Friday, March 31, 2006

Loreto: Home of the Holy Family

The Roman Basilica that encases the House of Loreto

A depiction of the angels transporting the house.

Zenit has a news article about the Holy House today. But the history can be read here.

Especially interesting because we are in the process of selling our house, buying land and building a house. We hope. Some things I have been thinking about are; how much space do you need to conduct the business of the family, in dignity, and maintaining a good witness. Your thoughts?

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

A Happy Ending

The story here.

The Afghani who was charged with converting to Christianity and faced the death penalty has been given asylum by Italy.

The Catholic Church in Vermont, a Microcosmic View

St. Luke's Catholic Church in Fairfax, Vermont in 1953

The new St. Luke's dedicated in 1983. The pastor convinced the parishoners that the prior Church had "severe structural damage".

Currently, the original church is in use a grocery store. There have been no exterior architectural changes except for the addition of an ATM machine. The steeple is intact. Scandal- naturally. Think of the millions squandered- dollars as well as souls.

The Catholic Church in Vermont is facing a severe priest shortage and the pending closure of Churches. The hard numbers tell the story:

83 priests total
92 priests just a year ago
274 priests 30 years ago (i.e. before the Springtime of Vatican II)
25% of priests are 70 years of age
7 priests are 80 years of age

The Bishop's letter softening up Catholics for the impending closures can be seen here. (scroll down to the Pastoral letter).

Naturally requests for the Traditional Latin Mass have been denied. Requests to bring in priests from the Fraternity of St. Peter or the Institute of Christ the King have also been denied. I would like to see the FSSPX buy one of the churches scheduled for closure. I would recommend St.Anthony's Church in East Fairfield. It is a beautiful stone church that was built entirely by the parishoners. They borrowed $8000 for its construction and by the time it was complete, a mere 5 months later the money had been raised to pay off the loan. Unfortunately I was unable to find any pictures of it but trust me it is beautiful.

The Burlington Free Press discusses the closure of St Anthony's here.

One shudders to think what St. Anthony's Church can be converted into? A new age bookstore? Minimart? Perhaps a Livebait Shop would benefit the community?

The Decline of the Family in the West

We've been hearing about the declining birthrate in Europe for several years now. Even the most traditionally Catholic countries like Ireland and Poland see their birth rates now below replacement level. The BBC does an article here about Poland and continues in their usual belief that women don't have babies because the state doesn't give them enough money, free childcare and time off from their careers (i.e. what is really important) to entice them to have children. The article is here.

Contrast the European birthrates to the birthrates in the Middle East in predominantly muslim countries:

Saudi Arabia 5.8
Syria 4.0
Lebanon 2.7
Iran 2.8

Now these are countries where women often do not work outside the home especially if they have children, there is no childcare subsidy or maternity leave. Clearly throwing money at families in an attempt to get them have children does not work.

Socialism (which is effectively destroying Europe and its value system) is the problem and more of the same will not cure it.

It seems that the countries that have the most prevalent consumerist and materialistic views are the ones that have the plummeting birthrates. By letting Islam overpopulate and eventually overrun us we are participating in our own cultural and certainly spiritual demise. Islam will never tolerate Christianity.

I suppose some would say Distributism is the remedy for what ails the West but other than a romantic view that emphasizes private property and self sufficiency it's difficult to know what the likes of Chesterton and Belloc really envisioned and let's face it- they weren't economists.

How do you convince people to pine after things of real value, eternal value like family, honor, tradition, art and culture? In effect the transcendent things without monetary value.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Randy Engel's New Book "The Rite of Sodomy"

Matt C. Abbot writes that Randy Engel has a new book coming out about the Clergy Sex Abuse crisis. Author of Sex Education: The Final Plague, I believe Mrs. Engel is probably responsible for the huge movement to homeschool after parents, I should say "some parents" realized what their children were being exposed to in the classroom.

Mrs. Engel is the president of the U.S. Coalition for Life, the organization that sounded the alarm about the March of Dimes and its goal of promoting eugenic programs and abortion for babies with birth defects.

Given her no-holds-barred approach to exposing the truth and her unwillingness to be intimidated by those who hold positions of power, I expect this book to be an important turning point for the Church in America. We can only hope.

To buy the book, go here.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Sacred Art Sculpture in Poland

My parents recently visited Poland and I was fascinated to learn that in the salt mines (closed since 1992 due to flooding) there are sculptures of biblical scenes, a Madonna, chandeliers and even a chapel all carved by the workmen on their breaks from salt. The chapel is depicted above. I noted the tabernacle, 6 candles and altar rail. Mass is said in this underground chapel.

For more pictures go here.

And some general information on the salt mines here.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Homosexual Adoption Anyone?

Lesbian couple found guilty of boy´s murder: Would not say Daddy.

Posted: March 24 2006

A four-year-old boy died after he was brutally assaulted when he refused to call his mother's lesbian lover "Daddy", The Star newspaper reported on Thursday.

Jandre's mother, Hanelie Botha (31), and her partner Engeline de Nysschen (33) appeared in the Vereeniging Regional Court on Wednesday and were found guilty of the boy's gruesome murder.

His father, Jan, sat in court holding the hands of his fiancée, Yolanda Deysel, and listened attentively to Magistrate Rita Willemse, who in her judgement, accepted evidence that among the reasons that led to Jandre's brutal ordeal was his refusal to call De Nysschen "Daddy", the paper said.

The court had heard evidence from Lydia Nkomo and her daughter Aletta Lesiba, who worked for the couple in their tuckshop, that De Nysschen had viciously assaulted Jandre while demanding that he must call her "Daddy".

Both testified that while Jandre was assaulted, his mother failed to intervene or protect him. Evidence showed he had sustained horrific injuries, including a fractured skull and brain damage, as well as broken legs, collarbone, hands and pelvis.

The court accepted the evidence of Professor Mohammed Dada, a trauma expert, who said the boy's injuries were similar to those of a person who had fallen from a double-storey building.

Delivering judgement, Willemse acknowledged there was no substantial evidence linking Hanelie to the assaults, but said she was equally guilty of murder for failing in her legal duty to protect her child against abuse and violation.

The court found she had lied to Dr Elna Gibson, one of the medical doctors who treated Jandre, by saying the boy got his injuries after he had slipped in the bath.

The doctors who had examined Jandre dismissed the pair's version that he had slipped in the bath. They said excessive force was required to inflict the kind of fatal injuries sustained by Jandre.

Convicting the two, Willemse dismissed their version and said there was substantial medical evidence before her about the nature of the injuries suffered by Jandre.

The case was postponed until June 26 for a pre-sentencing report. - Sapa

Johannesburg, South Africa
23 March 2006 08:04

Web URL:

Friday, March 24, 2006

Appropriateness, Flow and Movement or Aesthetical Speed Bumps?

God, the Merciful Father Church built in honor of the Jubilee is shown here. Chiessa has an article about the Church here. On March 26th, Pope Benedict will visit the Church and say Mass there.

An architect gives his impressions here. The article is entitled "A Vacuum in the Spirit". I think we can agree that he is being kind.

Directly from the architect Richard Meier, an interview here.

Meier says of the design:

The proportions of the complex are based on a series of displaced squares and four circles. Three circles of equal radius generate the profiles of the three shells that, together with the spine-wall, make up the body of the church nave and discretely imply the Holy Trinity.

And on Tradition:

The Jubilee Church is not a traditional church. If the Vicariato wanted a traditional church, they would not have invited me to participate in the competition. This church was always intended to be a work of contemporary architecture, meaningful for our time and one that is marked by openness. Transparency and light cascade down from the skylit roof, literally invading the interior of the church and also penetrating from below through a narrow slot opened at floor level. People in the atrium are enveloped with mystical light.

On the purpose of the Church:

RM: The purpose of this church is to weave an isolated residential district back into the communal fabric of Rome. I hope we accomplished this architecturally by creating a sense of appropriateness, flow, and movement throughout the site. The Jubilee Church and Community Center will provide the more than 8,000 residents of the immediate area a space for ritual, play, and celebration. Hopefully, the more than 25,000 residents of the larger area of Tor Tre Teste will avail themselves of the church facilities as well.

Well since according to the architect the Church seats 240 people and only 24 in the day chapel they can't have been expecting many residents to actually attend Mass.

His only criticism:
RM: The Vicariato wanted the project to be exactly as presented in the competition proposal without any changes whatsoever. An architect cannot ask for more support than that. I was given complete freedom. However, it has the traditional organization in relation to the altar and the chapel to the side. The criticism could be made that it is too traditional in its organization.

Oh, to think on the Gothic masterpieces that are being auctioned off to the highest bidder, torned down and converted in luxury condos. I guess this is where elitism (an appreciation for the profoundity of traditional Church design) and populism (outrage at the sacrifices of money and time donated by the faithful) merge.

St. Therese Couderc

St. Therese Couderc- her life story here.

Her words:

"This is the business of our life-by labor and toil, prayer and sacrifice, to increase grace in our soul."

"Do I Wish I Didn't Feel His Biceps?, Yes"

Bishop Lynch of Petersburg, Florida had to pay off his assistant last year, a married father of two, for "overstepping the boundaries of their relationship". The article here.

The $100,000 was no admission of guilt you understand.

From the article:

Among the claims, Urbanski alleged that the bishop: rubbed down Urbanski's legs and upper body after he had competed in a triathlon, booked only one hotel room for the two of them when they traveled together on a couple of occasions, frequently invited Urbanski to his house after work to swim in his pool, and took pictures of Urbanski in his Speedo bathing suit.

Urbanski quoted the bishop as telling him: ``I have a problem. I don't know what to do. I've struggled with my sexuality for the past 30 to 40 years.''

``Do I wish I didn't feel his biceps? Yes,'' he said. ``Do I understand the confusion? Of course. But I know what I did do, and what I didn't do. It's in the eye of the beholder.''

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Altar Girls and Ordinations

The news this week is that Arlington, Virginia's Bishop Loverde will permit 2 Traditional Latin Masses for those on the right side and altar girls for those on the left or wrong side. Is this an attempt to innoculate himself from criticism for allowing the Latin Mass?

This capitulation means that the only remaining diocese that will not permit altar girls is (drumroll please) Lincoln, Nebraska. This diocese holds another, not unrelated distinction and that is having the most vocations per capita of any other American diocese. Article here. With a Catholic population of only 82,000 the diocese has ordained 19 priests in the last 5 years, has 46 seminarians and since 1976 not one priest has left the priesthood.

Contrast this to the "vocations collapse", nationwide as discussed in this article here.

From the Catholic Herald article:

Now, according to Bishop Loverde, women and girls may also have the opportunity to deepen their faith through serving at the altar at their parishes – “an experience which can facilitate a young woman’s discernment of the Lord’s call to religious life.”

That seems like a leap. How many girls connect being an altar girl with becoming a nun? And if they do what kind of nun do they want to become? A nun who is on the altar?

Father Paul deLadurantaye, director of the Office of Sacred Liturgy, said that he doesn’t believe allowing women to be altar servers will diminish vocations to the priesthood.

And if it does?

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The Glorious Crusades

The Vatican conducts a conference on the Crusades and puts them into the proper historical context. Read it here.

At the conference, held at the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical University, Roberto De Mattei, an Italian historian, recalled that the Crusades were “a response to the Muslim invasion of Christian lands and the Muslim devastation of the Holy Places”.

“The debate has been reopened,” La Stampa said. Professor De Mattei noted that the desecration of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem by Muslim forces in 1009 had helped to provoke the First Crusade at the end of the 11th century, called by Pope Urban II.

He said that the Crusaders were “martyrs” who had “sacrificed their lives for the faith”. He was backed by Jonathan Riley-Smith, Dixie Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Cambridge University, who said that those who sought forgiveness for the Crusades “do not know their history”.

The reality:

# Historians count eight Crusades, although dates are disputed: 1095-1101, called by Pope Urban II; 1145-47, led by Louis VII; 1188-92, led by Richard I; 1204, which included the sack of Constantinople; 1217, which included the conquest of Damietta; 1228-29 led by Frederick II; 1249-52, led by King Louis IX of France; and 1270, also under Louis IX

# Until the early 11th century, Christians, Jews and Muslims coexisted under Muslim rule in the Holy Land. After growing friction, the first Crusade was sparked by ambushes of Christian pilgrims going to Jerusalem. The Byzantine Emperor Alexius appealed to Pope Urban II, who in 1095 called on Christendom to take up arms to free the Holy Land from the “Muslim infidel”

N.B. Regina Apostolorum is the Legionnaire's Seminary in Rome.

Flashpoint San Francisco

Diogenes of explains the state of things in the Diocese of St. Francisco regarding homosexual adoptions. Put simply, the Diocesan spokesman, Healy says we will obey the Vatican. Brian Cahill, head of Catholic Charities says, non serviam. The question- who will be rebuked? The story and commentary is here.

Judging from the case of Fr. Altier and Fr. Tibesar of the Diocese of St. Paul Minnesota, I think we can make a pretty good guess.

Chicago : Even Worse Than We Thought

The update on Fr. McCormack who was accused of abusing boys in Chicago, for ten years is that an independent audit was performed on the Archdiocese's standards and practices and we find that the way the McCormack case was handled reveals that absolutely nothing has changed. Priests are accused and not reported to the police. Priests are accused and continue in the clerical state with access to children. Seminarians are accused of improprieties and abuse and are ordained anyway. Records disappear. Memories fade.

Here's the Chicago Sun article.

Of special interest:

"You read it and you weep," George said. "For the many missteps in responding to the accusations of sexual abuse of minors by Father McCormack, I must accept responsibility. And I do. For the tragedy of allowing children to be in the presence of a priest against whom a current allegation of sexual abuse had been made, I am truly sorry."

They are still out there:

Childers' report notes that 18 priests accused of sexually abusing minors are being "monitored" ineffectually by the archdiocese in various settings by "monitors" -- three priests, two nuns and a deacon -- none of whom has received any training about sex offender management.

And I reiterate: I don't remember being assured that priests accused of abuse would be "monitored". You don't monitor sex abusers, you arrest them.

Monitored by people who have no idea what they are doing:

"The monitors are not officially advised of the type of sexual abuse committed," Childers' report said. "One monitor did report requesting information about the sexual activity of the priest he was assigned to monitor, and was advised by the archdiocese that such information could not be revealed because of confidentiality."

Archdiocesan officials have known for more than a decade that McCormack, who was ordained in 1994, was accused of sexual improprieties with two adult men and one minor in 1992 when he was a seminarian.

In other words the Archdiocese knew about McCormack but he was so cute they let him keep "ministering".

The vice rector of Mundelein Seminary when McCormack was a student, the Rev. John Canary, who is now vicar general of the Chicago archdiocese, says the 1992 allegations were noted in McCormack's seminary record. The records have since disappeared.

Obviously Fr. Canary was promoted for doing such a heck of a job at Mundelein. You have to wonder how many other priests out there have been formed by Fr. Canary.

Twelve priests accused of sexual abuse of a minor live in a "monitored setting" in the Cardinal Stritch retreat house on the Mundelein campus, but the monitoring is done by a deacon who knows little if anything about their sexual histories and has no training in dealing with sex offenders.

Perfect, the sex offenders live, where else, but at the Seminary. What a good idea.

The priests have master keys to all the Stritch house rooms, including those used by other men and women who visit throughout the year. They have unrestricted access to the Internet. At least one priest spends most nights away from the retreat house.

It sounds like jail. How oppressive and unpastoral.

Two accused abusers live at an unidentified retirement home for priests in the south suburbs, where they are each monitored by retired priests. The archdiocese is selling some land next to the retirement home to a local municipality that plans to build a children's playground.

Do they have a nice view of the playground from their rooms?

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Fr. Leo Tibesar, Board Member of Dignity

Hilary White in her official capacity as reporter to Lifesite news breaks this story.

To summarize, Fr. Leo Tibesar, priest of St. Paul, Minnesota is on the Board of Directors of Dignity USA. Dignity opposes Church teaching on homosexual activity, homosexual "marriage", adoption, abortion, women's ordination...well you get the picture. Their website showing the board members is here. You can read their list of links- always so telling about any organization I think here.

Bishop Flynn of St. Paul recently came under fire for silencing or censuring Fr. Altier, a conservative and outspoken critic of the diocesan sex ed program. In this link from a letter from Bishop Flynn he denies the connection but refuses to give details about his treatment of Fr. Altier. Fr. Altier's spirit of obedience is amazingly impressive.

Society of St John, Suppressed in Scranton; Opens Shop in Paraguay

Will post more later.

It's later now and here is another article on the Society of St. John that was officially suppressed by the Diocese of Scranton Pennsylvania due to charges of sex abuse by two of the leading priests: Fr. Ensey and Fr. Urrugoity.

Here is their official website. None of the pdf files worked for me. They may have disabled them because of the breaking news articles. Mainly they want donations through paypal- can you say "desperation"?

And a letter from Dr. Jeffrey Bond who has been trying to expose the problems with the Society for years before the civil suit was filed and settled for $400,000 but the attorney for the priests accused wishes to emphasize that this settlement was not an admission of guilt. Of course not.

Shuffling priests with who are "personnel problems" to South America is not a new phenomenon. Fr. Donald Bowman formerly of St. Mary's in Norton, MA joined the St. James the Apostle Society to minister in Bolivia. His story which ended with a criminal conviction and prison sentence stemming from his abuse of a young girl can be read here.

And in a striking coincidence, Fr. Thomas Oates, formerly the Assistant Personnel Director in the Archdiocese of Boston who was involved in reassigning two abusive priests Fr. Geoghan and Fr. Forry has also joined the Society of St. James the Apostle. You can see two documents from the investigation here and here.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Celebrate Women's Ordination Day in Sinnsinati, Ohio

Women's Ordination Day is on March 25th, also the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Fitting, no?

A special day commemorating Women's Ordination will be celebrated in Cincinati, Ohio at the city's museum. The complete details are here. Sister Louise Ackers is hosting the event and the webpage for her Order can be seen here. Very on message, the Sisters of Charity webpage advertises the event and the speaker as Bishop Fresen. Strangely the Sisters' website doesn't indicate Bishop Fresen's first name. That would be Patricia. Bishop Patricia fancies herself a Bishop of the Catholic Church.

Uncle Di has commentary
- and as I've said before, nobody does it better.

And yet one wonders, where is Bishop Pilarcyzk?

Christian on Trial in Afghanistan for Converting

A Christian is on trial in Afghanistan for converting from Islam. Under Sharia law anyone who converts from Islam is to receive the death penalty. More from the religion of peace,love and brotherhood. The article is here. The judge has 2 months to render a verdict and reportedly efforts to see Rahman have been unsuccessful. You can pretty much guarantee that he is being tortured in an attempt to get him to deny his Faith. And his family turned him in. Man's that's cold.

Interestingly I came across this article about Abdul Rahman, the Iron Emir. He ruled Afghanistan from 1880-1901. A ruler who is given credit for shaping modern day Afghanistan. Though perhaps "credit" isn't the correct word. Named after a man of strong beliefs the modern day Rahman is true to the name and the history. Let's pray for him.

More information on the case here.

Your Loss is Our Gain

An interesting article about the closing of Boston's Churches and how Fr. Joseph Santos of Holy Name in Providence, RI is rescuing some of their furnishings from destruction.

“Instead of being given away to antique dealers, they are being used as they were meant to be used,” said Father Santos of the items he has received to improve the aesthetic quality of his parish.

Father Santos was able to acquire a new pulpit, Communion rail, six bronze candlesticks and two angel candelabras and other small pieces for his beloved parish. The pulpit and Communion rail, which came from Nuestra Senora del Carmen Parish in Lowell, are both valuable antiques at over 100 years old.

“I have been working on [obtaining] them since over a year ago,” said Father Santos, adding that he will now only “have to worry about putting them in place.”

Father Santos said, “people were thrilled,” about seeing two angel candelabras in church during the Christmas season. In addition, six bronze candlesticks that were retrieved from St. Mary Church in Marlborough provided majestic lighting to the pontifical “Missa Cantata” celebrated by Bishop Bishop Fernando Areas Rifan, who came from Brazil in September for the event.

“Many things are starting to be reused, it is wonderful,” said Father Santos, later adding, “The more attractive the church is, the more active people will be in their faith and will find God.”

“Doing some real restoration will increase the atmosphere of the liturgy and worship,” said Father Santos. “Keep us in your prayers so that we can accomplish everything we need to do.”

Fr. Santos makes some important statements about the atmosphere of the Church. And in an attempt to spin the closing of Boston's Church, the diocese actually permits the comments. Because closing the churches can't be all bad when something good is coming out of it, right?

Holy Name has a website here.

And information about the Una Voce chapter of Rhode Island is here. The photo above is taken from this website and shows His Excellency Bishop Rifan celebrating Mass at Holy Name in September 2005 .

It is thought the most of the Boston parishoners of Holy Trinity Traditional Latin Mass will have to make the journey down to Providence one Holy Trinity is finally closed. So those with an attachement to the Mass will have to travel not only many towns away but to the next state. That is the status of pastoral care shown by the Archdiocese of Boston and Cardinal Sean. Thanks guys.

Archbishop Levada on His New Office

Time Magazine posed Ten questions to Archbishop Levada. I snipped a few of them that were of interest.

Sunday, Mar. 19, 2006
On Friday, William J. Levada, former Archbishop of San Francisco, will become the first new Cardinal to be elevated by Pope Benedict XVI at a Vatican ceremony. Levada already has the Pontiff's old job maintaining Roman Catholic orthodoxy as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, making him the most influential U.S. prelate in history. He spoke with Time's Jeff Israely.

Q. How will you feel when you get your red hat from the Pope?

A. Of course, I'm honored. But you also want to make sure your hat is on straight.

I guess the Archbishop was trying to be funny but am I alone in thinking that this answer trivialized the august office that the Archbishop will be assuming? Perhaps the Archbishop was in San Francisco for too long.

Q. Your new job places you in the top ranks of the Vatican hierarchy. Does the responsibility of your new office feel overwhelming?
A. I can say that I'm past the deer-in-the-headlights phase. The biggest challenge now is the amount of reading — not only of new material, but rereading documents and decisions taken by the Congregation.

This would be funny if it wasn't so sad. The Archbishop has too much homework. Wow, I bet that leaves almost no time to watch tv and go out to eat! No fair.

Q. You raised the issue in the synod about whether politicians should be granted communion [sic]if they support policies counter to Church teachings.

A. There are certain teachings that as Catholics we have to accept as part of Jesus' Gospel. When you see Catholic politicians who favor abortion rights ... you have to ask yourself how this person squares this with his personal faith. Catholic politicians need to take this seriously. Maybe they need to say I'm not able to practice my faith and be a public representative.

In other words, we will not take any action against politicians who profess to be Catholics and support baby murder at the same time. We hope (earnestly and with tightly clenched hands) that the politicians will resign their posts. Because it is common sense to assume that people who are power hunger politicians will suddenly step down and relinquish what they have for the sake of their Faith. On what planet would this might happen? The truth, he knows it won't happen but is still unwilling to act. Summary: greenlight to proabortion "Catholic" politicians.Carry on you'll meet no resistance here.

Q. As doctrinal chief, can you explain the recent instruction on whether a gay man can become a priest?
A.The document is very clear. It says a person with deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not suited for the priesthood. Somebody who comes to the seminary from a gay lifestyle cannot be a priest. But if you can show us after five or 10 years that you have been able to live a celibate life, it could be possible. But there would need to be spiritual and psychological evaluations.

I'm afraid the document is all too clear. Gays can become priests if they are celibate for 3 years. How they will prove this I'm unsure.

Q. As a bishop, you had to deal with cases of sex abuse by priests. Now you are final arbiter on some of the more difficult cases from around the world.
A. My experience in the dioceses gives me a firsthand perspective from direct contact with the people affected by these cases. You learn the details of what has happened, and how cases can differ from one to another. We have to keep our eye on what justice requires.

This is perhaps the best answer of the ten. The Archbishop says, essentially- nothing. He learns the cases and how they differ- what possible difference does that make???? He will keep on eye on what justice requires meaning what the legal authorities in that diocese require. In some diocese I'm afraid, that will mean very little.

From the Mar. 27, 2006 issue of TIME Europe magazine the rest of the article here.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Terri Schiavo: The One Year Anniversary

Here is her parents'website. March 31st marks the one year anniversary of her death. It is heartening to see that it is being commemorated. May the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Happy St. Patrick's Day

A gift from Jonathon Swift the Anglican who wrote scathingly of the English treatment of the Irish. His Modest Proposal can be read here.

The parallels to the abortion-promoting feminists is uncanny in that they employ the same reasoning and attire themselves in the same pretense of good works.

Gnostics and Narcissists at Dance

If you haven't gotten your tickets yet for World Youth Day, don't delay. Here's an article from The Tidings. The liturgical dance ensemble (ensemble mind you) from Marymount Catholic School in the diocese of Los Angeles is preparing a dance number to be performed after Communion of course. Their accompaniment will be to a song by Destiny's Child, "Stand Up for Love" (an obvious choice if I may say so). And their reasons for dancing are thus:

"I like it because it is a way to express yourself other than in using words or writing," says Kristen Partipilo, student captain of the ensemble, who danced at Youth Day 2005 and before last year had danced off and on since kindergarten. "You can become in touch with yourself and who you are and just find inner tranquility."

and another student

"It wasn't like performing in any other setting. All those people really respected who you were."

Pope Benedict's views on dance (written when he was Cardinal Ratzinger):

Dancing is not a form of expression for the Christian liturgy. In about the third century, there was an attempt in certain Gnostic-Docetic circles to introduce it into the liturgy. For these people, the Crucifixion was only an appearance. . . . Dancing could take the place of the liturgy of the Cross, because, after all, the Cross was only an appearance. The cultic dances of the different religions have different purposes - incantation, imitative magic, mystical ecstasy - none of which is compatible with the essential purpose of the liturgy as the "reasonable sacrifice". It is totally absurd to try to make the liturgy "attractive" by introducing dancing pantomimes (wherever possible performed by professional dance troupes), which frequently (and rightly, from the professionals' point of view) end with applause. Wherever applause breaks out in the liturgy because of some human achievement, it is a sure sign that the essence of liturgy has totally disappeared and been replaced by a kind of religious entertainment. Such attraction fades quickly - it cannot compete in the market of leisure pursuits, incorporating as it increasingly does various forms of religious titillation.

Do you think the placement of the performance and the choice of the song has ANY BEARING on the current dispute about kneeling after Communion. That's the problem with Traditionalists- we see conspiracies everywhere. Probably just a very strange coincidence.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Let the Little Children Come to Me....

This picture shamelessly stolen from the famous Whispers in the Loggia. I hesitate to even call it a blog b/c it's kind of surpassed blogdom. Thanks to Rocco for a great picture.

Fr. Richard McBrien: Having a Bad Year

Fr. Richard McBrien, dissident liberal priest is being called on the carpet again for plagiarism. The Catholic News Agency has the article here.

The Cardinal Newman Society which attempts to remind "Catholic" colleges and universities of their Catholicism has the letter to the President of Notre Dame, Fr. Jenkins and the parallel text here. I'll let you decide.

Here's a small sample:

Kelly, p.99

Conciliatory and universally popular, he was probably chosen to heal the divisions at Rome opened up by his predecessor. …The meeting took place at Rheims in Oct. 816, the pope being welcomed with elaborate ceremonial, and at a festive mass in the cathedral Stephen anointed and crowned Louis and his consort Irmengard, using an alleged “crown of Constantine” which he had brought from Rome for the purpose. …A concession which Stephen obtained, important for peace at home, was a pardon for the aristocratic conspirators whom Charlemagne had banished to Gaul in 800 for their part in the rebellion against Leo III.

McBrien, p.131-132

Conciliatory by nature, Stephen had been a widely popular choice for pope. He was probably elected (on June 22, 816) to heal the divisions created by his predecessor, Leo III. …It took place at Rheims in October 816. After an elaborate welcome by the emperor, Stephen anointed and crowned Louis and his consort, Irmengard, in the cathedral, using an alleged “crown of Constantine” he had brought with him from Rome. …For the sake of peace at home, the pope won a concession from Louis the Pious to grant pardons for the aristocratic conspirators whom Charlemagne had exiled to Gaul in 800 because of their part in the rebellion against Pope Leo III.

It's like deja vu all over again.

Does it Ever Seem Like...'s the lunatics that are running the asylum? This is a picture of muslim youth rioting in Paris. You know Paris, where the U.N. took all the Palestinians' land and kicked them out and interned them in refugee camps. Oh, never mind, somewhere else. But anyhow they are mad and they aren't going to take it anymore.

They're mad about the cartoons (still) and in a bow to their cultural sensibilities (because we all know how sensitive they are to others!) the editor of a college newspaper in Illinois was FIRED for printing the Mohammed cartoons. The article is here. So much for freedom of the press, not mention academic freedom. Can't upset the adherents of the religion of peace and brotherhood. Because if we do you can see what will happen.

And in this article the Rabbi of Rome made a historic visit to a mosque. Anyhow you can read about it here.

Doesn't it seem like everyone is trying to curry favor with the Islamists and in exchange- what? A warm fuzzy feeling of superiority? A smug satisfaction that we serve the interests of justice? And to really highlight the irony the United States invasion and takeover of Iraq is called, are you ready for this, a failure of leadership?

As a result of sheer population and immigration, misguided policies that purport to be culturally sensitive and misplaced pity, the Islamists are expanding their political power exponentially. After 9-11 it wasn't American and its victims that were pitied, it was the Islamists who might be linked to terrorism. Unfairly. Right.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Kneeling for Communion: Guilty as Charged

When kneeling was nearly a crime. A group of Catholics were arrested and charged with disturbing the peace for kneeling for Communion in 1985. This happened in Canada. How do you defend this???? And I mean the Bishop. The case was appealed to the highest court where it was eventually overturned.

Synopsis of the case:

The appellants are Roman Catholics who were charged, pursuant to s. 172(3) of the Criminal Code, with wilfully disturbing the order or solemnity of an assemblage of persons met for religious worship. The appellants opposed a change in the liturgy, approved by the Bishop, requiring communion to be received by parishioners while standing rather than kneeling as had been the previous practice. As a result of this liturgical change, there had been an ongoing dispute between appellants and their parish priest and other members of the congregation. A diocesan directive, describing in particular the manner communion was to be administered and received, was regularly read at services and twice during mass on the day in question. However, appellants attempted to receive communion in a kneeling position. Each was told by the priest to stand if he wished to receive it. After a few seconds, each one stood and, without having received communion, returned to his seat in an orderly manner. The trial judge convicted the accused, finding their actions hampered the spirituality of this part of the service, held up the communion lines briefly and created a degree of anxiety and tension which distracted the priests and some members of the congregation. Both the County Court and the Nova Scotia Supreme Court, Appellate Division, upheld the conviction

The link to the court documents is here. And ironically, aren't the bishops the ones now arguing that the civil law should have no jurisdiction over criminal cases involving sexually abusive priests. Strangely schizophrenic.

Thanks to the Cornell Society for a Good Time.

San Francisco Mayor Throws Temper Tantrum

In this article here, the Mayor of San Francisco refuses to go to Rome to attend the installation of Levada as Cardinal, because of the Church's unchanging statement that homosexual couples can't adopt children.

How will the Holy Roman Empire recover from this slight. I suppose the One, True Church will have to muddle along somehow, painfully, slowly.

Romney for President?

Mitt Romney, Governor of MA and candidate for president, has said he will support a bill allowing Catholic Charities to place children for Adoption in Massachusetts and exempting them from adopting to homosexual couples.

Why is he doing this when he previously declined to do so?

Romney needs the Catholic vote though it is depressing to have a Mormon prove himself more Catholic, or at least more moral than the Boston so-called Catholics- especially those in the legislature.

It brings up an interesting question. Can a Mormon win the presidency?

I doubt it. And the timing of the polygamous television series is almost designed to hurt his chances.

So, if Mitt can't win the presidency maybe he would be interested in a seat on the board of Catholic Charities. I understand there are seven openings.

Monday, March 13, 2006

St Thomas Aquinas on Heretics

Every once in a while you come across something that is so apropos- here it is. The Angelic Doctor on the topic of what should be done with heretics.

Thanks to The Sacred Weblog of the Universal Inquisition.

St. Thomas Aquinas, pray for us.

The Kids or the Cash?

Catholic Charities in Boston decides to stop placing children for adoption. Seems to me they had two choices. Either they could place children for adoption with Catholic 2 parent families- mothers and fathers and stop taking government money which apparently accounts for most of their $40 million budget or they could quit the adoption business and keep the money.

They picked the money over the kids.

This issue is a smokescreen anyway. When we were adopting our son we explored doing so through Catholic Charities. In speaking to several adoption agencies we learned that adopting through Catholic Charities was about $3000 more expensive. Adoption is a moneymaking endeavor for CC. The private agencies were going to work with us. The CC told us to take it or leave it. Strange since Catholic Charities is funded by the Bishops fund, supposedly. But then again so was the Priests' Retirement Fund.

Catholic World News has the article.

Bishop O'Malley's Statement is here.

Friday, March 10, 2006

It's Hard Out Here Bein' a Priest"

Apparently Monsignor John Woolsey will proceed to trial. His attempts to have the grand larceny charges thrown out against him were unsuccessful. The latest article on the case is here.

The Monsignor is accused of stealing more than $1 million from his upper east side parish and its parishoners of St. John the Martyr Church. The money was reportedly used for country club expenses, designer watches [at least the Monsignor had good taste!], trips to Florida, Spain and Vermont- I think the Monsignor is a skier- just going on the picture. The article also states that the accused is 67 years old. Man, does he look good for 67.

All in all, I think Fr. Walter Cuenin of Boston, who recently resigned from his parish under similar circumstances should be thanking his lucky stars and the Archbishop that he is not in the exact same situation. Given this case his treatment seems downright generous, in spite of what his supporters say.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Ann Coulter on the Oscars

I'm thinking of beginning a campaign now to have Ann Coulter as the host for the Oscars next year. In which case I might actually watch them.

She's right on target

Holy Trinity - Trying to Hang On

The blog Rorate Caeli does a good job here of illustrating why the closing of Holy Trinity Church in Boston is such a bitter pill to swallow. Holy Trinity is the site of the only Indult Mass in the Diocese of Boston and has had several dates for closure but the dates have been extended without explanation several times. Possibly to allow the social service groups that use the parish to relocate.

While the Indult will be moved to St. James, this site is less than ideal because there is no parking and parishoners will be forced to pay for parking while they attend Mass. Not very pastoral in my opinion. St. James is also the Church that was receiving funds from Holy Trinity collections unbeknownst to the parishoners. Apparently Holy Trinity can support itself while St. James can't so the solution is.... close Holy Trinity and keep St. James open. Can real estate property values play a role here? Nahhhhh.

But I think what is getting ignored is the incredible architectural beauty of Holy Trinity and its symbolic value to Boston and to the world.

Mike from In Illo Tempore has some updates here.

Quo Vadis Domine?- A Whole New Meaning

This story about a group of Traditionalists who have been "invited to leave" their parish, St. Mary's by the Sea has, so far, only been picked up by Steve Greenhut, a reporter from the Orange County Register who is blogging about it.

The crux of the case: apparently Bishop Brown, no friend to Tradition has cancelled an Indult held at St. Mary's and the parishoners who are upset about it have not taken it lying down. They refuse to abscond to the SSPX or an Independent Chapel and are instead trying to bring about large scale revolt in the parish. Naturally I am sympathetic to their goals, especially knowing that going to the Bishop and even the Apostolic Nuncio will have no effect.

It will be interesting to see how this is resolved. Have the efforts of the Traditionalists gone too far? Are they creating public scandal or reacting to public scandal? Will Rome intervene? I think that many Traditionalists will say they felt the same way- they were effectively shown the door by their Parish because they didn't "fit in." By "fitting in" I mean have 2 children, who attend the government schools, give large donations, vote Democrat and allow themselves to be bullied by the laypeople who think (or may actually be) running the parish.

The blog entries can be read here.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Holy Father Emphasizes Importance of Women Religious

The Holy Father emphasizes the important role that women in the religious life have played in the history of the Church and states that the ministerial priesthood is reserved to men alone. Specifically mentioned are St. Catherine of Siena, St. Briget, St. Hildegard and St. Teresa of Avila.

The whole text can be read here.

Dana Reeves Dies of Lung Cancer

The top news story today is the death of Dana Reeves, wife of Christopher Reeves. Mrs. Reeves died of lung cancer at the age of 44. This is a regrettable because she never publicly recanted her proabortion and pro stem cell research positions. Christopher Reeves was well known for his promotion of killing babies in order to harvest their stem cells and after his death Dana continued his deplorable work with the help of Kate Michelman who was on the Board of the Christopher Reeves Foundation- seen here. Kate Michelman is the president of NARAL- the National Abortion Rights Action League- website here.

Ms. Michelman is not only busy eulogizing Dana Reeves in the press today but she is also considering running for Senator in Pennsylvania. Rick Santorum, Republican is the current incumbent and he is being challenged by Democrat Bob Casey Jr.. Why is Ms. Michelman throwing her black conical hat into the ring? Because Bob Casey and Rick Santorum are both prolife. She would run as a spoiler, bleeding votes from Bob Casey to teach he and the Democrats a lesson for not running a proabortion candidate. We wish her the best of luck in that endeavor.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Priest Silenced Over Opposition to Diocesan Sex Ed

Reportedly, Fr. Altier a priest serving at St. Agnes in St. Paul, Minnesota has been silenced by his bishop Harry Flynn. Fr. Altier was known to be a straight shooter who told it like it was, hence his problems with the Chancery. It appears (though this has not been confirmed) that he was silenced over his opposition to the diocesan sex education program for children that masquerades as sex abuse prevention. Details here. I like to think of it as a razor in an apple. You may not see the dangers and the evils immediately but it's there and the damage will be severe.

From Fr. Altier's website on the censure:

"In obedient compliance with the expressed written request of Most Reverend Harry J. Flynn, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, Father Altier’s homilies and spiritual presentations can no longer be published on or broadcast on Relevant Radio. Please be assured that this action of the archbishop is not related to any scandal or sexual misconduct on the part of Father Robert Altier. We regret any inconvenience and humbly ask for your prayers."

Fr. Altier on priests:

"Priests are into materialism and worldliness. And if you want the material, you can't have the spiritual. Priests have gotten into a lot of worldliness."

Father Alitier on the Church:

"I got sick and tired of all the lies. I just laid it out. There are three groups that have infiltrated the Church, the Masons, the Communists, and the homosexuals, who came in 1924," he alleges. "85 percent of all the abuse cases are homosexual. There is rank homosexuality. Homosexuals chose the best and brightest and best looking and put them into the priesthood."

And sin:

"I think because people don't want to deal with sin," he says. "The loss of the sense of sin is one of the great tragedies of our time. They don't want to deal with the idea that God would allow any kind of purification. We focus on His mercy so much that we forget His justice. The devil is resisting the idea of chastisement. If we can explain it scientifically, it denies the spirituality of an event, and what the devil desires most is to remain hidden. Certainly he is going to be involved in some of these things, whether directly or from chaos at spiritual level. He is inspiring chaos at spiritual level.

Fr. Altier will be in our prayers and we would like to introduce him to Fr. David Mullen of St. Brendan's parish in Bellingham, MA. They have a lot in common.

Strange that no one in Canada is calling for the silencing of a certain groups of priests that I vaguely remember.

Irish Intrigue

First, a family tries to establish their rights to the premier dukedom in Ireland. Fascinating. This story has everything- espionage, secret identities, lost fortunes and family lands. They seem short on documentation however,

And if you were wondering where Gerry Adams will be celebrating St. Patrick's Day this year- check this out.

And not to be overshadowed, Bishop McConnell is doing the right thing by refusing to present an award to Tom Ridge, former Homeland Security Chief who is a proabortion so-called Catholic. Ironically enough this story is from the Springfield Republican.

Doctors Seek Right to Kill Baby in Britain

Everyone who watched the murder of Terri Schiavo knew instinctively that this was the groundwork being laid to kill those whose lives are deemed without merit or value. We didn't have to wait long. In England, the court machinations are ongoing as doctors attempt to kill a 17 month old baby who HAS COGNITIVE function but has spinal paralysis. The baby is fed by a tube and is currently on a ventilator. All the baby needs is a tracheotomy and the parents want to bring their baby home. The BBC article is here.

Of course no one seems bothered that this is a direct contradiction to common sense, moral duty, natural law and compassion as well as the European convention on Human Rights approved in 1998. You can read the relevant sections here.

Tragically, I think we all know what happens to babies who are wards of the state in this situation. Here we are talking about the violation of the rights of the baby and the parents who are not allowed to care for their child.

The next time someone starts to pontificate on the glories of socialized medicine and the advancement of European countries over the United States remember this story and what the reality of socialized medicine really is. "Free medical" care, rationed by the state to those it deems worthy.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Catholic Presence on The Apprentice

In an interesting article from Catholic Online we discover that Tarek is a Maronite Catholic, originally from the beautiful country of Lebanon. It was known as the Riviera of the Middle East until it became a wartorn terrorists'training ground.

Although Tarek barely escaped being fired last week, we hope to see evidence of his Faith demonstrated in a way that will make us proud.

McBrien Loses Grip on Reality

Fr. McBrien, fresh from beating a plagiarism rap comes out swinging hard. His target as always- the "conservative to ultra-conservative" as he terms those who are actually obedient to what the Church teaches.

In his article found here, Fr. McBrien attempts to divide us from the Holy Father that we prayed for and that we love. Fr. McBrien interprets a 4 hour meeting with Hans Kung with agreement and endorsement of his views. No one ever suggested that the Holy Father stop going after the lost sheep, even Hans Kung.

And since Fr. McBrien is wrong on abortion, homosexuality, the foundation of the Church, women priests we can safely say that he is wrong on this score as well. Fr. McBrien, Professor of Theology at Notre Dame University has a lot of support from people in this country. But they're not Catholics.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Ash Wednesday in Rome

This picture was way too good NOT to steal from Zadok the Roman.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Hellfire

Rome's chief excorcist, Fr. Amorth who just happens to agree with the Holy Father- now that's collegiality!

Bishop Gregory on Appropriate Dress for Mass

Now before you get your hopes up like I did, remember who we are talking about here.

Here's the article.

Bishop Gregory on the crux of the issue:

Parents want their children to be properly dressed for Church, but how do they also allow their children to feel comfortable, to feel connected to their peers, and not to develop an aversion to going to Church simply because it always involves a painful encounter over apparel.

[emphasis mine]

To summarize, anything goes. And in conflicts between you and your parents: kids- the Bishop is on your side. Braces and flip flops- bring 'em on. Because that is the problem right? Braces and flip flops.

Strangely enough this public school had no problem setting dress guidelines. I guess they just don't care about the kids' comfort. Which means they just don't care about the kids.

Seven Quit Catholic Charities Board in Boston

...over the homosexual adoption issue. The Boston Globe covered the story here.

Our measured response is thus:

"Don't let the door hit you on the way out."

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Lenten Reading

From my Lenten reading today:

But for versatility and variety in love, give me the bent head, and the closed eyes, and the genuflected knee, and a prostration on the floor, and a shower of holy water. I challenge the angels to even remotely contrive the variety of ways we can show our love: a little palm on Palm Sunday, ashes on a forehead on Ash Wednesday, purple vestments on the priest in sad seasons and white ones in other seasons, flowers on the altar on feast days, and at other times a stripped altar, a Gloria in one Mass and none in another. Good God, how fascinated we must be if we just watch thse things in terms of love!

If you are interested in the book you can buy it here.

South Dakota Prolife Bill and Who Opposes It

For anyone who is still laboring under the delusion that President Bush is prolife- read this.