Monday, September 19, 2005

Vatican to Check U.S. Seminaries on Gay Presence

As reported here by the New York Times,
"The seminary review, called an apostolic visitation, will send teams appointed by the Vatican to the 229 seminaries, which have more than 4,500 students. The last such review began about 25 years ago and took six years to complete.

At each seminary, the visitors are to conduct confidential interviews with every faculty member and seminarian, as well as everyone who graduated in the last three years.

A 12-page document with instructions for the review is now being distributed to seminarians and faculty members. It asks whether the doctrine on the priesthood presented by the seminary is 'solidly based on the church's Magisterium,' or teaching, and whether teachers and seminarians 'accept this teaching.' Among the other questions are these:
- 'Is there a clear process for removing from the seminary faculty members who dissent from the authoritative teaching of the church or whose conduct does not provide good example to future priests?'
- 'Is the seminary free from the influences of New Age and eclectic spirituality?'
- 'Do the seminarians or faculty members have concerns about the moral life of those living in the institution? (This question must be answered).'
- 'Is there evidence of homosexuality in the seminary? (This question must be answered).'
The questionnaire also asks whether faculty members 'watch out for signs of particular friendships.' "

This is a good start to fixing the source of many problems in the United States. I hope this review provides the Pope with a clear view of the facts, and if so, I hope someone tells the Pope to sit down before reading the results.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Pope Reaches Out to Orthodox Church

The Pope said Sunday he is willing to "make it a fundamental commitment to work, with all my energy, toward reconstituting the full and visible unity of Christ's followers." This was during a Mass in Bari, Italy ending a national religious conference. After 1000 years of separation, such a goal is a lofty one. But can you imagine the mutual joy at such a reconciliation?

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

No Room For Those Who Nail Heresies to Church Doors?

E. J. Dionne Jr. has officially joined the chorus of whiners mouring the resignation of Rev. Thomas Reese from America Magazine. Dionne's latest column, titled "No Room For Dissent?", is just another example of how misunderstood Catholicism really is.

Dionne writes "...I failed to see hostility toward the church in Reese's magazine" and disagrees that Rev. Reese was writing against the sacred Tradition of the Church "because I think we see tradition differently". In other words, Dionne thinks the very definition of sacred Tradition is open for debate. He goes on to quote Jaroslav Pelikan as saying "Tradition is the living faith of the dead" and "Traditionalism is the dead faith of the living" - a clear attack on those who (rightly) attune their thinking to what the Church has not wavered on for 2000 years.

If Dionne thinks traditionalists have a "dead faith", he ought to do a survey to see how many of us are frequenting the sacraments and actively contributing their time, money, and energy to different Catholic ministries and works of charity in comparison to the liberals. Those who are too proud to conform their thinking to Christ's usually have other priorities.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Editor's Ouster is Only the Beginning

This New York Times article was a fun read. "'Pope Benedict XVI is clearly attending to lots of administrative and housekeeping concerns in the church,' the Rev. Joseph Koterski, the chairman of the philosophy department at Fordham University in New York City, said Friday. As for Father Reese's removal, Father Koterski said: 'There's a great desire for clarity about church teaching. A religious magazine that offers itself as a Catholic magazine does have to have clarity about what the church holds and why it holds it, and not simply be a lobbying force for changing position.'" Amen to that! But the best quote was from the Rev. Robert Drinan, who could only say "oh, boy" when learning that Archbishop Levada was selected to take over the position formerly held by Pope Benedict XVI.

Those who promote the "dictatorship of relativism" have no spider holes in which to hide.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Archbishop Levada to Assume Pope Benedict's Former Position

Archbishop Levada will become the new prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. What does this mean? Continuity for one thing. Archbishop Levada is by any measure an orthodox Catholic, and has even been a consulting member of the Congregation since 1997. But Archbishop Levada also has what can only be called "battlefield experience" in the Archdiocese of San Francisco, dealing with sexual scandals, homosexuality, same-sex marriage issues, church closings, and the decline in vocations. In other words, he knows first-hand of the troubles the Church has in the United States and might be very instrumental in bringing about the best possible solutions. I couldn't think of a better man for the job.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Pope Benedict XVI's Coat of Arms

EWTN has this really good description of the symbols. No apparent reference to olives is here. However, the combination of symbols indicates to me that this is a humble man (the use of the Miter rather than the Tiara), but one who is nonetheless authoritative (the Pallium strung through the keys) and will not fear to tame even a bear (Bear of Corbinian).

Pope Holds Out an Olive Branch to Nations without Vatican Ties

Pope Benedict XVI has invited countries not having diplomatic relations with the Vatican to do so. This might be an attempt to establish relations with certain countries that sent condolences or made other gestures after the death of Pope John Paul II, like Saudi Arabia, China, and Vietnam. Saudi Arabia and Vietnam both sent representatives to Pope Benedict's inaugural Mass.