Saturday, September 30, 2006

Worship of God

A quick lesson in one very important aspect of Catholic theology.

Latria--the supreme worship, which may be offered to God alone.
Dulia--the veneration given to the saints as servants of God.
Hyperdulia--the veneration offered to Mary as the most exalted of creatures.

Catholics in general may not know the terms, but we do know the difference between worship, veneration, reverence, honor and respect, as experienced in our lives.

When will it end?

Once again, Jeffrey Tucker at The New Liturgical Movement blog, echoes voices heard 'round the world with regard to the banal music so oft heard these days in local parishes.

"When will the tide turn on bad music at Mass? After years of suffering and pondering this critical question--and I know many people who are so despairing that they see no way out--I am beginning to wonder if we really are in the midst of a international revolt of some sort. Hardly a day goes by when I don't see another public decrying of the state of music in the Catholic Church and a call for a progressive restoration of what we have lost..."

Be sure to check out this great blog

St Therese pray for us

Friday, September 29, 2006

Pray for the Sanctification of Priests

Prayer for Priests
by St. Therese of Lisieux

O Jesus, eternal Priest, keep your priests within the shelter of Your Sacred Heart, where none may touch them.

Keep unstained their anointed hands, which daily touch Your Sacred Body.

Keep unsullied their lips, daily purpled with your Precious Blood.

Keep pure and unearthly their hearts, sealed with the sublime mark of the priesthood.

Let Your holy love surround them and shield them from the world's contagion.

Bless their labors with abundant fruit and may the souls to whom they minister be their joy and consolation here and in heaven their beautiful and everlasting crown.


Holy Angels

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.
Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou,
O Prince of the heavenly hosts,
by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan,
and all the evil spirits, who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.

O Blessed Archangel Gabriel,
we beseech thee, do thou intercede for us
at the throne of divine Mercy in our present necessities,
that as thou didst announce to Mary
the mystery of the Incarnation,
so through thy prayers and patronage in heaven
we may obtain the benefits of the same,
and sing the praise of God forever in the land of the living.

St. Raphael,
of the glorious seven who stand
before the throne of Him Who lives and reigns.
Angel of health, the Lord has filled your hand
with balm from heaven to soothe or cure our pains.
Heal or cure the victim of disease,
and guide our steps when doubtful of our ways.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

A "must see"

While watching this VIDEO consider the following: It is ...
a. the "Smoke of Satan" referred to by Pope Paul VI?
b. the ghost of murdered Pope John Paul I?
c. one of the Borgias?
d. the kid's cheap camcorder?
Stranger than fiction.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The Pecan Tree

On the outskirts of a small town, there was a big, old pecan tree just inside the cemetery fence. One day, two boys filled up a bucketful of nuts and sat down by the tree, out of sight, and began dividing the nuts. "One for you, one for me. One for you, one for me," said one boy. Several dropped and rolled down toward the fence.

Another boy came riding along the road on his bicycle. As he passed, he thought he heard voices from inside the cemetery. He slowed down to investigate. Sure enough, he heard, "One for you, one for me. One for you, one for me." He just knew what it was. He jumped back on his bike and rode off.

Just around the bend he met an old man with a cane, hobbling along. “Come here quick," said the boy, "you won't believe what I heard! Satan and the Lord are down at the cemetery dividing up the souls."

The man said, "Beat it kid, can't you see it's hard for me to walk." When the boy insisted though, the man hobbled slowly to the cemetery. Standing by the fence they heard, "One for you, one for me. One for you, one for me..." The old man whispered, "Boy, you've been tellin' me the truth. Let's see if we can see the Lord." Shaking with fear, they peered through the fence, yet were still unable to see anything. The old man and the boy gripped the wrought iron bars of the fence tighter and tighter as they tried to get a glimpse of the Lord.

At last they heard, "One for you, one for me. That's all. Now let's go get those nuts by the fence and we'll be done."

They say the old man made it back to town a full 5 minutes ahead of the kid on the bike.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Latin lover

In a recent post by Rocco Palmo of Whispers in the Loggia blog, he parathentically states:

(Pardon the Latin; my inner Tridentine can't help it.)
He had me rolling on the floor laughing ...

My inner Tridentine says:
Nunc dimittis servum tuum, Domine

My brothers keep the Word

I truly appreciate the fraternity offered me by my priest brothers. Yesterday's meeting was once again edifying. May God continue to bless us in our shepherding the flocks entrusted to us.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

O Salutaris Hostia

My Jesus Caritas priest support group meets Monday for our monthly meeting. I have reported on this blog previously of the visions afforded me by the Lord to strengthen my priesthood. I await tomorrow's Holy Hour for further confirmation and edification of my vocation.

On Wednesday I will be offering my parishioners the gift of Adoration and Benediction of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar as we also will pray a Holy Hour.

Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament; pray for us.

Bless us Bloggers

I knew it would happen sooner or later. Since I usually use my personal experiences within the context of a homily, today, I made mention of this blog. (shriek!) I specifically mentioned the post and comments regarding infant baptisms. I truly appreciate any and all comments. Blessings to all bloggers!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Larry and Bob Censored

NBC Broadcaster Slashes God from “Veggie Tales” Programming
By Gudrun Schultz

NEW YORK, New York, September 21, 2006 ( - The US National Broadcasting Corporation has agreed to run the enormously popular children’s cartoon “Veggie Tales,” which features moral and religious storylines centered on biblical themes, but the broadcaster is demanding that all mention of God be slashed from the shows before they can be aired.

Hosted by Larry the Cucumber and Bob the Tomato, “Veggie Tales” has become something of a phenomenon in the 13 years since the series was first distributed on VHS, wrote the president of Media Research Center L. Brent Bozell III, in a Washington Times commentary last week. With little marketing and no television broadcasting, the video series has sold more than 50 million DVDs and videos through chain stores such as Wal-Mart and Target.

Originally NBC demanded that the producers remove all Biblical verses from the shows. Since then, the demands have become increasingly more draconian, the cartoon’s creator Phil Vischer reported on his blog site.

“At first we were told everything was ’OK’ except the Bible verse at the end,” wrote Vischer. “Since we’ve started actually producing the episodes, though, NBC has gotten a little more restrictive. We’re having to do a little more editing,” and now, he said, he just hopes people will “maybe wander into Wal-Mart and buy a video with all the God still in.”

Earlier this week NBC came under fierce criticism by Christian leaders for deciding to air an un-edited version of pop star Madonna’s notorious crucifixion stunt, part of her global Confessions tour, this November. The performer appears strapped to a 20-foot cross and wearing a crown of thorns, in a parody of Christianity’s central and most revered image of faith.

NBC entertainment president Kevin Reilly accepted the stunt after previewing the production. “We viewed it,” he told Access Hollywood, “and didn’t see it as being inappropriate.”

Rage isn't pretty

Friday, September 22, 2006

I've been goggled!

Oops! I mean googled.

I just found out today that if you Google my name, you get three hits: this blog, my website, and the Diocese of Phoenix.

Well, there goes my 15 minutes!


Ready the Guard

Pope to Meet With Representative From Muslim Nations Monday

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI has invited representatives of Muslim countries to meet next week at his summer residence, the Vatican said Friday.

Benedict will meet Monday with ambassadors from predominantly Muslim countries. A Muslim council that advised the Italian government on integration issues also was expected to participate, the ANSA news agency said.

The Vatican has been seeking to defuse anger across the Muslim world that followed the pope's remarks about Islam last week in Germany.

Benedict cited the words of a Byzantine emperor who characterized some of the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad as "evil and inhuman," particularly "his command to spread by the sword the faith."

The pope said Sunday that he was "deeply sorry" about the reactions to his remarks and that they did not reflect his own opinions. Earlier this week, he said his comments were open to misinterpretation and that he had "deep respect" for Islam. --, September 22, 2006

Thursday, September 21, 2006

We are not amused.

For the Common Good

A horse by committee

One of the greatest ills wrought upon the One True Church during the past 4o years is collegiality defined by the “Spirit” (you know what I mean), and a wholesale rejection of 1965 years of truth. An expectation of modern “reformers” is that all which is done in the Church, from the Vatican to the local parish, be promulgated only after hour upon hour of dialogue. Simply stated, it is liberty, equality and fraternity of the Enlightenment gone wild. Modernism at its worst. The legacy of revolution continues to erupt from the depths of Hades.

The modernist definition/expectation of collegiality erodes authentic authority. “Why was I not asked my opinion?” said in haste and with animus becomes the cry of those who believe they are oppressed or supressed when not asked for input. Consultation and advice may be sought by decision-makers when deemed necessary by same. Those in “authority” are just that—authoritative decision-makers charged with the common good. The Common Good--isn’t that what all reformers and revolutionists desire? Those in authority desire the same. (I speak for myself here.)

We need only look to post-modern society to witness first-hand the erosion of the respect due, (pardon the redundancy) authoritative authority; the lack of respect to civil and ecclesiastical leadership included.

Any why seest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye; and seest not the beam that is in thy own eye?” -- Matthew 7:3 Douay-Rheims Bible

May all things be restored in Christ.

Greetings Cardinal O'Malley!

Welcome Sean Cardinal O’Malley to blogging.

Local News from

EWTN Reports Good News

Talks Continue Between Vatican, SSPX -- September 21, 2006, Catholic World News Brief

Vatican, Sep. 21 ( - The Vatican is continuing talks with the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), still hoping to achieve reconciliation with the Lefebvrist group, Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos has revealed.

The prefect of the Congregation for Clergy, who has been the Vatican's chief contact in talks with the SSPX since 2000, told the I Media news agency that talks with the group are proceeding normally, unaffected by the creation of a new institute for traditionalist clerics in France.

The Holy See's recognition of the Institute of the Good Shepherd, announced earlier this month, was "not an extraordinary thing," Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos told I Media. He said that group-- composed of priests and seminarians who have left the SSPX-- is a sign of the Church's willingness to help clerics find an appropriate means of serving the Church, maintaining "their own specific identity."

Asked whether the Vatican's recognition of the new institute could endanger talks with the SSPX, Cardinal Castrillon responded: "I don't really see the logic of that question." The two groups are different, he observed, and a successful effort to achieve reconciliation with one group should not inhibit similar efforts with the other.

Regarding the announcement that the priests of the Good Shepherd institute would the right to use the Tridentine liturgy exclusively, the Colombian cardinal again insisted that the policy is not remarkable. "The rite of St. Pius V has never been excluded from the life of the Church," he said.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Sounds of Silence

A parishioner gave me a copy of the following sign found in a nearby Traditional chapel. I sure would like to post it in our church.

Recent generations have not been taught the reverence and devotion which is necessary in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament; children run around, teens chat about their dates, adults discuss which restaurant sounds good for lunch, the choir carries on like at a rock concert. . . where does it end?

in the Presence of God
in the Blessed Sacrament
His House is a Place of Prayer,
not a Meeting Hall

No wonder there are few, if any, statues and quality art in modern Catholic Churches with their emphasis on man and not God. Rather, one finds abstract art of questionable taste and quality, cloth banners, cardboard signs, and photo montages which litter the modernist "sacred space" where the community gathers for its happy meal.

Move over Swiss Guard ...

... we've got him covered!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Comment on comment

My Wednesday, September 13, 2006 post, "I baptize you..." caused an anonymous commentor to question me asking, "I'm curious as to the Catholic view on infant baptism. Where is this rite supported in Scripture?"

Here's my response from the Douay-Rheims to "Bible Believing Christians":

Acts Of Apostles 16
15 And when she was baptized, and her
she besought us, saying: If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.

1 Corinthians 1
16 And I baptized also the household of Stephanus; besides, I know not whether I baptized any other.

I am certain these households had infants and children in the families of both the freemen and slaves.

Reform of the Reform

Jeffrey Tucker has posted a very insightful reflection today (September 19, 2006) in The New Liturgical Movement blog entitled, What approach is right and best in furthering reform?. Those who desire a restoration of the sacred in Catholic worship must be careful not to harm the sensibilities of those who mistakenly believe that "contemporary" music is appropriate for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

Monday, September 18, 2006

America's Prayer

Earlier today I visited a parishioner who has had several poor-health setbacks for the past four months. He seems to be on the mend, and his--and his doctor's--hopes are high for an excellent recovery after six surgeries. He has been gifted with an outstanding musical ability, and has promised to help me with the Ite, Misa Est and the triple Alleluia for Easter.

He has been singing with barbershop quartets for a number of years. Today he offered me a fine tenor's rendition of God Bless America; he called it "America's Prayer." I have heard him sing before, but today's song was particularly moving. I am certain that his voice was heard down the hall at the health care facility. This gave me an opportunity to reflect on the words. Our nation is in great need of God's help.

While the storm clouds gather far across the sea,
Let us swear allegiance to a land thats free.
Let us all be grateful for a land so fair,
As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer:

God bless America, land that I love,
Stand beside her and guide her
Through the night with a light from above.
From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans white with foam,
God bless America,
My home sweet home.


Al-Qaida warns Muslims: Time to get out of U.S.
Afghan terror commander hints at big attack on N.Y., Washington

September 17, 2006 © 2006

The new al-Qaida field commander in Afghanistan is calling for Muslims to leave the U.S. – particularly Washington and New York – in anticipation of a major terror attack to rival Sept. 11, according to an interview by a Pakistani journalist. ...

Sunday, September 17, 2006

A Man of Integrity Speaks

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
The Pastoral Visit which I recently made to Bavaria was a deep spiritual experience, bringing together personal memories linked to places well known to me and pastoral initiatives towards an effective proclamation of the Gospel for today. I thank God for the interior joy which he made possible, and I am also grateful to all those who worked hard for the success of this Pastoral Visit. As is the custom, I will speak more of this during next Wednesday’s General Audience. At this time, I wish also to add that I am deeply sorry for the reactions in some countries to a few passages of my address at the University of Regensburg, which were considered offensive to the sensibility of Muslims. These in fact were a quotation from a medieval text, which do not in any way express my personal thought. Yesterday, the Cardinal Secretary of State published a statement in this regard in which he explained the true meaning of my words. I hope that this serves to appease hearts and to clarify the true meaning of my address, which in its totality was and is an invitation to frank and sincere dialogue, with great mutual respect. -- Pope Benedict XVI, September 17, 2006

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Philippians 2:10-11

لكي تجثو باسم يسوع كل ركبة ممن في السماء ومن على الارض ومن تحت الارض
ويعترف كل لسان ان يسوع المسيح هو رب لمجد الله الآب

That in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth: and that every tongue should confess that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father.

Jesus Christ Conquers


Should history repeat?

S. Pio V: Ora Pro Nobis

In 1570 when Solyman II attacked Cyprus, threatening all Christianity in the West, he never rested till he united the forces of Venice, Spain, and the Holy See. He sent his blessing to Don John of Austria, the commander-in-chief of the expedition, recommending him to leave behind all soldiers of evil life, and promising him the victory if he did so. He ordered public prayers, and increased his own supplications to heaven. On the day of the Battle of Lepanto, 7 Oct., 1571, he was working with the cardinals, when, suddenly, interrupting his work opening the window and looking at the sky, he cried out, "A truce to business; our great task at present is to thank God for the victory which He has just given the Christian army". He burst into tears when he heard of the victory, which dealt the Turkish power a blow from which it never recovered. In memory of this triumph he instituted for the first Sunday of October the feast of the Rosary, and added to the Litany of Loreto the supplication "Help of Christians". He was hoping to put an end to the power of Islam by forming a general alliance of the Italian cities Poland, France, and all Christian Europe, and had begun negotiations for this purpose when he died, repeating "O Lord, increase my sufferings and my patience!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Here we go again

This week's headlines show Islamic reaction to Pope Benedict's scholarly remarks to the faculty of the University of Regensburg:

Pakistan's Parliament Condemns Pope Benedict XVI

Religious Leaders Across Mideast Rage Against Pope's Comments on Islam

Pope Compared to Hitler and Mussolini Over Islam Remarks

Mohammed Mahdi Akef Calls for an Apology.

World of Islam Condemns Pope’s Remarks

May I suggest a heavy dose of Paxil or Zoloft. It seems that Mohammedans world-wide need to take a "chill pill."

Bona Festa

Today, September 15, is the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. This day is the Patronal Feast of the Order of Friars Servants of Mary and the Servite Sisters. I was a solemn professed member of the Order for nearly 20 years. I wish all of my Servite brothers and sisters Bona Festa!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

We have been redeemed

Saint Helena's vision of the True Cross is represented by two angels with the cross appearing to her as she sleeps. Saint Helena, mother of the Emperor Constantine, is said to have received divine guidance in her quest to discover the place where the True Cross, on which Christ had been crucified, was buried.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

It rings true

Pope Gives His Cardinal's Ring to Mary at Altoetting

Presents It at 14th-Century Image of the Black Virgin

ALTOETTING, Germany, SEPT. 12, 2006 ( Benedict XVI gave his cardinal's ring to the Black Virgin of Altoetting, at the most famous shrine of Germany and the "religious heart" of Bavaria.

The Holy Father made the gesture Monday. As Archbishop Joseph Ratzinger, he received the cardinal's ring in 1977 from Pope Paul VI, who named him cardinal of

Vatican sources said that the ring was kept by the Holy Father's brother Georg, 82, who is also a priest and who lives in Regensburg.

Monsignor Georg Ratzinger gave the Pope the ring on Monday, to give to the Blessed Virgin, to whom he is very devoted.

Benedict XVI feels very much linked to Altoetting, which is 20 kilometers (12 miles) from Marktl-am-Inn, his birthplace.

The Ratzinger family often visited the shrine, and the Pope once said that he had the good fortune to be able to visit the church regularly, especially the Chapel of Graces (Gnadenkapelle), where the Black Virgin is venerated.

The image of the Black Virgin is a small wood carving, so named because it has been blackened over the centuries by the smoke of the votive candles lit by the faithful.

The statue of the Blessed Virgin dates back to 1330. The shrine, visited annually by 1 million people, is famous for two apparitions of the Virgin in 1489.

The chapel at the shrine houses a silver urn with the hearts of all the Bavarian kings.

I baptize you ...

Last Saturday morning, I baptized 36 children at two separate celebrations; the first in Spanish, and the second in English. In spite of some reservations expressed by a catechist, and from a comment of my August 26 post, the Baptisms were witnessed by a good number of people. The parents invited many guests, so the church was about half-filled.

The Rite was celebrated fully, from the initial questioning of the parents and Godparents, to the final blessing of the assembly. I was assisted by a deacon, members of the baptism preparation team, and one of the directors of faith formation.

One of the strengths of this particular parish is the faithful's commitment to exceptional catechesis. It was very evident in the attentiveness and involvement of the parents and Godparents.

By the grace of the Holy Spirit all went well, and I look forward to the next time the community gathers for this Sacrament.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Prayer request

Dear friends in Heaven and on Earth, the Church Triumphant and Church Militant, your prayers are requested before the mighty Throne of the Great Physician, Our Lord Jesus Christ: A young boy has recently been diagnosed with seizure disorder, and I ask all the faithful in the "blogosphere" to raise this little one in prayer.

Saint Christopher, pray for him.
Saint Dymphna, pray for him.
Saint Raphael, pray for him.
Saint Valentine, pray for him.
All Holy Men and Women, pray for him.

One nation, under God,

with liberty
and justice for all.

We will never forget

Sunday, September 10, 2006

In Memoriam

Saturday, September 09, 2006

In Memoriam

Eric Sand

Stockbroker Eric Sand (age 36) of Westchester, NY, was one of the victims of terrorism at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

Eric, we will never forget you.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord.
And may thy perpetual light shine upon him
May he rest in peace.

May the souls of all the faithful departed,
through the mercy of God,
rest in peace.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Special intention

Teresa's intercession is needed.
Please invoke her for a special intention.

Glorious Lady, Pray for Us

On this Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary we have some encouraging news from the Vatican.

Vatican approves institute for French priests who broke from ultraconservative movement

The Associated Press, September 8, 2006

VATICAN CITY - The Vatican said Friday it has approved an institute for French priests who have left an ultraconservative movement that split from Rome nearly 20 years ago, allowing them to celebrate the old-style Latin Mass in exchange for their recognition of the pope's authority.

The group, which comprises five priests and some seminarians, had been part of the movement founded by the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. The Vatican excommunicated Lefebvre in 1988 after he consecrated four bishops without Rome's consent.

Lefebvre founded the Swiss-based Society of St. Pius X in 1969 in opposition to the liberalizing reforms of the 1962-65 Second Vatican Council, particularly allowing Mass to be celebrated in local languages instead of Latin.

The Vatican confirmed a report by the French I-media news agency that the institute will be located in Bordeaux.

Pope Benedict XVI has indicated he wants relations with the St. Pius X group to be normalized. He met last year with the current head of the society, Bishop Bernard Fellay.

The Vatican emphasized that the priests joining the new institute had already left St. Pius X.

May this be just one of the signs of the Reform so badly need.

Our Lady Help of Christians, pray for us.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Fasting. Again.

I ate too much at Mom and Dad's luncheon. Sinner that I am, it's back to prayer tomorrow for one more day. I'll be back online Friday or Saturday. Blessings, to all. BTW, Ginny and blog-friends, you're all in my prayers.


September 6, 1946 and September 6, 2006
Today was a very happy day for Mom, Dad ... 60 years of the Sacrament of Matrimony. They most certainly have been graced by God all these years.

I celebrated morning Mass at my parent's parish. I received my First Communion, Confirmation and Holy Orders at the tiny barrio church. Thirty-five years ago we had a huge celebration for their twenty-fifth anniversary.

The church was about half-filled this morning (c. 100 people) with family members, and Mom and Dad's closest friends. Another couple was also celebrating their sixtieth. It was an honor to offer them all a blessing.

Later we feasted on a nice buffet luncheon. Now it's time for a nap.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

I'll be back!

Well, there's no wireless internet at the hermit cave, so I suppose I'll pray and repent of my sins for a couple of days while I nourish my soul on the Word of God, and nourish my body on bread and water. I'll be back online on Wednesday, September 6.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

O Brother, Where Art Thou?

The Ratzinger Brothers 1951

I know plenty of people who have "advice" for His Holiness (including me), so this is a surprize.

Pope's Brother Doesn't Offer Advice

By Irene Preisinger, The Associated Press

REGENSBURG, Germany - He may be the pope's big brother, but the Rev. Georg Ratzinger says he does not offer Benedict XVI advice.

"I can't give him much advice because I don't know the accompanying circumstances," Georg Ratzinger told The Associated Press during a brief interview in Regensburg, Germany.

"And superficial advice is often bad advice. So I hold off in that regard," he said.

Looking forward to the pope's visit to Germany and his native Bavaria Sept. 9-14, Ratzinger said he understood the expense of papal travel meant limits on his brother's lingering in his old haunts, including the house the pope still has in Regensburg's Pentling suburb.

One day of the trip is reserved for private time for the two brothers in Regensburg, and for the pope to visit the graves of his mother and father, Maria and Josef, and his sister, Maria, in a local cemetery. Otherwise, the pope will celebrate outdoor Masses in Munich, Regensburg, Altoetting and Freising.

"It's actually just half a day," Ratzinger, 82, said. "Whether it's enough or not, that's all there is. I wish there was more, but a visit is an enormously expensive matter with so many people taking part and the resulting costs. Every second is valuable."

In any case, Georg Ratzinger said he was able to spend almost a month at the papal summer retreat in Castelgandolfo, Italy this year.

The pope, born Joseph Ratzinger, and his brother were ordained priests on the same day in 1951. While Joseph became a theology professor, cardinal of Munich, top Vatican official and then pope, Georg made his career in music, conducting the renowned boys' choir of Regensburg Cathedral.

Asked if the pope, who left Bavaria in 1981 to become the Vatican's doctrinal watchdog, gets homesick, Ratzinger said, "there's actually little opportunity, because he's always busy and his thoughts are filled with the tasks he must solve."

The nose knows

Pinnochio and friends converted to Islam – Malcolm Moore, August 31, 2006

Pinocchio, Tom Sawyer and other characters have been converted to Islam in new versions of 100 classic stories on the Turkish school curriculum.

"Give me some bread, for Allah's sake," Pinocchio says to Geppetto, his maker, in a book stamped with the crest of the ministry of education. "Thanks be to Allah," the puppet says later.

In The Three Musketeers, D'Artagnan is told that he cannot visit Aramis. The reason would surprise the author, Alexandre Dumas. An old woman explains: "He is surrounded by men of religion. He converted to Islam after his illness."

Tom Sawyer may always have shirked his homework, but he is more conscientious in learning his Islamic prayers. He is given a "special treat" for learning the Arabic words.

Pollyanna, seen by some as the embodiment of Christian forgiveness, says that she believes in the end of the world as predicted in the Koran.

Heidi, the Swiss orphan girl in the tale by Johanna Spyri, is told that praying to Allah will help her to relax.

Several more books have been altered, including La Fontaine's fables and Victor Hugo's Les Miserables.

The clumsy insertions by Islamic publishing houses have caused controversy in Turkey, which has been a strongly secular state since the 1920s.

Other books contain insults, slang and rude rhymes which mock the president and the prime minister.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is Turkey's first Islamic premier, has called for swift action to be taken against the publishers.

The education ministry has threatened to take legal action against any publisher which continues to issue such books.

Huseyin Celik, the education minister said: "If there are slang and swear words, we will sue them for using the ministry logo.”

Friday, September 01, 2006

Pray for us.

Saint Joan of Arc


St. Joan of Arc parish of Minneapolis MN is sponsoring a “Eucharist Celebration” offered by Regina Nicolosi – one of six women who in June of this year claim – contrary to church doctrine - to have received sacramental ordination in the Roman Catholic Church. The “Eucharist” will be celebrated on September 23rd at the parish, according to the parish bulletin for the August 27-28 weekend. Call to Action, a group of Roman Catholic laity and clergy that proclaims a need for fundamental change in the governance and belief-system of the Roman Catholic Church, issued the invitation to participate through the parish. – Spero News

Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi

In an impromptu dialogue with the clergy of Albano on August 31, Pope Benedict advised them (and all priests,) “It is not a time that is taken away from our pastoral responsibility, as it is precisely pastoral work to pray, to pray also for others … substituting others who perhaps do not know how to pray, who do not want to pray, or who do not find time to pray. Keeping this dialogue with God thus present is a pastoral work.”

Referring to those whom priests serve, His Holiness continues, “It seems to me that the faithful can sense if we are really in dialogue with God with them, drawing others into our common prayer, in communion with the sons of God, or if we are only doing something external. The fundamental element of the true ‘ars celebrandi’ is therefore this awareness, this agreement between what we do with our lips and what our heart does.”