- Declaration of Independance – read the transcript and the history of the founding document of our nation (Library of Congress) | learn more about the battle for its preservation (PBS NOVA)
- Catholic Sources and the Declaration of Independence by Rev. John C. Rager. The Catholic Mind XXVIII, no. 13 (July 8, 1930), looks at synergies between the thought of Aquinas and Bellarmine and that expressed in the Declaration, asking: “Did Jefferson know of Bellarmine?”? (In How Catholic is the Declaration of Independence?, Commonweal takes a look at the “Scholastic-roots-of-democracy theory”; and CatholicHistory.net provides a bibliography on Catholics and the American Founding).
- Carl Olson interviews Dr. Bradley J. Birzer, author of American Cicero: The Life of Charles Carroll (Ignatius Insight) | Learn more about our Catholic founding father
- What do Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI think about the American Founding?.
- Discover the riches of The Federalist Papers – by way of a commentary by Paul Zummo (The Cranky Conservative), who maintains: “I absolutely believe that an understanding of the Federalist Papers is essential for understanding the U.S. Constitution and, therefore, understanding America.”
- Listen to Johnny Cash recite “I am the Nation”.
A Eucharistic flash mob in the centre of Preston, organised by the Capuchin Franciscans on Ascension Thursday 2011.
Last week, we bishops met for our annual Spring Meeting, this year in Seattle. We had a lot of business: liturgical matters, revision of the Charter to Protect Youth, approval of a defense of fragile human life against physician-assisted suicide, a decision to issue a document to help our priests, deacons, and ourselves preach better . . . plus a lot more.
But the most productive session came on Friday morning. As usual, we began with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. But then we gathered as the Blessed Sacrament was placed in the monstrance on the altar. There we prayed: morning prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours; silence; an excellent conference by a brother bishop; silence; opportunity for confession; and closing Benediction.
It was, in my mind, the most productive part of our meeting. Nearly two hundred bishops, on their knees, in silent prayer, before Jesus, really and truly present in the Holy Eucharist.
As I tip-toed out of the room to stand in line for confession, I heard two of the young hotel workers chatting.
“It’s sure quiet in there,” whispered one of them. “What are they doing?”
“It’s weird,” replied the other. “They’re not doing nothing. They’re all just kneeling there quietly looking at this flat piece of bread in this fancy gold holder.”
He almost got it right . . . except that we believe, with all our heart and soul, that it’s not a “flat piece of bread,” but the second Person of the Blessed Trinity, Jesus Christ, really and truly present in the Sacrament of His Body and Blood.
As the Regional Priest Servant of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity (SOLT), I issue the following statement on behalf of the Society.
On 16 March 2011, the Bishop of Corpus Christi, Texas, and the SOLT received a complaint against Fr. John Corapi, SOLT. As is normal procedure and due to the gravity of the accusation alleging conduct not in concert with the priestly state or his promises as a member of a society of apostolic life of diocesan right, Fr. Corapi was suspended from active ministry (put on administrative leave) until such a time that the complaint could be fully investigated and due process given to Fr. Corapi. In the midst of the investigation, the SOLT received a letter from Fr. Corapi, dated June 3, 2011, indicating that, because of the physical, emotional and spiritual distress he has endured over the past few years, he could no longer continue to function as a priest or a member of the SOLT. Although the investigation was in progress, the SOLT had not arrived at any conclusion as to the credibility of the allegations under investigation.
At the onset, the Bishop of Corpus Christi advised the SOLT to not only proceed with the policies outlined in their own constitutions, but also with the proper canonical procedures to determine the credibility of the allegations against Fr. Corapi. We reiterate that Fr. Corapi had not been determined guilty of any canonical or civil crimes. If the allegations had been found to be credible, the proper canonical due process would have been offered to Fr. Corapi, including his right to defense, to know his accuser and the complaint lodged, and a fair canonical trial with the right of recourse to the Holy See. On June 17, 2011, Fr. John Corapi issued a public statement indicating that he has chosen to cease functioning as a priest and a member of the SOLT.
The SOLT is deeply saddened that Fr. Corapi is suffering distress. The SOLT is further saddened by Fr. Corapi’s response to these allegations. The SOLT will do all within its power to assist Fr. Corapi if he desires to seek a dispensation from his rights and obligations as a priest and as a professed member of the SOLT. We request your prayers and the intercession of the Blessed Mother for the healing of Fr. Corapi and for any who have been negatively affected by Fr. Corapi’s decision to end his ministry as a priest and a member of the SOLT.
Fr Gerrard Sheehan, SOLT
Regional Priest Servant
- Father Corapi’s Bombshell/a> by Joan Frawley Desmond. (National Catholic Register 6/19/11). Full coverage, including news that
“the order’s investigation faced complications created by a civil suit filed by Father Corapi against the former employee who had accused him of sexual misconduct.
“When she left the company, she signed a contract that she would not reveal anything that happened to her while she was at Santa Cruz Media. Father Corapi paid her for this. Father was suing her for a breach of contract.”
- “The Black Sheepdog is Unleashed” — against his unnamed accuser and the bishops. John Corapi responds.6/20/11
- “God Love You, God Bless You, and Good Bye” – Initial message of John Corapi (“once called ‘father,’ now ‘The Black Sheep Dog’”)
Almighty God, our heavenly Father, let thy protection be upon all those who are in the service of our country; guard them from all harm and danger of body and soul; sustain and comfort those as home, especially in their hours of loneliness, anxiety, and sorrow; prepare the dying for death and the living for your service; give success to our arms on land and sea and in the air; and grant unto us and all nations a speedy, just and lasting peace. Amen.
– Prayer in Time of War
‘You asked me once,’ said O’Brien, ‘what was in Room 101. I told you that you knew the answer already. Everyone knows it. The thing that is in Room 101 is the worst thing in the world.’
The door opened again. A guard came in, carrying something made of wire, a box or basket of some kind. He set it down on the further table. Because of the position in which O’Brien was standing. Winston could not see what the thing was.
‘The worst thing in the world,’ said O’Brien, ‘varies from individual to individual. It may be burial alive, or death by fire, or by drowning, or by impalement, or fifty other deaths. There are cases where it is some quite trivial thing, not even fatal.’
He had moved a little to one side, so that Winston had a better view of the thing on the table. It was an oblong wire cage with a handle on top for carrying it by. Fixed to the front of it was something that looked like a fencing mask, with the concave side outwards. Although it was three or four metres away from him, he could see that the cage was divided lengthways into two compartments, and that there was some kind of creature in each. They were rats.
‘In your case,’ said O’Brien, ‘the worst thing in the world happens to be rats.’ [George Orwell's 1984 Part III, Chapter 5.]
Those familiar with Orwell’s 1984 know what happens next. And if you haven’t, here’s the final scene of the movie adaptation (embedding disabled).
“What John McCain suffered actually was torture. His bones were broken, for example. Induced panic isn’t torture.”
“I don’t base the definition of torture on subjective determinations. Clearly it’s an issue of prudential judgment and it is certainly clear to me, someone who has severe panic attacks, that panic is not torture.”
“If we cannot induce panic in our enemies with the intention of saving millions of lives, we can’t go to war at all. It’s as simple as that.”
Waterboarding is for pansies. If Ab? Zubaydah could withstand being waterboarded 83 times during August 2002, we’re clearly not doing it right. Let’s turn up the panic a few notches. Let’s take it one step further. Let’s put the fear of God almighty in these pathetic excuses for humanity.
Let’s go Orwellian — “Room 101″ style.
Blogging for the Jesuit national weekly America, Tom Beaudoin (associate professor of theology in the Graduate School of Religion at Fordham) indulges in speculation about the theological and cultural significance of … Lady Gaga, soliciting reflections from a new generation of budding scholars and theologians on Lady Gaga’s “ethos of ‘authenticity’” — as in the following, from a faculty member of Marymount School in NY:
“But to think about incarnation in another way, imagine Gaga performing unplugged and sans makeup as her natural-born self. She would then be not the Gaga sanctified and worshipped as “Mother Monster” on a (media) pedestal, but the Gaga-who-walks-among-us, the one who knows and understands the pain of being freak, outcast, and reject.“
Recall the furor back in 2005 when the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, under the direction of then-Cardinal Ratzinger, gave the order to dismiss Fr. Thomas J. Reese, former editor of America. The CDF has been long concerned about the Jesuit publication’s promotion of positions on moral issues often in conflict with Catholic teaching. And insofar as the heterodox theological output of America was taken seriously, the Vatican’s concerns seemed warranted.
But in this case, I would encourage Mr. Beaudoin and company to keep up the good work.
Robert Holmes “Rob” Bell Jr. is an American “megachurch” pastor and author of such trendy books as Velvet Elvis: Repainting the Christian Faith, and Sex God: Exploring the Endless Connections between Sexuality and Spirituality. His latest book, Love Wins, which from what I can tell is an exploration of Christian universalism, has caused quite a stir of late.
I don’t know a great deal about Rob Bell, save for my stumbling on this video this morning of Rob Bell preaching on the Resurrection.
Now — ordinarily, you might think the the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead would be sufficient enough to provoke some stirring of human wonder in the listener.
Rather, the resurrection (or Rob Bell’s speculations on the meaning of such) has to be accompanied by a hip modern rock soundtrack and a streaming psychedelic light show such as I might have enjoyed — oh, perhaps two decades ago, at a Grateful Dead concert, “under the influence.” To such an extent that, at least from my perspective, the content of his message is repressed, obscured by the barrage of the senses.
What is it with these modern, megachurch televangelists?
What does this say about the attention span of the intended audience?
Has the gospel become so boring that we really have to be entertained by it?
Yes, we believe in God, the Creator of heaven and earth. And we celebrate the God who was made man, who suffered, died, was buried and rose again.
We celebrate the definitive victory of the Creator and of his creation.
We celebrate this day as the origin and the goal of our existence.
We celebrate it because now, thanks to the risen Lord, it is definitively established that reason is stronger than unreason, truth stronger than lies, love stronger than death.
We celebrate the first day because we know that the black line drawn across creation does not last for ever.
We celebrate it because we know that those words from the end of the creation account have now been definitively fulfilled: “God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good” (Gen 1:31). Amen.
Easter Vigil: Homily of His Holiness Benedict XVI
St. Peter’s Basilica. 23 April 2011.