Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

“In ancient Rome, there was a potestas patria or the right of the father to dispose of a child. In our modern day, there is the potesta matria or the right of the mother to dispose of a child. In between pagan Rome and pagan today there was, and still is, a group of God-loving people who will protect those who are incapable of independent existence because they sense in their own frailty the mercy of God and, therefore, resolve to extend it to others."

~ Fulton J. Sheen: Bishop Sheen Writes, (January 25, 1975).

h/t to ChurchMilitant.tv


Monday, January 27, 2014

Blood of Pope John Paul II stolen in possible 'satanic' theft

By Nick Squires, Rome

(The Telegraph) A religious reliquary containing blood from the late Pope John Paul II has been stolen from a remote mountain church in Italy, with speculation that a Satanic group could be behind the theft.

A team of around 50 Carabinieri police officers with sniffer dogs were on Monday searching for any trace of the reliquary, which was stolen from the Church of St Peter of Ienca in the Abruzzo mountains at the weekend.

The ornate gold object contains a fragment of material, stained with blood, which was purportedly taken from the clothing worn by John Paul II after he was shot during the failed attempt on his life in St Peter’s Square in 1981.

It was donated to the church in May 2011 by Stanislaw Dzuwisz, a Polish cardinal and the Pope’s former personal secretary.

The reliquary is one of just a handful in the world that contains the blood of the Polish pope, who died in 2005 and was succeeded by Benedict XVI.

It was stolen along with a cross from the church, which lies close to Gran Sasso, a 9,550ft- high mountain in the Apennines east of Rome.

The theft was discovered on Saturday by a priest from the religious sanctuary, which is dedicated to the memory of John Paul II.

The Pope was very fond of the region and used to spend holidays there, walking, meditating and skiing at the nearby resort of Campo Imperatore.

It is also famous as the place where Benito Mussolini was interned after Italy swapped sides during the war, and from where he was rescued by a team of German paratroopers in Sept 1943 during a daring airborne raid.

“It’s possible that there could be Satanic sects behind the theft of the reliquary,” said Giovanni Panunzio, the national coordinator of an anti-occult group called Osservatorio Antiplagio.

“This period of the year is important in the Satanic calendar and culminates in the Satanic ‘new year’ on Feb 1. This sort of sacrilege often take place at this time of the year. We hope that the stolen items are recovered as quickly as possible.”

The theft of the reliquary comes as the Vatican prepares to canonise John Paul II, along with another former Pope, John XXIII, at a ceremony on April 27.

At John Paul II’s funeral in 2005, crowds of mourners cried "Santo Subito!" - "Sainthood now" - prompting the Vatican to speed up the Polish pontiff’s path to canonisation.

In Aug 2012, another relic containing a vial of the late Pope’s blood was stolen from a Catholic priest while he was travelling on a train north of Rome.

The relic was in his backpack, which was swiped by thieves but later recovered in a thicket of cane grass by police.


Friday, January 24, 2014

Pope Francis Meets Head of Medjugorje Commission Cardinal Camillo Ruini

By Edward Pentin

(National Catholic Register) Pope Francis today met Cardinal Camillo Ruini who chairs the Medjugorje Commission.

Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi wasn't able to disclose the reasons for the meeting, telling the Register that "naturally the contents of a private conversation are not subject to communication."

However, the vicar general emeritus of the Vicariate of Rome will most probably have discussed the commission's findings on Medjugorje which it submitted last week to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. After being examined by the CDF, a proposal will be made to the Holy Father who will have the final say.

The timeline for a decision is not known, although Cardinal Vinko Puljic of Sarajevo, who is also a member of the commission, said this week that he expected the Pope to rule on the authenticity of the apparitions by the end of this year.

The cardinal also said the commission is "not opposed to Medjugorje as a place of faith where faithful pilgrims gather."


Monday, January 20, 2014

Top pope ally Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga urges Vatican doctrine chief Archbishop Gerhard Mueller to loosen up

By Tom Heneghan, Religion Editor

PARIS (Reuters) - An influential aide to Pope Francis criticized the Vatican's doctrinal watchdog on Monday and urged the conservative prelate to be more flexible about reforms being discussed in the Roman Catholic Church.

Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, the head of a "kitchen cabinet" the pope created to draw up reform proposals, said that Archbishop Gerhard Mueller - who has opposed any loosening of Church rules on divorce - was a classic German theology professor who thought too much in rigid black-and-white terms.

"The world isn't like that, my brother," Rodriguez said in a German newspaper interview, rhetorically addressing Mueller in a rare public criticism among senior Church figures.

"You should be a bit flexible when you hear other voices, so you don't just listen and say, 'here is the wall'," Rodriguez said in an interview with the daily Koelner Stadt-Anzeiger.

Rodriguez, archbishop of the Honduran capital Tegucigalpa, did not cite any possible reforms in particular but said the pope's critics, such as those upset by his attacks on capitalism, were "people who don't understand reality."

Former Pope Benedict picked Mueller in 2012 to head the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), the successor office to the Inquisition. Benedict ran that office as a powerful and feared guardian of Church orthodoxy for 24 years as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, until he was elected pope in 2005.

But its influence has waned under Francis, who soon after his March 2013 election was reported as telling visiting South American priests and nuns not to worry if the CDF wrote to them criticizing what they were doing.


In an article in the Vatican daily last October, Mueller firmly rejected growing demands for divorced and remarried Catholics to be reinstated as full members of the Church.

Catholics who divorce and remarry in a civil ceremony are excluded from communion because the Church teaches that Jesus declared marriage an indissoluble bond.

With divorce on the rise, more Catholics are asking Rome to show mercy for them. German bishops have been in the forefront of reform thinking and one archdiocese even published guidelines on how to readmit them, which prompted Mueller's article.

The Vatican is due to consider reforming its rules on divorce at a worldwide synod of bishops next October.

Mueller has also strongly defended Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, who reaped stiff criticism from German Catholics and the title "luxury bishop" in the media after it was revealed he spent at least 30 million euros ($40.69 million) on a new residence complex.

Tebartz-van Elst's grand plans were so far from the modest approach favoured by the Argentine-born pontiff that Rome sent an envoy to inspect his diocese and later sent him off to a monastery for a leave of absence pending a final decision.

Rodriguez did not think Tebartz-van Elst would return to Limburg and said Latin Americans like himself and the pope found it hard to understand spending so much money for opulent features such as a 15,000-euro free-standing bath tub.

"For most people, a shower and a toilet are enough," he said. "They're enough for the pope in his three-room apartment too." ($1 = 0.7373 euros)


Monday, January 6, 2014

MMA fighter kills armed intruder, 'severely' injures another and scares off two more in home invasion gone wrong

Fighter: Joe Torrez allegedly killed an an intruder and fought off three others in a home invasion gone wrong
Fighter: Joe Torrez allegedly killed an an intruder and fought off three others in a home invasion gone wrong
  • The intruders were known gang members with lengthy criminal records
  • The four intruders entered Joe Torrez's house armed with a 'crude shank' 
  • One of the intruders was taken to the hospital with 'severe' injuries to his face

(Mail Online) A mixed martial arts fighter in New Mexico may face charges after authorities say he fended off four home invaders - killing one and severely injuring another - during a an early morning break in on New Year's Day.

According to authorities in Dora Ana County, MMA fighter Joe Torrez fatally beat and stabbed one of the intruders, beat another so badly he needed to be taken from Torrez's home in an ambulance and then convinced the other two to retreat in fear.

Authorities found the body of 25-year-old Sal Garces near Torrez's trailer home in the 600 block of King James Avenue.

Garces, his 19-year-old brother Raymond Garces, 20-year-old Nathan Avalos and 22-year-old Leonard Calvillo forced their way into 27-year-old Torrez's house about 2 a.m. on New Year's day.

Once inside the home, a fight began between the intruders and Torrez - a fight that ended with Garces dead, Avalos being admitted to a hospital with 'severe' facial injuries and the other two fleeing the scene...

One of the men, a witness told police, was armed with a 'crude shank.' Another grabbed a knife after entering the home.

An attorney for Torrez, C.J. McElhinney, says his client was acting in self-defense when he fought off the intruders.

'He was fighting for his life,' said McElhinney...

Authorities haven't ruled out charging Torrez with any crimes. A Facebook page has been setup in support of the MMA fighter.


Saturday, January 4, 2014

Pope calls for fresh Church approach to children of gay parents

Pope Francis leads a mass at St Peter's Basilica on January 1, 2014 at the Vatican

Rome (AFP) - Pope Francis has called for a rethink in the way the Catholic Church deals with the children of gay couples and divorced parents, warning against "administering a vaccine against faith". Related Stories

"On an educational level, gay unions raise challenges for us today which for us are sometimes difficult to understand," Francis said in a speech to the Catholic Union of Superiors General in November, extracts of which were published on Italian media websites on Saturday.

"The number of children in schools whose parents have separated is very high," he said, adding that family make-ups were also changing.

"I remember a case in which a sad little girl confessed to her teacher: 'my mother's girlfriend doesn't love me'," he was quoted as saying.

The pontiff said educational leaders should ask themselves "how can we proclaim Christ to a generation that is changing?"

"We must be careful not to administer a vaccine against faith to them," the 77-year-old added.

Though the Church has often been in conflict with the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community over its opposition to same-sex marriage and to homosexuality, Francis has drawn praise for attempts to be inclusive.

In July he reached out to gays, declaring that "if someone is gay and seeks the Lord with good will, who am I to judge?"

And in December, the Advocate magazine -- dedicated to the gay and lesbian community -- chose the head of the Catholic Church as the "single most influential person of 2013 on the lives of LGBT people."

The reform-minded pontiff has also called an extraordinary assembly of the Synod of Bishops next year to discuss the Church's position with regard to the family, which is expected to address among other issues the problem of divorcees remarrying and children of divorced parents.