28 February 2009
27 February 2009
26 February 2009
The Holy Father and my Superior, Bishop Bernard Fellay, have requested that I reconsider the remarks I made on Swedish television four months ago, because their consequences have been so heavy.
Observing these consequences I can truthfully say that I regret having made such remarks, and that if I had known beforehand the full harm and hurt to which they would give rise, especially to the Church, but also to survivors and relatives of victims of injustice under the Third Reich, I would not have made them.
On Swedish television I gave only the opinion (..."I believe"..."I believe"...) of a non-historian, an opinion formed 20 years ago on the basis of evidence then available and rarely expressed in public since. However, the events of recent weeks and the advice of senior members of the Society of St. Pius X have persuaded me of my responsibility for much distress caused. To all souls that took honest scandal from what I said before God I apologise.
As the Holy Father has said, every act of injust violence against one man hurts all mankind.
London, 26 February 2009
She has for thirty years been considered a pioneer in the area of feminist theology in North America, with a particular focus in modern feminist theology and liberation theology, especially in Palestine and Latin America. She has also been an outspoken critic of war since the Vietnam era and continues this work today.
The Catholic University of San Diego Department of Theology and Religious Studies published its choice to elect Professor Rosemary Radford Ruether, to the Monsignor John R. Portman Chair in Roman Catholic Theology for the 2009-2010 academic year, circa April 2008. ...This decision was subsequently rescinded in July 2008 when some members of the campus community protested that her academic work was incompatible with the Catholic faith.
In 2005 Ruether explained to an audience at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles her view that "Christianity is riddled by hierarchy and patriarchy" that created a social order in which chaste women on their wedding night "were, in effect, raped by young husbands whose previous sexual experience came from exploitative relationships with servant women and prostitutes."
She is a signatory to the 9/11 Truth Statement.
25 February 2009
24 February 2009
An exaggerated sense of antiquarianism, anthopologism, confusion of roles between the ordained and the non-ordained, a limitless provision of space for experimentation-- and indeed, the tendency to look down upon some aspects of the development of the Liturgy in the second millennium-- were increasingly visible among certain liturgical schools.
Some practices which Sacrosanctum Concilium had never even contemplated were allowed into the Liturgy, like Mass versus populum, Holy Communion in the hand, altogether giving up on the Latin and Gregorian Chant in favor of the vernacular and songs and hymns without much space for God, and extension beyond any reasonable limits of the faculty to concelebrate at Holy Mass. There was also the gross misinterpretation of the principle of "active participation".
help us to be courageous in improving or changing that which was erroneously introduced and which appears to be incompatible with the true dignity of the Liturgy.
Interview with SSPX Bishop Fellay: The Lead-Up to the Papal Decree, the Effects of the Williamson Matter, and What is at Stake
23 February 2009
Tested in mice, the antibodies work by binding to a previously obscure structure in the flu virus which, when blocked, sabotages the pathogen's ability to enter the cell it is trying to infect, according to the study.
Because this structure -- described by one scientist as a "viral Achilles' heel" -- is genetically stable and has resisted mutation over time, the antibodies are effective against many different strains.
The breakthrough "holds considerable promise for further development into a medical tool to treat and prevent seasonal as well as pandemic influenza," said Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which helped fund the study.
Seasonal flu kills more than 250,000 people every year, and pandemic flu, which occurs with the emergence of deadly viral strains against which people lack immunity, remains an ever-present threat.
Vaccines have long been the first line of defense against flu, but even seasonal viruses evolve so rapidly that the vaccines need to be updated every year. Even then, they are not always effective.
Marasco and colleagues turned up 10 of the artificial antibodies that bound to the H5N1 avian flu, said the study, published in the Nature Group's journal Nature Structural and Molecular Biology.
In further experiments with mice, the scientists found that three of these monoclonal antibodies neutralised 10 of 16 known influenza "A" viruses, including H5N1.
To date, only persons in close contact with infected fowl have become infected with this deadly strain. But scientists fear that a future mutation could "jump species" and become easily transmissible among humans.
These were startling results. Not only had a single type of antibody honed in on different strains of virus, it had disarmed the pathogens on its own without having to call in immune system reinforcements.
In a commentary, also published by Nature, Taia Wang and Peter Palese of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York said the study had uncovered "a viral Achilles' heel" that is resistant to genetic variation.
The new findings "brings us closer to the development of a universal influenza virus vaccine," they said.
WARNING ON THE VIDEO BELOW: vulgar expression in the first 20 seconds; don't play it if you don't want to hear it.
UPDATE: Those videos are downright comforting compared to this one:
20 February 2009
19 February 2009
From the website of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest:
SPIRITUAL BOUQUET FOR POPE BENEDICT XVI
Amid the anti-Catholic sentiment in the media of today, please remember to pray for our beloved Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, that God may continue to grant him an abundance of spiritual wisdom and strength to guide the Barque of Peter through the difficult waters of our times.
Desiring to show our filial support and gratitude to our Holy Father, the Institute of Christ the King wishes to offer an abundant spiritual bouquet to His Holiness. Your prayers are needed. To participate in this spiritual bouquet, please use our online form, which will be available until Saturday, March 7. Simply indicate the number and types of prayers you wish to offer. This spiritual bouquet will then be presented directly to His Holiness.
May God bless you for your prayers and sacrifices on behalf of His Vicar on earth.
That is the situation in the world. As a commenter at the Rorate Caeli post said-- no longer is it required that a person travel to the USSR, Asia or Africa to be martyred; it can happen in Europe or the Americas.
The Interior Minister [of the Argentine Republic], Florencio Randazzo, announced that the National Migrations Agency "warned Richard Nelson Williamson to abandon the country within a peremptory ten-day period, under pain of having his expulsion decreed".
Pro-Life Workers Arrested in Birmingham, It’s a Sad Day for Human and Civil Rights
Nine wrongfully arrested in Birmingham, Alabama for distributing pro-life literature on a public sidewalk.WASHINGTON (Catholic Online) – At 7:00 am Friday morning Kortney Blythe was just being released after spending 14 hours in the Birmingham, Alabama city jail. Blythe, along with eight other members of Survivors Campus Life Tour, was arrested for reportedly trespassing while handing out pro-life literature near Parker High School.
She was one of four women released and awaited action regarding the one additional women and the four men who are also members of the group. They were finally released at 9:00am.
As the director of Campus Life Tour, an outreach of the pro-life ministry Survivors, Blythe was busy videotaping the event when, without warning, a dozen police cars arrived on the scene. The men and women were not informed why they were being arrested, but handcuffed and placed in the cars. Their video cameras and other equipment were confiscated and at last report, not yet returned. The group’s van was also impounded.
Blythe told Catholic Online that one officer approached her, saying the group was trespassing. She responded by explaining that they were on a public sidewalk and simply exercising their constitutional rights. The officer responded, “You just can’t be here.”
Not long after that she was stopped from her videotaping and placed in the back of a squad car. Another young woman was also placed next to her whose handcuffs were so tight she was crying out in pain. Police were unresponsive to pleas from Blythe to loosen the woman’s handcuffs.
All but two members of the Survivors Campus Life Tour team distributed educational literature to passing students near Parker High School just as classes were dismissed on Thursday afternoon. The remaining two held large signs and dialogued with students on the public sidewalk.
One member of the group, Rev. Henry “Bud” Shaver, a 30 year-old youth minister, was not only handcuffed but had his feet shackled at the jail. Earlier, when he was arrested near the high school campus he was told by police that the sidewalk was not public property for “non-citizens of Birmingham.”
Blythe was questioned at the jail about the actions of the group, where she explained that they were expressing their rights guaranteed by the Constitution to gather on a public sidewalk and express their opinions. To that, one of the policemen responded, “You’re in Alabama, now.”
After her release this morning Blythe stated, "We were arrested yesterday because of the content of our message. It's clear from the attitudes and actions of the police officers that our message of life is not welcome in Birmingham, and prejudice is alive and well in this city.
During their overnight stay, members of the group learned that some of the guards at the jail also worked as security guards at a local abortion clinic in their off-duty hours.
Attorneys had worked throughout the night to try to get a clear understanding of what happened and to seek the release of the group.
One attorney who is handling the case is Allison Aranda with the Life Legal Defense Fund. She told LifeNews.com, "I am in shock and disbelief that a person can be arrested for simply standing on a public sidewalk and handing out literature."
"If there is any principle that is so deeply rooted in this nation's history it is the right of free speech, and it is shameful that those charged with upholding the law are in fact the ones that violated the highest law of the land today," Aranda said.
18 February 2009
Pelosi is the first top Democrat to meet with Benedict since the election of Barack Obama, who won a majority of the Catholic vote despite differences with the Vatican on abortion.
The Vatican released remarks by the pope to Pelosi, saying Benedict spoke of the church's teaching "on the dignity of human life from conception to natural death." That is an expression often used by the pope when expressing opposition to abortion.
Benedict said all Catholics—especially legislators, jurists and political leaders—should work to create "a just system of laws capable of protecting human life at all stages of its development."
Pelosi could not immediately be reached after the 15-minute meeting, which was closed to reporters and photographers. The two met in a small room of a Vatican auditorium after the pope's weekly public audience.
A number of the bishops in the United States have questioned Pelosi's stance on abortion, particularly her theological defense of her support for abortion rights.
Benedict has cautiously welcomed the new Democratic administration, although several American cardinals have sharply criticized its support of abortion rights in a break from former President George W. Bush.
Pelosi had meetings with Italian leaders the past few days, including Premier Silvio Berlusconi.
St. Francis de Sales Oratory is again holding its annual observance of the Forty Hours devotion before Lent, and is seeking St. Louis-area faithful to keep vigil with Our Lord for an hour during this time.
The Forty Hours begin after 10 am Solemn High Mass on Sunday, February 22, 2009 and conclude with 6:30 pm Solemn High Mass on Tuesday, February 24, 2009.
There are three Solemn High Masses within the 40 Hours’ Devotion
- Sunday Quinquagesima at 10 am as a Votive Mass of the Blessed Sacrament with Procession and Litany of the Saints
- Monday at 6:30 pm as a Votive Mass Pro Pace
- Tuesday at 6:30 pm as a Votive Mass of the Blessed Sacrament
In addition: Low Masses at 8:00 am and 12:10 pm on Monday and Tuesday.
Please sign up in the combox at the bottom of the post. The Oratory will monitor the responses and add you to the schedule. You do NOT need to be a member of the Oratory to sign up.
UPDATE: if you prefer not to put your name in the combox, that is ok, too-- just leave your time taken in the combox and call the rectory at the number below to leave your name.
Just arrive at the time to which you commit, or else call the rectory at 314-771-3100 if there is some change. Address, contact information and directions are at the Oratory's link, above.
Don't worry if you want to cover a time that you already see someone post; the Rector of the Oratory welcomes as many for each hour as wish to come.
UPDATE: Ash Wednesday schedule at the Oratory:
12:10 pm low Mass with Distribution of Ashes
6:30 pm Solemn High Mass with Distribution of Ashes
17 February 2009
AP Medical Writer
|WASHINGTON (AP) - A family desperate to save a child from a lethal brain disease sought highly experimental injections of fetal stem cells—injections that triggered tumors in the boy's brain and spinal cord, Israeli scientists reported Tuesday.|
Scientists are furiously trying to harness different types of stem cells—the building blocks for other cells in the body—to regrow damaged tissues and thus treat devastating diseases. But for all the promise, researchers have long warned that they must learn to control newly injected stem cells so they don't grow where they shouldn't, and small studies in people are only just beginning.
Tuesday's report in the journal PLoS Medicine is the first documented case of a human brain tumor—albeit a benign, slow-growing one—after fetal stem cell therapy, and hammers home the need for careful research. The journal is published by the Public Library of Science.
"Patients, please beware," said Dr. John Gearhart, a stem cell scientist at the University of Pennsylvania who wasn't involved in the Israeli boy's care but who sees similarly desperate U.S. patients head abroad to clinics that offer unproven stem cell injections.
"Cells are not drugs. They can misbehave in so many different ways, it just is going to take a good deal of time" to prove how best to pursue the potential therapy, Gearhart said.
The unidentified Israeli boy has a rare, fatal genetic disease with a tongue-twisting name—ataxia telangiectasia, or A-T. Degeneration of a certain brain region gradually robs these children of movement. Plus, a faulty immune system leads to frequent infections and cancers. Most die in their teens or early 20s.
Israeli doctors pieced together the child's history: When he was 9, the family traveled to Russia, to a Moscow clinic that provided injections of neural stem cells from fetuses—immature cells destined to grow into a main type of brain cells. The cells were injected into his brain and spinal cord twice more, at ages 10 and 12.
Back home in Israel at age 13, the boy's A-T was severe enough to require that he use a wheelchair when he also began complaining of headaches. Tests at Sheba Medical Center in Tel Avivuncovered a growth pushing on his brain stem and a second on his spinal cord. Surgeons removed the spinal cord mass when the boy was 14, in 2006 and they say his general condition has remained stable since then.
But was the boy prone to tumors anyway or were the fetal stem cells to blame? A Tel Aviv University team extensively tested the tumor tissue and concluded it was the fetal cells. Among other evidence, some of the cells were female and had two normal copies of the gene that causes A-T—although that boy's underlying poor immune function could have allowed the growths to take hold.
Using stem cells from multiple fetuses that also were mixed with growth-spurring compounds "may have created a high-risk situation where abnormal growth of more than one cell occurred," wrote lead researcher Dr. Ninette Amariglio of Sheba Medical. She urged better research to "maximize the potential benefits of regenerative medicine while minimizing the risks."
This brain disease wasn't conducive to stem cell therapy in the first place, said stem cell specialist Dr. Marius Wernig of Stanford University, who said it's unclear exactly what was implanted.
"Stem cell transplantations have a humongous potential," Wernig said. But "if people rush out there without really knowing what they're doing ... that really backfires and can bring this whole field to a halt."
Interestingly enough, though, a reader informed me that he attempted several times to leave the following comment at that site:
I am disappointed in your lack of due diligence in adequately researching for this story.
You wrote, "Canon law says only the bishop of a diocese - in this case Murphy-O'Connor - can invite another bishop to celebrate Mass at a church in his diocese." Nowhere does canon law "say" this anywhere.
To the contrary, canon 390 of the Code of Canon Law states that outside of his diocese, a bishop can celebrate a pontifical rite with only the presumed consent of the local bishop, in this case, Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor. Express consent is not required.
The Latin Mass Society was perfectly reasonable in presuming that a Prefect of a Vatican Dicastery was welcome, as a representative of the Roman Pontiff, to celebrate Mass in the Cathedral of Westminster.
Next time, please do your homework. Don't state a factually verifiable error as truth, which is what you did. Anything less is indicative of bias on your part as a journalist.
The problem is that the comment shows as having been posted, yet only on the computer of the person who posts it. In other words, each time the comment is posted, the person posting it sees it--as though it were posted, on his own screen-- but if he goes to another computer it does not appear. This happened to my reader several times. I tried posting the same comment, too, and got the same result. Weird, isn't it?
At the moment, only one comment appears following the post:
I understand that the Cardinal has the authority to do this. However, what is he trying to accomplish?
The interesting thing is that this comment supports the idea that the Cardinal had the authority under Canon law. It questions the prudence of the decision, but it supports the authority all the same.
Perhaps we should assume this is a temporary glitch in the Post-Dispatch's comments area and that this will be soon corrected. Weird.
Posted By: Damian Thompson at Feb 17, 2009 at 11:56:00
Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor has invoked Canon Law to justify banning Archbishop Raymond Burke, a senior Vatican prelate, from saying the traditional Latin Mass at Westminster Cathedral in June.
As I reported last night, the Latin Mass Society has been forced by the Cardinal to rescind its invitation to Archbishop Burke, Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura and one of Benedict XVI's right-hand men, to celebrate its annual Mass.
A spokesman has just told me: "In accordance with Canon 838, it is the Cardinal who lays down in the church entrusted to his care the liturgical regulations which are binding on all." Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor was keen to have one of his own auxiliaries say the Mass, and Bishop John Arnold will now do so, he added. Archbishop Burke "is welcome to attend", but "it wasn't really the position of the Latin Mass Society to invite him in the first place".
My contacts in the Society are horrified by what they regard as a insult to Archbishop Burke, a former Archbishop of St Louis who is expected to be made a cardinal soon. They say they had no idea that the Cardinal's permission for the Archbishop to celebrate would be anything other than a formality.
Even if the LMS slipped up, the decision to force them to disinvite Archbishop Burke is extraordinary. "It seems like a declaration of war - an incredibly petty piece of point-scoring," says my source.
By refusing Archbishop Burke permission to celebrate the sacrifice of the Mass for the LMS annual event, Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor is giving the impression that the Catholic Church is not truly universal, but rather a patchwork of local fiefdoms with their own liturgical preferences.
Ask yourself: what damage would have been done by alowing +Raymond to celebrate in Westminster Cathedral? None at all. On the contrary: forging links between the cathedral and such a dynamic prelate, close to the Holy Father, would emphasise the loyalty of the English Church to Rome. As it is, that Church now looks small-minded and vindictive.
One interesting point: Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor should not assume that his decision will be welcomed by priests, staff and worshippers at Westminster Cathedral, who are considerably better disposed to the traditional Mass than he is. The Archbishop of Westminster now has a PR problem on his hands.