Pope in the Box

Whispers in the Loggia:

No text on this one, obviously… still, a key — indeed, unprecedented —
moment of this World Youth Day.

For the record, the Confessor-in-Chief of the hundreds who’ve filled the 200 booths at the “Festival of Forgiveness” in Madrid’s Retiro Park was able to celebrate Reconciliation with three penitents, according to the wires.

As an aside, at this morning’s Mass for Seminarians in the Spanish capital’s Almudena cathedral, Benedict XVI made a rare move, declaring the patron of the Spanish clergy — the 16th century preacher St John of Avila — a Doctor of the Church.

The group of the faith’s great teachers now comprising 34 members and stretching to the door of the 20th century, the last Doctor to be declared came in 1997, when Blessed John Paul II added St Therese of Lisieux — the “Little Flower” — to their number.

As the Carmelite was preceded in 1970 by the first female Doctors — Teresa of
Avila and Catherine of Siena — two of the last four to be named have hailed
from Spain.


Marriage Matters

Writes  Dr Jim West:

And cohabitation harms children, according to a study released on the 16th of the month. Here’s a direct link to the pdf.

Today, the rise of cohabiting households with children is the largest unrecognized threat to the quality and stability of children’s family lives. In fact, because of the growing prevalence of cohabitation, which has risen fourteen-fold since 1970, today’s children are much more likely to spend time in a cohabiting household than they are to see their parents divorce.

Here are the study’s findings:

– Children are less likely to thrive in cohabiting households, compared to intact, married families.

– Family instability is generally bad for children.


– The growing instability of American family life also means that contemporary adults and children are more likely to live in what scholars call “complex households,”

There’s much more in the report which everyone should read, and take quite seriously.


On the Status of the Ordinariate in Canada

Via The Anglo-Catholic:

… There is presently no Personal Ordinariate in Canada (as elsewhere in the world outside of the UK). There is a small, but historically solid and faithful, “Continuing Anglican” (TAC) ecclesial community in the country (though one unnecessarily diminished by the woeful course of action taken by the ACCC to-date and described in this comment). Many of its leaders and people would like to see the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada enter the Catholic Church, and some had conceived (and unfortunately continue to conceive) of this as an ecclesial union whereby the ACCC “would [simply and without institutional disruption] come into full communion with the Catholic Church.”

This union scheme came to be understood in the context of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus as the TAC province simply “becoming” the Canadian Ordinariate. Apart from the Traditional Anglican Communion’s desire to be taken seriously as a “Church” (properly so-called; cf. Dominus Iesus) and a “partner” in “negotiations” with the Holy See, it was also argued that this wholesale integration of the ACCC as a future ordinariate was necessary to protect church property and legal trusts from those within the organization who would invariably balk at the church’s move to Rome and that, ultimately, most of the “converts” to the Catholic Church would be coming from the existing denomination anyway.

The Catholic Church seems to have made it very clear that this reunion scheme is not on the table. If there is to be a Canadian Ordinariate it will be denominationally-neutral; no one should be hesitant to join because of the jurisdiction’s basis in the ACCC. Those wishing to enter an Ordinariate must be willing to put the good of the Church before their attachment to their old denominational structures, titles, and perquisites. While, God willing, the majority of the initial converts in Canada will come from the ACCC — which has provided, these thirty some odd years, a faithful witness to Our Lord’s solemn command for Christian Unity — as our esteemed Father Phillips has noted on several occasions and here quite plainly on The Anglo-Catholic, the ACCC (like all of the interim Anglican structures which have been striving to keep the faith in the wake of the apostasy of the “official” Canterbury Communion) must die so that the Ordinariate might live.

In the past year, as Archbishop Thomas Collins, the delegate for Anglicanorum Coetibus in Canada has attempted, with generosity and respect, to reach out to the TAC province, the relations between the Catholic Church and the ACCC have been unproductive and confusing due to the latter’s misguided conception of itself as the Anglican end-all and be-all in the country, for which the Apostolic Constitution should be especially adapted. The denomination’s less-than-humble stance has led to mentor priests sent from the Catholic Church being summarily “uninvited” from local parishes, public and unseemly disagreements and discord between the ACCC leaders and the collaborators of Archbishop Collins, and now, at least it seems, very little progress towards an understanding is being made.

Here in the United States of America, we look joyfully to the Autumn, when we have been promised the canonical erection of a Personal Ordinariate for this country. We pray, too, for our Canadian friends who do not yet have any assurance of their deliverance. What a shame it would be were there, in the end, only a single North American Ordinariate! Here in the United States, in Canada, and all across the world, Anglicans must learn to humble themselves before Holy Church, which, arguably, while certainly not lowering Herself in any way, has made to us an extraordinary and strictly unnecessary accommodation in the interests of Christian peace and unity. For this we ought to be eternally grateful and willing to compromise our preconceived notions of what such unity might entail.

[I should add that (obviously) opinion varies from parish to parish, and indeed bishop to bishop in the ACCC.  Not all of our Canadian Anglican friends are still laboring under a misguided and unworkable notion of corporate reunion.  It is simply our prayer that all come around to the reality (and goodness) of the circumstances, and, united in a common goal, accelerate the pace toward, and probability of, the erection of a Canadian Personal Ordinariate.  But time is short, and discord may spell disappointment for the legitimate aspirations of the good people of the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada.  The view in Rome is presently being colored by the apparent inability of substantial numbers of the Anglicans of Canada to come together under the guidance of the CDF’s appointed representative there.]

A very sad state of affairs!

As a postscript to the above, if you are so inclined, read: It Depends on What the Definition of “Corporate” Is, on the same blog here.


Pope Benedict XVI Celebrates Mass in Madrid’s Cathedral

The BBC reports:

Pope Benedict XVI has been greeted by a sea of supporters as he arrived to celebrate Mass at Madrid’s Almudena Cathedral.

He is in Spain for World Youth Day, a Catholic festival bringing together young pilgrims from around the world.

There have been several protests against the cost of the four-day visit, which comes at a time of high unemployment and spending cuts.

The event’s organisers say most costs will be met by the pilgrims themselves.

On Friday riot police confronted protesters in Madrid’s city centre, as priests and teachers hurried young Catholic pilgrims down side streets.

The protest began as the Pope, joined by hundreds of thousands of supporters, took part in a Way of the Cross procession, in memory of the crucifixion of Christ.

Before celebrating Mass at the cathedral with trainee priests, the pope heard confession from four young pilgrims in the city’s Retiro Park, where 200 temporary confessionals had been set up.

The main event on Saturday is an open-air prayer vigil in a military airfield on the outskirts of Madrid.

The BBC’s Sarah Rainsford says wherever the Pope goes hundreds of thousands of ecstatic Catholics are there to meet him.

Protesters were back out on the streets of Madrid on Friday
Up to a million pilgrims from across the world have gathered in the Spanish capital for events.

Celebrations for World Youth Day 2011 began on Tuesday evening with a giant open-air Mass where about 800 bishops, archbishops and cardinals- along with 8,000 priests – tended to the congregation.

The Pope arrived in Spain on Thursday and was greeted at Madrid’s Barajas airport by King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia. He has also meet Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero.


Archbishop Chaput: New York Times, Newsweek, CNN, MSNBC Not ‘Trustworthy’ on Religion

Archbishop Charles Chaput is conservative, and I really do like the sounds he’s making:

( – The news outlets CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times, and MSNBC do not “provide trustworthy information about religious   faith,” said Philadelphia’s incoming Archbishop, Charles Chaput, at the Catholic World Youth Day ongoing this week in Madrid, Spain.

Chaput, the former Archbishop of Denver, made his remarks in an address on religious freedom to a group of more than 10,000 young   pilgrims in Madrid on Wednesday. As initially reported in First Things, Chaput told the audience that, “In the United States, our battles over abortion, family life, same-sex ‘marriage,’ and other sensitive issues have led to ferocious public smears and legal threats not only against Catholics, but also against Mormons, evangelicals, and other religious believers.”

“And with relatively few exceptions,” he said, “the mass media tend   to cover these disputed issues with a combination of ignorance,   laziness, and bias against traditional Christian belief.”

The Archbishop continued: “We make a very serious mistake if we rely on media like the New York Times, Newsweek,   CNN, or MSNBC for reliable news about religion. These news media  simply  don’t provide trustworthy information about religious faith —  and  sometimes they can’t provide it, either because of limited resources or because of their own editorial prejudices.”

“These are secular operations focused on making a profit,” he   said.  “They have very little sympathy for the Catholic faith, and  quite  a lot of aggressive skepticism toward any religious community  that  claims to preach and teach God’s truth.”

Archbishop Chaput noted that the media gave a lot of coverage to the so-called “Arab Spring,” involving civil unrest in Egypt and other   Middle Eastern countries. “But very little of that coverage has   mentioned that the turmoil in Muslim countries has also created a very   dangerous situation for Christians and other religious minorities across North Africa and the Middle East,” he said.  “In Egypt, angry mobs  have  attacked Christian churches and monasteries, burning them to the  ground  and murdering the people inside.”

In addition, he said there has been widespread anti-Christian violence in Iraq, Syria, and Tunisia, but little news coverage of this   in the U.S. media, adding that it is illegal to wear a crucifix or own a Bible in Saudi Arabia. Furthermore, said the Archbishop, in Pakistan,   “Christians face frequent discrimination, slander, beatings and even   murder.”Archbishop Chaput also warned that it is dangerous for democracy to force religion out of the public square.

“Forcing religious faith out of a nation’s public square and out of a country’s public debates does not serve democracy,” said the Archbishop.  “It doesn’t serve real tolerance or pluralism. What it does  do is impose a kind of unofficial state atheism. To put it another way,   if we ban Christian Churches or other religious communities from  taking  an active role in our nation’s civic life, we’re really just  enforcing a  new kind of state-sponsored intolerance — a religion  without God.”

Archbishop Chaput was named by Pope Benedict XVI to head the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, starting on Sept. 8, 2011.



Hamas Calls Off Two-year Truce with Israel

Here we go, again

The Hamas rulers of the Gaza Strip announced early on Saturday they were no longer committed to a more than two-year de facto truce with Israel since the end of a war in early 2009.

The statement was broadcast over a Hamas radio station after Israel pounded coastal Gaza for two days with air strikes in response to rocket salvoes and attacks on Thursday that killed eight Israelis.

“There is no longer any truce with the enemy,” the statement said in a move seen as paving the way for Hamas to escalate the violence with Israel.

Let’s be honest and clear: The so-called ‘truce’ (notwithstanding the firing of rockets and mortar shells at Israel all along) ended after the unprovoked evil terrorist attack on Israel two days ago. They have absolutely no interest in peace with Israel anyway.