Friday, May 21, 2004

July 16-17, The Church Teaches Forum-2004

The 2004 CHURCH TEACHES FORUM will be held on July 16th & 17th at the GALT HOUSE (4th Avenue & The River) in Louisville, Ky.

Scheduled Speakers are:
Edouard Cardinal Gagnon
President emeritus of the Pontifical Council for the Family

Archbishop Raymond L Burke
Archbishop of St. Louis installed in St. Louis on January 26, 2004, the fifth anniversary of Pope John Paul II's historic pastoral visit to the archdiocese.

Rev. Abbot Edmund McCaffrey
Former Abbot Ordinary of Belmont Abbey in North Carolina. A founder and Vice President of The Institute on Religious Life.

Rev Roger Arnsparger
Pastor, St. Barnabas Parish, Arden, NC
More information at Eternal Life.

Eternal Life has GREAT books and tapes of Fr. John Hardon and Marian Catechist study materials, as well.

Liturgical Dance Accessories

This is great!

If you are in need of:
Beautiful hand dyed silk streamers that add so much to the visual prayer experience, or

Ribbon streamers that are made of organza which float so gracefully when you dance, or

Liturgical dance workshops and fabric dying workshops in silk and cotton.

I can tell you where to go....I just saw it with my own eyes! A website for all of your "Liturgical Dance" needs!

I came across this looking at some search logs. Someone actually did a search for "Dardenne Liturgical Dance"...and what do I see.....a link for "Son Dance Ministries" by the same person who assists others at Immaculate Conception Church in introducing 'liturgical dance' in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.....Take a look around...Quite interesting!

But don't wait, get your "liturgical dance" paraphenalia now, before the Archbishop quashes this goofiness for good.

Would St Thomas Aquinas agree with this?

Below are some excerpts from an article this week in "The Tidings", the Los Angeles Archdiocesan newspaper.
As explained by Father McBrien, Aquinas "had insisted that if civil laws laid too heavy a burden on the 'multitude of imperfect people,' it would be impossible for such laws to be obeyed and this, in turn, could lead eventually to a disregard for all laws."

If civil laws are too restrictive or are unenforceable, then the passing of such laws invites people to disobey them. I suppose that if at this point in the year 2004 a law was passed by one of the states banning smoking entirely, that law would be unenforceable, and would invite disrespect for law in general.

Laws against abortion are also unenforceable, because there would still be a large number of abortions if abortion were to be criminalized. Furthermore, abortions require proper medical attention. Our society does not want to take away the legal right to proper medical attention for women choosing to have abortions. Still, there are many people in America who consider abortions to be homicides. (emphasis mine).

To support abortion rights as a politician is not to say that abortion is acceptable before the moral law. It is only to say that, legally, abortion is not a right that we are willing to take away from our citizens.
So is the distingushed philosophy professor saying that abortion may not really be murder????

Is he also suggesting that since laws will not be obeyed, we should, therefore, not have laws???

Abortion has been condemned for 2000 years of Christianity...Regardless of the US Supreme Court's usurpation of power and its 'interpretation' of the law notwithstanding, abortion is still evil and it is still a crime.

Unless I have misread this article, it seems that something is truly amiss on the Left Coast.

Tidings artice here.

The communion controversy, or 'almost beside the point'

This is a great article by Fr. Joseph Wilson.
The Bishop of Colorado Springs, Michael Sheridan, seems quite clear in saying that not only is Mr. Kerry barred from Holy Communion, those voting for him, and for politicians supporting abortion, should also understand that they are outside the communion of the Church, and that they are jeopardizing their salvation. Several other bishops have publicly stated that Catholics making public pro-abortion stances should not approach Holy Communion. Meanwhile, the Archbishop of Washington, Cardinal McCarrick, says that he is not comfortable with barring such a person from Holy Communion, and Roger Cardinal Mahony, Archbishop of Los Angeles, says that Mr. Kerry is "welcome" to receive Communion. And there has raged in the Church, both pro and con, discussion about when a priest or Eucharistic Minister should refuse the Eucharist to a communicant.

Eucharistic discipline, it would seem, is now a matter of diocesan boundaries. I wouldn’t have thought, a month ago, that the bishops could have further messed up our situation as a Church. It just goes to show that I do not give them nearly enough credit.
What a peculiar sight we must present to our nation. Our bishops publicly contradicting each other on points of discipline, all the while everyone knows that masses of our people don’t even understand, let alone accept our teaching. And, as a Church, it all means so little to us that apparently we cannot bring ourselves to admit that we are in trouble. We’ve been robbing our own of their birthright, of that deep, and rich, and fruitful way of looking at all Reality in light of Him Who became one of us, and died for us, and loves us.

What a great many things we can find to distract us. Anything, apparently, anything to avoid having to fix our eyes on Jesus.
Article here.

Two Auxiliary Bishops Appointed by the Holy Father

VATICAN CITY, MAY 21, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Appointed Msgrs. Thomas A. Donato, spiritual director of the Major Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in South Orange, U.S.A., and John W. Flesey, director of permanent formation for the clergy of the archdiocese of Newark, U.S.A., as auxiliary bishops of the same archdiocese (area 1,328, population 2,809,267, Catholics 1,319,558, priests 929, permanent deacons 198, religious 1,667), U.S.A. Bishop-elect Donato was born in 1940 in Jersey City, U.S.A., and was ordained a priest in 1965. Bishop-elect Flesey was born in 1942 Jersey City and was ordained in 1969. They succeed Bishops Charles J. McDonnell and David Arias, O.A.R. whose resignations from the office of auxiliary were accepted upon having reached the age limit.


Priest won't remove name from letter on gays [No Longer Silent]

From the East Valley Tribune [AZ] | May 20, 2004 | Lawn Griffiths

Retired reverend says policy based on old science

A retired priest has informed Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted that he will not withdraw his name from the "No Longer Silent Phoenix Declaration," a letter signed by Arizona clergy calling for full inclusion of gays and lesbians in religious and community life.

The decision puts the Rev. Andre Boulanger of Phoenix at odds with church teachings and subject to discipline.

In April, Olmsted , leader of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix, ordered nine diocesan priests to remove their names from the letter developed by No Longer Silent/Clergy for Justice in January 2003 and signed by 120 pastors.

To date, seven of the priests, five from the East Valley, have withdrawn their names in obedience to the bishop. A Peoria priest is the only other diocesan signer on the letter.

In a letter dated May 16, Boulanger acknowledged two letters from Olmsted who asked that he withdraw his signature and support of the declaration.

"I have given the matter much thought and soulsearching in these past weeks," he said, and "in the end, I found it necessary, as a matter of conscience, not to withdraw my name."

Boulanger said that centuries of church documents that "refer to homosexuality as an intrinsic disorder, a pathological constitution, a perversion of nature, etc.," and "objectively sinful" are based on human science for 1,500 years ago and earlier. "The best science that we have to this date tells us that homosexuality is not a disorder or pathology, but that it is a variation of the human sexual expression," he said.

"The object of our faith is in the person of Jesus as he is known to us in the Gospels," Boulanger wrote. "Yet, as far as we can tell, Jesus never once mentioned homosexuality as an evil. If this matter is of such importance, does it not stand to reason that he would have said something?"

Olmsted and other bishops were at a retreat Wednesday and there was no immediate response to the letter.

Bishop Gerald Barbarito grateful to Voice of the Faithful

A fledgling but committed chapter began in the Diocese of Palm Beach about a year ago. The 35 to 40 members are hard at work encouraging lay people, embracing victims of sexual abuse and supporting priests, according to Peter Amann, a parishioner at St. Patrick Church in Palm Beach Gardens who acts as their president. They welcome new members to their banner: Keep the faith and change the church.

Amann and some fellow members met with Bishop Gerald Barbarito for the first time in April. They were warmly received.

"The bishop is very positive," said Diocesan Communications Director Jim Brosemer. "He is pleased with their commitment to the church and grateful for their support and dedication."

Bishop Nevins won't allow communion to be used as political ploy

Catholic politicians who support keeping abortion legal should have no trouble receiving Holy Communion around here.

Bishop John Nevins of the Diocese of Venice, which includes most of Southwest Florida, will not be endorsing candidates, presidential or otherwise, according to his spokeswoman, Gail McGrath.
Article here.

Arizona bishops: Communion OK for pro-choice politicians

The national debate over abortion rights between Catholic politicians and bishops, highlighted by the presidential candidacy of Sen. John Kerry, was joined on Thursday by two Arizona bishops who said they will not deny communion to Catholic politicians who support abortion rights.

Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted of Phoenix said that instead of refusing to offer communion, he would attempt to use persuasion to educate politicians about church teachings.

"My job is to get to know the key people in the state and appeal to their consciences," he said.
Article here.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Informers not welcome in Munich, says cardinal.

I received this today from an email list:
From the Tablet's enewsletter:

Informers not welcome in Munich, says cardinal.

Anonymous informers intent on reporting liturgical abuses will labour in vain in the Archdiocese of Munich, Cardinal Friedrich Wetter, Archbishop of Munich, said in an open letter.

Blackening people's names, especially when the talebearer wishes to stay anonymous, will not get anyone anywhere in our archdiocese, Cardinal Wetter warned.

His comments follow the promulgation of the Vatican instruction on abuses in the liturgy, Redemptionis Sacramentum. The document had caused considerable anxiety in the archdiocese, he said. Some believed it encouraged Catholics to denounce practices they regarded as dubious.

But denunciation implied underhandedly maligning people for despicable reasons, something a Church document could not possibly encourage, the cardinal went on, adding that the Vatican instruction had merely confirmed every Catholic's right to complain to their bishop or to the Holy See about possible abuses.

In his archdiocese anyone who finds, or thinks they have found that a priest is guilty of liturgical abuse, must first of all talk to the priest concerned in person, Cardinal Wetter said. He quoted Matthew 18:15: "If another member of the Church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone."

People should only turn to their bishop if this was of no avail, he said.

Complaints would, moreover, only be listened to if the person lodging the complaint was prepared to reveal his or her name, and anonymous complaints would be considered null and void.

The cardinal said it was important to study the Vatican instruction carefully and objectively. It contained nothing new. It was therefore regrettable that some people thought it was an attempt to reduce the role of the laity at Mass.
One should always speak with the priest first, preferably with an initial or followup letter. Documentation is key. It also helps to maintain a log of some sort in order to properly discuss the facts without having to rely on one's memory. Remember, if one has no documentation of facts - one should not even attempt to report liturgical abuses to higher authority.

There is no link for this post.

Catholics and Political Responsibility

Helen Hull Hitchcock has several resources updated at this site at the Women for Faith and Family web site.

An excellent reference. She states:
On this page we have compiled important resources -- including timely quotes and helpful links -- as an informative aid for Catholics in discerning the issues involved, and in forming a basis for decisions to support candidates for office who work for legislation consistent with fundamental moral law consistent with Catholic teaching.
This is well worth bookmarking.

Archbishop Dolan cuts 23 archdiocesan jobs

Facing a $1 million deficit in the current budget, Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan has eliminated 23 jobs in his central administration offices for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

"But, I also owe you candor," his message says. "The major reason for our shortfall has been the anticipated costs associated with the clergy sexual abuse crisis."

His message notes the costs of these measures: the VIRTUS Program to prevent sexual abuse, which has been used to train 13,000 people; mediation for and outreach to people who were sexually abused by priests as minors, including the designing of a new system and the hiring of outside professionals; having attorneys defend lawsuits; providing therapy, counseling and support services for victims; and complying with church law requirements that offending priests removed from active ministry be provided with at least minimal support.
Additional training of 13,000 people because some priests and bishops failed miserably in their vow of chastity?

But then again, I had heard years ago that the many dissenters employed by the archdiocese were fearful of losing their jobs when Abp. Weakland was replaced, but then that is a different story.

Article here.

"Pro-Life" Litmus Tests or not....?

Abortion-rights advocates are standing by Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry despite his comments in an interview that he would be open to nominating anti-abortion judges.

Kerry told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he would consider a judicial candidate who disagrees with his support of abortion rights as long as it doesn't lead to the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling that made abortion legal.

Kerry said he regrets his vote for Scalia, saying he didn't see at the time of the vote in 1986 ``such a level of ideology and partisanship'' that he now sees in the justice.
I have heard it said many times that one just can't fix stupid...I think I understand what that means. But what can one say about this? Does he even know what he is saying?

Article here.

Why Is Ignorance So Pervasive?

When a top Vatican official recently pronounced politicians who support abortion rights unfit to receive Communion — and several U.S. Roman Catholic bishops followed with similar statements — Carrie Sheehan of Seattle found herself increasingly uneasy about her church's involvement in secular politics.

"I'm appalled," said Sheehan, a 75-year-old Catholic who supports abortion rights and attends Mass weekly at the Chapel of St. Ignatius at Seattle University. She thinks the bishops are essentially taking sides in the election. "Are they going to have decrees against Catholic politicians who vote against health care or for capital punishment?"

Sheehan, the pro-choice Seattleite, said she is troubled that some bishops would withhold something so central to Catholic faith — the Eucharist — to sanction political stances.

"To me, Communion is supposed to be the deepest symbol of our faith," Sheehan said. "It is the coming together into community. It is sacred. That they would remove me from the Communion of my church for holding political views formed in good conscience is appalling."
She suffers from the same 'affliction of the mind' as a pastor of a local Catholic Church here. These days, it seems, Holy Communion is not the real, true, and substantial Body and Blood of Jesus - it's the 'gathering' as a community...What a disgraceful lie that has spread throughout much of the Church in America!

It is difficult to understand how a 75 year old individual could be so confused UNLESS she is a mal-instructed convert or if she has been taught heresy by priests and others. God, please, help us!

Article is here.

PROBLEM PRIESTS: Priestly power struggle

From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
A HURRIED MEETING in Chicago on Monday appears to have papered over - for now - hostility between some American Catholic bishops and the lay advisory board the bishops appointed to help them deal with the problem of sex abuse by priests.

At the meeting in Chicago, Judge Burke and leaders of the bishops conference agreed to continue the audits this year. But the deal must be approved by the conference as a whole at a meeting in Denver next month, setting up a showdown between church moderates and conservatives.
Article here.

Vatican says wine must be put in chalices before consecration

Following up on its recent instruction on the Eucharist, the Vatican has ordered a change in U.S. liturgical norms.

It has ordered that any wine to be used for distributing Communion under both kinds be poured into the individual chalices during the preparation of the gifts, before it is consecrated.

It reversed a widespread custom, codified in U.S. norms approved in 2002, that called for distribution of the consecrated wine into the chalices at the time of the breaking of the bread, just before Communion.

48 House Catholics send warning to Bishops

Forty-eight Roman Catholic members of Congress have warned in a letter to Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick of Washington that U.S. bishops will revive anti-Catholic bigotry and severely harm the church if they deny Communion to politicians who support abortion rights.

McCarrick's spokesman, Susan Gibbs, said he would not comment on the letter. She said the seven-member task force is "listening to many different voices" and will grant the 48 House members' request for a meeting. "They will be heard. It just hasn't been arranged yet," she said.
There is only one voice which we are to listen when it comes to our eternal salvation...
Article here.

Feast of the Ascension

The feast of the Ascension is celebrated on the fortieth day after Easter Sunday*, commemorating the Ascension of Christ into Heaven and His completion of the work of our redemption. The liturgy on this day celebrates the entry of Christ into heaven with our human nature glorified, and the pledge of our glorification with Him. In the past, processions outside the church were held on this day to imitate Christ's leading the Apostles out of the city to the Mount of Olives, and to commemorate the entry of Christ into heaven.

* In some dioceses of the United States, this feast is celebrated on the Seventh Sunday of Easter. See local liturgical calendar.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Court overturns judgment against Metro East priest

An appeals court said Tuesday that the Rev. Leo Hayes, a Metro East-area priest who also did real estate management work, and two associates do not have to pay a $650,000 judgment because the judge who awarded it had already dismissed the lawsuit on which it was based.

The ruling in St. Louis by the Missouri Court of Appeals wipes out the debt owed by Hayes, who is pastor of St. Elizabeth Catholic Church in Ava and other parishes in the Belleville Diocese.
Full Post Dispatch story here.

Q & A on Bishop Olmsted's suspension of Fr. John Cunningham

The Catholic Sun proudly presents this new Q&A feature designed to keep you, the readers, up to speed on matters that affect your faith.

This issue: The Catholic Sun responds to the many requests for information we’ve received regarding Fr. John Cunningham of St. Mary Magdalene Parish in Gilbert.

Fr. Timothy Davern, judicial vicar for the Phoenix Diocese, responds.
Nice addition to the Catholic Sun, the Diocesan Newspaper. Answers straight from the diocese.

Link here.

“Blessing of a Chaste Life” ...Part 2 (by Bishop Olmsted)

The full article is presented here as I'm not sure whether this is archived or not.
The pastoral care of homosexual persons
Second in a Series

A few weeks ago, I sent a letter to some priests of the Diocese of Phoenix, asking them to withdraw their support from a public statement entitled “No Longer Silent Phoenix Declaration.” The letter was intended to be personal and confidential because I had hoped to engage these brother priests in a person-to-person conversation about the pastoral care of homosexual persons, without the distraction of publicity. To my disappointment, news of the letter was leaked to the press. While not making my fraternal dialogue with these priests impossible, the leak has made it more difficult.

Nonetheless, I have been able to engage the majority in substantial conversations about this important pastoral matter. And I am grateful that most, in accordance with my request, have withdrawn their support from the declaration. I continue to hope and pray that the others will do the same.

Since portions of my letter have become public, I have decided, for the sake of accuracy and fairness to all, to publish it in its entirety in this same issue of The Catholic Sun. I would like also, in this part of my series on the “Blessing of a Chaste Life,” to write about the pastoral care of homosexual persons: what not to do and what to do.

What not to do

Do not see those with homosexual inclinations as problems but as persons, persons whom Jesus redeemed by His Cross, persons called to holiness, persons with an inviolable dignity and an eternal destiny bestowed on them by God, persons like you and me, persons who have a welcome place in our Church.

Do not condone homosexual activity or fail to teach clearly that it, along with all sexual activity outside of marriage, is seriously wrong. We should not presume that others know that homosexual behavior is wrong. Our silence about it could reinforce that mistaken notion.

Do not support any group such as No Longer Silent or Dignity that fails to uphold clearly the teachings of the Bible and the Church on homosexual acts and homosexual persons. We cannot help one another along the path of conversion and union with Christ if we deny the truth.

What to do

Lend encouragement to groups like Courage that offer support to homosexual persons in their vocation to holiness, and who do this in full conformity with the teachings of the Church.

Be well informed about the teachings of our Catholic Christian faith on this topic. Read what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says about this topic (#2357-2359). Read the Letter of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons. Read good books on this topic such as those by Fr. John Harvey: e.g. “The Homosexual Person” and “Truth about Homosexuality.”

Should you be aware of persons who have homosexual inclinations, accept them as brothers and sisters in Christ and support them by authentic love and prayer.

Should persons you know be engaged in homosexual activity, look for an opportunity to invite them back to the faithful practice of a life of abstinence, assure them of the power of God’s mercy to forgive and to bring fresh hope, and pray for their conversion. Christ calls us all to on-going conversion of life; so our prayers for conversion encompass ourselves as well as others.
These are only a few of the do’s and don’ts of a full program of pastoral care of homosexual persons. The books and documents mentioned above can provide a more encompassing program. As I stated in my letter to my brother priests who signed the declaration, our relationship with homosexual persons needs to be that of Christ, one that offers full and fraternal acceptance of each person as made in the image of God and one that is animated by both truth and charity. When carried out with the help of the Holy Spirit, it can help us all to grow to full maturity in Christ.
Article here.

Swiss bishops denounce calls for Pope to retire

Swiss bishops say they are disgusted by an open letter calling on Pope John Paul II to stand down.

The publication of the letter – signed by more than 40 Catholic priests and lay people – coincided with the Pontiff’s 84th birthday on Tuesday.

The letter, which was delivered to the Bishops Conference on Friday, was signed by priests, theology professors, and Catholic lay people.
Could it be that these are the same individuals calling for women priestesses and for the elimination of all sexual 'sins'?
One Swiss bishop, Kurt Koch, said the decision to publish the letter as the Pope celebrated his birthday was "disgusting and disloyal".

“As his age increases and his health deteriorates, his abilities are increasingly in doubt and the Pope is in some ways less credible. And we think it's important to tell him that, so that he gives some thought to standing down,” (Xavier) Pfister said., ( Pfister is the information officer for the Catholic Church in Basel).
The Holy Father's abilities are in doubt and he is less credible? I think it is plain to see where the credibility problem is.

Article here.

Psalm 31, "Thanksgiving for the forgiveness of sins."

The Holy Father said that in Psalm 31 we find the "personal testimony of a convert" who has committed "serious sins and does not have the courage to confess his sins to God. It is a terrible interior torment, described with strong images. . The convert feels the weight of the hand of God on him, conscious that God is not indifferent to the evil perpetrated by man, because He is the guardian of justice and truth."

"Unable to go on in this way, the sinner decides to confess his sins with a courageous declaration which seems to foreshadow that of the prodigal son in Jesus' parable." God "responds right away with generous forgiveness. . For the faithful who repent and are forgiven, despite life's trials, a new horizon of safety, faith and peace" is opened up.

"We can apply this psalm," he concluded, "to the sacrament of confession..."
VIS article.

Catholics vote with wallets on bishop's Communion ban

A prominent donor to the Colorado Springs Roman Catholic Diocese is leading a charge to revoke large gifts to the diocese unless the bishop reverses his Communion clampdown on Catholic voters.

In a scathing "open letter" to Bishop Michael Sheridan, Parker lawyer and businessman Ric Kethcart says Sheridan's stance hearkens back to McCarthyism and threatens his flock more than the clergy abuse scandal.

Peter Howard, Sheridan's executive assistant, said the diocese is willing to sacrifice dollars to stake a moral claim. Already, some Catholics in the 10-county south-central Colorado diocese who support Sheridan's leadership have increased their giving, Howard said.
One supports those things in which one believes.

Article here.

Another Colorado Bishop uses "seamless garment" rhetoric

The effort to use the "seamless garment" approach of "peace and justice" issues as Bishop Tafoya of Pueblo, does not in any way do justice the life issues that currently exist in our society. Both Bishop Sheridan and Archbishop Chaput have clearly spoken on this.

While other issues are to be considered, there are non-negotiable issues which must be considered first and foremost.
Pueblo Bishop Arthur Tafoya entered the debate raging over religion and politics, calling on Catholics to consider "peace and justice" issues along with abortion when they go to the polls.

"Respect for life is also confronted by hunger and poverty, the death penalty, euthanasia, war and, as we see today, torture," Tafoya said in a statement.

Tafoya favors the "seamless garment" philosophy developed by the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin of Chicago, said his spokesman, Larry Howe-Kerr. It says Catholics should be sensitive to a spectrum of life issues, from abortion to the death penalty. He would not refuse Communion to anyone, his spokesman said.

So much for being obedient to one's Bishop...

An Arvada priest lashed out Sunday at a message from Colorado Springs Bishop Michael Sheridan, prompting applause from his congregation.

"The applause caught me off guard," said the Rev. Bob Kinkel, pastor of Spirit of Christ Catholic Church, 7400 W. 80th Ave.

Standing before his congregation, Kinkel criticized a letter that Sheridan sent May 1 to Catholic voters.
Article here.

Florida Bishop Rebukes Pro-Abortion, Communion Receiving Catholics

Obliquely chastises some bishops for failure "to rebuke when necessary"

ORLANDO, May 18, 2004 ( - Another US bishop has stepped up to the front lines of the battle in the US Catholic Church over the reception of communion by pro-abortion, dissenting Catholics. The coadjutor bishop of Orlando Florida, Thomas Wenski, has published a pastoral statement in which he calls pro-abortion Catholics who demand to receive communion "boorish and sacrilegious." He suggests that they are in a worse moral position than Pontius Pilate after his condemnation of Christ.

Bishop Wenski compares the failure to chastise pro-abortion politicians with the failure of the bishops in general to protect young people from predatory homosexuals in the priesthood. He writes, "But to fail to rebuke when necessary is to fail in the charity we owe our brethren. (And we bishops will be apologizing for a long time for the failure to rebuke and apply sanctions to those wayward priests who criminally sinned against young people and children.)"
Lifesite Article

To read Bishop Wenski's full statement: Click here.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Latin Liturgy Convention June 25-June 27, 2004 in Indianapolis

40 years after the Second Vatican Council permitted greater use of the vernacular in Catholic liturgies, the Latin Liturgy Association will hold it's bienniel convention in Indianapolis to encourage Catholics to preserve their Latin liturgical heritage.

(PRWEB) May 15, 2004--The Latin Liturgy Association will hold its biennial Convention from Friday evening, June 25 through Sunday afternoon, June 27 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Keynote talk will be given by Mr. James Likoudis entitled “The Latin Liturgy: Quo Vadis?” The weekend will include a Vatican II Rite Latin High Mass, a Tridentine Rite Solemn Pontifical Mass, Solemn Vespers in Latin, and nine stimulating talks and workshops.

Other talks will include topics such as “Gregorian Chant: Music for the Few or the Many” by Dr. Lucy Carroll, “An Illustrated Introduction to the Dominican Rite” by Rev. Father Dennis Duvelius, F.S.S.P., an examination of the training received by Seminarians in the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, a look at how a small chapel in New Jersey has flourished by offering the Traditional Mass and much more!

Cost is only $60 if paid by June 4 ($75 after June 4), including lunches on Saturday and Sunday. The liturgies will be held at St. John’s Church, Holy Rosary Church and Sacred Heart Church, all in Indianapolis.

Our Friday evening workshop “Give Gregorian Chant a Chance in Your Parish”, which will be held from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at The Hampton Inn, 105 S. Meridian Street, Indianapolis. This Chant workshop will give you the practical skills and resources to bring back Chant to your parish!

The cost to attend just the Friday evening Chant Workshop is $10.00. Detailed information can be found at or call the Latin Liturgy Association at 718-979-6685 and a detailed brochure will be mailed or faxed to you promptly.

If you love the Latin Mass and Gregorian Chant, you will not want to miss this event!

Additional information about the Convention, or the work of the Latin Liturgy Association, can be obtained by calling the Association’s President, William J. Leininger at 718-979-6685.
Link here... or the Latin Liturgy Association Web Page here.

The Catholic Church's great divide

Now that a veteran priest at a traditional Huntington Beach parish has retired, the diocese (or Orange, CA) is stamping out the Tridentine Mass at that location, forcing devotees to drive to the overcrowded Mission San Juan Capistrano, where it is still officially sanctioned.

Locally, Fr. Daniel Johnson, the kindly, traditionalist priest who led St. Mary's by the Sea for 25 years, has retired. His retirement, and the retirement of the Tridentine Mass with him, is heartbreaking news to St. Mary's parishioners.

This is standard fare, however, in the bitter war that is waged behind the scenes within the church. In reality, there are two churches co-existing uncomfortably together. There's the traditional Catholic Church, with its unwavering support for church traditions and theology.

As Catholic author Michael Rose argued in his blockbuster book, "Goodbye Good Men," the liberals gained control of many seminaries and kept tradition-minded men out of the priesthood. That's the root of the sexual-abuse scandal: The success of the left in driving out "good men" and replacing them with priests with different standards.

Now the diocese is taking away the Tridentine Mass at St. Mary's. In a letter to a parishioner, the diocese said the parishioners should accept the decision with an obedient heart. But given the Vatican has said dioceses should be generous in allowing such masses, a reasonable question is raised about who is not being obedient.
"Ecclesia Dei" may need a wide and generous 'study' in the diocese to determine what it 'really' says.

Article here.

Dr. Edward Peters analyzes Cardinal Mahony's comments from a canonical perspective

The Cardinal and the Canons

Cardinal Roger Mahoney, amid a variety of interesting comments that I am sure will attract competent commentary from others, spoke inaccurately about certain canonical considerations surrounding pro-abortion Catholic politicians receiving Communion. Some of the most salient canonical assertions by the cardinal were:
Here Dr. Peters reviews 4 points made the the cardinal from a Canon Law perspective...He concludes by saying:
Let's be clear about what Abp. Burke and others are doing: Their stance against pro-abortion Catholic politicians receiving the Eucharist is completely justified. In brief, their decisions are 1) made in the realm of sacramental discipline, not penal law; 2) meant to prevent serious scandal to the faithful, curb sacrilegious reception of Communion, and impress upon certain persons the gravity of their deeds; 3) binding on all ministers of the Eucharist in their jurisdictions; 4) illustrative for others who, someday, as will we all, have to account to Jesus for what they did with His Precious Body and Blood. I need hardly add that all that is necessary to secure one’s readmission to the Eucharist would be confession and firm purpose of amendment.

I agree with His Eminence that we have had pro-abortion Catholic politicians receiving the Eucharist since 1973. What’s changed is that we now have bishops who are saying enough is enough. +++
Link is here.

NRB & Bishops reach a "Deal"?

The committee of U.S. Roman Catholic bishops that deals with sexual abuse reached an accord in Chicago Monday with a lay watchdog panel that monitors church reform policies, but details were not announced.

Sister Mary Ann Walsh, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said in a telephone interview that the bishops' Ad Hoc Committee on Sexual Abuse and the lay National Review Board ``came together on a proposal'' and both sides are ``very pleased with it.''

Illinois Appellate Justice Anne Burke of Chicago, interim chair of the review board, said the agreement ``is in compliance with the charter'' the bishops issued to deal with the abuse scandal in 2002, but she, too, said no details will be released till the full body of bishops meets in Denver next month.

An angry dispute between the review board and certain bishops has threatened to disrupt reform policies. The review board insists that the 2002 charter requires audits of compliance in every U.S. diocese each year, but some bishops opposed audits in 2004 in order to discuss the whole procedure.
Once again, it is better that I not comment on this if I cannot be charitable. One must wonder why there was so much whining the past few days from Anne Burke if something was being worked on?

Article here.

Did Acceptance of Contraception Finally Lead to Homosexual Unions?

Phil Lawler, editor of the Boston based Catholic World News and author of five books and numerous articles, has responded to today's beginning of legally sanctioned homosexual unions in Massachusetts. In his Phil's Forum for today, Lawler lays out the case that Christians themselves are to a large degree responsible for this logical outcome of the acceptance of contraception.

Lawler writes, "The degradation of marriage did not begin with a Massachusetts court decision late last year. It began a few decades ago, when 'ordinary' married couples… began routinely using contraceptives. At that point, the typical American marriage-- which might have looked, from the outside, very much like that beautiful old union-- was itself based on acts of sexual perversion."
It is undeniable that the acceptance of contraception in Western societies has resulted in the abominations we witness today - abortion, euthanasia, rampant homosexuality.


Rod Dreher's take on the Bishops and Holy Communion

This article is an indictment, not of all bishops, but, it seems to me, of the Church in the US. He states:
For an entire generation, Catholics in this country have not been taught the basics of the faith.
Actually, it is more than a generation - it is nearly two generations of Catholics who have not been taught the fundamentals of the Catholic Faith.
In a powerful essay published in The Wanderer, a conservative Catholic newspaper, Father Joseph F. Wilson writes that this communion controversy is taking place as if the church in America has clearly and forcefully taught its people what the Eucharist is, and why abortion is so morally repugnant. Nonsense, says the Brooklyn priest, who argues that parishes have fed their people a steady diet of noncontroversial, content-free "mommy religion" for so long that nobody should be surprised that Catholics don't understand what the church teaches, and why.

"They may come to Mass, but they are, sadly, never really fed, never really formed in the Catholic faith," the priest says. "And their attitudes and values morph into what we would expect of amiable pagans."
This is one reason why it is so important for the faithful to learn the faith and to teach others the truths of the faith. In far too many parishes, they will not learn the truth unless they learn from those who know and live it.

Article here.

Editorial "Theologian" Slams Bishop Sheridan

It's amazing how armchair "theologians" come out in force when a bishop proclaims the truth.
I will not confess what is not a sin

Societal Suicide

With the State of Massachusetts leading the nation toward the moral abyss of depravity and ruin, we witness a group of professed Catholics, including priests and religious, engaging in what can only be described, at best, as a scandalous confusion of Catholic teaching and, at worst, complete apostacy. Regardless of the intent of those who participated in and signed this statement, the scandal resulting from this action can only be viewed as objectively grave.

The statement, while clearly calling for the respect of the dignity of the individual person, confuses what are termed "human rights" with "license". The dignity of a person with homosexual tendencies is no more diminished because of existing marriage laws than is the dignity of one though blind who may not be licensed to operate a motor vehicle.

The Church teaches us that men and women with homosexual tendencies "must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided".

However, there is much more to it than that. Those with homosexual inclinations are called, like other Christians, to live the virtue of chastity. We cannot fail to recall that the homosexual inclination is "objectively disordered" and homosexual practices are "sins gravely contrary to chastity".

What this group of signatories fails to recognize or fails to admit is that we, as professed Catholics, have an clear, moral obligation to oppose the legitimization of evil. We must refrain from any kind of cooperation with any laws or proposals for such laws that would give any sort of legitimacy to a so-called "homosexual union". To merely advocate for dialogue and respect do not go far enough - we are called to proclaim the whole truth in charity, not just that part which is easy to proclaim or which only serves to obfuscate the painful realities of life.

The Church clearly explains why it is necessary to oppose homosexual unions:
1. Right reason - the legitimization of homosexual unions obscures basic, fundamental moral values which are necessary for the common good of society.

2. Biological and Anthropological Considerations - These 'unions' are not life-producing and are opposed to the complementarity of the sexes. They are fruitless and as such, they can only contribute to the decline of civilization. Human society is based on the family unit, consisting of a man who may become a father and woman who may become a mother. The absence of sexual complimentarity is an obstacle to the proper development of children.

3. Social Considerations - Humanity, in the form of societal structures, cannot survive without the family which comes about from marriage. Legal recognition of homosexual unions, in essence, redefines marriage. In effect, such a recognition distorts the truth and strips society of an institution which is essential for the society to survive. True justice requires that those things which are detrimental to the good of society not be sanctioned by the State as legitimate.

4. Those who are married and who faithfully carry out their responsibility are essential to the survival of the society and, therefore, to the common good. They help to ensure the "succession of generations", and rightly, civil laws grant them recognition. This is not possible with homosexual unions which cannot exercise this function.

The State has an obligation to preserve and protect society by promoting the institution of authentic marriage. Failure to protect society results in disorder - the promotion of disorder as a way of life leads only to death; it leads us away from life itself. We are on a death march to our own destruction. Rational minds must prevail amid this confusion. We murder the unborn depriving society of future generations, and more importantly, we attempt to deprive God Himself of His own children. We attempt to kill those who are no longer 'useful' to society - the sick, the elderly, the infirmed. Now we are attempting to promote another evil as a good for the benefit of society - unnatural unions. In the name of freedom, we have exchanged virtues for vice, good for evil, truth for lies. Many are proclaiming that darkness is light and that society will be better off with these 'freedoms'. No society can withstand living in darkness for very long. Every society which has attempted to live in darkness has starved itself to death.

The Church concludes in "Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions between Homosexual Persons" with this:
The Church teaches that respect for homosexual persons cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behaviour or to legal recognition of homosexual unions. The common good requires that laws recognize, promote and protect marriage as the basis of the family, the primary unit of society. Legal recognition of homosexual unions or placing them on the same level as marriage would mean not only the approval of deviant behaviour, with the consequence of making it a model in present-day society, but would also obscure basic values which belong to the common inheritance of humanity. The Church cannot fail to defend these values, for the good of men and women and for the good of society itself.
We are called to be faithful, to know the truth, to live the truth, and to suffer for the truth. We must not shy away from the Truth, from Jesus Christ - we must, in all charity, present Him as HE is - the Way, the Truth, and the Life, even if we must suffer persecution.

We must "do whatever He tells us to do". We must offer our prayers, sacrifices, daily Holy Communions, and penances for our own sins and the sins of those who have abandon God. We must pray for those who think they are gaining 'freedom', when in fact, they have sold themselves into slavery. Our future and the future of our children depends on our fulfilling our obligations to God, to our families, and to our society.


VATICAN CITY, MAY 18, 2004 (VIS) - Today is Pope John Paul's 84th birthday. VIS subscribers who wish to e-mail birthday wishes to him may do so by clicking on the link below, and then clicking on the icon of the Pope where it says "Wishes to the Holy Father."

Click here:

"Arise, Let us be going," the latest book by Pope John Paul, was released today to coincide with the Pope's birthday. It contains reflections on his life as a bishop and on the ministry of every bishop. John Paul II was ordained a bishop on September 28, 1958.

The book is 178 pages long, has an introduction, six chapters, notes, a list of quotations from the Bible and the Magisterium and an index.

Holy See Press Office Director Joaquin Navarro-Valls, in a statement made this morning to journalists, said: "For the Holy Father today is an ordinary work day, above all one of thanksgiving. One special detail: the Holy Father has invited his closest collaborators in the Curia to lunch.

"Birthday wishes have arrived from around the world, and not just from Catholics, for John Paul II. They have come from heads of State and government, Church officials and people in the world of politics, business and the arts, but above all from single individuals who wish to express their affection and gratitude to the Pope."

Monday, May 17, 2004

Another look at the "Dark Days at Disney World"

Having witnessed first hand what occurs during that "special" week at Disney World in Orlando, this article sheds a little more light on how Disney has abandoned its family friendly image.

Article here.

Bishop Sheridan speaks...

(CNN's Anderson) COOPER: The district attorney in Denver was quoted, a Catholic was quoted as saying "I just think this is a tragic direction for the bishop to take and my great fear is that it will drive Catholics away from the church." Do you have that fear at all? I mean if you look at figures from 1972, 49 percent of Catholics reported attending church weekly. In 2000, only 26 percent do. Can the church afford this?

(Bishop) SHERIDAN: I certainly don't want to drive any Catholic from the church. That's not my intention but the fact that is that the truth, and I believe I am speaking the truth of the church, the truth of God, the truth is sometimes divisive and it sometimes does leave people behind.

It's an unfortunate consequence, not one intended, but the alternative is to say nothing and, if I do that, then I jeopardize my own salvation I believe because as a bishop I have the mandate to speak the truth.
The TRUTH is sometimes divisive...If fact, many hate the truth and they hate those who proclaim the truth:
Jesus said to his disciples:
"If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first.
If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own;
but because you do not belong to the world,
and I have chosen you out of the world,
the world hates you." (Jn 15)
Bishop Sheridan needs our prayers as he will also be attacked for speaking the truth.

Article here.

More from Colorado Springs...

"I think it's in God's hands and on each person's conscience whether or not he's taking communion," Ms. (Anne) Mayo-Mullen said. "We support stem-cell research because our daughter, Brooks, is diabetic. In the case of rape or incest, I was raised to believe that abortion is a personal choice."
If she was taught this as a Catholic, it only demonstrates the depths of the abyss that catechesis has taken in some areas. The failure to fully explain the teachings of the Church and of moral theology has had a terrible impact and has corrupted many souls.
Article here...

UNAIDS Official Distorts Catholic Position on Condoms

A UN official in charge of AIDS prevention has denied that the Catholic Church opposes the use of condoms. Taking the dissenting views of a small number of commentators as representative of official Catholic policy, he said that there is "hot debate" in the Vatican over the use of condoms.
The only "hot debate" I ever see is that of dissenters trying to rationalize the use of condoms as a menas to prevent STDs...

Article here.

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Archbishop Burke explains the issue with St. Stanislaus

I'm not certain if this will be archived, so I've included the entire article. The Archbishop clarifies the position quite well.

The article is currently at the St. Louis Review here.
May 14, 2004
St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish: Parish, diocese, universal Church

by Archbishop Raymond L. Burke

In recent weeks, there has been much conversation and publicity regarding my meetings with the board of directors of the civil corporation of St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish, with the priests assigned to the parish, with the parish Pastoral Council and with the parishioners. A number of the faithful of the archdiocese have written to me, expressing their concern about the situation as they perceive it. A common perception is that the archdiocese is demanding a change in the civil incorporation of the parish, in order to be in a position to suppress or close the parish and, then, to take the parish’s funds to use for other purposes. As you can imagine, such a perception is a source of scandal for the faithful.

In order that you have a correct perception of the situation, I offer a reflection on the situation itself, in the context of the Church’s understanding of the relationship of a parish to the diocese or archdiocese, and to the universal Church. The reflection both seeks to heal any scandal in the matter and provides us all a good occasion to reflect on the gift of our life in the Church at the parish, diocesan and universal levels.

Closing of Parishes and Parish Funds

To be clear, from the start, it is no part of my thinking or of the thinking of anyone who advises me that St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish should be closed. On the contrary, I have stated repeatedly, both in writing and orally, that I take great pride in St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish as a personal parish for Polish-speaking Catholics and Catholics of Polish heritage in the Archdiocese of St. Louis. I have thanked publicly those who have sacrificed so much to keep St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish active and strong. And I have confirmed publicly my intention to help the parish in every way possible, pledging that it will enjoy my fullest support. For example, even though the archdiocese anticipates having fewer priests to assign in the coming years, I have promised to St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish the service of both a priest of the archdiocese and a native Polish priest.

It is sometimes said to me that the archdiocese has never done anything for St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish, that the parishioners have built and maintained the parish on their own completely, without any encouragement or help from the archdiocese. My reading of the history of the archdiocese tells me otherwise. There is not sufficient space here to review the whole history of the relationship of the archdiocese to St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish, but I can offer an example of the recent solicitude of the archdiocese for the good of the parish. Cardinal Justin Rigali not only assigned Father Philip Bene, a priest of the archdiocese, to the parish, but also, working with the Bishop of Drohiczyn in Poland, he obtained the services of a native Polish priest for the parish. The archdiocese provided for the tuition, room and board of the Polish priest during his study of the English language at Sts. Cyril and Methodius Seminary in the Archdiocese of Detroit. Father Bene, who has some Polish heritage, also has been studying the Polish language. What is more, in order that having the services of two priests not be too burdensome for the parish, Father Bene’s compensation comes principally from the Archdiocesan Curia, in which he serves as a judge of the Matrimonial Tribunal.

Regarding parish funds, no bishop may confiscate the funds of any parish. Such action is directly forbidden by the Code of Canon Law. The ownership of goods acquired by a parish belongs to the parish and is governed by Church discipline (cf. Can. 1255-1257).

The bishop has the responsibility to supervise carefully the administration of the funds and other temporal goods of the parish, so that they serve the mission of the Church in the parish, but he may not take the temporal goods from the Parish (cf. Can. 1276). If a parish is closed — and I repeat that I have no idea of closing St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish — the funds of the parish are directed to the parishes in which the parishioners of the closed parish are then registered.

Also, the Code of Canon Law requires that the designation of gifts, given to the Church, be fully respected (cf. Can. 1284, §2,3º). There has been concern that the archdiocese will not respect funds that have been designated for the cultural center established at the parish. To be clear, the archdiocese is obligated to respect the designation of funds for special works or projects of the parish.

Civil Incorporation of Parishes

The present form of civil incorporation of St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish places complete authority for the administration of the parish in the hands of the board of directors, which operates according to its own bylaws. The bylaws previously permitted the parish priest or pastor to be present at meetings of the board, but he had no vote. Recently, the board of directors has proposed a change in the bylaws, which was subsequently approved at a meeting of some parish members, which would grant to the pastor a vote on the board of directors. In either case, the pastor remains subject to the authority of the board of directors, even though his appointment is made by the archbishop of St. Louis. In other words, the archbishop of St. Louis is asked to send a pastor to St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish in order that he serve under the direction of the board of directors of the parish.

Church law does not permit a parish to be civilly incorporated in this manner. The form of civil corporation must respect the nature of the Church, in which Christ has placed the Holy Father, Successor of St. Peter, and the College of Bishops, Successors to the Apostles, as true shepherds of the Father’s flock.

Priests are the co-workers of the bishop and carry out the mission of Christ the Good Shepherd in the parishes and other institutions to which the bishop sends them. As a true shepherd, the bishop, with the priests, has responsibility for both the pastoral care of the faithful and the administration of the temporal goods which support the pastoral care.

Temporal goods are buildings and grounds which are owned by the Church and are used to carry out the Church’s mission. They also include monies which are used to provide financial support of those who dedicate themselves to carrying out some part of the Church’s mission, and to maintain and develop the buildings and grounds. Because temporal goods are essential to the Church’s mission, the Code of Canon Law includes a special section which contains the discipline to be followed in their administration (cf. Can. 1254-1310).

The administration of temporal goods requires that the Church observe the local civil law and adopt the appropriate civil structures to make possible the fulfillment of her mission (cf. Can. 1284, §2, 2º-3º). The Church respects the civil law and provides for the civil incorporation of parishes and dioceses and other Church institutions and associations in order that the civil law be observed and the fitting protections of the civil law be assured. The parishes of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, with the exception of St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish, are presently structured in the form of unincorporated associations. At present, the archdiocese is studying a proposed revision of the form of civil law structure of parishes to nonprofit corporations that it may serve even better and more securely the work of the Church. Since my arrival as Archbishop, I have been studying the proposal and hope to finalize it, with the help of archdiocesan legal counsel and canonical counsel, within the coming weeks.

Nature of the Church

As is clear from the above, the civil structure of the incorporation of parishes and the archdiocese must respect the nature of the Church. If not, the right ordering of the Church is disturbed, and there is the strong danger of misunderstanding our life in the Church and failing to respect our distinct responsibilities in the Church. Such misunderstanding has led, in the past, to sad divisions in the Church.

The Church is God the Father’s gift to us. God the Father sent God the Son into the world, that He call the Church into being through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Throughout His public ministry, Christ was forming the Church, His disciples, and instructing them regarding the life of the Church. By His suffering, dying, rising from the dead, Ascension and sending of the Holy Spirit, Christ brought to completion the work of establishing the Church as His living Body, in which the members have communion with God, in Christ, and become co-workers with God, again in Christ, for the salvation of the world.

The Church is not an organization which we have formed and joined. No, it is God’s gift to us through our Baptism and Confirmation. The highest expression of God’s gift of the Church to us is the celebration of the holy Eucharist, through which He feeds us with the Body and Blood of Christ, His Son, nourishing the life of the Holy Spirit within us, drawing us closer to Himself and strengthening us to do His work in the world.

In calling the Church into being, Christ, at the very beginning of His public ministry, set apart certain of the disciples to carry out a distinctive service, the service of Shepherd and Head which belongs to Him alone but which He carries out through them. By the Sacrament of Holy Orders, Christ gives to bishops and priests the grace to act in His person as Shepherd and Head of God’s flock in every time and place. To be precise, by the grace of Holy Orders, the whole being of the bishop and priest is given over to Christ, so that He can act in them to teach us, to sanctify us and to guide and direct us.

In guiding and directing the life of the Church in every community, the bishop and priests enjoy the assistance of both pastoral councils and finance councils, composed of lay members of the faithful and consecrated persons. The diocesan or parish pastoral council helps the bishop or pastor to know as fully as possible the pastoral needs of the faithful and to use appropriate means to meet those needs. The diocesan or parish finance council assists the bishop or pastor in administering the Church’s temporal goods — buildings, grounds and money — so that these temporal goods serve as best as possible the teaching of the faith, the worship of God and the care of all who are in need.

Why now?

The question is frequently raised about my reason for addressing the civil corporate structure of St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish at the present time, especially so soon after beginning my service in the Archdiocese of St. Louis. First of all, my predecessor, Cardinal Rigali, had been working with the board of directors and the parishioners at St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish to correct its civil structure, in accord with Church discipline. He met with the board of directors of the present civil corporation on Sept. 30, 2003, to explain the steps necessary to bring the corporate structure of the parish into compliance with Church law.

Subsequent to Cardinal Rigali’s meeting with the board of directors, Father Bene, parochial administrator of the parish, wrote a lengthy letter to all of the parishioners on Nov. 14, 2003, explaining in detail the requirements of Church law and responding to questions about how making the necessary changes will effect parish life.

Before I came to the archdiocese, Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, then archdiocesan administrator, provided me with the complete documentation in the matter. I studied it carefully and agreed completely with Cardinal Rigali’s actions to rectify the situation. It is important to note, however, that Cardinal John Glennon, who served as Archbishop of St. Louis from 1903 to 1946, made an initial effort to address the irregular corporate structure which exists at St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish. Cardinal Joseph Ritter did likewise during the time, from 1946 to 1967, when he served as Archbishop of St. Louis. Both of these initiatives are facts of history.

After I began my service in the archdiocese on Jan. 26, I met, on March 2, with the board of directors of the civil corporation, the members of the parish pastoral council, Father Bene and Father Adam Hurbanczuk, the priest of the Diocese of Drohiczyn in Poland, who assists Father Bene, to bring to a fruitful conclusion the work which Cardinal Rigali had begun. Then on March 19, I wrote to all of the parishioners, both in English and in Polish, to explain my decision in the matter. A copy of my letter is available to anyone who wishes it. If you wish a copy of the letter, please contact my office. Could I have let the situation continue as it is? Of course, I could have, but to have done so would have indicated that I did not believe that there was anything wrong. It would have been a lie, on my part. As a faithful Archbishop, I would be obliged to correct the matter eventually. Then, the question would logically be asked: Archbishop, if the corporate structure of the parish was all right with you in 2004, why is it not all right now? In any case, as Archbishop, in obedience to the discipline of the Church, I wish St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish to be constituted, also from the point of view of its civil structure, as a parish of the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

What next?

Once the final form has been given to the proposed revision of the civil law structure of the parishes of the archdiocese, St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish will be asked to accept the same civil structure as every other parish in the Archdiocese. If the board of directors refuses to revise the present structure of civil incorporation of the parish, I will be left with no other choice than to declare that the parish is no longer part of the archdiocese.

Because of my strong commitment to provide a personal parish for Polish-speaking Catholics and Catholics of Polish heritage, I commit myself to having a personal parish for Polish Catholics. It is my hope that St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish will remain the personal parish for Polish Catholics, but I cannot presume upon the decision of the board of directors and, therefore, will be prepared to provide immediately for the needs of the faithful who wish to belong to a parish for Polish Catholics.


I hope that the above will address the questions which the faithful of the archdiocese have raised in response to reports which they have received about the relationship of the archdiocese, and my relationship as Archbishop, with St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish and the faithful who are members of the parish. I hope also that my reflection on the situation has been the occasion for all of us to deepen our appreciation of God’s most wonderful gift to us, the gift of our life in Christ in the Church.

Please pray that the relationship of St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish with the Archdiocese of St. Louis may be reconciled in order that the fullness of the pastoral life of the Church may be available to the parishioners now and for the future. I ask the intercession of Our Lady of Czestochowa, Queen of Poland; St. Stanislaus Kostka; and Sts. Faustina Kowalska and Maximilian Kolbe for this intention.