Saturday, June 26, 2004

Archbishop Burke: Voting for abortion rights candidate is a sin

Area Democratic office holders who CLAIM to be Catholic are upset. My guess is that they are upset because they have been exposed as frauds and hypocrites.
Archbishop Raymond L. Burke said Friday that Catholics in St. Louis who vote for political candidates supportive of abortion rights have committed a grave sin in the eyes of the church, and should confess and do penance before receiving Communion.

But as some top area Democrats see it, Burke is saying that it will be a grave sin for area Catholics to vote for the likely Democratic nominee for president, Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., or for either of the major Democrats vying for Missouri governor: incumbent Bob Holden or state Auditor Claire McCaskill. All three support abortion rights; McCaskill and Kerry also are Catholic.

"He has crossed the line, and he is now delving into politics," said U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay Jr., D-St. Louis, who supports abortion rights. "That's unfortunate for him, as well as for the Church."

Clay said he has been invited to meet with the archbishop soon, and added that he plans to bring up the matter of how Burke is dealing with Catholic politicians who support abortion rights.

"I have not been denied Communion, and if I am denied Communion, I will find another Catholic church in St. Louis where I can receive it," Clay said. "He has gone over the top."
Is this another threat from the US Rep, one of the 48 who signed a letter to Card. McCarrick looking for a free Holy Communion pass?

And if he is denied Holy Communion under Canon 915, where is this "Catholic" Church of which he speaks? And who might be the disobedient priest to aid him in his sin?

These people are not Catholic - they have outwardly rejected the faith - they actively embrace heresy or apostasy. They are lost and are in need of many prayers, and hopefully, with God's grace, their minds might be enlightened and perhaps they will receive the grace necessary to form their wills to God's will and by doing this, they might be better prepared to remake this country into that which was foreseen by the founding fathers - a country where life is valued - first and foremost.

Post Dispatch Link here.

Recent Statements by Archbishop Burke

Following are some recent statements by St. Louis Archbishop Raymond L. Burke on politics and the Catholic sacrament of Communion:

"If someone knowingly and intentionally commits a grave sin, which it certainly would be if someone were to support a pro-abortion candidate, then that person would need to confess that sin."
— The Post-Dispatch, June 13, 2004

"It's objectively wrong to vote for a pro-choice politician, once (Catholic voters) understand that — if they know this and willingly do it — they need to confess that before they receive holy Communion."
— "The Charlie Brennan Show," KMOX radio, Thursday, June 24, 2004

"If the constituents of a legislator insist that they believe differently about the beginning of human life and therefore don't accept his position then I guess it's a question of they won't elect him," he said. "But if you know that human life begins at the moment of conception, of fertilization, then you can't vote for abortion because it's killing."
— In an interview with the Post-Dispatch in his archdiocesan office on Thursday. The topic was Catholic politicians who represent non-Catholics and Catholics alike.

"It doesn't make a lot of difference" whether a Catholic votes for a politician who supports abortion rights because of that politician's stance on abortion, or for other reasons. "If the voter is aware of that politician's pro-abortion position, they would still be supporting someone who is cooperating in the promotion of abortion."
— In an interview with the Post-Dispatch from Lambert Field on route to the Vatican on Friday
Link here.

Archbishop Burke clarifies stance, causes more turmoil

If you are a Catholic and you have voted for a politician who supports abortion rights, the St. Louis archbishop says you have committed a grave sin in the eyes of your church. You are no longer in a state of grace, and you may not accept Communion before confessing your sinful vote.

In a radio interview with Charlie Brennan on KMOX Thursday, Burke clarified his position that Roman Catholics in his archdiocese who vote for candidates supportive of abortion rights should confess their sin in order to receive Communion.
Once again, Abp. Burke makes it perfectly clear that supporting pro-aborts is a grave sin requiring the Sacrament of Penance BEFORE one may receive Holy Communion. Had bishops been speaking out on this issue for the past 30 years, there would not be these comments from people who are in such a pitiable state of confusion about right and wrong. Here is a sampling of the quotes from confused 'Catholics':
"Wow, that's a hard one, that's touchy," said Adriana Mendoza, a 24-year-old graduate student who was visiting St. Louis from Austin, Texas. "I couldn't vote for someone who was just pro-life if I didn't agree with them on other issues.

Kevin Walker, 34, of South County, was more direct. "That issue is a sore spot with me and the archbishop," he said. "It's a great imposition for the church to tell me that how I vote could be a sin. I just don't agree with his stance on this."

"Burke is pushing so far right that he is driving any moderate or left-of-center Catholics to the Episcopal church," said Dr. Ronald Modras, professor of theological studies at St. Louis University. "What he's saying is that anyone who votes for a Democrat is committing a mortal sin."

Fred Wessels, D-13th Ward, voiced concerns about single-issue voting. "I have a problem with the archbishop on this," he said. "I think people should look at a broad range of issues when they vote. Frankly, I don't think they have to go to confession over who they vote for."

"The church has been insensitive and its leadership has been insensitive. The church needs to change with the times," said William Lacy Clay, Jr, U.S. Rep.D-St. Louis.
These people are all saying, in effect, "Not God's will, but my own will be done." They are either so confused that they can not recognize evil, or they are so defiant to the point of rejecting Christ.

Please pray for Archbishop Burke and all of our good bishops who preach the truth even in the midst of rebellion.

Post Dispatch Article.

Youth will embrace religious life with right role models, say Cdl. Arinze

"If you have a bishop who is no-nonsense ... a bishop who is transparently joyful in the priesthood, there will be seminarians," Cardinal Francis Arinze said to applause from 625 members of Serra International, a lay group that promotes vocations to the priesthood and religious communities.

"Young women do not want to join a group of old women who seem to be confused [about their mission]. Young men do not want to join a diocese where the priests seem to be angry."

He compared nuns who did not want to wear religious garb to a flight attendant for Alitalia who wanted to wear the uniform of American Airlines. "What do you think Alitalia is going to say? Let's dialogue?" he asked, to laughter from his audience.
Many religious orders are "confused" about their missions...embracing a secular agenda instead of the Gospel - and those orders are (and have been) dying. God's wonderful and mysterious providence can be seen in this by witnessing the fact that those orders who are faithful to Christ and His Church are still attracting young men and women to dedicate themselves to Christ. All this while those who felt empowered to reject the cross fade into oblivion.

Article here.

Wrong reasons fuel embryonic stem cell research

An editorial from the St. Louis Review exposes why embryonic stem cell research is still being pushed despite the advances of using adult stem cells.
All the research indicates that despite what promoters of ESCs promise, adult stem cells do better and have a proven and successful clinical history.

So why is this story so difficult to get out? Money. Hundreds of frozen embryos whose permission is not needed to harvest their cells are regarded by some researchers and drug companies as a "natural" resource waiting to be exploited.

Science already tells us that there is no reasonable justification for preferring fetal stem cells to adult stem cells. An enormous monetary investment has been made in the untested idea of fetal stem cells as miracle cures, and those behind the campaign of misinformation are seeking to protect their investment.

Friday, June 25, 2004

Canadian archbishop says abortion remains Catholic litmus test

If political leaders claim any right to call themselves Catholic, they must "unequivocally and publicly state their opposition to abortion," said Archbishop Anthony Meagher of Kingston, Ontario.

"It is never appropriate for Catholic leaders to claim that acceptance of such denial of human dignity -- for example, abortion on demand -- is a sign of Canada's tolerance and goodness. It is not; it is simply cowardice," he said.
CNS Article.

"Independent" Investigator clears Bishop Hubbard

This is old news, or more appropriately no news, as the investigator was not really "independent". And the diocese was to pay over $700 per hour for the investigation services, perhaps totalling as much as $1,000,000.

And everyone is still in the dark as to the reason for Fr. John Minkler's death.

Troy Record article here.

Michael Reagan Sets the Record Straight on Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Michael Reagan, the son of the late former U.S. president, has come out criticizing the media for portraying the Reagan “family” as supportive of embryonic stem cell research, “when the truth is that two members of the family have been long time foes of this process of manufacturing human beings – my dad, Ronald Reagan during his lifetime, and me.” The criticism came in a syndicated column titled I’m With My Dad on Stem Cell Research.

Michael Reagan discredits scientists who make exaggerated claims for embryonic stem cell treatments: “Listen to what Ronald D.G. McKay, a stem cell researcher at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke told the Washington Post: ‘People need a fairy tale,’ he said, explaining why scientists have allowed society to believe wrongly that [embryonic] stem cells are likely to effectively treat Alzheimer's disease. He added ‘Maybe that's unfair, but they need a story line that's relatively simple to understand.’”
Lifesite Article.

Mississippi soldier answers call to be a priest

At age 38, O'Connor certainly is familiar with secular life. He was born at Keesler Air Force Base when his father, the late Maj. Edwin O'Connor, was stationed in Biloxi, but the family (including mother Marian, three boys and two girls) moved away briefly, then back to Ocean Springs.

Michael Paul O'Connor is typical of those who grow up in South Mississippi, loving Saints football, fishing for speckled trout, boating. Graduation from Ocean Springs High led to a 1987 psychology degree from the University of Southern Mississippi, followed by a commissioning in the Air Force. Later he joined full-time the 255th Air Control Squadron of the Mississippi Air National Guard, and eventually got a private pilot's license.

For 15 years in the military O'Connor traveled to the jungles of Colombia, saw much of Europe, South America, even Korea. He witnessed the drug war and in 1999 spent six months in Kuwait. He dated and attended church on Sundays, as he'd done all of his life, though he had no particular involvement with the Catholic church other than attending Mass.

O'Connor's studies in New Orleans, parish work and personal insights are profound:

"I have changed. The time in seminary has been a time of prayer, a time of learning to appreciate silence and taking a step back from the hustle and bustle of the world. I think I've grown in virtue, and that indicates how much growing I had to do.

"I am truly looking forward to being a priest. Life is a gift, our redemption by Christ is a gift and the priesthood of Jesus Christ is a gift."
Article here.

EWTN will air the Holy Mass and Imposition of the Palliums...

Join EWTN as forty-four metropolitan archbishops will receive the pallium from the hands of Pope John Paul II on the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, Apostles, in St. Peter's Square.

The US metropolitans include - Justin Cardinal Rigali from Philadelphia, Archbishop Raymond Burke from St. Louis, Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley from Boston, and Archbishop Henry J. Mansell from Hartford.

Tuesday June 29, 2004 12:00 PM LIVE
Tuesday June 29, 2004 11:00 PM ENCORE
Wednesday June 30, 2004 4:00 PM ENCORE

See EWTN Schedule here.

June 28 - Senator Sam Brownback: What it means to be Catholic

I apologize for the short notice of this event. I just received it minutes ago.

From the Catholic Team Leader:

Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS)
For the Republican National Committee Catholic Outreach events

Sanctity of Marriage. Respect for Life. Traditional Values.

Sen. Brownback will address what it means to be Catholic and Republican. He is discussing why he, as a Catholic, is supporting President's Bush's positive agenda for America.

Monday, June 28

with Master of Ceremonies, Mr. Martin Duggan

7:00pm - 8:30pm
The Columns Banquest Center
711 Veterans Memorial Pkwy
St Charles, MO

Complimentary Dinner will be served.

For more information:
Martin Gillespie

Another article on Lexington Bishop Ronald Gainer

It's no wonder that there is such an appalling and disgusting reaction to Bishop Gainer's statements on politicians who support abortion rights to voluntarily refrain from taking Communion in his diocese. The previous bishop is largely responsible for the dissenting attitudes that exist in that diocese.
"A professing Catholic who has taken public stands against what the church teaches should disqualify himself or herself from receiving the Eucharist because they cannot receive in good faith," [spokeman Tom] Shaughnessy told the Lexington Herald-Leader, quoting the bishop.

"Were there to be such a person under his pastoral care, (Gainer) would ask to meet them privately as a pastor and attempt to challenge them to change their public position before he would take any public action."
Bishop Gainer has his work cut out for him. He and all other bishops taking a firm stance on life issues and public scandal need our prayers and support. The others who are too weak to uphold the teachings and disciplines of the Church also need are prayers so that, with God's grace, they may be strengthened in their resolve to do what is right and just.

Article here.

Bishops in Political Crossfire Over Issue of Communion

In a public debate in Washington yesterday, papal biographer George Weigel said the bishops had "moved the ball forward a little bit" with the declaration that politicians such as Kerry are cooperating in evil. But the Rev. Thomas J. Reese, editor of the Jesuit journal America, said that if the church insists that only people who are in full agreement with all of its teachings on abortion, contraception and other "life issues" are worthy of the Eucharist, "I'm afraid we're going to have nobody taking Communion."

"When we start barring people from Communion, we get on a slippery slope and we become a church of 'saints,' when we've never been that. We've always been a church of sinners," he said.
The eminent Fr. Reese apparently does not understand what it means to be "in communion" - that to deny any of the doctrinal tenets of the faith is heresy, and any rational person would understand that a heretic is NOT in communion with the Church and thereby excluded from receiving Holy Communion. The Holy See has reiterated who may and may not receive Holy Communion numerous times.

Reese is engaging in the same intellectual dishonesty as every other dissident professing to be a Catholic.

Washington Post Story

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Outing the Bible: the New Queer Theolgians Don’t Need Your Approval

"One thing is clear: 2003 was without a doubt the Year of the Queer…. The year’s crowning moment came on November 2, when the Episcopal Church ordained Gene Robinson as its first openly gay bishop…

‘What’s the difference between a Jesuit rec room and a gay bar?’ asked former Jesuit Robert Goss, who said his sexual experiences at bathhouses mirrored his early days at Harvard Divinity School. ‘Only the location.’
New Oxford Review/CruxNews Article.

Bishop Gregory Cites ‘Grave Moral Responsibilities’ Of United States In Iraq

I think the use of the term "Grave Moral Responsibilities" is rather ironic.

Wishy-Washy Statements by Catholic Bishops on Abortion and Voting Leading to Scandal

Over the past few months at least several individual US and Canadian Catholic Bishops have given clear, strong direction on the primary importance of life and family issues when making voting decisions. However, statements by US and Canadian Bishops Conferences have left many Catholics in the dark as to the pre-eminent importance of the direct life issues such as abortion and euthanasia.

The result has often been scandalous to many Catholics. A Catholic candidate for a pro-abortion party, who is a chair of a Catholic school council, has written to explain her position is in favour of 'choice' on abortion. In her email she says: "I am devoting my life to helping the less fortunate by building a Canada that looks after the poor, elderly and sick. In fact the Canadian Council (sic) of Bishops gave out a letter at mass on sunday (sic) saying that Anti abortion and Gay Marriage should have equal weight with preserving public medicare and helping the world's poor."
Lifesite Article here.

Archbishop of Canterbury backs updated Bible

Dr Rowan Williams says it is a book of "extraordinary power".

But the Church of England leader admitted many readers would be startled by its content.

The One organization that produced the new Bible translation is dedicated to "establish[ing] peace, justice, dignity and rights for all." It is also focused on "sustainable use of the earth's resources," challenging "oppression, injustice, exclusion and discrimination" as well as accepting "one another, valuing their diversity and experience."

The translation is pioneering in its accessibility, and changes the original Greek and Hebrew nomenclature into modern nicknames. St. Peter becomes "Rocky," Mary Magdalene becomes "Maggie," Aaron becomes "Ron," Andronicus becomes "Andy" and Barabbas becomes "Barry." In keeping with the times, translator Henson deftly translates "demon possession" as "mental illness" and "Son of Man," the expression Jesus frequently used to describe himself, as "the Complete Person." In addition, parables are rendered as "riddles," baptize is to "dip" in water, salvation becomes "healing" or "completeness" and Heaven becomes "the world beyond time and space."
This is just too much. Try these, for instance:
Here, according to the London Times, are a few sample passages:

Mark 1:4
Authorized version: "John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins."

New: "John, nicknamed 'The Dipper,' was 'The Voice.' He was in the desert, inviting people to be dipped, to show they were determined to change their ways and wanted to be forgiven."

Mark 1:10-11
Authorized version: "And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him. And there came a voice from the heaven saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

New: "As he was climbing up the bank again, the sun shone through a gap in the clouds. At the same time a pigeon flew down and perched on him. Jesus took this as a sign that God's spirit was with him. A voice from overhead was heard saying, 'That's my boy! You're doing fine!'"

Matthew 23:25
Authorized version: "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!"

New version: "Take a running jump, Holy Joes, humbugs!"

Matthew 26:69-70

Authorized version: "Now Peter sat without in the palace: and a damsel came unto him, saying, 'Thou also wast with Jesus of Galilee.' But he denied before them all, saying, I know not what thou sayest."

New: "Meanwhile Rocky was still sitting in the courtyard. A woman came up to him and said: 'Haven't I seen you with Jesus, the hero from Galilee?" Rocky shook his head and said: 'I don't know what the hell you're talking about!'"

1 Corinthians 7:1-2
KJV: "Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: [It is] good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, [to avoid] fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband."

New: "Some of you think the best way to cope with sex is for men and women to keep right away from each other. That is more likely to lead to sexual offences. My advice is for everyone to have a regular partner."

1 Corinthians 7:8-7
KJV: "I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I. But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn."

New: "If you know you have strong needs, get yourself a partner. Better than being frustrated."
Excerpts from articles here and here.

Catholic Lawmaker Debate Ensnares Colleges

An election-year dispute over Roman Catholic politicians and their obedience to church teaching has extended to Catholic colleges, as U.S. bishops collectively warn schools against honoring dissenting lawmakers.

The admonition, in the bishops' statement last week on the duties of Catholics in public life, puts new pressure on Catholic colleges and universities as they decide which speakers to invite to campus. Conservative Catholic watchdog groups like the Cardinal Newman Society say the prelates' statement is their strongest yet on the topic.

``Never has it in any formal way been addressed by the bishops as a whole,'' said Patrick Reilly, the society's president.
We can rest assured, however, that this will be followed as faithfully as "Ex Corde Ecclesiae" has been.

Link here.

Interim Reflections of Cdl. McCarrick & the "Task Force"

For those who like keeping up on these things, the USCCB website has some 'interim reflections':
The following reports were presented to the bishops of the United States at their meeting in Englewood, Colorado, on June 15, 2004. They are the Interim Reflections of the Task Force on Catholic Bishops and Catholic Politicians. They represent the work, the observations, and the interim guidance of the task force only. They were requested by the bishops and helped to inform the bishops’ statement on Catholics in Political Life, issued on June 18, 2004. We hope they will be useful in the months ahead.

This is not a final report. The task force will continue to consult with the Holy See, other episcopal conferences, the bishops of the United States, and others as it develops its final report.
I'll need to spend a little more time re-reading these "reports", but, after a first glance, I'm not impressed. It would be ideal to see Archbishop Burke or Bishop Bruskewitz lead this task force, or at least, be a member of it.


How can they claim to be Catholic?

Lexington Bishop Ronald Gainer doesn't want pro-choice Catholic politicians to take Communion in his diocese. But Lexington Mayor Teresa Isaac and state Sen. Ernesto Scorsone -- both Catholics and abortion-rights advocates -- said they plan to continue receiving the wine and wafer.

"I plan to continue taking Communion and would love to receive it from a woman priest some day soon," she said in a brief written statement.

Scorsone, D-Lexington -- the state's only openly gay legislator, who has also opposed the church's opposition to gay marriage -- said anti-abortion advocates don't have a monopoly on the faith.

"I certainly believe there are a lot of good American Catholics who believe in choice," he said. "I certainly believe in a woman's right to choose."

But state Rep. Mary Lou Marzian, a Catholic and pro-choice Louisville Democrat, wonders why politicians are being singled out.

"I guess my question to the bishops is: 'Are the pedophile priests who are in prison receiving Communion?' I'd like to know," she said.

Marzian said it's "dangerous" for religious leaders to tell politicians how to vote, and it's wrong for them to withhold the sacraments to punish people. "I go to Communion when I want to go, and no bishop, no pope, they're not going to keep me from my religion," she added.
Nobody's gonna tell me what to do! What a display of utter stupidity and ignorance.


The Holy Father address Bishops of the Northwest

It is of utmost importance, therefore, that the Church’s institutions be genuinely Catholic: Catholic in their self understanding and Catholic in their identity.

While catechetical programs for children and young people, especially in relation to sacramental preparation, remain essential, increasing attention must be paid to the particular needs of older adolescents and adults.

Established policies in complete conformity with the Church’s moral teaching need to be firmly in place in Catholic health care facilities...
Vatican Link.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Samoa moves to deport fugitive priest

The Dallas Morning News series on fugitive clergy hiding in or being reassigned to foreign countries is having some effect, it seems.
The Samoan government, prompted by a Dallas Morning News investigation, is moving to deport a fugitive Catholic priest because he failed to disclose his conviction in a previous child molestation case when entering the country.

The priest’s superiors in the Salesians of Don Bosco religious order also face an immigration inquiry because they, too, failed to make the same disclosures, said Auseuga Poloma Komiti, the senior adviser to Samoa’s prime minister and cabinet.

Samoan authorities will serve the Rev. Frank Klep a deportation order Wednesday afternoon Dallas time that gives him three days to leave voluntarily or seek an appeal, said Mr. Komiti.
DMN article.

Why (most) women will never be happy again

Mother Nature intended that mothers be mothers. What could be more self-evident than that? It’s really dumb to mess around with Mother Nature. And doesn’t the Good Book say that the love of money is the root of all evil? But then who pays heed to the Good Book anymore?

As long as feminism and global capitalism hold sway — and we see no end in sight — most women will be perpetually unhappy and guilt-ridden. And the fat cats and shrinks will be laughing all the way to the bank.
From New Oxford Review/Cruxnews

San Diego Bishop Robert Brom ignores Canon 915

In the ongoing debate over Holy Communion and politics, San Diego Roman Catholic Bishop Robert Brom said in a statement released yesterday that Catholic politicians who support abortion should not be banned from receiving the sacrament.

"In my judgment at this time, it is not prudent to deny Holy Communion to Catholics in political life because of their public support for abortion on demand," Brom said in the statement, which also went to priests in the diocese.

Instead, he said, any Catholic who is not following church teaching should on their own refrain from celebrating the sacrament.
Article here.

Archbishop Burke's Column in America Magazine

Having read the article by Archbishop Burke, titled "Catholic politicians and bishops", I can only say that this article is so completely understandable and logically flawless that if, it seems, anyone disagrees with the arguments and reasoning used, that person must be incapable of rational thought.

Archbishop Burke has demonstrated a consistency in all of his writings and appearances from his Notification and Pastoral Letter issued in La Crosse, to his interviews on EWTN and elsewhere, to this latest article in America. He reaffirms the teaching of the Church and, in doing so, leaves no doubt about the seriousness and the gravity of the Church's teaching and discipline and the pastoral care required of bishops.

This column should be required reading for all (including those bishops who have embraced a deficient understanding of what "pastoral care" truly means. seems to me that there has been a general failure in the church to teach effectively the truth about the holy Eucharist and what is required to approach the sacrament worthily. I have frequently had the impression that some Catholics today believe that mere presence at Mass means that one may receive Communion. Reception of Communion can become a kind of social action of those present at Mass. In such a climate, to state that anyone is excluded from Communion is seen as the imposition of a harsh sanction, when, in fact, it is merely the recognition that one is involved in objectively grave sin.

...Supporting legislation that provides for procured abortion is participation in a gravely sinful act, what the church’s moral teaching calls formal cooperation. The natural and divinely revealed moral law forbids this cooperation in the taking of an innocent life (Evangelium Vitae, No. 73b). Therefore a Catholic politician who supports or votes for laws that are unjust, because they permit procured abortion, persists in a gravely sinful act.

Having considered the matter carefully, I respond that the division is already present, both in the conscience of Catholics who dissent from a most fundamental church teaching and in the “intolerant secularism” prevalent in our nation, which would exclude Catholics from political life unless they be willing to violate their conscience. In our habit of “political correctness,” we do not like to acknowledge these divisions, but they must be recognized for the sake of our consciences and for the good of the nation.

For a bishop or any pastor to exclude someone from Communion is always a source of great sorrow. The sorrow is caused by the care that a pastor naturally has for a soul who rejects the teaching of Christ and his church. What would be profoundly more sorrowful would be the failure of a bishop to call a soul to conversion, the failure to protect the flock from scandal and the failure to safeguard the worthy reception of Communion.
America article is here.

Federal Court in New York Has Strong Evidence to Uphold Ban on Partial-Birth Abortion

Closing arguments heard today in a federal district court trial in New York City on the issue of partial-birth abortion clearly show that the government has presented a "strong and compelling" case that should prove that the national ban on partial-birth abortion is constitutional, says the American Center for Law and Justice, which specializes in constitutional law.
Lifesite Article.

Vatican Aware of Abuse for Centuries, Study Says

Authors use church's own documents to make their case. Critics say money is the motive.

LA Times Article.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Four East St. Louis parishes will merge

Four venerable East St. Louis churches will merge next year, leaving one Catholic parish in the city, according to officials in the Belleville diocese.

Members of St. Joseph, which opened its doors in 1902, St. Patrick (1862), St. Philip (1841) and St. John Francis Regis (1901) will recommend to Bishop Wilton D. Gregory their suggestions for the future of their parish, including which church they will use and who their pastor will be.

According to the diocese, East St. Louis has 869 Catholics, 599 of whom are classified as "practicing." But only about 300 combined attend Sunday Mass regularly at all four parishes. "The membership at the new parish won't be over 300," said [Rev. James A.] Voelker.
The article includes a paragraph regarding the St. Louis Archdiocese and its consolidation of South St. Louis and North St. Louis County parishes.
Beginning next month, a diocesan task force and outside consultant will visit the areas to make recommendations for restructuring with parishioners. The goal is for the recommendations to be presented to Archbishop Raymond Burke by Dec. 1, according to archdiocese spokesman Jim Orso. No mergers will "occur until 2005 and 2006," said Orso. "But the task force has been upfront enough to say that at the end of this, there will be some mergers."
Post Dispatch article here.

Judge blocks enforcement of 24-hour abortion law

U.S. District Judge Scott O. Wright imposed a preliminary injunction, at Planned Parenthood's request, while allowing time for the organization to proceed with a separate state lawsuit seeking to clarify parts of the new law.

"Plaintiffs are being forced to choose between performing abortions without any certainty that they are in compliance with the Act, thereby risking imprisonment, fines, and professional censure, or ceasing the performance of abortions," Wright said in his ruling. "Both of these options constitute irreparable harm to plaintiffs, their staff, and their patients."
To say nothing of the irreparable harm done to the unborn children!

Post Dispatch article here.

Kerry's Religion Outreach Director Silenced...

This may be old news for some. I'm still trying to catch up from being out of touch, computerwise, for almost three days.
In an article in today’s Washington Times, reporter Julia Duin says that Mara Vanderslice, the Kerry campaign’s director of religious outreach, is no longer permitted to talk to the press. Vanderslice was exposed on June 14 in a Catholic League news release as being a far left-wing activist who has spoken at rallies held by the notoriously anti-Catholic group, ACT UP. The Kerry campaign is now reportedly in a “panic mode” over this revelation.
Catholic League Link here.

Former Lutheran Pastor Defends All-Male Priesthood (Part 2)

This certainly won't go over well with the Women's Ordination Conference, CTA, VOTF, or other similarly confused groups.
Women can find innumerable opportunities for service in the Church if only they embrace their proper role, says a former Lutheran minister who now extols the all-male Catholic priesthood.

Jennifer Ferrara, who became Catholic in 1998, recently told her conversion story in "The Catholic Mystique: Fourteen Women Find Fulfillment in the Catholic Church" (Our Sunday Visitor). She co-edited it with Patricia Sodano Ireland, another former Lutheran pastor.
Her words are applicable to all of us, especially those which are in bold type below:
For the first time, I am trying to listen to what the Church has to say about who I am rather than expecting the Church to conform to what I think she should be.

In general, modern people chafe against revealed authority because they expect the outer life of institutions to be rendered serviceable to the psychological inner life of individuals. Therefore, if women want to be priests and claim to feel pain because they are not priests, it automatically follows that they should be priests.

Yet women who insist they have a call to the priesthood and use their pain as evidence of an authentic interior call from God are, in fact, using the protean politics of pain and not Catholic theology to explain their experiences.

If they truly wish to empty themselves and renounce their own will for the sake of God and Church, they will find innumerable opportunities for service.
Zenit Link here.

SNAP's Director on TV again...and again

David Clohessy was on the local news again last night complaining that no bishop or diocese is taking responsibility for the actions of Kenneth Roberts, the priest-author of "From Playboy to Priest."

The Diocese of Belleville, the Diocese of Dallas and the St. Louis Archdiocese are all named in a suit alleging that Fr. Roberts sexually abused 'John Doe' at St. Mary's Catholic School in Belleville, Illinois (across the river from St. Louis, Missouri) in 1984.
For its part, the Belleville Diocese denies that it was responsible for supervising Roberts. He spent a week at St. Mary's in 1984.

In a statement Monday, the Belleville Diocese maintained that Roberts was a priest of the Dallas Diocese, where he was ordained in 1966.

Member of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests sent a letter Monday to all three religious entities urging them to stop their "legal maneuvering."

"Here you have three bishops saying, 'not our problem, not our problem, not our problem,'" David Clohessy, SNAP's director, said at a news conference on Monday.
Would Clohessy be satisfied if Archbishop Burke announced that it was his problem and that he would assume full responsibility for Fr. Roberts? I doubt it!

Fr. Roberts is the one responsible for his actions, as well as anyone who helped him in his alleged crimes - it certainly is not Abp. Burke's responsibility - the suit was filed in the St. Clair County Court of Illinois. If 'John Doe' is suing Fr. Roberts and others, I suppose it gives Clohessy an opportunity for more free air time to babble on and on. Those truly responsible for acts of perversion should be brought to justice - and certainly, SNAP could be helpful in doing this. However, considering the legal manuvering of 'John Doe' and his attorney, it appears that all parties are now obligated to certain procedural legal rules - and this is in addition to the known facts of the case.

From what has been stated, the archdiocese (of St Louis) revoked Fr. Roberts' faculties to work as a priest in 1994, following two complaints of sexual misconduct alleged to have occurred 15 years prior. It is unclear if he was ever incardinated anywhere other than in Dallas

Post Dispatch article here.

Thousands Gather For 2004 Eucharistic Congress in Atlanta

I saw Archbishop Donoghue on EWTN a couple of weeks or so ago discussing this Euchartistic Congress and how it has grown and blossomed over the years.

Article here.

Text of letter from Bishop Kicanas to diocese regarding bankruptcy


The following is a letter from Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas to members of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson.

Dallas Morning News chronicles "Runaway Priests, Hiding in Plain Sight"

The Dallas Morning News has found that some priests accused of perversion appear to be hiding abroad in other countries with the approval of their superiors.

Link Here.

The first article included information about a Salesian priest convicted of child molestation. The Salesians "Say Press Reports Are Off the Mark".

There is, it seems, sufficient evidence to conclude that there is something evil and sinister within the Church. Homosexuals and perverts appear to be everywhere - and many appear to be aided and abetted by their superiors. Why? Blackmail? Fear?

Former Lutheran Pastor Debunks Women's Ordination (Part 1)

When she was younger, Jennifer Ferrara never would have foreseen the day when she became a sort of apologist for the all-male Catholic priesthood.

But that's what the former Lutheran minister who converted to Catholicism has become.

Ferrara, who became Catholic in 1998, recently told her conversion story in "The Catholic Mystique: Fourteen Women Find Fulfillment in the Catholic Church" (Our Sunday Visitor), which she co-edited with Patricia Sodano Ireland, another former Lutheran pastor.

Ferrara shared with ZENIT how her search for theological justification of women's ordination in Lutheran seminary eventually changed her mind about the priesthood and opened her heart to the Catholic Church.

Part 2 of this interview will appear Tuesday.
A good interview with one who has "been there, done that"...

Zenit article.

Monday, June 21, 2004

Rep. Henry J. Hyde: Bishops' failures, a major disappointment

CHICAGO-Recognized by many as probably the most influential U. S. House member after the Speaker, Rep. Henry J. Hyde (R-Il), reflecting for The Wanderer readers on his 30-year congressional career, cited as a major disappointment the failure of most Catholic bishops to enforce sanctions on pro-abortion Catholic lawmakers. His stinging indictment of them is likely to jolt a hierarchy that is frightened of making waves, seeks to pacify liberals, is tremulous at making enemies and eagerly wants to court political dissidents.

“I am greatly disappointed with the failure of much of the Church hierarchy to take an unequivocal stand on abortion.”

A watered-down stand on pro-abort pols receiving the Eucharist coupled with “the treatment given prominent political figures who try to manipulate themselves between two stools-that of Catholicism and pro-abortion-is inexplicable, he said.

“The other day Cardinal [Theodore] McCarrick indicated, when asked if he would refuse Communion to pro-abortion officials, that he did not want a confrontation at the altar. Where better to have a confrontation?” asked the 15-term Congressman. “If the Church doesn’t come out strong and condemn those who want to receive Holy Communion while not in the state of sanctifying grace, then the Church has lost its moral authority and that is tragic.”
Article here.

Abp. Burke Says U.S. Conference Can't Force Him to Back Down from Refusing Communion to Abortion Supporters

ST. LOUIS, June 18, 2004 ( - Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis Missouri, who last November announced to priests that pro-abortion Catholic politicians should be refused Communion, has said that the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) could not force him to back down from his stand. "I have to do what I know to be right" he said.
Unfortunately, most North American bishops have given over much of their authority to the conferences and to bureaucrats in their dioceses for the past four decades. This has in turn resulted in very poor leadership by many bishops in their dioceses. Ideal opportunities resulted for dissidents and their widely used books, abusive priests, New Age nuns and much more and liturgical abuses flourished in all the dioceses where the bishops in effect abdicated part or most of their religious duties and authority to those around them.
Article here.

Dr. Edward Peters weighs in on Fr. Beal's Article in America

The noted canonist, Fr. John Beal has weighed in with a canonical study of the conditions under which bishops can direct the withholding of the Eucharist from pro-abortion Catholic politicians. Read his article from America magazine here.

For my critique of Fr. Beal’s position, check out my latest canon law blog.

Insurance Company Sues St Louis Archdiocese

The Evanston Insurance Co. has filed a suit alleging that the archdiocese failed to inform it of the sexual abuse in a timely manner, and so the insurer should not be forced to pay about a $1.5 million share of the settlement.

The company said its policy protected the archdiocese from claims over any "wrongful act," which the policy defined to include "any act of unlawful sexual intimacy, sexual molestation or sexual assault."
St. Louis Post Dispatch Article.

Enthronement of the Sacred Heart

Archbishop Burke provides more reflections on the history and writings on devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
In a few weeks, the archdiocese will publish the guide to the Enthronement of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Consecration for the home. As soon as it is ready, I will be writing about it. In the meantime, I hope that my reflections of the past weeks will help you to prepare your heart and home for the Enthronement of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. May the Immaculate Heart of Mary intercede for us, that many hearts and homes will be consecrated, with her Heart, to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
As we await the new guide from the archdiocese, let us thank Archbishop Burke for his wonderful insights. Article here.

U.S. Bishops Warns Catholics of "Cooperating in Evil"

Zenit article.

USCCB: Catholics in Political Life

The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.
But the reception of Holy Communion by an outwardly manifest promoter of abortion is to left each individual bishop, the Code of Canon Law being irrelevant.

The statement of the US Bishops is here.

This is too good to pass up...From Diogenes...

"Because you are not lukewarm, I spit you out..."
(Inspired by the latest courageous stand taken by the US bishops)

A reading from the epistle of Paul Americanus to the Galatians:

O interesting Galatians! I am not entirely comfortable with some of things you may or may not be doing. I am forming a committee to draw up some guidelines that will help you grow as human persons. The committee's decisions will be published shortly after the Day of Judgment. Meanwhile, if any one is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, stamp your little feet. And please send me some more information about this former brother of ours, John Fisher, who has been causing disturbances among you. May God judge him accordingly. See with what a large computer I write. --Paulus Americanus
Read the entire entry here. Well worth the time.

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Back from Steubenville

I have been gone for a few days on a trip to Steubenville to take one of my sons there for an orientation of sorts for college this fall.

Seeing some of the news of late it seems not much was accomplished in Colorado.