Friday, August 27, 2004

Bishop says priorities askew in conference questionnaire

One of these things is not like the others, say critics of a new questionnaire being sent to presidential candidates: abortion, human cloning, euthanasia and the dollar amount of the minimum wage.

Three are intrinsic evils, always gravely evil in themselves, and prohibited by absolute moral norms derived from the natural law. The fourth is a prudential political matter about which Catholics and non-Catholics alike may legitimately disagree.

Yet a new 41-item questionnaire by the staff of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops will confuse the public by blurring lines and giving issues such as welfare reform the same moral gravity as partial-birth abortion or the sanctity of marriage, said Bishop Rene Henry Gracida.
(all emphasis mine - LRS)
Kudos to Bishop Gracida for speaking out!
Bishop Gracida also affirms what many others have said, when he states:
"The questionnaire can only result in confusion in the minds of Catholic voters who do not understand that there is no moral equivalence between these two groups of issues."
And this has been reported before, but the National Catholic Register has also included it:
"When this document [the questionaire] is made public, it will immediately be used by John Kerry to argue that he’s a good Catholic," said Austin Ruse, president of the Culture of Life Foundation in Washington. "Out of 41 questions, almost all reflect priorities in the Democratic platform and only a few pertain to doctrinal issues of the Church."
USCCB staffers have attempted to defend their confusion and ambiguity against right reason and Church teaching.
"It’s total nonsense. It’s just absolutely not true," conference spokesman Bill Ryan said of charges that the survey was written to benefit Kerry over Bush.

"We don’t agree this survey confuses Catholic issues with political issues," Ryan said. "Take immigration, for example. This is an issue of tremendous importance to the Holy Father, and therefore, it’s of interest to Catholics."
You're so right, Bill! It is important to the Holy Father. But the Holy Father has also stated that the right to life is paramount. Other issues mean nothing if there is no life.

I wonder if there is any similarity to or connection with the USCCB questionaire and Sen. Dick Durbin's "Catholic Voting Report Card"? Having seen neither, I cannot answer the question but they certainly seem to be closely related... Is there any investigative reporter who can check this out?
Maybe a sleuth at National (un)Catholic Reporter? One who adept at going wherever the story leads him?

The article from the National Catholic Register is here.

Does CNS live up to its "mission"?

The mission of Catholic News Service, as stated on the web site is this, in part:
The mission of Catholic News Service is the mission of the Church itself -- to spread the Gospel through contemporary means of communication.

Our mission is to perform this task by reporting the news which affects Catholics in their everyday lives.

Our mission is to report fully, fairly and freely about the involvement of the Church in the world today.
So what do we read in CNS News Briefs for Aug 26?
Answer: Joint LCWR-CMSM assembly focuses on creating peace in violent times
FORT WORTH, Texas (CNS) -- When members of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious and the Conference of Major Superiors of Men came together in Fort Worth Aug. 19, they spent a portion of their time together addressing the one issue that has seemed to monopolize the Catholic Church's focus for the past two years -- the sex abuse crisis. Their joint meeting ended Aug. 21 after having addressed a range of issues considered most crucial to the leadership groups. The two groups re-convened separately Aug. 22 to attend to matters particular to their separate memberships. The more than 800 members of U.S. religious leadership gathered with the primary purpose of discussing world peace and social justice. Their theme, "No Longer Bystanders: Creating Peace in Violent Times," was specifically addressed in all sessions, from the opening prayer service to a closing panel that told of sisters' personal experiences of violence worldwide.
I cannot help but wonder why CNS did not also report on the group urging
"one another not to allow the church to be hijacked by seemingly dictatorial pronouncements by a conservative hierarchy. Be bold, prophetic and, when necessary, even defiant, they told one another."

Or even this from the same source:
They told one another not to be cowed into silence by the Vatican on issues such as the role of women in the church and priests who wanted the celibacy rule lifted. It was daring talk that appealed to attendees and stirred many to their feet in rousing applause.
Certainly, this is just another example which causes some to wonder whether CNS has some problem with objectivity or even, if it really can report "fully, fairly, and freely" as stated in its Mission? Perhaps it's only a case that the reporter(s) from CNS were absent when
Many of the religious leaders said the church hierarchy was fostering theological violence by imposing narrow interpretations of doctrine.
Thankfully, there are other faith Catholic sources which fulfill CNS' mission of "reporting the news which affects Catholics in their everyday lives."

Judge Rules U.S. Law Banning "Gruesome" Partial Birth Abortion Unconstitutional

Federal District Judge Richard Casey in New York today ruled that the federal government cannot enforce the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act because the law conflicts with an earlier 5-4 Supreme Court ruling in favor of partial-birth abortion.

Despite his ruling, Judge Casey also said, "The Court finds that the testimony at trial and before Congress establishes that D&X [partial-birth abortion] is a gruesome, brutal, barbaric, and uncivilized medical procedure."
This will be appealed. All evidence indicates that there is NEVER any reason in these cases to kill innocent children to protect the life of the mother. I had hoped the Judge Casey would have ruled in a manner which upheld the Constition of the United States rather than the Constitution of the Abortionists.


Demographics may mean end to celibacy issue... says America Magazine.

Let look at the overwhelming evidence to support this position:
Clergy in the early church had wives. St. Peter was married. Jesus healed Peter's mother-in-law at their home in Capernaum.
Unfortunately, what has been left out is that we do not know if Peter's wife was even still alive at the time. Or, if she was, did they forsake sexual relations for the sake of the kingdom? Or, did they separate or live as brother and sister? Of course, these questions would be viewed as irrelevant to the position being proposed by the "dump celibacy" crowd. The panacea is not to be found in overturning the discipline of celibacy - if it were the case, then there would exist sufficient evidence in the Eastern Rite and Eastern Orthodox Churches as well as in the Protestant denominations to support the 'married clergy' position. As we know, the evidence is not there, all of these others are experiencing shortages as well.

The answer can be found in fruitful and holy families which are authentically Catholic - obedient to the will of God and faithful to Christ and His Church. We only need look around us to see one reason for the problem. For example, contracepting "Catholic" families are engaged in depriving God and the Church of life - without life, there are no vocations. There must be a return to the theological virtues of Faith, Hope, and Charity - for families in which sanctity and virtue are no longer esteemed will be incapable of producing life or vocations. We must continue to pray for our Church and ask our Lord to bless His people and give them the graces that are necessary for vocations to the priesthood.

Article here.

Archbishop Burke requests help for hurricane victims, & prayers for seminarians

There are always so many subjects about which I would like to write to you. Usually, I try to limit myself to one topic a week, hoping that eventually I will be able to communicate with you about all matters of our mutual Christian concern. This week, however, I want to address three timely subjects, about which, I trust, you would like to hear a word from me.
I honestly don't know how he does all that he does. Surely his help comes from our Lord and from our Blessed Mother.

Archbishop Burke's article is here.

Donations won't be used for civil settlements

About one-third of the $2,036,800 the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Louis will pay to settle 18 civil cases of sexual abuse will be paid by its insurance company. The rest will come from a general archdiocesan fund "generated from investments and past sales of real estate," according to a statement issued Thursday by the archdiocese. "No contributions to parishes, archdiocesan agencies or the Archdiocesan Development Appeal will be used to fund these settlements."

Boston teachers sue archdiocese over union

Church-sponsored schools do not have to recognize labor unions under federal labor law. But since the archdiocese recognized the union 38 years ago, the teachers association wants the new boards to follow suit, a union lawyer said.

"These teachers have dedicated, on average, decades of their lives to these schools," said Terence P. Noonan, a lawyer for the union. "They don't think a fringe benefit of working is job security. They think it's an integral benefit. They need to know they have a safe and sound economic future. That can only follow from knowing that they have continuing employment, through a collective bargaining agreement."
Article here.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

72 percent of Catholics say Communion sanctions improper

This article appears to support the proposition that three-quarters of professed Catholics do not know and do not understand the Catholic Faith. This article also support previous polls indicating that nearly 70% of professed Catholics do not believe in the real, true, and substantial presence of our Lord, Jesus Christ, in the Holy Eucharist.
Nearly three-quarters of Catholics oppose the idea of church leaders denying Communion to politicians whose public positions on abortion and other topics contradict church teachings, according to a new Pew poll.

The largest segment to agree that such action was proper was 39 percent of self-identified conservative Republicans. Forty-seven percent of this group said it was improper and 14 percent said they didn't know.

The largest percentages of smaller groups of respondents to say church leaders acted improperly by denying Communion to politicians were Catholic Democrats, at 81 percent, followed by Catholic women and self-described liberal Democrats, at 80 percent.

The poll also asked people's opinions about embryonic stem-cell research. A narrow majority, 52 percent, said it is more important to conduct stem-cell research than it is to stop such research in the interest of not destroying the embryos.
Read it and weep...Pray for conversions of "Catholics" to the faith.

Full story here.

An Offense Against Truth

After much consideration and review of the articles concerning Deal Hudson, it seems worthwhile to review some obligatory principles which have apparently been ignored, most notably, by those who chose to reveal to the world an alleged past sin of Deal Hudson's without any apparent objectively valid reason.

For review, the Catechism refers to this as the grave sin of detraction.
2477 Respect for the reputation of persons forbids every attitude and word likely to cause them unjust injury. He becomes guilty:
...- of detraction who, without objectively valid reason, discloses another's faults and failings to persons who did not know them...
The Code of Canon Law states:
Can. 220 No one may unlawfully harm the good reputation which a person enjoys, or violate the right of every person to protect his or her privacy.
The Catholic Encyclopedia says, in part:
Detraction is the unjust damaging of another's good name by the revelation of some fault or crime of which that other is really guilty or at any rate is seriously believed to be guilty by the defamer.
To violate or damage one's good name or reputation is an act of injustice.

We may not injure or damage another person's reputation by revealing what we believe is true, without proportionately grave reason. Based on the information currently at hand in the offending article, I can see no proportionately grave reason for revealing what has been made public despite the assertion that the reporter "went where the story led him". Merely having come across alleged facts, does not require that those 'facts' be disclosed.

When a disclosure of an unknown failing or sin is necessary to protect oneself or others, there is no injustice in the revelation - however, there must be adequate proportion between the damaging or lessening of a person's reputation (which is not intended) and the good to be achieved by the disclosure (which is intended). Nor does the sin of detraction exist when the person's failing/sin is publicly known.

In the case at hand, a third party, not involved in the sordid affair, "was led" by the "story" to knowledge of which he appears to have no right to know or to publish. One may or may not accept the premise for pursuing the "story" as legitimate or true. Nonetheless, it is difficult, if not impossible, for me to determine what good what accomplished by the publication of the story - other than to expose a person who seemingly had reconciled and resolved the issue with the parties involved. We must then ask, who is being protected or served by this disclosure? What grave reasons exist for making such a sinful failure public? It appears that this is a blatant and serious case of the grave sin of detraction which may have permanently damaged Mr. Hudson's reputation.

I am more than willing to entertain any arguments demonstrating that there was a proportionately grave reason for publishing the story. However, at this time, I am unable to think of any legitimate reasons why this would not be a serious case of detraction of which justice would demand repairing the reputation of the injured party.

Republican Draft Platform Calls for Constitutional Amendment to Ban Abortion

The Republican plank asserts that "the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed," according to an ABC News report.
Lifesite Article

St Louis Archdiocese settles 18 abuse suits

The St. Louis Archdiocese has agreed to pay more than $2 million to settle 18 civil cases of sexual abuse, according to lawyers representing the accusers.

Edward Goldenhersh, an archdiocesan lawyer, said Wednesday that using the word "settle" is "wordsmithing."

"They've brought claims and I can beat them in court, and they know that," he said.

At least 30 more cases against the archdiocese are pending, according to Susan Carlson, one of the attorneys representing the accusers. Those cases probably will be mediated in the same way over the coming months. Attorneys would not say exactly how much each accuser received in each settlement.

In addition to the $2 million, the archdiocese agreed to provide "safe touch" education to all children in the archdiocese...
Not sure what they mean by the "safe touch" program.

Article here.

Riverfronttimes Articles Critical of Archbishop Burke

It must be a slow news week at the RFT. The RiverFrontTimes has two articles today extremely critical of Archbishop Burke.

One wonders whether the 'facts' are truly facts or the results of animosity and ill will toward the Archbishop. Considering the reality that the whole truth could not possibly be known by the RFT, much less presented, what is the real purpose of these articles?

There are the old complaints we have heard about since Archbishop Burke was named to succeed Cardinal Rigali: the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the diocesan withdrawal from "Crop Walk", and this little gem: was his gathering of fringe religious orders to the diocese that alienated many priests.

"He brought in any number of people -- hermits we called them, or consecrated virgins and religious orders of one and two and three people," says the priest who requested anonymity. "They were just -- forgive me for saying so -- but to most of us they were wackos. They're just psychologically not well equipped, and he brought these people in because theologically they agree with him." (emphasis mine)
I have not linked directly to the articles themselves but only to the RFT. Source.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Seminarians voice support for mandatory celibacy

At least 556 U.S. seminarians have signed a letter to the head of the U.S. bishops' conference affirming their support for mandatory celibacy in the Catholic priesthood of the Latin rite.

...the seminarians said, "We are writing today to affirm our support for Holy Mother Church's teaching on the place of celibacy in the priesthood. ... We, to whom the precious gift of divine grace to live as celibates has been given, yearn with all our hearts to offer this celibacy up to the Lord with undivided hearts, at the service of his church."
A sign of God's mercy and the power of prayer and sacrifice.

CNS article.

Lawyers for USCCB Prefer Parishes Not Use Popular Voter Guide

August 24, 2004 Volume 2, Number 3

Lawyers for US Bishops Prefer Parishes Not Use Popular Voter Guide

In the wake of controversy surrounding a presidential candidate questionnaire produced by the lay staff of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, many Catholics have embraced an alternative voting guide issued by a Catholic apologetics organization. Though the USCCB has discouraged use of this new guide, it has been circulated by at least one major archdiocese and thousands of parishes, according to the publisher.

"Voter's Guide for Serious Catholics" is a 10-page booklet produced by Catholic Answers, a lay apostolate based in San Diego whose primary mission is defending Catholic teaching. Citing papal and Vatican documents, "Voter's Guide" identifies five issues it calls "non-negotiable": abortion, euthanasia, fetal stem cell research, human cloning and homosexual "marriage." Supporting any of these issues,
according to the guide, would disqualify a candidate as a viable option for a faithful Catholic.

Frank Norris, Catholic Answers Director of Development, told Culture & Cosmos that the guide has been very successful, citing more than a million in distribution. Norris estimates that by election day in November Catholic Answers will have distributed somewhere between 2 million to 5 million copies. Norris said the guide is being distributed by the St. Louis Archdiocese and that two more dioceses are considering distributing it. He went on to say that more than one thousand individuals have requested copies of the guide. Norris also said the booklet may soon receive an imprimatur from the bishop of San Diego [an imprimatur is
official guidance from a bishop that the information is free from doctrinal error]. Even so, the booklet has faced resistance and even disapproval from the legal staff of the USCCB.

A parishioner in the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis asked Archdiocesan officials if he could distribute the "Voter's Guide" on church property. The Archdiocese sought guidance from the USCCB, according to William Fallon, the Archdiocese's chancellor, and was told they preferred that only the USCCB guide, "Faithful Citizenship: A Catholic Call to Political Responsibility," be distributed. "Faithful Citizenship," a document issued by the lay staff of the USCCB, has been criticized even within the Church for placing the paramount issue of abortion with other lesser issues like promoting "social justice" and "global solidarity." Bob Laird, Director of the Family Life Office of the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia said, "It equates abortion with debt relief. They are not equal."

Critics charge that the document has had the effect of minimizing the importance of abortion in Catholic social teaching. The USCCB is also set to release its staff-produced presidential questionnaire which has faced similar charges.

Interpreting IRS guidelines for non-profit organizations is at the heart of the voter guide question. IRS rules insist that non-profits may not engage in active campaigning for specific candidates or political parties. Though USCCB lawyers declined repeated requests for comment, an online memo makes it clear they believe in a very strict reading of the IRS code. "Political Activity Guidelines for Catholic Organizations," a document of USCCB's Office of the General Counsel, stresses that guides and questionnaires must cover a "wide variety of issues selected solely on the basis of their importance to the electorate as a whole." It remains to be seen whether the IRS will go after the narrow voter guide of
Catholic Answers though Catholic Answers believes it is well within the law.

Copyright, 2004 --- Culture of Life Foundation. Permission granted for
unlimited use. Credit required.

Culture of Life Foundation
1413 K Street, NW, Suite 1000
Washington DC 20005
Phone: (202) 289-2500 Fax: (202) 289-2502
This is from an email received last night. Things are definitely amiss at the USCCB. It appears to be severely infected. (All emphasis above is mine.)

Another St. Stanislaus Letter to the Editor

Stop 'harassment' of St. Stanislaus

To the Editor:

In light of what is going on at St. Stanislaus Church in St. Louis during the past few weeks, I feel compelled to say something on their behalf.

I think it is obvious that when Archbishop Burke looks upon St. Stanislaus, he sees only dollar signs and he is threatening blackmail if the members of the church do not yield to his wishes.

I am not a member of the Catholic Church, but this is not a question of religion, it is a question of what is right and what is wrong, and it is not right to steal from your fellow man.

Christ taught us to love one another and to love your neighbor as yourself, not harass them.

Mel Marshall


Apparently, Mr. Marshall has no firm handle of the facts, and presumably he has not read the account of the situation as documented in the St. Louis Review by Archbishop Burke.

I know that I, too, am prone to rash judgement at times, and it is terribly embarrassing and shameful to falsely suggest motives for others actions without factual knowledge.


New English translation of the Mass? Maybe by 2006.

Accuracy, not speed, is priority in Mass translation
"Getting it right" is a top priority, said Bishop Denis Browne of the long-awaited new English translation of the Mass, which is now unlikely to be ready before 2006.
Personally, it seems that it would be fitting for all to use the Latin texts, especially as an outward sign of the oneness and universality of the Church - where anyone, anywhere would know that he was assisting at the Holy Mass. Of course, the readings would be in the vernacular, just as the Second Vatican Council called for.


Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Women taking reins in Catholic churches

Beneath the Roman Catholic Church's glass ceiling, a gathering crowd of women is gaining power and loosening the rigid structures of a centuries-old, male-centered hierarchy.

On Sundays, a divorced mother of two grown sons helps conduct Mass at St. Julie Billiart church in San Jose. Standing side by side with the Rev. John Pedigo, Jeanine Jensen leads prayers and joins in accepting bread and wine brought to the altar for the consecration. It's just one of her many duties as paid pastoral associate.
The diocese of San Jose is led by Bishop Patrick McGrath, who opined this past Lent that the Gospels should not be viewed as historical documents.
They are finance directors, school superintendents, chancellors. Seven of San Jose Bishop Patrick McGrath's 10 executive committee members are women. McGrath, on vacation, could not be reached for comment.

Until the priesthood is opened to women, such jobs offer the best opportunity for making an impact.

Still, hope remains among many -- even some priests -- that the doors to priesthood will open to women someday as the natural progression of their increasing numbers in decision-making positions.
Hope as they may, it will never happen. And the agenda is openly stated...increase the numbers of women in the roles traditionally help by priests or other men and the natural progression will be to the priesthood, itself.

Of course there are and should be legitimate roles for women in the Church. But because society has become so confused in recent decades regarding family life as the nucleus of society, and the rampant abandonment by many men and women of their parental and familial responsibilities, we find ourselves in some particularly troublesome situations, many times promoted by priests and bishops in the name of 'diversity' rather than tradition, experience, and common sense. How terribly sad that the Church must experience again all of the futile attempts of changing the priesthood and the Sacraments - But it is also an excellent opportunity to use things like this for the sanctification of ourselves and others and as a means of mortification to make reparations for our own sins as well as those of others. Perhaps, if we were to use this and similar situtations as opportunities to beseech God's mercy and forgiveness, the minds and hearts of others might be enlightened and converted.


Louisiana Court Allows Family to Starve & Dehydrate Mother

Since the deliberate murder of family members by directly procured abortions is not enough, some judges are permitting the deliberate murder of the elderly and sick by means of starvation and dehydration.
An 89 year-old woman who suffered a debilitating stroke is being denied life-sustaining food and water by her family and doctors -- a court said it was okay because Doris Smith signed a living will. The daughter of the woman argues, however, that her mother never intended to be starved to death when she signed the legal document before her stroke.

Nurses at the nursing home stopped administering food and water to Mrs. Smith Monday, following the instruction of two other children, despite the efforts of attorney Jack Wright. The Louisiana Supreme Court refused to hear Smith's daughter, Oris Pettis', appeal. "We're at the end," Wright told the Associated Press.
Lifesite article

Monday, August 23, 2004

November 9 - Dinner with Archbishop Raymond Burke

Mark this date on your calendar - Tuesday evening, November 9.

Credo of the Catholic Laity and The Catholic Central Union will jointly host a dinner at the Clayton Radisson Inn. The speaker at this event will be the Most Reverend Raymond L. Burke, Archbishop of St. Louis.

You won't want to miss this time with one of our country's most faithful and courageous shepherds!

More details to follow...

Update on Fr. John Perricone Talk & Dinner & Holy Mass

Fr. John Perricone will celebrate the Tridentine Latin Mass on Sunday morning, September 19 at 9:00am at the Holy Family Old Log Church in Cahokia, IL.

Fr. Perricone is the founder and director The Christifideles Apostolate, an organization that provides ascetical/spiritual and doctrinal/theological/philosophical formation for Catholics. You can see and listen to Fr. Perricone explain how Christifideles was founded, in response to the Holy Father's call for the laity to be sanctified and to sanctify the world. The broadcast on EWTN, "Mother Angelica Live", on April 21, 1999, can be seen here.

You will not be disappointed listening to Fr. Perricone when he comes to St. Louis - he is an orthodox and faithful priest as well as an articulate defender of the faith.

Make your reservations now.

Three Bishops refute flawed theology of Fr. Andrew Greeley

No other Vatican memorandum has caused so much controversy in recent times as has that written by the head of the Vatican’s second most important dicastery of the Roman Curia.

Moreover, one Cardinal and one Catholic priest are at the forefront of this controversy, namely Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., and retired sociologist Father Andrew M. Greeley, Ph.D.
The three Bishops who are refuting Fr. Greeley's recent errant ramblings are:
Bishop Robert Francis Vasa, M.Div., J.C.L., Bishop of Baker, OR,
Bishop Michael J. Sheridan, Bishop of Colorado Springs, CO, and
Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz, D.D., S.T.D., Bishop of Lincoln, NE.

Here are some excerpts of their responses:
Bishop Vasa gave the following statement, [in part]:
“I see little sense in entering into a debate about the theological merits of Father Andrew Greeley’s statement in the New York Daily News article of August 10, 2004. I do believe his interpretation of Cardinal Ratzinger’s June Statement is erroneous.

"...Pre-born human life in our country is under consistent and vicious attack and those lives must be defended. As I have said elsewhere, these little ones have no vote but mine and I will use it for them at every opportunity.”

Bishop Sheridan gave the following statement [in part]:
“It is my opinion that Fr. Andrew Greeley’s reading of Cardinal Ratzinger’s memorandum is very incorrect. Nowhere does Fr. Greeley even attempt to deal with the qualifying phrase: “…in the presence of proportionate reasons.”
Both Bishops stated more, which should be read by all.

However, Bishop Bruskewitz has responded more to my way of thinking (with my emphasis added):
Bishop Bruskewitz conveyed through his Vicar General, Monsignor Timothy J. Thorburn, J.C.L., the following assertion:

“No Catholics of any sense will take any pastoral advice from Father Andrew Greeley, a superficial writer who appears to spend his time promoting himself to various elements in the secular media.

“It is often said by priests and people in his native region of Chicago that he long ago published all his thoughts, and in the last decades has been publishing his fantasies.

“In his article in the New York Daily news, fostering a pro-abortion vote (‘so long as it is not merely for that…’), he seems to strongly indicate not only a tragic indifference to abortion, which the Second Vatican Council called ‘an abominable crime,’ but a shallowness of mind akin to a harlequin.

In his self-important buffoonery, he has appointed himself as instructor to Bishops and to Catholics nationwide. In doing this, he merely announces to every thoughtful Catholic that his views are totally self serving and undeserving of any serious consideration.

Father Greeley even appointed himself to be an interpreter and spokesman for Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, to the great amusement of all who really know the Cardinal.

My advice to any Catholics who would ask me about that Greeley article would be to give it the same view as you would the words and acts of a clown.
This is one of those responses of which I am envious...But I applaud all of the Bishops who have the courage to stand up to imposters such as Fr. Greeley.


Update on Archbishop Burke's Pastoral Letter

The information from a couple of weeks ago was incorrect in that the Archbishop's Pastoral Letter would be forthcoming 'real soon'...The Pastoral Letter is still in process and there are no other updates yet on when we might expect to see it.

New England Bishops meet with Holy Father this week..

[Archbishop] O'Malley, who is scheduled to depart Wednesday, will meet with Pope John Paul II, if the pontiff's health permits, O'Malley's spokesman, the Rev. Christopher J. Coyne, said.

O'Malley will also seek a clear explanation on the washing of feet, an issue that has embroiled him in controversy after he washed only the feet of men, and not women, on Holy Thursday in April. O'Malley later apologized for offending women, and said he was following Vatican guidelines. Cardinal Bernard F. Law washed women's feet, as do many priests in the archdiocese and most American clergy.

"The archbishop will ask for an extension of the directive on footwashing, to allow both men and women to be washed," Coyne said.
An extension? An extension of what - an extension to be disobedient to the liturgical guidelines of the Church? Please!

Article here.

Leaders of Catholic Orders say Vatican can't bully them

All puffed up with pride, many of these "religious" have become disobedient and choose to blame the 'hierarchy'. In short, they have revolted and become protestant.
The 1,000 leaders of U.S. Catholic religious orders meeting at the Fort Worth Convention Center on Saturday said that following Jesus simply didn't mean being dutiful mouthpieces for the Vatican or the American bishops.

Rather, they urged one another not to allow the church to be hijacked by seemingly dictatorial pronouncements by a conservative hierarchy. Be bold, prophetic and, when necessary, even defiant, they told one another.
Be prophetic? Many, if not most of their orders are dead or dying - what is so bold about that? Is that something of which to be proud? Their 'prophetic' voices will, in time, be silenced and will no longer be heard because they have chosen to reject the successors of the Apostles.
"A lot of religious communities have concerns about speaking out because they fear the Vatican or their bishops will sanction them," said Sister Carol Beckermann, a Franciscan nun from St. Louis. "We can't let that intimidate us any longer."
Sr. Carol is in St. Louis - We wait to hear more of her 'speaking out'...maybe she will tell us how many new vocations her order is getting. Maybe she can shout that from the rooftop of the cathedral?
The leaders were from the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, which represents 73,000 U.S. nuns, and the Conference of Major Superiors of Men, which represents 2,000 priests and brothers belonging to male religious orders.
Nothing else needs to be said!
The organizations represent the majority of religious orders in the United States, which have seen dramatic drops in membership since the 1960s. The groups tend to be progressive theologically. Only a few sisters wore traditional veils, and almost none of the men were cloaked in clerical garb.
Theologically progressive? That must be why thousands of young people are being called by God to a vocation in one of those orders...Some fail to grasp that the 60's are over - and for good reason. Pray for them - and pray especially, for those whose minds and souls are poisoned by the heterdoxy of these people.

Article here.

Fr. John Perricone to speak in St. Louis September 19

Credo of the Catholic Laity is proud to present
Father John A. Perricone

Speaking on the Topic “Put Not Your Trust in Princes”

Sunday Sept, 19, 2004 6:00 p.m. at the Radisson Hotel, 7750 Carondelet Blvd., Clayton Mo.
Father John Perricone is a Professor of Philosophy at St. Francis College in Brooklyn New York. He is also the Administrator of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Orange New Jersey. In addition he is the Founder and Director of ChristiFideles. The organization was founded in 1989 and provides spiritual guidance and theological/philosophical formation for Catholics.

Father Perricone is Co-Founder and Vice-President of The Montfort Academy, Katonah New York. This is a private academy for boys grades 9 – 12 with a classical curriculum with Roman Catholicism as its core. He has made presentations on EWTN and is a well known author, lecturer and retreat master.

His educational credentials are impressive:
He has an A.B. in Philosophy and Classical Languages from Seaton Hall, Orange New Jersey. His Masters degree in Biblical Studies is from Immaculate Conception Seminary in Mahwah New Jersey. A second Masters in Dogmatic Theology was earned at St John’s University, Jamaica New York. And he has Ph.D. in Medieval Philosophy that comes from Fordham University, Bronx New York.

Join us for a delicious sit down dinner at the Radisson Hotel, 7750 Carondelet in Clayton 6:00 p.m. Sunday Sept, 19th. The cost is $20.00 per person.

Park free in the parking garage at 7777 Bonhomme. Take a parking ticket as you go in. Use the bridge on the orange level to access the Hotel. When you leave the gate will be open and you will not have to pay.

For more information call, Howard Brandt, Treasurer, at 314-894-0357

Sunday, August 22, 2004

A shakedown of Deal Hudson?

I sure this is old news by now, but I just saw it. I understand the National Catholic Reporter has been on the case with its topnotch investigative journalism - how pathetic.

CRISIS Magazine - e-Letter
August 20, 2004
Dear Friend,

As you know, for many years I've encouraged faithful Catholics to get more involved in politics. My own involvement began unexpectedly after CRISIS Magazine published a series of articles on "the Catholic vote," which caught the attention of the Bush presidential campaign.

At that time, I was asked to be part of the team advising on their outreach to Catholic voters. I agreed.

For too long, the Catholic vote had been misunderstood, in part because of the simple enormity and diversity of the Catholic population in America. The CRISIS model assumed the targetable, crucial part of the Catholic vote could be found among the Mass-attending faithful. Indeed, those voters who are religiously active are most likely to let their faith guide their voting decision.

Employing this strategy, Governor Bush received ten percent more of the Catholic vote in 2000 than Senator Dole had in 1996.

The present campaign, however, is very different from the last one.

Senator Kerry, a pro-abortion Catholic, became the Democratic-party nominee. The question of the Catholic vote went to center stage. Controversies ensued. Kerry insisted he was Catholic in spite of his support for abortion. I argued, loudly, that the election of John Kerry would be a disaster for the Church. My first press statement after his nomination was that Church institutions -- parishes, schools, hospitals, etc. -- should be off limits to Kerry or anyone who wants to use the platform of the Catholic Church to undermine its authority and attack its teachings.

It was then I learned that the moderator of the "Catholics for Kerry" Web site -- a young man named Ono Ekeh -- was an employee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. A few days after I pointed this out in our CRISIS e-letter, he left his job at the Conference.

Right away, the phone rang and a reporter from a notoriously liberal Catholic publication requested a comment and an interview. A few days later, he came in to ask questions about my support for President Bush and the Catholic vote issues in general.

Weeks passed and no story. But then, over time, friends began telling me that the reporter was calling my past co-workers and associates and asking them about my personal life.

Yesterday, the article was published. In it, they dug up a truly embarrassing event from my past. Ten years ago, I committed a serious sin with an undergraduate student of mine while teaching at Fordham University. For this I am truly and deeply sorry. I have confessed this and asked for forgiveness, my family has worked through it, and time has passed. But I know this is news to you, and so I offer my sincerest apologies. I recognize that I have let countless people down and have brought scandal to myself, my family, and my Faith. For this, I beg your forgiveness.

Some may wonder why I speak of the event in a way that seems vague or abstract. Please don't mistake this for lack of shame, regret, or repentance. The simple fact is, I can't say any more about it. Ten years ago, I signed a confidentiality agreement, and so I'm seriously constrained in what I can say. I know this is frustrating for you, and so that's one more thing I apologize for.

I need to make one final point. There's much deserved condemnation coming down upon me right now, and I expect it will continue. But I do hope that this just anger will not spill over onto CRISIS Magazine. The simple fact is, CRISIS Magazine is far more than Deal Hudson. There is an entire staff of hardworking and faithful Catholics who, month after month, put together what has become the flagship publication for faithful Catholics. It would be a tragedy if my personal baggage were to harm CRISIS. Our many staff members, columnists, and writers have simply worked too hard and done too much good to be pulled down by my faults.

Please don't let that happen.

I'll talk to you soon,

Is there an old unused church and rectory in St. Chas County?

For those looking for a Tridentine Latin Mass with the Canons Regular or the Institute of Christ the King, this is what is needed.

I can think of a church which is now a chapel but there is no corresponding unused rectory or building which could be used as one.

Any ideas? I'm not well traveled in the county. I get lost really easily and as I am male, I rarely ask for directions.