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.