Wednesday, August 31, 2005

More bureaucracy, please!

Bishop Donald Wuerl, whom the vaticanisti have previously mentioned as a possible replacement in San Francisco, has written an article in his diocesan newspaper suggesting that individual bishops should refrain from making statements regarding the ramifications in their individual dioceses for a Catholic politician who has taken policy positions counter to Catholic teaching on issues such as abortion, instead making such pronouncements as a college through the U.S.C.C.B. In his article, Wuerl asks the following, "if it is decided by a bishop that there are sufficient grounds to refuse Communion to a person, given the interrelatedness of the dioceses in this country, should such a decision be finalized only in concert with the conference of bishops whose purpose is to provide some level of pastoral collaboration and coordination?" Given that the bishop is pastor of a diocese, not representative to the Conference, the answer should be "no."

In some respects, the article sounds like code for "Let's allow some of these things to die in committee, so that we don't ruffle any feathers." Or, "Why did Burke and Chaput have to start so much trouble by being so vocal during the last election?"

Why? Most likely because after hours of prayer, reflection, and consultation, they decided that their pastoral responsibilities required such a response. Don't forget, the Catholic politicians who support legalized abortion, not the bishops, are the ones who forced this response by their vocal disregard for authentic Catholic teaching.

Bishops are shepherds for their respective dioceses--let's hope and pray that, when necessary, they will continue to speak as such even when it makes some of their brother bishops uncomfortable. The vaticanisti seem to recall that Christ did something similar in his day . . . .

Monday, August 29, 2005

Over and done with

Well, the meeting that has so occupied our readers for the past week came . . . and went . . . . Pope Benedict XVI and Bishop Fellay of the Society of St. Pius X met today at Castel Gandolfo. As far as the vaticanisti can tell, no one was hurt. No word yet on the attire worn by either man, either.

After the meeting, Bishop Fellay released the following statement: "The meeting lasted about thirty-five minutes; it took place in an atmosphere of calm. The audiences was an opportunity for the Society to manifest that it has always been attached —and always will be —to the Holy See, Eternal Rome. We broached the serious difficulties, already known, in a spirit of great love for the Church. We reached a consensus as to proceeding by stages in the resolution of problems. The Society of Saint Pius X prays that the Holy Father might find the strength to put an end to the crisis in the Church by 'restoring all things in Christ.'" The Holy See, through Dr. Navarro-Valls, expressed cautious optimism, as well. Now, only time will tell.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Getting to know Communion & Liberation

If you are not familiar with the ecclesial movement known in English as Communion & Liberation (CL), be sure to take a look at what John Allan had to say yesterday regarding the Movement's annual meeting in Rimini, which took place this past week. CL, founded by the recently-departed Fr. Luigi Giussani in Milan in 1954, "is an ecclesial movement whose purpose is the education to Christian maturity of its adherents and collaboration in the mission of the Church in all the spheres of contemporary life." Fr. Giussani himself described the essence of the charism of CL as three-fold: (1) the announcement that God became man (the wonder, the reasonableness, the enthusiasm for this): “The Word was made flesh and dwells among us"; (2) the affirmation that this man – Jesus of Nazareth dead and risen – is a present event in a “sign” of “communion,” i.e., of unity of a people guided, as a guarantee, by a living person, ultimately the Bishop of Rome; (3) only in God made man, man, therefore only in His presence and, thus only through – in some way – the experienceable form of His presence (therefore, ultimately only within the life of the Church) can man be truer and mankind be truly more human.

"The aim of life in CL is to propose the presence of Christ as the only true response to the deepest needs of human life in every moment of history. In the person who encounters and adheres to the presence of Christ there is generated a movement of conversion and witness, which tends to leave its mark on the environment in which he or she lives (family, work, school, neighborhood, society, etc.). Born in the schools as a proposal to young people, CL today extends its call to everyone, irrespective of age, occupation, or social position." Excerpted from CL: A Reality in the Church.

As Allan points out, the Movement was popular with Pope John Paul II and the former Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI. In fact, members of Benedict's household include female members of Memores Domini, an association of celibate lay men and women consecrated to the charism of the Movement. In addition, Ratzinger, in the absence of an ailing John Paul II, was the homilist at Fr. Giussani's funeral earlier this year. The homily shows a deep respect and affection for CL and its founder. Though not as well-known in the United States, CL continues to grow here, as well. Get to know CL, as this movement and others like it will play an increasingly important role in the Church as we seek to understand ever more deeply the vocation of the laity to live their personal and professional lives in the service of Christ and the Gospel.

Veni Sancte Spiritus! Veni per Mariam!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

New Personal Prelature in the works?

Vaticanisti delayed posting until we were able to verify from other sources this news: Pope Benedict XVI and Bishop Fellay of the Society of St. Pius X ("SSPX") will be meeting in Rome on August 29th. This on-again off-again relationship between the Vatican and the traditionalist movement looks like its on-again.

Is another personal prelature in the works? Past talks have focused on the possibility both of making the Mass of Pius V readily available alongside the Mass of Paul VI and of permitting the jurisdictional status of a personal prelature, like Opus Dei.

Of course, this is alleged to have been the offer made during the famous talks between Castrillon de Hoyos and Fellay in 2001. SSPX didn't take the bait then and given their intransigence in the past, Vaticanisti would advise against holding your breath now. Nevertheless, one can continue to hope that they will return to the fold.

Monday, August 22, 2005

US Ambassador to the Vatican Nominee: Who Is This Guy?

The United States Ambassador nominee to the Vatican (or, more formally, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Holy See) is a veritable unknown in the Catholic world. Inside the Vatican was one of the first to report his nomination by the Bush administration back in April. It only became official when his nomination was sent to the US Senate a few weeks ago.

Everyone is asking: Who is this guy? Francis Rooney is CEO of Rooney Holdings, Inc., an investment and holding company based in Naples, Florida, with administrative offices in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Rooney Holdings emerged from nowhere to become one of the GOP's biggest donors during the last election, upping its campaign contributions from just $11,000 during the 2002 cycle to more than $500,000 in 2004. Thanks to his fund-raising efforts, Rooney himself was among the few individuals named as both a Bush Ranger, having raised at least $200,000 for the president's re-election, and a Super Ranger (among the elite donors who raised another $300,000 for the Republican National Committee). Rooney is the majority owner of Manhattan Construction Company, the fourth generation of his family to own that company. Manhattan Construction built the Oklahoma State Capitol, the George Bush Presidential Library, the Cato Institute headquarters, the Prayer Tower and other structures on the Oral Roberts University and is building part of the new visitors’ center at the United States Capitol. The subsidiary won an estimated $100 million in Pentagon contracts in 2003, nearly four times the amount the company won in 2002, according to the Center for Public Integrity. A Georgetown University and Georgetown Law graduate, Rooney is a member of the Advisory Board of the Panama Canal Authority. He was among the U.S. delegation led by Colin Powell to the inauguration of Panamanian president Martín Torrijos. Rooney and his wife have served on the board of many charitable organizations and he is a Knight of Malta.

Our sources tell us Rooney was very surprised to have received the Vatican nomination. Rooney expected to be named ambassador to a nation in Central or South America especially since he knows those regions so well from his vast business background (and being fluent in Spanish helps too). But Foggy Bottom wanted him for the Vatican. Our sources also tell us he has only met one cardinal in his entire lifetime: Ted McCarrick from DC. Rooney is not well schooled in the ways of Church uber-politics. Let's just hope he's a quick study and get's to know all the players very soon (if he's confirmed).

Saturday, August 20, 2005

I Must Decrease and He Must Increase

Friday, August 19, 2005

Snapshots from Cologne

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Traditional Mass at WYD 2005!

Juventutem, an international organization of youth devoted to the Mass of St. Pius V and in communion with the Bishop of Rome, is making a splash in Cologne at WYD 2005, according to this news story.

Prelates joining Juventutem for events during WYD include two members of the American episcopacy, His Eminence Francis Cardinal George of Chicago and His Excellency Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis.

Of course, the traditional Mass is nothing new for Cardinal George or Archbishop Burke. George has provided for traditional liturgy in his archdiocese through the Society of St. John Cantius and now also through the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, which will open up a beautifully restored parish on Chicago's South Side to serve as their new national headquarters. Burke has also been a friend to the Institute, both while in LaCrosse and now that he is in St. Louis. In fact, he has given the Institute an Oratory church in St. Louis.

Pray that groups like Juventutem, religious communities like the Society of St. John Cantius and the Institute, and solid bishops like George and Burke will help to engender greater concern for the manner in which the Novus Ordo is celebrated, as well.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Confraternity of Catholic Clergy 2005 Resolutions

Go here to read the 2005 resolutions of the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy, an association of priests and deacons "pledged to the pursuit of personal holiness, loyalty to the Roman Pontiff, commitment to theological study and strict adherence to the authentic teachings of the Magisterium." Resolution #3, concerning the preaching of homilies, is particularly important to a fuller understanding of the relationship of the two parts of the Liturgy.

By the way, the Confraternity met in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles this year. Our guess is that the proceedings of this annual meeting were quite different from those of the annual Religious Education Congress hosted by the Archdiocese earlier this year (follow the link and be sure to look at the photos, esp. of masses celebrated during the Congress).

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Levada's Farewell Gala

San Francisco Archbishop Emeritus William Levada, 69, applaudes at his farewell gala, Saturday, August 13, 2005, in San Francisco. Levada is departing for the Vatican and will take the CDF Prefect job formerly held by Pope Benedict XVI. We're told it was quite an evening. Dominated by fat cats and their wives along with various bishops on their best behavior, the 2,300 guest gala was a veritable Levada lovefest. The archbishop received accolades even from SF mayor and Jesuit educated Gavin Newsom -- yes, the same Newsom who brazzenly violated California law by "marrying" same-sex couples. According to AP, Levada said that most Catholics were pleased with the way the archdiocese has handled sex abuse allegations. "On the whole, I can leave San Francisco with a good conscience," he said. Well, how about Portland?

Friday, August 12, 2005

Yet Another San Fran Update

We were hesitant to post this info for several reasons, but we've heard it now so often that its goin' up. Archbishop James Harvey, presently Prefect of the Papal Household and frequent sidekick of Pope Benedict, has a very good chance of being named the next archbishop of San Francisco. We have also heard, from several sources, that the announcement (whoever it may be) is expected "within days."

We think Harvey would be a better fit in Washington, DC. He has an impeccable diplomatic and administrative background which would serve him well, but Benedict may think such gifts would be better used in San Fran. It's really anyone's guess. There's been so much posteuring by California bishops (Brown, Walsh, Niederauer). . . it reminds us of the last song while playing musical chairs at a gradeschool dance. . . Quick, only one chair left! Wonder if dancin' is on tonight's Levada farewell dinner/gala's menu?

Friday, August 05, 2005

San Francisco Update

Our sources tell us Bishop George Niederauer of Salt Lake City was one of three bishops recommended by Archbishop Levada in a fairly recent meeting with Pope Benedict. This is a new name to add to the hopper. Things are heating up in San Francisco as the naming of Levada's successor draws ever closer. Bishop Daniel Walsh of Santa Rosa is still in the running. But this information may cause some of our dear readers to dab their eyes: a source of ours had a phone conversation recently with his friend Fr. Joseph Fessio, SJ and the good father said he has "no chance" and such talk of his being named archbishop is "a dream."

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Warmest Affection from Ben XVI!

"...and to you, dear vaticanisti, I greet you with my warmest affection upon your return from the mission lands! May your noble work continue under the providential hand of the Almighty."

Thanks, Georg. You are the greatest.