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Recent News Highlights

Some recent news highlights...

* Copper thieves have left a "pretty big mess" at a Bluefield (WV) parish - removing water lines & fittings, and even tearing down ceiling tiles to get to copper pipes. Although an estimate was not immediately available, the damage was described as "extensive"

* A "new big-budget TV series" covering the life of "one of the most infamous of all pontiffs", Pope Alexander VI, is being filmed in Vancouver and is expected to air next year in the U.S. and Canada

* According to a Reuters report, the Salesians have admitted to paying 'hush money' to a Dutch abuse victim who has broken his silence, allegedly 'to obtain more money' from the order. The victim was allegedly abused repeatedly by seven priests, including a priest who would later become a bishop. The order reportedly "wants to look at the facts" concerning the allegations, some of which it considers unproven

* The director of the Scottish Catholic Media Office has lamented anti-Catholicism in Scotland, referring to a "deep, wide and vicious anti Catholic hostility" and an "intolerance" of Catholics. He also reported being "disturbed by the fact that in a country where over 99% of Catholic clergy are demonstrably innocent of any offence they can be so frequently subjected to hate fuelled opprobrium" and noted that "anti-Catholic bigotry has existed in Scotland for a very long time", even before abuse allegations had come to light

* In a recent CNA interview, the German journalist who interviewed Pope Benedict for a new book stated that "the idea that Joseph Ratzinger is a Pope who is conservative, harsh, too strict, a man who likes power" is a "misunderstanding" (he also said he considers Pope Benedict to be "a very modern man"). The journalist - who was quite complimentary regarding the Pope during the interview - responded that "I should say that we do not have a friendship" when asked if he considered himself a friend of the Holy Father. [Note: In full context, he seems to mean that his relationship with Pope Benedict is not on the level of a personal friendship, but is more along the lines of a business relationship]


Pope Benedict's Remarks On C*nd*ms: Facts, Falsities & Fallout [UPDATED]

[Note: This is an adult topic. Also note that we have dispensed with our usual custom of inserting asterisks to the word 'condom' for easier reading in the text below]

Notice: Scroll down for updates

Some news accounts concerning Pope Benedict's remarks on condoms and reactions to those remarks have once again demonstrated poor reporting in much of the secular media and also have illustrated a "widespread lack of critical thinking skills" among various laity. The following highlights some facts, falsities & fallout regarding Pope Benedict's remarks on condoms which appear in a full length book interview with a German journalist.


* The Church's prohibition against birth control remains

* Much secular reporting has been inaccurate

* Intimate relations outside of marriage are gravely sinful and put souls in peril

* The correct interpretation of the Pope's example appears to involve (already gravely sinful) homosexual relations between an HIV infected male prostitute and his 'client' (an act which 'cries out to heaven', is inherently closed to life, and is already condemned by the Church). Even so, the Pope did not "endorse" or "prescribe" the use of a condom, but rather praised the motivation of a grave sinner who was 'finally' starting to think about others, even while still harming himself and the other person. Furthermore, the Pope said specifically that use of condoms "of course" is NOT "a real or moral solution". That's a far cry from recommending condoms! Not only that, but the example used was not a faithful married couple, but rather an 'extreme' case of a male prostitute infected with HIV who was engaging in a gravely sinful act - already an act that imperils his soul. The Pope was NOT speaking about contraception per se since homosexual acts are inherently contraceptive. Condoms also do not change the evil nature of an illicit homosexual act, nor are the two situations (two homosexuals vs. a married couple) comparable in terms of contraception because a condom would be contraceptive in the case of a married couple and it would have no effect in terms of contraception in the case of homosexuals.

* The Pope's comments were "informal and non-magisterial" and represented his own personal opinion. They were not the result of long and methodological research, but rather remarks made to an interviewer, and perhaps not even well thought out remarks at that. The Pope cannot create doctrine 'on the fly'. In fact, the Pope cannot be a creator of new doctrine period. His duty is to faithfully pass on what has been received. Even an allowable change in practice (as opposed to a change in doctrine which is not allowed) wouldn't come thorough an interview!

* The Pope did not praise or encourage the use of a condom, but rather focused on the homosexual's intention to avoid harm to others as possibly being a positive 'first step' in the (still disordered) thinking of a grievous sinner. Again, the Pope did NOT praise or encourage the use of a condom and he said that use of a condom is NOT "a real or moral solution"

* The Pope did not "advise" male prostitutes to use a condom, but made reference to a case where the prostitute decided to use one on his own in an attempt to protect another person. The Pope was certainly not advising or encouraging the prostitute to engage in homosexual acts or to use a condom, but rather focusing on the prostitute's 'good intent' to try to protect the life of another person, hoping this might be a 'first step' in the prostitute's turning away from sin

* The Pope did not say that condoms stop the spread of STDs (he has said the opposite). Remember that persons infected with HIV are like 'deadly weapons' when it comes to intimate relations - condom or not. They should never engage in intimate acts which could spread the disease - condom or not. Obviously condoms don't solve the problem of AIDS since much of the world already has access to condoms, yet this has not stopped the spread of AIDS. In fact, condoms may encourage persons to engage in more risky behavior.

* The ONE & ONLY foolproof and licit method to avoid transmitting STDs is ABSTINENCE


* Fiction: Condom use makes for 'safe s*x'. Fact: Various reports indicate that the failure rate of condoms may range from 10%-70% over time. Use of condoms can actually cause the spread of STDs since they can give a false sense of security and lead to more intimate relations outside of marriage [more such acts - besides increasing the number of sins - means more spreading of disease (because condoms are really NOT safe)]

* Fiction: The Pope endorsed condom use. Fact: The Pope did not endorse condom use. Rather, he considered it positive that a grievous sinner attempted to avoid harm to another human being, even though his thinking was nevertheless still disordered, his actions were still sinful, and contraception is still illicit.

* Fiction: The Pope's comments were unequivocal and absolute. Fact: Various interpretations of his remarks have been presented and the wording of the comments themselves were not absolute but rather speculative (e.g. "may be", "perhaps", "some individuals", etc.). Church dogmas, on the other hand, are absolute.

* Fiction: The Pope said using condoms reduced the sinfulness of homosexual acts. Fact: The Pope did not say sinfulness was reduced, but rather praised an intention that may be a step towards turning from sin [e.g. if you decide to drive 150 mph instead of 180 mph in order to make driving 'safer' for others, you still act wrongly (150 mph is still sinful), but your intention to consider others' safety (not your action) may be a positive step moving you closer to responsible driving behavior]. Further, it is impossible for a good intention to change an intrinsically evil act into a positive act.

* Fiction: The Pope gave approval to contraception among married couples. Fact: The Pope reaffirmed the Church's teaching AGAINST contraception for married couples. For homosexuals, he did not speak, per se, about contraception, but rather about the intent of an infected homosexual who sought to avoid infecting another homosexual. And again, condoms are not "contraceptives" for homosexuals since homosexual acts are inherently contraceptive to begin with (not to mention sinful)

* Fiction: The Pope said use of condoms could be justified. Fact: The Pope said use of condoms is NOT a "real or moral solution". He pointed merely to an intention (intention - NOT action) that may be a "first step in a movement toward" proper behavior. Remember that actions can be wrong even though intentions may be good. For example, an uncharitable person who takes notice of hungry persons and begins to steal to feed them. The intention of feeding the hungry is good, but stealing is not (and is, in fact, bad). Nevertheless, an uncharitable person taking notice of the hungry is a good first step (not the action, but the intention). The person needs to be put on the correct path (not stealing in the case of hungry persons, abstinence in the case of homosexuals). Both persons would still need to repent and would still need to get on the right path. With the Pope's remarks, keep in mind that he never said use of a condom (the action) was justified or good (only that the intention may be good) [Excerpt - Pope Benedict: "There may be a basis in the case of some individuals, as perhaps when a male prostitute uses a condom, where this can be a first step in the direction of a moralization, a first assumption of responsibility, on the way toward recovering an awareness that not everything is allowed and that one cannot do whatever one wants. But it is not really the way to deal with the evil of HIV infection. That can really lie only in a humanization of sexuality." Interviewer: "Are you saying, then, that the Catholic Church is actually not opposed in principle to the use of condoms?" Pope Benedict: "She of course does not regard it as a real or moral solution, but, in this or that case, there can be nonetheless, in the intention of reducing the risk of infection, a first step in a movement toward a different way, a more human way, of living sexuality."]


* Many Catholics have been scandalized by the Pope's remarks

* There will be increased confusion among the laity & clergy (and among those outside the Church) concerning Church teachings

* Those presently not living up to the Church's teachings may feel the Pope's remarks justify their actions

* There is fear that people and clergy will 'push the boundaries' of this supposed 'new teaching'

* Dissenters and non-faithful Catholics may use the Pope's comments as an opportunity to further their cause

* Some (even, sadly, priests) will teach - wrongly - that use of condoms is "approved" by the Pope

* Some may erroneously begin to think their situation "demands" the use of a condom to prevent a "worse evil" (such a situation requires abstinence, not a condom)

* Some will be deceived into using a condom for some supposed "greater good" (e.g. a woman who tells her husband he must use a condom to prevent the abortion she would have if she got pregnant). Both actions are gravely sinful and must not be done.

* There have already been calls for the Pope to 'expand' his comments. Interested parties have already petitioned that the Pope "allow" condoms in various other circumstances (even though he never said he "allowed" them in the first place)

* There may be more use of condoms - probably resulting in more spreading of diseases (because of the high failure rate of condoms & the false sense of security when they are used)

* Some married couples who have found it difficult to live up to the Church's teachings may find in the Pope's comments an excuse to use contraception even though this remains grievously sinful. They may "hear what they want to hear" in the Pope's words and therefore not consider this action sinful since they may feel "justified" due to various excuses. [You can be sure than anyone who "really wants" to use a condom can find some reason to assert that it's "justified"! (even though this is NOT what the Pope said)]

* Some will be angry at the Church for "not changing her teachings sooner" (even though her teachings have not changed)

* Some will blame the Church for the spread of disease due to her "past" teachings against condoms (even though those teachings are still relevant and even though those who faithfully follow the Church's teachings concerning chastity & fidelity would almost never get STDs through intimate relations). This may, perhaps, result in costly legal actions against the Church

* Some will question the infallibility of the Church for doing an "about face" on this issue (even though her teachings have not changed). The Pope's remarks may also advance the sedevacantists' cause

* Some will continue to insist that the Pope "legitimized" condom use in some circumstance because he (1) failed to issue a clear condemnation concerning use of condoms and (2) because it can be easy to misinterpret the Pope's actual statements

* An increased number of Catholics may chose to discard various other Church teachings they don't like since they may feel they have an "important reason" (even though this is not what the Pope said)

* The Pope has been criticized for seemingly encouraging homosexual acts by failing to condemn them

* The Pope's words might inspire charities to (wrongly!) promote condom use. For example, a Caritas Internationalis representative reportedly said the organization would consider "whether there are implications for our work in these reported comments of Pope Benedict". Catholics will need to be even more vigilant about where their donations go. Who would want their hard earned donations supporting 'condoms for homosexual prostitutes'?

* The Pope's words might also inspire misinformed & dissenting Catholics to hand out condoms (e.g. on college campuses)

* It is more difficult to explain even to well-meaning Catholics that condoms are not acceptable since they can so easily take the Pope's remarks out of context

* More Catholics may sin grievously (even unknowingly) via contraception and efforts at abstinence may be harmed due to the Pope's remarks

* More Catholics in a state of mortal sin due to contraception may receive Holy Communion

* More Catholics may place their souls in peril due to contraception

* The Pope's remarks may harm the situation in the Philippines regarding the government's desire to distribute condoms

* The false/inaccurate/misleading reporting in the media may help foster grave danger to souls (e.g. consider the false & misleading headline: "Pope Says Condoms Are Fine")

Other Observations:

* The Pope was under no obligation to permit this interview and, in light of the (easily predictable) fallout, it seems it would have better served the Church if the interview had not been granted. Critics have already called his comments in this matter imprudent & irresponsible

* The Pope lost a good opportunity to condemn sinful actions among homosexuals and unequivocally affirm the Church's position regarding human sexuality and contraception. Teachings against contraception are probably the most widely disregarded teachings among the laity (to their eternal peril). Catholics would have been better served had the Pope emphasized and explained these teachings - and spoke about abstinence - rather than introduce confusion regarding the teachings. Further, some may see his failure to unequivocally oppose homosexual actions as justification for such actions (which should have been flatly condemned)

* The Pope's comments may send laity & clergy on a "slippery slope", defending all manner of contraception (and other evils) "for the greater good" - even though the Church condemns contraception and evil cannot be intentionally done even for a good reason

* It seems it would have better served the Church if the Pope addressed doctrinal matters more carefully and in the usual manner rather than in an interview with a journalist who wants to sell books

* The average Catholic may be unable to properly explain the Church's teachings against contraception when questioned by other Catholics or Protestants in light of the Pope's recent remarks

* Those who promote the use of contraceptives may be complicit in others' sins. The Pope's comments may increase the number of persons who become an accessory to sin

* Remember that it is impossible even for good intentions to change the nature of an intrinsically evil act. The act remains evil even despite good intentions

* It seems demonic that in the week we saw the elevation of Cardinal Burke and the (wonderful) upset at the USCCB, we would also be faced with this "mess". Thousands - maybe millions - of Catholics have been thinking and talking about gay s*x, condoms, male prostitutes, etc. and this talk will likely continue in general conversations, homilies (with children present), at family dinners (e.g. Thanksgiving), etc.

* Male prostitutes are already doing something forbidden by the Church. They surely do not consider it relevant what the Church has to say regarding condoms. The fact is: there should NOT be male (or female) prostitutes in the first place

* Those who like to make a "lesser of two evils" argument with regard to homosexuals & condoms should note that an evil is still an EVIL. We cannot be complicit in evil! And, in the case of married couples, contraception would be the very thing that made the act evil

* It cannot really be said that it "lessens sin" for an HIV infected male prostitute to use a condom. The homosexual act itself is gravely sinful (grave sin #1). The issue of the condom is irrelevant among homosexuals in terms of contraception because the act itself is inherently contraceptive. In terms of "protecting the other person", however, they are still taking an estimated 10%-70% risk with the other person's life that is entirely avoidable (grave sin #2). So they are still guilty of committing two grave sins - the homosexual act AND risking the life of the other person. The homosexual may (arguably) sin "a bit better" by possibly reducing the level of risk, but he nevertheless commits two grave sins and the condom does not change this. If anything, others may engage in the risky behavior with him even more frequently because they think it is "safe". And, as one observer notes, Jesus never instructed his followers how to "sin better", but rather he instructed his followers to avoid all sin. Remember that the infected homosexual prostitute with a condom essentially opts for a 10%-70% chance of infecting another person when he could have had chosen 0% by abstinence, so how can he be excused for recklessly endangering another's life when he could have easily avoided it? Would you give a mass murder (or attempted mass murderer) a pass because he put only 1 - 7 bullets in a (hypothetical) gun that held 10 bullets? The only way to be completely free of guilt would be to abstain from the dangerous act entirely (an act which is of itself gravely evil).

* Say a driving instructor praised reckless drivers of stolen cars for their intent to adjust their speeding down to 150 mph instead of 180 mph. The speedy driver at 150 mph is still risking lives, even though it is true that his cutting back to 150 mph may be an indication that he has taken a 'first step' in realizing that fast driving is unacceptable (e.g. that speedy driving may harm other persons). A crime is still committed at 150 mph and the driving instructor may not praise him for driving at 150 mph or approve of his driving at 150 mph - nor of his driving stolen cars - but he could still say that cutting back to improve chances of safety was a step towards "moral responsibility" - nevertheless it's still unacceptable to go 150 mph and it is still unacceptable to steal cars. Although fewer people may get killed, it's hardly "morally responsible" to go 150 mph!. It would have been better and easier for observers to understand his comments if the driving instructor would have just insisted on driving no faster than the proper speed limit at all times and not stealing cars. Remember that some persons may take his comments as a license to go 150 mph or steal cars if they hadn't already (especially if they previously wanted to do this) or use them to justify their actions if they already drive at 150 mph or steal cars. Certainly, the driving instructor's comments may be considered imprudent and may even lead to harm (e.g. among those who got the impression he was approving of driving at 150 mph). In the case of homosexuals, it is even worse, however, since we are dealing with eternal souls. These persons may never get to the hypothetical "next step", but could die at any time - even in the midst of engaging in gravely sinful behavior. It may be "nice" to speak of conversion in "steps", but there is no guarantee anyone will live long enough or "develop" enough to get to any future steps, much less to the steps that are actually good. Jesus did not speak of such steps, but rather speaks of being prepared at all times. The driving instructor should lay down the law clearly as his Boss (God) has done.

* It should be noted that there has been controversy concerning the timing of the article in the Vatican newspaper and also concerning the translation. Some apparently find the timing (during the consistory) to be "deliberate". Further, the text was taken out of the full context, causing consternation and additional difficulties. Even the "clarification" may have brought more confusion (and even error) into the mix

* Like so many other post-Vatican II comments, God seems completely left out of the picture, yet He is the one most offended by sin.

* Faithful Catholics should consider writing the Pope, asking for a strongly worded, unequivocal clarification of Church teachings

Update (11/23/10):

* Vatican spokesman Fr. Lombardi reportedly asked the Pope personally concerning "Whether a man or a woman or a transsexual does this, we're at the same point" ("The point is the first step toward responsibility, to avoid posing a grave risk to another person") for which the Pope reportedly responded in the affirmative. Note that the point is referenced as "the first step toward responsibility", not that the act itself is a responsible act, but that the intention may be heading in that direction (a "first step" towards responsibility, not actual responsibility). Again, this refers to the intention rather than to the act itself. Keep in mind that the Pope is considering the good intention of not harming another person, he is NOT praising the use of a condom itself [likewise, one can consider the good intention of the speedy driver who cut back to 150 mph from 180 mph to 'increase others' safety' without actually praising the speedy driver for going 150 mph (although a condemnation of his speedy driving at 150 mph is certainly in order!)]

* According to a CNS report, Archbishop Fisichella has indicated that the Pope's interview 'does not represent the formal exercise of the Pope's teaching authority' and that 'Catholics are not required to agree with Pope Benedict XVI's interview comments', although they owe the Pope respect

* A National Catholic Register interviewer has asked Cardinal Burke if the Pope is saying that condoms can be permitted in some cases. The Cardinal replies in the negative, stating that he "[doesn't] see any change in the Church's teaching. What [the Pope's] commenting on - in fact, he makes the statement very clearly that the Church does not regard the use of condoms as a real or a moral solution - but what he's talking about in the point he makes about the male prostitute is about a certain conversion process taking place in an individual's life. He's simply making the comment that a person who is given to prostitution, at least considers using a condom to prevent giving the disease to another person - even though the effectiveness of this is very questionable - this could be a sign of someone who is having a certain moral awakening. But in no way does it mean that prostitution is morally acceptable, nor does it mean that the use of condoms is morally acceptable."

* The journalist who interviewed the Pope indicated that "From the beginning of the book he warns us that 'the Pope can have erroneous personal opinions'; he certainly does have 'the power of final decision' in matters of faith but this 'does not mean that he can continuously produce infallibility'. It is perhaps in this statement that we must seek the original roots of this book of interviews"

* Not surprisingly, the secular media continues to misinterpret the Pope's remarks. For example, one report claimed the Pope's comments mean that "stopping AIDS is more important than stopping condom use". The Pope's comments, however, did not actually say that. Rather, his remarks referred to a sinner beginning to having an awareness that his sinful actions are harmful to others and his attempt to mitigate that harm [like the above example when the speedy driver cuts back his speed to 150 mph... it's still sinful to go 150 mph, but the intent to cut back his speed from 180 mph for others' benefit is a step in the right direction (not that going 150 mph is an okay thing to do, just that driver's intention is at least starting to head in the right direction)]. The Pope is not giving approval to condoms, nor is he indicating that condoms can stop AIDS. He is simply speaking about an improvement in the intentions of the (still misguided) sinner

* Also not surprisingly, various groups are overjoyed over the supposed new (but NOT really real) permission for heterosexual couples to use condoms (remember that true Church teachings say that intimate relations must occur ONLY in lawful marriage and that ALL such acts must be open to life... there is NO permission given for married couples to use contraception!). And, even if other cases may be "imagined" where use of a condom can be taken as a sign that a person "has taken a step towards responsible behavior", this still does not mean that the action itself is licit, only that it may show that the intention of the person may be starting to turn in a better direction [again, when a speedy driver cuts back his speed to 150 mph, he is still behaving sinfully by driving at 150 mph, but the intent to cut back his speed from 180 mph because he wants to "protect" others is a step in the right direction (not that going 150 mph is an okay thing to do, just that the driver's intention is at least starting to head in the right direction). However, if that driver cuts back his speed to 150 mph and adds another risk (e.g. using a cell phone while driving), he is - objectively speaking - increasing his sinful behavior even as his "intention" of cutting back risk to others has supposedly "improved". In either case, he still commits grievous sin by his reckless driving. Remember, though, that one cannot approve of speedy driving or of the use of a cell phone while driving at 150 mph, but it is still possible to acknowledge that the sinner's changed intention may be somewhat improved - even though his actions are still terribly wrong]

Update (11/24/10):

* Regarding the condom controversy, Archbishop Dolan - in a recent New York Times interview - emphasized that Catholic teaching is not subject to change. In response to his statement that "You get the impression that the Holy See or the Pope is like Congress and every once in a while says, 'Oh, let's change this law,'" he said: "We can't." [Related: Can dogmas change?]

* Zenit has reported that "There is under way in the Philippines an 'opportunistic misuse' of the statement about condoms made by Benedict XVI in his new book." The misused remarks are, unfortunately, being used to aid the Philippine government's efforts in promoting contraception

* According to EWTN, a 'top U.S. theologian' - who notes that the papal spokesman's remarks have 'added to the confusion' - says we "ought to let the Pope speak for himself." He said the 'troubling' comments by Fr. Lombardi "seem to misrepresent what the Pope is trying to argue in the book" and noted that the use of condoms by female prostitutes would be more likely to be motivated by concern for herself than by concern for the other person

* According to a New York Times article, the president of the National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia - who is also a member of the Pontifical Academy for Life - (the same 'top U.S. theologian' referred to above) saw an advance copy of the book and told the publisher "Don't publish this; it's going to create such a mess"

"More souls go to Hell because of sins of the flesh than for any other reason." (Bl. Jacinta of Fatima)

"But no reason, however grave, may be put forward by which anything intrinsically against nature may become conformable to nature and morally good. Since, therefore, the conjugal act is destined primarily by nature for the begetting of children, those who in exercising it deliberately frustrate its natural power and purpose sin against nature and commit a deed which is shameful and intrinsically vicious. Small wonder, therefore, if Holy Writ bears witness that the Divine Majesty regards with greatest detestation this horrible crime and at times has punished it with death. As St. Augustine notes, 'Intercourse even with one's legitimate wife is unlawful and wicked where the conception of the offspring is prevented. Onan, the son of Juda, did this and the Lord killed him for it.'" (Pope Pius XI, "Casti Connubii", 1930 A.D.)

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

Related: Catholic teachings on contraception | Catholic teachings on homosexuality (Topic Page)

[11/22, updated 11/23 & 11/24]

Update Re: Amazon

We have resolved the issues with related to our 11/11/10 letter (click here) regarding their selling of products that promoted criminal activities. As a result, we have decided to continue in the Associates program.

Please note that we have discussed the matter with representatives via phone and via their website. Since our initial letter, (or their representatives):

* notified us they have pulled the offensive book that caused the controversy

* pulled other books by the same author (according to media reports)

* provided us with a verbal apology

* indicated they were "shocked" that the book appeared on their site

* informed us that, in the future, items will be reviewed by their "I.T. guys" before being placed on the site

* both "promised" and "assured" us that the situation would not happen again

Therefore, we feel we can continue as an Associate. Please note: Our continuation in this program does not mean we agree with all aspects of their handling of this matter, nor does it mean we agree with all of's offerings (we certainly do not).

Also, in retrospect, we believe we may have acted somewhat hastily in our initial response as we failed to fully appreciate the positive effect on corporate responsibility which can result from customers' efforts to resolve such situations. We thank those who contacted Amazon and urged them to resolve this matter. Your efforts made a difference!

We plan to integrate more links to our site as soon as possible and hope for a mutually beneficial relationship among all parties.


Recent News Highlights

Some recent news highlights...

* Good news: The newly elected future Speaker of the House, John Boehner, a Catholic and 'faithful defender of unborn children', says he wants to be the "most pro-life Speaker ever", according to a report [Related: Pro-Life Topic Page]

* The planned (illicit) ordination of a bishop in China by the government-backed 'Catholic Patriotic Association' (CPA) will apparently proceed despite the Vatican's disapproval. Cardinal Joseph Zen called the ordination "really shameful", according to a Fox News report

* Archbishop Dolan has been formally installed as president of the USCCB. He will serve a three year term at the helm of the U.S. bishops' conference

* Reports are circulating that Summorum Pontificum is a 'dead letter' in Scotland. Apparently, Catholics' requests for the TLM are being denied there, despite the 7/07 papal document [Related: The Traditional Latin Mass vs. the Novus Ordo (New) Mass]

* A statement has been released regarding the future Ordinariate in England and Wales which indicates that "In collaboration with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) in Rome, the Bishops of England and Wales have been preparing for the establishment of an Ordinariate early in January 2011." Some converting Anglican leaders will reportedly be ordained "prior to Lent" in 2011 [Related: Anglicanorum Coetibus]


Airport Body Scans: Harmful To Health, Privacy, and Soul?

In an update to the article "25 reasons to reject airport full body scans", the author "Former Flier" makes a case that airport scans endanger our health, privacy, and even our souls.

Excerpt from update...

"It's been almost a year since I wrote '25 reasons to reject airport full body scans'. The intervening months have clearly vindicated me in my concerns & validated my predictions. Did you see the image of the nun in her habit being 'groped' by an airport worker wearing a burqa as the nun stood there helpless? Did you also hear about these reports in the news?


I believe I was somewhat 'prophetic' in my original article listing 25 reasons to reject body scans, however, there is one area I seriously underestimated..."

Click Here To Read More

To view the original article and the 11/18/10 update: "Author was 'prophetic'", click here


USCCB Election: "An ecclesial earthquake of monumental proportions"

The surprise election of Archbishop Timothy Dolan as new USCCB president over "leading liberal hope" Bishop Gerald Kicanas is "an ecclesial earthquake of monumental proportions" according to one observer. Various Catholics have praised the break with tradition (usually the sitting vice president is elected president), some expressing hope that the results are a sign the U.S. bishops' conference may head in a conservative direction.

Bishop Kicanas, the sitting vice president of the USCCB, had been criticized for ordaining a seminarian who engaged in homosexual activities. The priest would eventually be convicted of multiple counts of abuse, be jailed and defrocked. Bishop Kicanas was also recently endorsed for USCCB president by a homosexualist 'Catholic' group and was criticized for his "cozy relationship with pro-abortion politicians." Some feared his election would be a 'public relations disaster' for the Church.

Archbishop Dolan, on the other hand, has been considered 'a more outspoken defender of Church orthodoxy'. He will begin his three year term as president at the conclusion of this week's USCCB meeting.

Other Fall General Assembly election results include...

* Vice President - Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky

* Treasurer - Bishop Michael Bransfield of Wheeling-Charleston, West Virginia

* Committee Chair: Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance - Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the Archdiocese for Military Services

* Committee Chair: Committee on Catholic Education - Bishop Joseph McFadden of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

* Committee Chair: Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs - Bishop Denis J. Madden, auxiliary bishop of Baltimore

* Committee Chair: Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis - Bishop David L. Ricken of Green Bay, Wisconsin

* Committee Chair: Committee on Child and Youth Protection - Bishop Daniel Conlon of Steubenville, Ohio

* Committee Chair: Committee on International Justice and Peace - Archbishop Edwin O'Brien of Baltimore


Some News Highlights

A few recent news highlights...

* Police have arrested a man who allegedly "donned a priest's robe to steal an undisclosed amount of parishioner donations" at a Jackson (MI) parish. The suspect was reportedly on parole at the time of the crime

* An infant was found in a church parking lot before Mass on Sunday. The baby girl - apparently born just a few hours previously - was left abandoned in the cold "for a few minutes" at a Springfield (VA) parish before being found. She is reportedly in "good condition". Authorities are searching for her mother

* Good news: Some 50 Anglican 'clergy'* are expected to enter the Catholic Church under the provisions of Anglicanorum Coetibus early next year. "Many more" Anglicans are expected to follow [*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)]

* More good news: The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has reportedly contacted Fr. Owen O'Sullivan's superiors "with an instruction that he [is] no longer to write for publication without approval". The priest recently wrote an article questioning Church teachings regarding homosexuality [Note: This Fr. O'Sullivan should not be confused with the (non-dissenting) author Fr. Paul O'Sullivan]


Amazon Scandal Update

We have received a response from to our 11/11/10 letter (click here) which criticized Amazon's selling of products that promote criminal activities & harm innocent victims. In response to Amazon's reply, we sent another message to Amazon. We are awaiting their response to our second note before a decision is made regarding our future participation in the Amazon Associates program. We plan to post future update(s) here, so please check back soon. In the meantime, we encourage Catholics to contact and demand that: (1) Amazon not sell products promoting illegal activities which harm innocent victims, and (2) that Amazon apologize for past offerings which have promoted such activities. Let your voice be heard!


My Catholic Letter to We are NOT willing to 'sell our soul' recently joined the Associates program. In light of shocking revelations concerning recent offerings, we have submitted the following letter to Amazon...

[Note: Formatting below not in original. We have also corrected an error that appeared in the original text ('financially' vs. 'financial')]

Advisory: Contains disturbing references

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

November 11, 2010

From:, a new member of the Amazon Associates program

To: Whom It May Concern @

We recently entered the Amazon Associates program and have spent many hours preparing links to products sold on that we thought may be of value to our site's visitors. We are personally familiar with some of these products and thought they may be excellent materials for Catholics (e.g. certain Catholic books). Your Amazon Associates program offered us a unique opportunity to earn 'commissions' on a wide variety of products sold through your site that our visitors may like and we looked forward to an ongoing relationship with you that we hoped would be mutually beneficial to all parties.

However, just prior to our adding these links to various pages throughout our site (currently we have added only links for gift certificates), we came across a news story highlighting highly offensive products sold on Most recently, you sold a guide for pedophiles and are taking pre-orders for a book on how to smuggle cocaine. A previous offering of yours apparently included a "first-person video game in which the protagonist stalks and then rapes a mother and her daughters". It was shocking to us that you would sell such items to the public on your own site, especially considering that when we applied to the Amazon Associates program, you supposedly weeded out "unsuitable sites". The Associates agreement states that...

"To begin the enrollment process, you must submit a complete and accurate Program application. You must identify your site in your application. We will evaluate your application and notify you of its acceptance or rejection. We may reject your application if we determine that your site is unsuitable. Unsuitable sites include those that:

(a) promote or contain sexually explicit materials;

(b) promote violence or contain violent materials;

(c) promote or contain libelous or defamatory materials;

(d) promote discrimination, or employ discriminatory practices, based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation, or age;

(e) promote or undertake illegal activities"

Yet even on your very own site, you violate your rules!

Furthermore, we are shocked and appalled to read that apparently stood by its decision to sell the guide for pedophiles (the description of the item was reportedly as follows: "This is my attempt to make pedophile situations safer for those juveniles that find themselves involved in them, by establishing certian [sic] rules for these adults to follow" and reportedly also stated that "I hope to achieve this by appealing to the better nature of pedosexuals, with hope that their doing so will result in less hatred and perhaps liter sentences should they ever be caught."). In response to the outrage, it was reported that Amazon stated that "Amazon believes it is censorship not to sell certain books simply because we or others believe their message is objectionable" and that "Amazon does not support or promote hatred or criminal acts, however, we do support the right of every individual to make their own purchasing decisions."

It is highly immoral and cowardly of Amazon to promote criminal (CRIMINAL!) behavior under the guise of rejecting 'censorship'. It also seems duplicitous of you to argue on such grounds given your own guidelines for "unacceptable sites". There is no justification for such evil criminal behavior which your offerings promote - criminal behavior which harms BOTH victims and society as a whole.

We plan to terminate our agreement with you if Amazon does not swiftly rectify this situation and issue an apology. You may be willing to 'sell your soul', but we are not. We hope we will be able to achieve financial viability even without the Associates program. However, even if we cannot do so, we will at least be able to sleep at night.

Signed: (a division of B.F.S.)

P.S. This message will be published on our site / blog / etc. Be advised that any response from you may likewise be published on our site / blog / newsletter / etc.

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News Highlights

Some recent news highlights...

* Parishioners bailed out a priest accused of abuse in the San Bernardino (CA) Diocese. Hundreds of people raised thousands of dollars to free the priest they believe is innocent

* A "historic Catholic school for girls" in Santa Rosa, California will reportedly close at the end of the school year due to lack of funding. The school was established in 1880 by the Ursuline Sisters

* The attempted assassin of Pope John Paul II, Mehmet Ali Agca, now alleges that "The Vatican government decided on [Pope John Paul II's] assassination." He claims that "The order to shoot the Pope was given by Vatican secretary, Cardinal Agostino Casaroli." Previously, Mehmet Ali Agca - who is believed to be of 'questionable mental health' - claimed to be Christ

* A parish priest in the Democratic Republic of Congo is thought to have been the victim of a "targeted killing" by "an armed man in military uniform". The gunman apparently stopped drivers & asked them if they were priests. He reportedly shot the victim after the priest responded in the affirmative

* The cause for canonization of Archbishop Fulton Sheen has reportedly been halted by the Diocese of Peoria. The Peoria diocese (the late Archbishop's native diocese) apparently hopes the Archdiocese of New York will take up the cause

* More than 20 cemetery markers were toppled at a Catholic cemetery in Ohio this past weekend. This was the second instance of vandalism at the cemetery in the last few months

* The Archdiocese of New York may close 32 schools in "the largest school system reorganization in its history". Proposed closures, resulting from the termination of church subsidies, may affect close to 20% of elementary schools in the archdiocese. A final decision regarding closures is expected in January

* A 'human rights watchdog group' has appealed to the Irish government to investigate alleged abuse in 'prison-style Catholic laundries' ("Magdalene Laundries") from the 1920's - mid 1990's

* Iranian officials are reportedly meeting at the Vatican to discuss ways of "strengthening ties" between the Catholic Church and the largely Muslim country

* A video 'making the rounds' online shows a pie being thrown in the face of the Belgian archbishop who recently made controversial remarks. The incident apparently occurred on All Saints Day

* Donor funds set aside for the training of seminarians in Canada may be used to pay abuse victims if the court okays the Diocese of Bathurst's request. Reportedly "the amount of money in the trust far exceeds its intended use" for seminarians

* Encouraging: The following quote from 'America's youngest archbishop', the recently named successor to Archbishop Alex Brunett of Seattle, Archbishop-elect J. Peter Sartain, appears on the National Catholic Register website: "One of our challenges in celebrating the sacraments today is to rekindle our understanding of grace - in part, our recognition that in the sacraments Christ does something. I think that we often overemphasize what we do in the liturgy to the detriment of our realization that the sacraments are first and foremost the work of God. We must recapture and savor the mystery of grace."

* Anglican update: Members of the Catholic hierarchy in England are reportedly unhappy regarding the ordinariate structure that will be put in place for Anglicans who enter the Catholic Church under the provisions of Anglicanorum Coetibus ("this kind of whole extra wrinkle on top of the complicated structure they've already got", according to an Anglican leader). The Anglican leader also charges that he heard a (liberal) Catholic priest complain that "we've got quite enough traditionalists" in the Catholic Church already without having to have 'traditionalist Anglicans' enter the Church as well. It is also being reported that the Anglican 'Archbishop of Canterbury'*, Rowan Williams, will visit the Vatican next week [*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)]


Swiss monks' "unconventional recruitment drive"

Monks in Switzerland have reportedly initiated an 'unconventional recruitment drive' via an advertisement "in a classifieds section normally reserved for high-flying executive roles." Men joining their community are promised "freedom from personal material wealth" rather than the exorbitant salaries typically paid to top executives. The order hopes to reverse the large decline it has experienced over the past decade.

"Amen, I say to you, there is no man that hath left home or parents or brethren or wife or children, for the kingdom of God's sake, who shall not receive much more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting." (Our Lord Jesus Christ, Lk. 18:29-30)

Related: Priests & Vocations


Gunshots Fired at Catholic University

Gunshots were fired Friday morning on the Catholic University campus in Washington. Reports indicate that no one was injured. Police are seeking a possible suspect. No motive was indicated.


Papal Trip to Spain: Here-we-go-again Media Coverage, Security Incident

Secular media coverage of Pope Benedict's weekend trip to Spain indicates that the Holy Father will be facing a "big challenge" in a "once-staunchly Catholic nation that has become one of Europe's most liberal." One observer notes that the Pope will be facing "the least Catholic Spain in history". Reminiscent of coverage preceding the Holy Father's September trip to the U.K., recent media coverage has highlighted the abuse scandal, papal protestors (one headline reads "Thousands protest pope's upcoming visit"), and the cost of the papal trip. [Heard it already.]

Also reminiscent of the Holy Father's U.K. trip are unsettling reports that a man walking his dog found confidential security documents relating to the papal visit to Spain. The documents were reportedly lost a month ago and plans have since been "adjusted". Confidential security documents were likewise found "lying around" in a pub before the Holy Father's trip to the United Kingdom (previous story here). Nevertheless, we are assured that security for the papal visit is "intense".

And, once again, we hear of coordinated efforts against the Holy Father via Facebook - this time a homosexual 'kiss in' is planned, last time there was an 'egg the Pope' effort.

However, we do seem to be missing reports of Islamic publications calling on Muslims to attend the Holy Father's events to preach Islam and tell the Pope "in no uncertain terms what Muslims think of his evil slanders" against Muhammad, so maybe there has been some progress. One can hope...


Some Updates

Updates to some recent news items...

* The priest who recently filed a defamation suit has "abruptly" dropped his lawsuit

* Some 18 Twin Cities parishes slated for closure are petitioning the archdiocese to reconsider

* The nuns who auctioned a rare baseball card "exceeded expectations", receiving a winning bid of more than a quarter of a million dollars


News Highlights

Some recent news highlights...

* A Catholic high school in Des Moines was recently evacuated due to a bomb threat. Although notes were found at the school concerning the presence of a bomb, authorities reportedly found 'nothing unusual' and consider the incident to be a 'prank'

* The spokesman for Belgium's archbishop recently resigned after the prelate made some controversial comments. The former spokesperson claimed the archbishop behaved at times like a "loose cannon"

* A BBC report indicates that "At least two Roman Catholic priests have gone missing in Sri Lanka in the past four years." According to the article, one priest vanished in 2006, the other disappeared in 2009. The latter was last seen at a military checkpoint where he was taken for "special questioning"

* Pray the funds are used properly this time: The CCHD collection is set to take place throughout the U.S. on November 20-21

* An AP report indicates that a chapel in Mexico bears a plaque thanking "the leader of one of Mexico's most violent drug cartels", the donor who built the chapel. According to the article, "The revelation has the church distancing itself from the property in central Mexico, while admitting it knows of other donations from drug traffickers"

* So what will be in the tabernacle? Anglicans who enter the Catholic Church under the provisions of Anglicanorum Coetibus reportedly may share churches with those who refuse to cast off the heretical Anglican faith - even though Anglican orders are invalid and the Anglican 'eucharist' is mere bread. Anglicans apparently also permit the churches (originally built by Catholics) to be used by assorted Protestant denominations for 'worship' [Commentary: What faithful Catholic cannot see here the great risk of idolatry (Catholics worshiping Protestants' mere bread) and sacrilege (e.g. non-Catholics' mistreatment of the true Eucharist), not to mention the inherent scandal of Catholics using an altar/church also used for heretical 'worship'?]


Refresher: Catholics' Obligation to Vote

The following refresher from Pope Pius XII touches on the importance of Catholics voting...

"Consequently, there is a heavy responsibility on everyone, man or woman, who has the right to vote, especially when the interests of religion are at stake; abstention in this case is in itself, it should be thoroughly understood, a grave and a fatal sin of omission. On the contrary, to exercise, and exercise well, one's right to vote is to work effectively for the true good of the people, as loyal defenders of the cause of God and of the Church." (Pope Pius XII)

Commentary: It should go without saying that Catholics must vote like good and faithful Catholics or else they may do more harm than good.

"[A]ll those are pitiably deluded, whose theory of government makes no account of man's last and highest end, of the right use of the goods of this life." (Pope Pius XI, "Ad Salutem", 1930)

"[S]ince men united by the bonds of a common society depend on God no less than individuals, associations whether political or private cannot, without crime, behave as if God did not exist, nor put away religion as something foreign to them, nor dispense themselves from obtaining, in that religion, the rules according to which God has declared that He wills to be honored. Consequently, the heads of the State are bound, as such, to keep holy the name of God, make it one of their principal duties to protect religion by the authority of the laws, and not command or ordain anything contrary to its integrity." (Pope Leo XIII)


Note: Dates in brackets may refer to date news brief was added to MCS news page

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Pope Benedict's prayer intentions for December [11/30]

Catholic League erects 'You Know It's Real' Christmas billboard in NYC to counteract atheists' billboard [11/30]

Pope Benedict's message regarding death of member of 'papal family' [11/30]

U.S. bishops voice support for nuclear arms reduction treaty [11/30]

Holy Father to attend Italian Eucharistic congress in September 2011 [11/30]

Catholic radio stations in Costa Rica to unite to form Catholic radio network [11/30]

Papal trip to Monaco in 2012 is "feasible"; Pope's 2011 calendar is full [11/30]

Twelve people arrested in connection with recent massacre at Baghdad cathedral [11/29]

Pope Benedict commends Church in the Philippines "for seeking to play its part in support of human life from conception until natural death, and in defense of the integrity of marriage and the family" [11/29]

North Korea's deadly attack on South Korean island damaged the island's sole Catholic parish [11/29]

Catholic commentator says the 'real problem' isn't the Pope's controversial remarks on c*nd*ms but a "'dialogue with the world' that reduces the Pope to a conversationalist instead of the Vicar of Christ"; Author asserts, "As the media firestorm demonstrates, it was nothing short of folly for the Pope to provide a journalist with more than 200 pages of freewheeling remarks, many concerning the most sensitive theological and moral subjects, with a disclaimer that none of it represents Church teaching, but only the Pope sharing his personal opinions with an interviewer" [11/29]

Church in Ireland in need of radical renewal, says Dublin archbishop [11/29]

Pope Benedict holds worldwide pro-life vigil on eve of Advent season; Holy Father emphasizes the right to life and speaks of "cultural tendencies that seek to anesthetize consciences with spurious arguments", "the selfishness of adults", and "the clouding of consciences" [11/29]

Holy Father's prayer for nascent human life [11/29]

Pope Benedict to travel to West African country of Benin in November 2011 [11/29]

Jesuit astrophysicist says Hawking's theory that the universe created itself from nothing lacks "scientific rigor and validity" [11/29]

Newly ordained priest in Brazil robbed, killed [11/29]

[Note: There were no news updates from 11/25-11/28]

Vatican communiqué regarding illicit episcopal ordination in China; Action a "painful wound" and a "grave violation" that "offends the Holy Father, the Church in China and the universal Church, and further complicates the present pastoral difficulties" [11/24]

Fire at Charlotte church causes $200k in damage, no injuries [11/24]

Papal household in mourning over death of member of 'papal family' who was hit by a car [11/24]

Philadelphia priest involved in online MLM activities suspended after federal agents raid rectory [11/24]

Court rules Catholic nurse pressured to participate in abortion cannot sue employer [11/24]

Appeals court rules Archdiocese of Milwaukee negligent in handling abuse cases, insurance not liable [11/24]

Pope Benedict affirms that homosexuality "is incompatible with the priestly vocation"; Holy Father calls homosexuality in monasteries and among the clergy one of the "miseries" of the Church [11/24]

Faithful urged to join in Pope Benedict's 'unprecedented' pro-life vigil on Saturday [11/24]

Calls for 'heads to roll' at L'Osservatore Romano over "'betrayal' of the Pope and of accepted standards of journalistic ethics" [Note: Above link goes to print version of article] [11/24]

Archbishop Dolan affirms that the Pope cannot change Catholic teaching [11/24]

'Catholics are not required to agree with Pope Benedict XVI's interview comments', although they owe the Pope respect, according to Archbishop Fisichella; Interview 'does not represent the formal exercise of the Pope's teaching authority' [11/23]

Cardinal Velasio De Paolis makes changes to Legionaries' governance, personnel [11/23]

Cardinal Burke on Pope's controversial remarks: "I don't see any change in the Church's teaching. What he's commenting on - in fact, he makes the statement very clearly that the Church does not regard the use of c*nd*ms as a real or a moral solution...He's simply making the comment that a person who is given to prostitution, at least considers using a c*nd*m to prevent giving the disease to another person - even though the effectiveness of this is very questionable - this could be a sign of someone who is having a certain moral awakening. But in no way does it mean that prostitution is morally acceptable, nor does it mean that the use of c*nd*ms is morally acceptable" [Refresher: Catholic teachings on contraception] [11/23]

Sheriff's office seeking information in connection with vandalism at Mother Cabrini shrine in Colorado [11/23]

Former priest accused of abuse now charged with trying to hire hit man to kill alleged victim [11/23]

After international outcry, Pakistani Catholic mother sentenced to death for 'blaspheming Mohammed' is set free; Woman remains in hiding 'out of fear for her safety' [11/23]

Long awaited clarification document on Summorum Pontificum may be published before Christmas [Advisory: Offensive comments may appear after article] [11/23]

154 year-old American College in Leuven, Belgium to close in 2011 due to "small number of seminarians and available priest faculty" [11/22]

Fr. Lombardi says Pope Benedict's "informal and non-magisterial" remarks "[reaffirm] that 'the Church does not of course consider c*nd*ms to be the authentic and moral solution' to the problem of AIDS" [Refresher: Catholic teachings on contraception] [11/22]

'World's largest Jesus statue' consecrated in Poland [11/22]

Vatican spokesman on c*nd*m controversy: "Pope Benedict XVI has not reformed or changed the Church's teaching" [Refresher: Catholic teachings on contraception] [11/21]

It's official: Pope Benedict creates 24 new cardinals; New cardinals include Cardinal Burke, Cardinal Ranjith, and Cardinal Wuerl [11/20]

Church assignments for new cardinals [Note: Link is to Google translation into English] [11/20]

Bishop illicitly ordained in China over Vatican objections [11/20]

Religious freedom and the liturgy top the agenda in Pope Benedict's meeting with cardinals; Vatican will make recommendations to bishops for dealing with abuse [11/20]

Rite for Saturday's consistory for the creation of 24 new cardinals [11/19]

Catholic congressman calls Chinese government a "global 'market leader' in religious persecution"; Calls for sanctions on countries that violate religious liberty [11/19]

Pope Benedict to visit Germany in September 2011 [11/19]

Dominican sisters to appear again on 'Oprah', hoping to reach "an audience we might not otherwise reach with the witness of our life and the Gospel" [11/19]

Consistory of College of Cardinals begins Friday with 'day of prayer and reflection' [11/19]

Sad statistics concerning marriage & family, acceptance of sin [Refreshers: Catholic teachings on sin (Topic Page) | Catholic teachings on marriage (Topic Page)] [11/19]

Cardinal Biffi's memoirs released; Prelate refers to an "intellectual blindness" & persecution 'by homosexual activists and their ideological accomplices' [Refresher: Catholic teachings on homosexuality (Topic Page)] [11/19]

Cardinal-designate Burke says it's been "difficult" dealing with "a certain number" of 'Catholic' politicians who support abortion; Prelate says "It is discouraging that either members of the Church claim not to understand this [requirement of the Church that those who publicly support abortion be denied Holy Communion] or they claim that in some way there is an excuse for someone who is publicly and obstinately in grave sin to receive Holy Communion" [Refreshers: Catholic teachings on abortion | Catholic teachings regarding Holy Communion (Topic Page)] [11/19]

Bishop Serratelli affirms new (Novus Ordo) Mass translation is on schedule, denies reports of 'major changes' [Refresher: The Traditional Latin Mass vs. the Novus Ordo (New) Mass] [11/19]

Holy See "disturbed" over reports that Chinese bishops may be forced to attend illicit ordination [11/18]

U.S. allies criticized for violations of religious freedom in U.S. State Department report [11/18]

Pope Benedict says healthcare must be governed by moral rules so that it does not become inhuman [11/18]

Bishop Kicanas to succeed Archbishop Dolan as chairman of Catholic Relief Services Board of Directors [11/18]

Some good news: Number of new seminarians in England this year 'hits a 10-year high' [11/17]

Mass to be celebrated in Vatican Basilica on November 25 for victims of Baghdad cathedral attack [11/17]

On the eve of being elected USCCB vice president, Archbishop Kurtz spoke of the "urgency of our priority to promote, protect and strengthen" true marriage against threats of homosexual 'marriage'; Prelate said "today is like 1970 for marriage", referring to Roe v. Wade [11/17]

President of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications announces creation of new multi-media web site; 'Yet to be defined is the name of the page, as well as the timeframe for launching the new site' [11/17]

Pope Benedict makes appeal for Pakistani Catholic mother sentenced to death for 'blaspheming Mohammed' [11/17]

Vatican Radio interview with Cardinal-designate Raymond Burke [11/17]

Archbishop of Mosul says there is a 'change in strategy in attacks on Christians'; Terrorists are now "attacking people directly in their homes" [11/17]

Bishops in China taken to 'undisclosed location' by government officials; Priests fear they are facing pressure to participate in an illicit consecration of a new bishop [11/17]

'Ecumenical milestone' or scary surrender? USCCB votes in favor of 'common agreement on Baptism' allowing Catholics to 'presume' certain Protestant baptisms are valid [Note: Article unfortunately (and incorrectly) refers to Protestant denominations as 'churches' and uses the term 'Christians' to refer to those of heretical faiths. As St. Athanasius, Doctor of the Church, says, "The very tradition, teaching, and faith of the Catholic Church from the beginning, which the Lord gave, was preached by the apostles and was preserved by the Fathers. On this was the Church founded, and if anyone departs from this, he neither is, nor any longer ought to be called, a Christian." Also note that properly conducted baptisms performed by Protestants (or anyone for that matter) have always been recognized as valid by the Church. Nevertheless, 'scrupulous priests' - aware of the grave importance of baptism - (wisely!) recommend "conditional baptism" for those entering the Catholic Church] [11/17]

More problems in China: Chinese Catholics may be pressured to attend government-backed National Assembly of Catholic Representatives meeting, "putting additional pressure on Catholics to recognize the authority of that government-backed body rather than the Holy See" [11/17]

USCCB argues that contraceptives & sterilization are not 'preventive' services and should not be included in list of services provided under new healthcare legislation, USCCB spokesperson reminds that pregnancy is not a 'disease' and that "contraception and sterilization pose their own unique and serious health risks to women and adolescents" [Refresher: Catholic teachings against 'birth control'] [11/17]

USCCB announcement: Archbishop Dolan elected president, Archbishop Kurtz elected vice president [11/16]

Archbishop Dolan on unexpected election: "I'm surprised, I'm honored, I'm flattered and a tad intimidated" [11/16]

Great news: In surprising upset, Archbishop Dolan defeats "leading liberal hope" to become new USCCB president [11/16]

Vatican Television to broadcast in HD; New broadcasting equipment "represents the biggest investment made by the CTV in recent years, and perhaps in its entire history" [11/16]

U.S. Catholics praised for "remarkable generosity" in assisting Haiti after devastating earthquake; CRS 'fed nearly 900,000 people in the early months of the response' [11/16]

Pope Benedict reminds that a bishops' conference must "avoid placing itself as a parallel or substitute of the ministry of each of the bishops" and must not "constitute itself as an intermediary between the bishop and the See of Peter"; Holy Father also reminds that bishops' "primary concern must be the salvation of souls" [11/16]

Military archbishop appeals to fellow bishops to release more priests to serve as military chaplains; Prelate claims some Catholics in the military convert to Protestantism 'because no Catholic chaplains were available to them early in their enlistments' [Refresher: Necessity of being Catholic for salvation] [11/16]

Bishop Ronald Herzog urges Church to embrace social media [11/16]

Cardinal O'Malley begins apostolic visitation to Archdiocese of Dublin [11/16]

Quote on Vatican II from soon-to-be released second edition of Cardinal Giacomo Biffi's memoirs: "[W]hat is adopted and exalted in an almost obsessive manner is not the Council that in fact was celebrated, but (so to speak) a 'virtual Council'; a Council that has a place not in the history of the Church, but in the history of ecclesiastical imagination" [11/16]

Pathetic: President of the National Federation of Priests' Councils views exorcisms as a 'trapping from the past' [Refresher: Catholic teachings on Satan (Topic Page)] [11/15]

Pope Benedict appeals to all Catholics to join in prayer for nascent human life on November 27 [11/15]

Cardinal George kicks off USCCB meeting; Says laws permitting abortion are "immoral and unjust" and are "destroying our society" [11/15]

Holy Father asks international community to give generous aid to Haiti [11/15]

Sad: Now that pro-life politicians have been elected, Tea Partiers tell Republicans to avoid social issues like abortion [Refresher: Catholic teachings on abortion] [11/15]

Holy Father notes that athletes' bodies must be respected and "cannot be considered an object" or treated like a "tool to be strengthened at all costs" [11/15]

Victims' group protests potential election of Bishop Kicanas as president of the USCCB [11/15]

No surprise here: Homosexual 'Catholic' group endorses Bishop Kicanas as president of the USCCB [Refresher: Catholic teachings on homosexuality (Topic Page)] [11/15]

Pope Benedict warns that Internet use risks "increasing a sense of solitude and disorientation" among young people; Holy Father says young persons are being "numbed" by the Internet [11/13]

Italian journalist sees papal message stressing importance of reverence at Mass as "a severe rebuke to the Italian Catholic hierarchy" [11/13]

Commentator fears recent "progress in promoting vibrant orthodoxy" within the USCCB will be threatened by election of Bishop Kicanas; Bishop Kicanas' "troubling reputation" includes "his proximity to clergy abuse scandal", his "cozy relationship with pro-abortion politicians", and his "strong reputation for being a 'Bernardin' bishop" - "a bishop in the mold of Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, famous for his close allegiance to progressive and liberal ideologies" [11/13]

Catholic hospital in Rome says wounded from Baghdad church massacre will require 'weeks of care' [11/13]

Sneak preview of new book reveals that Pope Benedict regrets uproar caused by 2006 Regensburg remarks, although the Holy Father 'would not retract' the remarks [11/13]

Profanity on TV has increased almost 70% over the past five years according to new study; Study says statistics demonstrate that "freed of regulation in the wake of the Second Circuit Court's castration of the FCC's powers of enforcement, Hollywood's 'creative' personnel and their TV network distribution outlets have deliberately unleashed literally unparalleled levels of profanity and graphic language upon the public - the most egregious of it in a timeslot in which children are most likely to be in the audience" [11/13]

Recently discovered documentation on 1943 bombing of Vatican - "the only act of violation of the territorial sovereignty of the Vatican state since its creation" - indicates that Italian Fascists planned the attack on the Holy See [11/13]

Spanish bishop surprised over number of organizations "aggressively" against the Catholic Church [11/13]

TIA article reprint concerning Luther's lack of credibility: 'O Prophet of Wittenberg, where are the credentials for your divine mission?' [11/13]

Vatican communiqué at beginning of Apostolic Visitation in Ireland [11/12]

No Joke: 'Senior Iranian religious leader' expects Pope Benedict to "consider the Qur'an as holy as the Gospels" [11/12]

Bishop Kicanas responds to concerns; Says media coverage has been 'inaccurate' and 'out of context' [Note: Above link goes to print version of article] [11/12]

Spanish court rules Muslim occupation of cathedral did not 'offend religious sentiments' [11/12]

At Cardinal Bertone's request, Rome will treat 26 Iraqis injured in recent attack on Baghdad cathedral [11/12]

Pope Benedict Issues Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation 'Verbum Domini' on the Word of God [11/11]

'Religion of peace' at it again: Pakistani Catholic mother sentenced to death for 'blaspheming the prophet Mohammed after she refused to convert to Islam'; 'Angry Muslims' reportedly beat & tortured the woman and her children after she refused to convert [11/11]

Journalist warns of 'public relations disaster' if Bishop Gerald Kicanas of Tucson is elected president of the USCCB [11/11]

Hong Kong Diocese "regrets" priest's remarks which likened 'one of Asia's richest men' to the devil [11/11]

Vatican telecast schedule for 12/24-25, 1/1 [11/11]

Apostolic Visitor sends letter to consecrated members of Regnum Christi [11/11]

Argentinean archbishop says in vitro is "part of the holocaust of abortion"; Reminds that "it is a well known fact that in order to achieve a birth, a number of embryos are destroyed, and it is very common that only the best ones are chosen and the others thrown away as unusable biological material" [11/11]

President of USCCB sends letter to President Obama in wake of Baghdad cathedral attack; Prelate says the U.S. has a "moral responsibility" to work with the Iraqi government to stem violence [11/11]

Catholic League sends Nativity scenes to governors of all 50 states for display in state capital buildings [11/10]

U.S. bishops sponsoring exorcism conference in response to "growing interest in the rite of exorcism and a shortage of trained exorcists nationwide" [11/10]

Academic dean of Mount St. Mary's Seminary named consulting theologian to CCHD [11/10]

More violence in Iraq: Bombs target Christian homes in Baghdad [11/10]

Commentator suggests postponing CCHD collection until "vetting mistakes" are eliminated; Says vetting process is deficient or else CCHD's "own ethical guidelines regarding offending coalitions [have] yet to be enforced" [11/10]

CL calls UN resolution condemning religious defamation "an affront to religious liberty"; Says resolution "is not a check on religious defamation: rather, it is designed to give Islamist nations the right to plunder the religious rights of non-Muslims - under the guise of fighting religious intolerance" [11/10]

Primary topics for cardinals' upcoming meeting are religious freedom & the sacred liturgy, but secular news accounts focus "almost exclusively" on 'secondary discussion' of abuse scandal [11/10]

Pope Benedict sends letter ahead of G20 summit [11/10]

Cathedral in Baghdad reopens following massacre [11/9]

Agenda for meeting of cardinals [11/9]

Colorado paper denounces SF's condemnation of Church teachings [11/9]

Vatican Library exhibit to be held from November 11, 2010 - January 31, 2011 off St. Peter's Square [11/9]

Pope Benedict highlights families' primary role in education; Holy Father also reminds that "The entire Church is present in each liturgical act, and adhering to its form is a condition for the authenticity of the celebration" [11/9]

Israeli authorities charge Nazareth imam with inciting violence against Pope Benedict during his 2009 pilgrimage to the Holy Land [11/9]

Polish statue of Jesus now tallest statue of Christ in the world [11/9]

Terrorism watchdog agency to review arrests made during Pope Benedict's U.K. visit [11/9]

Court demands cardinal in Sarajevo vacate his residence [11/9]

Parishes in Mexico experiencing increased theft of sacred objects [11/9]

University that claims "Jesuit values are central to academic life" will honor CHA head who supported abortion-expanding healthcare legislation against the U.S. bishops [Refresher: Catholic teachings on abortion] [11/9]

Media focuses on gay 'kiss in' during papal visit joined by 100 - 200 persons instead of the 250,000 pilgrims supporting Pope Benedict [11/9]

Sad: Unveiled Spanish queen receives Holy Communion standing & in hand from Pope Benedict [Refresher: Communion in the Hand: Why Not? | Women's Head Covering | Kneeling (Reflections)] [11/9]

Good news: Bishop Robert Morlino gives 'emphatic support' to conservative priests; Prelate calls conduct of some lay persons 'gravely sinful' [11/9]

Russian legislature transfers ownership of historic Catholic church to schismatic Orthodox; Archbishop calls transfer - which was "lobbied and prepared in secret" - a "blatant injustice"' [11/9]

Papal visit to Spain had a 'great impact' [11/9]

Cardinals to meet in Rome prior to consistory [11/8]

Papal spokesman on the dedication of Sagrada Familia: "I think is for the Pope one of the most joyful moments in his life as Pope!" [11/8]

Five Anglican 'bishops' to enter the Catholic Church [Refreshers: Anglican orders are invalid | Top Reasons Why Women Can't Be Priests] [11/8]

Swiss monks recruit 'high-flying executives' [11/8]

Pope Benedict dedicates Barcelona's Sagrada Familia; Holy Father says he considers the dedication "an event of great importance, at a time in which man claims to be able to build his life without God, as if God had nothing to say to him" [11/8]

'Scene was euphoric' as Pope Benedict reached the Cathedral in Spain [11/6]

Pope Benedict comes to Spain "as a pilgrim"; Holy Father says it "will fall happily to me" to dedicate "that marvel which is the church of the Sagrada Familia" [11/6]

Group highlighted in CCHD reform document has ties with pro-homosexual, pro-abortion groups [Refreshers: Catholic teachings on abortion (click here) & homosexuality (click here)] [11/6]

New Jersey & Virginia priests charged with misappropriating parish funds [11/6]

More craziness: Nightclub - complete with alcohol and rock music ("a musical genre which has been described by the Pope has the work of the Devil") - housed in crypt of the Basilica di San Carlo al Corso near St. Peter's [Warning: contains offensive references] 11/6]

Don't call Cordoba cathedral a "mosque" says bishop; Historic cathedral was first an ancient basilica before being taken over by Muslims who destroyed it to build a mosque (the building was subsequently taken back by the Church and consecrated as a cathedral) [11/6]

Iowa voters' 'dramatic defeat' of judges who ruled in favor of homosexual 'marriage' signals hope for amendment affirming true marriage [11/6]

Liberal priests in Chicago archdiocese oppose CCHD reform efforts; Leader of opposition is a priest with ties to groups which go against Church teachings [11/6]

Calendar of celebrations to be presided over by Pope Benedict through January 2011 [11/5]

Spaniards 'anxiously awaiting' Pope Benedict's arrival; Security for papal visit "is intense" [11/5]

Pope Benedict highlights importance of consecrated life; Holy Father says promoting vocations to the consecrated life "must also be a duty felt by all: bishops, priests, religious and lay people" [11/5]

Chief architect on Barcelona's Holy Family Church: "There is nothing like it in the world" [11/5]

Pro-lifers concerned about 'lame duck' session; Forty defeated incumbents are "hardcore pro-abortion" [11/5]

Creator of lay apologetics organization charges that "The current disaster in the Church is the fault of the bishops and the priests who have failed to teach the faith"; Catholics seeking doctrinal orthodoxy face slurs from liberals [11/5]

Free discussion meetings end 'snoozefests' at the Vatican? [11/5]

In wake of massacre at cathedral, Iraqi prime minister pledges increased security around monasteries and churches [11/5]

Islamic State of Iraq says all Christians are 'legitimate targets' for killing; Muslim group calls Christians "idolaters" and says the Vatican is a "hallucinating tyrant" [11/4]

Pope Benedict speaks on need to clean one's conscience [11/4]

CDF issues letter on Opus Angelorum [11/4]

Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services considering ACLU's request to mandate 'emergency' abortions at Catholic hospitals [Refresher: Catholic teachings on abortion] [11/4]

Holy Father's message for opening of new seminary in Cuba [11/4]

Philippine bishop criticizes prayers to win the lottery as "defective" [11/4]

Abortion advocates lose control of the U.S. House of Representatives in historic election; Election results a 'huge boost' for pro-life movement [11/3]

Pope Benedict asks for prayers for his weekend trip to Spain [11/3]

Presumed new Speaker of the House - a Catholic from a large family - is a "consistent pro-life advocate with a 100% pro-life voting record" [11/3]

Jewish man recounts how his father was saved by Pope Pius XII by being hidden in the Vatican [11/3]

Weeks before the attack in Baghdad, Archbishop Athanase Matti Shaba Matoka 'sounded the alarm', asking "Is it true what is said that there is a plan to empty the Middle East of Christians and that Iraq is one of the victims?" [11/3]

CL says U.S. Catholics decided the election [11/3]

New movie based on California exorcist to be released in 2011; Film "departs from the facts in some respects" [11/3]

USCCB statement expresses "profound sorrow" over massacre in Baghdad; Bishops' statement says U.S. has "a moral obligation not to abandon those Iraqis who cannot defend themselves" [11/2]

Archbishop Lucas asks faithful to "refrain from using any materials and websites associated with" the suppressed Intercessors of the Lamb and its founder [11/2]

Slain Baghdad priest had 'prepared for the worst' after Protestant 'minister' threatened to burn the Qur'an on 9/11 [11/2]

Peruvian archbishop says Catholics need to "be saints in order to change the world" [11/2]

Massachusetts priest files defamation suit against two other priests [11/2]

Live coverage of papal trip to Spain [11/2]

Pope Benedict decries "very serious attack on the Syrian Catholic Cathedral in Baghdad" [11/1]

At least 52 killed, 67 wounded in Al-Qaida linked siege of Baghdad church during evening Mass [11/1]

Prosecutors doubt Vatican Bank's commitment to comply with money laundering norms [11/1]

Man arrested for allegedly beating priest at nursing home in 'revenge attack'; Victim of beating allegedly abused beating suspect decades previously [11/1]

Pope Benedict emphasizes that God wants to save all souls; Says "God does not let himself be conditioned by our human prejudices, but sees in everyone a soul to save and is especially attracted to those who are judged as lost and who think themselves so" [11/1]

Alleged abuse victims meet with papal spokesman at the Vatican, leave letters for Pope Benedict; Media coverage of victims' demonstration near St. Peter's was "heavy" even though turnout was less than 100 persons [11/1]

Note: Dates in brackets may refer to date link was added to MCS news page


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