Saturday, November 05, 2005

Catholic 'gay' clergy policy 'helping Anglicans': US bishop

LONDON (AFP) - Gene Robinson, the world's first openly gay bishop, said that Pope Benedict XVI's attitude toward homosexuals might be boosting membership of the Anglican Church in the United States.

"We are seeing so many Roman Catholics joining the (Anglican) church," said Robinson on a visit to London. "Pope (Joseph) Ratzinger (Benedict XVI) may be the best thing that ever happened to the (US) Episcopal Church."
A telling statement from one who has rejected God and the natural law...
"I cannot imagine how discouraging it would be to have a church hierarchy doing what it does.

"I find it so vile that they think they are going to end the child abuse scandal by throwing out homosexuals from seminaries. It is an act of violence that needs to be confronted."
One cannot help but wonder how "vile" God considers homosexuality? One would think that the 'man' would know the facts before he opens his mouth...but then, facts lead to truth, which he apparently rejects...preferring instead, the lies of the evil one. Despite how openly defiant others are toward God and His revelation, we must remember to pray for them - especially if we find it difficult to do so. If reason does not work with people such as this - and it rarely seems to do so - we must recall that with God, nothing is impossible.

Link to the article is here.

Professor Defends 'Intelligent Design'

Thanks to Mark S. for the 'heads up' below:

On December 4th, America Needs Fatima will sponsor a special presentation on "Intelligent Design" by Mr. John Calvert a lawyer and Director of "Intelligent Design Network Inc". In advance of this subject, you may want to read the article below to see how this issue is currently being fought in the courts. You might also be interested in who is representing the School District.

Look for more details on Mr. Calvert's meeting in the days ahead...
Professor Defends 'Intelligent Design'
By MARTHA RAFFAELE, Associated Press Writer
Fri Nov 4,12:11 PM ET

A biology professor who supports classroom discussion of "intelligent design" testified Friday that major peer-reviewed scientific journals shun articles on the concept because it is a minority view.

"To endorse intelligent design comes with risk because it's a position against the consensus. Science is not a democratic process," University of Idaho microbiology professor Scott Minnich said under cross-examination.

Minnich testified on behalf of the Dover Area School Board, which is defending an October 2004 decision to require students to hear a statement about intelligent design before ninth-grade biology lessons on evolution. Teachers opposed the statement, which says Charles Darwin's theory is "not a fact" and has inexplicable "gaps," and refers students to the textbook "Of Pandas and People" for more information.

Eight families are suing to end the practice, saying it violates the constitutional separation of church and state because it essentially promotes the Bible's view of creation.

Intelligent design supporters argue that natural selection, an element of evolutionary theory, cannot fully explain the origin of life or the emergence of highly complex life forms.

Minnich testified that intelligent design is based on science and doesn't require adherence to any religious belief. He also praised the prescribed statement to students.

Like some other advocates of intelligent design, Minnich acknowledged that he believes the designer is God, but he stressed that is a personal belief, not one based on science.

The trial, which began Sept. 26, is being heard without a jury and was expected to conclude with closing arguments Friday afternoon. The judge was not expected to rule immediately.

The plaintiffs are represented by a team put together by the American Civil Liberties Union and Americans United for Separation of Church and State. The school district is represented by the Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Thomas More Law Center, which says its mission is to defend the religious freedom of Christians.


On the Net:

Dover Area School District:

National Center for Science Education:

Thomas More Law Center:

The World is a Cruel Place Because of the Catholic Church

There is nothing too surprising in that headline. We should always recall that the servants are no greater than the Master. As He was persecuted, so shall be His followers.

From the latest C-Fam email:
A conference of radical pro-aborts in the European Union voiced open hatred for the Catholic Church and urged that EU nations be forced to accept abortion.

Spread the word.

Yours sincerely,
Austin Ruse
EU Conference Says World is a Cruel Place Because of Catholic Church

Finding ways to force countries like Ireland, Portugal and Malta to liberalize their abortion laws was the focus of a meeting of 17 members of the European Parliament and representatives of various NGOs who gathered in Brussels on October 18. At a conference entitled, "Abortion – Making it a right for all women in the EU," attendees heard testimony from abortion advocates from countries with restrictive abortion laws. Held at the European Parliament building, participants strategized about ways to make a right to abortion mandatory for all member states of the European Union. They discussed ways to argue that guaranteeing the right abortion falls under the European Union's mandate because it is a human rights and public health issue.

Participants were particularly concerned about the role of the Catholic Church in countries with a strong Catholic identity. Maria Elena Valenicano Martinez-Orozco, a member of the European Parliament from Spain, spoke on "How to deal with the Catholic Church and reproductive rights." She also addressed why Spain had success "fighting conservative powers when it comes to homosexuality and abortion" and why "it is so much harder in Portugal".

Dr. Emmanuel D. Bezzina of Malta said, "It is a cruel world that we live in. Cruel because the Catholic Church is enshrined in the Maltese Constitution. Hence the power of the Catholic Church in Malta is tremendous. See for yourself, we could not even send one Maltese woman to speak here because had anyone come they would be terrified should publicity be given in Malta and they be seen as promoting abortion. . . . And we have an arrogant Prime Minister and an arrogant party in government who flirts with the Catholic Church."

Another parliament member, Sarah Ludford of London, wrote in a column prior to the meeting that abortion should not be left in the hands of individual nations. "The intention of the conference, to put the issue of women's reproductive health firmly in a European dimension, is entirely legitimate. It is no longer good enough to say that the question of women being denied access to such abortion services is purely a matter for national governments and is nothing to do with Europe. . . . If Euro-silence prevails about the continuing tight restriction or even prohibition on abortion that persists in several member states, we are complicit in women's lives being threatened or destroyed because of excessive deference to the notion of 'subsidiarity'."

How to overcome the principle of subsidiarity was among the topics addressed at the meeting. According to one observer present at the meeting, a representative of Catholics for a Free Choice said, "Well, subsidiarity can change just as did other things. But we keep putting forward our agenda."

Anne van Lanker of Belgium admitted that, "the EU has no competence on abortion." She noted that the "tendency in the European Parliament is now changing" because new member states have made the organization more pro-life "and so we are not sure if a good law will come out." Rather than pursue a strategy of explicitly changing the laws, Van Lanker said, "We have to do what we did with Slovakia. Name and shame. Of course we cannot forbid a state [from criminalizing abortion] but we have to keep pointing out that it is an infringement of EU laws."

Copyright 2005 - C-FAM (Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute).
Permission granted for unlimited use. Credit required.

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The Real "Crime" is Respecting Life

William Donohue of The Catholic League scores another bulls-eye with this report:
“It is a rare Hollywood big-wig who doesn’t embrace the right to abortion. Clearly, those in charge at CSI don’t buck convention. ‘Secrets and Flies’ speaks volumes about the way CBS executives view those who hold pro-life convictions.

“Americans who respect human life in all of its stages have become the target of public ridicule. Enough is enough. Let CBS know how you feel by visiting”
Of course, we can hope and pray that some at CBS might experience a conversion. I can't recall the last time I watched anything on CBS...or NBC...or ABC...or MSNBC...or CNN...or...

Gospel for Saturday, 31st Week in Ordinary Time

From: Luke 16:9-15

The Unjust Steward (Continuation)

(Jesus said to His disciples,) [9] "And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous mammon, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal habitations.

[10] "He who is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and he who is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much. [11] If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will entrust to you the true riches? [12] And if you had not been faithful in that which is another's, who will give you that which is your own? [13] No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon."

[14] The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all this, and they scoffed at Him. [15] But He said to them, "You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts; for what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God."


9-11. "Unrighteous mammon" means temporal good which have been obtained in some unjust, unrighteous way. However, God is very merciful: even this unjust wealth can enable a person to practice virtue by making restitution, by paying for the damage done and then by striving to help his neighbor by giving alms, by creating work opportunities, etc. This was the case with Zacchaeus, the chief tax collector, who undertook to restore fourfold anything he had unjustly taken, and also to give half his wealth to the poor. On hearing that, our Lord specifically declared that salvation had that day come to that house (cf. Luke 19:1-10).

Our Lord speaks out about faithfulness in very little things, referring to riches--which really are insignificant compared with spiritual wealth. If a person is faithful and generous and is detached in the use he makes of these temporal riches, he will, at the end of his life, receive the rewards of eternal life, which is the greatest treasure of all, and a permanent one. Besides, by its very nature human life is a fabric of little things: anyone who fails to give them their importance will never be able to achieve great things. "Everything in which we poor men have a part--even holiness--is a fabric of small trifles which, depending upon one's intention, can form a magnificent tapestry of heroism or of degradation, of virtues or of sins.

"The epic legends always relate extraordinary adventures, but never fail to mix them with homely details about the hero. May you always attach great importance to the little things. This is the way!" ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 826).

The parable of the unjust steward is a symbol of man's life. Everything we have is a gift from God, and we are His stewards or managers, who sooner or later will have to render an account to Him.

12. "That which is another's" refers to temporal things, which are essentially impermanent. "That which is your own" refers to goods of the spirit, values which endure, which are things we really do possess because they will go with us into eternal life. In other words: how can we be given Heaven if we have proved unfaithful, irresponsible, during our life on earth?

13-14. In the culture of that time "service" involved such commitment to one's master that a servant could not take on any other work or serve any other master.

Our service to God, our sanctification, requires us to direct all our actions towards Him. A Christian does not divide up his time, allocating some of it to God and some of it to worldly affairs: everything he does should become a type of service to God and neighbor--by doing things with upright motivation, and being just and charitable.

The Pharisees jeered at what Jesus was saying, in order to justify their own attachment to material things; sometimes people make fun of total commitment to God and detachment from material things because they themselves are not ready to practice virtue; they cannot even imagine other people really having this generosity: they think they must have ulterior motives. See also the note on Matthew 6:24.

[The note on Matthew 6:24 states:
24. Man's ultimate goal is God; to attain this goal he should commit himself entirely. But in fact some people do not have God as their ultimate goal, and instead choose wealth of some kind--in which case wealth becomes their god. Man cannot have two absolute and contrary goals.]

15. "Abomination": the original Greek work means worship of idols, and, by derivation, the horror this provoked in a true worshipper of God. So the __expression conveys God's disgust with the attitude of the Pharisees who, by wanting to be exalted, are putting themselves, like idols, in the place of God.

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, November 04, 2005

Gospel for Friday, 31st Week in Ordinary Time

From: Luke 16:1-8

The Unjust Steward

[1] He (Jesus) also said to the disciples, "There was a rich man who had a steward, and charges were brought to him that this man was wasting his goods. [2] And he called him and said to him, 'What is this that I hear from you? Turn in the account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward.' [3] And the steward said to himself, 'What shall I do, since my master is taking the stewardship away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. [4] I have decided what to do, so that people may receive me into their houses when I am put out of the stewardship.' [5] So, summoning his master's debtors one by one, he said to the first, 'How much do you owe my master?' [6] He said, 'A hundred measures of oil.' And he said to him, 'Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.' [7] Then he said to another, 'And how much do you owe?' He said, 'A hundred measures of wheat.' He said to him, 'Take your bill, and write eighty.' [8] The master commended the dishonest steward for his prudence; for the sons of this world are wiser in their own generation that the sons of light.


1-8. The unfaithful steward manages to avoid falling on hard times. Of course, our Lord presumes that we realize the immorality of the man's behavior. What he emphasizes and praises, however, is his shrewdness and effort: he tries to derive maximum material advantages from his former position as steward. In saving our soul and spreading the Kingdom of God, our Lord wants us to apply at least the same ingenuity and effort as people put into their worldly affairs or their attempts to attain some human ideal. The fact that we can count on God's grace does not in any way exempt us from the need to employ all available legitimate human resources even if that means strenuous effort and heroic sacrifice.

"What zeal people put into their earthly affairs: dreaming of honors, striving for riches, bent on sensuality. Men and women, rich and poor, old and middle-aged and young and even children: all of them the same. When you and I put the same zeal into the affairs of our souls, we will have a living and operative faith: and there will be no obstacle that we cannot overcome in our apostolic undertakings" ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 317).

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, November 03, 2005

Whitman Supports Republicans for Choice


Former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman called on moderate Republicans Thursday to become more vocal within the party as she helped launch a new St. Louis-based chapter of a GOP group that supports abortion rights.

Whitman said she fears the far right has too much power in her party, which she wants to return to core principles such as "the restriction of government intrusion into our everyday lives."
Apparently she has no concern about the horrific and murderous intrusion of "doctors" in the life of the unborn who are the most innocent and defenseless persons in our society. We should pray for the conversion of people like this. Perhaps some day, by God's grace, their eyes will be opened to the truth and their hearts will be converted.

More here.

Maps of percentage of Pregnancies Aborted in the United States--by States

An interesting view of data compiled by Wm. Robert Johnston.

Our Catholic bishops: Called to lead (Canon 915)

by Judie Brown
November 2, 2005

Nearly three years ago, American Life League embarked on a serious campaign. We decided it was no longer possible to sit on the sidelines and watch while public figures, who claim to be Catholic, advocate, support, promote and vote for abortion. Action became imperative. After all, the Catholic Church teaches that the act of abortion is an intrinsic evil, which means, in plain English, that abortion is wrong. It is bad; it is despicable; it kills an innocent human being prior to his or her birth.

So, we asked ourselves, why are these public figures — especially political leaders — getting away with supporting murder?

The Catholic Church not only teaches this strong truth regarding abortion, but gives bishops (and, in fact, any ordained member of the priesthood, as well as deacons and Eucharistic ministers) the ability to do something about this obvious contradiction.

Vatican policy on homosexual seminarians due tomorrow?

Vatican, Nov. 03 (CNA/ - A long-awaited Vatican document upholding the Church's ban on homosexual seminarians will be released on Friday, November 4, according to the Catholic News Agency.

The document, which has been prepared by the Congregation for Catholic Education, has already won the approval of Pope Benedict XVI.
More here.

Gospel for Thursday, 31st Week in Ordinary Time

From: Luke 15:1-10

Parable's of God's Mercy

[1] Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear Him (Jesus). [2] And the Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying, "This man receives sinners and eats with them."

The Lost Sheep

[3] So He told them this parable: [4] "What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? [5] And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. [6] And when he comes home he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, `Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost.' [7] Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in Heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.

The Lost Coin

[8] "Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she lost one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it? [9] And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, `Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin which I has lost.' [10] Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.


1-32. Jesus' actions manifest God's mercy: He receives sinners in order to convert them. The scribes and Pharisees, who despised sinners, just cannot understand why Jesus acts like this; they grumble about Him; and Jesus uses the opportunity to tell these Mercy parables. "The Gospel writer who particularly treats of these themes in Christ's teaching is Luke, whose Gospel has earned the title of `the Gospel of mercy'" (John Paul II, "Dives In Misericordia", 3).

In this chapter St. Luke reports three of these parables in which Jesus describes the infinite, fatherly mercy of God and His joy at the conversion of the sinner.

The Gospel teaches that no one is excluded from forgiveness and that sinners can become beloved children of God if they repent and are converted. So much does God desire the conversion of sinners that each of these parables ends with a refrain, as it were, telling of the great joy in Heaven over sinner who repents.

1-2. This is not the first time that publicans and sinners approach Jesus (cf. Matthew 9:10). They are attracted by the directness of the Lord's preaching and by His call to self-giving and love. The Pharisees in general were jealous of His influence over the people (cf. Matthew 26:2-5; John 11:47) a jealousy which can also beset Christians; a severity of outlook which does not accept that, no matter how great his sins may have been, a sinner can change and become a saint; a blindness which prevents a person from recognizing and rejoicing over the good done by others. Our Lord criticized this attitude when He replied to His disciples' complaints about others casting out devils in His name: "Do not forbid him; for no one who does a mighty work in My name will be able soon after to speak evil of Me" (Mark 9:39). And St. Paul rejoiced that others proclaimed Christ and even overlooked the fact they did so out of self-interest, provided Christ was preached (cf. Philippians 1:17-18).

5-6. Christian tradition, on the basis of this and other Gospel passages (cf. John 10:11), applies this parable to Christ, the Good Shepherd, who misses and then seeks out the lost sheep: the Word, by becoming man, seeks out mankind, which has strayed through sinning. Here is St. Gregory the Great's commentary: "He put the sheep on His shoulders because, on taking on human nature, He burdened Himself with our sins" ("In Evangelia Homiliae", II, 14).

The Second Vatican Council applies these verses of St. Luke to the way priests should approach their pastoral work: "They should be mindful that by their daily conduct and solicitude they display the reality of a truly priestly and pastoral ministry both to believers and unbelievers alike, to Catholics and non-Catholics; that they are bound to bear witness before all men of the truth and of the life, and as good shepherds seek after those too who, whilst having been baptized in the Catholic Church, have given up the practice of the Sacraments, or even fallen away from the faith" ("Lumen Gentium", 28). However, every member of the faithful should show this same kind of concern--expressed in a fraternal way--towards his brothers and sisters, towards everyone on the road to sanctification and salvation.

7. This does not mean that our Lord does not value the perseverance of the just: He is simply emphasizing the joy of God and the saints over the conversion of a sinner. This is clearly a call to repentance, to never doubt God's readiness to forgive. "Another fall, and what a fall!... Must you give up hope? No. Humble yourself and, through Mary, your Mother, have recourse to the merciful Love of Jesus. A "miserere", and lift up your heart! And now begin again" ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 711).

8. This silver coin was a "drachma", of about the same value as a denarius, that is, approximately a day's wage for an agricultural worker (cf. Matthew 20:2).

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.

25 Threats to Freedom If Sen. Kennedy's "Hate Crimes" and "Sexual Orientation" Proposals Are Added to U.S. Law

10/29/2005 10:13:00 AM
By Robert A. J. Gagnon, Ph.D., Associate Professor of New Testament, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary - Illinois Family Institute

An Open Letter Regarding the Current Hate Crimes Amendment

The greatest threat to your civil liberties and the future liberties of your children is once more upon us. In September, the House of Representatives passed a "hate crimes" bill, entitled "The Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act," as an amendment to the Child Safety Act (H.R. 3132).

It was rushed through the House in 40 minutes in a stealth move by Rep. John Conyers (D-Michigan) and includes among its classifications for special protection "sexual orientation" and even "gender identity" (i.e. transvestism and transsexualism). Now Senator Ted Kennedy (D-Massachusetts) and others are seeking to get a similar amendment passed in the Senate. If it passes the Senate, it may become the law of the land. Although the Senate Judiciary Committee passed today a new version of the Child Safety Act without the "hate crimes" amendment (S. 1086: "The Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act," sponsored by Senator Orrin Hatch [R-Utah]), it appears that Senator Kennedy either will try to reintroduce the amendment when the legislation comes to the floor or will add it to another bill such as "The Streamlined Procedures Act of 2005" (S. 1088).

. . .
Here is a sample of 25 things that are likely to happen if "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" is made a specially protected civil rights classification in the legal code:

1. Large fines and eventually jail time if one publicly speaks out against homosexual activity or transgenderism, even as a minister, and the state determines that one's message arouses people to hate homosexual or transgendered persons; this includes messages that cite Scripture or that refer to studies that show higher incidences of promiscuity and disease among homosexually active men.

2. Suspension without pay from one's place of employment and even outright termination if one declares in any way one's opposition to homosexual practice or transgenderism, even if, as a white-collar employee, one makes such a declaration in a "letter to an editor" outside the domain of the workplace; moreover, one will have to pay the court costs of his persecutors.

Read the entire article here...

Popular Sermons on the Catechism-The End of Man

"What doth it profit a man, if he gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his own soul' (Matt. xvi. 26.)

It is our purpose from this day forward, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to undertake a series of discourses which shall be devoted to the explanation of the catechism.

Do not say: "We do not need an explanation of the catechism. That is for school children." It is true that as school children you have had the catechism in your hands, and have learned it by heart, and have had it explained to you. But can you honestly say you have ever learned it. thoroughly, or that you fully understood the explanation given, and that in the course of years you have forgotten nothing! No one, I think, can say this with truth; but if anyone could say so we should reply that there is nothing more useful than to have these explanations brought again clearly and forcibly before our minds, and as we grow older to be helped to see their deeper and wider meaning.


Let me, therefore, begin with one of the very first questions: Why did God make you? This is a most natural as well as a most important question. Children when they see anything new and strange to them ask at once: What is it for? What are you going to do with it? Why do you want it? What is a knife for? To cut with. What is a pencil for? To write with. What is a spoon for? To eat with. Is it not, therefore, very natural to ask: Why am I in the world? What have I got to do here? What purpose do I serve?

One would imagine that thoughts such as these must occur to every man as soon as he is old enough to reflect at all. The question is not only natural, but also pre-eminently important. So long as I do not understand the use of a thing I really know next to nothing about it. Show a flute to a deaf and dumb man-he has no knowledge of sound, and the flute remains a riddle to him, because he can not understand the use to which it is put.

A man who does not know for what purpose he has been brought into this world is an enigma to himself. If he does not know what his end is he can not possibly fulfill it. A man who neither knows nor fulfills his end is fundamentally a failure. A man who can not give a clear and decisive answer to the question, "Why am I in this world' "- even should he have counted the stars. and probed all the secrets of nature - knows absolutely nothing.

Let us, then, look for an answer to this primary and most important question: What is our end in life? We may help ourselves to get at the true answer if we determine, first, what it is not. Have we power to choose it? There are many things in which choice is free: our dwelling-place, our business, our undertakings, our journeys. But can we choose in the same way what our last end is to be? Whether it shall be high or low, of the earth, earthy or soaring above the stars? No, that we can not do. And why not? Because in this matter we are not our own masters. If we would go to the root of the matter; it is simply because we are creatures.

'The potter out of wet and plastic clay molds a vase. When it is finished to whom does it belong? Who is to decide its fate - whether it shall be destroyed or preserved, whether it shall be put to noble or base uses, whether the potter shall keep it for himself, or shall sell it, or give it away?

All this the potter himself must decide. The vase is his own work, and belongs to him. Well, now, are we ourselves the authors of our own being? On the contrary, our body and soul are the work of the almighty hand of God. We are His creatures and entirely dependent upon Him. It is therefore not for us to decide what our end in life is to be, but for Him who is our master. And He has decided it. He says of mankind: "I have created him for My glory; I have formed him, and made. him" (Is. xliii. 7). We must, therefore, give glory to God with our understanding, by endeavoring to apprehend Him and His perfections. All the powers of our soul and body must glorify Him by striving to do His holy will, that is, by keeping His commandments; we must also work for Him by making His glory' our highest aim and our greatest happiness. We are in this world to know God, to love Him, and to serve Him. This is the end which God Himself has appointed for us.

Moreover, the final end of man can not be found on earth, for, if it were, then it would consist in some one or other of the good things of this world. Now what is it that this world has to offer us? Treasures, riches, possessions - the lust of the eyes. Comfort, pleasure, amusement-the lust of the flesh. Honors, distinctions, a - the pride of life. Let us pile all these things together - although as a rule the pursuit of one of them will be found to exclude the others - but even taking them all together, could they form our true and final end? I say no, they could not, and I hope to prove this conclusively. The real end of man must be such, that not only a few, but the greater number of mankind may be able to reach it. Very well, then; suppose the competition to begin. Suppose every one to give himself up to the pursuit of wealth, of money, and money's equivalents.

What is the result? A few millionaires; but from the beginning to the end of the world the majority of men will have to scramble every day for the crust of bread which keeps the wolf from the door. Suppose them all to run after pleasure and enjoyment. A few may secure it, but what of the sick, the suffering, and the dying? They can not possibly attain their end if it consists in the joys of this earth. Suppose every one to join in the race for worldly honors. How many are successful enough to be recognized and acknowledged by the world, to have a monument raised to them, to live in history? Only a few, a very few.

Take a palpable illustration of this. How many thousands or even hundreds of thousands have lived during the last two or three hundred years in my own native town, and have been buried perhaps in the same cemetery? What do we know about them? Did they amass great earthly treasure? No. Were they even able to live lives of pleasure? Quite the contrary. Did any of them make a great name? We should be hard put to it to recall a single one from amongst them were their names not carved upon their tombstones or their mortuary cards posted at the church door. Clearly, then, if the end of man consists in earthly happiness, in the treasures, joys, and honors of the world, we must admit that our forefathers-most of them, at all events - did not attain that end, that they lived in vain. But if we open an old newspaper and read that "so and so died on such and such a day, of such and such a year, fortified with all the sacraments of the Church," then we must allow that all the same he did attain that end. For through death he has reached the goal he hoped for, which was to dwell, beyond earth and time, with God for all eternity. This is an end which can be attained by all, provided they are men of good will.

But let it be conceded for a moment that man's end is here on this earth. Then we can only say that it is an end which can never content us, nor satisfy the heart. Think of Solomon, the wise king! How great were his possessions! His ships brought him gold from distant lands, and he tells us that he allowed himself every gratification that his heart desired. His name was famous at home and abroad. It lives now and will live for all time. And what has he to say about all this earthly happiness? That all is vanity and vexation of spirit.

History recalls that Alexander the Great, who while still a young man had conquered half the world, on coming to the shores of the sea wept like a child. Why? Because the sea set a boundary to his ambition and because all he had already acquired was not enough to satisfy him. No, this world is not big enough to be the final end of an immortal soul. It would be an unworthy end, and one which would leave us no better off than the beasts. It is only those who assert that man's life ends with death who can propose earthly happiness as his goal.

The Holy Scriptures put into the mouths of certain men words like these: "Come therefore and let us enjoy the good things that are present, and let us speedily use the creatures as in youth. Let us fill ourselves with costly wine and ointments, and let not the flower of the time pass by us. Let us crown ourselves with roses before they be withered; let no meadow escape our riot. Let none of us go without his part in luxury; let us everywhere leave tokens of joy, for this is our portion and this our lot," i.e., our goal or end.

But who are they who speak so? Those who assert that the body returns to dust, that the soul dissolves into thin air, that life melts away like a. mist, a cloud, a shadow. It is clear that those who place men's goal here below must also deny the existence of an eternal God and an immortal soul.

But just as it is true that God exists and that the soul is immortal, so also it is true that our last end lies beyond this world and in God. We are here on earth to know God, to love Him, and to serve Him, and by these means to reach heaven. To know God is the beginning of the way. His love and service are the steps by which we plod along the path which leads to the end. To be united to God, to live with God, by God, in God, that is the end itself.

In this way God is glorified and the creature made happy. When we consider it in this light, this world is not the end, but the battle-field where the victory is won, the scene of our labors where the reward is earned, the road along which we struggle until we come to the goal.


We have been created to know, to love and serve God in this world that we may be happy with Him for ever in the next. The terms of this answer recall the principal headings into which the catechism is divided.

The first thing required to attain our end is to know God. By reason and reflection we can come to recognize the existence of a God, just as we can see the stars with the naked eye. But if we want to know the Lord our God, His perfections and His works more fully and completely, then just as an astronomer makes use of the telescope to study the firmament more closely, so must we accept some extrinsic aid, which is supplied by God's revelation about Himself. For this reason the first part of the catechism treats of faith.

In order to attain our end we must love and serve God. We do this in so far as we keep His commandments. The second part of the catechism, therefore, deals with the Commandments.

But it is beyond our poor strength, always and under all circumstances to have perfect faith, and to keep the Commandments. To do this we need the help of God's grace, which we obtain chiefly by prayer and the holy sacraments. The third part of the catechism treats therefore of the means of grace.

Faith, the Commandments, and the Means of Grace- the Sacraments, are the headings of three principal divisions of the catechism, with all of which we must be well acquainted if we are to work out our salvation. The catechism, then, contains the points, which are of the highest importance to us, which we can never know and understand too well, and the meaning of which should be as dear to us as our eternal welfare. "What doth it profit a man if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his own soul?" What shall it profit us, indeed, to know all the stars of heaven, all the concerns of men, all the secrets of nature, if we do not understand that which will lead us to our end?

Let us conclude with a prayer that God may give to me the grace to instruct you rightly, and to you so to receive these instructions that they may help you to eternal salvation.

Adapted from Popular Sermons on the Catechism by Fr. A. Hubert Bamberg, Edited by Fr. Herbert Thurston, S.J. (1914)

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Ninth Circuit Court Denies Parental Rights

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit holds that "there is no fundamental right of parents to be the exclusive provider of information regarding sexual matters to their children, either independent of their right to direct the upbringing and education of their children or encompassed by it." Today's ruling from a unanimous three-judge panel was written by Circuit Judge Stephen Reinhardt in a case involving elementary school students.

The final paragraph of Judge Reinhardt's opinion states:
In summary, we hold that there is no free-standing fundamental right of parents "to control the upbringing of their children by introducing them to matters of and relating to sex in accordance with their personal and religious values and beliefs" and that the asserted right is not encompassed by any other fundamental right. In doing so, we do not quarrel with the parents' right to inform and advise their children about the subject of sex as they see fit. We conclude only that the parents are possessed of no constitutional right to prevent the public schools from providing information on that subject to their students in any forum or manner they select. We further hold that a psychological survey is a reasonable state action pursuant to legitimate educational as well as health and welfare interests of the state. Accordingly, the parent-appellants have failed to state a federal claim upon which relief may be granted. The decision of the district court is affirmed.
The clowns at the Ninth Circus have spoken...Soon it will be time to turn your children over to the State for special indoctrination and training. May God help us!


Archbishop: Pope will ‘prune’ institutions with weak Catholic identity

Atlanta, Nov. 02, 2005 (CNA) - The Church, under the papacy of Benedict XVI, will likely refuse to support and maintain ties with institutions that have weakened or lost their Catholic identity, says Archbishop Michael Miller, secretary of the Vatican's Congregation for Catholic Education.
. . .
"[The Pope] argued that it might be better for the Church not to expend its resources trying to preserve institutions if their Catholic identity has been seriously compromised," the archbishop was quoted as saying. "His writings show that a time of purification lies ahead, and this undoubtedly will have some ramifications for Catholic institutions."
. . .
The archbishop suggested that the Church could take two approaches to such institutions: the Pope's "evangelical pruning" or a method of hopeful patience that the institution will eventually come around, the archbishop said.
There has been 40 years of "hopeful patience" since the Land of Lakes Conference when many Catholic institutions abandoned the faith in some degree or another in favor of something called "academic freedom" which permitted all sorts of errors to be proposed as truth.

Subcommittee on the Constitution Hears Testimony on Fetal Pain

An update via email from the Culture of Life Foundation:
A prominent doctor and scientist told a Congressional committee yesterday that a recent study claiming unborn babies are unlikely to feel pain before 30 weeks gestation is based on an outdated definition of pain and used a questionable methodology that puts its findings into doubt.

Dr. K. S. Anand said the conclusions of a study in The Journal of the American Medical Association regarding fetal pain were "flawed, because they ignore a large body of research related to pain processing in the brain, present a faulty scientific rationale and use inconsistent methodology for their systematic review." Anand, a professor of pediatrics, anesthesiology, pharmacology, and neurobiology at the University of Arkansas College of Medicine, went so far as to question whether reliability of the authors of the study. "Inconsistent inclusion of evidence and ambiguous methodology used for data syntheses (such that this systematic review cannot be replicated) raises serious questions about the author' scientific bias and the validity of their findings."

Anand was joined by three other experts at a hearing of the House Subcommittee of the Constitution to address the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act. The bill, introduced by Rep. Chris Smith, R-NJ, would require abortion providers to inform mothers who are 20 weeks or more into their pregnancy that their child could feel pain during the abortion and give mothers the option to have their child anesthetized before the abortion.

The committee also heard testimony from, Dr. Jean Wright, a professor of pediatrics at the Mercer School of Medicine, who operates on infants born as early as 23 weeks into gestation. She said, "we no longer speculate as to whether they feel pain. We understand it, try to avoid it and treat it when appropriate." Wright said that giving mothers seeking abortions information on the possibility of pain is simply an extension of an already acknowledged principle of medical ethics. "Parents are entitled to this information for their children. They need it explained in a clear and meaningful way that they as laypeople can understand. This standard exists for children born; now we raise the standard and ask that it exist for those unborn. 'Will this surgery or procedure on my premature baby cause pain? What will be done to alleviate the pain and suffering?' We should answer those questions as clearly for procedures concerning the unborn as the born."

Arthur Caplan, a bioethicists at the University of Pennsylvania, criticized the bill's requirement that abortion providers read from a script. He said it was unnecessary and was an example of Congress inappropriately inserting itself into science and medicine. "[F]orcing providers to read claims about fetal pain is showing no respect for the ability of the medical profession to present information about pregnancy, abortion and fetal pain." But later in the testimony, law professor Teresa Collett said that was a mischaracterization of the bill. Though abortion providers must read a script, she said, the bill clearly gives providers the opportunity to tell the mother their own opinion.

Culture of Life Foundation
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Sacramento Bishop: No Place in Catholic Schools for Abortion Supporters

SACRAMENTO, November 1, 2005 ( - The uproar created when, on October 5, Bishop William K. Weigand directed a Catholic school to dismiss drama teacher Marie Bain after she was discovered to be an escort for a Planned Parenthood abortion center, has been used by the bishop as a teachable moment. The bishop issued a message to the faithful on October 26 in which he explained his actions in light of Catholic teaching on the sanctity of life.

The Bishop's October 5 letter to the school stated, "I am directing you, under the provisions of Code of Canon Law ... to dismiss Ms. Bain with all deliberate speed."

The move came thanks to the efforts of a 15-year-old student at the Loretto High School who says she owes her pro-life convictions to a project she did in her freshman year...
The rest of the article is here.

The last I heard, the student was expelled by the school, apparently as retribution for her mother's actions is seeking the intervention of Bishop Weigand...

Catholic Schools Punish Students for Opposing Homosexuality - Two Catholic universities have tried to censor students during the past week for defending the church's teachings against homosexuality, actions the head of one Roman Catholic organization called "ridiculous."

One incident took place in Pittsburgh, where a Duquesne University student used an independent website to voice his opposition to a proposed "gay-straight alliance" on campus and described homosexual sex as "subhuman actions."
In addition to requiring [the student] to remove his online posting -- which he did upon request -- Duquesne has also demanded that the student write an essay on Catholic teaching about human dignity. [The student] has refused to do so because he claims his post was simply a paraphrase of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which describes homosexual activity as "intrinsically disordered," "contrary to the natural law" and "gravely" sinful.
"Duquesne punishes a student for defending Catholic teaching by mandating an essay on Catholic teaching -- despite the fact that Miner clearly has a better grasp of that teaching than Duquesne's administrators," [Patrick] Reilly said. [Patrick Reilly, president of the Cardinal Newman Society, a national organization dedicated to renewing Catholic identity at the church's colleges and universities.]

"No doubt Catholic teaching on this subject is unpopular and offends many people who disagree with it," he stated. "But if gay sex is gravely sinful and opposed to the natural order of human sexuality and family life, then to argue that it is beneath human dignity is as accurate as it is provocative."

Instruction On The Feast Of All Souls

From Fr. Leonard Goffine's The Church's Year:

What is All Souls' Day?

It is the day set apart by the Catholic Church for the special devout commemoration of all those souls who have departed this life in the grace and friendship of God, for whom we pray, that they may soon be released by God from the prison of purgatory.

What is purgatory?

Purgatory is a middle state of souls, suffering for a time on account of their sins. St. Paul writes to the Corinthians: And the fire shall try every man's work, of what sort it is. If any man's work abide, which he hath built there upon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work burn, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as by fire. (i. Cor. in. 13-15.) "And when St. Paul," says St. Ambrose (Serm. 20. in Ps. cxviii.) "says, yet so as by fire, he shows that such a man indeed becomes happy, having suffered the punishment of fire, but not, like the wicked, continually tormented in eternal fire." St. Paul's words, then, can only be understood to refer to the fire of purification, as the infallible Church has always explained them.

Are the heretics right in denying that there is such a place of purification as purgatory?

By no means, for by such denial they oppose the holy Scriptures, tradition and reason. The holy Scriptures teach that there is a purgatory: it is related in the Second Book of Machabees, that Judas Machabeus sent twelve thousand drachms of silver to Jerusalem, to be used in the temple, to obtain prayers for those who fell in battle, for he believed it a good and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from their sins. But for what dead shall we pray? Those in heaven do not require our prayers; to those in hell they are of no avail; we must then pray for those who are in the place of purification. Christ speaks of a prison in the future life, from which no man comes out until he has paid the last farthing. (Matt. v. 25, 26.) This prison cannot be hell, because from hell there is never any release; it must be then a place of purification. Again Christ speaks of sin which shall be forgiven neither in this world nor in the next, (Matt. xii. 32.) from which it follows that there is a remittance of some sins in the next world; but this can be neither in heaven nor in hell, consequently in purgatory.

As the council of Trent says, (Sess. 6. c. 30.) the Church has always taught, according to the old tradition of the Fathers, in all her councils, that there is a purgatory, and every century gives proofs of the continual belief of all true Christians in a purgatory. Finally, man's unblinded reason must accept a purgatory; for how many depart this earth before having accomplished the great work of their own purification? They cannot enter heaven, for St. John tells us: There shall not enter into it any thing defiled. (Apoc. xxi. 27.) The simple separation of the soul from the body does not make it pure, yet God cannot reject it as He does the soul of the hardened sinner in hell; there must then be a middle place, a purgatory, where those who have departed not free from stain, must be purified.

See how the doctrine of the Church, reason and the holy Scriptures all agree, and do not let yourself be led away by false arguments from those who not only believe in no purgatory, but even in no hell, so that they may sin with so much more impunity.

For what, how much, and for how long must we suffer in purgatory?

Concerning this the Church has made no decision, though much has been written by the Fathers of the Church on the subject. Concerning the severity of the punishment in purgatory, St. Augustine writes: "This fire is more painful than any that man can suffer in this life." This should urge us to continual sanctification and atonement, so that we may escape the fearful judgment of God.

How can we aid the suffering souls in purgatory?

St. Augustine writes: "It is not to be doubted that we can aid the souls of the departed by the prayers of the Church, by the holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and by the alms which we offer for them." The Church has always taught-that prayers for the faithful departed are useful and good, and she has always offered Masses for them.

What should urge us to aid the suffering souls in purgatory?

1. The consideration of the belief of the Church in the communion of saints, by which all the members of the Church upon earth, in heaven, and in purgatory are united by the bonds of love, like the members of one body, and as the healthy members of a body sympathize with the suffering members, seeking to aid them, so should we assist our suffering brethren in purgatory.
2. The remembrance that it is God's will that we should practice charity towards one another, and that fearful judgments are threatened those who show no charity to a brother in need, together with the recollection, of God's love which desires that all men should be happy in heaven.
3. We should be urged to it by love for ourselves, for if we should be condemned to the pains of purification, we would assuredly desire our living brethren to pray for us and perform good works for our sake, while the souls who have found redemption, perhaps through our prayers, will not fail to reward us by interceding for us.

Can we aid the souls in purgatory by gaining indulgences?

Yes, for indulgences, (as explained in the Instruction on the eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost,) are a complete or a partial remittance of the temporal punishment due to sin, bestowed by the Church to penitent sinners from the treasury of the merits of Christ and His saints. If we gain such a remittance, we can apply it to the souls in purgatory. Such an indulgence, however, can be transferred only to one soul.

For which souls should we pray?

We should, on this day especially, offer prayers and good works for all the faithful departed, but particularly for our parents, relations, friends and benefactors; for those who are most acceptable to God; for those who have suffered the longest, or who have the longest yet to suffer; for those who are most painfully tormented; for those who are the most forsaken; for those who are nearest redemption ; for those who are suffering on our account; for those who hope in our prayers; for those who during life have injured us, or been injured by us; and for our spiritual brethren.

When and by what means was this yearly commemoration of the departed introduced into the Church?

The precise time of its introduction is not known. Tertullian (A. D. 160) writes that the early Christians held a yearly commemoration of the faithful departed. Towards the end of the 10th century St. Odilo, Abbot of the Benedictines at Cluny, directed that the yearly commemoration of the faithful departed should be observed on the 2nd of November with prayers, alms and the Sacrifice of the Mass, which time and manner of celebration spread through various dioceses, and was officially confirmed by Pope John XIX. This day was- appointed that, having the day previously rejoiced at the glory of the saints in heaven, we might on this day most properly pray for those who are yet doing penance for their sins and sigh in purgatory for their redemption.

Gospel for Nov 2, Commemoration: All the Faithful Departed (All Souls)

From: John 11:17-27

The Raising of Lazarus (Continuation)

[17] Now when Jesus came, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. [18] Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off, [19] and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother. [20] When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met Him, while Mary sat in the house. [21] Martha said to Jesus, "Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. [22] And even now I know that whatever You ask from God, God will give You." [23] Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again." [24] Martha said to Him, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day." [25] Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life, he who believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live, [26] and whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?" [27] She said to Him, "Yes, Lord; I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, He who is coming into the world."


1-45. This chapter deals with one of Jesus' most outstanding miracles. The Fourth Gospel, by including it, demonstrates Jesus' power over death, which the Synoptic Gospels showed by reporting the raising of the daughter of Jairus (Matthew 9:25 and paragraph) and of the son of the widow of Nain (Luke 7:12).

The Evangelist first sets the scene (verses 1-16); then he gives Jesus' conversation with Lazarus' sisters (verses 17-37); finally, he reports the raising of Lazarus four days after his death (verses 38-45). Bethany was only about three kilometers (two miles) from Jerusalem (verse 18). On the days prior to His passion, Jesus often visited this family, to which He was very attached. St. John records Jesus' affection (verses 3, 5, 36) by describing His emotion and sorrow at the death of His friend.

By raising Lazarus our Lord shows His divine power over death and thereby gives proof of His divinity, in order to confirm His disciples' faith and reveal Himself as the Resurrection and the Life. Most Jews, but not the Sadducees, believed in the resurrection of the body. Martha believed in it (cf. verse 24).

Apart from being a real, historical event, Lazarus' return to life is a sign of our future resurrection: we too will return to life. Christ, by His glorious resurrection through He is the "first-born from the dead" (1 Corinthians 15:20; Colossians 1:18; Revelation 1:5), is also the cause and model of our resurrection. In this His resurrection is different from that of Lazarus, for "Christ being raised from the dead will never die again" (Romans 6:9), whereas Lazarus returned to earthly life, later to die again.

18. Fifteen stadia, in Greek measurement: three kilometers (two miles).

21-22. According to St. Augustine, Martha's request is a good example of confident prayer, a prayer of abandonment into the hands of God, who knows better than we what we need. Therefore, "she did not say, But now I ask You to raise my brother to life again. [...] All she said was, I know that You can do it; if you will, do it; it is for you to judge whether to do it, not for me to presume" ("In Ioann. Evang.", 49, 13). The same can be said of Mary's words, which St. John repeats at verse 32.

24-26. Here we have one of those concise definitions Christ gives of Himself, and which St. John faithfully passes on to us (cf. John 10:9; 14:6; 15:1): Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life. He is the Resurrection because by His victory over death He is the cause of the resurrection of all men. The miracle He works in raising Lazarus is a sign of Christ's power to give life to people. And so, by faith in Jesus Christ, who arose first from among the dead, the Christian is sure that he too will rise one day, like Christ (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:23; Colossians 1;18). Therefore, for the believer death is not the end; it is simply the step to eternal life, a change of dwelling-place, as one of the Roman Missal's Prefaces of Christian Death puts it: "Lord, for your faithful people life is changed, not ended. When the body of our earthly dwelling lies in death, we gain an everlasting dwelling place in Heaven".

By saying that He is Life, Jesus is referring not only to that life which begins beyond the grave, but also to the supernatural life which grace brings to the soul of man when he is still a wayfarer on this earth.

"This life, which the Father has promised and offered to each man in Jesus Christ, His eternal and only Son, who 'when the time had fully come' (Galatians 4:4), became incarnate and was born of the Virgin Mary, is the final fulfillment of man's vocation. It is in a way the fulfillment of the 'destiny' that God has prepared for him from eternity. This 'divine destiny' is advancing, in spite of all the enigmas, the unsolved riddles, the twists and turns of 'human destiny' in the world of time. Indeed, while all this, in spite of all the riches of life in time, necessarily and inevitably leads to the frontiers of death and the goal of the destruction of the human body, beyond that goal we see Christ. 'I am the resurrection and the life, He who believes in Me...shall never die.' In Jesus Christ, who was crucified and laid in the tomb and then rose again, 'our hope of resurrection dawned...the bright promise of immortality' ("Roman Missal", Preface of Christian Death, I), on the way to which man, through the death of the body, shares with the whole of visible creation the necessity to which matter is subject" ([Pope] John Paul II, "Redemptor Hominis", 18).
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland.

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

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Arizona Court Uses Non-Scientific “Pre-Embryo” Term in Ruling Against Couple

PHOENIX, October 31, 2005 ( - An Arizona appeals court has declared that a “pre-embryo” is not a person and cannot be protected as one under the law. A Phoenix-area couple, Belinda and William Jeter, had brought a suit against the Mayo Clinic, accusing it of losing or destroying embryos they had left in the clinic’s care....

Gonzaga University under fire for allowing "anti-gay" speaker

SPOKANE, Wash. -- Gonzaga University, which has rejected recent attempts to bring a Planned Parenthood speaker and "The Vagina Monologues" to the school, is under fire for the campus appearance of a conservative who contends homosexuality is a matter of choice.

The College Republicans brought in Dr. John Diggs for a lecture titled "The Medical Effects of Homo-Sex."

Seton Hall demotes dean critical of church's homosexuality stance

SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. -- A gay associate dean at Seton Hall University, a Roman Catholic institution, has been demoted after criticizing the church's position on homosexuality, according to published reports.

Gospel for November 1, Solemnity, All Saints

From: Matthew 5:1-12a

The Beatitudes

[1] Seeing the crowds, He (Jesus) went up on the mountain, and when He sat down His disciples came to Him. [2] And He opened His mouth and taught them, saying: [3] "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. [4] Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. [5] Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. [6] Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. [7] Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. [8] Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God. [9] Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God. [10] Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. [11] Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on My account. [12] Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in Heaven."


1. The Discourse, or Sermon, on the Mount takes up three full chapters of St. Matthew's Gospel--Chapters 5-7. It is the first of the five great discourses of Jesus which appear in this Gospel and it contains a considerable amount of our Lord's teaching.

It is difficult to reduce this discourse to one single theme, but the various teachings it contains could be said to deal with these five points: 1) the attitude a person must have for entering the Kingdom of Heaven (the Beatitudes, the salt of the earth, the light of the world, Jesus and His teaching, the fullness of the Law); 2) uprightness of intention in religious practice (here the "Our Father" would be included); 3) trust in God's fatherly providence; 4) how God's children should behave towards one another (not judging one's neighbor, respect for holy things, the effectiveness of prayer, and the golden rule of charity); 5) the conditions for entering the Kingdom (the narrow gate, false prophets and building on rock).

"He taught them": this refers both to the disciples and to the multitude, as can be seen at the end of the Sermon (Matthew 7:28).

2. The Beatitudes (5:3-12) form, as it were, the gateway to the Sermon on the Mount. In order to understand the Beatitudes properly, we should bear in mind that they do not promise salvation only to the particular kinds of people listed here: they cover everyone whose religious dispositions and moral conduct meet the demands which Jesus lays down. In other words, the poor in spirit, the meek, those who mourn, those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers and those who suffer persecution in their search for holiness--these are not different people or kinds of people but different demands made on everyone who wants to be a disciple of Christ.

Similarly, salvation is not being promised to different groups in society but to everyone, no matter what his or her position in life, who strives to follow the spirit and to meet the demands contained in the Beatitudes.

All the Beatitudes have an eschatological meaning, that is, they promise us definitive salvation not in this world, but in the next. But the spirit of the Beatitudes does give us, in this life, peace in the midst of tribulation. The Beatitudes imply a completely new approach, quite at odds with the usual way man evaluates things: they rule out any kind of pharisaical religiosity, which regards earthly happiness as a blessing from God and a reward for good behavior, and unhappiness and misfortune as a form of punishment. In all ages the Beatitudes put spiritual goods on a much higher plane than material possessions. The healthy and the sick, the powerful and the weak, the rich and the poor--all are called, independently of their circumstances, to the deep happiness that is experienced by those who live up to the Beatitudes which Jesus teaches.

The Beatitudes do not, of course, contain the entire teaching of the Gospel, but they do contain, in embryo, the whole program of Christian perfection.

3. This text outlines the connection between poverty and the soul. This religious concept of poverty was deeply rooted in the Old Testament (cf., e.g., Zephaniah 2:3ff). It was more to do with a religious attitude of neediness and of humility towards God than with material poverty: that person is poor who has recourse to God without relying on his own merits and who trusts in God's mercy to be saved. This religious attitude of poverty is closely related to what is called "spiritual childhood". A Christian sees himself as a little child in the presence of God, a child who owns nothing: everything he has comes from God and belongs to God. Certainly, spiritual poverty, that is, Christian poverty, means one must be detached from material things and practice austerity in using them. God asks certain people--religious--to be legally detached from ownership and thereby bear witness to others of the transitoriness of earthly things.

4. "Those who mourn": here our Lord is saying that those are blessed who suffer from any kind of affliction--particularly those who are genuinely sorry for they sins, or are pained by the offenses which others offer God, and who bear their suffering with love and in a spirit of atonement.

"You are crying? Don't be ashamed of it. Yes, cry: men also cry like you, when they are alone and before God. Each night, says King David, I soak my bed with tears. With those tears, those burning manly tears, you can purify your past and supernaturalize your present life" ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 216).

The Spirit of God will console with peace and joy, even in this life, those who weep for their sins, and later will give them a share in the fullness of happiness and glory in Heaven: these are the blessed.

5. "The meek": those who patiently suffer unjust persecution; those who remain serene, humble and steadfast in adversity, and do not give way to resentment or discouragement. The virtue of meekness is very necessary in the Christian life. Usually irritableness, which is very common, stems from a lack of humility and interior peace.

"The earth": this is usually understood as meaning our Heavenly Fatherland.

6. The notion of righteousness (or justice) in Holy Scripture is an essentially religious one (cf. notes on Matthew 1:19 and 3:15; Romans 1:17; 1:18-32; 3:21-22 and 24). A righteous person is one who sincerely strives to do the Will of God, which is discovered in the commandments, in one's duties of state in life (social, professional and family responsibilities) and through one's life of prayer. Thus, righteousness, in the language of the Bible, is the same as what nowadays is usually called "holiness" (1 John 2:29; 3:7-10; Revelation 22:11; Genesis 15:6; Deuteronomy 9:4).

As St. Jerome comments ("Comm. on Matthew", 5, 6), in the fourth Beatitude our Lord is asking us not simply to have a vague desire for righteousness: we should hunger and thirst for it, that is, we should love and strive earnestly to seek what makes a man righteous in God's eyes. A person who genuinely wants to attain Christian holiness should love the means which the Church, the universal vehicle of salvation, offers all men and teaches them to use--frequent use of the Sacraments, an intimate relationship with God in prayer, a valiant effort to meet one's social, professional and family responsibilities.

7. Mercy is not a just a matter of giving alms to the poor but also of being understanding towards other people's defects, overlooking them, helping them cope with them and loving them despite whatever defects they may have. Being merciful also means rejoicing and suffering with other people.

8. Christ teaches us that the source of the quality of human acts lies in the heart, that is, in a man's soul, in the depths of his spirit. "When we speak of a person's heart, we refer not just to his sentiments, but to the whole person in his loving dealings with others. In order to help us understand divine things, Scripture uses the _expression `heart' in its full human meaning, as the summary and source, _expression and ultimate basis, of one's thoughts, words and actions. A man is worth what his heart is worth" ([St] J. Escriva, "Christ Is Passing By", 164).

Cleanness of heart is a gift of God, which expresses itself in a capacity to love, in having an upright and pure attitude to everything noble. As St. Paul says, "whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things" (Philippians 4:8). Helped by God's grace, a Christian should constantly strive to cleanse his heart and acquire this purity, whose reward is the vision of God.

9. The translation "peacemakers" well convey the active meaning of the original text--those who foster peace, in themselves and in others and, as a basis for that, try to be reconciled and to reconcile others with God. Being at peace with God is the cause and effect of every kind of peace. Any peace on earth not based on this divine peace would be vain and misleading.

"They shall be called sons of God": this is an Hebraicism often found in Sacred Scripture; it is the same as saying "they will be sons of God". St. John's first letter (3:1) provides a correct exegesis of this Beatitude: "See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are".

10. What this Beatitude means, then, is: blessed are those who are persecuted because they are holy, or because they are striving to be holy, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.

Thus, blessed is he who suffers persecution for being true to Jesus Christ and who does so not only patiently but joyfully. Circumstances arise in a Christian's life that call for heroism--where no compromise is admissible: either one stays true to Jesus Christ whatever the cost in terms of reputation, life or possessions, or one denies Him. St. Bernard ("Sermon on the Feast of All Saints") says that the eighth Beatitude is as it were the prerogative of Christian martyrs. Every Christian who is faithful to Jesus' teaching is in fact a "martyr" (a witness) who reflects or acts according with this Beatitude, even if he does not undergo physical death.

11-12. The Beatitudes are the conditions Jesus lays down for entering the Kingdom of Heaven. This verse, in a way summing up the preceding ones, is an invitation to everyone to put this teaching into practice. The Christian life, then, is no easy matter, but it is worthwhile, given the reward that Jesus promises.
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, October 31, 2005

Catholic League: Choice of Alito Crosses Religious Lines

October 31, 2005


Catholic League president William Donohue commented today on what it means to people of faith that President Bush has chosen Samuel Alito to be on the U.S. Supreme Court:

“Nothing brings people of faith together more than the culture wars, and that is why traditional Catholics, evangelical Protestants and Orthodox Jews are already coming together in support of Samuel Alito. Whatever theological differences they have pale in significance compared to their joint interest in religious liberty. Add to this the prospect of having someone on the high court who is sympathetic to the public role of religious expression, and the fight is joined at the hip.

“Already, People for the American Way is asking its members to contact their senators to oppose Alito; the petition mentions Alito’s rulings on religious liberty as a problem. Americans United for Separation of Church and State is also sounding the alarm, calling President Bush’s nominee ‘an acerbic opponent of church-state separation.’

“Unlike those who would erect an impenetrable wall between church and state, Alito is not hostile to every religious symbol that sits on government property. Nor does he share the enthusiasm that church-state fanatics have for censoring the rights of Christian students in the public schools. In short, it is precisely because Alito is a voice of moderation that the secular left is opposed to him.

“Some are already commenting that if Alito is confirmed he would be the fifth Catholic on the Supreme Court. For example, the Associated Press ran a story at 7:45 a.m.—before Bush formally announced his choice for the high court—with the headline, ‘Alito Would be the Fifth Catholic Justice on Supreme Court.’ So what? Currently, Jews comprise 22 percent of the Justices, even though they are only 1 percent of the population. Is that a problem?

“The next time the ‘Catholic’ issue is raised, it would be wise to remember that both Sen. Kennedy and Sen. Santorum are Catholic.”
The Catholic League is the nation's largest Catholic civil rights organization. It defends individual Catholics and the institutional Church from defamation and discrimination.

Pro-Life Groups Unanimously Back Samuel Alito re Abortion

Washington, DC ( -- Pro-life organizations are unanimously applauding President Bush's selection of pro-life federal appeals court Judge Samuel Alito to replace pro-abortion Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on the Supreme Court. They say he doesn't have the problems Harriet Miers did on determining where he stands.
. . .
Concerned Women for America expressed its wholehearted support for President Bush's nomination. "Judge Alito has always been one of our top choices for the Supreme Court," said Jan LaRue, CWA's chief counsel. "He has all of the qualifications needed: intellect, knowledge and experience in constitutional law, integrity, competence, humility and judicial temperament."
. . .
Father Frank Pavone, president of Priests for Life, urged the Senate to move forward quickly to hold hearings and a vote on Alito. He welcomed the upcoming debate on abortion. "Some Senators will oppose any change on the Court that would threaten so-called 'abortion rights.' But the American people are already deciding that their Constitution does not permit dismembering children," Pavone said.
More here.

The Latest from the Chronicles of Narnia News

Catholic Knights of Columbus Leader Lauds Alito Selection

Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson - leader of the Knights of Columbus, the world's largest lay Catholic organization with more than 1.7 million members worldwide - said Monday federal appeals court Judge Samuel Alito is "a truly excellent choice" for the United States Supreme Court.
For those who do not know, when confirmed, Judge Alito will be the 5th Catholic on the Supreme Court...

More here.

Papal Condolences for the Christian Girls Beheaded in Indonesia

From the Vatican Information Service:
VATICAN CITY, OCT 30, 2005 (VIS) - At midday today, Holy See Press Office Director Joaquin Navarro-Valls released the following declaration to journalists:

"Upon learning the painful news of the barbaric murder of three Christian girls in Indonesia, the Holy Father ordered Bishop Joseph Theodorus Suwatan M.S.C., of Manado to offer the families of the victims and the diocesan community his most heartfelt condolences, and gave assurances of his fervent prayers to the Lord for the return of peace among that people."
For those who did not hear about it from the mainstream media, 3 Christian girls were beheaded and three other students were wounded in the eastern Indonesian province of Central Sulawesi on Saturday. You can read more about it here. Apparently, some of the extremists of the religion of Peace were hard at work again. May God comfort those who mourn the loss of their children, especially at the hands of such murderous vermin.

40th Anniversary of Episcopal Ordination of Cardinal Arinze

VATICAN CITY, OCT 31, 2005 (VIS) - Today in the Clementine Hall of the Vatican Apostolic Palace, Benedict XVI received Cardinal Francis Arinze, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, accompanied by a group of pilgrims from his country of origin, Nigeria. The cardinal is celebrating the 40th anniversary of his consecration as a bishop, which was performed on August 29, 1965 in Onitsha, Nigeria, by the late Archbishop Charles Heerey C.S.Sp.

"I am pleased to receive you, together with your friends from the Nigerian community in Rome, and other visitors from your country, who have come to join you in the celebration of the 40th anniversary of your episcopal ordination," said the Pope. "I willingly express to you my sincere congratulations and personal good wishes for the occasion."

"Yesterday in the church of Santa Maria in Transpontina, you celebrated a solemn Mass in thanksgiving to Almighty God for the gift of 40 years of episcopal ministry. Today I am happy to join my prayers to your intentions, and I ask the Lord to be your guide and strength as you continue to serve the Church in love and zeal. Invoking upon Your Eminence, through the intercession of Mary the Mother of God, the divine gifts of joy and peace, I cordially impart to you and to all who share in this joyful celebration, my apostolic blessing."
Source - Vatican Information Service

Instruction On The Feast Of All Saints

From The Church's Year by Rev. Fr. Leonard Goffine

Why has the Church instituted this festival?
1. To give praise to God in His saints, (Ps. cl.) and to pay to the saints themselves the honor which they merit for having made it the work of their earthly life to promote the honor of God.

2. To impress vividly upon our minds that we are members of that holy Catholic Church which believes in the communion of saints, that is, in the communion of all true Christians, who belong to the Church triumphant in heaven, to the Church suffering in purgatory, or to the Church militant upon earth; but, more particularly, to cause us earnestly to consider the communion of the saints in heaven with us, who are yet battling on earth.

3. To exhort us to raise our eyes and hearts, especially on this day, to heaven, where before the throne of God is gathered the innumerable multitude of saints of all countries, times, nationalities and ranks of life, who have faithfully followed Christ and left us glorious examples of virtues, which we ought to imitate. This we can do, for the saints, too, were weak men, who fought and conquered only by the grace of God, which will not be denied to us.

4. To honor those saints, for whom during the year there-is no special festival appointed by the Church. Finally, that in consideration of so many intercessors God may grant us perfect reconciliation, may permit us to share in their merits, and may grant us the grace to enjoy with them, one day, the bliss of heaven.
Who first instituted this festival?

Pope Boniface IV first suggested the celebration of this festival, when in 610 he ordered that the Pantheon, a pagan temple at Rome, dedicated to all the gods, should be converted into a Christian church, and the relics of the saints, dispersed through the different Roman cemeteries, taken up and placed therein. He then dedicated the Church to the honor of the Blessed Virgin and all the martyrs, and thus for the first time celebrated the Festival of All Saints, directing that it should be observed in Rome every year. Pope Gregory IV. extended this feast to the whole Catholic Church, and appointed the 1st of November as the day of its celebration.

At the Introit the Church sings: Let us all rejoice in the Lord, celebrating a festival day in honor of all the saints; at whose solemnity the angels rejoice, and give praise to the Son of God. Rejoice in the Lord, ye just: praise becometh the upright. Glory &c.

Almighty everlasting God, who givest us to venerate in one solemnity the- merits of all Thy saints: we beseech Thee to bestow upon us, through our multiplied intercessors, the fulness of Thy propitiation. Thro'. &c.

LESSON (Apoc. vii. 2-12.)
IN THOSE DAYS, behold, I, John, saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the sign of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, saying: Hurt not the earth, nor the sea, nor the trees, till we sign the servants of our God in their foreheads. And I heard the number of them that were signed, an hundred and forty-four thousand were signed, of every tribe of the children of Israel. Of the tribe of Juda were twelve thousand signed. Of the tribe of Ruben twelve thousand signed. Of the tribe of Gad twelve thousand signed. Of the tribe of Aser twelve thousand signed. Of the tribe of Nephtali twelve thousand signed. Of the tribe of Manasses twelve thousand signed. Of the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand signed. Of the tribe of Levi twelve thousand signed. Of the tribe1 'of- Issachar twelve thousand signed. Of the tribe of Zabulon twelve thousand signed. Of the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand signed. Of the tribe of Benjamin twelve thousand signed. After this I saw a great multitude which no man could number, of all nations, and tribes, and peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and in sight of the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands: and they cried with a loud voice, saying: Salvation to our God who sitteth upon the throne, and to the Lamb. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and the ancients, and the four living creatures; and they fell down before the throne upon their faces, and adored God, saying: Amen. Benediction, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, honor, and power, and strength to our God for ever and ever. Amen.

The words of this lesson relate immediately to the divine punishment on Jerusalem and the Jewish people, as they were revealed in spirit to John; in a higher and particular sense they refer to the general judgment. At this judgment there will be chosen ones, from each of the twelve tribes of Israel. But that it might not be thought that the elect are principally Christian converts from Judaism, St. John was shown a countless multitude of Christians from heathen lands, by which it is seen, that it is the pagans who will principally fill the Church of Christ and heaven. This multitude clothed in white and carrying palms in their hands, stand before the throne of God and before the Lamb, that is, Christ. The white robes are tokens of their innocence; the palm is the emblem of their glory and of their victory over the temptations of the world, the flesh and the devil. They shall adore God, and forever sing to Him, in communion with all the heavenly spirits, a canticle of praise for the power and glory which He has bestowed upon them.

Let us strive so to live, that we may one day be among these chosen ones.

GOSPEL (Matt. v. 1 -12.)
AT THAT TIME, Jesus seeing the multitudes, went up into a mountain. And when he was sat down, his disciples came unto him. And opening his mouth, he taught them, saying: Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are the meek, for they shall possess the land. Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice, for they shall have their fill. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peace-makers, for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you untruly, for my sake: be glad and rejoice, for your reward is very great in heaven.

Why is the Gospel of the Eight Beatitudes read on this day?

Because they form, so to speak, the steps on which the saints courageously ascended to heaven.

If you desire to be with the saints in heaven, you must also mount patiently and perseveringly these steps, then God's hand will assuredly aid you.


I. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

THEY are poor in spirit who, like the apostles, leave all temporal things for Christ's sake and become poor; they who have lost their property by misfortune or injustice, and bear this loss with patience and resignation to the will of God; they who are contented with their poor and lowly station in life, do not strive for greater fortune or a higher position, and would rather suffer want than make themselves rich by unlawful means; they who though rich do not love wealth, nor set their hearts upon it, but use their riches to aid the poor; and especially they who are humble, that is, who have no exalted opinion of themselves,' but are convinced of their weakness and inward poverty, have a low estimate of themselves, therefore, feel always their need, and like poor mendicants, continually implore God's grace and assistance.

II. Blessed are the meek, for they shall possess the land.

He is meek who represses every rising impulse of anger, impatience and desire of revenge, and willingly puts up with every thing that God, to prove him, decrees or permits to happen to him, or men inflict upon him. He who thus controls himself, is like a calm and tranquil sea, in which the image of the divine Sun is ever reflected, clear and Unruffled. He who thus conquers himself is mightier than if he besieged and conquered strongly fortified cities, (Prov. xvi. 32.) and will without doubt receive this earth, as well as heaven, as an inheritance, enjoying eternally there the peace (Ps. xxxvi. n.) which is already his on earth.

III. Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.

The mourners here mentioned are not those who weep and lament over the death of relatives and friends, or over misfortune or loss of temporal riches, but those who mourn that God is so often offended, so little loved and honored by men, that so many souls, redeemed by the precious blood of Christ, are lost. Among these mourners are also those who lead a strict and penitential life, and patiently endure distress; for sin is the only evil, the only thing to be lamented, and those tears only, which are shed on account of sin, are useful tears, and are recompensed by everlasting joy and eternal consolation.

IV. Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice, for they shall have their fill.

Hunger and thirst denote the ardent longing for those virtues which constitute Christian perfection. He who seeks such perfection with ardent desire and earnest striving, will be filled, that is, will be adorned by God with the most beautiful virtues, and will be abundantly rewarded in heaven.

V. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.

They are merciful who assist the poor according to their means, who practice every possible spiritual and corporal work of mercy, who as far as they can, patiently endure the faults of others, strive always to excuse them, and willingly forgive the injuries they have received. They especially are truly merciful, who are merciful to their enemies, and do good to them, as written: Love your enemies, and do good to them that hate you. (Matt. v. 44.) Well is it for him who is merciful, the greatest "rewards are promised him, but a judgment without mercy shall be passed on the unmerciful.

VI. Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God.

They are clean of heart, who carefully preserve the innocence which they received in baptism, and keep their heart and conscience free not only from all sinful words and deeds, but from all sinful thoughts and desires, and in all their omissions and commissions think and desire only good. These while yet on earth see God in all His works and creatures, because their thoughts are directed always to the Highest Good, and in the other world they will see Him face to face, enjoying in this contemplation a peculiar pleasure which is reserved for pure souls only; for as the eye that would see well, must be clear, so must those souls be immaculate who are to see God.

VII. Blessed are the peace-makers, for they shall be called the children of God.

Those are peace-makers who guard their improper desires, who are careful to have peace in their conscience and regulated tranquility in all their actions, who do not quarrel with their neighbors, and are submissive to the will of God. These are called children of God, because they follow God who is a God of peace, (Rom. xv. 33.) and who even gave His only Son to reconcile the world, and bring upon earth that peace which the world does not know and cannot give. (Luke ii. 14.; John xiv. 27.)

VIII. Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Those suffer persecution for justice' sake who by their words, writings, or by their life defend the truth, the faith and Christian virtues; who cling firmly to God, and permit nothing to turn them from the duties of the Christian profession, from the practice of their holy religion, but on its account suffer hatred, contempt, disgrace, injury and injustice from the world. If they endure all' this with patience and perseverance, even, like the saints, with joy, then they will become like the saints and like them receive the heavenly crown. If we wish to be crowned with them, we must suffer with them: And all that will live godly in Christ Jesus, shall suffer persecution, (ii. Tim. iii. 12.)

How lovely, O Lord, are Thy tabernacles! My soul longeth for Thy courts. My body and soul rejoice in Thee, most loving God, Thou crown and reward of all the saints, whose temporal pains and sufferings Thou dost reward with eternal joy, filling them with good! How blessed are they who have faithfully served Thee, for they carry Thy name on their forehead, and reign with Thee for all eternity. Grant us, we beseech Thee, O God, by their intercession, Thy grace that we, after their example, may serve Thee in sanctity and justice, in poverty and humility, in meekness and repentance, in the ardent desire for all virtues, by mercy, perfect purity of heart, in peacefulness and patience, following them, and taking part, one day, with them in heavenly joy and happiness. Amen.

Echoes of Catholic Militancy

From the American TFP:

A recent book titled, No More Christian Nice Guy, outlines a prevalent error in society. The book’s author, Paul Coughlin, explains that Christianity has been divorced of masculinity to such an extent that many Christian men feel stifled and even suffocated when trying to practice the Faith.

However, this emasculated Christianity is opposed by the teachings of Christ and two thousand years of Catholic tradition. Indeed, Christ gave a supreme example of manliness when he railed against the Pharisees and again when He drove the money changers from the Temple.

Following His example, pious Catholic men throughout the centuries have brought tremendous acts of daring and bravery to battlefields and steadfastly faced innumerable situations of danger and conflict. Nothing could be more Catholic than this. That is why the Church teaches that Catholics living on earth are members of the “Church Militant.”

Echoing this spirit of manliness and combativeness, the American TFP Choir is featuring a recording of traditional Catholic choir music, sung in a masculine and forceful style. These songs were digitally recorded at the closing Mass of the 2005 National Conference of the American TFP. Feel free to listen to these ten tracks for free, or download the whole collection by clicking here

Listening to these pieces can help revive the notions of Catholic virility and give oxygen to those struggling to be truly Catholic men.

Holy God We Praise Thy Name...2:21

Ave Maria Serena...4:08

Veni Sancte Spiritus...2:47

Agnus Dei...1:21


O Vos Omnes...2:55

Virgo Dei Genetrix...1:23

Ave Verum...2:13

Salve Regina...3:30

O Rome Eternal...3:24

To Download the entire collection, click here.