V. Ora pro nobis, sancta Dei Genitrix. R. Ut digni efficamur promissionibus Christi.
31 May 2007
V. Ora pro nobis, sancta Dei Genitrix. R. Ut digni efficamur promissionibus Christi.
29 May 2007
By Peter Slevin Washington Post Staff Writer Tuesday, May 29, 2007;
Burke memorably declared that he would deny Communion to Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) because the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee supports abortion rights. He fought unsuccessfully to keep singer Sheryl Crow, who supports embryonic stem cell research, from headlining an April fundraiser for the Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center, then resigned from the hospital foundation's board in protest.
Just this month, his office pushed St. Joseph's Academy, a Catholic high school, to renege on its invitation to Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) to deliver this year's commencement address because of her abortion-rights position, even though McCaskill's daughter was in the graduating class. McCaskill was uninvited. McCaskill was uninvited by the School-- the only correct thing the school did in the whole affair. They should at least be given some credit for obeying the wishes of their local ordinary, unlike the arrogant board of the Cardinal Glennon Foundation.
At a time when significant segments of the Catholic population are breaking with the church on such issues as embryonic stem cell research and abortion, Burke is adhering to Vatican orthodoxy endorsed by Pope Benedict XVI -- and he expects the same of all Catholics in his archdiocese. This is a very dismissive way of saying, "Burke is a Catholic Bishop who does his job."
He tells his critics that he has "no agenda but the church." He tells his critics this? Or it is just a fact?
"He sees himself as being obliged to do what he thinks is the right thing, and he's not too concerned with strategy or how he might finesse the thing," Hitchcock said. "There are quite obviously deep divisions within the church. Archbishop Burke is one bishop who has chosen to confront them directly, as opposed to other bishops who may prefer to minimize them." One might say that St. John Fisher filled this role when other English Bishops of the time were more "pastoral".
Following the dispute over Crow and the hospital benefit, Geri Redden, who describes herself as a pro-choice former Catholic, said she considers Burke "archaic and kind of an embarrassment. He seems to think he is back in the old days when he could really tell people how to live their lives." What is it about anti-Catholics and "progressive Catholics" that they frame everything in terms of time? Always the criticism is that the faithful Catholic is stuck in the "past", or is medieval, or such rot. Just as the Pope "seeks to turn back the clock" by enlarging the availability of the Traditional Mass.
Burke, 58, is a canon specialist who warns that Harry Potter books are "irreligious." He took a strong stand last year against a Missouri constitutional amendment designed to protect embryonic stem cell research, a high-profile political fight that pitted social conservatives against the likes of Crow, actor Michael J. Fox and former senator John C. Danforth (R-Mo.). He called it a moral crisis for Missouri and said taxpayer money would be spent on "intrinsically immoral research." As has been, and is being, proven.
"From his point of view, we are nonexistent," said the Rev. Marek Bozek, the church's pastor. "I find it wrong to perceive the world in white and black colors only. Unfortunately, he does. And we are wondering why the church is losing its people?" I am embarrassed that a Catholic priest would be allowed to be quoted saying these things.
"From the purely pastoral point of view, it's been nothing but good for us," Bozek said. "It has revitalized the parish. We are growing because people can't stand this any longer." I know (in other contexts) people who were, until very recently, parishioners of St. Stanislaus. They stuck with the Board for a good while, after the Board's intransigence caused themselves to be excommunicated latae sententiae. They have seen the fruits of disobedience, and tell me that the place is the home of every type of dissenter and that the "unifying" factor among the people there is no longer Polish heritage, but rather dissent from Church teaching. In short, it is home of "progressives", many of whom are not of Polish dissent. If this is the type of growth to which the excommunicated leadership points, it can have it.
28 May 2007
26 May 2007
No, not that Clooney.
The fifth "hinge" date covered by Dr. Moczar in "Ten Dates Every Catholic Should Know" is the date of the founding of the Benedictine monastery at Cluny, which served as the source of a monastic reform that revitalized the religious life of the Church, and ushered in the Church's golden age.
In the early Tenth Century, Europe was under attack from Muslims, Vikings and Magyars. Charlemagne's unified empire was divided in three kingdoms. The Church itself was insecure and sought the protection of various political leaders. Not only the papacy, but prelates and monasteries sought protection under feudal lords. The trade off of this arrangement was an undue influence of the secular powers over many Church institutions. The interests of the lords, due to their patronage, often became the interests of the Church leaders they protected.
Dr. Moczar states:
"One danger was that temporal goods and goals could engender worldliness and laxity among the clergy; another was that the lands and wealth of the Church would tempt secular lords to try to take them over. Monasteries became enmeshed in the feudal system and found their abbots being appointed by local political leaders or, at a higher level, by kings. The practice of simony-- the buying and selling of Church positions-- was rife, with prominent bishops and abbots paying large sums to feudal lords for appointment to desirable posts. The ignorance of the clergy increased with lay control and the disorders of the times, and so did clerical immorality. It was not unusual for priests to be "married", more or less openly, or to have concubines-- female or male."
Into this mess entered the monastery of Cluny, founded in 910, completely free from lay control and led by a succession of holy abbots in a period of 200 years. How did this come about? William the Pious, Duke of Aquitaine, of whom we know little, signed the charter on September 11, 910 ceding land to the monastery and specifically renouncing thereafter all control, by him or his successors.
The first abbot, St. Berno, established the community with observance of the Benedictine rule. The community's faithful observance of the rule, holy example and charity became the exemplar for other monasteries. The fame of Cluny spread, and thus engendered the practice of laymen giving control, for long or short periods, of their monasteries to the Cluny monks.
Cluny sent out teams of monks to help reform and manage other monasteries-- sometimes by request of secular authorities and against the will of the wayward target monasteries. The Cluny efforts were blessed by God and caused a true reformation of religious life in Europe.
Helping matters greatly was the providential leadership of the Cluny monastery itself. From its founding in 910 until 1109-- a period of nearly 200 years, Cluny was blessed to have just six abbots, and all of them Saints: St. Berno, St. Odo, Blessed Aynard, St. Mayeul, St. Odilo and St. Hugh.
The Cluniac Abbots' holiness and administrative abilities led to great fame, and they became the advisers of nobles, bishops and popes.
In time, Cluny became a monastery with several subordinate monasteries that owed it allegiance. Religious life under the rule of St. Benedict set the stage for the Church's Golden Age at the turn of the millennium.
From the Book:
Cluny's success required the cooperation of so many disparate elements, from laymen demanding moral reform of the clergy, to kings encouraging it, to popes implementing it, that its final cohesion and triumph appear as a miracle of grace. The Cluniacs had no such grand scheme in mind when they first dedicated themselves heart and soul to leading pure monastic lives and escaping the corrupting influence of secular control. Their concern with purity of life was an implicit condemnation of clerical immorality, but it would be bishops, preachers and popes who would actively campaign against the sins of fornication and pederasty among the clergy. Likewise, although Cluny was the first monastery to remove itself from lay control, active resistance to lay investiture would be carried out later, at higher levels. The great movement for reform for both Church and society would not reach its climax for a century, but Cluny set it all in motion. It would, in fact, be a man who had lived and studied at Cluny, Hildebrand, who as Pope St. Gregory VII would bring the reform movement to fruition and spread it throughout the Church.
Dr. Moczar's book may be obtained here.
25 May 2007
From Lifesite News:
WASHINGTON, May 23, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, today released documents obtained from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, detailing 1,637 reports of adverse reactions to the vaccination for human papillomavirus (HPV), Gardasil.
Three deaths were related to the vaccine. One physician's assistant reported that a female patient "died of a blood clot three hours after getting the Gardasil vaccine." Two other reports, on girls 12 and 19, reported deaths relating to heart problems and/or blood clotting.
As of May 11, 2007, the 1,637 adverse vaccination reactions reported to the FDA via the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) included 371 serious reactions. Of the 42 women who received the vaccine while pregnant, 18 experienced side effects ranging from spontaneous abortion to fetal abnormalities.
Side effects published by Merck & Co. warn the public about potential pain, fever, nausea, dizziness and itching after receiving the vaccine. Indeed, 77% of the adverse reactions reported are typical side effects to vaccinations. But other more serious side effects reported include paralysis, Bells Palsy, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, and seizures.
"The FDA adverse event reports on the HPV vaccine read like a catalog of horrors," stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. "Any state or local government now beset by Merck's lobbying campaigns to mandate this HPV vaccine for young girls ought to take a look at these adverse health reports. It looks as if an unproven vaccine with dangerous side effects is being pushed as a miracle drug."
One of the greatest of the Roman pontiffs and one of the most remarkable men of all times; born between the years 1020 and 1025, at Soana, or Ravacum, in Tuscany; died 25 May, 1085, at Salerno.
- That clerics who had obtained any grade or office of sacred orders by payment should cease to minister in the Church.
- That no one who had purchased any church should retain it, and that no one for the future should be permitted to buy or sell ecclesiastical rights.
- That all who were guilty of incontinence should cease to exercise their sacred ministry.
- That the people should reject the ministrations of clerics who failed to obey these injunctions.
Similar decrees had indeed been passed by previous popes and councils. Clement II, Leo IX, Nicholas II, and Alexander II had renewed the ancient laws of discipline, and made determined efforts to have them enforced. But they met with vigorous resistance, and were but partially successful.
The promulgation of Gregory's measures now, however, called forth a most violent storm of opposition throughout Italy, Germany, and France. And the reason for this opposition on the part of the vast throng of immoral and simoniacal clerics is not far to seek. Much of the reform thus far accomplished had been brought about mainly through the efforts of Gregory; all countries had felt the force of his will, the power of his dominant personality. His character, therefore, was a sufficient guarantee that his legislation would not be suffered to remain a dead letter. In Germany, particularly, the enactments of Gregory aroused a feeling of intense indignation.
The greater number of bishops received their instructions with manifest indifference, and some openly defied the pope. ... In France the excitement was scarcely less vehement than in Germany. A council at Paris, in 1074, condemned the Roman decrees, as implying that the validity of the sacraments depended on the sanctity of the minister, and declared them intolerable and irrational. John, Archbishop of Rouen, while endeavouring to enforce the canon of celibacy at a provincial synod, was stoned and had to flee for his life. Walter, Abbot of Pontoise, who attempted to defend the papal enactments, was imprisoned and threatened with death. ...
But the zeal of Gregory knew no abatement. He followed up his decrees by sending legates into all quarters, fully empowered to depose immoral and simoniacal ecclesiastics.
In his efforts to enforce ecclesiastical discipline, Gregory has repeated difficulties in dealing with the erratic, and strong-willed Henry IV. Henry would vacillate between outright opposition to the Pope, including taking military action, and periodic penitence. The famous episode at the castle of Canossa, where Henry, after long journey, was left to do penance on the castle doorstep for three days before Gregory agreed to lift censure, is worth reading in its own right. However, the great antagonist eventually rebelled, drove on Rome, and forced St. Gregory into exile and caused the "election" of an anti-pope.
Disappointed and sorrowing he withdrew to Monte Cassino, and later to the castle of Salerno by the sea, where he died in the following year. Three days before his death he withdrew all the censures of excommunication that he had pronounced, except those against the two chief offenders--Henry and [the anti-pope].
His last words were: "I have loved justice and hated iniquity, therefore I die in exile."
His body was interred in the church of Saint Matthew at Salerno. He was beatified by Gregory XIII in 1584, and canonized in 1728 by Benedict XIII.
St. Gregory's last words should be the words of every Christian living in the world. We are in the world but not of it. We are exiles and strangers. May we love justice and hate iniquity.
St. Gregory, pray for us.
23 May 2007
Quoniam ecce venient dies in quibus dicent beatae steriles et ventres qui non genuerunt et ubera quae non lactaverunt.
As has been posted elsewhere, the FDA approved the use of a new "birth control" pill which suppresses indefinitely a woman's natural cycle, so that menstruation does not occur.
There are several ways to think about this news, obvious and less-than-obvious. Of course, such a pill is a horrible moral evil and an affront to the Author of life. It is also a huge medical risk to women, and woe to the man who leads his wife or girlfriend to use this, and to the manufacturers and hawkers of such a product.
But my first thought was to recall the verse at Luke 23:29. Jesus, on the way to Calvary, meets the women of Jerusalem. They weep for Him, but He reminds them to weep for themselves. As usual for the scriptures, the meaning of the words of our Lord resonate to our own day-- God's Word is always true.
Blessed are the barren: go to the playground or to the supermarket with more than three children (hey, sometimes three will set people off). People look at you with pity, or with condescension, or with derision, or even with anger and verbal abuse.
Blessed are the barren: children-- humans-- harm the precious environment. Oooh, look out, there will be water, food, fuel shortages. We have to "do" something!
Blessed are the barren: for those who send children to traditional schools, the burden is heavy. Even at Catholic schools, there is usually no meaningful break for large families. How does $10,000 for tuition for four grade school children sound? How about two high schoolers and two grade schoolers for $25,000? If the children are at public schools, they will be indoctrinated into the humans are an evil program. Immorality as a lifestyle choice, radical environmentalism, "responsible parenthood" and the like.
Blessed are the barren: our children are being systematically slaughtered in abortuaries, in laboratories, in the womb itself. Sacrifice your children to the god of science, so their parts can help others live a more comfortable life!
Our Lord suffered torture and death on the cross for our sins. His mercy flowed, and flows from His wounds. But God will not be mocked forever. The day will come when He will set matters right.
Tunc incipient dicere montibus cadite super nos et collibus operite nos.
22 May 2007
Confirmation of the decision by the appellate level court in Bavaria came from the Home School Legal Defense Association, with 80,000 member families probably the world's premiere homeschool advocacy organization. It has been helping Melissa's parents, Hubert and Gudrun, with the legal battle for their daughter.
The HSLDA's translation of the German appeals court ruling said custody of the 16-year-old was returned to the family, because while it was "appropriate" for the judge to do what he did at the time, when he ordered her taken into custody, new information now reveals the lack of danger.
21 May 2007
In his final reflection upon part one of the Holy Father's recent apostolic exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis, Archbishop Burke delves into the Pope's writing on the connection between the Virgin Mother and the Eucharist. From his most recent column in the St. Louis Review:
In a wonderful way, Pope Benedict XVI relates our faith in the Holy Eucharist to our devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary:
"Although we are still journeying toward the complete fulfillment of our hope, this does not mean that we cannot already gratefully acknowledge that God’s gifts to us have found their perfect fulfillment in the Virgin Mary, Mother of God and our Mother. Mary’s Assumption body and soul into heaven is for us a sign of sure hope, for it shows us on our pilgrimage through time, the eschatological goal of which the Sacrament of the Eucharist enables us even now to have a foretaste" (n. 33).
The life of Mary is the pattern of our own life, receiving our Lord into our very being through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and following Him faithfully on the way of the Cross, which leads us, body and soul, to eternal glory. As Pope Benedict XVI observes, the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary uncovers for us our final destiny which we anticipate at each Holy Mass.
Our Lord brought to fullness Mary’s discipleship by assuming her, body and soul, into heaven at her passing from this life to the next. So, too, our Lord will bring our discipleship to fullness at the Resurrection on the Last Day. We believe "in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting" (Apostles’ Creed). As we witness the outpouring of the glorious Body and Blood of Christ for our salvation in the Holy Eucharist, we understand that our own body is destined to share in the glory of Christ Who is seated at the right hand of the Father.
Our meditation upon the life of Christ in the life of the Virgin Mary leads us always to the Holy Eucharist, for our Blessed Mother is ever directing us to her Divine Son with the instruction: "Do whatever He tells you" (John 2:5).
When we participate in the Eucharistic Sacrifice, our Blessed Mother is one with us, exemplifying faith in Christ and drawing us into ever deeper love of Christ.
Our Blessed Mother both teaches us the way of conversion to Christ, of abandoning ourselves to God’s will, and she, as a loving mother, intercedes constantly for us that we may have the grace to enter ever more deeply, in our thoughts and words and actions, into the mystery of Christ’s suffering, dying and rising from the dead. Both by her example and through her intercession, she leads us to our Lord in the Holy Eucharist. Pope Benedict XVI describes Mary’s way of life, which is also our way:
"A virgin attentive to God’s Word, she lives in complete harmony with His will; she treasures in her heart the words that come to her from God and, piecing them together like a mosaic, she learns to understand them more deeply (cf. Luke 2:19, 51); Mary is the great believer who places herself confidently in God’s hands, abandoning herself to His will" (n. 33).
In the mysteries of the life of Mary, all essentially mysteries of the life of Christ, we see how God calls us, through the sacraments and, most especially, the Holy Eucharist to share with Him in the work of salvation, in the work of preparing daily His Final Coming in glory.
The relationship of the Blessed Virgin Mary to the Holy Eucharist is seen, in a striking way, by placing side by side the Annunciation and the deposition from the cross. At the Annunciation, our Blessed Mother accepted her vocation and mission as Mother of God. Through her obedient response to the announcement of the Archangel Gabriel, Mary received the Redeemer into her womb for the salvation of mankind. God the Son "was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary" (Apostles’ Creed). At the Annunciation, Mary emptied herself of her own will in order to make God’s will her own.
Mary, Mother of Christ, continued to empty herself of her own will in doing God’s will by becoming her Divine Son’s most faithful disciple. She was one with Him throughout His public ministry. Her faithful and altogether excellent discipleship reached its height as she stood at the foot of the cross upon which her Divine Son poured out His life for our eternal salvation and as she received His dead Body into her arms after he had been taken down from the cross (deposition). Our Holy Father comments on the relationship of the Annunciation to the deposition: "From the Annunciation to the Cross, Mary is the one who received the Word, made flesh, within her and then silenced in death. It is she, lastly, who took into her arms the lifeless body of the One who truly loved His own "to the end" (John 13:1).
The Blessed Virgin shared, in a most privileged way, in the saving work of Christ. She shows us how we are called to share, with and in Christ, in the salvation of the world. As our Lord was dying on the cross, He gave His Mother to His apostle John, who represents us all in the Church. Mary, the Mother of Christ, is the Mother of the Church who lovingly leads her children to salvation in Christ, above all, through the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.
AVE maris stella, Dei Mater alma,atque semper Virgo, felix caeli porta.
HAIL, O Star of the ocean,God's own Mother blest,ever sinless Virgin,gate of heav'nly rest.
Sumens illud Ave Gabrielis ore, funda nos in pace, mutans Hevae nomen.
Taking that sweet Ave,which from Gabriel came,peace confirm within us,changing Eve's name.
Solve vincula reis, profer lumen caecismala nostra pelle, bona cuncta posce.
Break the sinners' fetters,make our blindness day,Chase all evils from us,for all blessings pray.
Monstra te esse matrem: sumat per te preces, qui pro nobis natus, tulit esse tuus.
Show thyself a Mother,may the Word divineborn for us thine Infanthear our prayers through thine.
Virgo singularis, inter omnes mites, nos culpis solutos, mites fac et castos.
Virgin all excelling,mildest of the mild,free from guilt preserve usmeek and undefiled.
Vitam praesta puram, iter para tutum: ut videntes Iesum semper collaetemur.
Keep our life all spotless,make our way securetill we find in Jesus,joy for evermore.
Sit laus Deo Patri, summo Christo decus, Spiritui Sancto, tribus honor unus. Amen.
Praise to God the Father,honor to the Son,in the Holy Spirit,be the glory one. Amen.
18 May 2007
There are many concerned parents who have indicated to me that the answers to all of these questions are unsatisfactory. If this is true, do these multiple problematic answers provide sufficient reason to resist the charter interpretation? At very least, even the possible unsatisfactory answers to any of the questions above leaves me unwilling and possibly even unable to expose the children of the diocese to harm under the guise of trying to protect them from harm. I pray that, in this, I am neither wrong-headed nor wrong.
From Catholic Online (full story):
In a message released for the 41st World Communications Day, to be observed May 20, the pope called upon media leaders, parents, Catholic parishes and schools to work to expose children to what is “aesthetically and morally excellent” and to help them acquire “skills of discernment.”
Parents and teachers have a responsibility “to educate children in the ways of beauty, truth and goodness,” the pope said, adding that effort “can be supported by the media industry only to the extent that it promotes fundamental human dignity, the true value of marriage and family life and the positive achievements and goals of humanity.”
“Any trend to produce programs and products – including animated films and video games – which in the name of entertainment exalt violence and portray anti-social behavior or the trivialization of human sexuality is a perversion, all the more repulsive when these programs are directed at children and adolescents,” Pope Benedict said in the message dated Jan. 24, the feast of St. Francis de Sales, the patron saint of journalists.
The role of parents in forming children is primary, he said. “They have a right and duty to ensure the prudent use of the media by training the conscience of their children to express sound and objective judgments which will then guide them in choosing or rejecting programs available.” Children, he stressed, should be “exposed to what is aesthetically and morally excellent,” including “children’s classics in literature, to the fine arts and to uplifting music.”
"Beauty, a kind of mirror of the divine, inspires and vivifies young hearts and minds, while ugliness and coarseness have a depressing impact on attitudes and behavior," Pope Benedict said.
17 May 2007
The government has overturned its proposed ban on the creation of human-animal embryos and now wants to allow them to be used to develop new treatments for incurable diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.
The proposal, in a new draft fertility bill published today, would allow scientists to create three different types of hybrid embryos.
Scientists would be allowed to grow the embryos in a lab for no more than two weeks, and it would be illegal to implant them in a human.
"I'm delighted that common sense has prevailed. I fully understand the knee-jerk reaction that creating human-animal embryos is worrying," he said.
"But what we're talking about here are cells on a dish not a foetus. We're talking about something that looks like sago under the microscope. And it's illegal to ever turn these cells into a living being."
"They're probably creating a whole army of pig-warriors."
"I wish there were pig-men. You get a few of those pig-men walking around, suddenly I'm looking a lot better. That way if someone wanted to fix me up they could say, 'Hey, at least he's no pig-man.'"
"Believe me, somewhere in this hospital the anguished oink of pig-man cries out for help."
"If I hear an anguished oink, I'm outta here."
16 May 2007
House Democrats rap Pope's stand against pro-abortion pols
Washington, May. 15, 2007 (CWNews.com) -
Eighteen Democratic members of the US House of Representatives have joined in criticizing Pope Benedict XVI for his statement that pro-abortion politicians should not receive Communion.
During a conversation with reporters on May 9, as he was flying to Brazil, the Holy Father had said that he fully supported the decision of some Mexican bishops to bar politicians from receiving the Eucharist after the lawmakers voted to legalize abortion in Mexico City. The Mexican bishops, the Pope said, had "simply announced to the public what is stipulated by the law of the Church."
But the Democratic legislators, led by Rep. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, charged that the Pope's stand (and by implication the laws of the Church) "offend the very nature of the American experiment."
A move to exclude pro-abortion legislators from receiving Communion would be "a great disservice to the centuries of good work the Church has done," the 18 Congressmen argued.
"The fact is that religious sanction in the political arena directly conflicts with our fundamental beliefs about the role and responsibility of democratic representatives in a pluralistic America," the 18 write; "it also clashes with freedoms guaranteed in our Constitution." The group did not specify which Constitutional freedom would be violated by the exercise of internal Church discipline.
The May 14 statement was signed by the following Democratic Congressmen:
Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut
Joe Baca of California
Joe Courtney of Connecticut
Anna Eshoo of California
Maurice Hinchey of New York
Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island
James Langevin of Rhode Island
John Larson of Connecticut
Carolyn McCarthy of New York
Betty McCollum of Minnesota
Jim Moran of Virginia
Bill Pascrell of New Jersey
Tim Ryan of Ohio
Linda Sanchez of California
José Serrano of New York
Hilda Solis of California
Mike Thompson of California
His comments "offend the very nature of the American experiment," according to these Democrats. I for one agree. The American experiment was never very friendly to the Catholic faith. Don't get me wrong-- we were tolerated, because it was logically essential in order to support the tolerance of others. But Catholics who practice their faith have never been hailed in Washington. Witness the disparate treatment of Al Smith and JFK.
Al Smith was the first Catholic to be nominated to be president-- he won the Democratic nomination in 1928. That scared people. On the website, History Matters, created by George Mason University, there is posted a letter written in 1928 by Charles C. Marshall and submitted to Atlantic Monthly. It asks, Should a Catholic Be President?, and takes the claims of the Catholic faith more seriously than some politicians:
The American people take pride in viewing the progress of an American citizen from the humble estate in which his life began toward the highest office within the gift of the nation. It is for this reason that your candidacy for the Presidential nomination has stirred the enthusiasm of a great body of your fellow citizens. They know and rejoice in the hardship and the struggle of which have fashioned you as a leader of men. They know your fidelity to the morality you have advocated in public and private life and to the religion you have revered; your great record of public trusts successfully and honestly discharged; your spirit of fair play, and justice even to your political opponents. Partisanship bids fair to quail before the challenge of your personality, and men who vote habitually against your party are pondering your candidacy with sincere respect; and yet—through all this tribute there is a note of doubt, a sinister accent of interrogation, not as to intentional rectitude and moral purpose, but as to certain conceptions which your fellow citizens attribute to you as a loyal and conscientious Roman Catholic, which in their minds are irreconcilable with that Constitution which as President you must support and defend, and with the principles of civil and religious liberty on which American institutions are based.
Here arises the irrepressible conflict. Shall the State or the Roman Catholic Church determine? The Constitution of the United States clearly ordains that the State shall determine the question. The Roman Catholic Church demands for itself the sole right to determine it, and holds that within the limits of that claim it is superior to and supreme over the State. The Catholic Encyclopedia clearly so declares: “In case of direct contradiction, making it impossible for both jurisdictions to be exercised, the jurisdiction of the Church prevails and that of the State is excluded.” And Pope Pius IX in the Syllabus asserted: “To say in the case of conflicting laws enacted by the Two Powers, the civil law prevails, is error.”
Extreme as such a conclusion may appear, it is inevitable in Roman Catholic philosophy. That Church by the very theory of her existence cannot yield, because what she claims as her right and her truth she claims is hers by the “direct act of God”; in her theory, God himself directly forbids. The State cannot yield because of a great mass of citizens who are not Roman Catholics. By its constitutional law and in the nature of things, practices of religion in its opinion inconsistent with its peace and safety are unlawful; the law of its being—the law of necessity—forbids. If we could all concede the “divine and exclusive” claims of the Roman Catholic Church, conflict would be eliminated; but, as it is, there is a wide consensus of opinion that those claims are false in fact and in flat conflict with the very being and order of the State.
In our constitutional order this consensus is bulwarked on the doctrine of the Supreme Court of the United States that our religious liberty and our constitutional guaranties thereof are subject to the supreme qualification that religious “practices inconsistent with the peace and safety of the State shall not be justified.” (Watson v. Jones 13 Wall. P. 579)
The Roman Catholic Church, of course, makes no claim, and never has made any claim, to jurisdiction over matters that in her opinion are solely secular and civil. She makes the claim obviously only when the matter in question is not, in her opinion, solely secular and civil. But as determination of jurisdiction, in a conflict with the State, rests solely in her sovereign discretion, no argument is needed to show that she may in theory and effect annihilate the rights of all who are not Roman Catholics, sweeping into the jurisdiction of a single religious society the most important interests of human well-being. The education of youth, the institution of marriage, the international relations of the State, and its domestic peace, as we shall proceed to show, are, in certain exigencies, wrested from the jurisdiction of the State, in which all citizens share, and confided to the jurisdiction of a single religious society in which all citizens cannot share, great numbers being excluded by the barriers of religious belief. Do you, sir, regard such claims as tolerable in a republic that calls itself free?
And, in addition to all this, the exclusive powers of the Roman Catholic Church are claimed by her to be vested in and exercised by a sovereignty that is not only created therefor by the special act of God, but is foreign and extraterritorial to these United States and to all secular states. This sovereignty, by the highest Roman Catholic authority, that of Pope Leo XIII, is not only superior in theory to the sovereignty of the secular State, but is substituted upon earth in place of the authority of God himself. . . .
Smith was routed in the general election. It is the common opinion of political historians that his faith was an important factor in his defeat. Ah,but what if a "Catholic" politician could reassure the public that he did not take his religion very seriously-- or at least not seriously enough to oppose the whims of the people against it.
Enter John F. Kennedy, who decided to head off the possibility that he could be undone by being Catholic, as Smith had been. He made a famous address in 1960 to the Southern Baptist Convention, from which comes this excerpt:
But let me stress again that these are my views -- for, contrary to common newspaper usage, I am not the Catholic candidate for President [but the candidate] who happens also to be a Catholic.
I do not speak for my church on public matters -- and the church does not speak for me.
Whatever issue may come before me as President, if I should be elected -- on birth control, divorce, censorship, gambling, or any other subject -- I will make my decision in accordance with these views, in accordance with what my conscience tells me to be in the national interest, and without regard to outside religious pressure or dictate. And no power or threat of punishment could cause me to decide otherwise.
Guess who won in 1960? The politicians quoted today are truly from the party of JFK.
15 May 2007
From the desk of Monsignor Schmitz, Provincial of the ICRSP for the United States:
The Ordinations will take place in the presence of our Prior General, Monsignor Gilles Wach, and a large number of seminarians from Gricigliano, who will travel to the United States for this special occasion.
All are cordially invited to attend this joyous occasion of great solemnity.
Yours very truly in Christ the King,
The picture above was taken at the Solemn High Mass celebrated at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis on March 7, 2007. This Mass was offered by Fr. Karl Lenhardt, Vice-Provincial and Rector of St. Francis de Sales Oratory.
The Institute has published information on hotel discounts for those attending from out of town: http://www.institute-christ-king.org/documents/LodgingOrdinations.pdf
After the Ordinations, the first Masses for the newly ordained will be held in St. Louis as follows, as reported at the ICRSP site:
On the following day, Saturday, June 16th, Abbé Matthew Talarico will celebrate his first Mass at our St. Francis de Sales Oratory in St. Louis, and on Sunday, June 17th, will be the first Mass of Abbé William Avis, also at the Oratory. Both these first Masses are, of course, open to all, after which the ordinands will give their first blessing as newly-ordained priests, a blessing to which a special power and charisma has always been attributed.
Whether the awaited Motu Proprio will have been published or merely still awaited at that time, the Ordination Mass will be an important event in the further support and promotion of the Traditional Latin Mass.
Finally, whether you attend or not, please keep these two young men in your prayers as they prepare for their orders.
13 May 2007
Charles succeeded to the Frankish throne in 768, and soon was the undisputed king. He led around sixty military campaigns, defeating the Saxons, the Avars, the Muslims and the Basques. He protected the Popes against the threat of the Lombards. He united the kingdom of the Franks with lands never before part of that realm, so that in time the empire of Charlemagne stretched from the Atlantic into Eastern Europe, and from the Baltic Sea to the Mediterranean.
He chose advisers based upon skill and from among all the peoples under him-- not just Franks. He codified the laws and made certain Christian principles common among all the tribes. He suppressed paganism in the lands where it was formerly practiced.
Charlemagne assisted at daily Mass and Vespers, and sought to promote learning and culture. He caused a school to be established at his palace at Aachen. It preserved and taught Latin, philosophy, sciences-- all of the things that could be preserved from Rome.
Moczar writes: "Now there was, for the first time since the fall of Rome, a coordinated, empire-wide onslaught on ignorance, an organized campaign to recover the wisdom of the past and teach its nearly lost skills. The palace school taught both boys and girls, and elementary schools (also teaching both sexes, it seems) were set up all over the king's lands. Above all, Charles was mindful of his responsibilities for the spiritual welfare of his people, and he cared intensely about the religious instruction they were given." p. 60.
Carolingian Miniscule reformed the way letters and words were formed and formatted, and made reading much easier. Things we take for granted, like capital and lowercase letters, and spaces between words, were innovations from Charlemagne's time.
As Charlemagne's kingdom came to compass more or less the old boundaries of the Roman Empire in Europe (minus Spain) his advisers and the Pope agreed that he truly ruled an Empire. On Christmas Day in 800, Charlemagne was crowned Holy Roman Emperor by Pope Leo III in St. Peter's. Moczar notes:
"And so Western Christendom began to take definite shape, its peoples all part of a great Christian commonwealth. Its center was no longer the Mediterranean but the North of Europe, far from the reach of the Muslim raids that threatened even Rome. Its great waterway would be the Atlantic. The concept of the Catholic monarch as defender of the Church and promoter of Christianity, the idea of morally responsible kingship, the cooperation of Church and State, each in its own sphere, were all part of the new Catholic world that had come into being under Charlemagne." p. 62.
Western Civilization as we know it came from three bases: Christianity, Classical culture, and the traditions of the peoples of Europe. We have known them intimately for so long that we do not realize that they needn't have come together at all. Charlemagne was a major reason they did. The union of these three sources of civilization was so strong that it catapulted the West into its glory, a glory that is only now seriously threatened.
Dr. Moczar's book can be found here.
CATEGORY: SESSIUNCULUM — Fr. John Zuhlsdorf @ 10:11 pm
Today was "Family Day" in Rome and it was a huge, vast, mind-blowing success. It was lay organized and attended. It would have been a success, according to the organizers, had over 100,000 people come to St. John Lateran for the event.
10 May 2007
KFUO Host: Todd Wilken KFUO WMA audio KFUO MP3 audio “Audio Open Lines: Fox 2 News Story on St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke’s Decision to Resign from a Hospital Foundation Board in Protest Over a Fundraising Performance by Sheryl Crow”
Colleen Campbell is one of the best young spokesmen for Catholic moral teachings and their relevance in the public square. You may have seen her occasionally on Donnybrook or in the Post as a guest commentator. She is also the author of "The New Faithful", about the rising numbers of young, orthodox religious adherents in modern America.
After the interview, there is an interview of the Catholic League's Bill Donohue.
Finally, there is an additional 45 minutes of call-in from KFUO listeners about the issue. KFUO, you may not know, is owned by the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod; the reason I mention it is that the call-in session (considering what one usually hears in such venues) was remarkably intelligent and thoughtful. It seems the Lutherans who listened understand the issue a lot better than some self-identified Catholics we heard in the immediate aftermath.
The event includes a welcome by His Grace, Archbishop Raymond L. Burke, an organ recital, a tour of all of the buildings on the de Sales campus, and finally, a reception featuring German wine.
The event is free, but the Landmarks Association requests that you call ahead to reserve. Their phone number is 314-421-6474. http://stlouis.missouri.org/501c/landmarks/
The Oratory is located at 2653 Ohio Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63118. The Rectory number is 314-773-7100.