Monday 30 April 2012

Christians massacred in Nigeria

Vatican Radio reports a horrific massacre of Christians in Nigeria. The attacks are believed to be the work of the Islamist terrorist orgnaization, Boko Haram. A detailed report can be read at Voice of America.

Imagine if the terrorists had been "Christian" (as in the "Christian" atheist mass murderer from Norway who dabbled in Freemasonry etc.?!). Ah, then it would have been blazing headline news.

Saturday 28 April 2012

Bishop Williamson and the Rome-SSPX Reconciliation

Bishop Richard Williamson, in his latest blog entry on the possibility of a reconciliation between Rome and Econe writes: "...a friend of mine just sent me an admirable synthesis" on the Second Vatican Council. Part of this "admirable synthesis" contains the following: 

“These novel doctrines which along with many others contradict the formal and unanimous teachings of Popes before the Council, can only be qualified in the light of Catholic dogma as heretical". 

The full entry can be read here

Shocked I Tell You!

Ever wonder why some Catholics seem to be in a perpetual state of dramatic agitation ready to fling overblown hyperbole at the drop of a hat? Come on... we all know bloggers like this. Joanne K. Portland at egregious twaddle has a delicious take on it. 

Friday 27 April 2012

Free Speech Stifled

Of course you have free speech but there are certain segments of society that would prefer that you not exercise it. Tory MP Stephen Woodworth has introduced a motion to the House asking that a special committee be formed to study the legal definition of human life. The response is worth noting.

“We know the Prime Minister likes to control his message. He wouldn’t let his Conservative do something that he didn’t agree with,” Mulcair said in Question Period. “Can the Prime Minister tell Canadians why he allowed his Conservative MPs to reopen the debate on abortion?”

In other words, the opposition leader is asking the PM why he didn't muzzle his backbencher. Mr. Harper's response is also interesting.

”Every private member can table bills and motions in this House. Party leaders don’t have any control over that. … This particular motion was deemed votable by an all-party committee of the House. I think that’s unfortunate. In my case I will be voting against the motion.”

The PM is expressing his regret that an issue is going to be brought to be debated at all. We are living in a country that stifles free speech and prevents elected members of parliament from exercising their rights.

The faculty of Notre Dame is doing virtually the same thing to Bishop Daniel Jenky, the only bishop on their Board of Fellows. In a homily on April 14 he said

Hitler and Stalin, at their better moments, would just barely tolerate some churches remaining open, but would not tolerate any competition with the state in education, social services, and health care. In clear violation of our First Amendment rights, Barack Obama – with his radical, pro abortion and extreme secularist agenda, now seems intent on following a similar path.

The Notre Dame faculty responded by shifting the debate from a discussion of the HHS mandate to outrage over his comments about Hitler and Stalin.

In their letter, the Notre Dame faculty acknowledged that Bishop Jenky’s comments are protected under the First Amendment, but said they found it “profoundly offensive that a member of our beloved university’s highest authority, the Board of Fellows, should compare the President’s actions with those whose genocidal policies murdered tens of millions of people, including the specific targeting of Catholics, Jews, and other minorities for their faith.”

In all of these examples the attempt to stifle debate and prevent certain questions from being discussed in the public arena is obvious. When Hitler gained power as a result of the enabling legislation in 1933, most of his opposition voluntarily disbanded in the months following.

PM Harper pledges to vote against pro-life motion, says ‘unfortunate’ it was deemed votable

Notre Dame professors demand removal of bishop who blasted Obama’s HHS mandate

Full text of Bishop Jenky's homily at men's march and Mass

Religion is not a problem for legislators to solve...

In thinking about Freyr's recent post on Xtra, and their taking umbrage at Catholic schools  - for being Catholic! -  my thoughts turned again to Pope Benedict's 2010 UK visit "Heart Speaks Unto Heart". 

In his opening address to the Queen at Hollyrood House, the Holy Father said: "...let us never forget how the exclusion of God, religion and virtue from public life leads to a truncated vision of man and of society, and thus a reductive vision of the person and his destiny".

In Glasgow, Sept. 16th, the Holy Father warned:  "The evangelization of culture is all the more important in our times, when a 'dictatorship of relativism' threatens to obscure the unchanging truth about man's nature, his destiny and ultimate good. There are some who seek to exclude religious belief from public discourse, to privatize it or even paint it as a threat to equality and liberty. Yet religion is in fact a guarantee of authentic liberty and respect, leading us to look upon every person as a brother or sister." 

At Westminster Hall, Sept, 17th: "... I cannot but voice my concern at the increasing marginalization of religion, particularly Christianity, that is taking place in some quarters, even in nations which place a great emphasis on tolerance."

During the Vigil in Hyde Park, Sept, 18th:  "No one who looks realistically at our world today could think that Christians can afford to go on with business as usual, ignoring the profound crisis of faith which has overtaken society, or simply trusting that the patrimony of values handed down by the Christian centuries will continue to inspire and shape the future of society..."

Wednesday 25 April 2012

The Real Story

This week the gay magazine Xtra reported that teachers in a Catholic school were involving their students in right to life issues by circulating a petition supporting a bill to redefine the legal beginning of life. Now the Star has picked up the story. The spectacle of Catholics behaving as Catholics is hardly newsworthy but take a closer look at the immediate effect these stories have. They tend to generate a great deal of response in the combox that borders on sheer hatred. Much of the commentary consists of questioning the use of tax dollars to further a religious agenda. My guess is that this sort of news coverage is a softening up for a future challenge to separate school funding.

Tuesday 24 April 2012

Lower Class?

I remember a story that was once told about a rather prominent convert from the Anglican Church to the Roman Catholic. The convert's mother, upon hearing of her son's conversion said "I wouldn't mind so much except that now you will be going to church with the servants." If anyone can pin this story down in the combox I would appreciate it.

One of the remarkable things about Acts of the Apostles is that it tells us of a church where social status and class was not so important. "And all who believed were together and had all things in common; and they sold their possessions and goods and distributed them to all, as any had need." Acts 2:44  I could go on...

Everyone knows people they look away from when they pass, hoping they will not start a conversation. These are people you would not invite to a wedding feast for fear they might cause embarrassment. These are the forgotten people. My friend Trout talks to these people... in fact he talks to people that make me a tad nervous. In this he is is a constant reminder that these forgotten people have a dignity and worth that transcends their class or station in life. Thank you.

Monday 23 April 2012

A Good Argument

Ever wonder what a good argument might look like? Here's an excellent example in the context of a newscast that presents both sides fairly with good questions asked by the moderator. Pop over to GetReligion and have a look at Feminism and Catholic Fidelity. Keep in mind that it is subject to the limitations of any evening newscast but it nevertheless is handled quite well.

Happy St. George's Day

O BLESSED Virgin Mary, Mother of God and our most gentle Queen and Mother, look down in mercy upon England thy “Dowry” and upon us all who greatly hope and trust in thee. By thee it was that Jesus our Saviour and our hope was given unto the world; and He has given thee to us that we might hope still more. Plead for us thy children, whom thou didst receive and accept at the foot of the Cross, O sorrowful Mother. Intercede for our separated brethren, that with us in the one true fold they may be united to the supreme Shepherd, the Vicar of thy Son. Pray for us all, dear Mother, that by faith fruitful in good works we may all deserve to see and praise God, together with thee, in our heavenly home. Amen.
[Cardinal Wiseman]

Further recommended reading: Writings of Dominic Barberi and Ignatius Spencer

Sunday 22 April 2012

The Pope's "To Do" List for 2012: High priority to resolve SSPX

Fr. Lombardi outlined to Vatican Radio [2012-04-21]  the Holy Father's plans for his 8th year of his Pontificate. Amongst them is the resolution of the question concerning the Society of St. Pius X. 

"We share his hope that the dialogue with the Saint Pius X Fraternity will come to a resolution that bridges the gap without creating any new ones". 

Friday 20 April 2012

Bishop Williamson undermines SSPX Reconciliation?

Bishop Richard Williamson, in his latest blog entry "Benedict's Ecumenism III", continues to undermine any possible reconciliation between Rome and Econe. I mention this, not that this man has any authority (see, Mgr. Fenton "Episcopal Jurisdiction and the Roman See, American Ecclesiastical Review, Vol. CXX, Jan-Jun 1949), but that he does have the power to perpetuate a schism.

Further, he continues to publish against the express orders of his superior, who seems powerless to stop him.

For example, Williamson, in reviewing three references from Vatican II, commences as follows:

In these “Comments” two weeks ago was the promise to look at three quotes from Vatican II which have done much to dissolve the Church of Jesus Christ, which is the Catholic Church. And one week ago was the warning that the texts of Vatican II are ambiguous, so that they can always be made to look as though there is nothing wrong with them. But only one of their two possible meanings is innocent. The other meaning is deadly for the Catholic Church, as the last forty years have proved. 

SSPX Update: Friday April 20

SSPX Updates: 

The Society of St. Pius X has published a review of the recent events and media announcements issued as a result of Bp. Fellay's sending Rome a signed, but slightly modified, Doctrinal Preamble.

The recent DICI [no.253] (available as a download at the DICI website) has published Fr. Lamont's "Theological Questions"; first published by Sandro Magister. 

The "progressive" French Catholic press are already distressed with what they see as the Pope's accommodation with "fundamentalists" over "progressives".

Could the SSPX be right on Religious Liberty?

Fr. John Lamont's "Theological Questions" does raise an excellent point: the SSPX and others do argue their position on - for example - the relationship between Church and State/religious liberty - references to previous papal teaching. To this effect, I am posting some key passages from Pius XI's Quas Primas. Interestingly, this encyclical was not referenced by Vatican II, but is footnoted in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (this raises the question whether the framers of the Catechism began to take into account years of criticism of Dignitatis Humanae? and therefore began to nuance the Conciliar declaration to try to show a continuity with previous teaching (e.g. Quanta Cura, Pius IX, Immortale Dei, Libertas, Longinqua, Leo XIII etc.) Archbishop Lefebvre himself argued that the declaration contradicted itself by maintaining the traditional doctrine, yet in its practical advice leading to a de facto religious indifferentism (c.f. They Have Uncrowned Him). 

Pius XI, Quas Primas (1925): 

It would be a grave error, on the other hand, to say that Christ has no authority whatever in civil affairs, since, by virtue of the absolute empire over all creatures committed to him by the Father, all things are in his power...

 If, therefore, the rulers of nations wish to preserve their authority, to promote and increase the prosperity of their countries, they will not neglect the public duty of reverence and obedience to the rule of Christ. What We said at the beginning of Our Pontificate concerning the decline of public authority, and the lack of respect for the same, is equally true at the present day. "With God and Jesus Christ," we said, "excluded from political life, with authority derived not from God but from man, the very basis of that authority has been taken away, because the chief reason of the distinction between ruler and subject has been eliminated. The result is that human society is tottering to its fall, because it has no longer a secure and solid foundation."[ Ubi Arcano, Pius XI]

When once men recognize, both in private and in public life, that Christ is King, society will at last receive the great blessings of real liberty, well-ordered discipline, peace and harmony.

...We refer to the plague of anti-clericalism, its errors and impious activities. This evil spirit, as you are well aware, Venerable Brethren, has not come into being in one day; it has long lurked beneath the surface. The empire of Christ over all nations was rejected. The right which the Church has from Christ himself, to teach mankind, to make laws, to govern peoples in all that pertains to their eternal salvation, that right was denied. Then gradually the religion of Christ came to be likened to false religions and to be placed ignominiously on the same level with them. It was then put under the power of the state and tolerated more or less at the whim of princes and rulers. Some men went even further, and wished to set up in the place of God's religion a natural religion consisting in some instinctive affection of the heart. There were even some nations who thought they could dispense with God, and that their religion should consist in impiety and the neglect of God. The rebellion of individuals and states against the authority of Christ has produced deplorable consequences.

Thursday 19 April 2012

Pope Benedict: Seven Years on the Throne of Peter

Today marks seven years that Joseph Ratzinger, elected Supreme Pontiff, has reigned over Christ's Church from the Throne of St. Peter. Long may he reign! May God grant him many years. Please pray for our Holy Father.

Wednesday 18 April 2012

SSPX-ROME: Communique from DICI

The following is from DICI, the SSPX's international news agency. It should be noted, that this press release does not in any way contradict the statement earlier issued by Fr. Lombardi on Vatican Radio. This press release only reiterates what is still a well known fact: that doctrinal questions have to yet be completely resolved. 
The media are announcing that Bishop Bernard Fellay has sent a “positive response” to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and that consequently the doctrinal question between the Holy See and the Society of Saint Pius X is now resolved.
The reality is different.
In a letter dated April 17, 2012, the Superior General of the Society of Saint Pius X responded to the request for clarification that had been made to him on March 16 by Cardinal William Levada concerning the Doctrinal Preamble delivered on September 14, 2011.  As the press release dated today from the Ecclesia Dei Comission indicates, the text of this response “will be examined by the dicastery (Congregation for the Doctine of the Faith) then submitted to the Holy Father for his judgement”.
This is therefore a stage and not a conclusion.
Menzingen, April 18, 2012

SSPX-ROME Reconciliation: Update on Vatican Radio

We now have an official English language communique:

The Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei has published the following communication concerning the Society of St. Pius X:

"The text of the response of Bishop Bernard Fellay, Superior General of the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X, as had been requested at the meeting of 16 March 2012, was received by the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith on 17 April 2012. The text will be examined by the Dicastery and then submitted to the judgement of the Holy Father. 

Fr. Federico Lombardi, head of the Vatican Press Office, said that, with the latest response, “steps forward have been taken, that is to say, that the response, the new response, is rather encouraging. But there are still developments that will be made, and examined, and decisions which should be taken in the next few weeks.” 

A more extensive French language version can be read and listened to here

SSPX-Rome Update: Ecclesia Dei Communique on Bishop Fellay

The Ecclesia Dei Commission has released a news bulletin in Italian and French pertaining to Bp. Fellay's signing of the document. I've included the French: 

Le texte de la réponse de Son Excellence Monseigneur Bernard Fellay, Supérieur général de la Fraternité sacerdotale saint Pie X, requise au cours de la rencontre du 16 mars 2012 au siège de la Congrégation pour la Doctrine de la Foi, est parvenu le 17 avril 2012. Ce texte sera examiné par le Dicastère et soumis ensuite au jugement du Saint-Père.

[00513-03.01] [Texte original: Français]

Unofficial English translation:  The text of the reply of His Excellency Bishop Bernard FellaySuperior General of the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X, required during the meeting of 16 March 2012 at the offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, was received  on April 17, 2012 It will be considered by the Congregation and subsequently submitted to the judgment of the Holy Father

The Catholic Herald is carrying a concise summary.
La Croix, the influential French Catholic news agency can be read here
Le Figaro is also reporting this news

Tuesday 17 April 2012

SSPX-ROME: REUNION and RECONCILIATION! - Bp. Fellay signs the Doctrinal Preamble

Vatican Insider journalist, Andrea Tornielli is reporting that Bp. Fellay has sent a positive response to Rome regarding the Doctrinal note. An unofficial translation can be read at Rorate caeli. The original Italian can be read here. A successful conclusion of these negotiations has enormous import for the Church; without doubt such an agreement will be the greatest achievement of this Pontificate. 

The response of the Society of St. Pius X has arrived at the Vatican and is positive according to reports gathered by the Vatican Insider ... Bishop Bernard Fellayhas signed the doctrinal preamble that the Holy See had proposed last September, as a condition for  full canonical communion... [unofficial translation from the Vatican Insider] 

Pope Benedict and Bishop Fellay. Courtesy Catholic News Agency 

Bishop Fellay on Summorum Pontificum

In 2007, Bishop Fellay gave an interesting talk on the Moto Proprio, Summorum Pontificum. Re-listening to this lecture with a possible imminent reconciliation shows that Bp. Fellay has been highly consistent in his approach. 

Bishop Fellay, 2007 talk on Summorum Pontificum

The Real Schism

As we await further news on the relationship between the Society of St. Pius X and Rome, our attention should perhaps focus on a real, continuing and spiritually devastating schism that is rocking the Catholic Church (especially, but not exclusively in a number of European nations).

The recent editorial from the Tablet on the so-called "Catholic Spring" reflects both a schismatic and heretical mentality. We could stop and ask right here: who is the greater problem; Bishop Fellay and his 5% disagreement with the Second Vatican Council based on his reading of previous papal documents and Councils; or the haphazard disagreement with innumerable doctrinal teachings from the Tablet and the various groups associated with the "Catholic Spring"? Disagreements not based on any papal teaching or Councils, but, in fact, from outside the Church. Consider, "the FSSPX does not reject Vatican II in its entirety: on the contrary, Bishop Fellay has stated that the society accepts 95% of its teachings. This means that the FSSPX is more loyal to the teachings of Vatican II than much of the clergy and hierarchy of the Catholic Church" (Fr. John Lamont, A Theologians Questions). 

Here are some brief facts on this growing schism: a manifesto called "Believers Speak Out" has garnered over 8000 signatures and won a hearing from the Belgian bishops? Will these be asked to sign a doctrinal preamble as a condition to returning to full union with the Church?  In 2011 a German-language manifesto, "Kirche" was signed by 150 theologians asking for, amongst other things, an "end to pitiless and rigorist morality. In June of 2011, in Austria over 300 priests signed the "Priests' Initiative" (a manifesto that apparently at least 30 % of Austrian priests agree with).  Then there was the Community of Catholic Women of Germany (KFD), in France, the Open Letter to the Christians to the Diocese of Rouen (signed by 170). A survey published on the Irish website of the Association of Catholic Priests claims amongst other things that 60% are in favour of the "ordination" of women. Canada too has its own problems: see, for example, the heretical  teachings on the Blessed Eucharist by the Archdiocese of Winnipeg.

The Tablet is right about a few things in its editorial, though not in the manner that it proposes. Yes, dissenting clergy are a reflection of dissenting laity, but they failed to mention that dissenting laity are also a reflection of dissenting clergy; in fact, it is a bi-directional relationship, driven dynamically by the clergy. The dissent, for example amongst the laity on sexual morality is driven and fed by a silent clergy (have you ever heard a homily on Humanae vitae etc.?).

In conclusion, the crisis is deep and profound; Bishop Fellay and the SSPX are presently at most a very small side show (with all due respect). The vast, vast majority of Catholics have not, and will not in the foreseeable future (though that might well change) attend Tridentine Masses. Nonetheless, the full union between Rome and Econe is of incredible value (primarily because Christ wills a unified Church under Peter), but also the counter lever that, over time, the Society can bring in catechesis to the average Catholic that they are not receiving from their pastors.

Monday 16 April 2012

SSPX- Rome Negotiations: Der Speigel confirms a letter from Bp. Fellay

Breaking news this morning from Der Speigel confirms earlier reports in Le Figaro, as well as Vatican Insider. The full report is here.

SSPX-Rome Update: Is there internal strife in the Society?

Andrea Tornielli has just today published at Vatican Insider that Bp. Fellay has sent a discrete note to the other bishops and leading clerics within the SSPX on how to conclude/proceed with the negotiations in a positive manner. Rorate Caeli carries a complete, though unofficial translation of the Tornielli article. Tornielli contends that it is likely the other three bishops are, in varying degrees, opposed to reunion; hence Fellay's concerned approach.  
Fellay, who knows he has within [the Society] a group outspokenly opposed to the agreement (estimated at around 25%, but which includes also the other three bishops, Williamson, Tissier de Mallerais and Galarreta, though with differentiated positions), probably wanted to calm his internal partners on the fact that the canonical setting and the reentry into full communion will take place according to those two conditions already made public by him in the past few weeks. [Rorate caeli translation]
Bishop Fellay meeting Pope Benedict 

An update to the background of the negotiations by Tornielli can be found here.

Further recommended reading: Lefebrians answer to the Vatican 

Happy Birthday Holy Father!

On his 85th birthday, we, as Toronto Catholic Witness, prayerfully extend our best wishes to our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI. Long may he reign!

Sunday 15 April 2012

SSPX-Rome Deal: Further Update

SSPX-Rome Reconciliation makes the front pages of Le Figaro
The Italian press - following yesterday's major news coming from French reports - also reports the imminent reconciliation between the SSPX and Rome. 

Such a reconciliation perhaps might not come at a better time, with the Pope having to deal with dissent in Ireland, Germany etc. Even here in Canada dissent is quite rampant. The archdiocese of Toronto - sadly - has her share of rebels. 

Pray that the hoped for reconciliation will become a reality. The Pope faces, and has faced strong opposition for his quest for unity. 

Saturday 14 April 2012

SSPX- Rome Negotiations: Update

Updating my previous post on the delicate SSPX-Rome negotiations, Sandro Magister offers an introduction to a detailed article by the Australian theologian, Fr. John Lamont, "A Theologian's Questions".

SSPX - Rome Reconciliation?

Reports in Le Figaro suggest that the Society of St. Pius X and Rome may sign an accord of understanding. Various reports also carried by the blog, Rorate Caeli suggest a possible positive outcome. Louie Verecchio has some interesting reflections on the recent negotiations. 

Personally, this would be a great day for the Church. The Society has a great many things to offer the Church. The personal involvement of Pope Benedict to remove unnecessary obstacles speaks to this offering that the Society could bring.

It is not just a question of "beautiful" liturgy; but of correct doctrine - in full union with Rome, without ambiguity - being available to the faithful. It would be an understatement to say that correct doctrine is needed in parish life. 

Pope Benedict meeting SSPX Superior, Bp. Bernard Fellay

Suggested Further reading:  DICI (SSPX news service)
                                           Bishop Fellay's Letter's, Sermons and interviews 

Wednesday 11 April 2012

An Atheist Blog?

Recommending an atheist blog? Are you crazy!? Well, the jury has been out on that question for a long time now. I ran across Unequally Yoked this morning and was quite impressed with the honesty and freshness of the blog. The title refers to the fact that the atheist in question was dating a Christian and going to mass regularly as a result. The blog records her search for the truth.

Let's be honest here... most of the interaction between atheists and Christians on the net consists of flame wars which can leave the combox a smouldering ash heap. Most folks I run into these days tend to prefer to keep to their own turf and avoid any interactions with any who might disagree with them. We have forgotten how to have a good argument and there seems to be no end of really bad ones.

Paul's preaching in Athens consisted of looking around town for a good argument. "So he argued in the synagogue with the Jews and the devout persons, and in the market place every day with those who chanced to be there." Acts 17:17 Today we prefer to use the techniques of advertising and the media sound bite. Discussion? Sorry... no time... got to go to a commercial.

Sunday 8 April 2012

Pope Benedict: Urbi et orbi

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Rome and throughout the world!

“Surrexit Christus, spes mea” – “Christ, my hope, has risen”.

May the jubilant voice of the Church reach all of you with the words which the ancient hymn puts on the lips of Mary Magdalene, the first to encounter the risen Jesus on Easter morning. She ran to the other disciples and breathlessly announced: “I have seen the Lord!” (Jn 20:18). We too, who have journeyed through the desert of Lent and the sorrowful days of the Passion, today raise the cry of victory: “He has risen! He has truly risen!”

Pope Benedict, Easter Sunday "Urbi et orbi" 2012

Saturday 7 April 2012

No Happy Easter Here!

Eosturmonath has a name which is now translated "Paschal month", and which was once called after a goddess of theirs named Eostre, in whose honour feasts were celebrated in that month. Now they designate that Paschal season by her name, calling the joys of the new rite by the time-honoured name of the old observance. Bede

Really? I have often wondered why we call the Feast of the Resurrection by the name of Easter. In most other languages this feast is referred to by some cognate of the Hebrew word for Passover, Pesach. Pascha in Latin, Pascua in Spanish, Pasqua in Italian, Pascoa in Portugese and so on. Even in other Germanic tongues some cognate of Pesach is used; Pasen in Dutch, Paske in Norwegian. Why then do we refer to it as Easter in English? Why this unnecessary glorification of a pagan goddess?

I recently suggested to a friend that the appropriate paschal greeting would be Christus ressurectus est. She replied "But I would be afraid to say that." Is that what this is all about? Happy Easter is a softer, far less blatant greeting that is less likely to offend or cause controversy. Well not around here! I plan on looking people straight in the eye and saying Christus ressurectus est and I would advise anyone reading this to do the same.

Friday 6 April 2012

And I, if I be lifted up will draw all unto myself...

Et ego si exaltatus fuero a terra omnia traham ad me ipsum

Cardinal Ranjith: Holy Communion Kneeling and on the Tongue

In a recent address Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith of Columbo reconfirmed his earlier orders regarding the reception of Holy Communion:

"May I also remind you once again that in all Churches and Chapels in the Archdiocese Holy Communion is to be administered only on the tongue and kneeling. This should be implemented as normal use even at Holy Mass celebrated with the participation of a big crowd outdoors. On such occasions at least the youth and the children as well as the “youthful” should be called upon to kneel and receive the Lord. This is the most appropriate way of expressing our profoundest belief in the continuous and personal presence of the Lord in the most Sacred Host as we acclaim “down in adoration falling, lo! the Sacred Host we hail”. And in all our Churches, as an expression of that faith our people should be called upon to receive the Holy Communion, kneeling. And so kindly take steps to fix the altar rails and a cushion line fixed to the ground before the railing so that all could kneel and receive easily. It is also good for us to explain to our people about the teaching of the Church on the Most Holy Eucharist as found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church Nos. 1373-1381."

This truly is wonderful news; a real restoration. The Real Presence is the centre of our Faith and the horrible error of granting episcopal conferences to allow the faithful to receive in the hand is there to see. The confusion, equivocation on what the Mass is and what the Real Presence is there for all to see. This is also evident in the literature produced by the National Liturgical Office, Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.  

Wednesday 4 April 2012

Cardinal Dolan Speaks: Interview with Wall Street Journal

In a wide ranging interview, Cardinal Dolan addressed his meeting with President Obama and the hot button issue of State mandated "religion".  He also had interesting words on the misinterpretation of the Vatican Council by many lay Catholics. He holds the clergy to blame for not teaching the truth about the Council and how the lay faithful were called to a true maturity in evangelizing under the leadership of the hierarchy.

"For this he faults the church leadership. "We have gotten gun-shy . . . in speaking with any amount of cogency on chastity and sexual morality." He dates this diffidence to "the mid- and late '60s, when the whole world seemed to be caving in, and where Catholics in general got the impression that what the Second Vatican Council taught, first and foremost, is that we should be chums with the world, and that the best thing the church can do is become more and more like everybody else."

The "flash point," the archbishop says, was "Humanae Vitae," Pope Paul VI's 1968 encyclical reasserting the church's teachings on sex, marriage and reproduction, including its opposition to artificial contraception. It "brought such a tsunami of dissent, departure, disapproval of the church, that I think most of us—and I'm using the first-person plural intentionally, including myself—kind of subconsciously said, 'Whoa. We'd better never talk about that, because it's just too hot to handle.' We forfeited the chance to be a coherent moral voice when it comes to one of the more burning issues of the day."

Sunday 1 April 2012

Holy Week: Palm Sunday

"Who is Jesus of Nazareth for us? What idea do we have of the Messiah, what idea do we have of God? It is a crucial question, one we cannot avoid, not least because during this very week we are called to follow our King who chooses the Cross as his throne. We are called to follow a Messiah who promises us, not a facile earthly happiness, but the happiness of heaven, divine beatitude. So we must ask ourselves: what are our true expectations? What are our deepest desires, with which we have come here today to celebrate Palm Sunday and to begin our celebration of Holy Week"?

Pope Benedict XVI, Palm Sunday Sermon