Friday, July 31, 2009

FRC: "Blue Dogs" see red over abortion in health care bill

Let me make my prediction once again....Obama is a one-termer. This news does not mesh with the vast majority of Americans who do NOT want their tax dollars funding murder of the innocents.

From Tony Perkins at Family Research Council

July 31, 2009 - Friday

Blue Dogs See Red over Abortion

The Democrats who had hoped for a relaxing August away from Washington are in for a rocky road home after last night's news that abortion coverage has been explicitly included in the House bill. FRC staffers were in the room when Rep. Lois Capps (D-Calif.) introduced an amendment in committee that mandated taxpayer-funded abortion as part of the overhaul. The measure, which was debated during the Energy and Commerce mark-up, passed 30-28. Not only does the Capps amendment ensure that abortion will be covered, but it also requires that an abortion plan be made available in every U.S. region!

FRC has warned for months that taxpayers would be forced into the abortion business as part of health care "reform," and Planned Parenthood called us liars. MSNBC, NARAL, Daily Kos, and the "religious left" have all accused FRC of misleading the public about the existence of an abortion mandate. Now there's further proof. Of course, we didn't need the Capps amendment to verify that abortion would be included in the final package. All voters needed to know is that Congress has had the opportunity to ban abortion coverage outright, and it didn't. Multiple amendments have now been offered by pro-life members to specifically prohibit taxpayer-funded abortion as part of these bills. And every single one--including last night's from Reps. Bart Stupak and Joe Pitts--failed. Led by Stupak, six Democrats on the Energy and Commerce Committee joined with the Republicans to keep this radical expansion of government-sponsored abortion out of the House bill. Today, pro-life Democrats pushed back with another amendment that would have nullified the Capps amendment and protected taxpayers from subsidizing abortion. Unfortunately, it also lost.

While Stupak tries to block abortion coverage, conservative Democrats are working around the clock on a deal with their liberal members to trim costs and eliminate the government's heavy hand in the system. Despite all the time spent ironing out the Democrats' differences, it seems that this "compromise" is nothing but political theater. According to the liberal leadership, most of the changes made by conservative Democrats could be stripped from the bill when it leaves committee. Minority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) told ABC News yesterday that "he could not guarantee that the concessions negotiated into the bill by conservative 'Blue Dog' Democrats would survive in a final product." The leadership is making a mockery of conservative Democrats--a decision sure to haunt the Speaker if the Blue Dogs retaliate by pulling their support


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Twitter Feed is updated

There is some pretty interesting stuff in my Twitter Feed, just updated with a bunch of retweets.

I'm still overloaded with work stemming from weeks of followup on my Mom's affairs and apartment. Now I need to concentrate on my own house, which has been quite neglected.

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The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Mark Shea on why you may want to consider homeschooling. What is the NEA up to now?

You will want to check out a good post by Mark Shea:

Reason #349572193487145243954872345498 to Homeschool


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The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

Requiescat in pace - Father Claerr



I received this in my inbox. I did not know Fr. Claerr, but would imagine that, given his closeness to Fr. Val Rykowski who recently passed away, some of my readers know him. Fr. Claerr (right), is seen in the photo above with Fr. Val (left). Please feel free to offer thoughts and prayers in the combox. I'll moderate when I can.

FUNERAL ARRANGEMENTS FOR FATHER CLAERR

Viewing – Saturday, 5:00—8:00
Sunday, 1:00—8:00, rosary at 7:00

Turowski & Son Funeral Home
25509 W. Warren
Dearborn Heights 48127

Tel.: 313.562.5120
This funeral home is between Telegraph Road and Beech-Daly Road.


Funeral on Monday – 9:30 body in state at Our Lady of Grace

10:00 Mass
burial in St. Hedwig Cemetery

Our Lady of Grace Church
8679 Riverview
Dearborn Heights 48127

Tel.: 313.561.6373
This church is on Joy Road 2 short blocks east of Telegraph Road.



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The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Former spiritual advisor to Medjugorje "seers" - Tomislav Vlasic - laicized by the Holy See

[UPDATED July 28, 2009; Also worth noting is the combox dialogue and additional links, which will continue for a brief time]


This post is being updated as additional links become available. Vatican Radio has just announced this news in German. If an English version becomes available, I will provide it.

Thanks to Richard Chonak at Catholic Light, we have at least a rough translation of the decree above in which a priest - Fr. Tomislav Vlasic - a central figure in the alleged apparitions at Medjugorje, has been laicized. You can read about the "severe canonical sanctions" taken last year against Fr. Vlasic by the Holy See in this link - Medjugorje: Canonical Status of Fr. Tomislav Vlašić, OFM.

The latest development, which came to light this weekend: Fr. Vlasic is now Mr. Vlasic.

It originates with Marco Corvaglia at his site, Medjugorje senza maschera (Medjugorje without mask), Marco has added the translation by Richard Chonak to the English section of his blog)

Marco writes:
Fr. Tomislav Vlasic reduced to the lay state
Marco Corvaglia

The final word has arrived. As was reported earlier, on the 30th of May 2008, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in the person of its Secretary, Archbishop Angelo Amato, explicitly asked the bishop of Mostar, Ratko Perić (in letter no. 144/1985-27164), to make known "for the good of the faithful" the contents of a declaration by that Congregation regarding Father Tomislav Vlašić.

Let us recall a brief excerpt:

In the context of the Medjugorje phenomenon, this Dicastery is dealing with the case of the Rev. Father Tomislav Vlašić, OFM, originally from that region and the founder of the association "Kraljice Mira, potpuno tvoji - po Mariji k Isusu" [...] Confirmed reports presented to this Congregation reveal that the religious priest in question has not responded, even partially, to the ecclesiastical obedience called for in the very delicate situation he faces.

In the decree of the Congregation [see circular 939/2008, dated 8 July 2008, from the Curia of Mostar] it was written that Fr. Vlašić was suspected of "heresy and schism" and accused of "spreading questionable doctrines, manipulation of consciences, suspect mysticism, disobedience to legitimate orders and violations contra sextum (against the sixth commandment, that is). This last accusation relates to an event in 1977 (therefore prior to the "apparitions"), already reported on the page "And the Gospa said, Thanks so much to Father Tomislav; he's guiding you so well."

Today, as mentioned above, the Holy See has made a definitive pronouncement. Here is the transcription (and afterward the reproduction) of the official act, signed by the Minister General of the Order of Friars Minor, Father José Rodriguez Carballo. The letter of the Minister General has already been sent to all the Provincials in Italy, Croatia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina and forwarded by them to the Guardians in each province. The Guardians have in turn sent it on to all the daughter houses in their respective provinces. However, the document has not been distributed outside the order until now:

"ORDO FRATRUM MINORUM
MINISTER GENERALIS

Prot. N. 098714

To the Provincial Ministers of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, and Italy

Dear Brother Minister,

The Holy Father, accepting the request of friar Tomislav Vlasic, O.F.M, member of the province of friars minor of St. Bernardino of Siena (L'Aquila), responsible for conduct harmful to ecclesial communion both in the spheres of doctrine and discipline, and under a censure of interdict, has granted him the favor of reduction to the lay state (amissio status clericalis) and of dismissal from the Order.

In addition, the Holy Father has granted the petitioner, motu proprio, the remission of the censure incurred as well as the favor of dispensation from religious vows and from all the responsibilities connected with sacred ordination, including celibacy.

As a salutary penal precept - under the pain of excommunication which the Holy See would declare, and if necessary, without prior canonical warning - the following precepts are imposed on Mr. Tomislav Vlasic:

a) Absolute prohibition from exercising any form of apostolate (for example, promoting public or private devotion, teaching Christian doctrine, spiritual direction, participation in lay associations, etc.) as well as of acquiring and administering goods intended for pious purposes;

b) Absolute prohibition from releasing declarations on religious matters, especially regarding the "phenomenon of Medjugorje";

c) Absolute prohibition from residing in houses of the Order of Friars Minor.

For the execution of the serious measures imposed by the Holy See regarding Mr. Tomislav Vlasic, the same Apostolic See calls directly on the Superiors of the Order.

Therefore I turn to you, so that you make sure to instruct the Guardians and superiors of friaries about full compliance, by Tomislav Vlasic, with the pontifical measures regarding him, in particular relative to the prohibition of residing in any houses belonging to the Order of Friars Minor, under pain of removal from office.

Trusting in your full understanding and prompt cooperation, I greet you fraternally.
Rome, 10 March 2009.

Fr. José Rodriguez Carballo, Ofm
Minister General"
NOTE: This translation was updated to match the changes at Catholic Light on 7/27/09.

It's interesting to note that at the beginning the Minister General says that laicization was a request by Vlasic. Near the end, it talks about "execution of serious measures imposed by the Holy See" and follows with instructions to notify all of the houses. Hmmm.....

Some sources out there will continue to claim that Vlasic had long ago distanced himself from Medjugorje. Keep in mind, the Holy See stated last year when he fell under interdict that his case was being investigated in the context of Medjugorje. That is because he was a central figure in the early years as a spiritual advisor to the alleged seers. In fact, Bishop Zanic called him the "creator" of the phenomenon (see #6 in the Truth about Medjugorje). He can no more be distanced from Medjugorje than a feather from a bird.

In any event, Mr. Vlasic will forever have the mark of the priesthood, despite the lay status he now has. Pray for him, that he set his life on a straight path and follow all that has been imposed on him, lest he incur an even greater penalty of excommunication.

Further Reading:

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The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Robbed by a petty thief...

I have had many reasons for somewhat of an absence from the blogosphere following my mother's death a month ago. From a practical standpoint, there were affairs that needed settling, including work at her apartment which needs to be completely vacated by the end of this month. My siblings and I are nearly done.

I was sidetracked by something else....a petty thief who had been apparently entering my home over a period of time that may have spanned anywhere from weeks to months, or perhaps years. As far as I can tell, it was merely modest amounts of cash that was missing, along with other signs someone had been in the house. It was happening with the use of a key, most likely through the front door which is actually more secluded than the rear since no one enters or exits typically from that side. Some weeks back I had discovered a hole in the screen - large enough for an arm to fit through to unlock the outer door, and I did not think that's what it was at the time.

Apparently, the key fell into the wrong hands through some form of opportunity over the past 10 years. I suppose this is a good reason to have locks changed, or the links modified, periodically. I have an idea of who may have been involved, but without proof do not want to even discuss that. I'll pray for the unknown thief and I ask you to do so, as well. My firmest belief is that they were after funeral enevelopes - something that never came into my home. I went to my sister's where we read the cards and prepared money to go where people designated it to go. Money marked for Masses, went towards the Gregorian Masses I had scheduled for my mother and I made up the difference. The Missionaries of Charity were on the receiving end of a nice donation in my mother's name from money collected, and a number of people took envelopes and sent money directly to them in her name.

I took steps necessary to protect myself and my property. Locks were changed immediately, but that was not enough. I called a security firm recommended by a co-worker - EMMI Security. I won't discuss all that my system will do for obvious reasons, but will say that at the very least I purchased a system that will detect doors or windows opening, and glass breaking. I took today off to have it installed. I was actually aware that someone had been in the house last week, but did not want to advertise it until I had the system installed.

While I do not believe the intruder was someone watching my activity over the internet, bloggers and users of facebook twitter, and other social networking sites should know that it is never a good idea to advertise your comings and goings, especially if you are leaving town. It is asking for a break-in. Some people advertise everything they do from taking a shower, to going to bed, going out to eat, and going away for vacation out of town. Think twice about doing these kinds of things.

I still have much to do to wrap up my mother's affairs. Blogging will continue to be light, but I will still try to throw a few things out on Twitter. It just won't be as frequent. When I get my mother's place emptied, I then need to turn to my own condo which is now overloaded with stuff. I need to just take the time to sift and get rid of stuff.

I'm truly ok, but am really busy with ordinary things. I will probably be back blogging more regularly and enthusiastically in a few weeks, after I catch up with myself. I'll probably get back into it slowly as I find the time. Do check back and check my Twitter feed.


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The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Blogging light...

Hi folks,

Sorry I haven't been as attentive to the blog, or to some of my email at the moment. I'm still trying to catch up on a lot of personal things.

Bear with me and I will be back blogging more frequently in time.

In the meanwhile, I'll try to scan Twitter for some interesting news in Catholic-dom so check that periodically. Hit the bird in the upper right hand corner to read the feed.

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The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Catholic Vote does it again!

This is first class work and an exemplary way to change minds. Catholic Vote has released yet another stellar video to make their pitch, "Life! Imagine the Potential"



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The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel


Today is the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and a day celebrated especially by Carmelites the world over. This includes secular Carmelites like myself.

The Divine Office speaks about the feast day:

Sacred Scripture celebrated the beauty of Carmel where the prophet Elijah defended the purity of Israel's faith in the living God. In the twelfth century, hermits withdrew to that mountain and later founded the Order devoted to the contemplative life under the patronage of mary, the holy Mother of God.


According to Carmelite tradition, July 16, 1251, St. Simon Stock was given the Brown Scapular by the Blessed Virgin Mary:
Later Carmelite writers give more details of such a vision and revelation. Johannes Grossi wrote his "Viridarium" about 1430, and he relates that the Mother of God appeared to Simon Stock with the scapular of the order in her hand. This scapular she gave him with the words: "Hoc erit tibi et cunctis Carmelitis privilegium, in hoc habitu moriens salvabitur" (This shall be the privilege for you and for all the Carmelites, that anyone dying in this habit shall be saved).
Members of the order had been praying to the Blessed Virgin amidst great trials. The Manila Bulletin Publishing Company adds this interesting note:

Pope John XXII in 1322 decreed a special indulgence for those who die wearing the brown scapular. The pontiff said that Our Lady appeared to him and asked him to specially look after the Carmelites. In addition to this, the Holy Father said, Our Lady promised that all faithful Christians who die wearing a scapular would enjoy early liberation from purgatory with her special intercession before God. The Blessed Mother herself would fetch the pious soul in purgatory the Saturday after their death in order to bring them to heaven. Marian devotees thus call this special intercession the “Sabbatine Privilege’’ (from Sabbath, meaning Saturday).

Air Maria has two key prayers, and a nice write-up.

FLOS CARMELI
O beautiful Flower of Carmel
Most fruitful vine,
Splendor of Heaven,
Holy and Singular,
Who brought forth
the Son of God,
still ever remaining
a pure Virgin,
Assist us in our necessities.
O Star of the Sea,
Help and protect us.
Show us that you
are our Mother. Amen.

Song of Gratitude to Our Lady of Mount Carmel


By St. Therese of Lisieux

From the first moments of my life,
You took me in your arms.
Ever since that day, dear Mother,
You’ve protected me here below.
+
To preserve my innocence,
You placed me in a soft nest.
You watched over my childhood
In the shade of a holy cloister.
+
Later, in the days of my youth,
I heard Jesus’ call!…
In your ineffable tenderness,
You showed Carmel to me.
+
“Come, my child, be generous,”
You sweetly said to me.
“Near me, you’ll be happy,
Come sacrifice yourself for your Savior.”
+
Close to you, 0 my loving Mother!
I’ve found rest for my heart.
I want nothing more on earth.
Jesus alone is all my happiness.
+
If sometimes I feel sadness
And fear coming to assail me,
Always supporting me in my weakness,
Mother, you deign to bless me.
+
Grant that I may be faithful
To my divine Spouse Jesus.
One day may his sweet voice call me
To fly away among the elect.
+
Then, no more exile, no more suffering.
In Heaven I’ll keep repeating
The song of my gratitude,
Lovable Queen of Carmel!


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The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Bishop D'Arcy and his new NORMS for TABERNACLE placement

This is awesome news....(h/t to Fr. Z)

Bishop D'Arcy, who heads the Fort Wayne - South Bend, Indiana Diocese has issued new norms to better align Tabernacle placement with universal norms, and the sentiments of the faithful. The people have been heard by their bishop and he responded.

Here is his lead in, with my emphases in bold and comments bracketed in red.

July 19, 2009
Bishop promulgates norms for tabernacle placement

To Priests, Deacons, Religious, and to All the Faithful,

The presence of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament is at the center of our faith and of the devotional life of our Catholic people.

In recent years, the place of the tabernacle in our churches has become a source of controversy. This should not be. The Eucharist, whether we are referring to its celebration or to the place of reservation, should always be a means of unity and communion, and never of division [and he is putting an end to that division in his diocese, God bless him!]

The place of the tabernacle in our church should reflect our faith in the real presence of Christ, and should always be guided by church documents.

[Here is the kicker] My experience is that our people, with their instinct of faith, have always desired that the tabernacle be central and visible. They find it confusing when the tabernacle in their churches is not visible, and if possible, central. [He went by his experience, but somewhere along the line people were communicating to him what they wanted. If you want your bishop to follow suit, write him a letter and refer to Bishop D'Arcy's norms, or even send him a copy. Always be courteous, keep it brief (1 page), let him know you are praying for him and then be sure you follow through!]

Because of my responsibility to foster the devotional life of our people [Eucharistic devotion is back from the abyss where it was stuffed for the last few decades], and to keep it sound, I have asked our Office of Worship to prepare norms for the placement and design of the tabernacle in this diocese. These norms were brought before the Presbyteral Council, the Liturgical Commission and the Environment and Arts Committee. Suitable refinements and improvements were prepared [read that, "everybody's on board so lets implement this smoothly].

These norms are promulgated to the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend on June 14, 2009, the feast of Corpus Christi, the Body and Blood of the Lord. They will be effective on Aug. 4, 2009, the feast of St. John Mary Vianney, the patron saint of priests, in whose honor the present Year for Priests has been dedicated by the Holy Father Benedict XVI.

I urge all priests to follow these norms carefully and completely, and most importantly — to foster devotion to the Blessed Sacrament.

Sincerely yours in our Lord,

Most Reverend John M. D’Arcy
Fr. Z has extracted a couple of interesting points from the actual document. I provide them here, as well. I have a link to the FWSB Diocese webpage which has the full text of the document.

4. In the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, the Bishop has judged that the tabernacle is normally to be prominently located in the sanctuary of the church, along the central axis behind the main altar. Under this arrangement, the tabernacle should be at an elevated, open location in the apse area, or in another central place in the sanctuary that is equally conspicuous. Where a high altar with a tabernacle remains in place, it is appropriate to continue using this noble structure for the reservation of the Blessed Sacrament

5. This prescription is to be observed in all future construction or restoration projects involving places of sacred worship (including all churches, oratories, and private chapels) in the Diocese. Any exception to this norm must be approved by the Diocesan Bishop, and must clearly demonstrate itself as a worthy alternative that would accentuate the sacramental nature of the church building and contribute to the spiritual life of the worshiping community.

6. In those existing places of sacred worship where the tabernacle is currently located elsewhere in the sanctuary or the main body of the church, a liturgical consultation with the faithful and with the Diocese should begin, regarding the possibility of moving the tabernacle to a central position in the sanctuary. Especially if the tabernacle in a particular church was central at one time and then was moved, it should be returned to its original location.

[snip]

24. Aside from tending to the tabernacle itself, we must ensure that the faithful receive proper guidance and formation with respect to reverence before the Blessed Sacrament.Today there are many of all ages who inadvertently do not genuflect or bow in the correct situations.

Care should be taken to instruct the faithful that genuflection is the appropriate sign of adoration in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, “whether reserved in the tabernacle or exposed for public adoration.” Before or after Mass, when the tabernacle is visible somewhere in the church, genuflection should be directed towards it. Although those who genuflect when a tabernacle is not present or when the Blessed Sacrament is clearly removed from the tabernacle (for example, during much of the Sacred Triduum) typically do so out of a commendable pious habit, they should instead bow out of reverence towards the altar.

25. Every church should strive to make the tabernacle accessible for prayer during the day, and to preserve a peaceful setting favorable to prayerful visits. Meetings and other activities without a strictly spiritual purpose should therefore be held elsewhere on the church premises whenever possible. Under extraordinary circumstances, such as if it became necessary for a church to host an event of a purely secular nature, the Blessed Sacrament may be removed from the tabernacle and transferred to the sacristy or another suitable place. The location should be secure, with the ciboria veiled and the Lord’s presence clearly marked.

As I said, if you like what Bishop D'Arcy has done, print out a copy of the document and cover letter and send it with a kind note to your own bishop.

Go to this page at the FWSB Diocese website to read the entire document in several formats. I recommend the PDF in Sequential Order, which has nice formatting and pictures.

Pray for our bishops and our priests!

Te Deum Laudamus! Home

The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

Twitter Feed Updated...

I'm going to get back into updating the Twitter Feed daily with news that is flying around the blogosphere. Click the bird in the upper right hand corner of my sidebar daily to see what is up. When I can I will update it several times daily. Basically, if you want to see the hottest Catholic news, you want to read twitter feeds.

One word of caution: Be careful about clicking on people who are following me in twitter. Each day I try to filter through the new ones. Some of those "following" are doing so to entice people to click their twitter feeds. Some of these people have sexually explicit feeds that lead to what appears to porn sites (I don't know that for certain and such sites are known to be good carriers of computer viruses - no pun intended).

Right now blogging and twittering is light as I finalize many of my mother's affairs since her passing. We need to have her apartment vacated in two weeks. Many thanks for the offers I have had with helping. There isn't much that people can help with as it is time consuming just to go through things (and Mom had her stuff very well organized). Thankfully, my siblings and I have been working together, each of us with complimenting skills. My sister is great at packing, and my brother wants to be the "mover" (and boy can he move stuff). The usual bickering you hear about after someone dies over "things" is just not happening with the three of us. In fact, we seem to have a sense for what the others may want. What a tribute to my mother and father that the things most important to us are not those of monetary value, but things come with a story or bring about a happy memory.

I must admit that with as organized as my mother was in her home, and with her paperwork, I now have a desire to get my affairs in order to spare my family any difficulty when I leave this life. I highly recommend that people do this, not for yourself, but for your loved ones.

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The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

Judicial Confirmation Process - a double standard for Catholics?

There is a good piece in the Wall Street Journal that has been making it around the Catholic blogosphere. I'll start you out here and you can finish reading it at WSJ.

In opening yesterday's Judiciary Committee hearings on Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the Supreme Court, Chairman Pat Leahy (D., Vt.) alluded to the religious prejudice that has too often intruded on the process.

The first Jewish nominee, he noted, had to answer "questions about the Jewish mind and how its operations are complicated by altruism." The first Catholic nominee, he added, "had to overcome the argument that, as a Catholic, he'd be dominated by the pope."

"We are," Sen. Leahy declared, "in a different era."

Maybe. It's true that if Ms. Sotomayor is confirmed there will be six Catholics on the Court -- a higher percentage than almost any Notre Dame starting lineup of the past three decades. It's also true that notwithstanding a few scattered references to this fact, for the most part the judge's religion has been greeted, as a USA Today headline put it, with a "yawn."

How different from just a few years ago. Back when the nominee was Sam Alito, talk was about the "fifth Catholic" on the bench. Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority, complained that "with Alito, the majority of the Court would be Roman Catholics."

Before that it was John Roberts. In the run-up to his confirmation, the Los Angeles Times ran a piece headlined "Wife of Nominee Holds Strong Antiabortion Views." Though the article conceded that a "spouse's views normally are not considered relevant in weighing someone's job suitability," plainly these were not normal times. Mrs. Roberts, the paper pointed out, had worked for a group called "Feminists for Life," and was characterized as an "extremely, extremely devout Catholic."

....continue reading The Catholic Double Standard - Why was Samuel Alito's Catholicism so much more discussed than Sonia Sotomayor's? at the Wall Stree Journal

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The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009



Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha

1656 - 1680

Kateri Tekakwitha was born in Gandahouhague, in the territory of the Mohawks, which later became part of New York. Her father was a Mohawk warrior of the Turtle clan, and her mother was an Algonquin captive. At the age of four smallpox ravaged her village, leaving her disfigured, impairing her eyesight, and depriving her of her parents. She was then raised by an uncle. She met Jesuit missionaries and, despite opposition to Christianity from her tribe and particularly her uncle, met with the missionaries in secret. She was baptized at Easter, 1676. She then became subject to increased contempt and derision from the people of her village for her conversion, as well as her refusal to work on Sundays or to marry.

In 1677 Kateri fled to Quebec, to the mission of St. Francis Xavier du Sault, called Caughnawaga by the native people. The following Christmas she received her first communion. At Caughnawaga she contributed to the community's economy while engaging in great personal austerities. She also continued to keep her personal vow of chastity. In 1679 she was allowed to begin a small convent at the mission. The following year she died. She was beatified in 1980.

Source


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The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Even the birds of the air are provided for....



Some of you may have noticed me walking around taking pictures, without a tripod. I finally got a lens with a heavy duty stabilizer in it that I was hoping would permit me to take indoor pictures without a tripod. I will probably still mount at critical times as it allows me to use a lower ISO for better quality, but the pics came out decent. I'll be sharing Mass and Eucharistic Procession photos later. For now....
In many of our outdoor Stations of the Cross are bird's nests. The First Station has baby robins in it. They sit real still and are easily missed (the best defense for them at such a young age). Mama Robin came to feed her brood, but there were too many people standing there waiting for the weekly Eucharistic Procession and Rosary to begin down by the Grotto.
Isn't he cute with that little patch of feathers sticking up like a mowhawk? Too bad I wasn't taller.



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The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Happy Feast Day Pope Benedict!

I didn't forget that today was the Feast of St. Benedict. It is the Holy Father's feast day.

There is one passage from the Office of Readings for today that I would like to share. It is from the second reading, which is taken from the Rule of St. Benedict. While it addresses monks, you have to admit, most of this applies to anyone, anywhere.

"...Just as there exists an evil fervor, a bitter spirit, which divides us from God and leads us to hell, so there is a good fervor which sets us apart from evil inclinations and leads us toward God and eternal life. Monks should put this fervor into practice with an overflowing love: that is, they should surpass each other in mutual esteem, accept their weaknesses, either of body or of behavior, with the utmost patience; and vie with each other in acceding to requests. No one should follow what he considers to be good for himself, but rather what seems good for another....."

While this is great to think about in the context of a family or household, don't stop there. How about the work place? How about the parish? There is always greater room for charity.

If you have ever been involved in a parish you will quickly learn that there are many people who want to volunteer in everything from singing to cleaning. This means there are groups and sub-groups; cultures and sub-cultures and, opinions, opinions, and more opinions on "the way things are suppose to work" (setting aside liturgy of which we should yield to those pastors who have the mind of the Church on the Mass). Let's stick with apostolates and activities.

Sometimes when we want to do something a certain way, we need to make the sacrifice and yield to someone else's way, even when it may not seem to be the best way to do something. In other words, practice bearing with the imperfect ways of others.

It's easy to imagine these examples because they involve young people: A mother lovingly accepts a piece of "art" from her small child, even though by many standards, it wouldn't get past the scrap bin. A father may let his son do something his way, so that the boy can learn why a particular way is not good.

If we love our neighbor, we are constantly willing to evaluate whether yielding to their way of doing something isn't the greater act of charity, than actually being right about something (and I'm not talking about where morality is concernced, but about getting things done).

Have you ever seen groups of people struggle over the details of how a festival should be planned? Or, about who should do what? It's called parish "politics" and it is one of the most poisonous things we can encounter. It is not from God, but from our human fallen nature, or from the Angel of Darkness who wants to divide and conquer us. What better way for any apostolate or parish to fall apart than like this?

We end it by recognizing when we are participating in it, and doing the hard things...talking to people we wouldn't ordinarily socialize with; participating in doing things the way others want us to do them (all too often I've seen people quit rather than do things another way).

Go read again what St. Benedict says. Ponder it and look at doing what is good for others, not for ourselves.

Charity rules.


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Breaking: CDF clarifies Catholic Teaching on Abortion in Case of 9 Year Old Brazilian Girl

You may recall the very tragic case of a 9 year old Brazilian girl who was pregnant with twins which were aborted. Pastoral care had been given, and every attempt made by the archdiocese to offer alternatives, and necessary support. Some claimed the babies had to be aborted to save the life of the mother, but this proved to be false. The girls life was not in danger. The archbishop, having followed the case closely and attempting to intervene, explained that those directly involved (not the innocent little girl), had brought upon themselves excommunication.

In March, a rather surprising article was published in the Vatican's newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano by Archbishop Fisichella who heads the Pontifical Academy for Life in which he condemned the actions of the Brazilian archbishop. This raised eyebrows across the world as the statements by Fisichella seemed to fly in the face of basic Catholic teaching. For some, this may be hard to understand, but it boils down to the fact that, the ends don't justify the means. Evil cannot be done (murder of the innocents) for the good of the girl (remember that her life was not threatened with the pregnancy). One cannot say that she was "punished with a baby" due to someone else's evil action (which, if memory serves, was a case of incest). The unborn cannot be punished with death because an act of evil made it possible for them to come into being. Catholic teaching does permit medical procedures needed to save a woman that could put the unborn at risk, but is not intended to terminate a pregnancy. The babies in this case would not have had to gestate to full term, but could have been taken by C-Section as soon as they were considered viable, then given up for adoption.

The distinugished Italian journalist, Sandro Magister offered an excellent recap from beginning to where it stood last week, which would be helpful to read if you are just learning about this case, or if you struggle with Catholic teaching on the issue.

Now, the Holy See has gotten involved. It is a clarification from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith which repudiates what is written in the original article by Fisichella. This vindicates a villified Archbishop Sobrinho, whose retirement was just accepted by the Holy See (and exploited by some to justify the position of those who felt he was wrong).


Go Read: Retractions. The Holy See Teaches Archbishop Fisichella a Lesson by Sandro Magister which contains the CDF statement in full.

Related Links (to be updated for reaction since this is breaking news so check back for more links)


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Fr. J. Augustine De Noia to be ordained an archbishop today in Washington; becomes Secretary of CDW

From the DCist (H/T American Papist), who may fit in some twittering from the event (emphases mine in bold; comments in red):



Little Rome to Celebrate One of Its Own

Some happy news from the part of Washington that is so Catholic it used to be called Little Rome. With the exception of papal visits to Washington, the concerns of the American Federal City and the Eternal City do not overlap all that often, but one long-time Washingtonian is about to assume the reigns of a powerful curial office in Rome. Fr. J. Augustine Di Noia, a Dominican priest and influential theologian, has been appointed by Pope Benedict XVI as Secretary of the Congregation of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

A beloved professor of theology at the Dominican House of Studies, near Catholic University, for two decades Fr. Di Noia has been an assistant in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (first under then-Cardinal Ratzinger) for the past several years. Now he will assist Cardinal Llovera, prefect of the Congregation of Divine Worship, in overseeing the Catholic liturgy (especially the implementation of the new form of the English Missal [isn't it great to have a solid "home-boy" in this position]). In response to an e-mail, the Prior of the Dominican House of Studies, Fr. Giles Dimock, told DCist: "Fr. Di Noia taught in this house for twenty years and this is his home. His brothers here are overjoyed because he's a good theologian who is a great human being and a great priest, who loves to laugh and loves all things Italian. It's an honor for our house, for our Province, and for the Church in America."

Because the holders of offices of this rank are traditionally appointed to the stature of archbishop, Fr. Di Noia will be ordained Titular Archbishop of Oregon City this Saturday (July 11, 2 p.m.). Such Ordination Masses almost always take place in Rome, but Fr. Di Noia has chosen to be ordained in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception (4th St. and Michigan Ave. NE), across the street from his former home. William Cardinal Levada, former Archbishop of San Francisco and now the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (the office held for many years by Cardinal Ratzinger), will come from Rome to celebrate the Mass, as will presumably a gaggle of the American hierarchy

I was wondering why this was taking place in the US.

EWTN will be broadcasting this afternoon at 2:00pm EDT. If you don't have cable, just go to EWTN.com and watch it live online (click on Television and follow the prompts).

Fr. Z reports that Cardinal Canizares - the Prefect of the CDW was held up due to VISA problems and won't be there.


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Friday, July 10, 2009

White House: Obama will have frank talk on abortion with Pope

In just over two hours, President Obama will be meeting Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican. From LifeNews:

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- The White House is saying that pro-abortion President Barack Obama and Pope Benedict XVI, the head of the Catholic Church, will have a "frank' talk on abortion when they meet on Friday. Obama is currently in Italy for the Group of Eight summit and the two will meet after the conference concludes.

"I think there will be a frank discussion [about abortion]," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters aboard Air Force One, according to an AP report.

On subject like abortion where Obama is out of step with the pro-life teachings of the Catholic faith, Gibbs said "even if we don't see eye to eye on everything, there are steps that can be taken on a number of issues that will show progress, whether it's on something like unintended pregnancy or adoption."

Gibbs said the pontiff is "somebody that gets to see a lot of the world, and I think getting his continued support for these efforts is obviously important."


....continue reading at LifeNews


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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Horrific tragedy in nearby Canton, MI as train hits car with 5 teens

CARLOS OSORIO/Associated Press





Five people were killed, all believed to be teens, when the vehicle they were in was struck by an Amtrak train bound for Chicago from Dearborn, Michigan. No one on the train was hurt by the accident. After four hours, passengers were transported back to Dearborn where they were put on buses for Chicago.

Investigators say that it appears the teens attempted to go around the gates.

Pray for the repose of their souls, as well as for all those affected by their deaths.

Related Links:



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Oh...my gosh! Justice Ginsburg: I thought 'Roe' was to rid undesireables...

Unbelievable.....

In an astonishing admission, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg says she was under the impression that legalizing abortion with the 1973 Roe. v. Wade case would eliminate undesirable members of the populace, or as she put it "populations that we don’t want to have too many of."


Go read it in full at World Net Daily, "Ginsburg: I thought 'Roe' was to rid undesireables"

H/T to Fr. Z and Sancte Pater


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A short collection of analytical reading of dissident news articles

Fr. Z has been analyzing some recent articles from dissident sources (in particular, women religious who have their dander up over the apostolic visitation of active orders).

Here are two worth reading, with the first one having just been posted:
Similarly, you may be interested to read more analyses by Fr. Z on other issues. While there are more positive things to read, it is purely educational to see how dissidents twist things to sow the seeds of confusion. How I wish I would have had the understanding of the faith I now have, back in the 70's and 80's when priests, religious and theologians were trying pass off similar fluff as Catholicism.


Visit his site regularly to get read more like this

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Canadian Archbishop gives Holy Communion to non-Catholic Prime Minister

For my non-Catholic readers, we Catholics believe that the Eucharist (Holy Communion) is the true Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ (see the scriptural basis for this at Catholic Answers)

Can you imagine that an American archbishop would not know that President Bush, or current President, Barack Obama, are not Catholic and should not be given Holy Communion?

Well, Canadian Archbishop, Andre Richard of Moncton, New Brunswick, distributed Communion to the Prime Minister, Stephen Harper - an evangelical protestant - who did not consume the Eucharist within the video footage shown. Various sources are claiming that the Consecrated Host went into the pocket of the PM, but this cannot be proven by what is seen. However, what did Mr. Harper do with Our Lord? His staff is claiming that the Eucharist was consumed by Mr. Harper after he was out of view.

When I watched the video, I saw what appeared to be an awkward approach by the Prime Minister. He puts one hand out, while in the other hand is, perhaps, a program. Catholics typically do not receive this way. Archbishop Richard does look up momentarily before putting the Host into the hand of the PM. Harper's hand never goes up to his mouth, but drops to his side.

At Assumption Grotto during weddings and funerals, the priests typically address those present immediately following the homily, explaining that only baptized Catholics who are in communion with the Catholic Church, accepting of her teachings and properly disposed, should present themselves. Then, they explain what it means to be properly disposed.

This is rarely seen in the vast majority of parishes.....unfortunately.

It was wrong for the PM to present himself, but it's possible, with all of the ambiguity coming from Catholic pulpits these days (and winks & nods given offline), that there was ignorance on his part that he was doing something offensive. One report suggests he asked a Catholic what to do with it following Mass which, if true, is a manifestation of the sad position in which this Protestant was put when he was not denied or offered a simple blessing instead (a manner of denying Holy Communion that is not condescending, and recognizes the awkward position some may be in when an entire pew is emptied into procession).

The Toronto Star quotes Archdiocese of Toronto spokesman Neil McCarthy, who stated (my comments bracketed in red; emphases in bold; I have changed, to capital letters, all references to the Eucharist which are bracketed):

...that Harper should not have accepted the [C]ommunion given that he isn't Roman Catholic [was this explained to him during the Mass]?

"In the Roman Catholic faith we say that Roman Catholics are the only ones who should present themselves for [C]ommunion because we believe that are actually consuming the [B]ody and [B]lood of Jesus Christ," he told the Toronto Star. [was this explained during the Mass]?

MacCarthy said he is sure Harper meant no disrespect but should have politely declined by crossing his arms over his chest [and he would know to do this how? Was it explained?] "We encourage those who are non-Catholic ... to present themselves for a blessing (instead)," he said. [Again....was this explained during the liturgy, which is where it should be explained. If it was, and the PM still presented himself, then we can shift some blame to him. Otherwise, it is most charitable to assume he didn't know any better].

Responsibility falls with the celebrant of the Mass (or other priest who steps out as Fr. Perrone sometimes does when other priests have the liturgy) and those distributing Communion. They must protect not only the Eucharist, but others from participating in scandal. As for the Archbishop, please pray for him, especially, if he was aware that he was giving the Eucharist to someone who was not in Communion with the Catholic Church.

Here is the video, and below you will find some posts and news coverage links from around the internet.



Further Reading:

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An Abortion Party?

My friend (whom I discovered, at my mother's wake, was a distant cousin), and Grotto-goer, Lizaanne, ran across a disturbing piece and shares some thoughts.

The Emasculation of Men

I just read this really nauseating piece of writing
My First Abortion Party.

This is my response:

The other sadness here is the emasculation of men in the abortion debate. Because abortion is seen as a woman's issue, and only women have a say in what happens with their bodies, men are left by the sidelines wondering "Hey, what about me? I was there too, remember?". Which is its own curious reaction. If it was just sex that didn't really mean anything, and the result is a bunch of cells that don't really mean anything, then why are men concerned or even care at all what happens? It is because in their heart of hearts they KNOW there is a baby there, and that baby is their own flesh and blood. And any good and responsible man has an aching urge to protect their child, regardless of the circumstances of conception. But women, in their quest for freedom (from what, I'm still trying to understand), push the men away, removing their kinship to the "clump of cells", telling them they don't matter (when they did obviously, at least for the time it took to conceive), and that what they think, feel, desire is irrelevant.

And men are letting it happen.

...continue reading Lizaanne's post: The Emasculation of Men


You can read more at Lizaanne's blog: For What it's Worth


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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Cute pixar short-video

H/T to AmericanPapist and the Anchoress (who links it to Caritas in Veritate).

This reminds me of cartoons of old when innocence ruled. We need more of this, in full length, without innuendos and hidden immorality found in some things today.

EDIT: OK - the movie has been disabled, probably due to copyright issues. Go to that link at the Anchoress and see if that one is still playing. Otherwise, google "Partly Cloudy Video Pixar" and try a few sites. It's worth the time if you can find it playing where it hasn't been yanked yet.







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Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei now under Congregation for the Doctrin of the Faith


Something rather interesting appeared in the Bollettino today. I give you the english version from the Vatican Information Service for July 8th.


- [Pope Benedict] Appointed Cardinal William Joseph Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, to the additional office of president of the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei". He succeeds Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, whom the Holy Father thanked at the end of his service as president of the same commission.

I'm sure it has to do with the news reported by Fr. Z on June 10th, 2009 via an article in il Giornale by the Italian journalist, Andrea Tornielli:


In the next weeks there will be published a Motu Proprio of Benedict XVI which makes the Commission Ecclesia Dei … an organism of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Pope Ratzinger had already announced this last March, in the letter sent to all the bishops of the world dedicated to the Williamson case and the revocation of the excommunication of the prelates consecrated by Lefebvre. Next 4 July Darìo Card. Castrillòn Hoyos, present President of Ecclesia Dei, will turn 80 years of age and will leave his post for reasons of age. The Commission will then be presided over by the Prefect of the ex-Holy Office, the American William Joseph Card. Levada. The Vice-President Msgr. Perl will remain in his place while there will be named a new Secretary to replace the [recently] deceased Msgr. Mario Marini. Just this morning, the French agency I.Media revealed that in the "feria quarta" meeting the cardinal members of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith put together a first platform for the beginning of dialogue with the Lefebvrites. ... Meanwhile, as Il Giornale anticipated a few days ago, this Saturday there ought to be announced the nomination of the Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship [Archbp.] Malcom Ranjith Patabendige Don as Archbishop of Colombo. In his place there will be designated the present Undersecretary of the ex-Holy Office the Domincan DiNoia.

There is a more extensive article on this by Gregor Kollmorgen at the New Liturgical Movement blog: Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei Attached to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
Other related posts (may be updated so check back)


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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Pope Benedict's long anticipated Social Encyclical: "Caritas in Veritate"

The long anticipated social encyclical has been released on the Vatican's website. I hope to read through it myself in the next day or two.


ENCYCLICAL LETTER
CARITAS IN VERITATE
OF THE SUPREME PONTIFF
BENEDICT XVITO THE BISHOPS
PRIESTS AND DEACONSMEN AND WOMEN RELIGIOUS
THE LAY FAITHFUL
AND ALL PEOPLE OF GOOD WILL
ON INTEGRAL HUMAN DEVELOPMENT
IN CHARITY AND TRUTH



INTRODUCTION
1. Charity in truth, to which Jesus Christ bore witness by his earthly life and especially by his death and resurrection, is the principal driving force behind the authentic development of every person and of all humanity. Love — caritas — is an extraordinary force which leads people to opt for courageous and generous engagement in the field of justice and peace. It is a force that has its origin in God, Eternal Love and Absolute Truth. Each person finds his good by adherence to God's plan for him, in order to realize it fully: in this plan, he finds his truth, and through adherence to this truth he becomes free (cf. Jn 8:22). To defend the truth, to articulate it with humility and conviction, and to bear witness to it in life are therefore exacting and indispensable forms of charity. Charity, in fact, “rejoices in the truth” (1 Cor 13:6). All people feel the interior impulse to love authentically: love and truth never abandon them completely, because these are the vocation planted by God in the heart and mind of every human person. The search for love and truth is purified and liberated by Jesus Christ from the impoverishment that our humanity brings to it, and he reveals to us in all its fullness the initiative of love and the plan for true life that God has prepared for us. In Christ, charity in truth becomes the Face of his Person, a vocation for us to love our brothers and sisters in the truth of his plan. Indeed, he himself is the Truth (cf. Jn 14:6).


Continue reading: Caritas in Veritate

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Photos of FSSP Ordinations in Wigratzbad by Bp Athanasius Schneider, ORC

Bishop Athanasius Schneider, ORC of Karaganda, Kazakhstan, and who visited Assumption Grotto last summer is seen here ordaining one of four men in Wigratzbad, Germany. From the photo dates, it appears to have taken place on June 27th, 2009. Click here to go through all of the photos.

Bishop Schneider is widely known now for his excellent book, Dominus Est, which looks at how Communion has been distributed throughout history.

The bishop will be back in metro Detroit this October for the 12th annual Call to Holiness where he will speak on The Sacredness of the Holy Eucharist and the Fathers of the Church. Register soon!

Previous posts on Bishop Schneider on Te Deum Laudamus!

The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

Monday, July 6, 2009

New post coming....

I'm working on a new post that is taking more time to carefully weave, with appropriate links. It concerns the ongoing public debate on Christopher West and the Theology of the Body.

Perhaps later today I will be able to post it, so do check back tonight or tomorrow.


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Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Independence Day


Stop and say a prayer today in thanksgiving for American independence. Also pray today for all of those who fought for her independence, and who serve today in the armed forces.

Here are a few interesting quotes:

  • Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains or slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take but as for me; give me liberty or give me death! - Patrick Henry

  • Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech. - Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

  • It is seldom that liberty of any kind is lost all at once. - David Hume (1711-1776)

  • Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it. - George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

Read these and more here...




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New pictures of Germaine at work!

One of the priests who was at Assumption Grotto for a couple of years, and who lived in the rectory for a time, has sent out a slideshow video of pics with Germaine at work in the rectory. Fr. Eusebius is in the Philippines and was not within reach of the photos to send them until now.

As you may already know, Germaine passed away soon after being hit by a car in front of Assumption Grotto after leaving her housekeeping job at the parish rectory on June 22nd. Thanks be to God that the priests were with her in the short time after, before she died. I always knew Germaine was agile, but until I saw the photos of her up on a step ladder, I had no idea she was that agile.

These pictures are truly a blessing to have. Father made the slideshow video in thanksgiving for Germaine.

video


Related: Photostory: Funeral of Germaine (First "Tridentine" Funeral in over 40 Years at Assumption Grotto) .....contains Fr. John's homily and Fr. Perrone's column about Germaine.

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Friday, July 3, 2009

UK's Bishop Patrick O'Donoghue: Disobedience is harming the Church


Note: Post corrected. I had mistakenly wrote the bishop was from Ireland. Thanks for the corrections sent to me!
From Anna Arco of the UK Catholic Herald (emphases in bold are mine; comments bracketed in red):

Bishops who have deep theological differences with the Pope are undermining the unity of the Catholic Church, a prominent English bishop has claimed.

Bishop Patrick O'Donoghue [recently retired bishop of Lancaster] said that such differences prompted parish priests to ignore the authority of their bishops. [It takes some real chutzpah for a bishop in disobedience to the Pope to then cry foul over priests and laity who "disobey" them.]

He said: "The idea that there could be theological differences between a bishop and the Pope is just an incredible thing to admit but it is the truth [contraception, and liberation theology are two areas that come to mind, not to mention distortions about what is ok and not ok for Catholics with regards to politics and voting]. I suppose if priests see bishops showing disloyalty to the Pope, it is hardly surprising that they in turn should show disloyalty to their bishop. We all know what Jesus said about a divided house." [Exactly, and where does it end?]

He added: "It is not uncommon for cliques to grow up among priests against the current bishop that ignore with disdain directives and advice from their bishop. Sometimes it seems that the parish priest and parish declare UDI (Unilateral Declaration of Independence) from the bishop and the diocese. There is also a danger of this developing in a group of bishops' attitude to the reigning Pope." [and in some countries, that may include an entire bishop's conference, or the majority of it's members which is really scandalous].

The bishop said this disunity created a "conspiracy of silence" in the Church.

He said: "This cocktail of dissent, disobedience and disloyalty [great description] has resulted in what I call 'a conspiracy of silence' amongst groups in the Church. There is no real dialogue or willingness to talk openly and honestly about our differences.

"For example, I don't know why my Fit for Mission? documents hit a wall of silence among the bishops in this country. All I did was reiterate the teaching of the Church, but this has been treated as unacceptable and unspeakable. Why?"

Bishop O'Donoghue offered his analysis at a retreat for priests of the Diocese of Northampton in Ars, the parish of St John Vianney in France in May. He called attention to the fact that "countless individual priests, and laity, even bishops, believe they are free to decide what it means to be Catholic for themselves" [this is what I refer to as the desire to build a "designer religion" out of Catholicism. That is, each individual designing Catholicism to be what he or she wants it to be]. He suggested that accepting the Church's teaching on sexual morality was a "litmus test" for Catholics. [Let's face it, people aren't debating the Trinity]

"For example, we have witnessed a wholesale rejection of the Church's perennial teaching against contraception. This is the litmus test of the acceptance of the obedience in the Church. How many priests support Gaudium et Spes's crystal-clear rejection of contraception, upheld by successive popes - Paul VI, John Paul II, Benedict XVI? [Gaudium et Spes is one of many documents of Vatican II. How often have you heard the expression "spirit of the Vatican II" used to pervert the truth of what the council actually taught? I just had another person I know, who teaches CCD in her parish, tell me that Vatican II did away with purgatory! I suggested very charitably that she read the documents of Vatican II in their entirety and that not only did it not do away with purgatory, it never got rid of confession and the punishment due to sin, especially grave sin.] If we reject their teaching on this matter we are saying as priests that we know better than the successor of Peter! Is this tenable in a priest?" [He says it like it is, in very plain language. Christ did not intend for people to have a PhD in order to discern whether or not they should obey the Pope. They did not receive the keys, Peter and his successors did. Rather, Christ reminded us to be like children. Accept the message in simplicity. The minute someone starts to muddy the waters with complexity, just run the other way]

Bishop O'Donoghue not only criticised liberal dissent but also had sharp words for traditionalists who he said were in danger of falling into "liturgism".

He said: "By this I mean the tendency among clergy and some laity to solely focus on the liturgy and sacramental life, ignoring our mission to go out of the church building into the world where suffering humanity lives. For a century the Church has been saying that social justice should be a concern of Catholics equal to attending Mass on Sunday. How many believe this? How many priests encourage this?" [there is some truth to this, but I also know from experience that some do not count pro-life work as a "justice" issue. Further, I know many people in traditional communities whose charity truly starts at home, with those closest to them. They may not be working at a homeless shelter, but even Mother Teresa said that we need to work with the poor among us. Still others work in ministries for years without anyone knowing about it. There are those who do prison ministry and who work in crisis pregnancy centers, for example. Would you know it by visiting the parish? Not necessarily because it's not advertised in the bulletin and is not a community effort. I think many do get involved in "works", but I believe it is more individualized apostolate work. And, I'll add that for many people I know, that apostolate work is rooted first in a deep prayer life that often includes daily Mass, adoration, and frequent confession (in other words they sanctify themselves and this brings graces to their work). But, going back to Bishop O'Donoghue's point, we must always examine our conscience that we are living our faith, not just taking from it what we like in the beautiful liturgies]

Bishop O'Donoghue also discussed the life of St John Vianney, whose 150th anniversary is being celebrated this year and who is the patron of the Year for Priests, drawing parallels between the challenges faced by the saintly parish priest and the priests today.

He argued that St John Vianney had a "keen sense of the need for salvation" which he expressed in his "whole being as a priest" [It's not just a job....it's a way of life]. Bishop O'Donoghue urged the priests who were taking part to reflect on a number of questions about their roles and identity as priests in the modern world. This included questions about attitudes to consumerism, alcohol, confronting evil and true repentance.

He also asked them: "Is it possible to talk to young people about salvation today? And is it necessary to go to confession regularly? What do you think the Curé d'Ars would say?" Fr Paul Hardy, a priest who took part in the retreat, said: "He was very good. He talked about the challenges facing us - do we duck them or do we face up to them."
I can't say enough about the Holy Father's choice of St. John Vianney. The job of a priest is not to comfort people and make them happy, but to teach people to cooperate with God's graces and His will for each of us. Ultimately, it's about saving souls, not saving self-esteem.

Source article - Bishop: Disobedience is harming the Church

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The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

R.I.P.: Eleanor Schiapacasse - Grotto's longest living parishioner


At Mass this morning, it was announced that Eleanor Schiapacasse passed away. She will only be laid out in the morning at Grotto at 9:00am. I believe the Mass is at 10:00am.
I have no other details at this time.
Requiescat in pace.


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The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

Bishop Vasa on Devotions and Active Participation in the Mass



I'm slowly getting back into my routine following the death of my mother. Thanks again for the many prayers and words of support.

I could have went scouring the news for something to blog on, but if you go to any number of popular blogs, you begin to see the news recycled over and again. I was in this grind and I am currently leaning towards finding interesting things like this, which are not as widely circulated.

Bishop Vasa of Baker, Oregon is one of several bishops whose websites I like to visit for articles written. It has been a good two months since I have done this. I found a great article by His Excellency, dated June 11, 2009. He looks back at how devotions like the Rosary were prayed during Mass, and he takes a closer look at devotions in general, and addresses attempts to dismiss or forbid them in the name of Vatican II.

Interior Participation is the Real Goal
by Bishop Robert Vasa

The Catholic Church incorporates into its liturgical practices a significant number of devotions. The most notable and traditional of these is the devotion known as exposition and benediction with the Blessed Sacrament. Others include stations of the cross, the recitation of litanies, recitation of the rosary, May crowning, statues and images of saints. One of the illegitimate interpretations of the liturgical adaptations of the 1960s was that such devotions were to be diminished and limited. The unfortunate interpretation seems to have arisen, in part, because of a previous overemphasis on devotional practices which sometimes eclipsed even the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. One still occasionally hears the stories of Mass attendees reciting their rosaries throughout Mass or engaged in other private devotions while Mass was being celebrated. My own recollections include images of my grandparents reciting Czech prayers and the rosary during Mass. The modern liturgist cringes at the thought of such a perceived aberration. Yet, I know that my grandparents had a tremendously deep and rich devotion to the Eucharist and while they may have engaged in other devotions during the course of Holy Mass they were never far in thought from the Lord whose sacrifice they were also recalling.

Nevertheless, those spiritual activities which were classified as “devotions” were frowned upon, discouraged and even forbidden. This was done, in many instances, without a suitable catechesis and without a legitimate interpretation of what full and active participation in the Eucharistic Sacrifice entailed. Full and active participation, which is the phrase from the liturgical documents, was often interpreted in an inappropriately superficial fashion to mean physical activity. Thus there was a great increase in “participation” through recitation of the Mass parts in English, reading the scriptures, leading the prayers of the faithful, and singing, but whether this actually led to a deepened “full and active participation” in the Holy Sacrifice on the part of the congregation as envisioned by the Council is certainly questionable. It is legitimate to wonder whether my grandparents were not just as fully and actively participating in the Eucharistic Sacrifice even though their participation would have had all of the external appearances of great passivity. Our secular age certainly recognizes and praises “activity” and liturgical “activity” has been presumed to be the same as “active participation” and this is not necessarily so. In the training video for lectors and acolytes this active participation is divided into that activity which is from the neck down and that which is from the neck up. There has been a great increase in the neck down form of participation and this is not necessarily bad but the real goal is for greater “neck up” activity throughout the whole of the Holy Sacrifice on the part of all in the congregation. This is a much greater challenge.

Two things bring this topic to mind for me. The first is the more and more frequent reference to the future Roman Missal with its more careful, intentional and perhaps even more devotional translation. This new translation will most likely be available for liturgical use in the fall of 2010. There is a founded hope that this new work can help accomplish more completely the “full and active participation” intended by the Council. While it was the intent that this participation be interior as well as exterior, it is highly possible that the actual result was a replacement of the interior participation by the exterior participation. Since the interior looked to be more passive and the exterior more active a false sense of “greater participation” was generated. The second is the Year of the Priest which formally begins on Friday, June 19 with a holy hour, benediction and the recitation of the Litany of Our Lord Jesus Christ Priest and Victim. Every deanery has been asked to sponsor such a holy hour and to gather in prayer for priests. Throughout the course of the Year of the Priest I hope that many such holy hours are sponsored and attended at both the parish and deanery levels. There will undoubtedly also be diocesan sponsored devotions once we are able to use our retreat center.

The more somber and dignified language of the new translation as well as beautifully ceremonial devotions have the potential of helping us lift minds and hearts to God and to Godly things a bit more effectively. Liturgy and devotions are concerned with both the mind and the heart. Beautiful, dignified language, while not always appealing to the mind, can and does appeal to the heart. The ceremony of solemn exposition and benediction may not appeal to the secular or practical mind but it appeals very strongly to and touches the heart. I think it enhances the possibility of a deeper interior participation in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass where the host used for adoration is consecrated. Without the devotions we run the risk of losing our hearts. With an exaggerated emphasis on devotions we run the risk of undermining intellectual knowledge and understanding. Both are necessary. They complement one another.

I started out with a reference to the Litany of Our Lord Jesus Christ Priest and Victim. This is a litany used by Pope John Paul II as a seminarian and it is both devotional and challenging. For us priests the series of petitions to which we answer, “Deliver us Jesus,” includes the following: “From the unworthy administration of the Church’s treasures; From the love of the world and its vanities; From the unworthy celebration of Your Mysteries; Through Your priestly spirit.” These are powerful petitions and they are also powerful reminders to us of how much we must rely on the Lord.

There are also prayers for priests: “That You would deign to provide Your people with pastors after Your own heart; That you would deign to fill them with the spirit of Your priesthood; That You would deign to give them gentleness in their ministry, resourcefulness in their actions and constancy in their prayer; That through them You would deign to promote the veneration of the Blessed Sacrament everywhere.” The good and holy response, which needs to be both interior and exterior: “We beseech You, hear us.”


Source: Interior participation is real goal



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The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!