30 November 2010

The Archbishop Seeks Your Input on Catholic Schools

My thanks to the reader who tipped me to this item. The Archbishop of Saint Louis is inviting Catholics to participate in an online survey on ways to achieve his goal of vibrant Catholic schools. The survey is brief, consisting of three questions with multiple responses for each question. It will remain open at this link until December 17, 2010.

I wasn't entirely sure that the available choices encompassed the universe of possible solutions, especially in question 2. However, in question one-- "The three (3) strategies I think are most likely to strengthen Catholic identity in the Catholic schools of the Archdiocese of St. Louis are:"-- I wish I could have voted about 5,000 times for this choice:

"Ensure that authentic Catholic teaching is taught consistently and integrated into all curricular areas and all school activities."


I encourage all readers to follow the link and give your input.

Political Prisoner Intends to Play in NFL Next Year

Political prisoner Plaxico Burress intends to play in the NFL next year, and his agent Drew "I love this man/Next question." Rosenhaus says at least two NFL teams are in touch with him about this possibility. Let's all pray the Rams are one of them.

Just Another Day in Amerika, or, at Least, New Jerzey

Keep reminding yourself that "they hate us for our freedoms". From Philly.com:

Family: New Jersey man serving 7 years for guns he owned legally

By JASON NARK
Philadelphia Daily News


EVERYTHING Brian Aitken was or had worked for was wiped away one winter afternoon after his mother called the police on him.

Separated from his wife, the entrepreneur and media consultant, now 27, had moved back home to New Jersey from Colorado toward the end of 2008 to be closer to their young son.

In between jobs, his well-oiled life was running ragged, and on Jan. 2, 2009, when his ex canceled his visit with their son, he became distraught, muttered something to his mother, and left his parents' home in Mount Laurel, N.J.

"He said something that scared her, things that a guy will only say to his mom, like . . . 'Life's not worth living anymore,' " said Larry Aitken, Brian's father.

Sue Aitken, a trained social worker, decided to play it safe and called police, but she hung up before the 9-1-1 dispatcher could answer. Police traced the call and showed up anyway, and found two handguns in the trunk of Brian's car. And now Brian, her middle child, a graduate student with no prior criminal record, is serving a seven-year prison sentence for weapons charges.

No one blames Sue Aitken for Brian's arrest, except herself maybe, but his father and attorney claim that the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office and the former Superior Court judge who tried the case ignored evidence that proved Brian had the guns legally. The family has asked New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for clemency and has garnered a great deal of support on a "Free Brian Aitken" Facebook page and among gun-rights advocates.

Aitken and his supporters believe that he had a legal exemption to have the handguns in his car because he was moving from his parents' home to a residence in Hoboken.

"This case is the perfect storm of injustice," said Aitken's attorney, Evan Nappen, of Eatontown, Monmouth County, who specializes in gun laws.

The Burlington County Prosecutor's Office and former Superior Court Judge James Morley said Aitken and his legal team tried during closing arguments to raise an issue related to Aitken's moving that wasn't presented during the trial, but Morley wouldn't consider it. Aitken remains in prison pending his appeal.

[...]


Handguns in a duffel bag

When Mount Laurel police arrived at the Aitkens' home on Jan. 2, 2009, they called Brian - who was driving to Hoboken - and asked him to return to his parents' home because they were worried. When he arrived, the cops checked his Honda Civic and, inside the trunk, in a box stuffed into a duffel bag with clothes, they found two handguns, both locked and unloaded as New Jersey law requires.

Aitken had passed an FBI background check to buy them in Colorado when he lived there, his father said, and had contacted New Jersey State Police and discussed the proper way to transport them.

"He bought them at Bass Pro Shops, for God's sake, not some guy named Tony on the street corner," his father said.

New Jersey and Colorado are on opposite ends of the gun-control spectrum. In Colorado, all he needed was the background check to own the guns.

In the Garden State, Aitken was required to have a purchaser's permit from New Jersey to own the guns and a carry permit to have them in his car.

He also was charged with having "large capacity" magazines and hollow-point bullets, which one state gun-control advocate found troubling.

"What little I can glean about the transportation issue leaves me puzzled, but a person with common sense would not be moving illegal products from one place to another by car," said Bryan Miller, executive director of CeaseFire NJ, an organization devoted to reducing gun violence.

"If Mr. Aitken did the research he said he did, he would not have hollow-point bullets and large-capacity magazines in the vehicle," Miller said. "They are illegal, period."

New Jersey allows exemptions for gun owners to transport weapons for hunting or if they are moving from one residence to another. During the trial, Aitken's mother testified that her son was moving things out, and his friend in Hoboken testified he was moving things in. A Mount Laurel officer, according to Larry Aitken, testified that he saw boxes of dishes and clothes in the Honda Civic on the day of the arrest.
The exemption statute, according to the prosecutor's office, specifies that legal guns can be transported "while moving." Despite testimony about his moving to Hoboken, a spokesman for the prosecutor said the evidence suggested that Aitken had moved months earlier, from Colorado to Mount Laurel. "Again, there was no evidence that he was then presently moving," spokesman Joel Bewley said.

After Nappen raised the moving-exemption issue, he said, the jury asked Judge Morley for the exemption statute several times and he refused to hand it over to them. Morley, in a phone interview, echoed the sentiments of the prosecutor's office.

"My recollection of the case is that I ruled he had not presented evidence sufficient to justify giving the jury the charge on the affirmative offense that he was in the process of moving," Morley said.

Morley declined to comment further.

Aitken, who did not testify, was convicted and in August sentenced to prison. His father said that his son was involved in an "incident" after arriving in prison but that he doesn't discuss it.

"This is the most normal, everyday, All-American regular kid, and for this to happen to him is a disgrace," Larry Aitken said. "It's a disgrace of society."

29 November 2010

Daily Consecration of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest to the Blessed Virgin Mary

In the presence of God Almighty, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and with heaven and earth as our witness, we prostrate ourselves at thy feet, O Mary, Our Lady.

We acknowledge Thee as our Mother, as the Immaculate Conception, living tabernacle of the Divinity, as Queen of angels and of men, as Mother of the Church and of the Catholic priesthood, and as refuge of the afflicted. That is why, small and weak that we are, we wish to consecrate to Thee our Institute, our families, our persons, our works, our future, all that pertains to us and is in us, and which God, in His immeasurable goodness, has entrusted to us for our good use.

We also consecrate to Thee the value of our good actions, past, present, and future, leaving to Thee the entire and full right of disposing of us and all that belongs to us. Mary, be our Mother; sanctify us, purify us, correct us, guide us, pray for us and protect us.

Help us to perfectly fulfill the duties of our state of life. Extinguish in us all self-love, which prevents Thy Divine Son, King and Sovereign Priest, from reigning in and around us.

Cover abundantly with thy maternal protection all the parishes, chapels, schools, works and missions entrusted to the Institute, and mayest Thou forever impede the devil from reigning, in any manner, in this Institute which desires to be entirely Thine for the greater glory of God, the exaltation of our Mother the Holy Catholic Church, and for the conversion of sinners. Amen.

I Hate It When My Hair Does This, p.2


BSC approved.

Novena to the Immaculate Conception Begins Today

...With Mass at 6:30pm tonight at St. Francis de Sales Oratory, with Canon Matthew Talarico as guest celebrant and sermonist. The full schedule is below, with map and directions at the link above:

Monday, 11/29, 6:30 PM: Canon Matthew Talarico
“Dogma of the Immaculate Conception: Historical Turning Point, Life Changing Truth”

Tuesday, 11/30, 6:30 PM: Father Brian Harrison
“Scriptural Basis of the Immaculate Conception”

Wednesday, 12/1, 6:30 PM: Father Eric Kunz
“Mary the Mediatrix of all Grace”

Thursday, 12/2, 6:30 PM: Canon Aaron Huberfeld
“The Immaculate Conception and the Queenship of Mary”

Friday, 12/3, 6:30 PM: The Most Reverend Robert Hermann - Auxiliary Bishop of St. Louis
“Our Lady of Guadalupe— The Answer to Secularism”

Saturday, 12/4, 8:00 AM: Father Thomas Keller
"The Immaculate Conception and the Catholic Priesthood”

Sunday, 12/5, 10:00 AM: Father Michael Witt - Rector, Kenrick Seminary
“Mary speaks to France—Three Confirmations of the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception”

Monday, 12/6, 6:30 PM: Canon William Avis
“Immaculate Conception, Victory over the devil”

Tuesday, 12/7, 6:30 PM: Father Gregory Lockwood
“St. Ambrose and the Blessed Virgin”

28 November 2010

Even the German Text of Pope's Remarks Mistranslated


James Bogle of the Catholic Union of Great Britain has done the Catholic public a service by relating just how poorly the Vatican press has served the Pope. In the recent condom remarks flap, it isn't just that the sense of the Pope's words was taken out of context and distorted-- the very translation from German is seriously deficient:

____________________

"Light of the World": The Pope, condoms and media inaccuracy

Regrettably, the media seems to be up to their old tricks and this time
L'Osservatore Romano seems to be among them, even going so far as to break
the embargo and publish mistranslated extracts on 20 November, 3 days before
the book, Light of the World, was due out, thereby virtually ensuring that a
misrepresentation of the Pope's words was what hit the world's headlines.

The media are reporting that the Pope said this in his interview with Peter
Seewald, in the book Licht der Welt, "Light of the World":

"Es mag begründete Einzelfälle geben, etwa wenn ein Prostituierter ein
Kondom verwendet, wo dies ein erster Schritt zu einer Moralisierung sein
kann."

Which translates:

"It may be justified in individual cases, as when a (male) prostitute uses a
condom, where this is a first step towards morality"

However, he, the Pope never uses the word "begründete" or "giustificato" or
"justified", neither does he say that "individual cases" of condom use may
be justified. Yet this appears in L'OR and even, some say, the Italian
translation of the book.

Sandro Magister gives extracts from the book and includes the original
German of the controversial passage but then he goes on to mistranslate it
himself. See here:

http://chiesa.espresso.repubblica.it/articolo/1345667?eng=y

Here's Sandro Magister's extract from the book (assuming Magister has not
got that wrong, too). It reads:

"Die bloße Fixierung auf das Kondom bedeutet eine Banalisierung der
Sexualität, und die ist ja gerade die gefährliche Quelle dafür, dass die
Menschen in der Sexualität nicht mehr den Ausdruck ihrer Liebe finden,
sondern nur noch eine Art von Droge, die sie sich selbst verabreichen.
Deshalb ist auch der Kampf gegen die Banalisierung der Sexualität ein Teil
des Ringens darum, dass Sexualität positiv gewertet wird und ihre positive
Wirkung im Ganzen des Menschseins entfalten kann. Ich würde sagen, wenn ein
Prostituierter ein Kondom verwendet, kann das ein erster Akt zu einer
Moralisierung sein, ein erstes Stück Verantwortung, um wieder ein
Bewusstsein dafür zu entwickeln, dass nicht alles gestattet ist und man
nicht alles tun kann, was man will. Aber es ist nicht die eigentliche Art,
dem Übel beizukommen. Diese muss wirklich in der Vermenschlichung der
Sexualität liegen".

Magister makes this translation:

"Concentrating only on the condom means trivializing sexuality, and this
trivialization represents precisely the dangerous reason why so many people
no longer see sexuality as an expression of their love, but only as a sort
of drug, which one administers on one's own. This is why the struggle
against the trivialization of sexuality is also part of the great effort so
that sexuality may be valued positively, and may exercise its positive
effect on the human being in his totality. There can be individual cases
that are justified, for example when a [male] prostitute [ein
Prostituierter] uses a condom, and this can be the first step toward a moral
sensitization, a first act of responsibility to develop once again the
understanding of the fact that not everything is permitted, and that one
cannot do whatever one wishes. Nonetheless, this is not the real and proper
way to overcome HIV infection. What is truly needed is a humanization of
sexuality."

That is not an accurate translation.

Neither is that used by the BBC here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-11804798

The BBC version reads as follows:

"This means that the sheer fixation on the condom implies a banalization of
sexuality, which, after all, is precisely the dangerous source of the
attitude of no longer seeing sexuality as the expression of love, but only a
sort of drug that people administer to themselves. This is why the fight
against the banalization of sexuality is also a part of the struggle to
ensure that sexuality is treated as a positive value and to enable it to
have a positive effect on the whole of man's being.

There may be a basis in the case of some individuals, as perhaps when a male
prostitute uses a condom, where this can be a first step in the direction of
a moralization, a first assumption of responsibility, on the way toward
recovering an awareness that not everything is allowed and that one cannot
do whatever one wants. But it is not really the way to deal with the evil of
HIV infection. That can really lie only in a humanization of sexuality."

The extract actually translates thus:

"I would say, if a (male) prostitute uses a condom, that can be the first
act towards a moralisation, a first step to responsibility, toward
developing a consciousness that not everything is permitted and that one
cannot simply do what one wants, when one wants it. But this does not get to
the root of the evil. That must really lie in humanising sexuality."

Thus, it appears that the Pope never actually said what is attributed to him
by L'Osservatore Romano and other media.

Unless someone can show that any of the above is wrong, please ensure that
this correction is passed far and wide.

Moreover, Magister seriously misrepresents Catholic teaching on the condom
use in his article when he writes:

"...Benedict XVI justifies the use of a condom by a prostitute (in the
masculine form in the original German of the book: "ein Prostituierter"). A
use that Catholic moral doctrine already acknowledges - on a par with
recourse to condoms by spouses when one of them is infected with HIV - but
is publicly approved of by a pope for the first time here".

This is simply misreporting and a journalist of Magister's seniority ought
to know better.

Best wishes,

James Bogle
Chairman
The Catholic Union of Great Britain.

The Withered Branch


I am the vine: you the branches. He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing. If any one abide not in me, he shall be cast forth as a branch and shall wither: and they shall gather him up and cast him into the fire: and he burneth.

John 15:5-6

One of the things I have to ask myself before posting another St. Stan's post-- and I am sure many readers ask themselves before reading it, too-- is this: Why? What is the point of beating the deadest of dead horses?

I agree with the general sentiment that those Catholics who wish to remain Catholic and who have read this blog are sufficiently warned about Mr. Bozek and the very real schism at St. Stanislaus Kostka. I think that Mr. Bozek has been sufficiently made aware of the grave evils he has committed and continues to further there. His own Ordinary and two Archbishops of Saint Louis have made it clear that he risks his own soul and the souls of those he pretends to lead. His resistance to the calls of grace is public.

As the lawsuit by the Archdiocese progresses, there are the usual settlement talks, and as these settlement talks progress I am getting lots of communication from various places about the state of matters. But really, until there is news of a settlement there is no need to beat the dead horse.

However, the above photo depicts a gravely immoral act, and must be made known for the sake of anyone left at St. Stan's who "just wants to be Catholic", and for the sake of the faithful of the Archdiocese so they may know that this determined action to rid the local Church of this false shepherd is necessary, and must be successfully concluded. Call it one last effort to get the truth out about the nature of the St. Stan's schism.

The above photo depicts Bozek consecrating bread and wine along with ministers from the Lutheran and Church of the Advent sects; apparently, they are "co-consecrating" the species (though of course in the case of the Lutheran deaconess this is impossible, and unless the other two are degraded Catholic priests like Mr. Bozek himself, it is also impossible for them).

This is called communicatio in sacris (communion in sacred things). It presumes an ecclesiastical communion between the Catholic Church and the other Church or ecclesial body which does not exist. It is therefore both fraudulent and gravely immoral. Bozek is setting the example in public that a self-professed Catholic may take communion with non-Catholics; worse, still, he is saying that it is acceptable for a Catholic priest to provide communion to non-Catholics; worst of all, he is equating the power and authority to consecrate bread and wine to effect the transubstantiation of this matter into the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ with the office of Lutheran or other Protestant minister.

Canon 908
It is forbidden for Catholic priests to concelebrate the Euchar
ist with priests or ministers of churches or ecclesial communities which are not in full communion with the Catholic Church.

Canon 1365
A person guilty of prohibited participation in sacred rites (communicatio in sacris) is to be punished with a just penalty.

It is time for the remnant of sincere Catholics at St. Stan's to get rid of this man.

But, you say, perhaps the Board of St. Stan's is unaware of these activities. Bozek attended the women's sorta-nation on the sly, right? Well, this photo shows, among others, the current head of the Board of Directors at St. Stan's. So much for invincible ignorance.


So, now we know that Bozek has attempted to affiliate himself and the duped congregation of St. Stan's with the following groups: Reformed Catholic Church (which group supports homosexual and married priests), MarriedPriest Now! (which group is affiliated with the Reunification Church of Reverend Moon), Roman Catholic WomenPriest (and its fourteen or so angry feminist member/"priestesses"), the Ecumenical Catholic Communion (that has a local support group of disaffected persons, and supports homosexual and women priests), the so-called Polish Catholic Church (a group in Poland) and the latest is, according to one source, the Reformed Catholic Communion which he and two other former priests are establishing.

No one seems to want him except, ironically enough, the one Church he refuses to heed-- the Catholic Church.

He dresses like a bishop, and yet, I cannot confirm that he has become one, even as defined by some other schismatic or heretical sect.

He has been offered a severance/settlement package to leave St. Stan's, this much we know through the Archdiocese and sources within St. Stan's. The amount of money alleged varies from the ridiculous to the less ridiculous (800K? 150K?). He was nearly ousted by the Board last year; he was nearly voted out by the congregation this year. Each time, the rebels lifted him out of the fire in the nick of time.

The time has come, St. Stan's, to finally rid yourselves of a pernicious usurper. He has wasted your parish. Whatever deal is on the table from the Archdiocese, take it.

24 November 2010

"I, as a Cardinal, need your prayers now more than ever.": Cardinal Burke's Sermon on the Feast of Saint Cecilia


Thanks to Sr. Rosalind for bringing this to my attention. I have reproduced His Eminence's sermon below, but have omitted the notes, which you can read along with the sermon at Inside the Vatican.
_______________________

HOMILY

By Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke

_______________________

Praised be Jesus Christ, now and for ever. Amen.

Saint Cecilia whose memory we celebrate today was a wise virgin who carefully provided oil for her lamp, so that when her Lord came, He found her waiting and ready to meet Him with her lamp burning brightly. We know little about her life, but, from tradition, we know the essence of her heroic holiness. She was a young Roman maiden, who was raised in the Christian faith.

She, in fact, developed so strongly in her love of our Lord, through prayer and penance, that she resolved to offer her virginity to Our Lord as a perpetual gift, that is, to espouse our Lord alone as her Bridegroom for ever. Contrary to her resolve, her father insisted that she marry a certain pagan by the name of Valerian, but, on the day of her wedding, we are told that “amid the music and rejoicing of the guests, Cecilia sat apart, singing to God in her heart and praying for help in her predicament.”[1]

One imagines that she was praying the words of the Psalms according to the ancient chant of the Church, which developed organically from the chant used in Jewish worship and continues today to be singularly suited to the raising of our minds and hearts to the Lord.

The Lord heard her prayer, made even more pure and beautiful because it was offered to Him in sacred song. Through the help of an angel, her new husband was converted to the faith and received Baptism at the hands of the Bishop of Rome, Pope Urban. Having come to life in Christ through Baptism, Valerian fully respected Cecilia’s virginal consecration. With Saint Cecilia, he rapidly grew in pure and selfless love, and soon gave, with her, the supreme witness of total and faithful love of our Lord by accepting a cruel martyrdom for the faith.

In the life of Saint Cecilia, we see fulfilled, in a most striking manner, the promise of our Lord’s immeasurable and ceaseless love of all men, without exception, the divine love which we celebrate most fully and perfectly in this Eucharistic Sacrifice. Our Lord promises His holy people: “I will espouse you to me forever: I will espouse you in right and in justice, in love and in mercy; I will espouse you in fidelity, and you shall know the Lord.”[2]

Our Lord called Saint Cecilia to espouse Him in love, to offer to Him her virginity, her whole being. Saint Cecilia responded with all her heart, placing her heart completely into the glorious pierced Heart of our Lord. In the Sacred Heart of Jesus, her love was purified and strengthened, so that the witness of her virginal love reached its fullness with the crown of martyrdom. The pure white of her love as a virgin found its consummation in the courageous scarlet of her love as a martyr for the faith.

The life and martyrdom of Saint Cecilia, in the few details which have come to us, like the life of every consecrated virgin, teaches each of us the reality of Christ’s love in our lives, a love which invites us to espouse Him, to be one in heart with Him in loving one another as He loves us, purely and selflessly.

Saint Cecilia, by her virginal consecration, teaches all of us the way in which Our Lord is calling us to give ourselves to Him and to His Mystical Body, the Church, and to all men, in love, whether we are called to lifelong, faithful and fruitful love in the married life, in the dedicated single life, in the consecrated life or in the priesthood. On her feast day, we ask Saint Cecilia to pray for us, so that each of us will remain steadfast in responding to our vocation in life, so that we will never fail to provide oil for our lamps, so that, each and every day, Our Lord will find us waiting and ready to welcome Him, with our lamps burning brightly. We pray, through the intercession of Saint Cecilia, that Our Lord will find us always ready to give our hearts completely to Him.

Providentially, our celebration of the memory of Saint Cecilia coincides with the day on which we offer to our Lord the Holy Mass in thanksgiving for the Ordinary Public Consistory, held on this past Saturday, during which our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI created new Cardinals to assist him in his shepherd’s care of the universal Church. The distinctive vesture of the Cardinal, the scarlet biretta and cassock, uncover the meaning of the position to which he is elevated. The purity and selflessness of the Cardinal’s love of the Church, to whom he, as a priest, is espoused in a way analogous to the consecrated virgin, must be further purified and strengthened, in order that, in the words of the Successor of Saint Peter at the imposition of the cardinalitial biretta, the Cardinal may show himself to be “intrepid, even to the shedding of his blood for the building up of the Christian faith, the peace and harmony of the People of God, and the freedom and the extension of the Holy Roman Church.”[3]

The Cardinal has a particular bond with the virgin martyrs. They are a sterling example to him of how he is to love Christ and the Church, while, at the same time, they intercede powerfully for him, so that he may be a sign to the faithful of our Lord’s ceaseless and immeasurable love, “to the end,”[4] to the very outpouring of His life for us, on Calvary, His Sacrifice made ever present for us in the Holy Eucharist.

The cassock, the traditional and venerable vesture of the priest, Bishop and Cardinal, in carrying out the office of pastoral charity, above all in the Sacraments of Penance and the Holy Eucharist, is a sign of his belonging totally to Christ through priestly consecration.[5] When the priest puts on the cassock, he is reminded in a visible way that he has been configured to Christ, Head and Shepherd of the flock in every time and place, and that it is Christ Who is acting in Him, most especially in the offering of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and in the forgiveness of sins in the Sacrament of Penance, for the salvation of all men and of the whole world. The cassock also helps him to avoid the temptation to see himself, instead of Christ, as the protagonist in the works of pastoral charity, and, thereby, it is a practical help in the daily conversion of life, in the day by day emptying of himself, so that his priestly being may be filled with the grace of Christ the High Priest.

The change of the color of the cassock for the Bishop expresses the gift of the fullness of the priesthood, and for the Cardinal a particular service given to the Shepherd of the universal Church, in his office of “perpetual and visible principle and foundation of the unity of the faith and of communion.”[6] For my own part, I can testify that with the changing of the color of the cassock there comes an increase of responsibility, in Christ, for the life of the Church, which is daunting, but there is likewise a wonderful outpouring of grace for the bearing of the burden. The courageous bearing of the burden for love of Christ and His flock brings deep and abiding joy and peace. In this light, we understand the importance of our daily prayers for our priests, Bishops, Cardinals and the Holy Father. In this light, you will understand that I, as a Cardinal, need your prayers now more than ever.

In striving to understand the service of the Cardinal in the Church, one naturally turns to the lives of Cardinals who have been heroically virtuous in fulfilling the responsibilities of their office. I think, for example, of Saint John Fisher who received the Cardinal’s hat, when he was already in prison for his refusal to sign the Act of Supremacy of King Henry VIII, by which he would have betrayed Christ, denying that Christ alone is Head and Shepherd of the Church through His Vicar on earth, the Roman Pontiff, Successor of Saint Peter. When the Cardinal’s hat reached Calais in France on its way from Rome to London, the King was informed and immediately sent his secretary, Thomas Cromwell, to speak with Bishop Fisher in prison. When Cromwell asked the good Bishop whether he would accept the Cardinal’s hat from the Holy Father, Pope Paul III, should it be sent to him, Saint John Fisher responded:

"I know myself far unworthy of any such dignity, that I think of nothing less than such matters; but if he do send it to me, assure yourself I will work with it by all means I can to benefit the church of Christ, and in that respect I will receive it on my knees."[7]

The King, whose heart had once been belonged to the Lord but had then turned against the Lord, understood the meaning of Saint John Fisher’s words and, in his angry rebellion against the law of Our Lord, written on his very heart, declared:

"Well, let the pope send him a hat, when he will. But I will so provide that, whensoever it cometh, he shall wear it on his shoulders, for head shall he have no more to see it on."[8]

On June 22, 1535, Saint John Fisher was beheaded, intrepid in giving himself totally to Our Lord and His Church, to the very outpouring of his blood.

Although not every Cardinal will be called to give his life in red martyrdom for the sake of the Church and, above all, for the sake of the exercise of the ministry of the Vicar of Christ on earth, he is called daily to be intrepid, to give his life in white martyrdom, steadfastly and courageously defending the Catholic Church and her holy faith in the care of Saint Peter and his successors. How steadfast and courageous a Cardinal must be, today, in assisting Pope Benedict XVI in his pastoral ministry, announcing the truth of the faith, caring for the worthy celebration of the Sacraments as the privileged actions of Christ for our eternal salvation and for the life of prayer, devotion and penance, and governing lovingly and firmly the members of the Body of Christ, so that they may be one in Christ Who alone is “the way, and the truth, and the life!”[9]

I think, for instance, of the Holy Father’s tireless teaching of the moral law to a world which, like King Henry VIII, is in rebellion against the law of God, written upon every human heart, above all in its violations of the dignity of human life and the integrity of the family as the first cell of society. In his address to representatives of British society, on this past September 17th, Pope Benedict lovingly and firmly taught the truth that our religious faith must inform our life in society, purifying and strengthening political action so that it may be coherent with right reason, with the law of God written upon every human heart. He declared:

"Religion, in other words, is not a problem for legislators to solve, but a vital contributor to the national conversation. In this light, I cannot but voice my concern at the increasing marginalization of religion, particularly of Christianity, that is taking place in some quarters, even in nations which place a great emphasis on tolerance. There are those who would advocate that the voice of religion be silenced, or at least relegated to the purely private sphere. There are those who argue that the public celebration of festivals such as Christmas should be discouraged, in the questionable belief that it might somehow offend those of other religions or none. And there are those who argue – paradoxically with the intention of eliminating discrimination – that Christians in public roles should be required at times to act against their conscience. These are worrying signs of a failure to appreciate not only the rights of believers to freedom of conscience and freedom of religion, but also the legitimate role of religion in the public square."[10]

How pernicious it is that, in society which, for the pursuit of the common good, depends upon citizens acting in obedience to their conscience, her government attempts to compel her citizens to violate their conscience in its most fundamental tenets pertaining to the dignity of all human life and the integrity of the family!

The Church’s teaching on the service of the Church to society, also in the political realm, as the Holy Father himself noted, is not always welcome, even as the Church’s teaching on the Petrine office was not welcomed by King Henry VIII, but the Church, the Virgin Mother of all the faithful, must keep her lamp trimmed and burning brightly, waiting always for the coming of Our Lord and welcoming Him each day, at every hour, as He offers us the grace of eternal salvation.

The Cardinal today is called, in a special way, to assist the Roman Pontiff in announcing all of the truths of the faith, but, in a particular way, the truth regarding the natural moral law to be observed for the good of all in society.

There are so many other aspects of the Petrine ministry of Pope Benedict XVI, to which a Cardinal must attend and be ready to offer his assistance to the Vicar of Christ on earth.

I think also of the tireless work of our Holy Father to carry out a reform of the post-Conciliar liturgical reform[11], conforming the celebration of the Sacred Liturgy to the perennial teaching of the Church as it was presented anew at the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, so that in every liturgical action we may see more clearly the action of Christ Himself who unites heaven and earth, even now, in preparation for His Final Coming, when He will inaugurate “news heaven and a new earth,”[12] when we will all celebrate the fullness of life and love in the liturgy in the heavenly Jerusalem.[13] The Cardinal today is called, in a special way, to assist the Successor of Saint Peter, in handing on, in an unbroken organic line, what Christ Himself has given us in the Church, His Eucharistic Sacrifice, “the font and highest expression of the whole Christian life.”[14] The right order of Sacred Worship in the Church is the condition of the possibility of the right order of her teaching and the right order of her conduct.
May our celebration of the Holy Eucharist on the Memorial of Saint Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr, unite our hearts more totally to the glorious pierced Heart of Jesus, ever open to receive us, especially in the Eucharistic Sacrifice. Lifting up our hearts, with the Immaculate Heart of Mary, to the glorious Sacred Heart of Jesus, our lives will be purified and strengthened for a more pure and selfless love of God and of one another.

Lifting up our hearts to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we lift up to Him, in a special way, the newly created Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, thanking Him for them and praying that every Cardinal will always find in His glorious pierced Heart the purification and the strength to fulfill the particular responsibilities of service to His Vicar on earth, “intrepid, even to the shedding of his blood for the building up of the Christian faith, the peace and harmony of the People of God, and the freedom and the extension of the Holy Roman Church.”[15]

In the Heart of Jesus, may we all find the wisdom by which we will keep our lamps trimmed, provided with the unfailing oil of His grace, so that at every moment of our lives, we, with Saint Cecilia, will be waiting and ready to meet Him with our lamps burning brightly.

Heart of Jesus, King and Center of all Hearts, have mercy on us.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mother of America and Star of the New Evangelization, pray for us.

Saint Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr, pray for us.

Saint John Fisher, Bishop, Cardinal and Martyr, pray for us.

—Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke


Thanksgiving Tomorrow, Greetings Today

Hi, everyone. I intend on continuing to post throughout the upcoming long weekend, but as with any break, you never know how things will turn out.

So, just in case, I am posting my thanks to God for all of the many blessings He has given me, which of course I don't deserve but which He pours out in abundance. The Catholic faith is the greatest blessing of all, because in Her I come to know the Divine Spouse whose passion, death and resurrection makes all hope of eternal life possible. My wife, as many of you know too well, is "above my pay grade", and my 32 children are a source of great joy. I am grateful for the Institute and its wonderful priests, sisters and oblates. I am thankful that St. Francis de Sales decided to write stuff down. Many thanks to God, too, for family, and for the many wonderful friends with whom he has blessed me.

And thank you to all of you who read here. You are in my prayers.

I really wanted to emphasize just how grateful I am for all of His blessings this year, because though we see reasons for concern in world events, nothing changes the essential reality that God is God, and that He loves us.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. God bless you all.

23 November 2010

Confirmed: Bishop Williamson Not Retaining Controversial Lawyer

Just to set the record straight, Bishop Williamson's newsletter editor has confirmed to Rorate Caeli that Bishop Williamson has complied with the request of Bishop Fellay, General Superior of the SSPX:

"Let it be known that Bp. Williamson will NOT be using the services of the lawyer mentioned in Fr. Thouvenot's communiqué of 20 November 2010."

Father Richard Sets It Straight

About the Pope's remarks on condoms, that is. The excellent moral theologian resident here in the Archdiocese has the goods at his site.

21 November 2010

Mr. Bozek Putting on More and Greater Airs?


A new act may have opened on the Marek Bozek circus. I have heard rumors that Mr. Bozek has been long coveting the title of Bishop; current and former parishioners send me items from time to time, and the Bozek as Bishop drama has long been in the works.

You will recall that Mr. Bozek tried to latch on with the Moonie-backed pseudo-Catholic outfit headed by the excommunicated Archbishop Milingo, the new defunct RCC, and the so-called "Polish Catholic Church". Years ago a source told me that they saw a bishop's ring and crosier in the rectory at St. Stan's. While I didn't disbelieve it, I couldn't front for the veracity of the claim.

However, there is now some evidence for public examination. If you examine the picture above, which was sent to me from another source, you will see that Mr. Bozek is wearing a peculiar kind of cassock. Look at the buttons and piping, and you see a cassock worn by prelates-- monsignors or bishops. Is this just a style choice, or is Bozek now pretending to be a Catholic bishop? This was taken around All Souls' Day this year.

The flirting with several heretical and schismatic groups is documented. The rumor of illicit ordinations occurring behind closed doors at St. Stan's has also been the subject of news stories.

Based on emails from a lot of different sources with interest in St. Stan's, it is clear that the former parish is dying out-- "faster than it did" before the split, one says. Three Masses on Sundays draw fewer than 100 persons in all.

There are other things alleged to be going on at St. Stan's that I won't print until I can prove them on more than hearsay. We know that the former parish and its leader support gay marriage, divorce and remarriage, open communion, communal penance and absolution, and operating under the false pretense of being Catholic when the parish was suppressed and several leaders, including the pseudo-pastor, were excommunicated. You can imagine the mess.

It truly is a circus.

The Archdiocese needs to bring this show to a close. If it wins the lawsuit, rebuilding this parish will be a herculean task. Who knows when Mr. Bozek will announce his new pretend status, or reveal the identities of those new priests (real or otherwise) whom he has ordained.

I wonder what the attendance at Christmas Eve 2010 will be, and whether the local press will be there to report on the fruits of schism five years later.

20 November 2010

The Perils of the Prelate-Press Interview, Part II [UPDATED}

[UPDATE: Rorate Caeli is reporting that Bishop Williamson has discharged his new attorney objected to by Bishop Fellay]

The second media flap of the day involves Bishop Richard Williamson of the SSPX. The story arises from the news is that His Excellency has switched lawyers for his defense against charges of Holocaust denial set for trial in Germany.

(N.B. Nothing I will write below changes the fact that prosecuting someone for speech, or one's own personal opinion, is absolutely repugnant and unconscionable. It is completely antithetical to a free society, if anyone was under the illusion that such a thing exists in Western Europe. One may as well prosecute someone who doubts that Washington crossed the Delaware, or that Leonardo da Vinci ever lived. It doesn't matter whether Williamson's assertions-- actual or imputed-- are true.)

Ordinarily the choice of one's legal counsel is not a controversial or newsworthy thing, but when it is it is usually because the lawyer hired or fired is of some renown. This time is no different.

You will recall that Bishop Williamson's interview with a Swedish television operation, which interview took place in Germany long before the Pope lifted the SSPX excommunications, were published just a few days before the Vatican's announcement, the timing of which was suspiciously convenient to embarrass the SSPX and the Holy Father, and which nearly sunk the whole deal. The unfair reporting of it made it impossible for the SSPX to shake charges of anti-semitism without finally casting Bishop Williamson into a forced sabbatical.

I wondered why Williamson, regardless of his beliefs on the subject, allowed himself to be interviewed for publication, in Germany no less, about a topic that has nothing to do with his vocation or mission within the Society. I know there are many in the press, and many "liberal" Catholics, who would love to sink any reconciliation of the SSPX. But that incident made me wonder if Williamson himself wasn't of the same mind.

Now here is the latest news: Bishop Williamson's new lawyer, Wolfram Nahrath, is a member of the National Democratic Party-- described in the press as a "far right" political party. Now, ordinarily, the press defining a party as far-right could encompass the Green Party, so I wouldn't get excited. But in this case the nature of the party is not doubted by the Society, and it has indicated it will take action.

In a statement from the SSPX itself, it states that this lawyer indeed has ties to neo-Nazi groups. Bishop Fellay has informed Bishop Williamson that he must reverse his decision or else he will be expelled. This is translation of the statement in French:


The Superior General, Bishop Bernard Fellay, has come to know through the press of Bishop Richard Williamson's decision, ten days before his trial, to replace the lawyer entrusted with his defence with a lawyer openly tied to the neo-Nazi movement in Germany and some of its groups.

Bishop Fellay has given Bishop Williamson a formal order to reverse this decision and to avoid allowing himself to serve as a tool of certain political theses which are entirely alien to his mission as a Catholic bishop at the service of the Fraternity of St Pius X.

Disobeying this order will result in Bp Williamson's incurring exclusion from the Priestly Fraternity of St Pius X.

Menzingen, 20th November 2010
Fr Christian Thouvenot, Secretary General

Really, regardless of the underlying controversy and in light of the press beating the SSPX and the Holy Father took from it, there is no other option available to the Society than to issue this ultimatum. Not if it wishes to operate in Europe. Not if it wishes to have credibility enough to allow it to operate without censure. Not if it wishes to ever reach a reconciliation with Rome. Not if it wishes to attract souls to Christ without severe obstacles to being received in this day and age.

Williamson himself acknowledged the damage to the Society when he apologized for issuing his remarks last year. He basically invited Bishop Fellay to cast him into the sea, like Jonas, if it would protect the Society.

Again, Bishop Williamson's choice of a lawyer is his own. Fine. This choice doesn't bode well for his chance of legal success in Germany, but this assumes there could be a fair trial for a "crime" that shouldn't exist. All that being said, it is as though Williamson now begs Fellay to get rid of him. Perhaps he doesn't want to be a part of an SSPX rapprochement he sees as inevitable. Or perhaps he is just desperate to throw one more spanner into the works.

I feel sorry for the Holy Father. He will get it from all sides now. Watch for the Church's enemies to push for excommunication again. However, the holding of heterodox history opinions isn't listed as a ground for that penalty in the Code of Canon Law.

To be a fly on the wall at Econe...

The Perils of the Prelate-Press Interview, Part I


There are two stories getting traction in the secular and Catholic press today, both of which highlight the dangers inherent in a Catholic priest, Bishop or Pope giving an interview for publication.

The first danger is the danger of being misquoted by the interviewer himself. There is much in the faith that escapes the comprehension of many secular reporters of good faith, and of course there are many such persons who dislike the Church and seek to distort the words or meaning of the interviewee.

The second danger is the danger of the news cycle-- meaning that the press who publish articles and sound bites about the published interview will often write that a person said something that he never actually said, or which the context clearly proves means something other than the sensationally reported news item.

Present in both cases is the possibility that one's enemies can also be found in the bosom of the Church.

That brings us to two recent stories that put the Church in a bad light, both of which items had their origin in a published press interview. These two stories are in other respects divergent, with one being essentially a non-news item that has been twisted and misunderstood by the press, and the other being a sad and mystifying spectacle caused by the actions of the interviewee. I speak of the Holy Father's recent interview, published as "Light of the World", and of Bishop Williamson's latest legal development. I will deal with the first here, and save the second for another post.

You may have read (or soon will read) headlines along the lines of "Pope Approves Use of Condoms in the Fight against AIDS". Yahoo, for instance, has "Pope says condoms acceptable 'in certain cases'".

This type of headline certainly shocks. But sorry to say, this is untrue, and the Pope's words are taken out of context; moreover, his remarks show a subtlety of thought that I think is beyond most of the persons reporting on it. And the culprit here in many ways, as it has been in throughout this pontificate, is the official newspaper of the Holy See, L'Osservatore Romano, that is supposed to be an outlet for the Pope to get his message to the world, but which has seemingly operated against him from the beginning and undermined his agenda. Readers of this blog will not be surprised that there are many within the Church who wish to radically change the Church and destroy her divine mission. Pope St. Pius X warned of them in Pascendi, and they still reside in good numbers within the official Church, even in the Curia.

This paper leaked quotes from the Italian version before the book was published, and before any context or even the full text was available. This isn't the first time in the last five years that justifies it, but let me just say that heads should roll at L'Osservatore Romano.

I will post below a good discussion of the Pope's words, the context, and the willful misunderstanding of the press. This comes from Jimmy Akin in the NCRegister; it is good and no need for me to invent the wheel:

Let’s look at the Pope’s remarks and see what he actually said.

Seewald: . . . In Africa you stated that the Church’s traditional teaching has proven to be the only sure way to stop the spread of HIV. Critics, including critics from the Church’s own ranks, object that it is madness to forbid a high-risk population to use condoms.

Benedict: . . . In my remarks I was not making a general statement about the condom issue, but merely said, and this is what caused such great offense, that we cannot solve the problem by distributing condoms. [EMPHASIS ADDED] Much more needs to be done. We must stand close to the people, we must guide and help them; and we must do this both before and after they contract the disease.

As a matter of fact, you know, people can get condoms when they want them anyway. But this just goes to show that condoms alone do not resolve the question itself. More needs to happen. Meanwhile, the secular realm itself has developed the so-called ABC Theory: Abstinence-Be Faithful-Condom, where the condom is understood only as a last resort, when the other two points fail to work. This means that the sheer fixation on the condom implies a banalization of sexuality, which, after all, is precisely the dangerous source of the attitude of no longer seeing sexuality as the expression of love, but only a sort of drug that people administer to themselves. This is why the fight against the banalization of sexuality is also a part of the struggle to ensure that sexuality is treated as a positive value and to enable it to have a positive effect on the whole of man’s being.

Note that the Pope’s overall argument is that condoms will not solve the problem of AIDS. In support of this, he makes several arguments:

1) People can already get condoms, yet it clearly hasn’t solved the problem.

2) The secular realm has proposed the ABC program, where a condom is used only if the first two, truly effective procedures (abstinence and fidelity) have been rejected. Thus even the secular ABC proposal recognizes that condoms are not the unique solution. They don’t work as well as abstinence and fidelity. The first two are better.

3) The fixation on condom use represents a banalization (trivialization) of sexuality that turns the act from being one of love to one of selfishness. For sex to have the positive role it is meant to play, this trivialization of sex—and thus the fixation on condoms—needs to be resisted.

So that’s the background to the statement that the press seized on:

There may be a basis in the case of some individuals, as perhaps when a male prostitute uses a condom, where this can be a first step in the direction of a moralization, a first assumption of responsibility, on the way toward recovering an awareness that not everything is allowed and that one cannot do whatever one wants.But it is not really the way to deal with the evil of HIV infection. That can really lie only in a humanization of sexuality. [EMPHASIS ADDED]

There are several things to note here: First, note that the Pope says that “there may be a basis in the case of some individuals,” not that there is a basis. This is the language of speculation. But what is the Pope speculating about? That condom use is morally justified? No, that’s not what he’s said: that there may be cases “where this [condom use] can be a first step in the direction of a moralization, a first assumption of responsibility, on the way to recovering an awareness that not everything is allowed.”

In other words, as Janet Smith puts it,

The Holy Father is simply observing that for some homosexual prostitutes the use of a condom may indicate an awakening of a moral sense; an awakening that sexual pleasure is not the highest value, but that we must take care that we harm no one with our choices. He is not speaking to the morality of the use of a condom, but to something that may be true about the psychological state of those who use them. If such individuals are using condoms to avoid harming another, they may eventually realize that sexual acts between members of the same sex are inherently harmful since they are not in accord with human nature.

At least this is the most one can reasonably infer from the Pope’s remarks, which could be phrased more clearly (and I expect the Vatican will be issuing a clarification quite soon).

Second, note that the Pope immediately follows his statement regarding homosexual prostitutes using condoms with the statement, “But it is not really the way to deal with the evil of HIV infection. That can really lie only in a humanization of sexuality.”

By “a humanization of sexuality,” the Pope means recognizing the truth about human sexuality—that it must be exercised in a loving, faithful way between a man and a woman united in matrimony. That is the real solution, not putting on a condom and engaging in promiscuous sex with those infected with a deadly virus.

At this point in the interview, Seewald asks a follow-up question, and it is truly criminal that L’Osservatore Romano did not print this part:

Seewald: Are you saying, then, that the Catholic Church is actually not opposed in principle to the use of condoms?

Benedict: She of course does not regard it as a real or moral solution, but, in this or that case, there can be nonetheless, in the intention of reducing the risk of infection, a first step in a movement toward a different way, a more human way, of living sexuality.

So Benedict reiterates that this is not a real (practical) solution to the AIDS crisis, nor is it a moral solution. Nevertheless, in some cases the use of a condom displays “the intention of reducing the risk of infection” which is “a first step in a movement toward . . . a more human way of living sexuality.”

He thus isn’t saying that the use of condoms is justified but that they can display a particular intent and that this intent is a step in the right direction.

Janet Smith provides a helpful analogy:

If someone was going to rob a bank and was determined to use a gun, it would better for that person to use a gun that had no bullets in it. It would reduce the likelihood of fatal injuries. But it is not the task of the Church to instruct potential bank robbers how to rob banks more safely and certainly not the task of the Church to support programs of providing potential bank robbers with guns that could not use bullets. Nonetheless, the intent of a bank robber to rob a bank in a way that is safer for the employees and customers of the bank may indicate an element of moral responsibility that could be a step towards eventual understanding of the immorality of bank robbing.

There is more that can be said about all this, but what we’ve already seen makes it clear that the Pope’s remarks must be read carefully and that they do not constitute the kind of license for condom use that the media would wish.


There you have it. If you insist on a very simple answer, "The Pope said no such thing" is a good one. A more nuanced one can be traced above, if you wish to have the discussions with family at Thanksgiving, or co-workers, who will no doubt gleefully taunt you with headline-baiting just to shove your self-righteous religious fanaticism down your throat. Or am I the only one who gets this?

The Church's prohibition against contraception--not that it could have been changed by private remarks in an interview-- remains untouched and unbesmirched by the Pope's comments.

Up next, the latest in the Williamson controversy.

And one more thing. Notice how there always seems to be a crisis, an embarrassment, a PR disaster, just when the Pope does anything friendly to Catholic tradition-- the motu proprio, the lifting of the SSPX excommunications, the elevation of Cardinals Burke and Ranjith. Now, I may be paranoid, but it makes me go hmmm...........