Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Next Pope Will Be Better Than Expected

Benedict has again shown why he is more moderate than John Paul. First he met with Hans Kung, then he let a synod of bishops meeting in Rome talk about whatever they wanted to for a day (neither of these things were ever allowed by John Paul), and now he has reversed John Paul's regulation changes regarding how a pope is elected. Surprisingly, I have not seen this reported on the US Bishops media outlet,, but had to get it off the AP wire.

JPII had made the terrible change in 1996 to allow a pope to be elected by simple majority if he could not be elected by a two-thirds majority after 33 rounds of voting. This would have allowed for a very conservative man to be elected during the next papal conclave. All a ultra-conservative block of cardinals would have to do is wait out 33 rounds of voting. And I believe this is what JP wanted. Benedict is giving us all chance by forcing the next conclave to compromise and choose someone a little more to the center. A few years ago I wouldn't have said this, but hopefully we will get someone similar to Benedict, who appears to a be true bridgebuilder.

A Faithful Catholic

Monday, June 25, 2007

Call to Action is Coming!!!

Call to Action is coming to Milwaukee again this fall. There will be a little bit of a Catholic springtime on the weekend of November 2-4. One of the most promising speakers that will be coming is Robert McClory. He's giving a presentation called: The Church WILL be Democratized: The Why and the How. He's a professor emeritus at Northwestern and will be giving his presentation Friday afternoon and Saturday morning.

If you've never been to Call to Action, it's worth going. It's the largest organized Catholic event I can think of in America where true intellectual dialogue is welcome. But conservatives beware, if you give as an arguement: "The Pope says so," that will not be good enough. Popes have been wrong plenty in the past. Call to Action's web site is It's less expensive to go if you sign up by July 15th. I must admit that this is one of those shining gems in our Milwaukee Archdiocese. We are so lucky to have it here every year.

A Faithful Catholic

Monday, June 18, 2007

Stritch opens St. Clare Center to train lay church leaders

The Journal Sentinel reported last week that Cardinal Stritch University was opening a St. Clare Center for Lay Ministry Formation. I'm glad to hear that someone has done something about the void left by the closing of St. Francis Seminary. I applaud Dr. Scholz & Company for all their hard work. It was a real shame when St. Francis closed. It still boggles my mind. Two and a half years ago, the Archbishop sets up a committee to put their ears to the ground, do some research, and give him a recommendation about the future of St. Francis. They report to him that it is very important to keep St. Francis open, especially since it gives future lay ministers & priests a chance to connect before they get to the parish and work together. So the Archbishop responds, Bravo, let's keep it open. Only to close the Seminary a year later. The worst part is that the Archbishop still states that St. Francis Seminary is open. No seminarians or lay students study or take classes at St. Francis, but it's still open because the seminarians have mass their and talk to priests. This double speak reminds me of 1984. It's very ungood.

In any case, since the Archbishop closed the seminary with absolutely no plan for the future of the lay ministry in Milwaukee. The plan stated that seminarians, deacons, and lay certificate students would all have places to go; but properly trained lay ministers, they can go to... oh, someone will figure it out. And o thank God, or rather Dr. Scholz for having the vision and foresight, as well as the dedication to make the St. Clare Center a reality. He has possible saved the future of lay ministry in Milwaukee.

A Faithful Catholic

Monday, June 11, 2007

Jesus, The First Pope?

I just found this picture of Jesus on the a Relevant Radio web page that was celebrating June as The Month of the Sacred Heart. I must admit that I don't ever remember seeing this picture before. It just seems a little tacky to have Jesus wearing the pope's crown. As one of the titles of the pope is "Vicar of Peter," does that mean that Jesus is the "Vicar of Peter." Obviously, he is the Vicar of Christ; he speaks for himself. I don't have any problem per say with devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, but this painting seems like papal propaganda in the worst sense possible. It says not only that the papacy is extremely important, but that Jesus was the first pope.

Is this painting implying that Jesus was the first pope? Because I'm pretty sure that Catholic tradition states that Peter was the first pope. Though that is disputable, because St. Irenaeus states that Peter & Paul founded the church in Rome, which no scholar takes seriously. Most serious scholars (meanings ones that makes sense and look at more sources than those that back up their pre-established point of view) believe that there were a number of elders/bishops/overseers at the beginning of the early church in Rome. I'm sure that if Peter or Jesus had become the first bishop of Rome, the author of Acts of the Apostles would have said something. I hope this entry is not too cynical or trite.

A Faithful Catholic

Friday, June 1, 2007

Women Ordained Priests in Canada

Earlier this week in Toronto, five women and a married man were ordained to the priesthood by a female bishop. And my initial response is "good for them." We need more priests. Based on my knowledge of a women in this diocese being ordained, this group typically ordains women who are just as qualified academically as Pope-sactioned priests.

I was reading another blog that commented on this ordination before it happened, and I thought he made some interesting points. He stated that "valid matter" was needed to perform sacraments. He gave the example that you can't use milk for baptizing. As such women are not "valid matter" for ordination. I wrote him a response reminding him that under certain circumstances you can baptize with milk, in face certain official books give spit as an examle of valid matter that can be used in an emergency for baptism when no water is available. Also, of course, lay persons can baptize in an emergency when no priest is available.

I think that this argument could also be used to justify ordaining women when there is a vocational crisis. We need our sacraments. And I am very proud of the male bishops who were brave enough to ordain the original group of female bishops. But even without the emergency argument, there is plenty of evidence that relates how certain doctrines, even those concerning sacraments and valid matter, have changed and evolved over time.