31 January 2008

Colleen Campbell on Archbishop Burke

Outstanding piece, as usual, by Colleen Campbell, taking the historical view of our beloved Archbishop:

Will history reward Burke for his trouble?


When Archbishop Raymond Burke publicly rebuked Saint Louis University basketball coach and pro-choice Catholic Rick Majerus last week, he must have known what was coming.

The outspoken defender of Catholic teachings against abortion and embryonic stem-cell research has been at it long enough to know the drill: First come the screaming headlines, then the breathless pundit pile-on, followed by the relentless rehashing of past conflicts and finally the tidal wave of anti-clerical online tirades. Meanwhile, the Catholic he admonished becomes a media darling and his plea for support from a fellow Catholic leader — in this case, Saint Louis University President Father Lawrence Biondi — is met with stony public silence.

Watching the scenario unfold, one can't help but wonder: Why does Burke bother?

He has Catholic teaching about abortion on his side, of course. The church always has considered the intentional destruction of innocent human life through abortion to be a grave moral evil. The church regards embryo-destructive research and euthanasia the same way. Catholic teaching holds that Catholics cannot support these things and remain in good standing with their church.

But as Burke's critics frequently note, plenty of Catholic bishops parrot this teaching without provoking such ire. They don't make headlines. They don't take on popular politicians or sports figures. And they certainly don't dwell on that sticky church law that forbids Catholics from receiving Communion if they obstinately persist in serious sin.

To do so would be public relations suicide. Every bishop knows it.

Yet Burke and a handful of his peers — including Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver and Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix, among others — not only proclaim Catholic doctrine but also apply it to Catholics in their midst. Concerned that decades of cultural accommodation have left American Catholics indifferent to the 1.3 million unborn children aborted each year, these bishops prefer the mortification of a media circus to the queasy calm of ignoring injustice.

Their critics say they are unreasonable and out of touch. But history may say otherwise.

Not so long ago, U.S. Catholic bishops saw another group of people treated as disposable property. Although a paper trail of papal decrees condemning the slave trade stretches back to the early 1400s, most American Catholic bishops sat out the pre-Civil War abolition debate. Historians say they feared proclaiming the fullness of Catholic teaching on the subject, lest they jeopardize their precarious position in America and anger Catholics who supported slavery.


Throughout our history, America's story has been one of an expanding circle of concern embracing human beings once dismissed as unworthy of protection. Given that trajectory, it is reasonable to believe that the struggle to guarantee protection for unborn human lives someday may join the abolitionist and civil-rights efforts as defining movements in our history. If and when that day comes, it will be leaders such as Burke, not their accommodationist critics, upon whom history will smile.

I Simply Cannot Believe this Guy

Thank you (?) Wolftracker at Kansas City Catholic for forwarding this to me. How can this priest possibly show his head in public with stuff like this? Follow the links for added nausea.

From the Call to Action newsletter:

Fr. Marek Bozek of St. Stanislaus Parish attended the ordination of two women in November with the Roman Catholic Womenpriest movement, along with 600 other Catholic laity, clergy and women religious of St. Louis.

Now Archbishop Burke has called Fr. Bozek to a disciplinary hearing for his support of women's ordination. Fr. Bozek is asking you to pray for the Archbishop and him as they meet on Tuesday, February 5th at 9:00 a.m. Your prayer will join those of the crowd of supporters that will gather in the courtyard at the Archdiocesan Office in St. Louis at that time.

Fr. Bozek wrote in a letter to CTA, "Many have asked me why did I attend that ordination ceremony.... I only have one answer: I could not tolerate the abuse of my sisters any longer. I could not remain indifferent to the injustice being done to all those women graced by God with the priestly vocation."

Support this priest of courage with your prayers and stay tuned for further updates.

Grateful for your support,

Call To Action Staff

Learn more about the
JustChurch Campaign in St. Louis.
Be inspired by his radio interview.Read his story in his own words.
Visit our website www.cta-usa.org

The large highlighted paragraph above, if correctly quoted by Call to Action (in itself a major feat), is the nail in the coffin for anyone with the temerity to take Bozek's part in the matter before the Archbishop. He should be ashamed of himself, but like the other dissenter/martyrs, seems not to understand the concept.

Conscience, if repeatedly abused and starved, can be destroyed.

30 January 2008

Links to Brennan Interview with Excommunicated Priest

If you can stand to listen to Fr. Bozek spread his misinformation, and have the low blood pressure necessary to remain upright while listening to the ignorance of some of the callers, here is the link to a two part audio file of the Charlie Brennan interview on KMOX today.

More Irrefutable Logic from TownTalk

From my favorite reader comes the latest example of anti-Archbishop logic from the good readers of the Suburban Journals in Town Talk:

Town Talk had another ridiculous letter in it today. It was so funny, from a Catholic perspective at least,that I had to pass it along to you. This is the complete letter:

"Step down from the soap box

'I THINK SOMEONE has to tell Burke he is just a regular layman like the rest of us and nobody died and made him Christ or God. Get off the soap box.'"

Your 10-year-old and 13-year-old laughed hysterically at this letter and pointed out all the blatant inaccuracies. Hooray for homeschooling! :)

Actually, I never thought of that before. Now I've changed my mind...


hu·bris hyubrɪs, ˈhu-/ [hyoo-bris, hoo-]

excessive pride or self-confidence; arrogance.

Fr. Bozek was on KMOX today promoting the cause of schism. He will say, and did say, anything to curry favor with the ignorant inside and outside of the media. He downplayed the differences between Catholics, Lutherans, Presbyterians, etc., and said it didn't really matter that Catholics had the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. He played the martyr, as usual. He and many of the callers in support of his schismatic activities cling to the canard that the Archbishop wants to close the church and take their money. He asked people to come and support him "in prayer" at the Catholic Center on Tuesday. Bleahhh.

Opportunity for the Holy Father to Further Advance His Restoration of Tradition

From CNS:

Up to 22 U.S. bishops could retire for age reasons in 2008

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- With the Jan. 24 retirement of 77-year-old Bishop John J. Leibrecht of Springfield-Cape Girardeau, Mo., up to 22 U.S. bishops, including four cardinals, could retire because of age this year. There are 14 active U.S. bishops, including four cardinals, who have already turned 75. Seven more will celebrate their 75th birthday in 2008. At age 75 bishops are requested to submit their resignation to the pope. Cardinal Adam J. Maida of Detroit turned 75 March 18, 2005. Cardinal Bernard F. Law, archpriest of St. Mary Major Basilica in Rome and a cardinal since 1985, turned 75 Nov. 4, 2006. Cardinal Edward M. Egan of New York, whose 75th birthday was April 2, 2007, also celebrated 50 years as a priest last year. Cardinal F. James Stafford, a Baltimore native who marked his 75th birthday July 26, 2007, has been the Vatican's major penitentiary since 2003. Pope John Paul II often asked cardinals to stay on the job after they reached the age of 75. Pope Benedict XVI has given no indication that he will change that practice. Even when a cardinal retires in his 70s, he remains an active member of the College of Cardinals, eligible to enter a conclave and vote for a new pope, until age 80.

News from Missourians Against Human Cloning

From an email by Jaci Winship of the MAHC organization:

Human Cloning Is Now a Reality

Earlier this month, it appears that researchers in California “successfully” cloned human embryos that developed to the blastocyst stage before destroying them. Below are excerpts from the New York Times article, “Cloning Said to Yield Human Embryos” by Andrew Pollack (pub. 1/18/2008)

“Scientists at the company, Stemagen, which is based in San Diego, said Thursday that they were the first to use human adult cells to create cloned embryos that advanced to the stage known as a blastocyst, from which embryonic stem cells typically are extracted…

It is not clear whether the embryos would have been viable if implanted into a womb. Stemagen did not test whether the embryos had the correct number of chromosomes. But Dr. Wood, who also is a fertility doctor, said, ’We’ve seen reproductive blastocysts that look like this or worse and they implant.’”

I know many hoped this extremely dubious scientific achievement would prove impossible but we must face the reality of a world where human cloning is possible. Now more than ever, we need to stop this unethical research and ensure our tax money does not fund human cloning experiments in Missouri.

Important Volunteer Opportunity

As all of you are aware, Missourians will head to the polls a week from today and cast their ballots in the highly contested Presidential primary.

First, I want to urge each of you to vote on February 5th and encourage your friends and family to vote as well. This is a privilege and a responsibility all too few of us exercise. It is estimated that less than 20% of Missouri registered voters will cast a ballot next Tuesday.

Clearly, those who DO vote Tuesday are people we want to reach with our message. We are organizing volunteers to distribute information cards to voters exiting the polls in various areas of our state.

Please click here to help share the truth about human cloning in Missouri on February 5th. A couple hours of your time can really make a difference!

Legal Challenge Update

There are two important events looming on the horizon. The first is a hearing regarding the Cures without Cloning ballot summary scheduled for this Thursday, January 31 at 1:30pm. Any issues not resolved on the 31st, will be taken up at the February 20th trial. We have a strong case and are confident the judge will provide us with a fair and accurate ballot summary. Please look for more information following these important dates.

29 January 2008

Luke 21:19

In patientia vestra possidebitis animas vestras.

Catholic Homeschool Conference at the Cardinal Rigali Center on March 15

Danielle Bean will be the featured speaker at this year's homeschool conference, sponsored by the St. Louis Catholic Homeschool Association.  This conference is a great resource for homeschoolers and those considering taking the plunge.  The presentations are well done, and there are a wide variety of vendors to help plan and supply one's curriculum.

From the SLCHA website:

Danielle Bean, mother of eight, is senior editor of Faith & Family magazine and author of My Cup of Tea: Musings of a Catholic Mom (Pauline 2005) and Mom to Mom, Day to Day: Advice and Support for Catholic Living(Pauline 2007). Her blog is a source of inspiration, encouragement, and support for Catholic women of all ages and life stages. Danielle is available as a speaker on a variety of subjects related to Catholic family life, homeschooling, marriage, and motherhood. It is in her primary vocation to marriage and motherhood that Danielle finds the inspiration for all of her work.

Story about "Possible Reconciliation" of Fr. Bozek--Updated 01/30/08

But don't get too excited. The story is about Fr. Bozek's plan to offer a compromise to His Grace at the "meeting" on Tuesday. Based on past history, it may be too much to hope that the reconciliation involves a public apology and public penance, leading to the proper administration of the parish by the Archdiocese.

The Springfield News-Leader has the article:

Priest, archbishop to meet about possible reconciliation

Linda Leicht News-Leader staff

A priest who has been in a two-year battle with the Catholic Church in Missouri will finally meet with the state’s archbishop next week.

The Rev. Marek Bozek will meet with Archbishop Raymond Burke on Tuesday morning when he will make an offer of reconciliation that he hopes will end a dispute over his status as a priest and the status of the parish he serves.

Bozek, who walked away from his position in the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau two years ago to serve the St. Stanislaus Kostka parish in St. Louis, recently received a letter from Burke who said he had started the process of stripping the Polish-born priest of his clerical status. Shortly after Bozek stepped in as pastor of St. Stanislaus, Burke informed the priest and members of the church board that they had been automatically excommunicated for schism. That action has been appealed to the Vatican.

St. Stanislaus has fought with the archdiocese over control of its assets for years. After Burke withdrew pastoral support at the church, the board asked Bozek to come on as pastor. When Bozek accepted the position he did so in defiance of orders from his own bishop, John Leibrecht, and Burke. Bozek also participated in an ordination ceremony of two Catholic women as priests last year. The Roman Catholic Church does not allow women to serve as clergy.

Bozek said he is scheduled to meet with Burke at 9 a.m., and he has asked supporters in St. Louis to stand outside the archdiocesan headquarters to pray during the meeting. He said he will arrive at about 8:50 a.m. to pray with his supporters before going in for the meeting.

Bozek would not reveal what he will say to the archbishop, but said he would “make an offer ... of reconciliation to both parties.” Following the appointment, he said, he will discuss the results of the meeting and the offer.


Update: the News-Leader has added somewhat to the story above, including a megalomanical quote from Bozek.

In an e-mail to supporters, Bozek wrote: "It will give me strength of spirit to know that you are praying for me right there, just outside the windows, while I face my accusers."

Bozek hopes his situation will encourage Catholics who disagree with the positions of church leadership to speak up.

He said he knows his stance makes him appear to defy church leadership, but he remains resolute.

He said his parish, which has grown from about 120 members to 500 families since he arrived, continues to support him. One parish member recently reassured him by reminding him of the biblical story of David and Goliath, Bozek said.

"We all know how that turned out."
This is an example of Bozek trying to frame the "meeting" as an olive branch by him, so that when he fails to respond to the opportunity the Archbishop is giving him to repent and to submit to legitimate authority, he can trumpet to the media that the "bully" wouldn't listen to reason.

You will recall that his email sounded the ominous note that it would be "imprudent" for the Archbishop to reject his compromise-to-come.

The protest and media circus outside will be his modern-day opportunity to post his 0.95 theses-- if he has that many to offer. There seems to be something fishy about the whole thing.

I hope I am wrong.

Springfield News Leader Article on Bishop-elect Johnston

Via AMDG, the article can be found here. It is a nice, intro piece on the Bishop, and one can read the whole article at the link. It appears that those who desire a full and faithful implementation of Summorum Pontificum have reason to be hopeful.

But what struck me was a particular quote from a leader in the odious SNAP organization in Tennessee, who doesn't care for Johnston:

"He hides behind the letter of the law to keep from being compassionate," she said.

Doesn't that sound all too familiar? I take it as a sign of good things to come in Springfield-Cape Girardeau.

Prayer to Christ the King

O Christ Jesus, I acknowledge Thee to be the King of the universe: all that has been made is created for Thee. Exercise over me all Thy sovereign rights. I hereby renew the promises of my Baptism, renouncing Satan and all his works and pomps, and I engage myself to lead henceforth a truly Christian life. And in an especial manner do I undertake to bring about the triumph of the rights of God and Thy Church, so far as in me lies. Divine Heart of Jesus, I offer Thee my poor actions to obtain the acknowledgment by every heart of Thy sacred Kingly power. In such wise may the kingdom of Thy peace be firmly established throughout all the earth. Amen.

Feast of St. Francis de Sales, Doctor of Charity

Today is the feast day of the great St. Francis de Sales, model of the faithful Bishop and Doctor of the Church. We should pray to him to bless and protect our Archbishop and our Archdiocese. If you haven't read any of his writings, today would be a good day to start. Introduction to the Devout Life is geared to the layperson, and a good place to begin.

Saint Francis de Sales, pray for us.

Missouri Bishops Issue Statement on State Immigration Policy

From the Bishop's press release at the MCC website:

January 28, 2008, JEFFERSON CITY, MO – The Missouri Catholic bishops issued a statement today delivered to Governor Matt Blunt and state legislators calling for an end to rhetoric in which political candidates vie to see who can be tougher on illegal immigrants. The statement urges a more positive discussion of immigrant-related concerns and how our state might best address these issues.

In the statement the bishops recall the Gospel story in which a lawyer asked Jesus “Who is my neighbor?” In response Jesus told the parable of the Good Samaritan, who recognized the neighbor in distress while others ignored him. Even those lacking legal status in our country merit our compassionate response, according to the bishops.

While respecting national sovereignty, the bishops stated “that each person has a basic human right to migrate when faced with circumstances such as persecution, drought, famine or pervasive poverty.” Poverty in Mexico and Central America is so severe, the bishops note, that many people live on one dollar a day or less. Immigrants who cannot support themselves or their families in their home countries often come to find work and to send money back home to their families. The bishops asked “Would we, in their shoes, not do the same?”

The bishops express concern that pending legislation could hinder humanitarian assistance offered by the Catholic Church and other churches to immigrants. Several pending bills would require social services agencies operated by churches but receiving government funds to screen all of their clients to ensure only those with legal status are served by the agency. Such restrictions would work a tremendous hardship on church social services agencies, which generally serve all applicants for assistance from either other government or other sources of funds.

Other bills propose to penalize businesses that unknowingly hire illegal immigrants. There are also bills that direct local law enforcement to enforce national immigration policies as part of their duties. The bishops indicate that this may discourage immigrants from reporting crimes thereby undermining public safety for all.

Several bills require officials at Missouri’s public colleges and universities to certify to legislative appropriations committees that they have not knowingly admitted students unlawfully present in the country. Instead of penalizing these students, the bishops urge that they be allowed to attend Missouri’s public colleges and universities while they seek to obtain permanent legal status. The bishops note that these children have been brought into the country by their parents and the state should not turn its back on them because they lack legal status through no fault of their own.

The bishops call on public officials to consider scriptural values, including openness to immigrants and newcomers to the country, in seeking to further the common good of all people.

To view the bishops statement click here. (PDF File)

28 January 2008

Local Schism Roundup

One of the many strategies in St. Stanislaus Kostka's media case against Archbishop Burke is that the former parish is a traditional Polish Catholic parish and that the Archbishop's beef is purely mercenary. Can anybody tell me where in the rubrics for the Mass-- in any language-- there is a call for the priest to wear a witch hat? No word on whether Fr. Bozek will be wearing this for his prescheduled "impromptu" press conference next Tuesday after the Archbishop gives him yet another opportunity to repent.

And just what is the significance of the rainbow stole worn above by Fr. Bozek and the woman next to him? (The photos above are accessible through the St. Stanislaus website).

On another front, I had decided to refrain from postings concerning St. Cronan's unless there was something newsworthy. Well, it didn't take long to find something newsworthy.

Interestingly enough, on the eve of their pastor, Fr. Kleba, having to appear at the chancery for issues relating to the Rabbi Talve/womenpriest advent function last month, the parish has seen fit to post an advertisement for a rescheduled lecture by Peter Phan. Phan, you will recall, is a theologian whose writings have been called into question by the Holy See. Aquinas Institute cancelled a previously scheduled appearance of this person after consultation with the Archdiocese. Yet being too heterodox for Aquinas Institute is not enough for St. Cronan's. If the Archbishop doesn't like him, well then they will surely advance his cause.

The constant argument by St. Cronan's supporters that they really live the Gospel and are being unfairly singled out is belied by this action. There is no reason for them to advertise for Phan in light of the disapproval of his writings by Rome and the consultative decision by Aquinas to deschedule him. Anything is permissible for these self-described Catholics as long as they can show disdain for the Archbishop. By the way, if you click on Phan's picture on the St. Cronan's website, it takes you to the parish's favorite prayer by the Buddha.

It is this kind of thing that ought to wake up those (few?) (many?) parishioners at St. Cronan's who disagree with this nonsense that their parish leadership is bringing the entire parish into disgrace and disrepute. Time for them to speak up. Their "pastoral team" faces possible discipline under Canon law. When will someone there call for a change of direction? Maybe, a change of direction to Catholicism. Who knows? They have a parish assembly scheduled this Saturday.

The Archbishop is acting rightly to exercise his authority to look into the actions of those self-identified Catholics who have been in the news in the past two months. He is exercising pastoral care of souls. Thank God for his courage in so doing. But is sure seems that these people are begging for attention.

27 January 2008

Excommunicated Fr. Bozek to Appear at Chancery: Calls for Protesters to Appear, Too

Found at a dissenter site, Fr. Bozek, the unrepentant and excommunicated "pastor" of the former St. Stanislaus Parish, sent an email to his parishioners and "friends" in the dissenting world relating his appearance at the Catholic Center, 4445 Lindell Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63108, on February 5, 2008 at 9 am.

Sent: Friday, January 25, 2008 5:21 PM

Subject: my hearing at the Archdiocesan Court

Dear Parishioners and Friends,

As you may know by now, I have been invited by the Most Reverend Archbishop Raymond Burke to appear at the hearing and canonical admonition at the Archdiocesan Court located at the Catholic Center ( 4445 Lindell Boulevard in St. Louis , MO ). After offering two different dates, our Archbishop has decided finally on Tuesday, February 5, 2008 at 9:00 o’clock a.m. I intend to be present at this hearing, which will initiate all kinds of judicial penal processes in regard to my person as a Roman Catholic priest. I admit that I approach this date with respect and trepidation, feeling sometimes like a young and ill-prepared David who is about to face giant and powerful Goliath and all his armies.

Believing in the power of prayer, I call upon all my Friends and Supporters to come and pray the Holy Rosary at the front of the above mentioned Catholic Center on 4445 Lindell Boulevard in St. Louis , MO on Tuesday, February 5, 2008 at 8:50 a.m. I will say a short prayer with all gathered and then proceed to the meeting with the Archbishop and his lawyers. It will give me strength of spirit to know that you are praying for me right there, just outside the windows, while I face my accusers. During this meeting I will present Archbishop Burke with yet another offer of reconciliation, an offer that he would be very imprudent to reject. Once the meeting is over I will share with you the details of my offer and will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

I realize that the hearing is scheduled on a weekday, when many of you are working, trying to provide for you and your loved ones. This is why I am mindful of what a big favor I ask of you. However, I believe it is the time when we all need to stand brave and expressed our strong disapproval of the abusive actions of many in the Roman Catholic hierarchy. Far too long we have been indifferent to the crisis and abuse of power in our beloved Church, The time has come to stand for what we believe is right and just.

I remain truly yours: pastor, friend and a companion on a spiritual journey.

Marek Bozek

Just who are Fr. Bozek's "friends" and "companions on a spiritual journey"?  Well, the same site posts a response by a leader of the so-called "Voice of the Faithful":

Dear Reverend Bozek,

Although many will be unable to be physically present with you in St. Louis on February 5th, please be assured that you will be in the prayers of many Catholics who support your actions protecting the parish and parishioners of St. Stanislaus. Your courage is an example for each of us to follow. It’s a disgrace that your actions could lead to consequences for your personal well being, your future and the potential of being denied the vocation that you have so bravely and selflessly pursued. The actions of archbishop Burke and the possible actions of the clerics in Rome remind me of a period during the 1950’s when then Cardinal Minzenty (spelling) was being attacked and ultimately jailed by the communists for his devotion to his Church, his faith and his vocation. The memories of that event jolts a passion within me that is not pleasant. It’s inconceivable that an action by an archbishop and cardinals of our church would revive those passions almost 60 years later. Unfortunately however, these men who claim the right to judge you have fallen prey to the same devious allusions of power that have blinded their moral and ethical judgment. In a word, they are corrupt.

I pray that your solution resolves the differences with Burke’s demands but, please be assured that whatever your solution involves, you are supported by Catholics throughout our country We agree that it is time (past time) that we stand brave and in solidarity expressing our strong disapproval of the actions of many of the bishops and cardinals of our Roman Catholic Church. (I refuse to acknowledge their “heirarchial” designation as an expression of their authority - which does not exist in my perspective) Thank you for risking all in order to break the bond of indifference and standing firm for doing what we believe and know is right. May Christ provide you His ultra human courage as you endure this travesty.

God bless you and protect you.

Ed Wade

VOTF Boston & SWFlorida

With all charity, Fr. Bozek, the spiritual journey you are on, if you do not change course, can only end in one place.  Your press clippings, and self-proclaimed martyr status won't be of any solace there.  You have placed yourself in grave spiritual danger through your own pride and through your own actions.

Furthermore, the self-made comparison to yourself as David is repugnant and laughable, as is your VOTF friend's comparison to the hero of the clerical anti-communist movement in Eastern Europe.  Could either of you be more arrogant?

In a related note, Fr. Kleba of St. Cronan's date to appear is January 29, 2008, the feast of St. Francis de Sales, Bishop and Doctor, also at 9am.  May St. Francis protect our Archbishop, in whose likeness he pastors his flock in St. Louis.

You Won't See Items Like These on Posters for Catholic Schools Week

This week is Catholic Schools Week, and you may see bulletins and news stories around town with fresh-faced, beaming young children with minds eager to learn, and possibly some photos of rosaries, Masses and other Catholic activities.  Great.

But I doubt you will see copies of letters to the editor about the Majerus-Burke story that display the practical effect of this education on those who choose to write.  As I said before, nearly every time a letter to the editor begins with "I went to 12 years of Catholic school" or "I was taught by the nuns who loved to beat children" or "I grew up before Vatican 2 changed the Church into a veritable utopia" or other such pablum, you can count on an anti-Catholic screed to follow.  At best, these products of the Catholic school system evidence that, at least for them, Catholic educational system was an abject failure on its own terms.  They don't know the faith, and to the extent they do, they oppose it, all the while thinking this makes them good Catholics.

If it weren't so sadly indicative of where the Church went off the rails in Catholic education, it would be funny.  But it isn't, I'm afraid.  Where is the overwhelming tidal wave of support for a good Archbishop who is being calumniated by the secular press?

Take just one letter from this Saturday's Post-Dispatch as an example:

As a Catholic who attended 17 years of Catholic schools in Archbishop Raymond Burke's old Wisconsin diocese and then the Wisconsin university where Rick Majerus once coached, I feel like I'm among acquaintances, if not friends.  I'm 73 now and although I missed the Spanish Inquisition by five centuries, it seems as if an inquisition has started again.  Archbishop Burke has besmirched the reputations of politicians and entertainers, and now a coach (not to mention quite a few Protestants, such as the Danforths).  Yet, amazingly, he once said denial of communion is not a judgment.  He said, referring to John Kerry, "...the state of his soul is between God and him."  And the same article said that some U.S. bishops interpret church teaching to say that an individual examination of conscience, not a minister, should dictate whether a person is worthy to receive the sacrament.

As a Hillary Clinton supporter, I share this story:  A friend of mine in Wisconsin in 2004 went to the local Catholic priest and said, "You won't be able to give me communion anymore, father: I voted for John Kerry!"  The priest said, "Don't worry about it.  I did, too."

Only God-- not the archbishop-- knows what resides in Mr. Majerus's heart and his soul.

(This is a real letter-- I left out the writer's name out of charity to him.)

Memo to Catholic schools-- this isn't the spokesman you're looking for to raise money for your cause.

25 January 2008

Update from the Oratory

Saint Francis de Sales Oratory

2653 Ohio Avenue

St. Louis, Missouri 63118



Dear Faithful and Friends of St. Francis de Sales Oratory,

This weekend we will celebrate the feast of our great patron St. Francis de Sales. On Sunday, January 27, we will celebrate the external solemnity of his feast. After the 10:00 a.m. High Mass there will be a luncheon in the oratory hall. Tickets are still available ($10 for adults, $5 for children above the age of 12 years).

On the feast day itself, on Tuesday, January 29, there will be a Solemn High Mass at 6:30 p.m.

As St. Francis de Sales is not only the patron of the Oratory, but also one of the main patrons of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest the Church grants all the faithful who celebrate this feast day with the Institute a plenary indulgence under the ordinary conditions (confession, communion, prayer in the intention of the Holy Father, detachment from any sin).

The relic of St. Francis de Sales will be exposed on both days on the altar of Our Lady and there will be the occasion to venerate this relic after both Masses on Sunday and on Tuesday.

In this year that marks the 100th anniversary of the dedication of St. Francis de Sales church (Oratory) we should not hesitate to venerate our patron and to implore his intercession for the restoration of his splendid church in St. Louis.

Pope Pius XI. writes in his Encyclical Letter Rerum Omnium Perturbationem in which he declared St. Francis de Sales as Patron of Catholic Writers and Journalists: You can easily see, therefore, how important it is for the Christian people to turn to the example of holiness given by St. Francis, so that they may be edified thereby and may make his teachings the rule of their own lives. It would be impossible to exaggerate the value of his books and pamphlets, of which We have written, to attain this purpose. These books ought to be distributed as widely as possible among Catholics, for his writings are easy to understand and can be read with great pleasure. They cannot but inspire in the souls of the faithful a love of true and solid piety, a love which the clergy can develop with most happy results if they but learn to assimilate thoroughly the teachings of St. Francis and to imitate the kindly qualities which characterized his preaching.

While I wish that the example of St. Francis de Sales may become even more the model of your life, I assure you of my prayers to our great patron for you and your beloved ones.

Yours devotedly in Christ the King

Fr. Karl W. Lenhardt

Episcopal Delegate/Rector/Vice Provincial

P.S.: Please, mark in your calendar already the following events at the Oratory, particularly, the 40 Hours Devotion next weekend.

Friday, February 1, St. Ignatius of Antioch, First Friday

Votive Mass of the Most Sacred Heart

7:30 a.m. Confessions

8:00 a.m. Mass

6:00 p.m. Confessions

6:30 p.m. Solemn High Mass and Benediction

Saturday, February 2, Purification of Our Lady - Candle Mass

8:00 a.m. Blessing of Candles, Procession Solemn High Mass, Blessing of St. Blaise

40 Hours Devotion

Sunday, February 3 – Tuesday, February 5, 2007

All Faithful who adore the Blessed Sacrament at least for half an hour may receive a plenary indulgence under the ordinary conditions: Confession, Communion, Prayer in the intention of the Holy Father, Detachment from any sin. If these conditions are not fulfilled the church grants a partial indulgence

Sunday, February 3, Quinquagesima

7:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Confessions

8:00 a.m. Mass with Organ

10:00 a.m. Pontifical High Mass with His Excellency, The Most Rev. Robert Hermann, Auxiliary Bishop in St. Louis; Votive Mass of the Holy Eucharist; Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, Litany of the Saints and Procession for the Beginning of the 40 Hours Devotion

18:00 p.m. Vespers; Reposition

Monday, February 4, St. Andrew Corsini

7:30 a.m. Confessions

8:00 a.m. Mass, Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament

11:30 a.m. Confessions

12:10 p.m. Mass at St. Joseph’s Altar

5:00 p.m. Confessions

6:30 p. m. Solemn High Mass: Votive Mass of the Holy Eucharist

Tuesday, February 5, St. Agatha

7:30 a.m. Confessions

8:00 a.m. Mass, Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament

11:30 a.m. Confessions

12:10 p.m. Mass at St. Joseph’s Altar

5:00 p.m. Confessions

6:30 p. m. Solemn High Mass: Votive Mass of the Holy Eucharist

Litany of the Saints and Procession for the Closing of the 40 Hours Devotion, Benediction

Ash Wednesday

Wednesday, February 6

7:30 a.m. Confessions

8:00 a.m. Mass with Blessing and distribution of the ashes

11:30 p.m. Mass with Blessing and distribution of the ashes

6:30 p.m. Confessions

6:30 p.m. Solemn High Mass, Benediction and distribution of the ashes

Thursday, February 7, Feria, Comm. St. Romuald, First Thursday

7:30 a.m. Confessions

8:00 a.m. Mass Votive Mass of Jesus Christ the Eternal High Priest

6:30 p.m. Confessions

6:30 p.m. Eucharistic Adoration and Benediction

Friday, February 8, Feria, Comm. St. John of Matha

7:30 a.m. Confessions

8:00 a.m. Mass

6:00 p.m. Confessions

6:30 p.m. Mass: Votive Mass of the Crown of Thorns

After Mass: Stations of the Cross

Saturday, February 9, Feria, Comm St. Cyril and St. Apolonia

7:30 a.m. Confessions

8:00 a.m. Mass

Sunday, February 10, First Sunday of Lent

7:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Confessions

8:00 a.m. Mass

10:00 a.m. High Mass

Thank You

Thank you to everyone who kept my family in your prayers.  My wife, who is expecting, had a scare but everything is o.k.

Thank you again from my whole family.

Pro-Life License Plates Get Court Approval

Missouri Law Banning "Choose Life" License Plates Ruled Unconstitutional

KANSAS CITY, January 24, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A federal court Wednesday ruled in favor of attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund who were defending "Choose Life" as a slogan for specialty plates. ADF attorneys represent pro-life organization Choose Life of Missouri in the lawsuit.

"Pro-life organizations shouldn't be penalized for expressing their beliefs," said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Joel Oster. "Unfortunately, that's how Missouri officials unfairly discriminated when they denied Choose Life the right to exercise their free speech rights, and today the court agreed."

The court ordered the state to issue the "Choose Life" license plate, saying that the state statute used to reject the plate gives too much discretion to Department of Revenue committee officials who approve and reject applications.

"The statute does not provide the Joint Committee with specific standards or guidelines upon which to base their decisions and no explanation is required for a denial of one's application. As a result, [the statute] is unconstitutionally vague and overbroad," wrote Senior U.S. District Judge Scott O. Wright.

ADF attorneys filed suit against Missouri Department of Revenue officials in June 2006 after two state senators, both members of a committee responsible for reviewing the applications, objected to the viewpoint of the plate proposed by Choose Life of Missouri (http://www.telladf.org/news/story.aspx?cid=3769).

At the same hearing, the applications of four other organizations - an autism foundation, a conservancy group, a cattlemen's foundation, and a military support organization - were approved. An appeal of the committee's initial decision led to a second denial of Choose Life's application. The court's order issued Wednesday requires the state to approve the plate.

The full text of the order issued by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri, Western Division, in Choose Life of Missouri v. Vincent is available at http://www.telladf.org/UserDocs/ChooseLifeMOorder.pdf

Through the Lens of Catholic Tradition-- the Accomplishments of Pope Benedict XVI

The purpose of this post is not to engage in the internecine arguments among various sub-groups of Catholics that The Remnant is trying to address in its full article from which this excerpt is taken. Rather, I wanted to post part of that article, which lists the many real accomplishments of the current pontificate, made all the more remarkable considering the opposition from world opinion leaders and the relatively short time in which they were achieved.

To those who love the Church, rejoice! Pray for the Pope, who has brought about the following good things (as described in the article above):

· the Motu Proprio, a fulcrum on which world history will undoubtedly turn;

· the Pope’s directive to correct the mistranslation of “pro multis” as “for all” in the Novus Ordo consecration formula, and the mistranslation of “Credo” as “we believe” in the Creed;

· the removal of Piero Marini as master of ceremonies at the Vatican and the abolition of his ludicrous and appalling “papal liturgies;”

· the repeal of John Paul II’s liberalization of the rules for the papal conclave, returning to the traditional requirement of a 2/3 vote;

· the coming issuance of new and stricter rules for beatification and canonization, accompanied by the near shut-down of the “saint-making factory” that operated during the prior pontificate (a stupefying 483 saints in 27 years, as compared with 14 canonizations overseen by Benedict since his election nearly three years ago);

· the Pope’s express recognition of the Institute of the Good Shepherd's right—the right of all Catholics—to engage in “constructive criticism” of Vatican II, thereby implicitly confirming that the Council documents have deficiencies warranting criticism (deficiencies the Pope himself critiqued as Cardinal and Father Ratzinger);

· the papal admonition to the new head of the Jesuits that “total adhesion to Catholic doctrine” is expected of the order;

· the Pope’s wearing of the miter of Blessed Pius IX and his return to the usage of a papal throne, instead of the upholstered chair favored by his predecessor;

· the Pope’s celebration of Mass versus Deum in the Sistine Chapel;

· the consistent references to Benedict as “Supreme Pontiff;”

· the Pope’s abstention from the “ecumenical liturgies” and other ecumenical and interreligious spectacles of which the last Pope was so fond;

· the absence of any “cult” of Benedict, who shuns the limelight, yet is attracting more Catholics to his audiences than John Paul II did;

· the dramatic reduction in papal travel to mass events of dubious accomplishments;

· the abandonment of all references to Vatican II as a “renewal,” “springtime,” “New Pentecost” and so forth;

· the urgent petition of Anglican clergy representing 400,000 Anglicans for a return to communion with Rome, submitted directly to Benedict rather than the worse-than-useless Pontifical Council for Christian Unity, because the Anglicans know that Benedict is favorable to the reunion and hope to avoid a roadblock by the Vatican bureaucracy;

· a major thaw in relations with the Orthodox that is clearly the result of the Motu Proprio;

· the Vatican’s call for an international revival of Eucharistic adoration to combat the now-admitted crisis in the priesthood, with the project, launched December 8, to highlight the Virgin Mary’s special role as the mother of every priest.

And, almost as important as the Motu Proprio, an entire encyclical on the supernatural virtue of hope, Spe et Salvi, that says nothing, absolutely nothing, about Vatican II and even passes over in silence the Council’s very document on hope, Gaudium et Spes. Indeed, with its dismissal of the cult of human “progress” through the apotheosis of “reason” as seen in the thought of Bacon and the other apostles of the Enlightenment, Spe et Salvi is practically a refutation of the “optimism” of Gaudium concerning the “modern world.” Without allotting so much as a footnote to Gaudium, the Pope instead cites Theodor Adorno for the proposition that the progress in which modern man places so much faith is essentially “progress from the sling to the atom bomb.” And, by the way, the only ecumenical council the Pope does cite in Spe et Salvi is the Fourth Council of Lateran in 1215, convened by Pope Innocent III to affirm the dogmas of transubstantiation, extra ecclesiam nulla salus, and the papal primacy and to restore the discipline of the priesthood.

In Spe et Salvi His Holiness calls for nothing less than “a self-critique of modernity” and “a self-critique of modern Christianity,” which has lost sight of the true “substance” of hope in the Thomistic—yes, the Thomistic—sense of the word. The Pope also calls for the reunification of Christian faith and reason, the severance of which was the basic Enlightenment project. And the Pope concludes by redirecting the Church’s attention to Purgatory and the Four Last Things, ending the encyclical with these words addressed to the Blessed Virgin: “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!”

Then the Remnant addresses those accomplishments in light of the appropriate response by traditional Catholics who for so many years found themselves marginalized by the institutional Church, and urges them not to hold back in their support of the Holy Father:

Could the signs be any clearer? Benedict is trying to undo the liturgical revolution and move the Church beyond the debilitating miasma of the “spirit of Vatican II” without having to repudiate the Mass of Paul VI or the Council as such. And what is wrong with that? Since when has Roman Catholic traditionalism stood for the proposition that the Pope must abolish the Novus Ordo and formally recant the “errors of Vatican II,” as opposed to repairing the damage to the Church by simply liberating the traditional Mass while putting the Council in its proper place: not a “New Pentecost,” but, to use Cardinal Ratzinger’s own words, “a merely pastoral council” whose documents change nothing of the Faith and whose ambiguous formulations are open to criticism.

Let us pose a few questions to ourselves:

· Is it not completely obvious that the Motu Proprio effectively ended the liturgical revolution by declaring that the traditional Latin Mass “must be given due honour for its venerable and ancient usage” and that every religious institute and parish in the Church is free to adopt it, so that now it is quite impossible for anyone to say that the Novus Ordo liturgy is “the” liturgical future of the Church?

· Are we really incapable of perceiving that our “movement” has been vindicated by the Pope himself with the Motu Proprio’s admission that the traditional Mass was never abrogated—an admission that validates not only traditionalist opposition to the liturgical revolution, which at least had the false appearance of legality, but also our objections to “ecumenism” and “dialogue,” mere words that have no legal weight or doctrinal content?

· Can we not see that the Pope, with a stroke of his pen—and certainly His Holiness knows this—has radically altered the standing of traditionalism from a movement of reaction at the margins to a legally recognized and protected “mainstream” participation in the official apparatus of the Church?

· Haven’t the Pope’s own “signals,” including his express recognition of the right to engage in constructive criticism of the Council, shown that the spell of the Council was broken with the death of John Paul II?

· If the Pope is no longer talking about the “mandate” of Vatican II but rather of the Council’s continuity with the past, why would we want to keep the issue alive by acting as if Benedict were intent on stealthily implementing the Council’s non-existent mandate, when all of his major initiatives suggest the opposite conclusion?

· Are we not perceptive enough to recognize a turning point in the battle for Tradition, and thus a turning point in world history, even if the end of hostilities is still a long way off?

· Why would we be so perverse as to decline to help keep events moving in the right direction by recognizing that the Pope has shown that to a great extent he is with us, and by suspending criticism in order to get behind his initiatives—unless and until some papal act or omission, such as a real capitulation on the prayer for Jewish conversion, compels us to voice a loyal opposition?

· Or is it that we prefer to remain on the margins, reacting from a merely critical vantage point, even though we now have a Pope who, with gesture after gesture, is clearly calling upon traditionalists—the Catholics who have not changed—to step forward and join him as the reinforcements he desperately needs in a Church whose human element he clearly knows is falling to pieces?

For traditional Catholics, a thought-provoking article. For all Catholics, the excerpt above is a good reason to give thanks for Pope Benedict XVI, and to pray for him.