Monday, April 30, 2012

Fr Fio Mascarenhas S.J. On Discerning Spirits

The Holy Spirit by Giaquinto, 1750s.
– the following are some general signs
  1. Truth. If a person maintains opinions that are manifestly against revealed truth, the infallible teaching of the Church, or proven theology, or philosophy, or science, it must be concluded that he/she is deluded by the devil or is the victim of excessive imagination or faulty reasoning.
  2. Docility. Persons moved by the Holy Spirit accept with true peace the advice and counsel of those with authority over them. They manifest sentiments of humility and self-effacement.
  3. Discretion. The Holy Spirit makes the person discreet, prudent, and thoughtful in all his/her actions. There is nothing of precipitation, frivolity, exaggeration or impetuosity; all is well balanced, edifying, and full of calmness and peace.
  4. Peace. The person experiences a profound and stable serenity in the depths of his/her spirit.
  5. Purity of intention. The person seeks only that God’s will be done and that God be glorified in all that he/she does, without human interest or motivation out of self love.
  6. Patience in suffering. No matter what its source, or whether or not it is justly received, the soul bears it with equanimity.
  7. Simplicity. Together with veracity and sincerity, this is never lacking in those who are truly motivated by the Spirit. Any duplicity, arrogance, hypocrisy, or vanity must be attributed rather to the devil.
  8. Freedom of spirit. First of all there is no attachment to any created thing, even the gifts received from God. Second, all is accepted from the hands of God with gratitude and humility, whether it be a question or consolation or trial. The opposite would be done in the case of those with a rigid and unyielding will, who are controlled by self love.
  9.  Link (here) to the full article.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

In The Midst Of My Doubts

Last week, on the day when the Vatican released the results of its investigation of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, which represents 80 percent of women’s religious orders in this country, I received emails from several Catholic sisters. All described themselves as saddened, stunned or demoralized by the Vatican document, which severely criticized the LWCR in a number of areas. Catholic sisters are my heroes. They have been my teachers, spiritual directors, mentors, bosses and friends. I can barely begin to describe the admiration I have for these women, many of them now in their 70s and 80s, and for what that they have done for God, for the church, for what Catholics call the “people of God,” and for me.
When I was a young Jesuit working in Nairobi, Kenya, for example, two elderly Maryknoll sisters patiently listened to my worries about living in the developing world, shared some of their own experiences of years in ministry in remote villages, and encouraged me to “push on,” as they say in East Africa. 
When my father was dying of cancer ten years ago, one Religious of Jesus and Mary sister took a four-hour train ride to visit him in the hospital for an hour, stayed overnight at a nearby convent, and the next morning took the train home, for another four-hour journey. When I thanked her, she thanked me for the “honor” of letting her come. And during a difficult spiritual crisis, one Sister of St. Joseph helped me to find God in the midst of my doubts, and was even able to get me to smile. “God did all the work,” she said, when I thanked her, “not me.”

Becoming A Jesuit

Pope Benedict XVI and the Superior General
As Pope Benedict notes, “The task of fostering vocations is to provide helpful guidance and direction along the way. Central to this should be love of God's word, a growing familiarity with Sacred Scripture, and prayer that will make it possible to hear God's call amid all the voices of daily life. But above all, the Eucharist should be the heart of every vocational journey: it is here that the love of God touches us in Christ's sacrifice..." Pray daily for vocations to the consecrated life and to the priesthood. Encourage your children or grandchildren to consider a vocation to a religious order or congregation. Pray that young men and women will say, with Mary our Mother, “May it be done unto me according to your word.” And, in a moment of shameless opportunism, if you know any young men thinking of becoming a Jesuit, have them call, write or e-mail me at any time. 
Link (here) to Fr. Jack MD, S.J.

Saturday, April 28, 2012


O my Jesus, I beg You on behalf of the whole Church:
Grant it love and the light of Your Spirit,
and give power to the words of Priests
so that hardened hearts might be brought to repentance and return to You, O Lord.
Lord, give us holy Priests;
You yourself maintain them in holiness.
O Divine and Great High Priest,
may the power of Your mercy
accompany them everywhere and protect them
from the devil's traps and snares
which are continually being set for the soul of Priests.
May the power of Your mercy,
O Lord, shatter and bring to naught
all that might tarnish the sanctity of Priests,
for You can do all things.
My beloved Jesus,
I pray to you for the triumph of the Church,
that you may bless the Holy Father and all the clergy;
I beg you to grant the grace of conversion
to sinners whose hearts have been hardened by sin,
and a special blessing and light to priests,
to whom I shall confess for all of my life.

Saint Faustina Kowalska

Link (here) to the annual Letter to Priests

Fr. Bradley Schaeffer, S.J. Resigns From Three More Board Positions

Donald McGuire
A priest who resigned from the Boston College board of trustees following criticism of his supervision of Donald McGuire — a former Jesuit priest and teacher at Loyola Academy in Wilmette who was convicted of child sexual abuse — has also resigned from the boards of three other Jesuit-affiliated institutions. Officials at Loyola University of Chicago, Georgetown University and Brebeuf Jesuit, a preparatory school in Indianapolis, say the Rev. Bradley Schaeffer has cut his ties with their schools. Schaeffer allowed McGuire to continue ministry despite complaints about McGuire’s behavior with boys in the early 1990s, when Schaeffer led the Chicago Jesuit Province. He has expressed “deep regret” for failing to stop McGuire,

Link (here) to The Chicago Sun Times


Saint Ignatius of Loyola is known for severe mortifications that "corporal punishment" is mentioned in his litany.
Link (here) to Spirit Daily

Jesuit Priest Offering "Sex Class" Course

Fr. Christian Rutishauser, S.J.
Nestled amid farmland and forests in central Switzerland, the tiny hamlet of Edlibach is not a likely hotbed of controversy. But that may change in May when a Jesuit priest and a Catholic theologian begin offering sex classes for couples at the village’s Jesuit center. The seminar, entitled “Make Time and Room for Sensuality,” is intended “to remind people that Catholic doctrine considers sex to be an expression of love and not just a functional act for making babies,” Christian Rutishauser, the priest organizing the course, said in an interview earlier this month with the German-language newspaper Neue Luzerner Zeitung. “Until now, the Church has expressed particular prohibitions and set conditions for sex. It has said little about how sex can be active and positive.” In the same newspaper, theologian Eugen Bütler, a sex therapist from the city of Luzerne who will be conducting the seminar, said the course will help couples “go beyond the usual quarter-of-an-hour sex.” 
According to promotional materials, instruction will take the form of discussions, meditation and unspecified “body exercises.” Participants will also be encouraged to put what they learn into practice on the spot—retreating to private rooms at Edlibach’s Lassalle-Haus spiritual center for “time for love.” A Catholic-themed course that instructs participants how to improve their sex lives, then urges them to get actually find “time for love” on the premises, would seem destined to incur the wrath of religious leaders. Indeed, both Rutishauser and Bütler declined TIME’s request for interviews because of fears over a possible backlash from the Catholic Church. 
In an email to TIME, Bütler said Catholic authorities are “allergic to this theme and see a lot of problems with the course,” without specifying what those problems are or whether he and Rutishauser are under pressure to cancel the project. Although the Lassalle-Haus spiritual center is run by Jesuits, it is not linked to any physical church. And unlike regular parish priests who serve their congregations, Jesuits are mainly involved in missionary work and education. Rutishauser is program director at the center, organizing courses that primarily deal with worship, meditation and spirituality.

Link (here) to Time Newsfeed

Fr. John Coleman, S.J. On Sodomy

Fr. John Coleman, S.J.
On Saturday, at a reception honoring our retiring pastor, a man spoke to me to compliment me on my homilies. He then told me he was gay. He said he came to a Jesuit church because he had no fears in such a setting that his dignity would be assailed from the pulpit. I was surprised! I asked him if he had ever experienced such a denigration of his dignity from homilies in other settings and he assured me the answer was yes. Again, the issue of gay marriage roils our current political scene. I read recently the letter of Archbishop John Nienstadt of Minneapolis-Saint Paul to his priests about his concern to marshal an attack on gay marriage and support a referendum in Minnesota opposing it. He told his priests that this is one of the greatest challenges of our times and that he saw those who supported gay marriage as involving "an attempt to eliminate the need for marriage altogether." He made clear that he would not brook from his priests any open dissension on this issue. One of the dangers of Catholic attempts to fight gay marriage ( as we saw in California in 2008 at the time of the divisive Proposition 8 fight) is that the church runs the risk of allying its activity with other groups. In Minnesota, the Catholic effort seems to be allied closely with the Minnesota Family Council on whose web site one finds truly homophobic remarks which link gay orientation intrinsically to pedophilia and beastiality!
Link (here) to America Magazine to read the op/ed by Fr. John Coleman, S.J.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Jesuits Medjugorje Experience

Little did I know that when I made my first pilgrimage to Medjugorje in 1985 that I would find myself drawn to return again and again. This past June I made another pilgrimage to spend two weeks in prayer and reflection. I had the joy of being present for the 26th anniversary of the apparitions and attending the priest's retreat. However, this is the first time that I am writing a reflection on my experience in Medjugorje. A good friend of mine, Mate, suggested that it was time for me to start writing about my experiences. Actually his exact words were, "Yo, Father don't you think its time to start writing about all that has happened to you!" (By the way, unlike me who only speaks English and a bit of Spanish, my friend was able to ask me the same question in 5 different languages! ) I was touched by his invitation and sat down to write this reflection. When I was studying theology as I was preparing to be ordained a Jesuit priest, I learned that "symbols/signs (given by God) have an excess of meaning." This insight came alive again this past June while I was in Medjugorje for the anniversary of the apparition and the priest's retreat (this trip was either my ninth or tenth trip - I have lost count - now instead of counting how many times I have been, I thank the Blessed Mother for her loving invitation to come and stay!) Undoubtedly, the extraordinary symbol that we are given in Medjugorje is that the Blessed Mother has been appearing here for the past twenty six years. We must  understand that the Blessed Mother always points us to a greater sign than herself. She always draws us to her Son. In Medjugorje, we are truly given a gift because Mary calls us to her Son through the sacraments. As a priest, I am touched and moved when I see pilgrims returning to the Eucharist and to confession. I find that when I celebrate mass and hear confessions, I experience a little bit of heaven. As a sinner myself, I often feel unworthy when I am listening to pilgrims during confession and they generously open their hearts and their lives to me. It is through the sacraments of the Eucharist and Confession that we are given the grace to be healed and to courageously become signs to the world of God's fidelity and love. This is one of the many graces that exist in Medjugorje - the grace to be a sign like our Blessed Mother. If we live and embrace the messages of Medjugorje we too will point other people to Jesus. This time in Medjugorje, I had a feeling of being at home. I was no longer a visitor...I was returning home...home where I would experience peace and be filled with awe and wonder. This feeling of being at home began the minute I arrived. Within minutes of my arrival I was given the gift of being present for an apparition. I have experienced this gift many times, but this time, while I was kneeling and praying I had a sense that Mary wanted me to again open my heart to how God would use me during my stay. This feeling of being at home is both a grace and a challenge. Since, when you are at home you can no longer sit on the side lines and wait for God to act. When you are at home you are called to labor with God. When you are at home you are called to live the Gospel with all your mind, heart and soul. There are so many stories that I can share of my time in Medjugorje, so many experiences of God's love and Mary's presence that even thinking of them makes me feel humble and grateful! However, let me share with you one experience of how God works through our Blessed Mother. During my two weeks in Medjugorje, I had been praying to celebrate mass for the Cenacolo community. As a matter of fact, I had started praying for this even before I arrived in Medjugorje. As circumstances were in Medjugorje, it appeared that my prayer was not going to be answered, since during my first week I was not asked to celebrate mass and during my second week there were plenty of priests present for the retreat. The Cenacolo community had many priests to celebrate mass for them. As my time in Medjugorje was drawing to a close I had resigned myself to the fact that I would not be celebrating mass for the Cenacolo community.
 As a matter of fact, on Friday as part of my fast and prayer I said to the Blessed Mother "Mary thank you for all the gifts you have given me during my two weeks here. Thank you even for the fact that this time I will not be celebrating mass for the Cenacolo community. Also thank you for allowing us, the priests, to be present at an apparition. (We, the priests, on retreat had been told that the visionaries would be present that evening and we were invited to attend the apparition.)" 
Little did I know that even though I thought I was being generous in my prayer Our Blessed Mother had other plans. Within moments of my prayer, my friend and my gracious host, Mate, received a call from the Cenacolo community. He said, “Father, the women's community of the Cenacolo needs a priest to celebrate mass tonight at six, can you do it?” They have no one else? I asked myself can I celebrate mass for the community. Now my prayer was finally answered, but not the way I expected. What was I supposed to do? If I celebrated mass I would miss the apparition. At that moment, I had a great sense of peace. I felt as if Mary said to me, “be at peace I will honor whatever decision you make”. After a few moments, I said to Mate, “yes, I will do it”. Without hesitation I will celebrate mass. I realized that the invitation Mary had given me to open my heart meant just that - open your heart to my Son in every way possible. It is only when you open your heart and even more so when it breaks that you begin to understand the love that Jesus has for you. I had a wonderful and blessed experience celebrating mass for the women of the Cenacolo community. I felt again as if I was in heaven. Their singing and their prayers (in Italian) filled me with joy! I felt as if I was on holy ground. I told the women a story about when I returned from my first trip to Medjugorje. My first trip was in 1985, and on the plane ride home I fell sound asleep. When I was asleep, I saw in my mind's eye Mary and she was holding the baby Jesus. I heard Mary say to me, “Peter, my son, take my Son back with you to the United States”. In the background, I heard singing, it sounded like angels to me. I had never heard these voices again - until I celebrated mass for the women of the Cenacolo community. I told them that their voices reminded me of angels. So now, I am back in New York City. I am preparing to begin my new assignment as a teacher of theology at one of our Jesuit high schools in Manhattan. Each day, I face the challenge of living from the graces I experienced in Medjugorje, but more importantly, living from the grace of the sacraments. So you see, next time you receive a sign from God - open your hearts - for He wants to use you as an instrument of His love and care for all whom you meet.

August 2007

Fr. Peter Arabia, S.J.

Link (here) to

The Great Catholic Reaction Against Protestantism

Thomas Babington Macaulay
The outward and immediate success of the Society of Jesus justified the hopes of its founder Ignatius of Loyola and the wisdom of his plans. At the time of his death the society had thirteen provinces, chiefly in Spain, Portugal, and Italy. In 1762 they had forty provinces, twenty-four houses of the professed Jesuits, six hundred and sixty-nine colleges, and twenty-two thousand members. The influence of this order was very great . The Jesuits spread over Europe in a few years, taking possession of the pulpits, the schools, and the confessionals. They were most accomplished and popular preachers, and filled anew the deserted churches. They supplanted other priests in the care of consciences, and their schools were filled with the children of all classes; for they taught not only gratuitously but well . "With what vehemence," says Thomas Babington Macaulay, " with what policy, with what exact discipline, with what dauntless courage, with what self-denial, with what forgetfulness of the dearest private ties, with what intense and stubborn devotion to a single end, with what unscrupulous laxity and versatility in the choice of means, the Jesuits fought the battles of their Church, is written in every page of the annals of Europe during several generations. The history of the Order of Jesus is the history of the great Catholic reaction against Protestantism in the seventeenth century."
Link (here) to Events and Epochs in Religious History


The self-described “Catholic” group protesting Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R., Wis.) speech at Georgetown University Thursday has ties to the Obama administration and left-wing advocacy groups funded by liberal billionaire George Soros. The protest, which aims to critique Ryan’s “attacks on the poor” and will feature a 50-foot banner reading “Were You There When They Crucified The Poor?” is part of a broader effort to portray the Republican budget as a fundamentally anti-Catholic document heading into the 2012 election season. Catholics United, the group leading the protest, describes itself as a “nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to promoting the message of justice and the common good found at the heart of the Catholic Social Tradition.” Judging from the organization funding Catholics United, however, the group’s partisan leanings are clear. The Soros-funded Tides Foundation has given $65,000 to the organization since 2007, and has given nearly $200,000 to the affiliated group Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good. Another Soros-funded group, the Open Society Institute, has given $450,000 to Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good since 2005. Catholic League president Bill Donohue dismissed Catholics United as a “Soros-funded front group” created for the sole purpose of promoting liberal policies that is completely out-of-touch with the teachings of the Catholic Church. “They don’t have legitimate membership,” he told the Washington Free Beacon. “But every election year they get resurrected.” A May 2010 report in the Washington Times noted that Catholics United was one of many left-wing religious organizations established during the 2004 election season in an effort to counter traditionally conservative groups.
Link (here) to Washington Free Beacon

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Georgetown Definitions

In 1999, hard-core porn@grapher Larry Flynt spoke at Georgetown. There was no letter of protest from the faculty. But the Archdiocese of Washington was not pleased, saying the decision provided “a platform which furthers the degradation of women, immoral behavior and the anti-religious opinions Mr. Flynt represents.” 
 In 2003, 70 faculty members signed a letter protesting a speech by Cardinal Francis Arinze when he defended the traditional family at his commencement address; they were angry that he cited abortion, euthanasia, infanticide, fornication, adultery, divorce, pornography, and homosexuality as negative elements. 
In 1997, the Washington Archdiocese publicly criticized Georgetown for refusing to put crucifixes in the classrooms. In 2010, years after the crucifixes were restored, the university hid them, as well as other religious symbols, at the request of the Obama administration; Obama’s advance team did not want the president to speak with Catholic symbols in the background. Georgetown welcomes pro-abortion clubs on campus. There is “Hoyas for Choice,” and “Georgetown University Law Students for Reproductive Justice” (formerly run by Sandra Fluke). There have been no letters of protest from the faculty about the “misuse of Catholic teaching.”
Link (here) to the full statement by the Catholic League

Fluke Invited To Speak At Georgetown

Sandra Fluke
More than 100 students and alumni of Georgetown University criticized activist Sandra Fluke’s recent invitation to speak on campus without clarification of the Catholic Church’s teaching on contraception. The group signed a letter calling on the Jesuit university to release a statement “clarifying its position on this fundamental issue of debate” to ensure that students are accurately informed on both the university’s current insurance policy and Church teaching. The statement came in response to an April 16 campus event, titled “A Conversation with Sandra Fluke on Contraception Access.” Fluke gained national attention in February, when she testified before a policy committee for U.S. House Democrats on why she thought religious institutions such as Georgetown University should be required to provide free contraception to students. The Georgetown event, organized by the university’s student-run Lecture Fund and Public Policy Institute, was closed to outside press and the public. 
Link (here) to EWTN News

Fr. Thomas Reese, S.J., Paul Ryan, Pell Grants And Liberation Theology

Fr. Thomas J Reese, S.J.
Joining a chorus of Catholic bishops, theologians, priests, and social justice leaders, nearly 90 Georgetown University faculty and administrators have called Representative Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) to task for his misuse of Catholic social teaching in defending his budget, which hurts the poor. The group sent a letter to Rep. Ryan in advance of his appearance on the Catholic campus on Thursday morning to give the Whittington Lecture. In their letter to Ryan, the scholars make clear they are not objecting to his speaking on campus, but rather his recent comments defending his budget on Christian grounds.  
“Our problem with Representative Ryan is that he claims his budget is based on Catholic social teaching,” said Jesuit Father Thomas J. Reese, one of the organizers of the letter. “This is nonsense. As scholars, we want to join the Catholic bishops in pointing out that his budget has a devastating impact on programs for the poor.” 
Reese is a senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University. The letter quotes the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which wrote several letters to Congress saying “a just framework for future budgets cannot rely on disproportionate cuts in essential services to poor persons.” The bishops noted that “the House-passed budget resolution fails to meet these moral criteria.” Last week, Rep. Ryan dismissed the bishops’ critique, erroneously claiming the letters didn’t represent “all the bishops,” a point the USCCB media office denied.
 “I am afraid that Chairman Ryan’s budget reflects the values of his favorite philosopher Ayn Rand rather than the gospel of Jesus Christ,” said Father Reese. “Survival of the fittest may be okay for Social Darwinists but not for followers of the gospel of compassion and love.” 
The Georgetown scholars pointed to the devastating impact of cuts in food programs that keep the poor from starvation. From personal experience, they also “know how cuts in Pell Grants will make it difficult for low-income students to pursue their educations at colleges across the nation, including Georgetown.”
Link (here) to The Huffington Post

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Jesuit Missionaries And The Sacrament Of Marriage

"Trajes de los indios Moxo"
This custom of selling children, especially girls, for a future conjugal association is very common all over the world. In New Caledonia the children are be'rothed by the parents almost from the moment of birth. In Africa, among the black races, and notably the Hottentots, whose women age fast, the prudent men retain, years in advance, the little girls destined to succeed their actual wives. In Ashantee little girls of ten and twelve thus sold are already legally considered the wives of the acquirer, although they have not yet left their mothers, and any familiarity taken with them by another man is punished by a fine paid to the future owner. In Polynesia, also, the fathers, mothers, and relatives arranged the conjugal unions of the children years before these unions were actually possible.  
With the Moxos and the Chiquitos of South America premature marriages were such a settled order of things that there were no celibates above the age of fourteen for the men and twelve for the women. The Jesuit missionaries in America had completely adopted this native custom, and they often married young girls of ten to boys of twelve years. Naturally these child marriages entailed sometimes equally precocious widowhood. D'Orbigny states that he has seen among these tribes a widower of twelve and a widow of ten years. 
In the time of Marco Polo the Tartars of Asia celebrated marriages that were more singular still—the marriages of deceased children. The families drew up the contract as if their children had been living, solemnly celebrated a symbolic wedding, then burned not less solemnly the fictitious contract, which would be, they thought, the means of holding it good in the other world for the vanished young couple. Thenceforward an alliance existed between the contracting families as if the marriage had been real. Among the Reddies of India a young woman from sixteen to twenty years old is frequently married to a little boy of five or six. The wife then goes to live either with the father, or with an uncle, or a maternal cousin of her future husband. The children resulting from these extraconjugal unions are attributed to the boy, who is reputed to be the legal husband. When once this boy has reached manhood his legitimate wife is old, and then he in his turn unites himself to the wife of another boy, for whom he also raises up pseudo-legitimate children. Child-marriages, at least of little girls, are still very common in India amongst the Brahmins, and it is not unusual to see sexagenarian Brahmins marry little girls of six or seven years, for whom they pay money.
Link (here) to The Evolution of Marriage

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Planned Parenthood's Investment In Ex-Jesuit

Late last week, Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California began running radio ads in Los Angeles, San Diego and the San Francisco Bay Area targeting three Democratic senators who sit on the Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee. The committee is scheduled to take up the bill, SB 1338, on Thursday. Among those targeted by the ads is Sen. Juan Vargas, D-San Diego, a former Jesuit seminarian who has said he personally opposes abortion but has consistently supported it in his long political career. “We voted for him,” says Planned Parenthood’s ad. “Now we need him to go to work for us.” Both as an assemblyman and a state senator, Planned Parenthood has repeatedly given Vargas high ratings. He is currently running for Congress in California’s 51st Congressional District, which runs along the US-Mexico border in San Diego and Imperial counties. 
Link (here) to California Catholic Daily

Monday, April 23, 2012

Jesuit On Sr. Laurie Brink, OP And Moving Beyond Jesus

Sister Laurie Brink, OP
Sister Laurie Brink, OP, and her 2007 LCWR address, “A Marginal Life: Pursuing Holiness in the 21st Century.” (It is not easy to find on the web, but you can find a link to the pdf imbedded in Max Linderman's Patheos piece on the controversy.) Cardinal Levada and the CDF indicated concern about her address,
 particularly her comments on “some religious ‘moving beyond the Church,’ and even ‘beyond Jesus.’” The CDF sees this movement as incompatible with Catholic theology, and incompatible with religious life. Something must be done! In her speech, Sister Brink does indicate that some women religious have moved to a sojourner model, “an option difficult to discuss, since it involves moving beyond the Church, even beyond Jesus.” These women have stepped away from the institutional Church, are in a sense “post-Christian.” 
The “God of Jesus might well be the God of Moses and the God of Mohammed” — points on which I think most of us, including Church leaders, already agree — and to finding our basic values also and already present in “Buddhism, Native American spirituality, Judaism, Islam” and other religions, for “wisdom is found in the traditions of the Church as well as beyond it”

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Take The Tradition

Fordham theologian Jeannie Hill Fletcher noted, during PBS Newshour, that the nuns under scrutiny are in colleges and universities, among other places.  Fletcher said that a problem she has with the document issued by the Vatican is that it  
“seems to be trying to tell Women Religious to stop exploring the dynamics of the faith and simply take the tradition as it’s been handed to them.” 
Fletcher said during the interview:  
“Let me just say, as a scholar — as a scholar of religion and a theologian, Church teaching does change.” 
Fortunately, there was a representative of a faithful Catholic college also present on air to stand up for Church teachings.  The chairman of the board of Christendom College, Donna Bethell, went head to head with Fletcher during the segment and defended the Vatican’s decision regarding the LCWR. Bethell was quick to point out that there are some doctrines of the church which are definitely not open to debate. She explained the reason behind the Vatican’s assessment of the nuns.  She pointed out that the document issued by the Church underscores the importance for consecrated persons to be faithful to the teachings of the Church.
Link (here) to read the full post and watch the video at the Cardinal Newman Society

Jesuit Steps Down From Boston College Board Of Trustees

Fr. Bradley Schaffer, S.J.
A longtime Jesuit leader has stepped down from the Boston College Board of Trustees amid allegations he failed to act against clergy abuse. Just as a demonstration against Rev. Bradley Schaeffer was about to begin, Boston College said Schaeffer was out. Boston College released a 37-word statement from Schaeffer saying that he does not want to be a distraction, so he is ending his service as a trustee. BC spokesman Jack Dunn said the board of trustees had just started investigating information from civil lawsuits in Chicago indicating that Schaeffer failed to act while he supervised abusive priest Donald McGuire.  
“When Brad joined the board, when Father Schaeffer joined the Board of Trustees at Boston College, we weren’t aware of what was going on in Chicago,” Dunn said. “All of us were completely focused on what was going on here in Boston. We weren’t aware he had issues supervising Don McGuire, who by all accounts is a monster.” 
Some of the allegations against Schaeffer are decades old. Dunn said BC was not aware of any of them until now. But advocates for clergy abuse victims, like Terry McKiernan, with the group, don’t buy it. “It’s astonishing to us that he was ever admitted to the board, given his actions back in 1991 to 1997, when he was running the Chicago Province of the Jesuits,” McKiernan said. 
“Schaeffer was instrumental in allowing Father Donald McGuire, who is really the Paul Shanley and Father Geoghan of the Jesuits. Father Schaeffer unfortunately allowed Father McGuire to continue abusing children.” 
In 2008, McGuire was sentenced to 25 years in prison for charges as horrific as those leveled against some of those high-profile, Boston-area pedophile priests. The Chicago documents indicate that Schaeffer was repeatedly told about McGuire’s behavior with boys, but he neither investigated nor contacted authorities. He did send McGuire into treatment for a sexual disorder and at one point reportedly barred him from traveling with boys and young men. After The Boston Globe published the information from the Chicago lawsuits on Sunday, BC said it did not plan to take action against Schaeffer. But many faculty members protested.
Link (here) WBUR

Friday, April 20, 2012

Tutu Rejection

Gonzaga University is rejecting calls by social conservatives to find a new commencement speaker because of Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s support for abortion rights and gay marriage. Critics say the apartheid era hero and Nobel laureate’s social views contradict Catholic teachings, and more than 700 Gonzaga alumni, staff, faculty and students have signed petitions protesting Tutu’s campus appearance in May and the university’s plans to award the Anglican archbishop an honorary Doctor of Laws degree. “It goes against Catholic teaching and so much of what Gonzaga stands for – or at least should stand for,” Spokane attorney Patrick Kirby said in a letter to GU President Thayne McCulloh
Link (here) to The Spokesman-Review to read the full story

Tutu has posed for a picture on behalf of and endorsed the “invaluable work” of Marie Stopes International, the world’s largest abortion provider. The endorsement, which was discovered by pro-life activist Peter Thorp as he logged one of his more than 1,200 hours of prayer in front of the Cape Town abortion clinic, praises Marie Stopes South Africa for “empowering people” and “giving people the opportunity to make informed decisions about their future and a choice.” Neither Marie Stopes nor the Archbishop Desmond Tutu Foundation would confirm whether Tutu had been paid for the statement. However, his support for abortion spans decades. He said in the 1990s that it is “immoral” for the law to protect unborn children conceived by rape or incest.
Link (here) to Contact Online

Jesuit On The Crusades

The Crusades, when rightly estimated, appear to have been just and lawful enterprises,
since they were organised in order to protect the Christians of the East from the cruel oppression of the Mahometans, and to defend Europe against the fury of the barbarians, who were threatening a universal invasion.
These gigantic expeditions should be judged of in their entirety,. without considering faults and abuses, which accompany all wars. The ill-success of most of the expeditions is to be attributed to the perfidy of the Greeks, and to the disorders which had too commonly crept in amongst the Crusaders.
If these wars failed in their original design of delivering the East from the grasp of infidelity, they were, on the other hand, productive of most advantageous results in the West.
They preserved Christianity and civilization from Muslim invasion; they delivered the people of Europe from evils which they had caused themselves; they put an end to the wars between Christian kings, and they extinguished that civil discord which for two centuries had kept the feudal lords in arms against each other.
Moreover, they improved the condition of the people, who became free by taking part in these glorious expeditions; and, in augmenting the influence of the Popes, who were the natural protectors of nations, they provided social order with an efficacious safeguard.
It is also incontestable that they reawakened a taste for commerce, science, literature, and the arts, and that they prepared the way for the outbursts of genius which took place during the reigns of Leo X. and Louis XIV. of France.

We may add, that the Crusades were supported by the greatest and most saintly men of their time; that they were solemnly authorized by the Church, protected by the divine assistance,
which could not but aid her in such a grave matter, and that they were sanctioned more than once by miracles accompanying their publication.
Link (here) to the Belgian Jesuit. Fr. F. X. Schouppe, S.J. in his book entitled, Abridged Course of Religious Instruction.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Jesuit Arrested And Convicted Of A Felony In California

Readers of this blog may recall my post from two weeks ago today about Joe Hoover, S.J., a classmate of mine at the Jesuit School of Theology who was found guilty of obstructing a public thoroughfare during an Occupy Oakland march on January 28, 2012.  Joe was sentenced on Easter Monday to ten days in the “sheriff’s work program,” a fine of $233, and two years probation.  Because Joe already had credit for time served for the four days he spent in jail after his arrest, he needed to serve only one more day in jail, which he did last Saturday at Glenn Dyer Jail in Oakland.
Link (here) to read the full post at America Magazine

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Renaissance Jesuit

Fr. Anthony J Ravalli, S.J.
Saint Mary's historic mission's annual opening is one of the milestones of spring in Stevensville. Spring is here. The mission is open.It was founded in 1841, 48 years before Montana became a state. Montana's oldest permanent town is celebrating. It's called "The Year of Ravalli." Mike Smith celebrated a special mass in the chapel that Father Anthony Ravalli designed and helped build in 1866. Little has changed in the simple church with its ornate interior. Celebrants filled its pews in honor of the Italian priest Ravalli County is named for. "He was known as a true Renaissance Man," said the mission's Colleen Meyer. The Jesuit priest sculpted a statue of St. Mary that stands above the altar. He sculpted a likeness of St. Ignatius of Loyola.
Link (here) NBC Montana to read the article and watch the video

What A Baseball Game

Emerson Gibbs
The reliance on and necessity of pitch counts in baseball continues to generate debate, and this should further spark the discussion. As reported by USA Today, two top pitching prospects in Louisiana combined to throw 347 pitches in an 18-inning game Friday. Emerson Gibbs of Jesuit (New Orleans), a Tulane recruit, tossed 193 pitches over 15 innings. His line included six hits and 13 strikeouts. Meanwhile, Mitch Seward of Archbishop Rummel (Metairie, La.) threw 154 pitches in 10 innings. The Louisiana State recruit yielded only two hits and struck out 10. Each pitcher gave up only one run, as Jesuit won 2-1. Overall, 501 pitches were accounted for in the game, according to the report.
Link (here) to MaxPreps

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Polish Jesuit On The Problem

Fr. Josef Augustyn, S.J.
Fr. Józef Augustyn, a Jesuit who for years has been willing and able to publicly discuss some of the most burning questions regarding the sexual conduct of the laity and the clergy. According to the Jesuit, the problem of homosexuality in the clergy does indeed exist, but Fr. Tadeausz Isakowicz Zaleski has exposed it “in an ambiguous and superficial way.” The crux of the issue, he says, is not the phenomenon itself “which we have little power to influence, but our attitude towards it.” The theory put forward in the book about the existence of “a powerful sexual conspiracy within the Church,” does not hold water in the face of questions that spontaneously spring up. The author bases his theory on Polish secret police documents but the Polish Jesuit asks himself whether this is a reliable source. The more serious the accusations, the stronger the evidence needs to be, Fr. Augustyn added, saying that he could not find any such evidence in the book. All it presents are insinuations and fallacies. Not to mention the “dangerous generalisations”, for example, the section on the Vatican. The truth which Isakowicz Zaleski seems so fond of is not only to be found in information: it should also lie in the reasons that pushed someone to supply this “news”, the Jesuit concludes in the interview with Polish Catholic news agency KAI.
Link (here) to Vatican Insider for the full story.
What is the problem Fr. Jozef Augustyn is talking about? Go (here) and (here)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Financial Scandal Rocking The Maryland Province

J. Davitt McAteer
The affidavit identifies the university as the institution in Wheeling that was founded in 1954 between the Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston and the Society of Jesus of the Maryland Province
 Wheeling Jesuit University recounts its history the same way on its Web site. At least twice, the affidavit said, witnesses interviewed for the investigation warned both Mr. McAteer and the school that they were breaking the law. A consulting firm hired in 2008 also made similar warnings, the document said. "We will slowly work on making this right, but we can't afford to do it at this time," Mr. McAteer is said to have told top university officials in response to the consulting firm's conclusion, 
according to the affidavit. Documents the agent obtained indicate the school's board of directors deliberately circumvented federal spending rules "for the purpose of sustaining...its general, non-federal program educational areas." Mr. McAteer also is director of its National Technology Transfer Center and its Erma Ora Byrd Center for Education Technologies, which is named for the wife of the late longtime U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd. The technology transfer center does work on mine safety and health, missile defense, health technology and small business partnerships. The Center for Educational Technologies has housed the NASA-sponsored "Classroom of the Future" program since 1990. 
The space agency began construction of the center in 1993 and later helped build the educational technologies center. Between fiscal years 2000 and 2009, NASA gave Wheeling Jesuit more than $116 million, more than $65 million of that after Mr. J Davitt McAteer took over the school's Sponsored Programs Office in 2005. 
A finance manager in that office told the investigator that Mr. McAteer created the Combined Cost Management Service Center when he took over. Merging the billing of the two centers allowed him "to control and consolidate all the expenses, regardless of whether such expenses were related to the federal awards." The affidavit calls the handling of federal dollars at Wheeling Jesuit "arbitrary and fraudulent," and cites a 2007 incident in which the Missile Defense Agency "expressed outrage" that Mr. McAteer and others weren't working on the agency's program but were still billing 6 percent of the center's expenses to the grant.

Read more (here) at The Pittsburgh Post Gazette

The Bulwark, Not The Enemy

Fr. James V. Schall, S.J.
Many Catholics profess to be surprised by this sudden drawing of the logical conclusion to what Mary Ann Glendon called “rights talk.” Many Catholics so want “rights” to mean what they claim it means that they blind themselves to what the intellectual history of the word does mean and imply by this enigmatic term. All through recent decades, the provisions of freedom of speech and freedom of religion have been used against the Church. It was held to be against free speech and free religion. The irony today is that it is the Church that finds itself appealing to these standards over against an administration which claims the same standards. The decrees that the Church finds contrary to “rights” are precisely the ones said to be based on “rights”—abortion, contraception, sterilization, gay marriage, the works. Numerous writers in recent years have pointed to the decay of the American family. Since the time of Aristotle’s response to Plato’s famous proposal of communality of wives and children, the family has been looked on as a bulwark, not enemy, of the political order. But there has always been in modern utopian and Marxist thought a strand that saw the elimination of the family as the key to a successful social order. What would take the place of the family?–schools, health agencies, bureaucratic employment institutions, welfare under another name. Most of these extreme notions are proposed in the name of common good and human dignity.
Link (here) to Crisis Magazine to the full article by Fr. James V. Schall, S.J. 

Jesuit Novitite Party Thrower

An excerpt from the Catholics in Media website. Catholics in Media recently recognized the Modern Family tv show
Fr. Eddie Siebert, S.J. was technical advisor for the MGM/Frank Mancuso, Jr. production STIGMATA, starring Gabriel Byrne and Patricia Arquette. He has consulted for THE WEST WING, THE SOPRANOS, and other major television and film productions. Siebert’s hands-on training included stints with WDIV Detroit (NBC) and WWL New Orleans (CBS), both of which resulted in broadcast specials (CRACK HOUSE, TOGETHER AND ALIVE.) In addition, Siebert has worked on the staff of the Sundance Film Festival and the San Francisco Film Festival. He has taught high school, served as a retreat director, and is a regular instructor at Loyola Marymount University. Siebert received an MFA in film production from Loyola Marymount University’s School of Film and Television. He also holds a Masters Degree in Education Administration from the University of San Francisco and a Master of Divinity from the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley. Siebert lives in Los Angeles at the Jesuit Novitiate where he serves as minister and party-thrower.
Link (here)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Fr. Philip Caraman, S.J. And Sir Alec Guinness

Alex Guinness with Mark Hamill, R2D2 and C3PO
Born in London in 1911, Philip George Caraman was the middle son of nine children - two boys and seven girls - of devoutly Catholic Armenian parents who immigrated to Britain after brutal civil war in their own country, and settled in Hampstead. Both boys became Jesuit priests and two of the girls became nuns.
Both boys attended the famous Jesuit college of Stoneyhurst. There Caraman first met Fr Martin D'Arcy, the renowned Jesuit academic, leading intellectual and later the founder and Master of Campion Hall in Oxford, where he was to renew the friendship. This college of the intellectual elite had a priceless library and manuscript archives of former Jesuits who were martyred during the Reformation, opening up a rich pile of history for future historians of whom Caraman was the most prominent.Young Phillip's forte being historical biography, this led him to make  inroads into these archives for his famous books on the heroic lives of the Jesuit martyrs at the time of the Reformation. His book on the Jesuit missions in Paraguay told the truth about the cruelty Jesuit missioners had suffered; their exiles, hardships, and martyrdoms. So successful was the book on the Reductions, titled The Lost Empire, that the famous writer, Robert Bolt, used the book which was transferred to the screen as The Mission. Caraman's career began early when his old Master from Campion Hall, Fr D'Arcy, took him under his wing and prepared him for the task of reviving the Jesuit periodical, The Month. It was on its last legs at the time, and dying fast. Fr D'Arcy appointed him editor, with unbounded confidence. He was not to be disappointed. His protegé was a brilliant success and an editor to match the best of British magazine editors. He changed the print, the layout, the cover design, and anything else that enhanced the quality of the magazine. He employed distinguished writers, such as Evelyn Waugh, Graham Greene, Edith Sitwell, Muriel Stark, and the American Trappist monk, Thomas Merton.
Not only were many of his writers non-Catholics, he converted many of them to Catholicism, baptising their children and marrying them. He was also a regular guest in their homes.The actor Alec Guinness, one of his converts, became one of his closest friends, as well as an admirer. Humour characterised many of the letters Guinness wrote to Philip in Norway. "Do you think that the ridiculous Star Wars is giving rise to a new heresy and shall I be called before the Inquisition?" he asked jokingly.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Polish Jesuit Chaplain Fr Stanislaw Skudrzyk Divine Mercy Priest

The Jesuits have about 15 priest assigned to the Divine Mercy Shrine just outside of Krakow, Poland were they minister to the million plus Pilgrims every year.

The Lord Jesus chose Sr. Faustina as the Apostle and "Secretary" of His Mercy, so that she could tell the world about this great message: In the Old Covenant I sent prophets wielding thunderbolts to My people. Today I am sending you with My mercy to the people of the whole world. I do not want to punish aching mankind, but I desire to heal it, pressing it to My Merciful Heart (Diary 1588) - the Lord Jesus told Sr. Faustina. (Dz. 1588). The Divine Mercy apostolate has been flourishing, not only in Poland, but throughout Europe, Asia and other parts of the world, including Australia where it was brought by migrants from Poland in 1950 and was actively promoted by the Polish Jesuit Chaplain Fr Stanislaw Skudrzyk. He arranged the transport of the first picture of Jesus Divine Mercy to Melbourne which was solemnly blessed by Archbishop Mannix on the Sunday of Divine Mercy, 20 April 1952, and given a place of honour in St Ignatius Church in Richmond, until 1959.
Read the original article (here)

Friday, April 13, 2012

Am I correct in stating that you believe that Jesuits may pick and choose those doctrines to which they are obedient?  Give me a good, old-fashioned Jesuit, a real Jesuit, of the kind that did not quail to speak the Truth, the kind that taught real Roman Catholicism, not the hippy-dippy, liberal, wishy-washy, Cafeteria Catholics which your last comment reveals that you so obviously are. Are you not deeply ashamed of yourself?  Why don’t you hang up your Roman collar?  I’ve been reading about your order on, yes, all about the group that in days past was known as the Societas Jesu.  (That means Society of Jesus, just in case, like most Jesuits, you "have no Latin.") I also read somewhere that your vocations are plummeting.  I cannot say that I’m in the least bit surprised.  It is thanks to “priests” like you who have blithely forgotten what it means to be fully obedient to the Magisterium.  When I think of the glorious history of the Jesuit saints and martyrs (you might want to read some day about the North American Martyrs, when you're not busy opposing the church), and how we ended up with Jesuits like you today,

Link (here) to Fr. James Martin's original and full post at America Magazine blog In All Things

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Fordham Student Disses Cardinal Dolan

Joseph Amodeo is a student at Fordham University and states he is a member of the Xavier Mission, Which is a Jesuit ministry of  The Church of St Francis Xavier.

A day before Easter, the head of New York's Roman Catholic archdiocese faced a challenge to his stance on g@y rights: the resignation of a church charity board member who says he's "had enough" of the cardinal's attitude.
Joseph Amodeo told The Associated Press on Saturday that he quit the junior board of the city's Catholic Charities after Cardinal Timothy Dolan failed to respond to a "call for help" for homeless youths who are not heterosexual. 
"As someone who believes in the message of love enshrined in the teachings of Christ, I find it disheartening that a man of God would refuse to extend a pastoral arm" to such youths, Amodeo said in his letter to the charitable organization last Tuesday.
 Link (here) to The Church Report

The Church's teaching on the subject:   

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Jesuit Says, "The Mercy Of God Is Divine Mercy"

The Mercy of God
by Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.
If there is one divine attribute that we spontaneously associate with Christ and Christianity it is the attribute of mercy. Mercy, we may safely say, is the distinctive quality of being a Christian: to be a Christian is to be merciful. There are many reasons for this. One reason cannot be that the word mercy, just as a word, is so common in the New Testament. By actual count, justice is used almost three times as often as the word mercy in the New Testament. This is not a matter of arithmetic; it is a matter of spirit. The spirit of Christianity is the spirit of mercy.
Pope John Paul II went so far as to say that “Jesus Christ is the incarnation of Divine Mercy.” Surely Christ is the incarnation of God. But among the divine attributes which most distinguishes who Christ is as the incarnation of the God-head, none identifies Christ more concretely and distinctively than mercy.
Our scope in this article is to cover three areas of a subject which is as vast as our faith. First, what does the Church understand by mercy? Then, how is Christ really incarnate Divine Mercy? And then very pertinently, how do we not only have the option but the obligation of responding to the profound mystery of the Mercy of God who became Man out of love for us? What is mercy? It comes in two stages. First stage. Mercy is love shown not only to those who are in need. Mercy is love shown not only to those who are in want. Need expresses the real objective absence or lack in someone. Want is rather the subjective, the psychological desire to get whatever a person wants. Can people need what they don’t want? Yes. Objectively they may need many things which subjectively they may not want. Do people want things which they don’t need? Do they ever! Nevertheless this is not a clever distinction.
Read the rest of the lengthy article (here)

Mary My Advocate: Saint John Berchmans, S.J.

Mary, My Advocate

Holy Mary, Virgin Mother of God, I choose you this day to be my queen, my patroness, and my advocate, and 
I firmly resolve never to leave you, and never to say or do anything against you, nor ever permit others to do anything against your honor. 
Receive me, then, I beg you, for your servant forever. Help me in my every action, and abandon me not at the hour of my death.

From Fr. John Brown's, S.J. Companion of Jesus website. 
Berchmans bio (here)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Jesuit On Birth Control


Fr. Stanislas de Lestapis, a French Jesuit, died in 1999 at the age of 94. He had been a member of the Papal Commission on Birth Control and was one of the signatories of its minority report. He had published a book, Birth Control, of which the third edition appeared in 1962, before Humanae Vitae (1968).

In chapter 7, “The Contraceptive Civilization”, he made the following bold prophecies:

“We do not hesitate to say that the acceptance of contraception will produce profound changes in our civilization, these changes are already taking place in countries that have officially endorsed contraception for one or two generations.”

“Voluntary numerous families will progressively disappear, and the large family will tend to appear as a monstrosity.”

“Populations and families which have deliberately become less creative will experience spiritual ageing and premature sclerosis.”

“The idea and the ideal of family happiness will be downgraded in terms of a so-called right to happiness and of what people think are the ‘techniques’ of achieving it.”

Morality among the young will deteriorate. The unmarried will be more licentious. The sexuality of women will lose its connection with marriage.”

“There will be a grave change in the bond of love, due to the reversal of sexual function. It will remain fixed at an ‘adolescent’ stage. Society as a whole will slip into this ‘transitory’ stage.”

“The maternal instinct will become sterile, due to the repression of the desire for children which is innate in women. There will be a silent hostility toward life and its first manifestations: pregnancy, childbirth and even sometimes towards dolls and babies.”

“A new concept of sex, now essentially defined as ‘the capacity for erotic play for the sake of the couple,’ all reference to procreation now being only accidental.”
“A growing tolerance of homosexual behavior, as erotic play that succeeds in expressing personal intimacy between friends or lovers.”

• “Finally, contraception will raise hopes which it cannot fulfill, and will give rise to frustrations and deep dissatisfactions, which will contribute to:

- The crisis of divorce and instability of modern marriages.

- The deterioration of mental health, and lack of sexual desire in women.

- The abdication of parents confronted by their task as educators.

- The ennui secreted by a civilization that is entirely centered on a comfortable way of life and sexual satisfaction.”

• “We may be accused of drawing a rather somber picture. No one will reproach us for not being frank. It only remains to justify these predictions.”

Fr. Lestapis goes on for twenty pages to justify separately each of his predictions, some very clearly, others less so, given the intangible nature of his subject.

However, a simple observation of our contemporary world will tell us that many, if not all of them, have come to pass. Is this just coincidence or is it because “the acceptance of contraception” actually has “produced profound changes in our civilization”?

If that is so, we can hardly treat the assertion of Humanae Vitae that “every use of marriage should be open to the transmission of life” as an open question.

Link (here)