Saturday, May 14, 2005

Gospel for May 14, Feast: St. Matthias, Apostle

From: John 15:9-17

The Vine and the Branches (Continuation)

(Jesus said to His disciples,) [9] "As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you; abide in My love. [10] If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love. [11] These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

The Law of Love

[12] "This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. [13] Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. [14] You are My friends if you do what I command you. [15] No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. [16] You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide; so that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He may give it to you. [17] This I command you, to love one another."

9-11. Christ's love for Christians is a reflection of the love the Three Divine Persons have for one another and for all men: "We love, because He first loved us" (1 John 4:19).

The certainty that God loves us is the source of Christian joy (verse 11), but it is also something which calls for a fruitful response on our part, which should take the form of a fervent desire to do God's will in everything, that is, to keep His commandments, in imitation of Jesus Christ, who did the will of His Father (cf. John 4:34).

12-15. Jesus insists on the "new commandment", which He Himself keeps by giving His life for us. See note on John 13:34-35.

Christ's friendship with the Christian, which our Lord expresses in a very special way in this passage, is something very evident in [St] Monsignor Escriva de Balaguer's preaching: "The life of the Christian who decides to behave in accordance with the greatness of his vocation is so to speak a prolonged echo of those words of our Lord, `No longer do I call you My servants; a servant is one who does not understand what his master is about, whereas I have made known to you all that My Father has told Me; and so I have called you My friends' (John 15:15). When we decide to be docile and follow the will of God, hitherto unimagined horizons open up before us.... `There is nothing better than to recognize that Love has made us slaves of God. From the moment we recognize this we cease being slaves and become friends, sons' ([St] J. Escriva, "Friends of God", 35).

"Sons of God, FRIENDS OF GOD.... Jesus is truly God and truly Man, He is our Brother and our Friend. If we make the effort to get to know Him well `we will share in the joy of being God's friends' ["ibid.", 300]. If we do all we can to keep Him company, from Bethlehem to Calvary, sharing His joys and sufferings, we will become worthy of entering into loving conversation with Him. As the Liturgy of the Hours sings, "calicem Domini biberunt, et amici Dei facti sunt" (they drank the chalice of the Lord and so became friends of God).

"Being His children and His friends are two inseparable realities for those who love God. We go to Him as children, carrying on a trusting dialogue that should fill the whole of our lives; and we go to Him as friends.... In the same way our divine sonship urges us to translate the overflow of our interior life into apostolic activity, just as our friendship with God leads us to place ourselves at `the service of all men. We are called to use the gifts God has given us as instruments to help others discover Christ' ["ibid.", 258]" (Monsignor A. del Portillo in his preface to [St] J. Escriva's, "Friends of God").

16. There are three ideas contained in these words of our Lord. One, that the calling which the Apostles received and which every Christian also receives does not originate in the individual's good desires but in Christ's free choice. It was not the Apostles who chose the Lord as Master, in the way someone would go about choosing a rabbi; it was Christ who chose them. The second idea is that the Apostles' mission and the mission of every Christian is to follow Christ, to seek
holiness and to contribute to the spread of the Gospel. The third teaching refers to the effectiveness of prayer done in the name of Christ; which is why the Church usually ends the prayers of the liturgy with the invocation "Through Jesus Christ our Lord...".

The three ideas are all interconnected: prayer is necessary if the Christian life is to prove fruitful, for it is God who gives the growth (cf. 1 Corinthians 3:7); and the obligation to seek holiness and to be apostolic derives from the fact that it is Christ Himself who has given us this mission. "Bear in mind, son, that you are not just a soul who has joined other souls in order to do a good thing.

"That is a lot, but it's still little. You are the Apostle who is carrying out an imperative command from Christ" ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 942).
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, May 13, 2005

Catholic Radio in St Charles County This Month!

Today, Covenant Network will be closing on the KIRL radio station. Tony Holman of Covenant Network asks that everyone keep the radio station in your prayers.

The new call letters of the radio station, as I understand it, are planned to be KHOJ for "Heart of Jesus", located at 1460 on the AM dial. It is anticipated to be on the air in a week or two.

It will simulcast the programming currently on WRYT. This will be a TREMENDOUS blessing for those who live or work in the St. Charles county and surrounding areas who cannot currently receive WRYT (1080 AM) on the radio.

If you are from the St. Charles county area, be sure to stay tuned for the fine Catholic programming soon to be coming your way - and don't forget to let your friends and family know about this new radio station. This is a great way for Catholics to learn more about their faith and for others to learn more about the Catholic Church.

Please keep Tony and the crew at Covenant Network in your prayers.

Archbishop appeals for help with fund drive

Archbishop Raymond L. Burke is asking pastors for their continued prayers and support for the Annual Catholic Appeal, including extending parish pledge weekends in order to reach its goal of $11.75 million.
Archbishop Burke also asked, "Please consider having an additional Appeal Sunday in your parish the week of May 14 and 15 if you feel it would be helpful in collecting more pledges."
"If the appeal is not successful in meeting its $11.75 million goal, some of those most in need, relying on the Church for help, will not receive assistance," the archbishop said.
You can mail a donation to the
Annual Catholic Appeal
Cardinal Rigali Center
20 Archbishop May Drive
St. Louis MO 63119

or you can make a pledge online, by going to the Archdiocesan Website and clicking on the ACA section.

Old Joke? I never heard it before....

But then, maybe I lead a sheltered life....

Diogenes says, in part:
An old joke goes: "What's the difference between the Girl Scouts and the Society of Jesus? The Girl Scouts have adult leadership."
The background on this is here.

Archbishop Burke: Sacrament of Communion

Having interrupted my reflections upon Pope John Paul II’s encyclical letter "Ecclesia de Eucharistia (On the Eucharist in Its Relationship to the Church)," to address the historic events of the death of Pope John Paul II and the election of Pope Benedict XVI, and to urge your participation in the Annual Catholic Appeal for the support of the Church’s many apostolates, I return to the consideration of the encyclical letter as an aid to your participation in the Year of the Eucharist. Today, I write about the fourth chapter, "The Eucharist and Ecclesial Communion."

...our late and beloved Holy Father reminded us that an essential part of faith in the sacraments is "the truth regarding the need of the ministerial priesthood for their validity." If the person requesting the sacraments does not hold to this truth, then he or she does not manifest Catholic faith in the sacraments and may not receive them. This also explains the discipline by which a Catholic, under certain conditions, may approach a non-Catholic minister to receive the Sacraments of the Holy Eucharist, Penance and the Anointing of the Sick, as long as the sacraments are validly celebrated in the Church of the non-Catholic minister (canon 844, paragraph 2) (nos. 45-46).
Archbishop's Column in the St Louis Review

Do not weep for me, weep for yourselves

I read, with some amusement I must freely admit, Joan Chittister's latest lament over the Church and the "abuse" of Fr. Thomas Reese.

She says things like this, referring to the title of this post:
There's a line in scripture that has plagued me for years. Now I have experienced it....

I realize that it's not a strange kind of statement at all for a time like that, a time when the innocent are called guilty and the committed are called heretical and the society itself is, as a result, on the brink of losing credibility with the faithful as a result.
The innocent are called guilty? The committed are called heretical? What a joke! Those "committed" to the destruction of the the Church and the souls of the faithful should be "committed" - they are not "innocent".
When the announcement of Tom Reese's withdrawal as editor of America magazine became public, that line from scripture was, in fact, the only thing that went through my mind.
She warns us, not of the rampant heresy and heterdoxy which permeate the Church in the Western world but of this:
This manipulation of the Catholic press, this assault on the quality and standards of Catholic journalism, will mark the church for years to come. In fact, it runs the risk of making the whole idea of Catholic "thought" an oxymoron.
The problems here are:
there is no manipulation of the Catholic press,
the assault has been directed toward the intellect and wills of reading heterdoxy, and
what is truly an "oxymoron" is one who professes to be Catholic while overtly or covertly seeking to undermine the teachings of the Church.

"Sister" Joan is quite upset, it seems, and I feel no sympathy for her or those who are aligned with her "theology" or "philosophy"...Perhaps, they see defeat in their long-fought "battle" of changing the Church? Some are eager to wish them farewell, since they bring nothing but discord and strife to the faithful by perverting or destroying the Church's teachings. She concludes:
From where I stand, it looks like it's a sad day for Catholicism when America magazine becomes the kind of publication we choose to repress.
The fact is, it hasn't been "repressed" despite her inability to be truthful about the matter. She wants others to believe her "reality" which only exists in her mind.

And speaking of repression, it's been a sad 40+ years for those of us in America who have witnessed little disciplinary action of those who openly dissent and encourage others to to do likewise...

Yes, Sister, we weep - we weep for all of those who have been led away from the Church by people like you. We even weep for you and those like you, hoping that some day you might return to the Church and accept what she teaches. And we weep for ourselves and for our children because we must witness the attacks of our Church by those who claim to be members of the Mystical Body of Christ. Yet we also rejoice because of this, for the servant is no greater than the Master, and if we wish to follow Him, we must be ready and willing to endure persecution, even by those who claim to be disciples.

For those who would like to read her latest requiemn, replete with self-pity, it is here.

Pope Announces Cause of Beatification of John Paul II,

VATICAN CITY, MAY 13, 2005 (VIS) - Benedict XVI today announced the opening of the cause of beatification of John Paul II, waiving the normal waiting period of five years after the death of a Servant of God. The Pope made the announcement in the course of a meeting with the Roman clergy in the basilica of St. John Lateran.

The rescript - or document authorizing the act - is dated May 9, 2005 and is signed by Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins and Archbishop Edward Nowak, respectively prefect and secretary of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

"The move overrides the usual five-year waiting period following the death of a possible candidate. The pope made the announcement in Latin during a meeting at the Basilica of St John Lateran with the Roman clergy. The announcement came on the anniversary of an 1981 assassination attempt against John Paul in St Peter’s Square at the hands of a Turkish gunman. Benedict’s announcement drew a standing ovation from the Roman priests." (Source)

I'll bet it did!

Pope names San Francisco Archbishop William Levada as head of CDF

Pope Benedict XVI named San Francisco Archbishop William Levada as the Vatican's chief orthodoxy watchdog Friday, tapping an American conservative to fill one of the most powerful church offices, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Benedict XVI Assumes Office, and Immediately Preaches in Defense of Life

During his first homily in the cathedral of Rome, Ratzinger reemphasizes "the inviolability of human life from the time of conception." A prophetic text by Romano Guardini, the present pope's teacher of theology and philosophy

by Sandro Magister
Full Article here.

Abp. Levada Appointment to CDF - "Just a rumor"...

SAN FRANCISCO, USA, May 12 (CNA) - The spokesman for the Archdiocese of San Francisco dismissed as "rumors" recent reports announcing that Archbishop William Joseph Levada was about to be appointed as the new Prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Mr. Maurice Healy, spokesman for the San Francisco diocese, dismissed the speculation as rumor, telling the Associated Press that the recent meeting between the Archbishop and Pope Benedict XVI was just a "courtesy call."
. . .
The Archbishop was also a leading figure in drafting the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
That's an interesting bit of information...

Source EWTN via Catholic News Agency

Gospel for Friday, 7th Week of Easter

From: John 21:15-19

Peter's Primacy

[15] When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love You." He said to him, "Feed My lambs." [16] A second time He said to him, "Simon, son of John, do you love Me?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord, you know I love You." He said to him, "Tend My sheep." [17] He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of John, do you love Me?" Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, "Do you love Me?" And he said to Him, "Lord, You know everything; You know that I love You." Jesus said to him, "Feed My sheep. [18] Truly, truly I say to you, when you were young, you girded yourself and walked where you would; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish to go." [19] (This He said to show by what death he was to glorify God.) And after this He said to him, "Follow Me."

15-17. Jesus Christ had promised Peter that he would be the primate of the Church (cf. Matthew 16:16-19 and note on the same). Despite his three denials during our Lord's passion, Christ now confers on him the primacy He promised.

"Jesus questions Peter, three times, as if to give him a triple chance to atone for his triple denial. Peter has learned his lesson from the bitter experience of his wretchedness. Aware of his weakness, he is deeply convinced that rash claims are pointless. Instead he puts everything in Christ's hands. `Lord, You know well that I love You" ([St] J. Escriva, "Friends of God", 267). The primacy was given to Peter directly and immediately. So the Church has always understood--and so Vatican I defined: "We therefore teach and declare that, according to the testimony of the Gospel, the primacy of jurisdiction over the universal Church of God was immediately and directly promised and given to Blessed Peter the Apostle by Christ our Lord. [...] And it was upon Simon Peter alone that Jesus after His resurrection bestowed the jurisdiction of chief pastor and ruler over all His fold in the words: "Feed My lambs; feed My sheep" ("Pastor Aeternus", Chapter 1).

The primacy is a grace conferred on Peter and his successors, the popes; it is one of the basic elements in the Church, designed to guard and protect its unity: "In order that the episcopate also might be one and undivided, and that [...] the multitude of the faithful might be kept secure in the oneness of faith and communion, He set Blessed Peter over the rest of the Apostles, and fixed in him the abiding principle of this twofold unity, and its visible foundation" ("Pastor Aeternus, Dz-Sch 3051"; cf. Vatican II, "Lumen Gentium", 18). Therefore, the primacy of Peter is perpetuated in each of his successors: this is something which Christ disposed; it is not based on human legislation or custom.

By virtue of the primacy, Peter, and each of his successors, is the shepherd of the whole Church and vicar of Christ on earth, because he exercises vicariously Christ's own authority. Love for the Pope, whom St. Catherine of Siena used to call "the sweet Christ on earth", should express itself in prayer, sacrifice and obedience.

18-19. According to Tradition, St. Peter followed his Master to the point of dying by crucifixion, head downwards, "Peter and Paul suffered martyrdom in Rome during Nero's persecution of Christians, which took place between the years 64 and 68. St. Clement, the successor of the same Peter in the See of the Church of Rome, recalls this when, writing to the Corinthians, he puts before them `the generous example of these two athletes': `due to jealousy and envy, those who were the principal and holiest columns suffered persecution and fought the fight unto death'" ([Pope] Paul VI, "Petrum Et Paulum").

"Follow Me!": these words would have reminded the Apostle of the first call he received (cf. Matthew 4:19) and of the fact that Christ requires of His disciples complete self-surrender: "If any man would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up the Cross daily and follow Me" (Luke 9:23). St. Peter himself, in one of his letters, also testifies to the Cross being something all Christians must carry: "For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps" (1 Peter 2:21).
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, May 12, 2005

Update on Pink Sunday from Evansville, IN

Thanks to Mike H. who sends this interesting development

May 8, 2005 was Pink Sunday, and many Catholic parishes in the Evansville, Indiana area participated in the event. Pink Sunday is a grassroots effort between the Greater Evansville Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and local churches to educate the members of their respective congregations on breast health and breast cancer.

I think cancer awareness and women’s health issues are very important and I am glad to see our parish participate in such an event. However, I do not agree with the Catholic Church promoting an organization that supports abortion and/or homosexual groups.
Neither do I or most Catholics I know...
In responding to concerns about the Komen Foundation and links to Planned Parenthood, Beth Knapp, Executive director of the Komen Greater Evansville Affiliate reported on November 5, 2004 that “Since its founding in 1998, the Evansville affiliate, which covers 28 counties in southwestern Indiana, southeastern Illinois and western Kentucky, has granted no money to Planned Parenthood”

This year (2005), however, they did support and provide grant money to the Tri-State Alliance for Gay and Lesbians, Inc. – “Sexual Minority Education and Screening Project” - This project will implement a comprehensive breast care education and early detection program for lesbians and women who partner with women in the tri-state. The project will also provide sensitivity training to health care providers.
Ah, "Sensitivity Training" ...How utterly wonderful...this should fit in quite well with the "Cultural and Ethnicity" training that I understand some doctors are going to have to take in order to keep their licenses...
In addition, the Greater Evansville Affiliate has distributed nearly $970,000 has been to the Komen Foundation to help fund its Award and Research Grant Program.

Included within the Komen Foundation grant recipients are Planned Parenthood and many Gay and Lesbian organizations. (Search for Planned Parenthood results in 50+ links)

Notes about the Hope Women's Health Clinic

I was listening to a local evangelical radio station (KJSL) during lunch today as the host was discussing the Hope Women’s Health Clinic (abortuary) in Granite City, Illinois. I recalled that LRS had discussed this local radio station before in a post about a mother being arrested there when she tried to rescue her absconded 13/14 year old daughter who was coerced to have an abortion by the mother of the boyfriend (statutory rapist).

Some of the things which I heard about this factory of the devil I felt obligated to jot down and share with others:

The abortion mill performs roughly 23,000 murders annually.

The cost of an abortion ranges from $400-$2500, depending on how advanced a woman’s (or girl’s) pregnancy is.

The amount of revenue generated from this death site could be anywhere between 9.2 to 57 million dollars per year.

No reporting is made to state authorities, despite the legal requirement to do so, for underage girls who show up to have abortions.

Payment in full is required before the abortion is performed (except in cases of Medicaid and Medicare, I believe).

A live video feed of the front of the abortion mill is sent to the local Granite City Police Dept - apparently in an effort to thwart pro-life "terrorists", family members, or others from interfering in the abortionist's demonic sacramental sacrifices.

The funds for this video feed appear to have come from an Homeland Security grant of around $93,000. Our tax dollars at work in the name of safety and security!

Upon arriving at the abortuary, the primary doctor enters through a secure remote controlled garage door and he does not exit his car until the garage door has closed. He also has no plants around his house which could be used by an individual for hiding.

All those who enter the abortuary must pass a security guard provided by Yale Security/ It was said that the security guards receive their training in the East St. Louis area - a area allegedly noted for its corruption and seediness.

If a woman or girl seeking an abortion enters the death factory with another person, they are immediately separated – the boyfriend/husband/mother/supporter is taken to a waiting room upstairs while the “patient” is placed in a secure, sound-proofed room, while awaiting the abortionist's instruments of death performed to the delightful cries of Moloch.

One of the “physicians” (there are three, I believe) has had over 20 malpractice cases filed against him, yet he still has a license to murder, generously given to him by the People's RepubliK of Illinois.

I was unable to listen to the entire show, however, despite the fact that it is a protestant radio station, it is unequaled, I believe, in its coverage of the local baby murdering factories in the area. The people at this station are truly committed to exposing the vile and evil goings-on in the abortion mills. Kudos to KJSL for exposing these demons!

Bishop Joseph Sullivan's resignation accepted

The Holy Father accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of the diocese of Brooklyn, U.S.A., presented by Bishop Joseph M. Sullivan, upon having reached the age limit.
and he has appointed two new auxiliary bishops to the Archdiocese of Seattle:
Frs. Joseph J. Tyson, pastor of the parishes of St. Edward, St. George and St. Paul, and Eusebio L. Elizondo M.Sp.S, pastor of the parish of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton...

Holy Father Confirms Eucharistic Theme of Bishops' Synod

VATICAN CITY, MAY 12, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father has confirmed that the 11th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops will be celebrated on the theme: "The Eucharist: Source and Summit of the Life and Mission of the Church," and has decreed that it will be held in the Vatican from October 2 to 23, 2005.

The Post Dispatch "Town Talk" Columns

For months, it seems, I (and several others) have been sickened and repulsed by the anti-Catholic bigotry and hatred displayed in the "Town Talk" Section of the Post and Journal newspapers.

Below are a couple of emails forwarded to me which were sent to those promoting this bigotry. It was suggested that these 'bigots' might as well leaflet our cars, and I would think the best time would be on Sunday while we are at Mass, however, this would be an expensive effort - it's apparently easier (and cheaper) for them to just litter our yards:
To Jeff Parra, Publisher, South St. Louis/South County Journal (

Mr. Parra,
Just want to let you know I have been collecting your embarrassing "Town Talk" columns for months now. The Suburban Journals clearly has no interest in editing inflammatory and prejudicial content and seems to relish printing insulting comments about the Catholic faith, comments clearly chosen from among many by your editors, and comments you would never allow had they targeted other religious or ethnic groups. You and your shameless publication have not heard the last from me, I promise.
And this one:
To James "Buck" Collier, Managing Editor, South St. Louis/South County Journal (

Mr. Collier,
I'm wondering why you continue to allow anti-Catholic prejudice in your publication in your hopelessly disgusting Town Talk. You seem to allow any tasteless and terrible comment imaginable about our pope and the Catholic faith itself. Would you allow the same for other religions? You and the Post should be ashamed at the hate you allow.
If you are inclined to send an email expressing revulsion at the prejudice and bigotry that appears in the papers on a nearly weekly basis, below are the mailing and email addresses of those responsible for printing, propagating and distributing the offensive material. One might also advise them that one is offering prayers for the animosity caused by such hateful, insulting and revolting material.

Jefferson County
Jefferson County Journal, Meramec Journal, News-Democrat Journal

1405 North Truman
Festus, MO 63028
Phone Number: 636-931-6636
Fax Number: 636-931-2638

Publisher: Dan Barger

Managing Editor: Bill Phelan

Sports Editor: Dennis Barnidge

Circulation Manager: Mike Berry

Ladue News
8811 Ladue Road, Suite D
St. Louis, MO 63124
Phone Number: 314-863-3737
Fax Number: 314-863-4445

Publisher: Lauren Rechan

Ad Manager: Jacque Edwards

Managing Editor: Dorothy Weiner

Circulation Manager: Michele Treacy

Madison County
Granite City Press Record Journal, Collinsville Herald Journal, Edwardsville Journal

#2 Executive Drive
Collinsville, IL 62234
Phone Number: 314-231-9331 or 618-344-0264
Fax Number: 618-344-3611

Publisher: Rick Jarvis

Ad Manager: Carol Fredeking

Managing Editor: Harry Weiner

Circulation Manager: John Mackeldon

Monroe County
Clarion Journal, Enterprise Journal

212 W. Locust
Columbia, IL 62236
Phone Number: 314-487-8955 or 618-281-7691
Fax Number: 618-281-7693

Publisher: Dan Barger

Managing Editor: Garen Vartanian

Circulation Manager: Sam Clines

North County
Florissant-Black Jack Journal, Hazelwood-Bridgeton Journal, Overland-St. Ann Journal, Normandy-Wellston Journal, Ferguson-Berkeley Journal, Bellefontaine Neighbors-Jennings Journal, North Side Journal

7751 N. Lindbergh
St. Louis, MO 63042
Phone Number: 314-972-1111
Fax Number: 314-831-7643

Publisher: Carolyn Marty

Ad Manager: Tammy Mortensen

Managing Editor: Carolyn Marty

Circulation Manager: Tim Foelsch

Circulation Manager: Rich Sisak

PO Box 31014
St. Louis, MO 63131-9785
Phone Number: 314-822-0823
Fax Number: 314-821-4244

Publisher: Mary Ann Wagner

Ad Manager: Mike Giger

Managing Editor: Rachel Otto

Circulation Manager: Karen McKay

South St. Louis/South County
South City Journal, South Side Journal, Southwest City Journal, South County Journal, Southwest County Journal, Oakville-Mehlville Journal

4210 Chippewa
St. Louis, MO 63116
Phone Number: 314-664-2700
Fax Number: 314-664-8533

Publisher: Jeff Parra

Ad Manager: Carol Matonis

Managing Editor: James "Buck" Collier

Circulation Manager: Rich Door

Circulation Manager: Ed Rohrbach

St. Charles County
St. Charles Journal, St. Peters Journal, O'Fallon Journal

4212 N. Service Road
St. Peters, MO 63376
Phone Number: 636-946-6111
Fax Number: 636-946-0086

Publisher: Amie Stein

Ad Manager: Adam Burnham

Managing Editor: Brad Mudd

Circulation Manager: John Nixon

St. Clair County
Belleville Journal, O'Fallon-Fairview Journal, Cahokia-Dupo Journal, East St. Louis Journal

5050 Collinsville Road
Swansea, IL 62226
Phone Number: 877-622-5050
Fax Number: 618-622-5057

Publisher: Steve Holt

Ad Manager: Steve Holt

Managing Editor: Marilyn Vise

City Editor: Tammy Kranz

Warrenton Journal, Wentzville Journal

220 E. Main Street
Warrenton, MO 63383
Phone Numbers: 636-456-3481
Fax Numbers: 636-456-3020

Publisher: Rich Coleman

Managing Editor: Gina Parsons

Circulation Manager: Tim Muldoon

West County
Mid-County Journal, Citizen Journal, Kirkwood-Webster Journal, West County Journal, Press Journal, Chesterfield Journal, Tri-County Journal

14522 South Outer Forty Rd.
Town and Country, MO 63017
Phone Number: 314-821-1110
Fax Number: 314-821-0843

Publisher: Tom Rees

Display Ad Manager: Amy Owens

Classified Ad Manager: Andrea Raines (CCO)

Managing Editor: Monika Kleban

Circulation Manager: Dave Labeau

Circulation Director: Dan Crockwell

Gospel for Thursday, 7th Week of Easter

From: John 17:20-26

The Priestly Prayer of Jesus (Continuation)

(Jesus lifted His eyes to Heaven and said,) [20] "I do not pray for these (My disciples) only, but also for those who believe in Me through their word, [21] that they may all be one; even as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me. [22] The glory which Thou hast given Me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, [23] I in them and Thou in Me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me and hast loved them even as Thou hast loved Me. [24] Father, I desire that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, may be with Me where I am, to behold My glory which Thou hast given Me in Thy love for Me before the foundation of the world. [25] O righteous Father, the world has not known Thee, but I have known Thee; and these know that Thou hast sent Me. [26] I made known to them Thy name, and I will make it known, that the love with which Thou hast loved Me may be in them, and I in them."

20-23. Since it is Christ who is praying for the Church His prayer is infallibly effective, and therefore there will always be only one true Church of Jesus Christ. Unity is therefore an essential property of the Church. "We believe that the Church founded by Jesus Christ and for which He prayed is indefectibly one in faith, in worship and in the bond of hierarchical communion" ([Pope] Paul VI, "Creed of the People of God", 21). Moreover, Christ's prayer also indicates what the basis of the Church's unity will be and what effects will follow from it.

The source from which the unity of the Church flows is the intimate unity of the Three Divine Persons among whom there is mutual love and self-giving. "The Lord Jesus, when praying to the Father `that they may all be one...even as we are one' (John 17:21-22), has opened up new horizons closed to human reason by implying that there is a certain parallel between the union existing among the Divine Persons and the union of the sons of God in truth and love. It follows, then, that if man is the only creature on earth that God has wanted for its own sake, man can fully discover his true self only in a sincere giving of himself" (Vatican II, "Gaudium Et Spes", 24). The unity of the Church is also grounded on the union of the faithful with Jesus Christ and through Him with the Father (verse 23). Thus, the fullness of unity--"consummati in unum"--is attained through the supernatural grace which comes to us from Christ (cf. John 15:5).

The fruits of the unity of the Church are, on the one hand, the world believing in Christ and in His divine mission (verses 21, 23); and, on the other hand, Christians themselves and all men recognizing God's special love for His faithful, a love which is a reflection of the love of the Three Divine Persons for each other. And so, Jesus' prayer embraces all mankind, for all are invited to be friends of God (cf. 1 Timothy 2:4). "Thou hast loved them even as Thou hast loved Me": this, according to St. Thomas Aquinas, "does not mean strict equality of love but similarity and like-motivation. It is as if He were saying: the love with which You have loved Me is the reason and the cause of Your loving them, for, precisely because You love men do You love those who love Me" ("Commentary on St. John, in loc."). Besides noting this theological explanation, we should also ponder on how expressively Christ describes His ardent love for men. The entire discourse of the Last Supper gives us a glimpse of the depth of Jesus' feelings--which infinitely exceeds anything we are capable of experiencing. Once again all we can do is bow down before the mystery of God-made-man.

20. Christ prays for the Church, for all those who, over the course of centuries, will believe in Him through the preaching of the Apostles. "That divine mission, which was committed by Christ to the Apostles, is destined to last until the end of the world (cf. Matthew 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 this hierarchically constituted society" (Vatican II, "Lumen Gentium", 20).

The apostolic origin and basis of the Church is what is termed its "apostolicity", a special characteristic of the Church which we confess in the Creed. Apostolicity consists in the Pope and the Bishops being successors of Peter and the Apostles, holding the authority of the Apostles and proclaiming the same teaching as they did. "The sacred synod teached that the bishops have by divine institution taken the place of the Apostles as pastors of the Church, in such wise that whoever listens to them is listening to Christ and whoever despises them despises Christ and Him who sent Christ (cf. Luke 10:15)" (Vatican II, "Lumen Gentium", 20).

21. Union of Christians with Christ begets unity among themselves. This unity of the Church ultimately redounds to the benefit of all mankind, because since the Church is one and unique, she is seen as a sign raised up for the nations to see, inviting all to believe in Christ as sent by God come to save all men. The Church carries on this mission of salvation through its union with Christ, calling all mankind to join the Church and by so doing to share in union with Christ and the Father.

The Second Vatican Council, speaking of the principles of ecumenism, links the Church's unity with her universality: "Almost everyone, though in different ways, longs for the one visible Church of God, a Church truly universal and sent forth to the whole world that the world may be converted to the Gospel and so be saved, to the glory of God" ("Unitatis Redintegratio", 1). This universality is another characteristic of the Church, technically described as "catholicity". "For many centuries now the Church has been spread throughout the world, and it numbers persons of all races and walks of life. But the universality of the Church does not depend on its geographical distribution, even though this is a visible sign and of motive of credibility. The Church was catholic already at Pentecost: it was born catholic from the wounded heart of Jesus, as a fire which the Holy Spirit enkindled.

"In the second century the Christians called the Church catholic in order to distinguish it from sects, which, using the name of Christ, were betraying His doctrine in one way or another. `We call it catholic', writes St. Cyril, `not only because it is spread throughout the world, from one extreme to the other, but because in a universal way and without defect it teaches all the dogmas which men ought to know, of both the visible and the invisible, the celestial and the earthly. Likewise because it draws to true worship all types of men, governors and citizens, the learned and the ignorant. And finally, because it cures and heals all kinds of sins, whether of the soul or of the body, possessing in addition--by whatever name it may be called--all the forms of virtue, in deeds and in words and in every kind of spiritual life' ("Catechesis", 18, 23)" ([St] J. Escriva, "In Love with the Church", 9).

Every Christian should have the same desire for this unity as Jesus Christ expresses in His prayer to the Father. "A privileged instrument for participation in pursuit of the unity of all Christians is prayer. Jesus Christ Himself left us His final wish for unity through prayer to the Father: `that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me' (John 17:21).

"Also the Second Vatican Council strongly recommended to us prayer for the unity of Christians, defining it `the soul of the whole ecumenical movement' ("Unitatis Redintegratio", 8). As the soul to the body, so prayer gives life, consistency, spirit, and finality to the ecumenical movement.

"Prayer puts us, first and foremost, before the Lord, purifies us in intentions, in sentiments, in our heart, and produces that `interior conversion', without which there is no real ecumenism. (cf. "Unitatis Redintegratio", 7).

"Prayer, furthermore, reminds us that unity, ultimately, is a gift from God, a gift for which we must ask and for which we must prepare in order that we may be granted it" ([Pope] John Paul II, "General Audience", 17 January 1979).

22-23. Jesus possess glory, a manifestation of divinity, because He is God, equal to the Father (cf. note on John 17:1-5). When He says that He is giving His disciples this glory, He is indicating that through grace He makes us partakers of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). Glory and justification by grace are very closely united, as we can see from Sacred Scripture: "Those whom He predestined He also called, and those whom He called He also justified, and those whom He justified He also glorified" (Romans 8:30). The change grace works in Christians makes us ever more like Christ, who is the likeness of the Father (cf. 2 Corinthians 4:4; Hebrews 1:2-3): by communicating His glory Christ joins the faithful to God by giving them a share in supernatural life, which is the source of the holiness of Christians and of the Church: "Now we can understand better how [...] one of the principal aspects of her holiness is that unity centered on the mystery of the one and triune God. `There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call, one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of us all, who is above all and through all and in all' (Ephesians 4:4-6)" ([St] J. Escriva, "In Love with the Church", 5).

24. Jesus concludes His prayer by asking that all Christians attain the blessedness of Heaven. The word He uses, "I desire", not "I pray", indicates that He is asking for the most important thing of all, for what His Father wants--that all may be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth (cf. 1 Timothy 2:4): which is essentially the mission of the Church--the salvation of souls.

As long as we are on earth we share in God's life through knowledge (faith) and love (charity); but only in Heaven will we attain the fullness of this supernatural life, when we see God as He is (cf. 1 John 3:2), face to face (cf. 1 Corinthians 13:9-12). Therefore, the Church has her sights fixed on eternity, she is eschatological: that is, by having in this world all the resources necessary for teaching God's truth, for rendering Him true worship and communicating the life of grace, she keeps alive people's hope of attaining the fullness of eternal life: "The Church, to which we are all called in Christ Jesus, and in which by the grace of God we acquire holiness, will receive its perfection only in the glory of Heaven, when will come the time of the renewal of all things (Acts 3:21). At that time, together with the human race, the universe itself, which is so closely related to man and which attains its destiny through him, will be perfectly reestablished in Christ (cf. Ephesians 1:10; Colossians 1:20; 2 Peter 3:10-13)" (Vatican II, "Lumen Gentium", 48).

25-26. God's revelation of Himself through Christ causes us to begin to share in the divine life, a sharing which will reach its climax in Heaven: "God alone can give us right and full knowledge of this reality by revealing Himself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in whose eternal life we are by grace called to share, here below in the obscurity of faith and after death in eternal light" ([Pope] Paul VI, "Creed of the People of God").

Christ has revealed to us all we need to know in order to participate in the mutual love of the Divine Persons--primarily, the mystery of who He is and what His mission is and, with that, the mystery of God Himself ("I made known to them Thy name"), thus fulfilling what He had announced: "No one knows the Father except the Son and any one to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him" (Matthew 11:27).

Christ continues to make known His Father's love, by means of the Church, in which He is always present: "I am with you always, to the close of the age" (Matthew 28:20).
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, May 11, 2005

Pope's trading card is up for bid on eBay

The sports trading card generating the most buzz among collectors right now doesn't feature a baseball, basketball or football player. This captivating athlete was a soccer goalie who also liked skiing, swimming, hiking and kayaking.

His name: Pope John Paul II.
An interesting article on this one-of-a-kind card made by Topps.

Kraft Foods a “Major Sponsor” of “Gay Olympics”

CHICAGO, May 11, 2005 ( – Kraft Foods, makers of popular products like Macaroni and Cheese, Kraft Singles, Oreo cookies, Maxwell House coffee, and Ritz Crackers is a sponsor of the 2006 Gay Olympic Games in Chicago, according to an e-mail release from Donald E. Wildmon, Chairman of the American Family Association.
More from LifeSiteNews here.

Another company on my "Do Not Buy" list...And I do really like a number of their products. No more Miracle-Whip? Yikes!

It seems a small sacrifice to make, and surely there are comparable products. I haven't bought Levi's or Docker's in years because of the company's anti-second amendment position and have suffered no ill-effects...I discovered that I like Wrangler's better as a result. After this post is done, I'll be checking the kitchen cupboards and fridge to see how much of an effort this is going to be.

More Religious Education from the Post Dispatch

Here's a good one which I did not know:
Those pagan Catholics

I DIDN'T READ the article about Pope John Paul being the anti-Christ, but whoever said it knew what they were talking about. And to the person that said "go back in history," if you do you'll learn that most of the Catholic church's doctrines are based on paganism.
Now, if only the Post or one of its astute contributors would define "paganism" for me, I'd be well on my way to a real education!

And apparently, it wasn't only area Catholics who were upset about the "anti-Christ" comments:
Who's the Anti-Christ now?

THIS COMMENT IS directed at the idiots who somehow think that the pope was the anti-Christ. I'm not a Catholic, but I'm sure that a lot of these idiots wouldn't know an anti-Christ if one stared him in the eye. It goes to show that they don't because of who they voted to elect last November.

Missouri Pharmacists Refuse to Stock "Morning After" Pill

Missouri Pharmacists Bypassing Conscience Debate by Not Stocking the Abortifacient Morning-After Pill

ST. LOUIS, Missouri, May 11, 2005 ( – Most Missouri pharmacists are bypassing the conscience debate by simply not stocking the controversial abortifacient morning-after pill according to a survey of pharmacies conducted by NARAL (National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League) Pro-Choice Missouri. NARAL found that, of 928 pharmacies surveyed statewide, less than a third – 29 percent – carried the Plan B prescription abortifacient, marketed as “emergency contraception.”
More at LifeSiteNews.

Of course, those who have no qualms about murdering innocent children are frantic and angry about this. Initially, pharmacists are refusing to dispense the drugs based upon conscience. However, as we have seen the recent tyranical action of the 'governor' in Illinois, violations of conscience and religious beliefs mean nothing to these pro-death fanatics.

An example of the confused rhetoric of the minds of some people around these parts can be seen in a recent letter to the editor of the Post Dispatch:
Sex and sexism

Pharmacists and pharmacies refusing to dispense the morning-after pill is just another example of discrimination against women. Can you imagine a pharmacist denying a man Viagra or a condom?

If men had to take the responsibility of bearing and raising children, birth control and abortion never would be in danger of being illegal.

Sylvia Driskill
OFallon, Mo.
Because the world has no shortage of fools and malevolent individuals, the murder of innocent unborn children will continue unless hearts and minds are converted. I have no doubt that sooner or later, dictators posing as government officials will mandate, via goverment regulations, minimum types of drugs which pharmacists will be required to carry and dispense despite their religious beliefs and violations of conscience. Since a successful business decision may be made to refuse to stock such killing poisons, it would only be a matter of time before 'free enterprise' decisions are thwarted and pharmacies would become merely extensions of another government agency under the direction of pro-death zealots.

Archdiocese names new parishes

The St. Louis Archdiocese recently announced the names for the new Northeast Deanery parishes.

The parishes will close or merge with other churches June 30.

In the Spanish Lake area, the new parish will be called Our Lady of the Holy Rosary at the present site of Our Lady of Loretto Church, 11725 Bellefontaine Road in Spanish Lake.

In the Florissant area, the new parish will be called St. Rose Philippine Duchesne at the present St. Dismas Church, 2650 Parker Road in Florissant.

A Credo Membership Request from the Treasurer

I received a request from Credo Treasurer, Howard Brandt, concerning renewing membership in Credo for those who are already members, or joining if you are not a member.

Please see the post here.

Abp. Levada as Prefect of CDF? "It's a done deal"...

Archbishop William J. Levada of San Francisco is likely to be chosen to be the new Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith...

"It's a done deal," a senior Vatican official told TIME on Tuesday, after days of rumors that the American was emerging as the frontrunner. "This was a decision directly from the Pope. Levada was already asked, and has accepted. If it ends up not happening, it means somebody got to [the Pope] and convinced him to change his mind."

Personally, I don't see this happening. Fr. Fessio remarked recently, if I recall correctly, that the position of prefect will not be filled - at least for a time...This seems to me more 'rumor-mongering' - for what purpose? I don't really know.

Invasion of the Catholic Bloggers

An article (or series of articles) by Valerie Schmatz of Ignatius Insight.

A Problem of Today - The Deadly Sin of Lust

In a previous post about many professed Catholics moving away from the Church by questioning, second guessing, or refusal to assent to her teachings (and I might add that many have been doing this for decades, especially since the legalization of "the Pill" and the outright rejection of the prophetic encyclical of Pope Paul VI, Humanae Vitae), I thought it opportune to post a reflection on one of the seven deadly sins which has lead to this shameful reality among, not only the general population, but even among Catholics.

"He took and healed him and let him go." St. Luke, 14:4.

In his Divine Comedy, the poet Dante tells of a trip to heaven, hell and purgatory. As he comes to the second circle of hell, he finds pitch darkness. A perpetual wind is roaring and moaning. There he sees, like flocks of starlings blown in a winter wind, many souls. Some fly singly, some in couples, whirled here and there and dashed against the rocky cliffs. For them there is never a moment's rest. Their wails and curses pierce the roar­ing gale.

These are the souls who had given themselves up to all kinds of impurity, and had never repented. In life they permitted themselves to be blown about by the gusts of passion. They made no effort to control their desires. Their punishment is to be blown about forever in this black, blustering breeze of hell.

The poet also takes us to the mountain of Purgatory. There we find those who had sinned against chastity, but who had repented and tried to correct their ways. Here they make amends for their sins. They were in the last and highest terrace of the mountain, because, as Dante maintains, this is the last sin that men get rid of.

And what was their purifying punishment? From the side of the moun­tain shot forth flames of fire almost leaping across their path. It was a fear­ful sight. But these souls atoning for their impurities walked willingly through the flames, singing a hymn to the God of purity, the Father of mercy.

The flames caused intense pain but no injury. They were the very opposite of the earthly fires of lust, which cause pleasure but also cause injury.

At last they come to an Angel of God, who, with flaming sword, joyfully sings to them: "Blessed are the clean of heart."

Dante and Virgil must pass through this flame also to reach the pathway that leads to the Earthly Paradise at the top. There Dante learned with new clarity that true love, unselfish love, drives out mere lust.

1. Lust, the third horseman of spiritual death, is an immoderate love of fleshly pleasure. It is a desire for impure and excessive indulgence. It is displeasing to God who expressly forbade it, and is nearly always a mortal sin. We see how God punished this sin with the Deluge (Genesis, 7 :11), and with the destruction of Sodom (Genesis, 19 :24). It causes the loss of more souls than any other sin.

2. Lust takes various forms and shapes:
a. It is lust purposely and knowingly to cause or to keep impure pic­tures in the mind. Most impurity begins in the mind or imagination.

b. Lust leads to the reading of sensual books and magazines.

c. It prompts people to attend movies or watch shows which are morally objectionable.

d. It makes people hear and repeat sexually explicit 'jokes' or stories, and talk about such subjects with impure pleasure.

e. It leads men and women to seek impure company and engage in promiscuity, and some even accept and embrace the unnatural and deviant sin of homosexuality.

f. It makes people immodest in their dress, their actions and their very walk and talk.

g. It leads to impurity alone.

h. It causes some to lead others into sin.
3. The effects of impurity are especially deadly:
a. It drives out grace, the life of the soul.

b. It creates a dislike for prayer and good works.

c. It weakens faith and dims the spiritual vision.

d. It inspires beastly selfishness, artificial contraception, cruelty, injustice, and sometimes even ending in abortion or other murders.

e. It makes people lazy both physically and spiritually.

f. It creates a distaste for all religion.

g. It fills the soul with discouragement and despair.

h. It weakens and often destroys the health from sexually transmitted diseases, some which lead even to death (AIDS).

i. It breaks up families and homes, fills our prisons and hospitals, costs countless millions to the tax-payer, and brings pain and disgrace to the innocent as well as to the guilty.
4. What are the weapons against this killer of souls? Time and again we have heard what to do. Perhaps today all may take these suggestions to heart, when we realize the harm done to soul and body by immoderate desire for sexual pleasure:
a. Avoid the occasions of sin. Avoid like leprosy the places, people, situations, and times when tempted against purity.

b. Pray, not only when temptation comes, but also in those untempted moments.

c. We must have help to be chaste. Our best helps are fervent and frequent
Confession and Holy Communion.

d. We should deny ourselves other, smaller things. This helps to build up will power.

e. Remember the terrible punishments of impurity. Keep in mind Dante's picture of sinful souls, impure, unrepentant souls, knocked around like birds in a storm, in the dark, dread pits of hell. Also remember, as encouragement, his picture of souls who com­mitted impurities, but repented and reformed.

f. Watch the senses of sight, hearing and touch.

g. Keep busy with work or some hobby.

h. Be humble. We should know and admit that we cannot go it alone.

i. Trust in God. He will not allow us to be tempted above our powers to resist. He is ready to give us His grace and help at all times.

We read in the Gospel of Luke, quoted above, that Jesus cures a man of dropsy. Lust is like dropsy - a spiritual dropsy. Christ will also cure those of lust if they come near and stay near to Him. One need only look up to our Lord today and ask Him to cure us of all impurity in mind, speech and act. One need only ask him to make one pure after the example of Himself and His Blessed Mother.
Adapted from Prayer, Precepts, and Virtues
by Fr. Arthur Tonne, 1949

Gospel for Wednesday, 7th Week of Easter

From: John 17:11b-19

The Priestly Prayer of Jesus (Continuation)

(Jesus lifted his eyes to heaven and said, ) [11b] "Holy Father, keep them in thy name, which thou has given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. [12] While I was with them, I kept them in thy name, which thou hast given me; I have guarded them, and none of them is lost but the son of perdition, that the scripture might be fulfilled. [13] But now I am coming to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. [14] I have given them thy word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world. [15] I do not pray that thou shouldst take them out of the world, but that thou shouldst keep them from the evil one. [16] They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. [17] Sanctify them in the truth; thy word is truth. [18] As thou didst send me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. [19] And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be consecrated in truth.

11-19. Jesus now asks the Father to give his disciples four things--unity, perseverance, joy and holiness. By praying him to keep them in his name (v. 11) he is asking for their perseverance in the teaching he has given them (cf. v. 6) and in communion with him. An immediate consequence of this perseverance is unity: "that they may be one, even as we are one"; this unity which he asks for his disciples is a reflection of the unity of the three divine Persons.

He also prays that none of them should be lost, that the Father should guard and protect them, just as he himself protected them while he was still with them. Thirdly, as a result of their union with God and perseverance they will share in the joy of Christ (v. 13): in this life, the more we know God and the more closely we are joined to him, the happier will we be; in eternal life our joy will be complete, because our knowledge and love of God will have reached its climax.

Finally, he prays for those who, though living in the world, are not of the world, that they may be truly holy and carry out the mission he has entrusted to them, just as he did the work his Father gave him to do.

12. "That the scripture might be fulfilled": this is an allusion to what he said to the Apostles a little earlier (Jn 13:18) by directly quoting Scripture: "He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me" (Ps 41:10). Jesus makes these references to Judas' treachery in order to strengthen the Apostles' faith by showing that he knew everything in advance and that the Scriptures had already foretold what would happen.

However, Judas went astray through his own fault and not because God arranged things that way; his treachery had been taking shape little by little, through his petty infidelities, and despite our Lord helping him to repent and get back on the right rode (cf. note on Jn 13:21-32); Judas did not respond to this grace and was responsible for his own downfall. God, who sees the future, predicted the treachery of Judas in the Scripture; Christ, being God, knew that Judas would betray him and it is with immense sorrow that he now tells the Apostles.

14-16. In Sacred Scripture "world" has a number of meanings. First, it means the whole of creation (Gen 1:1ff) and, within creation, mankind, which God loves most tenderly (Prov 8:31). This is the meaning intended here when our Lord says, "I do not pray that thou shouldst take them out of the world, but that thou shouldst keep them from the evil one" (v. 15). "I have taught this constantly using words from holy Scripture. The world is not evil, because it has come from God's hands, because it is his creation, because Yahweh looked upon it and saw that it was good (cf. Gen 1:7ff). We ourselves, mankind, make it evil and ugly with our sins and infidelities. Have no doubt: any kind of evasion from the honest realities of daily life is for you, men and women of the world, something opposed to the will of God" ([St] J. Escriva, "Conversations", 114).

In the second place, "world" refers to the things of this world, which do not last and which can be at odds with the things of the spirit (cf. Mt 16:26).

Finally, because evil men have been enslaved by sin and by the devil, "the ruler of the world" (Jn 12:31; 16:11), the "world" sometimes means God's enemy, something opposed to Christ and his followers (Jn 1:10). In this sense the "world" is evil, and therefore Jesus is not of the world, nor are his disciples (v. 16). It is also this pejorative meaning which is used by traditional teaching which describes the world, the flesh and the devil as enemies of the soul against which one has to be forever vigilant. "The world, the flesh and the devil are a band of adventurers who take advantage of the weakness of that savage you bear within you, and want you to hand over to them, in exchange for the glittering tinsel of a pleasure--which is worth nothing--the pure gold and the pearls and the diamonds and rubies drenched in the life-blood of your God-Redeemer, which are the price and the treasure of your eternity" ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 708).

17-19. Jesus prays for the holiness of his disciples. God alone is the Holy One; in his holiness people and things share. "Sanctifying" has to do with consecrating and dedicating something to God, excluding it from being used for profane purposes; thus God says to Jeremiah: "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations" (Jer 1:5). If something is to be consecrated to God it must be perfect, that is, holy. Hence, a consecrated person needs to have moral sanctity, needs to be practising the moral virtues. Our Lord here asks for both things for his disciples, because they need them if they are to fulfill their supernatural mission in the world.

"For their sake I consecrate myself": these words mean that Jesus Christ, who has been burdened with the sins of men, consecrates himself to the Father through his sacrifice on the Cross. By this are all Christians sanctified: "So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood" (Heb 13:12). So, after Christ's death, men have been made sons of God by Baptism, sharers in the divine nature and enabled to attain the holiness to which they have been called (cf. Vatican II, "Lumen Gentium", 40).
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, May 10, 2005

May 26-28, Symposium on the Holy Eucharist

The Canons Regular of the New Jerusalem, in response to the request of the Holy Father, will present a three day symposium on the Holy Eucharist in conjunction with the Solemnity of Corpus Christi:

The Body and Blood of Christ: Treasure of the Church

The speakers at this symposium will be:
His Excellency, Most Reverend Raymond L Burke,
Dr. Alice von Hildebrand,
Dr. Lawrence Feingold, and
Dom Daniel Augustine Oppenheimer, Prior, Canons Regular of the New Jerusalem.

The symposium will be held at the
Cardinal Rigali Center
20 Archbishop May Dr.
St Louis, MO 63119 (for directions call 314 792-7000)

For more information, see the CRNJ Symposium Flyer.

Thanks to Johnna H. for the update.

June 5 - Fr. Joseph M Bisig on "The Pope, the Vatican and the FSSP"

Credo of the Catholic Laity is proud to present:

Father Joseph M. Bisig

Speaking on the Topic
“The Pope, the Vatican and the FSSP"

On Sunday, June 5th, 6:00PM at the
Radisson Hotel
7750 Carondelet Blvd.
Clayton MO.

Credo's June Forum speaker has a very interesting background. He was ordained a priest in June of 1977 by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. From 1979 -1986 he was Rector of the Seminary in Zaitzkofen Germany. Msgr. Klaus Gamber, a good friend of Prof. Joseph Ratzinger, was a teacher there.

In 1982 Father Bisig was elected a member of the general Counsel of the Society of Pius X. He left the society in 1988 when Archbishop Lefebvre consecrated four bishops against the will of the Holy Father.

He was a founder of the Priestly Society of St. Peter and served two terms as its Superior General from 1988 to 2000. In this function he was appointed as an auditor to the European Synod in Oct. 1999 by Pope John Paul II.

Father Bisig studied dogmatic theology in Rome from 2001 to 2004 which concluded with a license in Theology (S.T.L.) He is currently Vice Rector of the F.S.S.P. Seminary and teacher for Dogmatic in Denton Nebraska.

As a founder and Superior General of the Fraternity of St. Peter, Father Bisig has made many trips to Rome and had met with the late Pope John Paul II and the current Pope Benedict XVI on a number of occasions. His most recent trip to Rome was in April of this year.

Father Bisig has a story you don’t want to miss. For more information, call (314)-894-0357 or click here.

The Movement Away from Christ, the Church and Truth

There has been so much written lately about Andrew Sullivan's whines and laments as well as those of others who state that they are Catholics yet they are upset or discouraged by the election of Cardinal Ratzinger as our new Holy Father, or with the perennial teachings of the Church, especially with respect to the vice of Lust or one of its many relatives. Most of the rants and complaints, I have ignored, considering them to be little more than the incoherent tantrums of spoiled and arrogant children. So many people today, it seems, are willing and eager to embrace Christianity without the Cross - which is not Christianity at all, but a perversion of it.

How can it be that so many people who profess to be Catholic hold the position that the Holy Father and the Church are neither compassionate nor inclusive - or that the Church wishes everyone to be non-thinking beings following everything in lockstep with her decrees?

We read about this theologian, or that pundit, or some self-proclaimed “Catholic” newspaper or magazine telling us how the Church is not as embracing as Jesus was or would be if He were walking among us today. Rational people must, of necessity, dismiss this opinion as flawed and misleading, and an affront to the teaching authority which Christ gave His Church.

How many times have we seen children, spoiled by excesses and lack of discipline, stomp off in a fit to some remote area of the house when one has denied them some pleasure or privilege? And even adolescents and adults can be seen, at times, engaging in a similar manner.

I suspect that many of these people who are upset are actually deluded into believing something which they "think" they see. Of course, they are perceiving that the Church is becoming more and more distant. And they cannot reconcile the fact that Jesus would ever permit His Bride, the Church, to be in this position - moving farther and farther from where they think they are and where the Church should be.

However, we know that the Church has not moved from her unshakeable foundations – we have Christ’s promise about this. She stands firm and secure with her spouse, Jesus Christ, who is Truth, God Who is immutable, unchanging. So then, what explains this distance which appears to grow farther and farther with each passing day?

Imagine, if you will, that one is in his car pulling away from his home - perhaps he is even upset about something and feels the urge to "get away". Glancing into the rearview mirror, he sees his house becoming smaller and more distant. Of course, you know that his house has not moved, that it has remained fixed, secured to its foundation. Suppose one were to assert that his house were (actually) moving away from him, making it difficult for him to return home, would he not be viewed as someone who is slightly “touched”, a person who has difficulty perceiving reality?

Those who are crying out that the Church is exclusionary and distant are either being deceptive or they have been deceived. He looks at his rearview mirror while he exerts pressure on the accelerator, and asserts that the Church is fleeing from him. He appears to be oblivious to his own actions.

Our Lord calls to us to come to Him, not flee from Him. Those who are racing away from the Church are also racing away from our Lord. He does not force anyone to come to Him – He grants us sufficient graces to accept Him and to follow Him.

Those who are seeing the Church in their rearview mirrors should immediately stop, perhaps even to slam on the brakes – before the Church is completely out of their sight. One need only to turn around and make the trip back to the Church, stopping, if need be, for clear directions.

Those who have journeyed far from the Church and who can no longer see the Church or the road of return must stop and get their bearings if they wish to go back to the Lord. There are still those out in the world, though they are not of the world, who can provide maps and directions to guide these people back to our Lord and His Church. The Church is always there, in the same place where it has always been, built on the foundation that never fails – Jesus Christ.

When you see someone lost, do you not try to help him find his way? We must point out to our lost brothers and sisters the way back to Christ and His Church – to that place of safety and security, where Jesus calls all of us. The farther one strays from the Church, the easier it becomes to keep on going farther and farther away until one reaches a point where even hope is placed in jeopardy. The person becomes severely blinded by the darkness that surrounds him. By accepting God's graces, he may repent and return home to the Church. We should pray for the conversion of the hearts and minds of those who, through pride and arrogance or perhaps, even ignorance, are content to act like little spoiled children having one tantrum after another. Perhaps, also, a dose of loving discipline for those who are most offensive would be in order.

The fact remains that a Catholic is either a faithful, practicing Catholic or one is not. One's obligation as a faithful Catholic is to follow Christ by remaining faithful to Peter who speaks with Christ's authority, listening to him as he informs us of that which is right and wrong. As the Holy Father possesses the Keys handed down from Peter, from our Lord, we must remain rooted in the Church's teaching which is Christ's teaching. It is only by this humble act of conforming our wills to Christ's will that we shall experience that true freedom - the freedom from the slavery of our own pride and and freedom to choose the good and do that which we ought to do.

Cardinal Arinze to Take Possession of Titular Church

VATICAN CITY, MAY 10, 2005 (VIS) - A communique published today by the Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff states that at 6.30 p.m. on Sunday, May 22, Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, Cardinal Francis Arinze, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, will take possession of the suburbicarian Church of Velletri- Segni, in a ceremony to be held in the cathedral of Velletri.

Bishop Foley Resigns & Msgr. Madden Appointed as Auxiliary in Baltimore

VATICAN CITY, MAY 10, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Birmingham, U.S.A., presented by Bishop David E. Foley, upon having reached the age limit.
Whatever happened to Bishop Gumbleton's resignation? Lost in the mail?
- Appointed Msgr. Denis James Madden, adjunct secretary general of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association of New York, as auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese of Baltimore (area 12,430, population 3,006,607, Catholics 506,587, priests 574, permanent deacons 183, religious 1,426), U.S.A. The bishop-elect was born in Carbondale, U.S.A., in 1940 and ordained a priest in 1967.
I take it he was born in Carbondale, Illinois...


Diocesan Property Sale Will Pay for Abuse Settlement

A Roman Catholic diocese in Newfoundland plans to sell all its churches and missions to raise the money to pay the 39 victims of sexual assault by a priest who was convicted more than a decade ago, a bishop said Monday.

Jesuit officials say America editor resigned after Vatican complaints

Jesuit Father Jose M. de Vera, spokesman for the Society of Jesus in Rome, said Father Reese decided to resign after discussing the situation with his Jesuit superiors, following Cardinal Ratzinger's election as Pope Benedict XVI.

Father de Vera said the articles that drew complaints treated a relatively small number of issues: "Dominus Iesus," the doctrinal congregation's document on Christ as the unique savior; same-sex marriage; stem-cell research; and the reception of Communion by Catholic politicians who support legal abortion.
"The policy of (Father Reese) was to present both sides of the discussion. ... He wanted to present both sides within the Catholic community. But that did not sit well with Vatican authorities," Father de Vera said.
It seems that there is a proper way to discuss certain issues that can be the subject of a discussion, just as there is an improper way to present opposing "opinions" as legitimate views regarding teachings of the Church. One who is Catholic must defend the teachings of the Church, especially against erroneous opinions or "theological" disagreement. Reese apparently was unable to do that.
Father de Vera said that because the articles touched on doctrinal issues the Vatican wanted the Jesuits to write articles "defending whatever position the church has manifested, even if it is not infallible."

Father de Vera also said he thought some of the complaints probably came from Catholics in the United States, and that Cardinal Ratzinger's congregation was reacting to them.
Catholics from the US? Complaining? Really?
Among other issues of church teaching and practice debated in the pages of America under Father Reese were homosexual priests, mandatory clerical celibacy, inclusive language in the liturgy and the appropriateness of some Vatican actions and documents.
More from CNS here.

Catholic League website hacked

Over the weekend, the Catholic League website was hacked, apparently by Islamic extremists.

Missouri House panel guts anti-abortion bill

Matt Franck, the correspondent for this article can't seem to write the words "pro-life" unless it happens to be in a direct quote, so I have taken the liberty of altering the first two paragraphs of his article.
JEFFERSON CITY - A Missouri House committee on Monday gutted a bill cherished by anti-abortion [pro-life] advocates, setting the stage for a rare showdown between Republicans over reproductive issues.

Several anti-abortion [pro-life] lawmakers are vowing to restore parts of the bill, despite directives from Republican leaders to pass more modest abortion legislation this year.
Email Franck at "" to ask him to use the word "pro-life" rather than incomplete term "anti-abortion".

Gospel for Tuesday, 7th Week of Easter

From: John 17:1-11a

The Priestly Prayer of Jesus

[1] When Jesus had spoken these words, He lifted His eyes to Heaven and said, "Father, the hour has come; glorify Thy Son that the Son may glorify Thee, [2] since Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom Thou hast given Him. [3] And this is eternal life, that they know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent. [4] I glorified Thee on earth, having accomplished the work which Thou gavest Me to do; [5] and now, Father, glorify Thou Me in Thy own presence with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was made.

[6] "I have manifested Thy name to the men who Thou gavest Me out of the world; Thine they were, and Thou gavest them to Me, and they have kept Thy word. [7] Now they know that everything Thou hast given Me is from Thee; [8] for I have given them the words which Thou gavest Me, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from Thee; and they have believed that thou didst send Me. [9] I am praying for them; I am not praying for the world but for those whom Thou hast given Me, for they are Thine; [10] all Mine are Thine, and Thine are Mine, and I am glorified in them. [11a] And now I am no more in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to Thee."

1-26. At the end of the discourse of the Last Supper (Chapters 13-16) begins what is called the Priestly Prayer of Jesus, which takes up all of Chapter 17. It is given that name because Jesus addresses His Father in a very moving dialogue in which, as Priest, He offers Him the imminent sacrifice of His passion and death. It shows us the essential elements of His redemptive mission and provides us with teaching and a model for our own prayer. "The Lord, the Only-begotten and co-eternal with the Father, could have prayed in silence if necessary, but He desired to show Himself to the Father in the attitude of a supplicant because He is our Teacher. [...] Accordingly this prayer for His disciples was useful not only to those who heard it, but to all who would read it" (St. Augustine, "In Ioann. Evang.", 104, 2).

The Priestly Prayer consists of three parts: in the first (verses 1-5) Jesus asks for the glorification of His holy human nature and the acceptance, by His Father, of His sacrifice on the cross. In the second part (verses 6-19) He prays for His disciples, whom He is going to send out into the world to proclaim the redemption which He is now about to accomplish. And then (verses 20-26) He prays for unity among all those who will believe in Him over the course of the centuries, until they achieve full union with Him in Heaven.

1-5. The word "glory" here refers to the splendor, power and honor which `belong to God'. The Son is God equal to the Father, and from the time of His Incarnation and birth and especially through His death and resurrection His divinity has been made manifest. "We have beheld His glory, glory as the only Son from the Father" (John 1:14). The glorification of Jesus has three dimensions to it. 1) It promotes the glory of the Father, because Christ, in obedience to God's redemptive decree (cf. Philippians 2:6), makes the Father known and so brings God's saving work to completion. 2) Christ is glorified because His divinity, which He has voluntarily disguised, will eventually be manifested through His human nature which will be seen after the Resurrection invested with the very authority of God Himself over all creation (verses 2, 5). 3) Christ, through His glorification, gives man the opportunity to attain eternal life, to know God the Father and Jesus Christ, His only Son: this in turn redounds to the glorification of the Father and of Jesus Christ while also involving man's participation in divine glory (verse 3).

"The Son glorifies You, making You known to all those You have given Him. Furthermore, if the knowledge of God is life eternal, we the more tend to life, the more we advance in this knowledge. [...] There shall the praise of God be without end, where there shall be full knowledge of God; and because in Heaven this knowledge shall be full, there shall glorifying be of the highest" (St. Augustine, "In Ioann. Evang.", 105, 3).

6-8. Our Lord has prayed for Himself; now He prays for His Apostles, who will continue His redemptive work in the world. In praying for them, Jesus describes some of the prerogatives of those who will form part of the Apostolic College.

First, there is the prerogative of being chosen by God: "Thine they were...". God the Father chose them from all eternity (cf. Ephesians 1:3-4) and in due course Jesus revealed this to them: "The Lord Jesus, having prayed at length to the Father, called to Himself those whom He willed and appointed twelve to be with Him, whom He might send to preach the Kingdom of God (cf. Mark 3:13-19; Matthew 10:1-42). These apostles (cf. Luke 6:13) He constituted in the form of a college or permanent assembly, at the head of which He placed Peter, chosen from among them (cf. John 21:15-17)" (Vatican II, "Lumen Gentium", 19). Also, the Apostles enjoy the privilege of hearing God's teaching direct from Jesus. From this teaching, which they accept with docility, they learn that Jesus came from the Father and that therefore He is God's envoy (verse 8): that is, they are given to know the relationships that exist between the Father and the Son.

The Christian, who also is a disciple of Jesus, gradually acquires knowledge of God and of divine things through living a life of faith and maintaining a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

"Recalling this human refinement of Christ, who spent His life in the service of others, we are doing much more than describing a pattern of human behavior; we are discovering God. Everything Christ did has a transcendental value. It shows us the nature of God and beckons us to believe in the love of God who created us and wants us to share His intimate life" ([St] J. Escriva, "Christ Is Passing By", 109).

11-19. Jesus now asks the Father to give His disciple four things--unity, perseverance, joy and holiness. By praying Him to keep them in His name (verse 11) He is asking for their perseverance in the teaching He has given them (cf. verse 6) and in communion with Him. An immediate consequence of this perseverance is unity: "that they may be one, even as We are one"; this unity which He asks for His disciples is a reflection of the unity of the Three Divine Persons.

He also prays that none of them should be lost, that the Father should guard and protect them, just as He Himself protected them while He was with them. Thirdly, as a result of their union with God and perseverance they will share in the joy of Christ (verse 13): in this life, the more we know God and the more closely we are joined to Him, the happier will we be; in eternal life our joy will be complete, because our knowledge and love of God will have reached its climax.

Finally, He prays for those who, though living in the world, are not of the world, that they may be truly holy and carry out the mission He has entrusted to them, just as He did the work His Father gave Him to do.
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, May 09, 2005

Pope Benedict XVI's 1st Homily From Cathedral of Rome

The first part of the homily (in English) has been published by Zenit which will followup tomorrow with part 2. The full homily in Italian is here.

**** Updated *****

Part 2 of Pope's Benedict's homily (from Zenit) is here.

Pope: Media Can "Spread Peace or Foment Violence"

The End of Catholicism in France?

Cube vs. Cathedral: The Lost Match of the Church of France

Secular culture is largely winning, and sociologist Danièle Hervieu-Léger announces the end of French Catholicism. But the Church bears part of the blame. Gianni Ambrosio explains why.
by Sandro Magister
ROMA, May 9, 2005 -– By electing Joseph Ratzinger as pope, the cardinals made a strategic decision too: they identified Europe as the epicenter of the great conflict of faith, culture, and civilization – which hinges upon the vision of life and man – that the Catholic Church must face during the next years and decades.

Within Europe, France is both the real and symbolic center of this conflict.

In symbolic terms, the conflict is one between "The Cube and the Cathedral," the title of the most recent essay by political analyst and theologian George Weigel, published just recently in the United States.
The error of the Church in France – beginning after the Second World War – is that of having rejected its own rich religious tradition in the name of a new pastoral proposal of an abstract character:

"One path was left behind as out of date, while some other possible paths were pointed out in view of pastoral renewal, but these were based on a utopian model that refers only to community, fraternity, small groups, and individual choice."

Diocese of Palm Beach: No Public Position on Judge Approving Abortion

A Diocese of Palm Beach employee's efforts to have Juvenile Court Judge Ronald Alvarez barred from receiving Holy Communion after Alvarez ruled on a 13-year-old's abortion was an attempt to intimidate him, the judge said Friday.

Don Kazimir, director of the diocese's Respect Life Office, called Alvarez's office Wednesday, telling the judge's assistant that he was doing so on behalf of the diocese. Kazimir's call came two days after Alvarez ruled in the case of a teenager who became pregnant after running away from a state-supervised group home.

Kazimir acted on his own and wasn't following a directive, diocese spokesman Jim Brosemer said Friday. Kazimir could not be reached for comment.

Latin Mass returns to Sioux Falls Cathedral

Its return to the Catholic Diocese of Sioux Falls was approved by Bishop Samuel Aquila of Fargo. He is serving as the acting administrator for eastern South Dakota until a new bishop is named, probably later this year.Bishop Robert Carlson, who was appointed to the Saginaw, Mich., diocese in late 2004, had intended to give permission for a traditional Mass before he was reassigned, says the Rev. Martin Lawrence, associate pastor at the Cathedral.

Pope John Paul II had authorized dioceses to offer Mass in Latin with a bishop's approval.

"It's our heritage, the way Mass was celebrated for centuries and centuries," Lawrence says.Mass was celebrated exclusively in Latin throughout the Roman Catholic Church until shortly after the Second Vatican Council concluded in 1965. Reforms then included offering Mass in the vernacular, or the common language.
More here.

Archbishop Burke seeks to keep priest in prison

St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke has written a letter to three churches warning that one of their former pastors, the Rev. James Beine, will soon be released from prison - and asking anyone who might be able to put him back behind bars to come forward.

Burke asked the pastors of St. Peter in St. Charles, St. Andrew in Lemay and St. Francis de Sales in St. Louis to read his letter at all Masses next weekend. Beine served in the three parishes between his ordination in 1967 and his removal from ministry in 1977.

The letter will be printed in next week's archdiocesan newspaper, the St. Louis Review, and Web site, according to spokesman Jamie Allman. It is the first time Burke, as the leader of the St. Louis archdiocese, has taken such public action against a priest.

"I offer my heartfelt apologies to any victim of James Beine," Burke wrote in the letter, "and I encourage anyone who has been a victim of James Beine, or of any other member of the clergy, to contact the Archdiocese or the law enforcement authorities."

Gospel for Monday, 7th Week of Easter

From: John 16:29-33

Fullness of Joy (Continuation)

[29] His (Jesus') disciples said, "Ah, now You are speaking plainly, not in any figure! [30] Now we know that You know all things, and need none to question You; by this we believe that You came from God." [31] Jesus answered them, "Do you now believe? [32] The hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, every man to his home, and will leave Me alone; yet I am not alone, for the Father is with Me. [33] I have said this to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."

25-30. As can be seen also from other passages in the Gospels, Jesus spent time explaining His doctrine in more detail to His Apostles than to the crowd (cf. Mark 4:10-12 and paragraph)--to train them for their mission of preaching the Gospel to the whole world (cf. Matthew 28:18-20). However, our Lord also used metaphors or parables when imparting instruction to the Apostles, and He does so in this discourse of the Last Supper--the vine, the woman giving birth, etc.: He stimulates their curiosity and they, because they do not understand, ask Him questions (cf. verses 17-18). Jesus now tells them that the time is coming when He will speak to them in a completely clear way so that they will know exactly what He means. This He will do after the Resurrection (cf. Acts 1:3). But even now, since He knows their thoughts, He is making it ever plainer to them that He is God, for only God can know what is happening inside someone (cf. 2:25). Verse 28, "I came from the Father and have come into the world; again, I am leaving the world and going to the Father" summarizes the mystery of Christ's Person (cf. John 1:14; 20:31).

31-32. Jesus moderates the Apostles' enthusiasm, which expresses itself in a spontaneous confession of faith; He does this by asking them a question which has two dimensions. On the one hand, it is a kind of reproach for their having taken too long to believe in Him: it is true that there were other occasions when they expressed faith in the Master (cf. John 6:68-69; etc.), but until now they have not fully realized that He is the One sent by the Father. The question also refers to the fragility of their faith: they believe, and yet very soon they will abandon Him into the hands of His enemies. Jesus requires us to have a firm faith: it is not enough to show it in moments of enthusiasm, it has to stand the test of difficulties and opposition.

33. The Second Vatican Council teaches in connection with this passage: "The Lord Jesus who said `Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world' (John 16:33), did not by these words promise complete victory to His Church in this world. This sacred Council rejoices that the earth which has been sown with the seed of the Gospel is now bringing forth fruit in many places under the guidance of the Spirit of the Lord, who is filling the world" ("Presbyterorum Ordinis", 22).
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland.

Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Suspended Catholic priest marries

As they recited their wedding vows Saturday evening at Shakespeare Dallas' site in Samuell-Grand Park, John Stack and Rosemary McGinn stood atop a platform built for, but ultimately not used in, last season's productions.

Although some could joke that the first play, The Comedy of Errors , could describe many weddings and marriages, the second probably better describes their lives – and the life they are beginning together: As You Like It.
As Father Stack continues to celebrate Mass each Sunday morning at Vines High School in Plano, the Dallas Diocese has proclaimed he is "no longer in union with the Roman Catholic Church."

In what can be described only as an understatement, Father Stack said he is "really curious to see what happens" as he continues to celebrate Mass as a suspended and married priest.