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Monday, February 29, 2016

It's Opposite Day in Boston!

 That's the only way I can figure that Mayor Walsh calls himself Catholic.

Boston's Mayor Martin Walsh has apologized for referring to himself as "personally pro-life," and said that he would never use that term in the future.
Walsh, who is Catholic, spoke to the Boston Globe after receiving an award from NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts. He acknowledged that in the past he has described himself as "personally pro-life," but said: "I don't even know where I came up with that." 
When reminded that other Catholic politicians have said that they are "personally pro-life" while defending unrestricted abortion, Walsh responded: "Yeah, but I think you can get criticized for that statement today.... Things change over time. I think there's [sic] clear lines today."
Leaving no doubt about his stand, Walsh said that in the future: "I would just say I'm a pro-choice candidate. I'm a pro-choice mayor, I was a pro-choice legislator."

From his biography:

 Mayor Walsh continues to reside in Dorchester, where he shares his life with longtime partner Lorrie Higgins and her daughter, Lauren.

Happy Birthday Pope Paul III

The only Pope (that we know of) who was born in a bissextile year! Pope Paul III was born in 1468 on February 29th.

The good news...

Sublimis Deus [English: The sublime God] (erroneously cited as Sublimus Dei) is a papal bull promulgated by Pope Paul III on June 2, 1537, which forbids the enslavement of the indigenous peoples of the Americas (called Indians of the West and the South) and all other people.

The not-so-good news...

In 1540, the Church officially recognized the young society forming about Ignatius of Loyola, the Society of Jesus (JESUITS!).

Friday, February 26, 2016

Breaking News

Once again, Eye of the Tiber is scooping the mainstream media:

Marco Rubio attacked Donald Trump on Wednesday, questioning his eligibility to speak as a Christian running for office by creating uncertainty about the GOP front-runner’s claim to be a follower of Christ .
The senator retweeted an accusation claiming that “It’s a slam dunk case” that Donald Trump was ineligible to speak as though he were a Christian while running for president.
“I don’t know. I really…I’ve never looked at it,” Rubio told reporters Wednesday morning. “As somebody said, he was never baptized. And I retweeted it. I have lots of people following me on social media, and I retweet things and we start dialogue and it’s very interesting.”

Trump, who was born in New York City to Presbyterian parents, fired back.
“As Christ wrote somewhere in the bible, ‘Don’t be losers. Drop your nets and follow me.’ And I take these words seriously. Only winners follow Christ, and Rubio is losing. He’s losing badly, which makes him a loser, and therefore not a Christian.”

The Father Leo of Bishops

Catholic Bishop Joseph Tyson of Yakima, Washington, has disconcerted members of his flock over his stance on a pro-life charity event. Diocesan officials are discouraging parishes from advertising a dinner being hosted by Image Point Mobile Medical Services, a private non-profit that maintains and operates a mobile medical unit that offers services at the site of abortion providers that including counseling and ultrasound. The organizers are hoping to raise money for another mobile testing facility for Image Point.
What the heck is he wearing?
An email missive from a diocesan official to the priests of the diocese cited what was called Image Point’s alleged failure to “collaborate in a meaningful way with the Diocese,” after having received a grant from the Knights of Columbus. In his email, Monsignor Robert Siler, Bishop Tyson’s Chief of Staff, wrote:  
Laura Ingraham
   “Second, the speaker they have invited, Laura Ingraham, while having a positive pro-life witness including her personal choice to adopt three children from other countries, is a strident opponent of many of the immigration positions held by the US bishops. As such, her visit to Yakima sends a profoundly mixed message to our community. As a very public figure with a national audience, she is held to a higher degree.”
  Ingraham fights back:

  “So are we now saying that Catholics should ignore the rule of law and that only those who seek to dismantle our borders can speak credibly on pro-life issues? For some reason the diocese is intentionally undermining a pro-life organization and personally attacking me. I would have expected more in this Year of Mercy.”
Mic drop.

On My Honor, I Will Try: To Serve God and My Country....

His Excellency Most Reverend Robert Carlson, Archbishop of St. Louis has issued a fatwa against the Girl Scouts. About time.
Archbishop Carlson
From the Diocesan website:

In “Renewing the Vision,” the US Bishops’ framework for Youth Ministry, we read: “All ministry with adolescents must be directed toward presenting young people with the Good news of Jesus Christ and inviting and challenging them to become disciples” (page 10).
The Catholic Church has long partnered with scouting organizations to achieve this end. Though traditionally the scouting programs we have partnered with have been secular organizations, the Church has worked to foster relationships with these organizations and institute Catholic faith programs to be offered alongside these secular programs. Though the perception is often that these religious programs are offered through the particular scouting organization, the reality is that they are offered by Catholic organizations as supplemental to the scout program itself.
Scouting has been a valuable resource for teaching leadership skills and life skills for many of our youth. We have seen great fruits from our Catholic Scouting programs throughout the years. Unfortunately, concerns have been continuing to surface over the content within some of these programs, particularly within Girl Scouts. As our culture becomes increasingly secular, we need to look closely at any secular organizations with which we are partnering with and entrusting the formation of our youth.  As parents and as Church, we have a sacred duty to help our children learn the faith and ultimately to help them get to heaven.
Due to these ongoing concerns, on 2/18/2016 Archbishop Carlson issued a letter of concern regarding Girl Scouts. You can read that letter here. In November 2014, the Catholic Youth Apostolate issued a similar letter. You can read that here.

 Here's what the Bishop is talking about.

 Girl Scouts are trying to bolster their declining membership by reaching out to a community they haven’t always welcomed: gay and transgender youth. The Salt Lake City chapter opted to open a new headquarters in the city’s “gay pride center,” though their first meeting attracted only five girls. Until 2013, the Boy Scouts of America technically didn’t let gay boys into the program, but the whole organization has become more liberal in recent years, with the Girl Scouts backing abortion providers and promoting pro-choice politicians like Wendy Davis.

By the way, those adorable Girl Scouts hawking cookies at Walmart and Krogers? Their troop gets to keep 10% of what they gross in sales. 

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Smithsonian Photo Contest

 Some beautiful pictures, including this one:
 The description:

I shot this photo in August 2015 in Rome. My girlfriend and my little son were far from Rome so I had free time for me, for my passion. I decided to have a small tour of some churches in Rome (where I've lived since 2005) because the temperature was too high to spend some time outside under the sun. I took some photos in Basilica di San Giovanni and after that, I went to the Scala Santa which is close to the San Giovanni Basilica. Inside the Scala Santa there is a holy stair (scala) used by pilgrims, who ascend the steps on their knees. Light at that hour (about 6:30 PM) was perfect. I saw this nun going out downstairs towards the light of the sun, and I shot.

Read more:
I believe the white habit is used by many orders that do nursing as part of their ministry. The on;y order I know that uses white consistently is the Dominicans.

We Saulte You, Father Tolton Regional Catholic High School Trailblazers!

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Tolton Catholic High School announced Wednesday it is ending it's relationship with the clothing company that provides its school uniforms.

 Administrators sent a letter home to parents saying it will no longer use Lands' End as a uniform provider because the company backs an advocate for abortion rights.
In the latest spring catalog, Lands' End endorses Gloria Steinem, who, according to the company, has "made a difference in her own industry and paved the way for others to follow."

Steinem has been an advocate for abortion rights for decades, and the letter said she has "spoken of women's 'need' for abortion, and referred to it as a 'sacrament.'"
Tolton said Lands' End has been a provider of its official uniform since 2011, but cannot continue that relationship in good conscience. 
The letter reads, "We believe unequivocally that all life is sacred, from conception until natural death. It would be contrary to our school's very identity to support a company who celebrates the work of someone so opposed to our beliefs."

 ABC 17 News contacted the Diocese from Jefferson City for their response to Tolton's decision.
"We are supportive of Fr. Tolton High School’s decision to no longer use Lands’ End as a uniform supplier,” said Sister Julie Brandt, Associate Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Jefferson City.  “We will be contacting all of our schools to make them aware of Tolton High School’s decision and the facts related to that decision. We aren’t aware of how many other diocesan schools use Lands’ End as an official supplier, but we want all the schools to be aware of the situation when the local pastors, principals and advisory boards make their decisions on uniform companies,” said Sister Julie Brandt, Associate Superintendent of Catholic Schools.
The Diocese of Jefferson City has 37 elementary schools and three high schools in 38 counties of central and northeast Missouri.
Tolton said students may continue to wear any previously purchased Lands' End clothing, but new uniform pieces can be purchased from Snow Creek Apparel, a family owned company in Columbia.

Material Girl vs. the Bishops

MANILA, Feb 24 (Reuters)  A Roman Catholic bishop in the Philippines urged the faithful to stay away from American pop singer Madonna’s two-night concert in Manila, calling her music “suggestive” and her clothes “vulgar”.
Madonna, 57, is on a world tour to promote her 13th studio album, “Rebel Heart”, which combines her trademark sexually charged performance and lyrics.
She performs on Wednesday (Feb. 23) and Thursday in the same hall where Pope Francis met Filipino families a year ago.

Archbishop Aguelles
 “Why is the Catholic Philippines the favorite venue for blasphemy against God and the Holy Mother?” asked Ramon Arguelles, archbishop of Lipa City, south of the capital.
“Pinoys and all God-loving people should avoid sin and occasions of sin,” he said in a statement on the website of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, referring to Filipinos.

In the wealthy neighboring city state of Singapore, where Madonna is scheduled to perform on Sunday, Catholic authorities also expressed grave concern.

Bishop Goh
  “It is our moral obligation not to support those who denigrate and insult religions, including anti-Christian and immoral values promoted by the secular world,” Singapore Archbishop William Goh said on the archdiocese website.

Who, me?

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

We've Got 'Em Just Where We Want 'Em!

Mass for One

One day, I went to daily Mass and was the only congregant there. I asked Father if he had to say Mass if I hadn't been there and he said no. I was surprised - I was under the impression priests were required to say Mass every day.

They are not.

 Can.  904 Remembering always that in the mystery of the eucharistic sacrifice the work of redemption is exercised continually, priests are to celebrate frequently; indeed, daily celebration is recommended earnestly since, even if the faithful cannot be present, it is the act of Christ and the Church in which priests fulfill their principal function.

Can.  906 Except for a just and reasonable cause, a priest is not to celebrate the Eucharistic sacrifice without the participation of at least some member of the faithful.


Can. 276 §1. In leading their lives, clerics are bound in a special way to pursue holiness since, having been consecrated to God by a new title in the reception of orders, they are dispensers of the mysteries of God in the service of His people.

§2. In order to be able to pursue this perfection:

1/ they are first of all to fulfill faithfully and tirelessly the duties of the pastoral ministry;

2/ they are to nourish their spiritual life from the two-fold table of sacred scripture and the Eucharist; therefore, priests are earnestly invited to offer the Eucharistic sacrifice daily and deacons to participate in its offering daily;

3/ priests and deacons aspiring to the presbyterate are obliged to carry out the liturgy of the hours daily according to the proper and approved liturgical books; permanent deacons, however, are to carry out the same to the extent defined by the conference of bishops

 So, to review....

Liturgy of the Hours - Required
Daily Mass - Recommended

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

I Would Like to Thank The First Lady Personally

Vatican City, 23 February 2016 (VIS) – This morning Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture and the Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archaeology, along with Mehriban Aliyeva, president of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation (HAF), Azerbaijan, presented the results of the restoration of the Roman catacombs of Sts. Marcellinus and Peter "ad duas lauros", entirely funded by the HAF.

On the basis of an agreement signed in 2012, the Foundation presided over by Aliyev has funded the restoration of the paintings of the cubicle of Susanna and the fossor, the niche of Daniel, the arcosolium of Orpheus, the cubicle of Our Lady with two Magi, and the cubicle of the praying matron. 
Arcosolium of Orpheus
The most advanced conservation techniques, especially laser-based cleaning, have enabled the removal of a tenacious black patina that had provided resistant to all traditional cleaning methods. The last procedure, recently completed, involved the cubicle of the "praying matron", in an advanced state of deterioration. The newly-revealed frescoes consist of a central medallion with the Good Shepherd surrounded by the Biblical episodes of Jonah, Daniel among the lions and Noah in the Ark. In the corners there are praying male figures and birds. On the walls there is a rich decorative pattern with floral, plant-based and fantasy elements. On the wall of the entrance there is the notable figure of a praying woman, which although only just recognisable before restoration, now makes a strong visual impact. The figure, framed by two slender trees, may represent the deceased entombed in the cubicle.
What is the Heydar Aliyev Foundation?

The Heydar Aliyev Foundation has been established on the grounds of the nation’s wish to express its esteem for the memory of Heydar Aliyev, who entered our history as a builder of an independent state, and the necessity of reflecting his rich moral heritage, underlining the importance for our country of the philosophy of Azerbaijanism and cultivating the national statehood ideas in our children.

Starting its activity since 2004, the Heydar Aliyev Foundation   has been actively participating in building a new society and contributing to the social and economic development of the country, by implementing various projects in spheres such as education, public health, culture, sports, science and technology, environment, and social and other spheres.

President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation is Azerbaijan's First Lady, UNESCO and ISESCO Goodwill Ambassador Mehriban Aliyeva. 

Mehriban Aliyeva

 By the way, Azerbaijan is 96.9% Muslim.

The Trouble With Jesuits, Part 44

Father Fernando Cardenal, a Jesuit liberation theologian who supported Nicaragua’s Sandinista revolution and served as the nation’s education minister from 1984 to 1990, died on February 20 at the age of 82.
Rebuked by St. John Paul and suspended from the priesthood, Father Cardenal was reinstated as a member of the Society of Jesus in 1997.
In a 2015 interview, he expressed his support for contraception, the ordination of women, and the return to the ministry of former priests who had married.
Looking back upon his life, he said that he believed that Jesus asked him to commit himself to the Sandinista revolution and that “Jesus’ voice was stronger than the Pope’s.”

I think he's going to have some explaining to do....

Islamic Outreach, Part LXXXIV

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."


I loved this part:  

 " ‘Whether or not it was provocation, it is and remains a pig hat.’”

Monday, February 22, 2016

A Catholic Wants to Commit Suicide, but Also Wants Absolution? In Advance?

Terrence Prendergast of Ottawa has told his priests that they should not administer the Sacrament of Anointing to people who plan an assisted suicide, since their desire to end their own lives shows that they lack "the proper disposition for the anointing of the sick."
The archbishop said that if a priest is called to attend to someone planning suicide, he should pray with him and seek to dissuade him from the act. In those circumstances, he said, by refusing to anoint the individual the priest may be helping to drive home the gravity of the action. He added that the sacrament includes absolution, but this cannot be given pre-emptively, to forgive a sin that is still being planned.
Archbishop Prenderast observed: "Asking your priest to be present to something that is is direct contradiction to our Catholic values is not fair to the pastor."

It's All True, EXCEPT for the Made Up Parts

The other day Pope Francis, in the infamous post-Mexico airplane presser, said:
Paolo VI – il grande! – in una situazione difficile, in Africa, ha permesso alle suore di usare gli anticoncezionali per i casi di violenza. … Paul VI – the great one! – in a difficult situation in Africa, permitted sisters to use contraceptives for cases of violenze.

 Apparently the roots of this rumor goes to an article in a Roman paper.

 Long and verbose story short, in that article Palazzini and Lambruschini explore a possible application of the “principle of the double effect” to the case of rape, where a legitimate end is pursued and the probable evil consequence is unintended.

Fr. Hurth attempts an elaboration of Aquinas’ concept of genus moris and genus naturae where the moral status of an act can be different depending on its spiritual and physical characteristics. In fairness, I’ll note that, back then, chemical contraception was relatively new a subject. Tonsured moralists were unlikely to be all that familiar with the science and the physiology involved and it will take 1968 to hear an authoritative pronouncement on this specific subject, the reviled Humanae Vitae. And it came from that same Paul VI who is said to have allowed contraception, if only by way of exception.

That’s all.

No, really, there is nothing else.

The opinion of three moralists on a magazine, attempting to offer, I repeat, an opinion on a complex matter, gets quoted loosely and ad nauseam by other moralists and journalists and becomes “Rome” and later “Paul VI”.
They will tell you that that article legitimized the concept of “lesser evil”. Leaving aside the fact that we can never choose evil, no matter the scale of it, the fact is that in 1957 Palazzini had co-edited a widely used manual where the following is said (I quote a 1962 English edition of this manual):
“To choose the lesser of two evils is permissible if the lesser evil is not in itself a moral evil (sin), but a purely physical evil or the omission of something good or indifferent, from which in a specific case an accidental bad effect will follow, less serious, however, than that which another course would provoke” (Ludovico Bender OP, in Dictionary of Moral Theology, Ed. Roberti, Francesco, Palazzini Pietro. Transl. by H. Yannone. Westminster, MD: Newman, 1962).
Now, I am no moral theologian but contraception is in fact a moral evil in itself (see Humanae Vitae 16) and not a “purely physical evil”, much less “something good or indifferent”. Case closed.

Did you know he is a Jesuit?

Ikea Feast of the Chair of St. Peter, February 22

The actual relic, the Chair of St. Peter, is in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. The Latin word for cathedra refers to the seat or throne for a  bishop. The one in Rome is enclosed in a gilt bronze casing. Inside the casing is a wooden throne that was used by St. Peter (although Wikipedia says it was a gift from the Holy Roman Emperor Charles the bald to Pope John VII in 875 A.D.

  The apse is at the end of the central nave. In the center is the Altar of the Chair of Peter, a masterpiece which is unmistakably the work of Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1659).
Every year on February 22, the Church celebrates the feast of the Chair of St. Peter, to commemorate St. Peter's teaching in Rome. Already in the second half of the 18th century an ancient wooden chair inlaid with ivory was venerated and traditionally held to be the Episcopal chair on which St. Peter sat as he instructed the faithful of Rome. In fact, it is a throne in which fragments of acacia wood are visible, which could be part of the chair of St. Peter, encased in oak and reinforced with iron bands. Several rings facilitated its transportation during processions. Pope Alexander VII commissioned Bernini to build a sumptuous monument which would give prominence to this ancient wooden chair. Bernini built a throne in gilded bronze, richly ornamented with bas-reliefs in which the chair was enclosed: two pieces of furniture, one within the other. On January 17, 1666 it was solemnly set above the altar.
The base of the altar is made of black and white marble from Aquitaine and red jasper from Sicily. Four gigantic statues (about 5 m. tall) in gilded bronze surround the Chair which looks almost as if it were suspended amidst the clouds. The two outer statues are figures of two Doctors of the Latin Church: St. Ambrose and St. Augustine; the two inner statues, with bare heads, are of two Doctors of the Greek Church: St. Athanasius and St. John Chrysostom. These saints represent the catholicity of the Church and at the same time, the consistency of the theologians' teaching with the doctrine of the Apostles.

The Catholic Encyclopedia says:

We conclude, therefore, that there is no reason for doubting the genuineness of the relic preserved at the Vatican, and known as the Cathedra Petri.

Father Z says the cathedra is decorated with candles on one day each

Crayola Feast of Blessed Fra Angelico, February 18th

A little late, but I saw the video today and wondered if any of Fra Angelico's paintings is on display?

He was known to contemporaries as Fra Giovanni da Fiesole (Brother John of Fiesole and Fra Giovanni Angelico (Angelic Brother John). In modern Italian he is called il Beato Angelico (Blessed Angelic One); the common English name Fra Angelico means the "Angelic friar".
In 1982 Pope John Paul II proclaimed his beatification in recognition of the holiness of his life, thereby making the title of "Blessed" official.Friesole is sometimes misinterpreted as being part of his formal name, but it was merely the name of the town where he took his vows as a Domincan Friar, and was used by contemporaries to separate him from other Fra Giovannis. He is listed in the Roman Martyrology as Beatus Ioannes Faesulanus, cognomento Angelicus—"Blessed Giovanni of Fiesole, known as 'the Angelic' "
The Annunciation

Vasari wrote of Fra Angelico that "it is impossible to bestow too much praise on this holy father, who was so humble and modest in all that he did and said and whose pictures were painted with such facility and piety."

Deposition From the Cross
 What made me think of Fra Angelica today...

Friday, February 19, 2016


From the New York Post:

On The Waterfront, 1954

An ex-prize fighter turned longshoreman struggles to stand up to his corrupt union bosses.

Father Barry, played by Karl Malden   

 The role played by Karl Malden was that of Father Barry, who was based on a real priest - Father John Corridon. According to Wikipedia:

Father Corridan

Son of a County Kerry-born policeman in New York's Harlem, Corridan graduated from Manhattan's Regis High School in 1928. Father Corridan was assigned to the Xavier Institute of Industrial Relations on Manhattan's West Side in 1946. He became a passionate advocate of reform in the International Longshoremen's Association waterfront union.
Father Corridan collaborated with Malcolm in Johnson's articles on waterfront corruption. He was the subject of a 1955 biography, Waterfront Priest by Allen Raymond. The introduction of the book was by Budd Schulberg, screenwriter of On the Waterfront, who described how he met with Father Corridan frequently in researching the screenplay.
Schulberg described Father Corridan as a "tall, youthful, balding, energetic, ruddy-faced Irishman whose speech was a fascinating blend of Hell's Kitchen jargon, baseball slang, the facts and figures of a master in economics and the undeniable humanity of Christ."
Schulberg wrote that Father Corridan "led me to understand that there is nothing unusual about a Catholic priest's involving himself in moral issues that find practical form in the daily lives of his parishioners."
According to a 1983 article in the New York Times, Father Corridan's work was instrumental in formation of the New York-New Jersey Waterfront Commission aimed at curbing waterfront crime. Father Corridan, then retired, told a Times reporter that he believed that conditions on the waterfront had changed over the years.

The exterior shots of Father Barry's church in the movie is Our Lady of Grace in Hoboken, NJ (where the movie was filmed).

Interior shots of the church were filmed at St. Peter and Paul in Hoboken.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

The Smoke is Not Making It to the Top of the Chimney

CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico (Reuters) In Ciudad Juarez, one of the most violent cities in the Western Hemisphere thanks to the drug cartels, the pope walked up a ramp covered in flowers toward a cross “erected… in memory of migrants who have perished trying to reach the United States just a stone’s throw away”.

 The pope then blessed three more small crosses, at which “shoes of migrants who died” were laid. “We cannot deny the humanitarian crisis,” Pope Francis intoned. “Each step, a journey laden with grave injustices: the enslaved, the imprisoned and extorted; so many of these brothers and sisters of ours are the consequence of trafficking in human beings…Injustice is radicalized in the young; they are ‘cannon fodder,’ persecuted and threatened when they try to flee the spiral of violence and the hell of drugs. Then there are the many women unjustly robbed of their lives.”

This came shortly after the pope said that capitalism cut against God, and that God would punish “slave drivers of our days” supposedly exploiting workers, adding, “The flow of capital cannot decide the flow of people.”

Right. Capitalism is the problem. Which explains why so many Mexicans are fleeing there kleptocracy and fleeing to the capitalist United States.He's taking economics lessons from Bernie Sanders.

Then the Pope doubles down with this:

ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE (AP) -- Pope Francis said Thursday that Donald Trump is "not Christian" if he wants to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border.

Said the man who lives here: 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

R.I.P. Justice Antonin Scalia

  Justice Scalia was a Catholic...not Catholic like Justice Sonia Sotomayor... a real one.

 This caught my eye:

A Catholic priest administered last rites over the body of Justice Antonin Scalia after he died on a West Texas ranch.
Elizabeth O'Hara is a spokeswoman for the El Paso Catholic Diocese. She says Rev. Mike Alcuino was summoned from 30 miles away in Presidio to perform the traditional rites on Saturday afternoon.

Wait a second...he was dead when they found him and then a priest drove thirty miles to administer "last rites"?

The question is: Should anointing be administered several hours after death or is that too late?
Keeping in mind that sacraments can only be received by people who are alive, there are two groups of sacraments, sacraments of the living and sacraments of the dead. In this case “dead” means dead in mortal sin even though the person is drawing breath. Thus, the sacraments of the dead are Baptism and Penance. The sacraments of the living are to be received by the living, thus, Confirmation, Matrimony, Orders… Anointing. Anointing is special in that when the recipient is incapable of making a confession of sins, the sacrament can also forgive sins. However, Anointing is normally to be received in the state of grace. That generally means that the recipient has recently been absolved in sacramental confession.
So, to whom and when is the Sacrament of Anointing to be given?
The law about who receives the sacrament is clear:
Can. 1004 §1. The anointing of the sick can be administered to a member of the faithful who, having reached the use of reason, begins to be in danger due to sickness or old age.
And there is the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
1514 “The anointing of the sick is not a sacrament for those only who are at the point of death. Hence, as soon as anyone of the faithful begins to be in danger of death from sickness or old age, the fitting time for him to receive this sacrament has certainly already arrived.”
Common points? Danger of death… sick and old age.
And… you have to be alive!


 The problem is that the Church hasn’t defined exactly when a person is dead because, frankly, we just don’t know.

Read the whole thing.

Friday, February 12, 2016

From Our 82% Catholic Neghbor to the South! Coming To a Community Near You!

When Pope Francis arrives in Mexico on Friday he will land in the most dangerous country for priests in Latin America, with dozens killed in the past decade.
The drug war that has killed tens of thousands of people in the past 10 years has also claimed the lives of at least 36 priests, targeted by criminal organizations, according to the Catholic Multimedia Center.
The latest victim was Father Erasmo Pliego de Jesus, whose burned body was found in November in Puebla, one of the most religious states in the world's second largest Roman Catholic country.

Mexico is "the most dangerous country in Latin America to be a priest," ahead of other notoriously crime-riddled countries like Colombia, Brazil and Venezuela, according to the Catholic Multimedia Center.
Nelson Arteaga, sociologist at the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences, said the deaths of dozens of priests since the government declared war against drug cartels in 2006 shows that they have not escaped the violence.

Senor Trump Sopla Duro

Donald Trump ripped into Pope Francis as a "very political person" for visiting areas close to the United States' border of Mexico during an upcoming trip and for lacking an understanding of the U.S.' immigration situation.

“So I think that the pope is a very political person. I think that he doesn’t understand the problems our country has. I don’t think he understands the danger of the open border that we have with Mexico," Trump said in a telephone interview with Fox Business' "Varney & Company" on Thursday, adding, "Mexico got him to do it because Mexico wants to keep the border just the way it is because they’re making a fortune and we’re losing.”

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Marriage, Remarriage, and Excommunication

The full link is here to Canon Law Made Easy. The original question was posed about a Catholic woman who remarried outside the Church and became an Episcopalian because she said she was excommunicated.

 First of all, let's distinguish between between an act that is morally wrong - sinful, in other words - and one that constitutes a crime under canon law... there are many acts that are sinful, but they are not punishable under canon law. Lying, thieving and adultery are all objectively evil actions, and moral theology teaches us they are all sins if performed by someone who understands that they are wrong, and yet freely does them anyway. . . But lying, thieving and adultery are not punishable under canon law as crimes.

This is why...divorced and remarried Catholics (whose first marriage was never annulled) are not able to receive the Eucharist as long as they persist in living with the second spouse as man and wife...

While, the current Code of Canon Law. promulgated in 1983, contains no sanction against divorced and remarried Catholics, the 1917 Code of Canon Law did. The former canon law 2356 addressed the crime of bigamy.

Bigamists, that is, those who attempt another marriage - even if only a so-called civil marriage - while the first conjugal bond exits, are ipso facto notorious; and if the scorn the warning of their Ordinary and persist in this illicit cohabitation, they are excommunicated...

Note from the wording that that there was nothing automatic about this: if the Ordinary never found out about a Catholic's remarriage, and/or never issued a warning, there couldn't have been an excommunication.

If this was the law under the old code, why was it changed? The super short answer to that question is that Pope John Paul II clearly didn't clear to include it in the new Code of Canon Law, which he promulgated himself.

How to Tell If You Got Ashes From a Jansenist

Islamic Outreach, Part LXXXIII

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."


Middle Eastern Christians in refugee camps in Germany are being mercilessly harassed by Muslim refugees, according to Father Superior Hegumen Daniel at the St. George the Victorious Monastery in Gotschendorf.
According to Daniel:
Christian refugees from Syria, Eritrea and other countries are exposed to humiliation, manhunt and brutal harassment at the camps for refugees by Muslim neighbors. This also relates to the Yazidi religious minority. The cases when humiliation comes to injuries and threats of death are frequent.”
Those who converted from Islam to Christianity are special targets:
“According to the Islamic tradition, they should be punished, because they fell apart from Islam. They are exposed to a tough pressure and should be afraid of their life, because ‘renegades’ lose any right for it for radical Muslims.”