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Just reminding erryone of my current location #rio #papafrancis #skyline #beautiful

Posted by on 7-22-13

El Jueves salgo para Puerto Rico y estare participando del JMJ en PR. Un Evento unido al JMJ de Brasil. Seran dias de mucha gracia, poder y misericordia. Contamos con sus oraciones! Para mas info porfavor visiten #jmj #jmj2013pr #brasil #puertorico #unasolaiglesia #jovenes #catholic #catolico #papafrancis

Posted by on 7-22-13

“Não tenho ouro nem prata.. Vim aqui transmitir o maior presente que recebi nessa vida: Jesus Cristo” – Papa Francisco, no Palácio Guanabara, na sua chegada no Rio de Janeiro

Posted by on 7-22-13

Nada mejor que coger cosas de los hoteles y encontrartelas un tiempo mas tarde #recuerdoson #abril2013 #antequera #campeonatoespañaporescuelas #catalunya #buenequipo #genialrelevo #granada #bocadecaballo #dientesdeleon #mojopicon #bananas #pasajeros #titofrancis #papafrancis #yayofrancis #quierovolver

Posted by on 7-22-13

El papa Francisco acaba de recitar: “Necesitamos santos sin velo, sin sotana. Necesitamos santos de jeans y zapatillas. Necesitamos santos que vayan al cine, escuchen musica y paseen con sus amigos. Necesitamos santos que coloquen a Dios en primer lugar y que sobresalgan en la Universidad. Necesitamos santos que busquen tiempo cada dia para rezar y que sepan enamorar en la pureza y castidad, o que consagren su castidad. Necesitamos santos modernos, santos del siglo XXI con una espiritualidad insertada en nuestro tiempo. Necesitamos santos comprometidos con los pobres y los necesarios cambios sociales. Necesitamos santos que vivan en el mundo, se santifiquen en el mundo y que no tengan miedo de vivir en el mundo. Necesitamos santos que tomen Coca Cola y coman hot-dogs, que sean internautas, que escuchen iPod. Necesitamos santos que amen la Eucaristia y que no tengan vergüenza de tomar una cerveza o comer pizza el fin de semana con los amigos. Necesitamos santos a los que les guste el cine, el teatro, la musica, la danza, el deporte. Necesitamos santos sociables, abiertos, normales, amigos, alegres, compañeros. Necesitamos santos que esten en el mundo y que sepan saborear las cosas puras y buenas del mundo, pero sin ser mundanos”. Amen!!!!!!! (Esta parte la dije yo) :) #santidadenjeans #santidad #PapaFrancis #Iglesia #yes #holiness

Posted by on 7-21-13

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On measures taken to keep us listing slightly to s...

Posted on Nov 21, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Today, 21st November, the feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin in the Temple, is the day chosen by us to grapple with the demands both of monastic observance and communication with the outside world. Since both are necessary.

Leave the world and give yourself to Me.

In monastic life we follow St. Alphonsus who as a young man was directly told by a voice from heaven: “Leave the world and give yourself to me.” This led him eventually to Ciorani where he and his early companions were described as “the solitaries of Ciorani.”

From young manhood until his death when over 90, 
whether as solitary, missionary or bishop
Alphonsus, our father, left the world 
and gave himself to Jesus.

The spiritual men who knew St Alphonsus and his companions, including his first biographer the Servant of God, Fr Antonio Tannoia, C.SS.R., considered those first Redemptorists to have lived their monastic life as did the early Desert Fathers in Nubia and the Thebaid. Fr Tannoia’s high praise for St Alphonsus is echoed without exception by other writers.
Repeatedly expressions are used such as:
“a hermitage, a lonely, solitary spot” (the Monastery at Ciorani) where “Nubia and the Thebaid never saw coenobites more given to contemplation than our hermits”
“the blessed hermitage” where the saint’s life “might be compared to that of the anchorites of the desert.”
Scala which was the cradle of the institute is variously described as:
“the desert”
“the hermitage so well adapted for recollection and prayer”
“difficult of access”
“this desert”, where a “truly eremitical life began for all of them”
“the solitude of the anchorites of Egypt” where “we live in calm and silence far from the tumult of the world, hearing nothing of what is passing there”
“the new Thebaid”
“the solitude” where they lived “on the hill alone, like Jesus in the desert.”
The monastery of Iliceto: “the hermitage”
The monastery of Caposele:  “the hermitage”
The monastery at Villa degli Schiavi: “the hemitage.”

The cells of Papa Stronsay.
The early life of St Alphonsus and his companions is our beautiful heritage. 
In the monastery-island of Papa Stronsay we cherish this ideal.
In a far inferior degree we strive to pursue it.

All this is true. Also true is that our holy vocation calls us to the apostolate and the salvation of souls. St. Alphonsus was as on fire in his search for souls and he was at other times in search of solitude.

Venerable double vocation! 

Yes! To continual prayer in solitude, 
cut off from the world as a hermit. 
Yes too! 
To untiring mission to souls,
 in the midst of the world as an Apostle. 

These two directions, like identical twins, wrestle with each other. They always did. They still do. St Alphonsus in the early Constitutions of 1764 brought the two vocations into an almost perfect balance.

“Thar she blows!”
The Sailing Ship St Alphonsus, making for port 
but slightly listing to starboard.
She is in search of big fish. She’s … a whaler! 
-but rightly ballasted to starboard.

St Alphonsus, as it were, constructed his sons a fishing boat for souls, but he ballasted it so that it always had a slight list to its starboard, the side of solitude; under the gaze of the Star of the Sea, the Morning Star, the Stella Matutina.

Our Lady! Our Sweetness Who fixes us in our love of solitude, 
search for God and flight from the world!
She is called Porta Caeli, Gate of Heaven, 
obtaining graces of salvation for souls
 on the fishing boat’s port side. 

Internet endangers our solitude and, in the good sense, our flight from the world. We have therefore decided, as an experiment, that from today we will check Church and World news only on Thursdays. We will post on the Internet (blog or Facebook) only on Thursdays. We will receive or reply to email only on Thursdays.

Our boat Stella Maris 
has set directions for the solitude of the sea. 
We keep you in our prayers 
and ask for yours for us.

Thursdays will see us back into port, 
fresh, buoyed up, and still listing slightly to starboard.

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What Do I Say?...

Posted on Nov 21, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Franciscan Media has recently published a book to help those taking care of seriously ill and dying people to communicate with and comfort them. What Do I Say? Talking and Praying with Someone Who Is Dying by Margrit Anna Banta offers just that, plus something more. By demystifying the process in a peaceful and comforting way, the book shows you that there is nothing to fear from being with a dying person.

Reading this book brings to mind my experience with my father’s death some years ago. I had been privileged to take him to his radiology treatments in the few months between his diagnosis of lung cancer and his death not long after. By the time they discovered the cancer, in February, it had already metastasized.

As a family, we clung to any ray of possible good news in the reports from the oncologist, twisting and re-interpreting the prognosis so as to catch the slimmest glimmer of hope. But hope had finally died by the time we found ourselves gathered around his hospital bed on a bright June day.

There wasn’t much to say, and he was barely conscious, not making a sound when he attempted to speak. We took turns reading from the Bible to him, particularly Psalm 23, praying, and reminiscing. At one point my brother arrived from his teaching job and moved to my father’s side. Dad was attempting to say something to him, but was not making any sound. It may have been a simple greeting or something deeper; we’ll never know.

My brother leaned down to put his ear close to my father’s lips. I said, “Tommy, he’s not making any sound, you’ll have to read his lips.” Tom looked at him, and my father mouthed the words, “No new taxes” (credit to George H.W. Bush). My father had always been quick with a comeback, able to find humor no matter what the circumstances, a trait passed on to his children.

I wonder what my father was thinking then – was he remembering my brother as his young, tow-headed boy? Did he think of his grown-up daughters as giddy young children or sullen teenagers? Or was he reviewing his life with my mother or his own nine siblings?

Impossible to know, and I learned no great, overarching lesson from this experience, as difficult as it was. All I can say is I am glad I was there, and I will never forget it. The small lesson here, however, reinforced by Banta’s book and in Scripture, is to not be afraid.

Photo: Richard Lyons/Shutterstock

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Peace Amid Pointsettias...

Posted on Nov 19, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Every Sunday from August to the end of November, I attend the 8 a.m. Mass at Christ the King Parish in Kingston, RI, then head over to the East Farms greenhouse, five minutes down the road, to tend pointsettias.

Run by the University of Rhode Island Master Gardener Association, the pointsettia project raises approximately 1,500 plants each season, all donated by four major pointsettia growers. In addition to watering and caring for the plants, our job as members of the greenhouse crew is to monitor the plants’ growth from week to week, noting changes in height and width, watching for pests, and then reporting back to the growers at the end of the season on how well their plants did or didn’t do. This helps them know, from year to year, which varieties will be the easiest and most durable to raise.

IMG_0491There are about 10 of us on the greenhouse crew on any given Sunday (a different team comes in each day of the week), and it takes about an hour and a half to do all the watering, measuring, recording of data, and sweeping the floors clean. We’ve been together as a crew for at least 5 years — some members even longer — and conversations come and go throughout our time there. But mostly it’s quiet work.

For me, coming from Mass, it’s an extension of the communal prayer we’ve shared in liturgy. Caring for the pointsettias is a ritual in itself: you have to lift each plant to feel, by its weight, whether or not it needs to be watered. If the dirt around the base of the plant has shifted, you want to gently move it around the pot — fluffing, it’s called — to give the plant base sufficient soil cover. And you want to notice if there are any bugs on the leaves or fungus in the soil, or if a stem and its leaves are drooping, because those plants will need special treatment. All in all, the work is peaceful and relaxing — sometimes as much as Mass.

Come the first weekend in December, the pointsettias are sold to raise money for the Master Gardener Association. The growers get the results of our research, and the greenhouse shuts down until February, when we begin raising vegetable and ornamental plants for the East Farm Festival in May.

In the communion antiphon for the first Monday in Advent prays, “Come, O Lord, visit us in peace, that we may rejoice before you with a blameless heart. (See Richard Fragomeni, Let Us Adore Him: Daily Reflections for Advent and Christmas.) I’ve found a peaceful place amid the pointsettias in the URI greenhouse; may you find that special place as well in the coming Advent season.


Photo credit: M.C. Kendzia


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How Many Kids Do You Have?...

Posted on Nov 18, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Recently, I had the pleasure of volunteering at a fundraising event for our local seminary. I saw a pregnant lady at the buffet, struggling with a small child in one arm and a plate in the other. I immediately offered to help with the plate (assuming she would not voluntarily hand her child over to a complete stranger—even if it was at the seminary!) because I had been in that situation before. Her response was the same as mine would have been: “No, that’s OK, but thank you for the offer.” I mentioned having three kids myself, and asked her if the one in her arms was her first.

She told me that the child in her arms was her sixth and the one in her womb was the seventh. With no time for me to respond to that statement at all, her next words relayed exactly how she felt about it—blessed. I cannot remember her exact words, but I wish that I could.

I could tell that she had been asked that question before, and likely, had gotten a negative reaction to her answer. I have friends with large families who have told me how unkind people can be, making comments like, “Don’t you know what causes that?” as if to suggest that having children was the worst thing in the world. When I told someone I was pregnant with my third, his stunned response was “And are we happy about that?” I wish I was as prepared to answer that as this young woman I met.

I would love to remember the words that mother said to me on that evening. She must have rehearsed it over and over because there wasn’t a moment’s hesitation when the words came quickly rolling out. I wish I could share her beautiful response with others who are in the same situation. I would love to hear from our readers with large families (which these days, seems like three kids or more)—how do you respond when people ask how many kids you have?


****Photo: Shutterstock/In Green

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VIDEO: Figuring out this pontificate...

Posted on Nov 17, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Here is a video from Michael Voris, who offers one point of view.

For your thoughtful, thought-filled, discussion.

Think before hitting that “Post” key.

Moderation queue is ON.

First comment: I wish they’d change the music at the end.

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A brief glance at articles analyzing the Pope Fran...

Posted on Nov 14, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

I have recently seen two analysis pieces about Card. Burke and Pope Francis and what’s up with this pontificate.

First, there is one by Russell Pollitt at The Daily Maverick.   It seems sort of deep and thoughtful at a first reading.  After reflection I think it is a cliché “journey metaphor”: the Church and the Synod are on a journey. Big deal.

Also, from a couple days ago there is a piece at NRO by Benedict Kiely.  It’s a bit chatty, but the analysis about dynamics in the Roman Curia are a bit more realistic than the dreamy piece, above.

Here is one bit I found interesting and, after listening to younger clergy and seminarians, I think is true:

What does this apparently inter-ecclesiastical dispute matter to the wider world? In the first place, it shows how the only large global institution that represents what might be called the traditional view of the family and society is divided, and that division is clearly bad for those who care about the future of the family and civil society. On a more positive note: This could mark the last rally of a certain Sixties mentality in rapid decline. Unless they are weathervanes tilting with the wind of ambition, the priests and bishops ordained since Saint John Paul II and Pope Benedict have nothing in common with the bell-bottomed theology that, at least for a season, has been revived in Rome.

And then there’s this thing in Italian from La Nuova Bussola:

Dal blog curato dal vaticanista Giuseppe Rusconi, veniamo a sapere dell’esistenza del “Cenacolo degli amici di Francesco”, intendendosi per Francesco l’attuale Papa. Si tratta di un gruppetto di giornalisti e intellettuali – che potremmo anche definire ultras – guidati dal vaticanista del GR1 Raffaele Luise e formatosi poco dopo l’elezione al pontificato di papa Bergoglio.

Di tutte le possibili interpretazioni che si danno del magistero di papa Francesco, quella del Cenacolo – e di Raffaele Luise – è sicuramente tra le più progressiste. Non a caso per la prima uscita pubblica tre sere fa a Roma, relatori principali sono stati l’immancabile cardinale Walter Kasper e il cardinale Francesco Coccopalmerio. Vista l’affluenza di pubblico alla serata, probabilmente con il nome Cenacolo si fa riferimento al numero di adesioni (non più di una ventina i presenti in tutto).


Read the rest there.

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MAGISTER: “words and gestures left purposely vag...

Posted on Nov 13, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

At the Italian site Italia Oggi there is an interview with long-time vaticanista Sandro Magister.  He answers questions about Pope Francis and his pontificate.

Magister has been around for a while, working as a journalist for some 40 years.

I don’t have the energy or time to translate the whole thing.

In summary, however, Magister notes carefully that many people have a hard time figuring out what Pope Francis is saying, what he wants to convey.  He messages seem, at times, to be contradictory or vague.  It is difficult to discern to whom he is addressing them.  He notes also that many bishops are having the same problem, both in Italy and abroad.

On another topic, he points out that Francis, while fairly loquacious for a modern Pope, is silent about some topics, such as the cases of Asia Bibi, the Nigerian girls who were kidnapped, and the Christian couple recently burned alive in a furnace.

But more than once he comes back to the topic of how hard it is sometimes to understand what Francis is saying.

A sample,

Magister: It is another of the paradigms of expression recurring in this pontificate: reprimands towards both sides. However, if you want to inventory them, his beatings of traditionalists, legalists, rigid defenders of arid doctrine, appear to be much more numerous and focused. When, on the other hand, he gets angry with the liberals, you can’t figure out whom he is talking about.

And toward the end:

Magister: When he was in Bethlehem, he stopped by a wall that divides the territories from Israel and he remains absolutely silent: you don’t know what he was trying to say. When he was at Lampedusa, he shouted “shame”, and it isn’t clear who was supposed to be ashamed. Italy, which has saved thousands and thousands of lives? Why doesn’t he say? Often there are words and gestures left purposely vague.

The interview is long, but it remains pretty focused. Perhaps someone will translate it or you can use one of those online translators to get the sense of it.

Moderation queue is ON.

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The Call to Joy—And Our Response...

Posted on Nov 13, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

My new favorite book—Pope Francis and Our Call to Joy: The Essential Guide to The Joy of the Gospelwas written by our co-worker Diane Houdek and published by Franciscan Media. By taking a closer look at what Pope Francis wrote in his apostolic exhortation, “The Joy of the Gospel,” Diane helps us understand in very practical ways how we can incorporate that message into our daily lives.

The exhortation itself is not hard to interpret, but Diane brings to light the affinity and love that Pope Francis has for St. Francis, and how that is reflected in the pope’s teachings. The Poor Man of Assisi was known for finding joy in the simple things of life: He focused on sharing God’s love with everyone he met.

Francis of Assisi found hope in the world as he found it. Today Pope Francis follows that model, making joy one of the hallmarks of his papacy. And he wants us to take that joy and spread it around to everyone we meet. His take on evangelization is simply to live out our lives as witnesses to God’s joy that is within us.

We are all called to preach this message through our actions even more than through our words. And each of us has a gift for doing this in our own unique way—according to our personalities, our circumstances, and the particular people God brings into our lives.

Photo: CNS photo/Paul Haring

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Francis. He puzzles me sometimes....

Posted on Nov 13, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

There are times when I have listened to Pope Francis or have read what he has said, and I am left scratching my head.

I have stated here quite a few times that, sometimes, I have no idea what he is talking about or to whom he is addressing himself.

Apparently I’m not alone.

At Hell’s Bible there is an article about the USCCB meeting.  HERE

Francis Card. George of Chicago, a seriously smart guy, has the same questions.

“He says wonderful things,” Cardinal George said about Francis in an interview on Sunday, “but he doesn’t put them together all the time, so you’re left at times puzzling over what his intention is. What he says is clear enough, but what does he want us to do?”
Cardinal George, who is 77 and being treated for cancer, remains a voting cardinal until age 80 and says he would like to travel to Rome to see Francis: “I’d like to sit down with him and say, Holy Father, first of all, thank you for letting me retire. And could I ask you a few questions about your intentions?”

If even Card. George is sometimes puzzled, I feel somewhat confirmed.

When I have asked Argentinians about Francis, I have been told that they often express themselves with hyperbole.  I don’t know how much stock to put in that generalization, but… hey….

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Francis. He puzzles me sometimes....

Posted on Nov 13, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

There are times when I have listened to Pope Francis or have read what he has said, and I am left scratching my head.

I have stated here quite a few times that, sometimes, I have no idea what he is talking about or to whom he is addressing himself.

Apparently I’m not alone.

At Hell’s Bible there is an article about the USCCB meeting.  HERE

Francis Card. George of Chicago, a seriously smart guy, has the same questions.

“He says wonderful things,” Cardinal George said about Francis in an interview on Sunday, “but he doesn’t put them together all the time, so you’re left at times puzzling over what his intention is. What he says is clear enough, but what does he want us to do?”
Cardinal George, who is 77 and being treated for cancer, remains a voting cardinal until age 80 and says he would like to travel to Rome to see Francis: “I’d like to sit down with him and say, Holy Father, first of all, thank you for letting me retire. And could I ask you a few questions about your intentions?”

If even Card. George is sometimes puzzled, I feel somewhat confirmed.

When I have asked Argentinians about Francis, I have been told that they often express themselves with hyperbole.  I don’t know how much stock to put in that generalization, but… hey….

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Peace and Good!...

Posted on Nov 12, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Things have been bustling in the St. Anthony Messenger editorial offices for the past few weeks. No, it’s not the usual panic, getting 60 pages planned, created, finished, and off to the printer. It’s the bustle of Franciscan Editor Patrick McCloskey, OFM, and his new book Peace and Gooda day-by-day meditation book based on early Franciscan sources. It was 8 months in the making at Pat’s end, culling through the enormous Omnibus of Sources, a foundational collection of writings both by St. Francis and  about him in the first 40 years after the saint’s death, in 1226. And now Pat’s book is published, a fantastic experience for any author.

“St. Francis helped a lot of people on their spiritual journeys in his time,” reflects Pat, during a quick conversation in his office, “and continues to help us in our own time.”  That helping was the idea behind the book: a meditation each day with a brief Fr Pat signing booksintroduction helping the reader to understand how this fit into Francis’ life, a quote from Francis’s teachings, a suggestion for applying that teaching to the your life, and a challenge for using the teaching to enhance your own spiritual practice. It was a big project, and it will be fruitful for many years. It’s evergreen, as we say.

We’re giving autographed copies as a Christmas gift to those who have been supporting Franciscan Media with donations. Hence, the bustle. Pat is often seen carrying stacks from place to place, even bringing them along to our editorial meetings. He has a lot of signing to do!

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Can You Legislate Immorality?...

Posted on Nov 11, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

The city of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida (the “Venice of America”), has made headlines over its arrest of 90-year-old Arnold Abbott, a chef whose crime is feeding the hungry. Mayor Jack Seiler has defended the city’s policy, saying, “It’s a public safety issue. It’s a public health issue.” Presumably, the public would be better served by skipping a few more meals than by risking the, let’s say, botulism so characteristic of charitable handouts. But since Ft. Lauderdale has passed three other ordinances targeting the homeless, aimed at eliminating begging at public intersections, sleeping on public land, or storing personal property on public property, it may boil down to a simple difference of opinion as to the meaning of “public.”

Encountering a poor person can make a lot of people uncomfortable. The level of this discomfort can range from feeling such a degree of intimidation that you fear for your safety to a mild guilt that you know there’s a hot meal and a warm bed waiting for you pretty much anytime you need it. Since most of us are likely to be the rich person in the encounter (even if very few of us ever think of ourselves as wealthy), it is nearly inevitable that rules and laws favor the majority. Wouldn’t most of us be happier if we never had to see poor people sleeping in the park, foraging through trash cans, or standing at the exit ramp we use everyday? And if we stop feeding the hungry, won’t they just go away?

As a society, there are a lot of ways we can go on this issue. For Christians, though, the menu is spare.

Give to the one who asks of you, and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow.

Whoever has two cloaks should share with the person who has none. And whoever has food should do likewise.

Go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. 

There are hundreds more, of course, but none suggest the sort of action likely to be popular with the local chamber of commerce. The kingdom of heaven might cater to a different public than the city of Ft. Lauderdale. Which one do we want to live in?

Photo courtesy of Mister GC,

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Giving Thanks...

Posted on Nov 10, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Sometimes I use Preface 40 in the Roman Missal. I especially like the way it addresses God and says, “Our prayer of thanksgiving adds nothing to your greatness, but makes us grow in your grace….”

Although nothing we say or do can ever increase God’s greatness, don’t we become different people whenever we express gratitude? When I show that I am grateful, I am starting on a new path with some individual/group or I am reinforcing a friendship.

Although our reasons to be grateful vary greatly, the same dynamic is at work: Expressing gratitude reflects who we are before God, with one another and in our own eyes. Grateful people build community, as our country’s first Thanksgiving celebration demonstrated. No matter what communities we belong to, they depend on grateful people to grow and prosper.

When we express how grateful we are to someone other than God, we do not grow in that person’s grace but rather we recognize God’s grace at work in this person’s life. Being honest about that prepares us to be more honest about how our choices cooperate with or obstruct God’s grace.

Have a great Thanksgiving season!

This blog was taken from Pat McCloskey’s “Dear Reader” column in St. Anthony Messenger. To subscribe to this award-winning publication, click here.

Photo: KtD/PhotoXpress

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The Loosing of the Leash: Card. Burke appointed to...

Posted on Nov 8, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

And so the show has dropped. From today’s Bolletino.

Nomina del Patrono del Sovrano Militare Ordine di Malta

Il Santo Padre ha nominato Patrono del Sovrano Militare Ordine di Malta l’ Card. Raymond Leo Burke, finora Prefetto del Supremo Tribunale della Segnatura Apostolica.


Nomina del Prefetto del Supremo Tribunale della Segnatura Apostolica

Il Papa ha nominato Prefetto del Supremo Tribunale della Segnatura Apostolica S.E. Mons. Dominique Mamberti, Arcivescovo titolare di Sagona, finora Segretario per i Rapporti con gli Stati.

His Eminence Raymond Card. Burke is now Patron of the Knights of Malta. This is not the usual way of doing things, as it has been pointed out before. First, the position is usually saved for a Cardinal who is in the twilight of his career… although during this pontificate this may still be true. Keep in mind that, since His Eminence is pretty young for a Cardinal, in the next pontificate, another Pope could snap his fingers and make Burke Prefect of a Congregation. Second, now that Card. Burke is no longer the Prefect of a Dicastery, he is far freer to act and to speak than he was before. So far as I know, the Cardinal has retained, for now, his appointments to certain Congregations.

As far as Card. Burke’s successor at the Signatura is concerned, I suspect that His Excellency Archbp. Mamberti hasn’t seen a marriage case, or any other canonical process, for a while. He has been working as a diplomat for quite some time. He comes to his new role from the Secretariat of State. He will no doubt bring a … fresh perspective to the role.

That said, at Aletheia Card. Burke has his best interview to date:

Cardinal Burke: “I Don’t Ever Put Myself in Opposition to the Successor of St. Peter”

He makes some clarifications about suggestions that he has made himself an opponent of Pope Francis.   They go along the lines that you might imagine but with real clarity.  I pass over those here.  You can read them there.   I found of much greater interest his comments about the Synod.  My emphases:

At the Synod, when the interim report came out, some said it was a disaster.

It was a total disaster.

The final report noted the need for “sensitivity to the positive aspects” of civil marriages and, “with obvious differences, cohabitation.” The Church, it says, “needs to indicate the constructive elements in these situations.” The paragraph, number 41, passed the requisite two-thirds majority. Do you find it disturbing that this paragraph gained a two-thirds majority among the bishops? 

The language is at best confused, and I’m afraid that some of the Synod Fathers may not have reflected sufficiently on the implications of that, or maybe because the language is confused, didn’t understand completely what was being said. But that is disturbing for me. And then the whole matter: that even though [certain] paragraphs were removed, and rightly so, although contrary to practice in the past the document was printed with those paragraphs included, and one had to go and look at the votation to see that certain paragraphs had been removed. It’s disturbing to me that even those sections which were voted to be removed still received a substantial number of votes.

Juridically, when those three paragraphs did not receive the two-thirds majority, were they to be removed from the document?

Absolutely. We couldn’t have any discussion on that text, but we voted paragraph by paragraph, and what’s the point of voting paragraph by paragraph except to either accept a paragraph of have it removed. This is just one more disturbing aspect about the way in which Synod of Bishops was conducted.

Do you see this agenda continuing through the coming year? They aren’t going to change course?

No, because the General Secretary [the former titular Archbp. of Diocletiana, Card. Baldisseri] has identified himself very strongly with the Kasper thesis, and he is not hesitant to say so and has gone around also giving talks in various places. He’s less outspoken than Cardinal Kasper but nevertheless it’s clear that he subscribes to that school. So no, this is going to go on and that’s why it’s important that we continue to speak up and to act as we are able to address the situation.


Now that Card. Burke is no longer the head of dicastery, it is doubtful that he will be appointed by Pope Francis to the next Synod in 2015.

That does not mean that he has been silenced.

I, for one, congratulate Card. Burke on his appointment and for the loosing of his leash.


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Pope Francis excommunicated pedophile priest in Ar...

Posted on Nov 6, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Via AP

Pope excommunicates pedophile Argentine priest

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Pope Francis has excommunicated a pedophile Argentine priest, a move applauded by advocates for victims of clerical abuse.

The pope’s decision was made public Wednesday by the bishopric of San Isidro on the outskirts of the Argentine capital.

Many welcomed the news, but victims and advocates of clergy sex abuse said the Roman Catholic Church still needs to be more determined, effective and severe when it comes to punishing such crimes in Argentina. [I don't think that an  auto-da-fé is an option anymore, except perhaps for those who insist on defending the Church's tradition and doctrine.  Really.  What more can the Church do but impose excommunication?]

“The church still has a long way to go,” said Sebastian Cuattromo, director of an advocacy group called Adultxs for the Rights of Infancy.

The policies of Pope Francis “are being carried out because of the long fight by the victims,” said Cuattromo, who was sexually abused by a priest in Buenos Aires at age 13. [NB: No credit to Pope Francis.  It's the victims who made it happen.  However, the norms seem to be those of Benedict XVI.]

His advocacy group includes several adults who were abused by clergy when they were underage and who now try to raise awareness and protect children from predator priests. Cuattromo made his case public in 2012 after the priest who abused him was sentenced to 13 years in prison. “I’ve felt abandoned by the church,” he said.

Abuse victims and their advocates have long demanded that higher-ups be made to answer for the decades-long cover-ups of rape and molestation of youngsters in a scandal that has rocked the church and dismayed its worldwide flock of 1.2 billion.

Earlier this year, Pope Francis begged forgiveness in his first meeting with Catholics sexually abused by members of the clergy and went further than any of his predecessors by promising [went further?] to hold bishops accountable for their handling of pedophile priests.

The decision to punish Mercau “has taken way too long,” said Patricia Gordon, a psychologist for EnRed, a group that focuses on victims of violence and sex abuse. “But it’s still important because of the reparation to the victims, meaning that their words are taken as the truth.”  [It's reparation that means "we believe you", and not the public words "we believe you"?]

Both Cuattromo and Gordon still criticized the Vatican for failing to excommunicate Julio Cesar Grassi, a pedophile priest who was sentenced to 15 years in jail in 2009.

I am glad that these ******** are being excommunicated.  At the same time, we know that, no matter what the Church does, some will never be satisfied.  Sad.

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"And now let us begin this journey, the Bishop and people, this journey of the Church of Rome, which presides in charity over all the Churches, a journey of brotherhood in love, of mutual trust. Let us always pray for one another. Let us pray for the whole world that there might be a great sense of brotherhood.

I will now give my blessing to you and to the whole world, to all men and women of good will."

-Papa Francis quote

He does not know you, yet he prays for you.
He will most likely never meet you, yet he loves you.

This is your chance to show your love, for as the Bible teaches, "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven."