Saturday, July 31, 2004

On the Collaboration of Men and Women in the Church and in the World

The document from the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith may be found here.

Friday, July 30, 2004

Open Letter to Sean Hannity . . .by Dr. Arthur Hippler

When "Conservatives" Dissent From Church Teaching
By Arthur M. Hippler

Dear Mr. Hannity:

I was listening to your show the other day, as I occasionally do on my drive home from work. You were talking to a woman from Baton Rogue, La., and explaining to her your opposition to withholding Holy Communion from Catholic politicians who support legal abortion. If Communion could be withheld from liberals, you explained, there would be pressure to withhold from conservatives such as yourself. You did not give a specific example, but I assumed you were making reference to William Hughes’ article in The Baltimore Independent: "Should Sean Hannity Be Denied Communion" (June 19, 2004), which criticized you for your stand on the Iraq War. I was then startled to hear you tell the caller that "you had no problem with contraception," and that you should be allowed to receive Communion even though you do not accept this Church teaching.

I suppose I should not swerve off the road when I hear a Catholic "conservative" reject the teaching of the Church on artificial birth control — William F. Buckley provided the model for this form of dissent decades ago. And yet, it is always a little surprising to me when I encounter it. A "conservative" position, that is, a position that tries to defend the principles of traditional Christianity within our society, becomes inconsistent when it rejects the clear teachings of the Church, not only on the nature of marriage and the conjugal union, but also on the dignity of the Eucharist, and the importance of protecting the Eucharist from sacrilege.

To give one example: On your radio show and your show on the Fox network, you have defended traditional marriage against the novelty of "same-sex marriage." And yet, how can this position be coherent if you allow the separation of sexuality and procreation? Once these are separated, marriage can no longer be defined in terms of the complementary relationship of man and woman for the sake of engendering children and providing them nurture and education. This is not a distinctively "Catholic" observation — Methodist minister Donald Sensing made this point persuasively in a recent Wall Street Journal editorial ("Save Marriage? It’s Too Late," March 15, 2004). You cannot defend traditional marriage coherently without rejecting artificial birth control.

Similarly, your respect for the Catholic Church is meaningless if you reject her responsibility to protect the worthy reception of her sacraments. You explained that Holy Communion is a means for people to grow spiritually and become more enlightened by God. From this, you concluded that it is unreasonable to bar believers from the Eucharist. The spiritual growth and enlightenment, however, can only happen if the receiver is properly disposed.

As The Catechism of the Catholic Church makes clear, "Anyone conscious of a grave sin must receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation before coming to Communion" (n. 1385). The graces of the Eucharist do not work in a soul that is in a state of mortal sin. As the Catechism teaches: "The Eucharist is not ordered to the forgiveness of mortal sins — that is proper to the Sacrament of Reconciliation" (n. 1395). Your understanding of the reception of Holy Communion neglects the necessity of sacramental Confession.

Hopefully, those who are in a state of mortal sin voluntarily abstain from receiving Holy Communion. Nonetheless, under certain extraordinary circumstances, Church law (known as "canon law") stipulates that the minister has the responsibility of barring certain people from the Eucharist, and that among them are those "who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin" (canon 915). One must note here not just the phrase "grave sin," but also the phrase "manifest," that is, public, obvious, known to all. When Catholic politicians actively support abortion rights despite the admonition of their pastors, they are obstinately persisting in grave sin. Having the privilege of working under Bishop Raymond Burke in the Diocese of La Crosse (who is now the archbishop of St. Louis), I have witnessed some of this obstinacy at close range.

It is unlikely that you would be barred from receiving Holy Communion for publicly rejecting the Church teaching on birth control. But, as a fellow Catholic, I urge you to read the encyclical letter of Paul VI Humanae Vitae, and consider its arguments seriously. I would also ask you to read Family Planning and Modern Problems by Stanislas Lestapis, SJ, which provides a deeper explanation of the principles in Humanae Vitae.

I would finally ask you to consider whether someone such as yourself who publicly disagrees with a binding Church teaching should be receiving Holy Communion. As St. Paul makes clear in his First Letter to the Corinthians: "Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the Body and Blood of the Lord" (11:27-29). Your comments on birth control give scandal to the faithful, and are bound to lead unstable believers astray. This is a grave matter indeed.

For my part, I cannot justify continuing to listen to your show. But I will certainly keep you in my prayers, and wish an abundance of blessings for you and your family.

In the Peace of Christ,
Arthur M. Hippler, Ph.D.
Office of Justice and Peace
Diocese of La Crosse
La Crosse, Wis.
A great letter! Hopefully, it will prick the consciences of Sean Hannity and others who may be more properly called "Cafeteria Catholics" to conform their minds and wills to that of God by learning to embrace the truths of the Church.

I had noticed that Sean and others such as professed Catholic Bill O'Reilly, frequently say things that are against the teachings of the Church - and it is done publicly. As Dr. Hippler says, we should keep them in our prayers.

Letter copied from The Wanderer

Fostering vocations: What's the next step?

Vocations director grapples with challenge of parental opposition

Father Michael T. Butler, director of the archdiocesan Vocations Office, said he is witnessing a challenge among young men and women considering a possible religious vocation — gaining the acceptance of their parents.

According to a 1997 CARA study, parental encouragement of religious vocations leads to dramatically higher positive attitudes toward becoming a priest or religious. The nationwide study was conducted for U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops with the support of the Serra International Foundation.

"It becomes important then for parents to reflect on their own attitudes toward their faith, the Church and on the value of young people consecrating their lives to Christ, and to make a conscious effort to address any negative attitudes that they might outwardly or subconsciously be communicating to their children in the home," he said.

"In fact, I have five guys who would love to come into the seminary this year, but they won’t because of their parents," he said. "One mother, a couple of years ago, even went as far as to say to her son, ‘If you go to the seminary, don’t ever come back home.’"
If you do not belong or participate in the Serra Club in some way, perhaps it would be worthwhile to do so.

There appears to be an often overlooked reason why parents may be disinclined to encourage a vocation to the priesthood. It seems that contraception plays an important part in the equation. Families are much smaller now than they were years ago, therefore the 'pool' of good young men is less. It seems that the scourge of contraception has not only lead our nation and others toward the legalization of abortion, euthanasia, homosexuality and other grave immoralities but has lead us to a decline in the priesthood as well. This, combined with the pursuit of the almighty dollar, the radical feminist movement, the diminishing of the faith, and other things has a direct bearing on one's ability to become more virtuous and learn to the practice of self-sacrificing love.

Anyway, the article discusses some of the efforts of the Serra Club and has some other good points but I would add that perhaps more people need to spend more time praying in front of the Blessed Sacrament and asking our Lord to help us overcome the evil in our midst, and if it be His Will, raise up good men to continue His ministry for the sake of His people and to give courage and strength to those parents whose sons may have been graced with this special calling from God.

Article is here.

Catholics for a Free Choice Files IRS Complaint against Operation Rescue

Click here to read the press release
Click here to read the original complaint to the IRS

Watergate in Lima: Opus Dei Cardinal Accuses Bishops and the Vatican Curia

Here is an update on the archbishop of Lima, Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani.
Falsified letters, plots, and lies. The Church in Peru is at war. The target is the archbishop of the capital, the first Opus Dei cardinal. And he’s fighting back

by Sandro Magister
Article here.

Letters to the Editor discussing Amendment 2-Protecting Marriage

The Post Dispatch printed five letters on July 28 specifically regarding Missouri's Amendment 2 which is on the August 3rd ballot.

Thee of the five, as one might expect, are advocating the defeat of the Amendment - and all three are rationalizing the reasons for such a defeat. In fact, it appears that they are advocating legalizing sodomy and other homosexual acts in the name of "freedom".
A couple who has made a commitment to love and respect each other and who want to enjoy the legal rights and benefits of civil marriage should be allowed to do so.
First, these are not commitments arising from love and respect for it is impossible to love another if one does not love God first. It is lust rather than love for love desires the highest and best for the sake of the beloved and that 'highest and best' is heaven. One cannot violate God's laws, the natural laws, and the moral laws while at the same time referring to acts of depravity as 'love'. Likewise, it is not 'respect' that one demonstrates or practices in such a relationship. It is disregard and contempt for one's fellow human beings. What has always and everywhere been regarded as an abomination can never be made right, just, and desirable because man wishes it so.

Letters are here.

How do they know this?

The Herald-Sun's article headline reads: "Vatican document 'slams feminism'". I wonder if they received an advance copy of the document?

The Church teaches and tells us what true feminism is, as best exemplified by Our Blessed Mother Mary. While this may not be what some would like to hear, it is, nevertheless, what is needed, especially today in our age of confusion. The lies and deception inherent in the corrupted world view of "feminism" needs to be exposed.
A Document on the roles of men and women to be released by the Vatican criticises "world-wide feminism" for trying to erase the biological differences between men and woman, according to a report made public today.


Pro-choice Catholics in Democratic delegation feel the heat

My guess is the heat they're feeling now is nothing comapred to the "heat" they may feel for all eternity if they continue in their denial of God and of God's rights.
"It was difficult, and it is difficult, that the church in which I grew up, is now sort of rejecting folks, whereas when you get to the door of the church, when you walk through those doors, that's between you and God," [Peggy Flanagan, 25, of Minneapolis] says.

Flanagan was not denied communion, but she said she no longer felt welcomed in her parish. So she recently switched congregations and attends a Lutheran church, even though she still considers herself a Catholic.
Perfectly understandable - I might consider myself to be TV-Star handsome but my self-consideration does not make it so. One must understand that defection from the Church by a formal act, renders one Catholic no longer. She is treading on very thin ice here.

Full story here.

They can no longer pretend to be Catholic

This is the essence of what several people are saying by refusing to sign an "affirmation of faith" as required by Bishop Robert F. Vasa of the Diocese of Baker. They have been called to outwardly express the Catholic faith, part of which requires one to believe in all that the Church proposes for our belief, and some refuse to do that.
I could no longer pretend that I could ascend to some of those articles of faith any more than others can," [lay liturgical minister and a cantor, Wilma Hens] said Thursday.

"I happen to believe that many of the teachings on human sexuality are just plain faulty," said Hens, one of at least six lay ministers to quit because of the affirmation. "I don't want to be held to those teachings. I cannot give my full assent. I don't want to pretend to do so in order to be a lay minister."
Unable or too obstinate to believe what the Church teaches? Who knows? It's high time that a bishop has begun to do something like this - to purge the ranks of parish elitists and dissenters who are in positions which afford them ample opportunity to spread their poisonous beliefs to others.
But Tom Dolezal of Bend said it's not a matter of supporting church teachings, it's the blind adherence to dogma.

"If he (the bishop) is going to exclude any one who has any doubt about a church teaching, he's going to exclude 100 percent of the membership of the church, including himself. He has to be a human being, the same as me, and I have doubts about some of the church teachings," Dolezal said.

Dolezal, a communion minister and lector, has not resigned from his positions. He said he plans to confront the bishop and see if the bishop forces him out of his job.
Here again there may be a faulty understanding of terminology - while one may have "difficulties" with some of the Church's teachings, one is noe permitted to have "doubts" regarding those teachings. And when one has "difficulties", one is required to study, learn, and ultimately accept those teachings.

Article here.

Constitution doesn't include a right to sexual privacy

A federal appeals court has, rightly in my opinion, determined that the constitution contains no provision for an individual's right to sexual privacy. This, however, seems to contradict a 1965 Supreme Court ruling which opened the floodgates to contraception.
``On the other hand, if we today craft a new fundamental right by which to invalidate the law, we would be bound to give that right full force and effect in all future cases including, for example, those involving adult incest, prostitution, obscenity, and the like.''
Article here.

Priest's benediction touches on abortion and gay rights

As the Democratic Party nominated a Catholic for president for the first time since 1960, the Catholic priest who gave the final words at the convention alluded to the church's concern with the Democratic Party's support for abortion rights by calling on God to ''guide every citizen of our United States to cherish all life."
Article here.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Human Personhood Begins at Conception

Philosopher Peter Kreeft presents the arguments commonly used to explain why the unborn child is not a human person and then shows clearly and simply why each of these arguments cannot possibly be true.
There is a time to be polite and scholarly and a time to tell the truth plain and prickly. Plainly put, abortion comes from Hell and it can lead us to Hell if not repented. Any unrepented sin can, and we all need repentance, whether we abort or hate or lust or despair or coldly condemn. But abortion is more likely than most sins to be unrepented because there are so many pro-choice voices justifying it. The justification of abortion can be more lethal than abortion itself.
Peter Kreeft's excellent article is here.

Taking Satan Seriously

We should take the devil "very seriously," but without losing confidence in the love of God, says the theologian of the Pontifical Household.

Cardinal Georges Cottier gave this interview in the wake of last Saturday's murder of a priest in the cathedral of Santiago, Chile. The killing was linked to Satanism.
We must take the devil very seriously, but we must not think that he is omnipotent. There are people who have an irrational fear of the devil.

Christian confidence, which is nourished with prayer, humility and penance, must be above all confidence in the love of the Father. And this love is stronger than all. We must have the consciousness that the mercy of God is so great as to surmount all obstacles.


Pornography: the Degrading Behemoth (Part 2)

Pornography may be a thriving criminal enterprise, but a legal expert in the field believes the Church and the laity can stunt its growth.
We are called to convert the world by living the faith and proclaiming the Gospel. None of the battles we face today are easy but with God's grace, we must persevere.


Dioceses Must Fill Need for Catechesis, Says Cardinal Castrillón

The faithful have a right to sound catechesis, and it is up to parishes and diocesan movements in communion with the bishop to provide such instruction, says a Vatican official.

When opening the European Catechetical Conference, Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos, prefect of the Congregation for Clergy, referred to the plea of many Catholics who want to learn more about the faith. The Vatican dicastery organized the conference.

"Catechesis is not simply one more activity among the many endeavors of the diocese in evangelization, but represents a unique and fundamental 'work of justice,'" he added.

"Catechesis is not simply one more activity among the many endeavors of the diocese in evangelization, but represents a unique and fundamental 'work of justice,'" he added.
Zenit Article.

An insightful look at weakness

Phil Lawler of Catholic World News has posted an observation here called "A voice in the wilderness".
This week a militantly pro-abortion Catholic is being nominated for the US presidency, with a Catholic priest offering an invocation at the convention, and dozens of prominent Catholics enthusiastically participating in the events.

Now is a time when we need clear, unequivocal leadership from our bishops, to leave no doubt about where the Church stands on abortion.

And what do we get?

In Boston, Archbishop Sean O'Malley is out of town.

In Washington, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued a series of statements:

on restrictions on travel to Cuba
on the US-Central America Free Trade Treaty
on the crisis in Darfur
on the latest World Trade Organization talks
on restricted travel to Cuba (again)
on over-the-counter sale of the "morning-after pill"

You might say that the US bishops have already spoke out about pro-abortion Catholic politicians, in their statement Catholics in Political Life. You know, the one in which they said:

... we seek to form the consciences of our people so that they can examine the positions of candidates and make choices based on Catholic moral and social teaching.

Right now-- this week-- would be a good time to form some consciences, while the pro-abortion candidates are squarely in the media spotlight.

True, the bishops would be repeating themselves. Is that a bad thing? Remember, this is the group that has posted two different statements on travel to Cuba in less than one week.

CDF to Publish Document Saturday

VATICAN CITY, JUL 29, 2004 (VIS) - On Saturday, July 31 at 12 noon, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith will publish a document entitled "Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Collaboration of Men and Women in the Church and in the World." It will be published in Italian, French, English, German, Spanish and Portuguese.

The Vatican Information Service will transmit a special edition on Saturday, July 31, about this document.

Chaplain provides spiritual needs for terminally ill patients

Here's a good article about a deacon, Bill Sinak, who devotes his energy helping others.
"The most rewarding thing for me is to see a patient who is able to die peacefully, not just with no fear, but with a joyful expectation of meeting their God," Sinak said. "And to see families who are able to let go and be at peace with their relationship they've had with the patient."

A glimpse of Minnesota Catholic Delegates to the DNC

About a third of Minnesota's delegates this year, at least 28, are Catholic, followed by Episcopalians with four. Only three people surveyed said they were Lutheran. That compares with four years ago, when 19 of the 66 delegates responding to the AP's survey said they were Catholic.

Most, 22 of 28 who responded, supported abortion rights and 15 of them said they backed gay marriage rights.

Former Minnesota House Speaker Phil Carruthers said he was troubled that politics and religion had become so intertwined.

"You try to take your faith seriously," he said. "There's a set of moral principles, but that's different from what the laws of the state and the country should be."
Get that? "You try to take your faith seriously"...BUT...they can not! So much for professing to be Catholic - it just isn't so...

Does anyone teach the faith anymore?


Abortion debate won't keep priest from national stage

Make no mistake: The Rev. John B. Ardis, the Catholic priest whom Senator John F. Kerry has chosen to give the benediction at tonight's closing session of the convention, opposes abortion.

But he also opposes capital punishment, the war in Iraq, and public policies he views as unjust toward the poor or hungry.
He's a saint!
Ardis said he expects to allude to the abortion issue with a call to "respect for life in all of its forms." But he said the party's position does not preclude a Catholic priest from offering a prayer.
Allude to abortion???
Speaking at the convention is not Ardis's first bold move. In April, just before Easter, Ardis said he would welcome Kerry to Communion, despite declarations by some bishops that they would deny Kerry the sacrament because of his support for abortion rights. Ardis instead cited the position of other bishops, including O'Malley, that individual Catholics should examine their consciences to decide whether to seek Communion.

"We will not deny Communion to anyone who presents themselves in a respectful manner," Ardis said.
To ANYONE? That's nice...

How did the liturgical abuses get started?

Adoremus has posted selected quotes from the past on specific problems raised in Redemptionis Sacramentum

After reading many of these quotes from self-proclaimed liturgical experts, it's really difficult to maintain a balanced composure. One may react, and I believe rightly, with disgust at these people who have had a major influence on the abuses we have witnessed for years.

Another truly sad aspect of all of this is that far too many priests and 'liturgy directors' or committees read such books and articles as if they were true. Again, this is a direct result of a failure to educate and teach the faithful.

The blind leading the blind...?

Gay couples should be able to marry in civil ceremonies and, if they are parents, they deserve all the legal rights of straight parents, says a policy the American Psychological Association adopted Wednesday at its meeting here.

"We're going out on a limb," says Diane Halpern, president of APA, the nation's largest group of psychologists.
Going out on a limb...going out of their minds is more like it...

John Edwards and Abortion

Though he is seeking to project a moderate image to voters through his Democratic convention speech, John Edwards has compiled a record in favor of abortion that pro-life groups call extreme. During his tenure in the U.S. Senate, Edwards voted against pro-life legislation at every turn -- even opposing a ban on partial-birth abortions.
Details here.

Pornography: the Degrading Behemoth (Part 1)

Zenit has posted an interesting article discussing the perverted and disordered view of the human person and the criminal enterprise promoting it.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Immoral Ideology

Fr John Lombardi of St. Wenceslaus Parish in St. Louis offered this bit of wisdom to the readers of the Post Dispatch a couple of weeks ago...
A July 18 editorial advised voters to vote "no" on Amendment 2.

I can't believe that you can ask the voters to vote "no" on an issue that goes against the natural law and also is against the common good and is gravely immoral.

The ideology of same-sex marriages goes against Judeo-Christian moral values and is tainted with secular liberalism, which denies that there is any objective truth. In other words, your editorial is saying that everything is relative.

As a matter of fact, our country has wrapped itself in this mantle of freedom and tolerance for all points of view regardless of objective truth.

The Rev. John Carl Lombardi
St. Louis
We can pray that hardened hearts might be converted to the truth.

Karl Keating's 7/27 E-Letter

July 27, 2004


Dear Friend of Catholic Answers:

My E-Letter makes some people happy and some people apoplectic. One of the latter is a priest who runs a small (and ever smaller) parish in Georgia. Here is the story, as recounted to me by a subscriber who identified herself as Theresa:

"I sent your E-Letter to a lot of my Catholic friends, including my parish priest. I was an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, head of the women's group, an instructor in Pre-Cana, an instructor for pre-baptism, and a member of the parish council and choir. I was fired from all those positions.

"My priest called me up, told me in a disgusted tone never to send him letters from you again, and then proceeded to fire me from all of my volunteer positions. I was essentially kicked out of my home parish.

"Just a final note: This man cornered me at Mass this past Sunday and yelled at me for telling him that I don't agree with his views on married priests. I was very diplomatic, respectful, and calm. It's unfortunate that some of our shepherds are like this, and ours wonders why his flock went from about 400 to just over 100 during his tenure."

Driving away three-quarters of one's congregation is not something normally considered a sign of successful pastoral management. I recall hearing about one diocese where the bishop told pastors that they would not receive associate priests for their parishes unless their parishes regularly produced priestly vocations. That bishop smartly used the carrot. It seems that Theresa's pastor confines himself to the stick.


Last week I discussed the "Affirmation of Personal Faith" instituted by Bishop Robert F. Vasa of the Diocese of Baker. The "Affirmation" is to be signed by anyone working in parish ministries. Anyone unwilling to sign must remove himself from ministerial positions. Several subscribers to the E-Letter wondered whether taking such a hard line is the way to go.

Stacey Burdue wrote:

"I don't believe an ultimatum is the most effective, or Christlike, method to enforce the Church's teaching upon people or to assume those involved in ministries have successfully finished their journey. I do believe that God is with all people on their journey, that the people involved in ministries bring a multitude of gifts that do benefit the Church a great deal even while some may struggle with some very serious issues.

"I do not believe that we are living Christ's command to love our neighbors when we present them with a document that says 'sign this or get out.' I believe to do so would hurt the people who are trying to be good Catholics by participating in a ministry yet who are still on a journey of faith themselves."

On one level I sympathize with this argument; on another I don't.

Certainly each Catholic is on a journey of faith. The person sitting next to you in the pew may be considerably ahead of you, or considerably behind you, in that journey. But aren't there two elements to the journey, one intellectual and one spiritual?

When we speak about people being on a journey, if we're speaking about Catholics, as distinguished from non-Catholics, we almost always mean people who are trying, however fitfully, to deepen their spiritual lives--to avoid habitual sins, to become more regular in prayer, to attend Mass not just on Sundays.

If we're speaking about non-Catholics, usually we mean a journey toward acceptance of Catholic teachings: letting go of misconceptions and errors from their pre-existing faith, coming to see and to adhere to Catholic truths they heretofore had rejected.

What we usually don't have in mind, when we talk about Catholics who are on a journey of faith, is Catholics who don't accept basic teachings of the Church. We presuppose that Catholics know basic teachings and accept them.

I can understand why many Catholics might not accept the Church's teaching on the circumincession of the Holy Trinity--they have never heard of such a teaching. It's not that they reject it. They just don't know about it. Most Catholics, even solidly orthodox ones, never have it brought to their attention. No need, really. It's an obscure teaching, one commonly reserved for theological journals.

But when we look at Bishop Vasa's "Affirmation of Personal Faith," we don't find any mention of circumincession. What we find are simple, almost self-evident teachings that every adult Catholic has heard of and should be able to understand without difficulty. There is nothing complicated about opposing abortion, contraception, or homosexual acts.

Adult Catholics who approve of abortion in some cases, who approve of (and likely practice) contraception, who think there is nothing wrong with homosexual acts--such Catholics are not, except in highly unusual cases, "on a journey of faith" with respect to these issues. They are not seeking advice ("Explain to me, Father, why abortion is always wrong"). They simply oppose Catholic teaching, either in their own lives ("My spouse and I see nothing wrong in using contraception") or in the lives of others ("Homosexuals should be able to express their love as they see fit").

Now maybe there are some people who, on such issues, truly are struggling to learn the Church's teaching and who, once they have learned it, will accept it. But such people are rare birds. What we're really talking about is people who know full well what the Church teaches on these matters and who, for whatever reasons, reject that teaching.

I really don't think such people are "on a journey of faith" at all. To be on a journey is to make progress, however fitfully. Such people have turned off the highway and parked themselves under a tree: "This is as far as I'm going." They really don't want to continue the journey because they know where it will take them, to acceptance of things they'd rather not be burdened with. They don't want to be fully Catholic; they are satisfied to be partially Catholic.

But that isn't good enough, says Bishop Vasa, when it comes to holding positions of authority in the Church. If you're going to teach the faith, if you're going to be seen as an exemplar of Catholicism, if you're going to be identified by the public as a representative Catholic, then you need to represent the entirety of the Catholic faith, not just the portion of it you like. And that is why he issued his "ultimatum."

That's too harsh, too loaded, a word for the "Affirmation." I think it's better to look at the "Affirmation" as an attempt to have truth in advertising. You hold yourself out to be a Catholic? Fine, then be a Catholic in fact, not just in title. It's not fair to others if you say you're Catholic when in fact you're only half-Catholic.


Fr. John F. Paul, S.J., wrote that "Somehow I had the idea that your E-Letter had to do with Wall Street and investments. I was going to add your address to my junk senders' list. Then a friend made a reference to one of your E-Letters. I went back and, thank God, realized that your E-Letters are just what the doctor ordered when it comes to faith issues and the modernist crisis that has all but destroyed the Church."

That was a close call, Father, but you've given me an idea. Maybe I should start an investment letter. Still better, I could take out full-page newspaper ads touting my secret to instant financial security. Image this headline: "How to Become a Millionaire in Ten Easy Steps." Then the small text: "Step No. 1: Get a million dollars ..."

Until next time,

To subscribe to Karl Keating's E-Letter, send an e-mail to and write "SUBSCRIBE" in the subject line or go to
To learn more about the Catholic faith and about Catholic Answers, visit us at
The content of this E-Letter is copyright 2004 by Karl Keating.

CCC approves resolutions..

Each year, the CCC issues resolutions at its convocation which give a certain moral support to the mission of the Church. This year, five resolutions were approved at their July (12-15) 2004 convocation in Chicago:

1. Support of all bishops who insist that pro-abortion politicians must not receive communion.

2. Support of all legislation which protects the life of the unborn and the nature of marriage as a permanent union between a man and a woman.

3. Condemnation of the secular media’s use of false notions of separation of Church and state to attack the rights of the Church to preach the Gospel.

4. Reaffirmation of the CCC’s consistent denunciation of all forms of child abuse, demand for punishment of all perpetrators, insistence on justice for victims, and condemnation of injustice against those falsely accused and denied due process.

5. Resolution of prayers and support for all military personnel and their families in the war on terrorism, and for the innocent victims of violence.

A Flawed Understanding of Missouri's Amendment 2

Doug Gray, campaign manger with the Constitutional Defense League for No on Amendment 2, has a naive and flawed understanding of Amendment 2, as does the American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri. These groups oppose the amendment because, as they say, it perpetuates discrimination.

But many of our laws are discriminatory, in that they discriminate actions that are immoral such as, murder, burglary, assault, robbery, etc. To discriminate is to discern, distinguish or differentiate ideas or actions. One has no right to engage or promote those things which contradict the natural law.
"Regardless of someone's position on gay marriage, the statute clearly says there is no gay marriage in state," Gray said. "It's all about the Constitution and whether we want to put discriminatory laws in the Constitution. There is a radical agenda by a few to take an issue like gay marriage and drive a wedge between people to get people out to vote."

St. Louis Archbishop Raymond L. Burke has written a column published on the Archdiocese of St. Louis website stating that it was a person's duty to vote and urging people to vote 'yes' on Amendment 2.

"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," Burke states. "Marriage is not an institution which was established by our society or culture. Rather, it is inherent to our human nature and is found in all societies and cultures."

Burke sites the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council and church teachings to urge people to safeguard the sanctity of marriage by voting in favor of Amendment 2.

Gray believes this argument is naive.
There is a naive argument here, but it is not Archbishop Burke's.

Someone has failed to teach Catholic moral truths...

...and it is evident in this Post Dispatch Town Talk column.
Voter's choice

LAST WEEK SOMEBODY said you can't be Catholic and favor abortion which would indicate that you shouldn't vote for John Kerry. But you also can't be Catholic and be for the death penalty, pro-war and try to cut back on welfare like President Bush. A really good Catholic can't vote either way without sinning, so you should just vote for whomever you planned to before Archbishop Burke opened his mouth.
It is well past time for St. Louis Catholics to become educated in authentic Catholic teaching regarding those things which are intrinsically evil and those things which are not. The utter confusion of people, such as the one above, is disgraceful and it speaks volumes regarding the failure of those charged with imparting the truths of the faith to the faithful.


When an order abandons the truth, it dies...

The number of Marist priests has declined in the past 30 years, and they struggle to find priests to tend to their parishes, schools and communities.

The Rev. Steik, a founding member of the Marist community at Star of the Sea, believes the church must look to new possibilities and possible restructuring of church order to recruit people to religious life and the priesthood.

"We need to be open to more of the questions of young people in the world today, discussing AIDS, the role of women in the church and gay and lesbian ministries," Steik said.
Some seem to think that the answer lies in openness to women priests and to homosexuality and that this will encourage vocations to the order. They have failed in their mission.

Slowly, those orders which have have abandoned the moral teachings of the Church continue to die from a self-imposed spiritual malnutrition and starvation of the soul.


France Nonchalantly Introduces Chemical Abortion

The French government has introduced chemical abortions, saying that women can undergo them without having to be hospitalized.

The measure, already planned by the government in 2001, sparked no debate in the media. Health Minister Philippe Douste Blazy signed the decree last Friday, authorizing induced abortion through drugs prescribed by a gynecologist or family doctor.

According to the decree, women can undergo chemical abortion up to seven weeks after missing their period, but they must visit their gynecologist or family doctor five times before having recourse to it.
This is to be financed, of course, by 'social security' - what an ironic use of terminology.


Canadian Government Meat Inspectors...

Canadian Government Insists Immigrant Strippers Bare All for Officials
Sergio Mercado, of the Canadian Embassy in Mexico has issued a memo ordering all Canadian Immigration Officers to insist on seeing the full monty if a woman wants to come to Canada to work as a stripper.

The rules are that a prospective stripper-immigrant must provide nude photos of herself doing her 'act' in a club to prove her bona fides.

Meanwhile immigration officers [from other countries] are boasting that they export only the best in female flesh for Canadian audiences.
The continuing Western moral decadence...we are sliding into oblivion.

Merciful Lord, grant us the strength and perseverance to endure these times and, if it be Your will, the courage and fortitude to confront and convert those who would destroy and pervert our nations.


Abortion Docs Don't Have to Report Statutory Rape

In a decision handed down Monday, a federal judge ruled that abortionists are not required to comply with a law requiring the reporting of sexual abuse or rape of minors to authorities.

U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Marten argued that most underage sex is consensual, thus a mandatory reporting of all underage sexual activity would constitute an invasion of privacy. He also reasoned that mandatory reporting would deter minors from seeking abortions out of fear of the abusive relationship being exposed.
Confusion reigns everywhere.

The judge decides that those who are underage are capable of making decisions and assuming responsibility for their actions...yet, the bishops and others tell us that juveniles are not responsible for their actions and should not be subject to capital punishment for heinous crimes...

One must also wonder at what age the honorable judge decides that a child is no longer able to give adequate consent?


Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Ruling on clergy abuse may yield new cases

In some cases, the crimes happened so long ago that criminal charges were out of the question. Statutes of limitations — time limits for prosecution — were a roadblock to many attorneys wanting jail-time for abusive priests.

But some attorneys — among them St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce — began to look for ways to file charges.

Earlier this month, a three-judge panel of the Missouri Court of Appeals Eastern District ruled that no statute of limitations existed to bar Joyce's prosecution of a priest accused of child sex abuse in the late 1970s.
As the article states, all of this hinges on the proper interpretation of the meaning of "or" and "during". A way was 'found' to get around the statute of limitations.
In 2002, Joyce charged [priest Thomas] Graham under a 1969 law that says anyone convicted of "the detestable and abominable crime against nature" can be given two years to life in prison. Because the code does not specify a time limit on prosecution, Joyce argued that the statute of limitations must be determined by the sentencing options.

Until crime code changes in 1979, Missouri law explicitly gave no statute of limitations for crimes punishable by "death or by imprisonment in the penitentiary during life." Most at issue in the code are the words "during" and "or."

The panel's July 6 opinion found that "during life" meant a life sentence. And "or" meant the crime did not have to have both the death penalty and life imprisonment as a sentencing option.

Thus, sodomy, for which an offender could receive two years to life in prison, has the same statute of limitations as does murder, which allows for both a life sentence or the death penalty.
Setting aside the statute of limitations issue for a moment, one thing I noticed immediately was that sodomy is referred to as "the detestable and abominable crime against nature" and it was punishable from 2 years to life.

One wonders, considering the relentless push for homosexual "unions", if sodomy, primarily practiced by homosexual males, is still "the detestable and abominable crime against nature" as it was before 1979 when Missouri crime code changes occurred or if it is now viewed as "loving and life-giving relationship" by the Missouri statutes - I guess I should check that out...

Anyway, as anyone who studied civics in high school may remember, there are valid and compelling reasons for statutes of limitations. "Memories fade. Documents are lost. People disappear."

On the other hand, David Clohessy of SNAP argues that:
[V]ictims frequently sit in silence. They are often convinced that the abuse isn't actually abuse. Sometimes they block out the incidents altogether.

"They don't understand first that it's abuse, second that they're being harmed," Anderson said. "It takes them time to come forward to report it, to take legal action."
Time limits are imposed for most crimes to avoid the "he said, she said" conundrum, especially when there is little or no physical evidence.

Some expect the ruling to be overturned on appeal - others are confident it will stand. I guess now we wait and see.

Article here.

Bishop DiLorenzo not ready to support diocese split

In a reversal of his predecessor’s position, newly installed Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo has decided not to support a proposal to split the Richmond diocese and create a new Catholic diocese with Hampton Roads at its core.

“The decision to split the diocese comes from a recommendation of the diocesan bishop, and he is not convinced it needs to be done, and he is not recommending it be done,” said Robin A. Price , a spokeswoman for DiLorenzo and managing editor of The Catholic Virginian, the diocesan newspaper.

Spanish sect leader says he is the real Pope

Papal pretender "Gregorio XVII" is leader of a self-styled church in Spain who says God crowned him after Pope Paul VI's 1978 death, that Satan controls the Vatican and that the devil will crucify him at the start of an apocalyptic end of an era.

" no longer the capital of Christianity; the new Rome is the Sacred Place of El Palmar de Troya," a booklet from Gregorio's church quotes God as telling him.

In 1980 'pope Gregorio' introduced 'palmarian rite' of Mass, which includes almost only the Consecration. During next few years he changed all rites. New ones are probably invalid.

We should also carefully examine so-called 'Palmarian Catechism'. The catechism teaches that in the Holy Mass are two sacrifices - the Christ's one and the Mary's one. 'Pope Gregorio' says also that the Mary's body and blood are present in the Holy Communion and that we receive a bit of her blood during Baptism. He thinks that somewhere in the Space there is a place kept away from the first human sin - he calls it the Planet of Mary. On the other hand there is also a place where one can't hope for salvation - the Planet of Antichrist.

Creatures, who live on the Planet of Antichrist come from the fourth dimension, and people who live in the Planet of Mary, including Eliash, Henoh, Moises and saint John, look at the Space from the eight dimension. During the Armageddon people from the Planet of Mary will come back on Earth to help us in the battle.

On the other hand we should remember that the 'Palmarian Catechism' clearly reaffirms main evangelical principles, forgotten by so many modern 'neochristians'.

Archbishop Chaput: SSPX barred from shrine

The Denver Roman Catholic Archdiocese again has rebuffed a breakaway traditionalist Catholic church that wanted to end a two-day, 50-mile pilgrimage with a Mass at a mountaintop shrine west of Denver.

The pastor of Mission of St. Isidore the Farmer several weeks ago asked the archdiocese to approve an Aug. 7 Mass at the Mother of Cabrini shrine, which towers over Interstate 70 near Golden.

But Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput declined, saying the congregation is out of communion with the Roman Catholic Church and with the archdiocese. An identical request was refused two years ago for the same reasons.

Diocese of Jefferson City and bishop will pay in abuse cases

The Catholic Diocese of Jefferson City and a former bishop have agreed to pay settlements to two former high school seminarians who allege they were sexually abused while they were students.

The two men had filed suit against the diocese and the Rev. Anthony J. O'Connell, who resigned in March 2002 as bishop in Palm Beach, Fla., after he admitted to having molested a third seminarian. O'Connell was a teacher and rector of the former St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary in Hannibal, Mo., for about 25 years until 1988.
Post Dispatch Link.

Kill scientists, says animal rights chief

A top adviser to Britain's two most powerful animal rights protest groups caused outrage last night by claiming that the assassination of scientists working in biomedical research would save millions of animals' lives.

Satanism Linked to Priest's Murder in Chilean Cathedral

Assailant Invoked Devil's Name, Says Servite Superior

Cardinal Arinze Outlines Pope's Contributions on Liturgy and Eucharist

This is another article of Cardinal Arinze's talk in Pittsburgh.
The centrality of the liturgy, with the Eucharistic sacrifice as its apex, is one of key reasons why John Paul II's pontificate stands out, according to Cardinal Francis Arinze.

The prefect for the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments recently spoke on the Pope's teachings on the sacred liturgy and the Eucharist to more than 300 attendees at Christendom College's Summer Institute, which was entitled "Confronting the Culture of Death: John Paul II's Prophetic Vision for the Renewal of Christian Culture."
Zenit link

“The Passion” for Christians Only in Malaysia

After box-office records in the Arab world, Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ will soon be released in Malaysia, but for “Christian eyes only.” Some months ago Catholics and Protestants were worried that the Film Censorship Board might block its release, but following the intervention of Malaysia’s Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi the movie was approved for “Christians only,” for viewing “at designated cinemas,” and without prior advertising.

Monday, July 26, 2004

A Lucid Response to a 'Confused' Commonweal Author

Fr Rob Johansen has an excellent article, clarifying the Church's teaching and shedding much needed light on the confusion regarding the "persistent vegetative state". This is one of the best articles I have read on the subject!
Link here.

Science and Vatican Agree: Cognitively Disabled Can Recover

On September 11, 2001, while the world was riveted to the sight of two planes crashing into the World Trade Towers, a 60-year-old Missouri man was fighting for his life in a St. Louis hospital. Hit by a truck, he suffered massive head injuries and was flown to a state-of-the-art intensive care unit where doctors applied every ounce of their skill to save his life.

Three days later, he was still alive, but in a coma and breathing only with the aid of ventilator. Doctors saw little hope that he would recover and recommended that the family withdraw treatment and let him die. They refused.

"When the family wouldn't withdraw treatment, the hospital told them they had to put him somewhere else because he was never going to recover," said ex-trauma nurse and spokesperson for the National Association of Pro-Life Nurses, Nancy Valko. "They told the family he was going to die. He would never get off the ventilator. There was absolutely no chance of recovery."

The man was transferred to a nursing home, where patients are likely to receive little or no rehabilitative help. Thankfully, Valko visited him weekly and, together with the family, employed nothing more than a few simple sensory stimulation techniques she learned on the job. Ever so gradually, they began to see signs of awakening. "By Thanksgiving, the man was awake and talking and able to start eating by mouth," Valko said. "He's made a full recovery."

Valko is one of many in the medical profession who greeted the pope's recent statement about the ethical care of persons in a persistent vegetative state (PVS) with tears of joy rather than outright derision.
Good article...

Seattle: a longtime liberal archdiocese leans right

When John Barnes heard Seattle Archbishop Alexander Brunett declare this week that it was impossible for Roman Catholic politicians to keep the faith and support abortion rights, he cheered.

My first thought was, it's about time," said Barnes, a member of St. Cecelia Catholic Church in Stanwood. "It's long overdue."
Yes...about 30 years overdue in many places...But...
Carrie Sheehan, who worshipped at St. Joseph Church in Seattle for 44 years but no longer attends, said her greatest disappointment is the current divergence from the liberalizing reforms of Vatican II -- particularly with regard to women's involvement.
Still waiting for women priestesses? The liberalizing reforms of Vatican II are there if one submits oneself to the "authentic" affirmations of the council, such as that of laity's obligation to confront and change the world...And she no longer attends Mass - this is what decades of defective catechesis has wrought.

"There was this tremendous hopefulness for a whole new openness, but no -- it's still just a male hierarchy," she said.
As it always has been and always will be, just as Christ ordained it. The hopefulness is in Christ and Him crucified, and the Church and sacraments are His channels of grace for us. One must look with humility, docility, and obedience to the Church and the Holy Father as our sure guides in fulfilling our hopes to be in union with Christ.

While Sheehan, a 75-year-old mother of seven, considers herself a loyal, lifelong Catholic, none of her eight grandchildren has been baptized.

"The old me would have agonized over that," she said. "But I see that they are still beautiful, spiritual people and the church doesn't speak to their values."
But now, there is no agony because she and many others have been mislead by those who bring division into the Church, acting as agents of the evil one. She may consider herself a loyal Catholic, but the fact that she is now comfortable that none of her grandchildren have been baptized reflects an abandonment of the faith and a lack of concern for the eternal life and happiness with God of her own family. How truly sad these situations are - the complete and utter disregard for the spiritual welfare of one's family members.

It seems many have fallen into apostacy and are not even aware of it, because true charity has been lost or denied - that love by which people are counseled with the truth and prayerfully led toward the path of eternal life.

We must continue to pray for the Holy Father, our bishops, priests and religious, and for all so that we may be more receptive to the graces God bestows on us in order to that we may do His will rather than our own will.


The Paulist Center, where people who hate the Church go to church

There are no kneelers in the church and the atmosphere is decidedly casual. (Of the hundred or so people at Mass on Sunday morning, only two men wore coat and tie.) At times the Mass departs from the Catholic text. During the Nicene Creed, for example, the sections on believing in only "one Lord" ("We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God . . .") and only "one holy Catholic and apostolic Church" are excised from the prayer.

On the back of the Sunday bulletin, the Paulist Center carries ads, like all Catholic churches do. Where most Churches have ads from local florists, funeral homes, hotels, and restaurants, the Paulist Center carries ads for the Animal Rescue League and "Yoga of the Future." The biggest block of ads is from psychotherapists. More than a fifth of the ads in the Paulist Center bulletin are from "Jungian psychoanalysts" who offer counseling, "body psychotherapy," and even "dream interpretation."

The people who come to the Paulist Center aren't your typical Catholics. "The congregation is not geographical, but ideological...

The ideology which brings people to the Paulist Center is best explained by the Center's Mission Statement which declares, "Attentive to the Holy Spirit, we are a Catholic community that welcomes all, liberates the voice of each and goes forth to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ." (Before Mass, this Mission Statement is projected, in large type, onto the wall above the alter, on either side of the statue of Christ.) In their Vision Statement, the Center goes on to explain that they aspire to serve "those persons searching for a spiritual home and those who have been alienated from the Catholic Church."
It should come as no surprise, then that Fr. John Ardis has been invited to the give the invocation at the Democratic convention...Evidently, he is an expert at confirming people in their errors and sins. No fraternal correction is allowed here unless, of course, one happens to be faithful to the teachings of the Church.


When shepherds vacillate, the sheep stray.

The numbers prove that if every Catholic voter, acting on an informed conscience, refused to vote for any politician — Democrat, Republican or independent — who supports abortion, the scourge could be eliminated almost overnight.

A Catholic bloc vote against abortion would stun the Democratic Party into renouncing its abortion platform and serve notice to the wobbly Republicans, especially their Catholic sell-outs.

Beyond John Kerry, the bishops have a lot of work to do with the flock. The unanswered questions are: Do they recognize it, and do they have the will?
When Bishops Fear to Lead.

Archbishop O'Malley not invited to offer blessing for Democrats

In a break from past practice, the Democratic Party is not inviting the archbishop of Boston to offer a blessing at the Democratic National Convention, but instead is inviting a Paulist priest who has taken Senator John F. Kerry's side in a national debate over whether politicians who support abortion rights should receive Communion.

The Kerry campaign said last night it is seeking to have the Rev. John B. Ardis, director of the Paulist Center, deliver an invocation at the convention. The Paulist Center is on Beacon Hill, where Kerry lives, and the senator and his wife have often worshiped at the chapel there.
One wonders just exactly who or what they 'worship' at the chapel....

Article here.

Cardinal Arinze captivates audience

Cardinal Francis Arinze, one of the most powerful men at the Vatican, is known for an acerbic wit in defense of church teachings.

He did not disappoint 112 people who had paid $250 to hear him at a benefit dinner in the LeMont restaurant Friday night, where miniature papal flags on toothpicks decorated their creme brulee. But Arinze was as critical of conservative Catholic foibles as of liberal ones, and his descriptions of his own work were charmingly self-effacing.

Arinze spoke for an hour, drawing rave reviews.

"He made the complicated issues of faith very clear and very joyful," said the Rev. Joe Codori, parochial vicar at St. Theresa of Avila in Perrysville.
Article here.

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Eucharistic Congress Planned in Washington

A Eucharistic Congress planned for Sept. 24-25, at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, takes its theme from John Paul II's 2003 encyclical.

Speakers at the congress will include Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of Washington, D.C.; Cardinal Francis Arinze, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments; Cardinals James Francis Stafford, major penitentiary of the Apostolic Penitentiary; and Sister Nirmala, superior general of the Missionaries of Charity.

The CMSWR (The Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious) Web site has a link for those who want to register for the congress, or to obtain information.
Zenit Article

Kerry Thinking on Abortion Same as Supreme Court on Allowing Slavery

Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry gave an interview on abortion yesterday on ABC news. Host Peter Jennings asked Kerry about his statement that "life begins at conception" to which Kerry responded by drawing a distinction between the beginning of human life and 'personhood'.
What a statement of imbecility! I would imagine that those who are stricken with some sort of debilitating disease or are old and sick lose their 'personhood' at some point also?
Catholic League president William Donohue remarked on Kerry's statements pointing out that in distinguish between human life and personhood, Kerry mirrored the dichotomy that was advanced by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1857 in the Dred Scott decision that legalized slavery. "In that ruling, Chief Justice Roger B. Taney wrote that members of 'the negro race' were 'not regarded as a portion of the people or citizens of the Government.' Similarly, he concluded that 'it is too plain for argument, that they have never been regarded as part of the people or citizens of the State'," said Donohue.
Lifesite Article

Bishops' stances not supported by the Church

Here is another attempt to spin the truth with flawed opinions and previously refuted 'facts'. This article by Jimmy Patterson of the Midlan Reporter-Telegram is laced with error even though he has some truth in it. Not only that, but the innuendos of the article can be seen as attempts to discredit both Archbishop Raymond Burke and Bishop Michael Sheridan.
Was he [Archbishop Burke] in error for acting as judge and jury in a case involving someone's [John Kerry] personal convictions?

The simple answer, which Mr. Patterson fails to note, is no. It is the obligation of the bishop to teach, govern and sanctify, and protecting the Holy Eucharist from sacrilege and protecting the faithful from scandal are duties entrusted to him.
[W]as the archbishop's assertion simply a case of trying to sway his Catholic electorate by casting the Democratic candidate in a negative light?
Had the author read or listened to any of Archbishop Burke's responses over the past several weeks or months, he would not hav had to even ask this question - but - this rhetorical question was asked precisely to cast doubt and confusion among unsuspecting readers.
Whatever the ultimate agendas of these two representatives of the church, local Catholic officials say the statements of the two are theirs alone and insist the church does not practice the withholding of Holy Communion from its faithful because personal beliefs may differ from the dictates handed down by the Vatican.
Here the author is dead wrong...the discipline of the Church demands that Holy Communion be withheld in cases involving obstinate and manifest grave sin. Merely because the discipline has not been enforced, especially here in the US does not mean that the Church condones the failure. This is evident in Cardinal Ratzinger's "Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion: General Principles".

And personal beliefs which are contrary to what the Church proposes for us to believe separate one from communion with the Church - it is a sin against faith. Faith is the theological virtue by which we believe in God, believe in all that God has said and revealed to us, AND believe in all that the Church proposes for our for our belief, because He is Truth itself (CCC 1814). To reject a truth of the Faith is to reject God. One's personal beliefs, therefore, must be in accord with the teachngs of the Church if one is to remain in communion with Christ and His Church.

The author proceeds to quote both Bishop Michael Pfeifer, of the Diocese of San Angelo, who says he would do things differently, and Fr. Tom Kelley, parish priest at Our Lady of San Juan Catholic Church. Fr. Kelley states,
"I would give him Communion, I wouldn't hesitate. Kerry is not saying he believes in abortion. What he is saying publicly is that he believes in our country and that the United States is based on the Constitution and the decision that everyone has a right to make his or her own decision."
Thankfully, Fr. Kelley is not a bishop and were he to be in a diocese where the bishop stated otherwise, one would hope he would be obedient at least to the bishop since he evidently pays no attention to the Holy See which has stated:
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).
The eminent Fr. Kelley proceeds:
Kelley said Burke and Sheridan's views were "out of it, quite frankly."

"If a person came to Communion who really very publicly had caused even a major scandal of some sort, even then (withholding Communion) would be a judgment call. When (Burke) suggests not giving Communion to Kerry, he has made a decision that Kerry has a moral flaw."
The priest is wrong again. As the Holy Father has previously stated and as Cardinal Ratzinger made perfectly clear recently:
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.
Once again one has to question what, if any, theological education some of our priests and bishops received? It seems that many may have been absent during several of the classes.

Article is here.

Shrine hosts annual Healing Novena

Father Louis Studer and other priests from around the country will preside over the annual Healing Novena July 28 through Aug. 5 at the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows.

Each weekday of the Novena, various speakers will speak on the ministries and mission work of the Missionary Oblates at 10 a.m. in the Shrine Hotel conference room. The rosary will be recited at 3 p.m. each day in the Hotel Chapel.

The evening Novena Masses begin at 7:30 p.m. It is free of charge and open to the public. Participants will be given a complimentary prayer book.