Friday, June 30, 2006

Archbishop Wuerl Receives His Pallium

"The former bishop of the Pittsburgh diocese was among 27 archbishops, all named in the last year, to receive the pallium, a circular band of white wool marked with six black crosses that symbolizes an archbishop's authority and unity with the pontiff."

Top Worship Official Says Current Liturgy Does Not Conform To Spirit Of Vatican II


The newly appointed Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship said this week that some liturgical reforms that followed the Second Vatican Council have not been true to the council's decrees. Archbishop Albert Patabendige Don accused a human-centred "spirit of total liberty ... without roots or depth", of too often usurping the divine mystery - which should be at the heart of the liturgy - in the post-conciliar liturgical reforms.

"The Vatican II decree Sacrosanctum Concilium ... was about making the liturgy the entry point to the faith, and liturgical changes were expected to emerge organically, by taking account of tradition, and not precipitately," said Archbishop Patabendige Don. But there had been drifts away from this spirit. "The direction of liturgical prayer in the post-conciliar reform has not always reflected the texts of Vatican II, and in this sense, we can speak of a necessary correction, of a reform of the reform. We must regain the liturgy in the spirit of the Council," he added.

Today, the problems concerning the liturgy turned upon language (vernacular or Latin), and the position of the priest, (facing the congregation or God), said the Archbishop in an interview with La Croix, a French Catholic daily newspaper, on 25 June. "Nowhere, in the conciliar decree, is it laid down that the priest must henceforth face the congregation, nor that the use of Latin is forbidden. If the use of modern languages is accepted, notably for the Liturgy of the Word, the decree clearly specifies that the use of Latin will be maintained in the Latin rite. On these subjects, we await the Pope's instructions," he added.

The archbishop noted how much young priests in Rome liked celebrating the Tridentine rite. "I must make clear that this rite, that of the Missal of St Pius V, is not 'outlawed'. Should we encourage it more? The Pope will decide. But it is certain that a new generation is demanding a greater emphasis upon mystery." In another interview with the I Media news agency on 23 June Archbishop Patabendige Don said that due to the Lefebvrist schism, the Tridentine rite "has taken a certain identity that is not right". He emphasised the need for a liturgy that was "more beautiful, more transcendent" but cautioned that it was imprudent to press for quick decisions.

In a television interview broadcast in Poland last October (The Tablet, 5 November 2005) the Pope invited Catholics to re-read Second Vatican Council documents and urged "all believers in Christ" to "keep alive the spirit" of the council. He said documents written by his predecessor, John Paul II, were "the authentic interpretation of Vatican II".

In suggesting that the documents be read again, the Pope appeared to some to be suggesting that there is ample room for a less "liberal" interpretation of the teaching.

Meanwhile, the Pope used the occasion of a Sistine Chapel concert of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century sacred music last Sunday to call for the preservation of the Church's heritage of sacred music. He said genuine renewal in Catholic music "cannot be achieved except by following the great traditions of the past, of Gregorian chants and sacred polyphony". He added that this musical tradition is "a priceless spiritual, artistic, and cultural heritage".

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


I have been very busy lately and haven't had any time to post. I should be studying at the moment for my Principles of Biblical Studies II exam tomorrow, but I am the king of procrastination.

This past Sunday, Laura and I went to the Oratory of St. Philip Neri at the Pittsburgh Newman Center.

We have found our church home! This place is great! They chant the Gloria, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei in Latin and they sing sacred music! (see the post below to see how I feel about contemporary music in the liturgy)

The whole congregation was very reverent before, during, and after the mass. Everyone even sang all the hymns...loudly.

There was no mumbling or anything! Oh and Cardinal Furno (see the post below), the chapel (although not a huge one) was packed!

P.s. They also have a cassock worn by the Venerable John Henry Cardinal Newman hanging in the lobby of the Newman Center. How cool!

A Return To The Sacred

My commentary follows in bold.


Guitars and modern music, may soon be out the doors in Roman Catholic Churches, for it seems that Pope Benedict XVI doesn't quite approve of them, preferring the traditional Gregorian chants or sacred polyphonic choral music to it.

The Catholic Church has started using modern musical instruments such as electric guitars in a bid to make more people attend masses. And though these measures were proving to be successful, the Pope doesn't think that they are appropriate within the walls of the Church.

At a concert conducted by Domenico Bartolucci the director of music at the Sistine Chapel, Benedict XVI said that within the church walls the only suitable music was the traditional type.

"It is possible to modernise holy music. But it should not happen outside the traditional path of Gregorian chants or sacred polyphonic choral music," the Telegraph quoted him, as saying.

I agree with Pope Benedict! I have nothing against contemporary Christian music, but it has no place in the liturgy. Gregorian chant and sacred music were invented specifically for the liturgy and it's about time they were put back in it!

Cardinal Ersilio Tonini, the Archbishop of Ravenna, agrees with the Pope and said that traditional music created a harmony between the concrete and the divine, something that modern music didn't do.

"Mass is the presence of Christ and the music adds so much more when the harmony allows the mind to transcend the concrete to the divine," he said.

Exactly! Most of the music I hear at mass is so wretchedly composed that it distracts me from worship.

However, Cardinal Carlo Furno, grand master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, disagrees with this notion, and that that it was better to have music the congregation enjoyed rather than not having anyone in Church at all, adding that modern music is "a sign of the vitality of the faith".

"It's better to have guitars on the altar and rock and roll Masses than empty churches," he said.

It sounds like Cardinal Furno should not be a Cardinal, let alone a minister of God with statements such as these! He would rather profane the worship of God and have a full Church than worship God with all the reverence and awe He deserves. I've got news for the Cardinal: MORE PEOPLE WILL COME WHEN YOU GIVE GOD THE REVERENCE DUE TO HIM!!!

The people who want guitars on the altar (Did he really say "on the altar"? What a horrible thought. Sacrilege anyone?) and rock and roll Masses (I'm getting queasy thinking about it) are more interested in hearing music that makes them jump around and dance and feel good rather than holy worship of God. That is unacceptable. That's not what worship is about. It is about offering your whole self to God and worshipping Him totally with reverent awe.

The debate on modern and traditional music is part of a larger one concerning the Mass in Latin which was restricted in the Vatican II reforms of the 1960s, when it was found that not understanding Latin was discouraging people from going to Church.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

God's Sense Of Humor

Yesterday, before my Metaphysics class began, I was talking with another student in class about what classes she was required to take as a Special Ed major. She said two philosophy classes as well as two theology, science, math, etc.

I asked her about her theology classes and she said that she took Christian Moral Principles, but didn't like it. When I asked her why, she said it was because she was a Methodist and didn't agree with the Catholic perspective. At first I thought that this was strange, since Christian morals should apply to all Christians.

Then she said that she was pro-choice.

I then told her I could see the conflict she had. I was about to ask her why she felt that way (and also why she is studying at a university which is absolutely anti-abortion), but the professor came in and class started.

Then another girl came in late and had a water bottle in her hand that had a big sticker on it that had the words "Pro-Life" in big letters. Without knowing that the first girl was pro-choice, the girl who was late put the water bottle down on the empty desk next to her so that the words faced directly at the pro-choice girl.

I couldn't help but chuckle to myself for the rest of the class and think of how much I love God's ironic humor and justice!

Hopefully, the girl's time here at Franciscan U will help to change her mind!

Quote Of The Day

"Anti-Catholicism is the Anti-Semitism of American Intellectuals."

-by a Protestant Historian, whose name I know not.

Minute Meditations From The Popes

I wore my righteousness like a garment; justice was my robe and my turban.
-Job 29:14

In the present-day confusion of the notion of good and evil, licit and illicit, just and unjust, in the demoralizing spread of crime and immorality, we will do well to preserve and deepen the sense of natural law.
This means the sense of justice, of integrity, and of the good.
-Pope Paul VI

O Lord, help me never to lose a sense of what is right and just. Let me never be deceived by the conflicting voices of a confused world, but always see and live Your truth.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

From The Desk Of Karl Keating

The Episcopal Church has elected a woman to be the presiding bishop in the U.S. Katherine Jefferts Schori, who has been the bishop of Nevada for five years, is now "the first woman primate in the Anglican church," as London's "Guardian" put it. The newspaper went on to say:

"The result of Bishop Schori's election has implications not only for the unity of the U.S. Episcopal church but also for the Anglican communion around the world, already threatened with a split over homosexuality. It will affect the church's relationship with the Roman Catholic church, which has declared the impossibility of women serving as priests and has recently warned the Church of England that its discussions would be damaged if it moves to promote women to the episcopate.

"There are 77 million Anglicans around the world, and the Archbishop of Canterbury is their head. The American branch of the Anglican communion, the Episcopal Church, has only 2.3 million members, one quarter of whom are over 65.

The Anglican Church in general--and the Episcopal Church in particular--has been riven with dissension ever since women were ordained to the priesthood. Things got worse when they were ordained to the episcopate and worse still when an openly gay bishop was installed.

Since its founding in the sixteenth century, the Church of England has had the British monarch as its titular head. This means that since 1953 a woman, Elizabeth II, has been leading the church, but in a political rather than a ministerial capacity. Schori's election marks the first time that a woman has been put in charge of a whole national church. The only higher step left would be for a woman to be appointed Archbishop of Canterbury.

Inasmuch as the Episcopal Church is not only tiny (fewer than one percent of Americans belong to it) but has been in rapid decline for decades, one wonders why so much attention is paid to the denomination--especially by the Catholic Church.

There are twenty times as many Baptists as Episcopalians in the U.S., but when Catholics hear about ecumenical discussions, which Protestant denomination comes to mind? Do they envision our representatives sitting down with Baptists or maybe with Lutherans or Methodists? Yes, sometimes, but usually the image is of Episcopalians sitting across the table.

That's a fair image because, in fact, an inordinate amount of energy has been expended on relations with the Episcopal Church over the last several decades--but with what result?

Ecumenism always has had two chief goals: to get to know what the other party really believes and to move toward corporate union.

Years ago, many Catholics, even Catholic bishops and priests, misconceived what Protestants believed and why they believed it. Protestants had corresponding misconceptions about us. But it never was particularly difficult to learn what others believed, if you were so inclined. You just had to read what they wrote about themselves.

We are long past the point of misconstruing what Episcopalians believe, but we have made no progress on the second and greater goal, corporate union (which, in truth, means Protestants becoming Catholic, since it is only the Catholic Church that is the Church that Christ founded). The goal of union receded into the distance as the Episcopal Church moved toward self-destruction. Why are we still chasing something that is getting ever more distant?

Frankly, I wish the Catholic leaders in America would stop talking about trying to effect a union with the Episcopal Church. It's not going to happen. It never had much chance of happening, and today there is less chance of it than ever. It's time for benign neglect.

As the Episcopal Church fissures, with conservative segments spinning off into churches of their own, we will see individuals and perhaps whole congregations cross the Tiber. That will be welcome, but each time that happens, the rump Episcopal Church that remains will stand in ever greater contrast to the Catholic Church in terms of beliefs and sensibilities, until finally the Episcopal Church will be so far distant on the horizon that it will be lost to sight entirely.


Today in class, we were talking about Luke's Gospel and the mention of Theophilus at the beginning of chapter one. One theory is that Theophilus was Luke's patron, who supplied the income for Luke to research and write his Gospel.

Sculptors and painters of old would often work their patron's face into their work of art, usually by making the face resemble that of their patron's. Also, playwrights, such as Shakespeare and Marlowe, always had patrons supporting them while they studied and wrote.

This got me thinking that I really need to find a patron to support me through my studies in grad school! Working 25 hours a week and going to school full time is quite exhausting. Plus, it doesn't leave much time for studying. Surely someone in the world would like to support a future Catholic theologian (I'll dedicate all my research and writing to you!).

O, if people only valued education like in the days of antiquity!

Minute Meditations From The Popes

With an everlasting love I have loved you; therefore, I have kept My mercy toward you.
-Jer 31:3

Our world is suffering in the icy grip of selfishness and fever.
It needs to feel the certainty that renews and confirms forever the great work of the Covenant: "The Lord chooses you, the Lord loves you."
-Pope Paul VI

O Lord, You have loved me with a love that has healed me and taught me to love You and myself. I promise to share that love with all those who are trapped in loneliness and self-hate.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

I Interrupt My Study Break To Tell You...

...that with the election of a woman as the Presiding Bishop, the Episcopal Church of the United States of America has sunk its ship.

The good news however, is that the lifeboat know as the Catholic Church is stationed nearby to rescue all who have jumped ship!

Quote Of The Day

"Because anything less is simply Episcopalian. "

-The "Catholic Nerds" at the Shrine.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Quote Of The Day

"Kippley's argument was that every covenant has an act whereby the covenant is enacted and renewed; and that the marital act is a covenant act. WHen the marriage covenant is renewed, God uses it to give new life. To renew the marital covenant and use birth control to destroy the potential for new life is tantamount to receiving the Eucharist and spitting it on the ground."

-From Rome Sweet Home by Scott and Kimberly Hahn.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Minute Meditations From The Popes

When I am lifted up to the earth, I will draw all things to Myself.
-Jn 12:32

It could be said that the Cross, its awful scene, its shameful story, would create an emptiness around itself, would repel the contemplation of humans. Instead, however, the Cross attracts.
Jesus Himself predicted it: "When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all things to Myself."
-Pope Paul VI

Lead me to Your Cross, Lord Jesus. May I die for love of You Who died for love of me.

Quote Of The Day

Dear Youth, you tell me that you often think the Church is an institution that does nothing but promulgate rules and laws. And you conclude that there is a deep discrepancy between the joy that issues from the word of Christ and the feeling of oppression that the Churchs rigidity gives you.. But the Gospel shows us a very demanding Christ who invites to a radical conversion of the heart, to detachment from the goods of the earth, to forgiveness of offenses, to love of the enemy, to patient acceptance of persecutions and even to the sacrifice of ones own life out of love for our neighbor. Where the particular area of sexuality is concerned, we know the firm position he took in defending the indissolubility of marriage and his condemnation even as regards the simple adultery committed in the heart. And could anyone not be impressed when faced with the precept to tear out ones eye or to cut off ones hand when these members are an occasion of scandal?

…Moral licentiousness does not make people happy. Similarly, the consumer society does not bring joy of heart. The human being only fulfills himself to the extent to which he is able to accept the demands which flow from his dignity as a being created in the image and likeness of God (Gen 1:27). That is why, if the Church today says things that are not pleasing, it is because it feels obliged to do so. It does so out of a duty to fidelity.

…So is it not true that the gospel message is a message of joy? On the contrary! It is absolutely true. And how is that possible? The answer can be found in one word, one single word, one short word, but its contents are as vast as the sea. And that word is love. It is perfectly possible to reconcile the stringency of the precept and joy of heart. The person who loves does not fear sacrifice. And he even seeks in sacrifice the most convincing proof of the authenticity of his love.

-John Paul the Great in his discourse to young people in the Netherlands, May 14, 1985.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Minute Meditations From The Popes

Those who are faithful in a very small matter are also faithful in great matters.
-Lk 10:16

Faithfulness is the reason for living. It is not a chain restraining the boldness of talent and love.
When it consists of adherence to our creed, which never ages and never is exhausted, it opens a path to order, always positive, strong, and happy.

Lord Jesus, help me never to see my commitment to my Faith as a prison. On the contrary, let me regard it as a suitable means of expressing my life and my love.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Minute Meditations From The Popes

What do you have that you have not received? And if you have received it, why do you boast as if you did not?
-1 Cor 4:7

An apostle who wants to be yeast for society must follow the most necessary precondition for yeast to be effective.
Such an apostle must take care to remain part of the mass.
-Pope Paul VI

O Lord, may I never allow myself to feel superior to others. Let me always remember that the gifts You have bestowed upon me are gifts to be shared and not riches to be possessed.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Karl Keating Is Pro-Choice

Dear Friend of Catholic Answers:

It hasn't been easy. I don't change opinions willy-nilly, especially if I've held them for a long time and if they're about key issues. But I've been doing a lot of soul-searching lately and feel that the only responsible thing to do is to go public and admit that I'm now pro-choice.

Here is my new thinking:

1. The government shouldn't be able to tell me whether to paint my house yellow or green. It's my house, and the choice should be mine. I'm pro-choice.

2. No one should pressure me to buy a foreign rather than a domestic car--or the other way around. It's no one else's business whether I drive a Toyota or a Chevy. The choice should be mine. I'm pro-choice.

3. On election day, I should be able to vote against any scoundrel I wish. I don't want to be nagged into voting against this guy or that. I can choose my own scoundrels. It's my ballot and my decision. I'm pro-choice.

4. In these E-Letters, I should be able to express any opinion I want. If a reader doesn't like what I say (or doesn't understand irony or parody), tough. It's my E-Letter and my writing. I'm pro-choice.

Precisely because I am so consistently pro-choice when it comes to my own choices, I acknowledge the right of others to make choices of their own.

Just one example:

I think every child should have a choice about whether he will come into this world. If he chooses not to, we should respect that choice. Of course, his choice will have to be manifested in a sufficiently clear way.

When the rest of us make choices--to hire a house painter, to buy a car, even to vote--we sign a contract or somehow make our choices known on paper. The same should apply here, for consistency's sake.

Thus, if an unborn child signs a waiver or agreement or contract (or whatever the document would be) indicating that he doesn't want to come into this world, his choice should be respected. Absent such a signed document, we have to presume that his choice is to come into this world. After all, everyone I know who ended up being born preferred it to the alternative.

Whatever the unborn child decides, we should respect his choice--and we should not allow it to be overruled by someone else's choice. That's my opinion, and that's why I'm pro-choice.

-Karl Keating

The Mystery Of The Family

Here is a portion of a response paper I wrote for my Metaphysics class last night, which I finished at 3:30 in the morning. The paper was supposed to be three pages long. When I got to class, I realized that my paper was three pages long...single-spaced! A sure sign that I haven't written a paper for class in three years. I would have been in bed much earlier had I double-spaced! C'est la vie.

Gabriel Marcel’s The Mystery of the Family, from Homo Viator, is an interesting article that describes the breakdown of the family. It’s scary to think that the problems Marcel addressed in 1942 are the same problems the family faces today. In fact, I would go so far as to say that the family is worse off in the present than it was in Marcel’s time. Marcel was entirely accurate in stating that "the family does not suggest just one problem, but an infinity of problems," such as abortion, contraception, divorce, premarital sex, to name a few. Today, there is an ever increasing agenda of the same sex and transgender lobbies that are adding a new threat to the family.

I particularly found the part where Marcel talks of his university experience interesting. He tells of a time when he was called on to speak of divorce in class. His dilemma was that he knew that many of the students were children of divorced parents and felt a little uncomfortable about bringing judgment upon their parents. He asks the question, "should we, with no fear of appearing dogmatic, courageously tackle these questions while in so doing we risk upsetting and scandalising impressionable young beings; or should we confine ourselves to the hollowest of phrases or to historical or so-called historical facts and to encourage the loose relativity which has tended in our day to weaken all real moral judgment so prejudicially?"

I say that we should courageously tackle these questions! So what if we upset or scandalize, so long as we proclaim the truth. The reason why there is such a gigantic threat to the family (in Marcel’s time as well as ours) is because very few had the courage to stand up and present the truth that was not watered down and delivered so as not to offend. Jesus Himself offended. It’s not that Jesus or the words He spoke were offensive, but rather the people who received them were hard-hearted, sinful, and morally corrupt. No one likes to be told that what they are doing is wrong. It’s in human nature to be offended when someone points out our faults. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t point them out though. That only leads to relativism. We need as many people as possible proclaiming the truth, especially at universities! If not, then we will see more of the same types of reactions that we saw at the University of St. Thomas, where Ben Kessler spoke out against contraception and pre-marital sex. If he got that kind of reaction at a supposed catholic university, then you can only imagine how he would have been received at a secular university.

One of the reasons that there is such a high rate of divorce is that so many people rush into marriage without considering that it is a holy sacrament and that its unbreakable bond should not be taken lightly. I knew a couple who had met, gotten engaged, married, and then divorced all within the span of a year. Later on it was discovered that their marriage counselor had told them that they should not marry each other. When you consider couples who get married in similar fashions and then have children (thinking that a child will make solve their problems), and once they can’t take it any longer (usually without even trying to work things out) get divorced, it is no wonder that families are breaking up.

Nowadays, unmarried couples are living together without any intention of getting married. Why is this? Because today’s culture has been stripped of its values. People would rather not have to worry about commitment. They pledge to stay with someone forever...or at least until something better comes along. Our relativistic society breeds nothing but selfishness.

This is most prevalent in American society, where everybody is taught that the measure of your worth is how much money you make. It’s a "me" society. This attitude carried into the family leads individuals to think only of what they can get out of a relationship, instead of giving of themselves fully for the sake of the other. Of these marriages, Marcel says, "there is nothing in the inward depth of character, nothing in the very centre of the will which corresponds to the socially binding form or even, alas, to the strictly sacramental character of the union entered into. It is more than probable that in a society where divorce is not only accepted, but regarded in many circles as a more or less normal contingency, a time must inevitably come when the irresponsibility with which so many unbelievers lightly and heedlessly get married, is communicated from one to another until it infects even those who by tradition, human respect or some remnant of faith are still impelled to take a vow of fidelity in the presence of God, only find out too late that by this contradiction they are themselves caught in a trap from which it is not possible to escape except at the price of a scandalous renunciation or dishonorable subterfuge."

The loss of ideals when it comes to marriage has also lead to another threat to the family; the lobby for same sex "marriage." In Pennsylvania, the House just passed a "gay marriage" ban and not a day goes by that there isn’t a letter to the editor of the local newspaper in Pittsburgh voicing disgust at the lawmakers and supporters of traditional marriage. One letter even admitted that there was a decline in moral values, but saw nothing wrong with same sex "marriage." The author of the letter (as well as the other authors) is most likely a supporter of abortion as well, with the thinking that it supports women’s rights. The (contradictory and false) thought that abortion somehow supports and enables women is on the same level of thinking that same sex attraction is natural and should be affirmed through the legal rights of marriage. Anyone with brains can see that if same sex "marriage" and abortion were allowed to persist, not only will families die out, but so will the human race. As Marcel said,

"The men of my generation have seen carried out before their eyes with
extraordinary tenacity a work of systematic subversion which is no longer
directed against revealed doctrines or principles hallowed by tradition, but
against nature itself. Man, whatever brainless biologists may think about him,
will never be on the same level as the animals. Wherever he is truly himself,
wherever he is faithful to his vocation, he is infinitely above them. Wherever
he deliberately renounces his true calling, he falls infinitely below them. As
for the humanism for little Voltaireans on the retired list, offered by those
who advocate a return to the just mean, to average virtues, to prudent
calculations and methodical precautions, we know with tragic certainty that it
is the tremulous forerunner of the worst individual and national disasters."

Monday, June 12, 2006

Minute Meditations From The Popes

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as in Christ God forgave you.
-Eph 4:32

Anyone who enters the Church enters an atmosphere of love. Let no one say, "I am a stranger here."
Let everyone say, "This is my home. I am in the Church. I am in charity. Here I am loved."
-Pope Paul VI

O Lord, let my parish family be truly a family. May all the members, including myself, be welcoming, interested in each other, and caring, especially toward those who have the least to give in return.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Minute Meditations From The Popes

On hearing it, many of His disciples said, "This is a hard saying; who can accept it?"
-Jn 6:60

The demands Jesus makes upon His followers are not empty rhetoric, and they do not change with the passing of time. He calls us to conversion, to reconciliation with God and one another.
Jesus wishes us to hear the "hard sayings" as well as the words of confidence and encouragement.
-Pope John Paul II

Open my heart to conversion, O Lord, so that I may hear not only what I want to hear but, also, and especially, what I need to hear.

Archbishop-Designate Donald Wuerl Celebrates His Last Mass In Pittsburgh

At noon today in St. Paul Cathedral, Bishop Donald W. Wuerl will bid farewell to the people of his hometown, where he has served as Catholic bishop for 18 years. His leave-taking began May 16, when Pope Benedict XVI named him archbishop of Washington, D.C.

Trinity Sunday

The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are of one substance and inseparably equal. Their unity is in their essence, their plurality in the persons. The Lord openly showed the unity of the divine essence and the trinity of persons when he said: Baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. He did not say in the names, but in the name, by which he showed the unity of essence. But he then used three names in order to show that there are three persons.

In this Trinity can be found the supreme origin of all things, perfect beauty, very blessed joy. As Saint Augustine said in his book on true religion, the supreme origin is God the Father, from whom all things come, from whom proceed the Son and the Holy Spirit. The very perfect beauty is the Son, the truth of the Father, who is not dissimilar to him in anything, whom we venerate with the Father and in the Father, who is the model for all things, because everything was made through him and everything relates to him. The very blessed joy, the sovereign goodness is the Holy Spirit who is the gift of the Father and of the Son; and we must believe and hold that this gift is exactly like the Father and the Son.

When we look at creation, we end up with the Trinity which is of one single substance. We understand one single God: the Father from whom we are, the Son by whom we are, the Holy Spirit in whom we are - the Origin to whom we run; the model whom we follow; the grace which reconciles us.

-Saint Anthony of Padua

Saturday, June 10, 2006

A Response

So far my response has not been published, but they did publish this response to the same letter.

Faithful to his calling

I take great exception to Robert Biller's June 3 letter "Priesthood Changes" concerning Bishop Donald Wuerl and the Catholic Church. Mr. Biller describes the bishop as "staunchly conservative." He confuses conservatism with the bishop's faithfulness to his calling.

Mr. Biller belittles the bishop. He fails to recognize how the bishop spent himself in tremendous service to the Pittsburgh Diocese and the city. The church teaches that the bishops have by divine institution taken the place of the apostles as pastors of the church.

Mr. Biller calls the church "an organization" that he is "becoming increasingly uncomfortable belonging to." However, the church is so much more as "the visible plan of God's love for humanity" (Catechism of the Catholic Church 776). It is the source of grace and salvation, the holy priesthood, the Mass, the Eucharist and so much more!

He thinks the Catholic Church should have women priests. As explained by Pope John Paul II, the priesthood is divinely restricted to men. It is not an option that the church is free to change.

He thinks the church needs married clergy. There are many beautiful reasons why the Roman Catholic Church has the tradition of priestly celibacy. We, as faithful Catholics, follow the direction given by the magisterium. We Catholics are blessed to have this leadership because we are not blown about by every whim and fancy of each new modern age.

Regardless of the number of years we received Catholic education, we need to continually deepen our knowledge of the truths of our Catholic faith. The reading of the catechism is a good place to start.

Upper St. Clair

Minute Meditations From The Popes

Do not judge, that you may not be judged. For with what judgment you judge, you shall be judged.
-Mt 7:1-2

The real Church is being born today in the faithfulness and boldness of the Spirit, in the unity of Christ's Body. We do not ask you to praise her a priori, but to give these positive facts the place they deserve.
Like the Lord, we say to you: Come and see.
-Pope Paul VI

O Lord, let me never prejudge actions of the Church that might seem questionable. Let me find love in her and love her into healing.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Quote Of The Day

"Why are they arguing over something that can never be proved?"

-A girl at the end of my metaphysics class yesterday, in reference to two philosophers arguing that the past is not infinite. I thought to myself, "Welcome to philosophy!"

Minute Meditations From The Popes

Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God. May Your good Spirit lead me on a level path.
-Ps 143:10

The spiritual life embraces Sacraments, asceticism, many exercises, but the essence is always the same.
It is the meeting of the Holy Spirit with the human spirit, the door of the human spirit open to the Divine Spirit.
-Pope John Paul II

Come, Holy Spirit! Descend upon me and inflame my heart with Your love. As You are the Love between the Father and the Son, so now be the Love that unites me with Them.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

What I Sing To Myself Walking To And From Philosophy Class

Immanual Kant was a real pissant
Who was very rarely stable

Heidegger, Heidegger was a boozy beggar
Who could think you under the table

David Hume could out consume
Schopenhauer and Hegel

And Wittgenstein was a beery swine
Who was just as schloshed as Schlegel

There's nothing Nietzche couldn't teach ya
'Bout the raising of the wrist
Socrates, himself, was permanently pissed

John Stuart Mill, of his own free will
On half a pint of shandy was particularly ill

Plato they say, could stick it away
Half a crate of whiskey every day

Aristotle, Aristotle was a bugger for the bottle
Hobbes was fond of his dram

And Rene' Descartes was a drunken fart
"I drink, therefore I am"

Yes, Socrates, himself, is particularly missed
A lovely little thinker
But a bugger when he's pissed

-Philosophers song by Monty Python.

Minute Meditations From The Popes

Fear not, for I have redeemed you. I have called you by name.
-Is 43:1

Reflection:Listen to the voices that call you to great things.
They call you to your individual work, honestly and humbly performed; to a right conception of social service; and to a true witness each day of your lives by holiness and sanctity.
-Pope John XXIII

O Lord, give me the grace to do well those things that I have been called to do. Let me see in this the very dawning of the Kingdom.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

New Classes

Tomorrow (or rather, today) I start Metaphysics and Principles of Biblical Studies 2 (New Testament). My last class (Philosophy of the Human Person) was great. I'm sure the new ones will be as well!

Minute Meditations From The Popes

Jesus said to them, "Come apart to a quiet place and rest a while."
-Mk 6:31

Silence is the vital space dedicated to the Lord, in an atmosphere of listening and assimilation of His Word.
To remain faithful and zealous, it is necessary to know how to receive the Divine inspirations that come interiorly.
-Pope John Paul II

O Lord, teach me to escape from the busy-ness of life to find a quiet place in which I can converse with You.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Can Anything Good Come From Massachusetts?

Besides the Red Sox and myself, it seems there can...Gov. Mitt Romney! With Massachusetts making bestiality and same-sex "marriage" legal, it seemed there was no more hope for my state of birth. Then Mitt Romney spoke up.

Here is the story from the Catholic News Agency:

Washington DC, Jun. 05, 2006 (CNA) - Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has sent a letter to US Senators asking them to vote in favor of a proposed Federal Amendment prohibiting same-sex “marriages.”

Romney, who many consider a potential Republican presidential candidate in 2008, said that the argument should not be seen as anti-homosexual. The governor insisted that while he is opposed to bigotry and disparagement, this debate, “is not a debate over tolerance. It is a debate about the purpose of the institution of marriage.”

“Attaching the word marriage to the association of same-sex individuals mistakenly presumes that marriage is principally a matter of adult benefits and adult rights,” Romney said.

Instead, Romney maintained, marriage is primarily about raising children. And, he said, the ideal setting for raising a child is in a home with a mother and a father.

In February 2004, Romney’s state was the first to legalize same-sex “marriage” due to a ruling of the Supreme Court of Massachusetts. This, Romney said, gives him a unique perspective on the issue.

“Although the full impact of same-sex marriage may not be measured for decades or generations,” the governor said, “we are beginning to see the effects of the new legal logic in Massachusetts just two years into our state’s social experiment.”

Romney said that an amendment is necessary to protect marriage from, “judges like those here in Massachusetts who think that marriage is an evolving paradigm, and that the traditional definition is rooted in persistent prejudices and amounts to invidious discrimination.”

Arguing against a movement in favor of leaving the issue to individual states, Romney said that a federal amendment is necessary because, “marriage is not just an activity or practice which is confined to the border of any one state.”

“Your vote on this amendment,” Romney wrote in closing, “should not be guided by a concern for adult rights. This matter goes to the development and well-being of children.”

Letter To The Editor

This Letter to the Editor was in today's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

Priesthood changes

As a lifelong, practicing Catholic, with 16 years of religious education, I hope our next bishop is not a staunchly conservative, priggish prelate whose main qualifications for the post are a sonorous voice, Cheshire cat smile and svelte figure. The devastating problems in the American Catholic Church will not be ameliorated by adult religious re-education, as one high-ranking Pittsburgh clerical pundit recently suggested in the Post-Gazette.

I am becoming increasingly uncomfortable belonging to an organization that outsiders view as chauvinistic, to the point of misogyny. Women are the backbone of our church. They are the majority of Mass attendees and, in most Catholic families, ensure that the children attend religious services and CCD classes. If pious Catholic women become disenfranchised, the church will not survive in this country.

It is imperative that new bishops foment the issues of female ordination and marriage for clergy. If these changes are ever implemented, the dwindling ordination rate will explode and the almost " unmentionable" abuses by the clergy will cease.

Maybe I am naive believing the soul is genderless and so should be the priesthood?


Yes, Robert. You are naive.

Here is the Letter I wrote in response:

I have just read a letter to the editor which you published by Robert Biller and would like to respond. He seems to think that just because the Catholic Church will not allow women priests, it is misogynistic and degrading towards women. Nothing could be further from the truth! There are many woman saints and the most blessed of all God's creation is His mother Mary. How could anyone say that the Church looks down on women, when the most revered saint in the Church is a woman? Mary points us toward Christ. She is the prime example of true fidelity to God.

He is also wrong about the soul being genderless. We are distinctly male and female beings. Our soul is the source of our life. God didn't create us as androgynous persons.

As for the priesthood, it was established by God. It is not a right that all people have. It is a privilege.

A priest acts In Persona Christi (In the person of Christ). Christ was not a female, so a female cannot act in Christ's person! Also, the greek word for priest is presbyteroi, which means bearded one. When women start growing beards, they can become priests.

God's original intention was for the father of the family to be a Priest, Prophet, and King. The firstborn son inherited the title. If anyone has a right to the priesthood, it is the firstborn sons of antiquity. However, because of the sinfulness of the firstborns, they lost their right to the priesthood.

After that, the Levites ordained themselves as priests by slaughtering the 3,000 who worshipped the golden calf. But God never intended for just the Levites to be priests. This was a temporary designation until the True High Priest (Christ) came.

When Christ came he established a new priesthood with the 12 Apostles(who were all men) which was more like God's original priesthood.

Not anyone can be a priest. To be a priest is to be set apart as a leader to God's people. A priest is called to a higher standard of holiness. Yes, they are sinners like the rest of us, but nonetheless they are called to a holier life. To say someone has a right to be a priest is an insult to the priests who are truly called and who sacrifice their lives to be leaders who bring people to Christ.

Contrary to Mr. Biller's beliefs,the devastating problems in the American Catholic Church WILL ameliorated by adult religious re-education and also a greater discernment of who is allowed into the priesthood.

It's not a coincidence that orthodox diocese's have no shortage of vocations to the priesthood.

Mr. Biller would do better to obey the Pope, than to try to be his own.

Irish Catholic Primate Meets With Orange Order Leaders

From Catholic World News

Jun. 05 ( - Archbishop Sean Brady of Armagh, the Primate of All Ireland, held an unprecedented meeting on June 5 with leaders of the Orange Orders, the militant Protestant group that has frequently been involved in clashes with Catholic activists in Northern Ireland.

The parades held by the Orange Orders each year have regularly provoked violence, particularly in marches through predominantly Catholic sections of divided towns. This year, as the "marching season" begins, leaders of the Protestant group requested a meeting with the Catholic primate.

Archbishop Brady praised the Orange leaders for "their willingness to go beyond the barriers of history" by talking with Catholic leaders. The meeting, he said, was "an important first step" in reconciling groups that have regarded each other as enemies for generations.

Minute Meditations From The Popes

How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the Gospel of peace, of those who bring glad tidings of good things!
-Rom 10:15

We must conform our lives to the Gospel in all its fullness, accepting its demands and trusting its wisdom.
Then despite the skepticism of some and the ridicule of others, we shall be drawing many people to Christ.
-Pope John Paul II

O Lord, St. Boniface proclaimed the Gospel to the peoples of Germany. Help me to witness to the Faith in the small ways in which I allow Your Gospel to penetrate my every word and action.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Minute Meditations From The Popes

Who is there that overcomes the world if not the person who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
-1 Jn 5:5

The savior expects great fruits from us, and we can supply them in ever greater measure.
However, this is true only if we remain in Him, bathed in His Most Precious Blood and inflamed by the fire of His love.
-Pope John XXIII

Bathe me in Your love, O Lord. Enkindle the fire of my love. Let our love be one, and may that love heal a broken world.


Pentecost is a Greek word which means fiftieth. This fiftieth day, celebrated by the Jewish people, is counted from the day on which the paschal lamb was sacrificed; and that is done, because fifty days after the exodus from Egypt, the Law was given on the blazing summit of Mount Sinai. Similarly, in the New Testament, the Holy Spirit came down on the apostles fifty days after Christs Passover and appeared to them in the form of fire. The Law was given on Mount Sinai, the Spirit on Mount Zion; the Law on top of the mountain, the Spirit in the Cenacle.

All the disciples were gathered in one place. Suddenly, there came a great noise. As a Psalm says, There is a stream whose runlets gladden the city of God (Ps 46:5). A great noise accompanied the coming of the one who came to teach the faithful. Note how this agrees with what we read in Exodus: On the morning of the third day there were peals of thunder and lightning, and a heavy cloud over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast, so that all the people in the camp trembled (19:16). The first day was the incarnation of Christ; the second day was his passion; the third day, the Holy Spirit was sent. This day came: thunder is heard, there was a great noise; lightning flashed the apostles miracles; a thick cloud compunction of heart and repentance covered the mountain, the people of Jerusalem (Acts 2:37-38).

Tongues as of fire appeared. Tongues those of the serpent, of Eve and Adam, had given death access to this world. That is why the Spirit appeared in the form of tongues, opposing tongues with tongues, healing the fatal poison by means of fire. They began to speak. That is the sign of fullness; the full vessel overflows; the fire cannot contain itself. These diverse tongues are the various lessons that Christ left us, such as humility, poverty, patience, obedience. We speak in these various tongues when we give our neighbor an example of these virtues. The word is alive when the works speak. Let us make our works speak!

-Saint Anthony of Padua

Saturday, June 03, 2006

From The Comments At The Curt Jester

Fr. Rutler of "Christ in the City" fame once was serving as a hosptial chaplain. He visited a patient to administer the sacrament of the sick. When he pulled out his jar of ointment, a nun at the patient's bedside said, "You know, if I had a penis I could do that." Fr. Rutler reportedly replied, "Madam, I generally use my thumb."

Hat tip to Rich Leonardi.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Minute Meditations From The Popes

Do not deceive yourselves. If you think you are wise in this world, you should become fools so as to be wise.
-1 Cor 3:18

Christians today, like Christians during the first centuries, must have courage and faith in God. They must distinguish themselves from the world about them.
They do this not to condemn the world but to penetrate it with the light and truth of the Gospel.
-Pope John Paul II

O Lord, give me the courage that You gave to the Martyrs of the early Church. Help me to show that courage in my everyday life.

Quote Of The Day

Peter's successor knows that in his person and in his activity, grace and the law of love uphold, give life and adorn everything. And in face of the whole world, the holy Church finds its support in the exchange of love between Jesus and him, Simon Peter, the son of John, as from a support that is both invisible and visible: Jesus is invisible to the eyes of the flesh, and the pope, the vicar of Christ, is visible to the eyes of the whole world. This mystery of love between Jesus and his vicar must be weighed well. What an honor and what sweetness for me, but at the same time, what cause for the littleness, the nothingness that I am to be overwhelmed and embarrassed.

My life must be totally one of love for Jesus and at the same time, one of total outpouring of kindness and of sacrifice for every soul and for the whole world. During this episode in the gospel there is a direct passing on to the law of sacrifice. Jesus himself announces this to Peter: I tell you solemnly: as a young man you fastened your belt and went about as you pleased, but when you are older you will stretch out your hands, and another will tie you fast and carry you off against your will.

By the Lords grace, I have not yet entered that old age, but having completed eighty years, I am on the threshold. So I must hold myself ready for that last period in my life, where limitations and sacrifices are awaiting me, even to the sacrifice of physical life and the opening up of eternal life. O Jesus, here I am, ready to stretch out my hands, the hands that are already trembling and weak, and to allow another to help me to get dressed and to support me on the road. Lord, when speaking with Peter you added: and will carry you off against your will. Oh! After so many graces from which I have benefited during my long life, there is nothing left that I do not want. It is you who opened up the path for me, o Jesus. Wherever you go I will come after you. (Mt 8:19)

-Blessed Pope John XXIII on today's reading from the Gospel.