My Catholic Source.com ™ News & Opinion Page (8/10 Archive)
Keywords: Catholic News, Catholic News Links, Catholic News Headlines, News Affecting Catholics, News From a Catholic Perspective, Catholic Opinions
Some recent news highlights...
* The Diocese of Spokane may be forced to sell churches to pay abuse victims if local parishes cannot raise enough funds to avoid foreclosure. The diocese previously declared bankruptcy and sold various properties, including the chancery and bishop's residence
* Catholics in Scotland are reportedly planning to welcome the Holy Father with a "grand Scottish spectacle" and will greet the Pope with their "world-renowned warm Scottish welcome." Planned festivities include a parade for St. Ninian's Day and musical entertainment
* The Diocese of Allentown has started the defrocking process against the priest who allegedly engaged in intimate relations with a teenaged girl. Reports indicate that the intimate acts were secretly videotaped by her parents who are suing the diocese
* Vandals have ransacked a parish in Modesto (CA), causing damage to 200 year-old statues and destroying stained glass windows. The pipe organ was also broken and furniture was left "overturned and broken." The perpetrators reportedly left a "trail of blood" throughout the church
* Despite various reports to the contrary, a female was not 'ordained' a priest in Arizona as it is impossible to ordain a woman (click here for more information). The pseudo-'ordination' ceremony was reportedly conducted - not by a Catholic bishop - but by a dissenting 'twice divorced prelate' who supports fornication, contraception, and homosexuality and operates out of a "cramped strip mall"
* Cardinal Bagnasco recently lamented Italy's population decline, calling Italian society "seriously mutilated and unable to function." The country now has a negative population growth rate of -0.047%
* The President of the State of Israel is scheduled to meet with Pope Benedict at Castelgandolfo later this week. Both parties reportedly seek "sincere dialogue"
* Where's that in the missal? To mark the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the Archbishop of New Orleans held a "symbolic jazz funeral" to "bury Katrina"
* A Georgia priest has been cleared of abuse charges after two days of hearings. The judge dismissed the charges and the ruling "prevents the priest from being prosecuted on the same charges in the future"
* Heartwarming: The apparently lifeless body of a premature baby declared dead was given to his Australian parents to say goodbye. After two hours with the grieving parents, the infant 'miraculously returned to life.' The child's mother cuddled, hugged, touched, and spoke to infant, and the events have served to "highlight the importance of skin-on-skin care for sick babies" [Commentary: Not only was the earthly life of this baby spared, but the child will hopefully now have the chance to receive baptism. For a refresher on the necessity of infant baptism, try here (link goes to relevant quotations on the 'Other Thoughts Regarding Abortion' page)]
* Two unbecoming ways to raise money...
1-Some American nuns are reportedly hosting a "Beach Surf Invitational" in New Jersey as a fundraiser for their mother house. One of the elderly nuns herself "rides the waves" and was pictured on a surfboard in the New York Post. No word was found regarding modest dress requirements for either attendees or participants.
2-Two bishops plan to participate in the "Rock 'n' Roll* Denver Marathon" in October. One of the bishops - "a longtime marathon runner" - hopes to raise funds for a cathedral, while the other reportedly hopes to "increase prayers for and awareness of vocations to the priesthood and religious life." Initial coverage of the event included a photo of one of the shorts-clad bishops.
[* "a musical genre which has been described by the Pope as the work of the Devil"]
Commentary: Are we not looong overdue for reminders such as...?
"Let them, however, have it always present to their minds that the priest even in the midst of his people must preserve intact his august character as a minister of God, being as he is placed at the head of his brethren. Any manner whatever, in which he employs himself among the people, to the loss of the sacerdotal dignity, or with danger to the ecclesiastical duties and discipline, can only be warmly reproved." (Pope Leo XIII, "Fin Dal Principio", 1902 A.D.)
"Now, however, as you know, nothing instructs others more in piety and the service of God than the lives and example of those who have dedicated themselves to the divine ministry. Therefore labor so that all who are called to the vineyard of the Lord, mindful of their proper vocation and office, abstain entirely from things forbidden to clerics and from things that are not proper for them. Then they may be an example for the faithful in word, in their dealings with others, in love, in faith, and in chastity. They must wear a clerical habit appropriate to their order and dignity, and they must perform their ministry piously and reverently. Further they must administer to the faithful, with fitting piety and reverence, the holy sacrament of the Eucharist. With it all true justice begins; or if already begun, is increased; or if already lost, is recovered. They should be devoted to prayer and study, especially sacred studies, and under your guidance let them zealously serve the salvation of souls." (Bl. Pope Pius IX, "Nemo Certe Ignorat", 1852 A.D.)
"And forasmuch as, though the habit does not make the monk, it is nevertheless needful that clerics always wear a dress suitable to their proper order, that by the decency of their outward apparel they may show forth the inward correctness of their morals; but to such a pitch, in these days, have the contempt of religion and the rashness of some grown, as that, making but little account of their own dignity, and of the clerical honor, they even wear in public the dress of laymen - setting their feet in different paths, one of God, the other of the flesh; - for this cause, all ecclesiastical persons, howsoever exempted, who are either in sacred orders or in possession of any manner of dignities, personates, or other offices, or benefices ecclesiastical; if, after having been admonished by their own bishop, even by a public edict, they shall not wear a becoming clerical dress, suitable to their order and dignity, and in conformity with the ordinance and mandate of the said bishop, they may, and ought to be, compelled thereunto, by suspension from their orders, office, benefice, and from the fruits, revenues, and proceeds of the said benefices; and also, if, after having been once rebuked, they offend again herein, (they are to be coerced) even by deprivation of the said offices and benefices; pursuant to the constitution of Clement V published in the Council of Vienne, and beginning Quoniam, which is hereby renewed and enlarged." (Council of Trent)
"There is nothing that continually instructs others unto piety, and the service of God, more than the life and example of those who have dedicated themselves to the divine ministry. For as they are seen to be raised to a higher position, above the things of this world, others fix their eyes upon them as upon a mirror, and derive from them what they are to imitate. Wherefore clerics called to have the Lord for their portion, ought by all means so to regulate their whole life and conversation, as that in their dress, comportment, gait, discourse, and all things else, nothing appear but what is grave, regulated, and replete with religiousness; avoiding even slight faults, which in them would be most grievous; that so their actions may impress all with veneration. Whereas, therefore, the more useful and decorous these things are for the Church of God, the more carefully also are they to be attended to; the holy Synod ordains, that those things which have been heretofore copiously and wholesomely enacted by sovereign pontiffs and sacred councils - relative to the life, propriety of conduct, dress, and learning of clerics, and also touching the luxuriousness, feastings, dances, gambling, sports, and all sorts of crime whatever, as also the secular employments, to be by them shunned - the same shall be henceforth observed, under the same penalties, or greater, to be imposed at the discretion of the Ordinary; nor shall any appeal suspend the execution hereof, as relating to the correction of manners. But if anything of the above shall be found to have fallen into desuetude, they shall make it their care that it be brought again into use as soon as possible, and be accurately observed by all; any customs to the contrary notwithstanding; lest they themselves may have, God being the avenger, to pay the penalty deserved by their neglect of the correction of those subject to them." (Council of Trent)
In what looks to be another serious violation of personal privacy, it is being reported that body scan technology is now being deployed in street roving vans. The scans use x-ray technology to see through cars, walls, and even clothes. And now these vans have been rolled out on U.S. streets, according to Forbes.
The recent Forbes article indicates that the scanners have been sold mostly to government agencies and notes that "This product is now the largest selling cargo and vehicle inspection system ever." So no matter where you are now, it seems that the government (or anyone else with the ability to purchase the vans) can peek into your house, car, and even under your clothes - and in the process of doing so, allow non-medical personnel to blast you with harmful x-rays* - all without your permission and regardless of whether you are pregnant or ill. No warrant, probable cause, or disclosure may be involved (although this will surely be pursued through the courts). And the images can be saved. Yep, anyone with enough money can now apparently peek under your undergarments (and those of your children) against your will and without regard to your right to privacy or health. It's reportedly "one of the most intrusive technologies conceivable" and it's now being employed on the streets of the USA. Although Americans have seemingly lost all right to privacy, one "right of privacy" still exists: mothers still have a supposed "right of privacy" to slaughter their innocent unborn babies via abortion. God help us.
* One group argues that operators may have an incentive to "crank up" the harmful x-rays on the scanners to see additional detail in order to 'do a better job'.
Some more recent news highlights...
* Fides news agency is reporting that Christians in Pakistan are facing "systematic discrimination" in the distribution of aid essential for survival in the wake of devastating floods. Aid is allegedly handled "either by Muslim relief organizations or by government officials close to fundamentalists" who 'often ignore' or who 'purposely do not identify & register' Christians
* The USCCB has lent its support to an initiative designed to protect the right of religious organizations to make staffing decisions on the basis of faith. Pending legislation threatens to harm religious freedom and the ability of organizations to protect their religious identity
* A second lawsuit has been filed against the Santa Rosa Diocese concerning alleged abuse by an Irish priest in the 1980's. The priest had been described as "troublesome" by former Dublin Archbishop Dermot Ryan
* The Catholic League's rally against the Empire State Building on Mother Teresa's 100th birthday drew "well over 3,000", according to the League. A CNN blog reports the rally drew "a few hundred people." While the Catholic League was "proud of the overwhelming support" and called the rally a "smashing success", liberal-leaning CNN pointed out that "conspicuously absent from the rally were any blue and white saris." Officials of the Empire State Building had refused to light up the building in Mother Teresa's honor
* The Vatican's "top official for migrants", Msgr. Agostino Marchetto, "deplored" the French government's recent crackdown on gypsies ("Roma"). The Archbishop of Paris was also critical, calling the actions a "circus". The French government defended the mass deportations saying they are "scrupulously respecting European law" and claimed that the illegal "squatters' camps" have been linked to crime
* A message was sent from the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue to Muslims to mark the end of their "holy" month which called for Muslims and Christians to work together against violence. Muslims, on the other hand, have "appealed to the Pope" and other world leaders hoping they will lend their efforts to try to prevent a "Burn a Qur'an" day being planned for 9/11 in the U.S. by a "non-denominational" group
* A Catholic school in Australia has apologized to parents after a boy dressed as Adolf Hitler won a prize for his costume. The school had received "a number of complaints" about the award
* Parents of a 19 year-old girl have filed a lawsuit against the Allentown Diocese after their daughter allegedly became pregnant by a priest. The parents - who reportedly recorded their daughter having intimate relations with the priest via a hidden camera - are seeking more than $300K in damages
* A formal announcement is expected to be made next month regarding Cardinal Newman's feast date, which will be on October 9 (Novus Ordo calendar), the date of his conversion
The following are highlights from a recent address of Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver to the Canon Law Association of Slovakia... [Note: Paragraphs have been combined below]
* "Tertullian once famously said that the blood of martyrs is the seed of the Church. History has proven that to be true. And Slovakia is the perfect place for us to revisit his words today. Here, and throughout central and eastern Europe, Catholics suffered through 50 years of Nazi and Soviet murder regimes. So they know the real cost of Christian witness from bitter experience - and also, unfortunately, the cost of cowardice, collaboration and self-delusion in the face of evil. I want to begin by suggesting that many Catholics in the United States and Western Europe today simply don't understand those costs. Nor do they seem to care. As a result, many are indifferent to the process in our countries that social scientists like to call 'secularization' – but which, in practice, involves repudiating the Christian roots and soul of our civilization."
* "Today, in an era of global interconnection, the challenges that confront Catholics in America are much the same as in Europe: We face an aggressively secular political vision and a consumerist economic model that result - in practice, if not in explicit intent - in a new kind of state-encouraged atheism. To put it another way: The Enlightenment-derived worldview that gave rise to the great murder ideologies of the last century remains very much alive. Its language is softer, its intentions seem kinder, and its face is friendlier. But its underlying impulse hasn't changed - i.e., the dream of building a society apart from God; a world where men and women might live wholly sufficient unto themselves, satisfying their needs and desires through their own ingenuity. This vision presumes a frankly 'post-Christian' world ruled by rationality, technology and good social engineering. Religion has a place in this worldview, but only as an individual lifestyle accessory. People are free to worship and believe whatever they want, so long as they keep their beliefs to themselves and do not presume to intrude their religious idiosyncrasies on the workings of government, the economy, or culture."
* "[Recent] events suggest an emerging, systematic discrimination against the Church that now seems inevitable. Today's secularizers have learned from the past. They are more adroit in their bigotry; more elegant in their public relations; more intelligent in their work to exclude the Church and individual believers from influencing the moral life of society. Over the next several decades, Christianity will become a faith that can speak in the public square less and less freely. A society where faith is prevented from vigorous public expression is a society that has fashioned the state into an idol. And when the state becomes an idol, men and women become the sacrificial offering."
* "Living within the truth also means telling the truth and calling things by their right names. And that means exposing the lies by which some men try to force others to live. Two of the biggest lies in the world today are these: first, that Christianity was of relatively minor importance in the development of the West; and second, that Western values and institutions can be sustained without a grounding in Christian moral principles."
* "Notwithstanding the chatter of the 'new atheists,' there is no risk that Christianity will ever be forced upon people anywhere in the West. The only 'confessional states' in the world today are those ruled by Islamist or atheist dictatorships - regimes that have rejected the Christian West's belief in individual rights and the balance of powers. I would argue that the defense of Western ideals is the only protection that we and our neighbors have against a descent into new forms of repression - whether it might be at the hands of extremist Islam or secularist technocrats."
* "Relativism is now the civil religion and public philosophy of the West... [W]e see that without a belief in fixed moral principles and transcendent truths, our political institutions and language become instruments in the service of a new barbarism. In the name of tolerance we come to tolerate the cruelest intolerance; respect for other cultures comes to dictate disparagement of our own; the teaching of 'live and let live' justifies the strong living at the expense of the weak."
* "The right to life is the foundation of every other human right. If that right is not inviolate, then no right can be guaranteed. Or to put it more bluntly: Homicide is homicide, no matter how small the victim."
* "[W]ithout a grounding in God or a higher truth, our democratic institutions can very easily become weapons against our own human dignity. Our most cherished values cannot be defended by reason alone, or simply for their own sake. They have no self-sustaining or 'internal' justification. There is no inherently logical or utilitarian reason why society should respect the rights of the human person. There is even less reason for recognizing the rights of those whose lives impose burdens on others, as is the case with the child in the womb, the terminally ill, or the physically or mentally disabled. If human rights do not come from God, then they devolve to the arbitrary conventions of men and women. The state exists to defend the rights of man and to promote his flourishing. The state can never be the source of those rights. When the state arrogates to itself that power, even a democracy can become totalitarian."
* "What is legalized abortion but a form of intimate violence that clothes itself in democracy? The will to power of the strong is given the force of law to kill the weak."
* "[T]he Church's religious liberty is under assault today in ways not seen since the Nazi and Communist eras... The dogma of tolerance cannot tolerate the Church's belief that some ideas and behaviors should not be tolerated because they dehumanize us. The dogma that all truths are relative cannot allow the thought that some truths might not be. The Catholic beliefs that most deeply irritate the orthodoxies of the West are those concerning abortion, sexuality and the marriage of man and woman. This is no accident. These Christian beliefs express the truth about human fertility, meaning and destiny. These truths are subversive in a world that would have us believe that God is not necessary and that human life has no inherent nature or purpose. Thus the Church must be punished because, despite all the sins and weaknesses of her people, she is still the bride of Jesus Christ; still a source of beauty, meaning and hope that refuses to die - and still the most compelling and dangerous heretic of the world's new order."
* "The temptation in every age of the Church is to try to get along with Caesar. And it's very true: Scripture tells us to respect and pray for our leaders. We need to have a healthy love for the countries we call home. But we can never render unto Caesar what belongs to God. We need to obey God first; the obligations of political authority always come second. We cannot collaborate with evil without gradually becoming evil ourselves. This is one of the most vividly harsh lessons of the 20th century. And it's a lesson that I hope we have learned."
* "We live in a time when the Church is called to be a believing community of resistance. We need to call things by their true names. We need to fight the evils we see. And most importantly, we must not delude ourselves into thinking that by going along with the voices of secularism and de-Christianization we can somehow mitigate or change things. Only the Truth can set men free. We need to be apostles of Jesus Christ and the Truth he incarnates."
* "The world urgently needs a re-awakening of the Church in our actions and in our public and private witness. The world needs each of us to come to a deeper experience of our Risen Lord in the company of our fellow believers. The renewal of the West depends overwhelmingly on our faithfulness to Jesus Christ and his Church. We need to really believe what we say we believe. Then we need to prove it by the witness of our lives. We need to be so convinced of the truths of the Creed that we are on fire to live by these truths, to love by these truths, and to defend these truths, even to the point of our own discomfort and suffering... This God whom we believe in, this God who loved the world so much that he sent his only Son to suffer and die for it, demands that we live the same bold, sacrificial pattern of life shown to us by Jesus Christ."
* "Let us preach Jesus Christ with all the energy of our lives. And let us support each other - whatever the cost - so that when we make our accounting to the Lord, we will be numbered among the faithful and courageous, and not the cowardly or the evasive, or those who compromised until there was nothing left of their convictions; or those who were silent when they should have spoken the right word at the right time."
Some more recent news highlights...
* The complete works of Cardinal Ratzinger, the future Pope Benedict XVI, in English are in process. No publication date was given.
* A diocesan spokesperson has confirmed to CNSNews that the Archbishop of New Orleans wasn't consulted about an upcoming presidential visit to Xavier University. The spokesperson also indicated that the Archbishop won't attend the event (he'll be "busy" that day). Despite the fact that the U.S. bishops have stated that Catholic institutions shouldn't give platforms or honors to those who publicly oppose Church teachings, Xavier has previously has welcomed pro-abort Obama to the campus, even presenting him with a honorary degree.
* Some good news: A U.S. District Court has issued a preliminary injunction halting expanded taxpayer funding of embryonic stem cell research, noting that such research "is clearly research in which an embryo is destroyed." The executive order issued by President Obama was found to violate federal law prohibiting taxpayer funding of the destruction of human embryos.
* More good news: NLM is reporting that the Apostolic Nuncio Mgr. F. Bacqué attended a TLM in Amsterdam on the Feast of the Assumption.
* Still more good news: This November 20, confirmations will be performed in the traditional rite at St. James' in London by Bishop George Stack.
* An Auxiliary Bishop of Baghdad claims the U.S. "betrayed its duty to bring peace and security" to Iraq and will leave behind "an Iraq worse off than the one they found seven years ago." He further charged that the U.S. "thought exclusively about their own financial interests" and claimed that the people in Iraq lived better under the previous dictatorship than they do at present.
* Encouraging: According to EWTN, the Imperial County Board of Supervisors has voted to join in the appeal effort in defense of California's Prop 8. The county's voters are reportedly strong supporters of true marriage.
* A new USCCB statement has been issued for Labor Day [Commentary: The statement not surprisingly makes repeated use of the word 'dignity' (eight times), includes various liberal / progressive concepts, and makes relatively little direct reference to God]
* According to Zenit, Bishop John McAreavey is encouraging grandparents to provide "time and interest and attention" to their grandchildren since their parents 'may not have enough time for them' [How sad!]
* Peace be with you? Two women in a San Francisco parish reportedly got into a 'brawl' last weekend inside the church after one of the women refused to be silent. Reports do not indicate that either of the women suffered injures or that any arrests were made.
* Heartbreaking: A number of abuse cases have been in recent news, including: A Michigan priest deceased for over 40 yeas is now being accused of abusing "at least a half dozen boys"; A priest in Germany has been charged in connection with alleged abuse of a teenage girl (even allegedly 'threatening her with punishment by God' if she did not comply); A Knoxville priest has pled not guilty to charges concerning alleged abuse dating back to the 1970's even though he reportedly had previously admitted to abuse.
Some more recent news highlights...
* Authorities are investigating "suspicious" fires at a Catholic high school in Des Moines. Reports indicate that three fires occurred on campus this past weekend. No injures were reported.
* Pope Benedict's second volume of Jesus of Nazareth is expected to be released next March. The volume will reportedly focus on Jesus' Passion, Death & Resurrection.
* The Bishop of Rimini recently lamented that the human heart is "sick with a grave disease: narcissism" and noted that "When man falls victim to [the temptation] of trying to be happy on his own, he condemns himself to unhappiness."
* A number of dissenting 'Catholic' groups have expressed support for Empire State Building officials' decision not to light the facility in honor of Mother Teresa's 100th birthday.
* In the wake of suspected 'hate crimes' against Hispanics, Archbishop Timothy Dolan has expressed sadness and said that "We will reclaim our streets." According to an AP article, "The attacks have underscored long-simmering tensions between Hispanic immigrants and blacks."
* A recent letter by Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of the USCCB to the U.S. House of Representatives calls for legislators to support proposed legislation H.R. 5939, "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act". The bill seeks to "write into permanent law" that "The federal government should not use taxpayers' money to support and promote elective abortion." The letter indicates that "passage of a bill like H.R. 5939 is overdue" and notes that abortion is a "lethal procedure that most Americans know is not truly 'health care' at all."
* The Archdiocese of Boston is blocking access to a blog critical of the archdiocese (one report referred to the critics as "anonymous conservative Catholic bloggers"). A spokesman charged that employees of the archdiocese were being "actively spammed" and it was "interfering with their work day."
* Just what we don't need, more dissent: A CNA report indicates that 'Catholic' dissenters have created a homosexual advocacy group to "promote homosexual political causes and to change Catholic opinion through coordination with other activists." The organization reportedly hopes to "support, educate, and mobilize equality-supporting Catholics to advance LGBT equality at federal, state, and local levels." [Related: Scripture On Homosexuality]
* Instructions for pilgrims have been issued which state that those who attend papal events in the U.K. next month should not bring animals, candles, alcohol, canopies, gazebos, etc. The "long list of do's and don'ts" also prohibits large coolers, musical instruments & steel cutlery, but recommends sun block, flags and folding chairs.
* In a recent Fox News interview, the "chief Vatican prosecutor for abuse cases", Monsignor Charles Scicluna, indicated that he saw Cardinal Ratzinger, the future Pope Benedict XVI, express "compassion, anger and frustration" over abuse cases. Msgr. Scicluna said, "I am a direct witness to the compassion, the frustration and the anger that these cases instilled in Cardinal Ratzinger, the man, Joseph Ratzinger."
* Rumors are circulating about a future motu proprio which would supposedly permit 'regularization' of the SSPX if the group would accept the 1992 Catechism of the Catholic Church. Reportedly, the Vatican-SSPX doctrinal discussions are "running into a doctrinal brick wall" and a SSPX leader fears the "political deal" would "simply go round the side of the doctrinal blockage." The SSPX leader also claimed that "Politics threaten to circumvent doctrine." [Related: Third Vatican-SSPX Meeting]
Some recent news highlights...
* Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, president of the Italian Bishops' Conference, noted that "no one is exempt" from wordily influences which could "impoverish the faith, but especially the very behavior of Christians." He recommended the "spiritual weapons" of prayer, the liturgy, spiritual reading / scripture, and other "practices of piety" and said that "We need to truly believe that God loves us: which holds the power to change our life." [Related: Catholic Devotions, Sacramentals & Pious Practices | Tips to Increase Holiness | Our Father's Love (Reflections)]
* LifeSiteNews reports that even music industry leaders are now expressing concern that "popular culture" is "s*xualizing" children. One record producer claimed that "Ninety-nine per cent of the charts is R 'n' B and 99 per cent of that is soft p*rn*graphy." According to LSN, HLI's research director noted that "Many of the singers target pre-teen girls with their messages, and then these girls follow the advice and lyrics they hear and wind up ruining their lives."
* Repairs to an Illinois food pantry are expected to cost the Archdiocese of Chicago thousands of dollars. Copper thieves stole wire which fed electricity to the building, leaving the pantry "operating in the dark." Thefts of copper "tend to become more common as the value of the metal increases."
* Archbishop Alberto Suarez Inda has lamented the recent court ruling in Mexico allowing homosexual 'couples' to adopt children, noting that "It's one thing to tolerate conduct contrary to what is commonly accepted; it's another to want to legitimize that which goes against nature itself." [Related: Scripture On Homosexuality]
* Bishop Joseph P. McFadden was recently installed as the 10th bishop of Harrisburg (PA). He succeeds Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades. The new bishop said the challenges he must confront include the "diminished appreciation" of Catholics for the Holy Eucharist. He also spoke on the right to life, true marriage, abuse scandals in the Church, and the need for Confession (the disuse of which is a "tragedy that needs to be corrected").
* The monks who produce "Mystic Monk Coffee" are undertaking to build a "classical gothic monastery" in Wyoming. They hope to "build a monastery to accommodate the great number of young novices the community is attracting, [and also] to found a New Mount Carmel for America from which graces and blessings flow." [Coffee drinkers: Wouldn't this be a great alternative to Starbucks?!]
* During the Holy Father's visit to the U.K., Pope Benedict will reportedly use some text from the new "more accurate" (Novus Ordo) Mass translation which is to be implemented in the U.S. towards the end of 2011.
* Fans of the TLM may appreciate a recently released "iMass" app produced in association with a FSSP (Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter) parish in Florida. The app permits the viewing of a daily TLM on one's iPhone. While the app is not a means of fulfilling the Sunday obligation, it provides another way to "unite yourself to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, at any time of the day or night." [Related: The Traditional Latin ('Tridentine') Mass vs. the New (Novus Ordo) Mass]
* An audit commissioned by the Archdiocese of Seattle concluded that a Seattle Catholic school misused $200K. The teacher who "blew the whistle" concerning the misuse of funds was reportedly fired for his actions ("his teaching contract was not renewed") and he is still out of work.
Once again, Texas priest Fr. Michael Rodriguez has come to the defense of Catholic doctrine with his strong remarks regarding homosexuality, reminding that "The question always has to come back to what is the truth." He notes that...
"Unfortunately, homosexual activists continue to avoid the real issues under the cover of these words...equal rights, dignity... The Church acknowledges all that, but there's still the real issue that, what is right and what is wrong? What are God's commandments? We like to talk a lot about rights: what is our duty to our fellow men, what is our duty to God, what do we have to do to be saved?"
Fr. Rodriguez previously urged the faithful to treat homosexuals "with love, understanding, and respect", but reminded that "Homosexual acts lead to the damnation of souls."
"Quid est veritas?" (Latin for "What is truth?", cf. Jn. 18:38)
"You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; such a thing is an abomination." (Lev. 18:22)
In stark contrast, the following appeared together in recent news coverage...
* Upcoming lecture to feature speaker who has documented Belgian nuns' efforts to save Jewish children during WWII ("These children found sanctuary with other families and schools - but especially in Roman Catholic convents and orphanages")
* An Irish religious order may face a lawsuit for allegedly allowing experimental vaccines to be used on ("hundreds of") babies in maternity homes they operated. At least one recipient claims the experimental drug was injected into her without parental consent
[Commentary: Like previous scandals involving women religious, don't expect the latter will silence feminists' claims that women in "higher roles" would make for a "more humane Church."]
[Reminder: It is impossible for women to ordained (click here for more information)]
The following are highlights of "the most significant upcoming papal and Vatican events" which are scheduled to occur over the next few months...
* August 27-29: Annual "Schülerkreis" (Circle of Students)
* September 5: Visit to Carpineto Romano (Italy), the birthplace of Pope Leo XIII
* September 16-19: U.K. Visit
* October 3: Visit to Palermo (Italy)
* October 10-24: Synod of Bishops on the Middle East, opened by Pope Benedict
* November 6-7: Trip to Santiago de Compostela & Barcelona (Spain)
In addition, a consistory may be held but "most Vatican-watchers" predict this will not occur until 2011.
The following is an excerpt from a recent statement by the Mexican Bishops' Conference regarding the recent Supreme Court decisions that upheld homosexual 'marriage' and permit homosexual 'couples' to adopt children throughout Mexico... [Note: Paragraphs have been combined below]
"The Bishops of Mexico, sensitive to the opinion of the majority not only in Mexico City, but also in the entire country, exercising the freedom of expression guaranteed by our democratic political regime, manifest our total disagreement with the ruling issued by the Supreme Court, with all due respect for the institutions of the Mexican State. We believe that to make these unions equal to marriage is disrespectful both to the very essence of marriage between a man and a woman, as expressed in article 4 of the Constitution, as well as to the customs and the very culture that has governed us for centuries... [T]he Church discovers in nature itself the dignity of marriage between a man and a woman. This encourages us to promote the dignity of the couple and their offspring by appealing to natural and moral values. We lament that in manifesting these concepts to the public, there exist those who respond with recriminations and threats, claiming this is intolerant, when tolerance is supposed to ensure that we call all express our opinions and positions."
The following are some recent Catholic 'entertainment news' highlights...
* The cassock-wearing, skateboarding priest from Hungary has "become an internet hit." The online video "showcasing the priest's skateboarding skills" has already received more than 170,000 hits. The priest wants to use his talent to "bring young people closer to God."
* If they don't like it, it must really be bad: The film "Eat Pray Love" has received a negative review from CNS, which referred to the movie as "a dramatically sputtering, spiritually barren slog to the final credits." The review also makes reference to an "unhealthy atmosphere of semi-idolatrous worship" in the movie. The criticism has upset Hindu leaders, who are reportedly "disappointed over treatment of Hinduism concepts and symbols" in the movie review. [Do they expect Catholics to praise a false religion?]
* The retailer Best Buy has forced a Wisconsin priest to remove a 'humorous' "God Squad" logo on his vehicle, claiming the image was violating their "Geek Squad" trademark. The priest was reportedly "rather shocked" to receive the cease-and-desist memo from Best Buy which threatened legal action, but reports indicate that the priest "understands their position" and has stopped using the image. The priest had used the logo for years before being forced to remove it.
The Bishop of the Diocese of Nashville is reportedly still "planning a response" to the dissenting Tennessee priest's video which outraged many Catholics. The video - which supported contraception and argued against priestly celibacy, papal authority, etc. - was recently pulled from the parish website after an uproar by concerned Catholics. According to a recent EWTN article, the bishop considers the priest's actions an "extremely serious matter" and is still "working to find a resolution within the canonical discipline of the Church." Similar sentiments were expressed by the diocese in early August, yet there has apparently been little progress.
Some unpleasant details have been excluded from at least one Catholic news agency's initial coverage concerning the recent recovery of the True Cross relic. And just what are the omitted details concerning the "domestic dispute" which resulted in the recovery of the relic stolen from the Boston cathedral? According to various sources, the relic was returned after two homosexual men ('partners') were arguing in their trailer park over what should be done with the stolen relic. The priceless relic was reportedly in the possession of one of the men (described by one source as a "transient") when his 'partner' apparently tipped off the police when he called to report the "domestic fight" he was having with his gay 'partner' (who reportedly wanted to return the True Cross relic to the church, not the police). The man who had possession of the relic apparently claims he didn't personally steal it from the Cathedral but acquired it from "another man" (an "unidentified third party"). He reportedly fled the scene but was later arrested on an unrelated warrant. He is expected to be charged with possession of stolen property.
Observers may fear the theft was connected with homosexual activism or may theorize it was influenced by other motives (e.g. theft for personal use or possible future sale). Some observers have opined that the theft was a "hate crime" (e.g. "hatred of Catholicism"), but all motives at this point seem merely speculation. Thankfully, reports do indicate that the relic appears undamaged.
Commentary: Coincidentally, Catholic news sources simultaneously reported on an upcoming "Vatican conference for the Catholic press to examine how to cover controversy" which reportedly includes examining "questions of whether or not the Catholic press should avoid certain topics". Perhaps they should consider Pope Pius XII's comment that...
"News of any event, even if nothing but the bare fact is related, has yet an aspect of its own which concerns morality in some way. 'This aspect, affecting human morals, must never be neglected; for news of any kind provokes a mental judgment and influences the will. The news-reader who worthily fulfils his task, should crush no one by his words, but try rather to understand and explain as best he can, the disasters reported and the crimes committed. To explain is not necessarily to excuse; but it is to suggest the beginning of a remedy, and consequently, to perform a task at once positive and constructive'." (Pope Pius XII, "Miranda Prorsus", 1957)
And, isn't it generally better to hear "certain topics" from a Catholic source than a (typically biased against the Church) secular news source since the Catholic source may provide a little Catholic perspective? Just a thought...
Some 30,000 persons, including "many" disabled or ill pilgrims, were evacuated from the Marian shrine in Lourdes, France on Sunday, August 15th in response to a bomb scare. Police reportedly received an anonymous bomb threat which claimed that four explosive devices had been planted on the grounds and would go off that day at 3 p.m. The threat was apparently a hoax and the shrine was reopened prior to 5 p.m. the same day, the feast of the Assumption.
Related: Marian Apparitions
The feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary falls this year on Sunday (8/15/10). The following are some related resources...
Note: The Rorate Caeli blog is asking Catholics to participate in the 'Rosary to Halt Construction of NYC Mosque' Facebook effort by saying the Rosary on Sunday. [For more on the Holy Rosary, please click here]
"Arise, O Lord, into thy resting place: thou and the ark, which thou hast sanctified." [DR Trans., Ps. 131:8 (132:8)]
"[B]y the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own authority, we pronounce, declare, and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma: that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever-Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory. Hence if anyone, which God forbid, should dare willfully to deny or to call into doubt that which we have defined, let him know that he has fallen away completely from the divine and Catholic Faith." (Pope Pius XII, "Munificentissimus Deus", November 1, 1950 A.D.)
Some more recent news highlights...
* A group opposing the sale of a Catholic healthcare system in Boston has written a letter to Pope Benedict asking him to stop negotiations. Already included in the agreement is an option allowing the Catholic healthcare system to "go secular" (e.g. provide abortion, contraception, etc.) upon donating $25 million to charity. The payment has been compared to Judas' 30 pieces of silver
* Here we go again: Cardinal Bertone has scandalized & confused Catholics by issuing a letter on Pope Benedict's behalf which pays tribute to 'Brother Roger' (a Protestant founder of 'Taizé ecumenical community') and states that the Protestant "has entered into eternal joy" [Note: For more on the Church's defined dogma of 'no salvation outside the Church', click here]
* A Protestant school in California has fired a number of employees because their beliefs were at odds with those taught by the Protestant 'church'. Most of the employees fired were Catholic [Hmm... Why were Catholics hired to begin with? And why did Catholics accept positions there?]
* A call to shoot oneself in the foot? An elderly Irish woman is calling on females in her country to join her in boycotting Mass one Sunday (e.g. commit a grave sin) in an attempt to advance a feminist agenda in the Church (e.g. an impossible-to-be realized desire for women priests). Reportedly. her eldest son - who is a monk - supports her plan [Big problem here, ladies: Missing Sunday Mass without a suitable reason is a grave sin. To be forgiven, one must have sufficient contrition. If you will not repent of the grave sin of missing Sunday Mass, how do you expect to receive forgiveness? Is your feminist agenda really worth risking eternal hellfire?]
* No surprise here: Researchers studying documents from the Vatican Secret Archive have determined that voting patterns among bishops at the Second Vatican Council were influenced by non-Catholics. According to their analysis, Church leaders "were almost impervious to outside influence and opposed to most kinds of change" in areas where the Church "enjoyed a stable monopoly." Where bishops did not have this advantage, "leaders of other religious institutions were a crucial source of influence" [Related: Summary of Changes Since Vatican II: A Revolution in the Church?]
The following are some comments from Pope Benedict XVI during a recent general audience... [Note: Paragraphs have been combined below]
"Again, where is the strength to face martyrdom born? From a deep and intimate union with Christ, because martyrdom and the vocation to martyrdom are not the result of human effort, but the response to God's initiative and call, they are a gift of His grace, which enables them to offer their lives for the love of Christ and the Church, and thus the world. If we read the lives of martyrs, we are amazed by their serenity and courage in suffering and death: God's power is fully manifest in the weakness, the poverty of those who entrust themselves to Him and place their hope in Him alone (cf. 2 Cor. 12:9). But it is important to note that the grace of God does not suppress or stifle the freedom of those facing martyrdom, but rather enriches and enhances it: the martyr is a supremely free person, free from the power of the world; a free person who in one final act gifts his entire life to God, and in a supreme act of faith, hope and charity, abandons himself in the hands of his Creator and Redeemer, sacrifices his life to totally become part of Christ's sacrifice on the Cross. In a word, martyrdom is a great act of love in response to God's immense love. Dear brothers and sisters, as I said last Wednesday, perhaps we are not called to martyrdom, but none of us are excluded from the divine call to holiness, to live the high standard of Christian life and that means taking the cross upon ourselves every day. Everyone, especially in our time when individualism and selfishness seem to prevail, must make our first and fundamental commitment that of growing every day in a greater love for God and for mankind"
Source: Vatican Radio
Some recent news highlights...
* A recently released Thomson Reuters analysis concluded that Catholic healthcare systems and other 'church' owned systems "are significantly more likely to provide higher quality performance and efficiency to the communities served than investor-owned systems" and that "Catholic health systems are also significantly more likely to provide higher quality performance to the communities served than secular not-for-profit systems"
* A retired "hedge fund titan" who is an atheist has donated an additional $5.6 million to the Archdiocese of New York to fund the Catholic Alumni Partnership which "helps elementary schools track down alumni and recruit them as donors." He said the Catholic schools teach the basics "better than the union-controlled inner-city schools"
* The Supreme Court of Mexico has imposed homosexual 'marriage' on the entire country by requiring that homosexual 'marriages' contracted in Mexico City must be held as valid nationwide. Cardinal Rivera of Mexico City lambasted the "aberrant" decision which "endangers the dignity and the rights of the family that constitute the common good of the society" and stated that the Church "cannot cease to call evil, evil" [Related: The End of Freedom in America?]
* The Archdiocese of Boston has become the "first" to publish an electronic edition of its newspaper for the Kindle & iPhone. Versions of the publication tailored for the BlackBerry, Android and iPad are expected shortly
* Sad: Both Italians and Latinos today may be less likely to practice the Catholic faith than previous generations. In Italy, sources report declining Mass attendance, whereas a recent AP poll notes that younger Latinos are "much less likely" to identify themselves as Catholics than older Hispanics. Both Italians & Hispanics are said to be increasingly 'less likely' to accept Church teachings
* A teacher at a Catholic girls' school has pleaded guilty to installing hidden cameras in two girls' locker rooms in Manhattan. He now faces probation or a possible 1 year jail sentence
* After an uproar, the dissenting priest in Nashville who appeared in a video on a parish website arguing for contraception and railing against priestly celibacy, papal authority, etc. agreed to remove the offending video. The bishop is reportedly considering disciplinary action against the unapologetic priest [Might we join other Catholics in suggesting his immediate removal from the parish?]
* The Catholic founder of Domino's Pizza has signed a pledge to donate at least half of his fortune to philanthropic causes. The multi-millionaire who wants to help build "quality, faithful Catholic education" said it "has long been my desire to use the material resources that I have been blessed with to help others in the most meaningful ways possible"
* Retail giant Sears is reportedly marketing p*rn*graphic posters via their website. The company apparently ignored correspondence concerning the matter and may be "digging in its heels", refusing to remove the offensive posters. An organized boycott may be forthcoming. In the meantime, concerned parties are asked to voice appropriate complaints to Sears
* Here we go again: A 'Catholic' parish in Anchorage will apparently be lent to (heretical!) Episcopalians to hold an 'ordination'* ceremony. The 'ordination' will be conducted by a female 'bishop'* [Commentary: Once again, St. Paul's instruction in Ti. 3:10-11 is flagrantly disregarded: "After a first and second warning, break off contact with a heretic, realizing that such a person is perverted and sinful and stands self-condemned."] [* 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). Furthermore, note that it is impossible for women to be priests or bishops (click here for more information)]
8/14/10 UPDATE: This event has reportedly been transferred to a Protestant facility in response to Catholics' concerns
* The dissenting, breakaway St. Stanislaus Kostka parish in Missouri - which was previously "stripped of its Catholic standing" - has rejected an archdiocesan reconciliation deal
* Union leaders in Scotland have warned that union members may picket during Pope Benedict's September visit. Although it is possible that union members' actions may disrupt papal plans, it has been suggested that the threat was "merely done for publicity"
* While the release of the Lockerbie bomber has angered many persons worldwide, a Scottish cardinal has praised the "compassionate" justice system in his country and called for the U.S. to "cast out the beam from their own eye before seeking the mote in their brothers." The cardinal claimed that "there still exists in very many parts of the USA, if not nationally, an attitude towards the concept of justice, which can only be described as a 'culture of vengeance'." He also criticized the supposed "frequent exercise of capital punishment" in the U.S. and said this puts America in the "invidious company" of human rights violators such as China, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Iran [Commentary: How can the cardinal seriously make such a comparison? How can he fail to make a distinction between innocent & guilty persons and between vengeance & justice? What about the victims of this mass murderer and their right to justice? Is it really merciful for a legal system to deny the innocent justice and grant the guilty mercy? And if this prelate really does believe the U.S. has a 'culture of vengeance', wouldn't it be interesting to hear him speak on the justice system in some Islamic countries? Interesting indeed...] [Related: Author questions JPII approach to the death penalty]
* The recent gathering of altar servers in Rome marked the first time that the number of 'female altar boys' exceeded the number of males. The ratio was reportedly 6 girls for every 4 boys. The novelty of 'female altar boys' was rejected by the Church (for example, the Council of Laodicea prohibited women from coming near the altar in Canon 44 and Pope John Paul II approved a document stating that "Women are not, however, permitted to act as altar servers") but, due to "calculated disobedience", 'female altar boys' were later tolerated - but not required - priests do not have to allow this, nor do dioceses. Allowing 'female altar boys' not only advances a feminist agenda, it is also known to discourage boys from serving at the altar and therefore harms vocations (since service at the altar has historically been a rich source of vocations to the priesthood). Furthermore, it may give the wrong perception concerning the proper role of women and may foster a false hope that the Church may someday allow women priests (for reasons women can't ever be priests, click here). Sadly, as TIA reports, the recent gathering of altar servers was marked by immodest feminine dress and rock music. Unfortunately, an L'Osservatore Romano article - authored by a woman - praised the majority female turnout and claimed that "The exclusion of girls from all of this, for the sole reason of their being female, has always weighed heavily and represented a deep inequality within Catholic education." The article also criticized the Church's supposed "attribution of impurity" to the female gender and lamented a "profound inequality." [Commentary: Was St. Paul also guilty of perpetuating a "profound inequality" and an "attribution of impurity" to women when he stated that women are to remain silent in church (see 1 Cor. 14:33-35)? How about St. Peter, the first Pope, when he instructed women to be subordinate to their husbands (see 1 Pt. 3:1)? Or St. Paul when he said the same (see Col. 3:18, Eph. 5:22-24, etc.)? Does anyone hear men complaining about a "profound inequality" because they cannot give birth? Will liberals ever wake up to the fact that equal dignity among men & women does not mean men and women are to have identical roles?]
[8/10, updated 8/14]
The following are some comments regarding the recent ruling issued by an openly gay judge which overturned California's ban on homosexual 'marriages'...
* USCCB President Cardinal Francis E. George: "The misuse of law to change the nature of marriage undermines the common good" and: "No court of civil law has the authority to reach into areas of human experience that nature itself has defined." [Source: CNA]
* Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz: "Marriage is more fundamental and essential to the well-being of society than perhaps any other institution. It is simply unimaginable that the court could now claim a conflict between marriage and the Constitution" [Source: CNA]
* Executive director of the California Catholic Conference: "That the judge should find marriage - civilization's long-standing public policy - irrational and discriminatory does a great injustice to the institution itself and ultimately will further encourage the disintegration of mother-father families" [Source: CNA]
* Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles: "[The judge's] decision fails to deal with the basic, underlying issue - rather he focused solely upon individual testimony on how Prop 8 affected them personally. Wrong focus." And: "Judge Walker assumes that the institution of marriage is of human and civil origin, and therefore, that 'marriage' can mean anything any person wishes to ascribe to the institution. Wrong." [Source: CatholicCulture.org]
* General counsel for ProtectMarriage.com: "The judge's invalidation of the votes of over seven million Californians violates binding legal precedent and short-circuits the democratic process. But this is not the end of our fight to uphold the will of the people for traditional marriage, as we now begin an appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals." Confident the decision will be overturned, he also stated that the anticipated reversal "will also serve as a reminder that the role of the courts is to interpret and apply the law only as enacted by the people and their elected representatives, not to impose new social policies." [Source: EWTN]
Related: The End of Freedom in America?
Regarding a Wisconsin priest's lament that as a result of the upcoming more accurate (Novus Ordo) Mass translations "Much of the music that has come up over the last 30 years will no longer be useable," 'Fr. Z.' responds as follows on his 'wdtprs' blog...
"Picture me in my grief. Is there a better reason than this single point for the implementation of the new translation?"
[Commentary: While there are quite a few good reasons, this is certainly one great reason!]
Perhaps amusingly, but certainly not surprisingly, the original article containing the above referenced lament likewise makes reference to "controversial changes ahead in the Catholic liturgy" and a fear that the "unwieldy and unnecessary" changes "could further alienate the faithful." [Once again, where was that concern 40 years ago?]
Related: Disobedience brewing over new Mass translation (12/09) | More Faithful Translation of Novus Ordo: A "systematic and well-managed dismantling of the vision, theology and ecclesiology of Vatican II"? (3/09) | The Traditional Latin ('Tridentine') Mass vs. the New (Novus Ordo) Mass
Some more recent news highlights...
* A Cincinnati cemetery containing the graves of several of the diocese's first bishops was vandalized over the weekend. The damage is said to total at least $250K. The bishops' graves themselves were not vandalized
* The new Coadjutor Bishop of Trenton (NJ) said it took "about two seconds" for him to come up with his Episcopal motto, "Ministrare non Ministrari" (Latin for "to serve and not to be served"). He said, "This is how I want to live out my life as a bishop and how I hope to exercise that responsibility." The new bishop has asked for prayers
* Reportedly, BBC staff may "black out live coverage of the Pope's [September 2010] visit to Britain in a row over pension cuts". It is claimed the plan may "ruin the papal trip for many British Catholics"
* An 83 year-old priest has been tortured and killed in Mexico. A motive of robbery has not been ruled out, but the case remains under investigation. Parishioners reportedly found his body in his office after the murder
* The U.K.'s 'Daily Mail' is reporting that a British soldier in Afghanistan believes he was saved by his rosary. Apparently, the rosary fell to the ground and the soldier discovered he was on a land mine as he bent over to retrieve it. As a result, he was able to survive the incident. Reportedly, his great-grandfather was similarly saved by a rosary while serving in WWII
* A suspected drunk driver with previous DUI's has been charged in connection with a head-on auto collision that killed one nun and critically injured two other nuns in Virginia. The 23 year-old suspect, an illegal alien, had two previous DUI's in the past five years and was driving at the time with a revoked license. He was reportedly awaiting deportation at the time of the collision
* As if it wasn't bad enough: The president of the CBS television network has apologized for the station's "low rating" regarding the amount of programming classified as "LGBT-inclusive." The network is reportedly "disappointed" by the "low rating" and will "try to do better" in the future
* Chilean Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz called same sex 'marriages' an "aberration", noting that such 'marriages' "are a mistaken path that is not one of happiness, of a home formed by a father and a mother with many children"
* A Louisiana priest has admitted to abusing more than 30 boys. The abusive priest claims he was himself abused as a boy by a seminary professor
* The cloistered French nuns who recently signed a record deal to sing Gregorian chant have received death threats via a web page. They have reported the threats to the police and have asked them to keep a "closer watch" on the convent
* Fr. Barry Fischer, Pontifical Commissary to Miles Jesu recently released a statement affirming that the founder of the institute "presented erratic behaviors that were totally beyond the scope of the powers given to him. Some members have identified wounds caused by the inappropriate exercise of authority under his leadership. The mistaken sense of allegiance and obedience instilled in the membership facilitated his behavior, which was totally unacceptable and not in accord with the discipline of the Church nor supportable in any way by a healthy sense of consecrated life"
* More than fifty thousand altar servers from over a dozen countries are expected to attend an altar server pilgrimage in Rome in early August. The majority of the participants are expected to come from European countries for the anticipated "record turnout"
* The president emeritus of the Pontifical Academy for Life, Bishop Elio Sgreccia, has strongly condemned the FDA's decision to permit Geron Corp. to proceed with embryonic stem cell testing, referring to the plan as a "sacrifice" of human beings and "a crime" [Note: The Church condemns use of embryonic stem cells that require destruction of human life, whereas the Church supports use of adult stem cells since their use does not require the destruction of human life]
* No obligation to obey just laws? No concern for American victims? No duty to defend one's borders? Mexican bishops have issued a "message of solidarity" expressing their "profound sorrow" regarding Arizona's new immigration law and they have lamented the "profound suffering experienced by our fellow countrymen and our Latin American brothers and sisters in the United States in general." They called on God to "move the hearts of all those who because they do not know the Father of all have not been able to find brotherliness, tolerance and mercy within themselves." Comment: Perhaps the Mexican bishops should be reminded of these papal statements...
"To despise legitimate authority, in whomsoever vested, is unlawful, as a rebellion against the divine will, and whoever resists that, rushes willfully to destruction. 'He that resisteth the power resisteth the ordinance of God, and they that resist, purchase to themselves damnation.' To cast aside obedience, and by popular violence to incite to revolt, is therefore treason, not against man only, but against God." (Pope Leo XIII, "Immortale Dei", 1885)
"Take pains to impress on the Christian people a due obedience and subjection to rulers and governments. Do this by teaching, in accordance with the warning of the Apostle, that all authority comes from God. Whoever resists authority resists the ordering made by God Himself, consequently achieving his own condemnation; disobeying authority is always sinful except when an order is given which is opposed to the laws of God and the Church." (Pope Pius IX, "Qui Pluribus", 1846)
"Therefore, warn your faithful that the very nature of human society obligates its members to obey its lawfully established authority; nothing in the precepts of the Lord on this subject, which are proclaimed in holy scripture, can be altered. For it is written: 'Be subject to every human institution for God's sake, to the king as supreme or to governors as sent by him to punish wrongdoers and to praise those who do right. For it is God's will that by doing right, you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish men. Be as free men, yet without using freedom as a pretext for evil, but be as servants of God' (I Pt. 2:13f). And again: 'Let every soul be subject to the higher authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore, he who resists authority resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur their own condemnation' (Rom. 13:1f)." (Pope Pius IX, "Nostis et Nobiscum", 1849)
* That should help building fund collections: A recent decision of the Apostolic Signatura affirming that bishops can close any parish - even if it is financially viable - "for the good of the diocese" and despite parishioners' objections was the subject of a recent article on the U.S. bishops' news service website. The article quoted a member of a group of "committed concerned Catholics formed to support parishes subject to closure" who said that "no parish is safe" and that parishes have "become expendable"
Commentary: While "the good of the diocese" should be synonymous with "the good of souls", who doubts this ruling may translate into "the good of the bishop"? How exactly does closing beloved parishes help souls or dioceses - especially when parishes to be closed are financially viable? How does cutting down the number of sacraments, potentially alienating faithful Catholics, and turning churches into museums or apartments or mosques benefit the diocese? Perhaps the closure & sale of churches may help with abuse settlements in the short term, but then what? Don't such actions risk turning the Catholics who lovingly built, supported & maintained 'seized & sold' parishes into "victims", so to speak? Does it seem just that Catholics are frequently expected to help purchase assets for a parish and are then given no voice whatsoever concerning their subsequent disposal? Doesn't this ruling especially jeopardize 'high value' parishes (e.g. older parishes with much valuable land)? And does anyone who has been paying attention for the last 40 years doubt that liberal bishops will take advantage of this ruling to close 'nuisance' parishes (e.g. ones that foster tradition, have TLM's, etc.)? Furthermore, doesn't the ruling risk harming parishioners' loyalty as the faithful grasp the possible impermanence of their parishes? Might it not also spark competition rather than cooperation among parishes as each 'competes' to be the one to stay open? Does it not seem likely that the fate of churches will be treated as if the closure of a parish was merely a 'business decision' rather than an action which will have serious consequences on priceless eternal souls? In any event, it seems that only in crazy times like these would the closure of any of our churches be considered as being for the "good" of a diocese.
The following are some excerpts from an article by Fr. Michael Rodriguez entitled 'Every Catholic must oppose certain things' which recently appeared in a Texas newspaper, the El Paso Times... [Note: Some paragraphs have been combined below]
* "Every single Catholic, out of fidelity to charity and truth, has the absolute duty to oppose (1) the murder of unborn babies, and (2) any and all government attempts to legalize homosexual unions. Any Catholic who supports homosexual acts is, by definition, committing a mortal sin, and placing himself/herself outside of communion with the Roman Catholic Church. Furthermore, a Catholic would be guilty of a most grievous sin of omission if he/she neglected to actively oppose the homosexual agenda, which thrives on deception and conceals its wicked horns under the guises of 'equal rights,' 'tolerance,' 'who am I to judge?,' etc."
* "I urge all of the Catholic faithful to treat homosexuals with love, understanding, and respect. At the same time, never forget that genuine love demands that we seek, above all, the salvation of souls. Homosexual acts lead to the damnation of souls." [Note: Click here for some relevant quotations from Holy Scripture]
* "Recently, a couple of letter writers claimed that in a democracy, it's up to the majority to decide between right and wrong. This form of reasoning is not only false, it's ludicrous! While it's true that a majority of the citizens in a democracy has the political power to impose its 'morality' on society, this juridical reality has no bearing whatsoever on the intrinsic moral value of actions. That which makes something right or wrong is the objective moral order established by God...To simplify: One would have to be ghastly morally decrepit to think that if 51 percent of Americans opine that rape is OK, then rape becomes, in effect, all right. Sure, the majority is politically capable of such a vote, but this could never make rape morally right. There is such a thing as a corrupt democracy, you know! Abortion and homosexual acts are unequivocally intrinsic moral evils. And friends, this objective truth doesn't depend on the opinion of the majority. Frighteningly, if the majority chooses to deny the objective moral order, then we will all suffer the pestiferous consequences."
Commentary: Well said, Fr. Rodriguez! May God protect this priest and may the faithful be spared any attempts to "clarify" his truthful remarks.
Related: The End of Freedom in America?
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Bishop Daly is "not at all convinced" that priest implicated in police report concerning 1972 Claudy bombing was a mass murderer; Says "It is a huge insult to suggest I would knowingly allow someone whom I knew to be a mass murderer to serve as a priest in my diocese" [8/31]
Contemplative communities in the Holy Land now accepting e-mailed prayer requests [Note: Although article indicates that e-mail "will stay private and only be known by you and the community", persons should be advised that e-mail is typically an insecure communication method] [8/28]
Mexican Cardinal encourages faithful to defend life and the family against sinful fads; Says "The world says something different, the fads being proposed at this time are all over the place, free love, fast-track divorce, contraception, abortion and similar things - all of which are against the law of the Lord, constituting the wide road that leads to perdition" [8/25]
SSPX leader denies knowledge of rumored motu proprio & denies that doctrinal talks have "run into a brick wall"; Says "For the time being, everything is fine and everything is going smoothly according to plan" [8/25]
'Militant Islam vs. the West': Article hopes readers will "consider the implications of the likely large future role of Islamism in their lives" and says that "Most Westerners do not realize Islam is not only a religious belief system, but also one that demands all-encompassing Islamic government and laws and, in some Islamic societies, harsh enforcement of the rules for daily living and thought" [8/25]
New report says British government and Catholic Church 'colluded to cover up the suspected involvement of a priest in a 1972 N. Ireland bombing that killed nine people and injured 30'; Report says Fr. Chesney was the 'prime suspect' in the blast, although he had denied involvement; Cardinal Sean Brady responded that "the Catholic Church did not engage in a cover-up of this matter" [8/24]
Mother Teresa's successor speaks about suffering; Says "I am convinced that God allows suffering because it can transform us into better and more profound people. Thus, we are able to understand that this world and this life are not the ultimate goal, but that there is something more: the life of the soul which - if one really accepts suffering - is purified" [8/24]
New traditional Carmelite foundation in Brazil [Note: Scroll down page to view article] [8/24]
Sad: Institute of Christ the King to withdraw from Agen "following the deplorable welcome and climate of suspicion which followed the implementation of the Motu Proprio" [Notice: Comments appearing after article may contain calls to attend 'illicit' Masses. We advise Catholics not to attend 'illicit' Masses] [8/23]
Spokesman from Archdiocese of Mexico City refuses to retract claim that the city's mayor 'has done more harm to the Mexican capital than the drug cartels' since the law he supported which permits abortion has killed "double the number that have died in the war against the drug cartels", noting also that "these crimes are even worse, because the children killed are unable to defend themselves"; Priest further claims that the ruler "has made public his fascist style of governing and his undeniable desire to persecute the Catholic Church" [8/21]
El Paso priest's "strong words and fidelity to Catholic Church teaching against homosexuality have caused quite a stir"; Fr. Rodriguez reminds that "The question always has to come back to what is the truth" [8/20]
Mexican Cardinal "will not retract or apologize" for bribery accusation in face defamation lawsuit; Archdiocesan spokesman says the Cardinal has proof that justices were bribed for pro-homosexual 'marriage' vote [8/19]
Apologizing for speaking the truth? Cardinal Ouellet, defender of the unborn, apologizes 'to any Canadians who had been hurt or offended by his public statements' before he heads to the Vatican [8/17]
Mexican Cardinal accuses Mexico's Supreme Court justices of taking bribes in exchange for vote in favor of homosexual 'marriage'; Cardinal predicted that "the issue of gay adoptions is going to go the same way" and says the Supreme Court is "the supreme disappointment" and "it doesn't know where it's going, because one after another of its verdicts have been wrong and against the truth and against Mexico and the family" [8/17]
Disobedient priest in Cleveland starts breakaway 'community' in leased commercial building; Hundreds of misguided laity follow [Refresher from St. Ignatius of Antioch, hearer of the Apostle St. John (c. 110 A.D.), on obedience to bishops who are in communion with the Pope: "And do ye also reverence your bishop as Christ Himself, according as the blessed apostles have enjoined you (cf. Lk. 10:16, Rom. 13:2). He that is within the altar is pure, wherefore also he is obedient to the bishop and presbyters: but he that is without is one that does anything apart from the bishop, the presbyters, and the deacons. Such a person is defiled in his conscience, and is worse than an infidel."] [8/16]
Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education says "only the Catholic university that conserves its identity will have a future"; Agrees that institutions which do not offer a Catholic education while claiming to be Catholic are "hypocritical and lying" [8/14]
HLI President on homosexual 'marriage': "So why, you ask, is gay 'marriage' wrong? Let me count the ways"; Says that "a society cannot long survive this kind of violence done to its basic values, and history surely shows many societies like Ancient Greece, whose rapid decline was preceded by the proliferation of the gay lifestyle and its public acceptance" [8/14]
Polish Archbishop issues statement asking demonstrators to allow removal of 30-foot cross monument near presidential palace; Says cross is 'in danger of being changed from a symbol of Christian faith to a primarily political symbol' [8/13]
Allegedly intoxicated Illegal alien with previous DUI's who was charged in connection with head-on auto collision which killed one nun and critically injured two other nuns was receiving legal aid from Catholic Charities [8/12]
87-year-old bishop praises priestly celibacy; Says "I am convinced from my own experience that the gift of life-long celibacy has given me a great advantage in presenting Jesus and His teaching to mankind" [8/12]
Preface to canonical commentary on SP by Archbishop Burke says that liturgical norms in force in 1962 are to be "diligently observed" for the TLM; Says that "subsequent liturgical discipline" is only to be introduced if it "affects a right of the faithful, which follows directly from the sacrament of baptism and serves the eternal salvation of their souls" [Note: On this site, it is necessary to scroll down to view the article] [8/11]
Holy Father advises using summer rest to "thank the Lord for the many blessings we have received and draw ever closer to him in prayer, in fidelity to his commandment of love, and in communion with his Body, the Church" [8/10]
Correcting with charity [8/10]
[Note: There were no news updates from 8/7-8/9]
New secretary of the Congregation for Religious acknowledges that U.S. women's religious orders have reacted "badly" to apostolic visitation; LCWR "welcomes" appointment of Archbishop-elect Joseph Tobin [8/5]
'Eye candy': TLM in Genoa [Note: Scroll down page to view images] [8/5]
High percentage of projects presented during Popolorum Progressio Foundation meetings accepted for funding; Foundation approves funding for 186 of 230 charitable aid projects presented by dioceses [8/5]
Bishop of Arlington expresses "unimaginable sadness" over collision which caused death of nun, severely injured two other nuns; Driver who caused accident allegedly was a drunk illegal alien with previous DUI's [8/4]
Fr. Orsi, chaplain and research fellow in law & religion, pens article questioning bishops stance on illegal immigration; Priest says: "No doubt the bishops mean well; however, a disregard for the rule of law in the name of compassion can only lead to the destruction of the good society. In the end it delegitimizes the bishops as moral leaders and will prove detrimental for them when addressing church-state issues" [8/3]
Graduate student praying rosary on public sidewalk outside PP clinic becomes first to be arrested under new Chicago 'bubble zone' law; Officer allegedly said words to the effect that he was "trying to teach the pro-life people a lesson" [8/3]
Thousands of Catholics in Scotland returning tickets for papal visit; Observer says "There is a strong feeling among priests and the laity that the organizers have had no consideration for their wellbeing or safety while planning the Mass in the park" [8/3]
Texas priest pens column for local newspaper "strongly denouncing homosexual activity"; Priest notes that homosexuals must be treated with "love, understanding, and respect", but reminds that "genuine love demands that we seek, above all, the salvation of souls. Homosexual acts lead to the damnation of souls"; Also notes that "a Catholic would be guilty of a most grievous sin of omission if he/she neglected to actively oppose the homosexual agenda, which thrives on deception and conceals its wicked horns under the guises of 'equal rights,' 'tolerance,' 'who am I to judge?,' etc." [8/2]
Archbishop of Saragossa becomes first Spanish bishop since MP to publicly celebrate using usus antiquior in Spain to re-inter remains of family of counts of Aranda [Note: On this site, it is necessary to scroll down to view the article] [8/2]
Note: Dates in brackets may refer to date link was added to MCS news page
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