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Parents Reject Baby Girl, Want a Boy Instead

I vote that this selfish, sick couple receive NEITHER child. Their little girl should be adopted out to a couple that will love and cherish her. Every year there are around 11 million abortions in India and most of these poor babies are female. It got so bad that sex-selection tests were recently outlawed.

Man Who Became Woman Competes in Miss Canada

Okay, what is next? DNA tests for applicants for the seminary and priesthood to insure male gender? She was born a boy. Her DNA says she is male. But surgery and hormone therapy gave her the outward appearance of a female. This reminds me of the silliness on Oprah a few years ago about a man having a baby. It was not a man but a woman altered to look like a man (with her reproductive organs still intact). As for the Olympics, is it fair that so-called women can now compete even though they may have muscles which reflect their true male biological identity? I may imagine myself as a gazelle, but no wishful thinking will make me one. Oh well, this is all just a new variation on the secular lie that “you can be anything you want to be.” We are not the final arbiters; rather it is nature and it’s God.

86 Year Old Gymnast

Okay, maybe you can be what you want to be? My back hurts just watching her. Amazing!

Choking Dog Dials Emergency Services

My cat would have eaten through the cord, called pizza delivery and have bitten the delivery boy! But this news story is not bad… the dog dialed emergency services on a rotary phone. They still make rotary phones?

The Soap Sisters of New Jersey

Go, Sisters, go! Contemplative and practical, great!

Cardinal Dolan, Right Man in the Right Place

Cardinal Dolan is the right man in the right place at the right time.

Anti-Catholicism in Politics & Against Santorum

Not funny, just anti-Catholic bigotry in the Huffington Post.

9 Year Old Gives Birth in China

Somebody should go to jail! And yet this is not even the youngest. A five year old child gave birth in Peru back in 1939.

Vatican Approves a Blessing of the Unborn Child

Excellent!

Given the importance of this matter, and how it is a special teaching moment, here is an article from the archdiocesan newspaper . . .

Incident at St. John Neumann spurs reflection on significance of Holy Communion

Special to the Standard

Recent news accounts have reported an incident at St. John Neumann Parish in Gaithersburg, where a woman was initially denied Communion at her mother’s funeral Mass (she did, however, receive Communion from a Eucharistic minister) and the celebrant did not attend the burial. (Another priest did preside at the graveside service.) In response, the Archdiocese of Washington issued a statement (below) and Auxiliary Bishop Barry Knestout, vicar general, personally contacted members of the family.

This is the statement issued by the archdiocese on February 27:

“In matters of faith and morals, the Church has the responsibility of teaching and of bringing the light of the Gospel message to the circumstances of our day. When questions arise about whether or not individuals should present themselves for Communion, it is not the policy of the Archdiocese of Washington to publicly reprimand the person. Any issues regarding the suitability of an individual to receive Communion should be addressed by the priest with that person in a private, pastoral setting.

“The archdiocese is looking into the incident at a funeral Mass that was celebrated by Father Marcel Guarnizo and will handle this as a personnel issue.”

This situation provides an opportunity to refresh our understanding of the Eucharist, its importance and the guidelines on how it is to be administered and received.

For Catholics, the Eucharist is the most important of the seven sacraments because we believe that through this mystery, we literally receive the Body and Blood of Christ. It is not just a symbol. Jesus is truly present Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. It is an intimate encounter with Christ, in which we sacramentally receive Christ into our bodies, and become more completely assimilated into his.

Therefore, because the Eucharist is Christ himself, who is the center of all Christian life, the Church teaches that Catholics must be properly disposed to receive the Eucharist worthily. Catholics should examine their conscience and make use of the Sacrament of Reconciliation if they have committed grave sin before receiving the Body and Blood of Christ.

The following guidelines, issued by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, clarify how Catholics should prepare prior to receiving the Eucharist:

“As Catholics, we fully participate in the celebration of the Eucharist when we receive Holy Communion. We are encouraged to receive Communion devoutly and frequently. In order to be properly disposed to receive Communion, participants should not be conscious of grave sin and normally should have fasted for one hour. A person who is conscious of grave sin is not to receive the Body and Blood of the Lord without prior sacramental Confession except for a grave reason where there is no opportunity for Confession. In this case, the person is to be mindful of the obligation to make an act of perfect contrition, including the intention of confessing as soon as possible (canon 916). A frequent reception of the sacrament of penance is encouraged for all.”

The priest has an obligation to make sure that the sacraments are respected. Since it is difficult to know what is in a person’s heart, it is also important that when doubt arises regarding whether a person is properly disposed to receive the Eucharist, it is handled in a pastoral and compassionate manner, privately between the priest and the communicant.

The reception of the Eucharist is a blessing and a grace. We should receive Jesus with the intention of becoming more like him. No one is entitled to the Eucharist. It is a free gift that should be received with humility and reverence. It is also a sign of unity with the Church’s teaching on faith and morals.

CLICK for Guidelines for the Communion Line

CLICK HERE to see MORE COMMENTS AT BLOGGER PRIEST

Who is the architect of this fiasco with the HHS?

The buck stops with the President and the head of the department, which he appointed: Kathleen Sebelius. What is her background as a “Catholic”?

When she was governor, Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas told her that she “should stop receiving Communion until she publicly repudiates her support of abortion.” More recently, Archbishop Raymond F. Burke, former archbishop of St. Louis but now prefect for the Apostolic Signatura, the Vatican’s highest court, ruled that Mrs. Sebelius should not approach the altar for Communion in the United States. Despite pastoral admonition, she obstinately persists in serious sin and now she would entice the bishops and the rest of the Church to join her.

In 2008, Sebelius vetoed House Substitute for Senate Bill 389, titled the Comprehensive Abortion Reform Act by its sponsors. Proponents of the bill claimed the legislation would strengthen late-term abortion laws and prevent “coerced abortions” particularly with respect to minors.

She has been given high ratings and endorsement from Planned Parenthood, the biggest abortion provider around. It has made a financial “killing” in destroying unborn children under the banner of women’s rights.

The administration was SHOCKED into making a compromise… not because religious liberty was esteemed as an important value in itself.

The Obama administration hopes that the U.S. bishops will accept its proposed compromise (February 10, 2012). However, while we are still awaiting word from our shepherds, I still have serious reservations. The administration was shocked that even liberal Catholic voices were joining the chorus in deploring the initial policy as encroachment upon religious liberty. It was certain that there would be no movement of the Obama Whitehouse away from the giving women free access to contraception. But as Republicans picked up on the issue, election strategists urged an immediate counter-strategy. The offer of a year of grace was insufficient. Is this the best for which we can hope? Might this merely be a ploy to defuse the situation while really changing very little? Catholic parishes, schools, charities, and hospitals should not be forced to provide birth control to employees since such would violate Catholic teaching against artificial contraception. That is the bottom line!

Even if the institution is protected; what about the rights of individual believers? What about individuals and organizations that are not part of the Church administration but are Catholic in values? EWTN, for instance, is a lay organization with a lay board.

The sentiments of Catholics and other pro-life Christians would not be respected by this change. The Church is more than the institution but is found in her membership. Their personal religious rights and conscience would not be respected. I know a doctor who runs her own practice and refuses to prescribe birth control. Now, she would still be forced to pay for it as a health benefit for employees! That is wrong and the Church needs to be a voice for people like her. Similarly, I know a man who refused to take a vaccine because there was the remote use of embryonic material from an abortion. He would rather close shop than add his money to the purchase of abortifacients.

The First Amendment protects not only the rights of churches but the individuals who make up those faith communities. Even if Catholics should themselves personally dissent, continued membership implies that they still respect (on some level) the teachings and the authority of the Church. I suspect that President Obama miscalculated in thinking that Church teaching was subject to polls or that liberal Catholics could force further passivity upon the bishops. This new measure might protect Church institutions and pamper dissenters, but it would hang faithful Catholic citizens out to dry. Their rights would not be respected.

Nothing has really changed, what we have here is only magical sleight-of-hand.

The revised rule says that religious organizations would not have to offer or pay for contraception. So far, so good; but then it stipulates that health insurers would have to take up the cost and provide it directly to women for free. Does this really leave the employer out of the equation? It seems to me that what we have here is a new version of the old shell game. Nothing is really free. The money is going to have to come from somewhere. What will happen is that premiums will go up and people will pay more for a sick person’s needed antibiotic to make up for a promiscuous woman’s contraceptive.

What about those dioceses which are self-insured? Would this force us out of the insurance business?

Another wrinkle, and I see this as very problematical in my own Archdiocese, is that we are self-insured. There is no absolutely independent insurance entity to which we can give the dubious honor of providing contraception. I suppose such a measure would also make it hard for practicing Catholics to function at the leadership level or as CEOs of insurance agencies.

Where do we go from here?

It is not clear to me that the Obama administration really wants to go to the bargaining table. However, the bishops have suggested that this newest offer is a sign that he is willing to make some kind of compromise. It is my interpretation and I admit to being fallible, that there remains a serious hurdle and that we must take to heart Archbishop Timothy Dolan’s remarks in The Wall Street Journal, “Coercing religious ministries and citizens to pay directly for actions that violate their teaching is an unprecedented incursion into freedom of conscience.” This really says it all and is the line from which we must not retreat.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has made this statement: “The only complete solution to this religious liberty problem is for HHS to rescind the mandate of these objectionable services.” The statement continues, “We will therefore continue–with no less vigor, no less sense of urgency–our efforts to correct this problem through the other two branches of government.”

We must urge Congress to pass the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act!

CLICH HERE to leave comments at BLOGGER PRIEST

Attached is a letter from Cardinal Wuerl to the priests of the Archdiocese of Washington.

It has been asked that we please bring this information to the attention of parishioners.

Recommendations were made for a bulletin announcement or information on the parish website, recommending that parishioners visit…

www.usccb.org/conscience

www.mdcathcon.org

…for details about the new federal mandate and how to contact Congress to support legislation that would reverse the administration’s decision.

On January 20, 2012, the United States Department of Health and Human Services with the approval of President Barack Obama issued a new federal mandate making coverage of abortifacient drugs, sterilization and all FDA-approved contraceptives obligatory for virtually all employers, including faith-based institutions.

What will happen if this mandate stands? Our schools, hospitals and charitable organizations will be placed in the untenable position of choosing between violating civil law and abandoning our religious beliefs.

There can no longer be any doubt that religious liberty in our country is in jeapardy. Only weeks ago, the Obama administration unsuccessfully argued to the Supreme Court that the government has the right to interfere in a church’s choice of ministers. Thankfully, the Court unanimously rejected this radical position. Undeterred, the government has advanced on another front.

Archbishop P. Broglio of the Military Services has sent a letter to those in the Armed Forces and their families, expressing similar concerns. He writes:

It is imperative that I call to your attention an alarming and serious matter that negatively impacts the Church of the United States directly, and that strikes at the fundamental right to religious liberty for all citizens of any faith. The federal government, which claims to be “of, by, and for the people,” has just dealt a heavy blow to almost a quarter of those people–the Catholic population–and to the millions more who are served by the Catholic faithful. It is a blow to a freedom that you have fought to defend and for which you have seen your buddies fall in battle.

We cannot–we will not–comply with this unjust law. People of faith cannot be made second-class citizens. We are already joined by our brothers and sisters of all faiths and many others of good will in this important effort to regain our religious freedom.

IN THE NEWS

Embryos with Animal Genes Secretly Mixed with Humans

This is wrong on so many levels that I do not know where to begin. Professor Robin Lovell-Badge said the scientists were not concerned about human-animal hybrid embryos because by law these have to be destroyed within 14 days. In other words, we plan to kill any potentially sentient life before it says, “Mama,” or “Daddee.” Planet of the Apes… here we come!

Couple Ordered by City to Stop Feeding the Homeless

God forbid that charitable people should try to feed the poor without city approval and a permit… NOT! Instead of allowing this couple to feed the poor, the homeless will have to return to scavenging through dumpsters! Remember Scrooge’s rejection of charity and the desperation of the poor, “If they would rather die, they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.”

Town Council Bans Free Assembly and Free Speech

Have we traveled back in time before 1989 and now find ourselves in the defunct Soviet Union?

This town council needs a basic civics lesson about the Constitution and basic liberties that we cherish. Small town or not, it is demonstrative of a problem here at home. Growing numbers are too willing to surrender what many have died to maintain.

Fewer Parishes & Fewer Priests Who Must Say More Masses

The statistics are in… fewer parishes, fewer priests, more Masses being celebrated. What are they telling me that I do not already know? It is also ironic that the liturgy went from Latin to English and now, even apart from the restoration of the older liturgy, Masses in languages other than English are commonplace in parishes, albeit in the living languages of immigrants.

Seal of Confession is Threatened in Ireland

A priest must keep the seal of Confession even if it means his life.

LEAVE COMMENTS AT BLOGGER PRIEST

The Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity has put out an official press release on the FATHER CORAPI SCANDAL. Fr. Gerard Sheehan, the superior writes:

“While SOLT does not typically comment publicly on personnel matters, it recognizes that Fr. John Corapi, through his ministry, has inspired thousands of faithful Catholics, many of whom continue to express their support of him. SOLT also recognizes that Fr. Corapi is now misleading these individuals through his false statements and characterizations. It is for these Catholics that SOLT, by means of this announcement, seeks to set the record straight.”

While I can appreciate the need for a statement, I must admit that I am surprised at the bluntness and the depth of revelation. He remarks about the investigative process and what they discerned from emails, witnesses and other sources that has been going on during the time of the priest’s public ministry:

  • Fr. Corapi already handed in his resignation in early June.
  • He paid $100,000 to silence the woman making charges.
  • Other witnesses were similarly silenced and Fr. Corapi refused to release them for testimony to the investigative team.
  • He had violated his promise of poverty by holding legal title to over one million dollars in real estate, luxuary cars, boats, etc.
  • He cohabitated in two states with a known prostitute, recently began sexting one or two women and resorted to repeated drug and alcohol use.

I would not normally even post about such matters, but I can well appreciate the frustation of his superior. Fr. Corapi is a powerful communicator and people love him. If he is guilty of such things and is falsely placing the blame on the leadership of the Catholic Church, then public correction needs to be made. Having said this, I think that the leadership in SOLT must be faulted for allowing this situation to grow so out of hand. They should have reigned him in years ago. Their passivity has now made for a far worse and more scandalous situation. The press release continues:

“SOLT has contemporaneously with the issuance of this press release directed Fr. John Corapi, under obedience, to return home to the Society’s regional office and take up residence there. It has also ordered him, again under obedience, to dismiss the lawsuit he has filed against his accuser.”

A letter of resignation would not release him from his priestly promises and those made to SOLT. A good priest does as he is told. This is a bad situation all around. I wonder how Fr. Corapi will respond? I suppose die-hard fans will contend that the evidence is contrived and that the priest is innocent. And indeed, I would still argue that if he is innocent then he should make his case and work with the process. It is unfortunate that Fr. Corapi has forced this whole matter and scandal into the public forum. But souls are at stake and this delicate situation is about more than one man. If he is guilty, then he should demonstrate sorrow and contrition, placing his ministry and future into the hands of his lawful superiors. It would be a wonderful teaching moment and maybe the highpoint of his ministry. Christ is speaking to him through his superiors. That is how priestly obedience works. But will he listen? Will he fight for his priesthood? This battle cannot be won with militant rhetoric or tactics of subterfuge. He can only find victory by being a faithful son of the Church and a humble priest. He must be courageous and forthright about any revelations exposed by the truth. He must reckon himself as any confessor to be the first among sinners, “Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.” Things will never be the same but God may not be finished with him yet. I pray that Fr. Corapi will make the right choice and work with God’s grace in this.

An element which really upsets me about this situation is how one segment of the Church is set against another. Father Corapi comes under investigation and the priest comes out with a statement that the bishop and his superior have a right to do what they do; but next he talks about the real enemies of the Church and we all know he is targeting those who put him on administrative leave. Then he claims obedience but his personal corporation makes a statement that they are under no one’s thumb and the ministry media business will continue as if nothing has happened. By the beginning of June he submits his resignation and tells his fans weeks later that the Church has forced him out. Bishop Michael Mulvey and his lawful superior, Fr. Gerard Sheehan, SOLT, seek to clarify matters but then there is the public intervention on his behalf of the founders of SOLT, Father Flanagan and the Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Bishop Rene Gracida. Critics and fans of the priest can now take their pick and decry the other side as wrong-headed or evil. The impression is given that the Church is fighting with herself. Despite the lament of Fr. Corapi that this is a plot of the liberals who are out to get him, the battleground that emerges is between very conservative or orthodox churchmen and laity. Liberal revisionists are no doubt having a delight in watching the so-called “religious right” of the Church rip itself apart over the media priest. This has all the makings of a new voyeuristic television program called THE BATTLING BISHOPS. Since the clarification released from SOLT, I notice now that Bishop Gracida seems to have shifted somewhat from supporting Fr. Corapi to attacking SOLT for allowing the situation to develop in the first place. However, it seems to me that the stage was set by those who initially allowed Fr. Corapi to set up his independent operations. In other words, there is blame enough to go around. It is troubling that Bishop Gracida took a public stand against a man’s lawful superiors even though he admits that he has not talked with the priest for years! Now Fr. Corapi is telling his fans on Twitter to look forward to an important announcement on Thursday. Enough already! I discern a manipulation of good men behind all these tensions that is due to evil human machination and/or to the intrusion of something devilish.

I would beg people to separate the truths Father taught from the possible failings of the messenger. All are tempted, but the devil delights in targeting priests; while he could not seduce the high priest Christ, he often settles for corrupting those men who participate in his priesthood. Pray for priests, pray for Father Corapi and pray for “the little ones” who might despair of their faith.

CLICK HERE to read the SOLT press release.

CLICK HERE to read my post on this matter last month.

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If one were to compose a life of Mary, one could rightfully go back to the book of Genesis. Satan seems to have won the day in the Garden, but God will have the last word. Indeed, God will speak his Word to Mary, she will consent and receive it and then this Word will undo all the damage inflicted by the serpent’s temptation. This Word becomes flesh so that just as sin entered the world through the sin of a man and woman, now grace and redemption could be restored through a woman and her seed. The Good News of our redemption begins not in the New Testament writings at the end of the Bible, but in the first book of the Old Testament, Genesis.

God has no secret plan, he tells it in a straight-forward way right to Satan’s face. This is how sure God is that nothing can thwart his plans. He says: “I shall put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; it will bruise your head and you will strike its heel” (Genesis 3:15). God is going to win, that is all there is to it!

While we regularly give emphasis to Adam and his sin, the actual story seems to highlight Eve. She is the one intimidated and tempted by the serpent or dragon. Adam was merely seduced by Eve into tasting the forbidden fruit. The first father of mankind comes across as a first class wimp. I suspect the biblical author deliberately wanted to communicate this weakness on Adam’s part. His fall is not only a disgrace but an embarrassment to all the men who would follow him. He displays none of the traits which we hold in high regard for men. He is a weakling and a coward. The contrast with Jesus is drastic. Adam runs away and hides in the Garden, taking Eve with him. Christ waits for his betrayer in the Garden of Gethsemane and when he suffers his Cross and passion, Mary follows him to the bitter end. Adam makes excuses when he is questioned by God. Jesus proclaims the truth when he is interrogated by Caiaphas and Pilate. The parallels are many, including the living tree that brought death in the Garden and the dead tree on Calvary which brought forth the fruit of eternal life. Jesus is God but he is also a man, indeed, he is the most authentic specimen of manhood ever to walk the earth. Mary is entirely a creature of God, and yet as a human person, there is none of higher esteem in the human family. Mary is not simply “a” woman; she is “the” woman.

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