Wednesday, March 31, 2010

La Primavera

Grazie, Signore, per il dono dell vita eterna, e i fiori che dacci un segno del Tuo amore misericordioso condividato in Cristo Risorto. Amen.

Dear Ms Dowd: let me introduce you to my little friend, Mr Google

Miss Maureen Dowd, the reigning queen of mean who gets in line with everybody else to call hate a crime but reserves the right to unload her considerable poisonous bile on Pope Benedict and the Church, quotes Canon 1404 in her recent column as if to thereby prove that the Pope considers himself above God's judgment.

Doubtless her snide superiority complex must leave her resting with the self-satisfied assurance that her considerable analytical abilities leave undisputed as fact that this canon frees the Pope, or anyone else within or without the Church, of the certitude of God's judgment or the responsibility incumbent upon all, including the Pope, for assiduous and persevering application of the gift of reason to include determination of guilt or innocence with regard to alleged cases of the crime of sexual abuse.

A bit of superficial internet research on her part, means for which I am certain that the New York Times must still be capable of providing her despite its rapid financial free fall, would have demonstrated that the Church did not start yesterday and the presumptuousness of which she is so proud has occurred to others before her and prompted them also to ask: does this Canon posit that Catholics believe the Pope is somehow prevented by God from peccability, that is, from personal sin?

A commentary publicly available on the internet asserts that Canon 1404 is "not a statement about the personal impeccability or inerrancy of the Holy Father".

No, Maureen, I regret to disappoint: you are not original. The Church has faced and answered this question before.

What I would to know is why you are so obviously not interested in a thorough intellectual exercise which would require an attempt to garner all the facts of a case before public pontification? Oh, that's right: newsprint limits and publishing deadlines get in the way. Don't worry, Maureen, the same God who forgives human beings who abuse other people and bishops who make mistakes is also ready to forgive you. Try a little confession. It will also help you with that hate thing. You really don't need it to sell newspapers and you can really get used to that "freeing feeling" once you let God unburden you.

Happy Easter!

-- ((((..)))

The violence of "murderous hatred" is most manifest in reaction to Divine Mercy

It is precisely in the Passion, when the mercy of Christ is about to vanquish it, that sin most clearly manifests its violence and its many forms: unbelief, murderous hatred, shunning and mockery by the leaders and the people, Pilate's cowardice and the cruelty of the soldiers, Judas' betrayal - so bitter to Jesus, Peter's denial and the disciples' flight. However, at the very hour of darkness, the hour of the prince of this world, the sacrifice of Christ secretly becomes the source from which the forgiveness of our sins will pour forth inexhaustibly.
-- CCC 1851
The Church is the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ and the source of the mercy of God:

Thus a true filial spirit toward the Church can develop among Christians. It is the normal flowering of the baptismal grace which has begotten us in the womb of the Church and made us members of the Body of Christ. In her motherly care, the Church grants us the mercy of God which prevails over all our sins and is especially at work in the sacrament of reconciliation. With a mother's foresight, she also lavishes on us day after day in her liturgy the nourishment of the Word and Eucharist of the Lord.
-- CCC 2040

The Lord lives out His Passion in the Church and evil continues to show its face in the violence of murderous hatred so evident in these days.

"Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and on the whole world!"
-- ((((..))))

Spring!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

"On the cross Christ took upon himself the whole weight of evil"

Moved by so much suffering Christ not only allows himself to be touched by the sick, but he makes their miseries his own: "He took our infirmities and bore our diseases." But he did not heal all the sick. His healings were signs of the coming of the Kingdom of God. They announced a more radical healing: the victory over sin and death through his Passover. On the cross Christ took upon himself the whole weight of evil and took away the "sin of the world," of which illness is only a consequence. By his passion and death on the cross Christ has given a new meaning to suffering: it can henceforth configure us to him and unite us with his redemptive Passion.
-- CCC 1505

Monday, March 29, 2010

"Evil is an abuse of freedom"

The more one does what is good, the freer one becomes. There is no true freedom except in the service of what is good and just. The choice to disobey and do evil is an abuse of freedom and leads to "the slavery of sin."
-- CCC 1733

As we move forward this week our mission is "going upwards" with the Lord to His Passion, to Jerusalem, our Holy Father reminded us yesterday. Let us keep in mind that every evil is an abuse: an abuse of freedom. The wounds of abuse are not healed by more abuse.

Unreasonable and malicious attacks do not bring justice to those who have been wounded. The healing brought by the Just One, the Suffering Servant, is never present in the injustice which maligns the other.

Only by standing together, going upward together with the Lord, in and of the truth, can the healing of justice be brought to all who seek it, both those wounded by sin and those who seek to stand with them; by all of humanity wounded by sin.

Christ does this work of healing and justice always in and through His Body, Church: "My Servant shall justify many".

"Humbly believing with the Church, like being bound together in a roped party ascending to God, is an essential condition for following Christ. Not acting as the owners of the Word of God, not chasing after a mistaken idea of emancipation -- this is also part of being together in the roped party. The humility of 'being-with' is essential to the ascent. Letting the Lord take us by the hand through the sacraments is another part of it. We let ourselves be purified and strengthened by him, we let ourselves accept the discipline of the ascent, even if we are tired." (Pope Benedict XVI, Homily for Palm Sunday 2010.)
-- ((((..))))

Art: Ecce homo, Tiziano Vecellio.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

"Jesus goes ahead of us": Palm Sunday homily of Pope Benedict XVI

"Jesus goes ahead of us, and he goes up to what is above. He leads us to what is great, pure, he leads us to the healthy air of the heights: to life according to truth; to the courage that does not let itself be intimidated by the gossip of dominant opinions; to the patience that stands up for and supports the other. He leads us to availability to the suffering, to the abandoned; to the loyalty that stands with the other even when the situation makes it difficult.

He leads us to availability to bring help; to the goodness that does not let itself be disarmed not even by ingratitude. He leads us to love -- he leads us to God."


Gesù cammina avanti a noi, e va verso l’alto. Egli ci conduce verso ciò che è grande, puro, ci conduce verso l’aria salubre delle altezze: verso la vita secondo verità; verso il coraggio che non si lascia intimidire dal chiacchiericcio delle opinioni dominanti; verso la pazienza che sopporta e sostiene l’altro. Egli conduce verso la disponibilità per i sofferenti, per gli abbandonati; verso la fedeltà che sta dalla parte dell’altro anche quando la situazione si rende difficile. Conduce verso la disponibilità a recare aiuto; verso la bontà che non si lascia disarmare neppure dall’ingratitudine. Egli ci conduce verso l’amore – ci conduce verso Dio.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

A Word to the weary

"Surely He has borne our sorrows."

It has been a wearying week, with unrelenting attacks on the Body of Christ and our Vicar on earth, Benedict. In prayer and in reflection one begs the Lord, "Please, tell me what to do", "tell me what to say". One can forget easily,when overwhelmed with attacks and wearied of reading more of the filth that the worldly and the unbelievers delight in spreading, that the Lord has already borne these sorrows, He has already suffered all the hatred and evil that is possible, and He has the victory. By His wounds we are healed: victims of abuse, abusers, those in power who turned away when called upon for help and all of humanity.

As we enter the holiest of weeks, let us never turn our faces away from the Holy One. He will always give us the words to speak that will "rouse the weary". He is the Word to and for the weary. And He is Divine Love, the only grace that will soothe our wounds. He has and will bear all our sorrows. And in Him alone is the victory over every evil in this world.

Let us keep in prayer our Holy Father and all those who love the Body of Jesus Christ in the world which is the universal Church and with these words of Scripture move forward with the Lord, the "Man of Sorrows" in whom is all our help: "The Lord GOD is my help, therefore I am not disgraced; I have set my face like flint, knowing that I shall not be put to shame."

God bless you.
-- ((((..))))

"The Lord GOD has given me
a well-trained tongue,
that I might know how to speak to the weary
a word that will rouse them.
Morning after morning
he opens my ear that I may hear;
and I have not rebelled,
have not turned back.
I gave my back to those who beat me,
my cheeks to those who plucked my beard;
my face I did not shield
from buffets and spitting.

"The Lord GOD is my help,
therefore I am not disgraced;
I have set my face like flint,
knowing that I shall not be put to shame."

-- Is 50:4-7

Art: Caravaggio, Ecce Homo.


Friday, March 26, 2010

Responding to the papal smear campaign: "Cardinal Ratzinger acted against abusers"

Keeping the record straight on Benedict and the crisis

Intense scrutiny is being devoted these days to Pope Benedict XVI's history on the sex abuse crisis. Revelations from Germany have put his five years as a diocesan bishop under a spotlight, and a piece on Thursday in The New York Times, on the case of Fr. Lawrence Murphy of Milwaukee, also called into question his Vatican years as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Despite complaints in some quarters that all this is about wounding the pope and/or the church, raising these questions is entirely legitimate. Anyone involved in church leadership at the most senior levels for as long as Benedict XVI inevitably bears some responsibility for the present mess. My newspaper, the National Catholic Reporter, today called editorially for full disclosure about the pope's record, and it now seems abundantly clear that only such transparency can resolve the hard questions facing Benedict.

Yet as always, the first casualty of any crisis is perspective. There are at least three aspects of Benedict's record on the sexual abuse crisis which are being misconstrued, or at least sloppily characterized, in today's discussion. Bringing clarity to these points is not a matter of excusing the pope, but rather of trying to understand accurately how we got where we are.

Read the rest of John L. Allen's excellent analysis here.


March 26th, 2010 7:53

Cardinal Ratzinger acted powerfully against abusers, says Archbishop Vincent Nichols

At last – Archbishop Vincent Nichols, writing in The Times, has explained how far-reaching the former Cardinal Ratzinger’s reforms of Vatican procedures were after he took over responsibility for dealing with abuse allegations in 2001. More should have been done, and much earlier. But, although his record was not perfect, Ratzinger was part of the solution, not the problem. And we need to bear that in mind when we listen to commentators like the monumentally pompous ex-Jesuit Michael Walsh scoring points against their old enemy. Oh, and if anyone is under the impression that veteran BBC Rome correspondent David Willey doesn’t have an axe to grind, let me put you right on that one.

Here’s the quote from Archbishop Nichols. He may not be on quite the same liturgical wavelength as the Pope, but he can recognise a hit job when he sees one:

What of the role of Pope Benedict?

Read the full article here.

French bishops say in letter to pope that they're "ashamed" of priests who abuse children

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
March 26, 2010 8:52 a.m.

French bishops said in a letter to Pope Benedict XVI that they were ashamed of priests who committed “abominable acts” by sexually abusing children. The Vatican has been on the defensive in recent days as criticism over the handling of some of the abuse probes in the United States and in Benedict's German homeland have threatened to engulf the papacy.

Benedict, in his previous role as a Vatican-based Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, directed the Holy See office that deals with sex allegations. Earlier, as Munich archbishop he was the top authority in the diocese in his German homeland.

The letter to Benedict from French bishops, and a Web site statement by the Legionaries of Christ, were the latest expressions of shame and regret from local churches or religious orders.

Both contained expressions of solidarity toward Benedict for his handling of abuse cases.

Abuse victims from the United States to Europe have been demanding that Benedict take responsibility for what he did or didn't do, both in his tenure in Germany and as the director of a Vatican policy that centralized the cases in Rome under a cloak of confidentiality.

French bishops said in their letter to Benedict that they are ashamed of priests who molested and raped children. The bishops said these “abominable acts” had “disfigured the church, wounded Christian communities and cast suspicion on all the members of the clergy.”

But they also expressed solidarity with Benedict, saying the sexual abuse scandals were “being used in a campaign to attack you personally.”

Source: Metronews.ca Vancouver

Director of Vatican Press Office responds to article in today's NYT linking Pope to transfer of priest abuser

Statement of the Director of the Press Office of the Holy See , P. Federico Lombardi, SJ, in regard to an article in the "New York Times"/DICHIARAZIONE DEL DIRETTORE DELLA SALA STAMPA DELLA SANTA SEDE, P. FEDERICO LOMBARDI, S.I., A PROPOSITO DI UN ARTICOLO DEL "NEW YORK TIMES"

Holy See Press Office Director Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J., questioned by journalists concerning a new New York Times article, which appeared on 26 March and concerns the period in which Cardinal Ratzinger was archbishop of Munich, referred them to this morning's public denial in a communique published by the archdiocese of Munich, which reads:

"The article in the New York Times contains no new information beyond that which the archdiocese has already communicated concerning the then archbishop's knowledge of the situation of Father H."

Thus the archdiocese confirms the position, according to which the then archbishop had no knowledge of the decision to reassign Father H. to pastoral activities in a parish.

It rejects any other version of events as mere speculation.

The then vicar general, Msgr. Gerhard Gruber, has assumed full responsibility for his own erroneous decision to reassign Father H. to pastoral activity.

[00421-02.01] [Original text: Italian]

[B0179-XX.02]

Source at Daily Bulletin of the Holy See website here.

Click here for New York Times article "Pope Was Told Pedophile Priest Would Get Transfer" to which Fr Lombardi refers in Vatican press release.


Evenhanded EJ Dionne in today's WaPo: "How the Church could end its sex scandal"

Using an evident understanding of Catholic theology and Church life, EJ Dionne's fairly balanced editorial in the Post today is critical of Church response to abuse in some cases and calls for changes to institute true reform. It's not easy for anyone to face criticism but authentic followers of Christ are called to acknowledge their own sinfulness or failures and take responsibility which includes a "firm purpose of amendment" as Dionne writes.

We must, of course, continue to pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit as our universal pastor, the Holy Father, seeks to lead the Church and serve those wounded by abuse in these difficult days. There is, of course, absolutely no conflict whatsoever between the good of victims of abuse and the good of the Church; the good of the Church IS the good of all sinners and those wounded by their sinfulness, to include all those affected by the cases of sexual abuse currently being brought forward.
-- ((((..))))

How the Catholic Church could end its sex scandal



Friday, March 26, 2010

How in the name of God can the Roman Catholic Church put the pedophilia scandal behind it?

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I do not invoke God's name lightly. The church's problem is, above all, theological and religious. Its core difficulty is that rather than drawing on its Christian resources, the church has acted almost entirely on the basis of this world's imperatives and standards.

It has worried about lawsuits. It has worried about its image. It has worried about itself as an institution and about protecting its leaders from public scandal. In so doing, it has made millions of Catholics righteously furious and aggravated every one of its problems.

So instead of going away, the scandal keeps coming back, lately in a form that seems to challenge Pope Benedict XVI himself. It was sickening to read Thursday's New York Times story reporting that Vatican officials "did not defrock a priest who molested as many as 200 deaf boys, even though several American bishops repeatedly warned them that failure to act on the matter could embarrass the church."

The priest, the Rev. Lawrence Murphy, worked at a Wisconsin school for deaf boys from 1950 to 1974. He died in 1998.

In Germany, the pope's home country, more than 300 victims have come forward in recent weeks, and Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose party has Catholic roots, called the scandal "a major challenge for our society."

In the case of Murphy, the Vatican did what every institution does in a scandal: It issued a statement putting the best face on its decisions.

"In light of the facts that Father Murphy was elderly and in very poor health, and that he was living in seclusion and no allegations of abuse had been reported in over 20 years," the Rev. Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, said, "the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith suggested that the Archbishop of Milwaukee give consideration to addressing the situation by, for example, restricting Father Murphy's public ministry and requiring that Father Murphy accept full responsibility for the gravity of his acts." Murphy, he noted, "died approximately four months later without further incident." The statement is representative of what's wrong with the church's response. It is bureaucratic and self-exculpatory, even asking us to feel for this priest because he was "elderly" and "in very poor health."

The spokesman called the case "tragic," but tragic does not do justice to the outrage here. Yes, the statement included an acknowledgement of the "particularly vulnerable victims who suffered terribly from what [Murphy] did," and that he had violated his "sacred trust." Is this the best Father Lombardi could do?

During his visit to the United States in 2008, Pope Benedict started moving toward a better approach. He seemed genuinely pained and angered by the scandal. He repeatedly apologized and said he was "deeply ashamed" of the abusive priests who had "betrayed" their ministry.

But while this was a step in the right direction, apologizing for the misbehavior of individual priests will never be enough. The church has been reluctant to speak plainly about the heart of its problem: In handling these cases, it put institutional self-protection first.

The church needs to show it understands the flaws of its own internal culture by examining its own conscience, its own practices, its own reflexives when faced with challenge. As the church rightly teaches, acknowledging the true nature of our sin is the one and only path to redemption and forgiveness.

Of course, this will not be easy. Enemies of the church will use this scandal to discredit the institution no matter what the Vatican does. Many in the hierarchy thought they were doing the right thing, however wrong their decisions were. And the church is not alone in facing problems of this sort.

But defensiveness and institutional self-protection are not Gospel values. "For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it."

The church needs to cast aside the lawyers, the PR specialists and its own worst instincts, which are human instincts. Benedict could go down as one of the greatest popes in history if he were willing to risk all in the name of institutional self-examination, painful but liberating public honesty, and true contrition.

And then comes something even harder: Especially during Lent, the church teaches that forgiveness requires Catholics to have "a firm purpose of amendment." The church will have to show not only that it has learned from this scandal, but also that it's truly willing to transform itself.

ejdionne@washpost.com

Photo: Pope Benedict XVI speaks at a youth gathering outside the Vatican on Thursday. (Gregorio Borgia/associated Press)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Vatican responds to NYT, defends action in case of Wisconsin priest abuser

By John Thavis
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Vatican defended a decision not to laicize a Wisconsin priest who sexually abused deaf children, despite the recommendation of his bishop that he be removed from the priesthood.

In a statement responding to a report in the New York Times, the Vatican said that by the time it learned of the case in the late 1990s, the priest was elderly and in poor health. The Vatican eventually suggested that the priest continue to be restricted in ministry instead of laicized, and he died four months later, the Vatican said.

The Vatican decision not to proceed to a church trial and possible laicization came after the priest wrote a personal appeal to then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, who was head of the Vatican's doctrinal congregation at the time, the Times article said.

Read the rest of the article here.

Bishops Encourage Vigilance that Health Care Legislation Protects Conscience, does not Fund Abortion

Applaud efforts to expand health care to all
Emphasize need to guarantee federal money does not go to abortion
Need to address flaws in health reform plan just passed

WASHINGTON—The U.S. bishops called on Congress and people in the Catholic community to make sure promises are kept that new health care legislation will not expand abortions in the United States.

Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, made the call March 23, moments after president Barack Obama signed the Senate version of health care reform legislation approved by the House of Representatives by a slim margin, March 21. The statement was approved unanimously by the 32-member Administrative Committee of the USCCB.

“We applaud the effort to expand health care to all,” Cardinal George said.

He noted concerns about the legislation, including that “the statute forces all those who choose federally subsidized plans that cover abortion to pay for other people’s abortions with their own funds.”

Read the rest of the USCCB statement here.

"Go Forth and Multply": You know what causes that, right?

Thanks to Matt Archbold and all large families for reminding us of God on a daily basis.

Read on: You Do Know What Causes That, Right?

Writer Matt Archbold graduated from Saint Joseph's University in 1995. He is a former journalist who left the newspaper business to raise his five children. He writes for the Creative Minority Report.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

And national health care hasn't kicked in yet: Mother furious after in-school clinic sets up teen's abortion

By KOMO Staff
Mother furious after  in-school clinic sets up teen's abortion
SEATTLE -- The mother of a Ballard High School student is fuming after the health center on campus helped facilitate her daughter's abortion during school hours.

The mother, whom KOMO News has chosen to identify only as "Jill," says the clinic kept the information "confidential."

When she signed a consent form, Jill figured it meant her 15 year old could go to the Ballard Teen Health Center located inside the high school for an earache, a sports physical, even birth control, but not for help terminating a pregnancy.

"She took a pregnancy test at school at the teen health center," she said. "Nowhere in this paperwork does it mention abortion or facilitating abortion."

Jill says her daughter, a pro-life advocate, was given a pass, put in a taxi and sent off to have an abortion during school hours all without her family knowing.

"We had no idea this was being facilitated on campus," said Jill. "They just told her that if she concealed it from her family, that it would be free of charge and no financial responsibility."

The Seattle School District says it doesn't run the health clinics at high schools. Swedish Medical Center runs the clinic at Ballard High and protects the students' privacy.

T.J. Cosgrove of the King County Health Department, which administers the school-based programs for the health department, says it's always best if parents are involved in their children's health care, but don't always have a say.

"At any age in the state of Washington, an individual can consent to a termination of pregnancy," he said.

But Jill says she not only didn't have a say in her daughter's abortion, but also didn't know about it.

"Makes me feel like my rights were completely stripped away."

Biggest crisis of his papacy: "Is the pope a reactionary or a prophet?"

Pope Benedict XVI is shy, humble, a man of temperate habits with a love of cats and classical music. How does this square with his image as God's rottweiler? And why has he upset more people than any other pope?
Picture of John Hooper


Pope Benedict XVI

Benedict XVI is facing the biggest crisis of his reign as pope.

Photograph: VINCENZO PINTO/AFP

Under an all-but-full moon on the opening evening of the Second Vatican Council in 1962, tens of thousands of Romans poured into St Peter's Square in a torchlight procession. Called to the window of his study by the multitude, John XXIII, the man Italians called "the good pope" (a term that speaks volumes about their view of the previous 260), delivered one of the great speeches of an eloquent decade. Its emotional high point came when he told the crowd: "Returning home, you'll find the children. Give your children a caress and say: 'This is the caress of the pope.'"

Forty-three years later, on the night Benedict XVI was elected, a text message hurtled between mobiles as the crowds dispersed from that same square. "Returning home, you'll find the children", it read. "Give them a belt round the ear and say: 'That's a belt round the ear from the pope.'"

In the five years since, it has become clear that the daunting reputation the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger brought into office as "God's rottweiler" was, in many respects, misleading. A man less likely to cuff a child would be hard to imagine – although, as the latest and biggest scandal to rock his papacy has revealed, his choirmaster brother was not above cuffing choristers.

Read the rest of the article by clicking here.

Pontifical Solemn High Mass Honoring Pope Benedict XVI on 24 April at National Shrine

Media reports on Benedict's role in Munich abuse case "grossly misleading, downright irresponsible"; a "malicious storm" says Damian Thompson

Pope Benedict XVI's almighty battle in the Catholic Church

A malicious storm is being stirred up over the Pope's alleged failure to deal with abusive priests, says Damian Thompson.

Damian Thompson
Published: 7:08AM GMT 19 Mar 2010

Comments 143 | Comment on this article

AFP Pope Benedict
Ratzinger was never part of the 'magic circle' of bishops
who covered up for each other


Photo: AFP

After a week of disastrous publicity for the Roman Catholic Church, it's a fair bet that if you conducted a word-association test in the average British high street, the results would be as follows:

Catholic priest? "Paedophile."

Pope? "Nazi."

The reputation of the Church internationally has never been lower. On Wednesday, St Patrick's Day, Cardinal Sean Brady, Primate of All Ireland, apologised for helping to persuade two boys – aged 10 and 14 – to sign letters agreeing not to tell the police that a priest, Brendan Smyth, had abused them.

This was 35 years ago: Brady was just one priest involved in the internal church process, and the story has been in the public domain for years. But what difference does that make? Smyth, now dead, went on to be exposed as a notorious sexual predator. Cardinal Brady said last December that he would resign if he was implicated in decisions that led children to be abused. Now he says he'll go only if the Holy Father orders him to.

Pope Benedict XVI will have to make up his mind what to do about Cardinal Brady. But it won't be easy to find the time, because clerical child-abuse scandals – previously mainly confined to the English-speaking world – are bursting out all over Europe. And sections of the media are doing their best to implicate the Pope in one of them.

Did Joseph Ratzinger, when he was Archbishop of Munich in 1980, enable a priest already facing allegations to work in a parish and subsequently abuse boys? A headline in The Times on Saturday left readers in no doubt: "Pope knew priest was paedophile but allowed him to continue with ministry."

The story was explosive, and not just because it directly implicated the spiritual leader of a billion Catholics. The Pope is visiting England and Scotland in September. He will meet the Queen at Holyrood House, Edinburgh, and beatify Cardinal John Henry Newman, the great English theologian, at a public Mass in Coventry. And he will offer "guidance on the great moral issues of our day", according to Cardinal Keith O'Brien, leader of the Church in Scotland.

Moral guidance? From a man who (according to The Times) knew a priest was a paedophile but allowed him to continue in ministry? If that were true, no wonder 28,000 people have signed a petition to the Prime Minister objecting to state funding of Benedict's visit.

At which point, everyone needs to take a deep breath. Because a narrative is being formed in the public imagination that is horrifying, packed with salacious detail and very neat, in that it describes a Catholic conspiracy to hush up child abuse stretching right to the very top. The problem is that it's partly fiction.

Many Catholics – and I am one of them – believe that the Pope has been stitched up over this Munich case. The then-Archbishop Ratzinger did not allow a priest he knew to be a paedophile to continue in ministry. He gave permission for the priest – a revolting pervert called Peter Hullermann, who was accused (but not convicted) of forcing an 11-year-old boy to perform a sex act on him – to receive counselling in Munich while suspended from priestly duties.

Without Archbishop Ratzinger's knowledge, Hullermann was later transferred to parish duties. By the time he was convicted of sex offences, the archbishop had become Cardinal Ratzinger and had been working in the Vatican for several years. So the Times headline was, in the words of the leading Catholic commentator Philip Lawler, "grossly misleading, downright irresponsible".

The future Pontiff could have been more vigilant, but to bracket his delegation of decisions with Cardinal Brady's complicity in a cover-up is unfair. As unfair, indeed, as branding an elderly Bavarian cleric a "former Nazi" because he was drafted into the Hitler youth and served briefly in the German army during the war.

The fact is that sections of the media will not be happy until they have implicated the Pope in sex-abuse scandals – and if the dots don't quite join up, never mind: it makes good copy and the Successor of Peter isn't going to sue, is he? One Guardian columnist welcomed the news of the Pope's visit with the claim that he had "colluded" in the deaths of millions of Africans. "Don't tread on the corpses," she sneered.

Mgr Georg Ratzinger, the Pope's ancient older brother, has also been dragged into the spotlight. As head of the Regensburg choir school, he was innocent of any abuse that took place there before his time. But he admitted slapping the occasional wayward choirboy, so naturally he has been thrown to the wolves.

Yet there are also Catholics – and, again, I'm one of them – who are furious that a culture of secrecy has enabled a small minority of clergy to assault children: generations of children, in some cases, their crimes consistently hushed up by lazy slugs in diocesan offices who would rather expose young people to assault than damage "the good name of the Church".

As a journalist working in the Catholic media, I've encountered again and again a level of deceit reminiscent of the flunkeys of
a tinpot dictator. Charles Chaput, the current Archbishop of Denver, a lonely campaigner against episcopal back-slapping, has condemned the "clericalism, excessive secrecy, 'happy talk' and spin control" that enabled the establishment to move abusers around parishes like pieces on a Monopoly board.

Russell Shaw, the former director of communications for America's Catholic bishops, has written about the "stifling, deadening misuse of secrecy that does immense harm to the Church". But Shaw also raises the unfashionable topic of "legitimate secrecy of the kind required to protect confidential records and people's reputations".

Let me give an example. A priest I know slightly was accused of a sexual crime that he didn't commit. He was removed from his parish so quietly that his parishioners didn't know what was going on. He returned, months later, equally surreptitiously, having been cleared by police. Some of his flock resented the "secrecy". Yet it saved the career and reputation of an innocent man.

When he was the Vatican's chief doctrinal enforcer, Cardinal Ratzinger defended and enforced this legitimate secrecy. In 2001, he demanded to be sent bishops' files on accused clergy, because he did not believe the cases were being handled with sufficient rigour. He cited a 1962 document which stressed the need for confidentiality. But – and this point is crucial – Ratzinger used his new jurisdiction to act far more harshly against sex abusers than had their useless local bishops. From that point forward, writes John Allen, an American Catholic journalist, "he and his staff seemed driven by a convert's zeal to clean up the mess".

What are non-Catholics to make of all this? I'd argue that, like Catholics, they need to resist sweeping conclusions and try to reconcile two truths. The first is that many Catholic bishops, especially in Ireland and America, betrayed children, families and their own good priests by covering up for abusers. The crimes may have reached their peak as long ago as the 1970s, but the culture that enveloped them has yet to be fully dismantled.

The second is that secularists who despise Catholicism are manipulating tragedies to marginalise Catholics and blacken the name of a Pope, Benedict XVI, who has done far more than his predecessor to root out what he calls the "filth" of sexual abuse. Unfortunately for the Pope, his enemies inside the Church, who include members of the College of Cardinals, are happy for him to take the rap. Ratzinger was never "one of the boys", the "magic circle" of bishops who covered for each other, and now he is paying for it. Expect some judicious leaking of scandals to sympathetic journalists just in time for his visit.

Ultimately, only the Pope himself can resolve the tension between guilt and innocence, and he needs to act fast. The "Rottweiler" nickname was always misleading, given his personal gentleness, but it would be no bad thing if he launched a ferocious attack on sexual predators and their hand-wringing accomplices in the higher ranks of the clergy

Source: Damian Thompson, The Telegraph.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

ROME REPORTS TV News Agency - John Paul II’s former barber says he was cured miraculously

ROME REPORTS TV News Agency - John Paul II’s former barber says he was cured miraculously

"Bart: it profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world... but for airport funding?"

For Immediate Release
March 19, 2010

U.S. Congressman Bart Stupak (D-Menominee) announced three airports in northern Michigan have received grants totaling $726,409 for airport maintenance and improvements. The funding was provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Aviation Administration.

“This federal funding will help these airports better provide critical services to communities in northern Michigan,” Stupak said. “I am pleased the FAA has made this investment in our local airports and the individuals and businesses they serve.”

Stupak said he would vote for the bill even with abortion last year

Click here to see the video all of us should have watched prior to Traitor Sunday: Stupak said he would vote for the bill even with abortion last year

So, now, some of us need to ask, "Who was fooling who?" and hang our heads in shame.

Another PT Barnum moment: "There's a sucker born every minute". Those of us who believed Stupak was pro-life have been hoodwinked. Will we let it happen again? Will anyone remember this treachery in November?

Monday, March 22, 2010

ACLJ preparing to file federal lawsuit to challenge unjust and immoral health care bill

The following has been released by the ACLJ:

"The House has passed a health care package that fails the American people and does not provide permanent protections for the life of the unborn.

"We are preparing to file a federal lawsuit challenging the flawed health care package.

"Help the ACLJ launch this legal fight immediately! Your donation will be matched, dollar-for-dollar, through the PROTECTING YOUR FREEDOMS Matching Challenge.

"It is extremely disappointing that the House approved a bill that depends on a promise from President Obama.

"Those self-proclaimed pro-life Democrats put their trust in an Executive Order - subject to being rescinded by the President - a move that is not only short-sighted but does not provide the guarantees and pro-life protections secured by statutory language in a law approved by Congress.

"The fact remains that the actual health care bill just approved does fund abortion.

"The question is: Which President Obama do you believe - the President who repeatedly and publicly opposed the pro-life language in the earlier House-passed bill, or the President who now promises an Executive Order to secure the votes he needed to pass a very dangerous health care package?

"The Executive Order is problematic on a number of fronts. It is not a legislative fix and does not carry the force of Congressionally-approved legislation. It does not supersede law. It can be rescinded. And, what should concern everyone: this Executive Order places HHS Secretary Sebelius at the helm of the funding process - a cabinet member who has a long and documented history of supporting abortion.

"Your immediate support, doubled in impact up to $450,000, will help us start the legal challenges to this health care plan!

"The American people won't be fooled. We've heard from more than 500,000 Americans who oppose government-run, pro-abortion health care. They understand what happened - another Washington power-play that ignores what most Americans want.

"This flawed health care package may have passed - but it is far from being implemented.

"We're preparing legal action to challenge this measure and intend to file a lawsuit in federal court soon challenging a law that is not only wrong for America - but one with a forced mandate that penalizes Americans who choose not to participate. That is unconstitutional, and we believe ultimately it will be overturned by the courts.

"Help the ACLJ voice your concerns on health care. Your immediate contribution will have twice the impact through the $450,000 PROTECTING YOUR FREEDOMS Matching Challenge.

"Please pray for this situation, pray for our leaders - and continue to stand with the ACLJ against government-controlled health care and the use of federal taxpayer dollars to fund abortion."

To ensure that you continue to receive e-mails from the ACLJ,
please add jsekulow@aclj.org to your address book.

American Center for Law and Justice

P.O. Box 90555, Washington, D.C. 20090-0555
Phone: (800) 296-4529

Susan B. Anthony List strips Bart Stupak of title "Defender of Life"

Thanks be to God for these courageous and strong women who define "Pro Life" as God does: no exceptions. Every life is sacred.

Stupak Stripped of "Defender of Life" Award

The Susan B. Anthony List Candidate Fund announced today that Rep. Bart Stupak would no longer be honored at Wednesday's Third Annual Campaign for Life Gala.

"This Wednesday night is our third annual Campaign for Life Gala, where we were planning to honor Congressman Stupak for his efforts to keep abortion-funding out of health care reform-We will no longer be doing so. By accepting this deal from the most pro-abortion President in American history, Stupak has not only failed to stand strong for unborn children, but also for his constituents and pro-life voters across the country."

For more info, click here.

4:32:05: "forgetting what lies behind but straining forward to what lies ahead, I continue my pursuit toward the goal"


"26 Hail Marys and a Glory Be": Thanks be to God for the second and now, official, completion of a marathon.

Thanks also to Fr. WF, the people of the parish and to all those who by prayer, active support and consideration make this and all good gifts possible: God bless you.
-- ((((..))))

Saturday, March 20, 2010

"Healing, Renewal and Reparation": PASTORAL LETTER OF THE HOLY FATHER POPE BENEDICT XVI TO THE CATHOLICS OF IRELAND

In the letter, the Holy Father proposes three concrete initiatives to address the situation of abuse in Ireland. First, he urges all the faithful to offer Friday penances of fasting, reading of Scripture and works of mercy for one year, from now until Easter 2011, to obtain "the grace of healing and renewal" and calls for "particular attention" to Eucharistic adoration in every diocese. Second, he announces an Apostolic Visitation of certain dioceses in Ireland as well as seminaries and religious congregations. Lastly he proposes a nationwide Mission "be held for all bishops, priests and religious". He also offers the following prayer:

Prayer for the Church in Ireland

God of our fathers,
renew us in the faith which is our life and salvation,
the hope which promises forgiveness and interior renewal,
the charity which purifies and opens our hearts
to love you, and in you, each of our brothers and sisters.

Lord Jesus Christ,
may the Church in Ireland renew her age-old commitment
to the education of our young people in the way of truth and goodness, holiness and generous service to society.

Holy Spirit, comforter, advocate and guide,
inspire a new springtime of holiness and apostolic zeal
for the Church in Ireland.

May our sorrow and our tears,
our sincere effort to redress past wrongs,
and our firm purpose of amendment
bear an abundant harvest of grace
for the deepening of the faith
in our families, parishes, schools and communities,
for the spiritual progress of Irish society,
and the growth of charity, justice, joy and peace
within the whole human family.

To you, Triune God,
confident in the loving protection of Mary,
Queen of Ireland, our Mother,
and of Saint Patrick, Saint Brigid and all the saints,
do we entrust ourselves, our children,
and the needs of the Church in Ireland.

Amen.



PASTORAL LETTER
OF THE HOLY FATHER
POPE BENEDICT XVI
TO THE CATHOLICS OF IRELAND


1. Dear Brothers and Sisters of the Church in Ireland, it is with great concern that I write to you as Pastor of the universal Church. Like yourselves, I have been deeply disturbed by the information which has come to light regarding the abuse of children and vulnerable young people by members of the Church in Ireland, particularly by priests and religious. I can only share in the dismay and the sense of betrayal that so many of you have experienced on learning of these sinful and criminal acts and the way Church authorities in Ireland dealt with them.

As you know, I recently invited the Irish bishops to a meeting here in Rome to give an account of their handling of these matters in the past and to outline the steps they have taken to respond to this grave situation. Together with senior officials of the Roman Curia, I listened to what they had to say, both individually and as a group, as they offered an analysis of mistakes made and lessons learned, and a description of the programmes and protocols now in place. Our discussions were frank and constructive. I am confident that, as a result, the bishops will now be in a stronger position to carry forward the work of repairing past injustices and confronting the broader issues associated with the abuse of minors in a way consonant with the demands of justice and the teachings of the Gospel.

2. For my part, considering the gravity of these offences, and the often inadequate response to them on the part of the ecclesiastical authorities in your country, I have decided to write this Pastoral Letter to express my closeness to you and to propose a path of healing, renewal and reparation.

For the full text of the letter, click here.


Friday, March 19, 2010

40 Days for Life

Keep our pro-lifers young, old and of all ages in your prayers as they stand up for the voiceless and powerless unborn. Children, whose only fault is that they reside in the womb, are threatened every day by legalized killing and the voracious evil of the abortion industry backed by corporations with harmless sounding names like Planned Parenthood. The only kind of parenthood these blood-thirsty killers understand is "banned" parenthood, where parents of aborted children spend the rest of their lives trying to heal from the evil of participating in the senseless and unnecessary murder of their own children.

-- ((((..))))

Pelosi adds outrage to outrage: invokes St Joseph for pro-death Senate "health" bill, takes cover behind dissident religious

Pelosi the poser is doing again what only she does best: pretend that one can be a Catholic in good standing and pro-abortion at the same time.

Pelosi has publicly draped herself in the Catholic mantle in a last desperate bid to create the illusion that the death-dealing Senate "health" (sic) bill is acceptable to Catholics. She gets the feast wrong, as Friday is the Solemnity of Saint Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church, and not "Saint Joseph the Worker" as she claimed. Fail. She is also quick to take cover behind dissident Catholic religious women who are publicly thumbing their noses at our bishops. Fail again.



Catholic bishops in union with our Holy Father are teachers in the Church for matters of faith and morals. The bishops have spoken out, saying that the fundamental flaws in the Senate health bill vitiate any good intended by the bill. (Click here for more info.) For this reason the bishops do not support the health bill and neither can a Catholic in good conscience. When religious women disagree with the bishops, the religious women are wrong. The bishops have spoken; the case is closed.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

"The Lord is close to the broken-hearted": Prayer for victims of abuse


Lord, we are so sorry for what some of us did
to your children: treated them so cruelly,
especially in their hour of need.
We have left them with a lifelong suffering.
This was not your plan for them or us.
Please help us to help them.
Guide us, Lord, Amen.

-- The following prayer was sent to Archbishop Martin of the Archdiocese of Dublin by someone who suffered abuse so that it could be shared in our parishes. It captures our situation with simplicity and sincerity.

Holy Father appoints Cardinal Ruini to head Medjugorje Investigation

In 1991 the Bishop of Medjugorge completed an investigation on the alleged apparitions at Medjugorje, concluding that they were not supernatural in origin and therefore priests were not to lead pilgrimages to the site. His rulings fell on deaf ears and the crowds continue to pour in, making the Bosnian town the third most-visited in Europe.

Now Pope Benedict is intervening, probably due to the fact that the phenomenon is affecting the wider Church to such a significant degree that his leadership as universal pastor is now made necessary in the matter. He has appointed Cardinal Camillo Ruini to head up the investigation.

You can read more and see a video by visiting Rome Reports by clicking here.

"Helped by the priests, their co-workers, and by the deacons, the bishops have the duty of authentically teaching the faith, celebrating divine worship, above all the Eucharist, and guiding their Churches as true pastors. Their responsibility also includes concern for all the Churches, with and under the Pope." (CCC 939)

“You Shall Not Go Into The House Of Feasting With Them”

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK

“ You shall not go into the house of feasting to sit with them, to eat and drink. For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I will make to cease from this place, before your eyes and in your days, the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bride­groom and the voice of the bride” (
Jer. 16: 8ff).

In recent days in Washington, D. C., Maryland, and elsewhere, moral corruption has found a greater foothold as elected officials circumvent the democratic process to push through special legislation enshrining same- sex genital activity in the effort to label such unchaste violations of human dignity with the name of marriage. In the wake of these legal novelties, same- sex “ cou­ples” are rushing to city hall to obtain for them­selves a piece of paper which is supposed to re­assure them that they now possess approval for their unnatural associations. Contrived legal sta­tus and government- generated paperwork can­not achieve this and no human effort will ever succeed in doing so. The unnatural abomination of same- sex genital activity rightly arouses the condemnation and disgust of Christian individ­uals and families and men of women of good­will, and always shall.

In the meantime, practicing Catholics are be­ing invited to celebrate these “ nuptials” and some are even rushing to join in raising a cham­pagne toast. Those who wish to remain in com­munion with Christ and His Church may never “ go into the house of feasting” with those who pursue such same- sex legal unions, and they also cannot sincerely be of one voice with those who confer the name of marriage upon such as­sociations. Marriage will ever and only be what God has made it to be: a lifelong and exclusive relationship exclusive to one man- husband and one woman- wife.

“ The marriage covenant, by which a man and a woman form with each other an inti­mate communion of life and love, has been founded and endowed with its own special laws by the Creator. By its very nature it is ordered to the good of the couple, as well as to the generation and education of children. Christ the Lord raised marriage between the baptized to the dignity of a sacrament [ cf. CIC, canon 1055 § 1; cf.
GS 48 § 1]” ( Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1660).

Openness to conceiving and bearing new life is not something added on to marriage, as if an afterthought, but rather arising nec­essarily from the complementarity proper to one man and one woman through their natu­ral potential to procreate as they become “ one flesh” in the marital act.

“‘ By its very nature the institution of mar­riage and married love is ordered to the pro­creation and education of the offspring and it is in them that it finds its crowning glory [ GS, nn. 48 § 1; 50].’


“ Children are the supreme gift of marriage and contribute greatly to the good of the parents themselves. God Himself said: ‘ It is not good that man should be alone,’ and ‘ from the begin­ning [ He] made them male and female’; wishing to associate them in a special way in His own creative work, God blessed man and woman with the words: ‘ Be fruitful and multiply.’ Hence, true married love and the whole structure of family life which results from it, without diminishment of the other ends of marriage, are directed to dis­posing the spouses to cooperate valiantly with the love of the Creator and Savior, who through them will increase and enrich His family from day to day” (
CCC, n. 1652).

God’s charity does not require us to support special legal status for any particular species of unchastity, to include sodomy of any kind, whether between same- sex or opposite- sex cou­ples. God’s love in fact calls us to provide any and every means of support for those who are struggling to overcome unchaste attractions of whatever manner and at the same time to pro­claim the truth about love: The marital act is sa­cred and is shared only in an authentically lov­ing way in the Sacrament of Matrimony as al­ways understood by the Church because revealed by God and never admitting of change or dis­tortion.

Society owes Christian families and indi­viduals, at the very minimum, a neutral atmo­sphere in which to raise their children accord­ing to their beliefs, including the desire to provide an atmosphere of sexual purity.

Practicing Catholics who want to remain Catholic Christians in good standing cannot participate in or approve of the efforts of some of our elected officials who seek to en­shrine unnatural and unchaste acts in a “ le­gal” status, cannot participate in activities which entail going through the motions of simulating a marriage, or congratulate or re­joice in such deception.

“ You shall not go into the house of feast­ing to sit with them…. And when you tell this people all these words, and they say to you, ‘ Why has the Lord pronounced all this great evil against us? What is our iniquity? What is the sin that we have committed against the Lord our God?’ then you shall say to them: ‘ . . . behold, every one of you follows his stubborn evil will, refusing to listen to me’” (
Jer. 16: 8ff).

+ + + ( Teachings of the
Catechism of the Catho­lic Church paired with the Scriptures of Holy Mass for every day of the week are available at Meeting Christ in the Liturgy)

This column by Father Cusick appeared in the 18 March issue of The Wanderer Catholic Newspaper. Subscribe to the print or e-edition of The Wanderer by visiting the paper's website here.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Saint Patrick teaches us ...



"...that faith is life's most durable commodity."

-- Archbishop Dolan, homily, 2010 Saint Patrick's Day Mass, New York City

Thank you for visiting APL and a Blessed Saint Patrick's Day to all!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Oppose the Senate Health Bill


Put BXVI's mug on your mug. And pray for him, too.

Mugs, t-shirts, buttons, hoodies, water bottles. It's the latest Spring fashion. Get yours now before they sell out.











Bishops Thumbs Down on Senate Health Care Bill: "flaws are so fundamental they vitiate the good that the bill intends"

Excerpt from Cardinal George's statement on the Senate Health Bill under deliberation this week and moving toward a vote:

"What do the bishops find so deeply disturbing about the Senate bill? The points at issue can be summarized briefly. The status quo in federal abortion policy, as reflected in the Hyde Amendment, excludes abortion from all health insurance plans receiving federal subsidies. In the Senate bill, there is the provision that only one of the proposed multi-state plans will not cover elective abortions – all other plans (including other multi-state plans) can do so, and receive federal tax credits. This means that individuals or families in complex medical circumstances will likely be forced to choose and contribute to an insurance plan that funds abortions in order to meet their particular health needs.

"Further, the Senate bill authorizes and appropriates billions of dollars in new funding outside the scope of the appropriations bills covered by the Hyde amendment and similar provisions. As the bill is written, the new funds it appropriates over the next five years, for Community Health Centers for example (Sec. 10503), will be available by statute for elective abortions, even though the present regulations do conform to the Hyde amendment. Regulations, however, can be changed at will, unless they are governed by statute.

"Additionally, no provision in the Senate bill incorporates the longstanding and widely supported protection for conscience regarding abortion as found in the Hyde/Weldon amendment. Moreover, neither the House nor Senate bill contains meaningful conscience protection outside the abortion context. Any final bill, to be fair to all, must retain the accommodation of the full range of religious and moral objections in the provision of health insurance and services that are contained in current law, for both individuals and institutions.

"This analysis of the flaws in the legislation is not completely shared by the leaders of the Catholic Health Association. They believe, moreover, that the defects that they do recognize can be corrected after the passage of the final bill. The bishops, however, judge that the flaws are so fundamental that they vitiate the good that the bill intends to promote. Assurances that the moral objections to the legislation can be met only after the bill is passed seem a little like asking us, in Midwestern parlance, to buy a pig in a poke."

Read the whole Statement by Cardinal Francis George, OMI, "The Cost is too High; the Loss is too Great", here.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Spiritual contraception:

when a Catholic receives the holy Eucharist in a state of mortal sin.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

"We must celebrate and rejoice"

Through His mercy we "get up" from the pit and mire of sin,

and back to His house with open arms the Father welcomes us in.

For more: Laetare Sunday, "We must celebrate and rejoice".

-- ((((..))))

URGENT: Health Care Reform Action

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "NCHLA" <info@nchla.org>
Date: Mar 12, 2010 6:35 PM
Subject: URGENT: Health Care Reform Action
To: "Kevin Cusick" <mcitl.blogspot.com@gmail.com>

Call To Action

Dear Friend,
 
Congress again is preparing to vote on health care reform. At this stage, it is difficult to predict how votes might unfold. It is very important that the language in the House-passed bill preventing abortion funding—the Stupak-Pitts Amendment—be incorporated in its essential features as a part of any final bill. 

Votes could occur at any time. Please click on the link below to send a message to House and Senate Members! Act now! 

What has happened up to this point in the health care reform debate? The U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate have passed different bills. On the question of preventing abortion funding, the House language is good, the Senate language is unacceptable. Outside the abortion context, neither bill has adequate conscience protection for health care providers, plans or employers. 

What's next? The two chambers need to agree on a final bill. It is not clear how this will be achieved. There is discussion of using a reconciliation bill, a budget measure that in the Senate cannot be filibustered and needs only 51 votes to pass. 

Analyses of the House and Senate-passed bills can be found on our website at: www.nchla.org/issues.asp?ID=51

Thank you for all you do in support of life!
 
Sincerely,
 
Michael Taylor
Executive Director
NCHLA


Click the link below to log in and send your message:
http://actions.nchla.org/link/target/nchla/c4WGQR37.aspx


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Friday, March 12, 2010

Photo of the day


Sign outside confessional in Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Priest in Focus: Father Bill Breslin

Father Bill Breslin courageously defends Church teaching and the authentic good of the families in his church and school. Read about Father Breslin by clicking here.

Father Bill's blog, The Heart of the Matter, can be found by clicking here.

Calling All Baltimore Pro-Lifers to Action on Saturday, March 13th

March 9, 2010

Dear Baltimore Pro-Lifers,

If we want to bring an end to legalized child killing we must be willing to use all peaceful means at our disposal. Sometimes we have to be willing to work outside our comfort zone in order to do what is necessary in order to save Pre-Born babies.
This Saturday, March 13th, we will be in a Baltimore suburb to distribute this leaflet in the neighborhood of Abortionist Sheo Sharma.

Defend Life has used this strategy successfully in the past. Abortionists never want their friends and neighbors to know they get paid for killing innocent babies, and this is a peaceful and legal way to expose them where they live.



Think how much it will mean if you can help end the killing by this Abortionist just by spending 1 1/2 hours. We will be through at 10:30am, and if you only have an hour and a half to help save innocent babies this month, please spend it with us this Saturday.

Please remember that we will be messengers of God this weekend, and we need to act in a Christian and responsible manner at all times while we distribute these flyers.

This is an effective and legal means to help discourage Abortionist from continuing their reign of TERROR.

If you can join us this Saturday from 9:00 - 10:30am, please call Irene Walsh at (410) 363-4616. Due to the sensitive nature of this event, only known Pro-Lifers will be allowed to participate.

Thank you for all you do for God's most innocent.

Long Live Christ Our King,


Jack Ames
Director
Defend Life
ww.defendlife.org

Sodomy: Not By The Name Of “Marriage” Any Sweeter

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK


In Shakespeare’s famous line, we are told that the per­fume of a rose will smell just as pleasing no matter by what name one chooses to call the flower. Recently, the District of Columbia passed a law granting the name “marriage” to relationships built around the practice of unnatural fornication or sodomy. But using a good word such as “marriage” to describe this evil choice will not change the reality behind it. Using the word marriage won’t make such subhuman behavior any more accept­able to God or those who love God and His law. Sod­omy by any other name is still unnatural, destructive, and sinful.

Human life and dignity are under attack in our day in many ways, and this attack is disguised under sweet­smelling names like “choice,” “marriage,” “love,” and “mercy-killing.” This latest attack on God and the sign of Christ’s love for His Church in the sacramental bond only man and woman can share in Holy Matrimony is merely a symptom of the ancient rebellion of man against God with the help of the Evil One.

Marriage itself was designed by God to return His love and order to the life of man and woman after origi­nal sin.

“The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of off­spring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament” (
Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1601).

A man turned inward toward another man or a wom­an turned inward toward another woman cannot express authentic, that is, divine and life-giving love as does Christ who is Love itself and who demonstrates true love for us by, not turning inward toward His own image and likeness, but by pouring Himself out for His spouse, the Church, to give her His own life and love.

“The Sacrament of Matrimony signifies the union of Christ and the Church. It gives spouses the grace to love each other with the love with which Christ has loved His Church; the grace of the sacrament thus perfects the human love of the spouses, strengthens their indissolu­ble unity, and sanctifies them on the way to eternal life [cf. Council of Trent: DS 1799]” (
CCC, n. 1661).

The embrace of artificial methods of contraception is one of the roots of the modern “divorce” of the idea of marriage from the good of bearing children. Contraceptive sodomy led very quickly to other forms of sodomy which more and more passed for marriage in the popular imagination. The truth that children arise from the mutual self- giving of the spouses, from within marriage itself except in cases of infertility which is not the fault of the spouses, must be at the heart of a return to the truth about marriage and family life.

“Fecundity is a gift, an end of marriage, for conjugal love naturally tends to be fruitful. A child does not come from outside as something added on to the mutual love of the spouses, but springs from the very heart of that mutual giving, as its fruit and fulfillment. So the Church, which is ‘on the side of life,’ teaches that ‘it is necessary that each and every marriage act remain ordered per se to the procreation of human life.’ ‘This particular doctrine, expounded on numerous occa­sions by the Magisterium, is based on the insepara­ble connection, established by God, which man on his own initiative may not break, between the uni­tive significance and the procreative significance which are both inherent to the marriage act’” ( CCC,

n. 2366).

Only man and woman can turn toward one another in the marital act in a loving way, because only they can hope to cooperate with God and generously bring new life into the world. This mutual self-giving is nec­essary, not incidental, to marriage.

“The spouses’ union achieves the twofold end of mar­riage: the good of the spouses themselves and the trans­mission of life. These two meanings or values of mar­riage cannot be separated without altering the couple’s spiritual life and compromising the goods of marriage and the future of the family.

“The conjugal love of man and woman thus stands under the twofold obligation of fidelity and fecundity” (
CCC, n. 2363).

The Church is pro-marriage in every sense of the word, affirming every gift of this God-given bond exclusive to man and woman alone. And the Church never com­promises on this gift, proclaiming the truth about mar­ried love serenely and consistently.

“ ‘The acts in marriage by which the intimate and chaste union of the spouses takes place are noble and honorable; the truly human performance of these acts fosters the self-giving they signify and enriches the spouses in joy and gratitude.’ Sexuality is a source of joy and pleasure: “ ‘The Creator Himself . . . established that in the [gen­erative] function, spouses should experience pleasure and enjoyment of body and spirit. Therefore, the spouses do nothing evil in seeking this pleasure and enjoyment. They accept what the Creator has intended for them. At the same time, spouses should know how to keep them­selves within the limits of just moderation’ [Pius XII, Dis­course, October 29, 1951]” (
CCC, n. 2362).

( Visit
Meeting Christ in the Liturgy at mcitl.blogspot.com for teachings of the Catechism of the Catholic Church paired with the Scriptures of Holy Mass for every day of the week.)

This column appeared in the March 11, 2010 issue of The Wanderer Catholic Newspaper. To subscribe to the print or e-edition of the The Wanderer visit the website by clicking here.

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