuit, for some, that desired unity at almost any cost. It is the leaders in pursuit of this all-consuming objective that resist any countenance of a restoration of such clearly identifiable 'Catholic' Latin liturgy as enshrined in the traditional Mass."
* "The members of the International Federation Una Voce all over the world have provided, once again, their observations on how the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum is being implemented in their own countries during the second year following promulgation... What is clear from these new reports is that there has been a mixed reception of Summorum Pontificum which includes a serious level of episcopal disapproval in many countries. The good will displayed by many bishops has been offset by concerted and continual attempts by many other bishops to thwart the will of the Holy Father. The individual reports from the members of the International Federation Una Voce indicate quite clearly that the motu proprio, a legal document issued with all the authority of the Supreme Legislator, the Successor of Peter, in his attempts to heal divisions and "come to an interior reconciliation in the heart of the Church", is being ignored, and, even worse, is being publicly disobeyed on a scale that can only be described as scandalous."
* "The general picture, despite many areas of concern, does reveal many positive aspects. It must be said quite clearly that the malaise concerning the reluctant implementation of Summorum Pontificum exists primarily within the ranks of the episcopate."
* "...there are many within the Church, both clergy and lay, who have welcomed the motu proprio and are working energetically towards its success, despite the sanctions being taken against them. Particularly heroic are those priests who are suffering the opprobrium of their confreres in their determination to provide the Mass in its Extraordinary form in obedience to the Holy Father, and in their untiring quest for the salvation of souls. And this number is growing as more and more people, both clergy and lay, are being exposed to the beauty, reverence, and spirituality of the Extraordinary form of Holy Mass. "
* "... the internet that is the route by which many Catholics are becoming aware of the motu proprio. This is becoming the predominant means of informing the laity about the initiative of Pope Benedict XVI in making the traditional Mass available once again to priests and lay faithful. The faithful who remember the older form of Mass, and younger people who are discovering the beauty and spirituality of the ancient liturgy, are coming together to form groups and to petition their priests and bishops for Masses in the Extraordinary form. In most places, generally speaking, it is the younger laity and priests who are showing the most interest. And also, generally speaking, it is the older clergy who are most opposed to the restoration of the ancient liturgy."
* "The demand for the traditional liturgy is a movement that is growing and which cannot be stopped, despite the best efforts of bishops and clergy to do so. The form of Mass described by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI as Extraordinary has a pedigree of more than 1,500 years and an imprimatur not only of the present Pope but also, it can be said with complete justification, by the Holy Spirit. With such a measure of support the resistance of some bishops will inevitably fail."
* "Whereas in some places the situation has shown a gradual improvement, it cannot be denied that in many places there has been no progress and there has even been deterioration. In some countries, notably Poland, South Africa, and the USA, there has been a noticeable improvement with more Masses being celebrated and in different locations. In some places, such as Nigeria, the situation has deteriorated; and in most others the situation is relatively unchanged. "
* "There is clear evidence that many in the episcopacy were caught off-guard with the promulgation of Summorum Pontificum and were taken by surprise by the interest in the Extraordinary form, particularly from their priests and by the number of Masses being celebrated. Regretfully, this surprise has now been replaced by a determination to exercise a control that is not within their power to do. It is not too strong to say that many priests are being threatened by their ordinaries and fellow clergy not to celebrate the Extraordinary form of Mass."
* "In the USA, traditional Masses are now being celebrated in 151 dioceses out of 178 and there has been an increase in locations and the number of Masses."
* "FIUV members have provided a great deal of factual information about a lack of cooperation and this information will be provided to the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei."
* "...there is much factual evidence now available about the negative and unhelpful attitudes of many bishops towards their priests and their flocks. Many bishops and priests simply dismiss requests from their flocks or simply ignore them and do not reply. Bishops have removed priests from their parishes for celebrating, or indicating their desire to celebrate the Extraordinary form, but it is usually enough for the ordinary to indicate his hostility to the traditional Mass to deter priests. There is also evidence about the hostile attitudes of priests, in particular older clergy, towards their fellow priests that is dissuading younger priests from celebrating or learning the Extraordinary form. For this reason many priests are now learning and celebrating the traditional Mass in secret."
* "There are many priests who have responded charitably to requests from their laity, or have embraced the opportunity provided by Pope Benedict XVI to celebrate the traditional Mass, but many of these have asked that their names be not made public. It is truly a sad state of affairs in the Catholic Church when a priest is afraid to be named for celebrating the Mass of antiquity; the form of Mass that sustained the Church through centuries and formed countless saints. It is reminiscent of penal times."
* "The problem with Summorum Pontificum, like many documents emanating from Rome in recent years, is that it has not been brought to the attention of the great mass of the faithful. Whereas it has promoted much debate among the clergy and those within the traditional movement, it is a fact that at parish level around the world most of the faithful are unaware of the motu proprio. In many countries there has been a deliberate policy of silence and containment which has proved an effective strategy."
* "While the older generations express an inner contentment after attending the traditional Mass it is the reaction of younger people that is quite dramatic. They are astonished that such a beautiful liturgy was ever replaced and marginalised."
* "Many priests who have expressed an interest in the traditional liturgy to the members of the FIUV have asked for absolute confidentiality. Most are courageous young priests but who are afraid of retribution from their bishops, fellow clergy, and even their parishioners if their interest becomes public. Some are celebrating the Extraordinary form in private until they are able to do so publicly."
* "Despite the obstacles being placed in their way it is an undeniable fact that the numbers of priests (and seminarians) who are expressing an interest in the traditional liturgy is growing inexorably."
After his recent clarification regarding the Apostolic Visitation of U.S. women religious, Cardinal Rodé, prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, told Vatican Radio that the investigation was launched after hearing "critical voices from the United States", including one from an "important representative of the Church in the United States." He said the (unidentified) representative alerted him to "irregularities or deficiencies" and said that "Above all, you could speak of a certain secularist mentality that has spread among these religious families, perhaps even a certain 'feminist' spirit."
LifeNews has reported on an interview of a late-term abortionist. Some highlights appear below...
* The abortionist asks "Am I killing?" and answers "Yes, I am. I know that."
* He claims girls as young as 9 years old have come to him for an abortion
* The (heretical) former Baptist 'minister' abortionist claims he "prays often" about the abortions he performs, asking that "the spirit of this pregnancy be returned to God with love and understanding"
* He says women come to him "from across the south central United States" for late-term abortions and thinks that what he's doing "is important"
"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)
» An arrest has been made in the case of the murdered nun in Navajo. Additional details to be released later.
» Reports indicate that English members of the Traditional Anglican Communion have voted to accept the Pope's offer & will enter the Catholic Church.
Date/Time Posted: 11/5/09-10:20 a.m. PST.
The good news: Italy is reportedly "united" against a court ruling which considers the presence of crucifixes in schools a human rights violation that could be "disturbing" for non-Christians and atheists.
The bad: In the midst of this controversy, various parties seem to consider the crucifix as a symbol of everything other than an accurate portrayal of an historical event & a primary symbol of the holy Catholic faith. For example, consider the following...
* Education Minister Mariastella Gelmini said: "The presence of the crucifix in classrooms is not a sign of belief in Catholicism, rather it is a symbol of our tradition"
* "Bishops' conferences around Europe also weighed in against the decision, with the Portuguese saying the crucifix was 'part of western culture' and also 'an anti-violence icon'"
* Court cases have "[declared] on more than one occasion that the crucifix had become as much a symbol of Italian national identity as of Catholicism"
* Included with a Vatican spokesman's remarks is the comment that the crucifix "has always been" a sign of "unity and hospitality"
* The Italian bishops' conference issued a statement that indicated that the "it is not only a symbol of faith, but also a symbol of one of the major influences on Italian culture"
* One Cardinal said the crucifix is an "an image that cannot but be the emblem of a universally shared humanity"
Please, someone refer to the crucifix as a uniquely Catholic religious symbol which depicts the most important event in the history of mankind - our redemption by our loving God. It is an image of an actual historical event that should arouse awe & gratitude. It is not just a cultural image, a call to hospitality, or a mere symbol of tradition. It is a call to faith, an tangible icon of the price of our redemption. It is a symbol that sets us apart as Catholics and makes demons "tremble and flee." It is a "gospel in miniature", a powerful instructor on love, suffering, and the evil of sin. It is our boast and a stumbling block to others.
"For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified." (St. Paul, 1 Cor. 2:2)
"But may I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world." (St. Paul, Gal. 6:14)
"...we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles" (St. Paul, 1 Cor. 1:23)
"And Pilate again answering, saith to them: What will you then that I do to the king of the Jews? But they again cried out: Crucify him. And Pilate saith to them: Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more: Crucify him. And so Pilate being willing to satisfy the people, released to them Barabbas: and delivered up Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified." (Mk. 15:12-15)
"Let the crucifix be not only in my eyes and on my breast, but in my heart." (St. Bernadette Soubirous)
St. Bonaventure, Doctor of the Church, pointing to his crucifix: "This is the source of all my knowledge. I study only Jesus Christ, and him crucified."
[Related Resource: The Cross vs. The Crucifix]
The Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa in Wisconsin have finally published a statement concerning the scandal caused by one of their members - a nun who for years has served as a volunteer abortion clinic escort. They "regret that her actions have created controversy and resulted in public scandal" and are "working with Sr. Donna to resolve the matter appropriately." Three prelates are also reportedly discussing "remedial action" against her, possibly including excommunication & dismissal from her order. The statement says:
"We as Sinsinawa Dominican women are called to proclaim the Gospel through the ministry of preaching and teaching to participate in the building of a holy and just society. As Dominican religious, we fully support the teaching of the Catholic Church regarding the dignity and value of every human life from conception to natural death. We believe that abortion is an act of violence that destroys the life of the unborn. We do not engage in activity that witnesses to support of abortion."
Apparently, the nun has been escorting women at the abortion clinic for yeas. She is also a member of a dissenting group and has reportedly commented that she remains in her religious community "only for 'the sisterhood'". She is supported by other dissident women religious, one of whom said, "We're standing with her very much. We consider her one of our prophets."
Anyone still wonder why the Apostolic Visitation is necessary?
Considering recent events, it seems opportune for Catholics to refresh their memories on facts regarding priestly celibacy, apparitions, and homosexual 'marriage'...
* Priestly celibacy: In a recent clarification, a Vatican spokesman has denied that the hold up in publishing the Apostolic Constitution regarding Anglicans entering the Catholic Church concerns the issue of celibacy. The clarification says that the delay in publishing the document is "purely technical in the sense of ensuring consistency in canonical language and references" and anticipates the document will be completed "by the end of the first week of November." The clarification reaffirmed earlier statements that ordination of Anglicans who are married will be a special - but not unprecedented - exception to the rule of celibacy and that this would occur on a case by case basis. According to the clarification, the ordination of seminarians who had converted from Anglicanism is "purely speculative." In all cases, married Anglicans who receive a special exception to the rule of celibacy and are ordained as priests would be prohibited from serving as bishops. Some faithful Catholics fear the arrangement may threaten the rule of priestly celibacy, but Vatican statements have affirmed that celibacy will be the norm in the Church even for converted Anglicans. It is important for today's Catholics to keep in mind the very important & weighty reasons for priestly celibacy, reasons which are summed up here in the article 'Why Priestly Celibacy?' (click above link to view)
* Marian Apparitions: Once again alleged visions are causing controversy in the Church. The most recent example is occurring in Knock where a "Dublin-based clairvoyant" has been predicting 'repeat apparitions' of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the historic shrine. The Archbishop has condemned the alleged apparitions and warned his flock about them, but thousands of people have disobeyed him. Disobedience is also rampant in other alleged apparition sites (e.g. Medjugorje). Therefore, it seems a fitting time to remind Catholics of some basic facts such as: (1) Most alleged apparitions are false, (2) Alleged apparitions may be more likely to be false than true, (3) Misplaced belief in false apparitions may be dangerous, (4) Apparitions may not add to the deposit of the faith, which was completed with the apostles, (5) Information from apparitions is not required for salvation, (6) Persons should not propagate or promote unapproved apparitions (including "reading, publishing, possessing, translating, and distributing literature which treat of unapproved apparitions"), (7) Unexplained "phenomena" do not guarantee authenticity of an apparition, and (8) Persons should not center their faith around an apparition. For additional reminders, please click here.
* Homosexual 'marriage': Sadly, a group of Catholics in Maine is working against the Church in an effort to keep 'legalized' homosexual 'marriage' in the state. Some of their comments suggest that these poorly formed Catholics feel it's somehow "charitable" to offend God if it makes a group of sinners happy. During this confused age, it is especially important that Catholics know how to counteract such misguided reasoning with facts such as those in the earlier news brief entitled "The End of Freedom in America?" (click here to view)
"[L]et all be warned and strengthened with special care against wrong principles and false teaching" (Pope Leo XIII, "Rerum Novarum", 1891 A.D.)
Note: Dates in brackets may refer to date news brief was added to MCS news page
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NY Times runs article entitled 'Latin Mass Appeal', noting the "radical break" of the NO from the TLM, the role of the "chief architect" Annibale Bugnini who "fell from" grace after rumors surfaced (and were never denied by the Vatican) that he was a Freemason, the assistance of Protestant 'ministers' in liturgical reforms, the aim of appeasement of non-Catholics in the liturgical reforms, Pope Paul VI's tears, Pope John Paul II's liberalizations, and the present "counterrevolution" in favor of the TLM; Author claims Bugnini may have finally "met his match" with Pope Benedict, "a noted liturgist" who is "no fan of the past 40 years of change" [11/30]
More reason for 'global warming' skepticism: Freedom of information request leads to revelation that scientists threw away data concerning climate predictions; Loss of data prevents others from checking calculations, determining how data was compiled [11/30]
Pope Benedict to begin new liturgical year with new pastoral staff similar in shape to Pope Pius IX's [Note: Link is to image of staff] [11/28]
In response to parishioner's concern regarding restrictions due to swine flu, Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments acknowledges right of the faithful to receive Holy Communion on the tongue, noting that Redemptionis Sacramentum "clearly stipulates that 'each of the faithful always has the right to receive Holy Communion on the tongue'" [Note: Link is to image of letter] [11/27]
[Note: Zenit has reported a correction to the above which states that the nuns should be referred to as Visitandines rather than Visitationists (11/30)]
Group says new evidence shows CCHD funds totaling $1.3 million are given to groups "who have either actively promoted views that are contrary to Catholic teaching themselves, or are closely connected with groups that do" [11/24]
Hackers post e-mail from "world-renowned British institute that show researchers colluding to exaggerate [global] warming and undermine skeptics"; Climatologist tells NY Times: "This is not a smoking gun, this is a mushroom cloud" [11/21]
Bishop calls criticism of CCHD "outrageous" on one hand but reports that three organizations which recently received CCHD grants acted "in conflict with Catholic teaching" on the other; Bishop also reveals that CCHD is now (belatedly!) undertaking a "key task" of anchoring the work in Catholic social teaching [11/19]
CCHD responds to criticism; Critics reply that CCHD hasn't addressed the evidence against them; HLI communications director states: "It's funny that they keep claiming that they don't do any of this stuff and they keep getting caught doing it, and they keep using the exact same language to defend themselves for several decades" [11/18]
Critics of CCHD reveal "shocking evidence" against the USCCB backed campaign on Catholic television; ALL charges: "Either the CCHD is incompetent and therefore unworthy of Catholic funds or, it's being run by pro-homosexual, pro-abortion socialists who got caught and therefore is also unworthy of Catholic funds" [11/17]
Pontifical Council responsible for coordinating Catholic charitable organizations says Catholic charity is not merely social work; President of Council says "the ultimate goal of our work is to bear Christian witness by means of helping the poorest, but to witness Christ means to first have encountered him"; Warns of the "risk of assuming the priorities established by other international organizations alien to the Church" and says that the Church "cannot silence its own foundation in Faith" [11/16]
Pope Benedict says "opulence and waste" are not acceptable as the "tragedy of hunger is assuming ever greater proportions"; Calls for "a change in the lifestyles of individuals and communities, in habits of consumption and in perceptions of what is genuinely needed" [11/16]
PA priest suspended [11/16]
EWTN to broadcast TLM on 11/21 [11/16]
Amazing: Chicago archdiocesan officials say critics of the CCHD - an arm of the USCCB that has repeatedly funded groups which go against Church teaching - have "motivations and objectives [that] are rooted in partisan politics, rather than faithfulness to Catholic teaching and concern for the poor" and use "fervent and hateful" rhetoric [11/13]
Pathetic: Hilary Clinton gives birth control, abortion message to Catholic Philippines while claiming that "We certainly do not have any intention or plan to preempt or otherwise go beyond or around what the attitudes of society are" [11/12]
Second person quoted in TIME article says his position was misrepresented, asks for a correction for how author "grossly misstates" his views; Article wrongly attempted to portray Archbishop Burke as an "embarrassment" to the Church who needed to be "muzzled"; Even article in "left-leaning" publication admits that "Burke's influence is set to grow" and that the Archbishop "is now in a position to put his stamp on the next generation of Catholic bishops all over the world" [11/11]
Previously announced album featuring Pope Benedict previewed in Rome; Worldwide release of the album - which contains work of "composers, producers and musicians includ[ing] (so-called) Christians of various denominations, a Muslim and nonbelievers" - is scheduled for November 30 [11/11]
Diocesan archive in FL includes 415 year old marriage record that is "still readable"; New building protects records that were "scattered from Florida and surviv[ed] destruction for centuries" [11/11]
Bishop Tobin asks Patrick Kennedy: "In your letter you say that you 'embrace your faith.' Terrific. But if you don't fulfill the basic requirements of membership, what is it exactly that makes you a Catholic?"; Says "Your rejection of the Church's teaching on abortion...[is] a deliberate and obstinate act of the will; a conscious decision that you've re-affirmed on many occasions. Sorry, you can't chalk it up to an 'imperfect humanity.' Your position is unacceptable to the Church and scandalous to many of our members. It absolutely diminishes your communion with the Church"; Bishop calls Kennedy to conversion and repentance and says he would be "honored and happy" to assist him [11/10]
Mexican clergy meeting to discuss strategy for coping with violence; Study says 2 out of 10 priests in Mexico face "serious risks"; Archbishop says "We have become hostages in these violent confrontations between the drug cartels living among us" [11/10]
Former PP director turned pro-lifer describes how she saw baby fight for its life during an abortion; She says that "If clinic workers saw what was happening on that screen, they would be running out of those clinics" [11/10]
Pro-lifers claim that "Celebration over the dramatic victory of a pro-life amendment in the House health care bill late Saturday night was quickly dimmed by the passage of the bill, which not only presents a plethora of other dangers, but also could lose even the hard-won pro-life language in later proceedings" [11/9]
House Minority Leader on pro-life amendment: "The only reason this amendment is allowed to be offered is in order to secure enough votes to try to move this bill through"; Says he has doubts that the amendment "has any chance of ever being in the final version of this bill" [11/9]
Professor quoted by TIME "not pleased" with "selective" use of quotation; Says author was "grinding an axe" and states that: "I thought Archbishop Burke was right to deny pro-abortion politicians communion pursuant to Canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law. I also said that I thought Cardinal O'Malley made an error of judgment in permitting a large public funeral for Teddy Kennedy and personally participating in it. The error was precisely in failing to see the scandal that would be given. I am disappointed that she omitted these points" [11/9]
Pro-life groups form coalition calling for "massive" reform of CCHD; Coalition wants Catholics to boycott November collection & drop coupon in collection basket noting their diverted contribution [11/6]
New monthly TLM in Nashville [11/6]
Proposed new USCCB directive concerning nutrition & hydration: "As a general rule, there is an obligation to provide patients with food and water, including medically assisted nutrition and hydration for those who cannot take food orally. This obligation extends to patients in chronic conditions (e.g., the 'persistent vegetative state') who can reasonably be expected to live indefinitely if given such care." [11/6]
That's proper protocol? Audio recordings related to murdered NJ priest's 911 call are released; In initial call, priest gives his address; When dispatcher calls back after being disconnected, the alleged killer answers the phone and denies that there is an emergency while the priest is heard in the background saying that there is an emergency; The person who answered the phone was not asked for his location or his name or the reason for the initial call, nor did the dispatcher ask to speak to the original caller or question why someone in the background still claimed there was an emergency; No police were dispatched and the priest was found murdered the next day, yet a spokesman claims that the "preliminary investigation indicates that the dispatcher followed the proper protocol" [11/5]
After "years of leading resistance", one Chinese bishop leaves the 'underground' Church to join the (schismatic) government-backed Patriotic Association; Some question whether "adequate support" was received from Rome [11/5]
Hollywood is at it again: Film director who is "against organized religion" makes new movie which depicts the Vatican being blown up "at end of the world" while mosques are spared (out of fear) [11/5]
Dominicans apologize for scandal caused by nun who served as a volunteer abortion escort and inform the sister that "her actions are in violation of her profession as a Dominican religious"; Prelates are reportedly discussing "remedial action", possibly including excommunication & dismissal from her order [11/4]
More 'religious freedom' for atheists & Muslims: European court of human rights rules against crucifixes in Italian public schools; Italy in "uproar" over the ruling which says the presence of the crucifix could be "disturbing" for non-Christians and atheists [11/3]
Former PP clinic director resigns, "joins pro-life forces" after seeing ultrasound images of an abortion; Former director says she was under "heavy pressure" to increase the number of abortions to increase revenue [11/3]
Persons 18 & younger who have died from H1NI since April: 114; Children who die from abortion each day: 2,247 to 3,305; Pro-lifer comments: "This staggering inconsistency hardly even shocks us anymore, as the latest 'pandemic' never even begins to reach the death toll that we have grown to tolerate from legalized abortion. Ignoring the by-far-largest killer of children in favor of the latest fashionable panic goes beyond mere irony; it speaks of a deep societal sickness that we can hardly comprehend because it is so pervasive" [11/3]
Archbishop Chaput on healthcare reform proposals: "To put it bluntly: all of the health-care reform solutions currently facing Congress violate human dignity in potentially grievous ways. Unless these proposals are immediately changed to reflect the concerns of Congressman Stupak, other like-minded members of Congress, and leaders of the national Catholic community, Catholics need to vigorously oppose and help defeat this dangerous legislation" [11/3]
Americans spending "record-breaking amounts of money on guns and ammunition" leading to "empty ammunition shelves"; Bullets "selling faster than factories could make them" with enough bullets sold in 12 months to "give every American 38 of them" [11/3]
Pathetic: Brooklyn bishop records message to be delivered to every registered voter in city council district promoting 'pro-choice', pro-homosexual 'marriage' candidate; Message may be seen as 'payback' for the candidate since he previously helped "derail" a bill to lift the statute of limitations on clergy abuse cases [11/2]
Medjugorje's Irish twin? Thousands of gullible, disobedient Catholics defy church leaders, hoping to view 'repeat apparition' of Blessed Virgin Mary at Knock shrine; The self-described "visionary of our Blessed Mother" who has been 'predicting' apparitions there claims he has received a message from the Blessed Virgin that he is "unprepared" to reveal [Related Resource: Marian Apparitions] [11/2]
Washington Archdiocese warns that homosexual 'marriage' bill "could force Catholic educational and charitable institutions to close or face lawsuits, burdensome regulation and the compromising of their faith" [11/2]
Note: Dates in brackets may refer to date link was added to MCS news page
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