Saturday, May 30, 2009

Pentecost: Come, Holy Ghost!

Normally, I'd post an icon or painting of the solemnity or feast day.

But I suggest you check out the amazing selection of pictures of Babel and Pentecost at Dr. Judisch's blog, "Of Towers and Tongues". They're along the right side-bar down the page.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Prayer and Congratulations

Please pray for (and congratulate) my brother, Fr. Charlie, who will be celebrating the 17th anniversary of his ordination this Saturday. He's a wonderful priest, a great pastor (as far as I know), an excellent preacher, and a decent older brother. ;)

Thanks be to God!

Statement from Fr. Cutié's (former) Archbishop

Here is a strong pastoral statement from Archbishop Favalora of Miami, Florida.
from John C. Favalora, Archbishop of Miami, about
Father Alberto Cutié's separation from the Roman Catholic Church.

Miami • May 28, 2009

I am genuinely disappointed by the announcement made earlier this afternoon by Father Alberto Cutié that he is joining the Episcopal Church.

According to our canon law, with this very act Father Cutié is separating himself from the communion of the Roman Catholic Church (c. 1364, §1) by professing erroneous faith and morals, and refusing submission to the Holy Father (canon 751). He also is irregular for the exercise of sacred orders as a priest (canons 1041 and 1044, §1) and no longer has the faculties of the Archdiocese of Miami to celebrate the sacraments; nor may he preach or teach on Catholic faith and morals (cannon 1336, §1). His actions could lead to his dismissal from the clerical state.

This means that Father Cutié is removing himself from full communion with the Catholic Church and thereby forfeiting his rights as a cleric. Roman Catholics should not request the sacraments from Father Cuité. Any sacramental actions he attempts to perform would be illicit. Any Mass he says would be valid but illicit, meaning it does not meet a Catholic’s obligation. Father Cutié cannot validly officiate at marriages of Roman Catholics in the Archdiocese of Miami or anywhere.

Father Cutié is still bound by his promise to live a celibate life, which he freely embraced at ordination. Only the Holy Father can release him from that obligation.

To the Catholic faithful of Saint Francis de Sales Parish, Radio Paz and the entire Archdiocese of Miami, I again say that Father Cutié’s actions cannot be justified, despite his good works as a priest (statement of May 5, 2009). This is all the more true in light of today’s announcement. Father Cutié may have abandoned the Catholic Church; he may have abandoned you. But I tell you that the Catholic Church will never abandon you; the Archdiocese of Miami is here for you.

Father Cutié’s actions have caused grave scandal within the Catholic Church, harmed the Archdiocese of Miami − especially our priests – and led to division within the ecumenical community and the community at large. Today’s announcement only deepens those wounds.

When Father Cutié met with me on May 5th, he requested and I granted a leave of absence from the exercise of the priesthood. Because of this, he could no longer be the administrator of St Francis de Sales Parish or the General Director of Radio Paz. For the good of the Church and to avoid the media frenzy, I chose not to impose publicly an ecclesiastical penalty, although his admitted actions clearly warranted it. Since that meeting, I have not heard from Father Cutié nor has he requested to meet with me. He has never told me that he was considering joining the Episcopal Church.

I must also express my sincere disappointment with how Bishop Leo Frade of the Episcopal Diocese of Southeast Florida has handled this situation. Bishop Frade has never spoken to me about his position on this delicate matter or what actions he was contemplating. I have only heard from him through the local media. This truly is a serious setback for ecumenical relations and cooperation between us. The Archdiocese of Miami has never made a public display when for doctrinal reasons Episcopal priests have joined the Catholic Church and sought ordination. In fact, to do so would violate the principles of the Catholic Church governing ecumenical relations. I regret that Bishop Frade has not afforded me or the Catholic community the same courtesy and respect.

In my nearly 50 years as a priest, I have often preached on Jesus’ parable of the Prodigal Son – which really should be called the parable of the Forgiving Father (Luke 15, 11-32). Perhaps the story told by the Lord so long ago is applicable to our discussions this afternoon.

A father had two sons. One of them took his inheritance early and left home, spending his money wantonly. The father waited patiently for the return of his prodigal son, who after he had seen the error of his ways, repented and returned home. Upon his return, the father lovingly embraced him and called him his son. I pray that Father Cutié will “come to his senses” (Luke 15, 17) and return home. The Catholic Church seeks the conversion and salvation of sinners, not their condemnation. The same is my attitude toward Father Cutié.

We must not forget, however, that there were two sons in the Lord’s story. The other son, who never left home, was angry that his erring brother was welcomed home by the father. To all faithful Catholics, I say what the father said to this second son: “You are with me always and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and rejoice. This brother of yours was dead and has come back to life. He was lost, and is found” (Luke 15, 31-32).

In this beautiful parable Jesus teaches us that God is a loving and forgiving Father. Each of us has experienced that love, each of us needs that forgiveness; for we are all sinners. If our brother comes home, let us celebrate with the Father.

In conclusion, I commend and salute the priests of the Archdiocese of Miami and all priests who faithfully live and fulfill their promise of celibacy. By their fidelity to their promise they reflect more clearly to the world the Christ whose total gift of himself to the Father was pure and chaste love for his brothers and sisters. In our times so pre-occupied with sex, the gift of celibacy is all the more a sign of the Kingdom of Heaven where, as scripture says, there will be “no marrying or giving in marriage” (Matthew 22, 30). I encourage all Catholics to pray for and support our dedicated priests.

Most Reverend John C. Favalora
Archbishop of Miami

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Bad reaction to Fr. Cutié's defection to the Episcopal communion

On the Catholic Answers Forum, there are some rather disgusting comments being made about Fr. Cutié's decision to leave the Catholic Church to join the Episcopal communion and marry his girlfriend.
  • "It's sad that he lied and made the choices he did but I say good riddens."
  • "Yeah yeah, whatever.....just go..."
  • "Well, I hate to say it, but the Protestant churches have been our trash receptacle for 400 years now. I'm grateful that the Church can remain pure in its teachings, even when men who claim to be of God are incapable of remaining pure... It's a shame for the good and solid Christians in the Protestant churches, that they have to take our weakest members and we get their strongest as converts, but there it is."
  • "Who else walked out on the Last Supper?....I am not impressed"
  • "Well good ridden! The Church has purified itself of 1 less bad apple."
Typos aside, this sampling (which is NOT indicative of the whole response) is not concerned for his soul or his well-being. You'd think there wasn't a sin among these people!

This is an issue about more than just clerical celibacy. Obedience, celibacy, chastity, scandal... there's a lot going on here.

More about this morning.

Tradition: Vox Ecclesiae

This is the Magisterial portion of works formerly listed on Books of Reasonable Price. I have split the page in two, to help me keep track of the source of the literature and because Magisterial documents have more "attributes" to keep track of than normal literature. The documents listed here are in reverse chronological order -- the ones I've completed recently are at the top.

Although the International Theological Commission (ITC) is not an official dicastery of the Vatican, the Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (William Cardinal Levada) is its ex officio president (previously held by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger); thus, I am including their works on this page. The documents produced by the ITC receive the approval of the Pope before they are published. The ITC serves an advisory role to the Vatican, and its documents are not considered authoritative teaching.

The Giga-Catholic web site has been instrumental for me in finding some of these documents; it contains, among other things, information about hundreds of Vatican documents: titles in Latin, descriptions, topics, authors, etc. For example, I can use this page and this page to guide me in my quest of reading the Vatican's writings on the Eucharist in the past 100 or so years.

Printing Caveat: If you want to print one of the documents linked below (via the MS Word links) in booklet form, please note that the paper size of the document is either B4 (257mm x 364mm) or ledger size (11" x 17"). However your printer does booklet-printing, make sure you make it aware that the document size and the paper size are not the same. The image here shows how to make this adjustment on my printer.

Currently being read:
  • Encyclical Verbum Domini (On the Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church) - Pope Benedict XVI (2010)
Next in the queue:
  1. Instruction De Musica Sacra (On Sacred Music and Sacred Liturgy) [MS Word, 138 K, 18pp] - Sacred Congregation of Rites (1958)
  2. Declaration Gravissimum Educationis (On Christian Eduction) - Second Vatican Council (1965)
  3. Decree Orientalium Ecclesiarum (On the Catholic Churches of the Eastern Rites) - Second Vatican Council (1964)
  4. Letter to English-Speaking Conferences of Bishops [MS Word, 70 K, 8pp] - Jorge A. Cardinal Medina Estevez (2002)
  5. Apostolic Constitution Humanae Salutis (Convoking the Second Vatican Council) - Bl. Pope John XXIII (1961)
  6. Address Opening the Second Vatican Council - Bl. Pope John XXIII (1962)
  7. Instruction Liturgiam Authenticam (Fifth Instruction on the orderly carrying out of Sacrosanctum Concilium) [MS Word, 235 K, 22pp] - Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments (2001)
  8. Decree Inter Mirifica (On the media of social communications) - Second Vatican Council (1963)
  9. Encyclical Paenitentiam Agere (On the need for interior and exterior penance) - Bl. Pope John XXIII (1962)
  10. Encyclical Redemptor Hominis (On the Redeemer of mankind) - Pope John Paul II (1979)
  11. Document Considerations regarding proposals to give legal recognition to unions between homosexual persons - Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (2003)
  12. Message To the participants in the Plenary of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences (Concerning evolution and the origin of man) - Pope John Paul II (1996)
  13. Address To the International Congress on Pastoral Liturgy (On the liturgy) - Pope Pius XII (1956)
  14. Instruction Instructio (on the Ecumenical Movement) - Holy Office (1849)
  15. Encyclical Divinum Illud Munus (On the Holy Spirit) - Pope Leo XIII (1897)
  16. Encyclical Satis Cognitum (On the Unity of the Church) - Pope Leo XIII (1896)
  17. Instruction Pastoralis Actio (On Infant Baptism) - Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (1980)
  18. Two documents on the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
  19. Two documents on the Immaculate Conception
    • Apostolic Constitution Ineffabilis Deus (On the Immaculate Conception) - Pope Pius IX (1854)
    • Encyclical Ubi Primum (On the Immaculate Conception) - Pope Pius IX (1849)
  20. Encyclical Quas Primas (On the Feast of Christ the King) - Pope Pius XI (1925)
  21. Decree Apostolicam Actuositatem (On the Apostolate of the Laity) [MS Word, 130 K, 14pp] - Second Vatican Council (1965)
  22. Encyclical Ecclesiam Suam (On the Church) [MS Word, 190 K, 24pp] - Pope Paul VI (1964)
    • Note: a better translation can be found here. I will soon replace my old Word document with a new one reflecting this more accurate translation.
  23. Apostolic Letter Ministeria Quaedam (On First Tonsure, the Minor Orders, and the Subdiaconate) [MS Word, 57 K, 3pp] - Pope Paul VI (1972)
  24. Constitution Auctorem Fidei (On the Errors of the Synod of Pistoia) [MS Word, 134 K, 16pp] - Pope Pius VI (1794)
  25. Encyclical Nostis et Nobiscum (On the Church in the Pontifical States) [MS Word, 86 K, 7pp] - Pope Pius IX (1849)
  26. Instruction Tra le Sollecitudini (On Sacred Music) [MS Word, 72 K, 7pp] - Pope St. Pius X (1903)
  27. Encyclical Divini Cultus (On Divine Worship) [MS Word, 49 K, 3pp] - Pope Pius XI (1028)
  28. Encyclical Musicae Sacrae (On Sacred Music) [MS Word, 88 K, 9pp] - Pope Pius XII (1955)
  29. Document Music in Catholic Worship [MS Word, 91 K, 11pp] - USCCB (1972)
    • Note: the online document is malformed, with paragraphs out of order, missing footnotes, and evidence of shoddy OCR (optical character recognition). My Word document fixes some of the errors, but I can't find any other online version of this document to get the missing footnotes from.
  30. Chirograph for the Centenary of the Motu Proprio Tra le Sollecitudini [MS Word, 68 K, 5pp] - Pope John Paul II (2003)
  31. Circular Letter Paschale Solemnitatis (Concerning the Preparation and Celebration of the Easter Feasts) [MS Word, 128 K, 14pp] - Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments (1988)
  32. Apostolic Constitution Paenitemini (On Penance) [MS Word, 74 K, 6pp] - Pope Paul VI (1966)
  33. Christmas Address to the Roman Curia [MS Word, 80 K, 7pp] - Pope Benedict XVI (2005)
  34. Encyclical Ut Unum Sint (On Commitment to Ecumenism) [MS Word, 253 K, 31pp] - Pope John Paul II (1995)
  35. Apostolic Letter Spiritus et Sponsa (On the 40th Anniversary of Sacrosanctum Concilium) [MS Word, 65 K, 4pp] - Pope John Paul II (2003)
  36. Decree Ad Gentes (On the Mission Activity of the Church) [MS Word, 171 K, 20pp] - Second Vatican Council (1965)
  37. Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium (On the Church) [MS Word, 283 K, 32pp] - Second Vatican Council (1964)
  38. Apostolic Letter Solemni Hac Liturgia (Credo of the People of God) [MS Word, 62 K, 8pp] - Pope Paul VI (1968)
  39. Encyclical Humani Generis (On Some False Opinions Threatening to Undermine the Foundations of Catholic Doctrine) [MS Word, 76 K, 7pp] - Pope Pius XII (1950)
  40. Apostolic Letter Salvifici Doloris (On the Christian Meaning of Human Suffering) [MS Word, 172 K, 19pp] - Pope John Paul II (1984)
  41. Encyclical Mortalium Animos (On Religious Unity) [MS Word, 63 K, 5pp] - Pope Pius XI (1928)
  42. Declaration Dignitatis Humanae (On the Right of the Person and of Communities to Social and Civil Freedom in Matters Religious) [MS Word, 73 K, 7pp] - Second Vatican Council (1965)
  43. Declaration Nostra Aetate (On the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions) [MS Word, 44 K, 3pp] - Second Vatican Council (1965)
  44. Decree Unitatis Redintegratio (On Ecumenism) [MS Word, 89 K, 9pp] - Second Vatican Council (1964)
  45. Encyclical Quanto Conficiamur Moerore (On False Doctrines) [MS Word, 52 K, 4pp] - Blessed Pope Pius IX (1863)
  46. Encyclical Singulari Quidem (On the Church in Austria) [MS Word, 69 K, 6pp] - Blessed Pope Pius IX (1856)
  47. Bull Unam Sanctam (On the Authority of the Papacy) [MS Word, 38 K, 2pp] - Pope Boniface VIII (1302)
  48. Encyclical Mystici Corporis Christi (On the Mystical Body of Christ) [MS Word, 192 K, 23pp] - Pope Pius XII (1943)
  49. Note on Some Aspects of Evangelization [MS Word, 127 K, 7pp] - Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (2007)
  50. Apostolic Constitution Veterum Sapientia (On the Promotion of the Study of Latin) [MS Word, 52 K, 4pp] - Pope John XXIII (1962)
  51. Encyclical Spe Salvi (On Christian Hope) [MS Word, 157K, 19pp] - Pope Benedict XVI (2007)
  52. Encyclical Supremi Apostolatus Officio (On Devotion of the Rosary) [MS Word, ? K, 4pp] - Pope Leo XII (1883)
  53. Document Environment and Art in Catholic Worship [book] - USCCB (1978)
  54. Curial Letter Sacerdotium ministeriale [MS Word, 50 K, 4pp] (On the Minister of the Eucharist) - Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (1983)
    • I thank Br. Rich, SFO, from Catholic Answers Forum, who translated this document from the Latin and the Italian.
  55. Document The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church [MS Word, 295 K, 40pp] - Pontifical Biblical Commission (1993)
  56. Four documents [MS Word, 92 K, 10pp] (On ordination of men only)
  57. Lineamenta Historia Salutis (The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church) [MS Word, 271 K, 28pp] - Synod of Bishops, XII Ordinary General Assembly (2007)
  58. Instruction Sancta Mater Ecclesia (On the Historicity of the Gospels) [MS Word, 79 K, 5pp] - Pontifical Commission for Biblical Studies (1964)
  59. Encyclical Divino Afflante Spiritu (On Promoting Biblical Studies, Commemorating the Fiftieth Anniversary of Providentissimus Deus) [MS Word, 103 K, 12pp] - Pope Pius XII (1943)
  60. Encyclical Providentissimus Deus (On the Study of Holy Scripture) [MS Word, 105 K, 12pp] - Pope Leo XIII (1893)
  61. Conciliar Constitution Dei Verbum (On Divine Revelation) [MS Word, 76 K, 7pp] - Pope Paul VI (1965)
  62. Conciliar Constitution Dei Filius (On the Catholic Faith) [MS Word, 66 K, 7pp] - Vatican I (1870)
  63. Apostolic Letter (motu proprio) Summorum Pontificum (On the Roman Liturgy Prior to the Reform of 1970) with the accompanying explanatory letter [MS Word, 84 K, 8pp] - Pope Benedict XVI (2007)
  64. Curial Letter Quattuor Abhinc Annos (Granting an indult for bishops to authorize celebration of Mass according to the 1962 Missal) - Congregation for Divine Worship (1984); with Apostolic Letter (motu proprio) Ecclesia Dei (Establishing the Ecclesia Dei Commission) [MS Word, 43 K, 3pp] - Pope John Paul II (1988)
  65. Encyclical Mediator Dei (On the Sacred Liturgy) [MS Word, 232 K, 31pp] - Pope Pius XII (1947)
  66. Document Responsa ad quaestiones (Responses to Some Questions Regarding Certain Aspects of the Doctrine on the Church) and Commentary on Responsa ad quaestiones [MS Word, 80 K, 8pp] - Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (2007)
  67. Curial Letter Communionis Notio (On Some Aspects of the Church Understood as Communion) [MS Word, 82 K, 7pp] - Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (1992)
  68. Document Notification (to Father Leonardo Boff) [MS Word, 51 K, 4pp] - Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (1985)
  69. Declaration Mysterium Ecclesiae (In Defense of the Catholic Doctrine on the Church Against Certain Errors of the Present Day) [MS Word, 80 K, 8pp] - Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (1973)
  70. Document The Eucharist and the Priest [MS Word, 47 K, 4pp] (A commentary on Ecclesia de Eucharistia) - Congregation for the Clergy (2003)
  71. Joint Statement On The Mystery of the Church and the Eucharist in the Light of the Mystery of the Holy Trinity (with the Orthodox Church) [MS Word, 60 K, 6pp] - Secretariat for Christian Unity (1982)
  72. Instruction Ecclesia de mysterio [MS Word, 143 K, 16pp] (On certain questions regarding the collaboration of the non-ordained faithful in the sacred ministry of the Priest) - Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (and seven other groups) (1997)
  73. Declaration Dans ces derniers temps [MS Word, 39 K, 3pp] (On the Position of the Catholic Church on the Celebration of the Eucharist in Common by Christians of Different Confessions) - Secretariat for Christian Unity (1970)
  74. Decree Sacra Tridentia [MS Word, 41 K, 3pp] (On the Frequent and Daily Reception of Holy Communion) - Sacred Congregation of the Council (1905)
  75. Several Curial Letters [MS Word, 60 K, 7pp] (On the topic of Holy Communion)
  76. Instruction In quibus rerum circumstantiis [MS Word, 58 K, 5pp] (On the admission of other Christians to the Eucharist) - Secretariat for Christian Unity (1972)
  77. Encyclical Mirae Caritatis [MS Word, 72 K, 8pp] (On the Holy Eucharist) - Pope Leo XIII (1902)
  78. Decree Eucharistiae Sacramentum [MS Word, 67 K, 6pp] (On the Rites of Holy Communion and Worship of the Eucharist Outside Mass), from the Liturgical Book De Sacra Communione et de Cultu Mysterii Eucharistici extra Missam - Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship (1973)
  79. Circular Letter Eucharistiae Participationem [MS Word, 56 K, 4pp] (On Eucharistic Prayers) - Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship (1973)
  80. Instruction Liturgicae Instaurationes [MS Word, 72 K, 7pp] (Third Instruction on the orderly carrying out of Sacrosanctum Concilium) - Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship (1970)
  81. Instruction Inaestimabile Donum [MS Word, 59 K, 5pp] (On Worship of the Eucharistic Mystery) - Sacred Congregation for the Sacraments and Divine Worship (1980)
  82. Instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum [MS Word, 262 K, 36pp] (On certain matters to be observed or to be avoided regarding the Most Holy Eucharist) - Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Francis Cardinal Arinze (2004)
  83. Apostolic Letter Mane nobiscum Domine [MS Word, 77 K, 8pp] (On the Year of the Eucharist) - Pope John Paul II (2004)
  84. Instruction Immensae Caritatis [MS Word, 59 K, 4pp] (On Faciliatating Reception of Communion in Certain Circumstances) - Sacred Congregation of the Sacraments (1973)
  85. Apostolic Constitution Indulgentarium Doctrina [MS Word, 84 K, 8pp] (On the promulgation of the Revision of Sacred Indulgences) - Pope Paul VI (1967)
  86. Encyclical Ecclesia de Eucharistia [MS Word, 250 K, 20pp] (On the Eucharist in its Relationship to the Church) - Pope John Paul II (2003)
  87. Instruction Norms for the Distribution and Reception of Holy Communion Under Both Kinds [MS Word, 90 K, 9pp] - Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments (2001)
  88. Declaration Dominus Iesus [MS Word, 126 K, 12pp] (On the Unicity and Salvific Universality of Jesus Christ and the Church) - Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (2000)
  89. Instruction Memoriale Domini [MS Word, 44 K, 4pp] (On the Manner of Distributing Holy Communion) - Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship (1969)
    • Norms En réponse à la demande (Letter granting to various Bishops' Conferences permission for Communion in the hand and laying down norms for its implementation) - Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship (1969) (appended this to my version of Memoriale Domini)
  90. Joint Declaration On the Doctrine of Justification [MS Word, 95 K, 14pp] (with the Lutheran World Federation) - Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (1999)
  91. Decree On Justification [MS Word, 83 K, 11pp] - Council of Trent, Sixth Session (1547)
  92. Instruction Eucharisticum Mysterium [MS Word, 147 K, 18pp] (On Eucharistic Worship) - Sacred Congregation of Rites (1967)
  93. Instruction Musicam Sacram (On Music in the Liturgy) [MS Word, 91 K, 10pp] - Sacred Congregation of Rites (1967)
  94. Conciliar Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium [MS Word, 128 K, 19pp] (On the Sacred Liturgy) - Pope Paul VI (1963)
  95. Encyclical Mysterium Fidei [MS Word, 100 K, 12pp] (On the Holy Eucharist) - Pope Paul VI (1965)
  96. Apostolic Letter Vicesimus Quintus Annus [MS Word, 92 K, 11pp] (On the 25th Anniversary of the Promulgation of Sacrosanctum Concilium) - Pope John Paul II (1988)
  97. Apostolic Constitution Missale Romanum [MS Word, 38 K, 3pp] (On the New Roman Missal) - Pope Paul VI (1969)
  98. Letter Dominicae Cenae [MS Word, 147 K, 14pp] (On the Mystery and Worship of the Eucharist) - Pope John Paul II (1980)
    • Note: the English version on the Vatican's web site has a typo in section 11, where two paragraphs have been merged together and a footnote reference disappears. The copy at Adoremus does not display this error, and I used it to correct the Word document.
  99. Instruction Inter Oecumenici [MS Word, 133 K, 14pp] (First Instruction on the orderly carrying out of Sacrosanctum Concilium) - Consilium for Implementing the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy (1964)
  100. Apostolic Exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis [MS Word, 303 K, 39pp] (On the Eucharist as the Source and Summit of the Church's Life and Mission) - Pope Benedict XVI (2007)
  101. Encyclical Deus Caritas Est [MS Word, 164 K, 18pp] (On Christian Love) - Pope Benedict XVI (2006)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

New Bishop for Allentown (PA)

Pope Benedict has appointed a new Bishop for the diocese of Allentown, PA (where my parents live). Congratulations to Msgr. John Barres!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

That's "Pope" to you!

Err, rather, that's "". The Holy See is continuing to get with the digital times. Earlier this year, the Vatican launched a YouTube channel. Now they have a FaceBook app and a growing internet presence. Check out for more details!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Reading the Documents of Vatican II

I read the Decree on Priestly Formation (Optatam Totius) this afternoon. It's one of the shorter documents. I'll post some comments on it later (updating this post). It was a rather enlightening.

Friday, May 22, 2009

What Catholic media should be

I just read Vatican II's Inter Mirifica over lunch. This document was promulgated in 1963 (along the with Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy), and provides the Church's teaching and pastoral activity in the media of social communications.

You should read it too, and then see if so-called Catholic media like National Catholic Reporter (US) and The Tablet (UK) actually adhere to the Church's teaching on media and communications from Vatican II.

On the other hand, consider the fine programming of EWTN, Sacred Heart Radio, Ave Maria Radio, etc., and then read this paragraph from the document:
It is quite unbecoming for the Church's children idly to permit the message of salvation to be thwarted or impeded by the technical delays or expenses, however vast, which are encountered by the very nature of these media. Therefore, this sacred Synod advises them of the obligation they have to maintain and assist Catholic newspapers, periodicals and film projects, radio and television programs and stations, whose principal objective is to spread and defend the truth and foster Christian influence in human society. At the same time, the Synod earnestly invites those organizations and individuals who possess financial and technical ability to support these media freely and generously with their resources and their skills, inasmuch as they contribute to genuine culture and the apostolate. (IM 17)
Have you supported Catholic media lately?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Year of the Priesthood

Grabbing the heel of the Year of St. Paul will be the Year of Priesthood, as called for by Pope Benedict XVI back in March. Here are some highlights from a letter from the Prefect for the Congregation for the Clergy, Cláudio Cardinal Hummes.
... with this special year it is intended “to encourage priests in this striving for spiritual perfection on which, above all, the effectiveness of their ministry depends”. For this reason it must be, in a very special way, a year of prayer by priests, with priests and for priests, a year for the renewal of the spirituality of the presbyterate and of each priest. The Eucharist is, in this perspective, at the heart of priestly spirituality. Thus Eucharistic adoration for the sanctification of priests and the spiritual motherhood of religious women, consecrated and lay women towards priests, as previously proposed some time ago by the Congregation for the Clergy, could be further developed and would certainly bear the fruit of sanctification.


May it be a year as well of religious and of public celebration which will bring the people – the local Catholic community – to pray, to reflect, to celebrate, and justly to give honour to their priests.
Read the whole thing!

Ascension Thursday

Glad to be in a diocese that celebrates our Lord's Ascension on a Thursday.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Yes we can...

... but should we?

Thoughts on Notre Dame

As I walked back from Starbucks with a co-worker this morning, our conversation turned to the President's speech at Notre Dame. He suggested that instead of applauding the President before and after his speech, it would have been an appropriate compromise to applaud him as he entered the area (giving honor and respect to the office of President), but to remain silent before, during, and after his speech.

Vatican II Series - Part III - Notes

Session 3 – The People of God in the Modern World

  • Pope John Paul II
    • Born on May 18th
    • 42 years old at Vatican II
    • Called a synod in 1985 to review Vatican II
    • Promoted the idea of the Church as “The People of God”
    • Strongly interested in ecumenism
    • Beatified ~1500 and canonized ~400 people, many indigenous peoples
  • The Church before Vatican II
    • “Perfect society”
    • Think of “Church”, you think of “hierarchy”
      • “The Church teaches…” means “The Magisterium teaches…”
      • We tend to think of the “Church” as the leaders
    • Role of the laity
      • To support the ministry and mission of the clergy
      • To support the apostolate of the hierarchy
  • Factors leading up to Vatican II
    • Luther “came up with” the idea of the priesthood of all believers (cf. 1 Peter 2:9)
      • Luther was a “silent father” at the Council
    • Vatican I (suspended in 1870)
      • Had a document on the Church in the works, but it was never promulgated
      • Didn’t mention papal infallibility in the original schema
    • Pope Pius XII
      • Encyclical on the Mystical Body of Christ in 1943 (Mystici Corporis Christi)
      • Very biblical view of the Church as the Body of Christ
      • The Church is divinely inspired and constructed, although also made up of human elements
      • Address on the Lay Apostolate in 1957
  • Avery Cardinal Dulles summary from 2004
    • In the decade after WWII, the Church experienced a number of movements categorized as “ressourcement.” Vatican II built on biblical and patristic studies, liturgical movement, kerygmatic theology, catechetical renewal, lay apostolate, ecumenical movement, and social apostolate. The Council avoided language like “reformation” but did enact some of the desiderata of Luther and other Protestant reformers
  • Schema De Ecclesia
    • Preoccupied with authority
    • Refuted Protestant positions
    • Leo Joseph Cardinal Suenens (Belgium) intervened on 4 December 1962
      • The Church needs to engage in three dialogues
        • Self (Lumen Gentium)
        • Other Christians (Unitatis Redintegratio)
        • The World (Gaudium et Spes, Ad Gentes, Nostra Aetate, Dignitatis Humanae)
      • Going back to the Early Church Fathers
        • The Kingdom of God is not just about Heaven
        • Augustine said that there are many in the Church who are not God’s, and many who are God’s who are not in the Church (source?)
        • God made the world, and He made it good, so the Spirit of God is active in the whole world, not just in the Church
        • The Church is the normative means of God’s saving work, but God can work outside the Church
      • Backed by Montini (future Pope Paul VI)
  • Lumen Gentium, “Light to the Nations” (21 November 1964) passed 2,151 to 5
    • Outline
      • The Mystery of the Church (1-8)
      • The People of God (9-17)
      • On the Hierarchical Structure of the Church and in Particular on the Episcopate (18-29)
      • The Laity (30-38)
      • The Universal Call to Holiness (39-42)
      • The Religious (43-47)
      • The Pilgrim Church (48-51) – “Church Militant/Church Triumphant” in modern language
      • Our Lady (52-69)
    • Church as Sacrament
      • The Church is in Christ like a sacrament or as a sign and instrument both of a union with God and of the unity of all humanity; describing her inner nature and universal mission (LG 1)
      • This Church subsists in the Catholic Church; there are elements of sanctification and of truth found outside her visible structure; these elements, which belong to the Church of Christ, impel toward Catholic unity (LG 8)
      • The Church always follows the way of penance and renewal; she is always in need of being purified (LG 8)
    • The People of God
      • Christ instituted a new covenant, making Jew and Gentile one people in the flesh, the People of God (LG 9)
      • Baptismal priesthood differs in essence and degree from the ordained priesthood, but there is a participation in the three offices of Christ, priest, prophet, and king (LG 10)
        • See Pope Pius XII’s Mediator Dei:
          • 88. Nor is it to be wondered at, that the faithful should be raised to this dignity. By the waters of baptism, as by common right, Christians are made members of the Mystical Body of Christ the Priest, and by the "character" which is imprinted on their souls, they are appointed to give worship to God. Thus they participate, according to their condition, in the priesthood of Christ.
          • 99. This offering in fact is not confined merely to the liturgical sacrifice. For the Prince of the Apostles wishes us, as living stones built upon Christ, the cornerstone, to be able as "a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ." St. Paul the Apostle addresses the following words of exhortation to Christians, without distinction of time, "I beseech you therefore, . . . that you present your bodies, a living sacrifice, holy, pleasing unto God, your reasonable service." But at that time especially when the faithful take part in the liturgical service with such piety and recollection that it can truly be said of them: "whose faith and devotion is known to Thee," it is then, with the High Priest and through Him they offer themselves as a spiritual sacrifice, that each one's faith ought to become more ready to work through charity, his piety more real and fervent, and each one should consecrate himself to the furthering of the divine glory, desiring to become as like as possible to Christ in His most grievous sufferings.
    • Universal Call to Holiness
      • All are called to holiness, the fullness of Christian life, and perfection of charity (LG 40)
        • The laity are not called to liturgical ministry, but ministry in the world
    • The Blessed Virgin Mary
      • Mary is truly the Mother of God and Mother of the Redeemer, redeemed by the merits of her Son and united to him by an indissoluble tie (LG 53)
      • There is one mediator (see 1 Tim); Mary’s maternal duty in no way obscures or diminishes Christ’s power or mediation (LG 60)
    • Question about Mary as Co-Redemptrix
  • Gaudium et Spes (7 December 1965) passed 2,307 to 75
    • Outline
      • Preface (1-3)
      • Man in the Modern World (4-10)
      • The Church and Man’s Calling (11-45)
      • Some Problems of Special Urgency (46-93)
        • Foundation of Paul VI’s 1975 encyclical on evangelization in the modern world
    • The joys, hopes, griefs, anxieties of all men are the same of the followers of Christ; nothing genuinely human fails to echo in a Christian’s heart (GS 1)
    • The Church addresses herself in relation to the whole of humanity, explaining her presence and activity in the world today (GS 2)
  • Ecumenism
    • Non-Catholic observers at Vatican II
    • Pope Paul VI very committed to gestures of friendship with non-Catholics, especially Anglicans
    • Roman Catholics and Greek Orthodox lifted excommunications from each other
    • Dialogue
    • Unitatis Redintegratio (21 November 1964) passed 2,137 to 11
      • Restoration of unity
      • Christ summons the Church to continual reformation insofar as she is an institution of men on earth; deficiencies in conduct, discipline, or even formulation of doctrine (distinguished from the deposit of faith itself), rectification is appropriate (UR 6)
    • Dignitatis Humanae (7 December 1965) passed 2,308 to 70
      • On religious freedom and the dignity of the human person
      • The Church “leaves untouched traditional Catholic doctrine on the moral duty of men and societies toward the true religion and toward the one Church of Christ.” (DH 1)
      • Contribution of the Catholic Church in America and our experience in an essentially Protestant country
        • Fr. John Courtney Murray, S.J.
          • Originally silenced for his views
          • Came along to Vatican II as Cardinal Spellman’s expert on religious freedom
      • Summary: God created man with dignity, so faith is a response to a gift from God which must be made freely; people can’t be forced or coerced to believe
    • What about Vatican II document regarding Judaism among other religions (Nostra Aetate)?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Knowledge is Power... Religion is Knowledge Too

Here's an interesting commercial... too bad it is not historical.

[H/T: Fr. Tim Finigan at the Hermeneutic of Continuity]

Moral Dilemma: Unorthodox books

What do you do with a book that corrupts the faith? I have some books (which I've spent varying amounts of money on) that I don't find useful to my spiritual growth. These are books meant to be Catholic but which do not accurately teach the faith. I'm not talking about books which have a small error in them, but books which purport to teach a particular author's or theologian's brand of Catholicism over and against so-called "institutional" Catholicism.

So what do I do with these books? I think it'd be quite wrong to sell them, because they might adversely affect future readers. I'd rather not simply trash them, but they are taking up precious space on my bookshelves!

What would you do?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Abortion on Demand

From an AP article:
Sunsara Taylor, a New York City resident and a member of the abortion-rights group Abortion on Demand, said outside the school's gates that "there was a voice missing" in the controversy over Obama's visit.

"If women don't have a right to decide if they have a child, women aren't free," she said. "We need to expand abortion access and abortion rights and lift the stigma. Fetuses are not babies and women are not incubators."
Hopefully, President Obama disagrees with "Abortion on Demand" and their policies.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Vatican II Series - Part II - Notes

Session 2 – Word and Sacrament

  • Word (Dei Verbum) and Sacrament (Sacrosanctum Concilium)
  • Word
    • Nov 18, 1965 – voted 2344 to 6
    • Luther – Sola Scriptura vs. Tradition; accessibility of the Word
    • Newman – Development of Doctrine
    • Catholic Biblical Scholarship
    • Expanded view of revelation: what is revelation
    • What is revelation?
      • DV 2 – God’s own sharing of His life with us, God’s self-communication to us
      • DV 8 – Revelation is complete, but our understanding of it grows
    • What is the relationship between Scripture and Tradition?
      • Trent: Scripture and Tradition exist together
      • Vatican I: Ditto
      • DV 9 – Close connection between the two; “it is not from Sacred Scripture alone that the Church draws her certainty about everything which has been revealed.”
      • DV 9 – Magisterium is not above the Word of God, but serves it, it teaches only what has been handed on
    • Scripture Scholarship
      • DV 12 – Scholarship should search out the intention of the sacred writers, paying attention to the literary forms
    • Scripture in the life of the Church
      • Preaching – homilies should deal with the Scripture heard (although not exclusively)
      • Teaching (theological studies)
      • Study (easy access to all) – Bible Study
      • Translation
    • Questions
      • Vatican II and the “lost gospels”, etc.
      • Scripture is part of Tradition, right?
    • Personal notes
      • No mention of DV 11 regarding the inspiration and inerrancy of Scripture
  • Sacrament
    • December 12, 1963 – 2174 to 4
    • Context: Luther, abuses, Trent
      • “Hearing” Mass
      • Liturgical Movement of the 1920’s (actually started earlier)
      • Changes by the Popes throughout history
        • Especially in the decades before Vatican II
    • Source and Summit
      • SC 10 – Summit of the Church’s activity, font from which her power flows
      • SC 7 – Various modes of Christ’s presence in the liturgy
        • Priest, Eucharist, word, prayer
        • (Also in the Prayer of the Faithful – that is, in the poor, weak, wounded, ill, etc.)
    • Full, Conscious, and Active Participation
      • SC 14 – Participation in the Mass is the right of every Catholic by baptism
    • Vernacular
      • SC 36 – Latin remains in use, but vernacular is permitted
    • Sacred Art and Architecture
      • Place of tabernacle
      • Statues, etc.
  • Implementation of Vatican II
    • The 1970 Missal of Pope Paul VI
    • Bishops Conferences
    • Understanding of the Church (1965-1975)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Dry Liturgy

Fr. McNamara answered this question on ZENIT:
Q: Nowadays there seems to be a shift from the spirit of the liturgy to mechanical and ritualistic performance. Since our liturgy is so very dry, many Catholics in several parts of India are going to Protestant churches where the worship is spontaneous, meaningful and gives them a sense of involvement and satisfaction. Some of the questions put to you and your answers seem to be not appealing to the soul. Should we not think of promoting meaningful liturgy in the light of the local culture and its needs? -- P.J., Dindigul, India
Here's some of his answer:

I do not believe that it follows that an exact and precise liturgical celebration is thereby a soulless and mechanical ritual. Nor is a cavalier attitude toward rubrics an inevitable proof of authentic Christianity. There can be both good faith and hypocrisy behind both attitudes, but these are the failings of individual human beings that do not touch the heart of the question.

I strongly defend fidelity to liturgical norms because I believe that the faithful have a right to be able to participate in a recognizably Catholic liturgy, a liturgy that flows from Christ himself and is part of the great stream of the communion of saints.

While not doubting the sincerity of my correspondent, I must take exception to his way of characterizing Protestant worship with respect to Catholic liturgy. I believe that we are before a question that goes much deeper than external forms. The crux of the problem is not that our separated brethren have more exciting performances but that we have failed to teach our faithful basic Catholic doctrine on the Mass and the Eucharist.


Therefore if some of our Catholic faithful are migrating to Protestant groups, I don't think we should be blaming the liturgy but rather double our efforts to celebrate it properly and proclaim the truth of the great mystery of faith.
AMEN! Read the whole thing!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

What is it with wearing stoles on the OUTSIDE?

I'm constantly perplexed by pictures of deacons and priests (I don't think I've seen a bishop do it) who wear their stoles outside their dalmatics and chasubles. Where did the idea come from, and why has it stuck around?

I notice a good number of these stoles are decorated to some degree — while the chasuble or dalmatic is rather bland in decoration. Perhaps that's why? Why not restore those good old decorated chasubles and keep the stoles on the inside where they belong?

(NB: the stole is a sign of authority, the chasuble is a sign of charity... so what does it mean when a priest wears his stole over his chasuble, rather than the other way around?)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Preaching the faith in charity

It is utterly important, when preaching (or defending) the faith, to do so in charity, as St. Paul and St. Peter commanded us:

"Speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ." (Ephesians 4:15)

"Always be prepared to make a defense to any one who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence." (1 Peter 3:15)

This excellent article explains why: Airline Apologetics.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Restorationist and proud of it.

While the progressives might use this term in a derogatory manner, I wouldn't mind being called a "restorationist". The goal is to restore and renew the Catholic identity.

"And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to dwell in." (Isaiah 58:12)

Friday, May 08, 2009

(Fr.) Richard McBrien advocates taking a "vacation" from Church

“If there are no parishes or other worshipping communities in the vicinity where the pastoral leadership is healthy rather than driven by a narrow ideology, then one simply has to ‘take a vacation’ from the church until the skies finally clear and we are bathed in sunlight once again.”

Ugh. I'd give you the source, but I'd rather you read Fr. Z's fisking of it.