Saturday, June 07, 2008
COPING WITH RISING PRICES IN NORTHEAST OHIO
With gas, food, and medicine rising at astronomical rates, people around here are getting creative in how they cope. My husband reads a local fishing bulletin board, and commented yesterday about what he found there. Thought I'd blog it.
People in Ohio are
- Putting in chicken coops and raising chickens
- Trading in their horses (recreational I presume) for beef cattle
- Planting large gardens
- Fishing to eat instead of fishing to play
- Eating at home instead of going out for dinner
- Drinking water instead of beer
- Rolling their own cigarettes
- Learning to like Ramen noodles
- Worrying about losing their job if they still have one
- No longer mowing the yard so the birds will come and can be caught for dinner
- Putting "for sale" signs on their boats
- Brewing their own beer
- Giving up motorcross
- Trading in the gas guzzler "safe" vehicle for a gas sipper "disaster waiting to happen"
- Getting part-time jobs to supplement retirement
- Hinting they might try marijuana farming
- Giving up weekend getaways
- Exchanging trolling for drift fishing
- Looking at biodiesel kits for home appliances
I'm sure some of these ideas posted on the bulletin board were tongue-in-cheek, but who knows.
The front page of yesterday's local paper carried a story about property values dropping. We don't subscribe, but my accountant brought it up when I was talking with him about another matter. Here's what the paper reported:
Residential and agricultural property values fell an average of 1 percent in Summit County over the last three years — an unprecedented decline caused by lackluster home sales and thousands of foreclosures, county Fiscal Officer John Donofrio said Thursday.
State and local officials could not recall any county ever reporting an overall decline in residential property values.
Overall, 52 percent of property owners will see a drop in value, while 8 percent will see no change.
The biggest loser among the cities, villages and townships was Akron, where values dropped 4.4 percent overall. The largest gain was in Hudson, where values increased 4.3 percent.
Akron is where middle income and lower income Summit Countyites live. Hudson, as you may be able to guess, is reserved for the upper crust. This merely reflects the trend of the rich getting richer and the poor learning to live with less.
Schools in Ohio are funded by property taxes. The need to change this has been a major campaign issue for years. Now with property values falling, and taxes anticipated to fall along with them, this is going to be an even hotter issue.
I can vouch for the decrease in property value from personal experience. We have just sold my husband's 96-year-old aunt's house for considerably less than it would have been worth a few years ago. His mother's house will soon be ready to sell, and the anticipated selling price is also considerably reduced. Plus, in the process, we discovered the down side of house flipping when the flippers tried to convince us to sell cheap by presenting a list of upgrades that would be necessary along with their attendant costs. Like we cared. It was an "as is" sale, and the Franciscan nursing home is slated to eat up whatever profits remain after the sale anyway. That will take a little over a year to accomplish.
Other changes happening here...
Doctors seem to have changed their bedside manner enmasse. Both my husband and I have encountered a new attitude in recent visits. They seem to have started to see the picture from their patient's viewpoint. The fees are astronomical and they want us to know it isn't them who are getting rich. Yesterday my husband's doctor was complaining about the instrument company charging fees that have gone through the ceiling over recent years for artificial joints, while the surgeon's fees have fallen from over $1,000 to $350. He indicated it was just about at the place where surgeons were going to stop doing the surgery. Heart surgery, he said, was suffering the same impact. He seemed to want to tell my husband that they were both on the same side and the insurance and implement companies were the real enemy.
I got a similar story from my dentist on a recent visit. He talked about the instrument manufacturers selling dentists expensive x-ray equipment they really don't need by telling the dentists to simply use it on every patient and let the insurance company pay for it. This dentist is Catholic and refuses to buy the equipment because he doesn't want to force it on patients who don't need it.
I saw a vascular surgeon on a one-time visit to determine whether I really needed to take a particular medication. In his report to my oncologist he closed it with "this is a very nice patient." One reads something like that and the jaw drops! Things they are a changing in the medical profession.
After reading through the above list from the fishing bulletin board, it occurred to me that we may be returning to the lifestyle of the '50s. Back then we had a chicken coop in the city. And a push lawnmower. But then the yard was small because most of the property was given over to the garden. My daughter cans. My mother canned. I have never done it. This old dog may yet have to learn a few new tricks!
Friday, June 06, 2008
MARRIED MAN ORDAINED TO ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIESTHOOD
The Vatican has just ordained father of four Jan Kofroň into the Roman Catholic priesthood. This makes Mr Kofroň the Czech Republic’s first ever married Roman Catholic (Western Rite) priest. But this is not the first time that Father Kofroň has been ordained. He was originally made a priest in 1970s communist Czechoslovakia, where he subsequently worked illegally in the country’s underground church. Following the revolution, the Vatican declared his ordination invalid, but in recent weeks, it has reversed its decision. I met Father Kofroň to ask him how it was that, as an already married man, he became involved in the priesthood:
“A friend of mine who was a Salesian priest, and window cleaner on Wenceslas Square in Prague, discovered a link with a very illegal, very hidden form of the church.I was asked if I was open to the idea of priesthood, even though I was married. It was surprising, of course, to me, but nonetheless I was told that the way was open, and that permission had been granted by Pope John Paul VI."
Fr. Kofroň believes married priests are coming, but that the time is not yet here. Read the article here.
NEW TEN COMMANDMENTS
From a link at Spirit Daily I have just found the newest Ten Commandments...the Environmental Ten Commandments...at Zenit:
VATICAN CITY, JUNE 5, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Showing its support for the U.N.-sponsored World Environment Day, the Vatican has released the Ten Commandments of the environment, inspired by the Christian vision of creation.
Bishop Giampaolo Crepaldi, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, presented the 10 points on the opening day of Milan's first festival of the environment, which began Wednesday.
The secretary told Vatican Radio today that the document is an attempt "to explain in 10 points the most important aspects of the chapter on the environment in the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church."
He added that is an effort to enlighten Christian communities, groups and movements on "the very rich social magisterium of the Church on the specific question of the environment and its protection."
Ironically, the article doesn't list these Ten new rules.
Did Christ come to emancipate us from legalism, or what?
THIS ONE'S FOR JOSEPH
In a Catholic World News article linked at NOR, Pope Benedict has called on the bishops to court the virtue of humility:
Bishops must always be humble, Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news) told his weekly public audience on June 4.
Speaking to a large crowd in St. Peter's Square, the Holy Father continued his remarks on the legacy of St. Gregory the Great. When St. Gregory assumed the papacy at the close of the 6th century, he did so with some reluctance, Pope Benedict recalled, because Gregory had wanted to continue his simple life as a monk....
The Pope called special attention to St. Gregory's approach to the Scriptures. From the Bible, St. Gregory taught, "Christians must not draw theoretical knowledge so much as daily nourishment for their souls." To that end, they must read the Bible with a sense of reverence and wonder, avoiding temptations to pride at esoteric learning. "Intellectual humility is the primary rule for people seeking to penetrate supernatural truth on the basis of the Holy Books."
CATHOLIC IN NAME ONLY
Apparently Benedict's visit to America did little to influence Georgetown:
Washington, D.C., June 5, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Georgetown University, the oldest Catholic University in the U. S., has hired lesbian Shiva Subbaraman to act as director for its new Homosexual Campus centre that is to be opened in the fall.
Subbaraman was formerly the associate director of a homosexual equity office at the University of Maryland campus in College Park. After the school threatened to cut funding for the office, Subbaraman started looking for a new job.
The pro-homosexual newspaper, The Washing Blade, reports that Georgetown decided to start the LGBT Equity office after two "anti-gay incidents" occured on campus. In the first case a student was arrested and accused of assaulting a homosxual student and shouting anti-homosexual slurs at him. The case, however, was dropped due to lack of evidence. In the second incident campus police prevented a group of homosexuals from presenting a petition for the LGBT resource center to the university president. According to the Blade, the police said they were restricting access to the building due to the fact that there was a special event going on inside.
Georgetown University, which is fully funding the new homosexual campus centre, including paying for two full time staff members, has been known to proclaim itself a Catholic institution while going out of its way to support things dramatically opposed to Catholic teaching, including abortion, homosexuality and certain bioethical issues.
There are other ways to deal with students who fail to live the Catholic life. An organization does not have to be founded to redress the sin of mistreating a fellow human being.
Read the whole story at LifeSite.
First we endured the changes that homosexuality brought to the priesthood. Now, before the negative aspects of that change have been cleaned up, we will be introduced to another change--foreign priests.
The Diocese of Boise, Idaho, ordained six new priests. Five of them speak Spanish. Four of them are from Mexico. One is from Guatemala. One is from Poland. I'm sure this will bring change. I'm hoping the change will be positive this time, but not confident. Will American Catholics adopt their foreign priests with open arms, or will this signal another shift away from American Catholics attending Mass?
MORE LAITY ON THE WARPATH
While Cardinal Burke deals with Bozek and his supporters, Cardinal George is dealing with his own renegade parish:
A couple scheduled to be married Saturday at St. Sabina Catholic Church and the 51 graduating kindergartners at St. Sabina Academy called on Cardinal Francis George Wednesday to "reinstate" Rev. Michael Pfleger in time for the celebrations this weekend.
Church leaders said they would meet with the cardinal to discuss the hiatus he forced on their pastor.
"I do not believe Cardinal George fully considered the impact of his decision," said Amanda Breedlove, a prospective bride who for months has envisioned Pfleger presiding at her wedding. "It's a feeling of being robbed. One day your family member is there. One day he's not. A temporary administrator is not our pastor."...
The cardinal repeatedly has allowed Pfleger to stay as pastor of St. Sabina, where he's served for more than 30 years, long beyond church policies that limit pastors to two 6-year terms in a parish.
Deacon Michael Threet said Wednesday that his No. 1 concern is Pfleger's absence from the building and fear that he will not return.
"There will no future as we know it at St. Sabina," Threet said. "We believe God called Michael Pfleger to this church to be an earthly shepherd at this time. . . . Whether it was appropriate or not, the punishment was extreme and [George is] hurting the faith community."
One Polish. One Black. Both suffering from the same erroneous notion that Catholicism is democratic, and that factionalism plays a part in the faith.
MORE BAD ART
NEW YORK (AP) — A Roman Catholic watchdog group is protesting a student art exhibition in which religious symbols including a crucifix and rosary are depicted in sexually explicit paintings.
"I have the sneaking suspicion that these paintings made the cut precisely because they were an assault on Catholic sensibilities," Bill Donahue, president of the Catholic League for Civil and Religious Rights, said in a statement Thursday.
The works on display at the private Cooper Union school include paintings, sculpture, graphic design and video installations chosen by the faculty. The exhibit began May 27 and ends June 10.
The target of the protest is a series of paintings by Felipe Baeza. One of them depicts a man with his pants down and a crucifix in his rectum. A Latin caption says, "The day I became a Catholic." Another painting shows rosaries with male genitalia, and a third a man with a halo and erection.
Catholic persecution continues unabated. If Christ were not who we believe He is, this would not be happening.
Read about this latest insult here.
THE BOZEK SOAP OPERA CONTINUES
Saint Louis Catholic reports:
It seems that the discovery of Fr. Bozek's latest move-- the courting of Moonie-married Emmanuel Milingo and hosting of a priestly ordination at St. Stan's by a Milingo-affiliated Bishop-- has been a strategic blunder. He is now on the razor's edge of continued employment at St. Stan's.
St. Louis Catholic has learned that the Board of Directors of the St. Stanislaus Corporation held a special meeting on Sunday at 3pm, and that the vote to oust Bozek was deadlocked three-to-three. The three directors voting to fire Bozek: Rozanski, Zabielski, and Krauze; the three directors voting to retain: Bialczak, Rudawski, and Baras.
It seems the Board was responding in part to a communication by former Board advisor Roger Krasnicki, who wrote an email to the three Bozek holdouts calling for an end to this fiasco in the wake of the Milingo courtship. Just as earlier this year, Bozek obtained a copy of that communication and disseminated it to his followers with the request that its contents be disseminated widely.
Go over to the website to read the email and the rest of the story.
Thanks to Susanna for the heads up.
Thursday, June 05, 2008
CATHOLICISM HAS BECOME A HATE CRIME IN CANADA
Canon lawyer Pete Vere describes the persecution of Fr. Alphonse de Valk, a Canadian priest who defends the Church's position on homosexual marriage. He also describes other cases that have been prosecuted against Catholics who choose to live their faith.
It's a very sobering article that needs to be read by every orthodox Catholic, given that one of those cases concerned the American website Catholic Answers. He closes the article by describing the consequences for a New Mexico woman who refused to photograph a same-sex ceremony.
Moreover, Christians in America are not immune from what is happening to their co-religionists across the border. This past April, the New Mexico Human Rights Commission ordered Elaine Huguenin, a self-employed Christian photographer, to pay a lesbian couple $6,600 for having declined to photograph their same-sex commitment ceremony. This fine and stress from the legal proceedings come at a time when Huguenin and her husband are expecting their first child.
The New Mexico commission ignored the fact that photography is a form of artistic expression. The state commission ignored the fact that the First Amendment protects individuals from compelled speech — that is, coercion from the state to give artistic expression that violates one’s most deeply held beliefs. The commission’s one-page ruling simply stated that Huguenin had “discriminated against [the lesbian complainant] because of sexual orientation.” As this New Mexico Human Rights Commission ruling shows, Americans are in grave danger of having their religious liberty ripped away from them by Canadian-style human rights commissions.
Read the rest of Vere's story.
FOOD, FUEL, AND POLITICS
The Associated Press reports on the collision of the above three factors. Representatives of various countries are planning to attend the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization's 3-day summit held in Rome, but some will not speak with others. A 43 percent rise in food prices is predicted this year.
There is a difference of opinion as to how much of an impact on world food resources the turn to biofuels is causing. There is a call to end farm subsidies in the U.S. that is going unheeded. The EU bans one representative from stepping onto European soil, but the representative will still be able to attend the summit.
The article makes food into a political football that a lot of countries with differing agendas are kicking.
HOARD FOOD AND EXCOMMUNICATE YOURSELF ??
ABS-CBN News reports that in a Radio Veritas interview Bishop Gutierrez Monday threatened to withhold communion to traders who hoard rice amid soaring prices in the overwhelmingly Catholic South-east Asian nation.
The Philippines, one of the world's largest importers of the staple grain, is struggling to build up stocks amid a rapid increase in prices in recent months.
Bishop Dinualdo Gutierrez of the southern diocese of Marbel on Mindanao island said he will talk to local businessmen to find out if they are withholding supplies to artificially jack up the prices....
"I will talk to them in private and ask, 'Why did you do that?' I will ask him to defend and explain - then I will say, 'You have to return what you have stolen plus the damage.'"
Hoarders who comply will get absolution. "I will give him communion. If he will say 'no', then I will say, 'You will not receive communion because you're the one excommunicating yourself. You don't want to be united with Christ because you are exploiting the poor.'"
Read it here.
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
DONATE YOUR ORGANS ? THINK TWICE...
Pro-life activist and neonatologist Dr. Paul A. Byrne issues a warning on recent changes in legislation permitting organ donation. You may be seriously ill and incapacitated, even near death, and subsequently recover, only to find that you are now missing an organ, according to Dr. Byrne:
Yes, much is being done to get your organs. For an organ to be suitable for transplantation, it must be a healthy organ and must come from a living person. Please wake up! Organ excision does not benefit the person from whom the organs are taken.
Recent news reports of responses in persons declared "brain dead" should have alerted everyone that "brain death" is not true death. In at least two cases, the observed response prevented the organ transplantation protocols from going further. Zack Dunlap later reported how he could hear discussions of his death, but he could not respond at that time. Val Thomas had flat brain waves for 17 hours before her response was observed. While these might be of only passing interest to many, it ought to be of grave concern to every citizen of the United States of America, and the rest of the world.
We are continually bombarded with ads to be an organ donor. We are told that we are giving the "gift of life" in organ donation. We are led to believe that organs are taken for transplantation after true death — i.e., after the heart and circulation stops and there is no known way to restore them. We are seldom, if ever, made aware that after true death, the heart, liver, and other vital organs are not suitable for transplantation.
According to Dr. Byrne, the only way to prevent the taking of your organs prior to your death is to sign a formal declaration that you are not willing to donate.
CATHOLIC STUDENTS RESTORE JEWISH CEMETARY
A group from an American Catholic college restored a Jewish cemetery in a Belarusian village.
Fifteen students and four professors from the Franciscan Siena College in Albany, N.Y., found and erected 120 toppled gravestones at the Rubiazhevichi cemetery in three days. They also rebuilt the entrance to the cemetery with the help of local residents.
Read it here.
ODDITIES IN BOSTON
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston has offered to let a small Indian Catholic community move into a closed Framingham parish that has been occupied by protesters for the last three years.
The unusual development, which will apparently result in the Indian priest living in the rectory across a walkway from where the Framingham Catholics are sleeping in the choir loft, is a new twist in the battle between the archdiocese and local Catholics over the fate of a handful of contested parish closings.
St. Jeremiah's in Framingham is one of five closed parishes still occupied by protesters, but is already in a strange state of limbo - officially shut down, purged from the archdiocese's online and printed directories, but with weekly Mass said by priests supplied by the archdiocese. The closed parish has baptisms when members are born, and funerals when they die, but is barred by the archdiocese from celebrating weddings if any of their worshipers fall in love.
Now the archdiocese says it is inviting a little-known Eastern Rite Catholic community, the Syro-Malabars of southwestern India, to join the protesters in worshiping at the closed church.
An Indian priest, the Rev. Kuriakose Vadana, is to say an Eastern Rite Mass, facing away from the congregation, in Malayalam, which is the language of the Kerala region from which the Syro-Malabars hail; Vadana will also say a Latin Rite Mass, facing the congregation, in English, for the Framingham folks.
Read it here.
The Archdiocese of Boston is calling this "a testament to improved relations between church officials and the protesters". The protesters say they were not consulted about this move, but they are willing to share the parish with the Syro-Malabars.
St. Jeremiah's was the parish home of the astronaut Christa McAuliffe who died in the Challenger disaster. Bells at the parish were purchased in her honor.
The Syro-Malabar community of about 100 members will assume financial responsibility for the parish. When all appeals presented by the protesters have been decided, and taking into consideration the results of those appeals, the church is tentatively going to be transferred to the Syro-Malabarian Eparchy.
CATHOLICS VIOLENTLY ATTACKED
ABC 7 News reports on attacks near Catholic University and the National Shrine in Washington:
A string of violent attacks has the religious community around Catholic University on edge.
The assaults have sent several people, including a priest to the hospital.
Groups of young men assaulted five people in just two days last week. All the victims either work for Catholic institutions or were visiting them.
Surveillance camera footage from one of the attacks shows a woman walking back to the Conference of U.S. Bishops from a noontime mass at the nearby National shrine. As she steps off camera, two young males, possibly teenagers, grab and pummel her.
The woman is described as "a very smalish person - barely a hundred pounds".
The story also recounts an attack on two visiting priests from England and Ireland which hospitalized the priests.
The story implies the victims were attacked specifically because they are Catholic.
CARDINAL GEORGE REMOVES FR. PFLEGER
From the Diocesan website:
To put recent events in some perspective, I have asked Father Michael Pfleger, Pastor of St. Sabina’s Parish, to step back from his obligations there and take leave for a couple of weeks from his pastoral duties, effective today. Fr. Pfleger does not believe this to be the right step at this time. While respecting his disagreement, I have nevertheless asked him to use this opportunity to reflect on his recent statements and actions in the light of the Church’s regulations for all Catholic priests. I hope that this period will also be a time away from the public spotlight and for rest and attention to family concerns.
I hope also that the life of St. Sabina’s parish may continue in uninterrupted fashion. Fr. William Vanecko, Pastor of St. Kilian’s parish, will be temporary administrator of St. Sabina’s and will assure the full complement of ministerial services during this period. I ask the members of St. Sabina’s parish to cooperate with him and to keep him and Fr. Pfleger in their prayers. They are in mine.
LEADER OF WOMENPRIESTS DELUSIONAL
You may remember the other day I linked a Victoria News story on the latest "ordinations" of women "priests" which referred to the group as a "sect".
Group leader Bridget Mary Meehan saw the story and was not pleased. Her letter to the editor contains the following claim:
The Roman Catholic Womenpriests movement is not a sect.
We do not desire a schism nor a break from the Roman Catholic Church, but rather we work positively within the Church. Roman Catholic Womenpriests offer a gift of a renewed priestly ministry to the church in a community of equals.
Such a notion represents delusional thinking at its best. What part of "excommunication" does Bridget Mary Meehan not understand?
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
THAT EXCOMMUNICATION ORDER
The New York Times reported last Saturday that the Vatican has reaffirmed the ban on women priests, warning that the consequences of participation in such a ceremony would be automatic excommuication. According to the article the response of Roman Catholic Womenpriests was rather amusing:
Bridget Mary Meehan, a spokeswoman for the group, said the excommunication, which extends to both the women and the bishops ordaining them, was a positive sign "that the Vatican is taking us seriously."
Well, Bridget, excommunication is serious all right!
The article discusses the most recent attempt to ordain women that took place in St. Louis, and Bishop Burke's excommunication of the women involved. What it doesn't mention is that a priest who has been in the news for other reasons, was also involved.
STLtoday.com reports that Rev. Marek Bozek was present at the "ordination":
Archbishop Raymond Burke has formally declared that defiant Rev. Marek Bozek, pastor of St. Stanislaus Kostka Church, is improperly representing himself as a Catholic priest and is recommending his removal from the priesthood....
"I will continue my ministry at St. Stanislaus and I will continue my appeal to the wider Catholic population," Bozek said.
Msgr. John Shamleffer, the archbishop's adviser on church law, said the decree represents a "finding of guilt" on most of the nine charges against Bozek. Shamleffer said a tribunal of church law experts from outside Missouri will be empaneled to hear the question of Bozek's removal from the ministry.
Shamleffer said Burke has referred directly to the Vatican his charge that Bozek violated church doctrine by taking part in November in the ordination of two women by a group called Catholic WomenPriests.
It's a long and involved story, and I suspect it may have influenced the most recent Vatican announcement.
You may recall that the "ordination" in question took place in a synagogue, and that Rabbi Susan Talve was at the center of the controversy:
when the Central Reform Congregation offered its synagogue for Sunday's ordination of two women in a ceremony disavowed by the Roman Catholic church, it drew the ire of church officials and a pledge to never again partner with the congregation....
Talve was in her office when the women approached her this fall.
"They said they were looking for a sanctuary, and that got my attention," Talve said. "As Isaiah said, we are a house of prayer for all people."
The congregation's board voted unanimously to serve as host, drawing on its core values and principles, which include hospitality and providing sanctuary.
[Rev. Vincent] Heier [director of diocesan interreligious affairs] and Burke pressed Talve and the board to withdraw their offer, saying the act would "cause pain" to the church.
"It's akin to us inviting a group that is contrary to Jewish life," Heier said. "She didn't understand."
Heier said he and Talve disagree on abortion and gay marriage, "but this is the straw that broke the camel's back."
Talve said she regrets the church is pained by the decision to host the women, but a decision not to would have hurt others. She said hundreds of practicing Catholics have called to thank her for taking a stand.
Heier enlisted the help of the larger Jewish community, but the local Jewish Community Relations Council neither condemned nor affirmed CRC's decision. In a statement, the council said it regretted any pain the church suffered, but emphasized the autonomy of each congregation.
Members of the larger Jewish community and archdiocese said they would not let the decision stop their interfaith dialogue and efforts.
But the archdiocese clearly has drawn a line with Talve and her congregation.
Last December Talve was scheduled to speak at an Advent Vespers service in St. Cronan's Church, something she had done in the past. Days before the service was to take place Burke called the parish and requested that Talve's invitation be withdrawn.
It was a major dust-up.
Bozek's role in the "ordination" has not been made clear. Why was he there? What did he do? Since he isn't a bishop, he could hardly perform an ordination, even an invalid one.
Bozek is no stranger to controversy. His move to St. Stanislaus Kostka, which the diocese refers to as a corporation, not as a parish, followed controversy in his previous diocese. His story is told at the St. Louis Diocesan website:
On December 15th of 2005, I was obliged to declare the excommunication of the members of the Board of Directors of Saint Stanislaus Kostka Corporation because of their persistence in schism. The members of the Board had committed the most grievous delict of schism by hiring a suspended priest, that is, a priest not in good standing in the Church, for the purpose of attempting to celebrate the sacraments and sacramentals at Saint Stanislaus Kostka Church, all outside of the communion of the Catholic Church. The priest in question, the Reverend Marek B. Bozek, a priest of the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau, had left his priestly assignment against the expressed will of his bishop, Bishop John Leibrecht, in order to be hired by the Board of Directors of Saint Stanislaus Kostka Corporation.
Bishop Leibrecht warned Reverend Bozek, several times, about the grave consequences of his actions, and, when Reverend Bozek refused to heed his warnings and abandoned his priestly assignment, was obliged to suspend him from all acts of the power of Holy Orders and of governance. When I received news of Reverend Bozek's coming to the Archdiocese of St. Louis, I urged him to be obedient to his bishop and not to participate in the schismatic activity of the Board of Directors of Saint Stanislaus Kostka Corporation. Reverend Bozek also refused to follow my direction and, likewise, incurred the penalty of excommunication because of persistence in schism.
But the controversy doesn't stop there. Bozek has legal representation in tribunals by another well-known Catholic priest who has been instrumental in bringing the sexual abuse scandal to the forefront:
Check out the story at The Deacon's Bench where you can read:
Archbishop bars prominent priest as canon lawyer
This news will likely be raising some eyebrows, since the man in question is one of the most prominent, outspoken and uncompromising voices working as an advocate for victims of clerical sex abuse:
Saying Dominican Fr. Thomas Doyle had “failed to represent [clients] properly or effectively” in the church court in St. Louis, Archbishop Raymond Burke has barred the priest from acting as a canon lawyer in the St. Louis archdiocese.
In a decree issued April 11 and printed in the archdiocesan newspaper, Burke justified his action by saying Doyle is guilty of two canonical crimes: “abuse of ecclesiastical function” and culpable negligence.
Doyle, long noted as an outspoken advocate for victims of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy, has a private practice as a canon lawyer representing people who, in his words, have “found themselves in disputes with the Catholic church or harmed in some way by the institutional church.”
Doyle said Burke’s action is an abuse of the church’s judicial process. Burke “has sorely misused and abused the canonical process as a way to get even with people who disagree with him or whom he sees as being in opposition to him,” Doyle told NCR.
In St. Louis, Doyle had been representing Stan Rozanski and Bernice Krauze, two members of the board of directors of St. Stanislaus Kostka, a parish under interdict over a property dispute with the archdiocese. Other board members and the parish pastor, Fr. Marek Bozek, have also been excommunicated and have been consulting with Doyle.
This is not the whole picture. There is more controversy swirling around Bozek. But enough is enough, and you probably already are feeling brain battered by the varied tentacles of this story.
As I read the saga, Bozek has been excommunicated not just once, but twice! Yet he continues to offer "sacraments" at the Polish church, and the congregation continues to support him.
Poles are unashamedly Catholic, and in a very conservative sense, if my in-laws are any indication. They do what "father" says almost every time. But that unquestioning frame of mind can lead to all sorts of bizarre situations when "father" isn't kosher, as this Polish congregation demonstrates. Interesting times...
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
LIVING CHURCH - DYING CHURCH
Matt Abbott's column is a study in contrasts. The first half reports on the success of efforts to teach priests and seminarians the Tridentine Mass through a workshop that drew priests from not just the U.S., but from other countries as well. The workshop had to turn priests awway. Another one is being planned. This effort was placed in the hands of the Blessed Mother each morning. Looks like she approves of it!
Contrasting this wholesome effort is the report of the retirement of Dan and Shiela Daly, founders of Call to Action. The Dalys have decided to pass the torch. It's not clear who is going to receive it and what they will do with it when they get it. I wonder if they have considered snuffing it out?
SOLUTION TO CATHOLIC ADOPTION PROBLEM? LIVE THE FAITH
It seems to obvious and so simple, yet it comes as a revelation:
LANCASTER, UK, June 2, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Catholic bishop of Lancaster has offered his adoption agency a solution to the threat of the Sexual Orientation Regulations that are forcing it to close. Bishop Patrick O'Donohue has penned a letter suggesting that Catholic Caring Services in the Diocese of Lancaster adopt a totally Catholic ethos in order to maintain the integrity of its services, especially in the adopting of needy children.
Changing the constitution of Catholic Caring Services to ensure that children will not be adopted out to either homosexual partners or to single people and unmarried couples, will provide a safeguard against prosecution under the new law.
The Equality Act, of which the Sexual Orientation Regulations are a part, also prevents public authorities "discriminating on the grounds of religion or belief". As such, Catholic Caring Services can continue to operate, the bishop said, if the constitutions of Catholic Caring Services "make it crystal clear that it will operate in accordance with the religious and moral principles of the Catholic Faith".
Bishop O'Donoghue, has written to his flock explaining that Catholic doctrine holds natural marriage as the only situation into which children may be given for adoption. As an agency of the Catholic Church, Catholic Caring Services can continue to operate if its constitutions are altered to bring it completely in line with the teachings of the Catholic Church on marriage and family life.
Monday, June 02, 2008
NO PREACHING ZONE
A police community support officer ordered two Christian preachers to stop handing out gospel leaflets in a predominantly Muslim area of Birmingham.
The evangelists say they were threatened with arrest for committing a "hate crime" and were told they risked being beaten up if they returned. The incident will fuel fears that "no-go areas" for Christians are emerging in British towns and cities, as the Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, the Bishop of Rochester, claimed in The Sunday Telegraph this year.
Arthur Cunningham, 48, and Joseph Abraham, 65, both full-time evangelical ministers, have launched legal action against West Midlands Police, claiming the officer infringed their right to profess their religion.
Mr Abraham said: "I couldn't believe this was happening in Britain. The Bishop of Rochester was criticised by the Church of England recently when he said there were no-go areas in Britain but he was right; there are certainly no-go areas for Christians who want to share the gospel."
Last night, Christian campaigners described the officer's behaviour as "deeply alarming".
Read it here.
Thanks to a reader for the link.
BOOK ON TEMPLAR TRIALS RELEASED
The unique book dedicated to the trial against templars issued by Secret Vatican City archive was presented Friday in Sofia's National Archeological Museum.
The publication, called "Processus Conta Templarios", is an expensive limited edition of the proceedings of the 1307-1312 papal trial of the mysterious medieval crusading order of warrior-monks who were accused of heresy.
The work was presented by the famous Bulgarian archaeologist Professor Nikolay Ovcharov and the Prior of the Bulgarian Priory Rumen Ralchev.
Here's the story.
Apparently the material had been miscatalogued for 300 years and was discovered in 2001.
A copy of the book has been purchased by the University of Sydney, Australia:
The University of Sydney has purchased Australia's only copy of the recently released manuscripts of the trials of the Knights Templar - a $10,000 reproduction of a document that rehabilitates the medieval Christian military order. ...
"The crux of these trial documents is that Pope Clement V didn't think the Templars were guilty of heresy," says Neil Boness, Rare Book librarian at the University's Fisher Library. It is "very unusual" for the Vatican to release a reproduction of material from the Secret Archives such as this, known as the Processus Contra Templarios - Papal Inquiry into the Trial of the Templars, he added.
According to John Pryor, Associate Professor for Medieval Studies at Sydney, there was "significant pressure" exerted on the Pope by the King's agents to find the order guilty.
Read it here.
The first copy of the numbered manuscripts was presented to the Pope. An additional 798 copies were produced.
NEW INSTRUCTION ON OBEDIENCE ISSUED BY VATICAN
The Vatican has published an instruction focusing on authority and obedience among consecrated men and women.
Members of institutes of consecrated life undertake to live the vows of poverty, obedience and chastity in identification with the life of Christ.
The new instruction entitled, ‘The Service of Authority and Obedience’, is written by the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.
The text examines the theme of religious obedience, "the root of which is seen in that search for God and for His will which is particular to believers,” the Congregation said in a press release.
BAR TO FEMALE PRIESTS ASSERTED YET AGAIN
The Vatican on Friday reaffirmed a ban on ordaining women as priests, warning that the consequences of any such ordination would be the automatic excommunication of anyone involved.
The decree was a reaction to specific episodes of "so-called ordinations in various parts of the world," according to Msgr. Angelo Amato, the secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which issued the decree.
Read it here...
Hat tip to NOR for the link.
Former Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo, who remains married and excommunicated, is conducting ceremonies and healing sessions in Zambia. The Zambia Episcopal Conference has warned Catholics to avoid attending them.
The Vatican has denounced a group who claim to have seen the Virgin Mary more than 40,000 times in the past 27 years. ...
But now one of the most respected voices in the Roman Catholic church has accused the visionaries of perpetuating a 'diabolical deceit'.
Andrea Gemma, 77, a bishop and once the Vatican's top exorcist, told a magazine in Italy: 'In Medjugorje everything happens in function of money: Pilgrimages, lodging houses, sale of trinkets.
'This whole sham is the work of the Devil. It is a scandal.' He said the Vatican would soon crack down on the group.
Read the article...
Michael Brown has responded to this story on Medjugorje. He points out that one exorcist opposes another.
The London report was in the Daily Mail, which started with the words, "The Vatican has denounced a group who claim to have seen the Virgin Mary more than 40,000 times in the past 27 years."
It quoted Andrea Gemma, a bishop and once a "Vatican exorcist," as telling a magazine in Italy that "This whole sham is the work of the devil. It is a scandal." He reportedly said the Vatican "would soon crack down on the group." Many criticize the commercialization of Medjugorje, where shops are now built up in the same way as Fatima and Lourdes.
That report flies in the face of statements by famed Rome exorcist Father Amorth, who during his stay at Medjugorje in July 2002 gave an interview to a priest in which he said that "Medjugorje is a fortress against Satan. Satan hates Medjugorje because it is a place of conversion, of prayer, of transformation of life. ...
So we see an apparent divergence of opinion -- even among prominent exorcists, if the quotes from Bishop Gemma (thus far unconfirmed) are accurate.
The problem is that they are in a sensationalist English newspaper that focuses on celebrities with salacious photographs in a way mindful of supermarket tabloids in America.
Does he have inside knowledge? Will the Vatican soon rule against Medjugorje?
No one knows. John Paul II favored Medjugorje. No one knows exactly where Pope Benedict stands.
The only certainty is that controversy -- and confusion -- will continue until Rome, which now has full control, actually rules on the matter, at which time we will not only report it in full but strictly adhere to it.
Read it here...
His pilgrimmage will go forth. However, I do believe that he is sincere in saying that he will adhere to the decision of the Pope. It's unfortunate that this controversy has continued for so many years. Many faithful Catholics who are sincere in their faith will be shaken if this apparition is condemned. On the other hand, the Church cannot continue to permit the cause of Medjugorje to advance if the visionaries treat it as a cash cow, indicating demonic presence, and the Franciscans continue in their disobedience, also indicating demonic presence.
This is always the danger of promoting an unapproved apparition. It lingers in even the best of circumstances. Satan, after all, is a master of deception, hoping to discourage souls away from God through his diabolical techniques. If this apparition is found to be a deception, may God grant that those who have promoted it will be obedient to the Church and will not waver in their faith as a result of this deceit.
Sunday, June 01, 2008
FROM THE EMAILBOX
Spirit & Life®
"The words I spoke to you are spirit and life." (Jn 6:63)
Human Life International e-Newsletter
Volume 03, Number 22 | Friday, May 30, 2008
This week's guest columnist is Mrs. Magaly Llaguno, the Executive Director of Human Life International's Hispanic Division and a prolific author. She has worked for HLI for more than 25 years and has been instrumental in helping to "plant" the pro-life movement in virtually every part of Latin America.
Brazil's Pro-Life Movement Stops Abortion Legalization
With great joy we received the news at Vida Humana Internacional, HLI's Hispanic Division in Miami, that a piece of legislation (bill 1135/91) which would have legalized abortion on demand throughout Brazil, did not make it out of the Safety and Family Commission. This pro-life triumph was possible thanks to the very excellent pro-life movement that exists in Brazil and in particular to the efforts of Dr. Humberto Vieira, HLI's national representative in that country. Dr. Vieira, who is founder and president of Providafamilia, has been involved with HLI for over 18 years. He has managed to create a magnificent pro-life network throughout Brazil that is well-organized and united.
The vote that stopped abortion legalization was a unanimous 33 to 0. The four pro-abortion legislators on the Commission left the session at the time of the vote, but two of them were substituted by other legislators who in turn voted for life! According to pro-life leaders, many parliamentarians were crying, embracing each other and rejoicing over this triumph. Now the bill will be voted on in the Commission of Constitution and Justice, where victory is expected. However, we ask for prayers for the ultimate defeat of this bill.
The strategy devised by Dr.Vieira and his great team was two-fold: One group lobbied the legislators and another one worked with the electoral grassroots of the parliamentarians. It was an historic vote for Brazil and the pro-aborts were surprised and in disarray! Dr. Maria das Dores Guimarães Dolly, a pro-life attorney from Sao Paolo, traveled to Brasilia every week to lobby the legislators. Needless to say, the support of the Brazilian Bishops Conference and of many of the individual bishops themselves was crucial. Brazil's bishops have recently embarked on a pro-life educational campaign that will reach out to all parishes throughout the entire country.
Representatives Jose Aristodemo Pinotti and Cida Diogo initially said they would vote in favor of the abortion law but withdrew before the vote was taken. Pinotti is a medical doctor, and in the 70's he was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Rockefellers' Population Council, an organization that is behind population control efforts throughout the world. In the letter he wrote to a Brazilian pro-life leader, dated May 14, 2008, Pinotti claimed to be "against abortion" and only in favor of its "regulation." Yet according to his curriculum vitae on the website of the Brazilian Chapter of the Jewish Medical Association, he is (or has been) a member of the board of directors of the International Projects Assistance Services (IPAS). IPAS is an American company based in Chapel Hill, NC that manufactures abortion equipment and promotes its legalization.  Pinotti is also a past president of the terrible abortion promoting organization called the "International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics" (FIGO, 1988-1991); Pinotti presided over its XII World Congress in 1988.
It would seem that there are some foreign anti-life organizations behind the efforts to legalize abortion in Brazil as is the case in other Hispanic countries. The main example of this type of international pressure is Nicaragua, where abortion was outlawed in 2006 and yet those pressures still continue. Nevertheless, in spite of whatever anti-life organizations and foundations may be behind the effort to legalize abortion in Brazil, the pro-life movement of that country is now a huge force to contend with.
CLEVELAND FAITH HEALER STAGES SHOW IN CANTON
Cleveland's own Issam Nemeh, doctor and faith healer, will be conducting an event at Walsh University in North Canton on June 28 in the campus chapel. His wife and daughter, recording artist Ashley, will accompany him. Tickets cost $20 each and can be purchased at Path To Faith, Box 26044 Fairview Park, OH 44126, or through his website at DrNemeh.com. Tickets will be available at the door if not sold out beforehand.
When you get to the website, click the yellow link and tell me what you think. I'm not expressing my opinion here, but those of you who have been around for a while probably know what it is.