Current Articles of Interest

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Pope proclaims special Year for Priests starting June 19

from (

Pope Benedict XVI has called a special Year for Priests, to begin on June 19 and run through the same date in 2010. The special year-- coinciding with the 150th anniversary of the death of St. Jean Marie Vianney, the Curé of Ars-- is designed to strengthen the "missionary identity" of all Catholic priests, the Pope said.

In making his announcement on March 16, in a meeting with members of the Congregation for Clergy, underlined the importance of formation for candidates for the priesthood. The proper training, he said, should encourage "communion with unbroken ecclesial Tradition, without pausing or being tempted by discontinuity." Toward that end, the Pontiff added, seminarians should be schooled in "a correct reading of the texts of Vatican Council II, interpreted in the light of all the Church's doctrinal inheritance."

While he stressed the need to strengthen the missionary identity of the priesthood, Pope Benedict cautioned against pastoral plans that would make it possible "to 'do without' ordained ministry," saying that such plans could "lay the foundations for a further dilution of priestly ministry." Apparently referring to plans for "priestless parishes" in regions where the shortage of priests has become acute, the Pope warned that such efforts to cope with the shortage could actually aggravate the problem.

Shortly after the Pope made his state, the Vatican announced that the Holy Father will open the Year for Priests with a Vespers service in St. Peter's basilica on June 19. Bishop Guy Bagnard of Belley-Ars, France, will bring the relics of St. Jean Vianney to the Vatican basilica for the occasion. During the year the Pope will formally proclaim the Curé of Ars as the patron saint of all the world's priests.

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Condoms cannot solve AIDS, Pope tells press on flight to Africa


Speaking to reporters who accompanied him on the 6-hour flight from Rome to Yaounde, Cameroon, on March 17, Pope Benedict XVI said that the distribution of condoms cannot stop the AIDS epidemic, and "even aggravates the problem." The spread of AIDS, which is rampant in sub-Saharan Africa, will not be halted by money alone, the Holy Father said; it will require changes in behavior, prompted by moral as well as medical principles. The Pope reminded reporters that the Catholic Church has been at the forefront of providing care for AIDS victims, especially in Africa.

The Pope left Rome's Fiumicino airport late on Tuesday morning, and was expected in Cameroon at 4 in the afternoon for an airport arrival ceremony at which he would be greeted by the country's President Paul Biya. After the arrival ceremony-- at which both the Pontiff and the president will deliver speeches-- Pope Benedict will travel to the residence of the apostolic nuncio in Yaounde, where he will spend the night.

[Check later for an updated story on the Pope's arrival in Cameroon.]

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Limbaugh, Obama, Stalin and Leadership

Who is the current leader of the Republican Party? No one. But there certainly is someone who wields the most influence over people who agree with the Republican Party platform, and that is Rush Limbaugh . 
How so? Because Limbaugh manages to do the three things any leader must do to be successful with a large group of people: he communicates direction, he earns trust, and he evokes desire in people to go in the direction he communicates. Those are the three fundamentals of leadership. (Full article at

Obama, Kruschev, and Limbaugh

When the Democrats took James Carville’s advice to attack Rush Limbaugh, it made perfect sense. Some people thought it was intended to distract us from the fact that Obama was spending money faster than the Monopoly Company could print it. I, on the other hand, believed it was setting us up for the passage of the so-called Fairness Doctrine. But in either case, it was a good strategy because, however you feel about Mr. Limbaugh, he rather closely resembles the way editorial cartoonists used to depict evil, over-fed, cigar-smoking capitalists.

(Full story at

Five Ways that Insanity Has Become the New Normal in America

Since Barack Obama has been elected, gun sales and copies of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged have flown off the shelves. Meanwhile, there's a Russian academic all over the news predicting that America will soon collapse, "tea parties" springing up all over the country, and the stock market has been doing a great impression of Michael Richards' career since he left Seinfeld
Is that because people have gone crazy? No, it's the reaction of sane people to the crazy as a football bat insanity that has begun to pass for conventional wisdom in large swathes of America. Living in this country today is like sitting in the back seat of a car that's hurtling towards the edge of a cliff at a hundred miles an hour while the driver fiddles with the radio and the guy in the passenger seat mocks the very idea of using brakes. (Full story at

Obama admin. to end use of term 'enemy combatant'

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Obama administration said Friday that it is abandoning one of President George W. Bush's key phrases in the war on terrorism: enemy combatant. But that won't change much for the detainees at the U.S. naval base in Cuba -- Obama still asserts the military's authority to hold them. Human rights attorneys said they were disappointed that Obama didn't take a new stance.
The Justice Department said in legal filings that it will no longer use the term "enemy combatants' to justify holding prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. (Full story at

Top Vatican Official Slams Choice of Kathleen Sebelius for Secretary of Health and Human Services

SAN DIEGO, CA, March 13, 2009 ( - The head of the Roman Catholic Church's highest office overseeing Church law has slammed the nomination of Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius as Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), calling the nomination "the source of greatest embarrassment" to the Catholic Church.

In an interview with Thomas J. McKenna, president of Catholic Action for Faith and Family, Archbishop Raymond L. Burke, Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, strongly supported the means by which the Governor has been disciplined by her bishop because of her public support for abortion. Kansas Archbishop Joseph Naumann has been strongly critical of Sebelius in the past, publicly admonishing her not to receive Communion, and has called Obama's nomination of the governor "offensive." 
"Archbishop Naumann acted with exemplary pastoral charity in the matter, protecting the Body and Blood of Christ from unworthy reception, preventing the Governor from the commission of the most serious sin of sacrilege, and ending the great scandal caused by the Governor's unworthy reception of the Body and Blood of Christ" said Archbishop Burke in the interview.

When asked for his opinion on the nomination of Governor Sebelius as Secretary of Health and Human Services he said, "As a Roman Catholic, her appointment is the source of the greatest embarrassment because she has publicly and repeatedly betrayed her Catholic faith."   (Full story at

Archbishop Burke sees 'embarrassment' in Sebelius nomination

from Catholic Culture

Archbishop Raymond Burke, the former head of the St. Louis archdiocese who now serves at the Vatican at the Apostolic Signatura, has said that the appointment of Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius to become US Secretary of Health and Human Services is "the source of the greatest embarrassment because she has publicly and repeatedly betrayed her Catholic faith.” The archbishop referred to the Obama nominee's aggressive support for legal abortion.

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JPII Beatification in 2010?

Let us pray God's will be done !!

According to the Italian daily La Stampa, John Paul II will be beatified on April 2, 2010 — the fifth anniversary of his death.
Reporter Giacomo Galeazzi reports that thanks to an acceleration in the beatification process, documents pertaining to John Paul’s cause, called the “positio,” have already been forwarded by a commission of theologians to be examined by cardinals .
“This is very good news,” says Msgr. Tadeusz Pieronek, the Polish priest who has been responsible for the diocesan phase of the beatification process in Krakow, La Stampa reported.

La Stampa adds that in early March, John Paul II’s former secretary, Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz of Krakow, said that the beatification process would be “finished in a few months.”

According to Cardinal Dziwisz, Pope Benedict XVI “wants to close the cause as soon as it is practical — the world demands it.”

La Stampa’s Galeazzi reports that in the last ten days the work of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints has undergone “a marked acceleration,” and consequently the late Pope will be proclaimed Blessed “earlier than expected.” He writes that only “new and unforeseen elements” could delay it.

The Vatican has neither officially confirmed or denied the news, which originated in the Polish media.

Pope Benedict XVI opened John Paul II’s beatification process soon after becoming Pope, and waived the rule that causes should not be investigated until five years after a candidate’s death. At the end of the diocesan phase, a miracle was discovered of a French nun, allegedly cured of Parkinson’s disease after praying to John Paul II.

However, not everyone at the Vatican is happy that John Paul II’s cause is proceeding so swiftly, mainly because there is still much the Church hasn’t been able to investigate about him. And the critics argue that the Church won’t know these details for some time because certain documents will be kept locked in the Vatican archives for many years to come.

“If the Vatican moves too quickly, it will be in danger of beatifying a personality rather than the person himself,” cautioned one official to the Register.

Still, those who worked with John Paul have little doubt about his sanctity.

“For me, John Paul II is a saint,” the former prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Cardinal José Saraiva Martins, has said.

— Edward Pentin