Friday, April 30, 2010

April is getting serious about May

Temps are hovering around the mid-80's today.

Annual St. Jane De Chantal Plant Sale

Benedetto XVI: Il sacerdote “continua l’opera della Redenzione sulla terra”

"In questa Giornata di speciale preghiera per le vocazioni, esorto in particolare i ministri ordinati, affinché, stimolati dall’Anno Sacerdotale, si sentano impegnati 'per una più forte ed incisiva testimonianza evangelica nel mondo di oggi' (Lettera di indizione). Ricordino che il sacerdote 'continua l’opera della Redenzione sulla terra'; sappiano sostare volentieri davanti al tabernacolo”; aderiscano 'totalmente alla propria vocazione e missione mediante un’ascesi severa”; si rendano disponibili all’ascolto e al perdono; formino cristianamente il popolo a loro affidato; coltivino con cura la “fraternità sacerdotale' (cfr ibid.). Prendano esempio da saggi e zelanti Pastori, come fece san Gregorio di Nazianzo, il quale così scriveva all’amico fraterno e Vescovo san Basilio: 'Insegnaci il tuo amore per le pecore, la tua sollecitudine e la tua capacità di comprensione, la tua sorveglianza … la severità nella dolcezza, la serenità e la mansuetudine nell’attività … i combattimenti in difesa del gregge, le vittorie … conseguite in Cristo' ” (Oratio IX, 5, PG 35, 825ab).

Benedict XVI: The priest "continues the work of Redemption on earth"

"On this day of special prayer for vocations, I exhort in particular the ordained ministers, that they, stimulated by the Year for Priests, will feel "the duty for a stronger and incisive evangelical testimony in the world of today"(Letter of proclamation). May they remember that priests "continue the work of Redemption on earth"; knwoing themselves sustained in will before the tabernacle"; they are to cultivate with care the "priestly fraternity" (cfr ibid.). Following the example of wise and zealous Pastors, as did Saint Gregory Nazianxen, who wrote of this to his friend and brother Bishop Saint Basil: 'Teach your love for the sheep, your solicitude and your capacity to understand, your vigilance ... severity in sweetness, serenity and gentleness in action ... fighting in defense of the flock, the victories ... are accomplished in Christ.' (Oratio IX, 5, PG 35, 825ab)."

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

La Famiglia Restaurant, Baltimore

Spring view of terrace seating. Reserve now for a Mother's Day celebration al fresco. For more about La Famiglia, take a look at this post and visit the restaurant website here.

105 West 39th Street

Baltimore, Maryland 21210


NYT circulation down 8.5%

Today's Wall Street Journal reports the drop in circulation from a year ago. Who are those benighted remaining 951,063 subscribers? Let's hope not actually believing they are getting factual reporting for their money.

Another example of the failed journalism of the New York Times. Haters.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Toward a more Catholic future

Brace yourselves: there will soon be less apologizing for being Catholic if these young men have their way. No ambiguity about Catholic identity here. They understand the battle is won or lost on the battlefield of Faith: the holiness of Mass, the sacredness of worship, faithful to Catholic identity and unswerving in love for and unity with the Supreme Pontiff.

Another example of the success of Pope Benedict's papacy.

Thanks to PJ, St. Chas Borromeo Seminary, Phila.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Solemn Pontifical Mass at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, Washington DC

The congregation filled the Shrine to overflowing for today's Pontifical Mass, a testimony to the blessing of the "blogosphere" for promoting the good of holy Church. This event was not officially promoted by any of the usual "official" Church organs and depended virtually entirely on the internet for its promotion.

Families, singles, young, old, lay, religious: every facet of the Body of Christ was represented at today's solemn Extraordinary Form Mass. The EF movement in the Church is self-sustaining principally through large families and promises only to grow bigger, stronger and more influential in coming years.

The schola rehearses

Clergy and servers prepare for the procession which began today's holy Mass.

The knights and ladies of Malta in formal regalia

Knights of Columbus provided the honor guard.

The MC instructs

The cappa magna: His Eminence William Cardinal Baum attended the Mass in choro

The sacred ministers enter the sanctuary

View of the apse with baldacchino, or ciborium, over the altar

The opening rites

The liturgical ministers after today's Mass

Bishop Slattery, Cardinal Baum and attending ministers

His Excellency Bishop Slattery

The Shrine was filled today with a standing room only crowd for the 1:00 pm Pontifical Mass in the Extraordinary Form. Bishop Slattery of Tulsa was the celebrant and delivered a timely and moving homily of support for our Holy Father and suffering humanity.

Seminarians, priests and men religious were seated in the sanctuary together with acolytes. Many families, consecrated men and women and young people were present. This extraordinary form celebration of holy Mass made this an historic, extraordinary day.

The full text of Bishop Slattery's homily at the Mass is available here thanks to Matt C. Abbott.

Much thanks is due to the Paulus Institute and all who supported today's liturgy which was a resounding success for advancing the reforms of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI and the restoration of the sacred in the universal Church. Special thanks also to Shawn Tribe at The New Liturgical Movement for linking to this post.

Friday, April 23, 2010

PriestYear "Priest in Focus": Father Don Calloway

Is your child a drug addict? A criminal? Fallen away from the Faith? Do you pray and worry daily for your child? Read the story of an addict who turned away from the diabolism of drugs through an amazing conversion because of Mary and turned to God. Then became a priest.
-- ((((..))))

"An inspiring story of a truly amazing conversion. You will be thrilled to read how our Lord redirected this man's passion from a life of crime to a love for Jesus and Mary, and for surfing! If Hollywood had faith the size of a mustard seed, Father Calloway's story would be in the movies already. It's a page-turner, moving from a delinquent youth to an adult faith –- and then on to the priesthood. It's a dramatic life, and Father Calloway tells it all with a compelling and manly literary voice. So if it's not a movie (yet), you may remember it as one. It's that vivid."

-- Scott Hahn, Ph.D.
Professor of Theology and Scripture
Franciscan University of Steubenville

"This is an amazing, captivating story, because The Divine Mercy is an amazing and captivating reality. The power of Jesus and Mary move through this story like the power of a ten foot Pacific wave. Read this book and watch the same wave lift Donald Calloway that lifted Paul and Augustine, Francis and Ignatius, from 'incorrigible' and 'impossible' to 'radically converted.' It’s the old, old story and it’s irresistibly new every time. Here, it’s told with winsome candor and simplicity by an ex-druggie, ex-criminal surfer-priest."

-- Peter Kreeft, Ph.D.
Author – I Surf, Therefore I Am: A Philosophy of Surfing

For information about purchasing Fr Calloway's new book "No Turning Back" click here or place an order over the phone by calling Customer Service in the United States and Canada: 1-800-462-7426.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

That major decision you have to make...

that pressing problem that requires resolution: did you pause for prayerful pondering prior to proceeding practically?


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Pope calls for end to "homologous" priesthood

In his catechesis at today's Wednesday audience the Holy Father said:

Consequently it is not rare that the voice of the priest might seem the "voice of one crying in the desert" (Mark 1:3), but precisely in this consists his prophetic force: in not ever being homologated, or homologable to some prevailing culture or mentality, but in showing the unique novelty capable of bringing about an authentic and profound renewal of man, namely that Christ is the Living One, and the nearby God, the God who operates in the life and for the life of the world and gives us truth, the way to live."

Church of Saint John, Orange NJ

Official Site for the Holy Shroud of Turin

I was blessed to make an unforgettable pilgrimage by train ride to Torino in the Jubilee Year 2000 with my friend Andrea to venerate the holy Shroud of Turin. I remember the powerful emotions I experienced on that day which forced me to my knees in prayer and the way in which the Shroud brought me closer to understanding the sufferings Our Lord freely took upon Himself to be our Redeemer.

You can visit the official site for the Shroud by clicking here and prepare yourself to spiritually accompany our Holy Father as he journeys to Turin to venerate the Shroud on May 2nd. Click here for a video on "reading" the Shroud.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tears in Malta: "After 25 years, now I can go back to church"

Pope Benedict greets the faithful in Floriana, Malta

Pope Benedict XVI shed tears yesterday as he met victims of clerical sex abuse in Malta, expressing his "shame and sorrow" and promising "effective measures" to protect young people in future.

It was the first time the Pope had met abuse victims since the worldwide scandal engulfed the Roman Catholic Church, and it marked his most forceful statement on the matter since a letter to the faithful in Ireland at Easter.

The eight victims, who were abused systematically at St Joseph’s orphanage in the town of Santa Venera in the 1980s and 1990s, have long campaigned for the Church to recognise their suffering after decades of cover-ups.

"He prayed with them and assured them that the Church is doing, and will continue to do, all in its power to investigate allegations, to bring to justice those responsible for abuse, and to implement effective measures designed to safeguard young people in the future," the Vatican said after the meeting, on the second day of the Pope’s visit to the island.

"I am now trying to regain my faith," Joseph Magro, 38, one of the victims who attended the 20-minute meeting, told The Times.

He said the victims, who were able to speak to the Pope individually, had "hoped but not expected" to meet the pontiff. "It was thanks in part to media pressure," he said.

Mr Magro said he was molested daily at the orphanage by a priest who is now banned from saying Mass but still at liberty at a monastery close to the Apostolic Nunciature — the Vatican’s embassy — at Rabat, where yesterday’s meeting took place.

He said he had asked the Pope why the priest had abused him. "I could see the pain in his eyes. He said he did not know. He said the priest had betrayed his vows before God. We still want justice," Mr Magro added, noting that both legal and Church proceedings against the priests involved in the abuse had been going on for seven years. Lawrence Grech, 37, who acts as spokesman for the eight, said that the meeting had provided "peace in our hearts".

Read the full article in TimesOnline here. Photo Maurizio Brambatti/EPA.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Tanti cari saluti di buon anniversario, Santo Padre!

Father, who created all your children,
protect our Holy Father Benedict XVI
as he guides your flock on Earth.

Jesus, who came so that we might have abundant life,
give our Holy Father a long and
holy life so that he may help us to “come to know
and to believe in the love God has for us.”

Holy Spirit, who is Lord and giver of life,
inspire Pope Benedict XVI so that he may lead
the Church with wisdom and grace.

Many best wishes upon the occasion of your 5th anniversary of election, Holy Father.

"And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." Matthew, 16,18

Sunday, April 18, 2010

"I am going fishing": when uncertainty and discouragement come

Sunday at Saint Mary of the Assumption

"I am going fishing". Peter returns to the comfort of something he knows in the uncertain days following the Lord's Resurrection. The Lord comes to meet Peter and the others who have set out into the deep, searching for something solid and familiar, a meal of fish to fill the void of doubt. The Lord meets them in the midst of their work and weariness: "Children, have you caught anything to eat?"

Peter and the others are invited to breakfast and, probably to Peter's surprise, this is a followed by a business meeting: Peter needs to confess, does he not? And through three questions, Peter is walked back, lovingly and gently, by the Lord to that dark and lonely Good Friday when Peter's poor human love was not up to the task and he failed three times in his witness for the Lord: "I tell you, I do not know him!".

And so, twice the Lord asks: "Peter, do you agápe me?" Do you love me more than these others? More, even, than yourself? "Lord you know I have only a poor human love to offer you."

Then, upon questioning Peter for the third time "Do you love me?", the Lord reveals that He will accept the fisherman's poor human love, his philia, and gives him a means of showing love: "Feed my sheep; follow me." Follow me to your own cross, to your witness of loving me more than even yourself, to the agápe of martyrdom.

We, like Peter, cannot rely only upon ourselves for, if we do, we will be left with merely our poor human love, our philia. For agápe, for the greatest love like that of God, we must, as Peter had to learn, rely completely upon the Lord. We must follow him. And we follow him in obedience of intellect and will by listening to his voice in the world today as He teaches in matters of faith and morals through Benedict, the successor of Peter who follows the Lord Jesus by obeying God rather than men.

We hear with Benedict the attacks of the Sanhedrin of today, the worldly and diabolic voices of hatred and unbelief: "“We gave you strict orders, did we not, to stop teaching in that name?" And we answer, with Benedict the successor of the Apostles who responds as they did 2,000 years ago, in this way: “We must obey God rather than men."

And the Holy Spirit of love, God's agápe love which raised Jesus Christ from the dead, will strengthen us to reject the worldly temptation to uncertainty and discouragement: "the Holy Spirit is given by God to those who obey him".

Alleluia! Christ is risen!
-- ((((..))))

Friday, April 16, 2010

Celebrating Earth Day

Go green. Reach the beach with the Portia electric bike by Ultra Motor.

"God saw all that He made and said that it was good." (Genesis)

Happy Earth Day!

Photo by blogger of 84th Street Beach, Va Beach, Va.

Message to the lynch mob: "The Pope is innocent"

Those who manipulate the headlines in the so-called "main stream" media (MSM) have decided in the case of Pope Benedict and responsibility for cases of clerical sexual abuse that only condemnation is newsworthy whether or not the weeks-long "rollout" of details which support such a conclusion have any basis in fact. That is the real story behind the hanging, drawing and quartering of the Holy Father in the MSM recently and we watch to see who has the integrity to acknowledge the issue. ((((..))))

Recommended reading "Message to the lynch mob: the Pope is innocent" by Jack Valero at

Frohliche Geburtstag, Heiliger Vater!

Happy Birthday, Holy Father! My prayers and love are with you.

Thank you for your courageous "yes" of every day in response to the call of the Lord Jesus to be the rock on which our Church is built and our Peter with the grace to "strengthen the brethren".

Ad multos annos!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Benedict XVI: "We Christians need to do penance."

Pope breaks silence on abuse, urges repentance


VATICAN CITY -- Pope Benedict XVI broke his recent silence on the clerical abuse scandal Thursday, complaining that the church was under attack but saying that "we Christians" must repent for sins and recognize mistakes.

To view the entire article, go to

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Eucharist: "the victor eats from the Tree of Life"

Christ sacrifices himself on the wood of the Cross and His death is the seed of Resurrection; thus that same wood brings not death but the Life of Him enthroned thereon:

"Let him who has ears heed the Spirit's word to the churches! I will see to it that the victor eats from the tree of life which grows in the garden of God." Rev 2

Jesus is that holy Fruit which grows on the "tree of life" and the "garden of God" where we truly find him, the Church!

The Pope is Counting on Us

Easter Prayer Campaign for Pope Benedict!

This prayer campaign has come just in time . . . the full throttle assault by the main stream media on the Holy Father is only getting worse.

No one is doing more than Pope Benedict to promote and protect our Catholic identity. And yet the Holy Father "is systematically attacked precisely for what he does, for what he says, for what he is," as one writer put it.

It is clear at this point that the enemies of the Church, in trying to pull down Pope Benedict, are striking at the Church herself. It is our duty as Catholics to
stand by the Church and the Holy Father, no matter the cost.

You can help make the Holy Father's 5th anniversary a date to remember... with a spiritual bouquet of 1,000,000 prayers!

We are almost there, with more than 850,000 prayers pledged in less than two weeks.

Please take a moment to forward this email to friends, put it on your blog, and post it on Facebook and Twitter. Call your family and friends and urge them to
stand with the Holy Father!

Just think of it: 1,000,000 prayers for Pope Benedict XVI.

Thank you for standing with our shepherd, Pope Benedict XVI, as this storm continues to rage.

Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle! And may God bless you and your family.

Yours in Christ

Monday, April 12, 2010

CDF Sexual Abuse Allegation Guidelines on VIS blog

The Vatican Information Service has launched a blog where the CDF Sexual Abuse Allegation Guidelines and related documents are available at

For access to the Vatican Twitter and YouTube accounts, use the icons located in the upper right area of the blog page.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Passion of Pope Benedict: Six Accusations, One Question

(With thanks to Andrew Cusack.)

Pedophilia is only the latest weapon aimed against Joseph Ratzinger. And each time, he is attacked where he most exercises his leadership role. One by one, the critical points of this pontificate.

NOTE: For its combination of succinctness and clarity of thought, this piece by the most indispensable of Vatican-watchers,
Sandro Magister of L’Espresso, deserves reproduction in full.

ROME, April 7, 2010 – The attack striking pope Joseph Ratzinger with the weapon of the scandal posed by priests of his Church is a constant of this pontificate.

It is a constant because every time, on different terrain, striking Benedict XVI means striking the very man who has worked and is working, on that same terrain, with the greatest foresight, resolve, and success.

1)The tempest that followed his lecture in Regensburg on September 12, 2006 was the first of the series. Benedict XVI was accused of being an enemy of Islam, and an incendiary proponent of the clash of civilizations. The very man who with singular clarity and courage had revealed where the ultimate root of violence is found, in an idea of God severed from rationality, and had then told how to overcome it.

The violence and even killings that followed his words were the sad proof that he was right. But the fact that he had hit the mark was confirmed above all by the progress in dialogue between the Catholic Church and Islam that was seen afterward – not in spite of, but because of the lecture in Regensburg – and of which the letter to the pope from the 138 Muslim intellectuals and the visit to the Blue Mosque in Istanbul were the most evident and promising signs.

With Benedict XVI, the dialogue between Christianity and Islam, as with the other religions as well, is today proceeding with clearer awareness about what makes distinctions, by virtue of faith, and what can unite, the natural law written by God in the heart of every man.

2)A second wave of accusations against Pope Benedict depicts him as an enemy of modern reason, and in particular of its supreme expression, science. The peak of this hostile campaign was reached in January of 2008, when professors forced the pope to cancel a visit to the main university of his diocese, the University of Rome “La Sapienza.”

And yet – as previously in Regensburg and then in Paris at the Collège des Bernardins on September 12, 2008 – the speech that the pope intended to give at the University of Rome was a formidable defense of the indissoluble connection between faith and reason, between truth and freedom: “I do not come to impose the faith, but to call for courage for the truth.”

The paradox is that Benedict XVI is a great “illuminist” in an age in which the truth has so few admirers and doubt is in command, to the point of wanting to silence the truth.

3)A third accusation systematically hurled at Benedict XVI is that he is a traditionalist stuck in the past, an enemy of the new developments brought by Vatican Council II.

His speech to the Roman curia on December 22, 2005 on the interpretation of the Council, and in 2007 on the liberalization of the ancient rite of the Mass, are thought to be the proofs in the hands of his accusers.

In reality, the Tradition to which Benedict XVI is faithful is that of the grand history of the Church, from its origins until today, which has nothing to do with a formulaic attachment to the past. In the speech to the curia just mentioned, to exemplify the “reform in continuity” represented by Vatican II, the pope recalled the question of religious freedom. To affirm this completely – he explained – the Council had to go back to the origins of the Church, to the first martyrs, to that “profound patrimony” of Christian Tradition which in recent centuries had been lost, and was found again thanks in part to the criticism of Enlightenment-style reason.

As for the liturgy, if there is an authentic perpetuator of the great liturgical movement that flourished in the Church between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, from Prosper Guéranger to Romano Guardini, it is precisely Ratzinger himself.

4)A fourth terrain of attack runs along the same lines as the previous one. Benedict XVI is accused of derailing ecumenism, of putting reconciliation with the Lefebvrists ahead of dialogue with the other Christian confessions.

But the facts say the opposite. Since Ratzinger has been pope, the journey of reconciliation with the Eastern Churches has taken extraordinary steps forward. Both with the Byzantine Churches that look to the ecumenical patriarchate of Constantinople, and – most surprisingly – with the patriarchate of Moscow.

And if this has happened, it is precisely because of the revived fidelity to the grand Tradition – beginning with that of the first millennium – that is one characteristic of this pope, in addition to being the soul of the Eastern Churches.

On the side of the West, it is again love of Tradition that is driving persons and groups of the Anglican Communion to ask to enter the Church of Rome.

While with the Lefebvrists, what is blocking their reintegration is precisely their attachment to past forms of Church and of doctrine erroneously identified with perennial Tradition. The revocation of the excommunication of four of their bishops, in January of 2009, did nothing to the state of schism in which they remain, just as in 1964 the revocation of excommunications between Rome and Constantinople did not heal the schism between East and West, but made possible a dialogue aimed at unity.

5)The four Lefebvrist bishops whose excommunication Benedict XVI lifted included Englishman Richard Williamson, an antisemite and Holocaust denier. In the liberalized ancient rite, there is even a prayer that the Jews “may recognize Jesus Christ as savior of all men.”

These and other facts have helped to feed a persistent protest by the Jewish world against the current pope, with significant points of radicalism. And it is a fifth terrain of accusation.

The latest weapon of this protest was a passage from the sermon given at Saint Peter’s Basilica on Holy Friday, in the pope’s presence, by the preacher of the pontifical household, Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa. The incriminating passage was a citation from a letter written by a Jew, but in spite of this the uproar was aimed exclusively at the pope.

And yet, nothing is more contradictory than to accuse Benedict XVI of enmity with the Jews.

Because no other pope before him ever went so far in defining a positive vision of the relationship between Christianity and Judaism, while leaving intact the essential division over whether or not Jesus is the Son of God. In the first volume of his “Jesus of Nazareth” published in 2007 – and close to being completed by the second volume – Benedict XVI wrote splendid pages in this regard, in dialogue with a living American rabbi.

And many Jews effectively see Ratzinger as a friend. But in the international media, it’s another matter. There it is almost exclusively “friendly fire” that rains down. From Jews attacking the pope who best understands and loves them.

6)Finally, a sixth accusation – very current – against Ratzinger is that he “covered up” the scandal of priests who sexually abused children.

Here too, the accusation is against the very man who has done more than anyone, in the Church hierarchy, to heal this scandal.

With positive effects that can already be seen here and there. Particularly in the United States, where the incidence of the phenomenon among the Catholic clergy has diminished significantly in recent years.

But where the wound is still open, as in Ireland, it was again Benedict XVI who required the Church of that country to put itself in a penitential state, on a demanding path that he traced out in an unprecedented pastoral letter last March 19.

The fact is that the international campaign against pedophilia has just one target today, the pope. The cases dug up from the past are always intended to be traced back to him, both when he was archbishop of Munich and when he was prefect of the congregation for the doctrine of the faith, plus the Regensburg appendix for the years during which the pope’s brother, Georg, directed the cathedral children’s choir.

• • •

The six terrains of accusation against Benedict XVI just referred to bring up a question.

Why is this pope so under attack, from outside of the Church but also from within, in spite of his clear innocence with respect to the accusations?

The beginning of an answer is that he is systematically attacked precisely for what he does, for what he says, for what he is.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Gearing up for the usual summer "strip-tease"

Laura Ferstl over at the Archdiocese of Washington blog brings up a very sensitive issue: clothing. Or the lack of it.

She shares with us that the woman who modeled the first bikini was a stripper because they could not find anyone else immodest enough to wear it!

As we gear up for the typical seasonal battle to keep clothes on inside church she takes the issue outside, all the way out to the ocean in Catholics at the Beach. Read on.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Buon compleanno, Abp Edwin O'Brien!

Please offer a prayer for the intentions of the spiritual leader of the primatial see city of Baltimore as he celebrates his natal anniversary today.

Tanti Auguri, your Excellency.

Christ LOVES you the way you are

... but He doesn't LEAVE you the way you are.

Alleluia, Christ is risen!
He is truly risen, Alleluia!

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

Murderous Hatred And The Scandal Of Divine Mercy

by Father Kevin M. Cusick

Is it purely by coincidence that the uproar around the world against the mishandling of decades-old cases of sexual abuse rears its ugly head in Passiontide and Easter? I think not.

Human nature has not changed. The evil of violent hatred is aroused by the mercy of Jesus Christ, present in His Mystical Body, the Church today as much as on the via crucis in Jerusalem on the day of the Lord’s Passion and death so many years ago. Those columnists and newspapers, television news outlets and others, who passionately position themselves as the righteous defenders of abused persons need to ask themselves: Where were you in 1975, or 1985 or 1995 or 2005, when these alleged cases of malfeasance could have been pursued with full rigor — and with greater effectiveness when any alleged malefactors involved would have still been alive to face justice?

The record should show that it was Benedict, known then as Cardinal Ratzinger, who was in the forefront of those within the Church who were cleaning up the filth despite great opposition from others also within the Church. But the evil of hatred on the part of these media personnel and so many others prevents them from critical objectivity and discredits the campaign for justice they endlessly pursue with shoddy research and erroneous information they have cut and pasted from other equally unreliable sources.

And it is the mercy of Jesus Christ in His Church — for both victims of abuse and abusers, for clergy and laity, for bishops and priests — that scandalizes these haters the most. It is a faithless lack of mercy that attacks Cardinal Ratzinger, if what is alleged is indeed true, for allowing an aged and dying priest, certified to be no longer a threat to young people, to finish out his days with an opportunity to avail himself more thoroughly of the Lord’s mercy if he indeed judged that such a decision best reflected both God’s justice and 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” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 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, n. 2040).

Hatred is an evil which blocks and denies the mercy of God in Jesus Christ who only has the power to vanquish this and every evil in and through His Sacrifice on the cross. Hatred is overcome only through the grace of forgiveness.

“Now — and this is daunting — this outpouring of mercy cannot penetrate our hearts as long
as we have not forgiven those who have trespassed against us. Love, like the Body of Christ, is indivisible; we cannot love the God we cannot see if we do not love the brother or sister we do see. In refusing to forgive our brothers and sisters, our hearts are closed and their hardness makes them impervious to the Father’s merciful love; but in confessing our sins, our hearts are opened to His grace” (CCC, n. 2840).

The Lord lives out His Passion here and now in the life and grace of the universal Church. Evil continues to show its face in the violence of murderous hatred on the part of many who have vociferously attacked the Holy Father and the Church in recent weeks.

Let us pray for Pope Benedict who will one day face God and who will ask him if he stood up for and proclaimed God’s mercy for every human person, without exception: both for persons guilty of the very great evil of sexually abusing others and for those persons who have suffered abuse of every kind. He will be judged as the Vicar of Divine Mercy for those in power in the world who repeat erroneous gossip and opinions in their assault against Jesus Christ once again truly present in His Church. And he will also be called to account for justice and mercy in regard to those with power in the Church who may have failed to do all in their power to protect children and young persons from those in the Church whom evidence showed to be guilty of the sin of abuse.

Divine Mercy is a scandal to unbelievers today as it has always been. Let us pray for mercy for the whole world, that agents of hatred will lay down their arms and use their power instead to sow peace and solidarity among nations and peoples and refuse any longer the sin of inciting the evil of murderous hatred against Jesus Christ, truly present in the Mystical Body of Christ, His Church, and actively pouring out the infinite graces of His Divine Mercy for us and for the whole world.

“Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of your dearly beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world. Amen.”

(For daily reflections on the Scriptures of Holy Mass and the Catechism, visit Meeting Christ in the Liturgy.)

This column was published in the 8 April 2010 issue of The Wanderer Catholic Newspaper. Visit the website by clicking here for more information about subscribing to the electronic or print editions of The Wanderer.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Fettuccine col Sugo di Tonno con Aglio e Panna

Bisogno solo preparare la pasta e tutto sara pronto: buon appetito! Dopo una ricetta di Marcella Hazan.

Andrew M. Brown: “Why can’t the media treat the Pope fairly?”

Pope Benedict has declared war on the demonic in cultures and societies and refuses to back down from his defense of the family, marriage and the sacredness of every human life.

The cultural destroyers must eliminate him and the moral authority of the Church in order to declare total victory in their struggle to take down Western culture and the Church which undergirds and advances it. Hatred is a symptom of the evil of war, and is the emotion aroused in those who are advancing in battle to destroy the one standing between them and the satisfaction of their evil desires. Only this explains the spittle-flecked lips, obscene cries and violent mob hatred of the avatars of cultural demolition. Andrew M. Brown exposes the purpose of the unrelenting attacks upon the Pope as demonstrated by the unreasoned and hysterical mob violence of recent weeks.
-- ((((..))))

"The nature of the unhinged journalistic free-for-all was best captured by the London
Telegraph’s Andrew M. Brown, who wondered March 30: “ Why can’t the media treat the Pope fairly?”

"A writer who specializes in mental health and in the influence of addiction and substance abuse on culture, Brown observed: “Intelligent journalists who are normally capable of mental sub­tlety and of coping with complex­ities have abandoned their critical faculties. There is an atmosphere of unreason.

“ 'I cannot help feeling that a lot of it is down to sheer, blind ha­tred. It amounts to the demoniza­tion of a whole institution and its leader. We have come to a stage where nothing good whatever, no good faith can be assumed of any­body involved in the Church — however senior, however greatly respected, loved, admired, includ­ing the Pope. . . .

“ 'Look at the newspaper car­toons, usually a reliable index, if you doubt the unreasoning quali­ty of prevailing attitudes. The car­toons caricaturing Pope Benedict XVI in recent months — with corks stuck in his ears in one pa­per, with a condom on his head in another — have been pure bile, designed to poison the imagina­tion. Today Gerald Scarfe in the
Sunday Times depicts the Pope as a skeletal figure, a sort of memen­to mori, sheltering under his vo­luminous robes a group com­prised of diabolical, leering priests with horns on their heads and cow­ering boys in pyjamas. Underneath the word ‘ Hell’ is scrawled in big letters.' ”

(From an article by Paul Likoudis in The Wanderer Catholic Newspaper.)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Alleluia! Christ is risen! He is truly risen, Alleluia!

Detail of a tapestry of the Resurrection of Christ, based on a cartoon by the school of Raphael and created in the workshop of Pieter van Aelst in Brussels, 1524-31. Part of the Scuola Nuova series depicting episodes from the life of Christ. The Vatican Museums (Musei Vaticani).

Monday, April 5, 2010

Happy Easter, Holy Father!

"Holy Father, the People of God are with you, [the People] who are not impressed by the idle gossip of the moment, or by the troubles that at times hurt the community of believers. Jesus, in fact, has told us: 'In this world you will have troubles,' immediately adding, 'but take courage! I have overcome the world'.

"Last Thursday, in the Holy Mass for the benediction of the Holy Oils, Your Holiness edified us all by speaking of the goodness of God and recalling the inspired words of the first Bishop of Rome, the Apostle Peter, who described for us the attitude of Christ during his Passion in this way: 'When he was reviled, he did not revile: when he mistreated, he threatened not: but entrusted himself to the one judges rightly.' (I Peter ii, xxiii).

"Holy Father, we will seek to make a treasure of your words. In this Paschal feast, we will pray that the Lord, the Good Shepherd, will continue to support you in your mission at the service of the Church and of the world.

"Happy Easter, Holy Father! Happy Easter, Sweet Christ on Earth! The Church is with you!"

We love you, Holy Father. Thank you for your "yes" to the Lord.

The man who presides over the auto-demolition of what's left of the Anglican ecclesial body has the temerity to judge the "credibility" of others

This is turning into a "divine comedy" of epic proportions. Where's a new Dante when you need him?

"Rowan Williams has developed a reputation for obliquity in his time at Canterbury: a man for whom to um is human, but to er, divine. But every now and then he says something completely straightforward, without hesitation. This morning the BBC will broadcast his recorded remarks on the Irish Catholic crisis, in which he says, quite in passing, that the church there has "lost all credibility". This perception is so widely shared, and so close to the truth, that to say it out loud has provoked an enormous row. After the interview was made public, Williams produced an uncharacteristically political apology – which is to say that he regrets the offence he has caused, but not the offending remark; the Roman Catholic archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, could be heard on Radio 4 yesterday biting back the word "insult" when he was asked about it."

If you really need to read more, go for it.

He has made the egregious blunder of appearing merely petty and whining in light of the numbers of souls flooding from Anglicanism into the Church after Pope Benedict's sterling leadership on the issue of the Anglican Rite permission. Sorry, Rowan. Although friendship with Anglicans certainly is a very good thing, salvation of souls comes first: orders from "The Boss".

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

Saturday, April 3, 2010

“This Jesus God raised on the third day" Alleluia!

"Everyone who believes in him will receive forgiveness of sins through his name.”
(Acts 10:34a, 37-43)


"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."
(Romans 15,13)

Happy Easter! Buona Pasqua!

Moral panic flares again

Massimo Introvigne | Saturday, 3 April 2010

Is priestly paedophilia a problem? Yes, says an Italian sociologist. Is it a big problem? No.

Why is there talk again of paedophile priests, based on a case in Germany, which drags in people who are close to the Pope and now even the Pope himself? Does sociology have something to say about this or should we leave it completely to the journalists? I believe sociology has much to say, and it must not remain silent because of a fear of displeasing some.

The current discourse on paedophile priests – considered from a sociological perspective – represents a typical example of "moral panic". The concept was coined in the 1970s to explain how certain problems become the subject of "social hyperconstruction". More precisely, moral panics are defined as socially constructed problems that are characterised by a systematic amplification of the true facts in the media or in political discourse.

Two other characteristics have been cited as typical of moral panics. First, problems that have existed for decades are reconstructed in the media and political accounts as new or as the subject of a recent dramatic increase. Second, their incidence is exaggerated by statistics plucked from the air which, while not confirmed by academic studies, are repeated by the media and inspire persistent media campaigns. Historian and sociologist Philip Jenkins, of Pennsylvania State University, has emphasised the role of "moral entrepreneurs" in the creation and management of panics whose agenda is not always revealed. Moral panics do not bring any good. They distort the perception of the problems and compromise the efficacy of the measures which should resolve them. After a harmful analysis inevitably there comes a harmful intervention.

Let there be no misunderstanding: at the origin of moral panics are objective and real dangers. They do not invent a problem; they exaggerate its statistical dimensions. In a series of excellent studies, Jenkins demonstrated how the issue of paedophile priests is perhaps the most typical moral panic. Two characteristic elements exist: a fact which serves as a starting point, and an exaggeration of this fact by moral entrepreneurs.

Read the rest of the article at MercatorNet here.

For more detailed coverage of the controversy over sex abuse cases and Pope Benedict, see MercatorNet's new focus blog, Just B16.
Italian language text: Preti pedofili: un panico morale (CESNUR: Centro Studi sulle Nuove Religioni)

Photo source: Wikipedia.

WaPo fans the flames of hatred and injustice: Cantalamessa quoted a letter, the words of a Jewish friend

And this is a new crime of the Catholic Church?

Today's WaPo gets headline fodder out of the remarks by Father Cantalamessa at yesterday's Good Friday liturgy in Rome with the Holy Father.
Writers Michael E. Ruane and William Wan accuse the Capuchin preacher of "fanning the flames" of the controversy surrounding the Church. A simple examination of the facts reveals that the opposite is exactly the case. The WaPo is guilty itself of the crime of encouraging more anti-Catholic attacks. Simply read the disgusting comments that follow said article in their on-line edition. I cannot repeat here the filth I read there this morning.

Here are the words of a Jewish friend:

"I am following with indignation the violent and concentric attacks against the Church, the Pope and all the faithful by the whole world. The use of stereotypes, the passing from personal responsibility and guilt to a collective guilt remind me of the more shameful aspects of anti-Semitism. Therefore I desire to express to you personally, to the Pope and to the whole Church my solidarity as Jew of dialogue and of all those that in the Jewish world (and there are many) share these sentiments of brotherhood. Our Passover and yours undoubtedly have different elements, but we both live with Messianic hope that surely will reunite us in the love of our common Father. I wish you and all Catholics a Good Easter'."

Our Jewish friend said that the current attacks on the Church "remind" him of the Shoah. That is, the current tidal wave of injustice simply "brings to mind" anew for this Jewish man the painful and horrific crimes of many years ago. This is not an equation. He does not say that the current events to which he refers are the same as the Jewish holocaust. But that is what the media must make the public believe in order to "fan the flames" of hatred and injustice. And that is what they accuse Father Cantalamessa of doing.

The reactions of the media spinners only further prove the point: the "crime" here, in the case of those who disagree with Father Cantalamessa's choice to speak out, is on the part of an individual quoting the letter of a Jewish friend who is als0 exercising his freedom to speak his mind. This is not another opportunity for attacking the Church as if the Body of Christ is now again judged collectively guilty of wrongdoing.

Instead of exercising the responsibility of stating the facts, this event is instead abused as another opportunity to go on the attack.

Michael E. Ruane and William Wan, lay down your arms. Declare peace. The wounds of abuse are not healed by more abuse. The search for justice is not advanced by more injustice.

Work for justice if you want peace. Stop the injustice of "collective guilt". The source of the sin and crime of abuse is personal guilt on the part of individuals. This is where healing begins for victims: with the facts.
-- ((((..))))

Benedict XVI: A pastor and a shepherd

The Archdiocese of Washington has issued the following statement through the Catholic Standard newspaper and asked that it be given wide dissemination

Holy Week, 2010

DURING HIS HOMILY AT THE PAPAL MASS at Nationals Park in April 2008, Pope Benedict XVI’s voice became sorrowful as he said, “It is in the context of this hope born of God's love and fidelity that I acknowledge the pain which the church in America has experienced as a result of the sexual abuse of minors. No words of mine could describe the pain and harm inflicted by such abuse. It is important that those who have suffered be given loving pastoral attention.”

Then after leaving the crowd of nearly 50,000 people after the Mass, the Holy Father was true to his words. With no media present, he met with five abuse survivors at the Apostolic Nunciature. They had a chance to speak with Pope Benedict personally, and he prayed with them, listened to their stories, and offered them words of hope and encouragement, as a pastor would. A Vatican spokesman later said that the meeting was emotional, and some were in tears.

In recent weeks, a relentless media campaign has been underway in Europe and now the United States, criticizing the leadership of Pope Benedict XVI. These unfair attacks are against a man who has done more than anyone to strengthen the Catholic Church’s child protection policies and implemented stronger measures against abusive priests, making it easier for the Church to defrock them. And as the pastor of the Church, he has met personally with abuse survivors, and recently wrote a strongly worded letter to the Catholics of Ireland, apologizing to abuse victims there.

Read the entire statement here at My Catholic Standard.

Friday, April 2, 2010

"It is finished."

Art: Francisco de Zurburan: Christ on the Cross; on display at Washington National Gallery of Art through May 31, 2010.

Thank you for visiting.


Kamsahamnida, Dziekuje, Terima kasih, Doh je, Grazie, Tesekur, Gracias, Dank u, Shukran

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