Friday, January 09, 2004

Archbishop Burke's Notification

As Bishop of the Diocese of La Crosse, I am bound to be "solicitous for all the faithful entrusted to [my] care" (Code of Canon Law, can. 383 Sec.1). With respect to the fundamental responsibility of safeguarding and promoting the respect for human life,it is my duty "to explain, persuade, correct and admonish those in leadership positions who contradict the Gospel of life through their action and policies" (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Living the Gospel of Life: A Challenge to American Catholics [November 1998], n. 29).

His Holiness Pope John Paul II, upholding the constant teaching of the Church, has frequently reminded us that "those who are directly involved in lawmaking bodies have a grave and clear obligation to oppose any law that attacks human life. For them, as for every Catholic, it is impossible to promote such laws or to vote for them" (Doctrinal Note on some questions regarding the participation of Catholics in political life [November 24, 2002], n. 4 Sec.1). A Catholic legislator who supports procured abortion or euthanasia, after knowing the teaching of the Church, commits a manifestly grave sin which is a cause of most serious scandal to others. Therefore, universal Church law provides that such persons "are not to be admitted to Holy Communion" (Code of Canon Law, can. 915).

I hereby call upon Catholic legislators, who are members of the faithful of the Diocese of La Crosse, to uphold the natural and divine law regarding the inviolable dignity of all human life. To fail to do so is a grave public sin and gives scandal to all the faithful. Therefore, in accord with the norm of can. 915, Catholic legislators, who are members of the faithful of the Diocese of La Crosse and who continue to support procured abortion or euthanasia may not present themselves to receive Holy Communion. They are not to be admitted to Holy Communion, should they present themselves, until such time as they publically [sic] renounce their support of these most unjust practices.

I ask for the prayers of all the faithful of the Diocese of La Crosse and of all people of good will within the Diocese of La Crosse, that Catholic legislators who have promoted procured abortion or euthanasia, with the help and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, may undergo a conversion of heart in this most grave matter, so that human life may be protected and fostered in the greatest way possible and these legislators may be admitted once more to receive the Sacrament of Holy Communion.

Given at La Crosse, on the twenty-third day of November, the Solemnity of Christ the King, in the Year of the Lord 2003.

Lawmakers who back abortion, euthanasia told not to receive Communion

Lawmakers who back abortion, euthanasia told not to receive Communion
By Dan Rossini
Catholic News Service

LA CROSSE, Wis. (CNS) -- Archbishop Raymond L. Burke has formally notified Catholic lawmakers in the La Crosse Diocese that they cannot receive Communion if they continue to support procured abortion or euthanasia.

The four-paragraph canonical notification, published in the Jan. 8 edition of The Catholic Times, the La Crosse diocesan newspaper, called upon Catholic legislators in the diocese "to uphold the natural and divine law regarding the inviolable dignity of all human life."

"To fail to do so is a grave public sin and gives scandal to all the faithful," it said.

Archbishop Burke, who is to be installed Jan. 26 as St. Louis' new archbishop, released the canonical notification along with a 10-page pastoral letter to Catholics in the La Crosse Diocese about their political responsibility to uphold the value of human life.

He noted that the documents were issued while he is serving as diocesan administrator of La Crosse following his Dec. 2 appointment as archbishop of St. Louis. However, he said, the pastoral letter and the notification carry the full weight of his authority as bishop of La Crosse because both were signed Nov. 23, the feast of Christ the King.

"Catholic legislators who are members of the faithful of the Diocese of La Crosse and who continue to support procured abortion or euthanasia may not present themselves to receive holy Communion," the notification said. "They are not to be admitted to holy Communion, should they present themselves, until such time as they publicly renounce their support of these most unjust practices."

The two documents followed reports in the secular press in December that Archbishop Burke had sent private letters to three Catholic legislators in the diocese, warning them of the spiritual dangers of their votes against human life.

According to Archbishop Burke, the notification became necessary as an outcome of his correspondence with Catholic legislators. None of the three lawmakers to whom he wrote accepted his invitation for a private meeting to discuss their voting records, and in letters to the bishop indicated they were not open to changing their positions.

"After several exchanges of letters, it became clear in all three cases that there was no willingness to conform to the teaching of the church," he said. "So the notification became a necessity in order that the faithful in the diocese not be scandalized, thinking that it is acceptable for a devout Catholic to also be pro-abortion."

Archbishop Burke has declined to name the three politicians but secular news reports have identified two of them as state Sen. Julie Lassa and U.S. Rep. David R. Obey, D-Wis.

The archbishop said the simultaneous release of the two documents was a coincidence, since the pastoral letter had been in the works for months. "I'd been thinking about it for a long time, and working on it with the help of others, and we finally got it into its (final) form," he said.

"I've come to understand as bishop that there is a real confusion on the part of many people in the diocese with regard to the relationship of the moral law to our civil laws," he added. "So I wanted to write a letter to clarify this."

In the letter, titled "On the Dignity of Human Life and Civic Responsibility," Archbishop Burke said many Catholics misunderstand the concept of "separation of church and state," taking it to mean that church teachings have no application to political life.

The letter affirms, on the contrary, that Catholics have the obligation to form their political judgments from church teachings, "especially in what pertains to the natural moral law, that is, the order established by God in creation."

"If the Catholic Church insisted to legislators that they vote for laws that punish people who steal, no one would find anything objectionable in that," said the archbishop in the document. "People all recognize that to take someone else's property is a crime. The natural law teaches us that. So also it teaches that human life is inviolable."

The letter also addresses the position of some Catholic politicians who say their efforts to help the poor and marginalized make up for the fact they do not vote consistently in favor of protecting life, and that in a democracy legislators are bound to vote according to the will of the majority of their constituents.

The archbishop's notification on reception of Communion cites a passage from the "Doctrinal Note on Some Questions Regarding the Participation of Catholics in Political Life," issued by the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in January 2003.

That document reiterates the pope's teaching that Catholics involved directly in lawmaking bodies have a "grave and clear obligation to oppose" any measure that is an attack on human life. "For them, as for every Catholic, it is impossible to promote such laws or to vote for them," it says.
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Editor's Note: The pastoral letter and the notification are posted on the Web site of the Diocese of La Crosse,
This bishop (our new Archbishop) is a man to be proud of...I can't wait to meet him! The actual notification is here.

Thursday, January 08, 2004

Lenten Retreat Update just received...

Credo will be holding a Lenten Retreat at Holy Family Old Log Church in Cahokia Illinois on Friday March 5th and Saturday March 6th.

The Retreat Master will be from The Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest in Wausau Wisconsin. (Bishop Burke's Diocese of LaCrosse) The Retreat Master will be celebrating the Traditional Latin Mass with the permission of Bishop Wilton Gregory, Bishop of Belleville. Look for more information in our news letter which should be out in a about two weeks.

See the sidebar for information about Credo.

What can you do for Dad on Father's Day?

How about a trip to Disney World in Orlando on Father's Day Weekend! But before you purchase those tickets, read this from

The Family Pride Coalition announced it has picked Father's Day weekend, June 17-20, for its first-ever gathering at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla.

"This official Family Pride event...has been specially designed for LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) parents and their families," the group said in a press release.

"Disney has been a wonderful support in the planning of a very special and exciting weekend for our families," said Aimee Gelnaw, executive director of the Family Pride Coalition.
I, myself, will never go back to Disney World. We were there in 1998 for a special tournament in which our kids participated. However, the same week we were there in June, Disney was hosting "Gay Days". Our hotel was packed, the swimming pool was packed. We were confined to a gaming area where the kids competed for college scholarship prizes so we missed most of the "gay days".
Personally, as much as we enjoyed the various exhibits, rides, food, and other festivities, I cannot lend support to an organization which continues to obfuscate the true meaning of family and which subjects unsuspecting parents and children to the homosexual culture.

More Sacred Music from OCP?

Is this what the Holy Father envisioned in his Apostolic Letter, SPIRITUS ET SPONSA on the 40th Anniversary of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, SACROSANCTUM CONCILIUM wherein he says:
4. Then with regard to the different elements involved in liturgical celebration, the Constitution pays special attention to the importance of sacred music. The Council praises it, pointing out as its objective: "the glory of God and the sanctification of the faithful"13. In fact, sacred music is a privileged means to facilitate the active participation of the faithful in sacred celebration, as my venerable Predecessor St Pius X desired to highlight in his Motu Proprio On the Restoration of Sacred Music Tra le Sollecitudini, whose centenary occurs this year. It was this very anniversary that recently gave me an opportunity to reassert the need to preserve and to emphasize the role of music at liturgical celebrations, in accordance with the directives of Sacrosanctum Concilium and mindful of the Liturgy's real character as well as the sensibility of our time and the musical traditions of the world's different regions.

Be sure to have your sound turned up!


7-January-2004 -- Vatican Information Service
VATICAN CITY, JAN 7, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

-- Appointed Bishop Joseph F. Naumann, auxiliary of St. Louis, U.S.A. as coadjutor archbishop of the archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas (area 32,425, population 1,174,500, Catholics 197,752, priests 159, religious 756), U.S.A.

Congratulations to Bishop Naumann.

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

New document on liturgy to appear soon, with "rigid" rules removed

Catholic World News ( has reported that the long-awaited document on the liturgy that the Holy Father called for in his encyclical Ecclesia de Eucharistia, will soon be made public. It seems to have been delayed by high-level disagreements within the Vatican. It is also reported that the document will not contain any striking innovations.

In Ecclesia de Eucharistia, Pope John Paul had said that the new document would provide juridical norms regarding the celebration of the Eucharist. The purpose of the document, Vatican officials disclosed at the time, was to curtail liturgical abuse-- a problem that was viewed by the Holy See with grave concern.

CWN reports that the editors of the document-- which has been prepared primarly by the Congregation for Divine Worship-- were reportedly under heavy pressure to avoid causing controversy by taking positions that would be judged as extreme. The final document will avoid that danger by confining itself to a repetition of previous Vatican statements and standards. In effect, informed sources report, the new document will be a distilled version of the liturgical norms already published in the General Instructions for the Roman Missal.

So if CWN sources are correct, we are going to get yet another toothless document without the 'prescriptions of a juridical nature' which the Holy Father requested. No 'rigid' rules for us, please! We do so love our our warm, fuzzy liturgies with dancing, bongos & drums, clapping, with electified guitars and such....It's just so, Matthew Fox - you know what I'm talking about - his Cosmic Techo Mass!

If this report is true, and I certainly don't want to prejudge the document itself, many will be greatly disappointed. There are enough documents already that clarify the rules and far too many priests ignore them and some bishops are too weak to correct them.

I guess we will have to wait and see.

DaVinci Code Seminar Update at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary

Here's some info on the program we are presenting:
Thursday January 15, 2004 at 7 PM at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary.

The presenters are all from the seminary faculty:
Rev. Gregory Lockwood will be talking about the misuse of the Gnostic gospels in this genre of literature and what the real story is.

Fr. Michael Witt will be talking about the "history" presented in the Da Vinci Code and where this stuff came from (specifically, the book Holy Blood, Holy Grail and how those authors misused history to make their outrageous claims.

Then Dr. Lawrence Welch, one of Kenrick's systematics professors, will discuss the theological and catechetical challenges involved.

Directions to Kenrick-Glennon Seminary are:
5200 Glennon Drive, off Weil in Shrewbury, approximately 6 blocks west of Chippewa and 10 blocks east of Laclede Station Road.

Speaking of things to come...

In Spain, a homosexual group is suing the country's Roman Catholic primate for suggesting that same-sex marriages would bring down the country's social security system.

Speaking the truth is equated with slander and incitement to discrimination. Are we there yet? See the full story here.

Pro-life group at Gonzaga law school denied official status

From Catholic News Service...
SEATTLE (CNS) -- A pro-life club seeking recognition at a Catholic university is not normally the subject of media attention. But the Student Bar Association at Gonzaga University School of Law in Spokane has drawn newspaper headlines and the ire of an educational rights organization over its decision to deny official status to a newly formed pro-life group because its leadership requirements exclude non-Christians. The Pro-Life Caucus, founded last fall by two second-year law school students to oppose abortion, euthanasia and assisted suicide, was denied recognition by the Student Bar Association as a university-sponsored group because the group's leadership positions are limited to Christians -- although people of other religions are welcome as members. The university's administration backs the Student Bar Association's decision because of the discriminatory element, but supports the group's purpose, said Dale Goodwin, Gonzaga public relations director, in a telephone interview with The Catholic Northwest Progress, Seattle archdiocesan newspaper.

I wonder if the the president of the college, a respected and apparently orthodox Jesuit priest who has been a guest on Catholic Answers, etc., approves of this? What a wonderful lesson and example of 'politcal correctness'! I wonder how they feel about "Ordinatio Sacerdotalis"?

Is this what will come to pass?

I received this from a friend recently. It brings tears to my eyes. And I have no doubt that we could end up in this situation. Some (Peter Singer, for one) have already advocated that we begin to allow the choice of terminating a child's life for a period of time AFTER he or she has been born.

Thirty-one years ago, abortion on demand was legalized. Now, even a child in the process of being born can be killed with impunity. Laws attempting to protect a child during his or her birth are challenged in the courts, and cannot be enforced. How far will this culture of death go? The following is from the parish newsletter of the Church of St. Mary the Virgin in Arlington, Texas:

Dear Mom,
Gosh, can you believe it’s 2023 already? I’m still writing ‘22’ on nearly everything. Seems like just yesterday I was sitting in first grade celebrating the century change. I know we haven’t really chatted since Christmas. Sorry. Anyway, I have some difficult news and I really didn’t want to call and talk face-to-face. Ted’s had a promotion and I should be up for a hefty raise this year if I keep putting in those crazy hours. You know how I work at it. Yes, we’re still struggling with the bills.

Timmy’s been ‘okay’ at kindergarten although he complains about going. But then, he wasn’t happy about day care either, so what can I do? He’s been a real problem, Mom. He’s a good kid, but quite honestly, he’s an unfair burden at this time in our lives. Ted and I have talked this through and finally made a choice. Plenty of other families have made it and are much better off.

Our pastor is supportive and says hard decisions are necessary. The family is a ‘system’ and the demands of one member shouldn’t be allowed to ruin the whole. He told us to be prayerful, consider all the factors, and do what is right to make the family work. He says that even though he probably wouldn’t do it himself, the decision is really ours. He was kind enough to refer us to a children’s clinic near here, so at least that part’s easy. I’m not an uncaring mother. I do feel sorry for the little guy. I think he overheard Ted and me talking about ‘it’ the other night. I turned around and saw him standing at the bottom step in his PJ’s with the little bear you gave him under his arm and his eyes sort of welling up. Mom, the way he looked at me just about broke my heart.

But I honestly believe this is better for Timmy, too. It’s not fair to force him to live in a family that can’t give him the time and attention he deserves. And please don’t give me the kind of grief Grandma gave you over your abortions. It is the same thing, you know. We’ve told him he’s just going in for a vaccination. Anyway, they say it is painless. I guess it’s just as well you haven’t seen that much of him.

Love to Dad . . .

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

The Fr. Paul Weinberger saga...

Many have followed the story of Fr. Paul Weinberger of Blessed Sacrament Parish in Dallas. While I do not know either Fr. Weinberger or Bishop Grahmann, from the information available, it seems clear that a great injustice has occurred. You may even come across purported statements by the diocesan ‘spokesman’, Deacon Bronson Havard, which were completely unfit to come from the mouth of an ordained man. From what I can gather and if these reports are true, both Bishop Grahmann and the ‘good’ deacon are two of the most miserable and detestable excuses for clergy I have read about, with the exception of practicing homosexual, pederast, and heretical clergy.

That having been said, it would seem to me that the best approach for Fr. Weinberger is to graciously accept the decision of his bishop with obedience and offer his sacrifices to the Lord. Those who are under no direct obligation of obedience to this seemingly misfit bishop can continue to write letters to the Holy See, to or for newspapers, or post articles on web sites. Fr. Weinberger can look to those heroic saints who proceeded him under similar circumstances. St. Pio comes to mind immediately in this regard. His superiors actually treated him more severely yet Padre Pio, humble and obedient, took up his cross knowing that his superiors were quite ‘confused’.

Good and great priests are a threat to many. They are a threat because they are loyal to Christ and His Church. They accept the teachings of the Church. They catechize the faithful. They practice prayer, fasting, and mortification. They celebrate the sacraments in a reverent and dignified way, in a manner worthy of offering true praise and glory to God. They enlighten the hearts of the people. They illuminate the darkness with truth. They lead people to Jesus. They work for the salvation of souls. They give their lives so that others might be saved.

These good priests are a threat to evil. Moreover, they are threat to their brother priests who refuse to confront evil or who may even engage in evil. We must pray diligently for our good priests so that God will grant them courage to keep going amid the onslaught of attacks against them. We must encourage our good priests, our spiritual fathers, by inviting them to our homes as part of our families – because they are part of our families. We must get down on our knees and ask God for His help with these trials that our good priests must endure. And we must thank God for blessing us with our good priests and ask Him to send us more.

We must not forget, however, to continue to pray for those priests and bishops who have already lost the faith or are in the process of losing it - because they refuse to exercise their faith. Many of these ordained men have an atrophied faith because they have no longer know how to stand up against evil. They lack a life of prayer. Their souls have become empty. They have lost touch with Jesus. For these, we should pray even harder. Perhaps, if it be God’s will, their faith might be rekindled. We should continue to confront them charitably with the truth when they err. We should continue to ask them to help us toward heaven. And pray, pray, pray!

Here are a few links, in no particular order, to information about Fr. Paul Weinberger.

Fr Wilson’s Comments

Rod Dreher’s Comments

Dallas Morning News stories about Fr. Paul Weinberger

Fr. Paul Weinberger’s Correspondence

Other related info concerning Bishop Grahmann

Report on the Implementation of the Charter is available...

On the USCCB Web Site here.