Monday, September 28, 2009

Translation of two Letters from Bishop Peric to pastor and parochial vicar

Thanks to Richard Chonak we have a translation of the two letters published by Bishop Peric to the parish priest and vicar:

Richard Chonak explains:

[SUMMARY: Bp. Ratko Peric of Mostar-Duvno in Bosnia and Herzegovina has sent letters to the pastor and a parochial vicar at Medjugorje, with specific directives about how they and the parish are not to promote the alleged apparitions of the place:
  • that alleged messages and commentaries on them are not to be published;
  • that prayers from the apparitions are not to be used publicly;
  • the parish church is not to be called a "shrine", even privately;
  • that foreign priests may not give conferences or retreats without permission of the bishop;
  • foreign priests wishing to offer Mass must present a celebret from their diocese or order, and the information is to be recorded;
  • a privately-built church has already been closed and is not to be used;
  • unauthorized religious communities have no permission to set up residence;
  • and about regulating several other forms of promotion of the alleged phenomenon.

This is a newly published document from the website of the diocese of Mostar-Duvno. (Note: the web page contains three documents; scroll down to see the source for what follows.) Here I am presenting a translation based on the Italian version on the website, so I have to acknowledge the limitations involved in a derivative translation. Any mistakes are my responsibility; please inform me via the comment box of improvements or corrections. Thanks! -- Richard Chonak]

Letter of the bishop to Friar Petar Vlasic, parish priest of Medjugorje

Mostar, 12 June 2009.: Prot. 648/2009

Reverend parish priest friar Peter!

After having made the canonical visit to the parish of Medjugorje last Wednesday, 10 June, where nine other Franciscan fathers share the pastoral care of souls with you, according to the directive issued by this office, I wish to make reference now, by this means, to several points.

Inasmuch as you are the current parish priest, who have been working in that capacity since September 2007, I express to you my sincere thanks for maintaining transparent records in the books of registration and other matters. For a parish priest, as for a bishop - it is really essential to carry out not only the munus docendi et sanctificandi, but also the munus gubernandi entrusted to us.

Munus docendi:

The rule is still valid that in the parish of Medjugorje priests coming from elsewhere are not permitted to conduct retreats or spiritual exercises, nor to hold conferences, without the approval of this office. (Circular of 23.8.2001, #1290/2001)

Analogously, neither foreign nor domestic priests can promote alleged "messages" or "apparitions" which have not been proclaimed authentic in that church or on church property.

Munus sanctificandi:

It is praiseworthy that you require from every priest who wishes to celebrate the Holy Mass at Medjugorje the celebret of his ecclesiastical superior and that you record in a particular book all the concelebrants, from the beginning of this year.

As well, you have kept me informed about the "Oasis of peace", which, since the intervention of this office on 15 December 2008, no longer keeps the Blessed Sacrament privately in their chapel and no longer conducts adoration, which they had been doing according to their own account. They do not have permission as a religious association to reside in the territory of this diocese.

Munus gubernandi:

You have informed me that the church in Bijakovic, built by a foreign member of the faithful as his ex voto, without the necessary request and approval of the competent ecclesiastical authority, has been closed by now and that no services are conducted in it.

In the parish chronicle you have made sure to record, with the right terminology, everything that happens to this parish as a pastoral unit of this diocese, without regard to all the stories about "seers", "apparitions", and "messages" connected with the parish.

"The phenomenon of Medjugorje":

The "Shrine". The parish of Medjugorje cannot be called a shrine, neither privately, nor publicly, not officially, because it is not recognized as such by any level of competent ecclesial authority. And that wording cannot appear on the web site of "Medjugorje - place of prayer and reconciliation", where it is currently found in many places. In a statement on that site - where there is no indication of who is responsible for it - this message appears:

"To avoid any misunderstanding, we wish to underscore that the Shrine has not given the mission of representing Medjugorje to anyone. The Shrine has not given the mission to any community or person either in Medjugorje or outside of Medjugorje - of speading or interpreting the messages of the Gospa. All these initiatives are private and voluntary on the part of the faithful and the communities."

From that statement it appears as if the site is proclaiming itself as being a "Shrine". Then it seems in some way to be the only competent [source] to give instruction to the world. As the local Ordinary, in this present letter, I declare that the so-called "shrine" has no mission to declare itself a "Shrine", nor to present (the parish) with that title, because it has no ecclesiastical mission to present itself in the name of Medjugorje, nor to spread or interpret the "apparitions" and "messages" of Medjugorje.

Commentaries on the "messages": I have already discussed with you and with another vicar, with friar Danko Perutina, who writes and publishes the commentaries on the "messages" issued from the "apparitions" on the 25th of the month. It was said that he receives the "messages" of the "seer" Marija from Italy or from Medjugorje when she is in that location, and then he presents them there, comments on them and publishes them. This is contrary to the decision and request of this Curia, especially after the declaration of 10 June 2006, which was repeated in the parish church on 6 July 2009 (the accompanying homily).

The Cenacolo. After our intervention, on Christmas Day of last year, there are no longer private "apparitions" in the courtyard of the Cenacolo by the alleged "seer" Mirjana Dragićević, married name Soldo, on the second of each month.

The association "Queen of Peace..." I have been informed in our meeting that in the association founded by Tomislav Vlašić at Medjugorje, which equally has no permission to reside in the territory of this diocese, there are some members, men and women, who dress in lay clothes.

The number of prayers. In September 2007, on the occasion of your installation in the office of parish priest, I indicated to you that the so-called "seers" cannot present themselves on any occasion to promote their private "apparitions" and "messages", nor to preside, nor to have anyone preside in their place, at the recitation of a certain number of prayers "received" in an "apparition". Therefore, they cannot use prayers from scripture or those approved by the Church as a means of introducing "numbers" and "messages" from the private "apparition".

The intentions of the rosary. It is equally not permitted to introduce intentions received in an "apparition" or "message" during the prayer of the Rosary of Our Lady. We have sufficient official intentions (from the Pope, from the bishop, for the missions) and there is no need to arbitrarily have recourse to alleged apparitions and messages and mix them with the Church's public prayers.

Anniversaries. It is not permitted that the "seers" be invited and present themselves in the parish church or on any church properties at any time, especially on occasions related to the "apparitions" of Medjugorje, to promote their private "messages" and "apparitions". Therefore, we do not mix the unrecognized with what is recognized, the private with the official, the non-liturgical with the liturgical.

Grateful for what you, together with the other friars of the parish, undertake for the good of souls, and because you know how to clearly separate pastoral care from private "apparitions" and "messages", I greet you with devout respects.

And the second letter:

Letter of the bishop to friar Danko Perutina, parochial vicar of Medjugorje

Mostar, 12 June 2009; Prot. 649/2009

Reverend friar Danko!

After your priestly ordination in 1999 and at the conclusion of your studies, I appointed you, at the suggestion of your religious superiors, in 2000, parochial vicar of Humac. Then, again at the suggestion of your provincial governor, in 2001, vicar of Medjugorje, in 2005 again of Humac, and in 2007 at Medjugorje. In the meantime, you studied and obtained a degree in mariology at Rome.

I write to you in reference to your commentaries on the so-called "messages" and "apparitions" on the 25th day of the month. In an official visit to Medjugorje on the 10 June, I had a conversation with you, with the parish priest friar Petar Vlasic and another vicar present.

In the conversation it became clear that Marija Pavlović, married name Lunetti, daily "seer" who lives in Italy, and temporarily also at Medjugorje, sends to the parish office or to some one of your pastoral workers in the parish of Medjugorje, her "message" of the 25th day of the month, which is then published on the Medjugorje web site and in other mass media. And you regularly make commentary on the monthly "message", which is published in various languages.

When I asked how the "messages" of the 25th were published, and not the other "messages" said to be "private", I did not feel I received a clear and convincing answer. I do not know who has sent and authorized you to comment on them and publish them on the site. What sort of person is assuming the right to decide that some "messages" be omitted and others published, and that this is done through the parish office and the site connected with the parish of Medjugorje?

We are gradually succeeding in distancing the unrecognized "apparitions" and "messages" from the parish church and from church property, and the appearances of the "seers" before or after Holy Mass. In that conversation I reminded you of having asked in 2006, and reconfirmed in 2009 from the altar, that "No priest who works canonically in this parish of Medjugorje or who is here temporarily, is authorized to present his private opinion, contrary to the official position of the Church on the "apparitions and messages", neither at the celebration of the sacraments, or during the regular acts of devotion, nor in the Catholic media." (homily attached).

To avoid any misunderstanding, in this present letter I declare that you, according to my decree, are not authorized, either in the name of the parish office or as parochial vicar, to comment upon and publish the "messages" of the 25th or any other day of the month. These are private "messages" of private persons for private use. And we cannot permit that this is given the form of a message from the parish office, from the parish priest, or any parochial vicar, or even of the "Shrine" which is not recognized as such at any level: not diocesan, or the level of the episcopal conference, or of the Holy See.

Therefore I expect with trust, without any further admonitions, that from now on you will not publish your commentaries, either in the name of the parish office or in your own name, or under a pseudonym, not after the 25th of this month or at all, as long as things continue as is.

I greet you with devout respects.

Bishop of Mostar-Duvno explains the "Phenomenon of Medjugorje"

In what appears to be a very interesting shift in the case of Medjugorje, the ordinary of the place, Bishop Ratko Peric has published a three part report that puts into context the phenomenon of Medjugorje. 

I will offer the link here, but as of today, it is still only available at the diocesan website in Italian.  Once it is available in English (and I'm assuming it will be soon), I will repost. 

In the meanwhile, I want to acknowledge the article by Catholic News Service, the publishing arm of the USCCB on this subject.  While it is a lengthy article and does cover some significant points, their coverage of the report does not do it justice, as far as I can see. 

Using online translation tools to look at the Italian version, I can tell you that the bishop says much more than what CNS is covering.  CNS is saying that the bishop is "reiterating" what he has said before.  This is true.  However, it is incomplete because he goes into great detail to help people to understand it all in context.  It sounds to me like he is objecting to how news sources are covering the phenomenon in light of recently reported events.  He uses some pretty good resources and history to back up his arguments.  Here are a few of the headings within "part 1".

  • The implication of Vlašić in the "phenomenon Medjugorje"
  • "The visionaries must not make statements without which we are informed."
  • A serious theological error [see paragraph directly below for this]
  • "The apparition" of Medjugorje praises the work of Vlasic.
  • The apparition "recommends Vlašić as spiritual master
  • Vlašić according to "divine providence" accompanies the visionaries.
  • Vlašić "channeling" the "appearances
The serious theologial error from Google translation tools is as follows in all it's imperfections:

A serious theological error. Despite a Vlašić, who was illegally in Medjugorje, and to captain a theological heresy known that he himself wrote in the Chronicle, 6 May 1982, having heard from the "visionaries": "Tonight, the young people asked a theological question and have had the Answer: If people are only present in heaven with the soul or the soul and the body? - have asked. There are the soul and the body - they were answered. "

Anyone with a basic understanding of the Catholic Catechism knows this is false.

Part II deals with "fantasies of Our Lady's birthday" and goes on to detail some stuff I hadn't even heard before.  The entire section explains the trouble the bishop has with this. 

Part III includes the bishop's June 2009 homily at Confirmations in Medjugorje.  However, it then goes on to list certain prohibitions - many of which have been in place for some time, but in some cases ignored.  We will wait for the English version for these.  Here is a summary of things thus far forbidden by the local ordinary, who is still responsible for pastoral matters concerning Medjugorje, despite what some will claim:


- NO more retreats, spiritual exercises, conferences, foreign priests… without permission of the bishop

- NO own or foreign priests may propagate NON-recognized ‘messages’ or ‘apparitions’

- EVERY priest must show his ‘celebret’ before H.Mass

- NO more H.Sacrament or adoration in ‘Oasis of Peace’; even NO permission to reside in whole diocese [not sure what that last part means]

- NO services in the private church in Bijakovice; it is now closed.

- NO mentioning of ‘seers’, apparitions, messages’ in parish bulletin;

- NO mentioning of the word ‘sanctuary’ in Medjugorje

- NO mentioning or comment of ‘messages’ or ‘apparitions’ on the 25th of the month via Marija Pavlovic

- NO private ‘apparitions’ of Mirjana Dragicevic in ‘Cenacolo’ of Sr. Elvira

- NO permission for ‘Kraljica Mira’(founder : Tomislav Vlasic) in Medjugorje or in whole diocese

- NO ‘seers’ or others in the church to pray prayers from the ‘apparitions’

- NO intentions during the rosary concerning ‘apparitions’ or ‘messages’

- NO ‘seers’ in or around the church on anniversaries of ‘apparitions’ or ‘messages
first deals with the homily of bishop Peric on June 6 2009 in Medjugorje, in which he thanks the Vatican for the support to his negative standpoint on the ‘apparitions’ in Medjugorje. Then he publishes his letter dated June 12 2009, to the present Medjugorje-parish, Fr. Petar Vlasic.

I have sent it on to a number of people at various Catholic news organizations here in the US who have resources to fully digest this.  I'm hoping to see a more complete analysis and coverage of what the bishop offers than what I am seeing thus far on CNS. 

Admittedly, the translation tool could be giving me a different take on it than what is actually there.  Hence, I will reserve further judgment on the communications at the Diocese of Mostar Duvno until I see them in English. 

Scroll down at the Dioces of Mostar-Duvno home page and you will see the words "Medjugorje" and "fenomeno" in three parts.  If you keep checking it will probably be available in English soon.

EDIT:  Fr. Z also has a post up on this.  The combox may get interesting as more comments pile in.

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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!

Archbishop Vigneron seeks a patron saint for Detroit

Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron preaching at tje 7:00pm Mass at Assumption Grotto on the Feast of the Assumption (2009)

It's little details such as this that I find heart-warming about Archbishop Vigneron.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Lord:

It has been the ancient practice of the Church to seek the intercession of a saint or a group of saints canonized together, such as the North American Martyrs, for a particular need or needs. Similarly, saints have been assigned to various entities in the Church, including dioceses, for intercession and protection. Going back as far as Cardinal Mooney's tenure as Archbishop of Detroit, the question has been raised: Who is the patron of the Archdiocese? Ste. Anne has certainly been considered by many, through many generations, to be the patron of the Archdiocese but she has never been officially designated as such. In seeking designation of a patron by the Holy See, I am required to carry out a broad-based consultation with the faithful of the Archdiocese.

The faithful of the Archdiocese now have the opportunity to submit names of saints as possible patrons. After these submissions have been collected, I will review them with the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council, Presbyteral Council, and Council of Vicars. I will then ask the Holy See to designate our choice as patron for the Archdiocese.

Parishes, Catholic schools, our religious houses, Catholic institutes and associations, and individuals, young and old, are all invited to propose a patron saint. I encourage all who will engage in this discernment to prayerfully entrust the matter to the Lord, keeping the history, character, and needs of the entire Archdiocese in mind.

Asking God's blessing upon you, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of All Saints, I am

Sincerely yours in Christ,

†The Most Reverend Allen H. Vigneron
Archbishop of Detroit
There is an online form you can fill out or a form you can print.  I am assuming this is something that would obviously be limited to those in the Archdiocese of Detroit.  Name and parish must be given. 

It's not limited to individuals.  Families, schools, and other groups may submit a choice.  I submitted my choice, but will embrace whomever is chosen.  Many dioceses have chosen one of the many titles of Our Lady. 

I pondered St. Michael the Archangel, and Our Lady of Perpetual Help.  At the same time I was thinking how it might help to have someone who is not as well known, but can offer much in the example they lived, and in their written works.  I especially pondered the Fathers and Doctors of the Church - specifically because of the wisdom they offer. 

For whatever reason, I settled on  St. John Bosco.  I know it is a long shot, but I feel it's worth the try. This Italian saint is not just the patron of youth, but is also the patron of Mexican youth, children and students.  We are also a heavy blue collar community and St. John Bosco is the patron saint of apprentices and laborers. The Italian priest lived a very holy life rooted in love for the Eucharist and the Blessed Mother.  He encouraged a virtue driven life and the use of sacramental confession - something seriously lacking today. Reading any works on his life reveals how God's grace can work in us, and for the benefit of those around us.  It's also noteworthy that Don Bosco brings us in close proximity to other saints such as St. Dominic Savio - the "teenage saint" and St. Joseph Cafasso - the priests, priest who was a guide to St. John Bosco.

He said of the Blessed Virgin Mary:  “The purer are your words and your glances, the more pleasing will you be to the Blessed Virgin. And the greater will be the graces that she will obtain for you from her Divine Son.”

Go to the Archdiocese of Detroit webpage, "Finding Our Patron" to name a saint

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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, September 27, 2009

New Catholic movies soon to be released....

You might want to pre-order this new movie coming out, The 13th Day: The True Story of Fatima. If you are local, let Cathy at the Grotto gift shop know you are interested in purchasing it so she can get an idea of how many to bring in. She told me today that she pre-ordered 10.  Please support the Grotto gift shop and if you are not local, please support your Catholic store.  If you don't have a local place to get it, you can pre-order it online at Amazon.  It is not due out until December 1st.

Here are some other titles up and coming, to be released September 30th:

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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!

Current Catholic Events and the Twitter Feed

From the Te Deum photo archives - Summer of 2007

You may have noticed that my blogging has dropped off significantly.  Not only has my spiritual reading suffered, but my home seems like an endless clutter pit and I know these things have been compounded by time spent on the internet. 

I just cannot keep up with the fast pace of Catholic news on this blog.  And, I would really like to focus more on wholesome writing projects to be published here.  These things take more time than the high-paced "get out the news" kind of stuff takes.

Twitter has been a real blessing.  This allows me to let people know what current Catholic events I'm reading and browsing.  I'll try to update this daily, but there are never any guarantees.  Just click the Twitter icon in the upper right hand sidebar to see links to interesting stories and posts out there.

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

Cold, darkness, and.....evil

Does God exist?

Watch this...

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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!

Friday, September 25, 2009

If I have never read G.K. Chesterton...

Before I began blogging on Catholicism, I was not very well read. Now that I've been blogging for several years.....I'm still not very well read. I spend way too much time focused on current Catholic events and feel like I am really missing something by not dedicating some time each day to wholesome reading. In fact, I know I am missing something.

I enjoy reading about the lives of the saints. Their heroic virtue, and even moreso - their humble simplicity - offers lessons for every day living. But, I want to expand into other types of works. G.K. Chesterton came to mind, but I see that his works are various. He has written everything from stories to philosophical type works.

If you are a Chesterton reader, I would like to hear where you think I should start if I want to get introduced to his works Tell me why I should start there.

When I browse the selections I get dizzy wondering whether some things should be read in sequence. Should I go according to when they were written?

What say you?

Please note that there could be a delay in moderating, so bear with me. I'll try to moderate as time permits.

I may have more questions as answers come in. Hopefully, it will be informative for others who have never read Chesterton.

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

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The 13th Day - a new film about Fatima

I have to put this on my list of Catholic movies to watch.

Ignatius Insight Scoop has.....the scoop, including video clip trailers.

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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, September 22, 2009

The Ember Days of September - start Wednesday

I wrote a post in anticipation of the Ember Days of September - penitential days observed by those who use the 1962 Missal.

In my post last week, I offered some thoughts and links on the subject. While it is no longer obligatory to engage in fasting and abstinence, nothing prevents us from making voluntary penitential acts.

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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, September 21, 2009

Te Deum Twitter Feed Updated

It's been a long time since I've updated Twitter. And, my posting has been slowed. I am still trying to catch up with myself and the backlog of things I owe people.

I have updated my Twitter Feed and will try to do so more regularly with what I am reading.

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

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Fr. Perrone's Monday Night Catechism...Starts Sept 28th

It's that time of year again. Whether you are exploring Catholicism, wanting to convert, or are a cradle Catholic wanting to enrich your understanding of the faith, Monday night catechism with Fr. Perrone is an excellent primer.

I was raised during an era in which "My Butterfly & Me" type of catecheseis prevailed. It was lacking in substance and fullness. Fr. Perrone's class is substantive and looks at the faith in all of it's fullness. I have gone thru it twice.

It begins on Monday, September 28, 2009 from 6:00pm - 7:00pm in the Grotto lounge and typically runs thru until spring just before Easter. This is a great opportunity to not only learn, but to ask questions as the class moves through different topics.

Call the Grotto rectory at 313-372-0762 to let them know you will be coming so they know how many books to have on hand.

At the same time, it is noteworthy that Deacon Jim Wilder will be holding this:
Intensive Latin Class for Adults and Home Schoolers - Eight week course, adults $100.00, includes book; children, $50.00, includes book. Latin II begins Friday, September 25 at 4:30 p.m. in the Rectory Basement Meeting Room with Deacon Jim Wilder.

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

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Father Leo Patalinghug vs. Chef Bobby Flay

Father Leo Patalinghug of Grace Before Meals at the 2009 Lenten Symposium - Christ Our Hope, held at Sts Cyril & Methodius in Sterling Heights this past Lent

If you have ever watched Food Network TV, you have probably seen Throwdown with Bobby Flay in which he secretly comes into town and challenges a local reputable chef. Often the people challenged are ordinary folk who own or work in small diners. However, in a recent show, Bobby Flay challenged Fr. Leo to a Fajita throwdown.

It will re-air Sunday night, September 20th at 11:00pm Eastern and a few hours later on the 21st at 2:00am Eastern. This is a good opportunity to record if you have that capability.

You can follow Fr. Leo on his Grace Before Meals blog.
See all of my photos from the 2009 Lenten Symposium - Christ Our Hope at my Smugmug site. Other speakers included Mother Dolores Hart, Father John Trigilio of EWTN, and more.
The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Dissident Theologian Fr. Richard McBrien and his public attack on Adoration and goofy pontification on the Year for Priests

Some of you know the Rev. Richard McBrien and some of you may not. I call him Father because he is still a priest, even though he makes this difficult to recognize. For some strange reason, he always seems to find his collar when being interviewed on cable news about something happening in the Vatican. For news outlets to even use him as a source on Catholicism is not much different than asking a vegetarian to offer a comment about cooking beef steak.

I won't use the term "left" or "liberal" because "dissident theologian" is most fitting. How he could still be teaching in any Catholic institution is beyond my comprehension. Perhaps you might be moved to raise this question to the Papal Nuncio - Pietro Sambi, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and Congregation for Catholic Education. I don't have time to get the addresses, but if someone wants to drop them in the comment boxes that is fine (see Fr. Z's helpful notes about writing to bishops and congregations. These apply whether you are writing to your own pastor, bishop, or to someone at the Holy See).

What follows here are links to two posts made by Fr. Z in which he dissects McBrien's words in recent articles featured in the ultra-dissenting "catholic" rag, the National Catholic Reporter. I call it a rag without hesitation because it publicly promotes certain things that are opposed to Catholic teaching and provides to it's readers "all sorts of strange teachings".

What is good about reading it at Fr. Z's blog is the indepth analysis. He indeed captures it.

First, you may want to read the analysis on Fr. McBrien's attack on Eucharistic Adoration. ND's McBrien: Eucharistic Adoration "is a doctrinal, theologican, and spiritual step backward".

Please make some acts of Adoration....for this blatant public attack.

Now, Fr. Z looks very closely at a more lenthy article. In it, Fr. McBrien has other ideas on the Year for Priests.

In the comment box, Tim Ferguson - a frequent commentor at Fr. Z's blog has offered a most interesting perspective on the challenges faced by newer priests who enter the typical parish scene. He's got some situations pegged very well. Hopefully, after considering the plight of some newer priests you will be moved even moreso to pray for them.

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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, September 13, 2009

Extraordinary Form: The September Ember Days

September 14th brings us to the Triumph or Exaltation of the Holy Cross. This feast day also brings warmth to the hearts of those who are drawn to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite (EF). It was on September 14th, 2007 that all priests everywhere were permitted to begin celebration of the usus antiquior without having to seek permission of their bishop. The Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum and the corresponding letter to the world's bishops was penned by Pope Benedict on July 7, 2007.

In the week following the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, we celebrate one of four "Ember Weeks" in the year. People have asked me about the "Ember Days" each time they come up but I have not had time to look more deeply at them....until now. I will offer a few thoughts, along with some things pulled from texts I have, and then provide some links for additional reading at the bottom (the one by Michael P. Foley is a "must read").

Some of these texts were written long before the 1962 Missal. However, we must keep in mind that when looking closer at the EF Mass today, while modified in some sense, certain elements go all the way back to when the Mass was standardized under Pope Pius V in 1570. Some things seen in the liturgy using the 1962 Missal have roots which go back even further to Gregory the Great (Pope 590-604). From that time period through 1962, an organic development of the liturgy was visible. It's no wonder that Pope Benedict refers to it as "usus antiquior" or "ancient use".

Four times each year we see Ember days in the 1962 Missal. These are days at the beginning of the four seasons marked for fasting and abstinence. They always happen on the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday following a particular Sunday in the calendar. The first set of Ember days takes place after the first Sunday of Lent marking spring. The second set happens after Pentecost Sunday (Whitsunday)for Summer. The Sunday after the Exaltation of the Holy Cross marks the autumn Embertide. And finally, there are the Ember days of following the third Sunday of Advent at the beginning of winter. Other sources say that the Ember days of Advent follow the Feast of St. Lucy (December 13th). I've not confirmed whether this is always following the third Sunday.

It was Pope Gregory VII (1073-1085) who ordered these for observance throughout the Church. While these days are treated much like a Friday in Lent with fasting, abstinence, prayers and pentitential acts, they are also intended to "thank God for the gifts of nature, to teach men to make use of them in moderation, and to assist the needy"(1)

The liturgical color for Ember days is violet. However, for those Ember days during the Octave of Pentecost, it is red.

For those who regularly assist at daily Mass using the 1962 Missal, there are some noteworthy differences. On Wednesdays and Saturdays of Ember Weeks, "Lessons" are included among the readings. On Wednesdays there is one, and on Saturdays there are five in the 1962 Missal. In older Missals this number was different and varied, depending on the season. For this reason, when reading older texts on the liturgy, we have to consider what Missal was likely in use at the time.

The lessons themselves are particular. Nicholas Gihr writes (keep in mind my note above when reading this which was written in 1902 because Ember Wednesdays only have one lesson now):
"On those days which have Old Testament lessons in a greater number, such as the Wednesdays and Saturdays of Ember Weeks, the earnest spirit of penance is still more deeply stamped. Coming down to us from Apostolic times the Ember days are, according to their original intent and purpose, days of penance, whereon we are expected by prayer, fasting and alms to purify and to sanctify our souls, as well as days of thanksgiving and petition for the blessings of the past or coming season."(2)
Gihr says in his footnote at the bottom of the page:

"Only on the Wednesday of the Pentecost Ember Week are there two new Testament lessons; the reason is, because the penitential character of this Ember Week is in many respects superseded by the festal spirit of the octave. "
Upon examining the lessons more closely the single lesson in each of the four Ember Wednesdays, indeed - the Wednesday after Pentecost stands out as the only one with a reading from the New Testament, specifically, from the Acts of the Apostles. All other lessons, including those on Saturday in Pentecost are from the Old Testament.

Gloria omitted; Flectamus Genua added
As is the case with Lent and Advent - both penitential seasons - the Gloria is omitted on Ember days. Following the Kyrie on Wednesdays and Saturdays of Ember Week, the priest will kneel momentarily and the people respond accordingly (my notes in brackets):

"On certain days, notably the Ember days, there may be a series of lessons, each preceded by a collect, before the Gospel. In this case Dominus vobiscum is said only before the collect(s) preceding the last lesson. Immediately after the Kyrie, eleison, the celebrant, instead of saying Dominus vobiscum, returns to the book and continues as above.

If Flecatmus genua is to be said, as soon as the celebrant has said Oremus [Let us pray] and Flectamus genua [Let us kneel] he lays his hands on the altar and kneels. With hands joined he prays for some time. Then he says Levate [arise], raises and with hands extended says the prayer."
Nicholas Gihr offers further thoughts on the Flectamus genua which provides us with some of the spirituality (emphasis mine in bold):

During the seasons, when the spirit of penance should be more prominent, it is befitting to manifest even exteriorly by genuflecting the interior humility and reverence of the heart. Hence, for example, it is that on the Ember days, as well as on other days that have several lessons and prayers (Wednesday after Laetare Sunday, Vigil of Whitsunday), almost all have the prayers which are introduced by the words Flectamus genua (let us bend the knees) and the answer Levate (arise). Before we address our petitions to the thrice holy God, we will yet abase and humble ourselves profoundly in the consciousness of our guilt and sinfulness, and also to express our repentance and contrition.


From Pope Paul VI’s apostolic constitution, Paenitemini:

“On rogation and ember days the practice of the Church is to offer prayers to the Lord for the needs of all people, especially for the productivity of the earth and for human labour, and to make public thanksgiving. In order to adapt the rogation and ember days to various regions and the different needs of the faithful, the conferences of bishops should arrange the time and plan of their celebration. Consequently, the competent authority should lay down norms, in view of local conditions, on extending such celebrations over one or several days and on repeating them during the year. On each day of these celebrations the Mass should be one of the votive Masses for various needs and occasions that is best suited to the intentions of the petitioners.”
With this duly noted, I would like to point out that voluntarily assuming forms of penance on any day of the year can be beneficial as an offering to God, much like prayer. A number of people I know observe fasting and abstinence on Ember days voluntarily. Others are wanting to observe them but are unprepared when they suddenly show up for Mass and notice that something is different.

If you think fasting and abstinence or other penitential observances are quaint and childish, then try it for a while and you will likely discover that your will to eat, and to eat what you want is strong. Perhaps you have a greater appetite for video games, television, computer time, sports, or something else. We can have appetites in a variety of ways which are not objectively grave matter. Practicing mortification of lesser appetites (saying "no" to ourselves), helps us to tame the larger appetites. Similarly, throughthe grace of God, focusing on the venial sins and imperfections in our lives through the practice of virtue helps us to win the battle against mortal sins. This makes Ember weeks a great time to go to confession.

Additional Reading:

(1) Mershman, F. (1909). Ember Days. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved September 13, 2009 from New Advent:

(2) Gihr, Nicholas (1902). The Holy Sacrifice Of The Mass Dogmatically, Liturgically and Ascetically Explained. St. Louis: B. Herder (Kessinger Publishing's Rare Re-Prints)

(3)Fortescue, Reid, O'Connell. (2003) The Ceremonies of the Roman Rite Described.

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October 10th - the Twelfth Call to Holiness Conference - Detroit

The 12th Call to Holiness Conference is taking place in metro Detroit on Saturday, October 10, 2009 at the Shrine of the Little Flower in Royal Oak, Michigan. The conference theme for this year is: Treasures of the Mass.

Speakers: Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Karaganda, Kazakhstan (author of Dominus Est), Fr. John Zuhlsdorf (aka "Fr. Z" – What Does the Prayer Really Say?), Michael P. Foley (professor/author), Rev. Eduard Perrone (Pastor, Assumption Grotto in Detroit), and Dr. Ronald Prowse (Director of Music at Sacred Heart Major Seminary). John Vleko (Morally Responsible Investing) will MC the event.

For schedule, speaker topics, and registration, and other information, please go the Call to Holiness – Treasures of the Mass page.
Folks, this is one of the most economical conferences you will find of this nature (aside from EWTN's free Family Celebration). It is only $25 for adults, $10 for students and FREE for seminarians. There is a $5.00 added fee for those buying tickets at the door.

Any help in getting the word out on this by fellow Catholic bloggers would be appreciated.

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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!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Andrew Rabel on EWTN Tonight

Photo taken from an Inside the Vatican posting of an interview Andrew Rabel did with Archbishop Raymond L. Burke while he was in Rome.

Several "Grotto-goers" had an opportunity to meet Andrew Rabel of Inside the Vatican magazine while he stayed at Assumption Grotto for the past week. Or, you heard him talk about St. Nuno this past Sunday - the newly canonized Carmelite Saint.

I have just been informed that a taped interview with Andrew will air tonight at 8:00 on EWTN on the World Over Live with Raymond Arroyo.

See other air times for this segment here on the World Over Live page at EWTN.

Andrew is leaving Detroit some time today. I enjoyed meeting him in person after about a year of corresponding by email. He visited Assumption Grotto briefly in 2005 while in the US and very much wanted to come back again. I'm sure it is not the last time we will be seeing Andrew.

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Detroit: Helpers of God's Precious Infants Prayer Vigil - Sept 19, 2009

On Saturday, September 19th, Bishop Flores will lead the prayer vigil in front of two abortion clinics on 8 Mile Rd. It will start with Holy Mass at 7:30am at St. Basil the Great in Eastpointe. Click the flyer pics to enlarge for details.

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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, September 9, 2009

UK Rationed Health Care: Premie refused health care & left to die because he was 2 days shy of govt deadline

Blog this! Twitter this! Facebook-it! Send it to any news sources and news anchors who will talk about it. This is the kind of thing that will be happening in our country if Obama's Health Care head policy advisor, Ezekiel Emanuel has his way.

GORLESTON, UK, September 9, 2009 ( - A young British mother has criticized medical guidelines that, she said, resulted in doctors refusing treatment and leaving her newborn premature son to die. 23 year-old Sarah Capewell told media that her son Jayden, born at 21 weeks and five days gestation, was refused intensive care because he was two days under the limit set by the British government's National Health Service (NHS) rationing guidelines.

Capewell said that her son Jayden cried and lived for two hours before dying in her arms. During that time, his mother took photos of him and pleaded with doctors that he be admitted to the special baby unit at James Paget University Hospital (JPH). Staff at the hospital, in Gorleston, Norfolk, told her that had Jayden been born two days later they would have helped him.

Since her son's death, Capewell has launched an internet campaign to change the guidelines and says that she has received messages of support from around the world.

Health care rationing guidelines set down by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics in 2006 say that intensive care should never be given to babies below 22 weeks gestation, and rarely to those below 23 weeks. In secular bioethics, this is called Futile Care Theory, which holds that in cases where there is no hope for improvement of an incapacitating condition, such as extreme prematurity, no treatment should be offered.

Continue reading at and read additional links there: British Doctors Left Premie to Die: at 21 Weeks 5 Days, Baby Boy "Just a Fetus"

Again, get the word out on this and storm the news sources until they cannot ignore the story any longer.

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

When charity becomes uncharitable: A commentary by Msgr. Ignacio Barreiro Carámbula - Rome Office of HLI

This needs no further commentary. Thanks to Life Site News for carrying it, and to Fr. K for alerting me to it.

EDIT: After reading the commentary and giving it some thought, I would like to state that I felt there should have been a Catholic funeral because we cannot know to what depth and scope he may have repented, even after he was unable to speak. However, I did not feel his funeral should have been public. That having been said, I believe much of what Msgr. Ignacio has to say is worthy of pondering. Further, I don't want to suggest that Cardinal O'Malley was uncharitable by the heading of this post. Rather, my thought was that in general, charity for some can be carried to a point that it becomes uncharitable for others, or even for those whom charity is supposedly directed. Mercy can become merciless, if it does not put at the forefront the salvation of one's soul.

Truth, Charity and Mercy: On Satisfying the Requirements for a Catholic Funeral

Commentary by Msgr. Ignacio Barreiro Carámbula, Doctor of Dogmatic Theology and head of the Rome office of Human Life International

Author's Note: The Catholic Church has taught on many occasions on the important duties of Catholic political leaders. A recent event in Boston makes it necessary to reflect again on those teachings. "John Paul II, continuing the constant teaching of the Church, has reiterated many times that those who are directly involved in lawmaking bodies have a 'grave and clear obligation to oppose' any law that attacks human life. For them, as for every Catholic, it is impossible to promote such laws or to vote for them." (Doctrinal Note on some questions regarding The Participation of Catholic in Political, CDF, n. 4.)

September 8, 2009 ( - True love consists in presenting the saving truths that the Lord has entrusted to His Church with clarity and precision, without any concessions to the spirit of the world. This duty is not only incumbent to the Hierarchy, but to all Catholics and in particular to the persons who have a position of social and political leadership; they have to manifest these teachings and, more importantly, their lives have to be lead in coherence with those teachings.

There is no doubt that example and coherence of life are much more eloquent than a thousand words. This applies especially to the example of those who have a position of public authority. Such as these cannot be selective in the way that they adhere to the teachings of the Church: all teachings are important and they have an inner coherence that is necessary to respect.

At the same time, the teachings of the Church with regards to life and family have a central position because if the right to life from conception through natural death, and the protection the origin of life which is the family, are not respected, all the other rights that a human person might have become illusory.

If a Catholic is engaged in politics, the Church has a right and a duty to request coherence from this person. If, regrettably, this Catholic refuses to be coherent, the Church has the right and the duty to refuse him the reception of the Holy Eucharist as it is established in Canon 915: "Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to holy communion."

Archbishop Raymond Burke, commenting on this canon points out that, "The application [of the canon], therefore, is more necessary than ever, lest the faithful, led astray by the strong cultural trends of relativism, be deceived concerning the supreme good of the Holy Eucharist and the gravity of supporting publicly the commission of intrinsically evil acts. Catholics in public office bear an especially heavy burden of responsibility to uphold the moral law in the exercise of their office which is exercised for the common good, especially the good of the innocent and defenceless. When they fail, they lead others, Catholics and non-Catholics alike, to be deceived regarding the evils of procured abortion and other attacks on innocent and defenceless human life, on the integrity of human procreation, and on the family." (The Discipline Regarding the Denial of Holy Communion to Those Obstinately Persevering in Manifest Grave Sin, Periodica, Vol. 96 (2007), pp 57-58.)

In the same way that publicly incoherent Catholics might be denied communion, these persons can also be denied ecclesiastical funeral rites. The Code of Canon Law establishes, Can. "1184 §1. Unless they gave some signs of repentance before death, the following must be deprived of ecclesiastical funerals: 3/ other manifest sinners who cannot be granted ecclesiastical funerals without public scandal of the faithful."

The Code establishes two cumulative requirements to permit the ecclesiastical funeral of public sinners: some signs of repentance and the avoidance of public scandal of the faithful.

We are informed by the press that the person who received the recent funeral in Boston gave some signs of repentance; but those signs were not specific at all with regards to the many grave and public violations that he committed against the teachings of the Church. Even if the signs of repentance would have been judged sufficient by competent local ecclesiastical authority, the problem of the scandal remains because the ordinary of the place where the funeral was officiated could not have been ignorant that the funeral was going to be turned into a celebration of the life of that particular person.

Here we should also remember the norm of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal that establishes: "382. At the Funeral Mass there should, as a rule, be a short homily, but never a eulogy of any kind." There is ample public evidence provided by the press that this norm was not respected in a recent Boston funeral and that fact is in itself a reasonable source of scandal.

We should also remember that Catholics that are scandalized by this recent funeral in Boston have a right to express their complaints to competent Church authorities in accordance with the instruction "Redemptionis Sacramentum" of the Congregation for Divine Worship of March 25, 2004, that establishes: "184. Any Catholic, whether Priest or Deacon or lay member of Christ's faithful, has the right to lodge a complaint regarding a liturgical abuse to the diocesan Bishop or the competent Ordinary equivalent to him in law, or to the Apostolic See on account of the primacy of the Roman Pontiff. It is fitting, however, insofar as possible, that the report or complaint be submitted first to the diocesan Bishop. This is naturally to be done in truth and charity."

To uphold the teachings of the Church with regards to the responsibility of Catholic political leaders is a two-fold exercise of mercy. First, it is for the good of the soul of the politician. A politician that is acting contrary to fundamental teachings of the Church in his public life is risking his eternal salvation. So to warn this person in due canonical fashion and then, if he persists, to apply to him canonical sanctions will help him to repent and change his life. The Church, sharing the infinite love of Jesus Christ, does not want that any of its members should perish and be deprived of eternal life.

Second, it is an act of mercy towards society, because any thing that tends to confuse or blur the Christian message of salvation damages the ability of the Church to fulfil her saving mission. As a consequence in this particular case it would have been an act of mercy towards all Catholics and to many other persons of good will who suffered scandal by this recent funeral to deny it.

In conclusion, the Church should examine with attention the recent funeral in Boston and determine in an official and authoritative way if corrective action is necessary to avoid the furtherance of this type of scandal in the future.
Original source article at Life Site News: Truth, Charity and Mercy: On Satisfying the Requirements for a Catholic Funeral

If you decide to write to the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments (CDWDS)

His Eminence
Antonio Cardinal Cañizares Llovera
Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship
and Discipline of the Sacraments
Palazzo delle Congregazioni
P.zza Pio XII00120

Scroll down here for Fr. Z's practical advice for use when writing to the Holy See. Please note that some of the names have changed. Above, I have the correct name for the new Prefect. His guidelines apply well for writing to any member of the hierarchy, including your own bishop.

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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, September 8, 2009

Fundraiser for local Mom and Son with cancer....

I just received this. Please read this and even if you cannot attend the fund-raiser, consider sending a donation.

Benefit Dinner at St Cyril's for Misuraca Family

On Saturday, Sept. 26, from 5:30-7:30PM there will be a Mostaccioli Fundraiser Dinner for Mother & Son to help the Misuraca Family, who are in need of help. Kelly, mother of three children, was recently diagnosed with a mass on her pancreas and is in need of immediate surgery. Her son, Joey 8yrs old, an altar server at St Cyril, was just diagnosed with Stage 4 Burkitt’s Lymphoma (a very aggressive form of cancer) and is currently receiving chemotherapy. Joey’s dad, Paul, was recently laid off and Kelly is currently unable to return to work. Please help support the family in their time of need. RSVP for the dinner &/or to make a contribution to such a worthy cause. or call Barb at (586) 469-8862. any other questions email me rickyamin314 (at)
May Our Lord help them carry the cross that has been placed upon them. Our prayers can help with that load too.

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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, September 3, 2009

Breaking News: Archdiocese of Detroit to cut 29 percent of jobs

I blogged about this yesterday, and today it was rolled out.

Niraj Warikoo at the Detroit Free Press has more details in this post than in the one I emailed out to some sources earlier. This is the September 3, 2009, 5:19pm version: Archdiocese losing $42K a day, set to make big cuts

Niraj writes (my emphases in bold):

The Archdiocese of Detroit announced major cuts today, slashing its central staff by 29% because of a $14.5-million operating deficit, a spokesman said.

It will reduce its central staff from 264 to 187, one of the biggest reductions in years, said Joe Kohn, an official with the archdiocese. And it plans to sell the Gabriel Richard building on Michigan Avenue in downtown Detroit, one of its main offices.

The archdiocese oversees 1.4 million Catholics in metro Detroit, the largest religious denomination in the region. But the slumping economy has taken its toll on the church's financial and property investments. And tithing is down between 5% and 10%, compared to previous years.

In a meeting today at St. Aloysius Catholic Church in downtown Detroit, Archbishop Allen Vigneron announced the changes.

The cuts will affect every department in the archdiocese and are “pretty far reaching in its scope,” Kohn said.

The archdiocese currently has an operating deficit of $1.2 million per month, losing $42,000 a day, Kohn said.

“We couldn’t go on existing as we currently do with those financial realities,” he said.

In the meeting, Vigneron spoke about the importance of the church’s mission.

“The mission of the church is to share Christ,” Kohn said, talking about Vigneron’s overall message. “Our financial realities dictated that we have to change the way we do things in order to continue to fulfill the church’s mission.”

The layoffs will take place through mid-November. The church plans to have a new organizations plan in effect by the start of next year.

The cuts will lead to some consolidation in the archdiocese, Kohn said.

There is some overlapping that currently goes on, he said.

The archdiocese also plans to stop subsidizing programming at the Inn at St. John’s in Plymouth, a conference center. It also will stop its subsidy to the Michigan Catholic, the weekly newspaper for the archdiocese.

I don't know when it was last done, but certainly it has been a very long time since such an exhaustive look at the archdiocesan administration has been done. Of course, this economy is making everyone take a closer look. In good times, these things remain hidden. In bad times, it becomes necessary to trim away the fat. In really bad times, it becomes necessary to trim some of the muscle.

Please pray for all of those affected, as well as all of those in the decision making process. There are probably many joys that come with being an archbishop, and this is definitely not one of them.

Stay tuned. I'll be following. Got a good tip, feel free to drop me a note at

UPDATE #1: Local ABC affiliate, WXYZ-TV, Channel 7 in Detroit will feature Archbishop Vigneron in an interview with Chuck Stokes at 11:30am Sunday.

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My Response to Cardinal Sean O'Malley's blogpost on Senator Kennedy's Funeral

I have been a big supporter of church hierarchy making use of various media to connect with the people. When Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston started his blog, I thought it was an awesome thing. I have not really offered comments there, until today. His Eminence broke with his usual Friday post, to talk about Senator Ted Kennedy's funeral.

For the record, I understand how upset some people were with the public funeral. However, there are some people - orthodox Catholics among them - who communicate their frustrations with all the tact of a neanderthal.

We all have a right, and sometimes a duty, to communicate to the Sacred Pastors, our concerns. But, those concerns and frustrations must be conveyed with love and respect, ever mindful of the dignity of the person to whom it is directed.

How something is communicated is important. Around the time of his installation, I posted Archbishop Allen Vigneron's "10 Rules for Handling Disagreement Like a Christian". I think it is a good time to revisit those rules. In this case, #1 applies: Rule of Charity: Charity is Primary.

I don't doubt that some people communicated their disapproval of things that took place with the Kennedy funeral in a less than tactful manner, and perhaps even with "vitriol". However, I hope that legitimate points made charitably are not considered vitriol by virtue of the fact that they are being raised.

I did offer my thoughts after reading his full entry. It was made early this morning and is still awaiting moderation as of 5:30pm, while others posted later appear to have been approved. I don't think my comment was uncharitable, and I am glad to have copied it to share here. Hopefully, it will be approved in the Cardinal's combox soon.

You may first want to read Cardinal O'Malley's position: On Senator Kennedy's Funeral

Here is my still unpublished response entered at 7:27am, September 3, 2009. I believe it was charitable, and therefore worthy of being approved by moderators. I have clarified one thing below, bracketed in red:

Your Eminence:

Peace and grace of Jesus Christ be with you!

As a Catholic blogger, and one who spends considerable time reading other Catholic blogs and websites, I did not see the kind of objection you perhaps perceived about Sen. Kennedy having a Catholic funeral. Orthodox Catholics do understand that we do not, and cannot know, the depth and scope of forgiveness he may have sought in his final moments. Therefore, I didn’t really see people objecting to his having a Catholic funeral.

What I did see, and I share this objection, was a public display of the funeral and the manner in which elements of the Mass publicly went against norms – universal – for Catholic funeral Masses.

The funeral should not have been televised, in my humble opinion. It should have been private. By giving it the public show that it had, it not only led people into scandal seemingly justifying that one can promote abortion and gay marriage, and still be a “good Catholic”.

You said, “the Senator’s wake and Catholic funeral were controversial because of the fact that he did not publically support Catholic teaching and advocacy on behalf of the unborn”

This statement lightens reality. It wasn’t that he did not publicly support Catholic teaching and advocate on behalf of the unborn. He worked effectively against Catholic teaching and against the unborn.

I was dismayed not only at how Sen. Kennedy was indeed “canonized” throughout the Mass. Is this common practice in the Archdiocese of Boston? The focus of the funeral Mass was not for the respose of the soul of Sen. Kennedy, but rather a “celebration of his life”.

Some of the intercessions and eulogies were entirely scandalous, including the use of a young boy to plug “health care”, and the subtle dig on homosexuality.
[not really a dig on it, but a plug of it - indirect inferences, so to speak]

Would not the content of those lengthy eulogies have been more appropriate the night before, or at a luncheon afterwards? I was shocked at the vulgarity and unvirtuous references in some of the comments – in the sanctuary no less.

Your Eminence: The Kennedy family, and by extension many politicians, have been led astray by “all sorts of strange teachings” by malformed and disingenous Catholic priests and bishops. When will the scandal end and corrections be made for these things?

The scandal continues. I pray you will work to bring it to an end.

Be assured of my continuing prayers for prudence and holy boldness.

EDIT: Phil Lawler has a great commentary up on this, as well: The Kennedy Funeral - Boston's Latest Scandal

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This Sunday at Grotto: Talk on newly Canonized - St. Nuno

(click the pic to enlarge)

Andrew Rabel, Australian correspondent for Inside the Vatican Magazine is in Detroit (actually, at Assumption Grotto). For those of you who are not going away for the weekend and you are looking for something to do, come on over to Grotto for the afternoon.

The talk will start around 1:45pm or 2:00 depending on what time Mass/Rosary/Benediction ends. Benediction is usually at the outdoor Grotto following a Eucharistic procession. After that, you can take advantage of Assumption Grotto's "Grill" and grab a hot dog or hamburger ahead of the talk.

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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Legion of Christ News - Breaking

American Papist, Tom Peters has a couple of posts and several links with an update on the Legion of Christ visitation, and more.

Go read these posts:

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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!

Archdiocese of Detroit: Heavy cuts in central staff???

Something caught my eye in a post covering a church closing in Cleveland. At the end of the article, Rocco Palmo writes (emphases mine):

On a related note, as the economic downturn takes a continued toll on church resources at every level, tomorrow will see the rollout of significant administrative cuts by the especially hard-hit archdiocese of Detroit.

Termed a "bloodbath," up to a third of the Motor City's 200-some central staff could lose their jobs, according to early projections.

The crisis in the region's all-powerful auto industry has led to a jobless rate of 15% across Michigan, with the ranks of the unemployed approaching 30% -- over three times the national average -- in Detroit itself.

I know how it feels to be in waiting. Pray for these people. Thus far, I have survived several cuts at my place of employment and there is another one in the wings this month. I can attest that it's also very hard on "survivors" after a large cut.

Pray also for our Archbishop. There are many joys that go with the job given him, but this ain't one of 'em.

God help us all through this tough economy.

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Judgment Day, "Pastoral Correctness", and the Bp Martino Resignation

There is an excellent analysis over at CWNews which looks closely at the sudden resignation of Bp Joseph Martino of Scranton, and his auxiliary - Bp Dougherty.

This is a must read, but first, I want to raise some questions of my own. I truly don't have the answers to these questions, but I believe they ought to be discussed:

If the Fathers of the Church were living today, would the bishops among them be considered pastoral enough to survive their episcopacies? Would they have the support of their brother bishops?

How about the Apostles?

Still better, would Our Lord Jesus Christ be considered pastoral enough by today's standards?

While approaching things in a pastoral manner is indeed very important (I don't want to downplay that), I am wondering who will suffer more on Judgment Day: Bishops who had unshakeable zeal for truth, who were "unpastoral" in their approach, or those who were so pastoral that many of the faithful were scandalized and led into grave error and sin.

We won't even get into the subject of some bishops who have, in the name of "pastoral correctness", tolerated distortions of Catholic teaching to such a degree that it has brought about widespread dissent within their dioceses, and who remain in their posts for many years.

I can't help but wonder if there is a double standard.

Just out of interest, please feel free to add some of the most quotable-quotes from Jesus, the Apostles, or the Fathers of the Church to the combox (keep them brief for space). How about the Doctors? Are there any quotes that would be labeled "pastorally incorrect" by standards apparently in use today?

Here is that analysis: Bishop Martino's Departure - Did he jump or was he pushed? (CWNews)

Please pray for our bishops.

EDITED @11:42 Sept 2, 2009

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