Saturday, March 06, 2004

"I think everyone should have a gay child," says Audrey...

The St Louis Post Dispatch has printed a story today titled "The extraordinary journey of an ordinary St. Louis family"....that is a St. Louis "Catholic" family.
This is the story in a nutshell.
When their fifth child, Jane, came home from Mizzou 15 years ago and told her mother she is a lesbian, "I was devastated," said Audrey.

Audrey and Tom were so distraught, they were in a counselor's office that afternoon, and by evening they were sitting in a room full of total strangers -- a support group for family members of gays and lesbians.

Audrey cried at every one of those meetings for a year. She hoped it was a phase.

It took five years of reading, talking with other families and soul-searching for all of the family to not just accept Jane, but to change their minds on the bigger question: Is it wrong?

(The father) had cried with joy as he watched his daughter and her (lesbian) partner Chris wed by an Eden Seminary minister before 125 guests...(but the mother,) Audrey was appalled when Jane told her she is hoping to have a baby."

"I thought it would be the worst thing in the world," Audrey said. "I thought it would be cruel to the child."

Audrey has changed her mind on this, too. It may be too soon to hope, realistically, for marriage.
Five years to accept their daughter because of her disordered inclination? It seems that it may have taken five years to jettison the natural moral law regarding disordered acts rather than accepting their daughter. But then again, we must rely on what the author of the article says.

It is a difficult cross, as the Church teaches us, that people with homosexual inclinations must bear. And we must help them with our support, our prayers and penances. However, one is obliged, in true charity, to stand firm with the truth that homosexual acts are, objectively, gravely sinful.

This is even further compounded by the desire to raise a child in an environment which attempts to confirm that immorality is, in fact, moral, and that disorder is really order - Darkness has become light, evil has become good.

Friday, March 05, 2004

Bishops Receive Missal Texts; Translation Norms

I urge everyone to read this article from Adoremus...
Two signs of significant progress on the authentic reform of the Liturgy were revealed at the beginning of this year. First, a draft document on English translation was released in January by Vox Clara, the panel appointed to assist the Congregation for Divine Worship (CDW) with English-language texts for the Liturgy. Second, a draft of the Order of Mass produced by the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL) was sent to bishops in February -- signaling that new translations of the Mass may be in use a year from now.
. . .
A few examples of texts spoken by the congregation illustrate this greater fidelity to the Latin:

Dominus vobiscum. ­ Et cum spirituo tuo.
Sursum corda. ­ Habemus ad Dominum.
Gratias agamus Domino Deo nostro. ­
Dignum et iustum est.

ICEL 1973
The Lord be with you. ­ And also with you.
Lift up your hearts. ­ We lift them up to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God. ­ It is right to give him thanks and praise.

ICEL 2004
The Lord be with you. ­ And with your spirit.
Let our hearts be lifted high. ­ We hold them before the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God. ­ It is right and just.

The words and gestures of the Act of Penitence are restored to the greater solemnity of the original Latin Confiteor (which had never been changed). Catholics will now for the first time say in English, Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa:

I confess to almighty God and to you my brothers and sisters, that I have sinned exceedingly, in my thoughts and in my words; in what I have done and in what I have failed to do, (striking their breast, they say) through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault...
. . .
...there are strong indications that the changes Catholics will soon experience will be welcomed by most for what they are -- a genuine recovery of the sacred dimension of Catholic worship that was sorely diminished by misguided flirtations with the "spirit of the age" that prevailed four decades ago. Obviously, the cultural phenomenon of "The Sixties" pervaded society and affected far more than Catholic worship. But, as William Ralph Inge, the Anglican dean of St. Paul's in London, once quipped, "He who marries the Spirit of the Age will soon find himself a widower".

Unsettling Facts Underlie The Statistics...The Wanderer

A new article from Paul Likoudis of The Wanderer
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Behind the statistics on the extent of clerical sex abuse in the Catholic Church in the United States over the past 50 years — gathered by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice and interpreted by the U.S. bishops’ National Review Board for the Protection of Children and Young People — are a number of unsettling facts that raise more questions than the NRB report answered.

Please remember Carol McKinley & family in your prayers...

Carol McKinley, the woman who runs an excellent blog called "Magisterial Fidelity" in the Boston area and who keeps those of us outside Boston well informed on Church issues in the area, suffered the unexpected loss of her mother last night in a tragic car accident.

Please pray for her and her family in these hours of tremendous loss. For those who have lost a parent unexpectedly, you will understand how important this is. Pray that she and her family will be extraordinarily blessed with the grace to accept this loss and pray also for the repose of the soul of her mother.

Jesus, I trust in you!


Don’t neglect a daily examination of conscience.

Do ask yourself if you have committed even the least offense against the will of God.

Don’t give in to worry, anxiety or the self-pity of discouragement.

Do frequent the sacraments.

Don’t neglect the spiritual or corporal works of mercy.

Do all things for the glory of God.

Do call on the name of Jesus saying, “Jesus, I trust in You.”

Copyright © 2003 The Real Presence Association, Inc.

Radical Nun claims Bernardin supported Women Priests

The life that led to rebellion
March 5, 2004
Excerpted from "Unveiled: The Hidden Lives of Nuns,"
by Sun-Times reporter Cheryl L. Reed

For starters, there was the matter of her benefactor, Cardinal Joseph Bernardin. While in Rome in 1994, Margaret and her friend Sister Donna Quinn met privately with Bernardin, who was attending a conference that the sisters were protesting.

"He smiled and said, 'I just want you to know that I am for the ordination of women.' He never said that publicly, but now I want to make it known. Later in the conversation, he looked up at the top window and said: 'It won't happen in this administration. But it will happen.' "

Bernardin, she said, had called the shelter his "secret church." A frequent visitor, Bernardin would walk through the shelter with kids clinging to him. Mothers waited in long lines to have him bless their non-Catholic children. Every Christmas, Bernardin wrote checks to the shelter from his private account, she said. When he died, his last check, she said, was inside an envelope labeled: For my secret church.

Bernardin was one of the few church leaders Margaret adored.

"The pope," she said, "despite all his talks to the contrary, despises women."

. . .

Since 1965, the number of nuns in this country has declined from 180,000 to just 73,000 today. Dozens of orders have closed; others are merging to survive.

Despite the prevailing myth that nuns are financially supported by the Catholic Church, most women's religious orders are independent entities, sanctioned by the Church but not dependent on it. Historically, nun orders have financed themselves through institutional works, such as running schools or hospitals.

Today, the majority of nuns do not wear habits. Many live in apartments separate from their convents. Modern nuns are employed in a variety of occupations, including psychologists, professors, lawyers, massage therapists, social workers, political activists and prison chaplains. Their salaries are deposited directly into the order's coffers and they are issued a monthly stipend in order to cover personal expenses.

Catholic sisters have more freedom today in the way they dress, the jobs they choose and even how they practice their spirituality. Because they work less and less under the direct auspices of the Catholic Church, they are freer to express their beliefs and allowed to incorporate other religions into their practices, such as Buddhism, as long as those practices don't conflict with Catholic tenets.
This entire story is so sad. It is yet another example of the loss of faith. Another example of pride giving way to disobedience. A complete rejection of humility and docility in conforming one's will to the will of God.

During this season of Lent, we should remind ourselves of the tremendous sacrifice of our Lord for our sins and transgressions and pray, do penance, and fast in order to accept His call for us to take up our crosses and follow Him. We must reject the temptations to pride and conform our wills to His.

Response to Critics of "The Passion of the Christ"

Numerous Positive Reviews and Stories Counter Raging Critics Who Don’t Want People to See The Passion of the Christ are available on LifeSite News.

* Positive Reports on ‘The Passion of the Christ’ Here*

Thursday, March 04, 2004

Kofi Annan Calls Abortion Group “Shining Example” for World

At a gala event held in January, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan received an award from the International Women’s Health Coalition (IWHC), a group working for worldwide abortion on demand for women and girls. Annan’s enthusiastic acceptance of the award raises renewed questions about the objectivity of Annan, and the UN secretariat in general, which is responsible for organizing major conferences on international social policy.

In his acceptance speech, the Secretary General lauded IWHC, saying that “I am moved that you have chosen to honour me this evening. Above all, I want to pay tribute to the International Women’s Health Coalition for the work it is doing around the globe. The IWHC and its partners provide indispensable leadership for the health and rights of girls and women worldwide. If there were more pioneers like you, the world would be a better place….You are a shining example.”

See the full story here at

This is so disgusting! I am so repulsed by these the words and actions of this man and those whom he praises. One is prone to wonder what sort of deals have been contracted with the devil?

Prosecutor presents case against retired bishop to grand jury

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) A county prosecutor said Thursday he will present to a grand jury sex-abuse allegations against retired Springfield Bishop Thomas Dupre.

Dupre, 70, stepped down Feb. 11, citing health reasons. His retirement came a day after The Republican newspaper of Springfield confronted Dupre with allegations that decades earlier he had abused two boys while he was a parish priest.

[Full Story Here]

Please pray for this man, for his accusers and for the faithful of that diocese.

New, more accurate translation of the Mass

From Catholic World News
Sydney, Mar. 04 (
A new English translation of the Ordinary of the Mass has earned a positive review from the chairman of a new committee of bishops charged with supervising such translations.

The new English translation responds to two new Vatican documents: the 3rd edition of the Roman Missal, which was released in 2002; and Liturgiam Authenticam, the instruction on proper translation of liturgical texts, which appeared in 2001.

Cardinal George Pell of Sydney, Australia, has indicated that the new translation-- which is now being circulated among the bishops of the English-speaking world for comments-- has earned generally favorable notice. "So far, so good," he told reporters in Australia. "In fact, excellent."

Cardinal Pell heads the Vox Clara committee, which was set up by the Vatican to provide guidance for liturgical translations into English. The cardinal reported that the committee "was delighted by the elegance of this translation and its fidelity to the Latin."

Among the most notable changes proposed in the new translation are:

The Creed begins with "I believe," rather than "We believe"-- in a simple and accurate translation of the Latin "Credo."

When the priest says to the congregation, "The Lord be with you," the response is now: "And with your spirit"-- again, a faithful translation of the Latin "Et cum spiritu tuo."

The use of "inclusive language" is generally avoided, so that masculine pronouns are more broadly used-- especially in cases where the pronoun might refer to Jesus or to God.

The English-speaking bishops have been asked to offer comments on the draft translation by May 15.

© Copyright 2004 Domus Enterprises. All rights reserved.
Great news...Perhaps we are on the way to "authentic" liturgical renewal?

St. Cloud priests want discussion of optional celibacy

I have not seen the letter yet.
This article may say enough, however.
Thirty-seven priests in the Diocese of St. Cloud are asking a national bishops organization to discuss optional celibacy for priests.

"This is not trying to be divisive, we're just wanting to have discussion take place for what we feel is the health of the church and the health of the priesthood," said the Rev. Ron Weyrens, a priest at the Church of St. Joseph in Waite Park.

It's still a concern for Weyrens, as is his belief that the call to the priesthood is not limited to celibate men.

"Married men, married women, celibate women, there are a lot of people being called," he said. "We're not really being open to who the spirit is sending us as priests."(my emphasis)
Now we may see the real crux of the issue for Weyrens. The priesthood needs to opened up to anyone who THINKS they have a calling. Pay no attention to the unchanging doctrine of the Church that only males may be ordained...Why no, let us be moved by the 'spirit'! Unfortunately, some are willing to be led by any 'spirit' unless, or course, it's the Holy Spirit!

Where did these priests receive their doctrinal formation? Or did they?

Albany Bishop says critics want to go back to Pre-Vatican II Church

Hubbard denies claims that he protected gay priests, carried on romantic affairs.
"It is not just an attack upon myself," Hubbard said. "It is an agenda about the direction the church is moving and people want to turn back the clock and renounce the strides we made in ecumenism and religious liberty and liturgical reform and go back to the church of before the second Vatican Council.
When he became America's youngest bishop at 38 and took over his home diocese in 1977, he was in the vanguard of the church's liberal lurch since Vatican II in the 1960s. He helped lead the church into a more open institution with girl altar servers, more laity involvement including women lectors, and ministries to help gay Catholics, among other measures.
Brady says Hubbard as a standard bearer of this liberalism is "evil," engaged in "liturgical abuse," and heresy. He said Hubbard should be removed even if he is innocent of the gay sex claims, because he was one of the bishops that for decades refused to fire pedophile priests.

Sure, it's all about the direction the Church is going - not about rampant liturgical abuse, catechetical catastrophe, or failure to reject heretical positions.

[Full Article Here]

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

The St Louis Post Dispatch Editorial Criticizes Abp. Burke and the Church

One wonders if too much time has passed since the last criticisms of Archbishop Burke by the Post Dispatch?

The newest editorial can be viewed here.

One should know what the editor intends to do by his very first sentence which reads:
AMERICA HAS ALWAYS been a difficult fit for the Roman Catholic Church.
But let us continue to see where he wants to lead us:
Here is a country founded by Protestant sectarians who thought the Anglican church was a little too Roman, a country where religious pluralism is the law and individual rights are celebrated. Then there's the Church of Rome, the hierarchical "one true faith" where priests stand between God and man.
Now comes Raymond L. Burke, archbishop of St. Louis, to suggest that America's "hedonistic culture" — the individual pursuit of pleasure — is the most significant cause of the church's priest sexual abuse crisis. Bombarded by permissiveness, some priests not only ignore their vows of celibacy, but the laws governing the sexual abuse of children.
I have yet to see the source of this "quote", other than in the post referenced here. The article did not "quote" Archbishop Burke directly as saying this, but it is what we are led to believe when Aisha Sultan states:
Archbishop Raymond Burke blamed society's "hedonistic culture" as the most significant cause of sexual abuse within the church, while discussing two national reports released Friday that examine the scope and nature of the problem.
It appears to be a quite a stretch for the Post to editorialize on this unless some DIRECT quotes are given. Are we to accept what the Aisha Sultan says without some evidence or additional source material?

There is one and only one direct quote of the Archbishop in the original column, and it does not appear to support the claims of Aisha Sultan. But that's not all. In the newest attack, we continue by reading this:
Archbishop Burke has argued that the sex abuse crisis — and indeed, most of the church's problems — can be solved with return to traditional teachings.
Yes, what Archbishop Burke is saying is that a great number of the problems in the Church can be resolved by a return to : proper catechesis, fidelity to the Church's teachings, proper spritual development, a good prayer life, repentance for one's sins and transgressions, etc....But no, the Post disregards that, and like so many "Cafeteria" Catholics, believe the following, as they continue:
Conservatives, Archbishop Burke among them, were more comfortable when there was no such thing as "primacy of conscience" for Catholics. You went to Mass on Sunday, made your Easter obligation, ate fish on Friday, sent your kids (of which you had a lot, because the Rhythm Method didn't work) to the nuns for education and — this above all — obeyed the priest.
Apparently "primacy of conscience" for the Post Dispatch has nothing to do with whether one's conscience is properly formed or not....A person with a malformed conscience is, evidently, just as capable of making a proper and right moral decision as one who can clearly distinguish between right and wrong (one with a properly formed conscience).

It's shame we are unable to determine who wrote the article. It sounds to me as if our Lord may be testing the writer's conscience a bit...As the writer of the editorial says:
Blaming things on "the culture" won't help. Accepting responsibility might.
From what I read and heard, the Bishop stated the influence of the culture is a factor in development of an individual, but I don't see where he lays 'blame' on the culture itself. But that aside, does Archbishop Burke need to accept responsibility for the actions or inactions of others?

We need to pray more often and with greater urgency for our "hedonistic culture" and for those who seek so much satisfaction from it!

Rome Pilgrimage to Witness Archbishop Burke Receive the Pallium

Just received this email this morning from the Diocese of LaCrosse.

The Diocese of La Crosse is sponsoring a pilgrimage to Rome, June 25-July 2, 2004, to witness Archbishop Raymond L. Burke, a native of the Diocese of La Crosse and now Archbishop of St. Louis, receive the Pallium -- a sign of his office as Metropolitan Archbishop.

If you have never been to Rome, this is an exceptional opportunity to visit the religious landmarks of the Eternal City, as well as to participate in a Pontifical Mass with our Holy Father. Cost is $2,295 + air tax for double occupancy with air from Chicago.

Read the full description and download a registration form:

Please feel free to forward this to any friends and family that may be interested. We welcome you and your friends to join us in this pilgrimage of faith.
For more information, contact:
Rose A. Hammes
Director of Communications and Public Relations
Diocese of La Crosse
(608) 791-2662

The PASSION of the CHRIST in the Catholic Encyclopedia

This was sent me earlier by a kind and gentle Catholic woman working as a missionary proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ. I am thankful for her contribution. Let us pray that those outside the US may be able to witness the movie, "The Passion", before Lent is over.


After you see The Passion of The Christ, you'll probably have plenty of questions. Here's a list of Catholic Encyclopedia articles related to the film:

Agony, the struggle of Christ in the Garden

Annas the father-in-law of the high priest Caiphas

Anne Catherine Emmerich, whose visions helped give life to the film

Caiphas the high priest of the Jews

Character of Christ as manifested in his relation to God and men

Christology, the study of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Claudia, wife of Pilate and mentioned in our Pilate article; she later became Catholic

Crown of Thorns placed mockingly on Christ's head

Documents on Christ from ancient history

Eucharistic Sacrifice, the unbloody renewal of the bloody sacrifice of Christ

Four Gospels, the inerrant historical records of the life of Christ

Gethsemane, where the film's opening scene takes place

Golgotha or Calvary, where Christ was crucified

Herod Antipas the ruler of Galilee

Incarnation, the mystery and dogma of God made Flesh

Jerusalem the city in which the Passion of Christ occurred

Jesus Christ the redeemer of mankind

John the beloved disciple of Christ

Judas Iscariot the apostle who betrayed Christ

Latin, the language of the Church, and spoken in the film

Life of Christ in chronological order

Last Supper, the first Catholic Mass in history

Malchus, the servant whose ear was cut off by St. Peter

Mary the Mother of God

Mary Magdalene the penitent disciple

Passion of Christ as an object of devotion

Passion of Christ in the four gospels

Passion Plays, the medieval precursors to the film

Peter, who denied that he knew Christ, but became the first pope

Pharisees, a first-century faction of Judaism

Pontius Pilate the Roman governor who sentenced Our Lord to death

Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist

Redemption which was wrought by the Passion of Christ

Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ

Sanhedrin, the council before which Christ was tried

Satan who was defeated by Christ in His Passion and Resurrection

Scourging, which Our Lord endured at the pillar

Temptation of Christ, who never succumbed

Veronica who wiped Our Lord's face with her veil

Way of the Cross, a prayer centered around the Passion

Zeal, the love of Christ in action

A Guide to the Passion is simply the best book about The Passion of the Christ. Offering a scene-by-scene analysis from a Catholic perspective, the 100 questions and answers provide a powerful supplement to the film. Buy them in bulk and hand them out to others. The price ranges from $5.95 for one copy to $150 (75% off) for 100 copies.
The entire Catholic Encyclopedia is now available on CD-ROM. This massive reference work features more than 11,600 articles, all for only $29.95. Click here for more details.

Lay Input in Selection of Bishops? From the National Review Board Report

This is from the New York Daily News...
Q. The report says there should be lay input in the selection of bishops.

A. It became very clear to us after two years of investigating and interviewing that some of the most important qualities of a bishop have got to be that they have to be pastors and shepherds of the flock. And that some bishops have gotten to be bishops because they'd gotten on a fast track in Rome. I think if more bishops had been real pastors, dealing with families and mothers and fathers, this would not have happened, because they would have appreciated the horror of what was happening.

It's one of the recommendations of the National Review Board...See page 135 of the report for details....Lord, Help us!

Letter Writing Campaign in Support of Archbishop Burke

Voice of the Faithful-St Louis is having a 'conference' next weekend on 3/13 with Fr. Donald Cozzens as the keynote speaker. In a discussion it was noted that this appears to be the first time that preregistration is required and it may stem from the fact that last year, after faithful, orthodox Catholics began asking Fr. Richard McBrien and others legitimate questions during the Q&A period, the microphones were shut off. An account of what happened, entitled, "Where the Faithful Have No Voice" can be read here.

What follows is what was posted on a St Louis Catholic List in reponse to a another upcoming conference by Voice of the Faithful-St. Louis. I was given permission to post it here and on other sites. I have done some minor editing to it, but it is substantially the same.

The St. Louis Chapter of Voice of the Faithful had tried a letter writing campaign late last year to have a voice in the selection of our new archbishop to replace Justin Cardinal Rigali.

Here is the post:
The St. Louis affiliate of VOTF has a link to the following on their website. They have links to other articles and editorials about themselves too, and all of those have comments about how they have been misunderstood. There is no such comment about this column, so I conclude they see themselves as the columnist from National Catholic Reporter, Sr. Joan Chittister, sees them...

Voice of Faithful goes after biggest issue of all: authority

If you go to their website and click the little headline-crawl across the top, it will (mistakenly, I'm sure) take you to an old letter-writing campaign of theirs, where they say:

"with our input in his selection, the new Archbishop would immediately come
to us confident that he has the trust and backing of his people. Without our involvement in the selection process, he will need time to earn our trust and confidence."

as if Archbishop Burke needs the 'trust and confidence' of VOTF St. Louis. Here is a handy link to the page in question so you don't have to click on the crawl:

I think we should have our own letter-writing campaign. Let's tell the Apostolic Nuncio
Bishop Gabriel Montalvo and Archbishop Burke that he has our 'trust and backing' by virtue of his track-record in the Cold North, and that VOTF St. Louis is the tiny voice of a self-described faithful which doesn't speak for us. We should mention the VOTF
letter-writing campaign so everyone knows what we're responding to.

Let's get the campaign underway. There's the Credo Newsletter, the TFP America Needs Fatima group, the Latin Liturgy Association, and Women for Faith and Family. I bet we could publicize it on WRYT if we tried. We can encourage all these to get the campaign underway to coincide with Archbishop Burke's investure with the Pallium on June 29th. Everyone should compose a letter and have it ready to mail on June 1st. Can we get 500 letters mailed to Bishop Montalvo and the chancery?


Here's a sample letter...
Remember, these letters should be mailed on or about June 1, for the best effect and impression AND we need to have HUNDREDS of people involved.

Most Rev. Bishop Gabriel Montalvo
Apostolic Nuncio
3339 Massachusetts Ave. N.W.
Washington, DC 20008-7121

Your Excellency,

I am aware of a letter writing campaign undertaken by the self-described
"Voice of the Faithful" in St. Louis expressing concern about not being
consulted about Justin Cardinal Rigali's departure, and most especially
about Archbishop Raymond Burke's appointment. I would like to tell you about
other voices.

Many here in St. Louis are proud to have seen our former Archbishop honored
by the Church, and wish him continued success in his new posting. We
understand that Roman Catholics go when they are sent. We are reminded of
this tradition at the close of every Mass with the clever play on words:
"ite, Missa est".

Many, including myself, are grateful to the Holy Father for the appointment
of the courageously outspoken Archbishop Burke to St. Louis. Even without
our involvement in the selection process, Archbishop Burke can be confident
he has the has the trust and backing of many by virtue of his actions in
LaCrosse and here in St. Louis since his arrival.

Thank you for your work as the ambassador of Pope John Paull II to the Church
in the United States, and please do not be swayed by dissidents identifying new
"faith traditions". I am sure they are moved by a Spirit, but it isn't Holy.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Tuesday, March 02, 2004


This is from the Catholic League
and is available here.

The following letter by Catholic League president William Donohue was sent to New York Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly:

March 2, 2004

Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly
1 Police Plaza
New York, New York 10038

Dear Commissioner Kelly:

There is a story in the March 2 edition of the New York Post claiming that Hate Crimes Unit supervisor Dennis Blackman ordered 20 detectives to see “The Passion of the Christ” when it opened last week; some watched the movie during working hours.

Accordingly, I would like to know the answer to the following questions: a) Is it common practice for detectives of the NYPD to watch movies during working hours? b) What prompted the request? c) What criteria are used to assess whether this is a useful function for the police to provide? d) What is the purpose of such an exercise? e) What exactly would the police be empowered to do if they determined the film constituted hate speech?

Thank you for your consideration.


William A. Donohue, Ph.D.
What a wonderful use of taxpayer dollars!

An update to the Catholic Charities Decision in California

I had forgotten to mention that the vote was 6 to 1. The sole dissenting vote was cast by Justice Janice Rogers Brown, writing that the Legislature's definition of a "religious employer" is too limiting if it excludes faith-based nonprofit groups like Catholic Charities.

If you recall, Justice Brown was nominated by President Bush last October to fill a vacancy on the US Court of Appeals in Washington DC. This nomination was met with fierce opposition by Democratic leadership not because she is black or a woman but because of her 'conservative' views. Ted Kennedy went so far as to call Bush's nominees "Neanderthals".

Many have wondered whether Catholic Charities is actually 'Catholic' at all. Numerous stories and articles abound about some of the chapters' failures to adhere to Catholic moral teaching. Certainly some are faithful to Christ and His Church. This fidelity may be due to episcopal leadership, but I can't say for sure.

One has to wonder, however, what kind of agenda is really being pushed, though. When one looks at the Catholic Resources links at Catholic Charities USA, for instance, one will find only three Catholic Resources:
The National Conference of Catholic Bishops/The United States Catholic Conference

The National Catholic Reporter

Salt of the Earth
Two of these links (National Catholic Reporter and Salt of the Earth) are given a "DANGER" rating by Catholic Culture (formerly PetersNet) for Fidelity.

Catholic Culture describes the "DANGER" rating as follows:
The site tends toward disobedience to ecclesiastical authority, schism or heresy. There is repeated emphasis on views which contradict or undermine either the teachings of the Church or her disciplinary authority.
The review for National Catholic Reporter is here.
And the review for Salt of the Earth is here.

But this is not all, and here, in The Mercury News, we find some truth in the claims that some Catholic Charities organizations do NOT adhere to the teachings of the Church.
``We aren't going to do anything different,'' said Maribel Andonian, the spokeswoman for Catholic Charities of San Jose.

Huh? That's because the San Jose group already was offering contraceptive prescription benefits before the 2000 state law. It was a matter of competitive edge, Andonian said. Not religious dogma. (my emphasis)
Catholics have differing viewpoints on contraception, evidenced by Catholics for Choice, which filed a brief siding with the state. Even the spokesman for Catholic Charities of California, Kevin Eckery, has acknowledged the differing views in the network.

Catholics can not have 'differing viewpoints' on artificial contraception if they wish to remain Catholics. And Catholics for Choice is not a Catholic group.

And where is the Bishop of San Jose in all of this? Isn't he busy teaching Catholics that the Gospels are "not historical accounts of the historical events that they narrate"?

This court ruling is an issue which will require bold action on the part of the Bishops of California.

Dr. David Stevens, executive director of the Christian Medical Association, reacting against the California decision, said,
"Faith-based organizations must retain the freedom to follow religious and ethical beliefs in matters regarding issues such as birth control.

"On one hand, they (the courts) fight laws that would allow faith-based organizations to restrict hiring to those who follow its religious teachings. Then on the other hand, as soon a faith-based organizations hires others, they say it's no longer a faith-based organization and loses religious and conscience freedoms.

"The hypocrisy is stunning, but not surprising, given abortion activists' drive to force their political agenda on everyone who disagrees with their views."
(Partial excerpt from Zenit)

Monday, March 01, 2004

George Weigel on the National Review Board's Report

Code: ZE04030122
Date: 2004-03-01
George Weigel on the National Review Board's Report
"Framed Within a Genuinely Catholic and Ecclesial Sensibility"

WASHINGTON, D.C., MARCH 1, 2004 ( George Weigel thinks the U.S. bishops' National Review Board has turned out a report that is a "real service to the Church" as Catholics face the question of genuinely Catholic reform in light of the John Jay study of clerical sexual abuse.

The papal biographer and Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center shared his views with ZENIT in a recent e-mail.

California Supreme Court says Catholic Charities must provide contraception coverage

A Roman Catholic charitable organization must include birth control coverage in its health care plan for workers even though it is morally opposed to contraception, the California Supreme Court ruled Monday.

The 6-1 ruling could reach far beyond the 183 full-time employees of Catholic Charities and affect thousands of workers at Catholic hospitals and other church-backed institutions throughout the state.
[Full Article here]

VOTF-SL Meeting, Fr. Donald Cozzens, and Fr. Groeschel's position

Fr Donald Cozzens will be speaking at Voice of the Faithful St Louis on Saturday, March 13.
Information is available at
Enough information is available on VOTF to determine why many bishops have banned them from meeting on church property.

Fr Groeschel wrote an article discussing a book of Fr. Cozzens some time ago.
The full article by Fr. Benedict Groeschel can be found here at Catholic Culture.

I will add just a few excerpts below. Perhaps these could be considered as talking points or questions if there are opportunities to ask questions?
His book reminds me of a visit I once paid to a progressive seminary. The librarian, a priest, boasted that 80% of the books had been written since 1965. He was less than amused when I told him that the place reminded me of a large pamphlet rack.
There are also eight pages on themes of Carl Jung. There are only two references, both of them rather negative, to John Paul II. Although the Pope has written extensively on the priesthood and the theology of love, chastity and sexuality, none of this monumental work is even alluded to.
There are four references and two pages of Andrew Greeley's thought but no mention at all of saints like Augustine, John Chrysostom, Thomas Aquinas, Alphonsus Ligouri and John Eudes, who all wrote extensively on the priesthood.
Hans Kung and Richard McBrien each get several references but no mention of Avery Dulles' superb book The Priestly Office. De Lubac, Congar, Guardini and von Balthasar are all missing. They all wrote on the priesthood and shaped its identity since the Council and still inspire many.
His view of the priesthood is very much limited to what might be called progressive American Catholicism, an approach that has been co-terminus with the drastic reduction of the number of seminarians and the loss of vocations.
Fr. Cozzens does not appear to be adequately aware of the limitations of theories and he certainly seems to blow caution to the winds with the Oedipal theory of the priest's relationship to the bishop. This gets 20 pages, and again religious order priests are left out. I felt like singing, "I ain't got no daddy." Along with a fourth of the priests in the United States who are not diocesan priests, I still managed to be validly ordained without an Oedipal relationship to a bishop or abbot.
The point that needs to be emphasized and explained is that the particular psychological theories that Fr. Cozzens is using, those of Freud and Jung, are outmoded at the present time.
I categorically and emphatically reject (his) philosophical notion of transcendence as the Christian experience.
Fr. Cozzens, having given us a very inadequate description of transcendence, then takes up the other dimension of priestly development, namely — intimacy.
His thoughts on friendship and intimacy show a depth of pastoral experience and understanding, although the ghost of Sigmund Freud seems to be standing in the corner.
Now we come to a part of Fr. Cozzens' book that I totally agree with — his criticism of the pre-Council seminary. I think he is too kind in his assessment.
Fr. Cozzens falls into the trap of equating psychological maturity with spiritual growth. This is a semi-Pelagian idea, which has been so popular in recent years that it is accepted as a truism.

Finally we come to what is the most objectionable part of Fr. Cozzens's book. This is his discussion of what he calls "gay priests and seminarians." I object to the use of the word "gay" because it is a serious ambiguity. This cynical word was generated by the active homosexual community years ago in order to communicate the fact that people were not happy with this life-style. In the film The Boys in the Band there is a sarcastic remark — "Show me a happy homosexual and I will show you a gay corpse." Unfortunately, this word, which, if one is honest, means a life-style contrary to the teaching of the New Testament and the Church, is used here simply to mean homosexual, and not gay. Homosexual is a neutral word. A person could be homosexually oriented and a saint. A homosexual can lead a totally chaste life and many do. On the other hand, the word "gay" refers to the gay scene — an immoral subculture, one of many in our society. While Fr. Cozzens may not be using it that way, his use is entirely ambiguous.
I did not find any clear moral statement that the engagement in homosexual genital acts is wrong and morally unacceptable.
Again, the full article by Fr. Benedict Groeschel is at Catholic Culture here.

All of the above are quotes from Fr. Groeschel's article.

Sunday, February 29, 2004

Credit where credit is due

From Catholic World News, Off the Record: Commentary from the Newsroom:
Leslie Payne deserves no small credit for having anticipated the National Review Board by seven years in her lucid and devastating exposé Salt for Their Wounds, published in the February 1997 Catholic World Report.

Her essay deserves a careful re-reading. At the very least, it will put ample flesh on the bones of the Review Board's indictment.
After reading her essay and the two latest reports, I have to wonder about Bishop Gregory's assertion that this scandal is history....I think I may share some of Domenico Bettinelli's concerns as expressed here or here.

Catholics Can't Back Laws Contrary to Life, Insists Pope

Code: ZE04022909
Date: 2004-02-29
VATICAN CITY, FEB. 29, 2004 ( John Paul II reminded the faithful that a lawmaker who considers himself a Catholic cannot support laws that are against life or marriage.

"I think it is opportune to recall that the lawmaker, and the Catholic lawmaker in particular, cannot contribute to formulate or approve laws contrary to the first and essential norms that regulate moral life," the Pope said when receiving Carlos Luis Custer, Argentina's new ambassador to the Holy See.

These principles, the Holy Father indicated, are "expression of the highest values of the human person and proceed, ultimately, from God, supreme lawmaker."

John Paul II called for respect for the "value of human life itself," from the moment of conception. "No one can claim for himself the power of violating" the right to life, he said.

The "other pillar of society" that every lawmaker must defend "is marriage, union of a man and a woman, open to life, which gives place to the natural institution of the family," the Pope added.
How many other U.S. Bishops are hearing and heeding the words of our Holy Father?

The Holy Father stated that: a lawmaker who considers himself a Catholic cannot support laws that are against life or marriage.

Certainly a bishop would not be out of line then for stating that: a lawmaker who supports laws against life or marriage cannot consider himself Catholic...

The implications are that this person has abandoned the faith, at least to some extent and would not be properly disposed to receive the Sacraments, except for the Sacraments of Healing. Seems pretty clear cut...Why then do some want to complicate simple things?

A Personal Program for Lent

Importance of a Personal Lenten Program
It should not be enough to slide through Lent by just observing the fast and abstinence laws. We should all undertake a Lenten program, an inward cleansing and purification, for oneself and the family. The program needs to be planned and organized. Ask the question: What shall I and my family do this year for Lent? Goals and activities should be realistic and reasonable, and parents should make sure that their children know why these practices are being adopted, rather than merely forcing them upon them.

Read Pope John Paul's Message for Lent 2004 for inspiration on what should be the focus during Lent. This year's theme is "Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me." (Mt 10:8). After deciding our goals, both individual and family's, we need to arrange our schedules, plan the different events and make adjustments to our life to put these resolutions into practice. Our daily life doesn't stop just because Lent is here. The challenge is to observe the spirit of Lent and perform the works of Lent while living in a secular culture, to remain in the world but not become a product of it.

See the full program here at Catholic Culture (formerly PetersNet)

Archbishop Burke, in his Ash Wednesday homily at the Cathedral, touched on most of the things this article recommends. A "must read" article!

Pope urges authorities to stop homosexual "marriages"

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope John Paul II again stressed his opposition to gay unions today, saying they degrade the true sense of marriage between man and woman. He urged Catholic and non-Catholic authorities alike to stop approving them.

It was the second time in a week that John Paul has raised the issue, which is making headlines in the United States as a national debate arises from a decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court that prohibiting same-sex marriages violated that state's constitution.
[Full Article here]