Francis Cardinal George: … a mistake is not a cover up.

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Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

This January, as was announced a month ago in a press conference by a plaintiff’s lawyer, documents relating to the sexual misconduct of 30 priests of the archdiocese will be released as part of settlement agreements over the past years. All these incidents were reported over the years to the civil authorities and claims have been mediated civilly. Almost all of the incidents happened decades ago, perpetrated by priests whom neither I nor many younger clergy have ever met or talked to, because the priests were either dead or out of ministry before I came to Chicago as archbishop.

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Editor’s note: Shortly after things came to light, we had a chance to ask the Cardinal what happened in the Daniel McCormack affair.  It seems that Cardinal George was away at the Vatican when local  supervision of McCormack proved insufficient. Obviously, mistakes were made.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine in Des Plaines, Illinois is expecting up to 100,000 celebrants over the next two days

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CHICAGO, IL (December 6, 2013) – This overnight celebration honoring Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas, will begin with an opening Mass on Wednesday, December 11, at 4 p.m., at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, 1100 North River Road in Des Plaines.  The Mass will be celebrated by Fr. Marco A. Mercado, Archbishop’s Delegate for Hispanic Ministry and Rector of the Shrine.  The lighting of the traditional “Antorcha Guadalupana” or “Guadalupe Torch” will take place at 10 p.m.

Throughout the two-day celebration, Masses will be offered every two hours in the Shrine’s outdoor grotto and in the gymnasium. The outdoor mass celebrated at the grotto will be shown live in a tented area outside the gymnasium.  Music and Folkloric dances in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe will also be held indoors throughout both days. . A large food tent, located in between the outdoor grotto and the gymnasium, will be available as a warming center.  Another large heated tent will be available directly outside the gymnasium.

After the lighting of the Guadalupe Torch, pilgrims, representing dozens of parishes throughout Cook and Lake counties, will light their own torches and participate in the Guadalupe Torch Run.

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Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe 

1170 North River Road
Des Plaines, IL 60016
Phone: (847) 294-1806 Fax: (847) 294-1981
A Shrine of The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago IL

photo: YouTube

Chicago’s Cardinal George warns of same-sex marriage ‘consequences’.

“The Pope was not speaking about approving gay marriage. To use his words against his teaching, as they were used on the floor of the State House of Representatives of November 5, is less than intellectually honest,” George writes.

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If you liked Aunt Gene’s 1955 Chevy, you’ll love her parish church!

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Photos from the St. John of God Church Golden Jubilee Magazine
1957 – Chicago, Illinois

by Doug Lawrence

In a recent post, I mentioned my Aunt Genevieve, the 1955 Chevy Bel Air that she won in the church raffle, and my feelings about Pope Francis. Today, I want to share with you some details about Aunt Gene’s extraordinary parish church.

Chicago’s St. John of God Church was richly and beautiful constructed in order to suitably host the Real Presence of Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God – and to truly inspire the faithful (predominantly Polish Stock Yard workers, at that time) to lift their hearts and minds to God. (How’s that for a novel idea?) I was baptized there, in 1953.

The proverbial “little slice of Heaven on Earth”, it became immediately clear to all who entered that this was no ordinary venue. Of course, “they” don’t build beautiful churches like this anymore – nor does St. John of God Church exist anymore – except for the bell towers, which were salvaged and incorporated into the newly constructed St. Raphael the Archangel Church, located about 50 miles northwest of the city.

Built in 1907, St. John of God Church stood for slightly more than a century before it was demolished – a victim of changing neighborhood dynamics. This short video provides a look at the magnificent interior furnishing and design elements. The church was a real “jewel”!

This thirty-one second video shows the demolition site, which sadly, looks like a “war zone”.  Today, due to rampant and largely uncontrolled street gang activity, it IS a war zone! 

St. John of God Church to me, seems like a metaphor for the post-Vatican II era. Once upon a time, we Catholics had beautiful churches, close-knit communities and firm, universally accepted beliefs and practices, in accord with almost 2,000 years of sacred and apostolic Tradition and nearly two millennia of the finest theology, philosophy and scholarship the world had ever known.

Catholics around the globe shared a common faith, a common language and a common liturgy – which was, at the time, a most uncommon thing! There was a certainty which accompanied our Catholic faith that was at once, both reassuring and challenging. Things weren’t perfect, but they were very good!

Then – everything changed – and for no particularly good reason!

Now, many of our churches look more like gymnasiums; belief in the Real Presence is waning; it’s tough to get a straight answer about matters of faith from our priests and bishops; Catholic schools and universities tend to be Catholic in name only; we’ve squandered more than two billion dollars paying for the misdeeds of scores of wayward clerics; Catholic religious orders are no longer willing to follow orders; a caricature of The Simpson’s,”Crusty the Clown” runs the U.S. Bishop’s Conference (USCCB); our new pope often sounds more like a certain Chicago politician (POTUS) than the Vicar of Christ; and things in general, seem to be crumbling to dust, before our very eyes!

But to close this essay on a high note, watch the four-minute video about the new St. Raphael the Archangel Church, located in Antioch, Illinois, which is an amazing resurrection story, in itself! (Video link 4:41) 

With God, all things are possible!

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Sketch of the new St. Raphael the Archangel Catholic Church
in Antioch, Illinois which incorporates the bell towers from
Saint John of God Catholic Church, formerly located in Chicago, IL
and more…

Renewed Priests for Life Pro-Life Training Announced

Presentations include Archdiocese of Chicago, EWTN, and the Vatican

This week and next, Priests for Life is announcing new efforts in the pro-life education of the clergy and laity. Building on the work of the last two decades, Priests for Life will present renewed initiatives to train people how to live out their commitment to protecting human life. “The pro-life effort is not simply a cause, a movement, or a political position,” explained Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life. “All that has its place. But pro-life is, at its core, a spirituality. The Gospels and the teachings of the Church not only teach us why we are pro-life; they teach us how to live it. There are specific virtues we need, and these virtues shape pro-life activity and strategy.”

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Editor’s note: Father Pavone is one of the most inspiring pro-life speakers in the entire world. This ought to be a great program.

Archdiocese of Chicago upcoming event for those who want to be freed from alcohol, drug, pornography or sexual addiction.

Complete information/flyer (PDF)

Submitted by Chuck H.

A huge group of Catholic pilgrims – numbering in the tens of thousands – gathers today at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, NW of Chicago.

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December 12, 2012

Father Marco Mercado is director of the Archdiocesan Office of Hispanic Catholics.

“We expect a lot of prayers, a lot of devotions, a lot of families,” he said. “A very nice family environment, a very prayerful one.”

As many as a 100,000 faithful could gather today.

Link

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Fr. Robert Barron appointed new rector of Mundelein, IL Catholic seminary

The Archbishop of Chicago, Francis Cardinal George, announced today Father Robert Barron has been appointed Rector-President of Mundelein Seminary/University of St. Mary of the Lake. Father Barron will assume this role in July at the seminary located outside Chicago.
“As a priest of Jesus Christ I accept this responsibility with joy,” said Father Barron. “The appointment brings together many of the elements that have long been of great importance to me, namely, the priesthood, theological scholarship, pastoral care and evangelization.”
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Archdiocese of Chicago: Schedule of 2013 Divine Mercy Sunday Devotions

Sunday, April 7th, is the Feast of Divine Mercy.

In the 1930’s, Jesus appeared to a Polish nun, St. Faustina Kowalska and gave her many messages. On one occasion, He asked that the 1st Sunday after Easter be made an official Church feast day and he gave her directions on how it should be celebrated. Jesus promised tremendous graces of His mercy to all those devoutly participating in these devotions on the feast day, including a plenary indulgence. See http://www.ewtn.com/library/CURIA/APDIVMER.HTM

Jesus said: “On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach My fountain of mercy. The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment.”

View the listing (PDF file)

www.divinemercysunday.com

Divine Mercy Shrine in Massachusetts

Submitted by Chuck and Alice H.

Corporal Work of Mercy: Archdiocese of Chicago to pay for burials of up to 300, currently stacked up in Cook County Morgue.

The offer from Catholic Cemeteries would bear no cost to the county. It would include up to 300 burials to be conducted like any other ordinary, paid burial, the sheriff’s office said. The number of bodies requiring burials will dictate the locations, but some of the including locations include Mt. Olivet Cemetery and other local Catholic cemeteries.

For at least a month now, staff at the morgue have complained that the corpse cooler at the West Side facility is beyond the 300-body capacity, the Sun-Times reported last month.

Link

The 7 Corporal Works of Mercy

The seven practices of charity toward our neighbor,
based on Jesus Christ’s biblical prophecy of the Last Judgment,
that will help to determine each person’s final destiny:

To feed the hungry
To give drink to the thirsty
To clothe the naked
To shelter the homeless
To visit the sick
To visit the imprisoned
To bury the dead

Priest refers to beautiful old Catholic churches as “monstrosities”.

But as neighborhoods have changed and parishioners have migrated toward the suburbs, grand buildings like St. Philip Neri have become a drain on the archdiocese’s budget. The building is now ensconced in scaffolding, and most of its 1,700 seats stay empty on Sundays.

“A lot of the work done in the past, we’re now correcting,” said the Rev. Thomas Belanger, pastor of St. Philip Neri. “We’re left with nothing in the bank. With the ongoing costs of trying to heat these monstrosities, you wouldn’t build something like St. Philip Neri today.”

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Editor’s note: Is anyone else offended by this priest’s unfortunate choice of words?

Pope names 2 new Chicago bishops

Pope Benedict XVI has named two Chicago priests to serve as auxiliary bishops in the Archdiocese of Chicago.

The Rev. Andrew Wypych, pastor of St. Francis Borgia Catholic Church, and the Rev. Alberto Rojas, pastor of Good Shepherd Catholic Church, will serve as auxiliary bishops, according to an announcement by the Holy See.

Link

Cardinal George on God in Action

Chicago’s archbishop reflects on religion’s place in an increasingly secular society.

Link

Beautiful “Recycled Catholic Church” sprouting up in Lake County, Illinois


What a concept!

Going from (literally, a barn) to a classic, vintage, Renaissance style church, by actually recycling the architectural details of long-closed parishes.

Watch the video

Tom Roeser Reports On Chicago CCHD Shenanigans, Archdiocesan Politics


… A terrible thing is happening: community groups are being asked….downright asked, mind you…whether they support abortion or non-traditional marriage.    Because if they don’t  they won’t get any Catholic money.  Terrible.  Well in this archdiocese where the tiller slips to-and-fro, it turns out that (Father) Just Call Me Larry Dowling’s auxiliary bishop is a liberal, Bishop Francis Kane.

Sometime between October 2 when Rey Flores conducted a meeting at Our Lady of Sorrows Basilica and November 2 when Just Call Me Larry Dowling’s letter was sent to the Cardinal, Flores was fired. He doesn’t know when but Dowling started referring to him as “the former director.”Yesterday Bishop Kane told the USCCB in Baltimore that he prefers the Chicago Campaign for Human Development and the national office follow the  same guidelines and Tribune religion editor Manya A. Bracheear…you know her, she bills herself as The Seeker…reported that “to abide by these guidelines the leaders of the campaign in Chicago might have to scale back some of the changes they rolled out in August when they awarded funds to groups providing  pregnancy counseling to divert women from getting abortions.” 

Aha.  That gives us a pretty good clue as to who fired Rey Flores.

Read more at TomRoeser.com

Bishop Kicanus controversy reminds writer of old Bernadin problems.

A group of homosexual activists claiming to be Catholic wants Bishop Gerald Kicanas elected as the new president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. And I’m not the least bit surprised — although the activists hardly need to bolster their influence in the U.S. Catholic Church, considering the “lavender mafia” pretty much runs the show in many dioceses.

Cardinal Bernardin’s “Seamless Garment” later renamed the “Consistent Life Ethic,” like “The Many Faces of AIDS,” is another illustration of how Bernardin helped to advance the agenda of the Homosexual Collective. The Seamless Garment strategy set out by Bernardin in the 1980s sought to broaden the pro-life tent by expanding the movement’s opposition to abortion, euthanasia, population control and school sex instruction to include other “social justice” issues such as war and peace, opposition to the death penalty, welfare reform and civil liberties. One of the immediate effects of the Seamless Garment ethic was the increase of power and financial resources of Social Justice offices at the diocesan level where the Homosexual Collective has always been strongly represented.

Link

Signs of reform at Chicago CCHD headquarters


CCHD, the U.S. bishops’ domestic anti-poverty program, has come under intense fire in the last year after reports that they have been funding numerous groups that promote abortion, contraception, same-sex “marriage” or other activities at odds with Catholic teaching.

But the Chicago diocesan office “went on the offensive for reform” after director Rey Flores came on one year ago, said Mary Strom, executive director of the Women’s Center, which is a Chicago-based network of crisis pregnancy centers.  Flores committed himself to defunding any group opposing Catholic teaching, particularly on life and family issues, and to giving funds to local pro-life groups, contrary to previous CCHD practice.

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Cardinal George and the Dragon: Can Chicago’s Catholic leader smite fire-breathing critic Tom Roeser?


Explaining itself on its home page, CCI (Catholic Citizens of Illinois) observes that “more and more, Catholics in public life are becoming indistinguishable from other Americans, with growing support for abortion, divorce, euthanasia, and other societal ills. Even worse, a veil of ignorance has fallen over Catholic America, obscuring Catholic lay people’s understanding of their faith and calling into question their responsibility to serve as witnesses to Christ in the midst of human society.” CCI opposes these “ugly trends” and expects the archbishop to oppose them. Roeser makes it clear on his blog—which CCI members are quick to say the organization has nothing to do with—that he believes George has failed the test.

View the whole article at the Chicago Reader

Sister Baird responds to criticisms of her earlier comments regarding President Obama and Father Pfleger

See what all the “fuss” is about

Chicago Archdiocese Sister stands up for Obama, Pfleger, and the old “Seamless Garment”

Fr. Michael Pfleger, the pastor of Saint Sabina Catholic Church in Chicago, was listed as a planned recipient of the Racial Justice Lifetime Achievement award at an event celebrating the Office for Racial Justice’s 10th anniversary and honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on April 7th.

Pfleger gained notoriety as a former member of the Catholics for Obama Committee, a voluntary advisory committee to the Obama campaign, and for having called Obama “the best thing to come across the political scene since Bobby Kennedy.”

Pfleger has also drawn criticism from the Archdiocese of Chicago for hosting and supporting various pro-abortion figures, including Rev. Al Sharpton. In 2003, Pfleger violated archdiocesan rules forbidding pro-abortion individuals to speak at the pulpit by inviting singer Harry Belafonte to speak at Sunday Mass at St. Sabina. Belafonte used the opportunity to criticize President George W. Bush for threatening a “woman’s right to abortion” with his pro-life policies.

Ironically, the priest has also drawn fire for racist-themed remarks: in 2008 during a videotaped homily, the priest mocked then-senator Hillary Clinton’s impending defeat by candidate Obama, implying that Clinton was racist and annoyed that “there’s a black man stealing my show.” Several days after the remark, which garnered condemnation from both Obama and Cardinal George, Fr. Pfleger apologized, and took a two-week disciplinary leave of absence at the cardinal’s urging.

When LifeSiteNews.com (LSN) spoke with Sr. Anita Baird, the founding director of the Office for Racial Justice, she confirmed that Cardinal George had approved the award, and said Fr. Pfleger “has dedicated his life to working for racial justice.”

When LSN asked about Pfleger’s endorsement of Mr. Obama, Baird interjected, stating that “the president is not pro-abortion, the president is pro-choice.”  “I think they are two very different things,” she said.

Asked to elaborate, Baird continued: “To be pro-abortion is that you believe in abortion and you support it. And I don’t think you’ll find that the president has ever said that.” Baird pointed to President Obama’s controversial abortion-themed speech at the University of Notre Dame last May, saying that “his challenge was that we find ways to ensure that women – that would be their last choice, and that they would choose life.”

“I just think we need to be clear with our language,” said Baird.

Obama’s speech at Notre Dame counseled graduates to shun “demonizing” proponents of the killing of unborn children, and to instead seek “common ground” on the issue.

Baird emphasized that “Fr. Pfleger is a priest in good standing in the archdiocese in Chicago,” and that Cardinal George reinstated Pfleger as pastor of St. Sabina after the two-week leave. “So that is not an issue here,” she said.

Asked about the Office for Racial Justice’s position on life, Baird pointed to the “seamless garment” theory of former Chicago Archbishop Joseph Cardinal Bernardin. She declined to take a position on the issue of endorsing pro-choice candidates.

Read more about Sister Baird

Article courtesy of LifeSiteNews.com