Father Z and Michael Voris are sponsoring a Lenten cruise/retreat. Some take issue with it.


Be sure to peruse the reader comments!

Re: Catholic bloggers – Father Z (as usual) has it quite right!

Catholic bloggers are to the establishment and the dissident Catholic media what talk radio and cable are to the old time news and entertainment establishment.

The great majority of Catholic bloggers would (and perhaps might have to) go to the wall for the Catholic bishops in a good cause and with good leadership…

I, in turn, call upon the U.S. Bishops to do what the Holy See did: host a conference… call a meeting with bloggers.

I ask fellow Catholic bloggers to pick up and renew this proposal on their own blogs.  Propose that the bishops organize a blogger summit, a blogger confab, a blogger powwow, a blognic on steroids.

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Comments on despotism from Father Z, St. Thomas More, Sir Winston Churchill, and readers

Here are the words of Sir Winston Churchill on More:

“The resistance of More and Fisher to the royal supremacy in Church government was a heroic stand. They realised the defects of the existing Catholic system, but they hated and feared the aggressive nationalism which was destroying the unity of Christendom. They saw that the break with Rome carried with it the risk of a despotism freed from every fetter. More stood forth as the defender of all that was finest in the medieval outlook. He represents to history its universality, its belief in spiritual values, and its instinctive sense of otherworldliness. Henry VIII with cruel axe decapitated not only a wise and gifted counselor, but a system which, though it had failed to live up to its ideals in practice, had for long furnished mankind with its brightest dreams.”


Father Z: Once a Catholic, always a Catholic. No outs.

Since Omnium in mentem took effect on 9 April 2010, defection from the faith no longer has any canonical effect.  “Defection” does not release one from ecclesiastical law, including the observance of canonical form in marriage.

Once a Catholic, always a Catholic is not just cultural, or emotional… it is juridical.    Baptism to death, friends.

From 23 November 1983 until 9 April 2010 if one formally “defected” from the faith, one was released from certain merely ecclesiastical laws, including the observance of canonical form ofr marriage.

Merely walking away or attending a non-Catholic Church does not qualify as a formal defection. That makes one a “lapsed Catholic”.

Father Z on priests, holiness, and avoiding a spiritual peril.

Turning priests or bishops into idealized icons of holiness is fraught with spiritual peril.  Admire the admirable, of course.  But we need a necessary corrective in our admiration, namely, that the sole Holy One of God is Jesus Christ, the only perfect High Priest and actual minister of all graces which Holy Church’s ministers have the honor to mediate.

An accusation leveled at a priest is a horrible thing, because it is nearly impossible today for a priest to have a fair hearing. There is no perfect justice or charity in this world, but these days falsely-accused priests don’t get anything like even the world’s “justice”.  But even when priests are guilty of that by which they are accused, it doesn’t surprise me that priests are sinners or in the worst cases commit bad crimes.  Yes, priests and bishops should be held to high standards.  After all, even the devil holds them to high standards.  The devil hates priests and works tirelessly to trip them.  Holy Orders doesn’t make a man less human.  Should I be surprised that priests are sinners?  I am a sinner.

The bottom line is that you cannot depend on the personal holiness of priests or bishops for your own personal holiness.  The only true Holy One is the Lord.

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Father Z Recommends These Archdiocese of Kansas City Lenten Resources

These Catholic resources on Lent and Confession will be continually updated throughout Lent. Please check back frequently during your Lenten journey.

Reflections on Lent and Confession

Pope Benedict XVI – Message for Lent 2011

Daily resources from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Ash Wednesday – What’s it all about?

How to make a good confession – Our Sunday Visitor

Printable handout on confession – excellent resource for catechists from Our Lady of the Rosary, Inc.

The Sacrament of Reconciliation – Rising Again to New Life – from http://www.beginningcatholic.com

An examination of conscience for adults

An examination of conscience for children

On the Sacrament of Penance or Reconciliation — Bishop Thomas Doran, Diocese of Rockford

What is absolution?

The Priest and Confession — Pope John Paul II, apostolic exhortation

A Vatican prayer service for confession of sins and asking for forgiveness

Videos on Lent and Confession

Why must I confess my sins to a priest? – Msgr. Eric Barr, Diocese of Rockford

I’ve had an abortion. Will God forgive me? — Msgr. Eric Barr

A video reflection on the Sacrament of Penance

The spiritual benefits of saying “I’m sorry.”

Father Larry Richards on Prayer and Confession

Making things right with God

Archbishop Fulton Sheen on Confession:
Part I Part II Part III Part IV

Father Robert Barron on Confession and the IPhone app

Site Link

Fr. Z explains Heroic Virtue

We live in this fallen world, in this vale of tears, with wounds to our intellects and will, constantly dealing with the world, the flesh and the devil.

We are called to holiness.  We are actually called to holiness in a heroic degree.  Let’s understand “heroic” properly.

The “heroism” to which we are called does not consist mainly in great or famous or dramatic acts or accomplishments.  It might include those, but it does not mainly consist of those.  Every person has the possibility of this sort of heroism, even if he does nothing spectacular.  When it comes to the causes of saints, very often people with more dramatic or famous lives comes to the attention of others, and therefore they are more likely to be the subjects of causes.

Living a virtuous life even in the tedium of routine or the obscurity of everyday living can be heroic.

Accepting God’s will, living in conformity with God’s will is the true test of a Christian.  That is the essence of “heroic” virtue, not what appears outwardly to be heroic (though that may also be heroic, as in the dramatic case of the martyr).

Furthermore, people don’t, except by a rare gift from God, instantly or easily attain the state of living a life of virtue heroically.  Virtues are habits.  Some virtues, the theological virtues, are infused into us by God with baptism and sacraments.  They “dwell” in us “habitually” (“dwell” and “habit” are etymologically related… think of a “habitat” where critters “dwell”).  Virtues are habits, good practices and attitudes which are in us to a degree that it is easy for us to do them rather than hard.  This usually takes time and maturity.  We don’t suddenly, except by a special grace, become virtuous.  It can take a whole lifetime and many stumbles along the way.

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