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Saturday, May 31, 2008
Priests from Nebraska Lead Rite's Resurgence of Latin Mass
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I wish to thank the person who kindly sent me this article via email. My comments follow in red while emphasis is in bold. Fr. Z at WDTPRS has excellent photos with commentary for this occasion.

Priests from Nebraska lead rite's resurgence of Latin Mass

Christopher Burbach
Omaha World-Herald, Neb.

Released : Saturday, May 31, 2008 4:00 AM

May 31 -- LINCOLN -- A cardinal from the Vatican, surrounded by 50 priests.

Gregorian chants floating through clouds of incense.

A 3 1/2 -hour Mass, sung in Latin mostly by priests facing the altar.

A cathedral packed to standing-room-only with lots of families with lots of children, women and girls in veils, men in suits, boys in neckties and close-cropped haircuts.

Catholics kneeling to take communion.

The ordination at Lincoln's Cathedral of the Risen Christ on Friday seemed oh-so-retro. But it was hardly an exercise in nostalgia. It was more like back to the future for a small but growing minority that seeks a louder voice in the Roman Catholic Church -- those devoted to the old Latin liturgy known as the Tridentine Mass.

It's a big deal for Catholics because many equate bringing back the Tridentine Mass, which dates to the 16th century, with rejecting the 1960s reforms of Vatican II. Proponents see it as finally bringing back sacredness, God-oriented reverence and tradition that had been left behind.

Whatever the reaction, Friday's events in Lincoln were a further sign that the Latin Mass is on a rebound some 40 years after it was replaced, in the wake of Vatican II, by the modern Mass. The newer rite is celebrated in the local language with the priest facing the congregation.

The Latin Mass was largely shunned for nearly 20 years. It began a comeback when Pope John Paul II approved its use in 1984 [It was never forbidden: "It is, therefore, permissible to celebrate the Sacrifice of the Mass following the typical edition of the Roman Missal promulgated by Bl. John XXIII in 1962 and never abrogated, as an extraordinary form of the Liturgy of the Church" (Summorum Pontificum)], then further encouraged its use in 1988 with a letter known as Ecclesia Dei Adflicta.

The rebound accelerated last year when Pope Benedict XVI decreed, in a document called a motu proprio, that priests no longer needed their bishops' approval to say the old Latin Mass, or as the pope calls it, the extraordinary form of the Roman rite.

Denton, Neb., a small town outside Lincoln, is a center of the movement. It's home to Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary, which prepares men from all over the world to be priests in the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter. That organization is the largest of the priestly societies authorized by the Vatican to preserve ancient liturgical traditions.

Friday's service in the Lincoln cathedral was the ordination of four Fraternity of St. Peter priests. They were ordained by Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, head of the Vatican department that oversees matters regarding the Latin Mass. His appearance in Lincoln was not only a sign of the Nebraska seminary's importance to Rome, but also a further symbol of encouragement from a pope seen as friendly to those who love the Latin Mass.

The ordination Mass was televised live on Eternal Word Television Network, an international Catholic cable network.

Like many of the 800-plus people at Friday's ordination, Wyoming Catholic College teacher Thaddeus Kozinski saw Friday's ordination in the context of Pope Benedict's recent U.S. visit and last year's papal decree.

"What you're seeing is a resurgence in traditional Catholicism and a public vindication of it," Kozinski said as he and his family joined a throng chatting on the cathedral steps after the service. "It's not marginalized anymore."

Kozinski said he hopes his fellow devotees of the Latin Mass will respond with joy and gratitude to God.

About 300 Latin Masses are offered each Sunday in the United States, according to the Coalition in Support of Ecclesia Dei, an Illinois-based lay group that promotes the old liturgy. That's up from about 175 a Sunday in 2001. [Deo Gratias!]

Latin Masses are offered each Sunday at such churches as Immaculate Conception Church, on South 24th Street in Omaha, and St. Francis of Assisi Church, 1145 South St. in Lincoln. About 250 people combined attend the three Masses at Immaculate Conception.

"It's a drop in the bucket," said Mary Kraychy, executive director of the Coalition in Support of Ecclesia Dei. "But it's growing."

The Denton institution is the Fraternity of St. Peter's English-speaking seminary. The fraternity also has a seminary in Germany. Currently, 45 seminarians are enrolled at Our Lady of Guadalupe.

The seminary recently was expanded to accommodate 100 students, said the Rev. Joseph Lee, a priest of the society. It draws seminarians from around the world and sends priests around the world.

The Fraternity of St. Peter has nearly 200 priests worldwide. Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary also is one of the largest providers of training for priests who wish to learn the old Latin Mass. Since June 2007, priests from more than 60 dioceses have been trained.

The society moved the seminary to Nebraska from Pennsylvania in 2000. Lincoln Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz invited the society to his diocese, but the seminary is independent of the diocese. Rather, the society reports directly to Rome.

Demand from priests and parishioners has increased since Benedict XVI's much-anticipated 2007 decree, Lee said. The pope wanted to make sure that the extraordinary form of the Roman rite is preserved and made available to Catholics who desire it, Lee said.

What Benedict XVI didn't intend with the decree, and he said so himself in a letter to bishops, was for the Latin Mass to replace the modern Mass, known as the Novus Ordo. The pope refers to that liturgy as the ordinary form of the Roman rite.

"It (the decree) doesn't require it. and it doesn't encourage replacing the Novus Ordo," said Eileen Burke-Sullivan, an assistant professor of theology at Creighton University. "The emotional and spiritual needs of people are very varied. There isn't one size that fits all."

Devotees of the Latin Mass include older Catholics who grew up with it and wish it had never gone away, as well as younger people raised on modern Masses.

Omahan Erin Sullivan grew up on English-speaking Masses but found a church home where the Tridentine Mass was offered. For about five years, she and her husband, Jim, and their children attended Latin Mass at St. Patrick Catholic Church. They moved about a year ago, with their seven children, to Immaculate Conception when Omaha Archbishop Elden Curtiss gave that parish to the Fraternity of St. Peter to administer.

Sullivan, who sang in the choir at Friday's ordination, said she was attracted to the Tridentine Mass by "its beauty and its reverence, its silence and its solemnity."

"When you attend the Latin Mass, there's no doubt that there's something holy and special going on," she said.
Image Source: Of EWTN, via WDTPRS
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Ordination to the Sacred Priesthood for the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (2008)
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On Friday, May 30, 2008, the 1st Class Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, His Eminence Dario Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos, President of the Ecclesia Dei Commission ordained the following members of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter at the Cathedral of the Risen Christ in Lincoln Nebraska:
  • Fr. Jared McCambridge, FSSP
  • Fr. Dennis Gordon, FSSP
  • Fr. Justin Nolan, FSSP
  • Fr. Jonathan Romanoski, FSSP
The Ordinations were televised live on EWTN, and the following videos have been captured:

[EDIT: The videos have been removed due to copyright violations.]

Part 1:


Part 2:


Part 3:


Part 4:


Part 5:


Credits:Please remember the new Priests in your prayers!
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Alexy II, Cardinal Kasper discuss Uniate Church's Expansion in Ukraine
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Moscow, May 29, Interfax - Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia and Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, discussed in Moscow on Thursday the expansion of the Uniate Church in the canonical territory of the Russian Orthodox Church.

"The talks centered, among other matters, on the expansion of the Uniate Church, including in Ukraine. The Patriarch also said that canonical Orthodox believers in Western Ukraine must have decent church buildings to pray in," a source in the Moscow Patriarchate told journalists after the meeting.

Another issue raised was the spiritual rearing of children, who are heirs of the Orthodox tradition by birth, at Catholic orphanages.

No specific discussion was held on a possible meeting between Alexy II and Pope Benedict XVI, although "the possibility in principle" was confirmed, according to the source.

The Russian Patriarch said that a meeting like this must be thoroughly prepared, so it will not be merely "a photo-up opportunity ," the source said.

Both sides shared their concerns about the Ravenna incident happened on October 2007 at the session of the Mixed Orthodox-Catholic Theological Commission. Then the Moscow Patriarchate's representatives left its plenary session as they didn't agree to the participation of the so-called Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church delegates in it. The latter was established in 1996 by the Constantinople Patriarchate on the canonical territory of the Moscow Patriarchate.

"Alexy II stated that Orthodox and Catholic dialogue couldn't develop without the world largest Orthodox Church participating," the source said.

According to him, Kasper agreed with such an opinion.

Source: Interfax
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World Day of Prayer for the Sanctification of Priests
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Vatican Congregation for the Clergy

Theme for World Day of Prayer for the Sanctification of Priests
May 30, 2008


by Cardinal Claudio Hummes

Reverend and dear Brothers in the Priesthood,

On the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus let us fix the eyes of our minds and hearts with a constant loving gaze on Christ, the one Savior of our lives and of the world. Focusing on Christ means focusing on that Face which every human being, consciously or not, seeks as a satisfying response to his own insuppressible thirst for happiness.

We have encountered this Face and on that day, at that moment, his Love so deeply wounded our hearts that we could no longer refrain from asking ceaselessly to be in his Presence. “In the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch” (Psalm 5).

The Sacred Liturgy leads us once again to contemplate the Mystery of the Incarnation of the Word, the origin and intimate reality of this company which is the Church: the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob revealed himself in Jesus Christ. “No one could see his Glory unless first healed by the humility of his flesh.... By dust you were blinded, and by dust you are healed: flesh, then, had wounded you, flesh heals you” (St. Augustine, Commentary on the Gospel according to John, Homily, 2, 16).

Only by looking again at the perfect and fascinating humanity of Jesus Christ -- alive and active now -- who revealed himself to us and still today bends down to each one of us with his special love of total predilection, can we can let him illumine and fill the abyss of need which is our humanity, certain of Hope encountered and sure of Mercy that embraces our limitations and teaches us to forgive what we ourselves do not even manage to discern. “Deep calls to deep at the thunder of your cataracts” (Psalm 42[41]).

On the occasion of the traditional World Day of Prayer for the Sanctification of Priests that is celebrated on the Feast of the Sacred Heart, I would like to recall the priority of prayer over action since it is on prayer that the effectiveness of action depends. The Church's mission largely depends on each person's personal relationship with the Lord Jesus and must therefore be nourished by prayer: “It is time to reaffirm the importance of prayer in the face of the activism and the growing secularism” (Benedict XVI, "Deus Caritas Est," No. 37). Let us not tire of drawing on his Mercy, of letting him look at and medicate the painful wounds of our sin, in order to marvel at the ever new miracle of our redeemed humanity.

Dear confreres, we are experts of God's Mercy within us and only by so being, his instruments in embracing wounded humanity in a way that is ever new. “Christ does not save us from our humanity, but through it; he does not save us from the world but came into the world so that through him the world might be saved (cf. John 3:17)” (Benedict XVI, Urbi et Orbi Message, Dec. 25, 2006). Finally, we are priests through the Sacrament of Orders, the highest Act of God's Mercy and, at the same time, of his special preference.

In the second place, with an unquenchable thirst and longing for Christ, the most authentic dimension of our Priesthood is mendicancy, simple and continuous prayer that is learned in silent orison. It has always characterized the life of Saints and should be asked for insistently. This awareness of our relationship with him is subjected to the purification of daily testing. Every day we realize again and again that not even we Ministers who act "in Persona Christi Capitis" are spared this drama. We cannot live a single moment in his Presence without a gentle longing to know him and to continue to adhere to him. Let us not give in to the temptation to see being priests as a burden, inevitable and impossible to delegate, henceforth assumed, which can perhaps be carried out “mechanically” with a structured and coherent pastoral program. Priesthood is the vocation, the path and the manner through which Christ saves us, has called us and is calling us now to! abide with him.

The one adequate measure, with regard to our Holy Vocation, is radicalism. This total dedication with awareness of our infidelity can only be brought into being as a renewed and prayerful decision which Christ subsequently implements, day after day. The actual gift of priestly celibacy must be accepted and lived in this dimension of radicalism and full configuration to Christ. Any other approach to the reality of the relationship with him risks becoming ideological.

Even the great mass of work that the contemporary conditions of the ministry sometimes impose on us, far from discouraging us must spur us to care with even greater attention for our priestly identity which has an incontrovertibly divine root. In this regard the particular conditions of the ministry themselves must impel us, with a logic opposed to that of the world, to “raise the tone” of our spiritual life, witnessing with greater conviction and effectiveness to our exclusive belonging to the Lord.

We are taught total dedication by the One who loved us first. “I was ready to be found by those who did not seek me. I said, ‘Here am I, here am I' to a nation that did not call on my name”. The place of totality par excellence is the Eucharist since, “in the Eucharist Jesus does not give us a ‘thing' but himself; he offers his own body and pours out his own blood” ("Sacramentum Caritatis," No. 7).

Let us be faithful, dear confreres, to the daily Celebration of the Most Holy Eucharist, not solely in order to fulfill a pastoral commitment or a requirement of the community entrusted to us but because of the absolute personal need we have of it, as of breathing, as of light for our life, as the one satisfactory reason for a complete priestly existence.

In his Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation "Sacramentum Caritatis," the Holy Father reproposes to us forcefully St Augustine's affirmation: “no one eats that flesh without first adoring it; we should sin were we not to adore it” (St. Augustine, "Enarrationes in Psalmos," 98,9). We cannot live, we cannot look at the truth about ourselves without letting ourselves be looked at and generated by Christ in daily Eucharistic Adoration, and the “Stabat” of Mary, “Woman of the Eucharist”, beneath her Son's Cross, is the most significant example of contemplation and adoration of the divine Sacrifice that has been given to us.

Since the missionary spirit is intrinsic in the very nature of the Church, our mission is likewise innate in the priestly identity, which is why missionary urgency is a matter of self-awareness. Our priestly identity is edified and renewed day after day in “conversation” with Our Lord. An immediate consequence of our relationship with him, ever nourished in constant prayer, is the need to share it with all those around us. The holiness we ask for daily, in fact, cannot be conceived according to a sterile and abstract individual acceptance but is necessarily Christ's holiness, which is contagious for everyone: “Being in communion with Jesus Christ draws us into his ‘being for all'; it makes it our own way of being” (Benedict XVI, "Spe Salvi," No. 28).

Christ's “being for all” is realized for us in the Tria Munera by which we are clothed in the very nature of the Priesthood. These Munera which constitute the entirety of our Ministry, are not the place for alienation or, even worse, a mere functionalist reductionism of ourselves but rather are the truest expression of our belonging to Christ; they are the place of our relationship with him. The People which has been entrusted to us to be educated, sanctified and governed is not a reality that distracts us from “our life” but the Face of Christ that we contemplate daily, as the face of his beloved for the bridegroom and the Church his Bride for Christ. The People entrusted to us is the indispensable path for our holiness, in other words the path on which Christ manifests through us the Glory of the Father.

“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea... those on the other hand who send to perdition an entire people... what should they suffer and what punishment should they receive?” (St. John Chrysostom, "De Sacerdotio," VI, 1.498). In the face of the awareness of such a serious task and such a great responsibility for our life and our salvation, in which faithfulness to Christ coincides with “obedience” to the needs dictated by the redemption of those souls, there is not even room to doubt the grace received. We can only ask to surrender as much as possible to his Love so that he will act through us, for either we let Christ save the world, acting in us, or we risk betraying the very nature of our vocation. The measure of dedication, dear confreres, is totality, again and anew. Yes, “five loaves an! d two fishes” are not many but they are all! God's Grace makes of all our littleness the Communion that satisfies the People. Elderly and sick priests who exercise the divine ministry daily, uniting themselves with Christ's Passion and offering their own priestly existence for the true good of the Church and the salvation of souls, share especially in this “total dedication”.

Lastly, the Holy Mother of God remains an indispensable foundation of the whole of priestly life. The relationship with her cannot be resolved in pious devotional practice but is nourished by ceaseless entrustment to the arms of the ever Virgin of the whole of our life, of our ministry in its entirety. Mary Most Holy also leads us, like John, to beneath the Cross of her Son and Our Lord in order to contemplate, with her, God's infinite Love: “He who for us is Life itself descended here and endured our death and slew it by the abundance of his Life” (St. Augustine, "Confessiones," IV, 12).

As a condition for our redemption, for the fulfillment of our humanity, for the Advent of the Incarnation of the Son, God the Father chose to await a Virgin's “Fiat” to an angel's announcement. Christ decided to entrust, so to speak, his own Life to the loving freedom of the Mother: “She conceived, brought forth, and nourished Christ, she presented him to the Father in the temple, shared her Son's sufferings as he died on the Cross. Thus, in a wholly singular way she cooperated by her obedience, faith, hope and burning charity in the work of the Savior in restoring supernatural life to souls. For this reason she is a mother to us in the order of grace” ("Lumen Gentium," No. 61).

Pope St Pius X said: “Every priestly vocation comes from the heart of God but passes through the heart of a mother”. This is true with regard to obvious biological motherhood but it is also true of the “birth” of every form of fidelity to the Vocation of Christ. We cannot do without a spiritual motherhood for our priestly life: let us entrust ourselves confidently to the prayer of the whole of Holy Mother Church, to the motherhood of the People, whose pastors we are but to whom are entrusted our custody and holiness; let us ask for this fundamental support.

Dear confreres, the urgent need for “a movement of prayer, placing 24-hour continuous Eucharistic adoration at the centre so that a prayer of adoration, thanksgiving, praise, petition and reparation will be raised to God, incessantly and from every corner of the earth, with the primary intention of awakening a sufficient number of holy vocations to the priestly state and, at the same time, spiritually uniting with a certain spiritual maternity -- at the level of the Mystical Body -- all those who have already been called to the ministerial priesthood and are ontologically conformed to the one High and Eternal Priest. This movement will offer better service to Christ and his brothers -- those who are at once ‘inside’ the Church and also ‘at the forefront’ of the Church, standing in Christ's stead (cf. "Pastores Dabo Vobis," No. 16), and representing him as head, shepherd and spouse of the Church” (Letter of the Congregation of the! Clergy, 8 December 2007).

A further form of spiritual motherhood has recently been outlined. It has always silently accompanied the chosen ranks of priests in the course of the Church's history. It is the concrete entrustment of our ministry to a specific face, to a consecrated soul who has been called by Christ and therefore chooses to offer herself, with the necessary suffering and the inevitable struggles of life, to intercede for our priestly existence, thereby dwelling in Christ's sweet presence. This motherhood, which embodies Mary's loving face, should be prayed for because God alone can bring it into being and sustain it. In this regard there are plenty of wonderful examples; only think of St Monica's beneficial tears for her son Augustine, for whom she wept “more than mothers weep when lamenting their dead children” (St. Augustine, "Confessions," III, 11).

Another fascinating example is that of Eliza Vaughan, who gave birth to 13 children and entrusted them to the Lord; six of her eight sons became priests and four of her five daughters became women religious. Since it is impossible to be true mendicants before Christ, marvelously concealed in the Eucharistic Mystery, without being able in practice to ask for the effective help and prayers of those whom he sets beside us, let us not be afraid to entrust ourselves to the motherhoods that the Spirit will certainly bring into being for us.

St Thérèse of the Child Jesus, aware of the extreme need of prayer for all priests, especially those who were lukewarm, wrote in a letter to her sister Céline, “Let us live for souls, let us be apostles, let us save above all the souls of priests.... Let us pray and suffer for them and on the last day Jesus will be grateful” (St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Letter 94).

Let us entrust ourselves to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Queen of Apostles, our sweetest Mother, let us look to Christ with her, ceaselessly striving to be totally, radically his; this is our identity!

Let us remember the words of the Holy Curé d’Ars, Patron of Parish Priests: “If I already had one foot in Heaven and I was told to return to the earth to work to convert sinners, I would gladly return. And if, to do this, it were necessary that I remain on earth until the end of the world, always rising at midnight and suffering as I suffer, I would consent with all my heart” (Brother Athanase, "Procès de l’Ordinaire," p. 883).

May the Lord guide and protect each and every one, especially the sick and those who are suffering the most, in the constant offering of our life for love.

Cardinal Cláudio Hummes
Prefect

Mauro Piacenza
Titular Archbishop of Victoriana
Secretary
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Traditional Latin Mass Returns to Mission San Juan Bautista
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SALINAS —After an absence of forty years, the Traditional Latin Mass according to the Roman Missal of 1962 returns to Mission San Juan Bautista on the Feast Day of Saints Peter and Paul, Sunday, June 29, 2008 at 2 PM.

The Latin Mass – to be celebrated by Father Nicholas Milich – will be a Sung Mass or Missa Cantata with Gregorian Schola composed of singers from throughout the northern part of the Diocese of Monterey.

In July 2007, Pope Benedict XVI removed all remaining restrictions on the celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass in his motu proprio "Summorum Pontificum." Benedict XVI decreed the traditional rite of the Mass as the "Extraordinary Form" of the Roman Rite with any Roman Rite priest free to celebrate it without the permission of the local ordinary or any other ecclesiastical authority.

Current plans call for the Traditional Latin Mass to begin being celebrated regularly on Sundays at the San Juan Bautista Mission.

Additional information: Andrew Russo, 831-753-1419.

Source: WDTPRS
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Friday, May 30, 2008
Fr. Thomas J. Euteneuer: Brazil’s Pro-Life Movement Stops Abortion Legalization
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Brazil’s Pro-Life Movement Stops Abortion Legalization


With great joy we received the news at Vida Humana Internacional, HLI’s Hispanic Division in Miami, that a piece of legislation (bill 1135/91) which would have legalized abortion on demand throughout Brazil, did not make it out of the Safety and Family Commission. This pro-life triumph was possible thanks to the very excellent pro-life movement that exists in Brazil and in particular to the efforts of Dr. Humberto Vieira, HLI’s national representative in that country. Dr. Vieira, who is founder and president of Providafamilia, has been involved with HLI for over 18 years. He has managed to create a magnificent pro-life network throughout Brazil that is well-organized and united.

The vote that stopped abortion legalization was a unanimous 33 to 0. The four pro-abortion legislators on the Commission left the session at the time of the vote, but two of them were substituted by other legislators who in turn voted for life! According to pro-life leaders, many parliamentarians were crying, embracing each other and rejoicing over this triumph. Now the bill will be voted on in the Commission of Constitution and Justice, where victory is expected. However, we ask for prayers for the ultimate defeat of this bill.

The strategy devised by Dr.Vieira and his great team was two-fold: One group lobbied the legislators and another one worked with the electoral grassroots of the parliamentarians. It was an historic vote for Brazil and the pro-aborts were surprised and in disarray! Dr. Maria das Dores Guimarães Dolly, a pro-life attorney from Sao Paolo, traveled to Brasilia every week to lobby the legislators. Needless to say, the support of the Brazilian Bishops Conference and of many of the individual bishops themselves was crucial. Brazil’s bishops have recently embarked on a pro-life educational campaign that will reach out to all parishes throughout the entire country.

Representatives Jose Aristodemo Pinotti and Cida Diogo initially said they would vote in favor of the abortion law but withdrew before the vote was taken. Pinotti is a medical doctor, and in the 70’s he was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Rockefellers’ Population Council, an organization that is behind population control efforts throughout the world.[1] In the letter he wrote to a Brazilian pro-life leader, dated May 14, 2008, Pinotti claimed to be “against abortion” and only in favor of its “regulation.” Yet according to his curriculum vitae on the website of the Brazilian Chapter of the Jewish Medical Association, he is (or has been) a member of the board of directors of the International Projects Assistance Services (IPAS). IPAS is an American company based in Chapel Hill, NC that manufactures abortion equipment and promotes its legalization. [2] Pinotti is also a past president of the terrible abortion promoting organization called the “International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics” (FIGO, 1988-1991); Pinotti presided over its XII World Congress in 1988.

It would seem that there are some foreign anti-life organizations behind the efforts to legalize abortion in Brazil as is the case in other Hispanic countries. The main example of this type of international pressure is Nicaragua, where abortion was outlawed in 2006 and yet those pressures still continue. Nevertheless, in spite of whatever anti-life organizations and foundations may be behind the effort to legalize abortion in Brazil, the pro-life movement of that country is now a huge force to contend with.
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Vatican: Prohibition on Homosexuals in All Seminaries, Universally
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My comments follow in red while emphasis is in bold.

VATICAN CITY (CNA) - Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, has sent a letter to the bishops of the world with the approval of Pope Benedict XVI reaffirming the norms established by the Congregation for Catholic Education in the 2005 document, "Instruction Concerning the Criteria for the Discernment of Vocation with regard to Persons with Homosexual Tendencies in view of their Admission to the Seminary and to Holy Orders," as universal and without exceptions. [Wonderful news. In my article for the 44th World Day of Prayer for Vocations, I stated, "United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) finally published a 98-page Program of Priestly Formation document (.pdf), the fifth of its kind, which thankfully states, 'A candidate must be prepared to accept wholeheartedly the Church's teaching on sexuality in its entirety.'"]

In the brief "Rescriptum ex audientia" –a written response to various queries—Cardinal Bertone said the norms establishing the selection of candidates to the priesthood are valid "for all houses of formation for the priesthood, including those under the Dicasteries for Eastern Churches, for the Evangelization of Peoples, and for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life."

The letter, which Cardinal Bertone said was issued in response "to numerous requests for clarification," implies that the prohibition against accepting homosexual candidates in seminaries applies not only to diocesan seminaries but also to those of religious orders and congregations, as well as to those that are located in mission territories.

The 2005 Instruction indicated the Congregation for Catholic Education, "in accord with the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, believes it necessary to state clearly that the Church, while profoundly respecting the persons in question, cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practise homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called 'gay culture'."

"Such persons, in fact, find themselves in a situation that gravely hinders them from relating correctly to men and women. One must in no way overlook the negative consequences that can derive from the ordination of persons with deep-seated homosexual tendencies," the 2005 document also said.

Source: Catholic.org
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Blair "to Devote Life to Faith"
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Former prime minister Tony Blair has promised to "spend the rest of my life" uniting the world's religions

He said faith could be a "civilising force in globalisation", bringing people together to solve problems such as malaria and extreme poverty.

Mr Blair, who is now a peace envoy to the Middle East, told Time magazine that religious belief had given him "strength" while in power.

He is launching a "faith foundation" in New York on Friday.

Mr Blair, who recently converted to Catholicism, said: "Faith is part of our future, and faith and the values it brings with it are an essential part of making globalisation work."

'Fantastic thing'

His foundation will attempt to bring religions together to tackle global issues such as the UN's eight Millennium Development Goals, which range from eradicating extreme poverty to ensuring environmental sustainability.

One of its first priorities will be to fight the spread of malaria.

Mr Blair said: "If you got churches and mosques and those of the Jewish faith working together to provide the bed nets that are necessary to eliminate malaria, what a fantastic thing that would be.

"That would show faith in action, it would show the importance of cooperation between faiths, and it would show what faith can do for progress."

He added that it was possible to "achieve a greater understanding between the different religious faiths, so that we make platforms for action by those faiths and deal with some of the biggest issues in the world".

...

Source: BBC


Let us pray that our Lord Jesus Christ will work through Former Prime Minister Tony Blair. I am extremely pleased to see the recent convert, Mr. Blair, pursing an active role in evangelization.

Laudetus Jesus Christus!

Image Source: AFP/File/Leon Neal
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Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
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Solemnity: Friday following the Second Sunday after Pentecost

While the entire month of June is devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Today is a day to honor the mercy and love of God while making reparation for the serious sins committed against Our Blessed Lord.

"Look at this Heart which has loved men so much, and yet men do not want to love Me in return. Through you My divine Heart wishes to spread its love everywhere on earth."

In the Sacred Heart is the salvation of the world and lasting peace. This same Heart was pierced on the Cross by a lance, bringing forth blood and water (John 19:34), symbolic of the founding of the Church for our salvation. Throughout history many heresies have tried to deny God's complete love such as Arianism, Gnosticism, and Calvinism. Calvinists believe part of society is damned to hell. And that is a lie! Jesus Christ died for every last soul on the Cross. By living in His Heart we find lasting peace and true love. He died for every last soul so that everyone would have the choice to accept Him and follow His teachings. Unfortunately, because people refuse to follow Our Lord in obedience to His righteous commands, souls do go to hell - many souls. We live in His Heart by keeping the Commandments of the Church and God while also loving our Lord and others.

History of the Feast:

The Institution for the Feast of the Sacred Heart was a result of the appearances of our Lord to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque in 1675. St. Margaret Mary suffered contempt from many people who refused to believe the authenticity of the visions. In these appearances, Our Lord told her twelve graces that He would give to anyone devoted to His Sacred Heart. Yet, it was not until 1856 that the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus was placed officially on the Church calendar. However, devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus dates back even to the Middle Ages.

On the Feastday of St. John the Evangelist in 1256 AD, St. Gertrude the Great had a profound vision in which she laid her head near the wound in the side of Jesus and heard the beating of the Sacred Heart. This is especially profound since St. John the Evangelist reclined his head to the heart of the Divine Savior at the Last Supper. When Our Lord later appeared to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque in the 1600's, he appeared to her on the feastday of St. John the Evangelist.

Our Lord requested three things: Frequently receiving Holy Communion, receiving Holy Communion especially on the first Friday of each month, and observing a Holy Hour in front of the Blessed Sacrament.

Promises of Jesus to St. Margaret Mary:
  1. I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life.
  2. I will establish peace in their families.
  3. I will console them in all their troubles.
  4. They shall find in My Heart an assured refuge during life and especially at the hour of their death.
  5. I will pour abundant blessings on all their undertakings.
  6. Sinners shall find in My Heart the source of an infinite ocean of mercy.
  7. Tepid souls shall become fervent.
  8. Fervent souls shall speedily rise to great perfection.
  9. I will bless the homes where an image of My Heart shall be exposed and honored.
  10. I will give to priests the power of touching the most hardened hearts.
  11. Those who propagate this devotion shall have their names written in My Heart, never to be effaced.
  12. The all-powerful love of My Heart will grant to all those who shall receive Communion on the First Friday of nine consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they shall not die under my displeasure, nor without receiving their Sacraments; My heart shall be their assured refuge at that last hour.
If you can, please attend Mass and Confession today as we remember Our Savior's lasting and true love for each of us! No one is beyond hope! Today please say prayers to the Sacred Heart of Jesus including an Act of Reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. For night and day the Heart of Jesus remains in the Sacrament of the Eucharist as a prisoner of love. Not only did Jesus say, "I am the Bread of Life" (John 6:35) but also "Amen, amen I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his Blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life"(John 6:53-54).

Each and every time we receive Him in the Eucharist, let us excite in our heart indescribable joy and receive Our Lord always on our tongue from the hands of the priest. Since the Eucharist is the Lord (Matthew 26:26), we should always receive Our Lord in great love. On the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart, let us receive Him in reparation for those who offend Him in the Sacrament of the Eucharist by receiving Him in mortal sin (1 Cor 27-32).

Please see an Act of Consecration to the Sacred Heart for today. If you can not attend Mass, please at least give a moment of thought to Our Lord's boundless love. For more prayers and papal encyclicals, please see my post Devotion to the Sacred Heart.


Prayer to Saint Margaret Mary:

O Holy Visitandine, to hear your name is to recall the Sacred Heart Devotion, especially as practiced on First Fridays and in making reparation for sins. From early youth you dedicated yourself to Jesus and you exhibited fervent love for him in the Eucharist. You became his chosen vessel to spread the devotion to the Sacred heart which has done wonders in modern times. Make all of us realize ever more Christ's words: "Behold this Heart that has so greatly loved people." Amen.

Image Source: Believed to be in the Public Domain
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Monday, May 26, 2008
Poll on Sidewalk Counseling
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Dear Friends,

After five years of trying to promote outreach to abortion-minded (or vulnerable) parents as they enter or leave abortion facilities, I've decided to take a poll to determine the level of interest there is in seeing an increase in this particular form of pro-life activism (known to most people as sidewalk counseling).

It is my hope that we may be able to clear up any confusion some people may have about sidewalk counseling and possibly undo any damage that may have been caused by past experiences or hearsay. I also hope to determine how much support there may be in helping to promote this form of pro-life activism.

The number of people presently engaged is disappointingly very small. I continue to wonder what the reason for this is and I'm hoping that your input will help us improve the situation. My interest is in seeing a consortium of individuals engaged in this form of outreach 40+ hours per week, every week of the year, at every child-killing center in the world.

So I present to you the following questions even if you personally are unable (for whatever reasons) to become directly engaged in such activism:

  • What is your opinion of this kind of outreach?
  • How important do you think it is relative to other forms of pro-life activism?
  • How important do you think it is relative to other forms of Christian activism?
  • How would you describe it to others?
  • Have you ever been engaged in it and if so, in what way and for how long?
  • If you were once engaged and are no longer, why did you discontinue your involvement?
  • What positive and negative impressions or experiences have you personally had or heard of from others?
  • What would you like to see done differently?
  • What could be done to cause you to become involved?
  • From whom or where have you received most of your information about this kind of outreach?
  • What is it about that source or resource that causes you to trust its information and advice?
  • What are your concerns regarding this type of outreach based on your personal experiences or the testimony of others?

Note:

Sidewalk counseling is "reaching out" to mothers and fathers, who are contemplating or planning abortion, to offer them information that they have a need and right to know. It is conducted by way of conversation and literature. It is done with love and out of concern for unborn children who are in danger of being deprived of their God-given right to be born into the world and for their parents, especially mothers, who are in danger of being severely harmed in numerous ways.

Sidewalk counseling is conducted on public sidewalks outside abortion facilities on days that abortions are being committed and/or days when pre-abortion evaluations or pregnancy tests are provided.

Parents may be offered information about where to go for free pregnancy tests, counseling and practical assistance, as well as fetal development, adoption, abortion procedures, risks and side effects, and post-abortion counseling and healing.

Sidewalk counseling is about saving a child from certain death and his/her parents from certain harm, one family at a time.

Please e-mail your response to this poll to "hgpi @ prolifeamerica . com"

Thank you for your consideration and input.

Fredi D'Alessio
Thoughts and Faith to Share
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Sunday, May 25, 2008
Sandals & Fiddlebacks
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An outstanding video of the Mass of the Ages.
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Saturday, May 24, 2008
Father Jeremy Davies: Avoid Yoga, Massage Therapy, and Horoscopes
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Note: The fourth comment in the comment box is a lengthy reflection on the problems of Yoga, added in response to the comments by readers.
Yoga and horoscopes can lead to possession by Devil, claims Cardinal's exorcist

By Jonathan Petre
Last updated at 11:27 PM on 24th May 2008

It is a physical workout enjoyed by millions and its devotees include Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow and Sting.

But yoga enthusiasts have been warned by a leading Roman Catholic clergyman that they are in danger of being possessed by the Devil.

Father Jeremy Davies, exorcist for Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, the leader of Catholics in England and Wales, says that activities such as yoga, massage therapy, reiki or even reading horoscopes could put people at risk from evil spirits.

In a new book, he also argues that people with promiscuous lifestyles could find themselves afflicted by demons.

And he says that the occult is closely linked to the scourges of ‘drugs, demonic music and pornography’ which are ‘destroying millions of young people in our time’.

The 73-year-old Catholic priest, who was appointed exorcist of the Archdiocese of Westminster in 1986, was a medical doctor before being ordained in 1974.

He has carried out thousands of exorcisms in London and in 1993 he set up the International Association of Exorcists with Fr Gabriel Amorth, the Pope’s top exorcist.

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Friday, May 23, 2008
Pope Benedict XVI: Considering Limits on Concelebration
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Vatican, May. 22, 2008 (CWNews.com) - Pope Benedict XVI plans to curtail the practice of organizing large-scale Eucharistic celebrations with hundreds of priests concelebrating the Mass, according to a report in Italy's Panorama magazine.

Panorama reports that the Holy Father has directed the Congregation for Divine Worship to study the question and prepare appropriate instructions. His objective, the Italian journal says, is to eliminate the concelebration of Mass by hundreds of priests at a time, with many of them standing at a distance from the altar.

The Vatican has not commented on the Panorama report.

If the story is accurate, the new liturgical guidelines could bring significant changes in liturgical celebrations at which the Pope himself presides, such as Masses attended by tens of thousands of people at World Youth Day or during papal trips abroad.
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Pope Benedict XVI on 20th Century Martyrs
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VATICAN CITY, APRIL 27, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Here is a Vatican translation of the homily Benedict XVI delivered April 7 at the Basilica of St. Bartholomew on Tiber Island in Rome. The visit marked the 40th anniversary of the foundation of the Community of Sant'Egidio, and the basilica is the site of a memorial of those who have died for the faith during the 20th century.
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Dear Brothers and Sisters,

We may see our meeting in the ancient Basilica of St Bartholomew on Tiber Island as a pilgrimage in memory of the martyrs of the 20th century, countless men and women, known and unknown, who shed their blood for the Lord in the 1900s. It is a pilgrimage guided by the Word of God which, like a lamp to our feet, a light on our way (cf. Ps 119[118]: 105), brightens the life of every believer with its light. This church was especially designated by my beloved Predecessor John Paul II as a place for the memorial of the 20th century martyrs and entrusted by him to the Community of Sant'Egidio, which this year is thanking the Lord for the 40th anniversary of its foundation.

I greet with affection the Cardinals and Bishops who have wished to take part in this liturgy. I greet Prof. Andrea Riccardi, Founder of the Sant'Egidio Community, and I thank him for his words; I greet Prof. Marco Impagliazzo, President of the Community, the Chaplain, Mons. Matteo Zuppi, as well as Bishop Vincenzo Paglia of Terni-Narni-Amelia.

In this place full of memories let us ask ourselves: why did these martyr brothers and sisters of ours not seek to save the irreplaceable good of life at all costs? Why did they continue to serve the Church in spite of grave threats and intimidation? In this Basilica where the relics of the Apostle Bartholomew are preserved and the mortal remains of St Adalbert venerated, we hear the resonance of the eloquent witness of those who, not only in the 1900s but from the very beginning of the Church, putting love into practice, offered their lives to Christ in martyrdom.

In the icon set above the main altar, which portrays some of these witnesses of faith, the words of the Book of Revelation stand out: "These are they who have come out of the great tribulation" (Rv 7: 13). The old man who asks who the people dressed in white are and where they came from is told: "They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb" (Rv 7: 14). At first it appears a strange answer. However, in the coded language of the Seer of Patmos it contains a precise reference to the clear flame of love that impelled Christ to pour out his blood for us. By virtue of that blood, we have been purified. Sustained by that flame, the martyrs too poured out their blood and were purified in love: in the love of Christ who made them capable of sacrificing themselves for love in their turn.

Jesus said: "Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends" (Jn 15: 13). Every witness of faith lives this "greater love" and, after the example of the Divine Teacher, is ready to sacrifice his life for the Kingdom. In this way we become friends of Christ; thus, we are conformed to him, accepting the extreme sacrifice without limiting the gift of love and the service of faith.

Stopping by the six altars that commemorate the Christians who fell under the totalitarian violence of Communism, Nazism, those killed in America, Asia and Oceania, in Spain and Mexico, in Africa, we retrace in spirit numerous sorrowful events of the past century. So many fell while they were carrying out the evangelizing mission of the Church: their blood mingled with that of the indigenous Christians to which they had transmitted the faith.

Others, often in a minority condition, were killed in hatred of the faith. Lastly, many sacrificed themselves, undaunted by threats and dangers, in order not to abandon the needy, the poor or the faithful entrusted to them. They were Bishops, priests, men and women religious and faithful lay people. How many they are! At the Ecumenical Jubilee Commemoration for the new martyrs celebrated at the Colosseum on 7 May 2000, the Servant of God John Paul II said that these brothers and sisters of ours in the faith stand as a vast panorama of Christian humanity in the 20th century, a panorama of the Gospel of the Beatitudes, lived even to the shedding of blood. And he was in the habit of repeating that Christ's witness to the point of bloodshed speaks with a stronger voice than the divisions of the past.

It is true: it seems as though violence, totalitarianism, persecution and blind brutality got the upper hand, silencing the voices of the witnesses to the faith who humanly speaking appeared to be defeated by history. But the Risen Jesus illumines their testimony and thus we understand the meaning of martyrdom. Tertullian says of this: "Plures efficimur quoties metimur a vobis: sanguis martyrum semen christianorum -- Our numbers increase every time we are cut down by you: the blood of martyrs is the seed of [new] Christians" (Apol. 50, 13; CCC, PL 1,603).

A force that the world does not know is active in defeat, in the humiliation of those who suffer for the Gospel: "for when I am weak", the Apostle Paul exclaims, "then I am strong" (II Cor 12: 10). It is the power of love, defenseless and victorious even in apparent defeat. It is the force that challenges and triumphs over death.

This 21st century also opened under the banner of martyrdom. When Christians are truly the leaven, light and salt of the earth, they too become the object of persecution, as was Jesus; like him they are "a sign of contradiction". Fraternal life in common and the love, faith and decisions in favour of the lowliest and poorest that mark the existence of the Christian community sometimes give rise to violent aversion. How useful it is then to look to the shining witness of those who have preceded us in the sign of heroic fidelity to the point of martyrdom!

And in this ancient Basilica, thanks to the care of the Sant'Egidio Community, the memory of so many witnesses to the faith who died in recent times is preserved and venerated. Dear friends of the Community of Sant'Egidio, looking at these heroes of the faith, may you too strive to imitate their courage and perseverance in serving the Gospel, especially among the poorest. Be builders of peace and reconciliation among those who are enemies or who fight one another. Nourish your faith by listening to and meditating on the Word of God, daily prayer and active participation in Holy Mass. Authentic friendship with Christ will be the basis of your mutual love. Sustained by his Spirit you will be able to help build a more fraternal world. May the Blessed Virgin, Queen of Martyrs, sustain you and help you to be genuine witnesses of Christ.

Amen.
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