30 November 2007

As Previously Promised, Archbishop Burke Establishes New Traditional Mass Oratory in West County

Sorry I am late in posting this, but you won't believe the day I had.

There is a new Oratory for the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite in West County, essentially replacing the Canons Regular apostolate.  The decree of erection takes effect Sunday. Location and Mass times are in the linked article.

The Archbishop promised to provide for those faithful in the West County area who had attended Mass with the Canons.  As usual, he was true to his word.  Perhaps some of his critics will step forward and publicly credit him for this.  I won't hold my breath.

This Archdiocese is the place to be for traditional Catholics.

Spe Salvi

The Holy Father's new encyclical on the theological virtue of Hope has been released and the complete text can be found here. Below are some highlights that jumped out at me on first reading:



1. “SPE SALVI facti sumus”—in hope we were saved, says Saint Paul to the Romans, and likewise to us (Rom 8:24). According to the Christian faith, “redemption”—salvation—is not simply a given. Redemption is offered to us in the sense that we have been given hope, trustworthy hope, by virtue of which we can face our present: the present, even if it is arduous, can be lived and accepted if it leads towards a goal, if we can be sure of this goal, and if this goal is great enough to justify the effort of the journey. Now the question immediately arises: what sort of hope could ever justify the statement that, on the basis of that hope and simply because it exists, we are redeemed? And what sort of certainty is involved here?


The true shape of Christian hope

24. Let us ask once again: what may we hope? And what may we not hope? First of all, we must acknowledge that incremental progress is possible only in the material sphere. Here, amid our growing knowledge of the structure of matter and in the light of ever more advanced inventions, we clearly see continuous progress towards an ever greater mastery of nature. Yet in the field of ethical awareness and moral decision-making, there is no similar possibility of accumulation for the simple reason that man's freedom is always new and he must always make his decisions anew. These decisions can never simply be made for us in advance by others—if that were the case, we would no longer be free. Freedom presupposes that in fundamental decisions, every person and every generation is a new beginning. Naturally, new generations can build on the knowledge and experience of those who went before, and they can draw upon the moral treasury of the whole of humanity. But they can also reject it, because it can never be self-evident in the same way as material inventions. The moral treasury of humanity is not readily at hand like tools that we use; it is present as an appeal to freedom and a possibility for it. This, however, means that:

a) The right state of human affairs, the moral well-being of the world can never be guaranteed simply through structures alone, however good they are. Such structures are not only important, but necessary; yet they cannot and must not marginalize human freedom. Even the best structures function only when the community is animated by convictions capable of motivating people to assent freely to the social order. Freedom requires conviction; conviction does not exist on its own, but must always be gained anew by the community.

b) Since man always remains free and since his freedom is always fragile, the kingdom of good will never be definitively established in this world. Anyone who promises the better world that is guaranteed to last for ever is making a false promise; he is overlooking human freedom. Freedom must constantly be won over for the cause of good. Free assent to the good never exists simply by itself. If there were structures which could irrevocably guarantee a determined—good—state of the world, man's freedom would be denied, and hence they would not be good structures at all.


27. In this sense it is true that anyone who does not know God, even though he may entertain all kinds of hopes, is ultimately without hope, without the great hope that sustains the whole of life (cf. Eph 2:12). Man's great, true hope which holds firm in spite of all disappointments can only be God—God who has loved us and who continues to love us “to the end,” until all “is accomplished” (cf. Jn 13:1 and 19:30). Whoever is moved by love begins to perceive what “life” really is. He begins to perceive the meaning of the word of hope that we encountered in the Baptismal Rite: from faith I await “eternal life”—the true life which, whole and unthreatened, in all its fullness, is simply life. Jesus, who said that he had come so that we might have life and have it in its fullness, in abundance (cf. Jn 10:10), has also explained to us what “life” means: “this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (Jn 17:3). Life in its true sense is not something we have exclusively in or from ourselves: it is a relationship. And life in its totality is a relationship with him who is the source of life. If we are in relation with him who does not die, who is Life itself and Love itself, then we are in life. Then we “live”.


30. Let us summarize what has emerged so far in the course of our reflections. Day by day, man experiences many greater or lesser hopes, different in kind according to the different periods of his life. Sometimes one of these hopes may appear to be totally satisfying without any need for other hopes. Young people can have the hope of a great and fully satisfying love; the hope of a certain position in their profession, or of some success that will prove decisive for the rest of their lives. When these hopes are fulfilled, however, it becomes clear that they were not, in reality, the whole. It becomes evident that man has need of a hope that goes further. It becomes clear that only something infinite will suffice for him, something that will always be more than he can ever attain. In this regard our contemporary age has developed the hope of creating a perfect world that, thanks to scientific knowledge and to scientifically based politics, seemed to be achievable. Thus Biblical hope in the Kingdom of God has been displaced by hope in the kingdom of man, the hope of a better world which would be the real “Kingdom of God”. This seemed at last to be the great and realistic hope that man needs. It was capable of galvanizing—for a time—all man's energies. The great objective seemed worthy of full commitment. In the course of time, however, it has become clear that this hope is constantly receding. Above all it has become apparent that this may be a hope for a future generation, but not for me.

And however much “for all” may be part of the great hope—since I cannot be happy without others or in opposition to them—it remains true that a hope that does not concern me personally is not a real hope. It has also become clear that this hope is opposed to freedom, since human affairs depend in each generation on the free decisions of those concerned. If this freedom were to be taken away, as a result of certain conditions or structures, then ultimately this world would not be good, since a world without freedom can by no means be a good world. Hence, while we must always be committed to the improvement of the world, tomorrow's better world cannot be the proper and sufficient content of our hope. And in this regard the question always arises: when is the world “better”? What makes it good? By what standard are we to judge its goodness? What are the paths that lead to this “goodness”?

31. Let us say once again: we need the greater and lesser hopes that keep us going day by day. But these are not enough without the great hope, which must surpass everything else. This great hope can only be God, who encompasses the whole of reality and who can bestow upon us what we, by ourselves, cannot attain. The fact that it comes to us as a gift is actually part of hope. God is the foundation of hope: not any god, but the God who has a human face and who has loved us to the end, each one of us and humanity in its entirety. His Kingdom is not an imaginary hereafter, situated in a future that will never arrive; his Kingdom is present wherever he is loved and wherever his love reaches us. His love alone gives us the possibility of soberly persevering day by day, without ceasing to be spurred on by hope, in a world which by its very nature is imperfect. His love is at the same time our guarantee of the existence of what we only vaguely sense and which nevertheless, in our deepest self, we await: a life that is “truly” life. Let us now, in the final section, develop this idea in more detail as we focus our attention on some of the “settings” in which we can learn in practice about hope and its exercise.


Mary, Star of Hope

49. With a hymn composed in the eighth or ninth century, thus for over a thousand years, the Church has greeted Mary, the Mother of God, as “Star of the Sea”: Ave maris stella. Human life is a journey. Towards what destination? How do we find the way? Life is like a voyage on the sea of history, often dark and stormy, a voyage in which we watch for the stars that indicate the route. The true stars of our life are the people who have lived good lives. They are lights of hope. Certainly, Jesus Christ is the true light, the sun that has risen above all the shadows of history. But to reach him we also need lights close by—people who shine with his light and so guide us along our way. Who more than Mary could be a star of hope for us? With her “yes” she opened the door of our world to God himself; she became the living Ark of the Covenant, in whom God took flesh, became one of us, and pitched his tent among us (cf. Jn 1:14).

50. So we cry to her: Holy Mary, you belonged to the humble and great souls of Israel who, like Simeon, were “looking for the consolation of Israel” (Lk 2:25) and hoping, like Anna, “for the redemption of Jerusalem” (Lk 2:38). Your life was thoroughly imbued with the sacred scriptures of Israel which spoke of hope, of the promise made to Abraham and his descendants (cf. Lk 1:55). In this way we can appreciate the holy fear that overcame you when the angel of the Lord appeared to you and told you that you would give birth to the One who was the hope of Israel, the One awaited by the world. Through you, through your “yes”, the hope of the ages became reality, entering this world and its history. You bowed low before the greatness of this task and gave your consent: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word” (Lk 1:38). When you hastened with holy joy across the mountains of Judea to see your cousin Elizabeth, you became the image of the Church to come, which carries the hope of the world in her womb across the mountains of history. But alongside the joy which, with your Magnificat, you proclaimed in word and song for all the centuries to hear, you also knew the dark sayings of the prophets about the suffering of the servant of God in this world. Shining over his birth in the stable at Bethlehem, there were angels in splendour who brought the good news to the shepherds, but at the same time the lowliness of God in this world was all too palpable. The old man Simeon spoke to you of the sword which would pierce your soul (cf. Lk 2:35), of the sign of contradiction that your Son would be in this world. Then, when Jesus began his public ministry, you had to step aside, so that a new family could grow, the family which it was his mission to establish and which would be made up of those who heard his word and kept it (cf. Lk 11:27f). Notwithstanding the great joy that marked the beginning of Jesus's ministry, in the synagogue of Nazareth you must already have experienced the truth of the saying about the “sign of contradiction” (cf. Lk 4:28ff). In this way you saw the growing power of hostility and rejection which built up around Jesus until the hour of the Cross, when you had to look upon the Saviour of the world, the heir of David, the Son of God dying like a failure, exposed to mockery, between criminals. Then you received the word of Jesus: “Woman, behold, your Son!” (Jn 19:26). From the Cross you received a new mission. From the Cross you became a mother in a new way: the mother of all those who believe in your Son Jesus and wish to follow him. The sword of sorrow pierced your heart. Did hope die? Did the world remain definitively without light, and life without purpose? At that moment, deep down, you probably listened again to the word spoken by the angel in answer to your fear at the time of the Annunciation: “Do not be afraid, Mary!” (Lk 1:30). How many times had the Lord, your Son, said the same thing to his disciples: do not be afraid! In your heart, you heard this word again during the night of Golgotha. Before the hour of his betrayal he had said to his disciples: “Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (Jn 16:33). “Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (Jn 14:27). “Do not be afraid, Mary!” In that hour at Nazareth the angel had also said to you: “Of his kingdom there will be no end” (Lk 1:33). Could it have ended before it began? No, at the foot of the Cross, on the strength of Jesus's own word, you became the mother of believers. In this faith, which even in the darkness of Holy Saturday bore the certitude of hope, you made your way towards Easter morning. The joy of the Resurrection touched your heart and united you in a new way to the disciples, destined to become the family of Jesus through faith. In this way you were in the midst of the community of believers, who in the days following the Ascension prayed with one voice for the gift of the Holy Spirit (cf. Acts 1:14) and then received that gift on the day of Pentecost. The “Kingdom” of Jesus was not as might have been imagined. It began in that hour, and of this “Kingdom” there will be no end. Thus you remain in the midst of the disciples as their Mother, as the Mother of hope. Holy Mary, Mother of God, our Mother, teach us to believe, to hope, to love with you. Show us the way to his Kingdom! Star of the Sea, shine upon us and guide us on our way!

Given in Rome, at Saint Peter's, on 30 November, the Feast of Saint Andrew the Apostle, in the year 2007, the third of my Pontificate.


Prayers Requested

For my second daughter, who will be making her first Confession this Saturday after 8am Mass at St. Francis de Sales.

You know--Wolftracker's son's "secret" crush. Good thing they are at opposite sides of the state. It makes chaperoning easier.

St. Francis de Sales, pray for us.
St. Jean-Marie Vianney, pray for us.
St. Madeleine Sophie Barat, pray for us.
St. Mary Magdalen, pray for us.
St. Therese of Lisieux, pray for us.

29 November 2007

Missouri State Tries to Figure Out if It Believes in Christmas

The liberal angst surrounding issues like this is truly nauseating. From KY3 news:

Christmas tree is back up in MSU building lobby
by Marie Saavedra, KY3 News

SPRINGFIELD – Missouri State University administrators decided Thursday morning to put a Christmas tree back in the lobby of Strong Hall, along with other religious holiday symbols. A department head removed the 20-foot tree on Monday after a faculty member who is Jewish complained that it was insensitive to other religions.

After learning about the complaint and the removal of the tree, administrators scheduled a meeting for Friday afternoon to discuss appropriate holiday decorations at the school. That meeting is now canceled.“We decided this is the right thing to do, and I am glad there was widespread agreement about it,” President Mike. Nietzel said in a news release. “Missouri State is an institution at which many different religions are represented, and we try to be sensitive to the many views people hold.

“After having had a chance to air this out a bit more and consider the various perspectives of our campus community, I am happy that the Christmas tree will be back up along with the many others that were already on campus.”

The tree was back up by 11 a.m. and university employees were decorating it.

Courts have ruled Christmas trees are secular symbols if they do not bear religious decorations. The department head who put the tree up said she didn't use any religious symbols on it.


video here

Still no word on a Traditional Latin Mass in this corner of the state...

Immaculate Conception Novena Begins Today

At St. Francis de Sales Oratory: Solemn High Mass, Thursday, November 29, 7pm, Our Lady of Good Counsel.

Preaching will be Rev. Edward Richard, M.S., Dean of students, Vice Rector and Prof. of Moral Theology, Kenrick-Glennon Seminary.

Confessions begin one-half hour before Mass.

Remember that the novena continues through December 7.

From the Oratory's Rector, Fr. Lenhardt:

Dear faithful and friends of St. Francis de Sales Oratory,

On Thursday November 29, 2007 we will once again begin our novena to the Immaculate Conception. The Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest is dedicated to the Immaculate Conception. Every year the Prior General and the Superiors of the Institute’s Apostolates renew this act of dedication. As the Immaculate Conception is also the Patroness of the United States of America it is most appropriate to prepare for her feast of the Immaculate Conception through a Novena. This even more necessary and urgent as our country is in desperate need of her help and intercession.

The Immaculate Conception of our Lady is the manifestation of God’s will to reestablish His order and to redeem us from sin, death and the devil through His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. On each day of this Novena a Votive Mass of one of the titles of our Lady will be celebrated in form of a Low Mass with organ. This Mass will be followed by the special Novena Prayer.

We are very honored by the presence of so many guest preachers. Everyone is invited to join us in this special Novena to obtain the most urgently necessary graces for our country, for our Institute and in the challenges of the daily life of every one of us.

Tiny Truants: Beware the Long Arm of the Lincoln Police

Continuing our Illinois theme, this gem comes from Lincoln, IL, via a tip from Youngcatholic:

Council stands by truancy ordinance
Home-school parents voice concerns

Published Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A group of parents who home-school their children found little support Tuesday for the changes they want in a truancy ordinance pending before the Lincoln City Council.

Alderman Marty Neitzel, who said she has spent a year working on the ordinance, expressed surprise at the number of suggested revisions in the proposed ordinance, which had originally been drafted by city attorney Bill Bates.

"You told me (previously) you had two minor things" to be changed, Neitzel told Brian Messner, one of about a dozen parents who attended a city council ordinance committee meeting. "You've redone the whole thing."

Bates said the home-school faction's suggested changes would "seriously dilute the intention of the ordinance" and also dilute the definition of a truant.

In their version of the ordinance, the parents removed the word "student" several times and replaced it with "truant."

Bates said he is especially concerned with the home-school parents' desire to change the definition of a truant. All students - including those who are home-schooled and those enrolled in public or private schools - "are all subject to compulsory attendance," Bates said.

Students become truants, he said when they have an unexcused absence from attending class.

But according to the group's suggested definition, a student could not be labeled a truant unless he or she has been previously identified as such by Jean Anderson, superintendent of the Regional Office of Education, or by school administrators.

"If they're not on Jean's list, they're not a truant," Bates said, referring to that key point in the parents' revisions. "That's not what I consider a minor change."

Ron Denlinger offered an explanation of the changes he and other home-schooled parents desire in the proposed law.

"We want an ordinance that targets truants," said Denlinger. "Truants are clearly identified. Let's go after them."

But he said parents also want an ordinance that "protects the freedom of responsible students."

Commenting today, Denlinger said the organized group of parents was frustrated by Tuesday's meeting, which, he added, was the first time members had the opportunity to meet with the entire city council ordinance committee.

"I feel we got slapped in the face," he said.

Denlinger said the group fears the ordinance will essentially be enforced as "a daytime curfew" on school-age children.

Home schooling, he said, is not required to follow traditional school hours. Because of parents' work schedules, the daily home schooling process often times is far removed from traditional class schedules.

"School might not kick in until in the evening," he said.

Denlinger and other parents fear the ordinance will encourage police officers to stop and question their children if they are seen in public places during the hours public school is routinely in session.

"That means paper routes can't start until 3 in the afternoon. Children can't go out and walk the dog" without risking being stopped by a police officer, he said.

Denlinger said the tone of Tuesday's meeting probably "characterized us as unreasonable people," which, he added, is simply not true.

"We just want a truancy ordinance that truly targets truants," he said.

Anderson, who said her office's three-county truancy program now includes 400 students, is supporting the council's proposed ordinance as written by Bates. In fact, the ordinance notes that Anderson's office and "various school officials" had requested the council adopt the measure. It also states the Illinois School Code and Juvenile Court Act procedures on truancy matters are "time consuming and expensive and have proven to be ineffective in stemming the tide of truancy in the schools within the city."

Anderson said her office operates on a stricter basis than the state truancy law, which specifies a student must have 18 unexcused absences before being declared a truant.

"We don't wait 18 days," Anderson said. "We send out letters after five days."

A second letter is sent when a student continues to accumulate unexcused absences - around eight to 10, Anderson said - and finally, if the problem persists, students and parents are summoned to a hearing before a truancy review board.

"We aren't waiting for a child to be deemed a truant," Anderson said.

Bates, responding to the home-school parents group, said the city's ordinance "is not something that came up overnight." He said he used the city of Rockford's highly praised ordinance on truancy as a model for the Lincoln proposal.

Bates' ordinance also establishes penalties, including fines and court-mandated community service work, for violators. Parents of truant children younger than 10 would be liable and subject to the ordinance's penalties.

Neitzel recommended the council approve Bates' ordinance with none of the home-school parents' suggestions included. She did follow Anderson's sole suggestion - to expand the list of officials who can issue truancy citations to include a truancy caseworker from Lincoln Community High School.

Others with the authority to issue citations would be city police officers and truancy caseworkers from Anderson's office.

The council could vote on the measure at its meeting Monday.

Of course the Board doesn't really use any logic to justify the unchanged bill, merely an appeal to authority. That being said, it seems like it would be pretty simple to leave all of the language as-is and just add a sentence at the end that says, "No child who is the student of a homeschool operating pursuant to Illinois law shall be considered a truant for purposes of this ordinance."

Lawyers aren't all bad, you know.

28 November 2007

Cardinal George to Crown Statue of Infant Christ in Chicago on December 29

From the Institute of Christ the King, Sovereign Priest's headquarters in Chicago:

Cardinal George in Special Ceremony at the Shrine of Christ the King Sovereign Priest

A historic landmark church in Chicago, once on the road to demolition, will be the site of a rare ceremony following Christmas, on December 29th. During the course of a Solemn High Mass in the traditional Latin form, Francis Cardinal George will solemnly crown a statue of the Infant Jesus at the Shrine of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, formerly known as St. Gelasius Church in south side Woodlawn. The antique wooden sculpture from southern Spain will be the central piece above the future high altar of the church that is now being restored.

The magnificent church building, designed by revivalist architect Henry Schlacks in the 1920s, was the center of much controversy when in 2003 it was slated to be razed but eventually was made a historic landmark of Chicago. Originally known as “St. Clara Carmelite Church,” it had been commissioned by Carmelite Friars of the Old Observance to replace a smaller structure of this parish founded by German immigrants in 1894. The church had the distinction of being the National Shrine of St. Therese of Lisieux, where weekly novena prayers were held beginning on the very day of her canonization in 1925 until the mid 1980s. Vicissitudes affecting the neighborhood, a fire in the 1970s, disrepair and a dwindling congregation eventually led to the church’s closure in 2002.

However, after its near brush with destruction, St. Clara/St. Gelasius Church was given new life when Cardinal George invited the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest to take charge of it. The Institute is a society of priests established in 1990 in Florence, Italy, under the Ecclesia Dei indult. Priests of the Institute of Christ the King celebrate Mass and all the sacraments according to the 1962 liturgical books -- the traditional form of the Latin Rite recently given new impetus by Pope Benedict XVI in his motu proprio Summorum Pontificum. The group’s experience in reforming and restoring church buildings to their former beauty, coupled with the track record of growth in the “Latin Mass” milieu, made the Institute of Christ the King a good fit for the task of transforming the gutted former St. Gelasius into a living church.

Indeed, since the Institute began regularly offering Mass in 2005 at their Chicago location using a provisional chapel in the adjacent rectory, the congregation has increased from not a single person to an ever growing group of faithful, which required that a second Mass be added on Sundays for lack of space. In June 2006, the church received its decree of erection as the Shrine of Christ the King Sovereign Priest.

The Cardinal’s ceremonial crowning of the Infant Jesus during Christmastide this year is of special significance for the church. The first Mass ever offered inside the building was on Christmas 1924, a few years prior to its completion. And 2007 marks the 80th anniversary of the dedication of the church, on May 15, 1927. Those who attend the Solemn High Mass at 1:30 pm on Saturday, December 29th, will be treated to what many describe as the “transcendent beauty” of the Latin Mass, with its ancient prayers chanted in Latin, studied and choreographed movements, moments of silent prayer, incense, traditional vessels and vestments, and timeless music. Members of the Chicago Chorale will sing William Byrd’s four-voice polyphonic setting of the Mass, as well as motets by Tomás Luis de Victoria and Josquin de Près. The Gregorian Chant will be provided by the Shrine’s own schola.

This Christmas season, the ever-growing congregation at the Shrine of Christ the King will be moved from the basement-chapel in the rectory to the historic church when regular Sunday Mass again returns to the once-shuttered building. On Christmas Eve, Mass will be at 11:00 pm. On Christmas Day there will be the traditional “Mass at Dawn” at 8:00 am (Low Mass) and the “Mass during the Day” at 10:00 am (High Mass). For more information call 773-363-7409.


It is good to see the Church building to be used again for Mass. I have had the privilege to visit the Institute's headquarters in Chicago, and was able to tour the interior of the Shrine. It is a magnificent structure, currently empty as part of a total gut rehab. The exterior work on the Church is done, and I am sure the Institute will make the interior a transcendent space before the work is complete.

27 November 2007

I Only Wonder Why It Took Them So Long

Massachusetts lawmakers consider a bill to make spanking one's own children in one's own home illegal:

Bay State’s going slap-happy

Pols debate ban on spanking

By Laurel J. Sweet

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Parents who spank their kids - even in their own homes - would be slapped by the long arm of the law under an Arlington nurse’s proposal to make Massachusetts the first state in the nation to outlaw corporal punishment.

Kathleen Wolf’s proposed legislation will be debated at a State House hearing tomorrow morning.

If signed into law, parents would be prohibited from forcefully laying a hand on any child under age 18 unless it was to wrest them from danger, lest they be charged with abuse or neglect.

Rep. Jay Kaufman, a Lexington Democrat, submitted the 61-year-old Wolf’s petition at her request, but is not taking a position for or against corporal punishment.

“He does recognize and understand the concern many would have on legislating parental rights,” said Sean Fitzgerald, Kaufman’s chief of staff, “but the problem is the boundary is often overstepped. The right to hit should never be the right to hurt.”

Charles Enloe, 45, of Plymouth, knows a little something about that. In 2005, he was infamously arrested and charged with assault with a dangerous weapon for taking a belt to his then 12-year-old son during an argument over homework.

The charges were later dropped and Enloe told the Herald yesterday the experience “didn’t change my views at all. I believe discipline starts at home. Are they going to start legislating that you can’t raise your voice to your kids? That you can’t tell them when to go to bed? We’ll be communists then.”

The state Supreme Judicial Court agreed in principle when it ruled in 1999 that parents can spank their kids provided they don’t threaten bodily injury.

Corporal punishment in the home is already illegal in Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Latvia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Sweden and the Ukraine.


First a Cartoon, Now a Teddy Bear! Will the Children's Crusade Never End?

THE British teacher facing 40 lashes in Sudan for letting her pupils name a teddy bear Mohammed had told friends how she was loving her life in the country.

Gillian Gibbons, a 54-year-old described as “timid and polite,” has been arrested and accused of blasphemy against Islam’s prophet.
The teacher, from Liverpool, let her class of seven-year-olds choose the teddy’s name as part of a project at Unity High School in Sudan’s capital Khartoum.

She was said to be “deeply distressed” in a police cell last night after learning she faces the barbaric lashing under the Muslim state’s strict sharia law.


Police seized the 12in brown teddy complete with its handwritten name badge, describing it as “evidence”.

An angry group of young men was said to have gathered outside the police station where mum-of-two Gillian is being held to protest about her conduct.


"Deeply distressed"? I should think so.

Alice von Hildebrand on Feminism and Femininity

With thanks to Colleen Hammond, the following is a very brief excerpt from a thoughtful and interesting interview with Alice von Hildebrand in Zenit:

Q: How can women's purported weakness be seen as a source strength?

Von Hildebrand: Granted that from a naturalistic point of view, men are stronger: not only because they are physically stronger, but also because they are more creative, more inventive and more productive -- most great works in theology, philosophy and fine arts have been made by men. They are the great engineers, the great architects.

But the Christian message is that, valuable as all these inventions are, they are dust and ashes compared to every act of virtue. Because a woman by her very nature is maternal -- for every woman, whether married or unmarried, is called upon to be a biological, psychological or spiritual mother -- she knows intuitively that to give, to nurture, to care for others, to suffer with and for them -- for maternity implies suffering -- is infinitely more valuable in God's sight than to conquer nations and fly to the moon.

When one reads the life of St. Teresa of Avila or St. Thérèse of Lisieux, one is struck by the fact that they constantly refer to their "weakness." The lives of these heroic women -- and there are many -- teach us that an awareness and acceptance of one's weakness, coupled with a boundless confidence in God's love and power, grant these privileged souls a strength that is so great because it is supernatural.

Natural strength cannot compete with supernatural strength. This is why Mary, the blessed one, is "strong as an army ready for battle." And yet, she is called "clemens, pia, dulcis Virgo Maria."

This supernatural strength explains -- as mentioned by Dom Prosper Gueranger in "The Liturgical Year" -- that the devil fears this humble virgin more than God because her supernatural strength that crushes his head is more humiliating for him than God's strength.

This is why the Evil One is today launching the worst attack on femininity that has ever taken place in the history of the world. For coming closer to the end of time, and knowing that his final defeat is coming, he redoubles his efforts to attack his one great enemy: the woman. It says in Genesis 3:15: "I will put enmity between you and the woman." The final victory is hers, as seen in the woman crowned with the sun.

26 November 2007

Thank You

I just noticed today that this blog has registered over 50,000 unique visitors since its launch in February 2007. In 285 days, that comes to an average of 175 visitors a day. Certainly not in the top echelon of blogger traffic, but I am very grateful nonetheless.

I started this blog to provide a traditional Catholic forum for news and opinion, principally but not exclusively in the St. Louis area, to support the Archbishop, and also to promote as much as possible the traditional Mass (generally) and St. Francis de Sales Oratory (specifically). I give thanks to God and to Mary that I was led to the traditional Mass and to the Oratory, and I credit these for a new and more complete re-orientation to the faith.

During these nine months, there have been several news stories with Church-wide import emanating from St. Louis, and I have been glad to cover them all. Some of these stories drew daily traffic in the thousands. But I really want to express my gratitude for the 100-200 who visit here each day. I am surprised, to say the least, that anyone other than my wife would have any interest in my ramblings. And as for her, she's really only interested in about 30% of it.

I read about a year ago (sorry, can't remember the source) that in the current crisis in the Church faithful Catholics were no longer finding the traditional parish community experience at their territorial parishes, and instead were finding these things in so-called "virtual" parishes. In things like websites visited, newspapers and magazines subscribed to, radio stations listened to, apostolates and homeschool co-ops joined, and the like. I think there is a lot of truth to that. Hopefully, the virtual parishes we find and form lead the Church and us back to vibrant, truly Catholic, real parishes. In the meantime, I enjoy being an agitator in your virtual parish.

God bless you all.

Novena to the Immaculate Conception

St. Francis de Sales Oratory is offering a Novena of Masses to the Immaculate Conception beginning this Thursday, November 29, through Friday, December 7. This precedes the great feast day of the Immaculate Conception on December 8-- a holy day of obligation. The Novena begins each night at 7pm EXCEPT FOR Saturday (8am) and Sunday (10am).

Each of the faithful who attend one or more of the Novena Masses can earn a partial indulgence. Because Our Lady as the Immaculate Conception is Patroness of the Institute of Christ the King, Sovereign Priest, the faithful who attend Mass there on December 8 can earn a plenary indulgence under the usual conditions.

There will be a different preacher each day of the Novena, with some of the best homilists in the area on the list. The last day of the Novena on the Vigil of the Immaculate Conception (Nov. 7) will bring His Excellency Robert Hermann, Auxiliary Bishop of Saint Louis, to the Oratory for Pontifical Solemn High Mass. The full Novena schedule is below:

Novena to the Immaculate Conception:

Thursday, November 29, Novena of the Immaculate Conception begins-nightly
from 29th-7th 7pm Low Mass with organ and sermon novena prayers.

Except for: Saturday the 8th of December 8am, Low Mass with organ and sermon, novena prayers, and Sunday 10am Solemn High Mass followed by novena devotions.

Thursday, November 29, 7pm, Our Lady of Good Counsel, Rev. Edward Richard, M.S., Dean of students, Vice Rector and Prof. of Moral Theology, Kenrick-Glennon Seminary.

Friday, November 30, 7pm, Our Lady of Consolation, Rev. Philip Bene, Judge at the Metropolitan Tribunal.

Saturday, December 1, 8am, Immaculate Heart of Mary, Rev. Joseph Begue, C.M., Vincentian Press, Confessor at the Oratory

Sunday, December 2, 10am, First Sunday of Advent, Very Rev. Msgr. Vernon Gardin, Vicar General, Archdiocese of St. Louis.

Monday, December 3, 7pm, Mother of the Divine Shepherd, Rev. Msgr. Theodor Wojcicki, President-Rector of Kenrick-Glennon Seminary.

Tuesday, December 4, 7pm, Our Mother of Perpetual Help, Rev. Gregory Lockwood, Lecturer of Systematic Theology at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary.

Wednesday, December 5, 7pm, Purity of Our Lady, Rev. Randy Soto, Assoc. Prof. of Sacred Scripture, Kenrick-Glennon Seminary.

Thursday, December 6, 7pm, Humility of Our Lady, Rev. Bede Price, O.S.B., Rector of the Oratory of St. Gregory the Great and St. Augustine of Canterbury.

Friday, December 7, 7pm, Conclusion of the Novena: Solemn High Mass, His Excellency, the Most Reverend, Robert Hermann, Auxiliary Bishop in St. Louis.

Saturday, December 8, Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Holy Day of Obligation, (Plenary Indulgence) 8am: Low Mass with organ; 12:10pm, Solemn High Mass, with Procession and Dedication to the Immaculate Conception. Followed by Exposition of the Most Blessed Sacrament.
6pm: Benediction and Reposition.

24 November 2007

Simply Unbelievable

Call this one a mock-devout adherent of the new anti-religion.  From the London Daily Mail:

Meet the women who won't have babies-- because they're not eco-friendly

Had Toni Vernelli gone ahead with her pregnancy ten years ago, she would know at first hand what it is like to cradle her own baby, to have a pair of innocent eyes gazing up at her with unconditional love, to feel a little hand slipping into hers-- and a voice calling her Mummy.

But the very thought makes her shudder with horror.

Because when Toni terminated her pregnancy, she did so in the firm belief that she was helping to save the planet.

Incredibly, so determined was she that the terrible "mistake" of pregnancy should never happen again, that she begged the doctor who performed the abortion to sterilise her at the same time.

He refused, but Toni-- who works for an environmental charity-- relentlessly hunted down a doctor who would perform the irreversible surgery.

Finally, eight years ago, Toni got her way.

At the age of 27 this young woman at the height of her reproductive years was sterilised to "protect the planet".



Where to begin with this one?  First, obviously this woman has been sold a complete bill of goods and has traded her birthright for far less than a mess of pottage.  At least Esau got a good meal out of the deal.  And who in the world is she "saving" the planet for, if not for the little one she carved out of her womb and others like him?  Certainly only God knows the culpability of this person, but clearly she has some mental health issues or something far more serious to be so fixated on sterilization after the trauma of an abortion.  She needs prayers.  We need prayers.  This is absolute madness.

If all of us followed the lead of "eco-warriors" like her, in eighty years the planet would indeed be "saved" for lichen and fish, and pond scum, and wildebeest-- everything but man.  Brilliant.

How rightly Jesus foretold that the time would come when people would say "Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the paps that never gave suck."

Kyrie Eleison

23 November 2007

Colleen Campbell: Giving Thanks for the Next Generation

I am rarely disappointed when I read one of her columns.  On Thanksgiving Day, Colleen Campbell penned a gem:

More than 4 million American babies will celebrate their first Thanksgiving today.  As we stroke their cherubic cheeks and fuss over their tiny features, we may imagine that their births matter only to the families they join.  But in greying Western nations like ours, each new bundle of joy is also a sign of collective hope.

It was not always so.  Three decades ago, population control alarmists were warning us to stop our reckless breeding lest we overpopulate the planet.  Women pregnant with baby number three or four routinely endured scolding for squandering scarce resources on superfluous children.

Now demographers fret over a new problem:  the birth dearth that is afflicting industrialized nations, leading to labor shortages, declining tax revenue, underfunded government safety nets, pension shortfalls and fewer active adults to care for the burgeoning ranks of the elderly.  

Since 1972, the world's fertility rate has decreased by roughly 50 percent, from 5 births per woman to 2.6 today.  By 2050, the United Nations predicts, that rate will fall below 2.1, the number of births needed to replace ourselves.  In some 60 countries, births already fall below that threshold. 

America's fertility rate of 2.09 births per woman falls just short of replacement level.  Coupled with the impending retirement of 76 million baby boomers, it is cause for concern.  Yet our fertility rate outpaces that of such as nations as Turkey, Australia, Canada and Japan.  And it far surpasses the European Union's average of 1.5 births per woman-- an abysmal rate that has reduced officials in several European countries to offering couples cash payments for procreation.

The same trends that dampened birth rates abroad have affected America:  increased use of contraception and abortion, later and fewer marriages, more educational and career opportunities that convince women to defer or pass on motherhood and mass migration to cities where children are a financial liability rather than a financial bonus.  Immigration and teenage pregnancies contribute to higher birthrates here, but experts say those factors cannot fully explain America's greater fecundity.

Some demographic analysts have been considering another explanation for our fruitfulness:  our faith.  Studies show a strong connection between religious practice and larger families.  Religious Americans tend to have more children and express more approval of large families than their secular counterparts, and regions brimming with conservative churchgoers tend to boast more robust birth rates than those where more secular and liberal attitudes prevail.  This link between faith and fertility helps explain the gap between birth rates between religion-saturated America and those in more secular Europe.

Not all Americans find this explanation comforting.  In "The Empty Cradle", author Phillip Longman warns of a "fundamentalist future" in which America's pious progeny overruns the offspring of secular liberals.  But faith-based fecundity also can benefit even an intentionally childless secularist who explicitly rejects the child-friendly and religious views that drive it, since he can reap the rewards provided by more taxpaying citizens without making the sacrifices required to raise them.

Of course, the most valuable contributions of America's faith-based larger families are cultural and spiritual, not material.  Their existence is a rebuke to the hyper-individualism and materialism that have convinced many Westerners that children are more trouble than they are worth.  And the generosity of parents who welcome children, even when time and money are tight, is a poignant reminder that life's greatest joys are found in self-sacrifice, not self-gratification.

As Americans gather today to celebrate faith and family, we should give thanks for the many new faces around our nation's dinner tables and for the parents whose willingness to nurture the next generation is a gift to us all.

21 November 2007

Great KCC Post on the Stem Cell Breakthrough

I was going to post on this later today, but Wolftracker nails it here.
The only thing I would add is that the Post-Dispatch described this as a way to get the benefits of embryonic stem cells without the "ethical hitch" of "destroying embryos". So that's what murder is, is it? An ethical hitch. Oh.


Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Just wanted to thank God for all of His goodness to me--

  • the true faith, and such faithful shepherds in Rome and St. Louis

  • St. Francis de Sales Oratory and its wonderful priests

  • a wife and children that are too good for me

  • home, health and happiness

It's a start, anyway.

20 November 2007


St. Francis de Sales Oratory is having its annual Kirchweihfest this Sunday to mark the 99th Anniversary of the Church's dedication.  Solemn High Mass will be celebrated at 10 am by Monsignor R. Michael Schmitz, Vicar General of the Institute, and will also celebrate the 25th Anniversary of his priestly ordination.  

The Introit of the Mass for the Dedication of a Church has one of my favorite passages: 'Terribilis est locus iste: hic domus Dei est et porta coeli: et vocabitur aula Dei.'  Terrible is this place: it is the house of God and the gate of Heaven: and it shall be called the Court of God.

Adoration and Benediction will follow.  

Immediately afterwards, German dinner in the parish hall, catered by Two Mikes Catering. Information in the bulletin (see page 7).

As both Msgr. Schmitz and our Rector, Fr. Lenhardt (pictured above), are Germans, hopefully we can rely upon their innate good taste to decide the winner of the apple strudel contest. For some reason, I was not invited to be a judge, and thus will have to content myself with just one dessert.  Rank has its privileges, I suppose.

¿Es este Cielo? No, es Iowa.

From the Des Moines Register, this tidbit:

Proposal seeks banning immigrant raids in D.M.
By NIGEL DUARA • Register Staff Writer • November 19, 2007

A proposal to prohibit local law enforcement officials from conducting raids on illegal immigrants in Des Moines was presented to at least one City Council member recently.

Councilwoman Christine Hensley said Sunday that she spoke about six weeks ago with representatives of two immigration-rights groups that presented a plan that would block local city departments - including the police - from conducting raids on immigrants or inquiring about a person's immigration status.

Aspects of the proposal, brought up Sunday at an immigration forum, are similar to a national trend of "sanctuary cities."

"They're looking at ordinances that have been passed in other parts of the country that would address that ," Hensley said. "It's really important to emphasize it's in the very, very beginning stages of discussion."

Hensley said the impetus for the ordinance is illegal immigrants who fear raids and do not come to work, incurring costs on their employers.

"What I suggested to them is there has to be a lot of discussion about it and whether or not there's really a problem," she said.

Details on the plan and its chances of becoming an ordinance are unknown.

Alex Orozco, executive director of the Iowa-based Network Against Human Trafficking who is one of the people who met with Hensley, said Sunday he is trying to set up a meeting with Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie before the end of the year.

Orozco would not name the other immigration-rights group involved in the proposal.

Orozco declined to elaborate on specifics of the proposal except to say that "the ordinance would make it harder to conduct raids" and "all the city departments would be involved."

Hensley said she didn't have more details about the plan.

Councilmen Tom Vlassis, Bob Mahaffey and Michael Kiernan each said they had not heard of the plan.

Cownie, Councilmen Brian Meyer and Chris Coleman could not be reached for comment.

Orozco said media coverage of the plan while it is still in the preliminary stages would hurt its chances of passage. "We don't want anybody with hard feelings about this issue to get mad when we haven't even finalized it," he said.

Orozco had made a reference to the proposal earlier Sunday at an immigration forum at Plymouth Congregational Church in Des Moines.

Even without all the details, some aspects of the proposal appear to mimic a nationwide trend: so-called "sanctuary cities" that direct local police not to look for violations of immigration law.

The term "sanctuary city" has come under scrutiny, said Tim Counts, a spokesman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, adding that there is no legal definition.

Counts said that as far as he knew, any city ordinance would not interfere with federal agents conducting raids.

Nearly 70 cities, counties, and states have enacted sanctuary policies, according to a preliminary count by the National Immigration Law Center, but the Congressional Research Service in 2006 put the number at 32 cities and counties, according to a Sept. 25 article in the Christian Science Monitor.

A major raid in Iowa came last Dec. 12 when immigration agents swept through Swift & Co. meatpacking plants in Marshalltown and five other cities nationwide, arresting about 1,200 workers - one-tenth of Swift's work force - on immigration or identity-theft charges.

The raids prompted a September federal civil-rights lawsuit filed in Texas against both the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement by some of the workers detained.

In August 2000, Des Moines police detained 49 illegal immigrants in a raid on a south-side bar that they said was the result of a six-week police investigation of drugs allegedly being sold at the establishment.

Germany's Effort to Rival Great Britain as Least Free Society

From World Net Daily:


Court: Homeschooling is 'child endangerment' Gives 2 kids to government, castigates social workers for letting family flee

Posted: November 17, 20071:00 a.m. Eastern
© 2007 WorldNetDaily.com

A court decision that categorized homeschooling as "child welfare endangerment" has assigned custody of two children to the government and criticized a social services agency for allowing a family to flee Germany, where homeschooling remains illegal.

The decision from the Federal High Court in Karlsruhe, Germany's highest court, was reported by the German edition of Agence France-Presse, as well as Netwerk Bildungsfreiheit, an organization that advocates for homeschoolers against the repression in Germany.

The report did not directly identify the family involved, but described the case of two children from a homeschooling family from Paderborn.

The court found the city and its social services agencies were "obviously unsuited" to the task of enforcing mandatory public school attendance and rather than protecting against "child welfare endangerment," the city allowed the family to move to Austria where the two children now are being educated by an "uncertified" mother.

Full Story here.

19 November 2007

Another New ICRSP Apostolate-- This Time in Milwaukee

With thanks to the reader who tipped me to this, from the Institute's website:

The Most Reverend Timothy M. Dolan, Archbishop of Milwaukee, has graciously invited the Institute of Christ the King to serve the Latin Mass Apostolate in his Archdiocese.  Priests of the Institute will be offering Sunday Mass at St. Stanislaus Church starting in Advent.  Many thanks to His Grace, as well as to the Franciscan Fathers at St. Stanislaus.

Great news!

Saint Louis Catholic of the Year 2007

My last post covered Deal Hudson's article about whether the U.S. Bishops were "punishing" Archbishop Burke for his outspoken defense of the Church's teaching on abortion and the necessary denial of Holy Communion to "Catholic" politicians who obstinately support the killing of the unborn.

Now, I have served on many Church committees, and I can say that the real punishment might have been to actually be elected. But no matter.

To ease the Archbishop's pain, I thought that I would announce that the Saint Louis Catholic Blog has selected him, The Most Reverend Raymond Leo Burke, Archbishop of Saint Louis, to receive the prestigious title of "Saint Louis Catholic of the Year" for 2007.

It is a little early to make the announcement, but really, who else could it be? After the year he's had, the Archbishop certainly deserves the prize. A brief recap:

  • He resigned from the Cardinal Glennon Board to protest their unholy alliance with Sheryl Crow
  • His Board of Catholic Education pressured St. Joseph's Academy to disinvite pro-abortion commencement speaker Claire McCaskill
  • He allowed the celebration in the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis of the first Traditional Latin Masses in over 35 years, including the glorious traditional ordinations for the Institute of Christ the King, Sovereign Priest (and all before the Motu Proprio was published)
  • He published a series of columns on the Apostolic Exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis
  • He appointed Fr. Lenhardt of the ICRSP to oversee the faithful implementation of Summorum Pontificum in the Archdiocese, and also directed that the Seminary teach the Extraordinary Form as part of its regular formation of priests
  • He acted to enforce the restrictive covenant in the Ivory Theatre/St. Boniface case
  • He acted to address the inadequacies and heterodox elements of the Barat Academy theology curriculum
  • He published an important article in the Periodica de Re Canonica affirming that canon law mandates the refusal of Holy Communion to pro-abortion politicians
  • He defended Catholic doctrine and acted strongly to impose penalties during the schismatic, "womenpriest" pretend ordinations

All in all, not a bad year-- and there are still six weeks to go.

Congratulations, Your Grace!

P.S. There is no truth to the rumor that J.C. Corcoran was the runner-up. But he is neck-and-neck with Bob Costas for last place.

InsideCatholic.com Headline: Did the Bishops Punish Archbishop Burke?

Deal Hudson opines about this question in an article dealing with the recent election for the Chairmanship of the Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance:

Did the Bishops Punish Archbishop Burke?
by Deal W. Hudson

Perhaps it should come as no surprise that Archbishop Raymond Burke (St. Louis) lost an election at the annual meeting of the U.S. bishops last week.

Over the past three years, Burke has assumed the mantle of the late Cardinal John O'Connor in pro-life matters, challenging fellow bishops to take stronger stances in the defense of innocent life.

Nominated as chairman for the Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance, 60 percent of his fellow bishops preferred his opponent. As bishops' conference expert Rev. Thomas Reese noted in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, an auxiliary bishop defeating an archbishop for a conference chairmanship is "very unusual."

Archbishop Burke's credentials as a canonist are widely recognized. In fact, he missed the bishops' meeting because he was in Rome as a member of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signature, the Vatican's highest judicial authority.

Burke has been a controversial figure since early 2004 when, as bishop of La Crosse, WI, he began to challenge pro-abortion Catholic politicians publicly on their reception of the Eucharist.

Shortly after moving to St. Louis as archbishop, Burke said he would deny Communion to Sen. John Kerry if he presented himself. Although his position has been backed up by 13 other bishops, Archbishop Burke was clearly straining the boundaries of "collegiality."

Father Reese, former editor of America magazine, says the bishops were sending a message: "Most of the bishops don't want communion and Catholic politicians to be a high-profile issue, and he [Burke] is seen as a man who's pushing that issue. . . . Had he been elected, it could have been interpreted as endorsing his position."

Archbishop Elden Curtiss (Omaha), Archbishop Sean O'Malley (Boston), and Cardinal Francis George (Chicago) went on the record denying that there was any message being sent by the bishops to Burke. And supporters of Archbishop Burke have no reason to regret the selection of Bishop Thomas Paprocki, the Chicago auxiliary, whose reputation and credentials are similar to that of Burke's.

The question still in the air after the bishops' meeting, however, is whether Burke is being punished for not backing down after the controversy surrounding him during the 2004 election.

In response to the Kerry and Communion controversy, the bishops formed a task force, headed by Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, to study the issue and present a report. That report, "Catholics in Political Life," differed sharply with Burke, finding that each bishop could decide for himself in such cases.

Archbishop Burke did not back down. Early this year, he published an article on Canon 915 in Italian law journal Periodica de Re Canonica arguing that the McCarrick report was incorrect.

Burke said that a bishop's interpretation of what to do in the face of a pro-abortion Catholic politician "would hardly seem to change from place to place." For Burke, enforcing discipline must go hand-in-hand with teaching:

No matter how often a bishop or priest repeats the teaching of the Church regarding procured abortion, if he stands by and does nothing to discipline a Catholic who publicly supports legislation permitting the gravest of injustices, and at the same time, presents himself to receive Holy Communion, then his teaching rings hollow.

He gave the names of bishops with whom he disagreed: Cardinal McCarrick, Cardinal Roger Mahony (Los Angeles), and Archbishop Donald Wuerl Washington, DC. Just as it's very unusual for an archbishop to be defeated by an auxiliary bishop in an election, it's just as unheard of for a bishop to take issue with another bishop by name.

In his article, however, Burke spread the net even wider. He argued that any Catholic who administers Communion -- even a lay person -- is required to withhold it from Catholic politicians who know they hold positions contrary to Church teaching.

Burke has said publicly that he will not stop addressing this issue. In an interview with Catholic News Service shortly after the 2004 election, he said:

It's funny because some people now characterize me as a fundamentalist, or an extremist . . . . But these are questions that are at the very foundation of the life of our country. We just simply have to continue to address them.

The archbishop of St. Louis has been true to his word. His article on Canon law formalized his objection to McCarrick's report.

If Father Reese is right, the bishops are distancing themselves from a fellow bishop who kept controversy in the air, a controversy most of them would rather see go away.

The bishops' own document from last week, "Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship," was a powerful indictment of Catholics who participate politically without demanding an end to abortion. Archbishop Burke, though he was not at the meeting, and though he will not chair the canonical affairs committee, must be given some credit for the strength of the bishops' corporate voice in this statement.

Deal W. Hudson is the director of www.InsideCatholic.com and the Morley Institute for Church and Culture.
It seems hard for Fr. Reese to contain his glee. As for the Archbishop, I can only imagine he cares less about whether the USCCB punishes him for standing for the truth than whether God will punish him for keeping silent.

Please continue to keep him in your prayers.

18 November 2007

As a Father, I Can Relate...

...to the emotions that the fathers of Marthe Guillier and Marie Lamoliatte must have been experiencing when these photos were taken.  In October, these young women received their habits as novices of the Sister Adorers of the Royal Heart of Jesus Christ, Sovereign Priest in Gricigliano, Italy.  

The Sisters are a non-cloistered, contemplative community.  They assist the Institute of Christ the King in Gricigliano, and when their numbers have grown a little larger, they intend to establish convents in the cities where the Institute's apostolates are located.

The Sisters' international site now has photos of the occasion.  

After receiving their habit, they look a little different, but beautiful all the same.  Please remember these sisters in your prayers.

Can't They See They're in Love?

Future running mates Clinton and Obama share an intimate moment.

17 November 2007

Too Late to Get While the Getting was Good?

In Friday's edition of the St. Louis Review, the Archbishop published a decree that may seem to be obscure or inconsequential, but which I believe is, in addition to the general application for the future, particularly relevant in the current case of the pretend women priests.

The Archbishop has, by particular legislation, reinstituted the process of allowing the publication of judicial acts by decree, according to the 1917 Code of Canon Law.  From the text of the decree (I have no electronic link to this, it appeared in the print edition only):

"Pursuant to cann. 1509, s. 1, and 1720, 1, of the Code of Canon Law, I hereby decree and declare, by this particular legislation, that the traditional method of edictal citation is now, and in the future, a valid, legitimate, and lawful means for the notification of all citations, decrees, sentences and other judicial acts in any judicial or non-judicial process, however, only under the same conditions, and whenever permitted, as prescribed by can. 1720, s.1-2 of the Pio-Benedictine Code of Canon Law."

Canon 1720 of the Pio-Benedictine Code (1917) states:

1/ Whenever, despite diligent inquiry, the whereabouts of the respondent remains unknown, citation by edict is in order.

2/ This shall be done by affixing to the entrance of the Curia the document of citation by the courier in a manner to be determined by the edict and a time set by the prudent decision of the judge, and it will also be inserted in some public periodical (my note:  St. Louis Review); but if neither of these ways can be done, some other way suffices.

Now, because the new Code of Canon Law, promulgated in 1983, supersedes the old code, how is it possible for the Archbishop to do this? He cites Canon 1509. 

Canon 1509 (1983 Code) states, with regard to the citation and notification of judicial acts:

"The notification of citations, decrees, citations and other judicial acts must be made through the public postal services or by some other very secure method according to the norms established in particular law."

Therefore, though the 1983 Code states that the ordinary form of notice is by public postal services, it also provides that the Ordinary can by particular law establish some other way.  Hence, the decree posted in the Review.  For good measure, the Archbishop has reinstituted the offices of the cursor and the apparitor, as persons able to post necessary edictal citations.

Finally, in so acting, the Archbishop also makes specific reference to Canon 1720 (1983 Code), which states:

If the ordinary thinks the matter must proceed by way of extrajudicial decree:

1/ he is to inform the accused of the accusation and the proofs, giving an opportunity for self-defense, unless the accused neglected to appear after being properly summoned;

2/ he is to weigh carefully all the proofs and arguments with two assessors;

3/ if the delict is certainly established and a criminal action is not extinguished, he is to issue a decree according to the norm of cann. 1342-1350, (I provide the link here for reference, but in short it refers to the ability of an ordinary to issue certain penalties and remedies, and that such can be done by extrajudicial decree; if you read these canons you will see some of the reasons why the Archbishop, as reported in the secular press, at any rate, has issued certain warnings and summonses, etc.) setting forth the reasons in law and in fact at least briefly.

Now, I ask and speculate, what is the meaning of all this? 

One hypothesis:  let's say that some fine ladies decide they want to pretend to be ordained priests by a simulated ordination in the territory of the Archdiocese of Saint Louis (o.k., I know this would never happen here, but work with me).  Let's say these ladies get a pretend woman bishop schismatic to do this little ceremony in some place in town-- like a synagogue.

Like all good schismatics, they revel in the attention and adulation they receive in certain quarters for defying the local ordinary.  

Let's further suppose (keeping in mind canons 1342-1350, and 1720) that the ordinary warns them not to do this, and informs them of certain consequences that automatically follow, and of consequences in addition to these that will follow by edict.  They go through with it anyway. 

Automatic consequences occur.

Let's further assume that the ordinary issues summonses to them to appear before him to answer certain charges and provide for whatever defense they may have.  Still reveling in disobedience, the women foolishly admit to the local press that they have received this summons and intend to defy it.  They reveal portions of the text.

Now, let's further assume that in the afterglow, with the pretend bishop having already skipped town, the pretend women priests begin to be conflicted, and don't necessarily want to appear before the ordinary as required by the summons.  Let's say they, too, want to make themselves scarce.  Under this assumption, their mail might not be deliverable anymore.  Why?  Maybe because they don't want to receive the required notice of penalties coming their way.  Maybe they hope by this artifice to escape excommunication, or at least to provide a means of convincing others that they haven't been excommunicated.

By the Archbishop's decree, that door is shut.

"Though they go down even to hell, thence shall my hand bring them out: and though they climb up to heaven, thence will I bring them down."
Amos 9: 2