Jun 27, 2008

After Archbishop Burke Goes to Rome ?

Lots of sites, both blogs and news media, comment on the appointment of Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis to head the Vatican's "Supreme Court." His new title is Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura and he will be moving to Rome. A St. Louis Newspaper says:

Burke said he will leave St. Louis for Rome at the end of August, but that because St. Louis is an archdiocese, the Vatican would be apt to name a successor soon. He would not mention candidates but said he would consult privately with Benedict to recommend bishops who would fit well in St. Louis.
So, "Who will be the next Archbishop of St. Louis?" My own opinion is that either one of the two Kansas City Bishops could easily be chosen to return to St. Louis from whence they came. Both men are tall and strong Catholic bishops who have recently and successfully instituted reforms to strengthen the Church in the two dioceses of Greater Kansas City.

Their efforts have resulted in creating a new program to confront the evil of pornography, significantly cleaning up two diocesan newspapers of unorthodox opinions, instituting a major annual celebration of the Holy Eucharist, supporting Catholic communities that treasure the old Latin Mass, reforming Catholic education by appointing new and energetic personnel faithful to Catholic doctrine, etc.

Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City, MO is a likely candidate because of his public relations/news media background that makes him an interesting and articulate leader, and who has been mostly successful in rebuilding the Kansas City diocese with loyal Catholics. Here's how Rocco Palmo of "Whispers in the Loggia" described Bishop Finn in his confrontation with uncooperative liberals who once controlled diocesan structures when Finn first came to Kansas City:
And anyone who has an eagerness for all-out warfare in Kansas City doesn't know Bob Finn and how he operates. He's way too smart -- and effective -- to be a polemicist. In his prior incarination as editor of the St. Louis Review, Finn did block an ad for a talk being given at St. Louis University by John Allen because of the editorial stances of Allen's employer. It caused a similar tempest in a teapot at the time in the Rome of the West.

If anything, it seems, the more constructive (and, ergo, preferred) strategy would be not to defang the Reporter but to build up the Catholic Key as a faithful, well-crafted, informative and orthodox alternative to the gang down the street. That'd be very much in keeping with Finn's earthy, nonconfrontational style and his savvy for building the church in its best light. If anyone could pull it off credibly, it's Finn.
The other Kansas City Bishop is Archbishop Joseph Naumann, who perhaps has the better chance of replacing Archbishop Burke. This affable St. Louis native is just as good a writer as Bishop Finn, and he has shown substantial strength and wisdom in publicly instructing Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius to abstain from receiving Holy Communion until she repents.

Sebelius is a strong pro-abortion "Catholic" who was the featured speaker last year at Planned Parenthood's annual fundraising banquet. [Planned Parenthood is the biggest abortion provider in the U.S.] Gov. Sebelius is considered a front-runner for selection by Senator Obama for his vice-president.

Both Bishop Finn and Archbishop Naumann are gentlemen committed to the Catholic faith. St. Louis could not do better than to receive either of them as the new Archbishop of St. Louis. Of course, many, many Kansas City Catholics would mourn either one of them leaving us.

Jun 26, 2008

Mother of 11 Children Needs Your Prayers

Someone just sent me an email that reports a wonderful Kansas City mother of eleven children (a baby newly born on June 13) is now hospitalized with blood clots in the lungs. These clots can be life threatening and the treatment can be long and even require surgery, according to the NIH.

Please pray for R.R. whose family needs her so badly. She is a convert who attends the Latin Mass in Kansas City, and I'm going to ask Blessed Michael Davies to intercede with God for her return to good health.

Jun 24, 2008

Minimum Agreement? Assimilation or Union?

The five conditions in Cardinal Hoyos' letter of seem carefully worded to allow the FSSPX to accept a minimum proposed agreement with Pope Benedict XVI--perhaps a first step. As translated by Rorate Coeli, here are the five conditions outlined by Cardinal Hoyos and my personal comments:

1. The commitment to a response proportionate to the generosity of the Pope.

Clearly this first of five conditions is not very specific. The "generosity of the Pope" is not specified, but action(s) are implied, possibly even a personal prelature for the FSSPX. Thus, the response of the FSSPX needs to consist of charitable ("generous") actions, as distinguished from words/agreements. Actions could include spiritual activities and gifts, or simply provide a basis for a future, more detailed, agreement with Rome. The FSSPX might also offer priestly support to selected papal endeavors, such as a special mission for conversion of Islam. Actually, my interpretation of this condition is that the Pope already has recommended to the FSSPX the particular response that he wants from a particular generous action to begin a more complete union into the framework of the Church.

2. The commitment to avoid every public intervention which does not respect the person of the Holy Father and which may be negative to ecclesial charity.

This one might be more difficult for the FSSPX, because it states the FSSPX should respect "the person," rather than "the office," of the Holy Father. Other questions arise. What if the present Pope is succeeded by Paul VII? Does the commitment attach to the next Pope, too? The width of this condition implies that under no circumstances can the Pope be publicly criticized! However, this condition always must be interpreted in the Scriptural framework of St. Paul's criticism of Pope St. Peter.

The words "which may be negative to ecclesial charity" is another picky point. Why did this condition not say "which is negative..."? Some commenters have complained that this condition for reconciliation simply says that the FSSPX must "shut up!" in the future. No more complaining about how the Pope is running the Church. BUT, the condition doesn't say that the Vatican bureaucracy cannot be publicly criticized. Mmmm?

3. The commitment to avoid the claim to a Magisterium superior to the Holy Father and to not propose the Fraternity in contraposition to the Church.

I fail to see how this condition would be a problem for the FSSPX because they don't claim to be a "super Magisterium." Rather, they rightly state that all teachings of the Holy Father must conform to the traditional teaching of the Church. If I were in the FSSPX, I could sign this point without any qualms whatsoever because the Church with its Papacy is what I defend. Modernist churches are another matter, so the third condition wouldn't restrict the FSSPX in proselytizing members of church communities in apostasy.

4. The commitment to display the will to act honestly in full ecclesial charity and in respect for the authority of the Vicar of Christ.

The fourth condition appears to be rather nebulous, but I suspect the FSSPX knows what is meant. Nothing here seems to be a real problem, unless one wants to get 'real particular'.

5. The commitment to respect the date - fixed for the end of the month of June - to respond positively. This shall be a condition necessary and required as an immediate preparation for adhesion to accomplish full communion.

This may be a good thing for the FSSPX to decide quickly before pressures build up one way or another. The five conditions seem to be a good start but that will have some pauses in the future. The road now seems to be open, even though under construction.

MP3 Player/Recorder--How to Use

A friend points out that she lost a very nice tape recorder, and concluded that some things happen that we don't understand until later. I sympathized with her and pointed out that recently I ordered two $22 MP3 player/recorders because there was no sales tax or delivery charge [make sure you check the cheapest shipping box.] Stores in the KC area sell other MP3 players for only a little more.

I took my first Sansa m250 with me on vacation a month ago to the East Coast where some of my relatives live. I had loaded the unit with some great talks from Audio Sancto. One of the sons of a nephew is 19-years old, intelligent, quite handsome, and enrolled in technical school. I asked him what he liked to do in his spare time, and he responded that he liked to read history.

I had just finished listening to a very interesting talk about the Islamic wars of the 16th/17th centuries, that ends with the Western victory at the Battle of Lepanto (talk can be downloaded here--see 2006-10-01). So I asked the young man if he would like to listen to it. When he said yes, I gave him the MP3 player/recorder to keep. While his Dad is a fallen away Catholic, the son's mind appears to be open. [If the front door is locked, try the back door!]

The second MP3 player/recorder came last week and I again downloaded about 20 talks from Audio Sancto. An old lady I know mentioned she had not been able to use her broken recorder for several months. Because of her hearing loss, she had been unable to hear sermons in her church. So that's what happened to the second MP3 player. She called me day before yesterday and said she had listened to over two hours of Fr.'s sermons! What a great way to spread the faith with a MP3 player/recorder that only costs $21.99--the price of a good book!