My Catholic Source.com ™ News & Opinion Page (5/10 Archive)
Keywords: Catholic News, Catholic News Links, Catholic News Headlines, News Affecting Catholics, News From a Catholic Perspective, Catholic Opinions
More recent news highlights...
* A "little nun with a commanding voice" in Pittsburgh foiled a recent robbery attempt by instructing a thief to return a wallet he had taken from a car via an open window. Reportedly, the thief apologized to the 5'3" sister and returned the stolen wallet
* Pope Benedict has apparently accepted an invitation to visit Ukraine in 2012. A formal announcement is expected to be forthcoming
* Reports indicate that a two hour long Eucharistic adoration service "in reparation for abuses committed by priests and for the healing of this wound within the church" will take place this Saturday at St. Peter's Basilica
* Pope Benedict recently told the Italian bishops that society is facing a "cultural and spiritual crisis, as serious as the economic crisis." He also encouraged the bishops not to give up their efforts to provide a true Catholic education
* A Catholic priest in Arizona is leading an effort to put an initiative on the ballot aimed at repealing/changing the state's new anti-illegal immigration law. The priest's initiative also seeks a three-year moratorium to prevent future immigration related legislation. It will reportedly be "a real challenge" for supporters to obtain the number of signatures needed to qualify the measure for the ballot [Related: Civics 101: Breaking the law is not okay]
* Shameful: According to reports, a group of women who have had relationships with priests sent an open letter to Pope Benedict requesting an end to priestly celibacy [Commentary: These (brazen!) women imagine that these men would honor vows to them even though these same men failed to honor vows to the all-holy God?] Note: Click here for the importance of & reasons for priestly celibacy
* More bad news: A Jesuit investigation found that some 205 allegations of abuse have been made against priests at the order's schools in Germany. The investigation reportedly revealed "decades of systematic abuse and attempts of a cover-up" in the order, for which a Jesuit official acknowledged "shame and guilt"
* Well said: An editorial penned by a Fall River priest concerning a recent decision to bar a child with lesbian 'parents' from admission to a Catholic school has indicated that the decision "wasn't a bigoted decision at all, but a courageous, principled, and undoubtedly difficult one, seeking the good of the eight year-old boy and the rest of the children at the school." He noted that "there is a requirement, for the good of the child, that the parents commit to raise the child in a situation that at least does not contradict the values and formation given at the school" and that "If the child's education will not be coupled to a way of life consistent with it, the parents and school would be placing the child in a spiritually and morally schizophrenic situation - which is obviously harmful." [Related: Defending the Indefensible | Catholic education begins at home]
* More immigration-related news: According to at least one source, the Mass of Reception for the new Coadjutor Archbishop of Los Angeles was "marked by clear indications that support for immigrants will be a priority" for the future leader of the nation's largest diocese. The multi-lingual service included a "lengthy homily" spoken in English and in Spanish. During the talk, Cardinal Mahony said that "A good shepherd here will of necessity work tirelessly for just immigration policies and for the protection of the dignity of all our immigrants", whereas the Mexican-born Archbishop Gomez (now a citizen of the U.S.) said, that "God is with us, and in his loving eyes, no one is a stranger for him, and no one is an alien for any of us." Archbishop Gomez is the first Hispanic archbishop of Los Angeles. He has been "active in the Hispanic community" and has served as chairman of the Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church [Related: Civics 101: Breaking the law is not okay]
More recent news highlights...
* The Diocese of Springfield (MA) will reportedly lay off more than a third of its workforce due to budget deficits
* As previously noted, a Mass of Reception for Archbishop José Horacio Gómez, the recently named Coadjutor Archbishop of Los Angeles, is scheduled for Wednesday, 5/26/10
* Heartbreaking: Police are classifying vandalism at Maywood, CA parish as a hate crime, calling it "of a heinous nature." Included in the damage was a knifing of a painting of the Blessed Virgin Mary
* An agreement between the Vatican and the city of Hamburg, Germany has been signed that permits the creation of a new "formation center for Catholic theology and methods of teaching religion" at Hamburg University
* The Justice Department has sided with the Vatican in a brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court. The brief, which calls for reversal of a court ruling allowing the Vatican to be listed as a defendant in an abuse case, argues that the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act was misapplied by the lower court
* The body of astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus - founder of the heliocentric theory - was recently reburied in a Polish cathedral after DNA tests verified ("with a high probability") that remains in an unmarked grave beneath the cathedral floor were his
* The bishops of Malta have issued a statement reiterating that cohabiting couples may not receive Holy Communion, noting that cohabitating couples' "life-style is not consistent with the Church's teaching regarding the Eucharist and their situation does not manifest the moral disposition which is proper in order to receive the Eucharist" [Or, in plain English, fornication is a grave sin]
* An alleged abuse victim & "leader" of alleged abuse survivors in Ireland previously denied that he was ever abused, according to a tape that recently "surfaced". The tape contains a 1999 radio interview in which the alleged victim said, "But I must say, and I have to say it here and now, because I had to meet my family when this came out. And say it never happened to me, I never seen it happening, I never heard of it happening in my seven years in Ferryhouse. I never seen or heard of it." The alleged victim now claims he omitted mention of being abused because he didn't want anyone to know about it. A reported $1 billion has been set aside for victims' compensation, but the alleged victim claims he does not want any money.
* Despite media claims that a Sicilian female recently became the "first Catholic woman to be ordained" in Italy, the woman did not receive ordination as it is impossible to confer holy orders on women. Even if the "Old Catholics" (not really Catholic) maintained apostolic succession, it would be impossible for them to successfully ordain a woman (click here for more information). In a similar vein, the lesbian "priest" who was recently denied a Catholic funeral in Chicago was no priest at all, but merely a woman who participated a pretend "ordination" ceremony and thereby excommunicated herself from the Church [Note: Click Here for 'Top Reasons Why Women Can't Be Priests']
* The U.K. Catholic school teacher who "cracked after provocation" and attacked a teenager with a weight will reportedly not serve further jail time. The teacher who was described as "previously a man of 'impeccable character'", although he had recently suffered from stress-related problems & was reportedly "in a fragile state of health" at the time of the incident, now warns that "lots" of his colleagues may be "ticking time bombs." Since the incident, some teachers have spoken out against students' bad behavior at school - which they say has "become worse" over recent years - claiming that situations may be "incredibly damaging" for staff and can "easily spiral out of control"
* Reports indicate that the Vatican has given a "cautious" response to recent news concerning the "first synthetic cell", noting that God is the origin of life and reminding that scientific discoveries need to be used properly. Observers note that the scientists did not actually create life or build a cell "from scratch", but rather "replaced one of its motors". As Bishop Domenico Mogavero stated, scientists "should never forget that there is only one creator: God." He also warned that "Pretending to be God and parroting his power of creation is an enormous risk that can plunge men into a barbarity" and that "In the wrong hands, today's development can lead tomorrow to a devastating leap in the dark"
Damian Thompson, Telegraph Blogs Editor, says there is a "sneaky campaign in liberal circles (especially in America and in parts of Europe)" to associate the TLM with cases of abuse by priests. He says he has "been aware of it for some time" and says that the "heyday" of abuse "genuinely did coincide with a period when the Tridentine Mass was effectively banned." In support of his assertion of a 'sneaky campaign', he mentions the "appalling letter" of Cardinal Hoyos and a subsequent attempt to make an association between the Cardinal's "liturgical style and his attitude towards paedophilia" as well as a case involving a deacon in France who is "well known in English traditionalist circles." He even insinuates that Pope Benedict might not have been as well defended as he should have been because of the Holy Father's traditional liturgical preferences. Mr. Thompson closes by pointing out that "some of the most notorious abusers in recent Catholic history have been diehard liturgical trendies whose crimes coincided with a period when if it felt good, you just did it, and that included monkeying around with the Mass"
More recent news highlights...
* The Islamic students recently ousted from Italy over an alleged assassination plot against Pope Benedict have denied the charges and may contest their expulsion
* The Politics Daily website has apologized for and removed an article that claimed Archbishop Pietro Sambi, apostolic nuncio to the U.S., "regularly insults" an alleged abuse victim who frequently protests in Washington D.C. The site admitted the story did not "rise to our own threshold of fairness" and a senior correspondent said they "wish now that we had not published it"
* It is being reported that a homosexual activist group ('Rainbow Sash Movement') plans to disrupt Masses throughout the U.S. & internationally on Pentecost Sunday (5/23/10). They reportedly will enter Cathedrals across the nation & internationally bearing rainbow sashes and will also seek to "directly challenge" Cardinal George as well as other bishops over alleged "homophobia" in the Church [Reality check: It's not the Church making up the rules. Scripture says: "You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; such a thing is an abomination" (Lev. 18:22), and: "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, emphasis added)]
* A 6-foot statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Weymouth (Mass.) was recently vandalized. Authorities indicate that it would have taken "a good amount of force" to push over the 400+ pound statue and believe more than one person was involved. The statue, which was broken into three pieces, served also to honor 16 young parishioners who were killed in WWII
* The future Archbishop of Los Angeles, Archbishop Jose Gomez, has given an "emotional farewell" to San Antonio. He will assume his new role as Coadjutor Archbishop of the L.A. Archdiocese on May 26
* Crisis? Commenting on a recent Vatican message to Buddhists, the Catholic Truth Scotland blog has opined: "Seems the notion of converting Buddhists and everyone else, has gone right out of fashion. Instead, the Vatican sends Feast Day greetings to all and sundry, whatever the name of their 'god' and the First Commandment isn't, it seems, going to get in the way. Crisis? What crisis?" [Note: A spelling correction was made to the above]
* A number of bishops from the Americas (including U.S., Canadian, and Mexican bishops) are scheduled to meet in early June in Washington to discuss immigration
* A Scottish bishop has blocked plans for a "historic" TLM, claiming that the celebrating priest didn't have faculties to celebrate in the diocese. He also (wrongly) claimed permission for a public TLM requires permission from the diocesan bishop [Related: Latin Mass Updates 7/07 & Later]
* Not surprisingly, more attacks on priestly celibacy have been waged by persons apparently clueless as to its great value. Also, a recent poll found a "majority" of Italians (also cluelessly?) support the idea of married priests. Unfortunately, few efforts seem to be made in educating Catholics & those outside the Church regarding the reasons for - and importance of - priestly celibacy. For reasons for priestly celibacy, please click here
The following is from a recent address of Pope Benedict XVI at Fatima...
"[T]he times in which we live demand a new missionary vigour on the part of Christians, who are called to form a mature laity, identified with the Church and sensitive to the complex transformations taking place in our world. Authentic witnesses to Jesus Christ are needed, above all in those human situations where the silence of the faith is most widely and deeply felt: among politicians, intellectuals, communications professionals who profess and promote a mono-cultural ideal, with disdain for the religious and contemplative dimension of life."
More recent news highlights...
* Large family discrimination? A female Republican running for political office in Pennsylvania has created a stir by implying that her male opponent (a Catholic) wouldn't have time for the position since he is a married man with six children. [Commentary: Can one imagine the fallout if a man had said that about a woman in our p.c. age? Wouldn't it be enlightening to ask her if she applies this same standard to women with children? Wouldn't it be interesting to hear her trying to explain how men were able to manage both demanding jobs & heading large families for thousands of years but they supposedly cannot do so now?]
* The Mother Teresa USPS postage stamp has survived controversy (read: complaints from atheists) and is reportedly set to be dedicated by the Postmaster General at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on September 5. In a related matter, a reported 6,000+ people signed a Catholic League petition in one day which protests the Empire State Building's "snub" of Mother Teresa. Empire State Building officials had denied a request to commemorate Mother Teresa's 100th birthday with the use of blue and white lights, despite the fact that red and yellow lights were recently used by them to honor an anniversary related to China's Communist Revolution. CL's president remarked as follows: "In other words, the greatest mass murderer in history [Mao Zedong, founder of the People's Republic of China] merited the same tribute being denied to Mother Teresa"
* Some good news: The New Hampshire fundraiser for a pro-abortion lobby scheduled to occur in a facility partially owned by the Knights of Columbus has been cancelled. The cancellation occurred after two priests resigned from the local chapter of the Knights of Columbus upon learning of the event. Unfortunately, the misguided facility manager - a KoC member (although he will apparently resign) - reportedly disagrees with the decision and believes that the facility should be rented to anyone because "that's what it means to be a good Christian." [Commentary: For what it really means to be a good Christian, why not consult Holy Scripture which clearly teaches the faithful to REJECT sin, not facilitate it]
* Archbishop Jerome Listecki may have been behind Marquette's recent withdrawal of a job offer to a lesbian (who "wrote extensively on issues of gender and sexual orientation"), according to reports. Apparently the Archbishop called the university's president after he received complaints from clergy & laity. However, some have "wondered" if the decision is being attributed to Archbishop Listecki's influence in order to "deflect blame." [Commentary: Given the nature of this woman's past pro-homosexual writings, does it not seem "credit" for the decision should be given, rather than "blame"?]
* A Catholic school student in the U.K. is reportedly being labeled a "truant" after refusing to "dress like a Muslim" for a "field trip" to a mosque. Reportedly, the school insisted that the visit to the mosque was "required" ("as compulsory as a geography field trip"), even though a number of parents raised objections to it [Commentary: As one observer has asked, "Are there any Catholic schools left? I repeat, are there any Catholic schools left?"]
To clear up some confusion regarding recent events, please note the following...
* The Italian group that plans to 'ordain' a woman this month cannot validly do so. Even if a schismatic or heretical group (or a Catholic group for that matter) manages to maintain valid orders, they can't successfully confer them on a woman even if they try. For more information, please click here.
* Some overseas prelates who have called for an end to priestly celibacy have essentially joined "the abominable conspiracy against clerical celibacy" (Pope Gregory XVI). Please note that popes & saints have repeatedly praised priestly celibacy. Ending priestly celibacy would harm, NOT help the church. For more information, please click here.
* Catholic schools that have refused admission (or readmission) to pupils of lesbian 'parents' have NOT acted unjustly, nor are they "punishing" the children. Rather, the schools have taken appropriate measures to maintain their Catholic identity and they should be encouraged not to back down in the face of fierce pressure. For more on this topic, please see the following recent articles (click to view): Defending the Indefensible | Catholic education begins at home
The following are some highlights from recent addresses of the Holy Father...
* "[T]he greatest concern of every Christian, especially of every consecrated person or minister of the altar, must be fidelity, loyalty to one's own vocation, as a disciple who wishes to follow the Lord."
* "Be especially attentive to those situations where there is a certain weakening of priestly ideals or dedication to activities not fully consonant with what is proper for a minister of Jesus Christ."
* "Many of our brothers and sisters live as if there were nothing beyond this life, and without concern for their eternal salvation. Men and women are called to know and love God, and the Church has the mission to assist them in this calling. We know well that God is the master of his gifts and that conversion is a grace. But we are responsible for proclaiming the faith, the whole faith, with all its demands. Dear friends, let us imitate the Curé of Ars who prayed to the Lord in the following words: 'Grant me the conversion of my parish, and I accept to suffer all that you wish for the rest of my life'."
* "Dear seminarians, who have taken the first step towards the priesthood and are preparing in the major seminary or in houses of formation, the Pope encourages you to be conscious of the great responsibility which you will have to assume. Carefully examine your intentions and your motivations. Devote yourselves with a steadfast heart and a generous spirit to your training. The Eucharist, which is the centre of Christian life and the school of humility and service, should be your first love. Adoration, piety and care for the Most Holy Sacrament during these years of preparation will lead you one day to celebrate the Sacrifice of the Altar in an edifying and devout manner."
* "In seven years you will return here [to Fatima] to celebrate the centenary of the first visit made by the Lady 'come from heaven', the Teacher who introduced the little seers to a deep knowledge of the Love of the Blessed Trinity and led them to savour God himself as the most beautiful reality of human existence. This experience of grace made them fall in love with God in Jesus, so much so that Jacinta could cry out: 'How much I delight in telling Jesus that I love him! When I tell him this often, I feel as if I have a fire in my breast, yet it does not burn me'. And Francisco could say: 'What I liked most of all was seeing Our Lord in that light which Our Mother put into our hearts. I love God so much!' (Memoirs of Sister Lúcia, I, 42 and 126)."
* "We would be mistaken to think that Fatima's prophetic mission is complete... At a time when the human family was ready to sacrifice all that was most sacred on the altar of the petty and selfish interests of nations, races, ideologies, groups and individuals, our Blessed Mother came from heaven, offering to implant in the hearts of all those who trust in her the Love of God burning in her own heart. At that time it was only to three children, yet the example of their lives spread and multiplied, especially as a result of the travels of the Pilgrim Virgin, in countless groups throughout the world dedicated to the cause of fraternal solidarity. May the seven years which separate us from the centenary of the apparitions hasten the fulfilment of the prophecy of the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, to the glory of the Most Holy Trinity"
The Holy Father also...
* Told the sick that "In suffering, you will discover an interior peace and even spiritual joy", advising them to "overcome the feeling of the uselessness of suffering which consumes a person from within and makes him feel a burden to those around him."
* Referred to the "tragedy of abortion" and called for protecting the family against threats to marriage - e.g. divorce, same sex 'marriage' - to help "respond to some of today's most insidious and dangerous threats to the common good"
* Denounced "the pressure exerted by the prevailing culture, which constantly holds up a lifestyle based on the law of the stronger, on easy and attractive gain."
The following quotation is from a 'milestone' address of Archbishop Diarmuid Martin on the future of the Church in Ireland...
"The Catholic Church in Ireland, as I said, will have to find its place in a very different, much more secularised culture, at times even in a hostile culture. It will have to find that place by being authentic and faithful to the person and the message of Jesus Christ. The agenda for change in the Church must be one that comes from its message and not from pressure from outside and from people who do not have the true good of the Church at heart. We all have reasons to be discouraged and to be angry. There is a sense, however, in which true reform of the Church will spring only from those who love the Church, with a love like that of Jesus which is prepared also to suffer for the Church and to give oneself for the Church."
The following quotation is from Pope Benedict's mid-flight press conference given on 5/11 while en route to Portugal...
"In terms of what we today can discover in this message [of Fatima], attacks against the Pope or the Church do not only come from outside; rather the sufferings of the Church come from within, from the sins that exist in the Church. This too has always been known, but today we see it in a really terrifying way: the greatest persecution of the Church does not come from enemies on the outside, but is born from the sin within the church, the Church therefore has a deep need to re-learn penance, to accept purification, to learn on one hand forgiveness but also the need for justice. Forgiveness is not a substitute for justice. In one word we have to re-learn these essentials: conversion, prayer, penance, and the theological virtues. That is how we respond, and we need to be realistic in expecting that evil will always attack, from within and from outside, but the forces of good are also always present, and finally the Lord is stronger than evil and the Virgin Mary is for us the visible maternal guarantee that the will of God is always the last word in history."
Source: Vatican Radio
Various outlets are reporting on some startling comments supposedly made Cardinal Schönborn (think: notorious 'balloon-rock Mass'). According to reports, Cardinal Schönborn said Cardinal Sodano "deeply wronged" abuse victims by dismissing media reports concerning the scandal. So far, so good. But wait, there's more... Cardinal Schönborn supposedly also said that the Church should:
* "give more consideration to the quality of homosexual relationships", claiming that "A stable [homosexual] relationship is certainly better than if someone chooses to be promiscuous."
"You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; such a thing is an abomination." (Lev. 18:22)
"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, emphasis added)
"Likewise, Sodom, Gomorrah, and the surrounding towns, which, in the same manner as they, indulged in sexual promiscuity and practiced unnatural vice, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire." (St Jude, Jude 1:7)
* "reconsider" its view of those who divorce and 'remarry', since "many people don't even marry at all any longer"
Reality check: "Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and the one who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery." (Our Lord Jesus Christ, Lk. 16:18)
* primarily consider "morality based on happiness" rather than on sin
"Just as weeds are collected and burned (up) with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all who cause others to sin and all evildoers. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth." (Mt.13:40-42)
"If we sin deliberately after receiving knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains sacrifice for sins but a fearful prospect of judgment and a flaming fire that is going to consume the adversaries." (St. Paul, Heb. 10:26-27)
One hopes the Cardinal was woefully misquoted. [But then again, one may recall the surprising things this very same Cardinal has said in the past.... And visions of balloons come to mind... But still, let us hope...]
"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teaching." (St. Paul, Heb. 13:8-9)
"Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many. How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few." (Our Lord Jesus Christ, Mt. 7:13-14)
More recent news highlights...
* The Diocese of Charlotte has agreed to pay a settlement of $1 million, plus thousands more for counseling, to an alleged abuse victim who had served as an altar boy
* Pro-lifers anticipate President Obama's announcement of a pro-abortion Supreme Court justice nominee "very soon", perhaps early next week or sooner. Included in the "short list" of candidates is at least one "radical abortion proponent"
* Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Chambersburg, PA will celebrate 10 years of perpetual adoration on June 27 2010. Media coverage of the anniversary indicates that the experience of Eucharistic adoration ("our own private audience with the Lord") has beneficially impacted participants both spiritually and materially ("the crime rate reportedly goes down in communities with perpetual adoration chapels where people pray all the time") [Related: Holy Eucharist Reflections | Holy Eucharist / Mass]
* The "ever-ecumenical-except-when-it-comes-to-traditionalists" Cardinal Kasper has expressed his opinion on the ongoing Vatican-SSPX talks, saying that "dialogue with them is not easy." The "give-away-the-store-to-non-Catholics" Cardinal also - ironically - said he was for dialog with the SSPX on "our conditions, not on the traditionalists' conditions." Further, the Cardinal implied that the traditionalists maintained an 'immature identity' and supported a "petrified" tradition. [Commentary: Can anyone imagine Cardinal Kasper making similar comments regarding Jews or any non-Catholic group? Wouldn't such statements about them give the poor Cardinal a coronary?] Despite the Cardinal's comments, some have noted that he seems to have been "left out of the process", he himself admitting he had little input regarding the lifting of the excommunications which occurred last year. [Related: Third Vatican-SSPX Meeting (3/10) | First 2010 Vatican-SSPX Meeting (1/10) | Vatican issues statement concerning SSPX doctrinal talks (10/09) | The Vatican & the SSPX (9/09)]
* A recent USA Today article bearing the title "Nuns, Nancy Pelosi are rock stars to progressive Catholics" has highlighted the role of Pelosi and liberal religious sisters in the recent passage of abortion-expanding healthcare legislation, despite opposition from the U.S. bishops [Commentary: 'Rock stars' to 'progressive Catholics'? Why not run an article covering what faithful Catholics think of those who call themselves Catholic while simultaneously supporting the murder of babies in the womb...e.g. "Liberal nuns, Nancy Pelosi are a scandal to faithful Catholics"]
* More on Pelosi: The self-professed Catholic Nancy Pelosi who supports abortion - but simultaneously claims she prays "morning and night" for the "poor hungry children of the world" and also claims the Catholic faith "informs her life" - is now calling on clergy to "instruct" parishioners to support immigration reform (read: amnesty). [Note the irony: Pelosi intentionally disregards the U.S. bishops' position against the abortion-expanding healthcare legislation and then urges the clergy to instruct Catholics on immigration legislation] [Related: Civics 101: Breaking the law is not okay]
* Catholic schools & lesbians in the news again: This time, a Jesuit-run institution, Marquette University, offered a dean position to an openly lesbian candidate and then revoked the offer after the candidate gave her acceptance. The university had apparently become aware of some of the lesbian's dissenting writings after making the offer. While the university is being praised by faithful Catholics for maintaining its Catholic identity, it is also being criticized for not properly vetting the candidate before making an offer. [Also See: Defending the Indefensible | Catholic education begins at home]
'The pill' at 50: Despite spiritual dangers, numerous health risks, costs to society, and now even potential harm to the environment [see 4/29/10 headline "Pro-lifers to hold conference addressing the 'devastating' environmental effects of hormonal contraceptives; Group says the 'powerful, steroid-based hormones are not metabolized but are excreted into the water supply'..."], it's unfortunately no surprise in our day to see an assortment of articles applauding the half-century old drug which has "made a prophet" out of Pope Paul VI who, decades ago, warned that...
"Upright men can even better convince themselves of the solid grounds on which the teaching of the Church in this field is based, if they care to reflect upon the consequences of methods of artificial birth control. Let them consider, first of all, how wide and easy a road would thus be opened up towards conjugal infidelity and the general lowering of morality. Not much experience is needed in order to know human weakness, and to understand that men - especially the young, who are so vulnerable on this point - have need of encouragement to be faithful to the moral law, so that they must not be offered some easy means of eluding its observance. It is also to be feared that the man, growing used to the employment of anti-conceptive practices, may finally lose respect for the woman and, no longer caring for her physical and psychological equilibrium, may come to the point of considering her as a mere instrument of selfish enjoyment, and no longer as his respected and beloved companion. Let it be considered also that a dangerous weapon would thus be placed in the hands of those public authorities who take no heed of moral exigencies. Who could blame a government for applying to the solution of the problems of the community those means acknowledged to be licit for married couples in the solution of a family problem? Who will stop rulers from favoring, from even imposing upon their peoples, if they were to consider it necessary, the method of contraception which they judge to be most efficacious? In such a way men, wishing to avoid individual, family, or social difficulties encountered in the observance of the divine law, would reach the point of placing at the mercy of the intervention of public authorities the most personal and most reserved sector of conjugal intimacy." (Pope Paul VI, 1968)
One recent article (laughably) claims the contraceptive pill has made "motherhood better for 50 years", another article bears an ironic "birth day" of the pill headline, while yet another article claims "Despite Catholic teachings, women religiously take the pill" (they "religiously" commit grave sin?). Not surprisingly, lacking were headlines discussing the thousands of unborn children who die as a result of their mothers' taking the drug ('the pill' is abortifacient - "More children are killed by chemical abortifacient than by surgical abortions each year"), or of the many women who die or otherwise suffer physical harm from the drug (which "affect[s] all vital organs...to one degree or another"), or of the harm it has caused to society (e.g. promiscuity, STDs, harm to marriages & families, etc.), or of the physical harm it may cause to children born of women who have previously taken it, or to its role in devaluing women's fertility (which may now be treated as a "disease" rather than a blessing), etc. And most probably furthest from their minds was the fact that use of this drug is gravely sinful and an offense against almighty God - Scripture clearly shows that children are a gift from God, fertility is a blessing, barrenness is looked upon negatively, and that a man's life was taken by God over a contraceptive act (see Gen. 38:9-10)
"For since the bringing of children into the world is the principal end of marriage, to do anything in order to prevent the accomplishment of this end is always a mortal sin." (St. Francis de Sales, Doctor of the Church)
The following is from Pope Benedict XVI's message to participants in a congress on the family...
"Marriage is truly an instrument of salvation, not only for married people but for the whole of society. Like any truly worthwhile goal, it places demands upon us, it challenges us, it calls us to be prepared to sacrifice our own interests for the good of the other. It requires us to exercise tolerance and to offer forgiveness. It invites us to nurture and protect the gift of new life... I encourage all of you in your efforts to promote a proper understanding and appreciation of the inestimable good that marriage and family life offer to human society"
The recent claim by a Protestant group regarding a possible discovery of Noah's Ark reportedly "could be an elaborate hoax". A former member of the expedition team apparently has "difficulties" regarding the supposed discovery and may have knowledge that workers "staged" the findings. At this point, evidence regarding the alleged discovery is said to be "inconclusive."
Note: For earlier coverage of this story, see 4/28/10 news link: "Explorers outside the 'ark of the Church' believe they have discovered Noah's Ark"
Some more recent news highlights...
* A group of 'traditionalist' Anglican 'bishops'* have reportedly met at the Vatican and are prepared to convert under the terms of Anglicanorum Coetibus, bringing numerous 'clergy'* & followers with them (described as "an exodus", conversion "en masse") [* Reminder: Anglican 'clergy' are not true priests or bishops - 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)]
* In another obvious demonstration of media bias, an AP article covering the Pope's visit to the Shroud bears the headline "Pope takes break from scandal, visits Turin Shroud"
* Michael Schiavo is reportedly considering suing over the use of Terri Schiavo's name by a foundation that presently assists disabled persons in need of medical care. He apparently believes he has legal "rights" to her name. [Commentary: Maybe he'd prefer this name...?: "Foundation to prevent adulterous husbands from killing their disabled wives through painful starvation & dehydration after their wives' money runs out"]
* This past weekend, the soon-to-be outgoing head of the Los Angeles Archdiocese, Cardinal Roger Mahony, attended an 'immigration rights' protest and thanked Arizona for the momentum. The notoriously liberal Cardinal Mahony, a known sympathizer for law-breaking immigrants, recently compared Arizona's new law allowing police to check the status of those suspected of being in the country illegally to Nazi Germany. [Commentary: Given instances of liturgical abuse in the L.A. diocese, could one be forgiven for suspecting the Cardinal has about as much respect for 'liturgical law' as he apparently does for civil law?] [Related: Civics 101: Breaking the law is not okay]
Note: Dates in brackets may refer to date news brief was added to MCS news page
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Iowa bishop reminds that "those who attempt to confer Holy Orders on women are excommunicated, as are the women who attempt to receive Holy Orders. This includes the attempted 'ordination' for a deacon, priest or bishop'" [Refresher: Top Reasons Why Women Can't Be Priests] [5/31]
As third anniversary of the Motu Proprio SP approaches, Una Voce seeks laity's help in preparing report; Una Voce President says that he believes the report "will be of vital importance in the safeguarding of the traditional Mass and liturgy" and notes 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"; He also says that "there is a real growth in interest in the traditional liturgy" [5/29]
Vatican analyst charges that Cardinal Schönborn "has been at the head of a Church so off-kilter as the Austrian Church [and] he has shown himself more attentive to the pressure of public opinion than to his leadership duties" [5/28]
The nation's "most prominent Hispanic prelate" & new coadjutor archbishop of Los Angeles reminds immigrants "of their duties under Catholic social teaching. Chief among these duties is the obligation to respect the laws of their new country"; Archbishop Gomez says that "Those who violate our laws have to be punished", yet he is of the opinion that deportation is "too severe a penalty"; The Mexican-born prelate also wants a moratorium on immigration legislation, (offensively!) asserting that "racial prejudice is a driving factor behind a lot of our political conversation about immigration" and claims that "many" new laws on immigration "are harsh and punitive" (imagine: punitive!) - although he admits that the "millions" of immigrants here "in blatant violation" of U.S. law "should" make law-abiding Americans "angry" [5/28]
Holy Father tells Italian bishops that abuse scandals must "translate for us into a reminder of the profound need to relearn penance, to accept purification, to learn on the one hand forgiveness but also the necessity of justice" [5/27]
U.S. bishops have "serious concerns" about proceed ENDA law which may "threaten religious freedom and punish Catholic teachings as discriminatory"; Bishops warn that law could lead to a "legal and moral disaster comparable in many ways to Roe v. Wade" [5/27]
Catholic Health Association meets with Vatican officials; Vatican officials "clearly spelled out their views" to CHA in wake of the organization's public dissent against the U.S. bishops over abortion-expanding healthcare legislation [5/27]
Research director of 'ecumenical think-tank' charges that "the USCCB's professional social justice bureaucrats have a long history of playing down or even ignoring the implications of the principle of subsidiarity" [5/27]
Pope Benedict to mark closing of Year for Priests on June 11; Holy Father notes that "The spiritual authority conferred in Holy Orders should be matched by the priest's interior fidelity to his pastoral mission and his personal readiness to follow obediently the lead of Christ"; Pope also asks for prayers "for my own ministry of governance in the church" [5/26]
USCCB says CHA's endorsement of abortion-expanding healthcare legislation against bishops' teaching "has resulted in confusion and a wound to Catholic unity"; Bishops affirm that they "will never conclude that we must accept what is intrinsically evil so that some good may be achieved" [5/25]
Pope Benedict says there is a need for "authentically Christian politicians" and says it is a "duty of the laity to participate actively in political life, in a manner coherent with the teaching of the Church" [5/25]
[Note: There were no news updates from 5/21-5/24]
One more reason to have a faithful Catholic doctor: Study says over 30% of reported euthanasia cases in a region of Belgium occurred without patient consent [Reminder: Euthanasia is never acceptable, even if a patient consents. Click here for Catholic teachings against euthanasia] [5/20]
Your tax dollars at work: CBO says providing benefits to federal employees' homosexual 'partners' may cost taxpayers over $700 million in next 10 years if legislation extending benefits is passed [5/20]
Sacrilege alert: The rainbow sash-wearing homosexual activists who are planning to disrupt Masses Sunday both in the U.S. & internationally are expected to present themselves for Holy Communion [5/19]
'Catholic' hospital in Phoenix defends abortion supposedly done to save mother's life while Bishop Olmsted warns that Catholics who formally cooperate in abortion are automatically excommunicated; Bishop reminds that "The direct killing of an unborn child is always immoral, no matter the circumstances, and it cannot be permitted in any institution that claims to be authentically Catholic" [5/17]
NY Times getting vindictive? [5/17]
Vatican estimates that Sunday's supporters at St. Peter's totaled 200K persons; Holy Father thanks the multitudes for their "presence and trust", reminds that "The real enemy to be feared and fought is sin, spiritual evil, which at times, unfortunately, also infects members of the Church" [5/17]
Unfortunate: Archdiocese of Boston will not follow Colorado's example; Boston archdiocese "distances itself" from school's decision to protect its Catholic identity by denying admission to child whose 'parents' reject Church teachings [Note: Related news briefs here & here] [5/15]
Pope Benedict tells 500K attendees at Mass that "we would be mistaken to think that the prophetic mission of Fatima is complete"; Holy Father also prays that "the seven years which separate us from the centenary of the apparitions hasten the fulfillment of the prophecy of the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary" [5/13]
Amazing: Well-known Catholic book publisher defends Cardinal Schönborn's earlier remarks which condone grave sin [Reality Check: No talk of 'gradualism' here: "If we sin deliberately after receiving knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains sacrifice for sins but a fearful prospect of judgment and a flaming fire that is going to consume the adversaries." (St. Paul, Heb. 10:26-27)] [5/12]
Controversy over alleged miracle attributed to Cardinal Newman: Writer disputes miraculous nature of alleged healing of a deacon's back pain which occurred six days after surgery, while Newman's Birmingham Oratory defends the alleged miracle [5/12]
Bishop involved in Apostolic Visitation says Legionaries must be freed from "many elements" of their disgraced founder's personality that have "taken root"; Says Pope Benedict is 'very concerned' about the Legion [5/12]
Ireland's Archbishop Diarmuid Martin gives 'milestone' address; Archbishop notes that "The moral teaching of the Church cannot simply be a blessing for, a toleration of, or an adaptation to the cultural climate of the day. The manner in which the moral teaching of the Church is presented to believers is far too often not adequately situated within the overall context of the teaching of Jesus, which is both compassionate and demanding" [5/12]
Director of Holy See Press Office disputes Italian newspaper article which claims that Pope Benedict asked Cardinal Sodano to defend him at Easter Mass over media attacks; Fr. Lombardi says the article "makes a completely false assertion that I have a duty to correct"; Press Office Director did not address article's allegations against Cardinal Sodano made by Cardinal Schönborn [5/11]
Pro-family group says "A vote for Elena Kagan as Supreme Court Justice will be a vote for imposing [so-called] gay marriage on all 50 states"; Group notes timing of nomination is "critical" given upcoming legal cases [5/11]
Florida bishop recounts how social worker pressured his mother to abort him during the Great Depression; Says learning how close he came to being aborted made him realize "what a precious gift life is" [5/10]
More support for authenticity of Shroud of Turin; Researcher says replications of Shroud may appear close from far away, but are "drastically different" under a microscope; Says it is currently "impossible" to reproduce the entire image [5/8]
Pope Benedict "encourage[s] the initiatives aimed at progressive disarmament and the creation of zones free from nuclear arms in the prospect of their complete elimination from the planet"; Pope exhorts priests to frequent the sacrament of confession and strive for "moral perfection"; Holy Father calls marriage "an instrument of salvation, not only for married people but for the whole of society" [5/5]
Watch out for those pro-lifers? ND's Fr. Jenkins "has suggested that the [ND88] protesters deserve to continue facing up to a year in jail and a $5,000 fine because they were unruly and led by individuals who 'threatened peace and order'" [5/5]
They love you now, but what about at their judgment? Cardinal Kasper "deeply moved" by award from Jewish Committee which praised that the Cardinal has "firmly opposed attempts to proselytize Jews" [Reality check: "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (Our Lord Jesus Christ, Jn. 14:6); "There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved." (Acts 4:12)] [5/5]
Former senator defends Catholic Church in NY Times; Says some recent attacks "are unwarranted and unfair" and refers to the possibility of "an anti-Catholic agenda more concerned with Catholic teachings than with child abuse" [5/4]
Vatican statement on Apostolic Visitation says Legionaries' disgraced founder "has caused serious consequences in the life and structure of the Legion, so much so, to require a journey of profound re-evaluation"; Says founder's "serious and objectively immoral behaviour... manifests a life devoid of scruples and of genuine religious feeling"; Delegate and study commission to be appointed [5/1]
Archbishop of Newark calls on Seton Hall University Board of Regents to investigate same-sex "marriage" course; Says the course "seeks to promote as legitimate a train of thought that is contrary to what the Church teaches" [5/1]
Note: Dates in brackets may refer to date link was added to MCS news page
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