Saturday, October 30, 2004

A Bulletin Article re: Brendan Case

Recently we shared in a mission, presented by Brendan Case from Arizona, who spoke about and prayed for Charismatic Gifts of the Holy Spirit to flourish in the lives of parishioners. Many people attending were “slain in the spirit,” which means as they were being prayed over, they fell backwards, resting on the floor with a certain peace. Still others were given words of a prophetic nature about their life: for example one man was told by Brendan that he and his wife were called to be future leaders in a significant way for Christ’s church, and finally a number of people young and old began “praying in tongues.” This has caused a bit of confusion amongst parishioners. Some felt that Brendan’s message and method were actually harmful and offensive. I would like to take this opportunity to clarify certain things, to the best of my ability.

I believe that Brendan is a very sincere and a deeply spiritual man, who has truly good intentions. I think he is a little rough around the edges at times: for example, he spoke quite loudly at times, he was often “in our face,” if you will, he unnecessarily swore in church to make a point, and confused people with some opinions about Catholic verses Protestant translations of the bible. I do also plan to write him soon and recommend that in future parish missions, he not begin exposition of the Blessed Sacrament until he is done with his speaking (which tends to go forty minutes or more), or that he, like many priests or deacons during forty hours’ devotion, speak from the pulpit (alongside the Blessed Sacrament, not detracting from its’ centrality of focus) for a briefer period of time.

However, all that being said, I am hearing that many parishioners were touched by Brendan in powerful ways. Quite a number of our youth received special Charismatic Gifts, such as the prayer gift of “speaking in tongues,” and are full of joy as a result. One adult woman shared with me that she has had a peace in her life for the last four days that she hasn’t experienced in decades. And another woman who attended the mission in order to pray for her sister who is alcoholic returned home that evening to receive a call from her sister saying that she was entering a counseling program for the first time. Finally, one gentleman who is not Catholic, but attended the mission, decided as a result to go through RCIA and become Catholic this next year. These are some positive fruits of the mission, and hopefully there will be more as we go. A tree, remember, is always judged by its fruit. Does our experience lead us to greater love, faith, obedience, humility, etc.? is the central question. Next week I’ll share with you some quotes about the Charismatic movement from the Magisterium of the Church, with some commentary, which tends to be both affirmative and cautious. Then, I’ll finish with another column on the Charismatic gifts themselves, and what they mean.

Fr. Michael

For additional information, Email me privately...

Saturday, 30th Week in Ordinary Time

From: Luke 14:1, 7-11

[1] One Sabbath when He (Jesus) went to dine at the house of a ruler who belonged to the Pharisees, they were watching Him.

A Lesson About Humility
[7] Now He told a parable to those who were invited, when He marked how they chose the places of honor, saying to them, [8] "When you are invited by any one to a marriage feast, do not sit down in a place of honor, lest a more eminent man than you be invited by him; [9] and he who invited you both will come and say to you, `Give place to this man' and then you will begin with shame to take the lowest place. [10] But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host comes he may say to you, `Friend, go up higher'; then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you. [11] For every one who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.

11. Humility is necessary for salvation that Jesus takes every opportunity to stress its importance. Here He uses the attitudes of people at banquet to remind us again that it is God who assigns the places at the Heavenly banquet. "Together with humility, the realization of the greatness of man's dignity--and of the overwhelming fact that, by grace, we are made children of God--forms a single attitude. It is not our own efforts that save us and gives us life; it is the grace of God. This is a truth which must never be forgotten" ([St] J. Escriva, "Christ Is Passing By", 133).
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland.

Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Saved from closure but still unhappy

It came as a 'eye-opening' surprise to many of those who watch some of the "goings on" in the archdiocese, especially with respect to dissident or heterdox groups or individuals, that one of the parishes that many thought would be closed, was recommended to remain open. Rather than express gratitude that, so far, they have been spared the prospect of closing, this is in last Sunday's bulletin:
The South City Plan recommends that St. Cronan’s lose its territorial status and become a personal parish. The Parish Council is questioning this change, because in reality we are very invested in this neighborhood.
In various conversations, people have communicated complete disbelief at the South Deanery plan. Several people wonder if the Archbishop is aware of the things going on there.

Another has suggested that, in making this a personal parish having no boundaries, it might be a attempt to keep the people in one place, rather than have them 'branch out' to other parishes. This makes some sense, although from what is posted on the parish website, one can easily come to the conclusion that they were comfortable starting their own little community of 'believers', if the church was to be closed. Maybe others have a different perspective.


All Saints, All Souls feasts to be observed Nov. 1-2

A listing of some of the Masses in the Archdiocese.

A Failure to Teach in Altoona-Johnstown

***Updated*** 11/17/04
It was brought to my attention that I was, perhaps, too critical of Bishop Adamec's column and will clarify my position. All updates will be in brackets[].

This certainly isn't the first time confusion has been sown among the faithful.
Bishop Joseph Adamec writes his column, "WHAT’S IN A PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION?", but he, like many others, proposes something which is a grave error. He states:
It is very likely that there will be some evil coming along with the good that we wish to choose when we vote for any particular candidate. So, how is our choice to be made? As is so often said: “Very carefully.”

As I see it, this particular election is primarily about life, that greatest and most basic of gifts from our Creator. We are called to promote life, as a God-given right, at all its stages. That includes before birth as well as after, when inconvenient as well as when convenient, for the guilty as well as for the innocent, and for those who disagree with us as well as for those who agree. In that regard, we may not kill indiscriminately (such as in abortion or war) and we may not use another person’s life simply for the enhancement of our own (such as in stem cell research or political opportunity).
One wonders if he understands what directly procured abortions are - the intentional, discriminate killing of an unborn child. To suggest that abortion is the indiscriminate killing of another demonstrates complete and utter negligence, at best.

[My use of the term 'indiscriminate' is based on an understanding that the word would be synonomous with 'haphazd, unrestrained, unselective, random, or arbitrary'. The bishop may mean something else. The direct, intentional killing of an unborn baby, I maintain, cannot be labeled as 'indiscriminate' for it is neither random nor unselective but it is, precisely, very 'selective' - a unique and unrepeatable human being has been chosen - singularly selected - to be murdered.]

At its worst, it is a lie which distorts the teaching of the Church. The clear and unambiguous teaching of the intrinsic evil of directly procured abortions should not be compared with the unintended deaths of civilians which occur in times of war.

[Here, I stand corrected on failing to make a proper distinction. It must be noted that the discriminating and intentional killing of an innocent person in time of war would be gravely immoral as would be the intentional, indiscriminate killing of people. Having said this, the United States neither endorses nor condones the intentional and indiscriminate killing of innocent people during times of war.]

It is a grave failure for a bishop, or anyone charged with imparting the faith to others, to make such a declaration.

[My reference here refers specifically to the equating of abortion (which does occur appproximately 4,000 time per day) with 'indiscriminate killing of innocents during war' (which rarely happens today by US troops). I maintain that the comparison used was, at the very least, wrongly worded and confusing.]

Pray that the faithful of that diocese understand the truth and pray for [the] bishop that he might speak the truth with clarity.

Bishop Adamec's letter is here.

Abp. O'Brien: dissenting politicians shouldn't take Communion

Catholic politicians who "choose to disregard (the) tenets of their professed faith and, in fact, actively promote opposite ones" should refrain from receiving Communion, said Archbishop Edwin F. O'Brien of the U.S. Archdiocese for the Military Services, at a Mass for judges, law enforcement officers and attorneys in southern New York state. Archbishop Edwin F. O'Brien of the U.S. Archdiocese for the Military Services

A perspective on General Intercessions

From George Weigel's, Lord, please don’t hear this prayer:
...the subscription services that supply many parishes with their general intercessions often turn the petitions into mini-sermons in which various messages, theological and political, are encoded.

I particularly dislike the now-widespread custom of jumping immediately from a pro forma prayer for the universal Church or the Pope to a second, much lengthier petition for some political desideratum, often accompanied by a protracted secondary clause suggesting, not too subtly, that all social goods are to be secured by government action.
I have, for years, remained silent when some of General Intercessions were read. Perhaps, a better solution is to say," Lord, Don't hear our prayer".


Davenport diocese settles abuse claims

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Davenport agreed Thursday to pay $9 million to settle 37 claims of sexual abuse by priests - a deal that could lift any immediate threat of bankruptcy.

St. Agatha's Latin Mass schedule for this coming week

10:00 Sunday, 10/31 - High Mass for Christ the King (old calendar..last Sun of Oct)
Benediction afterwards

7:00pm Monday, 11/1 - High Mass for Feast of All Saints

7:00pm Tuesday, 11/2 - High Mass for Feast of All Souls

Thanks to Marc P. for the update.

Sacred choral music resonated well at the Cathedral Basilica

They arrived late - at 7 p.m., they were still unloading their truck at the rear of the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis - but despite the last-minute nature of their acquaintance with that vividly resonant space, conductor Bernard Labadie and his matched ensembles, Les Violons du Roy and La Chappelle du Quebec, delivered a solid performance in sacred choral music by Mozart.

Archbishop Burke's Reflections on Holy Land Pilgrimage

I conclude with one final reflection. Throughout the pilgrimage, I had a profound sense of the presence of the Mother of God, drawing me to her Divine Son. In each holy place, I was led to reflect upon the irreplaceable role of Mary in our salvation, a role which she continues to carry out by her intercession on our behalf before God the Father. The Virgin Mary, who is our model in going on pilgrimage, intercedes for pilgrims, in a special way, that they may find Christ more fully in their lives. She accompanies pilgrims with the maternal counsel which best expresses her vocation and mission. The counsel is her last recorded words in the Gospels, her words to the wine stewards at the Wedding Feast of Cana: "Do whatever He tells you" (John 2:5).
Full article here.

Friday, 30th Week In Ordinary Time

From: Luke 14:1-6

Jesus Cures a Dropsical Man on the Sabbath
[1] One sabbath when he (Jesus) went to dine at the house of a ruler who belonged to the Pharisees, they were watching him. [2] And behold, there was a man before him who had dropsy. [3] And Jesus spoke to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, "Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath, or not?" [4] But they were silent. Then he took him and healed him, and let him go. [5] And he said to them, "Which of you, having an ass or an ox that has fallen into a well, will not immediately pull him out on a
sabbath day?" [6] And they could not reply to this.

1-6. Fanaticism is always evil. It often causes blindness and leads a person, as in this case, to deny the principles of justice and charity and even basic humanitarianism. We should never be fanatical about anything--no matter how sacred it is.
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland.

Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

La Crosse Diocesan Lawyer Steps Aside

Diocesan lawyer steps aside after CWN story

La Crosse, Oct. 28 ( - The attorney for the Diocese of La Crosse, Wisconsin, has recused himself from involvement in any future decisions regarding the tax-exempt status, after being criticized in a CWN story for recommending against the distribution of a popular voting guide.

In a press release issued on Thursday night-- just hours after the CWN story appeared-- the diocese announced that James Birnbaum had made the decision himself, in order "to avoid even the appearance of even the appearance of a conflict of interest and to end any controversy" about his decisions.
The voting guide he rejected was the Catholic Answers Voter's Guide for Serious Catholics. CWN reported earlier of Birnbaum's contributions to anti-life politicians.

Full Story

Vermont Catholics urged no shaking hands, no common chalice

Parishioners in Vermont urged to stop sharing chalice, shaking hands to stop flu
Associated Press

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) -- You can pray you won't get the flu, but Vermont's Catholic bishop is urging other steps as well.

Bishop Kenneth Angell has urged worshippers of the state's largest religion to abstain from the Mass customs of sharing a chalice of wine and shaking hands for the next six months.
Coming from a secular source, we can see a problem right away. The chalice does NOT contain wine at all - although it appears to many people to be wine, it is not wine, but the Precious Blood of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Catholics traditionally shake hands with parishioners in pews beside them when a priest calls for a "sign of peace" during Mass. They then receive a piece of communion bread and may sip from a shared chalice.
Once again, Catholic doctrine needs to be reinforced - after the consecration, the bread ceases to be bread - it has become the Body of our Lord. Only the accidents (those things perceived by the senses-taste, looks, feel, etc.) remain for the substance has been changed by the action of the Holy Spirit. This mystery is transubstantiation

Article here.

Letter to the Editor from Catholic Action Network

This stuff is so old...Anyone with half a brain knows exactly what nonsense is coming. It hasn't changed a bit. The stale, moldy leftover ideologies from the rebellious sixties are still being promoted in an attempt to convince others that the truth is not being taught to the faithful by our Archbishop. But alas, J. Truax and the dissenters and malcontents are here to enlighten those of us who believe what the Church teaches and what Archbishop Burke has handed on to us.
A partisan guide

Archbishop Raymond Burke's support of the so-called "Voter's Guide for Serious Catholics" is an unfortunate attempt to sway Catholic voters towards a right-wing, Republican agenda. Catholics should see through this thinly-veiled partisan attempt, and choose candidates who protect the poor, promote global peace, and who fund education, health care, and environmental initiatives.

These are pro-life issues, and have been mostly neglected lately. The archbishop's narrow focus on only five issues suggests that the lives and daily struggles of factory workers, homeless people, and senior citizens (all attacked by the policies of our so-called pro-life president,) are of little consequence. A long history of Church teaching says that Catholics should consider a full range of issues when making political judgments. By severely limiting the issues that Catholics should consider important, Burke and others are defying these teachings and promoting an extremist agenda that pays little heed to the struggles of everyday citizens.

Jenny Truax
Program Coordinator
Catholic Action Network
for Social Justice
St. Louis
This letter is from the same group which supports women's ordination and homosexuality or groups which support these things. Rather than following the teachings of the Church and recognizing the fundamental and primary right to life, without which these other issues are irrelevant, the group continues to espouse it own "theology".

Some people are so blinded that they cannot see the light. Distortions of fact are a rule. An inversion of reality has occurred where 'Lies are proclaimed as truths and truths are dismissed as lies.' Abortion is not mentioned here, but the promotion of the slavery of welfare is exalted. The 'gift' of homosexuality is to be embraced as a wonderful benefit to society and to families.

As I posted earlier, this same group, "Catholic" Action Network (in conjunction with Soulforce) is conducting a "vigil" on the steps of the Cathedral in an effort to 'convince' the Archbishop of the legitimacy, sanctity, and goodness of homosexuality.

Link to Letter here.

Pro-Life Candidates in Your State

This is a handy resource to have.

Check it out here.

Does "Faithful Citizenship" confuse priorities of magisterial teaching?

Pope John Paul II, and the Bishops who teach in union with the Pope, [1] speak loud and clear what the church's priorities are for voting as a Catholic. They teach that one may not consider other human conditions without giving first predominant consideration of the five most important conditions of the right to life: abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, cloning and same-sex marriage.

In contrast, many 'faithful' Catholics [demographers call them 'church-attending Catholics'] as well as many 'devout' Catholics [those who attend daily Mass] are saying they will be voting for pro-abortion John Kerry. In addition, the usual suspects — the 'unchurched' lukewarm Catholics — can be relied on to support Kerry's abortion stance.

The Church has never taught, nor does it teach now, that 'global solidarity' and 'social justice' are the same equivalent as the right to life of the unborn, the infirmed, and the elderly. The Church has always clearly condemned abortion, sodomy, euthanasia, cloning, and embryonic stem cell research in all instances. Without the 'right to life,' no other rights are possible.

The Church's social teachings are important human concerns, but, as the Pope often and adamantly speaks, no other human rights are as significant or crucial as the 'right to life' of the unborn, the infirmed, and the elderly:
Complete article here.

Parish in Minnesota ordered to remove Gay Pride material from website

A Catholic church in Minneapolis known for its progressive stands on social issues has been ordered by the Vatican and the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis to remove Gay Pride material from its Web site and stop allowing unordained guests to speak during mass.

The order was delivered by two bishops in person two weeks ago to the pastor of St. Joan of Arc and again in a statement issued Wednesday.
This parish is known for its open dissent against the teaching of the Church regarding homosexuality:
St. Joan of Arc has a vibrant number of gay and lesbian partners with children. St. Joan of Arc's GLBT Families Group was initiated to meet this diverse group's needs.
The parish is now in emotional turmoil.
Parish administrator Peter Eichten said church members have met twice to discuss the order. Emotions at the meetings ranged from fear to anger, he said.

"We've really tried to avoid creating a we-versus-them type of situation," he said. "We've never felt that we've done anything contrary to the teachings of the church. We would not do that. We feel that the gospel demand is to be open and hospitable to all people, no matter who or what they are."

The church has run afoul of Catholic leaders in the past. [The pastor, Rev. George] Wertin said he met with the same two bishops more than a year ago over another dispute. In May 2003 the archdiocese rescinded an award of excellence that was to be given to religious educator Kathy Itzin at St. Joan's after Wertin was told that she was a lesbian.

"We are in the process of an in-depth self-examination that will help us get better in touch with our identity as a Catholic community that teaches us to promote justice, peace and inclusivity," he wrote.
Sounds like one particular parish here in St. Louis.


Many of us will miss this on Nov 9 at the Dinner/Talk with Archbishop Burke

"People of Faith for Gay Rights" Vigil

Join the members of our Holy Families working group, in conjunction the national group Soulforce and dozens of vigils across the country.

We will call for an end to the anti-gay rhetoric and practices of the Catholic hierarchy both in St. Louis, and nationally.

Meet on the Cathedral steps (4431 Lindell) at 7:30pm.

We will have time for both silence and sharing.
Bring a candle, sign, song, or poem to share.
"Holy Families" is a group formed at St. Cronan Parish (first reported on here) - a parish is the South City deanery that has been initially slated to remain open, while others are closed. The question of "Why?" comes to mind...Why is this 'parish' allowed to continue to foster dissent from the teachings of the Church and disunity within the Church?

Here is what Soulforce has planned and which "Holy Familes" and Catholic Action Network are supporting:
National Call for Prayer and Vigils at local Catholic Chanceries, November 9, 2004

On November 9, 2004, all across the nation, people of faith will be standing vigil with Soulforce local groups outside local Catholic Chanceries to denounce the leadership role the Catholic hierarchy has taken to deny gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals their equal civil rights under the law.
Here is the Link to this scandalous affair.

Fortunately, the Archbishop won't be there to witness this open rebellion to God - he will be speaking on “Catholic Moral Teaching and the Common Good”. Perhaps these people would be better served if they would listen to the wisdom of the Church as handed on to us by Archbishop Burke?

Jill Stanek: Abort pro-choice retirees from Social Security program

Almost 32 years ago these gods [pro-choice senior citizens] decreed themselves the right to abort the very young people they now demand pay for their Alaskan cruises and bingo games, if they somehow managed to survive. Incredible.

If I were a person born after January 22, 1973, I would say, “Let them eat dog food.”
I wonder, as the growing number of unwanted old people increases, will Kate Michelman of NARAL Pro-Choice America take on the battle cry, “Every old person a wanted old person”?
That leads me to wonder, when Kate is alone at night with her nightmares of chopped up babies, does she now worry about her own future?

I expect when old pro-aborts are as helpless as the babies they put to death so many years before, they will finally understand what all the fuss was about.
Jill Stanek offers a just proposal for those aging seniors who promoted the abortion of the unborn. This is an insightful view of "reaping what one sows" or in this case, "what one fails to sow."

For those who may not be aware, Jill Stanek became a leader in the Illinois conservative movement when she fought to stop "live birth abortion" after witnessing one as an RN at Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, Illinois.

The complete article is here.

What Is Gained by Praying the Rosary Daily

According to Theologian Father Jesús Castellano Cervera

How difficult is it to pray the Rosary? How can one find the time to do it?

Praying the Rosary is not difficult, especially if one has a 15-20 minute or more commute to work. A tape or CD of the Rosary is ideal during drive time, although, at times, one's contemplation may be distracted from the mysteries by the demands of weather or traffic. Nevertheless, it still provides a personal time of conversation with our Lord and our Lady which brings a special peace and tranquility to one's mind.

Develop a "habit" of doing this daily - especially during this year of the Eucharist. The Rosary is our "special weapon" against the darkness of the world. It will help prepare one to face the world with the spirit of a Christian and help one in their daily efforts of evangelization and conversion.

Bishop Serratelli: Politics And Logic

We are at a crossroads in our nation's history. We need to disengage reason from rhetoric. We need to face squarely the principles that inform our choices and the consequences that follow them. Not financial gain, but truth; not popular acclaim, but truth; not party spirit, but truth is the foundation for sound judgments and responsible choices.

The ancient Greek philosophers gifted us with an indispensable tool in the inquiry for truth. They taught us logic. Today there are well over 200 different definitions of logic. But quite simply, logic is the science and art of reasoning. It directs the mind to attain clarity in thinking and consistency in judgment. Before we make any choice, we need to think logically. Only with careful reasoning can we hope to arrive at truth-apart from the slant of the polls and the prejudice of the press.

Some adopt as their political shibboleth such oft-repeated sayings as "My religion is one thing; my politics, another;" or "I am personally opposed to abortion; but I will not let this influence my vote."

Has logic been banished from our land? How can someone personally hold that abortion is murder and yet say, "because my constituency wants it, I will support abortion?" How can anyone logically say my religion does not affect my decisions on these issues of life?
Bishop Serratelli's complete article is here.

Feast: Sts. Simon and Jude, Apostles

From: Luke 6:12-16

The Calling of the Apostles
[12] In these days He (Jesus) went out into the hills to pray; and all night He continued in prayer to God. [13] And when it was day, He called His disciples, and chose from them twelve, whom He named Apostles: [14] Simon, whom He named Peter, and Andrew, his brother, and James and John, and Philip and Bartholomew, [15] and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot, [16] and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.
12-13. The evangelist writes with a certain formality when describingthis important occasion on which Jesus chooses the Twelve, constituting them as the apostolic college: "The Lord Jesus, having prayed at length to the Father, called to Himself those whom He willed and appointed twelve to be with Him, whom He might send to preach the Kingdom of God (cf. Mark 2:13-19; Matthew 10:1-42). These Apostles (cf. Luke 6:13) He constituted in the form of a college or permanent assembly, at the head of which He placed Peter, chosen from among them (cf. John 21:15-17). He sent them first of all to the children of Israel and then to all peoples (cf. Romans 1:16), so that, sharing in His power, they might make all peoples His disciples and sanctify and govern them (cf. Matthew 28:16-20; and par.) and thus spread the Church and, administering it under the guidance of the Lord, shepherd it all days until the end of the world (cf. Matthew 28:20). They were fully confirmed in this mission on the day of Pentecost (cf. Act 2:1-26) [...]. Through their preaching the Gospel everywhere (cf. Mark 16:20), and through its being welcomed and received under the influence of the Holy Spirit by those who hear it, the Apostles gather together the universal Church, which the Lord founded upon the Apostles and built upon Blessed Peter their leader, the chief cornerstone being Christ Jesus Himself (cf. Revelation 21:14; Matthew 16:18; Ephesians 2:20). That divine mission, which was committed by Christ to the Apostles, is destined to last until the end of the world (cf. Matthew 28:20), since the Gospel, which they were charged to hand on, is, for the Church, the principle of all its life for all time. For that very reason the Apostles were careful to appoint successors in this hierarchically constituted society" (Vatican II, "Lumen Gentium", 19-20).

Before establishing the apostolic college, Jesus spent the whole night in prayer. He often made special prayer for His Church (Luke 9:18; John 17:1ff), thereby preparing His Apostles to be its pillars (cf. Galatians 2:9). As His Passion approaches, He will pray to the Father for Simon Peter, the head of the Church, and solemnly tell Peter that He has done so: "But I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail" (Luke 22:32). Following Christ's example, the Church stipulates that on many occasions liturgical prayer should be offered for the pastors of the Church (the Pope, the bishops in general, and priests) asking God to give them grace to fulfill their ministry faithfully.

Christ is continually teaching us that we need to pray always (Luke 18:1). Here He shows us by His example that we should pray with special intensity at important moments in our lives. "`Pernoctans in oratione Dei. He spent the whole night in prayer to God.' So St. Luke tells of our Lord. And you? How often have you persevered like that? Well, then...." ([Blessed] J. Escriva, "The Way", 104).

On the need for prayer and the qualities our prayer should have, see the notes on Matthew 6:5-6; 7:7-11; 14:22-23; Mark 1:35; Luke 5:16; 11:1-4; 22:41-42.

12. Since Jesus is God, why does He pray? There were two wills in Christ, one divine and one human (cf. "St. Pius X Catechism", 91), and although by virtue of His divine will He was omnipotent, His human will was not omnipotent. When we pray, what we do is make our will known to God; therefore Christ, who is like us in all things but sin (Hebrews 4:15), also had to pray in a human way (cf. "Summa Theologiae", III, q. 21, a. 1). Reflecting on Jesus at prayer, St. Ambrose comments: "The Lord prays not to ask things for Himself, but to intercede on my behalf; for although the Father has put everything into the hands of the Son, still the Son, in order to behave in accordance with His condition as man, considers it appropriate to implore the Father for our sake, for He is our Advocate [...]. A Master of obedience, by His example He instructs us concerning the precepts of virtue: `We have an advocate with the Father' (1 John 2:1)" ("Expositio Evangelii sec. Lucam, in loc.").

14-16. Jesus chose for Apostles very ordinary people, most of them poor and uneducated; apparently only Matthew and the brothers James and John had social positions of any consequence. But all of them gave up whatever they had, little or much as it was, and all of them, bar Judas, put their faith in the Lord, overcame their shortcomings and eventually proved faithful to grace and became saints, veritable pillars of the Church. We should not feel uneasy when we realize that we too are low in human qualities; what matters is being faithful to the grace God gives us.
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland.

Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

ICEL official tells Canadian bishops inclusive language debate lives....

And, evidently, Liturgiam Authenticam is dead - defying what the Holy See has stated.

Article here.

Adult catechism for U.S. Catholics on bishops' agenda

One of the major items on the U.S. bishops' agenda when they meet this November will be the country's first national Catholic catechism intended specifically for adults.

The proposed adult catechism must be approved by at least two-thirds of all active bishops and then receive "recognitio," or confirmation, from the Holy See before it becomes official. The 456-page proposed text was sent out to the bishops in advance of the meeting.
Catholic World Report reviewed the proposed catechism and produced a report on it here.

Excerpts of the report were posted here last December. Hopefully, many of the suggested changes were implemented. Perhaps this could be a catechetical text of which we could be proud. Let us pray to God that it be so.


If only our Bishops would do likewise

After 14 years!
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) has received approval (recognitio) from the Holy See for the ordinances that will implement the Vatican document Ex Corde Ecclesiae in Canada.

The document states: “Every Catholic university is to maintain communion with the universal Church and the Holy See; it is to be in close communion with the local Church and, in particular, with the diocesan bishop of the region or the nation in which it is located.”

"Catholics for a Free Choice" Calls IRS on Denver Archbishop Chaput

DENVER, October 26, 2004 ( - The pro-abortion, anti-Catholic and fraudulent Catholics for a Free Choice has complained to the US tax watchdog, the Internal Revenue Service, about Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput. CFFC, a strong supporter of John Kerry, is complaining about what it calls partisan comments in a column the Archbishop published in The New York Times Friday.
Frances Kissling and her anti-life and anti-Catholic organization continue a frontal assault on the Church. As an agent of Satan and a fierce defender of and cooperator in evil, she has once again demonstrated why some sort of ecclesial action should be taken as soon as possible. Discipline requires true love.

As any parent knows, discipline can be hard at times. Nevertheless, it is something which can not be overlooked if one truly loves one's child.


We need president with good morals and willing to back them up

And One More...
I am writing in responses to Tom Murphey's letter in the Oct. 13 edition of the Clarion. In his letter, Mr. Murphey stated "let me first say that being raised in a Christian family, I was taught not to hate people."

My question to Mr. Murphey is this: Being raised in a Christian family, were you also taught not to kill? Hundreds of innocent people are killed everyday by abortion, which Mr. Kerry very strongly supports.

In addition, being raised in a Christian family, were you taught it was all right to make babies for the sole purpose of using their body parts for research? Kerry also supports this in stem cell research.

It isn't easy to stand up for what we believe in. It is much easier to go along with the "popular demand." Mr. Kerry also proves this when he goes against his beliefs as a "professed Roman Catholic."

My concerns are, is Mr. Kerry willing to go against his beliefs just in order to become elected as president or would these policies carry on in his term where he to become president?

The United States of America is a great moral crossroads. Our Supreme Court has gotten rid of prayer in schools and most public places. The Ten Commandments are no longer allowed in many public places.

The entire meaning of "family" is being threatened with same sex marriages. Babies are made and killed because their birth would be a great inconvenience to someone's life style.

At this time, more than any other, we need a president to lead our country who not only has good morals but is willing to back them up even at the risk of not being "popular."

Ruth Wessel
Ruth gets right to the point. Can those to whom she directs her questions respond in a coherent manner? The answer would be no, unless one wishes to engage in moral relativism.

It must be understood that John Kerry has no belief system, no conscience, no guiding moral principles. His only claim to Catholicism is that he purportedly was baptized at some point in his life. Other than that and his constant claim to be Catholic (and an altar boy), he bears no sign or indication that he is, truly, Catholic. His actions demonstrate that he has rejected the Catholic faith.

It is shameful that any professed Catholic can support this man and his anti-life policies with a clear conscience - that being, a conscience that is rightly formed in the truth.


Baer letter nailed it right on head

From Today's Post...
Finally someone has nailed it right on the head.

Hats off to Julie Baer of Granite City and her knowledge of the "blood guilt" which plagues that city. As long as Granite City allows the continuous murders of the unborn, the blood guilt will lie upon the hands of its leaders and the residents will live under that blood guilt.

She quoted John Kerry stating he is a Catholic and he "deeply respects the belief about life and when it begins." He can "respect" all the beliefs he wants, but he does not stand up for the unborn and protect them from being murdered.

So in stating he is a Catholic does not mean he supports the Catholic beliefs that murder is wrong. He is playing on the hopes that by throwing out the fact that he "is a Catholic" will win him the confidence of other Catholics.

We have a neighboring Catholic leader in Missouri who feels if you support abortion in any form you should not be able to take communion within the Catholic church, yet John Kerry wants to run our country, tell the people he's a Catholic all the while allowing our children to be murdered on a daily basis.

Mr. Kerry needs to go find and dust off his Bible, since his religion "helped lead him through a war, and it leads him today" and read what it says about murder. It is a sin.

James 1:8 seems fitting to describe Mr. Kerry—"he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does."
Mary Frierdich
(Emphasis mine)


Wednesday, 30th Week in Ordinary Time

From: Luke 13:22-30

The Narrow Gate
[22] He (Jesus) went on his way through towns and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem. [23] And some one said to him, "Lord, will those who are saved be few?" And he said to them, [24] "Strive to enter by the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. [25] When once the householder has risen up and shut the door, you will begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, 'Lord, open to us.' He will answer you, 'I do not know where you are from.' [26] Then you will begin to say, 'We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.' [27] But he will say, 'I tell you, I do not know where you come from; depart from me, all you workers of iniquity!" [28] There you will weep and gnash your teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God and you yourselves thrust out. [29] And men will come from east and west, and from north and south, and sit at table in the kingdom of God. [30] And behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last."

23-24. Everyone is called to form part of the Kingdom of God, for he "desires all men to be saved" (1 Tim 2:4). "Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience: those too may achieve eternal salvation. Nor shall divine providence deny the assistance necessary for salvation to those who, without any fault of theirs, have not yet arrived at an explicit knowledge of God, and who, not without grace, strive to lead a good life. Whatever good or truth is found among them is considered by the Church to be a preparation for the Gospel and given by him who enlightens all men that they may at length have life" (Vatican II, "Lumen Gentium", 16).

Certainly, only those who make a serious effort can reach the goal of salvation (cf. Lk 16:16; Mt 11:12). Our Lord tells us so by using the simile of the narrow gate. "A Christian's struggle must be unceasing, for interior life consists in beginning and beginning again. This prevents us from proudly thinking that we are perfect already. It is inevitable that we should meet difficulties on our way. If we did not come up against obstacles, we would not be creatures of flesh and blood. We will always have passions that pull us downwards; we will always have to defend ourselves against more or less self-defeating urges" ([St] J. Escriva, "Christ Is Passing By", 75).

25-28. As at other times, Jesus describes eternal life by using the example of a banquet (cf., e.g., Lk 12:35ff; 14:15). Knowing the Lord and listening to his preaching is not enough for getting to heaven; what God judges is how we respond to the grace he gives us: "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven" (Mt 7:21).

29-30. Generally speaking, the Jewish people regarded themselves as the sole beneficiaries of the messianic promises made by the prophets; but Jesus proclaims that salvation is open to everyone. The only condition he lays down is that men freely respond to God's merciful call. When Christ died on the cross the veil of the temple was torn in two (Lk 23:45 and par.), a sign of the end of the distinction between Jews and Gentiles. St Paul teaches: "For he [Christ] is our peace, who has made us both one, and has broken down the dividing wall [...] that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby bringing the hostility to an end" (Eph 2:14-16). Therefore, "all men are called to belong to the new people of God. This people therefore, whilst remaining one and only one, is to be spread throughout the whole world and to all ages in order that the design of God's will may be fulfilled: he made human nature one in the beginning and has decreed that all his children who were scattered should be finally gathered together as one" (Vatican II, "Lumen Gentium", 13).
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland.

Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

I love Wednesdays - They are Post Dispatch "SoundOff" Days...

...and people get to make complete fools of themselves:
Stay out

Archbishop Burke should stay out of voting booths and re-read Matthew 22:21. "Render therefore unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's and to God the things that are God's." I will vote for an honest man rather than for a strutting hawk, and confess nothing.
An "honest man"???? Is someone ever confused? Evidently, far too many are:
A question

Is Burke denying Communion for all the Catholics that are for the death penalty?

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Frs.Di Noia & Cole, The Truth will not be Suppressed!

A long, detailed article on the recent Marc Balestrieri "controversy."

From the Coalition to Protect Marriage in Missouri

I received this email this morning from Coalition to Protect Marriage in Missouri:
Most American citizens are realizing that the Judiciary is a lot of the time out of their bounds in interpreting the laws by “legislating from the bench.” The Massachusetts Supreme Court ruling regarding same sex marriage made it necessary for our state on August 3rd to amend our State Constitution to clarify that in Missouri, marriage is between one man and one woman.

Thank you, again, for your support and dedication to protect traditional marriage in Missouri. But our efforts are not over.

In November there will be retention votes for a Missouri Supreme Court judge and several appellate court judges. A “Yes” vote to retain is a vote of affirmation on that particular judge. A “No” vote on retention is the “people’s impeachment” of a judge. Attached is information on Richard Teitelman, who was appointed by Governor Holden in 2002 and is up for his first vote for retention.

Kerry Messer of Missouri Family Network calls him “Missouri’s Most Liberal Judicial Activist” (see attached documentation). Besides several liberal rulings, he was one of the judges who sided with those who opposed Amendment 2 and voted to put the resolution on the August ballot instead of the November ballot where more Missourians would have a voice in the matter. Judge Teitelman sided with those who wanted to duck the voters and defeat Amendment 2.

The November 2 election is an opportunity for pro-family voters to make their voices heard regarding judicial activism. Please read the enclosed information and vote your values on November 2.

Listed below is the information on the judges on the appellate court on which you will be voting as well as further information on Missouri Supreme Court Judge Richard B. Teitelman. The percentage listed beside the judge’s name is the Missouri Bar Association’s opinion on retention based on courtroom demeanor and procedure (not rulings). Also listed is the date of appointment and the governor who made the appointment.

Missouri Supreme Court

Eastern District

Western District

Southern District

Thank you for making an informed vote. Please share this information with others who care about protecting traditional values in Missouri.

Bev Ehlen
Grasroots, Coordinator
Coalition to Protect Marriage in Missouri

Vote “NO” to Retain MO Supreme Court Judge Richard B. Teitelman

La Crosse Diocese Lawyer Supported Pro-Abort Politicians

And some have suggested that this is the reason he advised the diocese against using the Catholic Answers Voter's Guide.
La Crosse, Wisconsin, Oct. 26 (Culture of Life Foundation/ - A diocesan attorney who instructed pastors in the Diocese of La Crosse, Wisconsin, not to distribute a pro-life voting guide has given thousands of dollars to pro-abortion candidates in state and national elections.

James G. Birnbaum, who serves as a lawyer for the La Crosse diocese, recently sent a letter to pastors and administrators of parishes in the diocese, telling them not to allow the distribution of Catholic Answer's "Voter's Guide for Serious Catholics" "on your parish grounds or during your parish activities."
As expected, Birnbaum would not return any phone calls regarding this matter.


Post Dispatch: Election turns faith into action

Religious activists from the pews and pulpits are invoking issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage on Bush's behalf and health care and jobs on Kerry's.

Group files IRS complaint against St. Louis Archdiocese

An abortion rights organization planned to file a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service today against the Archdiocese of St. Louis, saying that Archbishop Raymond Burke violated the diocese's tax-exempt status. Burke, the complaint said, has "clearly crossed the line into political intervention."

The organization, Catholics for a Free Choice, also said it filed a complaint Monday with the IRS against the Denver archdiocese and its archbishop, Charles J. Chaput.
"Catholics" for a Free Choice have been taking aim at everyone and every group which proclaims those truths as revealed by God and proposed by the Church for our belief.
The group said that in Burke's pastoral letter, "On Our Civic Responsibility for the Common Good," "Catholics are led to believe they cannot vote for candidates who take positions that differ from the archdiocese's position on these issues."
When is Frances Kissling going to be "formally" excommunicated for her attacks on the Church and her attacks on Truth?


Bishops' Adherence to Truth Rankles Homosexuals

Bishop Kevin Boland and Archbishop John Donoghue call marriage between a man and a woman the "most basic building block of society."

In an open letter they are asking over 372,000 Catholic parishioners to vote "yes" on Amendment 1.

Gay activists like Kevin Clark of the gay rights group, Georgia Equality, says the letter crosses the line separating of church and state.

"This flies in the face of the spirit of Christianity. They should be ashamed of themselves. It also violates the principles of church and state," said Clark.
The spirit of Christianity, for some, would allow anyone to do whatever he wishes - all in the name of freedom. The confusion between freedom and license is rampant today, even in our own churches. Sin is detrimental. It causes blindness. It kills the conscience. It leads to slavery - a slavery of the soul - an enduring darkness. Those who speak the truth, like our Lord, will be ridiculed and persecuted because the darkness does not want the light of truth to shine. We should pray for those bishops who have the courage and strength to speak the truth in a climate of decadence and adversity. We should pray also for those who need to accept the graces God bestows on them so that they, too, will proclaim those hard truths which are like beacons of light leading us on our path toward heaven.


Liberal Catholics profess their "faith" in Kerry...

...They do this, presumably, while denying their belief in God and the Church.
So, when several hundred Columbus-area Catholics, including a nun and several priests, gathered Sunday afternoon for a "Catholics for Kerry" rally, the event had the air of a coming-out party. The speakers on stage embraced each other as each one finished addressing the audience. "It feels good, doesn't it?" said Sen. Dick Durbin, a Democrat from Illinois.
Denying the truth, opposing Christ, His teachings, and His Church in order to support a person dedicated to upholding the slaughter of millions of innocent children - "feels good" - what warped and confused people these are. It's unfathomable how anyone could be so blinded!
Eric McFadden, the man who organized the event through his Web site... said he doesn't like it when the Bush campaign shows photos of the president with members of the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic organization. As a fourth degree Knight, "That's an affront to me, because he does not walk with Christ," McFadden said.
Moral blindeness affects the whole person. the person becomes incapable of coherent, moral , and rational thought.

"Bush does not walk with Christ" but apparently John Kerry does? What kind of insanity is this that results from embracing evil and failing to recognize perversions of the truth?
Here is a perfect example:
Father John Ardis, Kerry's pastor from the Paulist Center in Boston, explained that Kerry's Catholic faith dictated his support for Democratic slogans like "closing the gun show loophole" and "extending the assault weapons ban."
I am beginning to think that we have been invaded by aliens!
It takes me a great deal of restraint to remain calm when reading or listening to these folks. It's harder yet, to invoke quick prayers for their conversions, as they have, evidently, lost the Faith (assuming that they had any faith to begin with).

The scandal caused by people like this is so great and so pervasive. May God have mercy on their souls!


Vatican handbook spells out teachings on social issues

VATICAN CITY - A Vatican handbook released Monday laid out Roman Catholic Church teaching questioning preventive war and denouncing abortion as a "horrendous crime." But Vatican officials sidestepped questions on whether the war in Iraq was illegal or whether Catholics can vote for candidates who back laws permitting abortion.

Associated Press Article.

Cardinal George on Participation in Political Life

The U.S. Bishops last June, bringing once again the question of conscience to participation in political life, said that voting to protect legal abortion is a form of cooperating in the evil of abortion itself.

Should Catholic “pro-choice” politicians receive Holy Communion? Objectively, no;

Should a minister of Holy Communion give a “pro-choice” politician the Body of the Lord? If a voting record is evidence of “manifest and obstinate” sin, no. The objection is raised that voting for abortion isn’t the only political sin, even though abortion and euthanasia are the moral bottom line. Nevertheless, a firm case can be made that refusing Communion, after pastoral counseling and discussion, is a necessary response to the present scandal.

If I haven’t made it in this Archdiocese, it’s primarily because I believe it would turn the reception of Holy Communion into a circus here.
Complete letter.

Bishop Lucas: Seven principles to take with us to voting booth

We have a moral obligation to avoid cooperating in evil. Neither you nor I can eliminate evil laws, practices or structures with one vote. However, we can use our votes and voices to demonstrate an unwillingness to support evil, as well as a desire to limit its effects. By voting and speaking out, we help keep important issues affecting human life and dignity at the center of the civil discussion of the common good.
Prayers do work.


Florida Bishops' Statement on Voting

From a moral perspective, the issues of concern are not always of equal importance or urgency. Some are more fundamental and therefore more pressing than others. Pope John Paul II reminds us in the Gospel of Life, “It is impossible to further the common good without acknowledging and defending the right to life, upon which all other inalienable rights of individuals are founded and from which they develop.”

Tuesday, 30th Week In Ordinary Time

From: Luke 13:18-21

Parables of the Grain of Mustard Seed and of the Leaven
[18] He (Jesus) said therefore, "What is the Kingdom of God like? And to what shall I compare it? [19] It is like a grain of mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his garden; and it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches."

[20] And again He said, "To what shall I compare the Kingdom of God? [21] It is like leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till it was all leavened."

18-21. The grain of mustard and the leaven symbolize the Church, which starts off as a little group of disciples and steadily spreads with the aid of the Holy Spirit until it reaches the ends of the earth. As early as the second century Tertullian claimed: "We are but of yesterday and yet we are everywhere" ("Apologeticum", 37).

Our Lord "with the parable of the mustard seed encourages them to have faith and shows them that the Gospel preaching will spread in spite of everything. The Lord's disciples were the weakest of men, but nevertheless, because of the great power that was in them, the Gospel has been spread to every part of the world" (St. John Chrysostom, "Hom. on St. Matthew", 46). Therefore, a Christian should not be discouraged if his apostolic action seems very limited and insignificant. With God's grace and his own faithfulness it will keep growing like the mustard seed, in spite of difficulties: "In the moments of struggle and opposition, when perhaps `the good' fill your way with obstacles, lift up your apostolic heart: listen to Jesus as He speaks of the grain of mustard seed and of the leaven. And say to Him: `"edissere nobis parabolam": explain the parable to me.' And you will feel the joy of contemplating the victory to come: the birds of the air lodging in the branches of your apostolate, now only in its beginnings, and the whole of the meal leavened" ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 695).
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland.

Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

John Kerry was an altar boy... was Adolf Hitler
Presidential candidate, Senator John Kerry is urgently pressing uncatechised or 'dumbed down' Catholic voters to believe he is a faithful Catholic that best represents the Church's defined teachings. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

He woos the ignorant Catholics, laity, and clergy alike, by reminding them he was an altar boy. Adolf Hitler, a/k/a Adolf Schicklegruber, was also a Catholic altar boy, so this snippet of past religiosity tells us nothing of the man today — except that Kerry certainly has come a long way from being an altar boy.

"I believe today that my conduct is in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator" [Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, pp. 46]. Does this sound familiar?
Article by Barb Kralis.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Kerry Runs Against His Religion

“I love my church. I respect the bishops. But I respectfully disagree,” with those who want to “write every doctrine into law.” After Kerry said those lines, the mostly Protestant crowd erupted in a standing ovation.
Catholic League Press Release about Kerry's Speech.

What happened to the sense of morality?

In a Sunday Post Dispatch article, Betty Cuniberti writes about "Moms for Kerry" and about one woman, in particular, who professes to be a devout Catholic yet intends to vote for the anti-life Kerry:
So, which of these things do you think describes the woman who started the Greater St. Louis Moms for Kerry?

* Never been a Democrat activist
* Lives in Wildwood
* Stay-at-home mother
* Devout Catholic
* Born a Busch
* A home-schooler
* A nun for 11 years
* Opposes abortion
* Primary residence in St. Croix

OK, that last one's a joke. But all the rest apply to Tina Busch-Nema, no relation to beer royalty, just a 46-year-old mom who tools around West County in a minivan bearing the bumper sticker "I'm a Catholic for Kerry and it's not a sin."

Yeah, right. Tell that to Archbishop Raymond Burke.

Actually, she did. He wrote back sticking to his view that Catholics who knowingly vote for a pro-choice candidate are committing a grave sin.

Tina agrees with the late Chicago Archbishop and Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, who spoke of a "seamless garment" of many pro-life social issues, opposing not only abortion but also the death penalty, euthanasia, war and poverty.

Burke, Tina says, is "being irresponsible and dangerous telling Catholics to vote based on one issue. He talks about gay marriage - that's not a life issue. The people I go to church with are outraged about it."
The same mantra that's always used by those who have not a clue about what they are talking. It's depressing to see Catholics ignore the teaching of the Church about the evils of abortion and thinking that all issues are of equal weight.

Article here.

Kerry says social justice would guide presidency

I really cannot believe what I read or what I saw. The man who professes to be Catholic yet promises to support the violent murder of millions of unborn children has the nerve to say:
"The ethical test of a good society is how it treats its most vulnerable members," he said, arguing that the government has an obligation to protect the environment, fight AIDS, reduce poverty and defeat terrorism.

"I love my church, I respect the bishops, but I respectfully disagree," Mr. Kerry said, to one of the wildest ovations of the speech.

"My task, as I see it ... is not to write every doctrine into law. That is not possible or right in a pluralistic society," he said. "But my faith does give me values to live by and apply to the decisions I make."
Article here.

Monday, 30th Week In Ordinary Time

From: Luke 13:10-17

Jesus Cures a Woman on the Sabbath
[10] Now He (Jesus) was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. [11] And there was a woman who had had a spirit of infirmity for eighteen years; she was bent over and could not fully straighten herself. [12] And when Jesus saw her, He called her and said to her, "Woman, you are freed from your infirmity." [13] And He laid His hands upon her, and immediately she was made straight, and she praised God. [14] But the ruler of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, said to the people, "There are six days on which work ought to be done; come on those days and be healed, and not on the Sabbath Day." [15] Then the Lord answered him, "You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his ass from the manger, and lead it away to water it? [16] And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath Day?" [17] As He said this, all His adversaries were put to shame; and all the people rejoiced at all the glorious things that were done by Him.

10-17. As was the custom, our Lord used to go to the synagogue on the Sabbath. Noticing this poor woman He uses His power and mercy to cureher. The ordinary people are delighted, but the ruler of the synagogue, apparently zealous about fulfilling the Law (cf. Exodus 20:8; 31:14; Leviticus 19:3-30), publicly upbraids our Lord. Jesus energetically censures this warped interpretation of the Law and stresses the need for mercy and understanding, which is what pleases God (cf. Hosea 6:6; James 2:13).
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland.

Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Bishop Wilton D. Gregory said he's ready for a retreat...

...After dealing with the sex abuse issue for almost his entire three-year term as president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
In mid-November, the U.S. bishops will elect new conference officers. Bishop Gregory said he plans to take some time to reflect on a term that was largely consumed by the priestly sex abuse scandal.

Bishop Gregory said that, in retrospect, the dimensions of the sex abuse problems clearly called for the kind of drastic measures that were eventually adopted.
In retrospect, drastic measures were needed decades ago...Drastic measures are needed today - Abundant grace is needed, prayer and repentance is called for. Maybe we will continue to see Bishops of fidelity and strength emerge to lead the Church here in the U.S.

Having said this, a new USCCB President will be elected in November:
Two cardinals in the running to head bishops' conference

For the first time in 12 years, the list of 10 nominees for the next president and vice president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops includes cardinals.

The two top-ranking prelates on this year's list of nominees for president and vice president are Cardinals Francis E. George, archbishop of Chicago, and Justin Rigali, archbishop of Philadelphia. The list includes four other archbishops and four bishops. They are Archbishops Daniel M. Buechlein of Indianapolis; Charles J. Chaput of Denver; Timothy M. Dolan of Milwaukee; and William J. Levada of San Francisco; and Bishops Skylstad; Blase J. Cupich of Rapid City, S.D.; Gerald F. Kicanas of Tucson, Ariz.; and Donald W. Wuerl of Pittsburgh.
Pray that the right man is chosen - one who can help correct the course of the Catholic Church in the U.S., with fidelity to the truth.


30th Sunday in Ordinary Time

From: Luke 18:9-14

Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector
[9] He (Jesus) also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and despised others: [10] "Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. [11] The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, `God, I thank Thee that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. [12] I fast twice a week, I give tithes of all that I get.' [13] But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to Heaven, but beat his breast, saying, `God, be merciful to me a sinner!' [14] I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for every one who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted."

9-14. Our Lord here rounds off His teaching on prayer. In addition to being persevering and full of faith, prayer must flow from a humble heart, a heart that repents of its sins: "Cor contritum et humiliatum, Deus, non despicies" (Psalm 51:19); the Lord, who never despises a contrite and humble heart, resists the proud and gives His grace to the humble (cf. Peter 5:5; James 4:6).

The parable presents two opposite types--the Pharisee, who is so meticulous about external fulfillment of the Law; and the tax collector, who in fact is looked on as a public sinner (cf. Luke 19:7). The Pharisee's prayer is not pleasing to God, because his pride causes him to be self-centered and to despise others. He begins by giving thanks to God, but obviously it is not true gratitude, because he boasts about all the good he has done and he fails to recognize his sins; since he regards himself as righteous, he has no need of pardon, he thinks; and he remains in his sinful state; to him also apply these words spoken by our Lord to a group of Pharisees on another occasion: "If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, `We see,' your guilt remains" (John 9:41). The Pharisee went down from the temple, therefore, unjustified.

But the tax collector recognizes his personal unworthiness and is sincerely sorry for his sins: he has the necessary dispositions for God to pardon him. His ejaculatory prayer wins God's forgiveness: "It is not without reason that some have said that prayer justifies; for repentant prayer or supplicant repentance, raising up the soul to God and re-uniting it to His goodness, without doubt obtains pardon in virtue of the holy love which gives it this sacred movement. And therefore we ought all to have very many such ejaculatory prayers, said as an act of loving repentance and with a desire of obtaining reconciliation with God, so that by thus laying our tribulation before our Savior, we may pour out our souls before and within His pitiful heart, which will receive them with mercy" (St. Francis de Sales,
"Treatise on the Love of God", Book 2, Chapter 20).
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock,Co. Dublin, Ireland.

Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.