Friday, July 16, 2004

Andrew Greeley says Catholics CAN vote for Kerry

The matter is settled!  Fr. Andrew Greeley has written:
Catholics can vote for John Kerry. They don't have to, but it would not be a sin to do so, according to a distinguished theologian [Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger who wrote:
"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 favor 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."

But that's not all, he then slams all bishops who follow the directives of the Holy Father and the law of the Church:

This theory of "indirect material cooperation" is traditional Catholic moral teaching. Apparently, the few bishops who excluded Catholics from communion if they voted for Kerry didn't know much traditional moral theology -- which demonstrates what the qualifications are for the bishopric these days.

It is difficult to express sufficient gratitude to Andrew Greeley for giving us the teachings of his 'church'. Under Greeley's moral umbrella, one is at liberty to vote for Kerry or any other supporter of baby killing for ANY REASON whatsoever except that of supporting abortion! It's all so clear now. Why didn't Pope John Paul and the Bishops just state this years ago?

This does bring up some questions, however. May one rightly conclude from his article that one may ignore any and all directives from one's lawful bishop if the bishop's statement is contrary to Greeley's "Bulla"?

Is it possible that Archbishop Burke's forthcoming Pastoral Letter will confirm Greeley's erudite theological conclusions?  (No, I don't think so)

Perhaps some now-enlightened Catholic voters will send a few letters requesting clarification of these obvious unCatholic voting principles to Cardinal George just to be sure?

Dear Lord, thank you for sending us people like Greeley so that we may test and exercise our virtues!

Full Chicago Sun-Times Article here. There's much more than I addressed.

Discussion continues on pols, Communion

WASHINGTON (CNS) — In a scene that may be repeated across the country as U.S. bishops take their own advice to talk with Catholic politicians about abortion, Archbishop Raymond L. Burke of St. Louis met with a U.S. congressman from Missouri July 12.

Archdiocesan spokesman Jim Orso said the Archbishop’s half-hour meeting with Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-St. Louis, took place in the congressman’s St. Louis office. Because it was a "pastoral meeting," Orso added, both parties agreed not to make any public comment about it.

Clay, who is Catholic and has supported legislation backing abortion rights, criticized Archbishop Burke several weeks ago after the Archbishop stated that Catholics commit a mortal sin by voting for politicians that support abortion. Clay also was among some Democratic congressmen who wrote to Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of Washington, D.C., complaining of bishops who have said they would deny Communion to pro-abortion Catholic legislators.

Archbishop Burke, who will issue a pastoral letter on the voting issue, said he wasn’t stating anything new but reiterating Church teaching and Pope John Paul II’s writings about proper reception of the Eucharist. In his statement three weeks ago, the Archbishop did not name candidates or political parties.
From the St. Louis Review

Archbishop Burke: Amendment No. 2 and safeguarding the sanctity of marriage

Sanctity of marriage

The truth regarding marriage is written in human nature as it issued from the hand of God at Creation. From the study of human nature, it is clear that God has made man and woman for each other, in order to provide for them a faithful and lasting relationship of love and to provide for the procreation, that is creation with Him, of offspring. By marriage, a man and a woman promise faithful and enduring love, giving to each other, exclusively and for life, the right to the conjugal act by which married love is blessed with its highest fruit, the conception of a child.
Respect for the sanctity of marriage requires that we do all within our power to safeguard its essential elements, so that marriage can serve the good of all in society, as it alone can. Respect for the sanctity of marriage means the recognition of God’s plan for marriage and the rejection of any intervention by ourselves which violates God’s plan.

Marriage and same-sex attraction

The present need to define clearly the nature of marriage arises from the efforts of persons with same-sex attraction and others, who wish to have same-sex relationships recognized as marital. In other words, they wish civil authority to recognize as marriage the relationship of a man and a man, or a woman and a woman. To do so would be to treat marriage as an institution created by man, instead of God, and to violate what nature itself teaches us about the marital relationship.

Same-sex attraction, that is "an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex" may have various causes, but it cannot be attributed to God’s plan for man and woman, as it is clearly revealed in their bodies and in the Sacred Scriptures (Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 2357). Persons suffering from same-sex attraction are endowed with the same dignity as every man and woman, and, therefore, "must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 2358). But, accepting each other with respect does not mean failing to recognize our disordered tendencies and defects.

Respecting individuals who suffer same-sex attraction means honoring their call to lead a chaste life, a call which is inherent in our dignity as sons and daughters of God. It would be wrong, on our part as individuals and on the part of society, to give institutional recognition to same-sex relationships by giving them the status of the marital relationship. Rather, we, as individuals, and society, in general, should assist persons with same-sex attraction to lead a good and chaste life by recognizing their same-sex attraction as disordered and disciplining it, so that the inclination does not express itself in immoral actions and the affections of the individual are purified and express themselves in good and chaste friendships.

The protection of the institution of marriage by means of a constitutional amendment is not discriminatory toward persons with same-sex attraction. It does not offend their dignity or foster any unjust attitude or action toward them. It simply provides assurance that all in society will respect the true nature of marriage as the foundation of the life of the family, of society and of the Church. As Catholics, we must respect the moral law in all of its dictates, opposing homosexual acts and opposing any unjust attitude, word or action directed toward persons suffering with same-sex attraction.

There is a tendency to accept same-sex relationships because we do not want to deal with the embarrassment and hurt of recognizing same-sex attraction as disordered. We find various excuses for failing to address a matter which lies at the foundation of our nature as man and woman. As with any anomaly or affliction in life, our human weakness leads us to pretend that it does not exist or to act as if it were other than a difficulty. By giving in to the tendency or temptation to treat same-sex attraction as equivalent to the attraction of man to woman and woman to man, we serve neither the good of persons who struggle with same-sex attraction nor the good of the family and of society. The fact that our American culture more and more fails to make any distinction between same-sex attraction and heterosexual attraction does not justify our failure to make the distinction, respecting God’s gift of human life in its integrity and helping others to attain the perfection to which we are called as true children of God.


Once again, I urge you to fulfill your civic responsibility on Aug. 3. Please vote in favor of Constitutional Amendment No. 2, so the institution of marriage may be safeguarded in its integrity. Also, please encourage and assist others to vote. The good of individuals and of society depends upon our safeguarding the sanctity of marriage as it has been given to us by God.
St Louis Review Article

Alarm in Italy as growth of Satanism creates “market” for consecrated hosts

ROME, Italy, Jul. 15, 2004 (CNA) - Fr. Aldo Buonaiuto, director of an “emergency help line” that assists young people wanting to get out of satanic cults, expressed alarm this week at the growth of Satanism, which has created a “market” for consecrated hosts in Italy.

In statements published in the Catholic magazine Famiglia Cristiana, Fr. Buonaiuto explained that “a proliferation of cults exists which practice black masses, with the profanation of consecrated hosts, rape and torture.”

“We know of cases of consensual vampirism, and also the assaulting of young people who have been drugged in the course of ritualistic orgies.”

According to Fr. Buonaiuto, “A true ‘market’ for consecrated hosts exists. They sell for 80-500 euros, depending on the size of the host, the prominence of the church from which they were stolen, and who consecrated them.”

“The highest price is placed on those that are consecrated in the churches of Rome, above all those closest to the Vatican. They are stolen in two ways: from the tabernacle, but also at the time of Holy Communion,” he said.

“Some cults perform rituals with the consecrated hosts while under the influence of LSD or cocaine, led frequently by ex-priests who have offered themselves in the service of Satan,” he told Famiglia Cristiana.

According to Fr. Buonaiuto, the proliferation of these cults is very much connected with “the loss of the sense of the sacred.” “Man needs to fill himself with something, and today the market is full of superficial alternatives, among them, Satanism,” he concluded.

All Rights reserved. Catholic News Agency 2003

St Vincent de Paul: We’re not part of Portland Archdiocese

St. Vincent de Paul fears its fund-raising drive could be harmed by the Chapter 11 filing on behalf of the Catholic Church in Portland

Bishops back constitutional challenge to California sex abuse law

California's Catholic bishops have endorsed a constitutional challenge by the Diocese of Davenport, Iowa, and the Los Angeles Archdiocese to a California law that temporarily suspended the time limit on seeking civil damages in decades-old sexual abuse cases.

The bishops said they agree with arguments that the 2002 law, SB 1779, sponsored by Democratic Sen. John Burton of San Francisco, violates the ex post facto, due process and bill of attainder clauses of the U.S. Constitution. (emphasis mine)
Do schools still teach "Civics" or a similar type class where students actually learn about "ex post facto", "due process" and "bill of attainder" or even the U.S. Constitution?

CNS Article

The Church Teaches Forum for 2004

Special Notice for those in the area or for those who have the weekend free:

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

The Theme for this year's forum:
The Role of the Laity in the Modern World
One purpose of the Forum is to help Catholics understand their faith and to realize the grave crisis through which the Church is oing. Pleas, at this point read Fr. Hardon's words, and then be firmly resolved to support the Forum."
"The crisis of faith today is the worst in the entire history of Christianity...Unless we recover the zeal and the spirit of the first century Christians, unless we are willing to do what they did - and to pay the price that they paid, the future of our country, the days of Amrerica are numbered." (Fr. John A. Hardon)
Scheduled Speakers are:
Edouard Cardinal GagnonPresident emeritus of the Pontifical Council for the Family

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

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

Rev Roger Arnsparger Pastor, St. Barnabas Parish, Arden, NC

Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, will give the Keynote Address tonight: The Role of the Laity in the Culture of Death

More information at Eternal Life or call 800-842-2871.

The Seven Capital Vices of the Movements, According to “La Civiltà Cattolica”

Three “dangers” and four “challenges”: through the magazine of the Rome Jesuits, the Vatican makes a critical appraisal of the movements. A warning for the Neocatechumenal Way, Focolare, Sant’Egidio, and Bose.
by Sandro Magister
ROMA – With John Paul II, the communities and movements that have arisen within the Catholic Church during the past few decades have enjoyed a mild climate, wrapped up in the friendship of the pope. But shadows gather where light shines. A recent editorial in “La Civiltà Cattolica” listed the “dangers” and “challenges” posed to the Church by many of these movements.

The editorial – dated June 19, 2004, entitled “The ecclesial movements today,” and signed by Jesuit Fr. Giuseppe De Rosa – is all the more important insofar as it was reviewed and authorized before printing by the Vatican secretariat of state, as is the rule for every edition of “La Civiltà Cattolica.” Reading it is like glancing over a reminder note, not for the use of the current pontificate, but for that of the next, with a list of unresolved questions. And the answers must be found.

In making a survey of the “dangers” and “challenges” posed by the movements, the magazine does not mention names. But it’s not difficult for the experts to identify the institutes under criticism, point by point.
Full Article here.

German Cardinal Slammed by Colleague for Fostering Dissent

Breaking with the custom of diplomacy, a German cardinal has made some blunt accusations in a public forum against another leading German prelate. Cardinal Joachim Meisner, Archbishop of Cologne, known for his "conservative" views, has accused his colleague, Cardinal Karl Lehmann, the Archbishop of Mainz of promoting a leftist, liberalized view of the Catholic faith according to England's Catholic magazine, The Tablet.

Dissident and so-called "liberal" theologians have been extending their reach within European Roman Catholic circles openly for forty years. The movement has created a crippling divide in what was once seen to be a unified Catholic voice on issues such as abortion, contraception and divorce.

Cardinal Lehman is considered one of the most "liberal" of the German Catholic hierarchy. He was one of the bishops who fought for years with the Vatican over their issuance of abortion counselling certificates which allowed women to obtain government-funded abortions. Decisive action had to be taken by Church authorities to put an end to the practice.
Full article-Lifesite

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Why the Church Restricts Access to Communion

That the Church normally restricts access to holy Communion to Catholics, who must fulfill certain conditions, has become a debated issue in some sectors.
Some Catholics do not even know why the Church maintains this custom, which dates back to the early Christian communities.
To answer the question, ZENIT interviewed Father Philip Goyret, professor of sacramental theology, ecclesiology and ecumenism at the University of the Holy Cross. Father Goyret is also the pontifical university's director of studies.

Every Catholic should be able to at least understand the answers given to following question:

Q: What is the theological and ecclesiological significance of someone receiving Communion?

And every priest should be able to answer it and explain the answer sufficiently to the faithful.

Now the following is an excerpt of the full article.
Q: Denying Communion, whether to Catholics or in some cases even to Protestants, is criticized as being a divisive measure. What is your opinion?

Father Goyret: To understand this, suffice it to develop the foregoing last lines.

Ecclesial communion as an antecedent condition to access Eucharistic Communion consists, substantially, in the integrity of faith and absence of grave sin. From the Catholic point of view, the first includes, logically, to be a Catholic.

It also implies the absence of situations of habitual sin -- family irregularities, ideological positions that are incompatible with the Catholic faith, professional conduct opposed to Catholic morality, etc. -- in addition to occasional sins.

The moral and pastoral norm followed by priests when distributing Communion is to deny it publicly to those who are publicly known as persons who cannot receive it. To proceed otherwise would mean to cast aside the theological and ecclesiological meaning of which we spoke earlier.

For Catholics, the eventual distribution of Communion to a non-Catholic, within a Catholic celebration of the Eucharist, implies a contradiction, as it would imply an ecclesial communion that does not exist in its fullness. Something similar occurs in the case of the eventual Communion of a public sinner.

Obviously, these ideas presuppose a strong affirmation in faith in the Eucharist -- not as a mere external manifestation of a generic feeling of Christian fraternity, but as the sacrament that truly contains the whole Christ, with his body, blood, soul and divinity.

It is important to see that the necessity of full unity of the faith among the participants in the Eucharist is something exacted by the specific content of this sacrament, namely the substantial reality of the body of Christ -- because in it is necessarily implied faith in everything that Christ has revealed and that the Church teaches.

Therefore, Eucharistic Communion and communion in truth cannot be separated. In this line, the Catholic Church denies Eucharistic Communion to those who do not participate fully of its ecclesial communion, as they cannot participate in the sign of full unity who do not possess it wholly.

In short, according to the Catholic point of view, access to Eucharistic Communion without full ecclesial communion is, first of all, an absurd action, as it does not realize the significant aspect characteristic of the sacramental dynamics; and by not signifying this, it does not cause it either.

It must be added that the desire and spiritual need to receive Communion is something profoundly personal, but never a "private" event, precisely because we are before an ecclesial good -- ecclesial par excellence -- of which we are not the owners.

Not to respect this discipline is not only a contradiction in the one who goes to Communion, but also in the whole ecclesial community.

One last question is this one:
Q: What are the key considerations that bishops are grappling with regarding the debates? What is the bishops' primary concern over the Communion debate?

Zenit Article

Michael Rose: The Catholic Church's Abu Ghraib

Here's more information on the sickening scandal from Austria.
Photos are the key
Homosexual sex scandals are, regrettably, nothing new to Catholic seminaries. Denial, avoidance and cover-up are also old hat in these same circles. If it wasn’t for an unnamed 33-year-old Polish-born priest who took photos of the misdeeds with his compact digital camera, there would have been no resignations, no calls for an investigation, no emergency meetings. There would only have been the characteristic obfuscation and denials on the part of Church leaders. Conservative Catholics would have defended the priests and bishop, calling the accusations false and vilifying the whistleblowers as psychologically unfit. At the same time, liberal Catholics would have dismissed the accusations of homosexual revelry as the product of an overactive conservative imagination. Or they may have simply ignored the whole issue.

Despite the fact that certain seminaries became widely known by nicknames such as The Pink Palace, Notre Flame, and the Faggot Factory, seminary rectors and bishops could think of nothing more original than to deny that anything was wrong, calling the charges scurrilous and groundless. Nothing less than compromising photos published in Newsweek would have made them eat their words.
Article here.

Peru's cardinal says he is victim of smear campaign

I am reluctant to post an article from the National Catholic Distorter, but, as they say, even a blind squirrel finds a nut occasionally...

Anyway, something is going on here, perhaps in an attaempt to discredit Opus Dei. And many, including some at the Vatican, for some reason, want this "swept under the rug".
When a civil investigation now underway is finished, Peru's Opus Dei cardinal believes it will demonstrate that a remarkable, if rather inept, "dirty tricks" campaign against him was orchestrated by elements within the Catholic church, including some of his fellow Peruvian bishops.

Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani, generally seen as an arch-conservative, also says that if the truth does come out, it will be despite Vatican pressure to sweep matters under the rug.

Fake letters have not been the only crisis for Cipriani, who is lightning rod for controversy in Peru.

In recent months, he has been publicly accused of involvement in the "assassination" of his predecessor, Cardinal Augusto Vargas, even though most observers believe that Vargas died of a cerebral hemorrhage. Cipriani was also linked in press accounts to a famous massacre of teachers during the years of Shining Path terrorism in Peru, another charge he has vociferously denied.

"It's one lie after another, for 16 years," Cipriani said. "Many of these lies come from inside [the church], not from outside. For me this really hurts."
Some of us can understand immediately what's going on - there are two strikes against him right off the bat - he's "conservative" and a member of Opus Dei, the "watchdogs" for the Holy Father...The good Lord must be watching over him and taking care of him - he is still alive!

Article here.

Update on Heresy Case against John Kerry

This is from Pete Vere, JCL:
A number of you asked me how you can go about helping Marc Balestrieri in his canonical effort to combat the alleged pro-choice heresy espoused by Catholic politicians such as John Kerry. In fact, Al Matt asked me to answer this very question for his readers when I asked him last Wednesday whether I could cover this story in my regular monthly column for the Wanderer.

With this in mind, here's a sneak peak at the rough draft of the column I hope to submit. It is written in three parts. The first part is basically a summary of what I've already blogged on this subject, while the second part offers a basic explanation of why I maintain the pro-choice position to be heretical according to the clear teaching of the Catholic Church. Finally, the third part outlines three basic actions every Catholic can do to support Marc in his canonical petition.
Full article here.

Pro-Life Walkers Ask Philadelphia Archdiocese: 'Where's the Brotherly Love?'

Undeterred by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia's refusal to permit them to speak at area Masses, American Life League's Summer Crusade for Life walkers will arrive in Philadelphia this week. During their stay they will pray at local abortion mills, meet with Catholic public figures and speak to gatherings of faithful Catholics in their homes and other venues.

In a recent Philadelphia Inquirer article, Archdiocese spokesman Catherine Rossi said it would be "inappropriate" for the students to speak at masses. "There is nothing inappropriate about our message," said Kristen Rainey, Crusade walk spokesman and a student from the College of the Ozarks. "What is inappropriate is when our bishops, cardinals and priests turn a blind eye to the truth and allow pro-abortion 'Catholic' public figures to desecrate the Body of Christ by receiving Holy Communion unworthily."
This is strange...I would think that Cardinal Rigali would welcome these crusaders for life...


More on "Proportionate Reasons" and Cooperating with Evil

The moral guidance for this answer is found in an area called, "moral cooperation with evil." Here moral cooperation is when a person freely and knowingly assists another person in performing an immoral act, i.e. an action that is objectively evil. Such cooperation means that a person concurs in another’s sinful act, and participates in a way that helps bring the sinful act to completion. The Catechism teaches, "Anyone who uses the power at his disposal in such a way that it leads others to do wrong becomes guilty of scandal and responsible for the evil that he has directly or indirectly encouraged."(#2287)

Now we come to some classic distinctions in morality. Formal cooperation is when a person (the cooperator) first of all gives consent to the evil action of another (the actor). Here the cooperator shares the same intention as the actor. The cooperator also joins in the actual performance of the evil action or supplies the actor with the means of performing it. Essentially, he consents to and helps enact the sin. For example, using the example of abortion, a nurse who assists a doctor in performing an abortion and shares the same intention is formally cooperating with evil. A legislator who actively promotes abortion legislation enabling innocent human beings to perish is guilty of formal cooperation with evil. Formal cooperation with evil is always wrong, and the cooperator shares in the guilt of the sin of the actor.
This is from an article By Fr. William P. Saunders, a Catholic Herald Columnist (From the issue of 9/5/02)

For more of the discussion, especially regarding remote and proximate material cooperation and for some guidance on the question, "Is there a proportionate reason for cooperating with this evil action?", see this article.

A primer on the Holy Communion controversy

by George Weigel

This is an article appearing in the Denver Catholic Register, the archdiocesan newspaper.
The debate over the reception of Holy Communion by Catholic politicians who persistently support permissive abortion laws continues. This debate is an opportunity for authentic Catholic reform, in our sacramental practice and our public witness. To help further that reform, let me take four crucial questions and suggest answers that track with the long-established teaching and discipline of the Church.

1. Who should examine their conscience during this debate?

2. Does supporting permissive abortion laws damage one's communion with the Church?

3. What are the local bishop's responsibilities toward Catholic politicians who support permissive abortion laws?

4. What about the many other issues involving the sanctity of life?

We should welcome this debate. It could get ugly. It could also lead to a renewed Church and a reformed America.
The response are in the complete article here.

What goes on in church should reflect its beliefs

A columnist in Richmond VA defends Bishop DiLorenzo and his policies of restoring orthodoxy to the diocese.
There are a couple of things worth remembering. Numero Uno is that church buildings are not public property. Nor are they town halls. There is no fundamental right of free speech inside them. Sorry.

As far as I know, nothing prevents Catholics from discussing anything they like outside of church. In fact, we’re nearly impossible to shut up. But what goes on inside ought to reflect the beliefs of that church. Otherwise, what’s the point?
Complete article here.

A Response to Archbishop Burke's July 4 article on Human Embryos

Archbishop Burke's article in Post has received a response:
Balance needed
in bioethics

In his July 4 commentary, Archbishop Raymond L. Burke articulated the reasoning behind the church's opposition to the use of cloned human embryos in stem-cell research. Although I agree with him that cloned human embryos deserve to be treated with some level of dignity, I can't unconditionally support his view of the embryo's "right to life."

I don't believe that the Scriptures (Christian or other) provide direct guidance regarding the status of artificially created and maintained life forms. The progress of biomedical research has taken our society to the point where it is no longer possible to utilize traditional sources of moral guidance.

To make matters worse, the pressure is rising to make a quick decision because of the mesmerizing potential of embryonic stem cells to cure devastating diseases. This dangling carrot of a potential utility has seduced many of our fellow Americans to suggest that the cloned human embryo has no claim to human dignity, and should be as disposable as the Petri dish they grow in.

As a researcher, when I work with human cancer cells, I have no qualms about destroying them during my experiment. I would hesitate to do this to a cloned human embryo.

Our generation is the first to face a seemingly insurmountable vacuum of moral certitude. Therefore, it is up to our generation to climb the Mount Zion of constructive, mindful, nationwide elaboration to develop sustainable moral standards to guide us through the dilemmas of bioethics.

The President's Council on Bioethics admirably called for a moratorium on the destruction of cloned human embryos, but much wider discussion is needed to make sure we do no harm while searching for cures. The inclusion of elected representatives (in the form of bipartisan congressional committees) would help to maintain a prudent balance of views.

Robert Kokenyesi
This seemed to me to be the saddest commentary of all in this letter of Mr. Kokenyesi: "The progress of biomedical research has taken our society to the point where it is no longer possible to utilize traditional sources of moral guidance."

There are many who wish to discard objective truth, objective morality, for a "make it up as we go along" morality - a relativistic model which is devoid of common sense and rational thought.

Link here.

Christian Groups Say They Won't Give Up ... on FMA

The Federal Marriage Amendment's Religious Supporters See Long-Term Fight, Plan to Focus Energy on State-Level Votes

Despite a defeat in the Senate yesterday, evangelical Christian groups said they would continue to push for a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, but some predicted that it would be a 10-year battle.
I suspect that this fight is lost...During his talks in Denver for the World Youth Day in 1993, Pope John Paul II told the young people to “Pray that America might not lose its soul.”

There is a tremendous battle going on in the world and here, in the U.S., for souls. We need supernatural help in this war.

The Holy Father also said:
"Vast sectors of society are confused about what is right and what is wrong, and are at the mercy of those with the power to "create" opinion and impose it on others.

"The family especially is under attack. And the sacred character of human life denied. Naturally, the weakest members of society are the most at risk: the unborn children, the sick, the handicapped, the old, the poor and unemployed, the immigrant and refugee, the South of the world!

"At this stage of history, the liberating message of the Gospel of life has been put into your hands. And the mission of proclaiming it to the ends of the earth is now passing to your generation. Like the great apostle Paul, you too must feel the full urgency of the task: "Woe to me if I do not evangelize" (1 Cor. 9:16). Woe to you if you do not succeed in defending life. The church needs your energies, your enthusiasm, your youthful ideals, in order to make the Gospel of life penetrate the fabric of society, transforming people's hearts and the structures of society in order to create a civilization of true justice and love. Now more than ever, in a world that is often without light and without the courage of noble ideals, people need the fresh, vital spirituality of the Gospel."
Pray for success in overcoming the evil that plagues us and is threatening to destroy us.

Article here.

Former Tucson Bishop Moreno's Admission

In a deposition, former Tucson Bishop Manuel D. Moreno comes clean about allowing pedophile priests to take kids to Disneyland
At the conclusion of Manly's deposition, Moreno once again exhibited repentance.

"As you sit here today," Manly asked Moreno, "is there anything with ... any of the other cases that you would do differently, if you could turn back the clock?"

Moreno stumbled a bit, then said, "Well, I wish we could have avoided them as much as possible. I wish they had been the holy priests they're supposed to be. Perhaps I could have been more strict in that. I don't know."

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

The Death of Morality

by Benjamin D. Wiker
The real moral crisis is this: that we, among all human beings who have ever lived, face the end of morality as such. Abortion and infanticide have existed before. So have homosexuality and pedophilia. Exclusive, lifelong heterosexual monogamy was, largely, a Christian mandate, and therefore variations on the definition of marriage are not difficult to come by historically. If these ills were all that plagued us, we would only be facing an especially ugly relapse into the darkness of paganism. But underneath these ills lies a darkness against which even the darkness of paganism is light—the rejection of human nature itself, and hence the rejection of all morality.
Benjamin D. Wiker is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute and a lecturer in theology and science at Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is the author of Moral Darwinism: How We Became Hedonists and Architects of the Culture of Death with Donald DeMarco (Ignatius). He is also currently working on a book titled The Meaning-Full Universe. His Web site is

Crisis Magazine Article here.

How Individual Senators Voted on Marriage Amendment Procedural Vote

Here is a link detailing how each senator voted. Not too surprisingly, three Democrat Senators for "YEA":
Byrd (WV), Miller (GA) and Nelson (NE). These brave souls should be commended for the vote and their courage.

11 of American Life League's "Deadly Dozen" (Pro-Abortion Senators who fraudulently claim to be Catholic) voted "NAY":

Kennedy (MA), Harkin (IA), Durbin (IL), Dodd (CT), Collins (ME, RINO), Reed (RI), Murray (WA), Landrieu (LA) Leahy (VT), Mikulski (MD), and Biden (DE). Of course, the last remaining member of the "Deadly Dozen", John 'Fraud' Kerry, did not vote.

These and the remaining 39 apparent supporters of sodomy, immorality, and the destruction of any remaining good, should be publicly chastized while kept in prayer, petitioning God to have mercy on them and on us.

It's scandalous when professed Catholics refuse to uphold the moral law. It reveals quite a bit about one's character - or more rightly speaking, the lack of character.

Religious Unbelief in the World

Cardinal Poupard Draws a Sobering Sketch of Rising Secularism
Religious unbelief isn't uncommon anymore, says the president of the Pontifical Council for Culture.

"Unbelief is no longer a phenomenon reduced to a few individuals but a mass phenomenon," warns Cardinal Paul Poupard. It is manifested especially "in countries where a secular cultural model prevails," he adds.

In an interview with ZENIT, the French cardinal sketched a map of religious unbelief in the world, a problem analyzed by the culture council during its assembly last March in the Vatican.

Q: Aren't many sociologists talking about a "return to the sacred"?

Cardinal Poupard: Many talk about a "return of the sacred" without specifying that this is rather the emergence of a new weak religiosity, without reference to a personal God, something more emotional than doctrinal.

We are witnessing the de-personalization of God. This new religiosity does not coincide with a return to the faith and it is a real challenge for Christianity.
Some sobering statistical information from a study made by the assembly of the Pontifical Council for Culture is then presented.

The interview concludes with this question...
Q: Given this situation, are there signs of hope for the Catholic Church?

Zenit Article.

A brief statement by William Lacy Clay, Jr re:Meeting with Archbishop Burke

On radio station KTRS 550AM this afternoon during the drive time local news update, Representative Clay indicated that his meeting with Archbishop Burke went well and they are going to continue to meet. The first meeting, he said, was a religious moment, more of a religious meeting. Neither party is discussing the details of the meeting.

This is good news in that Rep. Clay and Archbishop Burke are going to continue to talk and to meet again.

Please continue to keep both Rep. Clay and Archbishop Burke in your prayers. There is nothing other than the grace of God that will permit an enlightening of the mind and a conversion of the heart in the battle to save the unborn and to save others souls from scandal.

Contraception: Fatal to the Faith and to Eternal Life

by Fr. John Hardon

Excerpted from a 1968 article...
We affirm in this article that the deliberate practice of contraception between husband and wife is objectively a mortal sin. Those who persist in its practice are acting contrary to the explicit teaching of the Roman Catholic Church. They may protest that they are Catholic. They may profess to be Catholics. But their conduct belies their profession.

[In 1968]..., Paul VI appealed to the conscience of the world when he warned about “the consequences of practicing artificial birth control.” His warning was prophetic. What have been the consequences of contraception in one once-civilized nation after another?

They have been myriad. But I would give especially seven, which may be listed in sequence.

• Fornication;
• Adultery;
• Sterilization;
• Homosexuality;
• Breakdown of the family; and
• Murder of the unborn.

At the risk of repeating the obvious, let me briefly show how contraception inevitably leads to these seven tragedies that haunt the modern world.

How can we expect unmarried people to practice chastity if married people are allowed to practice mutual masturbation, which is another name for contraception?

This touches at the heart of sane morality. Intercourse is the divinely instituted means for married person to cooperate with God in procreating children. It is also the divinely provided means of fostering mutual love between husband and wife.
But contraception does just the opposite. It deliberately prevents the conception of a child and it fosters, not mutual love, but mutual selfishness.

Is it any wonder that our country is plagued with fornicators who indulge their sex passions, while avoiding the responsibilities of parenthood?

How can a husband respect a wife who insists on using contraceptives? And how can a wife respect a husband who refuses to accept the duties of fatherhood?

The soul of Christian marriage is selfless love between the spouses. Contraceptive relations between married people are a lie. They pretend to love one another. But in reality, they are using one another in what might just well be called prostitution.

The history of mankind is clear. Contraception in marriage leads to infidelity in either or in both partners. Naturally! Why limit sex activity to one’s spouse if no commitment to having or raising children is the consequence of intercourse?

We do not ordinarily associate contraception with sterilization. But we should.

It is one thing to use contraception as an occasional malpractice. It is something else when people have themselves sterilized to avoid even fathering or mothering a child.

Yet massive sterilization, in a country like the United States, has become commonplace. Now the discovery of a five-year, synthetic hormone contraceptive gives carte blanche to any female teenager or adult, willing to have it surgically implanted under the skin. One of the largest school systems in America is doing just that—at taxpayer’s expense. The sterilizing hormone is implanted under the skin in young girl’s arms. No parental permission is needed.

This opened the door to an epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases, whose ratio is already sky-high in the United States.

The relationship between contraception and homosexuality is seldom adverted to and, in homosexual circles, openly denied. Yet they are connected by the most basic laws of human society.

Contraception contradicts the most fundamental desire of the human heart: to give oneself in total generosity to another human being. Marital relations are meant by God to satisfy this desire between the married spouses. But if women selfishly withhold this generosity from men, men will—tragically look for such generosity in other men. And women will look for it in other women.

As you read some of the homosexual and lesbian literature, you are moved to tears at seeing how a contraceptive society has begotten a homosexual society. In their desperate search for love, men will turn to other men and women to other women. To say they are being deceived is only to emphasize the pity of a sodomistic culture that is starving for love. Contraception deprives married people of the love that they expect to find in a marriage between two people of opposite and complementary gender.

AIDS Epidemic
With all the published writings and statistics on Acquired Immune Deficiency, seldom a word is given to associate this dreadful scourge with widespread practice of contraception.

In spite of all the protests to the contrary, the AIDS epidemic has its roots in homosexuality. By now, of course, there are victims of AIDS whose condition is the result of other factors than sodomy. But the radical cause remains. And therefore, we should in sheer justice, associate the physical disease with its moral foundations, which is homosexuality abetted by contraception.

Family breakdown
The breakdown of stable family life in formerly Christian countries of the Western world is a matter of record. No one who is even dimly aware of what is going on in countries like our own, has any doubt that the family, as known since the dawn of Christianity, is being legislated out of existence.

I use the word “legislated” to bring out what Pope Paul stated so clearly in Humanae Vitae. In context, he is urging reasons for avoiding contraception. He says:
Consider also the dangerous weapon that would thus be placed in the hands of those public authorities who pay no attention to moral obligations.

Who could blame a government for applying to the solution of the problems of a community those means acknowledged licit for married couples in the solution of a family problem?

So it has been. Once contraception became widespread, it was only logical for civil governments to impose a contraceptive way of life on all their citizens. Thus, everything controlled by the government reflects a contraceptive mentality:

• The majority of employed people, working outside the home, are women.
• The salaries earned by husbands and fathers make it next to impossible for them to provide for the size and kind of family they would honestly desire.
• The feminist ideology deprives men of the dignity and respect they deserve and need in the modern world.
• The number of children of single parent, shall we call them families, has reached gigantic proportions.
• Countless children are no longer reared by their parents, but by paid personnel in so-called day care centers.
• Working mothers and under-paid fathers have become commonplace.
• The very idea of a stable and loving family has become—for millions—a starry ideal.

All of this, and more, can be traced, as surely as smoke proves a fire, to the contraceptive mania that is destroying the foundations of the human family.

I have saved abortion as the last of the seven deadly consequences of contraception. This, too, is a law of human behavior. Abortion follows contraception like the law of gravity.

This is obvious. As people come to equate sexual pleasure with the self-gratification, there is no limit to their lustful pride. Contraception has taught them to have their own way. They will stop at nothing to have their way, not even murder of their unborn offspring.

Respect for human life requires selfless love of human beings. As a nation is nurtured on contraceptive self-indulgence, it becomes a nation that kills innocent children—if they are an obstacle to the self-gratification of those who brought them into existence.

It has been correctly said that Humanae Vitae divides the Catholic Church into two periods of history. The Church will survive only among those who believe that contraception is deadly to both Christianity and the promise of a heavenly reward.

Normally thirty years is a short time. But in this case it has been long enough to prove who are still truly Catholics. They are those who believe that the Pope is the Vicar of Christ. “If you love me,” Jesus said, “keep my commandments.” The single most tested commandment of the Savior today is that contraception is fatal to the true faith and to eternal life.

© Copyright 1998 Inter Mirifica
Complete article here.

Archbishop Chaput: Catholics must fight abortion as they would slavery

Chaput urges faithful to fight
By Jean Torkelson, Rocky Mountain News
July 14, 2004

A "real" Catholic cannot support abortion rights, Archbishop Charles Chaput said Tuesday in a one-hour interview on Colorado Public Radio.

He said Catholics must fight abortion as they would slavery or segregation - as the No. 1 human rights issue of the times.

He said bishops are speaking out after decades of trying to be "more friendly to the culture."

And yet, he said, "We haven't found the culture is falling on its knees before the teachings of God - it seems to be slipping further and further away from what we understand God's will to be for human dignity."
Some bishops are speaking out! And for these we should offer our prayers of thanksgiving and prayers of petition that God will grant them the extraordinary graces needed to persevere in the persecution that they will suffer for defending our Lord, His Teachings and His Church.

We are called to being truthful - to be in conformity with Christ who is Truth! Being nice and friendly to a culture which was not prepared for truth has not done anything except cause decades of confusion, especially for Catholics. Strong, firm leadership is needed to guide Catholics and others of good will back to the firm path of our Lord, back to the guiding light of truth.

We should also pray for all those who are afraid of the truth, those who prefer darkness to light, that their hearts and minds might be opened and that they will come to embrace all which is true and be freed from the chains of sin and ignorance.

Article is here.

To listen to the interview online (Window's Media Player required, go here:

Senate Call List HERE...Call Today to Protest Marriage

An EMAIL UPDATE I received...
I was just handed the following list. You can find the names and local
telephone numbers of all the Senators who are uncommitted or against the Federal Marriage Amendment. You must call your Senator today and tomorrow morning. Call them at the home-state offices, not their Washington DC offices. The DC offices telephones are jammed.

Here is the page.

Do it now!

Very best,

Austin Ruse
Culture of Life Foundation

Ratzinger vs. Kerry, Round II. A Well-Tempered Controversy

The prefect of the Holy Office douses the flames. His ‘No’ to communion for pro-abortion Catholic politicians is “very much in harmony,” he writes, with the ‘Yes’ of most of the U.S. bishops. But the rigorists are holding firm
by Sandro Magister

Some words of advice from Fr. John Hardon

As you know, in our day the priesthood is under going some of the most serious trials in the Church's history. What the Church needs at the beginning of the twenty first century is priests, who have a deep faith, a strong love of Jesus Christ crucified, and absolute loyalty to the Vicar of Christ.

To have a strong faith, we must grow in our understanding of what we believe. The love of Jesus crucified means a sincere love of the cross, seeing every thing in our lives as a part of God's mysterious providence. Loyalty to the Holy Father means seeing in His teaching Christ, Himself instructing us in the mysteries of our faith.

All of this is possible only through a deep devotion to the Holy Eucharist. Christ Our Lord is on earth now in the Blessed Sacrament. Once we realize that, then we expect miracles in our life. We priests need miracles of God's grace.

The Church in Austria

Many articles have been written recently concerning the scandals which have occurred in the Church in Austria. This is not new and has been going on now for a number of years.

Let's look at a story from March of 1998:
In February the Pope appointed Vienna's Archbishop Schoenborn to the College of Cardinals. The Vatican has finally started an investigation into the alleged sexual activities of his predecessor, Cardinal Gröer. Gröer stepped down as Archbishop in 1995, amid allegations that he'd sexually abused five teenage boys. According to Nigel Glass in Vienna, the Gröer affair has divided Austria's Catholics:
Or this one from June of 1998:
The visit, John Paul's third to Austria, was aimed at calming the waters in this Catholic bastion, rocked by accusations that a Cardinal sexually abused young boys, and by divisions among bishops and demands for reform signed by a half-million Austrians.

The Pope issued his verdict in a private meeting of Austrian bishops, following Sunday's Mass. The Vatican released the text.
''A bishop by himself does not realise the project of Christ,'' the Pope said in a clear reference to Bishop Kurt Krenn, a conservative who has angered many by his staunch support for Cardinal Hans Hermann Groer. The Vatican forced Cardinal Groer to relinquish his duties following accusations of paedophilia.

Bishop Krenn takes responsibility for scandal. He states there is no proof of homosexuality at his seminary and says the photograph was of a Christmas kiss at a Christmas celebration.

Catholic World News has some updates today here.

Fresno Bishop in desparate need of prayers...

Denying Holy Communion
By Bishop John T. Steinbock

My dear people of God,

On June 1 of this year, I sent a commentary to our priests and deacons on a recent Instruction from the Congregation in Rome on Divine Worship regarding the Holy Eucharist. I pointed out to the priests and deacons that this document did not say, as was falsely reported by the secular media, that Catholic politicians who vote for abortion may not receive Communion. It did not refer to Catholic politicians at all.

In fact, the document stated that “sacred ministers may not deny the sacraments to those who seek them in a reasonable manner, are rightly disposed, and are not prohibited by law from receiving them.” The document emphasized this by stating clearly again that “any baptized Catholic who is not prevented by law must be admitted to Holy Communion.” I reminded our priests and deacons that “rightly disposed” can only be judged by external actions, as no one can be the judge of another person’s conscience and relationship with the Lord. If someone approaches to receive Communion who is obviously intoxicated or someone comes up who has no idea how to behave, that person is certainly not rightly disposed and may be denied Communion, but this should be done in a loving and pastoral way.

The Doctrine of the Faith has declared that even those who are not in full communion with the teaching of the Church, as long as there is not a denial of what is proposed by the Church as divinely revealed, may not be denied the Sacraments. Jesus did not come to condemn but to save. The Church must always proclaim clearly the truth of God’s teaching and love. But the mission of the Church is to teach and propose the truth, not to impose it. St. Paul tells us in first Corinthians: “whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily sins against the body and blood of the Lord.” This is God’s call, not our call.

Let us not politicize the Eucharist. We all struggle, whether we are public figures or not, to be faithful to the Lord Jesus, and must constantly examine our own consciences. Let us not judge the consciences of others and be so presumptuous as to say who is and who is not worthy to receive Communion. Even those who are prevented by law from receiving Communion may be in God’s grace, and closer to God than we may ever hope to be.

The Holy Eucharist is God’s great gift to us to help us on our journey through the complexities, trials and temptations of this world. We all need the Eucharist as we all need Christ, and we also need one another. May God bless you all very, very much.
A lost shepherd, indeed. We should pray for him. Evidently, he has also not read or misread what the Church teaches.


Another Confused "Catholic" Exposes Her Ignorance of the Faith

Catholics being blackmailed by archbishop's threatsI am extremely disappointed in the stance of Archbishop Burke in withholding Communion from politicians and voters who vote for abortion.

I, as a Catholic, am very much against abortion. But, I am also against war, especially this unprovoked, unnecessary war we are in today. Why has this archbishop not come out against this war that is killing so many of our fine young people?

And if the archbishop did come out against this war, who would we Catholics have left to vote for? By doing so, does the archbishop have a political agenda of his own?

In latter years, I have been very disappointed in our priests. First we had the scandalous sexual abuse of young innocents, then we had the huge coverups and payoffs. Now, as Catholics, we are being blackmailed by the archbishop's threats of withholding Communion. I hate to think of what will come next!

Diana Brown
Diana would be better served if, rather than listening to sound bites from TV or radio, or reading the local slanted reports in the Post, she were to read the Catechism or talk to an orthodox, faithful Catholic priest about her concerns. Acting as another mouthpiece of support for dissenting politicians and other professed Catholics only exacerbates the rift and division that so many enjoy.

People like this would be well advised to pray for enlightenment. Many may not want to hear what comes after this earthly existence - it isn't necessarily heaven for everyone, contrary to what sometimes passes as Catholic doctrine these days. At some point, all of us will be facing judgement. We should, while on this earthly journey, learn more about our faith, share the truths of the faith with others, learn and practice humility, and in so doing, become more obedient to the teachings of Christ and His Church as presented to us by Archbishop Burke. He is fulfilling his duty and working for the salvation of our souls.

Post Dispatch Letters here.

In light of the Federal Marriage Amendment...

Spanish archbishop speaks out on homosexual tendencies

Archbishop Elias Yanes of Zaragoza, Spain, said this week the existence of homosexual tendencies does not nullify one's freedom and responsibility and that therefore homosexual acts could not be morally justified.

Archbishop Yanes also underscored in his column that "marriage is not just another union between human persons." Marriage and homosexual unions are "two essentially different realities from an anthropological and ethical point of view."

"No ideology or legislation can erase from the human spirit the certainty that marriage in reality exists solely between two persons of the opposite sex who, through mutual personal donation, proper and exclusive to them, tend in a stable way towards the communion of persons and the procreation and education of children," he said.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Who is this? "A Man of Faith," and a former altar boy...

Someone...has debuted a Spanish language ad aimed at New Mexico Hispanics, touting himself as "un hombre de fe," a man of faith, according to an Albuquerque Tribune report.

Although the advertisement does not explicitly state his religion as Catholic, the religion of nearly all Hispanics, it does claim that he was an altar-boy and that he considered the priesthood.

You probably already know who this is...?
"John Kerry is a man of faith, as is the overwhelming majority of the Hispanic community," New Mexico campaign spokesman Ruben Pulido told the Tribune. "This is another value that connects John Kerry with Hispanics."
This is a rather sick attempt at garnering votes - appealing to Hispanics via their faith? Where's that separation of church and state that he so proudly spews from his mouth?

Making Satan proud! Article here.

Catholic News Service Spins Cardinal Ratzinger's memo again

Jerry Filteau of the Catholic News Service has written another 'interesting' piece on the newly released letter from Cardinal Ratzinger to Cardinal McCarrick.

The article is roughly 14 paragraphs excluding the new letter (apparently written for public display), and two of those paragraphs address the new letter. The remain 12 paragraphs basically reiterate and confirm what everyone already knew.

There is this little paragraph, near the end, just prior to printing the new "public" letter.
A number of news reports on the memo...inferred that the memo posed an absolute rule that all Catholic politicians who campaign and vote for permissive abortion or euthanasia laws must be barred from Communion if they continue to hold that position after being instructed that it is contrary to church teaching and warned that they should not receive Communion until they change their views.
A number of people inferred it as an absolute? But CNS did not?

One wonders if the people at Catholic News Service are reading the same thing everyone else is reading?

Evidently, this is what Catholic News Service wants people who read the article to remember. And that is unfortunate because it is false and misleading.

Is this a deliberate attempt to confuse people?

Anyone who reads what Cardinal Ratzinger said, cannot possibly understand his statements to mean what CNS asserts them to say, that is, not an absolute.

So, one more time, let's see what Cardinal Ratzinger said:
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. [Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion. General Principles, Joseph Ratzinger] (Emphasis mine)
And this is not all! Let us recall the words of the Holy Father in Ecclesia de Eucharistia in which he refers specifically to Canon 915:
[I]n cases of outward conduct which is seriously, clearly and steadfastly contrary to the moral norm, the Church, in her pastoral concern for the good order of the community and out of respect for the sacrament, cannot fail to feel directly involved. The Code of Canon Law refers to this situation of a manifest lack of proper moral disposition when it states that those who “obstinately persist in manifest grave sin” are not to be admitted to Eucharistic communion.76 (Emphasis mine)
Once again, I caution everyone to read Catholic News Service articles carefully, noting particularly the "spin" being applied to the "story". As CNS continues its slanted journalism, it won't be long before it finds itself side by side with other questionable entities.

I am still convinced that the statement in Cardinal Ratzinger's letter which states, "It is hoped that this dialogue can continue as the Task Force carries on its important work.", means that much still needs to be done in order for the US Bishops to be seen as in solidarity and union with the wishes of the Holy See as I noted here.

CNS Article.

Death Penalty for the Innocent

By Fr. Frank Pavone
From the beginning of my ministry, I have preached and taught consistently against the death penalty (see I do not believe it should be used and have joined efforts to abolish it.

At the same time, there's a difference between capital punishment and abortion. Put simply, abortion can never be justified; capital punishment can sometimes be justified. Abortion is intrinsically evil, which means that no circumstances can ever make it right. Capital punishment, on the other hand, is evil when used in the wrong circumstances, but can sometimes be used in the right circumstances.

Capital punishment can never be carried out on an innocent person. That would defy its very definition. Abortion, on the other hand, is always carried out on an innocent person. Otherwise, that would defy its very definition.

In those rare circumstances where it has been justified, capital punishment was carried out precisely for the defense of life. Abortion, on the other hand, is carried out precisely for the destruction of life.

There is a substantial difference between a tiny child, growing in her natural environment, and a convicted criminal who poses a threat to the well-being of society. Yet more children are killed by abortion in America every five days than have ever been executed by capital punishment.

The Bible, and 2000 years of Catholic teaching, recognize the state's right and duty to protect its citizens, even by force. Romans 13:1-5 reads,

"Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. …. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad…If you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain; he is the servant of God to execute his wrath on the wrongdoer."

In his encyclical The Gospel of Life, Pope John Paul II makes a clear distinction between a practical "no" to the death penalty and an absolute "no" to abortion. In regard to the state punishing wrongdoers, he writes, "the nature and extent of the punishment must be carefully evaluated and decided upon, and ought not go to the extreme of executing the offender except in cases of absolute necessity: in other words, when it would not be possible otherwise to defend society. Today however, as a result of steady improvements in the organization of the penal system, such cases are very rare, if not practically non-existent" (56).

Then he goes on to say, in distinction, "If such great care must be taken to respect every life, even that of criminals and unjust aggressors, the commandment "You shall not kill" has absolute value when it refers to the innocent person." (57)

Simply put, "You shall not kill" applies even to the criminal, but with exceptions. "You shall not kill" applies absolutely to the innocent (born and unborn), without exceptions.

Can one still be pro-life and support the death penalty in certain instances? The answer is yes.

Where Do Your Senators Stand on FMA?

In Favor : 36
Opposed : 45
Undecided: 19

As of Monday, July 12, 2004 this is where the current U.S. Senators stand on the Federal Marriage Amendment, S. J. Res. 40 .
At least, both Missouri Senators are in favor...Others need to start notifying their Senators.


Letter from Cardinal Ratzinger to Cardinal McCarrick

Cardinal Ratzinger Says U.S. Bishops' Statement On Catholics In Political Life ‘Very Much In Harmony' With General Principles Sent By Congregation

WASHINGTON (July 12, 2004) -— Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, Chairman of the Task Force on Catholic Bishops and Catholic Politicians, received a July 9 letter from Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, saying the U.S. Bishops' statement on Catholics in political life is "very much in harmony" with the general principles previously sent by the Congregation.
Cardinal Ratzinger's letter of July 9:
Your Eminence:

With your letter of June 21, 2004, transmitted via fax, you kindly sent a copy of the Statement "Catholics in Political Life," approved by the members of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops at their June meeting.

The Congregation is grateful for this courtesy. The statement is very much in harmony with the general principles "Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion," sent as a fraternal service-to clarify the doctrine of the Church on this specific issue-in order to assist the American Bishops in their related discussion and determinations.

It is hoped that this dialogue can continue as the Task Force carries on its important work.

With fraternal regards and prayerful best wishes, I am,

Sincerely yours in Christ
Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
USCCB Link...

*** Updated

A couple of thoughts here. Card. Ratzinger states that his initial letter was sent:
1. to clarify the doctrine of the Church, and
2. to assist the Bishops in their discussions and determinations.

My question, then, is why were the Bishops not allowed to see this letter before their discussions? What, in the first letter, was such a concern that it had to be kept private?

One last observation: While this letter, which was not deemed to remain private, states that the Bishops' statement was "much in harmony" with Card. Ratzinger's June letter, he also confirms his hope that the 'dialogue' can continue, presumably so that the Bishops will be completely in accord with the principles of the letter.

I may be wrong, but this seems to me to be his desire and a polite way of indicating that the Task Force (and Bishops) fulfill the wishes of the Holy See.

Something new from Fr. John Corapi...

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 if the human family is to survive, much less prosper.
Read more of "Form Your Conscience, Vote Your Conscience" here.

Also, Fr. Corapi has a new video, "Wake Up, America".
In a powerful and dramatic sermon, one of the best loved Catholic preachers in the world speaks to Catholics and other Christians, as well as all people of good will, regarding the moral obligation to form and vote your conscience.
View the video introduction... (3.6mb)

Fr. Corapi's Web Site.

Meeting between Archbishops Burke & William Lacy Clay, Jr.

U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay Jr., met privately with St. Louis Archbishop Raymond L. Burke on Monday, two weeks after he accused the church leader of "going over the top" in his dealings with candidates supportive of abortion rights.

Diocese spokesman Jim Orso said that Burke and Clay agreed that the discussion was a "pastoral meeting ... between the archbishop and a Catholic in the diocese," and that no public statements would be made.
At least the archdiocese is not going to make any statements - which is what one would expect. One wonders if Rep. Clay will or if he has had a conversion of heart?

Article here.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Diocese of Tucson likely to file for bankruptcy

Thousands of parishioners in the Catholic Diocese of Tucson got the official word for the first time from their priests at Mass yesterday and Saturday that bankruptcy appears likely for the diocese.

Chapter 11 protection is being considered by the diocese, which faces an unknown amount of present and future damage claims alleging sexual abuse by its priests and other employees, according to Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas.

This weekend marks the first time parishioners were told of the possibility of bankruptcy in church by their pastors.

Kicanas said he will make the decision on bankruptcy by mid-September.
Link here.

Prayers for Vocations Needed More Than Ever, Says Pope

In the era of the global village, it is more important than ever to pray for vocations to the consecrated life, says John Paul II.

Is Marriage a Form of Discrimination?

Commentary by R.M.T. Schmid of Oxford

ROME, JULY 12, 2004 ( This commentary on same-sex unions appeared in the weekly edition of the English-language L'Osservatore Romano, by R.M.T. Schmid, of St. Hugh's College at the University of Oxford.
* * *
Justice requires that equals be treated equally and unequals unequally. Discrimination is a distinction or the differential treatment based on such a distinction. Whether discrimination is justified depends on the answer to what Aristotle calls "the difficult question": equals and unequals in what? Unjust discrimination either fails to ask the right question or fails to act on the right answer.

In contemporary political discourse the term discrimination itself has come to signify injustice. While this reflects the truth that all human beings have equal dignity simply in virtue of belonging to the human species, it can obscure the fact that human dignity also requires recognition of the truth that, though equal, not everyone is the same.

To deny driving licenses to the blind does not assume that they do not deserve equal respect and consideration as persons, but that they are different from other persons in respects relevant to driving.
Zenit Article.

Intrinsic Evils and "Proportionate Reasons"

A recent post from EWTN Q&A.

1. What are all the known Instrinsic Evils? 2. What makes an evil Instrinsic vs. non-Instrinsic? 3. What is meant by the phrase "in the presence of proportionate reasons"? 4. What are some examples of "proportionate reasons"?

Answer by Fr.Stephen F. Torraco on 07-09-2004:

1. Intrinsic evils are delineated by the Ten Commandments, otherwise known as the natural law.

2. An evil act is intrinsically so if the object of the act (the "what-ness") as distinct from its intention or circumstances, is evil. Object, intention, and circumstances constitute the "sources" of a human act. These are evaluated to determine the rightness or wrongness of an action. If the object of the act is evil, no good intention or set of circumstances can make it good. Such an act is intrinsically evil. On the other hand, a bad intention or set of circumstances (how, ehen, or where something is done) can make an otherwise good action bad. Such an action would not be intrinsically evil.

3. An example of "proportionate reason" can be found in a number of situations:

-in the act of self-defense, the preservation of one's life against an aggressor that needs to resort to force to accomplish the self-defense, even if the forseen but unintended and unavoidable evil consequence is the death of the aggressor. The evil consequence is allowed for the sake of avoiding an equally grave or greater evil. There is a moral proportion between the good (self-defense) and evil (death of aggressor) consequence.

-in the case of ectopic pregnancy, in which an unborn child is lodged in the mother's fallopian tube. The child will die in that location, and the mother will die if the tube is not removed. Removing the tube to save the mother's life results in the unintended and unavoidable death of the child. The evil consequence is allowed for the sake of avoiding an equally grave or greater evil.

If you have understood the above, you should then be able to understand the point that one cannot morally justify voting for a candidate that embraces an intrinsic evil in order to avoid voting for a candidate with whose views (not intrinsically evil) one can legitimately disagree. There is no moral proportion between an intrinsic evil and a political view with which one disagrees, albeit legitimately.

Diocese in Ohio May Close 15% of Its Parishes

The Toledo Diocese is considering closing 24 of its 157 parishes in order to consolidate parishes with few members and to keep its dwindling number of priests from being overworked.
Zenit article.

The Church in Austria infected with perverts

Vienna - A huge pornography scandal hit the Catholic church in Austria at the weekend after the discovery of 40 000 photos and a number of films at a priests' seminary at St Poelten west of Vienna.

The revelations came in the Monday edition of the magazine Profil, published in advance on Sunday. The seminary chief, Ulrich Kuechl, was already forced to resign earlier this month with first reports of the scandal, allegedly including child pornography.

The report said that some of the seminary leaders had joined in "sex games" and allowed themselves to be photographed.

Profil quoted allegations of drunken orgies in the seminar building where "Nazi slogans were also heard". Trainee priests had downloaded child pornography pictures.
This really should not come as any surprise. Little has been done to remove bishops and priests engaging in or promoting sodomy - Bishop Reginald Cawcutt of South Africa is a perfect example.

There is an insidious disease affecting the Church. Pray for the Church. Many have succumbed to the empty promises of Satan's influence.

Article here.

An Educational Letter for the Post Dispatch

Bipartisan "edict"

According to the many letters you printed regarding Archbishop Raymond Burke's "edict" to vote pro-life, the writers think that only Republicans are pro-life. I know that there are many Democratic politicians who believe in the sanctity of life, and there are those in the Republican party who are pro-choice.

Burke is only instructing Catholics that, if you truly follow the teachings of the church, you would have to vote for those people who are pro-life, whether you are Democrat or Republican.

Joyce Heitert
St. Charles
Link here.

Marriage initiative: Churches to lobby members

Bishop Samuel Aquila directed priests to preach on the sanctity of marriage.

"All Catholics have a moral obligation to defend marriage and oppose efforts to legalize same-sex unions as equivalent to marriage," he wrote. "I want you through your parishioners to obtain signatures in your parish or parishes for this initiative.

"I also ask that you preach on this matter during the next month in your parishes and present clearly the teaching of the Church to our people."

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Profiles of the Architects of the Culture of Death

Catholic Culture has posted an excerpt from a new book, "Architects of the Culture of Death" by Donald DeMarco and Benjamin Wiker. This article provides brief profiles of some of the major contributors to the Culture of Death.
Our fourteen "Architects of the Culture of Death" have two things in common. On the objective side, they reject God, nature and the notion of the human being as a person who lives by knowledge and love. On the subjective side, they are guilty of an intransigent willfulness inasmuch as they accord a higher place to their own egos than to the order of creation. Their weaknesses are transparent; their ambitions, vain; and their logic is a mere house of cards. In sum, they represent a Culture of Death that rests on the shifting sands of a "false humanism."
Article here.

Can A Catholic Politician Be Pro-Choice?

Bishop Victor Galeone of the Diocese of St. Augustine answers this in the diocesan newspaper:
In 1962 Archbishop Joseph Rummel of New Orleans excommunicated Judge Leander Perez for attempting to block the desegregation of the school system in the archdiocese. The mainstream and liberal media applauded the archbishop’s action. Racists and segregationists attacked him vehemently. How dare he try to impose his sectarian views on those who held a different opinion on how the schools should be integrated?

In recent months, several Catholic bishops have issued directives forbidding the Eucharist to Catholic politicians who support abortion-on-demand. The media has been quick to respond with scurrilous editorial cartoons and commentaries, castigating those bishops for breaching the wall between church and state. How dare they try to impose their sectarian morality on the rest of the nation?

How does one respond to these charges? First, one should bear in mind that the right to life is not a sectarian Catholic issue – like celibacy for priests or meatless Fridays during Lent. It is a fundamental moral attribute of our humanity. We possess this right not from the state, not from the church, but from God himself. The founders of our nation acknowledged as much when they declared to the British monarch: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” (emphasis mine)

Second, the right to life is the foundation of all our other rights. Just as a building without a foundation will ultimately collapse, so too, every other right we enjoy will crumble unless buttressed by this most basic right of all. So a politician of whatever or no religious persuasion at all is bound to respect the right to life of others, including incipient life in the womb.

“But the Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade that one cannot be sure when human life begins.” That assertion was disingenuous on the part of Justice Harry Blackmun. It’s embryology, not theology, that asserts: “Development is a continuum that begins when an ovum is fertilized by a sperm and ends at death. All the genetic information of the human adult is already present in that single combined cell, the zygote, which definitely marks the beginning of a new individual.” All that is needed for development is time and nourishment, the same components needed by a newborn child.

“Can an avid proponent of abortion-on-demand be at the same time a Catholic in good standing with the church?” I answer that question by asking another: Can an avowed racist be a member in good standing of the NAACP? For similar reasons, there are some positions so extreme that they would bar one from being considered a good Catholic, not because a specifically Catholic teaching is being denied, but because a basic tenet of the natural law is being trashed. As members of the human family, we must obey the natural law, written on our hearts: “You shall not take an innocent life.”

“Are you implying that Holy Communion should be denied to Catholic candidates who espouse abortion-on-demand?” I would hope that those candidates who consistently vote in support of abortion have enough integrity to willingly exclude themselves from receiving the Eucharist. After all, they are supporting a procedure for which the church reserves the penalty of excommunication for those directly involved. Besides, consider what St. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 11:27: “Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in any unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord.”

“What about Catholic politicians who support the death penalty? Shouldn’t they refrain from receiving Holy Communion too?” According to church teaching, the state has the right to protect its citizens from unjust aggressors through use of the death penalty. However, at present the church stresses that non-lethal means – namely life-imprisonment – are more in keeping with human dignity, thus making reasons for recourse to the death penalty almost non-existent. Still, the church does not deny that the state continues to have the right to impose the death penalty. Furthermore, although the life issues are all interrelated, not all of them are of equal importance. In 1998, the bishops of the United States issued Living the Gospel of Life, a pastoral letter that stated categorically that the right to life carried more weight than other issues because it served as their moral foundation.

“I still feel that you bishops are meddling in politics.” Abortion is a moral, not a political issue. The United States Constitution does not prohibit a member of the cloth from addressing moral issues. If it did, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would never have achieved all the good that resulted in the area of civil rights. Besides, would not our silence be similar to that of the German clergy who looked the other way while millions of innocent citizens were being herded off to the ovens? And finally, God’s word roundly condemns anyone who tolerates evil. God commands Samuel to inform Eli that his house will be punished “because although he knew that his sons were blaspheming God, he did not reprove them” (1 Sam 3:13). A very similar message is found in the prophet Ezekiel 33:7-9. The lesson from Scripture is clear: Whoever tolerates evil becomes an accomplice in that evil.

Clay plans to meet with Archbishop Burke on Communion issue

A Missouri congressman thinks St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke "has gone too far" by saying that Roman Catholic politicians who support abortion rights should not receive Communion and that voters who support them should go to confession before receiving the sacrament.

Rep. William Lacy Clay, a St. Louis Democrat who favors abortion rights, plans to meet Monday with the archbishop.

"I think Archbishop Burke has gone too far; he is now delving into politics," Clay said in an interview on Friday. "Perhaps the Catholic Church should surrender their 501-C status."
Perhaps Clay should rethink his position as a Catholic - it appears he has rejected the teachings of the Church and the lawful authority of the Church with regard to questions of faith and morals.
Clay, who attends St. Nicholas Catholic Church, said that if a priest refused him communion, "I would stand there."

"That's such a personal thing, between my God and me," he said. "I think it's an intrusion into uncharted waters that the church has never been in. They don't have the luxury of driving people away from the church right now. It's difficult for them to find priests and nuns, and if they continue on this track, they're going to drive people away from the church."
Actually, maybe all the heretics and apostates should be asked to leave if they find the faith unacceptable - Our Lord never said it would be easy to follow Him. Most of these people choose the wide and easy path that leads to eternal damnation. They do need our prayers, but they should not be allowed to continue to poison the rest of the community of the believers with their disobedience and rejection of the natural law, let alone the teachings of the Church.


Bishops have denied communion before

In the wake of the United States Supreme Court's 1954 Brown v. Board of Education ruling, Joseph Francis Rummel, Archbishop of New Orleans, began planning the integration of the archdiocese's schools. It would take eight years, several court battles and the excommunication of three prominent Catholic political figures for Rummel to achieve his goal.

Some conservative Catholic organizations have glimpsed parallels in the cases of Archbishops Rummel and Burke. They see two men who stood up, in the face of tremendous opposition, for a moral imperative. That both men were willing to use the sacrament of Communion to make their points is further proof for such groups that the two cases are similar.

"There are no convincing parallels between today's situation and the one in New Orleans more than 40 years ago," said the Rev. Richard P. McBrien, a liberal Catholic and professor of theology at Notre Dame University. "None of today's pro-choice politicians has openly opposed the Church's teaching on the morality of abortion nor defied any of the bishops' rights to articulate that teaching."
McBrien, who frequently extols and promotes heretical ideas, should have been removed as a priest years ago, rather than remaining as a professed Catholic priest and theologian.
Others who feel some bishops' pronouncements on Catholic politicians and Communion are meant to play a role in national politics are more specific. "In new Orleans, those politicians held that segregation was good," said Robert McClory, a retired Northwestern University professor, and former board member of Call to Action, a liberal Catholic organization. "(Senator John) Kerry does not hold that abortion is good, but rather that he is against criminalizing it."
And leave it to a Call to Action type to twist Kerry's "personally opposed" mantra. I suppose obtaining comments from the radical fringe help sell papers?
"Surely the two situations are not perfectly the same," said Burke. "There are differences. But if (abortion) is a grave moral evil, which surely it is, then a person who is taking public stands in favor of it, and even accepting recognition from groups that are promoting it, then it's dissent by whatever name you want to call it. Maybe it's less extravagant, but it is full-blown dissent."
Article here.