Saturday, March 04, 2006

Merged parishes hope fish fries can be a recipe for reconciliation

Gospel for Saturday after Ash Wednesday

From: Luke 5:27-32

The Calling of Matthew

[27] After this He (Jesus) went out, and saw a tax collector, named Levi, sitting at the tax office; and He said to him, "Follow Me." [28] And Levi left everything, and rose and followed Him. [29] And Levi made Him a great feast in His house; and there was a large company of tax collectors and others sitting at table with them. [30] And the Pharisees and their scribes murmured against His disciples saying, "Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?" [31] And Jesus answered them, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; [32] I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."


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

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

Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland. Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

Friday, March 03, 2006

What they are doing is very Catholic...

...So states Marek Bozek, the excommunicated priest hired by the Board of Directors of St Stanislaus Church...Bozek was referring to the activities at Sts. Clare and Francis Parish which was welcomed into the Ecumenical Catholic Communion on Saturday, Feb. 25, in Webster Groves.
The newly-elected pastor of Sts. Clare and Francis, Rev. Francis Krebs, is an openly gay former Roman Catholic priest. ECC presiding bishop Peter Hickman is the married father of five.
For 13 years, Krebs was assigned as pastor to St. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in the Soulard area. He served in this capacity as a Roman Catholic priest before leaving the priesthood in 1990. He states that he has been in a "committed relationship for the past seven-and-a-half years."

Jessica Rowley (left) and Lisa von Stamwitz
received a blessing from Rev. Francis Krebs and
Bishop Peter Hickman. The two are studying for
the priesthood. The little girl holding Rawley's
hand is a parishioner.
photo by Diana Linsley

Sts. Clare and Francis parish currently has two women pursuing the deaconate and priesthood, Jessica Rowley and Lisa von Stamwitz.
Lisa serves (or served) as the Parish Associate at St Cronan's Catholic Parish with Pastor Gerry Kleba. (See the Archdiocesan web site here.)

According to the St Cronan Chronicle of September 2003 (PDF file), the Parish Newsletter, Lisa was hired as a "pastoral associate with responsibilities to support the spiritual development of children and youth." What sort of spiritual development did these children receive - Could it even have been remotely Catholic? The Sept 2003 Chronicle continues:
The Youth Commission reconvened this year. The commission met with Lisa to evaluate the past year and set goals for faith formation of children and youth for the coming years.
What sort of choice in selecting one to teach children in the Catholic faith is this? Is there no regard for the Truth as passed on through 2000 years of the Church? Apparently teaching children the autehntic Catholic faith does not seem to be a high priority.

In addition, ECC Bishop Hickman, while in St. Louis, spoke with local clergy, including Marek Bozek. The Times Online article states:
"I wish Sts. Clare and Francis all the best, and congratulate the new pastor and the new candidates for ordination," said Bozek. "I wish there was a way that Sts. Clare and Francis could be part of the Roman Catholic Church, because I believe that what they are doing is very Catholic." (emphasis is mine)
Why is it that certain people wish to call themselves something they are not. How does Bozek keep a straight face in claiming that ordaining women is even remotely Catholic? Or that living in a homosexual relationship is not gravely sinful but that there should be room in the Catholic Church for such "diversity"? Can we not call these things by their proper names, such as "rebellion against God and nature", "sexual deviance", "moral depravity"? Are there any teachings of the Church which are not subject to his own personal interpretation?

The complete article is here for your reading enjoyment.

A very special Hat tip to Harry S. for providing the link to this article!

Decree on dispensation for feast of St. Patrick

Lest there be anyone who fails to read the St. Louis Review:
Each year, the Church sets aside the Season of Lent as a time of personal prayer and penance for the renewal of the Christian life. The Season of Lent begins with the observance of Ash Wednesday which, this year, occurs on March 1.

In order to assist the faithful to participate in this season of strong grace, the Church sets forth certain penitential practices to be observed. The principal practices are the observance of Ash Wednesday and Good Friday as days of fast and abstinence, and the observance of the Fridays of Lent as days of abstinence.

This year, March 17, the Feast of St. Patrick, the Apostle of Ireland, falls on the second Friday of Lent. In light of the time-honored celebration of St. Patrick on his feast day by various parishes and groups within the Archdiocese of St. Louis, I am pleased to dispense, in accord with the norm of canon 87, §1, the just-mentioned parishes and groups, as well as the individual members of the faithful who participate in their celebrations, from the observance of Friday, March 17, 2006, as a day of abstinence from meat.

I encourage the faithful for whom the dispensation applies to choose another weekday of the Second Week of Lent as a day of abstinence from meat, in substitution for the observance on Friday, March 17.

Given at the offices of the Curia of the Archdiocese of Saint Louis, on the 24th day of January, the Memorial of St. Francis de Sales, bishop and doctor of the Church, in the Year of the Lord 2006.

Most Rev. Raymond L. Burke
Archbishop of Saint Louis

Polish Apostolate Solidarity Mass - March 5

Auxiliary Bishop Robert J. Hermann will say the monthly Mass of Solidarity for Archbishop Raymond L. Burke at St. Agatha Church, 3239 S. Ninth St., at 10 a.m. Sunday, March 5.

Members of the Polish apostolate established at the parish last summer hold a monthly Mass in support of the Archbishop. Light refreshments will be served afterward.

Call (314) 772-1603 for more information.

Fr Pavone Chides Catholic Legislators... response to their "Statement of Principles"
...Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, commented that the legislators had “made a big mistake” and introduced “a bundle of contradictions” into the public debate on faith and public service.

“This statement tries to soften the contradiction between creating a just society and tolerating legal abortion. The voting records of these legislators are available to anyone who wants to look them up. To fail to protect the unborn, and then to say that you are ‘committed to…protecting the most vulnerable among us’ is a blatant contradiction. Moreover, the statement invokes Pope John Paul II’s document Christifideles Laici. Yet that very document states, ‘Above all, the common outcry, which is justly made on behalf of human rights -- for example, the right to health, to home, to work, to family, to culture -- is false and illusory if the right to life, the most basic and fundamental right and the condition for all other personal rights, is not defended with maximum determination,’” Fr. Pavone pointed out. [my emphasis]
More at Priests for Life here

We can only hope and pray that each bishop assumes his responsibility and obligation for correcting and teaching those legislators who are within his boundary of jurisdiction.

HT to Patte G for the report!

Misunderstanding "The Sign of Peace"

A reader writes to the Review:
Peace passed on

Regarding Father Thomas Keller’s column on Feb. 17, concerning the Sign of Peace: We have an autistic daughter who loves going to Sunday Mass. The Sign of Peace is very special to her.

After we do the Sign of Peace she always looks at me and says "I’m so happy." I think she really understands what it means.

Arline Schmiedeke
St. Pius V Parish
St. Louis
Fr Thomas Keller's response to a question about overdoing the Sign of Peace from the Feb. 17 column of "Dear Father":
The Church needs to do away with the Sign of Peace. It seems unsanitary and it interrupts the Mass by creating a social hour. Where did it come from, and what can be done about this?

The Sign of Peace is an ancient ritual symbolizing the bestowal of Christ’s peace to the Church at Pentecost. But before we deal with its sanitary or social consequences let’s look at what is happening. True peace, or the peace that the world cannot give, comes from Christ. This peace is received through the sacraments.

The external action expressing the presence of the peace of Christ has changed over the centuries. In the early Church, it was a ritualized kiss on the lips; in later centuries it became an embrace, or even the kissing and passing of an ornate "pax" board. In some centuries it was exchanged by all members of the assembly, and at other times only by the clergy. It usually occurred near or even at the time when Holy Communion was received. In modern times, a handshake is often the outward expression of peace.

Today, the Sign of Peace may be misunderstood. Some people may believe it expresses affection or acceptance of other individuals in a community. Instead, it expresses Christ’s peace, not our own. The celebrant of the Mass offers peace first from the altar where the Eucharist lays. He says, "The peace of the Lord be with you all." The peace comes directly from Christ. Then that peace is shared by those to whom it has been offered through a simple ritual action. In a sense, it foreshadows the peace of receiving Holy Communion and expresses the Mystical Body of Christ.

Finally, if someone is mindful of illness, he or she should take measures to avoid spreading germs without avoiding others. You can express the Sign of Peace by saying it to someone near you without a handshake if you’re concerned that might spread germs. If the members of a parish community exchange the Sign of Peace with more than the individuals immediately near them, they may wish to reconsider its practice so that it does not distract from the primary sign of unity, which is Holy Communion.

Father Keller is an associate pastor at the St. Louis Cathedral Basilica Parish and assistant director of the archdiocesan Office of Worship.
At one parish,the priest omits the optional "Let us offer each other the sign of God's peace", which keeps our focus directed toward the altar where Christ is really, truly, and substantially present. At others, there is a general disruption of the awesome reality of the miracle which has just taken place on the altar. Normally, if and when faced with such a disruption, I keep my hands folded and bow slightly to the person left and/or right of me, saying "Peace be with you"...

How to remove your signature from stem cell/cloning petition

From the St. Louis Review:
If you mistakenly signed the ballot initiative petition that seeks to protect human cloning and embryonic stem-cell research in Missouri, there is a way to get your name off the list of signatures.

The Missouri Catholic Conference, the public policy arm of the state’s bishops, has made available a form for those seeking to remove their names from the petition that would place the Missouri Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative on the Nov. 7 ballot.

"We have had phone calls from people who have signed the petition because they were told that the initiative would ban human cloning or not destroy human life," said Deacon Larry Weber, executive director of the conference. "Many people who signed the petition are upset because they feel they were misled and want to have their name removed from the petition."

Those who wish to have their names removed should submit a sworn statement to the Missouri Secretary of State’s office asking that the signature be withdrawn from the petition.
Requests should be submitted in writing to:
Robin Carnahan,Secretary of State of Missouri
Missouri State Capitol, Room 208,
PO Box 778
Jefferson City, MO 65102-0778.

The request must contain the name of the petition (Missouri Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative), the name the voter used when signing the petition, the address of the voter and his or her county of residence.

The request also must be notarized by a notary public and be received by the secretary of state before initiative proponents file the signed petitions with the secretary of state. The signed petitions can be submitted as soon as the required amount of signatures has been collected.

A sample request form is available at the Missouri Catholic Conference’s Web site, or by calling (573) 635-7239.
As of 9:15am, the form was not yet available from the website although a representative there indicated that it would be posted this morning. It will be a .PDF file...

*** UPDATED ***

The PDF file is now available at

God's Immeasurable Generosity in Priestly Vocations

Archbishop Burke relates in his weekly column today an event of particular importance as we continue our daily prayers and petitions to our Lord in providing good and holy priests to carry on His work, His personal calling to certain men to become an Alter Christus, a call to consider a vocation to the ordained priesthood. Archbishop Burke tells us about the Priesthood discernment retreat:
From Friday evening, Feb. 17, through Sunday afternoon, Feb. 19, 39 men gathered with me at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary for a spiritual retreat. All of them are hearing, to some degree, the call to the ordained priesthood and wanted to spend time in prayer and reflection, to know God’s will more perfectly in their lives. They rightly looked to me as their shepherd to help them in discerning Christ’s call in their lives.

The men who gathered included high school seniors, men in university studies and men already exercising some profession or other work. They quickly bonded with one another through their common love of Christ and His priestly ministry and through their desire to answer Christ’s call in their lives. They also quickly bonded with our seminarians who were their hosts and to whom they look as brothers responding to Christ’s call. It is a particular gift for me to be able to host the priesthood discernment retreat, an annual event, at our archdiocesan seminary, in which the men who are called to the priesthood will receive their preparation for priestly ordination and ministry.

I offered four spiritual conferences on the priestly vocation, on what it means to be called to the ordained priesthood and how one responds to Christ’s call to put aside our fears and become "fishers of men" (Luke 5:10). Also, I met with each man individually to discuss his hearing of Christ’s call. What struck me about all of the men was their generous willingness to leave everything behind to follow Christ the Good Shepherd. Thanks be to God, the greater part of the men who participated in the priesthood discernment retreat are already making application to enter Kenrick-Glennon Seminary or plan to do so within the coming year. Also, some are making plans to enter a religious community of priests.

At the conclusion of the weekend, I could not thank our Lord Jesus enough for His call at work in the lives of so many good men of the archdiocese. I write to you about the retreat, so that you may know more fully how our Lord is at work to provide shepherds for us. Also, I ask you to pray daily for the men who are hearing Christ’s call to the priesthood.
What a wonderful blessing this is. Please continue to pray for our priests and bishops and for vocations to the priesthood and religious life.

Archbishop Burke's complete column is here.

Catholic Youth Bible Warning

I received my copy of the Adoremus Bulletin yesterday or so was shocked, but not really surprised to read about the “Catholic Youth Bible”, an edition of the New Revised Standard Version with additions and comments aimed at high-schoolers and which is, as Adoremus states, a resources which has been "intensely promoted for use in Catholic schools."

It's a shame, really, that the "Index" is no longer used. At least, I would think, Catholics ought to be able to check and see what books would constitute a danger to one's faith. There is a reason the Holy See delared the the NRSV was not to be used in the Liturgy. Yet this "bble" with its added comments, goes far and beyond that and it presumes to be be labeled as Catholic...Here is a small sample of what your children may be exposed to if they have this "bible":
“God, loving father and mother” prayer - page 1049

Sweat Lodge “Great Spirit” ceremony advocated - p 1005

The Gospel of Matthew is presented as fictionalizing Jesus: “The author of Matthew wanted to show how Jesus broke with certain Jewish beliefs.... So in the Sermon on the Mount, the Gospel has Jesus giving new interpretation to Jewish laws.... Such incidents probably reflect the experience of the author’s community with Jewish leaders as much as Jesus’ own conflicts”. - p 1120

A Native American sun worship prayer is included. There is no warrant for including such material from a completely pagan source. - p 1258

The explanation of Jesus’ institution of the Eucharist is seriously defective, and undermines Catholic teaching on transubstantiation:
“... [Jesus’ disciples] share the loaf of bread that he identified as his body given for us and the cup of wine that he identified with the New Covenant sealed by his blood”. - p 1237 (emphasis added)
God as Father avoided: “The God whom Jesus called Abba is the parent of all nations...” - p 940
Is it any wonder that there are so many confused Catholics? This poison, this heresy apparently goes on unchecked. If I had or my children ever had one of these books, I would go so far as to return to the store from which it was purchased and demand a refund - most especially if it came from a so-called Catholic bookstore. I would also hope and pray that irreparable damage had not been inflicted to the faith of one who may have been unfortunate enough to hold such a book in his hands.

The complete article from Adoremus is here.

More on..."Archbishop silences priest's 'Voice'"

The archdiocese [of Minneapolis/St Paul] had no comment about the decision, and [Fr Robert] Altier could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Archdiocese spokesman Dennis McGrath could not confirm the reason for Flynn's directive because the archbishop did not discuss any communication he had with Altier. McGrath said no impropriety had occurred. "Any communication between a priest and the archbishop is personal and confidential," McGrath said. "But obviously there is a point of disagreement there someplace in his homilies or some of the things on the radio."
Nothing new here from the Twin Cities Pioneer Press...Fr Altier is giving a Lenten Retreat on April 1 according to Catholic Parents Online. Let us not be remiss in praying for Fr. Altier and Archbishop Flynn for resolution of this matter.

Some Question Prudence of Missouri Anti-Abortion Bill

One might think that a bill filed this week to ban nearly all forms of abortion in Missouri would have anti-abortion groups dancing in the marbled halls of the Capitol.

Instead, they're saying "not so fast."

Leaders of three of the state's top anti-abortion groups say they're uncomfortable with the strategy behind the sweeping legislation...And Gov. Matt Blunt told reporters Thursday, "I'm not convinced it's necessary" to pass a general abortion ban.
The Missouri Catholic Conference lobbies heavily against abortion. The conference's Larry Weber said, "I'm very disinclined to bring cases that intended to overturn Roe v. Wade without knowing if we have the votes."

That view is mirrored by Patty Skain, executive director of the Missouri Right to Life, who said he shares [the] goal but not [the] timing.
Sen. Jason Crowell, R-Cape Girardeau, said he has no doubt that the time for a bolder approach on abortion is now. "Ultimately I think we need to get down to the core issue," he said. "Should abortion be legal in the state of Missouri?"
Directly willed abortions should be illegal everywhere, but one must be aware of the fact that it is a continuation of contraception, a result of failed contraception. Some hold the opinion that the State should wait and see the dust settle from the South Dakota measure as well as similar initiatives in other states.

Of course, those who favor the murder of the unborn continue to cry out their false claims that such a bill infringes on their "right" to choose to commit torture and murder at will.

More here.

Gospel for Friday after Ash Wednesday

From: Matthew 9:14-15

The Call of Matthew (Continuation)

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


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

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

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

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

The second part of the verse refers to the violent death Jesus would meet.

Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland. Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

"Catholics for Faithful Citizenship" Emails Press Release for Catholic Democrats

The text of the email follows since I could not find it at either or
Press Release—2 March 2006

55 Catholic members of the House made a public statement this week declaring their determination to decrease abortions in the United States. But William Donohue, the Catholic face of the Heritage Foundation’s pro-Republican agenda, responded yesterday with an ideologically-driven condemnation of this serious effort to address the whole range of Catholic issues. The reason? Because the 55 members in question are Democrats, and William Donohue has once again shown that the Catholic League’s Republican loyalties trump any concern about the unborn.

Dr. Patrick Whelan responded, “Nowhere in the pronouncements of the Catholic League has there been any recognition of the Bush Administration’s failed abortion strategy. Indeed, Mr. Bush has become the ‘Abortion President,’ reversing 13 years of declines in the number of abortions through policies that have created record numbers of poor people, cut Medicaid spending, and driven unprecedented numbers of workers onto the rolls of the medically uninsured. Four Republican-sponsored laws passed by Congress professed to address the abortion issue, including the so-called ‘partial birth abortion’ ban, but not even the supporters of these laws have claimed that they would have any meaningful effect on the abortion rates in America. And now the latest CDC data have proven just how weak the Bush Administration has been on the abortion issue, showing the first increases in abortions since 1990.”

In contrast, the House Democratic Catholic Caucus letter advances Catholic Social Teaching: “As legislators, in the U.S. House of Representatives, we work every day to advance respect for life and the dignity of every human being. We believe that government has moral purpose.” On abortion, the statement puts forth a positive vision of action: “Each of us is committed to reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies and creating an environment with policies that encourage pregnancies to be carried to term. We believe this includes promoting alternatives to abortion, such as adoption, and improving access to children's healthcare and child care, as well as policies that encourage paternal and maternal responsibility.”

All the anti-abortion rhetoric in the world cannot make up for Mr. Bush’s de facto pro-abortion policies that increase poverty, boost medical uninsurance rates, and ignore the continued threat of HIV substantially responsible for the changing sexual practices in the 90s that led to the plummeting abortion rates under President Bill Clinton. Donohue may parrot the Republican line on abortion, that reversing Roe-v-Wade is the only answer, but this misrepresents the Catholic view. As Catholics, the moral question we face on abortion is how we actually bring these children into the world. 55 House Democrats have thrown down a gauntlet, and as Catholics we have an opportunity to reverse the Bush pro-abortion policies that Donohue refuses to condemn. Concerted action, rather than insults slung toward Democratic leaders, would seem to be the appropriate Catholic response.

The Catholic Democrats are a national network of state-based groups, working within the Democratic Party to advance Catholic Social Teaching and its commitment to the common good. Questions? Dr. Andrew Clarkson, Communications Director (617-308-1584
Is this tactic of attacking others, such as William Donohue and George Bush, in response to the overwhelming criticism they have received, any different than that which these people always do? Is it not from the same, old playbook that has been used for so many years? One might also notice that the word "conscience" is conveniently left out of this press release, perhaps because they were "hammered" on it for the past couple of days.

Those who reject the teachings of the Church are not forced to remain Catholic. What reason causes them to continue to make the claim of being faithful Catholics while rejecting Church teachings. Usurping for themselves a position of moral authority in what amounts to a pseudo-magisterial status wherein they can interpret and decide what is right and wrong - apart from the Church - is not only anti-Catholic, but gravely scandalous. Their stated "disagreement" with the Church places them in an untenable situation which, objectively, where their souls are in grave danger.

Perhaps, a catechetical lesson (or several) would be useful in helping to enlighten their minds and convert their wills.

Catholic comic book venture started

There’s a new line of comic books out, but the "superheros" featured in each issue don’t have X-ray vision, super strength or the ability to fly. Instead, they have a power most parents would much rather that their children read about — faith.

"Stories of the Saints," published monthly by Arcadius Press, is a four-book packet of comics, each featuring the life of a different saint. "For example, a recent packet had St. Francis of Assisi, St. Anthony of Padua, St. Joan of Arc and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton," said Tony Sansone III, chief operating officer of Arcadius Press.
. . .
"We want to produce something for children through which they can learn about the lives of the saints — people who devoted themselves to Christ and the Catholic faith — in a medium that is fresh and exciting," he said.
Tony, a member of a local Catholic family is a student at Fontbonne University.
More here from the St. Louis Review

More information is available at
Tony Sansone can be reached at (417) 887-6570.

Archbishop Chaput to flock: hit back

Nothing less than "the systematic dismantling and pillaging of the Catholic community nationwide" is how Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput describes the impact of current and proposed sex abuse legislation around the country.

In a Q & A article to be published Sunday in Our Sunday Visitor, a national Catholic newspaper, Chaput is also critical of some fellow bishops for not doing more to fight the proposed laws.
How about those "wise" bishops calling for a lifting of the statute of limitations, like Bishop Gumbleton, perhaps?
Chaput, not naming names, attributed the reluctance [to fight back] to "guilt, confusion, a desire to take what they perceive to be 'the high road.' Fear has played a part, too.

"Maybe all these things have been justified in their time. But what's happening now - the systematic dismantling and pillaging of the Catholic community nationwide - is not justice.

"And unless Catholics wake up right now and push back on behalf of their church, their parishes and the religious future of their children, the pillaging will continue."
More here at the Rocky Moutain News...

So much could be said, but nothing said would be anyone who has raised children knows, when one fails to properly teach, correct and discipline one's children, that is, when one is negligently permissive, the odds are usually significantly increased that they will act in ways that are injurious to themselves or to others. Some may even end up in prison or dead. Some may even find themselves in hell. The consequences of an unbridled permissiveness can be deadly, in more ways than one. Parents and our bishops and priests used to remind us of this...Now and for the past few decades, however, it didn't seem to be politically correct or "pastoral" to stifle one's creativity, "freedom of choice", or malformed conscience. Many, I believe, understand that most of these crises of faith and morality could have been prevented had we had loving yet firm and resolute bishops and priests doing what they were supposed to do. Pray and pray some more for our Holy Father, our bishops, and our priests. Pray the God's graces are showered over them and they come to do His will in humble and contrite obedience.

Even More on the Democrats' Statement

From the illustrious Catholic News Service:
Democrats' statement said to arise from politicians' frustration
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- A new "statement of principles" signed by a majority of the Catholic Democrats in the House of Representatives arose from the politicians' frustration at "the way the church used the holy Eucharist as a political weapon against some elected officials" during the 2004 elections, according to one of the signers.
Political weapon? Perhaps they would prefer the Church's medicinal treatment for their "illness" - excommunication? But again, I digress. Let's continue and read something even more revealing:
Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., told Catholic News Service in a March 1 telephone interview that the statement was the product of "many, many meetings" among the House Democrats themselves and with others, including Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick of Washington, who heads the U.S. bishops' Task Force on Catholic Bishops and Politicians. (my emphasis)
Coaching from the sidelines? Calling them to repentance and conversion? Asking them to open their minds and hearts to the fullness of the Catholic faith? Perhaps these "Catholic" congresscritters are helping him with his long anticipated "Task Force" report - kind of a "quid pro quo" deal?

CNS article

On the lighter side: Parishes Report Extraordinary Minister Shortage

DAVENPORT, IOWA—While Catholics across the country pray for an end to the religious vocations crisis, many parishes are now reporting a sharp decline in extraordinary ministers, the lay volunteers who distribute Communion to parishioners.

“It has gotten so bad we only have two Eucharistic ministers for every one parishioner,” said Nelda Roarke, an extraordinary minister at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Davenport, Iowa. “I can remember the days when we had more people up here with the priest than we had people in the pews,” Roarke said. “It looks like those days may be gone.”
Sound familiar...? This funny satire is at Crisis here.

HT to grahekm!

No Tridentine Parish For Boston

It is not the intention of the Archbishop to begin a Tridentine Rite parish, thus at this time he does not envision the necessity nor the advantage of inviting priests from [either the Fraternity of Saints Peter and Paul or the Institute of Christ the King] come to the Archdiocese of Boston to service the Tridentine Community.
More here

It’s Sunset Boulevard for the Cardinal Secretary of State

He should be the pope’s foremost collaborator. But for Benedict XVI, cardinal Angelo Sodano is more of an obstacle than a help. Especially after his failed maneuver against cardinal Camillo Ruini
by Sandro Magister

ROMA, March 2, 2006 – For the Vatican curia, the upcoming consistory from March 23-25 will be very Lenten, and really hardly festive at all.

Only three of the curia heads waiting for the cardinal’s purple will receive it. Of those left standing at the gate, the most famous, archbishop Michael Fitzgerald, not only was not promoted as a cardinal, but was demoted as a nuncio in Egypt.

Step by step, with a few well-aimed decisions, Benedict XVI has already expunged two of the bastions in the curia that were opposed to him: the Congregation for the Liturgy, with the appointment as secretary of an archbishop of Sri Lanka in his trust, Albert M. Ranjith Patabendige Don, and the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, with Fitzgerald’s dismissal as president.

And now everyone in the curia is waiting – or fearing – for the next blow to fall against the secretariat of state, with the retirement on account of age of its senior office holder, cardinal Angelo Sodano.
More here

Fr Robert Altier Silenced by Archbishop Harry Flynn

One wonders if a priest who speaks out against the VIRTUS program incurs the wrath of the good Archbishop...?

*** Updated ***

I have reviewed Catholic Culture's Site Reviews of both
A Voice in the Desert
(which was updated two weeks ago and given the GREEN Rating


Catholic Parents OnLine which has a great deal about the sexual educational perversions being talk in the name of "child safety", including a link to Fr. Altier's site. This site, too, was given a GREEN rating by Catholic Culture.

One of Fr Altier's reflections can be found at Catholic Culture and is titled, "Public Sin and the Reception of Holy Communion".

I do not know the man, but it appears that his words of warning about the immorral and explicit sexual educational efforts being forced upon Catholic children under the guise of "protecting children" may have been a factor in his silencing. Perhaps others can shed more light on it...It would be presumptuous to speculate, though.

I can attest, though, that under no circumstances would I ever permit a child of mine to be part of the deviant "Talking about Touching" program under the auspices of certain Catholic dioceses such as the Archdiocese of Minneapolis/St Paul with the approval of Archbishop Flynn.

A Lenten Workshop

from Catholic Culture:

Information about Lent
Lenten Prayers & Hymns
Lenten Activities
A Personal Program
Stations of the Cross

Reflection for Lent-Contrition and Attrition

(An Instruction)

Dear brethren:

The road of penance is the sinner's only road to heaven. No sin can enter heaven, and there is no forgiveness of sin without sorrow.

"Unless you do penance," said our Lord, "you shall all perish" (Luke 13:3).

"If we do not penance we shall fall into the hands of the Lord" (Ecclesiasticus 2:22).

The reason of this lies in the nature of sin. Mortal sin is a turning of the will from God to what is hateful to God; and mortal sin remains as long as the will is not turned back to God. Thus the conversion of a sinner (Ezechiel 18:21, 22) means his turning away with detestation and sorrow from the sins he had loved before.

This hate and sorrow, this turning by grace of the sinner's will against his sin, is what theologians mean by contrition. Such a sorrowful detestation of the past, if it be genuine, will of course contain, either expressed or implied, a firm resolve against sin for the future. This hate and sorrow for sin may be either perfect or imperfect when the 1llo#ves that excite such are perfect or imperfect motives. The perfect motive would be the thought that the sin committed has grievously offended the God whom we should love, and who in His beauty and perfection is so worthy of our love. Imperfect motives would be drawn from the pains of hell our sins have merited; the loss of heaven; the ingratitude sin is, etc. Now the hate and sorrow roused in us by perfect motives we call perfect contrition, or simply contrition while the hate and sorrow springing from imperfect motives we call imperfect contrition, or attrition.

1. Contrition, then, is hatred and sorrow for sin committed, because of its offending a God so lovable and perfect. The heart that is perfectly contrite is moved by the love of so good a God to hate and detest all that offends Him and separates the soul from His love; and above all, those sins that actually, at the time, offend Him in the soul and keep it from Him. You see, then, there is a certain amount of love in the hatred and sorrow of contrition. God never, we know, rejects a heart that has this loving sorrow; and so an act of such perfect contrition (which will, in Catholics, include a desire and intention of going to confession) at once restores the soul to grace, and unites it to God. A perfect detestation and sorrow like this will be universal; for all mortal sin grievously offends God. Nor can a soul return to His love, while any one such sin remains; for the will in such case would be turned to what is hateful to God.

This contrition will be sincere, even though it be not felt as much as the penitent would wish: it will include, moreover, a resolution to continue to hate sin and love God for the future. You can see that such being the nature of perfect con­trition, a great grace is necessary to make a soul in mortal sin have such a loving sorrow as this, such a holy horror of the sins to which it had before been so attached. To turn the will from loving an object to hating it, and grieving that it was ever an object of love, this is, you see, no easy or ordi­nary work. And in perfect contrition the motive that turns the will against its sin must be nothing less than the contemplation, by Faith, of the beauty and goodness of God, whom sin has outraged.

If a person fall into mortal sin, and cannot at once go to confession, this perfect contrition, with a desire of confessing, will restore him forthwith to grace by remitting his sin; though he should, when opportunity arrives, confess such sin. It is impor­tant that this should be remembered. And it is also important that this power of contrition be remem­bered by those who, having fallen into mortal sin, do not wish to lie down a single night with such unforgiven sin on their soul; who realize the death and ruin of a soul that remains in mortal sin. Such persons, unable to fulfil their hearts' desire of confessing their sin at once, should strive, with all the energy of their souls, by earnest, persevering prayer, and the one thought of the beauty and lovable perfection of the good God whom they have offended, to rouse this loving sorrow and hatred of their sin, in their hearts confessing it to God and imploring His forgiveness. And if their prayer be earnest, and their efforts to excite this sorrow energetic and sincere, God will not - we have His word for it - refuse the grace of perfect contrition; and when they love Him, He will return the love, and admit them to His grace and friend­ship. Souls thus mercifully forgiven will never forget the duty that remains of confessing, when opportunity offers, their forgiven sin, and thus complying with the bidding of the Church and the ordinance of God.

For this perfect contrition we are always recom­mended to strive in confession as well as out of it. But while less perfect sorrow suffices in the Sacra­ment, no other sorrow, with any motive lower than the goodness of God and His perfection outraged by our sin, will obtain for us forgiveness outside the Sacrament of Penance; and we have seen that, even with this perfect contrition, we must have at least an implied desire and intention of confessing our sins and obtaining the absolution of the priest.

2. Because this perfect contrition requires dis­positions so high and so holy, and, in the case of miserable sinners, so hard to attain, God is merci­fully content with a less perfect sorrow in those who seek remission of their sins in the Sacrament of Penance. Perfect contrition will, as we have seen, remit sin without the actual reception but with the mere desire of the Sacrament. Imperfect contrition, however, or, as it is generally called, attrition, will help to remit mortal sin, but only in the Sacrament, and joined with confession and the priest's absolution.

What is this attrition? It is such detestation and sorrow for sin as comes from any motive of faith less perfect than the consideration that sin has offended God, so lovable in Himself. Such a less perfect motive would be, for instance, the thought that sin has exposed us to eternal damna­tion in the fires of hell: that sin has shut the gates of heaven against us: that sin makes our souls dis­gusting and abominable to their Creator, to Mary, to the angels and saints, and so on. Motives like these, though they are supernatural motives of faith, are yet less perfect than the thoughts of the perfection and beauty of God; and the sorrow and detestation for sin that they excite, theologians call attrition. This attrition, like contrition, must come of God's grace and through prayer.

But, you see, it is easier for a soul hardened by sin to be moved to hate and sorrow for it by such thoughts as hell, loss of heaven, and the like, than by the higher and more perfect motives of contrition. It is an easier sorrow for the sinner, for it is less perfect; more in his reach, for it is lower. It would not, however, this attrition, restore the soul to grace, as contrition would, outside the Sacrament; but it would be a sufficient disposition to fit the soul for receiving forgiveness in confession, by the abso­lution of the priest.

This attrition must, like contrition, extend to every mortal sin on the soul. The reason is plain. Hell fire is for every sin. One mortal sin is enough to damn a soul for ever - to shut the gates of heaven, to make the soul hateful in God's sight. And to say you hated and regretted all your sins except one, because of hell fire, would show that you hated and sorrowed for none of them, since hell is for each as well as for all of them. The favorite sin will damn the sinner as truly as the sins from which he parts most easily. It is scarcely neces­sary to add that such attrition must be sincere.

God is not deceived by words. You may say that you are sorry, when you are not, to a man, and he may believe you and forgive you; but you cannot so deceive God, who sees the heart. This sorrow of fear, then, this attrition, must be honest and from the heart; and if it be honest and thorough, it will not only turn the sinner's will against his sin in the past and present, but will make him deter­mined to remain in his hatred of it in the future, and never to return to it again. Hell is for future as it is for past sins, and the thought of it should be as strong to move us to good resolution for the time coming as to sorrow for the time past.

One word more on contrition and attrition. When poor sinners are terrified into horror of sin by the thought of hell, of the loss of heaven, and so forth, and while they know that such attrition is strictly sufficient for the reception of the Sacrament, let them not rest content with this less per­fect sorrow. Rather should they strive by prayer to their Heavenly Father, by looking in faith at His beauty and perfection, to make their sorrow perfect, to change their attrition into contrition. Such perfect dispositions will bring speedier for­giveness, and will make the Sacrament of Penance bear far greater fruits of strength, and grace, and peace in the soul. The Church shows that such is her wish plainly enough.

For the act of contrition she teaches us to repeat at our confession gives the most perfect motives that can excite sorrow for sin: -"O my God, I am heartily sorry"- mark the word heartily - honestly, really sorry - "for having offended Thee, and I detest my sins most sin­cerely" - and now listen to the motives of this sorrow and detestation of sins - "because they dis­please Thee, my God, who art so deserving of all my love, for Thy amiable goodness and infinite perfections." You see here the motives are those of perfect contrition put into the mouth of every sinner when receiving absolution, and showing that while less perfect sorrow, or attrition, is suf­ficient, the penitent should strive for the most per­fect contrition, so as to receive the fullest fruit from the Sacrament.

3. This act of contrition ends with what all true contrition and attrition includes, a purpose of amendment: -"And I firmly purpose, by Thy holy grace, never more to offend Thee, and to amend my life." We have seen that such a resolution of amendment is the test of all true hate and sorrow for sin. Here we find that it must be a firm resolve -"I firmly purpose." A mere wish to be better and to avoid sin is not enough. It is the will that has sinned, and it is the will that must change for the future. And how the will is to gain strength for such a change we find in the words "by Thy holy grace." We may know that of our own accord we shall fall again. Yet must we resolve not to fall, and that, "by God's holy grace." That grace it is that can alone make our resolution firm and efficacious.

If our resolution is sincere it must include a resolution to avoid the occasions of sin. It would show we were not sincere were we to say we would cease to sin and yet continue in the occasions of sinning. A man knows by years of experience that if he goes at certain times with certain people into a bar he will most certainly get drunk. Any resolution of his against drunken­ness must of course, if it is to be sincere, include a resolution equally firm against these occasions that invariably lead him to sin. Or young people know that certain companions, at certain hours, in certain places, under certain circumstances, are sure, as sure as any other cause is of its effect, to lead them into certain sins. Well, their resolution must include the renouncement of such companions in such circumstances. If they refuse or withhold such a renouncement, and still say they renounce the sin, they are simply telling a lie; and though this may deceive others it will not deceive God.

If a man steps into the train, and says that he does not want to get as far as the next station, we know he is not in earnest; for the train does not stop till it gets to that place. And so there are certain trains of sinful occasions that we know cannot be entered without a certainty of their landing those that take them in mortal sin. Be quite sure, then, if you do not resolve to give up the occasions of sin, however pleasant, your resolution of avoiding sin is a sham and a lie, and the confession to which you bring such a resolution a sacrilege.

If, after such resolutions, a sinner finds that he falls into the same sins, enters the same occasions of sin, time after time, and with little or no struggle, he has surely grave reason to doubt the "firmness" of his resolution. Not that relapse into sin is always a sign that the previous resolution to amend was not at the time it was made firm and sincere enough: for we are poor and weak, and subject to fail in our best resolves. But, I repeat, if no manly struggle against sin, no effort to avoid sinful occasions, follow our reso­lutions; if we repeatedly return wilfully to sin and the ways of sin, if we find in our lives no change of any sort, no victory, not even a battle, but a sur­render at once to the old enemies, we must examine in all fear our resolutions of the past, lest it be that because they were never firm, and never earnest, they have ever fallen thus miserably away.
Adapted from...Sermons 1877-1887
by Fr Arthur Ryan
President of St. Patrick's College
Thurles, Ireland

St. Patrick's College, in 1992, ceased to be a Seminary.

Gospel for Thursday after Ash Wednesday

From: Luke 9:22-25

First Prophecy of the Passion

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

The Need for Self-Denial

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


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

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

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

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

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

Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland. Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

St Stanislaus and The Congregation for the Clergy

Either this is new or several of us have missed it at the "news" site linked by St. Stanislaus.
Interpretation of the "Vatican Ruling" of Nov. 11, 2004

The Decree issued by the Congregation for the Clergy in November 2004 was reviewed by the attorneys for the Parish. They agreed that it was not a decision based upon the merits (facts) of the case as presented in the petition for relief. It merely referred to the fact that the Congregation for the Clergy arbitrarily chose not to recognize the Board of Directors as the legitimate representatives of the people and therefore any petition filed by the Directors through attorney Krasnicki would not be recognized.

The cover letter, which is not a legal document or part of the Decree, went beyond that document and gratuitously stated that the Parish should follow the order of Abp. Burke.

As such neither the Decree nor the cover letter can be relied upon as an order of the Holy See upholding Abp. Burke’s decision as so often proclaimed by the Archdiocese.
If memory serves, both the Archdiocese and others referred to the fact that the Board was not considered the legitimate representative of the people of the parish, so this amazing discovery by the St. Stanislaus lawyers is a bit late, and dated...

But then, that's not the important part of this "newsflash" from St Stanislaus...the pertinent parts, it seems, are these, laced as they are with special codewords:
1) ...the Congregation for the Clergy arbitrarily chose not to recognize the Board...
2) The cover letter...went beyond that document...
3) The cover letter...gratuitously stated...
4) ...neither the Decree nor the cover letter can be relied upon...

This appears to be another display of disdain for the authority of, not only Archbishop Burke, but also that of the Holy See. Sad...


Cardinal McCarrick and Interfaith Leaders Call for Comprehensive Immigration Reform

I'd be more apt to listen to this man if he'd be forthcoming with his "Task Force" report on Catholic-in-name-only politicians who support every form of abortion, homosexuality and sodomy, murderous embryonic experimentation, and euthanasia of the sick and elderly and the scandal they cause by committing sacrilege in receiving Holy Communion, while professing to be faithful Catholics...Do you think one of the reasons the Holy Father hasn't yet accepted his resignation is because his Emminence is so diligently working on the task force report?

Perhaps, if the USCCB would do more to encourage Catholics to be truly Catholic, the good Cardinal and the other bishops could spend more time, not in the political arena, but as true shepherds, nourishing the faithful from the wellspring of Christ's Church. Now there's a novel idea...

More on...Catholic Democrats' Statement Defending Pro-Abortion Stance

From an email from Austin Ruse of Culture & Cosmos:
By Mark Adams

Apparently responding to Catholic bishops who spoke out in 2004 about the obligations of Catholics in public life to oppose legal abortion, 55 Catholic Democratic members of Congress have released a "Statement of Principles." Though the letter attempts to declare the signatories strong support for the dignity of life the document refuses to call for outlawing abortion and instead declares that "we acknowledge and accept the tension that comes with being in disagreement with the Church in some areas."

The letter declares that "we are proud to be part of the living Catholic tradition -- a tradition that promotes the common good, expresses a consistent moral framework for life." Yet the letter implies that the defense of unborn human life is a religious issue and that supporting legislation against abortion would constitute a violation of the religious freedom of others. The letter states, "As legislators, we are charged with preserving the Constitution, which guarantees religious freedom for all Americans. In doing so, we guarantee our right to live our own lives as Catholics, but also foster an America with a rich diversity of faiths."

Using a rhetorical strategy that has become increasingly common among pro-abortion politicians wishing to give a moderate appearance to their position, the letter refers to the "undesirability of abortion" and says "we do not celebrate its practice." But the letter implies that the key to ending abortion lies in increased funding for a variety of government programs and says nothing about overturning Roe v. Wade which essentially guarantees unfettered access to abortion through all nine months of pregnancy. "Each of us is committed to reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies and creating an environment with policies that encourage pregnancies to be carried to term. We believe this includes promoting alternatives to abortion, such as adoption, and improving access to children's healthcare and child care, as well as policies that encourage paternal and maternal responsibility."

The letter also advances many of the arguments of the "seamless garment" theory which places a plethora of issues on the same plane of importance as abortion. "That commitment is fulfilled in different ways by legislators but includes: reducing the rising rates of poverty; increasing access to education for all; pressing for increased access to health care; and taking seriously the decision to go to war. Each of these issues challenges our obligations as Catholics to community and helping those in need."

The letter elicited the effusive praise of Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne who called it a "remarkable document." Catholic League president William Donohue was highly critical of the letter. "[T]here is not a word in the statement that commits these Catholics to work towards a change in the Democratic Party’s Platform on abortion. Thus, even the barbaric practice of partial-birth abortion is not so undesirable that it must be opposed."

Culture of Life Foundation
1413 K Street, NW, Suite 1000
Washington DC 20005
Phone: (202) 289-2500
Fax: (202) 289-2502

The Catholic League's William Donohue weighs in here, stating:
“Perhaps the most convincing evidence that this statement is a sham is the fact that Rep. Rosa DeLauro is the point person for this effort. There has never been an abortion she couldn’t justify, including the killing of an innocent child who is 80-percent born. Indeed, she previously served as the executive director of EMILY’s List, the richest pro-abortion organization in the country. So with her at the helm, the ‘Statement of Principle’ is nothing more than a ‘Statement of Politics.’ Thus, the Abortion Albatross remains securely in place.”
Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer, President of Human Life International (HLI), responded to the "Statement of Principles":
"On the Eve of Ash Wednesday the day that marks the beginning of the Lenten Season 'Catholic' House Democrats choose to play the role of Judas in a passion play that ends with the crucifixion of the unborn child."

Why some Catholics are fleeing Memphis

An acquaintance from Memphis has seriously been considering leaving the area to return to St. Louis, primarily because the Church is in such disarray. Under the leadership of Bishop Terry Steib, things seem to have gone from bad to worse and for the sake of this man's faith and the faith and salvation of his family, he may be returning home to St. Louis.

Dom notes some of the problems in Memphis here.
Bishop J. Terry Steib of Memphis is quickly acquiring a reputation as one of the most gay-friendly bishops in the US.

Now, on March 11, Steib continues his gay outreach crusade by bringing in Fr. James Schexnayder of the National Association of Catholic Diocesan Lesbian and Gay Ministries (NACDLGM) to conduct workshops for clergy....
I fully support the man and his family in his decision to leave Memphis in the knowledge that compromises of the Faith are not allowed by Archbishop Burke as they are in so many other dioceses...Please keep this man and his family in your prayers and do not neglect to pray for Bishop Steib and other clergy who are inclined to disregard the Church's teaching on homosexuality, chastity, or any number of other things.

Local Stem Cell Research discussions

The Immaculate Conception Parish Bulletin (on page 5), in promoting its weekly Lenten Inspiration Quest speakers, presents to the faithful, Sr. Jean deBlois' talk, "The Stem Cell Controversy", in the following manner, which says, in part:
Become more informed on the critical issue of stem cell research and get answers from an extremely qualified Catholic authority on ethics...(my emphasis)
First, what is Inspiration Quest? From the ICD web site, we read:
Inspiration Quest, (often abbreviated “IQ”) is an adult Christian learning series at Immaculate Conception Parish which offers a wonderful variety of speakers and events, once each month throughout the year, and weekly during the Lenten season. The overall idea for this series is to educate and inspire Catholic adults who seek to deepen their understanding and appreciation of our faith.

Inspiration Quest events are currently held in the Church. Each event begins at 7:30 p.m. and is over by 9:00 p.m. There is no charge and no registration. A freewill offering is taken up to offset expenses. Childcare is provided by reservation. We welcome everyone to attend IQ and are also open to parishioners who would like to be part of the planning and hosting of these events as members of the IQ Committee.
There have been some great speakers in the past, such as Fr. Eugene Morris. However, there have been some events that others might classify as questionable, at least from a Catholic perspective. Such an example is the following - a speaker selection which has raised a number of questions, especially in the area of presenting the authentic Catholic teaching regarding the Missouri Stem Cell initiative:
Thursday, March 23, 2006 7:30 - 9:00 p.m.
"The Stem Cell Controversy"
A Presentation and Discussion led by Jean deBlois, C.S.J.

Become more informed on the critical issue of stem cell research and get answers from an extremely qualified Catholic authority on ethics. Jean deBlois is a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet currently engaged as Director of the Master of Arts in Health Care Mission program at Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis. In her former life she was a registered nurse working in critical care. She asked to study theology because of the many ethical issues she encountered in the area of health. She received an MA in theology from the University of San Francisco in 1979 and then went on to continue her studies, receiving a Ph.D. in moral theology and medical ethics from the Catholic University of America in 1988. She had the great privilege of studying with and being mentored by Charles Curran. She is particularly interested in end of life decision making, the effects of advancing technologies on the delivery of health care, professional ethics, the relevance of Catholic social teaching to Catholic health care today, and environmental ethics. (all emphasis mine)
Before I begin, three red flags pop up immediately:

1. She belongs to the Sisters of St Joseph of Carondelet
2. She teaches at Aquinas Institute
3. She had the "privilege" of being "mentored" by Fr. Charles Curran.

Now, I understand that the above three items could be construed as engaging in 'rash judgment', objectively a sin against the Eighth Commandment of the Decalogue. However, I merely noted that my internal warning system was activated (red flags), not that any "guilt by association" was being imputed. But these warning signs can be buttressed by other items. For instance, in this 2004 article from Women for Faith and Family, we read:
In a 1993 article, "Anencephaly and the Management of Pregnancy",1 Sister Jean deBlois, CSJ, then-senior associate for clinical ethics at The Catholic Health Association, proposed anencephaly as a case where "the pregnancy may be terminated at any time". Although Sister deBlois acknowledged that "there is no life-threatening maternal pathology", she cited the increased physical risks during labor and delivery, the "emotional trauma suffered by a couple upon diagnosis of anencephaly", and the lack of mental development in the baby as justification for "inducing labor to end the pregnancy".

Employing the principles of proportionality and "double effect", she maintained that "the resulting fetal death is indirect" and thus not an abortion. Sister deBlois further stated that because "human life involves more than simply biologic life", and infants with anencephaly lack "psychological, social, and creative capacities", such babies "can never acquire the quality of viability, properly understood". Thus, she maintained, "once the diagnosis is made, there seems to be no purpose in maintaining the pregnancy".

Anencephaly was thus singled out as a special case from other lethal birth defects because of the presumed lack of mental function. According to Sister deBlois's rationale, Catholic hospitals would then be ethically allowed to perform early induction delivery -- an acknowledged abortion procedure used for terminating babies with birth defects -- as a kind of termination of life support rather than abortion.

Whatever the semantics, Sister deBlois's position was a radical departure from the Church's condemnation of direct termination of pregnancy based on the condition of the unborn baby. Especially because some ethicists consider anencephaly as analogous to the controversial "vegetative state", this position unfortunately also furthered the contention that a presumed lack of mental function overrides the obligation to provide for the basic needs of a person by justifying even the interruption of a process as natural as pregnancy.
The excerpts certainly need no commentary from me as they are quite clear regarding Sister deBlois' position. But there is more. While this article dealt with a beginning of life issue, let's take a look at an end-of-life issue, specifically, The Pope's Address on Feeding and the "Vegetative" State (again from Women for Faith and Family):
Pope John Paul II in a March 20 address to the International Congress "Life-Sustaining Treatments and Vegetative State: Scientific Advances and Ethical Dilemmas", [in] affirming the obligation to feed and care for patients considered in PVS, [said,]
"The sick person in a 'vegetative state', awaiting recovery or a natural end, still has the right to basic health care (nutrition, hydration, cleanliness, warmth, etc.), and to the prevention of complications related to his confinement to bed. He also has the right to appropriate rehabilitative care and to be monitored for clinical signs of eventual recovery".
[However,] Sister Jean deBlois, C.S.J., director of a master's degree program for health care executives at Aquinas Institute in St. Louis, said that the pope's statement places "an unnecessary and unfounded burden on family members faced with treatment decisions on behalf of their loved ones" and that "artificial nutrition and hydration... holds no comparison to a meal".
She is also quoted as saying:
"When someone suffers an illness or injury that puts them in a persistent vegetative state, they have put their first foot on the path to eternal life. When we remove artificial nutrition and hydration, we open the door and say, 'Have a wonderful journey'". (Sister Jean deBlois, ethicist, Aquinas Institute, Spring, 2004)
"Have a wonderful journey, while we starve and dehydrate you to death?" Is this for real? And coming from a "Catholic" ethicist? Truly, unbelievable and directly contrary to the Holy Father's words.

Now, having reviewed the above we come to July, 2005, and we read that the Archdiocese has closed its doors to the Aquinas Institute Theology discussions which were taking place at the Rigali Center:
Lecture series forced to leave Catholic center
Discussions featured controversial issues.

ST. LOUIS - The St. Louis archdiocese has closed its doors on a popular round-table discussion series on Catholic theology, forcing organizers to find a new home.

The latest discussion, held earlier this month, focused on the debate over stem cell research, with the lecturer, Sister Jean deBlois, explaining the church’s ethical and moral problems with such research. But deBlois’ lecture appears to have been the last on church property.
We are not privy to the actual reasons for this action by the Archdiocese, but there seems to a pattern which might suggest that there are grave problems, at least from an authentic Catholic perspective.

As Providence would have it, a recent discussion of Sister deBlois' talk was posted on the CatholicStLouis yahoo group, which is accessible from the main page of this blog. Apparently, if I understand it correctly, the good sister's talk was not about the intrinsic evil associated with cloning and embryonic stem cell research but she approached it from a social justice or distributive justice perspective - a position which obscures the grave immorality of embryonic stem cell research. It would seem that attempting to discuss this issue from such a perspective minimizes the Catholic position as discussed by Archbishop Burke in his article here.

While it is stated at the CatholicStLouis site that Sister deBlois did uphold some of the teachings of the Church, it seems that if a Catholic parish is going to have a discussion of the stem cell issue, it should at least be presented in full accord with the Church's teaching on the matter and in a way consonant with the presentation made by Archbishop Burke. It seems that using the Social Justice perspective to oppose cloning/embryonic stem cell research is flawed. If, as the bulletin states, the faithful should "become more informed on the critical issue of stem cell research and get answers from an extremely qualified Catholic authority on ethics", is it not reasonable for the faithful to expect to be given the cold, hard facts and the truth as the Church wishes us to have them, rather than Sister's opinions and theories? For what it is worth, I understand that the Archdiocese has been advised and we await further information.

Gospel for Ash Wednesday

From: Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18

An Upright Intention in Almsgiving, Prayer and Fasting

(Jesus said to His disciples,) [1] "Beware of practising your piety before men in order to be seen by them; for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in Heaven. [2] "Thus, when you give alms, sound no trumpet before you, as thehypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by men. Truly, I say to you, they have their reward. [3] But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, [4] so that your alms may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

[5] "And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have their reward. [6] But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

[16] "And when you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have their reward. [17] But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, [18] that your fasting may not be seen by men but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you."


1-18. "Piety", here, means good works (cf. note on Matthew 5:6). Our Lord is indicating the kind of spirit in which we should do acts of personal piety. Almsgiving, fasting and prayer were the basic forms taken by personal piety among the chosen people--which is why Jesus refers to these three subjects. With complete authority He teaches that true piety must be practised with an upright intention, in the presence of God and without any ostentation. Piety practised in this way implies exercising our faith in God who sees us--and also in the safe knowledge that He will reward those who are sincerely devout.

5-6. Following the teaching of Jesus, the Church has always taught us to pray even when we were infants. By saying "you" (singular) our Lord is stating quite unequivocally the need for personal prayer--relating as child to Father, alone with God.

Public prayer, for which Christ's faithful assemble together, is something necessary and holy; but it should never displace obedience to this clear commandment of our Lord: "When you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father".

The Second Vatican Council reminds us of the teaching and practice of the Church in its liturgy, which is "the summit toward which the activity of the Church is directed; it is also the fount from which all her power flows [...]. The spiritual life, however, is not limited solely to participation in the liturgy. The Christian is indeed called to pray with others, but he must also enter into his bedroom to pray to his Father in secret; furthermore, according to the teaching of the Apostle, he must pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17)" ("Sacrosanctum Concilium", 10 and 12).

A soul who really puts his Christian faith into practice realizes that he needs frequently to get away and pray alone to his Father, God. Jesus, who gives us this teaching about prayer, practised it during His own life on earth: the holy Gospel reports that He often went apart to pray on His own: "At times He spent the whole night in an intimate conversation with His Father. The Apostles were filled with love when they saw Christ pray" ([St] J. Escriva, "Christ Is Passing By", 119; cf. Matthew 14:23; Mark 1:35; Luke 5:16; etc.). The Apostles followed the Master's example, and so we see Peter going up to the rooftop of the house to pray in private, and receiving a revelation (cf. Acts 10:9-16). "Our life of prayer should also be based on some moments that are dedicated exclusively to our conversation with God, moments of silent dialogue" ("ibid", 119).

16-18. Starting from the traditional practice of fasting, our Lord tells us the spirit in which we should exercise mortification of our senses: we should do so without ostentation, avoiding praise, discreetly; that way Jesus' words will not apply to us: "they have their reward"; it would have been a very bad deal. "The world admires only spectacular sacrifice, because it does not realize the value of sacrifice that is hidden and silent" ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 185).

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.

Ash Wednesday

Why is this day thus named?

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

Why is this done?

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

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

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

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

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

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

In the Introit of this day's Mass the Church uses the following words to make known her zeal for penance, and to move

INTROIT: God to mercy: Thou hast mercy upon all, O Lord, and hatest none of the things which Thou hast made, winking at the sins of men for the sake of repentance, and sparing them; for thou art the Lord our God. (Wisd. XI. 24. 25.) Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me; for my soul trusteth in thee. (Ps. LVI. 2.) Glory be to the Father, etc.

COLLECT: Grant to thy faithful, O Lord, that they may begin the venerable solemnities of fasting with suitable piety, and perform them with tranquil devotion. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord, etc.

LESSON :(Joel II. 12-19) Thus with the Lord: Be converted to me with all your heart, in fasting, and in weeping, and in mourning. And rend your hearts and not your garments, and turn to the Lord your God; for he is gracious and merciful, patient and rich in mercy, and ready to repent of the evil. Who knoweth but he will return, and forgive, anal leave a blessing behind him, sacrifice and libation to the Lord your God? Blow the trumpet in Sion: sanctify a fast; call a solemn assembly; gather together the people; sanctify the Church; assemble the ancients; gather together the little ones, and them that suck at the breasts; let the bridegroom go forth from his bed, and the bride out of her bride-chamber. Between the porch and the altar the priests, the Lord's ministers, shall weep; and shall say: Spare, O Lord, spare thy people; and give not thine inheritance to reproach, that the heathens should rule over them. Why should they say among the nations: Where is their God? The Lord hath been zealous for his land, and hath spared his people. And the Lord answered, and said to his people: Behold, I will send you corn, and wine, and oil, and you shall be filled with them; and I will no more make you a reproach among the nations, with the Lord Almighty.

EXPLANATION : The Prophet Joel exhorts the Jews to sorrow and penance for their sins, that they evade the expected judgment to be sent by God upon the city of Jerusalem. He required of them to show their repentance not merely by rending their garments, a sign of mourning with the Jews, but by a truly contrite heart. The Church wishes us to see plainly from this lesson of the prophet what qualities our penance should possess, if we desire reconciliation with God, forgiveness of our sins, and deliverance at the Last Day, which qualities are not merely abstinence from food and amusements, but the practice of real mortification of our evil inclinations, thus becoming with our whole heart converted to God.

GOSPEL :(Matt. VI. 16-21) At that time, Jesus said to his disciples: When you fast, be not as the hypocrites, sad. For they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Amen I say to you, they have received their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thy head and wash thy face, that thou appear not to men to fast, but to thy Father who is in secret, and thy Father who seeth in secret will repay thee. Lay not up to yourselves treasures on earth, where the rust and moth consume, and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up to yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither the rust nor moth doth consume, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For where thy treasure is, there is thy heart also.

EXPLANATION : Jesus forbids us to seek the praises of men when performing good works, (fasting is a good work,) and still worse it would be to do good as the Pharisees, through hypocrisy. He also warns us against avarice and the desire for temporal riches, urging us to employ our temporal goods, in giving alms, and doing works of charity, thus laying up treasures in heaven, which are there rewarded and will last there forever. "What folly", says St. Chrysostom, "to leave our goods where we cannot stay, instead of sending them before us where we are going — to heaven!"'

From Explanation of the Epistles and Gospels by Fr. Leonard Goffine [(c) 1880]

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

An Express-Lane Belief System?

Thanks to Jeff Miller (The Curt Jester) for linking to this:

Mammon. Because You Deserve to Enjoy Life -- Guilt Free.

Conscience - some help for the confused

"He who does the will of my Father in heaven shall enter the kingdom of heaven." St. Matthew, 7:21.

Quite a few years ago there lived in a country section of southern Cal­ifornia a poor but worthy Spanish-American family. The good mother took seriously sick and after a major operation, she passed away, leaving a fam­ily of eight children. The oldest was a girl of seventeen, a thin wraith of a creature. Upon her frail shoulders fell the burden of caring for the motherless family. She took up the task with courage, keeping the children clean, well fed, and regularly attending school.

A social worker complimented her on this good work. But the girl replied: "I can't take any credit for something I have to do."

"But, my dear," objected the visitor, "you don't have to. You could get out of it."

She who was playing the role of substitute mother paused for a moment and then exclaimed: "Yes, that's true. But what about the 'have to' that's inside of me?"

The 'have to' inside of us is what we call conscience. We don't have to prove that we have a conscience, because everyone knows it is there. Since it is so tremendously important in moral life, we must understand its nature and workings.

I. In reality, conscience is not a voice whispering to us:
A. It is our mind judging whether an action is right or wrong. It is an act of the mind which applies the moral law to ourselves in a particular case. The speedometer tells me that I am going beyond the speed limit. Conscience tells me that I am thereby endangering my life and the life of others, which is wrong.

B. Conscience not only knows the law; it applies the law.

C. Law is outside of us; conscience is inside us.

D. Conscience works frequently every day, whether we realize it or not. It works in unimportant as well as important affairs:
1. It does not make one big, complete decision for life or even for a year or one day. It keeps on making decisions or judgments as each action comes up.

2. Before the action conscience tells us to do the good, and avoid the evil.

3. After the act conscience praises the good, and condemns the bad.

II. Sometimes this power of judging works correctly; at other times, incorrectly.
A. Normally your conscience may be:
1. Right, when it judges as good that which is really good, and bad that which is really bad. A false conscience does the opposite.

2. Certain, when the individual has no reasonable fear that his judgment is wrong. In this connection the moral teachings of the Catholic Church are very definite and certain. Outside the Church there is doubt about almost everything.

3. Doubtful, if it hesitates in deciding whether an action is good or bad. The doubter is bound to find out for certain.

4. Perplexed, when there are two certain laws and the mind does not know which to obey. Someone is sick at home on Sunday morning. Shall I go to Mass or take care of the sick? An informed Catholic will know that he should take care of the sick. A perplexed person does not know what to do. Another reason here for learning your religion.
B. An abnormal conscience may be:
1. Lax, when it allows what is really forbidden, when it considers mortal sins as venial sins, when it considers as no sin that which is really wrong.

2. Dead, when a long-continued habit of sin, or the intentional stifling of the promptings of conscience, have made this judg­ment weak and helpless. Deliver us, 0 Lord, from a deadened conscience. And deliver Thy Church from so-called Catholics with the conscience of a corpse!

3. Scrupulous, when it makes big sins out of little sins, makes sins out of things which are not sins, or insists on confessing sins which have been confessed before. Only absolute obedience to one's confessor can cure this spiritual sickness.

III. Since this judgment of the mind regarding right and wrong is so important, it is necessary to know and follow some rules of conscience:
A. In general:
1. Always act according to your conscience. To do what you think is wrong, even though it is right, would be to commit sin.

2. Follow your conscience only when you are sure the action is good.
B. In particular:
1. Always obey a right conscience.

2. If a false conscience is certain and we do not suspect it is false, follow it; if it is false through your own fault, then correct it first.

3. Clear up doubts by asking someone who knows. If you cannot clear up the doubt, take the safer course.

4. A lax or deadened conscience must be corrected by thought, prayer, and the sacraments.

5. A scrupulous conscience is cured by absolute obedience to one's confessor.
Conscience is really the mind telling us "you must" or "you must not." By attentive listening to sermons, by reading faithful Catholic papers, magazines and books, by prayer and frequent confession and Communion, by attending missions and retreats, you can make and keep your conscience clear and correct. Then follow its promptings at all costs.

We all want to enter the kingdom of heaven. Jesus tells us that we will if we do the will of His Father in heaven. Your conscience is the best help in doing God's will.

Like the girl who took the burden of the family upon her own frail shoulders, realize the presence and heed the promptings of the voice within you which says: "You have to."
Adapted from:
Prayers, Precepts and Virtues by Fr. Arthur Tonne (1949)

An Update on the Dissenting Canadian Priests

An email update from LifeSiteNews:
Please note that coverage of the open letter by 19 Quebec priests dissenting to Catholic teaching on homosexuality has been updated with a link to the full letter in French. In the coming days we will provide an English translation.

Also note that unlike mainstream press coverage of the issue, only named all the priests who signed the letter.

See the article which now includes a link to the full open letter here:

The article states, in part, and which to some degree validates some previous comments made here :
Canon Lawyer Peter Vere told that the situation is now beyond local bishops and that the faithful should contact the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to express their concerns. Noting that the story on the dissent has made international news, Vere said, "It's no longer just a scandal for a particular diocese. It is a scandal for lay people who are legitimately confused by the antics of these priests, who will likely mistake silence (on the part of the bishops) for consent."

"At this point I would encourage people to write the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) because it no longer concerns priests or bishops but concerns a direct attack on the faith and morals of the Catholic Church," Vere added.

To send respectful communications:
Mail or fax (most effective):
Cardinal William Levada
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
Piazza del S. Uffizio, 11, 00193 Roma, Italy

To email the CDF:
Cardinal William Levada
I expect Dr Ed Peters will have something to say on this matter as well before too long.