Saturday, July 03, 2004

Independence Day, Entitlements and such, & Rush Limbaugh

I try as a matter of course to limit my posts to strictly issues pertaining to the Church. In these days, we find the US bishops more and more involved in the secular affairs of the state while ignoring, to a great extent, the more important issue of sanctifying and teaching the faithful. So, perhaps, there is some relevancy to religious issues in this.

I received this via email a couple of weeks ago, I wondered how many of the founding fathers and previous legislators would view this.
By Rush Limbaugh:

I think the vast differences in compensation between victims of the September 11 casualty and those who die serving the country in Uniform are profound. No one is really talking about it either, because you just don't criticize anything having to do with September 11. Well, I just can't let the numbers pass by because it says something really disturbing about the entitlement mentality of this country. If you lost a family member in the September 11 attack, you're going to get an average of $1,185,000. The range is a minimum guarantee of $250,000, all the way up to $4.7 million.

If you are a surviving family member of an American soldier killed in action, the first check you get is a $6,000 direct death benefit, half of which is taxable.. Next, you get $1,750 for burial costs. If you are the surviving spouse, you get $833 a month until you remarry. And there's a payment of $211 per month for each child under 18. When the child hits 18, those payments come to a screeching halt.

Keep in mind that some of the people who are getting an average of $1.185 million up to $4.7 million are complaining that it's not enough. Their deaths were tragic, but for most, they were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Soldiers put themselves in harms way FOR ALL OF US, and they and their families know the dangers.

We also learned over the weekend that some of the victims from the Oklahoma City bombing have started an organization asking for the same deal that the September 11 families are getting. In addition to that, some of the families of those bombed in the embassies are now asking for compensation as well.

You see where this is going, don't you? Folks, this is part and parcel of over 50 years of entitlement politics in this country. It's just really sad. Every time a pay raise comes up for the military, they usually receive next to nothing of a raise. Now the green machine is in combat in the Middle East while their families have to survive on food stamps and live in low-rent housing. Make sense?

However, our own U.S. Congress just voted themselves a raise, and many of you don't know that they only have to be in Congress one time to receive a pension that is more than $15,000 per month, and most are now equal to being millionaires plus. They also do not receive Social Security on retirement because they didn't have to pay into the system.

If some of the military people stay in for 20 years and get out as an E-7, you may receive a pension of $1,000 per month, and the very people who placed you in harm's way receive a pension of $15,000 per month. I would like to see our elected officials pick up a weapon and join ranks before they start cutting out benefits and lowering pay for our sons and daughters who are now fighting.

"When do we finally do something about this?" If this doesn't seem fair to you, it is time to forward this to as many people as you can.If your interested there is more........................

This must be a campaign issue in 2004. Keep it going. SOCIAL SECURITY: (This is worth the read. It's short and to the point.)

Perhaps we are asking the wrong questions during election years. Our Senators and Congressmen do not pay into Social Security. Many years ago they voted in their own benefit plan. In more recent years, no congressperson has felt the need to change it. For all practical purposes their plan works like this:

When they retire, they continue to draw the same pay until they die, except it may increase from time to time for cost of living adjustments. For example, former Senator Byrd and Congressman White and their wives may expect to draw $7,800,000 - that's Seven Million, Eight Hundred Thousand), with their wives drawing $275,000.00 during the last years of their lives.

This is calculated on an average life span for each.

Their cost for this excellent plan is $00.00. These little perks they voted for themselves is free to them. You and I pick up the tab for this plan.

The funds for this fine retirement plan come directly from the General Fund--our tax dollars at work! From our own Social Security Plan, which you and I pay (or have paid) into - every payday until we retire (which amount is matched by our employer) --we can expect to get an average $1,000 per month after retirement. Or, in other words, we would have to collect our average of $1,000 monthly benefits for 68 years and one month to equal Senator Bill Bradley's benefits!

Social Security could be very good if only one small change were made. And that change would be to jerk the Golden Fleece Retirement Plan from under the Senators and Congressmen. Put them into the Social Security plan with the rest of us and then watch how fast they would fix it.

If enough people receive this, maybe a seed of awareness will be planted and maybe good changes will evolve. WE, each one of us... can make a difference..
I am not vouching for veracity of this email. I am merely presenting it as it was received. IMHO, many good points are made.

Text of Cardinal Ratzinger's memo to the US Bishops

This letter was sent during the first half of June, to Cardinal McCarrick and to the president of the bishops’ conference, Bishop Wilton Gregory. As you will see after reading it, it clearly suggests actions other that what the USCCB decided.

One wonders why Cardinal McCarrick misrepresented it as he did?
Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion. General Principles
by Joseph Ratzinger

1. Presenting oneself to receive Holy Communion should be a conscious decision, based on a reasoned judgement regarding one’s worthiness to do so, according to the Church’s objective criteria, asking such questions as: “Am I in full communion with the Catholic Church? Am I guilty of grave sin? Have I incurred a penalty (e.g. excommunication, interdict) that forbids me to receive Holy Communion? Have I prepared myself by fasting for at least an hour?” The practice of indiscriminately presenting oneself to receive Holy Communion, merely as a consequence of being present at Mass, is an abuse that must be corrected (cf. Instruction “Redemptionis Sacramentum,” nos. 81, 83).

2. The Church teaches that abortion or euthanasia is a grave sin. The Encyclical Letter Evangelium vitae, with reference to judicial decisions or civil laws that authorise or promote abortion or euthanasia, states that there is a “grave and clear obligation to oppose them by conscientious objection. [...] In the case of an intrinsically unjust law, such as a law permitting abortion or euthanasia, it is therefore never licit to obey it, or to ‘take part in a propoganda campaign in favour of such a law or vote for it’” (no. 73). Christians have a “grave obligation of conscience not to cooperate formally in practices which, even if permitted by civil legislation, are contrary to God’s law. Indeed, from the moral standpoint, it is never licit to cooperate formally in evil. [...] This cooperation can never be justified either by invoking respect for the freedom of others or by appealing to the fact that civil law permits it or requires it” (no. 74).

3. Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.

4. Apart from an individuals’s judgement about his worthiness to present himself to receive the Holy Eucharist, the minister of Holy Communion may find himself in the situation where he must refuse to distribute Holy Communion to someone, such as in cases of a declared excommunication, a declared interdict, or an obstinate persistence in manifest grave sin (cf. can. 915).

5. Regarding the grave sin of abortion or euthanasia, when a person’s formal cooperation becomes manifest (understood, in the case of a Catholic politician, as his consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws), his Pastor should meet with him, instructing him about the Church’s teaching, informing him that he is not to present himself for Holy Communion until he brings to an end the objective situation of sin, and warning him that he will otherwise be denied the Eucharist.

6. When “these precautionary measures have not had their effect or in which they were not possible,” and the person in question, with obstinate persistence, still presents himself to receive the Holy Eucharist, “the minister of Holy Communion must refuse to distribute it” (cf. Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts Declaration “Holy Communion and Divorced, Civilly Remarried Catholics” [2002], nos. 3-4). This decision, properly speaking, is not a sanction or a penalty. Nor is the minister of Holy Communion passing judgement on the person’s subjective guilt, but rather is reacting to the person’s public unworthiness to receive Holy Communion due to an objective situation of sin.

[N.B. A Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in evil, and so unworthy to present himself for Holy Communion, if he were to deliberately vote for a candidate precisely because of the candidate’s permissive stand on abortion and/or euthanasia. When a Catholic does not share a candidate’s stand in favour of abortion and/or euthanasia, but votes for that candidate for other reasons, it is considered remote material cooperation, which can be permitted in the presence of proportionate reasons.]
Those faithful who have been blessed to have good bishops who teach the truth and demonstrate fidelity to the Church should daily thank the Lord for His generosity. Those who have been saddled with burdensome and weak bishops who are afraid of the truth should petition our Lord that, if it be His will, He might grant these men the grace and strength to become strong shepherds to help lead His flock to eternal life.


Updated "Receiving Communion Anyways" posters at The Curt Jester

Jeff Miller has done an great job revising the Catholic Action Network's posters to be more accurate in presenting its heterodox viewpoints regarding abortion and other Catholic issues.

Much of the information from the CAN site was forwarded to Archbishop Burke a few weeks ago (regarding Women's Ordination and the rejection of the Church's teaching on homosexuality).

I have been recently informed by a representative of CAN that:
Concerning the elections, both groups [CAN & Network] are attempting to place issues on the table such as poverty, and affordable housing. These issues are often missing in traditional 'pro-life voter guides,' but are certainly as important.
While these other issues are important, these issues mean nothing if life is denied by abortion. Abortion is one the issues which must be addressed first because it is a "disqualifying" issue with respect to voting.

Again, see the Curt Jester's revisions here.

ACEE Local 1312 requests unions & others to withhold donations to the Archdiocese

Heard on the radio this evening.

The Association of Catholic Elementary Educators, ACEE Local 1312, which the Archdiocese does not recognize has decided to ask other unions and others to withhold donation sto the archdiocese until such time as they are recognized by the archdiocese.

Archbishop Burke has already addressed the issue but, apparently, it isn't to the satisfaction of ACEE. This was previously reported here.

Friday, July 02, 2004

Statements of Missouri's Catholic Bishops . . .

Regarding the Proposed Constitutional Amendment for the Protection of Marriage.

All of Missouri's bishops are asking everyone who is able, to vote for Constitutional Amendment 2 on August 3. Passage of this amendment depends on all of us.

See the bishops' documents here:
Joint Statement Regarding the Proposed Constitutional Amendment.

Question and Answer Sheet

Italian journalist to release Ratzinger letter?

For those who cannot access CWNews:
Jul. 02 ( - A veteran Vatican correspondent, Sandro Magister of the Italian weekly L'Espresso , has reportedly said that he will release the full text of a letter from Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (bio - news) to the American bishops, on the contentious issue of whether or not Catholic politicians who support legal abortion should be denied the Eucharist.

According to news stories circulating in the Roman press, Magister will print the entire text of Cardinal Ratzinger as a part of a column to appear on July 3. The column, covering the debate among American bishops over the Communion issue, will appear on the L'Espresso web site.

Informed sources report that Magister's story will confirm early reports (including one that appeared on the CWN site) that Cardinal Ratzinger's letter supported the argument of those American bishops who have said that they will deny the Eucharist to pro-abortion politicians.

At a meeting of the US bishops' conference in Denver earlier this month, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick-- the chairman of a task force studying the question of how bishops should respond to dissenting Catholic political leaders-- told reporters that Cardinal Ratzinger had not called for withholding the Eucharist from politicians who reject Church teachings, and that the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith left the question in the hands of the American bishops. While both of those claims are accurate, Magister's story will reportedly support the claim that Cardinal Ratzinger lent his support to those bishops who are arguing for stern disciplinary action.

At their Denver meeting, the US bishops adopted a policy statement re-affirming the Church's condemnation of legal abortion, but stopping short of any call for withholding the Eucharist from prominent abortion supporters. The bishops reportedly turned down a milder form of the resolution, backed by Cardinal McCarrick, which would have said that it was imprudent to deny the Eucharist to Catholic politicians.

© All material copyright 2004 Domus Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.
The key phrase, in my opinion, is:
While both of those claims are accurate, Magister's story will reportedly support the claim that Cardinal Ratzinger lent his support to those bishops who are arguing for stern disciplinary action.

If true, this appears to me to be a further demonstration of weakness and an attitude of ignoring Rome - much like other dissenting groups in the US and elsewhere.

State’s bishops back Aug. 3 marriage amendment

Redefining marriage to include same-sex couples would have dangerous consequences, the bishops of Missouri state in a letter urging voters to support a marriage amendment to the state constitution.

The bishops urged all people of good will, regardless of political or religious persuasion or sexual orientation to reflect carefully on the common good of society "and stand with us."

The bishops of who signed the letter are Archbishop Raymond L. Burke of St. Louis, Bishop Raymond J. Boland of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Bishop John J. Leibrecht of Springfield-Cape Girardeau, Bishop John R. Gaydos of Jefferson City, Coadjutor Bishop Robert W. Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph and Auxiliary Bishop Robert J. Hermann of St. Louis.
Full Article here

Abp. Burke to issue Pastoral letter on Church teachings on voting

Archbishop Raymond L. Burke receives the pallium from Pope John Paul II in St. Peter’s Square June 29, the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul. The pallium, a circular band of white wool, symbolizes the archbishop’s authority and unity with the Pope.

Archbishop Raymond L. Burke will issue a pastoral letter addressing more fully questions raised by his reported statements last week that Catholics commit a mortal sin by knowingly voting for a candidate who advocates abortion.

"It is a serious sin," Archbishop Burke told the Review, adding that a person who voted that way could receive Communion only after a "true repentance" and obtaining absolution through the Sacrament of Confession. "It’s not right to support candidates who are for abortion," he added.
St Louis Review Article.

Get your "Receiving Communion Anyways!" posters/stickers here!

I hope "The Curt Jester" can do something with these.

Catholic Action Network's new push (after it's recent letter writing campaign)is the promotion of the agenda "Voting Issues: More Than Abortion!!"

Here are some samples, evidently based on recent statements by some politicians that they would receive Holy Communion regardless of Archbishop Burke's directives:

More Letters to the Editor

There is one which will cause me to do some research:
The late Sen. Barry Goldwater of Arizona believed that abortion was a private matter and that the state had no business sticking its nose into the people's right to make their own moral decisions. Were those Catholics who voted for Goldwater in 1964 guilty of a "grave sin" that must be confessed? If Goldwater were the Republican candidate this fall, would Archbishop Burke be so ready to anathematize anyone voting for him?
I was unaware that Goldwater held that view - even if he did, it could not have possibly been on the radar as an issue in 1964. So why the misleading reference? Or am I missing something here?

Anyway, there a couple of good letters supporting the Archbishop as well as this one above and another where the letter writer is confused about the distinction between abortion, war, and capital punishment. But then the reason for this is most likely that too many of the priests in the archdioceses are also confused about it.

Link here.

Two more bishops weigh in on Communion for Pro-Death Politicians

Cleveland Bishop Pilla lets politicians decide on Eucharist

Fort Wayne Bishop D'Arcy calls Bishop Sheridan's statements "unwise".

A Jesuit priest who would make St Ignatius proud...Not

It's 'men' like this who give the Jesuits a bad name.

This priest, if he is indeed a priest, should be stripped of his faculties for his heretical views and opinions which have been voiced publically.

Link here.

Denunciation Files from the St. Joseph Foundation

The files from the St. Joseph Foundation for use in filing a Denunciation under Canon Law may be obtained directly from them.

Use the Contact Form to make a request and the documents will be emailed to you.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Radical Feminists Pray to Mary for Legal Abortion

At Puerto Rico Meeting, Radical Feminists Pray to Mary for Legal Abortion

As debate at the latest Latin American economic meeting continues, pro-abortion advocates have sought the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary to bring victory to their cause of establishing abortion on demand for women and girls throughout the region.

Many participants at the meeting now taking place in Puerto Rico, called the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) Ad Hoc Committee on Population and Development, were stunned on Monday when "Catholics" for a Free Choice (CFFC) and its Latin American counterpart, "Catolicas" por el Derecho a Decidir, released a prayer card of the Virgin Mary, with the words "The love of God and of Mary of Guadalupe is greater..For women's lives, safe and legal abortion" superimposed over the image of the Virgin Mary. The back of the card says, "Dear Mary of Guadalupe, we thank you because your love is greater, because you listen to us without judging, because you know our heart and you respect the intimacy of our decisions."
Copyright 2004 - C-FAM (Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute). Permission granted for unlimited use. Credit required.
Full article here.

This is so sick!

Dr Ed Peters comments on the canonical case against Kerry

His comments are here.

The Holy Father's Prayer Intentions for July

The Holy Father's general prayer intention for the month of July is: "That all those who are able to benefit from a holiday period during this time of the year may be helped during their vacation to rediscover in God their inner harmony and to open themselves to the love of human beings."

His missionary intention is: "That in the young Churches the lay faithful may receive more attention and may be turned to greater account for evangelization."


Heresy charge filed against John Kerry in Archdiocese of Boston

On 14 June 2004 DE FIDE filed its first Libellus Litis (Bill of Complaint) in the Ecclesiastical Court of the Archdiocese of Boston. The Criminal Complaint alleges that United States Senator JOHN F. KERRY, as a baptized Catholic, has committed a court-martial offense under Canon Law by professing the Right-to-Murder heresy, commonly known as the "Right to Choose" doctrine.

The Complaint is currently under review by the Archdiocese of Boston. Once accepted, the arguments and evidence will be considered by a collegiate panel of three judges nominated to evaluate the merits of the case. When created, the Court will summon Defendant KERRY to trial for the presentation of any arguments the Defense may attempt to invoke.

As this criminal case is unprecedented both historically and procedurally under the new Code of Canon Law of 1983, all Catholic and Protestant Christians, even the non-baptized, may, and are invited to join this class-action suit.

It is hoped that the faithful and public at large will support the efforts of DE FIDE by participating in the action and contributing to the State of California Tax-Exempt Association.
More of these need to be done! Link.

And a Washingtimes Times article.

A bit fuzzy, you say?

Here was another letter to editor from, I presume, a professed Catholic.
Saving lives

After 50 some years, I admit my catechism lessons have gotten a bit fuzzy. However, I think I recall that Jesus was a loving, caring God who urged us to help each other. That would include fellow adults and children who suffer or die from muscle diseases, cancers, diabetes, paralysis, Parkinson's disease and such.

But after reading Kevin Horrigan's Sunday column, "How gray thou art," I'm not only thinking that Archbishop Burke inserts religion into politics, I'm wondering whose church he represents and why he thinks he's smarter than God.

Terry Mulligan
St. Louis
Fifty years and still clueless regarding the fundamentals of the faith. Apparently, for some individuals, columnist Kevin Horrigan can clear up the little gray fuzzies for a number of "Catholics", even more than those charged with teaching the faith?

My advice: Go buy a Catechism and read it, spend some time before our Lord in the tabernacle, pray for an increase of grace to enlighten the mind. Pay close attention to what Archbishop Burke says - he duty is to help all of us under his care to attain heaven.

What the Pallium Signifies

Here is a translation of the address John Paul II gave today at the general audience, which he dedicated to reflect on the meaning of the pallium.

Zenit article

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Bishop requires lay ministers to sign affirmation of faith

This is really great! I mean really!

Bishop Robert Vasa of the Diocese of Baker in Oregon issued in April a new diocesan regulation requiring persons involved in parish ministries -- notably in catechetics and service at Mass -- to provide full assent to a list of a dozen doctrinal statements as well as to “all the teaching of the Catholic church.”

If one is unwilling or unable to assent to the “Affirmation of Personal Faith,” he or shes is asked to withdraw from ministry. Future applicants for parish ministry will be asked by their pastors to read the document and indicate total adherence to it.

The required “affirmations” include:
the teaching on homosexuality, contraception, chastity, marriage, abortion, euthanasia, the presence of Christ in the Eucharist, Mary, hell, purgatory, and the authority of the Church.

“I believe and profess all that the holy Catholic Church teaches, believes and proclaims to be revealed by God.” In particular:

I affirm and believe the Church’s teaching about the inviolability of human life. In accord with that teaching I affirm that human life is sacred and must be protected and respected from the moment of conception until natural death. I affirm that I reject direct, intentional abortion and I do not recognize the legitimacy of anyone’s claim to a moral right to form their own conscience in this matter. I am not pro-choice. I further attest that I am not affiliated with, nor supportive of, any organization which supports, encourages, provides or otherwise endorses abortion or euthanasia. (cf. CCC 2270-2283)

I affirm and believe the Church’s teaching about the sinfulness of contraception. I affirm, in accord with the teachings of the Church that “every action which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible” is intrinsically evil. (CCC 2370)

I affirm and believe that every person is called to chastity in accord with their present state of life and that it is only in marriage between man and woman that the intimacy of spouses becomes a sign and pledge of spiritual communion. (CCC 2337—2365) I accept the Church’s teaching that any extra-marital sexual relationships are gravely evil and that these include pre-marital relations, masturbation, fornication, the viewing of pornography and homosexual relations.

I affirm and believe the teaching of the Church about the evil of homosexual acts. I accept the formulation in the Catechism which states: “Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.” They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.” (CCC 2357)

I affirm and believe all that the Church teaches about the Reality and Presence of Christ in the Most Holy Eucharist. Specifically I believe that Jesus is present Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity under each of the forms of bread and wine and that receiving either one is Communion with the whole Christ. I recognize that worship and adoration are appropriate, not only during Mass but also outside of Mass and that the Most Holy Eucharist must always be handled with the utmost care and devotion. (CCC 1373-1381)

I affirm and believe the teachings of the Church regarding Mary, Mother of Christ and Mother of the Church. I accept with the Church that it is fitting and proper to honor the Blessed Virgin with special devotion. (CCC 963-975)

I affirm and believe that it is possible for a person to choose to remain separated from God for all eternity and that “This state of definitive self-exclusion from communion with God and the blessed is called “hell.”” (CCC 1033)

I affirm and believe that those who die in God’s grace and friendship but are still imperfectly purified undergo additional purification so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joys of heaven. I affirm that the Church’s name for this final purification is Purgatory. (CCC 1030-1032)

I affirm and believe in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church and embrace the teachings about that Church as enunciated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. (cf. CCC 748-962)

I affirm and believe that the Church teaches with God-given authority and that the promise of Christ to remain with His Church always, until the end of time is a reality. I further acknowledge that those teachings pronounced in a definitive manner, even though not as an infallible definition, are binding on the consciences of the faithful and are to be adhered to with religious assent. (CCC 892)

To these and to all the teaching of the Catholic Church I give my assent. I attest that I believe these things and, while I am aware of my own sinfulness and shortcomings, I strive in my beliefs and life style to conform to this Affirmation of Personal of Faith.

* The Church requires the making of a Profession of Faith by various persons when they undertake specific duties related to Church administration and teaching. (cf. Canon 833) In the Diocese of Baker this has been expanded to include those who take on the ecclesial duties of Catechist, Liturgical Reader, Cantor, Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion and other Church positions which entail a presumption of orthodoxy.
The link is here to the complete Pastoral Letter for Diocesan Lay Ministers

Perhaps sending this to Archbishop Burke would be a good idea...Surely this is needed in many parts of the archdiocese.

The Coming Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in the Modern World

Sunday, July 18, 2004 at 2:00 PM

By: TFP speaker Paul Folley

To be held at:

Maria Center
336 E. Ripa Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63125

In this talk, we will hear from Mr. Paul Folley who is coming from
Scotland on a speaking tour. Mr. Folley was born in Ireland and
worked for a long time with the American TFP before joining the TFP
office in Scotland. He will be talking about the reasons for hope in
the promise of Our Lady of Fatima when she spoke about the triumph of
her Immaculate Heart. He will analyze what is meant by this triumph
and how God has acted in the past in similar ways. Don't miss this
opportunity to meet with like-minded Catholics and Mr. Folley.

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

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

(thanks, Tom for this info)

I've been outed and kicked off St Cronan's email list!

I received an email this morning from "Topica Customer Support" with the subject "Goodbye from CronanTalk". The email stated, in part:
You have been removed from the mailing list 'CronanTalk'.
Thank you for participating
I didn't even get a kiss goodbye!

This "boot" comes a couple of weeks after the St. Cronan's Liturgy Web Page "disappeared" after a report on a couple of new and improved bread recipes was discussed here and the bread recipes were sent to the Archdiocesan Office of Worship.

So much for being an "inclusive" community where all are welcomed (except those faithful to the Holy Father?). I suppose this is a way of telling me not to join the parish? I wonder if my source at St. Cronan's has been discovered yet?

Form your conscience, vote your conscience!

By Reverend John A. Corapi, S.O.L.T., S.T.D. -
Every four years we enjoy a very great privilege, one that carries with it an equally great responsibility: that of voting for the officials who will govern the country and affect the lives of tens of millions of people, for better or for worse. Good government and just laws are not optional of the human family is to survive, much less prosper.

The tired argument that is so often heard these days about the separation of Church and State is a patently specious one, to say the least. The First Amendment of the Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution states:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

The current erroneous interpretation of the separation of church and state is nothing less than an attack on the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America itself.

Every citizen has a right to express their views and to vote in accordance with those views. The legitimate separation of church and state concerns the constitutional prohibition of one state sponsored religion, as well is the Founding Fathers' intent to keep the government out of the affairs of the various religions.

The version of separation of church and state that is presently being foisted on an unsuspecting public is tantamount to a suppression of the fundamental constitutional rights of a class of citizens. Since when is Christian thought not permitted to influence a country that was founded on Christian principles?

We share in the good and the evil of those we place in office. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that, although "sin is a personal act, we have a responsibility for the sins committed by others when we cooperate in them" (CCC #1868). We can be accomplices in the sins of others:
-by participating directly and voluntarily in them;

-by ordering, advising, praising, or approving them;

-by not disclosing or not hindering them when we have an obligation to do so;

-by protecting evil-doers" (CCC #1868).
The Catechism is thus consistent with traditional Catholic teaching which held that there are nine ways we can be an accessory to another's sin:

1. By counsel. I.e., "I think you should have an abortion; go ahead and have the abortion. It will help preserve your lifestyle."

2. By command. I.e., Telling your child, your friend, or your co-worker, "Have an abortion, you may lose your job if you don't."

3. By consent. I.e., "If you and your partner feel it's the best thing, go ahead and have a sexual relationship, get married.even if you're both of the same sex, etc. It's nobody's business."

4. By provocation. I.e., "Have the abortion! Aren't you in charge of your own life. The Pope is old and sick and who cares what he says anyhow."

5. By praise or flattery. I.e., "Oh, Senator, you are so courageous and kind in defending a woman's 'right' to an abortion."

6. By concealment. I.e., The pastor allows the senator, judge, president, etc. who has voted for, or otherwise promoted, abortion, euthanasia, human cloning, same-sex marriage, etc. to appear to be in good standing, when, in fact, they have caused grave public scandal by their actions. When the sin is public, the redress must be public. Although, I don't disagree with the courageous bishops who would deny such persons Communion, I do believe that the "confrontation" should take place, without question, long before they arrive at the altar rail.

7. By participation. I.e., "I'll drive you to the clinic. You need that abortion to be able to continue your lifestyle."

8. By silence. I.e., You refuse to speak out against what is a clear violation of human rights, an incredible persecution and prejudice against a class of human beings (the unborn). You hide behind the Supreme Court's unjust and inherently illicit decision on abortion, saying it's the law of the land, when in fact it is the subversion and perversion of authentic law. The Nazi SS officers tried for war crimes used a similar defense, saying they were only following orders. They hung them, guilty as charged!

9. By defense of the evil. I.e., "It prevents child abuse by eliminating unwanted children; Women are more in charge of their lives, more liberated; it's so much more sophisticated and educated a thing to do., "etc. etc. This year, more than ever, Catholics, and the entire human family, face a daunting challenge. We have to elect a president and other high ranking officials, and the choice could be a matter of life or death for the nation.
For Catholics, it is a matter of a moral mandate: form your conscience so that you can vote your well-formed conscience. It is not morally permissible to merely vote for whomever you like based on superficial or even personal preferences. The candidates have to be evaluated in the sober and sure light of truth. Your conscience must be formed to the objective norm of that truth, which is Church teaching in faith and morals.

Since a physician needs to be concerned with what's sick, let's get right to the point. It is not morally possible for any Catholic to support abortion, euthanasia, fetal stem cell research, human cloning, or same-sex marriage. There are no ways around this, no justifications whatever. Why? For the simple reason that the Church holds these things to be intrinsically evil. They are evil in themselves, and no circumstances or subjective conditions can ever change that. They are not to be confused with such things as the death penalty and legitimate self-defense, which are not intrinsically evil, and which governments can, and often must, make use of. While the conditions for applying such unfortunate measures as the death penalty and waging war may be open to debate, they are not things evil in themselves, always and everywhere.

Any appeal to conscience concerning intrinsically evil matters is a specious one. Conscience is not an independent entity; it does not operate in a vacuum. Conscience must be formed to the objective norm of truth--Church teaching. Church teaching is clear on the issues mentioned (Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church #1783). The theological position to the contrary is untenable and has been frequently condemned by the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. The Second Vatican Council mentioned conscience more than seventy times, never without a modifying term: "well-formed conscience, mal-formed conscience; you must form your conscience, etc."

Conscience is not to be construed as one's mere ideas and opinions, or whatever vagrant and morally vacuous thoughts race through one's mind. "Conscience is a judgment of reason whereby the human person recognizes the moral quality of a concrete act that he is going to perform, is in the process of performing, or has already completed" (Catechism of the Catholic Church #1778). It must be grounded in truth, formed to truth. For Catholics that is Church teaching in faith and morals.

Any candidate for political office, Catholic or otherwise, who is in favor of intrinsically evil things (abortion, euthanasia, same-sex marriage, etc), votes for them, or otherwise funds or furthers their cause, cannot be supported in any way by a Catholic who wishes to remain Catholic in fact,not just in name.

Catholic office holders, whether presidents, senators, congress men or women, or judges at any level must adhere to Catholic teaching or run the risk of separating themselves from the Body of Christ. In such egregious and chronic cases of gross moral evil such as instituting and perpetuating abortion and the structures of sin that surround it, it is quite probable that such Catholic officials are excommunicated in virtue of the acts themselves. A latae sententiae (automatic) excommunication is likely triggered when they vote for laws, funding, and structures that enable and perpetuate such obvious and egregious evil (Cf. Code of Canon Law, Canons 1364,1398; Canon 1329, par. #2). They are in turn forbidden from approaching the sacraments as the result (Cf. Catechism of Catholic Church #1463).

These persons must undoubtedly think that a fetus is not a human being. If they did, would they authorize and enable the wholesale and on demand execution of tens of millions of the most innocent human beings in their mothers' wombs? If they think there is not a human being in the womb, then they do not believe what the Church believes, and that belief is not optional. Such a rejection of so fundamental a truth is tantamount to heresy (Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church #2089), the automatic penalty for which is excommunication (Cf Code of Canon Law #1364). No further act of a bishop is required either, since the act of unbelief in itself is what triggers the severing of the member from the Body. If, on the contrary, they think that indeed there is a human being in the womb, they are in a worse position, having fostered, facilitated, and perpetuated a human holocaust of unthinkable proportions.

The lame argument that they personally oppose such things as abortion, yet vote for them repeatedly, demonstrates the most virulent form of moral and political schizophrenia yet to afflict mankind. That they succeed in duping millions of otherwise intelligent people with this absurd and twisted logic does not bode well for the future of the nation that votes for them.

The further up the hierarchy of authority one goes, the more responsible and the more culpable one becomes. Hence, a supreme court justice, senator, or president who supports abortion through voting or rhetoric is significantly more culpable than a woman who effectively procures an abortion. She is responsible for one abortion; they are accomplices in millions. If she has knowledge of the seriousness of the act and the canonical penalty attached thereto, she can incur an automatic excommunication. What of those who enabled millions of such abortions? Is it to be believed that they are immune from culpability? Infinitely more deserving of the canonical penalty are those Catholic politicians who foster the laws and structures that enable such outrageous crimes against humanity.

A pastor who permits such an elected or appointed official--especially if they purport to be Catholic--to skate along relatively unscathed on such morally thin ice, is perhaps the most negligent and the most culpable of all. To fail to publicly censure such public officials is tantamount to participating in their crimes.

If there is ignorance, instruct the ignorant. If there is obstinacy, exact the canonical penalty. To fail to do so results not only in ignorance and obstinacy, but negligence and permissiveness: the fertile soil in which a degenerating culture can multiply its errors, bear evil fruit, and ie. Religious leaders are in a unique position to influence the nation and the world for the better by calling their people to high moral standards. Failure to do so ultimately results in disaster, for the moral demise of a nation always precedes the ultimate demise of a nation.

Among some Church leaders there is an understandable fear of acting decisively, now. This is, obviously, because the pain of the recent sex abuse scandals is so fresh in the mind of a rightfully indignant public. However, if the Church should fail to exercise her solemn pastoral duty at such a critical moment in history, it is likely that this further lack of decisive action will prove fatal for the last vestiges of respect remaining for the leadership of the Church. Because we at times may have failed to act appropriately and decisively in one matter shouldn't consign us to a perpetual paralysis of the will to do good in other matters. Fear of criticism, loss of a tax advantage, or political expediency should never deter us from our sacred duty.

There is no excuse whatever for a Catholic politician who supports such morally outrageous perversions of authentic justice such as abortion, partial-birth abortion, euthanasia, human cloning, and same-sex marriage. The hierarchy of the Church ultimately must severely censure them and make such censure public. The sin is egregious and public. The redress must be commensurately severe and public, precisely because of that.

The hour is late indeed. Can it be imagined that the hand of the heavenly Father "who chastises every son He loves" (Cf. Jdt 8:27, Prv 3:12, Sir 30:1) will be held back indefinitely? We are poised on the edge of a precipice; a definitive moment in history has come. If the morally toxic wasteland that used to be the greatest nation on the face of the earth isn't accorded "moral superfund" status soon, then will not the wake-up call that was 911 pale into insignificance at the moral day of reckoning that is inexorably coming? Even if one doesn't care to believe that God punishes, He surely corrects out of love, and often He uses the blunt instrument of our enemies to do so.

Every person of good will, above all Catholics in virtue of what their faith requires of them, must properly form their conscience to the objective norm of the true and the good: to that which is in accord with right reason, justice, and traditional moral values, and then vote in accordance with that well formed conscience.
God bless America!

Thanks to Catholic Citizens

The assault on Archbishop Burke is beginning...

Catholic Action Network for Social Justice (CAN), a small group of "peace" & "social justice" activists here in St. Louis, has begun a letter writing campaign to the Post-Dispatch, the St Louis Review, and to the Archbishop to register their complaint and disappointment with Archbishop Burke. Purportedly, this is about the Archbishop's recent statements regarding abortion, politicians and voters. However, I suspect there is more to it than this.

Invoking Cardinal Bernardin's "Seamless Garment" opinion, they complain implying that the Archbishop has named abortion as the only relevant issue today and that he is attempting to sway voters toward a "right wing, Republican agenda". Interestingly enough, he recently approved for use in the Archdiocese, the Catholic Answers "Voter's Guide for Serious Catholics" which lists five 'non-negotiable' items which must be considered when voting. Unfortunately, this isn't what those at CAN want to hear. It seems that to CAN, the only disqualifying issues are those "pro-life issues" such as protecting the poor, promoting global peace, and funding education, health care, and environmental initiatives. However, this applies ONLY if one happens to be fortunate enough to be alive first!

This is a group which advocates, among other things, women's ordination and which appears to deny the Church's teaching that homosexuality is objectively disordered and homosexual acts are "acts of grave depravity" (CCC 2357).

Their latest smear attempt of Archbishop Burke is in the following letters:
First the letter to Archbishop Burke:
Dear Archbishop Burke,

I am a faithful Catholic, and active member of my faith community. I am writing to express my disappointment by your statements to the St. Louis Post Dispatch and Charlie Brennan Show concerning abortion and the upcoming elections.

Archbishop, as you know, the issue of ‘pro-life’ extends beyond the single issue of abortion to include care for the poor and elderly, dignity for the dying, and basic human rights for all of God’s children. Your comments naming abortion as the single voting issue by which to judge candidates appears to contradict the ideal of the “Seamless Garment of Life” developed by Joseph Cardinal Bernadin. Furthermore, it appears a partisan attempt to sway Catholic voters towards one political party. Although an espoused pro-life president, George W. Bush has slashed program budgets that protect the environment, tend to the poor and vulnerable, and promote the rights of the worker. Surely the lives of the factory worker, the homeless woman, and the homebound senior citizen are no less valuable than those of the unborn.

I hope you will rescind your comments naming abortion as the sole voting issue for the upcoming elections, and help promote the dignity of the whole human person- unborn and born alike. I look forward to your response on this issue.

Note the "I am a faithful Catholic" - much like John Kerry, I suppose. I am curious what they mean by the phrase "dignity for the dying"? It sounds like a euphemism for euthanasia.
Anyway, their letter to the Post Dispatch reads:
I am a faithful Catholic, and disappointed by the narrow agenda of Archbishop Burke in citing abortion as the single voting issue by which to judge candidates. The Archbishop’s comments seem to assert that the lives and dignity of factory workers, homeless people, and senior citizens (all attacked by the policies of our so-called ‘pro-life’ President,) are less valuable than the unborn.

The Archbishop’s comments are a partisan attempt to sway Catholic voters towards a right-wing, Republican agenda. Catholics should see through this attempt to sway their votes, and choose candidates who protect the poor, promote global peace, and fund education, health care, and environmental initiatives- true ‘pro-life’ issues.

Rather than denying Communion and excluding even more people from the Church, Archbishop Burke should rescind his comments, and promote the dignity for all people- unborn and born alike.
And last, but not least - the letter to the St. Louis Review:
I am a faithful Catholic, and disappointed by Archbishop Burke’s comments citing abortion as the single voting issue by which to judge candidates. The Archbishop’s remarks seem to assert that the lives and dignity of factory workers, homeless people, and senior citizens (all attacked by the policies of our so-called ‘pro-life’ President,) are less valuable than the unborn.

The issue of ‘pro-life’ extends beyond the single issue of abortion to include care for the poor and elderly and basic human rights for all of God’s children. Naming abortion as the only crucial voting issue contradicts the ideal of the “Seamless Garment of Life” elucidated by Joseph Cardinal Bernadin. Furthermore, it appears a partisan attempt to sway Catholic voters towards one political party. Although an espoused pro-life president, George W. Bush has slashed program budgets that protect the environment, tend to the poor and vulnerable, and defend the rights of the worker. Rather than denying Communion and excluding even more people from the Church, Burke should call on Catholics to promote the dignity of all people- unborn and born alike.
The contempt that is displayed for the Archbishop is painfully obvious - notice that he is not properly addressed in the letter. This contempt was noticeable from the very beginning when Archbishop Burke was assigned to St. Louis, primarily , it seems, because he is an upright, orthodox bishop intent on teaching and sanctifying the faithful - at least those whose humility, respect and docility are such that they might be taught. When pride and arrogance reign supreme over an individual, we witness behavior such as that expressed in these letters.

This is what happens when dissent is allowed to flourish unchecked in a diocese. When a bishop begins to explain the authentic teachings of the Church (and Cardinal Bernardin was not the Church), those whose have been educated in a contrary manner become upset...and rebellious.

I heard mentioned the other day that while there may be a shortage of men answering calls to the priesthood, there is no shortage of those who think they are being called to be pope. Here we have a perfect example of this.

For those who would like to see this for themselves, it is here.

As I said previously, Archbishop Burke needs our prayers and support now more than ever - perhaps he may even be able to convert some of these professed 'Catholics' to Catholicism some day. We can only hope and pray!


The Post Dispatch has noticed that a polarization exists in the Church and that it becomes readily apparent when the teachings of the Church are pronounced faithfully and unabiguously:
To judge from comments on radio talk shows and the near-record amount of letters to the editor this issue has generated, the controversy has deeply divided and greatly troubled the Catholic community in St. Louis. Either that or it has illuminated a division that was already there between traditionalists and nontraditionalists.
It's rather naive to make reference to Trads and Nontrads as this is really not the division that exists. Rather, it is a division based upon one's acceptance of Church doctrine and moral truths. It is the fact that many "left" the Church years ago but have failed to honestly admit to themselves that they are "Catholic in Name Only" (CINO) - they do not give the assent of the mind and will to the doctrines of the Church. These CINOs pick and choose what to believe (if in fact, they actually believe anything that the Church professes as necessary).
As an internal church issue and a deeply personal matter of faith, Archbishop Burke's teachings are not a matter for editorial comment. As the spiritual leader of St. Louis' 555,000 Catholics, he has the right and obligation to explain and uphold his beliefs.
The writer of this article fails to grasp the fact that Archbishop Burke's 'teachings' are not his own but those of the Catholic Church. While they are also his beliefs - his beliefs are the Church's beliefs.
...he is more closely aligned with doctrinal advocates in Rome who bemoan the "moral relativism" of the American church than with many of his colleagues in the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. That group recently affirmed its opposition to abortion but left the question of sanctions up to individual bishops in their own dioceses.
In all truthfulness, he is faithfully aligned with the Church and her teachings, despite the fact that many of his 'colleagues' appear to be "moral relativists".
Thus, Archbishop Burke's stance may not cause much actual public or political disruption. What it is causing is soul-searching among individual Catholics torn between their archbishop and their consciences. Their conclusions are their own and should be honored.
It's well past time after nearly 40 years of chaos in the Church that a faithful bishop is evoking the soul-searching referred to in the article. The consciences of far too many people are malformed and, when confronted with the unamiguous teaching of the Church as presented by Archbishop Burke, these afflicted individuals tend to react negatively because truth and reason cannot coexist distortions and irrational thought.

PD article here.

Some excellent letters defending Archbishop Burke

Here is a sample of today's letters:
Sanctity of life is non-negotiable
As a Catholic, I look to my archbishop and pastor to teach and guide me in my faith. I find the "turmoil" regarding Archbishop Raymond Burke's remarks on pro-choice politicians and Holy Communion surprising.

This is nothing new. The sanctity of innocent human life has always been a non-negotiable issue of our faith. Burke is not crossing the line into politics as some have stated. He is simply doing his job as our shepherd and making us aware of what our faith teaches. I am grateful that he has the courage to lead us in these matters.

People do have a free will and can do what they want, but St. Louis Catholics cannot say that they weren't clearly told what their faith teaches.

J.M. Horn
O'Fallon, Mo.
This is a great letter - succinct and to the point! Clearly understandable - except for those blinded by their own pride.

Moral teaching

As someone who has fought Archbishop Burke over the status of St. Stanislaus Parish, I am, nevertheless, deeply troubled by the irrational response of what I can only call "cafeteria" Catholics who believe they can support pro-choice, pro-abortion, pro-murder candidates. They try to equate self-inflicted genocide to social welfare issues.

The murder of more than 40 million babies cannot be compared rationally to feeding the poor, which is a good and commendable act. Pro-abortion candidates and those who support them are in the same boat. They defy not just church law but natural law as well. Saying that the candidates have other good qualities is like saying Jeffrey Dahmer loved his mother.

If you cannot accept the moral teachings of the Catholic church, then find another religion that is an easier fit for you, but don't try to denigrate the Catholic religion or the person who carries its message.

Roger C. Krasnicki
Another good letter - and notice that the moral truths of the faith unites even where disagreement exists in other matters.

But, of course, to be perceived as "fair and balanced", there is the 'really, really, confused Catholic' who needs to be heard:
Poisoned climate

Archbishop Burke has created a real dilemma for thinking Catholics. Those who accept church leaders' opinions as the true word of God will have no problem with his recent statements. But for those who believe that God gave them a brain and wants them to use it, there is a serious problem.

For one who was educated for 20 years in Catholic schools, taught for 35 years in a Catholic school, educated his kids in Catholic schools, contributed time, treasure and talent to the church, there is little recourse to Burke's demands. I can write letters, cut off my contributions to my church and archdiocese, stop participating in the organizations I have worked for, even question whether my grandchildren should be educated in church schools. But I cannot change his mind or undo the damage he has done.

He has poisoned my feelings toward my church. His God is not my God. Hopefully, his church will remain my church.

Bob Hoffmann
Of course God gave us intellect, but he also gave us a will - and only when our minds are enlightened will we conform our wills to God's will. An education in Catholic schools, as unfortunate as it is say this, does not indicate that one "learned" the teachings of the Church. Archbishop Burke is not making "demands" as Bob states - he is echoing the constant teaching of the Christ and His Church. I suspect Bob's feelings were already poisoned and damaged by the faulty education he received. A professed Catholic does not presume to make judgements on the teaching of the Church but assents to the Church's doctrines even when they are difficult to understand or hard to accept. I believe that Bob's God is not the Archbishop's God. Bob's God appears to be his prideful ego.

Letters Link.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Cardinal Dulles on Communion and Pro-Abortion Politicians

Cardinal Avery Dulles is encouraging U.S. bishops to dialogue with dissenting Catholic politicians about their moral responsibilities before advising them to not receive Communion.

Cardinal Dulles, the Laurence J. McGinley Professor of Religion and Society at Fordham University, shared with ZENIT what important steps need to be taken to defend human life, protect the sacraments, uphold the teachings of the Church and respond to pro-abortion politicians.
Full Zenit article.

July: Month of the Precious Blood of Jesus

I received this email the other day and thought I should share it.
I just wanted to let you know that the month of July is now available in the Liturgical Year section of

You can access the overview at:
July is the month dedicated to the Precious Blood of Jesus and also contains memorials to several great saints, including Mary Magdalene, Joachim and Anne, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Maria Goretti, and Ignatius of Loyola.

I invite you to view the wealth of material that we have for every day of this month, including biographies, prayers, activities and recipes. As always, the overview provides a two-page method of easily navigating the highlights of the month.

Trinity staffers spent over 415 hours working to maintain and improve this site in the month of May alone. I thank those of you who have donated to support this site. If you have registered but not donated, please prayerfully consider a donation today. There is a prominently located link on the navigation bar of the site for your convenience.

In Christ,

Peter Mirus
Vice President
Trinity Communications
Catholic Culture (formerly PetersNet) - you can't go wrong here...Check out their Web Site surveys/analyses to determine how "Catholic" a Catholic website really is. Sometimes, you might really be surprised!

Archbishop Burke will deliver a Pastoral Letter

I heard on WRYT Catholic Radio this evening about 6:00 or so that Archbishop Raymond Burke will issue a pastoral letter covering the teaching of the Church and the issues raised in his recent radio interview about political candidates who support abortion and professed Catholics who vote for such people. Archbishop Burke stated that such people who knowingly vote for pro-abortion candidates commit a mortal sin.

This position should have been well known for years, but because of various reasons (weakness, complicity, lack of belief) many priests have failed to properly catechize the faithful - in fact, many times, the teaching of the Church has been obfuscated or diminished - and, at times, even rejected.

Fr. Matthew Habiger, previously president of Human Life International, wrote an excellent article in 1999 entitled, "SIN TO VOTE FOR PRO-ABORTION POLITICIANS?" Here are some pertinent parts:
Can a Catholic in good conscience vote for a politician who has a clear record of supporting abortion? Or is it a sin to vote for a politician who regularly uses his public office to fund or otherwise encourage the killing of unborn children?
I take the position that it is clearly a sin to vote for such a politician. Let us examine the issue. I shall appeal to arguments based on authority and to arguments based upon the consequences of such a vote.

Every Catholic should know that abortion is a gravely serious evil, and as such is never to be supported. In the Vatican's "Declaration on Procured Abortion" (Cardinal Seper, Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 1974) there is a discussion of "Morality and Law" (#19-23). "Man may never obey a law which is in itself, immoral and such is the case of a law which would admit in principle, the liceity of abortion. Nor can he take part in a propaganda campaign in favor of such a law or vote for it. Moreover, he may not collaborate in its application. It is, for instance, inadmissible that doctors or nurses should find themselves obligated to cooperate closely in abortions and have to choose between the law of God and their professional situation." (22)

Pope John Paul II in "Evangelium Vitae" states "I declare that direct abortion, that is, abortion willed as an end or as a means, always constitutes a grave moral disorder, since it is the deliberate killing of an innocent human being. ... No circumstance, no purpose, no law whatsoever can ever make licit an act which is intrinsically illicit, since it is contrary to the law of God which is written in every human heart, knowable by reason itself and proclaimed by the Church" (EV 62C).

"The 1917 Code of Canon Law punished abortion with excommunication. The revised canonical legislation continues this tradition when it decrees that a person who actually procures an abortion incurs automatic (Latae sententiae) excommunication" (Canon 1398) " The excommunication affects all those who commit this crime with knowledge of the penalty attached and thus includes those accomplices without whose help the crime would not have been committed" (Canon 1329).

"By this sanction the Church makes clear that abortion is a most serious and dangerous crime, thereby encouraging those who commit it to seek without delay the path of conversion. In the Church the purpose of the penalty of excommunication is to make an individual fully aware of the gravity of a certain sin and then to foster genuine conversion and repentance"(EV 62B).

The argument can be made that voting is a very remote form of cooperation in abortion. But is it all that remote? The legislator who votes for abortion is clearly a formal accomplice, giving formal cooperation with abortion. S/he shares both in the intention of the act, and in supplying material support for the act. If I vote for such a candidate, knowing full well that he will help make available public monies for abortion, or continue it decriminalization, then I am aiding him/her.
Is this too stringent a way of thinking? Is it not nuanced enough, or does it do injustice to the complexities of a pluralistic society? Consider this question in light of another issue. Would voters be understanding and nuanced in their toleration of a known racist? Or would that be sufficient reason for everyone to consider him/her unfit for public office? Why should we understand intolerance in the case of racism, but not in the case of murdering unborn babies? Abortion is not just another "issue" - it is a matter of life and death, the great civil rights issue of our time.
Full article at EWTN here.

I am confident that what Archbishop Burke will say in his pastoral letter will be solid Catholic teaching - fundamental for understanding what our obligations are with respect to voting and pro-life issues. I look forward to it! I'm sure there are many who do not. But then, being Catholic requires that we assent to the teachings of the Church.

And for some GOOD News!

Today, on the Feast Day of Sts. Peter and Paul, forty-four metropolitan Archbishops are receiving the pallium, a symbol of unity with and loyalty to St. Peter, the Holy Father, and the Church.
(See the Motu Propro on the Conferring of the Sacred Pallium by Pope Paul VI)

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.

EWTN will be re-airing the Solemn Mass and Imposition of the Palliums by the Holy Father tonight at 10:00 CDT.

Lost Priests in Cincinnati

Expressing their concern with keeping the Eucharist the central focus of Catholic life as the church faces a future with fewer priests, a group of area priests sent a letter last month to Bishop Wilton Gregory, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The letter goes on to state that, "we understand the church does not consider herself able to ask the question, ‘How shall we celebrate the Eucharist in the absence of a priest?’ because we cannot go where the question might lead: the ordination of married men."

Church leaders need to openly address this subject, as well as the issues of optional celibacy and the ordination of women, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, Father Meyer said, while at the same time, keeping the Eucharist central.
110 priests are refusing to listen to the Church. Optional celibacy is not going to be discussed at the present time AND the subject of women's ordination is CLOSED. There will NEVER be women priestesses in the Catholic Church! To continue to call for 'dialogue' on this subject demonstrates just how "out of touch" with reality these priests are with the Church. It is an undeniable manifestation of disobedience to the magisterium. The teaching of the male only ministerial priesthood is irreversible and has been declared as such.

What sort of formation did these 110 priests receive regarding the basics of the faith? And what is the Archbishop doing to ensure that these men understand and assent to the teaching of the Church? Are these priests indoctrinating the faithful with their heterdox opinions?

I cannot understand why heterdoxy and heresy is allowed to continue and fester. How about a little medicine, as in excommunication?

Article here.

Body of Bishops Declines to Follow Task Force Recommendation

The Bishops' "task force" was going to recommend that Bishops refrain from denying Communion to Pro-abortion policticians at the recent Bishops' meeting in Colorado. Apparently, that didn't sit very well with some.

The task force was, basically, recommending a refusal to abide by Canon 915.
Cardinal McCarrick said the Task Force "does not advocate the denial of Communion" for pro-abortion Catholic politicians. While acknowledging that circumstances exist in which Communion could be denied, Cardinal McCarrick said doing so would not be "pastorally wise and prudent," and could "turn the Eucharist into a perceived source of political combat."
One wonders just how few of our Bishops even have any faith whatsoever? How many truly believe in the "Real Presence" of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, in the Blessed Sacrament? Who of them is ready to give his life to protect Jesus, really, truly, and substantially present under the appearances of bread and wine?

Culture of Life Foundation article here.

Gary Wills - Professed Catholic, Theological Expert, Life Scientist, Expert Philosopher & Biblical Scholar

Gary Wills has determined that the Church and the Bishops are wrong when it comes to abortion. His Op-Ed in the New York Times would be laughable if it were not so serious. The sad fact is that many professed Catholics are as 'enlightened' as Gary Wills is.

Some of his statements are:
Abortion is not a church issue...

Modern "right to life" issues — abortion and contraception — are nowhere mentioned in either Jewish or Christian Scripture.

[N]o scholar of Scripture accepts that reading of Genesis 38:9 [regarding Onan] anymore...

My hair and fingernails, while growing, are alive with my own human life.

When does the fetus become a person?

When is the fetus "viable," and viable as what?

Aborted fetuses, if they are persons, should be baptized, just as infants are, and buried in consecrated ground.

All I am saying is that the bishops have no special mandate from their office to supplant the individual conscience with some divine imperative.

For them to say that this is a matter of theology is, simply, bad theological reasoning.
What a classic example of mental and spritual impoverishment.

Link here.

Five Phases of an Adolescent's Slide Into Satanism

What do certain rock music and Internet groups, adolescent curiosity, and moral relativism have in common?

They are all doors of access to Satanism for young people, warns Italian journalist and writer Carlo Climati.

Italy is still shaken by the discovery, in early June, of the bodies of Chiara Marino, 16, and Fabio Tollis, 19, in the woods northwest of Milan. They were last seen in January 1998 with other members of their rock band, the Beasts of Satan. Investigators say they were victims of "ritual" killings.

In this interview with ZENIT, Climati describes how adolescents get involved in Satanism and proposes ways to detect and prevent it.
Zenit article here.

The whining continues....

In the Post Dispatch "Letters to the Editor" section we have statements such as:
As practicing Catholics, we were disappointed to find out we can no longer vote Democrat without being condemned by the church.
Surely, Burke realizes that the question of abortion is only one of the issues composing the platforms of presidential candidates. What about conserving resources and protecting our environment? Historically, Democrats have a much better record on these issues.
His (Abp Burke's) comments about Catholics committing a serious sin by voting for candidates who support a party's pro-choice position fall far short of the wise and prudent guidance we came to expect from our cardinals and archbishops.
Why would Archbishop Burke single out John Kerry by name for his stance on abortion when Kerry always has fought for and legislated for issues concerning human suffering and the poor, thereby carrying a torch for issues the Catholic Church has championed for years?
Perhaps if Burke chooses to be so outgoing with his remarks, we should classify his archdiocese correctly into what it is becoming: a political action committee.
Archbishop Burke doesn't get it. Voting for pro-life candidates is very important, but one can't decide how to vote on the basis of one narrow question or answer.
Archbishop Burke is just simplistic and divisive.
Some letters

From the mouth of Teresa Heinz Kerry

Teresa Heinz Kerry sidestepped the question of whether Burke's comments might hurt her husband's chances among fellow Catholics, and noted instead that Catholics don't always agree with the church's views. As an example, she cited the church's opposition to birth control. "I don't think it reflects the sentiment of most of the Catholics I know," she said.
We don't agree with church views - It doesn't reflect our "sentiments" - These poor confused souls!

Kerry said she reluctantly supported abortion rights because "in my compendium of values, a woman facing abortion must be up the creek" and feel there is no other option. Society and government offer little help, she added, because they tend to ignore the problems - such as a child sexually assaulted by a parent - that need to be addressed.
"In her compendium of values", she offers up the problem of predatory priests.

However, she emphasized that there's a difference between church teachings and government mandates on such issues. "You cannot legislate morality, you can't mandate it," she said.
That statement reflects one's pure stupidity and ignorance. Teresa Heinz Kerry, a professed Catholic, was in town to stump for her hubby, the presumed presidential candidate, John F Kerry. Lucky Johnny!

PD Article

Monday, June 28, 2004

New Zealand Cardinal Says 'Moral Wasteland' Resulting From Liberal Policies

Cardinal Tom Williams' stinging attack came shortly after lawmakers in Wellington passed the first reading of a bill seeking to recognize "civil unions" for same-sex and heterosexual couples.

"The perennial work of the barbarian is to tear down existing standards, and to debase ideals that have come to characterize a society built on sound moral principle," he said.

"Traditional beliefs and values have been systematically subverted by the derision and outright hostility to the whole Judeo-Christian ethic upon which civilization has been based for the past two millenniums."

Prime Minister Helen Clark told a commercial radio station she found it "sad" that Williams had used "that sort of language."

Homosexuality was not a modern invention, but something that "has always been with us," she argued.
And murder has been with us from the beginning, as well. Does it follow, therefore, that murder be approved? The inability for some to think rationally is epidemic - they are unable to use their minds to reason rightly.

The "moral wasteland' exists, not only in New Zealand, but globally. We must offer our prayers, sacrifices, and mortifications daily begging our Lord to have mercy on us and to enlightened those who wish to destroy civilized society.

Article here.

"There's Not a Bishop on Earth Who'd Deny me Communion, Not Even the Pope."

Rev. Raymond Gravel deserves church censure, says Campagne Québec-Vie (Campaign Life Coalition Quebec) after the Quebec Catholic priest appeared on radio program saying, "I am pro-choice and there is not a bishop on earth that will prevent me from receiving Communion, not even the Pope."
The U.S. is not the only country infected by a type of terminal spiritual AIDS.

The confrontational nature of this priest is revealing - openly defiant and proud - evidently under the influence of Satan himnself.

Link here.

Alan Keyes warns: 'Republic is dying'

This is much the same admonition of which Fr. John Hardon spoke many times - that is, unless this country abandons its immorality, its preoccupation with sin and licentiousness, and wanton murder of the unborn, this country will collapse from the weight of its own iniquity.

Alan Keyes pinpoints what needs to be done. He says:
"Our republic is dying before our eyes in this generation," Keyes told a South Dakota audience of 1,200 this week, according to the Rapid City Journal. "It's no doubt we could be living in the last days of the American republic."

As far as recourse, Keyes said the public can remove judges through impeachment for the high crime of "stealing your right to include God. Our founders didn't provide for judicial supremacy. That's not what they had in mind."

Except for the prospect of impeachment, Keyes offered little hope for the "sorry state of things" caused by a "wicked spirit loose in our world and in America."
Link here.

Our only faithful priest is being transferred.

We received a call over the weekend from our associate pastor, Fr. Greg Klump, that he is being transferred to another parish. This was a bittersweet revelation for us who know and respect him. He is the only priest (of the three assigned to our parish) who celebrates Holy Mass absent liturgical abuses and who also delivers a decent and meaningful homily.

I was somewhat surprised as I have been reading the announced transfers in the St. Louis Review and did not see our priest listed among those being moved. He told me it would be listed next week. The parish of St. Francis Borgia will be getting a good priest. I ask your prayers for him and both parishes. He will be missed very much. I hope his replacement is as faithful to the Church as Fr. Klump is.

Bishop Terry Steib confuses the faithful

Bishop Steib seemes to place capital punishment, the rights of the poor, euthanasia, the morality of war and abortion, all on an equivalent level.

He further obfuscates the necessity that one must have a properly formed conscience. He says:
In the letter to the Romans, St. Paul tells us that the law of God is written in our hearts (Romans 2:15). He also reminds us in the first letter to the Corinthians that conscience can be weak. It can even be wrong. But obeying such a conscience will still lead to salvation (1 Corinthians 8:10-12). (emphasis mine)
How is it possible that following a malformed and defective conscience leads one to heaven?

But that's not all. He further confuses the issue of conscience by not listing the Church as the primary source of determination of the morality of an issue...Who does he list first?
When individuals try to make up their mind about a moral dilemma, they consult their own inner being, their families, their colleagues. If they are Christians, they will wisely look to see what theologians have said about the issue.
That's right, let me see what my 'inner being' tells me, then if I am still unsure, I will consult with 'theologians'...And if I am Catholic, I will see what the Church has to say...

Unlike the clarity of Bishop Sheridan concerning appeals to conscience, Bishop Steib states:
Then, it is decision time. The person chooses what is true to him or her self. And we are judged by God according to what is in our hearts. We must follow our consciences.
What !!?? The person chooses what is true???? What corrupted logic could lead one to this conclusion...

The faithful of Memphis are in need of prayers because they have a shepherd who confuses and bewilders them. Please pray for this man.

A link to Bishop Steib's muddled and erroneous philosophy.