Tuesday, July 24, 2012

New Archbishop for Glasgow, Scotland

The Vatican announces today the resignation of Archbishop Mario Conti on having reached the age of retirement and the transfer of Bishop Philip Tartaglia from the diocese of Paisley to the Archdiocese of Glasgow. This is wonderful news. Congratulations to Archbishop Tartaglia and to the people of Glasgow.

There are a number of vacant or soon-to-be-vacant dioceses in Great Britain and prayers are obviously needed that further good appointments are made.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Why do Americans need guns?

I raised this question in a group, just as a private individual, stressing I do not pretend to hold an official Church view, and people were very quick to uphold the right to bear arms. Indeed, on one blog somewhere it was commented that had there been someone in the Aurora CO theater bearing a legally concealed weapon, perhaps the loss of life might have been much reduced.

But, seriously, how did the suspect legally obtain so much weaponry?

Gun control is anathema to many Americans. Guns don't kill people, it's people who kill! Yes, I know, but should anyone whomsoever be allowed to bear arms?

Self-defence? That is an admission that American society is violent.

He who lives by the sword dies by the sword.

If Americans gave up the right to bear arms, fewer would have them. And those who obtained them would either have to quizzed: why? what for? Or they would obtain them illegally.

Naturally, weapons used for hunting are another matter and some provision would need to be made for them.

But I think a big question needs to be asked: how did Holmes manage to get hold of such a quantity of armaments without any alarms being raised?

I know when we had some horrible killings in Great Britain, gun laws were gradually tightened amidst howls of protest from the gun rights lobby. I would consider myself a libertarian, in principle, but on this one I am on the side of disarmament.

Just my questions, as a foreigner and a guest in this great land, humbly and respectfully submitted.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Colorado massacre: “Evil ruled his heart last night, only Jesus Christ can overcome the darkness of such evil.” Denver Bishops.

Archbishop Aquila and Bishop Conley of Denver "mourned with the Denver community after a gunman opened fire in a local movie theater on July 20, killing 12 and wounding 50."

More at Catholic News Agency.

We have been remembering them at Masses here and will continue to do so this weekend.

Bishop Sample ordains deacons and subdeacons

Bishop Sample (the Bishop of Marquette where I am currently serving) recently ordained deacons and subdeacons for the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest in Florence. Many wonderful photographs can be seen the the Institute's website.

Bishop Sample has a facebook page where you can keep up with his teachings and activities. On that page he also draws our attention to this CNS video on The Call of Beauty, an interview with Cardinal Burke in which he speaks of the strong sense of the transcendent in the Extraordinary Form of the Mass.

Pontifical Catholic University of Peru loses its pontifical and catholic status

From The Vatican Today:
The Holy See, by a decree of the Secretary of State, has decided to remove the right of the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru to use the words “Pontifical” and “Catholic” in its title.

The University, founded in 1917 and canonically erected by a decree of the Holy See in 1942, has amended its statutes several times since 1967 in a way which has severely injured the interests of the Church.

Since 1990, the University has repeatedly been urged by the Holy See to conform its statutes to the Apostolic Constitution Ex Corde Ecclesiae. It has not lived up to that legal duty. Following a canonical visitation in December 2011, and a meeting by the Secretary of State with the Rector in February 2012, another attempt was begun at dialogue in adapting the Statutes in accordance with Church law.

Recently, the Rector sent two letters to the Secretary of State, in which he expressed his inability to implement the requirements, conditioning the change of the statutes to the renunciation of the right of the archdiocese to participate in the administration of the University.

The participation of the Archdiocese of Lima in the administration of the University has been repeatedly confirmed by the judgments of civil courts in Peru.

Given the attitude of the University, together with other facts, the Holy See was obliged to adopt this measure, while reaffirming the duty of the University to submit to canonical legislation. The Holy See will continue to monitor the situation of the University, hoping that in the near future, the competent academic authorities will reconsider their position, in order to reverse this measure. The renewal requested by the Holy See will make the University more capable of responding to the task of bringing the message of Christ to man, society and culture, according to the mission of the Church in the world.

I wonder if other "Catholic" universities are in the firing line? It might be that the Holy See only intervenes the case of Pontifical universities. But this is still a timely implementation of Canon Law when there are other Catholic universities failing to uphold the Church's Magisterium.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The London Family Planning Summit and my pastoral experience

I was in Honduras some weeks ago.

I had an unexpected pastoral opportunity which gave me an insight into the difficulties women there face.

Several women had received the contraceptive injection (or vaccine - as if pregnancy were an illness). One did not know she was pregnant at the time and the contraceptive injection provoked the abortion of her pregnancy. She was naturally very upset and racked with guilt. Did the compassionate family planning "professionals" not take the trouble to do a pregnancy test? What care do they take over the women whose interests they claim to have at heart?

Several other women who had received this "treatment" desired to have children but were currently unable to because of the contraceptive. Presumably they bowed to professional advice from doctors and "experts" and went along with it, and now regret it. Might this have been a subtle form of coercion?

Others who had received the injection found that their husbands were now being unfaithful. I wonder whether the men were consulted about their wives being neutered in this manner? Were they helped in any way to understand the need for self-control and respect? Or does a woman's right to control over her body trump any right of the husband to be consulted before his wife is rendered infertile? Does this policy contribute to the stripping of men of their responsibilities and actually enable behaviour that is irresponsible from a sexual health point of view as well as resulting in damaging family breakdown?

I also have to report that I learnt of methods of abortion carried out by women on themselves that I never knew about. The women were, again, racked with guilt but faced at the time with a pregnancy they for some reason felt unable to carry forward, most likely because of fear from the husband who did not want a child as a result of his irresponsible behaviour. Such actions are bound to be prejudicial to the health - physical, spiritual, psychological - of any woman involved. THERE IS A PROBLEM! We cannot deny it, and cases such are these are precisely the ones that the likes of the Gates Foundation (Melinda Gates: I'm a Catholic but women need access to contraceptives) will appeal to in justification of their crusade, and of course will help them promote the cause of "safe abortion."

And now a question that should prod all of us who are pro-life and faithful to the Church's teaching on this matter: how is it that the "family planners" make it to these remote mountain villages to effectively sterilise the populace but we, the Church, and others have not been able to get the good news of Natural Family Planning and true Responsible Parenthood and healthy marriage to these villagers?

The Gates Foundation is clearly successful in getting mega-bucks to promote contraception (Melinda Gates pledges $560M for contraception). If we are to be truly a compassionate Church, we need to find some way of getting this message to these remote areas.

Bear in mind that the villages such as the one I visited get a priest once a year, and during that annual visit the priest will regularise marriages, administer baptisms, hear confessions, anoint the sick... What chance have these people of receiving sound instruction on NFP and the true dignity of marriage and human sexuality?

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Walmart "Mom of the Year" nominee refused abortion during cancer treatment

From Catholic News Agency

.- The women who were nominated for Walmart’s Canadian “Mom of the Year” contest have many outstanding qualities, but few can claim they fought off breast cancer and gave birth to their seventh child at the same time.

“We knew right from the beginning that God wouldn't give us this life and then ask us to take it,” Maria Pitman told CNA July 10, explaining that the doctor wanted her to abort her child.

Pitman, a Canadian homeschooling mother of seven, was diagnosed with breast cancer early on in her most recent pregnancy.

Medically, the doctor said it “made sense” because it would make testing and treatment easier than if she were carrying a child. “We came home that day knowing we couldn't make that decision, and that God wouldn't be asking us to do that,” Pitman said.

Doctors continued to encourage Pitman to have an abortion, even up until the day before she underwent a full mastectomy 20 weeks into her pregnancy.

The day of surgery, however, the doctors stopped asking Pitman if she wanted to abort, because “they realized we were not about to change our minds.”

During that time, Pitman and her husband Jeff learned that, after one daughter and five boys in a row, they were having another girl.

“Those were the only tears I cried that day; in joy that it was a girl,” she said. After the mastectomy, Pitman endured three rounds of chemotherapy, in between which she delivered her daughter Johannah at 36 weeks.

Weighing in at seven pounds and four ounces, “she came out perfectly healthy.”

Pitman faced one of her hardest trials when, after Johannah's birth, she and her family had to travel three hours from their home in Yarmouth to Halifax for six weeks of radiation therapy while still homeschooling four of her children.

“I kind of figured things would be easier (since) I wasn't pregnant anymore,” Pitman explained, “but things got so much worse.”

Pitman said she would ask God just “for strength to get out of bed and spend some time with the kids.”

And God did support Pitman and her family, even during the toughest trial. “The Lord provided and orchestrated everything for us for the entire year,” especially by bringing “all the right people into our lives at the right time,” she said.

Pitman found particular strength in the scripture passage Matthew 21:21-22, which says in part, “ ... but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ it will happen. And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.

“God was able to move the 'cancer mountain' for our family,” she said.

After her battle with breast cancer, Pitman's 17 year-old daughter, Jocelyn, nominated her for Walmart's “Mom of the Year” award, which is a “celebration of the 9.2 million Canadian Moms who work tirelessly every day to provide for their family.”

The winner will receive $10,000 in cash and a $100,000 donation will be made to the charity of her choice. The top mom will also be honored with a “day of pampering,” a photo shoot and a “special red carpet gala” in Toronto.

Should she win, Pitman will give her donation to Camp Peniel, a nearby Christian camp where her daughter Jocelyn works.

“This camp is amazing and is doing a fabulous job of sharing Jesus Christ to so many each year,” Pitman said.

Nominations closed July 8, but the judges will deliberate the 16,909 entries and announce a winner “around August 15.”
Do you think she'll get it?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Licit and illicit episcopal ordinations in China

The Vatican's statement:
With regard to the episcopal ordination of the Reverend Joseph Yue Fusheng (pictured above), which took place in Harbin (Province of Heilongjiang) on Friday 6 July 2012, the following is stated:

1) The Reverend Joseph Yue Fusheng, ordained without pontifical mandate and hence illicitly, has automatically incurred the sanctions laid down by canon 1382 of the Code of Canon Law. [Latae sententiae excommunication reserved to the Apostolic See.] Consequently, the Holy See does not recognize him as Bishop of the Apostolic Administration of Harbin, and he lacks the authority to govern the priests and the Catholic community in the Province of Heilongjiang. The Reverend Yue Fusheng had been informed some time ago that he could not be approved by the Holy See as an episcopal candidate, and on several occasions he had been asked not to accept episcopal ordination without the pontifical mandate.

2) The Bishops who took part in the illicit episcopal ordination and have exposed themselves to the sanctions laid down by the law of the Church, must give an account to the Holy See of their participation in that religious ceremony.

3) Appreciation is due to those priests, consecrated persons and lay faithful who prayed and fasted for a change of heart in the Reverend Yue Fusheng, for the holiness of the Bishops and for the unity of the Church in China, particularly in the Apostolic Administration of Harbin.

4) All Catholics in China, Pastors, priests, consecrated persons and lay faithful, are called to defend and safeguard that which pertains to the doctrine and tradition of the Church. Even amid the present difficulties, they look to the future with faith, comforted by the certainty that the Church is founded on the rock of Peter and his Successors.

5) The Apostolic See, trusting in the concrete willingness of the Government Authorities of China to dialogue with the Holy See, hopes that the said Authorities will not encourage gestures contrary to such dialogue. Chinese Catholics also wish to see practical steps taken in this direction, the first among which is the avoidance of illicit celebrations and episcopal ordinations without pontifical mandate that cause division and bring suffering to the Catholic communities in China and the universal Church.

The ordination of the Reverend Thaddeus Ma Daqin as Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Shanghai on Saturday 7 July 2012 is encouraging and is to be welcomed. The presence of a bishop who is not in communion with the Holy Father was inappropriate and shows a lack of consideration for a lawful episcopal ordination.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Girl Guides Australia promise: replaces God with self

Girl Guides, Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts used always to promise to do their best to do their duty to God and the Queen. At least that's what I used to promise when I was a Cub and then a Scout as a youngster.

The British Girl Guides make the following promise:
I promise that I will do my best:
to love my God,
to serve the Queen and my country,
to help other people
and to keep the Guide Law.
In the USA they say:
On my honor, I will try:
To serve God and my country,
To help people at all times,
And to live by the Girl Scout Law.
I do not remember the word "my" in the promise I made as a youth. God was simply God, the One God. Now, each of the above can be interpreted fairly broadly. "My God" could mean the Christian God, the Jewish God, any Hindu god... It could even by me, if I set myself up as God.

Well, the Australian Girl Guides have replaced God precisely by the "me". Their new promise is:
I promise that I will do my best
to be true to myself and develop my beliefs
to serve my community and Australia
and live by the Guide Law.
The Canadian Guide Promise is similar:
I promise to do my best,
to be true to myself, my beliefs and Canada.
I will take action for a better world
and respect the Guiding Law.
It's a pretty poor show to eliminate the Queen from the promise who is the Head of State of Australia. Youngsters should surely be taught to respect the Head of State as long as she is the Head. But that is not enough. Youngsters now promise to put themselves at the centre of their lives. "Be true to your self". "Be the person you want to be, not the person others want you to be." These are the types of mantra that one hears at High School graduation ceremonies in the public (state) schools here in the US where God cannot be mentioned.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Anglican Ordinariates get new Liturgical Texts

The Vatican has given its approval to the Funeral and Marriage Rites to be used in the Personal Ordinariates for former anglicans of the UK, USA and Australia. The texts are based on the Book of Common Prayer. The ritual used at the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton (now the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge) last year was beautifully rich in language and content. Perhaps there will be a "mutual enrichment" of the rites currently in use in the English speaking world and these newly approved rites?

From Vatican News.

Tragedy and Truth

The Media are reporting a tragic accident in Torquay in Cornwall, England.

BBC, Irish Examiner.

A mother and father remain in critical condition after their two year old son died in a head on collision with a car being driven by a man in his 20's believed to be a Polish national who was arrested at the scene of the accident and who also later died in hospital. The media are also reporting the death of their unborn baby. The family are from Cork, Ireland and were on holiday in England.

What a terrible and tragic loss for this young couple (aged 39 and 36).

I am praying for this couple that they will both recover their health and strength and that they might have faith in God during this terrible ordeal. A loss such as this can put a lot of stress on a marriage and so I pray that they may be able to support each other in this very bad time for them.

I am thankful that all the media are referring to the loss of the couple's unborn baby. For that is what the mother was carrying within her: a little baby. This couple will for ever mourn the loss of their baby. Many also mourn the loss of their babies killed by abortion. They are generally not called "babies". One "terminates a pregnancy" but "keeps a baby". This baby was lost through a tragic accident and possibly as a result of the reckless driving of one of the drivers. Millions others are lost through a deliberate act permitted by governments.

We are bound to drive carefully for reckless driving puts not only our own lives at risk but those of others too. We may be responsible for their death, or/and the shattering of their lives.

May the Lord welcome the little children into Paradise, may He have mercy on the driver who died, and grant healing - spiritual and physical - to the husband and wife.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

St Maria Goretti - a patron for chastity for young girls

St Maria Goretti, a young virgin martyr who resisted the attempts of a young man to violate her and died the following day from her injuries after forgiving the assailant, is a saint to be held up as an example and model for young catholic girls.

Her feast is celebrated tomorrow.

The following is from CatholicCuture.org
St. Maria Goretti was born of a poor family in Corinaldi, Italy, in 1890. Near Nettuno she spent a difficult childhood assisting her mother in domestic duties. She was of a pious nature and often at prayer. In 1902 she was stabbed to death, preferring to die rather than be raped. (Office of Readings)

"It is well known how this young girl had to face a bitter struggle with no way to defend herself. Without warning a vicious stranger (actually Alessandro Serenelli who lived with his father in the same house as the Goretti's.) burst upon her, bent on raping her and destroying her childlike purity. In that moment of crisis she could have spoken to her Redeemer in the words of that classic, The Imitation of Christ: "Though tested and plagued by a host of misfortunes, I have no fear so long as your grace is with me. It is my strength, stronger than any adversary; it helps me and gives me guidance." With splendid courage she surrendered herself to God and his grace and so gave her life to protect her virginity.

"The life of this simple girl—I shall concern myself only with highlights—we can see as worthy of heaven. Even today people can look upon it with admiration and respect. Parents can learn from her story how to raise their God-given children in virtue, courage and holiness; they can learn to train them in the Catholic faith so that, when put to the test, God's grace will support them and they will come through undefeated, unscathed and untarnished.

"From Maria's story carefree children and young people with their zest for life can learn not to be led astray by attractive pleasures which are not only ephemeral and empty but also sinful. Instead they can fix their sights on achieving Christian moral perfection, however difficult and hazardous that course may prove. With determination and God's help all of us can attain that goal by persistent effort and prayer."Not all of us are expected to die a martyr's death, but we are all called to the pursuit of Christian virtue. This demands strength of character though it may not match that of this innocent girl. Still, a constant, persistent and relentless effort is asked of us right up to the moment of our death. This may be conceived as a slow steady martyrdom which Christ urged upon us when he said: The kingdom of heaven is set upon and laid waste by violent forces.

"So let us all, with God's grace, strive to reach the goal that the example of the virgin martyr, Saint Maria Goretti, sets before us. Through her prayers to the Redeemer may all of us, each in his own way, joyfully try to follow the inspiring example of Maria Goretti who now enjoys eternal happiness in heaven."

Excerpted from a homily at the canonization of Saint Maria Goretti by Pope Pius XII

Imprisoned for murder she appeared to him in his cell and forgave him and he was subsequently converted. Most importantly, he sat next to her mother at the beatification, who also forgave him.

4th July in Marquette - March for Religious Liberty

A group of some 70 or 80 people joined the parade in Marquette yesterday under the banner of religious liberty. Many people on the sidewalk reacted favorably - cheering and clapping.

St Peter Cathedral in the background.

Sisters of St Paul de Chartres

More at UP Catholic

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Personhood coming under violent attack

Lifesite News reports attacks upon Personhood USA president Keith Mason’s home and family a few days ago, and now on  69 year old Everett Stadig as he was gathering signatures for a personhood petition. Mr Stadig is in hospital with a broken hip.

Those who stand up for life can expect such outrage and anger for death entered into the world by the devil's envy and they who belong to his company experience it. (Wis. 2:24) The culture of death is the work of the devil and he will possess people to carry our irrational and violent attacks on the defenders of life.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

English bishop appointed to Congregation for Divine Worship

I'm catching up on news and have just discovered tht Bishop Arthur Roche of Leeds has been appointed Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments. Bishop Roche has been chairman of ICEL since 2003. Congratulations and prayers for Bishop Roche, and for the diocese of Leeds as it awaits a successor.


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