Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life in Grotto's cemetery where the remains of newly aborted babies were buried in the 2008 ceremony.  Some 600 people came for the Mass celebrated by then auxiliary, Bishop Quinn (now of Winona, MN). 

I still struggle with time for blogging amidst many other things I need to catch up on.  I am to try to make one post a day.  I'll be on vacation next week and will spend it working around the house and catching up on that backlog of photo editing. 

Here are some interesting headlines in the meanwhile:

For the time being, I am going to continue to leave comments off.

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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, June 24, 2010

Computer Break!

I think I'm about to start a new habit.... shutting down my computer a few days out of the month. 

That's right... I'm taking a break to dutifully take care of some things which have been neglected.  I'm going to turn off comments in the meanwhile since I won't be logging on to moderate them!

Wooo-hoooo.... I never thought I'd be so excited about a "vacation" from the computer.

I should be back blogging by Monday at the latest.  I think I'll sit back and read a good book on Sunday.

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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, June 21, 2010

Medjugorje researcher Louis Bélanger looks at the "Grand Concealment"

Back in my post of June 13, I told you about Louis Bélanger, now retired from the University of Montreal, who studied the case of Medjugorje from a scientific point of view back in the early days.  Bélanger makes his second post at his new website, "Medjupedia".  I'll start you out here for the first part of his entry. Then you can follow the link to his post.  He goes into great detail using data such as transcripts of audio, along with some of that audio, but not before discussing where it is coming from, and whether it is reliable to use.

Medjugorje: The Grand Concealment – 1) The Facts
“Three more days!”

The end of the “apparitions” announced by the Lady of Medjugorje has raised one of the most, if not the most important objection that has hindered the recognition of their supernatural character.

According to the visionaries’ tape recorded declarations, the Gospa – the Croatian word meaning the Madona or the Virgin Mary – announced, on June 30, 1981, that she would appear to them three more times. On July 3, ten days after the beginning of the happenings, the visionaries confirmed, before five adults, three of whom were priests, that their meetings with the Gospa were once and for all over.

Twenty-nine years later, in 2010, the daily encounters of some of the visionaries with the Gospa continue to attract millions of pilgrims. What has happened?

In this editorial post on the historical grand concealment, we will try to establish the facts that constitute the solid basis of that troubling cover-up.

Then, in the next editorial post on the actual duplicity, we will identify the manoeuvers deployed by informers and key protagonists to conceal those informations that were interpreted as a threat to “the good cause”.
In this latest post there are transcripts and audio, probably not heard before other than by those who had access to the tapes.  In the audio you will hear the voices of some of the visionaries, as well as that of fra Jozo Zovko. There is a translation of the transcript right below the audio.  Since I do understand some Croatian I was able to follow along.  It is clear that the visionaries said on that day, that the "gospa" would appear "three more times". 

The interesting thing to note is that the entity of Medjugorje has appeared more than 40,000 more times over the past 28 years, and within days to be 29.  Is it possible that, if this were the Blessed Virgin Mary appearing to them, that she would not know then, that she would appear over 40,000 times and counting for the next 29+ years?

I'm going to close comments at this box. I think discussion should take place at the blog of Louis Bélanger, who is engaging in dialogue in his posts, as time allows.

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!

Photos and another status update.

If you are looking for pictures taken recently, I continue to see very little time at home.  When I do get home, I barely have enough time to take care of necessities (and by the looks of my home, even that has not been enough time - LOL). 

I am hoping to spend some time tonight and tomorrow going through pics, before taking a much needed computer break for a few days to take care of some other things. 

In case you missed are some recent photo posts made:

Recent photo posts:

Photos to be processed:
  • First Mass of Rev. Michael Zuelch
  • Helpers of God's Precious Infants vigil with SHMS Rector, Msgr. Montforton
  • Easter Vigil
  • Two non-blogging photoshoots

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, June 20, 2010

Father's Day

A photo taken last Sunday during the Corpus Christi procession
of a Grotto parishioner and his son.

Wishing all of the fathers out there a very blessed Father's Day! Let's not forget our spiritual fathers on this day. 

Grotto's pastor, Rev. Eduard Perrone speaking at the

To all of those who have passed from this life, including my own father, we not only remember them, but we pray for them.  This student concern choir did quite well on the Lacrimosa (from the Mozart requiem).  For those who are no longer here with us:

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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, June 17, 2010

Germany: Canon lawyer discusses Bishop Mixa's resignation: Was it valid?

I have been following the "Mixa case" in Germany since it bubbled up some months ago.  It was pretty much contained in German language media, with some reaching the US (I'll provide links at the bottom). Because I had to rely on a google translation tool, I could not provide coverage as those translations are not reliable.  There was also much hyperbole.  When I found the article below by Rev. Gero Weishaupt, J.C.D., I felt it was worthy of having translated. 

For those unfamiliar with this case, a canon lawyer will brief you in the article below.  For canonists, Fr. Weishaupt raises some very interesting points that will probably be debated. The rest of us can learn a few lessons about rash judgment, calumny, and the right that everyone has to his good name (review, Chapter 2, Section 2, article 8 on the "8th Commandment" in the Catechism of the Catholic Church).

We have a case here that appears to have spun out of control.  There are serious questions being raised about how diocesan staffers, media, and some bishops in Germany handled this case.  I do not know anything about Bishop Mixa or whether some of the claims are legitimate or not.  I do know that the worst claim - that of child sexual abuse - was dismissed by the prosecutor faster than a cockroach can get into hiding when the lights are turned on.  Why? It was "news" to the alleged "victim"!  The Prosecutor gets an "A" for doing his homework. Those who brought the sex abuse claim to him get an "F" for not bothering to look at their homework. We have to wonder: What was the Pope told?

I leave you with a translation of an article which appeared in on June 15, 2010Rev. Gero P. Weishaupt, J.C.D. is a native of Aachen, Germany, and a canon lawyer who was incardinated in the Netherlands (you can see his curriculum vitae through a google translator here ... German readers can toggle the radio button in the upper right-hand corner to "original").

This translation has been reviewed and approved for publication here at Te Deum Laudamus, by Fr. Weishaupt. I was able to communicate in English quite well with him.  He can be reached through his homepage using the email form. 


A canonical commentary by Fr. Gero Weishaupt, J.C.D.

Print and internet media have been reporting since yesterday about a forced resignation by Bishop Walter Mixa from his office as Bishop of Augsburg. If the facts are correct, Mixa’s resignation is canonically invalid. Here we will examine whether the condition of a forced resignation and the erroneous acceptance of the resignation was fulfilled, if media reports are accurate.

What has happened? The state of the matter according to media reports

Demand for resignation

What has – according to the media – happened? On April 21, Bishop Mixa reportedly called a crisis meeting with a small circle of his closest collaborators. The Augsburg Auxiliary Bishop Anton Losinger, the General Vicar Knebel, and the diocesan official in charge of handling abuse cases, H. Heinrich, took part at this meeting. At the meeting the Bishop was pressured on account of the publicized events in the parish at Schrobenhausen, and was pressed to sign an already prepared statement of resignation. He was given to understand that he could count on being removed from office, if he would not resign from office himself. That same evening the Bishop of Augsburg asked the Pope to release him from his office.


Three days later, however, on April 24, Walter Mixa is reported to have expressly rescinded his resignation in a personal fax to Pope Benedict XVI. At that time, Mixa was reported to be staying in a Swiss clinic for treatment. On April 29, Pope Benedict XVI called both Archbishops Marx from Munich and Zollitsch from Freiburg, as well as Auxiliary Bishop Losinger from Augsburg, to come to the Vatican so that he could receive an explanation of Mixa’s recission, which had arrived via fax. In that conversation, the three bishops informed the Pope that the Bishop of Augsburg was also under suspicion of sexual abuse. On May 1, according to the media, both Archbishops confronted Bishop Mixa with a (supposed) case of abuse, with the urgent request to withdraw the recission of his April 21 letter of resignation, because otherwise he was threatened with removal from office. On March 25 – again, according to media reports – the Augsburg Diocese had learned of an alleged case of abuse. Without any closer preliminary investigation or contact with the alleged victim, the abuse case was reported to the state prosecutor’s office. “With anxiety,” as the media put it, Mixa complied with the bishops’ demand.

Untenable suspicion

Later the prosecutor’s office put a stop to the preliminary investigation, because the suspicion of sexual abuse had not become solid. The damaging piece of evidence consisted of an eight-line note by a female former parishioner, who reportedly had written that Mixa had invited a 16-year-old server to his home multiple times. There was no mention of sexual activity. The supposed victim himself later emphasized that he had not been abused by Bishop Mixa at any point in time.

What does Canon law say? The state of the law

Compulsion and error

According to Canon law, a bishop can resign his office on account of poor health or for another grave reason (can. 401 § 2). Because the office of bishop is conferred by the Pope, the resignation from office must be accepted by the Pope (cf. can. 189 § 1). A bishop’s resignation from office is therefore always a two-sided matter. It consists, on one side, of the statement of resignation by the bishop, and on the other side, of its acceptance by the Pope. As with every legal act, a bishop’s resignation from office and the acceptance of that resignation by the Pope must be a fully human act, that is to say, performed by the will and the intellect. A resignation carried out because of compulsion on the part of the bishop and/or error on the part of the Pope is invalid.

An invalid statement of resignation on the part of the bishop

A statement of resignation which is the result of severe and unjustly induced fear is invalid. Fear arises through the fact that the will of the office-holder is shaken by the threat of some evil. Fear, not free will, is the cause of the statement of resignation. The person’s freedom is wounded. Whereas fear does not invalidate other legal acts, yet such a legal act can be rescinded by a court judgment (can. 125 § 2), the legislator views a resignation from office because of fear as invalid of account of the law.

Invalid acceptance of the resignation on the part of the Pope

The Pope is free in regard to the acceptance. As long as the Pope has not accepted the resignation from office, the statement of resignation has no legal effect. The Pope weighs the reasons for resignation presented in the statement. This assumes that the reasons are correct and that they correspond to the truth. If the Pope were to accept the resignation, although not even his motivating reason were to correspond to the truth, the resignation from office would be invalid on the ground of an error on the part of the Pope (can. 126). Because no claim of a right can insist on the acceptance of a resignation, but rather it lies completely within the Pope’s free judgment, the acceptance is carried out by means of a rescript, that is, an administrative act through which the Pope grants the request (cf. can. 59 § 2). A rescript is in fact invalid if not even one of its motivating reasons corresponds to the truth (can. 63 § 2).

Resignation probably invalid

Bishop Mixa was – according to media reports – pressured to offer his resignation. He did this apparently in what was for him a psychologically tense situation. His admission to a Swiss hospital, among other things, points to this. This would be an indication for a subjective severity of fear sufficient for an invalid statement of resignation. The evil of removal from office, which stood before him and which threatened him, if he would not declare his resignation, shook his free will. If that is confirmed, the statement of resignation would be invalid.

Pope Benedict XVI appears – if the media reports are correct – to have only accepted the resignation after Archbishops Marx and Zollitsch and the Augsburg Auxiliary Bishop Losinger had reported to him a supposed sexual abuse, but one shown in retrospect to be inaccurate. This was the deciding reason for the Pope to accept the resignation of Bishop Mixa. But because this accusation has proven to be untrue, the Pope’s decision rests on an error. An act of sexual abuse never took place. As a legal act the Pope’s acceptance of the resignation, therefore, would be equally invalid.

Also the rescript conveyed to Bishop Mixa, in which he was informed of the papal decision to accept his resignation, would be invalid, because it rested on a false fact, which had been the motivation for the papal decision.

The Mixa case is not yet “ad acta”

Because the resignation has been accepted by the Pope, the not unlikely conditions of compulsion and error in the “Mixa case” would need to be investigated thoroughly by the Pope. He can assign the canonical investigation to the relevant curial departments. The Congregation for Bishops would have responsibility.

Damage to the bishop’s reputation

Bishop Mixa’s reputation has been damaged. Harming a person’s reputation is a delict under canon law (can. 220 in connection with 1390 § 2). It is possible to present a complaint regarding this. Canonical penal law prescribes censures (1390 § 2), and provides norms for the possibility of imposing a just penalty. For clerics suspension is possible, for laymen interdict, and according to the severity of the case even excommunication is not ruled out for clerics and laymen.

Original signature: / Gero P. Weishaupt, J.C.D. /

Original copyright notice: © 2005 - 2010 by

Translation from the German by Richard Chonak on June 16, 2010

I want to point out, that in addition to the April 29, 2010 private audience the Holy Father had (as mentioned by Fr. Weishaupt) with German Bishop's Conference President, Mons. Robert Zollitsch, Mons. Reinhard Marx, and Auxilliary Bishop Anton Losinger of Augsburg, other private audiences with bishops of Germany have taken place since then.  These may or may not have anything to do with the "Mixa case", but I found the timing interesting:
We also have a partially translated article by Richard Chonak for this blogpost. Another Canon lawyer has a different take.  Here is that piece from the article at Focus Online Panorama (German):

"In the interview, Mixa does not even rule out proceeeding canonically to overturn his resignation. Canon lawyer Haering considers that unproductive: 'If the attempted resignation was given under the unjust influence of severe fear, malicious deception, or because of a relevant error, it is invalid. But that it not to be assumed, because the Pope would have carefully reviewed the resignation.' He points out that from April 21, when Mixa submitted his resignation, to May 8, when the Pope accepted it, there was sufficient time for a careful examination.
"In July Mixa will be received by Pope Benedict XVI in Rome. He will "discuss how the situation should develop from here" with the Pope. Whatever else Mixa may hope from the visit, the Vatican is reserved on the subject. Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi did confirm the meeting, but made clear: 'It is not foreseeable that there will be discussion of the acceptance of his resignation.' Canonist Haering said: 'That the Pope is receiving Walter Mixa shows that Mixa is getting a hearing from him. But it is not a sensation when the Pope receives a bishop, who has asked for an audience.'"
As I said earlier, this case will probably create some discussion among canonists.

I hope that Catholic news sources in the US will follow the story and provide us with updates as they become available. 

Please pray for everyone involved in this case, especially the Holy Father as he discerns the matter. Pray also for those who may have been involved in wrong doing on either side of this case. May they carefully examine their conscience and have the grace to seek reconciliation.

Related Links (news is now reaching English language sources). 

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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, June 16, 2010

Postulator for the Cause of Fr. John Hardon to Celebrate Mass this Friday at Grotto

From the Assumption Grotto homepage:

Fr. Robert McDermott, Postulator for the Cause of Beatification and Canonization of the Servant of God, Fr. John A. Hardon S.J., will be the Homilist at a Mermorial Mass celebrated by Fr. Eduard Perrone on June 18th at 7:00 p.m. at Assumption Grotto Church. A Marian Catechist meeting will be held after Mass in the school lounge. Everyone is invited. [this ought to be interesting]
Fr. Hardon spent much time in his final years at Assumption Grotto.  I happened to be there with my camera the day that Msgr. Eugene Morris(then Fr. Morris) made the trip to the parish to move his library back to St. Louis, Missouri, where his case is being studied. 

There is a webpage dedicated to the cause of Fr. John Hardon, SJ

There was also a nice article in National Catholic Register print edition (Sept 2006) that I was authorized to republish enttitled: "St. John Hardon?", which gives some interesting details of his life.

Please come if you are available for this special evening at Assumption Grotto.

The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!
The rector of Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Msgr. Jeffrey Montforton, will lead the next Helper's of God's Precious Infants prayer vigil in Detroit this Saturday, June 19, 2010.  It will begin at St. Lucy's on Jefferson in St. Clair Shores with Holy Mass at 7:30am.  Click to enlarge the poster for details.

Msgr. Montforton led the November 2008 vigil in the pouring rain.  See my photostory here.

More photostories from past Helper's of God's Precious Infants vigils in Detroit:


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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, June 15, 2010

First Mass Pictures of Rev. John Dumas

Finally, I was able to get to the First Mass pictures of Rev. John Dumas who was ordained the day before Pentecost at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral by Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron.  Fr. Dumas was the celebrant for a Solemn High Mass in the extraordinary form at Assumption Grotto, his home parish.  On July 1, 2010 he becomes associate pastor at St. Isidore Parish in Macomb.

I did not get to photograph the entire Mass because I sing in the choir.  This was an orchestra Mass - Haydn's Paukenmesse - and it was conducted by Grotto's pastor, Rev. Eduard Perrone.

Below is a slideshow of the photos.  I suggest setting the speed to fast.  Below the slideshow is a direct link to the gallery at my Smugmug account.

The next few days are quite busy, so it will be some days before I get to the First Mass pictures at Immaculate Conception in Lapeer, Michigan, of Rev. Michael Zuelch.

Related Links:

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Monday, June 14, 2010

Slideshow Video: Corpus Christi 2010 at Assumption Grotto

A few notes about this slideshow video:

  1. This took place on Sunday, June 6, 2010.  The Noon Mass was a solemn high in the extraordinary form, and it was an external celebration of Corpus Christi which fell on Thursday, June 3.  It was an orchestra Mass: Haydn's PaukenmesseThe celebrant was Fr. Aidan Logan, O.C.s.o.
  2. The photos of the Mass are few and begin at the homily because I, the photographer, was also in the choir.  I escape through the back of the risers in the back to get a few choice shots (shhhh... don't tell Fr. Perrone). 
  3. Fr. Perrone was not celebrating because he was conducting the orchestra.  He had just enough time to put on his cassock, surplice, and stole, and to grab his biretta.
  4. Immediately following the Mass, the annual Corpus Christi procession began around the grounds of the parish, to the altars set up by families.   
  5. Regrettably, I did not have the right lens on for crowd shots of the roughly 250 who participated. 
  6. I tried to find a nice Pange Lingua for the background music, or the sequence of the day, Lauda Sion.  However, nothing was of the right length for what I had.  Alas! I discovered the Sanctus in the Missa Pange Lingua by Josquin des Prez, which was nearly perfect in length, which is what you hear playing in the background.

If you liked this, you might also like a similar kind of video made of the annointing and benediction of the sick on Assumption Day.  Only those who are properly disposed and eligible for the Sacrament are annointed, and confessions are available before hand.  Most of those seen are quite ill or infirm.
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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, June 13, 2010

Medjugorje researcher launches website

Louis Bélanger of Quebec is a man whose name may not be as well known among those considered to be experts on the subject of Medjugorje.  But, it should be. 

Let's step back a little.  We have a phenomenon that has been going on for nearly 30 years now, currently under investigation by the Church through an international Commission that was announced on March 17, 2010.

If we set aside "fruits" and look at "events" (who, what, where, when, how), the evidence at the "flashpoint" of an event, or soon after, is always of greater interest to investigators than what comes later. Think about a crime scene:  Early in the investigation, the evidence has greater purity because it is relatively undisturbed by other external elements and influences.  With each hour or day that passes, there is a greater chance that things which are foreign to the initial event will get introduced and lead investigators on a wild goose chase.

When unsolved, or "cold-cases", are reopened many years later, investigators always go back to the original data before looking at anything more recent.  Cold-cases are often solved when the passage of time sheds new light on old information. When they look at new information, it is often done in light of the old information. Therefore, it is worthy to have a grasp of what took place in that village early on.  While some believe that the new commission will be looking exclusively at "good fruits", there are others like myself who believe that commission members will be looking at the events themselves, along with the fruits - both good and bad. 

This is the beauty behind the work of Louis Bélanger, who has just launched a brand new website: "Medjupedia"  ( [English], [French]) where he will be offering information collected from the early days and years of the Medjugorje events.  He went there as a scientific researcher.  He also teamed up with Fr. Ivo Sivrić, OFM - a native of Medjugorje, and Franciscan, who came to the United States and was interested in what was going on in his home village. Together, they produced what amounts to a textbook on Medjugorje. 

There are over 400 pages in The Hidden Side of Medjugorje, and about half of them are notes and appendices.  Included in the appendices are full length transcripts of audio-taped interviews from the early days.  Most books which are offered today merely cherry-picked from transcripts, curiously omitting certain things.  Yet others modifed things that came from those same interviews, such as the infamous words about "doubting Judases".  We can only wonder about the motivation behind such behavior.  

In his first post at Medjupedia, Louis Bélanger introduces himself, his work, and that of Fr. Ivo Sivrić, OFM.  He will be making more posts, perhaps going beyond what is in Volume 1, sharing and explaining what he learned through his scientific studies.  Consider bookmarking the site and checking back for more posts. 

As a sidenote, Fr. Sivrić, listed among the deceased OFM's at the Croatian Custody out of Chicago, passed away in October of 2002 at the age of 85. Requiescat in pace!

Once again, here are the links:

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Fr. Barron on "dumbed down" Catholicism

If only a priest had talked like this back in the 70's when I was getting the, "My butterfly and me" version of Catholicism. 

Watch this clip, especially the ending. 

EDIT June 15: I just learned that Fr. Barron has a website.  Check out Word on Fire.

June 15th post: Slideshow video of Corpus Christi Mass & Procession at Assumption Grotto
Next post: Medjugorje researcher launches new website
Previous post: Video footage of French lighthouses getting battered in a 2007 storm

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Video: French Lighthouses and Massive Waves

In this video, one of the many lighthouses featured is the one at La Vielle.  Here is video which shows how the lighthouse keeper gets on and off this particular lighthouse as the two are exchanged.  Interesting!

Can anyone identify the music?
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Saturday, June 12, 2010

Today: Immaculate Heart of Mary

Today in the ordinary form it is the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  It follows the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.   In the 1962 missal, it is celebrated on August 22. 

This was the second reading found in today's Office of Readings in the breviary:

From a sermon by Saint Lawrence Justinian, bishop

(Sermo 8, in festo Purificationis B.M.V.: Opera, 2, Venetiis 1751, 38-39)

Mary stored up all these things in her heart

While Mary contemplated all she had come to know through reading, listening and observing, she grew in faith, increased in merits, and was more illuminated by wisdom and more consumed by the fire of charity. The heavenly mysteries were opened to her, and she was filled with joy; she became fruitful by the Spirit, was being directed toward God, and watched over protectively while on earth.

So remarkable are the divine graces that they elevate one from the lowest depths to the highest summit, and transform one to a greater holiness. How entirely blessed was the mind of the Virgin which, through the indwelling and guidance of the Spirit, was always and in every way open to the power of the Word of God. She was not led by her own senses, nor by her own will; thus she accomplished outwardly through her body what wisdom from within gave to her faith. It was fitting for divine Wisdom, which created itself a home in the Church, to use the intervention of the most blessed Mary in guarding the law, purifying the mind, giving an example of humility and providing a spiritual sacrifice.

Imitate her, O faithful soul. Enter into the deep recesses of your heart so that you may be purified spiritually and cleansed from your sins. God places more value on good will in all we do than on the works themselves. Therefore, whether we give ourselves to God in the work of contemplation or whether we serve the needs of our neighbor by good works, we accomplish these things because the love of Christ urges us on. The acceptable offering of the spiritual purification is accomplished not in a man-made temple but in the the recesses of the heart where the Lord Jesus freely enters.


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Friday, June 11, 2010

Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus; Full text of Pope's homily closing Year for Priests

An Act of Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
by St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

I give myself and consecrate to the Sacred Heart of our Lord Jesus Christ, my person and my life, my actions, pains and sufferings, so that I may be unwilling to make use of any part of my being other than to honor, love and glorify the Sacred Heart. This is my unchanging purpose, namely, to be all His, and to do all things for the love of Him, at the same time renouncing with all my heart whatever is displeasing to Him. I therefore take You, O Sacred heart, to be the only object of my love, the guardian of my life, my assurance of salvation, the remedy of my weakness and inconstancy, the atonement for all the faults of my life and my sure refuge at the hour of death.

Be then, O Heart of goodness, my justification before God the Father, and turn away from me the strokes of his righteous anger. O Heart of love, I put all my confidence in You, for I fear everything from my own wickedness and frailty, but I hope for all things from Your goodness and bounty.

Remove from me all that can displease You or resist Your holy will; let your pure love imprint Your image so deeply upon my heart, that I shall never be able to forget You or to be separated from You.

May I obtain from all Your loving kindness the grace of having my name written in Your Heart, for in You I desire to place all my happiness and glory, living and dying in bondage to You.



You can get a plenary indulgence today, which is the actual closing of the Year for Priests. The decree apparently contained an error, naming June 19th the closing date. It is actually today, the 11th. Here is what the decree reads, in part:

B. The Plenary Indulgence is granted to all the faithful who are truly repentant who, in church or in chapel, devoutly attend the divine Sacrifice of Mass and offer prayers to Jesus Christ the Eternal High Priest, for the priests of the Church, and any other good work which they have done on that day, so that he may sanctify them and form them in accordance with His Heart, as long as they have made expiation for their sins through sacramental confession and prayed in accordance with the Supreme Pontiff's intentions: on the days in which the Year for Priests begins and ends, on the day of the 150th anniversary of the pious passing of St John Mary Vianney, on the first Thursday of the month or on any other day established by the local Ordinaries for the benefit of the faithful.

It will be most appropriate, in cathedral and parish churches, for the same priests who are in charge of pastoral care to publicly direct these exercises of devotion, to celebrate Holy Mass and to hear the confession of the faithful.

The Plenary Indulgence will likewise be granted to the elderly, the sick and all those who for any legitimate reason are confined to their homes who, with a mind detached from any sin and with the intention of fulfilling as soon as possible the three usual conditions, at home or wherever their impediment detains them, provided that on the above-mentioned days they recite prayers for the sanctification of priests and confidently offer the illnesses and hardships of their lives to God through Mary Queen of Apostles.

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Monday, June 7, 2010

Status of photo-editing from recent events...

This was one of the most unforgettable moments in the I Love Lucy Show.  As the line accelerates, and the volume of chocolates goes up, it becomes impossible to not start slipping...

I ended up at work unexpectedly late tonight - getting home at neary 6:30pm, ate, took out the garbage, washed a load of clothes, emptied the dishwasher, cleaned the kitchen and now I head off to fulfill some of the Carmelite obligations I did not get to earlier.  Did I mention I need to get up in 6.5 hours?  LOL

I have photos from several events which have not yet  been edited, simply because I haven't had a block of time to sit down and edit them.   In fact, I have photos from the Holy Week Triduum that await finalizing.  It's one reason that I have not been taking as many photographs and re-using photos from prior years.  There has been so much going on I don't have the time to process them.

The Solemn High Mass was photographed yesterday (TLM), which was an "external celebration" for Corpus Christi (it falls on Thursday for the extraordinary form, but can be celebrated on Sunday as we did at Grotto for the Noon Mass).  Following Mass was a procession with an estimated 250 people.  The weather held out for us. 

I also have the First Mass photos of Fr. John Dumas from Pentecost Sunday at Grotto and Fr. Michael Zuelch out at Immaculate Conception out in Lapeer later that same day.  If all goes according to plan tomorrow, I may find a little time to begin working on those First Mass pics.  Corpus Christi will follow, and then I'll go back to those pics from Easter. 

In addition to this, I have other forms of backlog, such as audio work, blogposts that I desire to make, etc. There's no end in sight to the events cropping up in the coming weeks (not necessarily photographing, but just keeping me from having time to sit down and do these things).

People often ask, "why not just upload them without editing?"  Well, for me, these photos are a work of art.  Often when the camera is tripod mounted, I often do not get time to square the camera, so they are crooked.  The photos are often shot at a high ISO, which makes the photos grainy, and I can filter some of that out on the computer.  This all takes time.

As an aside, I do get periodic requests to photograph weddings, First Communions, etc.  I wish I had time to do these things, but more often than not, I have to turn them down just due to a shortage of time.

Keep checking back.  These things will get done, but I find I cannot work at the same pace that I use to (or shall I say, I'm not longer wired to go on just 4 hours of sleep several times per week, as I did in order to get the photos up so quick). 

In the meanwhile, I will continue to make some general posts most days to lead you to some interesting news and content out on the web. 

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, June 6, 2010

Rev. Dr. Manfred Hauke reviews Dominus Est

On a blog that I have set up for Dominus Est - Reflections of a Bishop of Central Asia on Holy Communion by Bishop Athanasius Schneider, is a new post featuring a review of the book by Prof. Dr. Manfred Hauke - a priest and professor of dogmatic theology and patristics at the Theological Faculty of Lugano in Switzerland.

On this day when many of us celebrate the Feast of Corpus Christi, go read Fr. Hauke's review, translated and published with his permission..

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, June 5, 2010

Corpus Christi at Assumption Grotto...

This video was made a couple years ago, with still shots I took during a previous year. Hence, the date at the end is no longer valid.

Consider coming to the Noon Mass, which is an orchestra Mass - Haydn's Paukenmesse ("Mass in time of war") and Mozart's Benedictus sit Deus. A Handel organ concerto will also be played as prelude.

Weather permitting, the procession will be outdoors on the parish grounds as seen in the video, otherwise, the altars will be be set up within the Church.

After the procession, the Grotto Knights of Columbus will be hosting a BBQ to raise funds for the parish. Please support this cause.

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, June 4, 2010


I thought this was pretty cool.  Click in the box and watch what he does. Move the mouse above his head back and forth.  Figure out how to get him back on the wheel.

Hamster: "This lively pet hamster will keep you company throughout the day. Watch him run on his wheel, drink water, and eat the food you feed him by clicking your mouse. Click the center of the wheel to make him get back on 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!

Sunday at Grotto: Noon Orchestra Mass; Corpus Christi Procession

Thus Sunday, the noon Mass will be with symphony. Corpus Christi Procession will follow. And the Grotto Knights are having a BBQ after the procession.

Be there!

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, June 3, 2010

Report: Pope Benedict XVI wrote to Cdl Schonborn about recent statements

Updated, June 3, 2010

Back a couple weeks ago when Cardinal Schonborn was making the news about clerical celibacy and his remarks about Cdl Sodano I told a few people to give it two weeks. It took about two weeks for the Holy Father to rein in his former pupil over his trip to Medjugorje.  To be precise, he was there on January 1st, 2010 and had an audience with the Holy Father on January 15th.  On the same day, a fax went from Schonborn while still in Rome, to the Bishop of Mostar. 

If this report below is correct, then my hunch was right, that we would hear within two weeks that the Holy Father had once again intervened in the case of Cardinal Schonborn. 

I would have preferred to simply link to the piece, rather than duplicate it here, but it would have required people to scroll considerably.  It is in the June 1, 2010 entry at 11:19 by Teresa Benedetta.   It was a blogpost written by veteran Vatican journalist, Andrea Tornielli, about a report in il Foglio about a letter Pope Benedict XVI supposedly sent to Cardinal Schonborn over his recent remarks.  It is translated at the "Benedetto XVI Forum".

For readers of Italian, here is Tornielli's blog entry. Critiche a Sodano, il Papa scrive a Schoenborn
Suffice it to say, Cardinal Schonborn needs our prayers.

That which is in blue, is likely the additional inline commentary of Teresa Benedetta...

Report: Pope has written Schoenborn
twice about his recent statements
Translated from Sacri Palazzi

June 1, 2010

Benedict XVI is said to have sent a letter to the Archbishop of Vienna, Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, after the latter's recent off-the-record statements to Austrian journalists naming Cardinal Angelo Sodano who prevented an investigation into seminarians' accusations about Schoenborn's predecessor as Archbishop of Vienna, Hans Hermann Groer.

Reference to the existence of such a letter, in which the Pope reportedly says he was stunned that Schoenborn said what he did, was made in a story in Il Foglio today. [Il Foglio, unfortunately, does not post its content online right away.]

From what I have learned, this letter regarding Schoenborn's criticism of Sodano would be the second of the kind sent by the Pope to his former student. The first was about the statements made by Schoenborn after his highly publicized visit to Medjugorje last January. Since then, Benedict XVI has appointed a Vatican commission headed by Cardinal Camillo Ruini to look into the alleged Marian apparitions, which have made Medjugorje a major pilgrimage site. [One might add that after meeting with the Pope at the Vatican on January 15, Schoenborn faxed a belated letter of apology (two weeks after his visit) - to the Bishop of Mostar (who has jurisdiction over Medjugorge) to apologize for failing to inform him he was visiting Medjugorje and planning to say Mass and meet with the 'seers'. One might safely conclude he got an earful from the Pope that made him send the fax!]

I think this next set of text in the same post, is Teresa Benedetta again, I'm putting it back in blue.

At the same time, there is a lengthy sympathetic, almost laudatory, article in the May 31 issue of the Austrian magazine PROFIL about Schoenborn entitled "The cardinal who is choking on his (Roman) collar" (Subtitle: How Schoenborn finds himself at odds with Vatican insiders) which says that Schoenborn will not attend a regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday next week of the cardinals who belong to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith because he has a 'prior engagement' - and that the engagement is to participate in a public discussion on "Do we live in secular times" with the Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor. It also means, says the article, that he will not be attending the closing ceremonies of the Year for Priests. (ie, the man who recently said 'everyone' is concerned about the question of priestly celibacy not only will absent himself from a CDF meeting but also from the most important worldwide gathering of priests ever to be held!)

UPDATE June 3: The "il Foglio" piece is now out.  Here is a google translated versionHere is the Italian original).

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!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

With Year for Priests almost over, Church offers indulgence

Veil-tip to the Archdiocese of St. Louis Twitter feed which brought it to my attention. 

Read this as it applies for tomorrow - the last "First Thursday" in the Year for Priests. 

With Year for Priests almost over, Church offers indulgence

Pope Benedict XVI declared a “Year for Priests” beginning with the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on June 19, 2009. The year will conclude in Rome with an international gathering of priests with the Holy Father on June 19, 2010
 As part of the year for priests, the Church has provided the availability of a special plenary indulgence (what is an indulgence?) on any of the following days left in this Year for Priests:
  • The first Thursday of the month (tomorrow, June 3, is the last 'first Thursday' during the Year for Priests)
  • The closing day of the Year for Priests (June 19)
In order to receive this indulgence on one of these days, the faithful must attend Mass in an oratory or Church and offer prayers to "Jesus Christ, supreme and eternal Priest, for the priests of the Church, or perform any good work to sanctify and mould them to his heart." The conditions for the faithful for earning a plenary indulgence are to have gone to confession and prayed for the intentions designated by the Pope.

Here's an opportunity for those who are local: Passio Domini at Assumption Grotto on Thursday following the 7:00pm Mass, with Exposition.  We pray for the sanctification of the priesthood every Thursday night, and it is "priest-led". 

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, June 1, 2010

Homily Excerpt of Bishop Peric in Medjugorje for 2010 Confirmations

Photo: Marijan Sivric, Slobodna Dalmacija

On Saturday, May 29, 2010, Bishop Ratko Peric, was in Medjugorje where he administered the Sacrament of Confirmation to 84 young people.  What follows below is the final segment of Bishop Peric's homily as it pertains to the alleged apparitions, after he discussed Confirmation. 

First, I would like to provide some background. 

The New Commission
It is important to remind readers that the new international commission is currently looking into the phenomena, and it will forward it's findings to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF).  The CDF will then decide if it wants to respond, and if so, how? Will it maintain the current status which remains that of the 1991 Zadar Declaration: "On the basis of studies made so far, it cannot be affirmed that these matters concern supernatural apparitions or revelations" (this is considered a non constat de supernaturalitate).  Or, will it change the status to a constat de non supernaturalitate (established as not supernatural). 

Can an apparition be approved while ongoing?
There is much confusion over whether the a decision can be made while the alleged apparitions are ongoing.  It makes sense that such phenomena could not be given a constat de supernaturalitate while they persist (established as supernatural).  The Holy See would lose credibility to affirm a phenomenon one day only to have something happen later as it continues,that would negate supernaturality.  For this reason, an apparition would never be approved while ongoing. 

Can an apparition be condemned while ongoing?
If the Church sees things that are opposed to supernaturality while an alleged apparition is ongoing, She can not only condemn it as not supernatural, but has a duty to offer such clarification for the good of the faithful.  The recent condemnation of the apparitions associated with Holy Love Ministries in Ohio is a good example of this.  Soon after the apparitions were condemned, they went spastic, issuing at "decree" against the bishop!

The Current Position of the Church on Medjugorje
The local Church - that is, the two consecutive local bishops (Bishops Ratko Peric, and Zanic before him), as well as two previous commissions - one in 1986 (Mostar), the other in 1991 (Zadar), have maintained an official position of non constat de supernaturalitateBishop Peric changed his personal position to include the constat de non supernaturalitate, based on continuing analysis of all that is involved.

The CDF, through the findings of the new commission, will need to overturn the official position of the local Church and previous commissions for any kind of approval.  For this, it must go through each of the objections raised by the local bishops and commissions, and prove that errors in judgment, content, etc. were made.

The 2010 Confirmation Homily Excerpt
Here, in this excerpt of the homily from Medjugorje, His Excellency, Bishop Ratko Peric, reminds the Franciscans of the current official position of the Church (emphases mine in bold). 

The homily in Croatian at the Diocese of Mostar-Duvno is entitled:  "Međugorje: Crkveni Red" or, "Medjugorje: Ecclesiastical Order!"

Finally a word to the Franciscan fathers. I wish to thank you for your pastoral work in this parish. As a religious Congregation you are a gift to God’s Church. Therefore the Church expects you as a religious Order to uphold ecclesiastical order in this parish and this diocese. No competent Church authority has authorized or entrusted any of you, or anyone else, to preach during Mass or generally in the church on the “apparitions” which have not been approved. Furthermore, on the basis of expert investigations and the statements of the local Bishops and Bishops's Conference made thus far, what has been confirmed is that they do not concern supernatural apparitions or revelations. If in the future, the Holy Father the Pope decides to take a different position from the one sustained up till now, we shall then uphold the decision of the Church, firmly believing that the Church of God is “the pillar and bulwark of the truth” (1 Tim 3:15). Hence, all that I have responsibly said from this place up till now, I still stand by today and expect that it be ecclesiastically respected!

May the Holy Spirit help us all!
You might ask:  Why would the bishop use the occasion of Confirmation of young people to discuss the phenomena? 

The bishop is responsible for nearly 100 parishes in the Diocese of Mostar-Duvno, and in the ancient diocese of Trebinje-Mrkan for which he is the apostolic administrator.  It is not unusual that he would speak about a local situation while he is there on his visit, as opposed to making a separate visit. 

Also, that he must repeat these things year after year, is an indicator that not everyone is following basic protocol for phenomena with a status of non constat de supernaturalitate.  It is important to not lend credibility to an alleged apparition ahead of a final decision by the Church by using a parish pulpit or altar. The reason is obvious:  If something negates supernaturality later, her credibility is affected.  This is very basic.  People cannot presume supernaturality ahead of the Church and act on that presumption. However, when it comes to Medjugorje, many people - priests and bishops included - have lost sight of this.   It is possible that we may see a change in the pastoral directives also coming out of this new commission,which will support it's position.  Even if it maintains the current non constat, then it is likely that we will see a tightening of those directives.

Is anything opposed to authenticity?
It's worth pondering the words of Archbishop Allessandro D'Errico, Papal Nuncio to Bosnia & Herzegovina, as he explained the creation of the new commission back in March.  Using the Croatian text that appears on the Bosnia & Herzegovina Bishop's Conference site,  we have the translation of Fr. Philip Pavic, OFM (scroll here), who served as a confessor and pilgrim assistant from 1987 - 2000.

From personal experience, every time I met the Holy Father he had great interest in the question of Medjugorje, a question to which he was directed from the very beginning that he became prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. It deals with a question for which he feels responsible as the supreme head of the Church to pronounce a clear message.

The Holy Father personally knows it very well and he has told me that several times - he is well acquainted with the whole phenomenon. He knows about the great good that is being done in this region by the priests, the Franciscan friars, and the laity. And on the other hand he asks himself how come there is information in such opposition to this phenomenon.
Hence, the Holy Father recognizes that there are things which oppose authenticity.  The new commission is not likely to dismiss the critical questions raised (see examples in the links below). Emotions and feelings cannot be a basis for discernment.

In the end, the thing that people on all sides of the issue should pray for is not approval or disapproval, but for the Holy Spirit to guide the new commission and the CDF to the truth.  Our part then becomes a matter of trust in the Holy Spirit and humble acceptance and a willingness to be open in what Holy Mother Church may teach us through all of this.

Related Links:

Edits made at 11:25am:
  • Clarified it was the apparitions associated to Holy Love Ministries which was condemned as not supernatural.
  • Added link to letter containing Bishop Peric's personal position. It's important to point out that then Abp Bertone noted that the bishop's personal opinion is not the position of the Church.  The official position of the Church remains the 1991 Zadar Declaration, which Bishop Peric himself points out.  Cardinal Bertone goes on to say that Bishop Peric is entitled to his personal opinion. 
  • A few other grammatical tweaks were made for simplification.
  • Clarified the first sentence of the second paragraph, under the section discussing the current position of the Church.  The wording was such that it would have led people to believe the commission will make decisions.  It is the CDF that will make decisions, consulting the commission. 

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!