This is good, but the fundamental problem is with Catholics thinking that remaining within a political party that supports abortion as a civil right and attempting to dismiss this fact by pointing to conservative support for things like specific wars (or war in general) or the death penalty neutralizes the scandal involved in belonging to such a group is a moral option.
When will Church leaders tell Catholics that it's as wrong to belong to organizations that support the culture of death, most notably through support for the legal option to kill preborn babies, as it is to belong to a Masonic lodge?
And when will so-called Catholic politicians who support legal abortion be told, without equivocation, by all bishops (including the Holy Father) that, by supporting the culture of death, these so-called Catholic politicians are not in union with Rome, may not receive Holy Communion, and will be excommunicated if they persist in supporting legal abortion?
Archbishop Charles Chaput's history has troubled many of the faithful, and some of them have attempted to encourage the archbishop to exercise his duty to teach, govern, and sanctify by denying pro-abortion politicians (regardless of political affiliation) access to the Holy Eucharist.
Over at Jimmy Akin they're having a great discussion about "praying for the dead." It brought something to mind. Around Christmastime we had a death in our family. As we were making preparations for the mass, and small remembrance holy cards, and an interesting point arose.
In our family, every remembrance card I can find, and we have a lot of them- all stuffed in the family Bible (Douay- Rheims of course) going back to the 1900s have the following scripture verse:
"It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead that they may loosed from sins."
As we went to have the holy cards made, none of the stock verbiage contained this scripture verse.The mortuary we used was old and Catholic, and they had never heard of it. My sister and i did a template on our computer at home that the mortuary did use, if just for our cards.
Later, as we met with the parish bereavement counselor, who was a nun, we were asked to choose readings for the funeral mass. The reading noted above is not found among those that may be chosen for a funeral mass.
What has happened to Purgatory?
Why is the Church hiding it?
I find the doctrine of Purgatory the penultimate sign of G*d's love for imperfect man, his gift of his Son (to die for us) being the ultimate sign. And yet in my 40+ years of attending mass I have heard Purgatory discussed from the pulpit twice.
Imagine the power that could be harnessed if all three branches of Holy Mother Church:
St. Rita was born in the year 1381 in the village of Roccaporena near Cascia, Italy. Her parents, Antonio and Amata Lotti, considered her from birth a very special gift from God, for Rita was born to them as they were already advancing in age. As a young girl Rita frequently visited the convent of the Augustinian nuns of Cascia and dreamed of one day joining their community. Her parents, however, promised her in marriage, according to the custom of the day to Paolo Mancini, a good man of strong and impetuous character. Rita accepted her parents' decision, resolved to see this as God's will for her.
The young couple were joined in marriage and soon twin boys were born to them. Rita found herself occupied with the typical concerns of wife, mother, and homemaker of Roccaporena, while Paolo was employed as a watchman for the town. In Cascia, as elsewhere, a great rivalry existed between two popular political factions, the Guelphs and the Ghibellines. As a minor official of the town, Paolo often found himself drawn into the conflict and the strain which this caused probably accounts for the tension which he sometimes brought into the Mancini household. Her husband was a man with a violent temper which developed into brutality. He often kicked and struck his young wife for no other reason than he might be angry for losing at gambling. By her prayer, patience, and affection, however, Rita was able to ease the stress and worry her husband experienced, but she was not able to shield him altogether from the dangers to which society exposed him.
Her two sons, despite St. Rita's influence, turned to the evil ways their father taught them.
One day as Paolo was returning home from work he was ambushed and killed. The pain which this unexpected and violent death inflicted upon Rita was only compounded by the fear she felt that her two teenage sons, moved by the unwritten law of the "vendetta," would seek to avenge their father's death. Rita's only recourse was to prayer and persuasion. Her sons died at an early age (from natural causes) a short time later, but not before they repented and received the last sacraments and were thereby removed from physical and spiritual danger. Despite the great burden she could still thank God that they had died in peace, free of the poison of murder to which hatred and revenge might have otherwise drawn them.
Now alone in the world and without family responsibilities, St. Rita once more turned to thoughts to the desired vocation of her youth, that of joining the Augustinian Nuns of Saint Mary Magdalene Monastery. Some of the religious of the community, however, were relatives of the members of the political faction considered responsible for Paolo's death, and so as not to tempt the harmony of the convent. Rita's request for admission was denied. Fortunately, she was not to be easily dissuaded from following what she knew to be God's plan for her life. She implored her three patron saints, - John the Baptist, Augustine, and Nicholas of Tolentino - to assist her, and she set about the task of establishing peace between the hostile parties of Cascia with such success that her entry into the monastery was assured.
At the age of thirty-six Rita pledged to follow the ancient Rule of Saint Augustine. For the next forty years she gave herself wholeheartedly to prayer, works of charity, striving especially to preserve peace and harmony among the citizens of Cascia. With a pure love she wanted more and more to be intimately joined to the redemptive suffering of Jesus, and this desire of hers was satisfied in an extraordinary way. One day when she was about sixty years of age, she was meditating before the image of Christ crucified as she was long accustomed to doing. Suddenly, a small wound appeared on her forehead, as though a thorn from the crown that encircled Christ's head had loosed itself and penetrated her own flesh. For the next fifteen years she bore this external sign of stigmatization and union with the Lord. In spite of the pain she constantly experienced, she offered herself courageously for the physical and spiritual well being of others.
During the last four years of her life, Rita was confined to bed and was able to eat so little that she was practically sustained by the Eucharist alone. She was nevertheless, an inspiration to her sisters in religion and to all who came to visit her, by her patience and joyful disposition despite her great suffering.
One of those who visited her some few months before her death was privileged to witness first hand the extraordinary things wrought by Rita's requests. When asked whether she had any special desires, Rita asked only that a rose from the garden of her parents' home be brought to her. It was a small favor to ask, but quite an impossible one to grant in the month of January. Nevertheless, on returning home the woman discovered to her amazement, a single brightly colored blossom on the bush just as the nun had described. Picking it, she returned immediately and presented it to Rita who gave thanks to God for this sign of love. Thus the saint of the thorn became the saint of the rose, and she whose impossible requests were granted became the advocate of all whose own requests seem impossible as well. As she breathed her last, Rita's final words to the sisters around her were, "Remain in the holy love of Jesus. Remain in obedience to the holy Roman Church. Remain in peace and fraternal charity."
St. Rita's body is on display in a glass case in the Basilica of St. Rita in Cascia, Italy. Her body has been seen in different positions in the glass case in which her remains are displayed and her eyes have opened and closed unaided.
St. Rita is the patron saint of: abuse victims; against loneliness; against sterility; bodily ills; Dalayap, Philippines; desperate causes; difficult marriages; forgotten causes; impossible causes; infertility; lost causes; parenthood; sick people; sickness; sterility; victims of physical spousal abuse; widows; and wounds.
St. Rita is a powerful intercessor. Because of the many miracles reported to have been wrought at her intercession she received in Spain the title of La Santa de los impossibiles.
I personally know people who have been greatly helped by her assistance. That is why I encourage you to ask her to pray for you.
Oration To The Saint Of The Impossible
O excellent St. Rita, worker of miracles, from thy sanctuary in Cascia, where in all thy beauty thou sleepest in peace, where thy relics exhale breaths of paradise, turn thy merciful eyes on me who suffer and weep! Thou seest my poor bleeding heart surrounded by thorns Thou seest, O dear Saint, that my eyes have no more tears to shed, so much have I wept! Weary and discouraged as I am, I feel the very prayers dying on my lips. Must I thus despair in this crisis of my life? O come, St. Rita, come to my aid and help me. Art thou not called the Saint of the Impossible, Advocate to those in despair? Then honor thy name, procuring for me from God the favor that I ask. (Here ask the favor you wish to obtain.) Everyone praises thy glories, everyone tells of the most amazing miracles performed through thee, must I alone be disappointed because thou hast not heard me? Ah no! Pray then pray for me to thy sweet Lord Jesus that He be moved to pity by my troubles and that, through thee, O good St. Rita, I may obtain what my heart so fervently desires.
(Pray the Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father, three times.)
Those wishing to offer a novena should repeat this prayer for nine days.
Below is an image of the incorrupt body of St. Rita:
Americans seem mesmerized by the word "change." And, by golly, they sure got it last week from the California Supreme Court. It is difficult to imagine a single social change greater than redefining marriage from opposite sex to include members of the same sex.
Nothing imaginable -- leftward or rightward -- would constitute as radical a change in the way society is structured as this redefining of marriage for the first time in history: Not another Prohibition, not government taking over all health care, not changing all public education to private schools, not America leaving the United Nations, not rescinding the income tax and replacing it with a consumption tax. Nothing.
Unless California voters amend the California Constitution or Congress amends the U.S. Constitution, four justices of the California Supreme Court will have changed American society more than any four individuals since Washington, Jefferson, Adams and Madison.
And what is particularly amazing is that virtually none of those who support this decision -- let alone the four compassionate justices -- acknowledge this. The mantra of the supporters of this sea change in society is that it's no big deal. Hey, it doesn't affect any heterosexuals' marriage, so what's the problem?
This lack of acknowledgment -- or even awareness -- of how society-changing is this redefinition of marriage is one reason the decision was made. To the four compassionate ones -- and their millions of compassionate supporters -- allowing same-sex marriage is nothing more than what courts did to end legal bans on interracial marriage. The justices and their supporters know not what they did. They think that all they did was extend a "right" that had been unfairly denied to gays.
Another reason for this decision is arrogance. First, the arrogance of four individuals to impose their understanding of what is right and wrong on the rest of society. And second is the arrogance of the four compassionate ones in assuming that all thinkers, theologians, philosophers, religions and moral systems in history were wrong, while they and their supporters have seen a moral light never seen before. Not a single religion or moral philosophical system -- East or West -- since antiquity ever defined marriage as between members of the same sex.
That is one reason the argument that this decision is the same as courts undoing legal bans on marriages between races is false. No major religion -- not Judaism, not Christianity, not Islam, not Buddhism -- ever banned interracial marriage. Some religions have banned marriages with members of other religions. But since these religions allowed anyone of any race to convert, i.e., become a member of that religion, the race or ethnicity of individuals never mattered with regard to marriage. American bans on interracial marriages were not supported by any major religious or moral system; those bans were immoral aberrations, no matter how many religious individuals may have supported them. Justices who overthrew bans on interracial marriages, therefore, had virtually every moral and religious value system since ancient times on their side. But justices who overthrow the ban on same-sex marriage have nothing other their hubris and their notions of compassion on their side.
The California Supreme Court has overturned a ban on gay marriage, paving the way for California to become the second state where gay and lesbian residents can marry.
The case involved a series of lawsuits seeking to overturn a voter- approved law that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman.
With the ruling, California could become the second state after Massachusetts where gay and lesbian residents can marry.
"What happens in California, either way, will have a huge impact around the nation. It will set the tone," said Geoffrey Kors, executive director of the gay rights group Equality California.
California already offers same-sex couples who register as domestic partners the same legal rights and responsibilities as married spouses, including the right to divorce and to sue for child support. It's therefore unclear what additional relief state lawmakers could offer short of marriage if the court renders the existing ban unconstitutional.
A coalition of religious and social conservative groups is attempting to put a measure on the November ballot that would enshrine California's current laws banning gay marriage in the state constitution.
The Secretary of State is expected to rule by the end of June whether the sponsors gathered enough signature to qualify the marriage amendment, similar to ones enacted in 26 other states.
This isn't really surprising. This is typical liberal activity, using courts to accomplish what can't be done by allowing people to vote on the matter. Hopefully, this will wake people up and provoke a movement to return to sanity that will include a reversal of this foolish decision, which essentially amounts to judicial legislation and circumvented the will of the majority of California voters.
Catholic Answers has an excellent article, titled, Gay Marriage, which is well researched and discusses in detail the various diseases and pathologies associated with homosexuality. The article gives many reasons why society, as a whole, should seek to protect marriage as a union between one man and one woman and not grant legal protections for homosexual unions, as such.
According to Card. Castrillion Hoyos, the Holy Father desires that the TLM be a normal part of parish life. He also says that priests should offer it in their parishes even if there is no specific request for it.
Darío Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos (born July 4, 1929) is a Colombian Cardinal of the Catholic Church. He was Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy from 1996 to 2006, and currently serves as President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei. Elevated to the cardinalate in 1998.
Liturgical renewal launched by the Second Vatican Council is an "irreversible path" and has not been affected by Pope Benedict XVI's concession on wider use of the Tridentine rite, a Vatican official said.
"The pope's decision has so far not produced any change in the celebrative practice of our ecclesial communities. His gesture was only one of service to unity," Archbishop Piero Marini, who arranged papal liturgies for more than 20 years, said in an interview April 25 in the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano.
"Therefore let's look ahead and let's continue with enthusiasm the path undertaken by the council," he said.
Late last year Archbishop Marini was named to head the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses.
The archbishop remains involved in international liturgical issues, and he said a revision of the committee's statutes is giving it wider authority over eucharistic congresses at the national and regional level, too.
Asked if Pope Benedict's relaxation of restrictions on the use of the pre-Vatican II liturgy signaled a halt to the liturgical reform movement, Archbishop Marini said that was clearly not the pope's aim.
The pope's decree "does not intend to introduce modifications on the current Roman Missal or express a negative judgment on the liturgical reform desired by the council," he said.
He said the decree, which reached out to disaffected Catholics, should be seen as an effort to maintain unity in the church.
Archbishop Marini said his own experience in organizing papal liturgies in more than 100 countries has convinced him that the liturgical reform movement has brought overwhelmingly positive results.
"Everywhere, the liturgy desired by the council was celebrated with lively participation and enthusiasm. Everyone understood the liturgy as proper to the local church and at the same time as an expression of the universal church," he said.
Those liturgies also demonstrated that liturgical reform has solid theological foundations, he said.
"Therefore this is an irreversible path," he said.
Liturgical celebration cannot be separated from the life of the church, the archbishop said, and this means "the church of today, not the church of yesterday or of tomorrow."
At the same time, Archbishop Marini said celebrating the liturgy according to Vatican II is not an easy thing. It takes patience, perseverance and pastoral charity, he said.
One particular issue that has emerged during papal trips, he said, is the fact that some Masses are now attended by hundreds of thousands of the faithful. That raises practical considerations like the number of concelebrants, the distribution of Communion and the level of personal participation, he said.
Pope Benedict has already asked for reconsideration of the role of concelebrants, and Archbishop Marini said it makes sense to look at the question through a serious study and with eventual pastoral-liturgical guidelines.
We'll see, Archbishop Marini. I suspect you're wrong, though. I certainly think it's wrong to claim that Summorum Pontificum was only issued in an effort to preserve unity and avoid schism. How does the allowance of a right Archbishop Marini clearly views as old and outdated alongside the Ordo Missae promulgated by Pope Paul VI signify a movement that preserves liturgical unity?
It's clear that the archbishop is not in agreement with Pope Benedict XVI with respect to the liturgy. That is probably why he's known as ex-papal liturgist, Archbishop Piero Marini.