Saturday, November 13, 2004

"Not all Americans are Stupid" Quiz

I saw this link on an anti-hierarchy "Catholic" site and thought it might be interesting to check it out.

There are 20 questions....the "Profile" I received the first time after the test stated:
You have an impressive understanding of the world for an American. It is likely that you feel intellectually isolated in your home country, and often have to hide your opinions from others. Deep down, you realise that your country is the single biggest threat to world peace in modern times, but you have not yet summoned up the courage to emigrate.
The second time:
If you are American, the only way you got this score is by doing the quiz 50 times, and memorizing the correct answers. You need to approach the world in a less aggressively competitive way and learn to live with your inadequacies, rather than seeking to feel through bigotry and false national pride.
The third time:
You know very little about the world, and less still about history. No wonder you are in no position to form intelligent opinions of your own about current affairs. You are an insular xenophobe who regurgitates bigotry and false pride. It is thanks to people like you that Americans are reviled and ridiculed throughout the world.

When I took the Quiz as a non-American, the first profile I received was:
Well done. You have a fairly good understanding of the world and its history.
And this was after deliberately giving several false answers...Go figure.

Here is the link.

Archbishop Chaput in running to lead bishops

Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput was one of the few bishops in 2004 to publicly hold Catholic politicians and voters accountable for abandoning church doctrines in the voting booth. In a land bruised red and blue, that earned him a checkered reputation as both courageous and reactionary.

Now, can he be presidential?

Tom Reese, editor of America magazine, says the presidency traditionally passes to the current vice president (in this case, William Skylstad, of Spokane, Wash.) so the vice presidency is the race to watch. Factoring in seniority and tradition, other nominees are more likely to win. But given his outspokenness, if Chaput is elected, it would indicate approval for his unambiguous direction.
Bishop Skylstad comes with too much baggage considering the impending bankruptcy, among other things...

Article here.

Sad News from the USCCB Pro-Life office, Thomas Doerflinger Killed In IRAQ

November 12, 2004

Dear Diocesan Pro-Life Directors and Directors of State Catholic Conferences,

I am very sorry to have to tell you that yesterday Richard Doerflinger, Deputy Director of the Pro-Life Secretariat, and his wife Lee Ann, learned that their young son Thomas had been killed in Iraq. Thomas was serving in the Army and had been sent to Iraq about two weeks ago. According to news reports, he was killed by small arms fire during combat in Mosul.

Today, Msgr. William Fay, General Secretary of the bishops' conference, will offer Mass for Thomas and all of the Doerflinger family. I know Richard and Lee Ann would be most grateful for your prayerful support.

If you wish to send the Doerflingers messages of condolence, you can contact them at their home: 13122 Collingwood Terrace, Silver Spring, MD 20904.

May the soul of Thomas Doerflinger and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen

Gail Quinn
Executive Director
USCCB Pro-Life Secretariat

Nove 13, Memorial: St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, Virgin

Reading: 3 John 5-8
Praise for Gaius
[3] For I great rejoiced when some of the brethren arrived and testified to the truth of your life, as indeed you do follow the truth. [4] No greater joy can I have than this, to hear that my children follow the truth.

[5] Beloved, it is a loyal thing you do when you render any service to the brethren, especially to strangers, [6] who have testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on their journey as befits God's service. [7] For they have set out for his sake and have accepted nothing from the heathen. [8] So we ought to support such men, that we may be fellow workers in the truth.
With great simplicity St John says why his paternal heart feels so happy--because Gaius, as his charity shows (vv. 5-8), is such a good-living man (vv. 3-4).

He uses a typically Semitic turn of phrase to describe Gaius' upright life: 'you follow the truth." In the Old Testament the Patriarchs are praised for "walking with God" (cf., e.g. Gen 5:22, 24; 6:9). This image of the wayfarer took on great importance after the Exodus: the people of Israel by divine will made their way as pilgrims to the Promised Land and in the course of that journey the great event of the Covenant took place (cf. Ex 19:24). "Walking with God" means the same as "fulfilling what the Covenant requires", that is, the commandments (cf. 2 Jn 4). With the coming of Christ, who said of himself, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life" (Jn 14:6), it has become quite clear that walking in the truth means being totally attached to the person of Christ: "live in him" (Col 2:6), "walk in the light" (1 Jn 1:7), "follow the truth" (2 Jn 4), all mean the same sort of thing--living in communion with Christ, being a genuine Christian in everything one thinks and does.

Gaius' charity expressed itself in welcoming and helping the preachers sent by John (in the early times of the Church itinerant missionaries helped to keep alive the faith and promote solidarity among the scattered churches). They had set out "for his sake", that is, Christ's (v. 7; cf. Acts 5:41; Phil 2:9-10; Jas 2:7). By helping (even materially), Christians become "fellow workers in the truth" (v. 8) and merit the reward promised by our Lord: "He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives him who sent me"(Mt 10: 40).

"Fellow workers in the truth": the Second Vatican Council applies these words to lay people when explaining how their apostolate and the ministry proper to pastors complement each other. And it goes on: "Lay people have countless opportunities for exercising the apostolate of evangelization and sanctification. The very witness of a Christian life, and good works done in a supernatural spirit, are effective in drawing men to the faith and to God; and that is what the Lord has said: 'Let your light shine so brightly before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.' (Mt 5:16).

"This witness of life, however, is not the sole element in the apostolate; the true apostle is on the lookout for opportunities to announce Christ by word, either to unbelievers to draw them towards the faith, or to the faithful to instruct them, strengthen them and incite them to a more fervent life" ("Apostolicam Actuositatem", 6).

Gospel: Luke 18:1-8

Persevering Prayer. Parable of the Unjust Judge
[1] And He (Jesus) told them a parable, to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. [2] He said, "In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor regarded man; [3] and there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him saying, `Vindicate me against my adversary.' [4] For a while he refused; but afterward he said to himself, `Though I neither fear God nor regard man, [5] yet because this widow bothers me, I will vindicate her, or she will wear me out by her continual coming.' [6] And the Lord said, "hear what the unrighteous judge says. [7] And will not God vindicate His elect, who cry to Him day and night? Will He delay long over them? [8] I tell you, He will vindicate them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?"
1-8. The parable of the unjust judge is a very eloquent lesson about the effectiveness of persevering, confident prayer. It also forms a conclusion to Jesus' teaching about watchfulness, contained in the previous verses (17:23-26). Comparing God with a person like this makes the point even clearer: if even an unjust judge ends up giving justice to the man who keeps on pleading his case, how much more will God, who is infinitely just, and who is our Father, listen to the persevering prayer of His children. God, in other words, gives justice to His elect if they persist in seeking His help.

1. "They ought always to pray and not lose heart." Why must we pray?

"Prayer is in fact the recognition of our limitation and our dependence: we come from God, we belong to God and we return to God! We cannot, therefore, but abandon ourselves to Him, our Creator and Lord, with full and complete confidence [...].

"Prayer, therefore, is first of all an act of intelligence, a feeling of humility and gratitude, an attitude of trust and abandonment to Him who gave us life out of love.

"Prayer is a mysterious but real dialogue with God, a dialogue of confidence and love.


"For the Christian, in fact, prayer acquires a particular characteristic, which completely changes its innermost nature and innermost value. The Christian is a disciple of Jesus; he is one who really believes that Jesus is the Word Incarnate, the Son of God who came among us on this earth.

"As a man, the life of Jesus was a continual prayer, a continual act of worship and love of the Father and since the maximum expression of prayer is sacrifice, the summit of Jesus' prayer is the Sacrifice of the Cross, anticipated by the Eucharist at the Last Supper and handed down by means of the Holy Mass throughout the centuries.

"Therefore, the Christian knows that his prayer is that of Jesus; every prayer of his starts from Jesus; it is He who prays in us, with us, for us. All those who believe in God, pray; but the Christian prays in Jesus Christ: Christ is our prayer!


"It must be humbly and realistically recognized that we are poor creatures, confused in ideas, tempted by evil, frail and weak, in continual need of inner strength and consolation. Prayer gives the strength for great ideas, to maintain faith, charity, purity and generosity. Prayer gives the courage to emerge from indifference and guilt, if unfortunately one has yielded to temptation and weakness. Prayer gives light to see and consider the events of one's own life and of history in the salvific perspective of God and eternity. Therefore, do not stop praying! Let not a day pass without your having prayed a little! Prayer is a duty, but it is also a great joy, because it is a dialogue with God through Jesus Christ!

Every Sunday, Holy Mass: if it is possible for you, sometimes during the week. Every day, morning and evening prayers, and at the most suitable moments!" (John Paul II, "Audience with Young People", 14 March 1979).

8. Jesus combines His teaching about perseverance in prayer with a serious warning about the need to remain firm in the faith: faith and prayer go hand in hand. St. Augustine comments, "In order to pray, let us believe; and for our faith not to weaken, let us pray. Faith causes prayer to grow, and when prayer grows our faith is strengthened" ("Sermon", 115).

Our Lord has promised His Church that it will remain true to its mission until the end of time (cf. Matthew 28:20); the Church, therefore, cannot go off the path of the true faith. But not everyone will remain faithful: some will turn their backs on the faith of their own accord. This is the mystery which St. Paul describes as "the rebellion" (2 Thessalonians 2:3) and which Jesus Christ announces on other occasions (cf. Matthew 24:12-13). In this way our Lord warns us, to help us stay watchful and persevere in the faith and in prayer even though people around us fall away.
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 12, 2004

Church Accuses Veterans Group of Deception and Betrayal

This email just in from the Thomas More Law Center:
Church Accuses Veterans Group of Deception and Betrayal Over Mt. Soledad Cross – Law Center Vows to Keep Fighting

RANCHO SANTA FE, CA — In a bombshell revelation, the pastor of Mount Soledad Presbyterian Church has accused the Mount Soledad Memorial Association of deception and betrayal in the campaign to save the Mt Soledad Cross, and rescinded the offer to explore the possibility of placing the cross on church property.

In a letter to the Memorial Association’s president Bill Kellogg dated November 8th, Pastor Mark Slomka wrote, “We never anticipated that the Memorial Association would surrender the cross by actively campaigning against the only ballot measure that might protect it. We are disappointed that the Memorial Association, whose responsibility it was to guard the cross, chose to ally themselves with those (ACLU and plaintiff) whose intent has always been to remove the cross so that together they might defeat Proposition K.”

The Mount Soledad Memorial Association’s active campaign against Proposition K was responsible for a great deal of voter confusion. The failed ballot measure would have authorized the City of San Diego to sell the land surrounding the historic 43-foot tall Mt. Soledad cross, allowing the cross and memorial to remain while bringing to an end to the fifteen year court battle waged by atheist Phillip Paulsen to have the cross removed.

Instead, the Mt. Soledad Memorial Association urged voters to vote against Proposition K, concealing the private agreement they had struck with atheist Phillip Paulsen to have the cross moved in return for a dismissal of the lawsuit against them and allowing them to keep the property. However, prior to the November 2nd vote, Federal District Judge Gordon Thompson ruled that the Memorial Association was not the rightful owner of the property, and returned the property to the City of San Diego. Without authorization from the voters to sell the land, the City of San Diego will now be forced to act on a court order to take down the 50-year old landmark.

Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, which fought to preserve the cross on Mount Soledad, commented, “ We will continue to explore all options to preserve the cross on top of Mount Soledad where it has stood for fifty years.” One option involves the designation of Mt. Soledad as a national historical park/landmark. Charles LiMandri, the West Coast Regional Director of the Law Center has asked Reps. Randy Cunningham, Duncan Hunter and Darrell Issa to look into the issue, and the Law Center is urging citizens to contact their legislators to have the cross protected.

LiMandri commented Thursday, “We continue to receive calls from citizens outraged by the orchestrated deception to remove the cross. Aside from the fraud perpetrated on voters, the veterans and donors to the Mt. Soledad Association have been utterly ignored. These people were promised that the cross would stay, and yet their own leadership has abandoned them. Time is short, but we will do everything we can to protect this historic landmark.”

The cross was erected in 1954 and today honors veterans of World War I and II and the Korean War. The San Diego landmark was challenged in 1989 by atheist Phillip Paulsen prompting a federal judge to declare the cross unconstitutional. In response, the City chose to place the property up for public sale, a decision approved by 76 percent of the voters in 1992. The sale of the property however was ruled unconstitutional after atheist Paulson objected because he believed the sale indirectly aided preserving the cross.

The City of San Diego attempted a second time to sell the property in 1998, this time to the Mt. Soledad Memorial Association. This second sale was also successfully challenged, however not before the Memorial Association made significant improvements to the land including the addition of over 3000 donated plaques honoring military veterans.

Earlier this year, believing they were the rightful owners of the property, the Association privately agreed to move the cross in exchange for an end to the lawsuit and a waiver of attorney fees for which the Association may become liable.

Paulsen’s attorney now will likely demand hundreds of thousands of dollars from the City of San Diego for his work to remove the cross.

St. Joan of Arc Parish Defies Vatican on Homosexual Activism

Minneapolis, Nov. 12 ( - A Minneapolis parish is continuing to provide a forum for homosexual activists despite orders from the Vatican, the Wanderer newspaper is reporting.

St. Joan of Arc parish is offering a series of lectures by homosexual and lesbian couples, under the auspices of a group known as the Catholic Pastoral Committee on Sexual Minorities (CPCSM). The group is advertising a November 13 event that will feature "a Catholic gay male couple and a Catholic lesbian couple discussing their respective relationships and their sense of connection to the Church."
Who listens to the Holy See anymore? Certainly not those at St. Joan of Arc parish...Perhaps as many faithful Catholics as possible should attend this event, so that they may protect and defend the teachings of Christ and His Church.

Article here.

Vocation discernment: The Little Sisters of the Poor

Vocation discernment

The Little Sisters of the Poor will host a vocation discernment retreat the weekend of Jan. 7-9, 2005, at St. Joseph’s Home for the Elderly, 80 W. Northwest Highway in Palatine, Ill. All single Catholic women ages 18 to 35 are welcome. Call Sister Maria at (847) 358-5700 or e-mail

Letter: Let’s hear it


Concerning your editorial in the Oct. 15 issue of the Review, I fully agree that better knowledge of our faith is needed for many Catholics to join in the pro-life effort. One has only to read or hear in the news media the constant criticisms against the Church being expressed by self-described Catholics for "trying to tell them how to vote" in the election to come to that conclusion. Another example that proves the total ignorance of the faith on the part of many Catholics is something that I constantly hear about giving the same weight to the issue of abortion as to the death penalty or the war in Iraq.

The editorial states that priests can use their homilies as opportunities to instruct the flock, and I definitely agree. Unfortunately, I feel that the large majority of them are not doing that at all. I normally attend Sunday Mass at my parish church but for the last two years, on most Saturdays, I have also attended Mass at many churches throughout the archdiocese. In all this time I may have heard a priest mention abortion, contraception or homosexuality at best two or three times, and, if so, in a very general or superficial way.

I sense that most priests I have seen, for whatever reasons(s), are not comfortable speaking about sin. Most of them appear to be so concerned with being politically correct that they never even talk about how we should behave and dress in church, for instance. Is it any wonder the poor state of knowledge of many Catholics as to what the Church teaches?

Cesar Arriola
St. Louis
All emphasis above is mine...We do need more of the priests teaching us about the reality of sin and its effects and what we can do to transform our culture into a culture of life.


SNAP Opposes New Job For Cardinal George

Francis Cardinal George has been nominated for a high-ranking position with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, but he's facing opposition from a sexual abuse support group.

A SNAP member read from the group's letter outside the Archdiocese headquarters Thursday: "For the sake of healing, justice and prevention, we urge you to put your personal ambitions aside and concentrate, instead, on healing."

And for the first time in its history, SNAP is endorsing a bishop, who happens to live in South Dakota. The organization knows little about Bishop Blase Cupich (pictured, left), but it believes the other candidates have been repeatedly insensitive to to victims.

Full Article here.

Archbishop Burke on "The Church and rural life"

On Nov. 6 I had the pleasure of speaking to the 81st annual meeting of the National Catholic Rural Life Conference, which was held in St. Louis. It was an occasion of special joy for me because I had served on the board of directors of the National Catholic Rural Life Conference from 1996 to 2002. Also, coming from a rural background, I have always had a strong interest in the work of the conference on behalf of farmers who serve us all.
Article here.

Pro-lifers optimistic, realistic about elections

For members of the pro-life movement, the road to changing a culture of death into a culture of life might have gotten a little less bumpy in recent weeks.
St. Louis Review article.

Boston Archdiocese bows to 'sixties' style pressure

The 'sit-ins' and 'camp-outs' at the churches slated for closure have resulted in Archbishop O'Malley offering a temporary reprieve today to the parishes slated to close in coming weeks.

This acquiescence only serves to strengthen the resolve of those engaged in the disobedience and, further, it emboldens others to use similar tactics.

The whole affair is shameful.

Post Dispatch: Bishop Gregory's term is ending

Overall, this seems to be a fairly decent article.
"The poor man went through an ordeal. The mistakes of a lot of people were on his plate," said the Rev. Richard John Neuhaus, editor of First Things, a conservative Catholic magazine. "Regardless of what we thought of the decisions he made, we all have to recognize that he labored heroically under very difficult circumstances."
Gregory said that ... he differs from some of his brother bishops.
"I do not feel that a cleric who has a credible incident of child abuse in his past can be returned to public ministry. I do not believe it. I didn't believe it when I arrived in the diocese, and I have less reason to believe it today," he said.
Gregory's appointment of former Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating to the chairmanship of the church's national review board was another move some see as divisive.
Personally, I believe the appointment of people of the anti-life persuasion were more divisive and raised serious questions regarding character and prudence.

The article is here. I think it made for interesting reading. Any thoughts?

Gay [Homosexual] Activists Gather for St. Louis Meeting

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Organizers of the first national gay and lesbian conference since last week's presidential election say resounding voter passage of gay marriage bans in 11 states has been hard to bear, leaving members devastated and fearful.

Matt Foreman of New York, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, likened the blow to a death, with soul searching in order.

"Our movement needs to regroup and buckle down," said Sue Hyde of Cambridge, Mass., director of the "Creating Change" conference that runs Thursday through Sunday
Those who refuse to accept the natural and the Divine law are doomed. One cannot reject the good by embracing evil and expect that there will be no consequences, for there will be, either in this life or the next.

So many people need to convert their hearts to the Lord. They will continue to wander aimlessly in the dark until they turn to Him. Pray for them while opposing their agendas.


McBrien Speaks, But Who Listens

Fr. Richard McBrien's article, "Who rules the Vatican?", was in today's issue of The Tidings, the Los Angeles archdiocesan weekly. "Why?", a normal, rational person should ask, but that's another issue entirely. He starts:
There is a fine line between naVveté and piety. Many Catholics assume that popes --- this pope or any other before him --- are somehow immune from the normal limitations of life, apart from death itself, of course.
Imagine that, are people REALLY under the impression that the Holy Father was immune from bodily degeneration? Wait a second, we are supposed to experience an 'enlightening' period from McBrien. Naivete?

Later, we are told who actually is in charge...Thank you, Fr. McBrien.

Here is the article.

Gay-Friendly U.S. Bishops Outed by Homosexual Activist 'Catholic' Group

This is a followup to a previous posting about the Rainbow Sash Movement.
Four of the most controversial left-leaning US Catholic Bishops have been praised by a homosexual activist group. Archbishop Harry Flynn (Minneapolis/St Paul, MN), Cardinal Roger Mahony (Los Angeles, CA), Bishop Mathew Clark (Rochester, NY) and Bishop Thomas J. Gumbleton (Detroit) were named in a press release by the Rainbow Sash Movement (RSM).

RSM is a group of homosexual activists which stages publicity stunts daring Catholic clergy to deny members communion.
Of course, for many this is common knowledge. How long must we wait for unity or uniformity among the bishops? How long must we wait for ALL of the bishops to speak with the one mind and one voice of the Church?


Nov 12, Memorial: St. Josaphat, Bishop & Martyr

Reading: 2 John 4-9
The Law of Love
[4] I rejoiced greatly to find some of your children following the truth, just as we have been commanded by the Father. [5] And now I beg you, lady, not as though I were writing you a new commandment, but the one we have had from the beginning, that we love one another. [6] And this is love, that we follow his commandments; this is the commandment, as you have heard from the beginning, that you follow love.

Precautions Against Heretics
[7] For many deceivers have gone out into the world, men who will not acknowledge the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh; such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist. [8] Look to yourselves, that you may not lose what you have worked for, but may win a full reward. [9] Any one who goes ahead and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God; he who abides in the doctrine has both the Father and the Son.
4-6. Among all similarities of language and content between the Second and Third Letters, this passage is a particularly significant one.

The Apostle's joy (v. 4) is based on the fact that the Christians have learned that walking in the truth entails keeping the commandment of brotherly love, which they have had from the beginning. The verses sum up one of the main themes of the First Letter, where St John expounds these teachings at greater length (cf. 1 Jn 2:7-11; 3:11-24; 4:7-21 and notes on same).

"That you follow love": the Greek is ambiguous and literally says "that you follow it"; "it" could refer to the commandment (that is how the New Vulgate reads it) or to love. The sense is not very different, if one remembers that in St John's teaching the commandments reduce to love of God and love of neighbor: "Listen carefully to a brief precept", St Augustine exhorts, "love and do what you like" ("In Epist. Ioann Ad Parthos", 7, 8).

St John also emphasizes that this is a commandment they have had "from the beginning" (vv. 5 and 6); that is, Tradition is so definite on this point that anyone who teaches otherwise is a liar and a deceiver. This helps to explain the connection between these verses and the ones which follow. In fact the false teachers were causing harm in two ways--by corrupting the faith and by destroying unity and mutual love.

7-ll. These warnings are a summary of things said in the First Letter (cf. 2:18-29; 4:1-6; 5:1-5; and notes on same). St John shows how to recognize these heretics--by the fact that they do not acknowledge the divinity of Jesus Christ incarnate (cf. 1 Jn 4:2-3 and note); and he warns that anyone who turns his back on sound teaching is abandoning the Father and the Son (cf. 1 Jn 2:22-25 and notes). The passage ends with instructions on precautions to take in dealings with those people (vv. 10-11).

On the "antichrist" (v. 7), see the note on 1 Jn 2:18.

8. "That you may not lose what you have worked for": many important codexes read "what we have worked for", referring to the efforts of the Apostles. Both readings have equal support in the Greek codexes; both make sense and show that in order to persevere in the faith (and obtain the reward for doing so) care and effort are needed, on the part of both pastors and other faithful.

St Cyril of Jerusalem exhorted: "Keep careful watch, to ensure that the enemy does not make off with any who are off guard or remiss; and that no heretic may pervert part of what you have been given. Accepting the faith is like putting into the bank the money we have given you; Godwill ask you for an account of this deposit" "Catechesis V, Defide Et Symbolo").

Gospel: Luke 17:26-37
The Day of the Son of Man (Continuation)
(Jesus said to His disciples,) [26] "As it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of Man. [27] They ate, they drank, they married, they were given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. [28] Likewise as it was in the days of Lot--they ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built, [29] but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom fire and brimstone rained from Heaven and destroyed them all--[30] so will it be on the day when the Son of Man is revealed. [31] On that day, let him who is on the housetop, with his goods in the house, not come down to take them away; and likewise let him who is in the field not turn back. [32] Remember Lot's wife. [33] Whoever seeks to gain his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will preserve it. [34] I tell you, in that night there will be two men in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. [35] There will be two women grinding together; one will be taken and the other left." [37] And they said to Him, "Where Lord?" He said to them, "Where the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together."
23-36. These words of our Lord are a prophecy about the last coming of the Son of Man. We should remember that prophecy often involves events on different levels, many symbols, a terminology of its own; the "chiaroscuro" which they create gives us insight into future events, but the concrete details only become clear when the events actually occur. Our Lord's last coming will be something sudden and unexpected; it will catch many people unprepared. Jesus illustrates this by giving examples from sacred history: as in the time of Noah (cf. Genesis 6:9-19:7) and that of Lot (cf. Genesis 18:16-19:27) divine judgment will be visited on men without warning.

However, it is useful to recall here that everyone will find himself before the divine Judge immediately when he dies, at the Particular Judgment. Thus Jesus' teaching has also a present urgency about it: HERE AND NOW a disciple should scrutinize his own conduct, for the Lord can call him when he least expects.

33. "Will preserve it": what the Greek word literally means is "will engender (his life)", that is to say, "will give true life to the soul". Thus our Lord seems to mean the following: he who wants to save his life at all costs, making it his basic value, will lose eternal life; whereas he who is ready to lose his earthly life--that is, to resist even to death the enemies of God and of his soul--will obtain eternal happiness through this struggle. In content this passage is almost identical with Luke 9:24.

36. In the Vulgate this verse reads: "Una assumetur, et altera relinquetur. Duo in agro; unus assumetur, et alter relinquetur" ("One will be taken and the other left. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left"). These words seem to be an addition to Luke, taken from Matthew 24:40; they do not appear in the better Greek manuscripts, which is why the New Vulgate omits them.

37. "Where the body is, there the eagles will gather": the Greek text uses a word which could mean either eagle or vulture. In any event the proverb indicates the speed with which birds of prey swoop down on their victims--apparently referring to the sudden, unexpected way the Second Coming or Last Judgment will happen. Sacred Scripture also deals with this subject in other passages: "But as to the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves know well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night" (1 Thessalonians 5:1-2). Once more Jesus is exhorting us to be watchful: we should never neglect the most important thing in life--eternal salvation. "All that, which worries you for the moment, is of relative importance. What is of absolute importance is that you be happy, that you be saved" ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 297). So curious are the Pharisees and the disciples about the time and place of the Last Coming that they are distracted from Jesus' main point; the same thing happens to us: for example, we can spend a lot of time pondering the circumstances of the deaths of people we know, and fail to grasp the warning these deaths contain--that this life is going to end one way or another and that after it we too will meet 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.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Christ’s sacrifice at Calvary, sacrifice of the Mass are one

An article by Most Rev. José H. Gomez S.T.D., Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Denver.
It’s important to keep in mind that the sacrifice of Christ on the cross and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single sacrifice. In the words of St. John Chrysostom: “We always offer the same Lamb, not one today and another tomorrow, but always the same one. For this reason, the sacrifice is always only one. ... Even now we offer that victim who was once offered and who will never be consumed.”
It is praiseworthy to remind ourselves of this and to help others to more properly understand it, particularly during this Year of the Eucharist.

Article here.

United Nations Tells Morocco to Decriminalize Abortion

The international organization which claims to support 'human' rights continues to advance the agenda of sacrificing innocent children.


Bishop Wuerl: The Year of the Eucharist

A time, Pope John Paul II says, for 'starting afresh from Christ'

In this article by Bishop Donald Wuerl:
Spiritual Nourishment
A Time for Outreach
Nourishing Eucharistic Devotion
Goals for the Coming Year

Study: Catholics angry over handling of scandals

The research was conducted by Catholic University of America and Purdue University. It found nearly four of five people in the pews said they were ashamed and embarrassed for their church, and nearly three-quarters said the failure of bishops to stop the abuse is a bigger problem than the abuse itself.

Anger in the pews toward church leaders so far is having little effect on Catholics' commitment to their church, however. Respondents reported only a slight decline in attendance and giving as a result of the scandal; more than four in five report that being Catholic remains very important to them personally
This study, from a cursory review of the articles, appears to be a justification and endorsement of groups such as, Voice of the Faithful. Having not see the actual questions or the details of the study, it would seem prudent to reserve judgement for the time being.


Another article here.

Rainbow Sash Issues Press Release

Of course, they are planning to show up for the Bishops' meeting next week, and to present themselves for Holy Communion.
The Rainbow Sash Movement (RSM) a national organization of gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender (glbt) Catholics and their supporters will be present at the Plenary Liturgy of the National Council of Catholic Bishops (NCCB). This Liturgy will be held at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC on Monday, November 15, 2004@ 7PM. RSM says discrimination is alive and well in the Catholic Church.
Discrimination is not always bad, many times it is a necessary good. We discriminate every day - we must in order to make proper judgements. Those who openly and proudly profess to be engaging in mortally sinful behavior are causing scandal and the confrontations they advocate with bishops are scandalous as well.

Article here.

Diocese of Spokane to file for bankruptcy

Claiming poverty in the face of a mountain of lawsuits from people who say they were sexually abused by priests, the Spokane Diocese announced plans yesterday to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection before the end of the month.
Full article here.

Nov 11, Memorial: St. Martin of Tours, Bishop

From: Luke 17:20-25

The Coming of the Kingdom of God
[20] Being asked by the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God was coming, He (Jesus) answered them, "The Kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; [21] nor will they say, `Lo, here it is!' or `There!' for behold, the Kingdom of God is in the midst of you."

The Day of the Son of Man
[22] And He said to His disciples, "The days are coming when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. [23] And they will say to you, `Lo, there!' or `Lo, here!' Do not go, do not follow them. [24] For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in His day. [25] But first He must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation."
20-21. Like many Jews of their time, the Pharisees imagined the establishment of the Kingdom of God in terms of external, political authority; whereas Jesus teaches that it is something eminently spiritual, supernatural, which has been happening since Jesus' coming, although its climax will be after His Second Coming or Parousia at the end of the world; its effect is to be seen, above all, in men's hearts, although it is also something visible and external, just as the Church has a visible dimension.

The presence of the Kingdom of God in each soul is something one perceives through the affections and inspirations communicated by the Holy Spirit. St. Therese of Lisieux says this about her own experience: "The Doctor of doctors teaches us without the sound of words. I have never heard Him speak, and yet I know He is within my soul. Every moment He is guiding and inspiring me, and, just at the moment I need them, `lights' till then unseen are granted me. Most often it is not at prayer that they come but while I go about my daily duties" ("The Story of a Soul", Chapter 8).

22. After the Apostles receive the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost they will devote their whole lives to preaching boldly the message of Jesus Christ, and winning all people over to the Lord. This will lead them to experience many severe contradictions; they will suffer so much that they will yearn to see even "one of the days of the Son of Man", that is, one of the days of the victory of Jesus Christ. But this day will not arrive until the Lord's Second Coming.

23-36. These words of our Lord are a prophecy about the last coming of the Son of Man. We should remember that prophecy often involves events on different levels, many symbols, a terminology of its own; the "chiaroscuro" which they create gives us insight into future events, but the concrete details only become clear when the events actually occur. Our Lord's last coming will be something sudden and unexpected; it will catch many people unprepared. Jesus illustrates this by giving examples from sacred history: as in the time of Noah (cf. Genesis 6:9-19:7) and that of Lot (cf. Genesis 18:16-19:27) divine judgment will be visited on men without warning.

However, it is useful to recall here that everyone will find himself before the divine Judge immediately when he dies, at the Particular Judgment. Thus Jesus' teaching has also a present urgency about it: HERE AND NOW a disciple should scrutinize his own conduct, for the Lord can call him when he least expects.
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, November 10, 2004

Nov 10, Memorial: St. Leo the Great, Pope & Doctor of the Church

From: Luke 17:11-19

The Ten Lepers
[11] On the way to Jerusalem He (Jesus) was passing along between Samaria and Galilee. [12] And as He entered the village, He was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance [13] and lifted up their voices and said, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us." [14] When He saw them He said to them, "Go and show yourselves to the priests." And as they went they were cleansed. [15] Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; [16] and he fell on his face at Jesus' feet, giving Him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. [17] Then said Jesus, "Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? [18] Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" [19] And He said to him, "Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well."
11-19. The setting of this episode explains how a Samaritan could be in the company of Jews. There was no love lost between Jews and Samaritans (cf. John 4:9), but shared pain, in the case of these lepers, overcame racial antipathy.

The Law of Moses laid down, to prevent the spread of the disease, that lepers should live away from other people and should let it be known that they were suffering from this disease (cf. Leviticus 13:45-46). This explains why they did not come right up to Jesus and His group, but instead begged His help by shouting from a distance. Before curing them our Lord orders them to go to the priests to have their cure certified (cf. Leviticus 14:2ff), and to perform the rites laid down. The lepers' obedience is a sign of faith in Jesus' words. And, in fact, soon after setting out they are cleansed.

However, only one of them, the Samaritan, who returns praising God and showing his gratitude for the miracle, is given a much greater gift than the cure of leprosy. Jesus says as much: "Your faith has made you well" (verse 19) and praises the man's gratefulness. The Gospel records this event to teach us the value of gratefulness: "Get used to lifting your heart to God, in acts of thanksgiving, many times a day. Because He gives you this and that. Because you have been despised.
Because you haven't what you need or because you have.

"Because He made His Mother so beautiful, His Mother who is also your Mother. Because He created the sun and the moon and this animal and that plant. Because He made that man eloquent and you He left tongue-tied....

"Thank Him for everything, because everything is good" ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 268).
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.

Fort Myers, FL, Sued For Restricting Pro-Life Speech of Christian Sidewalk Counselors

From the Thomas More Law Center:
ANN ARBOR, MI —The Thomas More Law Center has filed a federal lawsuit against the City of Fort Myers, Florida, and several of its officials for policies and practices curtailing the free speech rights of pro-life sidewalk counselors to pray and handout pro-life informational literature.

The Law Center filed suit on behalf of Judith Minahan, Edward and Marilyn Melone, and John Vetter, all of whom are Christians motivated by their faith to expose the evils of abortion. They seek to pray on the public sidewalk outside a Fort Myers abortion clinic and counsel expectant mothers in a non-confrontational manner to find alternatives to abortion.

The City of Fort Myers and its officials, however, require pro-life advocates to obtain a permit before more than two of them may engage in such activity. They are also prohibited from approaching people and distributing informational literature. As a result, if three pro-life advocates pray on the public sidewalk without a permit and hand out literature, they are subject to arrest.

According to Edward L. White III, the Law Center attorney handling the case, “Our clients simply want to peacefully pray and present a pro-life message on a public sidewalk without fear of arrest. We are seeking relief from the federal court to allow them and other pro-life advocates to do so freely without being subject to further violations of their constitutional rights.”

The Law Center has requested the federal court grant immediate relief to its clients so that they may engage in peaceful First Amendment activities on the public sidewalks of Fort Myers without being subjected to unconstitutional restrictions and threats of arrest.

Cardinal Bertone criticizes honorary degree for Hans Küng

Genoa, Nov. 10 ( - Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone of Genoa, Italy, has criticized a state university for awarding an honorary degree to dissident theologian Hans Küng.

Writing in the Genoa archdiocesan newspaper, the cardinal said that Küng's view of the faith transforms Christianity into "an incoherent pluralism, a mixture of elements stripped of any orientation toward the spiritual center which alone can guarantee true Catholicism: a conscious union with the universal magisterium of the Church."
Hans Küng continues to deny the teachings of the Church. The penalty for his actions: he can no longer be considered a Catholic theologian. However, he stills considers himself to be one as do many other professed Catholics.

CWNews story.

Homosexual 'rights' activists meet in St. Louis

About 2,500 people are expected to attend the national gay rights movement's 17th annual Creating Change conference, a skill-building and development-training session being held in St. Louis this week.

The conference, sponsored by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, will feature more than 150 workshops, plenaries and caucuses to help develop leadership skills.

"It's intended for people who are everyday activists, who really want to do something but don't know exactly what to do, or maybe they've been doing small things but want to step it up," said Scott Emanuel, a co-chairman for the conference's host committee. "But it's also for really seasoned leaders who need a little more help."
Attempts to destroy the country and civilization by promoting and endorsing destructive and deviant behaviors must be opposed.
Moral conscience requires that, in every occasion, Christians give witness to the whole moral truth, which is contradicted both by approval of homosexual acts and unjust discrimination against homosexual persons. Therefore, discreet and prudent actions can be effective; these might involve: unmasking the way in which such tolerance might be exploited or used in the service of ideology; stating clearly the immoral nature of these unions; reminding the government of the need to contain the phenomenon within certain limits so as to safeguard public morality and, above all, to avoid exposing young people to erroneous ideas about sexuality and marriage that would deprive them of their necessary defences and contribute to the spread of the phenomenon. Those who would move from tolerance to the legitimization of specific rights for cohabiting homosexual persons need to be reminded that the approval or legalization of evil is something far different from the toleration of evil. (from: CONSIDERATIONS REGARDING PROPOSALS TO GIVE LEGAL RECOGNITION TO UNIONS BETWEEN HOMOSEXUAL PERSONS, CDF,June 2003)
God, have mercy on us and spare us. Enlighten these people.


Arafat death announcement imminent

I received this "Special Advisory from Catholic World News" this morning.
Ramallah, Nov. 10 (AsiaNews) - Palestinian leaders plan to announce the death of Yasser Arafat today, the AsiaNews service is reporting.

Palestinian officials said that Arafat's death would be announced by leaders of the Fatah movement and the Palestine Liberation Organization-- both of which Arafat headed-- after meetings on Wednesday in Ramallah.

The condition of the 75-year-old Palestinian leader has been the subject of conflicting reports, amid rumors that Palestinian officials have been at odds with Arafat's wife, Suha Arafat. A delegation of top Palestinian officials returned home yesterday after visiting Arafat in a Paris hospital, where he was reportedly in a coma.

Islamic clerics were visiting Arafat's hospital room early on Wednesday, amid fresh rumors that Suha Arafat was preparing to disconnect life-support systems.

The timing of a death announcement could be critical because of the Muslim requirements for a speedy burial. Arafat had indicated that he wished to be buried in Jerusalem-- a prospect that the Israeli government rejects.
The death of a major world terrorist is near. May God have mercy on him and all those who wish to follow his evil ways.


More info here.

An example of pride, arrogance, and mental superiority

Letter to the editor (of the Post Dispatch)
updated: 11/09/2004 04:16 PM

So much for how country originally was set up

Looks like Bush was able to get his base out, which according to the "Harris Poll," consists of the uneducated and uneducated Evangelical's. He learned that this lower mentality group could be manipulated while campaigning, during his father's race, and as long as you feed them stupid facts, about being more moralistic, than you opponent, and scare the stuff out of them over terror threats, they're going to vote Republican. According to the same poll, their reason for voting for Bush was, "morals," and "terrorism."

The Harris Poll also showed that Kerry's base was more educated and less likely to belong to an organized religion.
I'm starting to feel really uneducated now. Must be that religion stuff that causes the 'dumbing down' of the masses?


In Tucson, Parishes advised to help fund sex abuse settlements

Catholic parishes in southern Arizona have been advised by bankruptcy attorneys to put money now into a settlement fund, whether or not their clergy have been accused of sexual abuse.

Contributing to the fund will protect them from future claims, under bankruptcy reorganization plans being developed, according to Susan Boswell, the Tucson diocese's chief bankruptcy attorney.
What a nightmare this has become....


This situation needs to be addressed...

Abuse Board Member Is Abortion Activist
Attorney Pamela Hayes is one of twelve members who were appointed to the National Review board formed by the bishops in 2002. It oversees compliance with sexual abuse and child protection policies.

“I’ve contributed to a lot of pro-choice candidates, and so what? So what?” Hayes told the Register. “What are they going to do about it? If they don’t like it, then don’t put me on the board. If they’ve got a problem with that, you tell them they’ve got a problem.”

Hayes characterized support for abortion as the key political issue for her. “If they’re pro-choice and they’re Democrat, they’re my kind of candidate,” said Hayes, who grew up Catholic, attended Catholic schools in Manhattan and belongs to Manhattan’s St. Aloysius Parish.

Bill Ryan, deputy director of communications for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, said neither he nor other officials at the conference would comment about the pro-abortion views expressed by Hayes.

“It would be inappropriate to comment on the views of an individual board member,” Ryan told the Register.
What weakness! What a cesspool this is...

Article here.

More "Town Talk" from the Post

Catholic Church should stay out of politics

On Oct. 31 at Holy Rosary Church, while I was at Mass, there were people outside putting signs on all the cars telling us whom to vote for. They were all Republican. Also, it was telling us how to vote on the amendments. If the Catholic Church is going to get into politics, they should lose their tax-exempt status.
Putting signs on the cars? OK...They were all Republicans? Sure they were...they were part of that vast right wing conspiracy...I'll bet there were black helicopters flying overhead, too....

This one is much better:
All Commandments apply to everyone

I agree with Archbishop Burke. He is a leader. Be a Catholic or follow another religion. The Ten Commandments are the Ten Commandments. You don't decide if you will follow Commandments one, three, five, seven and nine.
Most are irreligious, but are content to scandalize others...they would not be happy if they did not have an outlet, such as a church, to spew their venom.


And here is another that I missed:
Bully for you, [A]rchbishop

I AM A 52-year-old woman and I am not a Catholic and I want to say that I highly respect Archbishop Burke for giving a voice to the unborn child. Everyone says a woman should have a choice. She has a choice not to do the act that leads to getting pregnant. Don't let the system silence you, Archbishop Burke
Pretty sound advice, both for the Archbishop, and for those who choose to dismember and murder their own children. Authentic freedom should lead one to do the good, rather than evil.

Letters to the editor: Keep St. Aloysius Gonzaga open

A well reasoned letter favoring a closer look to keep this church open.
The parishioners of St. Aloysius Gonzaga respectfully request that Archbishop Burke consider viable options to keep their parish alive.

The task force recommendations, however well meaning, appear to be guided by a calculator, but not necessarily by the Holy Spirit.
The City is renovating and building homes. The Church is returning to its traditional teachings. Catholic radio is reaching more and more Christians. Generations of Catholics and potential priests have strayed from the Church, but there are real signs of a renewed interest. Now is the time to stand firm and NOT to give up hope.
Complete letter here.

Homosexual group conducts vigils outside offices of bishops

ATLANTA — Small groups of gay Christians held vigils Tuesday outside the offices of Catholic bishops they say have ignored pleas to talk about the church’s anti-gay stance.

Holding posters with Bible verses calling for tolerance, the protesters went to diocese offices in 11 cities where bishops or archbishops refused to meet with members of Soulforce, a Christian group that advocates for recognition of gay rights.
Public advocacy of homosexuality is a scandal.
‘‘We’re being treated like witches and infidels by the church,’’ said Cara Speltz, a Catholic protester in San Francisco who said she’s been refused Communion twice for wearing a rainbow cross.

‘‘Our goal is to touch them in their hearts,’’ Speltz said. ‘‘We are the choir directors. We are the liturgists. We are the ones keeping this church going in some cases.’’
They're keeping the Church going? How nice of them...Personally, though, I believe the Church would be much better off without wayward liturgists who corrupt the rituals and directives of the Liturgy and choir directors who are afraid of or loathe sacred music.

Article here.

It's Official...The Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, will be here Jan 3

Tonight at the Catholic Central Bureau and Credo Dinner, Archbishop Burke confirmed that the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest will be established in the Archdiocese of St. Louis to continue the Tridentine Latin Mass at St. Agatha Church in South St. Louis. Fr James Rodis is also retiring on that same date.

St. Agatha Church appears to be a temporary stop for the Institute of Christ the King while preparations are made to transfer the Latin Mass and the priests of the Institute to St. Francis de Sales.

This is tremendous news that should put to rest all speculation. Msgr. Michael Schmitz, Superior of the U.S., was introduced by Archbishop Burke, and spoke a few words to the crowd of nearly 300 people who were gathered to hear the Archbishop speak on the topic “Catholic Moral Teaching and the Common Good”.

Msgr. Schmitz confirmed something which many of us in St. Louis already knew - he stated that of the many good bishops he has met around the world, the faithful of the Archdiocese of St. Louis have been blessed to have one of the best bishops, if not THE best bishop anywhere. Many of us could not agree more.

With Msgr. Schmitz was another priest from the Institute, Fr. Leinhardt. My spelling may be off, and if so, I will correct it later. I'm not certain but perhaps Fr. Leinhardt will be one of the the priests assigned here. I'm certain that more information will be forthcoming now that the announcement is official.

More later on Archbishop Burke's talk.

U.N. Demands Poland Overturn Anti-Abortion Laws

The U.N. continues to coerce sovereign nations, by whatever means are available, to support capital punishment for the innocent and helpless.

A LifeSite article covering this is here.

A U.N. Press Release on this subject is here.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Kerry supporters seek therapy in South Florida

More than a dozen traumatized John Kerry supporters have sought and received therapy from a licensed Florida psychologist since their candidate lost to President Bush, the Boca Raton News learned Monday.

Boca Raton trauma specialist Douglas Schooler said he has treated 15 clients and friends with “intense hypnotherapy” since the Democratic nominee conceded last Wednesday.

“We’re calling it ‘post-election selection trauma’ and we’re working to develop a counseling program for it,” said Rob Gordon, the Boca-based executive director of the American Health Association. “It’s like post-traumatic stress syndrome, but it’s a short-term shock rather than a childhood trauma.”

Asked to describe symptoms of the post-election trauma, Schooler said, “They include feelings of extreme anger, despair, hopelessness, powerlessness, a failure to function behaviorally, a sense of disillusionment, of not wanting to vote anymore – that sort of thing. We’re talking about a deep, unhealthy personal suffering that can best be remedied by intensive short-term therapy.”
What an acronym...PEST (Post Election Selection Trauma)...

The best remedy? How about prayer, especially before the Blessed Sacrament?


Bishops to Vote on Adult Catechism...

WASHINGTON (November 8, 2004) — The U.S. bishops are slated to vote on an adult catechism during their annual Washington meeting, November 15-18, at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill.

The publication, which will be known as the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults, will be the nation’s first national catechism intended for adults and has been in preparation since June 2000.
More Details.

Planned Parenthood Upset Over Insurance Options

Starting today, 27 counties in Illinois are allowing federal workers to select a Catholic-based insurance plan that does not cover abortion, contraceptives or fertility treatment. Run by the Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis, OSF HealthPlans is being touted as an example of the faith-based initiatives favored by President Bush.

Gloria Feldt, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said the plan was an “inappropriate” use of federal funds, one that “is blatantly designed to foster one religion’s point of view.”
There is only one CHOICE...And the anti-life elitists, being of superior mental prowess, will make that CHOICE for everyone...

Catholic League News Release here.

Impact of Archbishop Burke's Letter?

At the same time, Mr. Bush was adding about 4 percent to his margin among white Protestants and picking up even bigger increases among Catholic and Jewish voters. (For those wondering about the impact of Archbishop Raymond L. Burke's pronouncements on the election, Mr. Bush's share of the Catholic vote actually declined in Missouri, according to the polls.) (my emphasis)
According to the polls....the gospel of the press....Somehow, I doubt the observation deserves to be taken seriously - actually, the Archbishop's letter and discussions were tremendous helps in this age of confusion and may have actually helped deprive Kerry and others of precious votes. I'm certain we can find statistics to support any position we wish.

This should be a reason for the Post and others to praise Archbishop Burke, when previously they were lamenting the fact that he was instructing the faithful on properly forming one's conscience and the moral good.

The above was the only reference in the Post article, DECISION 2004: Beyond simplicity.

Bishop Gregory Reflects on Sex Abuse Crisis

Not much substance to the article, IMO.

Nov 9, Feast: Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome

From: John 2:13-22

The Cleansing of the Temple
[13] The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. [14] In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers at their business. [15] And making a whip of cords, he drove them all, with the sheep and oxen, out of the temple; and he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. [16] And he told those who sold the pigeons, "Take these things away; you shall not make my Father's house a house of trade." [17] His disciples remembered that it was written, "Zeal for thy house will consume me." [18] The Jews then said to him, "What signs have you to show us for doing this?" [19] Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." [20] The Jews then said, "It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?" [21] But he spoke of the temple of his body. [22] When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this; and they believed the scripture and the word which Jesus had spoken.
13. "The Passover of the Jews": this is the most important religious feast for the people of the Old Testament, the prefiguring of the Christian Easter (cf. note on Mt 26:2). The Jewish Passover was celebrated on the fourteenth day of the month of Nisan and was followed by the festival week of the Azymes (unleavened bread). According to the Law of Moses, on those days every male Israelite had to "appear before the Lord God" (Ex 34:23; Deut 16:16)--hence the pious custom of making a pilgrimage to the temple of Jerusalem for these days, hence the crowd and all the vendors to supply the needs of the pilgrims; this trading gave rise to abuses.

"Jesus went up to Jerusalem": by doing this Jesus publicly shows that he observes the Law of God. But, as we shall soon see, he goes to the temple as the only-begotten Son who must ensure that all due decorum is observed in the House of the Father: "And from thenceforth Jesus, the Anointed of God, always begins by reforming abuses and purifying from sin; both when he visits his Church, and when he visits the Christian soul" (Origen, "Hom. on St John", 1).

14-15. Every Israelite had to offer as a passover sacrifice an ox or a sheep, if he was wealthy; or two turtle-doves or two pigeons if he was not (Lev 5:7). In addition he had to pay a half shekel every year, if he was twenty or over. The half shekel, which was the equivalent of a day's pay of a worker, was a special coin also called temple money (cf. Ex 30:13); other coins in circulation (denarii, drachmas, etc.) were considered impure because they bore the image of pagan rulers. During the Passover, because of the extra crowd, the outer courtyard of the temple, the court of the Gentiles, was full of traders, money-changers etc., and inevitably this meant noise, shouting, bellowing, manure etc. Prophets had already fulminated against these abuses, which grew up with the tacit permission of the temple authorities, who made money by permitting trading. Cf. notes on Mt 21:12-13 and Mk 11:15-18.

16-17. "Zeal for thy house will consume me"--a quotation from Psalm 69:10. Jesus has just made a most significant assertion: "You shall not make my Father's house a house of trade." By calling God his Father and acting so energetically, he is proclaiming he is the Messiah, the Son of God. Jesus' zeal for his Father's glory did not escape the attention of his disciples who realized that what he did fulfilled the words of Psalm 69.

18-22. The temple of Jerusalem, which had replaced the previous sanctuary which the Israelites carried around in the wilderness, was the place selected by God during the Old Covenant to express his presence to the people in a special way. But this was only an imperfect anticipation or prefiguring of the full _expression of his presence among men--the Word of God became man. Jesus, in whom "the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily" (Col 2:9), is the full presence of God here on earth and, therefore, the true temple of God. Jesus identifies the temple of Jerusalem with his own body, and by so doing refers to one of the most profound truths about himself--the Incarnation. After the ascension of the Lord into heaven this real and very special presence of God among men is continued in the sacrament of the Blessed Eucharist.

Christ's words and actions as he expels the traders from the temple clearly show that he is the Messiah foretold by the prophets. That is why some Jews approach him and ask him to give a sign of his power (cf. Mt 16:1; Mk 8:11; Lk 11:29). Jesus' reply (v. 20), whose meaning remains obscure until his resurrection, the Jewish authorities try to turn into an attack on the temple--which merits the death penalty (Mt 26:61; Mk 14:58; cf. Jer 26:4ff); later they will taunt him with it when he is suffering on the cross (Mt 27:40; A 15:29) and later still in their case against St Stephen before the Sanhedrin they will claim to have heard him repeat it (Acts 6:14).

There was nothing derogatory in what Jesus said, contrary to what false witnesses made out. The miracle he offers them, which he calls "the Sign of Jonah" (cf. Mt 16:4), will be his own resurrection on the third day. Jesus is using a metaphor, as if to say: Do you see this temple? Well, imagine if it were destroyed, would it not be a great miracle to rebuild it in three days? That is what I will do for you as a sign. For you will destroy my body, which is the true temple, and I will rise again on the third day.

No one understood what he was saying. Jews and disciples alike thought he was speaking about rebuilding the temple which Herod the Great had begun to construct in 19-20 B.C. Later on the disciples grasped what he really meant.
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 08, 2004

Unconfirmed...Kerry may "Unconcede"

Of course, this is coming from the meltdown list, so it's difficult to determine what is fact and what is fiction.

HOWEVER, there is a MAJOR effort underway to reverse the Ohio Electoral Votes by claiming extensive voting fraud in the election in Ohio. These people are committed to seeing Kerry get elected...Take a little trip over there and see for yourself....but since it will be a wild ride, BUCKLE UP for safety!


It's a zoo, an insane asylum!

The "Catholics" for ABB (Anybody But Bush, previously known as Kerry) are imploding".

One professed Catholic makes a fervent request:
I need concrete vatican proof that voting for Kerry is not a mortal sin, to get this guy who keeps emailing me off my back. He's an Ave Maria lawyer, and told me today that I need to go to confession for voting for Kerry!

He will only understand Vatican documentation, catechism, etc. Somebody whose better at this, please direct me to the proper "proof."
To which another list member writes:
If I were you, I'd tell that guy if he didn't get off my back I was going to need to go to confession for more than voting for Kerry, I was going to have to go for kicking his sorry ass.
I know that some find this stuff hard to believe and up to now I have not posted any links to this nuttiness. I really am not making this stuff up - I couldn't even if I tried (even if I might be somewhat demented), so here is the link:

An Update on Fr. Perricone...?

This has yet to be confirmed, but perhaps someone closer to NJ can validate it.
Fr. Paul Wickens' St. Anthony's Chapel has been regularized and Fr. Perricone has been named its pastor.

Fr. John Perricone, Pastor of OL Mt. Carmel (Orange, NJ), announced at all of the Masses today that his duties are being "expanded" to act as pastor of St. Anthony's Chapel, W. Orange, NJ during "its time of transition."

St. Anthony's was founded by the late Fr. Paul Wickens and was an independent chapel since its founding.

This announcement appears to indicate that Abp. Myers has indeed been gracious to traditionalists. The Mass at Holy Rosary, Jersey City, NJ continues, although that parish is on a list of parishes to be closed. The exact canonical status of St. Anthony's has yet to be announced. Fr. Perricone will be introduced to his new flock next Sunday.

Another excellent article by Archbishop Chaput

Crisis magazine has an excellect article by Abp. Chaput titled "The King’s Good Servant: Some Thoughts at a Crossroad".

A couple of short excerpts:
First, democracy depends on good people working vigorously for their convictions in the political arena. Abortion is the worst kind of intimate violence. Being quiet about it in our politics out of a misguided sense of good manners is the worst kind of callousness and citizenship.

Second, if we choose to allow deliberate attacks against the innocent, we can’t wash our hands of the consequences of that violence. No violence is ever private. That includes abortion. If we choose to allow it, we choose to own it.

Third, the “seamless garment” doesn’t mean and never meant that all social issues are equal. Some issues have priority and some don’t. Abortion is separated from other important social issues like just wages and affordable housing by a difference in kind, not a difference in degree. Every abortion deliberately kills an unborn human life—every time. No matter what kind of mental gymnastics we use, elective killing has no excuse. We only implicate ourselves by trying to invent one. (emphasis added)
If I could post on the Catholics for Kerry list, I'd send them this article...but, regretably, they would probably ban him also...

Link here.

Bulletin Article on Moral Issues...

A blurb from a local parish bulletin following the election...

That is the comment made in the media on the
day after the election. It is sad to think that
few if any of these “moral” issues are
important enough to be found in the Bible.
The biblical concerns about the “least of our
brothers and sisters” (Matt 25) never seems to
get any attention. In essence Jesus was saying,
“no one gets into heaven without a letter of
reference from the poor.” How about making
poverty the “nonnegotiable” moral issue for
religious people before the next election?

Let's see if I have this's OK to permit the murder of the poorly defended, innocent unborn children - AS LONG AS I "get a letter of reference from the poor" since the moral issue of abortion is NOT in the bible?

Are we to believe that ALL revelation is contained solely in Sacred Scripture? Is this Catholic parish truly Catholic? Do we ignore the catechesis recently given us by our Archbishop who handed on to us what he himself has received?

This is not to say that we must abandon efforts to help those in need who are alive, but first and foremost, we must do all we can to save those helpless children who are being offered as human sacrifices to the newest of the gods, the god of SELF.

This does in way preclude carrying out our corporal and spiritual works of mercy. As our Lord told us, we will always have the poor to which we must attend.

Somehow, I feel more secure knowing that the Holy Father and the Magisterium has been given the power to authentically interpret God's revelation.

Bulletin here.

Chaldean Catholic Church Bombing in Baghdad

This was from a special email advisory from Catholic World News.

Trying Democracy in Baghdad, with the Vatican's Blessing

The pope receives Iraqi premier Allawi, and the Chaldean Catholic patriarch meets the Shiite ayatollah, al-Sistani. The Church is encouraging the Islamic journey to democracy. An essay by Vittorio E. Parsi.

An interesting article about a nearby Pipe-Organ company


Thoughts on Parish Closings

I grow more concerned as each day passes anticipating the coming days when a final decision is made and certain parishes and schools are closed. There is a justifiable reason to be concerned concerning the protests and "sit-ins" in the Boston Archdiocese.

Anyone in the St. Louis Archdiocese who has been following the Boston situation for the past few months cannot help but feel a sense of trepidation as the days pass and we wait for the final decisions to be made. Will groups here begin resorting to childish tactics as have occurred in Boston, drawing attention to themselves and causing ridicule and scandal in the Church and in the public arena?

Many of us can certainly understand the sense of loss when a lifelong parish church is closed. In many cases, it is a matter of losing a significant part of one's life - especially if one has been active in the parish for many years.

The pain is certainly understandable. When I was a small boy, my family would travel several hours to my grandparents for the holidays. First we would go to my mother's parents house for a day or so as they were closet, and later we would go on to my father's parents farm. Many of my father's brothers and sisters would visit during this special time as well and, at times, it would be quite crowded as grandparents had eight children and they, in turn, had brought forth many, many grandchildren.

This was one of the best highlights of our Christmas vacation, at least to me - many more cousins, horses to ride, helping with chores around the farm, watching Grandpa milk the cows, trying to help feed the cows, gathering eggs for Grandma, playing in the barn among the hay bales building secret passages and 'forts', going to Midnight Mass some 15-20 miles away, and coming back to Grandma and Grandpa's house to play games (quietly) or just enjoy being with so many members of the family.

My grandparents were deeply religious Catholics, or so it seemed to me. Crucifixes and pictures of Jesus and the Blessed Virgin Mary were hanging in every room of the house. I would always try to ride to Mass with Grandma & Grandpa, if I could. We always said grace before meals. We always went to Mass on Sundays and Holy Days. I could sense the strong love of God and family and of devotion to our Catholic faith. This has always stayed with me and I am extremely thankful that our Lord blessed me and others with this extraordinary experience.

But time came and went. We grew older or died in the process. At some point Grandma and Grandpa grew too old to work the farm and, eventually, the farm had to be sold. No one from the family took it over. That wonderful place of our childhood pleasures and love of God and family was to be razed...I had found out after the fact. This place, which was one of the best places to be on this earth, was now closed to me and the family...Never would we return to that time or place.

This was the Providence of God - and, while it is difficult to accept, we must go on. We must be obedient to our parents who helped to guide us on our earthly pilgrimage. We must be obedient to our Bishops, even if they must make prudential decisions which we may not like regarding closing of some parishes. When the final decision is made, we should accept the fact that sometimes it hurts to see something we cherish pass away. If our appeals or arguments are not persuasive enough to change the mind of the bishop, we should humbly submit to his authority in the matter and exercise humility and obedience. If we see all of this, in a spirit of detachment, we will be better equipped to accept this as the Divine Providence of God.

I understand that story is not particularly analogous to the parish closings situation. It is merely an observation that during our life some changes occur which we would rather reject if we could. The answers to these problems lie, not in sit-ins and protests and childish antics, but in prayer and sacrifice. Perhaps we need to learn to sacrifice more. Fr. Hardon reminds us that sacrifice is the voluntary surrender of something precious to God. Looking at these things with a spirit of accepting God's will and sacrificing our wants for the sake of the Church, regardless of the pain involved, might be the best approach we can take.

Parish Closings Update

Catholic parishes fight draft closure list

Parishioners and neighborhood leaders are making last-ditch appeals to save some of the Catholic churches that would be closed under a sweeping plan of mergers in north St. Louis County and south St. Louis.

If approved by Archbishop Raymond Burke, the plan would close 30 parishes, although the churches at four of them would be preserved for such functions as Spanish or Latin Masses. It would be the largest wave of parish closings in the history of the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

The plan would spare St. Francis de Sales, known as the Cathedral of the South Side because of its 300-foot steeple, by making it regional home to Latin Masses. The Masses now are celebrated at St. Agatha, which is marked for closing. Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc., next door to St. Agatha, said in a statement Friday that it never had expressed an interest in buying the parish property and "would be sad to see it close."

Over the weekend, members circulated a petition to try to save St. Agatha.
Full Post-Dispatch article here.

Pope Remembers Eucharistic Miracle of Lanciano

In a letter addressed to Archbishop Carlo Ghidelli of Lanciano-Ortona, the Pope said: "I very much desire that, during the Year of the Eucharist, every diocesan community renew publicly its act of faith in Jesus present in the sacrament of the altar and inspire all its life and pastoral action in the Eucharistic spirituality that emerges so clearly in the evangelical accounts." (my emphasis)

"For us, Christians, the Eucharist is everything. It is the center of our faith and the source of all our spiritual life," the Pope explained in his letter, emphasizing that this applies "in a particular way" to the community of Lanciano.
The Year of the Eucharist is a special catechetical moment in the life of the Church. We should pray that all Catholics gain a deeper understanding of what we believe about the Holy Eucharist and that we can share this great reality with others.


Rainbow Sashers Receive Homy Communion at Minneapolis Cathedral

The Cathedral of St. Paul Sunday became a pulpit for both a Catholic gay rights group that showed up and received Communion wearing rainbow sashes and a rival group that prayed the rosary on the church steps to express disapproval.

Archbishop Harry J. Flynn has said he won't deny Communion to sash wearers even though Catholic leaders in other cities including Chicago have refused the gay activists communion. Roman Catholic Church doctrine condemns homosexual practices.

"The Holy Communion ought not to be used as a form of protest or a litmus test," said archdiocese spokesman Dennis McGrath. "It's up to people's individual consciences. They are supposed to be in a state of grace."
Is it no wonder Catholics are confused when bishops and priests ignore public support for the homosexual lifestyle and determine that there is no scandal or sacrilege occurring?

Pray for the apostates and those who continue to call evil good and good evil...


Monday, 32nd Week in Ordinary Time

From: Luke 17:1-6

On Leading Others Astray, Fraternal Correction
[1] And He (Jesus) said to His disciples, "Temptations to sin are sure to come; but woe to him by whom they come! [2] It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea, than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin. [3] Take heed yourselves; if your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him; [4] and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, and says, `I repent,' you must forgive him."

The Power of Faith
[5] The apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith! [6] And the Lord said, "If you had faith as a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this sycamine tree, `Be rooted up, and be planted in the sea', and it would obey you."
1-3. Our Lord condemns scandal, that is, "any saying, action or omission which constitute for another an occasion of sin" ("St. Pius X Catechism", 417). Jesus is teaching two things here: the first is that scandal will "in fact" happen; the second, that it is a grave sin, as shown by the punishment it earns.

The reason why it is so serious a sin is that it "tends to destroy God's greatest work, that of Redemption, through souls being lost; it kills one's neighbor's soul by taking away the life of grace, which is more precious than the life of the body, and it is the cause of a multitude of sins. This is why God threatens with the most severe punishment those who cause others to stumble" ("ibid"., 418). See [the notes on] Matthew 18:6-7; 18-8; 18:10.

"Take heed to yourselves": a serious warning, meaning that we should not be a cause of scandal to others nor should we be influenced by the bad example others give us.

People who enjoy authority of any kind (parents, teachers, politicians, writers, artists, etc.) can more easily be a cause of scandal. We need to be on the alert in this respect in view of our Lord's warning, "Take heed to yourselves."

2. Millstones were circular in shape with a large hole in the center. Our Lord's description, therefore, was very graphic: it meant that the person's head just fitted through the hole and then he could not get the stone off.

3-4. In order to be a Christian one must always, genuinely, forgive others. Also, one has to correct an erring brother to help him change his behavior. But fraternal correction should always be done in a very refined way, full of charity; otherwise we would humiliate the person who has committed the fault, whereas we should not humiliate him but help him to be better.

Forgiving offenses--which is something we should always do--should not be confused with giving up rights which have been justly violated. One can claim rights without any kind of hatred being implied; and sometimes charity and justice require us to exercise our rights. "Let's not confuse the rights of the office you hold with your rights as a person. The former can never be waived" ([St] . Escriva, "The Way", 407).

Sincere forgiveness leads us to forget the particular offense and to extend the hand of friendship, which in turn helps the offender to repent.

The Christian vocation is a calling to holiness, but one of its essential requirements is that we show apostolic concern for the spiritual welfare of others: Christianity cannot be practiced in an isolated, selfish way. Thus, "if any one among you wanders from the truth and some one brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins" (James 5:20).

5. "Increase our faith!": a good ejaculatory prayer for every Christian. "Omnia possibilia sunt credenti". Everything is possible for anyone who has faith.' The words are Christ's. How is it that you don't say to Him with the Apostles: `"adauge nobis fidem"! increase my faith!'?" ("The Way", 588).
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, November 07, 2004

Decoding Canon Law for Lay Catholics

OTTAWA, NOV. 7, 2004 ( Due to the recent controversy of pro-abortion Catholic politicians receiving Communion, a lay canon lawyer has seen the faithful awaken to the importance of canon law.

Pete Vere, who co-authored "Surprised by Canon Law: 150 Questions Catholics Ask About Canon Law" (Servant Books) with fellow canonist Michael Trueman, is pursuing a doctorate in canon law at Saint Paul University and has worked with the tribunal ministry for the last three years.

He shared with ZENIT how canon law plays a role in Catholics' everyday lives.

Sunday, 32nd Week in Ordinary Time

From: Luke 20:27-38

The Resurrection of the Dead
[27] There came to Him (Jesus) some Sadducees, those who say that there is no resurrection, [28] and they asked Him a question saying, "Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man's brother dies, having a wife but no children, the man must take the wife and raise up children for his brother. [29] Now there were seven brothers; the first took a wife, and died without children; [30] and the second [31] and the third took her, and likewise all seven left no children and died. [32] Afterward the woman also died. [33] In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife will the woman be? For the seven had her as wife."

[34] And Jesus said to them, "The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage; [35] but those who are accounted worthy to attain to that age and to the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage, [36] for they cannot die any more, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection. [37] But that the dead are raised, even Moses showed, in the passage about the bush, where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. [38] Now He is not God of the dead, but of the living; for all live to Him."
27-40. The Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection of the body or the immortality of the soul. They came along to ask Jesus a question which is apparently unanswerable. According to the Levirate law (cf. Deuteronomy 25:5ff), if a man died without issue, his brother was duty bound to marry his widow to provide his brother with descendants. The consequences of this law would seem to give rise to a ridiculous situation at the resurrection of the dead.

Our Lord replies by reaffirming that there will be a resurrection; and by explaining the properties of those who have risen again, the Sadducees' argument simply evaporates. In this world people marry in order to continue the species: that is the primary aim of marriage. After the resurrection there will be no more marriage because people will not die anymore.

Quoting Sacred Scripture (Exodus 3:2, 6) our Lord shows the grave mistake the Sadducees make, and He argues: God is not the God of the dead but of the living, that is to say, there exists a permanent relationship between God and Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who have been dead for years. Therefore, although these just men have died as far as their bodies are concerned, they are alive, truly alive, in God--their souls are immortal--and they are awaiting the resurrection of their bodies.

See also the notes on Matthew 22:23-33 and Mark 12:18-27.

[The note on Matthew 22:23-33 states:
23-33. The Sadducees argue against belief in the resurrection of the dead on the basis of the Levirate law, a Jewish law which laid down that when a married man died without issue, one of his brothers, according to a fixed order, should marry his widow and the first son of that union be given the dead man's name. By outlining an extreme cases the Sadducees make the law and belief in resurrection look ridiculous. In His reply, Jesus shows up the frivolity of their objections and asserts the truth of the resurrection of the dead.]

[The note on Mark 12:18-27 states:
18-27. Before answering the difficulty proposed by the Sadducees, Jesus wants to identify the source of the problem--man's tendency to confine the greatness of God inside a human framework through excessive reliance on reason, not giving due weight to divine Revelation and the power of God. A person can have difficulty with the truths of faith; this is not surprising, for these truths are above human reason. But it is ridiculous to try to find contradictions in the revealed word of God; this only leads away from any solution of difficulty and may make it impossible to find one's way back to God. We need to approach Sacred Scripture, and, in general, the things of God, with the humility which faith demands. In the passage about the burning bush, which Jesus quotes to the Sadducees, God says this to Moses: "Put off your shoes from your feet, for the place on which you stand is holy ground" (Exodus 3:5).]
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.