Saturday, July 10, 2004

New bishop conforms to strict Catholic law

Six weeks after taking office, Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo is reshaping the Diocese of Richmond to bring it into close conformity with the policies of Pope John Paul II and orthodox Catholic teaching.

That intention is most obvious with DiLorenzo’s announcement last month that no one can be invited by parishes as a guest speaker without first being approved by the diocesan theologian, a post re-established by the bishop.

The bishop has also decided not to reactivate the diocesan “sexual minorities” commission that had advised former Bishop Walter F. Sullivan on gay and lesbian concerns.

Additionally, DiLorenzo removed a Virginia Beach woman from the diocesan women’s commission because her support for ordaining women as priests conflicted with the Vatican’s policy of restricting the priesthood to men.
It seems it did not take Bishop DiLorenzo much time to start cleaning house and getting things in order!

Article here.

Friday, July 09, 2004

Archbishop Dolan Discloses Priests Names

With all of this thoughtful advice, and through a great deal of time spent in reflection and prayer, I have decided to publicize the names of diocesan priests of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee who have been (or would be if they were still alive) restricted from all priestly ministries in accordance with the provisions of the Charter of the Protection of Children and Young People.
Archbishop Dolan's Letter here.

List of Priests here.

Senate to Debate Marriage Amendment

"Nuts," said Sen. Lincoln Chafee, R-R.I. "To be seen as the party that's coming between two people that love each other doing what they want to do ... to me that's going to be seen as a liability, politically."
This is the thinking of so many politicians...Ethics and morality be damned! It's "What's best for ME!"


Former Bishop of Springfield, Thomas Dupre invokes 5th...


Covington diocese may file for bankruptcy

Link here.

Personally Opposed...To What? by Dr. James Hitchcock

"Personally I am opposed to abortion, but I will not impose my views on others." This has become the favorite mantra of some Catholic politicians, but it does not stand up to analysis.

If the statement means anything, it has to mean that abortion is the taking of a human life, which is the most serious issue government can face. But those who repeat the mantra do not act as though they believe that.
Article here.

A Possible Reason for Cardinal McCarrick's Special "Nuancing"?

Global Warming!

European Court rejects fetus rights appeal

BRUSSELS, Belgium — Europe's top human rights court rejected an appeal Thursday to grant full human rights to a fetus, saying national governments must decide the issue themselves.

Meeting in Strasbourg, France, the European Court of Human Rights said it could not rule on a case filed by a French woman who was forced to have an abortion after a doctor's mistake.

Thi-Nho Vo had argued that France had violated the right to life of her unborn child, after French courts refused to convict the doctor of involuntary homicide.

The 17-judge panel ruled the issue of when the right to life begins "was a question to be decided at national level ... because the issue had not been decided within the majority of states" which have ratified the European Convention on human rights.
The only truth that exists is that which we say is true. Apparently, forced abortions are legal.

Article here.


Of course, this will not be accept well by groups like 'Catholics for a Free Choice', which have been relentless in their efforts to have the UN remove the Holy See as detrimental to their efforts of global abortion and contraception.

Vatican link here.

Coming here soon ?

Spanish gays renounce their Catholic faith
Madrid, Jul. 08 ( - Members of a Spanish gay activist group renounced their Catholic faith en masse on Thursday because of the Church's constant teaching that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.
CWNews Article

Vatican "Riches" are a legend...

What Catholic hasn't been confronted with statement regarding the wealth of Vatican, especially from those who who have left the faith for whatever reason?

From Zenit:
The Holy See's latest financial statement shows that the "Vatican's riches" are a legend, says a Church official.

"If we had so much money, we wouldn't need to put our hand out to ask for help," Cardinal Sergio Sebastiani said with a smile today at a press conference.

The president of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See was presenting the Vatican's deficit numbers for the fiscal year 2003.

"And the Vatican's riches?" a journalist asked him.

"A legend -- the reality is far more prosaic," the cardinal replied.
Article here.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Magazine chronicled age from vibrant Catholicism to clown ministry

From Cruxnews, there is a new article well worth the read.

Looking back: FROM THE MAIL recently acquired a box full of old Jubilee magazines, a "Magazine of the Church and Her People," from the years 1953 to 1962, when it was under the editorship of Edward Rice, and published by A.M.D.G. Publishing Co., 377 Fourth Avenue, NYC.

So, let’s take a trip down memory lane, courtesy of the old Jubilee.

Pete Vere on "The Catholic Faithful vs. John Kerry"

A number of you kindly sent me links to stories involving Marc Balestrieri’s canonical petition against John Kerry concerning the scandal being caused to Christ’s faithful from the latter’s support for abortion. Marc is a lay canonist in his early thirties and a pretty solid guy. So his action in support of innocent children in the womb took both myself and other lay canonists from our generation by surprise.
Link to Catholic Light here.

Thanks to Dominic Bettinelli

Last night's Pro-Life Mass

I attended a monthly "pro-life" Mass last night as I usually try to do every month.

I took about 25 of the booklets "Voter's Guide for Serious Catholics" with me as well as the Archdiocesan Pro-Life Committee Letter which states that Archbishop Burke has read and approved the booklet for use in all the parishes. I spoke with one of the women on the parish Pro-Life committee who helps in preparation for the Pro-Life Mass about the "Voter's Guide" and was informed that our pastor wants nothing to do with the "Voter's Guide" but intends to use the USCCB's long and confusing "Faithful Citizenship" for the parishioners.

I can understand why. The "Voter's Guide" is short and to the point. It lists five non-negotiable, disqualifying issues(*) that would preclude one (a serious and faithful Catholic) from voting for a specific candidate.

As for "Faithful Citizenship", on May 10th, forty-eight Catholic Democratic Congressmen in the U.S. House of Representatives sent a letter to Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of Washington, DC arguing that bishops should not deny communion to pro-abortion politicians. The politicians twice cited the American Bishops' statement to bolster and justify their positions, while concealing the fact that this same document states that abortion can never be morally permissible.

Many Catholics will use this document to justify positions which cannot be reconciled with the teaching of the Church precisely because the document allows such justifications to be made - when it is not read and studied with clarity of mind and with knowledge of the Church's teachings.

Anyway, there will be several different people seeking permission to, at least, get these "Voter's Guides" in the vestible (oops, "gathering space") of the church. If permission is not forthcoming, then a letter noting such refusal will be sent to the Archbishop.

Anyway, to further confuse Catholics, the associate pastor, in his homily, said some very good things but, unfortunately, stated some erroneous things as well.

When he started, I thought we might be in for the first decent homily I have heard from him since he's been here (2 or 3 years, I think). He started by stating that abortion is condemned by the Church and it always has been viewed as intrinsically evil. He proceded to discuss this and euthanasia and the uproar recently over Archbishop Burke's comments, noting that the Archbishop's comments are perfectly in line with the teaching of the Church....(Great!, I thought.)

But then, he proceded to equivocate on "judging others" and how there is a disparity of opinion on whether to allow public sinners and those who vote for them to receive Holy Communion. Then he mentioned Cardinals Mahony and McCarrick and I, sitting in the front pew right in front of him, shook my head in disgust.

He seemed somewhat obsessed with the "judging" aspect, failing to understand what the Holy Father, Cardinals Arinze and Ratzinger, and Archbishop Burke have been saying with respect to "manifest, grave sin".

He also stated that we should be totally "pro-life", that is opposed to capital punishment and war, etc., with which some may agree but these are not things which are intrinsically evil. It is the same obfuscation of the hierachy of life issues which Cardinal Ratzinger discussed in his recently released memo.

Anyway, I faxed him Cardinal Ratzinger's memo this morning and gave him a copy of the "Voter's Guide" after Mass. I did not have an opportunity to talk with him this time, but hopefully will later on.

I must have handed out maybe 10 of the "Voter's guides" in total - everyone with whom I came in contact wanted one. Perhaps this is a good sign and maybe the Holy Spirit will prevail in helping to people to change their hearts and minds toward the truth.

* Abortion, Euthanasia, Fetal Stem Cell Research, Human Cloning, "Same-Sex" Unions

U.S. Bishops Urge Senate Support for Marriage Amendment

Zenit article.

Bankruptcy Considered by Many Catholic Archdioceses

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Several Roman Catholic dioceses being sued for clergy sexual abuse could find themselves following the lead of the Portland Archdiocese, filing for bankruptcy to fight the lawsuits.
AP Article.

Bill McClellan (Post Dispatch) tries to be a theologian

Since the Post Dispatch indicated that this was yesterday's most e-mailed article, I thought it might be worthwhile to link to it.

I read it yeasterday and did not reference it as I thought it was a useless waste of space - but apparently many thought it was useful for some reason or another.

It is apparent that McClellan has ventured into a territory about which he knows little to nothing:
As regular readers know, I seldom venture into theology, but as long as Archbishop Raymond Burke is busy with politics, somebody has to deal with theological issues. It might as well be me.
To assert that Archbishop Burke is delving into politics is absurd, but then I would certainly expect little truth from the Post.

The question posed to the new theologian, Bill McClellan, is this:
"The Archbishop has said that if you vote for John Kerry, you are committing a sin. Since some of Mr. Kerry's funding must come from his wife, would it not be a sin to support him by using ketchup? There is some urgency to this question, as my cheeseburger is getting cold."
What little humor he tries to bring to the story is offset by the fact that he engages in a little Catholic bashing and ridicule of Archbishop Burke...or so it seems to me. But hey, I expect nothing less from the Post.

Most emailed article here.

Kerry-Edwards "Most Gay-Supportive National Ticket in American History"

US Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry and running-mate John Edwards have been declared ". . . the most gay-supportive national ticket in American history," according to National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute Executive Director Matt Foreman.

"With a 100% rating from the [homosexual activist] Human Rights Campaign since 1995," Kerry's campaign web-site proclaims, "John Kerry is a powerful voice in the ongoing fight for civil rights for gay and lesbian Americans."
Surely this must be a ticket that many professed Catholics can support! Please Lord, have mercy on us!

Lifesite article

Controversy Heats up over Cardinal McCarrick Downplaying Vatican Direction on Communion

Times reporter Julia Duin reports that McCarrick "downplayed" the Vatican Cardinal's letter which she noted "contains much stronger language than Cardinal McCarrick used." Duin notes that McCarrick used "nuanced speech" in presenting the Ratzinger letter even though "as the chairman of a task force on Catholic Bishops and Catholic Politicians, it was his job to convey what Vatican officials had told him during meetings in Rome."

[A]s pointed out on July 5, the current incident is the second time Cardinal McCarrick seems to have contradicted the Vatican over the issue of denying communion.
Does "Nuanced", in this case, mean "lied"?

Article here

But what is there to study, Your Eminence?

The Church has always taught that abortion is the killing of the innocent and intrinsically evil. When some of us were growing up, men in organized crime were denied burial in sacred ground. What are these abortion clinics other than killing houses?

Catholicism used to produce a different kind of prelate. In 1953, Archbishop Joseph Rummel of New Orleans issued a pastoral letter: "(L)et there be no further discrimination or segregation in the pews, at the Communion rail, at the confessional and in parish meetings, just as there will be no segregation in the kingdom of heaven."

Resistance to integration of the parochial schools was fierce. The battle went on for a decade. Catholics appealed to the Vatican. Pius XII backed up the archbishop. In the Louisiana Legislature, bills were introduced forbidding integration of the Catholic schools, bills supported by Catholic legislators. The archbishop's response was to threaten the Catholic lawmakers with excommunication.

When the rabid segregationist Leander Perez of Plaquemine Parish persisted, Archbishop Rummel excommunicated him and the head of the Citizens Council of Louisiana for "continuing to provoke the devoted people of this venerable archdiocese to disobedience or rebellion in the matter of opening our schools to all Catholic children."

Now, there was an archbishop.

Cardinal McCarrick should take this as a challenge – and ask himself how St. Thomas More would have reacted to this threat. Then, go forth and do likewise, Your Eminence.
Full Article.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

From the Post Dispatch Soundoff column

Very sure

In thinking about Archbishop Burke, I'm very sure I made the right choice 30 years ago to become a former Catholic. Nobody is ever going to tell me how I must vote.
One wonders how sure this person would be if he were living in a totalitarian country facing imminent death or torture if he voted the 'wrong' way?

ANd this is to say nothing of the fact that the comment is completely moronic since Archbishop Burke never once mentioned anything regarding for whom one is to vote.

Another Letter from another confused Catholic

Prudent choices

I am a practicing Catholic and active member of a suburban parish. I was distressed to hear Archbishop Burke saying that my vote in an election or support of a pro-abortion candidate like Sen. John Kerry could be a matter for the confessional before taking Communion. I was offended because, like all Americans, I regard my vote and everyone else's as personal, confidential and our free choice and right as American citizens.

Although I always form my conscience and actions in the light of my faith and the teachings of my church, nobody is going to persuade me that my vote, whatever it is, has an authentic link to the sacraments. Certainly, no priest will ever hear me speak in confession about how I voted. I find the very idea to be grotesque.

Many of our bishops must feel the same way, as most of them have chosen not to take the same stand as Burke's in their own dioceses.

I want to reassure Burke that the people in St. Louis' many Catholic parishes are quite capable of making a prudent political choice that reflects the moral values of our faith and the needs of the common good in America. I encourage him to believe in us.

Patricia Smith
Creve Coeur
If one formed his conscience according to right reason, the moral law, and Church teaching, then it would be incomprehensible to cast a vote for an avowed promoter and defender of abortion. And there is a connection to our actions (including voting) and having the proper disposition to receive the Sacraments. A denial of this fact demonstrates an incomplete and deficient understanding of the Sacraments and the nature of being in a state of grace as a prerequisite to receive the Sacraments (excepting the Sacraments of Penance and Anointing).

With respect to Patricia's statement (and many others like hers) that many of our bishops do not stand with Archbishop Burke, perhaps she has been absent for the past few decades and have failed to witness the disobedience and dissent that has plagued many dioceses for years. Only recently have the appointments of the Holy Father demonstrated a return to good and holy men to lead Christ's people.

Unfortunately, contrary to Patricia's opinion that many "are quite capable of making a prudent political choice that reflects the moral values of our faith", this is not the case. When polls indicate that Catholics contracept and have abortions at nearly the same rate as society in general, then professed Catholics are not making choices that reflect the "moral values' of the Catholic faith. Bishops and priests have, in many places, failed to teach the faithful.

Link here

An analysis of Cardinal Ratzinger's Statements & Cardinal McCarrick's

Barbara Kralis does an excellent job of reviewing the Cdl. McCarrick's conflicting statements with those of Cdl. Ratzinger.

Read it here.

Also try these for more discussion: Ad Limina Apostolorum, and this one at BettNet.

And in another related story....

Cardinal Ratzinger lays out principles on denying Communion, voting

Notice how CNS deliberately distorts the words of Cardinal Ratzinger. This is another reason why, I think, CNS is such a poor example of truthful Catholic News reporting.
In a recent memorandum, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger laid out the principles under which bishops or other ministers may must deny Communion to Catholic politicians who consistently promote legal abortion.

At the same time, he said it is not necessarily sinful for Catholics to vote for politicians who support abortion, as long as they are voting for that candidate for other reasons for "proportionate" reasons.
And this is how "proportionate" reasosn are explained:
In other words, if a Catholic thinks a candidate's positions on other issues outweigh the difference on abortion, a vote for that candidate would not be considered sinful.
This is, at the very least, confusing and at worst, an outright lie.

But then read the story here, courtesy of the USCCB.

Cardinal McCarrick says leaked Ratzinger memo is not whole story

Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick of Washington said July 6 that the leaked text of a recent memo he received from a top Vatican official, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, on Catholic politicians and abortion appeared to be "an incomplete and partial leak" not reflecting "the full message I received."
Hmmm...OK, the part that wasn't released said what? Ignore the memo?
CNS article here

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

US bishops rejected Ratzinger's advice

This is a Catholic World News article which has generated quite a number of responses.

The first thing that I would like to know in this whole episode is if Cardinal McCarrick distributed copies of Cardinal Ratzinger's letter to the assembled bishops of if he "nuanced" it for them...

Something is wrong here if, indeed, the bishops did not see the letter but were given a Washington cardinal's translation.

Enjoy the link here . I don't think a subscripton is needed - if it is let me know ASAP.

Portland archdiocese declares bankruptcy

The Archdiocese of Portland, Oregon, has filed for bankruptcy, seeking court relief in the face of overwhelming legal damages in sex-abuse lawsuits.
Catholic World News article here.

Vatican to narrow chasm in 'Church's great divide'

This week, FTM looks at a number of related liturgical issues, starting with a news report that the Holy See is about to expand the indult for the Tridentine Mass.

On Sunday June 18, the U.K.'s Catholic Herald reported that the Holy See is about to "relax the rules" on the Tridentine Mass because bishops have not been "generous" in allowing its use.

According to the report by Freddy Gray, "Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos. prefect of the Congregation for Clergy, told The Latin Mass, America's leading traditionalist magazine, that the Vatican was preparing to issue a 'juridical guarantee' in favor of the Tridentine rite, which was the Church's official rite from the 16th century until 1962.

"Cardinal Hoyos' remarks are a clear indication that Rome wants to embrace traditionalists by ensuring that they can attend old rite Masses if they so wish. The cardinal praised the Tridentine rite, and acknowledged the growing numbers of traditionalist Catholics, before giving cause to hope that restrictions on the old rite might be lifted....

"Cardinal Hoyos said: 'The idea is constantly growing that it has become necessary to provide for the concession of the indult in a broader fashion that would correspond more with the reality of the situation. It is thought that the times are mature for a new and clearer form of juridical guarantee of that right, which has already been recognized by the Holy Father with the 1988 indult.'

"He explained that the cardinals, and the bishops of Ecclesia Dei, a pontifical commission set up to oversee the implementation of the indult, have all studied the matter carefully, and are trying to thrash out the best possible solution.

John Medlin, development manager for the Latin Mass Society, said he was excited by the cardinal's comments. 'Rome is signaling that it is prepared to use the transcendent nature of the traditional Mass as a standard to rein in the abuse in the new rite,' he said. 'We are beginning to hear the death knell of liberalism in the Church and not before time'....."

+ + +
Full article ar Cruxnews.

Cardinal McCarrick's ambiguous interpretation of Vatican position puzzles US Catholics

Highest Authorities in Vatican Back Denial of Communion to Pro-Abortion Politicians
Cardinal McCarrick, who heads the U.S. Bishops task-force, looking into the issue of Catholics in political life, has recently, on two separate occasions, defended statements which seem to contradict or at least confuse what Vatican authorities have actually said on the issue of communion and Catholics who publicly support abortion.

Monday, July 05, 2004

Is this too difficult to understand?

Therefore, by the authority which Christ conferred upon Peter and his Successors, in communion with the Bishops-who on various occasions have condemned abortion and who in the aforementioned consultation, albeit dispersed throughout the world, have shown unanimous agreement concerning this doctrine-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. This doctrine is based upon the natural law and upon the written Word of God, is transmitted by the Church's Tradition and taught by the ordinary and universal Magisterium.

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.
(Evangelium Vitae, 62)

Archbishop Burke: Use of human embryos defies justification by any moral measure

No cause justifies the taking of innocent human life.

In Sunday's Editorial Section of the Post Dispatch.
No motive, no matter how exalted - even the certain hope for a cure of another individual or groups of individuals - can justify the taking of innocent human life. The church's moral condemnation of embryonic human stem-cell research is based principally upon the fact that an embryonic human must be destroyed in order to conduct the research.

Kerry Says He Believes Life Starts at Conception

What a pathetic and sick man he is. Morally bankrupt.
A Catholic who supports abortion rights and has taken heat from some in the church hierarchy for his stance, Kerry told the paper, "I oppose abortion, personally. I don't like abortion. I believe life does begin at conception."

Kerry took Communion during Mass, which a few Catholic bishops have publicly said he should not do because of his abortion views.

"I wish he was against abortion, but I don't think that'll get settled," said Helen Willenberg, 83, a Catholic who met Kerry later in the day. "But I still hope he wins."
Poor Helen is another confused "Catholic". Wonder if she'll volunteer for euthanasia when it becomes a right of 'society' which is legally protected?

Article here.

When moral and secular values clash

And here is one more link for your reading pleasure:

Jan Wacker, in denying Archbishop Burke's ibligation to teach and sanctify the faithful states, "As a Catholic I believe only God has the right to judge my actions. I am responsible for my actions, and I do not need to be stopped at the Communion rail by others who believe they have been given the right to judge here on earth. The archbishop has chosen to interfere with politics, and if he continues to do so, he is jeopardizing the "nonprofit" organization the Catholic church professes to be."

Yes, Jan, we should be more concerned with the 'non-profit' status of the Church rather than the murder of thousands of innocent children every day! As a Catholic, you should know better!

James R. Burkhart writes, "As a Catholic, if I can't vote for Gov. Bob Holden or State Auditor Claire McCaskill (who are both pro-choice) for governor, nor President George W. Bush (since abortion in cases of rape or incest is OK by him) or Sen. John Kerry (since he is pro-choice), maybe I should move to another diocese where the bishop says otherwise if I want to vote."

Yes, James, it's time to move! There are plenty of dioceses where bishops will confirm one in their sins and tell them everything is A.O.K...If you need help locating one, let us know!


Questions raised on faith, conscience and political choices

Here is yet another set of Letters to the Editor about Archbishop Burke's recent statements.

Here are some of the more absurd statements made indicating that many professed Catholics are ignorant of basic Catholic teaching:

Karen Diehl writes "What angers me is the hierachy of life that is inherent in his statement. To be pro-life is to respect all life - that of the unborn, the elderly, the convict on death row, the homeless, our enemies in Iran and Afghanistan."

Bob Kozlowski says, "To make a judgment as to the rank of one life form over another is unconscionable to me, but that is the "moral" choice I'm being asked to make by a leader of my church."

Mikel Monnett writes, "But if we follow the archbishop's logic, Catholic voters who vote for the Bush-Cheney ticket would also be committing a sin. President George W. Bush has waged war on the poor in this country through his regressive tax policies, engaged us in an immoral war for specious reasons and was a major force in creating the Texas death machine that has executed so many."

"Personally opposed" Wayne Robbins declares, "If voting for an "abortion rights" candidate is a sin, then what is it when an elected Roman Catholic candidate swears that he or she will defend the Constitution "so help me God"? Are we now to ask every Roman Catholic if they are going to put their version of religion above the needs and desires of the American people?"

Yet, there is hope. Unfortuantely, it may not be found among those who call themselves Catholic, yet know next to nothing about the Faith. It can be found among those who are not Catholic, as is seen here:

Ronald J. Lawrence says, in part: "Although I am not a Catholic, but a member of another Christian faith, I wholeheartedly support Archbishop Burke's position concerning abortion rights and receiving Communion."

Suzanne Wagner writes, "Rep. William Lacy Clay said that he is against the death penalty but supports abortion rights. So the death row killer gets more compassion than a baby in the womb. Unbelievable. I am not Catholic, but I applaud the archbishop for not caving in on his beliefs as so many politicians seem to do for the sake of popularity. "

It is truly a shame that so many professed "Catholics" have been misled about the truths of the Church or have chosen to deny and reject the teachings of the Church.

Link here.

Area priests back Archbishop Burke on voting and Communion

In the wake of St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke's comments last week regarding voting and Communion, priests from around the archdiocese have heard mixed reactions from parishioners. They also differ in terms of what this means to their parishes and their flocks.

Several priests expressed their own staunch belief that Burke's comments were simply in line with Catholic church teaching.
"their own staunch belief"...Hmmmm...

Post Dispatch article here.