Saturday, April 10, 2004

Fall River Dioceses limits liturgical feet-wash to men

The Diocese of Fall River, heeding the Vatican line on a rite that is an important part of some Catholics' piety, told some priests this week not to wash the feet of women on the Thursday before Easter.

In Fall River, one prominent member of the city's Catholic community said he was disturbed by the sudden and seemingly arbitrary application of the policy there.

``It's a rich tradition,'' he said, asking that he not be identified. ``But once the issue is brought up, it deserves dialog on whether the symbolism of washing the apostles' feet ought to be gender-blind. It should generate serious discussions about the merits.''
A rich tradition of disobedience, that is...and anyone who supports this disobedience is thumbing his nose at the Lord Himself....
The Vatican stipulates that priests should engage in ritual foot-washing only with men because the practice mirrors Jesus' washing of his apostles' feet. The reasoning is similar to that which limits the priesthood to men: Because only men were apostles, only men can become priests.

The Fall River rule was promulgated by Bishop George W. Coleman, a traditionalist who trained at the Vatican and took over in his native diocese a year ago April 30.
Of course, because Bishop Coleman, in obedience to the Holy Father, says the directives are to be obeyed, he is a "traditionalist who trained at the Vatican".

That's a "code phrase" used by the media to distinguish between faithful Catholic leaders and Pseudo-Catholics.

Story here.

Friday, April 09, 2004

Take my Son

Take my Son

A wealthy man and his son loved to collect rare works of art. They had everything in their collection, from Picasso to Raphael. They would often sit together and admire the great works of art.

When the Vietnam conflict broke out, the son went to war. He was very courageous and died in battle while rescuing another soldier. The father was notified and grieved deeply for his only son.

About a month later, just before Christmas, there was a knock at the door. A young man stood at the door with a large package in his hands. He said, "Sir, you don't know me, but I am the soldier for whom your son gave his life. He saved many lives that day, and he was carrying me to safety when a bullet struck him in the heart and he died instantly He often talked about you, and your love for art." The young man held out this package. "I know this isn't much. I'm not really a great artist, but I think your son would have wanted you to have this."

The father opened the package. It was a portrait of his son, painted by the young man. He stared in awe at the way the soldier had captured the personality of his son in the painting. The father was so drawn to the eyes that his own eyes welled up with tears. He thanked the young man and offered to pay him for the picture. "Oh, no sir, I could never repay what your son did for me. It's a gift."

The father hung the portrait over his mantle. Every time visitors came to his home he took them to see the portrait of his son before he showed them any of the other great works he had collected.

The man died a few months later. There was to be a great auction of his paintings. Many influential people gathered, excited over seeing the great paintings and having an opportunity to purchase one for their collection.

On the platform sat the painting of the son. The auctioneer pounded his gavel. "We will start the bidding with this picture of the son. Who will bid for this picture?"

There was silence.

Then a voice in the back of the room shouted, "We want to see the famous paintings. Skip this one."

But the auctioneer persisted. "Will somebody bid for this painting. Who will start the bidding? $100, $200?"

Another voice angrily. "We didn't come to see this painting. We came to see the Van Goghs, the Rembrandts. Get on with the real bids!"

But still the auctioneer continued. "The son! The son! Who'll take the son?"

Finally, a voice came from the very back of the room. It was the longtime gardener of the man and his son. "I'll give $10 for the painting." Being a poor man, it was all he could afford.

"We have $10, who will bid $20?"

"Give it to him for $10. Let's see the masters."

"$10 is the bid, won't someone bid $20?"

The crowd was becoming angry. They didn't want the picture of the son. They wanted the more worthy investments for their collections.

The auctioneer pounded the gavel. "Going once, twice, SOLD for $10!"

A man sitting on the second row shouted, "Now let's get on with the collection!"

The auctioneer laid down his gavel. "I'm sorry, the auction is over."

"What about the paintings?"

"I am sorry. When I was called to conduct this auction, I was told of a secret stipulation in the will. I was not allowed to reveal that stipulation until this time. Only the painting of the son would be auctioned. Whoever bought that painting would inherit the entire estate, including the paintings. The man who took the son gets everything!"

God gave His son 2,000 years ago to die on the cross. Much like the auctioneer, His message today is: "The Son, the Son, who'll take the Son?"

Because, you see, whoever takes the Son gets everything.


(received via email)

The Seven Last Words

1. And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots. And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God. (Luke 23:33-35)

2. And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise. (Luke 23:39-43)

3. Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home. (John 19:25-27)

4. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elias. (Matthew 27:46-47)

5. After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth. (John 19:28-29)

6. When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. (John 19:30)

7. And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst. And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost. (Luke 23:44-46)

Thanks to Fr. Jim Tucker.


At Golgotha, in sight of the temple and city of Jerusalem, in the presence of two or three millions of Jews, who had come to the city from all lands, Jesus, the Son of God, hung upon the cross, an , expiatory sacrifice for mankind burdened with all manner of sin.

Near cross of her dying Son stood Mary, His mother, filled with grief; by her side John, the beloved disciple, and kneeling at the foot of the cross almost insensible from sorrow and anguish, convulsively winding her arms around the wood of the cross, was Mary Magdalen, the penitent.

On a cross at the right hand hung a penitent thief turned towards the Saviour; at the left hand on another cross groaned another criminal of impenitent heart, blaspheming the Holy One of Israel.

Around the agonizing Saviour stood the Scribes and Pharisees, that hypocritical class of practiced miscreants, who hated and persecuted the innocent Lamb Jesus, even in death, who blink to all the predictions of the prophets whose books they had read, blind to the actual miracles which Jesus had wrought before their eyes to prove His divinity and His mission, filled with envy and hatred, reviled the dying Redeemer.

At a distance stood a crowd of curious, indifferent people, who had come to Jerusalem to attend the feast of the Passover, and having heard of Jesus were present at His crucifixion. Not far from them the rough soldiers and executioners lay around, dividing among themselves the Saviour's clothes and casting lots for His seamless garment.

This was the society that surrounded the Son of God and Redeemer of the world bleeding on the cross, and in their different phases they are types of the men of today.

Only few were there who clung to the Saviour in unwavering faith and true love, ready to die with Him, and for Him. There were few who suffered all taunts and sneers all revilings and blasphemies, .and departed not from the cross.

Of these three were especially faithful, viz. Mary, John, and Magdalen. Those who like Mary and John are pure and innocent, or like Magdalen are weeping for their sins, who confess Jesus with their heart and lips, cling faithfully to Him, and permit neither persecution nor death to separate them from Him, are like the faithful three at the cross.

As then by the cross, so today, the number of the faithful is small, and great is the number of those who, like the careless spectators of the crucifixion, are not decided enemies of Jesus crucified, nor yet His firm friends.

They have indeed been baptized in the name of Jesus, they remain externally with the Catholic Church, which Christ founded, but they are sunk in lukewarmness, have no living faith, and are wavering to and fro like a reed between the world and Jesus.

They fear the sneers of the so-called learned and enlightened, many of whom are well represented by the Scribes and Pharisees, who, having no faith in Christ themselves, bear in - their hearts only hatred and contempt for His Church; they shun the cross, because it is too heavy for their sensuality; they do not, it is true, commit public crimes, they prize highly a good name, occasionally observe the law of the Church, but are accessible to every error; their ears incline to every blasphemy against the religion of Jesus and His ministers, the priests.

Instead of standing fearlessly and boldly for Christ, for the holy faith He has taught, and which the Church teaches, they turn away, are silent, even go with the Church's enemies that they may not be sneered at. The are neither hot, nor cold, so that the words of the Scriptures are verifled in them:

Because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold, nor hot, I will begin to vomit thee out of my mouth. (Apoc. III. 16.)

The Lord casts away from Him these lukewarm, indifferent Christians, as nauseous saliva, and leaves them to their destruction. The true Pharisees of our day are those who purposely close their eyes to the light of truth, who have put aside faith in Jesus, and are no longer disposed to receive instruction.

Their pride, their egotism has blinded them, with their poor reason they wish to understand the mysteries of ,the Almighty, with their weak intellect to fathom His ways, even seek to be equal to God; they deny every revealed truth, they deny the existence of heaven and hell, they propose to live like the animals, without God, — but their end is, ruin!

Few of them, having seen their error, as the thief on the cross at the right hand of Jesus, turn repentingly to the Redeemer; obdurate as the robber and murderer at His left, the Pharisees of our day cease not to blaspheme the Crucified, and to revile His holy Church.

These are assisted by the apostates and unbelievers, who, like the soldiers and executioners, divide among themselves His clothes, and cast lots for His seamless garment. Those clothes which the soldiers divided among themselves, are the truths which the apostates and heretics yet retain after their apostacy from the Church.

They have divided these truths, for they have separated themselves into thousands of sects, and possess only portions of the one truth, which Jesus has laid down in. His Church, whole and complete. "Upon my vesture they have cast lots."

This seamless vesture of Christ is His holy Church that cannot be separated or divided, she is one, and must remain one to the end of time. Concerning this one true Church, the sects all quarrel, all want to be the true Church without considering that, as but one soldier, by the lots, received Christ's seamless garment, so only one association of men can be the true Church, and that is the association which Christ has chosen.

Thus we find at the cross on Golgotha the different classes of people of our day represented, namely, the pure and innocent; the repenting sinners, firm adherents of Jesus and His teachings; as also the lukewarm, wavering, nominal Christians; obdurate heretics, professed infidels and apostates. So today mankind is divided into like parties.

To which party do you belong, O Christian soul? To which do you wish to belong? Choose! The time of the division is near.

The Lord already holds in His hand the winnowing shovel to clear His floor. If you are not a firm adherent of Jesus and His Church, in the storm that is gathering you will be blown like chaff. If you remain with the small group at the cross, in persevering courage, you will stand firm, and on the day when the cross shall appear in the clouds of heaven, you, with Mary, the mother of the (faithful, with John and with Magdalen, will triumph forever, as a victorious knight of the cross. Decide!
From "Explanation of the Epistles and Gospels" by Fr. Leonard Goffine

Why does Archbishop O'Malley allow this scandal to continue?

Kerry's Easter plans include Catholic service

CHICAGO, April 8 (Reuters) - Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, a Catholic whose support of abortion rights has prompted some in the Church hierarchy to say they would deny him Communion, will receive the sacrament if he attends Easter Sunday services at Boston's Paulist Center.

Frequent visits to Protestant churches have led some to question if he was sidestepping the Communion issue, but aides said the Massachusetts senator would celebrate Easter at a Catholic church, probably the Paulist Center in Boston.

"Archbishop O'Malley has no public statement as to the questions regarding Sen. Kerry and his Catholicism," said Rev. Christopher Coyne, a spokesman for the archdiocese. "The matter has been brought to his attention and I do not know when or if he will make a public statement on this matter."

Coyne said the Paulists were, for the most part, autonomous, but still had to abide by some governance of the archbishop. "For example, he has full authority over them as they administer the sacraments and preach within the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston," he said.

Rev. John Ardis, director of the Paulist Center, said the Kerrys had received Communion there and were always welcome to do so. Asked if he had been instructed not to offer Kerry Communion Ardis said: "No. Definitely not. I got a call from them (the archdiocese) an hour ago ... They wanted me to know that the archbishop has not taken a stand and he is free to receive the Eucharist."

Reuters article here.

It's a "Justice" Issue?

About 70 men and women stood outside the Cathedral of Christ the King in Buckhead on Thursday to protest Archbishop John Donoghue's recent instructions that only men should be allowed to take part in the solemn rite of foot washing.

"This is not a women's issue, this is a justice issue," protest organizer Lalor Cadley told the demonstrators, some holding towels and basins that they later used for a foot-washing ceremony of their own in front of the cathedral.

Some church members obviously didn't agree with the protest, shaking their heads in disapproval as they made their way into the cathedral for evening Mass. At least one heckled the demonstrators.

"They are disobedient and disrespectful," said Coretta Alexander. "They care more about their cause than Christ."

At the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, both in downtown Atlanta, men and woman took part in the foot-washing ceremony, although the ritual at Our Lady of Lourdes was held prior to the regular service.

"I'm glad that some priests in the archdiocese have backbone," said Shrine member Katie Bashor.
Coretta Alexander is right on target...These people are saying, "It's all about ME! My will and desires be done!"

And those who ignored the rule do not have backbone, they are weak - they encourage others to disobedience. They are a scandal to the faithful!

More pathetic souls in need of prayers!

This is not to say that I am not as pathetic or worse. I readily admit that I am.

However, there comes a time in one's life where one must decide to abandon oneself to God - to conform one's will to His. It doesn't mean one must like it. It does mean one becomes free because one does the will of the Father out of love. There is no other way.

All of these people, then, who seem so intent in tearing apart the Church from the inside are in need of special prayers - prayers to enlightened their minds. And prayers to have the courage, after being enlightened to the will of God, to do what God wants rather than what we want.

Article here.

Chrism Mass at Philly Cathedral (Cardinal Rigali) interrupted briefly

As dusk fell outside the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul, Cardinal Justin Rigali stood up from his thronelike cathedra and handed his ornate crozier to a priest.

He stripped off his outer vestment, wrapped a linen towel around his waist, bent to his knees, and washed the feet of 12 young seminarians.

Footwashing is a Holy Thursday rite in many Christian churches. But despite the somber dignity of last night's ritual, Rigali's decision to wash only men's feet was a potent symbol to some Catholics of women's restricted roles in the church.

Yesterday morning, for example, as Rigali gave his homily at the annual Chrism Mass marking Jesus' establishment of the priesthood, a white-haired woman marched up the center aisle, demanding aloud that the church "ordain women now."

Two seminarians hustled Gabriela Assagioli of Penn Valley away as she sang "We Shall Overcome."
A pathetic soul.

Story is here.

Thursday, April 08, 2004

St. Cronan's Parish Leadership Models are on display...

From the St. Cronan's web site:
Parish leadership models, February 15, 2004

Louise Lears and Doug Riggs led a discussion about parish leadership models that have existed for twenty years or more around the United States; they included data about the number of persons in lay and ordained ministries, parishes without priests, and catholic population from 1970 through 2003.
You may want to look at what is being used for a "model".

Model 1
Some of you may remember the Spiritus Christi group from Rochester, NY. This schismatic group is no longer in union with the Church. Perhaps you might recognize the name "Mary Ramerman." "Rev. Mary" was "ordained" a Catholic priest at Spiritus Christi in Nov. 2001. Also, if you look at their web page, You will see that Jesus is the pastor and "Fr" James Callan is the associate.

Model 2
St. Stephen's Catholic Church is a community of faith committed to justice, inclusion, and service. It is located just south of downtown Minneapolis.

There seems to be something strange about this one. Look here.

Model 3
This is what has been written about St. Francis of Assisi in Portland, OR, which "reaches out rather than building a safe place to be. "
The parish administrator at St. Francis for the last eight years is Valerie Chapman. The parish moderator is the Rev. Chuck Lienert, a Jesuit with full time work somewhere else. I talked with one of the Pastoral Council members, Nancy Gilbertz. She told me that everybody recognized Valerie as the pastor, the person who did all the day-to-day pastoral work of the parish.

Like St. Cronan, St. Francis is a "destination church" in a relatively poor city neighborhood. (Destined for what or to where, I must ask?)

The liturgy was striking. Valerie entered side-by-side with Fr. Lienert. She offered the opening gathering statement and blessing. She and the priest sat next to one another. She blessed father before he proclaimed the Gospel and preached. She prepared the alter as the gifts (including the collection) were brought up. I forget exactly what further participation she had until the end when she had announcements, including an upcoming neighborhood meeting about the park. Finally, she and father processed out side-by-side.
Isn't this the greatest thing ever?...another group of people who appear to have rejected the faith passed on to us from our Fathers, the Church which has existed for 2000 years, and the primacy of Peter and his successors - and last, but certainly not least, in all of these rejections we have the ultimate rejection - that of Jesus Christ Himself.

There is no other way to look at it unless we are believe that our Lord was lying when He said., "He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects Him who sent me." (Luke 10:16)

There is no website to review other than what is written here.

Perhaps a couple of other models can be suggested:
1. One which is in full communion with the Vicar of Christ, or
2. One like this, in which those involved may soon find themselves excommunicated.

Our Lady of Fatima stresses that we who are faithful to her Son, are to offer our prayers and make reparations for those who do not do so themselves. We are to do this so that they might be enlightened sufficiently to accept the graces God freely gives them. In this way their intellect may be enlightened and their wills may be conformed to His will.

Another confused Catholic writes the Post Dispatch

Burke's wrong foot
Archbishop Raymond Burke is the poster boy for how to start off a new job on the wrong foot.

As a Catholic, I am offended by his bellicose, loose-cannon actions since coming to St. Louis. You do not connect people to your viewpoint by bullying them or through public humiliation.

You convert by good example, love and kindness, empathy and listening to problems with an open mind. And, miracle of miracles, sometimes you find the other party was right and you were wrong.

T.H. Akeroyd
St. Louis

Letter is here.

I am really confused here. I have seen the Archbishop a number of times and never once have I witnessed anything like T.H Akeroyd states. I have seen only a humble, holy, faithful man who is doing what he has been charged to do. It is certainly grossly disrespectful to accuse the Archbishop of being bellicose or acting like a loose cannon.

Report of Archbishop Burke at St. Peter's in St. Charles

I had wanted to attend this but was unable because of work commitments.

Good article by the Post.
Burke obviously takes his pastoral duties seriously, and the message of Tuesday's liturgy pertained to betrayal of Jesus Christ by Judas and then the denial by Peter. It's powerful stuff if you're a Christian, especially this week.

In his homily, the archbishop said both events remind "us of our human frailty and our own sinfulness." He pointed out the different reactions, to their sins, of Judas and Peter. "Judas despaired. Instead of seeking God's forgiveness, he took his life. St. Peter, on the other hand, was filled with sorrow and tears, and he cried out to God for forgiveness. ..."

"Yes, we may fail from time to time," the archbishop said. "We hope never to betray Christ, but we recognize how easy is it to deny him."

We can be like gods, knowing what is best for us in 2004!

The saga of Archbishop Donoghue's enforcement of liturgical instructions contines in Atlanta.

Church Ban on Women in Ritual Protested
Thursday April 8, 2004 1:46 AM
Associated Press Writer
ATLANTA (AP) - A day after Archbishop John Donoghue banned Atlanta's Roman Catholic churches from including women in Holy Thursday's foot-washing rite, one priest said he was canceling his parish's foot washings and another said he planned to ignore the ban and include women.

Other priests were looking Wednesday for ways around the order...
Yes, of course! How can we be disobedient without being disobedient? Do we have any legal recourse here? Satan, please help us!
``He's a good man. He just has his opinion, and he's looking at Jesus and the scriptures through a different lens,'' said Patty Caraher, a nun at the International Community School.

Still, Caraher plans to join a protest Thursday outside Atlanta's Cathedral of Christ the King, where Donoghue will celebrate Mass.

Caraher and others say his strict interpretation of liturgy is inappropriate in 2004.
The Holy See has decreed what the liturgical rite entails, yet people, supposedly professed Catholics, refuse obedience to the one chosen by God to be the spiritual shepherd of the people on earth.
``It feels unjust; it feels unkind. It seems to imply that men were more important to Jesus than women,'' said Lalor Cadley, a Catholic who is organizing Thursday's song-and-prayer protest.
The real problem is that this is exactly what happens when people ignore or disobey liturgical law. False expectations became realities when they never should have and when a bishop or priest follows the law, in perfect fidelity and obedience to the lawgiver, people become hurt or offended. Sin can never bring joy and peace - only humble obedience to Christ and his Church will do that.

[Updated article here]

Lexington bishop dismisses 5 top officials

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Lexington Bishop Ronald Gainer is dismissing five high-ranking Catholic officials, four of them women, as part of a "departmental reconfiguration."

The director of pastoral services, Sister Helen Garvey; the parish leadership director, Sister Elizabeth Wendeln; educational ministries secretary Margaret Ralph; the director of ministry formation, Sister Iris Ann Ledden; and chief financial officer Stuart E. Duba are losing their jobs.

The firings stunned some of the diocese's 46,000 Catholics.

Gainer, Lexington's bishop since February 2003, announced the dismissals Friday in a letter to diocesan staff.

[Article here]

The diocese of Lexington under former Bishop Kendrick J. Williams, who was forced into early retirement for sexual abuse complaints, was corrupted from the top down. I had tried to help my brother write letters to get some 'aberrations' resolved when he lived in the area. Apparently the diocese was a hotbed for the homosexual subculture.

The catechetical instruction program for the diocese was abhorrent and run by a religious sister who was repulsed by anything orthodox. They had a practice of First Communion before First Penance despite the fact that this practice was suppose to have ceased 30+ years ago. Many of the churches had no kneelers, stripped interiors, no tabernacles, and were frankly, little more than meeting halls. I have a copy of a letter he wrote in response to a letter my brother sent him. As long as the diocese was engaged in "social justice" programs, all other matters (doctrinal, liturgical, etc) were of little importance. Truly sad!

Three good, faithful priests of the diocese received death threats via mail, presumably by brother priests, for speaking out on the evils and abominations of homosexuality. My brother and father are friends with one of the priests who was threatened - a old priest well past retirement age.

Hopefully, the new bishop will be able to continue fix the problems there.

Catholic priest starting his own church?

Priest may be forming breakaway church
Catholic leaders issue stern warning
Thursday, April 08, 2004
By Ann Rodgers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
A Catholic priest, who was transferred two years ago after delivering a vulgar Easter homily advocating the ordination of women and married men, may be starting a breakaway church, Catholic officials said yesterday.

A Web site says that the Rev. William Hausen will be pastor of Christ Hope Ecumenical Catholic Church, which will begin holding services May 2 at Sewickley Country Inn.

"Please be advised that this church is not part of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, is not recognized by Bishop [Donald] Wuerl, and is not sanctioned either by this diocese or the Apostolic See [Vatican]," said a notice faxed to pastors late yesterday afternoon. "You may wish to advise your parishioners of this notification and that participation in this church has grave consequences."

In his Easter homily two years ago, Hausen said parishioners should be "pissed off" about the sex scandal enveloping the church and that the church should allow women and married men to serve as priests. He was transferred from his position as parochial vicar of St. James in Sewickley to parochial vicar of his home parish, Sacred Heart in Shadyside.
[Complete Story]

Retired Cardinal seeks Vatican Council

Retired bishop suggests group could govern with pope, help pick next one
Associated Press
VATICAN CITY — A cardinal once mentioned as a possible successor to Pope John Paul II is reviving calls for a broad council to help the pope govern the church and is suggesting top bishops might also take part in a conclave to elect a new pontiff.

Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, the retired archbishop of Milan and a Jesuit known for his frankness, made the comments in an interview with the right-wing daily Il Tempo published Wednesday.

Martini noted that since the Second Vatican Council — the 1962-65 meeting that modernized the Roman Catholic Church — there have been proposals to create a “permanent governing council” to help run the church along with the pope.

While periodic synods, or gatherings of bishops, have been convened, they have not become the permanent council that Vatican II envisaged, he said.
I'm going to have to re-read the documents again, I see.

I don't recall anything about a 'permanent' council being called for in any of the Vatican II documents.

[Article here]

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Marijuana growing priest pleads guilty

Priest pleads guilty to selling marijuana in church home
Knight Ridder Newspapers

AKRON, Ohio - (KRT) - The Rev. Richard Arko offered his contrition Tuesday for growing marijuana inside his Norton, Ohio, church home.

His penance: two years probation.

Arko, 40, told Summit County Common Pleas Judge Patricia Cosgrove that the 35 marijuana plants growing in his church home were primarily for medical use.
Arko requested a leave of absence from the diocese and he said in court that his return to the priesthood is unlikely.

Dressed in a tie and suit, Arko apologized to parishioners and his family for his arrest and took a jab at the media and the Cleveland Catholic Diocese for failing to give him a fair hearing.

He said he prays for the day that the state of Ohio recognizes the positive uses of marijuana.

"I strongly believe in the benefits of marijuana and the use for medical purposes. It's very helpful to many people," he said.
Well, he can always fall back on his outside job of Yoga instruction .

Archbishop Burke to Speak about the Sanctity of Human Life

This was just sent to me. Many thanks to J.H. who let us know of this event!

APRIL 13 at 7:00PM

St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke will speak at Saint Louis University next Tuesday evening. He will discuss "The Sanctity of Human Life" at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 13, in Room 171 of Busch Student Center. The event is free.

The Archbishop will describe the Church’s role in life issues and its dynamic presence in the St. Louis community. His appearance is an early opening of the annual Celebrate Life Week, sponsored by SLU’s Students for Life. During Celebrate Life Week, April 18-24, there will be many activities to celebrate human life, including speakers, parties and movies. Start out the week by attending a 10 p.m. Mass Sunday, April 18.

Students for Life is a positive, non-violent, pro-life organization that focuses more on the beauty of life rather than the destruction of it. The group does not chant harsh words or perform any acts of civil disobedience. In January, the group organized a record number of SLU students to attend the annual March for Life in Washington D.C.

Burke was named Archbishop of St. Louis in December, succeeding Justin Cardinal Rigali, who was appointed Archbishop of Philadelphia. Archbishop Burke was installed in St. Louis on Jan. 26, the fifth anniversary of Pope John Paul II's historic pastoral visit to St. Louis. Before coming to St. Louis, Burke was the Bishop of La Crosse, Wis. Read more about him on the Archdiocese of St. Louis website.

For more information about the Archbishop’s appearance at SLU, call the Loyola Center for Campus Ministry at (314) 977-2425.

Many are upset about surge of faithful Catholic Colleges

From the Chronicle of Higher Education:
Who Is Catholic?
New conservative colleges say existing institutions lead students away from the true faith

It's a given but, as Pontius Pilate asked our Lord, "Truth? What is truth?"

Even better than this article is the transcript of a live, online discussion with David O'Brien, a historian of American Catholicism at the College of the Holy Cross, about the staunchly conservative Roman Catholic colleges that have been recently established in the United States.

In 1989 he was awarded the Theodore M. Hesburgh Award for Distinguished Service to Catholic Higher Education by the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities.

For those who are unaware of Fr. Theodore Hesburgh and his collaborators and what they did to destroy Catholic colleges in the United States, you may want to read about it here.

Letter of Rev. Fr. Charles Murr (New York) to Parish and Parents

I meant to post this the other day, but somehow neglected it.

April 5, 2004

To the Parish of St. Francis de Sales and the Children and Parents of the St. Francis de Sales School/St. Lucy Academy:

On Friday, April 2, 2004, I resigned as pastor of the Parish of St. Francis de Sales. I am writing to you now to explain the circumstances that led me to make this decision.

Our parish school, the St. Francis de Sales School/St. Lucy Academy, currently faces some grave problems. One concerns financial management. Contrary to the policies of the Archdiocese, no financial statements for the school have been prepared for any period after August 31, 2001, and thus no one knows what the financial condition of the school actually is. It is clear, however, that for several years the school has not been making required payments for insurance and pension benefits, and the Archdiocese calculates that the school owes the Archdiocese over $638,000. Although I attempted to work with the administration of the school to prepare the needed financial statements, the school’s administration consistently failed to cooperate with me, and, on the advice of the Parish Council, I notified the Archdiocese in January that I intended to replace the principal and vice principal of the school. The Archdiocese accepted this decision and last week resolved to send officials from the chancery to begin preparing and auditing financial statements for the school.

The second problem at the school concerns religious instruction. On the most recent administration of the Archdiocese’s standardized religion test last June, approximately 66% of our students failed. The major reason for this was that several of our teachers were not committed to teaching the Catholic faith. One teacher, for example, was taking her students to non-Catholic religious services on Sunday mornings. Another refuses to teach her students to make the Sign of the Cross. Others do not teach those doctrines of the Catholic faith with which they disagree. To rectify these problems, I appointed a new Director of Religious Education for the school this year, but the teachers who were hostile to Catholic doctrine disrupted his classes, belittled him in front of his students, instructed his students to ignore him, and even spread slanderous reports about him. I thus determined that the employment contracts of these teachers would not be renewed for the coming academic year, and on April 1, I informed these teachers accordingly.

It has been reported to me that, on April 1, at least some of these teachers held their students after school, read to them my letter declining to renew their employment contracts, and provided their own comments on the matter. Predictably, they reduced many children to tearful hysteria. The behavior of these teachers was reprehensible; they intentionally inflicted harm on innocent children in order to advance their own private interests. On behalf of the school, I apologize to these students and their parents for the grossly unprofessional conduct of these teachers.

On Friday afternoon, Msgr. Thomas Gilleece, the Chancellor of the Archdiocese, informed me without further explanation that, by order of the Cardinal, I was to renew the employment contracts of the principal, the vice principal, and all the affected teachers. Since I could not in good conscience, as a pastor charged with the care of souls, comply with this order, I resigned as pastor of the Parish of St. Francis de Sales and as administrator of the Parish of St. Lucy. On Saturday, April 3, the members of the Parish Council wrote Cardinal Egan informing him that they shared my views regarding the need to reform the school and had concluded that they could not in good conscience as faithful Catholics be associated with his order to reinstate the principal, the vice principal, and the affected teachers. The members of the Parish Council thus resigned their positions. The Parish Trustees likewise resigned. As of the date of this letter, none of us has received any reply from the Cardinal.

It has been a great honor to serve as your pastor. You will all remain in my prayers.

Servus, in Christo Jesu,

Fr. Chas. Theo. Murr
Persecution comes to those who try to ensure the faith is handed on in its entirety. Maybe he can transfer here?

No link of which I am aware...

Archbishop Burke has company...

This really is no surprise but it is encouraging that another bishop has openly sided with Archbishop Burke in a manifest way without ambiguity!
On April 6, 2004, Bishop Fabian W. Bruskewitz, D.D., S.T.D., of the Lincoln, Ne. diocese, stated through his office to this writer that his diocese would deny Holy Communion to any manifest, persistent, obstinate sinner.

Referring to canon 915, Bruskewitz said, "We agree completely with Archbishop Raymond Burke in the action he has taken and we would take the same action in the diocese of Lincoln with regard to manifest, persistent, obstinate sinners, including politicians, regardless of which diocese they are from."

Of the 195 U.S. diocesan bishops, all except two still refuse to say they would deny the Eucharist to manifest, persistent, obstinate sinners. In doing so, these bishops are disregarding the clearly defined canons of the Church.

Article here.

Boom Time for Seminaries under John Paul II

...during John Paul II's pontificate the number of major seminarians has virtually doubled, the secretary of the Congregation for Clergy, Archbishop Csaba Ternyak, said when presenting to the press the Pope's Holy Thursday Letter to Priests.

Full story.

Fr. John Minkler's death ruled a suicide...

The February death of Watervliet resident Rev. John Minkler was labeled a suicide Tuesday by the Albany County Coroner's Office.

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Kerry's unknown talents have been recently discovered.

He's both a clown and a theologian.
Mr. Kerry became combative when told that some conservatives were criticizing him for being a Roman Catholic who supported policies, like abortion rights and same-sex unions, that are at odds with Catholic teaching.

"Who are they?" he demanded of his questioner. "Name them. Are they the same legislators who vote for the death penalty, which is in contravention of Catholic teaching?"
Oh really? And when did the death penalty become intrinisically evil, your holiness?

Now perpare yourself for his comic relief clown act with a bit of theologian thrown in for good measure:
I'm not a church spokesman. I'm a legislator running for president. My oath is to uphold the Constitution of the United States in my public life. My oath privately between me and God was defined in the Catholic church by Pius XXIII and Pope Paul VI in the Vatican II, which allows for freedom of conscience for Catholics with respect to these choices, and that is exactly where I am.
Pope Pius the 23rd, eh? The last Pope Pius I heard about besides Pius XII was self appointed Pope Pius XIII who is living somewhere, I believe in Montanta or some such place.

Kerry and conscience...sort of like black and white, good and evil, dark and light...once again we witness the fruit borne by deficient catechesis among professed Catholics.

Full story at the New York Time here.

Holy Father's annual Holy Thursday address to priests


This has been posted on the Vatican web site.

The Holy Father notes that the ministerial priesthood is "born, lives, works and bears fruit 'de Eucharistia'". He spends considerable time discussing the Holy Eucharist and priesthood.

In speaking of vocations, he also says "...I would ask you, among other initiatives, to show special care for altar servers, who represent a kind of “garden” of priestly vocations. The group of altar servers, under your guidance as part of the parish community, can be given a valuable experience of Christian education and become a kind of pre-seminary."

This would be an indirect way way of calling for males to be asked to serve at Holy Mass.

He also asks for obedience in a special way and prayers for vocations:
"Dear brother priests, your particular mission in the Church requires that you be “friends” of Christ, constantly contemplating his face with docility at the school of Mary Most Holy. Pray unceasingly, as the Apostle exhorts (cf. 1Th 5:17), and encourage the faithful to pray for vocations, for the perseverance of those called to the priestly life and for the sanctification of all priests."

"Catholics" to protest exclusion of foot washing ritual

Let us see some of the "fruits" of willful disobedience of the rubrics. This is from the Atlanta Journal Constitution from yesterday. These "faithful" are upset that Archbishop Donoghue wants the rubrics for the foot washing rite followed:
Catholics to protest exclusion
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 04/05/04

Women can't officially have their feet washed at Holy Thursday services in Roman Catholic churches in Atlanta, but several plan to air their voices at a protest instead.

Catholics angry that Archbishop John Donoghue has limited Holy Thursday foot-washing services to men plan to protest outside with washbowls, towels and water at the Cathedral of Christ the King in Buckhead while he celebrates Mass that evening.

"We'll stand in solidarity, and we'll sing and we'll pray," said Lalor Cadley, a Catholic who runs spiritual retreats and workshops but does not work for the archdiocese.

The archbishop's position on the ancient foot-washing ritual came in a March 19 letter he sent to pastors telling them that 12 men were to be selected for the rite as the representation of "Christ's linkage of the institution of the Eucharist to the establishment of the ordained priesthood."

A spokeswoman for the archbishop did not return phone calls Monday afternoon.

Cadley said she did not know how many people would attend the 6:30 p.m. Thursday protest. The overwhelming majority of American bishops allow women's feet to be washed in the ceremony, although the decision is left to individual bishops.

Once again, the author of the article is either misinformed or deliberately telling lies. This decision to permit women in the foot washing rite is not up to any individual bishop. But then again, we might recall the adage, "Tell a lie often enough, people will accept it as truth."

Monday, April 05, 2004

"One Child, One Vote" Suggested

If nominal Catholics did not contracept at a rate that most Americans do, think of the possibilities?

In many ways, it does seem quite reasonable...

Full Story

Finally, a balanced report regarding St. Stanislaus

Archbishop offers support for St. Stanislaus Kostka
April 2, 2004
by Joseph Kenny, Review Staff Writer
Archbishop Raymond Burke told St. Stanislaus Kostka parishioners March 28 that if a restructuring plan there is in effect "you can count on my fullest support for your parish."

The Archbishop’s message — that bringing the corporate structure of the parish into compliance with Church law will not result in a closure of the parish or seizure of the parish’s funds — often was hard to hear over some people who shouted out while he spoke.

Several people carried signs opposing the restructuring.

Archbishop Burke came to the church in North St. Louis to celebrate Midday Prayer, explain the reasons for the incorporation change and answer questions.

In an earlier letter to parishioners, the Archbishop expressed his pride in St. Stanislaus as a personal parish for Polish-speaking faithful and Catholics of Polish heritage in the archdiocese. The parish formed in 1880 is known as the base of operations for most of the Polish-American activities in the St. Louis area.
Full story is here.

Kerry receives communion at African Methodist Episcopal Church

Easter is this coming Sunday and where Sen. John Kerry, the Democratic candidate for president, will attend church suddenly has become a political issue.

Yesterday, Mr. Kerry again worshipped at a Protestant congregation: Charles Street African Methodist Episcopal Church in Dorchester, Mass.

"We're thankful that there's going to be a revolution in this country ... a new movement," the Rev. Gregory Groover saidfrom the pulpit during the Palm Sunday service. "And we say, God, bring him on, the next president of the United States."

"People ask: 'Is he making up his beliefs to take the red states?' " said Timothy Thibodeau, a history professor at Nazareth College in Rochester, N.Y. "Kerry's problem is that people doubt his sincerity. They think he is cooking up his religion just in time to run for the election."

Mr. Thibodeau pointed out that the discrepancy between church teachings and Mr. Kerry's public stances is common today.

"Kerry is in many respects symbolic of a great many Roman Catholics who are totally at odds with the church's teaching on many things. He is also divorced and remarried. So are a lot of Catholics."

Another photo op for the the pro-death politician John Kerry who, apparently, has decided that the Catholic Church is not for him. When will Archbishop O'Malley do something?

Full story.

Two bishops lead Catholics against gay marriage

Two bishops led about 1,000 devout, sign-carrying Roman Catholics on a five-block march through North Beach on Saturday to protest same-sex marriages in San Francisco.

"We need to speak out, with civility," Archbishop William Levada said on the steps of SS Peter and Paul Church before leading the procession of the faithful. "We must keep society on the right track."

Full Story here