Current Articles of Interest

Friday, January 30, 2009

Vatican daily clarifies scope and limits of lifting of Lefebvrists’ excommunication

Rome, Jan 27, 2009 / 02:16 pm (CNA).- The Vatican’s daily newspaper L’Osservatore Romano published an editorial Monday clarifying the scope and limits of the lifting of the excommunication of four bishops ordained by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre in 1988. The editorial stressed that the gesture does not yet mean a return to “full communion” with the Church and moreover is a call to the “full acceptance of the Magisterium, obviously including the Second Vatican Council.”

“Benedict XVI has pronounced important words recalling that ‘the elderly among us also do not forget the first announcement of the Council made by John XXIII on January 25, 1959, exactly 50 years ago.’ It was a gesture that Pope Ratzinger today defines as a ‘providential decision’ prompted by the Holy Spirit and that our newspaper by no accident recalls with emphasis on the day of the lifting of the excommunication.”

(Full story at CNA)

Obama Tells Democrats to Drop Planned Parenthood Stimulus Funds After Outrage

by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 27, 2009

Washington, DC ( -- After a national pro-life outcry following news that Congressional Democrats placed a bailout for the Planned Parenthood abortion business in the economic stimulus bill, President Barack Obama has urged party leaders to remove it. Obama is expected to tell Congressional Republicans today during a meeting.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs talked about how Obama is worried that keeping the provision in the bill could jeopardize its potential for passage.

"While [Obama] agrees that greater access to family planning is good policy, the president believes that the funding for it does not belong in the economic recovery and reinvestment plan," he said. (Full story at

Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Niece Challenges Barack Obama on Abortion Today

by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 23, 2009

Washington, DC ( -- The niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., will lead a prayer vigil and memorial outside the White House this morning to remember unborn children killed in abortions. Civil rights activist Alveda King will place 1400 flowers in front of the White House to honor the number of black babies who die from abortions.

The event is part of the outreach directed this week to newly-minted President Barack Obama in an effort to get him to reverse his pro-abortion position.

King will deliver the keynote address at the ceremony and she told earlier this week how she is disappointed that Obama is betraying the cultural pro-life views of the black community.

“Over 45 years ago, my Uncle, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., wrote from a Birmingham jail cell that ‘[i]njustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,’” King said. “Today, there is no greater injustice than that suffered by the 4,000 babies, 1,400 of them black, who die on any given day at the hands of abortionists."
(Full story at

Anglican Rumors Denied

Posted by Tom McFeely
Thursday, January 29, 2009 1:30 PM

Archbishop John Hepworth, head of the Traditional Anglican Communion. (Wikipedia)A Vatican source has denied rumors that Rome has decided to create a personal prelature for members of the Traditional Anglican Communion.

Leaders of the Traditional Anglican Communion, an international group of disaffected Anglicans that claims to have more than 400,000 members, have been in discussions with Rome since late 2007 about entering the Church as a corporate body.
The group broke with the Anglican hierarchy in 1990 because of objections to the ordination of women and other heterodox actions undertaken by some of the churches that belong to the Anglican Communion.
(Full story at

Bishop Williamson apologizes for ‘imprudent’ Holocaust remarks

Rome, Jan 30, 2009 / 06:10 pm (CNA).- A bishop whose excommunication was recently lifted by the Pope has written a letter to a leading cardinal expressing his regret for the “unnecessary distress and problems” he had caused by making “imprudent” remarks allegedly denying the Holocaust.

The bishop quoted the Prophet Jonah who told shipmates “throw me into the sea” to halt a tempest.

Bishop Richard Williamson is one of the four bishops leading the traditionalist group Society of St. Pius X (SSPX). The bishops’ 1988 excommunications were lifted last week by Pope Benedict in an effort to advance Church unity. (Full story at CNA)

SSPX leader apologizes for Bishop Williamson’s Holocaust denial

Menzingen, Jan 27, 2009 / 06:56 pm (CNA).- Today the leader of the Society of St. Pius X, Bishop Bernard Fellay, apologized to Pope Benedict XVI for comments made by Bishop Richard Williamson in which he denied the Holocaust during an interview on Swedish television last week.

According to Reuters, Bishop Williamson’s remarks sparked widespread criticism by Jewish communities, especially since they came on the eve of his reconciliation with the Catholic Church. On Saturday, the Holy Father lifted the excommunication of Bishops Williamson, Fellay and two other prelates from the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) who were ordained by Marcel Lefebvre in 1988. (Full story at CNA)

Amid Pressure Democrats Drop Contraceptive Funding from Stimulus Bill

From EWTNews

Washington DC, Jan 27, 2009 (CNA).- A $200 million provision for contraception programs is being dropped from the $825 billion stimulus package following criticism from pro-lifers and Republican congressmen.

President Barack Obama personally called House Democratic leaders to ask them to remove the provision, an Obama aide told CNN. One of his calls reportedly went to Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and one of the most influential liberal members of Congress.

The president reportedly urged the provision’s removal because it was a hot button issue among Republicans and did not focus on creating jobs as quickly as possible.

The provision would have provided contraception to low-income families and removed a requirement that states seek permission from the federal government to provide family planning services for Medicaid recipients.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi entered into the fray in a weekend interview when she defended the allocation of millions as a cost reducing measure.

Pelosi also characterized the funding of the contraceptives as helping with the fiscal crisis. “The states are in terrible fiscal budget crises now and part of what we do for children's health, education and some of those elements are to help the states meet their financial needs. One of those - one of the initiatives you mentioned, the contraception, will reduce costs to the states and to the federal government,” she said.

Monday Fr. Thomas Euteneur of Human Life International criticized Pelosi’s justification of the proposal, charging that her argument reduced human beings to their economic value and also treated children as a hindrance to economic growth.
“What she and her fellow anti-life crusaders are doing is trying to sneak their destructive ideology into law by convincing the ignorant that it is fiscally necessary,” he charged in an e-mail to CNA.

Pope Benedict asks SSPX to accept Vatican II

From CNA News
Vatican City, Jan 28, 2009 / 11:20 am (CNA).- After delivering his usual Wednesday address today, Pope Benedict XVI explained his recent decision to lift the excommunications on four bishops ordained by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre in 1988. The Pope said he hopes the bishops will respond to his decision by accepting his authority and the teachings of Vatican II.

The four bishops in question--Bishops Bernard Fellay, Bernard Tissier de Mallerais, Richard Williamson and Alfonso del Gallareta--were all excommunicated by Pope John Paul II in 1988 because Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre chose to ordain them without permission from the Pope. These prelates compose the leadership of the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X (SSPX).

Pope Benedict explained his motivation for lifting the excommunications, saying, "I have undertaken this act of paternal benevolence because those same bishops have repeatedly expressed to me their profound suffering at the situation in which they found themselves.”

As he explained his reasons for removing the excommunications of the four bishops today, the Pope called on them to take the next step towards full reconciliation.

"I hope that this gesture of mine will be followed by a prompt commitment on their part to take the further steps necessary to achieve full communion with the Church, thus showing true faithfulness to, and true recognition of, the Magisterium and authority of the Pope and of Vatican Council II," Pope Benedict said.

Pontiff Tells Why He's Reaching Out to Lefebvrists

Points to Unity as "Explicit Duty" of a Pastor

VATICAN CITY, JAN. 28, 2009 ( Benedict XVI is offering a personal explanation for his decision to remove the excommunication of four traditionalist bishops ordained without papal permission.

The Pope spoke today at the general audience of the decree made public Saturday, which lifted the excommunication of four prelates of the Society of St. Pius X, illicitly ordained to the episcopate by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre in 1988. (Full story at