Thursday, March 31, 2005

Pope Given Last Rites

This is being reported, but as usual the reporters have no understanding of what they are reporting saying that it refers to the "annointing of the sick." If the Vatican is saying that the Pope has been given the Last Rites they are referring to a series of "rites" that are performed for a dying person including:

Confession and Absolution

Annointing of the Sick...this was referred to
in the old days as "extreme unction"

and...

Viaticum...Holy
Communion
given to accompany the dying person on their way, their "via" to God.

If this is truly what the Vatican is reporting then the condition of the Pope must be very grave and I would ask all to pray for this saint who God has blessed us with these past twenty-six years.

Terri has Died

May she rest in peace...may God forgive those who put an end to her life.

From the Front Lines

Outside of Terri Schiavo's "cell":

From Sacred Miscellany:

"Better late than never - we went down to the hospice in Pinellas Park where Terri Schiavo is being starved to death. It was a wretched day with heavy downpours on the Interstate. When we got there, the weather had cleared and we found ourselves in a surreal universe of people keeping vigil, encamped media, and an overwhelming police presence. Was it worth the four-hour drive? Yes. You very clearly have a sense of being present at a turning point in American life. There were Catholics, Protestants, disabled and able-bodied, adults and children. Not the numbers we would have hoped, but maybe crowds don't turn out for these moments in history.

What did I hear from the people around me? Why were they there? Because they cared. Because they were scandalized that no one else was there. Over and over I heard, 'Where are the bishops?' Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament was there, and we know that where He is, His mother is never far behind."

Michael Brown and the Scientology Connection

In the Terri Schiavo horror...

From Spirit Daily - Daily spiritual news from around the world:

"Scientologists in Clearwater faced a major lawsuit a while ago over the death of a member named Lisa McPherson, who, the suit alleged, was isolated, starved, and dehydrated as part of an attempt to make her fall back into line. The lawsuit asserted that 'Scientologists are ordered to and have been successful in infiltrating other organizations and government agencies, newspapers, medical associations, psychological associations, and psychiatric associations throughout the world.' Scientology's 'mecca' is Clearwater, says the literature."

Providence Gets the Bishop of Youngstown

From the Vatican Information Service:

The Holy Father appointed Bishop Thomas J. Tobin of Youngstown, U.S.A., as bishop of Providence (area 3,143, population 1,063,200, Catholics 649,188, priests 407, permanent deacons 107, religious 895), U.S.A. He succeeds Bishop Robert E. Mulvee whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese was accepted by the Holy Father, upon having reached the age limit.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Audio Blog on the Origins of My New Book

this is an audio post - click to play



Pope Being Fed Through a Tube

Appears at window but once again an attempt to speak is muted.

From CNN.com - Pope being fed through a tube - Mar 30, 2005:

"Pope John Paul II is being fed through a nasal tube in an effort to boost his calorie intake, the Vatican says.

'To improve his calorific intake and promote an efficient recovery of his strength, nutrition via the positioning of a nasal-gastric tube has begun,' Joaquin Navarro-Valls said in a statement released Wednesday.

The pope underwent a tracheotomy on February 24 and still has a tube inserted in his windpipe to help his breathing.

Earlier Wednesday the pope appeared at his studio window and blessed the thousands of faithful in St. Peter's Square."

Blogger has Been Down

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Pope May Return to Hospital

From EiTB24.com:

"Pope John Paul II may have to return to the hospital for tests on the tube inserted in his throat to help him breathe, Corriere della Sera newspaper reads today. The report says doctors are considering a new hospitalization next week both to check the tube and to adjust his diet because of problems swallowing.

There is no comment from the Vatican and Nicola Cerbino; a spokesman at Polyclinic Gemelli hospital where John Paul was rushed twice last month, called it media speculation."

Easter Sernon of St. John Chrysostom

Byzantine Matins for the Feast of Pascha:


PASCHAL SERMON OF ST. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM
Archbishop of Constantinople



Is there anyone who is a devout lover of God?
Let them enjoy this beautiful bright festival!
Is there anyone who is a grateful servant?
Let them rejoice and enter into the joy of their Lord!

Are there any weary with fasting?
Let them now receive their wages!
If any have toiled from the first hour,
let them receive their due reward;
If any have come after the third hour,
let him with gratitude join in the Feast!
And he that arrived after the sixth hour,
let him not doubt; for he too shall sustain no loss.
And if any delayed until the ninth hour,
let him not hesitate; but let him come too.
And he who arrived only at the eleventh hour,
let him not be afraid by reason of his delay.

For the Lord is gracious and receives the last even as the first.
He gives rest to him that comes at the eleventh hour,
as well as to him that toiled from the first.
To this one He gives, and upon another He bestows.
He accepts the works as He greets the endeavor.
The deed He honors and the intention He commends.

Let us all enter into the joy of the Lord!
First and last alike receive your reward;
rich and poor, rejoice together!
Sober and slothful, celebrate the day!

You that have kept the fast, and you that have not,
rejoice today for the Table is richly laden!
Feast royally on it, the calf is a fatted one.
Let no one go away hungry. Partake, all, of the cup of faith.
Enjoy all the riches of His goodness!

Let no one grieve at his poverty,
for the universal kingdom has been revealed.
Let no one mourn that he has fallen again and again;
for forgiveness has risen from the grave.
Let no one fear death, for the Death of our Savior has set us free.
He has destroyed it by enduring it.

He destroyed Hades when He descended into it.
He put it into an uproar even as it tasted of His flesh.
Isaiah foretold this when he said,
"You, O Hell, have been troubled by encountering Him below."

Hell was in an uproar because it was done away with.
It was in an uproar because it is mocked.
It was in an uproar, for it is destroyed.
It is in an uproar, for it is annihilated.
It is in an uproar, for it is now made captive.
Hell took a body, and discovered God.
It took earth, and encountered Heaven.
It took what it saw, and was overcome by what it did not see.
O death, where is your sting?
O Hades, where is your victory?

Christ is Risen, and you, O death, are annihilated!
Christ is Risen, and the evil ones are cast down!
Christ is Risen, and the angels rejoice!
Christ is Risen, and life is liberated!
Christ is Risen, and the tomb is emptied of its dead;
for Christ having risen from the dead,
is become the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep.

To Him be Glory and Power forever and ever. Amen!

Monday, March 28, 2005

Earthquake the Day After Easter

In the same place one hit the day after Christmas...a sign?

From My Way News:

" A massive 8.2 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Sumatra Monday close to where a quake triggered a tsunami that left nearly 300,000 people dead or missing across Asia, residents and officials said.

The latest quake had the potential to cause a 'widely destructive tsunami' and authorities should take 'immediate action,' including evacuating coastlines within 600 miles of the epicenter, the Pacific tsunami warning center said.

One official said any possible tsunami could be headed toward the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius."

Divine Mercy Novena

Continues...

From Divine Mercy Novena:

"Fourth Day

'Today bring to Me Those Who Do Not Believe In God and Those Who Do Not Yet Know Me. I was thinking also of them during My bitter Passion, and their future zeal comforted My heart. Immerse them in the ocean of My mercy.'"

Generation Life

Versus the Culture of Death...Generation Life and the witness of Brandi Swindell, 28, of Boise, Idaho, who has been on a hunger strike since the feeding tube was removed from Terri Schiavo 12 days ago.

Pope Skips Appearance at His Window

You would think that the Vatican would know that he wasn't going to show, (in reference to the Vatican cameras below):

From Yahoo! News - Pope Skips Appearance at His Window:

" Pope John Paul II skipped his traditional appearance at his window overlooking St. Peter's Square the day after Easter, following a Holy Week during which he was unable to speak.

An appearance Monday -- a national holiday in Italy -- had not been confirmed because of John Paul's convalescence from throat surgery to ease a breathing crisis, although he had kept the appointment to bless pilgrims throughout his 26-year papacy.

Vatican TV cameras zoomed in on the pope's window at noontime, but the curtains remained closed."

A Helper to Accused Priests

From MSNBC - Tending to Wayward Shepherds:

"Joe Maher never knows what to expect when he picks up the phone. Sometimes there's a trembling pause before a priest, choking back tears, tells him a disturbingly familiar tale: an accusation of sexual abuse, exile from his community. Other times, there's a caller screaming obscenities, furious that Maher would even speak to these 'sinners.' A mild-mannered, devout Roman Catholic, Maher is the founder of Opus Bono Sacerdotii--Latin for 'Work for the Good of the Priesthood'--the only lay advocacy group for priests accused of sexual misconduct. Some of the priests seeking help are likely innocent, others are not. But Maher believes in supporting them all. 'Priests are out there destitute, abandoned and desperate,' he says. 'And they need help.'"

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Easter

Wishing you a joyful experience of Easter, today and everyday!

From Protopresbyter Alexander Schmemann: Easter in the Liturgical Year:

In the center of our liturgical life, in the very center of that time which we measure as year, we find the feast of Christ’s Resurrection. What is Resurrection? Resurrection is the appearance in this world, completely dominated by time and therefore by death, of a life that will have no end. The one who rose again from the dead does not die anymore. In this world of ours, not somewhere else, not in a world that we do not know at all, but in our world, there appeared one morning Someone who is beyond death and yet in our time. This meaning of Christ’s Resurrection, this great joy, is the central theme of Christianity and it has been preserved in its purity by the Orthodox Church. There is much truth expressed by those who say that the real central theme of Orthodoxy, the center of all its experience, the frame of reference of everything else, is the Resurrection of Christ.

The center, the day, that gives meaning to all days and therefore to all time, is that yearly commemoration of Christ’s Resurrection at Easter. This is always the end and the beginning. We are always living after Easter, and we are always going toward Easter. Easter is the earliest Christian feast. The whole tone and meaning of the liturgical life of the Church is contained in Easter, together with the subsequent fifty-day period, which culminates in the feast of the Pentecost, the coming down of Holy Spirit upon the Apostles. This unique Easter celebration is reflected every week in the Christian Sunday, which we call in Russian "Voskresenie" (Resurrection Day). If only you would take some time to read the texts of Sunday Matins you would realize, though it may seem strange to you, that every Sunday we have a little Easter. I say "Little Easter," but it is really "Great Easter." Every week the Church comes to the same central experience: "Having seen Thy Resurrection..." Every Saturday night when the priest carries the Gospel from the altar to the center of the church, after he has read the Gospel of the Resurrection, the same fundamental fact of our Christian faith is proclaimed: Christ is risen! St. Paul says: "If Christ is not risen, then your faith is in vain." There is nothing else to believe. This is the real center, and it is only in reference to Easter as the end of all natural time and the beginning of the new time in which we as Christians have to live that we can understand the whole liturgical year. If you open a calendar, you will find all our Sundays are called Sundays after Pentecost, and Pentecost itself is fifty days after Easter. Pentecost is the fulfillment of Easter. Christ ascended into heaven and sent down His Holy Spirit. When He sent down His Holy Spirit into the world, a new society was instituted, a body of people, whose life, though it remained of this world and was shared in its life, took on a new meaning. This new meaning comes directly from Christ’s Resurrection. We are no longer people who are living in time as in a meaningless process, which makes us first old and then ends in our disappearance. We are given not only a new meaning in life, but even death itself has acquired a new significance. In the Troparion at Easter we say, "He trampled down death by death." We do not say that He trampled down death by the Resurrection, but by death. A Christian still faces death as a decomposition of the body, as an end; yet in Christ, in the Church, because of Easter, because of Pentecost, death is no longer just the end but it is the beginning also. It is not something meaningless which therefore gives a meaningless taste to all of life. Death means entering into the Easter of the Lord. This is the basic tone, the basic melody of the liturgical year of the Christian Church. Christianity is, first of all, the proclamation in this world of Christ’s Resurrection. Orthodox spirituality is paschal in its inner content, and the real content of the Church life is joy. We speak of feasts; the feast is the expression of joyfulness of Christianity.

Weak Pope Unable to Speak

I watched this live this morning on EWTN. When the microphone was placed to him, he made a breathing sound but no words. The attendant moved the microphone away quickly.

The message given was one related to his Apostolic Letter "Stay with us Lord" tying the Eucharist to Easter.

From Reuters AlertNet - Weak Pope unable to speak on Easter Sunday:

"An ailing Pope John Paul appeared at his window to bless the faithful on Easter Sunday but in a dramatic episode that brought tears to the eyes of many people, he failed in his attempt to speak.

Aides had brought a microphone to the Pope's mouth. He made a few sounds and breathed heavily but was unable to pronounce any words. Aides then removed the microphone.

The Pope sat at his window for about 15 minutes listening to the end of an Easter Sunday service before he tried to speak. He looked uncomfortable and put both hands to his face."

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Holy Saturday

Always a cogent thought...

From Protopresbyter Alexander Schmemann: Great and Holy Saturday:

THE TRANSITION

Holy Saturday is a neglected day in parish life. Few people attend the Services. Popular piety usually reduces Holy Week to one day — Holy Friday. This day is quickly replaced by another — Easter Sunday. Christ is dead and then suddenly alive. Great sorrow is suddenly replaced by great joy. In such a scheme Holy Saturday is lost.

In the understanding of the Church, sorrow is not replaced by joy; it is transformed into joy. This distinction indicates that it is precisely within death the Christ continues to effect triumph.

TRAMPLING DOWN DEATH BY DEATH

We sing that Christ is ". . . trampling down death by death" in the troparion of Easter. This phrase gives great meaning to Holy Saturday. Christ’s repose in the tomb is an "active" repose. He comes in search of His fallen friend, Adam, who represents all men. Not finding him on earth, He descends to the realm of death, known as Hades in the Old Testament. There He finds him and brings him life once again. This is the victory: the dead are given life. The tomb is no longer a forsaken, lifeless place. By His death Christ tramples down death.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Sad News

I've blogged about this before. I know Father Minder from my Crieghton days when we were good friends.

From The Seattle Times: Local News: Bothell ex-pastor who alleges abuse is leaving the priesthood:

"The Rev. Lawrence Minder, who stunned his parishioners at Bothell's St. Brendan Church last year when he told them he was a victim of the Roman Catholic Church's sex-abuse scandal, is resigning from the priesthood.

Saying he has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder stemming from his abuse, Minder stated yesterday that counselors at an Arizona treatment facility told him recently he needed to separate from the priesthood to work through the issues underlying the disorder. "

Christ's steps are retraced in 14 stations

From Christ's steps are retraced in 14 stations:

"The following is a Scriptural synopsis of each of the 14 stations of the cross Jesus is believed to have taken before being crucified, according to a booklet, 'The Biblical Way of the Cross,' by Michael A. Dubruiel and Amy Welborn:

Station 1: Jesus prays in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Then he withdrew from them about a stone's throw, knelt down, and prayed, "Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; yet, not my will but yours be done." Then an angel from heaven appeared to him and gave him strength. In his anguish he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down on the ground. When he got up from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping because of grief, and he said to them, "Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not come into the time of trial." Luke 22:41-46.

Station 2: Jesus is betrayed and arrested.

Immediately, while (Jesus) was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, arrived; and with him there was a crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders. Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, "The one I will kiss is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard." So when he came, he went up to him at once and said, "Rabbi!" and kissed him. Then they laid hands on him and arrested him. Mark 14:43-46.

Station 3: Jesus is condemned by the Sanhedrin.

The high priest stood up and said, "Have you no answer? What is it that they testify against you?" But Jesus was silent. Then the high priest said to him, "I put you under oath before the living God, tell us if you are the Messiah, the Song of God." Jesus said to him, "You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of power and coming on the clouds of heaven." Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, "He has blasphemed! Why do we still need witnesses? You have now heard his blasphemy. What is your verdict?" They answered, "He deserves death." Matthew 26:62-66.

Station 4: Peter denies knowing Jesus.

Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. A servant-girl came to him and said, "You also were with Jesus the Galilean." But he denied it before all of them, saying, "I do not know what you are talking about." When he went out to the porch, another servant-girl saw him, and she said to the bystanders, "This man was with Jesus of Nazareth." Again he denied it with an oath, "I do not know the man." After a little while the bystanders came up and said to Peter, "Certainly you are also one of them, for your accent betrays you." Then he began to curse, and he swore an oath, "I do not know the man!" At that moment the cock crowed. Then Peter remembered what Jesus had said: "Before the cock crows, you will deny me three times." And he went out and wept bitterly. Matthew 26:69-75.

Station 5: Jesus is condemned by Pilate.

Pilate then called together the chief priests, the leaders, and the people and said to them, "You brought me this man as one who was perverting the people; and here I have examined him in your presence and have not found this man guilty of any of your charges against him. Neither has Herod, for he has sent him back to us. Indeed, he has done nothing to deserve death."

But they kept urgently demanding with loud shouts that he be crucified; and their voices prevailed. So Pilate gave his verdict that their demand should be granted. Luke 23:13-15, 23-24.

Station 6: Jesus is scourged and crowned with thorns.

Then the soldiers led him into the courtyard of the palace (that is the governor's headquarters); and they called together the whole cohort. And they clothed him in a purple cloak; and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on him. And they began saluting him, "Hail, King of the Jews!" They struck his head with a reed, spat upon him, and knelt down in homage to him. Mark 15:16-19.

Station 7: Jesus takes up His cross.

The (Pilate) handed (Jesus) over to (the Jews) to be crucified. So they took Jesus; and carrying the cross by himself, he went out to what is called The Place of the Skull, which in Hebrew is called Golgotha. John 19:16b-17.

Station 8: Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus.

As they led him away, they seized a man, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming from the country, and they laid the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. Luke 23:26.

Station 9: Jesus meets the weeping women.

A great number of people followed him, and among them were women who were beating their breasts and wailing for him. But Jesus turned to them and said, "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and your children. For the days are surely coming when they will say, 'Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.' Then they will begin to say to the mountains, 'Fall on us,' and to the hills, 'Cover us.' For if they do this when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?" Luke 23:27-31.

Station 10: Jesus is crucified.

When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. Then Jesus said, "Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing." And they cast lots to divide his clothing. And the people stood by, watching; but the leaders scoffed at him, saying, "He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Messiah of God, his chosen one!" The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine, and saying, "If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!" There was also an inscription over him, "This is the King of the Jews." Luke 23:33-38.

Station 11: Jesus promises paradise to the crucified thief.

One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding (Jesus) saying, "Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!" But the other rebuked him saying, "Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong." Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." He replied, "Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise." Luke 23:39-43.

Station 12: Jesus cares for his mother.

Standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, "Woman, here is your son." Then he said to the disciple, "Here is your mother." And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home. John 19:25-27.

Station 13: Jesus dies.

It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, while the sun's light failed; and the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, "Father, unto your hands I commend my spirit." Having said this, he breathed his last. When the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God and said, "Certainly this man was innocent." Luke 23:44-47.

Station 14: Jesus is buried.

Then (Joseph of Arimathea) took (the body of Jesus) down, wrapped it in a linen cloth, and laid it in a rock-hewn tomb where no one had ever been laid. It was the day of Preparation, and the Sabbath was beginning. The women who had come with him from Galilee followed, and they saw the tomb and how his body was laid. Then they returned, and prepared spices and ointments. On the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment. Luke 23:53-56.


The Passion of Christ Continues

And the crowd cried out "Crucify him"....

Today the majority cries out "pull the tube"

From Peggy NoonanOpinionJournal - Peggy Noonan:

"I do not understand the emotionalism of the pull-the-tube people. What is driving their engagement? Is it because they are compassionate, and their hearts bleed at the thought that Mrs. Schiavo suffers? But throughout this case no one has testified that she is in persistent pain, as those with terminal cancer are.

If they care so much about her pain, why are they unconcerned at the suffering caused her by the denial of food and water? And why do those who argue for Mrs. Schiavo's death employ language and imagery that is so violent and aggressive? The chairman of the Democratic National Committee calls Republicans 'brain dead.' Michael Schiavo, the husband, calls House Majority Leader Tom DeLay 'a slithering snake.' "

Divine Mercy Novena

Begins today. This site will instruct you on how to pray it...Divine Mercy Novena

The Ninth Station

I thought this deserved it's own entry. From Cardinal Ratizinger's stations to be used today in Rome (link in Good Friday post below)

NINTH STATION
Jesus falls for the third time


V/. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.
R/. Quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

From the Book of Lamentations. 3:27-32

It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth. Let him sit alone in silence when he has laid it on him; let him put his mouth in the dust - there may yet be hope; let him give his cheek to the smiter, and be filled with insults. For the Lord will not cast off for ever, but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion, according to the abundance of his steadfast love.


What can the third fall of Jesus under the Cross say to us? We have considered the fall of man in general, and the falling of many Christians away from Christ and into a godless secularism. Should we not also think of how much Christ suffers in his own Church? How often is the holy sacrament of his Presence abused, how often must he enter empty and evil hearts! How often do we celebrate only ourselves, without even realizing that he is there! How often is his Word twisted and misused! What little faith is present behind so many theories, so many empty words! How much filth there is in the Church, and even among those who, in the priesthood, ought to belong entirely to him! How much pride, how much self-complacency! What little respect we pay to the Sacrament of Reconciliation, where he waits for us, ready to raise us up whenever we fall! All this is present in his Passion. His betrayal by his disciples, their unworthy reception of his Body and Blood, is certainly the greatest suffering endured by the Redeemer; it pierces his heart. We can only call to him from the depths of our hearts: Kyrie eleison – Lord, save us (cf. Mt 8: 25).



PRAYER

Lord, your Church often seems like a boat about to sink, a boat taking in water on every side. In your field we see more weeds than wheat. The soiled garments and face of your Church throw us into confusion. Yet it is we ourselves who have soiled them! It is we who betray you time and time again, after all our lofty words and grand gestures. Have mercy on your Church; within her too, Adam continues to fall. When we fall, we drag you down to earth, and Satan laughs, for he hopes that you will not be able to rise from that fall; he hopes that being dragged down in the fall of your Church, you will remain prostrate and overpowered. But you will rise again. You stood up, you arose and you can also raise us up. Save and sanctify your Church. Save and sanctify us all.

Good Friday

Meditations by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger to be used in the Colosseum in Rome today...Colosseum - Way of the Cross 2005

From the Seventh Station:

The tradition that Jesus fell three times beneath the weight of the Cross evokes the fall of Adam – the state of fallen humanity – and the mystery of Jesus’ own sharing in our fall. Throughout history the fall of man constantly takes on new forms. In his First Letter, Saint John speaks of a threefold fall: lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and the pride of life. He thus interprets the fall of man and humanity against the backdrop of the vices of his own time, with all its excesses and perversions. But we can also think, in more recent times, of how a Christianity which has grown weary of faith has abandoned the Lord: the great ideologies, and the banal existence of those who, no longer believing in anything, simply drift through life, have built a new and worse paganism, which in its attempt to do away with God once and for all, have ended up doing away with man. And so man lies fallen in the dust. The Lord bears this burden and falls, over and over again, in order to meet us. He gazes on us, he touches our hearts; he falls in order to raise us up.

From the Eighth Station:

Hearing Jesus reproach the women of Jerusalem who follow him and weep for him ought to make us reflect. How should we understand his words? Are they not directed at a piety which is purely sentimental, one which fails to lead to conversion and living faith? It is no use to lament the sufferings of this world if our life goes on as usual. And so the Lord warns us of the danger in which we find ourselves. He shows us both the seriousness of sin and the seriousness of judgement. Can it be that, despite all our expressions of consternation in the face of evil and innocent suffering, we are all too prepared to trivialize the mystery of evil? Have we accepted only the gentleness and love of God and Jesus, and quietly set aside the word of judgement? “How can God be so concerned with our weaknesses?”, we say. “We are only human!” Yet as we contemplate the sufferings of the Son, we see more clearly the seriousness of sin, and how it needs to be fully atoned if it is to be overcome. Before the image of the suffering Lord, evil can no longer be trivialized. To us too, he says: “Do not weep for me, weep for yourselves... if they do this when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?”.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Italy to Name Mountain After Pope

From BBC NEWS | Europe | Pope to get 'own' mountain peak:

"A region in central Italy has announced it will name a mountain peak after Pope John Paul II, who has enjoyed hiking in the area in the past.

The ceremony is due to be held on the Pope's 85th birthday on 18 May.

The 2,424 metre (7,900 feet) peak is in the Gran Sasso, the highest mountain range in the Appennines.

The nature-loving Pope once told pilgrims in St Peter's Square that in the Bible, mountains 'were considered a special place to meet God'. "

Rejected

Supreme Court refuses...

From My Way News:

"The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to order Terri Schiavo's feeding tube reinserted, rejecting a desperate appeal by her parents to keep their severely brain-damaged daughter alive.

The decision, announced in a terse one-page order, marked the end of a dramatic and disheartening four-day dash through the federal court system by Bob and Mary Schindler.

Justices did not explain their decision, which was at least the fifth time they have declined to get involved in the Schiavo case."

The Holy Eucharist

I've written two books on this most precious gift that Our Lord gave us on this Holy day and yet I know that I have only shined a flashlight on some remote corner of this vast mystery.

Spend the day reflecting on this mystery and how you handle it in your life. Think about the Liturgy tonight that focuses us on Service and Adoration in light of this mystery.

Ailing Pope John Paul II Skips Mass

From Yahoo! News - Ailing Pope John Paul II Skips Mass:

"He had not been expected to preside at the Holy Thursday Mass, and his stand-in, Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, read a brief greeting from the pope containing assurances he was following the service on television.

In his homily, the Italian cardinal thanked the pope 'for the testimony that he continues to give us with his example of serene abandonment to God.' "

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

2016 Feast of the Annunciation and Good Friday

This year...

From Feast of the Annunciation (Lady Day):

"When Lady Day falls on Good Friday, it is transferred to the Monday following Low Sunday (the Sunday after Easter). Folk belief is that it is a bad sign when Lady Day falls on Good Friday; bad luck is said to follow. The English say, 'If Our Lord falls in Our Lady's lap, England will meet with a great mishap.' "

Governor Bush: "Your Prayers for Terri are Working"

"New evidence has come to light."

From The Palm Beach Post:

State officials say they are considering removing Terri Schiavo from the hospice, by force if necessary, despite numerous court orders upholding the removal of the artificial nutrition tube that has kept her alive for 15 years.

Lucy Hadi, secretary of the Department of Children and Families, said Wednesday morning that her staff is relying on a state law that gives the department the authority to intervene on behalf of a vulnerable adult who is "suffering from abuse or neglect that presents a risk of death or serious physical injury."

Woman Arrested At Schiavo Hospice

Truly a disciple of Christ who said, "Whoever gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he shall not lose his reward." Matthew 10:42

From Missourinet.com: Columbia Woman Arrested At Schiavo Hospice:

"There is now a Missouri connection to the story of Terri Schiavo - the brain-damaged Florida woman who has had her feeding tube removed. Lana Jacobs, who works with St. Francis House - a Catholic organization in Columbia - has been arrested in Pinellas Park, Florida, for trespassing. Police say Jacobs was trying to take a bottle of water to Schiavo at the Woodside Hospice, where Schiavo resides."

A Rosary Resource Patterned on the Holy Father's Apostolic Letter

From Catholic Online - Featured Today - A Rosary Resource Patterned on the Holy Father's Apostolic Letter:

"For someone looking to 'make a difference' in our world so filled with unrest and need, responding to Pope John Paul II's call to embrace the Rosary is one affirmative step that can be taken immediately. As a resource for making contemplation of the Rosary a part of your life, authors Michael Dubruiel and Amy Welborn have compiled the book Praying the Rosary: With the Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful, & Glorious Mysteries (Our Sunday Visitor, June 2003, hardcover, 64 pages).

Though compact in size, this book can and will have a tremendous impact upon your life if you choose to read and implement its suggested format. The book's introduction reiterates the Holy Father's call to this perfect form of Christian contemplation and points to the Blessed Virgin Mary as a role model for contemplating the true mystery of Jesus Christ, his life, death and resurrection. Bearing both the Nihil Obstat and the Imprimatur, Praying the Rosary incorporates all four sets of mysteries, including the new Luminous mysteries.

Welborn and Dubruiel follow the format suggested by Pope John Paul II in Rosarium Virginis Mariae including the announcement of the mystery, scriptural references, contemplative silence, the formal prayers of the Rosary (including a short prayer phrase following each Hail Mary related to the specific mystery), and a brief concluding prayer for each mystery. Newcomers to Rosary devotion will find the compendium of prayers at the completion of the book a helpful resource. "

Pope Gives Blessing

From the Vatican Information Service:

This morning, the Holy Father appeared at the window of his study in the Vatican's Apostolic Palace and blessed the faithful gathered in St Peter's Square below.

Despite the fact that the Pope's general audience, traditionally held on Wednesdays, was not scheduled to take place, hundreds of people, including a large group from Poland, had gathered in the St Peter's Square prior to the Pope's 11 a.m. appearance so as to receive his blessing.

Bad News

From My Way News:

"A federal appeals court refused early Wednesday to order the reinsertion of Terri Schiavo's feeding tube, denying the latest emergency request by the severely brain-damaged woman's parents to keep her alive.

A panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals said in a 2-1 ruling that the parents 'failed to demonstrate a substantial case on the merits of any of their claims.'

'There is no denying the absolute tragedy that has befallen Mrs. Schiavo,' the ruling said. 'We all have our own family, our own loved ones, and our own children. However, we are called upon to make a collective, objective decision concerning a question of law.'"

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

New Flannnery O'Connor Biography

IRS Probes Politics at Church

I've wondered how it is that some churches can blatantly support candidates and why the Catholic church is threatened whenever it takes a public position. Finally it seems the IRS is looking into this...

From Herald.com | 03/21/2005 | IRS probes politics at church:

"The IRS has notified a Liberty City church that it is under investigation for possibly engaging in political activity -- putting its tax-exempt status into question.

The probe is related to an appearance last October by Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry and several black leaders, including U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek of Miami, the Rev. Al Sharpton and the Rev. Jesse Jackson.

The reason for the investigation, an IRS official wrote in a 10-page letter obtained by The Herald, is that ``a reasonable belief exists that Friendship Missionary Baptist Church has engaged in political activities that could jeopardize its tax-exempt status as a church.''"

The Way of the Cross

Amy and I wrote a version of the way of the cross based on the Pope's stations. It is published by Ave Maria Press...

From The Manila Times Internet Edition | LIFE & TIMES > Hope from the Way of the Cross:

"Another variation is a series of scriptural stations as celebrated by Pope John Paul II on Good Friday in 1991 and again in 1994, in Rome. It began with the Agony of Jesus in Gethsemane and ended on his death on the cross. "

Pope's Health Worsening?

From Europe News : Fresh fears over pope's health, ( Breaking News,Kerala news, India News,Us,UK,Kerala Shopping,Onam Special, Kerala Greetings,Kerala Dress,Kerala Recipes,Hindi Tutor,Malayalam tutor, VCD's, DVD's,Bharat:

"Pope John Paul II has had fresh breathing problems and his health is worsening, Italy's newspapers reported on Tuesday, overshadowing the Roman Catholic Church's preparations for Easter Holy Week.

Several newspapers reported fresh fears over the health of the 84-year-old pontiff after rumours that he was being taken to hospital for the third time in seven weeks swept through the international media in Rome late Monday.

However, the Vatican insisted that there were no new developments in his condition.

"The pope's overall condition is more serious today than it was when he was in the Gemelli," conservative Rome daily Il Messaggero reported, citing sources at the Holy See.


"Pray for the pope, because he's getting worse," Il Messaggero quoted the pope's private secretary, Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz, as telling another Polish priest. "

Refused!

Judge rules against reinserting feeding tube. I had the feeling that this was coming...a modern day Pontius Pilate washing his hands of the affair.

From Federal judge won't order Schiavo's feeding tube reinserted: South Florida Sun-Sentinel:

"A federal judge on Tuesday refused to order the reinsertion of Terri Schiavo's feeding tube, denying an emergency request from the brain-damaged woman's parents.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge James Whittemore comes after feverish action by President Bush and Congress on legislation allowing her contentious case to be reviewed by federal courts. The judge said the 41-year-old woman's parents had not established a ``substantial likelihood of success'' at trial on the merits of their arguments."

Monday, March 21, 2005

President Signs Bill for Terri

What has happened to the Democrat party? Why are they against life in this instance?

From My Way News:

"President Bush signed emergency legislation sent to him by Congress early Monday to allow Terri Schiavo's parents ask a federal judge to prolong their daughter's life, capping days of emotional debate over who should decide life and death.

'In cases like this one, where there are serious questions and substantial doubts, our society, our laws and our courts should have a presumption in favor of life,' Bush said in a statement after signing the bill.

After flying back to Washington from his Texas ranch, Bush had waited at the White House to sign the measure permitting a federal review of the case, which could trigger the reinsertion of feeding tubes needed to keep the brain-damaged Florida woman alive.

The House passed the bill on a 203-58 vote after calling lawmakers back for an emergency Sunday session for debate that stretched past midnight."

Orlando Bishop Speaks Out for Terri

From OrlandoSentinel.com: Opinion:

"On Friday, the feeding tube that provided Terri Schiavo with the normal care of food and water was withdrawn. Barring last-minute intervention, Terri has now begun to die by starvation. One can pray that her husband will have a change of heart or that the state of Florida will find new grounds to intervene so that, in spite of what transpired on Friday, a safer course might still be taken and that Terri 'continue to receive nourishment, comfort and loving care' -- as we Catholic Bishops of Florida have continually advocated.

As Pope John Paul II points out in his just released book, Memory and Identity, the crisis of our age is rooted in the presumption that we can decide for ourselves what is good and evil without reference to God. Yet, the Decalogue, while certainly an expression of divine positive law, is nonetheless more than a religious code: It is a reflection of natural law -- of the law written on the heart of man. In other words, we cannot not know that it is wrong to kill innocent human life. "

Sunday, March 20, 2005

New York Daily News has Amy at the Kiddie Table

For the Second Birthday party of the The DaVinci Code last Thursday...fromNew York Daily News - Entertainment - Veni, vidi 'Da Vinci' - two much!:

"The kiddie table: Authors of 'Code' offshoots, such as 'De-Coding Da Vinci,' 'Secrets of the Code,' 'The Art and Mythology of the Da Vinci Code,' 'Cracking the Da Vinci Code.'"

Palm Sunday 2005

Our Lord's Entrance into Jerusalem Posted by Hello



Adjulation one day, rejection the next. What Our Lord endured was the fate of all humans in this fallen world but in the kingdom to come..."Come you blessed, enter into the joy of my kingdom."

This is what we await!

But now..."when I was hungry you gave me to eat, when I was thirsty you gave me to drink, when I was naked you clothed me, when I was a stranger you welcomed me, when I was sick you comforted me, when I was in prison you visited me..."

"When Lord, when did we see you?"

Those who can recognize Our Lord today in the hungry,the thirsty, the naked, the stranger, the sick and the imprisoned can expect to hear "Come you blessed,enter into the joy...

Those who can not can expect to hear "Depart from me you accursed..."

This Palm Sunday one cannot help but think of Terri Schiavo lying in her bed in hunger. The crucifixion of Our Lord repeated yet again. Pray that those who have put her on this cross will hear like St. Paul on the road to Damascus "Why do you persecute me?"

We in the fallen world too often follow the crowd singing praises to whomever the crowd praises (watch a film of Nazi Germany and the crowds cheering Hitler) and rejecting whoever they tell us to reject. May God give us all a prophetic spirit to be signs of His Kingdom in this fallen world, to be like a Mother Teresa who could point out His Presence in the outcasts of society.

The spirit of the anti-Christ seeks to ever crucify Our Lord anew. May we not be part of that crowd.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Pope to Miss Palm Sunday Mass

From Lexington Herald-Leader | 03/19/2005 | Pope to miss Palm Sunday Mass for the first time:

"In a highly personal message to priests, Pope John Paul II said yesterday he was uniting his sufferings with those of Christ as he prepares for Holy Week services and the first Palm Sunday Mass he will be forced to skip in his 26-year papacy.

John Paul's reflections were written during his 21/2-week hospitalization at Rome's Gemelli Polyclinic, where he was taken for the second time in a month because of breathing problems.

He was discharged Sunday and is convalescing at his apartment with a view of St. Peter's Square. On the advice of his doctors, John Paul has only one Holy Week commitment, an Easter Sunday blessing."

Friday, March 18, 2005

Family spokesperson: Schiavo Feeding Tube Removed

Continue to pray, the tube has been removed before and reinserted.

From baynews9.com - Breaking News : Family spokesperson: Schiavo feeding tube removed:

" A spokesperson for Michael Schiavo says Terri Schiavo's feeding tube was removed Friday with Michael in attendance.

He says a prayer service was held first, and that Michael was emotional and crying, saying he wanted to put the situation behind him.
Terri Schiavo's parents, the Schindlers, visited with Terri Friday morning, prior to the tube's removal.

Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Court Judge George Greer denied two U.S. House of Representative emergency motions Friday, which allowed the tube's removal."

This Time Congress to the Rescue

I'm not up on the judicial system, but why does the same judge hear this case every time even when new motions come up?

From CNN.com - Last-ditch bid in right-to-die case - Mar 18, 2005:

"Schiavo is scheduled to have her feeding tube removed at 1 p.m. today, under court order.

'Later this morning, we will issue a subpoena, which will require hospice administrators and attending physicians to preserve nutrition and hydration for Terri Schiavo to allow Congress to fully understand the procedures and practices that are currently keeping her alive,' a statement from the House Republican leadership said.

That statement was released by House Speaker Dennis Hastert, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and Government Reform Committee Chairman Tom Davis. Details of the subpoena were not immediately clear and it was not revealed whom it actually targeted."

Read a Chapter of How To Get the Most from the Eucharist

Our Sunday Visitor Newspaper and Magazines

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

New Bishop for Belleville

Replaces Wilton Gregory who now is Archbishop of Atlanta...

From the Vatican Information Service:

The Holy Father appointed Bishop Edward K. Braxton of Lake Charles, U.S.A., as bishop of Belleville (area 30,224, population 845,906, Catholics 107,041, priests 155, permanent deacons 29, religious 270), U.S.A.

How To Get the Most Out of the Eucharist

Is now available from Amazon...see the link to the right.

The How To Book of the Mass is #4 in their Catholic bestsellers list, right behind the Pope, Trijillio and Nouwen. It is #100 on their Christianity bestseller's list.

Thanks to the Pope for calling this Year of the Eucharist and renewing an interest in Catholics becoming better acquainted with this central act of worship!

Abortion an Election Issue in England

From Top News Article | Reuters.co.uk:

"A senior Catholic leader has made a rare intervention into the pre-election political fray by backing Conservative leader Michael Howard on the emotive issue of abortion.

Howard told women's magazine Cosmopolitan this week that he supported a reduction in the legal limit for abortion from 24 weeks of pregnancy to 20.

Blair was more circumspect, telling the magazine it was a 'difficult issue,' that he had no plans to change the time limit but that debate would continue.

'The policy supported by Mr Howard is one that we would also commend, on the way to a full abandonment of abortion,' the head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, said in a statement on Tuesday."

Lay Catholic Group to Offer Counsel to Bishops

Lay Catholic Group to Offer Counsel to Bishops:

"Roman Catholic lay leaders announced the formation of an organization that would offer professional guidance to America's bishops on how to run the church.

As its first act, the nonprofit National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management issued an 80-page 'Report of the Church in America Leadership Roundtable 2004,' with 48 recommendations to overhaul administration, personnel policies, finances and governance. "

Judge in Gay Marriage Case is a Catholic Republican Appointee

From AP Wire | 03/15/2005 | Judge in gay marriage case is a Catholic Republican appointee:

"Supporters of same-sex marriage found an ally in San Francisco Judge Richard Kramer - a Catholic Republican appointed to the bench by a former GOP governor.

'We're certainly feeling the judge's decision is right,' said San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, whose city's lawsuit prompted Kramer's ruling Monday that gays and lesbians have the right to marry in California, despite a law and a voter-approved measure declaring marriage to be the exclusive realm of heterosexuals.

Opponents of gay marriage immediately declared that 57-year-old Kramer is a judicial activist whose decision was 'ludicrous' and 'nonsense.'"

Monday, March 14, 2005

Era of 'Video-Pope' Approaches

From Era of 'video-Pope' approaches:

"An enfeebled Pope John Paul II may be back at the Vatican, but his future public appearances may largely be limited to video-links, and doctors predict the days of thousands of pilgrims being able to see the pope 'live' may be coming to an end.

The 84-year-old pope, who left Rome's Gemelli hospital on Sunday 18 days after undergoing throat surgery, must now do and speak as little as possible to prevent another relapse, doctors said.
Some said the pontiff should even have stayed in hospital. "

TIME Magazine: Hail, Mary--Yes the Blessed Virgin Mary

And Protestant devotion to her...some influenced by the influx of Hispanics...ironic? Perhaps unity will come about once the Hispanics take over the main line Protestant churches.

Evidence that God works in mysterious ways...

From TIME Magazine: Hail, Mary:

"Had the Rev. Brian Maguire hit on the idea 30 years ago, he might have found himself facing some very annoyed congregants. Four hundred and fifty years ago, someone professing similar notions might even have been hanged.

The 35-year-old pastor's brainstorm concerned a scheduling conflict on the day of the Annunciation. The holiday, which celebrates Mary's learning from the angel Gabriel that she will give birth to the Messiah, always falls on March 25, precisely nine months before Christmas. But this year the 25th is also Good Friday, when Christians somberly recall that same Messiah's Crucifixion.

Roman Catholicism, which traditionally observes both dates, has rules for this eventuality: Catholics worldwide will mark the Annunciation on April 4 this year. But Maguire is not Catholic; he is the pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Xenia, Ohio. "

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Kathleen Edwards

For Amy, a link to Kathleenedwards.com

Blogging for God

From The Miami Herald.com:


In the virtual pews of the Christian blogging world, you'll come across everything from lapsed and relapsed Catholics to cheeky seminary students. Navigating the spiritual Web can be overwhelming -- at www.blogs4god.com/linker/index.php, you can connect to 1,230 Christian blogs. So, for those who missed the 2005 Catholic Blog Awards, here are several popular Christian blogs.

• amywelborn.typepad.com/openbook. Catholic scholar, columnist and speaker Amy Welborn was named ''Best Overall'' and ''Most Informative'' by judges of this year's Catholic blog awards.

Miraculous Image?

The cover of my new book includes the art of Carol Elder Napoli. It is a piece that I purchased at Mayfaire in Lakeland quite a few years ago. At the time when I only had a small stations of the cross book that I had co-authored with Amy, I told Carol that I intended to use the image on the cover of a future book. Years passed and the cover design on my new book was desided upon...one that would focus on the a "host" being offered to a communicant. But that never happened even though the design was fairly simple. One day the designer and I were talking about the cover and Carol's painting popped into my head. I found it at home, brought it in and Tyler the designer scanned it and then tried the image on his cover design. The results were amazing!

The original piece which now hangs in my office is small, probably 3" by 4"--the reproduction on the cover is much larger, but what has struck everyone from the designer to the production people to the artist herself is how vibrant the colors reproduced on the cover. Those of us who work on such things know that art on screen seldom translates to print...but in this case it did.

I can't help but think that Carol's painting in itself will help a lot of people to get more out of the Eucharist just by meditating on her painting and why she did the piece in the first place(which she tells us at the end of the book).

Mel Gibson's Message to Schiavo Parents: "Hammer God with Prayers"

He gets it, "God has put himself into our hands"...think about that when you receive the Eucharist today.

Also encouragement from Fr. Tom, a former classmate of mine.

From TCPalm : Mel Gibson asks for prayer for Terri Schiavo:

"The family was buoyed by a call from Gibson, who subsequently issued a two-sentence statement voicing his support for the Schindlers' efforts to keep their daughter alive.

'He told me we should never, ever, ever give up,' said Bob Schindler, who talked to 'The Passion of the Christ' director Friday. 'He said to hammer God with prayers and hammer him hard...

...Saturday's gathering was hopeful.

"We will be written into the history books, because we will be successful in the end," Thomas Euteneuer, a Catholic priest who heads the anti-abortion group Human Life International, told the crowd.

Pope John Paul will Leave Hospital Tonight

Gives Angelus message today...

FromTop News Article | Reuters.com:

'Dear brothers and sisters, welcome, thank you for your visit,' he said in clear Italian.

In Polish he then greeted pilgrims from his birthplace in the southern town of Wadowice, bringing tears to their eyes.

He concluded his brief appearance by saying in Italian: 'Greetings in Christ. A good Sunday and good rest of the week to everyone.'

The Pope has been in hospital since Feb. 24 when he underwent a tracheotomy, an operation to open an airway and relieve severe breathing problems.

Minutes after he appeared at the hospital window, the Vatican issued a surprise announcement saying the Pope would leave hospital Sunday evening and continue his convalescence at the Vatican."

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Pope Inspires Fellow Sufferers

From Centre Daily Times | 03/12/2005 | A divine inspiration:

"As the pontiff endures his latest hospitalization, Romanowski is offering her own marathon of rosary prayers from her Philadelphia rowhouse.

Romanowski, 90, who has severe arthritis, sat in her living room last week and, in her native Polish, described her deepest wishes. They were translated by her daughter and prayer partner, Theresa.

'Whenever she feels worse, because she has good days and bad days, she always thinks about him because he's carrying his cross, and she wants to carry the cross of Christ with him,' Theresa Romanowski said. 'She wishes she could take his pain more for herself.'

The Catholic faithful always have felt a close spiritual bond to their pope. But the Roman- owskis and others say this pope, with his mounting infirmities, is uplifting them in new ways."

Some Good Quotes

Paraphrased Newman:

"People prefer their preferences to the truth."

St. Augustine:

"Love of self till God is forgotten or love of God till self is forgotten."

Archbishop Bruno Forte:

"Life is either a pilgrimage or a foretaste of death."

Not Even for One Million Dollars

He turns it down. Now given that his contention is that she mentioned once while they were watching television together that she would never want to be in that state...something that just about anyone would say when they are healthy and young--it makes you wonder what his motivation is.

From Businessman Offers $1 Million to Keep Terri Schiavo Alive:

"We are here today to announce that our client, Robert Herring, Sr., is making an offer to Terri Schiavo's husband, Michael Schiavo, which could save Terri's life.

Terri Schiavo is currently in a coma in Florida. Michael Schiavo has asked the court for permission to disconnect her feeding tube, which would result in her death. Terri's parents, Bob and Mary Schiavo, have opposed the request. After a long court battle the court has set March 18, 2005 for the removal of Terri's feeding tube."

The Pink Elephant in the Church

From Fr. Charles Dahlby:

Many young men who have stood up against the homosexual agenda in the seminaries have been labeled “homophobes” and “rigid” and treated as though they are the sick ones. If they somehow manage to get ordained and then discover the truth, they experience terrible frustration. They realize that they have no place to go to get the problem “fixed”! It does no good to go to the bishop when the bishop is the problem! The chancery staff, the Monsignori, were appointed by him. For example, right now there is a young man in the seminary in St. Louis who will be ordained a priest soon. His picture and his story were front page news in the “Illinois Times.” He was the president of a gay and lesbian organization in Springfield, Illinois. Current Church teaching is that he should not have been admitted to the seminary and should not be ordained. His religious superior and the appropriate bishops are well aware of his orientation yet, in complete contradiction to Church directives from Rome, he continues and those who objected were labeled by his superior as “whiners”! The Rev. Charles Bouchard, president of the Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis said: “I think straight priests and seminarians shouldn’t be whining. I just don’t think it’s a big deal.”

The few priests foolish enough to speak openly about the scandal of homosexuality in the priesthood have soon learned that they will receive no help or support from anyone. The people don’t want to believe it. The newspapers won’t print it. The district attorney won’t prosecute, after all, his is an elected position, and the only thing more pointless than writing to the bishop is writing to “Rome”! Only in the area of pedophilia have we been able to enlist the aid of lawyers and multi-million dollar lawsuits to help keep some children a little safer.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Video Released of Pope Speaking




From My Way News:

"The Vatican released a video Friday with Pope John Paul II speaking, the first time he has been heard publicly since his Feb. 24 throat operation to help him breathe.

The video was made of a meeting Friday with Tanzanian bishops in the pope's hospital room. He says a few words in a husky voice, including 'va bene,' Italian meaning 'OK.'

John Paul is shown seated during a Mass with the prelates. His voice reciting a prayer is barely audible.

He is then shown with the two speaking to him in English, telling John Paul that Tanzanians are praying for him and love him. He responded with the two Italian words."

Second Face Discovered on Shroud of Turin

Interesting in how the face of Jesus changes with some of this new research...

From Shroud of Turin Story - A Guide to the Facts 2005:

"Skeptics and people who believe the Shroud of Turin is the genuine burial shroud of Jesus have always shared one common perception: they thought they knew what the man on the shroud looked like. Now, new computerized image analysis suggests they may be wrong.

Results of this analysis suggest that many characteristics of the images on the shroud are optical illusions caused by random plaid patterns in the cloth. For instance, because of these patterns, the face of the man on the shroud appears gaunt and the nose abnormally long and narrow. By using image enhancement technology to reduce the effect of the variegated patterns, the shape of the face changes significantly. The face takes on a broader look and the nose becomes realistic looking.

Shroud researchers have discovered that these patterns are caused by alternating bands of darker and lighter threads in the cloth. Ancient linen was often manufactured by bleaching the thread in batches before weaving, thus producing nonuniform whiteness in the cloth. "

Schindler Family Calls for Judge's 'Immediate Impeachment'

His actions have been reprehensible...

From Schindler Family Calls for Judge's 'Immediate Impeachment' -- 03/10/2005:

" spokesman for the family of Terri Schindler Schiavo said Thursday the Florida judge presiding over her case 'ignores the state's laws and orders the premeditated killing of a disabled Florida woman by her husband.'

Pamela Hennessy, media director for the Terri Schindler-Schiavo Foundation, in a press release Thursday called on disability and eldercare advocates to press for Circuit Judge George Greer's 'immediate impeachment.'

'If there is a single person following this who doesn't believe Judge Greer has legislated from the bench, trampled Florida's laws and deprived Terri Schiavo of her retained rights, they are simply not paying attention,' Hennessy said in a statement."

Pope Doing Better

From Zenit News Agency - The World Seen From Rome:

"John Paul II appears physically weak but manages to speak with a normal voice, says the Polish publisher of his latest book.

Henryk Wozniakoswski, president of Znak, a Krakow publishing house that is issuing 'Memory and Identity,' was in Rome to request the Pope to sign one of the 500,000 copies of his book that will soon go on sale.

Wozniakoswski told Polish radio station RMF-FM that he attended the Mass the Holy Father concelebrated on Wednesday morning, on the 10th floor of the Gemelli Polyclinic, where he has been hospitalized since his tracheotomy Feb. 24.

Concelebrating with the Pope, who remained seated, was his secretary, Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz. Also in the little chapel were nuns who are looking after the Holy Father, hospital staff, and security agents, said the Polish publisher. "

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Bishop Lynch Again, This Time its the Liturgy

From News & Views - March 2005 Adoremus Bulletin:

"'I wonder when and where the current movement backward in liturgy will end and lead', said Bishop Robert Lynch of St. Petersburg in his speech to the national meeting of the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions (FDLC) held in Orlando, Florida, in October.

Bishop Lynch, who worked at the US bishops' conference from the early 1970s, and was associate and general secretary of conference from 1984 until 1995 when he became bishop of St. Petersburg, recalled the 'courage and resolve' of liturgical reformers working in the conference, who 'courageously fought for proper liturgical implementation of the controlling documents, often refusing to take no as the first response from the Roman congregations and ultimately winning the day with a variety of prefects and congregational staff'.

Continuing his reminiscence, Bishop Lynch said that the conference's liturgical staff 'were supported by an episcopacy with both backbone and resolve. Your speaker yesterday, Abbot Cuthbert [Johnson], was a staff member of the Congregation [for Divine Worship] at the time with whom we occasionally did 'holy' battle. They were good days'.

Speaking of the bishop's authority to govern the liturgy in his diocese, Bishop Lynch said, 'I would understand that it is my duty to find the middle between the law and proper liberation from the law which might allow for cultural or local adaptations which are not in strident disagreement with the law'. The bishop deplores 'pontificalism', the 'sin of symbolic and ceremonial excess', but says he does not hear of much pontificalism in his diocese. And he adds his voice to those who object to 'Vatican interference':

Pope Makes Surprise Window Appearance

From MSNBC - Pope makes surprise window appearance:

"Following the latest medical bulletin Monday, the Vatican said the pope will probably be discharged from the hospital by March 20, Palm Sunday, but that it was still unknown whether the pontiff can regain enough of his voice to address his faithful or take part in Holy Week ceremonies.

The latest schedule has Cardinal Camillo Ruini, the pope's vicar for Rome, presiding at Palm Sunday Mass in St. Peter's Square, Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, head of the Congregation of Bishops, at Holy Thursday Mass in St. Peter's Basilica; and Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the Vatican?s doctrinal chief, at the Easter Vigil.

No one is listed for the Way of the Cross Procession, planned for Good Friday evening at the Colosseum, leaving the possibility that the pope may want to be present."

DaVinci Code Shows No Signs of Cracking

From Entertainment - canada.com network:

"Brown's book has been answered by a wave of anti-Da Vinci books, including The Da Vinci Hoax, De-Coding Da Vinci and Truth and Fiction in The Da Vinci Code. Art experts and conservative clerics have been holding an unusual 'trial' in Leonardo da Vinci's hometown, in Vinci, just outside of Florence, Italy. Alessandro Vezzosi, director of a Leonardo museum, has claimed he will produce photographs and documents as evidence of the mistakes and historical inaccuracies contained in Brown's bestseller. "

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Excommunicated Call to Action Leader Takes Communion

From Excommunicated Call to Action Leader Commits Sacrilege in Lincoln Parish:

"A member of the formally excommunicated organization, Call to Action (CTA), John Krejci took matters into his own hands at Mass at Sacred Heart parish on February 7. After being instructed not to present himself for communion, Krejci marched up to the altar where the Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz was concluding the Mass, and took one of the consecrated Hosts himself.

Krejci complained to the press that the bishop had gestured to him with 'an unfriendly wave of his hand, to indicate that Krejci could not receive what Catholics call the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Body of Christ.

Krejci complained to the Sioux City Journal that he was "unsure" why he "suddenly" had been denied communion. "I don't know if he acted spontaneously or what," Krejci said in an apparent attempt to depict himself as a bewildered and innocent victim of episcopal capriciousness.

Krejci, however, is well-known to Bishop Bruskewitz as a long-time campaigner against the Catholic Church. He is a former priest and as a founding member of the Lincoln branch of the extreme dissident organization Call to Action has campaigned for decades to undermine and abolish key doctrines of the Catholic religion, including many of the moral teachings. Membership of CTA draws heavily from former clergy, feminist nuns, and homosexuals. Krejci also attended Gregorian University in Rome in the 1960's with the young Bruskewitz who has been his bishop for many years. All members of Call to Action have been formally excommunicated since 1996."

British Study Reveals

Times Online - Britain:

"Researchers found "a widespread sense of anger and frustration" at what was happening to churches in the UK and Ireland. The 42-page report is an indictment of modern preaching and worship, illustrating how excessive liberalism and lack of conviction are driving worshippers from the pews.

The report portrays a desire for sermons based on the Bible and traditional teaching, rather than on politics, social affairs or audience-pleasing stunts.

The report calls for better apologetics, or Christian teaching, and claims that many clergy are unable to mount a convincing argument in defence of Christianity and are not interested in trying. When asked to explain why Christianity might be true, the common response is: "It is just a matter of faith."

The report says: "This has resulted in a growing number of people being left with the false impression that there are no strong reasons for Christian belief. Ultimately they abandon churchgoing and are mystified that Christianity continues to grow elsewhere in the world. "

Orange Vestments? (during Lent?)

Pope John Paul Celebrating Mass in Hospital Posted by Hello

Monday, March 07, 2005

Pope Receiving Email from Around the World

From the Vatican Information Service:

E-mail has been pouring in from around the world for Pope John Paul since the Vatican's web site posted an address in each of its six language versions (john_paul_ii@vatican.va). Letters in English, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and German have been arriving daily for the Holy Father, wishing him well, a speedy recovery and a prompt return to his ministry as Pope and Bishop of Rome.

From March 1 to noon of March 3, according to statistics and sample letters released today, over 20,000 e-mail messages have arrived for the Pope: about 10,000 in English, 6,077 in Spanish, 2,012 in Portuguese, 1,134 in Italian, 850 in German and 800 in French. Many messages in the Pope's native Polish also arrive daily. While these numbers are only for a two-day period, they represent just a portion of mail arriving for the Holy Father: the additional e-mails since March 3 as well as letters and faxes that arrive at the Secretariat of State and other offices of the Roman Curia.

This is not the first time the Vatican has posted the e-mail address for the Holy Father: it was on the web page on the occasion of his 25th anniversary as Pontiff in October 2003.

Pope's who have Resigned

An illuminating view of Church history...

From thefirstparish:

"Popes Who Resigned (reprinted from America Magazine, February 28, 2005)

Historical evidence for papal resignations is limited, especially if one eliminates resignations that may have been forced.

1. Clement I (92?-101). Epiphanius asserted that Clement gave up the pontificate to Linus for the sake of peace and became pope again after the death of Cletus.

2. Pontian (230-235). Allegedly resigned after being exiled to the mines of Sardinia during persecution of Maximinus Thrax.

3. Marcellinus (296-304). Abdicated or was deposed after complying with Diocletian?s order to offer sacrifice to pagan gods.

4. Martin I (649-655). Exiled by Emperor Constans II to the Crimea. Before he died, the clergy of Rome elected a successor, whom he appears to have approved.

5. Benedict V (964). After one month in office, he accepted deposition by Emperor Otto I.

6. Benedict IX (1032-45). Benedict resigned after selling the papacy to his godfather Gregory VI.

7. Gregory VI (1045-46). Deposed for simony by Henry III.

8. Celestine V (1294). A hermit, elected at age of 80 and overwhelmed by the office, resigned. He was imprisoned by his successor.

9. Gregory XII (1406-15). Resigned at request of Council of Constance to help end the Great Western Schism.
Source: Patrick Granfield, ?Papal Resignation? (The Jurist, winter and spring 1978) and J. N. D. Kelly, The Oxford Dictionary of Popes (1986). "

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Parish News

If you are in the Palm Beach Area on March 17th...
Come pray and visit with Amy and I at St. Patrick's parish in Palm Beach Gardens...

Parish News:

"To celebrate the feast day of our Patron Saint on March 17, St. Patrick's Day,

St Patrick Church is offering a unique and spiritual experience.

After the usual Mass at 8:30 AM in the Main Church, there will be a Holy Hour with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament,

with a talk by author Michael Dubriel on:

'How to Get the Most Out of the Eucharist' followed by Benediction.

Afterwards, we will move to the Parish Center to have coffee, donuts & fellowship.

Afterwards, Amy Welborn will give a talk on:

'De-Coding the Da Vinci Code'. The event will end by 11:00 AM.

Child care will be provided. Call 561-626-8626 for more information."

Pope Appears at Hospital Window


Saturday, March 05, 2005

Search: CatholicFind Document Collection

Search encyclicals, Vatican II documents or the Church Fathers at a new Catholic search engine found atSearch: CatholicFind Document Collection

Excommunications in Lincoln Upheld by Vatican

From Sioux City Journal: Diocese: Vatican rejects appeal of blanket excommunications:

"Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz ordered Lincoln Catholics in March 1996 to sever their ties to 12 groups or face excommunication two months later. The bishop said the groups -- including Call to Action, several Masonic organizations, and abortion-rights groups Planned Parenthood and Catholics for a Free Choice -- contradict and imperil Catholic faith.

The order was put on hold while it was appealed.

Under excommunication, Catholics cannot receive Holy Communion. They cannot be married or buried in the church. Excommunicated Catholics may be forgiven through the sacrament of confession or may be absolved in their dying hour by a priest.

The Vatican notified Bruskewitz 'some time ago' that the appeal was rejected, said Rev. Mark Huber, a spokesman for the diocese.

He declined to say why the decision had not been made public and deferred questions to Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, head of the Congregation of Bishops in Rome.

Re did not immediately respond to a fax seeking comment sent to the Vatican on Friday.

Huber said the appeal was rejected because it challenged a church law -- specifically, legislation from the 1996 Synod of the Diocese of Lincoln -- which prohibited membership in the organizations.

'They can't appeal a particular law,' he said. 'They can appeal a judicial sentence or an administrative decree. Excommunication is part of the law.'"

Secret to a Long Life?

Beer and water used to cook a potato...

From Germany's oldest man dies, despite unusual drinking regimen - Yahoo! UK & Ireland News:

"Germany's oldest man, who has died aged 111, said that a little sweetened beer and the potato cooking water most people throw out were the secret of his longevity, family members said.

Hermann Doernemann passed away on Wednesday at a clinic in Duesseldorf, western Germany from the effects of pneumonia, some three months short of his 112 birthday, on May 27.

Doernemann had long been considered the world's oldest man by the Guinness Book of World Records until a Puerto Rican man aged 113 surfaced."

Sexual Sanity from John Mallen

From The Fact Is Home Page:

"Let me state it even more clearly: 1. You can die from sleeping with the wrong person. 2. If Catholic teaching on sexuality were taken seriously, let alone obeyed, there would be no AIDS crisis. Period.

I made these statements in a college newspaper 20 years ago at a Catholic university and one of the Deans of Students looked at me as if I had uttered a racial slur. It is considered bigotry to state the obvious when it contradicts modern sexual ideology.

To cite another example of the 'conventional wisdom' of sexual ideology: The Boston Globe in a Feb. 18 editorial entitled 'Better Choices,' states, 'Access to reliable birth control is an obvious way to reduce the need for abortion . . . but religious conservatives have blocked making even condoms available in high schools.' What the Globe writers don't understand, like many sexual ideologues, is that contraception is the gateway to abortion, not a preventative. In the adolescent mind especially, contraception, including condoms, creates a false security to indulging in risky behavior that involves a great deal more risk than simple pregnancy.

Without imputing motives to anyone several questions come to mind. How much risk are the sexual ideologues willing to expose the young to in order avoid the truth that sexual activity is not merely a recreational activity or means to relieve tension? And that to engage in it recklessly is simply dangerous and wrong? And that there is a connection between the dangerous and the wrong? That their goal of creating a sexual utopia has resulted in disillusionment, alienation, sickness and death? "

Friday, March 04, 2005

'The Exorcist' Dies

From TheMilwaukeeChannel.com - News - Priest Who Helped Inspire 'The Exorcist' Dies:

"A priest who participated in the 1949 exorcism that inspired 'The Exorcist' book and movie has died at age 83.

A funeral mass will be held Friday in a Milwaukee suburb for the Rev. Walter Halloran.
He was the last living Jesuit who assisted in the exorcism at a St. Louis hospital. Halloran died Tuesday night at a Jesuit retirement home in suburban Milwaukee.

Halloran was a 27-year-old Jesuit student when a priest called him to the psychiatric wing at a St. Louis hospital to help control a 14-year-old boy who he believed was possessed by a demon.

A brief news account of the incident inspired William Peter Blatty to write his 1971 best seller, 'The Exorcist,' which led to the movie a few years later."

Society for a Moratorium on the Music of Marty Haugen and David Haas

Found at Society for a Moratorium on the Music of Marty Haugen and David Haas:

"No matter where you go to Mass on Sunday in the United States, it's difficult to escape the music of Marty Haugen and David Haas. I for one am sick and tired of hearing their banal ditties everywhere, and in desperation I have founded this Society for a Moratorium on the Music of Marty Haugen and David Haas, or SMMMHDH for short. The Society is awaiting pontifical approval from the Holy See as a pious sodality. :-)

Thomas G. McFaul, in his essay on The Sad State of Liturgical Music, laments, 'What a shame for a young person to grow up thinking that Marty Haugen is the traditional music of the Catholic church!' The Catholic Church has a rich patrimony of sacred music, but it is a closed book to most of today's Catholics. "

German Speaking Brazilian Cardinal "the time has come for the pope to resign"

From World: The pope of the divided heart:

"Yes, the time has come for the pope to resign so that the church can continue to respond to historical changes and to this critical moment that we are passing through," said 83-year-old Cardinal Paulo Evaristo Arns of Brazil during a recent wide-ranging interview with a major Brazilian daily.

The cardinal said he has talked with the pope about retirement but doubts John Paul II will go.

"I spoke to him about this with all simplicity," Arns said. ?Indirectly, I asked him if it weren't too much for him. This was his answer: 'Paulo, from here to here [pointing to his chest and to his head] I feel fine. I am the same person I was when I was elected to the papacy. I do not see any reason to resign because my head, my heart and my organs are all doing well.' "

This meeting, Arns said, was about five or six years ago, when he still went to Rome regularly. "The pope had some difficulty walking, but we did walk up and down in the corridor," Arns said. "We were speaking in German. He speaks German clearly, and I do too since it was my second language at home."

Archbishop Chaput's Heated Luncheon

From Rocky Mountain News: Religion:

Verbal fisticuffs broke out Tuesday between Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput and a luncheon audience that challenged him to defend the church's role in public life.

'Why do (religions) feel they have to impose their views on us?' asked one woman during a spirited question-and-answer session following Chaput's speech to the City Club of Denver.

"If we don't - you'll impose your views on us," Chaput shot back to murmurs from the group of about 120 business and civic leaders.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Bishop Lynch Adds His Statement to the Florida Bishop's Conference Statement

I'll let him speak for himself, but doesn't this seem a little strange and final?

From theRoman Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburg:

"The bishops of Florida have once again addressed the issue of the withdrawal of the artificial feeding tube from Terri Schiavo. As in the past, I join them in addressing this complex and tragic situation. As the local bishop and pastor for all the family parties involved, I would like to add the following. At the end of the day (the judicial, legislative days) the decision to remove Terri's artificial feeding tube will be that of her husband, Michael. It is he who will give the order, not the courts or certainly the governor or legislature or the medical personnel surrounding and caring for Terri. In other words, as I have said from the beginning of this sad situation, the decision will be made within a family. A significant part of that family feels they are outside of the decision-making process and they are in great pain and suffering mightily.

I urge and pray that before the finality, one last effort be made for mediation. Normally, at the end of life, families of the person in extremis agree that it is time to allow the Lord to call a loved one to Himself, feeling that they have done all they possibly might to provide alternatives to death, every possible treatment protocol which might be helpful has been attempted. There is a peace. This will not happen in this instance because of the seeming intractability of both sides. I beg and pray that both sides might step back a little and allow some mediation in these final hours. The legacy of Terri's situation should not be that of those who love her the most, loathing the actions of one another, but of a heroic moment of concern for the feelings of each other, guided by moral and ethical considerations, with a single focus of achieving the best result for Terri. I ask the Catholics of the Diocese of St. Petersburg in the waning days of Lent to pray hard to the “Author of All Life” for Terri and for her family.
"

New Processional Hymn Coming Soon to Your Church?

From Catholic World News (CWN):

"The processional hymn for the Young Adults Liturgy at the recent L.A. Religious Education Conference showcased David Haas's catchy new 'Gathering Song' (see pp. 44-45 of the program). A sampler:

Come all you single ones, divorced and married:
Come you who have lost your spouse, all who are lonely.
With Christ our brother, we are loved and made whole!

Refrain: All is ready. Here and now. All are welcome here.

Come all you young and old, all male and female.
Come, now, all gay and straight, it does not matter.
With Christ, all people are one in God's whole!

Refrain: All is ready. Here and now. All are welcome here.
It pains me inexpressibly to report that Haas's litany extends no welcome to hermaphrodites, cellists, gluten-intolerant Latvians, Scorpios, Jesuits, self-employed taxpayers filing jointly, redheads, or Catholics. "

New Co-adjutor for Burlington

From the Vatican Information Service:

Appointed Msgr. Salvatore Ronald Matano, local collaborator of the apostolic nunciature to the U.S.A., as coadjutor bishop of Burlington (area 23,651, population 608,827, Catholics 149,048, priests 168, permanent deacons 38, religious 261), U.S.A. The bishop-elect was born in Providence, U.S.A., in 1946 and ordained a priest in 1971.

Pope May Leave Hospital by Easter

From Yahoo! News - Vatican: Pope 'Progressively Improving':

"Pope John Paul II is 'progressively improving' and may be able to leave the hospital by Easter, the Vatican said Thursday, a week after the pontiff was rushed to the hospital for a second time in a month. "

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Florida Bishops Speak Out for Terri

From The Florida Catholic Conference | Continued Concerns for Terry Schiavo:

"Terri Schindler Schiavo has been the center of national media attention, and the focus of a debate that touches all three branches of government. Mrs. Schiavo is not 'brain dead' or comatose. She has lived in a nursing home for years, presently a hospice facility, generally needing only nursing care and assistance in receiving nourishment. Some experts say she is in a 'persistent vegetative state;' others say she is not. Her husband wants to remove her feeding tube, insisting she expressed clearly this would be her wish; her parents and siblings vigorously disagree, and have offered to care for her as long as she lives. Questions about her prognosis and wishes persist, raising doubt as to what she would truly want.

No longer able to speak on her own behalf, Mrs. Schiavo is a defenseless human being with inherent dignity, deserving of our respect, care and concern. Her plight dramatizes one of the most critical questions we face: To be a truly human society, how should we care for those we may not be able to cure?

In our past statements concerning Terri Schiavo, as well as those by Bishop Robert N. Lynch of the Diocese of St. Petersburg, we have made it clear that there should be a presumption in favor of providing nutrition and hydration even by artificial means as long as it is of sufficient benefit to outweigh the burdens involved to the patient. We reiterate our plea that Mrs. Schiavo continues to receive all treatments and care that will be of benefit to her.


Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Recovering Pope Begins Speaking

From BBC NEWS | Europe | Recovering Pope begins speaking:

"Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, a senior Vatican official, said Pope John Paul II conducted a working meeting at Rome's Gemelli Hospital.

The pontiff spoke in both Italian and German during the meeting, the cardinal told reporters.

The Pope was admitted to hospital last week suffering from breathing problems, and underwent an emergency tracheotomy.

'The Holy Father spoke to me in German and Italian. He was very alert. He will be working on some of the documentation that I brought to him,' Cardinal Ratzinger said as he left the hospital."