Saturday, July 14, 2007
FROM THIS ORDER ? - SR. THERESE SULLIVAN
In a comments box below "72 books" indicated the chancellor of the Cleveland Diocese came from the Sisters of Providence who have a labyrinth on their spirituality page.
That's not all this group of nuns are into. Their agriculture uses biodynamics according to this page in their website:
Eventually, sustainable living became so overwhelmingly interesting to her that she took a leave of absence from her job to spend the summer as an organic and biodynamic gardening intern at White Violet Center for Eco-Justice as a transition to beginning her masters in sustainability at Arizona State University in Tempe, Ariz., this fall.
Biodynamics is a method of farming developed by Theosophist and founder of Anthroposophy Rudolf Steiner. It relies on spiritual practices along with organic farming.
This is much closer to the Theosophical Liberal Catholic Church than it is to anything Roman Catholic. The spiritual aspects of this form of farming are discussed at this website.
The fundamental conceptual difference between biodynamic and other forms of agriculture is that real "healing" does not take place in the absence of a spiritual component. Biodynamic agriculture provides this spiritual component. No matter how many elements are put together in whatever combination and although symptoms might be alleviated, real "healing" cannot take place without an infusion of spiritual forces. Jesus Christ illustrated this principle very clearly. He did not use herbs, needles or concoctions. He didn't even touch the individuals who came to him for healing. It was His capacity to reach directly into the individual's spirit and make the correction there that brought forth the "physical cure" which is a manifestation of the spiritual healing that had taken place.
Rudolf Steiner explains that food grown biodynamically brings in the cosmic forces necessary for the spiritual enhancement of the individual. In fact, when asked by a student, Ehrenfreid Pfeiffer: "How can it happen that the spiritual impulse, and especially the inner schooling, for which you are constantly providing stimulus and guidance bear so little fruit? Why do the people concerned give so little evidence of spiritual experience, in spite of all their efforts? Why, worst of all, is the will for action, for the carrying out of these spiritual impulses so weak?" the thought-provoking and surprising answer was: "This is a problem of nutrition." The spiritual infusion is the most valuable asset of this form of agriculture.
Here is the announcement of the new chancellor of the Cleveland Diocese to take effect in August. Her name is Sr. Therese Guerin Sullivan SP, JCL. Her bio is given on the Loyola University Pastoral Life Center website:
Sr. Therese Guerin Sullivan, J.C.L., D.Min.
Course: Canon Law and Civil Law for the Pastoral Minister
Address: 1027 Superior Avenue, Suite 500, Cleveland OH 44114
Phone: (330) 929-5764 and (216) 696-6525, ext. 4000
Fax: (330) 929-5765
E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Therese Guerin Sullivan, S.P., is a Judge serving the Marriage Tribunal of the Diocese of Cleveland and a member of the Sisters of Providence of St. Mary of the Woods. She holds a Masters in Education (M.Ed.) and a Doctorate in Ministry (D.Min.). She also holds a Licentiate (J.C.L.) in Canon Law. In more than thirty years of ministry, Sr. Therese has been a teacher, an elementary school principal, and diocesan leader. From 1989 until very recently, she served in the diocese of Gary, Indiana as a Judge in the Diocesan Marriage Tribunal and as Vicar for Religious. She also was appointed by the Bishop of Gary to administer the Diocesan Conciliation and Arbitration Process.
So just who is running the show in Cleveland along with "Little Man" Lennon? What spirituality motivates them? And is it any wonder I can no longer find a parish to call home?
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
FROM THE EMAILBOX
Spirit & Life®
"The words I spoke to you are spirit and life." (Jn 6:63)
Human Life International e-Newsletter
Volume 01, Number 75 | Friday, July 13, 2007
The Vatican One-Two Punch
What a breath of fresh air has just issued from the Vatican this week with the publication of two documents on the Mass and the Church. Pope Benedict XVI has lived up to his vocation to "strengthen the brethren" in their faith (Lk 22:32) with these teachings, and as a result, this healthy wind of truth has made us decidedly clear-headed about our identity as Catholics.
Just to recap, on Saturday (which, incidentally, was 070707) the Holy Father issued his document clarifying that the Traditional Mass was never abrogated and returning permission to every single priest in the world to celebrate it. Three days later he issued a document clarifying that the Catholic Church is the one, true Church that Christ founded. These are not theological treatises per se. Rather, they are doctrinal clarifications about precise issues that Catholics need to be clear about in order to, well, be real Catholics. With candor and precision, Benedict sidelined all the muddled theology about the Mass and the Church with a solid one-two punch to the "erroneous interpretations" of the Second Vatican Council as he called them which have been confusing Catholics for four decades. The former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was one of only two Cardinals at the last conclave who actually attended Vatican II, so he speaks with more than a little authority about that Council. He invented no new teachings and issued nothing that should have been surprising to anyone, but he has fed our minds and spirits with a healthy dose of truth. That, after all, is what doctrine is for.
These two subjects, the Mass and the Church, are the most fundamental matters of our Catholic identity, and because of that, they are also the doctrinal sticking points that have been the cause of more schism in the Church than any others. From the Great East-West Schism of the 11th Century to Henry VIII's usurping of authority in England in the 16th Century to the schism of Archbishop Lefebvre in 1988, doctrinal clarity on the Mass and the Church literally holds Christianity together, and without that clarity, the very mission of Christ is damaged. The average Catholic may not appreciate how vitally important these truths are to our religious identity, but thank heaven Benedict does.
Those who downplay, deny or denigrate one or both of these teachings are really hurting the cause of Christian unity rather than helping it. Despite the somewhat hostile reactions of other non-Catholic Christian leaders complaining that the Pope has set back the cause of ecumenism, the Pope has done a service to those whose religious traditions have rejected the truths about the Mass or the Church.
Similarly, a predictable cast of aging, so-called "progressive"
"Catholic" theologians have been wringing their hands about both of these documents all week claiming that we are going backwards. But I say, let them rage: Peter has spoken and his judgment is infallible! He is calling all Christians to unity by challenging them to accept the truth of Christ which is experienced in its fullness only in the Roman Catholic Church.
Friends, we need to pray for our dear Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, and thank God for the gift that he is to the Church! He has not left us to dangle in the errant winds of the most recent fad or breathe the noxious fumes of doctrinal dissent. He has revitalized us with the fresh air
Sincerely Yours in Christ,
Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer,
President, Human Life International
Friday, July 13, 2007
CATHOLIC ROCK MUSIC
THE LIBERAL CATHOLIC CHURCH IS NOW ORDAINING WOMEN
according to an article in the Star Tribune.
BALTIMORE'S ARCHBISHOP DESIGNATE
opposed gays in the seminary:
In 2005, during an interview with The NewsHour on PBS regarding the seminary review, O'Brien said, "We don't want our people to think, as our culture is now saying, there's really no difference whether one is gay or straight, is homosexual or heterosexual. We think for our vocation that there is a difference, and our people expect to have a male priesthood that sets a strong role model of maleness."
The military has also grappled with the issue of gays in its ranks, adopting in 1993 a "don't ask, don't tell" policy that ousts gays if their orientation becomes known by superiors. Several former generals recently called for its repeal.
Asked yesterday whether he supports the policy, O'Brien said, "It seems to be working."
With estimates from Catholic scholars and authors putting the proportion of gay priests at about half of the American priesthood, observers say O'Brien's arrival in Baltimore could have substantial effects on the two seminaries that fall under the archdiocese: St. Mary's Seminary and University in Baltimore and Mount St. Mary's Seminary in Emmitsburg.
"My guess is he's not going to want homosexuals in his seminary," said the Rev. Thomas J. Reese, a senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University. Reese said O'Brien could make it clear to other bishops not to send gay seminarians to Baltimore.
St. Mary's Seminary is sometimes referred to as "The Pink Palace" by conservative Catholics (including Michael S. Rose, author of the 2002 book Goodbye, Good Men) for its reputation of tolerance toward gay seminarians. To send O'Brien, who is known for his traditional view on homosexuality, to Baltimore could be a signal from the Vatican that the days of such tolerance are over.
The article from which this quote was taken is online here.
RAVALETTE: THE ROSICRUCIAN'S STORY
The book is being offered for sale at the Target website.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
SHE SAID WHAT ???
A young Muslim woman was advocated for exorcism to be carried out by a priest at Westminster Cathedral by Dr. Joyce Pratt, who also told the patient that a witch was plotting to kill her and offered her Christian holy water.
There is more on the story here>
How do Jewish angels differ from Catholic angels?
Catholic angels are spirit beings who are superior in intelligence to humans and who are either wholly dedicated to serving God or wholly dedicated to serving evil.
Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz describes Jewish angels in OPENING THE TANYA this way:
An angel cannot do good or bad; it is an agent, a messenger, without the capacity for independent choice. To attribute good or evil to an angel is like attributing free choice to a machine.(p. 129-130)
A human being can become an angel in his earthly lifetime according to Steinsaltz (p. 184). He cites as a reference for this belief the story of Enoch who sews leather into shoes saying "Blessed by the name of the glory of His kingship for ever and ever" with each stitch. With this repeated prayer Stainsaltz tells us "an ordinary shoemaker...'ascends to God' as did Enoch.
He says further:
The spiritual essence of a good deed is an angel, a person's emissary on high; the spiritual essence of a sin is a demon, a corrupter and agent of destruction. Angels or demons, they remain bound to him and dependent upon him. They pursue him and call after him: "You are our father! You created us, and it is your responsibility to sustain us!" All afflictions of man, all his suffering and ills are demons of his creation. He made them, and he is the source of their vitality; they leech on to him, suck his life, and destroy him step by step.(p. 198)
IS THE CRISIS OVER ?
According to an AP report:
The U.S. Catholic Church is quietly entering a new season.
Settlement negotiations are under way in Los Angeles for the largest remaining batch of clergy sex abuse lawsuits. Polls have shown greater trust in the nation's bishops than a few years ago. There's even been a fundraising recovery in the city at the epicenter of the worst scandal to ever strike American Catholicism - Boston.
Five years after the national abuse scandal began there, triggering a long season of reflection, the church is moving out of crisis mode.
However in the same article:
Paul Lakeland, a Catholic studies professor at Fairfield University, a Jesuit institution in Connecticut, said the Los Angeles situation alone shows the U.S. church remains in crisis. He and others attribute the abuse scandal's fading public profile to fatigue among Catholics about the issue, not in belief that the problem has been solved.
"If tomorrow we could declare the sex abuse scandal over, that would not mean that the church was in better shape because the problems of the church are much more deep-seated structural problems with episcopal leadership on a whole host of issues," Lakeland said.
Are we at a turning point? Is the crisis old news? What do you think?
A VERY SENSIBLE RESPONSE
Q: What would you advise the organized Jewish community to do in light of this decree [Motu Proprio]? Voice their concern? Sit back and relax?
A: We should continue to say our prayer, the Aleinu, that thanks God for not having made us like the nations of the world and that has not assigned us their portion and that asks God to bring the end of days and transform all humanity into worshippers of the one true God we know in the Torah. The Catholics used to pray that we would give up our (from their perspective) unfaith and would see the light. It’s a fair exchange, and God will resolve the matter in the end of days, as the Aleinu says.
Q: How do you think the decision will affect the future of Jewish-Catholic relations?
A: The two religions will continue to disagree on basic questions and will continue to seek and find ways of working together in the common goals that vastly outweigh the differences. There is no turning back.
Professor Rabbi Jacob Neusner, quoted at Jewish Ledger.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
CLOSING CHURCHES THE SUBJECT OF CLEVELAND ORDINANCE
According to the Cleveland Law Library weblog:
July 10, 2007
Emergency Cleveland Ordinance Seeks Meeting with Bishop Lennon
On June 11, 2007, the City of Cleveland passed emergency Ordinance No. 997-07, effective on June 15, 2007, urging that the City Council conduct a meeting with local Catholic Bishop Richard Lennon and the Diocese of Cleveland concerning the Diocese's new plan creating church clusters and threatening to close up to 48 parishes. The City Ordinance indicates that it may suffer a disproportionate share of closings despite the fact that "parish communities and schools play a vital role in maintaining racially and ethnically diverse neighborhoods and communities..." The City Ordinance also states that Church closures would lead to greater flight and migration out of the City, which would in turn harm neighborhoods and the quality of life for remaining Cleveland residents. Information on the new clustering plan can be found at the following link.
July 10, 2007 in City of Cleveland
Will the Council try to halt the closings? Wouldn't that be interesting!
METROPOLITAIN KIRILL REACTS
In a press release at Interfax:
14:58 GMT, Jul 10, 2007 Latest Headlines...
Vatican's honest position furthers dialogue - Metropolitan Kirill
MOSCOW. July 10 (Interfax) - The Russian Orthodox Church has called
"honest" the position of the Vatican published in a document of the
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith stating that the Catholic
Church is the only church approved by Christ.
"It is an honest statement. It is much better than the so-called
'church diplomacy'." It shows how close or, on the contrary, how divided
we are," Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad, who heads the
Moscow Patriarchate's Department of External Church Relations, told
journalists in Moscow on Tuesday.
"For an honest theological dialogue to happen, one should have a
clear view of the position of the other side," because "it helps
understand how different we are," he said.
Basically, the Vatican's current document has nothing new and is in
"full conformity with the doctrine of the Catholic Church," Metropolitan
"The Orthodox Church is, according to Apostolic Succession,
successor and heir to the old, undivided Church. Which is why everything
contained in the Catholic document rightfully applies to the Orthodox
Church," the Metropolitan said.
BISHOP FELLAY'S RESPONSE TO THE MOTU PROPRIO
Also the Press Release on the Motu Proprio at the SSPX website.
HAVING AND EATING THE CAKE
The recent statement about the status of the Roman Catholic Church in relation to the other Christian Churches reaffirms the teaching prior to Vatican II; is in accordance with encyclicals written prior to the Council--encyclicals considered by many to be infallible.
When Benedict affirmed the recent CDF statement, he also affirmed the commitment to ecumenism. One awaits his explanation as to how this ecumenism is to develop in light of this newly reaffirmed inequality at the bargaining table.
Now the World Alliance of Reformed Churches has written to Cardinal Kasper requesting an explanation:
We are puzzled by the release of a statement of this kind at this time in the history of the church. At a time of societal fragmentation all over the world, the one church of Jesus Christ in which we all participate ought to strengthen its common witness and affirm our oneness in Christ. The statement released on 10 July unfortunately gives an interpretation of the statement in Lumen Gentium 8 which takes us back to the kind of thinking and atmosphere that was prevalent prior to the Second Vatican Council. This is not good for the mutual trust that is being developed through our bilateral dialogues.
Who can blame them for being confused? It seems that John Paul II was able to hold firmly to two conflicting beliefs at one time--one, that the Church contained the fullness of truth; and two that the Church was just one of many on a road to Christ...a truth that must be presumed in order for ecumenical dialogue to take place. Benedict knows the truth and is willing to defend it. Was John Paul's ability to hold two mutually exclusive truths a reflection of his years of living under Communism?
It's thundering here and has been raining for a while. Blogging will have to wait until later when the weather clears. I'm going to shut down the computer for the time being. Don't want to have it fried.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
FROM THE EMAILBOX
This is an "Inside the Vatican" Newsflash.
Pope Benedict Continues His "Benedictine Reform" by Stressing Catholic Identity
A document published today by the Holy See reaffirms the traditional teaching that the Roman Catholic Church is the one true Church founded by Jesus Christ
by Dr. Robert Moynihan
VATICAN CITY, July 10, 2007 -- Just three days after Pope Benedict XVI published his motu proprio allowing wider use of traditional Latin Mass in the Catholic Church, the Vatican doctrinal office he used to head, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, today published a brief text on one of the most controversial passages, and words, from the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), and in so doing reaffirmed the traditional Catholic teaching that the Roman Catholic Church is the one true Church founded by Jesus Christ.
In our view, this is part of a continuing series of decisions and initiatives, beginning with the liturgy motu proprio on July 7, 2007, to increase the sense of Roman Catholic identity in the face of many challenges posed by the modern world. The Pope's intent, it seems clear, is to lessen confusion in the Church, and at the same time to reinforce the sense of Catholic identity over against a type of exaggerated ecumenism in which all Christian communities are increasingly, in practice, regarded as equally valid expressions of Christian faith.
Why is the Congregation publishing this text at this time, so soon after the motu proprio? The answer is not clear. Perhaps the text, which has been in preparation for some time, was simply completed now, and so was published. But there is one scheduled encounter later this year, in Ravenna, Italy, in October, between Catholic and Orthodox theologians, where the identity of the Church and the role of the Pope in that identity will be at the center of the discussion. It is in a certain sense opportune, then, that this document appear now, before October.
As we stated on July 7, we expect more such initiatives in the near future.
(We note in passing something many have already noted on the internet: that the date July 7, 2007, may be written in shortened form as 7/7/7. Speaking a bit humorously, some internet bloggers have asked whether the Vatican chose the date 7/7/7 to issue the motu proprio knowing that it would seem like a "lucky" date and one very different from the number 6/6/6 given in the Book of Revelation as the number of the Beast, who is against Christ (the "Anti-Christ"). We do not wish to engage in numerology, but we do think it may be a useful aid to memory for Catholics, and others, trying to remember when Pope Benedict's "Benedictine Reform" was launched: on 7/7/7.)
The document is finally up at the Vatican website.
YOUTUBE VIDEO OF GOEGHAN'S DEATH
State prison officials were investigating how the 10-minute video, shot from outside former Roman Catholic priest John Geoghan's cell during his slaying, made it onto YouTube.
The video was posted last month and may have been brought to the Boston Herald's attention by Joseph Druce, who was convicted in January of killing Geoghan at the Souza-Baranowski maximum security prison in August 2003.
"The truth about officer involvement in John Geogan's (sic) death," a handwritten note sent to the Herald and signed "Joseph Lee Druce" says.
The note gives a link to the video and the message "The truth about officers allowing J.G. to die through their neglect. Let the truth be know (sic)."
The video shows up to five guards at a time tugging at the door Druce had wedged shut with a book, while other guards stand ready to enter the cell.
About halfway through it, guards pry the door open, and several rush into the cell before emerging seconds later dragging someone out, presumably Druce, and pinning him to the floor. What appears to be medical personnel then rush into the cell. Viewers can neither see the slaying in progress nor Geoghan's body.
THE STATE OF AUSTRALIAN CATHOLICISM
The Catholic Church in Australia has 4.2 million stray sheep. They outnumber active Catholic churchgoers six to one, and there are more of them than Australian Anglicans, practising or not.
Most of the lapsed Catholics, baptised as babies, confirmed as children and married in the church, have long ago drifted away, disillusioned by sexual abuse allegations, caught up in the rush of daily life or estranged from the church's position on divorce, contraception or women's ordination.
Nobody really noticed them gone.
Until now. A year before World Youth Day, the biggest religious gathering in Australian history, the Catholic Church is serious about reconnecting with its prodigal sons and daughters.
I think they are starting to worry about the television coverage.
Read the whole story.
Novus Ordo Watch has linked this Australian parish that is trying to celebrate Corpus Christi's second birthday by having everyone dress up as something beginning with a "C". Take a look at what they got, including Mrs. Sheahan the Clairvoyant and Canuck the Chainsaw Murderer. Why were these particular parishioners chosen to represent the parish with pictures on the website? I wonder if they went to Mass dressed that way?
UPHOLDING CATHOLIC TEACHING
At Liverpool University a homosexual group has been banned from using Catholic facilities for their event because the group does not uphold the teaching of the Church on sexuality. The group in response has labeled the Church "un-Christian."
CDF REAFFIRMS SUPERIORITY OF CATHOLICISM
While everyone is occupied with the Motu Proprio, the CDF has issued a pamphlet titled "Responses to Some Questions Regarding Certain Aspects of the Doctrine on the Church". As reported by Earthtimes.org, the pamphlet essentially reaffirms Dominus Iesus, and "seeks to address 'erroneous' interpretations and theological 'misunderstandings' deriving from the adoption of the Second Vatican Council" according to the article.
This is the only article I could find about this pamphlet. Searching the Vatican website didn't turn up a copy of it either. It did turn up the title of another document the CDF has issued:
Notificazione sulla validità del battesimo conferito dalla «Christian Community» o «Die Christengemeinschaft» di Rudolf Steiner (Notificatio de validitate baptismatis apud «Christian Community» Rudolfi Steiner confessionem), March 9, 1991
AAS 83 (1991) 422
DocCath 88 (1991) 813 [Gall.]; EV 13, 16-17; LE 5417
Wouldn't a translation of that document be interesting!
I found an article at kath.net on "Responses to Some Questions Regarding Certain Aspects of the Doctrine on the Church". It contains a series of questions and responses, the first of which is:
First Question: Did the Second Vatican Council change the Catholic doctrine on the Church?
Response: The Second Vatican Council neither changed nor intended to change this doctrine, rather it developed, deepened and more fully explained it.
This was exactly what John XXIII said at the beginning of the Council1. Paul VI affirmed it2 and commented in the act of promulgating the Constitution Lumen gentium: "There is no better comment to make than to say that this promulgation really changes nothing of the traditional doctrine. What Christ willed, we also will. What was, still is. What the Church has taught down through the centuries, we also teach. In simple terms that which was assumed, is now explicit; that which was uncertain, is now clarified; that which was meditated upon, discussed and sometimes argued over, is now put together in one clear formulation"3. The Bishops repeatedly expressed and fulfilled this intention4.
The document goes on to discuss the word "subsists" that has caused so much confusion.
Monday, July 09, 2007
FROM THE BLOGS TO CONGRESS
A list at Beltway Blogroll takes note of the various times that blogs have made it into the Congressional Record for one reason or another.
An article at the Global Elite Research Center reports that the anticipated North American Union will be structured like the European Union with the help of the Trilateral Commission. They expect it to be a dictatorship.
Hat tip to Spirit Daily.
MORE QUOTES FROM STEINSALTZ
The Godly soul of the Jew is "a part of God above," a spark of the divine essence"(Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, OPENING THE TANYA, p. 80)
In its primordial origins, the Godly soul of the Jew is not just a creation generated by the divine will but an integral part of the divine manifestation itself. This is the level of the soul that is called yechidah ("singularity"), the point at which all souls of Israel constitute a single unit. On this level of being, the soul has no individual identity: its essence as a "part of God above" is manifest, so all individual souls coalesce and self-abnegate in face of the revealed divine unity.
Hasidic teaching has a concept called d'veikut ("attachment"). D'veikut is the process by which a person retraces the phases of his own creation until he reaches the point at which he ceases to be a separate entity. This is the state that the Zohar refers to as "being drawn into the body of the King": to be "sucked in" and nullified within the divine essence. (p. 77)
That would appear to be a process of becoming God reminiscent of New Age beliefs.
THE JEWISH PERSPECTIVE ON THE MOTU PROPRIO
Rich Levy at the Celler message board offers a comparison between the Good Friday prayer and a prayer used in Orthodox Judaism: "they thank God for not making one a gentile, a slave or a woman".
The introduction to Birkhot Hashahar (morning blessings) in the Siddur (prayerbook), Ani Tefilati, published by the Masorti Movement and the Rabbinical Assembly of Israel, explains that even though in many siddurim negative language was used ("shelo asani goy", who has not made me a Gentile), the positive language suggested by Rabbi Meir is still used today in the Italian communities and was used in some medieval Ashkenazi prayerbooks (siddurim).
Levy uses quotes from the Good Friday prayers prior to the Council and post-Council taken from this article in the National Post website.
Both in this article and in various other places where this topic arises there is reference to the "Good Friday Mass". But there is no Good Friday Mass. In fact that is the one day in the year when the Mass is not offered. Aren't these in fact "Good Friday prayers" which are recited during the services, most likely at noon and/or at 3 p.m.?
I don't remember Good Friday services prior to the Council. In my family the tradition on Good Friday was to spend an hour in church in private prayer before 3 p.m. I did not attend Good Friday services in childhood and so I have no basis of comparison.
FROM THE EMAILBOX
"INSIDE THE VATICAN" NEWS FLASH !
"Not a Rejection of the Council"
In the Sunday, July 8, 2007 edition of Il Giornale, the respected Italian journalist, Andrea Tornielli, who has also written for Inside the Vatican, published the following interview with the President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos, on the main aspects of Summorum Pontificum. The Ecclesia Dei commission is the body entrusted with overseeing the implementation of the "motu proprio."
What meaning does the Pope's decision have?
"The Pontiff's letter is clear. It is a decision which comes from the heart and from the mind of a Pope who loves and knows liturgy well. He wishes that the heritage represented by the ancient liturgy be preserved, without this representing any contradiction with the new Mass. Thousands of letters arrived in Rome from those who asked for the freedom to be able to participate in the old rite."
There have been those who said that Ratzinger thus "rejected" the Council...
"Benedict XVI has not walked or will walk, in any way or expression, on a path which is different from that indicated by the Council. The new Mass remains the ordinary Roman Rite. There is nothing in the motu proprio or in the papal letter which signals a minimal deviation from the Council. It may be appropriate to recall that Vatican II did not forbid the ancient Mass, which was celebrated by the Conciliar Fathers during sessions. No rejection, no offense. It is an encounter with the demands of groups of faithful, an act of liberality."
Is it an act of continuity or rupture in comparison to the Montini and Wojtyla pontificates?
"There is no contraposition. Paul VI granted the possibility to celebrate with the old rite soon after the coming into effect of the new Missal and Pope Wojtyla intended to prepare a Motu proprio similar to the one now promulgated."
Is the authority of the Bishop undermined?
"Those who have argued [so], have done so based on a prejudice, because the role of the Bishop rests assured, canon law does not change. It is the competence of the pastor of the diocese to coordinate the liturgy, in harmony with the supreme orderer, who is the Pope. In case of problems, the Bishop will intervene, always in agreement with the dispositions established by the motu proprio. I am certain that the pastoral sensibility of Bishops will find the way to favor the unity of the Church, helping to avoid a schism."
How do we deal with the Holy Friday prayer for the Jews?
"The authorized Missal is that of 1962, promulgated by John XXIII, in which the expression 'perfidis iudaeis' and 'iudaica perfidia' had already been removed."
Do you predict difficulties?
"I am not aware, in the History of the Church, of any moment in which important decisions have been taken without difficulty. But I strongly hope that they may be coped with and overcome, with the approach suggested by the Pope in his letter."
After this decision, the end of the rupture with the Lefebvrists is closer?
"With this Motu proprio, the door is widely opened [si spalanca la porta] for a return of the Fraternity of Saint Pius X to full communion. If, after this act, the return does not take place, I truly will not be able to comprehend. I wish to clarify, though, that the papal document has not been made for the Lefebvrists, but because the Pope is convinced of the need to underline that there is a continuity in the Tradition, and that in the Church one does not move forward by way of fractures. The ancient Mass has never been abolished nor forbidden." [Andrea Tornielli]
Sunday, July 08, 2007
A DIFFERENT JEWISH PERSPECTIVE ON THE MOTU PROPRIO
It is now official. Pope Benedict XVI has removed restrictions on saying an old Latin Mass which calls for the conversion of the Jewish people to Christianity and for their being delivered "from their darkness." The Pope indicated that there is nothing wrong with this prayer, and as the Associated Press reported, he wrote: "What earlier generations held as sacred remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful" ("Pope Relaxes Restrictions for Latin Mass" by Nicole Winfield, July 7, 2007).
We, the people who received the Torah and its interpretations, do not share the Christian perspective of the Pope, and given the differences in our beliefs, it is not appropriate for us to tell the Pope how Christians should pray. What is appropriate is for us to become more aware of the major differences between Judaism and Christianity, so that we and the Gentiles who share our beliefs can have a deeper understanding of why we are not in need of conversion to Christianity.
We proclaim twice a day the following proclamation of the Divine oneness and unity: "Hear O Israel, Hashem is our God, Hashem is One!" (Deuteronomy 6:4). According to the classical biblical commentator, Rashi, when we proclaim "Hashem is One," we are proclaiming that in the future all the peoples of the earth will recognize the unity and oneness of Hashem, and Rashi cites the following Divine promises:
"For then I will change the peoples to speak a pure language, so that they will all proclaim the Name of Hashem, to serve Him with a united resolve" (Zephaniah 3:9). And it is written:
"On that day Hashem will be One and His Name One" (Zechariah 14:9).
When we proclaim that Hashem is One, we are also proclaiming that we are to only serve the One and Unifying Creator of the Universe. In this spirit, the Divine voice proclaimed at Mount Sinai, "You shall not have other gods before Me" (Exodus 20:3). And it is also written, "Know it today and take it to heart repeatedly that Hashem alone is God; in heaven above and on earth below -- there is none other" (Deuteronomy 4:39). It is therefore forbidden for us to deify any object, force, or being, including a human being. In fact, the Torah tells us that "God is not a man" (Numbers 23:19).
Christians deified a Jewish man who lived over 2,000 years ago; moreover, they pray to or through the man they view as their Lord and Savior. We, however, remember the following Divine proclamation:
"I, only I, am Hashem, and there is no Savior aside from Me." (Isaiah 43:11).
Read the rest, including the Jewish perspective on Jesus Christ, at the website.
FROM JEWISH TRIBAL REVIEW
"What emerged for me, from the study of the first chapters [of Sefer Hatanya, the central works of the Chabad ultra-Orthodox organization] and their antecedents was the discovery that the main stream of Jewish thought is permeated by genetic spiritual superiority of Jews over Gentiles, disconcertingly reminiscent of racist notions of our time. Living in Israel for the past twenty years in a Jewish majority that is no more sensitive to the feelings of minorities than Gentile majorities are ... [with] Jews in their midst, I have come to realize the vitality of Jewish racist notions, and I am more than ever convinced that the hold Judaism will have on this and future generations will be gravely impaired unless these notions are neutralized by an internal reordering of traditional values."
A Problematic Heritage. The Attitudes Toward the Gentile in the Jewish Tradition: An Israeli Perspective.
Conservative Judaism, Winter 1996, p. 33.
TEMPEST IN A TEAPOT
According to the Guardian the Jews are upset with Benedict for the Motu Proprio. And what upsets them? That Good Friday prayer that prays for their conversion. Still. As though Catholics praying were the equivalent of Hitler sparking the Holocaust. I think they need to be reminded that Catholics died in concentration camps too. What business is it of the Jews how Catholics pray? Or is it that they are afraid God might grant the request? From the Guardian:
However, the older rite's prayers calling on God to 'lift the veil from the eyes' of the Jews and to end 'the blindness of that people so that they may acknowledge the light of your truth, which is Christ' - used just once a year during the Good Friday service - have sparked outrage.
Yesterday the Anti-Defamation League, the American-based Jewish advocacy group, called the papal decision a 'body blow to Catholic-Jewish relations'.
'We are extremely disappointed and deeply offended that nearly 40 years after the Vatican rightly removed insulting anti-Jewish language from the Good Friday mass, it would now permit Catholics to utter such hurtful and insulting words by praying for Jews to be converted,' said Abraham Foxman, the group's national director, in Rome. 'It is the wrong decision at the wrong time. It appears the Vatican has chosen to satisfy a right-wing faction in the church that rejects change and reconciliation.'
Thanks to a reader for the link.
THE MOTU PROTEST
Dom has linked Fr. Philip N. Powell, O.P.'s blog in which he explains the six-stage process by which the liberals will undo Benedict's Motu Proprio. In the comments boxes one reader has already unearthed evidence that Fr. Powell is spot on with a reference to Fr. Joseph S. O'Leary's Spirit of Vatican II blog in which Fr. O'Leary wades in with his protest right on cue.
Fr. Powell is simply brilliant with this part of Stage Four:
The third and final process of "reading the text" is called "Greasing the Differance Machine." Here the text is fed through an assembly line of English grad students at UC-Berkeley. These underpaid, overworked slaves of the Man deconstruct the linguistic fabric of the papal arguments, that is, they hook into the holes/absences in the language-weave and unstring the logics of identity and presence that dominate the chaotic play of meaning-making. Using the most recent research from France, the student-monkeys "unpile" the layered metaphorics of power and debug the codes of oppression that wave from the alleged "center" of the text. All of this results in a shredded pile of pulp wood product and ink. In other words, we can ignore it.
"Student-monkeys"! I love it!! May they take note--we've been warned.
FROM THE EMAILBOX
Spirit & Life®
"The words I spoke to you are spirit and life." (Jn 6:63)
Human Life International e-Newsletter
Volume 01, Number 74 | Friday, July 06, 2007
The Land of the Free and the Home of
Freedom is a beautiful word. Americans raise it high every Fourth of July and whenever we want to reaffirm the founding values of our nation. America was "conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal," said one of our more eloquent Presidents, and it is not ironic that he used the analogies of conception and creation to speak of our great nation. Let us keep in mind, however, that the concept of freedom goes quite beyond just the ability to say and do what you want. We, as Catholic Americans, have to make sure that we don't get caught advocating a libertine view of liberty or endorsing a partial concept of freedom that justifies grave injustices. That is our challenge in a culture that celebrates barbarisms such as "freedom of choice" and hedonistic lifestyles.
I believe that no one articulated the concept of freedom better than Pope John Paul II. His view was at once both a Catholic and a truly human concept of freedom that confronts the distorted notions of freedom that are current in our culture. In his encyclical letter, The Gospel of Life, he challenged us, first of all, to recover "the necessary link between freedom and truth" in order to understand freedom in its essential dimension. He frequently stated that "when freedom is detached from objective truth it becomes impossible to establish personal right on a firm rational basis; and the ground is laid for society to be at the mercy of the unrestrained will of individuals or the oppressive totalitarianism of public authority." (n. 96) He is saying that there is no true freedom when there is no obedience to the moral law and objective principles of right and wrong. One doesn't need to be Catholic to know basic standards of right and wrong. The Ten Commandments used to be a standard expression of the common values of society, even for those without faith, providing the moral glue that could hold any society together. Perhaps that is why the Ten Commandments were written in stone.
Furthermore, in his commentary on the first recorded murder of Abel by his brother Cain, Pope John Paul II notes that there is a "notion of freedom which exalts the isolated individual in an absolute way, and gives no place to solidarity, to openness to others and service to them.... It cannot be denied that such a culture of death, taken as a whole, betrays a completely individualistic concept of freedom, which ends up becoming the freedom of 'the strong' against the weak who have no choice but to submit." (n. 19) Pope John Paul is warning societies that already celebrate a "freedom without limits" that there are grave consequences for a nation's identity when people refuse to acknowledge the human rights of vulnerable individuals that pre-exist lifestyle prerogatives of a free society. He says elsewhere that "a person, who because of illness or handicap or, more simply, just by existing, compromises the well-being of life-style of those who are more favored, tends to be looked upon as an enemy to be resisted or eliminated. In this way a kind of 'conspiracy against life' is unleashed." (n. 12)
America is the "land of the free and the home of the brave," not the laboratory for a game of the survival of the fittest. Let us continue to fight to bring real freedom to all Americans, born and unborn, and never let up until those rights are fully vindicated. Then America can be that land of true freedom once again.
Sincerely Yours in Christ,
Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer,
President, Human Life International
JUDAISM IS NOT MONOLITHIC
If you doubt that, you might find interesting an article from Jewish World describing what happens when an ultra-orthodox sect of Judaism moves into an Israeli town and attempts to change the way things are done.