Therefore, by the authority which Christ conferred upon Peter and his Successors, and in communion with the Bishops of the Catholic Church, I confirm that the direct and voluntary killing of an innocent human being is always gravely immoral. This doctrine, based upon that unwritten law which man, in the light of reason, finds in his own heart (cf. Rom 2:14-15), is reaffirmed by Sacred Scripture, transmitted by the Tradition of the Church and taught by the ordinary and universal Magisterium. ...
Thanks to the Lord, who, through Paul VI, gave us Cardinal Ratzinger, and, through John Paul II, gave us Benedict XVI. Benedicite, omnia opera Domini, Domino!
And do not look at the ignorance and pride of your little children; but with the enticement of your love and of your benignity, granting them that sweet discipline and benign reprehension which may please your Holiness, render peace to us, your miserable children who have offended you.
I tell you, o sweet Christ on earth, from Christ in heaven, that, doing thus, that is, without quarrel and uproar, they will all see with pain the offense they have done, and will place their heads in their hands.
Letter CXCVI to Gregory XI
European culture gives the impression of “silent apostasy” on the part of people who have all that they need and who live as if God does not exist.
A Belgian former bishop has disappeared from his French religious community three days after he admitted to sexually abusing two of his nephews, its leader told AFP on Sunday.
May we know if the doctrinal discussions that are held by some of your representatives with Roman authorities are satisfactory?
[Fellay:] What do we understand by satisfactory? This seems too subjective. Do these discussions correspond to our expectations or to those of the Roman authorities? Considering the divergences with which they were considered, it seems premature for me to give an answer, considering that they are not yet over. [Rorate note: the interview was granted in late Feb., early Mar.] I believe that there are elements that disappoint us, and, at the same time, others that give us a certain hope for the future. I do not believe that I can clearly answer your question with a yes or with a no. It seems to me that one cannot expect immediate fruits from such discussions, but there is a change of thinking, of a thinking that is yet to mature. We do have hope that these contacts will contribute to certain corrections, but I do not believe that this will happen in the near future.
In a personal note of the Pope to Prof. Dr. Peter Beyerhaus, he apparently hints at not having been the initiator - hence, responsible for - of the religious meeting in Assisi later this year.
The rite of the Mass is to be revised in such a way that the intrinsic nature and purpose of its several parts, as also the connection between them, may be more clearly manifested, and that devout and active participation by the faithful may be more easily achieved.
For this purpose the rites are to be simplified, due care being taken to preserve their substance; elements which, with the passage of time, came to be duplicated, or were added with but little advantage, are now to be discarded; other elements which have suffered injury through accidents of history are now to be restored to the vigor which they had in the days of the holy Fathers, as may seem useful or necessary.
I believe that the Traditional Rites of East and West contain within themselves so many elements of Apostolic origin that it is impossible to separate these from the elements added by post-Apostolic ecclesiastical tradition.
I believe no man here on earth (Pastor Aeternus, IV, 6) can rightfully determine the complete abrogation, full substitution, or substantial derogation of any received Traditional Rite, of East and West, which contains inextricable Apostolic elements.
I believe Ecclesiastical History continuously proves that the rights of the liturgical rites "established by long and immemorial prescription" have always been respected by the Holy Roman Church, even in ages of great liturgical crises and heresies (Quo Primum; Quod a Nobis).
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.
The resurrection of Christ is not the fruit of speculation or mystical experience: it is an event which, while it surpasses history, nevertheless happens at a precise moment in history and leaves an indelible mark upon it. The light which dazzled the guards keeping watch over Jesus’ tomb has traversed time and space. It is a different kind of light, a divine light, that has rent asunder the darkness of death and has brought to the world the splendour of God, the splendour of Truth and Goodness.
Just as the sun’s rays in springtime cause the buds on the branches of the trees to sprout and open up, so the radiance that streams forth from Christ’s resurrection gives strength and meaning to every human hope, to every expectation, wish and plan. Hence the entire cosmos is rejoicing today, caught up in the springtime of humanity, which gives voice to creation’s silent hymn of praise. The Easter Alleluia, resounding in the Church as she makes her pilgrim way through the world, expresses the silent exultation of the universe and above all the longing of every human soul that is sincerely open to God, giving thanks to him for his infinite goodness, beauty and truth.
"In your resurrection, O Christ, let heaven and earth rejoice." To this summons to praise, which arises today from the heart of the Church, the "heavens" respond fully: the hosts of angels, saints and blessed souls join with one voice in our exultant song. In heaven all is peace and gladness. But alas, it is not so on earth! Here, in this world of ours, the Easter alleluia still contrasts with the cries and laments that arise from so many painful situations: deprivation, hunger, disease, war, violence. Yet it was for this that Christ died and rose again! He died on account of sin, including ours today, he rose for the redemption of history, including our own.
superillustrans claritate tua
felices ignes horum malacoth!
di complession potenziata tira
lo raggio e 'l moto delle luci sante;
ma vostra vita sanza mezzo spira
la Somma Beninanza, e la innamora
di sé sì che poi sempre la disira.
E quinci puoi argomentare ancora
vostra resurrezion, se tu ripensi
come l'umana carne fessi allora
che li primi parenti intrambo fensi.
Hosanna holy God of Sabaoth,/ abundantly illumining with thy brightness/ the blessed fires of these kingdoms ... The soul of every brute and of each plant,/ The ray and motion of the sacred lights,/ Draw from complexion with meet power endued./ But this our life the Eternal Good inspires/ Immediate, and enamours of itself;/ So that our wishes rest forever here./ And hence thou mayst by inference conclude/ Our resurrection certain, if thy mind/ Consider how the human flesh was framed,/ When both our parents at the first were made. (Transl. H.F.Cary) - ...Our regular Paschal feature...
Homily of the Holy Father, Benedict XVI, for the Mass of Easter Vigil
At the Easter Vigil, the journey along the paths of sacred Scripture begins with the account of creation. This is the liturgy’s way of telling us that the creation story is itself a prophecy. It is not information about the external processes by which the cosmos and man himself came into being. The Fathers of the Church were well aware of this. They did not interpret the story as an account of the process of the origins of things, but rather as a pointer towards the essential, towards the true beginning and end of our being. Now, one might ask: is it really important to speak also of creation during the Easter Vigil? Could we not begin with the events in which God calls man, forms a people for himself and creates his history with men upon the earth? The answer has to be: no. To omit the creation would be to misunderstand the very history of God with men, to diminish it, to lose sight of its true order of greatness. The sweep of history established by God reaches back to the origins, back to creation.***The central message of the creation account can be defined more precisely still. In the opening words of his Gospel, Saint John sums up the essential meaning of that account in this single statement: “In the beginning was the Word”. In effect, the creation account that we listened to earlier is characterized by the regularly recurring phrase: “And God said ...” The world is a product of the Word, of the Logos, as Saint John expresses it, using a key term from the Greek language. “Logos” means “reason”, “sense”, “word”. It is not reason pure and simple, but creative Reason, that speaks and communicates itself. It is Reason that both is and creates sense. The creation account tells us, then, that the world is a product of creative Reason. Hence it tells us that, far from there being an absence of reason and freedom at the origin of all things, the source of everything is creative Reason, love, and freedom. Here we are faced with the ultimate alternative that is at stake in the dispute between faith and unbelief: are irrationality, lack of freedom and pure chance the origin of everything, or are reason, freedom and love at the origin of being? Does the primacy belong to unreason or to reason? This is what everything hinges upon in the final analysis. As believers we answer, with the creation account and with John, that in the beginning is reason. In the beginning is freedom. Hence it is good to be a human person. It is not the case that in the expanding universe, at a late stage, in some tiny corner of the cosmos, there evolved randomly some species of living being capable of reasoning and of trying to find rationality within creation, or to bring rationality into it. If man were merely a random product of evolution in some place on the margins of the universe, then his life would make no sense or might even be a chance of nature. But no, Reason is there at the beginning: creative, divine Reason. And because it is Reason, it also created freedom; and because freedom can be abused, there also exist forces harmful to creation. Hence a thick black line, so to speak, has been drawn across the structure of the universe and across the nature of man. But despite this contradiction, creation itself remains good, life remains good, because at the beginning is good Reason, God’s creative love. Hence the world can be saved. Hence we can and must place ourselves on the side of reason, freedom and love – on the side of God who loves us so much that he suffered for us, that from his death there might emerge a new, definitive and healed life.
Photo from Daylife
Cum rex gloriae Christus infernum debellaturus intraret, et chorus angelicus ante faciem ejus protas principum tolli praeciperet, sanctorum populus, qui tenebatur in morte captivus, voce lacrimabili clamabat dicens: Advenisti desiderabilis, quem expectabamus in tenebris, ut educered hac nocte vinculatos de claustris. Te nostra vocabant suspiria, te large requirebant lamenta, tu factus est spes desperatis, magna consolatio in tormentis. Alleluja.
One of the reforms that have rarely been discussed is the termination in 1957 [see #22 in the decree "Ordinationes et Declarationes circa Ordinem Hebdomadae Sanctae Instauratum" issued by the Sacred Congregation of Rites on February 1, 1957 -- AAS 49 (1957) pp. 91-96] of the ancient custom of conferring tonsure and subdiaconal, diaconal and sacerdotal ordinations during the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday morning. Among those who were ordained as priests on a Holy Saturday include St. John Baptist de la Salle, Bl. Pius IX, the Servant of God Augustine ("Augustus") Tolton, and the late Corrado Cardinal Bafile.
The Disappointed Have Spoken. The Vatican responds
Inos Biffi and Agostino Marchetto reply in "L'Osservatore Romano" to the traditionalists Brunero Gherardini and Roberto de Mattei, who criticize the current pope for not having corrected the "errors" of Vatican Council II
by Sandro Magister
Easter Vigil, Reading. Holy Week 2010. More pictures here.
The full list of Easter Sunday (Mass during the Day) Extraordinary Form Masses in England and Wales can be found here.
As with the post on the Pontifical Holy Week in Melbourne, the readers of our blog are invited to post in the combox on the Holy Week services that they would like to promote.
A video (with Spanish subtitles) from Pagina Catolica: Después del padre Michel
OK so the Italian translation of YouCat 420 is to be corrected to make it clear that the Church does not teach that a Catholic couple can and should use contraception. That is a relief, I suppose. Ignatius Press, for whom I have the highest respect, have posted a loyal and serious defence of YouCat in this area.
Unfortunately, the quotation given from YouCat 421 gives further cause for concern. It reads:
421 Why are all methods of preventing the conception of a child not equally good?
The Church recommends the refined methods of self-observation and natural family planning (NFP) as methods of deliberately regulating conception. These are in keeping with the dignity of man and woman; they respect the innate laws of the female body; they demand mutual affection and consideration and therefore are a school of love. [2370–2372, 2399]
Both the question and the answer fly in the face of everything that loyal Catholics have done to promote the teaching of Humanae Vitae.
The Church does not say that contraception and natural family planning are "not equally good." It teaches that contraception is a sin (not a lesser good), while NFP may be a morally acceptable means of limiting the size of a family if there are serious reasons for doing so.
The Church does not "recommend" NFP as though artificial contraception were a less perfect option. Nor, in fact does it consider NFP and contraception to be the same kind of moral action. This is one of the basic elements of apologetics in support of the moral teaching of the Church: contraception is definitively closed to the gift of new life, while NFP recognises that new life may be less likely at certain times.
The composers of YouCat have made a classic mistake in their attempt to appeal to young people. A question and answer such as 421 above, looks like an attempt to put things diplomatically: to water down the teaching of the Church in case it is too difficult.
In fact, the young people who are still willing to listen to the Church want clear, unambiguous answers. On sexual ethics, they may fail to live the natural law as clarified by the Catholic Church but they will be willing to repent and come back to Christ in humility. As a priest working in perhaps the most secular corner of the planet, I am only too well aware of the import of the modern translation of Psalm 118 "How shall the young remain sinless?" The answer is "by obeying your law", not by waffling around in timid appeasement. (As I highlighted the other day, Waffle should only be served with syrup.) The last thing young people need is for priests to fudge what are crucial questions for their everyday lives.
YouCat has already earned the nickname LolCat. If the stuff on contraception is so muddled, what will it be like in other areas of theology? I await the published edition (released today) with some trepidation.
The charges against the Holy Father do not amount to too much e.g. instituting a special year to honour priests (which was well received by priests and people), continuing with a new translation of the Roman Missal, and encouraging the Tridentine Mass to be celebrated. He did not receive back the bishops of the Society of St. Pius X, but only lifted their excommunication. They are still in schism.
Cardinal Pell also speaks about the unexpected aftermath of the post-conciliar era:
Pope Paul VI appointed no bishops who were opposed to the ethos of Vatican II, and for various reasons the good bishops appointed in Holland were overwhelmed, tossed aside by the liberal gales. This brings me to another contemporary fact, which I never anticipated as a young seminarian in Rome during the Council or as a young priest. The now aged liberal wing of the Church, which dominated discussion after the Council and often the bishops and the emerging Church bureaucracies, has no following among young practising Catholics, priests or religious. This is not only true in Australia, but everywhere in the Western world. In these different countries dominated by a secular media and intelligentsia, liberalism has no young Catholic progeny.On reflection we should not find this surprising, as growth is tied to Gospel fidelity, to faith, love and sacrifice. After Vatican II many of us overestimated our cultural strengths and underestimated the virulence of anti-Christian forces. You need strong Christian foundations to participate productively in “open dialogue”. Without these roots the end of the road is agnosticism.
The infamous Father Michael Pfleger, whose public scandals are too many to list, may actually make his apostasy official and leave the Church. (h/t Curt Jester)
"The embattled pastor of St. Sabina Roman Catholic Church told radio show hosts Tavis Smiley and Cornel West this weekend that he would look outside the Catholic Church if offered no other choice but to work at a Catholic high school.
"The Rev. Michael Pfleger also said on the 'Smiley & West' public radio program that he had been banned from speaking at events in the archdiocese and blamed pressure from conservative Catholics and the National Rifle Association for his most recent clash with Chicago’s Cardinal Francis George.
“'I want to try to stay in the Catholic Church,'” Pfleger said. “'If they say ‘You either take this principalship of [Leo High School] or pastorship there or leave,’ then I’ll have to look outside the church. I believe my calling is to be a pastor. I believe my calling is to be a voice for justice. I believe my calling is to preach the Gospel. In or out of the church, I’m going to continue to do that.'”
The Italian edition contained another translation error in its treatment of end-of-life treatment. While the German original said that a family may accept the inevitability of death of a loved one, the Italian translation used a term meaning "passive euthanasia," thus appearing to provide justification for the removal of food and water from a dying patient--a practice that the Church condemns.
THE CANONS REGULAR OF THE NEW JERUSALEM
JOYFULLY ANNOUNCE THE ESTABLISHMENT
PRIORY OF THE ANNUNCIATION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
COMMENCING WITH THE PALM SUNDAY LITURGY OF HOLY WEEK - APRIL 17, 2011"
Schedule of Principal Events (Go to TLM in MD)
“Q. Puo una coppia christiana fare ricorso ai metodi anticoncezionali?” (Can a Christian couple have recourse to contraceptive methods?)
“A. Si, una coppia cristiana puo e deve essere responsabile nella sua facolta di poter donare la vita.” (Yes, a Christian couple can and should be responsible in its faculty of being able to give life).
Q. May a Christian married couple regulate the number of children they have?
A. Yes, a Christian married couple may and should be responsible in using the gift and privilege of transmitting life. [2368–2369, 2399]
"Abraham pater vester exsultavit ut videret diem meum: vidit, et gavisus est." Dixerunt ergo Iudæi ad eum: "Quinquaginta annos nondum habes, et Abraham vidisti?" Dixit eis Iesus: "Amen, amen dico vobis, antequam Abraham fieret, ego sum." (From the Gospel for Passion Sunday, John viii, 56-58: "Abraham your father rejoiced that he might see my day: he saw it, and was glad." The Jews therefore said to him: "Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?" Jesus said to them: "Amen, amen I say to you, before Abraham was made, I am.")
...Abraham's Creator bears a great testimony to Abraham. "Abraham rejoiced," He says, "to see my day." He did not fear, but "rejoiced to see it." For in him there was the love that casts out fear. He says not, rejoiced because he saw; but "rejoiced that he might see." [Non ait: Exsultavit, quia vidit; sed, exsultavit ut videret.] Believing, at all events, he rejoiced in hope to see with the understanding. "And he saw." And what more could the Lord Jesus Christ say, or what more ought He to have said? "And he saw," He says, "and was glad." Who can unfold this joy...? If those rejoiced whose bodily eyes were opened by the Lord, what joy was his who saw with the eyes of his soul the light ineffable, the abiding Word, the brilliance that dazzles the minds of the pious, the unfailing Wisdom, God abiding with the Father, and at some time come in the flesh and yet not to withdraw from the bosom of the Father?
All this did Abraham see. For in saying "my day," it may be uncertain of what He spoke; whether the day of the Lord in time, when He should come the flesh, or that day of the Lord which knows not a dawn, and knows no decline. But for my part I doubt not that father Abraham knew it all. And where shall I find it out? Ought the testimony of our Lord Jesus Christ to satisfy us? Let us suppose that we cannot find it out, for perhaps it is difficult to say in what sense it is clear that Abraham "rejoiced to see the day" of Christ, "and saw it, and was glad."
"Before Abraham was made, I am." Weigh the words, and get a knowledge of the mystery. "Before Abraham was made." Understand, that "was made" refers to human formation; but "am" to the Divine essence. "He was made," because Abraham was a creature. He did not say, Before Abraham was, I was; but, "Before Abraham was made," who was not made save by me, "I am." Nor did He say this, Before Abraham was made I was made; for "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth;" Genesis 1:1 and "in the beginning was the Word." "Before Abraham was made, I am."
Recognize the Creator—distinguish the creature. [Agnoscite Creatorem, discernite creaturam.] He who spoke was made the seed of Abraham; and that Abraham might be made, He Himself was before Abraham.
In Evangelium Ioannis - Tractatus XLIII