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Due to these three principle events the Archdiocese of New Orleans announced today numerous closings.

It must be an administrative nightmare to handle all that turn over.

These churches will all be closed by December 31, 08. It’s always sad to see any church close its doors. I hope that diocese like ours will be able to purchase some of the art work at these wonderful buildings. I really wish we could simply pick up some of these and relocate them to areas which need new buildings.

Heck ours was only built 5 years ago and we’ll need another parish within 5 years.

Good bye faithful servants you served a great purpose. I hope whomever takes you over will put you to a good purpose.

Blessed Sacrament, New Orleans

Epiphany, New Orleans

Immaculate Heart of Mary, New Orleans

Incarnate Word, New Orleans

Our Lady of Good Counsel, New Orleans

Our Lady of Good Harbor, Buras

Our Lady of Lourdes, New Orleans

Prince of Peace, Chalmette

Sacred Heart of Jesus, New Orleans

St. Pedro, St. Bernard

St. Brigid, New Orleans

St. Francis Cabrini, New Orleans

St. Francis DeSales, New Orleans

St. Henry, New Orleans

St. Julian Eymard, New Orleans

St. Lawrence the Martyr, Metairie

St. Louise de Marillac, Arabi

St. Mark, Chalmette

St. Mary, New Orleans

St. Maurice, New Orleans

St. Monica, New Orleans

St. Raphael the Archangel, New Orleans

St. Raymond, New Orleans

St. Robert Bellarmine, Arabi

St. Simon Peter, New Orleans


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Crisis, Reform and the Future of the Churchby George Weigel

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Mr. Weigel is a Catholic theologian and a Senior fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington,D.C. This book was written in 2002 so it’s still very current on the issues facing the church today. The author states that the book is

“For all those who will contribute to the genuinely Catholic reform of the Church in the Unites states. You know who you are. Be not afraid.”

The first 2/3 of the book is devoted to laying the foundation of what happened to the church over the past 35 to 40 years in the aftermath of Vatican II(no it’s not about what’s wrong with that council). He addresses how the role of the priest and the laity were mixed into the vague term of “ministry” and the role of priest as Vatican II teaches “living instruments of Christ the eternal priest”. An added insight is that the idea of the church as the body of Christ was diminished perhaps in church governance. The church is not a denomination defined by the will of its members, but an institution created and its boundaries defined once and for all by the will of Christ.

He address the issue of Humanae Vitae as one of the key points which bishops and Pope Paul VI failed to address what was created an environment that

“was to promote intellectual, moral, and disciplinary disorder in the Catholic Church in the United States.”

As far as I can tell he coined the phrase “Truce of 1968” when Cardinal Patrick O’Boyle took disciplinary action against 19 local priest for joining protests against Humanae Vitae. The Pope apparently feared it would create a schism in the church in America.

The last 1/3 of the book addresses what the author believes are need reforms, some like the seminaries and liturgy are already underway by Pope B16.

The book is an easy read and does provide some good insights for those especially that have come into the church in the past 20 years or so. As well as those who were raised in the church but were not born yet during the 60’s & 70’s. For those of us that have lived through these times, the book will not bring up much that is not already known, but would still be informative if your focus has been focused only on local church issues rather then national or universal ones.

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The center of the child abuse cases in the US was the Boston archdiocese. There are too many links to even attempt to select a few that carry what those Catholics have gone through in that area of the country.

The Boston globe however has an encouraging article on the new generation of Altar boys learning the Latin mass. This is not an easy thing to do, especially in this day an age. The priest in the article however drove home a point I’ve always suspected is true, which is raise the bar and boys will strive to achieve it. I use to be against girl altar servers from a traditionalist view, but now I’m more against them because boys of that age simply don’t want to do things that are perceived as “girl” tasks. Allow girls to serve the N.O. mass and allow the boys to learning Latin and bar the girls from serving will encourage boys to take up the challenge.

Full story  here.

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I thought it a stroke of genius to have the stations of the cross performed by Joesph Cardinal Zen of China. The Vatican has a link to the cards them made for this year. It’s in Italian so you’ll have to translate it.

I think this reflects the high priority of the Papacy in praying for those in China and for diplomatic relations with their gov’t.

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I expect that there will be much written about the Pope’s coming visit to the US. I think perhaps the media will focus on social issues or comments the pope may make and how such statements might effect Catholic voters in the coming elections. But for Catholics I think perhaps there will be no greater issue then on APril 17, when the Pope will engage the 200 top Catholic school officials from across the country. Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Pope received the same type of reception as he did at the former Catholic university in Rome la-sapienza university 2 months ago.

In First Things Fr. Richard John Neuhaus wrote an article entitled “A University of a Particular Kind”. There is in this country two kinds of universities – Secular and Christian. Neither are neutral in their worldview, but since there are so many more secular universities most people receiving that type of education would consider secular to be neutral. It’s not, its existance is hostile to the Christian theos. This does not mean it shouldn’t exist, however the inroads of secular thought into Catholic universities has been significant and clearly harmful to the church. If one believes the Cardinal Newman Society it has recommended 20 of the 235 U.S. Catholic colleges “which most faithfully live their Catholic identity and provide a quality undergraduate education”. In this day and age I amazed its that high.

Catholic universities have been able to give lip service to Catholic parents who believe that their child will receive a “Catholic” higher education. However, whenever the rare bishop is willing to hold the university accountable to that standard, the normal spin or party line if you will goes like this: in seeking truth & academic excellence, placing Catholic teaching or a Catholic environment in higher education would inhibit academic freedom.

If any one would doubt this position, I draw this conclusion from none other then the famous Land O’ Lakes Statement crafted by Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh President of Notre Dame University back in 1967. One either hailed this position as a stand for academic freedom or viewed it as a divorce between Catholic education in this country and the Catholic church. IMO the latter is clearly demonstrated.

My biggest issue with Rev. Hesburg and those who support his position is that they disagree with the Catholic church on positions already settle and therefore not open to debate, yet they run their universities directly against those ideals, and they are unwilling to advise the Catholic parents who expect that their young Johnny’s faith will not be undermined, but actually reinforced what was taught in their home.

The Washington Post may prove me wrong about the media not picking up on this one Catholic College Leaders Expect Pope to Deliver Stern Message

Ex-corde-ecclesia written by Pope John Paul II in 1989 will finally be implemented into Catholic universities. Or at least I hope it will.

With every other University it shares that gaudium de veritate, so precious to Saint Augustine, which is that joy of searching for, discovering and communicating truth(2) in every field of knowledge. A Catholic University’s privileged task is “to unite existentially by intellectual effort two orders of reality that too frequently tend to be placed in opposition as though they were antithetical: the search for truth, and the certainty of already knowing the fount of truth”(3).

I don’t expect that the Pope will get anything but lip service. My only hope is that the Pope will place them on notice and advise the general Catholic population that these institutions will be striped of any formal association, and prohibited from claiming any Catholic identity.

As the washington post article stated David Gibson, the author of a Benedict biography, said the pope will ask, “If you’re not going to be an authentically Catholic, orthodox institution, why should you exist?”

Amen.

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A Case of Demonic Possession

It seems like there’s a lot of activity going on in New York right now. The individual who observed this excorism is

Richard E. Gallagher, M.D., is a board-certified psychiatrist in private practice in Hawthorne, New York, and Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at New York Medical College. He is also on the faculties of the Columbia University Psychoanalytic Institute and a Roman Catholic seminary. He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Princeton University, magna cum laude in Classics, and trained in Psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine.

The New Oxford Review has the full article of the case. While there may be natural explanations for this as a believer I know demons exist.

With a team of priests, deacons, several lay assistants, psychiatrists, nuns, some of whom also had medical and psychiatric training,

However, it would be difficult to disprove. In the end either one believes that there are malevolent forces or not and no evidence one way or the other will likely change ones view.

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Asia news reports on the murder of yet another Iraqi martyr this time it was Archbishop Rahho. May he pray for us all in heaven and especially for his war torn country. The spiritual work of mercy- ransoming of captives needs to move up to the top 5 on B16 list of things to promote globally. As I say awhile back The lost art of mercy is now alien to western civilization. For all our Christians(Orthodox, Catholic or Protestant) nows the time to step and embrace the cross. That’s the message of the Gospel, not the “purpose-driven” or “Oprah driven” life.

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