31 July 2008

From the Congregation of Catholic Clergy (Zenit Report)

Fr. Trijilio's request:  Please make a holy hour before the Eucharist on Aug. 1, the feast of St. 
Alphonsus Ligouri, and fast in "reparation for the sacrilegious desecration of the Holy Eucharist.
Desecration of Host Not Seen as Free Speech
Confraternity Proposes Prayer Day in Reparation
HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania, JULY 30, 2008 (Zenit.org).- The Confraternity 
of Catholic Clergy is proposing Friday as a national day of prayer and 
fasting in the wake of the desecration of the Eucharist by a Minnesota 
Father John Trigilio, Jr., the president of the confraternity, a U.S. 
association of 600 priests and deacons, sent a statement this week 
asking Catholics "to join in a day of prayer and fasting that such 
offenses never happen again."
Paul Myers, a professor of biology at the University of Minnesota at 
Morris, says he desecrated the Eucharist by piercing it with a rusty 
nail, then he threw it into the trash.
The self-professed atheist wrote about the incident on his blog and 
posted a photo of the desecrated host.
The statement of the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy said it found the 
actions of Myers "reprehensible, inexcusable, and unconstitutional. His 
flagrant display of irreverence by profaning a consecrated Host from a 
Catholic Church goes beyond the limit of academic freedom and free 
"Attacking the most sacred elements of a religion is not free speech 
anymore than would be perjury in a court or libel in a newspaper," 
added the text.
Father Trigilio told ZENIT that the congregation is asking the faithful 
to make a holy hour before the Eucharist on Aug. 1, the feast of St. 
Alphonsus Ligouri, and to fast in "reparation for the sacrilegious 
desecration of the Holy Eucharist."

Birds of a Feather at St. Stan's

Robert Schutzius.

Lester Himstedt.

Who are these men, you ask?

They are listed as "Assisting Priests" in the St. Stanislaus Kostka bulletin. But who are they?

I have not been able to find out a lot about Lester Himstedt, but Robert Schutzius is another matter entirely.

The Women for Faith and Family site described Schutzius as follows in 2002:

Robert Schutzius, an ex-priest and a founder of the radical dissident group Association for Rights of Catholics in the Church (ARCC), been pushing a radical agenda for "restructuring" the Catholic Church for 30 years.

ARCC's June 17 statement on the Dallas bishops' meeting published on its web site states its concern that the bishops' charter "[reduces] all sexual abuse to the same level. This kind of draconian implementation violated the basic Christian principle of forgiveness and will result in harm to good men who have sinned and reformed".

"We are concerned by the lack of debate concerning the annulment of ordination. We are concerned at the relatively minimal involvement of lay people in bodies called to establish policies and effect structural changes. These bodies must be independent of all hierarchical ties and have real authority." (emphasis added).

ARCC also proposes an 8-page "Constitution of the Catholic Church" on its web site (http://arcc-catholic-rights.org/constitution.htm). Extremely ambitious and sweeping in its objectives for "radical equality" in the Church, the 1994 "Constitution" proposes that the pope be elected for "a single ten-year term by Delegates ... chosen as representatively as possible, one third being bishops".

The "Charter of the Rights of Catholic in the Church", endorsed by a spectrum of dissenting groups, is also published on the ARCC web. Among the endorsing groups are Call to Action (CTA), homosexual advocacy groups Dignity-USA, and New Ways Ministry, the Women's Ordination Conference, and CORPUS, a national association for married priesthood.

Schutzius is listed as a Board Member and Secretary for ARCC for 2007-08. He is pictured above, at the far left, seated next to Canon lawyer Thomas Doyle, also a listed Board Member. Doyle, who was found guilty of canonical delicts by Archbishop Burke in a Decree earlier this year, represented certain St. Stanislaus Board members in their unsuccessful excommunication case.

One big happy family at St. Stan's.

The threatened Board election is scheduled for August 10, 2008. Let's pray that the former Board members and the Archdiocese are successful in obtaining an injunction.

Feast of St. Ignatius Loyola

Today is the Feast of the founder of the Jesuits, that once-glorious order whose sons include the following greats:

Blessed Peter Faber

St. Ignatius, ora pro nobis!

30 July 2008

Homer Simpson on "Today's Priestess": It's Funny 'Cause It's True

Creative Minority Report, creator of "Papa Ben's Novus Ordo 2.0" hits another home run with this parody of a galpriest catalogue.

Renegade Internet Poet Strikes Saint Louis Catholic: Is No One Safe?

Anyone who spends much time surfing traditional Catholic blogs and websites will have come across the poetry of Hilary McRee Flanery, better known by her less-humiliating-than-mine pseudonym of Long-Skirts.

She posted two poems recently in the comboxes that I enjoyed very much. So, since she has seen fit to throw them out into the ether, I will post them here. Both were posted in response to the "helpful socialists" post.

Laura from the Journal said:

"...Only had enough children to replace ourselves, or fewer."


You can have a BIG house.
You can have a BIG car.
You can even have a great,
BIG, unjust war.

You can have a BIG dog.
You can have a BIG check.
You can even have a party
On a great BIG deck.

You can have a BIG trip.
You can have a BIG debt.
But there's one big BIG
That they hate, you bet!

A great BIG family
Full of great BIG hearts,
They're a silent rebuke
To the little BIG f*rts!




Save the planet.
Save the whale.
Save the cans
Don't inhale.

Save the changes.
Save your screen.
Blend the genders
Pukish green.

Save the documents
Save the file.
Save yourself
For fashion, style.

Save the animals,
Fur and skin
But save your soul...
Now that's a SIN!

29 July 2008

Helpful Socialists Want to Tell You How to Live

The above headline is, I suppose, a "Dog bites man" affair.  But I had to post a story from the South Side Journal wherein 52-year old web designer Laura York admonishes me to "Go forth and be responsible."

Laura thinks it would be great if we...

...Treated animals as we would treat ourselves.

Please. Consider vegetarianism. Adopt an animal needing a home. Contribute to animal charities.

...Opened the windows.

 I believe that if we in St. Louis opened our windows at home from around May through September we would only need to use air conditioning about two weeks of that period.

...Only had enough children to replace ourselves, or fewer.

A zero percent or negative population growth rate world-wide would do more to address the ills of this planet than any of the tips given above. Not to mention humanity's ills of poverty and famine.

Go forth and be responsible.


Gee, thanks Laura!  I know where you can find a link to an idea just your speed-- EcoSpirituality.

Update:  A friend emailed me this very story just as I was posting the above, and also included the helpful musings of another environmental socialist, one "D. Weiner" (I assume pronounced "Whiner") from the back-to-basics publication, the Ladue News.  This one is good, too.  Enjoy!

Archbishop Burke News Roundup

Promoted, beloved, and definitely not forgotten Archbishop Burke continues to make news by being the model of a Catholic Bishop. Some headlines to stories of interest:

Covers the shrine's dedication ceremony. This shrine is the particular project of His Grace and the dedication will thus occur prior to assuming his duties in Rome.

Another shrine story with quotes from the Archbishop.

Liberal Jesuit America magazine blog takes time to complain about the Catholic Answers Voting Guide for Serious Catholics, the same guide His Grace ordered distributed at all Archdiocesan parishes--as opposed to the more "progressive" "guide" put out by the USCCB.

Zenit at last picks up the St. Stanislaus Board member reconciliations and subsequent joint lawsuit.

Vatican II versus Bozek, Lears, Hudson, McGrath, et al.

I received the following comment, fairly typical of the local dissenter crowd, in the latest post about the NCR's article on Fr. Kleba.  I post it here with my immediate response:

Anonymous anonymous said...

The only people who think Fr. KLeba looks bad go to the Oratory for Latin Mass. Also, Louise Lears received nothing that resembled due process. The reason that the Canon Law process hides behind silence is not to protect anyone. The silence only protects the process itself in which the Archbishop is judge, jury and prosecutor. In which someone like Louise Lears doesn't even get to present her final case before the final verdict is given.ev

28 July, 2008 22:03

Blogger thetimman said...

Not the only people, ev.

The thing is not a question of liturgy-- I cannot comment on St. Cronan's liturgy because I have not assisted at one. Though to apply the maxim of St. Prosper, "lex orandi lex credendi" (the law of prayer is the law of belief), one can have strong suspicions of what it would be like, liturgy is not the immediate issue here.

This is pure and simple about assenting with the will and mind to the teachings of Christ as given to HIs Holy Church. 

I welcome a statement from either Fr. Kleba or Sr. Lears, or both, stating they unequivocally accept the infallible truth that it is not possible for women to receive priestly ordination. Please, ask them to send it to me and I will publish it here.

It may go a long way towards the reconciliation they need and the Church desires.

And the extent of due process given Sr. Lears is well-documented. To disagree with the outcome is not the same as to have a well-founded belief that the process was unfair.

29 July, 2008 04:52


It is often observed by those who wish to reject Catholic teaching while seeking to retain the Catholic descriptor that such-and-such immemorial teaching of the Church, or the faithful adherence to it by some prelate, priest or layman, is not in accord with the "spirit of Vatican II".  This observation is also made in a somewhat tongue-in-cheek fashion by those who support those teachings.

But what would the spirit of Vatican II think of Archbishop Burke's actions and decisions in the recent headline-making matters in St. Louis?  I stumbled across this excerpt from Lumen Gentium, the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, on another blog in a piece (ironically enough) that critiqued the SSPX position.  What does Vatican II have to say?:

25. Among the principal duties of bishops the preaching of the Gospel occupies an eminent place.(39*) For bishops are preachers of the faith, who lead new disciples to Christ, and they are authentic teachers, that is, teachers endowed with the authority of Christ, who preach to the people committed to them the faith they must believe and put into practice, and by the light of the Holy Spirit illustrate that faith. They bring forth from the treasury of Revelation new things and old,(164) making it bear fruit and vigilantly warding off any errors that threaten their flock.(165) Bishops, teaching in communion with the Roman Pontiff, are to be respected by all as witnesses to divine and Catholic truth. In matters of faith and morals, the bishops speak in the name of Christ and the faithful are to accept their teaching and adhere to it with a religious assent. This religious submission of mind and will must be shown in a special way to the authentic magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra; that is, it must be shown in such a way that his supreme magisterium is acknowledged with reverence, the judgments made by him are sincerely adhered to, according to his manifest mind and will. His mind and will in the matter may be known either from the character of the documents, from his frequent repetition of the same doctrine, or from his manner of speaking. Although the individual bishops do not enjoy the prerogative of infallibility, they nevertheless proclaim Christ's doctrine infallibly whenever, even though dispersed through the world, but still maintaining the bond of communion among themselves and with the successor of Peter, and authentically teaching matters of faith and morals, they are in agreement on one position as definitively to be held.(40*) This is even more clearly verified when, gathered together in an ecumenical council, they are teachers and judges of faith and morals for the universal Church, whose definitions must be adhered to with the submission of faith.(41*)

(39*) Cfr. Conc. Trid., Decr. de I reform., Sess. V, c. 2, n. 9; et Sess. I XXlV, can. 4; Conc. Oec. Decr. pp. 645 et 739.
(40*) Cfr. Conc. Vat. I, Const. dogm. Dei Filius, 3: Denz. 1712l (3011). Cfr. nota adiecta ad Schema I de Eccl. (desumpta ex.S. Rob. Bellarmino): Mansi 51, I 579 C, necnon Schema reformatum I Const. II de Ecclesia Christi, cum I commentario Kleutgen: Mansi 53, 313 AB. Pius IX, Epist. Tuas libener: Denz. 1683 (2879).
(41*) Cfr. Cod. Iur. Can., c. 1322-1323

164 Cf. Mt. 13, 52.
165 Cf.2 Tim. 4, 1-4.

I think if everyone involved in the movement to excuse the actions and publicly promoted heterodoxy of Bozek, Lears and the "womenpriests" read this Vatican II document and took it seriously, the problem would be swiftly resolved to the great benefit of all Catholics in the Archdiocese.

28 July 2008

Headline Too True

The public relations war to redefine the anti-Catholic movement at St. Cronan parish continues, again in the national version of their bulletin, NCR.  This time Tom Fox pens a panegyric to Fr. Gerry Kleba, who continues to excuse the behavior of Sr. Lears and, by extension, the "womenpriests" Hudson and McGrath-- all from St. Cronan's.  

A person may be dedicated to a cause that is unjust.  Undermining the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, is such a cause.  Opposing the Holy Father, the Vicar of Christ, is such a cause. Excusing error and leading souls astray, souls under one's particular care, is such a cause.

Fr. Kleba believes Sr. Lears, who was seemingly afforded more due process than many now on death row, was treated unfairly.  However, his recollections of a meeting with his Archbishop prove the point that fairness is sometimes in the eye of the beholder.  Fr. Kleba's recollections of the conversation at this meeting have no corroboration other than his own words.  The Archbishop, however, has consistently refused to defend himself by publicizing the words and events of confidential meetings; therefore, let me just opine that we don't have the full story.

This is very sad, but Fr. Kleba doesn't understand that the person who looks bad in all of this is himself.

Consider this published quote attributed to Fr. Kleba.  Do you know to whom he is referring?

Kleba sighs: "He is such a good man. But when you live in the shadow of the world's biggest organization and you feel like the organization is the embodiment of Jesus, somehow you don't remember anymore how you have to be the embodiment of Jesus. The Gospel says, 'Love others as you love yourself.' If you don't have a self to love, you have nothing to share. You're just going through the motions."

Archbishop Burke, you say?  Wrong-- the answer is Justin Cardinal Rigali.  The above quote is taken from an article in the Riverfront Times from 2002.  

You see, criticizing his Archbishop and undercutting his authority is not new for this dedicated priest. And, if he is quoted accurately, he certainly gives an impression that the Roman Catholic Church is not the embodiment of Jesus.  A reading of Mystici Corporis might be helpful on this issue.

Below is an excerpt from the NCR article:

Dedicated St. Louis priest like others you know

July 28, 2008

[...]Kleba does not hide his thoughts about Lears’ departure. He says he feels she was treated unfairly by the archbishop.

Speaking about a meeting he had with Archbishop Burke earlier this year, Kleba said, “He called me in and one of the things he wanted me to do was fire Sr. Louise and I said that this case is still open and I have to assume that while I don’t know much canon law, a person is innocent until proven guilty.”

“I told him I couldn’t fire her. He told me to seek out some further advice.”

So I decided to get a lawyer.

That move cost Kleba $790. The amount was more than it cost him four decades back to be ordained a priest, he said.

An e-mail he sent out to friends following his visit with Burke was critical of the archbishop’s action in the Lears’ case. The e-mail eventually got circulated on the Internet.

But he’s not worried. “What have I got to lose?” he asked.

Kleba, at 66, is at an age when many other Americans his age are retiring. He has no plans to retire. His work, he says, is going forward.

Just like a lot of other retirement aged inner city priests we know.

An Actual Work Day. Like Work, Work.

It may seem hard to believe, but I also have a full-time job that required full-time attention today. If only I earned money from the blog like some famous "insider" bloggers, but alas...

Schwartzenegger Vetoes Mandated Global Warming Curriculum

Story at the provocatively-titled Saint Louis Conservative.

27 July 2008

The Polish Connection

File it under misery loves company.  The Post-Dispatch today chronicles the connection in the local impounded car mini-scandal between ChiefJoeMokwa (tm) and the "unyielding spirit" that is William Bialczak, the erstwhile leader of the St. Stanislaus Board.  How Archbishop Burke is to blame for this scheme is beyond me, but we haven't heard from St. Stan's yet.

Read the story.  Why did St. Stan's receive such fawning media coverage in the local press?

From the full article:

Towing firm has old ties with city


St. Louis — When a son of the family that held a lucrative towing contract with police got married last year, Chief Joe Mokwa was there.

He was among hundreds of guests invited to the Kirby-
Bialczak wedding at St. Stanislaus Kostka Church, north of downtown.

The wedding, along with a lavish reception of ice sculptures and Godiva chocolate at the Ritz-Carlton in Clayton, stands in sharp contrast to the
Bialczak family's business, based just a few blocks from the church: a massive towing and vehicle storage operation.

Police-impounded vehicles are spread over acres of broken asphalt. Razor wire-topped fences ring the lots. Guards in elevated towers stand watch. It looks like a prison yard for cars. To get out, it's cash only.

The operation is at the center of a scandal rocking St. Louis police, already forcing Mokwa to retire. 

This is where the chief's daughter and an untold number of officers received the free use of formerly impounded vehicles for years, the city Police Board has admitted.

Now federal investigators are looking into the relationships among police and the
Bialczaks' businesses. There are questions about how the Bialczaks — a parking lot dynasty — engineered a near-takeover of the city's towing and impounding business.

There are also questions about the relationship between the
Bialczaks and the former chief, who ex-workers say regularly visited the private towing operation.

The answers, at least in part, appear to include a former police officer hired by the
Bialczaks to run their towing operation, and a series of decisions by city officials that, in the end, allowed the tow company to flourish.


Changes at the Oratory

Today is a sad day for the faithful at St. Francis de Sales Oratory, as our beloved rector, Father Karl W. Lenhardt, is being called to a new position.  Fr. Lenhardt announced at Mass today that the Vicar General of the Institute of Christ the King, Sovereign Priest, Monsignor Michael Schmitz, would announce the specifics next Sunday.  As of yet, therefore, Father's new assignment is not publicly known.

While we suspect this move will benefit the worldwide Institute, it is a sore blow for all those in St. Louis who have benefited from Father's wisdom, knowledge, patience and his pastoral care.  It seems that there is a trend among clergy in this city-- success in St. Louis leads to promotion to better things, and what is St. Louis' loss is the universal Church's gain.

It is very difficult to express in a short space all of the good Fr. Lenhardt has accomplished since he has been assigned to be Rector of the Oratory, and Vice-Provincial of the Institute for the United States.  I get the feeling that much of his work was not the sort that made immediate news, but which will bear fruit in the future.  However, a sampling:
  • Put in charge of the (then) "indult" Latin Mass Community of St. Louis, he skillfully managed the transition from St. Agatha Church to St. Francis de Sales Oratory, a transition from one Sunday Mass in the traditional rite to an entire, Archdiocesan-wide "parish", with all of the Sacraments in the traditional forms, a minimum of eight Masses a week, and a new parish community in the Salesian tradition of spirituality.
  • Under his leadership, the size of the Oratory membership increased dramatically, with Sunday Masses now averaging more than 1,000 souls.
  • Through his assistance, the Institute of Christ the King, still growing, established several additional apostolates in the United States, and attracts an ever-growing number of American seminarians and candidates.
  • St. Francis de Sales priests hear more confessions than are heard in any other Church in the Archdiocese-- the practice of frequent confession being held up as the surest path to spiritual growth for the faithful.
  • The restoration of the spiritual and architectural jewel that is St. Francis de Sales has progressed under his direction, while funds for further restoration and the stabilization of the steeple continue.
  • Under his leadership, a very successful homeschool co-op was established at the Oratory; this co-op is expanding in the upcoming year to include high school as well as elementary courses.
  • His leadership in integrating the Traditional forms of the Sacraments back into the life of the local Church in St. Louis has led to great progress.  At the direction of Archbishop Burke, he was named the Archiepiscopal Delegate for the Implementation of Summorum Pontificum in the Archdiocese.  Through his efforts, St. Louis seminarians and priests are being well-trained in the Extraordinary Form of Mass and the other Sacraments.  Many priests and faithful have benefited from the work of Fr. Lenhardt and other priests of the Institute and the Archdiocese.
  • He celebrated the first public Traditional Mass in the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis in over 35 years on March 7, 2007, the Feast of St. Thomas Aquinas, one of the patrons of the Institute.  This Mass was the precursor to the glorious ordinations in the traditional rite celebrated later that year by Archbishop Burke.
  • Most of all, he is the spiritual father to many people at St. Francis de Sales, who are grateful, and who will  miss him.
The task Father will now undertake will undoubtedly be an important one, and it is safe to say that we faithful will benefit from it in the future.  This knowledge is of some solace today.  Also of comfort is the fact that the Oratory will continue to be in good hands with the Institute and the successor rector.

Also announced today is that our beloved Father William Avis is also to receive a new assignment.  We will provide more information as this becomes public, likely next Sunday as well.  Fr. Avis is also a wonderful confessor, spiritual director, and teacher.  His work in catechesis at the co-op will be greatly missed by the children and their parents.  He also was the principal vicar at the Holy Family Log Church in Cahokia, another apostolate administered by the Institute.

When it rains, it pours.

God bless you, Father Lenhardt and Father Avis.  You will be missed.

26 July 2008


St. Anne, pray for us!

Nice Story in Post on Eucharistic Adoration

From the full article at STLToday (photo by Huy R. Mach of the P-D):

Vigil of prayer brings parishioners peace

ST. PAUL — Stepping into the chapel with Bible in hand, Debbie Mueller touches her fingertips to a tiny basin of Holy Water and gets ready to pray. It's nearly 3 a.m.

She signs her name into a log book, and turns to say hello to Don Ziegemeier, who is kneeling in one of the pews nearby. He's been there since 2 a.m.

In front of them on a white altar, two candles glow inside red glass holders on each side of a cross. In the center is the monstrance, a special vessel containing the consecrated host that Catholics believe is the body of Christ. 

This is the perpetual adoration chapel at St. Paul Catholic Church, where Mueller, Ziegemeier and other volunteers pray 24 hours a day, seven days a week, nearly 365 days a year. (The chapel is dark for 50 hours leading up to Easter.)


"It's a time when, if you have some things on your heart, you can spend it with Jesus and talk it over with him," said Mueller, 57, who has prayed in the 3 a.m. time slot for almost all of the 17 years since the chapel has been open. "I know that when I go to him, he listens. It just gives me hope and courage."

Of about 200 parishes in the St. Louis Archdiocese, 18 churches have chapels for perpetual adoration, a Roman Catholic ritual of round-the-clock prayer in front of the Eucharist, based on the belief that the bread is the body of Jesus. Other Catholic churches hold adoration hours on certain days of the week.

Pope John Paul II triggered a rise in the number of parishes with perpetual adoration. After becoming pope in 1978, he urged Catholics to practice the centuries-old ritual.

The number of parishes in the St. Louis Archdiocese with perpetual adoration has been growing since the mid-1990s, said the Rev. Joe Simon, chaplain of the Archbishop's Committee for Eucharistic Adoration. Nationwide, there are about 800 churches with perpetual adoration, according to the Real Presence Eucharistic Education and Adoration Association. 

Nina Groeblinghoff, who helped start perpetual adoration at St. Paul, remembers that the late-night prayer shifts filled up the quickest. Many, like Ziegemeier, have continued in their same shift. "I figured nobody would take it," he said. 


In St. Paul, a city of about 1,600 in St. Charles County, the church is at the center of the community. Generations of families have been members of the church, which was established more than 150 years ago. The church has about 680 families.

Some members had doubts that volunteers would fill 168 hours a week when Monsignor Bernard Boessen, who was pastor at St. Paul in 1991, encouraged the church to start the perpetual adoration chapel. Through the years, late-night weekend shifts have been difficult to fill, but the perpetual adoration chapel has never struggled to keep going, said Monsignor John Hickel, current pastor at St. Paul. 

"We treasure this," he said. "You can pray out of a book or you can pray from your heart. It's something I will sustain as long as I'm here."

It's a way to pray without distractions, said Teresa Boehmer, 44, mother of three. She believes in the power of the cards signed by adorers and sent to people they are praying for. "People have said they open those up and could just feel the prayers going out for them," she said. "I think miracles happen through that chapel all the time."

Doctors had recently given one member of their church a grim diagnosis of Lou Gehrig's disease. He was in the thoughts of those praying in the chapel, and later was given a better outlook when the diagnosis changed to Parkinson's disease.



Many of the adorers say their hour in the prayer chapel is the quickest and most peaceful of the week. Some listen to soft music. Everyone comes with a purpose of focusing on God.

"I still looked forward to that hour. It's just a part of my life now. A few times, I just sat there and cried," said Mueller, whose mother died this year after several years with Alzheimer's disease. "Prayers are answered, maybe not always the way we want them to be, but I know they are answered his way."

25 July 2008

Funny and Creepy All at the Same Time

Excerpted from the Times Online:

He ventured forth to bring light to the world

The anointed one's pilgrimage to the Holy Land is a miracle in action - and a blessing to all his faithful followers

Gerard Baker

And it came to pass, in the eighth year of the reign of the evil Bush the Younger (The Ignorant), when the whole land from the Arabian desert to the shores of the Great Lakes had been laid barren, that a Child appeared in the wilderness.
The Child was blessed in looks and intellect. Scion of a simple family, offspring of a miraculous union, grandson of a typical white person and an African peasant. And yea, as he grew, the Child walked in the path of righteousness, with only the occasional detour into the odd weed and a little blow.

When he was twelve years old, they found him in the temple in the City of Chicago, arguing the finer points of community organisation with the Prophet Jeremiah and the Elders. And the Elders were astonished at what they heard and said among themselves: “Verily, who is this Child that he opens our hearts and minds to the audacity of hope?”

In the great Battles of Caucus and Primary he smote the conniving Hillary, wife of the deposed King Bill the Priapic and their barbarian hordes of Working Class Whites.

And so it was, in the fullness of time, before the harvest month of the appointed year, the Child ventured forth - for the first time - to bring the light unto all the world.

He travelled fleet of foot and light of camel, with a small retinue that consisted only of his loyal disciples from the tribe of the Media. He ventured first to the land of the Hindu Kush, where the
Taleban had harboured the viper of al-Qaeda in their bosom, raining terror on all the world.

And the Child spake and the tribes of Nato immediately loosed the Caveats that had previously bound them. And in the great battle that ensued the forces of the light were triumphant. For as long as the Child stood with his arms raised aloft, the enemy suffered great blows and the threat of terror was no more.


And lo, in Mesopotamia, a miracle occurred. Even though the Great Surge of Armour that the evil Bush had ordered had been a terrible mistake, a waste of vital military resources and doomed to end in disaster, the Child's very presence suddenly brought forth a great victory for the forces of the light.


From there the Child went up to the city of Jerusalem, and entered through the gate seated on an ass. The crowds of network anchors who had followed him from afar cheered “Hosanna” and waved great palm fronds and strewed them at his feet.

Around the world, global temperatures began to decline, and the ocean levels fell and the great warming was over.

The Great Prophet Algore of Nobel and Oscar, who many had believed was the anointed one, smiled and told his followers that the Child was the one generations had been waiting for.


And this is the testimony of one who speaks the truth and bears witness to the truth so that you might believe. And he knows it is the truth for he saw it all on CNN and the BBC and in the pages of The New York Times.


And suddenly, with the men appeared the archangel Gabriel and the whole host of the heavenly choir, ranks of cherubim and seraphim, all praising God and singing: “Yes, We Can.”

Bishop Hermann on Archbishop Burke

Bishop Hermann, the Archdiocesan Administrator, wrote a very nice article in the St. Louis Review today:

Bishop Hermann: 'I thought you should know'

On Archbishop Burke’s love for Christ’s Church

by Bishop Robert J. Hermann, Archdiocesan Administrator

I am hoping that this column will be short-lived and that we will have a new archbishop in a timely fashion. In this weekly column, I wish to reflect briefly on issues significant to you and to our archdiocese.

Looking back, I am so grateful for the leadership of Archbishop Raymond L. Burke. While I could focus on the phenomenal influence he has had on our priests and seminarians, in this column I wish to focus briefly on his great love for the Church and his commitment to teach the timeless truths of the Catholic faith, whether or not it was popular.

On the night before He died, Christ prayed to the Father: "Consecrate them in the truth. Your Word is truth." (John 17:17). Archbishop Burke has committed his life to witnessing to the truth of God’s Word as it has been proclaimed by the Catholic Church from the very beginning. He knew very well that this would cause him much suffering, but Archbishop Burke’s love for Christ and His Church made it very clear to him that he had no choice.

In the 21st chapter of St. Luke’s Gospel, when Jesus talked about the coming persecution, he said: "It will lead to your giving testimony." Whether it was witnessing to life issues or to Catholic identity, Archbishop Burke never flinched from standing up for the truth. He knew very well that many times he would be perceived as not being politically correct. Yet, he did it, and he did it out of love for Christ and His Church.

A few well-meaning Catholics are simply embarrassed by some of the teachings of the Catholic Church because when these teachings are played out in the court of public opinion, these Catholics feel uncomfortable. It reminds me of a teenager who is embarrassed by his mother or father as being out of touch with what is politically correct in the eyes of his teen peers. Pope John Paul II would repeat over and over again Christ’s words to His disciples: "Do not be afraid." Witnessing to the Gospel was never intended to fill us with warm fuzzies but to help define us as courageous disciples.

Again and again, as I go around the archdiocese, I hear high praise for Archbishop Burke’s firm commitment to witness to the truths of the Catholic Church.

Another point that some people do not see is that Archbishop Burke sees canon law as a pastoral tool intended to help the faithful live the teachings of the Catholic Church. He understands that canon law was developed as a pastoral response to pastoral problems. I and others who have worked closely with Archbishop Burke see him as a very warm, compassionate and caring shepherd who wants to help his people in the very best way he can.

We owe it to Archbishop Burke to pray for him daily. He has given us such a clear vision of what the Church expects of us. He has courageously witnessed his love for us and for the Church. He has spent himself tirelessly on our behalf. Pope Benedict XVI sees all of this and more, and now needs Archbishop Burke in the Apostolic Signatura at the Vatican. As an archdiocese, we are incredibly honored to have had him serve us so well, and now we see that the Vatican needs those services for the universal Church. Our hearts are overflowing with great wonder and gratitude!

A Second Look at the St. Stanislaus Lawsuit

After reading the petition and related documents, discussing the matter with other Catholics, and some further reflection, I am inclined to think the lawsuit against St. Stanislaus is closer to possibility 1 from my earlier post.

First and foremost, if the lawsuit is successful or the parties settle along the lines indicated by the Archdiocese, it will have the immediate beneficial and cleansing effect of booting Bozek the Usurper to the curb. With him gone, and proper exorcisms performed in the Church and rectory buildings, Catholic life has a chance to resume at St. Stanislaus.

The administrator selected by the Archdiocese would be accountable to the new Archbishop; the Board, too, would be appointed and accountable to the Archbishop. Furthermore, the Archbishop would be able to exercise his necessary role in spiritual matters relating to the Catholicity of the parish. The parish would have title to whatever assets and funds they have, but the Archbishop would have control of the Board. As a reader pithily said, win-win.

Some in the media are trying to throw a red herring in the mix about the Polish language ability of the designated administrator named by the Archdiocese, insinuating that Polish Masses would cease. Hardly. There is absolutely no way the Archdiocese would do that; there will of course be Polish language Masses.

This type of arrangement may be necessary in order to reassure those people at St. Stanislaus who, though mistaken, mistrust the Archdiocese over the ownership issue-- whatever their initial culpability, it is undeniable they have been fed a line of nonsense that would of course lessen their trust.

And as for Archbishop Burke's position, as a friend reminded me His Grace has been relatively flexible regarding a solution of the St. Stanislaus problem in the past. The main problem was that the board changed the bylaws and wrote the Archbishop and the pastor out of them. Even if the structure of St. Stanislaus according to the original bylaws is somewhat unique, it respects the influence and jurisdiction of the competent ecclesiastical authority-- and this is the point.

Therefore, I think it will possible under the original bylaws to establish an administration that is in conformity with the canonical requirements.

The only way that this goes down as option 2, I think, is if future events allow a reversion of the lack of obedience to just authority properly exercised. And as to that, only time will tell.

Pray that this matter will be justly and mercifully settled, and that Catholic truth, Catholic liturgy and Catholic leadership may be restored to St. Stanislaus.

Santiago Matamoros

¡Gran Apóstol Santiago, familiar cercano de nuestro Señor y aún más cercano a Él por lazos espirituales! Al ser llamado por Él entre los primeros discípulos y ser favorecido con Su especial intimidad, tu respondiste con gran generosidad, dejándolo todo para seguirle a la primera llamada.

También tuviste el privilegio de ser el primero de los Apóstoles en morir por Él, sellando tu predicación con tu sangre.

“Atronador” en el entusiasmo en la tierra desde el cielo, te has mostrado defensor de Su Iglesia una y otra vez, apareciendo en el campo de batalla de los Cristianos para derrotar y dispersar a los enemigos de la Cruz, y llevar a los descorazonados Creyentes a la Victoria.

Fuerza de los Cristianos, refugio seguro de aquellos que te suplican con confianza, oh, protégenos ahora en los peligros que nos rodean.

Que por tu intercesión, nuestro Señor nos conceda Su Santo Amor, filial temor, justicia, paz y la victoria sobre nuestros adversarios, tanto visibles como invisibles, y sobre todo, que un día nos conceda la felicidad de verlo y tenerlo con nosotros en el cielo, en tu compañía y la de los ángeles y santos para siempre.


24 July 2008


Thanks to the reader who sent me the link to this article in the Belleville News Democrat about the Archdiocesan lawsuit against St. Stan's and the hoped-for settlement. The only obstacles standing in the way of a compromise are Marek Bozek and his new friends:

"Bozek has attracted new members, especially among divorced Catholics, gays and lesbians, and people unhappy with church hierarchy."

Of course, the flip side could be that Bozek has repelled old members, especially among married Catholics, heterosexuals, and people happy with church hierarchy.

Society of Pope Paul VI

Father Finigan at The Hermeneutic of Continuity has posted an entry on a proposal in the UK to establish a Society of Paul VI. The purpose of this society would be to preserve the 1970s traditions of the Novus Ordo from possible loss due to a reestablishment of the Traditional Mass.

From the site:

An old friend from my Rome days, Fr Shaun Middleton, parish priest of St Francis of Assisi, Pottery Lane, has written a short article in the Tablet proposing the formation of a Society of Pope Paul VI to preserve the ICEL translation of 1974, communion in the hand, the abolition of altar rails etc. When I first heard of this article, I though it might be tongue-in-cheek since I know Fr Shaun has a good sense of humour. It seems, though, that he is serious, expressing worry about Pope Benedict's "reform of the reform".

Perhaps in some years' time, we may see the formation of such a society. I would want to be magnanimous. The Latin Mass Society and other traditionalist groups struggled through several decades of opprobrium and suspicion. Let us on the contrary welcome the Society of Pope Paul VI and offer a wide and generous application of the norms allowing Mass with all the liturgical innovations in force up until the reign of Pope Benedict.

The Mass could be scheduled once a month at four o'clock on a Sunday afternoon in a different parish each week. (It would be best not to advertise it in case there was any danger of seeming to dissent from the reforms of Pope Benedict.) In some places, it might be possible to set up a personal parish for the rite of the 1970s but only if the Council of Priests are in full agreement.

The SSPVI would need to bring their own pottery chalice(s), pizza hosts, polyester vestments, guitars and Celebration Hymn Books. They would also need an ironing board or similar to set up with two squat candlesticks at one end for Mass facing the people. The priest who was preaching would, of course, be on his honour not to say anything against the Traditional Latin Mass.


The local press is now picking up on the logical result of the St. Stan's lawsuit, should it be successful. The immediate situation would be a compromise: Bozek will be out, and the parish will still be operated in a manner different from other parishes. Before this STL Today story was posted, I wrote to a friend my initial take on the lawsuit:

It is apparent that the Archdiocese is not insisting that the parish conform its manner of administration to that of every other parish in the Archdiocese, as His Grace has insisted upon for three years without compromise. This leads to the logical conclusion that only two things are possible:

1. His Grace softened his position in order to bring about the reconciliation of the board members and the parishioners, and to protect the parish from Bozek and his schemes. The parish will, if the lawsuit is successful, revert to the status quo ante until some future date when perhaps a trust arrangement much like His Grace proposed three years ago is agreed to, thus ending the matter. The date of the lifting of the excommunications and His Grace's pastoral nature favor this possibility.

2. New management has essentially given up the whole point of the initial dispute in order to oust Bozek and regain the parish. The desire to compromise the situation with the Polish parishioners who forced this dispute and to perhaps garner the support of the former parish either for a settlement agreement or for the new Board vote, if held, favor this possibility.

If it is possibility number 1, the Archbishop deserves more credit than he will get in the press on this. Eventually, this will be reported either as a lose-lose caused by the "bully" and salvaged by the more pastoral chancery or else as a straight-out defeat for the Archbishop. Very few will want to appreciate the fact that the Archbishop's steadfast resolve may have made a reconciliation possible.
The second part of Bozek's quote, below (the first part is typical Bozek-speak), shows that this matter will be reported as a defeat for His Grace no matter what his intent and no matter how obvious it is that the Board's disobedience brought the moral disaster that has marked the Bozek-occupation.
The story says officials hope for a compromise before the injunction hearing on August 5.  Only time and events will show which of the above possibilities is true.  From the full article:
Lawsuit could resolve dispute
By Heather Ratcliffe
St. Louis — The Archdiocese of St. Louis and six current and former members of St. Stanislaus Kostka Catholic Church filed a lawsuit Wednesday that they believe will lead to a compromise on how the parish will be managed.
The plaintiffs are asking a judge to restore the structure of the parish to the way it was before 2001, when the St. Stanislaus board controlled the property and assets while the archbishop appointed board members and a pastor.

Archdiocese officials said St. Stanislaus would be unlike any other parish in St. Louis under this structure. They hope the lawsuit will lead to a compromise, one that the archdiocese is willing to make if it leads to reconciliation with the historically Polish parish, officials said.

"We want to do everything we can to bring healing to St. Stanislaus," said Bishop Robert Hermann, who is the acting leader of the archdiocese.

The Rev. Marek Bozek, who is serving as pastor at St. Stanislaus, said his parishioners had been asking the archdiocese to honor the century-old agreement since the beginning of the dispute.

"I will be the happiest person if reconciling is possible," Bozek said Wednesday. "If they are saying that they are willing to go back to the original agreement, it proves that we are right."

St. Louis Circuit Judge Bryan Hettenbach set a hearing in the case for Aug. 5.

Archdiocese officials said they hoped the matter could be resolved before then. Bozek said he would be willing to sit down with the archdiocese's leaders to discuss a compromise.

Zabielski, who spoke at a press conference at the archdiocese on Wednesday, said he supported the proposal, as described in the lawsuit.

Bernard Huger, attorney for the archdiocese, said the heightening controversy kept the archdiocese from filing the lawsuit in the past. "The archbishop didn't want to make this worse," Huger said.

Now that the former board members are seeking reconciliation, the time is right to file the lawsuit, he added.

If both parties agree to return the previous management structure — brokered in 1891 — it will bring the parishioners back into communion with the Roman Catholic church. But such a compromise also would mean Bozek will be removed as pastor. The Vatican is currently considering a request from Burke that Bozek be laicized, or returned to the status of a layperson.