Saturday, December 04, 2004

Diocesan Bankruptcies: A Feast for Lawyers

Bankruptcy filings by various Catholic dioceses are now the rage. The Archdiocese of Portland (Oregon), faced with $155 million in tort claims — after paying some $53 million to settle 100 cases — filed for court protection under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code on July 6.
It takes a great deal of restraint to keep from verbally blasting and condemning the criminals who permitted these atrocities to happen to those entrusted to their care and to the Church. It takes a great deal more strength to pray for their immortal souls.

Article here on Catholic Exchange.

The Truth About Abstinence-Only Education

Headlines this week blared alarmist reactions to the increased federal funding of abstinence education in our nation’s schools upon release of a congressional study issued by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-California). According to Rep. Waxman’s wildly misrepresented facts and out-of-context suggestions, he and his colleagues are insisting that abstinence education is dangerous, misleading and riddled with inaccuracies.
“The Waxman report is nothing but a hit piece, an extremely misleading attempt to discredit abstinence programs because they pose a huge threat to the ‘safe sex’ establishment that promotes pre-marital sex, homosexuality and gender confusion,” said Robert Knight, director of CWA’s Culture & Family Institute.

Waxman Report Is Riddled with Errors and Inaccuracies

A new report from Representative Henry Waxman (D-CA) and the minority staff of the House Committee on Government Reform, The Content of Federally Funded Abstinence-Only Education Programs, is yet another attempt by aggressive proponents of comprehensive sex education to discredit and undermine the message of authentic abstinence education.
Frankly, I don't think one should expect any less from an out-of-touch-with-reality Kongrsscritter from the People's Republik of Kalifornia. You want the truth? They've never heard of it...
In 2002 alone, the government spent $12 promoting contraception and condom use for every $1 it spent to encourage teens to abstain from sexual activity.


Gospel for Saturday, 1st Week of Advent

From: Matthew 9:35-10:1, 5a, 6-8

The Need for Good Shepherds
[35] And Jesus went about all the cities and villages teaching in their synagogues and preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom, and healing every disease and every infirmity. [36] When He saw the crowds, He had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. [37] Then He said to His disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; [38] pray therefore the Lord of harvest to send out laborers into His harvest."

The Calling and First Mission of the Apostles
[1] And He called to Him His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every infirmity.

[5a] These twelve Jesus sent out charging them, [6] "But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. [7] And preach as you go, saying, `The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.' [8] Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without pay, give without pay."
35. The Second Vatican Council uses this passage when teaching about the message of Christian charity which the Church should always be spreading: "Christian charity is extended to all without distinction of race, social condition or religion, and seeks neither gain nor gratitude. Just as God loves us with a gratuitous love, so too the faithful, in their charity, should be concerned for mankind, loving it with that same love with which God sought man. As Christ went about all the towns and villages healing every sickness and infirmity, as a sign that the Kingdom of God had come, so the Church, through its children, joins itself with men of every condition, but especially with the poor and afflicted, and willingly spends herself for them" ("Ad Gentes", 12).

36. "He had compassion for them": the Greek verb is very expressive; it means "He was deeply moved". Jesus was moved when He saw the people, because their pastors, instead of guiding them and tending them, led them astray, behaving more like wolves than genuine shepherds of their flock. Jesus sees the prophecy of Ezekiel 34 as now being fulfilled; in that passage God, through the prophet, upbraids the false shepherds of Israel and promises to send them the Messiah to be their new leader.

"If we were consistent with our faith when we looked around us and contemplated the world and its history, we would be unable to avoid feeling in our own hearts the same sentiments that filled the heart of our Lord" ([St] J. Escriva, "Christ Is Passing By", 133). Reflection on the spiritual needs of the world should lead us to be tirelessly apostolic.

37-38. After contemplating the crowds neglected by their shepherds, Jesus uses the image of the harvest to show us that that same crowd is ready to receive the effects of Redemption: "I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see now the fields are already white for harvest" (John 4:35). The field of the Jewish people cultivated by the prophets--most recently by John the Baptist--is full of ripe wheat. In farmwork, the harvest is lost if the farmer does not reap at the right time; down the centuries the Church feels a similar need to be out harvesting because there is a big harvest ready to be won.

However, as in the time of Jesus, there is a shortage of laborers. Our Lord tells us how to deal with this: we should pray to God, the Lord of harvest, to send the necessary laborers. If a Christian prays hard, it is difficult to imagine his not feeling urged to play his part in this apostolate. In obeying this commandment to pray for laborers, we should pray especially for there to be no lack of shepherds, who will be able to equip others with the necessary means of sanctification needed to back up the apostolate.

In this connection Paul VI reminds us: "the responsibility for spreading the Gospel that saves belongs to everyone--to all who have received it! The missionary duty concerns the whole body of the Church; in different ways and to different degrees, it is true, but we must all of us be united in carrying out this duty. Now let the conscience of every believer ask himself: Have I carried out my missionary duty? Prayer for the Missions is the first way of fulfilling this duty" ("Angelus Address", 23 October 1977).

1-4. Jesus calls His twelve Apostles after recommending to them to pray to the Lord to send laborers into His harvest (cf. Matthew 9:38). Christians' apostolic action should always, then, be preceded and accompanied by a life of constant prayer: apostolate is a divine affair, not a merely human one. Our Lord starts His Church by calling twelve men to be, as it were, twelve patriarchs of the new people of God, the Church. This new people is established not by physical but by spiritual generation. The names of those Apostles are specifically mentioned here. They were not scholarly, powerful or important people: they were average, ordinary people who responded faithfully to the grace of their calling--all of them, that is, except Judas Iscariot. Even before His death and resurrection Jesus confers on them the power to cast out unclean spirits and cure illnesses--as an earnest of and as training for the saving mission which He will entrust to them.

The Church reveres these first Christians in a very special way and is proud to carry on their supernatural mission, and to be faithful to the witness they bore to the teaching of Christ. The true Church is absent unless there is uninterrupted apostolic succession and identification with the spirit which the Apostles made their own.

"Apostle": this word means "sent"; Jesus sent them out to preach His Kingdom and pass on His teaching.

The Second Vatican Council, in line with Vatican I, "confesses" and "declares" that the Church has a hierarchical structure: "The Lord Jesus, having prayed at length to the Father, called to Himself those whom He willed and appointed twelve to be with Him, whom He might send to preach the Kingdom of God (cf. Mark 3:13-19: Matthew 10:1-10). These Apostles (cf. Luke 6:13) He constituted in the form of a college or permanent assembly, at the head of which He placed Peter, chosen from among them (cf. John 21:15-17). He sent them first of all to the children of Israel and then to all peoples (cf. Romans 1:16), so that, sharing in His power, they might make all peoples His disciples and sanctify and govern them (cf. Matthew 28:16-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:45-48; John 20:21-23) and thus spread the Church and, administering it under the guidance of the Lord, shepherd it all days until the end of the world (cf. Matthew 28:28)" ("Lumen Gentium", 19).

1. In this chapter St. Matthew describes how Jesus, with a view to the spreading of the Kingdom of God which He inaugurates, decides to establish a Church, which He does by giving special powers and training to these twelve men who are its seed.

5-6. In His plan of salvation God gave certain promises (to Abraham and the Patriarchs), a Covenant and a Law (the Law of Moses), and sent the prophets. The Messiah would be born into this chosen people, which explains why the Messiah and the Kingdom of God were to be preached to the house of Israel first before being preached to the Gentiles. Therefore, in their early apprenticeship, Jesus restricts the Apostles' area of activity to the Jews, without this taking from the world-wide scope of the Church's mission. As we will see, much later on He charges them to "go and make disciples of all nations" (Matthew 28:19; "Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to the whole creation" (Mark 16:16). The Apostles also, in the early days of the spread of the Church, usually sought out the Jewish community in any new city they entered, and preached first to them (cf. Acts 13:46).

7-8. Previously, the prophets, when speaking of the messianic times, had used imagery suited to the people's spiritual immaturity. Now, Jesus, in sending His Apostles to proclaim that the promised Kingdom of God is imminent, lays stress on its spiritual dimension. The power mentioned in verse 8 are the very sign of the Kingdom of God or the reign of the Messiah proclaimed by the prophets. At first (Chapters 8 and 9) it is Jesus who exercises these messianic powers; now He gives them to His disciples as proof that His mission is divine (Isaiah 35:5-6; 40:9; 52:7; 61:1).
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, December 03, 2004

Some Encouraging News...from Denver

...Especially considering the number of retailers and others who are removing the word "Christmas" from their promotional or advertising campaigns.
"Merry Christmas" to stay on city hall

"I am not 'Scrooge'," mayor says

Heading off a holiday controversy, Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper said today the "Merry Christmas" sign will stay on the City and County Building.
And you can vote in a survey there:
What should the city of Denver do about the "Merry Christmas" sign on the City and County Building?

Total Votes = 475

'Tis the season to be jolly, so leave it up (412) 87%

Use Happy Holidays instead (50) 11%

Bah, humbug! Remove it altogether (13) 3%
Denver Post article here....and don't forget to vote!

NPR Reporter Says Christians Should 'Burn'

A National Public Radio (NPR) reporter has resigned after a hateful voice mail message she left for a conservative group was made public.

Rachel Buchman worked for WHYY in Philadelphia, an NPR affiliate, when she called the offices of the Web site to express her outrage over an e-mail the group sent to her opposing special rights for homosexuals.

"You're evil, horrible people. You're awful people," she said, identifying herself only as "Rachel." "You represent horrible ideas. God hates you and He wants to kill your children. You should all burn."
I am reminded, every time I hear things like this, of Fr. John Hardon's exhortation that we must be witnesses to the truth - and that being a witness means that one must be a martyr. We are reminded that paganism is a culture of untruth and today's paganism, which is different because it has spawned in a once Christian culture, is composed of a culture of death in a society permeated with lies, errors, and untruth. "Truth" in this context could be defines as conformity of the mind with reality.

How are Christians to respond - especially if one is to follow Christ who is Life and Truth? We should remind ourselves that, if we are to follow our Lord, we must be willing to take up our crosses and be ready to suffer with Him and for Him. That is, we are to be, in a word, martyrs - voices of truth, witnesses ready to testify to the Truth and to present evidence of Truth which is Jesus.

Pray for people like Rachel who eyes have been blinded by the culture of death and lies. Offer reparations for the hate and sinfulness of those enslaved by sin.

The story article is here.

Feast of the Immaculate Conception - Dec.8

The Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a holy day of obligation, will be observed Wednesday, Dec. 8.

It is one of the oldest Marian feasts, dating back to the seventh century. In 1846, Mary was proclaimed patroness of the United States under this title. By her faith, obedience and holiness, she teaches us what it means to be a bearer of Christ to the world.

This Dec. 8 the Church will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception by the papal bull, "Ineffabilis Deus," of Blessed Pius IX issued Dec. 8, 1954.

Archbishop Raymond L. Burke has invited all priests in the archdiocese to join him at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary from 1 to 3:30 p.m. for an afternoon of study and celebration of the doctrine.

The schedule of Masses for the holy day and preceding Tuesday, Dec. 7, vigil at the old and new cathedrals is as follows:

BASILICA OF ST. LOUIS (Old Cathedral), Memorial Drive and Walnut Street, Downtown: 5:10 p.m. Dec. 7; 7 and 11:15 a.m., and 12:10 and 5:10 p.m. Dec. 8.

CATHEDRAL BASILICA OF ST. LOUIS, Lindell Boulevard and Newstead Avenue, Central West End: 7 and 8 a.m., and 12:05 and 5:30 p.m. Dec. 8.

The Mass schedule at several other churches in the archdiocese is as follows:

ALL SAINTS, 7 McMenamy Drive, St. Peters: 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 7; 6:30 and 9 a.m., and 7 p.m. Dec. 8.

IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, 2300 Church Road, Arnold: 7 p.m. Dec. 7; 6 and 8 a.m., and 5:30 and 7 p.m. Dec. 8.

IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, 5912 Highway 94-South, Augusta: 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. Dec. 8.

IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, 2900 Marshall, Maplewood: 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Dec. 8, with Archbishop Burke to celebrate 6 p.m. Mass, followed by a chili supper in honor of the parish’s 100th anniversary.

IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, 110 Maryknoll Road, Old Monroe: 6 and 8 a.m., and 8 p.m. Dec. 8.

IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, 1020 W. Main, Park Hills: 7:30 p.m. at St. John Bismark Mission Dec. 7; 8 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 8.

IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, 481 Pine St., St. Mary: 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Dec. 8.

IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, 100 N. Washington Ave., Union: 7 p.m. Dec. 7; 7 a.m., noon and 7 p.m. Dec. 8.

IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, 14060 Highway 94 North, West Alton: 7 p.m. Dec. 7; 5 p.m. Dec. 8.

IMMACULATE CONCEPTION (Dardenne Prairie), 7701 Highway North, O’Fallon: 7 p.m. Dec. 7; 6:30 and 8 a.m., noon and 6 p.m. Dec. 8.

IMMACULATE CONCEPTION-ST. HENRY, 3120 Lafayette Ave., St. Louis: 7 p.m. Dec. 7; 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. Dec. 8.

MOST SACRED HEART, 751 N. Jefferson St., Florissant: 7 p.m. Dec. 7; 7 and 9 a.m., and 7 p.m. Dec. 8.

ST. FRANCIS BORGIA, 311 W. Second St., Washington: 7 a.m., noon and 7 p.m. Dec. 8.

ST. FRANCIS XAVIER (College) Church, Grand Avenue and Lindell Boulevard, Midtown St. Louis: 7:15 a.m., noon and 5:15 p.m. Dec. 8.

ST. JOHN, APOSTLE AND EVANGELIST, 16th and Chestnut streets, Downtown: 7:10 and 11:30 a.m., and 12:10 p.m. Dec. 8.

ST. JOSEPH, Maryland and Meramec avenues, Clayton: 6:30 and 8 a.m., noon, 12:10 p.m. (in the parish hall) and 5:30 p.m. Dec. 8. A digital image of Our Lady of Guadalupe blessed by the Pope may be viewed in the church following the 4 p.m. Mass Saturday, Dec. 4, through noon Mass Thursday, Dec. 9.

ST. PETER, 243 W. Argonne Drive, Kirkwood: 6:45 and 8:15 a.m., noon and 7 p.m. Dec. 8.

ST. PETER, 324 S. Third St., St. Charles: 6:20 and 8 a.m., noon and 7 p.m. Dec. 8.

STE. GENEVIEVE, 49 DuBourg Place, Ste. Genevieve: 5:30 p.m. Dec. 7; 6 and 8 a.m., and 12:10 p.m. Dec. 8.
From the St. Louis Review

Archbishop Burke Discusses His Visit to Rome...

This is a very good article by Archbishop Burke. He discusses his meetings with the Holy Father and his meetings with the other bishops and with the Roman Curia.

His report is like a journal of each day's happenings - with commentary and reflections. Archbishop Burke provides us with a great insight into what the "ad limina' visits are about...I highly recommend his article here.

For those who might be interested, Archbishop Burke did not discuss what he did or did not purchase at Annibale Gammarelli's shop in Rome - this is probably to the dismay of some at the Post Dispatch.

Attendees are upbeat in St. Stanislaus talks

After a 3 1/2-hour meeting with the St. Stanislaus board of directors Thursday night, Monsignor Vernon E. Gardin, the archdiocese's vicar general, emerged to say the lengthy discussion went well.
At class last night, I heard that there was to be something new proposed by the Archdiocese...
...the archdiocese proposed placing the parish's money into an "irrevocable trust." The trust would serve as the archbishop's written commitment that the board of directors has been seeking for months.
Decision time is getting closer and closer...
An archdiocesan official who asked not to be identified said St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke was "looking to get this done by Christmas."
Pray for God's blessings for this situation.


*** Updated ***
Another article on the same subject from the Archdiocesan Newspaper, the St Louis Review.

Cardinal Pell Backs Stand Against Renegade Priests

CARDINAL George Pell has backed the Catholic Archbishop of Brisbane's tough stand against renegade priests who performed "invalid" baptisms using politically correct language.

In the Catholic equivalent of the culture wars, Archbishop John Bathersby has questioned whether parishes that defy orthodoxy on baptisms should remain in the Catholic Church and has decided to take the dispute to the Vatican.

...Cardinal [Pell], who is also Archbishop of Sydney, stopped short of saying priests who used the wrong form of words should be thrown out of the Catholic Church.

"Just because a person is making a mistake that doesn't automatically put them outside the church," he said.
The priests involved in the invalid Baptisms would have had to be:
a) ignorant, or
b) willfully disobedient

I'm not certain that there are other explanations. These days it is not too difficult to imagine that ignorance could possibly be an excuse for such a travesty. However, this seems to be a very remote probabilty.


Papal Message to Bishops of Region IX

I never did see this at the Vatican Information Service but thankfully the St. Louis Review has carried it.

The text of Pope John Paul II’s remarks to the bishops of Region IX — Missouri, Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska — Nov. 26 at the Vatican can be read here.

Calif. Diocese Settles Clergy Abuse Cases; 87 Victims

The Orange County diocese reached a settlement with 87 victims of clergy abuse, and a source close to the case told The Associated Press it promised to be bigger than the record $85 million agreement with the Boston Archdiocese.

...a participant in the settlement negotiations told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity that the sum would exceed the record $85 million paid to 552 plaintiffs in Boston in 2003.
Complete article here.

*** Updated ***
Take a look at this CWN Off the Record post about some of the other things that are done with money in the Diocese of Orange...

Gospel for Dec 3, Memorial: St. Francis Xavier, Priest

From: Matthew 9:27-31

The Curing of Two Blind Men. The Dumb Devil
[27] And as Jesus passed on from there, two blind men followed him, crying aloud, "Have mercy on us, Son of David." [28] When he entered the house, the blind men came to him; and Jesus said to them, "Do you believe that I am able to do this?" They said to him, "Yes, Lord." [29] Then he touched their eyes, saying, " According to your faith be it done to you." [30] And their eyes were opened. And Jesus sternly charged them, "See that no one knows it." [31] But they went away and spread his fame through all that district.

27-34. The evangelist shows people's different reactions to miracles. Everyone admits that God is at work in these events--everyone, that is, except the Pharisees who attribute them to the power of the devil. A pharisaical attitude so hardens a person's heart that he becomes closed to any possibility of salvation. The fact that the blind men recognize Jesus as the Messiah (they call him "Son of David": v. 27) may have exasperated the Pharisees. Despite Jesus' sublime teaching, despite his miracles, they remain entrenched in their opposition.

In the light of this episode it is easy enough to see that the paradox is true: there are blind people who in fact see God and seers who see no trace of him.

30. Why did our Lord not want them to publicize the miracle? Because his plan was to gradually manifest himself as the Messiah, the Son of God. He did not want to anticipate events which would occur in their own good time; nor did he want the crowd to start hailing him as Messiah King, because their notion of messiah was a nationalistic, not a spiritual one. However, the crowd did in fact proclaim him when he worked the miracles of the loaves and the fish (Jn 6:14-15): "When the people saw the sign which he had done, they said, 'This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world!' Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew, again to the hills by himself."

31. St Jerome (cf. "Comm. on Matth.", 9, 31) says that the blind men spread the news of their cure, not out of disobedience to Jesus, but because it was the only way they could find to express their gratitude.
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, December 02, 2004

Help The Passion of the Christ win the best movie of the year award!

I received this email yesterday. I confess that I rarely go to the movies but that I did see "The Passion" three times and bought the DVD. If you were as moved as I was to a deeper realization of the passion and death of our Lord, then perhaps you may be moved to vote for the movie. Here is the email as I received it:
Vote today and then forward this on to your family and friends so they can vote! Voting ends Dec. 13.

Dear Larry,

Please help The Passion Of The Christ win the best movie of the year in CBS’s People’s Choice Awards! Cast your vote and then forward this to your friends and family and ask them to vote for The Passion Of The Christ.


We are asking you to register so that we can keep an accurate tally of the number of votes AFA Online produces for the movie. As you know, Mel Gibson is not the favorite person in Hollywood because of his making this movie.


Help us make sure The Passion Of The Christ gets more votes than any other movie in history! Voting ends December 13. Please take action now.

Click here to register your vote!
Donald E. Wildmon, Founder and Chairman
American Family Association
If you wish not to register at AFA, you can vote for the People's Choice Awards here.

NCR Report on "Statement on Catholics in Public Life"

The agenda of the fall meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said bishops would "debate and vote" on policies regarding Catholic politicians who support abortion.
From what I recall (without going back to review the tape), Cardinal McCarrick rose and asked that he be allowed to remove the "item" from the agenda, thereby tabling any discussion on the subject. This was one of the discussions I was eager to see and one of the reasons I taped and watched the meetings.
"I’m disappointed that it wasn’t discussed publicly, because it’s a great concern for all the people in our nation and for Catholics who are bound to give a very strong witness in this area," said St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke, who’s among a handful of bishops who have challenged pro-abortion politicians publicly.
Many other faithful Catholics were also disappointed that Cardinal McCarrick chose to abandon another teaching moment and another opportunity to demonstrate courage in the face of adversity.
Archbishop Burke said American culture seems poised for more definitive moral direction from Christian leaders, which U.S. bishops failed to provide by skirting the issue of pro-abortion politicians.

"We know from the elections that there’s a concern among the general population about moral issues, so I’m particularly disappointed that it wasn’t discussed openly at this conference," Archbishop Burke told the Register.
We must continue to pray that more bishops are given the grace to be courageous and to vigorously defend the Church's doctrines and disciplines.
"They (the American Life League) have been attacking me constantly," Cardinal McCarrick told the Register.

And with good reason it seems...

Cardinal McCarrick has been at the center of the debate about pro-abortion politicians who receive Communion because he chairs the committee charged with studying the issue. Furthermore, as archbishop of the nation’s capital, he oversees parishes that serve dozens of pro-abortion Catholic politicians.

Cardinal McCarrick said the bishops would develop a "Reader on Catholics in Public Life" and that their doctrine and pastoral-practices committees have agreed to take up the matter of Church teaching on when it is proper for Catholic politicians — and all Catholics — to receive Communion.

The cardinal said, "There will be continuing consultation on the complex theological and canonical aspects of these matters within our conference and with the Holy See."
More of same old banter...A politician rather than a Shepherd and Defendor of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. The really good news is that he turns 75 on July 7, 2005 - about 7 months from now and will be required to submit his resignation to the Holy Father.


Daily Latin Mass in West County...7:00am

The Canons Regular of the New Jerusalem (CRNJ) are now officially open in their new location in West county. They are located at 1635 Kehr's Mill Rd in the Wildwood Area.

From Hwy 40 Westbound, take the Long Rd exit & go South to Wildhorse Creek Rd.
From Hwy 40 Eastbound, exit immediately after crossing the Daniel Boone Bridge at Chesterfield Airport Rd. Proceed to Long Rd, turn right and go to Wildhorse Creek Rd.

At Wildhorse Creek Rd:
Turn left, then make an immediate right on Kehr's Mill Rd. About 1 mile down the road on the right, look for the black mailbox w/ long winding driveway up the hill, #1635. The phone # is 636-536-4082.

They have daily Tridentine Mass at 7:00AM. There are about 12 seats in their chapel & have been relatively empty, as word has not gotten out yet.

Thanks to Marc P. for the update.
*** And Thanks to Johnna H. for the directions clarifications.

Dr. Edward Peters Comments on the Brisbane Debacle

According to ABCNEWS On-Line, a parish church in Australia might have performed thousands (yes, thousands) of invalid baptisms over the years as a result of its priests changing the Trinitarian formula (the words) used at baptism. Brisbane Archbishop John Bathersby has stated: "At a certain stage a parish could— and I'm not saying it has happened here—a parish could make so many changes that they really are no longer Catholic…Perhaps they're a type of Christian church in their own right but they're not a part of what we would refer to as a Catholic church." In some respects, even these worrisome words understate the problem.

Invalid Catholic baptisms do not result in some half-way form of Christianity. They result in nothing. One who is invalidly baptized is in exactly the same ecclesial status as one who was never baptized. Period. Think about it this way: when Angela and I brought home each of our new-borns, they were the cutest little pagan babies in the world. But if they had never been baptized (validly, of course), they would have remained our cute "pagan" babies. Just progressively taller.

Given, moreover, evidence that such invalid baptisms have been going for many years, one must now ask how many of these deceived people went on to first Communion, Confirmation, perhaps even married, without benefit of the desired sacraments, because no sacrament can be validly received without prior Baptism (1983 CIC 842, 849). The complications in those areas alone will be enormous, and we haven't even raised potential penal implications of sacramental simulation (1983 CIC 1379), let alone sacrilege, by offending clerics (1983 CIC 1389).

In light of such factors, I have to wonder how priests who seem to have performed so disastrously for so long on such an incredibly simple but vitally important point are actually being left in place pending investigation. +++
Exactly - the priests responsible for this catastrophe should have been immedialtely suspended of all faculties.


The Post Dispatch displays its self-righteousness again... an article critical of Archbishop Burke - for shopping at Annibale Gammarelli's shop in Rome when he was there last week.

Perhaps, the Post intended to be comical?
SO ENCHANTED were we by reporter Tim Townsend's description of Annibale Gammarelli's Roman tailor shop in last Saturday's Post-Dispatch that we wanted to buy something from there.

After all, if Gammarelli's is good enough for the popes of the last 160 years, and if St. Louis Archbishop Raymond L. Burke shops there - he finds the tailoring "very reliable," he told Mr. Townsend - then it's good enough for us.
But what if, like Archbishop Burke, one was in the market for a Gammarelli cassock, that long tunic-like garment worn by priests, bishops and altar boys? At Catholic Supply Co. in St. Louis, you can pick up a polyester-and-cotton model for $59.95, but at Gammarelli's, the popular choice is the $600 33-button model in worsted wool.

Still, as Archbishop Burke noted, the tailoring is very reliable, and Italian menswear costs an arm and a leg. After all, you can get a suit at Men's Wearhouse for $125, or you can buy an Armani for a couple grand. It depends on your priorities.
Apparently, someone at the Post-Dispatch is unaware that quality costs money. Perhaps, with its prolific investigative skills, the Post can provide us list of other shops who offer similar articles of clothing as that of the Gammarelli shop.

Article here.

Parade will portray real St. Nick

Millstadt Weihnacht Festival Parade

When: Noon Sunday

Where: First block of East Laurel Street to the VFW Hall, 200 Veterans Drive.

This Sunday, Mark Westhoff, a local historian and former president of the St. Clair County Historical Society, will don a costume of the magical [S]aint [Nicholas] and haunt the streets of Millstadt during their annual Weihnacht Festival Christmas Parade.

Legend says that a Catholic bishop, dressed in clerics and riding horseback, carried a sack full of gifts for children on a December night before the church celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ.

Stories, passed from generation to generation, say he even dropped gold through the windows of the poor.

His name was St. Nicholas of Myra, but children may know him better as the legendary and mysterious "St. Nick."

Nicholas, who lived in fourth-century Turkey, rapidly became a worldwide legend after his death, with different regions fastening their own culture to his image. Western Europe celebrated his feast day, Dec. 6, by giving gifts of candy and praying for miracles.

"Nicholas wore traditional church dress of a purple skull cap, a pointed hat and a pectoral cross," Westhoff said. "Basically something you'd see a modern Catholic bishop wear. He had a big crosier, and the stern look of a tough priest. That's what you'll see in the parade."
Story here.

St. Boniface's bells are ringing again

Bells at a glance:
St. Boniface, at more than 3,000 pounds, is the largest bell, situated in the north tower. The south tower's bells, named St. Mary and St. Joseph, weigh more than 1,000 pounds each.

Those bells were blessed at the Thanksgiving Mass, attended by more than 60 people from St. Boniface's nearly 200 households, and began to sound once again. [after being repaired]

No one knows just when the bells fell silent. Gray estimates it was at least 10 to 15 years ago. Declining attendance and parish finances put fixing the bells low on the list of parish projects.

St. Boniface church in the Carondelet neighborhood is one of 30 Catholic churches in the area that the St. Louis Archdiocese may close because of shifts in population and a lack of priests. But on Thanksgiving, the congregation got a temporary reprieve from uncertainty and fear. Joy and hope were in the air.
Article here.

Outspoken (and confused) priest blasts church as dysfunctional

The priest in Brisbane (Fr Peter Kennedy, of St Mary's Catholic Church at South Brisbane), responsible for invalidly baptising hundreds of people, accuses the Church as "dysfunctional". One might wonder if the priest is projecting his own inabilities to cope with his vocation on the Church, the hierarchy, and ultimately, Christ Himself?
"The traditional Catholic thing is that all wisdom comes down from above but we Catholics live in a democratic society."
Perhaps, the new thinking is that wisdom (one of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit) really comes from man or from a form of democratic belief or consensus?
"The church is so dysfunctional. If you are in a dysfunctional relationship after a time you say enough is enough."
It sounds like he is trying to say "Good-bye".
"The underlying thing is that the church, which is not a democracy, is having trouble relating to democracy."
The Church has no problems relating to democracy. The Church, established by Christ as an hierarchical institution, does have a problem with wayward or renegade priests and others who attempt to undermine the Sacraments or Sacramental life of the Church, reject Christ's teachings and the doctrines of the Church, or the structure or nature of the Church. This is sometimes considered to be a form of protestantism, or, depending on circumstances and other factors - heresy, apostacy, or schism. At the very least, the actions of disobedience toward the approved rites or complete confusion should be a cause of serious concern for his superiors for it demonstrates a complete misunderstandinging of Sacramental Theology or even worse, a rejection of a necessary aspect of the Faith. (Updated to reflect, more accurately, what I meant - Sorry for any confusion).
Father Kennedy said yesterday Archbishop Bathersby was failing to read the "signs of the times". "The Archbishop is going around all the parishes praying for vocations for religious life," Father Kennedy said. "It's like praying for rain during an El Nino pattern."
Of course, it is the Archbishop who can't read the "signs of the times" for he will not permit the priest to alter the form of the Sacrament of Baptism to fit "the times"...And, evidently, the priest's acquired 'wisdom' discounts prayer as a means to petition God for more vocations.


Gospel for Thursday, 1st Week of Advent

From: Matthew 7:21, 24-27

Doing the Will of God
(Jesus said to His disciples,) [21] "Not every one who says to Me, `Lord, Lord,' shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in Heaven.

Building on Rock
[24] "Every one then who hears these words of Mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house upon the rock; [25] and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. [26]And every one who hears these words of Mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house upon the sand; [27] and the rain fell, and the floods came, and winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell; and great was the fall of it."

21-23. To be genuine, prayer must be accompanied by a persevering effort to do God's will. Similarly, in order to do His will it is not enough to speak about the things of God: there must be consistency between what one preaches--what one says--and what one does: "The Kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power" (1 Corinthians 4:20); "Be doers of the word, not hearers only, deceiving yourselves" (James 1:22).

Christians, "holding loyally to the Gospel, enriched by its resources, and joining forces with all who love and practise justice, have shouldered a weighty task on earth and they must render an account of it to Him who will judge all men on the last day. Not every one who says `Lord, Lord' will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but those who do the will of the Father, and who manfully put their hands to the work" (Vatican II, "Gaudium Et Spes", 93).

To enter the Kingdom of Heaven, to be holy, it is not enough, then, to speak eloquently about holiness. One has to practise what one preaches, to produce fruit which accords with one's words. Fray Luis de Leon puts it very graphically: "Notice that to be a good Christian it is not enough just to pray and fast and hear Mass; God must find you faithful, like another Job or Abraham, in times of tribulation" ("Guide for Sinners", Book 1, Part 2, Chapter 21).

Even if a person exercises an ecclesiastical ministry that does not assure his holiness; he needs to practice the virtues he preaches. Besides, we know from experience that any Christian (clerical, religious or lay) who does not strive to act in accordance with the demands of the faith he professes, begins to weaken in his faith and eventually parts company also with the teaching of the Church. Anyone who does not live in accordance with what he says, ends up saying things which are contrary to faith.

The authority with which Jesus speaks in these verses reveals Him as sovereign Judge of the living and the dead. No Old Testament prophet ever spoke with this authority.

22. "That day": a technical formula in biblical language meaning the day of the Judgment of the Lord or the Last Judgment.

23. This passage refers to the Judgment where Jesus will be the Judge. The sacred text uses a verb which means the public proclamation of a truth. Since in this case Jesus Christ is the Judge who makes the declaration, it takes the form of a judicial sentence.

24-27. These verses constitute the positive side of the previous passage. A person who tries to put Christ's teaching into practice, even if he experiences personal difficulties or lives during times of upheaval in the life of the Church or is surrounded by error, will stay firm in the faith, like the wise man who builds his house on rock.

Also, if we are to stay strong in times of difficulty, we need, when things are calm and peaceful, to accept little contradictions with a good grace, to be very refined in our relationship with God and with others, and to perform the duties of our state in life in a spirit of loyalty and abnegation. By acting in this way we are laying down a good foundation, maintaining the edifice of our spiritual life and repairing any cracks which make their appearance.
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, December 01, 2004

Rockford, Ill. Bishop Doran Joins Cardinal George in Consecration to Mary

On Dec. 8, 2004, the 150th anniversary of Pope Pius IX’s solemn proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, Bishop Thomas Doran of the Diocese of Rockford, Ill. will consecrate his diocese to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

In doing so, Bishop Doran joins Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I., archbishop of Chicago, who in August announced that he will consecrate his archdiocese to Mary on the same day.

Liberal Bishops Bash Gibson's Passion as....

...."A Modern Version of Notorious Medieval Passion Plays"

This really comes as no surprise, except for the fact that, after almost a year, some still seem obsessed with discrediting a film which had such a profound impact on so many Christians and others.

Article here.

A New Book and Web Site

From an email from Michael Rose, author of Goodbye, Good Men and Priest
The Bishop of Covington just granted the indult Mass -- and at his cathedral. He himself even celebrated the first Mass. Quite a change for years and decades past.

I wanted to let you know that I've got a new book out. It's called In Tiers of Glory, and The Wanderer called it a "lavishly printed, full-color book illustrating the history of church architecture... it demonstrates that a strong and healthy reaction is underway and, indeed, about to topple the Modernist movement that imposed so much architectural ugliness on unsuspecting 20th-century Catholics."

Here's the book's website:

In conjunction with my book, today (December 1, the Feast of St. Edmund Campion) I am inaugurating a web journal devoted to resources, articles and projects pertaining to traditional church architecture, restoration and perservation. It's called

Will you help me get the message out about the website? I'd appreciate it!

Pax Christi,

Vatican: AIDS a sign of moral 'immunodeficiency'

VATICAN CITY - The Vatican today blamed the spread of AIDS on an "immunodeficiency" of moral values among other factors and called for education, abstinence and greater access to drugs to fight the disease.

On the eve of World AIDS Day, the head of the Vatican's pontifical health council quoted Pope John Paul as calling AIDS a "pathology of the spirit" that must be combated with "correct sexual practice" and "education of sacred values."
A "pathology of the spirit", indeed...


Dec 6...Town-hall meeting in St. Peters

As many of you know, Planned Parenthood has opened up shop here in St. Peters at Midrivers & Suemandy, near the mall. On Monday, December 6th, a town-hall meeting is scheduled at St. Peters City Hall. Protest plans are scheduled to be discussed.

Please come and let's work together to make it perfectly clear that Planned Parenthood and their baby killing ideology is NOT welcome in our own backyards.
I am also told that PP is setting up shop near a Crisis Pregnancy Center...How convenient.

No more detail yet on times....

**** Updated ****

Time of meeting is 7:00pm.

Babies killed not because they are going to die...

... but because they are going to live

A hospital in the Netherlands admits to euthanizing babies. This is a country which already permits the killing of others.
Euthanasia Prevention Coalition Executive Director, Alex Schadenberg, said that this is not new news. "The British Medical Journal revealed, already in 1997, that eight percent of all infant deaths in the Netherlands are from euthanasia for fetal anomalies. This is clearly eugenic euthanasia, and has nothing to do with having a terminal illness," he said.
More and more, we witness the insidious practices of the truly demonic being proposed as something good and kind.

I sometimes envision being in a war room with the entire world map laid out on a large table, as those keeping track of the spiritual battles move markers to different cities and countries. There are sighs of anguish as once Christian countries continue to fall under the spell of the Enemy and take up arms (evil) against their own people and others.


Gospel for Dec. 1, Memorial: St. Francis Xavier, Priest

From: Matthew 15:29-37

The Canaanite Woman (Continuation)
[29] And Jesus went on from there and passed along the Sea of Galilee. And He went up into the hills, and sat down there. [30] And great crowds came to Him, bringing with them the lame, the maimed, the blind, the dumb, and many others, and they put them at His feet, and He healed them, [31] so that the throng wondered, when they saw the dumb speaking, the maimed whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing; and they glorified the God of Israel.

Second Miracle of the Loaves
[32] Then Jesus called His disciples to Him, and said, "I have compassion on the crowd, because they have been with Me now three days, and having nothing to eat; and I am unwilling to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way." [33] And the disciples said to Him, "Where are we to get bread enough in the desert to feed so great a crowd?" [34] And Jesus said to them, "How many loaves have you?" They said, "Seven, and a few small fish." [35] And commanding the crowd to sit down on the ground, [36] He took the seven loaves and the fish, and having given thanks He broke them and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. [37] And they all ate and were satisfied; and they took up seven baskets full of the broken pieces left over.
29-31. Here St. Matthew summarizes Jesus' activity in this border area where Jews and pagans were living side by side. As usual He teaches and heals the sick; the Gospel account clearly echoes the prophecy of Isaiah which Christ Himself used to prove that He was the Messiah (Luke 7:22): "the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped..." (Isaiah 35:5).

"They glorified the God of Israel": this clearly refers to the Gentiles, who thought that God could give the power to work miracles to Jews only. Once again the Gentiles are seen to have more faith than the Jews.

32. The Gospels speak of our Lord's mercy and compassion towards people's needs: here He is concerned about the crowds who are following Him and who have no food. He always has a word of consolation, encouragement and forgiveness: He is never indifferent. However, what hurts Him most are sinners who go through life without experiencing light and truth: He waits for them in the Sacraments of Baptism and Penance.

33-38. As in the case of the first multiplication (14:13-20), the Apostles provide our Lord with the loaves and the fish. It was all they had. He also avails of the Apostles to distribute the food--the result of the miracle--to the people. In distributing the graces of salvation God chooses to rely on the faithfulness and generosity of men. "Many great things depend--don't forget--on whether you and I live our lives as God wants" ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 755).

It is interesting to note that in both miracles of multiplication of loaves and fish Jesus provides food in abundance but does not allow anything to go to waste. All Jesus' miracles, in addition to being concrete historical events, are also symbols of supernatural realities. Here abundance of material food also signifies abundance of divine gifts on the level of grace and glory: it refers to spiritual resources and eternal rewards; God gives people more graces than are strictly necessary. This is borne out by Christian experience throughout history. St. Paul tells us that "where sin increased, grace abounded all the more" (Romans 5:20); he speaks of "the riches of His grace which He lavished upon us" (Ephesians 1:8) and tells his disciple Timothy that "the grace of our Lord overflowed for me and with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus" (1 Timothy 1:14).
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 30, 2004

Stem Cell Treatment Allows Paralysed Korean Woman to Walk Again

And Non-Embryonic Stem Cells were used
KWANGJU, South Korea, November 30, 2004 ( - A 37-year-old South Korean woman, paralysed 20 years ago as a result of a spinal injury, is walking again. Hers is the first recorded recovery of a spinal injury from the use of stem cells - her doctors used umbilical cord-blood stem cells.
Last week had a similar report:
Non Embryonic Stem Cell Treatment Allows Paralysed Brazilian To Walk, Talk Again

This encouraging story is here.

Planned Parenthood has "Holiday Cards" again this year

This is the "Holiday" card being promoted:

This one is more appropriate for Planned Parenthood:

Protest 'Jesus Has Two Mommies'

This just in:

Tradition Family Property

– November 30, 2004–

Please protest today!

A film version of the play “Jesus Has Two Mommies” is being shown in Portland, Oregon on December 1.

Please take a moment to send a quick e-protest to those who are taking Christmas and turning it into a protrayal which we consider ever so blasphemous.
Click here to protest!

If you can attend the protest in Portland, call 717-451-0135 for details.

Before the 2004 elections fade into history, we would like to mention a factor that was all too quckly forgotten: honor. Click here to read our tribute to the spirited defense of honor by America’s Vietnam vets.

Dear Friend,

Whenever someone asks me how the homosexual agenda affects me personally, I like to point to things like the play “Jesus Has Two Mommies.” As you can tell by the title, it is a lesbian “retelling” of the Christmas story. I am personally offended. God is offended. I cannot stand by without registering my protest.

And this is only one of many such portrayals. I consider this an attack on my Catholic faith. I find it hard to believe that there are those who would like me to accept things like this as “normal.” That’s why I am asking you to protest, by clicking here.

Last year we protested this play in Sommerville, Massachusetts and the promoters cancelled one performance. This year, the Sommerville Theatre is not showing it at all. However, a theater in Portland is showing a filmed version of the play on December 1. I am asking you to to please send you e-protest today.

If you live in the Portland area, please consider attending our December 1 protest at the Holywood Theatre at 6:30 p.m. For more details, call Edward at (717) 451- 0135. Come console the hearts of Jesus, Mary and St. Joseph in a peaceful Act of Reparation and candlelight vigil.

Before the 2004 elections fade into history, I would like to mention a factor that was all too quickly forgotten: honor. The very concept of honor has suffered so much over the years. It was refreshing to see honor highlighted by the Vietnam veterans who refused to back down when their honor was once again sullied. Click here to read “Forgotten Honor.”

That’s all for now. Until next time, I remain

Sincerely Yours in Jesus and Mary,

John Horvat

Woman Wins Legal Battle To See Her Court File...

Woman Wins 5-Year Legal Battle To See Her Court File Involving Her Abortion Request When She Was a Minor

ANN ARBOR, MI – When 15 years old and suffering from a mental illness that required her to take prescribed medication, FG found she was pregnant. Instead of telling either one of her parents, she went to a Washtenaw County Probate Court Judge for a judicial bypass to get an abortion without informing or getting her parents’ permission.

In February 2000, a few years after her abortion, FG, through the Thomas More Law Center, a national public interest law firm, requested to see her court file. She wanted to learn whether the probate court had been informed about her mental condition, to learn whether she actually agreed to the judicial bypass and to the abortion, and to see whether any of her rights had been violated. Because of her medical condition, FG had only a vague memory of what had taken place during the probate court proceeding. Nevertheless, a Washtenaw County Probate Judge denied her request.

After a series of appeals lasting 5 years, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled last week that FG had a right to see her file. In a November 23, 2004 opinion written by Judge Thomas Fitzgerald, and joined by Judge Joel Hoekstra, the Michigan Court of Appeals reversed the lower court’s decision. Judge Jessica Cooper dissented.

Edward L. White III, the Law Center attorney handling the case, commented, “Not only were we able to obtain the proper relief for our client, but we have established legal principles that will guide courts when ruling on requests by women who want access to their own court files that deal with the judicial bypass proceedings.”

Richard Thompson, Chief Counsel of the Law Center commented, “Most parents don’t realize that a court in a secret hearing can authorize an abortion for a minor without the knowledge, input, or consent of her parents. Until the ruling in this case, court bypass proceedings were even kept secret from the girl who went through the proceedings.”

Theory Claims to Discover Morally Acceptable Cloning

From a Culture & Cosmos email:
Controversial Theory Claims to Discover Morally Acceptable Cloning

A member of the President's Council on Bioethics believes he may have found a way to obtain stem cells with the same potential as embryonic stem cells without creating or destroying a human embryo.

Dr. William Hurlbut is a medical doctor and a consulting professor in human biology at Stanford University. An opponent of embryonic destructive stem cell research, Hurlbut has been busy visiting prominent Catholic clerics and other ethicists to see if the technology he proposes is morally acceptable.

According to a recent Boston Globe story that gave extensive coverage to Hurlbut's ideas, the new technique would mirror similar methods of cloning. DNA from a human egg is removed and replaced with adult DNA. But unlike traditional cloning, in Hurlbut's method the gene responsible for creating the placenta is turned off. Hurlbut contends that this prevents an embryo from ever being created. But like traditional cloning, the egg still generates inner cell mass, or the "blank" cells, that some scientist believe have the greatest research potential. The Globe reports that parts of the technique are currently being performed on mice.

Hurlbut will present his findings at the next meeting of the President's Bioethics Council later this week. The Council was established by President George Bush in 2001 in the wake of his decision to deny federal funds for stem cell research that requires the destruction of human embryos; members "advise the President on bioethical issues that may emerge as a consequence of advances in biomedical science and technology."

Leading up to the presentation Hurlbut has been selling the idea to clerics like San Francsico Archbishop William Levada; Princeton professor and Catholic intellectual Robert George; and Nigel Cameron, an Evangelical who lectures and writes on bioethics. It has been reported that all three are receptive to the proposal. In October he presented the idea at a colloquium on the stem cell debate sponsored by Catholic University of America's Columbus School of Law. Hurlbut told colloquium participants that Archbishop Levada believes the new technology had great potential to be acceptable and the Globe story reports that the archbishop wrote a letter to the president offering support for Hurlbut's proposal.

There is a fundamental question that must be answered before Hurlbut's proposal can be approved. Does the technique he proposes prevent a human embryo from ever being created or does it actually produce a deformed embryo? The question will require more study by serious students of the ethical concerns that arise from cutting edge scientific discoveries. But what Hurlbut's proposal does show is that scientific advances may themselves offer solutions to pressing moral quandaries.

Copyright, 2004 --- Culture of Life Foundation. Permission granted for unlimited use. Credit required.

Culture of Life Foundation
1413 K Street, NW, Suite 1000
Washington DC 20005
Phone: (202) 289-2500
Fax: (202) 289-2502

More troubles for the new USCCB president...

Insurers Sue Spokane Diocese to Avoid Victims' Claims
Less than two weeks before the Catholic Diocese of Spokane is due to file for bankruptcy protection, its insurance carriers are suing to avoid paying victims' sexual-abuse claims.

The American Casualty Co., the diocese's liability insurer, contends it should not have to pay claims brought by victims of the Rev. Patrick O'Donnell because the diocese was aware of the abuse and therefore victims' injuries were not accidental.

"The diocese was aware, at the highest levels, of O'Donnell's propensities, pedophilia, actual misconduct and inability to control his behavior," the lawsuit states.
Article here.

"American Vocations", a comedy proposed by The Curt Jester

The sad part is that in some places, these proposed comedic acts have actually occurred (and probably still do)...

Surely, it's time, though, for another National Lampoon series to debut.

Link here.

Legionaries of Christ Celebrate Founder's Birthday

This morning the Holy Father received 4,000 priests and seminarians of the Legionaries of Christ and members of the movement "Regnum Christi" on the 60th anniversary of the priestly ordination of their founder and superior general, Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado.

The Holy Father said that this "happy circumstance" of their founder's anniversary "invites us to recall the gifts that he has received from the Lord in these 60 years of priestly ministry and at the same time it is an occasion to highlight the commitments that you have taken on as Legionaries of Christ at the service of the Gospel."

Gospel for Nov 30, Feast: St. Andrew, Apostle

From: Matthew 4:18-22

The First Disciples Called
[18] As He (Jesus) walked by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. [19] And He said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men." [20] Immediately they left their nets and followed Him. [21] And going on from there He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and He called them. [22] Immediately, they left the boat and their father, and followed Him.

18-22. These four disciples had already met our Lord (John 1:35-42), and their brief meeting with Him seems to have had a powerful effect on their souls. In this way Christ prepared their vocation, a fully effective vocation which moved them to leave everything behind so as to follow Him and be His disciples. Standing out above their human defects (which the Gospels never conceal), we can see the exemplary generosity and promptness of the Apostles in answering God's call.

The thoughtful reader cannot fail to be struck by the delightful simplicity with which the evangelists describe the calling of these men in the midst of their daily work.

"God draws us from the shadows of our ignorance, our groping through history, and, no matter what our occupation in the world, He calls us in a loud voice, as He once called Peter and Andrew" ([St] J. Escriva, "Christ Is Passing By," 45).

"This divine and human dialogue completely changed the lives of John and Andrew, and Peter and James and so many others. It prepared their hearts to listen to the authoritative teaching which Jesus gave them beside the Sea of Galilee" ("ibid"., 108).

We should notice the words of Sacred Scripture used to describe the alacrity with which the Apostles follow our Lord. Peter and Andrew "immediately" left their nets and followed Him. Similarly, James and John "immediately" left the boats and their father and followed Him. God passes by and calls us. If we do not answer Him "immediately", He may continue on His way and we could lose sight of Him. When God passes by, He may do so rapidly; it would be sad if we were to fall behind because we wanted to follow Him while still carrying many things that are only a dead weight and a nuisance.
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.

Reading for Nov 30, Feast: St. Andrew, Apostle

From: Romans 10:9-18

Israel's Infidelity (Continuation)
[9] If you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. [10] For man believes with his heart and so is justified, and he confesses with his lips and so is saved. [11] The scripture says, "No one who believes in him will be put to shame." [12] For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all and bestows his riches upon all who call upon him. [13] For, "every one who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved." [14] But how are men to call upon him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without a preacher? [15] And how can men preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach good news!" [16] But they have not all heeded the gospel; for Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?" [17] So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes by the preaching of Christ. [18] But I ask; have they not heard? Indeed they have; for "Their voice has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world."

9. At least from the third century B.C. we have documentary evidence that, out of respect, the Jews did not utter the name "Yahweh" but generally referred to God instead as "Lord". The first Christians, by giving Christ the title of "Lord", were making a profession of faith in the divinity of Jesus.

10. To make the act of faith, human free will must necessarily be involved as St Thomas explains when commenting on this passage: "He very rightly says that man believes with his heart. Because everything else to do with external worship of God, man can do it against his will, but he cannot believe if he does not want to believe. So, the mind of a believer is not obliged to adhere to the truth by rational necessity, as is the case with human knowledge: it is moved by the will" ("Commentary on Rom, ad loc.")

However, in order to live by faith, in addition to internal assent external profession of faith is required; man is made up of body and soul and therefore he tends by nature to express his inner convictions externally; when the honor of God or the good of one's neighbor requires it, one even has an obligation to profess one's faith externally. For example, in the case of persecution we are obliged to profess our faith, even at the risk of life, if, on being interrogated about our beliefs, our silence would lead people to suppose that we did not believe or that we did not hold our faith to be the true faith and our bad example would cause others to fall away from the faith. However, external profession is an obligation not only in extreme situations of that kind. In all situations--be they ordinary or exceptional--God will always help us to confess our faith boldly (cf. Mt 10:32-33; Lk 12:8).

14-21. To sum up what the Apostle is saying: the Jews have no excuse for not invoking Christ as Lord, for if they do not believe in him it is due to their rebelliousness, for the Good News has indeed been preached to them.

14-17. The Church's work of evangelization is aimed at eliciting faith, moving people to conversion and reception of its sacraments, in fulfillment of the Lord's commandment, "Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to the whole of creation. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned" (Mk 16:15-16). The Acts of the Apostles give us a great deal of information about this first period of evangelization which was marked by many miracles worked by the Apostles through the power Jesus gave them.

On the very day of Pentecost we can already see how vibrant was St Peter's preaching and the miracles which accompanied it: "The men and women who have come to the city from all parts of the world listen with amazement [...]. These wonders, which take place before their very eyes, lead them to listen to the preaching of the Apostles. The Holy Spirit himself, who is acting through our Lord's disciples, moves the hearts of their listeners and leads them to the faith" ([St] J. Escriva, "Christ Is Passing By", 127). It is God himself who works these miracles through the Apostles; it is he who, through the preaching of Peter and the Eleven, is revealing the mysteries; and, finally, it is he who is moving the hearts of the people. This triple divine action leads to the hearers' act of faith. "Two things are required for faith", says St Thomas. "First, the things which are of faith have to be proposed [...]; second, the assent of the believer to the things which are proposed to him" ("Summa Theologiae", II-II, q. 6, a. 1, c).

He goes on to say later that, as regards the first of these two things, faith comes from God, who reveals truths either directly, as in the case of the Apostles and the Prophets, or else indirectly through preachers of the faith sent by Him (cf. Rom 10:15). Speaking of the second, he says that in the individual's assent to the truths of faith factors come into play which are external to the person--for example, miracles, and preaching which expounds the truth of faith. But none of these factors is sufficient: even though they witness the same miracle or hear the same preaching, some believe and others do not. There must therefore be something which moves the person interiorly; although the person's free will must play a part, it cannot account for the act of faith, because that act is a supernatural one; therefore, it must be that God moves the will interiorly, by means of grace (cf. "Summa Theologiae, ibid.").

Following Jesus' example, "every catechist must constantly endeavor to transmit by his teaching and behavior the teaching and life of Jesus [...]. Every catechist should be able to apply to himself the mysterious words of Jesus: 'My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me' (Jn 7:16)" (John Paul II, "Catechesi Tradendae", 6).

Good example is not enough: apostolic action, through the spoken word, is called for. We have a mission to speak in God's name: his disciples "should everywhere on earth bear witness and give an answer to everyone who asks a reason for the hope of an eternal life which is theirs" (Vatican II, "Lumen Gentium", 10).

This was what the first Christians did. "Whenever we read the Acts of the Apostles, we are moved by the audacity, the confidence in their mission and the sacrificing joy of the disciples of Christ. They do not ask for multitudes. Even though the multitudes come, they address themselves to each particular soul, to each person, one by one. Philip, to the Ethiopian (cf. Acts 8:24-40); Peter, to the centurion Cornelius (cf. Acts 10:1-48); Paul, to Sergius Paulus (cf. Acts 13:6-12)" ([St] J. Escriva, "Homily" entitled "Loyalty to the Church").

Those who accept the Gospel message feel drawn towards it when those who proclaim it also bear witness to it. "It is therefore primarily by her conduct and by her life that the Church will evangelize the world [...]. This law once laid down by the Apostle Paul maintains its full force today. Preaching, the verbal proclamation of a message, is indeed always indispensable [...]. The word remains ever relevant, especially when it is the bearer of the power of God (cf. 1 Cor 2:1-5)" (Paul VI, "Evangelii Nuntiandi", 41-42).

Monday, November 29, 2004

You might want to look at this...Clinic Quotes

I received an email from a woman who has a web site that contains all the research that she has done on abortion.

It has a list of quotes and first hand accounts of abortion and the abortion business by current and former clinic workers and abortionists. It has information on poor sanitary conditions in clinics, deceptive abortion 'counseling' and the abortion procedure and its aftermath.

The site is here.

Why do they stay "Catholic"?

There will be no stopping the conservative Catholics now that they've tasted victory. Every pro-choice Catholic polictian will be attacked soon and after that will be all ordinary pro-choice people...There will be a war between the Catholics eventually, just wait. I repeat my call from 3 weeks ago--we need a schism in the RCC--a new branch of progressive Catholicism that will be separate from the rest--the laity are ready, but we need priests or bishop to lead us. (Source)
This was in response to the story about State Rep. Barbara L'Italien, D-Andover, who was told by the Fr. William Cleary that she could no longer lead the children's choir and sing as cantor because of her public support for abortion rights. (Story here)

It finally disintegrated into a gripe session about Franciscan University of Steubenville and its students (where one of my sons attends college).
That is the crux of the current division of the Catholic (and acutually all denominations of all faiths). What is "Catholic"?...Through channels I was able to obtain a youth conference CD from a Franciscan University of Stubenville are not apparently "Catholic" if you do not follow 100% everything the church and the leaders say. This is no suprise to us because we (including John Kerry, that MA state senator, etc...) have heard this rethoric all year. Good Catholics follow the rules 100% and do not question. Otherwise you are very heraterical...So, in response to your question (which you answered anyways), no unless they are ORTHODOX, they are not truly part of the church. (Source)
The poster then suggests everyone read an interview of the late Bishop Raymond Lucker posted on the "womenpriests" web site...

But it continues...
I've been to plenty of events at good ole FU. My priest is very conservative and very Republican and even he thinks they are way out of line. I had looked into going there to get my Master's in Youth Ministry, and he told me that there were hundreds of better Catholic institutions where I could do that. And it is fact that they have been issued warnings from the Vatican. I was told that by people in Steubenville who would know. (Source)
Oh really??? Hundreds of BETTER "Catholic" institutions? We are lucky if there are a dozen truly Catholic institutions of higher learning in the US.
We had one of those "Steubenville wonders" come through our parish, he got tossed outta town in a hurry...(Source)
I'm really surprised that the open, embracing, inclusive, and diverstity loving couldn;t seem to accept an orthodox and faithful Catholic???
it amazes me how many christians tell others they are damned. the mercy of Jesus is so great that even as he was dying in pain he promised salvation to the thief, he did so to the samaritan woman, forgave the sins of the paralyzed man--without the man even asking for forgiveness--that guy just wanted to walk. Jesus is full of mercy for us, that is the good news! (Source)
Well there are a number of things here...From what I could see, no one ever said that anyone was damned. Secondly, he promised only one of the thieves paradise - the one who had repented. He forgave only those who repented and were moved to a conversion of heart. And of course, Jesus is infinite mercy - as long as we cooperate with the graces he gives us. Adhering to heretical positions or refusing obedience to the Church (and Christ) because of pride excludes us from His mercy.
I just have one more thing to say: if this is the future of Catholicism, God help us all. Doesn't anyone find it very interesting that while Christianity is all the rage across the U.S., Catholic churches struggle to keep their doors open? Don't get me wrong, I like my faith, but I think that the church really needs to face the fact that the world is changing all around it, and it is going to get left behind. (Source)
Ah yes, the Church should go skipping merrily along with the world hand in hand as it goes scampering off the edge of a cliff...just so it doesn't get left behind....

As I completed this the "Group" decided to become "private" so its messages cannot be seen by outsiders...This after one newly banned member defended Franciscan University and its many faithful students (he also has a son there).

But before it did so (go private), anoth poster responded to today's article about Archbishop Burke:
...let's get the people of the Archdiocese of St. Louis to pressure Archbishop Burke to resign his post. (Source)
Like that's likely...As I said, keep praying for our bishops, especially Archbishop Burke.

Archbishop Burke Pledges to Continue Fight over Pro-Abortion "Catholic" Politicians

Archbishop [Raymond] Burke of St. Louis, the leader among the US bishops in the drive to refuse Holy Communion to public dissenters from essential teachings of the Catholic religion, said this week that the battle in the US Catholic Church is not over. During the run-up to the election, Burke was the most prominent among a minority of bishops who said they would be willing to uphold Church Law that requires that, 'manifest grave sinners,' be refused communion until they recant.

"Let's just be honest, the application of the church's discipline in this regard is weak," he said.
So weak, in fact as to be "practically non-existent"...

The article listed Archbishop Burke's first name as "James" which was changed above. I'm not certain if this was a typo at Catholic News Service of Lifesite...

Back to the article - it seems Cardinal McCarrick and the "Task Force" has all but abandoned its "mission". This appears to be the case if one reads his "report" which was NOT discussed at the recent Bishops' meeting in Washington. We can, nonetheless, rest assured that the "task force" will "continue consultation on the complex theological and canonical aspects of these matters within our Conference and with the Holy See" and "develop resources and tools to help the bishops follow through on the commitments [they] made".

However, it is necessary to continue to pray for Archbishop Burke and the few other bishops who are following the disciplinary laws and directives of the Holy See. We can be certain that they will continue to be attacked and ridiculed for their fidelity and obedience.

LifeSite article here.

The Advent Workshop from Catholic Culture

This is well worth reviewing. It includes:
What Is Advent?
O Antiphons
Jesse Tree
Prayers and Hymns
Activities and Customs
The link is here.

National Day of Prayer for Vocations proposed by Pope John Paul II

As they end their "ad limina" visit, bishops from the ecclesiastical provinces of Dubuque, Kansas City in Kansas, Omaha and St. Louis, were received by the Pope this morning who continued his reflections on the exercise of episcopal governance, especially "the relationship which unites you to your closest co-workers in the apostolate, your brother priests."

"An essential concern of responsible governance must also be to provide for the future," affirmed the Holy Father. "No one can deny that the decline in priestly vocations represents a stark challenge for the Church in the United States, and one that cannot be ignored or put off. The response to this challenge must be insistent prayer according to the Lord's command. ... I would propose for your consideration that the Catholic community in your country annually set aside a national day of prayer for priestly vocations."
I would also suggest that the lay faihtful find a chapter of a local Serra group and sign up with the '31 Club' to pray and offer attendance at Mass one day a month for vocations. When enough people sign up for this, every day of the month at a local parish has the particular prayers and intentions to pray for vocations at Holy Mass.

Th Vatican article is here.

Society of St. John Suppressed in Scranton, PA

Scranton, Nov. 29 ( - Bishop Joseph Martino of Scranton, Pennsylvania, has suppressed the Society of St. John, citing grave financial problems and reports of sexual impropriety.

Link here.

Editorial on Fr. Thomas Doyle and the Church

Tom Doyle once dwelled in the church's inner circle, but was booted out when he uncovered a horrible secret. Today, that secret has come back to haunt the church.
Kevin Horrigan writes another article for the Post Dispatch on the

Gsopel for Monday, 1st Week of Advent

Gospel From: Matthew 8:5-11

The Centurion's Faith
[5] As He (Jesus) entered Capernaum, a centurion came forward to Him, beseeching Him [6] and saying, "Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, in terrible distress." [7] And He said to him, "I will come and heal him." [8] But the centurion answered Him, "Lord, I am not worthy to have You come under my roof; but only say the word, and my servant will be healed. [9] For I am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to one, `Go,' and he goes, and to another, `Come,' and he comes, and to my slave, `Do this,' and he does it." [10] When Jesus heard him, He marvelled, and said to those who followed Him, "Truly, I say to you, not even in Israel have I found such faith. [11] I tell you, many will come from east and west and sit at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the Kingdom of Heaven."

5-11. "Centurion": an officer of the Roman army in control of one hundred men. This man's faith is still an example to us. At the solemn moment when a Christian is about to receive Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, the Church's liturgy places on his lips and in his heart these words of the centurion, to enliven his faith: Lord, I am not worthy...".

The Jews of this time regarded any Jew who entered a Gentile's house as contracting legal impurity (cf. John 19:28; Acts 11:2-3). This centurion has the deference not to place Jesus in an embarrassing position in the eyes of His fellow Israelites. He shows that he is convinced that Jesus has the power over disease and illness; he suggests that if Jesus just says the word, He will do what is needed without having actually to visit the house; he is reasoning, in a simple, logical way, on the basis of his own professional experience. Jesus avails of this meeting with a Gentile believer to make a solemn prophecy to the effect that His Gospel is addressed to the world at large; all men, of every nation and race, of every age and condition, are called to follow Christ.
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 28, 2004

Sunday, 1st Week of Advent

Gospel From: Matthew 24:37-44

The Time of the Second Coming of Christ and of the Last Judgment (Continuation)

Jesus said to his disciples,) [37] "As were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of man. [38] For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, [39] and they did not know until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of man. [40] Then two men will be in the field; one is taken and one is left. [41] Two women will be grinding at the mill; one is taken and one is left.

Vigilance. The Faithful Servant
[42] "Watch therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lo rd is coming. [43] But know this, that if the householder had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have watched and would not have let his house be broken into. [44] Therefore you also must be ready; for the Son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

37-39. In a few strokes our Lord sketches man's perennial insensitivity and carelessness towards the things of God. Man thinks it is more important to eat and drink, to find a husband or wife; but if that is his attitude he is forgetting about the most important thing--eternal life. Our Lord also foretells that the end of the world will be like the great flood; the Son of man's second coming will happen unexpectedly, taking people by surprise, whether they are doing good or evil.

40. It is in the context of the ordinary affairs of life--farmwork, housework, etc-- that God calls man, and man responds: that is where his eternal happiness or eternal punishment is decided. To be saved, one does not need to meet any special conditions, or to be in a special position in life: one simply has to be faithful to the Lord in the middle of ordinary everyday affairs.

42. Jesus himself draws from this revelation about the future the practical moral that a Christian needs to be on the watch, living each day as if it were his last.

The important thing is not to be speculating about when these events will happen and what form they will take, but to live in such a way that they find us in the state of grace.
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.