Friday, June 27, 2008

Archbishop Burke to Lead Church's Supreme Court

VATICAN CITY, JUNE 27, 2008 ( Benedict XVI named Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis as the new prefect of the Apostolic Signature, the Church's supreme court.

He succeeds Cardinal Agostino Vallini, 68, who was appointed today as the Pope's vicar for the Diocese of Rome upon the retirement of Cardinal Camillo Ruini.

The Apostolic Signature adjudicates, among other things, complaints of nullity and petitions for total reinstatement against sentences of the Roman Rota.

It also adjudicates administrative controversies referred to it by the pope or by dicasteries of the Roman Curia, as well as conflicts of competence between these dicasteries.

Archbishop Burke, who turns 60 on Monday, is a leading authority on canon law.
Raymond Burke was born in Richland Center, Wisconsin, and ordained to the priesthood in 1975 by Pope Paul VI.

He studied canon law at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. In 1989 he became the first American to hold the position of Defender of the Bond of the Apostolic Signature.

He was appointed bishop of Lacrosse, Wisconsin, in 1994, and then archbishop of St. Louis in 2003.

EDITORIAL: It means what it says

High court upholds the Second Amendment

It was a narrow decision. Nonetheless, the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday properly struck down part of a local handgun ban in the District of Columbia, ruling that Americans have a right to keep a gun at home for self-defense.

Washington's 32-year-old gun law, perhaps the strictest in the nation, barred most residents of the city from owning handguns and required that all legal firearms be kept unloaded and either disassembled or under trigger lock. Six residents challenged the law, saying they wanted firearms available in their homes for self-defense.

"After 30 years of ignoring that right, the District will finally have to respect it," said one of those residents, Dick Heller, who works as an armed security guard at a federal government building in Washington, but who nonetheless was barred from keeping a loaded handgun at home.

By a 5-4 vote, the court rejected the creative but historically ridiculous claim that the Second Amendment protects only a state's right to maintain a militia -- generally now interpreted to mean a unit of the National Guard, in uniform and under orders from the central government. Rather, when the amendment says "The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed," it refers to a right of individual citizens, the court now properly finds -- just as the Constitution does every other time it refers to the rights of "the people."

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Any other reading would have been absurd. Would the Founding Fathers -- who had just defeated the greatest military power on earth thanks to the fact that the American yeoman farmer carried a serviceable rifle -- have enacted a Second Amendment to guarantee the right of the central government to disarm the common populace, who it could then overawe with its own armed might?

Quite to the contrary, the federalists argued their new Constitution presented no such danger. The government could never impose a tyranny, Madison promised in The Federalist No. 46, since the regular army would find itself opposed by "a militia amounting to nearly half a million citizens with arms in their hands."

Note that the militia thus described by the very author of the Constitution was conceived as a force of common citizens who could oppose the orders of the government -- not obey and enforce them, like today's National Guard.

"The enshrinement of constitutional rights necessarily takes certain policy choices off the table," Justice Antonin Scalia wrote for the majority in the final decision of the court's nine-month term. "These include the absolute prohibition of handguns held and used for self-defense in the home. ... The inherent right of self-defense has been central to the Second Amendment right. The handgun ban amounts to a prohibition of an entire class of 'arms' that is overwhelmingly chosen by American society for that lawful purpose. The prohibition extends, moreover, to the home, where the need for defense of self, family and property is most acute. Under any of the standards of scrutiny that we have applied to enumerated constitutional rights, banning from the home 'the most preferred firearm in the nation to keep and use for protection of one's home and family,' would fail constitutional muster."

Justice Scalia's ruling also specifically addressed the requirement of the D.C. law under review that handguns be kept inoperable: "This makes it impossible for citizens to use them for the core lawful purpose of self-defense and is hence unconstitutional," the court found.

Critics -- and the court's dissenting minority -- worry the decision may make gun restrictions in Chicago, New York City and other cities more vulnerable to legal challenges. We hope so, though Justice Antonin Scalia, speaking for the court, stressed that nothing in the decision should be seen as challenging sensible laws that forbid felons or the mentally ill from having guns.

He also said governments can still regulate when and where people carry guns. For example, he specifically wrote that guns may still be prohibited near schools and in or near government buildings. "Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited," Justice Scalia wrote.

Thursday's modest court decision is a solid step back toward a nation where Americans can believe the Constitution means what it says -- no matter how inconvenient the government may find it.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

DC Gun Ban Blown Away

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Pastoral Fun Never Stops

Benedict XVI Notes Solution to Anxieties

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Says Believers Are Unafraid Because of Faith in God's Lordship

VATICAN CITY, JUNE 22, 2008 ( Benedict XVI says that holy fear of God is the solution for the anxiety prevalent in today's society that is marked by a widespread nihilism.

The Pope said this today before praying the midday Angelus with thousands gathered in St. Peter's Square.

"In this Sunday's Gospel," he noted, "Jesus teaches us on the one hand 'not to be afraid of men' and on the other hand to 'fear' God. We are thus moved to reflect on the difference that exists between human fears and the fear of God."

Fear, the Holy Father explained, is a "natural part of life."

"But there is also -- and today above all -- a more profound form of fear of an existential type that sometimes overflows into anxiety," he said. "It is born from a sense of emptiness that is linked to a culture that is permeated by a widespread theoretical and practical nihilism.

"In the face of the ample and diversified panorama of human fears, the word of God is clear: He who 'fears' the Lord is 'not afraid.' The fear of God, which the Scriptures define as the 'beginning of true wisdom,' coincides with faith in God, with the sacred respect for his authority over life and the world. Being 'without the fear of God' is equivalent to putting ourselves in his place, feeling ourselves to be masters of good and evil, of life and death.

"But he who fears God feels interiorly the security of a child in the arms of his mother: He who fears God is calm even in the midst of storms, because God, as Jesus has revealed to us, is a Father who is full of mercy and goodness. He who loves God is not afraid."

Benedict XVI affirmed that believers are thus "not afraid of anything," knowing they are "in the hands of God."

"[The believer] knows that evil is irrational and does not have the last word, and that Christ alone is the Lord of the world and life, the Incarnate Word of God, he knows that Christ loved us to the point of sacrificing himself, dying on the cross for our salvation," he continued. "The more we grow in this intimacy with God, impregnated with love, the more easily we will defeat every kind of fear."

Benedict XVI also mentioned the upcoming jubilee year in celebration of the 2,000th anniversary of St. Paul's birth. The Holy Father will inaugurate the jubilee this Saturday.

"May this great spiritual and pastoral event awaken in us, too, a renewed confidence in Jesus Christ," the Pope said, "who calls us to announce and witness to his Gospel without being afraid of anything."

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Members of the Democrat Party in the U.S. pose with signs and campaign posters in support of Democratic US presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama in front of the Eiffel tower in Paris June 21, 2008. The demonstration was staged by Democrats Abroad France organization.


Bishop’s book to aid parishes understanding the role of music in divine worship

.- On July 8, “Sing to the Lord,” a statement of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops on the role of music in the liturgy, will be available for purchase in the form of a book. According to the USCCB Publishing director, Paul Henderson, the new book “has long been anticipated by American Catholic musicians.”

In a press release from the USCCB, Henderson noted that the new book will assist parishes in better understanding the role of music in divine worship. Although the statement has been on the USCCB site since November 2007, “the book’s availability will make it easier for music leaders to apply the bishops’ norms and principles to their ministry.”

Not only will “Sing to the Lord” offer “criteria for selecting a performance repertoire for various occasions,” but it will also describe “how participants are to engage music in liturgical celebrations according to the norms established by the Second Vatican Council’s Constitution on the Liturgy. The instruction defines the singing role assigned to bishops, priests, deacons, the choir and the congregation.”

The statement also encourages “the cultivation and use of Gregorian chant due to its unifying role, especially when liturgical celebrations use Latin.”

Executive director of the USCCB Office of Divine Worship, Monsignor Anthony Sherman, emphasized the value of the new book. “This is a useful tool for musicians in particular because it really demonstrates music’s role in unifying a diverse assembly of Catholics into one body gathered for worship.”

“Sing to the Lord” can be purchased online at

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Power of Prayer

From Father Mark:

The Power of Prayer

There is a mysterious power in praying for those who have hurt us, in interceding wholeheartedly
— for those who have spoken ill of us,
— for those who have damaged our reputations,
— for those who have incited others to think less of us,
— for those who have hurt us emotionally, physically, or spiritually,
— for those who have been abusive toward us,
— for those who have cursed us,
— for those have broken our hearts, betrayed us, or rejected us.

Our Lord commands us to pray for them, not only for their sakes, but also for our own. Our own spiritual liberation, our own inner healing from resentment, hatred, and lingering bitterness is contingent upon our persevering obedience to the commandments of Christ in the Gospel.

The Root of So Much Suffering

Prayer for those who afflict us has, at times, immediate and astonishing results. Persons suffering from physical complaints — chronic illnesses, pains, and weaknesses — have been completely healed after praying sincerely for those with whom they are at enmity. Persons suffering from emotional illnesses — depression, chronic jealousy, addictive patterns of behaviour, and irrational fears — have been liberated from these after obeying Our Lord’s commandment to pray for those at the root of their suffering.

Conquerors Through the Sacred Heart

Prayer for those who afflict us sets in motion concentric circles of reconciliation and healing. In praying for those who have hurt you, place no limits on the munificence of God. Ask boldly. Beg God to overwhelm them with His choicest blessings, to make them profoundly and truly happy in this world and in the next. This kind of prayer, made in obedience to the commandment of the Lord, radiates an invisible but supremely efficacious love: the very charity of God “poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit which He has given us” (Rom 5:5). “In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Rom 8:37)., conquerors, that is, through the Sacred Heart.

The Tallis Scholars sings Palestrina

Palestrina - Missa Brevis - Sanctus et Benedictus

Friday, June 20, 2008

"Bean curd made by a pock-marked woman"

BEIJING (Reuters) - It's official. Hungry foreign hordes craving a fix of diced chicken fried with chili and peanuts during the Beijing Olympics will be able to shout "kung pao chicken!" and have some hope of getting just that.

As it readies for an influx of visitors for the August Games, the Chinese capital has offered restaurants an official English translation of local dishes whose exotic names and alarming translations can leave foreign visitors frustrated and famished.

If officials have their way, local newspapers reported on Wednesday, English-speaking visitors will be able to order "beef and ox tripe in chili sauce", an appetiser, rather than "husband and wife's lung slice".

Other favourites have also received a linguistic makeover.

"Bean curd made by a pock-marked woman", as the Beijing Youth Daily rendered the spicy Sichuanese dish, is now "Mapo tofu." And "chicken without sexual life" becomes mere "steamed pullet"...


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Benedict ‘annoyed’ at bishops’ boycott

From Damian Thompson via WDTPRS:
Benedict ‘annoyed’ at bishops’ boycott

Posted by Damian Thompson on 19 Jun 2008 at 15:22

I don’t like passing on rumours, [And in fairness that is what this is, and he has clearly acknowledged it from the start.] as you know, but there are reports that Pope Benedict XVI is annoyed by the absence of a single bishop at the big Mass celebrated by Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos at Westminster Cathedral on Saturday...

Boeing wins key round in Air Force tanker protest

Boeing scored a major victory Wednesday in its battle to wrestle back a $35 billion Air Force contract from Northrop Grumman and its European partner.

AP Business Writer

WASHINGTON — Boeing scored a major victory Wednesday in its battle to wrestle back a $35 billion Air Force contract from Northrop Grumman and its European partner.

The Government Accountability Office upheld Boeing's protest of the refueling tanker contract and recommended the service hold a new competition. The congressional watchdog said it found "a number of significant errors" in the Air Force's February decision, including its failure to fairly judge the relative merits of each proposal...


Holocaust Survivors Visit Benedict XVI

Express Gratitude for Role of Church in Saving Their Lives

By Jesús Colina

VATICAN CITY, JUNE 18, 2008 ( Benedict XVI received in audience a group of four Holocaust survivors who wanted to express their gratitude to the Church for saving their lives during World War II.

The visit, which took place after today's general audience, was sponsored by the Pave the Way Foundation.

Gary Krupp, president of that foundation, told ZENIT: "The Jewish survivors were all very grateful for the opportunity to greet the Pope in German and Italian and to thank him for the intervention of the Roman Catholic Church for saving their lives during World War II."

One of the survivors, Ursala Selig, was saved by Monsignor Beniamino Schivo, in those years rector of a seminary in Città di Castello, Italia, and now 97 years old. The monsignor saved Selig along with her mother and father, by shuttling them around to keep them safe, Krupp recounted.

"She spoke of her and her mother dressing like nuns and staying in a convent," Krupp said. "Her father was protected on a little farm eight hours away. She still speaks to Monsignor Schivo twice a week. He was supposed to come but is too frail."

Krupp also presented Benedict XVI with the symposium on the papacy of Pius XII the foundation is preparing for September.

The symposium, he said, aims to reveal "the true hidden story of the dark days of the Holocaust."


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Pope would like Tridentine Mass in each parish, Vatican official says

By Simon Caldwell
Catholic News Service

LONDON (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI would like every Catholic parish in the world to celebrate a regular Tridentine-rite Mass, a Vatican cardinal has said.

Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos also told a June 14 press conference in London that the Vatican was writing to all seminaries to ask that candidates to the priesthood are trained to celebrate Mass according to the extraordinary form of the Latin rite, also known as the Tridentine Mass, restricted from the 1970s until July 2007 when Pope Benedict lifted some of those limits.

The cardinal, who was visiting London at the invitation of the Latin Mass Society, a British Catholic group committed to promoting Mass in the Tridentine rite of the 1962 Roman Missal, said it was "absolute ignorance" to think that the pope was trying to reverse the reforms of the Second Vatican Council by encouraging use of the rite.

"The Holy Father, who is a theologian and who was (involved) in the preparation for the council, is acting exactly in the way of the council, offering with freedom the different kinds of celebration," he said.

"The Holy Father is not returning to the past; he is taking a treasure from the past to offer it alongside the rich celebration of the new rite," the cardinal added.

When asked by a journalist if the pope wanted to see "many ordinary parishes" making provision for the Tridentine Mass, Cardinal Castrillon, a Colombian, said: "All the parishes. Not many, all the parishes, because this is a gift of God.

"He (Pope Benedict) offers these riches, and it is very important for new generations to know the past of the church," said Cardinal Castrillon, president of the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei," which works to help separated traditionalist Catholics return to the church.

"This kind of worship is so noble, so beautiful," he said. "The worship, the music, the architecture, the painting, makes a whole that is a treasure. The Holy Father is willing to offer to all the people this possibility, not only for the few groups who demand it but so that everybody knows this way of celebrating the Eucharist in the Catholic Church."

He also said his commission, which also is responsible for overseeing the application of "Summorum Pontificum," the 2007 papal decree authorizing the universal use of the Tridentine rite, was in the process of writing to seminaries not only to equip seminarians to celebrate Mass in Latin but to understand the theology, the philosophy and the language of such Masses.

The cardinal said parishes could use catechism classes to prepare Catholics to celebrate such Masses every Sunday so they could "appreciate the power of the silence, the power of the sacred way in front of God, the deep theology, to discover how and why the priest represents the person of Christ and to pray with the priest."

In "Summorum Pontificum," Pope Benedict indicated that Tridentine Masses should be made available in every parish where groups of the faithful desire it and where a priest has been trained to celebrate it. He also said the Mass from the Roman Missal in use since 1970 remains the ordinary form of the Mass, while the celebration of the Tridentine Mass is the extraordinary form.

The document did not require all parishes to automatically establish a Tridentine Mass schedule, but it said that where "a group of faithful attached to the previous liturgical tradition exists stably," the pastor should "willingly accede" to their request to make the Mass available.

Cardinal Castrillon told the press conference, however, that a stable group could mean just three or four people who were not necessarily drawn from the same parish.

Later in the day, Cardinal Castrillon celebrated the first pontifical high Mass in the Tridentine rite in London's Westminster Cathedral in 39 years. The event drew a congregation of more than 1,500 people, including young families. None of the English or Welsh bishops attended.

You Better Run - Pat Benatar

Mickey - Toni Basil


Bear witness to Christ with contemplation and action, Benedict XVI declares

.- Pope Benedict XVI greeted thousands of pilgrims gathered under a warm Roman sun in St. Peter’s Square on Wednesday. In his address, the Pope focused on how Christians must live out their faith by uniting contemplation with action.

Continuing his catechetical series on ancient figures in the Church, the Pope turned his attention to the St. Isidore of Seville, the brother of Saint Leander and a contemporary and friend of Saint Gregory the Great.

Isidore, under his brother's guidance, became disciplined and studious. Their house had a large library of pagan and Christian works, and hence Isidore's writings "reveal an encyclopedic knowledge of classical pagan culture as well as a profound understanding of Christian culture."

The Holy Father also noted that St. Isidore lived during the Visigothic invasions of Spain, devoted much energy to converting the barbarian tribes from heresy and preserving the best fruits of classical and Christian culture.

Despite the tendency to think of ancient writings as irrelevant to modern society, Pope Benedict said Saint Isidore’s reflections, which "gather and express the full Christian life,” are still valid today.

Isidore worked to bring the richness of pagan, Jewish and Christian learning to the rapidly changing political, social and religious situations in which he lived.

Another observation about St. Isidore that was highlighted by the Pope as worthy of reflection is how, throughout his life, Isidore was torn between his devotion to study and contemplation, and the demands made by his responsibilities as a bishop, especially towards the poor and those in need.

He found his model in Christ, who joined both the active and contemplative life, and sought to "love God in contemplation and one's neighbor in action."

The Pope explained that St. Isidore’s writings are relevant today because they bring clarity to “the relation between life active and contemplative life."

Quoting St. Isidore, Pope Benedict said, “The servant of God is wholeheartedly devoted to contemplation without denying the working life. To behave otherwise would not be right…. Just as you should love God with contemplation, so you must love one's neighbor with action.”

Pope Benedict concluded, “This synthesis is the lesson that the great bishop of Seville leaves us Christians today, called to bear witness to Christ at the beginning of a new millennium."

At the end of his catechesis, Pope Benedict encouraged young people still in the midst of exams, and urged youth to “take advantage of summer vacation for meaningful social and religious experiences."

Events to Mark 50th Anniversary of Pius XII's Death

Show Pope of "Great Stature"

VATICAN CITY, JUNE 17, 2008 ( A conference and exhibition on the near 20-year pontificate of Pope Pius XII and the years leading up to his election to the See of Peter will mark the 50th anniversary of the Servant of God's death.

Today in the Vatican press office, the two commemorative initiatives were presented. Pius XII served as Pope from 1939-1958.

Bishop Salvatore Fisichella, rector of the Pontifical Lateran University, spoke of the Pontiff's "great stature, especially in spiritual terms, but also intellectually and diplomatically."

It fell to Pius XII to lead the Church during various significant historical situations, the bishop recalled, including "the genocide of the Jews, the communist occupation of various Christian nations, the Cold War, new advances of science, and the innovations of certain schools of theology."

Bishop Fisichella further pointed out that "what remains largely unknown is Pius XII's influence on Vatican Council II."

In this context, he mentioned the 43 encyclicals "that marked his pontificate, and the many discourses in which he examined the most controversial questions of his time."

The rector suggested that certain traits are particularly characteristic of Pius XII's magisterium. He summarized them in three points: "Firstly the promotion of doctrine, the definition of the dogma of the Assumption in 1950 being particularly memorable; [...] secondly defending doctrine and indicating errors," such as in the encyclical "Humani generis" of 1950 where Pius XII examines "the serious problem of theological relativism. [...] Finally, Pius XII never failed to make his voice heard clearly and explicitly when circumstances required it."

Alma mater

The conference on Pius XII's magisterium is scheduled for November and will be held at two universities where the future Pope studied, the Gregorian and Lateran Universities. (The Lateran University at the time was the Roman Seminary of Sant'Apollinare.)

Jesuit Father Gianfranco Ghirlanda, rector of the Pontifical Gregorian University, spoke of the itinerary of the conference.

"The first day will be dedicated to four introductory lectures on the general views of Pius XII and the cultural and historical context in which that great Pontiff developed his magisterium," Father Ghirlanda explained. The themes will include: the development of biblical studies, evangelization, religious freedom and Church-state relations, and the social communications media.

The morning of the second day will focus on "Pius XII's teaching in the fields of ecclesiology, liturgy and the role of the laity. The afternoon will be dedicated to his vision of relations between the Church and the world, Mariology, medicine and morals and, finally, questions of canon law," he added.

Man and Pope

Monsignor Walter Brandmuller, president of the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences, presented the other commemorative event: a photographic exhibition titled "Pius XII: the Man and the Pontificate."

The exhibit "will illustrate the life of this great and exceptional Pontiff who was already an object of admiration among his contemporaries," Monsignor Brandmuller noted. "It has been sought to reconstruct Eugenio Pacelli's life from boyhood to death, using images -- many of them unpublished -- as well as documents, personal objects, gifts and clothes: his formation at the Pontifical Roman Athenaeums, his training for a diplomatic career at the Secretariat of State; his mission to Germany -- first in Bavaria then in Berlin; his return to the Vatican as secretary of state and, finally, his election to the pontifical throne."

Giovanni Morello, president of the Foundation for the Artistic Patrimony and Activity of the Church, noted that the exhibition will follow the Pontiff's life "through contemporary photographs, many of them supplied by the photographic service of L'Osservatore Romano, documents and personal effects, loaned both by the Pacelli family and by the 'Famiglia Spirituale Opera.'"

The exhibition will be on display in the Charlemagne Wing off St. Peter's Square from Oct. 21 to Jan. 6.

"[It] begins with the birth of the future Pope -- in Rome on March 2, 1876 -- and follows his youthful and scholastic activities up to the moment of his priestly ordination on April 2, 1899," Morello explained.

Young Father Pacelli soon entered the service of the Holy See; he was consecrated a bishop by Pope Benedict XV in the Sistine Chapel in 1917, then appointed as nuncio, first in Bavaria (1917-1924) and subsequently in Berlin (1925-1929), at a crucial moment in German history.

On Dec. 16, 1929, Pius XI named him a cardinal and soon afterward appointed him as secretary of state.

The young cardinal thus became the Pope's main collaborator, Morello said, noting as proof "the corrections and notes Cardinal Pacelli made in preparing some of the most important documents, including the famous encyclical 'Mit brennender Sorge,'" written in 1937 on the German Reich.

"During this period, Cardinal Pacelli made many journeys abroad; he was the first secretary of state, after many centuries, to travel as papal legate," Morello mentioned. Among the countries he visited were Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, the United States and France.

An art lover

The exhibition will also cover the events of Pius XII's pontificate, particularly the Second World War, and the Holy See's humanitarian efforts in support of individuals and peoples, including the people of Rome.

"The exhibition, apart from its historical and documentary aspects," Morello continued, "is also of great artistic interest. Indeed, not everyone is aware that the first nucleus of the modern art collection in the Vatican Museums, later expanded during the pontificate of Paul VI, dates back to an initiative of Pius XII. [...] Ten works from this original nucleus will be on display, including paintings by Carra, De Chirico, De Pisis, Morandi, Rouault, Sironi and Utrillo, as well as a number of sketches presented for the competition for the Holy Door of St. Peter's Basilica for the Holy Year 1950."

"The artistic side of the exhibition is enriched by the presence of various valuable 'gifts' given to Pius XII during his pontificate, such as the 'Peace' offered by Luigi Einaudi, president of Italy; the precious desk service by Giovanni Valadier, a gift from the city authorities in 1956, and a small table clock given to the Pope by the first personal representative of the U.S. president," Morello added. "All these items used to be kept by the Vatican Apostolic Library and are now held in the Vatican Museums. [...] They will be on display with the vestments and other objects used by Pius XII, which today are conserved in the Pontifical Liturgical Treasury."

Pork and Beans

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Full text of Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos address to the Latin Mass Society

From NLM:
Address to the Latin Mass Society of England and Wales
London – 14th June 2008

Mr Chairman, Reverend Monsignori and Fathers, Ladies and Gentlemen;

I am grateful for your kind invitation and for your warm welcome. It is a pleasure to be present with you today in London and to address the annual general meeting of the Latin Mass Society of England and Wales.

I look forward to the joy of celebrating the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in the great, historic and beautiful Westminster Cathedral for you this afternoon.

Today I would like to speak about three related subjects.

1. The first thing that I wish to say is that I appreciate the work which the Latin Mass Society of England and Wales has undertaken in the past four decades. You have worked with and under your bishops, at times without all of the results which you desired. Yet in all that you have done you have remained faithful to the Holy See and to the successor of Saint Peter. And you have been loyal during a very difficult time for the Church – a time that has been especially trying for those who love and appreciate the riches of her ancient liturgy.

Quite evidently these years have not been without many sufferings, but Our Blessed Lord knows them and will, in his Divine Providence, bring about much good from your sacrifices and from the sacrifices of those members of the Latin Mass Society who have not lived to be here today. To all of you, on behalf of the Church, I say: “thank you for remaining faithful to the Church and to the Vicar of Christ; thank you for not allowing your love for the classical Roman liturgy to lead you outside of communion with the Vicar of Christ!”

I also say, “Take heart!” for it is obvious from the many young people in England and Wales who love the Church’s ancient liturgy that you have done very well in preserving and handing on a love for this liturgy to your children.

2. Secondly, I wish to speak about the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum of our beloved Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI. I know what great joy the publication of Summorum Pontificum brought to your members and indeed to many faithful Catholics around the world. In response to the prayers and sufferings of so many people in these past four decades, Almighty God has raised up for us a Supreme Pontiff who is very sensitive to your concerns. Pope Benedict XVI knows and deeply appreciates the importance of the ancient liturgical rites for the Church – for both the Church of today and for the Church of tomorrow. That is why he issued a juridical document – a Motu Proprio – which establishes legal freedom for the older rites throughout the Church. It is important to understand that Summorum Pontificum establishes a new juridical reality in the Church.

It gives rights to the ordinary faithful and to priests which must be respected by those in authority. The Holy Father is aware that in different places around the world many requests from priests and lay faithful who desired to celebrate according to the ancient rites were often not acted upon. That is why he has now authoritatively established that to celebrate according to the more ancient form of the liturgy – the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass as well the sacraments and other liturgical rites – is a juridical right, and not just a privilege accorded to all.

Certainly this must be done in harmony with both ecclesiastical law and ecclesiastical superiors, but superiors also must recognise that these rights are now firmly established in the law of the Church by the Vicar of Christ himself. It is a treasure that belongs to the whole Catholic Church and which should be widely available to all of Christ’s faithful. This means that parish priests and bishops must accept the petitions and the requests of the faithful who ask for it and that priests and bishops must do all that they can to provide this great liturgical treasure of the Church’s tradition for the faithful.

In this period immediately following the publication of the Motu Proprio our most immediate task is to provide for the celebration of the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite where it is most desired by the faithful and where their “legitimate aspirations” have not yet been met. On the one hand no priest should be forced to celebrate according to the extraordinary form against his will. On the other hand those priests who do not wish to celebrate according to the 1962 Roman Missal should be generous in meeting the requests of the faithful who desire it.

As I see it, two factors are necessary. 1. It is first of all important to find a centrally located church, convenient to the greatest number of the faithful who have requested this Mass. Obviously, it must be a church where the parish priest is willing to welcome these faithful from his own and surrounding parishes. 2. It is crucial that there be priests willing to celebrate according to the 1962 Roman Missal and thus to provide this important pastoral service on a weekly Sunday basis. Often there may be one or more priests in a given deanery or section of a diocese who would be willing and even desirous of celebrating this Mass. Bishops need to be sensitive to such pastoral provisions and to facilitate them. This is a fundamental intention of Summorum Pontificum. It is particularly sad where priests are prohibited from celebrating the extraordinary form of the Mass because of restrictive legislative measures which have been taken and which run counter to the Holy Father’s intentions and thus to the universal law of the Church.

In this regard I am also pleased to commend the Latin Mass Society for its provision of the training session for priests at Merton College, Oxford, last summer, allowing many priests unfamiliar with the usus antiquior to learn how to celebrate it. I am very pleased to give my blessing to this initiative which will take place again this summer.

Let me say this plainly: the Holy Father wants the ancient use of the Mass to become a normal occurrence in the liturgical life of the Church so that all of Christ’s faithful – young and old – can become familiar with the older rites and draw from their tangible beauty and transcendence. The Holy Father wants this for pastoral reasons as well as for theological ones. In his letter accompanying Summorum Pontificum Pope Benedict wrote that:

"In the history of the liturgy there is growth and progress, but no rupture. What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful. It behooves all of us to preserve the riches which have developed in the Church’s faith and prayer, and to give them their proper place."

3. This brings me to my third point. You are rightly convinced that the usus antiquior is not a museum piece, but a living expression of Catholic worship. If it is living, we must also expect it to develop. Our Holy Father is also of this conviction. As you know, he chose motu proprio – that is on his own initiative – to alter the text of the prayer pro Iudæis in the Good Friday liturgy. The intention of the prayer was in no way weakened, but a formulation was provided which respected sensitivities.

Likewise, as you also know, Summorum Pontificum has also provided for the Liturgy of the Word to be proclaimed in the vernacular without being first read by the celebrant in Latin. Today’s Pontifical Mass, of course, will have the readings solemnly chanted in Latin, but for less solemn celebrations the Liturgy of the Word may be proclaimed directly in the language of the people. This is already a concrete instance of what our Holy Father wrote in his letter accompanying the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum:

"the two Forms of the usage of the Roman Rite can be mutually enriching: new Saints and some of the new Prefaces can and should be inserted in the old Missal. The “Ecclesia Dei” Commission, in contact with various bodies devoted to the usus antiquior, will study the practical possibilities in this regard."

Naturally we will be happy for your input in this important matter. I simply ask you not to be opposed in principle to the necessary adaptation which our Holy Father has called for.

This brings me to another important point. I am aware that the response of the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei” with regard to the observance of Holy Days of obligation has caused a certain amount of disturbance in some circles. It should be noted that the dates of these Holy Days remain the same in both the Missal of 1962 and the Missal of 1970. When the Holy See has given the Episcopal Conference of a given country permission to move certain Holy Days to the following Sunday, this should be observed by all Catholics in that country. Nothing prevents the celebration of the Feast of the Ascension, for example, on the prior Thursday, but it should be clear that this is not a Mass of obligation and that the Mass of the Ascension should also be celebrated on the following Sunday. This is a sacrifice which I ask you to make with joy as a sign of your unity with the Catholic Church in your country.

Finally I ask your prayers for those of us called to assist the Holy Father in Rome in this delicate work of facilitating the Church’s ancient liturgical tradition. Please be patient with us: we are very few and there is much work to be done. And there are many questions to be studied and sometimes we may make mistakes!

May the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, intercede for all in this land which is so beautifully called “the Dowry of Our Lady,” and through her prayers may all Christ’s faithful come to draw ever more deeply from the great riches of the Church’s sacred liturgy in all of its forms.

Darío Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos
Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei

Oklahoma to feds: Don't tread on me

State House defends its sovereignty from D.C. intrusion

Steamed over a perceived increase in federal usurping of states' rights, Oklahoma's House of Representatives told Washington, D.C., to back off.

Joint House Resolution 1089, passed by an overwhelming 92-3 margin, reasserts Oklahoma's sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and, according to the resolution's own language, is "serving notice to the federal government to cease and desist certain mandates."

The Tenth Amendment states, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people."

Traditionally, this language has meant that the federal government is limited in its scope and cannot usurp the sovereign powers of states. In recent decades, however, as the size and reach of the federal government has expanded, many have come to question whether Washington has stepped on states' rights and gotten too big for its breeches.

Charles Key, the Republican state representative who authored the resolution, told WND that he introduced it because he believes the federal government's overstepping of its bounds has put our constitutional form of government in danger.

Oklahoma State Rep. Charles Key

"The more we stand by and watch the federal government get involved in areas where it has no legal authority, we kill the Constitution a little at a time," he said. "The last few decades, the Constitution has been hanging by a thread."

Specifically, Resolution 1089 says the following:

"The State of Oklahoma hereby claims sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government by the Constitution of the United States."

The resolution resolves that Oklahoma will "serve as notice and demand to the federal government, as our agent, to cease and desist, effective immediately, mandates that are beyond the scope of these constitutionally delegated powers."

It also instructs that "a copy of this resolution be distributed to the president of the United States, the president of the United States Senate, the speaker of the United States House of Representatives, the speaker of the House and the president of the Senate of each state's legislature of the United States of America, and each member of the Oklahoma congressional delegation."

The resolution does not, as some have speculated, amount to secession, but it does send a warning signal to Washington: Oklahoma does not intend to be bullied by big brother government.

The Sooner State became a hotbed of federal vs. state authority clashes earlier this month when a federal judge blocked a portion of Oklahoma's tough immigration laws, ruling that plaintiffs would likely establish that the state mandates preempted federal immigration laws.

Oklahoma's immigration statute, known as the Oklahoma Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act of 2007, originated as House Bill 1804 (co-authored, incidentally, by Key). It has been characterized by USA Today as "arguably the nation's toughest state law targeting illegal immigration."

The statute prohibits illegal immigrants from receiving tax-supported services and makes it a state crime to transport or harbor illegal immigrants. It also mandates that businesses take measures to verify the work eligibility of employees and independent contractors.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and individual chambers of commerce in Oklahoma challenged the latter mandates, set to go into effect July 1, in court.

On June 4th, U.S. District Judge Robin J. Cauthron issued an injunction against enforcing the July 1 mandates.

"We've just had a federal judge say that our immigration law's employer provisions are unconstitutional, claiming it as federal government territory," said Key in response. "That goes right to the issue of (Resolution 1089). The federal government doesn't have the right to have sole domain over that issue or many of the issues it has spilled over into."

Though House Joint Resolution 1089 received great support in Oklahoma's House of Representatives, it has now hit a roadblock. In the state's Senate, where the seats are split, 24-24, between Republicans and Democrats, the resolution was sent to the Senate's rules committee, where it languished without action until the legislature adjourned.

According to Key, the Senate has worked out agreements on how to manage the political tie, including power given to the Democratic senators to not hear certain bills. Those senators, says Key, refuse to even hear Resolution 1089.

In the House, where Republicans enjoy a 57-44 majority, Resolution 1089 received a hearing and was supported overwhelmingly on both sides of the aisle.

"I was on the Democratic side of the floor," said Key, "and one member went off talking about how far we've gotten, how bad (federal overreaches of power) are getting – it's the kind of thing you hear in coffee shops."

Key said his bill "is making a difference" in the way legislators in Oklahoma are talking and thinking about state's rights. "I think it will make even more of a difference," he said, "when I bring it up again." He vows to put the pressure on Oklahoma's Senate to pass a resolution like 1089, and he plans to begin communicating the cause with legislators around the country, urging them to bring up the issue in their states.

Key passed a similar resolution in 1994, when he was serving a previous tenure in the legislature. But that attempt was only a House resolution. He authored 1089 as a joint resolution because, he said, he wanted to increase its exposure. "As people who believe in this constitutional form of government," he said, "we need to bring this issue to a national level and debate."

Monday, June 16, 2008

Latin Mass “power of silence” raises UK Catholic decibels

Posted by: Sebastian Tong

Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, 25 Dec 2005/Alessandro BianchiCardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos was at Westminster Cathedral in London over the weekend to lead one of the highest profile celebrations of the Roman Catholic Church’s old Latin Mass here since the 1960s. The Catholic hierarchy in England and Wales has been lukewarm about the prospect of the old rite being celebrated alongside Mass in English, so the cardinal’s presence was a clear reminder of what the Vatican wants.

Before the Mass on Saturday, Castrillon Hoyos met four journalists (myself included) to explain why Pope Benedict decided last year to promote wider use of the old Latin Mass. He praised the traditional Tridentine rite for its “power of silence,” an element of contemplation he said had disappeared from worship since the liturgical reforms of the 1960s. If his pre-Mass briefing is anything to go by, however, the Latin Mass also has a power to raise the decibel level among Catholics in Britain.

The Colombian-born cardinal, who is head of the pontifical commission Ecclesia Dei for relations with traditionalists, said the new form of the Mass had led to “abuses” that had prompted many to abandon the Church. So, he said, the pope wanted the older form to be offered again in all parishes (not only where a group of parishioners requested it, as originally said).

“The experience of these 40 years has not always been so good. Many people abandoned the sense of adoration (of God)…There is (now) an atmosphere that makes it possible for these abuses and that atmosphere must be changed,” he said in English. “It is not a matter of confrontation but of dialogue — fraternal dialogue — making efforts to understand the precious things contained in the new and the old rites.”

The cardinal added that Pope Benedict would soon clarify his motu proprio — the decree allowing wider use of the old Mass — to clear up confusion over issues ranging from the differences between liturgical calendars of the old and new rites, the use of vestments, ordinations to the sub-diaconate and the Eucharistic fast.

The TabletHow polarising this issue can be within the Church was apparent even in that small group during the 45-minute interview.

Elena Curti, deputy editor of the Catholic magazine The Tablet, said many Catholics like herself were confused at the new emphasis on the old rite. It seemed to diminish the role of the laity, she said, and she asked the cardinal if this was a regression from the reforms of the Second Vatican Council of 1962-1965. The cardinal said no: “The Holy Father is not returning to the past but taking from the past a treasure to make it present today along side the richness of the new rite.”

Curti’s comments sparked a declaration from Damian Thompson, Daily Telegraph religion reporter and editor-in-chief of the Catholic Herald, that he “deplored” her comments.

“I’d like to very strongly distance myself from what Elena has said and to say that there is tremendous enthusiasm among younger Catholics for the motu proprio, that many Catholics are deeply grateful to the Holy Father for making the change and many younger Catholics regard this as an extremely exciting development,” Thompson said to the cardinal.

Damian ThompsonJohn Medlin, General Manager of the Latin Mass Society that organised the Mass and the briefing, felt obliged to intervene and ask for “charity around the table.” Thompson (pictured at left) kept up the same tone in his two reports on the meeting — “Latin Mass to return to England and Wales” and “Victory against the sandalistas” — and on his blog Holy Smoke (with partial transcript of the briefing). Since The Tablet is a weekly, we’ll have to wait until Friday to see what Curti writes.

The revival of the Old Latin Mass has been compared to a cultural revolution within the Catholic Church. It looks like it’s off to a rousing start.

more important than Texas?!?

"What do you call a Texan who thinks that the Vatican is more important than Texas?

Ordinarily, you call him a Texan Catholic.

That's what is striking about this passage from a Reuters account of today's meeting between Pope Benedict and President Bush. Marveling at the beauty of the Vatican gardens, the leader of the world's sole superpower asked about the tiny city-state:

Bush asked: "How big is it?" A Vatican aide responded: "Not quite as big as Texas." Bush then said: "Yes but more important ... this is spectacular."

OK, that got my attention.

Some reporters seem to be carried away by the prospect of a presidential conversion. If they really understood what it means to be an American Evangelical Protestant, they wouldn't have expected Bush to kneel down, on an impulsive, at a Marian shrine.

But then again, reporters in Rome might not appreciate how much it takes for a red-blooded Texan to admit that anything is bigger, better, or more important than Texas."

Polaroid Millenium - Superior

99 Luftballons - Nena

Major Tom - Peter Schilling

Happy indeed is the man

who follows not the counsel of the wicked;

nor lingers in the way of sinners

nor sits in the company of scorners, but whose delight is the law of the Lord

and who ponders his law day and night…

… for the Lord guards the way of the just

but the way of the wicked leads to doom.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Traditional Mass for 'all the parishes'

Yesterday Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, announced in London that Pope Benedict wishes to introduce the "Gregorian Rite" – meaning the former Tridentine Rite – to every parish in the Western Church.

Pope Benedict on a pastoral visit to southern Italy
The Pope wishes to introduce the 'Gregorian Rite' to every parish

This was such a huge announcement that many Catholics can hardly believe their ears. I was one of four journalists present. Here are edited extracts from the press conference, in which the Cardinal completely demolishes liberal interpretations of Summorum Pontificum:

Elena Curti (The Tablet): Your Eminence, I’d like to ask what you make of the response of the Bishops of England and Wales to the Pope's Motu Proprio.

Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos: I think it's a good one. There are some probems because it’s a new way of celebrating liturgy and they need time to prepare priests and catechists on the content of the Extraordinary Form.

Reuters: In some parts of the world there seems to be resistance on the part of local bishops to allow the faithful their full freedom to celebrate the Extraordinary Form. What do you recommend that the faithful do?

CC: To be informed. Many of the difficulties come out because they don’t know the reality of the Gregorian Rite – this is the just [correct] name for the Extraordinary Form, because this Mass was never prevented, never. Today for many bishops it is difficult because they don’t have priests who don’t know Latin. Many seminaries give very few hours to Latin – not enough to give the necessary preparation to celebrate in a good way the Extraordinary Form. Others think that the Holy Father is going against the Second Vatican Council. That is absolute ignorance. The Fathers of the Council, never celebrated a Mass other than the Gregorian one. It [the Novus Ordo] came after the Council … The Holy Father, who is a theologian and who was in the preparation for the Council, is acting exactly in the way of the Council, offering with freedom the different kinds of celebration. This celebration, the Gregorian one, was the celebration of the Church during more than a thousand years … Others say one cannot celebrate with the back to the people. This is ridiculous. The Son of God has sacrificed himself to the Father, with his face to the Father. It is not against the people. It is for the people …

Damian Thompson (Telegraph): Your Eminence, would the Holy Father like to see ordinary parishes in England with no knowledge of the Gregorian Rite introduced to it?

CC: Yes, of course. We cannot celebrate this without knowledge of the language, of the signs, of the ways of the Rite, and some institutions of the Church are helping in that way.

DT: So would the Pope like to see many ordinary parishes making provision for the Gregorian Rite?

CC: All the parishes. Not many – all the parishes, because this is a gift of God. He offers these riches, and it is very important for new generations to know the past of the Church. This kind of worship is so noble, so beautiful – the deepest theologians’ way to express our faith. The worship, the music, the architecture, the painting, makes a whole that is a treasure. The Holy Father is willing to offer to all the people this possibility, not only for the few groups who demand it but so that everybody knows this way of celebrating the Eucharist in the Catholic Church.

Anna Arco (The Catholic Herald): On that note, would you like to see all the seminaries in England and Wales teach the seminarians how to celebrate in the Extraordinary Form?

CC: I would like it, and it will be necessary. We are writing to the seminaries, we are in accord that we have to make deep preparation not only for the Rite, but for [teaching] the theology, the philosophy, the Latin language …

DT: What would be the practical steps for ordinary parishes [to prepare for the Gregorian Rite]?

CC: If the parish priest selects an hour, on Sundays, to celebrate the Mass, and prepare with catechesis the community to understand it, to appreciate the power of the silence, the power of the sacred way in front of God, the deep theology, to discover how and why the priests represents the person of Christ and to pray with the priest.

EC: Your Eminence, I think many Catholics are rather confused by this new emphasis on the Tridentine Rite, mainly because we were taught that the new Rite represented real progress, and many of us who have grown up with it see it as real progress, that there are Eucharistic ministers, women on the sanctuary, that we are all priests, prophets and kings. This new emphasis to many of us seems to deny that.

CC: What is progress? "Progredire", means [offering] the best to God… I am surprised, because many young people are enthusiastic with the celebration of the Gregorian Rite …

EC: In the Motu Proprio, the Pope's emphasis is on one Rite and two forms, and he describes the Tridentine Rite as "extraordinary". Extraordinary therefore means exceptional, not something that we celebrate every Sunday.

CC: Not "exceptional". Extraordinary means "not ordinary", not "exceptional."

EC: Should it therefore supersede the new Rite? Should we go back?

CC: It is not going back: it is taking a treasure which is present, but was not provided. … But it takes time. The application of the reforms of the Second Vatican Council took years. It takes time to understand the deep profundity of the old Rite. The Holy Father is not returning to the past; he is taking a treasure from the past to offer it alongside the rich celebration of the new Rite. The second Eucharistic prayer of the new Rite is actually the oldest one [in the Church’s entire liturgy]. It’s not a matter of confrontation but of fraternal dialogue.

DT: Will there be a clarification of the Motu Proprio?

CC: Not exactly a clarification of the Motu Proprio, but of matters treated in the Motu Proprio, such as the calendario, ordinations to the sub-diaconate, the way of using vestments, the Eucharistic fast.

DT: What about the "stable group"?

CC: It's a matter of common sense … In every bishop's household there are maybe three or four persons. This is a stable group … It is not possible to give two persons a Mass, but two here, two there, two elsewhere – they can have it. They are a stable group.

DT: From different parishes?

CC: No problem! This is our world. Managers of enterprises don’t live in one place, but they are a stable group.

More on this later. The Cardinal went on to celebrate a traditional Pontifical High Mass at Westminster Cathedral, the first time this has happened since the 1960s. Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor was not present, but had a brief (and rather cool) message of welcome read out on his behalf. No Westminster bishop attended this great event.

McCain Meets Privately with Fr. Pavone - Says Constitutional Right to Life Applies to Unborn

By Deal Hudson

June 12, 2008 ( - Sen. John McCain reached out to Catholic voters yesterday in Philadelphia at a gathering of Catholic lay leaders and clergy. The meeting, held at the venerable Union League on South Broad St., is one in an ongoing series being held nationwide by McCain and his Catholic surrogates - Sen. Sam Brownback, Gov. Frank Keating, and former Vatican ambassador Jim Nicholson...

Archbishop Raymond Burke

From Fr. Selvester:

"Sources in Rome (and Stateside) say that there is very reliable information going around in the Eternal City that a new appointment affecting the American Church is about to be handed down. Apparently, Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis, the darling of conservatives (and vestment makers) all over the USA is going to be tapped to head the Apostolic Signatura. The midwestern prelate already sits on the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura (to use the full name) but it is said he will now be succeeding as the head of that Tribunal (in effect the chief justice of the Church's supreme court) Agostino Cardinal Vallini who, it is widely believed, will be tapped to become the new Vicar General for Rome. So, Burke may be getting a red hat after all...but by going to the Rome of the East instead of staying in the 'Rome of the West'."

40 years of Pontificalis Romani and the new Roman Rite

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Victory against the sandalistas of the Catholic church

Last updated: 6:29 PM BST 14/06/2008

For 40 years, English Catholic worship has been controlled by a bossy alliance of bishops and politically correct activists known as the "Sandalistas".

Now, a Colombian-born cardinal close to the Pope effectively announced that their time has come to an end.

Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos – speaking as an emissary of Pope Benedict – revealed that every parish in England and Wales will be required to offer worshippers the ancient Latin Mass detested by the Sandalistas.

This is great news not just for the Latin Mass Society, but also for growing number of young Catholics who hate going to church because services have been hijacked by Sandalistas.

They are tired of seeing smug lay ministers of Holy Communion parading around the altar as if they were priests, of endless bidding prayers about climate change, and above all by the fake folk music imposed on them by bad amateur composers.

Cardinal Castrillon, president of the pontifical commission Ecclesia Dei, can expect to become a hate figure for Sandalistas. This will not worry him. Before he moved to the Vatican, he took on none other than Pablo Escobar, the notorious drug smuggler. Disguised as a milkman, he negotiated a truce with him – and also heard his confession on the spot.

A man who has faced up to Colombia's most feared drugs baron will not be intimidated by a few geriatric Catholic trendies.

Latin Mass to return to England and Wales

The traditional Latin Mass – effectively banned by Rome for 40 years – is to be reintroduced into every Roman Catholic parish in England and Wales, the senior Vatican cardinal in charge of Latin liturgy said at a press conference in London today.


In addition, all English seminaries must teach trainee priests how to say the old Mass so that they can celebrate it in all parishes. Catholic congregations throughout the world will receive special instruction on how to appreciate the old services, formerly known as the Tridentine Rite.

The announcement by Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, speaking on behalf of Pope Benedict XVI, will horrify Catholic liberals, including many bishops of England and Wales, who were opposed to the Pope's decree last year removing their power to block the celebration of the old Mass.

Pope Benedict now clearly intendeds to go much further in promoting the ancient liturgy. Asked whether the Latin Mass would be celebrated in many ordinary parishes in future, Cardinal Castrillon said: "Not many parishes – all parishes. The Holy Father is offering this not only for the few groups who demand it, but so that everybody knows this way of celebrating the Eucharist."

In the traditional rite, the priest faces in the same direction as the people and reads the main prayer of the Mass in a voice so low as to be virtually silent. Cardinal Castrillon said that this reverent silence was one of the "treasures" that Catholics would rediscover, and young worshippers would encounter for the first time.

Pope Benedict will reintroduce the old rite – which the Cardinal said should be known as the "Gregorian Rite" - even where the congregation has not asked for it. "People don't know about it, and therefore they don't ask for it," he explained. The revised Mass, adopted in 1970 after the Second Vatican Council, had given rise to "many, many, many abuses," added the Cardinal.

However, the new rite – in which the priest faces the people and speaks in the vernacular – will definitely not be phased out. The Pope wishes to see the two forms of Mass existing happily side by side.

In practice, these sweeping liturgical changes will cause intense controversy. At the press conference, a journalist from the liberal Tablet magazine, which is close to the English bishops, told the Cardinal that the new liturgical changes amounted to "going backwards".

Liberal bishops in England and America have so far attempted to limit celebration of the Pope's 2007 decree by saying that the 2007 rules require a "stable group" of the faithful to request the old Mass. But Cardinal Castrillon said that a stable group could consist of as few as three people, and they need not come from the same parish.

The Cardinal, head of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, made his comments as he was preparing to celebrate a traditional Latin Mass at Westminster Cathedral, the first time a cardinal has done so there for 40 years.

The Catholic Church in England and Wales was unavailable for comment.

SUV Taken Out by F-16 in Utah

Last April 9th, at Dugway Proving Ground in Utah, two soldiers were driving a rented SUV about five kilometers from the part of the range used for live firing. It was at night, and an F-16 that thought it was firing at something in the live fire area, lit up the SUV instead. Only 70 20mm rounds were fired. Fortunately, the two people in the SUV were only injured (both from flying glass, the passenger got a dislocated shoulder as he rapidly exited the vehicle when it quickly turned off the road and stopped.) The investigation of how this happen has not been completed.

Fla. Woman Fired For Laughing

A Florida woman was fired by a restaurant owner for laughing.

Darra Kollios, who works at the Trinity Grill in New Port Richey, said her boss approached her in front of a customer with one of the oddest requests she's ever heard.

"I had a customer at the bar and the owner came up to me and said, 'Please stop laughing,' Kollios said. "We giggled -- the guy at the bar and myself. And then I said, 'Are you serious?' And he said, 'Yes, if you laugh again, you will have to go home."

Kollios said she was then fired on the spot.

Kollios said she was shocked by her employer's actions.

"I will say that I don't have an odd laugh," Kollios said. "I did ask a few people but it's not."

The restaurant owner said a customer did not complain about the laughing. However, he prefers the restaurant to be quiet and cozy and Kollios' laugh prevented that from happening.

Under Florida law, employees are considered "at will," which means they may be terminated for any reason as long as they're not under contract and it doesn't involve age, sex or race discrimination.

In Your Eyes - Peter Gabriel

Shock The Monkey - Peter Gabriel

Beatification may be soon for 250 Spanish martyrs

.- The AVAN news agency reported this week that the Holy See has given the green light to move ahead with the beatification of 250 martyrs from the Spanish Civil War of 1934-1939. The list of candidates includes a nine-month pregnant mother and a 15 year-old altar server.

Ramon Rita of the commission for the Causes of the Saints of the Archdiocese of Valencia told AVAN it was the second group of Valencian martyrs to be beatified. The first being the beatification by Pope John Paul II of 226 Valencian martyrs on March 11, 2001.

The new cause was opened in June of 2004 by the Archbishop of Valencia, Cardinal Agustin Garcia-Gasco, and included 183 priests, 10 religious, and 57 lay Catholics. The decree of approval for their beatification was signed by the Prefect for the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints, Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins, and the secretary, Archbishop Michael Di Ruberto.

Among the candidates for beatification is Antonio Ferrer Rodrigo, a 15 year-old altar boy who was tortured and executed for questioning a group of soldiers who were ransacking his parish. He had been able to save a few sacred objects of the parish from profanation, including a chalice, a processional cross and few other items, which he hid at his home. But when he saw the soldiers light a bonfire and toss a painting of the Sacred Heart into it, “he could no longer contain himself and he began to reproach the soldiers,” Fita said. Hours later, he was detained together with his father, who did not want to abandon him, and both were shot on December 2, 1936.

Another dramatic story is that of Hortensia Serra Poveda, a 29 year-old woman who was nine months pregnant at the time. She begged her captors to allow the baby to be born first so he could be baptized, however they refused and the mother and baby were killed.

Bush, pope meet in Vatican Gardens for private talks, informal stroll

Pope Benedict XVI, flanked by unidentified prelates, wait for ...

By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- In a cordial and festive visit to the Vatican, U.S. President George W. Bush met with Pope Benedict XVI in the lush Vatican Gardens for private talks, an informal stroll and a choral performance by the Sistine Chapel Choir.

The hourlong visit June 13 was the fifth time Bush came to the Vatican for a papal audience and his third meeting with Pope Benedict. However, it was the first time in recent memory a head of state was welcomed in such an informal way and at such a unique location.

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The Vatican had said it wanted to break with protocol to show its appreciation for the president's warm hospitality during the pope's visit to the White House during his April 15-20 trip to the U.S.

With birds chirping and a cool, light breeze blowing through gnarled olive trees and looming cypresses, the pope greeted the U.S. president at the entrance of a medieval tower on the Vatican's highest hill in the gardens.

They both expressed their pleasure at seeing each other again.

"It's such an honor," Bush told the pope as cameras clicked and smiles beamed.

First lady Laura Bush approached Pope Benedict and said: "How are you? It's so good to see you. You look great."

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U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican Mary Ann Glendon accompanied the presidential entourage. When she and Laura Bush flanked the pope and the president for photographs, Bush told the pope, "We are surrounded by impressive women."

Pope Benedict and Bush then held 30 minutes of private talks inside an ornate, circular studio on the second floor of St. John's Tower. Built on the end of a long, fortressed wall, the medieval watchtower is completely renovated and serves as special accommodations for important guests.

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During the closed-door meeting, the pope "reiterated his gratitude for the warm and exceptional welcome he had received" for his April pastoral visit "and for the president's commitment in defense of fundamental moral values," said a Vatican statement released a few hours after the meeting.

The pope and Bush discussed international concerns such as U.S. relations with the Middle East and Europe, as well as efforts being made for peace in the Holy Land, it said.

It said they also spoke about "globalization, the food crisis, international trade and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals," which have the aim of halving the rates of world poverty -- defined by the number of people existing on less than a dollar day -- by 2015.

Bush came to the Vatican as part of a wider European tour, which was to include a U.S.-European Union summit in Slovenia and meetings with government leaders in Germany, Italy, France and the United Kingdom.

Security was stiff in Rome throughout the president's three-day stay as police braced for expected protests. While no demonstrators were evident when Bush arrived at the Vatican, some 2,000 protesters marched through the center of Rome June 12, holding anti-war posters and shouting slogans.

While Glendon told Catholic News Service that she did not have a detailed account of what Bush and the pope discussed during the visit, she said the two men have a common approach to pressing world issues.

They both are concerned with "keeping the human person in view" and how unfolding events impact the poorest and most disadvantaged people in the world, she said.

After their private talks, Pope Benedict escorted Bush to the top of the turreted tower to get a panoramic view of the Vatican and Rome.

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Bush reportedly asked a Vatican aide how big Vatican City State is -- to which the aide replied, "Not quite as big as Texas."

Bush responded, "Yes, but more important," and remarked how "spectacular" the view was.

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The most unusual event of the morning was the leisurely stroll the two men took side by side along a winding road lined with trees, manicured lawns, ivy-covered walls, trickling fountains and colorful flower beds.

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The walk was scheduled for 20 minutes, but after just eight minutes they arrived at their destination of the grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes where they were joined by Bush's wife and the Vatican's secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.

After greeting the presidential entourage, the pope and the president sat on cushioned wooden deck chairs to listen to a brief choral performance by the Sistine Chapel Choir.

Just before the 30 boys and 20 men sang two hymns a cappella, a flock of parrots flew overhead and squawked loudly as the pope pointed them out to the president.

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Bush and Pope Benedict have met three times in a little more than one year and Glendon said, "There is no doubt that these two men have formed a deep personal friendship."

She said Bush regards the pope as the greatest spiritual leader in the world and admires the pope for upholding the truth in the face of a rampant culture of relativism.

They have "a shared foundation of spiritual and moral views that colors the way they discuss political issues," she said, and this is "a living example of what the pope means when he speaks about positive secularism."

"It is a living example of the fact that democracy and Christianity are good for each other," she said.

Though Pope Benedict and Bush agree on several issues, they differ on such issues as the war in Iraq and the death penalty.

Visiting heads of state normally exchange gifts with the pope.

The pope gave the president a four-volume illustrated book set about the history of St. Peter's Basilica as well as a silver-framed photograph of the pope, the president and the first lady in the Oval Office of the White House saying a prayer for families.

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Upon seeing the framed photograph, Laura Bush laughed and exclaimed, "We're giving the same thing," as she pointed to the president's gift of a silver-framed picture of himself with the pope at the White House. The president also gave the pope a large album containing many of the pictures taken during his White House visit.