Thursday, January 31, 2008

Cathcon is back

After a little local computer difficulty, Cathcon is back in the world.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Computer problems have meant a small intermission

In the meantime from Holy Smoke Your Choice for Cardinal

Monday, January 28, 2008

Private Mass of the Pope


Oh, what a circus, Oh what a show!

The Cathedral of Auch in the Diocèse of Gers hosts what must be the silliest Mass of all time. Not least for the gymnastics that accompanied the reading of the Gospel. All time low point in Catholic liturgy.

Dancing for the Offertory - maybe even the Elevation.

Juggling- dropped the Faith long ago

No comment.
The proper name for the whole charade

A commentary from a priest about the occasion, which does a beautiful job of accidental self-satire.

"What beautiful things were experienced during these three days of preparation for the Mass on television.”

By Father Lavenère, we felt welcomed into a large family composed of about thirty people representing 15 different occupations…

And with a dozen of them, we were very close and collaborators in the work of preparation, rehearsal and also in moments of friendly encounter, unforgettable during the discovery of local gastronomy much appreciated by our friends in Paris! I think that in these three days with us, they enjoyed duck in all its forms! As well as Armagnac much appreciated as a digestif (or as a gargle for the Priest who feared that he would loose his voice and wanted to treat his cold…).

Many told me of their wonder: a cathedral enlightened as never before! Young people of Pop Circus moving about with a lot of grace and solemnity (for which we even earned the praise of the producer of the broadcast of the "Day of the Lord" Brother Arnaud de Coral, who was somewhat stressed at the outset by the idea of integrating "circus" into the liturgy). We all have preconceived notions and the circus is actually just not clowning around… And then with André de Lavenère and Damien Supiot as presiders, there were no worries… The movements of the students from Pop Cicus melted naturally into the action of grace celebrated in the magnificent jewellery box which is our cathedral.

If all the locals have not pressed into the cathedral (+ 500 people in spite of everything), many told me that they followed the Mass on television! It's always impressive to know that we are watched by over one million people! Even some well-known local cafes, broadcast the Mass on their television for their customers, which if we are to believe what the landlords told me, followed the Mass while taking a glass of wine! . In any case, I am not sure that next Sunday at the same time, in the same cafes, there will be broadcast live the "Day of the Lord"…

It is a unique experience to preside over a Mass on television and so rewarding. Everything is superbly well organised and if we feel at the beginning concern at being live, we quickly forget that the cameras are all discrete enough to make room for prayer.

Finally Sunday evening, at the time of the Angelus, a tightrope walker from Marseille climbed the towers of the cathedral on a cable stretched from the Caisse d'Epargne without being attached! The peak was 28 metres high. I had the grace and honour to welcome him at the end of his ascension to the top of the tower, seeing his gratitude to the Good Lord and the Blessed Virgin (He assured me also of his devotion to Notre Dame de la Garde, in good Marseille dialect) and he thanked me for allowing this exercise on this beautiful monument. All the organisers have been very touched by this gesture that cost nothing but a few smiles and three small jokes…

The Good Lord touches hearts as he wants and when he wants. Let him receive all graces and honours since it is to Him that they return before anyone!

Churches face uncertain future

as closures loom :

"Mounting alarm has been created by the Roman Catholic Bishop of Lancaster when he questioned recently the future of some of the finest churches in his diocese. In Preston, which was granted city status to mark the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, there is talk of closure of a number of the best preserved Catholic churches in the country, including St Walburge’s, with the tallest spire of any parish church in England"

Local Priest Turns To Magic

To Spread Word.

Imagine if St Paul had done a magic roadshop around Asia Minor. Catholicism would have got precisely nowhere.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Protestant bishop against ecumenical borders

Huber gegen Abgrenzung

Wolfgang Huber is against a strategy of demarcation in ecumenism. The Chairman of the Council of the Protestant Church in Germany (EKD) who is also Lutheran Bishop of Berlin said on Wednesday in Bensheim. The perception of differences should not be guided by the intention to act against the ecumenical partners and to position one’s own church in distinction from them. The first ecumenical task should be to adhere to what is common between the churches. However, it would be wrong, to loose sight of the different characters of the family members of the church, the Berlin bishop. However, commonality also could be preseverd in difference and could be lived. Huber had a few years ago even coined the term "ecumenism of distinct image". He spoke at a church service to celebrate the move of the Hessian Ecumenical Confessional Institute in Bensheim.

See the Limits to Ecumenism. Huber himself sets the borders and then says there should not be any.

The Dominican Order censures three of its theologians in the Netherlands

Cathcon translation of L'ordre dominicain recadre trois de ses théologiens aux Pays-Bas

"La Croix" reveals the contents of the report sent by the Dominican Order in response to the booklet written by three of them in the Netherlands, suggesting that communities elect their parish priests.

Yes, the shortage of priests creates a crisis among Catholics in a country like the Netherlands, where Masses can no longer be celebrated everywhere. But if solutions are to be considered, such as the ordination of married men, they cannot be taken outside the Communion of the Church, and especially not in opposition to the bishop of the place.

That is, in essence, was the response sent Wednesday, January 23 by the Dominican Order to its the three members who are theologians and who published last June a booklet entitled Kerk in Ambt ("Church and Ministry"), which was sent to many parishes, and which now circulates throughout the country. This is the response which La Croix has read in the whole text.

The Dutch booklet did not beat about the bush. In about thirty pages, citing Vatican II, it sets out the possibility, in the absence of a priest, that a person should be appointed to preside at Mass: "It does not matter whether a man or a woman, or a homosexual or a heterosexual, a married person or a single person, "said Kerk in Ambt:" to pronounce these words (of the institution of the Eucharist) is not a prerogative reserved to the priest. These words are the expression of faith of the entire community. "This booklet had received approval from superiors of the Dutch province of the Dominicans.

Not disciplinary, but severe criticism.

The response among the Dutch faithful led the Cardinal Adrianus Simonis, Primate of the Netherlands as Archbishop Utrecht (he has since retired), to have recourse to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. In an unusual step, the former Holy Office decided to argue for subsidiarity. They divested themselves of the case, leaving the Order of Preachers to respond to the case.
The response of the Order takes the form of a text by the French Dominican Hervé Legrand, introduced by the Master of the Order which reiterates . "We did not want to give a disciplinary answer and we place, as the original document, on a theological level," says Father Mario Couto, of the Dominican Curia in Rome. However, to avoid a canonical penalty, the Dutch Dominicans have pledged to disseminate this response to wherever they sent their brochure, - to at least 1400 parishes. Not disciplinary then, but severe criticism.

Because the Legrand report highlights weaknesses in the Dutch text on the form as well as fundamental faults, failing to make distinctions between the observations, proposals and the recommended action. Indeed, the Dutch text makes demands for action, and as the report of Father Legrand notes, "a Provincial of a religious order has, as such, neither jurisdiction nor responsibility for providing guidance to parishes throughout the country." Nevertheless, writes the French theologian, that does not deny the right to debate, on the contrary: "It is legitimate to propose a debate to explore any serious problem which is poorly resolved.

An excessive opposition which dishonours the Hierarchy

The Dominican Order acknowledged that the situation was serious: in some dioceses of the Netherlands, half of the celebrations take place in the absence of a priest. The booklet, the report adds, to its credit, put his finger on a situation which to say the least is chaotic, "where the discussions are focused on the problems of power."

Nevertheless, the initiative of the Dutch Dominicans cannot be accepted. The report contains weaknesses such as an excessive contrast between ordinary Catholics and the Hierarchy, which totally dishonours the Hierarchy, including the bishops. Similarly, in binding together the cases of all married men, homosexuals and women, Kerk en Ambt is concerned about a mixture of issues which makes all the more unlikely a resolution of the core issue.

On the substance, Father Legrand notes a number of claims which contradict Catholic doctrine. One can, he says, show that parishioners participate in the election of ordained ministers: "It was a common practice in the Germanic countries at least until the Reformation." But the election is not sufficient for ordination -since the beginning of the Church, there is a constant link between Eucharistic communion and ecclesial communion, the first could not be celebrated without the second. As a result, by affirming that the Eucharist can be celebrated by even a Christian unordained by the bishop, Kerk en Ambt was advocating nothing less than schismatic conduct. The report, endorsed by the Master of the Order, said that Vatican II did not say anything to that effect.

Celibacy of priests, "there must be a debate"

The conclusion is clear: "Nobody will be surprised that the Master of the Order, not informed beforehand, has to respond responsibly to such a public initiative and clearly disowns this text.

But the text of Hervé Legrand does not stop there. Refusing to avoid the substantive issue, the lack of priests, he recalled that "the current status of priests is not the only one possible". The law of celibacy is a discipline and not a dogmatic issue, "and pastors could therefore modulate the law of celibacy today if it proved to be the main cause of the shortage of priests." The question of celibacy of priests, raised by Bishops at the Synod on the Eucharist, in October 2005, was then closed. "In the Church as in the Order," said Father Couto, it is a debate. With this response, we recognize that the situation is difficult and that even if the findings of Kerk en Ambt must be rejected, there are acceptable solutions, which have been raised several times, such as the ordination of married men.

One way, the report concludes," to raise publicly concern at seeing so many members of God's people continue to roam as "a flock without a shepherd."”

Kerk en Ambt English version

Kerk en Ambt Dutch version

At the Padre Pio Bookshop in London

no-one ever went far wrong

"A thing I really love doing is to go to these places where people give their lives for the faith and try to convey the message that I love what they are doing, I support it,"

Vespers closing

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity at St Paul outside the Walls.

Non-Catholics get walk on parts- why don't they do what the founders of the week did, and become Catholics. Save them a lot of time and trouble on their road to salvation.

Long live life!


Friday, January 25, 2008

Salve Regina!


End of the nave altar

Translation of article by Alexander Kissler that appeared in the Süddeutsche Zeitung. German text not on web.
Every year, the Pope sends invitations on the Sunday after Epiphany to the Sistine Chapel. There, on the occasion of the Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord, he baptises about a dozen newborn infants. Pope Benedict XVI yesterday continued this tradition and broke with another: Unlike his predecessor, and in contrast to his own Masses of 2006 and 2007, Benedict did not allow the painted wooden table into the chapel. The nave altar remained locked away. Instead, Joseph Ratzinger celebrated on the main altar, originally designated for the purpose, directly beneath Michelangelo's "Last Judgement", with the Cross in view and not the congregation.

The Pontiff thereby nourished rumours that he will soon celebrate a Mass in the "extraordinary form", in the Tridentine rite. This is characterized by Gregorian and Latin prayers, Communion on the tongue and the absence of the intercessions - and by the direction of celebration "versus Deum" instead of "versus populum. The community, including the priest looks at the Cross of the High Altar, with the result that during the Eucharist from the benches one sees the back of the celebrant. In interviews and essays, Ratzinger as Prefect of the Congregration for the Doctrine of the Faith supported the idea that this "common orientation of the priest and the people to the Lord". It was "an expression of the cosmic and historical dimension of the liturgy. We orientate ourselves to the future of the world and our history ".

This "tradition of apostolic times" (Ratzinger), Benedict XVI in the Sistine Chapel now integrated into the new Rite, dominant since 1970. into the so-called "ordinary form". This he did, almost exactly half a year after the rehabilitation of the "old Mass" by adopting " Summorum Pontificum "- anyone who understands the post-Conciliar reformed Mass to be modernistic, must not completely return to the Tridentine form, a cautious renewal in the rite of 1970, being possible when one is open to these traditional elements.

Second, Benedict had decided, as said the Communiqué of the Office for Papal Ceremonies in favour of architectural "beauty and harmony" - in a conscious departure from John Paul II. That the Sistine Chapel gained clarity and elegance by the banishment of the wooden table struck one immediately; it would also be in line with Benedict’s understanding, if elsewhere the nave altar disappeared when it disfigured a historical building . And thirdly, the appreciation of the High Altar gives further evidence of the fresh wind of the new master of ceremonies Guido Marini. Since his inauguration last September, he continues the renaissance of the classical liturgy at a pace that under his predecessor Piero Marini would have been unthinkable.

Benedict has placed stakes in a heated debate: particularly in Germany some bishops have given much effort through complicated implementing provisions to go contrary to the meaning of the decree "Summorum Pontificum" . They defend themselves against those spiritual renovations, that Benedict in the decree wishes to put in place through the equality of the Masses. These forces of conservatism, would remove from sight the Mass for the Baptism of Our Lord, a mere liturgical “carry on as before” seen as the wrong solution. To them is also addressed a letter whose publication has been announced for the next few days: The Vatican will in ecclesiastically binding way outline the conditions to be fulfilled for a regular Tridentine Mass and when they are not.

German bishop slams liturgical abuse


Cathcon translation of – Ekelhaft: Moralin in der Epiklese- Disgusting: self-righteousnous at the epiclesis

Whoever has to deal with liturgy everyday, wallows in a swamp - said the Bishop of Eichstaett and that prayers according to the "knitting bobbin model" make him full of rage


Since his time as a young student, the Benedictine bishop of Eichstätt, Monsignor Gregor Maria Hanke, has experienced liturgical abuses when he was outside his monastery to attend church services. Vatican Magazin reports in its January issue.

"Eucharistic prayers using the knitting bobbin model (Cathcon- where threads are drawn together) made him especially angry" - that is to say: prayers written on the evening before, the theological language of which was well beneath the liturgical requirements.

"If you mix self-righteousness into the epiclesis, I find it simply disgusting" - said the former English teacher (Cathcon- he said Disgusting in English to emphasise his point!)

Bishop Hanke finds behind such liturgical experiments “a misdirected endeavour to be as close as possible to the people and the desire to introduce everyday language into the liturgy. " Nothing could be more full of error.

Thereby liturgy is degraded into a mirror, "in which I always consider my own misery."

Moreover, heaven is no longer open. The descent of God "is hampered or prevented”.

Another problem of the "easy messing about" with the liturgy is that the long chain of tradition, in which the priest is joined in the Canon is broken.

So worship and spirituality are ousted through a bad sociology.

Monsignor Hanke was the only German Bishop who welcomed the Motu proprio 'for the re-admission of the old Mass and issued no restrictions for his diocese.

He will not be a darling

Immediately after his appointment as bishop of Eichstaett, Monsignor Hanke called himself a conservative.

At the same time, he is a "green bishop" - as earlier he was a "green abbot" - a favorite of the liberal press.

A determined Christian must not be "the darling of the contemporary world", warns Monsignor Hanke.

The price for a genuine way of life of the Christians was they were marked out from the world.

Liberalisation of the Latin Mass

A valuable aspect of the current papacy, says Moscow Patriarch

Ten years ago Pope John Paul II ordered an exit from pregnancy crisis counseling in Germany.

Cathcon translation of Ein Riss durch die Kirche- a split in the Church

Article by Stephan Köhnlein

Frankfurt / Main, Germany (AP) The issue of abortion is a topic that irritates- especially in the Catholic Church. As part of the legally required pregnancy crisis counseling Catholic institutions issued for years certificates that allowed for abortion free from prosecution. Ten years ago - on 26 January 1998 Pope John Paul II asked the German bishops to exit from this system - the beginning of a lengthy debate, in which the German bishops ultimately had to full into line with the Vatican.

Since 1995, the amended “Abortion” Clause 218 of the Penal Code has applied. This allows for an abortion without legal sanction, if a prior consultation of the pregnant women in an emergency and crisis situation had taken place. The advice is expressly to protect the unborn life.

In his heatedly discussed letter the Pope declared in January 1998, that the issuing of certificates was a shadow over the witness of the Church. In tone, the head of the church at this time notably did not go as far as some such as the Fulda bishop, Johannes Dyba, who lashed out at the certificate as a mere "license to kill" or the then Head of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Josef Ratzinger, who accused the German bishops of assisting in murder.

But there were also among the bishops supporters of remaining in the state counseling system such as Hermann-Josef Spital from Trier or from Freiburg, Archbishop Oskar Saier. As an argument for a continuation of the provision is that with the advice many women could be moved to carry their children to full term. Specific advice, even if the result remained open, was thought the best way to protect unborn life. If the advice was not given irrespective of outcome, the women would seek out other advisory bodies.

Even one day after the papal letter, the German bishops agreed that Catholic institutions expected from 1999 to no longer issue licences, but remain in the legally prescribed advice system. The national and regional govermments stressed that the abortion law will not be changed. Some German states said without the certificates, the church counseling bodies would no longer receive state subsidy.

The Chairman of the Bishops' Conference, Karl Lehmann, proposed a counseling letter. This would lay down the advice to pregnant women via one of the church institutions. In early February 1999, in Rome Lehmann submitted his report on the possibilities for further counseling practice, but without personally speaking with the Pope.

A few days later, at the Bishops' Conference in Lingen, Lehmann stressed that he wanted to avoid a split among the ranks of the Faithful. The bishops agree on an advisory and assistance plan for pregnant women. Catholic laity organizations called on the Pope to accept the plan. Also, the Prime Ministers of Bavaria, Baden-Wuerttemberg and Thuringen sent the Pope a letter, seeking support for the state system respectively.

On 20 May Lehmann held talks in Rome with the Pope, but almost four weeks later, John Paul II invited the German Bishops, from the end of 1999, no longer to issue advisory certificates. The Bishops' Conference then announced that church advisory certificates will be marked that they could not be used for an abortion. The church hoped to continue within the state’s pregnancy crisis counseling.

Regardless of the official Catholic church, laity wanted to continue a pregnancy crisis counseling issuing certificates in conformance with the law. This is why, on 24 September 1999 the association Donum Vitae (Gift of Life) was formed . Today Donum Vitae is found at over 180 locations in the Federal Republic with advice or field centres. Women, men and couples are advised regardless of their nationality or religion

On 20 November, the Pope told the German bishops again in a letter that in the future pregnant women should no longer be issued with any certificate. Three days later, the German Bishops' Conference after a two-day consultative period finally left the pregnancy crisis counselling - with transitional periods of sometimes more than a year.

After 1 January 2001, the Catholic Church did not issue anymore certificates - with one exception: only one German Diocese - Limburg remains following a compromise with the Vatican that they can provide pregnancy crisis counseling until the end of the year.

But on 7 March 2002, the Pope also told this Diocese unequivocally to issue no more certificates. A day later, a visibly drawn Bishop Franz Kamphaus followed this instruction. He had fought with Rome and lost. The Catholic Church has thus completely removed from the German pregnancy crisis counseling scheme.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Russian patriarch

Turns down his Invitation to Rome

Sharp words for the EU from the Pope

Cathcon translation of Papst: Scharfe Worte Richtung Brüssel

"Maybe" four years ago the people of Central and Eastern Europe were "a little too optimistic", as their countries joined the European Union? This suspicion Pope Benedict expressed this Thursday to the Bishops from Slovenia. He referred to their pastoral letter in April 2004, when they ecstatically welcomed the EU accession of their country into the EU. When you look today at this pastoral letter Pope said that what had been called for by the bishops, actually still had not come about:

"If Europe really is and wants to stay a place of peace and focus on the respect of human dignity, then it cannot deny the most important component of this foundation - namely the Christian. Not all humanisms are the same, they are not necessarily equivalent in moral terms. I am speaking here not of the religious aspect, but will confine myself to the ethical and social. "

Depending on which image of humanity is taken as the basis, there are derived actually quite different rules for civil coexistence, Benedict said, not without a certain sharpness.

"If one sees people, for example, as individualistic - as many do today - how can one justify the trouble that the building of a just and caring society needs? Christianity is the religion of hope and brotherhood of all people - this applies to every continent, including to Europe. "

Many intellectuals in Europe still had difficulties with understanding that "reason and faith need each other," the Pope said exactly one week after his cancelled appearance at the Roman Sapienza University. Significantly Benedict condemned "Western-style secularism": This was "perhaps even more insidious than communist secularism" and displays "signs for concern " such as "greed for materials, declining birth rate and the waning of religious practice." Slovenia currently has the EU Presidency – for which reason the sharp words of the Pope this Thursday are also sent directly to Brussels.

Preaching standards in the Diocese of Hildesheim

Why are their churches empty?

Church to pay symbolical fee

for Prague cathedral use

"Prague- The state will cover the security and maintenance costs of St Vitus cathedral while the Catholic Church will pay a symbolical fee of 500 crowns a month, under the agreement the church and the Prague Castle management are to sign on their joint use of the cathedral, the daily Pravo says"

Lutherans to Open Doors

to Cash-Strapped Catholics

Strapped for funds and faced with church closures, Catholics in Lower Saxony have appealed to Lutherans to share churches. It wouldn't be the first time two of Germany's Christian churches share houses of worship.

The Catholic Diocese of Hildesheim in the northern state of Lower Saxony on Monday, Jan. 21, asked the Lutherans in the state for permission to hold religious services in their facilities.

The diocese, one of 27 in Germany, said it planned to close 80 of its 438 churches due to a budget crunch. It will also require local communities to pay for the upkeep of dozens more.

Arend de Vries, a senior official in Lower Saxony's Protestant Church said he was open to the idea but would wait for an official request from the diocese before making the Catholics an offer.

A further consequence of the Hildesheim Massacre.

See the inconceivable

A day in the life of Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church on the Teche. New Iberia

The morning finds me here at heaven's door
A place I've been so many times before
Familiar thoughts and phrases start to flow
And carry me to places that I know so well
But dare I go where I don't understand
And do I dare remember where I am
I stand before the great eternal throne
The one that God Himself is seated on
And I, I've been invited as a son
Oh I, I've been invited to come and
Believe the unbelievable
Receive the inconceivable
And see beyond my wildest imagination
Lord, I come with great expectations
So wake the hope that slumbers in my soul
Stir the fire inside and make it glow
I'm trusting in a love that has no end
The Savior of this world has called me friend
And I, I've been invited with the Son
Oh I, I've been invited to come and ...
Believe the unbelievable
Receive the inconceivable
And see beyond my wildest imagination
Lord, I come with great expectations
We've been invited with the Son
And we've been invited to come and
Believe the unbelievable
Receive the inconceivable
And see beyond our wildest imagination
Lord, we come to
Believe the unbelievable
Receive the inconceivable
And see beyond my wildest imagination
Lord, I come with great expectations

How Catholics say Mass in India!


And where India leads Linz is not far behind.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Hillary Clinton Confirms


She Will Appoint Pro-Abortion Judges as President

Don't say you haven't been warned. Vote her down. Vote her out.

India: Cardinal for Dialogue with Hindus


The President of the Indian Bishops' Conference, Cardinal Oswald Gracias, has called for interfaith dialogue. Religions, said the Cardinal, have much that unites them. "We can decide how to deploy our forces: to unite or to separate. We must together build India. "Since Christmas, Christians in the state of Orissa have been persecuted by militant Hindus. Behind the violence are suspected political motives. An end to persecution is not currently in sight.

Broadcast dissidence

Cathcon translation of Drewermann funkt- Drewermann broadcasts

The “theologian” and psychoanalyst Eugen Drewermann gets his own radio broadcast. This was announced yesterday by Radio Bremen. On the last Saturday of the month he will fill the "Talk Time" slot of NWR from 20.05 pm to 22 pm. The dogmatic theologian had to leave his Chair of Catholic theology in 1991 because he said the ban on marriage for Catholic clergy is a threat to their mental health (Cathcon-he means his mental health!) and the doctrine of the virgin birth he described as not credible (in his own opinion!) . The first Drewermann broadcast on 26 January addresses the "power of money" (why, was he short of it, after he left the priesthood?)

Absolutely Cool Mass

was less than good in Vatican eyes

Non-ordained "Presider"

ROME, JAN. 22, 2008 ( by Legionary of Christ Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy at the Regina Apostolorum university.

Q: I was present at a Mass where a male, non-ordained religious was seated in the sanctuary amid a large group of priests who were concelebrating at a Mass celebrated by a bishop. The religious was the president of the school and was listed as "presiding." Is this in accord with liturgical norms? Can a religious or layperson ever be permitted to preside in the sanctuary at a Mass? -- W.F., New York

A: This is perhaps a demonstration of the ambiguity and limitations of the noun "presider" to refer to the celebrant or presiding concelebrant of a Mass.

Only an ordained minister can, strictly speaking, preside at any liturgical act. In the case at hand it was certainly the celebrating bishop who presided at the Mass.

While I have no more information on the role of the non-ordained religious than contained in the question, I would suppose that the Mass formed part of a series of liturgical and non-liturgical acts on an occasion such as a graduation or the inauguration of an academic year.

In such a case, reference to the religious as presiding probably referred to the totality of the acts. It would certainly be incorrect to refer to him as presiding at the Mass.

It is possible for laypersons to be seated in the sanctuary, usually when they have a specific ministry to fulfill, such as reader and server or in some cases when they receive a sacrament.

There are also some specific customs allowing for persons having some civil or non-ordained ecclesiastical dignity to be seated in the sanctuary area during Mass. This would appear to be the case regarding the president of the school.

The general tendency of the liturgical norms is to move away from such special protocols, but some are legitimately preserved out of long-standing custom.

In such cases the person should have a place that is distinct but clearly separate from that of the concelebrating priests and other lay ministers so as to avoid any confusion.

This kind of distinction honours a person's particular function rather than the individual as such. It does not, however, mutate or enhance the person's role as a member of a hierarchically constituted liturgical assembly.

Non-essential real estate

"The Archdiocese of Los Angeles has sold its 12-story chancery on Wilshire Boulevard to help pay part of the costs of a record-breaking $660 million lawsuit settlement with alleged victims of clergy sexual abuse reached in July 2007.

The archdiocesan newspaper, the Tidings, reported the sale in its Jan. 18 edition. The archdiocese sold the Catholic Center for $31 million to Jamison Properties, but will lease back four floors of the 12-floor building from Jamison under a five-year lease agreement."

Just imagine if a commercial company had such a vast amount of non-essential real estate. Gone forever.

Priesthood of all Carnival Fools


After the Second Vatican Council, there has been an exaggerated sense of the priesthood of all believers. Here is a photo prior to a Carnival Mass in Germany which shows the next step in the process. Priest blending in with the Carnival.

Cardinal Bagnasco criticises the state of society in Italy


Cathcon translation of - Nachrichten - Kardinal Bagnasco kritisiert Zustand der Gesellschaft Italiens

With harsh criticism of the society of his country, the Chairman of the Italian Bishops' Conference, Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, opened the spring meeting of the Episcopacy.

Italy is marked by fragmentation and inertia, said Bagnasco, according to Kathpress. The Genoa Archbishop warned against a "widespread and dangerous loss of trust".

Given the blocked economic upturn, fear of the future and fatalism are stalking the country, he noted in his keynote speech that the Italian newspaper "Avvenire" printed on Tuesday in full.

Bagnasco demanded the Abortion Act of 1978 should be adapted to current medical knowledge and opportunities and give priority to the protection of life, especially with regard to late abortion after the 22nd week of pregnancy.

He strongly opposes any legal recognition of non-marital family situations, as it would be "virtually withdraw the underlying rationale for the rights and privileges of married couples." Next, he spoke out against accelerated divorce proceedings, given the repercussions on the general understanding of marriage.

On the scandal surrounding the Pope's cancelled visit to the University of Rome "La Sapienza", he indirectly accused the government of failure. The decision of Pope Benedict XVI not to participate in the opening of the academic year was made "on the recommendation of the Italian authorities".

Bagnasco condemned the whole process as a "serious incident of intolerance". The Office of the Minister-President immediately rejected the accusation. The Government has never recommended cancelling the visit encouraged, they noted in a statement on Monday.

Bach Organ Works

Lots of them. Hear them for Free!

Hat tip

New use for St Patrick's Cathedral, New York

Its called a bomba dance.

Absolutely Cool Mass


Cathcon translation of – Saugeile Messe

More pictures on

In Vienna, they attract young people with disco music and superficial chatter into the Church. At the end, the consecrated breadcrumbs were swept together. On the 20 Jan, the 'Catholic Youth' of Vienna organised a Disco Mass in the municipality of Eibesthal.

One of the organizers, Stephan Bazalka, described the Mass in a press release as an "event" and "a Rock Mass."

Eibesthal is a suburb of the town of Mistelbach. It is fifty kilometers northeast of Vienna.

Two priests and two lay assistants presided over the Mass.

The two lay people at the altar were called Pamela (14) and Manuel.

About 1,000 young people were driven to the Disco Mass in Weinviertel driven. The church was full up.

The Mass was dedicated according to the organizer, to a "special issue". This was "Not typical!"

Pamela gave youthful thoughts as a slogan: "Certainly, someone has accused you of something. But probably something nice was not meant. "

The content of the Mass dealt with role stereotypes between men and women. The churchgoers decided how deep-rooted role models are.

The sermon was given by the four presiders together. According to the press release, this earned them many laughs: "what is not fitting, what to parents and grandparents is just too much: tattoos and piercings in certain locations, for example!"

The 14 year old Pamela encouraged the youngsters, to go "your way", "If you choose from inner conviction, God is with you!"

Manuel also told the youngsters not to let themselves be forced into classical roles. At the end of the Mass, youngsters were give a mirror as a gift. "If you look into it, you shall remember to be typically 'DU' " – according to Manuel (Du-familiar form in German of you).

In the guestbook, some praised the Disco Mass as "absolutely cool."

18-year-old Maria is not against the Disco Masses: "But I find the whole thing is appropriate for Bible reading services, but not necessarily suitable for Mass."

As is usual for the Vienna Rock Masses, the priest consecrated pieces of crumbly bread instead of wafers. But that was rather beside the point.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Greatest Show on Earth.


Cardinal Lehmann chooses life before ecumenism

Cathcon translation of Kardinal Lehmann weist die Angriffe des EKD-Ratsvorsitzenden Wolfgang Huber zu embryonalen Stammzellen zurück - Cardinal Lehmann, rejects the attacks of the German Protestant Church Council chairman, Wolfgang Huber to embryonic stem cells

Essen (AP) - The Chairman of the German Catholic Bishops' Conference, Cardinal Karl Lehmann, has rejected the attacks of the Chairmen of the Council of the Protestant Church in Germany, Wolfgang Huber, in the dispute over the cut-off date for the import of embryonic stem cells. Cardinal Lehmann said in the Essen newspaper, Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung (WAZ): "Given the seriousness of the matter, there must be a discussion." On the question of whether the attack by Huber has harmed the ecumenical relationship, Cardinal Lehmann replied: "The ecumenical relationship is important, but it should not disguise a fundamental truth, namely, the right to life and the necessity of protecting the embryo from the beginning." Huber had strongly attacked the Catholic Church on this issue and explained that the dispute bore traits of a "cultural struggle". Cardinal Lehmann welcomed that the vote in the Bundestag on a postponement of the deadline for the import of these stem cells was to be a free vote. "The CDU / CSU contain all opinions on this issue. The same is true for the other parties. It is good that now such a decision is now pending that compulsion has been lifted from the political groups. At the moment, there are four different group positions, an expression of this diversity. They all well know our argument. We are and will remain in dialogue," said Cardinal Lehmann. The Chairman of the Bishops' Conference rejects firmly research on embryonic stem cells. "It's not about the date, but the conditions around it. The embryonic stem cells involved can only be preserved if an embryo is killed. Given that the Catholic church, but not only us but also many scientists and ethicists say that after the union of egg and sperm cells in the embryo a human being is formed, which has human dignity and a right to life, we see no basis for moral and legal nuances in protecting life. Therefore, we already opposed the idea when in 2002, the cut-off date was first established. We were clear on this from the beginning.

Archduke Carl Ludwig, 1918-2007

Son of Blessed Charles, U.S. Army Veteran, Fought at Normandy

After the funeral Mass concluded, the Archduke's coffin was processed through the streets, accompanied by family, clerics, knights and aristocrats, members of Austrian, Hungarian, and Czech traditionalist organizations, and university students. The destination was the church of the Capuchin Franciscans, in whose crypt the members of the imperial family are traditionally interred.

When they reach the Capuchin church, a member of the funeral party cries "Open!" and the Abbot inquires "Who are you? Who asks to enter?"

"We bear the remains of His Imperial & Royal Highness, Archduke Carl Ludwig Maria Franz Joseph Michael Gabriel Antonius Robert Stephan Pius Gregor Ignatius Markus d'Aviano of Austria!"

"We know him not," the Abbot responds. "Who goes there?"

And again: "We bear the remains of His Imperial & Royal Highness, Archduke Carl Ludwig Maria Franz Joseph Michael Gabriel Antonius Robert Stephan Pius Gregor Ignatius Markus d'Aviano of Austria!"

"We know him not". For the third time, the Abbot inquires, "Who goes there?"

"We bear the body of Carl Ludwig, our brother, a sinner like us all." At that moment, the doors of the abbey swing open and the Abbot calls out "You may enter!"

Vatican official says Pope

does not want to abandon liturgical reform:

"'These are certainly incorrect inferences and interpretations,' Msgr. Marini said. The path of Catholic liturgy is 'development in continuity,' in which change never loses touch with the church's living traditions, he said."

But since when was the reform of the liturgy, development in continuity. It was written by committees after the event of Vatican II.

Is it the Gates of Hell?


Or is it a Vienna Youth Mass?

What goes on at Medjugorje (?)


Cardinal Archbishop of Vienna thinks

the heart of mission is in personal encounter.

The Heart of Mission rather is the preaching of the Cross and Him Crucified. St Dominic of the Order of Preachers at the foot of the Cross. The Cardinal is a member of this order.

I Corinthians
23 nos autem praedicamus Christum crucifixum Iudaeis quidem scandalum gentibus autem stultitiam
24 ipsis autem vocatis Iudaeis atque Graecis Christum Dei virtutem et Dei sapientiam
25 quia quod stultum est Dei sapientius est hominibus et quod infirmum est Dei fortius est hominibus

23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews indeed a stumblingblock, and unto the Gentiles foolishness:
24 But unto them that are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

The end of the road is where modernism and protestantism meet.


The Vesperkirche- an ecumenical project of German protestants which melts the borders between the sacred and the secular.

God save Catholic Churches from this fate.

How Vatican reacted to Mission's wind of change - News

Mission Church to close caught in the crossfire.

Pseudo-Clericalised Lay Administration


is not an answer

Minister’s new friend

turns out to be a thorn in his side :

"Jim Knight, the Schools Minister, did not realise that Becky Grocott, a 17-year-old head girl at a Roman Catholic comprehensive, would take the opportunity to lobby him about a threat to close her college.

The MP says that he accepted Miss Grocott’s request to add her name to his list of friends, mistakenly thinking that she was somebody he knew. She then sent Mr Knight a flurry of messages about her school in Stoke-on-Trent. As part of a planned reorganisation, the 17 senior schools in the area are to be shut and only 12 reopened. Existing staff will have reapply for their jobs.

Miss Grocott has now learnt that her specialist maths and computing school, St Thomas More Catholic College, will reopen. But she has continued to lobby the minister about the staff’s fate."

The minister probably thought she was related to Lord Grocott.

What an inspiration for anyone who is trying to save Catholic schools or Churches!

Monday, January 21, 2008

St Thomas More Catholic College

Update from the Head Girl of the School

We will resist! Serco scrapped their plans! we await their new ones now! I think they grasped the idea we are not to be messed with. With great privilege, I can say I am the Head Girl of the best school in the area, county and possibly the world for me.

Not impressed with the guy's comment on your blog. Maybe he does not realise that we study for A Levels and simply do not have the time to pick up every computer error!!!

Of course, not many students will say they go to the best school ever! They do at Thomas More, so that must say something, and its my Job as Head Girl to make sure the world knows about the best school, best students, and best staff from the head down to the cleaners.

Cathcon comment
And what a great Patron Saint as well. All fits together!

Liturgical madness in Vienna

At each new youth Mass,they just push the envelope a little further. But they cannot see that little by little Catholic culture is being taken apart. What is the use of thousands of young people, when it is so clear from the pictures that they are not receiving the inheritance of the Faith.
Girl who will cry her eyes out in twenty years because she thought she could be a priestess.

Human bodies laid out on the altar

Procession of gifts

Caption anyone?

Happy Hour Ecumenical Service.

Goodnight Canterbury

Church stalls over deal on women "bishops".

Russian Orthodox attack on modernism

Cathcon translation of
Öffnung der Kirche als "gerader Weg in den Untergang"

Opening up of the church as a "direct path to downfall"

Not a strong Islam, but a weak Christianity is to be feared: the Russian Orthodox Bishop Hilarion stated at a worship service of the Ecumenical Council in Vienna.

If "one or the other Christian community" begins to revise the theological or moral teaching of Christianity in order to be "modern" or "politically correct", this was the "direct path towards spiritual demise," said the Russian Orthodox Bishop Hilarion (Alfejew) at the church service of the Ecumenical Council of Churches in Austria (ÖRKÖ) marking this year's World Prayer Week for the Unity of Christians, Kathpress reported on Monday. A Christianity that has an "empty core," will not be in a position to resist the challenges of today.

Today many Christians were worried about the rise of Islam in Europe worried and about the increase in the number of Muslims while there is a simultaneous slow decline in the number of Christians, said Bishop Hilarion, the Moscow Patriarchate’s representative to the European Union. Referring to remarks of a Swiss Catholic theologian, he said: "We must not fear a strong Islam, but the weakness of Christianity. We must be afraid that under the influence of liberal ideas that spiritual and moral teaching of the Christian church will be lost".

Meet Maria Hofstadler


She is the head of an outfit called Spiegel (Mirror) which is run by the Diocese of Linz to develop positive relationships between children and parents. What does she think she is doing?

Listen or be swept away by the tide of history

English Translation of Pope Benedict XVI letter to the Jesuit Superior General

Commentary in Time.

Just click on Jesuit to find out the spiritual mountain the Jesuits have to climb.

Invitation to Rome for the Moscow Patriarch

Cathcon translation of Radio Vatican report

The Apostolic See invites Alexij II: The Orthodox Patriarch of Moscow is warmly welcome to the opening of the “Year of St Paul” in June. With this invitation, the Vatican continues their efforts to improve relations with the Russian Orthodox Church.

The invitation to the celebrations in Rome had already been sent to the Patriarch, said Cardinal Andrea Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo, the Archpriest of the Roman basilica of Saint Paul's Outside the Walls on Monday. Moreover, the man in the Vatican responsible for ecumenism, Cardinal Walter Kasper, has sent a similar letter to other Christian denominations - including the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I.

Priest banned from joint-"Eucharist" in the Netherlands

Cathcon translation of Kerkdienst voorafgegaan door gezamenlijk ontbijt

If we cannot come together to celebrate a 'Supper', we still can have breakfast. And so it was, yesterday morning in De Akker next to the Old Catholic Church of St. Vitus where Protestants and (Old) Catholics had their annual ecumenical church service. (Cathcon- shameful use of words- Catholics are Catholics, Old Catholics left the Church after the declaration of Papal Infallability)

The Haarlem Bishop Punt has banned the Catholic priest Stef de Wit from participating in the annual Last Supper / Eucharist because the various churches think differently from Catholics.

Both breakfast and then the service were enthusiastically enjoyed yesterday. It was maintained that the churches can still do very much good together, such as promoting good integration, help for the poor and engaging in building a society in which tolerance means no veiling, De Wit said. In the service, the theme of "pray unceasingly” 'emphasis was placed on the unitive aspect of religions.
One of these men is the offending priest- difficult to recognise.

Seal of the confessional in danger

Cathcon translation of Beichtgeheimnis in Gefahr?

In Germany, there is controversy over the so-called “tapping exemption”. The Federal Interior Ministry under Wolfgang Schäuble is proposing a reform of the BKA- law to combat terrorism not only to remove the strict “tapping exemption” from parliamentarians and lawyers, but also from the clergy. This has met with sharp protest from the Catholic Church as the confessional secret in danger. Even if it concerns the secrecy of discussions with the priest outside the confessional, the plan was unacceptable, says the Cologne Cathedral Vicar and confessor, Oliver Dregger.

"I can utterly not understand why politicians want to sweep away the seal of the confessional, as this is protected in our country by the Concordat. And when it comes to the secrecy of the discussions with a priest, people would no longer have the feeling that the priest can be really trusted, and then the people would no longer go to him. "

In practical pastoral care, there is a smooth transition to confession, according to Dregger.

"Experience shows that pastoral discussions, that initially are not confession oriented, often develop into a confession so that this distinction between the normal official secrecy of the priest and the seal of the confessional is often theoretical."

The pastor believes a possible change in legislation is dangerous.

"People who confess, entrusts to the priest in the confessional some very intimate secrets, are themselves able to say that they would think twice if there was the risk that the clergy in any way had told another person. Then this would no longer be protected place, where people do not only say this or that about themeselves, but where they can really be quite open and know: Here I can say everything, even the things that I would not confide to my closest friend. "

The seal of the confessional obliges the confessor to absolute silence about what he learned through confession. The violation of seal of the confessional attracts the heaviest ecclesiastical penalties. The seal of the confessional has applied since the 13th Century to the whole Catholic Church.

The most famous example of the preservation of the sacred seal of the confessional was St John Nepomuc. He was drowned in 1393 by the Bohemian king in Moldova because he refused to disclose the confession of the Queen.

Legally, the seal of the confessional is guaranteed in the Concordat, implemented in German civil law, between the Vatican and Germany as well as in state laws. One example is the law which permits priests and others who have to guard professional secrecy, such as deputies and lawyers, to refuse to testify. Clause 53 of the Criminal Procedure Code gives them the right to refuse to give a statement to investigators. This paragraph also protects discussions with the Faithful, clients or patients from interception.

The Cautionary End of the Spirit of Vatican II

Well, goodbye then. Brilliant article.

Yet another church not in the proper sense of the word

Cathcon translation of Wirt gründet Kirche für Zigarettenliebhaber Pub landlord founds church for cigarette lovers.

Protests against smoking ban

The legally prescribed smoking ban made a pub landlord from Schleswig-Holstein completely unhappy. Now, he has founded a religious community to whom the ritual of smoking is as essential " as among Catholics incense is." The next step: The pub will be declared to be a church.

In the fight against the non-smoking law a restaurateur from Schleswig Holstein has dug deep into the box of tricks: The landlord from Kappeln has established a religious community to allow guests once again to take up their glowing cigarettes. "Our Christian-Jewish Church has now more than 400 members," said Dirk Bruckner, owner of the pub "The Mousetrap". The founding statutes, he has cleverly sent to the State Chancellery in Kiel.

The 46-year-old wants smokers, according to his own words to be given "church asylum" and that such religious activities should not be prescribed by the state.. In many religions, the burning of substances play a role. "For Catholics, it is incense, the Buddhists have incense sticks, but for us it is cigarettes," said Bruckner. The new religious community should, according to the landlord speak to Christians, who have problems with "rigid form" and "kneeling". Instead, there should be discussions with beer and cigarettes.

Whether Bruckner can bypass the new anti-smoking law with the stunt is questionable. The Regional Health Ministry said the restaurateur "cannot go forward in this way." The Kappeln Provost, Gerhard Ulrich, a member of the church leadership, gives the application, in any case, no chance. While everyone can found a religious community, the establishment of a church as a "public corporation" is subject to high standards.

Cathcon comment- he is using the same logic as protestants throughout the world- found a church based on you and your desires. Doubtless Che would have been a welcome member.

And eventually the members will say, why bother to go to this "church" when we can smoke at home! Or perhaps, they will wander down to the erotic church service

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Real Catholic honoured by Aachen Carnival


he same prize that went to Carnival Cardinal Lehmann in 2005 was this year given to Gloria Princess of Thurn und Taxis.

In her magnificent acceptance speech, she declared that the priesthood should be reserved to men for ever, women have important obligations to raise their own children and finally that, this jokingly, that the Church should start the sale of indulgences again to solve their financial problems. No-one was left in any doubt about the importance of Catholicism.

Most important of all, she was given the honour citation in Latin, complete with her coat of arms. What a difference a year makes!No sign either of the devil this year, unlike in 2005, when Cardinal Lehmann received the same honour.Normally, the winners are shown into a cage from which they deliver their acceptance speech. The presenter of the show declared, "This woman cannot be caged". More likely "will not be caged". And no dancing girls either, as in 2005.

She raised the standard of the Carnival rather than being pulled down by it.

The Carnival hat kept slipping off her head after she received it. It clearly fitted the Cardinal better. She used the occasion rather than the occasion using her. Glorious Gloria!