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Friday, January 19, 2018

Weird It Shall Be


Las Luminarias Festival

Spaniards are famous for their love of fiery fun. Similar to the Valencia Festival "Las Fallas" which regularly receives extraordinary acclaim, the "younger" colleague "Las Luminarias" is less known but just as spectacular. The Las Luminarias festival takes place on the eve of St. Anthony's day (January 16th) in the village of San Bartolome de Pinares near the eponymous capital of the province of Avila (approximately 100 km from Madrid).


 Its traditions combine the pre-Christian magical rituals of local peasants with Catholic beliefs. About 600 villagers in the province of Avila annually gather on the outskirts of the city to conduct a fire ceremony for the purification of their horses. Those brave souls able to hold their mounts through the flames of a huge bonfire will be protected from diseases and other misfortunes for a whole year.


 The fiery feast begins at around 7:30 pm at the signal of the church bell. The main event precedes the solemn procession along the central streets of San Bartolome de Pinares, led by the icon of Saint Anthony, who is especially revered there.

Love Is In The Air

CNA/EWTN News).- In his five years in office, Pope Francis has gained a reputation for embracing spontaneity. Today, he did it again with another papal first: witnessing the marriage of two flight attendants on board his flight from Santiago to Iquique.
According to journalists traveling with the Pope, the couple – Paula Podesta and Carlos Ciuffardi – went to the Pope during the Jan. 18 flight to ask for his blessing.
The couple told Francis they had been civilly married, but said they had not been able to get married in the Church because their parish was destroyed in the massive 8.8 earthquake that rocked Santiago in 2010. 


In response, the Pope offered to convalidate their marriage on the spot. Ignacio Cueto, owner of the airline company, LATAM, was a witness in the ceremony.
According to Ciuffardi, who spoke briefly with journalists after the ceremony, the Pope asked the couple if they were married yet, and when they explained why they hadn't been married in the Church, he said “do you want to get married?”
The Pope, Ciuffardi said, asked them “Are you sure, absolutely sure?” They said yes, gave the Pope their rings and asked Cueto if he would be a witness. The Pope then blessed the rings, placed their hands together, offered some brief reflections and pronounced them man and wife.

So in SEVEN YEARS, the couple couldn't figure out a way to get married in the Church? I call "BOGUS".

Father Peters has something to say about this...

Popes have jurisdiction for the external forum anywhere on earth (cc. 134, 331, 1108), so Francis can officiate at a wedding anywhere, anytime.
But officiating at a wedding means something specific: it means asking for and receiving the consent of the contracting parties to marrying each each other (c. 1108) here and now. Per the Rite of Matrimony consent is sought from each party individually and must be oriented to marrying the other party at this time; the request is not posed as a joint question to the couple about being married, akin to, ‘do you two want to be married?’, but rather is framed ‘do you marry him/her?’ at this point in time. If consent (the heart of marriage per c. 1057) is not adequately asked for and received, it is not exchanged, and such a couple would not be married (and, No, ‘Ecclesia suppletcannot make up for a failure in what is actually sacramental—as opposed to canonical—form). The above reports mention, as far as I can see, only the pope’s broaching the topic of marriage by asking the couple whether they wanted to be married, placing their hands together, saying a few inspirational words about marriage, and pronouncing them husband and wife. But such a sequence describes, not at all, a present exchange of consent by the parties. Let us hope, then, that in the actual event considerably more was said than has been reported.
Second, canonical form demands two independent actual witnesses to the exchange of consent, meaning that five persons must be immediately present for the wedding—not folks who heard about it a few minutes later, or who saw something happening and wondered, hey, what’s going on back there?—but five persons acting together and at the same time: a bride, a groom, an officiant, and two other actual witnesses. While reports are unclear as to how many people actually witnessed this event, and while this photo shows four people in the event (plus a camera man?) and four signatures on a document, another photo shows five names on the marriage document, so one may presume (c. 1541) accordingly.
Third, several canons impacting the liceity of weddings (norms on ‘liceity’ often being regarded as wink-wink rules in Church life, especially when higher-ups model the wink-winking) were apparently ignored here, including: the requirement for serious pastoral preparation prior to a wedding (c. 1063), administration of Confirmation before Matrimony (c. 1065), urging of Penance and holy Communion before a wedding (c. 1065), verification that no obstacles to validity or liceity are in place (c. 1066), securing evidence of the contractants’ freedom to marry (c. 1068) upon pain of acting illicitly without it (c. 1114), an expectation that Catholic weddings be celebrated in a parish church (cc. 1115, 1118), and making use of the Church’s treasury of liturgical books for celebration of the sacramental rite (c. 1119).
As this story reverberates ‘round the world, now, deacons, priests, and bishops who try to uphold Church norms fostering values such as deliberate marriage preparation, an ecclesial context for a Catholic wedding, and the use of established and reliable texts for expressing consent will, undoubtedly, have the Podest-Ciuffardi wedding tossed in their face as evidence that, if Pope Francis does not insist on such legalistic silliness and only cares about whether two people love one another, why shouldn’t they do likewise? The ministry of conscientious clergy in this regard just got harder.

And Don't Forget DACA!


CNA/EWTN News).- Bishop Anthony Taylor of Little Rock has said he will not attend the local March for Life because its keynote speaker opposed Catholic appeals for clemency for prisoners on death row.

The march’s keynote speaker Attorney General Leslie Rutledge “has good anti-abortion credentials but otherwise is decidedly not an appropriate pro-life speaker,” said Bishop Taylor’s Jan. 17 letter, addressed to the people of the diocese. The bishop charged that Rutledge “worked tirelessly to secure the execution of four criminals who posed no further threat to society.”

“You will recall that the Diocese of Little Rock was very vocal in appealing for clemency for these four men, but we were opposed at every turn by Attorney General Rutledge,” the bishop continued. “For this reason, I asked Arkansas Right to Life to choose a more appropriate keynote speaker, indicating that I could not participate in what was supposed to be a pro-life event otherwise. But Arkansas Right to Life has refused to do so.”


The weather report for Little Rock: 
Cloudy with occasional rain showers. Thunder possible. High 63F. Winds S at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 40%.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

The Andrew Cuomo of the North



CNA/EWTN News).- A litmus test on abortion and recent comments from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have been slammed by Catholic and conservative critics, and raise new and troubling questions for pro-life Canadians about the state of religious freedom in their country.
In a speech last week, Trudeau defended a policy requiring grant applicants to state their support of abortion. He said that while individuals are free privately to hold pro-life beliefs, there is a difference between freedom of expression and freedom of action.
“Defending rights and freedoms is at the core of who I am and is the core of what Canada is,” he said. “At the same time, we need to know there is a difference between freedom of expression and acting on those freedoms.”
Furthermore, Trudeau added that pro-life groups which explicitly oppose abortion are “not in line with where we are as a government and, quite frankly, where we are at as a society.”
Trudeau was defending new guidelines of application for a government grant that funds around 70,000 non-profit and for-profit summer jobs, such as camp counseling or landscaping.
Among the new requirements for employers applying for the grants is an “attestation” that the employer is “consistent with individual human rights in Canada, Charter rights and case law, and the Government of Canada’s commitment to human rights, which include women’s rights and women’s reproductive rights, and the rights of gender-diverse and transgender Canadians.” 

Dumb... 
 
and Dumber.

Do They Even READ There Headlines?

From today's Catholic News Agency, a headline:


Bars don't stop your ability to dream, Pope says at Chilean women's prison

I misread it. By bars, I thought he meant...





But he actually meant...



CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis visited a women's prison in Santiago on Tuesday, telling the inmates that while at times it might seem like they have no future, they must never stop dreaming and should look for opportunities for personal growth.
“Losing our freedom does not mean losing our dreams and hopes. Losing our freedom is not the same thing as losing our dignity,” the Pope said Jan. 16.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

America's Newest Minor Basilica

CNA/EWTN News).- St. Mary Catholic Church in Alexandria, the first permanent Catholic parish in Virginia, has a new name and a new designation for the new year. It was announced Sunday that the Holy See had decreed the building to be a minor basilica, and the church will now be known as “The Basilica of Saint Mary.”

The designation of the building as a basilica means that the parish “has a special relationship with the Holy See,” and (Bishop)Burbidge emphasized that this was a “great honor” for the church. St. Mary’s was chosen due to its importance in the community, its history as a parish, and its significance in the history of the United States.

The Basilica of Saint Mary is the 84th basilica in the United States, and the first in the Diocese of Arlington. Throughout the world there are just under 1,800 minor basilicas, and there are four major basilicas in Rome.

 The parish was founded in 1795, a time when Catholicism was heavily restricted in Virginia, with Catholics barred from voting or holding public office. The first donor to the church was George Washington, who was not Catholic; though his close aide, Col. John Fitzgerald, was. The president gave the parish the equivalent of $1,200 today.

umbraculum

Now that St. Mary’s has been recognized as a minor basilica, it will be outfitted with an umbraculum, a canopy of yellow and red silk; a tintinnabulum, a bell mounted on a pole which is used when the Pope visits a basilica; and the display of the papal symbol of the keys of St. Peter.

tintinnabulum

Someone's Been Nipping the USCCB Kool-Aid

Check out this "Advent" prayer from Catholic Relief Services:



Gracious Lord, Child of Bethlehem,
As you were born into a family who fled to Egypt as refugees,
help us grow in solidarity with refugees everywhere,
to know we are all refugees, until our hearts find refuge in you.
As you were born under an oppressive regime,
let us grow in solidarity with those whose governments deny them
their rights and try to undermine their dignity.
Help us work for just governance everywhere.
 
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph Flee to Egypt.

As it was workers, the shepherds, who first came to know you, the
carpenter’s son, let us remember the dignity of human labor—
that you share a special love for those who work hard for their
sustenance, and toil beside them.

Let us honor you, in work and in prayer,
that livelihoods may be secure,
and that workers not be exploited.

Feast of the Ass, January 14

 Last Sunday was the Feast of the Ass, or Festum Asinorum. How did the Vatican celebrate?




On January 12, OnePeterFive and The Lepanto Institute reported that Liliane Ploumen, a Dutch politician and international abortion activist, was received into the Order of St. Gregory by the Vatican in 2017 — a pontifical honor given for “meritorious service to the Church.” Multiple diplomatic sources around the Vatican have now confirmed to OnePeterFive and the Lepanto Institute that the award was given to Ploumen last year when she took part in an official state visit of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands to the Vatican in June of 2017.
Ploumen, who formerly served as the Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation for the Dutch government, started a progressive global initiative in 2017 called “She Decides.” Self-described as “a global movement”, SheDecides is designed to:
“support the fundamental rights of girls and women to decide freely and for themselves about their sexual lives, including whether, when, with whom and how many children they have. This includes having access to modern contraception, to sexual and relationship literacy and safe abortion.”

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Ad Orientem at St. Joseph Faces East - Even Though It Looks Like North!

From Father Z's mailbag:

Dear Father, I been trying to find and answer to a question about Ad Orientem worship facing west. Is it licit? Can churches hampered by modern architecture still worship Ad Orientem? Thanks in advance.


From the earliest days, and in keeping with the prayer practices of the Jews (cf. Ratzinger),  our forebears thought Christ would return in glory from the East.  Moreover, if I remember correctly, after her apparitions at Fatima, Our Lady disappeared into the East.
Celebrating “towards the East… ad orientem” is symbolic.  It doesn’t have to be the literal geographic East.  It is ideal to be able to face the literal geographic East, but we can create a liturgical East in any direction.  So long as you are all facing the same direction, you are symbolically facing the East.  Thus, we turn to the Lord who is coming.

The Trtouble With Jesuits, Part 68

From the increasingly weird "Father" James Martin (need I add SJ?)....

Dear friends: I'm so happy to share with you this new icon by Robert Lentz, OFM, the great iconographer (with his permission) of two of great prophets of our time: Philip Berrigan and Daniel Berrigan, SJ.


Where's Pope Clement XIV when you need him?Not that the Jesuits care much about Canon Law, but Canon 1187 says:

 It is permitted to reverence through public veneration only those servants of God whom the authority of the Church has recorded in the list of saints or blessed.

Mark Your Calendars! February 2!

On February 2, 2018, which is the day celebrating the double Feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple and the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary (also called Candlemas), there will occur throughout the  United States the gathering of faithful in their parish churches  to pray the Rosary for the intention of the Purification of the Church, and the Triumph of the Light of Christ over all sin and error.
The Presentation celebrates the coming of Jesus Christ, the Light of the World, into His Temple. It is, in fact, the premier Feast of Light¸ and the Triumph of Light over the Darkness of Evil. Traditionally called Candlemas, it signifies the “success” and triumph of the Incarnation, has been traditionally celebrated with triumphal candlelight processions, and is the liturgical day designated for the blessing of candles.



The Church has now been penetrated by a darkness greater than at any time in its history – not only the darkness of sexual sins and other moral “filth”, but that which consists of every conceivable form of error masking itself as truth, and of darkness masquerading as light. The task of unmasking these “thoughts”, and thus paving the way to the Triumph of the Truth of Christ, has been entrusted to Mary. Most specifically, it has been entrusted to Our Lady of the Rosary. St. Paul writes, “The night is passed, and the day is at hand. Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light.” The Rosary, as revealed in the messages of Our Lady of Fatima, is this armor of light possessing the power from God to cast off the works of darkness which now pervade the Church, the world, and especially the minds and hearts of individual Catholics.

Monday, December 25, 2017

And the Guy's Not a Cook???


e's also a member of
The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Pierbattista Pizzaballa arrives to the Church of the Nativity, built atop the site where Christians believe Jesus Christ was born, on Christmas Eve, in the West Bank City of Bethlehem, Su
nday, Dec. 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

By the way, it's Bishop Pizzaballa - he's archbishop of Verbe.  He is also  Pro-Grande Prior of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.

Islamic Outreach, Part CIII - Peace on Earth Edition

From an earlier post on this blog:

Pope Francis spoke to the diplomatic corps and amongst other things, said, "Hence it is important to intensify dialogue among the various religions, and I am thinking particularly of dialogue with Islam.",

Meanwhile...

CAIRO (AP) — Hundreds of Muslim demonstrators attacked an unlicensed church south of Cairo wounding three people, an Egyptian Coptic Christian diocese said on Saturday, in the latest assault on members of the country’s Christian minority.
The incident took place after Friday prayers when dozens of demonstrators (that is, Muslims) gathered outside the building and stormed it. The demonstrators chanted hostile slogans and called for the church’s demolition, the diocese in Atfih said. The demonstrators (again, Muslims) destroyed the church’s contents and assaulted Christians inside before security personnel arrived and dispersed them.




The church in Giza just outside of Cairo is yet to be sanctioned by the state but has been holding prayers for 15 years. The diocese said it had officially sought to legalize the building’s status under a 2016 law that laid down the rules for building churches.
Local authorities often refuse to issue building permits for new churches, fearing protests by hardline Muslim. Christians sometimes build churches illegally or set up churches in other buildings.

Egypt’s Christian minority has been targeted by Islamic militants in a series of attacks since December 2016 that left more than 100 dead and scores wounded. The country has been under a state of emergency since April after suicide bombings struck two Coptic Christian churches on Palm Sunday in an attack that was claimed by the local affiliate of the Islamic State group.



Thursday, December 21, 2017

Cardinal, Can You Spare a Dime?

The Pope met with Cardinals today and went on the attack:

 Here let me allude to another danger: those who betray the trust put in them and profiteer from the Church’s motherhood. I am speaking of persons carefully selected to give a greater vigour to the body and to the reform, but – failing to understand the lofty nature of their responsibility – let themselves be corrupted by ambition or vainglory. Then, when they are quietly sidelined, they wrongly declare themselves martyrs of the system, of a “Pope kept in the dark”, of the “old guard”…, rather than reciting a mea culpa. Alongside these, there are others who are still working there, to whom all the time in the world is given to get back on the right track, in the hope that they find in the Church’s patience an opportunity for conversion and not for personal advantage. Of course, this is in no way to overlook the vast majority of faithful persons working there with praiseworthy commitment, fidelity, competence, dedication and great sanctity.

Huh....who would do that?

 
When he finished reading the inquiry drafted by the apostolic envoy he himself had sent to Honduras last May, Pope Francis’ hands went up to his skullcap. He had just found out that his friend and main councilor — powerful cardinal Oscar Maradiaga, a staunch supporter of a poor and pauperist Church and coordinator of the Council of Cardinals after he appointed him in 2013 — had received over the years from the Catholic University of Tegucigalpa around 41,600 US dollars a month, with an additional 64,200 dollars bonus in December. Bergoglio had yet to learn that several witnesses, both ecclesiastical and secular, were accusing Maradiaga of investments in some companies in London topping a 1,2 million dollars that later vanished into thin air, or that the Court of Auditors of the small Central American nation was investigating a flow of large sums of money from the Honduran government to the Foundation for Education and Social Communication and to the Suyapa Foundation, both foundations of the local Church and therefore depending on Maradiaga himself.


"The Pope is sad and saddened, but also very determined at discovering the truth," people of his entourage at Santa Marta, his residency, explain. He wants to know every item of the investigation Argentine bishop Jorge Pedro Casaretto conducted in Honduras, on top, of course, of the final destination of the jaw-dropping sums of money obtained by the cardinal. Just in one year, 2015, as shown in an internal university report L’Espresso obtained, the cardinal received almost 600,000 dollars, a sum that according to some sources he collected for a decade in his capacity as "Grand Chancellor" of the university. However, some other rather unpleasant items account for the rest of the sums he received according to Bishop Casaretto’s report. The pope’s trustworthy person put down on paper the serious accusations many witnesses brought forward (the audits totaled around fifty witnesses and included administrative staff of the diocese and of the university, priests, seminarians and the cardinal's driver and secretary) also against the Auxiliary Bishop of Tegucigalpa, Juan José Pineda, among the most loyal in Maradiaga’s inner circle and de facto his deputy in Central America.


I Understand the USCCB Better Now

I was on the St. Sylvester Church website (In Brooklyn, NY...I was baptized there) and came across this photo:






It made no sense until I saw this:


 
Clowns carry a portrait of the Virgin of Guadalupe as they pay homage to Mexico's patron saint, Our Lady of Guadalupe, at the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, December 14, 2017. The streets of Mexico City burst with sound and color as hundreds of clowns went on their annual pilgrimage. (Edgard Garrido/Reuters)


Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/slideshows/pilgrimage-clowns-mexico-city-guadalupe#1