Friday, June 8, 2018

Judge: Move Fulton Sheen’s remains from New York to Peoria


By Phil Luciano

(Peoria Journal Star) PEORIA — A New York judge ruled Friday that the remains of Archbishop Fulton Sheen be sent to Peoria.

The decision is the latest in a lengthy tug-of-war between the New York Archdiocese and the Peoria Diocese over the final resting place for Sheen, who was born in El Paso and ordained in Peoria, and who is buried in a vault at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City.

In 2016, the same judge, Arlene Bluth, ruled that the remains immediately could be moved to Peoria. However, repeated appeals by the New York Archdiocese led to a February appellate ruling that the judge had failed to give adequate consideration to a sworn statement by a Sheen clergy-friend who claimed Sheen has expressed a desire to be buried in New York.

But Friday, Bluth ruled that the friend has never stated that Sheen would oppose a Peoria interment. Further, the judge suggested Sheen would not object to such a relocation as a step toward his canonization. The Peoria Diocese has argued that the Vatican would be more amenable to elevating Sheen to sainthood, if Archdiocese and Diocese were to stop feuding — which presumably would occur upon a final interment designation... (continued)


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Thursday, March 29, 2018

Does the pope believe in hell?

Pat Buchanan: 'What did Christ die on the cross to save us from?'

By Pat Buchanan

(WND) “Pope Declares No Hell?”

So ran the riveting headline on the Drudge Report of Holy Thursday.

Drudge quoted this exchange, published in La Repubblica, between Pope Francis and his atheist friend, journalist Eugenio Scalfari.

Scalfari: “What about bad souls? Where are they punished?”

Bad souls “are not punished,” Pope Francis is quoted, “those who do not repent and cannot therefore be forgiven disappear. There is no hell, there is the disappearance of sinful souls.”

On the first Holy Thursday, Judas betrayed Christ. And of Judas the Lord said, “Woe to that man by whom the Son of Man shall be betrayed; it were better for him if that man had never been born.”

Did the soul of Judas, and those of the monstrous evildoers of history, “just fade away,” as Gen. Douglas MacArthur said of old soldiers? If there is no hell, is not the greatest deterrent to the worst of sins removed?

What did Christ die on the cross to save us from?

If Francis made such a statement, it would be rank heresy.

Had the pope been speaking ex cathedra, as the vicar of Christ on earth, he would be contradicting 2,000 years of Catholic doctrine, rooted in the teachings of Christ himself. He would be calling into question papal infallibility, as defined in 1870 by the Vatican Council of Pius IX.

Questions would arise as to whether Francis is a true pope.

The Vatican swiftly issued a statement saying the pope had had a private conversation, not a formal interview, with his friend, Scalfari.

The Vatican added: “The textual words pronounced by the pope are not quoted. No quotation of the aforementioned article must therefore be considered as a faithful transcription of the words of the Holy Father.”

Sorry, but this will not do. This does not answer the questions the pope raised in his chat. Does hell exist? Are souls that die in mortal sin damned to hell for all eternity? Does the pope accept this belief? Is this still the infallible teaching of the Roman Catholic Church?

However one may applaud Francis’ stance on social justice, on matters of faith and morals he has called defined doctrine into question and created confusion throughout the Church he heads.

In his letter Amoris Laetitia, “The Joy of Love,” the pope seemed to give approval to the receiving of Holy Communion by divorced and remarried Catholics, whose previous marriages had not been annulled, and whom the Church holds to be living in adultery.

Relying on the pope’s letter, German bishops have begun to authorize the distribution of Communion to divorced and remarried couples.

Cardinal Gerhard Muller, former prefect of the Vatican office for the Doctrine of the Faith, the position once held by Pope Benedict XVI, says this contradicts Catholic doctrine as enunciated by Pope John Paul II.

Said Cardinal Muller, “No power in heaven or on earth, neither an angel nor the pope, not a council, nor a law of the bishops has the faculty to change it.”

Four cardinals, including Raymond Burke of the United States, in a formal letter, asked the pope to clarify Amoris Laetitia. The pope did not, nor has he addressed the cardinals’ concerns.

Indeed, when asked early in his papacy about the immorality of homosexuality, the pope parried the question, “Who am I to judge?”

But if not thee, who? Is not the judging of right and wrong part of the job description?

Nor is it only in the realm of doctrine that the pope has sown confusion among the faithful.

To legalize the underground Catholic Church in China, the pope and the Vatican have agreed to ask Catholic bishops to stand aside for bishops approved by the Communist Party that seeks tighter control of Christian faiths.

The Vatican has also agreed to approve the consecration of a bishop named by Beijing, whom Rome previously regarded as illegitimate.

The capitulation is necessary for the Catholic Church in China to survive and prosper, argues the Vatican. But what kind of church will it become, asks retired Archbishop Joseph Zen Ze-kiun of Hong Kong.

The Vatican is “selling out” the Church in China, says the archbishop: “Some say that all the effort to reach an agreement is to avoid the ecclesial schism. How ridiculous! The schism is there, in the Independent Church!”

Archbishop Zen concedes his criticism of the Communist Party and the Vatican’s diplomatic efforts are causing problems in closing the rift between the underground Church and the Communist Party-sanctioned church, but he makes no apology: “Am I the major obstacle in the process of reaching a deal between the Vatican and China? If that is a bad deal, I would be more than happy to be the obstacle.”

There is a division inside Catholicism that is widening, between a Third World and traditional church that are growing, and a mainstream Church in Europe and here that is taking on aspects of the Anglican Church of the 20th century.

And how did that turn out, Your Holiness?

Happy Easter!

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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Vatican doctors photo of Benedict’s praise for Francis

By NICOLE WINFIELD

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican admitted Wednesday that it altered a photo sent to the media of a letter from retired Pope Benedict XVI about Pope Francis. The manipulation changed the meaning of the image in a way that violated photojournalist industry standards.

The Vatican’s communications office released the photo of the letter on Monday on the eve of Francis’ five-year anniversary. The letter was cited by Monsignor Dario Vigano, chief of communications, to rebut critics of Francis who question his theological and philosophical heft and say he represents a rupture from Benedict’s doctrine-minded papacy.

In the part of the letter that is legible in the photo, Benedict praised a new volume of books on the theology of Francis as evidence of the “foolish prejudice” of his critics. The book project, Benedict wrote, “helps to see the interior continuity between the two pontificates, with all the differences in style and temperament.”

The Vatican admitted to The Associated Press on Wednesday that it blurred the two final lines of the first page where Benedict begins to explain that he didn’t actually read the books in question. He wrote that he cannot contribute a theological assessment of Francis as requested by Vigano because he has other projects to do.

A Vatican spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity, didn’t explain why the Holy See blurred the lines other than to say it never intended for the full letter to be released. In fact, the entire second page of the letter is covered in the photo by a stack of books, with just Benedict’s tiny signature showing, to prove its authenticity.

The missing content significantly altered the meaning of the quotes the Vatican chose to highlight, which were widely picked up by the media. Those quotes suggested that Benedict had read the volume, agreed with it and given it his full endorsement and assessment. The doctoring of the photo is significant because news media rely on Vatican photographers for images of the pope at events that are otherwise closed to independent media... (continued)


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Sunday, February 25, 2018

Christians shutter the Church of the Holy Sepulchre to protest taxes

JERUSALEM (AP) — The leaders of the major Christian sects in Jerusalem closed the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, built on the traditional site of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection, for several hours on Sunday to protest an Israeli plan to tax their properties.

The Christian leaders responsible for the site issued a joint statement bemoaning what they called a “systematic campaign of abuse” against them, comparing it to anti-Jewish laws issued in Nazi Germany.

The Christians are angry about the Jerusalem municipality plans to tax their various assets around the city and a potential parliament bill to expropriate land sold by the Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches. The churches, which are major landowners in the holy city, say it violates a long standing status quo.

The Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic and the Armenian Apostolic leaders said the moves seemed like an attempt to “weaken the Christian presence in Jerusalem...” (continued)

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Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Ex pope Benedict says he is in the last phase of his life

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Former pope Benedict said in a letter published in an Italian newspaper on Wednesday that he is in the last phase of life and on a "pilgrimage towards home".

Benedict, who in February 2013 became the first pope in six centuries to resign, wrote a letter to the Corriere della Sera newspaper thanking readers for their best wishes as he approaches the fifth anniversary of stepping down.

"I am moved that so many readers want to know how I spend my days in this, the last period of the life," he wrote.

"I can only say that with the slow withering of my physical forces, interiorly, I am on a pilgrimage towards home..."

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Sunday, January 14, 2018

Francis Houle: A middle-class husband and father from Michigan … and a stigmatic

By Larry Peterson

Our Lord told him, "I am taking away your hands and giving you mine ... touch them."

(Aleteia) A number of saints and holy people have been known to share in the suffering of Christ in a special way: by literally having his wounds in their own flesh. Among this group are such beloved saints as Francis of Assisi, Catherine of Siena and, closer to our own times, Padre Pio.

Then there is Irving “Francis” Houle, just a regular guy from Michigan...

Francis was 67 years old when, on Good Friday, April 9, 1993, the stigmata first began to show itself. Francis told his brother and a priest, Father Robert Fox (who would go on to write a book about him), how Jesus appeared to him when Lent began on Ash Wednesday. He told them Jesus said to him, “I am taking away your hands and giving you mine … touch them...”

It is estimated that Francis prayed individually over 100,000 people while he was still alive. Folks would wait for hours on end to see the elderly grandpa who bore the stigmata and would lay his hands on them. People would be crying and would touch him and kiss his hands... (continued)


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Friday, January 5, 2018

Prayer Request

Please pray for a woman who has been sick for over two months, and tonight has pain and a fever.
Thank you!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

After a century, the largest Catholic church in North America is finally complete

By Sharon Samber, Religion News Service via USATODAY.COM:

WASHINGTON (RNS) — The largest Catholic church in North America is now complete.

After 100 years of construction, thousands of worshippers Friday witnessed the blessing of 24 tons of Venetian glass that embellish the dome of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

Called the “Trinity Dome,” the glass mosaic is the final architectural element of the church, a shrine to Mary which sits next to the Catholic University of America and is visited by nearly 1 million people a year.

A 10-minute procession of cardinals, bishops, and priests preceded the two-hour ceremony and Mass to mark the dedication of the dome.

Washington Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl who celebrated the Mass called the basilica a “modern-day masterpiece.” Faith, he said, was the reason why so many people, for so many years, sacrificed to finish the church.

“Mary believed that nothing is impossible with God,” Wuerl said in his homily. “She is the supreme model of what it means to believe.”

The Trinity Dome is one of the largest mosaic installations of its kind in the world, composed of more than 14 million pieces of glass. It depicts the Holy Trinity, the Virgin Mary, a procession of saints and angels, the four evangelists and the Nicene Creed. It also includes stained-glass windows dedicated to the many donors to the dome.


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Thursday, December 7, 2017

Pope says he wants to change the words to the Lord's Prayer because current interpretation suggests God leads us 'into temptation'

By Reuters and Sara Malm for MailOnline

Pope Francis has said he wants to change the interpretation of 'Our Father', the best known prayer in Christianity.

The Pontiff said the Roman Catholic Church should adopt a better translation of the phrase 'lead us not into temptation' in the Italian version of the Lord's Prayer.

He said the current phrasing, which is the same in English and many other languages, suggests that it is God who has a choice to lead us into temptation or not.

'That is not a good translation, because it speaks of a God who induces temptation',' the pope said in a television interview on Wednesday night.

Francis said the Catholic Church in France had opted for a different phrasing, which worked around this particular issue.

The French translation uses the phrase 'do not let us fall into temptation' as an alternative, which, the Pope said, implies that the fault would be human.

He indicated that it or something similar should be applied worldwide.

The prayer is part of Christian liturgical culture and memorised from childhood by hundreds of millions of people within all branches of the religion - both Catholic and Protestant.

It is a translation from the Latin vulgate, which was translated from ancient Greek, which was in turn translated from Aramaic, the language spoken by Jesus.

Liturgical translations are usually done by local Churches in coordination with the Vatican.

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Thursday, November 23, 2017

Prayer Request

Please pray for Shane who has had a leukemia relapse.
Thank you!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

U.S. Catholic Leaders Signal Resistance to Pope’s Agenda

By Ian Lovett and Francis X. Rocca

(The Wall Street Journal) BALTIMORE—The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops chose a conservative archbishop for a key post Tuesday, signaling resistance to Pope Francis’s vision for the church among the Catholic hierarchy in the U.S.

Archbishop Joseph Naumann, of Kansas City, was elected chairman of the committee on Pro-Life Activities. In a vote of 96 to 82, he defeated Cardinal Blase Cupich, of Chicago, who is seen as a liberal in the church and a close ally of the pope.

The vote breaks a longstanding tradition of the position being held by a cardinal—an unusual lapse of deference in a highly rank-conscious body—and suggests that Catholic leaders in the U.S. remain largely resistant to the changes Pope Francis is trying to bring to the church.

Some experts said that the slim margin of the vote shows growing support for Pope Francis’s agenda; others said it mostly reflected the tradition of a cardinal holding the post.

Like all the bishops, Archbishop Naumann and Cardinal Cupich are both strong opponents of abortion and euthanasia. Archbishop Naumann said that he would keep the committee focused on those two issues, as it has been in recent years.

Cardinal Cupich, meanwhile, indicated that he would have broadened the committee’s focus to include other issues like the death penalty, health care and poverty—a list more in line with the priorities Pope Francis advocated for.

“It is clear since 2013 that a majority of them sees the message of Francis’ pontificate, esp. on life and marriage, as not adequate for the Catholic Church in the USA,” Massimo Faggioli, a theologian at Villanova, said on Twitter after the vote Tuesday.

Stephen Schneck, a former director of the Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies at the Catholic University of America, said the vote indicated the continued resistance to Pope Francis among the U.S. bishops... (continued)


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Friday, October 13, 2017

Church denies first Communion to fashion-loving girl who wanted to wear suit

From AJC.com:

By Julie Zauzmer - The Washington Post

Cady Mansell has always had a strong sense of fashion. At 9 years old, she likes trying on makeup and painting her nails. She likes shopping trips to Chicago with her fashion-conscious mother. And since she asked for her first bow tie during one of those trips to the mall when she was just 4 years old, Cady has had a thing for snazzy suits.

When it came time for her First Communion, a major event for Cady, she naturally started thinking early about what she wanted to wear on the big day. She settled on a brand-new all-white suit.
"It kind of sparkles in the sunlight," she enthused when she tried it on.

But then word got out at her Catholic school about Cady's planned attire. School officials told Cady's parents that she couldn't participate in First Communion with the rest of her class unless she wore a skirt or dress. And when the Mansells dug in their heels, insisting that their daughter should wear the outfit she had picked out for her special day, the argument escalated quickly — to the point that the Mansells pulled their daughters out of the school and the church altogether...

The Rev. Sammie Maletta, the priest at St. John the Evangelist, told the Mansells that a deacon at the church could administer Cady's First Communion privately, but that she couldn't attend the ceremony with the rest of her classmates unless she wore a dress or skirt. Cady was upset by that; she wanted to sit with her friends...

In Chris' telling, Maletta said: "You're raising your daughter wrong. You're setting bad examples for her. She doesn't have the brain development and maturity to decide if she wants to wear a suit. It's your job as a parent to say, 'You're not wearing a suit. You're wearing a dress.' If you won't do this, you're raising your daughter wrong..."


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Saturday, July 15, 2017

Benedict XVI's Message at the Funeral of Joachim Cardinal Meisner


From Fidem in Terra:

The Funeral of Joachim Cardinal Meisner occurred this morning, Saturday July 15, in the magnificent Cologne Cathedral....To the surprise of those present, Archbishop Georg Gänswein, Prefect of the Prefecture of the Papal Household, and Personal Secretary to Benedict XVI, read out a message by the Pope Emeritus.

"We know that this passionate shepherd and pastor found it difficult to leave his post, especially at a time in which the Church stands in particularly pressing need of convincing shepherds who can resist the dictatorship of the spirit of the age and who live and think the faith with determination. However, what moved me all the more was that, in this last period of his life, he learned to let go and to live out of a deep conviction that the Lord does not abandon His Church, even when the boat has taken on so much water as to be on the verge of capsizing..."  (continued)


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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Melania Trump Says She's Catholic


Pope Francis blessed a rosary as first lady Melania Trump held it in her hand Wednesday, during a meeting at the Vatican; DailyMail.com can reveal that she is a practicing Catholic

By David Martosko

(The Daily Mail) When Melania Trump recited The Lord's Prayer before a Melbourne, Florida presidential rally in February, the Internet went hog wild.

Now we know one reason why the first lady began with 'Let us pray' and 'Our Father who art in heaven' when she introduced the president that evening: She's a practicing Roman Catholic.

Her spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham confirmed that to DailyMail.com on Wednesday, hours after Pope Francis blessed a rosary for her at the Vatican.

The last Catholics to live in the White House were John F. Kennedy and his wife Jackie. Melania and her son Barron will move to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue over the summer.

Mrs. Trump did more than just show up for a Papal audience.

She spent time in prayer at the Vatican-affiliated Bambin Gesù (Baby Jesus) Hospital, and laid flowers at the feet of a statue of the Madonna... (continued)


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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Official Medjugorje Report Released: Serious Doubts About Authenticity

by Christine Niles, M.St. (Oxon.), J.D.

ChurchMilitant.com

Final tally offers zero votes in favor of authenticity of 35 years' worth of alleged visions

ROME (ChurchMilitant.com) - The results of the Vatican's official investigation into Medjugorje are in — and they paint an overall negative picture of the authenticity of the alleged Marian apparitions. The final tally on authenticity of apparitions from 1982 onwards resulted in zero votes in favor, two votes against, and 12 votes claiming no opinion could be given.

The first seven apparitions, which reportedly took place in 1981, received a generally positive response, with 13 members of the Vatican commission voting yes as to their supernatural nature, one voting no, and one vote suspended.

"Fr. Tomislav Vlasic admitted he's been involved in New Age since 2002 — back when he was still spiritual advisor to the Medjugorje seers."
But the second phase — which include the 35 years from 1982 to the present day — received a strongly mixed reaction, including a final tally with zero votes in favor of the supernatural nature of the apparitions.

According to Vaticanista Andrea Tornielli, "the commission took note of the heavy interference caused by the conflict between the bishop and the Franciscans of the parish, as well as the fact that the apparitions, pre-announced and programmed individually for each seer, continued with repetitive messages."

In 1999, the Franciscans who served as spiritual advisors to the children were expelled from the diocese of Mostar-Duvno by their bishop, Ratko Peric, as well as by the Father General of the Order of Friars Minor, for disobedience. The Vatican approved the joint expulsion.

In 2008, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith launched an investigation into Fr. Tomislav Vlasic, spiritual director to the child visionaries, whose bishop suspended him "for the diffusion of dubious doctrine, manipulation of consciences, suspicious mysticism, disobedience toward legitimately issued orders," as well as charges of sexual immorality.

Vlasic was eventually defrocked by Pope Benedict in 2009. In 2012, Vlasic released a video promoting the New Age movement Central Nucleus, and admits he's been involved in this since 2002 — back when he was still spiritual advisor to the Medjugorje seers.

On this second phase of the purported apparitions, the Vatican committee voted on two separate issues: (1) spiritual fruits, and (2) the conduct of the seers. On spiritual fruits, six members voted positively, while the remaining 10 said the fruits were a mix of positive and negative.

As to the conduct of the visionaries, 12 members said no opinion could be given, while two voted against the supernatural nature of the alleged visions.

"The Virgin also reportedly said, 'All religions are equal before God' — espousing the heresy of indifferentism."
Just as significant, the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in charge of overseeing the faithful diffusion of Church teaching, is expressing skepticism over the authenticity of the Medjugorje visions. In Tornielli's words, Cdl. Gerhard Müller's opinion is "considered an authoritative contribution to be compared with other opinions and reports." As critics have noted, the messages include questionable doctrinal content, including the fact that "Our Lady" regularly prays the "Our Father" with the seers — something Our Lady refused to do at the Church-approved apparition of Fatima, because it includes the line "forgive us our trespasses." As the Church teaches, Mary is without sin, so she could not ask for forgiveness of her sins.

The Virgin also reportedly said, "All religions are equal before God" — espousing the heresy of indifferentism, explicitly condemned by the Church. She similarly remarked elsewhere, "It is you who are divided on this earth. The Muslims and the Orthodox, like the Catholics, are equal before my Son and before me, for you are all my children."

She is also said to have offered the very protestant remark: "I do not dispose of all graces. ... Jesus prefers that you address your petitions directly to him, rather than through an intermediary."

In spite of the generally negative view of the vast majority of the Medjugorje apparitions, the Vatican must consider how to deal pastorally with the millions of pilgrims who flock to the Bosnian town each year. In this regard, 13 commission members voted in favor of lifting the ban for pilgrimages there as well as establishing the parish as a pontifical sanctuary, with oversight by the Holy See, and which would not denote any recognition of the authenticity of the apparitions.

The final decision now rests with Pope Francis, who most recently appointed Poland's Abp. Henryk Hoser to undertake a special mission of the Holy See to "acquire more in-depth knowledge of the pastoral situation" and to "suggest any pastoral initiatives for the future." Hoser is expected to submit his conclusions to the Holy Father this summer, after which Pope Francis will make his decision.

On Saturday, on his return flight from Fatima, Portugal, the Holy Father expressed skepticism about Medjugorje.

"The report has its doubts, but personally, I am a little worse," he told reporters. "I prefer Our Lady as mother, our mother, and not Our Lady as head of the post office who sends a message at a stated time."

He continued, "This isn't Jesus' mother. And these alleged apparitions don't have much value. I say this as a personal opinion, but it is clear. Who thinks that Our Lady says, 'Come, because tomorrow at this time I will give a message to that seer?' No!"

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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Please pray for a man undergoing a heart procedure

Please pray for a man who is going to undergo a heart procedure. Thank you.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Pope Francis paves way for recognition of SSPX marriages

(Catholic Herald)  Pope Francis has approved new provisions that make it possible for marriages celebrated by Society of St Pius X (SSPX) priests to be recognised as valid.

In a letter approved by Pope Francis, Cardinal Gerhard Müller wrote: “Following the same pastoral outlook which seeks to reassure the conscience of the faithful, despite the objective persistence of the canonical irregularity in which for the time being the Society of St Pius X finds itself, the Holy Father, following a proposal by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Pontifical Commission, Ecclesia Dei, has decided to authorise Local Ordinaries the possibility to grant faculties for the celebration of marriages of faithful who follow the pastoral activity of the Society...” (continued)


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Monday, March 20, 2017

Pope Forging Ahead With SSPX Reunification

Abp. Pozzo of Ecclesia Dei: "canonical recognition of the SSPX will soon be achieved"

by Trey Elmore  •  ChurchMilitant.com

ROME (ChurchMilitant.com) - The head of the pontifical commission in charge of overseeing talks between Rome and the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) is saying Pope Francis is forging ahead with re-unification. And a respected Vatican journalist seems to be confirming the imminent reunion.

In an interview published Friday, Abp. Guido Pozzo, secretary of the Ecclesia Dei Commission, discussed the ongoing talks between the Vatican and the SSPX, noting that the Holy Father is urging a positive and constructive attitude in dialogue.

"Today, we can say that the approach has progressed, and one can be confident that canonical recognition of the SSPX will soon be achieved in the legal form of a personal prelature," he explained.

Marco Tosatti, writing on his blog Monday, seems to be confirming Pozzo's indications that reunion may be near.

"Reliable sources claim that the Society of St. Pius X and the Vatican are just a step away from an agreement," he wrote. "In fact, according to some, only the signatures remain; and they're waiting for Bp. Fellay to give the finishing touches on the SSPX's internal situation and reaching out toward the big step: the total and official return, as a personal prelature, of Lefebvre [and his followers] to Rome..." (continued)


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Thursday, March 16, 2017

URGENT PRAYER REQUEST – Fr. Philip Johnson

From Father Z:
From time to time over the years I have requested that you pray for now Father Philip Johnson, who suffers from a brain tumor.  Fr. Johnson was recently ordained.

However, today I received this:

Begin forwarded message:
From: “Msgr. David Brockman” <>
Subject: Prayers Requested
Date: March 16, 2017 at 7:39:42 AM EDT
To: Priests <>

Dear Brother Priests,

On behalf of Msgr. Michael Shugrue, Diocesan Administrator, your prayers are requested for Father Philip Johnson, a newly ordained priest of the Diocese of Raleigh and who is currently stationed in priestly ministry at Sacred Heart Parish in Pinehurst and its mission, San Juan Diego in Robbins.
Father Johnson has requested I share with you that on Monday of this week, his physicians at Duke University discovered new growth in the Anaplastic Astrocytoma brain tumor, which had been static for an extended period of time...  (continued)

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Friday, March 3, 2017

Anti-reform cardinals ‘want the Pope to quit’

By Philip Willan, Rome

(The Times) A group of cardinals who supported the election of Pope Francis are worried that his controversial reforms are leading the Catholic church towards a schism and are planning to appeal to him to step down, a leading Vatican watcher has claimed.

“A large part of the cardinals who voted for him is very worried and the curia . . . that organised his election and has accompanied him thus far, without ever disassociating itself from him, is cultivating the idea of a moral suasion to convince him to retire,” Antonio Socci wrote in the Italian newspaper Libero...

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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Local Bishop: No Apparitions of Virgin Mary in Medjugorje

By Vedran Pavlic

(Total Croatia News) The Catholic Bishop of Mostar-Duvno Ratko Perić issued a statement on Monday in which he claimed that Virgin Mary had never appeared in Međugorje, adding that alleged apparitions were more a form of manipulation from visionaries and priests who worked there, reports Jutarnji List on February 27, 2017.

“Considering everything that this diocesan chancery has so far researched and studied, including the first seven days of alleged apparitions, we can say: there have been no apparitions of Our Lady in Međugorje”, said Perić, whose bishopric includes Međugorje...

Bishop Perić also spoke about “ambiguous phenomena” connected with alleged apparitions, claiming that the “woman who appears” in Međugorje behaves quite differently from the true Mary, Mother of God, according to apparitions which the Church has so far recognized as authentic. “She often does not speak first, she has a strange laugh, she disappears after certain questions and then returns; she obeys the ‘visionaries’ and priests to come down from the hill to the church, although reluctantly. She is not sure how much time she will be visible, allows some of the visionaries to stand on her veil which is on the ground, allows others to touch her clothes and body. This really is not Our Lady from the Gospel”, said Bishop Ratko Perić...  (continued)


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Friday, January 13, 2017

Catholic priest who inspired The Exorcist died from a fall after a ‘possessed’ child spoke to him and he was ‘pushed over by an invisible force’, CIA agent claims

By Gareth Davies

(The Daily Mail) A Catholic priest who inspired The Exorcist died from a fall after what he claims was a possessed child spoke to him, it has emerged.

The new revelation comes from a CIA agent after it had been widely reported Malachi Martin from Ireland told a friend an invisible force pushed him to his death.

Ahead of the release of a new documentary, his close friend Robert Marrow has lifted the lid on the moment he believes the priest was effectively killed - when a possessed four-year-old girl he was meant to be exorcising spoke to him in America.

Talking to RTE Radio 1’s The Ryan Tubridy Show, the producer of the feature-length show called Hostage to the Devil Rachel Lysaght recalled a harrowing moment during filming.

Former CIA agent Mr Marrow retracted the steps to Connecticut where Father Martin had offered to carry out an exorcism on the four-year-old girl.

When he arrived at the neutral home, the family were already there, and the girl walked up to the priest and said: 'So you're Malachi Martin - and you think you can help her?', suggesting she was talking while having an out-of-body experience.

It has been claimed that after the exchange in 1999, a fall led to his death from a head trauma at the age of 78.

He told a friend that it was caused by an invisible force that pushed him.

By this time, the father from County Kerry in South-Western Ireland was hiring himself out as a private exorcist and it is believed he was the inspiration behind the famous film released in 1973.

Due to Father Martin's age, Mr Marrow drove him to his clients across America where he had relocated after turning his back on the church.

The former CIA agent told RTE the encounter between the priest and the girl was the most disturbing thing he had ever seen, according to Rachel Lysaght, who also wrote the new documentary.

It will be available on Netflix from Sunday.

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Thursday, January 12, 2017

Cardinal Burke: On dubia, I’m more concerned about Last Judgment than losing my title

By Lisa Bourne and John-Henry Westen

(LifeSiteNews) – Cardinal Raymond Burke has again insisted that the four cardinals behind the Amoris Laetitia dubia are doing their Catholic duty in seeking clarity from Pope Francis regarding his ideas on Catholic Church teaching on marriage and the Eucharist.

In a new interview in the Italian newspaper LaVerita, Cardinal Burke notes that there are many more than the four Cardinals who are concerned about Amoris Laetitia, and also says there is no specific timeline for a formal correction.

For the cardinal’s part, on judgment day he would rather be able to stand in good conscience before God than take up concern today over the potential political repercussions against the cardinals for making the request of the pope.

While the idea has been floated that Cardinals Burke, Caffara, Meisner and Brandmueller could, or should, be demoted by Pope Francis — losing their cardinal rank — for what some mistake as disrespect in submitting the dubia, the thought neither troubles nor deters Cardinal Burke.

“I don't even think about it,” he said. “I mean, certainly, it's possible. It's happened, historically, that a cardinal has lost his title. But I don't think about it because I know what my duty is and I can't be distracted from it by these kinds of thoughts – you know, worrying about whether I’m going to be in some way persecuted for defending the truth.”

Cardinal Burke said he has been asked directly whether he is afraid to make an issue in this matter, responding that what he feared instead was having the wrong answer for God on the question of whether he’d defended the Lord and His teaching at the end of his life.

The cardinal stated, “And I said that what I'm afraid of is to have to appear before Our Lord at the Last Judgment and having to say to Him: ‘No, I didn't defend You when You were being attacked, the truth that You taught was being betrayed.’ And so, I just don't give it any thought...” (continued)


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