33

On the Appearance of Pope Francis’s Letter to the Argentine Bishops in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis

The following is a reprint of an article by Ed Peters, with permission.

Please be charitable and Catholic in the comboxes.

On the Appearance of Pope Francis’s Letter to the Argentine Bishops in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis

by Edward N. Peters, J.C.D., J.D., 4 December, AD 2017

Some three months ago I predicted that Pope Francis’ letter to the Argentine bishops, approving their implementation of Amoris laetitia, would make its way into the Acta Apostolicae SedisNow it has. An accompanying note from Cardinal Parolin states that the pope wishes the Argentine document to enjoy “magisterial authority” and that his endorsement thereof has the status of an “apostolic letter”.

Fine. Let’s work through some points.

1. Canon 915. It is crucial to understand that, today, what actually prevents ministers of Holy Communion from distributing the Eucharist to divorced-and-remarried Catholics is Canon 915 and the universal, unanimous interpretation which that legislative text, rooted as it is in divine law, has always received. Canon 915 and the fundamental sacramental and moral values behind it might be forgotten, ignored, or ridiculed, even by ranking officers in the Church, but unless and until that law is revoked or modified by papal legislative action or is effectively neutered by pontifically approved “authentic interpretation” (1983 CIC 16), Canon 915 stands and, so standing, binds ministers of Holy Communion.

Neither the pope’s letter to the Argentines, nor the Argentine bishops’ document, nor even Amoris Laetitia so much as mentions Canon 915, let alone do these documents abrogate, obrogate, or authentically interpret this norm out of the Code of Canon Law. Granted, little or nothing in these documents endorses or reiterates Canon 915, either, and the apparently studied silence that Canon 915 suffers these days is cause for deep pastoral concern. But law does not wilt under the silent treatment.

2. Apostolic letter. An “apostolic letter” is a sort of mini-encyclical and, however much attention encyclicals get for their teaching or exhortational value, they are not (with rare exceptions) legislative texts used to formulate new legal norms. Typically “apostolic letters” are written to smaller groups within the Church and deal with more limited questions—not world-wide questions such as admitting divorced-and-remarried Catholics to Holy Communion. Even where a special kind of “apostolic letter” is used to make changes to the law—such as John Paul II did in Ad tuendam fidem (1998), as Benedict did in Omnium in mentem (2009), or as Francis did in Magnum principium (2017)—the “apostolic letter” used in such cases carries the additional designation “motu proprio” (i.e., on the pope’s own initiative, and not in response to another’s action), and the changes made to the law thereby are expressly identified by canon number, not simply implied or surmised, especially not by silence.

The pope’s letter to the Argentines appears simply as an “apostolic letter”, not as an “apostolic letter motu proprio”, and it references no canons.

3. Authentic magisterium. Many people use the term “magisterium” as if it were tantamount to “Church governing authority”, but in its canonical sense “magisterium” generally refers to the Church’s authority to issue teachings on faith and morals, not to the Church’s authority to enforce discipline related to matters of faith and morals.

While Francis—albeit about as indirectly as is possible (through a memo to a dicastery official concerning a letter written by an episcopal conference)—has indicated that his letter to the Argentines and even the Argentine conference letter itself are “magisterial”, the fact remains that the content of any Church document, in order to bear most properly the label “magisterial”, must deal with assertions about faith and morals, not provisions for disciplinary issues related to faith and morals. Church documents can have both “magisterial” and “disciplinary” passages, of course, but generally, only those teaching parts of such a document are canonically considered “magisterial” while normative parts of such a document are canonically considered “disciplinary”.

Francis has, in my opinion, too loosely designated others of his views as bearing “magisterial authority” (recall his comments about the liturgical movement), and he is not alone in making, from time to time, odd comments about the use of papal power (recall John Paul II invoking “the fullness of [his] Apostolic authority” to update the by-laws of a pontifical think-tank in 1999).

But that inconsistent usage only underscores that the rest of us must try to read such documents in accord with how the Church herself usually (I wish always, but I’ll content myself with “usually”) writes them, and ask, here, are there “magisterial” assertions in Amoris, the Buenos Aries document, and Francis’ endorsement letter? Yes. Plenty, running the gamut from obviously true, through true-but-oddly-or-incompletely phrased, to a few that, while capable of being understood in an orthodox sense, are formulated in ways that lend themselves to heterodox understandings (and for that reason should be clarified for the sake of the common ecclesial good).

In any case, such teaching statements, to the extent they make assertions about faith or morals and come from bishops and/or popes acting as bishops or popes, already enjoy thereby at least some (relatively little) level of ordinary magisterial value, a value not augmented by sticking the label “magisterial” on them.

And, are there “disciplinary” assertions in Amoris, the Buenos Aries document, and Francis’ endorsement letter? Yes, a few. But as I have said before, in my view, none of those rather few disciplinary assertions, even those ambiguous and capable therefore of leaving the door open to unacceptable practices, suffices to revoke, modify, or otherwise obviate Canon 915 which, as noted above, prevents the administration of Holy Communion to divorced-and-remarried Catholics.

Conclusion. I wish that Canon 915 were not the sole bulwark against the abandonment of the Eucharist to the vagaries of individual, often malformed, consciences. I wish that a lively, pastorally-driven sense of the liberating permanence of Christian marriage, the universal need for Confession to reconcile those in grave sin, the power of the Eucharist to feed souls in the state of grace and to condemn those who receive irreverently, sufficed to make invocation of Canon 915 unnecessary in pastoral practice. But apparently, in much of the Catholic world these days, such is not the case and Canon 915 must be pointed to as if it were the only reason to bar reception of Holy Communion in these situations.

But what can one say? Unless Canon 915 itself is directly revoked, gutted, or neutered, it binds ministers of holy Communion to withhold that most august sacrament from, among others, divorced-and-remarried Catholics except where such couples live as brother-sister and without scandal to the community.

Nothing I have seen to date, including the appearance of the pope’s and Argentine bishops’ letters in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis, makes me think that Canon 915 has suffered such a fate.

The article is a reprint, with permission, from the blog, In the Light of the Law.

9

Top-15 Most Popular Online Catholic News Organizations

 

Update @ 9:47 am U.S. Central Time on 5 September 2017:

This snapshot is taken on one day. This day represents the number of visits for a month.  So the previous 30 days on 17 August 2017 is the time period that SimilarWeb is collecting the data.

With the increasing frequency of bearing false witness in the form of news, otherwise known as ‘fake news’, we can rely on Catholic online sources to separate the weeds from the wheat.

In my job of searching for the best sources of news as the editor of Big Pulpit, I have gained somewhat of a comprehensive catalog of where to find faithful news and not so faithful news.

There are various measures of metrics that I use, but for this post, I will utilize the total visits in one day or what is called a snapshot in a moment of time.  In layman’s terms, on August 17, 2017, I looked at the most visited online Catholic news organizations for that date.

The definition of a ‘news organization’ is as follows: Any online Catholic news organization that creates a lot of posts covering a wide array of topics.

Yes, it’s my definition and yours may differ from mine, but the purpose of this post is to see where everyone stands, and it’s supposed to be fun and interesting.

The source of my analytics that I am using is called SimilarWeb.  This is my source and method of ranking websites.  The rankings are my own and I use them for entertainment purposes and for no other reason than for fun.  Some of these online Catholic news organizations I do not visit at all, others I visit frequently.

I’ve included all websites that fall within my wide definition of an online Catholic news organization.  What I have not included are what are called in the business ‘intelligent news aggregators’, such as Big Pulpit & New Advent, for example.  These types of news organizations do not create content, according to my definition, but aggregate and distribute content.

Without further delay, here are the Top-15 Most Popular Online Catholic News Organizations on the day of 17 August 2017 (the total amount of visitors for the previous 30 days tallied on 17 August 2017 is listed in brackets next to their name):

  1. Aleteia (5,190,000)
  2. Catholic News Agency (1,400,000)
  3. National Catholic Register (1,110,000)
  4. Crux (619,860)
  5. Catholic Herald (562,520)
  6. Catholic Culture, including Catholic World News (560,900)
  7. Church Militant, news only (526,240)
  8. National Catholic Reporter (468,310)
  9. OSV Newsweekly (275,400)
  10. The Tablet (191,580)
  11. U.S. Catholic (164,930)
  12. Catholic News Service (114,310)
  13. CommonWeal (107,350)
  14. The Remnant (100,180)
  15. The Wanderer (<12,000)

The Wanderer registers less than 12,000 visitors for that day, that is the cutoff that SimilarWeb uses to keep track of websites.  That is why it appears as ‘less than 12,000’.

Disclosure: I am the editor of Big Pulpit and also a contributor for the National Catholic Register, all views and posts are my own.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this post are solely for fun and entertainment.  The information provided has been compiled using SimilarWeb.

8

Our New Look, The Changes Explained

If you haven’t noticed we have made some changes to The American Catholic website, mostly aesthetic.

The previous version was messy and clunky.  I take responsibility for that.  I was using Themler, a new CMS Creator tool that I never used and was annoyed with the slow changes it was making.

I got distracted and left the mess alone for too long.

So now I threw away Themler and decided to do it old school using my ancient programming skills in CSS.  The 12-hour gap of the website being down was my fault.  I messed around with a PHP file that I wasn’t supposed to touch.

Well, back to now.

What is different. . .

  1.  I’m using a powder blue and an Indian red for colors and IM Fell English Caps for the title and Alegreya Small Caps for the tag line.
  2. I changed the Cross and Eagle as well.  I only changed the color for the cross from red to Indian red.  The Eagle is the same, but I changed the blue and red to powder blue and Indian red.
  3. The background to the header is Indian red and the background for the body is powder blue.  The posts are excerpted so you will have to click on ‘Continue Reading’ to read the rest.
  4. There is now a featured image with the excerpt.
  5. One other change and it could be a major change depending on people’s viewpoints, but I changed the default avatar from a randomly generated abstract pic to a smiling and laughing Pope Francis.  If you want something else, go to Gravatar and create your own.  It’s free and easy to do.  Here is the link:  http://en.gravatar.com/

Please leave me any feedback either praising or with constructive criticism.

And yes, I will return to writing for The American Catholic.

Returning Temporarily to an Old Look While I Fix Things Up

If you haven’t noticed, we have returned to our previous look for The American Catholic.

I didn’t like the previous look and it was quite difficult to fix, in fact, I was unable to fix.

So I am returning to the older version while I change WYSIWYG website theme creation tools (switching back to Artisteer and no longer using Themler) to make The American Catholic better than ever.

If you all have suggestions, I am all ears!

17

The Philosopher Millennial

Justin Bieber Church Christian Taco Bell Millennial Philosopher

Update Below

“You don’t need to go to church to be a Christian.

If you go to Taco Bell, that doesn’t make you a taco.”

– Justin Bieber

This is probably the quote of the year, from a Millennial no less.

(Hat Tip: Taylor Marshall at Maccabee Society)

Update: A few developments that have come up through reliable sources:

  1.  Justin Bieber does attend both Sunday service and Wednesday night Bible study weekly.
  2.  This may be an old Protestant meme with no relation to Justin Bieber.
  3.  If the graphics on the pic above are correct, I recognize the CNN Headline News logo and it may well be anti-Christian propaganda.
  4.  For the record, I do not dislike Justin Bieber, I just found the quote quite funny, but with these recent developments, please keep in mind that this could be another smear against professed Christians.
3

The dilemma of choosing and the Syndrome of the Unwise Bride – The SUB

Decision

The following is a guest post by Sammy.

The last episode of a popular foreign Sunday evening show that hooked Americans to the T.V. for so many hours took place last week. The fiction is over and we need to confront our own dramatic reality. To make it more appealing let’s present it this way.

The unwise bride is about to let go the good guy – her life happiness – for a fantasy. She is choosing a guy who, at his own choice, hasn’t been humbled and corrected by God and therefore has no fear of God, no inch of wisdom within him. She cannot see that because her five senses just perceive a future where she will enjoy her illusion.

Continue Reading

9

Keep Up the Bad Work Seth Rogen

Seth RogenSo comedic actor Seth Rogen doesn’t hesitate to call Christians the A-word for supporting Hobby Lobby. Knowing that Christians don’t retaliate, maybe at worst start a picket line.

But when Seth Rogen makes a film, “The Interview”, satirizing the “Great Successor”, Kim Jong-un, he turned and ran, hired body guards, and is too scared to even offer a quote.

Seth Rogen is so fortunate to live in a country built upon Christian values. If he were in an Islamic or Communist nation, he wouldn’t be alive today.

Keep up the bad work Seth Rogen.

3

After 31 Years, Finally

The sequel to Return of the Jedi will be released in December of 2015, titled Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

What makes this different from the previous three Star Wars prequels?  George Lucas had almost nothing to do with the making of the film.  Yes, no more Ewoks or Jar Jar Binks, or any other poor attempts at young children product placements that ultimately killed each prequel and Return of the Jedi.

Yes, Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back are in my opinion the best of the bunch.  Great special effects, storyline, and action.  Only to stumble with Return of the Jedi and the three prequels being prevented from being timeless classics.

The first trailer was produced for American audiences, the second trailer was made for the rest of the world.

What to look for?  Storm Troopers have a slightly redesigned appearance, the light saber now has two ‘light handle bars’, a Darth Sith “may” have survived from Return of the Jedi, and a few more minor tweaks to let you figure out.

Enjoy!

 

8

Crux with John L. Allen Jr., A New Catholic Website Published by The Boston Globe

John L Allen Associate Editor of Crux MagazineJohn L. Allen Jr.’s name came up during an introductory meeting between the new owner of The Boston Globe, John W. Henry, and the editor of the same daily, Brian McGrory.  It was an auspicious meeting because it was taking place one day after the Boston Red Sox winning the 2013 World Series, which Henry also owns.

Taking note of the popularity of the new Pope and wanting to capitalize on it, Allen’s name was floated to anchor this new online Catholic magazine named Crux.  Crux would be an addition to the online publishing niches that the Globe operates.  Considering the large Catholic population of the Boston area and the appeal of Pope Francis, it was a natural fit.

Henry was a self made man in financial trading and also successful in breaking the ‘Curse of the Bambino‘ by winning the 2004 World Series.  Looking back at Henry’s track record, it can be said that he took bold ventures in unfamiliar territory and did well.

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36

End of Summer, Feed Is Working Again, and The French Revolution

It’s the unofficial end of Summer and it’s my annual gratuitous post of myself day.  The pic below was taken in mid-July, but I waited to fix the feed to The American Catholic in order celebrate the Summer.  Needless to say, it’s fixed and the Summer is almost over.

During the Summer I asked my fellow blogger Don for some book recommendations for the French Revolution.  Of the few he did mentioned, I picked up Simon Schama’s ‘Citizen’.  The reading is in-depth, interesting, and balanced.  I’m a bit over halfway finished of the 948 pages and am so far impressed.  Considering that we are in the post-Cold War era, I wanted to know a bit more on the French Revolution since their errors have already engulfed Europe and has almost metastasizing here in the United States.  The book is good and if there is any criticism of Simon Schama’s work it’s that he views Christianity, in particular the Catholic Church, through a materialistic lens.

My opinion on the subject is that the French Revolution is the confluence of anti-Christian ideas emanating from the so-called era of enlightenment.  These very same ideas unleashed the short-term devastation of the rape of nuns, the execution of priests, and the degradation of houses of worship.  The long-term affects have furthered the cause of eliminating God from all aspects of life blossoming further in the Communist Revolution in Russia and continued to bear the fruit of death in World Wars I & II.  From this compost grew what we now call modern liberalism & democratic socialism.

End of Summer Tito Edwards Simon Schama Citizens 500x625Happy Labor Day!

 

3

A Latin Smackdown in Tombstone

Tombstone Movie Poster

Tombstone is one of my favorite Western’s of all time.  The story line and plot is strong and engaging.  The actors chosen for their parts excelled in their characters, going so far as to even lose weight to represent the lean man of the wild west.  Attention to detail was of the up-most where filming was done in the actual Birdcage Theatre, saloons, and even Tombstone itself.

The film’s main scene is the infamous gunfight at the O. K. Corral, but it is the Ringo-Doc Holliday confrontation that is emblazoned in my memory.

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6

CatholicTV Interviews Dave Hartline of The Catholic Tide Continues to Turn

Our very own Dave Hartline talks to CatholicTV on their ClearVoice™ program concerning his new book, The Catholic Tide Continues to Turn.

CatholicTV is the oldest Catholic TV network in the United States having been launched on January 1, 1955 by the Archdiocese of Boston.  58 years later they are still in operation, available on cable and via the Internet; in HDTV as well!  They are called America’s Catholic Television Network with their studios and offices located in Watertown, Massachusetts.

23

Vive la France!

A million Frenchmen marched on the capital of France, Paris, in defense of Marriage this past weekend.  Catholics, Muslims, Jews, Homosexuals, Heterosexuals, Men and Women all marched to protest François Hollande’s attempt at completing the destruction of the Family and the Church which began in the French Revolution and continued with the May 68ers, has been stalled at the moment.

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19

Vote on a Design for Religious Freedom

My wife and I are creating decals to defend religious freedom.  The decals can be placed on bumpers or the rear windows of cars.  These decals will show Catholics our resolve to defend religious freedom.

The designs were done by a friend of ours who is entering the seminary and we would like to have your input on them. The design is that of the sign, the Chi Rho, that Constantine saw right before the battle at Milvian Bridge with the words right above this sign that said, “In Hoc Signo Vinces”.

We will be offering them for sale at a date to be determined.  These designs fall under creative commons.

The deadline to vote on them is on July 25 at midnight.

New Pastor for Houston’s Our Lady of Walsingham Parish of the Anglican Ordinariate

The following is an informal press release from Deacon James Barnett, the Parish Administrator for Our Lady of Walsingham:

Charles Hough, IV, who has received the necessary permission from the Holy See to be ordained as a Catholic priest, will assume this office on July 1, after his ordination. He and his wife, Lindsay, together with their two sons, will move from Fort Worth to Houston in June.

“Chuck Hough comes from a family with a very distinguished record of ministry, and he has himself demonstrated significant leadership gifts while serving in the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth,” said Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson. “His father served for many years as canon to the ordinary in Fort Worth, one of the best mentors for ministry there can be.”

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26

Miami Marlins Manager Ozzie Guillen Loves Castro, Should Be Fired

In a Time magazine interview Ozzie Guillen, major league baseball manager of the Miami Marlins and home to the largest number of Cuban expatriates, said that “I love Fidel Castro–I respect Fidel Castro.”

Fidel Castro, along with Che Guevara, have committed countless murders of innocent civilians, incarcerated many more, and the rest exiled to America.  Needless to say Castro is a monster that will take his place on the ash heap of history quite soon.

He apologized but the damage is done.  He denounced Castro, but it’s almost meaningless.  Of course I take him in his sincerity and accept the apology, but that doesn’t mean you are allowed to escape punishment.

There are some pundits and reporters say that this is America and we do have a right of free speech, so the Miami Marlins shouldn’t fire Guillen.  That’s where these pundits and reporters get it wrong, yes, Guillen has a right to free speech, but so do the Miami Marlins have a right to fire him in expressing their free speech as well.

The concept of free speech is that the U.S. allows it and they shouldn’t be persecuted for it by the U.S. government, but a private enterprise can do what they want.

Fire the guy.  He’s known to be a loud mouth and he had time to articulate his thoughts in a sit-down interview with Time magazine.  Plus the fact that he is from Venezuela where Hugo Chavez rules with impunity and is the Fidel’s BFF.  So I can see where his “love” for Castro is emanating from.

2

Vote for the National Catholic Register (Now)!

The National Catholic Register is tied with Our Sunday Visitor for the best Catholic Newspaper in Christendom! The voting ends tonight so vote and put the Reg over the top!

The National Catholic Register has been selected as a finalist in the 2012 About.com Catholicism Readers’ Choice Awards in these categories: Best Catholic Newspaper, Best Catholic Website, Best Catholic Radio Show, Best Catholic Facebook Page, Best Catholic to Follow on Twitter. You can cast one vote, in all five categories, every day of the voting period. Voting runs until 11:59 P.M. EST on Wednesday, March 21, 2012.

Click here to vote.

Note: The above was freely edited from the mad journalistic skillz of Matt “Not Pat” Archbold.

8

What Happened

For about five hours this morning ThePulp.it, The American Catholic, and Ignitum Today websites went down.  I want to make clear that we were not hacked, we did not get viruses planted, nothing of those natures.  What I can say is that precautions have been taken to prevent such an incident from occurring again.

I want to apologize to all our readers and visitors and affirm our dedication to providing you the content you all have expected from us on these websites.

Enjoy!

Tito Edwards

34

Obama’s Latest Fig Leaf is Not Acceptable

Update III:  The USCCB Pro-Life Director Richard Doerflinger and Congressman Chris Smith of New Jersey agree with me that this “accommodation” or “compromise” is unacceptable.  Sadly Sr. Keehan of the the Catholic Health Associate found this “satisfactory”.  It looks like Obama will be happy that Sr. Keehan is on board.  Of course, Planned Parenthood and Sr. Keehan agree.

Update II:  Rumor confirmed.  Insurance, that Religious Institutions pay into, will provide contraception, ie, it is still a violation of the First Amendment.

Update I: Rumor is that “Hawaii” compromise will be offered, but the bishops have already rejected this.  So basically it’s a poor attempt at stalling and not really offering a solution.

The buzz this morning is that Obama is “caving in” to the pressure and will announce a “compromise” today at 12:15pm Eastern.

The news reports are saying that Religious Organizations won’t have to offer birth control, only the insurance companies that these Religious Organizations provide will offer birth control.

Yeah, that’s the compromise.

If these reports are true, this is dead on arrival.  Changing the meaning of the words won’t do it.

14

Susan G. Komen Foundation Did Not Reverse Course, But It’s an Epic P.R. Disaster on Their Part

The Susan G. Komen Foundation did not reverse course as many have thought, suggested, or commented all over the Interwebs today.

Even Austin Ruse President of C-FAM is not sure and has issued this press release:

Statement by Austin Ruse on the Susan G. Komen Foundation

“Today the Susan G. Komen Foundation made an announcement that appears that they have reversed themselves on funding of Planned Parenthood. While I do not believe they have reversed themselves, it may turn out to be the case. We do not know.

What happened this week was nothing short of a Mafia shakedown campaign by Planned Parenthood against the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

Planned Parenthood told the Komen Foundation “either give us money or we will destroy you.” They were aided and abetted in this hostage taking by the mainstream media.

At this point, pro-lifers should cease their support of the Susan G. Komen Foundation. We should wait and see what happens. We know there are five more Komen grants to Planned Parenthood in the pipeline. If any more come up, we will know we have lost and Planned Parenthood has won.

I do not regret the work I did over the past days on this issue, neither should any pro-lifer. I only regret we could not have done more to make Komen strong and able to fight off the thuggish abortion giant, Planned Parenthood.

What the week has shown is that Planned Parenthood, an organization that is under criminal investigation all over this country, will stop at nothing to maintain their stranglehold on organizations like the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

We should continue to pray for Nancy Brinker and all of her colleagues at the Susan G. Komen Foundation.”

The American Papist and Steven D. Greydanus agree with me on this one.

Look at it from Komen’s perspective, they’re taking a public relations hit by the punks and thugs from Planned Parenthood and their allies.  It’s a war, a Culture War out there!

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2

Matthew’s Day Off, Extended Version (After 30 Years, New Ferris Bueller Commercial)

As one of our commenters found out, it’s a commercial for the ‘oh so choice’ 2012 Honda CR-V.  Here is what Honda has to say:

Celebrate the launch of the all-new 2012 CR-V, Honda brought Ferris Bueller’s Day Off back in a big game commercial. We cast Matthew Broderick as himself, skipping out on a day of acting work and living it up in his all-new CR-V. Relive movie history with Honda’s fresh twist and wonderful homage to this ’80s classic.

Think you’re a true fan of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off? We hid over two dozen references to the movie throughout the commercial. Some are obvious, some are very subtle. See how many you can find. #dayoff

 

35

Fr. Michael Rodriguez Responds to Bishop Ochoa

The following is a press release from Fr. Michael Rodriguez concerning the unprecedented legal action taken by (his) Bishop Armando Ochoa against him (I formatted the press release to eliminate spaces, content has not been touched or changed):

On January 12, 2012, Most Rev. Armando Ochoa, Administrator of the Diocese of El Paso, filed a lawsuit against me.  Once again, I want to reiterate that his action is dishonest and unjust.  I pose the simple question:  over the course of the past 9 ½ years, who is the one who has been laboring, struggling, sacrificing day and night, and caring for the spiritual and material well-being of San Juan Bautista Catholic Church?  Has it been Fr. Michael Rodríguez or Most Rev. Armando Ochoa?  Based on the factual record, which of the two has greater credibility when it comes to protecting and furthering the spiritual and material patrimony of San Juan Bautista?

SPIRITUAL GOODS

Over the course of my 9 ½ years as parish administrator of San Juan Bautista, by the grace and mercy of God, the following spiritual goods were “achieved”:

1) Restoration of the glorious Traditional Latin Mass

2) Gradual restoration of the Catholic Church’s sacred language, Latin

3) Gradual restoration of Gregorian Chant and sacred music

4) Devout and worthy reception of the Holy Eucharist on the tongue and kneeling, accompanied by preparatory and thanksgiving prayers

5) Silence at Holy Mass and a real catholic sense of the sacred

6) Modest dress and reverent behavior at Holy Mass and inside church

7) Two daily Masses at 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.

8. Holy Hours with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament at least four times per week

9) Regularly-scheduled Confessions at least five times per week;  Confession available at any time, day or night, by appointment

10) Stations of the Cross every Friday in both english (12:30 p.m.) and spanish (6:45 p.m.)

11) Parish Lenten Missions in both english and spanish

12) Numerous vocations to the priesthood and religious life

13) Christ the King, Corpus Christi, and Our Lady of Guadalupe Processions through the neighborhood

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37

Bp. Ochoa’s Legal Action Against Fr. Michael Rodriguez (UPDATED)

UPDATE IV:  Fr. Michael Rodriguez Releases a Second Press Release

UPDATE III:  Excellent synopsis at the El Paso Times

UPDATE IIBishops Ochoa Press Release 2012 01 11 – PDF

UPDATE I:  Court Documents: Bp. Ochoa Lawsuit Filed Against Fr. Rodriguez – PDF

Bishop Armando Ochoa of the Diocese of El Paso has raised serious accusations against Fr. Michael Rodriguez, the brave priest who stood up for the sanctity of marriage at the El Paso city council, by filing a legal action against Fr. Rodriguez due to alleged financial misconduct.

Fr. Michael Rodriguez has released the following statement:

It is unfortunate that Bishop Armando Ochoa, Administrator of the Diocese of El Paso and no longer our bishop, has decided to pursue legal action against me.  Such legal action is unjust.

Over the course of 9 1/2 years as the parish priest of San Juan Bautista Catholic Church, I poured my heart and soul into caring for this parish, both in terms of temporal goods, and especially spiritual goods.  I’m confident that hundreds of my former parishioners will eagerly testify to this.

In his January 11, 2012, press release, Bishop Ochoa stated, “Fr. Rodríguez’s handling and use of donated funds has compromised the financial integrity of San Juan Bautista.”  This is not true.  Bishop Ochoa’s statement also refers to “Fr. Rodríguez’s mishandling of funds.”  Again, this is not true.  I have always honored, respected, and made good use of the financial patrimony of San Juan Bautista.  I stake my entire reputation on this claim.

On September 20, 2011, I opened my heart to my bishop, like a son to a father, and was completely honest and forthcoming with him as to the financial affairs of San Juan Bautista.  I told him everything.  He chose not to believe me.  For the past four months, my canon lawyer has made repeated efforts to resolve this matter with Most Rev. Armando Ochoa, and he has refused.

I have a great love for my former parish of San Juan Bautista, and my former parishioners.  I am ready to fight for and defend them, whatever the cost.  I am also ready to protect my own good name and reputation.  I have never misappropriated or misused parish funds.

Finally, I am convinced that the real reason for my former bishop’s actions against me is due to my defense of the Catholic Church’s teaching with regard to homosexuality as well as my adherence to the Roman Liturgy of 1962.  If necessary, I will present prodigious evidence to support this contention.

I will continue to do my best to be a good and holy priest, no matter the cost.  I will continue to proclaim and teach the truths of the Roman Catholic Church, especially in the area of sexual morality, no matter the cost.  I will continue to adhere to the Ancient Rite of the Roman Catholic Church, no matter the cost.  Please keep me in your prayers during this difficult trial.  Please entrust me and my priesthood to the loving protection of Sancta Dei Genetrix, the Most Holy Mother of God.

Thank you and may the good Lord bless you as this joyous Christmas season continues.

End of statement.

This news is just coming in as I type this.  The El Paso Diocesan website has crashed where the bishops press release originates from.  When I am rested early tomorrow morning, I will transcribe the PDF file that I have of this press release in full.

Let us pray for all involved.

65

January TAC GOP Presidential Poll

UPDATE 1-8-2012:  We have eliminated Ron Paul due to spamming issues.  If you feel the need to cast a vote for Ron Paul, please do s0 by leaving a comment.

John Bolton, Rudy Giuliani, Buddy Roemer, and Paul Ryan never announced their candidacy for the GOP nomination as some had speculated, so they have been removed from the TAC Poll.  In addition, Gary Johnson has removed himself from consideration the moment he accepted the Libertarian Party Nomination.  Herman Cain has suspended his campaign which is nothing more than preventing the inevitable.

Here’s our latest poll so please vote in anticipation of the Iowa Caucuses (voting ends 7pm this Friday):

 

3

VirtuousPla.net is Now Ignitum Today

With the new year upon us the fledgling Catholic website for Young Adults has changed their name from VirtuousPla.net to Ignitum Today.  Ignitum Today offers wonderfully well written articles by young adults from all walks of life.  In our short time, I am one of the Chief Editors, we have introduced to the Catholic blogosphere such dynamic writers such as Fr. Ryan Erlenbush and Marc Barnes.

The change of the name is only cosmetic, the mission and overall content of Ignitum Today remains the same.  This change was set upon us by a copyright dispute that has not affected us in any other way besides the name change.

We look to evangelize our faith by sharing the stories of the JP2 and B16 Generation for all.  We hope you come and visit us soon (now would be better)!

5

MSNBC/NY Times Poll Alert: “Are Religious Rights Being Trampled on by Government?”

Fr. Z says it best:

Perhaps other blogs will pick this up and help.

An article from the ultra-liberal New York Times (“Hell’s Bible”) is posted on the even more liberal MSNBC.

The article concerns the objections of the USCCB against pressure from the Obama Administration and/or states to force Catholic adoption agencies to allow homosexual “couples” to adopt.

You have to scroll down to the bottom of the MSNBC webpage to find the poll form.

Click here!

10

Sly, Bruno, and Arnold Together Again

Action films have always been a favorite of mine and nothing comes close to action as those from the 80s.  With Expendables 2 coming out any man worth his salt will make a beeline to the nearest theater to watch an ensemble of some of the best of the 80s and today’s action stars.

In addition to Stallone, Willis, and Schwarzenegger you see my personal favorite Jason Statham along with Dolph Lundgren, Mickey Rourke, Chuck Norris, and Jean-Claude Van Damme.  Of course there are more, but I’ll let you all figure the rest out in this trailer.

5

Newt Gingrich on His Catholic Faith and the Eucharist

Newt Gingrich was interviewed by Sean Hannity a few days ago where the topic of conversation were his thoughts on his presidential run.  During the course of the conversation the topic of faith came along in which Speaker Gingrich spoke about receiving the Eucharist.

Look for his comments on the Eucharist at the 00:52 exactly.

33

Newt Gingrich: Receiving the Eucharist Brings Me Peace

Just listened to parts of the Newt Gingrich tonight by Sean Hannity while I was working and Speaker Gingrich said in the most Catholic language imaginable how receiving the Eucharist brings him peace and comfort.

That was an incredible line.  As soon as I can find it on YouTube, I’ll post it, but I may begin budging towards Gingrich based simply on his faith!

16

Our Intellectual Elites: Pope Benedict XVI is a Nazi

Susan Sarandon comes out at a film festival and calls our German Shepherd a Nazi.

Words can’t describe what I want so say, so I’ll just print the excerpt from The Hollywood Reporter:

Sarandon was interviewed by Bob Balaban at the Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor on Saturday. She said she sent the pope a copy of the anti death penalty book, Dead Man Walking, authored by Sister Helen Prejean. Sarandon starred in the 1995 big-screen adaptation.

“The last one,” she said, “not this Nazi one we have now.”

Tofu anyone, while trying to digest the latest from Hollywood?

6

945th Anniversary of the Battle of Hastings

Today, October 14 Anno Domini 2011, the Battle of Hastings occurred between the Anglo-Saxon King Harold and Duke William of Normandy.

The following is an animated version of the Bayeux Tapestry [1].

King Harold had a depleted force of 5,000 foot soldiers from a decisive victory of the combined Viking forces of Tostig and Harald Hadrada in the north of England the previous month.  Whilst Duke William had a force of 15,000 infantry, cavalry, and archers.  Facing superior numbers King Harold took up a defensive position that nearly won the day if it wasn’t for Duke William’s resilient command of a deteriorating situation.

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29

October TAC GOP Presidential Poll

Rick Perry has suffered in the secular polls due to his performance in the debates, Herman Cain has gained traction, Mitt Romney has remained stable and just received an endorsement from Chris Christie who himself has officially stated he will not run for president (this time around).  In addition both Sarah Palin and Thad McCotter have also announced they will not pursue the nomination, in all this, Rick Santorum has maintained a lead among TAC readers of all candidates.

Will Santorum continue his popularity among Catholics or not?

Here’s our latest poll so please vote after watching tonight’s GOP debate:

19

President Obama Mocks U.S. Catholic Bishops: “Darn Tooting!”

President Obama mocked Catholic bishops at a St. Louis fundraiser last night as he was touting the new Health & Human Services regulations that would require Catholic institutions to go against the teachings of Jesus.

“Darn right!” an audience member at the fundraiser shouted as Obama described the regulation.

“Darn tooting!” Obama said back.

The contempt that President Obama has shown towards Christians is almost palpable.

This is a man that worships himself on Sundays by lifting weights instead of attending a Church service.

It is becoming imperative that President Obama needs to be voted out of office next year due to this incident and many other policies that he has implemented.

 

25

Sexual Authenticity: An Intimate Reflection on Homosexuality and Catholicism

An Article by Melinda Selmys, author of the book Sexual Authenticity: An Intimate Reflection on Homosexuality and Catholicism.

Twelve years ago, I converted to Catholicism and began a long dialogue with my own sexuality. At the time, I was involved in a lesbian relationship that had been going on for a little over six years. I had, in the course of researching the Catholic position  with  a  view  to  refuting  it,  encountered  the  Church’s  teachings  on homosexual relationships before, so when I decided to embrace the Church as my mother, I knew that meant giving up my lesbian partner. I called her that night and explained my decision.

At the time, I thought that I was signing up for a life of celibacy. I was okay with that:  before I became a Catholic I was a hard rationalist, and it wasn’t a long stretch to port my idealistic devotion to rational self-possession into an iron-clad commitment to  Catholic sexual teaching. I would simply apply my will to the problem, subsume my passions to the rule of Reason, and everything would be fine. Right?

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2

Cross & Eagle Award for Most Improved Blog

The Cross & Eagle Awards (C&EA) will be recognizing another legend and this particular blogger is in the field of apologetics.

This defensor fidei travels the country evangelizing both Catholics and non-Catholics alike, educating in the Catholic faith, and defending the eternal Truths.

In my estimation, he probably created his blog with minimal thought, not knowing what a tremendous tool it could be to evangelize.

Imagine not having to travel to another parish hall or hotel to do another presentation in person.  Not that he has stopped doing this, it’s that he can now reach a wider audience.

Unfortunately his blog wasn’t one of the best out there.

This all changed recently.

He changed the layout, improved the graphics by leaps and bounds, and made it much more interactive.  Yes, he improved the look of his blog overall.

Who is this mustachioed Catholic?

I am happy to present the 2011 Cross & Eagle Award for the Most Improved Blog in the Catholic Blogosphere to. . .

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5

Cross & Eagle Award for Most Prolific Blogger

The Cross & Eagle Awards (C&EA) will be honoring a true legend in Catholic Blogosphere history.

To qualify even for consideration you need not only be talented in writing and knowledgeable about our Catholic faith, you need to write often.  That is the kicker.

Many a Catholic blogger has stopped blogging due to an increase in the family unit, new job, blogging fatigue, carpal tunnel affliction, and even death.  And that’s just a short list.

This particular blogger didn’t allow a growing family nor inclement weather stop him.  Not even a beard that has gotten out of control has slowed down this convert.

Being a warrior for Christ, he is horizontally integrated in various forms of media battling heresy and anti-Catholicism in it’s many forms as well as educating the faithful and non-Catholic in our rich and long Catholic Tradition.

Even when his template was no longer supported or his antiquated version of blogger, he stayed the course, WordPress be damned!

Don’t know who this character of the Wild, Wild Web is?

Here is only a sample of the many publications he writes for online:

Crisis Magazine, National Catholic Register, Catholic Exchange, Inside Catholic, and a whole lot more.

I am happy to present the 2011 Cross & Eagle Award for the Most Prolific Blogger in the Catholic Blogosphere to. . .

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1

VirtuousPla.net, The Social Network for Young Adult Catholics

I’d like to announce a new Catholic website targeted for Young Adults:

VirtuousPla.net will be providing Catholic perspectives on every topic that matters to young adults–life, religion, relationships, and fun.

We have gathered 30 of some of the brightest young adult Catholics in the world that are already providing insightful articles ranging from current events to poetry.

Please click on the pic above or click here to see what it’s all about!