Saturday, July 31, 2004
From CBC News: Thieving squirrels par for the course for Edmonton golfers:
"Golfers often have to deal with the frustration of watching their golf balls swallowed up by sand traps or water hazards.
But at Riverside Golf Course in Edmonton, players have another type of obstacle to watch for -- squirrels. "
From albawaba.com: Kuwaiti newspaper: Zarqawi captured on Syrian - Iraq border:
"Reports in Kuwait on Friday said a man assumed to be Al Qaeda leader in Iraq, Abu Musab Zarqawi has been captured near the Syrian border.
Zarqawi, whose Tawhid and Jihad group has claimed responsibility for numerous attacks in Iraq, was captured during a joint operation by US forces and Iraqi police, Al Siyasah newspaper, quoting informed Iraqi sources, said Friday. "
Released Today. Among other issues, presents a Biblical basis for the separation of the sexes.
First those that result from the Fall:
Original sin changes the way in which the man and the woman receive and
live the Word of God as well as their relationship with the Creator. Immediately
after having given them the gift of the garden, God gives them a positive
command (cf. Gn 2:16), followed by a negative one (cf. Gn 2:17), in which
the essential difference between God and humanity is implicitly expressed.
Following enticement by the serpent, the man and the woman deny this
difference. As a consequence, the way in which they live their sexual
difference is also upset. In this way, the Genesis account establishes a
relationship of cause and effect between the two differences: when humanity
considers God its enemy, the relationship between man and woman becomes
distorted. When this relationship is damaged, their access to the face of
God risks being compromised in turn.
God's decisive words to the woman after the first sin express the kind
of relationship which has now been introduced between man and woman: “your
desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you” (Gn 3:16). It will
be a relationship in which love will frequently be debased into pure
self-seeking, in a relationship which ignores and kills love and replaces it
with the yoke of domination of one sex over the other. Indeed the story of
humanity is continuously marked by this situation, which recalls the three-fold
concupiscence mentioned by Saint John: the concupiscence of the flesh, the
concupiscence of the eyes and the pride of life (cf. 1 Jn 2:16). In this tragic
situation, the equality, respect and love that are required in the relationship
of man and woman according to God's original plan, are lost.
Then from the New Testament and how Christ overcomes this Fall for those who believe in Him:
“For all of you who have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ... there
is neither male nor female”, writes Saint Paul to the Galatians (3:27-28). The
Apostle Paul does not say that the distinction between man and woman, which in
other places is referred to the plan of God, has been erased. He means rather
that in Christ the rivalry, enmity and violence which disfigured the
relationship between men and women can be overcome and have been overcome. In
this sense, the distinction between man and woman is reaffirmed more than ever;
indeed, it is present in biblical revelation up to the very end. In the final
hour of present history, the Book of Revelation of Saint John, speaking of “a
new heaven and a new earth” (Rev 21:1), presents the vision of a feminine
Jerusalem “prepared as a bride adorned for her husband” (Rev 21:2). Revelation
concludes with the words of the Bride and the Spirit who beseech the coming of
the Bridegroom, “Come, Lord Jesus!” (Rev22:20).
Purpose of the document as stated in the Introduction is to spark conversation. I think it will certianly do that.
Friday, July 30, 2004
"Some 2,700 French police will be mobilised next month for Pope John Paul II's visit to the southern 'miracle' town of Lourdes, expected to draw at least 300,000 faithful, officials said Wednesday.
Police and gendarmes will be tasked with providing security in the area and keeping traffic moving in the region, said Michel Bilaud, prefect for the Hautes-Pyrenees region.
The 84-year-old pontiff's visit to Lourdes on August 14 and 15 will mark the 150th anniversary of the 1854 proclamation by Pope Pius IX of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. "
We should take the devil "very seriously," but without losing confidence in the love of God, says the theologian of the Pontifical Household. Cardinal Georges Cottier gave this interview in the wake of last Saturday's murder of a priest in the cathedral of Santiago, Chile. The killing was linked to Satanism. Q: In the great mystery of evil, how much does the action of the devil count and how much responsibility does man bear?
Cardinal Cottier: The devil is without a doubt the great seducer because he tries to lead man to sin by presenting evil as good. But the fall is our responsibility, because the conscience has the ability to distinguish what is good and what is evil.
Q: Why does the devil want to induce man to sin?
Cardinal Cottier: Out of envy and jealousy. The devil wants to drag man with him because he himself is a fallen angel. The fall of the first man was preceded by the fall of the angels.
Q: Is it a heresy to affirm that the devil also forms part of God's plan?
Cardinal Cottier: Satan was created by God as a good angel, because God does not create evil. Everything that comes from the creative hand of God is good. If the devil has become evil, it is by his own culpability. It was he who, by using his freedom badly, made himself evil.
Thursday, July 29, 2004
"MOORE: So, you would sacrifice your child to secure Fallujah? I want to hear you say that.
O'REILLY: I would sacrifice myself..
MOORE: Your child? It's Bush sending the children there.
O'REILLY: I would sacrifice myself.
MOORE: You and I don't go to war, because we're too old.
O'REILLY: Because if we back down, there will be more deaths and you know it.
MOORE: Say, "I, Bill O'Reilly, would sacrifice my child to secure Fallujah."
O'REILLY: I'm not going to say what you say, you're a, that's ridiculous--"
Wednesday, July 28, 2004
Something to remember here is that Tolkien is undoubtedly speaking about Mass before Vatican II for all those who tend to think that everything was perfect back then.
J. R. R. Tolkien said:
"I can recommend this as an exercise: make your Communion in circumstances that affront your taste. Choose a snuffling or gabbling priest or a proud and vulgar friar; and a church full of the usual bourgeois crowd, ill-behaved children -- from those who yell to those products of Catholic schools who the moment the tabernacle is opened sit back and yawn -- open necked and dirty youths, women in trousers and often with hair both unkempt and uncovered. Go to Communion with them (and pray for them). It will be just the same as a Mass said beautifully by a visibly holy man, and shared by a few devout and decorous people. (It could not be worse than the mess of the feeding of the Five Thousand -- after which our Lord propounded the feeding that was to come."
Thanks to Elaine! It is from here:
Monday, July 26, 2004
"An allegation about the incident 'recently' made its way to the diocese, according to spokeswoman Maria Orzel. When confronted, Father Shoback admitted responsibility and faced immediate removal from the ministry, according to a diocesan statement.
Ms. Orzel would not specify when the diocese received the allegation or when Father Shoback was officially removed. She said he was gone before the Most Rev. Bishop John M. Dougherty, auxiliary bishop, addressed the congregation during Saturday Mass."
Sunday, July 25, 2004
From Dolphins' Ricky Williams retiring from NFL:
"The Dolphins' series of off-season headaches turned into a crisis this weekend when star running back Ricky Williams told coach Dave Wannstedt he is retiring - a week before training camp.
Despite attempts by friends and colleagues to talk him out of quitting, Williams said Saturday he was overjoyed by his decision, one that has been months in the making.
'You can't understand how free I feel,' Williams said before boarding a plane in Hawaii and heading to Asia to begin several months of travel. Williams, 27, has played five years in the NFL, including the first three with New Orleans. He said he plans to file his retirement papers with the NFL on Monday or Tuesday."
Saturday, July 24, 2004
On the night before he died, Jesus shocked the gathered disciples with, "One of you is about to betray me." Everyone of them questioned him, "Is it I, Lord?" except for Judas who said, "Is it I, Teacher?"
In one of my favorite Churches there is a massive icon of Our Lord as teacher and judge. It looms over you as soon as you enter the church. It is not a kind and peaceful Jesus, but a Jesus who comes again to judge the living and the dead. Whenever I enter that church I think of Our Lord's Last Supper and find myself asking him, "Is it I, Lord?"
- Am I worshipping you alone or do I place an idealogy above you?
- Do I seek first the Kingdom of God or am I serving some other king?
- Do I listen for your voice or does the accuser (Satan) keep me from hearing you?
- Do I seek to be the judge or am I content to allow you to judge?
In a nutshell, am I handing over Christ or receiving Him at the Eucharist?
Friday, July 23, 2004
Thanks to all who have left comments so far on the posts below, if you haven't commented yet please do add your comments. I was mentioning to Amy the general tone of most of the comments (you can read them for yourselves under the appropriate posts)and in a nutshell she captured the ultimate source of frustration--powerlessness to change the situation. Ironically, if you quizzed the majority of priests, liturgists, choir directors about the state of the liturgy they would all say exactly the same thing. Who they would blame would differ depending upon who you asked but I know from experience that just about everyone involved feels the situation is out of their control. I even heard Cardinal Arinze speak to this recently. Feel free to comment on this, it is a work in process and all the reaction helps me to clarify my thoughts.
So where do we start and I mean all of us?
Realize that God is in control...
even when the modern Judas (fallen Apostles), Caiphas (priest who've forgotten God), Pilate (politicians who do what they think the crowd wants), and the rest of us who like the Apostles are never quite sure if we too might betray Our Lord and ever need to ask "Is it I Lord?"
Jesus told his disciples to expect persecution. "If they do this to the wood when it is green, what will happen when it is dry?" St. Paul told the early disciples to "Walk by faith not by sight."
The Eucharist is the memorial of the Lord's Passion. We should never lose sight of that! Whatever we experience at the Eucharist we should never lose sight that God is in control and we should trust in God more than anything else that irks us. We need to crush our own egos--all of us, priests, musicians, ushers, and the rest.
The Passion of Christ which every celebration of the Eucharist makes present begins in Matthew's Gospel with Jesus announcing it! In Matthew 26, the Apostle tells us that "When Jesus had finished all these sayings, he said to his disciples, "You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and he Son of man will be delivered up, up to be crucified," (Matthew 26:1-2). The next verse details that "then" the chief priests set into motion their plan to kill Jesus. The evil they intended only could happen, once God allowed it to happen. This is a great mystery but one that applies to every aspect of our lives and is applicable to what we do when we attend Mass.
Some might think that the "novus ordo" or the "new order of the Mass" is the problem. I attended a funeral a few years ago that was conducted by the schismatic SSPX and I encountered as many "liturgical abuses" at that celebration as I have at any Mass I have attended over the course of my life. The priest, a convert stumbled over the Latin prayers, allowed a lay man who clearly was directing the Mass to do parts that are reserved for the priest alone and the same poor taste in music was illustrated throughout.
I have attended an Eastern Catholic liturgy in the past year where the lay women stopped the priest in the middle of the liturgy to screaming that they did not know where he was in the books they were using to follow the liturgy.
Abuses, imperfections in the liturgy are inevitable. Human beings are imperfect. St. Paul even says that we do not know how to pray as we ought but that the Spirit makes up for what is lacking.
The first step to getting the most out of the Eucharist is to accept that God is in control, not me. Whether I am the presider, the cantor, the reader, the congregant it is not about "me" it is about doing what Jesus told his disciples to do. Trust in God!
Thursday, July 22, 2004
"Barely a year after an Ontario court gave its blessing to same-sex marriage, a lesbian couple is trying to untie the knot in what critics dismissed Wednesday as little more than a judicial stunt to test the limits of Canada's divorce laws.
The pair, identified in court documents only as J.H. and M.M., were together for five years prior to their decision to get married last June, but were separated just five days later - two weeks after the Ontario Court of Appeal legalized same-sex marriages. "
From TheOffice of Readings:
"When Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and did not find the Lord's body, she thought it had been taken away and so informed the disciples. After they came and saw the tomb, they too believed what Mary had told them. The text then says: The disciples went back home, and it adds: but Mary wept and remained standing outside the tomb.
We should reflect on Mary's attitude and the great love she felt for Christ; for though the disciples had left the tomb, she remained. She was still seeking the one she had not found, and while she sought she wept; burning with the fire of love, she longed for him who she thought had been taken away. And so it happened that the woman who stayed behind to seek Christ was the only one to see him. For perseverance is essential to any good deed, as the voice of truth tells us: Whoever perseveres to the end will be saved. "
"U.S. Catholics regard the clerical sexual abuse scandal and the bishops' handling of it as two of the most serious problems facing the church, according to a study by two leading sociologists.
They found that most Catholics questioned in a nationwide telephone survey think bishops are covering up the facts about sexual abuse. Older and more active Catholics tended to have more confidence in bishops than did younger Catholics or those less involved in church activities, they reported. Nearly three-fourths of the respondents said the failure of bishops to stop the abuse was a bigger problem than the abuse itself."
Wednesday, July 21, 2004
From Zenit News Agency - The World Seen From Rome:
"The temptation to judge others is the greatest obstacle in listening to God, says preacher of the Pontifical Household.
Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa made that comment today in reference to John Paul II's affirmation Sunday, when the Pope said at his Angelus address: 'To listen to the Word of God is the most important thing in our lives.'
Father Cantalamessa told Vatican Radio: 'In addition to the external obstacles imposed by the rhythm of modern life, there is an even more dangerous noise: the one which impedes our hearts from listening to the Word of God when judging others.'
This attitude 'makes us judges who judge the whole world. This silent 'noise' of the heart must be silenced in our minds -- at times even with violence,' he said.
'Enough, enough of this sort of reasoning, of complaints!' the priest said. He said people must tell themselves: 'I want to read the Word of God, I want to listen to the Word of God, I want to repeat within me the Word of God.'
It is an exercise that helps 'to pass from useless, noisy, egoistic thoughts to thoughts that come from God,' he added."
From Pro-Life Democrats Will Rally Against Abortion at Democratic Convention:
"Though they constitute a sizable minority, pro-life Democrats are often the forgotten element of a Democratic Party increasingly dominated by abortion advocates.
To make their case that the party's extreme pro-abortion stance is alienating voters, members of Democrats for Life of America will conduct a rally at the 2004 Democratic convention in Boston.
'This is a homecoming party for the many pro-life democrats who have left our party,' says DFLA executive director Kristen Day. 'We are dedicated Democrats who are tired of standing outside the big tent.'
Members of the pro-life Democratic group will sport buttons with the phrase '43 percent of Democrats can't be wrong.'
That's a reference to a January 2004 Zogby poll that found 43 percent of respondents who call themselves Democrats take a pro-life position opposing most or all abortions."
Tuesday, July 20, 2004
I'd also appreciate it, if you'd react to some of these suggestions in how to deal with the imperfection:
Give Thanks! We all know that Eucharist means "thanksgiving."
- My attitude in dealing with the imperfections of liturgical ministers, whatever their rank is to often grow angry with their performance. In the process I realize that I'm falling into the trap set by the enemy. I'm in the presence of Christ that is reason enough to give thanks! "Why wasn't this perfume sold and the money given to the poor?" "You'll never wash my feet." "Doesn't this man know what kind of woman this is?" are all statements of discontent leveled at Jesus both by his followers and his enemies--how can I, realizing that the perfection of the Kingdom is only partially revealed here at this Eucharist rise above the foibles of the human agents? I realize by fostering an attitude of thanksgiving.
Take Up Your Cross--Realize that you have a sacrifice to offer with Christ at the Mass
- There are somethings that happen at some Catholic Churches that are wrong even by the Church's own admission. Enduring these abuses are painful to those who are aware that they are abuses. Embrace that pain, see it as part of the sacrifice you are offering with the one sacrifice of Christ at this Mass. Further, take up the cross to educate yourself to find out if in fact what you are experiencing as an abuse, truly is an abuse and if it is to confront the guilty parties face to face. The cross is never a fatalistic approach but one that leads to the victory of resurrection. Expect that your cross will lead to a deeper conversion to trusting in God alone.
Reconciliation--Some of what bothers us at the Eucharist is due to the division that exist within the Body of Christ.
- Jesus told his disciples that if on the way to the Temple they realized that there was some rift that existed between a brother and them to go to the brother and be reconciled first and then go with your brother and offer your sacrifice together. For too long we have allowed the fractured body of Christ to limp in and out of our churches. We need to seek out those who we are irreconciled with and in Christ come together. Ironically this may mean excluding some who refuse to be reconciled to the Church.
Here is the comment of a reader:
As I have often mentioned before, Bishop D'Arcy's view is inconsistent, because it also precludes gay men from going to college if they're going to be living in a dorm, and gay boys from participating in gym class if they're going to have to change in a locker room. It would also preclude gay men from participating in team sports, among other things. Yet the Church has never taught that gay men cannot live in college dorms, participate in gym class or play team sports. So it seems to me that the Church's motivation for preventing gay men from becoming priests is not that it's unfair to them.
Also, Bishop D'Arcy's assertion that priests should be men who would make good husbands and fathers is absolutely true. However, this should be determined from individual to individual, not just by lumping all heterosexuals into the category of "good husbands and good fathers" and all homosexuals into the category of "not." On the one hand, there are many heterosexuals who would and do make terrible husbands and fathers, and there are many heterosexual priests who have no business being in the priesthood. Conversely, there are many homosexuals who would make good husbands and fathers if they were heterosexual, and there are many good homosexual priests.
One could argue, by the way, that there are many heterosexual priests who should not be thrust into a parish where they must work with and around women, while also trying to maintain a celibate lifestyle. So this is not just a homosexual issue. There are both heterosexual and homosexual men who should not be priests.
Monday, July 19, 2004
I'm soliciting opinions, feelings, anger, whatever about the Eucharist that will be used in a book that will be entitled something like "How to Get the Most Out of the Eucharist." I want to make it "real" so I'm putting it together from the ground up with all the feedback that I hear when I speak about the Mass to a wide variety of groups.
So I think their are three problem areas, but I'm open to expanding the list based on the feedback that I get here:
- Feelings and Reality: "I'm bored" "I don't like the pastor (or fill in the blank)" "I don't understand what's going on" "The preaching (or again fill in the blank) sucks" "I'm not being fed" "I don't believe in it" "I'm angry with the way things are done either correctly or incorrectly"
- The Wandering Mind: "I'm thinking about something else most of the time" "I find it impossible to concentrate"
- Real Abuses: "We use words that aren't in the Missal" "We shake hands at the beginning and in the middle" "(fill in the blank) "We hold hands during the Our Father" "The role of the priest and the laity is confused by the way the Eucharist is celebrated in our parish"
I would like to say with regard to #3 that sometimes people perceive and abuse where no real abuse is taking place, in defense of priests they sometime inherit a situation where certian things have been taking place in a parish and it is hard to stem the tide. I also think that many of the "abuses" have crept into the liturgy because of the items in #1 and attempts to make the liturgy more exciting or relevant, both huge mistakes. Such errors reveal that one doesn't understand the liturgy enough to know that it is the most amazing, exciting and relevant thing we will ever do in this earthly life!
Please link to this discussion on your blog, inviting your readers to participate in this discussion. Feel free to use the comments or to email me directly.
From Boston.com / News / Local / Mass. / Bishop urges gay ban in clergy:
"''We must be very careful of who we accept in the seminary and who we ordain as priests,' D'Arcy told parishioners at Our Lady of the Presentation Church, the Brighton parish in which he grew up. ''It's time to ordain men of quality, not to just look for numbers.'
During yesterday's 10 a.m. Mass, D'Arcy, now bishop of the Fort Wayne-South Bend Diocese in Indiana, said the church must look for men whom children can respect -- ''men who would be good husbands, men who would be good fathers,' he said.
In an interview after the service, D'Arcy acknowledged that his reference to ''good husbands . . . good fathers' conveyed his belief that only heterosexual men should be allowed to become priests. He said men in the priesthood must embrace celibacy.
To put a gay man in the priesthood, in a mostly male environment, is unfair, given the potential attractions, D'Arcy said. ''We don't put these [heterosexual] men in with attractive women,' he said, referring to seminarians. ''You're putting him in with men. It's not fair to him, it's not fair to them, it's not fair to the church.'"
From ABC30.com: Farewell Mass For Lastiri:
"St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Merced held a farewell mass Sunday for outgoing Father Jean-Michael Lastiri.
Supporters of the priest are collecting signatures on petitions and hope to present the names of 2,000 supporters to the Fresno Diocese.
The priest is facing allegations of using the internet to solicit sex with men.
Although the priest was not at Sunday's mass, he did leave a statement to the parish vowing he will return.
Supporters hope he'll be forgiven for the alleged misconduct.
Lastiri has been removed from the parish. He is expected to leave the area next week and will then head to a Maryland treatment facility for psychological and spiritual counseling."
"While Martha is taken up with domestic affairs," the Holy Father said, "Mary is seated at the feet of the Master and listens to his word. Christ affirms that Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her."
"To listen to the Word of God is the most important thing in our lives," the Pope added.
"Christ is always in our midst and wants to speak to our hearts," the Holy Father continued.
"We can listen to him by meditating with faith on sacred Scripture, recollecting ourselves in private and communal prayer, pausing in silence before the tabernacle, from which he speaks to us of his love."
In this context, John Paul II explained that Sunday is the day that Christians are called especially "to encounter and listen to the Lord." They are given the opportunity in the holy Mass "in which Christ prepares for the faithful the table of the Word and Bread of life," he said.
"But other moments of prayer and reflection, of rest and fraternity, can usefully contribute to sanctify the day of the Lord," the Pope continued. Moreover, when "by the action of the Holy Spirit, God takes up his dwelling in the heart of the believer, it becomes easier to serve brothers," as "happened in a singular and perfect way in Mary Most Holy," he added.
Saturday, July 17, 2004
Friday, July 16, 2004
From ABCNEWS.com : ABC News' The Note: First Source for Political News:
"'On the road, Kerry carries a rosary, a prayer book and a medal with the image of St. Christopher, patron saint of travelers, which he wore during the Vietnam War, according to a longtime associate who demanded anonymity to discuss an issue the candidate did not want to discuss. Kerry prays, sometimes with friends, including in 1999 when he helped former Vietnam crewmate Del Sandusky through hard times, the associate said.' "
Thursday, July 15, 2004
"Christ is both the way and the door. Christ is the staircase and the vehicle, like the throne of mercy over the Ark of the Covenant, and the mystery hidden from the ages. A man should turn his full attention to this throne of mercy, and should gaze at him hanging on the cross, full of faith, hope and charity, devoted, full of wonder and joy, marked by gratitude, and open to praise and jubilation. Then such a man will make with Christ a pasch, that is, a passing-over. Through the branches of the cross he will pass over the Red Sea, leaving Egypt and entering the desert.
There he will taste the hidden manna, and rest with Christ in the sepulchre, as if he were dead to things outside. He will experience, as much as is possible for one who is still living, what was promised to the thief who hung beside Christ: Today you will be with me in paradise.
For this passover to be perfect, we must suspend all the operations of the mind and we must transform the peak of our affections, directing them to God alone. This is a sacred mystical experience. It cannot be comprehended by anyone unless he surrenders himself to it; nor can he surrender himself to it unless he longs for it; nor can he long for it unless the Holy Spirit, whom Christ sent into the world, should come and inflame his innermost soul. Hence the Apostle says that this mystical wisdom is revealed by the Holy Spirit.
If you ask how such things can occur, seek the answer in God?s grace, not in doctrine; in the longing of the will, not in the understanding; in the sighs of prayer, not in research; seek the bridegroom not the teacher; God and not man; darkness not daylight; and look not to the light but rather to the raging fire that carries the soul to God with intense fervour and glowing love. The fir is God, and the furnace is in Jerusalem, fired by Christ"
From The Saint Augustine Catholic Online:
In 1962 Archbishop Joseph Rummel of New Orleans excommunicated Judge Leander Perez for attempting to block the desegregation of the school system in the archdiocese. The mainstream and liberal media applauded the archbishop’s action. Racists and segregationists attacked him vehemently. How dare he try to impose his sectarian views on those who held a different opinion on how the schools should be integrated?
In recent months, several Catholic bishops have issued directives forbidding the Eucharist to Catholic politicians who support abortion-on-demand. The media has been quick to respond with scurrilous editorial cartoons and commentaries, castigating those bishops for breaching the wall between church and state. How dare they try to impose their sectarian morality on the rest of the nation?
How does one respond to these charges? First, one should bear in mind that the right to life is not a sectarian Catholic issue – like celibacy for priests or meatless Fridays during Lent. It is a fundamental moral attribute of our humanity. We possess this right not from the state, not from the church, but from God himself. The founders of our nation acknowledged as much when they declared to the British monarch: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” (emphasis mine)
Second, the right to life is the foundation of all our other rights. Just as a building without a foundation will ultimately collapse, so too, every other right we enjoy will crumble unless buttressed by this most basic right of all. So a politician of whatever or no religious persuasion at all is bound to respect the right to life of others, including incipient life in the womb.
“But the Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade that one cannot be sure when human life begins.” That assertion was disingenuous on the part of Justice Harry Blackmun. It’s embryology, not theology, that asserts: “Development is a continuum that begins when an ovum is fertilized by a sperm and ends at death. All the genetic information of the human adult is already present in that single combined cell, the zygote, which definitely marks the beginning of a new individual.” All that is needed for development is time and nourishment, the same components needed by a newborn child.
“Can an avid proponent of abortion-on-demand be at the same time a Catholic in good standing with the church?” I answer that question by asking another: Can an avowed racist be a member in good standing of the NAACP? For similar reasons, there are some positions so extreme that they would bar one from being considered a good Catholic, not because a specifically Catholic teaching is being denied, but because a basic tenet of the natural law is being trashed. As members of the human family, we must obey the natural law, written on our hearts: “You shall not take an innocent life.”
“Are you implying that Holy Communion should be denied to Catholic candidates who espouse abortion-on-demand?” I would hope that those candidates who consistently vote in support of abortion have enough integrity to willingly exclude themselves from receiving the Eucharist. After all, they are supporting a procedure for which the church reserves the penalty of excommunication for those directly involved. Besides, consider what St. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 11:27: “Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in any unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord.”
“What about Catholic politicians who support the death penalty? Shouldn’t they refrain from receiving Holy Communion too?” According to church teaching, the state has the right to protect its citizens from unjust aggressors through use of the death penalty. However, at present the church stresses that non-lethal means – namely life-imprisonment – are more in keeping with human dignity, thus making reasons for recourse to the death penalty almost non-existent. Still, the church does not deny that the state continues to have the right to impose the death penalty. Furthermore, although the life issues are all interrelated, not all of them are of equal importance. In 1998, the bishops of the United States issued Living the Gospel of Life, a pastoral letter that stated categorically that the right to life carried more weight than other issues because it served as their moral foundation.
“I still feel that you bishops are meddling in politics.” Abortion is a moral, not a political issue. The United States Constitution does not prohibit a member of the cloth from addressing moral issues. If it did, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would never have achieved all the good that resulted in the area of civil rights. Besides, would not our silence be similar to that of the German clergy who looked the other way while millions of innocent citizens were being herded off to the ovens? And finally, God’s word roundly condemns anyone who tolerates evil. God commands Samuel to inform Eli that his house will be punished “because although he knew that his sons were blaspheming God, he did not reprove them” (1 Sam 3:13). A very similar message is found in the prophet Ezekiel 33:7-9. The lesson from Scripture is clear: Whoever tolerates evil becomes an accomplice in that evil.
Wednesday, July 14, 2004
From Times Leader | 07/14/2004 | Suspended or not? Accused ex-local priest's status unclear:
"A former area priest accused of sexual abuse was banned from active ministry, then given the OK to resume that work ... except he wasn't.
Confused? So is the priest's lawyer.
Attorney Greg Magarity says his client, the Rev. Christopher Clay, deserves answers. In 2002, Clay was accused of sexual misconduct and relieved of his duties. But he later received approval to resume active ministry from then-Bishop James Timlin.
Yet according to Diocese of Scranton spokeswoman Maria Orzel, Bishop Joseph Martino, who replaced Timlin last year, still bans Clay from active ministry. On Tuesday, Orzel said the ban is intact because a diocesan investigation is 'ongoing.'"
John Paul II is writing yet another book, this time on philosophical and existential reflections, says an aide.
The process of the writing "is quite advanced," said Father Pawel Ptasznik, head of the Polish section of the Vatican Secretariat of State, in an interview with the Polish Catholic news agency KAI.
Yet, "it is a long process and one must not expect the publication to be imminent," the priest said.
"In regard to the content, I can say that the news, according to which he will address above all the problems of totalitarianism, is not true," Father Ptasznik added.
"It is an open secret that for years Father Jozef Tischner" -- a philosopher and friend of the Pope -- "suggested to the Sovereign Pontiff an interview on philosophical and existential topics," Father Ptasnik said. "If I am not mistaken, this interview took place in the summer of 1984, and it was recorded."
Tuesday, July 13, 2004
"'You who do not yet see God will, by loving your neighbor, make yourself worthy of seeing him. By loving your neighbor, you cleanse your eyes so you can see God. Love your neighbor, then, and see within yourself the source of this love of neighbor. There you will see God insofar as you are able.'
-- Sermon on John 17, 8"
"As might have been expected, evangelicals were the most enthusiastic about the movie (89% said the movie was excellent) while the lowest ratings came from atheists and agnostics, homosexuals and liberal Democrats. Protestants were more likely than Catholics to give The Passion an "excellent" rating (78% versus 68%, respectively)."
A Seeker's Dozen: The 12 Steps for Everyone Else > Relapsed Catholic Store | CafePress: "A Seeker's Dozen: The 12 Steps for Everyone Else"
"Following a rash of news reports claiming the U.S. bishops defied Vatican Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger on the question of withholding Communion from Catholic politicians whose actions conflict with church teaching on abortion, Cardinal Ratzinger said the bishops' statement on the issue 'is very much in harmony' with his recently leaked memo on the topic.
In a letter dated July 9 and made public July 12 by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the head of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith said the bishops' June 18 statement, titled 'Catholics in Political Life,' 'is very much in harmony with the general principles (of) 'Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion.''"
From The Theoscope: A Search for a Vocation, among other things...:
"Yesterday someone asked what items we must bring with us. Again, it's not a long list (and this one is not that complete) but here are a few of the more interesting things:
Rosary (duh, we're the Dominicans :)
Bible, Catechism, favorite prayer books
Vatican Documents (volumes I & II)
Shoe polish (we already discussed that)
8 Aprons (we already discussed this too)
2 Tupperware containers (to hold our in-progress habits)
Sewing supplies (to make in-progress habits)
A Bookbag (most, if not all of us, are going back to school!)
Musical instrument (if we play one--we are under the patronage of St. Cecilia, after all!)"
Julie is entering the community this Fall, her blog is all about her discernment.
From `Virgin Mary' Vandal Jailed | theledger.com:
"The small, white-haired woman emerged from the courtroom gallery Monday morning with a cross dangling from her neck and a message to deliver to the judge.
On the other side of the aisle stood an equally undaunting figure: a wiry young man with blue eyes and a tight haircut that made his ears look big.
The woman was Rosie Reed, the site leader for Shepherds of Christ Ministries, which owns the mirrored building on U.S. 19 that many think holds the rainbowhued image of the Virgin Mary.
The young man was Kyle Maskell, the 18-year-old who slung steel balls into the top windows of the image, shattering the image and beheading one of Clearwater's most beloved figures.
Despite the damage, Reed told the judge: 'Shepherds of Christ Ministries does not wish to press charges.'"
Monday, July 12, 2004
From My Way News:
"The worst blackout in more than a decade hit Athens and southern Greece on Monday, leaving millions sweltering in a heat wave and raising concerns about whether the lights will go out at next month's Olympics.
The government blamed the outage on 'mismanagement' of the electricity grid. Still, officials promised the network was ready to handle the Aug. 13-29 Olympics.
But it was yet another hurdle in Athens' attempt to convince the world it is ready to host well-run and safe games. Olympics preparations have come under criticism because of construction delays and concerns over security arrangements to stop terror attacks."
From Scotsman.com News - Latest News - Priests 'In Orgy' at Seminary:
"Roman Catholic leaders in Austria called an emergency meeting today after officials discovered a vast cache of photos and videos allegedly depicting young priests having sex at a seminary.
About 40,000 photographs and an undisclosed number of films, including child pornography, were downloaded on computers at the seminary in St Poelten, about 50 miles west of Vienna, the respected news magazine Profil reported.
Officials with the local diocese declined to comment but were meeting privately on the scandal, Austrian state television reported.
It said the seminary's director, the Rev Ulrich Kuechl, and his deputy, Wolfgang Rothe, had resigned.
The Austrian Bishops Conference issued a statement today pledging a full and swift investigation."
Sunday, July 11, 2004
"Among the new books that point out the errors in The Da Vinci Code is Amy Welborn's De-coding Da Vinci: The facts behind the fiction of The Da Vinci Code(Our Sunday Visitor Publishing Division, Our Sunday Visitor, Inc;, Huntington, Indiana 46750, 124 pp.). I have just finished reading it and I think it is exceptionally good. There is not space in this column to report the numerous errors that Welborn points out in Brown's novel. She has done her homework well. The book is attractively laid out and that, along with Welborn's clear writing, make the book an easy read even though it contains a great deal of information.
Amy Welborn wrote her book to help readers sort out the errors in The Da Vinci Code. She was disturbed by the enthusiasm with which this novel has been received. I am too. What to make of this phenomenon? Welborn writes the following:
"I wrote this book because I wanted to help the curious readers sort through the many interesting issues raised in The Da Vinci Code."
Friday, July 9, 2004
"Reformation II? The Archdiocese of Portland, Oregon (just across the river from here) became the first Catholic diocese in the country to seek bankruptcy protection because of multimillion-dollar awards given to victims of clergy sex abuse. This action will be followed closely by Catholic dioceses and parishes throughout the U.S. and could result in drastic structural changes to the U.S. Catholic Church."
"Two dozen of the Toledo Catholic Diocese's 157 parishes are recommended for closure as part of a realignment study designed to consolidate parishes with too few members and assign a dwindling number of priests to no more than two parishes at a time (See Diocesan statistics below).
Bishop Leonard P. Blair will announce the names of parishes involved in the recommended changes in September after a series of meetings with clergy and members of the diocese, church leaders announced yesterday. The bishop will then meet with each affected parish to explain the situation, hear feedback, and announce his final decision on the changes in March, 2005."
"James Caviezel has been swamped with requests to perform miracles by Mexican fans who believe he really is Jesus Christ.
The 35-year-old actor, who played Jesus in Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, was on a one-week tour of the east Mexican state of Veracruz.
According to Mexican newspaper Reforma, dozens of residents from villages throughout the state, one of the poorest in the country, asked Caviezel to heal the sick and perform other miracles as he passed through.
The actor, who is himself a strict Catholic, said: 'The belief of these people really moved me.
'It was a shock for me to see how they came up to me to ask for my help. I had to explain to them that I was only an actor, and wasn't really the son of God.'"
From The New York Times > Washington > Bin Laden Is Said to Be Organizing for a U.S. Attack:
"Counterterrorism officials have said for weeks that they are increasingly worried by a continuing stream of intelligence suggesting that Al Qaeda wanted to carry out a significant terror attack on United States soil this year. But until the comments of the senior administration officials on Thursday, it was not clear that Mr. bin Laden and top deputies like Ayman Zawahiri were responsible for the concern.
Another senior administration official said on Thursday that the intelligence reports - apparently drawn partly from interviews with captured Qaeda members and partly from other intelligence - referred to efforts 'to inflict catastrophic effects' before the election.
This official said that the reports did not refer specifically to Mr. bin Laden's instructions or desires, but did make clear that instructions were coming from Qaeda leaders. 'It sounds like a corporate effort,' the official said."
Thursday, July 8, 2004
"Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said Thursday that there is 'credible' information indicating that al-Qaida is moving ahead with plans for a 'large-scale attack' in the U.S. aimed at disrupting the November elections.
Ridge said it's clear that al-Qaida has the capability to carry out such an attack. He said U.S. authorities don't have information on the time, place or method, but that they're 'actively working' to gain that knoweldge.
He also said al-Qaida is working under the 'mistaken belief' that such an attack would affect the nation's resolve.
Ridge said there was no specific information indicating that al-Qaida is targeting either the Democratic National Convention later this month in Boston or the Republican National Convention a month later in New York.
The United States is tightening security in the face of a steady stream of intelligence indicating al-Qaida may seek to mount an attack aimed at disrupting elections, the White House said earlier."
"The Portland Archdiocese is the first, and probably not the last, U.S. Roman Catholic diocese to seek bankruptcy protection from multimillion-dollar judgments in clergy sexual-abuse cases.
"I'm surprised it didn't happen earlier," said Father Thomas Reese, editor-in-chief of America, the weekly Catholic magazine published by the Jesuit Society. "Given the judgments, someone had to run out of money. I don't think this is the last diocese."
The Tucson Diocese in Arizona has set a mid-September deadline for deciding whether to file for bankruptcy, and the Boston Archdiocese sold the former archbishop?s residence and surrounding land to raise $90 million to help pay a settlement with sexual-abuse victims.
The Boston Archdiocese is closing schools and parish churches to cut costs because donations and attendance at Mass dropped after revelations of sexual abuse by priests. The Boston Archdiocese's Web site states that the properties will be sold and the proceeds will be shared with remaining parishes and used to support health and pension funds for church employees.
Tucson Bishop Gerald Kicanas has publicly considered Chapter 11 bankruptcy as one way to deal with possible judgments in the cases of more than 20 alleged victims. Lawyers representing people with possible claims have asked the courts to stop the diocese from selling any property before Kicanas decides whether to file for bankruptcy."
"The Rev. Joseph Romansky, 52, the Cleveland priest accused of abusing dozens of boys in Cleveland over 20 years, died Saturday night.
A spokesman for the Cleveland Catholic diocese confirmed his death, but declined to comment on any details, including how he died.
'The family has requested privacy,' said Robert Tayek. 'We have to honor that. The funeral and burial are already over. He was buried Tuesday.'
Romansky had been on administrative leave since April 2002 and was living in an apartment near his last assignment, chaplain at St. Augustine Manor, a nursing home on Detroit Road.
Romansky was among 15 Cleveland diocese priests suspended in 2002 pending lawsuits and investigations into child-molestation charges. "
Wednesday, July 7, 2004
"Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick of Washington said July 6 that the leaked text of a recent memo he received from a top Vatican official, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, on Catholic politicians and abortion appeared to be 'an incomplete and partial leak' not reflecting 'the full message I received.'
The memo outlined principles of moral and sacramental theology that should be taken into account in determining whether Catholic politicians who take public policy stands contrary to fundamental church teaching in areas such as abortion and euthanasia should be allowed to receive Communion or asked or ordered not to receive the sacrament.
Cardinal McCarrick is head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' task force studying how bishops should deal with Catholic politicians in those areas."
Tuesday, July 6, 2004
The Holy Father has..
- Appointed Bishop Gordon Dunlap Bennett, S.J., auxiliary of the archdiocese of Baltimore, U.S.A., as bishop of Mandeville (area 3,319, population 576,000, population 8,200, priests 37, permanent deacons 6, religious 41), Jamaica. He accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese presented by Bishop Paul Michael Boyle, C.P., upon having reached the age limit.
"Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, was clear with Theodore Cardinal McCarrick, archbishop of Washington and the head of the "domestic policy" commission of the U.S. Catholic bishops' conference. He was more than clear, he set it down in writing: no eucharistic communion for the politicians who systematically campaign for abortion.
Read: no communion for the Democratic candidate for the White House, the Catholic John F. Kerry.
Ratzinger's memorandum is presented in its entirety below. It was sent as a confidential letter, during the first half of June, to cardinal McCarrick and to the president of the bishops' conference, Wilton Gregory.
But the bishops of the United States made a different decision. After months of discussion, and after days of wrangling at their conference's general assembly, held in Denver from June 14-19, they published a note entitled "Catholics in Political Life," which leaves to each individual bishop the decision of whether or not to give communion to pro-abortion Catholic politicians."
Monday, July 5, 2004
The Holy Father has...
- Appointed Msgr. Thomas Mitchell Rozanski, pastor of St. John the Evangelist Parish in Severna Park, U.S.A., as auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese of Baltimore (area 12,430, population 2,972,083, Catholics 500,179, priests 497, permanent deacons 171, religious 1,446), U.S.A.
It's not a religous belief of some unseen deity, it is a truth based on scientific fact. You are either a liar or worst.
From Kerry Says He Believes Life Starts at Conception (washingtonpost.com):
"But even as he tried to avoid making news Sunday, Kerry broke new ground in an interview that ran in the Dubuque, Iowa, Telegraph Herald. A Catholic who supports abortion rights and has taken heat from some in the church hierarchy for his stance, Kerry told the paper, 'I oppose abortion, personally. I don't like abortion. I believe life does begin at conception.'
Spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter said that although Kerry has often said abortion should be 'safe, legal and rare,' and that his religion shapes that view, she could not recall him ever publicly discussing when life begins.
'I can't take my Catholic belief, my article of faith, and legislate it on a Protestant or a Jew or an atheist,' he continued in the interview. 'We have separation of church and state in the United States of America.' The comments came on the final day of a three-state Midwest swing, during which Kerry has repeatedly sought to dispel stereotypes that could play negatively among voters there. "
Friday, July 2, 2004
The priest serves in the Diocese of Saint Augustine, and I know him but never knew of this event in his life...
From Spirit Daily:
That, asserts Father Maniyangat, was when hell, an awful sight, opened before him. It was daunting. "I saw Satan and people fighting, tortured, and screaming," claims the cleric. "And the fire too. I saw fire. I saw people suffering and the angel told me it was due to mortal sin and the fact that they were not repentant. That was the thing. Unrepentant."
The priest says he was told there are seven "degrees" or levels of suffering in the netherworld. Those who committed "mortal sin after mortal sin" in life were suffering the most intense heat. "They had bodies and looked very ugly, so cruel and ugly, horrifying," says Father Maniyangat. "They were human but like monsters: fearful, ugly-looking things. I saw people I knew but I can't say who they were. The angel told me I could not reveal this."
The sins that got them into that state, he says, were transgressions such as abortion, homosexuality, hatefulness, and sacrilege. If they had repented, they would have gone to purgatory -- the angel allegedly told him. He was surprised at who he saw in hell. Some were priests. Some were bishops. "There were many, because they had misled the people," he asserts -- again, for your discernment. "They were people I never expected."