My Catholic Source.com ™ News & Opinion Page (12/09 Archive)
Keywords: Catholic News, Catholic News Links, Catholic News Headlines, News Affecting Catholics, News From a Catholic Perspective, Catholic Opinions
Nancy Pelosi, a supposed 'Catholic' who flagrantly disregards Church teachings, has said in a year-end interview that she thinks "women should have that opportunity to exercise their free will" to have abortions as well as making other erroneous and ridiculous statements. Hearing this, wouldn't you just love to be the interviewer? Wouldn't it be refreshing to hear Pelosi be asked if she'd also support, say, the "free will" of a person who wanted to kill high-ranking legislators? Or the "free will" of someone who no longer wanted to pay taxes? Wouldn't you love to hear her try to explain how she could feel safe to even walk out her door in a world where everyone was free to exercise their "free will" without limit?
Further, wouldn't it be interesting to ask her point-blank to explain how she can, in actuality, be a "practicing Catholic" since she rejects Church authority and promotes a mortal sin (abortion) which automatically excommunicates one from the Church?
Wouldn't it also be great to press her for specific details about how she "practically mourn[s] this difference of opinion" she has with the Church? What, does she cry? Say prayers? Don black? How exactly does she "practically mourn"? Please, give details. Further, while on the topic of mourning, does she also mourn the death of the innocent victims of abortion who are (painfully) killed in their mothers' wombs? Does she care about them at all or about their "free will"?
And, regarding her "thanking God" that the Senate healthcare bill funds abortions, wouldn't you relish the opportunity to question her about how God - the author of the Fifth Commandment - might feel about being thanked for the Senate's publicly funding the murder of persons He created and fashioned in His image and likeness? Or about how the "free will" of abortion-minded women must be respected, but not the "free will" of persons who don't want to pay for others' abortions?
Wouldn't it be great if the interviewer wouldn't let her off with evasive answers to these questions - but kept the cameras rolling and pressed her as often as it took for her to directly address each and every point, being certain to call her on every single one of her contradictions as well as her many errors of logic and of fact.
Of course we'll never see a "real interviewer" do this, so what about citizen interviews? It is the citizens, after all, who pay her salary and are due an accounting. She is, in effect, our employee. And, should Pelosi decline to be interviewed voluntarily, might she support an interviewer's "free will" to follow her around with a camera until all his questions were fully answered? Or, do you think some limits to others' "free will" may suddenly be found by Pelosi when the issue affects her - personally - in a negative way? Too bad the unborn babies aren't likely to be the subject of those limits to "free will" that Pelosi may suddenly discover. But then again, it's only their lives on the line for the unborn babies, not the terrible annoyance of being followed around by a camera.
[Notice: We do not condone murder, tax evasion, or harassment]
An unfortunate incident in a Louisiana parish has resulted in a touching display of Christian charity. Shortly before Christmas, a parish in Violet, LA was surprised to find the gifts it planned to give to needy children stolen from inside the church. Word got out that the parish hoped to replace the gifts before Christmas, and donors from across the country acted quickly to supplant the stolen presents. One article speaks of receiving "countless monetary donations", "mounds of toys", and a "flood of calls offering assistance". The church was able to expand its list of needy families to help and now reportedly has an "overwhelming surplus of toys and gifts". In addition, the thief - who was on parole for a previous theft - has confessed to the crime and "nearly all" of the original gifts have been recovered. Of the happy ending to this story, one article states: "Even George Bailey would be astonished"
Despite the scandal, public protests, graduates' boycotts, criticism from bishops, and the flagrant disregard for the 2004 USCCB statement ("The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions"), Fr. Jenkins has told an interviewer that he would do it all again. The Notre Dame president - who has refused to seek leniency for pro-lifers who were arrested while peacefully protesting on his campus - said that if he had it to do all over again, he would again invite pro-abortion President Obama to speak at commencement and would again award him an honorary law degree. Regarding the pro-homosexual, pro-abortion President, Fr. Jenkins says "It was an honor for us to welcome him to campus." Too bad he wasn't so "honored" by the presence of the pro-lifers (including an elderly priest) who were carted off to jail and still face fines and jail time for peacefully protesting the scandal on Our Lady's campus.
A review of more than a dozen articles covering the security incident on Christmas Eve at St. Peter's Basilica where a woman knocked Pope Benedict to the ground as he walked down the isle before Midnight Mass reveals the following...
* The attacker, Susanna Maiolo, who jumped the security barrier is a 25 year-old is a Swiss-Italian national. She was apprehended, unarmed, "almost immediately but not before she was able to grab the Pope's vestments and drag him to the ground." She reportedly has a "history of mental problems". In fact, in 2008, she had also jumped the barrier - wearing "the same red hooded sweat shirt" - in an attempt to approach the Holy Father but was restrained by security guards. She apparently lives in Switzerland and traveled to Rome "specifically for the Mass, as she did last year." She reportedly told doctors that she "intended no harm but merely wished to greet the Pope." After the incident, she was placed under observation in a psychiatric facility near Rome
* The 82 year-old Pope Benedict XVI was said to be shaken but, thankfully "and perhaps miraculously", was unhurt after the incident. He got up quickly, "proceeded down the aisle to cheers of 'Viva il Papa!' ('Long live the Pope')", and celebrated Mass without further interruption. The Holy Father did not mention the event in the various talks he made over the weekend and his schedule was not disturbed. He appeared to be "in good shape" days after the incident although at the Christmas blessing at St. Peter's he did appear "unsteady on his feet". According to the director of the Vatican press office, Pope Benedict has "already forgiven his assailant"
* Another prelate, Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, was harmed during the incident. The 87 year-old Cardinal was taken away in a wheelchair after suffering a broken femur. He has undergone hip-replacement surgery and is said to be "in good condition"
* Since the incident, the Pope's security has been under scrutiny. However, it is noted that it is "impossible" to provide "watertight security" for the Pope since he needs to be close to people and therefore "there will always be a risk". In fact, as one article notes "This was the fifth time in Benedict's four and a half year pontificate that he has been the object of attacks during public ceremonies." In the present incident, it "seems that [security forces] intervened at the earliest possible moment" but the Vatican will reportedly review their security procedures
* The Vatican is considering what action to take against the woman who knocked the Pope down. A spokesman has, however, said that Vatican justice "is usually benevolent". There is some talk of putting his assailant into long term care at an Italian psychiatric institution and also about the possibility of banning her from St. Peter's Basilica
The controversial liberal theologian Edward Schillebeeckx, "one of the most active theologians at the Second Vatican Council", has died at the age of 95 after a long illness. He died in the Netherlands on December 23.
Yet again, the Vatican newspaper is making waves. This time, the paper has praised 'The Simpsons' - an often irreverent television series which "mocks and satirizes" religion. While the review wasn't entirely positive, it made references to the show's "realistic and intelligent writing" and called the 20 year-old cartoon show "profound".
And, in what may be considered an insult to watchful Catholic parents & other discriminating Catholics, the article claims that "rigid censors turn off the television" when the program comes on but says "the more serious analysts praise the realism and intelligence of its scripts, even if they often attack -- and rightly so -- the crude language and the violence of some episodes."
Well, watchful parents & discriminating Catholics, take comfort in the fact that you seem to be in good company with St. Paul, Popes Pius XI and XII, and even the Second Vatican Council...
"So be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and handed himself over for us as a sacrificial offering to God for a fragrant aroma. Immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be mentioned among you, as is fitting among holy ones, no obscenity or silly or suggestive talk, which is out of place, but instead, thanksgiving." (St. Paul, Eph. 5:1-4)
"Indeed, this should be the first aim of the arts of the Motion Pictures, Radio and Television: to serve truth and virtue." (Pope Pius XII, "Miranda Prorsus", 1957 A.D.)
"It is therefore one of the supreme necessities, of our times to watch and to labor to the end that the motion picture be no longer a school of corruption but that it be transformed into an effectual instrument for the education and the elevation of mankind." (Pope Pius XI, "Vigilanti Cura", 1936 A.D.)
"The motion picture should not be simply a means of diversion, a light relaxation to occupy an idle hour; with its magnificent power, it can and must be a bearer of light and a positive guide to what is good." (Pope Pius XI, "Vigilanti Cura", 1936 A.D.)
"Parents on their part should remember that it is their duty to see that entertainments and publications which might endanger faith and morals do not enter their houses and that their children are not exposed to them elsewhere." (Second Vatican Council)
"It is equally the duty of the Bishops of the entire Catholic world to unite in vigilance over this universal and potent form of entertainment and instruction... There must be no weariness in combating whatever contributes to the lessening of the people's sense of decency and of honor. This is an obligation which binds not only the Bishops but also the faithful and all decent men who are solicitous for the decorum and moral health of the family, of the nation, and of human society in general." (Pope Pius XI, "Vigilanti Cura", 1936 A.D.)
"This special power which Television enjoys, of giving pleasure within the family circle, is to be reckoned of very great importance, since it can contribute a great deal to the religious life, the intellectual development and the habits of those who make up the family; of the sons, especially, whom the more modern invention will certainly influence and captivate. But if that saying, 'a little leaven corrupteth the whole mass' corresponds at all to the truth, and if physical growth in youths can be prevented, by some infectious germ, from reaching full maturity, much more can some base element of education steal its way into the fibres of the religious life, and check the due shaping of morals. Everyone knows well that, very often, children can avoid the transient attack of a disease outside their own home, but cannot escape it when it lurks within the home itself. It is wrong to introduce risk in any form into the sanctity of home surroundings" (Pope Pius XII, "Miranda Prorsus", 1957 A.D.)
And considering the example of Christ - who tells us to "be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect" (Mt. 5:48) - as well as the examples of the saints, can anyone with proper Catholic formation for one moment imagine that Jesus or the saints would fail to be "rigid censors" of irreverent programming which mocks religion and uses violence & crude language?
While one might expect the Vatican newspaper to direct Catholics to virtue and goodness rather than to praise irreverent television programs which "mock and satirize" religion & employ crude language and violence, it seems that this is just one more scandalous example of the Vatican's "semi-official" newspaper attempting to "befriend the world". It joins their recent (scandalous) praise of an anti-Catholic film, a pro-abortion president, a cr*tch-grabbing pop-star whose works include the albums "Bad" & "Dangerous", an arch-heretic, a film containing witchcraft, and Karl Marx.
"This world and the world to come are two enemies. We cannot therefore be friends to both; but we must decide which we will forsake and which we will enjoy." (Pope St. Clement I)
"It is always a sign of presumption to imagine ourselves able to handle hot coals without burning ourselves." (Camus)
Did you recently hear a story about a "priest" advising certain people to shoplift? The "priest" who condoned violations of the 7th commandment is really no priest at all, but rather a - quite misguided - Anglican 'clergy' member. [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)]
"Thou shalt not steal." (Deut. 5:19)
The South Carolina priest who hoped to win $1 million for his church in a televised poker tournament did not walk away with the top prize, but he did win $100K. The priest, who obtained his bishop's permission to participate, plans to donate the winnings to his church's building fund.
The following are some highlights from Pope Benedict's annual pre-Christmas address to the Roman Curia and cardinals in Rome. The Holy Father said...
* "Today we must learn once again to be able to recognize guilt, we must shake off the illusion of being innocent"
* "We must learn the ability to do penance, to let ourselves be transformed; to meet the other and let God give us the courage and strength for such renewal"
* People must "be willing to take the first step, be the first to meet the other, offering them reconciliation, taking on the pain that comes with letting go of having to always be right"
Pope Benedict also called for a "rediscovery of the sacrament of Penance", saying that the neglect of this sacrament is "a symptom of the loss of truth in relation to ourselves and with God; a loss that puts our humanity in danger and weakens our capacity for peace."
The Holy Father also reminded that "Faith is not a myth. It is real history and we can touch traces of it with our hands."
Related: The Sacrament of Penance
The "leading English seminary in Rome" has revealed documents which may lend support to the theory that the famous playwright William Shakespeare was Catholic. These documents - "guest books for visiting pilgrims" - contain three 16th century signatures, namely "Arthurus Stratfordus Wigomniensis", "Shfordus Cestriensis", and "Gulielmus Clerkue Stratfordiensis", which they believe to be cryptic entries for "(King) Arthur's (compatriot) from Stratford (in the diocese) of Worcester", "Sh(akespeare from Strat)ford (in the diocese) of Chester", and "William the Clerk from Stratford." The dates of the signatures, which fall within the "lost years" of Shakespeare's life, "suggest that the playwright sought refuge" at the seminary.
The theory that Shakespeare was a "covert Catholic" is bolstered by certain of his writings which are said to be "rich in Catholic thought and rituals", as well as the fact that "Shakespeare's parents, friends and teachers were Catholics, as were some of his patrons." He also reportedly purchased property that was "a secret meeting place for fugitive Catholics" (remember that during the time of the Protestant Rebellion, Catholics may have been forced to practice their faith covertly or risk being tortured and martyred). Considering the evidence, one biographer had recently concluded that Shakespeare was a Catholic "and that his religion is the key to understanding his life and work."
The bishop of Belleville has reportedly sent a letter to at least one more parish in Illinois instructing parishioners to follow the liturgical norms of kneeling during Mass (see previous story here). Unfortunately, however, some unhappy parishioners are complaining about the directive, and one "adjunct professor of religious studies" has called the instruction (try not to laugh): "liturgical nitpicking that winds up harming the solemnity of the liturgy." So now kneeling harms solemnity? How exactly does that happen? Reading a bit further into one news account reveals the root of the problem, namely that these people fail to appreciate that the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is a solemn sacrifice - the very re-presentation of Calvary. Instead, they have imbibed the Protestant "meal concept" mentality as evidenced by the assertion that "We should all be sitting around a table sharing a meal." Since they mistake Mass for a meal, no wonder they don't want to kneel! Pray that the Bishop will - posthaste - give these parishioners some much needed instruction on the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass!
"Enter, let us bow down in worship; let us kneel before the LORD who made us." (Ps. 95:6)
"In the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth" (St. Paul, Phil. 2:10)
"A faith or a liturgy no longer familiar with kneeling would be sick at the core." (Cardinal Ratzinger, the future Pope Benedict XVI)
"In the Mass there is offered to God a true sacrifice, properly speaking, which is propitiatory for the living and the dead." (Pope Pius IV)
"If any one saith that the sacrifice of the mass is only a sacrifice of praise and of thanksgiving; or that it is a bare commemoration of the sacrifice consummated on the Cross, but not a propitiatory sacrifice; or that it profits him only who receives; and that it ought not to be offered for the living and for the dead for sins, pains, satisfactions, and other necessities; let him be anathema." (Council of Trent)
"And thenceforth, the Apostles, and their successors in the priesthood, began to lift to heaven that 'clean oblation' foretold by Malachy, through which the name of God is great among the gentiles. And now, that same oblation in every part of the world and at every hour of the day and night, is offered and will continue to be offered without interruption till the end of time: a true sacrificial act, not merely symbolical, which has a real efficacy unto the reconciliation of sinners with the Divine Majesty." (Pope Pius XI, "Ad Catholici Sacerdotii", 1935 A.D.)
"The august sacrifice of the altar, then is no mere empty commemoration of the passion and death of Jesus Christ, but a true and proper act of sacrifice, whereby the High Priest by an unbloody immolation offers Himself a most acceptable victim to the Eternal Father, as He did upon the cross. 'It is one and the same victim; the same person now offers it by the ministry of His priests, who then offered Himself on the cross, the manner of offering alone being different. The priest is the same, Jesus Christ, whose sacred Person His minister represents." (Pope Pius XII, "Mediator Dei", 1947 A.D.)
The rebellious former Archbishop Milingo reportedly "rejects" the Pope's recent decision to defrock him. He is also demanding pension from the Vatican. The excommunicated former Archbishop claims the letter he received is invalid because it "did not have the emblem of and seal from the Pope" and says he will "not give up."
Some Jews claim that the Pope's planned visit to a Roman synagogue next month has been put "under a cloud" by the Supreme Pontiff's recent decision to declare Pope Pius XII venerable. At least one account speaks of "fears of the visit being cancelled." One commentator (laughably) suggests that the Church should "take [Jews'] sensitivities into serious consideration" when declaring saints. Others speak of "insensitivity", "Jewish anger", being "furious", and there has been at least one call for the Church to "renounce" the beatification plan. While some Jews think the late Pope was too "silent" during the Jewish holocaust, researchers have demonstrated that Pope Pius XII "did more than anyone else" to save Jews during this time.
Here in America, Archbishop Dolan has made waves in the opposite direction by lighting a candle on a menorah at a Jewish temple marking the beginning of Hanukkah. Or, in other words, a high-ranking Catholic prelate - in full clerical garb - spent part of Advent participating in a Jewish religious practice with persons who specifically reject (if not openly calumniate) Christ during a time where Catholics are to be preparing for the celebration of Christ's birth, thereby scandalizing & confusing many of the faithful.
"I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (Our Lord Jesus Christ, Jn. 14:6)
"Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him." (Jn. 5:23)
"There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved." (Acts 4:12)
"Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters." (Our Lord Jesus Christ, Mt. 12:30)
Related: Catholic Apologetics for Jews
Belleville's Bishop Braxton has instructed parishioners who attend at Corpus Christi that they must kneel during the consecration. According to news accounts, a letter from the Bishop marked "high priority" was sent to the pastor and instructs parishioners "that, at my instruction, they must begin following the liturgical norm of kneeling during the entire Eucharistic Prayer." Apparently, the people have been standing in this parish for years during the consecration, many in an "annex" with no kneelers, despite that fact that standing at this time (in the absence of a sufficient reason - e.g. medical problem) violates liturgical norms.
Related: Kneeling (Reflections)
It is being reported that the during the Pope's 2010 visit to the UK, "the Vatican did not want the trappings that (normally) accompany such a visit." Therefore, the Holy Father has declined to stay at Buckingham Palace and will instead stay with the Apostolic Nuncio in Wimbledon. He has also reportedly rejected the customary "palace banquet and procession in a gold carriage" on his historic visit. News reports also indicate that the Holy Father does not plan to visit Ireland during this trip.
The Blogs Editor of the Telegraph Media Group recently did a "little experiment" when he was bored. He searched the website of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales for the keywords "environment" and "sin". He found 28 matches for "environment" and only six for "sin". Repeating his experiment on the U.S. bishops' (USCCB) website...
"Results for: environment Document count: environment (2757)"
"Results for: sin Document count: sin (3935)"
Now there's some good news, huh?
News agencies are reporting on blasphemies in New Zealand and Jerusalem. The specific details are too offensive for pious ears, therefore the following is merely a brief overview.
* New Zealand: "Possibly the most offensive billboards ever" have appeared in New Zealand. The billboards contain an inaccurate, offensive, and terribly disrespectful image of St. Joseph and the Blessed Virgin Mary.
* Jerusalem - Vandals have defaced the walls of "the Franciscan church in Jerusalem abutting the Cenacle, the site of the Last Supper" with "obscene slogans" and other matter. Some attribute the vandalism to "Jewish extremists" upset by the negotiations between the Israeli government and the Vatican.
Note: Prayers of reparation may be found here
The following appears in an opening paragraph of a CNS article covering the Pope's 2009 activities:
"The Year of St. Paul. The Year for Priests. A major social encyclical. A Holy Land pilgrimage. A first meeting with President Obama. Ten new saints. An African trip and an African synod. A Facebook debut. A controversial concession to Catholic traditionalists. An unexpected overture to disaffected Anglicans."
It doesn't take a hound dog to sniff out the bias there, does it? The "eyebrow raising" encyclical calling for "large-scale redistribution of wealth on a world-wide scale" which speaks "urgent need of a true world political authority" which is "universally recognized" and "vested with... effective power...[and] the authority to ensure compliance with its decisions from all parties" is referred to simply as a "major social encyclical." The other events are also simply listed. But, the lifting of some excommunications...that is referred to as a "controversial concession to Catholic traditionalists."
Although one might (unfortunately) expect such bias in the secular media, it seems especially out of place in a news service of the U.S. bishops - a news service that they claim "has set the standard in Catholic journalism". But then again, it's hardly surprising in light of some of their recent coverage, coverage which prompted one author to state that "It is bizarre theater indeed when an American Cardinal must directly refute the errors in a piece that was syndicated, published and propagated by the news service owned by the very Bishops' Conference to which he belongs, and this just months after the leadership of said news service was put on notice by a powerful Vatican prelate".
Even if the Pope's lifting of the excommunications was "controversial" (particularly to the Jews), was it really any more controversial than some of the novel passages in the encyclical or the Vatican's recent playlist including a rap song with explicit lyrics, or any other events occurring in 2009? So, why single this one out for the label "controversial"? One who didn't know any better might think the bishops were biased in a liberal direction - or that were more concerned about Jews' feelings than Church unity. But, no, that can't be the case. Certainly not.
The incoming Archbishop of Milwaukee has responded to a dissident 'Catholic' group's scandalous ad campaign which promotes c*ntraception and abortion for Catholic youth, as well as advancing the homosexual agenda. Regarding the claim that "Catholics can disregard Church teaching regarding c*ntraception, abortion and human sexuality in general and remain Catholics in good standing" he said that "Nothing could be further from the truth." He further stated that...
"While people can call themselves whatever they want, it is my duty as a bishop to state clearly and unequivocally that by professing and disseminating views in grave contradiction to Catholic teaching, members of organizations like 'Young Catholics for Choice' in fact disown their Catholic heritage, tragically distancing themselves from that communion with the Church to which they are called."
Perhaps if obstinate, dissident 'Catholics' were formally excommunicated, their ability to mislead other Catholics would be lessened. But don't hold your breath.
People tend get upset when their mother is insulted, do they not? Given that, one might wonder how Jesus feels about the offensive comparisons pro-life groups tend to make this time of year with regard to His holy Mother Mary (e.g. "The Christmas story of the birth of Jesus Christ is the ultimate portrayal of a single mother with an unplanned pregnancy that ends in an overwhelming success"). While a mere mortal obviously can't speak for Christ, it is clear that other "children of Mary" are likely to find such references to our holy Mother terribly offensive.
There's no denying that pro-lifers have noble goals in mind, but it is NOT at all noble to compare the holy immaculate, chaste, sinless Virgin Mary's pregnancy - her womb, a holy tabernacle carrying God, as per God's own design - with that of sinful, unchaste, fornicating unmarried women who contravene God's laws and conceive illegitimately. Certainly the Virgin Mary's pregnancy was far from "unplanned", rather it was divinely ordained, promised in Genesis, and consented to in advance by the Blessed Virgin Mary herself. Further, her sacred Child was conceived miraculously by the Holy Spirit and born into a chaste married home - He was not a product of fornication, nor was He raised by a "single mother". God chose a chaste Virgin, betrothed to the holy St. Joseph, and thereby honored marriage.
Likewise, the Blessed Virgin Mary, the handmaid of the Lord, and St. Joseph are perfect role models who did God's will, whereas fornicating couples have acted immorally against God's will, and they give a bad example to others (not to mention making their children victims of their sin by conceiving them illegitimately). Mary risked being shamed and even her own life to follow God's will, unwed mothers have chosen pleasure over God's will.
It is offensive - even blasphemous - to compare the incomprehensible dignity of the Immaculate Virgin to the shame of fornicating women. Pro-lifers, will you please stop insulting the Blessed Virgin Mary? If mere mortals get upset when their mother (sinful though she be) is insulted, do you imagine Christ feels differently about insults to His holy & immaculate Mother?
Keep in mind that if Mary really was similar to the women the pro-lifers compare her to, she wouldn't have been chosen to be the Mother of God.
"Hail, God's palace; hail, tabernacle of the Most High; hail, house of God; hail, His holy vestments; hail, handmaid of God!" (St. Francis of Assisi)
"The Blessed Mother, Mary, raises the Divine Infant from the Crib; she presses him to heart; she places him on her knees; it is our God, Emmanuel, throned, but with such love and majesty on the Ark of the New Covenant. How far is the glory of Mary above that of the other living Throne formed for the Eternal Word by the trembling wings of Cherubim! And the Ark of Moses, made of corruptible wood, covered with plates of gold, holding within it the Manna and the Rod of Aaron and the very Tables of the Law - it is not a figure that pales in the presence of the holiness and the dignity of the Mother of God?" (Dom Gueranger)
According to an annual CNS poll, the top "religious news stories" of 2009 concerned the following topics...
* healthcare reform
* "the continued effects of the recession on the U.S. and global economy"
* the Obama-Notre Dame scandal
* Pope Benedict's recent encyclical
* the Apostolic Visitation of U.S. female religious
"Top newsmakers" were...
* Pope Benedict XVI ("the clear winner this year")
* President Obama
* Ted Kennedy
* Sonia Sotomayor
* Archbishop Dolan
At the traditional blessing of baby Jesus figurines, Pope Benedict reminded the audience...
* that the Nativity scene gives a "lesson for life" in the true meaning of joy, a joy which does not come from material possessions
* that "It is necessary to try to live every day what the crèche represents, that is, Christ's love, his humility, his poverty."
* that we should follow the example of St. Francis of Assisi, who "represented the scene of the Nativity to try to contemplate and adore it, but above all to know better how to put into practice the message of the Son of God, who left everything behind and became a little child out of love for us"
The Holy Father also reminded that Jesus "is the center of everything, the heart of the world."
The Brazilian Archbishop Emeritus who tried to prevent a nine-year old girl from undergoing an abortion has spoken out against politicians who support abortion and those who support such politicians. He denounced abortion and...
* reminded that "the Law of God is above any human law"
* said that "the silence of so many people [regarding abortion] is extremely worrisome, especially by those who are in public office"
* reminded that "Silence can be interpreted as tacit acceptance, and it can constitute complicity in the practice of abortion" [Refresher: Ways of being an accessory to sin]
* said that "honest citizens" cannot vote for politicians who defend "abortion, divorce or other violations of the Law of God. Such candidates cannot represent...any honest citizen"
May all U.S. bishops follow suit in issuing clear moral direction for voters!
CNA is reporting that 15 "self-described Catholic Senators" voted against an amendment that would have limited taxpayer funding of abortion in pending healthcare legislation. Since the vote was 54-45, the amendment's defeat may be blamed on these 15 'Catholic' senators, one of whom is "the great-nephew of Archbishop of Boston William Henry Cardinal O'Connell."
As one pro-lifer said, "The greatest threat to human dignity in the United States is the destruction of human life in the womb, not a lack of 'health care reform."
A letter from the Prefect of the Congregation for Clergy has reinforced the importance of priestly prayer. Some highlights appear below...
* "Prayer necessarily occupies a central place in the life of the priest. This is not hard to understand, since prayer fosters the disciple's intimacy with his Master, Jesus Christ. We all know that when prayer lessens, faith is weakened and the ministry loses content and meaning."
* "Truly, without the vital food of prayer the priest becomes sick, the disciple does not find the strength to follow the Master, and thus dies of hunger. As a consequence his flock is scattered, and dies in its own turn."
* "[The priest] is a very special disciple of the Lord who called him and who, by the sacrament of Order, configured him to Himself as Head and Shepherd of the Church. Christ is the one Shepherd, but he has deigned to make the Twelve and their Successors partake in His Ministry, amongst whom Priests also participate in this sacrament, albeit in a lower grade, in such a way that they also take part in the ministry of Christ, Head and Shepherd. This carries with it an essential bond between the priest and the ecclesial community. He cannot do any less than his duty, since without a shepherd the community withers. Rather, following the example of Moses, he must be found with his arms raised to Heaven in prayer so that the people will not perish."
* "...the priest, if he is to remain faithful to Christ and faithful to the community, must be a man of prayer, a man who lives close to the Lord. Moreover, he needs to be strengthened by the prayer of the Church and of every Christian. Let the sheep pray for their shepherd!"
More for the "rebellious & misguided" file...
* A group of Catholics in Michigan have petitioned their bishop to remove their priest. His list of "crimes"? Refusing to bless children at Communion (a novel practice which tends to blur the singular importance of Holy Communion, among other issues, and is best done at another time - e.g. after Mass), not holding "lay empowering" committee meetings, allowing the organ but not the piano, prohibiting Protestant (heretical) music, and saying the Latin Mass.
Comment: Based on news reports, it seems these parishioners should be thanking God for the blessing of a tradition-minded priest. One could only hope the bishop will rebuke the parishioners and praise the priest. A betting person, however, might wager that these people - some of whose online supporters have been disrespectful and insulting - will end up getting the kind of priest they want (and, perhaps, deserve) - e.g. one like the Maestro Perpetuo ("director for life") of the Sistine Chapel recently referred to as "full of good feelings" but yet "lack[ing] in education"
* A new survey reveals that "many" respondents hold beliefs "in conflict with basic Christian doctrines", and a large percentage have adopted "elements" of (harmful & dangerous) New Age thinking. The study further shows that more than 10% of Catholics also attend functions at non-Catholic "places of worship" (i.e. they participate in services of false religions). Many persons also apparently reject religious authority and prefer believing in their own "experiences" rather than believing in specific doctrines.
Comment: Bet the devil's having a field day with that last one.
"Be sober and vigilant. Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for (someone) to devour." (St. Peter, 1 Pt. 5:8)
"For unless one preserves the faith entire and uninjured, he will without doubt perish forever." (Bl. Pope Pius IX, "Qui Pluribus", 1846 A.D.)
"For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine but, following their own desires and insatiable curiosity, will accumulate teachers and will stop listening to the truth and will be diverted to myths." (St. Paul, 2 Tim. 4:3-4)
CatholicCulture.org is reporting that a 'Catholic' college in Montana is referring students to Planned Parenthood or "any health care provider" for abortions. Rather than rejecting the murder of unborn children, they have responded to the question "How can I obtain an abortion?" by stating that "Carroll College does not offer abortion counseling based on its Catholic Tradition" and then they refer students elsewhere for abortions. Yes, this so-called 'Catholic' college actually advises students where to go to murder their unborn children and, in the process, where to commit a mortal sin that will automatically excommunicate them from the Church! The school also included Planned Parenthood in their job finding guide and had invited a PP representative to a panel discussion. Furthermore, the public relations coordinator for the college referred to those who were critical of their association with a vulgar play as "Catholic Taliban."
Comment: Given the above, how can parents or students can trust anything this so-called 'Catholic' college teaches? Yet how many people do you think will be pulling their children out of there? This situation seems a perfect illustration of Archbishop Fulton Sheen's comment that those who go to a state college will have to fight for their faith whereas their faith will be taken from them at Catholic schools.
Some recent news items include:
* Lies & deception: Another undercover video shows Planned Parenthood employees giving false & misleading information to a "client." One PP employee denies that a fetus is a baby, stating that a fetus becomes a baby "at birth". The employee likewise gives false information about when an unborn baby has a heartbeat. The doctor at the clinic also denies that an unborn child is a baby until a certain point. He further claims that having an abortion is "much safer" than having a baby because "you know, women die having babies." He acknowledges that women die from abortions, but claims that none of his patients have died from his abortions. (Even if none have died at his clinic, why would anyone trust a person who makes a living by brutally killing innocent unborn children in the womb? Remember that some deaths associated with abortion may not occur until much later - e.g. cancer resulting from abortion.) Note: See the above referenced video here
* Dissident nun at it again: The nun who was "reprimanded" for serving as an abortion clinic escort for years is reportedly "applauding" the defeat of an amendment that would have limited taxpayer funding for abortion in proposed healthcare legislation. She apparently sent a "thank you letter" to those who voted against the amendment which included a troubling reference to the Blessed Virgin Mary. (Can we also send a thank you note - this one to the bishop for finally excommunicating her?)
* California Senator Dianne Feinstein responded to a reporter's question that she does think it is "morally correct" to use tax dollars from pro-life Americans to pay for insurance plans that cover abortion. She said, "We pay for a lot of things that we may or may not agree with, and taxpayers pay for it." (Think she'd feel differently if it was her tax dollars being used to pay for the murder of an innocent person she actually cared about?)
According to the FSSP website, TLM Masses in Calgary, Alberta have been restored (see announcement here). Although the FSSP announcement states that "restrictions have been lifted" and "normal Mass times have been resumed", it does not indicate what caused the reversal. [Previous story here]
The unusual scheduling of the Pope's 'Midnight' Mass at 10:00 p.m. has led to concerns about the Pope's heath. According to a Vatican spokesman, however, "There is no cause for alarm." He said the change was made to "in order not to tire His Holiness." The surprising schedule change is a "first" - even Pope John Paul II continued to celebrate at midnight despite his declining health. Midnight is traditionally believed to be the actual time of Christ's birth.
In what can only be described as Satanic deception, a "family planning center" in Michigan has produced a video promoting abortion - the murder of the unborn in the womb - as a "sacred work" ordered by "good women". The "gentle sounding" video tries to convince women that the decision to have an abortion is "thoughtful" and a "normal experience". The center wants to help women see the supposed "goodness" of their choice to kill their unborn children, so that these women can once again feel "good" about themselves. They claim their hearts are "open" to women - the very women they hope will come to them for the (hold your nose) "sacred work" of murdering their unborn children.
Of course the video never addressees the "goodness" of the "sacred act" from the murdered child's perspective. Nor do their hearts seem at all "open" to the defenseless victims of abortion they have killed. Nor is there any mention of the 5th commandment: You shall not kill, or of the fact that abortion is a mortal sin that excommunicates Catholics from the Church and may lead to damnation. Obviously that kind of talk might make it more difficult for a woman to feel "good" about her choice.
"Those who give drugs causing abortions are murderers themselves, as well as those who receive the poison which kills the fetus." (St. Basil the Great, Doctor of the Church, c. 369 A.D.)
"But no word has the power to change the reality of things: procured abortion is the deliberate and direct killing, by whatever means it is carried out, of a human being in the initial phase of his or her existence, extending from conception to birth." (Pope John Paul II)
A liberal magazine has published an article which calls for disobedience with regard to the proposed new (Novus Ordo) Mass translation. The new translation - which is said to be more faithful to the authoritative Latin text - finally clears up some decades-old translation errors. Liberals hoped protests from a certain bishop (who "tried mightily to stop the new translation train") might convince the bishops to reject the more accurate translation, but their hopes were shattered when the bishops approved the proposed new translation at their meeting in November.
Now, faced with the prospect of a new, more accurate Mass text, certain liberal minded persons are considering what "strategies" might save them from (God forbid!) having to use the more accurate translation. One liberal writer has publicly issued a call to disobedience stating that...
"This leads me to pose a question to my brother priests: What if we were to awaken to the fact that these texts are neither pastoral nor ready for our parishes? What if we just said, 'Wait'?"
He admits that this might "smack of insubordination to talk this way" but says "it could also be a show of loyalty and plain good sense - loyalty not to any ideological agenda but to our people, whose prayer the new translations purport to improve, and good sense to anyone who stops to think about what is at stake here."
Yea, right, he has no "ideological agenda" whatsoever. He just wants to "save" the people from a more accurate Mass translation. Oh, what a hero he is! Saving Catholics everywhere from accuracy! What a lofty goal that is, eh?
But wait, there's more. Just after the above, he references the "Jesuit Refugee Service [which] affirms to accompany, serve and defend the rights of vulnerable and often forgotten people." As if saving Catholics from what he complains are "clumsy" translations (read: more accurate translations) is akin to "defend[ing] the rights of vulnerable and often forgotten people." And, the cherry on the cake: He claims that what is at stake "is nothing less than the Church's credibility." Oh please!
In his article, the writer also writes (whines) about...
* "the systematic dismantling of the great vision of the council's decree [on the liturgy]" (So a more accurate translation of the Mass from the original Latin "dismantles" the Council's decree? How exactly does that happen?)
* "recent instructions from the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments that have raised rubricism to an art" (You wouldn't want to have to follow any rules, now would you?)
* "the endorsement, even encouragement, of the so-called Tridentine Mass" (Oh no, anything but that!)
* "the liturgy, the prayer of the people, is being used as a tool - some would even say as a weapon - to advance specific agendas" (But your using the liturgy as a weapon/tool to advance a liberal agenda for the last 40 years was to be praised, right? And, how exactly does making a translation more accurate make the liturgy a "tool" to advance an agenda?)
He also says...
* "Before long the priests of this country will be told to take the new translations to their people by means of a carefully orchestrated education program that will attempt to put a good face on something that clearly does not deserve it" (Hmm... an accurate translation of the Novus Ordo doesn't deserve a "good face"? Now if a tradition-minded Catholic had said that very same thing, wouldn't there be talk of schism?)
* "The veterans who enthusiastically devoted their best creative energies as young priests to selling the reforms of the council to parishioners back in the 1960s will be asked to do the same with regard to the new translations. Yet we will be hard put to do so." ("Selling" the reforms? I thought Catholics had embraced them with such joy)
* "We can see the present moment only as one more assault on the council and, sadly, one more blow to episcopal collegiality" (wah, wah, wah... we shouldn't have to make the Mass translation accurate... no, please not that! wah, wah, wah...)
* "Further, the council also wisely made provision for times of experimentation and evaluation ...something that has been noticeably missing in the present case" (Wisely? Polka masses, clown masses, Satan costumes... Oh PLEASE let this be "noticeably missing"!)
* a supposed need exists to "defend our people from this ill-conceived disruption of their prayer life" (If only you had felt this need 40 years ago!)
He tries to make his point against the new translation by referencing a recent dinner conversation with his friends, some of which were "quite angrily" aware of the "impending changes." He says the ones who were not aware of the changes reacted "somewhere between disbelief and indignation" upon learning of them. [Gee, what a surprise that your (presumably) like-minded friends would agree with you. Alert the press.]
He also claims some newly translated words made a group of Catholics laugh, which he said "should make us all tremble." So he thinks laughter by some people to the phrase "Joseph, spouse of the same virgin" (wow, that's funny) is a matter for trembling, while (presumably) applauding the experimental polka / clown / etc. Masses which have occurred over the last 4 decades. Hmm... interesting. Does he really think that these people in a conference room who supposedly "laughed" at these few words would actually laugh during Mass? Um...nevermind, it's not uncommon for liberals to actually encourage laughter at Mass (gulp!)
He also tries to find support for his position by claiming that some persons in the diocese of South Africa gave the new translation "a chilling reception", and that it "met almost uniformly with opposition bordering on outrage." Doesn't he see a bigger problem here if the - oh so humble - Catholics of that area were truly "outraged" by a more accurate Mass translation?
And, irony of ironies, he appeals for disobedience - the same stick the liberals used against tradition-minded Catholics is now apparently something to be praised if it means sparing Catholics from something that (he thinks) "in the end, [will] actually bring discredit to the Church and further disillusionment to the people." Irony of ironies, is it not? The main difference is, however, that many (but not all) tradition-minded Catholics never were disobedient to begin with. They were just accused of being disobedient.
But, the ironies don't end there. He has made some "proposals" that he almost certainly would have rejected 4 decades ago if tradition-minded Catholics of that time would have suggested them (e.g. consulting with the people, "market testing"). He knows perfectly well that if these steps had been taken 40 years ago there would have been little chance of the Novus Ordo Mass ever taking hold of mainstream Catholicism. But now, liberals will willingly suggest such measures since things aren't going their way. They will try any desperate attempt possible to save their "sinking ship". In fact, an entire website has been set up so that fellow liberals, "empowered Catholics", and an assortment of misguided Catholics can "have their voice heard", with the hopes that poor Catholics can be spared the horrible disaster of a more accurate Mass translation.
The best irony of all would be if the site was inundated with millions comments such as the following: "I wholeheartedly agree with you - please stop the new Mass translations. Just bring back the traditional Mass."
But that would probably kill the liberals. Literally.
Warning: Contains offensive material
It's especially unsettling when the news that makes one exclaim "Huh?" revolves around the Vatican. A recent example is a selection from the "Vatican's MySpace playlist" which includes at least one controversial tune. The song in question is by rapper Tupac Shakur entitled "Changes". It is said to "describe Shakur's desire to change a grim life of drugs, crime and violence on the streets." The rapper, who was gunned down in a drive-by shooting, had spent time in prison for s*xual assault. The song itself, which is labeled as "explicit", includes the following lyrics...
* "Is life worth living, should I blast myself?"
* "Give the crack to the kids, who the hell cares, one less hungry mouth on the welfare"
* "Cause more black and white is smokin' crack tonight"
But don't blame the Pope. News reports say the list was complied by Father Giulio Neroni, the "artistic director of church publisher St Paul's Multimedia."
Isn't it heartbreaking that good parents may need to make a point of cautioning their children about the Vatican's online presence?
Next time you hear chuckles when someone inquires about the time of Midnight Mass, you might want to think twice. The Pope's Midnight Mass this year is set to begin at 10:00 p.m. Go figure.
Dissenting Catholics plan to air television commercials starting this month which promote "emergency contraception" for young Catholics, even suggesting that persons have a "morning after pill on hand even before you need it." The commercials erroneously suggest that one can be a "good Catholic" while engaging in the gravely sinful act of contraception.
"[Relations] 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." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)
A new study makes for some unpleasant, but important reading for mature adults. The study "catalogs" ways that p*rn harms marriages, communities, children, and individuals. For mature adults who can profitably review information regarding this "relational and emotional poison" without danger of sin, an article concerning the study may be found here.
Note: Scroll down for answer
* Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is expected to visit the Vatican and have an audience with the Pope tomorrow (12/3)
* Newly released documents from the Diocese of Bridgeport reveal that Cardinal Egan once thought it "marvelous" that "so few" priests had been accused of abuse
* A "leading Cardinal" has courageously quoted St. Paul that (practicing) homosexuals "will never enter the kingdom of heaven" (1 Cor. 6:9-10) and said that homosexual acts are an "insult to God"
* A Melrose woman who claims to be "very spiritual", but does not "practice organized religion" claims that an "image of Mother Theresa" has appeared on her coffee shop cutting board "in answer to her prayer"
* A 'Catholic' university in Kentucky has posted a job opening for a "Planned Parenthood of Kentucky Peer Educator", where one of the duties is to provide "education, information and resources" on "methods of birth control and safer s*x"
* A "convicted tax evader" priest in Ireland has apologized for his remarks about Revenue Officials. He had called them "the biggest shower of b*st*rds on the planet", but now has "unreservedly withdrawn" these comments and others that alleged that the Revenue Officials "were responsible for suicides" and were "inconsiderate and inhumane"
* For the first time since 2005, more American corporations are on the "nice" part of the annual "naughty & nice" list for their inclusion of Christmas "as a part of their seasonal marketing and ad campaigns." The president of the group that produces the list says that that, for this year, "There's far more on the nice side than the naughty side"
Answer: None of the above are false.
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150 year-old Irish cathedral destroyed by fire on Christmas [Note: On this site, it is necessary to scroll down to view the article] [12/28]
TLM in Tallahassee on 1/10 [12/28]
More details emerge re: the Vatican-SSPX discussions; Head of the SSPX delegation says 'common doctrinal reference point' for the talks - which are being taped & filmed by both sides - is the Magisterium prior to the Council [Note: On this site, it is necessary to scroll down to view the article] [12/22]
Divine retribution in Orissa? Herds of elephants attack, "singling out the home of persecutors, leaving Christian homes untouched"; The attacking elephants - nicknamed "Christian elephants" by locals - "appear to be on a mission" [Warning: Article contains troubling references to persecution of religious] [12/21 (Note: Article is dated in September)]
In response to the disobedient "What If We Just Said Wait?" campaign against the more accurate Mass translation, supporters of the new translation launch a "We've Waited Long Enough" counter-petition [12/19]
The maniple was never abrogated [12/19]
USCCB News Release: "'Abortion compromise' does not address core problem in Senate health bill", Statement says "legislation will be morally unacceptable 'unless and until' it complies with longstanding current laws on abortion funding such as the Hyde amendment" [12/19]
"Long venerated work" attributed to disgraced founder of the Legion of Christ is "actually a slight re-writing of a book from a little-known Spanish author" according to recently circulated internal memo [12/18]
Excommunicated Archbishop is finally defrocked; Holy See communiqué notes that "the dismissal of a bishop from the clerical state is most extraordinary" but notes that "The Holy See has felt obliged to act in this way due to the serious consequences for ecclesial communion resulting from repeated episcopal consecrations carried out without pontifical mandate; nevertheless, the Church hopes that Archbishop Milingo will see the error of his ways" [12/17]
Good news: FSSP takes charge of "famous" Canadian parish [Note: On this site, it is necessary to scroll down to view the article] [12/17]
Fr. Z on the O Antiphons [12/17]
Pope Benedict says the only laws that can be considered just are "those laws that safeguard the sacredness of human life and reject the acceptance of abortion, euthanasia and unrestrained genetic experiments (and) those laws that respect the dignity of marriage between one man and one woman" [12/16]
Second grader sent home from public school over his crucifix drawing; Student also forced to undergo psychological evaluation over stick figure image that the school called a "violent drawing depicting a crucified Jesus with X's covering his eyes" [12/16]
Some changes to Canon Law [12/15]
CFN reminder re: Sunday shopping [12/15]
Monastery in Missouri to close [12/14]
Another call to reform CNS: Author says "It is bizarre theater indeed when an American Cardinal must directly refute the errors in a piece that was syndicated, published and propagated by the news service owned by the very Bishops' Conference to which he belongs, and this just months after the leadership of said news service was put on notice by a powerful Vatican prelate" [12/12]
So much for free speech: Catholic reporter fired from job of 18 years over e-mail sent from his personal e-mail account; Reporter's critical e-mail was in response to homosexual advocacy group's press release [12/12]
Suit filed against Cardinal Francis George and the Archdiocese of Chicago alleges discrimination against African-Americans regarding abuse allegations; Audit, however, finds that black victims received an average of 28% higher settlements than white victims [12/11]
Holy See Press Office issues statement concerning Irish abuse report: Says: "After careful study of the report, the Holy Father was deeply disturbed and distressed by its contents. He wishes once more to express his profound regret at the actions of some members of the clergy who have betrayed their solemn promises to God, as well as the trust placed in them by the victims and their families, and by society at large. The Holy Father shares the outrage, betrayal and shame felt by so many of the faithful in Ireland, and he is united with them in prayer at this difficult time in the life of the Church"; Pope Benedict also asks for prayers, intends to address a Pastoral Letter to the faithful in Ireland [12/11]
Pope to visit Fatima in May 2010 [12/11]
Pope Benedict says there are encouraging signs of religious freedom in Cuba; Says "It is my hope that tangible signs of openness in the exercise of religious freedom will continue to increase, as has been happening over recent years" [12/10]
Pope Benedict says mass media desensitizes us; Says "In a certain way, it poisons us... The heart hardens, and thoughts become gloomy. For this reason, the city needs Mary, whose presence speaks of God, reminds us of grace's victory over sin, and makes us hope even in the humanly most difficult situations"; The Holy Father also notes how the media exploits people and reminds that "Everyone would like to be accepted as a person and considered as something sacred, because each human story is a sacred story that deserves the utmost of respect" [12/9]
Religious freedom update: Catholic bishops of England and Wales worry that proposed law could put them "at risk of prosecution... unless they accept women, s*xually active gays and transs*xuals as candidates to the priesthood" [12/9]
"The Roe v. Wade of Europe" [12/9]
Pope Benedict tells audience that the Blessed Virgin Mary teaches people how to treat others; Reminds that "Every time we experience our fragility and temptation, we can turn to her and our hearts will receive light and comfort. Even in the midst of the trials of life, in the storms that shake our faith and hope, we remember that we are her children" [12/8]
Good news: Pro-life group reveals that the number of abortion clinics in the U.S. has been reduced by about 2/3 since 1991; Group also seeks to document "illegal and dangerous behavior" at abortion clinics, noting that "We have never found an abortion clinic that follows the law" [12/8]
Director of NJ Catholic Conference testifies that the "great truth" about marriage as a union of husband and wife "is not some obscure doctrinal fine point but a fact of human nature"; Notes that it is not unjust discrimination to "treat different things differently" [12/8]
Catholics call on bishops to deny Communion to legislators who vote for healthcare reform which covers abortion; Protester says "We're tired of the treachery and the cowardice of so-called Catholic politicians who rebel against the teachings of Christ"; Bishop Zubik declined to "debate" the mater publicly [12/5]
So much for their vow of obedience: One rebellious sister publicly admits going against Church teachings: "Are we going contrary to Rome's teachings? I say, 'Yes, it is contrary to Rome's teachings.' But it is not contrary to my own conscience"; Dissenting nuns continue to criticize the (long overdue!) Vatican investigation of U.S. female religious [12/4]
Pope asks sick persons to "pray and offer your sufferings for priests, that they may remain faithful to their vocations and that their ministry be rich in spiritual fruits, to the benefit of the entire church"; Holy Father says it is not "resting from the suffering or running from the pain that cures man, but it is his capacity to accept tribulation and to mature in it, to find sense through the union with Christ, who suffered with infinite love" [12/3]
Your tax dollars at work: Obama Administration authorizes taxpayer funded embryonic stem cell research; Unlike adult stem cell research, embryonic stem cell research requires destroying human life [12/3]
While the Cardinal's reference to St. Paul concerning practicing homosexuals not entering heaven was widely reported, little media attention was garnered for an Italian gay activist group's response/insult that "yes, it's true, we won't ever get into your heaven, which is a murky and unjust place" [12/3]
Several pilgrims who ignored their bishop's pleas against the Knock gathering have damaged their eyes by staring into the sun; Attendees were hoping to witness a Marian 'apparition' promised by a "self-proclaimed spiritual healer" [12/2]
Ignoring the plight of murdered unborn babies, Patrick Kennedy uses "religious rhetoric" to promote pro-abortion healthcare legislation; Legislator declines to answer questions regarding his dispute with Bishop Tobin [12/1]
Heirs fight against archdiocesan plans to reinter the late Cardinal O'Connell; Previously, the Cardinal had himself ordered reinterment of priests when first purchasing land to be used for archdiocesan headquarters [12/1]
Canadian bishop who violated parishioners' rights by mandating Communion in the hand blatantly rejects Vatican authority: In response to complaint, says "I am well aware of what the congregation has decided but quite frankly, it is not their call. It is mine." [12/1]
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