30 August 2008

On the Anniversary of the Effective Date of Summorum Pontificum

From the Institute's website comes confirmation of my earlier post that the former Rector of St. Francis de Sales Oratory in St. Louis, Fr. Karl W. Lenhardt, will celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass that will be televised by EWTN on September 14:


On Sunday, September 14th, members of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest will celebrate a Solemn High Mass at Our Lady of the Angels Monastery of the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration in Hanceville, Alabama. The conventual Mass will be broadcast live by EWTN, the Global Catholic Network, to a worldwide audience of 140 million homes, through TV, radio, and live streaming video online.

September 14th marks the first anniversary of the implementation of Pope Benedict XVI's motu proprio "Summorum Pontificum" [PDF]. The Solemn High Mass will be in commemoration of, and thanksgiving for, this pivotal document of His Holiness, which confirms that the Latin Rite in its ancient form as presented in the 1962 liturgical books of the Roman Catholic Church was never abrogated and is available to all priests and all faithful who desire it.

The live broadcast from Our Lady of the Angels Monastery will take place at 8:00 AM Eastern Time USA, 14:00 Central European Time, 12:00 UTC.


One of the decisions of any newspaper is deciding which stories run in its pages.  The St. Louis Review makes the mystifying decision this week to run a CNS story about Joe Biden, the pro-abortion vice presidential candidate.   Of course, the pick of Biden is newsworthy, but the story's focus and its headline are designed to excuse his support of the murder of unborn babies.

The headline and an excerpt of this lamentable attempt to rationalize voting for the pro-death ticket folows, with my emphases and comments:

Biden’s record ranges on Church issues 

Delaware Sen. Joe Biden, announced Aug. 23 as Sen. Barack Obama’s choice as his running mate for the White House, puts on the Democratic ticket a Catholic who supports legal abortion but on other issues has been an ally for the Church’s public policy interests

Biden, 65, has come in for his share of conflicts
with some in the Church over his legislative support for keeping abortion legal. The National Right to Life Committee gives him a rating of 0 for his positions on select issues, including federal abortion funding and stem-cell research as well as some relating to lobbying by groups like the National Right to Life Committee. 

But he’s no darling of the "pro-choice" view, either, earning a score of 36 percent once from NARAL Pro-Choice America for his votes on their select issues. Obama has a score of 100 percent from NARAL.


Can someone tell me why this article is in a Catholic newspaper?  What exactly is the point?  Hey, the great Joe Biden may have ruffled a few feathers with SOME in the Church (like the Pope?  the Fathers?  Revealed truth?  "bitter clingers"?) over keeping abortion legal (I mean, hey, it was legal already--don't blame poor Joe), but hey, he occasionally agrees with the USCCB on some less contentious social justice concern.  So, they cancel each other out?  

The only conceivable reason for this story is to salve the consciences of those who want to vote for Obama, the defender of infanticide.  Give me a break.

Let me try to rephrase the above story if I can:

Biden seeks to divert attention from pro-abortion record

Delaware Sen. Joe Biden, announced Aug. 23 as Sen. Barack Obama’s choice as his running mate for the White House, puts on the Democratic ticket a Catholic who supports legal abortion; of course, he wants Catholics to somehow overlook this by pointing out his coincidental agreement with the USCCB on some far less important issues.

Biden, 65, ought to be excommunicated for his public support of abortion, evidenced by his zero rating from key pro-life advocacy groups.  NARAL doesn't give him a 100 percent rating, like the pro-infanticide Obama, but his record is nonetheless deplorable.

"I am glad I was asked to comment on this CNS story by the editors prior to its appearance in the St. Louis Review, " said Bishop Robert Hermann, Archdiocesan Administrator.  "I would hate for any Catholic in the Archdiocese to get the wrong idea and think that Biden's sad insistence on supporting the murder of unborn babies was somehow o.k."

29 August 2008

McCain Names Palin as Running Mate

From LifeNews:

Back to (Home) School

To mark the beginning of another year at the Holy Family Academy of Saint Louis, here is the video that made the rounds of blog-dom some time back-- "A Homeschool Family," by Tim Hawkins. Enjoy!

The Beheading of St. John the Baptist

The forerunner of Christ, and the forerunner of those who have been-- and will be-- punished for the love of Christ by His enemies.

28 August 2008

My Vision for St. Cronan's Church

The St. Cronan website is back up and running. It has a less ambitious graphic scheme, but is still a worthy aesthetic effort. One of the items on the upcoming events section of the page is the Parish Assembly set for September 13. At this event, there will be "planning/envisioning" for the parish's future.

To that end, there is a form seeking people's visions for the parish, with an invitation to submit them in advance of the assembly. I am glad to accept the invitation, and offer sincerely my vision for St. Cronan:


At the Parish Assembly on September 13 2008, we will be developing a VISION STATEMENT for St. Cronan’s. We are interested in knowing YOUR VISION of St. Cronan’s future. What do you think St. Cronan’s should be like in the year 2020? If you were able to create a picture of a perfect world of the future in which St. Cronan’s would be thriving, what would it look like? Vision Statements are powerful depictions of dreams and aspirations. Martin Luther King told us, “I have a Dream..” and what followed was a vision that changed a nation.

Please share below YOUR DREAM, YOUR VISION FOR CRONAN’S. Be creative, aim very high, and use imagery that not only soars, but also describes your feelings and passion. Typically, a Vision Statement can be contained in one or two sentences, but it can be as long as you want. Print, fill-in and return this form either in the back of church, or at the church office no later than September 9th. Or copy this form, paste it into an e-mail message and send to mailto:kathy@stcronan.org. You may sign your Vision Statement, or submit it anonymously. Thanks!!

The Parish Council

My Vision for St. Cronan’s Church

First and foremost, St. Cronan should be a Catholic parish dedicated absolutely to the salvation of the souls of its parishioners. This primary mission of the parish is intrinsically tied to a loving and faithful adherence to the teachings of the Holy Catholic Church and obedience to the lawful, Christ-given authority of the Holy Father and the Archbishop of Saint Louis.

The right of the faithful of St. Cronan Parish to receive the Catholic sacraments cannot be denied or impeded by any member of the parish or by any parish pastor. The Mass and the other sacraments must be celebrated according to the official rubrics of the Church without innovation or heterodoxy. Regular sacramental confession must be available in order to ensure that parishioners grow in holiness and worthily receive Holy Communion.

The praxis of the parish must reflect the belief of the parish, and both must be Catholic. The sacred liturgy is not the property of anyone's private agenda-- it is the public prayer of the Church. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass must be celebrated with reverence. The sermons and other teaching vehicles of the parish must present sound Catholic doctrine that leads souls to Heaven. There should be at least weekly adoration and benediction, holy hours, parish rosary, and other laudable devotions.

The parish should provide programs and ministries that support the above, that enable the parishioners to live the truth in charity. There should be catechism for children and adults, a strong pro-life committee, parish social events to build solidarity, and community outreach efforts designed to alleviate the material burdens of poverty while proclaiming the Catholic faith.

There should be a strong sense of community based upon truth.

In short, my vision for St. Cronan is that by the year 2020 any Catholic in the world would be able to walk into the Church and immediately know that it is Catholic. And not just Catholic, but a shining example of a vibrant Catholic parish. Because if the above steps are taken, it will be.

With the assurance of my prayers,

Saint Louis Catholic

Just What We Need

Missouri Governor Matt Blunt, the noted proponent of state funding for human cloning and and the destruction of unborn babies in the name of scientific progress now makes another foray into world of science. True to form, he botches this one, too.

Taking effect today is a law supported and signed by Blunt that makes it easier for doctors to harvest organs from living patients without the ability of the patient's relatives to create a bothersome delay.

From STLToday:

New Missouri laws take effect today


Drivers renewing their licenses will be able to add an organ donor symbol to their licenses. Part of the "Organ Donor First-Person Consent" law pushed by Gov. Matt Blunt, the law establishes an organ donor registry. The registry will allow speedier harvesting of organs by no longer requiring additional consent from a donor's relatives.

Under the old system, family members had the final say, even if the patient had signed up for the organ donor registry.

By preventing family vetoes, advocates of the law have said, several hundred more people each year could get transplants.

Missourians will now be able to include an organ donor symbol — a red heart wrapped in a green ribbon — on their drivers licenses or other state-issued identification cards...

Prefect of the Signatura Archbishop Burke on Communion

From Chiesa come excerpts of the recent Italian interview with Archbishop Raymond Burke on issues relating to Holy Communion:

When the minister of the Eucharist is obliged to withhold communion

Interview with Raymond L. Burke

Q: Your Excellency, in today’s world there seems to be a lax attitude regarding the reception of the Holy Eucharist. Why?

A: One of the reasons I think that this laxity with regard to the Holy Eucharist has developed is that there has not been sufficient emphasis on Eucharistic devotion. [...] Without devotion to the Blessed Sacrament people quickly lose Eucharistic faith. We know that there is a high percentage of Catholics who do not believe that the Eucharistic species are the Body and Blood of Christ. [...] Another aspect is a loss of the sense of connection between the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist and the Sacrament of Penance. [...] people go to Communion regularly and perhaps never, or very seldom, go to Confession. [...] Also connected with this is a sense that has grown up from the civil sphere, which is that receiving Holy Communion is a right. [...]

Q: There are laws of the Church to control inappropriate actions by the faithful for the good of the public. Could you please comment on this and explain to what degree the Church and the hierarchy have an obligation to intervene to clarify or correct issues?

A: With regard to the Holy Eucharist for instance, there are two canons in particular that have to do with the worthy reception of the sacrament. They have in mind two goods. One is the good of the person himself. To receive the Body and Blood of Christ unworthily is a sacrilege. [...] So, for the sake of the person himself, the Church has to instruct us that each time we are going to receive Holy Communion, we should first examine our conscience. If we have a mortal sin on our conscience, we should first confess that sin and receive absolution, and only then approach to receive the Sacrament. Many times, our serious sins are hidden and only known to ourselves [...] But there are other cases in which people are committing grave sins knowingly and publicly. [...] An example is a public official who knowingly and willingly supports actions which are against the Divine and Eternal moral law; for instance, to publicly promote procured abortion [...] A person who is sinning in this way publicly is to be admonished not to receive Holy Communion until he has reformed his life. If a person, who has been admonished but persists in serious or mortal sin in a public way, receives Holy Communion, then the minister of Holy Communion has the obligation to refuse Holy Communion to that person. Why? First of all, for the sake of the salvation of the person himself, lest he commit a sacrilege. But, secondly, for the sake of the whole Church, lest there be scandal in two ways. Number one, scandal regarding what our disposition should be to receive Holy Communion. In other words, people would be led to think it is alright to be in the state of mortal sin and to receive Our Lord in Holy Communion. Or it could be scandal, in a second way, in that people think that the public act which this person is committing, which everyone thinks is a serious sin, must not be so serious because the Church permits that person to receive Holy Communion. If you have a public figure who is openly and deliberately supporting abortion rights, and that same person approaches and receives Holy Communion, what are people to think? They could be led to imagine that some how it is alright to support publicly the taking of innocent and defenseless lives in the womb. [...]

Q: Some people say that it is a right to receive Holy Communion and that no one else has the right to tell another not to receive the Sacrament. Not even a bishop, priest or minister. What would you respond to them?

A: In responding to this question, the first thing that needs to be said is that the Body and Blood of Christ is a gift of God’s love to us. It is the greatest gift, a gift beyond our ability to describe. No one, therefore, has a right to the gift. Just as we don’t have a right to any gift that is given to us. A gift is freely given out of love and that is what God is doing for us every time we are able to participate in Mass and approach to receive Holy Communion. So to say that I have a right to receive Holy Communion is not correct. If one means by this that, if he is well disposed and the Mass is being offered, he has a right to receive Holy Communion in the sense that he has a right to receive. Yes, that is true. Now, regarding the reception of Holy Communion, there is Our Lord Himself who is involved. There is the person who is receiving Holy Communion. Then there is the minister of the Sacrament, the one who has the responsibility to make sure that the Sacrament is distributed only to those who are properly disposed. Certainly the Church does have the right to tell someone who persists in public grave sin that he may not receive Holy Communion because he is not well disposed. That right of the minister to refuse to give Holy Communion to someone who persists in public and grave sin is safe guarded in the Code of Canon Law, under canon 915. Otherwise the minister of Communion would be put in the situation of violating his conscience regarding a most serious matter, when he sees a notorious sinner coming to receive Holy Communion to the scandal of everyone, and he is somehow told he does not have the right to refuse to give Holy Communion, in such a circumstance. That simply would be wrong.

Pro-Abortion "Dialogue" Just a Joke

The level of moral and political discourse in this country, never very high, stepped down another notch this week.

Pro-Life Billboard Vandalized with "Joker" Face Paint and Slogan: "Why So Serious?"

FREEPORT, Illinois, August 27, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A billboard showing a baby's face and the words "Abortion: The Ultimate Child Abuse" was vandalized in the style of Batman: The Dark Knight villain the Joker.

The baby was made up to look like the arch-villain from the recent Batman film, with black spray paint circling the eyes and red duct tape stretched across the mouth in imitation of Joker's signature grotesque smile. Under the pro-life message was spray painted the Joker's famous line from the new movie: "why so serious?"

According to Pro-Life Corner, the duct tape has been removed, but attempts to remove the paint damaged the underlying image. Stephenson County Right to Life, the organization behind the advertisement, will need $400 to replace the sign - a large sum for a small group, says Chris Clukey, the group's spokesperson.

The Joker-themed criminal act is not the first of its type, as other areas have reported similar incidents since the release of the box-office smash hit Batman: The Dark Knight, which features the paint-smeared Joker as the paragon of amoral abandon.

Two weeks ago, the Associated Press reported the arrest of two 18-year-old men in Virginia who scattered terrorist threats on Joker cards.

To donate to Stephenson County Right to Life for a new billboard call 815-815-232-2538, or visit http://prolifecorner.com/?q=support to give via Paypal.

"Mementote sermonis mei quem ego dixi vobis non est servus maior domino suo si me persecuti sunt et vos persequentur."

This story comes from the Times Online, and serves as yet another reminder of a world in need of repentance and a war against the powers and principalities of this present darkness. I remember reading at one time, and I can't remember the source, unfortunately, that Turin was a center of satanic activity in Italy, as it is also the place of great holiness as the resting place of our Lord's shroud.

Italy horrified by 'Clockwork Orange' assault on monks

Italians have been left shocked by a ferocious assault on Franciscan monks by hooded thugs at a monastery in the foothills of the Alps, which has been compared to incidents seen in the film 'A Clockwork Orange'.

Father Sergio Baldini, 48, the guardian of the San Colombano Belmonte monastery near Turin, and three elderly monks from the Franciscan order of Friars Minor, were having their evening meal when they were attacked by three hooded men who gagged and bound them before punching, kicking and beating them with clubs.

Father Baldini suffered severe head injuries but also has "serious respiratory problems" because he choked on his food while being assaulted, doctors say. He has had brain surgery and was in a coma.

Father Salvatore Magliano, 86, Father Emanuele Battagliotti, 81, and Father Martino Giurini, 76 suffered less serious injuries, but were still being treated in hospital today.

Speaking from his hospital bed, Father Battagliotti said the monks had been eating "a dish of spinach" when they heard noises outside.

"I got up to have a look, but the moment I got to the door I was attacked - suddenly, immediately. I was struck on the head with a blow which made me totter," he said.

"Father Sergio (Baldini) came to my aid. He put himself in front of me to try and defend me, but he too was knocked down without mercy. They hit him until he stopped crying out. Then they beat Father Salvatore and Father Martin as well. It was terrible."

Cardinal Severino Poletto, the Archbishop of Turin, who visited the victims in hospital, said the attack was "beyond comprehension". The only possible explanation was that the assailants had been "either drugged or possessed, or both", he said.


Italian media compared the attack to A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess's story of violent young thugs, filmed in 1971 by Stanley Kubrick.

Father Gabriele Trivellin, provincial head of the Friars Minor, said the assault amounted to "mindless, savage and gratuitous violence". He said the hooded men had carried on beating the monks even though they offered no resistance.

Colonel Antonio De Vita, head of the Carabinieri in the province of Turin, said a manhunt was under way for the perpetrators, with road blocks set up in the area of the monastery.

27 August 2008

Thanks, Nancy!

Phil Lawler wrote a great commentary at CatholicCulture.org, to the effect that Speaker Pelosi's gaffe has given the pro-life movement, and the Catholic hierarchy, a golden opportunity:

Thank you, Nancy Pelosi!

by Phil Lawler, August 27, 2008

Thank you, Nancy Pelosi!

In the course of your memorable interview with Tom Brokaw, Madam Speaker, you accomplished several things that battle-weary pro-life activists might have considered impossible.

1. You introduced an argument so profoundly stupid that not even pro-abortion editorialists could accept it.


In a Los Angeles Times column that was thoroughly sympathetic toward the proponents of legal abortion, and hostile to the teaching of the Catholic Church, Tim Rutten nevertheless found it necessary to distance himself from your line of thought. "If Pelosi had half a wit about her," Rutten wrote, before suggesting what he considered a more plausible approach. Liberals feel obliged to offer different arguments, because they recognize your argument as a sure loser.


3. You prompted American bishops to issue clear teaching statements on abortion and the duties of Catholic political actors.

Denver's Archbishop Charles Chaput might have felt lonely, as he took a courageous public stand against the notion that loyal Catholics can plausibly support unrestricted abortion. With Archbishop Raymond Burke having been promoted from the St. Louis archdiocese to a key Vatican post, no other metropolitan archbishop in the US was prepared to take such an unequivocal stand. But you, Madam Speaker, changed that.

Within hours of your television interview, the Archbishop of Washington had issued a public statement correcting you. The cardinal-archbishop of Philadelphia weighed in, and the chairman of the US bishops' committee on doctrine, and the cardinal-archbishop of New York. Now American bishops are competing with each other to issue the strongest, clearest explanation of Catholic voters' duties. That competition can only serve to advance the pro-life cause, and the cause of Catholic orthodoxy.

4. You ensured that abortion would remain a major issue throughout this year's presidential campaign.

At the Saddleback Forum, when he was asked whether human life begins at conception, Barack Obama wisely tried to wriggle out of the question. But his exit line-- that the issue was "above my pay grade"-- was awkward and unsatisfactory, and other interviewers began to press the question, making life difficult for your party's presidential nominee. Then you, Madam Speaker, plunged headlong into the rhetorical whirlpool, and redoubled public interest in the question of abortion-- and, more particularly, the question of when human life begins.


Since truth is on our side, we pro-lifers welcome that public debate. Especially because…

5. You focused public attention on a scientific fact that proponents of "choice" cannot explain away.

St. Augustine was wrong about fetal development. We all know that today. Intelligent readers still consult St. Augustine's theological opinions, but his scientific hypotheses are completely untenable in light of the scientific evidence.

And what is that evidence? I'm glad you asked. Have you seen the stunning, beautiful pictures of a fetus developing inside the womb? Something is moving there; something is alive. If it isn't a human, what is it? And if it is a human, why does it have no human rights?

These are questions that pro-lifers have asked for years. Thanks to you, Nancy Pelosi, the questions are being asked again this campaign season.

I Received a Letter in the Mail Today Written 57 Years Ago

Those of you who pay any attention to the "currently reading" list at the right of the blog might know that I am a huge fan of the works of the late Myles Connolly. Connolly, a Catholic, was an author and screenwriter who wrote mostly in the first half of the last century. He is largely overlooked today, but is responsible for some magnificent novels and movies.

I was introduced to his books by a friend who sent me a couple to read. Best work of charity he ever did.

Connolly's best known work, one of the few still currently in print, is Mr. Blue.

My favorite book, though, is the sublime Dan England and the Noonday Devil, first published in 1951. I posted an excerpt from it to the blog last year. I recently ordered it used via Amazon's "new & used" link, and was pleased enough to receive it today. It was a 1951 edition, hardcover, in good condition. I paid $4.00 for it.

But I was greatly surprised to open the book and see an inscription handwritten and signed by Connolly himself, dated October 1951! It was addressed to "Miriam", and after the message was signed, "--with my affection as always, Myles Connolly, Oct. 1951".

Pretty cool. I am thinking it might be worth more than $4.00-- at least for those fans of Myles Connolly, a group that my friend says could fit in a phone booth. Fine by me.

Below is from a brief bio on Connolly at the Loyola Classics site:

Myles Connolly was born in 1897 in Roxbury, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston. He attended the Boston Latin School and then Boston College, where he edited the college literary magazine, the Stylus.

Connolly graduated from Boston College in 1918 and spent the next few years, after a brief stint in the navy, working as a newspaper reporter for the Boston Post. In 1924, he became the editor of Columbia,the magazine of the Knights of Columbus, the Catholic men’s organization. Four years later, Connolly published his first novel, Mr. Blue.

A year later, Joseph Kennedy, patriarch of the Boston political clan, persuaded Connolly to get involved in the movie business. Kennedy had purchased a studio called Film Booking Offices of America in 1926, and in 1928, with the advent of sound, he merged the company with others. And so was born RKO, one of the dominant studios of the 1930s and 1940s. Connolly spent the rest of his career in Hollywood working as a producer and a screenwriter, often uncredited in the latter capacity.

Connolly’s credits for RKO and other studios during his decades of screenwriting include Till the Clouds Roll By (1946), a biopic of the composer Jerome Kern; State of the Union (1948), a Spencer Tracy/Katharine Hepburn comedy about a political couple; and Music for Millions (1944), featuring child star Margaret O’Brien, for which Connolly received an Academy Award nomination.

Perhaps one of Connolly’s most important collaborations was with the director Frank Capra, remembered primarily for his comedies touched with compassion for the “common man.” Connolly is often credited, even by Capra himself, with encouraging the director to take his work beyond the frothy conventions of the day and inject a level of moral awareness into his work. Their collaboration, with Connolly working either as a story editor or simply as an uncredited adviser, began with the Oscar-winning It Happened One Night (1934), starring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert, and continued through many other films.

Aside from films, Connolly wrote several works of fiction: The Bump on Brannigan’s Head (1950), Dan England and the Noonday Devil (1951), The Reason for Ann (1953), and Three Who Ventured (1958).

Connolly and his wife, Agnes Bevington, to whom Mr. Blue is dedicated, raised five children.

Connolly died in 1964 after undergoing open-heart surgery. One of his daughters, Ann, told the writer Roy Peter Clark,

"In today’s vernacular, my father believed very strongly that you could be a very strong Catholic without being a wimp. People used to love to gravitate to him. He was a wonderful raconteur. He loved to eat and drink and be merry. He was extremely generous with his money to people who were down-and-out. I could remember on Christmas Day how people would be around our Christmas dinner table. There’d be the cop on the beat because my dad would run into him, or some alcoholic. He had very strong principles for himself and for our family. He never pretended to be perfect, but he would say he’d keep trying."

The Thing

'So you see we're a mixed family religiously. Brideshead and Cordelia are both fervent Catholics; he's miserable, and she's bird-happy; Julia and I are half-heathen, I am happy, I rather think Julia isn't; mummy is popularly believed to be a saint and papa is excommunicated-- and I wouldn't know which of them was happy. Anyway, however you look at it, happiness doesn't seem to have much to do with it, and that's all I want. ... I wish I liked Catholics more.'

'They seem just like other people.'

'My dear Charles, that's exactly what they're not-- particularly in this country, where they're so few. It's not just that they're a clique-- as a matter of fact, they're at least four cliques all blackguarding each other half the time-- but they've got an entirely different outlook on life; everything they think important is different from other people. They try and hide it as much as they can, but it comes out all the time. It's quite natural, really, that they should. But you see it's difficult for semi-heathens like Julia and me.'
Eveyln Waugh, Brideshead Revisited

Anyone who dares to defend that [the unborn] may be legitimately killed because another human being “chooses” to do so or for any other equally ridiculous reason should not be providing leadership in a civilized democracy worthy of the name.

Edward Cardinal Egan
Archbishop of New York
August 26, 2008

26 August 2008

Regarding Those Politicians Who Seek to Eat and Drink Condemnation unto Themselves

This may be how St. Paul would put it. In the common parlance, those politicians who can't stand to be in a church unless a camera is on them trying to illicitly receive Holy Communion have been much in the news lately.

This has been covered here and (more completely) in other blogs, but to keep those (three) Saint Louis Catholic-only readers up-to-date, here is a good summary of the current situation from Fox news:

The Answer to an Appalling Question

Comes from National Review Online:

Why Obama Really Voted For Infanticide


Can a monk purchase a $1,000,000 house in his own name?

25 August 2008

Biden My Time

OK, I admit, when I heard that Obama chose Joe Biden as his running mate I was glad. I mean, this is not someone who can inspire anybody to vote for the ticket, and he is public with many, many gaffes that won't look bad in McCain commercials. But this is a religious blog, not a political blog.

In that area the Biden selection is especially troublesome-- nefarious, even. And despite how he is he can win votes by what he claims to be, with a carefully crafted strategy.

He says he is a Catholic. Just not one who supports the Fifth Commandment.

We all know that Biden supports the legalized murder of innocent babies by the millions-- the euphemism is "pro-choice". Not surprising, since a Democrat can't run for any office higher than state senate without selling his soul to Planned Parenthood and NARAL. But in the two news cycle days since the selection, Biden's religious identification has been prominently reported (for that matter, so has Pelosi's).

And here is the dilemma, the challenge, and the opportunity for Catholic priests and bishops: Biden wants one of two things. He will get one or the other.

He wants to be the Catholic candidate who goes to Mass, receives Communion, and publicly advocates abortion. He wants to de-claw the potentially powerful adversary that is the Church. He will be able to claim to the all-too-large segment of the Catholic population that is soft on abortion that it really is OK to support abortion as long as you [fill in issue of the day]. You see, the Church really doesn't mind. Wink, wink! See, I am a weekly communicant!

If this fails, he gets something even better for the ticket (I am speaking purely in the short-term, temporal sense). If he is ever publicly denied Holy Communion, he gets to be the anti-martyr "oppressed", like Bozek, Doyle and Lears, for instance, by the hate-mongering Church. This will translate to votes in a sick society. Everyone loves to bash the Church. Human nature being what it is, people who cling to any secret sin like to see the Church put out of the conscience-informing, truth-asserting business.

The Sunday news shows trumpeted the fact that Biden attended Mass on Sunday. No word on whether he received Communion. But on the video there was the priest, smiling and shaking his hand after Mass. Is he tacitly giving support to Biden's "I'm Catholic but pro-abortion" position? I'll let the reader decide. What I want to know is the name of the priest and the phone number of the Bishop. Under Pius X this priest would be reassigned to Outer Mongolia before the end of the day. Until something else could be arranged.

I know there are many well-meaning Catholics who believe that the charitable response is private remonstrance and greater catechesis. Whatever the merits of this position it necessitates an errant but well-meaning sinner who may be open to the truth. That is not the case here. These people know the teaching of the Church. They know abortion is condemned. They are in the pocket of the murderers. They seek to flout the Church's teachings in order to gain political power.

In the end, the let-sleeping-dogs-lie faction will come to realize, hopefully sooner than later, that the Church must do what is right and suffer the persecution that will inevitably come her way for so doing. They did it to our Master, and they will do it to us.

Pray for strength and protection, and do the right thing.

Bounce Biden and Pelosi and their ilk out of the Communion line at every opportunity.

Then batten down the hatches.
Update: Further to the point see this article in the California Catholic Daily.

24 August 2008

St. Louis IX, King of France

The Feast day of St. Louis falls on August 25, but is being celebrated as an external Solemnity today in the Archdiocese under his patronage.

There is an excellent entry on his feast day at fisheaters, from whence comes the oft-quoted piece that follows, detailing King Louis' advice to his son.  

May St. Louis intercede for us to God that we be given a new Archbishop with the faith, holiness, and resolution to be a worthy successor to our beloved Archbishop Burke.

King Saint Louis's 
Last Instructions to his Eldest Son, Philip III

1. To his dear first-born son, Philip, greeting, and his father's love. 

2. Dear son, since I desire with all my heart that you be well "instructed in all things, it is in my thought to give you some advice this writing. For I have heard you say, several times, that you remember my words better than those of any one else. 

3. Therefore, dear son, the first thing I advise is that you fix your whole heart upon God, and love Him with all your strength, for without this no one can be saved or be of any worth. 

4. You should, with all your strength, shun everything which you believe to be displeasing to Him. And you ought especially to be resolved not to commit mortal sin, no matter what may happen and should permit all your limbs to be hewn off, and suffer every manner of torment, rather than fall knowingly into mortal sin. 

5. If our Lord send you any adversity, whether illness or other in good patience, and thank Him for it, thing, you should receive it in good patience and be thankful for it, for you ought to believe that He will cause everthing to turn out for your good; and likewise you should think that you have well merited it, and more also, should He will it, because you have loved Him but little, and served Him but little, and have done many things contrary to His will. 

6. If our Lord send you any prosperity, either health of body or other thing you ought to thank Him humbly for it, and you ought to be careful that you are not the worse for it, either through pride or anything else, for it is a very great sin to fight against our Lord with His gifts. 

7. Dear son, I advise you that you accustom yourself to frequent confession, and that you choose always, as your confessors, men who are upright and sufficiently learned, and who can teach you what you should do and what you should avoid. You should so carry yourself that your confessors and other friends may dare confidently to reprove you and show you your faults. 

8. Dear son, I advise you that you listen willingly and devoutly the services of Holy Church, and, when you are in church, avoid to frivolity and trifling, and do not look here and there; but pray to God with lips and heart alike, while entertaining sweet thoughts about Him, and especially at the mass, when the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ are consecrated, and for a little time before. 

9. Dear son, have a tender pitiful heart for the poor, and for all those whom you believe to be in misery of heart or body, and, according to your ability, comfort and aid them with some alms. 

10. Maintain the good customs of your realm, and put down the bad ones. Do not oppress your people and do not burden them with tolls or tailles, except under very great necessity. 

11. If you have any unrest of heart, of such a nature that it may be told, tell it to your confessor, or to some upright man who can keep your secret; you will be able to carry more easily the thought of your heart. 

12. See to it that those of your household are upright and loyal, and remember the Scripture, which says: "Elige viros timentes Deum in quibus sit justicia et qui oderint avariciam"; that is to say, "Love those who serve God and who render strict justice and hate covetousness"; and you will profit, and will govern your kingdom well. 

13. Dear son, see to it that all your associates are upright, whether clerics or laymen, and have frequent good converse with them; and flee the society of the bad. And listen willingly to the word of God, both in open and in secret; and purchase freely prayers and pardons. 

14. Love all good, and hate all evil, in whomsoever it may be. 

15. Let no one be so bold as to say, in your presence, words which attract and lead to sin, and do not permit words of detraction to be spoken of another behind his back. 

!6. Suffer it not that any ill be spoken of God or His saints in your presence, without taking prompt vengeance. But if the offender be a clerk or so great a person that you ought not to try him, report the matter to him who is entitled to judge it. 

17. Dear son, give thanks to God often for all the good things He has done for you, so that you may be worthy to receive more, in such a manner that if it please the Lord that you come to the burden and honor of governing the kingdom, you may be worthy to receive the sacred unction wherewith the kings of France are consecrated. 

18. Dear son, if you come to the throne, strive to have that which befits a king, that is to say, that in justice and rectitude you hold yourself steadfast and loyal toward your subjects and your vassals, without turning either to the right or to the left, but always straight, whatever may happen. And if a poor man have a quarrel with a rich man, sustain the poor rather than the rich, until the truth is made clear, and when you know the truth, do justice to them. 

19. If any one have entered into a suit against you (for any injury or wrong which he may believe that you have done to him), be always for him and against yourself in the presence of your council, without showing that you think much of your case (until the truth be made known concerning it); for those of your council might be backward in speaking against you, and this you should not wish; and command your judges that you be not in any way upheld more than any others, for thus will your councillors judge more boldly according to right and truth. 

20. If you have anything belonging to another, either of yourself or through your predecessors, if the matter is certain, give it up without delay, however great it may be, either in land or money or otherwise. If the matter is doubtful, have it inquired into by wise men, promptly and diligently. And if the affair is so obscure that you cannot know the truth, make such a settlement, by the counsel of s of upright men, that your soul, and the soul your predecessors, may be wholly freed from the affair. And even if you hear some one say that your predecessors made restitution, make diligent inquiry to learn if anything remains to be restored; and if you find that such is the case, cause it to be delivered over at once, for the liberation of your soul and the souls of your predecessors. 

21. You should seek earnestly how your vassals and your subjects may live in peace and rectitude beneath your sway; likewise, the good towns and the good cities of your kingdom. And preserve them in the estate and the liberty in which your predecessors kept them, redress it, and if there be anything to amend, amend and preserve their favor and their love. For it is by the strength and the riches of your good cities and your good towns that the native and the foreigner, especially your peers and your barons, are deterred from doing ill to you. I will remember that Paris and the good towns of my kingdom aided me against the barons, when I was newly crowned. 

22. Honor and love all the people of Holy Church, and be careful that no violence be done to them, and that their gifts and alms, which your predecessors have bestowed upon them, be not taken away or diminished. And I wish here to tell you what is related concerning King Philip, my ancestor, as one of his council, who said he heard it, told it to me. The king, one day, was with his privy council, and he was there who told me these words. And one of the king's councillors said to him how much wrong and loss he suffered from those of Holy Church, in that they took away his rights and lessened the jurisdiction of his court; and they marveled greatly how he endured it. And the good king answered: "I am quite certain that they do me much wrong, but when I consider the goodnesses and kindnesses which God has done me, I had rather that my rights should go, than have a contention or awaken a quarrel with Holy Church." And this I tell to you that you may not lightly believe anything against the people of Holy Church; so love them and honor them and watch over them that they may in peace do the service of our Lord. 

23. Moreover, I advise you to love dearly the clergy, and, so far as you are able, do good to them in their necessities, and likewise love those by whom God is most honored and served, and by whom the Faith is preached and exalted. 

24. Dear son, I advise that you love and reverence your father and your mother, willingly remember and keep their commandments, and be inclined to believe their good counsels. 

25. Love your brothers, and always wish their well-being and their good advancement, and also be to them in the place of a father, to instruct them in all good. But be watchful lest, for the love which you bear to one, you turn aside from right doing, and do to the others that which is not meet. 

26. Dear son, I advise you to bestow the benefices of Holy Church which you have to give, upon good persons, of good and clean life, and that you bestow them with the high counsel of upright men. And I am of the opinion that it is preferable to give them to those who hold nothing of Holy Church, rather than to others. For, if you inquire diligently, you will find enough of those who have nothing who will use wisely that entrusted to them. 

27. Dear son, I advise you that you try with all your strength to avoid warring against any Christian man, unless he have done you too much ill. And if wrong be done you, try several ways to see if you can find how you can secure your rights, before you make war; and act thus in order to avoid the sins which are committed in warfare. 

28. And if it fall out that it is needful that you should make war (either because some one of your vassals has failed to plead his case in your court, or because he has done wrong to some church or to some poor person, or to any other person whatsoever, and is unwilling to make amends out of regard for you, or for any other reasonable cause), whatever the reason for which it is necessary for you to make war, give diligent command that the poor folk who have done no wrong or crime be protected from damage to their vines, either through fire or otherwise, for it were more fitting that you should constrain the wrongdoer by taking his own property (either towns or castles, by force of siege), than that you should devastate the property of poor people. And be careful not to start the war before you have good counsel that the cause is most reasonable, and before you have summoned the offender to make amends, and have waited as long as you should. And if he ask mercy, you ought to pardon him, and accept his amende, so that God may be pleased with you. 

29. Dear son, I advise you to appease wars and contentions, whether they be yours or those of your subjects, just as quickly as may be, for it is a thing most pleasing to our Lord. And Monsignore Martin gave us a very great example of this. For, one time, when our Lord made it known to him that he was about to die, he set out to make peace between certain clerks of his archbishopric, and he was of the opinion that in so doing he was giving a good end to life. 

30. Seek diligently, most sweet son, to have good baillis and good prevots in your land, and inquire frequently concerning their doings, and how they conduct themselves, and if they administer justice well, and do no wrong to any one, nor anything which they ought not do. Inquire more often concerning those of your household if they be too covetous or too arrogant; for it is natural that the members should seek to imitate their chief; that is, when the master is wise and well-behaved, all those of his household follow his example and prefer it. For however much you ought to hate evil in others, you shoud have more hatred for the evil which comes from those who derive their power from you, than you bear to the evil of others; and the more ought you to be on your guard and prevent this from happening. 

3!. Dear son, I advise you always to be devoted to the Church of Rome, and to the sovereign pontiff, our father, and to bear him the the reverence and honor which you owe to your spiritual father. 

32. Dear son, freely give power to persons of good character, who know how to use it well, and strive to have wickednesses expelled from your land, that is to say, nasty oaths, and everything said or done against God or our Lady or the saints. In a wise and proper manner put a stop, in your land, to bodily sins, dicing, taverns, and other sins. Put down heresy so far as you can, and hold in especial abhorrence Jews, and all sorts of people who are hostile to the Faith, so that your land may be well purged of them, in such manner as, by the sage counsel of good people, may appear to you advisable. 

33. Further the right with all your strength. Moreover I admonish you you that you strive most earnestly to show your gratitude for the benefits which our Lord has bestowed upon you, and that you may know how to give Him thanks therefore 

34. Dear son, take care that the expenses of your household are reasonable and moderate, and that its moneys are justly obtained. And there is one opinion that I deeply wish you to entertain, that is to say, that you keep yourself free from foolish expenses and evil exactions, and that your money should be well expended and well acquired. And this opinion, together with other opinions which are suitable and profitable, I pray that our Lord may teach you. 

35. Finally, most sweet son, I conjure and require you that, if it please our Lord that I should die before you, you have my soul succored with masses and orisons, and that you send through the congregations of the kingdom of France, and demand their prayers for my soul, and that you grant me a special and full part in all the good deeds which you perform. 

36. In conclusion, dear son, I give you all the blessings which a good and tender father can give to a son, and I pray our Lord Jesus Christ, by His mercy, by the prayers and merits of His blessed Mother, the Virgin Mary, and of angels and archangels and of all the saints, to guard and protect you from doing anything contrary to His will, and to give you grace to do it always, so that He may be honored and served by you. And this may He do to me as to you, by His great bounty, so that after this mortal life we may be able to be together with Him in the eternal life, and see Him, love Him, and praise Him without end. Amen. And glory, honor, and praise be to Him who is one God with the Father and the Holy Spirit; without beginning and without end. Amen.

22 August 2008

Daughters of Mary, Mother of Israel's Hope-- Update

The Daughters of Mary, Mother of Israel's Hope-- Rosalind Moss' order-to-be-- received their postulant's habits at St. George parish today.  Thanks to a reader for the following link to a story about it.  I also thought readers might like to see this picture of the postulant's garb, also from the linked blog.

Note, these are not the order's habits, which will come later after ecclesiastical recognition of the order.


The following reflection was written by I-Wen Connick, a member of the ICRSP's St. Margaret Mary apostolate in Oakland, CA, about their outgoing (and St. Francis de Sales Oratory's incoming) Rector, Fr. Michael Wiener. In the photo above, Fr. Wiener is at right, with current St. Francis de Sales Rector Fr. Karl Lenhardt, both men serving as Deacons of Honor to then-Cardinal Ratzinger at a Traditional Latin Mass in Germany.

God bless you, dear Fr. Wiener!

For this special time, I’d like to ask your indulgence in a personal expression of gratitude to our dear departing priest. (I know that each of us has a personal story to tell, and I would be happy to give you all equal space if you care to send me yours.)

The very first time I met Fr. Wiener was not at church, but at my house, when he came to hear the children’s choir rehearse. Father had arrived from Europe only a week before, and didn’t even have a car to drive, but he was interested in the children’s choir, so he came to my house to meet the choir. I don’t remember what we were rehearsing, but Father patiently worked through the Latin pronunciation with the children, listened to their singing, and encouraged them.

It was something having a traditional priest, an imposing figure at that, all dressed in a cassock, visit us at our house. When the conversation turned to the liturgy, I told him very nicely (and I hope politely!) that I didn’t care at all for the Traditional Latin Mass, and some other silliness along those lines. He was nice too: he didn’t argue; he didn’t try to convince me, but simply invited my family to attend Mass one Sunday. A few weeks later, when the children’s choir sang at St. Margaret Mary, my family attended for the first time the Traditional Mass that Father celebrated. It was an eye-opener - quite different from any Mass I had experienced. Thus, with that Sunday Mass in early 2005, my continuing education as a Catholic began.

I have learned many things from Fr. Wiener since then, though it is always the first lessons which left the strongest impression. Our first encounter was at the choir rehearsal, and I learned in very short order that it is music which serves the liturgy, and not that liturgy provides the backdrop for a musical performance. Imagine telling a group of kids that what they do is not mere adornment and decoration for worship, but is integral to the liturgy itself. And since the Holy Mass is the highest form of worship, there was no need to convince the kids that what they did was important, not for applause, but for God. This was the beginning of my learning from Father an important corollary concept: that the liturgy of the Church is a divine gift of God to us, and not mere theatre in which we participate.

In so many other ways – teaching and preaching and catechizing - Father again and again conveyed to the children the importance of living and staying in the faith; he taught them (and us) by word and example to do this through understanding the teachings of the Church and practicing of virtues. Especially for the spiritual and moral supports he continuously gave to us parents, I am deeply grateful.

When I look back in my life and how the deep chasm between me and God was eventually bridged, I can see how God used certain individuals at key points to help me get closer to Him; it seemed to me that without these individuals, it would be likely that I’d be floundering now, away from God. I often think of the role of a catalyst. In chemical reactions, a catalyst is a substance which enables a reaction to occur more easily, but which is not consumed in the reaction itself. For example, it may take a huge amount of energy to get substance A to form a compound with substance B; but, if catalyst C is present, C might facilitate the synthesis of the compound by forming an intermediate step, which leads to an easier formation of the desired compound.

In love God creates us and desires us to participate in His life. But human beings are not at all like molecules whose behaviour is entirely governed by physical laws. Our free will makes it possible for us to accept the graces and connect with God, and also possible for us to reject these graces and maintain our distance from God. I am all too conscious of my own stubbornness and pseudo-intellectual independence which prevent me from accepting everything that God offers through His Church. Then God, in His infinite mercy and love, sends along a catalyst to make all that easier.

In my forming a stronger bond to God, Fr. Wiener has been an important catalyst. In these last three and a half years, my love for God has deepened through the classical divine liturgy of the Church that Father Wiener patiently and tirelessly taught us to see, appreciate and accept as a means of our sanctification. And I know that this experience is shared by many among the readers of this newsletter. I am also painfully aware that, while priests play an important catalytic role in our salvation, they are not molecules either, but human beings. By their own free will they serve God, and follow the Eternal Sovereign Priest Jesus Christ in leading a sacrificial life. It is personally very difficult for my husband and me to part, geographically, with this dear priest. I am certain Fr. Wiener will keep us and this apostolate in his prayers. Let us do the same for him.

Immaculate Heart of Mary, please keep this dear priest close to your Son’s Sacred Heart! The following prayer is from a sermon in July, when Father quoted a passage from Dietrich von Hildebrand’s book Transformation in Christ:

I will forget everything that was, and is to come; nor think of what lies ahead of me. Whatever I am wont to carry and to hold in my arms I will let fall before Jesus. It will not fall into the void: standing before Jesus, I deliver all up to Him. Everything belongs to Him: all burdening worries and all great concerns, both mine and those of the souls I love. I am not abandoning them as I would abandon them in seeking diversion: I know that in Jesus they are truly in a safe harbor. When at His call I relinquish and abandon all things, I am not casting them away; on the contrary, I am assigning everything to its proper place.

Prayers for Delena

Please, if you would say some prayers for fellow blogger Delena who is undergoing a scary situation at present.


Attention St. Louis Catholics: This is what the Stanislaus/Cronan Crowd Means by Peace, Love and Dialogue

I came across a blog a few days ago that I have hesitated to post on for obvious reasons. I know that by mentioning it that its readership will be temporarily increased-- it would be better to ignore it.

However, I decided to post on it at last to point out to the Catholics from all over the Archdiocese who read my blog just what a charade that the local anti-Catholic "Catholic" screed really is. And Archbishop Burke and all faithful Catholic clergy deserve that we defend them in the face of such outrageous contempt.

And this is why I have beaten the dead horse, so to speak, long after the carcass was excommunicated.

Think about love and care for his flock that Archbishop Burke has. Think of how he was willing to bear the scorn of the ignorant and the malicious to protect the flock Christ entrusted him. Think of his sermon last Sunday. Read the article by Bishop Hermann below. Then read this garbage:

Out from under his Rock ... It's Raymond!

Just when we thought we'd heard the last of Raymond Burke, we find him popping his mouth off at the Vatican, hissing the same old condemnatory venom ... "Catholics, especially politicians, who advocate abortion shouldn't present themselves for Holy Communion ... blah, blah, blah."

If you really feel compelled to read more about this, here's the link at Religious Intelligence (oxymoron?):

Now, we have a theory on why we're hearing from Raymond so soon after his "triumphant" departure from Saint Louis. We all know that Burke wasn't really promoted to his new job. No, obviously Ratzinger had to get him out of town because he'd totally screwed things up for the Church here, and he was just making matters worse with every bone-headed move he made.

Ratzinger couldn't send him to another diocese. He figured that the Church had taken enough heat lately regarding its "pass the trash" employee assignment practices and pathetic lack of management accountability. And, Ratzinger couldn't just make it a lateral move either, because that would look like the dissidents had won.

So, Ol' Joe realized he had to appear to "promote" Raymond, so that Raymond could save face. And also to cover up the fact that it was Ratzinger who had given Burke the permission to excommunicate perfectly good Catholics at Saint Stanislaus Parish in the first place.

Why didn't Ratzinger tell Burke to keep his mouth shut until the heat had died down you ask? To maintain the illusion that Raymond had been promoted, that's why. The first thing Burke does when he gets to Rome ... even before he unpacks his lace undies and autographed color photo of Leonardo DiCaprio ... is call in a reporter from some Italian rag, Radici Cristiane, and lays this same old BS on the world.

Way to go, Ray. We're sure all your Cathlo-fascist fans back here in the States are rooting for ya'.

Just who wrote this? The same party whose blog title reads in part:

PATRYK LASKA, which literally means "the walking stick of Patrick" in Polish, is a group of Catholics here in Saint Louis working to drive the snakes out of the Roman Catholic Church ... the snakes of intolerance, bigotry, sexism, homophobia, and the vile abuse of power by members of the Roman Catholic clerical monarchy...
...But why a Polish name? To honor the wonderful parishioners of Saint Stanislaus Polish Roman Catholic Parish, whose courage and steadfast resolve in the face of clerical tyranny serve as an inspiration to all Christians who truly strive follow the teachings and example of Jesus Christ.

The blog goes on to identity snake "hunters" and snake "pits". I enjoyed a chuckle when I read them. Finally, though, it lists "better choices" for the oppressed Catholics-tired-of-the-natural-law among us:

Talk about the unholy trinity. I am glad that they have so often lectured faithful Catholics about how it is only they who truly live out the Gospel of Christ. I don't know what He would say about their first blog post, though-- I guess they'll tell us soon enough.

By the way, if you want to comment on that blog, you can't, unless you belong to their movement. Now that is dialogue.

Here It Comes...

Government will have its way, you know.

Vaccine-wary parents spark public health worry

Bishop Hermann on Archbishop Burke, Part 2

"Archbishop Burke has given us a clear vision of what the Church expects of us. He has modeled what it costs to live according to the truths which the Church teaches. The best way we can honor the legacy of Archbishop Burke is to live out that vision and to pray for him daily."

The above was taken from another nice column in the St. Louis Review by Bishop Hermann, this time covering the send-off given to our beloved Archbishop Emeritus:

"Thanks to my brother priests for coming in such goodly numbers to Vespers at St. Ambrose Parish on Aug. 13 and then to dinner at the Drury Inn to say farewell to Archbishop Burke.

It was great to see the warmth of my brother priests toward Archbishop Burke, and to see him mingling during the meal at each of the tables. As always, he expressed his profound esteem and gratitude for the St. Louis presbyterate. His typical warmth, sense of humor and sincerity carried the evening. It was sad to think that this was his last gathering with the priests of St. Louis, but the priests gave him a beautiful framed picture of the interior dome of the cathedral basilica as a memento to gaze upon on a cold winter night in Rome.

Thanks to all the faithful who filled the cathedral basilica to overflowing this past Sunday afternoon for Archbishop Burke’s farewell Mass. The people seemed to come from every corner in the archdiocese and beyond. The Missouri bishops, together with Bishop George Lucas and Bishop Kevin Vann, were all there. The presence of the priests, deacons, seminarians, Knights of Columbus, Knights and Ladies of the Holy Sepulchre, Knights and Ladies of Malta, the Knights of Peter Claver and Ladies Auxiliary were all there. Perhaps the most touching moment in his final remarks came when he indicated how proud he was to be called archbishop emeritus of St. Louis.

The applause resounded throughout the cathedral basilica. At the reception that followed, Archbishop Burke stood for more than four hours to greet well wishers! This day’s events made us all so proud of his accomplishments during the past four and a half years. May we continue to pray for him daily.

Thanks to the archdiocesan curia for the warm farewell reception at the Cardinal Rigali Center on Tuesday, Aug. 19. Over the past several years Archbishop Burke has established a warm pastoral working relationship with the curia. In his expressions of gratitude for the curia’s response to his leadership he did not disappoint. A standing ovation was the least the curia could do to thank him for his warm pastoral leadership over the years. The curia gave Archbishop Burke a beautiful picture of the interior of St. Vincent de Paul Chapel at the Rigali Center, to hang in his apartment with the companion piece given by the priests. This was the final official farewell for our beloved Archbishop Burke.

Archbishop Burke has given us a clear vision of what the Church expects of us. He has modeled what it costs to live according to the truths which the Church teaches. The best way we can honor the legacy of Archbishop Burke is to live out that vision and to pray for him daily.

We look back with profound gratitude and wonder. We look forward with great trust. In the decade of the 1990s Pope John Paul II gave us one of the Vatican’s highest ranking prelates in the person of Archbishop Justin Rigali. In the present decade Pope Benedict has taken our own Archbishop Burke to fill one of the most important offices in the Vatican by naming him the Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura. The Archdiocese of St. Louis has done very well under these two very great leaders. Let us pray for our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, as he discerns the needs of the archdiocese and prayerfully seeks a new archbishop. Meanwhile, let us continue to pray for this archdiocese as it prepares to receive whomever Pope Benedict chooses to send. We have truly been blessed and we will continue to be blessed!"

Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

From Theotokos.org:

The link between devotion to Mary's Immaculate Heart and the Sacred Heart of Jesus is shown in the following passage:

"...a short time after Pascal had carried out the first experiments in modern physics and Descartes had perfected the mathematical instruments which would make possible the development of the sciences, Jesus appeared to an obscure nun and, showing her his heart, said to her: 'This is the heart that has so loved men.'

"Then, as men did not listen to the message of Paray-le-Monial and the corruption of the world continued, the Virgin Mary appeared to the children at Fatima; she showed them her heart and said: 'The Lord wishes to establish devotion to my Immaculate Heart in the world. If what I say is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace.'

"The remedy that God offers for the evils of the world is to show us his heart and that of his Mother. 'We have learned to recognize the love God has in our regard, to recognize it, and make it our belief,' said St John (I John 4.16).

"The Christian solution to the problem and desperate call of the world will always be to believe in love, to give ourselves up to it and so receive the will and the strength to serve others." (Fr Henri Marduel, "The Christian Pursuit," London, Burns & Oates, 1964, p. 22).

Historically, devotion to the Heart of Mary grew up in parallel, but at a lesser pitch than that of devotion to the Heart of Jesus, only starting to become more prominent during the time of St John Eudes. Even then it was not until after the Apparitions at Rue du Bac concerning the "Miraculous Medal" made to Catherine Labouré in 1830, and the establishment of a society dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, at the Church of Our Lady of Victories in Paris in 1836, that this particular devotion became really well known.

Since then devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, has gradually grown more widespread in the Church, particularly since the apparitions at Fatima.

The main difference between these two devotions is that the one concerned with Jesus emphasises his divine heart as being full of love for mankind, but with this love for the most part being ignored or rejected, while devotion to Mary's heart is essentially concerned with the love that her heart has for Jesus, for God.

It is not an end in itself, and really the love of her heart is meant to be a model for the way we should love God. So as in all things Marian, she leads us closer to God, rather than becoming an obstacle in our way. The fact that her heart is immaculate, that is sinless, means that she is the only fully human person who is able to really love God in the way that he should be loved.

Honouring Mary's Immaculate Heart is really just another way of honouring Mary as the person who was chosen to be the Mother of God, recognising her extraordinary holiness and the immense love she bestowed on Jesus as his mother, the person who was called to share in and co-operate in his redemptive sufferings.

The whole aim of this devotion is to unite mankind to God through Mary's heart, and this process involves the ideas of consecration and reparation. A person is consecrated to Mary's Immaculate Heart as a way of being completely devoted to God. This involves a total gift of self, something only ultimately possible with reference to God; but Mary is our intermediary in this process of consecration.

There have been some criticisms of the whole idea of "consecration" to Mary, with some arguing that it is improper to speak in such terms, since it obscures the essential consecration to God. This position, though, seems to go against the traditional approach as exemplified by St Louis de Montfort, one that has been essentially accepted and acted upon by Pius XII and John Paul II in the twentieth century.

If it was unacceptable to consecrate the world to Mary's Immaculate Heart then obviously the above popes would not have done so. To criticise the principle of Marian consecration is also to lose sight of the central reality of the various Marian apparitions, that they concern Mary rather than Jesus.

If Jesus had only wanted a consecration to his own Sacred Heart, then clearly he, rather than Mary, would have appeared repeatedly over the last several centuries. The fact that it is Mary who has appeared in so many places, and that the Church at its highest level has accepted this, indicates that Mary's role is central and that consecration to her is not illogical, providing it is clearly understood that "belonging to Mary is a privileged means of belonging to Christ."

In reality because of the strong analogy between Jesus and Mary, the consecration to Mary's Immaculate Heart is closely linked to the consecration to Jesus' Sacred Heart, although it is subordinate and dependent on it. That is, although the act of consecration is ultimately addressed to God, it is an act that is made through Mary.