Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Nothing more perfect can be said than Mary says herself. She who is full of grace hurries to help her elderly relative when she has just been granted the greatest privilege on earth! She, the first tabernacle, who carries the Savior of the world. Oh Mary, conceived without sin, please pray for us who have recourse to thee, now and at the hour of our death. Bestow upon us, Mediatrix of all Graces, that which brings us closer to your beloved Son, our glorious Savior and that which helps us to imitate you, oh most pure, humble and Immaculate Mother!

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
My Spirit rejoices in God my Saviour
For He has looked with favour on His lowly servant.

From this day all generations will call me blessed:
The Almighty has done great things for me,
And holy is His Name.

He has mercy on those who fear Him
In every generation.

He has shown the strength of His arm,
He has scattered the proud in their conceit.

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
And has lifted up the lowly.

He has filled the hungry with good things,
And the rich He has sent away empty.

He has come to the help of His servant Israel
For He has remembered His promise of mercy,
The promise He made to our fathers,
To Abraham and his children for ever.

Father in heaven, by Whose grace the virgin mother of Your Incarnate Son was blessed in bearing Him, but still more blessed in keeping Your Word: Grant us who honor the exaltation of her lowliness to follow the example of her devotion to Your Will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Save the Church; Restore Sanctity


Pope Benedict XVI has slowly but surely moved on a course that will make him more than just the "caretaker" Pope many envisioned him to be.
And that will come, perhaps, because of his effort -- subtle, but powerful -- in nudging the Church back to greater reverence.
This has been seen in his encouraging re-establishment of elements from the older Mass (including in the way of music as well as the new Missal); requiring every bishop to allow the Latin Rite; and, most recently -- stunningly -- his closure of a major monastery in Rome that had allowed the singer Madonna to perform there and has a nun and former disco dancer who performed modern dance, in church, with a Crucifix. In the U.S. are dozens of convents and retreat centers where nuns have adopted Zen, yoga, and New Age therapies -- an untold scandal that seems to have evaded a Vatican visitation of convents (at least thus far) and the notice of local bishops.

Sister Lucia of Fatima once said that our modern time was experiencing a "diabolical disorientation." That was stated in the middle of the last century and in fact the 1960s saw a fantastic infusion of evil into our realm, as spirits of rebellion, crime, lust, perversion, pharmaceia (drugs), wayward music, disoriented artwork, the occult, psychic phenomena, and pornography came flooding into society like a tsunami.

Sister Lucia's warning, and what occurred starting half a century ago, come to mind in the wake of a major study released two weeks ago that was sponsored by the United States bishops and indicated that another Church issue, the sexual abuse crisis, involved those who (in the words of one news report about the study) "came from seminary classes of the 1940s and 1950s who were not properly trained to confront the upheavals of the 1960s, when behavioral norms were upended and crime overall in the United States spiked."
Issued by the John Jay College -- which is devoted to criminology -- the study couldn't single out any one over-riding cause, indicating a combination of social factors and not able to quite put their fingers on it because the "mystery" is something criminologists don't calculate: the devil.

We have been saying for years that at the root of the sexual abuse crisis is the wave of evil that has infected every segment of society and seemed to specialize in wanton sex during the mid-to-late 1960s and into the 1970s, when it virtually became an institutionalized aspect of our culture.
The spirit affected those in seminaries, rectories, universities, convents, and monasteries (probably in that order) -- and in our view hit with particular force because it coincided with a weakening in the Church's spiritual-warfare components, notably tools of exorcisms, fasting, blessings against evil, deep devotions to the Blessed Mother, reverent liturgies (which were in the process of becoming more oriented to priests than to Jesus), and the prayer at the end of Mass to the Archangel Michael.

That all joined with a devastating trend toward worldly intellectualism that stripped mystical theology from seminaries, a crisis that remains in full throttle at episcopates.
And it was deadly as society has been swept into a disorientation that made wrong right and right wrong and good out of fashion and in some cases (see the arrest of pro-lifers) against the law. The clear fact is this: during the 1960s and with increased momentum since, priests and everyone else have been surrounded and in fact inundated with lascivious images on the cover of magazines, suggestive news stories, sultry commercials, pounding carnal music, libertine philosophy, lurid supermarket magazines, ribald Super Bowl ads, nudie publications like Playboy, Penthouse, and Hustler, off-color TV shows, sexy soap operas, tasteless billboards, X-rated movies, sex-drenched Hollywood dramas, online pornography, evocative music, sex novels, provocative newspaper ads, news items constantly making free sex seem like the new norm, sex-themed Broadway plays, and so forth.

The result: a satanic infiltration of the priesthood, and in our view, in most or at least many cases, it didn't seem like a case of wolves in sheep's clothing so much as what Sister Lucia said: a diabolical disorientation.
Our clergy were "sorely vexed."
They, and the rest of us, were naked against the enemy.
To go into a modern diocesan center is too often to encounter a largely lonely, renovated building with a sensation of spiritual vacancy.
If one hears a chanting of monks, it's not from the chapel; it from a secretary's CD.
And in the cafeteria: the public-address system may be blaring music in fact from the Sixties or Seventies, as opposed to "religious" music.
Mysticism is not welcome. It's the chancellor's job to blunt it. Meanwhile, employees strategize on how to best "consolidate" parishes -- close churches -- without losing appeals to Rome.

This is another great development in the pontificate of Benedict:
In a couple of cases, Rome has sided with laity who had fought closure of church properties.  Most recently -- this week -- a Vatican ruling saved St. Mary's Church in Jamesville, New York -- at least as a sacred (if not actively ministered) site.
This is a great and crucial cause that all Catholics should undertake: fighting -- respectfully -- to maintain holy property.

It is improper for consecrated ground and buildings to be destroyed or turned into condos, which has occurred. In Italy, one has become a restaurant (the altar is behind the bar). In Upstate New York, a college fraternity bought another. In still other cases, they have been turned into pentecostal-style churches or Muslim gathering places.
While, due to inner-city population shrinkage, and priest shortages, there is the need to pare down active parishes, sacred ground must remain just that. We urge this because we believe there will be a time in the not so distant future when events will swell the ranks of the faithful -- those who seek refuge in church.

The Church is not dying. It is quiescent. It will rise with force in the difficult times to come.
And it will need to facilities. Let Catholicism be prepared! (And also let us not sell property at a down cycle).

The darkness continues to gather and its special power -- its infusion -- during the Sixties remains mysterious. For sure, smoke was coming through the fissures. Priests who had no indications or appearances of homosexuality -- nor any waywardness -- were suddenly swept into just that. Data show that abuse incidents were "highest between the mid-1960s and the mid-1980s," the report noted. "Ninety-four percent of the abuse incidents reported to the Catholic Church from 1950 through 2009 took place before 1990," it said.

It was what was affecting all segments of the West. "There's no indication in our data that priests are any more likely to abuse children than anyone else in society," said Karen Terry, principal investigator for the report, at a news conference where the report was released Wednesday, according again to news reports. No doubt: homosexuality played a role; men who were really heterosexual were deceived by the evil one into unmanly inclinations, as the Sixties spirit skewed genders with not just homosexuality but also radical feminism.

Sex? Everyone was doing it -- illicitly. It was the Age of Hefner. It was the age of "liberation." We are still feeling the results -- and in fact they have never waned.

Priests fell to the temptation. We have also warned that some have been falsely accused, and we continue to be suspicious of certain claims that erupt from a person who suddenly recalls abuse by a priest four or five decades ago.

Recently, there have been cases of priests cleared, at least in homosexual cases involving youngsters (it never was actual "pedophilia"). In other cases, priests who initially seemed victims of a persecution have admitted guilt.
Surrounded by this, of course they were affected.
Everyone was.

Does that excuse it?

It certainly does not. And the overall invasion of the priesthood remains mysterious. The Church was dramatically behind the curve in noticing the effects and dealing with it and made the drastic mistake of wanting to be worldly. It "opened the window" (to use a Vatican II term) to society -- and we see what came in. Windswept house indeed. We only recently received a horrendous first-hand account of how a priest in Upstate New York serially abused boys -- boys whose lives were no doubt dramatically affected. Laymen should be given great credit for knowing the foundation of Catholicism and sticking with it despite what so many priests -- so many -- did.

Yes, some were wolves in sheep's clothing. Some are still out there. Some have been falsely accused. Others hope they will be thought of as falsely accused, when they have not.

It says this to the Church:
Close the window.
Go back to your roots.
Forget being hip.
You will rise again.

Be prepared.

And it says to society:
Stop pointing fingers at the Church and take a glance in the mirror.

Memorial Day

Let us all join today in offering prayers for those that have fallen, those that presently protect our freedoms and those that will in the future. May Almighty God bless and protect them, keep them safe, encourage them and their families and keep us all in His Perfect Will and on the road that leads to heaven. 

Dear Heavenly Father,

With a sober heart we come before You this Memorial Day. We pause for a moment and call to mind all the men and women who have died in the service of our nation since 1776.

Dear God, please look with mercy on our brave and selfless brothers and sisters, who did not shirk from their task but gave themselves completely to the cause of defending and protecting us all. Bless all who have given their lives for the sake of liberty, and grant them eternal rest with You.

We remember also our brave men and women now serving in our Armed Forces, both at home and abroad. Dear God, send out Your angels to protect them all. Help them discharge their duties honorably and well. Please bring them safely home to their families and loved ones. Please bring Your peace and mercy to our troubled world.

We ask this, Father, in the name of Jesus, Your Son, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Pope receives papers for cause of Archbishop Sheen, whom he knew

Msgr. Stanley Deptula holds a volume 
of letters from cardinals and bishops 
supporting the sainthood cause of Archbishop 
Fulton J. Sheen as he waits with Bishop Daniel 
R. Jenky of Peoria, Ill., right, to present 
documentation to Pope Benedict XVI during 
his general audience in St. Peter's Square 
at the Vatican May 25. 
(CNS/Paul Haring)
When Bishop Daniel R. Jenky of Peoria, Ill., presented Pope Benedict XVI with two thick volumes about the life of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, the pope surprised him by saying he had worked with the late archbishop.

Pope Benedict "told me something I hadn't known: he worked on the commission for mission at the Second Vatican Council with Fulton Sheen," Bishop Jenky told Catholic News Service. The pope served as a theological expert at the council in the 1960s.

At the end of the pope's weekly general audience May 25, Bishop Jenky presented the pope with two leather-bound volumes with golden lettering on the side: "Fultonius Ioannes Sheen."

The tomes -- totaling close to 2,000 pages -- are the "positio," the official position paper, outlining why the Catholic Church should recognize Archbishop Sheen as a saint.

Archbishop Sheen, who was born in Illinois in 1895 and died in New York in 1979, was an Emmy-winning televangelist. His program, "Life is Worth Living," aired in the United States from 1951 to 1957.

Bishop Jenky said, "I hope it helps" that the pope personally knew Archbishop Sheen, who was national director of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith in 1950-66 and attended every session of Vatican II.

For the Peoria bishop, the most impressive thing about Archbishop Sheen was his untiring evangelizing effort, which was addressed not just to radio or television audiences, but to taxi drivers and anyone else he happened to meet.

"I don't know how many people he brought to the faith; it must be thousands and thousands," the bishop said. "He never passed by an opportunity to bring someone to the faith. He was a hands-on evangelizer."

Msgr. Stanley Deptula, executive director of the Peoria-based Archbishop Fulton Sheen Foundation, joined Bishop Jenky for the trip to the Vatican.

They also gave the pope an album with more than 100 letters from cardinals and bishops in North America, Australia and Africa supporting Archbishop Sheen's cause.

Msgr. Deptula told CNS that Archbishop Sheen should be beatified and canonized because "he was a dynamic missionary, he used all the modern means available to spread the Gospel throughout the world." In fact, the archbishop was host of "The Catholic Hour" radio program for 22 years before beginning his television career, he wrote several popular books and traveled the world speaking and preaching once his TV program went off the air.

The diocesan phase of the sainthood cause concluded in 2008 and the postulator, or promoter, of the cause took the eight boxes of eyewitness testimony and "every book Sheen ever wrote" and summarized the material, creating the "positio," the monsignor said.

The Congregation for Saints' Causes will study the "positio" and if congregation members agree, they will recommend that the pope officially declare that the archbishop lived the Christian virtues in a heroic way.

Before Archbishop Sheen can be beatified, the pope also must recognize a miracle attributed to his intercession.

"We actually have two fully-documented alleged miracles of cures that seem to have been effected by God through the intercession of Archbishop Sheen," Msgr. Deptula said. "Actually, we also have a couple more that have come into our office. Really, every day I hear stories about little miracles, ways that Fulton Sheen continues to change lives today."

The best documented cases involve cures that took place in the United States, he said. "One happened in central Illinois to an elderly woman in the Champaign area. And the other, kind of the stronger case that we will probably be pursuing to present to the Holy Father, involved a baby in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, area."

The monsignor said he could not reveal many details about the case, but "basically this baby was born ... with several life threatening diseases, any one of which would have been a very serious illness for this infant."

"The parents and family and friends prayed for the intercession of Archbishop Sheen. They had the baby baptized, (and) I believe his middle name is Fulton," he said. "It seems to have been a miracle. The baby lived and seemed to have been cured of those illnesses" and is now in the first or second grade.

By Cindy Wooden - Catholic News Service

Saturday, May 21, 2011

'Good angel of Brazil' to be beatified

Sister Dulce Lopes Pontes, a Brazilian religious sister who devoted her life to the sick and the poor, will be beatified May 22 in San Salvador de Bahia in northeastern Brazil. If a new miracle is recognized after her beatification, Sr. Dulce could become the first female Brazilian-born saint.

Cardinal Geraldo Majella Agnelo, Archbishop Emeritus of San Salvador de Bahia, will preside over the Mass. Officials expect 70,000 people to attend, including numerous civil and religious leaders.
Maria Rita Lopes Pontes was born May 26, 1914 and in San Salvador de Bahia and later joined the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception of the Mother of God.

Sr. Dulce devoted her life to the needy, founding hospitals and a social support network she managed until her death on March 13, 1992, at the age of 77.  She was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1988 for her charitable works. Then in October 1991 she was visited on her deathbed by John Paul II during his second visit to Brazil.

Her network of hospitals and clinics for the poor in Bahia continue to serve more than five million people each year.

The beatification process of Sr. Dulce began in 1999. Four years later, 10 Brazilian and three Italian doctors certified a “case of extraordinary healing” that was unanimously recognized by the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints. 
The miracle occurred in January of 2001 when Claudia Santos de Araujo, a Brazilian woman devoted to Sr. Dulce, suffered severe hemorrhaging after childbirth and fell into a coma. Doctors gave her only hours to live.
A priest friend who knew of Claudia's devotion to Sr. Dulce prayed to her for the woman's health. In a matter of  hours, Claudia was completely cured.
Doctors could find no explanation for her recovery, and two days later she was released from the hospital with her baby.

Sr. Dulce was declared venerable by the Vatican in 2009 and last year, when her remains were exhumed and transferred to the Cathedral of San Salvador, she was found to be incorrupt.

One theologian who reviewed her case said, “Her charity was tender and motherly.  Her devotion to the poor had a supernatural origin and she was given the strength and means from on high to put into practice an amazing apostolate of service to the poor.”

St. Antonio de Santa Anna Galvao (1739-1822), who was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI during his visit to the country in May of 2007, is currently Brazil’s only native saint.

Sr. Dulce  founded the Obras Sociais Irmã Dulce,  or the Charitable Works Foundation of Sister Dulce, as it is known in English. 
She was recently named the most admired woman in the history of Brazil by "Estado de São Paulo" newspaper and the most influential religious person in Brazil, during the 20th century, by "Isto É" magazine. In 1949, she started caring for the poorest of the poor in her convent's chicken yard . Today, more than 3,000 people arrive every day at this same site (where the Santo Antônio Hospital now stands) to receive free medical treatment. Sister Dulce also established CESA, a school for the poor in Simões Filho, one of the most impoverished cities in the Metropolitan Region of Salvador and in the State of Bahia.

At the time of her death in 1992, Sister Dulce had been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, she had received two personal audiences with Pope John Paul II, and she had, almost single-handedly, created one of the largest and most respected philanthropic organizations in Brazil.


Friday, May 20, 2011

Catholic scholar dismantles May 21 Judgment Day claims

The claim being circulated that May 21 will mark the end of the world and be a day of judgment by God has no basis in Scripture or authentic Christian teaching, according to Catholic scholar Dr. Jared Staudt.
The professor of theology at the Augustine Institute, located in Denver, said that Biblical teaching and Church tradition show “it's clear that it is not scriptural to seek for a date for the day of judgment.”
“It sometimes can be easy to ridicule groups like this for coming up with such calculations, but we should remember that this is a perennial problem,” Staudt told CNA.
“In the end, I think it is a problem of faith. We have a hard time simply trusting in the Lord and waiting for Him.”

A bus advertising Judgment Day makes
its way through New Orleans
Family Radio, a religious group out of Oakland, California that has been broadcasting for several decades, recently launched a nationwide campaign claiming that May 21 at 6:00 p.m. will signal the beginning of hell on earth for non-believers, and a day when Christians around the world will be “raptured” into heaven.
The group has worked around the clock in recent weeks to push their message, using radio and TV broadcasts, billboards, t-shirts, pamphlets and even bumper stickers. Their website received over 3 million visits in April.
Family Radio president Harold Camping, 89, has been hosting the live, call-in talk show “Open Forum” for 50 years. 
During a May 15 show, he speculated that “people will be dying by the millions” in the terror-laden months that will follow Judgment Day, until the final destruction of the earth on October 21.

The group uses multiple verses from the Bible to calculate the end of the world, asserting in a booklet that the “great amount of Biblical signs and proofs absolutely guarantee Judgment Day is May 21, 2011.”
In an May 19 interview, however, Dr. Staudt explained that the group uses literal interpretations of several Bible verses taken out of context.
“Family Radio’s prediction of the day of the judgment is premised on the literal interpretation of 2 Peter 3:8, which states: 'with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day,'” Staudt explained.
“Building upon this interpretation, Family Radio then applies it to the surrounding context in 2 Peter, the day of judgment in relation to the flood – 2 Peter 3:6.”
Staudt explained that the group also draws its warning from the passage in the book of Genesis where God warns Noah of the flood arriving in seven days. Since “one day is as a thousand years” God, Family Radio concluded that 7,000 years from the start of the flood, or May 21, 2011, will be Judgment Day.

However, Staudt emphasized, St. Peter also clearly says that “'the day of the Lord will come like a thief,' echoing our Lord’s own words.”
“Jesus said he would come as a thief in the night and also clearly stated that it did not pertain to His mission to announce the time of His Second Coming,” he clarified. “It is clear that Jesus did not want us to know the time of His coming, but rather to remain in watchful expectation.”
“He said that He would come soon – Rev 22:20 – but this is not meant to create fear in the disciples, but rather hope, knowing that Christ is the Lord of history and will triumph in the end.”
Additionally, the rapture “is not part of Catholic teaching,” Staudt said. “We do not separate the resurrection of the just and the reprobate, nor the final tribulation and the Lord’s coming.”
“We are to have a faith filled expectation of the Lord’s coming, but without trying to have control over it,” he said.

“We also have to remember that the Lord comes to us every day in the Eucharist and He also comes to us in our own death. Our lives should be centered on watchfulness so that we have open hearts to Him in prayer and in expectation of the future glory, which He promises us.”
Staudt noted that a primary factor in cult-like groups making misguided claims about the end of the wold comes “from a lack of union with the Church established by Christ.”
“When a group is on its own, it sits down with the Bible and tries to figure things out,” he noted. But these groups do not have the context that comes from hearing the Word of God proclaimed in the liturgy or “the authority of the Magisterium to interpret the Bible in unison with Tradition.” 

Rather than respond with ridicule or dismissiveness, however, Staudt reiterated the importance of engaging such groups with charity and truth.
“Throughout the Catholic tradition, the response to a contrary position is always to find the good in what is presented and to seek dialogue,” he said. “In this particular case, one could certainly affirm and even praise the desire to proclaim the biblical message of the need for conversion and forgiveness.”
“However, one could also see the sensational presentation as a trivialization of this message.  Regardless of that fact, it is still an opportunity to discuss the topic, which has been brought up in a very vocal way.” 
Staudt said it's important to remember that “many people, if not most, have never heard a clear and well founded presentation of the Catholic faith.” 

“People are drawn towards cults because they are looking for the truth and also for a sense of belonging,” he observed. “Cults provide simple clear cut answers and usually a well defined way of life. We know that this is simply a parody of what Christ intends and actually offers.” 
“We need to use opportunities like the one presented by Family Radio to engage in conversation, to listen, and to gently, yet firmly, proclaim the truth of Christ with which we have been entrusted in His Church.”

By Marianne Medlin

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Rome’s exorcist finding Bl. John Paul II effective against Satan

The chief exorcist of Rome is seeing a rising number of young people coming under the influence of evil, but he has found in recent years that Blessed John Paul II is a powerful intercessor in the battle for souls.

A small, unassuming office in south-west Rome seems a rather ordinary setting in which to play out a grand battle between good and evil. It is here, though, that Father Gabriele Amorth has carried out most of his 70,000 exorcisms over the past 26 years.
“The world must know that Satan exists,” he told CNA recently. “The devil and demons are many and they have two powers, the ordinary and the extraordinary.”
Fr. Gabriele Amorth poses next to a statue
of the Virgin Mary in his office.
The 86-year-old Italian priest of the Society of St. Paul and official exorcist for the Diocese of Rome explained the difference.

“The so-called ordinary power is that of tempting man to distance himself from God and take him to Hell. This action is exercised against all men and women of all places and religions.”

As for the extraordinary powers used by Satan, Fr. Amorth explained it as how the Devil acts when he focuses his attention more specifically on a person. He categorized the expression of that attention into four types: diabolical possession; diabolical vexation like in the case of Padre Pio, who was beaten by the Devil; obsessions which are able to lead a person to desperation and infestation, and when the Devil occupies a space, an animal or even an object.”

Fr. Amorth says such extraordinary occurrences are rare but on the rise. He's particularly worried by the number of young people being affected by Satan through sects, séances and drugs. He never despairs though.

“With Jesus Christ and Mary, God has promised us that he will never allow temptations greater than our strengths.”
Hence he gives a very matter-of-fact guide that everybody can use in the fight against Satan.
“The temptations of the Devil are defeated first of all by avoiding occasions (of temptation), because the Devil always seeks out our weakest points. And, then, with prayer. We Christians have an advantage because we have the Word of Jesus, we have the sacraments, prayer to God.”

Not surprisingly, ‘Jesus Christ’ is the name Fr. Amorth most often calls upon to expel demons. But he also turns to saintly men and women for their heavenly assistance. Interestingly, he said that in recent years one man – Blessed Pope John Paul II – has proved to be a particularly powerful intercessor.
“I have asked the demon more than once, ‘Why are you so scared of John Paul II and I have had two different responses, both interesting. One, ‘because he disrupted my plans.’ And, I think that he is referring to the fall of communism in Russia and Eastern Europe. The collapse of communism.”

“Another response that he gave me, ‘because he pulled so many young people from my hands.’ There are so many young people who, thanks to John Paul II, were converted. Perhaps some were already Christian but not practicing, but then with John Paul II they came back to the practice. ‘He pulled so many young people out of my hands.’”
And the most powerful intercessor of all?
“Of course, the Madonna is even more effective. Ah, when you invoke Mary!”
“And, once I also asked Satan, ‘but why are you more scared when I invoke Our Lady than when I invoke Jesus Christ?’ He answered me, ‘Because I am more humiliated to be defeated by a human creature than being defeated by Him.”

The intercession of the living is also important, though, says Fr. Amorth. He reminds people that exorcism is a prayer and, as such, Christians can pray to liberate a soul or place from the Devil. However, three things are needed.
“The Lord gave them (the Apostles) an answer that also for us exorcists is very important. He said that overcoming this type of demon, you need much faith, much prayer and much fasting. Faith, prayer and fasting.”

“Especially faith, you need so much faith. Many times also in the healings, Jesus does not say in the Gospel it is Me who has healed you. He says, you are healed thanks to your faith. He wants faith in the people, a strong and absolute faith. Without faith you can do nothing.”

thanks to: CNA/EWTN News

St. Padré Pio Suffered much, including extreme high fevers


They call them the "Secret Vatican Files": In 2006, Pope Benedict XVI opened access to the records up until the year 1939 of what had been known as the Holy Office.
That edict made possible an examination of the Vatican's most fascinating "inside" information on a myriad of topics, including the deepest, most in-depth information on a Capuchin priest named Padre Pio from the east of the country known as the Gargano.

As it turns out, there are some real blockbusters in those once-secret records.

Although no one expected much to emerge that wasn't known about this stigmatic who has been the subject of countless books, documentaries, articles, and commentaries, fresh and surprising information has in fact emerged -- along with a new phenomenon not previously or at least widely associated with him.

"After studies, debates, and interviews, we thought we knew everything about him," writes Father Francesco Castelli in the astonishing new book,  Padre Pio Under Investigation: The Secret Vatican Files. "Buried among archived papers was a document of extraordinary importance, which now comes back from the past: the Acts of the first inquiry on Padre Pio ordered by the Holy Office. The document dates back to 1921, and contains the Capuchin's secret revelations -- six valuable depositions [interviews with Padre Pio], given under oath before an Inquisitor of the Holy Office. In them Padre Pio, reveals facts and phenomena never related to anyone, told his autobiography in  person, and handed it over to the Church and to history."

Among the revelations: in addition to the mystical wonders of stigmata, visions, the odor of sanctity, bilocation, reading of souls, healing, prophecy, and so forth, Pio also exhibited the phenomenon of "hyperthermia" -- ran temperatures so high that they burst a thermometer and they had to resort to use of a horse thermometer. That was discovered during an Apostolic Visitation by a Bishop Inquisitor named Monsignor Raffaello Carlo Rossi, who approached the matter with scientific indifference, expressing no initial belief in nor affinity for the monk he was called to investigate.

When he interviewed the superior of the convent, Father Lorenzo of San Marco, Bishop Rossi learned that Father Lorenzo had personally witnessed Padre Pio with fevers of 109.4 degrees Fahrenheit, then 113 degrees, and finally a mind-boddling and sizzling 118.4 degrees -- way beyond what causes fatality in normal humans.
Indeed, normal body temperature is 98 to 100 degrees. A temperature of 107 degrees for several hours is known to kill even healthy teenagers.
Yet Father Lorenzo -- also initially a skeptic of Pio's mystical manifestations -- recorded them personally.

The hyperthermia, notes Father Castelli, was described as "another of the facts which, if validated, 'would be most astonishing, like something miraculous,' since it is well known that the human body doesn't seem capable of reaching such high temperature. But in Padre Pio's case, it has happened more than once, and for a few years now, and Father Lorenzo, the superior, who was extremely dubious about it -- as he was about the rest -- had to convinced himself of the reality of it when the proof occurred in front of his very eyes and in his very hands. St. Pio himself described the experience as a "moral, rather than a physical, illness" and said it was like he was "in a furnace, still always conscious" -- and in fact able to go about the normal course of business.

"In fact," says Castelli, "a brother attests that even under the strain of this fever, Padre Pio is not knocked down, but gets up, moves about, and can do everything."
The investigator was also greatly puzzled by how little Padre Pio ate -- often just a cup of hot chocolate for dinner or a glass of beer and virtually nothing the rest of the day, despite an overwhelmingly vigorous schedule. Many days, he did not even take the dinner nourishment. 

So closely was Padre Pio scrutinized that Monsignor Rossi even timed how long Pio spent elevating the chalice (two minutes -- which the monsignor thought warranted criticism!).
Forcing Pio to uncover his hands and show the stigmatic "signs," the skeptical Rossi observed that blood stuck on the gloves and as a result it was obviously difficult for the monk to take them off -- although he did so obediently. The inquisitor stuck his own finger into one of Pio's hand wounds and later noted with evident astonishment: "The stigmata are there: We are before a real fact -- it is impossible to deny." Castelli notes that Pio's stigmata seemed different than that of Saint Francis, whose wounds had the look of fleshy excrescences [outgrowths] where Pio's showed no apparent opening or breaking up of the tissue. The Bishop Inquisitor had no choice but to draw a conclusion "fully in favor of their authenticity, and, in fact, of their Divine origin."

Have atheists ever really searched these things out?
If they did -- if they did not simply and conveniently refuse to even investigate phenomena like that of St. Pio's -- atheists they would be no longer.


According to a new, blockbuster look at recently released "secret Vatican files," the official Bishop Inquisitor in the first of three papal investigations of the great mystic and saint, Padre Pio, of Italy, seemed most impressed not with healings, bilocation, and the "reading of souls" for which the great Capuchin monk was best known; what seemed of the greatest conviction to Bishop Raffaello Carlo Rossi -- who in 1921 was asked to examine the 34-year-old monk in wake of a stir over stigmata -- was the fragrance that surrounded Pio -- popularly called the "odor of sanctity."
The reason the initially-skeptical inquisitor found it so impressive -- according to the files -- was that he himself experienced it and to such an extent and in such a way that it could not be an imagined or fabricated phenomenon.

"This very intense and pleasant fragrance, similar to the scent of the violet -- as it was well-described by the Bishop of Melfi -- is attested by everyone, and may the Most Eminent Fathers let me attest it, too," wrote Bishop Rossi. "I have smelled it, just as I have seen the 'stigmata.' And I can again assure the Most Eminent Fathers that I went to San Giovanni Rotundo with the resolute intention of conducting an absolutely objective inquiry, but also with a real personal unfavorable prejudice regarding what was said about Padre Pio. Today I am not a ... convert, an admirer of the Padre: certainly not; I feel complete indifference and I would say almost coldness, so much did I want to maintain a serene objectivity in writing my report. But, to clear my conscience, I have to say that, faced with some of the facts, I could not retain my personal unfavorable prejudice, even though I did not manifest anything on the outside. And one of these facts is the fragrance, which, I'll repeat, I have sensed, just like everyone else. The only one who does not notice it is Padre Pio.

"If he really, for whatever reason, used this fragrance on himself, the scent should be sensed more or less at all times," wrote the inquisitor. "But that is not the case: They say it is sensed at times, in waves, inside the cell and outside, when he walks by, in his spot in the choir, even from a distance."

Indeed, Bishop Rossi -- who interviewed St. Pio a number of times under oath -- examined the monk's cell and could find nothing that would cause such a scent. There was only plain soap -- and, noted the inquisitor, the scent remained with hair of Padre Pio's that had been cut two years before, as it also attached itself to the stigmatic blood and bandages.

The examination was one of several as Pio led a life plagued at least three times by serious persecution -- the first initiated by a pre-eminent psychologist, Father Agostino Gemelli, who claimed to know Padre Pio (but, as it was learned, had only met Pio once, and for a few minutes), and the second by Archbishop Pasquale Gagliardi of Manfredonia (the diocese to which San Giovanni belonged; Archbishop Gagliardi was virtually forced to resign in 1929 and had waged a heated campaign to discredit the monk, who nonetheless rebuked anyone who criticized the bishop).

The documents likewise reveal new details about the stigmata -- that unlike St. Francis, Pio's were not as if one side of the hand had been pierced with a protrusion as outgrowths of flesh on the other; rather, the hand-palm wounds seemed flat on the surface and his foot stigmata sometimes faded to the appearance of buttons of more delicate, whiter skin that would later "flourish" with blood.  There was no shoulder wound (as widely rumored) but there was a side wound that was triangular and the color of "red wine."

They caused Pio enormous pain. And the mystic revealed to Bishop Rossi that the wounds began with a vision of Jesus -- Who told Pio they would serve to unite Pio to His Passion. Previously, it was only known that a "mysterious" person or angel had appeared to him during prayer in the choir loft at the onset of visible stigmata. The wounds never suppurated -- discharged pus -- nor did they scar ("cicatrization"), although the hand wounds did scab.

And so the revelations tumble forth from this book that is at least as powerful and fascinating as any written on the saint -- making what seemed like an old story totally fresh, a book that inspires and is hard to put down (compiled by Father Francesco Castelli, with a preface by the well-known Italian writer Vittorio Messori).
Padre Pio -- who was canonized in 2006 -- was himself baffled by all that swirled around him. The monk remarked at one point, "I am a mystery to myself."

The Initial Objective was and STILL IS : SAVE SOULS

We must unite in prayer and penance for all priests, religious and clergy and even those in formation. "May Almighty God grant them the grace required to be the servants He desires!"
Even for us lay folks ... we too are servants and not exempt from sharing and teaching the Faith. We need to know with CERTAINTY what we believe and WHY. St. Paul exhorts us to always have a REASON for our belief .... DO WE?
How much thought have we given it in today's fast paced, ME FIRST world?

The time is coming and already here when we need to know what side of the fence we're standing on ... we also need to be close by as our friends and loved ones are shaken from their seated position on that fence when the Mighty Hand of God shakes it!!
The fence will soon shake mightily .. have we done all we can to strengthen each other and in charity, show our friends and family the right path?
Please God that we waste no more time in this ... may Your Will be done on earth as it is in heaven!

But pray hard for our bishops, priests and clergy to have the backbones to stand STRONG in full TRUTH and preach the Gospel in season and out of season whether it's convenient or inconvenient. They need our help as we need theirs. Many today have been caught up in the world as well and value more their position and place with men than they do God's approval. Power, prestige and prosperity have taken over the piety that's so needed today in clergy and lay alike.
We need to be IN the world but not OF the world. All would do well to meditate on this.

Where will you be this Saturday ... 5/21/11??

The End of the World As We Know It? Prediction of Saturday "Rapture" is Fuel for Faithful, Doubters

For some, it's Judgment Day. For others, it's party time.
A loosely organized Christian movement has spread the word around the globe that Jesus Christ will return to earth on Saturday to gather the faithful into heaven. While the Christian mainstream isn't buying it, many other skeptics are milking it.
A Facebook page titled "Post rapture looting" offers this invitation: "When everyone is gone and god's not looking, we need to pick up some sweet stereo equipment and maybe some new furniture for the mansion we're going to squat in." By Wednesday afternoon, more than 175,000 people indicated they would be "attending" the "public event."
The prediction is also being mocked in the comic strip "Doonesbury" and has inspired "Rapture parties" to celebrate what hosts expect will be the failure of the world to come to an end.
In the Army town of Fayetteville, N.C., the local chapter of the American Humanist Association has turned the event into a two-day extravaganza, with a Saturday night party followed by a day-after concert.
"It's not meant to be insulting, but come on," said organizer Geri Weaver. "Christians are openly scoffing at this."
The prediction originates with Harold Camping, an 89-year-old retired civil engineer from Oakland, Calif., who founded Family Radio Worldwide, an independent ministry that has broadcast his prediction around the world.
The Rapture -- the belief that Christ will bring the faithful into paradise prior to a period of tribulation on earth that precedes the end of time -- is a relatively new notion compared to Christianity itself, and most Christians don't believe in it. And even believers rarely attempt to set a date for the event.
Camping's prophecy comes from numerological calculations based on his reading of the Bible, and he says global events like the 1948 founding of Israel confirm his math.
He has been derided for an earlier apocalyptic prediction in 1994, but his followers say that merely referred to the end of "the church age," a time when human beings in Christian churches could be saved. Now, they say, only those outside what they regard as irredeemably corrupt churches can expect to ascend to heaven.
Camping is not hedging this time: "Beyond the shadow of a doubt, May 21 will be the date of the Rapture and the day of judgment," he said in January.
Such predictions are nothing new, but Camping's latest has been publicized with exceptional vigor -- not just by Family Radio but through like-minded groups. They've spread the word using radio, satellite TV, daily website updates, billboards, subway ads, RV caravans hitting dozens of cities and missionaries scattered from Latin America to Asia.
"These kinds of prophecies are constantly going on at a low level, and every once in a while one of them gets traction," said Richard Landes, a Boston University history professor who has studied such beliefs for more than 20 years.
The prediction has been publicized in almost every country, said Chris McCann, who works with eBible Fellowship, one of the groups spreading the message. "The only countries I don't feel too good about are the `stans' -- you know, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, those countries in Central Asia," he said.
Marie Exley, who left her home in Colorado last year to join Family Radio's effort to publicize the message, just returned from a lengthy overseas trip that included stops in the Middle East. She said billboards have gone up in Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq.
"I decided to spend the last few days with my immediate family and fellow believers," Exley said. "Things started getting more risky in the Middle East when Judgment Day started making the news."
McCann plans to spend Saturday with his family, reading the Bible and praying. His fellowship met for the last time on Monday.
"We had a final lunch and everyone said goodbye," he said. "We don't actually know who's saved and who isn't, but we won't gather as a fellowship again."
In Vietnam, the prophecy has led to unrest involving thousands of members of the Hmong ethnic minority who gathered near the border with Laos earlier this month to await the May 21 event. The government, which has a long history of mistrust with ethnic hill tribe groups like the Hmong, arrested an unidentified number of "extremists" and dispersed a crowd of about 5,000.
No such signs of turmoil are apparent in the U.S., though many mainstream Christians aren't happy with the attention the prediction is getting. They reject the notion that a date for the end times can be calculated, if not the doctrine of the Rapture itself.
"When we engage in this kind of wild speculation, it's irresponsible," said the Rev. Daniel Akin, president of the Southeastern Baptist Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C. "It can do damage to naive believers who can be easily caught up and it runs the risk of causing the church to receive sort of a black eye."
Pastors around the U.S. are planning Sunday sermons intended to illustrate the folly of trying to discern a date for the end of the world, but Akin couldn't wait: He preached on the topic last Sunday.
"I believe Christ could come today. I believe he could choose not to come for 1,000 years," he said. "That's in his hands, not mine."
Bart Centre, an atheist from New Hampshire, started Eternal Earth-bound Pets in 2009. He offers Rapture believers an insurance plan for those furry family members that won't join them in heaven: 10-year pet care contracts, with Centre and his network of fellow non-believers taking responsibility for the animals after the Rapture. The fee -- payable in advance, of course -- was originally $110, but has gone to $135 since Camping's prediction.
Centre says he has 258 clients under contract, and that business has picked up considerably this year. But he's not worried about a sales slump if May 21 happens to disappoint believers.
"They never lose their faith. They're never disappointed," he said. "It reinforces their faith, strangely enough."

Monday, May 16, 2011

Egyptian tensions reaching 'breaking point' after church attacks

An expert on Christian persecution says that attacks on three Egyptian churches on May 7 have brought the country to the brink of chaos. “The tension between the various communities has grown to a potential breaking point,” said John Pontifex, head of press and information for the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need. He told Vatican Radio on May 11 that there was now “great fear” of violence spreading “all over Cairo, and indeed elsewhere.”

Coptic Christians protest in Cairo, Egypt on May 9,
2011 / Photo Credit: Maggie Osama (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)
Approximately 3,000 members of the Salafist Jihadi movement attacked three Coptic churches in the Egyptian city of Giza on May 7. The violence left at least 15 people dead, and injured more than 200. Initially driven by a rumor about a Muslim woman being kidnapped inside a Coptic Orthodox church, the violence spread to two other churches and left homes in Coptic Christian neighborhoods torched.
Pontifex said he hoped that Coptic Orthodox Christians, along with the smaller Coptic Catholic population, could “find ways to work with the wider Muslim community to restore
He said Egyptian police had “made it absolutely clear that they aren't prepared to brook any opposition” from the Salafist Jihadi movement. The army has promised to use an “iron fist” against such attacks in the future.
But many Copts have reason to be skeptical, on the basis of reports about how the police and army handled last weekend's attacks.
One priest said that six police officers showed up – and later left the scene – in response to the 3,000-strong mob of Salafists. The army arrived more than four hours after the attacks began, and failed to stop the violence from continuing for almost 10 hours afterward.
Since then, the army and police have stepped up security around churches in Cairo, hoping to head off a similar tragedy.
But if peace can be maintained, it may be an uneasy peace from the perspective of local Christians.
“Egypt faces something of an identity crisis,” Pontifex said, explaining difficulties the country has faced since former president Hosni Mubarak stepped down in February. “It has a military-led government in place, but what will happen in the long term is as-yet unclear.”
“The big question is whether shariah” – the Islamic law system derived from the Qur'an – “will be imposed more vigorously as the basis of law and order in society.”
Even if a majority of Egyptians are not pushing for an Islamic state, the advocates of this system are better-organized than their opponents.
Islamists, according to Pontifex, “are seen, with the Muslim Brotherhood, to be the only credible alternative form of government” other than the army. “Those who are promoting democracy in a Western-style government do not have the same level of organization to push forward their agenda.”
He said that some Christians were already beginning to flee their ancestral villages in Upper Egypt.
“All the time, there are reports of Christians saying 'We want to leave. We do not feel safe here. We do not wish to stay in this region.'”
“And, of course, what happens in Egypt has manifest implications for the whole region.”
The first response from the worldwide Church, he said, should be one of prayer.
“Egypt should be a focus for prayer for the faithful at this time,” said Pontifex, urging prayer for “those who do not have the freedom to worship, to practice their faith, as freely as we in the West are able to do.”

Read more: http://www.ewtnnews.com/catholic-news/World.php?id=3204#ixzz1MWjSvJnF

Saturday, May 14, 2011


There's a new bestselling religious book that's general Christian but unlike too many that are in that category, this one doesn't take a shot at Catholicism and has some very valuable information on spiritual warfare.

In particular the book (which in large part employs, of course, scriptural passages), addresses a topic we have been focusing upon as of late: cleansing our surroundings and families.
Have you closed the portals to evil spirits? Do you ever pray specifically for that? Have you asked the Holy Spirit to show you where there may be "openings" though which darkness can enter?
More to the point: how many problems in our lives are caused by forces that we usually don't hear mentioned?
It's fascinating: how clever darkness is. And it's detailed in the book Purging Your House, Pruning Your Family Tree.
In a chapter called "Don't bring accursed things into your home," author-evangelist Perry Stone recounts the story of a friend whose home was subject to "bizarre" supernatural manifestations.
"At times he and his wife had felt a strange, somewhat evil presence coming from a certain room," writes Stone. "On several occasions, out of the corner of her eyes, his wife caught the imagery of a shadowy figure, like a vapor, moving swiftly across the floor in this same room where they felt this negative energy.
"They had not said anything about this to their children, but their concern peaked when their daughter began to express certain fearful and negative feelings she sensed and said she had seen a dark shadow in the same area.
"He knew something was wrong.
"As this concerned man, his wife, and I began searching for answers, I asked him if there was any object in his home that could attract a spirit. He immediately told me about a piece of furniture, several hundreds of years old, that was used in particular Asian religion. He purchased it because of its beauty and age. I explained to him how this altar had actually been used during a religious ceremony to pray to an idol god. I told him that all idolatry attracts some form of evil spirits.
"Although an altar is made of stone, ceramic, or wood and cannot see or hear, evil spirits linked to idolatry are still attracted to such objects since their kingdom of darkness centers on counterfeit worship."
And so there was, allegedly, a manifestation.
Bizarre indeed!
But think about it: holy objects bring the Light of good spirits (angels, saints, the Holy Spirit, and of course Jesus), so why wouldn't the opposite be true when it comes to fallen spirits (that occult objects, or something attached to sin, bring darkness)?
We know the power of relics and the sanctity of a Catholic altar. We know how many sacramentals carry good power. Here is another great strength of Catholicism!
But, these have their counterparts in the nether regions.
Many are those who suffer anxieties, tensions, and outright afflictions due to what they have allowed into their homes -- or so many testify. We heard a recent story of how a house went into a similar uproar after books were brought in that were hundreds of years old.
Moreover, spirits hover over people, households, and whole communities, feeding on the sin sent up like a smoky offering.
One highly well-educated man who was working for a computer company and had the gift of seeing spirits told Stone that he could actually observe spirits of various sizes and that they were smaller in the Bible belt than over large cities -- where they "feed off the sin in the same manner that people physically grow and receive their nourishment from food."
When we sin -- when we transgress -- we send them power.
We can even do this with bad habits.
We open those "portals."
"Lord, close every opening we have given to darkness," is one prayer (said from the heart with potency during the Rosary, especially this month of Mary and this time of spring cleaning).
Even after we come back to active Christianity, there are often weaknesses that remain -- and need to be sealed.
Getting back to "accursed" objects, Stone -- whose book has skyrocketed up some religious bestseller lists -- asserts in another case that one of his Christian missionaries had been given an old drum made of animal skin stretched on the top and bottom. He was unaware that it had been used in the past for Hindu worship ceremonies.
"One evening he and his wife were preparing their tax returns in the kitchen when they began hearing a strange scratching noise periodically coming from the other room. Eventually they discovered that it was coming from inside the drum. At first he thought a large insect had managed to get into the drum, but this was impossible because skin enclosed it tightly on both ends. He then felt it may have been used in some kind of religious ceremony and therefore may have some type of a spirit attached to it. He took the drum outside and cut the leather holding the animal skin on. He said, 'Suddenly I hear a screeching sound so loud that it sounded like a person inside the drum. The animal cover flew off, and I ran!' He destroyed the drum."

Regarding the Latin Mass

TRADUZIONE IN LINGUA INGLESE The Instruction on the application of the Motu proprio "Summorum Pontificum (July 7, 2007, entered into force September 14, 2007) was approved by Pope Benedict XVI on April 8 last and is dated April 30, the Memorial feast of St. Pius V, Pope
The Instruction, based on the first words of the Latin text, has been called "Universae Ecclesiae" and is by the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei", to whom the Pope had entrusted - among other things - the task of supervising the observance and application of the Motu proprio. So it bears the signature of its President, Cardinal William Levada, and Secretary, Msgr. Guido Pozzo.
The document was sent to all bishops in recent weeks. We must remember that "Instructions... clarify the prescripts of laws and elaborate and determine the methods to be observed in fulfilling them" (CIC, can. 34). As indicated in n.12, the instruction is issued "to ensure the correct interpretation and proper application" of the Motu proprio "Summorum Pontificum".
It is only natural that the law contained in the in the Motu proprio be followed by an Instruction on its application. The fact that this should happen now, three years on, is easily explained by recalling that in the letter accompanying the motu proprio the Pope explicitly said to the Bishops: "I invite you to write to the Holy See, three years after the entry into force of this motu proprio. If truly serious difficulties come to light, ways to remedy them can be sought".
Therefore this instruction also contains within it the fruits of the triennial examination of the application of the law, which had been planned from the outset.
The document is written in a simple language and is easy to read. The introduction (nn. 1-8) briefly recalls the history of the Roman Missal until the last edition of John XXIII in 1962, and the new Missal approved by Pope Paul VI in 1970, following the liturgical reform of Vatican II, and reaffirms the fundamental principle that these are "two forms of the Roman Liturgy, defined respectively ordinary and extraordinary: they are two usages of the Roman Rite, one alongside the other. Both are the expression of the same lex orandi of the Church. On account of its venerable and ancient usage, the extraordinary form is to be maintained with appropriate honor". (No. 6).
It also reaffirms the purpose of the motu proprio, divided into the following three points: a) To offer all faithful, the Roman Liturgy in its most ancient usage, considered a precious treasure to be preserved; b) to achieve and really ensure the use of the forma extraordinaria to those who request it c) to favour reconciliation within the Church. (ref. n. 8).
A brief Section of the document (nn. 9-11) recalls the duties and powers of the Ecclesia Dei Commission, upon whom the Pope has "conferred ordinary vicarious power" in the matter. This implies two very important consequences, among others. First, the Commission may decide on appeals that are filed against any action by bishops or other ordinary, which seem contrary to the provisions of the Motu proprio (subject to the possibility of further appeal against the Commission’s decisions at the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura ). In addition, the Commission must, with the approval of the Congregation for Divine Worship, edit any eventual edition of liturgical texts for the forma extraordinaria of the Roman Rite (in the document hope is expressed for the inclusion of new saints and new prefaces, for example).
The normative part of the document (nn. 12-35) contains 23 brief points on various arguments.
It reaffirms the competence of the diocesan bishops in implementing the Motu proprio, recalling that in the event of a dispute about the celebration in forma extraordinaria judgement falls to the "Ecclesia Dei" Commission.
It clarifies the concept of coetus fidelium (in short "group of faithful") stabiliter existens ("stable") who desire to participate in the celebration of the forma extraordinaria. While leaving the assessment of the number of people required for its establishment to the wise judgement of pastors, it states that the group does not necessarily have to be composed of persons belonging to a single parish, but may result from people who come together from different parishes or even from other dioceses. While always taking into account compliance with wider pastoral needs, the Instruction proposes a spirit of "generous welcome" towards groups of faithful who request the forma extraordinaria or priests who request to occasionally celebrate in such a form with some of the faithful.
The clarification (n. 19) according to which the faithful who request the celebration in forma extraordinaria "must not in any way support or belong to groups that show themselves to be against the validity or legitimacy of the Holy Mass or the Sacraments celebrated in the forma ordinaria " or against the authority of the Pope as Supreme Pastor of the universal Church, is most important. This would be in flagrant contradiction to the the motu proprio’s very aim of "reconciliation".
Important indications are also given with regards "qualified priests" to celebrating in forma extraordinaria. Of course he should have no impediments in canonical terms, he must have a sufficient knowledge of Latin and know the rite to be celebrated. Bishops are therefore encouraged to make proper formation for this purpose available in seminaries, and the possibility of recourse, if there are no other qualified priests, to the collaboration of priests from the Institutes set up by the "Ecclesia Dei" Commission (which normally use the forma extraordinaria) is also indicated.
The Instruction stresses how each priest whether secular or religious has license to celebrate the Mass "without the assembly" in the forma extraordinaria if desired. So if it is not a celebration with the assembly , the individual religious do not need permission from their superiors.
This is followed - again, with regards the forma extraordinaria - liturgical rules and regulations relating to the use of liturgical books (such as Roman Ritual, the Roman Pontifical and the Ceremonial of Bishops), the possibility of using the vernacular for the readings (in addition to Latin, or alternatively in the "read Masses"), the possibility of clergy using the Breviary from before the liturgical reform, the possibility of celebrating the Easter Triduum in Holy Week for the groups of faithful who request the ancient rite. With regard to sacred orders, the use of older liturgical books is permitted only in Institutions that depend from the Ecclesia Dei Commission.
Once read the impression remain of a very balanced text, which seeks to promote – as the has Popes intended - the peaceful use of the liturgy that predates the reform by those priests and faithful who feel a sincere desire for their own spiritual good, indeed, which aims to ensure the legitimacy and effectiveness of such use as much as reasonably possible. At the same time the text is animated by faith in the bishops' pastoral wisdom, and insists very strongly on the spirit of ecclesial communion which must be present in everyone - faithful, priests, bishops – so that the purpose of reconciliation, as it is present in the Holy Father's decision, is not impeded or frustrated, but encouraged and achieved.