Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Pastoral Staff of Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict XVI holds his pastoral staff as he celebrates ...

Pope Benedict XVI holds his pastoral staff as he celebrates a Vespers Mass in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Saturday, Nov. 28, 2009.
(AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito)

Pope Benedict XVI delivers his blessing during a Vespers Mass in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Saturday, Nov. 28, 2009.

(AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito)

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Lost Art of Catholic Drinking

by Sean P. Dailey

There is Protestant drinking and there is Catholic drinking, and the difference is more than mere quantity. I have no scientific data to back up my claims, nor have I completed any formal studies. But I have done a good bit of, shall we say, informal study, which for a hypothesis like this is probably the best kind.

To begin with, what is Catholic drinking? It's hard to pin down, but here's a historical example. St. Arnold (580-640), also known as St. Arnulf of Metz, was a seventh-century bishop of Metz, in what later became France. Much beloved by the people, St. Arnold is said to have preached against drinking water, which in those days could be extremely dangerous owing to unsanitary sewage systems -- or no sewage system at all. At the same time, he frequently touted the benefits of beer and is credited with having once said, "From man's sweat and God's love, beer came into the world."
Wise words, and St. Arnold's flock took them to heart. After his death, the good bishop was buried at a monastery near Remiremont, France, where he had retired. However, his flock missed him and wanted him back, so in 641, having gotten approval to exhume St. Arnold's remains, they carried him in procession back to Metz for reburial in the Basilica of the Holy Apostles. Along the way, it being a hot day, they got thirsty and stopped at an inn for some beer. Unfortunately, the inn had just enough left for a single mug; the processionals would have to share. As the tale goes, the mug did not run dry until all the people had drunk their fill.
Now, I'm not saying that Catholic drinking involves miracles, or that a miracle should occur every time people get together to imbibe. But good beer -- and good wine for that matter -- is a small miracle in itself, being a gift from God to His creatures, whom He loves. And as G. K. Chesterton wrote in Orthodoxy, "We should thank God for beer and burgundy by not drinking too much of them." In other words, we show our gratitude to God for wine and beer by enjoying these things, in good cheer and warm company, but not enjoying them to excess.
Just what constitutes excess is for each person to judge for himself. However, we now approach the main difference between Catholic drinking and Protestant drinking. Protestant drinking tends to occur at one extreme or another: either way too much or none at all, with each being a reaction to the other. Some people, rightly fed up with the smug self-righteousness of teetotalers, drink to excess. And teetotalers, rightly appalled at the habits of habitual drunkards, practice strict abstinence. It seems to occur to neither side that their reaction is just that: a reaction, and not a solution. If they considered it a bit, they might see a third way that involves neither drunkenness nor abstinence, yet is consistent with healthy, honest, humane Christian living.
Here we encounter Catholic drinking. Catholic drinking is that third way, the way to engage in an ancient activity enjoyed by everyone from peasants to emperors to Jesus Himself. And again, it is not just about quantity. In fact, I think the chief element is conviviality. When friends get together for a drink, it may be to celebrate, or it may be to mourn. But it should always be to enjoy one another's company. (Yes, there is a time and place for a solitary beer, but that is the exception.)
For example: The lectures at the annual Chesterton conference are themselves no more important than the attendees later discussing those same lectures over beer and wine (we tend to adhere to Hilaire Belloc's rule of thumb, which is to avoid alcoholic beverages developed after the Reformation). These gatherings occur between talks, during talks -- indeed, long into the night -- and we typically fall into bed pleasantly stewed. I cannot imagine a Chesterton conference without this. And yet I also know how detrimental it would be if we all stumbled back to our rooms roaring drunk.
Avoid each extreme -- that's how you drink like a Catholic. This is the art of Catholic drinking. There are plenty of our brethren who consider drinking somehow immoral, and there are plenty of others who think drinking must end with great intoxication. But the balanced approach -- the Catholic approach -- means having a good time, a good laugh, sometime a good cry, but always with joy and gratitude for God's generosity in giving us such wonders as beer and burgundy. Remember that, and the lost art of Catholic drinking may not remain lost.

"I'm not hurrying. I'm just walking fast..."

Fr. Christopher George Phillips

When the text of Anglicanorum coetibus was made public, I had no hesitation at all in wanting to be part of an Ordinariate. I happened to be in Rome at the time of the announcement, and I excitedly called my archbishop and said to him that I wanted to send in a request right away. His response was, "What's your hurry?"

His question didn't make any sense to me. In fact, I pondered it all the way back from Rome. But I think I've figured it out.

He knows me as a pastor, and us as a parish, because we're part of his archdiocese, just like his other priests and parishes. Sure, we have a different liturgical use. But heck, when you go around the archdiocese you'd swear that every single parish has its own liturgical use. He knows that we're loyal to him as our archbishop. He knows our school as one of the finest in the archdiocese, recognized nationally as an excellent educational institution. We pay our money on time. We're supportive of archdiocesan programs, such as pro-life efforts, the apostolate to the homeless and needy, the seminary, and a host of other things. When he visits the parish we welcome him as our spiritual Father-in-God. And then he gets a call from me, all excited about the new Apostolic Constitution, and the possibility of becoming part of an Ordinariate. I didn't stop to think that he hadn't been particularly waiting for this development. In fact, it hasn't been on his radar screen at all. So when he hears me, naturally his first reaction is, "What's your hurry?"

The thing is, the immediate desire to be part of an Ordinariate isn't hurrying at all. We've been working for this and praying for this for some thirty years. When approaches were made to the Holy See back in the 1970's, we had no idea what the Church might do for us. When the Pastoral Provision was established by Pope John Paul II, it was a huge step forward, and we entered into the process as quickly as we could. Why would we have waited around? We asked; Rome responded; we fulfilled the requirements as soon as possible, and we were welcomed home. But even then we knew that some sort of separate jurisdiction would be necessary if our parishes were going to grow and increase in numbers. And we took great comfort in the fact that the document outlining the terms of the Pastoral Provision allowed for this possibility.

In section II, 1 of the Pastoral Provision document signed by Cardinal Seper on July 22, 1980, Prot. N. 66/77, it states, "The preference expressed by the majority of the Episcopal Conference for the insertion of these reconciled Episcopalians into the diocesan structures under the jurisdiction of the local Ordinaries is recognized. Nevertheless, the possibility of some other type of structure as provided for by canonical dispositions, and as suited to the needs of the group, is not excluded." (emphasis added).

[holyfather_frphillips_small.jpg]That's precisely what has happened with the promulgation of Anglicanorum coetibus. A new structure is being provided. We tried it the way the Episcopal Conference wanted it to be. Where we were allowed to exist, we were made part of the existing diocesan structures under the jurisdiction of the local Ordinary. And that's the problem, clearly stated: "where we were allowed to exist." There were a few bishops who allowed the erection of parishes, but many bishops refused to allow a parish to be established under the terms of the Pastoral Provision. Some bishops were confused by it all, and would refer it to someone in the Chancery system, where the request would languish. Many bishops saw this only in terms of "married priests." Still other bishops couldn't see the purpose of us having our own liturgy, and a number of them told potential converts, "Sign up for RCIA, and just become Catholics in your local parish."

But now, with Anglicanorum coetibus, all that's changed. Pope Benedict XVI recognized the constraints we've had for these many years, and he's provided a solution. And not only provided it, but written it into the law of the Church, and extended it throughout the world.

There's nothing here for me to agonize over. The Holy Father has made his decision under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and he's signed the document, making the decision official and final.

So, with the deepest respect to those who feel they need more time to consider their options, or to explore issues, or to think about what they should do - by all means, take all the time you need.

And to those who think I'm hurrying, I've had all the time I need to think about it. I've been thinking about it for nearly thirty years. I'm happy to express my thanks by saying, "Yes."

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Ex-FBI agent who watched JFK autopsy reflects on death

By Glenn Miller, The (Fort Myers, Fla.) News-Press

At the time, Sibert was a 45-year-old FBI special agent stationed in Maryland and only a year younger than Kennedy...

"I don't buy the single-bullet theory," Sibert said. "I won't go as far as to say there was no conspiracy."

Sibert and O'Neill's report, titled "Autopsy of Body of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy," stated that Commander James J. Humes, who conducted the autopsy, noted another wound.

"During the latter stages of this autopsy, Dr. Humes located an opening which appeared to be a bullet hole which was below the shoulders and two inches to the right of the middle line of the spinal column," Sibert and O'Neill reported.

Sibert won't guess on possible conspirators, on who else may have shot Kennedy other than Oswald.

"I wouldn't have any way of knowing," Sibert said. "See, that's another thing. All my work was in Bethesda, Md."

The FBI, Sibert said, had no jurisdiction in the investigation. The FBI website notes that "When President Kennedy was assassinated, the crime was a local homicide; no federal law addressed the murder of a president..."

Fifth Bishop Didn't Take Up National CCHD Collection

Patrick B. Craine

Victor GaleoneBishop Victor Galeone of St. Augustine, Florida lists three reasons for his decision.

First, he says, "over the years some CCHD funds were disbursed to certain organizations hostile to key Catholic positions." He specifically highlighted the funding of ACORN as an instance of this.

Second, he explains, "Catholic organizations or groups cannot receive CCHD funding since their guidelines exclude all 'organizations controlled by governmental, educational, or ecclesiastical bodies.'" While Catholic inner-city schools are "struggling to make ends meet," he says, "... they cannot receive a single dollar of our own CCHD donations for that purpose!"

Third, he decries the fact that CCHD does not fund projects that work to support family values. "If CCHD's mission is to address the root causes of poverty in America, why are no funds earmarked to address the greatest cause of poverty in our country today - single motherhood?" he asks. "Moreover, 80% of the male inmates incarcerated in America come from fatherless homes. Yet no CCHD funds go to groups striving to strengthen family values..."


It is not licit to deny communion on the tongue due to H1N1


The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments responded to a lay Catholic in Britain, in a diocese in which communion on the tongue had been restricted due to concerns related to the Influenza A virus, subtype H1N1 ("Swine flu") epidemic."

Women religious not complying with Vatican study

By Thomas C. Fox

(National Catholic Reporter) The vast majority of U.S. women religious are not complying with a Vatican request to answer questions in a document of inquiry that is part of a three-year study of the congregations. Leaders of congregations, instead, are leaving questions unanswered or sending in letters or copies of their communities' constitutions.

"There's been almost universal resistance," said one women religious familiar with the responses compiled by the congregation leaders. "We are saying 'enough!' In my 40 years in religious life I have never seen such unanimity...."

The Vatican initiated the study in January, saying its purpose is to determine the quality of life in religious communities, given the decline in vocations in recent decades. From the outset, the women have complained they were never consulted before Vatican officials announced the investigation and there is no transparency in the process. Some have called the effort demeaning and intrusive...

NCR contacted more than a dozen women religious familiar with the responses. Almost no one would allow her name to be used, citing fear of reprisal against their congregations and the desire to have the apostolic visitator receive their letters before word of the actions became public...

She said women religious have been virtually unanimous in spirit that they have been living out their missions, as directed by the gospels and by the Second Vatican Council...

"Vatican II took us out of the ghettos and into ecology, feminism and justice in the world," she said. "The Vatican still has a difficult time accepting that..."

Still another said that at first when confronted with the questionnaire, many women religious congregation heads felt isolated. But after discussions within their communities and after regional meetings with other women religious and after consultations with their canon lawyers, they overcame the initial sense of isolation and grew in common resolve.

Several women said canon lawyers told the women they were not required to answer all the questions...

NCR contacted several canon lawyers consulted by women religious communities. These canon lawyers declined to be interviewed for this story.

All along, said one woman religious, the challenge has been to respond to the Vatican in a way that breaks a cycle of violence. She said that the women religious communities have attempted to respond by using a language "devoid of the violence" they found in the Vatican questionnaire and within the wider study. She characterized the congregation responses as "creative and affirming," and part of an effort to set a positive example in "nonviolent resistance."

"On the one hand we didn't want to roll over and play dead," she said. "So the question was, "How do you step outside a violent framework and do something new?' That was the challenge that emerged." One congregation, she said, cited a U.S. bishops' statement concerning domestic abuse in its response letter to Millea. "The point is, there have to be more than two choices: Take the abuse and offer it up, or kill the abuser."

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Radio Replies - Catholic and Protestant Countries

1448. If Catholicism is true, why are the most backward countries Catholic, and the most enlightened and progressive countries Protestant?

Let me lay this ghost once and for all. The assertion implicit in such a question ignores the facts of history. A few centuries ago Spain was the dominant nation, and it rose to power as a Catholic nation. On your principles, pagan Romans could have argued that their paganism was true, pointing with scorn to Druid-ridden England, and its lack of culture. Italy, under Mussolini, is today leaping to the front and disturbing politicians of other countries; and its rapid advance has not demanded the relinquishing of Catholicity. As for enlightenment, Protestant artists and architects go to study the great masters and the architectural gems in Catholic countries, and are inspired by Catholic culture! Temporal progress is a fluctuating thing, dependent on political, geographical, racial, economic, and personal factors, and that quite independently of religion. I have mentioned that the assertion violates logic from the Christian point of view, since Christ did not promise temporal welfare. And it is absurd, on the face of it. For it is like arguing, "Jones is a millionaire; his religion must be true. Jones has become a bankrupt; the same religion must be false!" Finally, if Protestantism is justified by the present temporal prosperity of Protestant nations, it will be falsified by the future collapse of those nations. You can be quite sure that the present relative position of the nations of this world is not going to remain unchanged until the end of the world. That would be against all the laws of history and of the mutability of men. Alexander the Great longed for more worlds to conquer — his empire has crumbled and gone. The Roman Empire has crumbled and gone. The British Empire will crumble and go — yielding to further political changes and regimes, ever fluctuating and variable. Protestantism is changing daily, and will go even as the religions of the Greek and Roman Empires. The Catholic Church alone is changeless, and will last through all political and national upheavals, as she has done through all the changes of the last two thousand years. Talk about the relative temporal enlightenment and progress of various countries impresses no thinking man in the matter of religion. It is a phase which neither proves nor disproves the truth of a religion, but is simply irrelevant.

1449. Look at Catholic countries where Rome has power!

Yes, look at them, but with open eyes. The temporal administration of these countries is not in the hands of the Church. And, in any case, as I have said, Spain had the Catholic religion when she was the first power in Europe. Meantime, remember that the Catholic Church is the mother of civilization. She preserved literature, and but for the transcriptions of her monks, you would have scarcely a single classical author of ancient times. The Catholic faith has inspired the loftiest works of art, architecture, and music. The economic fluctuations are simply irrelevant.

1450. Catholic countries, burdened by Church institutions, cannot progress.

They have done so, and they do. And what do you mean by Catholic countries being thus burdened? The women of Jerusalem wept, in their health and strength, as they saw Jesus carrying His cross. But instead of accepting their compassion, He said, "Weep not over me, but over yourselves and your children." Catholics, too, say to you, "Weep not over us. Have your progress in worldly advantages, comforts, and pleasures. Christ promised happiness in self-renunciation and generosity. The comfort lover does not know what these things mean." The Catholic Church is mainly interested in progress in holiness and virtue; and that is the only progress worth while in the end. The nations that have progressed in worldly goods have religiously progressed into indifference. As with individuals, the more these nations have, the less they want God. But this is not the fault of progress as such. It is the unhappy result of a Protestantism which came into being just as the swing towards scientific progress came upon the world. That swing would have come in any case. It did not come because of Protestantism; but Protestantism was unable to hold the religious allegiance of men in the midst of temporal prosperity. And in their luxuries, men are forgetting God.

1451. Why are Catholic countries always revolutionary?

They are not. Certain countries, whose inhabitants happen to be mainly Catholics, are characterized by frequent political upheavals, but that is a very different matter. Temperament accounts for this in some degree. Descendants of the Latin races have not the same calm self-possession of the colder and more phlegmatic northern Europeans. Again, economic prosperity in the northern peoples gave less cause for turbulence, though internal disputes are rapidly becoming a feature amongst these people also. But the Catholic religion as such is not involved in this question. Italy is at present advancing, while steadily restoring Catholicism after its disfavor since the revolution of 1870, a revolution produced not by Catholic but by anti-Catholic influences. Catholicism and progress are here going hand in hand. Another Catholic country could easily be on the decline. Holland has declined since it became Protestant, but no Catholic dreams of blaming Protestantism for this. We must look to natural factors to explain the natural swing of the pendulum in national and political matters. We can no more connect the rise and fall of nations with religion as such than we can judge an individual's religion by his material well-being. Catholicism, if accepted, will result even in the temporal well-being both of individuals and of nations. If Catholicism does not seem to do so, it is because it is not being put into practice sincerely by those professing it. But we are not justified in arguing back to religion from all types of temporal well-being and progress.

1452. Why, in Catholic countries, does the whole populace turn against the Church?

The whole populace does not. Political revolutionaries and anti-religious minorities take advantage of the lack of political organization of Catholics at times. In Russia, the attack on the Church is due to anti-religious forces, and to anti-Christian Communists. In Mexico, anti-religious forces are also responsible, even though some of the revolutionaries against the Church are nominally Catholic. In Spain, while the country was involved in political changes, an anti-religious minority, backed by foreigners and supplies from Russian and other Communists, attacked and looted religious institutions and churches. No well-informed Christians of any denomination rejoice over these anti-religious movements. They do not proceed from any desire of a purer religion, but work for the destruction of all religion.

1453. Protestants in Protestant countries do not rebel against the Protestant Churches, as Catholics against the Catholic Church in Catholic countries.

Atheists and bad Catholics may rebel against the Catholic Church, which condemns their vices. But why should anyone rebel against the Protestant Churches? Protestantism is most obliging as a rule, and instead of going against the grain, and ordering its adherents to renounce their evil inclinations, either remains discreetly silent, or breaks down Christian principles to suit the desires of men. How often we notice Protestant leaders first studying what men want, and then interpreting Christianity accordingly! The Catholic Church first asks what Christ wants, and then tells men that, even though it be uncomfortable, they must live up to it. Protestant Churches sanction divorce, birth-control, and almost any heretical doctrine about Christ and His teachings, impose no strict obligation of Sunday worship, and are so harmless generally that no one would think of being up in arms against them. If a man does not like them, he just ignores them. The Catholic Church, however, is known to be a really vital force, and men find that they cannot ignore her. Enemies of Christianity are not concerned much with Protestantism. It is in Catholicism that they recognize the deadly enemy of atheism, materialism, and Communism.

1454. Why is Southern Ireland so poor? Is it for want of ability, or is it because the Catholic Church has bled the people of all their money? What a contrast with the North of Ireland!

It is not from want of ability. Nor is it because the Church has robbed the people. It is because England drained the country dry, confiscating property from Irishmen and bestowing it upon Englishmen, and taxing the people to fill the English exchequer. This has been one of the chief causes of the dissatisfaction in Ireland through the centuries. On the other hand, money has been poured into Northern Ireland from England. Thus English policy has bought the love of the Protestant North, and driven the Catholic South to poverty and distress. I have not one drop of Irish blood in my veins, but I cannot shut my eyes to the facts of history. Any old stick will do, of course, with which to beat the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church is there to be the object of our contempt and hatred. And it is all the more inviting when it enables us to load the wretch with our own iniquities, and so divert attention from ourselves. But let us be honest. We Englishmen are dishonest when we suggest that the effects of our own injustice are really due to the blighting influence of the Catholic Church.

1455. Since the Reformation, Protestant countries have advanced in every way.

Many of them have not advanced from a worldly point of view, and none of them has advanced in Christian holiness and virtue. Those Protestant countries which have shown material progress do not owe it to their adoption of Protestantism. I admit, of course, that Protestantism has allowed men to divert their attention from spiritual to material interests. Undivided attention to worldly pursuits would make for additional progress in such affairs. But, in the main, scientific and temporal progress would have come in any case. The Reformation arrived almost simultaneously with an era of discoveries, which were the cumulative result of preceding Catholic genius. In the new industrial era, too, the northern European countries, which happened to be Protestant, had the necessary coal and iron. But the coal and iron would have been there just the same had they remained Catholic.

1456. Thanks to Luther, Germany became mighty.

Were that so, which I do not grant, Luther would have had the wrong influence from a Christian point of view. Christianity is to make people better, not to make them mightier. Catholicism tends to the material well-being of nations as of individuals by conferring peace and contentment, not by conferring might and luxury. And the fruit of German might was the Great War, in which Protestant Germany failed. Christianity, of course, was not responsible for that war. Abandonment of true Christianity by those who still nominally professed that religion, was the cause.

1457. Look at England's progress since she became Protestant.

England is not a Protestant country, except nominally. The irreligious easily outnumber the religious in England. Her material prosperity has been accompanied by frightful spiritual loss. Her subjects have drifted from God, and agnosticism, materialism, and atheism have swept through the masses. And that does not look much like a blessing of God. But, as I have said, you are on the wrong lines. Christ came to make men unworldly, holy, and spiritual. And His religion must be tested by these results. If prosperity and earthly might are to be the tests, then give up Christianity, as England, alas, is doing. For Christ died between two despised thieves, and predicted suffering for His followers. He said, "Blessed are the poor," not, "Blessed are the rich"; "Fear not little flock," not, "Fear not, ye mightiest of the land"; "He that exalts himself shall be humbled"; not, "He that exalts himself certainly has My true religion." His religion is not of this world, and He solemnly warns us that it is of little profit to gain the whole world at the expense of one's soul. If you base your religion on the political greatness of nations which profess it, the swing of the political pendulum will destroy your religion in no time.

1458. Anyway, the Protestants pray that America will never come under the domination of the Catholic Church.

You are wasting your prayers. The Catholic Church, even if our country became entirely Catholic, would not wish to assume purely civil government. Free and easy divorce laws would be repealed; the sale of birth-control requirements would be prohibited; and various other un-Christian liberties would be withdrawn. But where legislation did not conflict with God's laws, it would be unaffected by the predominance of the Catholic religion.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Former Mayor of Providence on Patrick Kennedy, Bishop Tobin and the MSNBC Interview

Buddy Cianci discusses his WPRO interview with Bishop Tobin, and His Excellency's thoughts on the MSNBC interview:

The Church Will Not Be Hannitized

Father Thomas J. Euteneuer

To say that I am humbled and awed by the overwhelming response of the faithful to last Friday night's Hannity interview would be an understatement. To show my gratitude I have celebrated a Mass of thanksgiving for the literally hundreds of people who wrote emails, sent faxes and made phone calls in support of the Church's teaching, and for the unique opportunity to offer this witness to millions more. At the writing of this column, HLI has received more than 1250 emails and dozens of other communications which have run clearly 90-10 in favor of the Church's teaching - this is just incredible! I was aware that there were good Catholics out there who support the Church, but I didn't realize how many were willing to go to bat for the Truth. This gives me the greatest of hope for the future of the Church!

In light of this hope, I have to say that the "Hannitization" of the Church will not prevail! "Hannitization" is the stance that Mr. Hannity displayed on Friday night in his attitude toward infallible Church teaching. It is the curious fantasy of people who consider themselves devout Catholics in every way yet see no incompatibility between contraception and Communion. In this, he is just an icon of a whole sector of "Catholics" who live out of that template in public and private. Forty years of vigorous internal dissent against clearly-defined teachings on contraception have ceded the battlefield to the default cultural mindset that says contraception is not only morally justified, it is actually "a good thing," as Mr. Hannity has stated.

We know that all chemical contraception actually causes abortions at the embryonic stage, but dissenters are rarely swayed by medical facts. Our recent Popes call the "hannitization" phenomenon moral relativism and condemn it in the starkest possible terms as incompatible with the Faith of our Fathers. Pope Benedict has even used the term "dictatorship" to describe the arrogance with which such people tend to treat all who question their private judgments about objective truths. This whole incredible episode has exposed, in a graphic way, the profound internal crisis of Catholicism in a post-Vatican II world.

The battle is not at all between so-called liberals and conservatives. The poster boy for conservative values has just gone on record admitting that he is - obstinately - in denial of a truth of the Faith that must be believed, as the Catechism says, "with divine and catholic faith" (n. 2089). "Liberal" and "conservative" values must all be held up to scrutiny by the Church because no political ideology has the charism of infallibility. Only Christ's Vicar has that. Rather, the internecine battle within our own Church is between those who believe in objective right and wrong and those who believe that they, individually, are the arbiters of right and wrong.

This issue is not over, friends, because the battle lines are being drawn between the two worldviews and the stakes are high. Those stakes are the hannitized souls of this and the next generation of youth, and they are worth fighting for. For my part I have been deeply gratified to see evidence of the soldiers of the Church Militant who accept objective right and wrong about contraception and are quite fed up with the nonsense of the high profile dissenters who have done so much spiritual damage to souls. We stand together to defend our first love - Christ's Church! After all, it's not just Hannity's soul we are worried about. How many millions are potentially led astray by a man with that kind of platform? Keep in mind, though, that our project is much more than just objecting to dissenters in the media. We are to lead souls to the Truth through the media, or despite it. That is our common mission.

By the way, as Providence would have it, our Holy Father just this week issued a Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation on the Eucharist which will knock your socks off. Read paragraph 83 to see whether denying a guy like Hannity the Eucharist would be something the Pope would agree with!

Now I need to ask you for a quick favor. Starting today there are nine days before our Church celebrates the Feast of the Annunciation - that day in history when Our Lord took on embryonic form in the womb of His most holy Mother. Pray with me a novena for the conversion of all those who have bought into the lies of the contraceptive culture - including Mr. Hannity. Then pray that he responds to my second request to meet with him privately. Who knows, we may de-hannitize our whole Church through his conversion.

Dog in a BP shirt greets customers at Clearwater store

By Dominick Tao, Times Staff Writer


The sequence of events happens dozens of times every day at the BP gas station/convenience store at U.S. 19 at Nursery Road.

An unsuspecting customer pulls up to the drive-through window. But instead of a store clerk, up pops two paws, deep brown eyes and the tongue-flapping grin of a happy chocolate Labrador retriever named Cody.

Kids in the back seats of minivans often squeal with joy.

Even the usually stony faces of gruff construction worker-types can't help but crack a smile under the dog's unpretentious greeting.

"He hears the bell and goes running. When he pops up, that sets it off," said Karim Mansour, the store's and dog's owner. "Uncontrollable giggling..."


Radio Replies First Volume - Poverty of Catholics

1441. The Catholic Church is a blight on social welfare, asking the public to support too many religious institutions.

The irreligious man perhaps thinks that there are too many. But the religious man will say that there are not really enough. God is not likely to complain that works of mercy are being multiplied in His name. And what public is called upon to support these Catholic institutions? Let those complain who do so. Catholic institutions are supported in the main by Catholics and by such generous non-Catholics who admire their charitable work. And the man who does not support them is not the one who should complain. If those who do support them had no wish to do so for the love of God and their fellow men, they would cease to give. But they must be allowed to do with their own property what they wish. If they wish to devote some of their earnings to charitable and religious works, those who selfishly reserve all for their own comfort or amusement should at least have the grace to keep silent.

1442. How long will the country be able to stand this vast expenditure?

The country is not asked to do so. Catholics give out of their private earnings, paying all public taxes required for the public finances. Catholic institutions are not a burden on the public. In fact they lessen the public burden, relieving the state of a great deal of financial responsibility. Public money is spent on state schools, and in them Catholic public money is spent to educate the children of non-Catholics, while Catholics have to pay privately over again for the education of their own children. Take my advice. Do not talk economics in reference to Catholic institutions. Just pocket Catholic money and be wisely silent!

1443. Is not the money extracted from Catholics out of all proportion to their ability to give?

Money is not extracted from Catholics. They delight to give what they can afford in support of their religion. They believe they can afford it, even if it does mean the sacrifice of some of the amusements those who don't give can enjoy. But they would rather give to God than spend all on superfluous self-entertainment. All Catholics know that they are not expected to give out of proportion to their real ability. Those who cannot afford it have no obligation to give.

1444. The money is wrung from the people.

It is not, and every Catholic would resent the charge that his offerings to God and to the Church are not prompted by supernatural motives, and are not voluntary, but given under compulsion. You have not the least idea of the Catholic spirit.

1445. It is a wonderful way to get money; just tell people that they sin if they don't give!

That would indeed be a wonderful way. It is surprising that the big business people have not thought of it. They have but to insert an advertisement in the newspapers, "It is sinful not to purchase at our establishment," and the first firm that does so will have all rival firms closed in no time. It is a wonder that the modern world has not yet thought of this.

1446. All the same Catholicism keeps the people poor, for Father Martindale bewailed the fact that the Catholic religion is looked upon as the religion of the kitchen.

That does not mean that it is the religion of the kitchen. Nor was Father Martindale alluding to the qualities of the religion. He was rebuking the dispositions of those who so regarded Catholicism. He was blaming men who are so blind to the real facts that, because many of the lower classes do happen to be Catholics, they look down upon Catholicism with prejudice and snobbishness. Such men would have despised Christianity in the first days of its existence because preached by a common fisherman, Peter.

1447. Why are there so many Catholic employees, and so few Catholic employers?

The duty of proving that Catholic employers are proportionately fewer than Protestant employers rests upon yourself, before I have any need to reply. And even if you could prove such to be the case, no question for or against the Catholic religion could arise from such considerations. Temporal prosperity is no index as to the truth of Christianity, for Christ did not promise that. He Himself knew no temporal prosperity, and predicted that His true followers would not be above their Master. In fact, from this point of view, lack of worldly prosperity on the part of Catholics would be, if anything, in their favor as disciples of a crucified Master.

Bill O'Reilly Interviews Rhode Island Bishop Thomas J. Tobin


Sean Hannity vs. Father Thomas Euteneuer on Contraception and Dissent

From 2007:

Then this response [with my comments] was posted by Father Jonathan Morris, Fox News Analyst and at the time, rector of the Legionaires of Christ seminary in Rome:

An Open Letter to Sean Hannity

Dear Sean,

As I watched a fellow Catholic priest spar with you on the March 9 edition of Hannity and Colmes, I hung my head in shame and sadness. My colleague in religion (whom I've never met) used the public airways and Internet to call you a heretic and hypocrite. Because he chose to do this in a public forum, I want you and your viewers to know, publicly, that as an analyst of this television network, I believe this good priest, who does great work, exercised, on this occasion, shockingly poor judgment. I consider his willingness to give his personal opinion about your status within the Church inappropriate and ill-considered, to say the least.

Regardless of the issue and arguments at hand [the issue was artificial contraception and dissent from Church teachings, teachings which Fr. Euteneuer accurately described and defended, and which Fr. Morris apparently isn't willing to bring up in this letter], brandishing law without palpable love almost always repels. I must assume he just made an honest mistake. [by using the term "mistake," here, Fr. Morris may be implying unintentionally to the reader that Fr. Euteneuer was wrong about Church teaching, and he was not.]

The unfortunate event reminded me of the bigger question of the fast-eroding credibility among religious leaders in our nation and its causes.

I should start, or rather continue, at home with the Catholic Church, your church and mine. As you rightly stated in the same television segment, the systematic cover-up of sexual abuse within some sectors of Catholic Church leadership was a monstrous scandal and its effects will be long-lasting. Even those priests who were not involved in the mess, as I am sure is the case with the priest in question, can never forget that those of us who wear a clerical collar still conjure up painful memories in many people's minds. The strange looks and rash judgments to which we are at times subjected is not the people's fault; it's ours, in as much as we are members of a very guilty family.

In this light, before we clergy members speak out publicly against public offenses, as sometimes we must do, we should ask ourselves and God why we are doing what we are doing, and what the best way to do it is, according to the circumstances, and always with palpable love. The question is not only if what we have to say is correct, but where, when, and how we should say it. I, for one, would have communicated my beliefs in a different way on more than one occasion if I had followed this advice.

I would be remiss if I were to suggest that the loss of religious credibility begins and ends with Catholic leaders. When we hear television evangelists wonder out loud whether Ariel Sharon's stroke might be God's judgment on him for making territorial concessions to the Palestinians, we lose trust. When, year after year, we listen to self-proclaimed prophets predict the day and the hour of the “end-times,” we lose trust. When we turn on the television and hear preachers promise heaven on earth if we give, give, give to the Church — their church — we lose trust. When we hear mainline Protestant pastors and their associations throw Biblical tradition to the wind and make wishy-washy statements about faith and morality, we lose trust.

The non-Christian religions are in even worse shape regarding leadership credibility. Is there a single Muslim imam who stands out today for his national leadership toward peace? What Muslim scholar can we trust to speak with scholarly proficiency and universal authority about the alleged peaceful nature of Islam?

The Jewish community in America is so splintered and disjointed on themes of dogma and religious tradition, it is difficult to find anyone who speaks for the majority, or even for the masses.

Here's my point:

When we believe we have discovered truth and, therefore, we believe others are wrong — a sign of cultivated intelligence, not pride — we must reject the temptation to throw civility to the wind. Being right always didn't ever inspire Jesus to jeopardize people's reputation or dignity. It went against his very nature, and it should go against ours too. Sometimes he spoke harshly, but he always spoke in love, and he made sure people knew it.

Sean, I don't always agree with you and Alan, as I have told both of you in person, but I think you are both honest, and both have the humility and courage to accept truth when you stumble across it, even when it comes in bits and pieces. I think it's precisely this three-pronged attitude of honesty, humility and courage that best prepares us, with all of our imperfections, for heaven.

God bless, Father Jonathan

And Father Euteneuer's response (source: Tea at Trianon):

Father Euteneuer's Reply to Father Jonathan Morris

Here is Father Thomas Euteneuer's polite but firm response to the brother priest who publically chastised him for taking a stand. (Via Spirit Daily) The red highlights are mine. What happened to fraternal correction? It seems that those who speak out against what is wrong are the ones who get corrected.

Dear Father Jonathan,

Your letter to Sean Hannity indicates that you did not know that I asked to speak to him in private about this matter in 2004 otherwise you may have tempered your remarks about my supposed lack of charity in dealing with a high profile Catholic who dissents from clearly-defined and reiterated Church teachings....You also seemed to be unaware of the fact that Sean was the one who invited me on his program and who then promptly “[threw] civility to the wind,” refused to display “cultivated intelligence” on the issues and jeopardized another person’s “reputation and dignity.” May I also point out that you did not employ with me the same standard of “fraternal correction” that you expected me to employ with Mr. Hannity. I at least made the attempt to speak to him about this issue in private without success; you, in contrast, went immediately to the internet to take me to task. I do not intend to understand your motives; I can only evaluate what I see in your actions.

The question that comes to mind is an obvious one: if you are a Fox analyst on Catholic matters, wouldn’t you have been the one to have had those “private conversations” on birth control with Mr. Hannity? How about discussions on his abortion exceptions? When you told Sean “in person” that you “disagreed with him,” was it on the issue of birth control? If you had done that, I applaud you, but your powers of persuasion may need a little honing—Sean has only gotten more vocal on this issue over time. If you did not speak to him about his public dissent, then I ask you, “Why?” While we are on the subject, have you also analyzed and disagreed with Bill O’Reilly’s perfectly horrible disdain for the Holy Father and the Church that you represent?

The church sex abuse scandal was not just about homosexual and predatory priests. It was about clerical negligence and silence on issues that not only affect people’s souls but also ruin people’s lives. It is highly unusual that you or anyone else would want a priest to be silent on issues that affect the salvation of souls. We used to recognize “admonishing the sinner” as one of the Spiritual Works of Mercy, and I consider my admonishment of Mr. Hannity to have been done in that spirit. I might also add that in doing so I have fulfilled my duty as a priest which is a requirement for my salvation.

As a seminary rector, I would sincerely hope that you are not teaching by word or example the young men in your charge to be politically correct sissies who are afraid to roll up their sleeves and defend the Church in private and in public. We have tons of those types in the clergy already. I would advise you to drink deeply of the wisdom of the Number Two man at our Headquarters who has in no uncertain terms told all of us that high profile dissenters are a scourge and a danger to souls. [See item: “Bertone: Dissident Catholics More Worrying Than Atheists.”]

I wish you fraternal blessings for your priestly work.


Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer


Human Life International


The Church Will Not Be Hannitized

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen on the Blessed Virgin Mary

Cristo Rey

Bipartisan Majority of U.S. Congress Signs Amicus Brief Supporting NRA's Position in Pivotal Supreme Court Case

Fairfax, Va. -- An overwhelming, bipartisan majority of members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate have signed an amicus curiae, or "friend of the court," brief supporting the NRA’s position that the Second Amendment is incorporated against the states through the Fourteenth Amendment. The amicus brief, bearing the signatures of 251 Members of Congress and 58 Senators, was filed with the U.S. Supreme Court today in the case of McDonald v. City of Chicago.

Last week, the NRA filed its brief with the Supreme Court as Respondent in Support of Petitioner in the McDonald case. The NRA brief asks the Court to hold that the Second Amendment applies to state and local governments through the Fourteenth Amendment.

"The framers of the Bill of Rights and of the Fourteenth Amendment never intended for the Second Amendment to apply only to some Americans in certain places. Gun owners across the country are grateful for the support that so many members of Congress are lending to this crucial effort to ensure that the Second Amendment applies to states, not just federal enclaves," said Chris W. Cox, NRA chief lobbyist. "I would especially like to acknowledge the outstanding efforts of former United States Solicitor General Paul Clement in authoring this historic amicus brief, as well as U.S. Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) and Jon Tester (D-MT), and Congressmen Mike Ross (D-AR) and Mark Souder (R-IN) for their work on this important effort. This brief boasts the most signers of a congressional amicus brief in the history of the Supreme Court -- breaking the record set just last year in the Heller case."

In September, the Court agreed to consider the McDonald case, on appeal from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. That court incorrectly claimed that prior Supreme Court precedent prevented it from holding in favor of incorporation of the Second Amendment. The NRA believes the Seventh Circuit should have followed the lead of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision in Nordyke v. King, which found that Supreme Court precedent does not prevent the Second Amendment from applying to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause. As a party in McDonald, the NRA is actively involved in this case and believes the NRA brief makes a clear and strong case in favor of incorporation of the Second Amendment. Cox concluded, "It is our sincere hope that the Supreme Court will follow the Constitution’s true meaning and hold that the Second Amendment applies to all law-abiding Americans."

Chicago has had a handgun ban and other restrictive gun laws in place for 27 years. The Supreme Court is expected to hear the McDonald case in February 2010.

Read the brief here


Established in 1871, the National Rifle Association is America’s oldest civil rights and sportsmen's group. Four million members strong, NRA continues its mission to uphold Second Amendment rights and to advocate enforcement of existing laws against violent offenders to reduce crime. The Association remains the nation's leader in firearm education and training for law-abiding gun owners, law enforcement and the military.

Pro-abortion congressman defends Rep. Kennedy as Senate hopefuls lash out at Church

( A pro-abortion Catholic congressman from Pennsylvania has come to the defense of Rep. Patrick Kennedy in his dispute with Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence. “We don't legislate at the orders of the Vatican, we legislate what is in our conscience and what we think is good for our country,” said Rep. Patrick Murphy as he received an award at Harvard University from Caroline Kennedy, who is Rep. Kennedy’s cousin. “I'm reaching out to Patrick Kennedy and also to my local priests and bishops to make sure they know that we agree on 99 percent of the issues.”

More harsh were comments on the issue by two Massachusetts senatorial candidates. “It seems to me a little bit ironic that a church that was willing to overlook the victimization of many, many children over several years is now turning around and saying to people who are good Christians, good Catholics, that, ‘You can’t join this,’’’ said Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, a Catholic. According to the Boston Globe, Rep. Michael Capuano added:

“And they wonder why people stop going to church.’’ Capuano, who is Catholic, then ticked off issues on which he disagreed with the church, including abortion rights, same-sex marriage, and prohibitions against the ordination of women and married men as priests.

Source(s): these links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

Opinion: Chris Matthews should be fired for his Offensive Interview of Bishop Tobin

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (

Matthews showed how inept he is as an interviewer, how misinformed he is as a Catholic, how rude he is as a person and how threatened he is by the Moral truth.

Chris Matthews should be fired for his offensive and impolite Interview of Bishop Thomas Tobin. Then, he should sign up for the Right of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) and learn the Catholic faith all over again.
Chris Matthews should be fired for his offensive and impolite Interview of Bishop Thomas Tobin. Then, he should sign up for the Right of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) and learn the Catholic faith all over again.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Catholic Online) – When I discovered that Chris Matthews of the program Hardball was going to interview Bishop Thomas Tobin on the continuing saga of Congressman Patrick Kennedy, I knew I had to watch. Bishop Tobin has courageously - and with a Pastor’s heart - tried to help Congressman Patrick Kennedy to see the dangerous error of his failure to defend the fundamental Right to Life. The Congressman is one of far too many unfaithful Catholics in public life who do not demonstrate moral coherence in their exercise of public office.

After sitting through several segments, I should have known from the “tease” to the segment which I was awaiting where this arrogant, self centered commentator intended to take this alleged “interview”. He repeatedly “teased” to the segment by incessantly repeating the term “Abortion rights” and indicating that he was going to interview Bishop Tobin who was "punishing" Congressman Kennedy for supporting “abortion rights”. There are no “abortion rights”, only human rights. I cannot listen to that phrase “abortion rights” without instantly responding.

The claim of a so called “right” to abort an innocent child is heinous. It is also a fallacy to couch this evil in the language of a woman’s “Right to Choose.” Some choices are always and everywhere wrong. Yet, that is the current state of the positive law in America since the horrendous decisions in Roe and Doe. Women can “choose” to take the life of our first neighbors, the ones who live where we all once lived, in the womb. That “choice” - which is always and everywhere wrong because it is the taking of innocent human life - is also currently protected by the Police Power of the State.

Abortion is the only example of taking innocent human life which is so protected by the Police Power of the State. It has a special status as some sort of "super right" in the American libertine culture and the dictatorship of relativism. Imagine if the positive law created a so called “right” to kill three week old babies because the Supreme Court said it was OK. There is no moral difference. Abortion is feticide in a new language intended to make what is evil sound acceptable.

In an Orwellian effort to change the debate and assuage their consciences its’ advocates have fashioned a “rights language” to make it somehow sound enlightened. It does not work. Science has confirmed what our conscience long ago told all of us, the child in the womb is one of us. She is our neighbor. It is always wrong to kill an innocent neighbor. This truth is written on our hearts by the Natural Law which all just positive laws should participate in and not abrogate. Intentional abortion is wrong and should be illegal in a just society.

The notion that the act of intentionally killing of an entire class of human beings should be called an “abortion right” is despicable. Only human persons can have “rights.” Governments do not create them, they can only recognize them. The act of abortion is a heinous crime. It has no "rights.”

The shorthand phrase “abortion rights” is a linguistic tool used by some journalists like Matthews to further the abortion deception. Even if the positive law of the United States has placed the Police Power behind protecting the evil “choice” to take innocent human life in the womb, one simply cannot have a “right” to do what is always wrong.

Matthews finally did have the good Bishop on his show. It quickly became clear that he intended to pummel him, browbeat him and try to persuade him to abandon the truth and excuse the error which Matthews has embraced. In his grandiosity and arrogance Matthews proceeded to talk over the Bishop, interrupt him, cut him off, and try to lecture him in a condescending manner on “the law”. He repeatedly tried to force him to answer loaded questions. He finally had the audacity to suggest that the Bishop needed to rethink his position.

MSNBC should publicly apologize to the Bishop and Matthews should be fired for his lack of professionalism. To not give this good and intelligent man, this Bishop of the Catholic Church, an opportunity to speak, after inviting him on this show, was inexcusable.

I hope Chris Matthews is reading this article. If you are Chris, here is my heartfelt personal message to you, “You should be ashamed of yourself. You need to get right with God and with your Church”.

Matthews feigned respect by repeatedly calling the Bishop “Your Excellency”, but his manner of proceeding revealed he has no respect for the Office. Matthews, a professing Catholic, also does not understand his own faith. He does not understand that his own Church’s unwavering opposition to the taking of all innocent human life at every age and stage is the ground of every social justice issue.

At several points in this frustrating interview, as the Bishop was trying to help Matthews see that the defense of the Right to Life is a "Natural Law" position and not simply "religious", Matthews simply cut him off and continued his ill mannered browbeating.

Yet, in spite of Matthews asinine effort to claim that morality has nothing to do with the law, the Bishop at least succeeded in showing that morality is the foundation of much of the positive law. He used a few salient examples such as our prohibiting in the law the killing of our neighbor, stealing his property or beating him up. Matthews would hear none of it.

Chris Matthews was not interested in interviewing Bishop Thomas Tobin. In this embarrassing excuse for a program he showed how inept he is as an interviewer, how misinformed he is as a Catholic, how rude he is as a person and how threatened he is by the Moral truth as taught with conviction and courage by his own Church.

Chris Matthews should be fired for his offensive and impolite Interview of Bishop Thomas Tobin. Then, he should sign up for the Right of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) and learn the Catholic faith all over again.

An analysis of the Bp. Tobin “Hardball” interview

Cardinal Puljic on Medjugorje: God Blesses Prayer

Sarajevo Archbishop Notes Hope for Vatican Commission

By Chiara Santomiero

ROME, NOV. 23, 2009 ( The president of the Bosnian episcopal conference has been in Rome, but not to discuss the controversy surrounding Medjugorje, as some reports have contended.

Instead, Cardinal Vinko Puljic participated last week in the plenary assembly of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, which focused on St. Paul and the "new areopagi."

The cardinal did talk to ZENIT about Medjugorje, affirming that the reports of apparitions there and the consequent popularity of the site for pilgrimages is a matter dealt with by the bishop of Mostar, Ratko Peric, and the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

"As an episcopal conference, we await suggestions and proposals on how to proceed, and I believe the Holy See wants to carry on in this way," he added.

The 64-year-old cardinal referred back to a 1991 statement from what was then the Yugoslavian bishops' conference. That declaration notes that "nothing supernatural could be confirmed in what was happening, [and] affirmed the responsibility of parish priests and local bishops to pastorally assist all those who go there to pray," he recalled.

"I hope that the Holy See will give indications on confessions and Eucharistic celebrations," Cardinal Puljic added. "And perhaps also on the establishment of a commission that will follow the phenomenon, recording the contents of the apparitions and of the messages, keeping in mind that up to today there are more than 30,000."

Mary reportedly began appearing in Medjugorje almost 30 years ago. In June of 1984, six children of the little town of Medjugorje, located 20 kilometers (12 miles) from Mostar, said they had seen the Blessed Virgin on a nearby hill. Since then, the hamlet has become part of the world circuit of pilgrimages, drawing millions of people. Prayer meetings and associations of all kinds have started worldwide.

When Benedict XVI's secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, was secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, he wrote a letter backing the 1991 Yugoslavian episcopal conference letter. That was more than a decade ago.

Then, in his book on the apparitions in Fatima, published in 2007, Cardinal Bertone reiterated that the Church has not made an official decision on the site, and that while official pilgrimages are not to be organized, private pilgrimages to Medjugorje are acceptable.

Certainly Medjugorje continues to attract thousands of pilgrims, acknowledged Cardinal Puljic.

"It's not a sin to pray," said the cardinal with a smile. "There are many beautiful presences that have generated conversions and priestly or religious vocations. They are the fruits of prayer: Wherever man prays with faith, God gives the fruits of his grace."

"To pray in Marian shrines is part of the identity of our Catholic faithful," the Bosnian cardinal affirmed. "In the course of the problematic events of our history, our people have met repeatedly in the different shrines of the region to ask for consolation, light and hope, and the Virgin is a sign for our faith."


Four US Bishops Did Not Take up Collection for Embattled CCHD

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 23, 2009 ( - While many U.S. bishops have publicly acknowledged problems with the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), (LSN) has confirmed that at least four bishops opted to not take up this year's national collection.

A controversy has erupted in the U.S. Church in recent weeks after evidence came to light showing that numerous CCHD grantees have promoted issues and practices in violation of Catholic teaching, including abortion, contraception, and same-sex "marriage." In response to the revelations a coalition of Catholic organizations, the Reform CCHD Now Coalition, formed, calling for a boycott of the November 21-22 national CCHD collection.

Shortly thereafter Bishop Roger Morin, chairman of the USCCB's subcommittee on the CCHD, delivered a passionate plea to the bishops' plenary meeting last week, pledging the CCHD's commitment to ensure grantees' respect for Catholic teaching.

In his speech Morin lashed out at what he called "outrageous" allegations that the bishops' charitable-arm funds pro-abortion and anti-family organizations "or other untruths." He charged that some such claims were motivated by "ideological or political agendas." The bishop chairman of CCHD even went so far as to state, "For these groups, this seems to be just another way to attack the Church and its shepherds."

Nevertheless, at least four bishops will not contribute to the national CCHD fund this year: Bishop John O. Barres of Allentown, Pennsylvania; Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz of Lincoln, Nebraska; Bishop Robert C. Morlino of Madison, Wisconsin; and Bishop Robert J. Baker of Birmingham, Alabama.

Bishop Barres has suspended the collection for this year, though he may continue it in future years, said diocesan communications director Matthew Kerr in an interview with LSN. Kerr said that Bishop Barres gave no reason for the suspension and also that, as a new bishop, he is "reviewing a lot of things."

Further, Bishop Bruskewitz has chosen not to take part in the CCHD collection, says diocesan chancellor Fr. Daniel Rayer. It had normally been included in a combined collection, he said, but they have now dropped it for the first time. Bishop Bruskewitz was not available to comment further today.

As he did last year, Bishop Morlino chose to allocate the national campaign's portion of the collection to a different cause. Last year, the funds were sent to the Hurricane Ike recovery fund, and this year he allocated the contributions to the Little Sisters of the Poor, who have an international outreach to the elderly.

In a November 11th letter to the faithful of his diocese, Bishop Morlino assured them that the diocesan portion would continue to support "important tasks of assisting the poor of our own diocese."

He insisted, however, that their money would not be allowed to support groups violating Church teaching. "In light of recent discussions and protests regarding money from CCHD going to fund ACORN and other entities which do not uphold, and sometimes act in opposition to, the teachings of the Church," he said, "I feel it necessary to make clear that your money will not go to such groups."

According to CCHD policy, every funded group must be vetted by the local bishop. Of the collected funds, however, 25 percent remains in the diocese, while 75 percent goes to the national fund, which is then distributed to grantees throughout the nation. So while a local bishop has control over which groups are funded in his own diocese, if his diocese contributes to the national fund he cannot personally ensure that the funds go only to grantees that are in line with Church teaching.

Bishop Baker held his second annual collection for the Church of Latin America in lieu of the CCHD collection. In a November 6th letter, he informed the faithful of this collection for November 21-22 and extolled the good work brought about in the past by American Catholics' donations to Latin America.

At the end, he wrote: "The offertory envelopes you have may include an envelope for 'Catholic Campaign for Human Development,' instead of the 'Church in Latin America.' If this is the case, just cross out the 'Campaign' name, and write in 'Church in Latin America' for this year."

Stephen Phelan, communications manager for Human Life International, and spokesman for Reform CCHD Now, said he was "pleased" at the leadership exercised by these bishops. "Of course we're pleased that some bishops have chosen to suspend their support of the CCHD until serious reforms are made, or until they are sure that the groups they support do not oppose the Church in any way," he commented. "These are positive developments, and very much in keeping with the call of our shepherds to lead their flocks in service and in truth."

"We continue to watch for major reforms at the national level, and stand ready to support the CCHD should these reforms happen," he stated. "We continue to pray that these reforms will take place and that the CCHD can be a cause that unifies Catholics instead of one that divides us."

Monday, November 23, 2009

Man finds out Charles Manson is his father


A Gandhi-following, peace-loving, free-spirited vegetarian who was adopted at birth has discovered the worst possible thing a son could find out about his father – his dad is Charles Manson.

"It’s like finding out that Adolf Hitler is your father," said Matthew Roberts, a Los Angeles disc jockey.

A curious Roberts, 41, began investigating his poisoned family tree about 12 years ago, when he contacted a social services agency, which located his mother, Terry, in Wisconsin, according to the London Sun.

His reluctant natural mom fed him bits and pieces, like his first and middle name — Lawrence Alexander — withholding his infamous surname until she could summon the courage to tell him the truth...

Matthew Roberts, left, Charles Manson, right.

Providence bishop disputes Kennedy’s take on Communion message

By John E. Mulligan

Journal Washington Bureau

..(Bishop Tobin) said no one knows how many bishops confidentially bring that teaching to individual Catholic officials. He added, finally, that he had never contemplated that his letter to Kennedy would become public.

What is the distinction, Tobin was asked, between what Kennedy recollected as an “instruction” not to take Communion and what the bishop considered a request. How is a Catholic to take such a suggestion, coming from a bishop, he was asked?

Tobin said he “presumed” that Kennedy had complied with the request and was not certain what he would have done if Kennedy continued to take the sacrament. “If I had found out that he was regularly violating that request, the next step might have been more direct. An instruction? A decree? I don’t know what.”

Kennedy has said that he has taken Communion, but he did not give any specifics.

Tobin was asked whether, by taking his firm public stands on abortion, he is seeking to advance his career within the church.

“No,” he replied. “Bishops who tend to be really outspoken don’t tend to get promoted …

“It’s simply one bishop — me — doing my job as best I can.”

POLL ALERT!! Bp. Tobin and Rep. Kennedy over Holy Communion.

Pope John Paul II 'whipped himself in remorse for sins'

Pope John Paul II regularly whipped himself in a sign of "remorse for his sins", a nun has claimed.

By Nick Pisa in Perugia
Published: 6:00AM GMT 23 Nov 2009

The Pope, who died five years ago, is being considered for sainthood by the Catholic Church.

As part of the Vatican's investigation thousands of documents have been collected and examined by officials from the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

Among them is the testimony of Tobiana Sobodka, a Polish nun of the Sacred Heart of Jesus order, who worked for Pope John Paul in his private Vatican apartments and at his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo near Rome.

Sister Sobodka said: "Several times he (Pope John Paul) would put himself through bodily penance.

"We would hear it – we were in the next room at Castel Gandolfo. You could hear the sound of the blows when he flagellate himself. He did it when he was still capable of moving on his own."

The flagellation is also confirmed by another bishop who has given testimony. Emery Kabongo was a secretary for Pope John Paul.

"He would punish himself and in particular just before he ordained bishops and priests," he said.

"I never actually saw it myself but several people told me about it."

Self flagellation is sometimes used by devoted Catholics as it reminds them of the whipping endured by Christ at the hands of the Romans before he was crucified.

It is still common in the Philippines and Latin America, some members of strict monastic orders and some members of the lay organisation Opus Dei – who feature in the Dan Brown blockbuster The Da Vinci Code.

In the film – which was condemned by the Vatican – murderous Albino monk Silas, who is a member of Opus Dei is seen in a brutal scene whipping his back and drawing blood as he prays on his knees.

A Vatican spokesman said: "The investigation and documentation is still secret and as such we can make no comment on it until the final report is published.

"I know that the nun in question has returned to Poland and she would have spoken with the Congregation as she was with an order that worked in the apartments of Pope John Paul."

The Congregation for the Causes of Saints has been investigating the case for Pope John Paul since he died and has approved the late pope's "heroic virtues" and the paperwork has been sent to his German successor.

The late Polish pope's beatification is expected to take place sometime next year, perhaps in April, to coincide with the fifth anniversary of his death or in October to coincide with his election in 1978.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Prayer to Our Holy Savior for the Souls in Purgatory

Our Lord told Saint Gertrude the Great that the following prayer would release 1000 souls from Purgatory each time it is said:

"Eternal Father, I offer Thee the most precious blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union
with the Masses said throughout the world, for all the holy souls in Purgatory. Amen."

Prayer to Our Holy Savior for the Souls in Purgatory

O most sweet Jesus, through the bloody sweat which Thou didst suffer in the Garden of Gethsemane, Have mercy on these Blessed Souls.
Have mercy on them, O Lord.

O most sweet Jesus, through the pains which Thou didst suffer during Thy most cruel scourging, have mercy on them.
Have mercy on them, O Lord.

O most sweet Jesus, through the pains which Thou didst suffer in Thy most painful crowning with thorns, have mercy on them.
Have mercy on them, O Lord.

O most sweet Jesus, through the pains which Thou didst suffer in carrying Thy cross to Calvary, have mercy on them.
Have mercy on them, O Lord.

O most sweet Jesus, through the pains which Thou didst suffer during Thy most cruel Crucifixion, have mercy on them.
Have mercy on them, O Lord.

O most sweet Jesus, through the pains which Thou didst suffer in Thy most bitter agony on the Cross, have mercy on them.
Have mercy on them, O Lord.

O most sweet Jesus, through the immense pain which Thou didst suffer in breathing forth Thy Blessed Soul, have mercy on them.
Have mercy on them, O Lord.

Nine Day Devotion

Day 1

Jesus, my Savior I have so often deserved to be cast into hell how great would be my suffering if I were now cast away and obliged to think that I myself had caused my damnation. I thank Thee for the patience with which Thou hast endured me. My God, I love Thee above all things and I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee because Thou art infinite goodness. Grant me thy grace of perseverance.

Say one Our Father, one Hail Mary.

Day 2

Woe to me, unhappy being, so many years have I already spent on earth and have earned naught but hell! I give Thee thanks, O Lord, for granting me time even now to atone for my sins. My good God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee. Send me Thy assistance, that I may apply the time yet remaining to me for Thy love and service; have compassion on me, and, at the same time, on the holy souls suffering in Purgatory. O Mary, Mother of God, come to their assistance with thy powerful intercession.

Say one Our Father, one Hail Mary.

Day 3

My God! Because Thou art infinite goodness, I love Thee above all things, and repent with my whole heart of my offenses against Thee. Grant me the grace of holy perseverance. Have compassion on me, and on souls suffering in Purgatory.

Say one Our Father, one Hail Mary.

Day 4

My God! Because Thou art of infinite forgiveness, I am sorry with my whole heart for having offended Thee. Give me thy gift of perseverance.

Say one Our Father, one Hail Mary.

Day 5

Woe to me, unhappy being, if Thou, O Lord, hadst cast me into hell; for from that dungeon of eternal pain there is no deliverance. I love Thee above all things, O infinite God and I am sincerely sorry for having offended Thee again. Grant me thy grace of holy perseverance. Have compassion on me, and, at the same time, on the holy souls suffering in Purgatory.

Say one Our Father, one Hail Mary.

Day 6

My Divine Redeemer, Thou didst die for me on the Cross, and hast so often united Thyself with me in Holy Communion, and I have repaid Thee only with ingratitude. Now, however, I love Thee above all things, O supreme God; and I am more grieved at my offences against Thee than at any other evil. I will rather die than offend Thee again. Grant me the grace of holy perseverance. Have compassion on me, and, at the same time, on the holy souls suffering in Purgatory.

Say one Our Father, one Hail Mary.

Day 7

God, Father of Mercy, satisfy this their ardent desire! Send them Thy holy Angel to announce to them that Thou, their Father, are now reconciled with them through the suffering and death of Jesus, and that the moment of their deliverance has arrived.

Say one Our Father, one Hail Mary.

Day 8

Oh my God! I also am one of these ungrateful beings, having received so much grace, and yet despised Thy love and deserved to be cast by Thee into hell. But Thy infinite goodness has spared me until now. Therefore, I now love Thee above all things, and I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee. I will rather die than ever offend Thee. Grant me the grace of holy perseverance. Have compassion on me and, at the same time, on the holy souls suffering in Purgatory. Mary, Mother of God, come to their aid with thy powerful intercession.

Say one Our Father, one Hail Mary.

Day 9

My God! How was it possible that I, for so many years, have borne tranquilly the separation from Thee and Thy holy grace! O infinite Goodness, how long-suffering hast Thou shown Thyself to me! Henceforth, I shall love Thee above all things. I am deeply sorry for having offended Thee. Grant me the grace of holy perseverance.

Say one Our Father, one Hail Mary.