Saturday, November 17, 2007

Thoughts and Counsels - November 18

No prayers are so acceptable to God as those which we offer Him after communion.

-St. Alphonsus
From Mary, Help of Christians
Part VI, Thoughts and Counsels of the Saints for Every Day of the Year
Compiled by Fr. Bonaventure Hammer, OFM (© 1909, Benziger Brothers)

Meditation for November 18, A Lamp Without Oil

A certain period of history might well be described as a world without a soul. Institutions remained standing, society seemed to hold together, but much more by virtue of acquired speed and habit than from an interior dynamic force vibrant with life.

Speaking of himself, after his definite return to the true faith, Charles Nicolle, a great professor of medicine, compared himself to one of the lamps of the catacombs marked with the monogram of Christ and kept now as a souvenir, but which does not light at all; a Christian receptacle, no oil.

Am I not in danger of a similar phenomenon: a facade but noth­ing within; a decoration not a soul; the exterior of a religious, the interior empty.

Many Christians in the world practice a mere formal Chris­tianity; appearances are safe; one does not dare to speak of their life.

We say the religious life: it must be a life, otherwise it is only a lie and an illusion.

I must be on my guard.

My God, give me a horror of sham, of a tepid will; of pretend­ing to serve You while all the time my life is without soul, so that You have before You a lamp which is only a receptacle without oil and without flame.

Marked with the monogram of Christ. Certainly this applies to me, considering my investiture, my profession, and the insignia that I wear. I display perhaps a cross or a heart inscribed with some elevating motto which proclaims my consecration to a very elevated ideal of life. This ideal, however, resolves into only a few words upon metal, or a pretty symbol which means little more than one of my baubles of the past.

It is serious. The Master has said: "Let your light shine!" Is not my life becoming dim? Let me quickly replenish my lamp and re-enkindle the flame!
Adapted from Meditations for Religious
by Father Raoul Plus, S.J. (© 1939, Frederick Pustet Co.)

Springfield Monsignor Eugene Costa Removed from Priesthood

Monsignor Eugene Costa has been removed from the priesthood by Pope Benedict XVI, Kathie Sass, a spokeswoman for the Springfield Catholic Diocese, confirmed Friday.

Costa, 57, the former pastor of St. John Vianney Church in Sherman and Holy Family Church in Athens, has been on leave since January 2005. His laicization came at the request of Springfield Bishop George Lucas, Sass said. Because the action came directly from Pope Benedict, it cannot be appealed.

Costa is not permitted to perform priestly ministries or call himself "father."
Some may remember Costa from this post "No suspects yet in attack on Catholic priest" from Dec 27, 2004, and this followup post "Springfield, IL Police Interview Beaten Priest," and this one from Jan 4, 2005, "Teens accused of priest's beating....But...."

Costa subsequently resigned, "Springfield Priest Resigns After Beating in Park," and Springfield Bishop George Lucas Spoke to Msgr Costa's Parishioners.

Sass declined to say where Costa is now, what his future plans are or to pass an interview request to Lucas. She said Costa still can be a practicing Catholic.
More at the Springfield Journal Register here.

Just for Today, November 18

Thou must pass through fire and water, before thou comest to refreshment.
- Bk. I, ch. xxii.

"Before I could sit down under his shadow, whom I desired (Cant. ii, 3), I had to go through many trials, but God's call became so insistent, that to answer it I would have passed through fire. The only soul I found to encourage me in my vocation was my beloved Pauline. Her heart was a faithful echo of mine, and without her support I should never have reached the blessed haven which had already sheltered her for five years.
For a List of Abbreviations, see this post.
Adapted from Just For Today(©1943 Burns & Oates)
Nihil Obstat: Reginaldus Phillips, S.T.L.,Censor deputatus
Imprimatur: Edwardus Myers, Vic. Cap.

A Decree of Enactment of Particular Legislation...

...Creating the Offices of Archdiocesan Cursor and Apparitor

By Most Reverend Raymond L Burke

From the St Louis Review.
Text follows:


Pursuant to cann. 1509, §l, and 1720, 1°, of the Code of Canon Law, I hereby decree and declare, by this particular legislation, that the traditional method of edictal citation is now, and in the future, a valid, legitimate, and lawful means for the notification of all citations, decrees, sentences, and other judicial acts, in any judicial or extra-judicial process, however only under the same conditions, and whenever permitted, as prescribed by can. 1720, §§ 1-2 of the Pio-Benedictine Code of Canon Law. This applies and is to apply absolutely wherever the edict is lawfully posted throughout the entirety of the territory of the Archdiocese of Saint Louis (cf. Art. 61, §1 Norm. RR.; Pontificio Commissio Codici Iuris Canonici Recognoscendo. Relatio complectens synthesim animadversionum ab Em.mis atque Exc.mis Patribus Commissionis ad Novissimum Schema Codicis Iuris Canonici Exhibitarum, cum Responsionibus a Secretaria et Consultoribus Datis. Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis MCMLXXI, p.318, ad cann. 1461-1462).

I additionally declare that both the stable or temporary institutions of, and the powers and faculties traditionally appertaining to, the cursor and apparitor (cf. cann. 1591-1593 C.I.C. 1917). constitute a valid, legitimate, and lawful means for the notification of all citations, decrees, sentences, and, other judicial acts, whenever permitted or required in judicial or extra-judicial processes according to particular or universal law, by whatever general or special mention. I declare that the same cursores and apparitores enjoy all of the faculties of an ecclesiastical notary, in accordance with cann. 483, §§ 1-2. and 1437, §2 of the Code of Canon Law.

Moreover, I hereby declare that all acts written, signed, and authenticated with the Seal of the Curia of the Archdiocese of Saint Louis as it appears below by the aforementioned cursores or apparitores merit full faith as public ecclesiastical documents in accord with the norms of cann. 483. §§1-2, and 1540-1543 of the Code of Canon Law.

This particular legislation, in accordance with can. 8 §2, of the Code of Canon Law obliges immediately within the entire territory of the Archdiocese of Saint Louis.

Given at Saint Louis, on the Ninth day of November, the Feast of the Dedication of the Basilica of Saint John at the Lateran Gate, in the Year of the Lord 2007.
What does all of this mean? The current code of Canon Law (absent commentary) can be viewed here.

Below is commentary on the 1917 Code for canons 1591-1593 (cited by Archbishop Burke) by Stanislaus Woywod, O.F.M., LL.B., from A Practical Commentary on the Code of Canon Law (1929):

1578. Couriers or messengers shall be constituted, either for all trials generally or for an individual case, to give notice of the judicial acts, unless the approved custom of a tribunal dispenses with these officials. Apparitors (constables) should be appointed for the purpose of executing the sentences and decrees of the judge at his command. The same person can hold both offices .(Canon 1591). They should be lay persons, unless prudence demands in some special case that clerics be appointed to these duties; their nomination, suspension and removal shall be governed by the same rules as are given for notaries in Canon 373 (Canon 1592). The acts which the couriers and apparitors write in the execution of their office, are public documents and as such legal proof of the direct assertions in these instruments (Canon 1593).

With respect to the reference to cann. 1720 of the 1917 Code (also cited by Archbishop Burke), there is this (all references up to 1720 to provide background):



1673. The bill of complaint or the oral petition having been admitted, the other party must be summoned to appear in court. The summons issued by a court to the defendant is called the vocatio in jus. If the contending parties appear before the judge of their own accord to plead their case, it is not necessary to issue the summons, but the secretary or clerk of the court shall make a note in the acts of the case that the parties came to court of their own accord (Canon 1711).

1674. The summons is to be issued by the judge, and is to be written on the bill of complaint or joined to it. It is to be sent to the defendant, and, if there are several defendants, to each one. The plaintiff, moreover, must be notified by the court to appear on a specified day and at a fixed hour before the judge (Canon 1712).

If the defendant is a person who does not have the free aministration of the goods concerned in the controversy, the summons must be presented to that person who in his name must answer in the trial, according to the rilles of Canons 1648-­1654 (Canon 1713).

1675. Every summons is peremptory, and need not be re­peated, except in the case mentioned in Canon 1845, § 2 - namely, when the judge wants to punish for contempt of court a party who ignores the first summons (Canon 1714).

1676. The summons is to be presented to the party in a written form, which shall express the precept of the judge to the party to appear. It shall state the name of the judge who issues it, indicate at least in general terms the reason why the party is summoned, give the correct name and surname of the defendant, and state by whom he is sued; the place and time (ie., the year, month, day and hour), where and when he is to appear, must be clearly indicated. The summons authenticated with the seal of the court must be subscribed by the judge or by his auditor and a,notary (Canon 1715). The summons is to be made in duplicate, one copy being presented to the defendant and the other inserted into the acts of the case (Canon 1716).

1677. The written summons is to be handed to the defendant personally by a messenger of the Curia wheresoever he finds him, if this manner of serving the summons is possible. The messenger may for this purpose enter the territory of another diocese, if the judge thinks it advisable and orders the messenger to do so. If the messenger does not find the person to be sum­moned in the place where he stays, he can leave the written summons with some person of the family or with a servant of the defendant, if that person is willing to accept the summons and promises to give the summons to the defendant as soon as possible; otherwise, the messenger shall take it back to the judge in order that he may dispatch it in the manner provided in Canons 1719 and 1720 (Canon 1717). If the defendant refuses to accept the written summons, he is to be considered legitimately summoned (Canon 1718).

1678. If for reason of distance or other cause it is difficult to have the summons delivered to the defendant by messenger, the judge can order it to be transmitted by registered mail and a signed receipt obtained, or in any other manner which according to the laws and conditions of the respective country is consid­ered safest (Canon 1719).

1679. Whenever after diligent inquiry it cannot be ascer­tained where the defendant stays, the summons by edict or pub­lic announcement can take place. This is done by having the messenger post the document of the summons at the doors of the Curia in the manner of a public notice, which is to be left there for a length of time to be specified by the judge, and by inserting the summons in some public paper. If both cannot be done, either manner of public notice suffices (Canon 1720).

Pehaps Dr. Ed Peters could shed some light on this?

By the way, Saint Louis Catholic has an excellent commentary as well, here...

Corcoran Proves His Hypocrisy Again

From the Thursday night Fox2News segment "What's On My Mind" (as if anyone really cared) by J.C. Corcoran, viewers were treated to another of his baseless attacks on Archbishop Burke and the Catholic Church. Why KTVI permits this has-been and irritating blowhard to spew his malicious thoughts over the airwaves is unknown to viewers.

(KTVI - -- St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke has energized some Catholics, but alienated others by defending and proclaiming the church's hardline teaching about excommunication, women in the priesthood, denial of communion to politicians who support abortion rights and other issues. FOX 2's J.C. Corcoran of K-Hits 96 has requested a few moments to speak to the flock.

You may watch the segment here...

Corcoran claims to send his daughters to a Catholic school and he also claims to participate in fund raisers for it...that would be sufficient reason, it seems, to avoid any participation with any event in which he is involved. Maybe he can someday explain why he would send his kids to a Catholic school if he finds the Church so objectionable? Maybe the school is not really Catholic, if you catch my drift?

But it gets even better. A local Catholic woman revised his commentary and sent this revision via email to KTVI to forward to Corcoran which has sparked another controversy - poor J.C. didn't like it! One listener of his Friday morning radio show writes :"I swear I heard him talking about being threatened via email this morning. Was that you?"

To Mr. JC Cororan:

I’m not what they call a practicing news listener, I’ve watched the news along with my parents, and I regularly check out the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. But many years ago I gave up on news and commentators, basically because I thought it was … utter nonsense. So these comments tonight about the latest commentaries come from someone who is, at this point, pretty much an outsider. When I was a kid growing up in the St Louis area, if a newsperson was around, it meant everyone was dropping everything and fawning in his presence. Now, JC Corcoran’s name has become either a punch-line, or the subject of anger or ridicule. If I was a practicing listener, whether I agreed with him or not, I’d be very concerned about this. People seemed to get to the top of their respective field usually one of two ways:

Either by being very personable, effective commentators, or by mowing down everything and everybody in their path. History has shown us, however , that stuff catches up with you. JC is old radio, but I’m not convinced that “old radio” works right now…too many things have changed. What I see, again, from the outside, is that Corcoran is pretty much at the end of his public relations rope. The news commentary scandals continue to mount, the listeners are thinning, and young men and women aren’t exactly knocking down the doors of TV and Radio stations to get in to hear them. And locally, instead of a respected news leader in the community, you have a guy who’s been stomping around, alienating, threatening, intimidating, and carrying on since the day he got off the plane from nowhere.

You know, back in the summer of ’74 Richard Nixon was holed up in the Oval Office still firmly believing that he could ride out the Watergate scandal. But Republican icon Barry Goldwater drew the short straw and got sent in one Sunday night with the official word from the front lines that Corcoran was now damaging the entire news media station with his tactics, and it was time for him to pull his own plug.

My question is with the idea of protecting the media’s best interests, who is going to be that person?

As listeners, either you’re in complete agreement with Corcoran, you’re not, or you’re in complete fear of him. Either way, you have a big, big problem.

That’s what’s on my mind!!!

PS: Your days are numbered, my friend. Watch and see!

And this has led to threats by J.C. to call the cops - what a big, brave man!

From: jcorcoran
To: Pnnnnn
Sent: Friday, November 16, 2007 4:29 AM
Subject: Re: On news commentators, like JC Corcoran...

Careful, pal. Careful.....


On Nov 16, 2007, at 11:04 AM, Pnnnn wrote:

You too, PAL!

----- Original Message -----
From: jcorcoran
To: Pnnnnn
Sent: Friday, November 16, 2007 11:32 AM
Subject: Re: On news commentators, like JC Corcoran...

With just what you've sent me so far I could take this to the St. Louis police and have you picked up for, twice now, threatening me.

If you do it again I will. You have been warned. Think I'm kidding?

On Nov 16, 2007, at 1:42 PM, Pnnnnn wrote:

Dear Mr. Corcoran:

Call the police. I go to church everyday...the worst I could do to you is start a novena to either heal you of your anger towards the Roman Catholic church, or have you fired. Day 1 of the novena is today.

There's an old proverb: Better to live on the corner of a rooftop, then to be in a room with an angry woman!

Channel 2 would never allow you to make such commentaries about a Jewish Rabbi, Muslim Imam, or a black Protestant minister.

Back off my spiritual father! You have offended me more than a black person who's been called a "nappy-headed ho". I've filed a complaint to the Catholic League in New York.

God bless!

----- Original Message -----
From: jcorcoran
To: Pnnnnn
Sent: Friday, November 16, 2007 2:25 PM
Subject: Re: On news commentators, like JC Corcoran...


St. Louis Police Department.

[Name and address redacted]

----- Original Message -----
From: Pnnnnn
To: jcorcoran
Sent: Friday, November 16, 2007 6:15 PM
Subject: Re: On news commentators, like JC Corcoran...

Make sure to tell them (the police) they can find me at the Carmelite convent this evening from 7pm until 8:30pm.
Usually when I see Corcoran's face on the TV, I either mute the TV or switch to another channel - his opinions are are not worth listening to - and they never have been, many times they're repulsive and belittling. He has bashed the Catholic Church for years, unable, it seems, to overcome his issues with whatever darkness envelopes him.

Fox 2 News could certainly do without his commentary - and the sooner he's gone from the St Louis airwaves at KTVI, the better. As our Catholic friend says and does - pray for his sorry soul that he may one day overcome his problems.

By the way, Patty, the object of J.C.'s newest attack, has also requested prayers on her behalf!

Gospel for Nov 17, Memorial: St Elizabeth of Hungary, religious

Old Calendar: St. Gregory the Wonderworker, bishop and confessor

From: Luke 18:1-8

Persevering Prayer. Parable of the Unjust Judge

[1] And He (Jesus) told them a parable, to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. [2] He said, "In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor regarded man; [3] and there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him saying, `Vindicate me against my adversary.' [4] For a while he refused; but afterward he said to himself, `Though I neither fear God nor regard man, [5] yet because this widow bothers me, I will vindicate her, or she will wear me out by her continual coming.' [6] And the Lord said, "hear what the unrighteous judge says. [7] And will not God vindicate His elect, who cry to Him day and night? Will He delay long over them? [8] I tell you, He will vindicate them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?"


1-8. The parable of the unjust judge is a very eloquent lesson about the effectiveness of persevering, confident prayer. It also forms a conclusion to Jesus' teaching about watchfulness, contained in the previous verses (17:23-26). Comparing God with a person like this makes the point even clearer: if even an unjust judge ends up giving justice to the man who keeps on pleading his case, how much more will God, who is infinitely just, and who is our Father, listen to the persevering prayer of His children. God, in other words, gives justice to His elect if they persist in seeking His help.

1. "They ought always to pray and not lose heart." Why must we pray?

"Prayer is in fact the recognition of our limitation and our dependence: we come from God, we belong to God and we return to God! We cannot, therefore, but abandon ourselves to Him, our Creator and Lord, with full and complete confidence [...].

"Prayer, therefore, is first of all an act of intelligence, a feeling of humility and gratitude, an attitude of trust and abandonment to Him who gave us life out of love.

"Prayer is a mysterious but real dialogue with God, a dialogue of confidence and love.


"For the Christian, in fact, prayer acquires a particular characteristic, which completely changes its innermost nature and innermost value. The Christian is a disciple of Jesus; he is one who really believes that Jesus is the Word Incarnate, the Son of God who came among us on this earth.

"As a man, the life of Jesus was a continual prayer, a continual act of worship and love of the Father and since the maximum ___expression of prayer is sacrifice, the summit of Jesus' prayer is the Sacrifice of the Cross, anticipated by the Eucharist at the Last Supper and handed down by means of the Holy Mass throughout the centuries.

"Therefore, the Christian knows that his prayer is that of Jesus; every prayer of his starts from Jesus; it is He who prays in us, with us, for us. All those who believe in God, pray; but the Christian prays in Jesus Christ: Christ is our prayer!


"It must be humbly and realistically recognized that we are poor creatures, confused in ideas, tempted by evil, frail and weak, in continual need of inner strength and consolation. Prayer gives the strength for great ideas, to maintain faith, charity, purity and generosity. Prayer gives the courage to emerge from indifference and guilt, if unfortunately one has yielded to temptation and weakness. Prayer gives light to see and consider the events of one's own life and of history in the salvific perspective of God and eternity. Therefore, do not stop praying!

Let not a day pass without your having prayed a little! Prayer is a duty, but it is also a great joy, because it is a dialogue with God through Jesus Christ! Every Sunday, Holy Mass: if it is possible for you, sometimes during the week. Every day, morning and evening prayers, and at the most suitable moments!" (John Paul II, "Audience with Young People", 14 March 1979).
8. Jesus combines His teaching about perseverance in prayer with a serious warning about the need to remain firm in the faith: faith and prayer go hand in hand. St. Augustine comments, "In order to pray, let us believe; and for our faith not to weaken, let us pray. Faith causes prayer to grow, and when prayer grows our faith is strengthened" ("Sermon", 115).

Our Lord has promised His Church that it will remain true to its mission until the end of time (cf. Matthew 28:20); the Church, therefore, cannot go off the path of the true faith. But not everyone will remain faithful: some will turn their backs on the faith of their own accord. This is the mystery which St. Paul describes as "the rebellion" (2 Thessalonians 2:3) and which Jesus Christ announces on other occasions (cf. Matthew 24:12-13). In this way our Lord warns us, to help us stay watchful and persevere in the faith and in prayer even though people around us fall away.
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, November 16, 2007

Thoughts and Counsels - November 17

It is useless to subdue the flesh by abstinence, unless one gives up his irregular life, and aban­dons vices which defile his soul.

-St. Benedict
From Mary, Help of Christians
Part VI, Thoughts and Counsels of the Saints for Every Day of the Year
Compiled by Fr. Bonaventure Hammer, OFM (© 1909, Benziger Brothers)

Meditation for November 17, On Letting God Free

Few souls give the Lord the liberty of doing what He wishes. The majority evade Him, are stingy, quibble and withdraw; give in today to take back tomorrow; will indeed, yet do not will, and offer to the grace of God a rather narrow entrance.

As God does not wish to use violence, He avoids forcing an en­trance. Since the soul refuses to do violence to itself, it opposes the plenitude of the divine within itself.

This goes on constantly among the half saints, the one-third or quarter saints, that God urges to a richer and more complete possibility.

Surely my stinginess and my evasions are explained by my weakness, and they are never entirely corrected; I will remain weak forever. It is good to tell myself that, not to become dis­couraged, but to remain humble, and to count upon the grace of God.

But is there not in my more or less voluntary cowardice some­thing of personal negligence; some responsibility on my part?

It is this rather serious wilful negligence that I wish to diminish. It is never too late to give oneself entirely. I should have begun long ago. Grace knocks at the door. God would have given me much. I will strive to develop my power of receiving divine invi­tations, but above all my power to acquiesce. Yes, Father, Ita Pater. Yes, Father, my Father and my God, I accept, I consent. Speak, I will listen, even now I say Yes.
Adapted from Meditations for Religious
by Father Raoul Plus, S.J. (© 1939, Frederick Pustet Co.)

"Sister" Roma Shocked at FCC

This outrage apparently comes from a post last night requesting that Catholics make a Holy Hour in adoration and reparation for the scandal and sacrilege which occurred in San Francisco last month.

FCC does not refer to the Federal Communications Commission but to the Fundamentalist Catholic Community of which Sister Roma speaks> His comments on the FCC "hatred" seems to refer to the request to pray and make reparations for the above mentioned sacrilege as well as the injustices and sins against God for which we and others are responsible.

The American TFP article reminds us that
"Through the merits of Christ's Death, the faithful are restored to grace and can thus make reparation to the justice of God for their own offences against Him. By virtue of the Communion of the Saints, they can also make satisfaction and reparation for the sins of others...In the same spirit of prayer and reparation as the 2,000 plus Public Square Rosary Rallies, the American TFP calls upon all to join with thousands of others in this crusade of prayers..."

So requests for prayer are now "hatred? Soon, considering the path our once Christian country is heading, this may indeed be the case.

But, let me allow Sister Roma to speak for himself:

I continue to be shocked and amazed at the depth of the hatred being spewed by the Fundamentalist Catholic Community. I am not making fun of or trying to emulate in a negative way the Catholic Nun. I am a Nun. I serve my Community through charity and education. I minister to the sick. What I wear and what I call myself is, quite frankly, none of your business. If you take issue with the fact that I call myself a Nun all I can tell you is that this is America and this is a free country. If you don't like the way I look or the fact that I am gay, I suggest you look further into your scriptures for the Lord's word regarding love and acceptance. Whether or not you approve of me and what I do is in no way going to stop me from doing it. I have answered a call to service. It is not only my honor to serve my Community, it is my privilege.

Sister Roma
The Sisters Of Perpetual Indulgence., Inc.
I have read and re-read the article at The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (link here), yet I find find no hatred in it. Just as one might call himself whatever he fancies himself to be despite the objective reality that he is not what he claims, so too will such a person make other claims which are unfounded and baseless.

It is every Christian's duty to recall and teach that "Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection." CCC 2359, and that, being ccontrary to the natural law, "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered...Under no circumstances can they be approved." CCC 2357.

For those who reject this fundamental moral teaching of the Church, based upon Scripture and Tradition, we should continue to pray, even if they see this as "hatred."

A Jewish Perspective on "Women Priests" Ordination

Enough already


As a Jewish reader of the Review, about the only two words I could think of when I read Archbishop Burke’s column (Nov. 9) about the "ordination" of two women as Roman Catholic priests at a St. Louis synagogue were "oy veh!"

Don’t we have enough problems without "ordinating" female priests? After all, some Jews don’t even recognize female rabbis.

What could motivate Rabbi Susan Talve to intervene in a purely Catholic matter? While, like many nonCatholics I’m interested in the Roman Catholic Church and its history, short of it starting another Inquisition, its internal matters are none of my business or for that matter Rabbi Talve’s.

In the American vernacular we Jews don’t have a dog in this fight. Put into reverse context it’s as if a bishop told Jews they didn’t need to circumcise their sons to be Jewish.

The Catholic Church belongs to the Catholic community, and people who disagree with it are free not to be Catholic. Among my friends Rabbi Talve has little support on this issue.

Finally, although it’s none of my business, as an observer, I can’t understand how the two women who seek to be priests can be both Catholic and fail to submit to the authority of the Catholic Church. A Christian who does not want to submit to that authority can be described in one word — Protestant — some of whom, along with Catholics, are my best friends. I hope this recent incident doesn’t harm our friendships.

Norman Pressman
West St. Louis County
Source: St Louis Review, Letters

Archbishop O'Brien Urges Priest Back to Fold

The pastor of three Catholic parishes in South Baltimore is welcome to return to active ministry after undergoing counseling, said Archbishop Edwin O'Brien.

"I made it clear I want him back in active ministry," the archbishop said during an interview at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops meeting at the Inner Harbor.

O'Brien made the Rev. Ray Martin resign last week after reports of liturgical and administrative offenses committed over more than a year. Since 2002, Martin had served as pastor of Our Lady of Good Counsel, Holy Cross and St. Mary, Star of the Sea parishes, each of which has about 250 members...

Priestesses Flock to Baltimore

This past week while the bishops met in Baltimore, the Women’s Ordination Conference (WOC) and the Roman Catholic Womenpriests (RCWP) had their own 'meeting' with supporters in the same city.

A earlier Press Release provide the details:

Ordained Catholic women and advocates present a new vision of church while U.S. bishops meet
There is so much wrong with the headline - where does one begin? So what's right with this?

Ordained Catholic women? - Nope, an impossibility!

Present a new vision of church? - I'm certain they did that, but only for their own church, not the Catholic Church.

BALTIMORE, MD - November 7 - Women’s Ordination Conference (WOC) and the Roman Catholic Womenpriests (RCWP) will host an event on November 12, in Baltimore, Md., at 1:00 p.m. in the Stony Run Friends Meeting House, 5116 North Charles Street, while the U.S. bishops hold their bi-annual conference. Andrea Johnson, RCWP and former executive director of WOC, will preside at an inclusive eucharistic prayer service, and a panel discussion will follow. WOC has been demonstrating for women’s ordination at each of the bishops’ bi-annual meetings since 2000.
An inclusive eucharistic prayer service? Is this a simulated Mass, perhaps? Does inclusive mean its open to all heretics and schismatics?

“This event will bring the church one step closer to better reflecting the values of Jesus’ ministry, where women held undeniable positions of leadership,” stated Aisha Taylor, executive director of WOC. “In fact, in all four gospels, Mary Magdalene was named as the primary witness to the most central event of the Christian faith — the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.”
This event will bring the church one step closer to better reflecting the values of Jesus’ ministry...Right! And while Mary Magdelen did receive the honor of being one of the first to see Jesus after His Resurrection, they don't seem to find it at all strange that Jesus did not make her an Apostle, bishop or priest, invested with certain sacred powers...I don't recall that Jesus breathed on her and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit, whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven..."

For thirty-two years, WOC has advocated women's ordination in the Catholic Church, with the mission of bringing about structural change and creating a more accountable and inclusive church.
For 32 years, this group has been wandering in the wilderness while the Lord continues to beckon them to return to bosom of His Church - instead they endeavor to change the Church to fit their own ideas rather than submit to Christ's Church, guided by the Holy Spirit...

“We are reclaiming our ancient spiritual heritage and shaping an inclusive Christ-centered discipleship of equals, where all are welcome,” stated Bridget Mary Meehan, representative of RCWP. “We are focusing on living out our call and ministry instead of asking for the Vatican’s approval.”
What does this really say?

We are focusing on our pride and arrogance and our desires to be as disobedient as we possibly can. In emulating Eve rather than the Blessed Mother, we choose a spiritual heritage of disobedience to God, seduced by the father of lies...

The Roman Catholic Womenpriests movement is building a new model of priestly ministry for a renewed Church, based on union with the people they serve, so as to achieve the full equality of women and men. Women priests remind us that women are equal symbols of the holy and that the identity of priest should reflect the experiences of women.
Is must be wonderful to have been blessed with the authority to change what God has ordained - Rather than simply echoing Satan's "I will not serve" they go further, demanding that God serve them...

“We will amplify the voices of the 64 percent of U.S. Catholics who support women’s ordination. As the law of the Roman Catholic Church requires of us, we will express our opinions and share our vision of a revitalized church with the bishops,” concluded Taylor.
Amplifying the voices of confused Catholics still does not make right that which is wrong...These deluded misfits are lost, wandering about in complete and utter darkness. Remember to pray for their conversion.

Press Release link here...

German homeschooling parents beg for their own grocery money

Officials in Germany are still at it...
Homeschooling parents who have been battling the government over their children's education are heading into court today to beg permission to use some of their own money for groceries, after authorities froze their personal and business bank accounts.

Japan in the Death Spiral

This weeks Spirit & Life Column from HLI features a guest columnist Dr. Brian Clowes, Director of Research for HLI. Brian always seems to have the most amazing facts at his fingertips, and this week has a devastating report on Japan and the results of a generation of antinatalist, population control propaganda.

For years, Catholic pro-lifers have been warning that abortion, sterilization and contraception cause the collapse of an individual's morality and the destruction of families.

Now, demographers are indirectly telling us that these evils are destroying entire nations and continents. Unfortunately, governments do not even acknowledge the root cause of the problem of the “demographic death spiral...”

Gospel for Friday, 32nd Week In Ordinary Time

Optional Memorials of St. Margaret of Scotland;
St. Gertrude, virgin
Old Calendar: St. Gertrude

Gospel: Luke 17:26-37

The Day of the Son of Man (Continuation)

(Jesus said to His disciples,) [26] "As it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of Man. [27] They ate, they drank, they married, they were given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. [28] Likewise as it was in the days of Lot--they ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built, [29] but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom fire and brimstone rained from Heaven and destroyed them all--[30] so will it be on the day when the Son of Man is revealed. [31] On that day, let him who is on the housetop, with his goods in the house, not come down to take them away; and likewise let him who is in the field not turn back. [32] Remember Lot's wife. [33] Whoever seeks to gain his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will preserve it. [34] I tell you, in that night there will be two men in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. [35] There will be two women grinding together; one will be taken and the other left." [37] And they said to Him, "Where Lord?" He said to them, "Where the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together."


23-36. These words of our Lord are a prophecy about the last coming of the Son of Man. We should remember that prophecy often involves events on different levels, many symbols, a terminology of its own; the "chiaroscuro" which they create gives us insight into future events, but the concrete details only become clear when the events actually occur. Our Lord's last coming will be something sudden and unexpected; it will catch many people unprepared. Jesus illustrates this by giving examples from sacred history: as in the time of Noah (cf. Genesis 6:9-19:7) and that of Lot (cf. Genesis 18:16-19:27) divine judgment will be visited on men without warning.

However, it is useful to recall here that everyone will find himself before the divine Judge immediately when he dies, at the Particular Judgment. Thus Jesus' teaching has also a present urgency about it: HERE AND NOW a disciple should scrutinize his own conduct, for the Lord can call him when he least expects.

33. "Will preserve it": what the Greek word literally means is "will engender (his life)", that is to say, "will give true life to the soul". Thus our Lord seems to mean the following: he who wants to save his life at all costs, making it his basic value, will lose eternal life; whereas he who is ready to lose his earthly life--that is, to resist even to death the enemies of God and of his soul--will obtain eternal happiness through this struggle. In content this passage is almost identical with Luke 9:24.

36. In the Vulgate this verse reads: "Una assumetur, et altera relinquetur. Duo in agro; unus assumetur, et alter relinquetur" ("One will be taken and the other left. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left"). These words seem to be an addition to Luke, taken from Matthew 24:40; they do not appear in the better Greek manuscripts, which is why the New Vulgate omits them.

37. "Where the body is, there the eagles will gather": the Greek text uses a word which could mean either eagle or vulture. In any event the proverb indicates the speed with which birds of prey swoop down on their victims--apparently referring to the sudden, unexpected way the Second Coming or Last Judgment will happen. Sacred Scripture also deals with this subject in other passages: "But as to the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves know well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night" (1 Thessalonians 5:1-2). Once more Jesus is exhorting us to be watchful: we should never neglect the most important thing in life--eternal salvation. "All that, which worries you for the moment, is of relative importance. What is of absolute importance is that you be happy, that you be saved" ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 297). So curious are the Pharisees and the disciples about the time and place of the Last Coming that they are distracted from Jesus' main point; the same thing happens to us: for example, we can spend a lot of time pondering the circumstances of the deaths of people we know, and fail to grasp the warning these deaths contain--that this life is going to end one way or another and that after it we too will meet God.
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, November 15, 2007

Nov 16 - Make a Holy Hour in Reparation for San Francisco Sacrilege

As previously reported here, tomorrow is the day to spend an hour with our Lord.

Weeks after pro-family web sites published photos and video footage of the sacrilegious scandal at Most Holy Redeemer Parish in San Francisco, the controversy still rages. The image of two transvestites dressed as nuns, receiving Holy Communion from the Archbishop’s hands (click here to see the disturbing video) has prompted calls not just for commentary, but also reparation.

In response to the offense given to Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP) is asking members and supporters to join with thousands in a Holy Hour of Eucharistic adoration and reparation anytime between 5 and 8 p.m. local time on Friday, November 16, 2007 at churches and adoration chapels.

The idea of a national reparation come just three weeks after over 2,000 Public Square Rosary Rallies were held nationwide. The TFP is asking its supporters and Rosary Captains to take an hour to make reparation for this terrible offense. (Click here to send your commitment to pray one hour)...

However, the sacrilege itself remains without reparation. Making a Holy Hour of reparation before the Blessed Sacrament will allow Catholics nationwide to storm heaven with prayers asking for forgiveness...

Objectively speaking, the act of giving Holy Communion to two men dressed as fake nuns with make-up and all the characteristics of members of the homosexual group Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence is a terrible sacrilege. As mentioned in an article on the TFP web site, “deliberate and notable irreverence towards the Holy Eucharist is reputed the worst of all sacrileges.”...
For more info, see the TFP web site here.

Thoughts and Counsels - November 16

In raising human nature to heaven by His as­cension, Christ has given us the hope of arriving there ourselves.

-St. Thomas Aquinas
From Mary, Help of Christians
Part VI, Thoughts and Counsels of the Saints for Every Day of the Year
Compiled by Fr. Bonaventure Hammer, OFM (© 1909, Benziger Brothers)

Meditation for November 16, My Imperfect State

An authentic author of the life of St. Gertrude (G. Ledos, p. 20) notes regarding this great privileged saint of the thirteenth century:

"At times after having been troubled by some impatience, or when meditating on the faults into which her frailty led her, she complained to God in the bitterness of her heart, begging Him to deliver her from her faults, which tarnished the purity of her soul; however, the light that she received from God made her under­stand that the faults He leaves in His elect are an effect of His mercy. He wishes thereby to make them recall how naturally frail they are; how subject to frequent falls; and that all their purity is but a simple effect of His gratuitous mercy."

I should certainly not condone my faults but make every effort to correct myself.

But if, after having put forth all the effort I can, these involun­tary weaknesses crop out, I should not trouble myself. They are permitted by God for a double purpose.

To maintain me in humility, in the certitude - that I would not acquire in any other way - of my absolute impotence without the help of God.

To inspire me with confidence: God loves me such as I am, and is more eager than I to transform me. I will lean on that love.

My Lord, I count on You, make me as You wish me to be.
Adapted from Meditations for Religious
by Father Raoul Plus, S.J. (© 1939, Frederick Pustet Co.)

Just for Today, An Introduction

Beginning in a few days, another set of meditations/reflections will be available. These are from a booklet, titled

"Just For Today,"
compiled and translated from the writings of
St Teresa of Lisieux
with selections from the
Imitation of Christ
a Benedictine of Stanbook, Worcester

This Introduction is by The Right Reverend Monsignor Ronald Knox

The compiler of this anthology has been happily inspir­ed to sit between two treasure-chests, dealing out to us a jewel first from this, then from that, like matched pearls. One is the Imitation of Christ; the other, the writings of St Teresa of Lisieux. Just five centuries divide them in date. Your first impression, when you see the pearls so well matched, is to exclaim at the resemblance; your second, that after all Christian piety does not alter with the ages, and there are certain rock-bottom truths which need constant reassertion, rather because our wills are so weak than because our memory has let the tradition slide. And indeed, the Imitation was a favourite book with Sister Therese, as it has been with so many ardent natures.

The author of the Imitation was a voice crying in the wilderness; a voice so well content to be anonymous that scholars can still wrangle over his identity. He warns us that we are not to care who said this, but to pay attention to the thing said. The case is otherwise at Lisieux; there, the personality of the Saint, the very lineaments of her features, are the public property of mankind; it is her message that is in danger of being forgotten. Put a card of the Little Flower in your copy of the Imitation, and it will cease to be anonymous; she did not write it, but, much more importantly, she lived it.

Our minds tend to confuse what is simple with what is easy. Look up what day you will in this accusing calendar, and you will find something which is so simple that you could have thought of it for yourself; so far from easy, that you have spent a lifetime not doing it. It is a very Newgate Calendar of our infidelities. Out of the mouth of two witnesses every word shall stand; and here are two witnesses, faithful as those of the Apocalypse, to brush away our feeble excuses with their pitiless realism. Let the phrases be copy-book phrases, if you will; they have been traced in laborious copper­plate, by a fifteenth-century ascetic, and retraced, God knows how laboriously, by a childish hand, contemporary with ourselves.

Day to day utters speech, and night to night shows forth knowledge. This is a book to keep by your bed­side, so that you can turn to it before you make your examination of conscience, and read in it the diary of what you have left undone. May it reveal the thoughts of many hearts, and rekindle in them the love of Jesus Cbrist. ­
- R. A. Knox

List of Abbreviations Used in the book Imitation of Christ.
C.= Conseils et Souvenirs.
E.= Esprit de Sainte Therese.
H.= The Story of a Soul (L'Histoire d'une Âme) :La Bienheureuse Therese de l'Enfant Jesus. Published in 1923.
L.= Letters.
N.V.= Novissima Verba.
P.= Poems.
Pr.= Prayers.
Sum.= Summarium.

Adapted from Just For Today(©1943 Burns & Oates)
Nihil Obstat: Reginaldus Phillips, S.T.L.,Censor deputatus
Imprimatur: Edwardus Myers, Vic. Cap.

Lawrence Welch Responds to Sylvester Brown

In a previous post discussing another lame article from the Post Dispatch, writer Sylvester Brown, Jr. quoted Lawrence J. Welch, a professor of theology at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary.

It seems, however, that Brown was rather selective in what he chose to use from his conversation with Prof. Welch:

Sylvester Brown called me to discuss the Catholic Church's stand on the ordination of women for his column "Would Jesus exclude women? I don't think so" (Nov. 4). Several points were left out.

The church defends the equal dignity of women and men yet recognizes their different roles within the Church. The priesthood is founded on the discipleship of 12 apostles. The Church believes Christ intentionally chose only men for apostolic ministry. Thus, it has been the constant and universal practice of the Church to ordain only men to the priesthood. That does not mean women don't have a prominent role in the Church. Their role is indispensable and necessary for the life of the Church, but it is not the priesthood.

Catholics believe Christ gives sacraments to the Church. The ordained priesthood is the sacrament through which the mission entrusted by Christ to his apostles will be exercised until the end of time. It is Catholic doctrine that the priest represents Christ in a very specific way to the Church. The Church does not have the authority to change certain things about the sacraments. Recent teaching has reiterated that sexual symbolism is a necessary part of the sacrament of ordination and the sacrament of marriage. This symbolism cannot be altered without changing those sacraments into something that they are not. To learn more, read the Catechism of the Catholic Church or visit the website of the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

Lawrence J. Welch | Shrewsbury
Professor of Theology, Kenrick-Glennon Seminary

I'm surprised that the Post printed this. It can be viewed here.

Following this unexpected inclusion of facts in the Post, we read yet another justification by the Central Reform Congregation for permitting two women (and hundreds of supporters) to thumbs their noses at the Church and the Catholic faithful of St Louis. This "explanation" comes from Steve Friedman, Board President, Central Reform Congregation:

Responding to Rose Marie Dunn Hudson and Elsie Hainz McGrath's request to hold their ordination ceremony at Central Reform Congregation was a difficult task for our board of directors. We had several extensive, thoughtful and soul-searching discussions, ultimately relying on CRC's traditions and core values to guide our decision.

After 16 years of gracious hospitality from a church, CRC built our "Sukkat Shalom" (Shelter of Peace) in 2000. We have worked to model its use on the words of the prophet Isaiah, who said, "My house shall be a house of prayer for all people." For us, providing a safe and holy space for Elsie and Rose Marie was consistent with those words.

CRC long has been a leader in interfaith dialogue in St. Louis. We respect the need of all people of faith to act according to their values and beliefs, even when that path is not easy. We regret any pain or misunderstanding our decision has caused among our friends in the Jewish and Catholic communities.

We look forward to continuing to partner with the interfaith community to advance our many shared goals, such as decreasing poverty and increasing access to health care. There is much that we can accomplish by working together.

It's easy to express regrets after deeds are done - it's quite another to deliberately partner with those who foster division in another's faith community. Note that there is no apology - it's business as usual.

Something not discussed in any detail are the reasons why Hudson and McGrath chose this place to engage in their act of rebellion and schism...Others, it appear, wanted no part in damaging relations with the Catholic Church. CRC, it seems, cares little for responsible ecumenical dialogue.

A New Encyclical on the Horizon?

Catholic World News is reporting that Pope Benedict XVI is close to completing a new encyclical that will focus on the virtue of hope, as reported by the Polish newspaper Dziennik.

Dziennik says that the papal letter, which is about 70 pages long in its current draft form, is now being circulated among theologians for review and comments. The final version could be released before Christmas, the paper says.
More here at

CoE has more new priestesses than priests

The number of women who became priests in the Church of England outnumbered men last year for the first time since the church began ordaining women.

The Church of England said 244 women were ordained, compared with 234 men...

Senior members of the Church are now considering the introduction of women bishops.

More than two-thirds of the General Synod have backed the concept as "theologically justified".
Everything and anything can be theologically justified when one is working from a relativistic point of view...

Cardinal O'Malley: Abortion is the key moral issue facing Catholic voters

From a Catholic World News report:

Baltimore, Nov. 15, 2007 ( - The continued support that Catholic voters have given to politician who support legal abortion "borders on scandal," Boston's Cardinal Sean O'Malley said in an interview with the Boston Globe.

Isn't making such statements in Boston anathema?

Good for Cardinal O'Malley - it's takes courage to begin to speak the truth, especially in societies where the truth is constantly rejected.

Evicted LA Nuns Find Temporary Shelter

Catholic nuns forced to relocate get temporary housing
The Associated Press

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.—It's a case of nuns helping nuns.

Three Roman Catholic nuns who were going to be displaced from their convent because the building would be sold to help cover church abuse settlement costs have been offered a temporary home by an order of Episcopal nuns.

The Sisters of Bethany will move around Thanksgiving to St. Mary's Retreat House, an Episcopal center near the Santa Barbara Mission. The center is a ministry of the Sisterhood of the Holy Nativity, an order based in Wisconsin....

The Catholic nuns received a letter in August from the Los Angeles Archdiocese telling them they had until Dec. 31 to move out. The convent would be sold to help pay for the $660 million settlement between the archdiocese and clergy sex abuse victims, the letter said.

The letter offered no recourse for the nuns.
Cardinal Mahony should have sold the "Taj Mahony" to raise money and left the sisters alone.

But as they say, "No bad deed goes unpunished..."

The Holy Father on St Jerome

Zenit has a translation of the address Pope Benedict XVI delivered yesterday at the general audience in St. Peter's Square. The reflection focused on St. Jerome.

Priest has pro-life parishioner arrested

A pro-life activist banned from stepping on the grounds of St. Matthew’s Church in San Mateo after a controversy over his display of signs showing graphic pictures of aborted babies was arrested on Tuesday, Nov. 13, for trespassing on church grounds.

St. Matthew’s pastor, the Rev. Anthony McGuire, placed Ross Foti, 72, under citizen’s arrest when he came for the 8:15 a.m. Mass on Tuesday, the Nov. 14 Oakland Tribune reported. San Mateo police arrived and cited Foti for misdemeanor trespassing and released him. Foti has been ordered to appear in San Mateo County Superior Court on Dec. 27...

Foti, a well-known pro-life activist, has long been controversial at St. Matthew’s. Parents of children at the parish school began complaining last year of Foti’s truck, displaying the graphic signs, which he parked on a public street adjacent to the school. Parents, who dropped their children off on the street for school, complained that their children had to view the graphic pictures.
Those who are offended by the graphic and horrendous pictures of the murder of the innocent unborn should be thankful that they are not among the dead and this should give them even more resolve to diligently pray for the murdered little ones whose blood flows constantly because of society's decadence and hedonism.

I wonder how many of those who complain actually explain to the children or to others that they should use this truthful reminder to pray - both for the murdered babies as well as for those who perpetuate this culture of death?

Jesuit Priest Convicted of Molestation: 'I will always be a priest'

The Chicago Sun-Times reports:
Defiant molester: 'I will always be a priest'
RELIGION | Fights Chicago Jesuits' efforts to expel him
November 15, 2007

The Rev. Donald J. McGuire, convicted of molesting two boys, said Wednesday that he's fighting an effort by Chicago's Jesuits to expel him from their religious order.

"They can't abandon me," a defiant McGuire told the Chicago Sun-Times in a rare interview...

The Chicago Jesuits have presented McGuire with a dismissal decree from the order, which still needs Vatican approval to become official. McGuire said he has appealed to the Vatican not to allow the dismissal.

"I will always be a priest," McGuire insisted to the Sun-Times. "They can't take that away..."

Gospel for Thursday, 32nd Week in Ordinary Time

Optional Memorial of St. Albert the Great, bishop, confessor and doctor
Old Calendar: St. Albert the Great; St. Leopold of Austria

From: Luke 17:20-25

The Coming of the Kingdom of God

[20] Being asked by the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God was coming, He (Jesus) answered them, "The Kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; [21] nor will they say, `Lo, here it is!' or `There!' for behold, the Kingdom of God is in the midst of you."

The Day of the Son of Man

[22] And He said to His disciples, "The days are coming when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. [23] And they will say to you, `Lo, there!' or `Lo, here!' Do not go, do not follow them. [24] For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in His day. [25] But first He must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation."


20-21. Like many Jews of their time, the Pharisees imagined the establishment of the Kingdom of God in terms of external, political authority; whereas Jesus teaches that it is something eminently spiritual, supernatural, which has been happening since Jesus' coming, although its climax will be after His Second Coming or Parousia at the end of the world; its effect is to be seen, above all, in men's hearts, although it is also something visible and external, just as the Church has a visible dimension.

The presence of the Kingdom of God in each soul is something one perceives through the affections and inspirations communicated by the Holy Spirit. St. Therese of Lisieux says this about her own experience: "The Doctor of doctors teaches us without the sound of words. I have never heard Him speak, and yet I know He is within my soul. Every moment He is guiding and inspiring me, and, just at the moment I need them, `lights' till then unseen are granted me. Most often it is not at prayer that they come but while I go about my daily duties" ("The Story of a Soul", Chapter 8).

22. After the Apostles receive the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost they will devote their whole lives to preaching boldly the message of Jesus Christ, and winning all people over to the Lord. This will lead them to experience many severe contradictions; they will suffer so much that they will yearn to see even "one of the days of the Son of Man", that is, one of the days of the victory of Jesus Christ. But this day will not arrive until the Lord's Second Coming.

23-36. These words of our Lord are a prophecy about the last coming of the Son of Man. We should remember that prophecy often involves events on different levels, many symbols, a terminology of its own; the "chiaroscuro" which they create gives us insight into future events, but the concrete details only become clear when the events actually occur. Our Lord's last coming will be something sudden and unexpected; it will catch many people unprepared. Jesus illustrates this by giving examples from sacred history: as in the time of Noah (cf. Genesis 6:9-19:7) and that of Lot (cf. Genesis 18:16-19:27) divine judgment will be visited on men without warning.

However, it is useful to recall here that everyone will find himself before the divine Judge immediately when he dies, at the Particular Judgment. Thus Jesus' teaching has also a present urgency about it: HERE AND NOW a disciple should scrutinize his own conduct, for the Lord can call him when he least expects.
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, November 14, 2007

More Consequences of Rejecting Humanae Vitae

New Study Shows Double Cervical Cancer Risk for Oral Contraceptive Users

Thoughts and Counsels - November 15

In doing penance it is necessary to deprive one­self of as many lawful pleasures as we had the misfortune to indulge in unlawful ones.

-St. Gregory the Great
From Mary, Help of Christians
Part VI, Thoughts and Counsels of the Saints for Every Day of the Year
Compiled by Fr. Bonaventure Hammer, OFM (© 1909, Benziger Brothers)

Meditation for November 15, Barriers

St. Gertrude complained at finding between God and herself a barrier made of the "thick leather" of her negligence. She spoke further of a hedge between her Lord and herself.

Certainly God is in Himself difficult to attain. Belonging to an invisible world, He escapes our immediate grasp, escapes us who are so immersed in sensible things. A constantly renewed effort of faith through an assiduous cultivation of supernatural reflection is needed to arrive at the truth of divine realities, so that they appear to us henceforth as something actually existing, absolutely real, nay, even more real than the most concrete realities here below.

But that still does not suffice. If between our souls, properly attentive let us suppose, and God, there arises the opaque wall of our self-indulgences, we will not attain to the Treasure hidden within us. It will escape our grasp; it will not let itself be discovered.

Then a double purification imposes itself....Purification of the powers of attention: cultivation of the spirit of faith, acclimati­zation of the soul to invisible realities, just as when we come from the outside, into a dark place, we see nothing at first, but upon becoming accustomed to the darkness, little by little, finally dis­cover all.

Purification of the powers of the will: We must avoid every­thing which might make a barrier between God and our soul; not cherish any idol...mere trifles, perhaps, but they can create a wall....God alone!

I will therefore size up situations thoroughly; I will admit nothing between God and my soul. On this double condition I shall see God.
Adapted from Meditations for Religious
by Father Raoul Plus, S.J. (© 1939, Frederick Pustet Co.)

In Good Faith - Catholic Bishops Meet On Candidates -- You Decide 2008 - Mixing politics and religion.
Catholic bishops aren't afraid to take that step. Wednesday, they called on Catholics to follow church teaching when they enter the voting booth. In our “In Good Faith” segment, FOX 2's Dan Gray reports on reaction from local Catholics.

Report and Videos available here.

Comment Moderation Has Been Activated

Comments are a reflection of the person who makes them.

Due to recent activity which could rightly be considered lacking in Christian charity and opposed to Catholic teachings and understanding, it was decided that "comment moderation" be activated for a short time so that sufficient consideration is given to the comments which one intends to make.

Meet the New VP...

Regarding the USCCB in general, does it sometimes seem as if there is no end in sight? Read it and weep, then pray!
and waiting on deck,....

Let's get acquainted with the new vice-president of the US bishops' conference, since the odds are overwhelming that in another 3 years, he'll be elected president.

Bishop Gerald Kicanas now heads the Tucson, Arizona diocese. But he's a native of Chicago: another product of the powerful archdiocese that has already produced 4 presidents of the US bishops' conference (Bernardin, May, Gregory, & George) in the past generation...

So where does Bishop Kicanas stand on the all-consuming issue of sexual abuse? The Chicago Sun-Times caught up with man who was once seminary rector there, to ask him a few questions about the case of Father Daniel McCormack. It turns out, you see, that Kicanas was aware of three different incidents involving sexual impropriety by McCormack prior to his ordination. Did he therefore blow the whistle, and hustle the young man out of the seminary? Guess again.

"There was a sense that his activity was part of the developmental process and that he had learned from the experience," Kicanas said. "I was more concerned about his drinking. We sent him to counseling for that."

Drinking can be a problem, certainly. Especially if it's not part of a developmental process.

Just in case you've missed the headlines, McCormack is now in prison, serving a term for 5 counts of sexual molestation of young boys. But now, looking back from the post-Dallas perspective, surely Bishop Kicanas has second thoughts, right? Wrong.

"I don't think there was anything I could have done differently," Kicanas said.
They still don't get it.

Catholic University to Give Award to Goddess-Worshipping Theologian

Sister Elizabeth A. Johnson advocates calling God 'She Who Is'
By Thaddeus M. Baklinski

Miami, November 13, 2007 ( - The Department of Theology and Philosophy of Barry University which is run by the Dominican Sisters of Adrian, Michigan, will give an Award for Theological Excellence in January to radical feminist theologian Sister Elizabeth A. Johnson, a professor at Jesuit run Fordham University.

Sister Elizabeth, who advocates goddess worship, actively dissents from the Church's infallible teaching on the invalidity of women's ordinations and promotes the cause of world government and a one-world religion.

In her book She Who Is (Crossroad, 1993) Sister Elizabeth announced "that the time has come to stop addressing God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and to begin addressing Him as 'She Who Is.'" For this she won awards and a promotion to "Distinguished" Professor of Theology at Catholic Fordham University.
. . .
When asked for a comment on the award being given to Sr. Elizabeth, the office of the Archbishop of Miami had difficulty finding someone who would make a statement.

No one able to make a statement? It appears that there are very few left to defend the faith, especially among those who are charged to do so.

Clinton... has big leads with all significant religious groups

BRIARCLIFF MANOR - At a time when presidential candidates of both parties are hustling to win over religious voters, Sen. Hillary Clinton is dominating all religious groups in the Democratic world, while Rudy Giuliani is doing well with all Republican groups - except evangelicals.

Will Pat Robertson's surprising endorsement of Giuliani help?

"I think these endorsements matter, but it's hard to say how much," John C. Green, perhaps the country's top expert on why people of different faiths vote the way they do, said during a presentation last night at St. Theresa's Church...

Green, a senior fellow in religion and American politics at the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, is certain to be one of the most quoted men in America in the next year about which candidates are appealing to evangelicals, Catholics and other faith groups that could swing a close vote.

Green explained that recent polls show Giuliani comfortably winning the support of Catholic and mainline Protestant Republicans...

Clinton , on the other hand, has big leads with all significant religious groups in the Democratic community - Catholics, black Protestants and mainline white Protestants. She has the support of 48 percent of black Protestants versus 36 percent for Barack Obama.

Gregorian Chant Wins New Fans

One of the world's oldest styles of religious music is attracting a host of new enthusiasts

Gregorian chant is usually associated with monks in monasteries, but it's being heard more often now in regular services.

Its growing popularity brought 70 representatives of choirs from Northern Ireland to a chanting workshop in the Dominican Convent in west Belfast.

The college chapel became a study for a day as experts passed on advice on how best to perform the ancient melodies.

Principal tutor Donal McCrisken said Gregorian chant was an excellent medium for vocal training...

The Illogic of C.E. (Common Era) and B.C.E. (Before the Common Era)

In a recent E-Letter from Karl Keating, he passes on some thoughts contained in a book titled "The History of Time." The author is Leofranc Holford-Strevens, and the book is part of the "Very Short Introduction" series published by Oxford University Press.

The author says that if the dating system we use doesn't commemorate Christ's birth, then it makes no sense to use this particular system at all. Changing the designations from B.C. and A.D. to B.C.E. and C.E. reduces to a sleight of hand. After all, what is the "Common Era" based on? On the birth of Christ and on nothing else. If on the birth of Christ, then why not say so candidly?

You can say so even if you aren't a Christian. You don't have to believe in Christ's divinity to believe that he was born at a certain time (even if we can't pinpoint that time). You don't have to be a follower of his to acknowledge that, historically, many people have been followers and that our modern civilization largely is a product of what those people believed and did.

You even could be an outright opponent of Christianity and still admit that the religion you excoriate has been more important in the history of the world than has any other institution and that that fact alone is sufficient reason to based a calendar around its Founder's birth.

In the preface to "The History of Time," Holford-Strevens explains that "the traditional terms A.D. and B.C. have been retained, in preference to C.E. and B.C.E., for two reasons: adopting the latter causes the maximally distinguished 1 B.C. and A.D. 1 to become the minimally distinguished 1 B.C.E. and C.E. 1; and although, as a date for the birth of Jesus Christ the epoch is almost certainly wrong, it remains a commemoration of that event, and no other event of the same year can be proposed as an alternative of world significance. Attractive, especially in a globalized age, as a purely secular era may appear, the Christian era cannot be made secular by denying its origin."

I don't know Holford-Strevens' religion, but I can't think of many Catholic leaders who could phrase the argument so well.

FSSP to Celebrate a Rorate Mass in Hanceville, Alabama, Will be Televised by EWTN

From Catholic PRWire;
DENTON, NE (NOVEMBER 13, 2007) – The Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP) will celebrate a Solemn High Tridentine Mass at the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville, Alabama on Saturday, December 15, 2007 at 8:00AM EST. The "Rorate" Mass will be televised live by the EWTN Global Catholic Network.

The "Rorate Mass," so called because it begins with the words "Rorate caeli desuper, et nubes pluant iustum..." (Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the Just One...), is a votive Mass offered within the season of Advent in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Celebrated by candlelight, and traditionally held before dawn, this beautiful liturgy is esteemed particularly as part of the patrimony of the German-speaking peoples.

Very Rev. Fr. John Berg, FSSP, the Superior General of the Priestly Fraternity, will travel from the community's headquarters in Switzerland and will serve both as the celebrant and preacher. Priests and seminarians from Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary, the FSSP's international seminary in North America, will also travel to Alabama to assist...

Gospel for Wednesday, 32nd Week in Ordinary Time

Old Calendar: St. Josaphat, bishop and confessor

From: Luke 17:11-19

The Ten Lepers

[11] On the way to Jerusalem He (Jesus) was passing along between Samaria and Galilee. [12] And as He entered the village, He was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance [13] and lifted up their voices and said, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us." [14] When He saw them He said to them, "Go and show yourselves to the priests." And as they went they were cleansed. [15] Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; [16] and he fell on his face at Jesus' feet, giving Him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. [17] Then said Jesus, "Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? [18] Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" [19] And He said to him, "Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well."


11-19. The setting of this episode explains how a Samaritan could be in the company of Jews. There was no love lost between Jews and Samaritans (cf. John 4:9), but shared pain, in the case of these lepers, overcame racial antipathy.

The Law of Moses laid down, to prevent the spread of the disease, that lepers should live away from other people and should let it be known that they were suffering from this disease (cf. Leviticus 13:45-46). This explains why they did not come right up to Jesus and His group, but instead begged His help by shouting from a distance. Before curing them our Lord orders them to go to the priests to have their cure certified (cf. Leviticus 14:2ff), and to perform the rites laid down. The lepers' obedience is a sign of faith in Jesus' words. And, in fact, soon after setting out they are cleansed.

However, only one of them, the Samaritan, who returns praising God and showing his gratitude for the miracle, is given a much greater gift than the cure of leprosy. Jesus says as much: "Your faith has made you well" (verse 19) and praises the man's gratefulness. The Gospel records this event to teach us the value of gratefulness: "Get used to lifting your heart to God, in acts of thanksgiving, many times a day. Because He gives you this and that. Because you have been despised. Because you haven't what you need or because you have.

"Because He made His Mother so beautiful, His Mother who is also your Mother. Because He created the sun and the moon and this animal and that plant. Because He made that man eloquent and you He left tongue-tied....

"Thank Him for everything, because everything is good" ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 268).
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, November 13, 2007

Thoughts and Counsels - November 14

The two principal dispositions which we should bring to Holy Communion are detachment from creatures, and the desire to receive Our Lord with a view to loving Him more in the future.

-­St. Alphonsus
From Mary, Help of Christians
Part VI, Thoughts and Counsels of the Saints for Every Day of the Year
Compiled by Fr. Bonaventure Hammer, OFM (© 1909, Benziger Brothers)

Meditation for November 14, Modern Sanctity

It seems that present-day sanctity, such as it is represented in the modern fashion, may be compared to the sanctity of earlier years as being more disengaged from the body, more removed from a set pattern, and freer from certain conventions.

More disengaged from the body: Formerly one could scarcely conceive of sanctity without considerable afflictive mortifications; such was the general idea at least. Today, without neglecting cor­poral penances, the emphasis is put on interior renunciation. That is correct.

More removed from a set pattern: Saints in earlier ages fled into the desert, or adopted a kind of life absolutely beyond current habits; the idea of a religious life practiced under a worldly ex­terior and dress could never have been imagined. It may be true that the habit does not make the monk, but a monk without a defi­nite habit attesting his separation from the world was never dreamed of. Today we distinguish between the essentials and the accessories.

Freer from certain conventions: It was understood that a saint had no faults, that he was holy from the cradle, no wrong could be found in him. The reading of edifying biographies of a certain period is discouraging; there is never any shadow in the picture; the human never shows through the control of the divine. Reality is less ethereal; the saints are human beings like us, the difference only being that they force themselves to correct their miseries courageously; we put less valor into our striving.

I will take from these three traits of modern sanctity whatever is good, I need not overload my body with penances, but I should treat it firmly. Within the limits of my Institute, and according to its spirit, I will try my best to sanctify myself. I will do my utmost without, however, making any show of it. I will certainly not consent to my faults but I will allow no tension in my efforts for virtue, and if I am to become a saint, that is to say, rich in the divine, I will try to become one in an attractive and very human manner.
Adapted from Meditations for Religious
by Father Raoul Plus, S.J. (© 1939, Frederick Pustet Co.)

Pope Benedict XVI’s Nearly Unnoticed Letter on St. John Chrysostom

With thanks to Fr Z , who writes:
On 8 November, the Holy See released a letter of Pope Benedict for the 1600th anniversary of the death of St. John Chrysostom, a doctor of the Church of great importance to both the West and the Eastern Churches.

The occasion of the letter was a conference being held at the Patristic Institute (and my school) the "Augustinianum".

This is a "Letter", not a "Message" or a "Discourse". It is not an "Apostolic Letter".

It is not too long, but it is one of the best written Letters I have seen for a while.

There was a CNS story on this letter, which so far has been placed on the Vatican web site only in Italian. Also, for reasons I cannot fathom, the Vatican website does not list it in Latest Updates....

So, as a service to you, WDTPRS provides the Letter in English translation, which you can download in Word format. Here below I will briefly explain the structure of the letter so that when you read it, you can see what Pope Benedict is really trying to say.
Continued here

Polish bishops' document on formal apostates

Warsaw, Nov. 13, 2007 ( - The Polish bishops’ conference is preparing a pastoral statement to address apostates, the newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza reports...

Apostates-- those who formally break ties with the Church-- may not be buried in a Catholic cemetery, receive the sacraments, or act as official witnesses at Catholic weddings...
I wonder if they've seen one of these news reports?

More at here.