Friday, June 8, 2018

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


By Phil Luciano

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

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

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

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


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Thursday, March 29, 2018

Does the pope believe in hell?

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

By Pat Buchanan

(WND) “Pope Declares No Hell?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And how did that turn out, Your Holiness?

Happy Easter!

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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Vatican doctors photo of Benedict’s praise for Francis

By NICOLE WINFIELD

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Sunday, February 25, 2018

Christians shutter the Church of the Holy Sepulchre to protest taxes

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

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

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

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

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Wednesday, February 7, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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Sunday, January 14, 2018

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

By Larry Peterson

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

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

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

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

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


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Friday, January 5, 2018

Prayer Request

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