Saturday, February 12, 2005

Some Background on Canon 1373

Canon 1373 (one of the canons which Archbishop Burke states is applicable in the St. Stanislaus matter) of the 1983 Code of Canon Law reads as follows:
Can. 1373 A person who publicly incites his or her subjects to hatred or animosity against the Apostolic See or the Ordinary because of some act of ecclesiastical authority or ministry, or who provokes the subjects to disobedience against them, is to be punished by interdict or other just penalties.
Two canons of the 1917 Code are included in or are incorporated in Canon 1373. One of them is canon 2331 §2 on conspiracy against lawful authority and the other is canon 2344 on offenses against significant hierarchical authorities.
It it important to protect the exercise of Church authority; it is essential for the Church and community to function in an healthy atmosphere.
Regarding canon 2331:
Disobedience becomes schism when it implies rejection of the Pope's authority and separation from the center of unity. But without going that far, it may be a sufficiently grave disorder to call for a special sanction. Two forms of it are dealt with in this canon (No. 2331).

#1. Simple disobedience. Obstinate disregard for the legitimate commands or prohibitions of the Sovereign Pontiff or of the Ordinary is to be punished according to the gravity of the offence. The nature of the penalty is not determined, but it is explicitly stated that even censures may be used if the case demands.

There must be obstinacy, which supposes previous warnings; and the orders which have been disobeyed are legitimate. Papal commands are always presumed to be so. Should they seem to hard to comply with or perhaps based on insufficient information, explanations may be offered, but if they are maintained, implicit submission remains the only course to follow.

If the Ordinary's enactments appeared objectionable, appeal or recourse to higher authority would be permitted; but in most matters, obedience would meanwhile be obligatory.

#2. Conspiracy. Disobedience is more criminal, more dangerous to common order, when to it is added conspiracy and several persons encourage one another, support one another, in the insubordination. Then those who conspire against the Roman Pontiff or of his legate or of their Ordinary, who strive to place obstacles to the legitimate exercise of that authority or to spread the spirit of rebellion among the subjects, are to be placed under censures or otherwise punished.

If they are clerics,...

The commentary regarding canon 2344 states:
Attacks on the neighbor's reputation, honor, or character, i.e., personal as distinct from real injuries, are also delinquencies often and severely punished in ancient canons...The Decretals have two distinct titles on the subject (De Maledicis, De Injuriis, v, 26, 36).

Much of this legislation was merely local or had fallen into desuetude with the change of social conditions adapting them to present needs.

#1. The persons to whom this is intended to protect belong to the highest ranks of the hierarchy: the Pope, the Cardinals, Apostolic legates, the Sacred Congregations, the Roman tribunals and their major Official, and the Ordinary of the possible offenders.

#2. The abuses at which the law strikes here consist in injurious attacks, direct or indirect, against the prelates, in the public press or speeches or libels; or in denunciations calculated to excite animosity against their acts, decrees, decisions, or sentences.

#3. The penalties are ferendae sententiae and left to the judgement of the Ordinary. He is to proceed ex officio against the delinquents, when the offended parties do not sue them, and oblige them to make proper reparation, making use even of censures or other punishments and penances, as the gravity of the fault and the scandal may demand.
Source: Penal Legislation in the New Code of Canon Law (Book 5)
by Very Rev. H.A.Ayrinhac, S.S., D.D., D.C.L
Copyright 1920

Prayer Protest at St. Louis University Friday Night

There were, perhaps, twenty people or so at the prayer protest at St Louis University on Friday evening, praying the Rosary and being witnesses against the vulgarity of the performance going on at Tegeler Hall.

The organizers of the prayer vigil decided to repeat this for the remaining two shows, one this evening (Saturday) and the one tomorrow afternoon. I was unable to attend this evening's prayer vigil due to other commitments.

Tomorrow afternoon, the prayer protest is on and people are requested to meet at 12:45 at the College Church, and pray from 1:00 to 2:00.

A Blog Feed Reader

This bit of software was recommended here by Fr. Thomas Dowd, of whose blog I only recently became aware.

It's really a great little program which allows one to keep up-to-date on a number of different blogs all in one window. Fr Dowd has provided a much better explanation and, hence, there is no reason to repeat it...I'm using the software, and it's one of those things about which I can say, "How did I ever get along without it?"

Check it out here.

Gibson to Re-Release “Passion of the Christ” in time for Holy Week

The new cut tones down the more violent scenes, such as the scourging and some scenes from the crucifixion, in order to avoid a restricted rating. Daily Variety reported Thursday that Gibson plans to trim five to six minutes from the film, for re-release in US theatres March 11.

Pontifical Household Preacher Comments on Sunday's Gospel

In addition to the commentary from the Navarre Bible on the Gospel for the !st Sunday of Lent, "Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa, the preacher of the Pontifical Household, alerts the faithful about the devil's action and reminds them that Christ has conquered him."
Today the devil, Satanism, and other related phenomena, are gaining momentum and this is very disturbing. Our technological and industrialized world is overrun with wizards, witches, occultism, spiritualism, voluble fortune tellers, vendors of spells and amulets, as well as authentic Satanic sects. Thrown out the door, the devil has come back in through the window. That is, expelled from faith he has returned with superstition.

The episode of Jesus' temptations in the desert helps to clarify matters. First of all, does the devil exist? Does the word devil really indicate a personal reality, gifted with intelligence and will or is he only a symbol, a way of speaking to indicate the sum of the moral evil of the world, the collective unconscious, collective alienations, etc.? Among intellectuals, many do not believe in the devil understood in the first sense.
Complete Zenit article here.

Gospel for the 1st Sunday in Lent

Matthew 4:1-11

Jesus Fasts and Is Tempted

[1] Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. [2] And He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterward He was hungry. [3] And the tempter came and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread." [4] But He answered, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'"

[5] Then the devil took Him to the holy city, and set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, [6] and said to Him, "If you are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written, 'He will give His angels charge of you,' and 'On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone'" [7] Jesus said to him, "Again it is written, 'You shall not tempt the Lord your God.'" [8] Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world
and the glory of them; [9] and he said to Him, "All these I will give You, if You will fall down and worship me." [10] Then Jesus said to him, "Begone, Satan! for it is written, 'You shall worship the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve.'"

[11] Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.

1. Jesus, our Savior, allowed Himself to be tempted because He so chose; and He did so out of love for us and to instruct us. However, since He was perfect He could only be tempted externally. Catholic teaching tells us that there are three levels of temptation: 1) suggestion, that is, external temptation, which we can undergo without committing any sin; 2) temptation in which we take a certain delight, whether prolonged or not, even though we do not give clear consent; this level of
temptation has now become internal and there is some sinfulness in it; 3) temptation to which we consent; this is always sinful, and since it affects the deepest part of the soul, it is definitely internal. By allowing Himself to be tempted, Jesus wanted to teach us how to fight and conquer our temptations. We will do this by having trust in God and prayer, with the help of God's grace and by having fortitude.

Jesus' temptations in the desert have a deep significance in salvation history. All the most important people throughout sacred history were tempted--Adam and Eve, Abraham, Moses, and the Chosen People themselves. Similarly with Jesus. By rejecting the temptations of the devil, our Lord atones for the falls of those who went before Him and those who come after Him. He is an example for us in all the temptations we were subsequently to have, and also for the battles between the Church and the power of the devil. Later Jesus teaches us in the "Our Father" to
ask God to help us with His grace not to fall at the time of temptation.

2. Before beginning His work as Messiah, that is, before promulgating the New Law or New Testament, Jesus prepares Himself by prayer and fasting in the desert. Moses acted in the same way before proclaiming, in God's name, the Old Law on Mount Sinai (Exodus 34:28). Elijah, too, journeyed for forty days in the desert to fulfill the Law (1 Kings 19:5-8).

The Church follows Jesus' footsteps by prescribing the yearly Lenten fast. We should practice Lent each year with this spirit of piety. "It can be said that Christ introduced the tradition of forty days fast into the Church's liturgical year, because He Himself 'fasted forty days and forty nights' before beginning to teach. By this Lenten fast the Church is in a certain sense called every year to follow her Master and Lord if she wishes to preach His Gospel effectively" ([Pope] John Paul II, "General Audience", 28 February 1979). In the same way, Jesus' withdrawal into the desert invites us to prepare ourselves by prayer and penance before any important decision or action.

3. Jesus had fasted forty days and forty nights. Naturally He is very hungry and the devil makes use of this opportunity to tempt Him. Our Lord rejects the temptation and in doing so He uses a phrase from Deuteronomy (8:3). Although He could do this miracle, He prefers to continue to trust His Father since performing the miracle is not part of His plan of salvation. In return for this trust, angels come and minister to Him (Matthew 4:11).

Miracles in the Bible are extraordinary and wonderful deeds done by God to make His words or actions understood. They do not occur as isolated outpourings of God's power but rather as part of the work of Redemption. What the devil proposes in this temptation would be for Jesus' benefit only and therefore could not form part of the plan for Redemption. This suggests that the devil, in tempting Him in this way, wanted to check if Jesus is the "Son of God". For, although he seems to know about the voice from Heaven at Jesus' baptism, he cannot see how the Son of God could be hungry. By the way He deals with the temptation, Jesus teaches us that when we ask God for things we should not ask in the first place for what we can obtain by our own efforts. Neither should we ask for what is exclusively for our own convenience, but rather for what will help towards our holiness or that of others.

4. Jesus' reply is an act of trust in God's fatherly providence. God led Him into the desert to prepare Him for His messianic work, and now He will see to it that Jesus does not die. This point is underlined by the fact that Jesus' reply evokes Deuteronomy 8:3, where the sons of Israel are reminded how Yahweh fed them miraculously with manna in the desert. Therefore, in contrast to the Israelites who were impatient when faced with hunger in the desert, Jesus trustingly leaves His
well-being to His Father's providence. The words of Deuteronomy 8:3, repeated here by Jesus, associate "bread" and "word" as having both come from the mouth of God: God speaks and gives His Law; God speaks and makes manna appear as food.

Also, manna is commonly used in the New Testament (see, for example, in 6:32-58) and throughout Tradition as a symbol of the Eucharist.

The Second Vatican Council points out another interesting aspect of Jesus' words when it proposes guidelines for international cooperation in economic matters: "In many instances there exists a pressing need to reassess economic structures, but caution must be exercised with regard to proposed solutions which may be untimely, especially those which offer material advantages while militating against man's spiritual nature and advancement. For 'man shall not live by bread alone, but by
every word that proceeds from the mouth of God'" ("Gaudium Et Spes", 86).

5. Tradition suggests that this temptation occurred at the extreme southern corner of the temple wall. At this point, the wall was at its highest, since the ground beneath sloped away steeply to the Cedron River. Looking down from this point one could easily get a feeling of vertigo.

St. Gregory the Great ("In Evangelia Homiliae", 16) says that if we consider how our Lord allowed Himself to be treated during His passion, it is not surprising that He allowed the devil also to treat Him as he did.

6. "Holy Scripture is good, but heresies arise through its not being understood properly" (St. Augustine, "In Ioann. Evang., 18, 1). Catholics should be on their guard against arguments which, though they claim to be founded on Scripture, are nevertheless untrue. As we can see in this passage of the Gospel, the devil can also set himself up at times as an interpreter of Scripture, quoting it to suit himself. Therefore, any interpretation which is not in line with the teaching
contained in the Tradition of the Church should be rejected.

The error proposed by a heresy normally consists in stressing certain passages to the exclusion of others, interpreting them at will, losing sight of the unity that exists in Scripture and the fact that the faith is all of a piece.

7. Jesus rejects the second temptation as He did the first; to do otherwise would have been to tempt God. In rejecting it, He uses a phrase from Deuteronomy (6:16): "You shall not put the Lord your God to the test". In this way He alludes to the passage in Exodus where the Israelites demand a miracle of Moses. The latter replies, "Why do you put the Lord to the proof?"

To tempt God is the complete opposite of having trust in Him. It means presumptuously putting ourselves in the way of unnecessary danger, expecting God to help us by an exceptional use of His power. We would also tempt Him if, by our unbelief and arrogance, we were to ask Him for signs or proof. The very first lesson from this passage of the Gospel is that if ever a person were to ask or demand extraordinary proofs or signs from God, he would clearly be tempting Him.

8-10. The third temptation is the most pseudo-messianic of the three: Jesus is urged to appropriate to Himself the role of an earthly messianic king of the type so widely expected at the time. Our Lord's vigorous reply, "Begone, Satan!" is an uncompromising rejection of an earthly messianism--an attempt to reduce His transcendent, God-given mission to a purely human and political use. By His attitude, Jesus, as it were, rectifies and makes amends for the worldly views of the people of Israel. And, for the same reason, it is a warning to the Church, God's true Israel, to remain faithful to its God-given mission of salvation in the world. The Church's pastors should be on the alert and not allow themselves to be deceived by this temptation of the devil.

"We should learn from Jesus' attitude in these trials. During His life on earth He did not even want the glory that belonged to Him. Though He had the right to be treated as God, He took the form of a servant, a slave (cf. Philippians 2:6-7). And so the Christian knows that all the glory is due to God and that he must not make use of the sublimity and greatness of the Gospel to further his own interests or human ambitions.

"We should learn from Jesus. His attitude in rejecting all human glory is in perfect balance with the greatness of His unique mission as the beloved Son of God who takes flesh to save men [...]. And the Christian, who, following Christ, has this attitude of complete adoration of the Father, also experiences our Lord's loving care: 'because he cleaves to Me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect
him, because he knows My name' (Psalm 90:14)" ([St] J. Escriva, "Christ Is Passing By", 62).

11. If we struggle constantly, we will attain victory. And nobody is crowned without having first conquered: "Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life" (Revelation 2:10). By coming to minister to Jesus after He rejects the temptations, the angels teach us the interior joy given by God to the person who fights energetically against the temptations of the devil. God has given us also powerful defenders against such temptations--our guardian angels, on whose aid we
should call.
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.

Dr. James Hitchcock Radio Interview on...

St Stanislaus, the new Vatican statement on annulments & should the Pope retire?

The interview begins at 33 minutes and 40 seconds into the recording.

The link is here.

A Summary of Previous St. Stanislaus Posts & Links

In checking some of the links, I discovered that a few of the St. Louis Post Dispatch links were no longer working. I'm not certain of the Post's article retention policy, perhaps the articles were purged...

The links are here and cover most of the past year.

Abp. Chaput: Conscience and contraception

DENVER, February 11, 2005 ( – In a commentary appearing in the Denver Post Tuesday, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput condemned a potential bill that would mandate that women victims of rape automatically receive the abortifacient morning-after pill by all hospitals, Catholic and non.

Archbishop Chaput responded to criticism from Colorado State Representative Fran Coleman, who during debate of the bill in the House January 31, said, “I absolutely resent the Catholic Church preaching to me because I represent people of all faiths,” in reaction to a letter from the Church condemning the Bill. “I question their ability to continue to be in a tax-exempt status. We don't need to be preached or read to,” according to a Rocky Mountain News report.

“If enacted, HB 1042 would have the dubious distinction of being the first law in Colorado to require a Catholic entity to actively violate its own teachings . . .,” the Colorado Conference of Bishops letter stated.
Full LifeSiteNew article here

Archbishop Chaput's letter is here

Notre Dame Sponsorship of Festival Conflicts with Church Teachings

This is an article by Bishop John M. D'Arcy who is bishop of the Fort Wayne-South Bend Diocese.
For the second time, the University of Notre Dame is sponsoring, through six of its departments, a seminar and film festival under the title Queer Film Festival. The presenters who have been scheduled have a history of not supporting, and indeed openly opposing, church teaching concerning the morality of homosexual acts.

Freedom is always linked to truth. In this seminar, held at a Catholic university, there is no place given to the presentation of Catholic teaching on the matter of homosexuality. The rights of others are violated. What about the rights of the church to have its teachings properly presented? What about the rights of parents of those students at Notre Dame who find the contents of this seminar offensive?

Hans Kueng Calls for Pope to Resign

BERLIN: Roman Catholicism's leading rebel theologian, Hans Kueng, has joined a growing number of voices calling on Pope John Paul II to resign for the good of the Church.

The blunt Swiss 76-year-old told Germany's ARD television last night: "A Pope can resign for the need and necessity of the Church. I think this instance has now arisen - he must resign for the need and necessity of the Church."

"We cannot go on as we are," added Kueng, a priest who was banned by the Vatican from teaching Catholic theology in 1979 after challenging papal infallibility.

The Catholic Church has become "as decrepit as the Pope", he said.
Words of a truely confused individual...a "theologian", whose opinions reign supreme, above the teachings of the Church. The fact is, he left the Church many years ago.


Cardinal Arinze Speaks on the Eucharist

I am really looking forward to seeing and hearing Cardinal Arinze when he comes here in April for a Liturgical Conference.

I recently watched a tape of a presentation he Gave at The Church Teaches Forum entitled, The Reverence Due to the Holy Eucharist. What a blessing this man is for the Church. We have so much for which to be thankful to God!

Cardnal Arinze recently gave a talk on The Centrality of the Holy Eucharist in the Christian Life while he was visiting Ave Maria University in Naples, Fl. The talk was given at St. Peter the Apostle Church.

The text of his talk is here.

Gospel for Saturday after Ash Wednesday

From: Luke 5:27-32

The Calling of Matthew

[27] After this He (Jesus) went out, and saw a tax collector, named Levi, sitting at the tax office; and He said to him, "Follow Me." [28] And Levi left everything, and rose and followed Him.

[29] And Levi made Him a great feast in His house; and there was a large company of tax collectors and others sitting at table with them. [30] And the Pharisees and their scribes murmured against His disciples saying, "Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?" [31] And Jesus answered them, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; [32] I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."

27-29. Levi, better known as Matthew, responds generously and promptly to the call from Jesus. To celebrate and to show how appreciative he is for his vocation he gives a banquet. This passage of the Gospel shows us that a vocation is something we should be very grateful for and happy about. If we see it only in terms of renunciation and giving things up, and not as a gift from God and something which will enhance us and redound to others' benefit, we can easily become depressed, like the rich young man who, not wanting to give up his possession, went away sad (Luke 18:18). Matthew believes in quite the opposite way, as did the Magi who "when they saw the star rejoiced exceedingly with great joy" (Matthew 2:10) and who gave much more importance to adoring the new-born God than to all the inconveniences involved in travelling to see Him. See also the notes on Matthew 9:9; 9:10-11; 9:12, 9:13; and Mark 2:14; 2:17.

32. Since this is how Jesus operates, the only way we can be saved is by admitting before God, in all simplicity, that we are sinners. "Jesus has no time for calculations, for astuteness, for the cruelty of cold hearts, for attractive but empty beauty. What He likes is the cheerfulness of a young heart, a simple step, a natural voice, clean eyes, attention to His affectionate word of advice. That is how He reigns in the soul" ([St] J. Escriva, "Christ Is Passing By", 181).
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, February 11, 2005

Lay sermons permitted, Vatican tells Swiss bishops?

Proposals by Swiss bishops to allow lay theologians to give sermons and Protestants to receive Communion have met with the approval of the Curia in Rome, Bishop Amédée Grab, president of the Swiss bishops' conference, said this week.
More here.

Directors Reject Interdict (A Corrected Version)

St. Stanislaus Kostka Polish Roman Catholic Parish
1413 N. Twentieth Street
St. Louis. Missouri 63106

News Release
8 February 2005

Directors Reject Interdict the Authority of the Bishop and the Holy See

Archbishop Raymond L. Burke has rejected the [un]reasonable and generous disingeuous offers of St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish and has instead chosen been forced to impose the contemptible just and medicinal penalty of Interdict against the Board of Directors of the Parish Corporation. Archbishop Burke does this not over an issue of faith, but rather over his demand for money and property to bring the parish in compliance with the laws of the Church, which have, so far, been rejected by the Directors.

The Directors, unanimously and with clear clouded and erroneous consciences, refuse to recognize any validity to such an immoral, unjust and inequitable a lawful and obligatory sanction.

Archbishop Burke’s harsh justifiable and required act exceeds follows ecclesiastical penalties imposed by him against the many accused and convicted priest[s] pedophiles who violated the laws of God and man, and instead while others hid and denied those crimes helping bring the American ? Catholic Church to the brink of financial and moral ruin.

The actions of Archbishop Burke, who has steadfastly refused to meet with admonished those he punishes loves, exceed are within all bounds of reason and clearly indicate the priority that he places on his own desires over that of the common good of the flock he has been appointed to shepherd. It is about raw power and greed, and not time that a Successor of the Apostles is steadfast about the teachings of Jesus Christ and His Church and the disciplines required by Jesus and His Church in order to follow Him.

While the Archdiocese will no doubt attempt to continue to disparage pray for the Directors and Parishioners of St. Stanislaus as even though some are disobedient and rebellious against his decrees and his selective proper interpretation and use of “Church law,” it is in fact Archbishop Burke who repudiates is faithful to his vows to serve the people, in favor of satisfying his own demands for power,not his will, but God's Will and Christ's command and his obligations as Archbishop.

We did not abandon our faith reluctantly but entusiastically. Archbishop Burke has not abandoned St. Stanislaus. The Archbishop Board of Directors abandoned St. Stanislaus by forcing Archbishop Burke to remove removing the priests from the faithful the parish and forbidding the Sacraments at St. Stanislaus. The Archbishop continues to refuse to even meet with pray for the Board that he now tries to condemn convince to come to their senses. Instead of Even though talking and being questioned by the people has not been entirely fruitful, he hires a highly paid PR spokesman replacement Director of Communications to spin his demands speak to the press when he is unavailable to do so himself.

Instead of treating what is sacred as sacred, Archbishop Burke the Board uses the Sacraments as a bargaining chip polemics and inflammatory speech to incite the people and causes the priests to be removed. He refuses the Sacraments to no one except the Board he holds in one hand unless until such time as the Directors accede to his demands to put St. Stanislaus’ money and property in Archbishop Burke’s other hand correcting the deficiencies in the by-laws and resolving other problems that they have caused.

In the 1800s, Archbishop Kenrick set up St. Stanislaus as a separate corporation. In the many decades when St. Stanislaus was in financial peril, the Archdiocese would not assist ----- no loans were ever given. St. Stanislaus had to stand on its own. It did so only through the sacrifice, hard work and Faith. Now that the Parish has assets he wants, Archbishop Burke decrees that sacrifice, hard work and Faith by generations of faithful was and is against his interpretation of Church law. St. Stanislaus’ Parishioners do not believe that they are offending God by faithfully operating the church as it has been operated over the last centuries.

Abp. Burke leaves permits the Directors, in accord with the will of the Parishioners, to take whatever actions are necessary to provide for their own spiritual well being or sickness.

The Board of Directors, while seemingly always open opposed to discuss the reinstatement of St. Stanislaus Directors and the Parish into the Archdiocese, will not accept the Archbishop’s or the Holy See's demands directives to extort property and autonomous control from the Parish in exchange for the Sacraments of our Holy Catholic Church comply with the juridical laws of the Church.

Roger C. Krasnicki
Spokesman for the St. Stanislaus Board of Directors
The original version with all of the errors is here.

The 2005 Catholic Blog Award Winners are...

UN-Commissioned Report Advocates Abortion Rights/Attacks Christian Beliefs

It is all so very tedious; the UN's obsession with abortion. It is the linchpin upon which all UN work swings. There is a new report, endorsed by UNICEF, calling for universal "reproductive rights" which in UN-speak means abortion. This new report also attacks religious "fundamentalism" which has successfully blocked the universilization of abortion.

Governments around the world are warned; the Millennium Development Goals are about to be hijacked by the sexual colonialist.

Spread the word.
Yours sincerely,
Austin Ruse

Arizona Faithful Have Chance to View Relics of Our Lord's Passion

The Arizona State Council of the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic men’s organization, had four days to put on a display of the items that also include a fragment from the Crown of Thorns, a piece of the True Cross on which Christ died, a relic of the burial shroud, something from the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus gathered with his disciples before his arrest, a fragment from the Upper Room where the Last Supper was served and a fragment of the column where Christ was flogged after his arrest. The items are owned by the Apostolate for Holy Relics in Los Angeles and will travel to Denver on Sunday.

The items are part of 1,200 sacred relics in the apostolate’s care and most were previously kept in a Roman Catholic basilica in Rome. Most were transported from Jerusalem to Rome in the 4th century, and the church says its research confirms authenticity.
I believe these are the same relics which we had here last year. And the lines were unbelievably long...

What a rare opportunity and blessing for the people of Arizona.


Archbishop Burke Issues Interdict to St. Stanislaus Board

St. Louis' archbishop followed through on his move to deny Roman Catholic sacraments to board members of a largely Polish parish, the latest development in a long-simmering dispute over control of the parish.

The six board members of St. Louis' St. Stanislaus Kostka Catholic Church received via courier letters of interdict from Archbishop Raymond Burke on Thursday night, said parishioner Richard Bach, serving as a parish spokesman.

That means those recipients may not receive Communion or other sacraments. Board members have said they plan to ignore Burke's move.
Why not? They have exalted themselves and refused even the directives of the Church of which they claim to be members.

Archbishop Burke describes an interdict:
When a member of the Church has knowingly, deliberately and publicly damaged seriously the unity of the Church, his or her bishop has the pastoral responsibility to impose a sanction, in order to call the offending person to repentance and to restore the unity of the Church.

If Church authority were not to address a public violation of Church unity, then scandal would be caused by those who present themselves as devout Catholics, when, in fact, they are not in full communion with the Church.

In the case of St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish, the offense committed by the members of the board of directors of the civil corporation of the parish is the public refusal to obey legitimate Church authority, namely the Holy Father’s Congregation for the Clergy and the archbishop of St. Louis, and the incitement of others to such disobedience. The applicable canons of the Code of Canon Law are canon 1371, paragraph 2, and canon 1373.

The sanction of interdict, as defined in canon 1332, prohibits the member of the faithful: 1) from any ministerial part in the celebration of the Mass or any other ceremonies of worship; and 2) from celebrating the sacraments and sacramentals, and from receiving the sacraments. Interdict does not prohibit the offending party from assisting at Mass or other sacred rites. Receiving the sacraments, above all the Holy Eucharist, requires that a person be in full communion with the Church. For that reason, the sanction prohibits the reception of the sacraments.

The censure binds the member of the faithful everywhere and until the offending person has been reconciled with the Church. The censure is lifted when the offending party has repented of his or her disobedience and has submitted to Church authority. In the case of the interdict imposed upon the members of the board of directors of the civil corporation of St. Stanislaus Kostka, the archbishop of St. Louis has the authority to lift the censure and must lift the censure, as soon as the offending party has made known his or her repentance to the archbishop.

Archbishop Raymond L. Burke
May our Lord open the hearts and minds of all those in defiance and bring them back to His Church, to His Fold, to be in complete union with Him and His Church.

Archbishop clarifies St. Stanislaus situation

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

I write to you, once again, about St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish, our historic personal parish for the faithful of Polish descent, and the issue of its control by a board which, in the last few years, has completely removed itself from the authority of the Catholic Church. I regret that my request and that of my predecessor, Cardinal Justin Rigali, that the parish conform to the Catholic Church’s requirements relating to the authority of the diocesan bishop and the pastor has been met with adamant resistance, even to the point of defiance. I also deeply regret that the board, having asked the intervention of the Holy See in the matter and having received the direction to comply with Church discipline, is now adamant in its resistance to the direction of the Holy See.

I further regret that the resistance of the board has, at present, divided the parishioners and the community between those who resist the requested changes and those who support them. It is my fervent desire that the matter be amicably resolved, so that the parish may again be united at its home in St. Stanislaus Kostka Church.

Because much misinformation has appeared in the public media, I am now writing to all the faithful in the Archdiocese and am including, with my letter, the accompanying questions and answers, as well as other pertinent information. You need to know and have the right to know that I have no desire to take the assets of the parish or to close the parish, contrary to what has been repeatedly said by members of the board of directors of the parish corporation and some other parishioners. Such statements are simply and completely untrue.

To allay the fears of the board of directors and some other parishioners, I and those assisting me have listened to each of the concerns expressed. In January 2005, I approved for presentation to the board a proposal which completely addressed each and every concern which had been expressed. I had the proposal drawn up in such a way that the commitment to use the parish property and assets only for the parish and the Catholic faithful of Polish descent would be permanent and legally enforceable in civil law.

The information which accompanies this letter in its publication in the St. Louis Review details what I have written above. For the full documentation of the proposal made to the board of directors in January 2005, I refer you to the Archdiocesan Web site,

Please continue to pray with me, through the intercession of Our Lady of Czestochowa and St. Stanislaus Kostka, for the reconciliation of the conflict between the board of directors of the civil corporation of St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish and the archdiocesan and universal Church.

Asking God’s blessing upon you and your homes, I am

Yours devotedly in Christ,
(Most Rev.) Raymond L. Burke
Archbishop of St. Louis

Key documents regarding St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish are provided here for all persons who may wish to research or inform themselves more thoroughly of the history of the parish and its civil corporation, from its inception to the present day.

Catholic bishop was a communist agent, official says

A Roman Catholic bishop of Czechoslovakia was listed as an agent for the communist government's secret service, according to an official from a government institute that is making the service's files public.

Bishop Jan Sokol was registered by the Czech secret service as an agent in the spring of 1989, just months before he was appointed archbishop in then-communist Czechoslovakia, Miroslav Lehky of Slovakia's Institute of the National Memory said Thursday.
Post Dispatch Link.

A link to another article is here.

Vatican rejects grievance filed by teachers

An arm of the Vatican has dismissed a grievance filed by St. Louis-area Catholic elementary school teachers that alleged Archbishop Raymond Burke had violated canon law by refusing to recognize their union.

In response, the local Association of Catholic Elementary Educators filed an appeal this week to the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, a Supreme Court-like body of the church.

The decision, a one-page letter, arrived the first of this month at the union's office. It said that canon law limits such recourses to "all singular administrative acts," while Burke's letter "is a general decree which applies to everyone in the Archdiocese, not only to the Association of Catholic Elementary Educators."
I heard this on one of the news channels last night, but could not find any details on their web sites or at the web site for the ACEE.

Article here.

East St. Louis Bookkeeper Repays Stolen Church Funds

A bookkeeper who stole $144,000 from St. Patrick Church in East St. Louis has paid back all but about $25,000 and is paying the balance in monthly installments, Monsignor James Margason said Wednesday.

Margason is vicar general for the Belleville Catholic Diocese and also is serving as its administrator until a replacement is named for Bishop Wilton D. Gregory...

The bookkeeper admitted taking the money over a period of years, Margason said, apparently because of a gambling addiction.

He confirmed the woman also had been fired about 15 years earlier for taking between $2,000 and $2,500 from the Sister Thea Bowman School in East St. Louis.
Meanwhile, the diocese is still looking into the handling of an $85,000 charity fund controlled by the parish priest at St. Patrick, the Rev. Clyde Grogan. Authorities say there is no evidence of theft or embezzlement, but receipts are on file for only about $10,000.

Letter on the Reorganiztion of the NE Deanery

This is a long letter from Archbishop Burke and details the changes for the North East Deanery.

I have not read it yet except for a quick scan...For those in the area or familiar with the area, the letter is here.

Archdiocese settles eight abuse cases in mediation

The Archdiocese of St. Louis settled eight cases of clergy sexual abuse last month in a mediation process.

The settlements to be paid by the archdiocese total $267,500. The cases involved claims against five archdiocesan priests who have been removed from ministry: Romano Ferraro, Michael McGrath, Joseph Lessard, Donald Straub and Robert Yim. The Vatican recently dismissed McGrath, Straub and Yim from the priesthood.

One case involved a religious order priest, Vincentian Father Richard Lause. That claim is being paid by the Vincentians.
St. Louis Review article.

Liturgical Dance Expresses Religion...

Ah, one of my favorite subjects...

I'm going to copy this article and forward it to my parish. Maybe someone will think I'm slowly coming around...
Tom Kane, Ph.D., priest-liturgist and videographer, held a video lecture entitled "Celebrating Our Faith, Our Culture, Our Diversity" last Thursday in the Strom Thurmond Institute.

Kane received his schooling from the University of Notre Dame and his doctoral degree in Liturgy and Culture from Ohio State University. He became an ordained Catholic priest in 1975.
Notre Dame? Maybe that explains things?
After receiving his doctorate, Kane traveled to Africa for eight months as well as various other continents to produce documentaries on rare liturgical dance.

I've been thinking about traveling the US and producing documentaries on rare "Liturgical Abuses"...
He suggested that since the United States is a first-world country it is hard for us to "receive" from other cultures. U.S. missionaries have been sent to foreign lands and now cultures from other lands are here in the United States -- this is difficult for some people to accept, Kane said. We sent out missionaries to "control" the people who are now the ones we should learn from, he said."We should reflect on different traditions and find ways to see how we are connected," Kane said. He suggested that people be more mindful of whatever ceremony they choose to take part in and not just "go through a routine" while in service.
Hmmm..."whatever service" in which one chooses to participate? Does this mean it's time to chuck Sacrosanctum Concilium and all the liturgical documents we now have? Great! The 'man' has been keeping us down for too long! We are now so close to freedom - I'm going to try and order the video...After I watch it, I'll send it to our diocesan office of worship!

Link here.

Lent in the Vatican: The Pope, the Curia, and the Conclave

Sickness is not preventing John Paul II from fighting out his last battle. But in the meantime, maneuvers over his succession are underway. The contenders are Ratzinger, three Italians, and one outsider.

Article by Sandro Magister

And I thought I was beyond being shocked....

Quite by accident in reviewing a different story about some local teachers who want the archdioces to accept their new union in addition to the one already established, I came across a comment section regarding a story that aired earlier about the St. Stanislaus issue.

I knew there were a number of people, including professed Catholics who have no love for Archbishop Burke. I also know a number of people who are so happy to have been blessed with him as our shepherd, and I include myself in that group.

While a number of the comments are supportive, far too many are hostile and hateful. And a number of the latter come from those who claim to be Catholic.

When I see these things, what many have called a "de facto" schism, I recall the words of Cardinal Ratzinger who opined that the Church would become smaller, but from this smaller and more faithful Church, would spring a vibrant Church, faithful to Christ. I wonder some days if I am witnessing this in my lifetime.

Anyway, the link to the comments is here, Click on the link that says Results if you want to read what people are thinking. It's not for the weak! As I said, I was shocked by some of things I read.

Credo of the Catholic Laity Lenten Retreat

Credo of the Catholic Laity will be holding it’s Lenten Retreat on Friday and Saturday March 18th & 19th at St. Agatha’s Church located at 9th and Utah just south of the brewery in St. Louis.

Our Retreat Master will be Msgr. Michael Schmitz, American Superior of The Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. Msgr. Schmitz is an experienced retreat master who has conducted over eighty retreats. The retreat will start with confession at 9:00 Am Friday March 18th with Holy Mass at 9:30 a.m., and each day the retreat will conclude at about 4:p.m. There will be other opportunities for confession during the retreat. The cost for the retreat including lunch both days is $20.00.

Here is more information on the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest:
“The Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest is a society erected by the Catholic Church on September 1, 1990. Today it maintains Houses and Apostolates on several continents including North America. The goal of the Institute is the honor of God and the sanctification of priests in the service of the Church and souls through a spiritual formation in Roman Catholic Doctrine and piety. Its specific aim is missionary, to spread and defend the reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ in all realms of human life.”

This organization has recently moved its headquarters to Chicago but Msgr. Schmitz is the rector of St. Agatha. We can thank our own Archbishop Bishop Raymond Leo Burke for allowing this fine order of priests to come to St. Louis.

Please contact Howard Brandt by phone (314-894-0357) or e-mail him for a retreat agenda.

Our charge for the retreat is $15.00 per person to cover expenses. If are able to send a little more please do so in order to assist those who might need help. If you have a problem covering this charge, especially those with large families Do not be hesitate to ask for help. We want to make this retreat available to as many people as we can.
I attended a retreat last year with Msgr. Schmitz and highly recommend it!

Gospel for Friday after Ash Wednesday

From: Matthew 9:14-15

The Call of Matthew (Continuation)

[14] Then the disciples of John (the Baptist) came to Him (Jesus), saying, "Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but Your disciples do not fast?" [15] And Jesus said them, "Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come, when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast."

14-17. This passage is interesting, not so much because it tells us about the sort of fasting practised by the Jews of the time--particularly the Pharisees and John the Baptist's disciples--but because of the reason Jesus gives for not requiring His disciples to fast in that way. His reply is both instructive and prophetic. Christianity is not a mere mending or adjusting of the old suit of Judaism. The redemption wrought by Jesus involves a total regeneration. Its spirit is too new and too vital to be suited to old forms of penance, which will no longer apply.

We know that in our Lord's time Jewish theology schools were in the grip of a highly complicated casuistry to do with fasting, purifications, etc., which smothered the simplicity of genuine piety. Jesus' words point to that simplicity of heart with which His disciples might practise prayer, fasting and almsgiving (cf. Matthew 6:1-18 and notes to same). From apostolic times onwards it is for the Church, using the authority given it by our Lord to set out the different forms fasting should take in different periods and situations.

15. "The wedding guests": literally, "the sons of the house where the wedding is being celebrated"--an _expression meaning the bridegroom's closest friends. This is an example of how St. Matthew uses typical Semitic turns of phrase, presenting Jesus' manner of speech.

This "house" to which Jesus refers has a deeper meaning; set beside the parable of the guests at the wedding (Matthew 22:1 ff), it symbolizes the Church as the house of God and the body of Christ: "Moses was faithful in all God's house as a servant, to testify to the things that were to be spoken later, but Christ was faithful over God's house as a son. And we are His house if we hold fast our confidence and pride in our hope" (Hebrews 3:5-6).

The second part of the verse refers to the violent death Jesus would meet.
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, February 10, 2005

Cardinal Pell on True and False Conscience

CHICAGO, FEB. 10, 2005 ( Australian Cardinal George Pell delivered an address to members of the Lumen Christi Institute at the University of Chicago last fall, on the "primacy of truth" and the "primacy of conscience." ZENIT offers this synopsis of the Sydney archbishop's speech.
This is an excellent article. Cardinal Pell begins:
Cardinal John Newman's view of conscience is far from that usually held by those who speak of "primacy of conscience" today. Newman believes a good Catholic conscience can never accept a position of dissent against central Church teaching. Moral truth is the key to conscience, and this is very difficult to deny coherently.
A Catholic conscience cannot accept a settled position against the Church, at least on a central moral teaching. Any difficulties with Church teaching should be not the end of the matter but the beginning of a process of conversion, education and quite possibly repentance. Where a Catholic disagrees with the Church on some serious matter, the response should not be "that's that; I can't follow the Church here"; instead we should kneel and pray that God will lead our weak steps and enlighten our fragile minds, as Newman recommends in Sermon 17 -- "The Testimony of Conscience."
Much of the debate over conscience in Catholic circles focuses on the possibility of a conscience against the Church's teaching. This seems to me a peculiar notion. For a start, it would mean that dissenters believed that following the Church on, for example, contraception or same-sex relationships, would actually give them a guilty conscience, not just frustrated wishes. Yet it seems clear that most dissenters do not fear guilt if they obey the Church: What they fear is precisely the frustration of their unsatisfied wishes. ...
I wonder if his talk was taped, while this synopsis is very good, I would imagine the entire talk would be so much better.

Zenit article here

The "I was abused" Defense Strategy

The defense strategy to use?...Claim abuse by priests...No proof is required, one's word is sufficient.
MIAMI (AP) -- An apprentice monk pleaded guilty Thursday to stabbing and beating a nun to death and got 30 years in prison in a deal with prosecutors, who offered him leniency because of evidence he was molested by two priests.

Mykhaylo Kofel, 22, admitted killing 39-year-old Michelle Lewis, whose nude body was found stabbed more than 90 times in 2001 in her residence at Holy Cross Academy in Miami-Dade County. Kofel had studied at the school for five years.

Kofel, who is Ukrainian, said two priests at the school sexually abused him while he was training with a Byzantine Catholic monastic order.

Kofel pleaded guilty to second-degree murder...prosecutor Gail Levine said she believed Kofel (about being abused), and that led to the plea bargain.
Post Dispatch AP Version.

Miami Herald Version "Suspect in nun's killing may get 30 years"

Sun Sentinel story from March 2001

The Religious school where nun was killed closes

Canadian PM’s Parish Priest says he is Considering “Marrying” Gay Partners

***Updated*** for clarification...
LASALLE, February 10, 2005 ( - Fr. John Walsh, the “Parochial Administrator” (parish priest) of St. Jean de Brebeuf parish in LaSalle Quebec, told MacLean’s Magazine last week, that he is open to marrying homosexual partners in his Catholic church. Last week reported that Fr. Walsh, whose parish Prime Minister Paul Martin attends when he is in town, said in another interview that he was in disagreement with the Catholic Church over the teaching on homosexuality.

Walsh implied that the Second Vatican Council, the meeting of Catholic bishops in the early 1960’s that reformed many areas of Catholic life, gave the Church a new definition of marriage that could include homosexuals. He said, “Then Vatican II opened us to new meanings of marriage…Now the Church tells couples they're creating a community of love.”
We must be concerned about priests who hold opinions of this kind which are contrary to the teaching of the Church. He may truly be unaware of it but nowhere, in any documents of the Second Vatican Council, can he find support for his views. Regardless of his culpability, if - and I repeat, IF - his statements are accurately represented, he is in a state of material heresy. If these things are true, it is now up to him to publicly recant this position, and his superiors must deal with this in a forthright manner to correct any scandal he has caused among the faithful.
Father Walsh told MacLean’s the people in his parish are conflicted over his support of gay ‘marriage.’ He said, “But my responsibility as a priest is to educate people as to what we see as the values of marriage, not to impose one definition on anybody.”
Again, he is mistaken - his responsiblity, indeed, is to educate - BUT, he is to educate, to catechize the faithful in what the Church teaches, to hand on faithfully what the Church has received from Christ and the Apostles. There is an obligation to teach the truth and to avoid teaching error.

The importance of teaching the truth cannot be understated. This past week I have been listening (over and over) to a talk by Cardinal Arinze about the subject of teaching the truth and living in the truth - in the light of Christ Who is Truth. It is only by living in the Light of Christ, following Him in the Truth, that we will reach the eternal beatitude He wills for us. When we depart on a different path, the path of shadows and darkness, we separate ourselves from Him...

What sorrow and anquish things like this cause! There are two paths one can take, that narrow and difficult path that leads to our Lord or the wide and easy path that leads to eternal punishment. Again, IF this article is accurate, this man is directing the faithful in the wrong direction. Let us pray that this is not so.

LifeSiteNews article.

?Final? Update on Prayer Protest at St Louis University

******* This is in response to the performance of "The V****** Monologues" being held at SLU.
We are going to meet in front of St. Francis Xavier Church at 5:45PM. The 'theater' is across the street from the Church. Once we are all assembled, we will walk to the theater and begin the protest at 6PM and stay until 7PM when the 'play' starts.

We have notified the police that we will be on the sidewalk protesting. Depending on how or if they get involved they may ask us to picket. Mostly they just ask that we not block the sidewalk.

We will pray the Rosary (15 decades) and the Litany to the Blessed Mother (I have a mini megaphone for amplification) and end with any hymns that we all know and can sing.

We will have a large banner on poles for display. We are also trying to get signs made, however if you could or would like to bring a sign, please do. It should be large enough for passing cars to read. We only ask that people use discretion on the wording of their signs, no vulgar words, just clear statements like "Louis University turns their back on Catholic Teaching" etc...(I am clearly not a good sign writer)

We are also working (hopefully since time is so short) on a flier to hand out to passers-by at the protest. Something like a post card with Father Biondi's address on it, with a statement of outrage printed which a person can sign and then mail to his office.

Are there any priests that you know who might attend?

Let me know if you have any other ideas.

Previous posts on this subject are here and here:

As much as I wish to attend Stations of the Cross Friday night, this prayerful vigil in protest is something which I feel must be done since I can pray the stations afterwards in private at the chapel.

If you are in St. Louis, and wish to attend, please do so.

Systematic liturgical rebellion against Rome in the Diocese of Linz

Official diocesan Website presents a "Liturgical Marketplace" with models for "women´s sermons", clearly positioning itself against the Church´s liturgical norms - alternative Lectionary with "Women´s Bible Readings" already being used in 20 parishes -
A special cause for concern can be found in the category "Models for Women´s Sermons". In a "Sermon Help Notes" (issue 33/2004) lay Pastoral Assistant Alexandra Freinthaler writes: "God is mankind´s good shepherdess, her wisdom is larger than this world´s, nobody can take from her those whom she has adopted in love. God and me, we are one, in our love, in our devotion to love every person in this world. We are fire and flame for mankind, we follow and protect them on all their ways - be they straight or not". In the "Final Prayer" Ms Freinthaler writes: "May the Holy Spirit (using here an artificial German word denoting the feminine form for Spirit - "Heilige Geistin", the translator), the one that wakes you up in the morning with a kiss and stands by you, through all your ups and downs, bless you"
One should read the complete article.

Is it possible that the ultimate goal of this is something other than the attempted destruction of the Church? It seems nearly impossible for ignorance to be an excuse for the rampant and flagrant destruction of the liturgy by self-appointed "experts" who only seem to have Satan's interests in mind.

And one can rightly ask where the shepherds have been? Asleep at their watch, perhaps? Or have they been complicit in the evil overtaking the churches and the people by their very silence or lack of attention?


Pius XII Now on Fast Track to Become a Saint

This is excerpted from an Inside the Vatican Newsflash:
Exclusive NEWSFLASH from Inside the Vatican!

"I will not die before I canonize Pope Pius XII"

Five days ago, we reported that Pope John Paul II was 10 minutes from death the night he was hospitalized (February 1).

Now, in the very different context of an 84-year-old Pope on the mend, we consider one of the most controversial issues he will have to face in the months ahead, and reveal that he himself has already, according to our sources, made up his mind on the matter.

Our sources tell us they believe that John Paul II, barring an unexpected crisis of the type which just occurred, will live for some time yet (one source suggested the figure "five more years").

During that time, we have been told, John Paul fully intends to perform at least one very controversial act: declare that Pope Pius XII -- denounced by many for his alleged "silence" during the Nazi persecution of the Jews -- was a saint who helped save the lives of nearly 1 million Jews.

- by Inside the Vatican staff

Pius XII Now on Fast Track to Become a Saint

Pope John Paul II, who nearly suffocated last week due to a constricted throat and had to be rushed to the hospital, is strongly supporting the advancement of the controversial cause of Pope Pius XII for beatification, "Inside the Vatican" has learned from reliable sources.

Because of this papal support, Pius XII, the pontiff who guided the Church throughout World War II, fighting both the Nazis and Communists, who slept only four hours a night and ended his life weighing only 125 pounds -- and nearly died in 1954, four years before his death -- is now on the fast track to beatification, and ultimately, canonization, multiple sources confirm.

Indeed, one source, who asked not to be identified, but agreed to have the phrase cited, told us that John Paul, sometime prior to this latest hospital episode, remarked: "I will not die before I canonize Pope Pius XII."

This source continued: "The Pope was only minutes from dying, but now seems to have recovered. Maybe this happened because God has something still in mind for him to accomplish. The Pope would like to declare Pius a saint because he stood against the great totalitarian regimes of the last century, and because he wants that model for dangers facing the Church and mankind today."

*** UPDATED ***
I received the article via email, and being unclear whether I am permitted to post it in its entirety, only included a small excerpt. However, the complete Article is here for those who may wish to read it.

To Subscribe to Inside the Vatican's Newsflash, Please Click Here.

Th Holy See's Web Page for Lent 2005

VATICAN CITY, FEB. 9, 2005 ( The Holy See opened a special section on its Web page, ranging from John Paul II's meditations to liturgical hymns, to help the faithful live Lent.

In addition to the Pope's 2005 Lenten Message, the special section offers "Lenten stations," a series of meditations linked to various churches in Rome for each day of this season.

Sacred music may also be downloaded from the Web page for this period, offered by the Sistine Pontifical Musical Chapel, as well as the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music.
Zenit article.

The Holy Father Returns to the Vatican

ROME, Italy (CNN) -- Pope John Paul II will be discharged from hospital and return to the Vatican on Thursday, officials say.

Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls issued a statement Thursday saying the pope was cured of his breathing problems.

More Great News...“Jack-Pot” of Stem Cells in Umbilical Cord

TORONTO, February 9, 2005 ( - Umbilical cords continue to surprise researchers as an abundant source of stem cells. Today’s Toronto Star reports that a group of scientists at the University of Toronto have discovered what they are calling the ‘jack-pot’ of stem cells in a mass of jelly found inside the umbilical cord.

Gospel for Thursday after Ash Wednesday

From: Luke 9:22-25

First Prophecy of the Passion

(Jesus said to His disciples), [22] "The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised."

The Need for Self-Denial

[23] And He said to all, "If any man would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me. [24] For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for My sake, he will save it. [25] For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?"

22. Jesus prophesied His passion and death in order to help His disciples believe in Him. It also showed that He was freely accepting these sufferings He would undergo. "Christ did not seek to be glorified: He chose to come without glory in order to undergo suffering; and you, who have been born without glory, do you wish to be glorified? The route you must take is the one Christ took. This means recognizing Him and it means imitating Him both in His ignominy and in His good repute; thus you will glory in the Cross, which was His path to glory. That was what Paul did, and therefore he gloried in saying, `Far be it from me to glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ' (Galatians 6:14)" (St. Ambrose, "Expositio Evangelii Sec. Lucam, in loc.").

23. "Christ is saying this again, to us, whispering it in our ears: the cross EACH DAY. As St. Jerome puts it: `Not only in time of persecution or when we have the chance of martyrdom, but in all circumstances, in everything we do and think, in everything we say, let us deny what we used to be and let us confess what we now are, reborn as we have been in Christ' ("Epistola" 121, 3) [...]. Do you see? The DAILY cross. No day without a cross; not a single day in which we are not to carry the cross of the Lord, in which we are not to accept His yoke" ([St] J. Escriva, "Christ Is Passing By", 58 and 176). "There is no doubt about it: a person who loves pleasure, who seeks comfort, who flies from anything that might spell suffering, who is over-anxious, who complains, who blames and who becomes impatient at the least little thing which does not go his way--a person like that is a Christian only in name; he is only a dishonor to his religion for Jesus Christ has said so: Anyone who wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross every day of his life, and follow Me" (St. John Mary Vianney, "Selected Sermons", Ash Wednesday).

The Cross should be present not only in the life of every Christian but also at the crossroads of the world: "How beautiful are those crosses on the summits of high mountains, and crowning great monuments, and on the pinnacles of cathedrals...! But the Cross must also be inserted in the very heart of the world.

"Jesus wants to be raised on high, there in the noise of the factories and workshops, in the silence of libraries, in the loud clamor of the streets, in the stillness of the fields, in the intimacy of the family, in crowded gatherings, in stadiums.... Wherever there is a Christian striving to lead an honorable life, he should, with his love, set up the Cross of Christ, who attracts all things to Himself" ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way of the Cross", XI, 3).

25. By this radical statement Jesus teaches us to do everything with a view to eternal life: it is well worth while to devote our entire life on earth to attaining eternal life. "We have been warned that it profits man nothing if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself. Far from diminishing our concern to develop this earth, the expectance of a new earth should spur us on, for it is here that the body of a new human family grows, foreshadowing in some way the age which is to come. That is why, although we must be careful to distinguish earthly progress clearly from the increase of the Kingdom of Christ, such progress is of vital concern to the Kingdom of God, insofar as it can contribute to the better ordering of human society" (Vatican II, "Gaudium Et Spes", 39).
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, February 09, 2005

St. Louis Archbishop Warns of Upcoming “Persecution” over Abortion and Homosexuality

ST. LOUIS, February 9, 2005 ( - In an interview with, St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke said that as Catholics continue to speak out on life and family issues they will face persecution. “There is going to be a persecution with regard to this, that’s clear,” said the Archbishop.

The media has painted the St. Louis church leader as a mean-spirited bully, yet in person he is soft-spoken and kind with a keen sense of the truth and an urgency to convey it for the salvation of souls. Rather than using high-sounding platitudes which coast over the heads of many, Archbishop Burke speaks plainly the teaching of the Church on matters of central importance, without fear of being labeled politically incorrect.

The archbishop acknowledged that speaking the truth was intimidating. “It’s intimidating because we live, as our Holy Father says, in a society of a culture of death where people want to convince us that everything should be convenient and comfortable and they don’t like to hear a voice which says ‘this isn’t right’”, he said.

But with being outspoken on the truth will come persecution, a fact the archbishop is willing not only to acknowledge but to accept. “Bishops will be persecuted,” he said, and “also priests and lay people.”
Full LifeSiteNews article.

A conversation with unknown parishioners

After Mass this evening, we were scheduled to have our pictures taken for the Parish Directory...This was the reason I was so late in getting the news about the threat against Archbishop Burke.

While we were sitting there waiting to be called, we engaged in some limited chit-chat with the couple next to us. The woman inquired about being a "Eucharistic Minister" and I kept my mouth closed rather than ask her if she really meant an "Extraordinary minister of Holy Communion". I, naturally, let my wife handle the questions since she is the parish secretary - and - I have been trained really well!

Her husband then said something about the Archbishop and St. Stanislaus - actually, it was an underhanded dig at the Archbishop which I found offensive and out of order, especially considering he did not know who I was. I replied that the facts of the case have not been presented in their entirety in the Post. My wife, sensing that I was not at ease with the conversation then proceeded to ask them how long they have been parishioners.

The woman stated that they had become members about a year and a half ago after getting permission to change parishes from their priest from a parish down the road in the next town - they live outside the boundaries of our parish. The husband then said something to the effect that had "Burke been here, we wouldn't have been able to do that!"

I responded that the laws of the Church permit this and that Archbishop Burke certainly would not have any issues with it, since it is lawful and quite permissible...I remained friendly despite the negative tone and attitude this man had toward Archbishop Burke.

Few people would, in public, denigrate or disparage their own fathers. What persons would speak ill of his own father in public? Those of us who are baptized have, in reality, a closer bond with our brothers and sisters in the faith than we have by blood. I am offended when another speaks untruths about my father, be it my real father or my spiritual father. And Archbishop Burke is our spiritual father, at least for many of us here in the Archdiocese of St. Louis, and I'm certain, in many other places as well.

Regardless of the respect or lack of respect one gives to his bishop, he must, at least, give sufficient thought and reflection on the Fourth Commandment of the Decalogue. All that applies regarding the obligations of obedience and respect of children toward their parents, also applies in principle toward our spiritual fathers, especially one's bishop. This is especially true when one's bishop exercises the his duties and obligations as required by his office, which is, in a certain way, very similar to those obligations which parents have toward their children.

This is how I understand the Church's teaching on the subject and why I become distressed at the multitude of attacks toward Archbishop Burke, especially when they come from Catholics who fail to see him as their spiritual father. Perhaps, it is too simplistic a view but I can see no reason to complicate a matter which is so fundamental to the life of the family of God...

The Post's story on the Death Threat against Abp. Burke's

Officials filed a misdemeanor harassment charge Wednesday against a man they said left a phone message threatening to shoot St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke, apparently over the controversy about St. Stanislaus Koska Church.
A man police identified as [James] Eggers phoned the archdiocese Tuesday and left a message lasting several minutes, in which he curses Burke and says that no matter how much police protection Burke has, that he will get a gun and kill him.

The suspect is not a member of St. Stanislaus and his name is not familiar, said church spokesman Roger Krasnicki. "We deplore, denounce and reject any type of violence," Krasnicki said. "That's terrible."
Post Article

Death Threat Made Against Archbishop Burke

(KMOV) -- A Maryland Heights man is charged after police say he made a death threat against Archbishop Raymond Burke.

James Eggers, 37, is charged with harassment after prosecutors say he left an angry voice mail message threatening to hunt down Archbishop Burke and shoot and kill him.

James Eggers was apparently upset over the archbishop’s attempt to gain control of St. Stanislaus Kostka Catholic Church and parish.

Eggers has been admitted to a mental hospital for evaluation.

The archdiocese took this very seriously, in part because it was 20 years ago this week that a man walked into a Wisconsin catholic church and used a 12-gauge shotgun to kill a priest and two employees.

Despite the threat against his life, Archbishop Burke expressed concern for the man who threatened him.

KMOV Link.

I heard about this after Mass this evening and just got home to catch more of the details. Special thanks to Jarek Czernikiewicz for forwarding me the link.

Please keep Archbishop Burke in your prayers.

On-Line Interviews w/Jamie Allman & St. Stanislaus' Richard Bach

I have not yet listened to these in their entirety and I'm not certain how long they will be up on KTRS' McGraw Milhaven's web site...

I started listening to Bach's interview and cut it short after hearing his cries of 'anguish' that the situation causes him to feel "anger, remorse, and disillusionment at the whole process..."

If true "remorse" existed, we would have witnessed a penitential attitude from him and the others and we would have seen a resolution to the problems which the board has created by their very own actions.

I can only imagine that the "anger" he feels is that same "anger" a child feels when being punished for some wrongdoing after being warned countless times. Perhaps, it is more of a resentment than anger, a resentment caused by one's pride being slighted?

The 'disillusionment" may be from the realization that the Archbishop has kept his word and has remained committed to seeing this problem resolved. After nearly a year of criticizing Archbishop Burke, causing scandal in the community, and fostering and promoting atitudes of defiance and disrepect - and speaking in terms bordering on 'schism', how could one possibly be "disillusioned" when the Archbishop does what he said he would do...?

Were the number of warnings and admonitions insufficient? Were they not clear enough to be understood?

Whoever allows Richard Bach to act as spokeman for St. Stanislaus should really look at replacing him with someone who can speak with clarity and truth. But then again, the position being held would still be wrong...

I look forward to listening to these interviews later this evening...

The Link to the interviews is here

*****UPDATED *****

Added a video link from KMOV TV

We are at the beginning of Lent

We are at the beginning of Lent: a time of penance, purification and conversion. It is not an easy program, but then Christianity is not an easy way of life. It is not enough just to be in the Church, letting the years roll by. In our life, in the life of Christians, our first conversion — that unique moment which each of us remembers, when we clearly understood everything the Lord was asking of us — is certainly very significant. But the later conversions are even more important, and they are increasingly demanding. To facilitate the work of grace in these conversions, we need to keep our soul young; we have to call upon our Lord, know how to listen to him and, having found out what has gone wrong, know how to ask his pardon.

"If you call upon me, I will listen to you," we read in this Sunday's liturgy. Isn't it wonderful how God cares for us and is always ready to listen to us — waiting for man to speak? He hears us at all times, but particularly now. Our heart is ready and we have made up our minds to purify ourselves. He hears us and will not disregard the petition of a "humble and contrite heart."

The Lord listens to us. He wants to intervene and enter our lives to free us from evil and fill us with good. "I will rescue him and honour him," he says of man. So we must hope for glory. Here again we have the beginning of the interior movement that makes up our spiritual life. Hope of glory increases our faith and fosters our charity; the three theological virtues, godly virtues which make us like our Father God, have been set in motion.

What better way to begin Lent? Let's renew our faith, hope and love. The spirit of penance and the desire for purification come from these virtues. Lent is not only an opportunity for increasing our external practices of self-denial. If we thought it were only that, we would miss the deep meaning it has in Christian living, for these external practices are — as I have said — the result of faith, hope and charity.
From Christ is passing (#57) by by St. Josemaria Escriva

Another St. Valentine’s Day "Massacre"

This was posted in the comments and, considering its importance, I have moved it to the main page....
Another St. Valentine’s Day "Massacre"

Feminists on thirty American Catholic Universities are planning a new St. Valentine's Day "Massacre," where the Church's traditional moral teaching is the victim, by organizing showings of the lewd play, "The V***** Monologues" in the weeks surrounding St. Valentine's Day. (Asterisks added for the sake of modesty).

The choice of St. Valentine's Day is particularly offensive, since it is a feast day of the Church instituted to honor three martyrs who died to defend the Faith.

According to the Cardinal Newman Society's website, the play is a conglomeration of vulgarities, obscenities and explicit discussions of sexuality and sexual encounters including lesbian activity and masturbation.

Their description continues: "In one scene, a woman describes her seduction by a lesbian woman when she was 16 years old, declaring it her 'salvation' and an important coming-of-age experience. The older woman leads the girl into sex by serving her alcohol and abusing her authority as an elder."


"I cannot imagine an immoral play like this being shown at one Catholic university, let alone thirty of them," said TFP Student Action director John Ritchie. "It's very indicative of the times in which we live!"

Bishop John M. D'Arcy issued a statement regarding this scandal: "Freedom in the academy is always subject to a particular discipline. It is never an absolute… Freedom in the Catholic tradition is not the right to do this rather than that. That would be an entirely superficial idea of freedom… Freedom is the capacity to choose the good." (

Now, TFP Student Action web site readers can SEND A PROTEST LETTER to the presidents of all 30 Catholic universities. Everyone needs to be concerned.

After being forced to see the play as part of a class, Christopher, a Catholic student from Massachusetts wrote:

" was a horrible exhibit of vice, lust, and infidelity. Everything about the play - the content, the performers, the atmosphere - was decidedly opposed to just about everything the Church teaches, whether it be about sexuality, abortion, contraception, holy matrimony, modesty, chastity, vulgarity, humility, reverence, you name it..."

Please defend Catholic morality and support students like Christopher.

To see a list of the colleges planning to show "The V***** Monologues," visit:

The Feb 9th "Town Talk"

As many may have already read, Wednesday's "Town Talk" has become a weekly and dreaded "favorite" of mine...It's an opportunity to witness the confusion and the incomprehensible blatherings of individuals who fail to take the time or effort to think rationally.
Look around, archbishop

THIS IS CONCERNING Archbishop Burke and Jamie Allman: I do not trust either one of them. If they would only take a little time and drive around the Carondelet area, especially by St. Boniface Church on Michigan Avenue they will see it is the only Catholic Church in the Carondelet area. It has been there for over 140 years. It is our pride, salvation and hope. If you keep on closing churches, I am sure the Catholic religion will become extinct. Jamie Allman get out and mind your own business. Archbishop Burke get the dollar signs out of your eyes and see what you are really doing to us, especially the elderly. Thanks, I think.
This individual says that he does not trust the Archbishop or Jamie Allman, yet, not only does he not give a sound reason for his lack of trust, he gives no reason at all!

Secondly he claims that his parish church building is his "pride, salvation and hope", rather than our Lord Jesus Christ. While the church buildings have been consecrated for sacred use and the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, many, it seems, do not grasp the concept of sacrifice, much less that of fidelity and obedience. The closing of churches is certainly not a cause of the diminishing of what faith is left among the people but a response to the symptoms of a far greater malady affecting the Church.

The Church will never become extinct, and this fact should be known by all Catholics - we have the words and promise of Christ, He Who can neither deceive nor be deceived. Making such a statement as the one above, displays a profound ignorance of the Faith.

The antagonism expressed toward Jamie Allman and Archbishop Burke is unwarranted and should not be tolerated - both of them are fulfulling their duties for the Church, despite the fact that many others in the Church are either incapable or unwilling to fulfill their own obligations to the Church. Rather, too many, it seems, are driven to bring discord and dissension into the Church rather than striving for unity and fidelity.

The individual claims to be 'elderly' - one would think that, with time, one would have grown closer to Christ and His Church and would have learned to avoid the darkness and walk in the light of truth; that one would have learned the importance of the virtues and of docility to one's Bishop who is charged with our spiritual well being and for governing the Church.

And next we have another "Catholic"...
Forget the lawsuit; get a life

HEY, I'M CATHOLIC and this guy in Town Talk who's going to file a lawsuit for a hate crime, get a life. Catholic people didn't have this problem until Archbishop Burke came to town. Let's get rid of him. And the other thing, fellow Catholics that voted for Bush, he hasn't stopped abortions has he? So Burke ain't so smart. Oh well, I guess I'll see you at the trial.
This person misses the boat, entirely. My own take is that many, many people would be up in arms were St. Paul alive and preaching to us today, or, they would be leaving the Church because of the demands and sacrifices Christ asks of us.

Any 'problems' to which this individual refers existed long before Archbishop Burke arrived on the scene. The Archbishop, it appears, has decided that problems need to be addressed and resolved - not pushed to a back burner to simmer over months and years.

Of course, some people have a problem with decisive action when complacency and procrastination are so much more convenient.

Oh, and had Kerry been elected, the repulsive murder of innocent unborn children would have ceased by now, I suppose?

The next comment comes from a person who actually sees reality:
St. Louis Polish Christians

TRYING TO GET St. Stanislaus within the Roman Catholic Archdiocese goes back to at least Bishop Ritter, May and Gregali [Rigali] trying to get them in the archdiocese. They all backed off. Burke will not. This is something that should have been done 100 years ago. The young people of St. Stans have no problem with obeying the cannon (sic) laws of the Church. They will not disobey the bishop and the pope. It's hard for the old people to face change and very hard for the board members to give up their power. It's very simple; if they don't want to be a part of the archdiocese like the rest of us, let them go their own way. You could call it the St. Louis Polish Christian Church.
This person hit the nail on the head, so to speak...the elderly are resistant to change (although the impact of the change would not be noticed) and the Board members are afraid to surrender their 'choke hold' on the parish and their power of whatever assets the parish has.

We should have hope, not only because we trust in God, but because we can see, little by little, the return to the faith, both by our young people, as this person has witnessed, and by our younger priests who want to proclaim the Good News faithfully.

Today's "Town Talk" is here.

The Church's Year-Ash Wednesday

Why is this day thus named?

Because on this day the Church blesses ashes, and places them on the heads of her faithful children, saying: "Remember man, thou art dust, and unto dust thou shaft return."

Why is this done?

St. Charles Borromeo gives us the following reasons for this practice: that the faithful may be moved to sincere humility of heart; that the heavenly blessing may descend upon them, by which they, being really penitent, will weep with their whole soul for their sins, remembering how earth was cursed because of sin, and that we have all to return to dust; that strength to do true penance may be given the body, and that our soul may be endowed with divine grace to persevere in penance.

With such thoughts let the ashes be put upon your head, while you ask in all humility and with a contrite heart, for God’s mercy and grace.

Is the practice of putting ashes upon our heads pleasing to God?

It is, for God Himself commanded the Israelites to put ashes on their heads for a sign of repentance. (Jer. XXV. 34.) Thus did David (Ps, CI. 10.) who even strewed ashes on his bread; the Ninivites, (Jonas III. 5.) Judith, (Jud, IX. 1.) Mardochai, (Esth. IV 1.) Job, (JobXLII. 6.) etc. The Christians of the earliest times followed this practice as often as they did public penance for their sins.

Why from this day until the end of Lent are the altars draped in violet?

Because, as has been already said, the holy season of Lent is a time of sorrow and penance for sin, and the Church desires externally to demonstrate by the violet with which she drapes the altar, by the violet vestments worn by the priests, and by the cessation of the organ and festive singing, that we in quiet mourning are bewailing our sins; and to still further impress the spirit of penance upon us, there is usually only a simple crucifix or a picture of Christ's passion, left visible upon the altar, and devoutly meditating upon it, the heart is mostly prepared for contrition.

Source: The Church's Year by Rev. Leonard Goffine

Medicinal Censure To Be Imposed by Archbishop Burke

St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke said Tuesday he would withhold the sacraments of the Roman Catholic church, including Holy Communion, from board members of St. Stanislaus Kostka Catholic Church.

The announcement came in the form of a one-sentence press release Tuesday morning, stating that Burke's "extraordinary patience in dealing with the board of St. Stanislaus Kostka has officially evaporated."

[Archbishop] Burke has said the interdict is a "medicinal" penalty, meant not as punishment, but rather to "bring people around, to wake them up to what they're doing and the seriousness of it."

Did the Board of St. Stanislaus ever intend a reconciliation?

I noticed that in Archbishop Burke's letter, he referred to a letter from the BOD (Board of Directors) to the parishioners of Saint Stanislaus Kostka Parish, dated December 27, 2004, which, he states, demonstrated "profound disrespect toward Church authority and open disobedience", yet I was unable to find a copy of this letter on the Save St Stanislaus Website. Considering the other comments, letters, and explanations contained on the web site, I find it odd that this important letter is missing.

The web site is replete with all sorts of errors and distortions as well as links to two "stories" produced by St. Louis' own 'alternative press'- a rag of trash. It is unconscionable that a "Catholic" web site would refer to these articles in condemnation of Archbishop Burke. The attitudes and positions expressed via this web site seem more than sufficient to support any charges of rebellion and grave disobedience even had the local press not continued to promote the controversy.

As an example, the St. Stanislaus web site asks (and answers) this question:
What are the options St. Stanislaus has to resolve this conflict?
Hold out for a change of heart by the Archbishop?
Remote chance

Allow the church to become a non functioning shrine?
After a while the majority will loose interest and the church will go into a state of disrepair. The life of the parish will be extinguished.

Give it away?
Allow the parish to be deeded to another Polish organization, not related to the archdiocese and possibly not related to the Roman Catholic Church.

Join another (non Roman) Catholic Church?
Viable option
Religious celebrations are nearly identical to what we see in the Roman Catholic Church today
These religious organizations broke away from the Roman Catholic Church due to the same demands we are seeing today. Religion was not the issue. It was, as it is today, about power and control.
It is quite obvious that there was never any intent to abide by the laws or structures of the Church. Nor does there seem to be any intent to consider obedience as an option.

As a matter of fact, their seems to be a certain pride and satisfaction in considering the option of Joining another church.

The mere mention of Joining another "Catholic" Church displays a profound lack of understanding or belief in the Church established by Christ or what it truly means to be a Catholic.

Unfortunately, many of the St. Stanislaus parishioners, other Catholics in the Archdioces, and the general public have been scandalized and many, it seems, have been deceived by those board members who have been adamant about maintaining "power and control" in violation of the laws of the Church. May God grant them mercy and touch their hearts so that they may be moved to repentance and conversion.

May our Lord also enlighten the minds of those who have been deceived over the many months and years so that they, also, may conform their wills to the will of Christ, Who humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross" (cf. Phil 2:8).

Investigation of Dutch Doctors Who Fail to Kill Patients

How contemptible and despicable can some people get?
AMSTERDAM, February 8, 2005 ( – A Dutch euthanasia activist group has launched an investigation, claiming physicians there are delaying or avoiding the fulfillment of requests for euthanasia from patients.
NVVE [the Dutch Voluntary End to Life Association] director Rob Jonquière claimed that, of interviews conducted so far, it appears doctors are “looking for excuses” for not carrying out euthanasia. “We want to know how often this occurs,” Jonquière said.
Doctors "looking for excuses" to avoid murdering people? How unprofessional of them!

LifesiteNews Article.