Archive for the ‘Sacraments’ 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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Over at Catholic Sensibility he has a post on RITE OF GENERAL ABSOLUTION makes the requirements of

34. Unless there is a good reason preventing it, those who receive pardon for serious sin through general absolution are to go to auricular confession before any further reception of general absolution.And unless a moral impossibility stands in the way, they are absolutely bound to go to a confessor within one year. For the precept binding every one of the faithful binds them as well, namely, to confess individually to a priest at least once a year all those grave sins not hitherto confessed one by one. [SCDF, Pastoral Norms for General Absolution, 16 June 1972, Norms VII and VIII

This got me thinking about the logistics of the matter.

Math break down: 8,000 members (large Catholic parish) of which if it’s typical 4,000 attend weekly. The other 4,000 go only at Easter & Christmas and perhaps a few other services.

Auricular Confessions:

Once/monthly would not be possible at 925/members/wk. [4,000 X 12 months /52 weeks] X a short 5 minute confession = 77 hours/wk. Mission Impossible.

Quarterly would be 308/members/wk. = 25 hours/wk. –Mission Impossible

Quarterlies & add a Wednesday evening time as well as Saturday and your down to 154/members/wk. = 15 hours/wk.

Well it’s progress, Mission unlikely except for a brief period of time.

Semi-annually with confessions on Wednesdays & Saturdays 77/members/wk. = 6 hours/wk.

Mission possible

That’s about the max. for a priest and that’s not factoring in sickness, a vacation to see family, spill over from other parishes if your a good confessor and emergencies.

That’s a problem one a priest doesn’t have the option to accept, if they don’t the tape will self-destruct.

Disclaimer: The analogy to the movie Mission Impossible should not be construed as support of Tom Cruise or the Church of Scientology ;>)

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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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cathedral-of-trento.jpgThe anniversary of this major council holds implications for everyone even today. From Luther’s appeal to hold a council in 1518, it took both protestant and Catholics alone with the political issues until 1545 to get it off the ground and the protestant camp didn’t participate. The sixth session on justification likely holds the most spilled ink or electrons depending on which you think is mightier the stylus or the keyboard in this Internet age.

The Latin Rite mass which bears it’s name didn’t occur during this council; that was taken up by Pope Pius V in 1570. I’ve wondered if the aversion of the vernacular usage came about because of all the new novel ideas/heresy occurred were the vernacular mass was permitted.

In any case this is the date that launched the counter-reformation. Charles the V desired simply a reform of the church to show his rebel Protestants princes and barons that action was being taken and the breach could be healed. Francis I allied himself with Protestant factions against Charles for political gain. Francis wanted doctrinal issues at the front especially conciliarism topics, but that is what the papacy desired to avoid.

Pope Paul III wanted both doctrinal, disciplinary and reforms made. The breath of topic’s the council dealt with is IMO unmatched by any council before or after. What is truly amazing is that given the level of corruption within the church which Luther decried was able to grasp the issues and clarify what was needed to move the church forward.

Trent understood faith alone as strickly/exclusively that- only faith – not hope, not love. The addition of the term alone to Romans 3:28 “a man is justified by faith apart from works of law; was the basis of this understanding.

Trent was unable to reconcile that with Galatians 5:4-6 man is “justified by….faith working through love & 1 Corinthians 13:2 that faith without love “is nothing.

The Joint Declaration states that today’s Lutherans understand “faith” the same way that the Catholic Church understands it as “faith, hope and love”. If that’s true then the canon of Trent do not apply to Lutherans. If they hold alone as Trent understood it, then the canon stands.

Hard to believe after 4 1/2 centuries that it appears we’re still at square one. But at least we’re not going to war and killing each other over it.

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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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