Saturday, July 01, 2006

Gospel for July 1, 12th Week in Ordinary Time

From: Matthew 8:5-17

The Centurion's Faith

[5] As He (Jesus) entered Capernaum, a centurion came forward to Him, beseeching Him [6] and saying, "Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, in terrible distress." [7] And He said to him, "I will come and heal him." [8] But the centurion answered Him, "Lord, I am not worthy to have You come under my roof; but only say the word, and my servant will be healed. [9] For I am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to one, `Go,' and he goes, and to another, `Come,' and he comes, and to my slave, `Do this,' and he does it." [10] When Jesus heard him, He marvelled, and said to those who followed Him, "Truly, I say to you, not even in Israel have I found such faith. [11] I tell you, many will come from east and west and sit at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the Kingdom of Heaven, [12] while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth." [13] And to the centurion Jesus said, "Go; be it done for you as you have believed." And the servant was healed at that very moment.

A Number of Cures

[14] And when Jesus entered Peter's house, He saw his mother-in-law lying sick with fever; [15] He touched her hand, and the fever left her, and she rose and served Him. [16] That evening they brought to Him many who were possessed with demons; and He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick. [17] This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah, "He took our infirmities and bore our diseases."


5-11. "Centurion": an officer of the Roman army in control of one hundred men. This man's faith is still an example to us. At the solemn moment when a Christian is about to receive Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, the Church's liturgy places on his lips and in his heart these words of the centurion, to enliven his faith: Lord, I am not worthy...".

The Jews of this time regarded any Jew who entered a Gentile's house as contracting legal impurity (cf. John 19:28; Acts 11:2-3). This centurion has the deference not to place Jesus in an embarrassing position in the eyes of His fellow Israelites. He shows that he is convinced that Jesus has the power over disease and illness; he suggests that if Jesus just says the word, He will do what is needed without having actually to visit the house; he is reasoning, in a simple, logical way, on the basis of his own professional experience. Jesus avails of this meeting with a Gentile believer to make a solemn prophecy to the effect that His Gospel is addressed to the world at large; all men, of every nation and race, of every age and condition, are called to follow Christ.

14-15. After his body--or soul--is healed, everyone is called to "rise up" from his previous position, to serve Jesus Christ. No laments, no delays; instead one should make oneself immediately available to the Lord.

16-17. The expulsion of evil spirits is one of the main signs of the establishment of the Kingdom of God (cf. Matthew 12:8). Similarly, the healing of diseases, which ultimately are the result of sin, is one of the signs of the "works of the Messiah" proclaimed by the prophets (cf. Isaiah 29:18; 35:5-6).
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland. Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

Friday, June 30, 2006


Before I leave for the weekend I thought I would share this those who might appreciate it. I received this via email, and it sounds as if someone has chronicled a day in my life.

AAADD (Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder)

This is how Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder manifests itself:

I decide to water my garden.

As I turn on the hose in the driveway, I look over at my car and decide my car needs washing.

As I start toward the garage, I notice that there is mail on the porch table that I brought up from the mailbox earlier.

I decide to go through the mail before I wash the car.

I lay my car keys down on the table, put the junk mail in the garbage can under the table, and notice that the can is full.

So, I decide to put the bills back on the table and take out the garbage first.

But then I think, since I'm going to be near the mailbox when I take out the garbage anyway, I may as well pay the bills first.

I take my checkbook off the table, and see that there is only one check left.

My extra checks are in my desk in the study, so I go inside the house to my desk where I find the can of Coke that I had been drinking.

I'm going to look for my checks, but first I need to push the Coke aside so that I don't accidentally knock it over.

I see that the Coke is getting warm, and I decide I should put it in the refrigerator to keep it cold.

As I head toward the kitchen with the Coke a vase of flowers on the counter catches my eye--they need to be watered.

I set the Coke down on the counter, and I discover my reading glasses that I've been searching for all morning.

I decide I better put them back on my desk, but first I'm going to water the flowers.

I set the glasses back down on the counter, fill a container with water and suddenly I spot the TV remote. Someone left it on the kitchen table.

I realize that tonight when we go to watch TV, I will be looking for the remote, but I won't remember that it's on h kitchen table, so I decide to put it back in the den where it belongs, but first I'll water the flowers.

I pour some water in the flowers, but quite a bit of it spills on the floor.

So, I set the remote back down on the table, get some towels and wipe up the spill.

Then I head down the hall trying to remember what I was planning to do.

At the end of the day:

the car isn't washed
the bills aren't paid
there is a warm can of Coke sitting on the counter
the flowers don't have enough water
there is still only one check in my check book
I can't find the remote
I can't find my glasses
I don't remember what I did with the car keys.

Then when I try to figure out why nothing got done today, I'm really baffled because I know I was busy all day long, and I'm really tired.

I realize this is a serious problem, and I'll try to get some help for it, but first 'll check my e-mail.

Don't laugh -- if this isn't you yet, your day is coming!

Growing older is mandatory, growing up is optional.

Trinity Communications Purchases Catholic World News

A Email NewsFlash:
Hello! This message is from Peter Mirus, Vice President of Trinity
Communications, and Phil Lawler, Editor of Catholic World News.

The past month has brought exciting changes to Catholic World News (CWN). Please read about these changes below, and make sure to take advantage of our discount subscription offer!

Catholic World News Purchased

Effective June 1, Trinity Communications has purchased the Catholic World News web site from Domus Enterprises, the company set up by Phil Lawler, which established CWN in 1996.

What does this mean for subscribers? It does not mean a change in editorial direction. (In fact, although the change took effect nearly a month ago, we're guessing that most readers haven't noticed!) CWN will continue to provide reliable news, independent analysis, and hard-hitting commentary. What the new ownership does mean is that the best is yet to come.

Trinity Communications and Domus Enterprises have worked together for years. Trinity has provided web-hosting services, programming and design for CWN since its earliest days, and is thoroughly familiar with every aspect of the web site. Now we look forward to serving you by devoting increased manpower to site development and customer support.

In order to ensure that news reporting and commentary matches (and hopefully surpasses) our already excellent standards, Trinity Communications has signed Phil Lawler to a long term contract to continue as editor of the web site.

Together, we hope to begin a new era at We look forward to making positive, incremental changes to the site over the course of the next few months.

Trinity is completely dedicated to providing you with a quality news service that is truly independent, just as Domus Enterprises has for years.

A Decade of Outstanding Catholic News

Catholic World News is the original English language Catholic online news service, with over a decade of experience since its inception in 1996.

After ten eventful news years, which have seen numerous other entrants to the online Catholic news market, we are still the best source for Catholic news, analysis and commentary that is both faithful to the teachings of the Church and truly independent.

Combine that independence with the years of dedication to reliable and responsible news coverage, and you have the unique recipe that makes Catholic World News so valuable. There's no "spin control" on the CWN site, and there's no gossip; just the sort of straight news and insightful commentary that you can count on.

So in May, when Phil Lawler told CWN readers that Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone would be the next Vatican Secretary of State, you know that he wasn't just passing along the latest rumor. You knew -- almost a full month before the official announcement -- that it was going to happen.

Celebration and Promotional Special

We will be having a celebration event to mark our anniversary in late 2006. But as a precursor to that event, we'd like to thank you for your interest and past support through our current promotional special.

Right now, you can get a new annual subscription (or renewal) to Catholic World News for only $20.00 - a 33% discount from the usual price.

New subscribers need only click on the Subscribe Now! button on any page of to begin the process. When you enter your billing information, enter TENTH2 in the Promotional Code box and your discount will be applied to your purchase.

Current subscribers need only log in to their account (if not already logged in), and click View Account in the upper right-hand corner of any page.

From there, click "Renew Subscription" under Account Options. When you enter your billing information, enter TENTH2 in the Promotional Code box and your discount will be applied to your purchase.

We've recently made some changes to the subscription process. If you have any difficulty subscribing or renewing, please contact us immediately at, and we will resolve your problem as quickly as possible.

Thank you for your attention and your support! We look forward to a great partnership between Trinity Communications, Domus Enterprises, and our readers.

God bless,

Peter Mirus and Phil Lawler
Catholic World News

A web service from Trinity Communications.
(c) All material copyright 2006 -- all rights reserved.

Catholic World News
For subscription information, see
Thought I would pass on this information...If you don't have a subscription, you should consider getting one. It's well worth the money!

The "Have it your way" church....

Someone forwarded me the most recent Weekly Newsletter from Sts. Clare & Francis Ecumenical Catholic Community which contained this little nugget:

COMMUNITY CORNER…our family news

This is Gay Pride Week (???!!!) When you look at the progress of the Roman Catholic Church in the past two centuries, it's hard to feel very proud. In honor or memory of all the pain and suffering inflicted on gays and lesbians and, since it is Pride week, I wish everyone who chooses should log on to www.catholicactionnetwork.

When on that screen, click on Holy Families, then click on Read, then click on Correspondence with Archbishop Burke and read the letters to him that began in April of 2004 and continue in futility to this day.

His response is to encourage gays and lesbians to join a group called COURAGE to help them live a chaste life in order to open themselves to God's Grace and the families unfortunate enough to have a homosexual relative are to join COURAGE to learn how to tolerate this problem.

I just thank the Lord and God I have always loved and tried to serve, that he let [sic] me to Sts. Clare and Francis!! And I thank all of its members that have accepted me just as I am. I just wish each member would feel loved and hugged from those of us in the parish that are gay in celebration of Gay Pride Week. I cherish every member there. GOD BLESS THE ECC!!!!! – Judie Nauert

[Emphasis and links added, otherwise no changes were made]
First off, I'm confused about this "progress of the Roman Catholic Church in the past two centuries"...Perhaps she meant " past two millenia"?

Secondly, as an apparent member of "Sts. Clare & Francis", why would she feel ashamed of the "Roman Catholic Church"? Since the Catholic Church has continued to proclaim the truth about the immorality of homosexual acts, despite the repeated calls for change by an anti-family, pro-death culture, all Catholics should be thankful that the Holy Spirit continues to guide the Church in faith and morals.

...according to the objective moral order, homosexual relations are acts which lack an essential and indispensable finality. In Sacred Scripture they are condemned as a serious depravity and even presented as the sad consequence of rejecting God. This judgment of Scripture does not of course permit us to conclude that all those who suffer from this anomaly are personally responsible for it, but it does attest to the fact that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered and can in no case be approved of. [Persona Humana, CDF, 1975]

Archbishop Burke is ridiculed for proclaiming the truth and counselling others to seek the assistance of COURAGE...His advice is "futile" only to those who choose to reject God and continue lifestyles which are opposed to the natural and moral laws. For these people, we must continue to pray and offer reparations.

Unfortunately, sin results, not only in loss of God's grace, but in blindness and slavery. Being accepted and feeling "loved" and "hugged" comes not from one's intellect and will, but from the emotions. True and authentic love desires the highest and best for the sake of the beloved - and that is heaven, eternity with God. One cannot truthfully maintain that he loves another while confirming the one he claims to love in his sinfulness and rejection of God. To do so is to live a lie and it demonstrates that he is really not concerned with the beloved's well being.

Archbishop Burke, in reiterating the teachings of Christ and His Church, is expressing his love and compassion to those who suffer from same sex attractions. If he did not call them to live a life of chastity and virtue, he would not be following in the footsteps of Christ, Who says to all of us, "Go, and sin no more."

Latin - Ignorance or Bigotry?

A Letter to the Editor in this week's St. Louis Review, the St. Louis Archdiocesan Newspaper
Latin Mass convention


Your June 16 article telling of the Latin Liturgy Association’s upcoming convention speakers, including the LLA’s founding chairman, a history professor, brought to mind a poem by Walt Whitman, "To a Historian," addressing him in its first line, "You who celebrate bygones!"

While the LLA’s stated goals are prudently more modestly stated, I fear what at least some of its members really seek is return to the universal Latin Mass and abandonment of Mass in the vernacular. My fear is based in part on years as a reading subscriber to Adoremus Bulletin.

Whitman’s address to the historian is doubly, even trebly, prophetic.

If anything ever deserved to become a bygone, it was the universal Latin Mass. The universal Latin Mass was a verbal rood screen separating the people, the vast majority of whom did not know Latin, from active participation in the Mass.

My concern is that some in LLA want all of us to resume celebrating this bygone. For those who do not know Latin, the Latin Mass is essentially elitist and exclusive. The last thing the Roman Catholic Church should be is elitist and exclusive.

James F. McCarthy
Des Peres

What to say, where to begin...Mr. McCarthy does not say if he is a member of the Latin Liturgy Association (LLA), but he has inferred, it seems, that there is a movement afoot by the LLA and Adoremus to deprive Catholics of Masses which have mundane and banal vernacular translations in favor of Latin - which remains the official language of the Church.

As a reader of Adoremus for a number of years, I can recall no instance where it called for an abandonment of Sacrosanctum Concilium allowing for some use of the vernacular in the readings and such - Adoremus, A Society for the Renewal of the Sacred Liturgy, seeks only to promote authentic reform of the Liturgy of the Roman Rite. It's unfair to blame Adoremus for his fear of an "abandonment of Mass in the vernacular."

Mr. McCarthy states that the Latin Mass deserves to be a "bygone" - confined to a dusty old locker of historical irrelevance. I'm not certain to which Latin Mass he is referring. However, as anyone who knows what a "Roman Missal" is or who has recently witnessed the Holy Father celebrating Mass - these are in LATIN!

He further states that "for those who do not know Latin, the Latin Mass is essentially elitist and exclusive". Could we not say the same thing about any Mass celebrated in a language which we do not know? I once attended a Mass in Polish, and knowing not one word of Polish, I never thought for a moment that it was "elitist and exclusive." Perhaps with a Polish/English Missal, I might have been able to follow more closely.

If one has a current missal (Novus Ordo or Tridentine), one will usually see Latin on one side and English on the other. Is the Latin portion "elitist and exclusive"? I think Mr. McCarthy needed something to complain about.

St. Gianna Parish makes progress toward opening

The new St. Gianna Parish in Wentzville is another step closer to opening. The city of Lake St. Louis has approved a special-use permit for a temporary church in a warehouse building about a mile from the permanent site of the parish.

The parish is in territory previously served by St. Patrick Parish in Wentzville and Immaculate Conception Parish in Dardenne Prairie. It is the first new parish in St. Charles County since 1981 when Sts. Joachim and Ann Parish was founded.

Father Timothy Elliott, pastor of St. Gianna, said the occupancy permit could be issued in about a month. It would take six to eight weeks of work on the building, he said.
As I understand it, the new church will be an real church rather than some modernistic monstrosity devoid of sacred character. I have heard rumors of seeking the service of a well known architect (at least, in orthodox Catholic circles) - however, as this is unconfirmed, I will not mention who it is.

From what I can gather, there are many who are looking forward to seeing this new parish start and grow.

Patriarch of the Maronite Catholic Church Visits St Louis

His Beatitude and Eminence Nasrallah Peter Cardinal Sfeir
Image provided by Saint Raymond's

Saint Louis University will bestow its highest honor, Sword of Ignatius Loyola, on the Patriarch of the Maronite Catholic Church.

His Beatitude and Eminence Nasrallah Peter Cardinal Sfeir, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, is visiting St. Louis and Saint Raymond's Maronite Cathedral as part of a pastoral visit to America. He is the most significant religious figure to visit St. Louis since Pope John Paul II in 1999, and his visit marks only the fourth time a Maronite patriarch has journeyed to the United States.

Cardinal Sfeir also will receive an honorary doctorate of laws from Saint Louis University during a special ceremony at 12:30 p.m. Friday, June 30, in the Anheuser Busch Auditorium of John and Lucy Cook Hall. The event is open to members of the SLU community and the public.

Frist Needs to Be Sent Packing Back to Tennessee

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist Revives Bill to Expand Funding for Embryonic Stem Cell Research

This guy hasn't got a clue, or if he does, he doesn't know what to do with it. As a doctor, he should understand the moral and ethical problems of embryonic stem cell research and the destruction of human life.

WASHINGTON Jun 29, 2006 (AP)— Urged anew by Nancy Reagan, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist on Thursday revived a bill to expand funding for embryonic stem cell research after conservatives who had blocked it withdrew their objections.

"It's my intention now that we've gotten over this first hurdle that we will (vote on the bill) in the not too distant future," Frist said as he brought the three-bill package to the floor.

"We'll do this before we get out of here for the October break?" asked Democratic leader Harry Reid of Nevada.

"We will," replied Frist, R-Tenn.
This man is a disgrace to that which is is right, just and moral. He has been unable (or unwilling) to lead the Republican-controlled Senate, opting instead to assume a position of surrender to those of the party of immorality and death. What weakness and cowardice he and his cohorts demonstrate...Because of his leadership failure and the failure of others to oppose him, I suspect we may soon witness an even greater number of those of the pro-death, anti-family culture in the Senate. What a disgusting excuse of a man (allegedly)...

Thankfully though, President Bush has threatened to veto such legislation.

Please contact your senators (by clicking here) and urge strong opposition to using taxpayer funds to pay for embryonic stem cell research...

Mental Prayer for June 30 - Generosity

Mental Prayer Meditation Helps

Presence of God.

Grace I Ask: To imitate Christ's generous spirit.

Mental Picture: I remember what He said the night before...sitting at the Last Supper... His telling us that He and His Father loved us... then how He gave us His own Body and Blood... and then His words that the greatest love a man can have is the laying down of his own life for a friend. All through His life in a most generous way He showed His love for His neighbor, for me, by word and deed. Now I look up at Him... His hands can no longer heal the sick... His feet can no longer journey after the lost sheep... for they are nailed to the cross. But He can still show His greatest love: in His most generous giving of Himself, He lays down His life for me.

My Personal Application: That God could love me - and all men - so much! Real love must manifest itself in deeds. If my love of Christ is to mean anything, it must mean that I keep His commandments - above all, His great new commandment to love all men... to spend myself generously in helping them... offering my time and energy in whatever way is available to me.

I Speak to Christ: My Lord, you have loved me and have given yourself up for me. I want to love you generously.

Thought for Today: "Greater love than this...."
Adapted from Mental Prayer, Challenge to the Lay Apostle
by The Queen's Work,(© 1958)

Archbishop Burke, Bishop Rifan on Latin Mass, Reunion with Orthodox

From a new article by Brian Mershon:
Is it truly feasible that the "freeing of the classical Roman rite of liturgy" is a small part of the Pope's overall plan for paving the way for the reuniting of the Latin Church with the separated Churches of the East?

Bishop Fernando Rifan, who heads up the Apostolic Administration of St. John Mary Vianney in Campos, Brazil, said he believed a further liberalization of the liturgical rite of Pope St. Pius V would aid ecumenical relations with the East.
. . .
Archbishop Raymond Burke, a notably obedient son of the Church, particularly with applying Pope John Paul II's request in Ecclesia Dei Adflicta to be "wide and generous" in allowing the Classical Roman liturgy for those Catholics who desire it, agrees with Bishop Rifan's assessment, but with a nuance.

"I wouldn't think that the Holy Father would be doing this simply as a strategy [for ecumenical relations with the Orthodox], but I do think it will be an effect of a restoration or in the 'reform of the reform' of the liturgy," Archbishop Burke said.

"It seems to me for the Eastern rites, and for those of the Orthodox Churches, the reform of the liturgy after the council and the concrete expression is so stripped of the transcendent, of the sacral elements, it is difficult for them to recognize its relationship with their Eucharistic Liturgies," he said.

Gospel for Friday, 12th Week in Ordinary Time

From: Matthew 8:1-4

The Curing of a Leper

[1] When He (Jesus) came down from the mountain, great crowds followed Him; [2] and behold, a leper came to Him and knelt before Him, saying, "Lord, if You will, You can make me clean." [3] And He stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, "I will; be clean." And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. [4] And Jesus said to him, "See that you say nothing to anyone; but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a proof to the people.


Chapters 8 and 9 of St. Matthew deal with a series of miracles worked by our Lord. The first Christians had vivid experience of the fact that the glorified Jesus was still present in His Church, confirming its teaching by signs, by miracles (Mark 16:20; Acts 14:3).

And so, St. Matthew, after giving the nucleus of Jesus' public teaching in the Sermon on the Mount (Chapters 5-7), goes on now to gather a number of miracles to support our Lord's words. Some commentators call this section--Chapters 8 and 9--"the works of the Messiah", paralleling what they called "the words of the Messiah" (the Discourse on the Mount). In Chapters 5-7 we see Jesus as the supreme lawgiver and master who teaches with divine authority, a unique authority superior to that held by Moses and the prophets. Now, in Chapters 8 and 9, He is shown as endowed with divine authority over disease, death, the elements and evil spirits. These miracles worked by Jesus Christ accredit the divine authority of His teaching.

1. The Gospel draws attention, for the third time, to the huge crowds that flocked to Jesus: literally, "many multitudes followed Him". This shows the popularity He had achieved: He was so popular that the Sanhedrin (the great council of the Jewish nation) dared not arrest Him for fear of what the people would do (cf. Matthew 21:46; 26:5; Mark 14:2). Later on, they would accuse Him before Pilate of stirring up the whole country from Judea to Galilee. And we will see Herod Antipas' eagerness to meet Jesus, of whom he has heard so much (cf. Matthew 14:1). In contrast to this huge popularity, we find the elders opposing Him and deceiving the people into calling for Jesus' execution (cf. Matthew 27:20-22).

2. The Fathers have taken the following meaning from this cure: leprosy is a vivid image of sin: it is ugly, disgusting, very contagious and difficult to cure. We are all sinners and we are all in need of God's forgiveness and grace (cf. Romans 3:23-24). The leper in the Gospel knelt down before Jesus, in all humility and trust, begging to be made clean. If we have recourse to our Savior with that kind of faith, we can be sure than He will cure the wretchedness of our souls. We should often address Christ with this short prayer, borrowed from the leper: "Lord, if You will, You can make me clean."

4. According to the Law of Moses (Leviticus 14), if a leper is cured of his disease, he should present himself to a priest, who will register the cure and give him a certificate which he needs to be reintegrated into the civil and religious life of Israel. Leviticus also prescribes the purifications and sacrifice he should offer. Jesus' instruction to the leper is, then, in keeping with the normal way of fulfilling what the laws laid down.
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland. Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Dr Edward Peters: Excommunication for deliberate embryo destruction?

Alfonso Cardinal Lopez Trujillo, the outspoken president of the Pontifical Council on the Family, has asserted that "destroying human embryos is equivalent to abortion"; therefore, he says, those directly involved in such deeds are liable to the canonical penalty established for abortion, namely, excommunication (1983 CIC 1398). That the cardinal stands on solid biological and moral grounds in equating deliberate embryo destruction with procured abortion is beyond serious question. What I want to ask is whether he stands on solid canonical grounds as well.

An excellent explanation continues at Dr. Peters' blog here.

What I would hope to see discussed in the near future, from a canonical perspective, is whether those who aid and abet others in these evil and murderous acts could be viewed as accomplices. Such might be those rent or sell office space for such activity, or those who promote, legislate, or approve such immoral acts. It seems that more is needed to clear up any confusion some might have on this issue. This will be another "hot button" issue for the people of Missouri and elsewhere soon.

Supreme Court Asked To Stay Lower Court Order To Remove the Mt. Soledad Cross

ANN ARBOR, MI – The Thomas More Law Center, this morning, filed an emergency application in the U.S. Supreme Court asking Associate Justice Anthony M. Kennedy to stay a lower federal court decision that orders the City of San Diego to remove the Mt. Soledad Cross by August 1st or face fines of $5,000 a day thereafter. The City has indicated that unless the legal situation changes, it will comply with the lower court order to remove the cross and will begin plans to implement that order beginning in the first week of July.

Learn Latin and Learn More of Everything

Dad, How Do You Say "Video" in Latin?

This is a good article from the New Oxford Review which is well worth reading. For those who had the opportunity of studying Latin, most will understand. For those who were not afforded an opportunity to learn Latin, it's never too late to learn.

There is no denying that the classical languages, Latin and Greek, have sustained quite a battering in the past 50-odd years. Pointing fingers at the culprits, producing arguments in their favor, or demolishing those against them, has all been done. My intention is to understand the phenomenon of the (apparent) demise of the classical languages, and to highlight their return with a vengeance, now taking place before our very eyes, thanks mostly to the Internet.

A Lost Catechetical Moment?

Remember Bishop Robert Lynch of St. Petersburg, Florida? That's right - he's the bishop who made himself unavailable (out of the country) when Terri Schiavo was starved and dehydrated to death...

"Out of the Ordinary" - Now there's a play on words...

Well, now the good bishop has begun his "catechesis" on the new translation of the prayers of the Roman Missal:
Allow me to respond to a number of questions which you might have about this action: Why? Where? When?

Is Bishop Lynch happy with this process?

The translation currently in use was admittedly rushed, is at times somewhat inelegant, but has generally served the nation's Catholics well, receiving high marks for intelligibility, proclamation and prayerfulness....

[Our previous] translation was rejected by the Holy See because between its passage and its approval by the Vatican, new principles of translation were forthcoming which insisted on a slavish, strict translation of the Latin text. In other words, the ground rules for the translators were changed and yet a third translation was required to meet the stricter rules of the governing document approved by Pope John Paul II. (emphasis added)
It would appear that he is not. Does his affection for the Holy See not shine forth from his words?

The faithful of the diocese await his next "catechesis" as we read:
Prior to implementation, we will need to work together to prepare some catechesis. Several examples which come to my mind are that the strict interpretation of the Latin "Dominus Vobiscum" and "et cum spiritu tuo" leads to the new response to the priest's words, "The Lord be with you" as "And with your spirit." What does that mean? More later.

And just prior to receiving Communion you will now say "Lord, I am not ... that you should come under my roof ... " What does that mean? More later.
More later? Everyone waits with bated breath...

To Catholic Bishops: Say Yes When You Mean Yes

Commentary by Judie Brown

Having been frequently described by my fellow pro-lifers as lacking all understanding of political nuances and innuendo, you will pardon me for being overly simplistic in what I am about to tell you. But truth be told, my mind is spinning and my heart is troubled over the recent action of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops regarding reception of Holy Communion by Catholics in the public arena who support abortion.

For several years we at American Life League have pleaded with our bishops to lead their sheep out of the quagmire that has led to more than 50 percent of Catholics feeling (and perhaps honestly believing) that they can support abortion and abortion-minded public officials and still remain good, upstanding Catholics. . .

If the people in the pew are thinking that, scandal is created, and potentially souls are at risk. Now maybe that doesn’t bother you, but it deeply troubles me. And that is why the recent news from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops blew me away. Who would have ever guessed that the bishops would come out of their meeting without a unanimous agreement on how to instruct the faithful, and how to enforce Canon 915 of the Catholic Church’s Code of Canon Law?
. . .

The few bishops who have stood up and publicly enunciated a clear teaching on Canon 915 have been the butt of derision both inside and outside the USCCB. In fact, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s parting shot at the end of the bishops’ most recent meeting was to suggest that some of his fellow bishops were delving into “partisan politics.” And one newspaper in St. Louis, where the heroic Archbishop Raymond Burke leads his flock without apology, described the archbishop as a man whose strategy was “High Noon at the altar rail.”
. . .

Archbishop Burke said yes to Christ, yes to his obligation to teach, yes to his flock whose souls mean more to him than anything a newspaper might say in attacking him. Likewise, a handful of other bishops have taken the same stand. Unfortunately, those shepherds are an embarrassingly small minority.

What about all the rest of the bishops? I guess only time will tell; it just sorrows me that so many souls may be lost forever while so many bishops continue to meet, greet and retreat. [Emphasis added]
Click here for the complete commentary from Judie Brown of the American Life League.

HT to Darla M for the link.

Missouri Polling Results: Stem Cells and Archbishop Burke

Results of a Missouri Poll as published in the Post Dispatch a few days ago. I extracted a couple of the poll results on the Stem Cell issue and on Archbishop Burke for inclusion here...This poll demonstrates how generally ill informed people are regarding the moral and ethical problems with the killing and destruction of human life:


QUESTION: Missouri voters may face a ballot proposal this fall dealing with stem cell research. The proposal would allow all types of stem-cell research allowed under federal law, including an embryonic stem-cell procedure known as somatic-cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), which uses an unfertilized human egg. Supporters say such research may be the only way to provide cures for diseases like diabetes, Parkinson's and cancer, and is not human cloning. Opponents say that embryonic stem cells have not yet provided cures, and that SCNT creates a cloned human embryo. Do you favor or oppose the ballot proposal?

ST. LOUIS CITY84%14%2%
ST.LOUIS SUB72%26%2%

QUESTION: Do you approve or disapprove of Archbishop Raymond Burke's efforts to influence the political debate about embryonic stem cell research and abortion?


Gospel for June 29,Solemnity: Sts. Peter and Paul, Apostles

From: Matthew 16:13-19:

Peter's Profession of Faith and His Primacy

[13] Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, "Who do men say that the Son of Man is?" [14] And they said, "Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." [15] He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" [16] Simon Peter replied, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." [17] And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in Heaven. [18] And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My Church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. [19] I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven."


13-20. In this passage St. Peter is promised primacy over the whole Church, a primacy which Jesus will confer on him after His Resurrection, as we learn in the Gospel of St. John (cf. John 21:15-18). This supreme authority is given to Peter for the benefit of the Church. Because the Church has to last until the end of time, this authority will be passed on to Peter's successors down through history. The Bishop of Rome, the Pope, is the successor of Peter.

The solemn Magisterium of the Church, in the First Vatican Council, defined the doctrine of the primacy of Peter and his successors in these terms:
"We teach and declare, therefore, according to the testimony of the Gospel that the primacy of jurisdiction over the whole Church was immediately and directly promised to and conferred upon the blessed Apostle Peter by Christ the Lord. For to Simon, Christ had said, `You shall be called Cephas' (John 1:42). Then, after Simon had acknowledged Christ with the confession, `You are the Christ, the Son of the living God' (Matthew 16:16), it was to Simon alone that the solemn words were spoken by the Lord: `Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in Heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My Church, and the powers of Hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven, and what you loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven' (Matthew 16:17-19). And after His Resurrection, Jesus conferred upon Simon Peter alone the jurisdiction of supreme shepherd and ruler over His whole fold with the words, `Feed My lambs....Feed My sheep' (John 21:15-17) [...]

"(Canon) Therefore, if anyone says that the blessed Apostle Peter was not constituted by Christ the Lord as the Prince of all the Apostles and the visible head of the whole Church militant, or that he received immediately and directly from Jesus Christ our Lord only a primacy of honor and not a true and proper primacy of jurisdiction: let him be condemned.

"Now, what Christ the Lord, Supreme Shepherd and watchful guardian of the flock, established in the person of the blessed Apostle Peter for the perpetual safety and everlasting good of the Church must, by the will of the same, endure without interruption in the Church which was founded on the rock and which will remain firm until the end of the world. Indeed, `no one doubts, in fact it is obvious to all ages, that the holy and most blessed Peter, Prince and head of the Apostles, the pillar of faith, and the foundation of the Catholic Church, received the keys of the kingdom from our Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior and the Redeemer of the human race; and even to this time and forever he lives,' and governs, `and exercises judgment in his successors' (cf. Council of Ephesus), the bishops of the holy Roman See, which he established and consecrated with his blood. Therefore, whoever succeeds Peter in this Chair holds Peter's primacy over the whole Church according to the plan of Christ Himself [...]. For this reason, `because of its greater sovereignty,' it was always `necessary for every church, that is, the faithful who are everywhere, to be in agreement' with the same Roman Church [...]

"(Canon) Therefore, if anyone says that it is not according to the institution of Christ our Lord himself, that is, by divine law, that St Peter has perpetual successors in the primacy over the whole Church; or if anyone says that the Roman Pontiff is not the successor of St Peter in the same primacy: let him be condemned.

"We think it extremely necessary to assert solemnly the prerogative which the only-begotten Son of God deigned to join to the highest pastoral office. "And so, faithfully keeping to the tradition received from the beginning of the Christian faith, for the glory of God our Savior, for the exaltation of the Catholic religion, and for the salvation of Christian peoples, We, with the approval of the sacred council, teach and define that it is a divinely revealed dogma: that the Roman Pontiff, when he speaks "ex cathedra", that is, when, acting in the office of shepherd and teacher of all Christians, he defines, by virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the universal Church, possesses through the divine assistance promised to him in the person of St. Peter, the infallibility with which the divine Redeemer willed His Church to be endowed in defining doctrine concerning faith or morals; and that such definitions of the Roman Pontiff are therefore irreformable because of their nature, but not because of the agreement of the Church.

"(Canon) But if anyone presumes to contradict this our definition (God forbid him to do so): let him be condemned" (Vatican I, "Pastor Aeternus", Chaps. 1, 2 and 4).
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland. Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Mental Prayer for June 29 - Courage

Mental Prayer Meditation Helps

Presence of God.

Grace I Ask: The understanding of what real courage is and the strength to act on that knowl­edge.

Mental Picture (d. John 2: 14-17) : Jesus moving through the narrow, dusty streets of Jerusalem... headed for the temple to teach. Through the gate... into the outer court... and there in God's house... a crowd of haggling merchants. Jesus is on the spot... all eyes watch to see what He will do: pretend He does not notice the evil?... face the evil and try to fight it?... "and He drove out all those who bought and sold there, and overthrew the tables of the money-changers" (Matt. 21:12).

My Personal Application : Courage is overcoming a difficulty in going after a real good... as Christ overcame the smirks and whispers of the onlookers and did the right thing. For me those "difficulties" will have many shapes and sizes: What will the gang think ?... My own comfort and ease... The loss of a so-called friend. To go after the right thing, because it is the right thing - can I think of such situations right now? One of the opposites of courage is cowardice: running away when things get difficult. The other is recklessness: acting without thinking first... sticking one's chin out without need... Some think this is courage.

I Speak to Christ: I think I see better now, Jesus, what real courage is. Let me keep your example in mind. Help me to act your way in difficult situa­tions... to take the hurt... to go on when a good is to be achieved... in spite of what others might think or say.

Thought for Today: Fear did not stop Him, nor did criticism hold Him back.
Adapted from Mental Prayer, Challenge to the Lay Apostle
by The Queen's Work,(© 1958)

Catholic Embryonic Stem Cell Researches and Excommunication

Jun. 28 ( - Scientists who conduct research involving the destruction of human embryos are subject to excommunication, the president of the Pontifical Council for the Family has warned.

In an interview with the Italian weekly Famiglia Cristiana, Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo said that the canonical penalty of excommunication, which is applied to those involved in abortion, also applies to involvement in stem-cell research.

Deliberately destroying embryos for research purposes, the prelate observed, "is equivalent to abortion." The same penalty would apply, he said, since "it is the same action."

A Look into the Mind of a Child Rapist

LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- A documentary released this week at the Los Angeles Film Festival gives a detailed look into the mind of pedophile priest.

The child raping pervert spent a mere 7 years in prison.

Former Roman Catholic priest Oliver O'Grady, convicted in 1993 on four counts of lewd and lascivious acts on minors, granted filmmaker Amy Berg unlimited access.

During the film, O'Grady details how he preyed on children, how the Diocese of Stockton, California, knew about the abuse, and how O'Grady claims church officials allowed him to abuse children for two decades by moving him from parish to parish instead of removing him from ministry.

Who was the Bishop of Stockton at the time?

O'Grady said he started abusing children when he arrived in California in 1976 and spent time in the home of parishioners who had a 5-year old daughter named Ann. "Ann Jyono," O'Grady recalled. "Little Ann was one of the first people I met there."
. . .
[O'Grady was a house guest at the Jyono home]

"He was in here saying morning prayers, during the nighttime he's molesting my daughter," a tearful Bob Jyono said in the film. "Raping her," he continues, "not molesting her -- raping her. At 5 years old. How can that happen? That's just what he did."

Records show church officials knew about O'Grady's alleged molestation as far back as 1976. Church officials did not tell police about prior abuse when O'Grady was being investigated for abuse in 1984.

In a deposition, Monsignor James Cain, one of O'Grady's superiors, tried to explain why he did not tell police about the earlier allegations. "Certainly I knew the one in '76 took place but didn't put the two together," Cain said. "One was a girl -- inappropriate touching, the other was a boy. So I just didn't hook them up in my own mind."

INAPPROPRIATE TOUCHING??? Has this "Monsignor" gone crazy - has he lost his mind? What's really inappropriate is this choice of words, and, as it seems by this choice of words, a lack of horror at these crimes.

Monsignor Cain was being deposed about the 1984 allegations in a lawsuit against the Diocese of Stockton, which was led at the time by Roger Mahony currently Archbishop of Los Angeles. It was during this time O'Grady was moved for a second time, to a remote parish in San Andreas, California, where the abuse allegedly continued.

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles said that the film, "Deliver Us From Evil" is an "obvious anti-Church hit piece."

Joliet Diocese Has New Bishop

Most Rev. J. Peter Sartain urges 'joy and hope'

Gospel for June 28, Memorial: St. Irenaeus, Bishop & Martyr

From: Matthew 7:15-20

False Prophets

(Jesus said to His disciples,) [15] "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. [16] You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles? [17] So, every sound tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears evil fruit. [18] A sound tree cannot bear evil fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. [19] Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. [20] Thus you will know them by their fruits."


15-20. There are many references in the Old Testament to false prophets; perhaps the best-known passage is Jeremiah 23:9-40 which condemns the impiety of those prophets who "prophesied by Baal and led my people Israel astray"; "who prophesy to you, filling you with vain hopes; they speak visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord [...]. I did not send the prophets, yet they ran. I did not speak to them, yet they prophesied"; they "lead my people astray by their lies and their recklessness, when I did not send them or charge them; so that they do not profit this people at all."

In the life of the Church the Fathers see these false prophets, as of whom Jesus speaks, in heretics, who apparently are pious and reformist but who in fact do not have Christ's sentiments (cf. St Jerome, "Comm. in Matth.", 7). St John Chrysostom applies this teaching to anyone who appears to be virtuous but in fact is not, and thereby misleads others.

How are false prophets and genuine prophets to be distinguished? By the fruit they produce. Human nobility and divine inspiration combine to give the things of God a savor of their own. A person who truly speaks the things of God sows faith, hope, charity, peace and understanding; whereas a false prophet in the Church of God, in his preaching and behavior, sows division, hatred, resentment, pride and sensuality (cf. Gal 5:16-25). However, the main characteristic of a false prophet is that he separates the people of God from the Magisterium of the Church, through which Christ's teaching is declared to the world. Our Lord also indicates that these deceivers are destined to eternal perdition.
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland. Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Mental Prayer for June 28 - Never Did Man Speak Like This

Mental Prayer Meditation Helps

Presence of God.

Grace I Ask: Lord, help to appreciate what you say to me!

Mental Picture: Many travelers have attracted crowds when they began preaching, but this young Jew seems to grip everybody with His message. I am on the edge of the audience now. He was near the lake shore but has now entered Simon Peter's boat. He can speak more easily to the crowd from there. His words are clear; His eyes seem to meet mine alone although there are hundreds of others here too; His gestures and whole appearance are so manly. His message above all goes right to the point and everybody around me, His friends and enemies, have to admit they never heard a man speak like this.

My Personal Application: Am I to think that Christ was preaching only for the benefit of the few who actually heard His speeches? No, for He had all men in mind, even me. Do I therefore listen to Him? Do I ever read His words in the New Testament? Do I put myself in spirit in the crowds who heard Him and take to heart His message?

I Speak to Christ: Jesus, even though I have read the Gospels and have heard your words in sermons, I have not appreciated them as I should. My faith was weak; my love was cold, for I have not lived as you have asked me to. Help me to be gripped by your words, to love you truly... and to put your words into action!

Thought for Today: Never did any man speak like this!
Adapted from Mental Prayer, Challenge to the Lay Apostle
by The Queen's Work,(© 1958)

A Letter from Bishop Carlson on the Liturgy

Dear Fathers, Deacons, Pastoral Administrators, and Faithful of the Diocese:

Since my installation as your bishop more than one year ago, I’ve had the privilege to celebrate liturgy with many of you and have come to know you as a people of deep faith for the Gospel and a strong commitment to excellence in liturgy.
. . .
In a previous May 3, 2006 letter to priests, deacons, and pastoral administrators, I already have directed the GIRM and Apostolic Letter Redemptionis Sacramentum [April 2004] be followed regarding the preaching of homilies at Mass and the recipe used for substantial bread for the Holy Eucharist as of June 25, 2006.
. . .
The directives, posted implementation document, and the educational tools for parishes were prepared by the Implementation Committee following the November Quarterly Meeting of priests, deacons, and pastoral administrators. This letter, along with that instruction and commentary, is meant to be a helpful tool in the process to implement the GIRM in the Saginaw diocese. It is understood that each parish is unique and these guidelines will require more involvement and planning in some communities than in others. For that reason, I ask parish leaders to provide for the proper catechesis during the coming months to ensure the complete implementation of the GIRM by the First Sunday of Advent, Dec. 3, 2006 with the exception of one or two areas mentioned in the commentary that have a different implementation period.

Catholic Diocese of Saginaw Office of Liturgy information.

Some notable excerpts from the above:

Once the bread and wine are placed on the altar, the cups (for distributing the Blood of Christ) are also brought forward and placed on the altar. The priest or deacon then pours the wine into the priest celebrant's chalice and all other cups.

The Eucharistic to be recited by the Priest alone in full. While the Priest proclaims the Eucharistic Prayer "there should be no other prayers or singing, and the organ or other musical instruments should be silent" except for the people's acclamations that have been duly approved, as described below.

...All Churches, chapels or places of worship are to fully implement the posture of kneeling [during the Eucharistic Prayer] by the 1st Sunday of Advent, Nov. 29, 2009.

In parishes where sacred vessels are not in conformity with the [norms], pastoral decisions may be made in accordance with the following:
1. Parishes, chapels or other places of worship are to begin a plan for the budgeting and purchase of new sacred vessels and be in use by the 1st Sunday of Advent, Nov. 29, 2009.

The intentions [Prayers of the Faithful] are announced from the ambo or from another suitable place, by the deacon or by a cantor, a lector, or one of the lay faithful.

War Hero Urges President Bush to Save the Mt. Soledad Cross and Veterans Memorial

ANN ARBOR, MI – Retired Navy Rear Admiral Jeremiah Denton, highly decorated Vietnam War veteran, former POW and former U.S. Senator, in a personal letter sent on June 14th, asked President Bush to save the Mt. Soledad cross, which is the centerpiece of a national war memorial honoring our veterans. Rear Admiral Denton urged the President to consider saving the cross by means of the federal government exercising its power of eminent domain in order to maintain the land as a National monument.

There is a petition drive here by the Thomas More Law Center (TMLC) and other concerned groups and citizens to save the 43-foot cross that was erected atop Mount Soledad in San Diego, California 50 years ago to honor our nation’s veterans...

Plenary Indulgence for World Meeting for Families

Jun. 27 ( - Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news) has declared a plenary indulgence for participants in the 5th World Meeting for Families, to be held in Valencia, Spain, on July 1- 9.

A decree issued by the Apostolic Penitentiary on June 15, and made public on June 27, formally announced the indulgence...

All of the faithful-- even those who are unable to travel to Spain-- can obtain the indulgence, the decree notes, if, on the final day of that gathering, "united in spirit and thought with the faithful present in Valencia," they pray together as a family, "the Our Father, the Creed, and other devoted prayers."

I'm Sorry I Missed This...

...Shamanism at a Catholic parish?
According to at least one Catholic priest, Sacred Scripture and Catholic Tradition are "rooted in shamanism."

Father Michael Wanda, associate pastor of Mary Seat of Wisdom Parish in Park Ridge, Ill., is even teaching a course on it — "Shamanic Spirituality."

From a recent parish bulletin:

Explore the Garden of Eden!
Visit your Ancestors!
See St. Nicholas and tell him what you really want for Christmas!
Pray just like Jesus....

And I so wanted to go!

HT to Patte G. for the link!

A Change of 'Tune' in the Vatican...

Bertone takes Sodano’s place. But an important shift is also taking place in liturgical music. The way was pointed out by a concert with the pope in the Sistine Chapel, conducted by maestro Bartolucci.
by Sandro Magister

With this concert, Benedict XVI has symbolically restored the Sistine Chapel to its true maestro. Because the famous chapel is not only the sacred place decorated with the frescoes of Michelangelo, it also gives the name to the choir that for centuries has accompanied the pontifical liturgies.

Maestro Bartolucci was named the “perpetual” director, the director for life, of the Sistine Chapel by Pius XII in 1959. Under this and later popes, he was an outstanding interpreter of the liturgical music founded upon Gregorian chant and sacred polyphony. But after a long period of opposition, in 1997 he was dismissed and replaced by a choirmaster thought to be more fitting for the “popular” music dear to John Paul II.

Bartolucci’s replacement was the finishing stroke of the almost complete elimination of Gregorian chant and polyphony as desired by the authors of the postconciliar liturgical reform.

The person responsible for Bartolucci’s removal in 1997 was the master of pontifical ceremonies, Piero Marini...

Patriarch of Maronite Catholic Church To Receive SLU’s Highest Honor

ST. LOUIS -- The most important Christian leader in the Middle East is coming to Saint Louis University Friday, June 30, to receive SLU's highest honor, the Sword of Ignatius Loyola, as well as an honorary doctorate of laws.

His Beatitude and Eminence Nasrallah Peter Cardinal Sfeir is the Patriarch of the Maronite Catholic Church. St. Louis is the first stop in the Patriarch's pastoral tour of the United States. His local visit is being coordinated by Saint Raymond's Maronite Cathedral, St. Louis' Maronite parish.

More information can be found at the St Louis Review:
The visit commemorates the 40th anniversary of the establishment of a Maronite hierarchy in the United States, Bishop Shaheen said. "Until we had a bishop we were like individual parishes scattered across the country. Once they named a bishop for us we really became a church in the real sense of church."

The Maronite Catholic Church is one of the world’s oldest Christian communities and continues to use Aramaic, the language of Jesus and the Apostles, in its liturgy.

The Eastern-rite Maronite Catholic Church has apostolic roots in the Church of Antioch in the Middle East. It is one of 22 churches in the Eastern and Latin rites of the universal Catholic Church.

In St. Louis, the Maronite parish is St. Raymond’s Cathedral just south of Downtown. The two bishops of the U.S. Maronite Church are former pastors of St. Raymond’s, Bishop Shaheen and Bishop Gregory J. Mansour.

Calgary Bishop: Stop Immoral Fundraising Or Lose Catholic Label

CALGARY, Alberta, June 26, 2006 ( – Canada’s most out-spoken Catholic Bishop, Bishop Fred Henry of Calgary, is once again making headlines, this time as he comes head to head with the Calgary Catholic School Board.

The dispute between Bishop Henry and the Board is ostensibly over what the bishop says is the immoral practice of using monies raised by means of gambling. On a more fundamental level, however, it is a battle over what right a person or institution has to call themselves Catholic if they will not accede to the Church’s ecclesiastical powers when those powers are acting within the proper bounds of their authority.
. . .
“Morality is not determined by a straw-vote,” he writes. “The School Board, the individual schools, and related parent councils and societies must get out of bingo and casino gambling fundraising activities. There is no question as to ‘what’ has to be done but there is room to negotiate ‘how’ and ‘when.’”

Gospel for Tuesday, 12th Week in Ordinary Time

From: Matthew 7:6, 12-14

Respect for Holy Things

(Jesus said to His disciples,) [6] "Do not give dogs what is holy; and do not throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under foot and turn to attack you.

The Golden Rule

[12] "So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.

The Narrow Gate

[13] "Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. [14] For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few."


6. Jesus uses a popular saying to teach prudent discernment in the preaching of the word of God and distribution of the means of sanctification. The Church has always heeded this warning, particularly in the sense of respect with which it administers the Sacraments--especially the Holy Eucharist. Filial confidence does not exempt us from the sincere and profound respect which should imbue our relations with God and with holy things.

12. This "golden rule" gives a guideline to realize our obligations towards and the love we should have for others. However, if we interpreted it superficially it would become a selfish rule; it obviously does not mean "do utdes" ("I give you something so that you will give me something") but that we should do good to others unconditionally: we are clever enough not to put limits on how much we love ourselves. This rule of conduct will be completed by Jesus' "new commandment" (John 13:34), where He teaches us to love others as He Himself loved us.

13-14. "Enter": in St. Matthew's Gospel this verb often has as its object the "Kingdom of Heaven" or equivalent expressions (life, the marriage feast, the joy of the Lord, etc.). We can interpret "enter" as an imperious invitation.

The way of sin is momentarily pleasant and calls for no effort, but it leads to eternal perdition. Following the way of a generous and sincere Christian life is very demanding--here Jesus speaks of a narrow gate and a hard way--but it leads to Life, to eternal salvation.

The Christian way involves carrying the cross. "For if a man resolve to submit himself to carrying this cross--that is to say, if he resolve to desire in truth to meet trials and to bear them in all things for God's sake, he will find in them all great relief and sweetness wherewith he may travel upon this road, detached from all things and desiring nothing. Yet, if he desires to possess anything--whether it comes from God or from any other source--with any feeling of attachment, he has not stripped and denied himself in all things; and thus he will be unable to walk along this narrow path or climb upward by it" (St. John of the Cross, "Ascent of Mount Carmel", book 2, chapter 7, 7).
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland. Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Mental Prayer for June 27 - Kindness and Sympathy

Mental Prayer Meditation Helps

Presence of God.

Grace I Ask: To be like Christ - kind and gentle.

The Idea: We all need sympathy. Christ showed sympathy for all. He had pity on the blind and the lepers. He wept over Jerusalem and over the death of Lazarus. And no one is excluded. Christ's sympathy included even public sinners and the hated tax collectors of Rome. The woman taken in adultery found no one but Jesus to defend her. But no one else was needed.

My Personal Application: Our Lord's kindness and sympathy were precisely what made Him attrac­tive. Because I love and admire Him so very much, I want to bring Him into everybody's life. I want everyone to come to know Him and love Him as I do. The best way I can achieve this is by example. When people see Christ living in me, they'll see what I'm talking about and whom I represent. They'll be attracted by His kindness and sympathy when they see these standing out in my life. Make people love Christ by being like Him!

I Speak to Christ: Help me to grow in your like­ness. Give me your love of all men, your interest in their difficulties, struggles, triumphs, setbacks. I have so many weaknesses, prejudices, so much self-centeredness to overcome first. Help me!

Thought for Today: To show forth Christ's kindness.
Adapted from Mental Prayer, Challenge to the Lay Apostle
by The Queen's Work,(© 1958)

From the Archives: A Primer on Canon 915

Essential information to present to your Bishop regarding his OBLIGATION to deny the Eucharist to pro-abortion politicians, and the risks of refusing to do so

Can. 915 Those upon whom the penalty of excommunication or interdict has been imposed or declared, and others who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin, are not to be admitted to holy communion.

More Inane Letters from the Post

This is a real winner:
Insist on stewardship

The Roman Catholic bishops again prove they don't get it. While the changes in language in the Mass may be justified, the bishops ironically state this may bring people back to Mass. Aren't these men the protégés of the bishops who said Latin kept people away?

What will bring people back is when they see their bishops acting responsibly in matters such as the abuse scandal and the management of diocesan funds. These fat cats live lives of luxury beyond those of their flock: trips to Rome, Europe, the Holy Land -- all at the flock's expense; yet they deny they have any accountability to the people.

Wake all ye bishops! The people are the church, and you owe them good stewardship, morally and financially.

Roger C. Krasnicki
St. Louis
St Stanislaus Church spokesman and lawyer seems to know about what he speaks. Yet, he and the Post Dispatch (by printing his letter) demonstrate a defective understanding of what happens at most diocesan offices. Is it luxurious to go through airports and checkpoints to go to Rome to work on ecclesial matters? Most would say "no".

I would suspect most bishops and priests would voice some objection to Mr. Krasnicki's statements - statements for which he offers no support other than his personal opinion - an opinion formed by a mindset which has produced other "opinions" and advice. Were these "opinions" which resulted in the excommunication of the St Stanislaus board members? That's the kind of representation or advice a rational person would rather do without.

While there are rare occasions when a bishop may take a vacation, he does not do so at the expense of the faithful as suggested by Krasnicki. Perhaps he would like to share his evidence that they do this "at the flock's expense"? Certainly he can support his accusations, can't he?

Also missing from the letter are examples of this stated "luxury" in which the bishops are living...While there may well be some who are less than prudent about expenditures, many make tremendous personal sacrifices.

With regard to the translation changes, of course, many of the bishops do "get it", despite Krasnicki's assertion to the contrary. These changes are not being made to "bring people back to Mass" as Krasnicki suggests but to conform to the requirements set by the Holy See - requirements which will effect a beauty and fidelity in the words and prayers used at Holy Mass. One would hope that an implementation of authentic liturgical translations would, as a consequence, lead to a better understanding of the Faith and an increase in Mass attendance.

Krasnicki's jab at moral and financial stewardship is ironic - especially considering the situation at St Stanislaus - a situation in which an authentic and thorough third party audit has yet to be conducted and a situation in which many are deprived of valid and/or licit sacraments due to the hiring of an excommunicated priest without faculties. This says nothing of the fact that the parish is no longer Catholic, having been suppressed for refusal to obey lawful directives of the legitimate bishop appointed by the Holy Father.

It's always interesting to read or listen to those who have been afflicted by the sin of pride and arrogance. In accordance with the expressed wishes of Archbishop Burke, the faithful should pray for those at St Stanislaus.

Lord, Have Mercy on Us...

"Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need." Hebrews, 4:16

About one hundred years ago there lived in Italy a priest by the name of Father Don Bosco, now known as St. John Don Bosco. He was the Father Flanagan of his day. He trained and cared for thousands of boys.

One day he was called to attend a dying, fallen away Catholic, who absolutely had refused to see a priest. As Bosco entered the room the sick man cried:

"Do you come as a friend or as a priest?"

"As a friend," answered Bosco.

"Well, see to it that you do not even so much as mention the word confession."

The dying man drew two pistols from under his pillow, with this threat: "If you do, I shall fire one of my guns at you, and the other at myself, for I have only a short time to live."

Calmly Don Bosco promised not to speak of confession. He talked about the man's illness, what doctor he had, how he was feeling. Cleverly he turned the conversation to the recent death of Voltaire, the French unbeliever. Don Bosco remarked:

"Some say Voltaire is damned, but I do not think so, for I know the mercy of God is infinite."

"Do you mean to tell me," the sick man interrupted, "that there is hope for a man like Voltaire?"

"Certainly there is," replied the saint.

"Then please hear my confession, Father; if there is a chance for him, there is no need for me to despair."

He made a complete and contrite confession.

Never need anyone despair, for the mercy of God is truly without limit. It is to that mercy we appeal when we pray in the Mass the Kyrie Eleison (­Lord, have mercy on us).

1. Right after the Introit, as the priest returns to the center of the altar, he prays, "Lord, have mercy on us." This humble, simple prayer comes right from the heart. It is a plea for pity offered officially by God's representa­tive, the priest.

2. Nine times that prayer is offered. First the priest says, "Lord, have mercy;" then the servers, in your name, answer, "Lord, have mercy." The priest again, "Lord, have mercy;" the servers follow with, "Christ, have mercy." The priest, "Christ, have mercy." The servers again, "Christ, have mercy." Then priest and servers again repeat, "Lord, have mercy," three times. Why is this cry for mercy repeated so often?

A. To show the ardor, the perseverance, the urgency of our prayer for pity and pardon. To show that we really need mercy and want mercy.

B. To appeal to the three Divine Persons of the Holy Trinity. The first three prayers are offered, as it were, to God the Father. Then we say, "Christ, have mercy," because Christ has two natures, the divine and the human. The last three prayers are directed especially to the Holy Spirit.

C. Some see in this nine-fold petition a comparison with the nine principal kinds of sin.

D. Still others see a figure of the nine choirs of angels, who are con­tinually honoring God, and asking for mercy for man.

3. The Kyrie Eleison is Greek. These Greek words are kept in the Latin Mass from the earliest ages when they passed from the East to the West, to show how ancient and venerable the Holy Sacrifice is.

As you should know, we also have a few Hebrew words in the Mass, for example, "Amen, Alleluia, Hosanna, Sabaoth." These Greek and Hebrew words are kept in the Mass to show how old it is, and to show that in the unbloody Sacrifice are still united the three languages which proclaimed to the world in the glorious title upon the cross that Christ's kingdom is for everyone:

"And Pilate also wrote an inscription and had it put on the cross. And there was written, 'Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews' . . . and it was written in Hebrew, in Greek and in Latin." St. John, 19:19, 20.

Keeping the Greek Kyrie is another method of showing the universality and the oneness of the Catholic Church among all nations and tongues. Today, this very hour, these words, Kyrie Eleison, are being sung by all the tongues of the earth.

4. The Kyrie is said in every Mass because ever there is need for mercy and ever there is mercy offered. As St. John Don Bosco pointed out to the despairing sinner, the mercy of God is infinite. It is boundless; it is limit­less. God will forgive every sin and all sin.

5. Nevertheless, there are millions of people in this world who never ask God for mercy. Why? Because they do not know what sin means, they do not know what sin is. Some never think of it because they never heard of it. Others try to reason sin away. Others break the law of God and then try to convince themselves that there is no law, or that the law does not hold for them, or that no one but themselves has been injured. They do not realize, they will not admit that there is a law of God and that we are bound to obey it. For some such reason they have lost their sense of sin.

Don't do such wishy-washy thinking. If you break the law of God, admit it. Try not to break it, but, if you do, be honest enough to acknowl­edge it. And then get down humbly and contritely on your knees, prefer­ably here in church and at Mass, and ask God for mercy. Do it in the official words of the Church: "Lord, have mercy." Do that during this Mass. Do it in every Mass. Cry out with Mother Church throughout the world: "Lord, have mercy."

And may the Lord hear our prayer. Amen.
Adapted from Talks on the Mass
by Fr. Arthur Tonne, OFM (© 1950)

Letters: Archbishop Burke, "Imminently faithful"

Kudos to St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke for standing his ground against many other Catholic bishops who have compromised the integrity of the faith for a false compassion and naive dialogue with politicians who are Catholic in name only ("Bishops back away from showdown with Catholic politicians," June 18).

Archbishop Burke is doctrinally and morally correct to withhold sacramental communion from these politicians who live not for the praise of God but for the passing folly of human praise. These politicians are in no less moral error than those who may not receive sacramental communion because they persist in grave moral sin, such as contraception, divorce and remarriage without annulment. Bishop Theodore McCarrick has a long record of compromising the Catholic faith in favor of political expediency in the name of a false compassion bordering on naivete. Overall, John Paul II did much to unite the church in his 26-year reign as pontiff, most especially through one of his greatest gifts to the church: an updated Catechism. We pray that Benedict XVI will not reverse course.

W. George Dragan
Sometimes in the Post we find letters worth posting, such as this one.

Catholic Culture: WMDs and Discourse about War

Governor Who Fired Pro-Family Employee Appoints Openly Homosexual Judge

Papal Nuncio Gives Communion to John Kerry - Likely Unintentional

WASHINGTON, June 26, 2006 ( - At the installation Mass of the new Archbishop of Washington, Donald W. Wuerl, Thursday, Archbishop Pietro Sambi, the representative of Pope Benedict XVI, was seen giving Holy Communion to pro-abortion Senator and former Presidential candidate John Kerry. The incident was reported by the Catholic News Service (CNS), the official news service of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. formally requested a clarification from the office of the Apostolic Nuncio. No reply was sent from Archbishop Sambi's office though was informed that the nuncio received the request for clarification. also spoke with the Communications Assistant of the Archdiocese of Washington about the matter. Mark Adkinson indicated that the incident was likely not intentional by indicating that Archbishop Sambi was administering Holy Communion on the side where the dignitaries were seated.

Sharing a Prayer

Received via email this morning:
Back in January of 1996, the Rev. Joe Wright, senior pastor of the 2,500 member Central Christian Church in Wichita, was invited to offer the opening prayer at a session of the Kansas House of Representatives and the prayer he offered was this one:

Heavenly Father, we come before you to ask your forgiveness. We seek your direction and your guidance. We know your word says, "Woe to those who call evil good." But that's what we've done.

We've lost our spiritual equilibrium.

We have inverted our values.

We have ridiculed the absolute truth of your word in the name of moral pluralism.

We have worshiped other gods and called it multiculturalism.

We have endorsed perversion and called it an alternative lifestyle.

We've exploited the poor and called it a lottery.

We've neglected the needy and called it self-preservation.

We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare.

In the name of choice, we have killed our unborn.

In the name of right to life, we have killed abortionists.

We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self-esteem.

We have abused power and called it political savvy.

We have coveted our neighbor's possessions and called it taxes.

We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression.

We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment.

Search us, O God, and know our hearts today. Try us. Show us any wickedness within us. Cleanse us from every sin and set us free. Guide and bless these men and women who have been sent here by the people of the State of Kansas, and that they have been ordained by you to govern this great state.

Grant them your wisdom to rule. May their decisions direct us to the center of your will. And, as we continue our prayer and as we come in out of the fog, give us clear minds to accomplish our goals as we begin this Legislature. For we pray in Jesus' name, Amen.

The prayer Rev. Wright used wasn't of his own crafting; it was a version of one written in 1995 by Bob Russell who offered it at the Kentucky Governor’s Prayer Breakfast in Frankfort Kentucky.

The email continues in stating that some legislators were upset that such a prayer was permitted, calling it a "message of intolerance" and so forth. Anyway, it seemed that the prayer was worth sharing.

New changes to the Mass will make it closer to the original

....We can only hope and pray!

The Necessity of Gregorian Chant and Sacred Polyphony

VATICAN CITY, JUN 24, 2006 (VIS) - This evening, the Pope attended a concert of sacred music in the Sistine Chapel, presented in his honor by the Domenico Bartolucci Foundation, directed by Msgr. Domenico Bartolucci.
The Holy Father said:
"A true 'aggiornamento' of sacred music cannot be achieved except by following the great traditions of the past, of Gregorian chants and sacred polyphony. For this reason, in the musical field as in that of other forms of art, the ecclesial community has always promoted and sustained those who seek new forms of expression without rejecting the past, the history of the human spirit, which is also the history of its dialogue with God."

New Mass Translations - Don't be in hurry.... sounds as if we will soon have some new responses at Mass, right?
Not so, said Cardinal Rigali.

“As soon as the Holy See okays it, it be able to be used — but not until it is printed, and it won’t be printed until the entire Roman Missal in English has been translated and approved.”

How long will this be? No one know for sure, but the good money bets are that Jesus Christ will come again before this happens!

Swiss "Theologian" Attempts to Become a "Priestess"

Swiss woman ordained Catholic priest
A theologian has become the first Swiss woman to be ordained a Roman Catholic priest, despite Church laws decreeing only men can enter the priesthood.

Uhhh, sure she became a "priest" - And I just declared myself President of the U.S...Maybe she's the first Swiss woman to attempt to become a "priestess" although I was certain that others had already tried.

Monika Wyss, a divorced mother of four, feels she has the right to become a priest even though she will probably be excommunicated.

She feels she has a right to be a priestess - I feel I have a right to be a mother even though God made me male...I feel I have a right to be supreme ruler of the earth! Who will obey me?

...and there ain't no probably about the excommunication either, sister.

The ceremony, organised by the West European Roman Catholic Womenpriests organisation, took place on Saturday on board a passenger ship on Lake Constance between Switzerland and Germany.

"Womenpriestesses" is usually behind these "rituals"...

In addition to Wyss, two other women joined the priesthood: Regina Nicolosi, a German living in the United States, and Jane Via, an American. Another woman from the US, who wishes to remain anonymous, was ordained a deacon, a rank below a priest.

Do these women really and truely believe this nonsense? Is there not a name for those who live in a dream world which is so out of touch with reality? The story relates that three "female bishops" lead the "ceremony"...Kind of like a witches coven, isn't it?

Rome has not shown any Christian tolerance to women priests. All those who have been ordained - including the three women bishops - have since been excommunicated on the basis that canon law only allows baptised men to enter the priesthood.
These articles are so much fun to read...Such prolific use of buzzwords like "tolerance" and "rights". It's a pity, though, that there is such a misunderstanding of the authentic meanings of these and other words. It's shameful that there is such a woeful ignorance of history. It's frightening to see that pride and arrogance become so consuming as to render an individual incapable of rational thought - which is why "pride" is classified as one of the seven deadly sins.

"I will still be a Roman Catholic, but I will no longer be accepted by the Church," she said. "I have no chance of getting a job within the Church with my ideas, so in real terms, it makes no difference for me."

"Roman Catholic"???? Sure she is and, I am now President of the World! Why? Because I feel I have been called by God to this office! I have no chance of being taken seriously by the world, so in real terms, it makes no difference to me - I live in my own little fantasy land...

The theologian said she wanted to carry out normal priestly duties, including celebrating Mass, baptisms, overseeing weddings and, more importantly, to be there for those who need help.

Theologian - the article can't end without this re-affirmation that the want-to-be "priestess" claims to be a "theologian"...How unfortunate - It gives real theologians a bad rap...