Thursday, October 29, 2009

Rome Finally speaks to the Medjugorje Phenomenon

I just came across a translated interview relating that the Pope has definitively spoken on the question of Medjugorje's legitimacy as a Marian apparition. The whole interview is worth careful and deliberative reading. I will here only quote two exchanges that deal with the often overlooked history of the Medjugorje shrine and its significnce.
9. Based on some talks with some Croats and some reports, it can be concluded that Medjugorje is a mass movement which, on a subconscious level, excuses the bloody things done, mostly, against Serbs, but also against Gypsies and Jews, unfortunately, by certain number of Croats known as Ustashas? What is your opinion about this?

Jones: There are many levels to the Medjugorje phenomenon, and one of them may very well be the collective guilt which the village felt because of its role in the massacre of Surmanci, which took place just on the other side of the apparition hill. There were also numerous links between the Medjugorje branch of the Franciscans and the Ustashe. I personally saw the pictures of Ustashe soldiers on the wall of the monastery at Siroki Brijeg when I visited there. Jozo Zovko deliberately injected a political note into the apparitions when he put the grb on the altar during the early celebrations of Mass at the time of the first apparitions in 1981.

11. What do we do with Medjugorje? What do we do with the fraud lasting for 28 years now?

Jones: All we can do is to continue to tell the truth. My hope is that the recognition of the truth about Medjugorje at the highest level of the Catholic Church will lead to reconciliation — particularly between Catholics and Orthodox in the Balkans — and the healing of the wounds which this hoax has caused
This detail has long been known in the Orthodox world as a central point of scandal and apparent betrayal in Rome's protestations of its desire for reconciliation with the Orthodox Church. Perhaps more forthright actions like this recent one by good Pope Benedict will help restore and build the necessary sense of trust and transparency that will soon (please God!) bring about the true Unity of the Faith.

Read the entire interview here.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Faith? Home Schooling? 'Civil' Law?

This is from a report of a court order in September 2009. Forgive the ad that may play before the report and discussion itself.

So much for the First Amendment in the USA.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Hot News from Rome Regarding Anglicans

While somewhat off-topic for this blog, the following announcement from the Vatican is interesting on several levels. Firstly, the method and protocols for admission of the 'former' Anglicans (clergy and laity); Secondly, the consideration of several doctrinal and possibly ecclesiological differences between Anglican overall and the Church of Rome. It will also be interesting to consider this situation in comparison and contrast with the history of "uniatism".


VATICAN CITY, 20 OCT 2009 (VIS) - In a meeting with journalists held this morning in the Holy See Press Office Cardinal William Joseph Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and Archbishop Joseph Augustine Di Noia O.P., secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, presented a note on a new measure concerning "Personal Ordinariates for Anglicans entering the Catholic Church".

Commenting on the English-language note, which has been published by his dicastery, Cardinal Levada explained how, "with the preparation of an Apostolic Constitution, the Catholic Church is responding to the many requests that have been submitted to the Holy See from groups of Anglican clergy and faithful in different parts of the world who wish to enter into full visible communion.

"In this Apostolic Constitution the Holy Father has introduced a canonical structure that provides for such corporate reunion by establishing Personal Ordinariates, which will allow former Anglicans to enter full communion with the Catholic Church while preserving elements of the distinctive Anglican spiritual and liturgical patrimony. Under the terms of the Apostolic Constitution, pastoral oversight and guidance will be provided for groups of former Anglicans through a Personal Ordinariate, whose Ordinary will usually be appointed from among former Anglican clergy.

"The forthcoming Apostolic Constitution provides a reasonable and even necessary response to a worldwide phenomenon, by offering a single canonical model for the universal Church which is adaptable to various local situations and equitable to former Anglicans in its universal application. It provides for the ordination as Catholic priests of married former Anglican clergy. Historical and ecumenical reasons preclude the ordination of married men as bishops in both the Catholic and Orthodox Churches. The Constitution therefore stipulates that the Ordinary can be either a priest or an unmarried bishop. The seminarians in the Ordinariate are to be prepared alongside other Catholic seminarians, though the Ordinariate may establish a house of formation to address the particular needs of formation in the Anglican patrimony".

"The provision of this new structure is consistent with the commitment to ecumenical dialogue, which continues to be a priority for the Catholic Church, particularly through the efforts of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. The initiative has come from a number of different groups of Anglicans" who, said Cardinal Levada, "have declared that they share the common Catholic faith as it is expressed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and accept the Petrine ministry as something Christ willed for the Church. For them, the time has come to express this implicit unity in the visible form of full communion".

The cardinal further indicated that "it is the hope of the Holy Father Benedict XVI that the Anglican clergy and faithful who desire union with the Catholic Church will find in this canonical structure the opportunity to preserve those Anglican traditions precious to them and consistent with the Catholic faith. Insofar as these traditions express in a distinctive way the faith that is held in common, they are a gift to be shared in the wider Church. The unity of the Church does not require a uniformity that ignores cultural diversity, as the history of Christianity shows. Moreover, the many diverse traditions present in the Catholic Church today are all rooted in the principle articulated by St. Paul in his letter to the Ephesians: 'There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism'.

"Our communion", the cardinal added in conclusion, "is therefore strengthened by such legitimate diversity, and so we are happy that these men and women bring with them their particular contributions to our common life of faith".

In a joint declaration on the same subject, Catholic Archbishop Vincent Gerard Nichols of Westminster and Anglican Archbishop Rowan Williams of Canterbury affirm that the announcement of the Apostolic Constitution "brings to an end a period of uncertainty for such groups who have nurtured hopes of new ways of embracing unity with the Catholic Church. It will now be up to those who have made requests to the Holy See to respond to the Apostolic Constitution", which is a "consequence of ecumenical dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion.

"The on-going official dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion provides the basis for our continuing co-operation", the declaration adds. "The Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) and International Anglican Roman Catholic Commission for Unity and Mission (IARCCUM) agreements make clear the path we will follow together.

"With God's grace and prayer we are determined that our on-going mutual commitment and consultation on these and other matters should continue to be strengthened. Locally, in the spirit of IARCCUM, we look forward to building on the pattern of shared meetings between the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales and the Church of England's House of Bishops with a focus on our common mission".

Monday, October 19, 2009

Essence and and Imperative that Truly is Altruistic

Fr. Dumitru Staniloae - Essence of Christianity


Pray for your Accusers

October 18, 2009 by fatherstephen

Pray for those who make accusations against you. Say, ‘Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me’, not ‘have mercy on him’, and your accuser will be embraced in this prayer. Does someone say something to you that upsets you? God knows it. What you have to do is open your arms and say, ‘Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me’, and make your accuser one with yourself. And God knows what is torturing your accuser deep inside of him and, seeing your love, he hastens to help. He searches the desires of hearts. What is it that Saint Paul says in his Epistle to the Romans? He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because in accord with God He makes intercession for the saints.

Pray for the purification of each and every person so that you may imitate the prayer of the angels in your life. Yes, the angels don’t pray for themselves. This is how I pray for people, for the Church and for the body of the Church. The moment you pray for the Church, you are released from your passions. The moment you glorify God, your soul is calmed and sanctified by divine grace. This is the art I want you to learn.

The Elder Porphyrios from Wounded by Love

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Western Pope's thoughts on Eastern Liturgy

11. In the liturgical experience, Christ the Lord is the light which illumines the way and reveals the transparency of the cosmos, precisely as in Scripture. The events of the past find in Christ their meaning and fullness, and creation is revealed for what it is: a complex whole which finds its perfection, its purpose in the liturgy alone. This is why the liturgy is heaven on earth, and in it the Word who became flesh imbues matter with a saving potential which is fully manifest in the sacraments: there, creation communicates to each individual the power conferred on it by Christ. Thus the Lord, immersed in the Jordan, transmits to the waters a power which enables them to become the bath of baptismal rebirth.

Within this framework, liturgical prayer in the East shows a great aptitude for involving the human person in his or her totality: the mystery is sung in the loftiness of its content, but also in the warmth of the sentiments it awakens in the heart of redeemed humanity. In the sacred act, even bodiliness is summoned to praise, and beauty, which in the East is one of the best loved names expressing the divine harmony and the model of humanity transfigured, appears everywhere: in the shape of the church, in the sounds, in the colors, in the lights, in the scents. The lengthy duration of the celebrations, the repeated invocations, everything expresses gradual identification with the mystery celebrated with one's whole person. Thus the prayer of the Church already becomes participation in the heavenly liturgy, an anticipation of the final beatitude.

Apostolic Letter ORIENTALE LUMEN, John Paul the Great

Friday, October 09, 2009

Salvo on Sex - Right and Left and Wrong

Salvo Magazine has produced a provocative and bitingly accurate account of the modern relativistic views of sex and its real consequences. Hunter Baker's Facts Evasion: When It Comes to Sex, the Left Hates Science not only rejects the attempts by some to discredit any role for faith and religion in social discourse, particularly when science is involved, but also specifically notes the irrationality of the 'left' in its distorted understanding of sexuality and the consequences of society's championing this view.

As a sample:

Abortions continue to be performed in huge numbers despite the past assurances of some on the left that modern birth control would eliminate the need for the grisly procedure. And of the children who are born, an alarmingly high number
are born to single mothers. As a group, these children are substantially more likely to do poorly in school, abuse drugs, commit crimes, require governmental assistance, and serve time in jail—and to see the cycle repeated when they have children of their own.
Read the entire piece here.

Eastern Ecclesiology

The Ochlophobist references the translation of an article by Metropolitan Georges Khodr of Mount Lebanon from a recent issue of the Lebanese newspaper an-Nahar. The translation is from the very erudite and informative blog Notes on Arab Orthodoxy and entitled Antiochian Ecclesiology. It's worth reading as the basic concepts apply to all Byzantine Christians, Orthodox or Catholic. This become very apparent in the differences in the way laity and priests interact with their bishops in an Eastern Church versus a Western Church.

A snippet to whet your whistle:

... the bishop is not only connected to the whole of the flock with which he is entrusted. He his connected as a member to the other metropolitans who govern the church that we call ‘local’ or ‘regional’ just as he is united to the right-believing bishops of all the world. However, current, day-to-day events determine the actions of the local church...
Insightful and worthy of your consideration, read it here.