Death Knell for the Spirit of Vatican II

By Fr LW Gonzales On January 19th, 2011

Auxiliary Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Karaganda, Kazakhstan, at a conference held in Rome December 16-18, 2010, requests Pope Benedict to remedy the abuses of the doctrinal errors of interpretation of Vatican Council II with the release of a “Syllabus”. He says in part:

In recent decades there existed, and still exist today, groupings within the Church that are perpetrating an enormous abuse of the pastoral character of the Council and its texts, written according to this pastoral intention, since the Council did not want to present its own definitive or unalterable teachings. From the same pastoral nature of the texts of the Council, it can be seen that its texts are in principle open to supplementation and to further doctrinal clarifications. Keeping in mind the now decades-long experience of interpretations that are doctrinally and pastorally mistaken and contrary to the bimillennial continuity of the doctrine and prayer of the faith, there thus arises the necessity and urgency of a specific and authoritative intervention of the pontifical magisterium for an authentic interpretation of the conciliar texts, with supplementation and doctrinal clarifications; a sort of “Syllabus” of the errors in the interpretation of Vatican Council II.

There is the need for a new Syllabus, this time directed not so much against the errors coming from outside of the Church, but against the errors circulated within the Church by supporters of the thesis of discontinuity and rupture, with its doctrinal, liturgical, and pastoral application.

With regard to liturgy His Excellency said:

One interpretation of rupture of lighter doctrinal weight has been manifested in the pastoral-liturgical field. One might mention in this regard the decline of the sacred and sublime character of the liturgy, and the introduction of more anthropocentric elements of expression.

This phenomenon can be seen in three liturgical practices that are fairly well known and widespread in almost all the parishes of the Catholic sphere: the almost complete disappearance of the use of the Latin language, the reception of the Eucharistic body of Christ directly in the hand while standing, and the celebration of the Eucharistic sacrifice in the modality of a closed circle in which priest and people are constantly looking at each other.

This way of praying – without everyone facing the same direction, which is a more natural corporal and symbolic expression with respect to the truth of everyone being oriented toward God in public worship – contradicts the practice that Jesus himself and his apostles observed in public prayer, both in the temple and in the synagogue. It also contradicts the unanimous testimony of the Fathers and of all the subsequent tradition of the Eastern and Western Church.

Read more at: A New Syllabus for the 21st Century by Sandro Magister

What the Heck is “Clown Ministry”?

By Fr LW Gonzales On January 18th, 2011

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This morning while browsing through a neighboring parish’s weekly bulletin, I found–listed among the usual ministries such as Holy Name Society, Knights of Columbus, Ladies Auxiliary and “Eucharistic Ministers”–Clown Ministry. WTH!

Here I am, along with good, faithful priests around the world, trying to shore up authentic Catholic Identity, while the collared dude (said with all due respect) down the street is promoting a rubber-nosed, feel-good, wack-a-doodle catholyc experience. No wonder it’s an uphill battle. No wonder it’s a battle. No wonder.

Maybe someone needs a kick in the behind by a clown shoe!

The rest of this month I am dedicating my recitations of the Saint Michael Prayer to this particular battle, and I ask my readers to do the same.

Video: It’s About the Real Presence (Not the Cult of Man)

By Fr LW Gonzales On January 12th, 2011

My Experience

Five and a half years ago I arrived at a protestant catholic parish. The tabernacle was in a niche at the side, the fiberglass jacuzzi-type tub was up front, as was the band with its requisite electronic keyboard and drums. Hands were aclappin’ and butts were aswayin’ in the pews, in the aisles, and in the sanctuary. Actually, the whole place was sanctuary since the multitude of actively participating “everyone’s a priest” ilk clogged the carpeted floor vying for places of honor. The worship space was a bland non-specific meeting hall where previous Holy Thursdays found everyone washing each others’ body parts in dish washing bins using plastic pitchers with piles of towels and puddles littering the floor.

The first thing I did that first week of June 2005 was to return the tabernacle to its rightful place of honor. I was quickly criticized for moving it from its “modern” spot. Soon, I placed candles on the altar where they were branded tiki torches by one of the cathoprots. The white linen altar cloth (instead of the colored polyester) was also criticized as being too Catholic. Though I fought the urge to put my foot through the drums, and burn the worship aids, I did rally against applause, yet alas, the seventh inning stretch continued.

Bags of letters were sent to the bishop, and petitions were readied for signatures by my detractors. Pitchforks were sharpened and torches were lighted. My face was covered in spittle as fists were thrust into my chest. I quivered but did not waiver.

While this was happening, the marginal Catholics began to find other venues for their form of religious [sic] expression. A mass exodus (pun intended) eventually happened when the long-time director of music and liturgy eased-on-down-the-road, his liturgy committee dutifully following in tow. Their parting salvo was: “put your hands in the air like you just don’t care.”

The faithful remnant is reminiscent of Cardinal Ratzinger’s vision of a smaller, purified Church. We now have a beautifully appointed church interior. The altar is adorned with a traditional Roman antependium, six brass candlesticks, and a cross.  A dorsal curtain is a fitting backdrop to a veiled tabernacle.  Sixteen stained glass windows have taken the place of forty-year-old milk glass. The original brass and copper baptismal bowl again welcomes catechumens into the fold. The altar rises on three porcelain tiled steps. Damask vestments have returned. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is preached, and communicants have the option to receive kneeling. A Eucharistic adoration chapel (where the parish’s original High Mass candles now sit upon a granite and walnut altar) has been fashioned from a little used room and is available 24/7.

Since September 14, 2007, the timeless Introibo ad altare Dei has been heard frequently where once the strains of an electric guitar screeched in the rafters.

The cult of man has been replaced by the Cult of God.

God not Man

Swiss Guard Honors the Eucharistic Lord

By Fr LW Gonzales On January 6th, 2011

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Getty Images – A Swiss guard salutes during the Mass celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI (not pictured) for the solemnity of the Epiphany at St Peter’s basilica on January 6, 2011

We Have Seen His Star in the East

By Fr LW Gonzales On January 5th, 2011

Vidimus stellam ejus in Oriente

O God, Who on this day, didst manifest Thine only-begotten Son to the Gentiles by the guidance of a star: graciously grant, that we, who know Thee now by faith, may be led on even to contemplate the beauty of Thy Majesty. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God forever and ever.  Amen.

This feast was celebrated in the East as early as the third century and it spread to the West towards the end of the fourth century. The word “Epiphany” means “manifestation.” As at Christmas it is the mystery of a God Who makes Himself visible, but it is no longer only to the Jews that He shows Himself: “It is to the Gentiles on this day that God reveals His Son”. And Isaias in a grand vision perceives the Church under the figure of Jerusalem, where “the kings and the nations abound, the multitude who inhabit the borders of the sea and the strength of the Gentiles. They come from afar with their numerous caravans, singing the praises Of the Lord and bringing Him gold and frankincense”  “The kings of the earth shall adore God, and all nations shall serve Him “‘.

While at Christmas we extolled the union of the divinity with the humanity of Christ, so the Epiphany celebrates the mystic union of the souls of men with Jesus. The liturgy of this day commemorates a triple manifestation of the glory of Christ. To the worshipping Magi He appears as King of our hearts; in the Waters of the Jordan He is declared the Son of God, and at Cana He demonstrates His power over the elements. “Today the Church is united to her heavenly Spouse, for Christ has washed away her sins in the Jordan the Magi hasten with their gifts to the royal nuptials, and the guests drink with joy the water changed into wine. Alleluia.”

At St. Peter’s, where are the relics of the Church’s first visible head, the liturgical celebration of the entry of the Gentiles into the Church takes place. “In the adoring Mass,” says Pope St. Leo the Great, “let us acknowledge the first-fruits of our own calling and faith; and let us commemorate with hearts full of joy the foundations of this our blessed hope. For from this moment we have begun to enter our Heavenly patrimony.” — Saint Andrew Daily Missal and the Marian Missal, 1945

Isaiah 60:6

By Fr LW Gonzales On January 1st, 2011

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Caravans of camels shall fill you,
dromedaries from Midian and Ephah;
all from Sheba shall come
bearing gold and frankincense,
and proclaiming the praises of the LORD.

More Honorable than the Cherubim

By Fr LW Gonzales On January 1st, 2011

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It is truly meet and right to bless you, O Theotokos,

Ever blessed and most pure, and the Mother of our God.

More honorable than the Cherubim,

and more glorious beyond compare than the Seraphim,

Without defilement you gave birth to God the Word.

True Theotokos, we magnify you!

Theotokos, as a title for the Virgin Mary,  was recognized by the Church at Third Ecumenical Council held at Ephesus in 431. It had already been in use for some time in the devotional and liturgical life of the Church. The theological significance of the title is to emphasize that Mary’s son, Jesus, is fully God, as well as fully human, and that Jesus’ two natures (divine and human) were united in a

Te Deum Laudamus

By Fr LW Gonzales On December 31st, 2010

POPE/

Reuters Pictures – Pope Benedict XVI is helped as he celebrates the First Vespers and Te Deum in Saint Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican December 31, 2010.

We praise Thee, O God :
we acknowledge Thee to be the Lord.
All the earth doth worship Thee :
the Father everlasting.
To Thee all Angels cry aloud :
the Heavens, and all the Powers therein.
To Thee Cherubim and Seraphim :
continually do cry,
Holy, Holy, Holy :
Lord God of Sabaoth;
Heaven and earth are full of the Majesty :
of Thy glory.
The glorious company of the Apostles : praise Thee.
The goodly fellowship of the Prophets : praise Thee.
The noble army of Martyrs : praise Thee.
The holy Church throughout all the world :
doth acknowledge Thee;
The Father : of an infinite Majesty;
Thine honourable, true : and only Son;
Also the Holy Ghost : the Comforter.
Thou art the King of Glory : O Christ.
Thou art the everlasting Son : of the Father.
When Thou tookest upon thee to deliver man :
Thou didst not abhor the Virgin’s womb.
When Thou hadst overcome the sharpness of death :
Thou didst open the Kingdom of Heaven to all believers.
Thou sittest at the right hand of God : in the glory of the Father.
We believe that Thou shalt come : to be our Judge.
We therefore pray thee, help Thy servants :
whom thou hast redeemed with thy precious blood.
Make them to be numbered with thy Saints : in glory everlasting.

Benedict Lunches with Rome’s Poor

By Fr LW Gonzales On December 26th, 2010

APTOPIX Vatican Pope

AP Photo - In this photo provided by Vatican paper L’Osservatore Romano, Pope Benedict XVI greets people invited for a lunch inside the Vatican’s main audience hall, Sunday, Dec. 26, 2010. Lasagna, veal and cake were on the menu Sunday as Pope Benedict XVI invited about 250 poor people to join him for a post-Christmas lunch and denounced as “absurd” new attacks on the faithful around the globe. Joining the pope and his guests were some 250 nuns, seminarians and priests of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity order, which runs soup kitchens around Rome.

To the City and to the World

By Fr LW Gonzales On December 25th, 2010

POPE-CHRISTMAS/

Reuters Pictures – Pope Benedict XVI delivers Urbi et Orbi Christmas Day message from the central balcony of Saint Peter’s Square at the Vatican December 25, 2010.

Please Visit This Site

By Fr LW Gonzales On December 22nd, 2010

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Communion in the Hand . Org

O Rex Gentium

By Fr LW Gonzales On December 22nd, 2010

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O Rex Gentium, et desideratus earum,

lapisque angularis, qui facis utraque unum:

veni, et salva hominem,

quem de limo formasti.

O King of the nations, and their desire,

the cornerstone making both one:

Come and save the human race,

which you fashioned from clay.

Isaiah had prophesied:  ”For a child has been born for us, a son given us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6. “He shall judge between the nations, and shall arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.” Isaiah 2:4. Also compare Isaiah 28:16 and Ephesians 2:14

CINO Chonies in a Bunch Over This

By Fr LW Gonzales On December 21st, 2010

Finally. I hope other bishops address their “Catholic in Name Only” institutions soon in order to strengthen an authentic Catholic Identity; the identity which has been slowly disappearing around the world as the result of the “Spirit of Vatican II”. It is the role of bishops and priests to sanctify, teach, and govern those entrusted to them by the Lord–He who is Priest, Prophet and King–so that the world may come to know its True Savior. Those who are wailing and gnashing their teeth in indignation at this moment are ignorant of what awaits them on the other side if they fail to repent and accept the justice from the Throne of God.

St. Joseph’s Hospital no longer Catholic

Statement of Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted

December 21, 2010

Jesus says (Cf. Mt 25:40), “Whatever you did for the least of my brothers and sisters, you did for me.”

Caring for the sick is an essential part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Throughout our history, the Church has provided great care and love to those in need. With the advent of Catholic hospitals, the faithful could also be confident that they were able to receive quality health care according to the teachings of the Church.

Authentic Catholic care in the institutions of Catholic Healthcare West (CHW) in the Diocese of Phoenix has been a topic of discussion between CHW and me from the time of our initial meeting nearly seven years ago.

At that first meeting, I learned that CHW already did not comply with the ethical teachings of the Church at Chandler Regional Hospital.  The moral guide for Hospitals and Healthcare Institutions are spelled out in what are called the Ethical and Religious Directives of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.  I objected strongly to CHW’s lack of compliance with these directives, and told CHW leaders that this constituted cooperation in evil that must be corrected; because if a healthcare entity wishes to call itself Catholic (as in “Catholic” Healthcare West), it needs to adhere to the teachings of the Church in all of its institutions. In all my seven years as Bishop of Phoenix, I have continued to insist that this scandalous situation needed to change; sadly, over the course of these years, CHW has chosen not to comply.

Then, earlier this year, it was brought to my attention that an abortion had taken place at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix. When I met with officials of the hospital to learn more of the details of what had occurred, it became clear that, in the decision to abort, the equal dignity of mother and her baby were not both upheld; but that the baby was directly killed, which is a clear violation of ERD #45. It also was clear that the exceptional cases, mentioned in ERD #47, were not met, that is, that there was not a cancerous uterus or other grave malady that might justify an indirect and unintended termination of the life of the baby to treat the grave illness. In this case, the baby was healthy and there were no problems with the pregnancy; rather, the mother had a disease that needed to be treated.  But instead of treating the disease, St. Joseph’s medical staff and ethics committee decided that the healthy, 11 week old baby should be directly killed.  This is contrary to the teaching of the Church (Cf. Evangelium Vitae, #62).

It was thus my duty to declare to the person responsible for this tragic decision that allowed an abortion at St. Joseph’s, Sister Margaret McBride, R.S.M.,  that she had incurred an excommunication by her formal consent to the direct taking of the life of this baby. I did this in a confidential manner, hoping to spare her public embarrassment.

Unfortunately, subsequent communications with leadership at St. Joseph’s Hospital and CHW have only eroded my confidence about their commitment to the Church’s Ethical and Religious Directives for Healthcare. They have not addressed in an adequate manner the scandal caused by the abortion. Moreover, I have learned that many other violations of the ERDs have been taking place at CHW facilities in Arizona throughout my seven years as Bishop of Phoenix and far longer.

Let me explain.

CHW and St. Joseph’s Hospital, as part of what is called “Mercy Care Plan”, have been formally cooperating with a number of medical procedures that are contrary to the ERDs, for many years. I was made aware of this fact only in the last few weeks. Here are some of the things which CHW has been formally responsible for throughout these years:

·         Contraceptive counseling, medications, supplies and associated medical and laboratory examinations, including, but not limited to, oral and injectable contraceptives, intrauterine devices, diaphragms, condoms, foams and suppositories;

·         Voluntary sterilization (male and female); and

.           Abortions due to the mental or physical health of the mother or when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest

This information was given to me in a meeting which included an administrator of St. Joseph’s Hospital who admitted that St. Joseph’s and CHW are aware that this plan consists in formal cooperation in evil actions which are contrary to Church teaching.  The Mercy Care Plan has been in existence for 26 years, includes some 368,000 members, and its 2010 revenues will reach nearly $2 Billion.  CHW and St. Joseph’s Hospital have made more than a hundred million dollars in recent years from this partnership with the government.

In light of all these failures to comply with the Ethical and Religious Directives of the Church, it is my duty to decree that, in the Diocese of Phoenix, at St. Joseph’s Hospital, CHW is not committed to following the teaching of the Catholic Church and therefore this hospital cannot be considered Catholic.

The Catholic faithful are free to seek care or to offer care at St. Joseph’s Hospital but I cannot guarantee that the care provided will be in full accord with the teachings of the Church. In addition, other measures will be taken to avoid the impression that the hospital is authentically Catholic, such as the prohibition of celebrating Mass at the hospital and the prohibition of reserving the Blessed Sacrament in the Chapel.

For seven years now, I have tried to work with CHW and St. Joseph’s, and I have hoped and prayed that this day would not come, that this decree would not be needed; however, the faithful of the Diocese have a right to know whether institutions of this importance are indeed Catholic in identity and practice.

O Sapientia

By Fr LW Gonzales On December 17th, 2010

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O Sapientia,

quae ex ore Altissimi prodiisti,

attingens a fine usque ad finem fortiter,

suaviterque disponens omnia:

veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiae.

O Wisdom,

who proceeds from the mouth of the Most High,

reaching out mightily from end to end,

and sweetly arranging all things:

come to teach us the way of prudence.

Isaiah had prophesied:  ”The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. His delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.” Isaiah 11:2-3, and  ”[...] he is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in wisdom.” Isaiah 28:29. Also compare Sirach 24:3 and Wisdom of Solomon 8:1.

O

By Fr LW Gonzales On December 17th, 2010

The O Antiphons are Magnificat antiphons used at Vespers of the last seven days of Advent.

Each antiphon is a name of Christ, one of his attributes mentioned in Scripture. They are:

December 17: O Sapientia (O Wisdom)

December 18: O Adonai (O Lord)

December 19: O Radix Jesse (O Root of Jesse)

December 20: O Clavis David (O Key of David)

December 21: O Oriens (O Dayspring)

December 22: O Rex Gentium (O King of the nations)

December 23: O Emmanuel (O God is with Us)

In the Roman Catholic tradition, the O Antiphons are sung or recited at Vespers from December 17 to December 23 inclusive.