Wednesday, May 22

Lexington Bishop steps aside while abuse accusation investigated.
Wouldn't you know it.

Out of all the articles in the most recent issue of the New Republic, only a few aren't online, including one of the most interesting. It's called Sex Change and it's all about the battle against AIDS in Uganda. The campaign has emphasized abstinence and fidelity and do you know what?

It's working. Pick up a copy in a bookstore and read it, if you're interested in such issues. It's good ammunition against the Condom Brigade.

See, now they keep telling me that religion's about uncertainty and science is about certainty.

But then I read stuff like this and I don't think I believe them:

A girl of seven who had half her brain removed, including its speech centre, has astonished doctors by becoming fluent in two languages.

Her doctor said her recovery highlighted the flexibility of the brain, even after the most traumatic surgery.

If the title's Latin, it must be Catholic.

New guy at St. Blog's:

Ad Orientem

"Yn lle allor, trestyl trist." ("In place of an altar there is a miserable table.") St. Richard Gwyn.

With these words of a Welsh martyr who went to the chopping block for resisting the sack of the Church, we begin this weblog devoted to restoration of a sense of the transcendent in Catholic worship.

Remember Fr. Sudac? The guy with a cross on his head?

He's predicting bad times ahead:

The Croatian-born Catholic priest who claims to have supernatural gifts — including the stigmata or bloody wounds of Jesus Christ — leaves for his homeland today after warning New Yorkers to "be careful this summer" in an apparent reference to possible terrorist threats.

The Rev. Zlatko Sudac, who drew thousands of people to church services in the New York area as well as several other states in his eight-month Mass tour here, left some of the 1,200 worshipers at Our Lady of the Island Shrine in Manorville, L.I., shaken by his last message.

His visit was first reported in the Daily News in February.

The controversial 31-year-old priest, who claims to have spontaneous bleeding from his forehead, feet, side and wrists as well as the ability to heal and know the future, among other things, offered the farewell Mass for the safety of America and told the crowd to pray for peace during these troubled times.

Very interesting posts on last night's Chicago listening sessions from two who were there:

Steve, one of St. Blog's seminarians


Jack at Integrity.

Read them so you have a sense of what's really going on, as opposed to what the press tells you.

Sean Gallagher at Nota Bene links to an interesting interview with the bishop of Kansas City in which the bishop breaks rank a bit and offers some criticism of some other diocesan policies and experiences.
Feast of St. Rita today. Patron of desperate causes. Think 50 million American Catholics should be asking for her prayers today.
From the reader who originally inspired this whole LifeTeen thread, and whose letter I unfortunately have "lost" in cyberspace.

One thing that I find interesting is this. My older daughter, who's graduating in three days from the 8th grade and has been pressured to sign up for LT, is very impressionable. There's a rest home nearby that's run by Carmelites, and we went to Mass there once.

She loved it. She loved the kneeling at the rail for Communion especially. I'm no Tridentine (and would prefer the Mass in English if it was a decent translation), but I'm left wondering: If many of these teens were exposed to some of the more traditional practices, maybe they would be interested in them.

Lifeteen, to me, spends too much time trying to make Church just like any other experience the kids face -- hands-on, interactive, multimedia, rock-and-roll. Maybe it should make Church seem like something above it all.

I share some similar thoughts in an article I wrote for First Things several years ago. You can read it here.

Lexington Bishop accused.
Listening sessions in Chicago last night.

A priest in a treatment facility for sex offenders gets former parishioners to send him money, implying to some that he's doing mission work.

An Evansville diocesan priest who has been institutionalized as an "incurable pedophile" has been corresponding with and soliciting money from former parishioners who believed he was doing mission work. The Rev. Joseph L. Clauss, 71, has been banned from active ministry since 1990 and kept under constant supervision because he is still considered a "risk" to children. But from facilities in New Mexico and California, where he'd been ordered to reside, he's been sending letters to Evansville-area residents, offering to say Masses in return for donations and leading at least one family to believe he'd been working at mission churches on Indian reservations. At least some of the money sent to Clauss has been deposited in an investment account at a bank in Vincennes, Ind.

You knew this was coming:

Certain evangelicals (in this case Spanish-speaking) using Catholics' problems against them:

For nominal Catholics among Hispanics, the sex abuse scandal is "one more cause for a continued search, probably in a direction away from the Catholic churches," said Jim Phegley, who oversees non-English works for Go Ye Chapel Mission of East Islip, N.Y., which establishes evangelical churches. And, he said, more extreme born-again preachers will "speak out more strongly against the Catholic Church."

Several Catholic pastors in the New York area said their parishioners had raised concerns about what their evangelical neighbors have been saying. At a parish meeting earlier this month at St. Jerome's Church in Mott Haven, "one of the things that surfaced was annoyance at evangelical Protestants' kind of rubbing Catholic people's noses in it," said the Rev. John Grange.


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