Saturday, April 24, 2004

Pro-abortion politicians should be denied Holy Communion...says Cardinal Arinze

Cardinal Francis Arinze, speaking at a news conference about a new Vatican report on liturgical practices at Mass, was asked whether "unambiguously proabortion" Catholic politicians should be denied Communion, though that issue was not addressed in the report. "Yes," the cardinal replied.

"The person is not fit," said Arinze, a Nigerian who leads the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, a high-level Vatican body that monitors and sets policies on church service. "If he shouldn't receive it, then it shouldn't be given."

The Massachusetts senator [John Kerry] did not comment on Arinze's remarks yesterday, though during the abortion rights rally he made a point of emphasizing that he was not "proabortion."
Right, he's not 'pro-abortion' just like he doesn't have any SUVs (his family does)...
Leading American bishops downplayed the immediate significance of Arinze's views yesterday while signaling that the issue was a matter of concern.
Of course they did - perhaps in the same way some will downplay Redemptionis Sacramentum as just another document that has no bearing here in the U.S.

Bishop Wilton D. Gregory, the president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, made it clear that there will be no immediate change in practice. Gregory said the issue of Communion for politicians who disagree with church teachings is already being discussed by a task force of the bishops conference and that, in the meantime, it is up to individual bishops to decide how to proceed.

Currently in the United States, only two bishops, in St. Louis and Lincoln, Neb., have said they would deny Communion to Kerry.

There is nothing complex about this, yet a bishops' 'task force' is needed to 'study' and 'discuss' the issue. My God, have mercy on them and give them the strength and the clarity of mind that You have given to Archbishop Burke and Bishop Bruskewitz.

Article here.

Friday, April 23, 2004

And I forgot....Redemptionis sacramentum is effective IMMEDIATELY

This Instruction, prepared by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments by mandate of the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II in collaboration with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, was approved by the same Pontiff on the Solemnity of St. Joseph, 19 March 2004, and he ordered it to be published and to be observed immediately by all concerned.

From the offices of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Rome, on the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, 25 March 2004.

Francis Card. Arinze

Domenico Sorrentino
Archbishop Secretary

Anyone in the neighborhood?

Is this the only parish in St. Louis involved in this?
The Holy Families Committee and Catholic Action Network (CAN) has the video ready for viewing of its recent Issues and Inspiration presentation. If you were unable to attend and would like to view it, please sign the sign-up sheet posted in the back of church.

A letter has also been drafted to Archbishop Burke. A poster size copy of the letter is on display in the back of church. If you feel so moved and support the HF/CAN position regarding our gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender brothers and sisters, we welcome your signature! Thank you.
Looks like a special trip to St. Cronan's.

CRISIS Magazine - e-Letter - Kerry, again...

Received earlier:

April 23
Dear Friend,

He's at it again. Senator John Kerry, that is.

Look, I don't want this to become the John Kerry e-Letter. And I'm genuinely getting tired of talking about him. But since he's making a huge show about being THE Catholic presidential candidate, and since I publish CRISIS Magazine (which covers politics and the Church), he's an important subject.

Which brings us to his latest outrage...

This morning, Kerry addressed NARAL Pro-Choice America at their rally leading up to Sunday's pro-abortion "March for Women's Lives" here in DC. Imagine, just a few short days after meeting with Cardinal McCarrick and trumpeting the fact that he's a Catholic "in good standing" who received the Eucharist at Easter, he's now a major speaker at the largest gathering of abortion activists this year.

Of course, Kerry's pro-abortion position isn't news. But this really takes the cake. Bill Clinton, certainly no friend to the pro-life cause, never once addressed an abortion rally in all his years as president. If Clinton wouldn't even attend these events, what does it say that Kerry will?

Whatever McCarrick and Kerry discussed in their private meeting a few days ago, it's clear that the senator isn't paying any heed to the dictates of his Faith. His rejection of Church teaching is both clear and public. And his speech at the rally -- just a few days after meeting with McCarrick -- is a real slap in the face of the cardinal.

McCarrick and the rest of the bishops who are considering how to handle the issue of Catholic politicians just received another challenge -- not just to themselves, but to our Catholic Faith. It remains to be seen how they'll choose to respond.

As for the March for Women's Lives, if you haven't heard about it already, it's a pro-abortion rally taking place here this Sunday. The first march of its kind since 1992, the event is being sponsored by groups like Planned Parenthood, NOW, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and the ACLU. Their hope is that, by combining forces, they could present a more unified front in support of abortion rights.

The media (surprise!) has been acting as the unofficial PR department for the march. Articles highlighting march organizers, activists, and participants have been appearing in all the major outlets this week. And I'm sure we can expect a complete run-down of the event in the papers on Monday. (Compare this to the near silence that greets the mammoth March For Life each year.)

The marchers originally anticipated a huge turnout -- several hundreds of thousands of people -- but it's beginning to look like the reality might be more modest. In fact, in spite of the extensive media coverage and the self-assurance of the event planners, there's apparently some worry now that the numbers might be smaller than predicted.

It's certainly not for lack of trying. Dozens of groups have been tapped to participate in the march as event planners became more desperate for support. Even CRISIS was called on to participate -- talk about not knowing your audience! The representative who contacted us explained that they are hoping to garner support from religious groups, like Catholics for a Free Choice and the religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice... both of which will be marching this weekend.

March organizers have even widened the parameters of the event. In order to make sure the march numbers match expectations, event organizers are now encouraging the anti-globalization groups who will be in town for the annual World Bank/International Monetary Fund protest to attend the march as well. These protestors in particular have a reputation for violence and destructive behavior at their events, and there's significant concern that their presence will only further incite confrontation.

Several pro-life groups plan on presenting a counter-protest during the march, positioning themselves at various points along the path of the pro-abortion rally. Radical contingents of the pro-abortion march have already stated their intention of heckling pro-lifers in attendance -- the Radical Cheerleaders of DC, for instance, told their members that those who have "a strong affinity for property destruction and/or confrontation" should consider "channeling [their] efforts in creative ways." They go on to explain that "confronting [anti-abortion protestors] is useless because they are irrational and will not listen to you" and that "a thick layer of paint could really compliment a bloody fetus picture."

Right -- the creative debate tactic of destroying property. It's a far cry from the spirit of the March for Life -- an event, I might add, that never has to inflate its numbers for the press.

If this kind of violence does break out on Sunday, you can bet event organizers will try to claim that pro-lifers somehow instigated the confrontation. It'll be interesting to see how things pan out this weekend... and how the media will choose to cover it.

One other interesting event to watch is Tuesday's Senate Republican primary in Pennsylvania. If you aren't familiar with the situation there, incumbent Arlen Specter -- a Republican who has managed to be on the wrong side of almost every major life issue throughout his long career -- is being challenged by Representative Pat Toomey, a solidly pro-life Catholic. Early predictions had Specter in a landslide, but recent polls show that Toomey has closed the gap and now only trails by a few percentage points.

If reelected, Specter would be up for the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Having already proven himself willing to vote down pro-life judges -- he infamously voted against Robert Bork's nomination to the Supreme Court -- he would be a disaster for any future pro-life judicial appointments.

Add to that his ardent support of Roe v. Wade, his voting against the Partial Birth Abortion ban, and his opposition to a federal marriage amendment... well, the list goes on.

Definitely, a race to keep your eye on. We'll keep you updated.

Have a great weekend,


OSV: "No one ever goes to Hell who has been truly loved by another"

Msgr. M. Francis Mannion is still at it, giving bum answers to good questions. In his regular column in Our Sunday Visitor (Nov. 16, 2003), he is asked: "My 25-year-old son was recently killed in a motorcycle accident. He was a very good man and a good son, and he had a lot of integrity. However, he was an agnostic…. Now, I worry about his salvation. I want to believe he is with God or at least in purgatory…. Should I worry that he might be in hell?"

You can read the answer and commentary here.

Vatican says Mass norms must be followed exactly to ensure reverence

From Catholic News Service

LITURGY-VATICAN Apr-23-2004 (1,070 words)
Vatican says Mass norms must be followed exactly to ensure reverence

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The norms for celebrating Mass must be followed exactly to ensure reverence for the Eucharist and to preserve the unity of the Catholic Church, said a new Vatican document.

"In some places the perpetration of liturgical abuses has become almost habitual, a fact which obviously cannot be allowed and must cease," said the document, "Redemptoris Sacramentum" ("The Sacrament of Redemption"), written by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments.

The instruction, approved by Pope John Paul II and released at an April 23 Vatican press conference, particularly cited as abuses the use of eucharistic prayers not approved by the church, changing approved prayer texts, and allowing lay people to carry out functions reserved to a priest or deacon.

The document said that while it was "laudable" to encourage boys and young men to be altar servers, girls and women can be altar servers if the local bishop permitted the practice.

Cardinal Francis Arinze, prefect of the congregation, told reporters, "No one should be surprised that over the course of time the holy church, our mother, has developed words, actions and, therefore, directives regarding this supreme act of worship.

"The eucharistic norms were elaborated to express and safeguard the eucharistic mystery and, even more, to demonstrate that it is the church which celebrates this august sacrifice and sacrament," he said.

Because the Mass and Eucharist are so important to the church, he said, practices that violate the church's norms cannot be taken lightly.

The norms reaffirm church teaching that a Catholic, in a situation of serious sin, must go to confession before approaching the Eucharist.

Cardinal Arinze refused to answer a direct question about whether Massachusetts Sen. John F. Kerry, the probable Democratic nominee for U.S. president and a supporter of legalized abortion, should be denied Communion unless he goes to confession and repents for his position.

"The norm of the church is clear," he said. "The church exists in the United States. There are bishops there, let them interpret it."

However, when asked more generally if a priest should refuse Communion to a politician who supports abortion, Cardinal Arinze said, "Yes."

"If the person should not receive Communion, then he should not be given it," the cardinal said.

Introducing the document, Archbishop Angelo Amato, secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which collaborated in writing the instruction, said that celebrating the Mass in an "arbitrary" manner not only "deforms the celebration, but provokes doctrinal insecurity, perplexity and scandal among the people of God."

The document highlighted violations of existing church norms, but did not set new rules.

It recognized as legitimate the various practices that local bishops have been authorized to permit, including Communion in the hand and the distribution of Communion under the species of bread and wine.

At the same time, it insisted that lay people delegated to assist with the distribution of Communion be referred to as "extraordinary ministers of holy Communion," rather than as eucharistic ministers to emphasize the fact that in the Catholic liturgy the priest is the minister of the Eucharist.

Extraordinary ministers are to assist only when the number of communicants would make it difficult for the priests present to distribute Communion to everyone.

If other priests are present at the Mass and able to help distribute Communion they must do so before extraordinary ministers are employed, it said.

The instruction explicitly bans the practice where priests, "although present at the celebration, abstain from distributing Communion and hand this function over to laypersons."

Any member of the church, it said, "has the right to lodge a complaint regarding a liturgical abuse to the diocesan bishop ... or to the Apostolic See."

The document said, however, that a complaint should be submitted first to the local bishop and that it should be done "in truth and charity."

Unlike an early draft of the document, which was leaked to the press last summer, the instruction did not ban liturgical dance; it did not mention dance at all.

The document said the Second Vatican Council fostered the participation of lay people in the Mass through "responses, psalmody, antiphons and canticles, as well as actions or movements and gestures, and called for sacred silence to be maintained at the proper times."

Following the council's direction, it said, in the choice of music, optional prayers, church decoration and the homily, "there is ample possibility for introducing into each celebration a certain variety."

But only approved Scripture readings are allowed, only a priest or deacon may give the homily and only approved eucharistic prayers can be recited -- and those only by priests.

Anyone at Mass who gives "free reign to his own inclinations, even if he is a priest, injures the substantial unity of the Roman rite, which ought to be vigorously preserved," said the instruction.

"The reprobated practice by which priests, deacons or the faithful here and there alter or vary at will the texts of the sacred liturgy that they are charged to pronounce must cease," it said.

The instruction emphasized that the Eucharist is the memorial of Christ's sacrifice and is not simply a "fraternal meal."

Standing, sitting and kneeling, singing, reciting prayers and praying in silence are all part of an active participation in the Mass, it said.

Reaffirming previous Vatican directives, the instruction said wheat is the only grain acceptable for making hosts and that honey or sugar are not to be added.

While priests who have been laicized may administer the sacrament of confession to someone in danger of death, they are not to celebrate Mass under any circumstances, nor should they serve publicly as lectors or altar servers "lest confusion arise among Christ's faithful."

According to the instruction, some very serious abuses arise from a misplaced desire to promote ecumenism; the document said Mass is not to be concelebrated with a non-Catholic minister.

"The Eucharist is the apex of a Catholic celebration," Cardinal Arinze said. Shared Communion is the goal of Christian unity, not a means to foster full unity in faith and doctrine.

"The Eucharist is not our possession to be given to our friends," he said, but rather it belongs to the church and is a sign of faith held in common.

(All emphasis mine)

New Vatican document condemns liturgical abuses

Vatican, Apr. 23 ( - The Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship has released the long-awaited new document, Redemptionis Sacramentum, calling for careful compliance with the Church's norms for the celebration of the Eucharist.

The new document was prepared by the Congregation for Divine Worship in conjunction with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. It received final approval from Pope John Paul II (bio - news) on March 19, and was signed by Cardinal Francis Arinze (bio - news), the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, on March 25, the feast of the Annunciation.

The full text of Redemptionis Sacramentum is available on the Vatican web site.

Last March, when he released his encyclical Ecclesia de Eucharistia, Pope John Paul II said that a new document, devoted to juridical norms for the Eucharist, would soon follow. Redemptionis Sacramentum was evidently delayed by serious disagreements within the Roman Curia about the content of the text.

Although the new document does not contain any new teaching, it does contain a vigorous denunciation of many widespread liturgical abuses. The document forcefully condemns the practices of priests who change the established forms of the liturgy, or extemporaneously compose their own Eucharistic prayers. There is also a clear and detailed argument against the routine use of extraordinary ministers to distribute Communion.

The purpose of the new document, the Congregation for Divine Worship explains, is "to assure a deeper appreciation of the liturgical norms." The introductory section of Redemptionis Sacramentum states that "it is not possible to be silent about the abuses, even quite grave ones," in the liturgy. "In some places," the document notes, "the perpetration of liturgical abuses has become almost habitual, a fact which obviously cannot be allowed and must cease."

Liturgical abuses are sometimes prompted by a false understanding of freedom, or by ignorance of the faith, the document states. Redemptionis Sacramentum also notes that "well-intentioned" ecumenical efforts also sometimes result in abuses.

Any abuse "is a real falsification of the Catholic liturgy," the Congregation writes, citing the teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas. Redemptionis Sacramentum repeatedly emphasizes the right of the Catholic faithful to proper liturgical conduct, and urges bishops to be diligent in curbing liturgical abuses.

Among the abuses specifically cited in the document are:

The habit of some priests to "take upon themselves the right to compose their own Eucharist Prayers"-- a practice that it "not to be tolerated."
The use of musical instruments or singing during the Eucharistic Prayer.
The breaking of the host at the time of Consecration-- which the document said should be "reprobated and is to be corrected with haste."
Preaching at Mass by anyone other than an ordained priest or deacon.
The scheduling of First Communion for children who have not yet made their first confession.
Excessive commotion associated with the Sign of Peace. The document suggests that the faithful should extend the Sign of Peace only to those immediately around them; the priest is instructed to remain in the sanctuary.

Redemptionis Sacramentum also contains reminders of some rights that are occasionally ignored.

The document points out that "priests are always and everywhere permitted to celebrate Mass in Latin." And there is an explicit statement that the faithful may not be denied Communion solely because they wish to kneel when they receive the Eucharist. The document contains a strong endorsement of private devotion to the Eucharist, and says that bishops should "diligently foster Eucharistic adoration." And while acknowledging that bishops may allow female altar servers, Redemptionis Sacramentum indicates that it is "altogether laudable to maintain the noble custom" of altar boys.

For American Catholics, the most noteworthy part of Redemptionis Sacramentum might be the entire section devoted to the role of extraordinary ministers. "Only out of true necessity is there to be recourse to the assistance of extraordinary ministers in the celebration of the Liturgy," the document reads. It goes on to make it clear that "true necessity" should be defined strictly:

Indeed, the extraordinary minister of Holy Communion may administer Communion only when the Priest and Deacon are lacking, when the Priest is prevented by weakness or advanced age or some other genuine reason, or when the number of faithful coming to Communion is so great that the very celebration of Mass would be unduly prolonged. This, however, is to be understood in such a way that a brief prolongation, considering the circumstances and culture of the place, is not at all a sufficient reason.

Redemptionis Sacramentum sternly denounces priests "who, even though present at the celebration, abstain from distributing Communion and hand this function over to laypersons." And it specifies that any such ministers should be identified as an "extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, and not “special minister of Holy Communion,” nor “extraordinary minister of the Eucharist” nor “special minister of the Eucharist"-- because the use of improper terminology could obscure the crucial distinction between lay people and ordained ministers.

© All material copyright 2004 Domus Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.

Link to article here



(On certain matters to be observed or to be avoided regarding the Most Holy Eucharist)

1. Origins of this Instruction

It helps first of all to place this Instruction at its origins. At the Solemn Last Supper Mass on Holy Thursday in St Peter's Basilica, on April 17 2003, the Holy Father signed and gave to the Church his fourteenth encyclical letter, Ecclesia de Eucharistia.

In this beautiful document Pope John Paul II states, inter alia, that the Holy Eucharist “stands at the centre of the Church's life” (n. 3), that “it unites heaven and earth. It embraces and permeates all creation” (n. 8), and that it “is the most precious possession which the Church can have in her journey through history” (n. 9).

At the same time he notes that there are positive and negative developments in its celebration and worship since the Second Vatican Council (n. 10), that a number of abuses have been a source of suffering for many and that he considers it his duty “to appeal urgently that the liturgical norms for the celebration of the Eucharist be observed with great fidelity” (n. 52). “Precisely to bring out more clearly this deeper meaning of liturgical norms”, he continued, “I have asked the competent offices of the Roman Curia to prepare a more specific document, including prescriptions of a juridical nature, on this very important subject. No one is permitted to undervalue the mystery entrusted to our hands: it is too great for anyone to feel free to treat it lightly and with disregard for its sacredness and its universality” (n. 52).

This is the origin of this Instruction which the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in close collaboration with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, now offers to the Latin Church.

2. Reasons for Liturgical Norms

Someone may ask why there should be liturgical norms at all. Would creativity, spontaneity, the freedom of the children of God and ordinary good sense not be enough? Why should the worship of God be regimented by rubrics and regulations? Is it not enough just to teach people the beauty and the exalted nature of the liturgy?

Liturgical norms are necessary because “in liturgy full public worship is performed by the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ, that is, by the Head and by his members. From this it follows that every liturgical celebration, because it is an action of Christ the priest and of his Body the Church, is a sacred action surpassing all others” (Sacrosanctum Concilium, 7). And the summit of the liturgy is the Eucharistic celebration. No one should be surprised if, with the passage of time, Holy Mother Church has developed words and actions, and therefore directives, for this supreme act of worship. Eucharistic norms are devised to express and protect the Eucharistic mystery and also manifest that it is the Church that celebrates this august sacrifice and sacrament. As Pope John Paul II puts it. “These norms are a concrete expression of the authentically ecclesial nature of the Eucharist; this is their deepest meaning. Liturgy is never anyone's private property, be it of the celebrant or of the community in which the mysteries are celebrated” (Ecclesia de Eucharistia, 52).

It follows that “priests who faithfully celebrate Mass according to the liturgical norms, and communities which conform to these norms, quietly but eloquently demonstrate their love for the Church” (ibid.).

Obviously, external conformity is not enough. Faith, hope and charity which also manifest themselves in acts of solidarity with the needy, are demanded by participation in the Holy Eucharist. This Instruction underlines this dimension in article 5: “A merely external observation of norms would obviously be contrary to the nature of the sacred Liturgy, in which Christ himself wishes to gather his Church, so that together with himself she will be ‘one body and one spirit’. For this reason, external action must be illuminated by faith and charity which unite us with Christ and with one another and engender love for the poor and the abandoned”.

3. Is it important to pay attention to Abuses?

An allied temptation which has to be resisted is that it is a waste of time to pay attention to liturgical abuses. Someone wrote that abuses always existed and always will exist, and that therefore we should just get on with positive liturgical formation and celebration.

This objection, true in part, can be rather misleading. All abuses regarding the Holy Eucharist are not of the same weight. Some threaten to make the sacrament invalid. Some are manifestations of deficiency in Eucharistic faith. Others contribute to confusion among the people of God and to growing desacralization of Eucharistic celebrations. They are not banal.

Of course liturgical formation is necessary for all in the Church. “It is vitally necessary”, says the Second Vatican Council, “that attention be directed, above all, to the liturgical instruction of the clergy” (Sacrosanctum Concilium, 14). But it is also true that “in various parts of the Church abuses have occurred, leading to confusion with regard to sound faith and Catholic doctrine concerning this wonderful sacrament” (Ecclesia de Eucharistia, 10). “Not infrequently, abuses are rooted in a false understanding of liberty” (Instruction, 7). “Arbitrary actions are not conducive to true renewal” (Instruction, 11) for which the Second Vatican Council hoped. “These abuses have nothing to do with the authentic spirit of the Council and must be prudently and firmly corrected by Pastors” (John Paul II: Letter on 40th Anniv. of Sacrosanctum Concilium, Spiritus et Sponsa, 15).

As for those who modify liturgical texts on their own authority it is important to observe with this Instruction that “the sacred Liturgy is quite intimately connected with principles of doctrine, so that the use of unapproved texts and rites necessarily leads either to the diminution or to the elimination of that necessary link between the lex orandi and the lex credendi (Instruction, 10).

4. Overview of the Instruction

The Instruction has an introduction, eight chapters and a conclusion.

The first chapter on the regulation of the sacred Liturgy speaks of the roles of the Apostolic See, the Diocesan Bishop, the Bishops' Conference, Priests and Deacons. I single out the role of the Diocesan Bishop. He is the high priest of his flock. He directs, encourages, promotes and organizes. He looks into sacred music and art. He sets up needed commissions for liturgy, music and sacred art (Instruction, 22, 25). He seeks remedies for abuses and it is to him or his assistants that recourse should first be made rather than to the Apostolic See (Instruction, 176-182, 184).

Priests have also made solemn promises to exercise with fidelity their ministry, as have deacons. They are expected to live up to their sacred responsibilities.

The second chapter concentrates on the participation of the lay faithful in the Eucharistic celebration. Baptism is the foundation for the common priesthood (Instruction, 36, 37). The ordained priest remains indispensable for a Christian community and the roles of the priests and of the lay faithful should not be confused (Instruction, 42, 45). Laypeople have their proper role. The Instruction stresses that this does not mean that everybody has to be doing something. Rather it is a question of being fully alive to the great privilege that God has given them in calling them to participate with mind and heart and their entire life in the liturgy and through it to receive God's grace. It is important to understand this properly and not to suppose that the Instruction is somehow biased against laypeople.

Chapters 3, 4 and 5 seek to answer some of the questions sometimes asked and to address some known abuses regarding the actual Mass celebration, discernment on who receives Holy Communion and who should not, care required for Holy Communion under two forms and questions regarding sacred vestments and vessels, posture while receiving Holy Communion and such like.

Chapter 6 is on worship of the Holy Eucharist outside Mass. It treats of due respect for the tabernacle, and practices such as visits to the Blessed Sacrament, Perpetual Adoration Chapel, and Eucharistic Processions and Congresses (Instruction, 130, 135-136, 140, 142-145).

Chapter 7 gives attention to extraordinary offices entrusted to the lay faithful, such as those of extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, instructors or leaders of prayer services in the absence of a priest (Instruction, 147-169). These roles are different from what the Instruction speaks of in Chapter 2, where it talks of the ordinary participation of laypeople in the liturgy, and in particular in the Eucharist. Here it is a question of the things that laypeople are called upon to do when sufficient priests or even deacons are not available. The Holy See has paid considerable attention to this question in recent years and this Instruction follows suite, adding further considerations for certain circumstances.

The final chapter is on canonical remedies for crimes or abuses against the Holy Eucharist. The main remedy in the long term is proper formation and instruction and sound faith. But when abuses do occur, the Church has a duty to address them in a clear and charitable way.

5. Conclusion

In view of the article of faith that the Mass is a sacramental re-presentation of the Sacrifice of the Cross (cf Council of Trent: DS 1740) and that in the most blessed sacrament of the Eucharist “ the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore, the whole Christ is truly, really and substantially contained” (Council of Trent: DS 1651; cf CCC 1374), it is clear that liturgical norms regarding the Holy Eucharist deserve our attention. They are not meticulous rubrics dictated by legalistically bent minds.

“The most blessed Eucharist contains the Church's entire spiritual wealth, that is, Christ himself, our passover and living bread” (Presbyt. Ordinis, 5). Priests and Bishops are ordained above all to celebrate the Eucharistic sacrifice and give the Body and Blood of Christ to the faithful. Deacons and, in their own ways, acolytes, other servers, lectors and choirs and specially deputed lay faithful are recalled to assist in definite functions. They should all in faith and devotion strive to discharge their various ministries.

The Instruction therefore concludes that the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments hopes that “by the diligent application of those things that are called in this Instruction, human weakness may come to pose less of an obstacle to the action of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist, and that with all distortion set aside and every reprobated practice removed, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, ‘Woman of the Eucharist’, the saving presence of Christ in the Sacrament of his Body and Blood may shine brightly upon all people” (Instruction, 185).

Francis Card. Arinze

23rd April 2004


Instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum

On certain matters to be observed or to be avoided regarding the Most Holy Eucharist (April 23, 2004)
[English, French, German, Italian, Latin, Spanish]

Here is the link...

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Report from the International Congress: "Life-Sustaining Treatments and Vegetative State"

This one is great reading...
Some excerpts:

Bishop Elio Sgreccia, Vice President of the Pontifical Council for Life, stated that: "feeding and hydration is essential to vegetative patients ... it is a duty that is both ethically and medically necessary."

Fr. Kevin O’Rourke, who was not present at the congress but who supports the withholding of food and fluids from people in a vegetative state, commented to reporter, Arthur Jones of the National Catholic Reporter that Bishop Sgreccia was "presenting a private theological opinion as Catholic teaching." and that the "magisterium has never maintained that prolonging the life of a patient in PVS ‘is beneficial to the patient.’"

Professor Eugene Diamond, and moral theologians Fr. Gonzalo Miranda, & Fr. Kevin McMahon each concluded that food and fluids are not medical treatment but rather normal care that is due all persons. That food and fluids are mandatory, unless their provision causes a great physical burden or risk to the patient receiving the care and not providing food and fluids to people in a vegetative state who are not otherwise dying is the same as euthanasia.

Fr. Norman Ford of the Chisholm Centre for Health Ethics in Melbourne, stated that: "the patient should not be subjected to the ontological indignity of being sustained by medically assisted nutrition and hydration for years of unconscious life. This shows a lack of respect for them."

Auxilary Bishop Anthony Fisher of Australia stated: "If continuing to live is unworthy of human dignity with patients incapable of recovery, then why spoon-feed an incapacitated person? Why bother covering them up to avoid cold?"

A French physician challenged Fr. Ford by stating: "why dehydrate people to death over two weeks? If the aim is to end their life, why not be honest and simply put them to death by lethal injection?"

Another controversial presentation on Friday afternoon was delivered by Professor Joannes Lelkens from Maastricht Netherlands. Dr. Lelkens presentation was on the withdrawal of nutrition & hydration in the Netherlands, where euthanasia and assisted suicide are legal.

Dr. Lavrijsen from Nijmegen Netherlands was indignant that Dr. Lelkens was referring to withdrawal of nutrition and hydration as euthanasia. In an intense exchange, Dr. Lavrijsen, asked Dr. Lelkens publicly, "Are you accusing me of manslaughter?" Dr. Lelkens responded, "Yes it is manslaughter, there is no other way to define it."

Dr. Gian Luigi Gigli, President of the International Federation of Catholic Medical Associations said, "After society rejected euthanasia under Nazism, we are now accepting euthanasia for freedom or compassion or pain or choice. I will fight this as long as I live and with all of my strength." He continued, "If we open the door to nutrition and hydration removal, something else will come. It will make life a disposable good and life will be only a good based on its quality. If we accept this we will accept that there is a life not worthy of life. It will lead to the notion - ‘wouldn’t it be better, faster and more compassionate to give them an injection’."

Full Article.

A Commentary on the Holy Father's Address of March 20

Commentary on the address by Pope John Paul II to the participants in the International Congress on "Life-Sustaining Treatments and the Vegetative State: Scientific Advances and Ethical Dilemmas"

"...the Pope stated that people in a vegetative state have the right to receive basic health care which includes nutrition and hydration. Therefore, Pope John Paul II makes it clear that to withhold or withdraw food and fluids from a person in a vegetative state who is not otherwise dying is euthanasia."
That's how I read it also...what are the moral theologians and Catholic Health Care workers seeing in the Holy Father's address that the rest of us cannot see?

Link to article.

Bishops who speak the truth need our prayers

Archbishop Chaput appears to be taking some heat from the Hispanic population in the Denver diocese for his remarks about the Church's teachings and Pro-Death politicians, if the story in the Rocky Mountain News is to be believed.
A constituency the Archdiocese of Denver has spent years courting showed signs of tension Wednesday, as some prominent Hispanic Catholics took issue with their archbishop's message that pro-choice politicians are not following their faith.

In columns in the local Catholic newspaper, Archbishop Charles Chaput - though he never mentions names - identifies a class of politician who "who claim to be Catholic and then prominently ignore their own faith on matters of public policy."
. . .
Though it's impossible to say how the estimated 370,000 Catholics in the archdiocese view the controversy, several prominent Hispanic Democrats said the issue has the community buzzing.

One of them is Denver City Councilwoman Rosemary Rodriguez. She attends Chaput's 6:30 p.m. Sunday Mass, but also supports Salazar and abortion rights. She said she contributed to the archbishop's Annual Appeal and plans to keep doing so, "but people I know are thinking about (dropping) it."
. . .
State Rep. Fran Coleman, of Denver, a Hispanic Catholic with a special role as a eucharistic minister at Notre Dame Parish in Denver, supports Salazar and said she is reluctantly pro-choice. "If I try to overturn Roe v. Wade, I'll be driving abortion back into the underground," she said.

Coleman, whose birth name is Natividad, said she won't reduce her Catholic donations, but finds that things have become more uncomfortable for her.
Yes - following Christ can be uncomfortable, even painful at times.

Archbishop Chaput, in speaking the truth, will be criticized. He needs the prayers and support of all faithful Catholics and of others who believe and follow Jesus the Christ.

Article here.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Michael Rose to speak in St Louis May 23

Credo of the Catholic Laity is proud to present

Michael S. Rose

Speaking on the Topic “BEYOND SCANDAL”

Sunday May 23, 2004 6:00 p.m.

The Radisson Hotel
7750 Carondelet Blvd.
Clayton Mo.

Michael Rose needs no introduction to most of you. His book “Goodby Good Men” exposed the rampant homosexual penetration in many of our Catholic seminaries and was on the New York Times best seller list. His articles and editorials have appeared in such publications as the Wall Street Journal, NY News Day, The American Conservative, the Wanderer, The New Oxford Review, Latin Mass Magazine and the list goes on and on.

He has been interviewed on more than 150 radio and television programs including Crossfire, Rush Limbaugh, Alan Keyes, Sean Hannity and FoxNew’s Rita Crosby Live and many more.

His most recent book is entitled “Priests” in which he describes ten good priests serving the Church.

Another of Rose’s books is “Ugly as Sin”. This book describes why churches were designed as they were and some of the problems with many of the dysfunctional modern churches we have today.

Michael Rose will have a supply of his books for sale at this event.

Join us for a delicious dinner at the Radisson on Sunday May 23rd. The cost is $20.00 per person.

For more information call 314-894-0357.

Address of Pope John Paul II on Life-Sustaining Treatments

I had not seen the complete text of the Holy Father's speech anywhere.

After reading it, it seems clear and unambiguous to me.

Here is the link for the entire text.

A Open Letter to a Leader of Voice of the Faithful

Do you know why the Church exists?

It really does not exist to create cozy communities. It exists to keep people focused on realities that they cannot perceive. That is because the Church points to realities that are outside the material realm.

You and I can only perceive those things that exist within the material realm. The Church reminds us of those things outside that realm. Understanding that the Church shows us the road to salvation, it is our choice whether or not we are going to walk it.

Bishop Olmsted Continues to Clean House in Phoenix

Three key officials of the Diocese of Phoenix, all confidants of Bishop Thomas J. O'Brien, will be replaced July 1, Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted announced Tuesday.

Several other key diocesan personnel have been replaced since O'Brien's resignation. Archbishop Michael Sheehan, who served the diocese for six months between O'Brien's resignation and Olmsted's installation, replaced the diocesan spokeswoman. Olmsted has changed diocesan attorneys and appointed a new editor of the diocese's newspaper. The only top official remaining is the assistant chancellor, the Rev. Michael Diskin.
Full story here.

Speaking of dissent in St Louis....

...See some the latest plans of a local group's 'brain'storming session:

Building an alternative:
House Church liturgies
Women presiding as deacons
Book Group
Experimentation with liturgy

Prophetic Witnessing:
October Conference on Women in Ministry
Actions on women's feast days (Mary Magdalene, St. Teresa, etc)
Compiling a registry of local women called to ordination
Actions during local masses (using WOC's fake dollar bills, etc.)
Visits & letters to bishops (including retired bishops)

In parishes
Using ordination videos
Field trips to alternative Catholic institutions
Great! As if there isn't already enough experimentation with the Liturgy, some people are planning even more! And I'm curious to see women 'presiding' as deacons.

Pity the money counters at parishes who will have to separate the phoney money from the Sunday collection. What a way to express oneself - be a burden to others!

I can't wait to see the list of women who have been "called" to the priesthood. Next, maybe we will see a list of men who feel "called" to motherhood?

Prayer, fasting and reparation - Lord, allow these people to trust in You and in Your Church.

A snapshot of the "Spring Assembly" of a parish in St. Louis

The leadership pages of the St. Cronan community record some of the prayers and actions of community members as they think about and plan for the Third Millennium leadership at St. Cronan's and beyond.

Some excerpts of some comments:
...we believe that one of the key outcomes of the small group process is to identify those issues around which we can all gather, and which are "non-negotiable" for our community. For instance, our group will propose that the full participation of women in liturgy and leadership is essential to our faith journey, and is non-negotiable. If the whole parish agrees with that determination, then anything the Archdiocese proposes that prevents us from maintaining that full participation will be rejected.

Our position as a small group is that we are neither looking for a fight nor for an excuse to break away. On the contrary, we hope to be able to remain within the Archd. structure. We are committed enough to "staying if possible" that we might be willing to compromise on items that are determined to be accidental, but we will not compromise on the substance of our faith. Also, we believe that if the Archd. imposes something that is unacceptable, our response would be to say "No." But then leave the next step to the Archdiocese rather than immediately cause a rupture.

The relationship with the Archdiocese and the South Deanery may have to be re-examined, especially if Cronan’s is merged with one or several parishes.

The traditional ritual and Catholic structure is not as important to me anymore as much as the vision of a Eucharistic people who share a common vision and who live their lives as “broken bread” not just celebrate the symbols of that.

The community, prophetic vision, eucharist - common table that is the focus of our communal gathering. I’m not sure I need a certain person to consecrate the bread & wine; I think I need more time to think about that.

Spiritus Christi - their priest went with them so they have continuity of ministry. They still had an ordained person and kept a “thread of continuity.”

The reason why I’m still Catholic (though I disagree most of the time) is that I feel connected on a deeper level (the tradition I’ve grown up with); but I have experimented with this kind of ritual without an ordained celebrant and feel completely comfortable with this kind of expression.

I’d prefer not to have an ordained priest; rather have a community of my peers.

Too much energy is generated in our community when we’re on the defensive with the diocese. Rather we should put energy into tending to a positive vision and striving to live with “inner authority,” as opposed to walking on the “eggshells” of waiting for the fallout of the tentative “outer authority.”

Diversity is an outstanding trait at St. Cronan, and we want to foster it. We make efforts to meet the needs of the young and the elderly. Our avenues for interpreting scripture strengthen our bonds.
No comments from me at this time....Prayers, yes! Comments, no...

The New Saintliness by George Neumayr

Just a few excerpts:
...Terry McAuliffe, chairman of the Democratic National Committee. "If I went to my local church in Virginia and was denied communion, I'd be very upset about that," McAuliffe said to the Times. "I doubt it will come to that. I think it would be a huge mistake for the Catholic Church."
. . .
The bishops have established a time-buying task force to study "how to deal with Catholic elected officials who vote against church doctrine," which is headed up by a labor-activist cardinal traditionally in the tank for the Dems, Theodore McCarrick.
. . .
Kerry called for the meeting to ensure that the pliant cardinal would keep the lid on the boiling pot of lay Catholic outrage. Unknown at the time, there was an added element of chutzpah to the meeting: At the very moment Kerry was chatting with the cardinal, his campaign team was preparing to roll out a pro-abortion advertising blitz. It appeared on television stations nationwide this week.

"The Supreme Court is just one vote away from outlawing a woman's right to choose. George Bush will appoint anti-choice, anti-privacy justices. But you can stop him. Help elect John Kerry and join the fight to protect our right to choice. Contribute now at Call or log on now," says the ad, Kerry's can-rattling pitch to the deep-pocketed abortion lobby.
. . .
Sensing that the bishops are Democrats before they are Catholics, Kerry and McAuliffe are exploiting the left-wing clericalism of the McCarricks to suggest that the Democrats vote more often with the Church than do pro-life Republicans.
. . .
Had the bishops restricted themselves to teaching the Catholic faith, there wouldn't be this confusion for the Democrats to manipulate. Instead for decades many of the bishops have been acting like Democratic Party lobbyists,...
. . .
For the last word, the Times turned to Richard McBrien, Notre Dame's prized house heretic and the establishment media's favorite fraud theologian, for insight on the bishops. They are "pragmatists at heart," says McBrien. Translation: they are Democrats at heart unwilling to govern the Church and protect the faith when it proves inexpedient.
. . .
It would be an appropriate finale to decades of calamitous Catholic leadership if the most anti-Catholic presidency in American history is occupied by a Catholic.
There appears to be very few bishops who are willing to stand up to evil. We must pray that God will continue to strengthen those who are proclaiming the Truth of Christ, crucified and who are the subjects of ridicule and scorn by Satan and his accomplices. They are standing alone while their brother bishops allow the ransacking of the temple to continue. Lord, have mercy on them and on us.

Complete article is here.

Seminarians Should Know History, Latin and Greek, Says Pope

Candidates to the priesthood need a sound formation in historical-ecclesiastical disciplines and a solid knowledge of Latin and Greek, says John Paul II.

"The revelation of God to men occurred in space and time. This is why we count the years of our history starting from the birth of Christ," the Pope wrote in the message.

"The foundation of the Church, through which He willed to transmit, after the Resurrection and Ascension, the fruit of Redemption to humanity, is also an historical event. (...) Therefore, the history of the Church is an opportune place to draw from, in order to know better the very truth of the faith," the Pontiff continued.

In regard to the study of history, the Holy Father stressed that "a solid knowledge of Latin and Greek is absolutely indispensable, without which access to the sources of the ecclesiastical tradition is precluded."
Article here.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

This really needs to be read and understood...

Excerpts are from an article by Steve Kellmeyer titled "Dreaming is Believing".

George Weigel appears to be at odds with the USCCB. In a recent interview with, Weigel said, “[T]he bishops [must] as a group to make clear that Senator Kerry is systematically misrepresenting the nature of Catholic teaching on the life issues…

Back in December 2003, Cathy Cleaver Ruse, the official pro-life spokeswoman of the USCCB told the New York Times in part, “when it comes to contraception as a policy issue - access, availability - the Catholic bishops do not get involved in that debate."

Now there’s an amazing statement. Catholic bishops don't get involved on a debate concerning mortal sin. One wonders why any of them bothered getting consecrated bishop. But wait – it gets better.
Fr John Hardon was outspoken in his denunciation of contraception and the evils that spring from its acceptance by society and by many of the Catholics (including many of the bishops).

But let's continue:
If the USCCB was lobbying to abolish abortion, why wasn’t it lobbying to abolish contraception? Both are mortal sins, both take human lives. I couldn’t see how the bishops distinguished between the two.

She quickly set me straight. The bishops don’t distinguish between the two.

“No, there is no ‘lobbying to ban abortions for everyone’ as that too has been precluded by the Supreme Court, for the time being,” she wrote in reply, “rather, there are efforts directed toward achievable goals…” She then went on to list a few of the USCCB goals: “the partial-birth abortion ban, [work] against mandating inclusion of contraception in health benefits packages; against making its acceptance a condition for providing other kinds of developmental assistance; protecting parents' rights in the case of minors, [etc.]”

Steve has kinder words than I.
It takes one’s breath away. Instead of preaching on the intrinsic evil of contraception, instead of insisting on the total abolition of contraception and abortion, US bishops are merely attempting to maintain the status quo circa, say, 1975. Pope John Paul II has repeatedly asked them what they are doing to change the culture. Well, now we know the answer: nothing. They aren’t trying to change the culture, they are trying to freeze-frame the culture in one of its most delectable states – the year Maude had her abortion on a national sitcom. We all know people who yearn for the 1950’s. Some benighted souls even yearn for the 1960's. But who knew there was anyone that yearned for the seventies? The bishops have been told in very stern terms by the Unites States Supreme Court that they are to stop trying to abolish contraception and abortion, so… they scrape, bow and obey.
I have often wondered why Fr Hardon preached and preached and preached about the evils of contraception and of it being the source of all of our decay. He did so because it was the TRUTH. Evidently he did so because too many bishops refused...Perhaps prayers for his intercession are in order - prayers that God may instill courage into the hearts and wills of weak bishops. And perhaps the fear of the Lord in those who fail in their obligation to serve Him as they should.

But I digress...One more quote from Steve and I'll give you the link.
So, this is the situation. The USCCB is not working to ban abortion. It is not working to ban contraception. The Supreme Court has forbidden it to do either, and the USCCB takes its marching orders from the US Supreme Court on these two issues.....

Pray for them and for yourself. Pray hard....

Catholics don’t take their marching orders from nine men in black robes. We follow one man, with holes in His hands and His feet and a bloody crown on His head. We aren’t democrats or republicans, we are monarchists. The King is calling us out. It’s time to march.
I continue to learn something new everyday - Sometimes, it makes me want to cry. In times past, saying that would have been an embarrassment for me, being a guy and all.

But no more...I cry for the pain that Christ must endure, I cry for the pain of His Blessed Mother, I cry for the Church and for all of the faithful who have been led into darkness and sin.

In 1946, Pope Pius XII said that the sin of the century is the loss of the sense of sin.

Fr Hardon reminds us that we, as Catholics, must take our responsibility seriously regarding contraception - otherwise we should resign ourselves to being just one more of the civilizations that disappeared from the face of the earth because, as a people, we were so evil in God's sight.

The link to Steve Kellmeyer's article is here.

A "Must Read" from The Curt Jester

Have you found yourself leafing through the Catechism of the Catholic Church and finding that you just don't accept all of it? Have documents from the Vatican angered you in their pig-headed determination not to believe what you believe?

Do you just know that you are right and that two thousands years of teaching and tradition are just plain wrong?
Well don't feel too bad. You can do what countless others are doing...To see what I mean, go here!

The Glories of Contraception and Abortion!

Canada's Birth Rate Continues to Drop: at All-Time Low

Statistics Canada revealed today that the rate at which women are having babies has dropped to an all-time low. The birth rate, as measured in 2002, dropped to 10.5 live births for every 1,000 population, the lowest since vital statistics began to be produced nationally in 1921. The rate represents a drop of 25.4% in the last 10 years alone.

The fertility rate, an indication of how many babies a child-bearing woman would have in her lifetime, indicates that Canada has one of the world's lowest, at 1.5.

The fertility rate is an indication of "replacement rate," meaning that 1.5 babies are born for every woman age 15 to 49, or for every man and woman in the population. In order for a population to simply maintain at its current level, 2.1 is an absolute minimum. Canada's fertility rate is an indication of an absolute decline in population.
It is a fact of history that no country has ever survived after it began to practice contraception and abortion - What a burden the 'enlightened' have bestowed upon those children who do survive - How utterly compassionate they are to enslave the children with unspeakable burdens!

May God have mercy on us for what we have done!

Story at LifeSite.

Morality incomplete without revelation says Cardinal Ratzinger

"In today's world there is a growing effort to affirm non-denominational ethics-- a so-called 'lay morality'-- on the basis of reason alone, independent of all divine revelation," Cardinal Ratzinger observed. He said any such effort was bound to be "fragile and limited," because it could not the into account the ultimate realities of human life and human weakness. A Christian, he continued, should realize that he cannot "understand his faith, nor his moral life," except in the light of Biblical revelation.

The Holy Father also underlined the importance of the Scriptures as a guide to understanding human morality, since "through the Bible, God speaks and reveals himself and indicates the solid basis and certain orientation of human behavior."
Link to CWNews article.

More Dissent concerning directives of Holy Father on food/water

Four weeks after Pope John Paul II said health-care providers are morally obligated to continue artificial feedings for people in vegetative states, debate is growing over what the pontiff's speech will mean to patients in America.

...the pope last month called such assistance a "natural means of preserving life, not a medical act" and therefore "obligatory."

The pontiff said withdrawing a feeding tube based on a lack of hope for the patient's recovery from a vegetative state after a year or more could be called "euthanasia by omission."

"Previously, among Catholic theologians there hasn't been unanimity with regard to the use of feeding tubes in people in a vegetative state," said McCurdy, an ordained minister with the United Church of Christ. "Many lay Catholics are not going to agree with this apparently new teaching of the church."
The trouble is that is not a new teaching - it is consistent with the teaching of the Church throughout the ages.
Answers to questions raised by the pontiff's speech may be elusive until the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops gives its interpretation in coming months. The pope's remarks came during a special Vatican conference on the ethical dilemma raised in the care of patients in vegetative states.
Great, if history is any indicator, this will take years to resolve. Example: Ex Corde Ecclesiae.
Catholic health-care institutions have a duty to counsel families as relatives consider all their options - including transferring their loved one to a non-Catholic site if Catholic facilities decline to remove feeding tubes, Piccione said.

Despite the Catholic Health Association's analysis, Piccione said families who transfer vegetative patients out of Catholic institutions to remove feeding tubes wouldn't necessarily be seen by the church as sinning.

"I don't see Catholic ethics as being 'sin-based,' but rather oriented to identification and accomplishment of the good," Piccione said. "The good can't always be pursued or achieved, and persons in these cases are not seen as morally deficient or in sin."
The "good" in this case, is moving the patient to place where he can be starved to death...All without any culpability. What a novel approach!

Article here.

Pro-Abortion "Catholic" politicians are concerned they're being judged

WASHINGTON, April 19 — Members of Congress are used to being judged and graded by every organization from the Chamber of Commerce to the League of Conservation Voters.

But some Democratic politicians say it is quite another matter to have their standing as Roman Catholics called into question because of their votes in support of abortion rights. Some conservatives are urging church leaders to do just that, most prominently in the case of Senator John Kerry, the presumed Democratic presidential nominee, a self-described "believing and practicing Catholic" who attends Mass, receives communion and has a 100 percent voting record with Naral Pro-Choice America.

In recent weeks, conservatives have been calling on the bishops to penalize Mr. Kerry, even deny him communion, a prospect that fellow Catholic political figures who support abortion rights describe as deeply troubling.

Terry McAuliffe, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, said, "If I went to my local church in Virginia and was denied communion, I'd be very upset about that." Mr. McAuliffe, a Catholic, added: "I doubt it will come to that. I think it would be a huge mistake for the Catholic Church."
It's better to change one's life now while one has time to repent.

I have heard that God keeps some people longer on earth to give them more time to expiate their sins. Perhaps, pre-death "Catholic" politicians are some of those?

Article here.

Monday, April 19, 2004

April 25 - Gateway Academy Presents Joseph Scheidler

Received this via email from J.H. (My thanks for the update)


Joseph Scheidler, the “Green Beret” and hero of the pro-life movement, founder of Pro-Life Action League and author of CLOSED: 99 Ways to Stop Abortion, has agreed to come and give a FREE presentation on pro-life activism right here at Gateway Academy!!!

The event is next Sunday, April 25, 2004 at 7 PM at Gateway Academy in Chesterfield, MO. (17815 Wildhorse Creek Rd.)

Article on Redemptionis Sacramentum by CWNews

Vatican, Apr. 19 ( - More than a full year after it was promised, the Vatican will unveil a document on "several things that must be observed and avoided regarding the Most Holy Eucharist" this Friday, April 23.

The Instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum will be released under the auspices of the Congregation for Divine Worship. Cardinal Francis Arinze (bio - news), the president of that Congregation, will chair a press conference introducing the new document. He will be accompanied by officials of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts; those two dicasteries were also involved in preparation of the Instruction.

When he released his encyclical, Ecclesia de Eucharistia, on April 16 of last year, Pope John Paul said that it would soon be followed by another document in which the Holy See would set forth disciplinary norms to govern liturgical abuse. That document apparently became the subject of a heated controversy among Vatican officials, and repeated drafts were required before the final version won approval.

In September 2003, a draft of the document appeared in the Italian press, accompanied by the report that some Vatican officials found the text too "conservative," and had demanded changes. After that highly unusual public exposure of disagreements within the Roman Curia, the document became the subject of persistent rumors, with several premature predictions that it would soon be ready for publication.

Informed Vatican sources say that Redemptionis Sacramentum in its published form will contain no important new norms, and the liturgical instructions in the new document will simply reflect the norms already published in the General Instructions for the Roman Missal.

Catholic World News
A subsidiary of Domus Enterprises, Inc.
(c) All material copyright 2004 -- all rights reserved.
Link to article here.

Something seems to be missing. The Holy Father specifically asked for a document with "prescriptions of a juridical nature". Does this not mean a document with some sort of disciplinary penalties?

What purpose does document serve which only reprints selected norms from the GIRM or other documents?

I sincerely hope that this is not just another document to be ignored by those of the "do it yourself Mass" mentality. This mentality - this attitude has overcome far too many of the priests and guitar carrying 'liturgists' these past few decades.

We have only to be patient until Friday. Perhaps, there is more to the document that what we know so far. Perhaps, the rights of the faithful to a true liturgy as envisioned by the Church will become a reality for those who have had to endure the pain and suffering of illicit Sacraments for years.


VATICAN CITY, APR 19, 2004 (VIS) - On Friday, April 23 at 11:30 in the Holy See Press Office there will be the presentation of the Instruction of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of Sacraments "'Redemptionis Sacramentum', on several things that must be observed and avoided regarding the Most Holy Eucharist."

Presenting the document will be Cardinal Francis Arinze, and Archbishop Domenico Sorrentino, respectively prefect and secretary of the congregation, and Archbishop Angelo Amato, secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Also present will be Cardinal Julian Herranz, president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative texts.


Link is here.

A recent Post-Dispatch Letter to the Editor

Canon law evasions

After attending a recent meeting between parishioners of St. Stanislaus church and Archbishop Raymond Burke, I believe that I have witnessed religion gone wrong. Accused by parishioners of not being truthful and questioned about specific assurances and guarantees, Archbishop Burke replied evasively that he would help St. Stanislaus Church in any way possible.

In response to parishioners' apprehensions and questions, the archbishop invoked Canon law when stumped for an answer. But one question remained that even Canon law couldn't satisfy: How is it possible that a legally binding contract between St. Stanislaus parishioners and the St. Louis Archdiocese is now being cited as irrelevant?

Polish parishioners in St. Louis are raising the Solidarity banner for freedom from coercion and intimidation, just as their countrymen did in Gdansk, Poland, 25 years ago.

Archbishop Burke, take a moment and meditate, because you need to do some soul-searching.

Anthony Kaminski
Program Director,
Polish Radio Hour
St. Louis
Editor's note: The Polish Radio Hour airs at 4 p.m. Sundays on WEW, 770 AM.
Mr. Kaminski asks, "How is it possible that a legally binding contract between St. Stanislaus parishioners and the St. Louis Archdiocese is now being cited as irrelevant?"

That's an easy question to answer if one really wants to know! Simply because the Code of Canon Law was changed and updated in 1983. What is being addressed is the administration of the parish which should be in conformity of the laws of the Church. We can look to secular examples of similar situations in which the law has changed which requires our submission to the new law if we are to avoid penalties for failure to abide by those new laws.

One must be especially cognizant not to confuse articles of faith with those acts or rules of discipline or administration.

One must wonder why Cardinal Rigali was not castigated when he began the process of bringing St. Stanislaus into conformity with Canon Law. Now that Archbishop Burke has been given the task of completing this unfinished duty, he is labeled as being disingenuous. It causes one to wonder what is really behind the animosity behind the attacks on Archbishop Burke?

Link here.

Be sure to visit this site.....

This is a site "Chronicling Democratic presidential frontrunner John Kerry's desparate attempts to maintain his status as "a Catholic in good standing" while publicly flouting the moral teachings of the Catholic Church. "

It is well worth the visit if one wishes to gain a deeper appreciation of how far out of touch John Kerry and other nominal Catholics are in their understanding of Church teaching.

Durbin finds politics, religion at odds

The pastor of Blessed Sacrament Church, the parish that includes the Springfield home of U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, says he would not give Holy Communion to Durbin, who is Catholic but supports abortion rights.

Article here...