Monday, September 24, 2007
According to Catholicnews.com, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) has ruled that the Marian apparitions that Patricia De Menezes claims to have seen beneath her English pine tree since 1984 are "highly questionable" and are not worthy of belief. In the interim, Patricia founded the Community of Divine Innocence. They speak mainly on behalf of the unborn and are 3,000 members strong in 43 countries.
Her community has never received Vatican approval because its constitution is based on the "flawed" spirituality of the alleged sightings which permeate the document. This spirituality is based on the alleged visions in which Jesus & Mary use "unusually violent and threatening language" that is often hysterical.
Basic to the authenticity of any vision is it they cannot contradict core teachings of the Catholic Church, a.k.a., Jesus threatening to bludgeon somebody. Also, the apparitions must make sense. These apparitions promoted calling all aborted children martyrs for the Christian faith. As the CDF points out, one can only be a martyr if they "bear witness to Christ." Otherwise, anyone person of any religion who died from any evil cause could be called a martyr.
A Faithful Catholic
Monday, September 17, 2007
It often seems that you can have groups on Irrelevent Radio and those like them say the craziest things, but the only way the Vatican will do anything about the extreme right is if they start ordaining their own priests. That was the case late last week when news broke that the Vatican had excommunicated certain members of the Army of Mary, located in Quebec.
Their literature had insinuated for years that Marie-Paule Giguere (pictured right) not only had visions of Mary, the Mother of Jesus, but that she was the reincarnation of the Virgin herself.
We saw the same thing happen with Archbishop Lefebvre, who founded the Society of Pius X. He disregarded the post-Vatican II Catholic Church and was only excommunicated upon ordaining four bishops to continue his work.
It seems that ultra-conservative groups with anti-Vatican II sentiment often get preferential treatment compared to those on the progressive side of church issues. It could just be the way that the "Catholic" media covers it, but that's my impression. Even now, Benedict is reaching out to the Society of Pius X. And some would say that this Latin Mass thing is an olive branch in their direction. When will there be an olive branch for the Matthew Fox's and Rev. Alice Iaquinta's?
A Faithful Catholic
Monday, September 10, 2007
It seems that whenever I read something by Dolan lately he mentions that he has been here five years. He intimates that it's time to assess. I wholeheartedly agree. In the last five years, the two things that Dolan has done that stick out the most to me: 1) He will forever be known as the bishop who closed St. Francis Seminary and put an end to it grand history. It will be a very long time untll lay people and priestly formation students study together again. 2) The continuing decline of the Catholic Herald. The Catholic Herald was bad under Weakland; now it is plain unreadable. It's a paper devoid of news, it is usually made up solely of propaganda.
It is also true that there are many bishops around the United States worse that Dolan, a lot worse to be frank. But I don't think "He wasn't as bad as others" is much a legacy. He is jolly, but that does not make up for the total lack of consensus that he has shown. Why he asks for opinions that he does not care about I do not know. The grossest example of this is of course the committee he set up to give him a recommendation about the future of St. Francis Seminary. Why even ask? And then why say you'll follow their advice, only to close down the Seminary a year later. He'll listen. He'll smile. He'll tell you that what you said was wonderful. Then he does something completely different.
Five Years Later... And he's not as bad as other bishops.
A Faithful Catholic
Thursday, September 6, 2007
The last couple weeks has seen Mother Teresa as a news item. She's become the media's poster child for doubt. But any Christian whose faith has seen any amount of adult development knows from experience that what she went through was normal. I wish she would have stated these revelations of doubt publicly while she was alive, because I think it would have been tremendously powerful. And it could have helped so many Christians that find themselves in doubt, but feel guilty about it because they somehow think it's their fault. There is this sense that the Mother Teresa's of the world know all the answers and are so certain of everything, but our faith is a living struggle in the search for truth and relationship with our God. Dry spells are part of the territory. Hopefully it is not always a duration 40 years long. I could give a list of reasons why I think spiritual dryness can be helpful to our spiritual life, but I would be grasping. All I know is that in some ironic way, it has helped to deepen my faith in God and the message of God's Word, Jesus.