Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Mama Lisa

According to a Fox news article, Mona Lisa was either expectant or a newly delivered mother. My vote is for newly delivered because her face looks thin.

From the article

PARIS — Mona Lisa, the woman depicted in Leonardo da Vinci's 16th century masterpiece, was either pregnant or had recently given birth when she sat for the painting, a French art expert said Wednesday.

"Thanks to laser scanning, we were able to uncover the very fine gauze veil Mona Lisa was wearing on her dress. This was something typical for either soon-to-be or new mothers at the time," Michel Menu, research director of the French Museums' Center for Research and Restoration, said on LCI television.

Menu said a number of art historians had suggested that she was pregnant or had just given birth.

Researchers have established that the picture was of Lisa Gherardini, wife of obscure Florentine merchant Francesco del Giocond, and that da Vinci started painting it in 1503.

St. Pio photos

Some rare photos of St. Pio from a Remnant website.

Sr. Leonella, the Lioness

The body of Sr. Leonella Sgorbati may she rest in peace.

Though the facts are well known, I could not help but be struck by a few things.

1. As Sr. Leonella lay dying she said "I forgive". The similarities between her dying moments and St. Maria Goretti are unmistakable. I think we can look for her cause for canonization soon. How glorious to be martryed for the love of God. And how sad for the murderers who killed a nurse who had devoted her life to caring for babies and mothers and was in the process of beginning a new nursing school to train more nurses.

2. The website of the Consolata Missionaries can be found here. A gallery of pictures of the sisters can be seen here. At a time when so many orders have abandoned the habit, Sr. Leonella was gunned down proudly wearing the garb that distinguished her as a Bride of Christ. At 12:30pm she was shot as she crossed the street outside the hospital. She was no doubt going to lunch. Did her habit make her a target- undoubtedly.

3. Sr. Leonella used to say that there was a bullet with her name on it. Prophetic and in Somalia somehow inevitable I suppose. I admire someone who can joke about their death. The courage of a lioness she had.

4. Mogadishu, Somalia. It's like deja vu all over again. This is where it all began with Al Qaeda and Bin Laden and their attack on the West and civilization. And I am relieved that Sr. Leonella was not subject to the same indignities as our American soldiers who were dragged through the streets for the crime of feeding the hungry in Somalia.

No good deed ever goes unpunished. God bless Sr. Leonella and may her example inspire us to greater things than we might otherwise have attempted.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Fait Accompli?

We have a Press Release from the Vatican but not a document. I suppose it's a start.


VATICAN CITY, SEP 26, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office today released a communique concerning the present ecclesial position of Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo. The text of the communique is given below:

"With great concern, the Holy See has followed the recent activities of Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo, emeritus of Lusaka, Zambia, with his new association of married priests, spreading division and confusion among the faithful.

"Church representatives of various levels have tried in vain to contact Archbishop Milingo in order to dissuade him from persisting in actions that provoke scandal, especially among the faithful who followed his pastoral ministry in favor of the poor and the sick.

"Bearing in mind the understanding shown, also recently, by Peter's Successor towards this aged pastor of the Church, the Holy See has awaited with vigilant patience the evolution of events which, unfortunately, have led Archbishop Milingo to a position of irregularity and of progressively open rupture of communion with the Church, first with his attempted marriage and then with the ordination of four bishops on Sunday, September 24, in Washington D.C., U.S.A.

"For this public act both Archbishop Milingo and the four ordinands have incurred excommunication 'latae sententiae,' as laid down in Canon 1382 of the Code of Canon Law. Moreover, the Church does not recognize, nor does she intend to recognize in the future, these ordinations and all ordinations deriving from them; and she considers the canonical status of the four supposed-bishops as being that they held prior to this ordination.

The Apostolic See, attentive to the unity and peace of the flock of Christ, had hoped that the fraternal influence of people close to Archbishop Milingo would cause him to rethink and return to full communion with the Pope. Unfortunately the latest developments have made these hopes more unlikely.

"At times of ecclesial suffering such as these, may prayers intensify among all the community of the faithful."

Monday, September 25, 2006

Scooped on Milingo?

I've had a few comments that I've been "scooped" on Bishop Milingo. Now how could I be "scooped" when I'm not a reporter? I guess the confusion is natural since what I write is true and real.

But to get back to the matter at hand in the strange and illuminating case of Bishop Milingo. The reason this whole unpleasantness came up arose from a discussion about the SSPX and how it was disciplined by Rome. Our contention was that liberals are allowed freedom to spew their error and heresy without correction while Traditionalists are smacked down immediately.

"Give us an example" the comboxes screamed.

Well Bishop Milingo fell right into my lap. (my apologies to Maria Sung) A few years ago he married during a Moonie religious service. After several months he repudiated the marriage and was back in the good graces of all. Forgive and forget. Then last Spring he disappeared from Rome. He resurfaced this past July at a Washington press conference calling for married priests, vowing to reunite with his "wife" and proposing to start a new movement of married Roman Catholic Clergy. His statements promoted "concern" from the Vatican but no official action.

Until this letter, detailed in this story:

"Your behavior, activities and public statements during these past few months are completely contrary to the obligation of every bishop," Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re wrote in a letter to Milingo that the archbishop showed The Associated Press. "In the name of Jesus Christ, I beg you to reflect seriously on your behavior and all its consequences."

Bishop Milingo was unrepentant and defiant and sponsored a "Married Priests Now" weekend in New Jersey. Details of his organization and the weekend are on his yahoogroups website.

The very latest and the scoop is that this past weekend, September 23rd to be exact, Bishop Milingo "installed" four Bishops, all married. The similarities to the SSPX are unbelievable. Well, except for one tiny thing.

Anyone remember Eccesia Dei Afflicta?

On June 30, 1988 Archbishop Lefevre installed four Bishops.
On July 1, 1988 Archbishop Lefevre as warned by the Prefect for the Congregation of Bishops that he could be excommunicated under Canon 1382.
On July 2, 1988 the document from Pope John Paul II was delivered to Archbishop Lefevre.

So by my calculations the warning should have been issued yesterday the 24th and the document of excommunication should be delivered today.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Did You Ever Notice?

Muslims can insult us but we can't offend them.
They own all the oil but they can't get it out of the ground without us.
We can't defend ourselves but they can call for jihad.

Do you remember when on 9/11 George Bush asked Americans to fly the American flag as a show of solidarity and unity and hope. I think in this present time all Catholics should fly the Vatican flag. And I suggest this only because it appears impossible to purchase a Crusader flag. (Here is an idea for an entrepreneur).

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Those Who Live By the Sword

Well you know what I mean.

First the Muslims were rioting because France wasn't giving them jobs and money.
Then the Muslims were rioting because they didn't like some political cartoons.
Now the Muslims are rioting because of a 14th century medieval statement that the Holy Father quoted.

Using violence to prove that you are the religion of peace- brilliant.

What the Pope quoted:

"Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached".

Hard to argue with that, especially when the flag of Saudi Arabia depicts- a sword.

Holy Trinity Indult in Boston

In the last month, on 2 occasions, Parishoners who arrived at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Boston to attend the Traditional Latin Mass have been told that the Mass would be in English due to scheduling conflicts.

The article is here in South End News.

It appears there is more than one way to skin a cat.

Question: Is the Indult on the decline?

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Intelligence and the Divine Creation

About the Sculpture:

In his decoration of the Cathedral of Saint Lazare in Autun, France, French sculptor Gislebertus produced some of the most inventive, expressive work of the Romanesque period. Carved in the early 12th century, his elongated, snakelike Eve was the first large-scale nude to appear in European art since the days of ancient Rome. The sculpture is in the Musée Rolin in Autun.

Today in this study, John Philippe Rushton, a scientist states that he has proven that men are smarter than women and by a full 4 IQ points no less. The reasons for men's intellectual superiority are thought to be related to brain size, more neurons equalling better and faster reasoning.

This all reminds me of a joke I once heard. Adam was walking with God in the Garden of Eden and he had a few questions to ask of God. "God", he asked, "Why did you make woman so beautiful?" God answered, "So that you would love her my son. And God, "Why did you make woman so soft?" Again God answered, "So that you would love her my son."

Adam had one final question for God. "But God, why did you make woman so stupid?". God's answer, "So that she would love you, my son."

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


What constitutes loyalty to Rome, the Chair and its occupant, the Holy Father? Obedience and loyalty are the hallmark of the saint. Has a false sense of loyalty misled people? Has the mantra of "obedience" been the brickbat we have allowed ourselves to be bludgeoned with in some cases?

When I first read about the newly erected Institute of the Good Shepherd, yet another Traditional Latin Mass order of priests, I wondered what is wrong with the Fraternity of St. Peter or even Institute of Christ the King? Why were the priests and seminarians who have been kicked out of the SSPX been given an entirely new Institute rather than be assigned to an established order?

And how can anyone forget the disastrous results of the establishement of the Society of St. John.

On one hand you could say that Rome is intent on producing numerous Latin Mass orders and as the numbers of parishoners and vocations increases there will be less a question of Tridentine or Novus Ordo but of which Church has a priest who says Mass rather than a Communion service led by a Pastoral Associate. Some see this is an indication of a sign to the SSPX that Rome is waiting with arms outstretched. The cynical amongst us says it is a simple strategy of divide and conquer.

In 1988, a group of former SSPX priests approached Rome and received permission to form the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter, choosing the name to demonstrate their loyalty to Rome and Tradition. After the Protocol 1411, their fortunes appear to have suffered and the bloom is off the rose. In a public relations sense I don't think they have recovered from it. Doubted by Traditionalists as having been forced to compromise and suspected by liberals for their "schismatic tendencies" they were dealt a blow.

On September 1, 1990, the Institute of Christ the King was erected canonically. Currently, they seem to be the golden boy of the Traditionalist movement. They have 35 houses in 10 countries and 60 seminarians. They seem to avoid controversy. Maybe it is their commitment to charity that has aided them.

On September 8, 2004 Bishop Rifan of Campos, Brazil is accused of having concelebrated the Novus Ordo. A claim the Bishop denies saying he was present at the Mass in a show of unity. Lambasted by intractable conservatives and the SSPX alike he seems to have lost some of his sheen. Critics say he compromised and betrayed the movement.

Just 2 years later on September 8, 2006- which seems like an interesting coincidence the Institute of the Good Shepherd is announced and its priests will say the Traditional Latin Mass exclusively. They are based in Bordeaux, France and consist of 5 priests and a number of seminarians who will be ordained by Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos.

It's almost like deja vu all over again. The Fraternity began as an Order who wished to say the Traditional Latin Mass exclusively. Their aspirations were checked. Will the Institute of the Good Shepherd fare in the same way?

One interesting note- the Fraternity priests who formed the FSSP left the SSPX on their own initiative. The Society of St. John priests (now disbanded) were kicked out. The priests and seminarians of the Institute of the Good Shepherd were also kicked out. I'm not drawing any comparisons- please God there won't be any- but it is interesting to note.

One ancillary point, when 2 of the priests of the SSPX were removed and expelled they appealed to the local diocese for reinstatement. The Diocese ruled that they did have jurisdiction. They ruled (though to no avail) that the priests should be reinstated. For those who say the SSPX has absolutely no status and are effectively a protestant church, this obviously invalidates that point.