Thursday, October 29, 2009

NASA to start irradiating monkeys

Tests aim to see how radioactive environment of space impacts humans

Image: Squirrel monkey

By Irene Klotz

NASA is stepping up its space
radiation studies with a round of experiments that for the first time in decades will use monkeys as subjects.

The point of the experiments is to understand how the harsh radioactive environment of space affects human bodies and behavior and what countermeasures can be developed to make long-duration spaceflight safe for travelers beyond Earth's protective magnetic shield.

For the new study, 18 to 28 squirrel monkeys will be exposed to a low dose of the type of radiation that astronauts traveling to Mars can expect to encounter...

First lady Michelle Obama harvests vegetables from the garden with children from Washington's Bancroft and Kimball Elementary schools, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2009, on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Fatima: The Miracle of the Sun

Exorcist shares past experiences with demonic possession

Katie Palmer Features staff writer

With Halloween around the corner and Hollywood releasing horror movies such as "Paranormal Activity" and "Saw VI," one cannot help but feel chills running down his or her spine. St. John's Catholic Newman Center had the timing right when it invited exorcist Father Vince Lampert to speak about his experiences Monday night at Foellinger Auditorium.

Lampert, the head priest at St. Francis and Clare parish in Greenwood, Ind., was ordained a priest in 1991. He was later asked by the archbishop of Indianapolis if he was willing to train as an exorcist, said Monsignor Gregory Ketcham, director and head chaplain at the Newman Center.

"Father Lampert was asked to take on the role of an exorcist because he is very prayerful and faithful, and he has a lot of integrity — he's a good man," Ketcham said.

Lampert is one of twelve exorcists in America today, Ketcham said. Lampert spent a whole summer in Rome training under Italy's head exorcist. This training included witnessing and assisting in about 60 exorcisms.

Now that Lampert has been a fully trained exorcist for several years, he said he receives five to six calls a week from people who believe they are possessed. Exorcisms are only performed as a last resort once the subject is determined to be truly possessed.

"For one to become possessed by the devil, one has to have a dedication to the devil, be cursed or lead a life that is full of sin; it is something more than just a struggle against temptation," Lampert said.

Performing an exorcism takes a lot of preparation by not only the subject, but by the exorcist too, Lampert said. Before each exorcism, Lampert has to go through a series of prayers and attend confession so the devil will not be able top reach him.

"In order for a person to be exorcised, they have to be fully committed to turning to Christ," Lampert said. "If they resist, the exorcism cannot be performed."

When determining if a person is in fact possessed, Lampert looks for several criteria.

"A person may be possessed if they have an ability to speak unknown languages, unhuman-like strength, the knowledge of the unknown, and an inexplicable aversion to holy places," Lampert said.

During an exorcism, Lampert goes through 10 steps, including prayers and blessings, he said.

"Sometimes the exorcism can be rather dull," Lampert said. "But I have seen a woman levitate and people's faces contort."

During his lecture, Lampert told several stories of extraordinary events that have occurred during his exorcisms. In one story, a person spoke in a childlike voice that was not his own, as it was the devil speaking.

People formed long lines before the microphone in order to ask Lampert questions about his unusual career. Many viewers were also listening attentively to his answers with gasping and awing. Many of the seats at Foellinger Auditorium were occupied throughout the event.

Erika Satterlee, freshman in LAS, said she went into the lecture not knowing much about exorcisms except for depictions in movies.

"The lecture was definitely interesting," Satterlee said. "It freaked me out too, which I knew it would."

This was Lampert's second time speaking at the University around Halloween, Ketcham said.

"Lampert's purpose of speaking is to share the Catholic view of evil and how it works in our lives," Ketcham said. "He is here to tell us the truth."

Monday, October 26, 2009

Vatican-SSPX Statement


Monday, October 26, 2009 9:33 AM

The Vatican has now released a statement concerning the meeting this morning between Church officials and the SSPX. It reads:

“On Monday, Oct. 26, 2009, in the Palazzo del Sant’Uffizio, headquarters of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and of the Pontifical Commission ‘Ecclesia Dei,’ the study commission made up of experts from ‘Ecclesia Dei’ and from the Society of St. Pius X held its first meeting, with the aim of examining the doctrinal differences still outstanding between the society and the Apostolic See.

“In a cordial, respectful and constructive climate, the main doctrinal questions were identified. These will be studied in the course of discussions to be held over coming months, probably twice a month. In particular, the questions due to be examined concern the concept of Tradition, the Missal of Paul VI, the interpretation of Vatican Council II in continuity with Catholic doctrinal Tradition, the themes of the unity of the Church and the Catholic principles of ecumenism, the relationship between Christianity and non-Christian religions, and religious freedom. The meeting also served to specify the method and organization of the work.”

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Official disclosure of extraterrestrial life is imminent

October 21, 12:27 AMHonolulu Exopolitics ExaminerMichael Salla, Ph.D.

An official announcement by the Obama administration disclosing the reality of extraterrestrial life is imminent. For several months, senior administration officials have been quietly deliberating behind closed doors how much to disclose to the world about extraterrestrial life. Dissatisfaction among powerful institutions such as the U.S. Navy over the decades-long secrecy policy has given a boost to efforts to disclose the reality of extraterrestrial life and technology.

The impending disclosure announcement follows upon the secret implementation of a year long openness policy on UFOs and extraterrestrial life. Over the period February 12-14, 2008, the United Nations held closed doors discussions where approximately 30 nations secretly agreed on a new openness policy on UFOs and extraterrestrial life in 2009. The openness policy was implemented but never publicly announced due to threats against UN diplomats not to disclose details of the secret agreement. h The secret UN agreement was based on two conditions. First, UFOs would continue to appear around the world; and second, the openness policy would not lead to social unrest in liberal democracies. Both conditions have been satisfied making it possible for the next stage to begin – official disclosure of extraterrestrial life....

Bishop criticizes ‘slavishly literal’ English translation of missal

U.S. Bishop Donald W. Trautman of Erie, Pa., presents the third annual Frederick R. McManus Memorial Lecture at The Catholic University of America in Washington Oct. 22. Bishop Trautman spoke about the nonpastoral approach of some passages in the new English translation of the Roman Missal. (CNS photo/Nancy Wiechec)
By Mark Pattison
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON – Bishop Donald W. Trautman of Erie, Pa., former chairman of the U.S. bishops’ liturgy committee, sharply criticized what he called the “slavishly literal” translation into English of the new Roman Missal from the original Latin.

He said the “sacred language” used by translators “tends to be elitist and remote from everyday speech and frequently not understandable” and could lead to a “pastoral disaster.”

“The vast majority of God’s people in the assembly are not familiar with words of the new missal like ‘ineffable,’ ‘consubstantial,’ ‘incarnate,’ ‘inviolate,’ ‘oblation,’ ‘ignominy,’ ‘precursor,’ ‘suffused’ and ‘unvanquished.’ The vocabulary is not readily understandable by the average Catholic,” Bishop Trautman said.

“The (Second Vatican Council’s) Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy stipulated vernacular language, not sacred language,” he added. “Did Jesus ever speak to the people of his day in words beyond their comprehension? Did Jesus ever use terms or expressions beyond his hearer’s understanding?”

Bishop Trautman made his remarks in an Oct. 22 lecture at The Catholic University of America in Washington, as part of the Monsignor Frederick R. McManus Lecture Series. Monsignor McManus, a liturgist, served as a peritus, or expert, during Vatican II.

The Roman Missal has not yet been given final approval for use in the United States. The U.S. bishops were scheduled to vote on four items pertaining to the missal at their November general meeting in Baltimore. It is expected that the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments would give its “recognitio,” or approval, at some point following the U.S. bishops’ vote.

Bishop Trautman took note of sentences in the new missal that he said run 66, 70 and 83 words, declaring that they were “unproclaimable” by the speaker and “incomprehensible” to the hearer.

“American Catholics have every right to expect the translation of the new missal to follow the rules for English grammar. The prefaces of the new missal, however, violate English syntax in a most egregious way,” Bishop Trautman said, citing some examples in his remarks.

“The translators have slavishly transposed a Lain ‘qui’ clause into English without respecting English sentence word order,” he added. The bishop also pointed out subordinate clauses from the missal that are “represented as a sentence,” and sentences lacking a subject and predicate.

Bishop Trautman also questioned the use of “I believe” in the retranslated version of the Nicene Creed, “even though the original and official Nicene Creed promulgated by the first Ecumenical Council of Nicaea in 325 said ‘we believe’ in both the Greek and Latin versions.

“Since this is a creedal prayer recited by the entire assembly in unison, the use of ‘we’ emphasized the unity of the assembly in praying this together as one body. Changing the plural form of ‘we’ to ‘I’ in the Nicene Creed goes against all ecumenical agreements regarding common prayer texts,” he said.

The bishop complained about the lack of “pastoral style” in the new translation. The current wording in Eucharistic Prayer 3 asks God to “welcome into your kingdom our departed brothers and sisters,” which he considered “inspiring, hope-filled, consoling, memorable.”

The new translation asks God to “give kind admittance to your kingdom,” which Bishop Trautman called “a dull lackluster expression which reminds one of a ticket-taker at the door. ... The first text reflects a pleading, passionate heart and the latter text a formality – cold and insipid.”

Bishop Trautman quoted the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, which said rites and texts “should radiate a noble simplicity. They should be short, clear, free from useless repetition. They should be within the people’s powers of comprehension, and normally should not require much explanation.”

“Why are these conciliar directives not implemented in the new missal?” he asked. They are “especially” relevant, Bishop Trautman added, to “the people of the third millennium: children, teenagers, adults, those with varying degrees of education, and those with English as a second language.”

He acknowledged that “there are those who disagree with the way the liturgical reform of Vatican II was interpreted and implemented” and who maintained that “a reform of the reform” was necessary to stem what they saw as “diminishing religiosity (and) declining Mass attendance” tied to the Mass texts.

But while “the Latin text is the official, authoritative text,” Bishop Trautman said, “the Latin text is not inspired. It is a human text, reflecting a certain mindset, theology and world view.”

As a consequence, “a major and radical change” and “a major pastoral, catechetical problem erupts” in the new missal during the words of consecration, which say that the blood of Christ “will be poured out for you and for many,” instead of “for all,” as is currently the practice.

“For whom did Jesus not die?” Bishop Trautman asked. “In 1974 the Holy See itself had approved our present words of institution (consecration) as an accurate, orthodox translation of the Latin phrase ‘pro multis,’“ he added. “It is a doctrine of our Catholic faith that Jesus died on the cross for all people.”

Bishop Trautman took issue with a 2006 letter to bishops by Nigerian Cardinal Francis Arinze, then head of the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, which said that “salvation is not brought about in some mechanistic way, without one’s own willing or participation.”

“I respond that Jesus died even for those who reject his grace. He died for all,” Bishop Trautman said.

“Why do we now have a reversal? The Aramaic and Latin texts have not changed. The scriptural arguments have not changed, but the insistence on literal translation has changed.”

Bishop Trautman hearkened back to Monsignor McManus, whom he called “an apostle of the liturgical renewal.”

“If Monsignor McManus were with us today, he would call us to fidelity to the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy and encourage us to produce a translation of the missal that is accurate, inspiring, referent, proclaimable, understandable, pastoral in every sense – a text that raises our minds and hearts to God.”

Senior Anglican bishop reveals he is ready to convert to Roman Catholicism

The Rt Rev John Hind, the Bishop of Chichester, has announced he is considering becoming a Roman Catholic in a move that could spark an exodus of clergy.

The Rt Rev John Hind, the Bishop of Chichester, has announced he is considering becoming a Roman Catholic in a move that could spark an exodus of clergy.
Hundreds of traditionalist clergy could join the exodus, though most are waiting for the exact details of the new apostolic constitution to be published Photo: CHRISTOPHER PLEDGER

Bishop Hind said he would be "happy" to be reordained as a Catholic priest and said that divisions in Anglicanism could make it impossible to stay in the church.

He is the most senior Anglican to admit that he is prepared to accept the offer from the Pope, who shocked the Church of England last week when he paved the way for clergy to convert to Catholicism in large numbers.

In a further blow to the Archbishop of Canterbury's hopes of preventing the Anglican Communion from disintegrating, other bishops have cast doubt over its survival.

The Rt Rev John Broadhurst, the Bishop of Fulham, even claimed that "the Anglican experiment is over". He said it has been shown to be powerless to cope with the crises over gays and women bishops...


Only in Japan: The Burger King Windows 7 Whopper

In honor of Microsoft’s new Windows 7 operating system, Burger King has served up a seven-patty burger. This mighty monolith of meat, more than five inches tall, will only be available for seven days – and only in Japan.

The Windows 7 burger favors the early birds. Each day, the first 30 customers get the Whopper for 777 Yen (about $8.50). Stragglers must pay closer to $17. But if you feast upon one for breakfast, you’d best avoid food for the rest of the day. The Whopper packs in about 2,100 calories – more than you should eat in an entire day, according to the FDA.

  • Link

Pro Life Pumpkin

From American Life League via American Papist:

"If you would like to duplicate this one, simply download the .pdf stencil and print it out. Tape the stencil to your pumpkin and, with a pointed object, like a small screwdriver, poke shallow holes along the perimeter of the image. With a paring knife, carefully cut out the areas shaded in black."


The Actors’ Chapel

St. Malachy’s Serves the Theatre District Near Times Square

By Angelo Stagnaro

There aren’t many churches in Christendom where the person sitting next to you is likely a star of stage, screen or television.

St. Malachy’s Church, located on 49th Street, between Broadway and Eighth Avenue, founded in 1902, is a little jewel box of a church and an essential and important aspect of New York City’s theatrical community.

Because of its location in the midst of the Theatre District — and the number of actors who have graced its precincts — it has come to be known as the Actors’ Chapel.

Prior to 1920, St. Malachy’s was a working-class Irish-Italian parish. When the Theatre District established itself in Midtown, actors, producers, playwrights, dancers, musicians, craftsmen and a lot of out-of-town theatergoers began to fill the pews. Jimmy Durante, Pat O’Brien, Don Ameche, Fred Allen and Cyril Ritchard were altar boys here.

St. Malachy’s parish register is a veritable Who’s Who of the entertainment world. Douglas Fairbanks married Joan Crawford at St. Malachy’s. Rudolph Valentino’s funeral was celebrated here, and Herb Shriner’s children were all baptized here. Other stars who have worshipped at the church include George M. Cohan, Spencer Tracy, Perry Como and Florence Henderson, a great supporter of the Sisters of St. Benedict in Ferdinand, Ind. Other churchgoers have included Bob and Dolores Hope, Rosiland Russell and Danny Thomas.

Patron Saint

Over the years, St. Malachy’s has adapted itself to meet the needs of its parishioners. Masses were rescheduled so as to better accommodate the hectic and demanding schedules of people involved in the theater. In fact, the parish instituted an 11 p.m. Mass on Saturdays so that actors and stagehands can fulfill their Sunday obligations.

The Church has always been dedicated to the arts. In fact, there are many patron saints associated with the stage performances, including Lawrence (comedians), Don Bosco (magicians), Nicholas Owen (stage illusionists), Vitus (dancers), Cecilia (musicians), Lidwina of Schiedam (figure skaters), Simeon Salos (puppeteers) and Julian the Hospitaller (jugglers).

The chapel is dedicated to St. Malachy (1094-1148), archbishop of Armagh, Ireland, and the first Irish-born saint to be canonized by a pope. He reformed and reorganized the Irish Church, especially its clergy and monks, and brought it into union with Rome. He is credited with having re-established Christianity after it had been largely wiped out by Viking invaders.

Though St. Malachy was said to possess the gift of prophecy and miracles, he is incorrectly associated with a supposed list of the last 112 popes. Despite being found out to be a forgery, the list has persisted in the popular imagination.

Irish Heritage

When one steps into St. Malachy’s, one is struck by an electricity that permeates the building and can best be described as an almost mischievous cheerfulness.

The building is a delightful structure that mirrors the Irish heritage of its original neighborhood community, but the unique and most attractive feature is its long-standing association with and support of the city’s entertainment community.

St. Genesius’ Chapel includes icons of St. Vitus, Blessed Fra Angelico, patron of painters, and Blessed Dina Bélanger, patron of concert pianists. (She studied at the Conservatory of Music in New York before becoming a nun.)

The chapel’s set of four icons were painted by Ken Jan Woo, a New York artist born in Shanghai. A convert to Catholicism, he finds the full flower of his spiritual expression in his dedication to icons.

“The icon isn’t complete until it has been blessed and installed,” said Woo. “To make the icon ‘active,’ it needs to be blessed. The art isn’t a sacramental until God imbues it with his holiness, until it is sacramentalized by being dedicated to him.”

Father Richard Baker, St. Malachy’s pastor, plans to add an icon of St. Clare, patron of television, to the chapel.

And, if Pope John Paul II — who in his youth was an aspiring actor and playwright — is canonized, the parish has plans to include his icon as patron of playwrights.

Producers, directors, dancers, playwrights and actors still make an appearance at St. Malachy’s on opening nights to light candles for the success of their respective shows.


The parish celebrates a blessing of artists at the end of August on the Monday closest to the 25th, St. Genesius’ feast day. Recently, however, parishioners have requested that the feast day be celebrated in September, when the actors and their families are back in town.

St. Genesius made the laudable mistake of converting to Christianity in front of one of ancient Christianity’s worst enemies, Diocletian. Genesius was a very popular comedic actor at the time and, like many pagans, ridiculed Christ and his followers. The fateful play in which he turned to Christ coincidently had a scene that mocked the sacrament of baptism.

He had infiltrated the underground Christian community in order to learn of their sacraments so as to better mimic them during his performance.

The irony of the situation was greatest for the emperor himself. The play was specifically written to honor his persecution of the Christians. It was in the midst of the play when St. Genesius realized his faith in the Savior. As the words of the baptism were spoken and the water fell upon his head, the actor realized his faith. He forsook his patron and, instead, turned to his real Patron. Immediately, the new Christian professed his faith.

At first, Diocletian, along with the rest of the audience, roared with laughter. It was, after all, a satirical play about Christians and their sacraments. But it soon became apparent to everyone present: St. Genesius offered to catechize the emperor. “There is no king other than Jesus Christ, and even if you could kill me a thousand times, you could not take him from my lips nor tear him from my heart,” announced the actor, sealing his fate and his faith.

In a town and in a profession where a public witness to the faith is perhaps needed more than ever, the dedication of this parish to St. Genesius is vital.

Angelo Stagnaro writes

from New York.

Kennedy's Bishop Seeks Apology, Calls Him "Disappointment" on Abortion

by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 23, 2009

Washington, DC ( -- Congressman Patrick Kennedy's bishop didn't mince words in his response to remarks criticism the Catholic Church and saying its officials are not pro-life because they oppose the pro-abortion health care plans in Congress.

Bishop Thomas Tobin called on Kennedy to issue an apology and said he is a "disappointment" because of his pro-abortion voting record.

As reported today, Kennedy told CNS News that in an interview that the Catholic Church is fanning “the flames of dissent and discord” by taking the position.

“You mean to tell me the Catholic Church is going to be denying those people life saving health care? I thought they were pro-life?” he continued.

The Most Rev. Thomas J. Tobin, the bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Providence, took exception to his comments in an email to

“Congressman Patrick Kennedy’s statement about the Catholic Church’s position on health care reform is irresponsible and ignorant of the facts," he said.

He continued: "But the Congressman is correct in stating that 'he can't understand.' He got that part right."

"As I wrote to Congressman Kennedy and other members of the Rhode Island Congressional Delegation recently, the Bishops of the United States are indeed in favor of comprehensive health care reform and have been for many years," the Catholic official said. "But we are adamantly opposed to health care legislation that threatens the life of unborn children, requires taxpayers to pay for abortion, rations health care, or compromises the conscience of individuals."

Kennedy has a 100% pro-abortion voting record, according to National Right to Life, and Bishop Tobin said that makes him an embarrassment to the Catholic Church.

"Congressman Kennedy continues to be a disappointment to the Catholic Church and to the citizens of the State of Rhode Island,' Tobin said.

"I believe the Congressman owes us an apology for his irresponsible comments. It is my fervent hope and prayer that he will find a way to provide more effective and morally responsible leadership for our state," he concluded.

Kennedy's office has not responded to a request from for comment or a response to Tobin's remarks.

From Hinduism to Catholicism

After a series of dreams about Mary, a local Hindu couple has joined the Church

Katie Bahr | Catholic Herald

It was three years ago when Uma Krishnan says she first dreamed of the Virgin Mary. It was January 2006 and she was living in Singapore with her husband, Kumar, and her son, Karthi. In her dream she saw a “very humble lady” surrounded by candles.

She and Kumar were devout Hindus and they knew the lady in Uma’s dreams was not a Hindu god. They knew little of Christianity, but they thought this lady might be the Blessed Mother. Still, because they came from a long tradition of Hinduism in India, they didn’t give the dream much thought.

Later that year Kumar got a job that took him to San Diego. A few months later, he found a new job in McLean. Uma and Karthi joined him that December.

This past April, Uma began to have more dreams of Mary.

One night she dreamed she was walking into a church she’d never seen before. Once inside, she turned right and found a little room where there were red candles and a statue of Mary.

The second night, she was in the same room, but this time she saw a big cross made of palm leaves.

Another night, she dreamed she was in a boat. On her right was a black woman with dark hair and on her left, a lady wearing a blue scarf and holding a Bible. The woman in blue showed Uma some verses to read to make her worries disappear. In her dream, Uma read the Bible verses and both women disappeared.

Uma and Kumar talked about the dreams and, by the fourth night, they decided to visit a church to see what was happening.

Kumar typed “St. Mary Church Fairfax” into Google and entered the address from the first result into his GPS device. The address was for St. Mary of Sorrows Church in Fairfax.

When they got to the church, Uma was shocked. On the outside, it looked just like the church she had dreamed about the first night. When they went inside and turned right, there was a small chapel with red votive candles, a statue of Mary and a cross. It was just like her dreams. Uma started to cry.

“The moment was so touching,” Kumar said. “We were not even Christians and we were not even worshipping when we got such a thing. We were Hindus and we didn’t exactly know how to pray, but we just sat there and said, ‘Thank you. Thank you for all these visions and thank you for bringing us here. We don’t know what to do, you tell us, you guide us, show us what has to be done.’”

After the first visit to the church, a few days passed and Uma and Kumar didn’t return. Instead, they went to their Hindu temple.

Uma had another dream. She saw the statue of Mary on the outside wall of the church. Mary’s arms were out and there was a bright light coming from behind. In Uma’s mind, the statue seemed to be saying, “Come back to me.”

When Uma told Kumar, they decided to go to St. Mary of Sorrows that day. It was a Wednesday, and this time, they went into the main meeting room, where the Charismatic Prayer Group gathered. They shared their story and prayed with them.

After that, Uma and Kumar began to attend Mass and the Charismatic Prayer Group every week.

Uma’s dreams continued, but the couple also started experiencing strange “spiritual disturbances.” Uma would have nightmares, and during the day, alone at home, she would hear strange laughing, heavy breathing or footsteps. Sometimes she would feel a pressure on her neck and would have trouble breathing.

The disturbances were so bad that Uma was afraid to be alone. Kumar would drop her off at St. Mary of Sorrows when he went to work in the morning and she would stay at the church all day.

Frightened, Uma and Kumar talked to Father Stefan Starzynski, St. Mary of Sorrows parochial vicar.

Starzynski told them the disturbances might be coming because they were moving away from Hinduism. He told them not to worry and that they’d be okay if they just went toward the one, true God.

“Even as Hindus they were coming to the prayer groups and the healing Masses and praying the rosary every day, so I think something was trying to stop them from entering the Faith fully,” Father Starzynski said.

Kumar and Uma decided to get rid of all of their Hindu belongings and devote themselves entirely to Catholicism.

Because of their circumstances, the parish had a team of four parishioners teach the couple a condensed version of the traditional yearlong Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults program. Uma and Kumar went to the program every Saturday to learn about the sacraments and to discuss the Bible.

“It sounded like Mary was calling them to us and I felt like we had a responsibility to them,” said Father Starzynski. “They told me they wanted to become Catholic and they were so excited and eager that I thought this was an opportunity to be flexible.”

By the end of August, the group decided the family was ready to become Catholic. Sept. 12, Uma, Kumar and Karthi were baptized and the couple received the sacraments of confirmation, Communion and marriage.

In the days leading up to the ceremonies, Uma and Kumar feel they received lots of help from Mary.

Though they had a very limited budget and hardly any time to plan, Uma and Kumar wanted to have a nice wedding ceremony. They only had $400 to spend on a wedding dress for Uma, but their son found a perfect dress for $399.

Then, after deciding wedding photographers would be too expensive, a photographer from the parish offered his services for free.

Before the baptism and wedding day, Uma had another dream. This time Mary was standing outside the historic St. Mary of Sorrows Church, with a big smile on her face. She was holding two wedding rings and three rosaries — red, orange and yellow.

The couple decided to use those colors in Uma’s bouquet and on the wedding cake, all donated by fellow churchgoers.

On the actual day, the whole parish was invited to see Uma and Kumar receive the sacraments. A reception was held in the hall of the historic church, decorated with red, orange and yellow flowers.

“Even though we hadn’t planned things, God had planned for us,” Kumar said. “He planned everything so perfectly and he took care of everything, right down to the photographs. It was like he has predicted this marriage for us. We are so glad and so thankful and so lucky to be here.”

Father Starzynski said Uma and Kumar’s conversion story shows that God works in mysterious ways. He felt honored that he could be there to help the family.

“I think it speaks to how beautifully God can work and does work,” he said. “It makes you think, are we flexible enough to understand the ways God may work that are outside the box that we have constructed?”

Since they received the sacraments, Kumar and Uma say the disturbances and nightmares have stopped. Uma feels stronger and is able to stay home by herself with no fear.

“We feel like the Holy Spirit in her has just given her this total protection,” Kumar said.

The couple says they are constantly impressed with the parish community.

“I feel like I’ve been wandering all over the place and that I’ve come home,” Kumar said. “I never heard of such good people, such good Catholic people.”

And through it all, Uma’s dreams of Mary continue.

“Whether it’s good or bad, we want to share them with everybody so everybody knows about it,” Kumar said. “Some may take it badly, but we want to share it. We are very fortunate. I feel lucky, I feel honored and I feel blessed.”

Friday, October 23, 2009

National Rosary Crusade of Reparation marches through London

23 October 2009 Picture
Knights of Malta escort the 25th annual Rosary Crusade of Reparation past Westminster Cathedral

The 25th annual Rosary Crusade of Reparation and Marian walk of faith was held on Saturday October 10 on a glorious early autumnal afternoon in central London.

After assembling at two o'clock in the afternoon in Ambrosden Avenue outside Westminster Cathedral, some 3,000 lay Catholics and clergy marched two and a half miles through Victoria, Belgravia and Knightsbridge.

The walkers included members of the Catholic Police Guild carrying an image of Our Lady of Fatima, and Knights of Malta who provided an escort.

They passed both the English bishops' conference headquarters in Eccleston Square and Harrods department store before eventually arriving at their destination of the London Oratory.

As they walked with a statue of Our Lady of Fatima held aloft the procession, led by Mgr Emmanuel-Marie de St Jean, abbot of the stunning monastery of Sainte Marie de Lagrasse in the south of France near Lourdes, continually sang Marian hymns and prayed the rosary.

The Abbot of Lagrasse was visiting London to commemorate the foundation of the Friends of the Canonical Abbey of Lagrasse. Accompanying the abbot was the sub-prior of the Abbey of Lagrasse, Fr Augustin-Marie de la Trinité.

Having arrived at the Oratory with the pilgrims the abbot, wearing a mitre made for Cardinal Newman, gave Pontifical Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.

"It was a wonderful experience for me," the abbot told the New Liturgical Movement journal, "to see the deep devotion to Our Lady which is shown by Catholics in London. I was honoured to lead the procession which serves as a great witness to our faith."

The abbot also offered Mass in the Extraordinary Form at both Westminster Cathedral and the Oratory, and had a private audience with the Archbishop of Westminster.

Following the procession's arrival at the Brompton Oratory there was a Solemn Pontifical Benediction at which Fr Ronald Creighton-Jobe officiated, followed by several lay Catholics receiving Carmelite scapular enrolment. Then Mass was celebrated.

Over the last quarter of a century this particular October walk of faith has steadily grown in popularity to become the second-largest Catholic annual procession in Britain.

The numerically largest annual Catholic walk of faith takes place each July in Clerkenwell, east London, when approximately 10,000 Italian Catholics and their friends muster to evangelise in the locality.

The third largest Catholic walk of faith annually, with 1,000 participants, is the one that passes through Manchester city centre in June, and is again an Italian procession. Both Italian processions are around 100 years old.

John Eidinow, chairman of the Friends of the Canonical Abbey of Lagrasse, said the Friends were devoted to rebuilding and restoring the gothic abbey church and the conventual buildings.

Despite a fall, 80-year-old nun wins again


Sister Beth Wood stumbled and fell as she crossed the finish line after the half marathon Sunday morning at the 32nd Detroit Free Press/Flagstar Marathon.

Wood, who is 80 and has been running marathons since the early ’80s, wasn’t badly hurt, grazing her elbows but not denting her spirits.

Wood, who belongs to the Immaculate Heart of Mary order in Monroe, thanked the medical team who came to her aid, and even offered a prayer for the Free Press reporter who asked whether she was OK.

“I went to Rome 10 years ago and ran a marathon there,” said Wood, who was born in Detroit and entered the order as a 17-year-old. “The pope blessed us before we started. Maybe that’s what helped me out when I fell today.”

Wood placed first for her age last year, and did so again this year in 3:01.11, four minutes faster than last year. She already was looking forward to competing in 2010.

“Maybe I’m the only 80-year-old running,” she smiled. “I just love the event.”

Wood said spectators lining the route urged her on throughout.

“Everyone was very supportive,” she said. “People were cheering and clapping. I think it was because of my white hair and not my speed.”

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Our Lady of the Atonement Anglican-Use Catholic Parish


On the cool morning of a hot August Day...

The High Altar, with Fr. Phillips, Deacon D'Agostino (l.) and Deacon Orr (r.)

Clergy from left to right:  Fr. Kloster, Fr. Phillips, Dn. Orr, Dn. D'Agostino

Glenn Beck OnStar Warning

Pope Benedict XVI: The Pope of Christian Unity

With his daring scheme for Anglicans, Benedict XVI fulfils the hopes of Cardinal Newman

By Damian Thompson
Newman: supported special arrangements for Anglican converts

Newman: supported special arrangements for Anglican converts

Was Pope Benedict XVI inspired by Cardinal John Henry Newman, whom it is hoped he will beatify in England next year, when he suddenly threw open the gates of Rome to disaffected Anglicans on Tuesday morning?

The official website for Newman’s Cause hinted as much when it greeted the announcement with a reminder of Newman’s support for a proposal to establish an Anglican Uniate Church for converts, similar to that provided for Byzantine-rite Catholics. The plan was conceived by Ambrose Phillips de Lisle and Newman rightly guessed that it would be unworkable. But if it could be made to work, he said, he was all in favour. As he wrote to de Lisle in 1876:

“Nothing will rejoice me more than to find that the Holy See considers it safe and promising to sanction some such plan as the Pamphlet suggests. I give my best prayers, such as they are, that some means of drawing to us so many good people, who are now shivering at our gates, may be discovered.”

And now it has been, thanks to Pope Benedict, who I hope will name his great scheme after Newman. I am sure the Pope is familiar with the reference to “shivering at the gates”, which William Oddie quotes in his book The Roman Option, an account of the English bishops’ failure to meet Anglican pastoral needs in the early 1990s. The then Cardinal Ratzinger is believed to have read the book, which reads as a dreadful reproach to a hierarchy which determinedly set up obstacles to Anglican corporate reunion. The bishops had no idea that those obstacles would be swept away with such force this week – and for a good reason: the Holy Father did not consult them.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

New Liturgical Movement: The Recent Annoucement Pertaining to Anglicans and the Liturgical Situation

Writer Hilary White was at the recent press conference where the announcement was made about forthcoming arrangements for Anglicans looking for broader forms of re-union, and thankfully asked the question that many of us had no doubt been wondering here: But what about the liturgy?

From Hilary's site:

I pointed out that the Anglos [Anglocatholics] have a multiplicity of uses, what with the BCP, the Book of Alternative Services, high church stuff, low church stuff, broad church...and we have the Novus Ordo and the Extraordinary Form even just in the Latin rite, what was going to be the accepted form of liturgy for these envisioned Anglican-rite Catholic Masses?

He told us that while this Apostolic Constitution was only the beginning and things like the liturgy was still to be hammered out, the use that had already been established was going to be the groundwork.

He held up a copy of the Book of Divine Worship and said that this was probably going to form the ground work for the new practices.

The Book of Divine Worship is, of course, something we have presented here before and is the liturgical book used by the Pastoral Provision (or "Anglican Use") in the United States, and is closely related to the Anglican Book of Common Prayer -- though with modifications. (Those who wish to see it, may see it here.)

Evidently, one question which might arise, and which Hilary White alludes to, is the possibility of some of these parishes or groups wishing to use some of other Anglican liturgical book as the English Missal or Anglican Missal which are more closely aligned to the usus antiquior and which some Anglocatholics use.

This is a question that is oft-raised when the topic of the Anglican Use in the United States arises. It will be interesting to watch and see if anything new springs from this new situation in the coming months and years.

Hundreds of Anglican clergy to meet after Vatican offer

Hundreds of Anglican clergy who oppose women bishops are meeting this weekend to discuss whether to abandon the Church of England for the Roman Catholic church.

About 500 members of Forward in Faith, the leading traditionalist grouping, will be in London to debate Pope Benedict XVI’s offer of an Anglican “ordinariate” or diocese to operate under a new Apostolic Constitution...


Fr. Steenson: Policy Reflects Pope’s Passion as he studied at the Pontifical Irish College in Rome last year, the Rev. Jeffrey Steenson did not know just how much the Vatican was preparing to widen its arms to Anglican pilgrims like himself.

Fr. Steenson, as he is now known again, served as Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande from 2005 to 2007, when he resigned to join the Roman Catholic Church. He now teaches theology at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas.

“I was certainly aware that there were very significant conversations going on at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, but I didn’t know the scope of things,” Fr. Steenson told The Living Church.

He believes the Vatican’s policy change reflects the passion of Pope Benedict XVI. “I really think the Pope helped move things along,” he said. “Evangelization is really the heart and soul of what he’s about. When people are knocking on the door of the Church, the Catholic Church needs to take extra steps to welcome them in. It’s all about the gathering in of souls.”

Fr. Steenson said the Vatican’s new policy is neither an effort at poaching Anglicans nor at creating a permanent Anglican enclave within Roman Catholicism.

“People would misunderstand the intention of this if they think it’s to created a protected zone or a cul-de-sac in which you can hunker down. The Catholic Church recognizes that there are elements of truth and beauty in Anglicanism that ought to be preserved for the good of the whole church,” he said.

“It is genuinely open-ended. I don’t think there is any timetable or a ticking clock,” he said of Anglicans becoming assimilated Roman Catholics.

Fr. Steenson cautioned that Anglicans, in turn, should not see the Roman Catholic Church as a platform from which they fight with their former communion.

“It’s about wanting to be in communion with Peter,” he said. “It’s can’t just be a matter of being angry about this issue or that issue.”

If any congregations are engaged in legal battles over property, they had better leave those at the banks of the Tiber.

Roman Catholic bishops “do not want to intervene in what they see as a dispute within the Episcopal Church,” Fr. Steenson said. “There’s got to be closure and you’ve got to move forward.”

Douglas LeBlanc

Pope's gambit could see 1,000 quit Church of England

As many as 1,000 priests could quit the Church of England and thousands more may leave churches in America and Australia under bold proposals to welcome Anglicans to Rome.

Entire parishes and even dioceses could be tempted to defect after Pope Benedict XVI’s decision to offer a legal structure to Anglicans joining the Roman Catholic Church.

His decree, issued yesterday, is a serious blow to attempts by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, to save the Anglican Communion from further fragmentation and threatens to wreck decades of ecumenical dialogue.

Dr Williams was notified formally only last weekend by the Vatican and looked uncomfortable at a joint press conference with the Archbishop of Westminster, the Most Rev Vincent Nichols, to announce the plan.

Anglicans privately accused Rome of poaching and attacked Dr Williams for capitulating to the Vatican. Some called for his resignation. Although there was little he could have done to forestall the move, many were dismayed at his joint statement with the Archbishop of Westminster in which they spoke of Anglicans “willing to declare that they share a common Catholic faith and accept the Petrine ministry as willed by Christ for his Church”.

In a letter to bishops and clergy, Dr Williams made clear his own discomfiture. He wrote: “I am sorry that there has been no opportunity to alert you earlier to this. I was informed of the planned announcement at a very late stage.”

The Bishop of Fulham, the Right Rev John Broadhurst, chairman of Forward in Faith, which opposes women bishops, hailed it as a “decisive moment” and predicted that, based on his group’s membership, up to 1,000 Church of England clergy could go.

Christina Rees, of the pro-women group Watch, described the Vatican’s move as poaching. She said: “It is one thing to offer a welcome, but this seems to be a particularly effusive welcome where people are almost being encouraged. In the Anglican Church we like to operate with transparency. If this has not been done here that will add to the sense of this being a predatory move.”

Pope Benedict wants to make Christian unity an enduring legacy of his papacy. He is due to visit Britain next year; Dr Williams will visit Rome next month. The Pope has already shown his determination to reunite Christendom at almost any price, welcoming back the traditionalist Society of Saint Pius X despite a Holocaust-denying bishop in its ranks.

Under the plan, the Pope will issue an apostolic constitution, a form of papal decree, that will lead to the creation of “personal ordinariates” for Anglicans who convert to Rome.

These will provide a legal framework to allow Anglicans to enter full communion with the Catholic Church while preserving distinctive elements of their Anglican identity, such as liturgy. Clergy will have to be retrained and re-ordained, since Rome regards Anglican orders as “absolutely null and utterly void”, but they will be granted their own seminaries to train future priests for the new ordinariate.

This deal was done with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, formerly the Holy Inquisition that Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger himself headed before he became Pope.

The Council for Christian Unity was not represented at simultaneous press conferences in Rome and London, suggesting that the Pope has had enough of dialogue focusing on canonical moves towards unity. Dr Williams was briefed formally only when Cardinal William Levada, of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, flew to London at the weekend to tell Anglican and Catholic leaders of the plans. It is understood that leading members of the council and other senior Anglican and Catholic figures tried desperately to block the decree.

One result of the Vatican’s move is that women bishops are likely to be consecrated sooner rather than later in the Church of England. This is because Parliament and the General Synod will not sanction legal structures to “safeguard” opponents of women priests within the Church if Rome is offering an open door with the Archbishop of Canterbury’s blessing.

Dr Williams said that the announcement did not disrupt “business as usual” in relations between the two churches. It would be a serious mistake to view the development as a response to the difficulties within the Anglican Communion, he said. It was aimed at people who had reached a “conscientious conviction that visible unity with the Holy See was now what God was calling them to”, he said. “It is not a secret that in this country the ordination of women as bishops is one of those test issues.”

Kendall Harmon: Comments on the Latest Move from Rome

Kendall Harmon is a priest and Canon Theologian of the Episcopal diocese of South Carolina.

From TitusONENine:

I have a slew of emails and telephone calls asking what I think of this latest development. Herewith a few thoughts for starters.

(1) It represents a huge indictment of the leadership of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Many people question Rome's motivations, but I believe Rome, which has been watching Anglican developments like a hawk in recent years, wanted Anglicanism globally to succeed. Their response to the Windsor Report, for example, was quite favorable. This move to me shows they do not believe the Anglican moment in history to help global Christianity can take place sufficiently under Rowan Williams.

(2) It represents a sweeping judgment on Anglicanism in particular. Rome believes, as John 17 says, that the world may know the gospel if Christians are one as Jesus and the Father are one. Such a unity is only possible through a church with catholic order and evangelical faith. Rome has watched global Anglicanism evolve and has seen the Instruments of Unity be used repeatedly, over a period of time, and they have judged that Anglicanism itself is not and will not work for the cause of real global Catholicism going forward.

(3) It repesents a judgment that the real story going forward is between Rome and the East. Do not underestimate the significance of the fact that in this present unusual "arrangement," if I may call it that, Rome has drawn the line at Episcopal celibacy. That is a gesture Eastward, among many others things.

(4) It represents a sense that only a external action will have any benefit to Anglicanism going forward. Let us not kid ourselves. Rome put a lot into ecumencial conversations with Anglicans because they believe that more internal mechanisms and persuasions were possible. Now, in their judgment, they are not. They don't see a future of greater Anglican unity they see one of greater Anglican splintering. At this level, it represents a shout which one wonders if any Anglicans will hear--KSH.

Alito troubled by concerns about court's Catholics

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito is voicing frustration over what he calls persistent questions about the court's Roman Catholic majority.

Alito aired his concerns in a speech Tuesday to an Italian-American law group in Philadelphia. He said respectable people in serious publications have questioned whether the Catholic-raised judges could be trusted to do their jobs. He said he thought the Constitution settled the question long ago with its guarantee of religious freedom.

Alito is one of six justices on the nine-member court who were raised Catholic, including new Justice Sonia Sotomayor. A dozen of the 111 jurists in the court's history have been Catholic.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Ft. Worth Anglo-Catholic Bishop Issues Cautious Endorsement of Vatican Provision

By Jack Leo Iker
October 20, 2009

I have read with great interest various reports concerning today's announcement from top officials in the Vatican about some new provisions being made whereby Anglicans may enter into full communion with the Holy See. For some time now I have understood that high-level discussions about this were taking place in Rome and that an announcement along these lines would be made before the end of the year. As today's announcement indicates, a new Apostolic Constitution is soon to be released which will spell out Pope Benedict XVI's response to Anglicans who wish to enter into full visible communion with the Roman Catholic Church.

Many Anglo-Catholics will welcome this development as a very generous and welcoming offer that enhances the Pastoral Provision that has been in place for several years for those seeking reunion with Rome. Other Anglicans who desire full communion with the See of Peter would prefer some sort of recognition of the validity of Anglican orders and the provision for inter-communion between Roman Catholics and Anglicans.

The virtues of the proposal as I understand it have to do with maintaining certain aspects of the Anglican way of worship, spirituality, and ethos while entering into full communion with the Pope. But of course, not all Anglo-Catholics can accept certain teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, nor do they believe that they must first convert to Rome in order to be truly catholic Christians.

This option to choose different paths comes at a difficult time for us as together we face the challenges of the litigation brought against us by the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America. Rather than making hasty decisions or quick resolutions, we will continue to work and pray together for the unity of Christ's holy catholic church throughout the world.

----The Rt. Rev. Jack Leo Iker is Bishop of Fort Worth

CANA Response to Vatican Announcement

Another Anglican Body...
CONTACT: Megan Franko (ext. 148) or Kelly Oliver (ext. 140) at (703) 683-5004

HERNDON, Va. (October 20, 2009) – Bishop Martyn Minns, Missionary Bishop of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA), issued the following response to the newly approved church provision, announced today by the Vatican, that allows Anglicans to join the Catholic Church.

“The Vatican is opening a door for Anglicans who sense a call to be part of the Church of Rome to join that body and still maintain Anglican traditions. This move by the Catholic Church recognizes the reality of the divide within the Anglican Communion and affirms the decision to create a new North American province that embraces biblical truth. While we welcome the positive response from the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury regarding the Vatican’s provision, we urge Lambeth Palace to move swiftly to fully endorse the efforts of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans and the Anglican Church in North America to keep the Anglican family together,” said Bishop Minns.

“Rome is reminding Anglicans that our historic, orthodox faith is more important than culture and more important than geography. CANA itself bears witness to the fact that God’s church is made up of believers across the globe. The centrality of Jesus Christ and the authority of Scripture are the unwavering bonds that have drawn CANA churches and others within the Anglican Church in North America together. Our continued prayer is for Anglicans across the world to be able to stay faithful to orthodox beliefs,” Minns concluded.

Editorial note:
The church provision, known as an Apostolic Constitution, allowing Anglicans to join the Catholic Church was announced by Cardinal William Levada. An Apostolic Constitution is the highest level of decree that the Pope can issue and underscores the historic nature of this action.

From The Episcopal Church on the recent statement from the Vatican

We have received the Vatican’s statement and the joint statement signed by the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Archbishop of Westminster. We are in dialogue with the Archbishop’s office and will, in the coming days, continue to explore the full implications of this in our ecumenical relations.

The announcement reflects what the Roman Catholic Church, through its acceptance of Anglican rite parishes, has been doing for some years more informally.

We in the Episcopal Church continue to look to the Holy Spirit, who guides us in understanding of what it means to be the Church in the Anglican Tradition.

We continue to remain in dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church through participation in the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Consultation (ARCIC) and the Anglican-Roman Catholic Dialogue in the USA (ARC-USA).

The Episcopal Church is a member of the worldwide Anglican Communion, and works together with other Provinces and with our ecumenical and interfaith partners to promote God’s reign on earth.

Bishop Christopher Epting
Deputy for Ecumenical and Interreligious Relations
The Episcopal Church
October 20, 2009

Left Freaks Out

The New York Times:

"And many Anglican and Catholic leaders expressed surprise, even shock, at something they said would undermine efforts at ecumenical dialogue and capitalize on deep divisions within the Anglican Church over issues like the ordination of gay bishops and blessing same-sex unions..."

Holy protestors force cancellation of Catholic Wedding

By Charles Charalambous

BANNER-WAVING Orthodox protestors yesterday put a stop to a Catholic wedding ceremony at Ayios Yiorgios church in Chlorakas after shouting a string of abuse at the priest and others in the church.

The protestors had gathered for the second day outside a conference of the Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church.

The small church is opposite the venue.

Protestors were incensed when the Catholic priest, who has permission from the Church of Cyprus to hold ceremonies, asked them to leave. Instead they heckled him to leave. “We peacefully call on you to leave and to have the wedding in a Catholic Church,” said one of the protestors.

When the priest told them he had permission, another said: “We are Orthodox Christians. It’s our church and you have no place here.”

The incident was caught on camera by Antenna television.

Another protestor outside the church said the Catholic priest had shown up with a key, entered the church and began moving things around “as if he was in a warehouse”.

“Some heretic....a Latin heretic...came and told us to go outside because there was a wedding, a papal wedding,” said the protestor.

He claimed it was all a plot to distort the history of Cyprus because the church in question was historically important in terms of the EOKA struggle when it was used as a drop-off point for weapons.

“They (Catholics) are not allowed to enter our church,” said the first protestor. “Aren’t you ashamed. You came to throw us out,” he said to the priest.

The Catholic priest then walked away, saying the wedding was cancelled.

The protestors who began demonstrating on Saturday oppose dialogue between the Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church, and claim that the aim of the dialogue between the two churches is the submission of the Orthodox Church to the Pope.

Archbishop Chrysostomos expressed his displeasure about the Saturday protest in scathing terms.

“The Church is certainly a place for healing, and people turn to it in order to be healed. But it is not an asylum, nor shall we allow it to become a home for the mentally-ill. The Church cannot be turned into a lunatic asylum” he said.

“For someone – whether a lay or clerical person – to place his opinion above the opinion and decisions of the local synods of the whole of the Orthodox faith amounts to vanity, and indeed satanic vanity.”

Inviting the protestors to “get their feet back on the ground and gain some redemptive humility”, he declared that all clerics and monks who took part in the protest would be punished, and told the participants to visit him in his office yesterday.

The Archbishop said that the clerics would face suspension and loss of pay, and the monks would be deprived of Holy Communion “for several weeks”.

“If they don’t like it, they should take off their robes and leave the formal Church. Let them go and set up their own church. This is why I will be very strict.”

The protestors responded by saying that instead of “convincing with theological arguments as a pastor”, the Archbishop was “using the powers of his office to issue threats” of disciplinary action against clerics involved in the protest.

Lavrentios de Giorgio, President of the Saint Kosmas Aitolos Orthodox Union, speaking for the protestors argued yesterday that the Archbishop did not have the authority to impose punishments on clergy belonging to the Kitium diocese, describing such actions as “a coup” by the Church leader.

In response, Paphos Bishop Georgios – who is in charge of the inter-faith dialogue – said that the protestors were “ultra-orthodox” people.

“Neither I nor the Synod nor anyone else is less Orthodox than them,” he said.

“People need to understand that we are all in dialogue with our fellow-man and we will not betray our faith or our values.”

The conference takes place every two years, and will end on Friday.

New Regulations for Anglicans entering the Catholic Church

Archbishop Vincent Nichols Explains the New Apostolic Constitution for Anglicans

Anglican Church in North America Responds to Vatican Announcement of New Anglican Provision
by Robert Duncan
October 20, 2009

We rejoice that the Holy See has opened this doorway, which represents another step in the growing cooperation and relationship between our Churches. This significant decision represents a recognition of the integrity of the Anglican tradition within the broader Christian church. While we believe that this provision will not be utilized by the great majority of the Anglican Church in North America's bishops, priests, dioceses and congregations, we will surely bless those who are drawn to participate in this momentous offer.

We concurrently thank God for the partnership that orthodox Anglicans have long enjoyed with the Roman Catholic Church, and are profoundly grateful for the many acts of kindness shown on local, diocesan and national levels, as they have stood with us in our time of trial.

While our historic differences over church governance, dogmas regarding the Blessed Virgin Mary and the nature of Holy Orders continue to be points of prayerful dialogue, we look forward to an ever deepening partnership with the Catholic Church throughout the world. We pledge our earnest prayers for all those touched by this initiative, as we look forward to the publication of the Apostolic Constitution detailing today's announcement.

The Most Rev. Robert Wm. Duncan
Archbishop and Primate
Anglican Church in North America Bishop
Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh (Anglican)

Pope Benedict XVI delivers his blessing during the Angelus noon ...
Pope Benedict XVI delivers his blessing during the Angelus noon prayer celebrated from the window of his studio overlooking St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Sunday, Oct. 18, 2009.
(AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

Faithful burn incense during a procession of the "Senor ...
Faithful burn incense during a procession of the "Senor de los Milagros" as Pope Benedict XVI leads his Angelus prayer at the Vatican October 18, 2009. The ceremony is celebrated by Peruvians who have immigrated to Italy.

Cardinal William Levada, the Vatican's chief doctrinal official, ...

Cardinal William Levada, the Vatican's chief doctrinal official, speaks at a news conference at the Vatican, Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2009. The Vatican has made it easier for Anglicans to join the Catholic Church, responding to the disillusionment of some Anglicans over the election of openly gay bishops and the blessing of same-sex unions. Pope Benedict XVI approved a new church provision that will allow Anglicans to convert while maintaining many of their distinctive spiritual and liturgical traditions, Cardinal William Levada, the Vatican's chief doctrinal official, told a news conference Tuesday. .
(AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)

Pope Benedict XVI sits after arriving at the Paul VI Hall at ...

Pope Benedict XVI sits after arriving at the Paul VI Hall at the Vatican to attend a piano concert performed by Chinese pianist Jin Ju, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2009.

(AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito)

Rowan Williams' letter to his bishops

October 20, 2009

To the Bishops of the Church of England, and the members of the Primates Meeting of the Anglican Communion

The Vatican has announced today that Pope Benedict XVI has approved an 'Apostolic Constitution' (a formal papal decree) which will make some provision for groups of Anglicans (whether strictly members of continuing Anglican bodies or currently members of the Communion) who wish to be received into communion with the See of Rome in such a way that they can retain aspects of Anglican liturgical and spiritual tradition.

I am sorry that there has been no opportunity to alert you earlier to this; I was informed of the planned announcement at a very late stage, and we await the text of the Apostolic Constitution itself and its code of practice in the coming weeks. But I thought I should let you know the main points of the response I am making in our local English context - in full consultation with Roman Catholic bishops in England and Wales - in the hope of avoiding any confusion or misrepresentation.

I attach a copy of the Joint Statement that I agreed to make alongside the Archbishop of Westminster, the President of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales. It can be found below.

It remains to be seen what use will be made of this provision, since it is now up to those who have made requests to the Holy See to respond to the Apostolic Constitution; but, in the light of recent discussions with senior officials in the Vatican, I can say that this new possibility is in no sense at all intended to undermine existing relations between our two communions or to be an act of proselytism or aggression. It is described as simply a response to specific enquiries from certain Anglican groups and individuals wishing to find their future within the Roman Catholic Church.

The common heritage of the achievement of the ARCIC agreed statements, and the IARCCUM principles for shared work and witness (in Growing Together in Unity and Mission, 2007), remain the solid ground both for our future co-operation as global communions, and our regional and local growth in common faith and witness. For those who wish to enter into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church in the near future, this announcement will clarify possible options, and we wish them God's strength and guidance in their discernment. Meanwhile our ecumenical relationships continue on their current cordial basis, regionally and internationally.

+ Rowan Cantuar

New Vatican plan lets Anglicans convert easier

By NICOLE WINFIELD, Associated Press Writer

...But Williams' representative in Rome, the Very Rev. David Richardson, called the Vatican's decision "surprising," given that the Catholic Church in the past had welcomed individual Anglicans in without creating what he called "parallel structures" for entire groups of converts.

"The two questions I would want to ask are 'why this and why now,'" he told The Associated Press. "Why the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has decided to embrace that particular method remains unclear to me."

Also unclear, he said, was the Vatican's target audience: those Anglicans who have already left the Anglican Communion, or current members. Levada said it covered both.

"If it's for former Anglicans, then it's not about our present difficulties, then it's people who have already left," Richardson said. If it's current Anglicans, "There is in my mind an uncertainty for whom it is intended..."


Traditional Anglican Communion Responds to Pope's Offer of Ecclesiastical refuge

by John Hepworth
20th October 2009

I have spent this evening speaking to bishops, priests and lay people of the Traditional Anglican Communion in England, Africa, Australia, India, Canada, the United States and South America.

We are profoundly moved by the generosity of the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI. He offers in this Apostolic Constitution the means for "former Anglicans to enter into the fullness of communion with the Catholic Church". He hopes that we can "find in this canonical structure the opportunity to preserve those Anglican traditions precious to us and consistent with the Catholic faith". He then warmly states "we are happy that these men and women bring with them their particular contributions to our common life of faith".

May I firstly state that this is an act of great goodness on the part of the Holy Father. He has dedicated his pontificate to the cause of unity. It more than matches the dreams we dared to include in our petition of two years ago. It more than matches our prayers. In those two years, we have become very conscious of the prayers of our friends in the Catholic Church. Perhaps their prayers dared to ask even more than ours.

While we await the full text of the Apostolic Constitution, we are also moved by the pastoral nature of the Notes issued today by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. My fellow bishops have indeed signed the Catechism of the Catholic Church and made a statement about the ministry of the Bishop of Rome, reflecting the words of Pope John Paul II in his letter "Ut Unum Sint".

Other Anglican groups have indicated to the Holy See a similar desire and a similar acceptance of Catholic faith. As Cardinal Levada has indicated, this response to Anglican petitions is to be of a global character. It will now be for these groups to forge a close cooperation, even where they transcend the existing boundaries of the Anglican Communion.

Fortunately, the Statement issued by the Archbishop of Canterbury reflects the understanding that we have gained from him that he does not stand in our way, and understands the decisions that we have reached. Both his reaction and our petition are fruits of a century of prayer for Christian unity, a cause that many times must have seemed forlorn. We now express our gratitude to Archbishop Williams, and have regularly assured him of our prayers. The See of Augustine remains a focus of our pilgrim way, as it was in ages of faith in the past.

I have made a commitment to the Traditional Anglican Communion that the response of the Holy See will be taken to each of our National Synods. They have already endorsed our pathway. Now the Holy See challenges us to seek in the specific structures that are now available the "full, visible unity, especially Eucharistic communion", for which we have long prayed and about which we have long dreamed. That process will begin at once.

In the Anglican Office of Morning Prayer, the great Hymn of Thanksgiving, the Te Deum, is part of the daily Order. It is with heartfelt thanks to Almighty God, the Lord and Source of all peace and unity, that the hymn is on our lips today. This is a moment of grace, perhaps even a moment of history, not because the past is undone, but because the past is transformed.

----Archbishop John Hepworth is Primate of the Traditional Anglican Communion


Today’s announcement of the Apostolic Constitution is a response by Pope Benedict XVI to a number of requests over the past few years to the Holy See from groups of Anglicans who wish to enter into full visible communion with the Roman Catholic Church, and are willing to declare that they share a common Catholic faith and accept the Petrine ministry as willed by Christ for his Church.

Pope Benedict XVI has approved, within the Apostolic Constitution, a canonical structure that provides for Personal Ordinariates, which will allow former Anglicans to enter full communion with the Catholic Church while preserving elements of distinctive Anglican spiritual patrimony.

The announcement of this Apostolic Constitution brings to an end a period of uncertainty for such groups who have nurtured hopes of new ways of embracing unity with the Catholic Church. It will now be up to those who have made requests to the Holy See to respond to the Apostolic Constitution.

The Apostolic Constitution is further recognition of the substantial overlap in faith, doctrine and spirituality between the Catholic Church and the Anglican tradition. Without the dialogues of the past forty years, this recognition would not have been possible, nor would hopes for full visible unity have been nurtured. In this sense, this Apostolic Constitution is one consequence of ecumenical dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion.

The on-going official dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion provides the basis for our continuing cooperation. The Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) and International Anglican Roman Catholic Commission for Unity and Mission (IARCCUM) agreements make clear the path we will follow together.

With God’s grace and prayer we are determined that our on-going mutual commitment and consultation on these and other matters should continue to be strengthened. Locally, in the spirit of IARCCUM, we look forward to building on the pattern of shared meetings between the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales and the Church of England’s House of Bishops with a focus on our common mission. Joint days of reflection and prayer were begun in Leeds in 2006 and continued in Lambeth in 2008, and further meetings are in preparation. This close cooperation will continue as we grow together in unity and mission, in witness to the Gospel in our country, and in the Church at large.

London, 20 October 2009

+ Vincent Gerard Nichols

+ Rowan Williams


With the preparation of an Apostolic Constitution, the Catholic Church is responding to the many requests that have been submitted to the Holy See from groups of Anglican clergy and faithful in different parts of the world who wish to enter into full visible communion.

In this Apostolic Constitution the Holy Father has introduced a canonical structure that provides for such corporate reunion by establishing Personal Ordinariates, which will allow former Anglicans to enter full communion with the Catholic Church while preserving elements of the distinctive Anglican spiritual and liturgical patrimony. Under the terms of the Apostolic Constitution, pastoral oversight and guidance will be provided for groups of former Anglicans through a Personal Ordinariate, whose Ordinary will usually be appointed from among former Anglican clergy.

The forthcoming Apostolic Constitution provides a reasonable and even necessary response to a world-wide phenomenon, by offering a single canonical model for the universal Church which is adaptable to various local situations and equitable to former Anglicans in its universal application. It provides for the ordination as Catholic priests of married former Anglican clergy. Historical and ecumenical reasons preclude the ordination of married men as bishops in both the Catholic and Orthodox Churches. The Constitution therefore stipulates that the Ordinary can be either a priest or an unmarried bishop. The seminarians in the Ordinariate are to be prepared alongside other Catholic seminarians, though the Ordinariate may establish a house of formation to address the particular needs of formation in the Anglican patrimony. In this way, the Apostolic Constitution seeks to balance on the one hand the concern to preserve the worthy Anglican liturgical and spiritual patrimony and, on the other hand, the concern that these groups and their clergy will be integrated into the Catholic Church.

Cardinal William Levada, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith which has prepared this provision, said: "We have been trying to meet the requests for full communion that have come to us from Anglicans in different parts of the world in recent years in a uniform and equitable way. With this proposal the Church wants to respond to the legitimate aspirations of these Anglican groups for full and visible unity with the Bishop of Rome, successor of St. Peter."

These Personal Ordinariates will be formed, as needed, in consultation with local Conferences of Bishops, and their structure will be similar in some ways to that of the Military Ordinariates which have been established in most countries to provide pastoral care for the members of the armed forces and their dependents throughout the world. "Those Anglicans who have approached the Holy See have made clear their desire for full, visible unity in the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. At the same time, they have told us of the importance of their Anglican traditions of spirituality and worship for their faith journey," Cardinal Levada said.

The provision of this new structure is consistent with the commitment to ecumenical dialogue, which continues to be a priority for the Catholic Church, particularly through the efforts of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity. "The initiative has come from a number of different groups of Anglicans," Cardinal Levada went on to say: "They have declared that they share the common Catholic faith as it is expressed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and accept the Petrine ministry as something Christ willed for the Church. For them, the time has come to express this implicit unity in the visible form of full communion."

According to Levada: "It is the hope of the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, that the Anglican clergy and faithful who desire union with the Catholic Church will find in this canonical structure the opportunity to preserve those Anglican traditions precious to them and consistent with the Catholic faith. Insofar as these traditions express in a distinctive way the faith that is held in common, they are a gift to be shared in the wider Church. The unity of the Church does not require a uniformity that ignores cultural diversity, as the history of Christianity shows. Moreover, the many diverse traditions present in the Catholic Church today are all rooted in the principle articulated by St. Paul in his letter to the Ephesians: ‘There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism’ (4:5). Our communion is therefore strengthened by such legitimate diversity, and so we are happy that these men and women bring with them their particular contributions to our common life of faith."

Background information

Since the sixteenth century, when King Henry VIII declared the Church in England independent of Papal Authority, the Church of England has created its own doctrinal confessions, liturgical books, and pastoral practices, often incorporating ideas from the Reformation on the European continent. The expansion of the British Empire, together with Anglican missionary work, eventually gave rise to a world-wide Anglican Communion.

Throughout the more than 450 years of its history the question of the reunification of Anglicans and Catholics has never been far from mind. In the mid-nineteenth century the Oxford Movement (in England) saw a rekindling of interest in the Catholic aspects of Anglicanism. In the early twentieth century Cardinal Mercier of Belgium entered into well publicized conversations with Anglicans to explore the possibility of union with the Catholic Church under the banner of an Anglicanism "reunited but not absorbed".

At the Second Vatican Council hope for union was further nourished when the Decree on Ecumenism (n. 13), referring to communions separated from the Catholic Church at the time of the Reformation, stated that: "Among those in which Catholic traditions and institutions in part continue to exist, the Anglican Communion occupies a special place."

Since the Council, Anglican-Roman Catholic relations have created a much improved climate of mutual understanding and cooperation. The Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) produced a series of doctrinal statements over the years in the hope of creating the basis for full and visible unity. For many in both communions, the ARCIC statements provided a vehicle in which a common expression of faith could be recognized. It is in this framework that this new provision should be seen.

In the years since the Council, some Anglicans have abandoned the tradition of conferring Holy Orders only on men by calling women to the priesthood and the episcopacy. More recently, some segments of the Anglican Communion have departed from the common biblical teaching on human sexuality—already clearly stated in the ARCIC document "Life in Christ"—by the ordination of openly homosexual clergy and the blessing of homosexual partnerships. At the same time, as the Anglican Communion faces these new and difficult challenges, the Catholic Church remains fully committed to continuing ecumenical engagement with the Anglican Communion, particularly through the efforts of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity.

In the meantime, many individual Anglicans have entered into full communion with the Catholic Church. Sometimes there have been groups of Anglicans who have entered while preserving some "corporate" structure. Examples of this include, the Anglican diocese of Amritsar in India, and some individual parishes in the United States which maintained an Anglican identity when entering the Catholic Church under a "pastoral provision" adopted by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and approved by Pope John Paul II in 1982. In these cases, the Catholic Church has frequently dispensed from the requirement of celibacy to allow those married Anglican clergy who desire to continue ministerial service as Catholic priests to be ordained in the Catholic Church.

In the light of these developments, the Personal Ordinariates established by the Apostolic Constitution can be seen as another step toward the realization the aspiration for full, visible union in the Church of Christ, one of the principal goals of the ecumenical movement.