Saturday, May 08, 2004

English Media Distorts Spanish Papal Nuncio's Remarks on Homosexual Unions

Nuncio actually said that legalization of homosexual unions is totally against Church doctrine.

He also said that "there are other forms of cohabitation and it is good that they be recognized", however press reports are unclear as to what was meant by the statement which could also refer to dependent cohabitation between siblings or elderly mother and daughter. has requested a clarification on the matter from the Vatican Press Service.

Friday, May 07, 2004



May 7
Archbishop Raymond L. Burke, St. Louis
speaking on
Redemptionis Sacramentum: directives regarding the Holy Eucharist

Click here to submit a question Archbishop Burke about the new document from the Vatican or
Question about Pro-abortion Politicians

We Need Your Phone Calls!!!

This show will be pre-taped on Friday May 7th.

We need phone calls during the show.

If you would like to ask a telephone question to Archbishop Burke, Please call on Friday - between the hours of 3:30 and 4:30 pm Eastern time. (phone number 1-800-221-9460)

That's until 5:30 pm Central.

Bishop Doran's Column for May 6...

Vote your principles and hopes for the future
I want to say this early on, so that if it has to be said again later, this issue of The Observer will be proof that I did not wait until a tactically crucial point in the 2004 campaign to speak up, but said my piece at the very beginning.

We have been, for some months, involved in the quadrennial exercise whereby we are hypnotized into the belief that our ballots in November count for everything. In reality, the supine negligence of our legislators and the arrogance of our unelected federal judiciary have brought it about that our votes count for almost nothing. But the emphasis that I wish to place is on the almost, the small difference that our choices do make.

As followers of Christ and faithful members of his Church, it is our obligation to form our consciences after consulting the teachings of the Church and then to follow our consciences to the extent we are allowed a choice in choosing our leaders. It is not within the province of bishops, priests or deacons to tell anyone how he or she should vote, but it is within the power of God to do so, through the judgments of our properly formed consciences.

For some time, young people have adorned bracelets and necklaces with the letters WWJD – What Would Jesus Do? It is difficult to say what Jesus would do in this 21st century because we have, from the accounts of his life in the Gospels, only what he did in the first century. Nevertheless, through the gifts of the Holy Spirit given to us in Confirmation – wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and reverence — we can discern with confidence the principles of life that Jesus taught us and wishes us to follow.

Thus, by the use of a properly formed Catholic conscience, we can determine what Almighty God calls us to do and what leaders He calls us to choose if we are to preserve for ourselves and our children the blessings of equal liberty and, more importantly, to pass on the Catholic faith to our posterity, together with the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Does your conscience tell you that God calls us to national suicide? If it does, then by all means choose leaders who will promote contraception, abortion, euthanasia and the gay lifestyle. We need only to look around us, among the erstwhile nations of the world, to see which ones have perished and why. Those nations have perished which despised children, disrespected the elderly and demeaned the holy state of marriage.

Does your conscience tell you that your children should live under the threat of terror for all their natural lives? If it does, vote for those who appease terrorists, who despise strength of character and purpose, who believe in faulty education and the coarsening of public morals.

Does your conscience tell you that public institutions are not bound by the moral law? Does it tell you that slackening standards of education will produce a more capable population for the future? Does it say that the poor have no claim on us for help in problems of housing, nutrition and health care? If these are the dictates of your conscience, then vote for the people who support these things and vote against those who hold the opposite. Make a choice and then live with it. It has been said more than once: we Americans get the government we deserve, and deserve the government we get, because we choose it.

We have in our country long since lost the ideal of republican representative government. But it is not yet totally beyond our power to choose from among those who contend for our votes those candidates who, by their private lives of sobriety and upright conduct, have shown in small matters that they can be put in charge of greater affairs.

The point, I suppose, of this column is to suggest that you ought to choose people who will act in accord with your convictions and not merely be swept into the polling place by mere partisan concerns, by a desire only to come out and say, “I voted for the winner,” or worse, to make your choice based upon the puerile presentations sometimes made in campaign commercial announcements. Moreover, the so-called debates we see are not particularly helpful since they are not, strictly speaking, debates. Instead, they are oratorical contests in which rhetoric substitutes for logic, and spin for substance.

It requires a Herculean effort of voters to seek out the truth since we have hardly any reliable sources of news available to us.
Nevertheless, we must do our best against the odds. It is easy to say we are at a crossroads. That may or may not be true, but what is true is that those we choose for public office will, whether we want them to or not, make decisions for us in the coming months and years that will affect our lives and our children’s lives for ages.

Do not complain afterwards that, despite our best efforts, the pagans won. Of old, the pagans actually conquered few countries by battle. They often simply overwhelmed their adversaries after the inhabitants let them in.

It is a lesson for us that we must be vigilant in not letting those who would destroy our Catholic Christian way of life take office and dismantle that which has made this nation the envy of the ages.
As always, Bishop Doran asks the questions that NEED to be asked of Catholics...and, indeed, of all God-fearing people.

The Link to the Bishop's column is here but I'm not certain if they are achived or not.

Archbishop Burke names new editor, adviser to St. Louis Review

James Rygelski, formerly the newspaper’s managing editor, has begun duties as editor, the first layman to hold the post in the newspaper’s 63-year history. He succeeds Msgr. Robert W. Finn, editor for the past four years, who on May 3 was installed as coadjutor bishop of the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese.

Msgr. Joseph D. Pins, who began duties as rector of the St. Louis Cathedral Basilica Parish this week, has assumed the newly created position at the Review of episcopal vicar. He will serve as the Archbishop’s representative to the Review and as its adviser.
Congratulations to both Mr. Rygelski and to Msgr. Pins.

Article here.

Bishop John Nienstedt of the Diocese of New Ulm refutes heterdoxy

There is a blog link here to an article about Bishop Nienstedt.

The link to the Bishop's statement which clarifies the teachings of the Church is here. The Bishop apparently needed to do this because of the manifest heterdoxy contained in a booked titled " Revelation and the Church: Vatican II in the Twenty-first Century", co-edited by his predecessor, Bishop Raymond A. Lucker, who was the shepherd of the diocese for nearly 25 years.

A particularly poignant quote from Bishop Nienstedt's article:
Dissent from this authoritative teaching as expressed by the Council places one theologically in opposition to the Church and spiritually in peril of losing eternal life. Catholics have a right to know that the Church is a sure guide for their salvation.

Why did Judge Anne Burke leave the National Review Board?

This is a question posed by Catholic Citizens of Illinois. They say, "Ask her May 16th at the Voice of the Faithful sponsored reception in Wilmette, IL after Mass..."
For those of you who wondered what was going on when Anne Burke showed up at the last Call To Action convention as a headline speaker, you won't be terribly surprised to see one of her first public appearences post-NRB is a Voice of the Faithful sponsored event at the hip, liberal Saints Faith Hope and Charity parish in Wilmette, Illinois, as announced at their website, as follows:

A Special Parish Sponsored “Mass of Healing and Renewal”
Sunday, May 16, 2004, at 11:30 A.M.

With so much attention necessarily given to the investigation within the Church to the magnitude and scope of past clergy misconduct, it is time to step away from all the details and “come together as a parish” to pray for healing, reconciliation and renewal for the victims, their families and for the Church. It is only the Lord that can bring the ultimate peace and renewal necessary to so many injured by past offenses. Our guest presider and homilist for the Mass will be Bishop John Gorman, retired auxiliary bishop of Chicago and significant past contributor to the development of the Chicago Archdiocesan policies for clergy abuse which became the first model for many dioceses. Bishop Gorman is a clinical psychologist, past rector of St. Mary of the Lake Seminary and former pastor of St. Michael’s parish, Orland Park, Illinois. We are also delighted to welcome back Justice Anne Burke, acting chair of the Catholic National Review Board, who will be available for questions and answers immediately following Mass.

Please place this important spiritual event on your calendar. The local Voice of the Faithful Committee is graciously hosting a short reception following the Mass.

Sincerely, Father Kevin J. Spiess, Pastor
Catholic Citizens Link here.

Proper Formation in Celibacy Urged for U.S. Seminaries

John Paul II urged U.S. bishops to ensure that candidates to the priesthood are receiving a "mature and balanced" formation in celibacy and a correct theological understanding of the Church.

Proper formation in chastity and celibacy remains an essential component of seminary training, together with the presentation of a solid and correct theological understanding of the Church and the priesthood," he said.

In particular, the Pope called for "a clear and precise identification of those positions which are not compatible with the Church's authoritative self-understanding, as expressed by the Council and the documents of the post-conciliar renewal."

"This is a personal responsibility that falls to you as pastors concerned for the future of your local Churches, and one that cannot be delegated," John Paul II reminded the bishops.
Zenit Article here.

One more article on Fr. Hausen's Excommunication

The Rev. William Hausen knows just what he'll do when he gets the letter notifying him of his formal excommunication from the Roman Catholic Church: Frame it.
Excommunications are rare, said Bill Ryan, spokesman for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Two priests have excommunicated themselves under circumstances similar to Hausen's in the past 15 years.

The Rev. Jim Callan and pastoral administrator Mary Ramerman was excommunicated in 1999 in Rochester, N.Y., when they split to form another church. And the Rev. George August Stallings, of Washington, D.C., was excommunicated in 1989 when he founded the African American Catholic Congregation.
Pride....absence of humility - Satan exploiting man's fallen nature, taking advantage of man's loss of faith. It is so sad contemplating the pain our Lord because of people rejection of Him and His Church. Pray that this priest and his followers may repent and be reconciled to our Lord.

And note this, here in St. Louis, some at St. Cronan's Parish look to Jim Callan's "Spiritus Christi" as a model for Parish Leadership.

The Denver Catholic Register...The Kerry challenge

George Weigel' column in the Denver Archdiocesan Newspaper.
The bishops of the United States must address this sorry misrepresentation of their teaching —soon, crisply, and preferably as a united body.

Leaving this distortion of the nature of the Church's pro-life position unchallenged would have several serious consequences. It would further corrupt the public debate, which would decay into a non-argument between mis-named "sectarians" and misguided "pluralists." The bishops have done the entire country a great service these past thirty years by using a vocabulary in defense of the dignity of life that everyone, irrespective of religious convictions, can understand. If that genuinely ecumenical, public approach is successfully labeled "sectarian" — and by a Catholic, no less — lasting damage will be done to our political culture.
Link here.

Catholic League calls for support of Bishop Gregory's decision

Bishop Wilton Gregory, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, has refused to release the mental health records of a retired priest accused of sexual abuse. The alleged acts occurred in the 1970s in the Illinois Diocese of Belleville; the diocese is now led by Bishop Gregory. As a result of his decision, the Belleville diocese is being cited for contempt of court.

William Donohue states, “All Catholics should stand with Bishop Gregory and reject the politics of revenge. Those who think this is ‘pay back’ time need to be confronted. Get the guilty but protect the innocent. To their shame, that’s a motto the critics of Bishop Gregory cannot embrace.”
Link here.

Bishop John D'Arcy 'Dissed' in a Fort Wayne editorial

Why hadn't D'Arcy and other church leaders vetted these speakers for theological orthodoxy before they were invited? How did they decide that these two speakers flunked their tests?

And how will D'Arcy exert doctrinal control in Catholic institutions from now on?

Will not only future commencement speakers, but also employees, teachers, professors, even students need to worry more about how closely they hew to church teachings? Must they agree with D'Arcy's interpretation of doctrine on abortion? On just war? On economic and social justice? On homosexuality? On birth control?
Editorial here.

Bishop D'Arcy's "interpretation" of the doctrine on abortion, homosexuality, contraception? Unfortunately, many people are confused in that it is not the Bishop's interpretation of these matters but the teaching of Christ and His Church. It is the responsibility of the Bishop to teach the faithful the truths of their faith. It is his responsibility to lead them to heaven and to help them to avoid the everlasting torments of hell.

New Phoenix Bishop Directly Addresses Homosexuality

Moves quickly to replace key archdiocese staff to ensure unity with his orthodoxy

PHOENIX, May 6, 2004 ( - The new Bishop of the Diocese of Phoenix, Thomas J. Olmsted, has set one of the most impressive US Catholic religious leadership records in recent times. He has deftly addressed issues of prominent concern and has used potential setbacks to his advantage.

Olmsted's official installation as the new Bishop of Phoenix took place only in mid-December. He wasted no time in asserting his leadership, clamping down on the most overt church abuses without delay. By March one priest who flouted church law by co-celebrating a Mass with a non-Catholic minister was suspended pending the results of an investigation into the matter.

Showing unusual episcopal administrative prowess and backbone he put his own team into the key points of the diocesan bureaucracy, a move essential to good governance and going forward with a common vision. Beyond staff changes in the top positions in the chancery, the diocesan spokesperson and diocesan newspaper editor were replaced.
The faithful of Phoenix are blessed to have been given such a good shepherd. Full article here.

Call to Action group in KY & OH stirring up dissent among priests

Friends of Call to Action of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky recently sent the surveys to all priests in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and the Diocese of Covington.

It was part of a national effort by Call to Action USA and other Catholic lay groups to find out how priests feel about the celibacy issue.

She said one Cincinnati priest, 70 years old, agreed to the need for discussion, but said that as for himself, he wouldn't have been as effective a pastor if he had been distracted by family life.

Another priest said he'd had plenty of chances to break his vow of chastity -- he'd been propositioned five times, according to Kemper.

One priest who responded crossed out the name of the group and wrote "Whiner's Anonymous" over it, she said.
"Whiner's Anonymous" least some of the priests understand what this group is about.

The article also quotes statistics from "FutureChurch", another dissenting organization, most of whom are bent on destroying the Church in America.

Article here.

National Day of Prayer criticized by some, including Bishop Thomas Gumbleton

The president's participation in the broadcast drew criticism from Americans United for Separation of Church and State, a liberal group, which suggested that the nonprofit evangelical organization that sponsors the concert and related events was improperly advertising for Mr. Bush's re-election.

Some religious figures, including a Roman Catholic bishop and the president of a major evangelical Christian seminary, also accused the organizers of the broadcast and the White House of using prayer for political purposes.

Bishop Thomas J. Gumbleton of the Archdiocese of Detroit, said he disputed the whole premise of the National Day of Prayer, which he said seems to petition God with certain goals in mind. "The whole point of prayer should be about asking God's will," Bishop Gumbleton said, and he noted that the Catholic Church opposed the war in Iraq.
Article here.

Another Homosexual Website for Priests?

RCF some time back exposed the "St Sebastian's Angels" Internet discussion list which included CapeTown Bishop Reginald Cawcutt. One would have thought that their reports would have been sufficient to ensure that priests and bishops cease exposing their obessions with intrinsically disordered appetites.

But alas, that does not appear to be the case. Envoy has an article which I had meant to link a few days ago, but I was apparently distracted. Part of the post:
This morning, a concerned Catholic reader sent me a link to "Venerabilis," yet another website dedicated to gay priests. Its purpose, explained in English, French, and Italian, is to allow gay priests to anonymously contact one another with an aim toward sharing information and personal stories, fellowship and mutual encouragement, and (surprise!) to facilitate face-to-face encounters.

One priest, posting under the name "Tim," wrote:
"I am a lonely 44 year old priest. I am looking to connect with any priest over 45 who is built and stocky and stronger looking. Although im settled in mycountry I wish to move again to some parish abroad in UK or in Europe where english is spoken. IM a professional and feel so contrained and suffocated in my own country which is so conservative and homophobic. I need help and if any parish priest over 45 wishes to host me and become my friend im willing to offer a lot as long as he is gay and willing to also allow me to keep on studying and we support each other. Anyway wouldl ike to make lots of friends who are priests but im mostly attracted to older stronger men."

Pray for these men who have abandoned Jesus and His Mother.

American Life League to run full-page ad re:McCarrick & abortion

Despite the counsel of both Christ and the Holy Father, Cardinal Theodore
McCarrick of Washington, D.C. made this statement on April 27, 2004,
concerning Catholic politicians who openly support legalized abortion:
“I have not gotten to the stage where I’m comfortable in denying the Eucharist.”
Comforting words for John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi, Ted Kennedy and the 68 other pro-abortion “Catholic” politicians in Congress.
A spokesman for the league said the full-page ads would appear in the Washington, D.C.-area and in in several national publications.

See the Washinging Times article here.

See the Ad here.

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Pittsburgh priest excommunicated

The Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh today formally declared that a priest who has begun a breakaway church is excommunicated.

The Rev. William Hausen caused himself to be excommunicated when he conducted a service at his new Christ Hope church in Sewickley on Sunday, a statement from the diocese said.
Link here.

This seems notably fast for an excommunication to occur...

Urgent! ******* Stop the Morning-After Pill!

Several people were requested to post this and as it is a matter of vital importance I have chosen to do so.

Urgent! ******* Urgent! ******* Urgent!
Stop the Morning-After Pill! Over-the-Counter approval to be decided by the FDA May 21.

No age limits, no medical supervision, no parental involvement!

Spread this far and wide! Time is of the essense! Call the White House, contact your Senators and Congressmen!

From the Population Research Institute
Weekly Briefing:

Dear Colleague:

There is still time for pro-lifers to call the White House (202-456-1414) and urge the President to assure the American people that the mega dose "morning after pill" will not be sold "over the counter."

Also contact your U.S. Senator or Representative to urge leadership from Congress that will protect women and babies from this new chemical assault weapon.

Toll free: 1-800-648-3516 or 1-877-762-8762.

The abortion establishment is going all out to urge their followers to lobby in favor of making this chemical killer available over the counter.

Their mailings include the lie that so-called "emergency contraception" does not cause abortion and does not work if a women is already pregnant. Over the counter approval of the "morning after pill" will be a public health disaster.

Steven W. Mosher

Action item: Urge the FDA to not approve OTC/MAP:
FDA Commissioner
FDA, 5630 Fishers Lane
Rockville, MD 20857-0001
Re: Docket Number 01P-0075 "Switch Status of Emergency Contraceptive from Rx to OTC"

Comments can be sent to FDA over the Internet
Attention: FDA Commissioner

PRI Weekly Briefing
12 May 2004
Vol. 6 / No. 17

Stop the Morning-After Pill!

Press reports suggest that the FDA is teetering on the brink of approving the so-called morning-after pill. As past PRI Weekly Briefings have made clear, there are terrible risks in making this powerful drug available over-the-counter with no age restrictions or parental involvement.

€ The progestin-only hormonal contraceptive in Norplant is the same active ingredient as Plan B. Norplant is no longer available for use in the United States because it is so dangerous. Known risks include significant weight gain, ovarian cyst enlargement, gallbladder disease, high blood pressure and respiratory disorders.

€ Among teenagers, some of these common side effects could result in increased rates of bulimia, anorexia, or clinical depression. Also, an increased risk of ectopic pregnancy has been associated with use of Plan B-type emergency contraception.

€ Since the drug precludes parental involvement, it is likely that teenage girls who buy Plan B at the drugstore then experience abdominal pain may not confide in parents so that a physician could diagnose if a life-threatening ectopic pregnancy had occurred. Over-the-counter approval would mean that young people would be free to purchase and use (abuse) this powerful hormone without supervision or follow up.

€ The drug was approved for over-the-counter use on January 1 in Australia. Already there are reports in the Australian press of 13-year-old girls buying the pill several times a week to the alarm of local pharmacists who are not able to give proper counseling to these girls on the many risks involved. The Australian Medical Association is already questioning the wisdom of making this risky drug so easily available without restriction. (The West Australian, 4/4/04)

€ If over-the-counter availability of this drug is approved, we may also expect that rates of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) among teens will skyrocket. Adolescents age 15-19 currently represent 46% of all cases of Chlamydia in the U.S. 1 in 4 sexually active teenagers contract an STD at some point. In Washington State and in Sweden, where emergency contraception has been made widely available, rates of STD infection are skyrocketing.

€ We can also expect an increase in the rates of sexual violence committed against adolescent girls. The easy availability of this drug over-the-counter will make it more difficult for teenage girls to resist
pressure to have sex, and will trivialize the act of rape.

€ Over-the-counter availability of the morning after pill will lead to an increase in the pregnancy rate among teenagers. Studies have shown that increased rates of pregnancy occur among teens with increased use of "emergency contraception." Another showed that teenagers whose pregnancies ended in induced abortion were more likely to have used the drug before conception, and that teens who use the drug were more willing to engage in "risk-taking" behavior.

Please take time to call the White House or, better yet, jot a note to your Senator or Congressman regarding the morning after pill. If it goes over-the-counter as scheduled on May 21, then anything goes. Lives will be compromised and families further undermined.

A sample letter follows:

April 29, 2004

Dear Senator ____________ (or Congressman _____________):

I understand the FDA is set to decide whether or not the morning-after-pill (MAP) will go over-the-counter on 21 May 2004. I believe that pressure from you and your colleagues could stop this
dangerous drug from being made available to very young girls without medical supervision or parental knowledge.

Would you please advise the FDA to cease and desist? If MAP is approved, then it won’t be long before the FDA makes the birth control pill available over-the-counter. This will further compromise the sanctity of life and the integrity of the family.

Thank you.

Your name
City, State. Zip

© 2004 Population Research Institute.

Permission to reprint granted. Redistribute widely. Credit required.
If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to PRI, please go to All donations (of any size) are welcomed and appreciated.
The Population Research Institute is dedicated to ending human rights abuses committed in the name of "family planning," and to ending counter-productive social and economic paradigms premised on the myth of "overpopulation."

P.O. Box 1559
Front Royal, VA 22630

Phone: (540) 622-5240 Fax: (540) 622-2728
Media Contact: Vince Criste
(540) 622-5240, ext. 206

Please visit John Mallon's website:
AND his new Blog!

Parents are the PRIMARY educators of their children, unless... buys into some of this:
Your kids are safer with homosexuals

A new article in The Wanderer this week (not online, alas) reveals the lengths to which diocesan bureaucrats are going to take control of your children. It concerns the Diocese of Arlington, Va., it’s revoked “Good Touch, Bad Touch” program, and a new program that faces the same opposition and concerns from parents, similar to those raised by parents in Boston against Talking about Touching. Here’s the latest brainbuster: “Mrs. Jennifer Alvaro, diocesan Director of Child Protection and Safety, told a group of religious educators on April 21st that ‘children are safer with homosexuals than with heterosexuals,’ evidently including their parents.”
Article here, Courtesy of Dom Bettinelli, Jr.

The Holy Father's address to the Bishops of Ohio and Michigan

"Vocations need a vast network of people who pray fervently to ‘the Lord of the harvest’. The more the problem of vocations is confronted in the context of prayer, the more prayer will help those whom God has called to hear his voice"

Proper formation in chastity and celibacy remains an essential component of seminary training, together with the presentation of a solid and correct theological understanding of the Church and the priesthood, including a clear and precise identification of those positions which are not compatible with the Church’s authoritative self-understanding as expressed by the Council and the documents of the post-conciliar renewal. This is a personal responsibility that falls to you as Pastors concerned for the future of your local Churches, and one that cannot be delegated.

Full text of the Holy Father's address is here.

Only one priest has obeyed Bishop Olmsted - so far...

A week after they were ordered by the bishop to remove their names from a pro-gay statement, only one of nine Catholic priests who signed the document has complied.

One of the signers, the Rev. Andre Boulanger, has said he will not remove his name from the statement, first issued in January 2003.

Olmsted, in a column titled "The blessing of a chaste life: The call to holiness of homosexual persons," pointed out that "homosexual acts are always wrong, always the opposite of holiness. . . . Those who engage in homosexual acts commit serious sin."

The bulk of the article described the Catholic belief that all followers of Jesus Christ are called to holiness. For "persons with a homosexual inclination," the calling includes chastity and sexual abstinence, Olmsted wrote.

Boulanger said the bishop's column "is well-written and logical" but is built on the "false premise that homosexuality is an aberration."
Not only does the Church teach that homosexual acts are always wrong, but the light of natural reason does as well. One wonders what sort of 'education' some of these men received?

Please keep Bishop Olmsted in your prayers - The stables in Phoenix are apparently in need of a major cleansing.

Article here.

Here is the Holy See's document, "Considerations Regarding Proposals To Give Legal Recognition To Unions Between Homosexual Persons".

What a meeting this will be...

In an effort to defend his political appeal among Catholics, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) is to meet today with Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles, who has strong ties to the Latino community.

Some Catholics say Mahony is one of most liberal of America’s 14 cardinals.

...American Catholic bishops and several cardinals scheduled for June in Colorado...At next month’s bishops retreat, an advocate such as Mahony could be valuable for Kerry.
Wait....there's more...and you should be sitting down for this one!
Catholic leaders, such as Father Robert Drinan, a Jesuit priest and former Democratic congressman from Massachusetts, who now teaches law at Georgetown University, say Kerry should sell the extensive parts of his legislative record that follow the teachings of the church.

“Kerry is a very good Catholic,” said Drinan, who said the candidate is strong on many important Catholic issues. Drinan, who has counseled Kerry’s campaign, said the senator fought for “refugees and immigrants, and he should make that known.”
Yes! Fr. Drinan is a "Catholic leader"...But wait, there is even more to this article.
Sister Joan Chittister, a columnist for the National Catholic Reporter, said questions about Kerry’s Catholicism are “so far off the mark.”

“The question is what is the role of any politician in a pluralistic society, when it’s not a theocratic state, when you’re not the Taliban,” she said. “I can’t think of any time when a politician tried to introduce legislation to impose Catholic views on the country. You must make space for the consciences of all.”
Yep, the good sister tells us we should make room for all. Even those who promote or endorse the willful murder of innocent human beings in what should be the safest place on earth for them.
Chittister said Kerry’s campaign called her yesterday morning and asked her for an unpublished op-ed she had written defending Catholic politicians who refrain from imposing their religious views on the electorate. Chittister said Kerry’s staff wanted to see her “argumentation.”
Kerry's campaign staff evidently knows which professed "Catholics" to contact - those who publicly reject the teachings of the Church - those who are his comrades in "conscience".

Please keep these people in your prayers. First, pray that our Lord will enlighten and guide us and grant us perseverance and courage in this age of apostacy and secondly, that He will enlightened those who live in darkness that they may see and desire His wonderful light!

Story here.

NJ Governor will not receive Holy Communion in public

Gov. James E. McGreevey, continuing to clash with Roman Catholic Church leaders over his support for abortion rights, said yesterday he would comply with the wishes of Newark Archbishop John J. Myers and not seek Communion at public Masses.
McGreevey criticized the Newark archbishop's statement as the latest example of a Roman Catholic leader trying to force Catholic politicians to choose between their faith and the separation of church and state. He was unapologetic in his support for abortion rights.

"I will continue to go to Mass with my family. I will continue to practice my faith. It's a faith that I love. And I believe this is a false choice in America between one's faith and one's constitutional obligations," he said.

He added that, "A woman Sunday in church said, 'Well, ultimately, the faithful will save the church from the bishops.'"

Link to the story is here. The Archbishop's pastoral letter is here.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Karl Keating E-Letter for May 4


Dear Friend of Catholic Answers:

To the left-wing Catholic intelligentsia, Kenneth Untener was a model bishop. "Bishop Ken," as he liked to be called, favored all the trendy causes and appeared in all the trendy protests. His name was found frequently in the pages of the "National Catholic Reporter," where he was mentioned in hagiographic terms.

That was never more evident than in that paper's April 9 remembrance of him. Untener, not long retired as bishop of Saginaw, Michigan, died March 27 at the age of 63. He had led the diocese since 1980.

The April 23 issue of the "Reporter" ran a surprising letter about the paper's eulogy of Untener--surprising in that it took the paper to task for its fawning description of the bishop. The letter was written by Bette Woods of Brighton, Michigan.

As Dr. Johnson noted, "In lapidary inscriptions a man is not upon oath." When eulogizing the dead we highlight their virtues and omit their failings, giving necessarily a skewed--but, for the moment, forgivable--impression. That is permissible at the funeral service and at the graveyard, but we expect a more considered treatment when the deceased is reflected upon in print.

Let me quote from Woods' letter:

"I am sadly amused, though not surprised, at the sappy over-eulogizing of the former bishop of Saginaw, Michigan, Kenneth Untener. May he rest in peace, but at least when speaking about him, we should be honest. And honestly, what is so humble about a man who refused to submit himself to the teaching and discipline of the church he promised to serve ... and what is so visionary about a man whose ideology and vision has [sic] not been replicated anywhere and will die with his generation because it is not being widely replicated with my generation?

"I understand that he is very popular with you older folks at NCR and Call to Action and the like, but the future of the Church is in us 'young fogeys,' as Fr. Andrew Greeley recently referred to our next generation of priests and Church professionals. You may not like that, but at least you should be honest about it.

"Every person I have every met, particularly in the field of Church work, who admires anything even close to Bishop Ken's vision is over 50. Young people, particularly young Catholic women--I am 24--are embracing a much more dynamic John Paul II-esque interpretation of Vatican II, which includes liturgical fidelity, attraction to Christ-centered (and habit-wearing) religious life, and not only an acceptance of but a love for the Church's teachings on the all-male priesthood and the immorality of contraception. And we are the ones graduating from theology schools to minister to youth, teach religion, and write textbooks.

"Bishop Ken may have been a well-meaning, nice man. I hope that God is as merciful to him as he will be to me when all the mistakes I have made in my ministry are before him. But to call him a 'visionary' seems both dishonest and blind when his vision did not capture the next generation!"

Woods makes several telling comments, but let me highlight two:

1. The Church in this country suffers from a "generation gap." When we hear that phrase, normally we think of the elders being conservative and the youth being liberal. Here it is the reverse. Young Catholics, if active in the Church, are almost universally orthodox, even if not yet well formed in their faith.

The most radicalized segment of the Church in America is populated by folks near or past retirement age. Sure, there are twentysomethings who admire what Kenneth Untener stood for, but they are so few that at meetings of Call to Action they are trotted before the audience to prove the organization is not yet moribund.

2. Dissident Catholics justify themselves by saying that their heroes are "visionaries," a visionary being someone who is leading you where you were going anyway. Throughout his long episcopal career Untener was described by his fans as a visionary. He stood up to Rome. He "did" theology and liturgy his own way. He represented the wave of the future.

The problem is that his wave turned out to be the wave of the past, the ecclesiastical equivalent of the leisure suit. Young Catholics such as Bette Woods see this. For some reason, the editors at the "Reporter" do not--or, if they do, they are not admitting it in print.

I wonder what the "Reporter" staffers do after an issue is put to bed. Do they gather at Clancy's Bar for a beer and marvel at how their brand of Catholicism is taking the country by storm? I doubt it, since they can't be subject to that much self-deception.

No, I see them huddled at a side table, cupping their drinks in their hands, eyes downcast, faces drawn, wishing for a return of the exuberance they felt in the 1970s, when things seemed to be going their way. Back then, they could not have imagined that the infants they saw in church would grow up to turn their backs on the "vision" they offered.

Last month it was a eulogy for Kenneth Untener. Soon enough it will be a eulogy for the kind of Catholicism he stood for.

Perhaps you hear ill-formed or banal intercessory prayers during Mass at your parish. Many Catholics do. But cheer up--it could be far worse. Your priest could be selecting the prayers from "Prayers of the Faithful," edited by Fr. Henry Fehren and published by Liturgical Press.

Fehren is the author of seven books, has appeared in fifteen movies, and has written a regular column for "U.S. Catholic." Perhaps his best known book is "Good News for Alienated Catholics."

Here are samples of what you have been spared:

1. "For employers whose primary interest is in efficiency, self-confidence, and good appearance, that they will also hire the ugly ..."

2. "For a frost that will tarnish the value of gold and put sparkle into the dullness of life ..."

3. "For a society where we don't have to make a million dollars, run the 100 in ten seconds, invent a laser, or die in order to be believed ..."

4. "For soldiers who don't get mail, children who flunk, showgirls who grow old ..."

5. For put-down, stepped on, squelched children exiled to live in dark caverns ..."

6. "For the smell of new rain, for pumpkins and Snoopy, for the aroma of homemade bread, for cotton candy, for funny looking animals like giraffes and koalas and human beings ..."

7. "For dissenters and the right to dissent ..."

And my contribution:

"From all such silliness, good Lord deliver us!"

Until next time,
I would send these intercessory prayers to my parish, but I'm afraid that might really use them...In fact, maybe they do already - I would not know. I attend Sunday Mass at another parish to avoid the various liturgical abuses going on.

CAN's Letter to Archbishop Burke

A week or so ago, I was hopeful that someone would be able to get a copy of a letter to Archbishop Burke that was posted at St. Cronan's with a signature list. It was my understanding that this letter was composed by the 'Holy Families' group at St. Cronan's. It appears that it may have been a joint effort, but nevertheless, the letter has been posted on Catholic Action Network's web site.
This letter was composed by a member of our new working group, Holy Families, and sent to Archbishop Burke in late April.

An Open Letter to Archbishop Raymond Burke


Most Reverend Archbishop,

In the summer of 2003, the Vatican issued a document called “Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons” through the office of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. We are a small organization of homosexual and heterosexual Catholic men and women who, we believe, quietly represent the beliefs and frustrations of a much wider group of local Catholics and non-Catholics alike.

We have come to realize that committed same-sex unions are life-giving and loving, not “intrinsically disordered” nor “a serious depravity”. They should be recognized for the sacraments they are, not banned. While there is much other content in this document with which we intensely disagree, we cannot sit silently by and let pass the assertion put forth telling us and the world that allowing committed gay or lesbian couples to adopt children means doing violence to these children. With all due respect, we find this assertion to be totally unfounded in our experience, and completely unsupported by authoritative research. Our experience is that committed gay and lesbian parents are as capable and successful at parenting as their heterosexual counterparts. The Vatican “Considerations”, on the other hand, offers no documentation to the contrary.

Archbishop Burke, we urge you to get to know a few committed same-sex couples. Share meals with them. Get down onto the floor and play with their children. After this experience has convinced you of the presence of genuine love in these valuable families, we ask that you use all the weight of your office to convince your fellow Bishops, our Cardinals, and even our Pope, that there is no place in our Church for hatefulness and bigotry.

Yours in Christ,
As I understand it, there is no place in heaven for those who persist in denying God or His conditions for living according to His will. It is impossible to have supernatural life while continuing to live one's life in darkness and grave sin. We are called to Christian charity and chastity. Homosexuality is the egocentric practice of mutual masturbation.

Every sin against chastity, is a sin against charity.

The unnatural sins against chastity (masturbation, contraception, and homosexuality) are opposed to the divinely ordained nature of sexual intercourse, which is ordered to procreation. Homosexual activity is gravely sinful and has been explicitly condemned in Sacred Scripture. The deliberate practice of homosexuality is a mortal sin which deprives those who die in this state, estranged from God, of the beatific vision of God - heaven.

Those who refuse to bend their minds in the humble worship of God do not receive the grace to keep their passions under rational control. They will continue to see light as darkness and darkness as light.

Pray that their pastor may help them to see the joy of participating in the life of Christ by conforming their will to His will.

Link to the "Open Letter" is here.

A lack of courage

"Courage is almost a contradiction in terms: it means a strong desire to live taking the form of readiness to die." (G.K. CHesterton)

Patrick Leahy has no need to fear being denied Holy Communion by his bishop, despite the fact that he is a supporter of a woman's 'right' to choose to murder her unborn child and despite the fact that he is a member of American Life League's "Deadly Dozen".
Vermont's Bishop Kenneth Angell said this week that he wants to "establish and maintain open lines of communication" with politicians who may hold positions that differ with the church's.

He also said he is awaiting a review by a task force of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops about how the church should deal with Catholic elected officials who have dissenting views. The panel's chairman, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the archbishop of Washington, D.C., also opposes withholding communion from those officials.

Leahy said, "Religion is very, very meaningful to me and (his wife) Marcelle, but I have always kept it separate," he said in an interview. "I have no problem with the church stating its views and preaching to its members, but it has to understand that in the United States we have a separation of church and state. No religion is allowed to dictate the policies of the United States."
Article here.

A Pastoral Statement by The Most Reverend John J. Myers

Some excerpts from:
"A Time for Honesty"

“Although we must all follow our conscience, the task of conscience is not to create moral truth, but perceive it. It is quite possible for an individual to perceive the moral reality of a particular situation erroneously. Such a person may be sincere, but he or she is sincerely wrong.

“Catholics who publicly dissent from the Church’s teaching on the right to life of all unborn children should recognize that they have freely chosen by their own actions to separate themselves from what the Church believes and teaches. They have also separated themselves in a significant way from the Catholic community.

“The Church cannot force such people to change their position; but she can and does ask them honestly to admit in the public forum that they are not in full union with the Church.

“One who practices such dissent, even in the mistaken belief that it is permissible, may remain a Catholic in some sense, but has abandoned the full Catholic faith. For such a person to express ‘communion’ with Christ and His Church by the reception of the Sacrament of the Eucharist is objectively dishonest.”
Perhaps it is also time to remind ourselves of the meaning and purpose of communion. No one has an absolute right to the Eucharist. It is a gift given to us by a merciful and gracious God. In fact, the Eucharist is God’s gift of Himself to us.

But, receiving the Eucharist also means that one is in fact in full communion with Christ and His Church. To receive communion when one has, through public or private action, separated oneself from unity with Christ and His Church, is objectively dishonest. It is an expression of communion by one’s action that is objectively not in accordance with one’s heart, mind, and choices.

Because the Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith, the most sacred action of our Church, to misuse the Eucharistic symbol by reducing it to one’s private “feeling” of communion with Christ and His Church while objectively not being in such union is gravely disordered.
Perhaps Archbishop Myers will be the next to see that manifest grave public scandal of pro-abort politicians receiving Holy Communion will not be permitted in his archdiocese?

The full Pastoral Letter here.

Papal Nuncio in Spain needs Prayers and Enlightenment

The Pope's ambassador to one of Europe's leading Catholic countries has hinted that the church should "acknowledge" gay partnerships - a significant crack in the Vatican's resolute opposition to "evil and deviant" gay relationships.

Departing from his prepared speech, the papal nuncio added that although the law in Spain, and many other countries, defines marriage as the union of a man and a woman, "there are other forms of cohabitation and it is good that they be recognised".

Although he insisted that same-sex unions could not be regarded as marriages, the envoy implied that they were at least worthy of compassion.

The nuncio said gay couples should be given access to certain civil rights, including those within the social security system. He added: "The church can also help them in their spiritual life."

The remarks were in sharp contrast to last year's Vatican guidelines which called on Catholics to campaign against the legalisation of gay relationships, calling them evil, deviant and a grave threat to society.

The document said: "We must refrain from any formal cooperation with the promulgation or application of such seriously unjust laws and, as far as is possible, from any material cooperation in their application."

It added: "There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God's plan for marriage and family. Marriage is holy while homosexual acts go against the natural moral law.
Insidious attacks on the Truth continue from inside the Church - both here and abroad. It will be interesting to see how this develops - if the Papal Nuncio is rquired to retract his statements and proclaim what the Church teaches.

Article here.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Cardinal Rigali to Take Possession of Titular Church

VATICAN CITY, MAY 4, 2004 (VIS) - At 11 a.m. on Sunday, May 9, Cardinal Justin Francis Rigali, metropolitan archbishop of Philadelphia, U.S.A., will take possession of the title of Santa Prisca in Via S. Prisca 11 in Rome, according to an announcement from the Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff.


President's Bioethics Chairman Charges Recent Report was Misused

I received this email this morning.

Dear Colleague,

Proponents of embryonic cloning for experimental purposes claimed victory last month when the President's Council on Bioethics released its most recent recommendations. Some on the Commission are saying the report recommends experimental cloning up to 14 days of development. Leon Kass, the Chairman of the Council, said in an interview with FRC's Bill Saunders last week that this is simply not true.

Spread the word.

Yours sincerely,
Austin Ruse
President, Culture of Life Foundation

Action item: To read Bill Saunders' excellent interview with Leon Kass go to

Facing the Insurmountable with the Fatima Message

Maria Center
336 E. Ripa Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63215

Sunday, May 23, 2004 at 2:00 PM.

Today's Catholics often face what seem to be insurmountable obstacles to the practice of their Faith. We live, for example, in a society that accepts and promotes abortion, immoral fashions and now same-sex marriage. Every family confronts the concrete difficulties of applying their Catholic principles to daily life. The Fatima Message teaches us how to face these difficulties with courage and strength. It also teaches us how to fight back with a spirit of Faith and confidence.

In this talk, we will discuss:
Historic examples similar to our own
Fighting back with less than ideal conditions
Invoking Our Lady's help
Dealing with the crisis inside the Church

This talk is one of a series of regularly held talks sponsored by the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP) and its America Needs Fatima campaign.

American TFP member and director John W. Horvat II will speak on this timely topic and answer questions. He has spoken on numerous occasions in St. Louis.

A question and answer period will follow the presentation. Please join us for what promises to be a stimulating afternoon of Catholic conviviality, enlightening conversation, and hope for the future.

For additional information, contact Mark Serafino at (573) 459-5531.

Richard Doerflinger asks a pertinent 'Life' question of ethicists

Arthur Caplan, University of Pennsylvania bioethicist asks in his MSNBC commentary, “Must we all die with a feeding tube?”, conjured a “cruel” scenario where patients are “forced to endure medical treatment that they do not want.” He says the pope is attacking patient autonomy.

Even in the “tube feeding” cases that have divided families and sparked headlines, the patients generally said nothing clear in the matter; some family members want to continue their care while others want to let them die. Some relatives have said the patient is essentially already dead – an “empty shell” with no dignity.

What does this trend have to do with patient autonomy?

Not much.

If these patients had no human dignity, there would be no reason to respect their autonomy either.

What happens when one sees the reality of abortion?

Shocking film reignites abortion debate

THE bloody reality of abortion was brought into British living rooms (on April 21) in a world TV first that has inflamed emotions and revived old divisions.

My Foetus, a 60-minute documentary shown at 11pm on Britain's Channel 4, shows footage of a four-week-old fetus being vacuumed from its mother's womb.

The documentary also shows images of the dismembered remains of 10, 11 and 21-week fetuses, their broken limbs measured by a tape.
"When I interviewed a doctor about the unpleasantness of performing late abortions it was difficult to listen and not believe it was morally wrong.

"For many people there is no difference between me aborting my fetus at eight weeks and a woman aborting her fetus at 24 weeks, the legal limit for abortions in Britain.

"But for me, even after knowing the facts about abortion, there is a difference."

Journalist Lauren Booth, a pro-choicer who has also had an abortion, said she recoiled when watching the film's pivotal moment.

"My hand flew to my mouth in shock," she said.

"I swallowed. I didn't want to say it, but the word 'murder' came to my lips."
When will this be shown here in the U.S.? Or has it been outlawed as 'hate speech'?

Perhaps vivid reality is needed to help convert hearts and minds - rational 'dialogue' seems to fail too many times.

Article here.

Who's telling the truth here?

Some Catholic Republicans are telling their local priests and parishioners not to believe what the Missouri Catholic Conference — the church's lobbying arm in the state — says against GOP proposals to cut Medicaid spending and to support life sciences research.

The Republicans' anger is directed specifically at Larry Weber, executive director and chief lobbyist of the Missouri Catholic Conference.
“I'm beginning to understand that the lobbyist for the Catholic Conference does not always present things in a truthful fashion,” said Rep. Jodi Stefanick, a St. Louis County Republican and a Catholic who has spoken with her priest about Weber.

“If I had a bishop call me up and say, ‘I'd like to talk to you about this bill'— fantastic,” she said. “But I don't give any credibility to that lobbyist. He's proven himself wrong.”
Though Rep. Carl Bearden, a St. Charles Republican who leads the House Budget Committee, has worked with Weber in the past on pro-life issues, he recently barred Weber from his third-floor office in the Capitol.
Sounds pretty serious...
“I understand people have different viewpoints,” said Bearden, who tore into Weber during a recent speech on the House floor. “The problem comes when you start misrepresenting and flat-out lying.”
And then there is this:
Rep. Bill Deeken, a Jefferson City Republican, had similar thoughts. He recounted that at one point in the session, several groups of Catholic schoolchildren from around the state were brought to Jefferson City to lobby against the Medicaid cuts. Deeken and other Republican lawmakers were invited to a rally at a Catholic church across from the Capitol.

“We were asked to come to defend what we had done,” Deeken said. “They (groups of schoolchildren) were chanting, ‘Save the Kids,' and they had no idea what this bill was doing.”

Deeken said it bothered him that children were used as “pawns” by the church.
Story here.

Grave Public Scandal? Abortion? Let's talk about it.

Bishop Blase Cupich of the Catholic Diocese of Rapid City said church officials are not considering sanctions, such as the denial of Communion.

"This was no official pronouncement by this cardinal. He later clarified that he was not telling anybody how to do anything," Cupich said.

A domestic policy task force is working on recommendations of how to put into practice a Vatican document about how church officials should communicate with elected officials, Cupich said.

"Even in that, there is nothing said about sanctions," Cupich said.

Cupich said he believes church officials are right to give advice on politics but that it should not be limited to a single issue.

"We cannot cherry-pick particular issues. We have to be willing to talk about all issues. Our position begins with protecting the unborn, but it doesn't end there."
So it seems there will not be anything of substance coming from the 'task force'. As long as there is 'dialogue' (unilateral as it may be) everything will be OK.

Article here.

Pride: The reason we disobey higher authority

US Catholic Leaders Refuse Explicit Papal Directive on Nutrition and Hydration
Will "Study" Life and Death Issue for a Year

Last month Pope John Paul II stated unequivocally that a person who is ill always has the right to food and water, even if it must be administered to him through a feeding tube. The Pope made it clear that removal of nutrition and hydration from patients in a vegetative state who are not otherwise dying is "gravely immoral". In Catholic language that means it is unambiguously forbidden.

The reaction of some prominent Catholic ethicists has been a reflection of the divide in medical ethics between the teaching of the Church and modern bioethics. Father John Paris, bioethics professor at Boston College, in an incredibly blunt statement of defiance, said the pope's remarks will have little impact. "I think the best thing to do is ignore it, and it will go away," Paris said. "It's not an authoritative teaching statement."

Father John Strynkowski, executive director of the secretariat for doctrine and pastoral practices, said that the USCCB office will "study" the pope's statement, but until they have finished, no changes in practice will likely be made in Catholic hospitals.

The refusal to obey clear instructions from high authority in the Catholic hierarchy on key issues is not new to the Church in North America. Strynkowski's comments follow closely on the heels of the latest denial of official Vatican directives from Theodore Cardinal McCarrick. In response to high level directives on refusing pro-abortion politicians communion, McCarrick gave an almost identical comment to Fr. Paris' in an interview, "I don't think it was his eminence's (Arinze's) official opinion… this was not something that he reported as an official or even a personal statement."
Article here.

"The refusal to obey clear instructions from high authority in the Catholic hierarchy on key issues is not new to the Church in North America." This reminds me of the statement, "I will not serve."

Lessons in humility

This past Saturday Archbishop Burke was speaking about some of the tricky (difficult) questions in the Marian Catechist tests and he mentioned that some of them were intentional. Fr. John Hardon had used them as a means to teach humility to some of his Jesuit brothers who had become prideful of their knowledge. This is a good lesson for all of us. We all need to practice humility regardless of the extent of our knowledge.

He also mentioned something else which I understood as a problem about which I have been struggling for some time - that of being overly critical of many bishops and others for failing to act decisively as I believe I would if I were in their positions. Because of the Archbishop’s admonition and advice, I am making the effort to be more charitable in presenting facts and commentary. And hopefully, I will do this in a more prayerful manner.

And this brings up another instance which taught me another lesson in humility. A sentence in the paragraph above contains a subjunctive mood clause which my son ‘proved’ was a proper and correct usage, despite my many arguments against his.

One reason for this is my pride of thinking that my knowledge of English grammar was somewhat remarkable. It began over 40 years ago in 4th grade as I was taught English by a wonderful teacher, Sister Mary Selsus, a religious sister of Loretto. She taught us proper grammar by instilling in us the ability to truly understand the language and its rules. We began diagramming sentences in 4th grade, we learned the parts of speech, and we were ‘encouraged’ to memorize various rules, and other aspects of English. Because of her ability to impart knowledge of English, I was able to grasp other languages in my subsequent years much more easily.

Some forty plus years later, I know of two people who can recite an alphabetical list of 32 prepositions in under 10 seconds. I encountered the other person who remembered these things working at a local Catholic bookstore. We both reminisced about those ‘good old days’ while others around us must have thought we were somewhat ‘touched’ as we rattled off those prepositions and discussed the things we had learned at that time.

Another thing which is firmly engrained in my mind, are the rules for verbs (which is leading to the other point I want to make). For all verbs, we were to know the following: Principal Parts, Form, Use, Voice, Mode, Tense, Person, Number and the Rule: “A verb must agree with its subject in person and number”! These nine items, I still recall and use to this day and I am so grateful that I was fortunate enough to have had such good sisters teaching me and others in Catholic grade school.

Anyway, while I remembered the ‘Rule” above, my son showed me the exception to the rule this past weekend. “If I were so and so, I would do such and such.” ('I' is singular and 'were' is plural-therefore, it must be wrong) However, this is the only use of the subjunctive tense in the English language and it uses the first person singular while using a plural verb. I was certain that the proper way to write or express the phrase would be, “If I WAS so and so,…” I reluctantly admitted that I was wrong – thinking that the “Rule” was absolute without exception.

So I was blessed to have had a couple of lessons in humility over the weekend. I hope and pray that any future criticisms I have will be more charitable and intellectual rather than emotional.

Father Hardon was right. There is a certain joy in humiliation especially when one learns something from it. And it is from humiliation that one learns humility,

Monday, May 03, 2004

May 23 - Michael Rose in St. Louis, to speak on "Beyond Scandal"

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.


''It is an act of charity to cry out against the wolf when he is among the sheep.''
(St. Francis de Sales, Introduction to the Devout Life).

A Photo Essay: The Abortion Movement's True Face

From Tradition, Family and Property.

300 worship with breakaway priest

'The greatest theology today will come from your experience of yourself'

The only reason for coming to church is to learn how to love," the Rev. Bill Hausen preached at Christ Hope Ecumenical Catholic Church, which met at the Sewickley Country Inn.

"God does not need praise. God has all the praise he needs. We don't have to love God, because God is love."

Many people said they were visiting out of curiosity or to show support for Hausen. Those included 18 Unitarians from Slippery Rock who had skipped their own service at Ginger Hill Unitarian-Universalist Church.

"We came to show support for a more liberal viewpoint," said Lois Ament, who said she was a former Catholic who had been outraged more than 40 years ago when she was not permitted to become an altar server.

Julianne Scimio of Hopewell said she had left the Catholic Church 25 years ago but never felt at home in other churches. "I want to come home, but I don't want to come back to the same church I walked away from," she said. "This feels like home. I just hope it turns out to be a home church."
Article here.

Pope's Statement on Food/Hydration must be studied (may take a year)

At the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, theologians and bishops will study the pope's words before the bishops decide whether any policies at Catholic hospitals, nursing homes and health care institutions should change, said Father John Strynkowski, executive director of the secretariat for doctrine and pastoral practices. About 625 Catholic hospitals are in the United States.
Link here.

And here is part of the Holy Father's speech:
I should like particularly to underline how the administration of water and food, even when provided by artificial means, always represents a natural means of preserving life, not a medical act. Its use, furthermore, should be considered, in principle, ordinary and proportionate, and as such morally obligatory, insofar as and until it is seen to have attained its proper finality, which in the present case consists in providing nourishment to the patient and alleviation of his suffering.
The obligation to provide the "normal care due to the sick in such cases" (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Iura et Bona, p. IV) includes, in fact, the use of nutrition and hydration (cf. Pontifical Council "Cor Unum", Dans le Cadre, 2, 4, 4; Pontifical Council for Pastoral Assistance to Health Care Workers, Charter of Health Care Workers, n. 120). The evaluation of probabilities, founded on waning hopes for recovery when the vegetative state is prolonged beyond a year, cannot ethically justify the cessation or interruption of minimal care for the patient, including nutrition and hydration. Death by starvation or dehydration is, in fact, the only possible outcome as a result of their withdrawal. In this sense it ends up becoming, if done knowingly and willingly, true and proper euthanasia by omission.
The text of the Holy Father's speech.

Sunday, May 02, 2004

Bishop Olmsted continues bold leadership in Phoenix

Some 4 1/2 months into his tenure, Bishop Thomas Olmsted has left no doubt that he is what the Vatican ordered when he was named to head the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix.

A rapid series of recent diocesan actions underscores that Olmsted is a loyal and ardently faithful servant to Pope John Paul Il, with whom the bishop once regularly worked during assignments with the Curia in the early 1980s.
Some, however, are not too pleased with Bishop Olmsted. It should not be difficult to determine who those might be...
(Mary Jane) Benton, who serves on the national and Arizona boards of the Catholic reform group Called to Action, said Olmsted’s stance on such issues as the priests’ names on the gaysensitive declaration show more emphasis on legalism and rules than respect for the men’s freedom of conscience and the treatments of gays by society.

In a private "personal and confidential letter," Olmsted recently ordered nine priests — five from the East Valley — to remove their names from an interfaith clergy letter, the "Phoenix Declaration," which urges full acceptance of homosexuals in religious and community life.

On Thursday, the bishop suspended a popular longtime Gilbert priest, the Rev. John "Jack" Cunningham, for allegedly allowing a non-Catholic priest to participate in a Eucharist Mass during a recent wedding, in violation of Catholic teaching. The incident is under investigation by a diocesan team.

After years of turmoil and allegations of financial mismanagement in two Mesa parishes, Holy Cross and St. Bridget, Olmsted has looked into complaints there. He ordered the Holy Cross priest removed.

"I have never been so upset with a bishop" in a lifetime of being Catholic, said Ray Rafford of Mesa.

"What you are seeing is a move by the ultra-conservative branch of the Catholic Church to bring the parish priests in line to the bishop’s thinking," he said. "Father John has a history of reaching out to all religions in a spirit of the overall love of God."
Olmsted released a statement Friday in response to inquiries as to where he is taking the diocese.
Pray for Bishop Olmsted as he continues to fulfill his role as shepherd of the Phoenix diocese.

Article here.

Belleville diocese is fined in sex case

A circuit court judge in St. Clair County has fined the Belleville diocese for contempt of court for refusing to turn over the mental health records of a retired priest accused of child sexual abuse.

(One of the plaintiff's lawyers, Patrick) Noaker said it was "disheartening" to see the diocese headed by Bishop Wilton D. Gregory, the head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, continue to use "hide the ball tactics" with legal records.
St Louis Post Dispatch Article.

Pro-Life Women Forcibly Dragged From John Kerry Abortion Rally

Five pro-life college students were forcibly removed from a pro-abortion rally held by presumptive Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry on Friday. The students were literally dragged off after they began leading a pro-life chant and one woman suffered injuries to her feet as a result.

With leaders of NARAL and Planned Parenthood at his side, Kerry held a rally on Friday to tout his pro-abortion position and Planned Parenthood's endorsement prior to Sunday's march for abortion.
Selective Diversity!

The Holy Father's general prayer intention for the month of May is:

"That the family - founded on the marriage of a man and a woman - may be recognized as the basic cell of human society."

Seminary Reform Needed in Wake of Sex Abuse Study

Dr. Rick Fitzgibbons Suggests Programs for Priests, Religious, Seminarians