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Thursday, May 24, 2018

Let My People Go!

 The U.S. House of Representatives has passed prison reform legislation that would integrate faith-based programs into federal prisons to help prisoners prepare to successfully reenter society.
The First Step Act was authored by Reps. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) and Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), and has the goal of incentivizing prisoner participation in vocational and rehabilitative programs. Lawmakers approved the bipartisan legislation by a 360-59 vote on May 22.

“I'm thrilled to see such bipartisan support for the First Step Act,” said James Ackerman, president of Prison Fellowship, the largest prison ministry in the United States.
“We have a duty as a society,” continued Ackerman, “to implement a more restorative approach to criminal justice -- one where people become healthier and more productive citizens when they return to society after serving time in prison then when they went into prison.”

From Instapundit:


Meanwhile, here’s an interesting statistic from the new Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report on prisoner recidivism:  “An estimated 68% of released prisoners were arrested within 3 years, 79% within 6 years, and 83% within 9 years.”  Yes, it’s a complicated subject.  But make sure your eyes are wide open, before you start thinking that de-incarceration is the answer to our problems.

An Upside Down Country To Match the Justice System


So no proof, just two guys accusing a Bishop for something that allegedly happened 40 years ago. And he's convicted.

.- Australian Archbishop Philip Wilson has been found guilty of failing to report allegations of child sexual abuse disclosed to him in the 1970s.

The guilty verdict was announced Tuesday by local magistrate Robert Stone.
Currently the head of the Archdiocese of Adelaide, Wilson is the most senior Catholic Church official to be convicted of concealing abuse. The bishop, who has maintained his innocence throughout the trial, could face up to a maximum of two years in jail. It is unknown if he will appeal the verdict.
The victims of the scandal, Peter Creigh and another altar boy who is unnamed for legal reasons, said they both had told Wilson of their abusive experience with Fr. James Fletcher.
Creigh said that he told Wilson in graphic detail of the abuse in 1976, five years after it had occurred. However, Wilson said the conversation never took place, noting in a court hearing April 11, “I don’t think I would have forgotten that.”
The second victim said he had told Wilson of the abuse in the confessional in 1976, but that Wilson had dismissed the boy with a penance, saying that he was lying. Wilson said he would never tell someone in the confessional that they were untruthful, and that he did not remember having seen the boy at all in 1976.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Don't Worry, Be Happy

That joking retort we heard as children, “Is the pope Catholic?” is starting to look like a serious question.
Asked five years ago about a “gay lobby” in the Vatican, Pope Francis responded, “If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge?”
Do
Now the Holy Father has apparently fleshed out what he meant. As judgment was thought to be part of the papal job description, traditional Catholics were startled at what the new pope had volunteered.
According to a childhood victim of a pedophile priest in Chile, Juan Carlos Cruz, a homosexual to whom the pope apologized, Francis said: “God made you like this and loves you like this and I don’t care. The pope does love you like this. You have to be happy with who you are.”
The Vatican has not denied what Cruz relates.
The conclusion...

As Russell Kirk wrote, ideology is political religion. And the dogmas of the political religion by which we are increasingly ruled have displaced the teachings of Christianity and tradition.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

When You Wish Upon a Crescent

I express my great sorrow over the dead and wounded in the Holy Land and the Middle East. Violence never leads to peace. Therefore, I call on all sides involved and the international community to renew efforts so that dialogue, justice and peace may prevail.


Gaza "Return March" Clips – Calls For Jihad & Martyrdom, Chants Of Anti-Semitic Slogans And Incitement (Short Version) from MEMRI Videos on Vimeo.

Monday, May 07, 2018

When's the Next Crusade?

 Embed from Getty Images


The world’s oldest standing army has 40 new members after a Vatican Swiss Guard swearing-in ceremony.
Each man took a loyalty oath Saturday evening in a ritual-rich ceremony in the St Damaso courtyard of the Apostolic Palace. The May 6 date commemorates the day in 1527 when 147 guardsmen died while protecting Pope Clement VII during the Sack of Rome.
Earlier Saturday, Pope Francis told the Guards they are called to “another sacrifice no less arduous” — serving the power of faith.
The recruits, who enroll for at least two years, must be single, upstanding Swiss Catholic males younger than 30.
Wearing blue-and-gold uniforms and holding halberds — spear-like weapons — they are a tourist delight while standing guard at Vatican ceremonies. Their main duty is to protect the pope.

Saturday, May 05, 2018

I Hope The Bishop Doesn't Find Out!

 This story has me baffled. O'Fallon is in the Diocese of Belleville. Yet the St. Barnabas was consecrated by the Auxiliary Bishop of St. Louis? St. Barnabas is not listed on the Diocese of Belleville website...


With a jar of gold latex paint in hand, Father Raymond Hager carefully applied the finishing touches to a 5-foot statue of St. Barnabas. Within a matter of weeks, the figure was transformed from a solid piece of acacia wood to a work of art.
This certainly wasn't the first time the priest witnessed something transform from ordinary to extraordinary.
St. Barnabas Parish in O'Fallon recently underwent an extreme makeover, with a major remodeling of its sanctuary. Included in the transformation is a newly constructed wooden altar, statues, reredos, communion rail, ambo, side shrines and new marble flooring, made possible in part by help from parishioners and donations.


 The parish celebrated the remodeling with a Mass April 29, including a dedication of the new altar and blessing of the sanctuary and tabernacle. Auxiliary Bishop Mark Rivituso consecrated the altar with the holy chrism oil.

Plans for the transformation began last summer, when Father Hager recognized the need for a new communion rail. The priest has been offering the Traditional Latin Mass at 10 a.m. Sundays since January 2015. Scheduled between two English-language Masses, they "were starting to run together," he said.
A longer communion rail was needed to accommodate more people at the Latin Mass. Some Sundays, the Latin Mass is the most well-attended, with an average of 150-200 people, largely younger families. They have contributed to a rejuvenation of the parish, he added. 

From a separate article: 


Ordained in 1997, Father Hager taught himself how to celebrate the Mass according to the 1962 Missal. Born in 1960, he has no memories of going to the Traditional Latin Mass as a child. As a seminarian, he would occasionally visit St. Agatha, where the Latin Mass was offered in St. Louis at the time. "I was blown away by the beauty and sacredness of the liturgy," he said.
The process of learning the language and rubrics took several months. Father Hager approached Archbishop Robert J. Carlson, who connected him with Canon Michael Wiener, rector of St. Francis de Sales Oratory, one of two churches designated specifically for the Latin Mass in St. Louis. Canon Wiener, the episcopal delegate for the implementation of the Traditional Latin Mass in the archdiocese, offered his guidance.

Mexicans in Central Africa

.- Gunmen killed at least 15 people, including a priest, and left dozens more wounded, in an attack on a Catholic church in the Central African Republic (CAR) on Tuesday.
The May 1 attack took place at Our Lady of Fatima parish in the capital Bangui, on the outskirts of the PK5 neighborhood, a largely Muslim area known for violent clashes.


Witnesses told Reuters that gunmen armed with grenades attacked the church during Mass, trapping churchgoers inside. Some were able to escape through a hole in the church wall made by police.
At least 15 were killed, including a priest identified as Fr. Albert Toungoumale Baba, and as many as 99 others were wounded

Monday, April 30, 2018

Thou Shalt Not Steal

Two security guards have been accused of stealing as much as $100,000 in cash collections from Holy Name Church in Chicago, according to reports.
Jarrell Patterson, 22, and Artemio Calderon, 25, were caught on video several times allegedly using a key to enter the church and unlocking a safe containing the dough, the Chicago Tribune Reported.

The two men worked for Monterrey Security, which handles security for the church, for the past six years.
They were charged Sunday with one felony count each of burglary, police said.
It’s believed they swiped between $88,000 and $100,000 in collections, though detectives are still working on determining the exact amount.
Red flags went up when an audit revealed that weekend collections were off, a church spokeswoman told the Tribune.
The church was expected to rake in about $40,000 a week — or $2 million a year — but was recording shortfalls of between $15 and $5,000, according to its website.

I found this article in the New York Post. It should read Holy Name CATHEDRAL.

 

There Seems To Be A Trend Developing Here...

ACI Prensa).- An 84-year-old priest of the Archdiocese of Mexico City was found dead in Cuernavaca, the capital of Mexico’s Morelos state, April 25.
Fr. Moisés Fabila Reyes had been kidnapped April 3. According to local media, his family had decided not to publicize the kidnapping, and to keep the Church out of the negotiations to free him.

 The announcement comes amid a wave of violence against priests in Mexico. Fr. Rubén Alcántara Díaz was found murdered April 18, and Fr. Juan Miguel Contreras was shot to death in his church April 20.


 I wonder what the USCCB has to say.... 



The Catholic Church in the United States is an immigrant Church with a long history of embracing diverse newcomers and providing assistance and pastoral care to immigrants, migrants, refugees, and people on the move.  Our Church has responded to Christ’s call for us to “welcome the stranger among us,” for in this encounter with the immigrant, the migrant, and the refugee in our midst, we encounter Christ.

Maybe this is the USCCB's plan to get rid of all our excess priests.

And Then We Can Have Ice Cream and Unicorn Rides!



And at 8 AM, the Frank Sinatra Mass

 The last line is the best...



The pastor of a San Francisco progressive Episcopal church is defending his support for holding the first-ever “Beyoncé Mass.”

No kidding – a “Beyoncé Mass.”

“I know there are people who will say using Beyoncé is just a cheap way of trying to get people in the church,” said Jude Harmon, the founding pastor of the Vine, a ministry of Grace Cathedral Church. “But Jesus used very provocative images in the stories he would tell to incite people to ask hard questions about their own religious assumptions. He regularly provoked. We’re following in the way of Jesus.”

The event was part of a series the church called “Speaking Truth: The Power of Story in Community,” which it said would tell stories of those traditionally marginalized in Christianity, such as women and people of color. You know, women like Beyoncé.

The series began with a program on Mary Magdalene called “The Original Nasty Woman.” The ministry equated Mary Magdalene to Hillary Clinton saying “strong, smart women being insulted and marginalized by agents of patriarchy is as old as time.” The church claims that if Mary Magdalene were here today, she would be “wearing a pink hat and marching with all who wear that epithet, ‘nasty woman,’ as a badge of honor.”

No explanation was offered as to why the devoted follower of Jesus was seen in such a light.

Idolatry and Pope Francis





 Pope Francis, at the Chrism Mass:


We must be careful not to fall into the temptation of making idols of certain abstract truths. They can be comfortable idols, always within easy reach; they offer a certain prestige and power and are difficult to discern. Because the “truth-idol” imitates, it dresses itself up in the words of the Gospel, but does not let those words touch the heart. Much worse, it distances ordinary people from the healing closeness of the word and of the sacraments of Jesus.

Father Gerald Murray responds in The Catholic Thing:



 These words are troubling. An idol is a false god. Idolatry is rendering worship to something other than God – a grave offense against the First Commandment. Idolatry is essentially man worshipping himself through the medium of some created reality. He makes the choice of what idols are important to him. His false god is his own creation, and thus it serves him. This is the complete reversal of the true worship that man owes to his Creator
 
Dogmatic and moral truths come from and lead to God. The truth banishes error, especially idolatry, because all truth is found in the Word made flesh. What is true is good and beautiful because it unites us to the good and beautiful God. He created us so that we may know Him by knowing the truth that He is.
Given this, is it possible to make the truth into an idol? Can Catholic dogmatic teachings and the truths of the moral law become false gods that we worship so as to gain “a certain prestige and power”? It’s not possible. The truth as taught by the Church is what unites us to the true God and frees us from the errors of idolatry. Truth is not an idol, it is the remedy to idolatry.
Pope Francis states that “the ‘truth-idol’ imitates, it dresses itself up in the words of the Gospel, but does not let those words touch the heart.” Is the Gospel obscured or falsified by truths taught by the Magisterium of the Church – which are drawn from that Gospel?
 
Francis states that this “truth-idolatry” in fact “distances ordinary people from the healing closeness of the word and of the sacraments of Jesus.”

Here we have the interpretative key to what I think he is getting at. He is defending his decision in Amoris Laetitia to allow some people who are living in adulterous unions to receive the sacraments of penance and the Holy Eucharistic while intending to continue to engage in adulterous relations.
This doctrinal and disciplinary innovation, which contradicts all previous papal teaching and legislation, was confirmed as his unequivocal intention in his letter to the Argentinian bishops of the Buenos Aires region.

Minimalism, Catholic Style

 The questions - Are Catholics obliged to receive Communion at every Mass they attend? And what about Confession?





Can.  920 §1. After being initiated into the Most Holy Eucharist, each of the faithful is obliged to receive Holy Communion at least once a year.
§2. This precept must be fulfilled during Easter season unless it is fulfilled for a just cause at another time during the year.


 Can. 989. After having reached the age of discretion, each member of the faithful is obliged to confess faithfully his or her grave sins at least once a year.


Monday, April 23, 2018

Not My Shocked Face

CNA/EWTN News).- A strong majority of the 430 men who are about to be ordained to the Catholic priesthood in the United States come from families where both parents were Catholic, and had several friends encouraging them in their vocation.

The findings were from the annual survey of new ordinands by CARA, the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate out of Georgetown University. Out of the 430 men to be ordained to the priesthood, 334 responded to the survey, including 252 ordinands to the diocesan priesthood and 78 ordinands to the religious priesthood.


While this year’s priesthood ordination class is slightly smaller than last year’s class of 590, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) said the report provides “reasons for hope and areas for growth.”
"Although the overall number of ordinations to the Priesthood is lower this year, the information gathered from this survey and the generosity of those to be ordained continues to inform the important work of vocations ministry for the future,” Cardinal Joseph Tobin of Newark, Chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, said in a statement. 

 According to the survey, nearly nine in ten responding ordinands (86 percent) reported being encouraged to consider the priesthood by someone in their life - usually by a parish priest, friend, or another parishioner. On average, respondents said about four different people in their lives encouraged them to consider a vocation to the priesthood.