Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Is it time to re-instate the Index for the good of souls?

August 18th, 2017, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Liberalism is a Sin begs the question of whether or not some type of Index is needed. With the distorted secular education being force-fed, the loss of faith-based schooling, and the accelerating increase in information (true or fake) and associated technology, it is sometimes difficult to distinguish the reliable from that which is not. A publication from 1899 provides some fodder for the discussion.



Consider, for example, Chapter 29 of Liberalism is a Sin entitled “Liberalism and Journalism,” vis à vis  Real and Fake News. Just a point for further discussion. Burning at the stake (author or book) not necessarily required or implied.

(While the Index of Prohibited Books was the exact list of books forbidden for Catholics to read, a more modern version might simply be the availability of such a list and the reasons for something to be included. Sort of a “not recommended” list and why.)

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St. Bernard’s On the Road – YOTE

August 5th, 2017, Promulgated by Ben Anderson

From St. Bernard’s facebook page (p5 of the album)

When describing the Eucharist, the Catechism of the Catholic Church #1328 indicates that the “the inexhaustible richness of this sacrament is expressed in the different names we give it.” We’ve taken these names and each of the following presenters has prepared a 45-minute lecture/discussion that explores both the academic and spiritual insights into the Eucharist. Designed for adult faith enrichment, interested parishes should contact…

If you haven’t yet read Bishop Matano’s pastoral letter announcing the YOTE, you can do so here.


What about Spiritual Medals of Honor?

August 1st, 2017, Promulgated by Diane Harris

President Trump just made his first Medal of Honor award — to a true hero.

ScreenShot660To try to capture even a small part of what Vietnam War medic, Specialist V, James McCloughan of the US Army, did to deserve such recognition would inevitably understate his heroism. It is well worth the 21 minutes to view:

After the entrance strains of “Hail to the Chief,” the words from the podium came from John 15:13:  Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”  Christ said it; we believe it. And it is not difficult to see that martyrdom fits this description, if one is “friend” of God.

But what has a higher “value” than one’s own life? The answer is clear: one’s own soul!

But it seems that God does not accept that gift of sacrificing one’s own soul. Two instances arise in Sacred Scripture which are worth considering:

  • In Exodus Chapter 32, verses 31-33 provide some perspective.  After Aaron and the people had sinned in creating and worshiping the golden calf, Moses goes to God to try to obtain His forgiveness.  “So Moses returned to the LORD and said, ‘Alas, this people have sinned a great sin; they have made for themselves gods of gold. But now, if Thou wilt forgive their sin–and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which Thou hast written.’  But the LORD said to Moses, ‘Whoever has sinned against Me, him will I blot out of My book.’”  So Moses offered to give up his own eternal life and God refused the gift.
  • In Romans, Chapter 9, verse 3, Paul states: “For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen by race.” Paul, having the advantage of knowing what Moses said, and how God had responded, is more selective in the way he speaks, not to offend the God and giver of soul, yet still to write deeply of his love and care for the Jewish people. He “could” wish, though he seems not to so wish.

And, in these words, we confirm that there is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friend; it is not acceptable to lay down one’s soul, though the soul is greater than the earthly life. Yet, life is often lived inconsistently with this truth. Parents would jump into the ocean to save a child (even if the parent can’t swim) but will not risk potential alienation by correcting that same child’s adult moral lifestyle decisions. Friends, who might risk their own lives to save a friend from a terrorist attack, are too afraid of losing the friendship to speak clearly against a friend’s planned abortion.  A preacher hesitates to condemn a sin from the pulpit, lest the capital campaign falter. The examples are numerous. Esau traded his spiritual heritage for a bowl of porridge; the absurdity continues into today’s values, and lack of values, in effect offering their own souls, and others’ souls for the porridge of having ‘nice’ relationships.

A medal of honor is indeed a time to ponder where the virtue of courage works in our own lives, where we place priorities, and how we value not only our souls, but the souls of those who need to hear truth. Awesome!


Monthly Prayer Requests for Priests – August 2017

July 31st, 2017, Promulgated by Ben Anderson

It’s time to print out your August 2017 calendar. Thanks to the good folks at for providing these calendars freely available to all on the Internet.

Also, here are the Holy Father’s prayer intentions for August:


That artists of our time, through their ingenuity, may help everyone discover the beauty of creation.


Fellowship of St. Alban Welcomes New Pastor

July 29th, 2017, Promulgated by Administrator

ScreenShot656Finally! The St. Alban’s Fellowship (Catholics belonging to the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter) has a priest assigned – the recently ordained Father Evan Simington. The Fellowship is devoted to the liturgical practice of the Ordinariate form of the Roman rite, “Anglican Use”, worshiping in traditional English liturgical and musical expressions of the Catholic faith. Anyone who has not yet been to Catholic worship in the Anglican Tradition (fully approved by the Vatican), will especially note the solemnity and sacrality of this Divine Worship. By attending, all Catholics also fulfill their Sunday Mass obligation. The Fellowship is in full communion with the Roman Catholic Church and part of the Latin rite.  The U.S. Ordinariate was established following the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus by Pope Benedict XVI and is under the protection of Our Lady of Walsingham.

Father Simington offers regular Sunday worship for their members and for all Catholics, at the historic Church of the Good Shepherd at 3318 East Henrietta Rd. on Sundays at 11:30 AM. This Sunday’s Mass will be for Craig Rideout and family. Confession is also available from 10:45-11:15 AM.

All are invited! Parish fellowship follows, with coffee and donuts. If you would like to make a request for Mass Intentions or you would like to add individuals to the Prayers of the People, please send your request to Please make sure that you send your email before each Friday 9:00 pm to ensure that your request will be received in time for the following Sunday.

Holy Day of Obligation:

Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary   Tuesday August 15th at 6:30 pm.

Group Study of Dei Verbum:

Beginning on Wednesday August 2nd, Father Simington will be leading a group study of the Second Vatican Council document Dei Verbum: Regarding the Church’s teaching on Divine RevelationHeld at 1702 Empire Blvd., Apt. 7.

For more information, visit:


Please keep Father Simington and St. Alban’s in your prayers as they embark together on this next step of their mission.

Prayer of Thanksgiving for the Most Holy Eucharist (from the Ordinariate Divine Office)

LORD, most glorious Lamb of God, most tender Priest of man, we praise and glorify thee for the blessed Sacrament of thy Body and Blood, wherein thy servants celebrate the mystery of thy redeeming love and partake of thy spotless and immortal life; and we beseech thee that by this most holy Eucharist we may be made holy, and have our portion and inheritance among the Saints who have pleased thee from the beginning of the world; to whom with the Father and the Holy Spirit be glory and dominion world without end. Amen.


FOCUS (Catholic campus outreach) coming to the University of Rochester

July 28th, 2017, Promulgated by Ben Anderson

FOCUS Expands to 15 New Campuses

This month, FOCUS is delighted to announce that the apostolate will be serving on 15 new campuses for the next academic year. In 2017 – 2018, more than 660 FOCUS missionaries will serve college students on 137 campuses.

Along with Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas, teams of FOCUS missionaries will also go to Iowa State University, Indiana University, the University of Rochester — and even the alma mater of FOCUS Founder Curtis Martin: Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.

What FOCUS does:

We’re a campus outreach that pursues college students with intentionality and love. We invite them into a growing relationship with Jesus and the Catholic faith, inspiring and equipping them for a lifetime of Christ-centered evangelization, discipleship and friendships in which they lead others to do the same.

NOTE: This FOCUS is not the same as the local pregnancy care center – they just happen to share the same name.


THEOLOGY ON TAP Summer Series 2017

July 26th, 2017, Promulgated by Ben Anderson

From St. Jerome’s bulletin:

THEOLOGY ON TAP Summer Series 2017

Summer Nights Four Pack for Catholics and friends in their twenties and thirties!

Monday Nights at 7:00 p.m. at The Otter Lodge, 1776 Monroe Avenue , Rochester, NY 14618.

August 7, 2017 – Beyond Left and Right: The Appalling Strangeness of Catholic Moral Teaching With Dr. Matthew Kuhner.

August 14, 2017: Love and Lies: Theology of the Body. With Michelle Kuhner, M.T.S. August 21, 2017 The Real Presence: I Believe…Do You? With Fr. Peter VanLieshout.

August 28, 2017: Discernment for Your Life: How to Recognize When God is Speaking to You With Sister Laurie Orman.

Theology on Tap is an opportunity for young adults to gather to discuss and reflect on issues of faith. Sponsored by the Diocese of Rochester Department of Evangelization & Catechesis.


Fr. Rosica — Part of the Problem?

July 18th, 2017, Promulgated by Diane Harris

In my opinion, Fr. Thomas Rosica, a Basilian priest cultivated in the troublesome soil of Rochester’s historic spiritual politics, is a significant part of the problem rather than the solution. What problem? Proclaiming truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, rather than seeming to toy with the political exigency of a social agenda.  I have only heard Fr. Rosica speak twice, and both left me with an uncomfortable feeling. The first was around the time of election of Pope Francis, a speech and Q&A at St. Ambrose, which I thought was highly orchestrated to avoid several problem areas, but which were revealed much later. The second was the eulogy at the funeral for Fr. Joe Lanzalaco, in which Fr. Rosica left out completely the pro-life work and support given by Fr. Joe, and it had to be added by others at the final blessing. I wondered why that happened.

Ensconced in the secular permissive environment of Canada, with a bevy of dinner table vignettes from a few years in Rome during Pope Francis’ reign, Fr. Rosica, not surprisingly, recently jumped to the defense of Fr. James Martin, S.J., by attacking those guilty of preaching 2000 years of Church Teaching.  Putting aside for now the obvious need for a serious Reformation of the Jesuits, Fr. Martin slid in under the radar of good Catholics by first publishing his acclaimed but simplistic book: “My Life with the Saints,” to now infiltrate with his seeming opposition to Church Teaching, with his latest book “Building a Bridge….”

Pause here for a moment.

ScreenShot649Fr. Martin cleverly picks the bridge image to apparently align with and mimic Pope Francis’ criticism of a border wall during the US Presidential election, and the Pope’s call for bridges, not walls.  But as best I can remember, none of the Vatican criticism of border walls took into account the Wall around Jerusalem, biblically justified in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah as a response to God’s call for protecting the returning Israelites from attack. So Fr. Martin ironically uses a title which is more of a bridge to sin than a protection of virtue. The full title and subtitle? “Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity.”

One can justifiably wonder why no one has written a book entitled: “Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the _____________ (Fill in: contraceptive, abortive, euthanasiac, pedophiliac, arsonist, drug-addicted, adulterous, or heretical) _______ community can enter into a relationship of respect, compassion, and sensitivity.” Outrageous? Yes. But what is really outrageous is the selection of one sin as “special,” worthy of being singled out and protected, at least by language choice. But language is the very point of Fr. Martin’s attack, and of support from Fr. Rosica, who himself was apparently very involved in the news releases from the Synod, and necessarily the ambiguity therein. And homosexuality was one of the initial glaring points of mis-translation into English (Fr. Rosica’s work?) from the original which in Italian which was reported as marriage being between one man and one woman, but the English version translated as marriage being between two people. This kind of language is directly related to making sin more attractive by not calling it sin. (For those who don’t really know what the bible says about same-sex intimate relations, see the story of Sodom and Gomorrah and also St. Paul’s words in the last half of Romans Chapter 1, lest there be a doubt.) If ever we are threatened by changes to the bible, Romans Chapter 1 will probably be the first to go.

LifeSiteNews: a boon to Catholics trying to find some truth

For the LifeSiteNews story regarding Fr. Rosica’s support of Fr. Martin (and resulting attack on good, faithful prelates) see:

LifeSiteNews and Fr. Rosica (or his Salt and Light Network) have had their run-ins before, and Fr. Rosica at one point was reported as bringing a lawsuit against an elderly retiree who was criticizing him, although the lawsuit (or threat of one) was ultimately withdrawn or not filed. But Fr. Rosica apparently continues with his vitriol against bloggers, priests as well as laity, exercising their canonical rights. Are they sometimes harsh or ill-considered? Perhaps. But one need not be perfect to bring a righteous complaint.


Here are some excerpts (in red) from the LifeSiteNews article, which hopefully will add much more to the concerns expressed above:

“Fr. Rosica, a Basilian priest and CEO of the Canadian-based Salt and Light Media, wrote …  he was filled with “bewilderment” and “astounded” after reading “critical comments” of Fr. James Martin’s book. He specifically mentioned that he was referring to “some bishops’ messages” as well as some “commentaries” and “blogs.” [Believed to refer to the beautiful defense of Church Teaching by Archbishop Chaput, or possibly also related to diocesan policy implemented by Bishop Paprocki.]

“To use clerical status, episcopal authority, or other forms of leadership to dismiss, disparage or slam the efforts of those who simply want to reach those on the peripheries is not befitting of shepherds, pastors or servants of the Lord. It has nothing to do with the Gospel! It is not who we are!” he wrote. [Well, that is indeed an odd statement attributed to Fr. Rosica.  It has EVERYTHING to do with the Gospel.  Christ said: “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” He didn’t single any out for special tolerance.]

“[Abp.] Chaput said that while Martin is correct in stating that the Church must have “respect, compassion and sensitivity in dealing with persons with same-sex attraction,” this does not give a license to him or other influential leaders within the Church to ignore Biblical teaching on sexuality.” [I give thanks for the excellent and faithful pastoral care which Abp. Chaput evidences on a national basis!]

“What the text regrettably lacks is an engagement with the substance of what divides faithful Christians from those who see no sin in active same-sex relationships,” the archbishop wrote …. that Jesus “didn’t come to affirm us in our sins and destructive behaviors – whatever they might be — but to redeem us.”

“Fr. Martin in his June 2017 book … urges Catholics who identify as “gay” to begin “conversations” with their bishops in a bid to slowly move the Church in the direction of normalizing homosexuality as part of God’s creation.”

“…  canon law expert Fr. Gerald Murray added his voice to criticism of Fr. Martin’s book. Fr. Martin is advocating for the “relaxation of the Church’s teaching that sodomy is gravely immoral and that any attraction to commit acts of sodomy is an objective disorder in one’s personality,” wrote Murray. … “An inclination toward unnatural sexual activity is not the heart and soul of a person. True love is expressed in virtuous deeds. Evil inclinations or tendencies to sin must be seen by the Christian for what they are, and resisted,” he added. 

“In his column, Fr. Rosica criticized faithful Catholics who use social media to defend genuine Catholic sexual ethics, calling their writings the “dark, dysfunctional side of the Catholic blogosphere.” He accused them of “erecting high, impenetrable walls and noisy echo chambers of monologue.” … Rosica then criticized the Catholic teaching that calls the homosexual inclination “intrinsically disordered,” saying that “such vocabulary does not invite people into dialogue nor does it build bridges.”  [Well, as best I can recollect, “intrinsically disordered” was used with great clarity by Pope Benedict XVI. Obfuscating meaning, as we’ve seen far too often during the reign of Pope Francis, serves no one. The Holy Spirit is not a Spirit of confusion.]

“… Cardinal Robert Sarah wrote that bishops and priests perform a disservice to same-sex attacked persons when they withhold from them Catholic teaching on homosexuality….[The Church teaches] things in the Catechism about homosexuality that some members of the clergy choose not to quote, including the clear warning: ‘under no circumstances can [homosexual acts] be approved’ (CCC 2357). The respect and sensitivity to which the Catechism rightly calls us does not give us permission to deprive men and women who experience SSA (same-sex attraction) of the fullness of the Gospel. To omit the ‘hard sayings’ of Christ and his Church is not charity,” he wrote.” 


Please don’t touch my tongue — comments?

July 4th, 2017, Promulgated by Hopefull

I think it is time to post on something relevant to the Year of the Eucharist, and to encourage comments on a subject for which almost every communicant seems to have an opinion, and nobody is saying anything. First, let’s say what this is not — it is not about changing any church policy.  It’s not about any particular church or priest. It’s more about awareness and care, and ultimately even more reverent reception of the Eucharist.

To recap current practice, and risk oversimplifying:

1) the Novus Ordo (OF) permits receiving the sacred host in the hand or on the tongue, and allows the celebrant to offer the Precious Blood to the congregation, or not.  Most (but not all) parishes long ago ripped out their altar rails, making kneeling or rising again from the floor of the church, unaided, difficult for some of us. Therefore, Novus Ordo communicants principally receive communion by standing in line.

2) the Latin Mass (EF), while not widely available in most dioceses, in my limited experience, only makes the sacred host available on the tongue, kneeling, at an altar rail or kneeler where available.

What I want to dialogue about here is tongue-touching. It’s bad enough from a priest, but from the lay Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion in the Novus Ordo, positively yucky — IMO. It must be yucky to them too! (It was for me, when I was a “Eucharistic Minister” as the title was in those days.) Of course it does not change WHO we are receiving, nor the awesome gift of the Eucharist, but it is a distraction at a moment when we most want to be recollected, thankful, intimate with the Lord. (And even thinking “Please, don’t touch my tongue” is, itself, a distraction.) For the most part, I think tongue-touching is unnecessary, could be avoided with a bit more awareness.

Pope Benedict’s Preference:

During Pope Benedict’s last visit to the US he gave Communion on the tongue and only to recipients kneeling. See excerpt below and picture from the Vatican Website:

That fact alone makes receiving on the tongue worth considering, even for diehard “in the hand” communicants.

Three observations:

  1. When the smaller hosts began to be used, I wondered if it were a plot to force us all to receive in the hand. The incidence of tongue-touching increased, it seemed, with use of the smaller host, understandably so. I don’t really see any good reason for the smaller hosts, except perhaps for First Communicants?
  2. It appears to me that the OF moving Communion line introduced more risk of dropping the Eucharist, even when someone is receiving in the hand. And bowing, saying “Amen” before the host is received, then quickly getting out of the way for the next person is, in itself, a distraction. I actually think the priest walking down the line at the altar rail is quicker, without rushing the communicant, but I’m not sure there is less tongue-touching, as the priest may have a more obscured view, a greater distance from his eye to the communicant’s tongue, than in the communion line. (BTW — I was instructed in growing up with the Latin Mass NOT to rise until the person beside me had already received for two reasons: 1) to avoid stumbling, falling into the priest or onto the Eucharist, but 2) also to avoid distracting the person receiving. Sometimes, with kneelers, it isn’t possible to delay.)
  3. In the last few years, I’ve noticed (again, in my limited experience) that there are two ways of placing the host on the tongue. The most common way is that the priest’s index finger is below the tongue, and his thumb above. Virtually all the tongue touching experiences I’ve had were in this configuration, underneath and out of the priest’s view. But the other configuration is with the thumb (just the tip of the thumb) on the bottom and the index finger on top. Although I’ve had no tongue-touching in this configuration, perhaps it isn’t common enough for any valid statistics? I’ve also noticed this configuration allows the priest to press gently on the host if there seems to be a danger of its falling.

So what do you think? And does it vary by whether we are in flu season or not? Or if your health is already compromised? Do you ever choose from whom to receive Communion based on your past track record with a particular priest or Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion? Is it a distraction at Communion waiting for a wet finger jolt? Why does this seem to be too sensitive to talk about?


“Oh where have they laid my Lord?”

         On July 22, Feast of St. Mary Magdalene,         

the following clipping was added here:



Sniff, sniff…. Smoke of Satan?

June 30th, 2017, Promulgated by Diane Harris

This means fewer Masses will be celebrated, doesn’t it?

That’s not a good thing, is it?

Pray for priests.




June 27th, 2017, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Somebody help me out here. I’m having a lot of trouble understanding this:




















Oh, Dear Lord, a friend just sent me the link.

This was done at St. John Lateran on the Feast of Corpus Christi, June 18, 2017.

Christ have mercy.











Supplement posted June 30th: Thanks to “G.S.” for sending the following link, which explains a lot:

Originally, my concern was removing the Corpus of Christ from the Cross on — of all days — Corpus Christi! Now the link explains this is a commercial “thank you!” Double yikes! Doesn’t this open the door for all kinds of “thank you” gestures which are only thinly veiled commercials? Like the environmental color dance on the walls of St. Peter’s Basilica, where are the limits between God and mammon to be? “Chapel of St. Stephen brought to you by Saul’s Rock Quarry?” or “This confessional sponsored by “Piece of Peace Eternal Enterprises”? or how about “Sanctuary sponsored this month by Wholly Natural Foods, Inc.?”  STOP!

Mat 6:2-4: “Thus, when you give alms, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”

And leave the naming rights and image promotion to the baseball and football stadia, puleeze!



DoR co-patron St. Thomas More

June 22nd, 2017, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Today is the Memorial of the two patron saints of the Diocese of Rochester: St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More. Often the former, the only Catholic prelate in England under Henry VIII to refuse to recognize Henry as head of the Church of England and thus be martyred, gets more attention than the family man who was martyred for the same reasons as Fisher. It was Sir Thomas More, knighted, who was also martyred and shares today’s remembrance.

From the Tower of London, where St. Thomas More was imprisoned, he wrote with charcoal his famous words of finding forgiveness for even the most heinous crimes. Here are his memorable words, reprinted in his book “The Sadness of Christ”:





Finally — Dubia moves forward!

June 20th, 2017, Promulgated by Hopefull

Dubia moves sadly, but relentlessly forward.


Domine Non Sum Dignus

June 17th, 2017, Promulgated by Diane Harris

The Year of the Eucharist in the Diocese of Rochester begins on Sunday, June 18th, the celebration of the Feast of Corpus Christi. One element of “change” which will be seen by attendees at the Novus Ordo (Ordinary Form) Mass in English, from now on, will be the congregation’s kneeling right after the Agnus Dei (Lamb of God), and just preceding the “Lord, I am not worthy…”), aka the “Domine non sum dignus.” But is this really a “change?” Yes and no. It is a “change” back to former practice in the DoR and a change to the current widespread practice in the Catholic Church; but it actually is a RESTORATION of a practice that reflects the humility with which we should approach the sacred Body and Blood.

When I researched this issue a few years ago, I remember that there were only five dioceses in the country which did NOT kneel after the Lamb of God. And Rochester was one of those five. I was delighted to find at least one place in the DoR during all those years in which the practice was not absent at this holy moment — the Carmelite Monastery!

ScreenShot600It is annoying and distressing to read in bulletins or to hear that “Bishop Matano is asking us to now kneel after the Lamb of God.” Rather, he is restoring a former practice, not willy-nilly instituting his own personal wishes. What an especially wonderful time to restore — at the beginning of the Year of the Eucharist! It is a blessing for this diocese and its people to ELIMINATE a sad practice of not bending our knees to the Lord at such a solemn moment.


But do listen carefully to the words from the pulpit, ScreenShot601and in reading of bulletins.

It is not a capricious change.

It is a restoration of a sign of honor and glory to God.

How is it being implemented in your parish? Drop us a comment!



Prayers needed!

June 12th, 2017, Promulgated by Hopefull

I was shocked by this article. All my experience with African Priests has been so positive; this article boggles my mind. When in doubt — PRAY!



Vatican Anathema Hurled at Trump …

June 7th, 2017, Promulgated by Diane Harris

… for Heresy against the Environmentalist Religion

by Christopher A. Ferrara
June 2, 2017

Thanks to PG for sending this link to Cleansing Fire


This will also pave the way for euthanasia ….

June 5th, 2017, Promulgated by Diane Harris
Thanks to JL for the heads up on this grievous situation squashing Catholics in the Public Square:
The Catholic Action League of Massachusetts today (6/4/17) is criticizing the Bay State’s four Catholic bishops for imposing an immediate ban on signature gathering on church property. The likely target of this decision, and the one to suffer the most deleterious impact, is an initiative petition campaign sponsored by two pro-life organizations, the Massachusetts Alliance To Stop Taxpayer Funded Abortion and the Renew MA Coalition.
The effort, led by Attorney Thomas M. Harvey, is aimed the passage of an initiative amendment to the Massachusetts Constitution which would overturn the 1981 Moe v. Hanley decision by the Commonwealth’s Supreme Judicial Court, which created an even more expansive right to abortion, and the public funding of abortion, than that guaranteed by Roe v. Wade.
To get on the ballot, the campaign needs the certified signatures of nearly 65,000 registered voters in the Commonwealth. The most favorable venue for signature gathering for this effort is the front of Catholic parishes. Both the Archdiocese of Boston and the Massachusetts Catholic Conference sought to hamper this campaign during its first attempt in 2015.
In their directive, which removes all discretion from individual pastors, the bishops assert that they received “overwhelming feedback from parishioners” opposed to signature drives on church property. They also said that “Church functions are a place to experience the fullness of community and parish life. In particular, Holy Mass is a place to encounter God through the reception of the Eucharist. The celebration of Holy Mass is a place for prayer, reflection, Reconciliation and hope.”
The directive was signed by Cardinal Sean O’Malley, Archbishop of Boston, and the Bishops of Worcester, Springfield and Fall River, the Most Reverends Robert J. McManus, Mitchell T. Rozanski and Edgar M. da Cunha.
The Catholic Action League is characterizing the directive as “a calculated act of obstruction, intended to sabotage an initiative which the archdiocese had previously opposed.”
Catholic Action League Executive Director C. J. Doyle made the following comment: “The consequences of this improvident decision will not be content neutral. NARAL and MassEquality do not gather signatures in front of Catholic churches. The only persons disadvantaged by this will be faithful Catholics struggling to defend religious freedom, traditional morality and the right to life.”
“There was no attempt to ‘dialog’ with the groups adversely affected by this, nor was there any ‘transparency’ in the decision making process. This is, at least, the third time since 2008 that the hierarchy has sought to impede a referendum or initiative amendment by pro-life or pro-family organizations. What we are witnessing is another troubling example of the longstanding hostility which the hierarchy and elite Catholic institutions display towards grass-roots Catholic activists who would disturb the comfortable accommodation between the Church and the state’s liberal political culture.”
“Catholic institutions, with the approval and participation of the hierarchy, routinely confer honors and awards upon, and provide platforms to public figures opposed to Catholic moral teachings. Just last month, Cardinal O’Malley attended the Boston College commencement which featured U. S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), a proponent of the public funding of Planned Parenthood.”
“The leader of the Campaign for Catholic Schools, and a major donor and advisor to the archdiocese is Obama fundraiser Jack Connors. The last Chairman of the former Catholic hospital system, Caritas Christi, was James Karam, a prominent supporter of Congressman Barney Frank. The longtime public relations firm for the archdiocese was Rasky Baerlein, founded by Larry Rasky, a close political ally of former Vice-President Joe Biden. The Cardinal’s Communications Director is Terence Donilon, brother of President Obama’s National Security Advisor, and a former aide to Rhode Island Governor Bruce Sundlun, a supporter of legal abortion.”
“The episcopate of Sean O’Malley has been characterized by an unprecedented public deference towards elected officials who reject Catholic moral principles. The late U. S. Senator Edward Kennedy and the late Mayor of Boston, Thomas Menino, were extolled as faithful Catholics by the Cardinal.”
“Current Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, a NARAL award recipient and Planned Parenthood defender who said he wants to make Boston a sanctuary city for abortions should Roe be overturned, was given the Cardinal Cushing Humanitarian Award by the Missionary Society of Saint James the Apostle, whose president is Cardinal O’Malley. This was done while O’Malley was serving as Pro-Life Chairman for the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.”
“Pro-life Catholics in Massachusetts have, for decades, faced a hostile media culture and political environment. Now, with this decision by the state’s Catholic bishops, their isolation has just increased, and their struggle has become lonelier. Shame on the bishops!”

Sword of St. Michael

June 4th, 2017, Promulgated by Diane Harris

SeScreenShot588            7 Sanctuaries linked by the Legendary Sword of St. Michael (Aleteia June 4, 2017)



The Power of Silence by Cardinal Sarah — Part II

May 27th, 2017, Promulgated by Diane Harris


From Cardinal Sarah’s new book “The Power of Silence.” His words are especially relevant as he is the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

Paragraph 205:

“Today, some priests treat the Eucharist with the utmost contempt. They see the Mass as a talkative banquet where Christians faithful to the teaching of Jesus, divorced-and-remarried persons, men and women in an adulterous situation, unbaptized tourists who participate   in the Eucharistic celebrations of the large anonymous crowds can indiscriminately have access to the Body and Blood of Christ. The Church must examine with urgency the ecclesial and pastoral appropriateness of these immense Eucharistic celebrations made up of thousands and thousands of participants. There is a great danger of transforming the Eucharist, “the great mystery of faith”, into a vulgar county fair and of desecrating the Body and Precious Blood of Christ. The priests who distribute the sacred species while not knowing anyone and give the Body of Jesus to all, without distinguishing between Christians and non-Christians, participate in the desecration of the Holy Eucharistic Sacrifice. Those who exercise authority in the Church become culpable, by a form of voluntary complicity, in allowing the sacrilege and desecration of the Body of Christ to take place in these gigantic and ridiculous self-celebrations, where so few perceive that “you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes” (1 Cor 11:26).


“Some priests unfaithful to the ‘memory’ of Jesus insist more on the festive aspect and the fraternal dimension of the Mass than on the bloody sacrifice of Christ on the Cross. The importance of interior dispositions and the necessity of reconciling ourselves with God by agreeing to let ourselves be purified by the sacrament of confession are no longer in fashion today.  More and more, we conceal the warning of St. Paul to the Corinthians….”

“We live at the surface of ourselves too often to understand what we are celebrating. The lack of faith in the Eucharist, the Real Presence of Christ, can lead to sacrilege. Jesus is isolated by the growing hatred of the Pharisees, who form against him an increasingly stronger coalition, forcing his listeners to separate themselves from him. Some Christians are forming a coalition to separate Jesus and his doctrine from those who honestly seek the truth. He is more and more alone among men who hate him or do not know how to love him because they are incapable of knowing him as he is. But there will always be a little flock who will want to know him and love him.”

“It is imperative … to rediscover the Easter we celebrate in each of our Eucharists. The grace of Easter is a profound silence, an immense peace, and a pure taste in the soul. It is the taste of heaven, away from all disordered excitement. The Paschal vision does not consist in a rapture of the spirit; it is the silent discovery of God. If only the Mass could be, each morning, what it was on Golgotha and on Easter morning! If only the prayers could be as lucid, if the risen Christ could always shine in me in his Paschal simplicity …

(Robert Cardinal Sarah in The Power of Silence)


IMO: Of course there was interference in the election….

May 25th, 2017, Promulgated by Diane Harris

I have been saying to friends: “We should stop denying the allegations of interference in the elections. Of course there was interference, in the very best sense, God’s guiding care.” Why are we so reluctant to witness to His Presence in the whole event, but rather deny it, or worry about Russia or some other 3rd party who might be used by the Lord? What is amazing, and even amusing, is that so many of those who prayed and believe in God  deny that there was interference, (or don’t see it  as intercession or intervention);  but even the atheists sense a Hand was at work in the process. Their biases keep them from admitting it is God! But their “sense” is right on! I think we should acknowledge the allegation, for the sake of evangelizing witness.

If the differences between candidates were just personal opinions or strategy differences, I doubt there would be this feeling of interference.  But the issues are so polarized between sin on the one hand, and striving for obedience to God’s commands on the other, a charge of “interference” is understandable — as it was at Lepanto, when the winds shifted., and at Tarshish when the invading fleet was destroyed.

Let’s remember the words of  the Psalms:

Psalm 97:10 “The LORD loves those who hate evil; He preserves the lives of His saints; He delivers them from the hand of the wicked.”

Psalm 125:3 “For the scepter of wickedness shall not rest upon the land allotted to the righteous, lest the righteous put forth their hands to do wrong.”