Saturday, November 06, 2004

Boston Prelates… Deny Kerry Got An Annulment

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The former archbishop of Boston, Bernard Cardinal Law, and his successor, Archbishop Sean O’Malley, have stated that Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry never received an annulment from the Archdiocese of Boston.
If the facts in this article by Bob Dornan are true, then Kerry's reception of Holy Communion represents not only a serious sacrilege but also a grave public scandal (as if it did not already do so).
In fidelity to the words of Jesus Christ(5), the Church affirms that a new union cannot be recognised as valid if the preceding marriage was valid. If the divorced are remarried civilly, they find themselves in a situation that objectively contravenes God's law. Consequently, they cannot receive Holy Communion as long as this situation persists(6). [Concerning the Reception of Holy Communion by Divorced and Remarried Members of the Faithful]

Wanderer Article here.

Some Catholic Teachers Need to Go

Thousands of letters to Burke back [whining] teachers

A group of Catholic elementary school teachers, who for years have been seeking the right to unionize, on Friday delivered thousands of letters supporting their cause to the office of Archbishop Raymond Burke.

Teachers also wrote letters, which were sent to Rome rather than to Burke, to protect their identity.
Protect their identity? As if copies of the letters will not be given to Archbishop Burke...And these people teach our children?

Mary Chubb, president of the local Association of Catholic Elementary Educators, acknowledges that [the suit, canonical recourse against Archbishop Burke] is a long shot. "We're well aware we're submitting it to the club, the boys' club."

"We're not going away," said Stephanie Funaiole, a union organizer. Burke "needs to understand that."
Missouri is a right to work state. Employees who cause problems are usually terminated.

I guess they want the right to strike and well as engage in collective bargaining...they can do this in the public school system. Can they not get a job there?

Perhaps more parents should homeschool so that these people would have to find employment elsewhere.

One wonders why they don't get a job in the public school system if they're so concerned with unionizing - it certainly does not sound like they have a deep commitment to Catholic Education.

I would not want troublemakers teaching my children. What a poor example is being set for them.

The bottom line is that Archbishop Burke has already responded to this request/demand/threat as did Cardinal Rigali. It well past time to swallow one's pride, and get with the program, or to get our of the way and go elsewhere.

Post Dispatch Article.

Arlen Specter 'Borked' Himself from Senate Judiciary Committee

Republican pro-abortion Senator Arlen Specter, who won his fifth consecutive seat in the Senate for Pennsylvania in Tuesday's US presidential election, warned US President George W. Bush Wednesday that Bush's so-called narrow win was in no way an unambiguous mandate from the American people.

Bishop Rene Henry Gracida of Corpus Christi, Texas, in an e-mail appeal to conservative Americans said, "Specter voted against the confirmation of Judge Bork and the impeachment of President Clinton. He is supported by NARAL. He must not become the next Chairman."

Following on the massive outcry against his warning against pro-life nominees, Sen. Specter realized that he had tipped his hand too early and is now trying to backpeddle. His anti-life biases are now on the table, however, and he is doomed to reap the consequences of his loose-lipped comments.

Send a message to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist
telephone: (202-224-3344)
Mail: 461 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
FAX (202-228-1264)
LifeSite Article.

Check out more info here at the National Right to Life Committee

To sign an online petition to the Republican members of the Judiciary Committee, go here.

Saturday, 31st Week in Ordinary Time

From: Luke 16:9-15

The Unjust Steward (Continuation)
(Jesus said to His disciples,) [9] "And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous mammon, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal habitations.

[10] "He who is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and he who is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much. [11] If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will entrust to you the true riches? [12] And if you had not been faithful in that which is another's, who will give you that which is your own? [13] No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon."

[14] The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all this, and they scoffed at Him. [15] But He said to them, "You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts; for what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God."
9-11. "Unrighteous mammon" means temporal good which have been obtained in some unjust, unrighteous way. However, God is very merciful: even this unjust wealth can enable a person to practice virtue by making restitution, by paying for the damage done and then by striving to help his neighbor by giving alms, by creating work opportunities, etc. This was the case with Zacchaeus, the chief tax collector, who undertook to restore fourfold anything he had unjustly taken, and also to give half his wealth to the poor. On hearing that, our Lord specifically declared that salvation had that day come to that house (cf. Luke19:1-10).

Our Lord speaks out about faithfulness in very little things, referring to riches--which really are insignificant compared with spiritual wealth. If a person is faithful and generous and is detached in the use he makes of these temporal riches, he will, at the end of his life, receive the rewards of eternal life, which is the greatest treasure of all, and a permanent one. Besides, by its very nature human life is a fabric of little things: anyone who fails to give them their importance will never be able to achieve great things. "Everything in which we poor men have a part--even holiness--is a fabric of small trifles which, depending upon one's intention, can form a magnificent tapestry of heroism or of degradation, of virtues or of sins.

"The epic legends always relate extraordinary adventures, but never fail to mix them with homely details about the hero. May you always attach great importance to the little things. This is the way!" ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 826).

The parable of the unjust steward is a symbol of man's life. Everything we have is a gift from God, and we are His stewards or managers, who sooner or later will have to render an account to Him.

12. "That which is another's" refers to temporal things, which are essentially impermanent. "That which is your own" refers to goods of the spirit, values which endure, which are things we really do possess because they will go with us into eternal life. In other words: how can we be given Heaven if we have proved unfaithful, irresponsible, during our life on earth?

13-14. In the culture of that time "service" involved such commitment to one's master that a servant could not take on any other work or serve any other master.

Our service to God, our sanctification, requires us to direct all our actions towards Him. A Christian does not divide up his time, allocating some of it to God and some of it to worldly affairs: everything he does should become a type of service to God and neighbor--by doing things with upright motivation, and being just and charitable.

The Pharisees jeered at what Jesus was saying, in order to justify their own attachment to material things; sometimes people make fun of total commitment to God and detachment from material things because they themselves are not ready to practice virtue; they cannot even imagine other people really having this generosity: they think they must have ulterior motives. See also the note on Matthew 6:24.

[The note on Matthew 6:24 states:
24. Man's ultimate goal is God; to attain this goal he should commit himself entirely. But in fact some people do not have God as their ultimate goal, and instead choose wealth of some kind--in which case wealth becomes their god. Man cannot have two absolute and contrary goals.]

15. "Abomination": the original Greek work means worship of idols, and, by derivation, the horror this provoked in a true worshipper of God. So the _expression conveys God's disgust with the attitude of the Pharisees who, by wanting to be exalted, are putting themselves, like idols, in the place of God.
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, November 05, 2004

Catholic Post-Traumatic Election Syndrome, Part Deux

**** Updated ****

This is a followup to this previous post from "Catholics" distressed that so many 'ignorant, white trash, fundamentalist zealots' and Catholics voted for Bush rather than the saintly AND "Catholic" John Kerry...
Sounds like a GREAT bumpersticker to me! HOW CAN 59 MILLION AMERICANS BE SOOOOOO STUPID?

Stop thinking about suicide or moving abroad. Want to feel better? Figure out what you can do to help rescue the country.

Kerry in 2008 !!

Kerry should have received 100% of the Catholic vote. It's pathetic [that he only got a bit over 50%].

To roughly paraphrase Joan Chittiser, I do not belie that God controls us like puppets. Bad thigns happen to good people, and Bush is an example of this. War crimes are not catholic, although historically they have occurred as a result of Church misguidance.

You know what? I talk to God as much as the next person and God told me He had nothing to do with bush being in office and furthermore, He didn't vote for him.

To his credit, though, our pastor didn't allow any "outside literature" (read: Catholic Answers), and did not preach the abortion-trumps-all gospel.

I tell them [college students] that their minds should be wide open at this point -- take in everything, sift it through ethical and moral filters, and take what is right for you. It seems to me that folks who are 18-22 risk their mental development
without this necessary "liberalism."

We MUST make the catholic bishops accountable for what they forced on their parishioners. If they want life we'll give them LIFE. Let's bring this to a head because it's make or break time. John Kerry is probably the most noble leader of our generation.

I am all for an uprising against the bishops, but what could that,in reality, accomplish?

I received a Voters Guide from Catholic Answers and I immediately threw it in
the trash. I received numerous letters from Priests For Life and other organizations.

When they [the Bishops] started preaching that it was a moral sin to vote for Kerry and that we could be ex-communicated and refused communion it was more than I could bear.

What the Catholic bishops did to their parishioners was spiritual rape. They used the full force of their moral voice to put fascists in control of America. We need to do 3 things I can think of right away. I repeat: What the bishops did was spiritual rape. What the bishops did was heresy. What the bishops did was evil. WE MUST BEAR WITNESS.
KEEP our copies of everything these fascist bishops distributed in their fight to get Bush elected. Write down our memories of the things they said, and what right wing priests have said.

Write the Vatican and protest what is essentially a heresy being foisted on the faithful; the lie, the outright lie, that only a few, politically selected issues matter and that all the rest of the gospels and CAtholic teaching are non sequitur in public debate.

These bishops are going to get a ton of faith-based money as a pay-off for selling out the gospel and violating their parishioners. We must begin--IMMEDIATELY--keeping track of this.'s been very difficult to convince people that I can be a good Catholic, very pro-life, and a Democrat voting for Kerry all at the same time. I've basically stopped going to the pro-life meetings because I'm sick of the club leadership attacking liberals and never questioning conservative leadership.

I have always been against scandal in the church, but they [the Bishops] have brought scandal into the church when they allowed the smoke in [the "non-negotiable" issues, those intrinsically evil acts such as abortion, homosexuality, etc]. As Catholics we need to clean the house of our Lord.
*** Updated one last time ***

What if we all voluntarily STOPPED TAKING COMMUNION? I read that this happened in the 50's, because people were so concerned about their own unworthiness, that the bishops finally had to practically order them to take the host again....Then again, I'm not entirely comfortable with stooping to their level and politicizing the host. But yes, we MUST HOLD THE BISHOPS ACCOUNTABLE!!!!!! Any ideas? WHERE ARE OUR LEADERS?The kingdom of God needs a church....
Let's not forget that one should NOT receive our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament if one is not properly disposed or in a state of mortal sin. An examination of conscience should be done daily. Those who intentionally promote or otherwise support the killing of innocent unborn children or provide support to further the homosexual agenda are objectively committing grave (mortal) sin and are admonished to refrain from committing sacrilege by receiving Holy Communion. One last note on this above coment: I find it very disturbing that people refer to the Body and Blood of our Lord as the 'host' in lower case or communion in lower case and without the modifying adjective "Holy". Likewise, the constant use of the common noun "church" in place of the proper noun "Church" demonstrates a lack of respect for the Church which Christ established.
Here is the guy who stole Ohio: Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell oversees the elections process and appoints the members of boards of elections in each of Ohio's 88 counties. Mr. Blackwell is a member of the national advisory boards of Youth for Christ…and was formerly a domestic policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C…
And as such, he single handedly "stole" the election from Kerry? Why? Because he is a Christian and worked for the Heritage Foundation...Pure calumny, us the proof! I can't respond to any of these people because I was booted from their less than 'inclusive' list, for daring to affirm that directly willed abortion is an intrinsic evil, regardless of circumstances...

But so help me God, if in the near future I hear anyone who voted for Bush say something like, why is he doing that or he's an idiot, or something like
that, I will explode.
Ka-Boom!!! (Sorry, I couldn't resist the temptation!)

As Catholics, perhaps at this time we can attempt to perform more spiritual (and corporal) works of mercy and explain and defend the faith in a manner which might be understood by those who are, at least receptive to the teachings of the Church.

Specter must not become chairman of the judiciary committee

Yesterday, I emailed Senator Bill Frist and faxed a followup letter to him, urging him to appoint someone other than pro-abort Arlen Specter as Chairman of the Judiciary Committee. I also faxed copies of the letter to my Senators, Kit Bond and Jim Talent.
Send a message to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist by telephone (202-22-3344), email (, mail (461 Dirksen Senate Office Building / Wahington, DC 20510) or FAX (202-228-1264) along the following lines:

Senator Arlen Specter must not be appointed Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. You have the power to waive the Senate seniority rule and to appoint someone else. Do not let the election victory of President Bush be endangered by the appointment of Senator Specter who has already warned the President not to appoint conservative judges.
Thanks to Dom Bettinelli who has posted a message from Bishop Gracida concerning this here.

A Catechesis on Purgatory and Prayers for the Dead

The month of November is set aside in the Church as a special time of prayer for the dead, beginning with the celebration of All Souls Day on Nov. 2. During November, we should develop a habit daily prayer for the dead, if we are not already doing so. Prayer for the dead is a spiritual work of mercy (Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 1032).

In other words, it is an essential part of our witness to God’s love and mercy. Prayer for the dead both honors the memory of the dead and expresses our continuing love of them by assisting them to be freed of any temporal punishment due to sin and to reach their lasting home with God.
Archbishop Burke's Article here.

Davenport Bishop, prosecutor sign abuse investigation agreement

The day after Bishop William E. Franklin of Davenport reached a $9 million settlement with clergy sex abuse victims, he and Scott County Attorney William Davis announced an agreement on future criminal investigations of clergy sexual abuse.

Interfaith group to protest Atlanta Catholic Archbishop

Soulforce urges bishops to see ‘sanctity’ of gay members

A national gay-supportive religious organization wants Roman Catholic bishops to withdraw attacks on gay citizens and instead recognize the “sanctity” of their lives.
The terminology is all wrong...I believe that the word 'sanctity' is used incorrectly. Homosexual behaviour, as does all sin, diminishes sanctity. These people have 'dignity' because they are human beings - but sanctity? Probably not.

By the way, next Tuesday evening, our local group of 'sanctified' homosexual activists will be drawing attention to themselves in front of the Cathedral here-but Archbishop Burke won't be there to witness it. I hope some gets some pictures.

Article here.

Rainbow Sash Movement prepares for USCCB meeting

As you are aware the Rainbow Sash Movement will be sending a delegation to the Plenary Liturgy of the National Council of Catholic Bishops on November 15, 2004 @ 7PM in the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Council of Churches: God Has No Place in U.S. Politics

It is no wonder why the Catholic Church is not a member of this organization.
GENEVA - God has no place in politics and should not have been used by churches in the United States to influence the presidential election, a council representing 342 Christian groups around the world said.

The World Council of Churches (WCC) told U.S. member churches in a letter that they should not ask whose side God was on in an election but only offer "a moral and spiritual compass for their community, their nation and the world."
I wonder what kind of moral and spiritual compass (absent God) they are talking about?


The Need to Catechize Catholics

This post from a Kerry Catholic demostrates a profound need to catechize the faithful - those who are professedly Catholic, but seem to be confused about the Church's teachings.
Now, here's a study in contrasts, New Mexico, in which the Catholic vote was 32% of the vote, higher than the national average, gave Kerry 61% of the vote to Bush's 38%. Kerry got about 45% of weekly attendees. Obviously, it was more of a Latino and Native vote.

In PA, Catholics were 35% of the electorate, and Kerry won in 51% to 49%, in an electorate with only 3% Latinos. So those were mostly White Catholics. Even more interesting is that Kerry gets 45% of weekly church attendess and 38% of more than once a week church attendees. Looking for silver linings, those are interesting numbers.

But then, here's a good one: Maryland is a Blue state and Catholics are 24% of the electorate. Well, Bush trounces Kerry in the Catholic vote, 57%-41%, that is a stunning number. No easy explanation for that.

As for Minnesota, Kerry won the Catholic vote and got 41% of weekly Church attendees. Bush won the Catholic vote in Missouri by one point, which is interesting since St Louis was ground zero for Archbishop Burke's interventions. Kerry won IA Catholics 53-46, that's awesome! (I'm grasping for silver linings here!)He also got 45% of the Catholic weekly attendees.

The Catholic vote overall was 27% which is far higher than the percentage in the general population. I think one reason is that all the political talk keyed Catholics into the process and led to a higher Catholic turnout. We can say defintely that the Catholic swing vote is not dead by a long shot. 2004 shows that the Catholic vote is still crucial and can be decisive. Although, at this point, it is still not clear how to manipulate it. The Catholic vote was a factor in OH, it is not clear why and why not PA or MO, or WI or MN, which were all battleground, hotly contested states with Catholic emphasis.

I happen to think that wherever there was focus by Kerry and Kerry Catholics, we muted the Catholic right and Kerry did well among White Catholics. But where we did not turn up the heat, we lost. Like I said earlier, I don't think we targetted OH in a Catholic sense and that was costly.
Not only are there divisions in this country, ideologically and morally, but also in the Church, particularly in the U.S. We must do all we can to teach and counsel those Catholics. It is especially disturbing to see that so many professed Catholics are confused about good and evil, right and wrong.

As the commentary for today's Gospel states:
"They should be mindful that by their daily conduct and solicitude they display the reality of a truly priestly and pastoral ministry both to believers and unbelievers alike, to Catholics and non-Catholics; that they are bound to bear witness before all men of the truth and of the life, and as good shepherds seek after those too who, whilst having been baptized in the Catholic Church, have given up the practice of the Sacraments, or even fallen away from the faith" ("Lumen Gentium", 28). However, every member of the faithful should show this same kind of concern--expressed in a fraternal way--towards his brothers and sisters, towards everyone on the road to sanctification and salvation.
There is much work to do and it can be accomplished if we allow ourselves to be used as the instruments of the Holy Spirit, in true humility and charity, to present the truths of Christ and His Church to others who are in such a desperate need.

Cardinal Rigali's Post-Election Statement

I commend President Bush for his emphasis on the sacredness of human life demonstrated during his first term and I urge him to continue in his second term to stress the need to protect the most vulnerable among us and all human life.

I ask the President to remain steadfast in the defense of traditional family values and in recognition that marriage exists only between one man and one woman. It is my hope for the future that the government of the United States will protect the unborn, ensure compassion for the poor and needy, seek justice for the oppressed and work unremittingly for world peace.
Complete Letter is here.

Nov 4, Memorial: St. Charles Borromeo, Bishop

From: Luke 15:1-10

Parable's of God's Mercy
[1] Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear Him (Jesus). [2] And the Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying, "This man receives sinners and eats with them."

The Lost Sheep
[3] So He told them this parable: [4] "What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? [5] And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. [6] And when he comes home he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, `Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost.' [7] Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in Heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.

The Lost Coin
[8] "Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she lost one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it? [9] And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, `Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin which I has lost.' [10] Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.

1-32. Jesus' actions manifest God's mercy: He receives sinners in order to convert them. The scribes and Pharisees, who despised sinners, just cannot understand why Jesus acts like this; they grumble about Him; and Jesus uses the opportunity to tell these Mercy parables. "The Gospel writer who particularly treats of these themes in Christ's teaching is Luke, whose Gospel has earned the title of `the Gospel of mercy'" (John Paul II, "Dives In Misericordia", 3).

In this chapter St. Luke reports three of these parables in which Jesus describes the infinite, fatherly mercy of God and His joy at the conversion of the sinner.

The Gospel teaches that no one is excluded from forgiveness and that sinners can become beloved children of God if they repent and are converted. So much does God desire the conversion of sinners that each of these parables ends with a refrain, as it were, telling of the great joy in Heaven over sinner who repents.

1-2. This is not the first time that publicans and sinners approach Jesus (cf. Matthew 9:10). They are attracted by the directness of the Lord's preaching and by His call to self-giving and love. The Pharisees in general were jealous of His influence over the people (cf. Matthew 26:2-5; John 11:47) a jealousy which can also beset Christians; a severity of outlook which does not accept that, no matter how great his sins may have been, a sinner can change and become a saint; a blindness which prevents a person from recognizing and rejoicing over the good done by others. Our Lord criticized this attitude when He replied to His disciples' complaints about others casting out devils in His name: "Do not forbid him; for no one who does a mighty work in My name will be able soon after to speak evil of Me" (Mark 9:39). And St. Paul rejoiced that others proclaimed Christ and even overlooked the fact they did so out of self-interest, provided Christ was preached (cf. Philippians 1:17-18).

5-6. Christian tradition, on the basis of this and other Gospel passages (cf. John 10:11), applies this parable to Christ, the Good Shepherd, who misses and then seeks out the lost sheep: the Word, by becoming man, seeks out mankind, which has strayed through sinning. Here is St. Gregory the Great's commentary: "He put the sheep on His shoulders because, on taking on human nature, He burdened Himself with our sins" ("In Evangelia Homiliae", II, 14).

The Second Vatican Council applies these verses of St. Luke to the way priests should approach their pastoral work: "They should be mindful that by their daily conduct and solicitude they display the reality of a truly priestly and pastoral ministry both to believers and unbelievers alike, to Catholics and non-Catholics; that they are bound to bear witness before all men of the truth and of the life, and as good shepherds seek after those too who, whilst having been baptized in the Catholic Church, have given up the practice of the Sacraments, or even fallen away from the faith" ("Lumen Gentium", 28). However, every member of the faithful should show this same kind of concern--expressed in a fraternal way--towards his brothers and sisters, towards everyone on the road to sanctification and salvation.

7. This does not mean that our Lord does not value the perseverance of the just: He is simply emphasizing the joy of God and the saints over the conversion of a sinner. This is clearly a call to repentance, to never doubt God's readiness to forgive. "Another fall, and what a fall!... Must you give up hope? No. Humble yourself and, through Mary, your Mother, have recourse to the merciful Love of Jesus. A "miserere", and lift up your heart! And now begin again" ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 711).

8. This silver coin was a "drachma", of about the same value as a denarius, that is, approximately a day's wage for an agricultural worker (cf. Matthew 20:2).
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.

Catholic Post-Traumatic Election Syndrome

Here are some recent quotes from a number of people after the election from an email list of Catholics who supported the candidacy of John Kerry:
How can so many people in our nation be so underdeveloped, at such a low level of consciousness...

Most of the rest of the world was holding their collective noses and waiting for us to do the right thing and toss the selected imposter from the White House and rejoin the civilized world. Instead white trash...Christian fundamentalist zealots...managed to get Bush back into the White House...

America is polluted with puritans and idiots...

It appears the Catholics in Pennsylvania rallied for Kerry..thank you!

...there is only one God. But Bush's God is not my God. I'm in a crisis right now.

I'm listening to CNN describe the top issues that voters voted on. Morality and terrorism. Bush is immoral and he is a terrorist as far as I am concerned.

I'm stunned at the number of Catholics Bush has taken...he's got the majority of Catholics voting for him--when he's running against a Catholic! I am really saddened and sickened by this.

...if the Catholic vote had not been split, if Rome had not issued clearly pointed guidelines for reception at Mass for politicians, if someone hadn't suggested excommunication of Kerry... could Kerry have won?

I am very upset right now with many in the Church. I am upset with my diocese and with my parish. I haven't figured out what I'm going to do on Sunday. Why? John Kerry is a good Catholic.

How did Kerry lose Ohio?: white evangelicals voted in record numbers. That's the state of America. And white evangelicals do not like Catholics.

I believe wholeheartedly that the Catholics could have won this for Kerry (a fellow Catholic!) if we had stuck together like the evangelists did.

And now [that] Bush and the Republican party have succeeded in dividing Catholics, with the help of our Church leaders, and I can't tell you how sad and sick that makes me.

I hope I'm wrong, but I'm convinced that our church leaders have just used all their clout to push this country into fascism.

WE NEED TO BEAR WITNESS to the evil [teaching the faith] our religious leaders have done.

Bush won the Catholic vote in Missouri by one point, which is interesting since St Louis was ground zero for Archbishop Burke's interventions.

Part of me believes that the Bishops have created another 1968 Humanae Vitae moment. They definitely crossed the line and it is clear that Catholics responded positively to Kerry when presented with an articulation of the Kerry Catholic view...

The nation has definitely caught a conservative wave and it is not a good thing.

...the religious right and the Catholic bishops may have handed the election to Bush...

We could have framed that issue [gay marriage] much better, defining it as a civil rights issue rather than infringing on sanctity issues and religious views.

I just heard Nancy Pelosi say it on NPR - GOP does not spell God.

All the radio programs are right wing haters, everything that comes out of their mouth is evil, yet they force their so called righteousness down everybody's throat, in their opinion they are the only ones that are American and sickening.

I was upset by the fact that the parish I attend, and traditionally preaches a broad range of moral issues, chose to play anti-abortion hymns the Sunday before the election.

...bishop notes on abortion were read but no concern or action discussed on priests child abuse cases. I continue to vent but believe that the Catholic Church is trending into dangerous, hypocritical territory.

What in the world are anti-abortion hymns. abortion is not even in the Bible. thank goodness I have not been exposed to that, but I have not felt comfortable going to church in a few months.

I'm a Catholic, I'm against gay-marriage and abortion, I felt that George Bush represented me the best so I voted for him.
Too bad you don't care about the poor, the uninsured, the soldiers dying in an unjust war and all the others who are best represented by Kerry and his policies. You voted for Bush? You should be ashamed. Stay off our board.

Just imagine what it would have been like with the Pope and a Catholic president of the most powerful country in the world working together to promote the common good for the entire world. I, for one, am proud that I am not a "good" Catholic like the rest of you Pharisees.

Did you see this idiot's profile?
(James Carville is a democrat on Crossfire on CNN, btw.) He obviously has nothing better to do than to come to our group to stir up trouble. If any more of his messages get through, it would probably be best to ignore him.

What do you think those bishops and priests would do if you went to them, petitioned them, whatever it takes, and demanded that they in turn demand that Bush push through a constitutional amendment to ban abortion, without regard to rape, incest or life of the mother, and that they do so with the same fervor that they went after voters of their parish.

i tend to hear the most virilent anti abortion anti liberal stuff at our rich parishes...

We, as part of a Catholic as well as secular Progressives must learn what the right wingers have used very well in terms of answering the call of "values"...

So far: George Bush has been "elected" twice and we've yet to see a legitimate election.

I am very depressed over this election...I thought there would be an epiphany...

I am angry at the Church but would never allow anyone else to make me change religion. I fear dark days ahead.

********** Updated with more
I thought is was so cute that my 6 year old son was so excited about the whole election ;he would ask me every couple minutes "Is John Kerry winning?" The next day my son woke up and asks me the same question. After telling him the sad news, he lowered his head and looked down with a somber look. That indeed was when I realized my hope for this country had just been shattered. The disilusionment on his face was heartbreaking. I wept.

The leaders of our Church are going to destroy this Church (while the born again Christians unite and become stronger) and I am once again struggling in my heart and praying over my feelings about itall. Right now I'm feeling like I never want to go back.

Prayer is the only solace right now. God is in charge, but she certainly has a lot of explaining to do. (My Emphasis)

John Kerry fought the good fight with truth and dignity. Our country will never know what they have lost. George W. Bush is a divider not uniter.

I really pity all the born-agains and other Christians who really had good intentions but are either a) misled b)brainwashed (bushwhacked) or c) just plain stupid. Seriously, did you see the one about how higher-IQ people tended to be
for Kerry and dumber people for bush?

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Exit poll: Moral issues, religion key Bush win in Missouri

Bush, a Methodist, was favored by about six in 10 Protestants. Among white evangelical and born-again Christians, who made up about one-third of voters, Bush carried about three-quarters of the vote.

Meanwhile, Catholics were nearly evenly split between Bush and Kerry, who is Catholic.

In an Oct. 1 pastoral letter published in the archdiocesan newspaper, St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke wrote that no Catholic should vote for a candidate who supports "intrinsically evil" acts that include abortion, embryonic stem-cell research and gay marriage. Bush opposes all of those, while Kerry is an abortion rights supporter, favors stem-cell research and said decisions on gay marriage should be left to the states.
There are some people who still believe in God...

Prayers of thanksgiving to our Lord are now in order. We have been blessed in many, many ways with His Divine Mercy.


A Message of Gratitude

In races across the country and at diverse levels of government, voters once again demonstrated the strength of the pro-life movement in America on Election Day 2004.

Despite being outspent (as usual) by powerful pro-abortion political groups, the pro-life movement once again demonstrated that it has something the pro-abortion movement has never had: the support of the people!

Priests for Life wants to thank the many groups and individuals who gave so much time, effort, and sacrifice to elect pro-life candidates.

Now it becomes our task to work with these newly-elected leaders to bring about continued advances in the protection of the unborn. The legislative tasks ahead are painstaking and slow, and require immense patience. We are committed to working with each of you, so that with the same dedication and persistence we have all shown during the elections, we may translate electoral victories into legislative victories!

-- Fr. Frank Pavone

Voters in 11 States Reject Gay Marriage

Gay rights activists received a rebuke from the deep South to North Dakota as voters in 11 states approved constitutional amendments to ban same-sex marriage in a clean sweep for proponents of traditional one-man, one-woman unions.

The vote Tuesday in North Dakota was 3-1 in favor - the same margin as in Georgia and Kentucky as the proposal passed in all 11 states where it was on the ballot. The margin was 6-1 in Mississippi, while the amendment was also approved in Arkansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma and Utah.

Three Arizona Priests Evading Prosecutors

MESA - Accused priests are pleading guilty to sex charges and the Catholic Diocese of Phoenix says protecting children is a "top priority," but there's still unfinished business for prosecutors.

Three of the eight priests indicted on sex charges have eluded prosecution by fleeing to Ireland and Italy. The third has not been located but authorities believe he is in Mexico.

Wednesday, 31st Week in Ordinary Time

From: Luke 14:25-33

Conditions For Following Jesus
[25] Now great multitudes accompanied Him (Jesus); and He turned and said to them, [26] "If any one comes to Me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. [27] Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after Me, cannot be My disciple. [28] For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? [29] Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, [30] saying, `This man began to build, and was not able to finish.' [31] Or what king, going to encounter another king in a war, will not sit down first and take counsel whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? [32] And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends an embassy and asks terms of peace. [33] So therefore, whoever of you does not renounce all that he has cannot be My disciple."

26. These words of our Lord should not disconcert us. Love for God and for Jesus should have pride of place in our lives and we should keep away from anything which obstructs this love: "In this world let us love everyone," St. Gregory the Great comments, "even though he be our enemy; but let us hate him who opposes us on our way to God, though he be our relative [...]. We should then, love, our neighbor; we should have charity towards all--towards relative and towards strangers--but without separating ourselves from the love of God out of love for them" ("In Evangelia Homiliae", 37, 3). In the last analysis, it is a matter of keeping the proper hierarchy of charity: God must take priority over everything.

This verse must be understood, therefore, in the context of all of our Lord's teachings (cf. Luke 6:27-35). These are "hard words. True, `hate' does not exactly express what Jesus meant. Yet He did put it very strongly, because He doesn't just mean `love less,' as some people interpret it in an attempt to tone down the sentence. The force behind these vigorous words does not lie in their implying a negative or pitiless attitude, for the Jesus who is speaking here is none other than that Jesus who commands us to love others as we love ourselves and who gives up His life for mankind. These words indicate simply that we cannot be half-hearted when it comes to loving God. Christ's words could be translated as `love more, love better', in the sense that a selfish or partial love is not enough: we have to love others with the love of God" ([St] J. Escriva, "Christ Is Passing By", 97). See the notes on Matthew 10:34-37; Luke 2:49.

As the Second Vatican Council explains, Christians "strive to please God rather than men, always ready to abandon everything for Christ" (Vatican II, "Apostolicam Actuositatem, 4).

27. Christ "by suffering for us not only gave us an example so that we might follow in His footsteps, but He also opened up a way. If we follow that way, life and death becomes holy and acquire a new meaning" (Vatican II, "Gaudium Et Spes", 22).

The way the Christian follows is that of imitating Christ. We can follow Him only if we help Him bear His cross. We all have experience of suffering, and suffering leads to unhappiness unless it is accepted with a Christian outlook. The Cross is not a tragedy: it is God's way of teaching us that through sin we can be sanctified, becoming one with Christ and winning Heaven as a reward. This is why it is so Christian to love pain: "Let us bless pain. Love pain. Sanctify pain....Glorify pain!" ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 208).

28-35. Our Lord uses different examples to show that if mere human prudence means that a person should try to work out in advance the risks he may run, with all the more reason should a Christian embrace the cross voluntarily and generously, because there is no other way he can follow Jesus Christ. "`Quia hic homo coepit aedificare et non potuit consummare! He started to build and was unable to finish!' A sad commentary which, if you don't want, need be made about you: for you possess everything necessary to crown the edifice of your sanctification--the grace of God and your own will." ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 324).

33. Earlier our Lord spoke about "hating" one's parents and one's very life; now He equally vigorously requires us to be completely detached from possessions. This verse is a direct application of the two foregoing parables: just as a king is imprudent if he goes to war with an inadequate army, so anyone is foolish who thinks he can follow our Lord without renouncing all his possessions. This renunciation should really bite: our heart has to be unencumbered by anything material if we are able to follow in our Lord's footsteps. The reason is, as He tells us later on, that it is impossible to "serve God and Mammon" (Luke 16:13). Not infrequently our Lord asks a person to practice total, voluntary poverty; and He asks everyone to practice genuine detachment and generosity in the use of material things. If a Christian has to be ready to give up even life itself, with all the more reason should he renounce possessions: If you are a man of God, you will seek to despise riches as intensely as men of the world seek to possess them" ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 633). See the note on Luke 12:33-34.

Besides, for a soul to become filled with God it must first be emptied of everything that could be an obstacle to God's indwelling: "The doctrine that the Son of God came to teach was contempt for all things in order to receive as a reward the Spirit of God in himself. For, as long as the soul does not reject all things, it has no capacity to receive the Spirit of God in pure transformation" (St. John of the Cross, "Ascent of Mount Carmel", Book 1, Chapter 5, 2).
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.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Massachusetts Bishops: Right to life is paramount issue

Nothing like waiting until the last day.
Boston, Nov. 02 ( - The Catholic bishops of Massachusetts-- the home state of Democratic presidential hopeful John Kerry-- have issued a public statement saying that the right to life should be the central issue in voters' decisions.
CWN Link.

What is the origin of All Saints and All Souls Day?...

Are they linked with paganism and Halloween?

Fr. William Saunders provides an excellent historical background on All Saints Day & All Souls Day here.

Priests in Phoenix want "open discussion" of mandatory celibacy

Surveys conducted by the organizations FutureChurch and Call to Action represent 53 of the nation's 195 dioceses. The groups say the surveys are their response to a shortage of priests that has developed since about 1965.
Ah yes, FutureChurch and Call to Action - two of the finest, orthodox groups known to man (cough..gag!) It's amazing that reporters are so eager to obtain their information from dissenting groups like these.
Allowing priests to get married would enable the church to tap into a ready-made pool of an estimated 25,000 priests who left the ministry to get married...
Sure, let's bring back those who rejected their vows, who violated Church law by attempting to marry. Great...
FutureChurch points to other denominations for proof that allowing a married clergy results in a larger number of ministers. But Schenk [Sister Christine Schenk, executive director of FutureChurch] acknowledged that 84-year-old Pope John Paul II has stood firm on the celibacy requirement, and no change will happen as long as he is pope.
Proof, eh? I think someone is confusing facts with fiction.


Tucson bishop on short list for key U.S. Catholic post

Tucson Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas is among 10 nominees from around the country being considered for the top post at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
I don't think he's got a's time for a courageous man, such as Archbishop Chaput.


Playing Politics with God...Kerry’s insulting campaign.

Senator Kerry has in fact damaged the Church in serious ways. The Catholic Church has worked hard to avoid partisanship, and yet, every step of the way, Kerry has baited and tempted the faithful by making outrageous statements about who Catholics are and what they believe. He has also undercut the work of Pope John Paul II, who has worked doggedly to foster an appreciation for how faith and reason are inextricably intertwined. The senator's recent condescending rhetoric about respectfully disagreeing with the bishops on opposition to abortion laws — as if to say that he is one of those thinking Catholics — plays right into the age-old prejudices about Catholics that Pope John Paul II has worked hard to eliminate through his elegant connecting of faith with reason.

Wisconsin Archbishop cites 'culture of life'

Archbishop Timothy Dolan urged members of his congregation to “not check our moral principles at the door” when they vote on Tuesday.

The “paramount civil rights issue of our time” is the protection of life “from conception to natural death,” Dolan told the congregation of about 300.
Article here.

Cathedral Rector endorses Kerry

WHEELING - After St. Joseph Cathedral Rector the Rev. Larry Dorsch publicly endorsed Democratic presidential hopeful John Kerry on Saturday, a group of local Catholics peacefully demonstrated Monday outside the cathedral in Wheeling to express their pro-life views.

[Dorsch said,] "People have differing opinions on the political process that will best lead to making abortions more and more rare. I believe we have to deal with the social and economic situations that make abortion more of an option for people. Women have fallen more and more into poverty in the last several decades."
Why is a priest of the Catholic Church?
Article here.

Fear, Political Correctness, Vacillation?

I had forgotten to post this last week...I saved it as a draft, thinking I may have been too harsh. But considering the article and the example these teachers are setting for the children, I see no point in holding back.
Catholic schools take a pass on mock voting

On Tuesday, tens of thousands of area schoolchildren are expected to vote in simulated elections at their schools, but not many Catholic schools will be taking part.

We are not trying to discourage kids from learning about the voting process," said Terry Edelmann, spokeswoman for the office.
But the fact remains that the kids are discouraged from learning about the voting process. What an outrageous example to give to kids. We will deny you an excellent real-world learning process because we are (choose one: afraid, weak, pro-choice, not Catholic,
Rather, she said, the archdiocese wants to avoid the appearance of impropriety if a school vote were to come out solidly in favor of one candidate, perhaps appearing to be an endorsement. She said mock elections would be fine if they were for fictitious candidates.
First, who at the archdiocese is speaking?

Secondly, when the ballots are tabulated at the end of the day, what difference does it make if one candidate wins solidly? Are some of those charged with teaching the faith afraid of the outcome?

What other pearls of wisdom does she offer?
She said leaders of Catholic schools thought it would be better to avoid such situations, especially with the archdiocese having tax-exempt status as a nonprofit group.

"Any nonprofit has to be careful," she said.
Which "leaders"?

These excuses are really too much! These are signs of fear and weakness - and a failure to educate....OK, kiddies! It's now time for your lesson in how to be 'Politically Correct'!


Canadian Pro-Life Leaders Urge Prayers for American Election - Bush Victory

TORONTO, November 1, 2004 ( - Pro-Life leaders in Canada have called on Canadians to pray that pro-lifers are elected in the upcoming US elections.
Many thanks to our Pro-Life friends in Canada! If it is God's will, the fruit of these prayers will be victory over the anti-life positions held by John Kerry and other Pro-Death politicians.


A Special 'Inside the Vatican' Dossier On The Issues Facing Voters In 2004 And Beyond

Introductory Note: This Inside the Vatican dossier is an effort to assess the issues in the 2004 US election, and how Catholics are viewing those issues. It is an effort to inform consciences on these issues, and thus we believe the dossier will continue to be of value even after the elections.

Judge rules in favor of Terri's family

Parents given chance to exhaust avenues to save brain-disabled daughter
This appears to be great news for Terri Schiavo. May our Lord continue to bless her and her parents and all those so deeply involved in saving her life from those who wish to kill her.


Fr Frank Pavone: Most Priests are Voting for Bush

"The President understands Christian moral values far better than John Kerry does. In fact, the President, though not Catholic, also understands Catholicism better. It is a religion that does not allow us to privatize human rights to the realm of personal belief. That is why Kerry is wrong when he refuses to protect the most vulnerable among us -- children still in the womb -- from the violence of abortion," Fr. Pavone explained.
It's really something when non-Catholic Christians are more faithful to Christ, the Gospel, and the Catholic Church than those profess and flaunt their "Catholicism".

Article here.

Nov 2, Commemoration: All the Faithful Departed (All Souls)

From: John 11:17-27

The Raising of Lazarus (Continuation)
[17] Now when Jesus came, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. [18] Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off, [19] and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother. [20] When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met Him, while Mary sat in the house. [21] Martha said to Jesus, "Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. [22] And even now I know that whatever You ask from God, God will give You." [23] Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again." [24] Martha said to Him, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day." [25] Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life, he who believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live, [26] and whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?" [27] She said to Him, "Yes, Lord; I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, He who is coming into the world."
1-45. This chapter deals with one of Jesus' most outstanding miracles. The Fourth Gospel, by including it, demonstrates Jesus' power over death, which the Synoptic Gospels showed by reporting the raising of the daughter of Jairus (Matthew 9:25 and paragraph) and of the son of the widow of Nain (Luke 7:12).

The Evangelist first sets the scene (verses 1-16); then he gives Jesus' conversation with Lazarus' sisters (verses 17-37); finally, he reports the raising of Lazarus four days after his death (verses 38-45). Bethany was only about three kilometers (two miles) from Jerusalem (verse 18). On the days prior to His passion, Jesus often visited this family, to which He was very attached. St. John records Jesus' affection (verses 3, 5, 36) by describing His emotion and sorrow at the death of His friend.

By raising Lazarus our Lord shows His divine power over death and thereby gives proof of His divinity, in order to confirm His disciples' faith and reveal Himself as the Resurrection and the Life. Most Jews, but not the Sadducees, believed in the resurrection of the body. Martha believed in it (cf. verse 24).

Apart from being a real, historical event, Lazarus' return to life is a sign of our future resurrection: we too will return to life. Christ, by His glorious resurrection through He is the "first-born from the dead" (1 Corinthians 15:20; Colossians 1:18; Revelation 1:5), is also the cause and model of our resurrection. In this His resurrection is different from that of Lazarus, for "Christ being raised from the dead will never die again" (Romans 6:9), whereas Lazarus returned to earthly life, later to die again.

18. Fifteen stadia, in Greek measurement: three kilometers (two miles).

21-22. According to St. Augustine, Martha's request is a good example of confident prayer, a prayer of abandonment into the hands of God, who knows better than we what we need. Therefore, "she did not say, But now I ask You to raise my brother to life again. [...] All she said was, I know that You can do it; if you will, do it; it is for you to judge whether to do it, not for me to presume" ("In Ioann. Evang.", 49, 13). The same can be said of Mary's words, which St. John repeats at verse 32.

24-26. Here we have one of those concise definitions Christ gives of Himself, and which St. John faithfully passes on to us (cf. John 10:9; 14:6; 15:1): Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life. He is the Resurrection because by His victory over death He is the cause of the resurrection of all men. The miracle He works in raising Lazarus is a sign of Christ's power to give life to people. And so, by faith in Jesus Christ, who arose first from among the dead, the Christian is sure that he too will rise one day, like Christ (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:23; Colossians 1;18). Therefore, for the believer death is not the end; it is simply the step to eternal life, a change of dwelling-place, as one of the Roman Missal's Prefaces of Christian Death puts it: "Lord, for your faithful people life is changed, not ended. When the body of our earthly dwelling lies in death, we gain an everlasting dwelling place in Heaven".

By saying that He is Life, Jesus is referring not only to that life which begins beyond the grave, but also to the supernatural life which grace brings to the soul of man when he is still a wayfarer on this earth.

"This life, which the Father has promised and offered to each man in Jesus Christ, His eternal and only Son, who 'when the time had fully come' (Galatians 4:4), became incarnate and was born of the Virgin Mary, is the final fulfillment of man's vocation. It is in a way the fulfillment of the 'destiny' that God has prepared for him from eternity. This 'divine destiny' is advancing, in spite of all the enigmas, the unsolved riddles, the twists and turns of 'human destiny' in the world of time. Indeed, while all this, in spite of all the riches of life in time, necessarily and inevitably leads to the frontiers of death and the goal of the destruction of the human body, beyond that goal we see Christ. 'I am the resurrection and the life, He who believes in Me...shall never die.' In Jesus Christ, who was crucified and laid in the tomb and then rose again, 'our hope of resurrection dawned...the bright promise of immortality' ("Roman Missal", Preface of Christian Death, I), on the way to which man, through the death of the body, shares with the whole of visible creation the necessity to which matter is subject" ([Pope] John Paul II, "Redemptor Hominis", 18).
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.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Abortion Supporters on the Bishops' National Review Board

This is utterly repugnant. However, we should not be too surprised. It appears the USCCB has a recurring problem choosing faithful Catholics to fill positions. Will the USCCB do anything about it?

Is there not a SERIOUS problem with this? A person appointed to a board which is to supposed to protect children, all the while supporting the murder of children. Anyone on the board who rejects fundamentals of the Faith and of natural and moral law should be 'terminated' from the board immediately! Are those at the USCCB so blinded by darkness that they cannot see the dichotomy and scandal this presents?

See Dominico Bettinelli's post here.

Prayer For Help Against Spiritual Enemies

This coming election could well be a turning point in our history. We have witnessed a rejection of God, the natural law, and moral values over many years, but this year, we have seen a division growing ever wider - between those who value the good and those who wish to replace the good with evil.

We have witnessed the same division within the Church - or at least the attempt to divide the Mysical Body of Christ. There are many who are in the Church for no other reason than to poison her or to reshape her to their own liking. Many others are confused because of decades of lack of teaching by her bishops and priests. Many also pray that the Church may be purged of the festering abscesses which continue to affect the weak in faith or the ignorant 'believers'.

We know that 'the liar and father of lies, the murderer from the beginning' has tempted many in the Church and that many have fallen for his lies and promises. Please consider the following prayer to my patron Saint, the Saint I chose at Confirmation, to help us beseech the Holy Spirit to bring people back to the fold of Christ, in our efforts to instruct those who are in error, in our efforts to offer reparations for the many sins and sacrileges occurring every day.

We are approaching the end of the political campaigns, and our future and the future of our children and the world is at stake. Will there be more innocent children brutally torn apart and murdered or will the nation comes to its senses and return to its Christian roots and uphold what is right and just? Everyone, especially today and tomorrow, should be asking Almighty God to have mercy on us and to grant us His blessings by providing us leaders who will abide by His Word.
Glorious Saint Michael, Prince of the heavenly hosts, who stands always ready to give assistance to the people of God; who fought with the dragon, the old serpent, and cast him out of heaven, and now valiantly defends the Church of God that the gates of hell may never prevail against her, I earnestly entreat you to assist me also, in the painful and dangerous conflict which I sustain against the same formidable foe.

Be with me, O mighty Prince! that I may courageously fight and vanquish that proud spirit, whom you, by the Divine Power, gloriously overthrew, and whom our powerful King, Jesus Christ, has, in our nature, completely overcome; so having triumphed over the enemy of my salvation, I may with you and the holy angels, praise the clemency of God who, having refused mercy to the rebellious angels after their fall, has granted repentance and forgiveness to fallen man. Amen.
Prayer from EWTN.

Some attempts to sabotage Catholic voters

...attempts by Church leaders are made every day to sabotage these teachings [the teachings of the Church]. Let us look at a number of recent damages:
Barbara Kralis posts a litany of examples of bishops, priests, Catholic oOrganizations, and professed "Catholics" which have been documented and discussed in recent weeks.

Worshippers get an earful of politics

Excerpts from today's Post Dispatch...
In Florida, the Rev. Frank Pavone, an activist Roman Catholic abortion opponent, told a packed St. James Cathedral in Orlando to "carry out your Christian responsibility in this election."

Pastor Rod Parsley, of the evangelical World Harvest Church in Columbus, Ohio, told 2,500 worshippers, "We are just not ready to have our values trampled underfoot by the God-deniers."

In Michigan, Catholics for the Common Good asked priests in the Detroit area Sunday to tell parishioners to consider a wider range of moral issues than abortion alone. "What we're saying to them is that there has been significant limiting of the Catholic Church teaching in documents that have been widely distributed by quote-unquote Catholic groups," said Charles Rooney, a member of the organization.

Another Sacrilegious Communion

Before hitting the campaign trail, Bush and Kerry separately attended Catholic services. Kerry attended Mass and received communion at the Church of the Holy Angels in Dayton. When the priest welcomed him, the church erupted in applause.
It must have been the "Catholics for Kerry" Mass....
But after Kerry passed in the aisle on the way to his seat, a woman grabbed her husband and stalked out of the church. "I won't spend a moment with that man," she muttered.
I applaud this woman and her husband! I'm afraid I would have to do the same thing. I don't believe I would have the patience or strength to witness John Kerry receiving Holy Communion while he holds positions contrary to the teaching of the Church.


Bishop Skylstad: Spokane Diocese May Face Bankruptcy

If attorneys for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Spokane do not reach a settlement with dozens of alleged victims of clergy sex abuse, the diocese may be forced to declare bankruptcy, the bishop said.

Bishop William Skylstad issued the warning in a letter sent to parishioners in preparation for settlement talks this week with 28 alleged victims of a former priest who has admitted sexually abusing boys.

Cardinal Rigali on voting and issues

Some issues, however, because they lie at the foundation of society and address fundamental aspects of what it means to be human, must be considered first and foremost.

November 1, Solemnity, All Saints

From: Matthew 5:1-12a
The Beatitudes
[1] Seeing the crowds, He (Jesus) went up on the mountain, and when He sat down His disciples came to Him. [2] And He opened His mouth and taught them, saying: [3] "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. [4] Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. [5] Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. [6] Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. [7] Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. [8] Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God. [9] Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God. [10] Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. [11] Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on My account. [12] Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in Heaven."
1. The Discourse, or Sermon, on the Mount takes up three full chapters of St. Matthew's Gospel--Chapters 5-7. It is the first of the five great discourses of Jesus which appear in this Gospel and it contains a considerable amount of our Lord's teaching.

It is difficult to reduce this discourse to one single theme, but the various teachings it contains could be said to deal with these five points: 1) the attitude a person must have for entering the Kingdom of Heaven (the Beatitudes, the salt of the earth, the light of the world, Jesus and His teaching, the fullness of the Law); 2) uprightness of intention in religious practice (here the "Our Father" would be included); 3) trust in God's fatherly providence; 4) how God's children should behave towards one another (not judging one's neighbor, respect for holy things, the effectiveness of prayer, and the golden rule of charity); 5) the conditions for entering the Kingdom (the narrow gate, false prophets and building on rock).

"He taught them": this refers both to the disciples and to the multitude, as can be seen at the end of the Sermon (Matthew 7:28).

2. The Beatitudes (5:3-12) form, as it were, the gateway to the Sermon on the Mount. In order to understand the Beatitudes properly, we should bear in mind that they do not promise salvation only to the particular kinds of people listed here: they cover everyone whose religious dispositions and moral conduct meet the demands which Jesus lays down. In other words, the poor in spirit, the meek, those who mourn, those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers and those who suffer persecution in their search for holiness--these are not different people or kinds of people but different demands made on everyone who wants to be a disciple of Christ.

Similarly, salvation is not being promised to different groups in society but to everyone, no matter what his or her position in life, who strives to follow the spirit and to meet the demands contained in the Beatitudes.

All the Beatitudes have an eschatological meaning, that is, they promise us definitive salvation not in this world, but in the next. But the spirit of the Beatitudes does give us, in this life, peace in the midst of tribulation. The Beatitudes imply a completely new approach, quite at odds with the usual way man evaluates things: they rule out any kind of pharisaical religiosity, which regards earthly happiness as a blessing from God and a reward for good behavior, and unhappiness and misfortune as a form of punishment. In all ages the Beatitudes put spiritual goods on a much higher plane than material possessions. The healthy and the sick, the powerful and the weak, the rich and the poor--all are called, independently of their circumstances, to the deep happiness that is experienced by those who live up to the Beatitudes which Jesus teaches.

The Beatitudes do not, of course, contain the entire teaching of the Gospel, but they do contain, in embryo, the whole program of Christian perfection.

3. This text outlines the connection between poverty and the soul. This religious concept of poverty was deeply rooted in the Old Testament (cf., e.g., Zephaniah 2:3ff). It was more to do with a religious attitude of neediness and of humility towards God than with material poverty: that person is poor who has recourse to God without relying on his own merits and who trusts in God's mercy to be saved. This religious attitude of poverty is closely related to what is called "spiritual childhood". A Christian sees himself as a little child in the presence of God, a child who owns nothing: everything he has comes from God and belongs to God. Certainly, spiritual poverty, that is, Christian poverty, means one must be detached from material things and practice austerity in using them. God asks certain people--religious--to be legally detached from ownership and thereby bear witness to others of the transitoriness of earthly things.

4. "Those who mourn": here our Lord is saying that those are blessed who suffer from any kind of affliction--particularly those who are genuinely sorry for they sins, or are pained by the offenses which others offer God, and who bear their suffering with love and in a spirit of atonement.

"You are crying? Don't be ashamed of it. Yes, cry: men also cry like you, when they are alone and before God. Each night, says King David, I soak my bed with tears. With those tears, those burning manly tears, you can purify your past and supernaturalize your present life" ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 216).

The Spirit of God will console with peace and joy, even in this life, those who weep for their sins, and later will give them a share in the fullness of happiness and glory in Heaven: these are the blessed.

5. "The meek": those who patiently suffer unjust persecution; those who remain serene, humble and steadfast in adversity, and do not give way to resentment or discouragement. The virtue of meekness is very necessary in the Christian life. Usually irritableness, which is very common, stems from a lack of humility and interior peace.

"The earth": this is usually understood as meaning our Heavenly Fatherland.

6. The notion of righteousness (or justice) in Holy Scripture is an essentially religious one (cf. notes on Matthew 1:19 and 3:15; Romans 1:17; 1:18-32; 3:21-22 and 24). A righteous person is one who sincerely strives to do the Will of God, which is discovered in the commandments, in one's duties of state in life (social, professional and family responsibilities) and through one's life of prayer. Thus, righteousness, in the language of the Bible, is the same as what nowadays is usually called "holiness" (1 John 2:29; 3:7-10; Revelation 22:11; Genesis 15:6; Deuteronomy 9:4).

As St. Jerome comments ("Comm. on Matthew", 5, 6), in the fourth Beatitude our Lord is asking us not simply to have a vague desire for righteousness: we should hunger and thirst for it, that is, we should love and strive earnestly to seek what makes a man righteous in God's eyes. A person who genuinely wants to attain Christian holiness should love the means which the Church, the universal vehicle of salvation, offers all men and teaches them to use--frequent use of the Sacraments, an intimate relationship with God in prayer, a valiant effort to meet one's social, professional and family responsibilities.

7. Mercy is not a just a matter of giving alms to the poor but also of being understanding towards other people's defects, overlooking them, helping them cope with them and loving them despite whatever defects they may have. Being merciful also means rejoicing and suffering with other people.

8. Christ teaches us that the source of the quality of human acts lies in the heart, that is, in a man's soul, in the depths of his spirit. "When we speak of a person's heart, we refer not just to his sentiments, but to the whole person in his loving dealings with others. In order to help us understand divine things, Scripture uses the _expression `heart' in its full human meaning, as the summary and source, _expression and ultimate basis, of one's thoughts, words and actions. A man is worth what his heart is worth" ([St] J. Escriva, "Christ Is Passing By", 164).

Cleanness of heart is a gift of God, which expresses itself in a capacity to love, in having an upright and pure attitude to everything noble. As St. Paul says, "whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things" (Philippians 4:8). Helped by God's grace, a Christian should constantly strive to cleanse his heart and acquire this purity, whose reward is the vision of God.

9. The translation "peacemakers" well convey the active meaning of the original text--those who foster peace, in themselves and in others and, as a basis for that, try to be reconciled and to reconcile others with God. Being at peace with God is the cause and effect of every kind of peace. Any peace on earth not based on this divine peace would be vain and misleading.

"They shall be called sons of God": this is an Hebraicism often found in Sacred Scripture; it is the same as saying "they will be sons of God". St. John's first letter (3:1) provides a correct exegesis of this Beatitude: "See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are".

10. What this Beatitude means, then, is: blessed are those who are persecuted because they are holy, or because they are striving to be holy, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.

Thus, blessed is he who suffers persecution for being true to Jesus Christ and who does so not only patiently but joyfully. Circumstances arise in a Christian's life that call for heroism--where no compromise is admissible: either one stays true to Jesus Christ whatever the cost in terms of reputation, life or possessions, or one denies Him. St. Bernard ("Sermon on the Feast of All Saints") says that the eighth Beatitude is as it were the prerogative of Christian martyrs. Every Christian who is faithful to Jesus' teaching is in fact a "martyr" (a witness) who reflects or acts according with this Beatitude, even if he does not undergo physical death.

11-12. The Beatitudes are the conditions Jesus lays down for entering the Kingdom of Heaven. This verse, in a way summing up the preceding ones, is an invitation to everyone to put this teaching into practice. The Christian life, then, is no easy matter, but it is worthwhile, given the reward that Jesus promises.
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 31, 2004

A Voter's Guide for "Cafeteria" Catholics...

Jeff Miller (The Curt Jester) has done a great job by developing a handy guide for the individual who professes to be Catholic but who refuses to form his conscience according to reason, the natural law, and the teachings of the Church.

It's ideal for those who, while claiming to be Catholic, are actually espousing protestant beliefs. I would not be surprised if many Protestant Christians are more Catholic in many respects than most of the self-described "faithful Catholics" who support Pro-Death politicians.

See the guide here.
It's great for the "Catholic" for Kerry types.

Catholic Bishop Blasts Kerry in New Ad

The text:
This is Bishop Rene Henry Gracida

All Catholics, all Christians, have a serious moral obligation to vote responsibly with a clear conscience in this year's general election.

Voting responsibly this year means voting for candidates who are pro-life.

Candidates who are pro-life are opposed to all acts of violence against innocent human life.

Such as abortion, euthanasia, and fetal experimentation.

Before one can give priority to social questions such as war, the economy, social security and health care issues one must recognize that all such issues must first of all be based on respect for human life.

Paid for by Vote Catholic. Not affiliated with any candidate. Visit our website at Catholics Against to learn more.

Hypocrisy on abortion

Why does no one challenge the obvious hypocrisy? Kerry says he opposes abortion but will not impose his beliefs on others. If he means that, he should abstain on votes on that matter. But he hasn't. He has voted against any restrictions at all. With those votes, he is imposing his pro-abortion views on others.

Tom Jeffrey
South County
It is evident from the facts of Kerry's record and his statements that he is an agent for evil, an agent of Satan. He has strayed from the path that Christ wishes all to follow. Pray for his conversion and his return to Christ and His Church.

Several other letters enumerating the flawed thinking of John Kerry on many others issues can be read here.

Archbishop O'Malley AWOL?

Kerry claims faith, denies Catholic teachings;
Where is Boston’s Archbishop O’Malley?

Any public official who touts Catholicism as his faith, while supporting the heinous crime of abortion, is spitting in Christ's face and demeaning the very Church he claims to love. To make matters worse, the archbishop of Boston – Kerry's home diocese – is, through his silence, avoiding his responsibility to teach and uphold the faith. Archbishop Sean O'Malley, to my knowledge, has yet to take definitive action against this scandal. The very idea that Kerry repeats his "pro-choice Catholic" mantra almost daily with no official response from Archbishop O'Malley is deeply disturbing.

This is not about politics; this is about defending the body of Christ from sacrilege and the Catholic Church herself from heresy. We pray that Archbishop O'Malley and every bishop will have the courage to stand up and rebuke those who perpetrate such fraudulent notions.
Many others have wondered precisely the same thing. The scandal is being perpetuated because the Archbishop has done nothing publicly to bring an end to this situation.

American Life League post.

Bishop of Arlington Reminds Voters of Fundamental Life Issues

As my brother bishops and I have stated in "Faithful Citizenship: Civic Responsibility for a New Millennium," the critical principles by which we should judge those who run for elected office are the protection of human life, the promotion of family life, the pursuit of social justice and the practice of global solidarity.

The foundation for these principles is the first, the protection of human life, since without it the other three would be rendered meaningless. If we do not uphold and protect human life in its beginning at conception, there will be no life to uphold and protect thereafter.
Proportionate reason does not mean that each issue carries the same moral weight; intrinsically evil acts such as abortion or research on stem cells taken from human embryos cannot be placed on the same level as debates over war or capital punishment, for example. It is simply not possible to serve and promote the common good of our nation by voting for a candidate who, once in office, will do nothing to limit or restrict the deliberate destruction of innocent human life.
Bishop Loverde's Pre-Election Letter here.

31st Sunday in Ordinary Time

From: Luke 19:1-10

The Conversion of Zacchaeus
[1] He (Jesus) entered Jericho and was passing through. [2] And there was a rich man named Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector, and rich. [3] And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not, on account of the crowd, because he was small of stature. [4] So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was to pass that way. [5] And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, make haste and come down; for I must stay at your house today." [6] So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully. [7] And when they saw it they all murmured, "He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner." [8] And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, "Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have defrauded any one of anything, I restore it fourfold." [9] And Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. [10] For the Son of Man came to seek and save the lost."
1-10. Jesus Christ is the Savior of mankind; He has healed many sick people, has raised the dead to life and, particularly, has brought forgiveness of sin and the gift of grace to those who approach Him in faith. As in the case of the sinful woman (cf. Luke 7:36-50), here He brings salvation to Zacchaeus, for the mission of the Son of Man is to save that which was lost.

Zacchaeus was a tax collector and, as such, was hated by the people, because the tax collectors were collaborators of the Roman authorities and were often guilty of abuses. The Gospel implies that this man also had things to seek forgiveness for (cf. verses 7-10). Certainly he was very keen to see Jesus (no doubt moved by grace) and he did everything he could to do so. Jesus rewards his efforts by staying as a guest in his house. Moved by our Lord's presence Zacchaeus begins to lead a new life.

The crowd begin to grumble against Jesus for showing affection to a man they consider to be an evildoer. Our Lord makes no excuses for his behavior: He explains that this is exactly why He has come--to seek out sinners. He is putting into practice the parable of the lost sheep (cf. Luke 15:4-7), which was already prophesied in Ezekiel: "I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the crippled, and I will strengthen the weak" (34:16).

4. Zacchaeus wants to see Jesus, and to do so he has to go out and mix with the crowd. Like the blind man of Jericho he has to shed any kind of human respect. In our own search for God we should not let false shame or fear of ridicule prevent us from using the resources available to us to meet our Lord. "Convince yourself that there is no such thing as ridicule for whoever is doing what is best" ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 392).

5-6. This is a very good example of the way God acts to save men. Jesus calls Zacchaeus personally, using his name, suggesting he invite Him home. The Gospel states that Zacchaeus does so promptly and joyfully. This is how we should respond when God calls us by means of grace.

8. Responding immediately to grace, Zacchaeus makes it known that he will restore fourfold anything he obtained unjustly--thereby going beyond what is laid down in the Law of Moses (cf. Exodus 21:37f). And in generous compensation he gives half his wealth to the poor. "Let the rich learn", St. Ambrose comments, "that evil does not consist in having wealth, but in not putting it to good use; for just as riches are an obstacle to evil people, they are also a means of virtue for good people" ("Expositio Evangelii Sec. Lucam, in loc."). Cf. note on Luke 16:9-11).

10. Jesus' ardent desire to seek out a sinner to save him fills us with hope of attaining eternal salvation. "He chooses a chief tax collector: who can despair when such a man obtains grace?" (St. Ambrose, "Expositio Evangelii Sec. Lucam, in loc.").
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.