Friday, April 30, 2010

Twitter Feed Updated...

If you want to see some of the news out there, click the Twitter Bird in my sidebar and scroll.

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!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Today: St Catherine - Doctor of the Church

Today is the feast day of St. Catherine of Sienna

From the dialogue On Divine Providence by Saint Catherine of
Siena, virgin and doctor

(Cap. 167, Gratiarum actio ad Trinitatem: ed. lat., Ingolstadii 1583, f. 290v-291)

I tasted and I saw

Eternal God, eternal Trinity, you have made the blood of Christ so
precious through his sharing in your divine nature. You are a mystery
as deep as the sea; the more I search, the more I find, and the more
I find the more I search for you. But I can never be satisfied; what
I receive will ever leave me desiring more. When you fill my soul
I have an even greater hunger, and I grow more famished for your
light. I desire above all to see you, the true light, as you really are.

I have tasted and seen the depth of your mystery and the beauty of
your creation with the light of my understanding. I have clothed
myself with your likeness and have seen what I shall be. Eternal
Father, you have given me a share in your power and the wisdom
that Christ claims as his own, and your Holy Spirit has given me the
desire to love you. You are my Creator, eternal Trinity, and I am your
creature. You have made of me a new creation in the blood of your
Son, and I know that you are moved with love at the beauty of your
creation, for you have enlightened me.

Eternal Trinity, Godhead, mystery deep as the sea, you could give
me no greater gift than the gift of yourself. For you are a fire ever
burning and never consumed, which itself consumes all the selfish
love that fills my being. Yes, you are a fire that takes away the
coldness, illuminates the mind with its light and causes me to know
your truth. By this light, reflected as it were in a mirror, I recognize
that you are the highest good, one we can neither comprehend nor
fathom. And I know that you are beauty and wisdom itself. The food
of angels, you gave yourself to man in the fire of your love.

You are the garment which covers our nakedness, and in our hunger
you are a satisfying food, for you are sweetness and in you there is no
taste of bitterness, O triune God!

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!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Go thank Bishop Slattery...



Many are of the opinion that Bishop Slattery's homily from this past Saturday will go down as one of the best in American history.  If you have read it, or heard the audio, take the time to go tell him what you think.

You might consider sending a copy to your favorite Catholic news outlets.  As of today, this thing is still pretty much contained within  the Catholic blogosphere.



Please consider sending the Diocese of Tulsa link to Zenit's news contact form.  Just right click the first link above and "copy shortcut" and then follow the link to Zenit.  Ask them nicely to share it with readers. If they can't see my lonely email, perhaps they will see it if many send it in.

ZENIT has covered it! http://zenit.org/article-29071?l=english


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!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Full Text of Bishop Edward Slattery's Sermon at the National Shrine on April 24, 2010


EDIT: The text is now on the Diocese of Tulsa website.  There is a comment box there.  Consider telling Bishop Slattery how his homily moved you, and while you are there think about leaving a spiritual bouquet of Mass and prayer intentions.  Go read: Bishop Slattery's Homily at Solemn High Mass at National Shrine. You can catch audio if you prefer at the blog of Fr. Z, but please leave your comments at the diocesan post.



Thanks to Msgr. Patrick Brankin, Secretary to His Excellency, Bishop Edward J. Slattery of the Diocese of Tulsa, Oklahoma, I am very grateful to be able to bring to you the full text of  the sermon given on April 24, 2010 at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington DC.  The Mass was a Pontifical High Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.  The Mass was in the planning for three years to honor Pope Benedict XVI on the fifth anniversary of his pontificate


Bishop Slattery filled the vacancy just a matter of days before the event when Cardinal Castrill├│n Hoyos backed out.  This, on top of being stranded in Rome because of the volcanic ash in the air and grounding of airlines.

He communicates some hard truths about following Christ fully, and he does so in a way that is fatherly. It is not condescending or alarming, but warm and inviting to reflection.  I found myself strengthened and hope-filled. Please avoid the temptation of thinking that the bishop was targeting his sermon at any particular group of people, lest you miss the opportunity to learn what God is communicating to you through these words. There is something here for everybody, whether you are are victim of clerical abuse, or find yourself in a kind of despair over these things; for those who suffer from a debilitating disease, and those who are weary.  For all of us, a lesson in what it means to suffer in Christ, and to imitate His obedience.

Pray for our bishops and priests, that they continue to teach us these things.

Below is the full text of Bishop Slattery's moving homily, with some additional background at the bottom of this post.  Bloggers, news orgs - lets get this out there.  If you want to send the bishop your thoughts, or a Mass card, here is contact info

EDIT @6:57  Pics can be found at A Priest Life blog
April 26
EDIT @ 5:30: Last two paragraphs swapped out text provided for transcript of audio.
Msgr. Charles Pope of Washington DC explains: Why celebrate Mass in Latin?
I've also added in some interesting comments found elsewhere, about the homily (see bottom).

Gospel reading was Mt 16:13-19


Solemn Pontifical Mass
Basilica of the Immaculate Conception
Washington, D.C.


Celebrating the fifth anniversary
of the ascension of Benedict XVI to the throne of Peter
- ad multos annos! -


We have much to discuss - you and I …


… much to speak of on this glorious occasion when we gather together in the glare of the world’s scrutiny to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the ascension of Joseph Ratzinger to the throne of Peter.


We must come to understand how it is that suffering can reveal the mercy of God and make manifest among us the consoling presence of Jesus Christ, crucified and now risen from the dead.


We must speak of this mystery today, first of all because it is one of the great mysteries of revelation, spoken of in the New Testament and attested to by every saint in the Church’s long history, by the martyrs with their blood, by the confessors with their constancy, by the virgins with their purity and by the lay faithful of Christ’s body by their resolute courage under fire.


But we must also speak clearly of this mystery because of the enormous suffering which is all around us and which does so much to determine the culture of our modern age.

From the enormous suffering of His Holiness these past months to the suffering of the Church’s most recent martyrs in India and Africa, welling up from the suffering of the poor and the dispossessed and the undocumented, and gathering tears from the victims of abuse and neglect, from women who have been deceived into believing that abortion was a simple medical procedure and thus have lost part of their soul to the greed of the abortionist, and now flowing with the heartache of those who suffer from cancer, diabetes, AIDS, or the emotional diseases of our age, it is the sufferings of our people that defines the culture of our modern secular age.


This enormous suffering which can take on so many varied physical, mental, and emotional forms will reduce us to fear and trembling - if we do not remember that Christ - our Pasch - has been raised from the dead. Our pain and anguish could dehumanize us, for it has the power to close us in upon ourselves such that we would live always in chaos and confusion - if we do not remember that Christ - our hope - has been raised for our sakes. Jesus is our Pasch, our hope and our light.


He makes himself most present in the suffering of his people and this is the mystery of which we must speak today, for when we speak of His saving presence and proclaim His infinite love in the midst of our suffering, when we seek His light and refuse to surrender to the darkness, we receive that light which is the life of men; that light which, as Saint John reminds us in the prologue to his Gospel, can never be overcome by the darkness, no matter how thick, no matter how choking.


Our suffering is thus transformed by His presence. It no longer has the power to alienate or isolate us. Neither can it dehumanize us nor destroy us. Suffering, however long and terrible it may be, has only the power to reveal Christ among us, and He is the mercy and the forgiveness of God.


The mystery then, of which we speak, is the light that shines in the darkness, Christ Our Lord, Who reveals Himself most wondrously to those who suffer so that suffering and death can do nothing more than bring us to the mercy of the Father.


But the point which we must clarify is that Christ reveals Himself to those who suffer in Christ, to those who humbly accept their pain as a personal sharing in His Passion and who are thus obedient to Christ’s command that we take up our cross and follow Him. Suffering by itself is simply the promise that death will claim these mortal bodies of ours, but suffering in Christ is the promise that we will be raised with Christ, when our mortality will be remade in his immortality and all that in our lives which is broken because it is perishable and finite will be made imperishable and incorrupt.


This is the meaning of Peter’s claim that he is a witness to the sufferings of Christ and thus one who has a share in the glory yet to be revealed. Once Peter grasped the overwhelming truth of this mystery, his life was changed. The world held nothing for Peter. For him, there was only Christ.


This is, as you know, quite a dramatic shift for the man who three times denied Our Lord, the man to whom Jesus said, “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, that the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”


Christ’s declaration to Peter that he would be the rock, the impregnable foundation, the mountain of Zion upon which the new Jerusalem would be constructed, follows in Matthew’s Gospel Saint Peter’s dramatic profession of faith, when the Lord asks the Twelve, “Who do people say that I am?” and Peter, impulsive as always, responds “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”


Only later - much later - would Peter come to understand the full implication of this first Profession of Faith. Peter would still have to learn that to follow Christ, to truly be His disciple, one must let go of everything which the world considers valuable and necessary, and become powerless. This is the mystery which confounds independent Peter. It is the mystery which still confounds us: to follow Christ, one must surrender everything and become obedient with the obedience of Christ, for no one gains access to the Kingdom of the Father, unless he enter through the humility and the obedience of Jesus.


Peter had no idea that eventually he would find himself fully accepting this obedience, joyfully accepting his share in the Passion and Death of Christ. But Peter loved Our Lord and love was the way by which Peter learned how to obey. “Lord, you know that I love thee,” Peter affirms three times with tears; and three times Christ commands him to tend to the flock that gathers at the foot of Calvary - and that is where we are now.


Peter knew that Jesus was the true Shepherd, the one Master and the only teacher; the rest of us are learners and the lesson we must learn is obedience, obedience unto death. Nothing less than this, for only when we are willing to be obedient with the very obedience of Christ will we come to recognize Christ’s presence among us.


Obedience is thus the heart of the life of the disciple and the key to suffering in Christ and with Christ. This obedience, is must be said, is quite different from obedience the way it is spoken of and dismissed in the world.


For those in the world, obedience is a burden and an imposition. It is the way by which the powerful force the powerless to do obeisance. Simply juridical and always external, obedience is the bending that breaks, but a breaking which is still less painful than the punishment meted out for disobedience. Thus for those in the world obedience is a punishment which must be avoided; but for Christians, obedience is always personal, because it is centered on Christ. It is a surrender to Jesus Whom we love.


For those whose lives are centered in Christ, obedience is that movement which the heart makes when it leaps in joy having once discovered the truth.


Let us consider, then, that Christ has given us both the image of his obedience and the action by which we are made obedient.


The image of Christ’s obedience is His Sacred Heart. That Heart, exposed and wounded must give us pause, for man’s heart it generally hidden and secret. In the silence of his own heart, each of us discovers the truth of who we are, the truth of why we are silent when we should speak, or bothersome and quarrelsome when we should be silent. In our hidden recesses of the heart, we come to know the impulses behind our deeds and the reasons why we act so often as cowards and fools.


But while man’s heart is generally silent and secret, the Heart of the God-Man is fully visible and accessible. It too reveals the motives behind our Lord’s self-surrender. It was obedience to the Father’s will that mankind be reconciled and our many sins forgiven us. “Son though he was,” the Apostle reminds us, “Jesus learned obedience through what He suffered.” Obedient unto death, death on a cross, Jesus asks his Father to forgive us that God might reveal the full depth of his mercy and love. “Father, forgive them,” he prayed, “for they know not what they do.”


Christ’s Sacred Heart is the image of the obedience which Christ showed by his sacrificial love on Calvary. The Sacrifice of Calvary is also for us the means by which we are made obedient and this is a point which you must never forget: at Mass, we offer ourselves to the Father in union with Christ, who offers Himself in perfect obedience to the Father. We make this offering in obedience to Christ who commanded us to “Do this in memory of me” and our obediential offering is perfected in the love with which the Father receives the gift of His Son.


Do not be surprised then that here at Mass, our bloodless offering of the bloody sacrifice of Calvary is a triple act of obedience. First, Christ is obedient to the Father, and offers Himself as a sacrifice of reconciliation. Secondly, we are obedient to Christ and offer ourselves to the Father with Jesus the Son; and thirdly, in sharing Christ’s obedience to the Father, we are made obedient to a new order of reality, in which love is supreme and life reigns eternal, in which suffering and death have been defeated by becoming for us the means by which Christ’s final victory, his future coming, is made manifest and real today.


Suffering then, yours, mine, the Pontiffs, is at the heart of personal holiness, because it is our sharing in the obedience of Jesus which reveals his glory. It is the means by which we are made witnesses of his suffering and sharers in the glory to come.


Do not be dismayed that there are many in the Church who have not yet grasped this point, and fewer yet still in the world will even dare to consider it. But you - you know this to be true - and it is enough. For ten men who whisper the truth speak louder than a hundred million who lie.


If, then, someone asks of what we spoke today, tell them we spoke only of the truth. If someone asks why it is you came here to Mass, say that it was so that you could be obedient with Christ. If someone asks about the homily, tell them it was about a mystery. And if someone asks what I said to the present situation, tell them only that we must - all of us - become saints through what we suffer.

Noteworthy Background on Bishop Slattery
You may be interested in some background on His Excellency.  I am told that his first response to the sex-abuse scandal was to order a Holy Hour of Reparation in front of the Blessed Sacrament, at the same time in all parishes and Catholic institutions within the diocese.  The people of Tulsa, led by their bishop, went to their knees together.  One might ask, why should those who have not abused children do time on their knees for those who did? The answer is simple:  Imitation of Christ who suffered immensely not for sins He committed, but for our sins.  Further, we bear some responsibility if we have not prayed for our priests and bishops.  Many Catholics today  are unfamiliar with the term reparation, but it is beginning to get taught at various levels.

I am also told that Bishop Slattery also created a confraternity for those who suffer in various ways, from cancer and diabetes, and other long-term illnesses that directs their suffering for the purpose of healing in those who have been abused by the Church's sacred ministers.  This is a form of redemptive suffering (col. 1:24).

These things were initiated some eight years ago, and continue today. 




Here are a few comments I picked up from the blog of Father Z, who always has a good many comments to read through:

trespinos said:
Could even one of those attending yesterday have entered the Basilica Shrine expecting that he or she would be witness to something even rarer than a XXIst Century Pontifical Solemn High Mass, namely a sermon so profound and Spirit-filled that, published, it will claim a rank among the finest ever delivered by a North American churchman?

Dan said:
I was there yesterday, and when Bishop Slattery finished his sermon I was blown away…amazing. Honestly, I had been a bit upset by all the allegations of abuse/cover up in the news recently…Bishop Slattery’s sermon made me proud to be Catholic and to follow our Holy Father and unite our sufferings to his so that we can one day be saints- through what we suffer.


Probably the best sermon I have ever heard. It was so appropiate to follow it with the Credo…I sang it with such confidence in my faith after hearing what His Excellency had to say.

catholicmidwest said:

That’s probably the best homily I’ve ever seen/heard. Just beautiful.


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!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Pontificial High Mass honoring Pope Benedict XVI at the National Basilica in Washington DC


Today marks 5 years for Pope Benedict XVI. 

It's just starting on EWTN, with Bishop Slattery of Tulsa, Oklahoma in the Extraordinary Form!  Fr. Z is in the broadcast booth. It is the first time that high altar is being used in over 40 years.

If you don't have EWTN, but have a computer with something better than dialup, watch it online.

Got an iPhone? Watch it here on the 3G network or wi-fi: http://ewtn.com/mobile/index.asp

Please pray for the Holy Father, especially on this day.

EDIT @2:05.... Excellent homily on obedience, after first discussing suffering in Christ. As soon as there is text available, I'll bring it to you or link you to it.  I'm sure Father Z will have it. 


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!

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Anchoress: The "great prostration" - count me in

I must run off to work, but please read this post by the Anchoress

Also, I've been trying to update my Twitter Feed daily again, which is where you can pick up some of the hot topics being discussed in Catholicism today.

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!

Bishop Slattery of Tulsa will do Pontifical High Mass in Washington DC

Cardinal Castrillon was scheduled to do a Pontifical High Mass in the Extraordinary Form for the 5th anniversary of Pope Benedict XVI's pontificate in Washington DC on April 24th.  Notice I said, "was".

In his place, Bishop Slattery of Tulsa, Oklahoma, will do the Mass.  Fr. Z has some details and discussions going on in his blog


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!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Law professor schools the NY Times over it's treatment of Pope Benedict XVI

This is from the blog of UK Telegraph journalist, Damien Thompson in a post entitled: You stitched up the Pope and this is how you did it, law professor tells New York Times.  It comes from the Just B16 blog where the author, John Coverdale,  posted it: The NY Times and the facts of the Kiesle case

Since the NY Times did not publish it, please make sure it gets around the blogosphere. This is very informative and Catholics, especially, should take notes.

Law professor John Coverdale wrote this letter to the New York Times. It has not been published.


"Like many other people, I have felt in recent weeks that some news outlets have unfairly targeted Pope Benedict XVI in connection with sexual abuse by priests.

In part this is a question of emphasis, with daily coverage of what may or may not have been minor mistakes in judgment decades ago and almost no attention to the major efforts Pope Benedict has made to remedy what is undeniably a horrible situation.

With some frequency, however, I have observed what strikes me as deliberate distortion of the facts in order to put Pope Benedict in a bad light. I would like to call your attention to what seems to me a clear example of this sort of partisan journalism: Laurie Goodstein and Michael Luo’s article “Pope Put Off Move to Punish Abusive Priest” published on the front page of the New York Times on April 10, 2010. The story is so wrong that it is hard to believe it is not animated by the anti-Catholic animus that the New York Times and other media outlets deny harboring.

Canonical procedure punishes priests who have violated Church law in serious ways by “suspending” them from exercising their ministry. This is sometimes referred to as “defrocking.” (According to Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary to “defrock” is to deprive of the right to exercise the functions of an office. )

A priest who has been suspended may request that he be released from his vows of celibacy and other obligations as a priest. If granted, this petition to be “laicized” would leave the former priest free to marry. Laicization (which is altogether different from defrocking and which may apply to a priest who has committed no crime but simply wishes to leave the priesthood) is not further punishment. It is something a priest who has already been punished by being suspended might well desire, as do some priests who have committed no crime and who have not been suspended..

The priest who is the subject of the article had already been punished by being suspended long before his case reached Rome. He asked to be laicized. Cardinal Ratzinger delayed his laicization not his “defrocking” as the article incorrectly says. He had been defrocked years earlier when he was suspended from the ministry. All of this is clear without reference to outside sources to anyone who knows something about Church procedure and reads the article with sufficient care. It is anything but clear, however, to a normal reader.

My complaint here is not that the article misuses the word “defrock” but rather that by so doing it strongly suggests to readers that Cardinal Ratzinger delayed the priest’s removal from the ministry. Delaying laicization had nothing to do with allowing him to continue exercising the ministry, from which he had already been suspended.

Not only does the article fail to make these distinctions, it positively misstate the facts. Its title is “Pope Put off Move to Punish Abusive Priest.” [italics added] It describes Cardinal Ratzinger’s decision as involving whether the abusive priest “should be forced from the priesthood” [italics added]. Even a moderately careful journalist would have to notice that all of this is incompatible with the fact (reported in the second paragraph of the article) that the priest himself had asked for what Cardinal Ratziner delayed.

Had the facts been reported accurately, the article would have said that the priest was promptly punished by being removed from the ministry for his crimes, but that when he asked to be reduced to the lay state, which would have given him the right to marry within the Church, Cardinal Ratzinger delayed granting the petition. That, of course, would hardly have merited front page treatment, much less a headline accusing the Pope of “Putt[ing] off Move to Punish Abusive Priest.”

The second half of the article reports that the priest later worked as a volunteer in the youth ministry of his former parish. This is obviously regrettable and should not have happened, but he was not acting as a priest (youth ministers are laymen, not priests).

A careful reader who was not misled by the inaccuracies in the first part of the article would, of course, realize that his volunteering as a youth minister had no factual or legal connection with Cardinal Ratzinger’s delaying the grant of laicization. The article does not say in so many words that it did, but an average reader might well conclude that there was some connection when he is told that “while the bishop was pressing Cardinal Ratzinger to defrock Mr. Kiesle, the priest began volunteering in the youth ministry of one of his former parishes.”

Any one of these errors might be due to carelessness, but their cumulative effect, coupled with the decision to make this front page news accompanied by a two column photo of Cardinal Raztinger’s signature, strongly suggests to me that something worse than carelessness is involved. I urge you to look into whether some major news outlets have indeed been engaged in a campaign to vilify the Pope and into whether their desire to do so has caused them to slip below minimum standards of professional journalism"

John Coverdale is Professor of Law at Seton Hall University School of Law

In the article the professor makes  a distinction between suspending a priest from ministry, and  "defrocking" which the NY Times sees as punishment, and then explains laicization of priests.  This is good general knowledge for anyone to have if they discuss the issue of sexual abuse by priests, lest they come across as not having done their homework, as they NY Times has.

It is not that long of a read and I have saved the very strong ending for you to read at Damien's blog.

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!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Bishops to be named today...Miami and Springfield, IL

First, I've updated my Twitter Feed for the first time in .... over a week?  Click the bird in the sidebar to see some of the news out there.  I'll try to keep it up daily again now.  Things were too busy to even keep up with Twitter. 

Press conferences are scheduled in Archdiocese of Miami and in Diocese of Springfield

Watch these sources for early reporting:

Rocco has already given some background on the bishop believed to be taking over the Archdiocese of Miami.  In a trend I have noticed, Pope Benedict XVI is rumored to be sending Bishop Thomas Wenski of Orlando, Florida home to Miami, Florida.  Word has it he will hit the ground running. 

Will the Holy See limit it to two?  If you get to this post after noon Rome time, which is about 20 minutes as of this posting, start checking the Bollettino





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!

The Pope to Youth in Malta: Today's culture sometimes promotes things that are at variance with the Gospel

Saint John tells us that perfect love casts out fear (cf. 1 Jn 4:18). And so I say to all of you, "Do not be afraid!" How many times we hear those words in the Scriptures! They are addressed by the angel to Mary at the Annunciation, by Jesus to Peter when calling him to be a disciple, and by the angel to Paul on the eve of his shipwreck. To all of you who wish to follow Christ, as married couples, as parents, as priests, as religious, as lay faithful bringing the message of the Gospel to the world, I say, do not be afraid!  You may well encounter opposition to the Gospel message. Today’s culture, like every culture, promotes ideas and values that are sometimes at variance with those lived and preached by our Lord Jesus Christ. Often they are presented with great persuasive power, reinforced by the media and by social pressure from groups hostile to the Christian faith. It is easy, when we are young and impressionable, to be swayed by our peers to accept ideas and values that we know are not what the Lord truly wants for us. That is why I say to you: do not be afraid, but rejoice in his love for you; trust him, answer his call to discipleship, and find nourishment and spiritual healing in the sacraments of the Church.
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!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Pope Benedict's profound homily... and it was "off the cuff"

Pope Benedict XVI gave a rare, unprepared, homily on Thursday,  April 15, 2010 that was so moving, several journalists were doing their best just to get excerpts of it up on the web.  Veteran Vatican watcher, Sandro Magister, whose blog I am getting this from wrote that it came, "...during a Mass in the Pauline Chapel with the members of the pontifical biblical commission (in the photo). News of it was first announced by Vatican Radio, seven hours afterward. And the complete text was released 52 hours later".


Matthew Sherry translated it for Magister's blog, which I check regularly.  I recommend bookmarking his english homepage and checking in at least once weekly (see other languages available for the blog in his left sidebar). 

I normally only excerpt what is offered by others, but this homily is too profound to skim or excerpt.  Read it to the bottom.  You can also read it in full at Magister's blog: For this Pope, all is grace, even "the world's attacks on our sins".

Dear brothers and sisters, I couldn't find the time to prepare a true homily. I would simply like to invite each one to personal meditation, presenting and emphasizing a few of the phrases from today's liturgy, which lend themselves to the prayerful dialogue between ourselves and the Word of God. The word, the phrase that I would like to propose for shared meditation is this great statement by Saint Peter: "We must obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29). Saint Peter is standing in front of the supreme religious institution, which normally one must obey, but God is above this institution, and God has given another "order": one must obey God. Obedience to God is freedom, obedience to God gives him the freedom to oppose the institution.


And here the exegetes draw our attention to the fact that Saint Peter's reply to the Sanhedrin is almost identical, word for word, to Socrates' response to his sentence in the tribunal of Athens. The tribunal offers him freedom, liberation, but on the condition that he not continue to seek God. But seeking God, the search for God is for him a superior mandate, it comes from God himself. And a freedom purchased with the renunciation of the journey to God would no longer be freedom. So it is not these judges that he must obey - he must not buy his life by losing himself - but he must obey God. Obedience to God has the primacy.


Here it is important to emphasize that this is a matter of obedience, and that it is precisely obedience that gives freedom. The modern age has spoken of the liberation of man, of his full autonomy, and therefore also of liberation from obedience to God. It is said that obedience should no longer exist, man is free, he is autonomous: nothing else. But this autonomy is a lie: it is an ontological lie, because man does not exist on his own and for himself, and it is also a political and practical lie, because collaboration, the sharing of freedom, is necessary. And if God does not exist, if God is not an imperative accessible to man, what remains as the supreme imperative is only the consensus of the majority. As a result, the consensus of the majority becomes the last word, which we must obey. And this consensus - we know this from the history of the last century - can also be a "consensus in evil."


So we see that so-called autonomy does not truly liberate man. Obedience to God is freedom, because it is the truth, it is the imperative that stands before all human imperatives. In the history of humanity, these words of Peter and of Socrates are the true beacon of liberation for man, who is able to see God and, in the name of God, can and must obey not so much men, but Him, and thus free himself from the positivism of human obedience. The dictatorships have always been against this obedience to God. The Nazi dictatorship, like that of Marxism, cannot accept a God who stands above ideological power; and the freedom of the martyrs, who recognize God precisely in obedience to divine power, is always the act of liberation by which the freedom of Christ comes to us.


Today, thank God, we do not live under dictatorships, but there exist subtle forms of dictatorship: a conformism that becomes obligatory, to think the way everyone else thinks, to act the way everyone else acts, and the subtle forms of aggression against the Church, or even the less subtle ones, demonstrate how this conformism can really be a true dictatorship. What matters to us is this: we must obey God rather than men. But that supposes that we truly know God, and that we truly want to obey Him. God is not a pretext for one's own will, but it is really He who calls and invites us, if it is necessary, even to martyrdom. Therefore, confronted by this word that begins a new history of freedom in the world, let us pray above all to know God, to know God humbly and truly, and, knowing God, to learn the true obedience that is the foundation of human freedom.


Let's take a second passage from the first reading: Saint Peter says that God has raised Christ to his right hand as leader and savior (cf. v. 31). "Leader" is a translation of the Greek term "archegos," which implies a much more dynamic vision: the archegos is the one who shows the way, who goes before, it is a movement, a movement upward. God has raised him to his right hand - therefore speaking of Christ as archegos means that Christ walks before us, precedes us, shows us the way. And being in communion with Christ means being on a journey, ascending with Christ, it is following Christ, it is this upward ascent, it is following the archegos, the one who has already gone before us, who precedes us and shows us the way.


Here, obviously, it is important that we be told where Christ arrives, and where we must also arrive: hypsosen - on high - ascending to the right hand of the Father. Following Christ is not only an imitation of his virtues, it is not only living in this world, as much as we are able, as Christ did, according to his word, but it is a journey that has a destination. And the destination is the right hand of the Father. There is this journey of Jesus, this following of Jesus that ends at the right hand of the Father. It is to the horizon of this following that the entire journey of Jesus belongs, including his arrival at the right hand of the Father.


In this sense, the destination of this journey is eternal life at the right hand of the Father in communion with Christ. Often today we are afraid of talking about eternal life. We talk about things that are useful for the world, we show that Christianity also helps to improve the world, but we do not dare to say that its true destination is eternal life, and that it is from this destination that the criteria of life come. We must again come to understand that Christianity remains a "fragment" if we do not think about this destination, that we want to follow the archegos to the height where God is, to the glory of the Son who makes us sons in the Son, and we must again come to recognize that only in the grand perspective of eternal life does Christianity reveal all of its meaning. We must have the courage, the joy, the great hope that eternal life exists, it is true life and from this true life comes the light that also illuminates this world.


If it can be said that, even apart from eternal life, from the promised Heaven, it is better to live according to Christian criteria, because living according to truth and love, even if it is under many persecutions, is in itself a good and is better than all the rest, it is precisely this will to live according to the truth and according to love that must also open to all the breadth of God's plan for us, to the courage to have already the joy in anticipation of eternal life, of the ascent following our archegos. And Soter is the Savior, who saves us from ignorance about the last things. The Savior saves us from solitude, he saves us from a void that remains in life without eternity, he saves us by giving us love in its fullness. He is the guide. Christ, the archegos, saves us by giving us the light, giving us the truth, giving us the love of God.


Let's look at another verse: Christ, the Savior, has given Israel conversion and forgiveness of sins (v. 31) - in the Greek text the term is metanoia - he has given penance and forgiveness of sins. This for me is a very important observation: penance is a grace. There is a tendency in exegesis that says: Jesus in Galilee had announced a grace without condition, absolutely unconditional, therefore also without penance, grace as such, without human preconditions. But this is a false interpretation of grace. Penance is grace; it is a grace that we recognize our sin, it is a grace that we know we need renewal, change, a transformation of our being. Penance, being able to do penance, is the gift of grace. And I must say that we Christians, even in recent times, have often avoided the word penance, it has seemed too harsh to us. Now, under the attacks of the world that speak to us of our sins, we see that being able to do penance is grace. And we see that it is necessary to do penance, that is, to recognize what is wrong in our life, open ourselves to forgiveness, prepare ourselves for forgiveness, allow ourselves to be transformed. The suffering of penance, of purification, of transformation, this suffering is grace, because it is renewal, it is the work of divine mercy. And so these two things that Saint Peter says - penance and forgiveness - correspond to the beginning of the preaching of Jesus: metanoeite, which means be converted (cf. Mk. 1:15). So this is the fundamental point: metanoia is not a private thing, which would seem to be replaced by grace, but metanoia is the arrival of the grace that transforms us.


And finally a word from the Gospel, where we are told that those who believe will have eternal life (cf. Jn. 3:36). In faith, in this "transformation" that penance gives, in this conversion, in this new way of life, we find life, true life. And here I am reminded of two other texts. In the "Priestly Prayer," the Lord says: this is life, to know you and the one you have consecrated (cf. Jn. 17:3). Knowing the essential, knowing the decisive Person, knowing God and the One he has sent is life, life and knowledge, knowledge of realities that are life. And the other text is the Lord's reply to the Sadducees about the Resurrection, where from the books of Moses the Lord proves the fact of the Resurrection, saying: God is the God of Abraham, of Isaac, of Jacob (cf. Mt. 22:31-32; Mk. 12:26-27; Lk. 20:37-38). God is not the God of the dead. If God is God of these, they are alive. Those who are written in the name of God participate in the life of God, they live. And so to believe is to be inscribed in the name of God. And so we are alive. Those who belong to the name of God are not dead, they belong to the living God. In this sense we must understand the dynamism of the faith, which is a writing of our name in the name of God, and so an entry into life.


Let us pray to the Lord that this may happen and that, with our life, we may really know God, so that our names may enter into the name of God, and our existence become true life: eternal life, love and truth.

English translation by Matthew Sherry, Ballwin, Missouri, U.S.A.


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Site: Mary of Nazareth


Just yesterday I stumbled upon a great Marian "watering hole".  Catholic Culture, which reviews many Catholic sites, gives it a status of "green". 

Catholic Culture gives an overview:

Mary of Nazareth International Center is part of an evangelization project to publicize the mystery of the Mother of God through technology.

The Association is formed by Catholic laypeople and submitted to the A.O.C.T.S. (Assembly of Catholic Bishops in the Holy Land), who delegated Bishop Marcuzzo, bishop in Nazareth, to accompany the project "Mary of Nazareth".

This associated website was created to provide in-depth texts for the visitors to an International Marian Center or simply those who visit maryofnazarth.com on the Internet.

The website is divided into ten topics compiling different questions: for each one they have done worldwide research asking experts for their help and they have submitted questions to the most apt authors they could find.

Theologians, exegetes, historians, scientists and archeologists have been asked to offer a synthetic and user-friendly answer, to ensure that the website can become a reference tool at all levels. The most serious topics are treated side by side with less central but more current events, which are of general interest to the public, such as apparitions, miracles, works of art, various scientific perspectives, or the great witnesses.

This site is for everyone and is available in multiple languages.

You can go to the site review for Mary of Nazareth to see specific strengths they site with examples.

Go to the website of theInternational Center - Mary of Nazareth

See other site reviews by Catholic Culture. I use this frequently when I find a site in a search to see if it is rated. You might check some of your favorite sites to see how they are rated. Scroll through a list of top-rated "green" sites and the red "danger list". Some sites, like the popular Spirit Daily are rated as yellow, for "caution". Click the link and read why.

How does Catholic Culture do these reviews and what is the criteria? Click here to find out.

Please consider offering financial support to sites like Catholic Culture. We would not have these free resources without donations.


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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Al Kresta interviews Patrick Madrid and Fr. Neil Buchlein on Medjugorje

-UPDATED on April 17th, 2010
-April 18, 2010: Link to Ratzinger article on public/private revelations fixed

On April 15, 2010, Al Kresta of Ave Maria Radio and host of Kresta in the Afternoon, interviewed Catholic Apologist and radio show host Patrick Madrid (Medjugorje skeptic) and Rev. Neil Buchlein of West Virginia (priest who has visited 17 times since 2003).  The subject.... you guessed it: Medjugorje.

Go listen to the audio at Pat's blogFr. Neil Buchlein and I discuss pros and cons of Medjugorje

- Al also has a thread for discussion on this

EDIT: April 17, 2010

Fr.  Buchlein has a post up about this interview that is rather surprising in many ways (emphases mind in bold; comments bracketed in red).
This is the tape of yesterday afternoon's show. I was contacted yesterday afternoon and was asked if I would be available to answer some questions regarding Medjugorje and the Vatican Commission. I was very surprised to hear at 5PM when I tuned in that Patrick Madrid ( a very "open-minded skeptic" regarding Medjugorje) was also on the show. I was not told this by the station manager when I accepted the invitation [nor was Patrick told that Rev. Buchlein would be on the show. Al Kresta, being the fair-minded man that he is, allowed both sides to be presented]. Patrick has been very outspoken regarding Medjugorje and has a strong following. He prides himself in having read many books and articles about Medjugorje. Unfortunately he has never been there but I do hope that one day he may change his mind and and make a pilgrimmage and really see and experiece the "fruits." [Does one need to go to Bethlehem to believe Jesus was born? I lived in the Diocese of Mostar-Duvno from 1980 - 1983 and was discerning a vocation with the order of Franciscans responsible for the parish of St. James before it all happened in June of 1981.  I saw good fruits.  I turned skeptic in 2005 after not turning a blind-eye to bad fruits upon reading several documents from the diocese.  I felt that the local bishop's objections were very reasonable, and this came after reading books by the chroniclers, Fr. Laurentin and Fr. Rupcic.  Moving on...]. This would only happen if he were to be truly "open-minded" and leave his skepticism at home or at the bottom of apparition hill. I'm not sure if Patrick knows what the phrase "open-minded" really means but listen to the interview [Oh, Father - what disappointing thing to hear out of a priest]. If we ever do see the day when the apparitions of Medjugorje are fully approved I'll be interested in seeing if Patrick has been converted or if he will continue to wallow in his "open-mindedness" and I will continue to pray for him. [Converted?  Converted to what? Is belief in "Our Lady of Medjugorje" required for salvation? Setting aside the condescending tone, is such a statement in harmony with the Catechism of the Catholic Church?  What does the Church teach about private revelations? See below]
In the interview, at one point, Fr. Buchlein acknowledges that you don't have to believe in Fatima or Lourdes, but he then obliges Patrick, in his blogpost above, to believe in Medjugorje if it is approved?

There is an excellent piece written by then Cardinal Ratzinger on the difference between public and private revelations and their theological status.  In it, he makes clear:

  • The authority of private revelations is essentially different from that of the definitive public Revelation
  • Private revelation is a help to this faith, and shows its credibility precisely by leading me back to the definitive public Revelation.
  • It is a help which is offered, but which one is not obliged to use. The criterion for the truth and value of a private revelation is therefore its orientation to Christ himself.
Further references Private Revelation:


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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Christopher West takes a sabbatical

From LSN:

Christopher West Takes Sabbatical to Reflect on Approach
By Patrick B. Craine


EXTON, Pennsylvania, April 12, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Renowned Catholic writer and speaker Christopher West has taken a six-month sabbatical to consider his approach in presenting the Church's teaching on sexuality.


Seeking “personal and professional renewal,” West will cease teaching and has cancelled his speaking engagements for the period. The announcement came from the Theology of the Body Institute, where West serves as a research fellow and faculty member, and indicates that the decision was mutual between West and the Institute's board of directors.


The time away is intended to allow West “to reflect more deeply on fraternal and spiritual guidance he has received in order to continue developing his methodology and praxis as it relates to the promulgation of the Theology of the Body.” The announcement also indicates that West must “attend to family needs.”


While no direct reference is made to it, the sabbatical follows a controversy over an alleged lack of modesty in West's approach that began last spring....[continue reading West at LSN]
Does "anything go" as long as it is open to life?

There are certain issues that I see defended by online apologists, often citing West.  In particular, is an issue pertaining to married couples and I fall in line with Fr. Albert Lauer, now deceased.  He was the founder of Presentation Ministries - a very strong catechetical foundation still working hard today, and with an online presence.  People often say that just about anything goes as long as the marital act ends in a way that is open to life.  Taking the position of Fr. Lauer, and based on concupiscence and Original Sin, I disagree with these justifications.  I would encourage you to bookmark Presentation Ministries homepage and use it as a watering hole.  It has got some great catechesis there that falls in line with the understandings held by many Grotto goers. 

Please note that I will not be posting comments with explicit references because there are young readers.  What pertains to married couples above should be read and prayed about. 



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ROME REPORTS TV News Agency - Pope dedicates general audience to priests

Video:

ROME REPORTS TV News Agency - Pope dedicates general audience to priests

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George Weigel: The Limits of the Papacy

Here is a good article by  George Weigel.  Follow the link to continue reading:

The limits of the papacy

During the preparation of the Second Vatican Council’s Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Pope Paul VI proposed that the constitution’s discussion of papal primacy include the affirmation that the Pope is “accountable to the Lord alone.” This suggestion was rejected by the Council’s Theological Commission, which wrote that “the Roman Pontiff is also bound to revelation itself, to the fundamental structure of the Church, to the sacraments, to the definitions of earlier councils, and other obligations too numerous to mention.” Pope Paul quietly dropped his proposal.

Yet the image persists that the Catholic Church is a kind of global corporation, with the pope as CEO, the bishops as branch managers, and your parish priest as the local salesman. And according to that image, the pope not only knows what’s going on all the way down the line, he gives orders that are immediately obeyed all the way down the line. Or, to vary the misimpression, the Church is like the United States Marine Corps—there, at least according to legend, when the Commandant issues an order, everyone from the highest-ranking four-star to the lowliest Parris Island recruit staples a salute to his forehead and does what he’s told.

This distorted and distorting image of the pope as dictatorial CEO or Marine commandant is, admittedly, reinforced by the language of the Code of Canon Law. Thus Canon 331 states that the “Bishop of the Church of Rome … has supreme, full, immediate and universal ordinary power in the Church, and he can always freely exercise that power.” Yet, while, both theology and law tells us that the pope enjoys the fullness of executive, legislative, and judicial authority in the Church, his exercise of that power is circumscribed by any number of factors.

It is circumscribed by the authority and prerogatives of local bishops, According to the teaching of Vatican II, bishops are not simply branch-managers of Catholic Church, Inc.; rather, they are the heads of local Churches with both the authority and the responsibility to govern them. Moreover, the pope.....[continue reading Weigel at the Denver Catholic Register]


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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Pro-Life News...

In the news:

If you want to keep up with pro-life news, you really need to follow two fast-paced sites: LifeSiteNews and LifeNews.  There are many other resources, as well, but usually these two sources will get the topics to you.

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Diocese of Mostar-Duvno releases document: Spiritual Vocations of "Seers of Medjugorje"

I am providing a number of links to documents released by the Diocese of Mostar-Duvno in recent months (in Italian). It's probably safe to assume that the official langauge in use by the new commission on Medjugorje is Italian.

Richard Chonak has just translated from Italian into English, a document released on March 5, 2010 by the Diocese of Mostar-Duvno covering the spiritual vocations of each of the six Medjugorje "seers". It was published in the official Bulletin of the Dioceses of Mostar-Duvno and Trebinje-Mrkan, 1/2010, pp. 114-122, March 5, 2010 (PDF).  This document was prepared by the Curia of the diocese.

Like other documents released in recent months, the diocese makes use primarily of the chronicles and written works of the closest associates of the visionaries - the spiritual advisors. If there is any doubt who was playing the role of spiritual advisor, we have further proofs in this latest document that Vlasic and Barbaric were among them. 

Interestingly, like other recently released documents, an official translation in Italian was made on the diocesan site.  Of the many pieces of positive and negative criteria found in the 1978 Criteria for Discernment of Apparitions, behavior of associates is considered, in particular if they are connected with the events.

There are many conflicts and contradictions found in the lives of each of these people.  You may recall that when Tomislav Vlasic was sanctioned canonically in 2008 before his request was granted for laicization, one of the charges being investigated was "manipulation of consciences".  When I read this, manipulation of the visionaries by some of the spiritual advisors is seemingly apparent, especially in the case of Jakov who was the youngest.  However, in his case, it was the handy work of Fra Slavko Barbaric, OFM who died in Medjugorje amidst an act of disobedience.  In light of what is revealed in this latest document, there is little doubt that, Barbaric, like Vlasic and Fra Jozo Zovko, OFM (now living in Austria as his case is studied), would have also had his day under canonical spot-light had he survived. 

Go read: Six Medjugorje seers, no religious vocations at Catholic Light.

Other documents released in recent months in Italian:

In the Context of the Phenomenon of Medjugorje

The "Great Sign"
Deviations (Doctrinal and Theological Questions)


In various websites and forums we find jubilation over the fact that the local bishop, Msgr. Ratko Peric, is missing from the list of commission members. We should also note the absence of any representative of the Herzegovina Province of Franciscans, as well. The commission is a serious body of people who will not be limiting themselves to the "good fruits" of Medjugorje.

We have to wonder, will the commission be studying these documents provided by the Diocese of Mostar-Duvno in Italian in the months leading up to the new commission? For those who believe the answer to that question is "yes", then it may be of interest to read some of of what the commission is likely reading.


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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Medjugorje Commission: Official List

Here is the official notice of what I offered a couple weeks ago based on press reports from Croatia and BiH.  In that unofficial list I provided, are some notes containing background on some members that is not shown here.  Of particular interest in that unofficial list, may be the background I provide on Archbishop Angelo Amato, former Secretary to the CDF and now Prefect for the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints.  I think he is already well familiar with the case of Medjugorje.

From Vatican Information Service:


INVESTIGATIVE COMMISSION ON MEDJUGORJE MEETS

VATICAN CITY, 13 APR 2010 (VIS) - The Press Office of the Holy See today published the following communique:

  "The International Investigative Commission on Medjugorje met for its first session on 26 March 2010."

  "The Commission, presided over by Cardinal Camillo Ruini, His Holiness' vicar general emeritus for the diocese of Rome, is composed of the following members: Cardinal Jozef Tomko, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples; Cardinal Vinko Puljic, Archbishop of Vrhbosna, president of the Bishops' Conference of Bosnia-Herzegovina; Cardinal Josip Bozanic, Archbishop of Zagreb and vice-president of the Council of European Bishops' Conference; Cardinal Julian Herranz, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts; Archbishop Angelo Amato, S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints; Msgr. Tony Anatrella, psychoanalyst and specialist in Social Psychiatry; Msgr. Pierangelo Sequeri, professor of Fundamental Theology at the Theological Faculty of Northern Italy; Fr. David Maria Jaeger, O.F.M., consultant to the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts; Fr. Zdzislaw Jozef Kijas, O.F.M. Conv., relator of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints; Fr. Salvatore M. Perrella, O.S.M., teacher of Mariology at the Pontifical Marianum Faculty of Theology; and Fr. Achim Schutz, professor of Theological Anthropology at the Pontifical Lateran University as secretary. Msgr. Krzysztof Nykiel, an officer of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith serves as additional secretary."

  "Other experts have also participated in the commission's work: Fr. Franjo Topic, professor of Fundamental Theology in Sarajevo; Fr. Mijo Nikic, S.J., professor of Psychology and Psychology of Religion at the Philosophical and Theological Institute of the Society of Jesus in Zagreb, Fr. Mihaly Szentmartoni, S.J., professor of Spirituality at the Pontifical Gregorian University, and Sr. Veronica Nela Gaspar, professor of Theology at Rijeka."

  "As announced previously, the work of the Commission will be carried out with the utmost reserve. Its conclusions will be submitted to the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith for study."
OP/                                                                                                   VIS 20100413 (320)

Source


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Archbishop Burke: Who could imagine....?


Various sources, including Tom Peters are working on getting a transcript of the entire address by Archbishop Raymond L. Burke at the Institute of Religious Life's national meeting which took place at Mundelein Seminary this past weekend.  Here is one excerpt:

[...Our joy today is] overshadowed by the public and obstinate betrayal of religious life by certain religious. Who ever could have imagined that religious congregations of pontifical right, would openly organize to resist and attempt to frustrate an apostolic visitation, that is, a visit to their congregations carried out under the authority of the vicar of Christ on earth, to whom all religious are bound by the strongest bonds of loyalty and obedience?

Who could imagine that consecrated religious would openly, and in defiance of the bishops as successors of the apostles publicly endorse legislation containing provisions which violated the natural moral law in its most fundamental tenets – the safeguarding and promoting of innocence and defenseless life, and fail to safeguard the demands of the free exercise of conscience for health care workers?

We witness a growing tendency among certain consecrated religious to view themselves outside and above the body of Christ as a parallel institution looking in upon the Church with an autonomy which contradicts their very nature. We have certainly come a long way from the total loyalty to the Roman Pontiff which was at the heart of the foundation of the Society of Jesus and of every religious congregation. Religious life lived in the heart of the Church, and for that reason religious congregations are, by their very nature, bound in strictest loyalty to the Roman Pontiff. It is of course an absurdity of the most tragic kind to have consecrated religious knowingly and obstinately acting against the moral law.

The spiritual harm done to the individual religious who are disobedient and also the grave scandal caused to the faithful and people in general are of incalculable dimensions.[...]

Continue reading at the blog of Tom Peters at CatholicVoteAction.org

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Holy Trinity Apostolate - Mother of God Series continues this Thursday

Coming up this Thursday in the Mother of God series sponsored by Holy Trinity Apostolate. 

Featuring: Dr. Robert Fastiggi
Topic: "Marian Apparitions and the Catholic Church"

Where: St. Anastasia Catholic Church; 4571 John R. Road; Troy, MI 48085

When: 7 - 8:30 PM - Thursday, April 15, 2010 (in church)
Cost: Free Will Offering
Sponsor: HOLY TRINITY APOSTOLATE
RSVP: Mary 586.739.5455; Email: barbaramm@sbcglobal.net
http://www.holytrinityapostolate.com/



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Common Question at Glas-Koncila (Official Bulletin of the Croatian Bishop's Conference)

I recently discovered among the "Common Questions" at the website of the official bulletin of the Croatian Bishop's Conference - Glas Koncila (Voice of the Council), an interesting Q&A.  It concerns a bad experience someone had while on "pilgrimage" to Medjugorje.  Since it remains in what amounts to a FAQ is an acknowledgement that it comes up - well, as the section heading says.. frequently or commonly. Also, the advice given by this bishop's conference to those visiting Medjugorje is as relevant today as it was when it was written in February of 2001.  I have it on my other blog: Medjugorje Documents & FAQ's

Go read: I experienced spiritual terror on the way to Medjugorje; can’t church authorities prevent that?



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Monday, April 12, 2010

Novena for Pope Benedict XVI...


Just a reminder.....



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Cartoonist Michael Ramirez captures it eloquently...

By Cartoonist Michael Ramirez. 

From all that we've seen the media fools would try to arrest Our Lord on his second coming. 

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Media Bias against the Pope; clerical sex abuse

This logo design must be the handy-work of the one
and only photoshopper extraordinaire - Vincenzo!

There are some very good posts and commentaries out there which discuss the media bashing of the Pope over clerical sexual abuse. 

I only have time to leave you with some links to great reads:


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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Tragedy for Poland ...


A massive memorial grows for the nearly 100 killed in a plane crash, including Poland's president and a number high ranking members of the government.

From today's Detroit News:

Hamtramck to have vigil for Polish plane crash victims
Santiago Esparza / The Detroit News
Hamtramck -- A candlelight vigil and a memorial mass will be held Tuesday in Hamtramck to honor the nearly 100 Polish leaders who died in a plane crash this morning while traveling to Russia.

The vigil will begin at 6 p.m. at Zussman Park across from City Hall, where a wreath will be laid. Then a procession will travel to nearby Queen of Apostles Church.

"It will be quite an affair," said Virginia Skrzwniarz, executive vice president of the Piast Institute in Hamtramck. "This affects so many people."
Russian and Polish officials said there were no survivors in the crash. In all, 97 people -- including the Polish president, his wife, high profile clergy and political and military officials -- were on the flight headed to events marking the 70th anniversary of the massacre in Katyn forest of thousands of Polish officers by Soviet secret police, according to the Associated Press.

The crash killed not only much of the nation's current political leadership, but also people who were to run in the next election, said Thaddeus Radzilowski, president of the institute and a lector in Russian History at the University of Michigan campus in Dearborn.

"The number of people who were killed is just an incredible list," he said Saturday. "The people who were in charge of everything are gone."

Radzilowski said the location where the massacre took place is considered cursed by many Poles. He said the crash will do nothing to dispel that thought.

"The place is really cursed," he said, echoing the sentiment he said many people of Polish descent hold about the region. "They are really going to believe that now."

Continue reading at The Detroit News...

The Holy Father offered condolences (Catholic News Agency)

The Associated Press stooped to a new low by combining this tragic news story with so-called "news" about the pope on recent scandals in the news.  This is totally inappropriate and if they really wanted to cover scandal involving the pope, why did they not make a separate entry. 

As a Catholic of polish descent on my father's side, I am deeply offended by Nicole Winfield's disgusting combination of unrelated topics.  The agenda is clear.  Look at the title that AP has put out and will be all over the local papers and other news outlets: Pope offers condolences to Poland, dodges scandal


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