Archive for the ‘Priesthood’ Category

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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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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Q&A with Archbishop Chaput

By Rocky Mountain News

Comments and highlight edited by me. Related post by me on the subject here

Originally published 11:53 a.m., January 31, 2008
Updated 11:53 a.m., January 31, 2008

Archbishop Charles Chaput called House Bill 1080 an “attack on religious identity” in his weekly column appearing in last week’s Denver Catholic Register. He subsequently answered questions about the bill in an e-mail exchange with the Rocky Mountain News:
Q: The most straightforward interpretation of your column suggests that you will shut down Catholic Charities if this bill – or any bill – passes which restricts your ability to hire or fire based on Catholic religious standards. Is that a correct reading of what you will do?
Chaput: No. Catholic Charities will continue its core mission to the poor with or without public funds. If the government wants to carry the burden it currently asks religious-affiliated groups to carry, that’s the government’s business, and so are the costs and problems that go along with it.What I actually said is that Catholic Charities “is an arm of Catholic social ministry. When it can no longer have the freedom it needs to be ‘Catholic,’ it will end its services.” At this point, HB 1080 is only a bill; a bad bill — but not yet the law. If HB 1080 were to become law, that would be the time for us to make service decisions based on the content of the law. But if you’re asking me whether I meant what I said about closing services rather than compromise our religious identity, I most certainly did.QB: I love this, he doesn’t get caught in rejecting a position formed by the secular press, he clarifies the PC spin and bluntly states what the state intrusion is.Q: What current standards do you and the Catholic archdiocese demand of your employees when it comes to sexual orientation and religion?

Chaput: We expect our employees to respect Catholic teaching and support it in their professional lives. That’s logical and just because the Catholic community has a religious mission. Obviously, we respect the personal lives of our employees. We have no interest, nor does any other sensible employer, in intruding on their privacy or family autonomy outside their service to the Church. But it’s self-defeating to imagine a Catholic-affiliated ministry where the key guiding people can’t be required to be Catholic.

Q: You note that Catholic Charities already employs many non-Catholics. Obviously, you aren’t discriminating against them in your hiring practices even today. So what’s the danger of this law — its worst-case effect? Please give some specific examples of how it could impact an agency like Catholic Charities.

Chaput: I think I’ve said what I need to say pretty clearly in my Jan. 23 column, and Chris Rose amplified on that well in his Jan. 30 letter to the Denver Catholic Register.

Q: How do you respond to those who say, “Oh, the archbishop is just playing politics by threatening to shut down Catholic Charities. Would he really deny services to the poor and disadvantaged — take milk from babies’ mouths — just to keep from complying with established discrimination laws?”

Chaput: Christians were delivering services to the poor long before government got into the business and will continue to do so long after any of us are around to argue.

QB: I think the bishop was rather understated here. The state never cared about marriage until they found there was money to be made of it. The state never cared about adoption or orphan’s for the same reason. The same can be said about primary education, hospitals etc. (I speaking about the past 1,000 years here not the USA specifically).

Chaput (con’t):The Church didn’t start the HB 1080 debate. We had it pushed on us. HB 1080 has bad implications for all religious service organizations, not just Catholic ones.

QB: I’m haven’t found any other faith groups picking up on this yet.

Chaput: (con’t):This unfortunate bill and its fallout are entirely the work of others. But anyone who thinks the Catholic community is ‘playing politics’ on this matter is seriously mistaken. We’re eager to cooperate with anyone of good will. Catholic Charities has a long track record that proves it. But we won’t be used by the government to provide services, often at a financial loss to ourselves, and then be told we can’t hire key people according to our religious identity because it allegedly compromises the public good. That’s unjust, bad for the poor, alien to American history, and offensive to religious believers.

QB: Can the church make an exception on cloning? We need about 3,500 more of him in the office of bishop.

Q: Your opposition to this bill will also have some people wondering, “But isn’t any kind of discrimination against groups of people just plain wrong? Shouldn’t religious groups that believe in helping people want to outlaw every kind of discrimination, no matter what kind it is?” What do you say to them?

Chaput: I’d ask them to use their common sense. It’s reasonable for a religious organization to ensure and protect its religious identity. It’s also reasonable to expect religious organizations to refrain from proselytizing when using public funds.

QB: Talk about fair & balanced.

Chaput(con’t): But it’s unreasonable — in fact, it shows a peculiar hostility toward religionto claim that religious organizations will compromise the public good if they remain true to their religious identity while serving the poor with public funds. That’s just a new form of prejudice using the ‘separation of Church and state’ as an alibi.

QB: Direct, matter of fact, slightly indignant- priceless.

Source: Rocky Mountain News

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This is outrageous, but not for what the title says.

Last month I posted about a Woman’s Priestess ceremony at a local St. Louis Jewish center who’s Rabbi, Susan Talve of the Central Reform Congregation gave permission for the “Roman Catholic”(not associated with the Catholic church) Woman Priests movement to be ordained.

Get Religion has a post today about an Advent vigil service where the crowd held their service outside the parish church with Talve rather then inside without her. The archbishop denied permission for her to attend the service, because of her actions with the Woman’s Priestess group.

For several years this rabbi was invited by the community of the local Catholic parish as part of an interfaith ecumenical service. That’s not an issue in fact it’s a positive action. However, when the rabbi chose to support a different organization who purpose is to overturn explicit Catholic dogma, she crossed the line.

This isn’t a matter of Ecumenical bonds seeking common ground. This isn’t even a schismatic group seeking recognition. This is explicit a heretical group, who is IMO attempting to overthrow the leadership of the local bishop, because the Catholic church does not recognize Woman’s Ordination.

I’m proud that Archbishop has taken this stand. Leaders of different faith communities can’t support groups attempting to undermine another faith community leadership. Whether the rabbi was able to connect those dots is moot. These type’s of actions is what start religious strife.

The Archbishop will have to address the issue with his parish, but again that’s his business not a Jewish Rabbi’s.

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I’m at the point in my life were I’d like to say that I’m like a fine bottle of wine which only improves with age. However, it’s more likely that I’m a late 50’s Chevy, which only appreciates in value because my peers are slowly dying off and there’s not many of us left.

If you go to just about any Catholic Church web site, you’ll see great pictures of stain glass windows (if their old enough) or the architectural design (again before 1970 [who looks at at any church designed after 1970 anyway]), their new resource center,etc., but it’s the rare site that has a picture of the confessional.

As a Cradle Catholic [TM pending;.)] I recall about 40% of my parish going to confession on any given Saturday. We had 4 priests hearing confessions and there were 2 lines on either side at each confessional. An additional 15 to 20 folks in the pews, half saying their penance and the other half reflecting on what they needed to confess. A sense of sin loomed large back then.

Hollywood still has the image of the “traditional confessional”old-style-confessional.jpg

Now that’s what I’m talking about – old school (although I like the darker stained wood for more somber effect)! In the grand old days of pre-Vatican II- it’s dark, confined, quite enough to hear yourself and the priest exhale. The role of the one confessing is like having to wait to get a root canal. Your tooth is killing you, but you don’t want to admit there’s a problem. Confession lets face it- is dirty business. We are all saved by the BLOOD of Christ and it’s His blood we spilled when we sin.

I know that’s confessionally incorrect (pun intended) as oppose to politically incorrect to mention going to confession these days. Won’t want to upset folks in the pews to much. But that’s the bottom line. Why even Britney Spears in her new condemned music video knows what a confessional should look like (but not dress like). I’d post a link, but it would be an occasion for sin for me. And don’t look it up either, because then I’m leading you into an occasion to sin. Just be thankful your not an Irish-guilt ridden genetically trained Cradle Catholic like me. Another trademark pending. Although knowing my family surely one of them or half of Boston, Chicago, NYC or New Jersey Irish, must have coined that as well or at least thought it.

Humanity and in particularly myself don’t like to have to place a spotlight on our sinfulness. We don’t need to be reminded that we’re sinners, unless of course we actually desire to correct those evil habits we have ignored or rationalized into acceptable behaviour based on the prevailing secular value. Co-habitation must head the list these days with 60% of society finding it “better”to live together then marry; must be a lot of Christians and I’m sure Catholics have a good share in that 60% Christian co-habitation deal, but that’s a topic for another day.

Confession is always good around Advent and Lenten seasons. I like a campaign Wuerl ran this past Lenten season–dubbed “The Light Is On for You”. It kind of grows on me.

You don’t hear the Latin Mass traditionalist & the SSPX complaining about confessionals like this one confession-modern.jpg in the modern confessional. Heck I couldn’t even find the face to face set-up with a priest as is the norm in many post Vat. II designed churches.

I admit I need that screen. I’m confessing to a priest, but he’s just a representative of Christ. For me it’s like he isn’t even there, until I’m finishing saying what I need to say to repent of. When I confess I’m speaking to the Creator of the universe. The one who gives me life, sustains me, gives me everything I have, everyone I’ve ever loved, everyone I will ever love or care about in this life. He’s the one I’ve offended, but the priest is the witness, the representative not just of Christ, but of the church community, he stands in for the individual I cut off on the highway, whom I can’t ask for forgiveness, he stands in for the co-worker who drives me nuts and can’t seem to forgive or ask forgiveness. To the hundreds or perhaps thousands whom I may have sinned against but in my youth didn’t care, couldn’t care or was to young or to stupid to know I offended.

And when you walk out of the dark enclosed place a warmth of heat and light comes over you. Intellectually I know I can “simply” ask God to forgive me and I know He will. But hearing the word of the priest validates what I know in my mind and God graces makes it so in the heart.

Perhaps confession will make a comeback as Time magazine indicates. Then again we may just view it like Confessionals Cartoons.

I’ll pray for the former and hope the church continues to “Keep the light on – On any given Saturday”.

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women-priestees.jpgWell theNational Catholic Reporter

set me off. The cries of injustice (believe me if we could we would ordain them) this isn’t a secret men’s club that is suppressing women. All of those issues are moot. Though church bans women priests more and more women are saying, ‘Why wait?’


Woman IMO have always had a clearer understanding of the spiritual realm then men. I think this is because they have the gift from God to bear children. The connection between the life growing within ones body is a miracle and woman have a stronger sense of creating and maintaining bonds within the community. The church has throughout it’s history offered opportunities for women that secular society up until this century was denied them. Heading up hospitals, convents, schools, allowing upper level education have been a hallmark of the church.

No one has an entitlement or a right to being a priest. One is called by God, one doesn’t tell God they have a right to be a priest based on gender.  Perhaps as our Lord says “It not you who chose me, but I who chose you…” Jn 15:16 .However, now some are attempting to claim the church is oppressive to women by denying them access into the ministerial priesthood. Some men are denied as well and this IS by canon law only not doctrinally as is the case for women. I’m married and I can’t be a priest. If I felt called to be a deacon I still have to have permission from my wife to do so. In this age it’s rather difficult to see obedience as anything but oppression. This is because rights are touted over responsibilities; self-absorption is promoted over self-sacrifice.

As all powerful and all knowing as detractors of the papacy think it(the papacy) claims for its self the document Ordinatio Sacerdotal points out that

2. the Church does not consider herself authorized to admit women to priestly ordination.

IOW the papacy and the collective church has no authority to grant women into the priesthood, even if it desired to do so.

4.Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the Church’s divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32) I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful.

Note that the church doesn’t say it doesn’t want women as priest. It says it doesn’t have the authority to do so; implied here is that even if it wanted to it couldn’t. What you mean the papacy acknowledges that it doesn’t have authority to over rule anything foundational to the Church? Yes Roman Catholic Women priests that’s what it means.

Thankfully Archbishop Burke was pro-active in re-stating the church position on this on November 9, 2007

An the archbishop raises the second grave issue of attempting to celebrate Mass by these newly “ordained” priestess. Bring scandal, disobedience and sacrilege gives one a whole new meaning to church lady. I have no problem if they feel called by their god to worship as they deem fit and necessary, just drop the catholic from their claims and allow everyone to go on with their lives.

I also find it offensive that a Jewish community would offer up their Jewish synagogue to ordain two local Catholic women as priests. First I would think that Jews would take offense to anyone using their synagogue for non Jewish rites. Secondly if the shoe was on the other foot, I’m sure that they would not take kindly to some non Jewish religious community providing a save harbour to disgruntled Jews intent on causing scandal and sacrilege to their faith.

Thankfully the local archbishop, Pope John Paul II declared the position of the ancient church; and JOSEPH Card. RATZINGER excommunicated the Danube Seven.

It is sad that women who have such energy, obvious theological education, desire to serve their community have channelled it into such destructive manners. I guess thankfully both sides have come out and drawn lines in the sand. At least everyone knows where they stand or fall as the case may be.Other then prayers for the women, prayers for those who helped assisted them, prayers for those scandalized and prayers for the sacrilege of offering up a false mass.

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For those that didn’t notice it, I was trying to get a close up of what Pope Benedict XVI had cope bearers.

Nicola De Grandi has posted a good article on The penitential Papal Formale (it’s back. Here I thought I’d be breaking new ground and it’s already been on the net today. A good book on vestments and protocal is The Church Visible for those with an interest. Shouts In The Piazza also has a few excellent comments as well.

As a cradle Catholic and old fart, it may be informative to say that the cope while appearing to the world as simply more pomp, the theological underpinnings as I understood them is that the bishop does not act on his own during the liturgy, he is dependent on someone else even the wearing of ones cloths. It’s an act of humility or at least thats the intent.

Other touches made by Fr Guido Marini (new Vatican director of Liturgy) are the Pope’s mitre belonged to Pope Pius IX, and the gilded throne was used by Leo XIII.

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This book was originally published in German in 1989. The English translation 1st edition 2003, published by Fortress Press, Minneapolis; is what I will quote from.
Christians at Rome in the First Two Centuries
Lampe summarizes that the first Christians came from the Roman synagogues. He uses a term I was not familiar with “sebomenos” which he defines as “a pagan favoring Jewish monotheism, who is not yet a proselyte”. This would make sense and with the backdrop of the epistle of St. Paul to the Romans, his(St.Paul) appeals to freedom from the law and no need to be circumcised were strong recruiting points for these pagans.

Lampe does an excellent job of bring together local tradition, relationships of burial places, and the Tituli churches of Rome.

He also does a social-historical theme of 1st Clement, the Shepherd of hermas, St. Justin, Marcion, and Valentinian which any history buff I think would enjoy.

Foreword by Robert Jewett xiii 2nd paragraph

  • Lampe’s thesis is that Christianity in Rome flourished in several of the poorest and most densely populated districts of Rome. The earliest as well as subsequent history of Roman house churches through the end of the second century indicates social”fractionation” between many small cells that lacked central coordination. This social pattern matches the profile of the separated synagogues in Rome.

Introduction pg. 1

I look first at the beginnings of Christianity in the city down to the separation from the synagogue (Part 1). I next attempt a topographical overview: In which quarters of the city did the Christians live? Who were their neighbors there? What strata of society predominated there (Part 2)? The next parts are diachronic. Part 3 examines the general information provided by the sources. Where are the relevant social-historical materials that give general information about Rome’s urban Christianity to be found? To what extent do the sources themselves generalize? part 4 deals with individuals whose names we know(prosopography). How can the general and the specific in Parts 3 and 4 be related to each other? …In Part 5, I offer an overview of urban Roman Christianity as a whole in light of these findings, adding a particular view.

pg. 2

  • My interest is twofold. I want to learn about the daily lives of the urban Roman Christians of the first two centuries, the realities of their social lives. To meet these people in their “situation” is a goal of our research in itself, independent of the question of how this situation relates to their theology, to their expressions of faith. Second, it must nonetheless be asked where – if at all – interrelations between situation and theology can be discovered. My ultimate goal is to contribute at least one element to a multidimensional interpretation of texts and faith expressions of early Christianity. This is the only way to exclude superficial interpretation or, occasionally, are suggested by purely inner-theological, history-of-tradition analyses of texts.
  • The only real issue I had with his work was part 5.

    His thesis on Chapter 41, pg. 397 :

    • The fractionation in Rome favored a collegial presbyterial system of governance and prevented for a long time, until the second half of the second century, the development of a monarchical episcopacy in the city. Victor was the first who, after faint-herated attempts by Eleutherus, Soter, and Anicetus energetically stepped forward as monarchical bishop and (at times, only because he was incited from the outside) attempted to place the different groups in the city under his supervision or, where that was not possible, to draw a line by means of excommunication. Before the second half of the second century there was in Rome no monarchical episcopacy for the circles mutually bound in fellowship. .

    Lampe seems to have accepted the traditional dating of 1st Clement as 96 A.D.. He has an extensive Bibliography but T.J.
    Herron’s work “The Dating of the First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians: The theological basis of the majoral view” (Rome: Disseratio ad Doctorum in Facultate Theologiae Pontificiae Unversitatis Gregorianae, 1988) was not included, [likely because Lampe finished his work in 1989]. He does site Edmundson, but not John A. T Robinson; all of whom support an early dating of 1st Clement to 70 A.D.

    Lampe does not offer up anything new, however what he does do is provide a much better lens with which to understand the book of Romans and the social life of the earliest Roman Christians.

    I was going to include a discussion point on this aspect of 1st Clement, but I’ve found someone has already started a web page on it Clement Dialogue

    Anyone else who has read his work I’d be interested in their take as well.

    From Paul to Valentinus

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