Church

Relic of One True Cross Stolen from Holy Cross Abbey

Speaking of theft and burglary, I see that the relic of the True Cross (brought to Ireland in the 13th century) has been stolen from Holy Cross Abbey in Thurles.

The BBC reports:

A relic said to be from the cross on which Christ was crucified has been stolen from an abbey in County Tipperary.

Thieves cut through a steel cabinet and stole two religious artefacts including the relic from Holycross Abbey.

Father Tom Breen said the relic was presented to monks in the 12th Century and attracted pilgrims from all over the world.

He said people were devastated by Tuesday’s theft.

The cross containing the relic was around 12 inches (30 cm) tall, hanging from a chain and contained two crosses and two dark stones.

Fr Breen said it had been an object of veneration at the abbey for more than 900 years.

Precious

“The relic was a relic of the One True Cross and people over the centuries got great consolation from being in the presence of the relic and praying to the Lord,” he said.

“It has no great commercial value. I’m baffled because it’s not encased in precious metal, they may have been under the impression it was but it’s really of very small commercial value.”

The second item stolen was also a cross around 12 inches (30 cm) tall, standing on its own base and made from gold and bronze.

It came to the abbey from Rome in 1977.

Two thieves, wearing balaclavas and armed with an angle grinder, stole the artefacts at around 17:00 BST.

Irish police said they were seen getting into a wine or red VW Touareg vehicle where another person was waiting for them.

The jeep was later discovered burnt out and a dark coloured saloon car was seen in the vicinity travelling at high speed.

Wicked thieves! Does nothing remain sacred anymore?!

 

Church

Three Priests Overpower Burglar

A burglar who scrambled up a drain pipe to break into the home of three Catholic priests was over powered by the trio who sat on him till police arrived…

The Telegraph reports on the high drama:

The burglar was no match for the three – all in their 60s – and led by a former rugby playing clergyman who launched a flying tackle to bring the intruder to the floor.

Two of the priests, Father Jimmy Shiel, 67, and Father Kieran Magovern, 66, had both undergone triple heart bypass operations in the past.

But along with Indian born Father Chacko Panathara, 61, they didn’t think twice about tackling the burglar who was in his 20s.

Not only that, but just hours later the three parish priests were going about their church duties with early morning mass, baptisms and meetings with parents of children preparing for their first communions.

“He was no match for the three of us,” said Father Magovern. He added “The chap was trying to break free and escape but with the three of us on top of him he was going no where”.
It was around 2am in the early hours of Sunday morning when the burglar climbed up a drain pipe to a first floor window at the presbytery in the grounds of St Mary’s Church in West Street, Dunstable, Beds.

He’d spotted a window open and after gaining access to St Mary’s Parish House began creeping along the upstairs corridor.

Father Magovern said “He entered Jimmy’s bedroom and Jimmy woke to see this guy in his room. The burglar ran and Jimmy jumped out of bed and ran after him. As he did he hammered on Father Panathara door.

“Jimmy has played a lot of rugby when he was younger and it was in the corridor that he floored him. It was a rugby tackle and the chap was taken to the floor.”

As the burglar struggled to break free Father Shiel got him in a vice like grip and held on as best he could to stop him escaping.

By now Father Panathara had arrived on the scene to help the other priest.

Seconds later Father Magovern joined in to prevent him making off.

“Jimmy was on top of him and holding him and I got on the floor and had my knee in the chap’s back. My arrival meant Chacko could go and get a phone and that’s what he did. He came back with it, handed it to me and I rang 999 and told the police what was happening,” said Father Magovern

Police raced to the scene and after getting into the building ran upstairs to the corridor to find the three priests in their night ware holding onto the burglar.

The officers took over and promptly arrested him…

Good for them!

 

Culture

UK Royals May Soon Be Able to Wed Catholics

msnbc.com:

London — A 300-year-old ban on heirs to the British throne marrying Roman Catholics would be overturned and discrimination against royal daughters removed under reforms proposed on Wednesday by Prime Minister David Cameron.

Cameron has written to the leaders of the 15 other realms who share Queen Elizabeth as their monarch, including the Solomon Islands and the Grenadines, to request their approval, his office said.

Cameron wants to banish laws dating back to 1688 and 1700 designed to ensure a Protestant monarchy and barring anyone in line to the throne from marrying a Roman Catholic unless they relinquished their claim to the crown.

Only a Catholic link is barred — there are no restrictions on Jews, Hindus, Muslims or even atheists.

The rules have their roots in a turbulent period of English history dating back to Henry VIII’s break with Rome that saw Catholics feared as a threat to the security of the state.

“This rule is a historical anomaly,” Cameron said in his letter. “It does not, for example, bar those who marry spouses of other faiths — and we do not think it can continue to be justified”…

Well it’s about time. And will we yet live to see a royal wedding in Westminster Cathedral?

Who knows?

There’s also something about male heirs no longer take precedence over female heirs under the new proposed rules which you can read about here.

 

Church

Supporters Call for Return of Fr Michael Rodriguez (El Paso)

[For a background to the Fr Michael Rodriguez issue (on this blog), click here, here and here.]

The Elpaso Times is reporting:

Supporters of the Rev. Michael Rodríguez, who was reassigned after becoming politically involved in a recall effort of three elected El Paso officials, presented more than 100 signatures from people who want him back in El Paso.

Rodríguez, who currently is a priest at Santa Teresa Catholic Church in Presidio, Texas, was at San Juan Bautista Catholic Church in El Paso before being reassigned. Both parishes are part of the Diocese of El Paso.

On Monday, Rodríguez’s brother David Rodríguez issued a news release stating 180 signatures have been collected and presented to Bishop Armando X. Ochoa. In the news release, David Rodríguez said the petition shows public support for Michael Rodríguez’s actions.
“Our hope is to have 500 by next week and then grow that number even more,” David Rodríguez said in the release.

Mayor John Cook and city Reps. Susie Byrd and Steve Ortega are facing a recall election after a successful petition drive from El Pasoans for Traditional Family Values, led by Word of Life Church Pastor Tom Brown. Its members were upset that Cook, Byrd and Ortega voted to restore health benefits to gay and unmarried partners of city employees after voters ended the practice in a ballot initiative last November.

Rodríguez, who was not associated with Brown’s group, wrote four controversial advertisements, which ran in the El Paso Times, speaking out against the elected officials and the gay lifestyle. He also challenged Cook, Byrd and Ortega to a public forum.
“We are urging our Bishop to be obedient to Pope Benedict XVI and provide El Paso with a parish life centered on the Traditional Latin Mass,” David Rodríguez said in the press release. “Secondly, we are pleading with our Bishop: Please, please send Father Rodríguez back to us. We love him, he’s sacrificed so much for us, and El Paso desperately needs the light and strength of his priesthood.”

David Rodríguez also said the group wants Michael Rodríguez back because he hosted five confessions a week, led a daily rosary prayer and a weekly Stations of the Cross prayer in Spanish. Michael Rodríguez also led a traditional Latin service.

Culture

Detacho: A New Dollhouse Made for Divorce

As reported on The Deacon’s Bench:

Kathy Schiffer has the scoop:

Industrial designer Ben Forman (benformandesign.co.uk) has introduced a new dollhouse to help today’s modern preschooler prepare for the inevitable unhappy changes in her family structure.  It’s called Detacho.

Detacho families, like so many contemporary American families, can reconfigure themselves, either expanding with the birth of new siblings, or separating into smaller groups of married or divorced or cohabiting adults and their complacent children.  And Detacho dollhouses meet the need—transforming from a single-family home with its smiling parents into two or even three smaller units, able to house new stepparents and step siblings, or two mommies, or to adapt to whatever the parents’ new living situation might be.

Detacho mommies and daddies are sometimes happy, and then they are all kissy-face, attracted to one another.  But sometimes the stress caused by daddy’s extramarital affair makes mommy so angry she’d like to starch his shorts.  Then, with a quick twist of the hairdo, smiling Detacho mommy turns into frowning, unhappy Detacho mommy.  And thanks to the magnets implanted inside their skulls, smiling Detacho mommy and daddy can kiss, but frowning, angry Detacho parents repel one another.  The best that frowning Detacho parents can muster, if forced to be nice in a social situation, is a hasty air kiss, cheek to cheek.

Ben Forman thinks it’s good to prepare children for the harsh reality of divorce. With Detacho, children can project their feelings onto the play scene.  They can practice feeling lonely and scared, and waving goodbye to daddy and his new girlfriend.  They can play at getting along with a bossy new big brother who has just moved in. They can hide from mommy’s new boyfriend, who’s always checking the fridge for another beer.

Read more. And you can visit Ben Forman’s website for additional info.

What madness! Absolute madness…

Divorce simply cannot be something that is deemed acceptable, commonplace or normative. Jesus plainly taught that divorce happens only ‘because of the hardness of your hearts’ (St Matthew 19:8). And just as ‘God hates’ it (Mal 2:16), so should we – and definitely not be teaching it to our preschoolers as ‘inevitable’.