First Holy Cross Saint Announced: Brother Andre Bessette, The Miracle Man of Montreal

February 20, 2010

Long beloved in Canada, Brother Andre will soon become a favorite in America, too!!

His story is incredible in so many ways.  Thousands of miraculous physical healings were granted Read the rest of this entry »

An evening in the neighborhood: “Blessed are you when they curse you and utter every evil against you on account of me.”

February 20, 2010

Okay.  Despite the photo, I don’t want to get all dramatic here.  But, I was reminded last night as I often am here in Portland, OR, that there are some facts we Christians have to face.  And we will have to help our children face them, too.

I read in the paper a few weeks ago about a Socrates Cafe that has just started here in my neighborhood.  SC is a kind of loose discussion among folks from different walks of life of philosophical questions.  Having an otherwise useless BA in philo but a mind that is hard wired to the field I just had to get to this groovy little bar/cafe and see what it was all about.

The place was packed last night with about 30 folks who wanted to get philosophical.  I had been working all day and was in my clerics.  I figured I wouldn’t show my hand right away so I shifted my white collar tab to the side and out of sight.  Everybody wears black, so no big deal, I thought.

Our conversation was on the question, “What is the distinction between rights and priviledges?”  Cool topic, I thought.   It was going fine and I tried to help it along with some occasional comments–not dominating, just participating.

A couple of guys on the other side were very sharp and were clearly coming from a socialist point of view with many comments focused on exploitation, class tensions, injustices and conflicts.  All fair enough and worthy points.  Then suddenly the mood changed and there began a stream of caustic references to abusive Catholic Read the rest of this entry »

TWO YEARS LATER: Evangelicals Off the Bandwagon

February 19, 2010

Orig published: Sunday, February 17, 2008

Evangelicals Off the Bandwagon

In early January I wrote a post dealing with the open letter from 138 Muslim scholars, “A Common Word Between Us and You,” to which a group centered at but not restricted to Yale Div School wrote a vapid response entitled “Loving God and Neighbor Together.” The latter was signed by many prominent evangelicals, such as Richard Cizik, president of the Nat’l Association of Evangelicals, John Stott, Jim Wallis and Bill Hybels. It was also criticized by Al Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and John Piper, the man more Calvinist than Calvin.

Turns out two of the evangelical signatories, Wheaton College’s President Duane Litfin and Provost Stan Jones have removed their names from it, as the Christianity Today Liveblog reports. In the February issue of First Things, Fr. Neuhaus wrote this (p. 60):

A prominent evangelical who declined to sign the letter told me, “I’m telling our guys to wait and see how the Vatican responds. Rome has guys who know this stuff and has been dealing with Muslims for centuries. Our guys don’t know from squat and are jumping on a train run by liberals who have been wrong on just about everything you can name.” Thereby hangs a tale.

Amen to that. If I can put on the Freud hat, it seems to me we evangelicals have an oversized desire to be accepted by the wider world, to be granted Read the rest of this entry »

It’s good to be Catholic: 2010 Membership figures for the 10 Largest US Churches

February 19, 2010

The 10 largest Christian bodies reported in the 2010 Yearbook:

1. The Catholic Church: 68.1 million, up 1.49 percent.

2. Southern Baptist Convention: 16.2 million, down 0.24 percent.

3. The United Methodist Church: 7.8 million (U.S.), down 0.98 percent.

4. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: 5.9 million (U.S.), up 1.71 percent.

5. The Church of God in Read the rest of this entry »

Catholic Church commits hari kari over gay marriage law in D.C.

February 18, 2010

The Archdiocese of Washington has scrapped its 80-year-old foster care program, claiming it’s no longer eligible to serve as an adoption provider due to the District of Columbia’s pending same-sex marriage law.

Under the legislation, which legalizes same-sex marriage in the nation’s capital and which goes into effect March 2, all outside contractors must recognize gay couples in the District.

In a press release posted on its Web site Tuesday, the archdiocese, which opposes gay marriage, said it had no choice but to transfer its foster care program to the National Center for Children and Families, or NCCF.

“We regret that our efforts to avoid this outcome were not successful,” Ed Orzechowski, president and CEO of Catholic Charities, said in a statement.

The transfer includes seven staff, 43 children and their biological families and 35 foster families, according to the press release.

From Fox News

If the Church had the courage of its convictions, it would not close the foster care program but conduct it just as it always has and simply ignore the law on gay marriage.

Let the gays take the Church to court and let the Church defend herself on freedom of religion.  And let the world see the hate that the gay community has for the Church.

But, no.  The Church rolls over and plays dead.

A Hearty Welcome Home to Another Former Anglican Bishop

February 17, 2010

The former assistant Bishop of Newcastle, Paul Richardson, has been received into full communion with the Holy See, I am pleased to reveal. Richardson – also a former Anglican bishop in Papua New Guinea and diocesan bishop of Wangaratta in Australia – was received into the Church at the chaplaincy at Durham University last month.

He tells me that Read the rest of this entry »

Forward in Faith Australia votes to join Ordinariate!

February 17, 2010


A Special General Meeting of Members of Forward in Faith Australia Inc. was held on Saturday 13 February at All Saints Kooyong in Melbourne to consider the following recommendations from the National Council regarding the future direction of the Association.

  1. That this Special General Meeting of FiFA receives with great gratitude the Apostolic Constitution “Anglicanorum Coetibus” of Pope Benedict XV1 Read the rest of this entry »

Catholic Hospital lost to the Church in Oregon

February 16, 2010

The Sisters of St. Joseph of Tipton, Ind., founded St. Charles 92 years ago. In the 1970s, the hospital became a community nonprofit organization with the sisters remaining as sponsors.

In 1992, when the sisters decided they could no longer sponsor St. Charles because of the smaller number of sisters, an “association of the Christian faithful” took up the duty of making sure the hospital’s Catholic identity was preserved. At the same time, control of policy and operations went to a board of directors.

Bishop Vasa said the association’s structure did not give it sufficient authority to control the tenets of Catholic identity as expressed in the U.S. bishops’ “Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services.” In 2007, the bishop asked St. Charles officials for an audit of compliance with the directives. He identified problems and began talks, which hit an impasse.

From CNS

The fault for this terrible loss in a state where the witness to the gospel is Read the rest of this entry »

Dale Fushek officially excommunicated today

February 16, 2010

PHOENIX (AP) – The Phoenix Catholic Diocese announced Tuesday that former Monsignor Dale Fushek has been defrocked. The Vatican removed Fushek from his right to exercise the functions of the priesthood.

The Diocese said the Most Reverend Thomas J. Olmsted received a “Decree of Dismissal” from the Vatican in which the Bishop was notified that the penalty of dismissal has been imposed on Fushek.

The Diocese said the penalty was imposed by order of Pope Benedict and the decision is not open to appeal.

Once the second highest official in the Phoenix Diocese, Fushek is charged with one count each of assault and indecent exposure, and five counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Fushek issued a statement Tuesday saying he chose not to participate or defend himself in the process, adding he is at peace and free to pursue God’s will.


The former Msgr. Fushek was once the most famous and pastorally successful priest in the Diocese of Phoenix.  He had started a national youth ministry movement known as Lifeteen which touched Read the rest of this entry »

Vatican Archive Disclosures won’t Disclose the Whole Story

February 16, 2010


The Vatican’s newspaper announced the plan, saying it will “render service to the historic truth,” and officials said Tuesday the material will be accessible soon.

However a panel of Jewish and Catholic scholars who examined the 11 volumes of material a decade ago concluded that more information was required to decide whether Pius did everything he could to head off the Nazis’ efforts to exterminate European Jews.

Some Jews and others contend Pius should have done more, and are angered by Pope Benedict XVI’s recent decision to move Pius closer to sainthood.

The Vatican’s daily newspaper L’Osservatore Romano said Gary Krup, an American who heads the Pave the Way Foundation, which seeks to strengthen Catholic-Jewish relations, was behind the online initiative. It quoted him as saying that the Pius XII papacy “has become a source of friction.”

Benedict sparked renewed outrage among Jewish groups in December when he signed a decree on Pius’ heroic virtues, paving the way for him to be beatified once a miracle attributed to his intercession is confirmed.

From the AP

Of course the secular press and the most critical Jewish organizations have ignored the countless heroic acts of Catholic clergy and religious who risked their lives to hide Jews in their rectories, monasteries, hospitals, Read the rest of this entry »

Because your kiss is on my list…: Catholic/Orthodox Dialogue

February 10, 2010

Things appear to be on schedule for a return to Communion with the East by 2054.

Catholics out there, get used to the world “Protos.”

From Chiesa:

The dialogue remained frozen until, in 2005, the German Joseph Ratzinger ascended to the throne of Peter, a pope highly appreciated in the East for the same reason he prompts criticisms in the West: for his attachment to the great Tradition.

First in Belgrade in 2006, and then in Ravenna in 2007, the international mixed commission for theological dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Churches started meeting again.

And what rose to the top of the discussion was precisely the question that most divides East and West: the primacy of the Read the rest of this entry »

Days since last offense

February 5, 2010