Friday, April 30, 2004

You shall not speak any words of truth...

Arizona Employee Fired for Telling Subordinate "Homosexuality is a Sin"
Court rules firing her was Okay, not religious discrimination

PHOENIX, April 29, 2004 ( - An evangelical Christian, fired from her job for asking a subordinate to come to church with her, and for telling her that her homosexuality was a sin, has lost an appeal against her employer. Evelyn Bodett charged that her being fired was an act of religious discrimination; the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday in favor of the defendant, Cox Communications.

Cox said they fired Bodett for anti-homosexual harassment, which is against company policy. Bodett's subordinate, Kelly Carson, raised the issue after accepting a transfer to another city.
Article here.

Confused Catholics..

Tom Fox, publisher of the National (un)Catholic Reporter writes:
My father never envisioned a day when Roman Catholic bishops would intentionally try to harm the candidacy of a Catholic Democrat. Yet that's where the current presidential election is headed, unless church leaders — and the conservatives who now are gleefully piling on — are forcefully reminded that our country was built on the doctrine of the separation of church and state.

The problem for Kerry is that he is a pro-choice Democrat. But Catholic teaching holds that all human life must be protected. For three decades now, U.S. bishops have worked mightily with politicians and Catholic voters to outlaw abortion. Now some bishops are raising the political stakes. In a statement last summer, Archbishop Sean O'Malley of Boston, Kerry's archbishop, told individual Catholic elected officials that they should refrain from receiving Communion if they favor abortion rights.

Then days before the Missouri primary in February, St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke said that were Kerry to stand in his Communion line, he would bless him, but deny him the sacrament. Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz of Lincoln, Neb., joined the chorus.

As if to reaffirm, a top Vatican official in Rome last week said politicians who support abortion rights are "not fit" to receive the Eucharist.
Some people are confused because they do not understand the true meaning of Catholic. It is not signing up and joining a club - and it does not include choosing which 'rules' one wants to embrace. Membership in the Mystical Body of Christ, the Church, is much more.

When St. Robert Bellarmine speaks of the Mystical Body, he has in mind only the first of its three branches, the Church Militant—or, in other words, the visible organization of the Roman Catholic Church.

Thus, in treating the delicate question of occult infidels, he refutes the doctrine of Calvin who held that, if a baptized person has lost the virtue of faith, in spite of his external profession of belief and conformity with Christian practice he is no longer a member of the organic Body of Christ. “It is certainly true,” he admits, “that a sincere faith and not its mere external profession is required if we are to be internally united to the Body of Christ, which is the Church …. But even the man who makes only an outward profession along with the rest of the faithful is a true member, albeit a dry and dead member, of the Body of the Church.”

It follows, therefore, that the Mystical Body of Christ is the Roman Catholic Church, whose members are all those who have been baptized and who at least externally practice and profess the true faith. Commentators on the Mystici Corporis make special note of the fact that, after centuries of controversy on the subject, the Pope has authoritatively approved Bellarmine’s doctrine on the minimum essentials for membership in the Mystical Body—which reads like a paraphrase from the third book of St. Robert’s De Conciliis.

In the words of Pope Pius XII, “only those are really to be included as members of the Church who have been baptized and profess the true faith and have not unhappily withdrawn from Body-unity, or for grave faults been excluded by legitimate authority. For in one Spirit were we all baptized into one Body.”
(From the archives of Fr. John Hardon)
Tom Fox article here.

Interview with Cardinal Theodore McCarrick

Cardinal McCarrick translates what Cardinal Arinze really said when he stated that a politician who is unambiguously pro-abortion should be denied communion.

This interview is in the National (un)Catholic Reporter here.

Culture of Death on Catholic Campuses: A Five-Year Review

Cardinal Newman Society has issued a shocking new report on scandals at U.S. Catholic colleges and universities that is certain to reignite concerns about the colleges’ religious character.

The 56-page report, “The Culture of Death on Catholic Campuses: A Five-Year Review,” documents inroads made by advocates of abortion, contraception, premarital sexual activity and physician-assisted suicide onto Catholic college campuses since 1999. It is the most extensive evidence of problems in Catholic higher education ever compiled in a single source—and yet it only scratches the surface, relying primarily on media reports and college websites.

“‘Pro-choice’ is no choice for a Catholic institution, which by its Catholic mission must be courageously pro-life,” said Erin Butcher, lead researcher and co-author of the report. “Cardinal Newman Society has responded to scandal after scandal on Catholic campuses, but many Catholics still fail to appreciate the scope of the problem.”

The report identifies the problems and suggests solutions to ensure that Catholic colleges uphold their Catholic, pro-life mission.
The reports are here.

Can we safely assume that these same colleges and universities are those who refuse to require the 'mandatum' from their theology professors as required by "Ex Corde Ecclesiae"?

The Instructive Congregation And The Lull Before The Storm

A commentary on Redemptionis sacramentum by Fr. John T. Zuhlsdorf"

In this last section (Defects and Remedies), there are some important things to note. First, after describing the graviora delicta, all of them serious sins against the Eucharist, there is a list of "Grave Matters" which identifies as "grave matter" issues identified through a list of specific paragraphs within the Instruction itself. So, there is no doubt left that the Apostolic See considers certain things "grave matter" and instructs bishops to correct them. Then RS says that it is the bishop’s responsibility, "within the limits of his competence, to issue norms on liturgical matters by which all are bound" and that he "is bound to promote the discipline common to the entire Church and therefore to insist upon the observance of all ecclesiastical laws" and moreover, "be watchful lest abuses encroach upon ecclesiastical discipline, especially as regards the ministry of the Word, the celebration of the Sacraments and sacramentals, the worship of God and the veneration of the Saints" (177). Furthermore, and this is precise:

"Delicts against the faith as well as graviora delicta committed in the celebration of the Eucharist and the other Sacraments are to be referred without delay to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which ‘examines [them] and, if necessary, proceeds to the declaration or imposition of canonical sanctions according to the norm of common or proper law’" (179 — emphasis added).

This means that the CDF has competence regarding some doctrinal issues of the sacraments and only the CDF has the faculty, from the Pope, to absolve certain sanctions incurred from committing graviora delicta. Then the Instruction says what the job of the CDW is.
For those who want to understand exactly what is meant by the term 'Reprobated", Fr. Z explains it very well:
One of the most important things to take note of when reading RS is use of forms of the Latin word reprobare, "to reprobate," in the English version. You will see that word in the quotation from paragraph 185, emphasized above. "Reprobare . . . to reprobate" is a technical legal term in Church law. What "reprobating" something does is effectively outlaw a practice in such a way that it is completely excluded. That is, once something is officially reprobated, you cannot make an appeal to "custom," saying "this is how we have done it for years . . . there is a custom." Once something is explicitly reprobated, it is out for good. There are nine uses of a form of reprobare in the Latin text identifying specific things. Among the most salient for the English-speaking world:

"55. In some places there has existed an abuse by which the Priest breaks the host at the time of the consecration in the Holy Mass. This abuse is contrary to the tradition of the Church. It is reprobated and is to be corrected with haste.

"59. The reprobated practice by which Priests, Deacons or the faithful here and there alter or vary at will the texts of the Sacred Liturgy that they are charged to pronounce, must cease. For in doing thus, they render the celebration of the Sacred Liturgy unstable, and not infrequently distort the authentic meaning of the Liturgy.

"65. It should be borne in mind that any previous norm that may have admitted non-ordained faithful to give the homily during the eucharistic celebration is to be considered abrogated by the norm of canon 767 §1. This practice is reprobated, so that it cannot be permitted to attain the force of custom.

"117. . . . Reprobated, therefore, is any practice of using for the celebration of Mass common vessels, or others lacking in quality, or devoid of all artistic merit or which are mere containers, as also other vessels made from glass, earthenware, clay, or other materials that break easily. This norm is to be applied even as regards metals and other materials that easily rust or deteriorate.

"126. The abuse is reprobated whereby the sacred ministers celebrate Holy Mass or other rites without sacred vestments or with only a stole over the monastic cowl or the common habit of religious or ordinary clothes, contrary to the prescriptions of the liturgical books, even when there is only one minister participating. . . .

"157. . . . The practice of those Priests is reprobated who, even though present at the celebration, abstain from distributing Communion and hand this function over to laypersons."

Once reprobated, these abuses can never be considered licit through any claim of "custom" (e.g., "contra legem custom"). They must be corrected by the local bishops when encountered, for the sake of the salvation of souls (the motivating force of this Instruction). In addition to the things that are reprobated, there are also the graviora delicta and issues of grave matter.
A good read, highly recommended. Article is here.

Vatican says no to churches used as mosques

Can a Catholic Church be used as a mosque by Muslims?

From an interview with Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialog

The shared use of a building by various Churches is problematic. There are spaces dedicated to this purpose, for example, in airports. But they are not churches nor mosques. They are interfaith spaces, capable of being used by Jews, Christians, Muslims and persons of other faiths alike. But this is based on a type of agreement to allow for their shared use.

If it is a Catholic chapel with the Blessed Sacrament inside, it should not be used to for prayer services of another religious tradition.

Article here

Rites and Wrongs - Why John Kerry should not take communion.

Mr. Philip Lawler, editor of the monthly magazine Catholic World Report and of the Web site Catholic World News, has a great article in the Wall Street Journal Opinion Page.

Article here.

Bishop Galante will deny Holy Communion to N.J. governor

Another US Bishop has decided to put a stop to the scandal of pro-death politicians receiving Holy Communion.
Bishop Joseph Galante, incoming leader of the Camden Catholic diocese, said yesterday that he would deny communion to Gov. McGreevey if he sought it at Galante's installation Mass today.

"If he comes to communion, I'd give him a blessing," Galante told a news conference in Camden. "In his case, he can't go to communion."

Galante said he was taking the stance primarily because the divorced governor, who is Catholic, remarried without receiving a church annulment. Also, he said, McGreevey's record of "pushing" for legalized abortion, stem-cell research, and other positions the church views as immoral "is almost like he throws the gauntlet down."
Thanks be to God. At least it's a start...Now if only the U.S. bishops would act in unison.

Article here.

Priest loses faculties in the Archdiocese of Military Services

The U.S. Roman Catholic priest who has provided the most visible help to victims of clergy sex abuse (search) for the past 18 years has been fired by his archbishop and cannot celebrate public Masses.

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Top House Dem Says She'll Take Communion

WASHINGTON - House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., like John Kerry (news - web sites) a Catholic who supports abortion rights, said Thursday she will continue to ask for Holy Communion in spite of Vatican (news - web sites) opposition to pro-choice Catholics doing so.

"I fully intend to receive Communion, one way or another. That's very important to me," Pelosi told reporters during her weekly press conference.
Great! Another fine example of scandal...This outright dissident speech and action should not be tolerated by the bishops or the faithful!

Story here.

The pursuit of personal holiness must be central to the life of bishops

Bishops from the ecclesiastical provinces of Baltimore and Washington in the United States were welcomed today by the Holy Father as they end their "ad limina" visit. The Pope noted that, in his meetings with U.S. prelates this year, he "is reflecting on the mystery of the Church and, in particular the exercise of the episcopal ministry."

John Paul II emphasized that "the challenge set before us (as bishops) and before the whole Church" is that "the life of every Christian and all the structures of the Church must be clearly ordered to the pursuit of holiness. . The pursuit of personal holiness must be central to the life and identity of every Bishop. He is to recognize his own need to be sanctified as he engages in the sanctification of others."
Vatican Information Service Article.

Authentic Translations cause John Page to complain

Speaking on an Australian radio program, the former executive secretary of the International Committee for English in the Liturgy (ICEL) sharply criticized new procedures for liturgical translations, charging that the Vatican has endorsed "a more secretive process and definitely a process that seems to be less open to the wider Church."

John Page resigned from his post at ICEL in 2002, after the Vatican revised procedures for liturgical translations into English, in response to widespread protests about the texts produced under ICEL's guidance.
Surely he is not bitter or upset that he was not consulted?

Link to CWNews article.

A draft translation of the new Mass in English

Take at look....with the Latin and English side by side...

44 pages - Jpeg scans.

Link is here.

Will the U.S. be next?

Canadian Parliament Passes Homosexual Hate Crime Bill Threatening Freedom of Speech
OTTAWA, April 28, 2004 ( - This afternoon the Canadian Senate voted 59-11 for final passage of homosexual hate crime Bill C-250 which places the undefined term "sexual orientation" into Canada's already contentious hate crime legislation. The vote was recorded and a list of those who voted for and against the bill will be available on Hansard. The new provision in the criminal code could readily open up prosecution of individuals and groups who express views considered by courts to be "publicly inciting hatred"

In order to be found guilty of an indictable offence under the code, which carries a penalty of up to two years in prison, a person must communicate statements, in a public place, which incite hatred against an identifiable group in such a way that there will likely be a breach of the peace. Legal experts consulted by confirmed that the language in the legislation is loose and open to widely varying interpretation.
The efforts to stifle the truth continue...Article here.

'Priests' Forum for Eucharist' calls for optional celibacy

Representatives of priests in at least nine dioceses, from Minneapolis-St. Paul to Long Island, have announced the birth of a new nationwide effort to allow married men in the Roman Catholic clergy.

"Priests' Forum for Eucharist sees that the Church law of mandatory celibacy is endangering the identity of the Catholic faithful as a people of the Eucharist," the organizers said. "They believe that making celibacy an option for those who wish to become priests or by ordaining those who are already married is an obvious and welcome way" to bolster those ranks.

The movement stems from a letter sent in August by 163 priests in the Milwaukee diocese urging the nation's bishops to make celibacy optional. Priest organizations in other dioceses began sending letters of support spontaneously, said Thomas McCabe, a married former priest.

A driving force in the forum is Voice of the Ordained, a recently organized group of priests in the Archdiocese of New York and dioceses of Brooklyn and Rockville Centre, which covers Long Island. The forum's coordinator is the Rev. Andrew P. Connolly, pastor of St. Frances de Sales parish of Patchogue, N.Y.

Sad. We need to pray for our priests and to pray those those who are confused.

Article here.

Illinois Catholic University 'Un-Invites' Commencement Speaker

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) - The University of St. Francis has told former ABC News medical correspondent Dr. Nancy Snyderman that it no longer wants her as commencement speaker because of comments she made about abortion seven years ago.

The letter (faxed Tuesday to Snyderman) by Sister M. Elise Kriss, the university's president, said the school could not allow her to speak because her comments on abortion ``appear to be contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church.''
Sister Kriss is to be commended and applauded for taking such action.

Article here

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Kerry's Peeps Revile Priests at Pro-Abortion March

Another excerpt from FreeRepublic describing the insidious and demonic influence Satan has over those involved in offering human sacrifice to him. How he must delight knowing that he continues to get more and more people to follow him away from our Lord.
The best way I can explain what I witnessed at today's so-called March for Women's Lives is to reference the movie, The Exorcist. When the possessed child, Regan, is confronted by priests who have come to expel the evil spirit from her, she reacts in shockingly vulgar, profane ways.

That is how thousands of 'pro-choice' demonstrators reacted to the presence of a lone priest blessing and praying for them along the march route.

Father Reynolds stood for hours this afternoon on Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, in front of the Navy Memorial. Other members of the clergy and pro-life activists were spread out along the same block. Almost nonstop, he made the sign of the cross with his right arm while speaking to the marchers offering blessings and prayers.

The response was nothing short of satanic. Father Reynolds was cursed at and flipped off by hundreds of marchers, many of whom sported Kerry stickers. Many other marchers mocked the sign of the cross. Some denounced God while others denied His existence.

Marchers screamed at the top of their lungs against the priest. He was repeatedly accused of being a child molester by those who support the murder of children.

One woman walked up to the priest and stood just on the other side of the police-manned fence separating the sides. She made the sign of the cross, but finished by thrusting her hips forward at the priest while she dramatically grabbed her crotch.

All the while, 'pro-choice' marchers were walking behind our lines with the permission of police. This caused me and another man to stand guard by Father Reynolds because the 'pro-choice' marchers kept harassing him and the police were slow to intervene.

I was wishing I had a video camera to document this. To see Kerry supporters acting in such a revealing and demonic manner was unsettling. Hour after hour passed of this vile, contemptuous behavior toward the priest. No one on their side tried to rein in their evil behavior. It was the Democratic party at its most real.

The last group in the march was a bunch of homosexuals in drag who stopped and sang crude, profane songs meant to insult the clergy.

Father Reynolds blessed the men, as he had done thousands of others all afternoon. His faith was not shaken by the way he was treated today. He remained in good spirits throughout. His blessing arm was almost worn out, though :-)

Parishioners May Be Excommunicated If They Follow Hausen

A controversial new Catholic church in Sewickley will hold services for the first time this weekend.

The Rev. William Hausen established the Christ Hope Ecumenical Catholic Church.

Hausen left the Catholic Church after he asked the church to study birth control and the ordination of women and married men.
I don't believe it will be "Catholic"...The lead sentence is wrong and should be changed to read "A controversial new 'Protestant' church...."

By the way, the opening song will be "I did it my way"....


To Pro-Aborts Kerry & others: Keep doing as you please...

Good news for John Kerry and the rest of the "Deadly Dozen" U.S. senators: A U.S. bishop in charge of enforcing church doctrine isn't up to the task.

Among possible "penalties" the comfort-seeking cardinal mentioned: no honorary degrees from Catholic universities, no honors from dioceses, or no invitations to speak from Catholic institutions.
Link here.

Sen. Rick Santorum knows his priorities

Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), a pro-life Catholic, said that the church has the right to establish its own standards but that every bishop could “set the rules within the boundaries the Vatican has set forth.”

Santorum indicated that if he were denied communion because of a position he took as a senator, he would have to think seriously about the stance. “God comes first, then my family and then this job,” he said.
Article here.

An Obituary...rec'd this A.M.

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend by the name of 'Common Sense' who has been with us for many years.

No one knows for sure how old he was since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.

He will be remembered as having cultivated such value lessons as knowing when to come in out of the rain, why the early bird gets the worm and that life isn't always fair.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you earn) and reliable parenting strategies (adults, not kids, are in charge).

His health began to rapidly deteriorate when well intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place.

Reports of a six-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer aspirin to a student; but, could not inform the parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Finally, Common Sense lost the will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband; churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.

Common Sense finally gave up the ghost after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot, she spilled a bit in her lap, and was awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust, his wife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility; and his son, Reason.

He is survived by two stepbrothers; My Rights and Ima Whiner.

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.

If you still know him pass this on, if not join the majority and do nothing.

"All that's necessary for the forces of evil to win in the world is for enough good men to do nothing."---Edmund Burke

McCarrick: Catholic pols backing abortion may face sanctions

Asked what sanctions the task force might recommend for politicians who stray from Catholic teachings, McCarrick said Catholic universities could deny honorary degrees, dioceses may withhold honors and Catholic institutions may not invite them to speak.
There will be a revolt if these kind of sanctions are imposed on our wonderful "Catholic" pols who do all they can to promote and encourage the murder of the innocent and deprive God of what is rightfully His and His alone.
McCarrick said the task force has sounded out all U.S. bishops, is questioning bishops' conferences in other countries and is getting "guidance" from the Vatican.
Uhhhh, OK, sure, if you say so. Why do I have difficulty believing him?
"They (the Vatican) are saying, 'Look at the documents, the documents are very clear.' The documents tell us what a Catholic in public life should be," McCarrick said during the interview at the North American College, the American seminary in Rome.

"The Church has been very clear on these issues. The Church has said what one should expect from anyone in politics, especially one who is Catholic."

McCarrick is in Rome for a periodic visit all bishops make every five years.
Yep, the Church is clear, but it seems some bishops here have a problem with 'clear'. BTW, is McCarrick really in Rome seeking a spine transplant or is that just some ugly rumor?

Article here.

Bishop Olmsted continues to straighten out the Phoenix Diocese

Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted privately has ordered nine Catholic priests to withdraw their support from an interfaith statement supporting gay rights.

Two of the nine priests who signed the Phoenix Declaration in January 2003 confirmed they received "personal and confidential" letters from the bishop last week. In the letter, Olmsted tells the priests and one religious brother to remove their names "under obedience" to him. No consequences are spelled out for those who decline.
Olmsted's predecessors, Bishop Thomas J. O'Brien and Archbishop Michael J. Sheehan, both knew of the declaration but declined to take action against the priests who signed it. O'Brien led a bishops committee in 1997 that drafted "Always Our Children," which before it was watered down by the Vatican was seen as the church's most progressive stance toward homosexuals.
Ah yes, "Always out Children" was 'watered' down by the Vatican - meaning the deficiencies in the document were removed or fixed...You can read what Bishop Bruskewitz thought of the document here and he was not the only one.
The Phoenix Declaration calls for "full acceptance" of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered individuals in churches and in civic life. It calls for an end to "religious and civil discrimination" against those individuals.

Tom Donovan, 66, of Phoenix, who attends services at the Franciscan Renewal Center, said the bishop's action "creates an issue of conscience for those few priests who signed on, some of the finest clergy I know." Donovan added that concerns were raised among church liberals by the bishop's activism on the abortion issue, his reinstatement of the Latin Mass and other issues.
ALARM BELLS went off among the church liberals because of the Bishop's stand on abortion and his giving permission for a LATIN Mass...Sounds like too many buttons to me...

Story here...

Why Vatican Teachings Face a Tough Reception

Vatican directives on liturgical matters get a rocky reception because of three difficulties, says the secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

There are difficulties of assimilation because of "their number, their extent and the problem of communication through the media," according to Archbishop Angelo Amato.
And then we have those who proudly proclaim, "We don't have to listen to Rome!" or "We will not obey! (or serve)"...

Zenit article here.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Many factors make church leaders single out abortion as an issue

From Sunday's Post Dispatch...

...why has the stance of Roman Catholic politicians on abortion become a touchstone?

Because direct abortion is "intrinsically" evil.

Experts on Catholicism say the abortion focus is driven by a mixture of theology, internal church debates over what defines a true Catholic and an imperative to respond to the top public issues of the day.

Repeat...Because direct abortion is "intrinsically" evil.

"It is the direct taking of human life - direct, knowing, deliberate - and this is always and everywhere, in every circumstance, condemned by the church", said the Rev. Richard John Neuhaus, a Catholic priest and editor of First Things, a conservative magazine.

Catholic teaching is equally clear about euthanasia - it is never allowable...

Because it is "intrinsically" evil.


Mainstream Christian Religions Backed Pro-Abortion March

This really should not come as any surprise to anyone who has witness the absolute inversion of the truth during the past few decades.

...some observers were saddened by the support of mainline Christian church denominations (or at least their leaders) for the anti-life march.

The Episcopal Church, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), United Methodist Board of Church and Society and the United Methodist Women's Division were all listed as endorsers of the march....Some march events are occurring in the United Methodist Building on Capitol Hill.

Join the Scientific and Culture World to the Truth of the Faith

The Holy Father said that
"the modern snares of individualism, pragmatism and rationalism, which are present even in fields that are responsible for formation, are well known. .

"Teachers must never forget that teaching is inseparable from the duty to explore truth in depth, especially revealed truth.

"Therefore, they should not separate the rigor of their careers from humble openness to God's Word, written or transmitted, while always remembering that authentic interpretation of Revelation is entrusted 'only to the living Magisterium of the Church', which exercises this duty in the name of Jesus Christ."


Update - Consultation on Catechism Compendium

VATICAN CITY, APR 27, 2004 (VIS) - Holy See Press Office Director Joaquin Navarro-Valls made the following statement this morning concerning the project of creating a compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

"April 30 marks the end of the consultation process of all cardinals and presidents of episcopal conferences on the project for a Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which has been prepared by the special cardinals' commission and the editing committee.

"In the preparations, an attempt was made to put into action what the Holy Father requested in his letter of February 2, 2003 to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger: 'The Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church should contain, in a concise form, the essential and fundamental contents of the faith of the Church, respecting its completeness and doctrinal integrity, in such as a way as to develop a sort of 'vademecum' that allows people, believers and non-believers, to embrace, in a single, overall glance the entire panorama of the Catholic faith. It will have as its source, model and constant reference point the current Catechism of the Catholic Church which, in keeping intact its authoritativeness and importance, will be able to find, in such a synthesis, a stimulus to be better studied and, more in general, a further instrument of education to the faith'.

"The compendium project thus seeks to faithfully mirror the Catechism of the Catholic Church in its structure and in articulating both contents and language, as it must not be just any compendium of the Catholic faith but a compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

"The project sent for consultation is, in length, about a seventh of the original Catechism and has been edited in the form of a dialogue, with questions followed by synthetic answers. This literary style was preferred as it invites (the faithful) to a more frequent reading, setting up an ideal dialogue between the text and the reader.

"At the end of the project, several principal, common Christian prayers and several formulas of Catholic doctrine were added as an appendix."

Egan, Kerry: No love feast?

Will Edward Cardinal Egan try to block Sen. John Kerry from the 59th Alfred E. Smith Dinner? The annual gathering, sponsored by the Archdiocese of New York, isn't until October, but organizers are already said to be worrying about whether Egan may take a hard-line against the Democratic candidate because he supports abortion rights.

"They're concerned that Egan may do something to win favor with the Pope," says a source. "Some people were nervous that the Cardinal wouldn't recognize a Catholic who is pro-choice."
Win favor with the Pope? Maybe Cardinal Egan will act to educate the faithful that public, manifest grave sin cannot be tolerated by those who claim to be Catholic. But he can still receive Holy Communion?


Cleveland bishop bans reform group from church property

CLEVELAND - A group of liberal-minded Roman Catholic reformers has been banned from church property by Bishop Anthony M. Pilla, who said the organization backs positions inconsistent with church teaching.

FutureChurch, which claims more than 800 members in the eight-county Diocese of Cleveland, advocates allowing priests to marry and women to be ordained in order to ease clergy shortages.

Some members have urged the group's executive director, Sister Christine Schenk, to appeal directly to the Vatican to overturn the decision.

"We're puzzled and saddened by the description of us as not being in line with Catholic teaching," Schenk said. "We have some of the best Catholics in the diocese as members."
Story here

Monday, April 26, 2004

And on the same subject, there is a 'task force' to discuss this...

U.S. Bishops' Task Force to Discuss Pro-Abortion Politicians
In Wake of Cardinal Arinze's Comments

I will go to bed tonight feeling so much better just knowing that the bishops' "task force" has the situation in hand.

Bishop Wilton Gregory, president of the episcopal conference, announced the task force in the wake of a Vatican press conference last week in which Cardinal Francis Arinze said that politicians who support abortion must not go to Communion. He also said that priests must deny such politicians the sacrament. the wake of Cardinal Arinze's comments? I thought this task force was started some time ago...?????
"To assist us in our common discernment, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has established a task force to discuss issues with regard to the participation of Catholics in political life, including reception of the sacraments, in the cases of those whose political advocacy is in direct contradiction to Church teaching," he said.

The establishment of this task force is a clear sign of the seriousness with which we take these issues and continue to consider how best to interpret and apply the norms of the Church in their regard," said the bishop of Belleville, Illinois.
What's to interpret? Ask Archbishop Burke how to do it - he has done the work for you - or Bishop Bruskewitz - he also knows how to deal with apostates and heretics. Cardinal Arinze has indictated that the time to act is now. Indecision and delay is not an option - we have waited 30 years for action!

I don't quite get it. The tedious work has been done from a canonical perspective. Oh I get it...It's going to be hard work - discussing scandal from a 'pastoral' position and actually making a decision on whether or how to make a decision.

Lord, I pray that You would grant these men fortitude to act as if they are Your shepherds and the successors of the Apostles who gave their lives for You. And I pray that You would give them the grace necessary to teach Your truth, whether convenient or inconvenient! And please grant me an increase of the virtue of patience, if it be Your will - especially when we must witness this scandal of inaction from an impotent USCCB!

Link here.

Why Communion Could Be Denied to Anti-Life Legislators

Interview With an American Theologian in Rome

ROME, APRIL 26, 2004 ( Moves by the Church to deny Holy Communion to staunchly pro-abortion Catholic politicians are growing.

At a Vatican press conference last Friday, Cardinal Francis Arinze said that politicians who unambiguously support abortion must not go to Communion and priests must deny them the sacrament.

Last January, then Bishop Raymond Burke of La Crosse, Wisconsin, issued a decree forbidding Catholic legislators who support abortion or euthanasia from receiving Communion.

To learn more about the canonical and pastoral implications of these declarations, ZENIT interviewed American theologian Father Thomas Williams, dean of the School of Theology of the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical Athenaeum.

Q: Is the Church beginning to adopt a hard-line stance regarding the reception of Holy Communion?

Father Williams: The Church has always taken this issue seriously. In very strong terms St. Paul admonished the Church in Corinth: "Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup." That's in 1 Corinthians 11:27-28.

The 1983 Code of Canon Law, echoing the teaching of the Council of Trent, Canon 11, states that, without a very serious reason, a person who is aware of having committed a mortal sin should voluntarily abstain from Communion. "A person who is conscious of grave sin is not … to receive the Body of the Lord without prior sacramental confession," says Canon 916 of the 1983 code.

Q: So in the case of pro-abortion politicians we would be dealing with a situation of manifestly grave sin? What does this mean?

Father Williams: The technical language of the code which refers to those who "obstinately persist in manifest grave sin" must be carefully parsed.

Four essential elements come into play, all of which are necessary to fulfill the conditions laid out in Canon 915.

The first element is "gravi peccato," or grave sin. This can only be taken to refer to the matter of the action -- or omission -- without necessarily implying a judgment of subjective culpability. "Grave sin" in this case simply means objectively evil conduct of a serious nature.

The second requirement specified by Canon 915 refers to the "manifesto," or overt, character of the sin. This stipulation limits the sanction to sins of a public nature, and reiterates the public and ecclesial dimension of Holy Communion, which signifies moral, spiritual and doctrinal union with Christ and with his Church.

Thirdly, to be refused Communion a person must persist -- "perseverantes" -- in this openly sinful behavior. To say that a person persists in a public sin means that he somehow makes it known that he plans to continue engaging in his sinful behavior.

Finally, the code speaks of obstinate persistence. The Latin adverb "obstinate" here means that the person has been duly informed of the evil of his behavior but deliberately chooses to persist in it anyway.

There is such a thing as inculpable persistence in evildoing, when a person is unaware that a certain habitual activity is sinful. But once the evil of his actions has been brought to his attention, his persistence qualifies as obstinate.

Judging from the foregoing considerations, it seems clear that a politician who votes in a way that fails to defend innocent human life on a consistent basis and gives every indication of his intention to keep doing so despite warnings from ecclesiastical authorities can be said to obstinately persist in objectively evil behavior of a public nature. And in this regard he fulfills the requirements of Canon 915.
Full Zenit article here...

Abortion Rights Rally Pictures - A Free Republic Exclusive

You have got to see these pictures.

Great work!

Link is here.

Rocky Mountain News Editorial re: Archbishop Chaput

We're not about to join the local and national debate over whether a Catholic politician has an obligation to follow the church's moral teachings. Politicians can obviously belong to any religion or none, so when they ignore or bend the teachings of a particular faith that is a matter between them and that group of worshippers.

But we do take exception to what Attorney General Ken Salazar said the other day when he rebuked Archbishop Charles Chaput for his uncompromising comments regarding a Catholic politician's duty. Salazar said if the archbishop was trying to influence voter behavior, "he's gone beyond the line of what should not be breached in our American democracy, where we believe fundamentally in the separation of church and state."

Why aren't the majority of newspapers this level-headed? Link here.

Adoremus suggests "Dance" is out...

-- "[I]t is strictly to be considered an abuse to introduce into the celebration of Holy Mass elements that are contrary to the prescriptions of the liturgical books and taken from the rites of other religions". (RS 79)

This admonition would apparently prohibit practices such as ritual dances or ceremonies of non-Christian or neo-pagan religions, in accordance with the 1994 Instruction, Varietates Legitimae, on the subject of legitimate "inculturation".
Please, Lord, let it be so!


USCCB's 30 Questions on Redemptionis Sacramentum

First of all, the number 30 threw me a bit, particularly having just passed through the season of Lent and the Passion of our Lord.

Something which stood out in the very beginning of the instruction was the discussion of obedience - clarifying material and formal obedience:

"The observance of the norms published by the authority of the Church requires conformity of thought and of word, of external action and of the application of the heart. A merely external observation of norms would obviously be contrary to the nature of the Sacred Liturgy"... For this reason, external action must be illuminated by faith and charity, which unite us with Christ and with one another and engender love for the poor and the abandoned. The liturgical words and rites, moreover, are a faithful expression, matured over the centuries, of the understanding of Christ, and they teach us to think as he himself does;[13] by conforming our minds to these words, we raise our hearts to the Lord. (#5)

Anyway a couple of quotes:

10. The document states “sacred ministers may not deny the sacraments to those who seek them in a reasonable manner, are rightly disposed, and are not prohibited by law from receiving them.” Does this mean that politicians who hold positions antithetical to the church cannot be denied communion if they approach the altar?

Such matters are decided by the Diocesan Bishop in conformity with Canon Law and other documents of the Holy See.

24. What procedure is to be followed when more than one chalice is needed for the distribution of Holy Communion under both kinds?

When more than one chalice is needed for the distribution of Holy Communion under both kinds, several smaller chalices may be placed on the altar at the preparation of the gifts. The instruction prohibits the use of “flagons” or other such vessels from which the precious Blood is poured. While the use of flagons is a widespread practice in the United States, the instruction directs that they no longer be used in order to reduce the risk of spilling of the Precious Blood.
This is really widespread here. I have seen drops of the Precious Blood splash on the altar from inattentive or accidental pouring into other wine "glasses". This will, hopefully stop some from permitting lay people from participating in the 'Fractio Panis' as well.
28. Is it acceptable to genuflect before receiving Communion?

The Roman Missal directs that Bishops are to choose a sign of veneration for the faithful when they receive Holy Communion standing. While the sign of veneration chosen by the Bishops of the United States is a simple bow of head, no person should ever be denied Holy Communion because they have made a different gesture.
Who answers these questions? Actually, that is not correct. One should ask, "Who responds to the question", since the question was not answered. A simple Yes or No would certainly suffice as an answer.

LInk Here

USCCB President Wilton Gregory's Comments on Redemptionis Sacramentum

Some Excerpts:
WASHINGTON (April 23, 2004) — Belleville Bishop Wilton D. Gregory, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), welcomed the Instruction “Redemptionis Sacramentum” issued today by the Holy See’s Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.
In his statement Bishop Gregory said: “In response to our Holy Father’s mandate that bishops do all in their power to foster an appreciation of the inestimable treasure which is the Eucharistic mystery, the Congregation has provided us with a carefully developed tool to foster the authentic celebration of the Mass.”
I hope that this is a tool which will be used. I fear that this tool will be ignored in many places just like the 'tools' we have been given for 40 years.
The document addresses a wide range of abuses, or violations of liturgical law with respect to the celebration of Mass and the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Sections are devoted to such questions as who regulates the sacred liturgy, how the participation of the lay faithful can be encouraged, the way Mass is properly celebrated, and the distribution of Holy Communion.
The instruction notes that lay persons “rightly and laudably” serve in a variety of ministries at Mass, such as acolyte, lector, sacristan, and cantor. Like all ministries, these should be the subject of careful preparation and catechesis.
Wait! What about Ministry of Danced Prayer?"
It recalls that Diocesan Bishops may permit young people of both genders to serve at the altar, and says associations of altar servers should be fostered at the parish and diocesan levels.
I must have read a different version. What I read was that the associations are applicable to male altar servers. Basic grammar. It is only after associations are discussed that female altar servers are mentioned, as if in passing, for those places where few males live.

USCCB Link Here.

Actually, I prefer the Adoremus commentary here. A much better read.

You can be confident that he is speaking also for the Pope...

Cardinal Francis Arinze, a top Vatican official who said Friday that Roman Catholic lawmakers who support abortion rights should not receive Holy Communion, was speaking for the pope, local Catholic leaders said yesterday.

"He is the highest-ranking person in the whole chain under the pope with regard to the sacraments," said the Rev. Joseph Koterski, head of the philosophy department at Fordham University.

Pope John Paul II said virtually the same thing in an encyclical fairly recently, he added.

"You can be confident that he is speaking also for the pope" and about Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., said Jack Healey of Bronxville, the retired director of the Archbishop Hughes Institute for Religion and Culture at Fordham.

Article here

St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish in St. Louis - Update

Members of St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish in St. Louis sent a message to the archdiocese with a vote Sunday to change parish bylaws. The vote was 199-17.

One of the changes gives parishioners the right to decide what to do with the church's assets should its doors close, said Bob Zabielski, 64, of Chesterfield, a member of the parish's board of directors. He said members would choose a Roman Catholic parish or order that promotes Polish heritage - or perhaps the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

Members also voted to give the pastor a vote on the board of directors and limit board members' terms. They had served for life.

Zabielski said the parishioners were trying to preserve their Polish heritage while offering to work with the archdiocese.
Post-Dispatch Article Here.

Catholic priest planning to form "inclusive" splinter church

The Rev. Bill Hausen was transferred from a suburban parish back to the church where he grew up in Pittsburgh when he told parishioners in an Easter 2002 sermon that they should be "pissed off" about the Roman Catholic clergy sex scandal, and that married men and women should become priests.

But that pales to the excommunication Pittsburgh Bishop Donald Wuerl says Hausen faces if he leads his own church for Mass at a suburban hotel banquet room on May 2.

"I don't feel like I'm leaving the church or leading people out of the church - I'm leading them in. I'm inviting them inclusively," Hausen said. "I love the church ... it's the hierarchy I have a problem with."
It's all about ME! I am the new WAY, the new TRUTH, the new LIFE....Follow me!

We should pray for Bishop Wuerl and for these lost people.

Story here.

Protest at Vatican Embassy in Washington

Addressing the demonstration, Frances Kissling, president of Catholics for a Free Choices stated:

"Just yesterday, the Vatican again demonstrated that it is out of step with Catholic people as it used the sacrament of Holy Communion to push its political agenda. The Vatican has consistently shown itself to misunderstand the American principle of separation of church and state. This kind of blanket pronouncement will only lower the credibility of US Catholic bishops with ordinary Catholic people. It is time for church leaders to accept that Catholics in good faith disagree with the absolute prohibition of legal abortion demanded by the Vatican. It is time for church leaders to acknowledge that the threat of denying the sacraments to Catholics who disagree with their positions has no basis in church law. It is both bad politics and bad religion. "
Surely, Ms. Kissling is being misquoted...No doubt what she meant to say was:

"Just today, we heretics and apostates again demonstrated that we are out of step with Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church as we use the sacrament of Holy Communion to push our political agenda. We have consistently shown ourselves to misunderstand the American principle of separation of church and state.

"Our blanket pronouncements will only lower our credibility with all Christian people. It is time for Church leaders to excommunicate all of us who, in bad faith, disagree with the absolute prohibition of legal abortion as taught by the Church throughout history. It is time for Church leaders to acknowledge that the denying the sacraments to those of us who are heretics, apostates, and schismatics is a noble and proper course of action and is thoroughly based on Church law. It is both bad politics and bad religion when we are not punished for our offences and scandals. "

Link is here.

Sunday, April 25, 2004

St Stanislaus update

On KTVI Channel 2 Local News this evening, a report was aired that parishioners of St. Stanislaus Church voted to change their bylaws today.

Parishioners voted to approve the bylaw changes 199-16. It would allow the parish to seek shelter with a religious order, such as the Jesuits, should the archdiocese remove any priests that are currently assigned there.

More upcoming tomorrow in the STL Post Dispatch, I'm sure.

Kerry Takes Communion After Vatican Edict

This should come as no surprise....Look where he goes to Mass

"We're following the directive of our archdiocese," said Father Joe Ciccone, who gave Kerry the Eucharist. "They have said we should give him communion."

The Paulist Center attracts Catholics uncomfortable with some of the Vatican's orthodox teachings or who otherwise feel alienated from the Roman Catholic Church.

The congregation includes gay couples, whose adopted children are baptized there, unlike in some other Boston parishes. In November, its leaders refused to read aloud during Mass from a letter opposing gay marriage, as requested by the Massachusetts bishops.
Article here.