Saturday, January 22, 2005

A couple of Letters to the Editor re: St. Stanislaus

Bring ’em back

Shame on the people of St. Stanislaus.

A Roman Catholic Church does not "belong" to a small group of people. The Poles have always been recognized for their piety and obedience. Such were the Polish members of my own family.

The board members at St. Stanislaus have betrayed their heritage and are acting like a bunch of greedy disobedient Americans. That Church belongs to the Roman Catholic (universal) Church. It has special significance because the Holy Father visited there.

I hope the archdiocese uses every legal means necessary both canonical and civil to bring that parish into obedience and back into the true family of God.

Mary Ann Harter
All emphasis in these letters was added by me...
View too small


While I respect the efforts of parishioners at St. Stanislaus over many years that contributed to make their parish what it is, I am saddened by the spectacle created by their lay board of directors in recent years.

St. Stanislaus is truly a oasis of beauty on the near Northside. It boasts an ornate church building and excellent parish center. But it has no school, it does not have teams for kids to compete in CYC sports and its parishioners live hours away in some cases.

As a parishioner of a city parish, I know the struggles that are being made by other earnest Catholics to keep open their schools, churches and other ministries.

These struggles, I believe, are part of the larger Church universal in which we the Church are the extension of God in the world. If the only end of our efforts is the greater glory of the parish, then it makes little sense to be part of the larger Church.

The recent vote by members of St. Stanislaus sends the clear message that they do not share the larger view of the Church; they do not stand with the rest of us.

This is sad because some St. Stan’s parishioners sent their kids to other parish schools, played on other parish teams and participated in the day-to-day life of parishes other than St. Stanislaus. When they needed to be part of a larger whole, we were there for them. By their vote they now give the false impression they did not need nor appreciate help from the archdiocese.

Although they are, without question, good people, St. Stanislaus seems to have been led astray. I offer my prayers that our brothers and sisters at St. Stanislaus are able to view the situation a little less narrowly before they abandon the archdiocese completely.

Brian McCarthy
St. Louis
Some very worthwhile observations are in these letters...Perhaps, by offering to God our prayers and penances, some of the hardened hearts may be changed so that the parishioners stay within the fold of the Church.


Pro-life forces set agenda for legislative term

A ban on human cloning tops the list of issues several Missouri pro-life groups will be working for this legislative session.

The 2005 session opened Jan. 5 and was followed by the Jan. 10 inauguration of Republican Gov. Matt Blunt. This session, Republicans have the majority in both the House (97-65) and the Senate (23-11).

Pam Fichter, president of Missouri Right to Life, said a ban on human cloning is the "major focus" for her organization this year. Other groups, including the Missouri Catholic Conference and the Archdiocesan Pro-Life Committee, also are backing a ban on cloning.

Archbishop sets deadlines for deanery decisions

Archbishop Raymond Burke is expected to decide on the future of parishes and schools in the Northeast County Deanery by the end of the month.

The archbishop also is expected to make the final decision for the South St. Louis Deanery by the end of February, according to Msgr. Vernon Gardin, vicar general for the archdiocese.

Planning efforts for both deaneries are part of the overall Strategic Pastoral Plan for the archdiocese.

Begun under the tenure of Archbishop Justin Rigali, the plan requires that each of the archdiocese’s 10 deaneries be assessed over the next few years.

Planning efforts are designed to ensure that parishes and schools will be viable in the coming years.

Gospel for Saturday, 2nd Week in Ordinary Time

From: Mark 3:20-21

His Relatives Are Concerned About Jesus

Then He (Jesus) went home; [20] and the crowd came together again, so that they could not even eat. [21] And when His friends heard it, they went out to seize Him, for they said, "He is beside Himself."

20-21. Some of His relatives, whose outlook was too human, regarded Jesus' total commitment to apostolate as excessive: the only explanation, they thought, was that He was out of His mind. On reading these words of the Gospel, we cannot help being moved, realizing what Jesus did for love of us: people even thought Him mad. Many saints, following Christ's example, have been taken for madmen--but they were mad with love, mad with love for Jesus 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.

Friday, January 21, 2005

All the Secrets of the Vatican Secret Archives

It is the pope's private archive: a thousand years of documents in eighty kilometers of shelves. In 2006, it will be opened up to 1939. Many papers relating to Pius XII's can already be read.

ROMA, January 18, 2005 – A stir has been created in Italy and other countries by a document dating from 1946, from the Vatican nunciature in Paris, headed at that time by Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli, the future John XXIII.

The document – anticipated in an incomplete and poorly interpreted version by historian Alberto Melloni in the December 28, 2004 edition of "Corriere della Sera," and then discovered and published in its entirety by Andrea Tornielli and Matteo Luigi Napolitano in the January 11 edition of "Il Giornale" – carries an instruction from the Vatican approved by Pius XII and transmitted by Roncalli to the French bishops. It warns the Church against returning the Jewish children it sheltered during the war to the Jewish institutions that in 1946 were working in Paris and throughout Europe to transfer these little ones to Palestine in view of the foundation of the new state of Israel. But "it would be another matter," the document clarifies, "if the parents were asking for their children."

The document provided the impetus for the umpteenth firestorm of accusations against Pius XII. Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, a professor at Harvard, accused him of "having given the order to take the [Jewish] children away from their parents," and called for an international jury to try and condemn him.

Other voices were raised in opposition to the beatification of Pius XII, which is now underway.

And others demanded of the Vatican the "courage" to make the "grand gesture" of opening its archives.
An interview with Sergio Pagano, prefect of the Vatican Secret Archives can be read here

Pro-Choice Catholic Politicians to Be Sued for Heresy

De Fide, which is Latin for "of the faith," said it will hold a press conference on Monday [Jan 24] to update the ecclesiastical lawsuit it filed last June against Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.).

The group also said it will detail "new denunciations for Heresy, Sacrilege, and Scandal" to be filed against Senators Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Susan Collins (R-Maine), and former New York Governor Mario Cuomo, a Democrat.

Documents pertaining to the heresy cases will be released at Monday's press conference in Washington, and canonical forms "inviting Christians and non-Christians alike to join in the class-action ecclesiastical lawsuit against all of the above-named parties" will be available, De Fide said.
And an update via email gives these details:
EVENT TYPE: News Conference
TIME: 09:00 A.M.
EVENT LOCATION: National Press Club, Washington D.C., Lisagor Room

Marc Balestrieri, JCL is the canon lawyer and director of the non-profit organization De Fide based in Los Angeles. In an unprecedented class-action ecclesiastical lawsuit filed last summer, he filed a Dual-Denunciation for Heresy and Complaint for Reparation of Harm against Senator John F. Kerry for his support of the civil right to choose abortion. Under Roman Catholic Church law, support of abortion rights constitutes the "Right-to-Murder" Heresy condemned by Pope John Paul II in the Encyclical Evangelium Vitae of 1995. Automatic Excommunication is the penalty incurred for this offense.

Within 11 days of submitting a query with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome, Balestrieri received a personal reply confirming the doctrinal merits of the case written by an expert theologian at the request of a Vatican official.

On Monday DE FIDE will
1) update the Press on the ongoing efforts to stop Kerry’s continuing propagation of the Right-to-Murder Heresy, Sacrilege, and Scandal;
2) detail the new denunciations for Heresy, Sacrilege, and Scandal to be filed against Senators Edward Kennedy, Tom Harkin, Susan Collins, and former New York Governor Mario Cuomo;
3) release to the Press for the first time ever the first set of pending canonical briefs and documents pertaining to the Heresy cases; and
4) additionally release canonical forms inviting Christians and non-Christians alike to join in the class-action ecclesiastical lawsuit against all of the above-named parties.

Balestrieri will be available to answer questions. He will explain in layman's terms the complexities of the unprecedented and extremely rare Heresy cases in Canon law. Finally, he will offer journalists the opportunity for one-on-one interviews.*

*Breakfast will be served. Journalists on deadline can schedule private interviews with Mr. Balestrieri for the period following his formal presentation and Q&A.

CONTACT: Marc Balestrieri : (310) 927-5414; [or email:]

Mexican bishop backs condom use to prevent HIV infection

How do these men become elevated to the episcopacy?

Anortion Clinic Assails Parish Burial of Aborted Babies

A Boulder Roman Catholic church's plan to bury the remains of fetuses [babies] from a local abortion clinic was assailed Thursday by the clinic's director, who called it "a cynical exploitation of private grief for political purposes" by the Catholic Church and the mortuary that gave the ashes to the parish.

Dr. Warren Hern, director of the Boulder Abortion Clinic, issued a scathing statement in response to Sacred Heart of Mary Church's announcement that it would stage a ceremony Sunday morning to bury the ashes of what Hern describes as surgical tissue from abortions and what the church describes as babies. The event marks the 32nd anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion.

In his statement, Hern said, "I am appalled that the Catholic Church again has shown its willingness to exploit the private grief and pain of women seeking legal abortions in order to advance its political goals."

"Anti-abortion zealots, Catholic or otherwise, have shown that they will stop at nothing to inflict guilt and to compound the grief, sadness and sense of loss that these women experience," Hern's statement said. "These fanatics simply cannot leave other people alone with their most intimate sorrow."
"These fanatics" who murder innocent unborn children daily evidently are NOT responsible in any way for any "guilt, grief, sadness or sense of loss that these women experience". No responsibility whatsoever...they're just providing a needed service, they contend...May God have mercy on their souls, and illumine their minds so they may experience a conversion of heart and true repentence.


Success Stories with Adult Stem Cells

LifeSiteNews is one of the few places where I read about the advances being made with adult stem cells. It's difficult to imagine why other news organizations do little to promote the good news or to offer encouragement and hope to those who may still be relying on ESCR.
January 20, 2005 - Success stories about adult stem cell treatments are coming in so fast that, one of the few newswire services to follow the issue closely, is having trouble keeping up. While most disease research organizations, such as Juvenile Diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis and the Canadian Cancer Society, continue to promote the use of living embryonic human beings for experimentation, the only success stories to date have all come from the use of adult stem cells.
LifeSiteNews Article here.

Another Story of Frustration with Liturgical Abuses

"Our liturgies are completely faithful to the reforms of Vatican II," was one of the more concise responses from my pastor years ago. It was only some time later that I would realize how right he was.

Initially, his brevity was somewhat disappointing given the work put into the case I presented to him. For I had become a self-taught scholar of "liturgical abuse" and arming myself with Inaestimabile Donum, other documents from the Congregation for Divine Worship (CDW) and selected Q&A responses from some of the more conservative Catholic periodicals, I thought I had presented what was an incontrovertible case.
I have since ceased my quixotic quest for an "abuse free" Novus Ordo Mass. Although I'd heard that such a thing could be found in different parts of the country or on television at times, it was for all intents and purposes a myth. Add to this the fact that "abuses" kept being redefined as legitimate or even recommended options and that even a "pure" Novus Ordo Mass would still contain elements quite objectionable (yesterday's "abuses"), my efforts were redirected toward the Latin Mass, which was much more resistant to such chaos. Later studies into the nature of the liturgical reforms cemented my decision and made it difficult to consider the modern liturgical innovators at odds with, rather than continuing the work of, the initial framers of the New Mass.

St. Agnes, from Zenit...

This week sees the feast of St. Agnes on Friday. St. Agnes is one of the most beloved saints of Rome, and is celebrated with several charming traditions.

St. Agnes was probably martyred under the Emperor Diocletian around 305. She was a young girl -- 12 years old according to St. Ambrose and 13 according to St. Augustine -- when she was denounced to the Roman authorities as a Christian.

She was subjected to a series of tortures, from burning at the stake to being publicly undressed. She was saved from the flames when they were turned from her toward her torturers, and she was preserved from the shame of being exposed when her hair miraculously grew and cloaked her. Ultimately, she was beheaded, and the site of her martyrdom in Piazza Navona now boasts a beautiful church by Baroque architect Francesco Borromini.

At the place of her burial, another church was erected, St. Agnes Outside the Walls. Placed over the catacomb where St. Agnes was buried, this basilica is the site of one of Rome's special traditions.

Every year on Jan. 21, two lambs are chosen to be brought to the Pope and blessed by him; they are then taken to St. Agnes Outside the Wall, where they are blessed again by the rector of the church.

These lambs are later shorn, and their wool is used to make the palliums, which on June 29, the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, are given by the Pope to all those who have been made archbishops within the previous 12 months.

St. Agnes' connection to lambs dates back to the Middle Ages. Not only do they represent her purity, innocence and sacrifice, but "Agnes" is very similar to "agnus," the Latin word for lamb.

Many Romans will commemorate St. Agnes by visiting one of her churches or the catacombs dedicated to her. One of the loveliest things to see on this day is the number of young people out honoring Agnes and remembering that she, seemingly helpless victim of the immense Roman imperial government, heroically stood her ground and defended her faith. A far better role model than any movie or pop star.

Not True That the Church's Doctrine on Condoms Has Changed

....Says Note From the Spanish Bishops' Conference

MADRID, Spain, JAN. 20, 2005 ( Here is a translation of the "Press Note on AIDS and Condoms," published by the Information Office of the Spanish episcopal conference.

The note clarifies certain newspaper interpretations of statements made Tuesday by Father Juan Antonio Martínez Camino, secretary-general of the Spanish episcopal conference.

* * *
The phrase in question which was previously quoted is:
In accordance with these principles, it is not possible to counsel the use of condoms, as it is contrary to the person's morality.
This translation is far different than the use of the word "if" in the highlighted text above. It is a relief to see this.

The text of the full statement can be read here.

Gospel for Jan 21, Memorial: St. Agnes, Virgin & Martyr

From: Mark 3:13-19

Jesus Chooses Twelve Apostles

[13] And He (Jesus) went up into the hills, and called to Him those whom He desired; and they came to Him. [14] And He appointed twelve, to be with Him, and to be sent out to preach [15] and have authority to cast out demons; [16] Simon whom He surnamed Peter; [17] James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James, whom He surnamed Boanerges, that is, sons of thunder; [18] Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Cananaean, [19] and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Him.

13. "He called to Him those whom He desired": God wants to show us that calling, vocation, is an initiative of God. This is particularly true in the case of the Apostles, which is why Jesus could tell them, later on, that "you did not choose Me, but I chose you" (Jn 15:16). Those who will have power and authority in the Church will not obtain this because first they offer their services and then Jesus accepts their offering: on the contrary, "not through their own initiative and preparation, but rather by virtue of divine grace, would they be called to the apostolate" (St. Bede, "In Marci Evangelium Expositio, in loc.").

14-19. The Twelve chosen by Jesus (cf. 3:14) receive a specific vocation to be "people sent out", which is what the word "apostles" means. Jesus chooses them for a mission which He will give them later (6:6-13) and to enable them to perform this mission He gives them part of His power. The fact that He chooses "twelve" is very significant. This is the same number as the twelve Patriarchs of Israel, and the Apostles represent the new people of God, the Church founded by Christ. Jesus sought in this way to emphasize the continuity that exists between the Old and New Testaments. The Twelve are the pillars on which Christ builds His Church (cf. Gal 2:9); their mission to make disciples of the Lord (to teach) all nations, sanctifying and governing the believers (Mt 28:16-20; Mk 16:15; Lk 24:45-48; Jn 20:21-23).

14. The Second Vatican Council sees in this text the establishment of the College of the Apostles: "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. Mk 3:13-19; Mt 10:1-42). These apostles (cf. Lk 6:13) He constituted in the form of a college or permanent assembly, at the head of which He placed Peter, chosen from amongst them" (cf. Jn 21: 15-17) [...]. "That divine mission, which was committed by Christ to the apostles, is destined to last until the end of the world (cf. Mt 28:20), since the Gospel, which they were charged to hand on, is, for the Church, the principle of all its life for all time. For that very reason the apostles were careful to appoint successors in their hierarchically constituted society." ("Lumen Gentium", 19-20). Therefore, the Pope and the bishops, who succeed to the College of the Twelve, are also called by our Lord to be always with Jesus and to preach the Gospel, aided by priests.

Life in union with Christ and apostolic zeal must be very closely linked together; in other words, effectiveness in apostolate always depends on union with our Lord, on continuous prayer and on sacramental life: "Apostolic zeal is a divine craziness I want you to have. Its symptoms are: hunger to know the Master; constant concern for souls; perseverance that nothing can shake" (St J. Escriva, "The Way", 934).

16. At this point, before the word "Simon" the sentence "He formed the group of the twelve" occurs in many manuscripts (it is similar to the phrase "He appointed twelve" in v. 14) but it is not included in the New Vulgate. The repetition of the same _expression and the article in "the twelve" show the importance of the establishment of the Apostolic College.
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, January 20, 2005

Exhortation for Christian-Unity Week

Excerpts from Pope John Paul II's address at yesterday's general audience:
This year, the theme presents a fundamental truth to us for all ecumenical commitment, namely, that Christ is the foundation of the Church. The Council strongly recommended prayer for unity as the soul of the whole ecumenical movement (see "Unitatis Redintegratio," No. 8). Given that the reconciliation of Christians surpasses "human powers and capacities" (ibid., 24), prayer gives expression to hope that does not disappoint, to trust in the Lord who makes all things new (see Romans 5:5; Revelation 21:5). But prayer must be accompanied by purification of the mind, the feelings and the memory. Thus it becomes an expression of that "inner conversion," without which there is no true ecumenism (see ibid., 7). In a word, unity is a gift of God, a gift to be tirelessly implored with humility and truth.
I will unite myself spiritually, and I also ask you to pray so that the whole family of believers may attain as soon as possible the full communion desired by Christ.

Belleville Diocese selects interim leader

The Belleville diocese has selected Monsignor James Margason to lead the diocese until an official replacement for Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory is named.

The Belleville diocese's College of Consultors, an eleven member board of priests, voted 6-3 Wednesday to name Margason, 63, as diocese administrator. Margason also will remain as a priest at Corpus Christi Church in Shiloh.

Pressure on Archbishop to Send Priest Back to Iowa

Twelve new victims have alleged abuse by an admitted pedophile priest who lives near two schools in University City.

A spokesman for St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke says the archdiocese has been working hard for months to have the Rev. William Wiebler sent back to Davenport, Iowa, and that now those efforts will increase.

"Short of calling in the Swiss Guard, the archbishop over several months, has done everything in his power to get this guy out of town and back to his home diocese," said Jamie Allman. Church, or canon, law says that Burke has no authority over Wiebler, and that only Bishop William E. Franklin of Davenport can take action against him. "With 12 new allegations, the burner will be turned up," Allman said.

David Clohessy, director of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, a victim support group, said the archbishop should try [to personally ask Bisop Franklin to take Wiebler back to Iowa.]

What I heard this morning about this on one of the local stations is that SNAP blames Abp. Burke for not doing more about this. Of course, I am not surprised. Archbishop Burke is to be blamed for all the troubles in the archdiocese - IF we are to believe the local "pundits", which common sense tells us that we should not do. I suppose SNAP would be happy if Archbishop Burke hired some goons to grab Weibler, throw him in a trunk, and forcibly take him back to Iowa?


Honor for professor draws criticism

Mine Ener's colleagues and former students at Villanova University are dedicating a memorial student lounge in her name, an honor that critics at the school call inappropriate for a professor who killed her baby daughter while in the throes of postpartum depression.

Ener, who committed suicide in a Minnesota jail less than a month after killing her baby, taught at the university's Center for Arab and Islamic Studies.

Villanova spokeswoman Barbara K. Clement said Ener's friends want to honor her work as a dedicated scholar and enthusiastic mentor, and hope to raise awareness about postpartum depression. But some students say such a memorial is out of place at a Roman Catholic university.
These students, apparently infected with a self-righteous, zealous and judgemental attitude, should be forced to undergo sensitivity training so they can learn to be more inclusive and grasp the meaning of diversity. (G)

Gospel for Thursday, 2nd Week in Ordinary Time

From: Mark 3:7-12

Cures Beside the Sea of Galilee

[7] Jesus withdrew with His disciples to the sea, and a great multitude from Galilee followed; also from Judea [8] and Jerusalem and Idumea and from beyond the Jordan and from about Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude, hearing all that He did, came to Him. [9] And He told His disciples to have a boat ready for Him; [10] for He had healed many, so that all who had diseases pressed upon Him to touch Him. [11] And whenever the unclean spirits beheld Him, they fell down before Him and cried out, "You are the Son of God." [12] And He strictly ordered them not to make Him known.

10. During our Lord's public life people were constantly crowding round Him to be cured (cf. Luke 6:19; 8:45; etc). As in the case of many other cures, St. Mark gives us a graphic account of what Jesus did to these people (cf. Mark 1:31, 41; 7:31-37; 8:22-26; John 9:1-7, 11, 15). By working these cures our Lord shows that He is both God and man: He cures by virtue of His divine power and using His human nature. In other words, only in the Word of God become man is the work of our Redemption effected, and the instrument God used to save us was the human nature of Jesus--His Body and Soul--in the unity of the person of the Word (cf. Vatican II, "Sacrosanctum Concilium", 5).

This crowding round Jesus is repeated by Christians of all times: the holy human nature of our Lord is our only route to salvation; it is the essential means we must use to unite ourselves to God. Thus, we can today approach our Lord by means of the sacraments, especially and pre-eminently the Eucharist. And through the sacraments there flows to us, from God, through the human nature of the Word, a strength which cures those who receive the sacraments with faith (cf. St. Thomas Aquinas, "Summa theologiae", III, q. 62, a. 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.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Update on Spanish Bishops' Conference on Condoms

Spanish Catholic Church denies it accepts condoms to fight AIDS

The Spanish Roman Catholic Church denied that it had condoned the use of condoms as a legitimate way of fighting HIV/AIDS.

"Contrary to what some have said, it is not true that the Church has changed its position on condoms," the Spanish bishops' conference said in a statement.

The text reasserted that, according to Catholic doctrine, "the use of a condom implies immoral sexual behaviour.

"It is not possible to advise people to use condoms, if it goes against their private morality," added the text, issued in response to comments by the bishops' conference general secretary, Reverend Juan Antonio Martinez Camino.
The use of the qualifying phrase, "if it goes against their private morality", seems to be another ill-advised statement, if the translation above is correct.

More appropriately, it would seem that the statement should have been, "It is not permissible to advise people to use condoms"...Period. No confusion, no ambiguities - in a word, clarity. Why are some so fearful of speaking the truth with precision and simplicity?

In this age of moral confusion and decadence, we must do all we can to proclaim the truth with conviction and clarity, despite the fact that many times it will be rejected or ridiculed. We must also pray that our priests and bishops have the courage to do the same.


More Enlightenment from Post Readers/Callers

Today's Post-Dispatch Soundoff column carries more flawed opinions regarding Archbishop Burke and the St. Stanislaus issue. One rarely finds anything "Fair and Balanced" in these grumbles and protests:

No leader
The St. Louis archbishop has once again shown that he does not have the ability or the intelligence to be a leader. A true leader would not be constantly issuing threats or condemning those who do not vote as he does. At his age and with his past experience, he should have learned more about leadership.
It is reprehensible that the Post would print this rambling from a person who, evidently, knows nothing about Archbishop Burke. Apparently, there is some left over 'anger' in this person about the election. Perhaps, the anger stems from being confronted with objective moral truth which, for some, is a most painful experience - so painful, in fact, that one who is suffering from such guilt, lashes out, not at oneself, but at the messenger?
It's tragic that a dictator has taken over the Catholic Church in St. Louis. Archbishop Burke is acting like the radical Muslim clerics. His law is not Church law or God's law.
Here we have another confused individual who lacks the necessary understanding of the Church, her hierarchical nature, or Archbishop Burke's wishes for unity in the archdiocese. One thing is clear for anyone who takes the time to study or do research - the Archbishop is faithful to the teachings and the disciplines of the Church. Nothing in these areas could be viewed as 'dictatorial' except by one who rejects lawful authority or legitimate requirements imposed by lawful authority. I wonder if this individual has ever been a parent?

Send him packing
It is so good to know that the people of St. Stanislaus stand together. The remark Jamie Allman made about people stealing or hijacking the church is a downright lie. What about the theft of $9 million? When the parish was poor, no one noticed. Burke caused numerous problems even before he came to St. Louis. Send Burke packing. We did just fine before he came.
There is so much wrong-headed confusion and distortion in this attack against both Archbishop Burke and Jamie Allman, it is difficult to understand why the Post would even allow it to be printed. Of course, it's easy for anyone to make unsubstantiated claims as if they were facts, however, in all fairness it would seem that any truly responsible party would refrain from printing direct, uncorroborated statements that impugn the itegrity of others.

These are just a few examples of why it is so very, very important to keep Archbishop Burke in your prayers. Statements such as these, for most people, would seem to be source of frustration and despair. We must continue to petition our Lord to grant Archbishop Burke the necessary graces and strength to continue his efforts to teach, sanctify and govern the faithful of St. Louis. Offer your daily sacrifices for him and his efforts. The attacks cannot but intensify the more he proclaims the teachings of the Church.

The source of the reprehensible statements can be found here.

Does this truly come from a Christian?

From Today's Post-DIspatch "Town Talk"

What would Jesus do?

I'm calling about Town Talk from last week talking about the archbishop. Yes, I can't believe, as a Catholic that we got a bigger turkey than the last Archbishop we had in St. Louis. All I can say to the current one is, What Would Jesus do?
What a pity it is that this soul speaks of Archbishop Burke and Cardinal Rigali in this manner. Can it be safely assumed that his sould is bereft of the life of Christ?


New study confirms ancient origin for Shroud

Jan. 19 ( - New scientific tests on the Shroud of Turin have confirmed that the cloth dates back to around the time of Christ. The results dismiss a 1988 study that claimed the cloth was manufactured in the 13th or 14th century.

The American Shroud of Turin Association for Research (AMSTAR) found that the tests done in 1988,using carbon-14 dating techniques, were actually performed on a patch that had been skillfully woven onto the original cloth of the Shroud.

Tom D'Muhala, the president of AMSTAR, says that new chemical tests have shown that the main cloth of the Shroud is "actually very old--- much older than the published 1988 radiocarbon date."
Article here.

St. Simon of Cyrene Catholic Church Closes

Several hundred people gathered Sunday to say farewell to a longtime North Side institution.

St. Simon of Cyrene Catholic Church hosted its closing Mass, celebrated by Archbishop Raymond Burke. However, for most of the attendees, they remember the church under its first name — St. Philip Neri.

"I went to school here," said North Side resident Bill Collier, 49, who also is a church maintenance worker. "It's the only church I've ever known. It's a sad day, but I'm also relieved. We knew it was coming, so I'm glad that the decision was made."

True or Not True...?

The headline from Madrid Spain reads:
Catholic Church Shifts Policy on Condoms
MADRID, Spain -- In a substantial shift from traditional policy, the Catholic Church in Spain has said it supports the use of condoms to prevent the spread of AIDS.

"Condoms have a place in the global prevention of AIDS," Juan Antonio Martinez Campos, spokesman for the Spanish Bishops Conference, told reporters after a meeting Tuesday with Health Minister Elena Salgado to discuss ways of fighting the disease.
I'm not certain a full disclosure of facts can be found in this report.
In June, the president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, said condom use was "a form of Russian roulette" in fighting AIDS, El Pais said. The remark was roundly condemned by the Spanish government, the World Health Organization and other organizations involved in fighting AIDS, the papers said.
Roundly condemned because, of course, it is the truth...


Interview w/ Coadjutor Bishop Robert Finn

The man who will be Kansas City's next Catholic bishop had barely been appointed by the Vatican last March before some people in the diocese — but by no means all — began to fret.

In quiet conversations that started even before Robert W. Finn's installation as coadjutor bishop in May, some priests, nuns, diocese employees and church members worried that he is too theologically conservative for the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese.
"Theologically conservative"...this is a term which usually means "faithful to the Church and the teachings of Christ and His Church".

It is undeniable that those who hold dissident views or who otherwise reject Church teaching see faithful Catholics, be they bishops, priests or laity, as a threat - just as darkness shuns the light and error runs from truth. It is the obligation of every Catholic to demonstrate fidelity and speak the truth.
Their worry has had several dimensions. One was the possibility of losing what one diocesan official described as “a spirit in the diocese of collaboration” under current Bishop Raymond J. Boland. “The diocese is not top-down,” this official said. “Maybe it's not bottom-up, but the people have a lot to say.”
Those who seem to have too much time on their hands spreading discord and dissent are well placed in the diocese...for example, The National Catholic Distorter...

The Interview can be read here.

Gospel for Wednesday, 2nd Week in Ordinary Time

From: Mark 3:1-6

The Curing of the Man with a Withered Hand

[1] Again He (Jesus) entered the synagogue, and a man was there who had a withered hand. [2] And they watched Him, to see whether He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse Him. [3] And He said to the man who had the withered hand, "Come here." [4] And He said to them, "Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?" But they were silent. [5] And He looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. [6] The Pharisees went out, and immediately held counsel with the Herodians against Him, how to destroy Him.

5. The evangelists refer a number of times to the way Jesus looks at people (e.g. at the young man: Mark 10:21; at St. Peter: Luke 22:61, etc). This is the only time we are told He showed indignation - provoked by the hypocrisy shown in verse 2.

6. The Pharisees were the spiritual leaders of Judaism; the Herodians were those who supported the regime of Herod, benefiting politically and financially thereby. The two were completely opposed to one another and avoided each other's company, yet they combined forces against Jesus. The Pharisees wanted to see the last of Him because they considered Him a dangerous innovator. The most recent occasion may have been when He pardoned sins (Mark 2:1ff) and interpreted with full authority the law of the Sabbath (Mark 3:2); they also want to get rid of Him because they consider that He lowered their own prestige in the eyes of the people by the way He cured the man with the withered hand. The Herodians, for their part, despised the supernatural and eschatological tone of Christ's message, since they looked forward to a purely political and temporal Messiah.
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, January 18, 2005

Health issues force Fr. Cleary to end Scripture column

ST. LOUIS (CNS) -- After nearly a quarter-century of interpreting the weekly Scripture readings for readers of the St. Louis Review, newspaper of the St. Louis Archdiocese, Jesuit Father Francis Xavier Cleary reluctantly is putting down his pen.

Health issues forced his hand, said the 75-year-old priest, whose column also has been carried in several other diocesan weeklies. His final column ran in the Jan. 7 issue of the Review.

Father Cleary, a biblical scholar, has written more than 1,000 scriptural columns for the Review since he first began writing for the paper in 1980. His column has consistently ranked near the top in popularity in multiple readership surveys over the years.

Msgr. Edward J. Sudekum, Review editor from 1981 to 1994 and now pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes in University City, said Father Cleary "was not afraid to exhibit some interesting, fresh insights into the Gospel and the Gospel message, which makes all of us from time to time stop and think."
Source-Catholic News Service.

Consumer Reports Refers to Unborn Children as "Uterine Content"

In an E-Mail from Austin Ruse, he states:
Consumer Reports Magazine just rated the whole panoply of contraceptives and in the report referred to unborn children as "uterine content." They also write approvingly about abortion. This is an outrage.

Spread the word.
Yours sincerely,
Austin Ruse

Action item: Call Consumer Reports to cancel your subscription or otherwise complain. You can reach them at 1-914-378-2029. EVERYONE SHOULD CALL. IF IT IS BUSY, TRY AGAIN.Culture & Cosmos

January 18, 2005 Volume 2, Number 24
Consumer Reports Refers to Unborn Children as "Uterine Content"

A series of articles in the February Consumer Reports magazine rates condoms, hormonal birth control and many other forms of artificial contraception and also gives advice on abortion options where it refers to unborn humans as "uterine content." The article gives short shrift to abstinence and betrays a misunderstanding of natural family planning, a surprise given Consumer Reports' reputation of high credibility and thoroughness.

The group of articles, called CR's Guide to Contraception, begins with an evaluation of 23 kinds of condoms. It calls condoms the "only method" of preventing pregnancy "that also can help prevent sexually transmitted diseases." The article fails to discuss the permeability of condoms to human papillomavirus (HPV) which, according to the Centers for Disease Control, is the most common form of STD and can cause cervical cancer.

The Guide to Contraception includes a sidebar disparaging the fact that the CDC's current fact sheet on condoms has changed to advocate sexual abstinence. According to the report, "A CDC spokesperson said the new fact sheet is more science-based than its predecessor and is meant for health professionals, but critics, including experts on reproductive health, charge that it puts ideology before science and encourages distrust of condoms."

The report also evaluates 17 different types of contraceptives and lists the "rhythm method" as one form. Andy Alderson, executive director of the Couple to Couple League which instructs married couples on how to use Natural Family Planning, said the Consumer Reports failed to do their home work on NFP and disputes their claim that the method has a "high failure rate if woman has irregular cycles." Anderson told Culture & Cosmos, "This is simply a false statement and shows a complete lack of understanding about NFP. Failure rates for irregular cycles were higher 30-40 years ago with the calendar-based rhythm method. But modern methods of NFP based on an awareness of a woman's signs of fertility (mucus, cervix, and temperature) work extremely well for women that have regular or irregular cycles."

The report also includes a sidebar titled, "Abortion options." In its explanation of drug-induced abortion it notes that the FDA recently strengthened the warning label that comes with the abortion pill Mifeprex "after reports of three patient deaths." It fails to note the 676 reports of problems with the drug, including 72 cases of blood loss requiring transfusions and 7 cases of serious infections.

Consumer Reports did not return Culture & Cosmos calls seeking comment but a statement was obtained by WoldNetDaily in which a magazine spokesman cites the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as justification for its report, "[W]e support the consumer's right to be informed (part of the United Nations charter on human rights). As one way to fulfill our mission, we publish factual, scientifically based information on public health topics and on legally available products and services provided by the medical profession and health-care industry."

Copyright 2005---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
E-mail: Website:
I cancelled my subscription to Consumer Reports many years ago - I don't recall exactly why I decided the magazine was not worth the money. What I do recall is that there was something fundamentally repulsive about some of the articles. The particular issue discussed above should be reason enough to consider canceling one's subscription. Those who continue the dissemination of error are certainly not deserving of the public's funds.

A Revolution in Evolution Is Underway

An Email Alert from the Thomas More Law Center:
Story to be featured tonight on ABC WORLD NEWS TONIGHT with Peter Jennings at 6:30 PM Eastern.

ANN ARBOR, MI — The small town of Dover, Pennsylvania today became the first school district in the nation to officially inform students of the theory of Intelligent Design, as an alternative to Darwin’s theory of Evolution. In what has been called a “measured step”, ninth grade biology students in the Dover Area School District were read a four-paragraph statement Tuesday morning explaining that Darwin’s theory is not a fact and continues to be tested. The statement continued, “Intelligent Design is an explanation of the origin of life that differs from Darwin’s view.”

Since the late 1950s advances in biochemistry and microbiology, information that Darwin did not have in the 1850s, have revealed that the machine like complexity of living cells - the fundamental unit of life- possessing the ability to store, edit, and transmit and use information to regulate biological systems, suggests the theory of intelligent design as the best explanation for the origin of life and living cells.

Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, a national public interest law firm representing the school district against an ACLU lawsuit, commented, “Biology students in this small town received perhaps the most balanced science education regarding Darwin’s theory of evolution than any other public school student in the nation. This is not a case of science versus religion, but science versus science, with credible scientists now determining that based upon scientific data, the theory of evolution cannot explain the complexity of living cells.”

“It is ironic that the ACLU after having worked so hard to prevent the suppression of Darwin’s theory in the Scopes trial, is now doing everything it can to suppress any effort to challenge it,” continued Thompson.

The Dover high school assistant superintendent read the four-paragraph one- minute statement to two biology classes this morning totaling 35 students. Teachers reported that there were no problems in class after the statements were read and the entire process was uneventful. Biology classes this afternoon and tomorrow will also hear the statement.

Very few students took advantage of the school provided opportunity to opt out from hearing the statement - an estimated 15 students out of a total of 170. National polls consistently show that most parents want schools to teach alternative theories to evolution. In fact, a November 2004 CBS Poll showed that nearly two-thirds of Americans said they favored teaching creationism alongside evolution in schools.

The ACLU and Americans United sued the Dover Area School District over the policy last December. The School Board selected to the Thomas More Law Center to represent them in the federal lawsuit. In early January, after several depositions of board members and reviewing documents, the ACLU announced they would not seek a court order to immediately block the statement from being read.

Activities marking anniversary of Roe v. Wade

Brought to you by the Post-Disgrace: (some changes made to the original)
Saturday, 9-11 a.m.: Missouri Right to Life activists [advocates and supporters] will picket [pray] outside Planned Parenthood, 4251 Forest Park Avenue. Members of the [Satanic dark] clergy that support Planned Parenthood [and the murder of innocent children] will stand outside the facility [mocking those who who believe in God].

7:45-11 p.m.: The Freedom of Choice Council, a coalition of various groups [who support the murder and annihilation of the innocent], will sponsor a celebration at the Mad Art Gallery [how appropriate], Lynch and 12th streets in Soulard. Tickets $15-$35.

Sunday, 9 a.m.: Abortion opponents [ProLife advocates] will hold brief rallies and then board Washington-bound buses at the riverfront downtown and at Our Lady of the Snows shrine in Belleville.

Monday morning: Roman Catholic Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis will meet the buses in Washington and celebrate a Mass before the national march protesting the Roe v. Wade decision [and praying for its overturn]. Afterwards, march participants will meet with members of Congress from Missouri and Illinois.


Abortion battle extends to issues such as cloning

As supporters and opponents gear up for Saturday's anniversary of the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing most abortions, both sides also plan to spotlight other issues.

Missouri Right to Life, the state's largest anti-abortion group, says its top priority is its effort to get a ban on cloning passed by the Legislature this session and signed by new Gov. Matt Blunt, an abortion opponent.
This may or may not happen - it will require numerous phone cals, letters, and other grassroot efforts. But there is even more about which Pro-Life advocates need to be concerned:

Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood, which through an affiliate operates an abortion clinic in St. Louis, is promoting a Missouri bill called the Birth Control Protection Act. The bill would bar governments from taking action to restrict birth-control measures to adults.

Paula Gianino, president of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region, says the bill is in response to reports that pharmacists in Missouri and elsewhere are refusing to fill birth-control prescriptions.

Gianino contended that such efforts are "a step in the wrong direction," by endangering women's health, limiting their access to legal contraception and invading their privacy.
Of course, "choice" does not extend to pharmacists or doctors...
She said Planned Parenthood even must fight a bill that would allow Missouri schools to teach only abstinence in sex-education courses that already are voluntary. "This is sex mis-education," Gianino said.
This is demonic at its core...the ultimate inversion of reality - calling the truth a lie, and professing that the lies are the truths which will set all of society free.


Archbishop Casmoussa of Mosul, Iraq, released by abductors

Details are as yet sketchy...CWNews has a report here.

Gospel for Tuesday, 2nd Week in Ordinary Time

From: Mark 2:23-28

The Law of the Sabbath

[23] One Sabbath He (Jesus) was going through the grainfields; and as they made their way His disciples began to pluck ears of grain. [24] And the Pharisees said to Him, "Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?" [25] And He said to them, "Have you never read what David did, when he was in need and hungry, he and those who were with him: [26] how he entered the house of God, when Abiathar was high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those who were with him?" [27] And He said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath; [28] so the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath."

24. Cf. note on Matthew 12:2. [Note on Matthew 12:2 states: "The Sabbath": this was the day the Jews set aside for worshipping God. God Himself, the originator of the Sabbath (Genesis 2:3), ordered the Jewish people to avoid certain kinds of work on this day (Exodus 20:8-11; 21:13; Deuteronomy 5:14) to leave them free to give more time to God. As time went by, the rabbis complicated this Divine precept: by Jesus' time they had extended to 39 the list of kinds of forbidden work.

The Pharisees accuse Jesus' disciples of breaking the Sabbath. In the casuistry of the scribes and the Pharisees, plucking ears of corn was the same as harvesting, and crushing them was the same as milling--types of agricultural work forbidden on the Sabbath.]

26-27. The bread of the Presence consisted of twelve loaves or cakes placed each morning on the table in the sanctuary, as homage to the Lord from the twelve tribes of Israel (cf. Leviticus 24:5-9). The loaves withdrawn to make room for the fresh ones were reserved to the priests.

Abiathar's action anticipates what Christ teaches here. Already in the Old Testament God had established a hierarchy in the precepts of the Law so that the lesser ones yielded to the main ones.

This explains why a ceremonial precept (such as the one we are discussing) should yield before a precept of the natural law. Similarly, the commandment to keep the Sabbath does not come before the duty to seek basic subsistence. Vatican II uses this passage of the Gospel to underline the value of the human person over and above economic and social development: "The social order and its development must constantly yield to the good of the person, since the order of things must be subordinate to the order of persons and not the other way around, as the Lord suggested when He said that the Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath. The social order requires constant improvement: it must be founded on truth, built on justice, and enlivened by love" ("Gaudium Et Spes", 26).

Finally in this passage Christ teaches God's purpose in instituting the Sabbath: God established it for man's good, to help him rest and devote himself to Divine worship in joy and peace. The Pharisees, through their interpretation of the Law, had turned this day into a source of anguish and scruple due to all the various prescriptions and prohibitions they introduced.

By proclaiming Himself `Lord of the Sabbath', Jesus affirms His divinity and His universal authority. Because He is Lord He has the power to establish other laws, as Yahweh had in the Old Testament.

28. The Sabbath had been established not only for man's rest but also to give glory to God: that is the correct meaning of the __expression "the Sabbath was made for man." Jesus has every right to say He is Lord of the Sabbath, because He is God. Christ restores to the weekly day of rest its full, religious meaning: it is not just a matter of fulfilling a number of legal precepts or of concern for physical well-being: the Sabbath belongs to God; it is one way, suited to human nature, of rendering glory and honor to the Almighty. The Church, from the time of the Apostles onwards, transferred the observance of this precept to the following day, Sunday--the Lord's Day--in celebration of the resurrection of Christ.

"Son of Man": the origin of the messianic meaning of this __expression is to be found particularly in the prophecy of Daniel 7:13ff, where Daniel, in a prophetic vision, contemplates `one like the Son of Man' coming down on the clouds of Heaven, who even goes right up to God's throne and is given dominion and glory and royal power over all peoples and nations. This __expression appears 69 times in the Synoptic Gospels; Jesus prefers it to other ways of describing the Messiah--such as Son of David, Messiah, etc.--thereby avoiding the nationalistic overtones those expressions had in Jewish minds at the time (cf. "Introduction to the Gospel according to St. Mark", p. 62 above).
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, January 17, 2005

Spokesman for Archbishop of Canterbury OKs Euthanasia

When contraception is deemed appropropriate as the Anglican Church decided in 1930, it should not come as any surprise when other evils are permitted - or even encouraged - abortion, homosexuality, and now euthanasia...
LONDON, January 17, 2005 ( – A representative of the Anglican Church’s Archbishop of Canterbury said that there are “strong compassionate” grounds for allowing euthanasia in some cases.

“There is a very strong compassionate case for voluntary euthanasia,” Robin Gill, a chief adviser to Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, said Saturday, according to a report. “In certain cases, such as that which involved Diane Pretty [the woman who was terminally ill with motor neurone disease and who campaigned for the right to be helped to die], there is an overwhelming case for it,” he said.
This should be called by its right and proper name - murder. Both faith and reason tell us that euthanasia is a crime against nature - it is never justifiable for the fact that only God has the right over man 's life and death.


Adoration for Vocations to be Promoted Worldwide

In the Year of the Eucharist, Serra International and the Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education are working to make it a year of adoration for vocations.

Catholic Archbishop Abducted in Iraq

BAGHDAD, Iraq — (EWTN) A Syrian Catholic Archbishop was abducted Monday in Mosul Iraq, according to Vatican sources.

Basile Georges Casmoussa, 66 years of age, heads the Catholic Christian community in that northern Iraqi city. An unamed eyewitness said gunmen forced Casmoussa into a car while he was walking in front of the Al-bishara Church in an eastern neighbourhood of Mosul.

At this point, reasons for the kidnapping are unclear and no particular group has claimed responsibility for the abduction. Iraqi Christians have been subject to frequent attacks in recent months and account for only 3 percent of Iraq's population of 26 million.

We will be bringing you more information as it becomes available.
Please keep Archbishop Casmoussa in your prayers...


Another link.

Denver and the Professions: A Flashpoint for Change?

This was an email I received from Catholic Culture...
Catholic Professional Societies

In this week's Highlights column on, I examine the problem posed by Catholic professional associations.

The recent blow-up in Denver between Archbishop Chaput and the local chapter of the Catholic Lawyers Guild should be a catalyst for professional renewal.

Please read the column and send us your own experiences in renewing existing professional societies or starting new ones.
The column begins:
Just before Christmas, the Archdiocese of Denver told the local chapter of the Catholic Lawyers Guild to take a hike—a hike away from Church property, that is. It seems the Guild had decided to honor pro-abortion attorney Ken Salazar with its Thomas More Award. As a result, Archbishop Chaput refused to celebrate the annual Red Mass with the group at their dinner this month, and has also told them they can’t hold the event on Church property as planned.
A good article...

Bishop Gregory becomes Archbishop of Atlanta Today

Keep him and the faithful of Atlanta in your prayers...

Archbishop Burke Leads 400 on Pro-Life Prayer Vigil

Burke leads crowd of 400 to Planned Parenthood clinic
This is the first headline from 1/15....
Roman Catholic Archbishop Raymond Burke led a calm procession of nearly 400 people from the ornate St. Louis Cathedral Basilica to sidewalks outside an abortion clinic Saturday.

The five-block walk from the cathedral on Lindell Boulevard to Planned Parenthood on Forest Park Avenue was to lament the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision of 1973, which legalized abortion. The decision’s actual anniversary is Jan. 22.

This was the fifth such event for the archdiocese and the first for Burke, who came to St. Louis a year ago.

"We pray for the parents who are contemplating the betrayal of their parenthood through abortion," Burke said at a Mass at the cathedral. Burke said he viewed the struggle as "a battle against Satan and his cohorts."
Evidently, not content with the headline above, a new and improved version appeared on 1/16:
Burke leads anti-abortion protest
Forget the fact that this was a "Pro-Life" event..."Pro-life" is one of the terms which apparently is verboten at the Post...

USCCB screening priests on cruise ships

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has started screening those celebrating Mass on cruise ships, a plan geared toward preventing former, rental and even fraudulent priests from ministering to Catholic passengers.

Celebrity and Holland America lines are working with priests approved by the Apostleship of the Sea, while other cruise lines are still striking private deals with priests, use talent agencies or hire clergy through Rent-APriest, a group that provides former, now-married priests who are no longer authorized to conduct Mass.

Lee Breyer of Manatee County left the priesthood when he married a former nun in 1969, yet has been conducting Mass on cruise ships with Rent-APriest since 2002. He doesn't announce beforehand to Mass attendees that he's married, and Catholic leaders believe that's simply deceptive.

On Leaving Mass this Morning..

I went to early Mass (7:00) at my home parish because we were to meet some people this morning - it's been awhile since I've been there...Nothing much has changed - the document "Redemptionis Sacramentum" has never entered this particular world.

Anyway, on leaving after Mass, the pastor, who is walking up from the rectory to greet the early risers, says to me, "What are you doing here?"

I did a double take, I'm certain, and said something like, "I'm registered here", instead of asking him in return, "What are you still doing here?"

What a guy!

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Coadjutor Naumann Takes Over in Kansas City

John Paul II accepted the resignation of Archbishop James Keleher, 73, of Kansas City, Kansas. He was immediately succeeded by Coadjutor Archbishop Joseph Naumann, 55.

The Vatican press office affirmed Saturday that Archbishop Keleher's retirement is effective immediately.

Joseph Naumann was born in St. Louis, Missouri. He was ordained a priest of St. Louis in 1975 and named auxiliary bishop of St. Louis in 1997.

Gospel for the 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

From: John 1:29-34

The Witness of John (Continuation)

[29] The next day he (John the Baptist) saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! [30] This is He of whom I said, `After me comes a man who ranks before me, for He was before me.' [31] I myself did not know Him; but for this I came baptizing with water, that He might be revealed to Israel." [32] And John bore witness, "I saw the Spirit descend as a dove from Heaven, and it remained on Him. [33] I myself did not know Him; but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, `He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.' [34] And I have seen and borne witness that this is the Son of God."

29. For the first time in the Gospel Christ is called the "Lamb of God". Isaiah had compared the sufferings of the Servant of Yahweh, the Messiah, with the sacrifice of a lamb (cf. Isaiah 53:7); and the blood of the paschal lamb smeared on the door of houses had served to protect the firstborn of the Israelites in Egypt (cf. Exodus 12:6-7): all this was a promise and prefiguring of the true Lamb, Christ, the victim in the sacrifice of Calvary on behalf of all mankind. This is why St. Paul will say that "Christ, our Paschal Lamb, has been sacrificed" (1 Corinthians 5:7). The _expression "Lamb of God" also suggests the spotless innocence of the Redeemer (cf. 1 Peter 1:18-20; 1 John 3:5).

The sacred text says "the sin of the world", in the singular, to make it absolutely clear that every kind of sin is taken away: Christ came to free us from Original Sin, which in Adam affected all men, and from all personal sins.

The Book of Revelation reveals to us that Jesus is victorious and glorious in Heaven as the slain lamb (cf. Revelation 5:6-14), surrounded by saints, martyrs and virgins (Revelation 7:9, 14; 14:1-5), who render Him the praise and glory due Him as God (Revelation 7:10).

Since Holy Communion is a sharing in the sacrifice of Christ, priests say these words of the Baptist before administering it, to encourage the faithful to be grateful to our Lord for giving Himself up to death to save us and for giving Himself to us as nourishment for our souls.

30-31. John the Baptist here asserts Jesus' superiority by saying that He existed before him, even though He was born after him. Thereby he shows us the divinity of Christ, who was generated by the Father from all eternity and born of the Virgin Mary in time. It is as if the Baptist were saying: "Although I was born before Him, He is not limited by the ties of His birth; for although He is born of His mother in time, He was generated by His Father outside of time" (St. Gregory the Great, "In Evangelia Homiliae", VII).

By saying what he says in verse 31, the Precursor does not mean to deny his personal knowledge of Jesus (cf. Luke 1:36 and Matthew 3:14), but to make it plain that God revealed to him the moment when he should publicly proclaim Jesus as Messiah and Son of God, and that he also understood that his own mission as precursor had no other purpose than to bear witness to Jesus Christ.

32-34. To emphasize the divinity of Jesus Christ, the Evangelist includes here the Precursor's testimony regarding Jesus' Baptism (cf. the other Gospels, which describe in more detail what happened on this occasion: Matthew 3:13-17 and paragraph). It is one of the key points in our Lord's life, in which the mystery of the Blessed Trinity is revealed (cf. note on Matthew 3:16).

The dove is a symbol of the Holy Spirit, of whom it is said in Genesis 1:2 that He was moving over the face of the waters. Through this sign of the dove, the Isaiah prophecies (11:2-5: 42:1-2) are fulfilled which say that the Messiah will be full of the power of the Holy Spirit. The Baptist points to the great difference between the baptism he confers and Christ's Baptism; in John 3, Jesus will speak about this new Baptism in water and in the Spirit (cf. Acts 1:5; Titus 3:5).

"The Son of God": it should be pointed out that in the original text this _expression carries the definite article, which means that John the Baptist confesses before his listeners the supernatural and transcendent character of Christ's messiahship--very far removed from the politico-religious notion which Jewish leaders had forged.
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.