Monday, May 29, 2006
Pope's opening remarks:
To speak in this place of horror, in this place where unprecedented mass crimes were committed against God and man, is almost impossible - and it is particularly difficult and troubling for a Christian, for a Pope from Germany. In a place like this, words fail; in the end, there can only be a dread silence - a silence which is itself a heartfelt cry to God: Why, Lord, did you remain silent? How could you tolerate all this? In silence, then, we bow our heads before the endless line of those who suffered and were put to death here; yet our silence becomes in turn a plea for forgiveness and reconciliation, a plea to the living God never to let this happen again.
Friday, May 26, 2006
From the Pope's Homily:
How can we not thank God today for all that was accomplished in your native land and in the whole world during the Pontificate of John Paul II? Before our eyes, changes occurred in entire political, economic and social systems. People in various countries regained their freedom and their sense of dignity. “Let us not forget the great works of God” (cf. Ps 78:7). I thank you too for your presence and for your prayer.
As in past centuries, so also today there are people or groups who obscure this centuries-old Tradition, seeking to falsify the Word of Christ and to remove from the Gospel those truths which in their view are too uncomfortable for modern man. They try to give the impression that everything is relative: even the truths of faith would depend on the historical situation and on human evaluation. Yet the Church cannot silence the Spirit of Truth. The successors of the Apostles, together with the Pope, are responsible for the truth of the Gospel, and all Christians are called to share in this responsibility, accepting its authoritative indications. Every Christian is bound to confront his own convictions continually with the teachings of the Gospel and of the Church’s Tradition in the effort to remain faithful to the word of Christ, even when it is demanding and, humanly speaking, hard to understand. We must not yield to the temptation of relativism or of a subjectivist and selective interpretation of Sacred Scripture. Only the whole truth can open us to adherence to Christ, dead and risen for our salvation.
And a powerful statement:
Christ says: “If you love me ... ” Faith does not just mean accepting a certain number of abstract truths about the mysteries of God, of man, of life and death, of future realities. Faith consists in an intimate relationship with Christ, a relationship based on love of him who loved us first (cf. 1 Jn 4:11), even to the total offering of himself. “God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us” (Rom 5:8). What other response can we give to a love so great, if not that of a heart that is open and ready to love? But what does it mean to love Christ? It means trusting him even in times of trial, following him faithfully even on the Via Crucis, in the hope that soon the morning of the Resurrection will come. Entrusting ourselves to Christ, we lose nothing, we gain everything. In his hands our life acquires its true meaning. Love for Christ expresses itself in the will to harmonize our own life with the thoughts and sentiments of his Heart. This is achieved through interior union based on the grace of the Sacraments, strengthened by continuous prayer, praise, thanksgiving and penance.
Thursday, May 25, 2006
It is my hope that the many fine Legion priests that I have had the pleasure of meeting over the years will continue to side with the pope and leave to the Lord the judgment of their founder who like us all will one day stand at the judgment seat of God.
Via Amy's Open Book, word that blogger Fr. Todd has died in an Austin, TX water boating accident. In January, Father Todd entered the following post:
So with these thoughts I have been working on my own funeral. I have my
casket picked out. You can find it at TrappistCaskets. I am going for a simple oak casket in the traditional shape rather thant he rectangular one. I am getting all the legal documents ready. I am going to prepare a letter or a video for my family. Finally I am going to prepare my liturgy in advance.
I am going to be working with my parishioners to encouarage them to think about these things as well. Here are some of the things I want to encourage them to
1. A durable power of attorney (this is much better than a living will
because you can't handle ever situation with a living will. It is better to have
someone you trust to make the decisions. I will put up a sample form later of
this for download.)
2. A will (Again the state can do all sorts of weird things with your estate if you don't leave a will. It saves the family a lot of pain and suffering if this document is carefully prepared and in place)
3. A Codice to the will expressing your desires for your funeral.
4. A funeral liturgy plan ( this should be worked out in conjunction with your priest and kept on file at the parish. If your priest changes then you should review it
with your new pastor. It is important that you don't leave this step out because
you don't want to plan stuff the priest can't do or that isn't in accordance with the liturgy. If someone presented me with one of these that I hadn't seen I would try to honor it as much as possible but if I couldn't then I would have to delcline parts of it. It also is a beautiful way to speak to your family one last time through your selection of the funeral readings.)
Please remember Father Todd in your prayers.
From Radio Polonia:
Upon his arrival in Warsaw, pope Benedict XVI expressed his joy of being in the homeland of late John Paul II. The pontiff stressed that he came to Poland
to walk the routes of his predecessor. During this visit Benedict XVI would like
to meet and get to know the generation of John Paul II as well as all the generations which grew up under the spiritual care of the Polish-born pope who died in April last year. President Lech Kaczynski responded to the motto of the pope’s visit by declaring that Poles are willing to be strong in the faith and that their hearts are open to the message of Benedict the XVI. Later this afternoon president Kaczynski will receive the pope.
And so far here is the only reference I've found available from about a hundred papers online:
Asked by journalists on the plane how he felt about visiting Auschwitz as a German, Benedict said, ``I am above all a Catholic. I must say that this is the most important point.''
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Monday, May 22, 2006
"Of notable importance are your catechists," he added, "Teaching the faith cannot be reduced to a mere transmission of 'things' or words or even a body of abstract truths. The Church's Tradition is alive!" On this subject to Holy Father particularly appealed to "the young adults of your dioceses to take up the rewarding challenge of catechetical service and share in the satisfaction of handing on the faith. Their example of Christian witness to those younger than themselves will strengthen their own faith, while bringing to others the happiness that flows from the sense of purpose and meaning in life which the Lord reveals."
Benedict XVI also noted how, in their program of pastoral renewal, the prelates are "facing the delicate task of reorganizing parishes within dioceses," which "is essentially an exercise of spiritual renewal, and calls for the pastoral promotion of sanctity." This, he added, may be achieved by "an authentic education in prayer, a knowledge of the lives of the saints and of the multiple forms of spirituality that beautify and stimulate Church life, assiduous participation in the Sacrament of Penance, and a convincing catechesis of Sunday as 'day of the faith'."
Sunday, May 21, 2006
Saturday, May 20, 2006
I met Tim Russert, Newt Gingrich, Randal Cuningham, Doug Williams, and Tracy Ulman yesterday--all of them here to promote books.
The setup is rather awkward here, there are exhibit halls on multi levels and I read in the Publisher's Marketplace that this has led to complaints from both exhibitors and attendees (I concur).
What strikes me so far, is that there doesn't appear to be anything that really is creating a buzz right now. We'll see.
Friday, May 19, 2006
"Beginning in 1998, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith received accusations, already partly made public, against Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado, founder of the Congregation of the Legionaries of Christ, for crimes that fall under the exclusive competence of the congregation. In 2002, Fr. Maciel published a declaration denying the accusations and expressing his displeasure at the offence done him by certain former Legionaries of Christ. In 2005, by reason of his advanced age, Fr. Maciel retired from the office of superior general of the Congregation of the Legionaries of Christ.
"All these elements have been subject to a mature examination by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and - in accordance with the Motu Proprio 'Sacramentorum sanctitatis tutela,' promulgated on April 30 2001 by Servant of God John Paul II - the then prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, authorized an investigation into the accusations. In the meantime, Pope John II died and Cardinal Ratzinger was elected as the new Pontiff.
"After having attentively studied the results of the investigation, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, under the guidance of the new prefect, Cardinal William Joseph Levada, decided - bearing in mind Fr. Maciel's advanced age and his delicate health - to forgo a canonical hearing and to invite the father to a reserved life of penitence and prayer, relinquishing any form of public ministry. The Holy Father approved these decisions.
"Independently of the person of the Founder, the worthy apostolate of the Legionaries of Christ and of the Association 'Regnum Christi' is gratefully recognized."
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
The Cannes audience clearly grew restless as the movie dragged on to two and a half hours and spun a long sequence of anticlimactic revelations.
"I kept thinking of the Energizer Bunny, because it kept going and going and going, and not in a good way," said James Rocchi, a film critic for CBS 5 television in San Francisco and the online outlet Cinematical. "Ron Howard makes handsome films. He doesn't make bad ones, but he doesn't make great ones."
One especially melodramatic line uttered by Hanks drew prolonged laughter and some catcalls, and the audience continued to titter for much of the film's remainder.
Some people walked out during the movie's closing minutes, though there were fewer departures than many Cannes movies provoke among harsh critics. When the credits rolled, there were a few whistles and hisses, and there was none of the scattered applause even bad movies sometimes receive at Cannes.
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
- Appointed Bishop Donald W. Wuerl of Pittsburgh, U.S.A., as metropolitan archbishop of Washington (area 5,447, population 2,630,894, Catholics 578,796, priests 1,166, permanent deacons 187, religious 1,677), U.S.A. The archbishop-elect was born in Pittsburgh in 1940, he was ordained a priest in 1966 and consecrated a bishop in 1986. He succeeds Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese, the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
- Appointed Bishop James Peter Sartain of Little Rock, U.S.A., as bishop of Joliet in Illinois (area 10,920, population 1,768,390, Catholics 636,862, priests 293, permanent deacons 178, religious 779), U.S.A. He succeeds Bishop Joseph L. Imesch, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese, the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
What is interesting about the Joliet appointment is that Bishop Imesch isn't 75 just yet, but will turn 75 next month. So here we have the pope effectively accepting his resignation before he reaches the age. Hmmm
Pope Benedict on Tuesday named Donald W. Wuerl, bishop of Pittsburgh, to be the new archbishop of Washington D.C., one of the most prestigious posts in the American Catholic Church, the Vatican said.
Wuerl succeeds Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, 75, who is retiring after five years in the job.
The post of archbishop of Washington is one of the most influential in American Catholicism because of the regular contacts the prelate has with the White House and other branches of U.S. government.
Wuerl, 65, has been bishop of Pittsburgh since 1988. He was ordained a priest in 1966. Before moving to Pittsburgh, he served as assistant bishop in Seattle.
He speaks Italian, French and Spanish and earned degrees from Pontifical universities in Rome.
Traditionally, the archbishop of Washington is a cardinal, so Wuerl could likely be elevated to that high rank the next time the Pope creates cardinals.
Monday, May 15, 2006
Just for the record, as a veteran...they had every right to express their opinion against the war.
Holy See Press Office Director Joaquin Navarro-Valls today announced that "on July 8 and 9, 2006 the Holy Father Benedict XVI will make an apostolic trip to Valencia, Spain, for the occasion of the Fifth World Meeting of Families."
When Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ was released two years ago,
something strange and unprecedented happened. The secular news media could not get enough of the Gospels. Of course, this mass Bible study had a twist and a purpose: to show how Gibson got it wrong.
The Vatican denied Italian news reports Sunday that one of its officials was involved in an altercation with police after he was stopped in a neighbourhood frequented by transvestites and male prostitutes.
"The news printed in this morning's newspapers regarding a cleric in service at the Vatican is completely baseless," the Vatican said in a statement. It added that it planned to take legal action against those "who had contributed to defame the official's good name."
Rome police referred questions to the prosecutor's office Sunday, where no one answered the phones.
Sunday, May 14, 2006
A revisiting of the Third Secret and what Pope Benedict XVI wrote about it at the time...From a Commentary by then Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) on the Third Secret of Fatima:
And now they are told why they have been exposed to this moment: “in order to save souls”—to show the way to salvation. The words of the First Letter of Peter come to mind: “As the outcome of your faith you obtain the salvation of your souls” (1:9). To reach this goal, the way indicated —surprisingly for people from the Anglo-Saxon and German cultural world—is devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. A brief comment may suffice to explain this. In biblical language, the “heart” indicates the centre of human life, the point where reason, will, temperament and sensitivity converge, where the person finds his unity and his interior orientation. According to Matthew 5:8, the “immaculate heart” is a heart which, with God's grace, has come to perfect interior unity and therefore “sees God”. To be “devoted” to the Immaculate Heart of Mary means therefore to embrace this attitude of heart, which makes the fiat—“your will be done”—the defining centre of one's whole life. It might be objected that we should not place a human being between ourselves and Christ. But then we remember that Paul did not hesitate to say to his communities: “imitate me” (1 Cor 4:16; Phil 3:17; 1 Th 1:6; 2 Th 3:7, 9). In the Apostle they could see concretely what it meant to follow Christ. But from whom might we better learn in every age than from the Mother of the Lord?
Bishop John D’Arcy, of the Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, says he has no plans to read “The Da Vinci Code” nor see the movie. “This book is really anti-Catholic,” he said, adding that truth found in Christian doctrine will prevail over falsehoods. “There have always been aspects of the (American) culture that are in opposition to church teaching. I don’t think the church has anything to fear from it.”
However, he said copies of De-Coding Da Vinci: The Facts Behind the Fiction of The Da Vinci Code by Amy Welborn, will be distributed to all 84 parishes in the diocese. Welborn, a Catholic, has a master’s degree in church history from the Vanderbilt University Divinity School and taught nine years in Catholic schools.
D’Arcy also said rather than bashing Dan Brown or boycotting the film, the Catholic Church should view this as an opportunity to teach others.
“The history of the early church and the history of the Bible have been mined for centuries,” he said.
Of course to any parishes out there looking for a resource that deals with the movies let me call your attention to Amy's Mysteries of the DaVinci Code which is sold in bulk by Our Sunday Visitor and is in question and answer format.
Saturday, May 13, 2006
From Asia News Italy:
Indian Catholics protesting against two films, “The Da Vinci Code” and “Tickle my funny bone”, have scored their first victory. The films are held to be “offensive to the community’s religious sentiments. Meanwhile, Cardinal Varkey Vithayathil today joined his voice to the chorus of condemnation.
Yesterday, the KBC, distributors of the second film, tendered an apology and said it will not use posters showing censored portions of the film. The Central Board of Film Certification has postponed release of the film, which was scheduled to take place yesterday, and censured parts of the film.
“Tickle My Funny Bone”, directed by Yogendra Konkar, is about a Catholic nun – depicted as a seducer – who has an affair with a married man. Vinayak Azad, head of the Central Board of Film Certification for Maharashtra state, assured Christian representatives that no vulgar scenes will be kept in the film and no symbols of the Christian Church, like churches, rosaries and crosses will be screened.
Before the cinema release of the censored film, a premier of “Tickle my funny bone” will be screened for Christians, so they may ascertain that the film does not include any offensive images.
From this blog:
This took us right over the spot on St. Peter's Square where there is a red pophry rock marking the spot where Pope John Paul II was shot. Jeff Kirby had told us about it, but we hadn't been able to find it on any of the previous days, now we were stooped on the ground looking at it (the original stone had drops of blood and was removed, while this stone was put in its place as a marker). When we arose, there was Greg Burke and the Fox News crew getting ready to film a spot about the Italian Parliament's proclamation blaming the Soviet Union for the attach on the late Pontiff's life. "How did you know about that?" Greg asked us. "Thanks to Jeff Kirby."
A new plaque marks the spot:
The story of the day's commemoration from Asia News Italy:
A marble slab bearing the inscription of the coat of arms of John Paul II, and the date, in Roman figures, of the assassination attempt against him – XIII-V-MCMLXXXI – was placed yesterday in St Peter’s square, on the spot where Pope Wojtyla was felled by a bullet fired by Alì Agca 25 years ago. Many events are marked on this day, on which the Church recalls not only the assassination attempt against John Paul II but also the feast of Our Lady of Fatima, whose “maternal hand”, according to the then pontiff, diverted the deadly path of the bullet.
Yesterday, for the third time, the statue of Our Lady of Fatima arrived in Rome; today it will the focus of a procession organized to mark the anniversary of that tragic event. Tonight, it was placed in the private chapel of Benedict XVI.
Around 20,000 pilgrims are expected to turn up for the prayer event. The cortege from Castel Sant’Angelo will be led to the Basilica of St Peter by Cardinal Ivan Dias of Mumbai, India. A pause to recite two prayers – one composed by John Paul II and the other by his then secretary, today a cardinal, Stanislaw Dziwisz – will take place at the place where the assassination attempt took place.
In the afternoon, Cardinal Camillo Ruini will celebrate Mass in the Basilica. At the end, in the square, below the windows of the pope, a fireworks display will be held.
Amy Welborn, author of De-coding Da Vinci, at an Opus Dei event that attracted more than 400 people.
Opus Dei, an organization of devout Catholics, has its own international campaign to correct the book's portrayal of the group as a secret society.
Welborn is among those calling for an "other-cott" next weekend — going to see another movie, such as the animated feature Over the Hedge, instead of Da Vinci. That campaign is sponsored by the Catholic grass-roots organization Da Vinci Outreach.
"I've got better things to do with my time," said Welborn, the mother of five. "But if you must see it, don't go on the first weekend, because that's important for the box-office results."
Friday, May 12, 2006
From the BBC News:
Da Vinci Code star Tom Hanks has said the film of Dan Brown's controversial best-seller is just "a good story" that should not be taken too seriously.
The actor told London's Evening Standard newspaper the film was loaded with "hooey" and "nonsense".
"If you are going to take any sort of movie at face value, particularly a huge-budget motion picture like this, you'd be making a very big mistake."
From Court TV:
The jury that convicted the Rev. Gerald Robinson Thursday listened to 41 witnesses during the three-week trial, but they did not hear every piece of information authorities uncovered in the course of their investigation.
Prosecutors were barred by law from presenting some evidence against the priest. Other information was deemed irrelevant to the murder of Sr. Margaret Ann Pahl or open to too many interpretations to benefit their case. Among the things jurors did not hear.
Instead, Pope Benedict XVI, increasingly wary of foreign leaders using meetings at the Vatican for political purposes, gave Hugo Chavez, the aggressively populist left-wing leader, a stern lecture on the need to respect religious freedom in a nation where 96% of the population is Roman Catholic.
Senor Chavez, who arrives in London this weekend, last year described the Church as a “tumour” and denounced Venezuela’s bishops as out-of-touch, elitist “devils in cassocks."
The Vatican noted dryly that during the 35-minute audience Senor Chavez ... who faces elections in December ... had “briefed the Holy Father on projects for social change under way in his country."
Administrators of a suburban Detroit Catholic girls school canceled a free concert by R&B star Ne-Yo because of his sexually explicit lyrics..
The students at Mercy High School in Farmington Hills, Mich., had won a contest sponsored by a radio station and a nearby maker of seatbelts, by signing petitions that pledged always to buckle up, the Detroit Free Press reported
Thursday, May 11, 2006
Jimmy Smith, one of the most prolific receivers in NFL history, has decided to retire.
Smith, a five-time Pro Bowl selection who overcame several health problems and a drug addiction during his 12 seasons, scheduled a news conference at 1 p.m. ET Thursday with the Jacksonville Jaguars to announce the decision.
The 37-year-old receiver led the Jags with 70 catches for 1,023 yards and six touchdowns last season. He ranks seventh in NFL history with 862 receptions and 11th in receiving yards. He has more receptions than every receiver in the Hall of Fame, and only Marvin Harrison has more catches and yards receiving than Smith since 1996.
Catholic priest Gerald Robinson was found guilty today of the murder 26 years ago of Sister Margaret Ann Pahl.
The jury deliberated for six hours and 25 minutes yesterday and this morning before delivering its verdict.
Robinson appeared to have no reaction after the verdict was reached. He was immediately sentenced to 15 years to life in prison by Lucas County Common Pleas Court Judge Thomas Osowik. Robinson has 30 days to appeal.
From ABC's Good Morning America:
After five years trying to conceive, Kelly and Eric Romenesko decided to try in vitro fertilization.
Their twins, Alexandria and Allison, were born last year. It was a joyous event in the couple's life.
"They're miracles. They're precious," Kelly Romenesko said.
The couple were not prepared for what came next. When Kelly, a teacher at two Catholic schools in Wisconsin, told her bosses she had gotten pregnant through in vitro, they handed her a pink slip.
From the Local Press:
Kelly Romenesko wanted to get her story before the public, but appearing live on network TV was a little more exposure than she had anticipated.
A camera crew from ABC's "Good Morning America" was setting up at the Romenesko's house Wednesday night for a live broadcast this morning.
Oh, and Geraldo called. So did CNN.
Romenesko lost her teaching job with ACES/Xavier, the system that runs Appleton's seven Catholic schools, in 2004 for having in-vitro fertilization. The procedure violated her contract with the district, which requires teachers to act and teach in accordance with church doctrine. Unbeknownst to Romenesko, the Roman Catholic Church opposes in-vitro fertilization.
From the LA Times:
Evangelical churches across the nation are launching an aggressive effort to save souls by talking about a fictional murder mystery that many regard as blasphemous.
Pastors are setting out doughnuts and sandwiches and inviting non-Christians to come discuss "The Da Vinci Code" bestseller. They're creating hip marketing campaigns to draw nonbelievers to sermons about the thriller. They're even giving away free iPods loaded with their commentary on the novel.
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Benedict XVI, partly improvising and reading off his prepared speech,
highlighted the role of the Church of Rome, “sign, criterion and guarantee of
the uninterrupted transmission of the apostolic faith” in the context of
apostolic succession. Although no reference, direct or indirect, was made to the
illicit Chinese ordinations, the words spoken by the pope today cannot but
appear to be a stress on bishops’ need for a relationship “with Peter”.
Benedict XVI dealt with the theme of apostolic succession, continuing
to tackle tradition in the Church. The pope said succession has a “personal
aspect”. It was started by Jesus, “gathering the Twelve, who represented the
future people of God”. After the Ascension and the “defection of Judas”, others
were “associated” with the Twelve and their ministry, so it would continue, and
Jesus himself “called” Paul. All of them, as the last expressly said, are
concerned with “passing on what I have received”. “Just as at first, there is a
calling and sending by the Risen Lord to the apostles, in the same way, the call
and sending of others, in the strength of the Spirit, by those who are already
inserted in the apostolic ministry, will be the way through which Episcopal
ministry is entrusted.”
From Carroll News Online:
Books such as Darrell Bock’s "Breaking the Da Vinci Code," a book which attempts
to answer questions surrounding the novel and Amy Welson’s
"De-Coding Da Vinci," a Catholic response to the issues in the novel, are now
being published. Documentary television shows are aired to rebuttal some of the
issues Brown’s book raises.
Tuesday, May 9, 2006
The ad pictures Fr. Marcoux smiling, with the subtext "Priesthood, I love
The only problem is that Fr. Marcoux was the main signatory and in fact
one of the promoters of a letter slamming the Vatican and the U.S. bishops for
using "vile and toxic language" in addressing homosexuality.
The diocese cannot claim ignorance of Marcoux's actions since he led
the charge to write the controversial letter to the US Bishops Conference, and
the Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith then and sent a copy to his bishop,
Rochester Bishop Matthew Clark. Bishop Clark has long been known to be a
sympathizer of homosexual clergy.
Monday, May 8, 2006
1. USA Today, 2,272,815, up 0.09 percent
2. The Wall Street Journal, 2,049,786, down 1 percent
3. The New York Times, 1,142,464, up 0.5 percent
4. Los Angeles Times, 851,832, down 5.4 percent
5. The Washington Post, 724,242, down 3.7 percent
6. New York Daily News, 708,477, down 3.7 percent
7. New York Post, 673,379, down 0.7 percent
8. Chicago Tribune, 579,079, up 0.9 percent
9. Houston Chronicle, 513,387, down 3.6 percent
10. The Arizona Republic, 438,722, down 2.1 percent
Sunday, May 7, 2006
From Yahoo News:
A Sphynx kitten is held before a referee while being evaluated at an international cat beauty contest in Bucharest Romania Sunday May 7, 2006. Rare breed cats sell for prices ranging from 300 to over 1,000 euros ($US380/ $US1,270). The average monthly income in Romania is around 150 euros.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder...personally when I think of Romania, I think of vampires and this sure looks like a vampire to me!
The surprise isn't that "Holy Blood, Holy Grail" is listed here or that it's listed twice, but rather what the #1 book is:
1.Praying the Rosary: With the Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful, and Glorious Mysteries
Michael Dubruiel, Amy Welborn / Hardcover
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2.Parish Priest: Father Michael McGivney and American Catholicism
Douglas Brinkley, Julie Fenster, Julie M. Fenster / Hardcover
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3.Mother Teresa: In My Own Words: 1910 - 1997
Mother Teresa / Hardcover
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4.Essential Rosary: With Prayers by Caryll Houselander
Caryll Houselander / Paperback
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5.Rediscovering Catholicism: Journeying toward Our Spiritual North Star
Matthew Kelly, Matthew Kelley / Hardcover
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6.Holy Blood, Holy Grail
Michael Baigent, Henry Lincoln, Richard Leigh / Paperback
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7.Holy Blood, Holy Grail
Michael Baigent, Henry Lincoln, Richard Leigh / Mass Market Paperback
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10.The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming
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1. Peter, Paul, and Mary Magdalene : The Followers of Jesus in History and Legend
by Bart D. Ehrman Not Catholic
2. Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church
by Libreria Editrice Vaticana
3. Truth and Fiction in The Da Vinci Code : A Historian Reveals What We Really Know about Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and Constantine
by Bart D. Ehrman Not Catholic
4. The How-To Book of the Mass: Everything You Need to Know but No One Ever Taught You
by Michael Dubruiel
5. My Life With the Saints
by James Martin
6. Breaking the Da Vinci Code : Answers to the Questions Everyone's Asking
by Darrell L. Bock Not Catholic
7. Catholic Matters: Confusion, Controversy, And the Splendor of Truth
by Richard John Neuhaus
8. Return of the Prodigal Son
by Henri Nouwen
9. The Da Vinci Hoax: Exposing the Errors in The Da Vinci Code
by Carl E. Olson, Sandra Miesel
10. Catechism of the Catholic Church : Second Edition
by U. S. Catholic Church, Catholic Church
From the homily via Asia News Italy:
In the homily, the pope highlighted some fundamental aspects of the priesthood in the image of the “Good Shepherd”.
1) The priest does not want “to personally become someone, but rather to be so for another, for Christ, and thus through Him and with Him, to be there for the men He seeks, who He wants to lead to the path of life. One enters the priesthood through the Sacrament – and this means precisely: through the total giving of self to Christ, so that He may use me, so that I may serve Him and follow his call, even if this should be in contrast with my desires of self-realisation and esteem. Entering the door, that is Christ, means knowing and loving him ever more, because our will becomes one with his and our behaviour becomes one thing with his.”
2) Celebrated each day, the Eucharist “should become for us a school of life, in which we learn to give our life. Life is not given only in the moment of death and not only in the moment of martyrdom. We must give it day after day. We must learn, day after day, that I do not possess my life for myself. Day after day, I must learn to abandon myself, to put myself at the disposal of that which He, the Lord, wants of me at that moment, even if other things appear more beautiful or important to me. Giving life, not taking it. And it is thus that we experience freedom. Freedom from ourselves, the enormity of being. It is in being useful that our life becomes important and beautiful. Only those who give their life, find it.
3) The priest must live in his intimate “relationship with Christ and through the Father, only then can we truly understand men, and then they will realise they have found a true shepherd”.
4) “The mission of Jesus regards all humanity, and so the Church is entrusted with a responsibility for all humanity, so that they may recognize God, that God who, for all of us, became man in Jesus Christ, suffered, died and rose. The Church should never be content with the line-up of those who have joined it at a certain point. It cannot withdraw comfortably within the borders of its own environment. It is entrusted with universal concern; it should concern itself about everyone. This great task must be “translated” in our respective missions. Obviously, a priest, a pastor of souls, should worry above all about those who believe and live with the Church, who seek there the path to life and who, for their part, are living stones, building the Church and thus together edifying and supporting the priest too. All the same, we must always once again – as the Lord days – go “into the roads and lanes” (Lk 14:23) to bear the invitation of God to his banquet to those men who so far have not yet heard anything, and who have not been touched inside.”
From Asia News Italy:
The Pope told pilgrims gathered in St Peter’s Square: “In the message, I recalled the experience of the first apostles of Jesus who, after getting to know him at the lakeside and in the villages of Galilee, were conquered by his appeal and his love. The Christian vocation is always the renewal of this personal friendship with Jesus Christ, which gives full sense to one’s existence and makes it available for the Kingdom of God. The Church lives off such friendship, fed by the Word and the Sacraments, a sacred reality entrusted in a particular way to the ministry of Bishops, Presbyterians and Deacons, consecrated by sacrament of ordination. This is why – as I reiterated in the same message – the mission of priesthood is irreplaceable, and although in some places there is a shortage of clergy, there should be no doubt that God continues to call young people and adults to leave everything to dedicate themselves to preaching the Gospel and to pastoral ministry”.
The Pontiff also recalled “another special form of following Christ” that is “vocation to consecrated life, expressed in a poor, chaste and obedient existence completely dedicated to God, in contemplation and prayer, and at the service of one’s brothers, especially the meek and the poor”. He also emphasized that Christian marriage is a vocation in the full sense of the word, and that “the example of holy parents is the first condition that favours the flourishing of priestly and religious vocations.”
Before reciting the Easter prayer to Our Lady, the Pope called on all the faithful to invoke the “intercession of Mary, Mother of the Church, for all priests and religious; let us pray so that the seeds of vocation that God sows in the hearts of the faithful may reach maturity and bear fruits of holiness in the Church and the world.”
Baniewicz, father of four, was praised Friday in a statement from the Catholic Diocese of Phoenix.
“Words cannot truly express the gratitude the diocese, as well as thousands of young people around the world, has for Phil Baniewicz,” diocese spokeswoman Mary Jo West said. ”For 21 years, this dynamic leader has devoted his life to Life Teen, bringing God’s message of love and hope to those young people who are the future of our Catholic Church.”
Saturday, May 6, 2006
I remembered this from an article I'd read in the Indianapolis Star the other day, but didn't want to mention it to Joseph in case it wasn't being observed locally--but no fear it is...about ten free comic books later, he is very happy.
Plus he got to ride on the new carousel at the mall and won free food, tickets to a Wizard's game (Single A Minor league baseball) and other bling.
Friday, May 5, 2006
"Every heresy is a forgotten truth seeking revenge."
Meet Mrs. Christ
It was 1982 and I was a student at a small Catholic College in the Midwest--the site of the first meeting of the famous Jesus Seminar (a group of scholars who at one point would question just about everything that has ever been asserted about Jesus).
On this night everyone was gathered in the cavernous chapel, that had been gutted after the reforms of the Second Vatican Council. There was expectancy in the air that hung like the clouds of incense and fog produced by dry ice as the great drama in front of us unfolded. Over the course of the next two hours I would witness monks donning white leotards prancing in the air, angels of gloom and doom announcing plagues and terror from balconies above and then finally the appearance of the bride--the bride of Christ!
Now the great mystery leading up to this dramatic presentation of the Book of the Apocalypse or Revelations, was who was going to play the bride? After all we were an all male school run by an all male order of monks. There were women who worked in the cafeteria, administrative office and janitorial staff--but these were all rather serious women who didn't usually participate in these rather fanciful school plays. Perhaps it would be someone from outside. The actress Florence Henderson had made her acting debut at this school years before she ever was "Mrs. Mike Brady" when she was recruited by one of the monks who said Mass on Sundays in her parish in the nearby town where she had been born and lived as a child. Perhaps another future Mrs. Brady would play the part!
The music and singing of the schola reached a fever pitch as more incense and dry ice fog filled the raised sanctuary, obscuring the moving figures taking their places:
"Veni, et ostendam tibi sponsam, uxorem Agni."
Latin for "Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb" a passage from the Book of Revelations found in chapter 21, verse 9.
Suddenly she emerged, at first only her leg covered in a white bridal gown breaking through the incense and fog--in unison with one of the white leotard clad monks on whom her arm rested in a courtly manor.
I looked around at my fellow students and some of the guests present for the drama. All faces were rapt toward the unfolding revelation as to who was the bride.
Then she was revealed.
It was Sister Mary John the Baptist!
The sixty-seven year old liberal nun who taught social issues in the college and who if you asked nicely would show you a picture of herself in a habbit from the 1960's. As hideous as it had been to witness some of the fifty year old monks prancing about in leotards, this revelation really took the cake--for although the gown she wore would have rivaled the one that Princess Dianna wore at her nuptials--the aged face of Sister Mary John the Baptist in that gown may have been the college seminaries way of giving us all a dose memento mori in a visual meditation that was sure to make celibacy more attractive!
I am sure that the image of a sixty seven year old woman in that beautiful white wedding gown would haunt the dreams of many of my classmates for years to come.
My first encounter with Sister Mary John the Baptist was during an orientation week when she led us in a guided meditation, meant to introduce us to this form of prayer. It was hot, we were tired and after forty minutes of imagining that we were on a mountaintop, by a brook, at a beach and finally at long last Jesus arrived, Sister asked us to imagine "What do you say to him?" Amador, a young student from Texas blurted out "Take me with you!" This was quickly followed by an anonymous passing of gas by another student that was loud (when everyone is silent--everything is loud)--which caused uncontrollable laughter that quickly broke the spell we had been under. Not daring to fully open my eyes, wet with tears from the laughter, I spied a peak at Sister who was not amused.
I heard chuckles behind me.
But who could play this role? No one person I realized for the Bride of Christ was not one person but the Church. And the image of Sister Mary John the Baptist has reemerged from my consciousness twenty years later when I hear Christians, even some Religious ask "What difference would it make if Jesus were married to Mary Magdalene?"
The short answer--it would be adultery.
I recently read a line that shocked me. Written by a learned group of Christians it said and I paraphrase "The Scriptures are silent when it comes to whether Jesus was married or not."
To the question of whether Jesus was married the Scriptures are not silent.
Nations can defend their borders, but Christians welcome the stranger as Christ Himself (Matthew 25).
From the Voice of America:
Father Richard Mullins represents many priests who say protecting immigrant
rights is part of their religious mandate to minister to the poor and
oppressed. "No one is illegal especially in the eyes of the church. We are
all the sons and daughters of God."
The Catholic Church has a long history of helping immigrants -- no
matter what their legal status -- to learn English, find employment and
provide legal services. But if a new law supported by many in Congress is
passed, aiding and abetting an illegal immigrant could be a criminal
Thursday, May 4, 2006
A doctor in her sixties is about to become Britain's oldest mum following IVF treatment abroad. Patricia Rashbrook, a 63-year-old child psychiatrist
from Sussex, is thought to be seven months' pregnant.
She has conceived after IVF treatment with the controversial Italian fertility doctor Severino Antinori, it is believed. He specialises in treatment for women who have gone through the menopause and do not have their own eggs. It is not clear
if Dr Rashbrook has used donor eggs or not.
Wednesday, May 3, 2006
"The mandate conferred by Jesus on the Apostles was transmitted by them to their successors. Beyond the experience of their personal contact with Jesus, a unique and irreplaceable experience, the Apostles passed on to their successors the solemn sending to the world by their Teacher. Apostle comes from the Greek word ‘apostéllein’, that means to send; they are those who were sent by the Lord. The apostolic sending, that is revealed in the text of Mt 28:19ff, implies three elements: a pastoral service (‘make disciples of all the nations’), liturgical (‘baptise them’…) and prophetic (‘teach them to observe all I have taught you’). A triple service guaranteed by the nearness of the Lord until the end of time (‘See, I am with you all the days until the end of the world’). Through the apostolic ministry, it is Christ himself who reaches he who is called to faith. The distance over centuries is overcome by the Risen Lord who offers himself alive and working for us, in the present of the Church and the world." The pope ended off the cuff: "He is truly always with us and he gives us life, the road towards the future."
Tuesday, May 2, 2006
Of course, I also notice that the Christian aspect of Natural law isn't addressed here.
In the Heythrop Journal, here is an abstract:
The New Natural Law Theory (NNLT) argues against the morality (and
legality) of same sex-unions on the basis that homosexual (and non-reproductive
heterosexual) acts are unnatural, unreasonable, and therefore immoral. In this
paper, we explore and critique the foundational principles – biological and
personal complementarity, their subcategories, and the interrelationship between
them – that the NNLT uses to justify its claim. We propose alternative
principles – orientation, personal, and genital-biological complementarity, with
a distinct interrelationship – to argue that homosexual couples can engage in
sexual acts that are natural, reasonable, and therefore moral. Our study clearly
demonstrates that for the NNLT genital complementarity, a subcategory of
biological complementarity, is the sine qua non for personal complementarity. In
other words, personal complementarity within a sexual act is only possible if
there is genital complementarity between male and female. We believe that the
NNLT's foundational principles reflect too narrow an understanding of the human
person and human sexuality. Instead, we propose "holistic complementarity" as
the fully human integration of orientation, personal, and genital-biological
complementarity. What defines a natural, reasonable, and moral sexual act is not
genital complementarity as the foundational principle, but a dialectic between
these three principles of complementarity.
From the Office of Readings:
The Word of God, incorporeal, incorruptible and immaterial, entered our world. Yet it was not as if he had been remote from it up to that time. For there is no part of the world that was ever without his presence; together with his Father, he continually filled all things and places.
Out of his loving-kindness for us he came to us, and we see this in the way he revealed himself openly to us. Taking pity on mankind’s weakness, and moved by our corruption, he could not stand aside and see death have the mastery over us; he did not want creation to perish and his Father’s work in fashioning man to be in vain. He therefore took to himself a body, no different from our own, for he did not wish simply to be in a body or only to be seen.
If he had wanted simply to be seen, he could indeed have taken another, and nobler, body. Instead, he took our body in its reality.
Within the Virgin he built himself a temple, that is, a body; he made it his own instrument in which to dwell and to reveal himself. In this way he received from mankind a body like our own, and, since all were subject to the corruption of death, he delivered this body over to death for all, and with supreme love offered it to the Father. He did so to destroy the law of corruption passed against all men, since all died in him. The law, which had spent its force on the body of the Lord, could no longer have any power over his fellowmen. Moreover, this was the way in which the Word was to restore mankind to immortality, after it had fallen into corruption, and summon it back from death to life. He utterly destroyed the power death had against mankind – as fire consumes chaff – by means of the body he had taken and the grace of the resurrection.
This is the reason why the Word assumed a body that could die, so that this body, sharing in the Word who is above all, might satisfy death’s requirement in place of all. Because of the Word dwelling in that body, it would remain incorruptible, and all would be freed for ever from corruption by the grace of the resurrection.
In death the Word made a spotless sacrifice and oblation of the body he had taken. by dying for others, he immediately banished death for all mankind.
In this way the Word of God, who is above all, dedicated and offered his temple, the instrument that was his body, for us all, as he said, and so paid by his own death the debt that was owed. The immortal Son of God, united with all men by likeness of nature, thus fulfilled all justice in restoring mankind to immortality by the promise of the resurrection.
The corruption of death no longer holds any power over mankind, thanks to the Word, who has come to dwell among them through his one body.
To those who accused Jesus of breaking the laws of his day, he replied:
"The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath." (Mark 2: 27) This
teaching underscores the point that positive law, even divine positive law, is
meant to benefit, not to enslave mankind. The patriots who broke the law by
tossing tea into Boston Harbor understood this -- as did Rosa Parks, who broke
the law by refusing to give up her bus seat to a white man. When laws fail to
advance the common good, they can and should be changed.
Today, as a statewide march for immigration reform leads thousands of
people through the heart of downtown Orlando, let me state: Our immigration laws
need to be changed. They are antiquated and inadequate for the promotion and
regulation of social and economic relations of 21st-century America. On this
point, everyone is seemingly agreed. However, the solutions proposed should not
make the situation worse. Outdated laws, ill adapted to the increasing
interdependence of our world and the globalization of labor, are bad laws.
However, proposed changes must take into account both human dignity and the
national interest; otherwise, bad laws will be replaced by worse ones.
For this reason, the U.S. Bishops and a broad bipartisan coalition ranging
from unions to Chambers of Commerce have supported broad, comprehensive
immigration reform. Our proposed reform, while addressing future needs for labor
by providing for a legal guest-worker program, also offers an "earned" path to
legalization for those 10 million or so workers already in the country, as well
as fixing the unacceptable backlogs for family reunification visas that keep
families separated for intolerable lengths of time.
A narrow, restrictive legislation focusing on solely "enforcement" will
only make matters worse. Indeed, a billion dollars has been spent on border
enforcement over the past 10 years -- and yet illegal immigration has increased
because the labor market has demanded willing and able workers. Illegal
immigration should not be tolerated, for it leads to the abuse and exploitation
of the migrants themselves. Ultimately, businesses that rely on their labor --
and, in doing so, help fuel the growth of the American economy -- would prefer
and benefit from a reliable and legal work force. But, fixing illegal
immigration does not require the "demonization" of the so-called illegals.
America has always been a land of promise and opportunity for those willing to
work hard. We can provide for our national security and secure borders without
making America, a nation of immigrants, less a land of promise or opportunity
Victor Hugo's 19th-century novel, Les Miserables, tells how pride and
neglect of mercy represented in the bitterly zealous legalism of Inspector
Javert ultimately destroys him.
Today, modern day Javerts, on radio and television talk shows, fan flames
of resentment against supposed law breakers, equating them with terrorists
intent on hurting us. However, these people ask only for the opportunity to
become legal -- to come out of the shadows where they live in fear of a knock on
their door in the dead of night or an immigration raid to their workplace. Like
Jean Valjean, today's migrants look only for the opportunity to redeem
themselves through honest work. This is the point of the massive demonstratives
that have taken place throughout the country.
Today, many take umbrage at the Catholic bishops' advocacy on behalf of
these "illegals" -- but, in doing so, we stand in a proud moral tradition, like
the novel's benevolent Bishop Myriel, who gave his candlesticks to the desperate
Jean Valjean and protected him from arrest by Javert. For this reason, we call
upon the legislative branch of our government to seize the opportunity for a
comprehensive fix to our broken immigration system. We backed the bipartisan
McCain-Kennedy proposal -- and, while the Martinez-Hagel compromise needs work,
it moves our nation in the right direction and should be passed.
A nation that honors law breakers like the patriots of the Boston Tea
Party, a nation that can allow the dignified defiance of Rosa Parks in her act
of lawbreaking to touch its conscience, is a nation that also can make room for
modern-day Jean Valjeans. We can be a nation of laws, without becoming a nation
of Javerts. As Jesus reminded the embittered zealots of his day, laws are
designed for the benefit -- not the harm -- of humankind.
On the McLaughlin Group this past week, Pat Buccahnan predicted that it would hit $200 a barrel by Labor Day.
With enemies of the US holding back on production to drive up the cost it is not to difficult to conceive of this as an attack on the US economy. Like most wars, it is the poor who will suffer the most.
Monday, May 1, 2006
A Reflection by Father Richard Roemer, CFR:
When Pope Pius XII put today’s feast of Saint Joseph the Worker on the Church’s calendar just 50 years ago, it had probably seemed like “May Day” would be a perpetual day of Communist propaganda. Now Communism is hardly spoken of, but thanks be to God, this feast celebrating both Saint Joseph and the dignity of human labor will far outlast “May Day.”