Introit

Introit
Traditional Mass

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Source: Daily Bulletin of the Holy See Press Office 

CLARIFICATION BY THE DIRECTOR OF THE HOLY SEE PRESS OFFICE, FR. FEDERICO LOMBARDI, S.I., ON SPECULATIONS ABOUT THE CELIBACY ISSUE IN THE ANNOUNCED APOSTOLIC CONSTITUTION REGARDING PERSONAL ORDINARIATES FOR ANGLICAN ENTERING INTO FULL COMMUNION WITH THE CATHOLIC CHURCH , 31.10.2009 


There has been widespread speculation, based on supposedly knowledgeable remarks by an Italian correspondent Andrea Tornielli, that the delay in publication of the Apostolic Constitution regarding Personal Ordinariates for Anglicans entering into full communion with the Catholic Church, announced on October 20, 2009, by Cardinal William Levada, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, is due to more than "technical" reasons. According to this speculation, there is a serious substantial issue at the basis of the delay, namely, disagreement about whether celibacy will be the norm for the future clergy of the Provision.

Cardinal Levada offered the following comments on this speculation: "Had I been asked I would happily have clarified any doubt about my remarks at the press conference. There is no substance to such speculation. No one at the Vatican has mentioned any such issue to me. The delay is purely technical in the sense of ensuring consistency in canonical language and references. The translation issues are secondary; the decision not to delay publication in order to wait for the ‘official’ Latin text to be published in Acta Apostolicae Sedis was made some time ago.

The drafts prepared by the working group, and submitted for study and approval through the usual process followed by the Congregation, have all included the following statement, currently Article VI of the Constitution:

§1 Those who ministered as Anglican deacons, priests, or bishops, and who fulfill the requisites established by canon law and are not impeded by irregularities or other impediments may be accepted by the Ordinary as candidates for Holy Orders in the Catholic Church. In the case of married ministers, the norms established in the Encyclical Letter of Pope Paul VI Sacerdotalis coelibatus, n. 42 and in the Statement "In June" are to be observed. Unmarried ministers must submit to the norm of clerical celibacy of CIC can. 277, §1.

§2. The Ordinary, in full observance of the discipline of celibate clergy in the Latin Church, as a rule (pro regula) will admit only celibate men to the order of presbyter. He may also petition the Roman Pontiff, as a derogation from can. 277, §1, for the admission of married men to the order of presbyter on a case by case basis, according to objective criteria approved by the Holy See.


This article is to be understood as consistent with the current practice of the Church, in which married former Anglican ministers may be admitted to priestly ministry in the Catholic Church on a case by case basis. With regard to future seminarians, it was considered purely speculative whether there might be some cases in which a dispensation from the celibacy rule might be petitioned. For this reason, objective criteria about any such possibilities (e.g. married seminarians already in preparation) are to be developed jointly by the Personal Ordinariate and the Episcopal Conference, and submitted for approval of the Holy See."

Cardinal Levada said he anticipates the technical work on the Constitution and Norms will be completed by the end of the first week of November.


FERIAL DAY
(Mass of preceding Sunday)

[Requiem or Votive Mass allowed]

VIGIL OF ALL SAINTS





SAINT WOLFGANG
Bishop of Ratisbon
[Historical]



Also known as: Wolfgang of Ratisbon; Wolfgang of Regensberg; The Great Almoner

Educated by Benedictines. Monk. Teacher. Dean of a cathedral school. Headmaster of an abbey school. Priest. Bishop. Preacher. Healer. Tutor of Henry II. Restored abbeys.


Born
924 in Swabia


Died
31 October 994 at Pupping, Linz (Austria)


Canonized
1052 by Pope Leo IX


Patronage
apoplexies, apoplexy, carpenters, paralyzed people, paralysis, stomach diseases, stroke victims, strokes


Representation
church; hatchet


Friday, October 30, 2009



FERIAL DAY
(Mass of preceding Sunday)

[Requiem or Votive Mass allowed]





SAINT ALPHONSUS RODRIQUEZ
Martyr
[Historical]




Also known as: Alphonsus Rodriquez; Alphonso Rodriquez

Jesuit, ordained in 1624. Missionary to Paraguay and Brazil. With Saint Roch Gonzalez and Saint Juan de Castillo, he co-founded the "reduction" of the Assumption on the Ijuhi River. In 1628 they established the All Saints mission in Caaro, Brazil. Killed 15 days into his missionary work. One of the Jesuit Martyrs of Paraguay, the first martyrs in the Americas to be beatified.

Born
1598 in Segovia, Spain

Died
hacked to death with a tomahawk on 15 November 1628 at Caaro, Brazil

Beatified
1934

Canonized
1988 by Pope John Paul II

Name Meaning
noble ready; battle ready; ready to do good

Patronage
native traditions





Thursday, October 29, 2009



FERIAL DAY
(Mass of preceding Sunday)

[Requiem or Votive Mass allowed]





SAINT NARCISSUS 
BISHOP OF JERUSALEM 
(Historical)



2nd-3rd century bishop of Jerusalem. Late in life, he was accused of a crime. None of the Christians in his diocese believed it, but Narcissus did not believe he should serve after being under such a cloud, and he became a desert hermit. After a complete acquittal, Narcissus returned to his see, older, weathered, but stronger and more zealous than ever, and served several more years. When his age began to wear on him, he begged God to send a bishop to help him. Saint Alexander of Cappadocia responded, and the two ruled the diocese together, Narcissus lived to age 116.


Born: 99
Died: 215 of natural causes
Canonized: Pre-Congregation
Patronage: insect bites 




Wednesday, October 28, 2009




SAINTS SIMON AND JUDE
Apostles

Simon is called in the Gospels "the zealous one." Jude was the brother of St. James the Less and therefore related to Christ. He is the author of one of the seven Catholic (i.e., addressed to all the faithful) Epistles in the New Testament. It is not known for certain where Simon and Jude preached the Gospel after Pentecost; but according to tradition they finally went to evangelize Persia and were martyred together there.

INTROIT (Ps. 138:17)
Your friends are greatly honored by me, O God; their pre-eminence is definitely established.
Ps. O Lord, you have proved me and You know me; You know when I sit and when I stand.
V. Glory be . . .


COLLECT
O God, Your blessed apostles Simon and Jude brought us the knowledge of Your Holy Name. May our progress in virtue add honor to their eternal glory, and may the honor we pay them make us even more holy. Through Christ Our Lord . . .


EPISTLE (Eph. 4: 7-13)
Brethren: But to every one of us is given grace, according to the measure of the giving of Christ.Wherefore he saith: "Ascending on high, he led captivity captive: he gave gifts to men." Now that he ascended, what is it, but because he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended above all the heavens: that he might fill all things. And he gave some apostles, and some prophets, and other some evangelists, and other some pastors and doctors: For the perfecting of the saints, for the word of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Until we all meet into the unity of faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the age of the fullness of Christ.


GRADUAL (Ps. 44:17-18)
You shall make them princes through all the land; they shall remember Your Name, O Lord. V. To take the place of your fathers, sons shall be born to you; therefore peoples shall praise you.


Alleluia, alleluia! V. (Ps. 138:17)
Your friends are greatly honored by me, O God; their pre-eminence is definitely established. Alleluia!


GOSPEL (St. John 15:17-25)
At that time, Jesus said to His disciples: "These things I command you, that you love one another. If the world hate you, know ye that it hath hated me before you. If you had been of the world, the world would love its own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember my word that I said to you: The servant is not greater than his master. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they have kept my word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for my name's sake: because they know not him that sent me.
"If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin: but now they have no excuse for their sin. He that hateth me hateth my Father also. If I had not done among them the works that no other man hath done, they would not have sin: but now they have both seen and hated both me and my Father. But that the word may be fulfilled which is written in their law: 'They hated me without cause.' "


OFFERTORY ANTIPHON (Ps. 18:5)
Their voice has gone forth through all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.


SECRET 
O Lord, we pay homage to the everlasting glory of Your holy apostles Simon and Jude. May these sacred mysteries atone for our sins so that we may be more worthy to honor them. Through Christ Our Lord . . .


COMMUNION ANTIPHON (Matt. 19:28)
You who have followed Me shall sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.


POSTCOMMUNION 
We who received Your Sacraments, O Lord, humbly pray that this sacred rite which we offer in honor of the sufferings of Your blessed apostles Simon and Jude may heal our own infirmities through their intercession. Through Christ Our Lord . . .

Monday, October 26, 2009







Movement on all Fronts
 
Though 82, Benedict XVI is moving on all fronts: Lefebvrists, Anglicans, the Orthodox, Jews. The "pontificate of transition" is becoming the "pontificate of action." Will the Pope's vision succeed?

By Robert Moynihan, reporting from Rome

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These newsflashes can be found on the web by clicking on the icon below:



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"
Nam oportet et haereses esse, ut et qui probati sunt, manifesti fiant in vobis." ("For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.") —1 Corinthians 11:19

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Movement on All Fronts...
 
The talks began today, Monday, October 26.

On this historic Monday, unprecedented high-level theological discussions between representatives of the Society of St. Pius X and of the Holy See got underway to discuss "all the unresolved doctrinal questions" ("grandi temi dottrinali non risolti") related to the Second Vatican Council (1962-65), its implementation and interpretation.
 
The talks took place in the building once known as the "Holy Office of the Inquisition" and still called the Sant'Uffizio in Italian -- the Holy Office.
 
On one side, representatives of the Society of St. Pius X, founded by the French Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre (died 1991). From their founder, the members of the Society are often called "Lefebvrists."
 
On the other, top theologians from the Vatican itself, men very close to Pope Benedict XVI, led by Mosignor Guido Pozzo (yesterday I erroneously labeled him as an archbishop), the head of gthe Ecclesia Dei commission. (Photo: Pozzo at the main door of the Holy Office.)
 
The talks continued for three hours.

They went very well.
 
And they will continue.

Not only will they continue, they will continue at an almost frenetic pace for the Holy See, which generally "thinks in centuries": there will be meeting every two weeks for as long as it takes to settle these questions.
 
Father Federico Lombardi noted this relative haste when he delivered a brief communique on the meeting this afternoon in the Vatican Press Office. "This is a rather rapid paste for the Holy See," he said.
 
This is worth noting because it suggests that the Pope wants this dialogue on a "fast track," not something that drags on interminably.
 
========================================
 
What Is at Stake?
 
If one looks at these meetings in the context of recent events, the essential point is this: Benedict XVI, though now 82, is moving on many different fronts with great energy in a completely unexpected way, given his reputation as a man of thought, not of action. (We are going to have to revise our understanding of his pontificate.)
 
He is clearly reaching out to reunite with many Christian groups: the Lefebvrists, as these meetings show, but also Anglicans, the Orthodox, and others as well.
 
He seems to be trying to make Catholic Rome a center of communion for all Christians.
 
This activity, occurring at an accelerating speed over recent months, looks almost like a "rallying of the troops" before some final, decisive battle.
 
The activity is critically important, in this sense, for our current global "culture war," especially our anthropology (can man be anything our technology can make him, or are their moral limits we should observe?), our sexuality and sexual behavior (how important is our sexual identity, how important are our gender roles?), and our traditional family structures (are these now outmoded, perhaps even to be completely discarded?).
 
Now, 44 years after the close of the Second Vatican Council, Benedict XVI evidently has committed some of his best men to seek unity with the most conservative wing of the Catholic Church, the Society of St. Pius X, and by extension, all so-called "Traditionalist" Catholics.
 
The plan is very ambitious: to go step by step through all of the great, controversial doctrinal issues of the post-conciliar period. This includes religious freedom, it includes ecumenism, it includes the Chruch's teaching on Judaism and the Jews, it includes the new Mass vs. the old Mass and the role of the priest of the laity in the liturgy -- all the great issues of the Council.
 
Benedict will be watched very closely here by progressives, who seem to be a bit off-balance, wondering what Benedict is really after.
 
And he will be watched by the Anglicans, some of whom are considering entering into communion with Rome, overcoming a schism which dates from the Protestant Reformation in the 1500s, 500 years ago.
 
And he will be watched by the Orthodox, some of whom are also thinking of overcoming the "Great Schism" which dates to 1054, as they have stated in recent days.
 
And he will be watched very closely here by representatives of the world Jewish community, some of whom are wondering which direction Benedict and the Church he leads will take with regard to Catholic teaching regarding Judiasm and the Jewish people.

In short, many eyes are now on Benedict, wondering what he really intends here.

The answer seems simple enough: Benedict is trying energetically to "get his house in order."
 
But which house?
 
On one level, it is the Christian Church -- a Christian Church under considerable pressure in the highly secualrized modern world.

In this "house," this "ecclesia Dei" ("church of God" or "community of God"), dogmas and doctrines, formulated into very precise verbal statements, are held as true. These verbal formulas are professed in creeds. Benedict is seeking to overcome divisions over the content of these creeds, these doctrinal formulas, in order to bring about formal, public unity among separated Christians.
 
He is trying to find unity not only with the Lefebvrists (and all Traditionalists within the Church) but also, as we have seen in recent days, with the Anglicans and the Orthodox Churches.
 
So this dialogue with the Lefebvrists must be seen in the context of multiple dialogues, all occurring at once: Catholic Traditionalists, Protestant Anglicans, the Orthodox Churches.
 
One might almost say this pontificate is become one of "all dialogue, all the time."

But on a second level, considering world events and the evolution of the world's economy and culture, something else is also at stake.
 
Benedict is rallying his troops. He is trying to reunite all those factions and denominations and groups in the West that share common beliefs in the eternal destiny of human beings, in the sacredness of human life (since human beings are "in the image and likeness of God"), in the existence of a moral standard which is true at all times and in all places (against the relativism of the modern secular culture), in the need for justice in human affairs, for the rule of right, not might.
 
And so he is doing his best, in what seems perhaps to be the "twilight of the West," to build an ark, centered in Rome, to which all those who share these beliefs about human dignity may repair.
 
And this means that what Benedict is doing in this dialogue which got underway today is also of importance to Jews, to Muslims, and to all men and women of goodwill. Mankind seems to be entering a new period, a period in which companies and governments may produce, even for profit, "designer humans," a period of resource wars, a period of the complete rejection of the traditional family unit.

Benedict, from his high room in the Apostolic Palace, seems to be trying to rally the West in the twilight of an age, so that what was best in the West may be preserved, and shine forth again after the struggles of our time are past.
 
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Rupture, or Continuity? 

What is the real, fundamental issue of these talks?
 
It is this: Did the Second Vatican Council teach new doctrines not in keeping with prior Church teaching, and so lead the Church into error (as the Society of St. Pius X, and other traditional Catholics, have often argued)?
 
Or did the Council develop doctrines based on what the Church has always taught, and so open up new, legitimate aspects of old doctrines?
 
To put it another way: Did a "new Church" come into being after Vatican II, a Church which broke with the "old Church" of the pre-conciliar period?
 
Or is it still the same Catholic Church of all time, which has simply been passing through a confusing period as it attempts to find a way to live in and bear witness to the modern world?
 
Benedict has been calling for a reinterpretation of Vatican II for almost 40 years. In book-length interviews when he was Cardinal Ratzinger, in major studies of the liturgy and in addresses as Pope, he has denounced interpretations of Vatican II which claim it as a rupture with the Catholic faith of all time.

The Lefebvrists have maintained that is is difficult, if not impossible, to interpret Vatican II as being in continuity with all prior Church tradition.
 
But Benedict has said he believes this interpretation can be made.
 
And he has sent his chosen men into this dialogue to show the Lefebvrists how it can be done.
 
The true drama of this dialogue is whether his men will succeed.
 
Because if his men succeed, the Traditionalists will come back into full union with the Church -- and many conservative Anglicans and Orthodox will also feel more willing to enter into Rome's embrace.
 
But this very success will mean a defeat for... many progressive theologians, who have argued that Vatican II is a clean break with many "negative" teachings of the "old Church."
 
Therefore, if Benedict and his men succeed in this effort, the result will be to bring the Traditionalists over into a Church that rejects what they too have hitherto rejected, by defining certain teachings of Vatican II in a traditional way which will suddenly close off to progressives avenues of interpretation that they have freely exploited for four decades now.

 So what is at stake in these discussions is far more than what happens to the Lefebvrists.

What is at stake is how the Church of the future will judge and interpret Vatican II.

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The Communique
 
"On Monday, 26 October, 2009, in the Palazzo del Sant'Uffizio [Palace of the Holy Office], headquarters of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, the study commission made up of experts of Ecclesia Dei and from the Society of St. Pius X hed its first meeting, with the aim of examining the doctrinal differences still outstanding between the Society and the Apostolic See," said a Vatican Press Office Communique released just an hour ago.

"In a cordial, respectful and constructive climate, the main doctrinal questions were identified. These will be studied in the course of discussions to be held over coming months, probably twice a month. In particular, the questions due to be examined concern the concept of Tradition, the Missal of Paul VI, the interpretation of Vatican Council II in continuity with the Catholic doctrinal Tradition, the themes of the unity of the Church and the Catholic principles of ecumenism, the relationship between Christianity and non-Christian religions, and religious freedom. The meeting also served to specify the method and organisation of work."

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Brief Background to the New Dialogue between the Society of St. Pius X and the Holy See

This dialoge has been nine years in the preparation.
 
For a number of years after the 1988 consecrations, there was little if any dialogue between the Society of St. Pius X and the Holy See. This state of affairs ended when the Society led a large pilgrimage to Rome for the Jubilee in the year 2000.

A sympathetic Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos, President of the Pontifical Commission 
Ecclesia Dei, approached the SSPX bishops during the pilgrimage and, according to Bishop Fellay, told them that the Pope was prepared to grant them either a personal prelature (the status enjoyed by Opus Dei) or an apostolic administration (the status given to the traditionalist priests of Campos, Brazil). The SSPX leadership responded with distrust. They requested two preliminary "signs" before continuing negotiations: that the Holy See grant permission for all priests to celebrate the Tridentine Mass; and that its statement that the 1988 consecrations had resulted in excommunication for the clerics involved be declared void.

In 2005, Benedict XVI became Pope. In August 2005, Benedict met with Bishop Fellay for 35 minutes, at the latter's request.

In July 2007, the Pope issued 
Summorum Pontificum, which liberalised the restrictions on the celebration of the Tridentine Mass.

In April 2008, Bishop Fellay issued 
Letter to Friends and Benefactors No. 72, informing the SSPX faithful that, in spite of both Summorum Pontificum and the recent Vatican documents on the true meaning of Lumen Gentium and evangelisation, the Society still could not sign an agreement with the Holy See.

By a decree of 21 January 2009 (
Protocol Number 126/2009), which was issued in response to a renewed request dated 15 December 2008 that Bishop Fellay made on behalf of all four bishops whom Lefebvre had consecrated on 30 June 1988, the Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, by the power granted to him by Pope Benedict XVI, remitted the automatic excommunication that they had thereby incurred, and expressed the wish that this would be followed speedily by full communion of the whole of the Society of Saint Pius X with the Church.
 
A Note of the Secretariat of State issued on 4 February 2009 specified that, while the lifting of the excommunication freed the four bishops from a very grave canonical penalty, it made no change in the juridical situation of the Society of St. Pius X.
 
The note added that future recognition of the Society required full recognition of the Second Vatican Council and of the teaching of Popes John XIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II and Benedict XVI.
 
Moreover, it repeated the assurance given in the decree of 21 January 2009 that the Holy See would study, along with those involved, the questions not yet settled, so as to reach a full satisfactory solution of the problems that had given rise to the split.
 
That is the study that has now begun.
 
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Note to Readers

I would like to greet all new readers of this newsflash.
 
Over the past two days, I have added almost 1,000 new email addresses to my database, so hundreds of you will be reading this for the first time. The total database is now about 15,200.
 
Your names were sent to me by other readers who told me they thought you would like to receive this newsflash, and that is how you ended up on the list.
 
I realize that we live in times of "information overload," and that our email boxes can get quickly overfilled with writing from here and there which we do not have time or desire to read.
 
So I will try my best not to overload you.
 
Rather, I hope you enjoy these newsflashes, which deal with the life of the Church, but also with many other matters, including our contemporary political, economic and cultural crisis, as seen from the perspective of Rome, and in the light of the Christian faith.
 
I hope that you will find that these newsflashes useful.

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Lecture in Rome: Tuesday, October 27, 6 pm., at #141 Borgo Pio
 
I have been invited by the The Vatican Forum of the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts to present a talk tomorrow night at 6 pm on the Borgo Pio, here in Rome, at the Centro Russia Ecumenica, #141 Borgo Pio. All are welcome to attend. I have been asked to speak on the topic "Unraveling the Mysteries of the Vatican: An Introduction to the Nature and Work of the Holy See."

Entrance is free.

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A Small Request 
 
I have asked for readers to help this "newsflash" grow by sending the email addresses to me of persons who might like to receive this newsflash.
 
I would be very grateful to receive more name of people to whom I might email this newsflash. Just copy a few into an email and send it off to me.

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“He that takes truth for his guide, and duty for his end, may safely trust to God's providence to lead him aright.” —Blaise Pascal (French mathematician, philosopher, physicist and writer, 1623-1662)

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Special Announcement: Please join me in Rome during Holy Week in 2010. For more information, click on the image below:
 





 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


SAINT EVARISTUS
Pope and Martyr

SIMPLE / RED
The fourth successor of St. Peter, Pope Evaristus was said to have been the son of a Hellenic Jew of Bethlehem. He ruled for some eight years, during a very stormy period in the history of the Church. He died about A.D. 107, and was buried near St. Peter's tomb on the Vatican.

Mass of a
POPE

COLLECT
O Eternal Shepherd, who appointed blessed Evaristus shepherd of the whole Church, let the prayers of this martyr and supreme pontiff move You to look with favor upon Your flock and to keep it under Your continual protection. Through our Lord . . .

SECRET
We have offered our gifts to You, O Lord. Let Your light graciously shine upon Your Church, so that this flock may everywhere prosper, and its pastors, under Your guidance, may be truly pleasing to You. Through our Lord . . .



POSTCOMMUNION 
O Lord, govern the Church, which You have been pleased to nourish with Your Heavenly Food. Guide her by Your powerful direction so that she may enjoy greater freedom and remain unshaken in the fullness of faith. Through our Lord . . . 

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Sunday, October 25, 2009




Rome Hosts Lefebvrists
 
Tomorrow morning, October 26 -- today for some -- Rome will open theological talks on the Second Vatican Council (1962-65) with representatives of the Society of St. Pius X, followers of the Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre

By Robert Moynihan, reporting from Rome

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"Nam oportet et haereses esse, ut et qui probati sunt, manifesti fiant in vobis." ("For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.") —1 Corinthians 11:19

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Doctrinal Talks To Begin

The first official theological discussions ever between Vatican officials and representatives of the Society of St. Pius X will begin in Rome on Monday, October 26.
 
The talks will be private and closed to the press.
 
The reason? So that they can be "extremely honest and frank," I have been told.
 
The Society of St. Pius X became famous in January this year, when the excommunications of its four bishops, all consecrated without papal permission in 1988 by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and immediately excommunicated, were lifted by Pope Benedict XVI.

The "Vatican side" will include Archbishop Guido Pozzo, the new secretary of the Ecclesia Dei Pontifical Commission; Archbishop Luis Ladaria Ferrer, secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF); Dominican Father Charles Morerod, secretary of the International Theological Commission and consultor with the CDF; Archbishop Fernando Ocariz, Vicar General of Opus Dei and consultor with the CDF; and Jesuit Father Karl Josef Becker, also a CDF consultor.

The meeting will take place at the Palace of the Holy Office, which is where the CDF is housed. That is the building just to the left of Bernini's colonnade which prior to the Second Vatican Council was known as "The Holy Office of the Inquisition."
 
“The conversations will focus on open doctrinal questions and will remain confidential. A statement will be released at the conclusion of the meeting,” Father Federico Lombardi said when the meetings were announced.

After Pope Benedict XVI lifted the excommunications of the four Lefebvrist bishops, the Vatican issued a statement on February 4, 2009, outlining a series of conditions that the Lefebvrists must meet including “full recognition of the Second Vatican Council” and of the magisteriums of all the Popes since Pius XII.

On March 10, Pope Benedict XVI published a letter to the bishops of world in which he explained the reasons for lifting the excommunication, noting that “until the doctrinal questions are clarified, the Society has no canonical status in the Church, and its ministers – even though they have been freed of the ecclesiastical penalty – do not legitimately exercise any ministry in the Church.”

Despite this warning, the Lefebvrist bishops ordained a group of priests at the end of June, which prompted a statement from the Holy See’s Press Office reiterating what the Pope said in his letter to the world's bishops.

===========================
 
Will this upcoming Monday session be the only session? Will the dialogue go for several hours, then end?

"I would be very surprised if that happened," one Vatican official said to me this past week. "More likely is a more drawn out discussion, with meetings scheduled every so often for an extended period of time. But anything could happen. It will be up to the participants to decide how to proceed."

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How does the Vatican side view the upcoming dialogue? Is one possible outcome the wider use of the "old Mass," which the Society of St. Pius X celebrates exclusively? Could these talks lead to a much wider us
A pre-1969 Latin Rite altar with reredos.  The...Image via Wikipedia
e of the "old Mass" throughout the Church?
 
The answer isn't completely clear, but it seems that Rome, under Pope Benedict, is, in fact, profoundly supportive of the old liturgy. This seems evident from in the short but interesting interview below.
The website Messainlatino.it recently published this interview with Msgr Pozzo (the translation is by Gregor Kollmorgen, of The New Liturgical Movement):

Monsignor, a widespread restrictive interpretation of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum argues that the papal provision is primarily if not exclusively, directed towards those groups and institutes that were already attached to the traditional form, and is not, by contrast, intended in any way to promote the extraordinary form. But Cardinal Dario Castrillón Hoyos said in London in June 2008 that the Pope would actually like to have the "Gregorian Rite" in all parishes. What is your opinion?

Msgr Guido Pozzo: The Motu Proprio is addressed to all the Catholic faithful who desire the extraordinary form of the Roman liturgy, not just to those who, prior to its promulgation, were attached to the ancient form of the Roman rite. Certainly it does intend to accommodate these latter and to heal old wounds, but the purpose of the document is also to allow the spreading of the extraordinary form, for the benefit of those who do not know it yet (being too young to have had it experienced), or of those who rediscover with joy the Mass of their youth. The ever-increasing spread of this liturgical treasure, the Church's patrimony, can bring many benefits, spiritual and vocational, also through the mutual enrichment between the two forms of the Roman rite.

The Pope's letter accompanying the motu proprio refers to a term of three years, after which reports of the bishops will be collected to assess the situation. That may mean, as some argue, that the liberalization of the old Missal stipulated by the motu proprio is to be understood ad experimentum, or at least that at the end of this evaluation there may be restrictions regarding the the extraordinary form, such as for instance the return to a regime similar to that of the indults of 1984 or 1988?

Msgr Pozzo: The three-year term simply refers to a balance of the first three years of application. If there turn out to be serious difficulties, appropriate remedies will be found, always keeping in mind the essential purpose of the motu proprio.

From many places, obstacles opposed to the implementation of the motu proprio have been reported. We, too, have experienced them... What should an adequate group of lay people who find themselves in such situations of difficulty do to obtain a weekly Mass in the extraordinary form? And in what way can the Commission Ecclesia Dei intervene?

Msgr Pozzo: The answer is already written in the motu proprio: ask the parish priest and possibly look for a priest ready [to say the old Mass]. Should this prove impossible, it is necessary to turn to your bishop, who is called to seek an appropriate solution. If even this way no satisfaction of the request is obtained, write to the Commission Ecclesia Dei, which, however, deals with the bishops, who are naturally our interlocutors: they are asked for an assessment of the situation, to see what the actual difficulties are and how to find a remedy.

Changing the subject, have you seen the results of the Doxa survey commissioned by Paix liturgiqueand us?

Msgr Pozzo: Yes, I was given a preview a few days ago. These figures are truly remarkable and encouraging, especially that absolute majority of practicing Catholics who, at least according to the poll, regard the coexistence of the two forms of the Mass in the parishes as perfectly normal. I understand that a copy of the survey has also reached the Holy Father.

Thanks again Monsignor, and keep up the good work.
 
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What does the Society of St. Pius X expect from these talks? 
 
In his most recent "Letter to Friends and Benefactors," the Superior General of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX), Bishop Bernard Fellay, speaks about the upcoming doctrinal talks with the Holy See. Here is the text of the letter, which I publish without further comment, except to bold-face the passage most relevant to the upcoming talks:
Bishop Bernard Fellay, current Superior Genera...Image via Wikipedia
SUPERIOR GENERAL’S LETTER TO FRIENDS AND BENEFACTORS #75

Dear Friends and Benefactors,

The enthusiastic response to the Rosary Crusade we encounter throughout the world fills us with consolation and prompts us to take up this theme once again with you. If we are petitioning Heaven with this multitude ofAves, it is because the hour is indeed grave. We are sure of Our Lady’s victory because she herself foretold it, but the events that have been unfolding for nearly a century—since this triumph was announced at Fatima—oblige us to suppose that all kinds of other woes could yet befall mankind before this victory.

Yet the rules given at Fatima by the Mother of God were quite simple: if the world does not convert, it will be punished: “There will be a second war, more terrible than the first.” The world did not convert. And God’s answer was not long in coming. Since the Second World War, the world still has not converted. And if people think Russia has converted, they will have to explain to us in what it has converted, and to whom— economic liberalism?

Almost one hundred years later, we observe that the world has surely not become better; quite the contrary. The war of the unbelievers rages harder than ever, but it has taken an unexpected turn: the demolition of the Church is being carried out especially by subversion, by infiltrating the Church. Our holy Mother the Church is in the process of being transformed into a pile of spiritual ruins while the exterior façade remains more or less intact, thus deceiving the multitude about its real condition. And it has to be admitted that this subversion acquired an unexpected increase of efficacy on the occasion of the Second Vatican Council. It doesn’t take an advanced degree in theology to figure this out; today it is an historical fact.

What part of the responsibility should be attributed to the Council itself? This is a difficult question, but it is clear that this Council was not without effect, and its consequences have been well and truly disastrous. Because of it, the Church fell in step with the world. “We, too, in fact, we more than any others, honor mankind,” said Paul VI at the Council’s conclusion. And the man-centered orientation of Vatican II was harped on by John Paul II. But this orientation is indeed odd for the Church of God, supernatural in its essence, having received from Our Lord Jesus Christ not only its constitution and means, but first and foremost its end, which is nothing else than the continuation of His own redemptive and salvific mission: “Go into the whole world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized shall be saved, but he who does not believe shall be condemned.” (Mk. 16:15-16).

And now, here is the tragedy: the divine mission of the Church has been replaced by a purely human one. It is a great mystery that leaves one astounded. Salvation now comes second, to say the least.

Few men—very few men, unfortunately—understand that the terrible crisis of the Church since the Second Vatican Council is a chastisement more terrible than any other, for this time the catastrophe is spiritual: what is wounded, what is noiselessly killed in the midst of an indifference worse than death, are souls. The loss of grace in a soul is the most terrible harm that can happen to it because it makes no noise, it is not felt. And the voice of the watchmen has fallen silent. The call to conversion, to penance, to the flight from sin, temptations and the world has given way, if not to indulgence, then at least to sympathy with the world. There is a real will to make peace with the modern world.

The mission of salvation has given way to a new sort of humanitarian mission; it is a matter of helping men of every condition and religion to live well together on earth.

There is no doubt that everything connected in the message of the Blessed Virgin of Fatima, what is referred to as the Secret of Fatima, has not yet come to an end. Certainly, what we are living is per force part and parcel of the events that will end one day, eventually, with the triumph of Mary. What will happen? How will we recognize it? In any case, it will at least entail the conversion of Russia according to the very words of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

In 1917 at Rome, the foes of God were celebrating the 200th anniversary of Freemasonry and the 400th anniversary of Protestantism with parades of special violence against the Holy See. The demonstrators boisterously proclaimed the reign of Satan over the Vatican and the Sovereign Pontiff. Maximilian Kolbe, still a seminarian, witnessed these painful events and said:

This mortal hatred of the Church, of Christ, and of His Vicar on earth is not just an outburst of misguided individuals, but rather a systematic action that proceeds from the principle of Freemasonry: the destruction of all religion, but especially the Catholic religion. [Pisma Ojca Maksymiliana Marii Kolbego franciszkanina, Niepokalanow, maszynopsis, 1970; English tr. from The Immaculata Our Ideal, by Fr. Karl Stehlin (Warsaw, 2005), p. 39]….

Is it possible that our enemies should deploy so much activity so as to attain superiority while we stay idle, or at best apply ourselves to prayer without getting to work? Might we not have more powerful arms—the protection of Heaven and of the Immaculate Virgin? The Immaculata, victorious and triumphant over all heresies, will not yield to the advancing enemy if she finds faithful servants obedient to her command: she will bring off new victories even greater than can be imagined. We have to put ourselves like docile instruments into her hands, employing all lawful means, getting the word out everywhere by the diffusion of the Marian press and the Miraculous Medal, and enhancing our action by prayer and good example. [Testimony of Fr. Pignalberi reported during the process of canonization].

He founded the Militia of the Immaculata just a few days after the October 13th apparition of Our Lady at Fatima, when the great miracle of the sun took place. It was in fact on October 16, with six fellow seminarians, that he consecrated himself to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for the purpose of leading the whole world to God by the Immaculata.

One cannot but be struck by the affinity between the message of Fatima and the response of the Polish Franciscan while reading his act of consecration:

O Immaculata, Queen of heaven and earth, Refuge of sinners, our most loving Mother, to whom God deigned to entrust the entire order of mercy, behold I, N., an unworthy sinner, cast myself at Thy feet and humbly ask Thee to deign to accept me completely and utterly as Thy property and possession; and do with me as it pleases Thee: all the faculties of my soul and body, my entire life, my death and my eternity. Dispose of me as Thou willst, so that what has been said of Thee might be fulfilled: ‘She will crush the head of the serpent,’ and also, ‘Thou alone hast vanquished all heresies throughout the world.’ Make of me an instrument in Thy immaculate and merciful hands, which serves Thee, in order to increase reverence for Thee as much as possible in so many fallen-away and lukewarm souls. Thus the benevolent reign of the Sacred Heart of Jesus will spread more and more. For whatever place Thou enters, Thou shalt implore upon it the grace of conversion an d sanctification, for all graces come to us from the Sacred Heart of Jesus only through Thy hands. [Scritti di Massimiliano Kolbe, new ed. (Rome: ENMI, 1997), Vol. I; Eng. version, The Immaculata Our Ideal]

Very dear faithful, it is in this same spirit that we launched the Rosary Crusade. But prayer is only a part of it: let us not forget the other two very important elements, penance and devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. By mortification, we wish to make reparation for the insults given to Mary, and in union with her sorrowful Heart we wish to associate ourselves as closely as possible to the sacrifice of the Cross of our Lord, because by it our salvation is effected. Thus we are at the heart of the message of Fatima: “God wishes to introduce devotion to my Immaculate Heart.” Perhaps not enough emphasis is given to this aspect, which seems to us even more important than the consecration of Russia and which is the second condition indicated by Mary to the pope for her triumph: consecrate Russia and promote devotion to her Immaculate Heart.

In this month of October we are going to enter into a new phase in our relations with the Vatican, that of the doctrinal discussions. What is at stake is very important, and we recommend them to your prayers. Undoubtedly that also is a part of our Crusade, and obviously this intention is included in the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary we all desire. That also completely outstrips all our own powers, and it would be folly pure and simple to undertake such an enterprise were it not sustained by the power of the supernatural means such as prayer and penance.

We do not want to conclude this letter without also thanking you for your generosity, which enables our work to develop throughout the world. There is one thing, though, that slows us down: the harvest is abundant, but workers for the harvest are lacking. Our Lord has already said it and has shown the remedy: pray for vocations! How we should like to come to the aid of all the faithful who only have the Mass once a month, or only on Sundays, unable to benefit from normal pastoral care… Yet the good Lord has gratified us this year with 27 new priests, and we expect an even slightly larger number next year. But even that is not enough, so great is the demand worldwide.

You are deeply thanked for all your efforts. May God reward you with the abundant graces and blessings we implore on you all, your families, your children. May Our Lady of the Rosary, the Immaculate Heart of Mary, protect you.

On the Feast of the Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, October 11, 2009.

+ Bernard Fellay
Superior General

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A Small Request 
 
Yesterday, I asked for readers to help this "newsflash" grow by sending the email addresses to me of persons who might like to receive this newsflash.
 
I have received about 400 addresses; thanks to all of you who send them to me.
 
I was hoping for several thousand.
 
I would be very grateful to receive more name of people to whom I might email this newsflash. Just copy a few into an email and send it off to me.

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I will send reports on the doctrinal talks as soon as news is available.

========================================
 
“He that takes truth for his guide, and duty for his end, may safely trust to God's providence to lead him aright.”Blaise Pascal (French mathematician, philosopher, physicist and writer, 1623-1662)

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Special Announcement: Please join me in Rome during Holy Week in 2010. For more information, click on the image below:
 





 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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FEAST OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
THE KING


TWENTY-FIRST SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST

DOUBLE, FIRST CLASS / WHITE
Christ is fully the spiritual King of all mankind, for He is the giver of life, the maker of law, the supreme judge and ruling authority, in the minds and wills and hearts of human beings. He is King of mankind by natural right, because He is the divine maker and sustainer of the universe and He took human nature unto His divine Person. He is King by acquired right, because He redeemed mankind by the sacrifice of His body and blood. The Lamb of God from the throne of His Cross, reunited all peoples. Although formerly separated by sin, they became one kingdom, one family, and prospective members of one Mystical Body.

INTROIT (Apoc. 5:12, 1:6)
Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive powers and divinity and wisdom and strength and honor. To Him belong glory and dominion forever and ever.
Ps
. 1. Give to the King, O God, Thy judgment, and to the King's Son Thy justice.
V. Glory be . . .

KYRIE ELEISON

GLORIA IN EXCELSIS DEO

COLLECT
Almighty and everlasting God, who has willed to restore all things in Thy beloved Son, the King of all creation, mercifully grant that all the families of nations scattered by the wound of sin may become subject to His most gentle rule. Who liveth and reigneth in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end.


Commemoration of the 21st SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST
Keep Your family under Your continual care, O Lord. Shelter it with Your protection from all adversity, that it may be zealous in doing good for the honor of Your name. Through our Lord . . .

EPISTLE (Col. 1:12-20)

Brethren: Giving thanks to God the Father, who hath made us worthy to be partakers of the lot of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness and hath translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love, In whom we have redemption through his blood, the remission of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For in him were all things created in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or dominations, or principalities, or powers. All things were created by him and in him. And he is before all: and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things he may hold the primacy: Because in him, it hath well pleased the Father that all fullness should dwell: And through him to reconcile all things unto himself, making peace through the blood of his cross, both as to the things that are on earth and the things that are in heaven.

GRADUAL (Ps. 71:8, 11)
He shall rule from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth.

V.
And all kings of the earth shall adore Him, and all nations shall serve Him.

Alleluia, alleluia! V. (Dan. 7:14)

His power is an everlasting power which shall not be taken away; and His kingdom one that shall not be destroyed. Alleluia!

GOSPEL (St. John 18:33-37)

At that time, Pilate therefore went into the hall again and called Jesus and said to him: "Art thou the king of the Jews?" Jesus answered: "Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or have others told it thee of me?" Pilate answered: "Am I a Jew? Thy own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee up to me. What hast thou done?" Jesus answered: "My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would certainly strive that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now my kingdom is not from hence." Pilate therefore said to him: "Art thou a king then?" Jesus answered: "Thou sayest that I am a king. For this was I born, and for this came I into the world; that I should give testimony to the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice."

OFFERTORY ANTIPHON (Ps. 2:8)
Ask of Me, and I will give Thee the Gentiles for Thy inheritance, and the utmost parts of the earth for Thy possession.


SECRET
To Thee, O Lord, we present this Victim, offered for man's reconciliation. Grant, we beseech Thee, that He whom we now immolate in this sacrifice may Himself, Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, grant to all nations the gifts of unity and peace. Who with Thee liveth and reigneth in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end.

Commemoration of the 21st SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST
O Lord, graciously accept this offering which You in Your boundless mercy instituted to atone for our sins and to restore salvation to us. Through our Lord . . .

COMMUNION ANTIPHON (Ps. 28:10, 11)
The Lord shall sit as King forever; the Lord will bless His people with peace.

POSTCOMMUNION

Having received the food of immortality, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that we who are proud to fight under the banners of Christ the King, may one day reign in the eternally with Him in heaven. Who with Thee liveth and reigneth in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end.

Commemoration of the 21st SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST
We have been seeking the food of immortality and implore Thee, O Lord, that with its savour still on our tongues, we may with pure hearts continue to pursue it. Through our Lord . . . 
 

Saturday, October 24, 2009




SAINT RAPHAEL
Archangel

GREATER DOUBLE / WHITE
Archangel Raphael is known through the Book of Tobias in the Old Testament. He there appeared in human form as a gracious young man called Azarias, to protect the younger Tobias on his journey from Ninive to a city of the Medes. In the process he found a wife for Tobias, and later delivered her from an evil spirit; he also healed the elder Tobias of blindness. Raphael is "one of the seven who stand before the Lord" (Tob. 12:15). Today's Prayer speaks of him as a companion in journeys. The Reading shows him as presenting our prayers to God. The Gospel is a reminder of Raphael's healing powers, for his name means "God has healed."

INTROIT Ps. 102:20
Bless the Lord all you His angels, you mighty in strength who do His bidding, obeying the voice of His commands. 
Ps
. 102:1. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and let all my being bless His holy Name. 
V
. Glory be . . .


COLLECT
O God, who sent the blessed Archangel Raphael to accompany Your servant Tobias on his journey, grant that we, Your servants, may also be guarded by him always and strengthened by his assistance. Through our Lord.

LESSON Tob. 12:7-15
In those days, the angel Raphael said to Tobias: "For it is good to hide the secret of a king: to reveal and confess the works of God. Prayer is good with fasting and alms more than to lay up treasures of gold. For alms delivereth from death, and the same is that which purgeth away sins, and maketh to find mercy and life everlasting. But they that commit sin and iniquity, are enemies to their own soul. I discover then the truth unto you, and I will not hide the secret from you.
" When thou didst pray with tears, and didst bury the dead, and didst leave thy dinner, and hide the dead by day in thy house, and bury them by night, I offered thy prayer to the Lord. And because thou wast acceptable to God, it was necessary that temptation should prove thee. And now the Lord hath sent me to heal thee, and to deliver Sara thy son's wife from the devil. For I am the angel Raphael, one of the seven, who stand before the Lord."

GRADUAL Tob. 8:3; pS. 146:5
Raphael, the angel of the Lord, took the devil and bound him. 
V
. Great is our Lord, and great His power!


Alleluia, alleluia! V. Ps. 137:1-2 
I will sing Your praise in the sight of the angels; I will worship in Your holy temple and give glory to Your Name, O Lord. Alleluia!


GOSPEL John 5:1-4
After these things was a festival day of the Jews: and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is at Jerusalem a pond, called Probatica, which in Hebrew is named Bethsaida, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of sick, of blind, of lame, of withered: waiting for the moving of the water. And an angel of the Lord descended at certain times into the pond and the water was moved. And he that went down first into the pond after the motion of the water was made whole of whatsoever infirmity he lay under.

OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Apoc. 8:3, 4
An Angel stood before the altar of the temple, having in his hand a golden censer; and there was given to him much incense, and the smoke of the incense went up before God.

SECRET 
O Lord, graciously accept the sacrifice of praise we offer You. May it bring us closer to our salvation through the angel's prayers of intercession. Through Christ, our Lord . . .

COMMUNION ANTIPHON Dan. 3:58
All you Angels of the Lord, bless the Lord; sing a hymn of praise and exalt Him above all forever.

POSTCOMMUNION 
O Lord God, send the holy Archangel Raphael to help us, so that he, who we believe stands always before Your Throne, may present our humble prayers for Your blessing. Through our Lord . . .

Friday, October 23, 2009


SAINT ANTHONY MARY CLARET
Bishop, Confessor

SIMPLE / WHITE
Mass of a CONFESSOR BISHOP, except

COLLECT
O God, with the virtues of an apostle Thou didst exalt blessed Anthony Mary, and through him build in Thy Church new religious congregations of men and women; grant, we pray, that led by his counsels and helped by his prayers, we may unremittingly work for the salvation of souls. Through our Lord . . .

SECRET
May this annual feast of Saint Anthony Mary Thy Confessor and Bishop make us in Thy kindness acceptable to Thee, O Lord, and may this present rite duly appease Thee, bring happy recompense to him, and assure gifts of Thy grace to us. Through our Lord . . .

POSTCOMMUNION
O God, the Rewarder of faithful souls, grant, that by the prayers of blessed Anthony Mary, Thy Confessor and Bishop, whose venerable feast we celebrate, we may obtain pardon. Through our Lord . . .

Saint Anthony's story
Anthony was born in Spain's northeast region of Catalonia in 1807 to a working class family. His father was a weaver and employed several people in the first floor factory of their small two story house. When Anthony was born on December 23, 1807, and throughout his earliest years, his hometown of Sallent was in the path of the invading French Armies of Napoleon. With the armies came revolutionary ideas that would trouble Spain throughout Anthony's life. His character was built on lasting childhood experiences and impressions: shared family life and prayer, manual work, competition, creativity and practicality, and sensitivity to the needs of others.
Anthony's parents were prosperous but not wealthy. His father owned some small textile factories where Anthony would work once he was old enough. After the French occupation, hard times hit Spain. Many people were forced to leave farms and small towns for the larger cities. Anthony, the second son, was not to inherit any of the family businesses, so his father sent him to Barcelona as a student and to work in the large textile mills. Anthony, who did very well in the textile design school and on the factory floor, seemed destined to be a successful businessman in the new textile industry, and so as a young man of 18 he left home and set off for Barcelona. His dream and passion was to become a great industrialist and he dedicated himself with great passion and creativity. In order to not restrict his studies to theory only, he went to work as a special designer and technician in a large manufacturing plant in the city. There he was offered the position of technical director of a large textile plant. This encouraged him to further improve himself, and his job became an obsession for him. Night and day, he visualized canvasses, models, and new processes.
Tensions were created as men and women moved from the countryside, where there was greater respect of religion and traditional morality, into the city, where ideas of political liberty meant release from traditional values. The clash deeply disturbed Anthony. He felt the tension in his own personal choices and was distressed to see the neglect of religion and morality in his friends in school and in the factory. His imagination was assailed by a multitude of projects, designs, and the latest trends in the textile industry. And yet, in the midst of this, he saw something was missing in his life, that this way of life wasn't giving him much satisfaction.
The spirituality engendered by his parents and parish community began to mature in his own vocational discernment process. It was a seed long planted, encouraged by family and friends, but often forgotten. The practice of virtue, prayer, and sacraments continued in this free environment. Anthony studied, lived alone, worked, had varied friendships, and was exposed to those things society lacked.
Anthony came to terms with a desire to consecrate his life in service to God and was filled with hope and consolation. He shared this with his father, who at first was disappointed by the decision. His father saw Anthony as the grown man he was at 24 years old, and encouraged him in his reflections even though his personal preference would have been for him to continue in the family business.
Initially Anthony felt his calling was to monastic life. A wise priest urged him to begin his seminary studies and after a year to decide whether his call was indeed monastic. In that first year he was introduced to daily reading of the scriptures and this nurtured his vocation to become an apostolic missionary. At the age of 28 he completed his studies and was ordained a priest for the diocese of Vic. He began parish ministry in his own hometown of Sallent. A prophetic vocation sprang from the scriptures, his life nourished and transformed by the Eucharist, and his identity as a missionary was discovered in the life of the Mother of Jesus.
Active in the ministry of the spoken and written word, he was constantly devoted to prayer and his on-going formation. Claret was enthusiastic about everything he believed in and, having to put his ideas into action, rebelled against the restrictions the government put on his preaching and ministry. He left for Rome where he offered himself to the pope as a missionary. While in Rome he tested his call to the Jesuits, but ill health convinced the superiors he was not called to become one of them. He returned to Spain immediately where, ironically, he took on an extremely busy schedule as a missionary.
Claret's years as a wandering preacher-he was given the title of “apostolic missionary” by the pope-were very happy and extremely successful. He had the ability to talk to all people: children, youths, educated professionals, couples planning marriage, and seniors preparing for death. His messages were always very clear and meaningful in helping people in their trials.
He is heroic among us as a missionary, religious founder, social reformer, and chaplain to royalty, forerunner of Catholic Action and role of laity in the church, writer, publisher, archbishop, and survivor of numerous attempted assassinations.
Anthony became one of the most popular preachers in the country. His missions and retreats emphasized devotion to the Eucharist and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. He also published hundreds of books and pamphlets on the faith.
At the age of 42, Anthony founded the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (the Claretians); he later co-founded the Claretian Sisters. Appointed archbishop of Santiago, Cuba, in 1850, Anthony entered a world where immorality was rampant among clergy and there existed great antagonism toward the church. He provided hope and preaching while hearing confessions, instructing slaves, and promoting family-owned farms and credit unions. The reforms he advocated brought enemies, and a hired assassin slashed open his face and wrist. Anthony worked to get his would-be assassin's death sentence commuted to a prison term.
After seven years he was called back to Spain and was named Confessor to Queen Isabella. He felt restricted in his new role but worked in a variety of areas. He founded a science laboratory, a museum of natural history, music and language schools, and an association of writers and artists.
He was exiled from Spain and fled to France during the revolution of 1868 and died there two years later on October 24, 1870 at 62 years of age.
He was declared a Saint on May 7, 1950. The men who have followed in his way, the Claretians, now number over 3,000 strong and minister in over 60 countries worldwide.
 
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