Friday, June 04, 2004

Abortion and Communion

Here is a link to a great homily delivered by Father James Poumade, May 30, 2004 at Saint Mary Catholic Church, Alexandria, Virginia.

It has sufficient clarity of thought so as to understood by all. He says, in part:
I will not make recourse to the opinions of individuals, even among the US bishops, but only the express and uncontestable teaching of the Church.

Although some may be impatient about this, I ask only for your mature and courteous tolerance in the interest of greater understanding.

The first question that has to be addressed is: how do we balance faith with political obligations when the two clash?

There are two valid approaches. St Thomas More, royal chancellor of England and patron of our diocese, chose his faith over his political office when faced with a decision regarding the recognition of unlawful marriage, declaring that he was the king’s good servant – but God’s first. Pontius Pilate was personally opposed to executing Jesus, and may even have come to believe in Him, but didn’t wish to impose his belief on the crowd. He also, however, didn’t ask to go to Mass. He knew what his decision meant.

Those are two consistent courses of action. In each of them, the officeholder made a decision, and accepted its consequences. It is inconsistent to claim that one can reject the faith publicly and still be Catholic. Those who try to do so are the only ones truly guilty of mixing politics and religion. Being a practicing Catholic means following the will of God as revealed to us through Scripture and Tradition and the teaching authority of the Church.
He continues by explaining and teaching what the Church teaches. (All emphasis mine)
Link here.

"Inside the Vatican" magazine encourages Tridentine Mass

But I am persuaded that the restoration of the old Mass, with its simple solemnity and rich symbolism, would not offend non-Catholics, as is feared, but attract them and attract them profoundly.

And I am persuaded that the restoration of the old Mass would not "confuse" the faithful, but would "galvanize' them, deepening their Christian faith, confirming them in the love of God and their neighbor. And this, in fact, is what the bishops at Vatican II most deeply desired.

I am convinced that the restoration of the old liturgy would be a consolation to many, who have attended the new Mass, not to "participate more fully" in the new liturgy, but, out of obedience to a Pope and hierarchy which has asked them to "give up" the Mass they love.

I am persuaded that the restoration of the old Mass would be a "festival day," a day of universal celebration and, as such, would mark the beginning of a great renewal in Church life."

So let us read the sign of the times and restore the liturgy of the ages, the liturgy of Gregory the Great and St. Augustine of England, of Boniface and Bernard, of Francis and Clare, of Aquinas and Bonaventure, of Ignatius and Bellarmine, of Newman and Chesterton, and our own parents and grandparents.

Let us preserve from oblivion the beautiful and holy liturgy which we inherited from our forefathers, that our posterity may thank us for having the courage to do what is fitting and just in an age of iron and lead.

Robert Moynihan
CCI Article here.

Month of the Sacred Heart Has a Special Day of Prayer

In this month of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Pope has designated June 18 a Day of Prayer for the Sanctification of Priests.

And don't forget, you can celebrate the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus here.

Abortion Monsters, Inc.

During a recent interview, I mentioned that I believe one of Planned Parenthood’s objectives is for girls and women to engage in illicit sex as often as possible, so as to increase the odds they’ll get pregnant and have to abort.

The show host was flabbergasted. I was flabbergasted that he was flabbergasted. I reminded him that Planned Parenthood makes the bulk of its deadlihood - hundreds of millions of dollars every year - from abortion.

My theory was obviously over the top in this guy’s opinion. The interview ended abruptly.
Good article by Jill Stanek.

Full Text of the Holy Father's Address to President Bush

This is available at Vatican here.

Which Senator is most Catholic?

As reported recently, the articles of the Catholicity "scorecard" presented by Dick Durbin pointed out that it was none other than John Kerry, with Ted Kennedy close behind...Here is what Deal Hudson has to say in yesterday's E-Newsletter (below).

The Most Catholic Senator?
CRISIS Magazine - e-Letter
June 3, 2004
Dear Friend,

We knew it was coming.

Yesterday afternoon, I received a call from a friend in Congress who told me that Illinois Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) had just announced that Senator John Kerry was the "most Catholic" member of the Senate.

Stop laughing.

Senator Durbin released an analysis of the voting record of the 24 Catholic senators -- scoring them by their adherence to the political agenda of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). As I mentioned, John Kerry is ranked first, followed by Dick Durbin himself (way to go!).

Durbin is followed by Ted Kennedy. Yes, according to Dick Durbin's office, Ted Kennedy is the third most Catholic-voting member of the Senate.
Pat Leahy (D-VT) and Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) round out the top 5.

(To give you some helpful perspective, the ardently Catholic Senator Rick Santorum is 20th... just four from the bottom.)

So, what do the top five best Catholics in the Senate have in common? Well, they're five of the most radically liberal, pro-abortion members of congress. In fact, with the exception of Leahy, all voted to OPPOSE the Partial-Birth Abortion ban. Not only that, but all five voted AGAINST the Brownback Human Cloning
Prohibition Act.

But if that's all true, how on earth can anyone claim these five are among the best Catholics on the Hill?

It was easy, actually. All Senator Durbin had to do was completely ignore the immense difference between votes on doctrinal issues and votes on prudential matters.

Let me explain...

In assembling his scorecard, Durbin looked at 24 issues (with a total of 48 votes) on which the USCCB took a position. If the given senator voted in agreement with the USCCB, he was given a point. In the end, the points were added up, and the senators ranked.

In other words, in Senator Durbin's moral universe everything is flat. His moral calculus becomes, well, elementary arithmetic really: Just take all the policy recommendations of the Bishop's Conference -- no matter how prudential or non-binding in nature -- look at the voting record of every senator on those recommendations, and Presto! you have your mathematical ranking.

This methodology becomes particularly outrageous when you notice that it makes a vote for the Collins Mercury Reduction Act (which limits the use of mercury fever thermometers) equal in weight and importance to a vote for the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban!

Likewise, a vote for the Dorgan Joint Resolution (which rejects "the rule submitted by the Federal Communications Commission with respect to broadcast media ownership") is equal to a vote to ban human cloning.

As a result, a senator who votes AGAINST the Partial-Birth Abortion ban but for the restriction on mercury thermometers will be given the same "Catholic" rank as the senator who votes to ban partial-birth abortion, but against the restriction on the thermometers.

And so, Senator John Kerry -- who voted against the Partial Birth Abortion Ban, against the Born-Alive Infant Protection Act, against the Unborn Victims of Violence Act -- is now crowned the most Catholic member of the Senate!

Of course, as any sensible Catholic knows, these things are not remotely equal. Pro-life legislation touches on a doctrine of the Church, and all faithful Catholics are bound to adhere to it. The restriction on thermometers, on the other hand, is a mere prudential judgment of the USCCB; they believe it to be a matter of public health, but faithful Catholics are free to disagree.

By confounding prudential and doctrinal matters, Senator Durbin has made a desperate attempt to provide cover for all the pro-abortion "Catholics" in the Senate (both Democrats and Republicans).

The question now is whether or not the Bishops Conference will allow this mockery of Catholic social teaching to pass through the media without comment or clarification. Will it be up to individual bishops, once again, to deal with the propaganda of the pro-abortion "Catholic" crowd in Congress?

The USCCB actually has a unique opportunity to take a stand here...

Very soon, the conference will be issuing its questionnaire to the presidential candidates. You may recall that in the 2000 election, there was a dustup when the Catholic News Service allowed Al Gore to describe himself as "pro-life" without any editorial comment or correction. This year, the content of the Conference questionnaire will be vital in determining what the Conference considers important
to learn from the presidential candidates.

Will the questionnaire follow the Durbin model of a flat moral universe where issues like the level of the minimum wage count the same as a vote on the protection of innocent life? Or will the questionnaire be weighted to reveal the candidates' views on matters that actually bind the Catholic's conscience?

As soon as it's made public, I'll let you know.

Talk to you soon,
All emphasis is mine.

The Holy Father meets with Bishops of Region XIII

These are the Bishops from Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and western Texas.
The rise of the prophetic mission of the laity is one of the great treasures unfolding in the Church of the third millennium.

Detached from this vision of the fundamental unity and purpose of the whole human family, rights are at times reduced to self-centred demands: the growth of prostitution and pornography in the name of adult choice, the acceptance of abortion in the name of women’s rights, the approval of same sex unions in the name of homosexual rights.

In the face of such erroneous yet pervasive thinking you must do everything possible to encourage the laity in their "special responsibility" for "evangelizing culture ... and promoting Christian values in society and public life" (Pastores Gregis, 51). False secularistic forms of "humanism" which exalt the individual in such a manner that they become a veritable idolatry (cf. Christifideles Laici, 5) can be countered only by the rediscovery of the genuine inviolable dignity of every person.

So, again I say to the people of the United Sates, it is the Paschal Mystery of Christ that is the only sure point of reference for all of humanity on its pilgrimage in search of authentic unity and true peace! (cf. Ecclesia in America, 70).
Address here.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

UNFPA Report Says Catholic Dissidents Help Advance 'Reproductive Rights"

A report issued on May 18 by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) provides a strategy for undermining Catholic Church teaching on sexual morality and family life. The plan involves partnering with Catholic clergy and lay organizations that may secretly dissent from Church teaching. By choosing to work with such groups, UNFPA can appear to be in accord with the Church, even as it promotes such things as the legalization of abortion and the provision of contraceptives to adolescents.

The report, entitled "Working from Within: Culturally Sensitive Approaches in UNFPA Programming," is a 32-page examination of UNFPA's efforts in nine countries to change laws and establish what it calls reproductive rights and health - an ambiguous phrase that is used throughout the report and is never defined but in UN parlance includes abortion. In its section on Brazil readers are told that one lesson to emerge from UNFPA's work in the country was that the Catholic Church was not a monolith and that essential to fighting Church teaching was identifying dissenting Catholics. "Within the Catholic Church, certain progressive branches exist, including the Communidades Eclesiais de Base, whose Catholic clergy understand the harsh realities of the country's poor and are ardent advocates on their behalf."

In the report, UNFPA touts a collaboration it began in the early 1990s with Pastoral da Crianca, a Catholic nongovernmental organization that promotes maternal and infant health through a network of 150,000 volunteers. Both groups sought to promote the spacing of pregnancies, though Pastoral did so by teaching Church approved natural family planning, while UNFPA promoted contraception. The report calls the strategy "selective collaboration" with the Catholic Church, which it defines as "identifying and working together in those areas where objectives coincide, while respecting the boundaries inherent in each partner's mandate."

But it becomes clear that in reality UNFPA does not respect such boundaries. The case study reveals that UNFPA, with UNICEF, funded a radio program sponsored by Pastoral as well as other "materials dealing with various aspects of family planning." The report brags that "although the emphasis was on birth spacing through natural methods, modern methods of contraception were also introduced. Pastoral da Crianca provided all of this information to their volunteers, who, in turn, conveyed it to their clients during home visits."

Besides using Pastoral's vast volunteer network to help spread its message, UNFPA benefited from the relationship in another significant way: It gave them credibility. "For UNFPA, working with Pastoral lent a certain legitimacy to its efforts and facilitated its involvement with grass-roots communities." Following the visit of Pope John Paul II to Brazil during the Jubilee Year of 2000, Pastoral terminated its relationship with UNFPA.

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granted for unlimited use. Credit required.

Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute
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YES, he's a US citizen...NO, it's not human...Confused?

Myrna Dick, 29, of the Kansas City suburb of Raymore, is five months pregnant and married to a U.S. citizen. Senior U.S. District Judge Scott O. Wright ruled Thursday that the couple's unborn child was also a U.S. citizen and thereby entitled to legal protection.
Yet some judges would allow here to have her baby butchered, as in the recently overturned Partial Birth Abortion Ban...

If the unborn baby is a US citizen, then those who are murdered have been denied due process...

STL Post Dispatch Article...

No surprises here...

This comes from a News Story at CNS...

New score card rates Catholic senators' votes on various issues
Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat who is the likely Democratic nominee for president, received the highest score of all 24 Catholic senators in the analysis. Durbin was second and Santorum was 20th.

Msgr. Francis Maniscalco, secretary of communications for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, had no immediate comment on the score card.

Santorum said he hoped the score card would prompt comment from the USCCB and individual bishops.

Durbin's score card gave an average score of 34 percent to the 10 Republican Catholic senators on those domestic issues, while the 14 Catholic Democrats received an average score of 79 percent.
I guess this is all we need to know...the article appears to advocate the scorecard but then, I have become unduly suspicious of CNS reporting.

Article here.

What will this be like?

Debate between German cardinal, Father Kung to highlight assembly

COLOGNE, Germany (CNS) -- A scheduled debate between German Cardinal Karl Lehmann of Mainz and dissident Swiss theologian Father Hans Kung will be among the highlights of a five-day Catholic assembly scheduled for June. Cardinal Lehmann, chairman of the German bishops' conference, and Father Kung, who was stripped of his teaching rights at Catholic universities by the Vatican in 1979, were to debate the Second Vatican Council document "Lumen Gentium," with which they were both closely involved. Some 15,000 mainly Catholic participants are expected to gather in Ulm for the June 16-20 Katholikentag, or Catholic Church assembly. Its theme is "Living From the Power of God." Theodor Bolzenius, spokesman for the assembly, said the event will send the message that society must do all it can to preserve life, from conception to death.

Vatican wants to meet with U.S. task force on Catholic politicians

The Vatican's doctrinal congregation wants to meet soon with a U.S. bishops' task force to help clarify controversial questions over church teachings and Catholic politicians, sources in Rome said.

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, suggested the encounter after speaking at length with a group of U.S. bishops at the Vatican June 2, said Bishop Donald E. Pelotte of Gallup, N.M.

During their meeting, Cardinal Ratzinger said church leaders should be cautious about refusing Communion to Catholic politicians who oppose church teachings on abortion and other pro-life issues, Bishop Pelotte told Catholic News Service.

A Vatican source confirmed that Cardinal Ratzinger had emphasized caution when discussing the possibility of denying Communion.
CNS article here.

Post Dispatch Editorial: Archdiocese should take heed of trends

Last year, the St. Louis Archdiocese conducted a study of the Northeast Deanery, an area that stretches from Hazelwood to Jennings, to determine how to reconfigure the district. The archdiocese, acting upon declining Catholic population trends in the deanery, wants to make sure the parishes remain viable in the coming years.

It is certain some schools and churches will close. Until a first draft of the plan recommendations is released in August, no one knows for sure which ones.

It would be easy for archdiocesan officials to simply consider numbers on paper when deciding which schools and churches to close. North County may also be hampered by the fact that Archbishop Raymond Burke is new to St. Louis and may be unfamiliar with the dynamics of the area.

That's why the archdiocese needs to look beyond the study before making its final decision.
Many have left or are leaving the area and moving west or south...What are these 'dynamics'?

Article here.

Durbin: Survey shows senators vote Vatican

This is article from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Sen. Dick Durbin released a survey Wednesday that he says shows most Catholic Democratic senators like himself vote in line with church positions - except when it comes to abortion.

"To suggest . . . that the issue of taking innocent human life is on par and has the moral equivalency of how many television stations somebody owns in Erie, Pennsylvania, is a deliberate attempt to confuse and obfuscate what is the true teaching of the church," said Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa. "They are not morally equivalent issues."

During the news conference, Durbin said the priest's statements were "a very painful experience for someone who has been a practicing Catholic for 59 years plus."
I wonder if he would like cheese with that whine?

In addition, we must be told what Catholics for a Free Choice (to murder) has to say. This is standard policy, it seems.
Last month, Catholics for a Free Choice, an abortion-rights group, surveyed most of the nation's 195 dioceses and found that four bishops have indicated they would deny Communion to Catholic politicians whose legislation is counter to Catholic teaching on some issues.
Archbishop Burke, one of the four noted above, says this:
The question really is about the first life issue, meaning the right to life of the innocent, defenseless unborn," Burke said in an interview with the Post-Dispatch on Wednesday. ". . . That issue has to be treated separately. . . . When you mix them all together and place the same importance on each, Catholic politicians who agree (with the Church) on many issues may feel they have fulfilled their moral duty."
Sen. Rick Santorum sees this as an opportune teaching moment for the bishops:
Santorum said he hopes the conference will respond to the survey: "It's an opportunity for the conference of bishops to set the record straight."
Full article here.

What the bishops are really saying

This is an editorial from the St. Louis Review (posted in its entirety) reflecting on the letter of the forty some representatives of the US House.
The 40-plus Catholic Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives petitioning Cardinal Theodore McCarrick to call off the bishops who’ve reminded them of their pro-life responsibilities aren’t the victims they pretend to be.

The federal lawmakers’ letter makes it sound as if they are unfairly being singled out by some American prelates who’ve said they shouldn’t receive Communion if they support abortion.

More likely the bishops who’ve sounded the warning have struck a nerve among the Catholic political leaders who continue to support abortion.

The bishops who have sounded off recently on this matter of receiving Communion have been consistent in their message: If you call yourself a Catholic, live as a faithful Catholic should. They clearly have put the responsibility on the politicians to make that choice and have reminded them that they can’t have it both ways.

The bishops issuing these stern reminders have rarely singled out individuals and never political parties. There have been no threats of excommunication and the "threat" to withhold the Eucharist always follows the reasoning that those in public office who choose not to obey Church teaching commit grave sin. None of the letter-signers to Cardinal McCarrick, one of whom is Rep. William Lacy Clay of St. Louis, has been named publicly by his or her bishop. The only reason many people now know that those dissidents are Catholic is because they’ve decided to label themselves as such. It’s true that these Democrats, like the Democratic Party in general over the decades, have supported issues to improve the lives of the people in accordance with Gospel teachings. If so, then, why can’t they understand that protecting the lives of the unborn is no less important?

The most curious line in their letter is the one that reads: " ... we live in a nation of laws, and the Supreme Court has declared that our Constitution provides women with a right to an abortion." Following that reasoning, no one should have amended the U.S. Constitution to end slavery or allow women to vote or worked to reverse the 1890s Supreme Court ruling that allowed racial segregation to continue to the middle of the past century.

Let’s also remember what St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke really has said about all this. While still in La Crosse, Wis., he issued a pastoral message telling pro-abortion political leaders calling themselves Catholic (no individual names or party affiliations mentioned) that they shouldn’t receive Communion. He added that they shouldn’t "be admitted" to Communion until they’ve embraced a pro-life outlook.

In his first week in St. Louis, he was asked on a television news program covering a myriad of subjects whether he would give Communion to Presidential wannabe John Kerry, who supports abortion and continues to receive Communion when he attends Sunday Mass. The Archbishop answered that he would probably give Kerry a blessing but certainly not the consecrated Host.

We know of no Catholic politician who has been denied Communion. One, New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey, has voluntarily decided not to receive Communion because of his support for issues that conflict with Church teaching.

We need to remember that while Our Lord offers us His Body and Blood in the Eucharist, that offer comes with an expectation: that we be in a state of grace. We’re not in that state of grace if we defy the teachings of the Church.

This issue that recently has so engrossed Catholic politicians is not a battle for conscience. It’s a war for souls. The bishops are merely firing the spiritual volleys that need to be heeded.
Emphasis mine.

Archbishop Burke discusses Enthronement of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Posted in its entirety since I cannot find archived columns at the St. Louis Review.

Devotional life: Enthronement of the Sacred Heart
by Archbishop Raymond L. Burke


One of the important duties of the bishop is to foster the devotional life of the faithful entrusted to his pastoral care. In his post-synodal apostolic exhortation "On the Bishop, Servant of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the Hope of the World," Pastores Gregis (Oct. 16, 2003), Pope John Paul II reminded all bishops:

"The Synod Fathers reaffirmed the importance of popular piety in the handing on and the growth of faith. As my predecessor of venerable memory Pope Paul VI once said, popular piety is rich in values both in reference to God and to our brothers and sisters, and thus constitutes an authentic treasury of spirituality in the life of the Christian community" (n. 40a).

The bishop’s concern for the devotional life of his people is an integral part of his care for their prayer life and their participation in the worship of the Church. Most of all, it is a part of his care that the faithful participate fully in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, for the devotional life is the way in which we extend our communion with Christ in the Holy Eucharist to every aspect of our lives. At the same time, our devotional life stirs up in us the desire for participation in the Holy Eucharist and prepares us to take part in the Eucharistic Sacrifice.

It is important to recall that true devotional life also leads to a desire both to know the faith more fully and to communicate the faith to others, according to our call to be missionary and to be promoters of Christian unity and interfaith understanding and cooperation. The devotional life very much inspires and sustains the witness of justice and charity in our lives. Our Holy Father has given an excellent summary of the richness of meaning of devotions in the Christian life: "The faithful, through popular piety, should be led to a personal encounter with Christ and to fellowship with the Blessed Virgin Mary and the saints, especially through hearing the word of God, recourse to prayer, participation in the Church’s sacramental life, and the witness of charity and the works of mercy" (Pastores Gregis, n. 40d).

Popular piety gives concrete expression to our communion with all the saints, the communion which has its source in Christ’s love for us and our love for Christ.

Second Vatican Ecumenical Council

In teaching about devotions, the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council reminded us, in the words of St. Paul, that we are to pray without ceasing, so that we may live always in the company of Christ and bring Christ to others at all times and in all places. We pray at Mass that Christ, Who gives Himself totally to us in the Holy Eucharist, may make of us a total gift of love to God and our neighbor. Our devotional life helps us to be reminded throughout the day and in the various places of our daily activity that we are called to offer our lives, with Christ, to God and one another (cf. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium [Dec. 4, 1963], nn. 12-13).

It is important that the bishop give direction to the devotional life, so that popular piety attain its noble purpose, namely a fuller participation in the Holy Mass and other sacraments and, thereby, a fuller life in Christ. The Church carefully guides our life of prayer and worship, lest it any way fail to draw us to a greater love of Christ and His Church. The care of the devotional life belongs in a special way to the bishop. Referring to documents of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Pope John Paul II recalls "that all manifestations of popular piety fall under the responsibility of the bishop in his diocese" (Pastores Gregis, n. 40e). Regarding devotions, he states clearly:

"It is the bishop’s duty to regulate them, to encourage them as an aid to the faithful for Christian living, to purify them where necessary and to evangelize them" (Pastores Gregis, n. 40e).

Down the Christian centuries, false devotions have been introduced, which have led the faithful away from Christ. The Church studies the various popular devotions which arise, in order to be sure that they are fully coherent with the doctrine of the faith and her discipline. At the same time, the Church commends certain devotions to us. The Second Vatican Ecumenical Council tells us: "Popular devotions of the Christian people, provided they conform to the laws and norms of the Church, are to be highly recommended, especially where they are ordered by the Apostolic See" (Sacrosanctum Concilium, n. 13a).

The more closely we grow in the likeness of Christ, we desire to be in His company throughout the day, especially through prayer and devotions. One thinks, for instance, of morning prayer and evening prayer, prayers before and after meals, the Angelus, visits to the Blessed Sacrament and making the Sign of the Cross when passing before a church, the rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet, the Stations of the Cross, prayers said when hearing a siren or seeing an ambulance, lighting a blessed candle during a storm, and a host of other devotional practices which help us to keep company with Christ.

Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

In the homily at the Mass during which I was installed as Archbishop of St. Louis, on this past Jan. 26, I recalled the homily which Pope John Paul II gave at the Solemn Pontifical Mass on the second day of his historic pastoral visit to our archdiocese in 1999. In particular, I recalled how our Holy Father drew us, through his homily, to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, "the door through which the eternal love of the Father is poured out on the world" (Pope John Paul II, Homily, Solemn Eucharistic Celebration, America’s Center, St. Louis, Jan. 27, 1999, n. 1c). Our Holy Father reminded us that our fullest union with the Heart of Jesus in this life is through the Holy Eucharist, participation in Holy Mass and Eucharistic devotion. Truly, Christ seated at the right hand of the Father never ceases to pour out, from His glorious Heart, the riches of God’s grace upon the Church and us, her members, especially through the celebration of the Holy Mass.

Having called to mind the Holy Father’s words about the Sacred Heart of Jesus, I urged the practice of devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus as an expression of Christ’s Kingship in our hearts and in our world. I urged the Enthronement of the Sacred Heart in homes and other institutions of which we are a part: "Placing our hearts within the Sacred Heart of Jesus through participation in the Holy Eucharist and Eucharistic devotion, let us enthrone the image of His Sacred Heart in our homes and places of work and recreation, consecrating ourselves and all that we do to His service. The Sacred Heart devotion is a most fitting and efficacious way of extending Eucharistic worship and devotion into every moment of our lives and every aspect of our lives" (n. IVb).

The Enthronement of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is a true way of living always in the company of Christ Who gives us His Body and Blood in Holy Communion. The image of the Sacred Heart reminds us that Christ is alive for us always in the Church. We need only to approach Him Whose glorious Heart never ceases to beat with deepest love of us.

Since the time of my installation, a number of families have enthroned the image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. On this past March 25, the Solemnity of the Annunciation of our Lord, representatives of all of our Catholic schools came to the Cathedral Basilica for a Solemn Pontifical Mass, during which I blessed the image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus for each school. The students took the icon to their schools for the Enthronement. When I am visiting the schools, I am pleased to see the image of the Sacred Heart enthroned in a prominent place for the devotion of the students, faculty and others who visit the Catholic school.

It is my hope that every home in the archdiocese will enthrone the Sacred Heart of Jesus, if it has not already done so. To that end, I write about the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Enthronement. The reflection is particularly timely as we celebrate Christ’s Ascension to the right hand of the Father and prepare to celebrate, on Pentecost, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and, through the Apostles, on all of the disciples. Following Pentecost Sunday, we celebrate a number of solemnities which express the richness of Christ’s living presence with us in the Church: the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, and the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. It is my hope that the reflection which I offer on the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus will help us in celebrating these important solemnities and in living faithfully in the company of our Risen Lord in our homes.

What is the Enthronement?

Our Lord Himself has provided us with a most wonderful way to welcome Him into our homes. From 1673 to 1675, He appeared to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, a nun of the Visitation Convent at Paray-le-Monial in France. He revealed to St. Margaret Mary the great mystery of His infinite love for us, represented by His Sacred Heart. He asked that homes be consecrated to His Sacred Heart as a sign of His living presence with us in the Church, especially through the Holy Eucharist.

The practice of the Enthronement of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the home was begun by Father Mateo Crawley-Boevey of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. His work was first confirmed and blessed by Pope St. Pius X and then by every Pope since. When Pope St. Pius X heard of the Enthronement, he told Father Crawley-Boevey directly: "To save the family is to save society. The work you are undertaking is a work of social salvation. Consecrate your life to it." Father Crawley-Boevey could not mistake the importance which the Holy Father gave to his apostolate of the Enthronement of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. What the saintly Roman Pontiff declared to Father Crawley-Boevey in 1907 remains true in our time. If the company of Christ is cultivated in our homes, His company will be cultivated in every sector of life for the transformation of our society and of our world into a civilization of love.

The Enthronement is bound essentially to the Holy Eucharist, for it aims to bring Christ, truly present on the altar of sacrifice and in the tabernacles of our parish churches, into our homes. It aims to unite the altar and tabernacle of the parish church with the altar and tabernacle of devotion in our hearts and in our homes.

The whole meaning of the devotion is to extend the grace of the Eucharist into the Christian home and from the Christian home to the whole world.

The image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus expresses the true Kingship of Christ who rules over us by giving up His life for us. It daily reminds each member of the family to follow in Christ’s royal way by making reparation for sins committed and by striving to serve God and neighbor more lovingly. Father Crawley-Boevey spoke of the Enthronement as the "official and social recognition of the rule of Jesus over the Christian family" (Mateo Crawley-Boevey, SS.CC., Jesus King of Love, Fairhaven, MA: National Enthronement Center, 1997, p. 125). Once the Enthronement has taken place in the home, each family member has the occasion daily and, perhaps, many times daily to gaze upon the Face of Christ and to have Christ gaze upon his or her face. Looking into the Face of Christ, all of the various moments of daily living are seen in their lasting importance, are seen in the perspective of the eternal life which is to be ours.

Living the Enthronement

The Enthronement is not merely the placing of a sacred object in the home. It is not only an act of veneration of the image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The Enthronement is a way of life, the acceptance of Christ as King of my heart, as my constant Companion, as my Friend, helping me and guiding me in the small and big matters of daily life. As Bishop of La Crosse, I urged very much the Enthronement of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, especially on the occasion of the celebration of the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000. As families began to enthrone the image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus for the first time or to renew the Enthronement which had taken place years ago in the home, I received reports, both directly and by letter, recounting special graces received by the family members. The reports testified to the grace which comes to a home which makes the Enthronement of the Sacred Heart of Jesus a way of life for every member of the family. I offer two examples.

One man whom I will call Joseph told me personally about the situation of his neighbor, a devout Catholic who was dying of a painful form of cancer. The neighbor was suffering physically and was also psychologically very agitated. His wife was most concerned, especially as he was nearing death.

Joseph suggested to the man and his wife the Enthronement of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the bedroom in which the man was undergoing his agony. After some days of preparation, the Enthronement took place. After the Enthronement, the neighbor suffering from the cancer received a wonderful grace of peace, which he enjoyed until his death some days later.

A father and mother wrote to me after the Enthronement of the Sacred Heart in the home. They had two teenage children, a young man and a young woman, who were often disagreeable with each other and with their parents. The family prepared for the Enthronement which they carried out on Good Friday. The parents wrote to tell about the new attitude of respect for each other and for the parents, which the teenage children were manifesting after the Enthronement. Surely, the Enthronement of the Sacred Heart had helped the young people to draw upon the grace of the Holy Eucharist to live more fully in the company of Christ.


Next week, I will continue to reflect upon the Enthronement of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the home, also giving the practical details about how to prepare for the Enthronement and how to celebrate properly the Rite of the Enthronement. The Office of Sacred Worship of the Archdiocese is helping me to prepare a booklet for families to use in preparing for and carrying out the Enthronement. It will be available in the coming weeks.

Let us pray for an ever more perfect union of our hearts with the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Let us with Mary, place our hearts, with all of their joys and burdens, in the Heart of Jesus, the only source of our healing and peace.

O Sacred Heart of Jesus, formed by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mother, have mercy on us.

Fatima Statue's visit inspires area Catholics

[Anne] Zivnuska and her husband, Fred, felt so connected to Fatima that when they found out in March that the International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima - a traveling version of a statue in Fatima - would be available for three weeks, they jumped at the chance to bring it to St. Louis. The statue had been scheduled to travel to Peru, but a last-minute change meant a cancellation of that trip and an opening for St. Louis.

After receiving permission from Archbishop Raymond Burke to bring the statue to the archdiocese, [Fred and Anne] Zivnuska began setting up appointments for the tour. The statue's tour of the city began Tuesday at Our Lady of Fatima in Florissant and will visit about 20 sites before ending June 21.
Calendar and locations here.

Fr Joseph Wilson's observation on Cardinal George's comments

Rarely have I seen a set of comments which so missed the heart of the matter. Are these the concerns which the Cardinal thinks are our most serious considerations? Over the last thirty years of what we have fondly thought to be an age of Renewal, we have seen a sixty percent decline in Mass attendance -- eighteen percent of Catholics assist at Mass on a given Sunday in my Diocese of Brooklyn, nineteen percent in New York, sixteen in Chicago, by pre-Scandal figures.

Religious Orders are collapsing before our eyes; Catholic colleges and universities are secularized, Catholic health care has been secularized to the point where a woman who has given birth in a Catholic hospital often finds herself offered a sterilization procedure.

Two-thirds of Mass-going Catholics cannot distinguish the Catholic doctrine on the Eucharist -- the very heart of our Faith -- from Protestant heresies. Forty years ago, we junked an effective, consistent method of passing on Catholic doctrine for coloring books, free-thinking, free-wheeling and finger-painting. We have raised two generations of religiously illiterate Catholics, and we're starting on the third. The Archbishop of New Orleans points out that virtually ALL of our high school Religion texts are junk and should be trashed, and people sit up and say, "Wow! Didja hear that?" But the Bishops knew that thirty years ago, gang. Thirty years ago. And they marginalized in their "kooks" file parents who complained about their children's textbooks. And Cardinal O'Connor pointed out the defective nature of Religion texts to the whole NCCB eight years ago, and someone else will a decade from now. None of these problems were caused by the courts, the legislature, or the monstrously evil Boston Globe.
As I have said elsewhere, I find myself increasingly perplexed. Why is it that, after these confusing forty years of bogus "Renewal," with decaying Religious Orders and empty seminaries and religious illiteracy throughout our land -- problems that weren't caused by the media, or the courts, or the legislature -- we are still waiting for a Bishop to stand up, sound the alarm, and say, "We are in a CRISIS. We have been for forty years. Let us ask the help of God, and of our blessed Lady the Mother of the Church, to address it, and bring about a renewal"?
A well written post about the nature of the REAL problems of the Church. CWNews Off the Record.

Cardinals George And Mahony...

...Differ On Communion For Rainbow Sashers

Wanderer Article.

Events Forcing Abortion Issue on Kerry

Sen. John F. Kerry is getting pulled, sometimes reluctantly, into the national debate over abortion as result of recent court action, church politics and some pressure from Democrats outside of his campaign.

The Massachusetts Democrat, who throughout his 30-plus years in public life has tried to balance his personal opposition to abortion with public support for a woman's right to have one, rarely talks about the issue on the campaign trail -- unless he is forced to. Kerry's reluctance to discuss abortion is as much personal as political, reflecting the Democratic presidential candidate's uneasiness in talking about religious views and divisive church issues, aides say.

But recent events, including Tuesday's court ruling that the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act is unconstitutional, are forcing Kerry to deal with an issue that some Democrats fear could complicate his efforts to win over independents and disgruntled Republicans and could detract attention from his focus on economic and national security issues.
Washington Post Article.

SNAP supporters forced to leave San DIego Ordination Mass

Sheriff's deputies were summoned after four black-robed protesters refused church orders to leave the property. The protesters were there on behalf of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), and they wanted to go to the service.

Deputies arrived about the time the service was starting, and they stood outside with the demonstrators, explaining to them that if they didn't leave, they would be arrested. After talking for several minutes, the foursome agreed to move.
Article here.

Professed 'Catholic' Senators issue analysis of 'Scorecard'

Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and other Catholic senators today released an analysis of votes and actions of Catholic Senators based on the official positions taken on legislation by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

The report analyzes votes and legislative cosponsorships for the 24 Catholic U.S. Senators regarding issues for which the USCCB has taken an official position. The issues are broadly divided into three areas: Domestic Issues; International Issues; and Pro-Life Issues. The scorecard includes a total of 48 votes or actions Senators have taken regarding these 24 issues, 47 of which took place during the 108th Congress (2003-2004), plus the Iraqi War Resolution, which the Senate passed on October 11, 2002.
Article here.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Lineamenta Questions

The faithful can review these questions present their answers through their local bishops.
The Questions

1. The Eucharist in the Life of the Church: What importance does the celebration of the Eucharist have in the life of your community and that of the individual believer? What is the frequency of participation at Mass on Sundays? On weekdays? On the major feast days of the liturgical year? Could you supply statistics–even approximate–in this regard?

2. Eucharistic Doctrine and Formation: What attempts are being made to transmit the teaching on the Eucharist, whole and entire, to your community and the individual believer? Specifically, how are The Catechism of the Catholic Church, nn. 1322-1419, and the Encyclical Letter Ecclesia De Eucharistia being utilized by priests, deacons, consecrated persons and the laity involved in pastoral work? In what way is the formation of faith in the Eucharist being ensured in initial catechesis? In homilies? In the programs of ongoing formation for priests, permanent deacons, and seminarians? Of consecrated persons? Of the laity?

3. The Understanding of the Eucharistic Mystery: What is the prevailing idea on the Eucharist among priests and the faithful of your community: sacrifice?, memorial of the Paschal Mystery?, the precept of Sunday Mass?, fraternal meal?, act of adoration? Other....? Practically speaking, is any one of these ideas prevalent? If so, what is the reason.

4. The Shadows in the Celebration of the Eucharist: In the Encyclical Letter Ecclesia De Eucharistia (n. 10) the Holy Father mentions “shadows” in the celebration of the Eucharist. What are the negative aspects (abuses, misunderstandings) existing in Eucharistic worship? What elements or actions done in practice can obscure the profound sense of the Eucharistic mystery? What is the cause of such a disorienting situation for the faithful?

5. The Eucharistic Celebration and Liturgical Norms: In an attempt to be personal and avant-garde, do priests manifest any attitudes in their celebration of Mass which are explicitly or implicitly contrary to the liturgical norms established by the Catholic Church (cf. The General Instruction on the Roman Missal, Chapter IV; Instruction for Applying the Liturgical Prescriptions of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches)? In your estimation, what are the underlying reasons for such behaviour? What elements or actions during the celebration of Holy Mass, and also in Eucharistic worship outside of Mass, according to their respective norms and dispositions, should receive attention so as to highlight the profound sense of this great Mystery of the faith hidden in the gift of the Eucharist?

6. The Sacrament of the Eucharist and The Sacrament of Penance: Conversion is necessary to participate fully in partaking of the Eucharist. What is the faithful’s understanding of the relationship between the Sacrament of Penance and the Sacrament of the Eucharist? Holy Mass is also the celebration of salvation from sin and death. For the return of sinners, above all on Sundays, what is provided so that the faithful can celebrate the Sacrament of Penance in time to participate in the Eucharist? Do Christian communities often display a casual approach to receiving Holy Communion or do they unjustifiably refrain from receiving it? What is being done to assist the faithful to discern if they have the proper dispositions to approach this great Sacrament?

7. The Sacred Character of the Eucharist: The Eucharist is the mystery of the Real Presence of God-among-us; at the same time, it is an unfathomable mystery. How should its sacred character be acknowledged? How do priests and the faithful manifest this sacred character in their celebration of Holy Mass on Sundays, weekdays, and major feast days and at other liturgical times during the year? What cultural attitudes and practices obscure this sacred character?

8. Holy Mass and the Celebration of the Word: In parishes awaiting a priest, how widespread is the practice of celebrating the Liturgy of the Word with the distribution of the Eucharist, over which a lay person or Eucharistic minister often presides? What specific formation do those responsible receive? Are the faithful able to understand the difference between such celebrations and Holy Mass? Do they have an adequate knowledge of the distinction between an ordained and non-ordained minister?

9. The Eucharist and the Other Sacraments: To what measure and with what criteria are the other sacraments celebrated during Holy Mass? When the sacraments and sacramentals are celebrated during Holy Mass (Matrimony, Funerals, Baptisms, etc.) with non-practising Catholics, non-Catholics and unbelievers present, what steps are taken to avoid a casual attitude or even carelessness towards the Eucharist?

10.The Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist: Have the faithful in your parishes preserved faith in the Lord’s Real Presence in the Sacrament of the Eucharist? Do they have a clear understanding of the gift of the Lord’s Real Presence? Do situations exist in Eucharistic Liturgies or the Worship of the Eucharist which might lead to a diminished regard for the Real Presence. If so, what might be the reasons?

11.Eucharistic Devotion: Does the Worship of the Most Blessed Sacrament have a due place in parish life and communities? What importance do pastors give to adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament? To Perpetual Adoration? To Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament? To personal prayer before the tabernacle? To processions on the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ? To Eucharistic devotion in parish missions?

12.Holy Mass and the Liturgical-Devotional Life: Do the faithful understand the difference between Holy Mass and other devotional practices like the Liturgy of the Hours, the celebration of the sacraments and sacramentals outside of Mass, the Liturgy of the Word, processions, etc.? How is the substantial difference shown between Eucharistic celebration and other liturgical and para-liturgical celebrations?

13.Dignity at Eucharistic Celebrations: Is attention given in your Churches to the liturgical environment for Eucharistic celebrations? What is the artistic-architectural setting in which the Eucharistic liturgy is celebrated both on solemn occasions and on weekdays? Do the surroundings give a clear indication that the Eucharistic banquet is truly a “sacred” banquet (Ecclesia De Eucharistia, 48)? How frequently and for what pastoral reasons is Mass celebrated outside of this place of worship?

14.The Eucharist and Inculturation: To what measure must attention be given to inculturation in the celebration of the Sacrament of the Eucharist so as to avoid a misunderstood creativity which leads to peculiar and strange practices. What criteria are followed in inculturation? In the Latin Church, are the norms proposed in the Instruction De Liturgia Romana et Inculturazione given adequate consideration? What is the experience of the Eastern Churches in the inculturation of the Eucharist?

15.The Eschatological Aspect of the Eucharist: Is the eschatological aspect of the Eucharist given sufficient emphasis in catechesis, in ongoing formation, in homiletics and in liturgical celebration? In what way is the eschatological tension flowing from the Eucharist present in pastoral life? How does the celebration of Mass manifest “the Communion of Saints,” a foretaste of the eschatological reality?

16.The Eucharist, Ecumenism, Interreligious Dialogue and the Sects: Considering the ideas on the Eucharist held by our separated brothers and sisters in the West and the challenges of other religions and the sects, how is the mystery of the Most Blessed Sacrament preserved and presented in its entirety, so as not to cause confusion or misunderstanding among the faithful, particularly at ecumenical and interreligious meetings?

17.The Eucharist and Ecclesial “Intercommunion”: “The celebration of the Eucharist cannot be the starting-point for communion” (Ecclesia De Eucharistia, 35). How are the norms of intercommunion applied (cf. The Code of Canon Law, canon 844)? Are the faithful aware of the norm that a Catholic cannot receive the Eucharist in communities which do not have the Sacrament of Orders (cf. Ecclesia De Eucharistia, 46)?

18.The Eucharist and the Moral Life: The Eucharist provides growth in the moral life of the Christian. What do the faithful believe about the necessity of sacramental grace for living according to the Spirit and becoming saints? What do the faithful think about the relation between the reception of the Sacrament of the Eucharist and other aspects of the Christian life: personal sanctification, moral obligations, fraternal charity, the construction of an earthly society, etc.?

19.The Eucharist and Mission: The Eucharist is also a gift for mission. Are the faithful aware that the Sacrament of the Eucharist leads to the mission they have to fulfill in the world, according to their state in life?

20.More on the Eucharist: What other aspects of the Sacrament of the Eucharist, not contained in the preceding questions, should be considered in preparing the Instrumentum laboris which will be discussed during the synodal assembly?
I intend to review ansd answer as many of these as possible and submit my observations to Archbishop Burke and the Office of Worship. I read the document last night and will need to read it again. Cardinal Schotte, who I believe heads up the Synod of Bishops, is quite devoted to the Holy Eucharist. He was here a few years back for our last Eucharistic Congress and gave a wonderful keynote address which may still be available from St. Joseph Communications.

Bishop says denying Eucharist not part of church's pastoral tradition

While one has a "clear and grave obligation" to vote against legislation that bolsters abortion, the view of refusing Communion to politicians who support keeping abortion legal is not part of the pastoral tradition of the church, Pittsburgh Bishop Donald W. Wuerl said in a May 25 address.

"In fact, there seems to be a practice both in Rome and throughout the diocesan churches in Europe of refraining from disciplinary actions in such circumstances," he said.
Lack of discipline when it is required is a failure to teach. One does not confirm one's child when that child is engaged in disrupting or disobedient acts. The same is true for adults. Are not superiors obligated to discipline wayward subordinates when they are doing things contrary to legitimate demands of the superior? We are reaping the fruits of disciplinary failures and may do so for quite some time.

CNS article here.

Denial of Eucharist a 'slippery slope,' cardinal tells journalists

Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick of Washington, addressing a crowd at a Theology on Tap session held in conjunction with the Catholic Press Association convention in Washington, said denying Communion to politicians is a "slippery slope."
Not surprising...Article here.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Church's Freedom in U.S. Threatened, Says Cardinal George

These are sobering comments from Cardinal George to the Holy Father.
Chicago's archbishop warned that the freedom of the Church in the United States "is now threatened by movements within" and "by government and groups outside."

"Matters that should fall outside the purview of law in a constitutional democracy with a limited government -- the nature of life, of marriage, even of faith itself -- are now determined by courts designed only to protect individual rights."

"The public conversation in the United States is often an exercise in manipulation...It fundamentally distorts Catholicism...Our freedom to preach the Gospel is diminished."

"[Internally] On the left," he said, "the Church's teachings on sexual morality and the nature of ordained priesthood and of the Church herself are publicly opposed, as are the bishops who preach and defend these teachings. On the right, the Church's teachings might be accepted, but bishops who do not govern exactly and to the last detail in the way expected are publicly opposed."
Full Zenit article here.

The Lineamenta and Questions on the Holy Eucharist

A questionnaire sent out by the Holy See to prepare for next year's Synod of Bishops will serve to evaluate how the baptized celebrate and live the Blessed Sacrament.

The text constitutes the last chapter of the "lineamenta," or outline, whose answers will be used by the secretariat of the Synod of Bishops to write the working document that will provide the basis for the debates of the synodal assembly.

The laity can present their answers through their local bishops.
The 20 questions can be found at Zenit here.

The complete text of the "lineamenta" can be found at the Vatican here.

Judge: Bush Abortion Ban Unconstitutional

SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge Tuesday declared the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act unconstitutional, saying the measure infringes on a woman's right to choose.
The "right to choose" to murder an innocent human being...The evil continues...however, this is the 9th Circus, the most overturned circuit court in history.

Article here.

Letter Writing Campaign in Support of Archbishop Burke

Back on March 3rd, there was a post about a VOTF letter writing campaign and a recommendation to have our campaign in support of Archbishop Burke prior to his receiving the pallium at St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican on June 29. Part of the recommendation I received follows:
I think we should have our own letter-writing campaign. Let's tell the Apostolic Nuncio Bishop Gabriel Montalvo and Archbishop Burke that he has our 'trust and backing' by virtue of his track-record in the Cold North, and that VOTF St. Louis is the tiny voice of a self-described faithful which doesn't speak for us. We should mention the VOTF letter-writing campaign so everyone knows what we're responding to.

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

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

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

Your Excellency,

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

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

Many, including myself, are grateful to the Holy Father for the appointment of Archbishop Raymond Burke, an heroic defender of the Faith, to the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Even without our involvement in the selection process, Archbishop Burke can be confident that he has the trust and support of many in the Archdiocese by virtue of his courageous actions in LaCrosse and here in St. Louis since his arrival.

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

Sincerely yours in Christ,
The fax number for the Apostolic Nuncio is (202)337-4036.

The address for the chancery in St Louis is:
Chancery of the Archdiocese of St. Louis
4445 Lindell Boulevard
St. Louis, MO 63108

Fax: (314)633-2333

Fr. Thomas Euteneuer's Letter to Nancy Pelosi

Fr. Euteneuer is President of Human Life International. His "no holds barred" letter is frank in its honesty and clarity.
Thank you for clarifying for all U.S. Catholics the meaning of the word "apostasy." Your May 10 letter to Cardinal McCarrick qualifies for what the Catechism of the Catholic Church defines as the "total repudiation of the Christian faith" (§2089).

You have lost your faith. Just admit it. One either accepts the hierarchy of truths and the hierarchy of authority, or she doesn't. You obviously don't. In such case by continuing to call yourself Catholic you are gambling with the most precious of all birthrights, your own soul; and it's yours to lose.

All those who dare call themselves Catholic while shamelessly advocating the death of Christ's "least brethren" will not have the Supreme Court to appeal to on the Day of Judgment. There is a Supreme Judge that you should be more concerned about.
Great letter...Here.

Parishioner upset over Fr. McCumber's Vocation Appeal

“Encourage the young people in your parish to consider religious vocations, especially to the priesthood.” Thus ended Father McCumber’s short appeal as he began his homily. I looked at my daughters, aged 14 and 20 and wondered if he meant that I should encourage them to consider the priesthood, or if he meant that they weren’t people.
This begins a article from the Spring 2004 newsletter from Catholic Action Network - a group which advocates "women priests".
So how does a priest encourage young men to enter the priesthood without putting down young women? There certainly is a need for priests, no one can deny that. Had Fr. McCumber said “encourage the young men” he probably would have heard from me that women have many talents to offer the church.
I think everyone realizes the talents women offer to the Church. However, those talents do not include a calling to the ministerial priesthood.

Father McCumber is director of the Office of Worship for the Archdiocese of St. Louis. I wonder if he was sent a copy of the newsletter?

CAN Newsletter here.

Rainbow Sash Movement Praises Cardinal Mahony and others

Pentecost is a time to celebrate the Universality of the Church, and it's Gospel Message of inclusiveness. I was very saddened by the response of Cardinal Francis George in Chicago. He used the Eucharist as a tool of discipline. He chose not to welcome us into his Cathedral, and went as far as to deny us the Holy Eucharist.

[O]thers like Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles, Bishop Hart of Rochester, NY, and Archbishop Harry Flynn welcomed those who wore the Rainbow Sash to their Cathedral. We thank these bishops for supporting the Teaching of Church in a pastorial manner.
The Teaching of the Church??? That those responsible for grave public scandal are encouraged! What a disconnect!

RSM Letter here.

Monday, May 31, 2004

Bishop Sheridan to withhold funds from "Peace" group

Bishop Sheridan's request to Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Commission to explicitly state opposition to abortion rights has been refused.
On April 12, Sheridan asked the group to "explicitly acknowledge its commitment to defend life at every moment from conception to natural death" to be considered for funding.

[He] also questioned the Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Commission's ties with DignityUSA, a gay Catholic group with a Colorado Springs chapter.

Sheridan also highlighted commission director,Sister Dorothy Schlaeger's comments about DignityUSA, noting that the catechism also condemns "the active homosexual lifestyle."

Matthew Gallagher, a DignityUSA spokesman, called Sheridan's language about gays hateful.

Bishop Olmsted suspends defiant priest

Get a load of the headline at the Arizona Republic, though: Bishop punishes priest for signing gay-rights letter
The Rev. Andre Boulanger, who is retired, said Friday he got word of the suspension Thursday in a letter from Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted.

Olmsted said the declaration did not fully reflect Catholic teaching, which holds that homosexuals must live a chaste life, and homosexual activity is "intrinsically disordered."

Boulanger responded to that letter with a two-page missive, arguing that church teaching is based on outdated science.

"I've grown accustomed to being the outcast," he said. "This is just one further step."
That's right...He's grown accustomed to be disobedient. Irreversible Church teaching doesn't agree with his ideas...The purging of heretics and dissidents continues in Arizona.

Article here.

Traditionalists deserve respect, cardinal says

Vatican, May. 31 ( - Cardinal Dario Castrillion Hoyos, the Vatican official charged with relations with traditionalist Catholics, believes that traditionalist often do not receive enough respect from Church leaders.

The Colombian prelate told he Italian daily Il Giornale that traditionalists should never be treated as second-class citizens in the Church. He admitted that the Church sometime shows more consideration in dealings with Protestant and Orthodox groups than with traditionalist Catholics. At the same time, Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos suggested that some traditionalists should avoid "types of exasperated criticism" of Church leaders.

Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos, the prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, is also chairman of the Ecclesia Dei commission, set up by Pope John Paul II (bio - news) to supervise the implementation of the papal indult authorizing a "wide and generous" accommodation of Catholics who prefer the traditional Mass. The cardinal also has been delegated by Pope John Paul II to handle negotiations with the schismatic Society of St. Pius X, in an effort to bring that traditionalist group back into full communion with the Holy See.

To satisfy the legitimate concerns of traditionalist Catholics, "a greater understanding is necessary," the cardinal said. He observed that Pope John Paul has "recognized the validity of their liturgical sensibilities." While other Catholics may not share those sensibilities, he insisted that traditionalists "are not second-class Catholics and must not be treated as such." Regarding the status of talks with the Society of St. Pius X, Cardinal Castrillon said that "the Pope and his closest collaborators are doing everything within their power" to persuade the Lefebvrist group that "the time is ripe" for their return. He voice regrets that the "hesitations" of the Society's leaders had slowed that process.

© All material copyright 2004 Domus Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.
Article here.
CHICAGO - Roman Catholic gay-rights supporters wearing rainbow-colored sashes to Mass were denied communion Sunday, while dozens in Minnesota had to walk around protesters to receive the holy sacrament.

Rainbow Sash Movement spokesman Joe Murray was among those denied communion in Chicago. He said members wearing the sashes should be seen no differently than a uniformed police officer or Boy Scout seeking communion.
What an unbelievable statement...
In St. Paul, Minn., people wearing the rainbow-colored sashes were given communion Sunday despite protests from some parishioners who kneeled in front of the altar blocking their way.
Welcome to St. Paul...There is no need to be properly disposed to receive Holy Communion here.
The Rainbow Sash Movement received an e-mail Tuesday from the Los Angeles Archdiocese inviting them to Mass on Sunday, but no one wearing sashes showed up for morning or midday Masses at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, archdiocese spokesman Tod Tamberg said.
Article here.

Pope Calls New Movements a "Providential Answer"

The new ecclesial movements and communities are a "providential answer" of the Holy Spirit for the Church, John Paul II said on the eve of Pentecost.
Zenit article.