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Fr. John Hardon has a wonderful article on his website entitled Conservative or Liberal Catholic.

I think his final paragraph states it quite nicely.

A question similar to those which began this essay was posed to a Catholic priest just recently. In response to the query, “Father, are you a conservative or liberal Catholic,” he replied, “I’m a Roman Catholic. I follow the guidelines of the Vatican.” The holder of the Petrine Office is the direct descendent of Peter to whom were handed the keys of the kingdom. His mandate is clear; our duty as Roman Catholics is to adhere to both the letter and the Spirit as the Holy Father delineates them for us, not pick and choose those aspects of Catholicism more to our liking. As 2 John 9 reminds us, anyone who “does not remain rooted in the teaching of Christ does not possess God, while anyone who remains rooted in the teaching possesses both Father and the Son.”


Tim Russert, host of NBC’s Meet the Press and the network’s chief political analyst, will be the speaker at this year’s St. Mary’s Education Fund Fall Dinner planned for Thursday, September 28, 2006 at White’s of Westport.

Proceeds from the annual Fall Dinner event support the St. Mary’s Education Fund, which provides need-based scholarships to students at Catholic elementary and middle schools in the Fall River diocese.

Russert attended Catholic schools in his native Buffalo, N.Y., and has often paid tribute to his teachers, saying that he was taught to read and write, but also to know right from wrong.

It may well be that a Sister of Mercy who is now serving in the Fall River diocese played a role in getting him started on his career in journalism.

According to Russert, it was Sr. Lucille Socciarelli, his seventh-grade teacher at Buffalo’s St. Bonaventure Grade School -and now a chaplain at Fall River’s Charlton Memorial Hospital- who took him aside at one point during the year and said, “Timmy, we have to find a way to channel your energy. I’m starting a new school newspaper, and you’re going to be the editor.”

He remembers doing the job and beginning a love of writing.

In an address at the 2005 Catholic Social Ministry Gathering, Russert said that “schools that are worth attending” should be at the top of a list of priorities aimed at improving the lives of young Americans.

Fall Dinner chairman Nicholas M. Christ of Citizens-Union Bank in Fall River is grateful that Russert accepted the invitation to speak at the dinner.

“We are so fortunate that Mr. Russert will be able to be with us for our Fall Dinner,” Christ said. “Throughout his very public career, he has always placed great importance on the education he received in Catholic schools. He is the ideal man to have on the program of an event designed to raise money to help families afford a Catholic education.”

Russert became moderator of Meet the Press in 1991 and since then has interviewed every major figure in American politics. His oft-quoted show has become the most watched Sunday morning interview program. He is also seen on NBC Nightly News and the Today show offering political commentary and on CNBC where he hosts his own weekly Tim Russert Show.

He is senior vice president and Washington bureau chief of NBC News, which he joined in 1984.

His work has been recognized with numerous major journalism awards and he holds some 41 honorary doctorate degrees from American colleges and universities.

In 2004 he found time to write a national bestseller, Big Russ and Me: Father and Son: Lessons of Life, a memoir about his father’s role in his life in which he remembered that the reason his father worked two jobs was to send his four kids to Catholic schools.

After St. Bonaventure, Russert graduated from Jesuit run Canisius High in Buffalo and Jesuit run John Carroll University in Cleveland. He then earned a law degree from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.

He and his family are members of a Catholic parish in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C., and he frequently writes and speaks of the role of faith in his life.

September’s Fall Dinner, to begin with a 5:30 p.m. reception, is one of two annual fund-raising events for the St. Mary’s Education Fund.

In the past academic year alone, the Fund provided over $660,000 in partial tuition aid to more than 650 students.

Dinner chairman Christ said that “a successful Fall Dinner is absolutely necessary if the St. Mary’s Fund is going to be able to assist the increasing numbers of students looking for help with tuition costs.”

Volunteer lay committees in four regions of the Fall River diocese are reaching out to businesses, community and academic leaders, and individuals to extend an invitation to sponsor a table or purchase a ticket for the Fall Dinner.

Anyone interested in attending or in need of more information, should contact the Diocesan Development Office at 508-675-1311.

The Diocese of Fall River has entered phase two of it’s five year pastoral planning process.
Bishop George Coleman has issued a statement which is available on PDF file here.

In his letter, Bishop Coleman writes:
“Generally speaking, phase two will focus on developing a greater understand of the mission of the church, and the responsibility that all the baptized have in caring for it’s future.”

Following yesterday’s Angelus, the Pope received in audience a delegation from the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, led by Ioannis (Zizioulas), metropolitan of Pergamo. The delegation has come to Rome for the occasion of the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul.

The Pope expressed his satisfaction for the fact that the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between Orthodox and Catholics will hold its plenary in Belgrade in September, presided by metropolitan Ioannis.

“Dialogue thus resumes its path and enters a new phase,” said the Holy Father in English. “Spontaneously we find ourselves wanting to pray that the Holy Spirit will enlighten and inflame our hearts, strengthening our common will to respond, insofar as it depends on us, to the Lord’s ardent prayer: ‘Ut unum sint;’ in this way, may the disciples of Christ, united in faith, together proclaim His Gospel to the whole world, so that, believing in Him, all will be saved.”

The Holy Father also recalled that he had received an invitation from the Turkish authorities, the Patriarchate and the local Catholic community in Turkey to make an apostolic pilgrimage to that country in November for the Feat of St. Andrew, and expressed the hope that he would be able to undertake the visit.

In the Vatican Basilica yesterday, Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, Apostles, the Pope presided at a Eucharistic concelebration with 27 metropolitan archbishops from 17 countries, upon whom in the course of the ceremony he imposed the pallium. Yesterday also marked the 55th anniversary of Benedict XVI’s own priestly ordination.

In keeping with tradition, the Mass was attended by a delegation from the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, led this year by Ioannis (Zizioulas), metropolitan of Pergamo and president of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between Catholics and Orthodox, and including Kallistos (Timothy Ware), bishop of Diokleia and assistant to the archbishop of Thyateira and Great Britain, and the archimandrite Dionysius Papavasileiou.

In his homily, the Pope recalled how Peter recognized Jesus as the Messiah and the Son of God and how, on this basis, his special task was conferred upon him “through three images: the rock that becomes the foundation stone or cornerstone, the keys, and the image of binding and loosening.”

Benedict XVI then highlighted the fact that Jesus, having made His promise to Peter, starts out towards Jerusalem and the Cross. “The Church – and in her Christ – also suffers today,” he said. “In her, Christ is once again scorned and beaten; once again an attempt is made to push Him out of the world. Once again, the little ship of the Church is shaken by the winds of ideologies … and she seems condemned to sink under the waters. And yet, it is precisely in the suffering Church that Christ is triumphant. Despite everything, faith in Him always reacquires new strength.”

The Lord “remains in His ship, in the little vessel of the Church,” the Pope added. “In the same way, Peter’s ministry reveals, on the one had, the weakness of man’s faculties, but at the same time the strength of God. It is precisely in the weakness of men that the Lord shows His strength.”

Peter’s task, the Holy Father continued, was also “never to let this faith become mute, but ever to reinvigorate it, even before the cross and all the contradictions of the world.”

After mentioning Peter’s three denials, Benedict XVI said: “through this fall, Peter – and with him the Church in all times – must learn that one’s own strength is not enough to build and guide the Church of the Lord. No one can manage it alone. However capable and able Peter many seem, at the first moment of trial he failed.”

“For all those who have responsibility in the Church; for all those who suffer the confusion of these times; for the great and the small: Lord, protect us always and anew and thus raise us up when we fall and take us into Your good hands.”

The Lord also entrusted Peter, Pope Benedict said, with the task of “presiding over universal communion, and of maintaining it present in the world in the form of unity, a unity that is also visible.”

After greeting the metropolitan archbishops appointed in the course of the last year, who received the pallium during today’s ceremony, the Pope also addressed some words to the delegation from the Ecumenical Patriarchate: “I thank Patriarch Bartholomew I and the Holy Synod for this sign of fraternity, which expresses the desire and commitment to progress more rapidly along the road to the full unity invoked by Christ for all His disciples. We share the burning desire once expressed by Patriarch Atenagora and by Pope Paul VI: to drink together from the same chalice and to eat together the same bread, which is the Lord Himself. On this occasion, we again implore that this gift be granted us soon.”

Palliums were conferred on the following metropolitian archbishops:

1. Cardinal Jorge Liberato UROSA SAVINO, archbishop of Caracas, Venezuela.

2. Cardinal Crescenzio SEPE, archbishop of Naples, Italy.

3. Archbishop Louis CHAMNIERN SANTISUKNIRAN of Thare and Nonseng, Thailand.

4. Archbishop Jose Belisario DA SILVA, O.F.M., of Sao Luis do Maranhao, Brazil.

5. Archbishop Jabulani NXUMALO, O.M.I., of Bloemfontein, South Africa.

6. Archbishop Jorge Enrique JIMENEZ CARVAJAL, C.I.M., of Cartagena, Colombia.

7. Archbishop Tommaso VALENTINETTI of Pescara-Penne, Italy.

8. Archbishop Fabriciano SIGAMPA of Resistencia, Argentina.

9. Archbishop Odon Marie Arsene RAZANAKOLONA of Antananarivo, Madagascar.

10. Archbishop George Hugh NIEDERAUER of San Francisco, United States.

11. Archbishop Jose Luis MOLLAGHAN of Rosario, Argentina.

12. Archbishop Cornelius Fontem ESUA of Bamenda, Cameroon.

13. Archbishop Daniel N. DiNARDO of Galveston-Houston, United States.

14. Archbishop Antonio Javellana LEDESMA, S.J., of Cagayan de Oro, Philippines.

15. Archbishop Jose Serofia PALMA of Palo, Philippines.

16. Archbishop Sylvain LAVOIE, O.M.I., of Keewatin-Le Pas, Canada.

17. Archbishop Joviano DE LIMA JUNIOR, S.S.S., of Ribeirao Preto, Brazil.

18. Archbishop Luigi CONTI of Fermo, Italy.

19. Archbishop Franc KRAMBERGER of Maribor Slovenia.

20. Archbishop Ignazio SANNA of Oristano, Italy.

21. Archbishop Francois-Xavier MAROY RUSENGO of Bukavu, Democratic Republic of the Congo).

22. Archbishop Jean-Pierre KUTWA of Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

23. Archbishop Andrea MUGIONE of Benevento, Italy.

24. Archbishop Orlando BRANDES of Londrina, Brazil.

25. Archbishop Georges PONTIER of Marseille, France.

26. Archbishop Donald William WUERL of Washington, United States.

27. Archbishop Wojciech ZIEMBA of Warmia, Poland.

This has been around for a while and I have meant to post it here for a long time. Gerald at the Closed Cafeteria wrote a wonderful post that I won’t even try to compete with.

The priest dancing with the book of the Gospels and the weird people waving banners…it’s just all too weird. What is the deal with the applause when the priest reached the ambo? Were the applauding because they were glad it was over, or were they glad that he survived whatever seizure they thought he was having?

Check out the video here.

I got two packages in the mail today. They both contained items that I was thrilled to recieve.
The first contained an antique silver pendant of the Papal coat of arms.
The second contained a baseball cap from the swearing in on the Swiss Guard.

I will try to take pics of them tomorrow.

This comes via Fr. Dennis.

The bishop of the Diocese of Tyler, Alvaro Corrada, is advocating the return to the practice of administering the Sacrament of Confirmation before the Eucharist.

You can read his reflection here.

For the occasion of the Fifth World Meeting of Families, due to be held in Valencia, Spain from July 1 to 9, Benedict XVI will concede Plenary Indulgence to those faithful who participate in any of the associated celebrations and in the closing ceremony, according to a decree from the Apostolic Penitentiary made public yesterday afternoon.

The Holy Father will attend the closing ceremony of the meeting and hopes, the decree states, “that the many people from all over the world who come together in Valencia may participate enthusiastically and dutifully in the various initiatives and liturgical celebrations taking place there in favor of the family, and that, having returned to their own homes fortified by the grace of God, they may dedicate themselves generously to moulding their own families and those of their neighbors to the holy rules of the Gospel.”

Moreover, the decree continues, the Pope asks the Most Holy Trinity “that great benefit may be forthcoming to the Church; especially through profound reflection on the theme of the family, seat of life and of love, domestic church in which parents transmit to children the priceless gift of faith.”

“The Supreme Pontiff,” the decree adds, “grants Plenary Indulgence to the faithful under the usual conditions (sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion and prayer in keeping with the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff, with the soul completely removed from attachment to any form of sin), if they participate in any of the solemn functions held in Valencia during the Fifth World Meeting of Families, and in the solemn closing ceremony.

“All other faithful who are unable to participate in that event, may obtain the same gift of Plenary Indulgence, under the same conditions, over the days the meeting is held and on its closing day if, united in spirit and thought with the faithful present in Valencia, they recite in the family the ‘Our Father,’ the ‘Creed,’ and other devout prayers calling on Divine Mercy to concede the above-mentioned aims.”

The Apostle James the Less was the subject of Benedict XVI’s catechesis at today’s general audience, held in St. Peter’s Square in the presence of 40,000 people.

The Pope recalled how James the Less “played a preeminent role within the Church in Jerusalem. … In the apostolic council held there … he affirmed, together with others, that pagans could be welcomed into the Church without first undergoing circumcision.”

“St. Paul,” the Pope went on, “names him even before Peter as a ‘pillar’ of the Church,” and “the Jewish-Christians considered him to be their principal point of reference.” Together with Peter, he helped “to integrate the original Jewish dimension of Christianity with the need not to impose all the precepts of Mosaic Law upon pagan converts.”

“In this way, two significant and complementary results were achieved, both of them still valid: on the one hand, the indissoluble relationship linking Christianity and Judaism was recognized, … on the other, Christians of pagan origin were allowed to maintain their own sociological identity. … Thus began a process of reciprocal esteem and respect which, despite unfortunate later misunderstandings, sought by its nature to safeguard the characteristic elements distinguishing each of the two sides.”

The New Testament Letter attributed to this Apostle “places much emphasis on the need not to reduce one’s own faith to a mere abstract or verbal declaration, but to express it solidly in works of charity. … He calls us to constancy in trials, … and to faithful prayer to God for the gift of wisdom, thanks to which we come to understand that the true values of life are not to be found in transitory riches, but rather in knowing how to share our own wealth with the poor and needy.”

Following his catechesis, Benedict XVI greeted pilgrims in various languages. Among the groups present were participants in a meeting promoted by the “Family of St. Luigi Orione,” for the “Feast of the Pope” the theme of which is: “Many Hearts around the Pope, Evangelizer of Life.” The Pope thanked them for this initiative and invited them “to continue bearing witness to the Gospel of life through all your institutions and activities, seeking especially to serve the weak and the needy.”

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