Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Former-Jesuit Advocate

A former Jesuit and currently a professor at Georgetown has joined in rallying support for same-s@x marriage on the campus of Georgetown University.
Father Joseph Palacios, a sociology teacher, is a member of the board of Catholics for Equality, (here) a group that is pushing for legal recognition of same-s@x unions. 
He argues that Catholics are ready to embrace the cause because “Catholicism, as a religious group, is one of the most progressive Christian groups” in the country. 
Link (here) to the original Catholic Culture article.
Link (here) to the Georgetown's Hoya newspaper website article on the subject

18th Century Jesuit Chinese Bishop Of Nanking

The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Nanjing 1752, Bishop Gottfried Xavier von Laimbeckhoven was appointed bishop, although he had to escape to Macao for his Episcopal consecration three years later. But he continued his active missionary life, traveling all over his diocese. "I was their bishop," he noted, "but I could neither meet, nor lead my flock." His most painful cross was the duty imposed on him to promulgate the Pontifical Brief suppressing the Jesuit Order in 1773. It was to him like "condemning my own mother to death." From his Jesuit Superior in Beijing, he received this note dated May 25, 1775:
"For the last time, I can sign as a Jesuit. The bull of suppression is on its way, and will soon reach you. Yet it is already a tremendous blessing to have been a Jesuit one or two years!" 
All his life, Bishop Laimbeckhoven faithfully observed the Jesuit Rule, which was a source of profound joy and strength for him. The bishop of Macao questioned his faculties, and a Portuguese missionary refused to obey him. Rome considered him too old and sent a vicar to take his place, but the latter died on the way, creating a delicate juridical impasse. Exhausted, Bishop Laimbeckhoven retired to an obscure village, where an ex-Jesuit priest ministered the last sacraments to him.
Link (here) to the full article at Business World written by Fr. José S. Arcilla S.J. 
Link (here) to the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Nanjing 

Zen Jesuit On Pagan Buddhist Spiritual Master Bodhidharma

So I looked over the group walking. In the official zen world a priest would have a robe. No, none had a robe, even the priest ( Fr. Robert Edward Kennedy, S.J ) who ran the zendo. But everyone was in black, even yours truly. Everyone, that is, except a tall gray-haired man with kaki pants (w/rolled up cuffs) and a patterned shirt. Clearly this would not be Kennedy Roshi. He should have a robe and a collar and maybe a patch over one eye... not kaki pants and a patterned shirt. So, you guessed it... it was him, in all his splendor.
I'm now listening to some of his talks on CDs that I purchased. He told an interesting story about (here)  Bodhidharma, who supposedly said that if a monk only studied and copied the teachings then he could be killed because there was no need for him. We need people with insight. Yea... not to the killing, but with that the point of view.
Link (here) to read the full blog post, at the blog entitled Diaristic Notations

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Jesuit A Part Of Irish Visitation

The Vatican Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life will organise the visitation of religious congregations in two phases.
Firstly it will conduct an inquiry by questionnaire to be sent to all the superiors of religious institutes/congregations in Ireland. This is intended to establish an accurate picture of the current situation and to help formulate plans for the observance and improvement of the norms contained in church child protection guidelines.
The apostolic visitors to the religious congregations will be Fr Joseph Tobin, former superior of the Redemptorist congregation, and Jesuit Fr Gero McLoughlin, who will both visit men’s religious congregations.
Sr Sharon Holland, of the Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and a former Vatican official, as well as Sr Máirín McDonagh, of the Religious of Jesus and Mary, will visit female religious congregations.
As the Vatican said in a statement announcing details of the visitation last May: “The Holy See intends to offer assistance to the bishops, clergy, religious and lay faithful as they seek to respond adequately to the situation caused by the tragic cases of abuse.”
Link (here) to read the full article at the Irish Times.

Jesuit On The Possibilty Of Life On Mars

NORMALLY filled with theology students, the creaking classroom seats of the Pontifical University of St Thomas Aquinas in Rome were crammed with planetary scientists and astronomers from all over the world.
Mars Rover
Overhead screens flashed slideshows of planned space missions and colourful graphs as dozens of speakers and nearly 600 participants shared their latest discoveries and dreams of finding extraterrestrial life in the universe.
"Mars is still a very intriguing object with a high probability of life being somewhere under the surface or some traces of life remaining," Jesuit Father Pavel Gabor told Catholic News Service on September 21.
The Czech priest works at the Vatican Observatory in Tucson, Arizona, United States, and was one of a number of Vatican astronomers who took part in the European Planetary Science Congress from September 19-24 at the university.
Link (here) to the full article at The Catholic Leader.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Jesuit On The Proper Worship Of The One True God

Easter Vigil 2007
George Cardinal Pell’s comments on the new English-language liturgical translations of the Missal, the coordination of which he is in charge. On hearing these newly translated words, we may finally realize how vapid the present ones we use are. But we are people of habit. Some people won’t like it.
A “conservative” will henceforward be someone who does not want to change the present translations, whereas a “liberal” will be one who likes the new ones. 
Pell was asked about the direction the priest should face during Mass. He would favor the priest and congregation facing the East, all together facing toward the Lord, the proper focus of attention. Why? “Because it makes it patently clear that the priest is not the center of the show, that this is an act of worship of the one true God, and the people are joining with the priest for that” (Adoremus Bulletin, April 2009, from the London Catholic Herald, March 20). “The priest is not the center of the show” — that is a great line. Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger made this same point in his "Spirit of the Liturgy: “A common turning toward the East during the Eucharistic Prayer remains essential.... 
Looking at the priest has no importance. What matters is looking together at the Lord. A drum-major marches with his back to the band because he is leading them all to something in front of them. All go in the same direction. An orchestra director has his “backs to the people” so that both he and the audience can see and hear something beyond and in front of them. 
Cardinal Pell adds something that I had not seen stressed before. If we insist, as many will, on the priest looking at the congregation and they at him, a crucifix should always be placed between the priest and the congregation. It recalls to both what is going on here. Neither priest nor congregation is the center of attention. The temptation of the priest at Mass is to be an actor. Not a few excel at it. Ratzinger says, however, that, at the altar, the “priest must decrease, the Lord increase”, referring to John the Baptist. 
Link (here) to read the full article by Fr. James Schall, S.J. his article is entitled, What Do We Mean When We Say "In Persona Christi"? At Mass we are full of the Lord, not full of ourselves 

Loyola Marymount University, "Marriage Is Between A Man And A Woman"

Fr. Robert Caro, S.J.
Jesuit Fr. Robert Caro, vice president for Mission and Ministry and a professor of English at LMU, offered some clarification to the role of the new LGB/T center on campus. “It is well known that we live in a world where hom@phobia is not uncommon,” 
Caro told the Loyolan, “and even at LMU, we have had instances of derogatory comments directed at gay students.
Such cruel behavior does not belong on a Catholic – or any – campus. So I welcome LGB/T Student Services as a safe place for dialogue, inclusiveness and education for all our students. No one at LMU should be discriminated against. Just as the new office can help to undercut the myths that lie behind hom@phobia, it can also provide an opportunity for a deeper understanding of the principles of Catholic social and moral teaching.”

To his credit, Fr. Caro then made quite clear what the Church teaches regarding hom@sexual behavior, telling the student newspaper: “The Catholic position is that all of us have the innate dignity that comes to us as children of God. Being g@y or l@sbian is not a sin, anymore than being straight could be considered a sin. At the same time, it is important to say that according to Catholic moral teaching, sexual activity is reserved for marriage – marriage between a man and a woman. Thus, in this University setting, we urge a life of celibacy for all students who are not married.”
Link (here) to read the full article at California Catholic Daily 

Monday, September 27, 2010

Jesuit On Celebacy

....the tension between the "debt" of marriage and the analogous "debt" owed by the priest. It is this tension which justifies the likening of priestly noncontinence to adultery. The latter debt, owed by the High Priest as Head of our fallen race, must be paid in persona Christi: it is the debt of the Cross, rendered to the benefit of the Church by the one High Priest, a ransom offered in his name, by his authority, at every celebration of the Mass. Here, it would seem, between the consummation of Matrimony by conjugal intercourse, and the consummation of the sacrifice of the Cross by the death of Christ, is the sacramental analogy we seek, and also the concrete transcendence of the symbolism of marriage by the symbolism of the Eucharist that is here in issue. It must be remembered that by both consummations, an irrevocable covenant is instituted, and that, as between these analogates, it is the Eucharist which constitutes the prime.
Link (here) to a fantastic piece by Fr. Donald J. Keefe, S.J. 
Priestly Celibacy in Patristics and in the history of the Church (here)

Jesuit On Ignatian Chastity

Friendship in the Society should offer Jesuits the opportunity to develop a range of relationships that communicate varying levels of intimacy and trust, including some that might approximate the intense friendship between Ignatius, Xavier, and the first companions. 
Developing such intimacy among men is not the usual experience of males in our culture and is challenging for Jesuits whatever their s@xual orientation might be.  Heterosexual and hom@s@xual Jesuits will both need to discover how this closeness and vulnerability can be realized as a gift of our community life and a healthy expression of living chastity.  
Perhaps this is one way we accept the invitation that “Jesuit community is not just for mission; it is itself mission.”

Link (here) to the essay entitled, Living Chastity by Fr. Gerdenio Sonny Manuel, S. J.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Because Of Apache Indians Bishop Needed Jesuits

They spent six months on the road, camping out in freezing weather, riding through the desert heat, 
enduring the theft of their horses and livestock, narrowly avoiding an Apache Indian attack. All for nothing. Bishop J.B. Lamey was the first archbishop of Santa Fe. A native Frenchman, Lamey was just 25 when he was sent to America, 
where he shuttled around Ohio before being sent to the Southwest. One of the first things he apparently noted was that his missions were lacking in Jesuit priests.
Link (here) to read the rest of the story.

Black Studies Professor At Creighton University Passes

Ashton W. Welch
Ashton W. Welch, an associate professor of history and longtime director of Creighton University's black-studies program, died unexpectedly in his sleep on August 14. He was 68; the cause of death was not specified.
Among the things left in his office were syllabus notes for the three courses he was going to teach this fall. "We all felt Ashton was the heart and soul of the department," 
said Elizabeth R. Elliot-Meisel, chair of history. Mr. Welch began teaching at the Jesuit university in 1971 and led its black-studies program, an interdepartmental effort that he helped found in 1975, until his death.
Link (here) to read the full article.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Jesuit Verses Communist

Binda Pandey
A legislative panel in Nepal has proposed retaining a ban on converting others in the country's new constitution. 
Parliament has yet to decide on the proposal, but Christian leaders said they fear it is likely to be approved given that Nepal's largest political party, led by former Maoist rebels, sympathizes with the deposed king's wishes for such a ban. 
The country is forging a new constitution as part of its transition from a Hindu monarchy to a democracy. Bishop Narayan Sharma of the Believers Church said he expects approval of the ban as recommended by the Committee on Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles (CFRDP). A Sept. 13 report by the Religious Liberty Commission of the World Evangelical Alliance said a preliminary draft the CFRDP presented to Nepal's Parliament penalizes activities aimed at encouraging others to convert, though it does not punish individuals for converting. The CFRDP chairperson, Binda Pandey, told Compass her panel's proposal was final. "We have submitted the draft to the Constituent Assembly, and no more drafts will be presented," she said. "Now the Assembly has to make a decision." Asked if the proposal violated international conventions such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Nepal is a signatory, Pandey said the committee looked at "all relevant conventions" as well as "Nepal's own unique socio-political context" before reaching the consensus. 
Pandey is from the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist). Bishop Anthony Sharma, the first ethnic Nepalese to be ordained as a Jesuit priest, 
said the panel's proposal will not alter his congregation's Christian activities. "We do not have any fear, and we will continue to do what we are doing, whether it's a Hindu constitution or a secular one," he said. "Conversion is by God; people simply respond to Him. Our philosophy is, ‘We propose and not impose.' The growth of the church in Nepal is due to the Christian witness, and not just by preaching."
Link (here) to read the full story at Charisma

Hippie Jesuit Church

I am surprised that I am a practicing Catholic. I didn't grow up going every Sunday. It was a little confusing, in fact. 
Around the time of my First Holy Communion we were a part of a "hippie," Jesuit church that met in a hall and tore apart loaves of french bread. Sometimes families would plan the Mass and I remember one where we reenacted Free to Be You and Me
(Free to Be…You and Me’ was a project of the Ms. Foundation for Women, giving it an openly feminist base, and the expressed goal was to erase stereotypes based on class, race, and s@x in society from the bottom up, starting with children.) In nice weather we'd go to a field and sit on blankets singing, Bob Dylan's "Blowing in the Wind" with nuns playing guitars.
Link (here) to Totus Tuus Blog

Former Jesuit On His Personal Prayer Life

Jerry Brown
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown has some unique credentials as a former Jesuit seminarian -- and takes some unusual questions from the press as a result. In Newark Thursday, talking alternative energy at PetersenDean Roofing and Solar Systems, he was queried about how he reconciles his political ambitions -- as a former two-term governor, who's run for president three times -- with his past in religious life. He said he believes "civic engagement, at its best" can reflect "the Christian commitment to do justice, seek mercy and to be compassionate -- and to create a more just society." Good question from the LA Times, and our very own Shaky Hand Productions was there to bring you right to the campaign trail to hear his complete answer. But Brown, the State Attorney General, wasn't inclined to open up completely to reporters on this theme of religion and spirituality. Asked -- twice -- if he still meditates, Brown said firmly "that's not something I care to discuss."
Link (here) to the San Francisco Chronicle to watch the video

Friday, September 24, 2010

Head Butts

Fr. Mark Massa, S.J.
 The American Catholic Revolution: How the ’60s Changed the Church Forever,” describes how celebrating the Mass in English, 
butting heads with the pope on birth control, and priests protesting the Vietnam War opened new possibilities — and controversies — in the church.
Fr. Mark Massa, S.J. dean of Boston College‘s School of Theology and Ministry, spoke about his book; some answers have been edited for length and clarity.
Link (here) to Fr. Z's What Does The Prayer Really Say to read the extensive interview with Fr. Z's frank commentary


Jane Dawson, Ph.D., tells the audience that Scottish Protestantism was born in song

 The psalms were also used as protest songs in the battle between Catholicism and Protestantism. For example, Scottish Protestants sung from the psalms—"Judge and revenge my cause, Oh Lord, from them that evil be"—at the downfall of the Catholic Mary Queen of Scots in 1567. 
Singing in church led to the singing of religious songs in the house, which then gave rise to songs sung in private prayers, Dawson said. "Singing helped Protestants to cope with what Peter Marshall has called the 'displacement of Purgatory,'" 
she said. "It was a way to deal with the guilt and awareness of sin." Her presentation, "Singing the Reformation," was held on the Lincoln Center campus and was part of the St. Robert Southwell, S.J., Lecture Series
Link (here) to read the piece at the Fordham website

Saint Teresa of Interceding for Souls in Purgatory by Rubans

Hazing By Feminists

Creighton University will sponsor a week-long series of student-focused activities, presentations and events on campus to raise awareness of domestic and intimate partner violence. The observance is called “Respect Me, Respect You” and will begin Sept. 26. New to the schedule this year is a panel discussion led by Alan Heisterkamp, Ph.D., of the Waitt Institute for Violence Prevention, who will be joined by several Creighton faculty members in a panel discussion about violence in the media. 
Also new is a “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” activity, with fraternity members donning high heels to symbolically show understanding and empathy with women 
who experience domestic and intimate partner violence. 
Link (here) to Creighton University

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Flawed Theology At Jesuit University US Bishops Issue Warning

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) on Wednesday issued a sharply worded rebuke of a book co-authored by two Creighton University theologians. "The Sexual Person: Toward a Renewed Catholic Anthropology" was published in 2008 and written by Todd A. Salzman, chairman of the Creighton University Department of Theology, and Michael G. Lawler, the department’s professor emeritus. The book attempts to provide moral justification for contemporary sexual behaviors that consistently have been held to be immoral by the Catholic Church. The 23-page statement is titled "Inadequacies in the Theological Methodology and Conclusions of The Sexual Person: Toward a Renewed Catholic Anthropology." Drafted by the USCCB’s Committee on Doctrine,
it calls the authors’ conclusions “a radical departure from the Catholic theological tradition,” erroneous, and “harmful to one’s moral and spiritual life.” Moreover, the statement said, “the book proposes ways of living a Christian life that do not accord with the teaching of the Church and Christian tradition.”
Archbishop George J. Lucas of the Archdiocese of Omaha said it is unfortunate that two theologians associated with Creighton University have taken theological positions in clear conflict with Catholic tradition. “The Catholic community is rightly proud of the good work of Creighton University over so many years,” Lucas said. “However, it is disappointing that Professors Salzman and Lawler have persisted in publishing material that is not consistent with the teaching of the Catholic Church.”
In 2007, Archbishop Elden F. Curtiss, then archbishop of Omaha, publicly reprimanded Salzman and Lawler for co-writing articles that argued for the moral legitimacy of h@mosexual acts. A year later, in The Se@ual Person, the theologians opposed the Church’s traditional teaching that prohibits premarital s@x, homos@xual acts, contraception, and artificial insemination and called the Church’s teaching on these matters “flawed theology.”
Link (here) to Lifesite
Hat Tip to Tancred (here)

Jesuit University In Mexico Offers "Unique" Forum

Michele Obama at Universidad Iberoamericana
I offered to organize a Forum of Intergenerational Discussion on S@xual Health at the private Jesuit University where I study Psychology: the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City. The institution was interested in, and accepted to house, the Forum. After weeks of organization, it took place on Friday September 3rd, one day before the World S@xual Health Day. The Forum began with a message delivered by Patricia Uribe, Director of the National Center of Gender Equality and Reproductive Health. Later, Eusebio Rubio (Past President of the WAS) introduced the concepts of “s@xual health” and “s@xual rights,” Esther Corona (Executive Coordinator of the WAS) explained the global panorama of the World Sexual Health Day and Nadine talked about the activities in Mexico. The intergenerational discussion began with the tremendously smart and funny intervention of Guadalupe Loaeza, one of Mexico’s most popular writers. She told her “s@xual autobiography," which began decades ago, when she was expelled from a religious middle school after telling her classmates about “the way babies are made." 
Link (here) to read the full blog post

New Jesuit Digs

The Blessed Peter Faber Jesuit Community, a space dedicated to the formation of Jesuit priests, recently opened on Foster Street. The five buildings that make up the grounds are now home to an international group of 75 Jesuits, whose main apostolate is theological reflection, scholarship and research. Formerly the Weston Jesuit Community, the group includes many students and teachers from the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry. Construction of the new community was a partnership between BC and the USA Assistancy of the Society of Jesus; while Boston College owns the physical land and financed the construction project, the Assistancy holds a mortgage on the buildings. Last month, the Jesuits — some of them having lived in Harvard Square for 40 years ‑ moved into their new residence. Beyond a centralized living space, the Faber Community boasts a community library, conference area, administrative space and a chapel that can accommodate a Mass for all residents. The property also has four houses of living space, each equipped with a small chapel, kitchen, living room, dining space and small recreation room.
Link (here) to Boston Chronicle.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Message

I'm giving a weeklong retreat to thirteen of the Sisters. It's a retreat I haven't given in a few years and it's based on the 33 invocations in the Litany of the Sacred Heart. On almost every Sunday at noon the Pope, wherever he is--at home in St. Peter's Square or at his summer home at Castel Gandalfo or on the road somewhere--prays the Angelus with the faithful. But before doing so, he gives a little message. At various times from 1985 to 1989, Pope John Paul spoke about the invocations of the Sacred Heart Litany. His Angelus Message on Sunday, July 1, 1984 was entitled "In the Heart of Christ there is a synthesis of all the mysteries of our faith." And in his Angelus Message of June 27, 1982 he said: "This prayer, recited and meditated, becomes a true school of the interior life, the school of the Christian." 
Link (here) to the blog entitled, Offer It Up by Fr. James Kubiki, S.J.

More Payments

A group of victims who were s@xually abused by members of the Catholic Jesuit Order said on Monday they would seek compensation payments of more than 80,000 euros ( $105,000) for each of the 205 victims.
Link (here) to Deutsche Welle
One wonders what Newman would think about the religious value of watching Mel Gibson’s The Passion in the comfort of one’s living room …
Link (here) to read the full essay of Mr. Aaron Pidel, S.J. on Blessed Cardinal  Henry Newman

Boston College Web Linkage To Abortion Mill

Students who look up local pro-bono organizations on the Boston College Law School website may be surprised to find the contact information listed for Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts. The web page, included under the academic programs category at, is a list of organizations that students are encouraged to contact should they 
“line up with [their] own personal mission of service.” 
The page lists contact information for Planned Parenthood’s volunteer coordinator and the address of the clinic on Commonwealth Avenue.  According to Planned Parenthood’s website, the clinic provides in-clinic abortions, the abortion pill, and referrals for abortions.
Link (here) The Observer.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Jesuit On Luke Skywalker

....back to my old Star Wars, Episode IV, inside the Millenium Falcon faith.  Early in the original Star Wars, Luke's in the Falcon with Obi-Wan, trying to use his light saber to block the floating globe's little laser beams, and failing miserably. Then, Ben has Luke put down the blast shield on his helmet, rendering him blind.  And he does fantastic. 
Link (here) to Gone Walkabout by Fr. Jim McDermott, S.J.

Mass Attendence Up 30% At Downtown Cincinnati Jesuit Church

"Never underestimate the aesthetics," said the Rev. Eric Knapp, a Jesuit priest and pastor of St. Francis Xavier Church in downtown Cincinnati. "It helps." Knapp said his church has revitalized itself in the past few years by blending hospitality, social activities and community outreach with a traditional Catholic message.
Mass attendance is up from 1,000 to 1,300, baptisms are up from 12 to 60 a year and weekly collections have climbed from $5,700 to $11,000. The church has gotten younger, too. 
The average age of parishioners has fallen from 60 to 50 in just a few years, thanks in part to young people who are finding their way back to Mass.
"There is room for those who are curious, those who are taking baby steps to explore their spirituality," Knapp said. "The bottom line is, if you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten."
Link (here) to the Cincinnati Examiner

Monday, September 20, 2010

Jesuit On Dealing With Protestant Sects, Heretics, Outlaws And Whorshippers Of Idols

In a special pamphlet, ' Ueber die Treue welche man den Haretikern schuldet,' Fr. Martin Becanus, S.J. lays down the general rule: ' If you have concluded a treaty or an alliance with heretics, you must thoroughly and honourably fulfil that which you have promised, just as much as you would in the case of Catholics.' For ' we must never tell lies, never violate our neighbours' rights, never commit an act of injustice, never be guilty of perjury. In very deed, if you once admit that all such wrong-doing is allowable on the ground that you are dealing with a heretic, it follows that you also have the right to kill, rob, and hate heretics; but this would be contrary to reason and to the law of God.' Even towards unbelievers and worshippers of idols, according to the testimony of Holy Writ, faith must be observed —how much more, then, to the Protestant sects ? 
He then brings forward some specially important cases to show how we are bound to keep faith even with outlaws, excommunicated persons, and heretics, in marriage, in war, and in case of having granted a safeconduct. Charles V., for instance, did all honour to the name of a Catholic emperor when he refused at Worms to violate Martin Luther's safe-conduct. The most important section of the treatise bears the heading: 'Ob man den Haretikern Treue halten miisse, wenn es sich urn die Freiheit der Religion handelt' (' Whether it is necessary to keep faith with heretics, when it is a question of freedom of religion'). Becanus begins by reminding his readers that Christ's ideal, according to the testimony of the Gospel, was that men should have but one faith, one Church, and one supreme shepherd. A variety of religions in a State was dangerous, and disturbed the peace of civil life, as is seen from the history of the Donatists, the Iconoclasts, the Albigenses, the Hussites, and the Calvinists in England, Belgium, France, and Poland. No Catholic prince, therefore, ought of his own accord to introduce religious freedom. 
The greatest emperors of Christian antiquity, Fathers of the Church, such as Ambrosius, Chrysostom, Augustine, had striven with the utmost zeal to preserve to the Catholic Church alone the right of public worship of God. ' If, however, the Catholic ruling authorities in any given place are unable to prevent the existence of other modes of belief and worship side by side with the Catholic faith, without occasioning still worse evil to the community, they must then be allowed to tolerate the unorthodox religions.'  
This was the emphatic teaching of Thomas of Aquinas, and in the same sense, says Becanus, spoke the scholars of the Jesuit Order, Maldonat, Gregory of Valentia, and Molina. If, then, he says, in concluding his typical instances, a Catholic authority seals a contract with heretics with reference to toleration of this sort, ' there is no question whatever but that the contract must be adhered to; for the obligation of faith and loyalty arises out of every legitimate, honest compact. At the same time, however, it is permissible, and in accordance with the moral law, that freedom of religion be tolerated in order to avoid greater evil, and a Catholic prince has full right to make such toleration the subject-matter of a treaty; and, if he does so, he is bound in honour to keep his word.' In 1593 Peter Stevart, professor of theology at Ingolstadt, entreated the Emperor, princes, and Estates that ' for God's sake and for the establishment of truth they would plainly state whether they had ever received from the Society of Jesus any such instructions and counsels for the extermination of all the Evangelicals and Protestants.' ' For if your Imperial Majesty and your princely graces do really declare that the Jesuits are contemplating sanguinary onslaughts of this kind, our German nation will then come forward and call on your Imperial Majesty and the princes for vengeance against these insurrectionary people, and insist that they shall be at once sentenced to death.'

The Holy Father On The Undermining Of Moral Credibility

This is an excerpt of the Holy Fathers address from Oscott College to Bishops of England, Scotland and Wales: 
Another matter which has received much attention in recent months, and which seriously undermines the moral credibility of Church leaders, is the shameful abuse of children and young people by priests and religious. 
I have spoken on many occasions of the deep wounds that such behavior causes, in the victims first and foremost, but also in the relationships of trust that should exist between priests and people, between priests and their bishops, and between the Church authorities and the public. 
I know that you have taken serious steps to remedy this situation, to ensure that children are effectively protected from harm and to deal properly and transparently with allegations as they arise. You have publicly acknowledged your deep regret over what has happened, and the often inadequate ways it was addressed in the past. Your growing awareness of the extent of child abuse in society, its devastating effects, and the need to provide proper victim support should serve as an incentive to share the lessons you have learned with the wider community. Indeed, what better way could there be of making reparation for these sins than by reaching out, in a humble spirit of compassion, towards children who continue to suffer abuse elsewhere? Our duty of care towards the young demands nothing less.
Link (here) to read the full address at Fr. Z's WDTPRS.

9/20/1997 Reuters PRESTON, England —
A Jesuit priest who s@xually abused boys at a top English boys school has been sentenced to 5 years in prison. Fr. James Chaning-Pearce, 57, mo@ested four teenaged boys at Stonyhurst College while he was a teacher between 1987-95. .................After being kicked out of Stonyhurst he had been sent by the Jesuits to Canada for psychiatric treatment, later to Our Lady of Victories, an austere retreat for fallen priests in Chalford, Gloucestershire, and finally to St. Beuno's College, another Jesuit retreat in North Wales. There police found a photo in his room of naked bo@s beside a waterfall in Zimbabwe. Chaning-Pearce will be entered on the new British pedophile register but remains a Jesuit. A spokesman for the order said, "If we can't believe in the possibility of repentance, who can?"
Link (here)

Jesuit Wins Holy Bowl In Front Of 17,000

Before an estimated 17,000 fans, Jesuit defeated Christian Brothers 18-15 in the 40th Sacramento Holy Bowl. Video highlights from Access Sacramento. (here)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Blessed Miguel Pro, S.J. And Graham Greene

Graham Green
Baxter recalls making a find quite unexpectedly at the famous antiquarian bookstore, Maggs. They had only a few Greene editions of note. One in particular caught Baxter’s attention: an inscribed first edition of  The Lawless Roads without a dustwrapper for 150 pounds.
It wasn’t a very collectible item and without the dust jacket worth even less. But Baxter, now fully into Graham Greene, spotted something the bookshop had missed. It was dedicated, in that spidery Greene hand to the Jesuit priest (Fr. Miguel Pro) the author had dedicated “The Power and The Glory”   (here) to, making it at once precious.
Baxter snapped it up. 
Link (here) to Deccan Herald 
An excerpt to Graham Green's prologue in the book entitled, The Lawless Roads.
Blessed Miguel Pro, S.J.
In July 1926, Father Miguel Pro landed at Veracruz. He was twenty-five years old and a Jesuit. He came back to his own country from a foreign seminary much as Campion returned to England from Douai. We know how he was dressed when a year and a half later he came out into the prison yard to be shot, and he may well have worn the same disguise when he landed (the equivalent of Campion's doublet and hose): a dark lounge suit, soft collar and tie, a bright cardigan. Most priests wear their mufti with a kind of uneasiness, but Pro was a good actor. He needed to be. Within two months of Pro's landing, President Calles had begun the fiercest persecution of religion anywhere since the reign of Elizabeth. The churches were closed, Mass had to be said secretly in private houses, to administer the Sacraments was a serious offence. Nevertheless, Pro gave Communion daily to some three hundred people, confessions were heard in half-built houses in darkness, retreats 'were held in garages. Pro escaped the plain-clothes police again and again. Once he found them at the entrance to a house where he was supposed to say Mass; he posed as a police officer, showing an imaginary badge and remarking, 'There's a cat bagged in here', and passed into the house and out again with his cassock under his arm. Followed by detectives when he left a Catholic house and with only fifty yards' start, he disappeared altogether from their sight round a corner - the only man they overtook was a lover out with his girl. The prisons were filling up, priests were being shot, yet on three successive first Fridays Pro gave the Sacrament to nine hundred, thirteen hundred, and fifteen hundred people
Link (here) to the full prologue on St. Miguel Pro, S.J. 


In May, an investigation found that at least 205 former students claimed to have been sexually or otherwise abused in Jesuit schools in Germany, and 46 Jesuits and non-clerical staff at the schools have been accused of abuse or of knowing of such crimes without acting.
Link (here)

Jesuit Theology Of The 17th Century

The Society of Jesus substantially adhered to the Summa of Thomas Aquinas, yet at the same time it made use of an eclectic freedom. Luis Molina (d. 1600) was the first Jesuit to write a commentary on the Summa of St. Thomas entitled, Concordia liberi arbitrii cum gratiae donis (1588–89; “The Harmony of Free Will with Gifts of Grace”). He was followed by the first Jesuit Cardinal Franciscus Toletus (d. 1596) and by Gregory of Valencia surnamed "Doctor doctorum," (d. 1603), mentioned above as a controversialist

A leading Jesuit group are the Spaniards Francisco Suárez, Gabriel Vasquez, and Didacus Ruiz. Francisco Suárez (d. 1617), the most prominent among them, had the title "Doctor eximius", which Pope Benedict XIV gave him. In his colleague Gabriel Vasquez (d. 1604), Suárez found a good critic. Didacus Ruiz (d. 1632) wrote on God and the Trinity, subjects which were also thoroughly treated by Christopher Gilles (d. 1608). Harruabal (d. 1608), Ferdinand Bastida (d. about 1609), Valentine Herice belong to the history of Molinism.
During the succeeding period James Granado (d. 1632), John Præpositus (d. 1634), Caspar Hurtado (d. 1646), and Anthony Perez (d. 1694) wrote commentaries on Aquinas. Theological manuals were written by Arriaga (d. 1667), Martin Esparza (d. 1670), Francis Amicus (d. 1651), Martin Becanus (d. 1625), Adam Tanner (d. 1632), and finally by Sylvester Maurus (d. 1687), who is clear and a philosopher. 

Major monographs were:
Cardinal Pallavicini, (d. 1667), known as the historiographer of the Council of Trent, won repute as a dogmatic theologian by several of his writings.
Link (here) to an extensive article called, History of Catholic Dogmatic Theology

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Alien Evangelist

A senior astronomer at the Vatican Observatory has embraced the idea of finding extraterrestrial intelligence. Guy Consolmagno, who speaks at the British Science Festival in Birmingham on Saturday, told journalists: “I’d be delighted if we found intelligent life elsewhere in the universe.” 
Brother Guy, who is an American Jesuit priest and a researcher into meteorites and asteroids, said Catholic theology had no problem with the idea of aliens with souls. “God is bigger than just humanity. God is also the god of angels,” 
he said. “Any entity – no matter how many tentacles it has – has a soul.
Link (here) to the full article at The Financial Times

Balancing Act: Letters Of Friendship To Karl Rahner

The book is entitled, Gratwanderung: Briefe der Freundschaft an Karl Rahner. That translates into Balancing act: Letters of friendship to Karl Rahner.

Here are some of the contents of the book: It is an image out of sync with the persona of a German academic: Jesuit Fr. Karl Rahner on his knees before a woman, overwhelmed with gratitude for his love, for a passionate relationship with a 51-year-old widow and two-time divorcee that would produce some 4,000 letters between 1962 and Rahner's death in 1984. Rahner, considered by many to be the 20th century's most creative Catholic theologian, was 58 when German novelist Luise Rinser played the image back to him in a letter dated Aug. 10, 1962. "My Fish, truly beloved, I cannot express how shaken I was as you knelt before me," she wrote.  
"You were kneeling before the Love that you are experiencing and before which I also kneel in amazement, in reverence, with trembling and with an exultation that I hardly dare to allow myself to feel. We are both touched in the innermost part of our being by something that is much stronger than we anticipated." 
The passage is from letters that Rinser wrote to Rahner over the 22 years of their relationship. Published in German, the letters hold a particular fascination for Pamela Kirk, a theologian who teaches at St. John's University in Jamaica, N.Y. While there has been virtually no public discussion of the letters in the United States, she has delivered two papers on the Rinser-Rahner relationship at the Catholic Theological Society of America.
Link (here) to read the extensive article first published in the National Catholic Reporter

Jesuits At St. Walburge Parish

St. Walburge Catholic Church - Ashton, England
The listed Edwardian presbytery was built in 1907 as accommodation for the four priests and two Jesuit brothers who then served the St Walburge’s parish. It was continuously occupied by parish priests until around three years ago, after St Walburge’s became linked with Sacred Heart Church by the diocese. The priest then moved into a smaller, more suitable presbytery there.
Who is St. Walburge? St. Walpurga? (here)

Fr. Karl Rahner, S.J. Sides With The Scotists Against The Thomists

Fr. Karl Rahner, S.J.
What he called "Hypostatic Union" is, therefore, central in his thinking, for he would believe that the ultimate purpose of all theology must serve to break down the wall between God and man through the hypostatic union, that is, the union of (hypostases of) God and man. Thus, hypostatic union is not unique or special only in Jesus but it is general in the sense that it could and should happen to all the human beings. Jesus opened up this human possibility in total obedience to God. If hypostatic union which had finally happened in Christ's incarnation should be the ultimate purpose of man in general, incarnation and creation are inseparable in their purpose. And if creation without incarnation is impossible, incarnation must be a predestined necessity regardless of the Fall. In this aspect, as Robert Kress correctly pointed out,  
"Rahner sides with the Scotists against the Thomists in the dispute about the precise motive of the incarnation. For the Thomist school of theology the Word would not have become flesh had Adam not sinned. For the Scotist school the Word would have become flesh even if Adam had not sinned." 
It implies that Christ's incarnation was his destiny and necessity, not his free choice or decision due to the human fallenness and gracious love as traditional theology has believed. 
Link (here) to the full article entitled, Karl Rahner's Philosophical Understanding of the Trinity

Friday, September 17, 2010

El Paso Texas Jesuits

Ysleta Mission Church El Paso
The Society of Jesus made a more fundamental and lasting contribution in the El Paso area. The first Jesuits to work in Trans-Pecos Texas on a permanent basis arrived in El Paso on October 14, 1881. 
These missionaries from the Jesuit Province of Naples had previously been working in the territories of New Mexico and Colorado. They assumed care of a string of neglected 200-year-old missions and went on to establish and maintain more than thirty parishes, 
thus laying the foundation for the modern Catholic Diocese of El Paso.
Link (here) to the full and fantastic article.
More on Ysleta Mission Church (here) and (here)

Heidelberg Jesuitenkirrche

The first Jesuit movement started in Heidelberg, and the magnificent Jesuit Catholic Church still stands in the city. However, the oldest church in Heidelberg is the St. Peter’s Church, now Lutheran, built sometime in the early 12th century by early Catholic missions.
Link (here) 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Jesuit On Pro-Life Catholic Woman Christine O'Donnell

Christine O'Donnell
There's a story circulating on the internet today about an comment newly-minted Republican candidate for the Senate, Sarah, sorry, Christine O'Donnell made in 1998 on Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher.
Now, before I talk about the story, a moment on the soap box. Seriously, media/online blogger people, I know she's freaking you out. Ventriloquist's dummies are always scary.
But this was 13 years ago, people, and frankly, is it really that nutty? She didn't say she would tell the Nazis there were Jews there (although that's how you're spinning it). She said God would help her find a way out. You want to call that naive, great, although you ask me, Nazis or the like come to your door, tell me you're not hoping God, however you imagine God, would help you find a way out.
Link (here) to blog post entitled, Nazi's in Delaware by Fr. Jim McDermott, S.J. at America Magazines, In All Things.

The Feast Of St. Robert Bellarmine, S.J. Doctor Of The Church

The Catholic Church remembers the life and times of St. Robert Bellarmine (San Roberto Belarmino), the patron of canonists and a Doctor of the Universal Church. Masses and novenas will be held in commemoration of the feast of the well-venerated Italian Jesuit priest in several Catholic churches in many parts of the world, particularly at the Church of St. Ignatius in Rome, Italy where his sacred relics are kept. Devotees and pilgrims traditionally gather at the church to pray in thanksgiving, ask for favors, and venerate his relics on his feast day. Known as a great theologian, teacher, scholar, charity worker, and writer, his masterpiece, the Disputations on the Controversies, is considered as the most complete defense of the Catholic faith ever published, showing a deep understanding of the Holy Bible and the Fathers of the Church. One of his hymns on St. Mary Magdalene has been included in the Roman Catholic breviary. He also wrote inspiring catechisms and later became the spiritual father of St. Aloysius Gonzaga, the patron of the youth. Born on Oct. 4, 1542 in Montepulciano, Italy, St. Robert was appointed cardinal in 1598 and bishop in 1602. He also served as the head of the Vatican library. He died in 1621 and was canonized by Pope Pius XI on June 29, 1930. He was declared Doctor of the Church in 1931. (Christina I. Hermoso)

Symbolic Compensation

A spokesman for Germany's Jesuits says they plan to pay the victims of sexual abuse in the order's schools a "symbolic compensation" of at least €5,000 ($6,500). Jesuit spokesman Thomas Busch said Thursday the order has not yet made a final decision on the amount that will be offered to about 200 victims who were abused decades ago.
Link (here) to the full story