Saturday, February 28, 2009

Virtual Josephite schism in Austria coming under Papal scrutiny

Anti-Papal Austrian bishops resurrect the Josephite heresy

Heresies are like fashions: wait long enough and an old heterodoxy will become modish again.
The Catholic bishops of Austria have just resurrected Josephism, 219 years after the death of its instigator, Emperor Joseph II, who seized control of the Church, imposing 6,200 religious laws and even dictating the size of candles.

When the Pope recently selected Father Gerhard Maria Wagner as auxiliary bishop of Linz, shock waves ran through the episcopal ranks. Wagner is a doctrinal and liturgical conservative - in shorthand, a Catholic - and that is an automatic disqualification for wearing a mitre in trendy Austria.

The temper of the Austrian hierarchy can be gauged from the example of Bishop Reinhold Stecher who, on his retirement a decade ago, published a letter denouncing the then Pope John Paul II's insistence on clerical celibacy and ban on ordaining priestesses (an infallibly declared doctrine of faith).

What made the bishops so nervous about Father Wagner's appointment was the fact that the Austrian hierarchy is on the verge of a generational handover, with four bishops nearing retirement, and the faded 1960s trendies dread being succeeded by younger, more orthodox prelates.

So the screws were put on Father Wagner, who announced his renunciation of the post he had just accepted. He has since made a statement that his resignation was not voluntary.

The Austrian Bishops' Conference then issued an egregious pastoral letter that amounted to collective defiance of the Holy See.

Regarding episcopal appointments it stated that "before the Holy Father takes the final decision, reliable and thoroughly tested basic information must be provided on which he can rely".

That is barely coded language for a right of veto on appointments - as exercised historically by Joseph II.

The bishops want to eliminate any candidate with a whiff of orthodoxy about him or - horror of horrors - a penchant for the Latin Tridentine Mass.

The pastoral said: "This can ensure that bishops are appointed who are not 'against' but 'for' a local church." What is that supposed to mean?

So outrageous was the blatant defiance expressed in this pastoral letter and so profound the shock it is beginning to provoke among Catholics around the world for its impertinence towards the Pope that some of the bishops are beginning to backtrack and criticise the proceedings against Father Wagner.

Bishop Ludwig Schwarz of Linz has been summoned to Rome and the Linz Priests' Circle has said that forcing Wagner's withdrawal showed how anti-Roman forces and forces from outside the Church are rebelling against the Pope's God-given authority.

The bishops' concern to protect the modern liturgy is understandable: of Austria's 5.6 million Catholics, it now attracts a magnificent 13 per cent to Mass on Sundays.

The mindset betrayed by the pastoral was schismatic: a return to the Josephite concept of a self-contained Austrian Church, on the Gallican model.

It is difficult to regard the Austrian hierarchy as in full communion with Rome, in the light of its conduct.

Austria, like so many other countries, needs a complete change of personnel among its bishops.
(Source: TTUK)

Drogheda to get statue to hospital founder Mother Mary Martin

Plans are afoot to erect a statue in Drogheda to Mother Mary Martin, the founder of the Medical Missionaries of Mary.
A committee has been formed to plan the monument to the nun who made a pioneering and far-reaching impact on bringing improved healthcare to many countries.

If the statue goes ahead, she will be the town's first well-known woman to be honoured in sculpture.

Former mayor Frank Godfrey said the intention of the committee is to proceed with commissioning an artist and finding an appropriate location for the statue.

“Mother Mary made an outstanding contribution to Drogheda and to the world,” he remarked. “Drogheda was blessed to have her, she set up the hospital in the 1950s and she was loved by the people of the town”.

“Given the current state of our health services, she could teach the minister for health a thing or two,” he added.

Mr Godfrey said that the pioneering nun “gave so much to this town and the world, it's only right that she be recognised for all the good she did”.

Mother Martin’s order was said to be 'delighted' at the prospect of their founder being honoured with a statue and Mr Godfrey said he hoped to win support for the project from Drogheda Borough Council and friends of the Lourdes Hospital which she founded.

Source: CIN

Friday, February 27, 2009

Three important TLM's in Italy in quick succession.

Three important Masses will be celebrated according to the usus aniquior in Italy in the coming months. Even two years ago, such a succession of high profile TLM would have been extremely unlikely. Shows how much things have improved for the better.

First, Archbishop Raymond Leo Burke, Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, will celebrate Pontifical Mass and ordain five priests for the Franciscans of the Immaculate (FFI) in the church of St. Francis in Tarquinia (a small town in Latium) on the Feast of the Annunciation (25 March 2009) at 10 a.m.

Then the Superior of the FFI, Fr Stefano Maria Manelli, will celebrate Solemn Mass in the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran on the occasion of the Octocentennial of the Approbation of the Rule of St. Francis on 16 April 2009, also at 10 a.m.

And lastly, Cardinal Cañizares, the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, will pontificate in the same Archbasilica of St. John Lateran on the following 21 April 2009, again at 10 a.m.

H/T to NLM

Pope calls Bishop of Linz, Austria in for a little talk

The Austrian bishops thought they were simply going to bully the pope into submission by moving against his appointees. Hopefully this latest move will mean the Pope shall restore order and unity with the Church Universal in Austria. I've had enough of virtual national schisms.

Bishop of Linz summoned to Rome at short notice!

Linz (
Peace and quiet seems unlikely to return too soon to the Diocese of Linz. was able to ascertain that Bishop Ludwig Schwarz traveled to Rome at short notice on Friday. He cancelled the youth catechesis that was scheduled for Friday evening in Linz. Schwarz has an appointment with the Congregation of Bishops in Rome.

After a statement by Gerhard Maria Wagner saying that his resignation was not voluntary, the bishop of Linz now finds himself under considerable pressure. Even some of his Austrian fellow-bishops are now unofficially expressing criticism of the proceedings. A letter from Gerhard Maria Wagner asking the Pope to reverse his appointment as auxiliary bishop has been received by the Congregation of Bishops. Church sources in the Vatican told that Pope Benedict XVI has assigned top priority to the issue and will deal with it personally. It is not known when the Pope will make a decision. The Friday bulletin of the Vatican Press Office once again made no mention of the Wagner affair.

An increasing number of people within the Vatican itself are speaking quite openly about an Apostolic Visitation for the Diocese of Linz. was informed by sources within the Austrian Church that several Austrian bishops have already commented favourably on the prospect of an Apostolic Visitation in the Diocese of Linz. Given the crisis in the diocese, Rome is not excluding the possibility that a coadjutor bishop could be nominated.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Denver archbishop warns against ‘spirit of adulation’ surrounding Obama

Denver archbishop warns against ‘spirit of adulation’ surrounding Obama
Canadians packed St. Basil’s Church in Toronto on Monday evening to hear Archbishop Charles Chaput speak about how Catholics should live out their faith in the public square.

After giving a sketch of the basic principles in his New York Times Bestseller "Render Unto Caesar," the archbishop offered his insights on the need for an honest assessment of the situation of the Church in the public square.

"I like clarity, and there’s a reason why," began the archbishop. "I think modern life, including life in the Church, suffers from a phony unwillingness to offend that poses as prudence and good manners, but too often turns out to be cowardice. Human beings owe each other respect and appropriate courtesy. But we also owe each other the truth -- which means candor."

The Denver prelate then provided his critique of President Obama.........According to the archbishop, the political situation for Catholics is difficult to discern because a "spirit of adulation bordering on servility already exists among some of the same Democratic-friendly Catholic writers, scholars, editors and activists who once accused pro-lifers of being too cozy with Republicans. It turns out that Caesar is an equal opportunity employer."

Looking ahead to the coming months and years, Chaput offered four "simple things" to remember.

"First," he said, "all political leaders draw their authority from God. We owe no leader any submission or cooperation in the pursuit of grave evil."

"In fact, we have the duty to change bad laws and resist grave evil in our public life, both by our words and our non-violent actions. The truest respect we can show to civil authority is the witness of our Catholic faith and our moral convictions, without excuses or apologies."

In a reference to the messianic treatment the Barack Obama received from some Americans during the presidential primaries, Archbishop Chaput delivered his second point: "in democracies, we elect public servants, not messiahs."

Noting that Obama actually trailed in the weeks just before the election, the Denver archbishop said that this places some of today’s talk about a "new American mandate" in perspective.

"Americans, including many Catholics, elected a gifted man to fix an economic crisis. That’s the mandate. They gave nobody a mandate to retool American culture on the issues of marriage and the family, sexuality, bioethics, religion in public life and abortion. That retooling could easily happen, and it clearly will happen -- but only if Catholics and other religious believers allow it."

The third point to focus on when the beliefs of Catholics are challenged is that "it doesn’t matter what we claim to believe if we’re unwilling to act on our beliefs," Chaput counseled.

"The fourth and final thing to remember, and there’s no easy way to say it," remarked Archbishop Chaput, is that the "Church in the United States has done a poor job of forming the faith and conscience of Catholics for more than 40 years."

The full text of the archbishop's speech can be found here:

Ash Wednesday- the Forty days of Lent

Kramskoy, Ivan (1837-1887)
Jesus Christ in the Wilderness.

Ivan Nikolaevich Kramskoi attended the Petersburg Academy of Arts from 1857 to 1863, but he left before graduation as one of the artists in the "Rebellion of the Fourteen" who protested against the stagnant rules governing competitions at the Academy. After his departure, Kramskoi supported the creation of the Petersburg Artel of Artists, and he subsequently became its leader, He was also a founding member and an active participant in the Circle of the Itinerants, acting as the group's moral conscience and ideological inspiration. In 1869 Kramskoi received the title of a member of the Academy and afterwards enjoyed tremendous authority and influence among Russian artists.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Msgr Ranjith on the Flaws of the Postconciliar Liturgical Reforms and the Need for a Reform of the Reform

H/T to NLM.

Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith, the Secretary of the Congregation of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, has written a foreword to a book by Msgr. Nicola Giampietro (True Development of the Liturgy, due to be published by Roman Catholic Books in September).
It is based on the diaries and notes of Cardinal Fernando Antonelli OFM, who was the Secretary of the Liturgical Commission of the Second Vatican Council from 1962 to 1964 and went on to be Archbishop Ranjith's predecessor as Secretary of the Sacred Congregation of Rites from 1965 until 1969. Speaking of the influences on the work of the Consilium, he writes:
An exaggerated sense of antiquarianism, anthopologism, confusion of roles between the ordained and the non-ordained, a limitless provision of space for experimentation-- and indeed, the tendency to look down upon some aspects of the development of the Liturgy in the second millennium-- were increasingly visible among certain liturgical schools.

And regarding the result of the reforms, he observes:
Some practices which Sacrosanctum Concilium had never even contemplated were allowed into the Liturgy, like Mass versus populum, Holy Communion in the hand, altogether giving up on the Latin and Gregorian Chant in favor of the vernacular and songs and hymns without much space for God, and extension beyond any reasonable limits of the faculty to concelebrate at Holy Mass. There was also the gross misinterpretation of the principle of "active participation.

Basic concepts and themes like Sacrifice and Redemption, Mission, Proclamation and Conversion, Adoration as an integral element of Communion, and the need of the Church for salvation--all were sidelined, while Dialogue, Inculturation, Ecumenism, Eucharist-as-Banquet, Evangelization-as-Witness, etc., became more important. Absolute values were disdained.

Such an unblinkered look at the liturgical reforms can, Msgr Ranjith writes,
help us to be courageous in improving or changing that which was erroneously introduced and which appears to be incompatible with the true dignity of the Liturgy.

This is nothing short of a manifesto for a true Reform of the Reform. You can read the entire article about the foreword at Catholic World News here.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

13 Year-old boy becomes a father.

This boy of 13, who looks 8 has become a father.
The sexualisation of children has gone so far, that children are now begetting chlidren. I agree with the last comment below that sex education normalising sex for children is counterproductive.

From the Sun:

A baby-faced boy in the UK has become father, but when asked how he would cope financially he responded, “What’s financially?”

Alfie Patton, 13, became a dad this week after his 15-year-old girlfriend, Chantelle Steadman, gave birth to little Maisie Roxanne.

The boy has told Britain’s Sun he “thought it would be good to have a baby.”

“I didn’t think about how we could afford it,” he said.

“I don’t really get pocket money. My dad sometime gives me 10 pounds.

“When my mum found out, I thought I was going to get in trouble.

“We wanted to have the baby but were worried how people would react.

Alfie, who stands only 125 cm high, had a single night of unprotected sex with Chantelle when he was just 12.

Christian groups have commended the teenagers’ decision to keep the baby.

Michaela Aston, of the anti-abortion Christian charity LIFE, told the Sun: “We commend these teenagers for their courage in bringing their child into the world.

“At the same time this is symptomatic of the over-sexualisation of our youngsters and shows the policy of value-free sex education just isn’t working.”

Link here:

Friday, February 20, 2009

The most beautiful and worthy thing this side of heaven

Definition of a liberal rarely adds up

"liberals" – whose behaviour seldom tallies with the dictionary definition of that term

In regards Fr Tim Finigan being the target of a Tablet hachtet job:
Fr. Finigan has been savaged by.........a dead sheep.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Protestant urge in Germany lights anti-Benedict actions

Cardinal Cordes slams Cardinal Lehmann for stoking the fires of dissent – Ein katholischer Kardinal übt scharfe Kritik an Kardinal Lehmann

The turmoil caused by the removal of the four-Lefebvre excommunications was in fact a well-orchestrated poisoning of wells - and a serious failure of the German bishops. "Chaos Days in Rome,"was how the anti-religious magazine 'Der Spiegel' described the staging around the repeal of the Lefebvre-excommunications.

But the German Curia Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes would like to call this event rather a "well-orchestrated poisoning of the wells in Germany" .

He has just said this in a very long article for the Catholic newspaper ‘Tagespost'.
Worldly bishops with a secular image of the Church

For those distant from the church and who lack God - and apparently also for secularised bishops – excommunication appears as a banal exclusion from a club.
In truth, it is about being excluded from the economy of sacramental graces, said the cardinal.

Cardinal Cordes criticized in this regard, the bishop of Mainz, Cardinal Karl Lehmann, razor-sharply:

"Certainly he could have in recent days, as the most quoted of German Catholic Bishops in the Vatican thanks to his well-known good relations with the media, ironed out misunderstandings, addressing the spiritual dimension of the act and could have with the Pope directed people to view the faith and God. "

Failure in Mainz
But he had used his statements to demand from the leadership of the church “a little more political sensitivity ".

"A spiritually sick member of the body of Christ giving pain to the Pope over the years is at best thought of as a sentiment of old age" - Cardinal Cordes gave as analysis.

The Cardinal is adamant: "The Church should not be reduced to one body among many in society, least of all by their shepherds."

Is Christianity in ruins?

The total subordination to politics and the unquestioned legacy of narrow Enlightenment thought patterns determine – according Cardinal Cordes – even now the minds of a lot of opinion-makers.

The Cardinal cited the Danish religious philosopher Soren Kierkegaard:
"It is a long time ago now that God was listened to as the owner and something of a Lord, so Christianity is in ruins, so do we now completely and utterly abolish wish to abolish it or ad libitum trim it to something that is our own property and invention? "

Incomprehensible German Hysteria
For the German reactions to the lifting of the Lefebvre excommunication – the Curial Cardinal has no sympathy:

"Who from Rome looks at the ferocity of the response in Germany to the withdrawal of the excommunication of the four Lefevre bishops had to rub his eyes."

Remarks and statements of understanding from bishops loyal to the Pope were held back by editors:

Trial by Journalists
"The complaint, which the German chancellor issued publicly to the Successor of Peter again gave the Court of Journalists opportunity for agitation."
Cardinal Cordes compared the German hysteria to the prudent international reactions:

"In the U.S., the leader writer of the New York Times, I. Fisher, even used the occasion for a detailed and very favorable rating of Pope Benedict."

"Why this zeal in Germany?" - asked the cardinal.
German resentment against the Pope

His answer: "It appears, therefore, not the people, but the institution of the Office of Peter is the actual bone of contention."
This office makes some of the population north of the Alps continually "see red":

"And the majority of the media are all too happy to link this to everything dark or with legitimate grievance."

Over-enthusiastic media
The animosity directed against the Roman Pope was an ancient heritage in the "land of the Reformation".

German media have in recent weeks seen an opportunity to make from the “Williamson case” a “Benedict case”:

"With such a view, it would be possible to understand that overboard involvement in the issue, which is far beyond the duty to provide just news."
H/T to Catholic Conservation

Our family, the Church

Not our family, but God's family - The Church.

Check out these short videos, some are very touching; they are all interesting.
Wouldn't it be great if the Catholic Church in Ireland did something similar.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

What is plagiarism?: An example by Michael Kelly of The Irish Catholic

I spotted a post recently about journalists who plagiarise other people's work and pass it off as their own. So I looked up wikipedia and found the working definition as follows:
Plagiarism is the use or close imitation of the language and ideas of another author and representation of them as one's own original work.

In journalism, plagiarism is considered a breach of journalistic ethics, and reporters caught plagiarizing typically face disciplinary measures ranging from suspension to termination.

Since journalism's main currency is public trust, a reporter's failure to honestly acknowledge their sources undercuts a newspaper or television news show's integrity and undermines its credibility. Journalists accused of plagiarism are often suspended from their reporting tasks while the charges are being looked into by the news organization.

I was reading a book entitled "Letters to a Young Catholic" by well-known American author George Weigel recently. Chapter two of his book is a fascinating account of the find of the 'trophies' of St Peter in the Roman Basilica under the reign of Pope Pius XI.
On can read this chapter here on google books.
It is pages 19-21 which chime exactly with what I read later in an article by Michael Kelly, a journalist with The Irish Catholic newspaper.
George Weigels book was published in 2004 while Michael Kelly's article, with exactly the same wording was published a year later in The Irish Catholic on February 17, 2005.

[Click for full photo view] The first paragraph, in chapter two of Weigel's book reads:


"Pius XI died on February 10, 1939. Prior to his election as bishop of Rome in 1922, he had ben the archbishop of Milan for a brief period, and the Milanesee wanted to honour his memory by building a fitting resting place for him in St. Peter's Basilica. So funds were raised, artists commissioned, and a magnificent marble sarcophagus, which was to be the centrepiece of a richly decorated mosaic vault, was prepared and sent to Rome. ........"

The first paragraph of Michael Kelly's article has exactly the same wording and continues in that vein for the rest of the article.

For more on this see here.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Austrian bishops turn on the Pope

This is a video about a Youth Mass celebrated on 16th of November 2008 by Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna in Wolfsthal, Lower Austria.

Austrian Bishops in open revolt against freedom of the Pope to appoint the bishops in Austria. This urge has been festering for decades. We saw it also in Chur. Time now for the Papacy to stand up for its rights against the tide of Gallican arrogance and national division.

From the statement of the Bishops of Austria, signed and released today:
"4. There were problems of communication also in the recent appointment of an auxiliary bishop for the Diocese of Linz. The bishops are aware that Fr Wagner asked the Pope to withdraw the appointment. The theme of Episcopal appointments is therefore important because since the mid-eighties in Austria it has been associated with a number of problems. For many, the controversy over episcopal appointments led to a painful conflict, and they have triggered splits in the church,. It is precisely in this area that sensitivity is most appropriate. There is no question that the Pope is free to appoint bishops. The bishops do not want to go back in time where - as in 1918 - the Emperor alone chose the bishops. Even a 'popular choice' of the bishops would divide the church into parties and conflicts would be inevitable. We bishops are convinced that the procedure provided for in canon law for the selection and the examination of candidates has proved its worth, if this procedure is really followed. Therefore, before the Holy Father takes the final decision, reliable and thoroughly tested basic information must be provided on which he can rely. In Austria in the next few years a number of bishops are to be appointed. The faithful are legitimately concerned that the process of candidate search, examination of the proposals and the final decisions should be carefully undertaken and with pastoral sensitivity are possible. This can ensure that bishops are appointed who are not 'against' but 'for' a local church. We bishops will make every possible effort to support the forthcoming episcopal appointments in the sense of monitoring these procedures in close cooperation with the relevant Vatican offices."
"Trusting in God's help, we will overcome the crisis of recent weeks." [Adapted according to original text]

From Rotati Caeli : There was no true "crisis", but open revolt against the Pope, inflamed and supported by the shameless Bishops of Austria, first among them the Cardinal-Archbishop of Vienna. If the Pope does not intervene urgently in this case, if a PUBLIC response is not given - since the Bishops of Austria chose to make the matter public - the perception of the authority of the Pope in Europe is finished. The anti-Roman rebellion of the Austrian Bishops is intolerable.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Novena Prayer for Pope Benedict XVI

February 14 - 22

From the FSSP: Many of the faithful are aware of the opposition which the Holy Father has faced in his efforts to reconcile the Society of Pius X. The current pressure from the media and others seems to not only threaten Pope Benedict’s work with the SSPX. It also seems as though some would like to see it work as a means to undermine his very teaching and governing authority for his pontificate.

Given these oppositions which the Holy Father faces; given the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter's particular role in working as a bridge for those who have grown apart from the Church in the last forty years; finally, given that we hold St. Peter as our patron and have a particular attachment to his successor, the Fraterniy of St. Peter has asked all of its the members to offer increased prayers at this time for strength for Pope Benedict XVI.

Novena for the Pope:
Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory be.

V: Let us pray for our Pope Benedict.
R: May the Lord preserve him, and give him life, and make him blessed upon the earth, and deliver him not up to the will of his enemies.

V. Thou art Peter,
R. And upon this Rock, I will build My Church.

Let us Pray,
Almighty and everlasting God, have mercy upon your servant, Benedict, our Sovereign Pontiff, and guide him in your goodness on the way of eternal salvation; so that, with the prompting of your grace, he may desire what pleases you and accomplish it with all his strength. Through Christ Our Lord. R. Amen.

V. Mother of the Church. R. Pray for us
V. St. Peter. R. Pray for us

Friday, February 13, 2009

Five tips for Conservatives debating others

Five tips for Conservatives debating against Secularists/Feminists/Marxists anti-Family, anti-Christian, anti-Democracy advocates

The Opening Statement:

This is your opportunity to set the tone of the debate and frame the issues and your opponent. Open with a story of why you’re running and briefly state your three major legislative priorities. The trick is to tie these legislative priorities into an overall theme. Barack Obama was successful in this regard as he always linked everything back to his themes of “hope” and “change.” While these overall themes were used ad nauseam, they stuck in the minds of his voters and eventually worked. If there is not an opening statement, you must blend your introduction into the first response.

Use Conversational Language
When responding to questions, you should use a fourth- to eighth- grade level vocabulary to clearly articulate your positions. You don’t need to dumb everything down but don’t use George Will-esque language. Conservatives have a tendency to use such grandiose verbiage to sound exclusively knowledgeable. But most people don’t speak that way, so you may come across as arrogant.

Using Numbers and Facts
Use numbers only in a way that illustrates your main points. The trick is to use them in terms that people can visually understand. Instead of saying that “Congress spends twelve billion dollars a year to run itself,” say “Congress spends more than a dozen states spend on their entire operation!” People can envision twelve states on a map easier than they can envision twelve billion dollars because a map is more familiar to them than twelve billion dollars.

Use Transitional Phrases

The biggest mistake a conservative can make is actually answering every question. Responding to questions is an opportunity for you to get back on message and discuss your overall theme and legislative priorities. If the moderator or your opponent leads you down a defensive path, use transitional phrases to stay on message. Stay on offense by using the following transitional phrases: “That’s an interesting point but…,” “I think we’re getting away from the big issue here…,” and “Well, the moms and pops I talk to tell me…”

Use Stories
Voters love a good story for the same reason you should use visual examples when describing numbers and facts. People relate better to people than they do to numbers and tend to remember stories more so than legislative minutiae. In the first presidential debate in 2000, Vice President Al Gore used a story of an elderly lady who collected aluminum cans to exchange them for money so she could buy food and medicine. This image was so powerful that the media ran stories about this elderly lady for several news cycles. (Note: It was later discovered that the elderly lady collected the aluminum cans just for fun!)

Christopher N. Malagisi is the Director of Political Training at The Leadership Institute and is an Adjunct Professor at American University teaching a course titled “Grassroots Campaigning & Political Activism.”

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Heroic Polish midwife protects life

H/T to Seattle Catholic and HoC for this:

At Seattle Catholic, you can read the story by Matthew Anger of the heroic midwife of Auschwitz, Stanislawa Leszczynska. The conditions under which mothers had to give birth were quite horrific and babies were routinely drowned in a barrel after being born:

The heroic midwife, at the risk of her life, refused to participate in the infanticide. Instead, she offered care for the women as far as she could in the appalling conditions in which she worked, and made sure that the children were baptised. Few of them survived very long. On one occasion, she faced down the infamou Dr Mengele who shouted at her that "Orders are orders!"

The words of Pope John Paul II in Evangelium Vitae have a striking relevance to the story of Stanislawa Leszczynska:
Abortion and euthanasia are thus crimes which no human law can claim to legitimize. There is no obligation in conscience to obey such laws; instead there is a grave and clear obligation to oppose them by conscientious objection. From the very beginnings of the Church, the apostolic preaching reminded Christians of their duty to obey legitimately constituted public authorities (cf. Rom 13:1-7; 1 Pet 2:13-14), but at the same time it firmly warned that "we must obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29).

In the Old Testament, precisely in regard to threats against life, we find a significant example of resistance to the unjust command of those in authority. After Pharaoh ordered the killing of all newborn males, the Hebrew midwives refused. "They did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but let the male children live" (Ex 1:17). But the ultimate reason for their action should be noted: "the midwives feared God" (ibid.). It is precisely from obedience to God-to whom alone is due that fear which is acknowledgment of his absolute sovereignty-that the strength and the courage to resist unjust human laws are born. It is the strength and the courage of those prepared even to be imprisoned or put to the sword, in the certainty that this is what makes for "the endurance and faith of the saints" (Rev 13:10).

In the case of an intrinsically unjust law, such as a law permitting abortion or euthanasia, it is therefore never licit to obey it, or to "take part in a propaganda campaign in favour of such a law, or vote for it".

The cause for the canonisation of Stanislawa Leszczynska has been introduced by the diocese of Łódź in Poland. She is very much a pro-life heroine and I hope that she will become widely known in the pro-life movement.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Israeli election to bring changes?

Interesting article by Julian Kossoff, a former journo with the Jewish Chronicle, in today's Daily Telegraph blog
Salient point of Orthodox Haredi Jews opposed to Zionism here:
Dubbed the Israeli Putin,[Avigdor Lieberman] the Molodvan-born former bouncer and has set a collision course with the other "ultras" of Israeli society.

The "no loyalty, no citizenship" policy threatens to challenge the grudging status quo which has allowed to the Haredi community to thrive in Israel, reaping generous state subsides for their social welfare and educational network, despite the fact that many in their ranks veer from ambiguous to outright hostility towards the concept of the state that funds them.

Many of the 'black hats' believe Zionism to be a secularist aberration which has hijacked Judaism; that to reinvent the Jewish nation in the Holy Land prior to the return of the Messiah is downright heresy.

Just like Israel's Arabs, most members of the ultra-Orthodox community don't serve in the army. Yisrael Beiteinu thus questions their loyalty and right to citizenship.

Castrillón speaks: "We are moving forward"

Over the last few weeks, disgruntled 'liberal Catholics' and Catholic-haters have used the stupid remarks of Bishop Richard Williamson to attack the Pope, Catholic unity and his work for an enhanced hermeneutic of continuity. This should be overcome by all means possible - prayer, getting the message out in the media and setting out the case for reconciliation.
Above all Pope Benedict XVI must not be forced to loose nerve in the face of this media onslaught- particularly evident in Germany.

The turning tide:
In an interview to the RCN radio network of Colombia, Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos, president of the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei", had some interesting words on current events:

"I have always had truth as a rule. The Holy Father knows this. We are moving forward, ensuring that this unity of the Church be rebuilt, and that this schism be completely ended."

"[W]hat is important at this moment is that the Pope has stopped a schism. The charity that Christ wanted to exist in the Church has been remarkably reestablished, and paths of hope are opened."
H/T Rorati Caeli

Monday, February 9, 2009

Libertas leader makes move for Catholic support

Libertas leader Declan Ganley firmly posted his colours to the Christian and pro-life culture mast at a family conference in Ballaghaderreen, Co Roscommon during the weekend. Strongly affirming his personal commitment to the Catholic faith the Tuam-based founder of the No to Lisbon campaign group said that in Ireland and in Europe today, ‘’there is a desperate need to heal the flaws inflicting modernity, to end a dictatorship of relativism and to put the person, her rights, and her needs, back at the heart of the political agenda.’
Speaking at the Abbey Field Hotel before 350 people, late on Saturday he said, ‘My faith in God is not a threat to my neighbour, In fact my faith in God is my neighbour’s best guarantor of his safety and freedom.’ Declan Ganley added there was a need for those sharing a belief that “man is the crown of creation and not some parasitic presence on this earth’ to stand up and defend those beliefs. Over a wide ranging speech, frequently quoting Pope Benedict XVI, he said “Our Holy Father teaches us that once society does not treat every life as precious and inviolable from conception to natural death then man becomes a product subjected to ‘pragmatism’ and utilitarianism’ such that abortion, euthanasia, and the destruction of human life are promoted as false rights and choices.’ He called on people at the meeting organised by the lay-based John Paul II Society, to commit to ‘no longer apologising for our beliefs. To unabashedly love our Lord, love our neighbour and to be prepared to sacrifice and serve.’ Making reference to the sustaining effect that religious faith had on previous generations, particularly in times of hardship, he added that was a need that ‘public figures should never to afraid to speak of their faith, their beliefs and their values.’
Also addressing the conference, entitled ‘Render Unto Caesar: Personal Faith and Public Duty’ was the internationally known Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Denver who asked listeners to be ‘vigourous and unembarrassed about our Catholic presence in society.’ Archbishop Chaput, who is half-American Indian stressed the importance of individual integrity and called on people to give public witness to what they believed in their family, workplace and also in the way they vote.
Saying that while Christians ‘owe secular leaders our respect and prayers; respect for the law; obedience to proper authority; and service to the common good,’ this was not to be confused with ‘subservience, or silence, or inaction, or excuse-making or acquiescence to grave evil in the public life we all share.’
Declan Ganley’s Libertas group recently applied for status and funding as a pan-European political party to the European Parliament. Affirming his will to vote NO at the next Lisbon referendum, he suggested that the politician declarations being talked about on Lisbon ‘ won’t be worth the paper they are written on’. In a question and answer session he remained, he said, very pro-European and strongly opposed to euroscepticism.
It has been speculated in recent months that Ganley wishes to run for the Connacht-Ulster constituency in the next-European Parliament election, but at the Roscommon conference, he refused to confirm whether he would be running or not.
See report and hear audio from the Irish Times here and here.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Names for ugly and inappropriate vestments

How about:

polyester ponchos
overpriced horseblanket
polyester bin-liners?
Any other one you can think of?

Fr Z has a funny ditty about blue vestments:

This is sung to the tune of O Come, O Come Emmanuel:
O come, o come liturgical blue;
out with the old, and in with the new.
Let’s banish purple vestments from here,
the color blue is very HOT this year.

There is also an ugly vestment competition here.

The bit that mattered has been cut out

As Steve Wilson at the Daily Telegraph noted, last night, ITV give us a break but missed Everton's winner against Liverpool
in the last minute of the game.

If ITV do the FA Cup - which this morning many dismayed viewers who stuck with the broadcaster through more than two hours of coverage last night will wish they didn't - adverts is what you get.
And missing a minute or so of the 120 on offer in Everton's FA Cup replay victory over Liverpool would have been no bad thing.....
Just, not that particular minute - the minute where the match was decided, the minute that saw the only goal of the game, the minute that mattered.

Reminds me abit of Irenaeus's comment that doctrines of the Gospel are like coloured stone mosaic - we must accept the whole thing - to take out , remove or change around what God has given and the Church has accepted for centuries is to short-change the hearer of the Gospel - and distort the message of God.

Catholic faith is not just believed by all, but all of the message that God gave in Christ.

Feet of Clay - Legionaries of Christ founder - found out

First thing, there are many excellent Catholics with the Legionairies of Christ as well as the Regnum Christi Movement.
I have met them and they are very good people. They do a lot of very good work.

It has however transpired that their order's founder was a sexual predator and serial womaniser who had two children by a Spanish woman dating from the 1980's.
It is trickling out that :
Maciel fathered a child who is now in her early 20's;

Maciel offered some money illicitly to his own family;

I saw this comment on the net and agree with all but the last sentence:
"The only amazing aspect of this kerfuffle is that the LC organization should have learned from the blunders of Americano dioceses during the Priestly Scandals of 2001-05. As in- come clean, mop up the mess, do it quickly and publicly, move forward. If LC’s appeal comes from the charism of one man, it will dry up like the orders of nuns who went cloud cuckoo. If it’s rooted in Christ and His Church- not Maciel’s Church- it may find, like Opus Dei during the Da Vinci Code hysteria, that bad publicity is better than none."

One ex-LC wrote: "The Legion must go forward, purged of the toxins released into its bloodstream by years of machiavellian duplicity, and recreate itself solely on the merits of its works."

According to the Wikipedia entry: "Internally, the Legion has collapsed and is now struggling to recreate itself on the merits of its works alone, with no reference to the Founder. His name and history are being purged from the Congregation' s internal literature, his pictures are being removed from the walls of the schools and seminaries of the Legion and his writings are no longer being quoted in homilies and preaching of Legionary priests."

This episode really shows the dangers of the cult of personality organisations with in the Church. Hero worship is always a temptation - this can apply to priests, bishops and even Popes - not excluding Pope John Paul II.

It was Cardinal Ratzinger himself who reopened the investigation on MM while he was head of the CDF.

As John Allen has said, "The centrality of the founder: The Vatican’s communiqué two years ago took pains to distinguish its conclusion about Maciel from any indictment of the Legionaries as a whole: “Independently of the person of the founder,” it said, “the worthy apostolate of the Legionaries of Christ and the Regnum Christi Association is recognized with gratitude.” Many Legionaries and other experts on religious life, however, warn that things aren’t that simple. The identity and spirituality of a religious order is deeply tied to the personality of its founder, and there aren’t many ready examples of orders which have flourished despite compelling evidence of moral corruption on the part of the founder. To acknowledge merit to the charges against Maciel, at least in the eyes of some, would therefore be tantamount to jeopardizing the viability of the communities he founded. It could also, of course, jeopardize the vocations of Legionaries intensely devoted to the figure of Maciel."

I hope this does not happen but that purged of aspects of a Cult of personality, the LC and RC will be solidified in the faith and Tradition of the Church and continue to flourish in the future.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. (2 Chr 7:14)

The Muslim population in the U.K. has grown by more than 500,000 to 2.4 million in four short years. Muslims multiplied 10 times faster than the rest of the Nation, the research by the Office for National Statistics reveals. During the same period the number of Christians in the country fell by more than 2 million.

Excerpts from Timesonline: Experts said that the increase was attributable to immigration, a higher birthrate and conversions to Islam during the period of 2004-2008, when the data was gathered."

"There are more than 42.6 million Christians in Britain, according to the Office for National Statistics, whose figures were obtained through the quarterly Labour Force Survey of around 53,000 homes. But while the biggest Christian population is among over-70s bracket, for Muslims it is the under-4s. [Emphasis added]

"Muhammad Abdul Bari, general secretary of the Muslim Council of Britain, predicted that the number of mosques in Britain would multiply from the present 1,600 in line with the rising Islamic population. He said the greater platform that Muslims would command in the future should not be perceived as a threat to the rest of society.

“We each have our own set of beliefs. This should really be a source of celebration rather than fear as long as we all clearly understand that we must abide by the laws of this country regardless of the faith we belong to,” he said.
And here is solid evidence of the growth of Eurabia...

"The total number of Muslims in Great Britain:
2004: 1,087,000
2005: 2,017,000
2006: 2,142,000
2007: 2,327,000
2008: 2,422,000

Source: Labour Force Survey. H/T to this site

Slideshow of Ethiopian Christmas

A very interesting slide show of an Ethiopian Christmas is viewable here

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Tyrone priest criticises First Communion fashion magazine

A County Tyrone priest has slammed a magazine encouraging parents to splash out on their children’s First Holy Communion.
Fr Declan Boland said the targeting of parents by Your Child's First Holy Communion which shows young girls modelling the latest in Communion wear has "inappropriate".

The magazine, which is a spin-off of the highly successful wedding magazine Irish Wedding Diary. carries advertisements for tiaras, fashion accessories and portrait photographers.

Fr Boland said it was time parents changed their focus to the spiritual dimension of their children getting their First Communion and took an approach of “moderation and sensibility” to the occasion.

"The Church and schools try and down play the whole issue of clothing, parties and whatever gifts the children get for their Holy Communion,” he remarked.

But he said it “can be a struggle” because parents get “caught up in the external things”.

“But if this magazine is out there now, I feel we are in danger of losing sight of what we are about and the true meaning of Holy Communion, which is receiving the body of Christ for the first time,” Fr Boland remarked. [CIN]

Statement by Dr Alcuin Reid on a SSPX response

This should clarify positions a good bit.
Fr Z received this from Alcuin Reid, who is the editor and author of good liturgical sources:

Statement by Dr Alcuin Reid:
On Friday BBC Radio asked me to discuss recent events concerning the SSPX on ‘The Sunday Programme’ this morning. Following that request I asked the SSPX for comment on the issues to be discussed.

Unfortunately Bishop Fellay’s reply reached me only after the programme aired. His reply, written for publication, states:

"The position of Bishop Williamson is clearly not the position of our Society.
Antisemitism has no place in our ranks.

We follow fully God’s commandments on justice and charity and the constant teaching of the Church. Antisemitism has been condemned by the Church. So do we condemn it.

I fully agree with Fr Schmidberger’s statement about Bishop Williamson’s words. ("

God bless you

+Bernard Fellay

The Difference Between Men and Women: What goes through your head when someone says "Do you want to go for a drink?"

H/T to

Liberals are depressed over work of Pope Benedict and traditional re-integration

Robert Mickens of The Tablet has a sour piece in "America" on Pope Benedict and Vatican II, of course some people might not share his pessimism about the present situation.

"A young professor at the Legionaries of Christ's university in Rome, Fr Mauro Gagliardi, gave a clue of what to expect.

The Fraternity of St Pius X can offer the Church an important contribution in applying the 'hermeneutic of continuity' that must be applied to the documents of Vatican II," he said.

This apparent reference to Pope Bendict's hermeneutic for interpreting the Council is imprecise -- as Fr Joseph Komonchak and others have clearly pointed out -- but it is not altogether mistaken. And Fr Gagliardi is not just any professor in Rome. He was recently named as consultant to the papal liturgical ceremonies office and mixes in the circles that are currently in favour in the Vatican. He said, "The 'Lefebvrists' have a spirituality and charism that can be a richness for the life of the entire Church." This certainly is the view of Cardinal Castrillon and probably reflects, at least in some measure, the Pope's thinking, too.

There is no question that Pope Benedict wants the SSPX back in the Church. Up to now he has done everything to accommodate them on their terms. He will do so on the interpretation of the Council, as well. The two CDF documents in 2007 (on the nature of the Church on 29 June and on evangelisation on 3 December ) have already begun paving the way for this. The Lefebvrists will argue, and the Pope will agree, that, in substance, we have the same doctrine after Vatican II has we had before. All "changes" were merely stylistic or operational, but not theogical -- i.e. none of the changes were essential, so none have to be adopted. The Vatican and the SSPX will also say, together, that much of the Council was badly misinterpreted by theologians and bishops in the post-conciliar period, and they will even cite the long list of theologians the CDF condemned to prove that Rome never caved in. Despite everything to the contrary (i.e. the fact that the SSPX does not really buy or live Vatican II), they will find a way together to finagle a formula that helps them profess "true fidelity and true recognition" of the Council (in light of the constant Tradition) but allows them to continue living as if Vatican II never existed. There are already a number of "Ecclesia Dei" communities in communion in Rome (off-shoots of the SSPX like the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter) that currently do this.

The formula that is produced will be just as disingenuous as the invented nonsense of "two forms of the one Roman Rite".

H/T to DT and Fr Ray Blake.