Friday, January 02, 2004

Carl Olsen and Sandra Miesel Crack the DaVinci Code...

A good article on Dan Brown's book "The DaVinci Code"...
A long read, so print it out, curl up, and have some fun....

Kudos to Carl and Sandra!

First Things 'critiques' Hans Kung's Memoir

Well, they could have let us know what they really think about it...
At age seventy-five, Catholicism’s best-known theological dissenter has published a memoir that is an unmitigated embarrassment. The vulgarity of the author’s self-aggrandizement is breathtaking, the viciousness toward those who disagree with him deeply saddening. He is the courageous warrior against “spiritual dictatorship” and “church totalitarianism.” Unlike others who sold out in their ambition for ecclesiastical power and prestige, Hans Küng would not compromise his conscience. His most particular target is Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, but he names many others who are allegedly traitors to the truth. But never mind, he is happy and has found power and prestige elsewhere. He notes with satisfaction that Kofi Annan has accepted an invitation to his 75th birthday party. “In all modesty, which I have learned in my childhood, in the tumult of the times I have been able to assert myself as a free man, a Christian, and a theologian.” The book ends with a letter from a Swiss pastor who compares him with the prophet Elijah. To which Küng responds, “Oh no, the fate of a professor is enough for me.” There is that modesty again. Küng says he is writing a second volume of memoirs. It is a pity that what he describes as his great success in life did not include friends who might have discouraged him from publishing the first.

When Catholic Catechetical Works Don't Teach the Faith

This story was reported on Nov. 12, 2003, but more of this was been brought up last week in a another article on Zenit.

First Friday, Time for Adoration

As this is the first Friday of the month and of the new year, perhaps a special effort should be made to spend an hour with Jesus, in the Blessed Sacrament.

This would be a great opportunity to pray for vocations, an increase in faith, for a return to fidelity of the faith, for thanksgiving for the gifts we have been given, . . . for everything.

Can you not spend one hour with Him, today?

What Is Happening in Fatima?

An update from Zenit on a controversy which had broken out over the construction of a new building near the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal.

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.