Pope Benedict XVI

"Beauty... is not mere decoration, but rather an essential element of the liturgical action, since it is an attribute of God Himself and His revelation."
(Pope Benedict XVI, Sacramentum Caritatis, 35)

20 October 2010

Recent speech by Archbishop (soon to be Cardinal) Burke to the Human Life International Gathering

A recent speech by Archbishop Burke deserves as much coverage as it can get. He was today named in the list of prelates that will be made a Cardinal in the Consistory to be held in November. Thank God for these courageous words of His Grace!

One of the things stressed in the address of His Grace is that above all the Bishops must display obedience, obedience to the teaching of the magisterium, and it is by their obedience (a virtue to be practised) that the faithful will be lead to it too.

Some quotes worth reading (the full speech can be found HERE on Zenit):

Obedience to the magisterium and the demands of the natural moral law are not only important for salvation, but are especially required of Catholics if a culture of life is to be advanced in today's world.
"Man is tempted to view the magisterium in relation to his individualism and self-pursuit,"... he called first and foremost on bishops to uphold the natural moral law, reminding them of Benedict XVI's exhortation to bishops "to be aware of the challenges of the present hour and have the courage to face them."
...the bishop, as chief teacher of faith and morals in the diocese, carries an especially "heavy and constant burden" in providing sound teaching... he stressed that obedience to the magisterium is a virtue, one obtained "through the practice" of such obedience.
"When shepherds of the flock are obedient to the magisterium entrusted to their exercise, then surely the numbers of the flock grow in obedience," he said. "If the shepherd isn't obedient, the flock easily gives way to confusion and error."
"Faith is first of all personal adherence of man to God,"... and "Where there are problems of chastity, there are problems of obedience." Rebellion against the moral truth, "is a rebellion against God and all that he teaches us."
...obedience to the magisterium is "difficult to master," adding that "Satan does not sleep" and in the culture of today, he is tempting mankind to act "as if God does not exist." Instead, Satan is "teaching us a radical individualism and self interest which leads us away from the love of God and love of one another,"...
...today's culture "teaches us to believe what is convenient and to reject what is difficult for us or which challenges us," thus leading to a "cafeteria Catholicism" which "picks and chooses which parts of faith to practice." He noted how this happened even among some bishops when they dissented from Paul VI's encyclical "Humanae Vitae." The consequences of that dissent... has "led many Catholics into habits of sin in what pertains to procreation and the education of human life."
...the attack on innocent and defenseless life of the unborn "has its corruption in an erroneous view of human sexuality which attempts to eliminate by mechanical or chemical means the essentially procreative nature of the conjugal act."
"The so-called contraceptive mentality is anti-life and the manipulation of the conjugal act, as Pope Paul VI prophetically observed, has led to many forms of violence in marriage and family life." Once the sexual union is longer seen to be by its very nature procreative, he continued, "human sexuality is abused in ways that are profoundly harmful and in ways destructive of individuals and society itself."
Archbishop Burke then turned to the exercise of the magisterium in public life. He spoke of the tendency today to compartmentalize the faith, and the "hypocrisy" of some Catholics in politics, medicine, business or other human endeavors, who claim to personally hold to the truth of the faith regarding the inviolability of innocent and defenseless human life, yet cooperate in attacks on the unborn, the infirm, or those with special needs. He also cited "self-proclaimed" Catholics who support state recognition of same sex marriage.

"It is not possible to be a practicing Catholic and conduct oneself publicly in this manner," he said to loud applause.
... many have become confused about "the most basic truths," namely the inviolable dignity of innocent human life from conception until natural death, and marriage of one man and one woman "as the first and irreplaceable" source of life and society.
The Lord's admonition of people who lead others into sin was "nothing less than vehement," he reminded listeners. For this reason, he said, the "perennial discipline of the Church [has] prohibited the giving of Holy Communion or the granting of a Church funeral to those who persist after admonition in the grave violation of the moral law."
 "The Church invites every soul to the mercy of God which is great beyond all our imagining, but that does not excuse her from proclaiming the truth of the moral law, also by applying her age old disciplines for the sake of the salvation of all."
To much applause, Archbishop Burke said: "When a person has culpably espoused and cooperated in gravely sinful acts, leading many into error and confusion over fundamental questions regarding respect for life and integrity of marriage and family, his repentance of such actions must also be public."
Archbishop Burke also alluded to what he called "one of ironies of the present situation," which is that a person who brings attention to the scandal of gravely sinful actions by Catholics is accused of a lack of charity and of causing division in the unity of the Church.
Lying or failing to tell the truth, however, "is never a sign of a charity," he said.

"A unity which is not founded on the truth of the moral law is not unity," underlined the archbishop. "The Church was founded on speaking truth with love.

06 October 2010

October - Month of the Holy Rosary

The 7th of October marks the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary and in our diocese (Ossory) this feast is celebrated as a first class feast of the Dedication of the Cathedral in Kilkenny under Our Lady's patronage.

The Battle of Lepanto, 1571

Originaly celebrated under the title of 'Our Lady of Victory' the feast later become known as 'Our Lady of the Rosary', under which powerful prayer we have been many times been assisted by Heaven.

Apart from the signal defeat of the Albigensian heretics at the battle of Muret in 1213 which legend has attributed to the recitation of the Rosary by St. Dominic, it is believed that Heaven has on many occasions rewarded the faith of those who had recourse to this devotion in times of special danger. More particularly, the naval victory of Lepanto gained by Don John of Austria over the Turkish fleet on the first Sunday of October in 1571 responded wonderfully to the processions made at Rome on that same day by the members of the Rosary confraternity. St. Pius V thereupon ordered that a commemoration of the Rosary should be made upon that day, and at the request of the Dominican Order Gregory XIII in 1573 allowed this feast to be kept in all churches which possessed an altar dedicated to the Holy Rosary.
A reminder for us all to say the Rosary everyday so that our lives may become examples of conversion and peace!

Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us!