Monday, February 16, 2009

‘Apostle of the Lepers,’ Spanish Mystic Among 10 To Be Canonized

‘Apostle of the Lepers,’ Spanish mystic among 10 to be canonized

Bl. Damian / Bl. Rafael

Vatican City, Feb 16, 2009 / 02:11 pm (CNA).- Today the Vatican announced that it will recognize 10 blesseds as saints on February 21 in a ceremony at the Vatican. Among the soon-to-be canonized is Bl. Damian de Veuster, a Belgian missionary who spent much of his life in Hawaii caring for lepers.

The ceremony, which is called a consistory, will take place in the Vatican’s Clementine Hall at 11:00 a.m. on February 21 and will officially recognize as saints 10 blesseds who hail from Portugal to Italy.

In addition to Bl. Damian, Bl. Rafael Arnáiz Barón, is unique because he died at the young age of 27 of a diabetic coma. He was a member of the Cistercian’s of the Strict Observance and is considered on the greatest mystics of the 20th century.

When the Catholic Church canonizes a person, it is a statement by the Church that she believes the person in question lived a saintly life worthy of imitation and that the sainted person is in Heaven.

A full list of the blesseds who will be canonized follows.

- Blessed Zygmunt Szczesny Felinski, Polish former archbishop of Warsaw and founder of the Congregation of Franciscan Sisters of the Family of Mary.

- Blessed Arcangelo Tadini, Italian diocesan priest and founder of the Congregation of Worker Sisters of the Holy House of Nazareth.

- Blessed Francesc Coll y Guitart, Spanish professed priest of the Order of Friars Preachers and founder of the Congregation of the Dominican Sisters of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

- Blessed Jozef Damian de Veuster, Belgian professed priest of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, and of the Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar (PICPUS).

- Blessed Bernardo Tolomei, Italian founder of the Olivetan Benedictine Congregation.

- Blessed Rafael Arnaiz Baron, Spanish oblate friar of the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance.

- Blessed Nuno di Santa Maria Alvares Pereira, Portuguese religious of the Order of Friars of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel.

- Blessed Gertrude Comensoli (nee Caterina), Italian virgin and foundress of the Institute of Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament.

- Blessed Mary of the Cross Jugan (nee Jeanne), French virgin and foundress of the Congregation of the Little Sisters of the Poor.

- Blessed Caterina Volpicelli, Italian virgin and foundress of the Institute of Handmaidens of the Sacred Heart.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Champion for Catholics -- Jewish Rabbi Yehuda Levin

(Please note that throughout the article, there are parenthesis that bear the comments of Fr. Z and many thanks to him for bringing this to our attention)

Left Wing of the Catholic Church Destroying the Faith Says Orthodox Rabbi

By Hilary White, Rome correspondent
Wednesday February 11, 2009

ROME, February 11, 2009 ( – The dissident, leftist movement in the Catholic Church over the last forty years has severely undermined the teaching of the Catholic Church on the moral teachings on life and family, [fantastic!] a prominent US Orthodox rabbi told Rabbi Yehuda Levin, the head of a group of 800 Orthodox rabbis in the US and Canada, also dismissed the accusations that the Holy See had not sufficiently distanced itself from the comments made by Bishop Richard Williamson of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) on the Holocaust.

"I support this move" to reconcile the traditionalist faction in the Church, he said, "because I understand the big picture, which is that the Catholic Church has a problem. There is a strong left wing of the Church that is doing immeasurable harm to the faith." [Peter was Jewish. Can Rabbi Levin be Pope after Pope Benedict? Maybe 20 years from now?]

Rabbi Levin said that he understands "perfectly" why the reconciliation is vital to the fight against abortion and the homosexualist movement. [The man-centered view of the left detaches morals from reality.]

"I understand that it is very important to fill the pews of the Catholic Church not with cultural Catholics and left-wingers who are helping to destroy the Catholic Church and corrupt the values of the Catholic Church." This corruption, he said, "has a trickle-down effect to every single religious community in the world." [What an admission!]

"What’s the Pope doing? He’s trying to bring the traditionalists back in because they have a lot of very important things to contribute the commonweal of Catholicism. [YES YES YES!]

"Now, if in the process, he inadvertently includes someone who is prominent in the traditionalist movement who happens to say very strange things about the Holocaust, is that a reason to throw out the baby with the bathwater and start to condemn Pope Benedict? Absolutely not."

During a visit to Rome at the end of January, Rabbi Levin told that he believes the media furore over the lifting of the excommunications of the four bishops of the Society of Saint Pius X is a red herring. He called "ridiculous" the accusations that in doing so Pope Benedict VXI or the Catholic Church are anti-Semitic and described as "very strong" the statements distancing the Holy See and the Pope from Williamson’s comments.

Rabbi Levin was in Rome holding meetings with high level Vatican officials to propose what he called a "new stream of thinking" for the Church’s inter-religious dialogue, one based on commonly held moral teachings, particularly on the right to life and the sanctity of natural marriage.

"The most important issue," he said, is the work the Church is doing "to save babies from abortion, and save children’s minds, and young people’s minds, helping them to know right and wrong on the life and family issues."

"That’s where ecumenism and inter-religious dialogue has to go."

Although numbers are difficult to determine, it is estimated that the Society of St. Pius X has over a million followers worldwide. The traditionalist movement in the Catholic Church is noted for doctrinal orthodoxy and enthusiasm not only for old-fashioned devotional practices, but for the Church’s moral teachings and opposition to post-modern secularist sexual mores. [And this is why progressivists will fight their reintegration in the mainstream Church.] Liberals in the Church, particularly in Europe, have bitterly opposed all overtures to the SSPX and other traditionalists, particularly the Pope’s recent permission to revive the traditional Latin Mass. [The TLM is the monster under their bed.]

The Vatican announced in early January that, as part of ongoing efforts to reconcile the breakaway group, the 1988 decree of excommunication against the Society had been rescinded. Later that month, a Swedish television station aired an interview, recorded in November 2008, in which Bishop Richard Williamson, one of the four leaders of the Society, said that he did not believe that six million Jews were killed in the Nazi death camps during World War II.

At that time, the media erupted with protests and accusations that the Catholic Church, and especially Pope Benedict XVI, are anti-Semitic.

Rabbi Levin particularly defended Pope Benedict, saying he is the genius behind the moves of the late Pope John Paul II to reconcile the Church with the Jewish community. [HO HO! The libs aren’t going to like that suggestion! They will attack the Rabbi especially on this point, suggesting that it was all JP II and had nothing to do with Card. Ratzinger… who is German, btw.]

"Anyone who understands and follows Vatican history knows that in the last three decades, one of the moral and intellectual underpinnings of the papacy of Pope John Paul II, was Cardinal Ratzinger.

"And therefore, a lot of the things that Pope John Paul did vis-à-vis the Holocaust, he [Benedict] might have done himself, whether it was visiting Auschwitz or visiting and speaking in the synagogues or asking forgiveness. A lot of this had direct input from Cardinal Ratzinger. Whoever doesn’t understand this doesn’t realise that this man, Pope Benedict XVI, has a decades-long track record of anti-Nazism and sympathy for the Jews."

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Denver Archbishop Charles J. Chaput in Ireland

Dublin, Feb 7, 2009 / 04:11 pm (CNA).-

Speaking in Ireland on Saturday, Denver Archbishop Charles J. Chaput discussed the importance of truth in the public square and exhorted his listeners to bring Jesus to the world by being “vigorous and unembarrassed about our Catholic presence in society.”

Addressing the John Paul II Society in Ireland, the archbishop began his talk titled, “Render Unto Caesar: Personal Faith and Public Duty,” by noting that while there are differences between his usual audience of American Catholics and the current crowd of Irish Catholics, “being a ‘Catholic’ – and I mean genuinely Catholic -- makes us much more similar than we are different.” Yes, the mission of a Christian “changes it its details from country to country and age to age,” but the “basic mission is always the same – to bring the world to Jesus Christ; and Jesus Christ to the world,” he said.

The archbishop explained that his talk would address the “heart of the problems” Catholics “face in living our Christian vocation in the modern world.” We are being told two things: The Scriptures remind us to “make disciples of all nations,” and the mass media and political leaders tell us to “be ‘tolerant,’ to fit in, to ‘grow up’ and to stop making a lot of religious noise.”

“Obviously we can’t follow both voices at the same time.”

The archbishop then recalled the words “Render unto Caesar” from Matthew 22, when the Sadducees and Pharisees attempted to trap Jesus by asking if it was lawful to pay taxes to Caesar.

If he says yes, they’ll accuse him of being in collaboration with Rome, if he answers no, Rome “will see him as a rebel and troublemaker,” the Denver prelate explained. Jesus asks for a coin “with the image of the Emperor Tiberius” and says:

“Whose likeness and inscription is this?’ They said, ‘Caesar’s.” Then he said to them, ‘Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”

Through his actions and words in the passage, the archbishop noted, Jesus “acknowledges that Caesar does have rights,” but his rights are not over things that belong to God. It is our job, to determine what belongs to God and what belongs to Caesar, he summarized.

Acknowledging that this can be difficult, the archbishop pointed Christians toward the Scriptures, where we learn that “we owe secular leaders our respect and prayers; respect for the law; obedience to proper authority; and service to the common good,” not to be confused with “subservience, or silence, or inaction, or excuse-making or acquiescence to grave evil in the public life we all share.”

He went on to say that the “more we reflect on this biblical text,” the more obvious it is that everything about our life “belongs not to Caesar but to God: our intellect, our talents, our free will, the people we love, the beauty and goodness in the world, our soul, our moral integrity, our hope for eternal life. These are the things worth struggling to ennoble and defend, and none of them came from Tiberius or anyone who succeeded him.”

Archbishop Chaput, always seeking to make the faith applicable, then asked, “So what does that imply for our actions right now, today, in public life?”

He explained that Catholics must speak and act in truth, they must live out the true description of a “Catholic,” they must be faithful to the Church, form their conscience properly, remember that the Church is non-partisan, defend life, treat others with charity and remember that being a more faithful Catholic leads to becoming a better citizen of one’s country.

He also emphasized that we cannot “call ourselves Catholic, and then simply stand by while immigrants get mistreated, or the poor get robbed, or unborn children get killed. The Catholic faith is always personal, but it’s never private. If our faith is real, then it will bear fruit in our public decisions and behaviors, including our political choices,” he stressed.

After listing the ways to be a more faithful Catholic in the public life, the archbishop reminded his audience that even if they haven’t adhered to the Church’s teachings in the past, “every breath we take is an opportunity for conversion and a new beginning.”

“Our task today, as fellow Catholics – here in Ireland, in the United States and everywhere the Church preaches the Gospel of Jesus Christ – is to make ourselves helpers of God as He builds a culture of justice, mercy and life.”

Lest some balk at the seeming impossibility of building a culture of life in today’s society, Archbishop Chaput employed an example:

“Let’s imagine a society, with a complex economy and a strong military. It also includes many different religions, although religion tends to be a private affair or a matter of civic ceremony.”

“Within this society,” he continued, “not enough children are born to replenish the adult population or do the work to keep the society going.” Promiscuity, bisexuality, birth control and abortion are not only “widely practiced” but also “justified by leading intellectuals.”

“What society am I talking about? he asked. “Most of the Western world would broadly fit this description,” but “I just outlined the state of the Mediterranean world at the time of Jesus Christ.”

The archbishop then linked our current “post-Christian” society with the “pre-Christian” world. “The truth is, the challenges we face as European and American Catholics today are very much like those facing the first Christians.”

With these similarities, the prelate continued, “it might help to have a little perspective on how they went about evangelizing their culture. They did such a good job that within 400 years Christianity was the world’s dominant religion and the foundation of Western civilization...”

Early Christianity spread because “the Apostles and their successors, preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ. People believed in that Gospel,” which “meant changing their whole way of thinking and living. It was a radical transformation -- so radical they couldn’t go on living like the people around them anymore.”

“The early Christians understood that they were members of a new worldwide family of God more important than any language or national borders.” “They saw the culture around them, despite all of its greatness and power, as a culture of despair, a society that was slowly killing itself,” Archbishop Chaput said.

“Here’s the point I want to leave you with,” the archbishop said as he brought his address with a close. “If the world of pagan Rome and its Caesars could be won for Jesus Christ, we can do the same in our own day. But what it takes is the zeal and courage to live what we claim to believe.”

“Each of us has the vocation to be a missionary of Jesus Christ where we live and work and vote. Each of us is called to bring Christian truth to the public debate, to be vigorous and unembarrassed about our Catholic presence in society, and to be a leaven in our nation’s public life,” he charged.
“All of us here today already have that hunger to make a difference in our hearts. Now we need to act on it. Now we need to live it. So let’s pray for each other, and encourage each other, and get down to the Lord’s work.”

Friday, February 6, 2009

My Personal Heroes, Entry Four

Naming no names, but rather all the names of all the priests on the front lines every day! God bless them and we need to pray for them daily. Daily!

Please check this website for Prayers for Priests Day: Below is from this website...go see what all we can do!

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* Pray for the Holy Father in a very special way, that he may have the health and strength to guide our church for many years to come.

* Attend the Holy Mass and pray for priests worldwide.

* Spend a holy hour in Eucharistic Adoration for our priests.

* Volunteer to assist and serve your priests and community as a Eucharistic minister or church reader.

* We are also encouraging people around the world to stop whatever they are doing at 3pm local time which is the hour of Divine Mercy and spend a quiet moment praying in thanksgiving for our priests and contemplating the gift of Priesthood.

* Pray the rosary for priests, in particularly the luminous and meditate on the Institution of the Eucharist the fifth mystery.

* Pray in a special way for priests on the missions.

* Pray to the Saints most associated with the priesthood for the protection of our priest's.

* Always thank a Priest for a homily he shared that greatly inspired you.

* Always affirm a priest with a particular gift of the Holy Spirit that he as priest shares with the community.

* Offer up the crosses of this your day for the priesthood.

* Invite your local priest or a priest friend to your home for a family meal.

* Mail a thank you e-card to a priest.

* Extend a handshake of friendship to a priest and thank him for being priest.

* Visit religious communities of priests with a gift to express your gratitude for their presence in your parish.

* Place a notice of the world day of prayer for priests in your parish newsletter.

* Ring the Church bells around the world at 12pm local time in celebration.

* Volunteer to assist and serve your priests and community as a Eucharistic minister or church reader etc.

* Have a community gathering in the local parish hall to celebrate world day of prayer for priests.

* Schools invite your priest to come and be presented with a thank you card made and signed by the children.

* Organise interviews on your local radio station for your priests who have a special story of ministry to share with the local community.

* Priests share your call to priesthood with groups of young men by inviting them for lunch or coffee to your home.

* Have a community gathering in the local parish hall to celebrate world day of prayer for priests.

* Invite a priest for a game of golf.

* Present your priest with the gift of a holiday/pilgrimage voucher.

* Offer to cut the grass or ask your priest is there anything he needs a helping hand with.

* Link to your parish website.

My Personal Heroes, Entry Three

Archbp Burke: “They’re using the Eucharist as a political tool”

This from LifeSite.

Vatican Official: Bishops Have no Choice But to Refuse Communion to Pro-Abort Politicians
By Hilary White

ROME, January 30, 2009 ( – Archbishop Raymond Burke, in an exclusive interview last week, told that the issue of pro-abortion politicians continuing to receive Holy Communion is still one of major concern and that it is the duty of bishops to ensure that they are refused.

He told, "I don’t understand the continual debate that goes on about it. There’s not a question that a Catholic who publicly, and after admonition, supports pro-abortion legislation is not to receive Holy Communion and is not to be given Holy Communion."

"The Church’s law is very clear," said Archbishop Burke, who was appointed last year by Pope Benedict XVI as the head of the Church’s highest court, the Apostolic Signatura. "The person who persists publicly in grave sin is to be denied Holy Communion, and it [Canon Law] doesn’t say that the bishop shall decide this. It’s an absolute."

Among the US bishops directly to address the issue, Archbishop Burke was one of around a dozen who vigorously supported a directive of the Vatican that said pro-abortion Catholic politicians "must be refused" Holy Communion if they attempt to receive at Mass. Others have refused to abide by the Vatican instruction and the Church’s own Code of Canon Law, saying they would rather focus on "education" of such politicians.

Archbishop Burke called "nonsense" the accusation, regularly made by some bishops, that refusing Holy Communion "makes the Communion rail a [political] battle ground". In fact, he said, the precise opposite is true. The politician who insists on being seen receiving Holy Communion, despite his opposition to the Church’s central teachings, is using that reception for political leverage.

In 2004, when self-proclaimed Catholic and candidate for the Democrat party, Sen. John Kerry, was frequently photographed receiving Holy Communion despite his vigorous support of abortion, the US Bishops Conference issued a document which said only that it is up to individual bishops whether to implement the Church’s code of Canon Law and refuse Communion. The issue has remained prominent with the appointment of Joe Biden, another pro-abortion Catholic politician, as Vice President of the United States of America.

Archbishop Burke recalled previous experiences with Kerry, pointing to the several occasions when the senator was pictured in Time magazine receiving Communion from Papal representatives at various public events. Burke said that it is clear that Kerry was using his reception of Holy Communion to send a message.

"He wants to not only receive Holy Communion from a bishop but from the papal representative. I think that’s what his point was. Get it in Time magazine, so people read it and say to themselves, ‘He must be in good standing’."

"What are they doing? They’re using the Eucharist as a political tool."

In refusing, far from politicising the Eucharist, the Church is returning the matter to its religious reality. The most important reasons to refuse, he said, are pastoral and religious in nature.

"The Holy Eucharist, the most sacred reality of our life in the Church, has to be protected against sacrilege. At the same time, individuals have to be protected for the sake of their own salvation from committing one of the gravest sins, namely to receive Holy Communion unworthily."

Archbishop Burke also dismissed the commonly proffered excuse that such politicians need more "education". [RIGHT!] Speaking from his own direct experience, he said that Catholic politicians who are informed by their pastors or bishops that their positions in support of pro-abortion legislation makes it impossible for them to receive Holy Communion, "I’ve always found that they don’t come forward."

"When you talk to these people, they know," he said. "They know what they’re doing is very wrong. They have to answer to God for that, but why through our pastoral negligence add on to that, that they have to answer to God for who knows how many unworthy receptions of Holy Communion?"

Archbishop Burke said that the issue had been debated enough. He rejected the idea that the matter should be left to the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, saying the Conference has no authority in the matter. "This is a law of the universal Church and it should be applied."

"I think this argument too is being used by people who don’t want to confront the issue, this whole ‘wait ‘til the Conference decides’...well the Conference has been discussing this since at least 2004. And nothing happens."

When asked what the solution was, he responded, "Individual bishops and priests simply have to do their duty. They have to confront politicians, Catholic politicians, who are sinning gravely and publicly in this regard. And that’s their duty. [Thus, do not wait for direction from your local bishop? Or bishops wait for the conference?]

"And if they carry it out, not only can they not be reproached for that, but they should be praised for confronting this situation."

My Personal Heroes, February 2009, Entry Two

Bp. Martino (Scranton) to Sen. Casey (D-PA): materially cooperating in abortion

Diocesan Newspaper, Catholic Light on p. 25

January 30, 2009

Dear Senator Casey:

I wish to thank you for voting in favor of the Hatch Amendment to the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reorganization Act of 2009 which would have made unborn children eligible for child health assistance had it passed. I am grateful for what you have done on behalf of children in America who are without health care.

It is with deep regret, however, that I learned of your vote against the amendment offered by Senator Mel Martinez (R-FL) to the same Children’s Health Insurance Act. Senator Martinez’s amendment would have reinstated the Mexico City Policy. That policy, instituted in 1984, required foreign non-governmental organizations "to agree as a condition of their receipt of [U.S.] federal funds" that they would "neither perform nor actively promote abortion as a method of family planning . . . ." It also prohibited them from lobbying governments to make abortion legal. In effect, the reversal of the Mexico City policy will mean that over 450 million dollars of American foreign aid will go to organizations that are militant in promoting abortion as a method of population control, particularly in countries that find abortion objectionable on moral grounds. Senator, is not this vote a contradiction of your repeated claim that you support the protection of unborn life?

Contrary to a release issued by your office yesterday, the 1973 Helms Amendment does not provide the same restrictions as the Mexico City Policy. The Helms Amendment prohibits only U.S. funds from being used to pay for abortions or to motivate or coerce anyone to practice abortions. It in no way keeps U.S. federal funds from organizations which use their own money to pay for or support abortions. Nor does it place restrictions on organizations that lobby foreign governments to reverse anti-abortion laws. While I understand that the Helms Amendment is still in place, it does not have the same effect in limiting abortions abroad.

On Respect Life Sunday, October 5, I addressed the faithful of the Diocese of Scranton. In keeping with the obligations of my episcopal office, I called upon my brothers and sisters in faith to be vigilant against the objections to the Church’s teaching on life so prevalent in current political discourse. I vowed to be vigilant in correcting Catholics who are in error with regard to the sanctity of life. Your vote against the Mexico City Policy will mean the deaths of thousands of unborn children. This is an offense against life and a denial of our Catholic teaching on the dignity of every human being. This action is worthy of condemnation by all moral men and women.

Your release also says that you support "family planning . . . specifically because reducing unintended pregnancies reduces the number of abortions." I remind you that it is never permissible to use immoral means (e.g., artificial contraception) to achieve a good end.

As I have done on several occasions, Senator, I urge you to consider that Church documents speak clearly and compellingly on the special responsibility that falls to you as a lawmaker to oppose abortion and other clear evils, including contraception, infanticide, euthanasia and embryonic stem-cell research. To that end, I refer you to two documents:

1. Doctrinal Note on some questions regarding The Participation of Catholics in Political Life. It says, "Catholics . . . have the right and the duty to recall society to a deeper understanding of human life and to the responsibility of everyone in this regard. John Paul II, continuing the constant teaching of the Church, has reiterated many times that those who are directly involved in lawmaking bodies have a ‘grave and clear obligation to oppose’ any law that attacks human life."

2. Christifideles Laici. It states, "If, indeed everyone has the mission and responsibility of acknowledging the personal dignity of every human being and of defending the right to life, some lay faithful are given a particular title to this task: such as parents, teachers, health workers and those who hold economic and political power."

I remind you further that when he was Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Ratzinger sent a memo to the bishops of the United States advising them that advocacy of, or participation in, abortion and euthanasia can never be justified by invoking respect for the freedom of others or by appealing to the fact that civil law permits or requires it. He said there can be no diversity of opinion among Catholics regarding abortion and euthanasia.

It is my deepest wish, Senator, to convince you of the necessity of rescinding your vote on the Martinez Amendment. It is the height of irony that this amendment was defeated while the Senate passed legislation to provide health insurance for children who would otherwise be without it. What hypocrisy offers health insurance to children in one part of the world when children in another part will be deprived, by the stroke of the same pen, of their first breath?

I recognize and respect the burdens that you bear as a United States Senator; however, I remind you that your responsibilities as a Catholic bound by the faith of the Church exceed even those of your office. Your failure to reverse this vote will regrettably mean that you persist formally in cooperating with the evil brought about by this hideous and unnecessary policy.

As I have done several times before, I offer to make myself available to you to discuss the grave concerns that I raise here.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Most Reverend Joseph F. Martino, D.D., Hist. E.D.
Bishop of Scranton

My Personal Heroes, February 2009, Entry One

(Thanks to Fr. John Zuhlsdorf for this info)

Confraternity of Catholic Clergy states the following:

HARRISBURG, PA (February 6th, 2009) – The Confraternity of Catholic Clergy, a national association of 600 priests and deacons across the USA, publicly reaffirm our filial obedience and respect for the Holy Father. We furthermore declare our perennial and unequivocal support for Pope Benedict XVI as the Vicar of Christ on Earth and the Supreme Roman Pontiff.

We pledge our continued prayers for His Holiness especially in light of the recent slander and calumny being leveled against the current Successor of Saint Peter for his pastoral decision to rescind the excommunication of the bishops of the Society of Saint Pius X. Although canon law makes it clear that ordaining bishops and being ordained a bishop without papal mandate incurs an automatic excommunication (c. 1382), as pastor of the universal church, Pope Benedict was acting as shepherd when he sought to reconcile the leaders and followers of the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre.

The Holy Father, seeking to end the twenty year old schism, extended an olive branch by removing the excommunication of the four bishops of the SSPX. That one of these bishops, the Most Rev. Richard Williamson, disputes the depth and depravity of the Nazi Holocaust, is indeed reprehensible and unbefitting a successor of the Apostles. At the same time, the lifting of the excommunication is in no way, shape or form a sanction or endorsement of his bizarre denial of the Shoah.

On the contrary, the media, press and general population must realize that the object and intent of Pope Benedict was to reconcile the thousands of followers of the SSPX bishops by restoring their shepherds with full legitimacy. No one has claimed or even insinuated that traditional Catholics who have considered themselves part of the SSPX family share the atrocious and anti-Semitic ideas of Bishop Williamson. Even the superior, Bishop Bernard Fellay publicly repudiated the remarks of his brother bishop and unambiguously denied that those views are shared by the Society.

Nevertheless, there are some with their own nefarious agendas who are connecting dots which either do not exist or which cannot be connected. These miscreants seek to discredit Pope Benedict and sabotage any credible means to reconcile followers of the SSPX with the universal Church. Others seek to derail any progress made by both Pope John Paul the Great and Pope Benedict XVI in improving Jewish-Catholic relations and dialogue.

In other words, there are those who want division and who vigorously work to unravel any and all means of fraternally forging bridges. The CCC asks all Catholics to renew our commitment to denounce all forms of anti-Semitism as we ask our elder Jewish brothers and sisters to do the same and repudiate all anti-Catholicism wherever it appears. We ask that one man, even though a bishop, not been seen as representative of the majority of clergy and laity who have a genuine love of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite and yet who also have a profound love and respect for the sons and daughters of Abraham, our elder brothers and sisters in faith.

We finally ask all Catholics to stand with us in support of our Holy Father during this unjust, unbelievable and inexcusable attack even from fellow Catholics who seek to pander to the press rather than find and preserve the truth. We condemn those dissidents who have never obeyed or respected the Magisterium but now take cheap shots at the Pope and question his judgment or motives. We stand firmly and proudly with Peter and his successor Benedict and do so with no fear or hesitancy of any kind as we also support our Jewish brethren in their struggle for peace and security in today’s world.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

God Bless Holy Father Benedict

And SHAME on those who are trying to gang up on him. Shame on Cardinal Kasper. I could say shame on the Associated Press but they have no shame. The same holds true for the Catholic politicians who wrote to Pope Benedict recently...except they have no shame either, it would appear, with NARAL positive ratings attempting to dictate to the Pope. Arrogance abounds.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Archbishop Raphael Cheenath -- Indian Court Decision Re Persecuted Christians

Archbishop disappointed with Indian court decision about presecuted Christians

Archbishop Raphael Cheenath

Orissa, Jan 14, 2009 / 03:12 am (CNA).- Following an examination of anti-Christian atrocities in Orissa, a recent Indian Supreme Court ruling has scaled back police protection and has given no clear guidelines concerning victim compensation. The decision prompted Catholic Archbishop Raphael Cheenath to express his “deep disappointment.”

Since 2007, Hindu extremists have engaged in anti-Christian persecution by killing many, destroying houses and churches, and driving thousands from their homes. The violence has concentrated in India’s Orissa state, whose Catholic bishops have warned of a “master plan” to wipe out Christianity.

Archbishop Cheenath’s report contradicts Indian newspaper stories that claimed the Court had set out clear demands for improved security and compensation for victims. He reported that newspapers had mistaken the court’s “unspecific” rulings for arguments made during the hearing outlining the Church’s case, Aid to the Church in Need News says.

“When I read through the court papers, I was terribly disappointed. What the newspapers had reported just wasn't there,” Archbishop Cheenath told ACN News on Monday.

The archbishop had argued for an increase and an extension of high-level police protection and better compensation for Christians who lost homes in the violence of Christmas 2007 and August 2008.

According to the archbishop, the court agreed to continue the central government-sponsored “rapid police protection” but scaled back its extent.

Archbishop Cheenath said Christians in Orissa’s Kandhamal District were still too afraid to go home and were struggling to secure basic necessities with existing government compensation. He had toured the district over the weekend, which until recently had been too unsafe for such a visit.

Families made homeless in the attack had received 10,000 rupees ($205) in government aid to rebuild their homes, with 40,000 rupees ($818) promised to follow. The archbishop reported that people were spending all their aid money on basic provisions lost in the violence.

“There is still great fear among the people, including the local administrators [government officials] who realize that it's still difficult and that the people should not be forced to leave the refugee camps and return to their villages,” Archbishop Cheenath said.

The archbishop said he will continue his legal efforts and has begun to collect evidence to be submitted in a month to underline the grave security and financial needs of the affected people.

According to the archbishop, fixed plans about rebuilding homes, churches, and other destroyed buildings cannot be expected until after the next round of elections this coming March.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Catholic Martyrs of the Holocaust

Catholic Martyrs of the Holocaust

-- By the Rev. Vincent A. Lapomarda, S.J.

o Blessed Teresa Bracco (1924-1944) -- Italian Citizen (Santa Giulia).
o Blessed Titus Brandsma (1881-1942) -- Carmelite priest (Dachau).
o Blessed Marcel Callo (1921-1945) -- Jocist layman (Mathausen).
o Blessed Jozef Cebula(1902-1941) -- Oblate priest (Mathausen)
o Blessed Stefan Wicenty Frelichowski (1913-1945) -- Polish pastor (Dachau)
o Blessed Jakob Gapp (1897-1943) -- Marianist priest (Ploetzensee).
o Blessed Nikolaus Gross (1898-1945) -- Lay editor (Ploetzensee).
o Blessed Franz Jagerstatter (1907-1943) -- Austrian Conscientious Objector
o Blessed Jozef Jankowski (1910-1941) -- Pallotine priest (Auschwitz)
o Blessed Hilary Januszewski (1907-1945) -- Carmelite priest (Dachau)
o Blessed Helene Kafka (1894-1943) -- Franciscan nun (Vienna).
o Saint Maximilian Kolbe (1894-1941) -- Franciscan priest (Auschwitz).
o Blessed Alice Kotowska (1900-1939) -- Resurrection nun who helped Jews (forest of Piasnicy).
o Blessed Michal Kozal (1893-1943) -- Polish bishop (Dachau).
o Blessed Karl Leisner (1915-1945) -- German priest (Dachau).
o Blessed Bernhard Lichtenberg (1875-1943) -- German monsignor (Dachau).
o Blessed Alphonsus Mary Mazurek (1891-1944) -- Polish Carmelite (Nawojowa Gora)
o Blessed Otto Neururer (1882-1940) -- Austrian priest (Buchenwald).
o Blessed Anastazy Jakub Pankiewicz (1882-1942) -- Franciscan priest (Dachau)
o Blessed Julia Rodzinska (1899-1944) -- Dominican nun (Stutthof)
o Blessed Jozef Stanek (1916-1944) -- Pallotine priest (Warsaw)
o Blessed Boleslaw Strzelecki (1896-1941) -- priest of Radom (Auschwitz)
o Saint Edith Stein (1891-1942) -- Carmelite nun (Auschwitz). On the same day of her death, August 9, 1942, there also perished at Auschwitz Rosa Stein (1883-1942), her sister, and six members of the Loeb Family all Trappists (three nuns, two priests, and one brother).
o 108 Polish Martyrs of World War II (1939-1945): Among them were Anton Julian Nowowiejski (1858-1941), an aged archbishop who died in the German death camp at Dzialdowo, where he refused to step on a crucifix; Henryk Kaczorowski (1888-1942), seminary rector at Wloclawek; Ewa Noiszewka (1885-1942) and Marta Wolowska (1879-1942), two Sisters of the Immaculate Conception who were executed at Gora Pietrelewicka in Slonim for hiding Jewish childlren; and Maria Anna Biernacka (1888-1943), one of nine lay persons (she was a benefactress of the Redemptorists in Warsaw) who chose to be executed (she was shot on 13 July 1943 near Grodno) to save her unborn grand child. These were beatified along with George Kaszyra (1904-1943) and Anthony Leszczewicz (1890-1943), Marian priests, (they perished among some 1,500 victims burned alive by the Nazis in Roscia, Belarus, on 17-18 February 1943), whose causes had been opened, on 26 January 1992 in Poland. On June 13, 1999,Pope John Paul II beatified them (including two other bishops, Wladyslaw Goral (1898-1945) and Leon Wetmanski (1886-1941) and many priests, like Jozef Pawlowski (1890-1942) of Kielce who was executed by hanging in Dachau where he had been jailed for helping Jews and Zygmunt Pisarski (1902-1943) in Lublin, who was shot for risking his life to save communists from death; and religious, among them Capuchins like Anciet Koplinski (1875-1941); Franciscans like Bruno Zembol (1905-1942), and Salesians like Jozef Kowalski (1911-1942), who died at Auschwitz, not to mention nuns like Maria Antonina Kratochwil (1881-1942), a member of the School Sisters of Notre Dame (she helped Jewish girls in prison), and Maria Klemensa Staszewska (1890-1943), executed at Auschwitz because she hid Jewish girls in a convent. While fifteen of those victims were martyred at Auschwitz and forty-three at Dachau, among the others beatified were also five young Catholic men, The Martyrs of Poznan, who were associated with the Salesians were beheaded at Dresden for their part in resistance activities: Czeslaw Jozwiak (1919-1942), Edward Kazmierski (1919-1942), Edward Klinik (1919-1942), Franciszek Kesy (1920-1942), and Jarogniew Wojciechowski (1922-1942). Although at least eighty Polish Jesuits were martyred by the Nazis, none was included among the thirty-three religious beatified that day. However, it is expected that they will be included in a special ceremony at a future date when the preparation of their causes is concluded.
o Blessed Emilian Kovtch (1884-1944), a priest from the Ukrainian Eparchy of Stanislaviv (Ivano-Frankivsk) who died in ovens of Majdanek (Poland) concentration camp, as a victim of the Nazis in 1944, was beatified by Pope John Paul II on his trip to the Ukraine in June 2001.