Friday, May 14, 2004

Life In the Ohwellian Society

When societies become exceptionally decadent, when decency is under attack and immorality defended, we naturally seek the source of such a nightmare. Certainly, evil cannot thrive without the cooperation of man. But what men are most culpable for our present decadence, the blatant instigators of the revolution against Our Lord, or the “silent majority”?

By silent majority it is meant those that look the other way in the presence of evil or sigh and say: “Oh well...”

There are those for instance, claiming to be Catholic, who when asked about abortion will reply with: “Oh’s the law!” There are others, when faced with liturgical abuse will say: “Oh well... nothing stays the same. What’s wrong with change?” Finally, there is the now classic, out-of-context and simplistic rejoinder: “Oh well, we should not judge!”

What we lack today, with a few notable exceptions, is a combative Catholic spirit in the world.
There are so many of these "Ohwellians" who are 'professed' Catholics. I believe it is a flawed understanding of the Catholic Faith which has, effectively, neutered the faith of most of these people. Unable to defend the Church or her teachings from attacks from those outside the Church, they are even less able to do so from those who are within her walls. All who are truly faithful must continue to pray for and to teach those who are in need of catechesis. It is by hearing the truth that they will come to the truth, into the glorious light of Christ. This is our duty as baptized and confirmed Catholics and our mandate as expressed by the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council.
Full article here...

Bishop Brusewitz questions the authority of the National Review Board

I had missed this two weeks ago and thought I would provide a link to it. Bishop Bruskewitz, being one of my favorite Bishops because of his courage and fidelity, speaks openly about the NRB and the Bishops' conference.

Here are a couple of his comments:
But wouldn't you acknowledge that the scandal of clerical sexual abuse required some drastic response?

Bruskewitz: My point, of course, would be that you don't cut off your head to cure a headache. Even if you have a tumor, that's not the correct therapy: to behead yourself in order to get rid of the brain tumor. I think that surely these crimes and sins and horrors of sexual misconduct--and perhaps also the guilt and cowardice and folly and the sloth of bishops who didn't properly address these issues--are horrible in themselves. But I don't think they are an excuse burn down the barn, just to get rid of the rats.

What would be the proper therapy?

Bruskewitz: Well, I think the proper therapy is to have adequate apostolic visitations, by competent people who are sent by the Holy See to check into the issues and the questions that are now being raised. In particular, the focus of this apostolic visitation should be to inspect seminaries, and to make certain that the homosexualization of the clergy (if that's what is going on) is arrested and excised.

I would say that would be the correct way to do it. It would be very important to have people involved who are competent and knowledgeable, and above all to have people involved who profess the Catholic faith. I think that it's downright bizarre to have people who are opposed to the doctrines and moral teachings of the Catholic Church acting as advisers to the bishops--or even worse, as they might understand themselves, controlling and punishing bishops--while at the same time they themselves remain outside the purview of the Church's doctrinal and moral teaching. Bishops who grossly fail in their episcopal duties need to be removed.
And later on he had this to say:
Homosexuals shouldn't be priests, any more than alcoholics should be bartenders, or pyromaniacs should be taking care of gasoline-storage facilities, or kleptomaniacs should be bank tellers. There are certain things that are excluded because of these aberrations. Whether or not a kleptomaniac is personally responsible for being a kleptomaniac is really beside the point. His proclivity for stealing things is a socially and a morally disordered inclination; he must be kept away from those situations where this inclination could be indulged. Similarly, the clergy is not a place for people who are homosexuals.
This is a very good analysis by a very good bishop - I highly recommend that everyone read this. Link is here.

A Nice Set of Pictures of the Various Liturgies...

...of the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress. After looking at these, one might be able to understand Cardinal Mahony's 'disappointment' with the revised translation of the Roman Missal.

Take a look at this, and this, and this, and this,...then pray...

After looking at these pictures, I think I understand where ICD's Liturgy Committee gets it ideas..

The Holy Father's address to Bishops of Region XI (CA, HI, NV)

As Bishops you must be at the forefront of this spiritual journey of sanctification.

The credibility of the Church’s proclamation of the Good News is intimately linked to the commitment of her members to personal sanctification.

The courage to face the crisis of the loss of the sense of sin...must be addressed today with particular urgency.

...the Bishop’s duty to indicate the sad and destructive presence of sin, both in individuals and in communities, is in fact a service of hope.

I particularly wish to encourage you in your promotion of the Sacrament of Penance.
Full text here.

U.S. Catholic Colleges Invite Scandalous Commencement Speakers

Cardinal Newman Society, conducting its annual review of commencement speakers and honorees at Catholic colleges, has thus far identified 19 inappropriate invitations, many of them to public abortion-rights advocates.

“When Catholic institutions honor well-known abortion advocates like Barbara Boxer and Chuck Schumer, they are being openly subversive,” said Cardinal Newman Society president Patrick J. Reilly. “Not only are they scandalizing students and impeding the Church’s aggressive efforts to end legalized abortion, but they are flaunting their nonconformity in a very public way.”
The Cardinal Newman Society lists 19 "Catholic" colleges/universities with inappropriate commencement speakers and honorees, and asks the presidents to withdraw invitations to these speakers when possible.

Link here.

Archbishop Burke leads groundbreaking for church

Groundbreaking for the blufftop, 450-seat church for the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse went forward Thursday despite steady, pouring rain, crashing thunder and occasional flashes of lightning. Several hundred people huddled under umbrellas for the half-hour ceremony led by St. Louis Archbishop Raymond L. Burke, who founded the $30 million shrine project in 1999 when he was bishop of the Diocese of La Crosse.

Bishop Michael Sheridan issues Pastoral Letter regarding Holy Communion

There must be no confusion in these matters. Any Catholic politicians who advocate for abortion, for illicit stem cell research or for any form of euthanasia ipso facto place themselves outside full communion with the Church and so jeopardize their salvation. Any Catholics who vote for candidates who stand for abortion, illicit stem cell research or euthanasia suffer the same fateful consequences.

It is for this reason that these Catholics, whether candidates for office or those who would vote for them, may not receive Holy Communion until they have recanted their positions and been reconciled with God and the Church in the Sacrament of Penance.
Link here.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

No wonder Catholics are confused.....

But last month, as six U.S. cardinals joined St. Paul-Minneapolis Archbishop Harry Flynn at a Mass in the Cathedral of St. Paul, about two dozen members of Rainbow Sash, Dignity, and Soulforce received Communion in their rainbow sashes, along with about 1,500 other Catholics.

The Mass was held in conjunction with a $1,000-a-plate banquet to raise funds for the Catholic University of America.

Gay activist Brian McNeill of Dignity Twin Cities told the Star Tribune April 24 that he and others were demonstrating because the Church’s official documents describe homosexual behavior as an "objective disorder." He acknowledged that Archbishop Flynn allows those wearing the rainbow sash to receive Communion, and he complained that Washington’s Theodore Cardinal McCarrick does not.

Chicago’s Francis Cardinal George, while he allows a special Mass for gays and lesbians at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, on the assumption — according to the Rainbow Sash Movement’s Chicago coordinator Joseph Murray — that all those attending are celibate, he has refused Communion to those demonstrating by wearing the Rainbow Sash.
Cardinal McCarrick is 'uncomfortable' denying Holy Communion to Kerry and others who PUBLICLY promote or support the murder of the unborn, yet he is "comfortable" with denying the Blessed Sacrament to those who PUBLICLY show that they are practicing homosexuals.
Once again, "Catholic" homosexual activists intend to demonstrate their disagreement with Church teaching on homosexuality by receiving Communion on Pentecost Sunday in cathedrals and churches across the country, wearing their rainbow sashes.

"In wearing the Rainbow Sash we proclaim that we are Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender with our families, friends, and loved ones we witness and celebrate our sexuality as a sacred gift," declares a press release by the Rainbow Sash Movement
Paul Likoudis has the article "To Repeat Pentecost Sacrilege" at The Wanderer here.

Another Archbishop sets rule on the Holy Eucharist

Archbishop John G. Vlazny, leader of 298,000 Roman Catholics in Western Oregon, has declared that any Catholic, politician or not, who is publicly at odds with serious church teaching should refrain from taking Holy Communion.

"Catholics who publicly disagree with serious church teaching on such matters as abortion or same-sex marriage should refrain from receiving Holy Communion," he wrote in his May 6 column. The phrase "publicly disagree" means just that he said, not speaking privately to family or friends.

"Catholics who are not in communion with the Church (for example, divorced and remarried Catholics who have not received annulments from previous Catholic marriages) must similarly refrain from receiving the Eucharist," he wrote. "All Catholics in the state of mortal sin who are unrepentant also should refrain from the reception of the Eucharist."
Article here.
One will notice what appears to be a major accomodation, however, in this statement:
Should Catholics who choose to vote for pro-choice politicians refrain from reception of the Holy Communion? If they vote for them precisely because they are pro-choice, I believe they too should refrain from the reception of Holy Communion because they are not in communion with the Church on a serious matter. But if they are voting for that particular politician because, in their judgment, other candidates fail significantly in some matters of great importance, for example, war and peace, human rights and economic justice, then there is no evident stance of opposition to Church teaching and reception of Holy Communion seems both appropriate and beneficial.
Is not the defense of INNOCENT life non-negotiable? Is it not confusing and scandalous to equate these other 'social justice' issues with the issue of abortion? Is it not a sin to vote for a pro-abortion politician?

Review panel accuses bishops of backsliding

The St. Louis Post Dispatch carried this article today, with these comments:
"No more foot-dragging" and

Group demands annual audits of compliance with sex-abuse policy.

Nice choice of words, "foot dragging" and "demands"...

So, Anne Burke, interim head of the National Review board, while speaking to the "Voice of the Faithful" has this to say, "There can be no more foot-dragging by the hierarchy."

The Post Dispatch article states:
This is a "defining moment" for the church, said Burke, an Illinois appellate judge, speaking to members of Voice of the Faithful, a lay reform lobby group.
This is not the first time, if I recall, that Anne Burke has addressed the "Voice of the Faithful"...And the article does not tell the entire truth about the 'lay reform lobby group'.

But that is nothing new. Post Dispatch article here.

Forced conversion to Islam fatal for Christian boy in Pakistan

AsiaNews/Ucan) Lahore - Outrage at the death of a Catholic boy forced to convert to Islam at the hands of torturous abductors has prompted the Pakistan Catholic Bishop's Commission of Justice and Peace, to take up the legal case. The Christian youth died of injuries inflicted by a teacher and students at an Islamic school. The National Commission for Justice and Peace declared May 4th that the incident reflects a worrying trend of forced conversions.

Javed Anjum, an 18-year-old commerce student, was seized by a teacher and students of Jamia Hassan bin Almurtaza Madrasa (an Islamic religious school) on April 17th when he stopped for a drink of water at a nearby tap in Toba Tek Singh, 310 kilometres south of Islamabad. For five days he was tortured until his condition became so serious that the abusers took him to a police station, stating that he had been attempting to steal an electric water pump, and filed a charge of robbery against him. The boy was kept in police custody until April 24th, when he was finally taken for medical treatment. By that time, according to the Bishop's Commission investigation, it was too late to save him. Anjum died May 2nd, in a nearby Faisalabad hospital, of "renal failure," having also suffered broken ribs and loss of eyesight.

According to the Bishop's Commission, police refused to investigate the cause of Anjum's injuries, or the allegation against him. Chairman of the Commission, Peter Jacob said on May 7th that officials at the Islamic school tried to create an impression that Anjum was a drug addict, and now local Muslim political leaders are supporting and protecting the school. "It only shows how desperate and aware the perpetrators are of their crime and what they had done, that they tried through various allegations to cover it up."

The Bishop's Commission claimed, "Religious intolerance and discrimination is the reason behind the recent incidents where young non-Muslims were forcibly converted and circumcised." In November, another Pakistani Catholic boy, 15-year-old Zeeshan Gill, was abducted by a Muslim classmate and forced to convert. He was threatened and beaten by Islamic clerics, and made to attend religious classes at Madrasa Jamia al Qasim al Aloom, an Islamic boarding school. He eventually escaped from his captors, but he and his mother and brother have since been in hiding for fear of death.

Beyond its concern for justice in Anjum's case, the Church's commission urged the government of the Punjab province to "take long-term steps to root out religious hatred and take timely action against the perpetrators of hate crimes in accordance with the law."

"We appeal to the federal government to ensure equality of rights and opportunities, which is the only way to build a society based on justice, peace and human rights," the commission's statement said.

The official teaching of Islam condemns forced conversions of others.
This was forwarded to me a couple of days ago.

The link to the story is here.

Mahony suggests that he will skip Bishops' June meeting

In a Feb. 2 letter, Cardinal Edward Egan of New York urged a delay in talks about the new audit until a November bishops' meeting. Egan was criticized in the 2003 audit for failing — in his former post as bishop of Bridgeport, Conn. — to remove a priest who faced accusations.

(Justice Anne) Burke said Egan's letter to Bishop Wilton D. Gregory, president of the bishops' conference, drew a sharp response from Cardinal Roger M. Mahony of Los Angeles, who opposed waiting until November.

Mahony warned that he and other California bishops would not attend a national meeting in June unless bishops took up the issue at that time, Burke said. Mahony was in Rome on Tuesday and could not be reached for comment. An aide in Los Angeles said staff would have to check with Mahony before commenting.
Article here.

Two more priests remove name from "Phoenix Declaration" list

In obedience to Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted, two more priests have removed their names from the "Phoenix Declaration," signed by Arizona clergy calling for full inclusion of gays and lesbians in religious and community life.

The Rev. Vernon Meyer, pastor of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Scottsdale, and the Rev. Mathew Mampara, associate pastor of St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church in Gilbert, notified No Longer Silent/Clergy For Justice this week they wanted their names taken off the support list. Meyer had served as spokesman for the priests who hesitated before relenting to the bishop.

No Longer Silent has been posting the words "name removed at request of signer in obedience to church hierarchy" in the place where the priests’ names previously had appeared on the signers list on the Web site.

East Valley priests who previously removed their names were: The Rev. Chris Carpenter, Christ the King Church in Mesa; the Rev. Scott Brubaker, St. Bridget in Mesa; and the Rev. John Cunningham of St. Mary Magdalene in Gilbert.
Article here.

Chaput rebukes inquiry panel

Archbishop Chaput and others have called into question certain things of the National Review Board. For instance, he suggested the group has overstepped its bounds and issued "implicit threats."
Bishop Bruskewitz had made his opinions known some time ago.
In an April 2 letter to Burke, Chaput and Gomez wrote that her letter "assumes the worst motives on the part of the bishops, despite the progress that has already been made. Your language is designed to offend and contains implicit threats that are, to put it mildly, inappropriate for anyone of your professional stature."

The Denver prelates noted the Dallas charter does not require an annual audit "and the expense, staff and structures that would involve." They suggested conducting one every three or four years instead.

"It is not the (lay review board's) duty to interpret the Charter," the letter says. "The (board) is an important advisory body at the service of the bishops. It does not and cannot have supervisory authority."
But this is not all. Some time ago, Kathleen McChesney, executive director of the USCCB's National Office of Child and Youth Protection, indicated that they needed to audit some 19,000 parishes as well. Sounds like a lifetime career! And I have not yet touched on the promotion of 'sexual awareness' programs for children!

Denver Post article here.

Priests urging optional celibacy described as men who love the church

Outlining the growing shortage of priests and its negative impact on weekend Masses in parishes, the group said, "Priests' Forum for Eucharist sees that the church law of mandatory celibacy is endangering the identity of the Catholic faithful as a people of the Eucharist." Members of the forum "believe that making celibacy an option for those who wish to become priests or by ordaining those who are already married is an obvious way to alleviate the problems" arising from the priest shortage, the news release said.
Failure to recognize the problem is symptomatic of many. There are less men from which to draw due, in large part, to the bishops and priests of the Western world failing to address the intrinsic evil and seriousness of contraception.

The 'garden of vocations', altar service, has been poisoned by many so that the ground is barren. This is because of many who exclude boys for serving at the Sacrifice of the Mass.

Many have failed to teach the truth about the Most Blessed Sacrament for decades.

Link here.

L.A. cardinal says Order of the Mass draft needs major work

Of course, this should not be a surprise. Apparently, there are not a few who loathe "Liturgiam Authenticam".
Cardinal Mahony said he gave copies of the draft translation to members of his priests' council and asked them to "read it out loud" with members of their parish liturgy committees.

Because the prayers are meant to be proclaimed, he said, "you can only capture whether it works or doesn't work in hearing it out loud."

"Most of the responses I got back were quite negative," Cardinal Mahony said.

The cardinal said there is an obvious "tension" between the principles enunciated in the 2001 Vatican document on translation and the needs of the priests and people.

"We simply cannot have a translation that is labored and is not easily proclaimed or understood," he said.

"The danger is that that kind of new Roman Missal, if it were approved in such a stilted fashion, would simply not be used," he said.

The cardinal said he was afraid that priests simply would continue using the old translation, "which, of course, is not helpful either."
Charity forbids me commenting too much on the cardinal's responses except to say that the implicit attitude of accepting and promoting willful disobedience is a disgrace.

CNS article here.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Commencement Speakers at Catholic universities?

This just in:
Dear "Catholic Higher Education Alert" Subscriber:

The San Francisco mayor who violated California state law to marry homosexuals will give the commencement address at a Catholic university? If that isn't a blatant affront to the bishops and all faithful Catholics, I don't know what is. Please help, we need a full-court press on this!

So begins Part II of Friday's alert, as promised, including some updates,
a few action items, and catch-up on important developments about which we haven't yet reported.

Thanks to everyone who has contacted college presidents about inappropriate commencement speakers, and to those who plan to do so right away. The list is likely to expand as more speakers and honorees are announced, so you might check the list at every couple of days.

What error is condemned in "Gaudium et spes"?

Dr. Arthur Hippler, Director of the Office of Justice and Peace, Diocese of La Crosse, has an excellent article on this and it is quite appropriate considering the present day circumstances of professed Catholic politicians and others who are so adamant about separating their 'public' lives from their 'professed' Catholic faith.

The condemnation of error is a rare occurrence within the documents of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council. Pope John XXIII indicated in his opening speech that the Council was quite deliberately more concerned with affirming the truth of the Faith than condemning the errors opposed to it. When therefore errors are condemned, we should take notice. For despite its generally commendatory attitude, Gaudium et spes condemns what it considers to be "one of the graver errors of our age."

What is this "graver error"? It is not liberal capitalism, nor atheist communism, nor any economic or social system. Rather, it is the root and principle of all social and economic errors. It is rather the divorce of the Catholic faith from secular life.

...This split between the faith which many profess and their daily lives deserves to be counted among the more serious errors of our age" (Gaudium et spes, n.43).

The Council Fathers make clear that this error is condemned in Holy Scripture: "Long since, the Prophets of the Old Testament fought vehemently against this scandal (cf. Is. 58:1-12) and even more so did Jesus Christ Himself in the New Testament threaten it with grave punishments (Cf. Mt. 23:3-33; Mk. 7:10-13).

"The Christian who neglects his temporal duties, neglects his duties toward his neighbor and even God, and jeopardizes his eternal salvation" (GS, n.43).
Dr. Hippler's article can be read here.

Who Should Be Denied Communion? by Paul Likoudis

A great article today in The Wanderer.

In one sense, the issue of Catholic pro-abortion politicians receiving Communion is artificially narrow, and the bishops’ reluctance to address it in a meaningful way may be reflective of a longtime habit of "grave dereliction of duty," according to one prominent pro-lifer who spoke with The Wanderer. She did not want her name revealed.

"Just as a law is only good as long as it is enforced," she said, "a faith that is not enforced is rendered meaningless."

This pro-lifer also suggested that the best way for the bishops to resolve this highly controverted and contentious issue is with a "seamless garment" approach that includes a range of both issues and players.

"If some or all of the bishops are going to say that pro-abortion politicians cannot receive Communion, they should also say that pro-abortion, and/or pro-homosexual Catholic journalists cannot receive Communion.

"Prominent Catholic journalists such as Peter Steinfels, Anna Quindlen, and the late Mary McGrory are preachers from the printed page, and they often have as much, if not more, influence on forming public opinion than do politicians. It is a grave scandal that such dissenters are not rebuked and disciplined, especially in the case of Steinfels, who promotes dissent on a range of issues from contraception to women priests."
Who else should be on the list if an "inclusive, seamless garment" approach were to be used?

As the article suggests:
The pro-contraception and pro-homosexuality editors of the National unCatholic Reporter.
Catholic doctors who perform abortions. (they are excommunicated automatically)
Catholic doctors who prescribe contraceptives.
Catholic phamacists who dispense contraceptives.
Catholic scientists involved in condemned activities in 'life sciences'.
Catholics 'living in sin' either hetero or homosexual.
And last, but not least:
The list of those banned from Communion would also include bishops, priests, religious, moral theologians, Scripture scholars, chancery staff, and school teachers who create scandal by their public dissent from authoritative Church teaching on any issue, she concluded.
This would be a great start since all of these are sources of "public" scandal...

The Wanderer article is here.

The Times Union: Bishop Howard Hubbard, An Enlightened Bishop

Howard Hubbard is right to resist the trend of denying certain politicians Communion.

The thoughtful and progressive instincts and sensibilities of the Catholic diocese of Albany are at work in the decision to steer clear of the so-called Communion wars.
Let's see if I have this right...Bishop Hubbard is 'enlightened' because he refuses to safeguard the Blessed Sacrament and would choose to allow manifest public scandal in the reception of the Holy Eucharist.

What then, are we to conclude about Archbishop Burke, Bishop Bruskewitz and others who would do otherwise? They are not 'enlightened'? What about Cardinal Arinze? Is he also bereft of that special 'enlightenment'?

Take a closer look at just who the Times Union includes in that 'enlightened' group.
Frances Kissling of the Washington-based group Catholics for a Free Choice envisions that a ban on Communion to all who supported some form of abortion rights, not just politicians, could empty the churches.

The Rev. Kenneth Doyle, chancellor of the Albany diocese, correctly sees a nightmare in the making if a political scorecard stood in the way of the distribution of Communion. Both he and Bishop Howard Hubbard are admirably determined to maintain a more substantive dialogue about the church's teachings. Denying Communion distracts from such a discussion, the Rev. Doyle explains.
Kissling? Wonder woman of the new "Catholics"...?

Dialogue and education (as Cardinal Mahoney suggests) about the Church's teaching will resolve the issue of pro-abortion, professed "Catholics" and bring them into the Church. Of course, God can perform the miraculous, however, after 30+ years of professed "Catholics" being confirmed in their independence, freedom of conscience, and rejection of the teachngs of the Church, who really thinks this will work? Ah yes, only one who is 'enlightened'!

Many times I am reminded of a quote I heard Fr. Corapi relate during one of his talks, and I do not recall the person to whom it is attributed: "God put obvious limitations on man's intelligence, but He placed no limits whatsoever on man's stupidity."

Link here.

Five priests follow Bishop Olmsted's instruction & withdraw signatures

Although five Catholic priests have followed Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted's order that they remove their names, no other clergy member has withdrawn. On the contrary, the publicity surrounding the Catholic situation is resulting in additional signatures on the statement, said the Rev. David Felten, secretary of the No Longer Silent group that drafted the declaration last year.
But four have, so far, not removed their names.


Cardinal says education on abortion more effective than sanctions

Los Angeles Cardinal Roger M. Mahony said he believes the church's efforts to educate people about the reality and immorality of abortion are more effective than imposing sanctions on politicians who support legal abortion.
After 30 years of "education", why is it that so many still "fail" to understand, or even worse, outright reject the Church's teaching? I suppose one only has to consider the source of rhis profundity regarding education.
Link here.

La Crosse Diocese to break ground for Our Lady of Guadalupe Church

Archbishop Raymond L. Burke of St. Louis, who was La Crosse's bishop in 1994-2003 and now heads the St. Louis Archdiocese, was scheduled to break ground for the church May 13. "I have had a strong sense from the time I was ordained a bishop for the Diocese of La Crosse to foster the devotional life especially with the help of our Blessed Mother," Archbishop Burke said in an interview with The Catholic Times, the diocesan newspaper.
CNS Link.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

"Gender Study" Victim Boy Raised as a Girl Commits Suicide

The doctor responsible for this, if he still "practices" medicine should have his license revoked for "experimenting" on children as he did. And how could the parents be talked into this?
David Reimer committed suicide last week at the age of 38. Reimer's parents, after a botched circumcision, were convinced by a Johns Hopkins gender studies specialist to raise the boy as a girl. Dr. John Money believed that gender was a learned trait, and wanted to prove his theory with an ideal test subject: David was one of a set of identical twins. He was started on female hormone injections and raised as Brenda.

David's mother, Janet Reimer, said that he would still be alive had it not been for the gender experiment. She blames the doctor for talking them into the sex-change. She described his life: "They wouldn't let him use the boys' washroom or the girls. He had to go in the back alley," she said.
LifeSite article here.

Three Catholic Bishops Refuse to Take Action on Pro-Abortion "Catholic" Politicians

American Life League: Three Catholic Bishops Refuse to Take Action on Pro-Abortion Catholic Politicians -- Why?; Bishops of Albany, N.Y., Lansing, Mich., and Burlington, Vt. Will Not Protect Holy Communion from Pro-Abortion Politicians

WASHINGTON, May 11 /U.S. Newswire/ -- American Life League's Crusade for Defense of Our Catholic Church is disappointed over recent statements by three high-ranking Catholic clerics. Bishops Howard Hubbard of Albany, N.Y.; Carl Mengeling of Lansing, Mich.; and Kenneth Angell of Burlington, Vt., have all been quoted in the media as saying they would not prevent pro-abortion "Catholic" politicians from receiving Holy Communion.

"Archbishop Raymond Burke set the standard while bishop of LaCrosse, Wis., when he canonically barred certain Catholic politicians from receiving Holy Communion until they publicly recanted their pro-abortion positions and repented," said Brown. "We pray that all of our bishops will use Archbishop Burke's actions as the template for ending this scandal. We also hope that more bishops will follow the example of Bishop Samuel J. Aquila of Fargo, N.D., who so compellingly stated that as successors of the Apostles, the bishops have an obligation to speak out against this outrage.
American Life League article.

Meeting about suspended priest, Fr. John Cunningham, draws some protesters

About 400 people turned out Monday night for a meeting called by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix to explain why a popular Gilbert priest was suspended on accusations he broke church law.

"This is a high-tech lynching," said Jerry McCarty, who attended to the meeting in defense of the Rev. John Cunningham. "They’re trying to silence the more liberal priests."

Cunningham was suspended April 30 from his job as pastor of the St. Mary Magdalene parish after accusations he broke church law by celebrating Mass with a non-Catholic clergyman during a wedding at St. Anne’s Catholic Parish, also in Gilbert.

Staff members at St. Anne’s filed a complaint with the diocese, claiming Cunningham allowed an Anglican priest to play a role reserved for practicing Catholics in the Eucharist, the part of Mass in which bread and wine are consecrated and consumed.
A high-tech 'lynching' of liberal priests? It looks like Bishop wants to deal with dissenting and disobedient priests.

Link here.

Also, for those interested in some background on Fr. Cunningham, go here to the St Mary Magdalene Web Site.
Father Cunningham was born in Phoenix in 1949 and grew up in the shadow of the State Capital, the sixth child of Irish immigrants. He attended St. Meinard Seminary in Indiana, where he earned his B.A. in Philosophy and Masters in Divinity. He was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Phoenix in 1974 and served in two urban parishes before become pastor in Tolleson, Arizona. He was diocesan vocation director for six years. An innovator who enjoys a new challenge, Fr. John founded St. Bridget Parish in 1985.

While still a pastor, Fr. John enrolled at ASU where he received an M.A. in Religious Studies in 1997. His thesis was entitled: Gender, Authority and the Gospel of Mary: A Feminist Critique. Our pastor has taught World Religions and other classes at Mesa and Scottsdale Community Colleges and ASU East. He also has an extensive background in Jungian psychology, having done a sabbatical at the Jung Institute in Zurich, and been actively involved for years with the Phoenix Friends of Jung. He is ready and eager to start Gilbert's second Catholic parish. He named it after St. Mary Magdalene in tribute to the devoted friend of Jesus, the first witness to the resurrection, the first evangelist, a perennially illustrious symbol of spiritual illumination, and , in our time, a popular icon of women's empowerment.

Fargo Bishop Aquila's homily

Although this was earlier reported here, I did not have a link to the Bishop's homily.

It is online here. Another bishop rises to the task of teaching. A couple of excerpts:
In the light of the last few days and all of the media coverage regarding John Kerry’s unambiguous support of abortion rights, his personal opposition to abortion, and his insistence on the separation of his Catholic faith from his professional life, I, as a successor of the apostles, cannot remain silent. I, as an apostle, must speak with the apostles and obey God rather than man and present to you the teaching of the Church on the proper relationship between our faith and professional life. Neither the media nor the theologians who support the separation will present the clear teaching of the Church. I have the responsibility and duty before God to teach and to present to you the teaching of the Church on the matter of living one’s faith in the world.

The grave error that has come about, the grave error that the Father of Lies has planted in the hearts of many is the lie of thinking that we can have one foot with God and one foot with the world. We are in the world, not of the world. We are in the world to transform the world. The only way that the world will ever have peace, the only way the world will ever live in the truth is if the world embraces Jesus Christ. While we may never impose the Gospel message or force someone to believe in Jesus Christ, we must always propose the truth. We cannot move into negotiation, ever, with evil.

Finally, I ask all of us to seek the intercession of Mary, the Mother of Truth, for she will lead us to the truth. She will always lead us to her Son, Jesus Christ, who is “the way, the truth, and the life (Jn 14, 6).” Mary’s intercession will grant to us every grace that we need to walk in Jesus’ steps and to follow in His light, to bring the truth to the world which so needs it today. May each of us grow in obedience to the will of the Father, and may we, too, respond with Peter to the Risen Christ’s question on love, with his words, “Lord, you know that I love you.”

You cannot have your "waffle" and your "wafer," too.

Bishop Thomas Wenski, the coadjutor Bishop of the Diocese of Orlando, wrote a commentary for the Orlando Sentinel recently.

..."getting it right" for a practicing Catholic means conforming oneself to the will of God as revealed to us through scripture and tradition and as definitely set forth by the teaching authority of the church. A practicing Catholic cannot invoke "conscience" to defy or disregard what the church definitely holds as true -- for a practicing Catholic doesn't create his own truth but forms his conscience according to the truth.

Bishops as teachers of the faith have no special competencies in the world of business or politics -- and in those worlds we have no regulatory or legal powers. But precisely as teachers of the Catholic faith we do have competence to tell businessmen or politicians or anyone else for that matter what is required to be a Catholic. It is totally within our competence to say that one cannot be complicit in the injustice of denying the right to life of an unborn child or an invalid elder and still consider oneself a good Catholic.
Link to article here (may require registration)

The Price Of My Soul’s Salvation...

Fr. Joseph Wilson has a good article in The Wanderer.

It can be read online here. A couple of excerpts:
The sacramental discipline of the Church in this country has largely broken down. Mass attendance in our Diocese of Brooklyn is 18%; in New York, 19%; in Chicago, 16% (those are pre-scandal figures). The Most Blessed Sacrament is so little valued among Catholics that the overwhelming majority of them are not faithful to Sunday Mass. I am sure, though, that most of those who only pop in occasionally have no hesitation about approaching for Communion.

The Church’s catechetical program — a systematic, consistent method of passing on the faith that was Church-wide — was deliberately dismantled 40 years ago. Recently, a noted archbishop garnered attention because he told his peers that virtually all of the high school catechetical texts being used in our country are unsalvageable junk. There was much applause for his courage and insight; I choked over my coffee. Every one of the bishops knew this at least 30 years ago; dioceses were routinely marginalizing as kooks faithful Catholics who wrote letters protesting these developments.

Catholics routinely approach for Communion who are engaged in premarital sex, extramarital sex, masturbation, contraception, homosexuality. Public, nonchalant dissent from Church teaching in these areas is easy to find among Catholics — not just those in public positions, but among those on religious education staffs in parishes and schools. While mountains of postconciliar documents have been churned out on various crucial issues, they have minimal impact in parish ministry and family life. Indeed, we’re at the stage where cafeteria Catholicism, picking and choosing from among the teachings of our and other religious traditions, is regarded as a virtue.

We need to admit that we have strayed dangerously far from the path, as we look at our liturgy, catechesis, parish and rectory life, religious communities, seminaries, health care institutions, family life, moral theology. We’ve got to admit that there is something deeply wrong.

The clarion call needs to be sounded. One of our shepherds needs to stand up and challenge his brethren and all of us, needs to say, honestly, "Enough, dear God! We have been in a state of crisis for 40 years, and it gets worse by the day!" We need an Elijah. We need another Hilkiah, who found the forgotten Book of the Law in the Temple; another Josiah, the king who wept as he heard it read to him, and ordered a bright, fierce renewal (2 Chron. 34:19).
Read the article...You will find out what tomatoes are good for. God, help us and help our bishops and priests.

Covenant Network-Radio Announcements...

Catholic Radio is now on the air in Terre Haute, Indiana on station 91.9 FM and also in Moberly, Missouri on station 90.1 FM.

If you have family or friends in these areas please let them know that they can now listen to Catholic radio.

Please keep the Covenant Network Apostolate in your prayers so that they may continue to provide Catholic radio coverage to us and to others.

This should be interesting...

Sen. John Kerry plans to be in Denver next month. So will hundreds of Catholic bishops. The result could be a defining moment in the presidential campaign.

Kerry's anticipated fundraising stop will coincide with a retreat at which the bishops are expected to discuss whether to deny Communion to the Catholic presidential candidate because he supports abortion rights.
Denver Post article here.

Monday, May 10, 2004

Vatican's synod outline takes aim at rules on reception of Communion

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The recent debate over liturgical abuses and reception of Communion by dissenting Catholics is about to be taken to a global level as the church prepares for the 2005 Synod of Bishops.

The synod's topic is the Eucharist. In recent days, bishops around the world have received a Vatican-prepared thematic outline that focuses in large part on the rules that govern celebration of the Eucharist -- including who should and who should not receive Communion.

The 75-page outline, called the "lineamenta," has not been released publicly by the Vatican. Catholic News Service obtained a copy of the document in early May.

The outline emphasizes the sacramental and liturgical norms against shared Communion with most non-Catholics. It repeatedly makes the point that the church does not have the power to give Communion to Catholics living in grave sin, to those "teaching error" or to "persons living an immoral life."
This would be an interesting document to see.

Full article from Catholic News Service is here.

Pro-Abortion Politican Leaving the Church...

A prominent pro-choice politician is quitting the Catholic Church after being told he would be denied Communion, it was reported yesterday.
New Jersey Senate Majority Leader Bernard Kenny (D-Hoboken), a former altar boy, told the Philadelphia Inquirer he's leaving the church after 57 years.

"I will look for other options to express my faith and will probably join another Christian church," he said.

"If every faith starts trying to impose their rules on elected officials," Kenny said, "democracy is going to be factionalized along religious lines."
I will look for a "Christian" church that allows me to continue on my path to hell without any warnings whatsoever...

Story here.

Cardinal Ratzinger Tells Why Many Misperceive Christianity

"Today, Christianity is seen as an old tradition, weighed down by old Commandments, something we already know which tells us nothing new; a strong institution, one of the great institutions that weigh on our shoulders," said the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

"If we stay with this impression, we do not live the essence of Christianity, which is an ever new encounter, an event thanks to which we can encounter the God who speaks to us, who approaches us, who befriends us," the cardinal said in the latest issue of the Italian Catholic weekly Vita Trentina.

"It is critical to come to this fundamental point of a personal encounter with God, who also today makes himself present, and who is contemporary," he added.

"If one finds this essential center, one also understands all the other things," the cardinal said. "But if this encounter is not realized, which touches the heart, all the rest remains like a weight, almost like something absurd."
Zenit Article

Albany Diocese to maintain the status quo...

Bishop Howard Hubbard and other priests in the Albany Roman Catholic Diocese won't deny Communion to elected officials whose political beliefs conflict with the church's teachings on abortion, diocesan officials said Friday.
Catholics who oppose abortion have tried for 20 years to get the Pope to deny Communion or even excommunicate policy-makers who back abortion rights, said Frances Kissling, the president of the Washington, D.C., group.
Only a few of the 300 U.S. bishops will deny the Eucharist to Catholic officials who back abortion rights, Kissling said.

"The remainder appear to be more prudent, understanding that Catholics have a right in canon law to receive the sacraments and that there is no infallible teaching on how to vote on either abortion or other controversial issues," she said.

Pro-Abortion Politicians Risk "The Possibility of Hell"

FARGO, ND, May 7, 2004 ( - The scandal of U.S. Catholic pro-abortion politicians defying Catholic teaching and receiving Communion despite their grave sin of supporting abortion has caused several bishops to speak out forcefully on the issue. The latest is Fargo Bishop Samuel J. Aquila Bishop of the diocese of Fargo in North Dakota.

Kerry Takes Communion on Mother's Day

Kerry and his wife, Teresa, took communion from Father Robert G. Duch at St. Scholastica Catholic Church in suburban Pittsburgh, where the presidential candidate often worships when staying here.

Homosexual couple denied communion

A gay couple in northern Minnesota is angry and upset over being told they no longer should take communion or sing in the choir at their church because of their lifestyle.