Friday, August 12, 2005

Archbishop Burke's Prayer Request for WYD

Archbishop Burke's weekly column addresses World Youth day. At the conclusion of the article he makes a special request of us:
Please pray for all of the participants in World Youth Day 2005, especially the participants from the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Pray, in a special way, that, through participation in World Youth Day, our young people will come to a deeper knowledge of Christ, a firmer trust in His Word, and a deeper love of Him, especially in the Most Holy Eucharist. Pray that they will receive many graces to know their vocation in life and to respond with an undivided heart.

I ask you on the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Aug. 15, to entrust to our Blessed Mother’s loving care all of the young people who are on pilgrimage to meet the Vicar of Christ and to receive Christ from His vicar. Let us all, with our youth, in the footsteps of the Three Wise Men, go to Christ, and to adore and worship Him alone.
Archbishop Burke leaves on Monday, Aug. 15, to join in the celebration of World Youth Day, and especially as I recall, with the members of the Juventutem. Please remember him, the Holy Father, and all those making this pilgimage, in your daily prayers.

Accused of adultery, Catholic priest resigns

NEW YORK - A Roman Catholic monsignor named in court papers as "the other man" in a divorce case resigned Thursday as rector of St. Patrick's Cathedral, the New York archdiocese said.

Cardinal Edward Egan accepted Msgr. Eugene Clark's resignation from the key church position despite the 79-year-old Clark's denials that he has been carrying on an affair with his 46-year-old private secretary, the church said.
The last I heard, Msgr Clark's show on EWTN was to continue to be aired. Actually, as I now understand it, the program has been pulled.....We should pray for all of those involved and affected by this...

More here.

It's Time to Say "Adios" to this guy...

Catholic Priest Defies Church and Defends “Ordination” of Women “Priests”
COBOURG, ON, August 11, 2005 ( – In the latest sequel to the lurid events of earlier this summer, the so-called Catholic “ordinations” of nine women in a “secret” ceremony on the St. Lawrence River, a Cobourg Catholic priest has come out strongly in defense of the women and their actions.

In an interview with the Osprey News Network the Catholic priest openly defied the teachings of the Catholic Church. “I believe that this is the beginning of a new and awesome change in the life of the Church,” said Rev. Edward Cachia of St. Michael’s Catholic Church about the farcical ordinations.

“I feel a deep sense of respect and admiration towards these brave women. I would like to congratulate them for following their [malformormed and prideful] conscience and responding to the call [of Satan, no dount] of becoming priests and deacons.”
This "priest" has, more than likely, led many of the faithful away from the Church - perhaps his superiors will find the courage to remove him from any active ministry while we pray for his immortal soul!

Link here.

Gospel for Friday, 19th Week in Ordinary Time

From: Matthew 19:3-12

Marriage and Virginity

[3] And Pharisees came up to Him (Jesus) and tested Him by asking, "Is it lawful to divorce one's wife for any cause?" [4] He answered, "Have you not read that He who made them from the beginning made them male and female, [5] and said, `For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one'? [6] So they are no longer two but one. What therefore God has joined together, let no man put asunder." [7] They said to Him, "Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?" [8] He said to them, "For your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. [9] And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for unchastity, and marries another, commits adultery; and he who marries a divorced woman commits adultery."

[10] The disciples said to Him, "If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is not expedient to marry." [11] But He said to them, "Not all men can receive this precept, but only those to whom it is given. [12] For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven. He who is able to receive this, let him receive it."

4-5. "Marriage and married love are by nature ordered to the procreation and education of children. Indeed children are the supreme gift of marriage and greatly contribute to the good of the parents themselves. God Himself said: `It is not good that man should be alone' (Genesis 2:18), and `from the beginning (He) made them male and female' (Matthew 19:4); wishing to associate them in a special way with his own creative work, God blessed man and woman with the words: `Be fruitful and multiply' (Genesis 1:28). Without intending to underestimate the other ends of marriage, it must be said that true married life and the whole structure of family life which results from it is directed to disposing the spouses to cooperate valiantly with the love of the Creator and Savior, who through them will increase and enrich His family from day to day" (Vatican II, "Gaudium Et Spes", 50).

9. Our Lord's teaching on the unity and indissolubility of marriage is the main theme of this passage, apropos of which St. John Chrysostom comments that marriage is a lifelong union of man and woman (cf. "Hom. on St. Matthew", 62). On the meaning of "except for unchastity", see the note on Matthew 5:31-32).

11. "Not all men can receive this precept": our Lord is fully aware that the demands involved in His teaching on marriage and His recommendation of celibacy practised out of love of God run counter to human selfishness. That is why He says that acceptance of this teaching is a gift from God.

12. Our Lord speaks figuratively here, referring to those who, out of love for Him, renounce marriage and offer their lives completely to Him. Virginity embraced for the love of God is one of the Church's most precious charisms (cf. 1 Corinthians 7); the lives of those who practise virginity evoke the state of the blessed in Heaven, who are like the angels (cf. Matthew 22:30). This is why the Church's Magisterium teaches that the state of virginity for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven is higher than the married state (cf. Council of Trent, "De Sacram. Matr.", can. 10; cf. also Pius XII, "Sacra Virginitas"). On virginity and celibacy the Second Vatican Council teaches: "The Church's holiness is also fostered in a special way by the manifold counsels which the Lord proposes to His disciples in the Gospel for them to observe. Towering among these counsels is that precious gift of divine grace given to some by the Father (cf. Matthew 19:11; 1 Corinthians 7:7) to devote themselves to God alone more easily in virginity or celibacy [...]. This perfect continence for love of the Kingdom of Heaven has always been held in high esteem by the Church as a sign and stimulus of love, and as a singular source of spiritual fertility in the world" ("Lumen Gentium", 42; cf. "Perfectae Caritatis", 12). And, on celibacy specifically, see Vatican II's "Presbyterorum Ordinis", 16 and "Optatam Totius", 10.

However, both virginity and marriage are necessary for the growth of the Church, and both imply a specific calling from God: "Celibacy is precisely a gift of the Spirit. A similar though different gift is contained in the vocation to true and faithful married love, directed towards procreation according to the flesh, in the very lofty context of the sacrament of Matrimony. It is obvious that this gift is fundamental for the building up of the great community of the Church, the people of God. But if this community wishes to respond fully to its vocation in Jesus Christ, there will also have to be realized init, in the correct proportion, that other gift, the gift of celibacy `for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven'" (John Paul II, "Letter To All Priests", 1979).
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, August 11, 2005

Condom Plans Cancelled at Youth Fest

Church protests have halted plans to distribute condoms during next week's Catholic World Youth Day festivities, Germany's police union announced Wednesday. "We don't want to offend anyone," a GdP union spokeswoman told AFP, explaining that the decision had been a "question of sensitivity" in light of the Vatican's objections to condom use.
The cops were going to hand out condoms...good grief! But now, they won't...Praise God!

But this apparently isn't over:
...the US organization, Condoms4Life, waving the banner "Good Catholics Use Condoms" said it would not be intimidated.
Maybe they won't be intimidated while on earth - but - what about after that? Condoms4Death is the more appropriate name of this anti-Catholic, anti-religious, anti-humanity group...

Story here.

Gospel for Aug 11, Memorial: St. Claire, Virgin

From: Matthew 18:21-19:1

Forgiveness of Injuries. The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant

[21] Then Peter came up and said to Him (Jesus), "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?" [22] Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.

[23] "Therefore the Kingdom of Heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. [24] When he began the reckoning, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents; [25] and as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. [26] So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, 'Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.' [27] And out of pity for him the lord of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. [28] But that same servant, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat he said, `Pay what you owe.' [29] So his fellow servant fell down and besought him, `Have patience with me, and I will pay you.' [30] He refused and went and put him in prison till he should pay his debt. [31] When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place. [32] Then his lord summoned him and said to him, `You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you besought me; [33] and should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?' [34] And in anger his lord delivered him to the jailers, till he should pay all his debt. [35] So also My Heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart."

[1] Now when Jesus had finished these sayings, He went away from Galilee and entered the region of Judea beyond the Jordan.

21-35. Peter's question and particularly Jesus' reply prescribe the spirit of understanding and mercy which should govern Christians' behavior.

In Hebrew the figure of seventy times seven means the same as "always" (cf. Genesis 4:24): "Therefore, our Lord did not limit forgiveness to a fixed number, but declared that it must be continuous and forever" (Chrysostom, "Hom. on St. Matthew", 6). Here also we can see the contrast between the man's ungenerous, calculating approach to forgiveness, and God's infinite mercy. The parable also clearly shows that we are totally in God's debt. A talent was the equivalent of six thousand denarii, and a denarius a working man's daily wage. Ten thousand talents, an enormous sum, gives us an idea of the immense value attaching to the pardon we receive from God. Overall, the parable teaches that we must always forgive our brothers, and must do so wholeheartedly.

"Force yourself, if necessary, always to forgive those who offend you, from the very first moment. For the greatest injury or offense that you can suffer from them is nothing compared to what God has pardoned you" ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 452).
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, August 10, 2005

Up is Down, Light is Dark, Good is Evil....

Michael Schiavo, Who Caused Wife's Death by Starvation, Honored with ‘Guardian of the Year’ Award

And who are these confused individuals bestowing such an honor?

The Florida State Guardianship Association.

Story here.

Mainstream Media Silent on Violent Planned Parenthood Video

Could it be that PP is one of the beloved harlots of the mainstream media...? What exactly did the Pl(B)anned Parenthood video depict?
  • A female "superhero for choice," named Dionysis, tells a strange-looking proponent of abstinence, "The only truth here is you're ugly, and your momma dresses you funny." The superhero then drowns the man by stuffing him upside down in a trash can full of liquid. "It looks like it's time to take out the trash," the superhero adds.

  • Pro-life picketers are portrayed as very ugly looking, one of whom has awful green skin and yellow eyes.

  • The superhero observes pro-life protesters (she calls them "anti-choice demonstrators") and remarks, "Mostly I wish they would just disappear." She then zaps them with a gun which covers each of the protesters with a giant condom. After a moment, each of them explodes, killing them.

  • In a scene in Washington DC, the Washington Monument is completely enveloped with a giant condom (!).

  • A pro-life senator is dumped in boiling green liquid and lifted out to reveal that he's naked on a plate with an apple in his mouth.

  • Dionysis makes the questionable comment, "Besides, money spent now for the funding of family planning will save billions of dollars in future social expenditures." (Hmmm. Eugenics, anyone?)

  • Dionysis remarks, "I have an appointment with Jerry Falwell, that schmuck."

  • In the closing credits, a pro-life protester is knocked over with a condom and another is completely decapitated!
  • So where is the uproar????

    A Special Report Worth Reading...

    Catholic Clergy and Their Puzzling Support for Liberal Parties and Candidates

    "Mario, the Pious" Questions Roberts' Abilities/Loyalties

    First - I did not coin the phrase "Mario, the Pious"...I heard it used by Rush Limbaugh, so if there are any complaints, please hurl them elsewhere.

    Mario Cuomo, a professed Catholic and former New York governor, called into question Supreme Court nominee John Roberts' ability to be a Supreme Court judge. Cuomo, the self-appointed expert in the Catholic/Political arena, was a guest on Meet the Press Sunday. William Donohue has some cogent observations here:
    For Cuomo to float the idea that John Roberts might be a Vatican robot is as shameless as it is anti-Catholic. By doing so, he not only provides fodder to the enemies of the Catholic Church, he further discredits his credentials as a Catholic spokesman.
    About the only thing wrong in Mr. Donohue's remark is that Cuomo is not and cannot be considered by any clear thinking rational human being as a Catholic spokesman, despite numerous attempts to the contrary by the main stream media or by Cuomo himself. Why, that's almost like saying that Richard McBrien is a Catholic "theologian". Other than that, I say "Kudos, once again!" to the Catholic League for pointing out the anti-Catholic attitudes of many, including those who profess to be Catholic.

    We can, however, continue to pray that God will continue to bestow His blessings on all of us and that we will graciously accept all that He gives us. We can also pray for our own conversion as well as the conversion of others.

    World Youth Day Events Attract All Sorts of Evil Vermin

    And, of course, it's nearly always under some other pretext.

    Pro-Abortion UN Leader to Address World Youth Day Pilgrims in Germany

    Ten U.S. bishops to give catechesis at WYD

    Look at the list of these 10...Can you identify anyone of them who you would NOT want to give your child a catechetical lesson? (A about the one who has no liturgical abuses in his archdiocese? Actually, that was two hints)...
    The 10 are: Cardinal Francis George of Chicago; Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles; Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, of Washington; Archbishop Timothy Dolan of Milwaukee, Archbishop Stefan Soroka of Philadelphia for Ukrainians; Bishop Leonard Blair of Toledo, Ohio; Bishop Blase Cupich of Rapid City, South Dakota; Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Centre, New York; and Auxiliary Bishop Jaime Soto of Orange, California.

    Rock Band Ousted from WYD

    WYD announces cancellation of controversial rock band’s performance

    Apparently because of remarks made by some of members of the band about Pope Benedict...

    Tuesday, August 09, 2005

    Gospel for August 10, Feast: St. Lawrence, Deacon & Martyr

    From: John 12:24-26

    Jesus Foretells His Glorification (Continuation)

    (Jesus said to his disciples,) [24] "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. [25] He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. [26] If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there shall my servant be also; if any one serves me, the Father will honor him."

    24-25. There is an apparent paradox here between Christ's humiliation and his glorification. Thus, "it was appropriate that the loftiness of his glorification should be preceded by the lowliness of his passion" (St Augustine, "In Ioann. Evang.", 51, 8).

    This is the same idea we find in St Paul, when he says that Christ humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross, and that therefore God the Father exalted him above all created things (cf. Phil 2:8-9). This is a lesson and an encouragement to the Christian, who should see every type of suffering and contradiction as a sharing in Christ's cross, which redeems us and exalts us. To be supernaturally effective, a person has to die to himself, forgetting his comfort and shedding his selfishness. "If the grain of wheat does not die, it remains unfruitful. Don't you want to be a grain of wheat, to die through mortification, and to yield a rich harvest? May Jesus bless your wheatfield!" ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 199).

    26. Our Lord has spoken about his sacrifice being a condition of his entering into glory. And what holds good for the Master also applies to his disciples (cf. Mt 10:24; Lk 6:40). Jesus wants each of us to be of service to him. It is a mystery of God's plan that he--who is all, who has all and who needs nothing and nobody--should choose to need our help to ensure that his teaching and the salvation wrought by him reaches all men.

    "To follow Christ: that is the secret. We must accompany him so closely that we come to live with him, like the first Twelve did; so closely, that we become identified with him. Soon we will be able to say, provided we have not put obstacles in the way of grace, that we have put on, have clothed ourselves with our Lord Jesus Christ (cf. Rom 13:14). [...]

    "I have distinguished as it were four stages in our effort to identify ourselves with Christ--seeking him, finding him, getting to know him, loving him. It may seem clear to you that you are only at the first stage. Seek him then, hungrily; seek him within yourselves with all your strength. If you act with determination, I am ready to guarantee that you have already found him, and have begun to get to know him and to love him, and to hold your conversation in heaven (cf. Phil 3:20)" ([St] J. Escriva, "Friends of God", 299-300).
    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.

    Pundit Class Says Roberts' Faith Open for Questioning

    An email from Culture and Cosmos:
    The chorus of pundits who wish to deny John Roberts a seat on the Supreme Court because of his religious beliefs grows louder. We report today on several noted columnists who are calling for Roberts to be questioned on his Catholic faith. All concerned citizens must vigorously resist this kind of appalling behavior.

    Spread the word.

    Yours sincerely,
    Austin Ruse


    Pundit Class Says Roberts' Faith Open for Questioning

    A number of prominent pundits have written columns saying it is entirely legitimate to question Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts about whether his Catholic faith would interfere with his ability to serve on the bench. And in a recent interview former New York Governor Mario Cuomo went so far as to say that Congress should get assurance from Roberts that he will uphold the Constitution even if the pope tells him to do otherwise.

    Writing for the online magazine, Christopher Hitchens says that Catholic judges and the effect their beliefs would have on the way they carry out their duties are deserving of special scrutiny. "Why should this question be asked only of Catholics? Well, that's easy. The Roman Catholic Church claims the right to legislate on morals for all its members and to excommunicate them if they don't conform. The church is also a foreign state, which has diplomatic relations with Washington." Hitchens also takes a swing at the Catholic Justice Antonin Scalia. Noting a speech Scalia gave in Baton Rouge in which he called on audience members to be "fools for Christ" Hitchens remarks, "Whether for 'Christ' or not, Scalia is certainly a fool. He should have fewer allies and emulators on the court, not more."

    Self-identified Catholic E.J. Dionne wrote a column for the Washington Post titled "Why It's Right to Ask About Robert's Faith." In it Dionne asks, "If Roberts's religious views are important to him, why should they be off-limits to honest discussion?" Writing for Amy Sullivan accuses Republicans of hypocrisy saying they were the ones to make faith an issue. "It was conservatives who spent much of last year arguing that John Kerry’s religious beliefs were insufficiently reflected in his position on abortion," she writes though conservatives never argued that Kerry's faith would prevent him from carrying out the duties of the presidency.

    One of the more outspoken proponents of the notion that Roberts' faith should be a potential target of criticism is Cuomo. Speaking this Sunday on Meet the Press, he said, "Everybody takes an oath to support the Constitution, including especially judges. So why not ask them: Will you, Judge, apply a religious test to the Constitution? Will you start by saying, 'I'm not going to support the Constitution if my pope tells me not to'?" Cuomo reiterated the point that assurances should be obtained from Roberts that he was not taking directions from the Pope. "Here, ironically, if you want to say religious test, the question for Judge Roberts is, Are you going to impose a religious test on the Constitution? Are you going to say that because the pope says this or the Church says that, you will do it no matter what? You will overturn Roe against Wade."

    Conservative constitutionalists and Catholics are increasingly concerned at what appears to be a growing religious test for the Supreme Court. They are reminded of what happened a few months ago in Europe where noted Italian statesman Rocco Buttiglione was denied a seat on the European Commission because of his Catholic beliefs. As one observer put it, "Let them question him on his political positions, or on his judicial philosophy, fine, but asking him about possible religious underpinnings of these positions is establishing an unconstitutional religious test for public office. It is particularly appalling that this is coming from supposed Catholics like Cuomo."

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    Gospel for Tuesday, 19th Week in Ordinary Time

    From: Matthew 18:1-5, 10, 12-14

    The "Little Ones" and the Kingdom. The Lost Sheep

    [1] At that time, the disciples came to Jesus, saying, "Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?" [2] And calling to Him a child, He put him in the midst of them, [3] and said, "Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven. [4] Whoever humbles himself like this child, he is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.

    [5] "Whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me.

    [10] "See that you do not despise one of these little ones; for I tell you that in Heaven their angels always behold the face of My Father who is in Heaven.

    [12] "What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go in search of the one that went astray? [13] And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. [14] So it is not the will of My Father who is in Heaven that one of these little ones should perish."

    1-35. The teachings of Jesus recorded in chapter 18 of St. Matthew are often called the "discourse on the Church" or "ecclesiastical discourse" because they are a series of instructions on the way in which His Church is to be administered.

    The first passage (Matthew 18:1-5), addressed to leaders, that is, the future hierarchy of the Church, warns them against natural tendencies to pride and ambition: even though they have positions of government, they must act with humility. In verses 6-10 Jesus emphasizes the fatherly care which pastors of the Church should have for the "little ones"--a term which covers everyone in need of special care for whatever reason (because they are recent converts, or are not well grounded in Church teaching, or are not yet adults, etc.)... God takes special care of the weak and will punish those who harm them.

    Our Lord shows similar concern for those who are experiencing spiritual difficulties. Every effort, even an heroic effort, must be made to seek out the "lost sheep" (verses 12-14). If the Church in general and each Christian in particular should be concerned to spread the Gospel, all the more reason for them to try and see that those who already embraced the faith do not go astray...

    Thus, the whole of Chapter 18, the "discourse of the Church", is a survey of the future history of the Church during its earthly stage, and a series of practical rules for conduct for Christians--a kind of complement to the Sermon on the Mount, (Chapters 5-7), which is a "magna carta" for the new Kingdom established by Christ.

    1-6. Clearly the disciples still suffer from human ambition: they want to occupy key positions when Jesus comes to establish the Kingdom on earth (cf. Acts 1:6). To correct their pride, our Lord shows them a child and tells them that if they want to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, they must decide to be like children: children are incapable of hating anyone and are totally innocent of vice, particularly of pride, the worst vice of all. They are simple and full of trust.

    Humility is one of the main pillars of the Christian life. "If you ask me", St. Augustine says, "what is the essential thing in the religion and discipline of Jesus Christ, I shall reply: first humility, second humility and third humility" ("Letter 118").

    3-4. Applying these words to our Lord's virtues, Fray Luis de Granada makes the point that humility is superior to virginity: "If you cannot imitate the virginity of the humble, then imitate the humility of the virgin. Virginity is praiseworthy, but humility is more necessary. The former is recommended to us, the latter is an obligation for us; to the former we are invited, to the latter we are obliged [...]. And so we see that the former is celebrated as voluntary sacrifice, the latter required as an obligatory sacrifice. Lastly, you can be saved without virginity, but not without humility" ("Summa De La Vida Cristiana", Book 3, Part 2, Chapter 10).

    5. Receiving a child in Jesus' name is the same as receiving Jesus Himself. Because children reflect the innocence, purity, simplicity and tenderness of our Lord, "In children and in the sick a soul in love sees Him" ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 419).

    10. Jesus warns that giving scandal to little children is a very serious matter, for they have angels who guard them, who will plead a case before God against those who led them to commit sin.

    In this context He speaks of children having guardian angels. However, everyone, adult or child, has a guardian angel. "By God's providence angels have been entrusted with the office of guarding the human race and of accompanying every human being so as to preserve him from any serious dangers [...]. Our Heavenly Father has placed over each of us an angel under whose protection and vigilance we are" ("St. Pius V Catechism", IV, 9, 4).

    This means that we should have a trusting relationship with our guardian angel. "Have confidence in your guardian Angel. Treat him as a lifelong friend--that is what he is--and he will render you a thousand services in the ordinary affairs of each day" ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 562).

    12-14. This parable clearly shows our Lord's loving concern for sinners. It expresses in human terms the joy God feels when a wayward child comes back to Him.

    Seeing so many souls living away from God, Pope John Paul II comments: "Unfortunately we witness the moral pollution which is devastating humanity, disregarding especially those very little ones about whom Jesus speaks."

    "What must we do? We must imitate the Good Shepherd and give ourselves without rest for the salvation of souls. Without forgetting material charity and social justice, we must be convinced that the most sublime charity is spiritual charity, that is, the commitment for the salvation of souls. And souls are saved with prayer and sacrifice. This is the mission of the Church!" ("Homily to the Poor Clares of Albano," 14 August 1979).

    As the RSV points out, "other ancient authorities add verse 11, "For the Son of Man came to save the lost"--apparently taken from Luke 19:10.
    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, August 08, 2005

    Vatican Astronomer Contradicts Cardinal’s Support of Catholic Teaching on Evolution

    ROME, August 8, 2005 ( - In recent weeks, a highly placed Vatican Cardinal rattled the liberal media establishment by making statements to the effect that the Church cannot accept an essentially atheistic understanding of evolution. Christoph Cardinal Schonborn wrote in the New York Times that the neo-Darwinian understanding of evolution, that of random mutations and development of species, is incompatible with belief in the Christian God.

    Now the UK’s liberal Catholic magazine, the Tablet, has run an article by a priest astronomer, the director of the Vatican Observatory, who takes Schonborn to task for his defence of the Catholic understanding of who God is. George Coyne, a liberal Jesuit, has attempted to refute Schonborn and in doing so, has revealed the foundational bias of his – and the media’s – secularist mindset.

    Phoenix Diocese bans politicians who support abortion, gay rights

    PHOENIX Politicians who support issues like abortion and gay rights have been banned from speaking at Catholic churches in the Phoenix Diocese.

    The ban includes Governor Napolitano.

    So far, she's the only one affected by the edict from Phoenix Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted.

    Gospel for August 8, Memorial: St. Dominic, Priest

    From: Matthew 17:22-27

    Second Prophecy of the Passion; the Temple Tax

    [22] As they were gathering in Galilee, Jesus said to them, "The Son of Man is to be delivered into the hands of men, [23] and they will kill Him, and He will be raised on the third day." And they were greatly distressed.

    [24] When they came to Capernaum, the collectors of the half-shekel tax went up to Peter and said, "Does not your Teacher pay the tax?" 25] He said, "Yes." And when he came home, Jesus spoke to him first, saying, "What do you think, Simon? From whom do kings of the earth take toll or tribute? From their sons or from others?" [26] And when he said, "From others," Jesus said to him, "Then the sons are free. [27] However, not to give offense to them, go to the sea and cast a hook, and take the first fish that comes up, and when you open its mouth you will find a shekel; take that and give to them for Me and for yourself."

    24-27. "Half-shekel", or "didrachma": a coin equal in value to the annual contribution every Jew had to make for the upkeep of the temple--a day's wage of a laborer. The shekel or stater which our Lord refers to in verse 27 was a Greek coin worth two didrachmas.

    Jesus uses things great and small to get His teaching across to His disciples. Peter, who is to be the rock on which He will found His Church (Matthew 16:18-19), He prepares by letting him see His dramatic Transfiguration (17:1-8); now He gives Peter another inkling of His divinity through an apparently unimportant miracle. We should take note of Jesus' teaching method: after His second announcement of His passion, His disciples are downhearted (Matthew 17:22-23); here He lifts Peter's spirits with this friendly little miracle.

    26. This shows how conscientiously our Lord fulfilled His civic duties. Although the half-shekel tax had to do with religion, given the theocratic structure of Israel at the time, payment of this tax also constituted a civic obligation.
    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.