Wednesday, December 31, 2003

CFFC Uses AIDS to Promote Homosexuality, Promiscuity

In its latest publication, the pro-abortion group “Catholics” for a Free Choice (CFFC) uses the HIV/AIDS epidemic in an attempt to undermine Catholic moral teaching on sexuality. In the pamphlet, “Sex in the HIV/AIDS Era, a Guide for Catholics,” CFFC writes that, “Economic, social and cultural conditions have expanded and challenged the church’s view that only in a lifelong, monogamous heterosexual marriage is sexual expression morally permitted.”

Yes, yes, yes, for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many.

Not Listening to Heretics

Today's First Reading
From: 1 John 2:18-21

[18] Children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come; therefore we know that it is the last hour.

[19] They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out, that it might be plain that they all are not of us.

[20] But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all know.

[21] I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and know that no lie is of the truth.


18-27. This passage covers one of the main themes in St John's letters--the
fidelity of Christians being tested by the heretics. The style, replete with
contrasts and parallelisms, makes what he has to say very lively.

First he describes the circumstances these Christians find themselves in:
the presence of heretics leads one to think that the antichrist predicted by
our Lord (cf. Mt 24:5-24 and par.) has come already and the "last hour" (v.
18) has begun. He goes on to unmask those who are cast in the role of
antichrist, and contrasts them with true believers: I) they are not of us
(v. 19), whereas you know the truth (vv. 20-21); 2) the heretics are
imposters who deny the basic truth that Jesus is the Christ (vv. 22-23),
whereas you "abide" in the Father and in the Son (vv. 24-25); 3) they
arrogantly present themselves as teachers, but the anointing "abides" in you
and you have no need of spurious teachers (vv. 26-27).

The repetition of the word "abide" stresses the need to keep the teaching of
the Church intact. The faithful have a right to practise their faith in
peace, and it is part of the mission of pastors to strengthen them in the
faith, as St John is doing here. When introducing his "Creed of the People
of God", Pope Paul VI said: "It is true that the Church always has a duty to
try to obtain a deeper understanding of the unfathomable mysteries of God
(which are so rich in their saving effects) and to present them in ways even
more suited to the successive generations. However, in fulfilling this
inescapable duty of study and research, it must do everything it can to
ensure that Christian teaching is not damaged. For if that happened, many
devout souls would become confused and perplexed--which unfortunately is
what is happening at present" ("Homily", 30 June 1968).

18. "The last hour": this expression was probably familiar to the early
Christians, who had a lively desire to see the second coming of Christ. As
many passages in the New Testament indicate, the fullness of time already
began with the Incarnation and the Redemption brought about by Christ (cf.
Gal 4:4; Eph 1:10; Heb 9:26). From that point onwards, until the end of the
world, we are in the last times, the last earthly stage of salvation
history: hence the urgency Christians should feel about their own holiness
and the spread of the Gospel. "To prevent anyone dragging his feet," St
Augustine urges, "listen: 'children, it is the last hour', go on, run, grow;
it is the last hour. It may be an extended one, but it is the last hour"
("In Epist. Ioann. ad Parthos", 3, 3). This eschatological sense of the last
times, which the prophets announced long before (cf., Is 2:2; Jer 23:20;
49:26), is also to be found in the Fourth Gospel (cf. e.g., Jn 2:4; 5:28;

"The antichrist": one of the signs of "the last hour" foretold by our Lord
and the Apostles is the feverish activity of false prophets (cf. Mt 24:
11-24; Acts 20:29-30; 2 Thess 2:2ff; 2 Tim 4:Iff; 2 Pet 3:3). Although this
term is only to be found in the letters of St John (1 Jn 2:18, 22; 4:3; 2 Jn
7), the "antichrist's" features are similar to those of the "man of
lawlessness", "the enemy" St Paul speaks about (cf. 2 Thess 2:1-12) and the
"beasts" of the Apocalypse (cf., e.g., Rev 11:7; 13: 1 ff); the
distinguishing mark they all share is their brutal opposition to Christ, his
teaching and his followers. It is difficult to say whether the antichrist is
an individual or a group. In St John's letters, the latter seems to be the
case: it is a reference to all those who oppose Christ (the "many
antichrists") who have been active since the start of Christianity and will
continue to be so until the end of time.

19. "They were not of us": St John unmasks the antichrists; they could not
have led the faithful astray had they not come from the community; but they
were only pretending to be Christians--wolves in sheep's clothing (cf. Mt
7:15), "false brethren" (Gal 2:4)--and that is how they are able to sow
confusion. Our Lord himself warned that both wheat and cockle would grow
side by side in the Kingdom of God (cf. Mt 13:24-30); the sad fact that this
is happening should not cause Christians to doubt the holiness of the
Church. As St Augustine explains: "Many who are not of us receive, along
with us, the sacraments; they receive Baptism with us, they receive with us
what they know the faithful receive--the blessing, the Eucharist and the
other holy sacraments; they receive communion from the same altar as we do,
but they are not of us. Temptation reveals this to be so; when temptation
overtakes them, they flee as if borne away by the wind, because they are not
wheat. When winnowing begins on the threshing floor of the Lord on the day
of judgment, they will all fly away; remember that" ("In Epist. Ioann. ad
Parthos",lII, 5).

20. "Anointed by the Holy One": it is difficult to say exactly what this
means (cf. also v. 27); St John says that this anointing has the effect of
countering the work of the antichrist. He may be referring to the sacrament
of Baptism or that of Confirmation, or both, where anointing with chrism is
part of the sacramental rite. In any case he is referring to the action of
the Father and of the Son through the Holy Spirit on the soul of the
Christian who has received these sacraments: this explains why the anointing
"instructs" Christians "to know everything" (v. 27; RSV alternate reading).

"The Holy One": St John uses this expression to describe God the Father
(cf., e.g., Rev 6:10; Jn 17:11), God the Son (cf. Jn 6:69; Rev 3:7), or
simply God, without specifying which Person. The last-mentioned use was
very, common among Jews of the time, to refer to the one true God.

"You all know": not only about the anointing but about Christian teaching in
general. Some important manuscripts, which the Sistine-Clementine Vulgate
follows, read: "You know all" (cf. RSV alternate reading). Both readings are
complementary, for the Apostle is stressing that Christians do not need to
listen to teachings other than those of the Church: they are being guided by
the Holy Spirit, who gives them sureness of faith. The Second Vatican
Council quotes this text when teaching about the "supernatural appreciation
of the faith ["sensus fidei"] of all the faithful": "The whole body of the
faithful, who have an anointing that comes from the Holy One (cf. 1 Jn 2:20
and 27), cannot err in matters of belief. This characteristic is shown in
the supernatural appreciation of the faith of the whole people, when, 'from
the bishops to the last of the faithful' they manifest a universal consent
in matters of faith and morals" ("Lumen Gentium", 12).
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.

Media Advisory: U.S. Catholic Bishops' Charter Implementation Report

As posted on the USCCB Web Site.

This might be interesting. Then again, maybe not.

Monday, December 29, 2003

Defend marriage, Pope urges Christians

Vatican, Dec. 29 (
At his Sunday public audience on December 28, as the Church marked the feast of the Holy Family, Pope John Paul II said that Christians "must do everything possible diligently to promote the good of marriage and the family."

Clearly alluding to the various bids for legal recognition of same-sex unions, the Pontiff remarked that "a misunderstood sense of rights sometimes obscures the nature of the family as an institution, and of the conjugal bond." He reminded his listeners that marriage is not based on laws or government policies, but on "a human and divine reality."

All Christians, the Pope continued, have a moral obligation to defend the family, which is the fundamental unit of any society. In light of public attcks on family life, "It is necessary to proclaim the Gospel with joy and courage," he said.

© Copyright 2003 Domus Enterprises. All rights reserved.

So are the priests who are advocating alternative famiy models really being fair to the faithful? Are they helping to lead them toward eternal salvation and union with God? What pathetic creatures they are...More prayers are needed, and decisive actions by episcopal leaders.

St. Louis' own version of Fr. Cuenin?

Figure this one out for yourselves, folks...
See this bulletin from one of St. Louis's finest.

The Feast of the Holy Family
We live in a time when people who pass themselves off as Christian and super patriots define family in the narrowest possible way. That is certainly not the way Jesus defined family. When informed that his mother and brothers were looking for him, he said, “Who is my mother and father and sister and brother? Those who hear the word of God and keep it are mother and father and sister and brother to me.” That is the contest of this Holy Family Sunday when we celebrate our connectedness and intimacy with one another and realize that it nothing to do with biology and everything to do with living out of the Gospel of love and compassion.

Sunday, January 25th
after the 10 a.m. Liturgy, Louise Lears and other
parishioners will lead us in a discussion on
“Different Models of Church”. This presentation
will give us food for thought as we meet in small
groups the following 4-6 weeks to explore the
theme of being church in the third millennium.
Childcare will be available.

This ought to be good! Different models of the Church and different models of the family....Makes me wonder what's next...?

I suggest a good commentary on just what exactly Jesus meantwhen he asked 'Who is my mother, etc." Someone seems to be a bit confused.

The recent stir over Fr. Walter Cuenin's new models for family life.

Many of which contradict Catholic teaching...And I wish someone would explain how a homosexual 'union' can be 'life-giving'?

Here is his most recent bulletin article....Note that he gets to meet with Archbishop O'Malley on Wednesday....Will anything be done to correct his heterdox poisoning of the faithful?

Gregorian Chant? Where?

From Zenit's Liturgy Question Box.
Gregorian chant may be used in any parish, even when Mass is celebrated in the vernacular. Not only is it appropriate, but Church documents positively recommend that all Catholics know at least some Gregorian melodies.

Saturday, December 27, 2003

The Holy Father's Urbi et Orbi Message



1. Descendit de caelis Salvator mundi. Gaudeamus!

The Saviour of the world has come down from heaven. Let us rejoice!
This proclamation, filled with deep rejoicing,
echoed in the night of Bethlehem.
Today the Church renews it with unchanged joy:
the Saviour is born for us!
A wave of tenderness and hope fills our hearts,
together with an overpowering need for closeness and peace.
In the crib we contemplate the One
who stripped himself of divine glory
in order to become poor, driven by love for mankind.
Beside the crib the Christmas tree,
with its twinkling lights,
reminds us that with the birth of Jesus
the tree of life has blossomed anew in the desert of humanity.
The crib and the tree: precious symbols,
which hand down in time the true meaning of Christmas!

2. In the heavens there echoes the proclamation of the angels:
"To you is born in the city of David
a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord" (Lk 2:11).
What wonder!
By being born in Bethlehem, the Eternal Son of God
has entered into the history of each person
living on the face of the earth.
He is now present in the world
as the one Saviour of humanity
For this reason we pray to him:
Saviour of the world, save us!

3. Save us from the great evils which rend humanity
in these first years of the third millennium.
Save us from the wars and armed conflicts
which lay waste whole areas of the world,
from the scourge of terrorism
and from the many forms of violence
which assail the weak and the vulnerable.
Save us from discouragement
as we face the paths to peace,
difficult paths indeed, yet possible and therefore necessary;
paths which are always and everywhere urgent,
especially in the Land where You were born,
the Prince of Peace.

4. And you, Mary, the Virgin of expectation and fulfilment,
who hold the secret of Christmas,
make us able to recognize in the Child
whom you hold in your arms the heralded Saviour,
who brings hope and peace to all.
With you we worship him and trustingly say:
we need You, Redeemer of man,
You who know the hopes and fears of our hearts.
Come and stay with us, Lord!
May the joy of your Nativity reach
to the farthest ends of the universe!

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

A Blessed Christmas to All!

And the Angel said to them, "Fear not; for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, that shall be for all the people; for this day is born a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord, in the city of David. And this shall be a sign unto you: you shall find the infant wrapped in swaddling cloths and laid in a manger." !

And suddenly there was with the Angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men of good will!"

The shepherds follow at once the voice of God which calls them to the manger; they exhort one another to do so; they seek the Redeemer and happily find Him; they make Him known to others, and heartily thank God for the grace given them.

Let us follow the inspirations of God with ready obedience; let us exhort one another to virtue by our good example and edifying conversation; let us make good use of the knowledge given us by God, give it to others, and praise God for this and all He has given us.

Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that the new birth of Thine only begotten Son in the flesh may deliver us who are held by the old bondage under the yoke of sin.

Wishing all a Blessed & Holy Christmas

Upcoming St. Louis Marian Conference

will be held at the Adam's Mark on January 9, 10 & 11, 2004.

Speakers include:
James Akin
Dr. Marcelino D'Ambrosio
Fr. Charles Becker
Dr. Scott Hahn
Fr. Bill Casey
Msgr. John Hickel
Michael Cumbie
Fr. Mitch Pacwa
Wayne Weible
For more info, call (314) 423-1075

Eucharist Is Antidote to Individualism says Cardinal Ratzinger

Considers Encyclical on the Sacrament the Year's Key Papal Document.
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger believes that the greatest threat to man today is relativism, which ends by shutting him up in individualism.

Cardinal asks moratorium on new Vatican documents

Rome, Dec. 22 ( - Cardinal Godfriend Danneels of Brussels has asked for a limitation on the documents and instructions produced by the Holy See.

Cardinal Danneels spoke of the "perpetual flow of paper" from Vatican bureaus to the world's bishops. "We need a moment of calm," he remarked, in an interview with the Italian monthly 30 Giorni.

"We are always inundated with very long documents, instructions, and manuals," the cardinal complained. "The deluge of documents that come from Roman dicasteries with an authoritative character, the norms-- which come without any organization which would indicate to us which are important and which are less so." The result, he said, is that diocesan bishops spend much of their time relaying messages from Rome to their own diocesan agencies.

Cardinal Danneels suggested "a moratorium on that all, to promote simplication." A break in the flow of documents from Rome, he said, would provide "a moment of calm, to catch our breath."

Questioned about the intense focus on the Pope as the head of the Church, the cardinal remarked that the mass media coverage is "concentrated on a personality, a detail, divorced from its context." While that is a common tendency of contemporary culture, he argued that "the identification of a role and a particular personality is not a good thing."

The only way to counteract that tendency, he suggested, is by "the humility of the man himself." As an example of that humility, he cited Pope John Paul XXIII.

Cardinal Danneels argued that during the second millennium of Christianity, the papacy was modeled after the national monarchies, especially those of Europe. In the future, he said, that model should be dropped, so that the Church "emphasizes the essential characteristics of the Petrine ministry."

Ah yes, this from the cardinal who did nothing to stop the complete destruction of the faith at the seminary at Louvain...

Perhaps if the documents were read and followed, there would not be such a need for so many? The good cardinal speaks of the "perpetual flow of paper" from the Vatican, yet this is the only way many of the faithful can be nourished since far too many times bishops and priests neglect to pass this information on. These "papers" from Rome are a welcome relief from the "perpetual flow of heresy and heterodoxy" that flows from the mouths of the dissenters.

I think that all we need to do is to take a close look at the state of the faith in his country to determine to what extent we should heed his advice on this matter.

Monday, December 22, 2003

Is it time to say goodbye to these "priests"?

How can these men remain priests if they reject the teaching of the Church, which they call "vile and toxic"? Why don't they flee to a group with which they can find comfort? What a bunch of apostate heretics!
Cardinal George responded:
If "you cannot resolve that tension between welcoming people as they are and still calling them to leave their sinfulness and become saints, or if you yourself do not accept the Church's moral teaching on the moral use of the gift of sexuality, it would be all the more important for us to talk," he wrote.
...Hopefully to either "convert" them or to remove them as heretics from the priesthood.

Friday, December 19, 2003

Bishop Wuerl on Faithful Citizenship in 2004 Election (Part 1)

Pittsburgh Prelate Outlines Importance of the Common Good.

Some feminists want to dump (the Blessed Virgin) Mary

This is so tiring. What have these people done to themselves make them so ridiculous?

The Filling Station

(Note: this was passed on to me the other day. Just thought I would share it.)

The old man sat in his gas station on a cold Christmas Eve. He hadn't been anywhere in years since his wife had passed away. He had no decorations, no tree, no lights. It was just another day to him. He didn't hate Christmas, just couldn't find a reason to celebrate. There were no children in his life. His wife had gone.

He was sitting there looking at the snow that had been falling for the last hour and wondering what it was all about when the door opened and a homeless man stepped through. Instead of throwing the man out, George, Old George as he was known by his customers, told the man to come and sit by the space heater and warm up.

"Thank you, but I don't mean to intrude," said the stranger. "I see you're busy. I'll just go"

"Not without something hot in your belly," George turned and opened a wide mouth Thermos and handed it to the stranger. "It ain't much, but it's hot and tasty. Stew. Made it myself. When you're done there's coffee and it's fresh."

Just at that moment he heard the "ding" of the driveway bell. "Excuse me, be right back," George said. There in the driveway was an old 53 Chevy. Steam was rolling out of the front. The driver was panicked.

"Mister can you help me!" said the driver with a deep Spanish accent. "My wife is with child and my car is broken."

George opened the hood. It was bad. The block looked cracked from the cold; the car was dead. "You ain't going in this thing," George said as he turned away.

"But mister. Please help...."The door of the office closed behind George as he went in. George went to the office wall and got the keys to his old truck, and went back outside. He walked around the building and opened the garage, started the truck and drove it around to where the couple was waiting.

"Here, you can borrow my truck," he said. "She ain't the best thing you ever looked at, but she runs real good."

George helped put the woman in the truck and watched as it sped off into the night. George turned and walked back inside the office.

"Glad I loaned 'em the truck. Their tires were shot too. That 'ol truck has brand new tires..." George thought he was talking to the stranger, but the man had gone. The thermos was on the desk, empty with a used coffee cup beside it.

"Well, at least he got something in his belly," George thought. George went back outside to see if the old Chevy would start. It cranked slowly, but it started. He pulled it into the garage where the truck had been. He thought he would tinker with it for something to do. Christmas Eve meant no customers. He discovered the block hadn't cracked, it was just the bottom hose on the radiator.

"Well, I can fix this," he said to himself. So he put a new one on. "Those tires ain't gonna get 'em through the winter either." He took the snow treads off of his wife's old Lincoln. They were like new and he wasn't going to drive the car.

As he was working he heard a shot being fired. He ran outside and beside a police car an officer lay on the cold ground. Bleeding from the left shoulder, the officer moaned, "Help me."

George helped the officer inside as he remembered the training he had received in the Army as a medic. He knew the wound needed attention. "Pressure to stop the bleeding," he thought. The laundry company had been there that morning and had left clean shop towels. He used those and duct tape to bind the wound.

"Hey, they say duct tape can fix anything," he said, trying to make the policeman feel at ease. "Something for pain," George thought. All he had was the pills he used for his back. "These ought to work." He put some water in a cup and gave the policeman the pills.

"You hang in there. I'm going to get you an ambulance." George said, but the phone was dead. "Maybe I can get one of your buddies on that there talk box out in your police car."

He went out only to find that a bullet had gone into the dashboard destroying the two way radio. He went back in to find the policeman sitting up.

"Thanks," said the officer. "You could have left me there. The guy that shot me is still in the area."

George sat down beside him. "I would never leave an injured man in the Army and I ain't gonna leave you." George pulled back the bandage to check for bleeding. "Looks worse than what it is. Bullet passed right through 'ya. Good thing it missed the important stuff though. I think with time your gonna be right as rain."

George got up and poured a cup of coffee. "How do you take it?" he asked.

"None for me," said the officer.

"Oh, yer gonna drink this. Best in the city." Then George added: "Too bad I ain't got no donuts."

The officer laughed and winced at the same time. The front door of the office flew open. In burst a young man with a gun.

"Give me all your cash! Do it now!" the young man yelled. His hand was shaking and George could tell that he had never done anything like this before.

"That's the guy that shot me!" exclaimed the officer.

"Son, why are you doing this?" asked George. "You need to put the cannon away. Somebody else might get hurt."

The young man was confused. "Shut up old man, or I'll shoot you, too. Now give me the cash!"

The cop was reaching for his gun.

"Put that thing away," George said to the cop. "We got one too many in here now."

He turned his attention to the young man. "Son, it's Christmas Eve. If you need the money, well then, here. It ain't much but it's all I got. Now put that pee shooter away."

George pulled $150 out of his pocket and handed it to the young man, reaching for the barrel of the gun at the same time.

The young man released his grip on the gun, fell to his knees and began to cry. "I'm not very good at this am I? All I wanted was to buy something for my wife and son," he went on. "I've lost my job. My rent is due. My car got repossessed last week..."

George handed the gun to the cop. "Son, we all get in a bit of squeeze now and then. The road gets hard sometimes, but we make it through the best we can."

He got the young man to his feet, and sat him down on a chair across from the cop. "Sometimes we do stupid things." George handed the young man a cup of coffee. "Being stupid is one of the things that makes us human. Comin' in here with a gun ain't the answer. Now sit there and get warm and we'll sort this thing out."

The young man had stopped crying. He looked over to the cop. "Sorry I shot you. It just went off. I'm sorry officer."

"Shut up and drink your coffee." the cop said.

George could hear the sounds of sirens outside. A police car and an ambulance skidded to a halt. Two cops came through the door, guns drawn.

"Chuck! You ok?" one of the cops asked the wounded officer.

"Not bad for a guy who took a bullet. How did you find me?"

"GPS locator in the car. Best thing since sliced bread. Who did this?" the other cop asked as he approached the young man.

Chuck answered him, "I don't know. The guy ran off into the dark. Just dropped his gun and ran."

George and the young man both looked puzzled at each other.

"That guy works here," the wounded cop continued.

"Yep," George said. "Just hired him this morning. Boy lost his job."

The paramedics came in and loaded Chuck onto the stretcher. The young man leaned over the wounded cop and whispered, "Why?"

Chuck just said, "Merry Christmas, boy. And you too, George, and thanks for everything."

"Well, looks like you got one doozy of a break there. That ought to solve some of your problems." George went into the back room and came out with a box. He pulled out a ring box.

"Here you go. Something for the little woman. I don't think Martha would mind. She said it would come in handy some day."

The young man looked inside to see the biggest diamond ring he ever saw. "I can't take this," said the young man. "It means something to you."

"And now it means something to you," replied George. "I got my memories. That's all I need."

George reached into the box again. A toy airplane, a racing car and a little metal truck appeared next. They were toys that the oil company had left for him to sell. "Here's something for that little man of yours."

The young man began to cry again as he handed back the $150 that the old man had handed him earlier. "And what are you supposed to buy Christmas dinner with? You keep that, too. Count it as part of your first week's pay." George said. "Now git home to your family."

The young man turned with tears streaming down his face. "I'll be here in the morning for work, if that job offer is still good."

"Nope. I'm closed Christmas day," George said. "See ya the day after."

George turned around to find that the stranger had returned. "Where'd you come from? I thought you left?"

"I have been here. I have always been here," said the stranger. "You say you don't celebrate Christmas. Why?"

"Well, after my wife passed away I just couldn't see what all the bother was. Puttin' up a tree and all seemed a waste of a good pine tree. Bakin' cookies like I used to with Martha just wasn't the same by myself and besides I was getting a little chubby."

The stranger put his hand on George's shoulder. "But you do celebrate the holiday, George. You gave me food and drink and warmed me when I was cold and hungry. The woman with child will bear a son and he will become a great doctor. The policeman you helped will go on to save 19 people from being killed by terrorists. The young man who tried to rob you will become a rich man and share his wealth with many people.

That is the spirit of the season and you keep it as good as any man."

George was taken aback by all this stranger had said. "And how do you know all this?" asked the old man."

Trust me, George. I have the inside track on this sort of thing. And when your days are done you will be with Martha again." The stranger moved toward the door. "If you will excuse me, George, I have to go now. I have to go home where there is a big celebration planned."

George watched as the man's old leather jacket and his torn pants turned into a white robe. A golden light began to fill the room.

"You see, George, it's My birthday. Merry Christmas."

Author Unknown

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Christmas is not complete without "Liturgical Dance"

Great News! NOT!

In ICD's Sunday Bulletin.

Seamstress Needed
We are in need of a couple of simple gowns to be made for our liturgical dancers for Christmas. They are cut out and ready to be sewn. Call Sally @ 980-2011 or Suzanne @ 240-3289 to volunteer. Thanks!

Christmas Novena at ICD

Tonight is the fourth night of ICD's Christmas Novena and the homilist is Msgr James Hanson, former pastor of Immaculate Conception-Dardenne, a wonderful priest who is currently pastor of St. Joseph's in Zell, MO. I hope to be able to see him tonight.

This will be a welcome relief after having two protestant ministers give talks at a Catholic Christmas Novena. I will be able to attend only a few of these. I should have posted this earlier. Here is the schedule as listed in the parish bulletin. Fr. Gerry Kleba, by the way, is pastor of St. Cronan's (previously highlighted in articles on this site) and Fr. Robert Zinser is the author of "The Fascinated God", (also on this site) the book wherein faith and reason are diametrically opposed and where authentic truth is lost in the process.

I hope to attend 2 of these in particular with recorder in hand!

So, are you a Nutritionist or a Surgeon?

Diogenes starts his essay thus:
"Among orthodox Catholics concerned about reform one can identify two main approaches to the job: nutrition and surgery.

"Nutritionists believe that the Church's ills can be cured by fresh air, moderate exercise, and green leafy vegetables. Surgeons believe the patient has an aggressive cancer that demands cutting and cautery -- the sooner the better. "
Myself, I lean toward surgery...And you?

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Martino...There he goes again....

Much has been said of the Cardinal's remarks of late.
It seems there are some at the Vatican who are concerned with Martino's embarassing remarks.

The New National Adult Catechism Revisited

The complete article is available from Catholic World Report here.
The following are excerpts from the article. (with permission)

The New National Adult Catechism Revisited
By Msgr. Michael J. Wrenn and Kenneth D. Whitehead
Nov. 01 (Catholic World Report)

Last year, in commenting on the draft National Adult Catechism (NAC) that will eventually be issued by the United States bishops (see CWR, December 2002), we offered the judgment that “the proposed volume is really quite good on the whole;” but we also judged that “some important modifications and corrections…need to be made.” Careful examination of the revision of this draft NAC that was completed in June 2003, and then circulated to the bishops for further comments, reveals that further improvements indeed have been made. The book really is quite good in some of the ways we will try to indicate. That is not the whole story, however.

The Introduction states that it is the express intention of this National Adult Catechism to challenge our contemporary American “culture of disbelief, relativism, subjectivism, and differences about morality.” Faced with these tendencies in our contemporary culture, Christians are required to exhibit “moral courage,” the document states. All this is very good.

To illustrate how the document at its best proceeds to do what its Introduction states its aim to be, we may take as an example Chapter 20, on the Sacrament of Holy Orders. ... this chapter contains a complete and excellent, if brief, treatment of the Catholic priesthood. In an era when the typical “new catechetics” has so often tended to downgrade the sacrament of Holy Orders in favor of an amorphous view of an egalitarian “Christian community,” the draft NAC strongly reaffirms the ordained priesthood as an indispensable component of the true Church as established by Jesus Christ.

And the fact is that very many of the chapters in the present draft NAC, like this Chapter 20, do reflect the authentic faith and practice of the Catholic Church. As now written, this text represents a marked improvement over just about everything that is out there except the CCC itself. The latter, however, is much lengthier, and as good as it is, it is not too adaptable to specific RCIA, adult education, or senior high school religious education courses as such. Thus the NAC could serve very real needs if it comes out right in its final form.

If this were all that needed to be said about this draft NAC, we would be on the verge of a new era in Catholic religious education in the United States, with a readable and usable text—one that actually expounds the complete and authentic Catholic faith and its normative practice—being now at long last made available to Catholics in this country. Unfortunately, however, in its present form, the text still contains elements that could seriously compromise that eventuality. In a number of places in the text, there is evidence of a kind of cultural timidity or political correctness in the face of some contemporary ideological trends. In some cases, the editors of the draft NAC seem to have been unwilling or unable to challenge contemporary culture with the fullness of the Catholic vision.

If our tone at times seems unduly negative or critical, we persist nevertheless, because we do not believe that the bishops of the United States can afford to issue an official teaching instrument that is anything less than 100 percent authentically Catholic; or that can in any way be compromised by our contemporary decadent American culture.

Having said this, we now turn immediately to the very first “story” in Part 1, Chapter 1, of the draft NAC, and we find that, incredibly, the supposed “exemplary Catholic” featured in this first story is none other than that lapsed monk, Thomas Merton, a one-time professed Catholic religious, who later left his monastery, and, at the end of his life, was actually off wandering in the East, seeking the consolations, apparently, of non-Christian, Eastern spirituality.

This chapter actually speaks about “those who have drifted away from the faith,” yet does not see the irony inherent in the fact that Thomas Merton was himself apparently one of these. ... The choice of Merton here surely resembles the recent choice of the pro-abortion Leon Panetta as a member of the bishops’ National Review Board on clerical sex abuse—one of those mistakes that ought not to have been made. And this will undoubtedly be the reaction of many Catholics if this particular story is retained in the final NAC draft; it will likely be taken as one more piece of evidence that the American bishops still don’t “get it.”

Most of the stories included in the text do not suffer from the same unsuitability. On the contrary most of them are quite well chosen, beginning with the sketch of John Carroll, the first United States bishop, and ending with the beloved Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen. As we have already noted, all of the American canonized saints and “blessed” are included, along with such truly exemplary Catholics such as Orestes Brownson or Dorothy Day (the latter, again, lived her dedicated Catholic life after having repented of her early profligacy and her sin of abortion).

With further regard to these stories, however, we are still obliged to ask whether it is appropriate to include such near-contemporary figures as Sister Thea Bowman, farm-labor organizer Cesar Chavez, or the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin. The Church wisely defers her beatifications and canonizations to a time after the deaths of those so honored, usually long after.

Turning from the introductory stories to the format of the draft NAC, we find ourselves obliged to point out yet another defect in the document. The editors apparently accept the premise of today’s radical feminists that the generic term “man” in English—meaning not an individual male but rather humanity in general— somehow does not include “woman.” Although this generic meaning has been standard in English for more than a thousand years, and is still shown in all dictionaries, it is of course the contention of modern radical feminism that “woman” is not included in the term, and hence there supposedly arises a need for so-called “inclusive language” that does explicitly include female members of the genus Homo Sapiens. Thus, “he who laughs last, laughs best” must be changed to become “he or she who laughs last, laughs best.” The demand for such inclusivity extends even to pronouns, and thus “to each his own” becomes “to each his or her own.” And so on.

The editors of the NAC, apparently in order to avoid having to use the generic term “man,” have composed virtually the entire narrative of the draft in the first person plural, using “we” and “us"—as if the principal aim of the editors was somehow to avoid at all costs the generic use of the word “man.” The result resembles an attempt to justify the slogan popular among “liberal” Catholics: “We are the Church.”

Most of the time, the reader does not particularly notice this use of the plural, except when reminded by a particularly clumsy locution or upon encountering such words as “humankind.” But it stands out in the unusual title of Chapter 6: “The Creation of Man and Woman,” and the subtitle with that chapter "The Fall of Man and Woman." Then, there recur in the narrative such stilted locutions as: “God created humans.” It seems indisputable that the editors of this document do not believe that “woman” is already included in the generic term “man.” In other words, they do accept the premise of the radical feminists. And it seems to be their clear intention to enlist all the Catholic bishops in the endorsement of this position.

Other Concerns
And speaking of expectations, a sentence that appears in Chapter 14 reading, “the faithful are expected to attend Mass” on Sundays and Holy Days, like the sentence that appears in Chapter 18, “we are expected to confess our sins,” should be changed to read that we are strictly obliged to do these things.

At the end of Chapter 28, Father Theodore M. Hesburgh should not be quoted—not only because the draft NAC should avoid citing near-contemporaries as a general rule, but also in this case because Father Hesburgh has been one of the principal leaders of those Catholic colleges and universities which have resisted (and continue to resist) the implementation of Pope John Paul II’s apostolic constitution Ex Corde Ecclesiae. It will be hard for the average Catholic to understand how the bishops could cite in one of their own teaching documents—and thus single out for special respect—a priest who for many years openly disregarded their authority.

In Chapter 29’s section entitled “Three Challenges for a Culture of Life,” the death penalty is simply equated with abortion, euthanasia, and “other life-threatening acts.” Later on, in the section specifically on the “Death Penalty,” little is explained beyond simply quoting CCC #2267.... There is great confusion among Americans today about all this issue. The NAC should attempt to explain the current teaching and its implications as clearly as possible.

The brief, two-paragraph discussion of homosexuality in Chapter 30, while correct in what it states on the subject, is nevertheless wholly inadequate considering the current situation in the United States. In view especially of the surprising and disconcerting success of the gay-rights movement, this topic needs to be treated much more fully. As it stands, the present treatment risks being classed with those who seem to stress that the most important aspect of the Catholic teaching on homosexuality is that there should be no “unjust discrimination” against homosexuals, and that they should be treated with “respect, compassion, and sensitivity.” This brief section fails to place homosexuality in it proper context as a serious disorder, and to emphasize that homosexual acts are always gravely sinful. “Unjust discrimination” against homosexuals is hardly the main problem in America today, where the full reality of “gay marriage” may be upon us, as it already is in Canada.

As we noted at the outset, the decision to base this document primarily on the Catechism of the Catholic Church was a very wise and happy one. An American document thus grounded has the potential to help restore and revitalize authentic Catholic faith and practice in the United States. It can be a fit instrument for handing on the faith to the next generation. But it has to be right.

[AUTHOR ID] Msgr. Michael J. Wrenn and Kenneth D. Whitehead have written and spoken frequently on catechetics, and are the joint authors of Flawed Expectations: The Reception of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Ignatius, 1996).

I certainly recommend reading this entire article and the previous one from December 2002.

The Reverence due to the Holy Eucharist by Francis Cardinal Arinze

The Adoremus Web Site has posted the address of His Eminence, Francis Cardinal Arinze, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, delivered at the convention of "The Church Teaches Forum", Louisville, Kentucky, July 18, 2003.

It can be read here.

A couple of excerpts:
"To Jesus Christ, God and Man, in the sacrifice and sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, are due honor, reverence, adoration, thanksgiving, and love. At this opening of this year's convention of "The Church Teaches Forum", it is right that we should focus our reflection on reverence due to the Holy Eucharist. Many people have sadly noticed that in our churches there is a worrying decline in reverence. The matter is of great importance because of the central place of the Eucharistic Ministry in Catholic faith and life.

For due reverence to the Holy Eucharist, every Catholic needs proper initiation into this faith and continued growth in it. The Second Vatican Council, teaching on divine revelation and our duty to believe, takes up Saint Paul's phrase: "'The obedience of faith' (Rm 16:26; cf 1:5; II Cor 10:5-6) must be given to God who reveals, an obedience by which man entrusts his whole self freely to God, offering 'the full submission of intellect and will to God who reveals' (Vat I: Dei Filius, De Fide, DS 3008) and freely assenting to the truth revealed by Him" (Dei Verbum 5).

It matters therefore very much that the priest's gestures (at Holy Mass) should be genuine manifestations of Eucharistic faith and love. Although Christ is the chief celebrant who uses the ministry of the ordained priest as His instrument, the priest's behavior influences the entire congregation.

It is also important that the congregation show reverence.

The danger of horizontalism is very real in many Eucharistic celebrations. Some priests and people behave as if they come to Mass primarily to meet one another, to reaffirm one another and at times even to entertain one another. No. Such horizontalism is misplaced. We come to Mass primarily to adore God, to thank Him, to ask pardon for our sins and to make requests for our needs. We are not the center. God is.

Sometimes we see people desiring to return to the pre-1970 way of celebrating Mass. Generally the fault is on those who have introduced abuses and their own idiosyncrasies into the Mass, contrary to the clear directives of the Second Vatican Council (cf. Sacrosanctum Concilium, 22). If the Mass is celebrated with faith and reverence, and sung also in Latin sometimes, people's Catholic faith and piety will be adequately nourished.

This is a good article. The good Cardinal knows the problems and we should be hopeful that the solutions will be forthcoming.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

From greatness to decadence-The Catholic University of Louvain

Anyone familiar with Cardinal Danneels and the University of Louvain will certainly appreciate this article by Dr. Alice von Hildebrand.

Catholic meaning behind the carol: Twelve Days of Christmas?

I saw this interesting little item today.
Jay Maynes from Arizona has sent us this fascinating explanation of the meaning of the traditional Christmas carol. Can readers supply us with any more information?

From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics. It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church. Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality which the children could remember.

The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.
Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.
Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.
The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the-Old Testament.
The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.
Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.
The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.
Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit-Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.
The ten lords a-leaping--the ten commandments.
The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.
The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles' Creed.

(From Independent Catholic News tel/fax: +44 (0)20 7267 3616 )

Snopes says that this is, in fact, false. You can read about it here.

Monday, December 15, 2003

The Fascinated God, again...

I wrote the pastor of our parish, thanking him for shedding some light on this book which concerned me some time ago. I read this in our parish bulletin on Sunday.
The theme of my retreat turned out to be a lot of reflection on the primal question of whether God is real as we profess our faith in God, or have science and human rationalization eliminated any need for including God in our understanding of our life and our universe.

I prayerfully responded to two books that I read there. One was by a priest who wrote, surprisingly, that God could not be considered a creator God because scientists have proven (so he says) that our universe could not have had a first cause, but just happened to come into existence with a "big bang".

With this as one of his premises (misguided as it was), he proceeded to disprove or undermine every pillar of our Christian faith--to the point where he had nothing left but "a fascinated god" who was interested in us human beings but could not do anything to help us, much less redeem us from sin and bring us to eternal life.

The author has put science ahead of what we believe to be God's revelation of truth to us through his Word and through the Church.

Reading this book made me want to argue with the author for sure, but mostly I felt sorry for him and sad that he had seemingly lost confidence in our Christian faith and our Catholic teaching about God.

The only problem I see now is that the priest who wrote the book, "The Fascinated God", has been invited to give a homily during our Christmas Novena, (along with a couple of protestant pastors)...Maybe he will be selling his book at a discount during his 'reflection'?

Saturday, December 13, 2003

Apostolic Letter on Sacred Liturgy

The Holy Father's Apostolic Letter on Sacred Liturgy on the 40th Anniversary of "Sacrosanctum Concilium" has been translated in English.
Some excerpts:
What is necessary, therefore is a liturgical pastoral program carried out in complete fidelity to the new orders.

An aspect that must be cultivated with greater commitment within our communities is the experience of silence.

The liturgical pastoral program, through the introduction to the various celebrations, must instill the taste for prayer.

By not respecting the liturgical norm, one arrives at times at even serious abuses that put in shadow the truth of the mystery and create disturbance and tensions in the People of God. Such abuses have nothing to do with the authentic spirit of the Council and are to be corrected by Pastors with an attitude of prudent firmness.

I suspect we will hear from the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments soon as the Holy Father asked in his encyclical Ecclesia de Eucharistia.

Friday, December 12, 2003

The Catholic Response to Scandal

By Bishop Raymond Burke
Diocese of La Crosse, Wisconsin
Address given at the Milwaukee Wanderer Forum, December 6-7, 2002
Co-sponsored by the St. Gregory VII Chapter of Catholics United for the Faith
Wanderer Forum Foundation, & Living Catholic Seminars
A couple of excerpts:

"The dissent from the Church’s moral teaching regarding artificial contraception, sterilization, homosexual acts, and self-abuse, which permeates culture, in general, and has also entered into the Church, has its profoundly harmful effect on the thinking and acting of the faithful, in general, and also of the shepherds of the flock. It is not uncommon today to witness a kind of pick-and-choose approach to the Church’s moral teaching on the part of many Catholics. If the shepherds do not teach clearly and consistently the truth about human sexuality, then the flock will be likely led astray by the thinking of the world."

"Dissent is fundamentally rebellion against the teaching authority of the Church, a refusal to practice the virtue of obedience. At first, it may express itself in rebellion against some doctrine of the faith. But, once it becomes a habit, it will express itself in immoral practices, a rebellion against the moral order which God has written in our nature and teaches us through the word of Christ.

The article is a good read and provides some additional insight into the problems.

Bishop Burke discusses the letters he sent to Catholic politicians

In this excerpt from his column for the Dec. 11 issue of the Catholic Times, weekly newspaper of the La Cross, Wis., Diocese, Archbishop-elect Raymond Burke discusses the letters he sent to Catholic politicians in Wisconsin:

In the past days, you may have read in your local newspaper about letters that I have been sending to members of the faithful of the Diocese of La Crosse who are also legislators at the federal and state levels.

Although the letters were written in strictest confidence because they dealt with matters of conscience, one of the letters was made public at the time of the announcement of my transfer to the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

Because I wrote the letters as a shepherd to members of his flock, I have refused to identify or confirm the identity of those to whom I wrote. Since the writing of the letters has now been made public, I want to explain to you what prompted me to write them.

All of us have the obligation, according to the first precept of the natural law and the Fifth Commandment of the Decalogue, to protect and foster human life from the moment of conception to the moment of natural death.

Those of us who are public officials have a most solemn duty to safeguard the dignity of every human life and to lead all of society to do the same. Catholic legislators are held to do all within their power to pass laws which safeguard and foster human life.

To take directly a human life or to cooperate in any way with the direct taking of a human life is a mortal sin, one of the most grievous of all sins. I use the word “direct” to distinguish this kind of killing from self-defense, in which a human life is indirectly taken in order to save one’s own life or the life of another.

The Catholic legislator who supports legislation which permits or, at the very least, does not limit the direct taking of a human life commits a mortal sin, risking the eternal salvation of his or her own soul.

What is more, he or she scandalizes others, leading them to believe that it is coherent with the Catholic faith to espouse anti-life politics and to cooperate with those who violate the right to life of others, especially of our most innocent and defenseless brothers and sisters through procured abortion and of our brothers and sisters burdened with advanced years, serious illness or special needs through euthanasia.

Now that the letters have been made public, members of the media have asked whether I regret having written them. I have no regret at all.

When a shepherd sees a member of the flock endangering the salvation of his soul and, worse yet, risking danger to the salvation of other souls, he has the solemn duty to call the person to conversion of heart and mind.

If I had not written to the faithful in question, then I would be full of regret and would have to answer to God for my failure to fulfill my responsibility as shepherd to admonish those in sin.

My letters have been construed by some as lobbying or electioneering. They are nothing of the sort.

They are letters of a bishop to certain members of the faithful in his pastoral care. The letters are directed solely to the conversion of heart of the faithful, to their turning from sin for the salvation of their souls.
From the 12/12 edition of the St. Louis Review. (emphasis mine)

Some articles from our diocesan newspaper,...

...the St. Louis Review, about our new Archbishop.

From 12/5
'Now I belong to you', Catholics welcome Archbishop-elect Raymond L. Burke

Archbishop-elect Raymond Burke welcomed to St. Louis Archdiocese

Archbishop-elect Burke greets his new flock

Diocese of La Crosse says farewell

Bp. Burke well known to locals

Apb.-elect affirms message to lawmakers
New leader says he is obliged to confront public stance of Catholic politicians

A Commentary on the Journal-Sentinal, Bishop Burke, & Others

Can be read here. A long read but a good read by SecretAgentMan. Thanks to Ian M. who forwarded it to me.

One more Bishop Burke article from yesterday...

From Thursday's column:
By Deb Peterson

Organizers of St. Louis' annual AIDS walk have asked for a meeting with leaders of the Catholic Archdiocese. The issue? Archbishop-elect Raymond Burke and his apparent opposition to the AIDS walk in his home state of Wisconsin. Burke once wrote to an HIV outreach ministry in Milwaukee asking the group to refuse to participate in that city's AIDS walk. The St. Louis walk draws thousands each year, raising more than $100,000 for local AIDS programs. Organizers fear a rift with the city's top Catholic could hamper fund-raising efforts. The walk here is slated to step off at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 17, in Kiener Plaza.
Doesn't anybody understand the reason he and others bishops did this? Apparently no one at the Post does...Here's a clue.

Thursday, December 11, 2003

It's no wonder Archbishop Burke pegged him for the job.

Dr. Arthur Hippler knows what the Church teaches and his articles are great resources!

St. Louis Post-Dispatch "distorts facts"...

In a 'Letter to the Editor' in yesterday's paper, Dr. Arthur Hippler,Director, Office of Justice and Peace, Diocese of La Crosse, takes to task the Post-Dispatch for misrepresenting his remarks and his biographical information. It must be one of the benefits if you're the only newspaper in town.

Dr. Hippler writes:
While I am grateful to the Post-Dispatch for its coverage of the transfer of Archbishop-elect Raymond L. Burke to St. Louis, I must take exception to some of the remarks attributed to me and about me in the Dec. 7 article, "Archbishop-elect Raymond L. Burke faces the heat."

I told the reporter that the bishop believes that the respect for human life from conception until natural death must be fundamental to the social work of the church, because the right to life is the basis of all other rights. It is neither accurate nor fair to translate my remark into Bishop Burke putting "ideological issues" before "charitable efforts."

The reporter's choice of my biographical information ("37" and "Alaskan") seems to imply that the bishop hires staff based on age and geographical origin. Why not inform the reader that I am a black American and part of an ethnically diverse staff? (But then he would not have been able to describe me as "brash" - "brash black American," no doubt, has a distasteful sound to it.) More important, why not inform the reader that I have a doctorate in philosophy from a Jesuit university and have taught Catholic social teaching for some years, which qualifies me for my present position?

Finally, he states Bishop Burke's decision to withdraw from the CROP Walk without relating its larger significance. Since he joined the Diocese of Rockford, Ill., in directing Catholics not to participate in the CROP Walk, the national office of Catholic Relief Services has officially withdrawn as a benefiting agency, and several Catholic dioceses have either withdrawn support from the CROP Walk or are considering doing so. The bishop's decision has been roundly vindicated.
Dr. Hippler should be commended for his courageous stand to expose the distortions the people of St. Louis are expected to buy from the Post-Dispatch.

Bishop Burke and support of the Latin Mass

Here is an article which was sent to me about a new religious order in the Diocese of LaCrosse formed with the help of Bishop Burke earlier this year.

"They bring a new richness to the diocese," Burke said, but because there are so few members, the group is not very well known yet among the diocese's Catholics.

The group is devoted to sacred liturgy and to providing the Mass according to the Latin Rite, giving diocesan Catholics another option for worship, the bishop said.

Celebrate Christmas Mass with Married 'Catholic' Priests

One of these "Masses" will even be celebrated in a Masonic Temple. How inspiring!
From the Press Release:
Everyone is welcome, especially those who no longer feel they have a church they can call home. An invitation is extended to those who feel estranged because of issues regarding clergy sexual abuse, divorce/remarriage, interfaith marriage, birth control, sexual orientation, abortion and disillusionment regarding the approaches of the hierarchy. And all are welcome to worship with us and to share Communion.
(Unless, of course, you are faithful to Christ and the Magisterium)

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

A Christmas Card for "Pro-Death" Politicians?

The card design below is from The Curt Jester in response to Planned unParenthood's "Choice on Earth" 2003 Holiday cards, espousing:

Justice on Earth, (except for the unborn)
Human Rights on Earth, (except for the unborn)
Equality on Earth, (except for the unborn)
Civil Rights on Earth, (except for the unborn)
Women's Health on Earth, (except for the unborn)
Freedom on Earth, (except for the unborn)
Religious Rights on Earth, (except for the unborn)
Choice on Earth, (except for the unborn)

All of this means, more appropriately, "DEATH on EARTH".

Perhaps you might print and send this to your "Pro-Death" politicians and advocates. Don't forget to wish them a Blessed and Holy Christmas and to let them know they are in your prayers!


I received this last night....all emphasis added by me.

Catholic Answers
December 9, 2003

Dear Friend of Catholic Answers:

In October ABC News and "The Washington Post" conducted a poll of Catholics in America. The results are not surprising: Catholics are not much better off, theologically and morally, than other Americans--and that means they are in pretty poor shape.

Here are the percentages of people who think the following practices are "acceptable." The first figure is for Catholics, the second for Americans in general.

1. Birth control using the pill or condoms: 88 percent, 94 percent
2. Abortion when the mother's life is NOT in danger: 30 percent, 39 percent
3. Premarital sexual relations: 67 percent, 67 percent
4. Homosexual relations: 48 percent, 45 percent

Given these responses, it's no wonder that 62 percent of Catholics say the Church is "out of touch with the views of Catholics in America today."

I would recast that to say, 62 percent of Catholics in America are out of touch with the faith they profess to believe. In other words, the problem is with Catholics, not with the Church.

A similar number, 64 percent, say the Church should change "policies to reflect the attitudes and lifestyles of Catholics today."

That means Catholics want to preach what they practice, which is a step down from practicing what one preaches. "Don't ask me to reform my life! Change the rules so I no longer am in violation of any. Hey, it's my self-esteem that's at stake here!"

On the issue of priestly celibacy, 67 percent say the requirement should be dropped, and a like number--64 percent--say women should be able to be ordained. Such figures show a deep confusion among Catholics. When two-thirds of them are so far off in their thinking, something is amiss.

The poll, which was conducted by telephone, apparently did not limit itself to practicing Catholics but counted as Catholic anyone who identified himself as one. Since only one-fourth of Catholics in the U.S. attend Mass regularly, the results necessarily were skewed.

But, still ... the results can't be considered encouraging. What they tell me is that the Church in this country has failed in its first task, which is instruction in the faith. If the folks in the pews don't know their religion, they can't practice it.

I suspect it's fair to say that most of today's priests have never--not even once--preached a homily in which they forcefully explained why contraception is a serious sin. I'll go further: I'll bet most priests never have mentioned contraception from the pulpit, even obliquely.

"The hungry sheep look up and are not fed," says Scripture. Well, in this case they are being fed, but with the same gruel fed to the rest of the populace. Why are Catholics at Mass given, in so many parishes, the Social Gospel but not gospel truths?

They should know no doubt that priestly celibacy makes good sense, but most priests have never told them that. Is it any wonder that laymen follow the lead of dissentient groups or non-Catholic opinion-makers? There are excellent reasons to maintain celibacy, but which priests share them from the pulpit? (For that matter, which priests even know them?)

As I said, the answers given in this poll are no surprise. Catholics are badly off, intellectually and morally, and they need help. They need instruction and correction. They need some holy hectoring.

Instead of trimming their remarks to pacify (or somnabulize) their congregations, bishops and priests need to go on the offensive. They need to be blunt about the necessity of subscribing to all Catholic teachings, particularly moral teachings, since assent is weakest there. They need to talk in black and white to get people's attention. They need to focus on the hard sayings instead of on the usual fluff.

And they need to lose congregants. They will know when they're saying what needs to be said when they see some people walk out of church.

I'm not talking about homilies that are harsh or rude and therefore alienating. I'm talking about homilies that are firm and true and challenging--and therefore alienating to those who are unwilling to repent and reform.

Truth really is a two-edged sword. It divides, and people find themselves on one side or another. But for too long, in too many parishes (probably the large majority of them), truth has come after convenience.

It is inconvenient to make a fuss, to anger anyone, to say "This is right, and this is wrong." It is much easier, or at least more comfortable, to be Fr. Nice Guy, serving up platitudes so everyone leaving Mass takes your hand and gushes, "That was a nice service, Father."

The parish I recently started attending used to have a pastor who was big on "ministry to gays and lesbians." You know the type: He had an off-campus condo and didn't live in the rectory. You can imagine what the Masses were like.

The new pastor moved into the rectory, sold the condo, and started celebrating Masses as they should be celebrated. I am told--this happened before I joined the parish--that most of the homosexuals left. In the last few months the congregation has been instructed and admonished from the pulpit, and today more people are attending Mass than had attended under the old regime.

Of course, changes come slowly. You can't reform people overnight. You have to show them that much of what they hold is false or pernicious or just plain silly, and you have to supply true and useful and sensible alternatives. A few people catch on right away, but for most it's a slow process. They have become accustomed to whatever they have believed and however they have lived, and they fear change, even change for the better.

The change occurring in my newly adopted parish can occur in any parish. It comes down to will. Do our priests and bishops have the will to instruct and admonish (including the will to instruct and admonish one another)? Frankly, I don't know.

Until next time,

Liturgical Reform Focus of Vatican Meeting

Code: ZE03120903
Date: 2003-12-09
Liturgical Reform Focus of Vatican Meeting

VATICAN CITY, DEC. 9, 2003 ( The Holy See marked the 40th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council's constitution "Sacrosanctum Concilium" with a day of study.

The closed-door meeting Thursday, organized by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, attracted cardinals, bishops and experts from around the world who analyzed liturgical reform, especially during John Paul II's pontificate.

Cardinal Francis Arinze, prefect of the congregation, explained that with the event the Holy See hoped to "call attention to the objectives that still remain to be achieved so that what 'Sacrosanctum Concilium' taught and desired will be fully realized," a statement explained.

"This commitment calls for relaunching formation at all levels," the statement added. "The horizon is that of the great challenges of the new evangelization and of the inculturation of the faith."

Is the document with "prescriptions of a juridical nature" soon to follow?

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Mel Gibson's "The Passion of The Christ" UPDATE - TICKETS NOW AVAILABLE

Mel Gibson's "The Passion of The Christ" UPDATE - TICKETS NOW AVAILABLE

IT'S OFFICIAL! You can now buy ADVANCE TICKETS to see Mel Gibson's "The Passion of The Christ". Icon Productions has set up a toll-free ticket hotline for your ordering requests -- call 1-800-353-6102 to make sure that you and your family see the film during Lent. THE BEST WAY TO SHOW YOUR SUPPORT FOR THE FILM RIGHT NOW IS TO PURCHASE ADVANCE TICKETS! This will send a clear message to theaters across the world that people are very interested in seeing this film. The more people who buy advance tickets, the more theaters will carry the movie. The more theaters that carry the movie, the more people will get a chance to see it. The more people see it, the greater evangelizing impact this great movie will have on our culture and our world.

Advance tickets are currently available only for the U.S. and Canada.

Many of you have expressed to us that advance tickets would make great great Christmas gifts. Well now you have the opportunity to include them as the ultimate stocking stuffers for Christmas morning. There are also opportunities for discounts on large group sales. Call 1-800-353-6102 right now for more information.

Please be patient when calling as there will likely be a significant response to this ticket pre-sale offer. You may have to hold for a short time before getting an operator. If you get a busy signal, please try again at a later time.

Many leading theaters across the U.S. and Canada have agreed to carry this classic Christian film, which is great news! The movie will be launched on Ash Wednesday, February 25, 2004, throughout North America. (Details for other countries hopefully coming soon). Icon Productions has now opened the toll-free telephone hotline 24 hours/day for advance ticket sales. While some theaters have agreed to carry the film, others still have not. By purchasing your tickets in advance and demonstrating your support for "The Passion of The Christ," it increases the likelihood that many more theaters will get on board and agree to exhibit the film.

Individual tickets and groups tickets can be purchased. In fact, large groups have already been known to order all tickets for an entire theater! So if you have a group or congregation that wants to see this film, there may be discounts for qualifying groups. So please tell everyone about this great opportunity to transform the culture and pave the way for great A-list Hollywood Christian films to come! Please help us get this important film into even more theaters!

If you live in the U.S. or Canada and would like to order advance tickets please call:


We can achieve an amazing impact on the acceptance of this film if you take a few minutes to purchase your tickets in advance. If each qualifying person who receives this email can get a group of at least 5 people to order advance tickets, it will have a monumental impact. So if you are planning to see this film and know others who are too, please consider purchasing advance tickets today. And forward this email on to everyone you think might be interested.

The toll-free phone number is ONLY for pre-sale questions and advance ticket sales, so please use it responsibly.


Tom Allen
Catholic Exchange

P.S. Call 1-800-353-6102 today to order your tickets to Mel Gibson's historic film. We need this film to have the biggest opening ever. It's time that Christian films broke out of the box and became maintsream blockbusters! This is God's movie -- he deserves no less. So buy your advance tickets today and make sure that you will be counted among those fortunate enough to see "The Passion of The Christ this Lent!

Mark your calendars-Fr. Eugene Morris to speak at ICD...

For those who may be unaware of it, Fr. Morris, who teaches classes on the Liturgy and Sacramental Theology at Kenrick Glennon Seminary, has a radio show an WRYT Catholic Radio on Sacraments, Sacramentals, and the Sacramental Life of the Church based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church. I urge you to listen to it if you have the chance. You won't regret it.

He is scheduled to speak at Immaculate Conception Parish-Dardenne on April 2, 2004. The subject of his talk will be: "Carrying the Cross as Jesus did: Communion, Suffering, and Sacrafice in the Eucharist".

LifeSiteNews Article on Archbishop Burke

Kudos to Archbishop Burke!

Responding to wide-ranging criticisms of his letters to the pro-abortion politicians within his diocese, Bishop Burke told a press conference: "I have no regret whatsoever. It was my duty as bishop to write those letters. The letters address the good of the soul of the legislators and the souls of those who may be scandalized by their votes against the teachings of the church."

"Catholic" Apostates in Canada

See this story:
A more intimate mass
Campaign envisions family-like meal with food and scripture readings, often in the absence of a priest

Intimate family-like meals, with hearty chunks of crusty bread, as well as wine, soup, other food, Scripture readings, singing and discussion, often in the absence of a priest, would largely - but not wholly - supplant the traditional mass.

Interview With Father Di Noia of the CDF about "The Passion of Christ"

I'm really looking forward to this movie!

Monday, December 08, 2003

The "Misguided" Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal

This editorial in MJS says Archbishop Burke's letters are "misguided". Yet, the politicians and others have it right when they say, "I'm personally opposed, BUT"...or "We can't legislate morality".
This is an indefensible position. Our laws are based on moral law, whether these people admit it or not.

Why do these people "oppose abortion" yet vote to approve it?

Do they oppose it because it is the taking of the life of an innocent human being?
They must either believe this is true or believe it is false. If they believe it is false, then these people have no reason to be "personally opposed" to it and their statements betray them! They look upon the public as gullible buffoons!

How will ArchBishop Burke view this parish?

Previously, I had posted a link to a bulletin article from a local St. Louis parish about "liturgical dance" at Mass. This time, another reader passed this article posted on the web site of this parish on to me.

After reading it, I am surprised that any priest would want to "advertise" this considering the fact that some of these "feelings" or "attitudes" are certainly contrary to real FAITH and the assent or obedience of faith required of a Catholic. The definition of Faith as defined in the Catechism is: "the theological virtue by which we believe in God and believe all that he has said and revealed to us, and ALL that Holy Church proposes for our belief, because He is truth itself." (CCC 1814)

Onw would surmise, then, that when the Holy Father has definitively held that the Church may not ordain women as "priests" (since this is a theological impossibility), the priest, as his obligation to teach and sanctify the faithful, would advise his flock of the correct teaching of the Magisterium. Anyway, below I have listed some of their "strengths" and 'Needs':

Inclusive language
Openness to a cutting edge new vision
Openness to gay/lesbian issues
Lots of creativity

More REAL participation by women/ordination of women
Concerned about having a lay pastor
Issues of power and authority affect our effectiveness in creating a focus and energizing an outcome
Need a more effective Democratic process
Would like to see more lay participation in the liturgy not just the community of preachers doing the homily
Would like to see women in every role of the Church
We are ready for lay leadership; continue the discussion
In order to survive we need to prepare for the time when St. Cronan's will become a priestless parish
Wants to see the church operate out of a more lay-model than a church hierarchy
Vision for St.Cronan's as a lay led Church

As I read this article, it appeared that this parish might make a great site for every dissident organization to come set up shop if they haven't already. If one wants to be really inclusive, invite them all!

Let's see: a cutting edge new vision with women priestesses with lots of creativity giving gender inclusive 'homilies' on how to be a "real" Catholic.

So why should I bother listening to the Holy Father? We seem to have our own popes right here in downtown St. Louis!

Sunday, December 07, 2003

Newest Local Article on Bishop Burke - Plus more

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch had an article in today's paper which seemed, to me, to be more of a 'hit piece' than anything else, although I am encouraged that we have a bishop who will stand firm for Church teaching.

Although many of us were praying for Bishop Bruskewitz, I don't think there is any reason for disappointment. God knows what we need more than we do.

I recommend some other articles which illustrate the kind of man Bishop burke is...One is at the Wanderer at and the other is at Catholics United for the Faith

Now we must offer prayers of thanksgiving to our Lord for having answered the prayers of so many in the St. Louis Archdiocese.

Friday, December 05, 2003

Silence is vital to liturgy, pope says

Silence is vital to liturgy, pope says in document marking Vatican II

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Marking the 40th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council's document on the liturgy, Pope John Paul II said the one ingredient too often missing from the modern Mass is silence. "An aspect which must be cultivated with greater commitment in our communities is the experience of silence," he said in a Dec. 4 apostolic letter marking the anniversary of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy.

"The liturgy, among its various moments and signs, cannot ignore that of silence," he said in the letter released during a Vatican conference marking the anniversary. "In a society that lives in an increasingly frenetic manner, often dazed by noise and scattered by the transient, rediscovering the value of silence is vital," the pope wrote in the document, which was distributed in Italian to participants at the conference, sponsored by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments.

Catholic officeholders say they answer to public, not church

There is more on yesterday's report about Bishop Burke.

Fallout from Bishop Burke's letter to "Catholic" politicians seem to be on the rise...Bishop Burke sent the letters to warn elected officials that they risked their spiritual well-being by taking political stances he found to conflict with church teachings.

He said Wednesday that if they continued to act in that manner, it was his intention to "ask them not to present themselves to receive the sacraments because they would not be Catholics in good standing."

This sort of rationalization, denial, and disobedience from politicians and others is exactly what we can expect to happen when the 'disease' of dissent is allowed to fester and spread in the Church. Because bishops, in general, have failed for years to act courageously to address these issues, we have this regrettable situation in which "Catholics", prideful because of the influence of Satan, act with such arrogance and confusion in their lives. They either do not understand or choose to ignore the moral imperatives which must be followed. They persist in scandalizing the faithful, with some of the bishops, in effect, being complicit by their inaction.

Will Bishop Burke be the first to formally excommunicate those who defiantly ignore or disobey his directives? We must continue to hope and pray that these politicians come to their senses and open their hearts to the Light of Truth.

Thursday, December 04, 2003

Will any of our "Music Ministers" listen to this?

What a wonderful blessing it would be IF those in charge of parish oversight of Liturgy (pastors?) would heed the Holy Father's words.
I faxed this to my parish at noon today. I'm certain that some of the more difficult words will probably have to be "interpreted", however. Which words, you ask? Those like: sacred, sanctity, Gregorian, chant, & Latin. They don't seem to "jive" with guitars, drums, bongos, dancing & clapping!
Liturgical music must be reverent, accentuate the sacred, Pope writes
Vatican, Dec. 04 (

In a new document released December 4, Pope John Paul II has emphasized that liturgical music must convey a sense of reverence and appreciation for the sacred.

The new document takes the form of a "chirography"-- an administrative directive bearing the papal signature, and containing specific instructions. It was released for the 100th anniversary of Tra le Sollectitudini, the document on sacred music by St. Pius X. The Pope's new document is dated November 22: the feast of St. Cecilia, the patron of music.

All liturgical music "must have sanctity as its point of reference," Pope John Paul writes, adding that "not all musical forms are appropriate for liturgical celebrations."

While acknowledging that music can express different cultural traditions, the Pope cautions that all sacred music must "respect specific criteria," and stresses that the music must avoid "any concession to frivolity and superficiality." The liturgy of the Catholic Church, he writes, "must never become a laboratory for experimentation."

Pope John Paul confirms the teaching of Vatican II that Gregorian chant "should be preserved in the first place for liturgical ceremonies, with hymns that are celebrated in Latin."

The Pope urges the Congregation for Divine Worship to "pay closer attention" to the issue of liturgical music. He repeats that exhortation in a plea for episcopal conferences to "pay close attention" to the music used in the liturgy in their respective countries.

© Copyright 2003 Domus Enterprises. All rights reserved.

Note the Holy Father asks the CDW to "pay closer attention" to this. The Apostolic Letter itself has not yet been translated into English and is only available in Italian. If you read Italian, here is the document. Hopefully, it will translated soon.

Who are these people trying to impress?

PETA Billboard Depicts Virgin Mary Cradling Chicken Carcass

The group PETA or sometimes called, "People Eat Tasty Animals", apparently have sunk to a new low, if that is at all possible. Will this ad attract Catholics or others to their cause?

More about Archbishop-elect Raymond Burke

Those of us in the St. Louis archdiocese have much reason to rejoice in the recent appointment of Bishop Raymond Burke as shepherd of our archdiocese. As Bishop of LaCrosse, he sent letters to "Catholic" lawmakers to inform them of their duties of their office with regard not only to the laws of the state, but also with regard to the moral law.

From the article:
La Crosse Bishop Raymond L. Burke sent letters to the lawmakers as the first step in efforts to get them to change their pattern of voting, which Burke said contradicts the church's teachings on abortion and other issues related to human life. On Tuesday, Pope John Paul II appointed Burke to serve as the archbishop of St. Louis.

"If they were to continue to do that, I would simply have to ask them not to present themselves to receive the sacraments because they would not be Catholics in good standing," Burke said in an interview.

However, the same, old, tired argument comes from the "Catholic" politicians, "But I can't let my religion take precedence over my duties as a legislator". These politicians who fail to uphold the moral law by hiding behind these lame statements are no more "Catholic" than this keyboard I'm using - except, that they were baptized at some point in their life.

Holding positions that are contrary to the Church's doctrinal teaching because of ignorance makes one a material heretic. Once one is presented with the Church's teaching, one's persistence in denying that truth makes one a formal heretic. Many of these politicians, because they have been duly informed of the Church's teaching, have chosen instead to become formal heretics and as such they have voluntarily withdrawn from communion with the Church.

Anyway , enough of my this article about Bishop Burke. We should give thanks that we have been so blessed to have him as our new archbishop!

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Hardworking Wisconsin bishop follows Vatican policies precisely

More reasons for St. Louis faithful to be thankful.

From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Hardworking Wisconsin bishop follows Vatican policies precisely Patricia Rice Post-Dispatch Religion Writer 12/02/2003

The Wisconsin bishop who will become the archbishop of St. Louis next month is a staunch conservative who is expected to carry out most of the initiatives Cardinal Justin F. Rigali introduced during the past nine years.

Archbishop-elect Raymond L. Burke, 55, has been the bishop of La Crosse, Wis., for the last nine years. The Vatican announced Tuesday that Burke will succeed Rigali, who moved to Philadelphia in October as its archbishop and a cardinal.

On Jan. 26, the former Vatican church lawyer will be installed as the St. Louis archdiocese's ninth bishop and eighth archbishop at the St. Louis Cathedral Basilica.

St. Louisans will get a hardworking bishop who follows the finest points on all Vatican directions precisely, from major policies to revisions for bows and nods at Mass.

"He is a humble man who takes his responsibilities very seriously," said Thomas A. Szyszkiewicz, former editor of the Catholic Times of La Crosse.

"With the liturgy, he is very concerned about reverence and order. And you can expect that, on the moral issues, he will be teaching and affirming the church on such things as abortion and contraception."

A staunch conservative

Burke displayed his religious conservatism in the fall of 2002. His diocese was one of two U.S. dioceses to pull out of the annual Crop Walks fund-raisers, sponsored by the ecumenical Church World Services. He told Catholics not to walk because the agency finances family-planning services and gives out condoms in developing nations.

A few years ago, Burke took the unusual step of publicly disagreeing with another bishop, then-Milwaukee Archbishop Rembert Weakland, over the idea of married men being ordained. Weakland suggested it be discussed. Burke said it was a bad idea.

Burke drew attention last year when he criticized the popular novels featuring the English schoolboy-magician Harry Potter. He sent all the schools and the seminaries in his diocese a letter saying that Potter "may not be suitable for young Catholic readers."

Open-door policy

Burke said Tuesday that he will bring to St. Louis his open-door policy in dealing with alleged victims of sexual abuse. He promised to personally sit down face-to-face with each person who accuses a priest of sexual abuse — something Rigali had delegated to others and been criticized for by victims' advocates.

In La Crosse, Burke spoke face-to-face with about 30 victims, he said. During that time, he removed one priest from active ministry. When allegations of abuse by two retired priests were brought to him, he removed their right to say Mass.

Burke said he had never met with any of the groups representing victims. David Clohessy, national spokesman for the Survivors Network for Those Abused by Priests, said his group has no chapter in La Crosse but at least one member.

Barbara Dorris, leader of SNAP in St. Louis, will ask Burke for a face-to-face "so that a genuine dialog can begin."

"His first focus, we believe, should be to encourage victims to contact therapists, police, prosecutors and our support group so that dangerous predators can be arrested and children can be kept safe," she said.

Meets with seminarians

Beyond meeting with abuse victims, Burke said his primary duty is to "provide priests" to lead parishes and to recruit young men for the seminary. On Tuesday, he had lunch with the seminarians at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in Shrewsbury.

At a time when most dioceses around the nation have closed high school seminaries, Burke opened a residence house in La Crosse for boys who are considering the priesthood. They attend a Catholic coed high school but live in the seminary-like dorm.

Mater Redemptoris Convent offers a similar program for high school girls considering to become nuns.

A friend of Rigali

Burke's name had been mentioned in St. Louis as the top candidate to replace Rigali as early as August. But he was mentioned less frequently inside the Vatican and by U.S. bishops.

A few other cardinals were pushing for other candidates. Bishop J. Terry Stieb of Memphis, Bishop George Murry of St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands, Bishop John H. Ricard of Pensacola-Tallahassee, Fla., Bishop Thomas Doran of Rockford, Ill., and Bishop Wilton Gregory of Belleville were mentioned.

For months some bishops said that as the elected head of the bishops conference, Gregory was never a contender. His duties will be particularly heavy during the coming months as the audits and academic studies on sex abuse by priests are completed and made public.

Burke is a longtime friend of Rigali's.

Rigali attended Burke's ordination to the priesthood at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome in 1975. The two Americans knew each other when both worked in different offices at the Vatican.

As recently as this fall Rigali had Burke to dinner at the archbishop's residence on Lindell Boulevard, where some other guests were teasing Burke by calling him "St. Louis Archbishop-elect."

Rigali said in a telephone interview Tuesday from his Philadelphia office that he has full confidence that Burke is what St. Louis needs and will administer the archdiocese well.

"Each bishop has different gifts," Rigali said.

"A most lovable guy"

Burke on Tuesday compared his appointment to a sports swap. In June 2002, Wisconsin got St. Louis native Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of Milwaukee and Tuesday St. Louis got Burke.

"I hope that you will not be disappointed with the exchange," Burke told a group of priests and other archdiocesan workers at the Cardinal Justin Francis Rigali Pastoral Center in Shrewsbury.

"Ray's a most lovable guy, with a big heart, a ready smile, a balanced man with great common sense and with a towering intellect," said Dolan, in a phone interview from Philadelphia, where he is leading a retreat for Rigali's priests. "When (Burke) speaks of prayer you can tell it comes from a deep well of personal experience. It's not showy piety."

"Keen on rural life"

Burke said his preaching style is more like Rigali's than Dolan, a dynamic and popular preacher.

He's also an activist. "I'm keen on rural life," he said Tuesday, wearing a green ribbon that promotes family farming. The Wisconsin, farm-bred, Irish-American, is former chairman of the National Catholic Rural Life Conference, which promotes ethical treatment of the environment and farm workers.

La Crosse's mostly rural diocese on the east side of the Mississippi River has 209,400 Catholics spread over seven small cities and mostly farmland in 19 counties across 15,078 miles. The St. Louis Archdiocese has 555,600 Catholics in the city of St. Louis and 10 counties spread over 5,968 square miles.

Burke is expected to have a long tenure here. At 55, he may well stay here until at the age of 75, a bishop must give his resignation to the pope.

"We'll miss him"

In La Crosse, there was a sense of loss as the news of Burke's appointment spread.

"We knew we wouldn't keep him long, because he has such qualifications," said the Rev. Robert S. Hegenbarth, pastor of St. Leo the Great in West Salem, Wis. "He was a great listener always concerned with the needs of the diocese, very traditional, very conservative. We'll miss him."