Tuesday, December 21, 2010


ROME, DEC. 20, 2010 -- As we prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ at Christmas, the message the Virgin Mother of God wants to give us today is that we be not afraid, because “Jesus has conquered evil, he has conquered it at the roots, liberating us from its dominion,” said the prelate of the Italian armed forces, Archbishop Vincenzo Pelvi.

“How much in need we are of this beautiful news,” he said. “Evil is recounted, repeated and amplified in the media every day, accustoming us to the most horrible things, making us become insensitive and, in some way, intoxicating us, because the negative is not fully disposed of and it accumulates day after day.”

In a Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica for the feast of the Virgin of Loreto, the archbishop said Mary “speaks to us of God and induces us to wait even in more difficult human situations, reawakening in us the desire to be accepted as persons, because every human story is a sacred story, and requires the greatest respect.

“She reminds us that before God we do not have to be the best, the splendid, the first in the class; that at least before him credit cards do not count, or academic titles or influential friends,” he said. “Before God what counts is love, humility, and the willingness to allow oneself to be molded and remolded by his hand.”

The prelate said that as we prepare for Christmas and the coming of the Infant Jesus, the Mother of God is a precious guide of our waiting.

“In a few days it will be Christmas and our thoughts go to the Holy House of Loreto, where the birth of Christ, his earthly life, humble and hidden, is meditated and rediscovered, in a certain sense in a palpable personal experience, which moves and transforms,” said the 62-year-old.

“Christmas is approaching and we feel unprepared. But the liturgy gives us the Virgin Mary as guide of our waiting. “Only women, only mothers know about waiting: It is physically inscribed in their bodies. And they teach that one waits not because of an absence to fill, but because of a superabundance of life, which now urges within. One waits to generate.”

Choice of love
Archbishop Pelvi said God’s choice of Mary to be the Mother of His only Son is pure grace and gratuitousness. “God chose insignificant Nazareth, and not a great and rich capital. He chose little Mary and not the daughter of a great commander. He chose Joseph the carpenter, and not an important man of affairs. It is the logic that runs through Scripture, from the beginning to the end.”

Pronouncing her “yes”, Mary denied herself, and decided to let God alone act.

“With her,” he said, “there appeared in the world a creature who was only goodness, a hand incapable of striking, a word incapable of wounding, a threatened yet victorious innocence, a gesture that does not enclose an ambiguity, a look that never loses the innocence of its brilliance; a heart without divisions, a virginity without regret; a maternity that is not possessive; a spouse who loves in total dedication and tenderness.”

Added the archbishop: “The Virgin of Loreto is a gentle and reassuring presence. She watches constantly and repeats to each one: You are loved, God chose you before the creation of the world ... And now ? He is with you, He fills your life; you will be loved forever.”
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Saturday, December 11, 2010


VATICAN CITY, 8 DEC 2010 -- At midday today, Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Benedict XVI appeared at the window of his study to pray the Angelus with thousands of pilgrims gathered below in St. Peter’s Square.

The Holy Father explained how the mystery of the Immaculate Conception “is a source of inner light, of hope and comfort. In the midst of the trials of life, and especially the contradictions man experiences within and around himself, Mary the Mother of Christ tells us that Grace is greater than sin, that God’s mercy is more powerful than evil and can transform evil into good. Unfortunately we experience evil every day, manifesting itself in many ways in the relationships and events of our lives, but its roots lie in the heart of man, a wounded and sick heart incapable of healing itself.

“Holy Scripture”, the Pope added, “shows us that the origin of all evil lies in disobedience to God’s will, and that death holds sway because human freedom has succumbed to the temptation of the Evil One. But God does not renounce His plan of love and life. By a long and patient journey of reconciliation He has prepared the new and eternal alliance, sealed with the blood of His Son Who, to offer Himself in atonement, was ‘born of a woman’. This woman, the Virgin Mary, benefited in advance from the redemptive death of her Son and, from conception, was preserved from the contagion of sin. Thus ... she says: entrust yourselves to Jesus. He will save you”.

The Pope concluded his brief remarks by entrusting “the most pressing needs of the Church and the world”, to the Virgin Mary. “May she help us, above all, to have faith in God, to believe in His Word and always to refuse evil and choose good”. Vatican Information Service

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Holy Father underlines importance of listening to Our Lady’s “Message”

ROME, DEC. 8, 2010
(Zenit.org).-- Benedict XVI blessed a basket of roses today that was later placed at the feet of the Column of the Immaculate, but reminded those present that the most precious gift one can give to Mary is prayer.

The Pope said this today, the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, during his annual visit to the image of the Immaculate Conception in Rome’s Piazza di Spagna. The column of the Immaculate was erected in 1857, shortly after the proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception.

“We are gathered around this historic monument, which today is all surrounded by flowers, sign of the love and devotion of the Roman people for the Mother of Jesus,” the Pontiff said. “And the most beautiful gift, and most pleasing to her, that we offer is our prayer, the one we bear in our hearts and which we entrust to her intercession.

“They are invocations of gratitude and supplication: of gratitude for the gift of faith and for all the good that we receive daily from God; and supplication for our different needs, for the family, health, work, for every difficulty that life has us encounter.”

The Holy Father then reflected that even more important than gifts or offerings is the act of listening to what Mary has to say.

“She speaks to us with the Word of God, which became flesh in her womb. Her ‘message’ is none other than Jesus, who is her whole life,” the Holy Father stated.

“With a look full of hope and compassion,” the Pontiff affirmed, Mary tells each and every person: “Fear not, son, God loves you! He loves you personally; he thought of you before you came into the world and called you into existence to fill you with love and life; and because of this, he has come to meet you, he made himself like you, he became Jesus, God-Man, in everything similar to you, but without sin; he gave himself for you, to the point of dying on the cross, and thus has given you a new life, free, holy and immaculate.”


“Mary’s look is God’s look on each one of us,” he continued. “She looks at us with the very love of the Father and blesses us.”

“Even if everyone spoke evil of us, she, the Mother, would say the good, because her immaculate heart is attuned to God’s mercy,” Benedict XVI said. “Thus, she sees the city not as an anonymous agglomeration, but as a constellation where God knows everyone personally by name, one by one, and calls us to shine with his light.

“And those that in the eyes of the world are the first, for God they are the last; those who are little, are great for God. He recognizes in each one the likeness with his Son Jesus, even if we are so different!

“But who more than she knows the power of Divine Grace? Who better than she knows that nothing is impossible for God, capable in fact of drawing good from evil?”

The Pope reminded those present the message of Mary “is a message of trust for every person of this city and of the whole world. A message of hope not made of words, but of her own history.”

“Thank you, O Mary Immaculate, for always being with us,” the Holy Father said in a prayerful appeal to Our Lady. “Always watch over our city: comfort the sick, encourage young people, sustain families. Infuse the strength to reject evil, in every form, and to choose the good, even when it costs and entails going against the current. Give us the joy of feeling loved by God, blessed by him, predestined to be his children.”

Thursday, November 25, 2010

What the Pope really said about condoms

The world’s press is a slut when it comes to taking pot shots at the Catholic Church. Everyone wants to be the first to unravel dirt about Her, even when there isn’t any to be found. Hearsay is good enough, so long as they can spin a yarn for the world to believe the Church is nothing but an ancient relic, no longer to be held as the voice of God for the salvation and moral good of mankind.

So when Pope Benedict XVI answered a question regarding condoms in relation to someone using it to prevent the spread of Aids, his words were twisted to mean the Church has suddenly changed its teaching of over 2,000 years, which can never happen. The Church has and can never change its doctrines and, in this case, the use of contraception.

In this particular instance, L’Osservatore Romano, was the culprit. The paper self-styles itself as the Vatican newspaper but has long lost its stature as a defender of the Catholic faith as it leans more to the whims and fancies of its secular journalists and editors. In the report on Pope Benedict’s comments on condoms, it mistranslated the original German language of the interview to indicate the Church now allows the use of condoms in particular cases, especially by prostitutes in the service of their clients.

What the Pope said when asked about this:

“There may be a basis in the case of some individuals, as perhaps when a male prostitute uses a condom, where this can be a first step in the direction of a moralization, a first assumption of responsibility, on the way toward recovering an awareness that not everything is allowed and that one cannot do whatever one wants. But it is not really the way to deal with the evil of HIV infection. That can really lie only in a humanization of sexuality”

The Pope never said that condoms are justified in such instances, but that its use may signal the first step in a change of heart in the prostitute that he or she could take further on the road to repentance. Needless to say L’Osservatore’s report was picked up by newspapers and television and radio news stations around the world to announce the purported change in Catholic doctrine. There is now confusion and many faithful Catholics, and men and women of goodwill faithful to God are caught in a bind on what the Church actually teaches.

To begin with, the Catholic Church has consistently taught that sex outside of marriage is always wrong and the use of contraception is in direct violation of the Divine plan in the creation of life. The only method taught by the Church is abstinence in family planning. Sex outside of marriage and prostitution is not in the natural order in the creation of life and therefore immoral. So the question of using contraception in these cases does not even come up for justification when their acts are sinful for a start.

How can there be any good in a sinful act to lessen the impact of another sinful act? Evil is evil, period.

A clear understanding of what the Pope actually said can be found in the analyses of several commentators. Among them is Father Joseph Fessio, a Jesuit priest and founder and editor of Ignatius Press in his commentary “Did the Pope justify condom use in circumstances?”. Some excerpts:

“It is important to note that there are two very serious mistranslations in the Italian version of the Pope’s remarks, upon which many early reports were based, since the embargo was broken by the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano. (That’s another story.) First, the German speak of ‘ein Prostituierte’, which can only be a male prostitute. The normal German word for prostitute is ‘[eine] Prostituierte’, which is feminine and refers only to a woman. The Italian translation ‘una prostituta” simply reverses what the Pope says.
Equally problematically, ‘giustificati’ = justified, was used in the Italian translation of ‘begründete’, and arbitrarily resolves the ambiguity one-sidedly. The Pope responded: She [the Church] does not regard it as a real or moral solution, but, in this or that case, there can be nonetheless in the intention of reducing the risk of infection, a first step in a movement toward a different way, a more human way, of living sexuality’.”

… “Here’s an example of this distinction that parallels what the Pope said. Muggers are using steel pipes to attack people and the injuries are severe. Some muggers use padded pipes to reduce the injuries, while still disabling the victim enough for the mugging. The Pope says that the intention of reducing injury (in the act of mugging) could be a first step toward greater moral responsibility. This would not justify the following headlines: ‘Pope Approves Padded Pipes for Mugging’, ‘Pope Says Use of Padded Pipes Justified in Some Circumstances’, ‘Pope Permits Use of Padded Pipes in Some Cases’.”

Read more of Fr Fessio’s analysis: Did the Pope justify condom use in circumstances?

Other commentaries:
1) Cardinal Burke: What the Pope really meant
2) Falsely quoting the pope

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Pope Benedict XVI, Oct 10 -- The month of October is called the month of the Rosary. This is a "spiritual intonation," so to speak, provided by the liturgical memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary, which is celebrated on October 7. We are thus invited to let ourselves be guided by Mary in this ancient and ever new prayer, which is especially dear to her because it leads directly to Jesus, contemplated in his mysteries of salvation: joyous, luminous, sorrowful and glorious.

In the footsteps of the venerable John Paul II (cf. Apostolic Letter "Rosarium Virginis Mariae), I would like to recall that the Rosary is a biblical prayer, completely interwoven with Sacred Scripture. It is a prayer of the heart in which the repetition of the "Hail Mary" orients one's thought and affection towards Christ, and thus one confidently supplicates his Mother and ours. It is a prayer that aids meditation on the Word of God and is likened to Eucharistic communion on the model of Mary, who carries in her heart all Jesus did and said and his presence itself.

Saturday, October 9, 2010


In the 16th century, the little island of Malta guarded the Mediterranean passage to the Christian West from the Islamic East. The conquest of Rome, in particular, was the greatest prize sought by the Ottoman Turks led by Sultan Soleiman the Magnificent. At the heart of the Catholic Church, he wanted to transform Michelangelo's St. Peter’s Basilica into a mosque, just as his predecessors of the brutal Islamic Turks had turned Constantinople’s Hagia Sophia into one, more than a century before.

The Turks’ aspirations led to the battle of Lepanto, the most important naval contest in human history on October 7, 1571 -- between the outnumbered fleet of about 200 galleys from the Holy League raised by Pope Pius V and a far more superior Islamic armada of over 300 ships, including 230 galleys.
The man chosen by Pius V to serve as Captain General of the Holy League was 24-year-old Don John of Austria. The young captain reminded his fleet the battle they would soon engage in was as much spiritual as physical and gave every man a weapon more powerful than anything the Turks could muster: a Rosary.

The stunning victory eventually by the Christians is the background to the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary we celebrate today.

At dawn on October 7, 1571, the Holy League rowed down the west coast of Greece and turned east into the Gulf of Patras. When the morning mist cleared, the Christians, rowing directly against the wind, saw the squadrons of the larger Ottoman fleet arrayed like a crescent from shore to shore, bearing down on them under full sail.

As the fleets grew closer, the Christians could hear the gongs and cymbals, drums and cries of the Turks. The men of the Holy League quietly pulled at their oars, the soldiers stood on the decks in silent prayer. Priests holding large crucifixes marched up and down the decks exhorting the men to be brave and hearing final confessions.

Then the Blessed Virgin intervened.

The wind shifted 180 degrees. The sails of the Holy League were filled with the Divine breath, driving them into battle. Now heading directly into the wind, the Turks were forced to strike their sails. The tens of thousands of Christian galley slaves who rowed the Turkish vessels felt the sharp sting of the lash summoning them up from under their benches and demanding they take hold of their oars and pull against the wind.

Don John knelt on the prow of Real and said a final prayer. Then he stood and gave the order for the Holy League’s battle standard, a gift from Pius V, to be unfurled. Christians up and down the battle line cheered as they saw the giant blue banner bearing an image of our crucified Lord.
Read full story here

Thursday, September 30, 2010


Sometimes we wonder why, sometimes we are asked why, but all the time the answers are easy. The Name used here is God, but remember Jesus Christ is God.

Through Mary God enters a door free from sin,
Through Mary God came into a sinful world to save us from death,
Through Mary God shows us His most perfect creation,
Through Mary God shows us who we ought to be,
Through Mary God sees the universe He created as it should be,
Through Mary we see God and hear His voice more clearly,
Through Mary God hears our pleadings without the noise our sins make,
Through Mary God channels His graces freely and abundantly for us,
Through Mary God showers His love and reaches for our sinful hearts,
Through Mary God shows us a door to Him that is free from sin.

Monday, September 20, 2010


Catholicism is often called a denomination of Christianity. We hear and read it, many Catholics even use the term, but this is contrary to what Jesus Christ defined as Church, the only one He founded on Peter.

Denomination in the religious sense describes a group that, along with others like it, forms part of a bigger, whole body. It indicates there is more than one version of a particular teaching and taken together in sum the fullness of truth can be found.

But when Christ built His Church upon Peter, He willed it to consist of believers united in one faith under His revealed truth, the Gospel. He prayed to the Father they will be one in His Mystical Body and not separated or divided by different versions of His teachings.

These disciples of Christ became known as Christians after His death and Resurrection. It was not a term they used to identify who they were, but given by others to tell them apart from other Jews who were followers of Judaism.

To make this distinction even clearer, this Church of Christians was also called Catholic (katholikos in Greek), meaning universal, because unlike Judaism which was for the Jews only, the Gospel was for all nations and races.

It is a command of Christ to his disciples in Matthew 28:19 – “Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”

The term Catholic was also used to differentiate true Christians from heretics who contradicted what the Apostles taught. But the only surviving evidence of its description of the infant Church is found in the epistle of St Ignatius of Antioch (a disciple taught by the Apostle St John) to the Smyrnaeans in 107AD just before he was martyred. He wrote: “Where the bishop is, so is the Catholic Church.”

The one and only Church that Christ founded is, therefore, Catholic and if this is the case then She cannot embrace different versions of Christ’s Gospel. This means that Catholicism cannot contradict itself by saying it is only a part of the True Church and therefore a denomination of it.

But the term “denomination” can be appropriately applied to the different groups of the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century. It was triggered by Martin Luther who was disillusioned by the many abuses among the clergy and led others to break away from the Catholic Church.

Jean Calvin (Calvinists and Presbyterians) and Huldreich Zwingli (Anabaptists) followed him and each separately formed their own Protestant communities. King Henry the VIII was next with the Church in England (its adherents called Anglicans) breaking away from Rome and from among them John Wesley spawned the Methodist movement.

All were products of the protest against the Catholic Church, but each of them differed in various degrees to the doctrines that Martin Luther espoused. For this reason, they -- and the more than 30,000 groups that broke away from them since then, including the Baptists -- can rightly be called denominations of the Protestant Reformation.

And because they rejected many of the doctrines that Christ handed His Apostles, they possess only part of the revealed Truth.

On the other hand, despite the many difficulties with the clergy in the past, the Catholic Church handed down untainted and faithfully all that Christ taught through the successors of Peter, as He guaranteed it will be so under the Holy Spirit’s guidance until the end of time.

And since the Catholic Church is not a part of the Truth but the fullness of it, She cannot be a denomination of Christianity but, in essence and whole, Christianity itself.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


The spiritual world we can’t see fascinates us. The beings that exist in this realm intrigue us. Apparitions of “ghosts” that manifest themselves before people arouse our curiosity.

Those that take on the form of the dead, especially of people we know, trigger our inquisitiveness and this moves some to search for séances or witchdoctors or traditional doctors to connect with these spirits or ghosts.

The reasons vary.

For some they seek the comfort their loved ones are safe in the afterlife, for others they are curious what these spirits can tell us about life beyond the grave or the future. Others are so obsessed with these ghosts that they immerse themselves totally in the subject and it takes on a central focus in their lives -- researching with a zeal and fascination that borders on addiction.

It is an increasing phenomenon among people today, especially the young including Catholics, and they don’t realise the danger they subject their souls to, with the possibility of eternal damnation.

The question foremost before us therefore is: What has the Catholic Church to say about ghosts and how are we to deal with such encounters?

The first and most important thing to remember is that Satan is the Great Liar, the Deceiver of men and his only intention is to trap our souls into suffering for all eternity. He can conjure up images of our dearest relatives to make us believe we are actually seeing our deceased loved ones and the purported messages they bring to us from beyond the grave.

The second point to note is that spirits and ghosts do exist, and whether good or evil they can only manifest themselves before us with the permission of God. The good spirits are allowed by Him if they are necessary to help us in our salvation, while demons are granted permission to test our faith just like Job in the Bible.

So how are we to tell what is good and evil since Satan can deceive us into believing we are seeing a good spirit? The answer is first to pray when we are confronted by them and never address spirits directly. Seek also the help of a Catholic priest immediately to determine the nature of such encounters.

It is also important to remember that any contact with the demonic poses a great and grave danger to our souls. They are masters of deceit and powerful beings. When the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, disputed about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a reviling judgment upon him, but said, “The Lord rebukes you”(Jude 9).

Never think to address some power of hell directly. Always call upon the help of your guardian angel and the saints. Above all, remember your sacramental graces from confirmation. Call upon the Holy Spirit to strengthen and defend you.

Three types of ghosts
The Catholic Church on the occult
Dabbling on the occult takes toll on youth


From Catholic theologian Peter Kreeft’s Fourteen Questions About Heaven:

First of all, Scripture strictly forbids us to call spirits up as Saul called up the ghost of the prophet Samuel by means of the Witch of Endor’s necromancy. Because of this deed, he lost his kingdom and perhaps his soul.

The reason for the stricture is probably protection against the danger of deception by evil spirits. We are out of our depth, our knowledge, and our control once we open the doors to the supernatural.

The only openings that are safe for us are the ones God has approved: revelation, prayer, His own miracles, sacraments, and primarily Christ Himself. He has made a straight and safe road for us from earth to Heaven, through the dark woods of the innumerable, unknowable, and unpredictable spiritual forces that are to us as fire to an infant or a juggernaut to an ant.

The danger is not physical but spiritual, and spiritual danger always centers on deception. The Devil is “a liar and the father of lies”. He disguises himself “as an angel of light”.

Nevertheless, without our action or invitation, the dead often do appear to the living. There is enormous evidence of “ghosts” in all cultures. What are we to make of them? Surely we should not classify the appearances of the wives of C. S. Lewis and Sheldon Vanauken, just to take two Christian examples, as demonic?

We can distinguish three kinds of ghosts, I believe.

First, the most familiar kind: the sad ones, the wispy ones. They seem to be working out some unfinished earthly business, or suffering some purgatorial purification until released from their earthly, business. These ghosts would seem to be the ones who just barely made it to Purgatory, who feel little or no joy yet and who need to learn many painful lessons about their lives on earth.

Second, there are malicious and deceptive spirits – and since they are deceptive, they hardly ever appear malicious. These are probably the ones who respond to conjurings at séances. They probably come from Hell. Even the chance of that happening should be sufficient to terrify away all temptation to necromancy.

Third, there are the bright, happy spirits of dead friends and family, especially spouses, who appear unbidden, at God’s will, not ours, with messages of hope and love. They seem to come from Heaven.

Unlike the purgatorial ghosts who come back primarily for their own sakes, these bright spirits come back for the sake of us the living, to tell us all is well. They are aped by evil spirits who say the same, who speak “peace, peace, when there is no peace”. But deception works only one way: the fake can deceive by appearing genuine, but the genuine never deceives by appearing fake.

Heavenly spirits always convince us that they are genuinely good. Even the bright spirits appear ghostlike to us because a ghost of any type is one whose substance does not belong in or come from this world. In Heaven these spirits are not ghosts but real, solid, and substantial because they are at home there. “One can’t be a ghost in one’s own country.”

That there are all three kinds of ghosts is enormously likely. Even taking into account our penchant to deceive and to be deceived, our credulity and our fakery, there remain so many trustworthy accounts of all three types of ghosts – trustworthy by every ordinary empirical and psychological standard – that only a dogmatic a priori prejudice against them could prevent us from believing they exist.

As Chesterton says, “We believe an old apple-woman when she says she ate an apple; but when she says she saw a ghost we say, ‘But she’s only an old apple-woman.’“ A most undemocratic and unscientific prejudice.

Ghosts and demons
The Catholic Church on the occult
Dabbling on the occult takes toll on youth


Divination and magic

2115 God can reveal the future to his prophets or to other saints. Still, a sound Christian attitude consists in putting oneself confidently into the hands of Providence for whatever concerns the future, and giving up all unhealthy curiosity about it. Improvidence, however, can constitute a lack of responsibility.

2116 All forms of divination are to be rejected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead or other practices falsely supposed to “unveil” the future.48 Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. They contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone.

2117 All practices of magic or sorcery, by which one attempts to tame occult powers, so as to place them at one’s service and have a supernatural power over others - even if this were for the sake of restoring their health - are gravely contrary to the virtue of religion. These practices are even more to be condemned when accompanied by the intention of harming someone, or when they have recourse to the intervention of demons. Wearing charms is also reprehensible. Spiritism often implies divination or magical practices; the Church for her part warns the faithful against it. Recourse to so-called traditional cures does not justify either the invocation of evil powers or the exploitation of another’s credulity.

Ghosts and demons
Three types of ghosts
Dabbling on the occult takes toll on youth


ACUSHNET, Mass. — Vampires, witches, Ouija boards, satanic rock music and dark video games — innocent fun?

“I don’t think so,” said Monsignor Gerard P. O’Connor, pastor of St. Francis Xavier Parish in Acushnet. “Some of what seems fascinating to young people is downright dangerous, and it is sinful any time one invokes the devil or believes in astrology or in psychic readings.”

He said reading about Black magic and looking for messages on Ouija boards and on Tarot Cards “are insidious evils that some young people — even some in our Catholic schools — could become fascinated with, not realizing what could happen.”

Wicca and the many New Age practices such as Reiki, transcendental meditation and psychic divination “are being marketed as new, but they are part of old heresies and evils that have been around for a long time. But I must say they have become more prevalent today than they were 20 or 30 years ago,” Msgr. O’Connor commented.

New Age practices are characterized by an individual approach to spiritual methods and rejection of religious doctrines or dogma. Reiki involves using a life force that promotes self-healing within the body. Wicca, the largest of the neopagan religions, is a form of modern witchcraft, and centers on worshipping the triple goddess and her consort, the horned god.
Continue reading

Ghosts and demons
Three types of ghosts
The Catholic Church on the occult

Monday, June 14, 2010


STUBENVILLE, Ohio, JUNE 11, 2010 (Zenit.org).- “Immaculate Mother, in this place of grace, called together by the love of your Son Jesus the Eternal High Priest, we, sons in the Son and his priests, consecrate ourselves to your maternal Heart, in order to carry out faithfully the Father’s Will” (Benedict XVI, Fatima, May 12, 2012).

What is the “heart” of Mary? St. John Eudes, master of the devotion to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, explains that the heart designates the entirely of the person: his will, his intellect, his soul, his passions, and even incorporates his body in so far as it includes reference to the physical organ. Scripturally, “heart” signifies person, much more than “head” signifies person.

Consider, in pondering the mystery of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the perspective of three Persons.

The Father looks down upon the heart of his immaculate daughter and sees his greatest created masterpiece, second only to the sacred humanity of his incarnate son. Far beyond the seven natural wonders of the world or even the heavenly cosmos, the Immaculate Heart represents the greatest craftsmanship of the Creator. Full of grace beyond all other creatures both quantitatively and qualitatively, the heart of Mary exceeds the ark of the covenant as a dwelling place of God the Father, who has the greatest paternal predilection for his daughter’s heart -- a filial heart who returns his divine love with a perfect and perennial human “yes” of love and abandonment to her Abba.

The Son gazes at the Immaculate Heart and his heart leaps with infinite joy, reverence, and gratitude for his all-loving mother. If sons instinctively honor and defend their mother by some embedded code of natural law, how much infinitely more does a divine son love his tender, compassionate human mother? Jesus also sees in the mystery of the Immaculate Heart the means by which he received his own human heart, as blood pumped from that stainless maternal heart flowed into her spotless womb to form the human heart of the divine Redeemer.

This is why the saints never separate the Hearts of Jesus and Mary in their spirituality. Eudes will add that their hearts are so inexplicably united in perfect conformity to the Father’s will that it is most accurate to speak about the one, single “Heart of Jesus and Mary.”

Spirit’s shadow
The Holy Spirit marvels at the pure heart of his human spouse. The Old Testament “shekinah,” or holy cloud that would overshadow the ark to animate it with the presence of God, was a mere foretaste of the Spirit’s overshadowing of Mary at the Annunciation, in order that the divine and human spouses could come together to bring the world its Savior.
... Continue reading

Sunday, June 13, 2010


The Feast was yesterday, June 12, the day after the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Therefore I am your servant (servus) because your Son is my Lord. Therefore you are my Lady (Domina) because you are the handmaid of my Lord. Therefore I am the servant of the handmaid of my Lord because you have become the mother of my Maker … O Lady, before you today we take our stand. Lady, I call you Virgin Mother of God and to your hope, as to the surest and strongest anchor, we bind ourselves. To you we consecrate our mind, our soul, our body, all that we are. We honor you as much as we can.

During the Second World War, in light of the tragedies unfolding of the Nazis’ murderous campaign, Pope Pius XII issued a new form of consecration to Our Lady. He directed the faithful to address the Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, declaring that, “In thee and in thy Immaculate Heart, at this grave hour of human history, do we put our trust; to thee we consecrate ourselves, not only with all of the Holy Church … but also with the whole world, torn by discords, agitated with hatred, the victim of its own iniquities.”

Pope Pius XII made this act of consecration twice in the same year. The first time, he spoke by radio in Portuguese. His audience was the thousands of pilgrims who had come to Fatima on October 13, 1942, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the closing apparition of Our Lady.

Pope Pius XII repeated the consecration in St. Peter’s Basilica on December 8, 1942. In both acts of consecration, the Pontiff was openly responding to the most formal revelation of God’s will at Fatima, to establish devotion to Mary’s Immaculate Heart throughout the world. Moreover, in the act of consecration in Rome, the Pope made an allusion to Russia.
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Heart of a compassionate Mother

Glade Park, CO (Catholic Online) - In the opening paragraph of his Letter on the Blessed Virgin Mary (Signum Magnum), Pope Paul VI reminded the faithful of the reality of the Blessed Mother’s position as the mother of all men: “The great sign which the Apostle John saw in heaven, ‘a woman clothed with the sun,’ is interpreted by the sacred Liturgy, not without foundation, as referring to the most blessed Mary, the mother of all men by the grace of Christ the Redeemer.”

Some twenty-centuries ago, it was this most blessed Mother of ours who, concerned for those who attended the marriage feast at Cana, turned to her Son and simply mentioned “They have no wine.” Although Jesus responded, “My hour is not yet come,” the Mother of our Lord, of course, knew her Son would listen to her, and, in a display of complete confidence, advised the servants to “Do whatever he tells you” (see Jn 2:1-5). Those were the final words of Our Lady recorded in the New Testament, and, with those words, the Immaculate Heart of Mary continues to reach with warm love into the future, speak to her children, and imprint upon them an everlasting profession of what it means to be Christian.
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Sunday, June 6, 2010


The priesthood of the New Testament is closely bound to the Eucharist. Because of this, today, on the solemnity of Corpus Domini and almost at the end of the Year for Priests, we are invited to meditate on the relationship between the Eucharist and the priesthood of Christ. Oriented in this direction also are the first reading and the responsorial psalm, which present the figure of Melchizedek.

The brief passage from the Book of Genesis (cf. 14:18-20) states that Melchizedek, king of Salem, was "priest of God Most High," and because of this "offered bread and wine" and "blessed Abram," returning from a victory in battle; Abram himself gave him a tenth of everything. The Psalm, in turn, contains in the last verse a solemn expression, an oath of God himself, who declares to the King Messiah: "You are a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek" (Psalm 110:4); thus the Messiah is not only proclaimed king, but also priest.

From this passage the author of the Letter to the Hebrews takes the cue for his ample and articulated exposition. And we re-echoed it in the refrain: "You are a priest for ever, Lord Christ": virtually a profession of faith, which acquires a particular meaning in today's feast. It is the joy of the community, the joy of the whole Church that, contemplating and adoring the Most Blessed Sacrament, recognizes in it the real and permanent presence of Jesus as High and Eternal Priest.
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Sunday, May 23, 2010


“There is no Pentecost without the Virgin Mary. Thus it was at the beginning, in the Upper Room where the disciples “devoted themselves to prayer, together with some women and Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and his brothers” -- as recounted in the Acts of the Apostles ( 1.14), and thus it always is, in every place and every time.” So said Benedict XVI in his reflection before reciting the Regina Caeli with pilgrims in St Peter’s Square.

After the Marian prayer, the pontiff also called on all Christians in China and the world to celebrate the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China, which he established on May 24 with the Letter to Chinese Catholics in 2007.

“The feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Help of Christians -- tomorrow May 24th -- said the pope, offers us the chance to celebrate the Day of Prayer for the Church in China. While the faithful in China are praying that the unity among themselves and with the universal Church will grow ever deeper, Catholics in the world -- especially those who are of Chinese origin -- will join them in prayer and charity, that the Holy Spirit pours into our hearts, especially in today’s solemnity.”

Earlier, Benedict XVI stressed the link between Mary and the Holy Spirit and recalled his recent visit to Fatima, and celebrations with over half million people: “What was the experience of ... that immense multitude, in the esplanade of the Shrine where we were all of one heart and one soul, if not a new Pentecost? In our midst there was Mary, the Mother of Jesus. This is the typical experience of the great Marian shrines -- Lourdes, Guadalupe, Pompeii, Loreto -- or even smaller ones: wherever Christians gather in prayer with Mary The Lord gives his Spirit.”
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Thursday, May 13, 2010


Reflections from Hans Urs Von Balthasar’s "Marie Première Église"

(From L'Osservatore Romano dated May 30, 2001)

The place of Mary in ecclesial doctrine and devotion in the last twenty years has been a source of tensions within the Church. On one hand, a group of devout persons promote the maxim, "there is never enough said of Mary", while on the other hand, those on the frontier of the Church sense dangers for converts and for ecumenical relations.

These have been emphasizing the hierarchy of truths centred on the Trinity and Christ, from whom comes all grace, while noting that Mary is a creature, even though she is the highest and the greatest, who has received the greatest grace possible. Ecumenists have to deal with groups in the communities born of the Reformation for whom Marian devotion seems to be a dangerous growth of something secondary. Many seeking full communion find that the last barrier to their becoming Catholics is Catholic Marian devotion. There may be a way of reconciling the two tendencies.

It is true that there is never enough said about Mary when one leaves aside a quantitative approach which seems to want more devotions, more apparitions, more dogmatic definitions and moves to a qualitative approach. The qualitative approach does mean that we seek a greater understanding of Mary's mission in God's plan of salvation and appreciate Mary's corresponding grace. Those who show some hesitation due to their reliance on the historical critical approach to the Gospels must consider that in Scripture no woman is spoken of in such detail and in so many places as Mary.

Wherever she appears in the Gospels the event or the word is in strict relation with the Incarnation of Christ, his infancy, his public activity, his passion, his continued life in the Church. Even though the occasions in which Mary appears are scattered throughout the Gospels, they form, when one thinks more deeply about them a set of relationships where the persons involved react with one another like Mother and Son, Mother, Servant of the Word and Word, in a history of salvation in which the persons enjoy eternal life and glory.

The richness of personal aspects may make it difficult to speak of Mary with restrictive definitions, that is why we use the Litany of Our Lady. There is a kind of parallel with her Son. No one title fully captures all the riches of his Person and of his work. In our wonder we can explore infinitely the love that led One of the Trinity to suffer for us.

Veneration of Mary glorifies God's gifts as Scripture suggests

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Saturday, May 8, 2010


Tomorrow, May 9, is Mother's Day, we celebrate the lives of our mothers, the role they played in shaping us. It is a day to show our devotion and love to the person who tendered and cared for us in her womb, after we are born, and throughout our lives as long as she lives. I celebrate and love my mother, too. But it is also a time to celebrate and love our heavenly Mother, the Immaculate Blessed Virgin Mary. In this, it is timely to recall  the catechesis of Pope John Paul II on April 23, 1997:

To the disciple he said, ‘Behold your Mother’

After recalling the presence of Mary and the other women at the Lord’s cross, St John relates: “When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, behold, your son!’. Then he said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother!’” (Jn 19:26-27).

These particularly moving words are a “revelation scene”: they reveal the deep sentiments of the dying Christ and contain a great wealth of meaning for Christian faith and spirituality. At the end of his earthly life, as he addressed his Mother and the disciple he loved, the crucified Messiah establishes a new relationship of love between Mary and Christians.

Interpreted at times as no more than an expression of Jesus’ filial piety towards his Mother whom he entrusts for the future to his beloved disciple, these words go far beyond the contingent need to solve a family problem. In fact, attentive consideration of the text, confirmed by the interpretation of many Fathers and by common ecclesial opinion, presents us, in Jesus’ twofold entrustment, with one of the most important events for understanding the Virgin’s role in the economy of salvaion.

The words of the dying Jesus actually show that his first intention was not to entrust his Mother to John, but to entrust the disciple to Mary and to give her a new maternal role. Moreover, the epithet “woman”, also used by Jesus at the wedding in Cana to lead Mary to a new dimension of her existence as Mother, shows how the Saviour’s words are not the fruit of a simple sentiment of filial affection but are meant to be put at a higher level.
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Saturday, May 1, 2010


It is a curious fact that some seem to have a major problem with the Virgin Mary. It is a problem that goes far beyond theological reason and debate. In some quarters there seems to be a major antipathy, almost hatred, directed at one of the key figures in the story of redemption. In fact a few protestant apologists write of the Mother of the Redeemer almost as if she were the enemy of God. How can this unhealthy state of affairs have come about?

Perhaps it has something to do with the misogynistic tendencies that were evident in many of the Reformers, although most actually maintained Marian doctrines that would surprise their modern-day followers. There is also a great deal of ignorance among modern-day protestants as to the Scriptural and other ancient support for most of the Marian doctrines.

It is the fundamentalist move away from Mary that has been the recent aberration. Yet even many Protestant Christians who are not so extreme still believe that Catholic and Orthodox doctrines on the Virgin Mary are unscriptural and are inventions of the Medieval Church, being unknown to the early Christians.

How true is this?
To find out, we must examine the doctrines about the Virgin Mary which Evangelical Protestants claim to be unscriptural.
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Friday, April 30, 2010


The month of May (Overview - Calendar) is the "month which the piety of the faithful has especially dedicated to Our Blessed Lady," and it is the occasion for a "moving tribute of faith and love which Catholics in every part of the world [pay] to the Queen of Heaven. During this month Christians, both in church and in the privacy of the home, offer up to Mary from their hearts an especially fervent and loving homage of prayer and veneration. In this month, too, the benefits of God's mercy come down to us from her throne in greater abundance" (Paul VI: Encyclical on Month of May, no. 1).

This Christian custom of dedicating the month of May to the Blessed Virgin arose at the end of the 13th century. In this way, the Church was able to Christianize the secular feasts which were wont to take place at that time. In the 16th century, books appeared and fostered this devotion.

The practice became especially popular among the members of the Jesuit Order — by 1700 it took hold among their students at the Roman College and a bit later it was publicly practiced in the Gesu Church in Rome. From there it spread to the whole Church.

The practice was granted a partial indulgence by Pius VII in 1815 and a plenary indulgence by Pius IX in 1859. With the complete revision of indulgences in 1966 and the decreased emphasis on specific indulgences, it no longer carries an indulgence; however it certainly falls within the category of the First General Grant of Indulgences. (A partial indulgence is granted to the faithful who, in the performance of their duties and in bearing the trials of life, raise their mind with humble confidence to God, adding — even if only mentally — some pious invocation.
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Find out more about Mary here: About Mary

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


By George Neumayr

The very secularists and libertine Catholics who wanted the aberrant sexual revolution to enter the Church in the 1960s and 1970s now hold Pope Benedict XVI responsible for its lingering effects. This takes considerable gall, but that has never stopped them before.

Moreover, what moral authority and “credibility” do they bring to the issue of protecting children, exactly? These are the same people who favor the abortion of unborn children. They favor the high-brow child abuse of turning children over to homosexual couples at gay adoption agencies. They think it enlightened to bring Planned Parenthood representatives into elementary schools. They celebrate on Main Street gay-pride parades that include the North American Man/Boy Love Association.

The moral authority of these Church-hating ideologues is nil. We are witnessing the repulsively absurd spectacle of a culture drenched in depravity lecturing the Vicar of Christ on moral responsibility. One doesn’t even have to agree with every action or inaction of Benedict's ecclesiastical career to see that these attacks on him have been appallingly stupid, glib, and Pharisaical.
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Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Benedict’s pontificate has caught media and dissidents by surprise
By Philip F. Lawler

The fifth anniversary of Pope Benedict’s election may strike many faithful Catholics as a somber occasion in light of the worldwide media campaign against the Holy Father. I prefer to look at things from a different perspective, and see the brutal criticism as a sign of the Pope’s fidelity to his mission. It was inevitable, was it not, that a strong Pontiff would provoke a strong reaction?

Blessed are you when men revile and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matt. 5:11-12)

On April 19, 2005, when the newly elected Pope Ratzinger appeared on the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica, I was immediately struck by his calm, gentle smile. He, of all men—after years of service at the Vatican, guarding against false teaching and more recently plowing through thousands of reports of clerical abuse—knew the problems that faced the Church. He knew the demands that would be placed on him. He knew that his old age would be marked by toil and care, that he would never enjoy the quiet, scholarly retirement he had sought. Still, he radiated serenity; his facial expression on that day showed not a trace of concern. Even before he stepped out on the loggia to begin his work as Roman Pontiff, he had embraced God’s will for his ministry.
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Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Catholics the world over have been caught up with the sex abuse scandal that has hit the Catholic Church. Many have also been numbed by the shark-eating frenzy of many media outlets to weave Pope Benedict XVI  into it. Calls for his arrest have left many of the faithful distraught.

As I have stated in my post below (Catholic Answer to the NYT Sex Abuse), it is becoming apparent the sex abuse scandal have presented enemies of the Church an pportunity to libel the rank and file of Catholics, chiefly the Holy Father. Truth has been abandoned and they have no scruples in using false evidence to achieve their goal, even if it means making a pact with the devil.

So, there is an urgent need for Catholics, and other men and women of good will, to separate fact from fiction contained in the press, television, radio and the Internet by unscrupulous journalists and make sense of what is actually true.

But in order to answer critics who question the Catholic faith and our loyalty to Church and Pope, we must first have a grasp of who we are and our history of more than 2,000 years. To begin, the Catholic Church is the only one founded by God Himself -- Jesus Christ the Second Person in the Holy Trinity. The Church, the Bride of Christ, is certainly Holy, but not perfect and throughout history has suffered from within other scandals and controversies, no less painful from varying degrees of severity.

The current one is not the first.  Neither will it be the last. But one thing has been, is and will always be certain: Christ promised His Church the protection of the Holy Spirit from the errors of sinful men and that nothing evil in their hearts will be able to lead the Her (the Catholic Church) astray in what She teaches and proposes to be true for the salvation of the human race. A detailed check into the dark periods of Church history will prove this correct, nothing false has been taught by Her during those times.

I would now like to share with you something from Dr Alan Schreck’s The Compact History of the Catholic Church. It is pretty relevant for the Catholic Church in the present crisis that has visited us all.

The fulfillment of Jesus’ work of preparing His bride, the Church, for Himself is described in the Book of Revelation. Christ the Lamb of God, weds His bride, the Church, at the end of time: “‘ … the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to be clothed with fine linen, bright and pure’ -- for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints” (Rev 19:7-8).

This is what God is doing in human history. He is forming a people, a bride for His Son Jesus Christ, and purifying the Church so it will be ready when Christ comes again in glory. We know that this work of purification is not yet complete. Although we can see “the righteous deeds of the saints”, we also know that there is still sin in the Church, for Christ came not to call the righteous, but sinners (Luke 5:32). Yet in spite of the evident sin and weakness in the Church, Christ still loves it enough to die on the cross for His people, the Church.

It is evident that the history of the Church is marked by both sin and weakness as well as by the grace and protection of God. This is because the Church is not only a divine reality but also human, like Jesus himself. Unlike Jesus, however, the Church is not totally free from sin, but is in the process in each age of being freed from sin and being conformed to the image of Jesus, the Head of the Church. The Gospels are full of stories of sinners being redeemed -- prostitutes, the self-righteous, and even apostles like Peter. All of them needed mercy and forgiveness. What is true in the Gospels is true in the Church throughout history.

In spite of the sin in the Church today and in history, Christians are called not to criticize or to sit in judgment over the Church but to love the Church as Jesus does. We, as members of the Church, are sinners ourselves. Yet Jesus loves us enough to die for us to free us from our sin and weakness. The same is true of the Church as a whole. Despite its sinfulness, Christ loves the Church and looks upon it as His beloved Bride. God is at work to purify and renew His people, His Church. Each of us should say, with Cardinal Suenens, “I love the Church, wrinkles and all!” We love the Church in spite of imperfections, because Jesus Christ loves it and died to redeem His people.

So will the attack on Pope Benedict XVI and the Church from the anti-religious establishment go away any time soon?

First, let’s not forget the sex offences by priests on children are abhorrent and diabolical. The guilty will face the justice of God on Judgment Day, but the victims need our continued help and prayers for healing. We cannot ignore that wrongdoing of the worst kind has been perpetrated by those who were supposed to be ministers of God and trusted by us.

But the truth is, the sex abuses are the kind of opportunity the Church enemies are always on the lookout for and they are going to milk every drop for as long as they can. This is because the Catholic Church is universally seen as the epitome of religion, and rightly so, and is a prized target.

What makes the Church even more so is because our present shepherd, Pope Benedict XVI, has not been afraid to expose scourges committed by men who out to destroy the human family and its moral values  -- Islamic terrorism, misconceptions that condoms can stop the spread of Aids, the killing of innocent children through abortion, and homosexual unions and practices that disobey natural law and threaten the very existence of mankind. Because of his efforts to speak forcefully of these issues and what is true, the Pope has, since the beginning of his pontificate, been collecting enemies like a hobby.

The fact that Pope Benedict XVI is a sharp intellect makes him an even dangerous enemy to those who hate religion and the Catholic Church.

The current attacks on him and the Church are certainly disconcerting to Catholics worldwide, but this is exactly what key protagonists leading the charge, chiefly the so-called human rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson, and anti-Catholic and anti-religion atheists Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, desire: That we question our allegiance to Pope and Church.

These trio are not frivolous men and know very well their call for the Pope’s arrest is at best flimsy. Their intention is, therefore, clearly to prolong the confusion among Catholics, especially those vulnerable to leave the Church, and has nothing to do with justice for victims of the sex abuse.

So, as Catholics, we can let all the badly research articles -- and many are done on purpose -- affect us OR we can have faith the Holy Spirit is with the Church (that is us), and deceitful men will in the end be shown up for all of their ill-intentions and designs. We must never let such menace cause us to fall into despair of the True Faith and our baptismal allegiance to Her.


An article written by Linda Goodstein and published in the New York Times on March 25 alleged a coordinated attempt in the high reaches of the Vatican to cover up the sex abuse crimes committed on deaf children from 1950 to 1974 in the United States by Catholic priest Fr Lawrence Murphy. The article, close on the heels of similar sex offences by church clergy in Europe, led to accusations that Pope Benedict XVI was responsible for some of the cover-ups -- when he was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, first as Archbishop of Munich from 1977 to 1982, and then as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith (CDF), before succeeding John Paul II five years ago.

As is now coming to light from other responsible commentators and reports, the Goodstein report in the New York Times is flawed on many accounts and points to a orchestrated attempt to bring down the Church, in particular Pope Benedict XVI. The Church -- despite its faults and flaws over the centuries -- has never failed to be the voice of the underprivileged and unafraid to speak out for the  poor and the truth of what is morally right in bringing justice and equality, not only to them, but to all the world's men, women and children.

Under Benedict XVI, the Church has especially shown more courage in exposing scourges perpetrated by men of ill-will – among others, the roots of terrorism in fundamentalist Islamic teachings, the misleading notion that condoms prevent the spread of Aids, homosexual practices and unions disobey natural law and reason, and the mass killing of innocent children through abortion.

Pope Benedict XVI’s efforts in these areas have earned the wrath of many, namely rabid atheists who reject religion and the notion of God and spreading their false message every where, pro-abortionists, who like to see the unhindered slaughter of innocent children in their mothers' wombs, and those who want to banish laws preventing the marriage of homosexuals.

As Prefect of the CDF, Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI now) was instrumental in changing the Church’s laws and procedures to swiftly bring about the book on errant priests, with particular attention given to those perpetrating sexual crimes. This has been ignored by the New York Times’s Goodstein and other newspapers and reporters of her ilk. We can only deduce they are part of a larger voice who want to shut out Pope Benedict XVI and the Church’s mission in speaking for all men, women and children who seek justice from an imperfect world, especially from those who lust for power for themselves and a privileged few.

Below is an article by Fr Raymond J. de Souza who gives a blow-by-blow account of the inaccuracies presented in the New York Times article written by Goodstein.

A Response to the New York Times  by Fr. Raymond J. de Souza

The New York Times on March 25 (Edit: March 24 on NYT website) accused Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, of intervening to prevent a priest, Fr. Lawrence Murphy, from facing penalties for cases of sexual abuse of minors.

The story is false. It is unsupported by its own documentation. Indeed, it gives every indication of being part of a coordinated campaign against Pope Benedict, rather than responsible journalism.

Before addressing the false substance of the story, the following circumstances are worthy of note:

 • The New York Times story had two sources. First, lawyers who currently have a civil suit pending against the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. One of the lawyers, Jeffrey Anderson, also has cases in the United States Supreme Court pending against the Holy See. He has a direct financial interest in the matter being reported.

 • The second source was Archbishop Rembert Weakland, retired archbishop of Milwaukee. He is the most discredited and disgraced bishop in the United States, widely known for mishandling sexual-abuse cases during his tenure, and guilty of using $450,000 of archdiocesan funds to pay hush money to a former homosexual lover who was blackmailing him. Archbishop Weakland had responsibility for the Father Murphy case between 1977 and 1998, when Father Murphy died. He has long been embittered that his maladministration of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee earned him the disfavor of Pope John Paul II and Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, long before it was revealed that he had used parishioners’ money to pay off his clandestine lover. He is prima facie not a reliable source.

 • Laurie Goodstein, the author of the New York Times story, has a recent history with Archbishop Weakland. Last year, upon the release of the disgraced archbishop’s autobiography, she wrote an unusually sympathetic story that buried all the most serious allegations against him (New York Times, May 14, 2009).

 • A demonstration took place in Rome on Friday (Edit: March 26), coinciding with the publication of the New York Times story. One might ask how American activists would happen to be in Rome distributing the very documents referred to that day in the New York Times. The appearance here is one of a coordinated campaign, rather than disinterested reporting.

It’s possible that bad sources could still provide the truth. But compromised sources scream out for greater scrutiny. Instead of greater scrutiny of the original story, however, news editors the world over simply parroted the New York Times piece. Which leads us the more fundamental problem: The story is not true, according to its own documentation.

The New York Times made available on its own website the supporting documentation for the story. In those documents, Cardinal Ratzinger himself does not take any of the decisions that allegedly frustrated the trial. Letters are addressed to him; responses come from his deputy. Even leaving that aside, though, the gravamen of the charge — that Cardinal Ratzinger’s office impeded some investigation — is proven utterly false.

The documents show that the canonical trial or penal process against Father Murphy was never stopped by anyone. In fact, it was only abandoned days before Father Murphy died. Cardinal Ratzinger never took a decision in the case, according to the documents. His deputy, Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone, suggested, given that Father Murphy was in failing health and a canonical trial is a complicated matter, that more expeditious means be used to remove him from all ministry.

To repeat: The charge that Cardinal Ratzinger did anything wrong is unsupported by the documentation on which the story was based. He does not appear in the record as taking any decision. His office, in the person of his deputy, Archbishop Bertone, agreed that there should be full canonical trial. When it became apparent that Father Murphy was in failing health, Archbishop Bertone suggested more expeditious means of removing him from any ministry.

Furthermore, under canon law at the time, the principal responsibility for sexual-abuse cases lay with the local bishop. Archbishop Weakland had from 1977 onwards the responsibility of administering penalties to Father Murphy. He did nothing until 1996. It was at that point that Cardinal Ratzinger’s office became involved, and it subsequently did nothing to impede the local process.

The New York Times flatly got the story wrong, according to its own evidence. Readers may want to speculate on why.

Here is the relevant timeline, drawn from the documents the New York Times posted on its own website.

15 May 1974
Abuse by Fr. Lawrence Murphy is alleged by a former student at St. John’s School for the Deaf in Milwaukee. In fact, accusations against Father Murphy go back more than a decade.

12 September 1974
Father Murphy is granted an official “temporary sick leave” from St. John’s School for the Deaf. He leaves Milwaukee and moves to northern Wisconsin, in the Diocese of Superior, where he lives in a family home with his mother. He has no official assignment from this point until his death in 1998. He does not return to live in Milwaukee. No canonical penalties are pursued against him.

9 July 1980
Officials in the Diocese of Superior write to officials in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee about what ministry Father Murphy might undertake in Superior. Archbishop Rembert Weakland, archbishop of Milwaukee since 1977, has been consulted and says it would be unwise to have Father Murphy return to ministry with the deaf community. There is no indication that Archbishop Weakland foresees any other measures to be taken in the case.

17 July 1996
More than 20 years after the original abuse allegations, Archbishop Weakland writes to Cardinal Ratzinger, claiming that he has only just discovered that Father Murphy’s sexual abuse involved the sacrament of confession — a still more serious canonical crime. The allegations about the abuse of the sacrament of confession were in the original 1974 allegations. Weakland has been archbishop of Milwaukee by this point for 19 years.

It should be noted that for sexual-abuse charges, Archbishop Weakland could have proceeded against Father Murphy at any time. The matter of solicitation in the sacrament of confession required notifying Rome, but that too could have been done as early as the 1970s.

10 September 1996
Father Murphy is notified that a canonical trial will proceed against him. Until 2001, the local bishop had authority to proceed in such trials. The Archdiocese of Milwaukee is now beginning the trial. It is noteworthy that at this point, no reply has been received from Rome indicating that Archbishop Weakland knew he had that authority to proceed.

24 March 1997
Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone, Cardinal Ratzinger’s deputy at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, advises a canonical trial against Father Murphy.

14 May 1997
Archbishop Weakland writes to Archbishop Bertone to say that the penal process against Father Murphy has been launched, and notes that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has advised him to proceed even though the statute of limitations has expired. In fact, there is no statute of limitations for solicitation in the sacrament of confession.

Throughout the rest of 1997 the preparatory phases of penal process or canonical trial is underway. On 5 January 1998 the Tribunal of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee says that an expedited trial should be concluded within a few months.

12 January 1998
Father Murphy, now less than eight months away from his death, appeals to Cardinal Ratzinger that, given his frail health, he be allowed to live out his days in peace.

6 April 1998
Archbishop Bertone, noting the frail health of Father Murphy and that there have been no new charges in almost 25 years, recommends using pastoral measures to ensure Father Murphy has no ministry, but without the full burden of a penal process. It is only a suggestion, as the local bishop retains control.

13 May 1998
The Bishop of Superior, where the process has been transferred to and where Father Murphy has lived since 1974, rejects the suggestion for pastoral measures. Formal pre-trial proceedings begin on 15 May 1998, continuing the process already begun with the notification that had been issued in September 1996.

30 May 1998
Archbishop Weakland, who is in Rome, meets with officials at the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, including Archbishop Bertone but not including Cardinal Ratzinger, to discuss the case. The penal process is ongoing. No decision taken to stop it, but given the difficulties of a trial after 25 years, other options are explored that would more quickly remove Father Murphy from ministry.

19 August 1998
Archbishop Weakland writes that he has halted the canonical trial and penal process against Father Murphy and has immediately begun the process to remove him from ministry — a quicker option.

21 August 1998
Father Murphy dies. His family defies the orders of Archbishop Weakland for a discreet funeral.

— Father Raymond J. de Souza is a chaplain at Queen's University in Ontario.

Saturday, January 2, 2010


Excerpt from Catholic Culture

Mary and Jesus interlinked
The most important Christian doctrines—all those having to do with the identity of Jesus Christ as both God and man—are intimately bound up with a proper understanding of Mary. This is so true that it is impossible to get Jesus right, so to speak, without getting Mary right. One can take any Marian doctrine, such as the Immaculate Conception, and show how it is necessary to preserve and protect the proper understanding of Who Our Lord really is, and also necessary to fully grasp the Father’s merciful plan for our redemption. Though an exposition would far exceed our space, it is hardly too much to say that Christology and Mariology are forever interlinked.

The earliest Christians sought Mary in  the Old Testament
They found her as the “woman” in the third chapter of Genesis, whose offspring would conquer Satan. They found her in Isaiah’s great prophecy of the virgin who would bear a son named Immanuel (God with us) (Is 7:14). They found her in Micah’s reference to Bethlehem, from whom the ruler of Israel was to come forth “when she who is to give birth has borne” (Mic 5:1-2). They also found references to Mary in Jeremiah 31:22 (“The Lord has created a new thing upon the earth: the woman must encompass the man”); in Psalm 45 (“Here, O Daughter, and see…. All glorious is the king’s daughter as she enters”); in Judges 15 (“You are the glory of Jerusalem, the surpassing joy of Israel; you are the splendid boast of our people”); in Proverbs 8 and Sirach 24 (when they describe Wisdom, they seem also to describe Mary); and of course in the nuptial imagery of the Song of Songs.

Friday, January 1, 2010


On New Year’s Day, the octave day of Christmas, the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Holy Mother of God. The divine and virginal motherhood of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a singular salvific event: for Our Lady it was the foretaste and cause of her extraordinary glory; for us it is a source of grace and salvation because “through her we have received the Author of life”.

A Catholic Homily from Catholic Doors

Christ has two inseparable natures, God and man, in His single person. As such Mary can never be said to be the Mother of His human nature only and not His divinity because that would be make Christ a dichotomy, a split personality, which is a heresy

Dear members of the Body of Christ, today it is January 1. Another day and another year has begun. I suppose with all the news in the media during the past year on terrorist activities, wars here and there, natural disasters, many must have thought that they would never see the arrival of this year. Well, here it is and a happy Mary, the Mother of God’s Feast to all of you my brothers and sisters in Christ.

Today’s special Feast affirms that we Catholics believe that the Blessed Virgin Mary truly is the Mother of God. This Catholic Dogma finds its origin in a Bible passage that is found in the Gospel of Luke. After the archangel Gabriel had appeared to the Blessed Virgin Mary, she went to visit her cousin Elizabeth. Upon her arrival, Elizabeth said to Mary, “And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me?” [Lk. 1:43] Through Elizabeth who was full of the Holy Spirit, it was proclaimed that Mary was truly the Mother of God.

When Saint Elizabeth, inspired by the Holy Spirit, identified the fruit of the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary by the words, “the mother of my Lord,” she was referring to the Lord, the One God of the Old and New Testaments. This one biblical passage is undeniable proof that Jesus is God incarnated, therefore qualifying the Blessed Virgin Mary to the elevated honour and title of “Mother of God.”

Recognizing that Mary was truly the Mother of God because, “according to the flesh,” she gave birth to Jesus, in 431 A.D., the fathers of the Council of Ephesus confessed “the Holy Virgin to be the Mother of God because God the Word took flesh and became man and from his very conception united to himself the temple he took from her.”

In 451 A.D. the Fathers of the Council of Chalcedon affirmed that the Motherhood of Mary was a truthful Dogma and an official Doctrine of the Holy Catholic Church. This Proclamation was based on the truth that “The birth of flesh reveals human nature; (while the) birth from a virgin is a proof of Divine power.”

The Marion Feast of the Mother of God reaffirms the teachings of the early Church Councils, that Mary was the mother of Jesus who was both God and human. The Holy Bible supports the truth that Jesus was both God and human in the Gospel of John. In John 1:14, we read, “The Word became flesh and lived among us.” In Matthew 1:18-25, we read that Mary was the Mother of Jesus and in John 20:28, it is stated that Jesus is God. By uniting all these biblical truths, we come to the conclusion that the Blessed Virgin Mary is the indisputable Mother of God.

The Blessed Virgin Mary did not always hold the title of Mother of God. Her Motherhood began at the moment when the eternal God entered human history. At that moment, the second Divine presence of the Trinity, the Word, took on a human nature in the womb of Mary. Therefore, as God incarnated, Jesus had two natures, a Divine and a human nature. Mary was the mother of His human nature.

In Jesus dwelled the fullness of God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. From the Letter of Paul to the Colossians, we read that in Jesus the fullness of God was pleased to dwell bodily. [Col. 1:19, 2:9]

On the subject of the manner in which God the Father dwelled within Jesus, in 431 A.D., in the Third letter of Cyril to Nestorius, the Council of Ephesus stated:

“But we do not say that the Word of God dwelt as in an ordinary man born of the holy virgin, in order that Christ may not be thought of as a God-bearing man. For even though “the Word dwelt among us”, and it is also said that in Christ dwelt “all the fullness of the godhead bodily”, we understand that, having become flesh, the manner of his indwelling is not defined in the same way as he is said to dwell among the saints, he was united by nature and not turned into flesh and he (God the Father) made his indwelling in such a way as we may say that the soul of man does in his own body.”

“For we do not divide up the words of our Saviour in the gospels among two hypostases or persons. For the one and only Christ is not dual, even though he be considered to be from two distinct realities, brought together into an unbreakable union. In the same sort of way a human being, though he be composed of soul and body, is considered to be not dual, but rather one out of two. Therefore, in thinking rightly, we refer both the human and divine expressions to the same person.”

“He (God the Father) made his indwelling in such a way as we may say that the soul of man does in his own body.” 

To fully perceive what is being said here, one needs to understand the full meaning of the word “soul.”

The soul of man is formless in nature. It is the self-awareness, the self-consciousness, the “I” or the “me” within the body. When someone says, “I am so and so,” it is his soul manifesting itself through the mind of his physical body.

Equally, affirming the Divine and human natures of Jesus, God the Father, the eternal Divine Soul Consciousness, manifested Himself through the mind of the physical body of the Lord Jesus who had life in Himself as the Father has life in Himself. [Jn. 5:26] Through the One Divine Soul Consciousness, both God the Father and Jesus can affirm “I am.” At the same time, through the individual minds of each presence of the Godhead, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit all affirm that They are one, the “I am” of the Old and New Testaments. In God, there is One Divine Soul but three minds.

To understand the One Soul and multiplicity of minds, let us consider the gift of bilocation. When Saint Francis bilocated, at the same time but in different places, there were two presences of him manifesting themselves apart from each other. During the gift of bilocation, Saint Francis still had only one soul. But each of his two different bodies had a mind of its own, the second body having life in itself as the first body had life in itself. Through the mind of each body, the soul of St. Francis, his self- awareness, was able to simultaneously manifest itself in two places.

Using a different approach, when we think of the mother of Saint Francis, was she not the mother of his soul and his body? Was she not also the mother of both of his bodies while he bilocated? This entitled the mother of St. Francis to be called the mother of his soul, his two minds and his two bodies. Why? Because they were all one! There was only one Saint Francis!

Equally, when we think of the mother of Jesus, was she not the mother of the eternal Divine Soul and His physical body, the human nature? As the mother of Jesus who is God, in who dwelled the fullness of God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, does this not also entitled the Blessed Virgin Mary to be called the Mother of all Three Presences of the Blessed Trinity?

As the Mother of God, is the Blessed Virgin Mary not entitled to be called the mother of the Divine nature of the formless heavenly Father, of the spiritual nature of the Holy Spirit Who is invisible and of the human nature of Jesus Christ who is visible? Why? Because all three Divine Presences of the Blessed Trinity are inseparable!

If we are to affirm that the mother of Saint Francis was without question the mother of his soul and even the mother of his second presence during the gift of bilocation, then we must also affirm without question that the Blessed Virgin Mary is the Mother of the Divine Soul Consciousness, the Holy Spirit and the human nature of God incarnated that were manifested through Jesus Christ.

My brothers and sisters, in Jesus dwelled the Divine nature, the spiritual nature and the human nature. These three natures coexisted in the person of the Lord Jesus who was the Son of the Blessed Virgin Mary. While Mary did not give birth to the eternal Divine and spiritual natures of God, as the mother of One, she was the mother of all Three for these three natures are inseparable. As the soul, the spirit and the body of man cannot be separated in the fullness of a human being, the Divine Soul of God, His Holy Spirit, and His beloved Son Jesus Christ could not be separated to ensure that Jesus was truly God and truly man.

The above explanation affirms the statement of Saint Paul in the Letter of Paul to the Romans where it states, “Ever since the creation of the world his (God) eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things he (God) has made. So they (the believers) are without excuse” [Rom. 1;20] The aforementioned are the reasons why we Catholics affirm that the Blessed Virgin Mary truly is the Mother of God.

Further reading Why Mother of God?