No kidding: Dad and son ordained Catholic priests.

Chuck Hough the third (left) and fourth (right) are Deacons from the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth. They are a part of 60 Anglican priests who will become Catholic priests within the next year. Six will be ordained Saturday morning at Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Church. It may be the first time a father and son have been ordained in the same Mass.

Link

A good article explaining the fine points of the Sacrament of Reconciliation

…in my experience, the Sacrament of Reconciliation ranks right up there with Marian Dogmas among the Church’s teachings that prompt the most questions from those inquiring about the Catholic Faith.

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Holy Thursday

A reader’s premise: Women are second class citizens in the Catholic Church.

by Doug Lawrence

(This particular commentary is excerpted from a recent Catholic Q&A posed by one of our readers.)

Reader’s Premise: Women are second class citizens in the Catholic Church.

Doug responds:

You have a right to that opinion, but it seems to me that your opinion is based on a popular but erroneous secular humanist/feminist misconception.

The Catholic Church is not a club, not a social group, not a democracy, and certainly not merely an earthly organization. The Catholic Church is the communion of all true believers in Jesus Christ, spanning both Heaven and Earth, whose main purpose is the salvation of souls and the glory of God.

“Fairness” is a matter for divine judgment, as it doesn’t and truly cannot exist in this fallen world.

Our blessed hope is that God will take care of these seeming inequities for us in the next age, when he rights every wrong and makes all things new. In the mean time, we are called to have faith in God and in the only Church that Jesus ever founded, for the purpose of our salvation.

The “door” to the Catholic Church remains the sacrament of baptism, which is open to males and females, alike.

Once baptized, both male and female Catholics, without exception, are adopted children of God, members of the church, living temples of the Holy Spirit, citizens of Heaven, and co-heirs with Jesus Christ.

Catholics of both sexes have equal access to the Mass, the sacraments, and all the other spiritual and substantial resources of the church.

Catholics of both sexes remain children of God’s grace, equal in their God-given spirituality, and equal when it comes to potentially being declared saints of the church.

Catholics of both sexes, by virtue of their baptism, are members of the Royal Priesthood of the Faithful, empowered to approach God personally in prayer, at will, and empowered to share the authentic Catholic faith with any and all who might inquire.

It is only in regard
to the Catholic Ministerial Priesthood
and the Sacrament of Matrimony
where certain distinctions
are necessarily made, as to gender.

It is noteworthy that not just women … but also married men … are typically disqualified from serving in the ministerial priesthood. This would seem to invalidate a very substantial part of the feminist argument.

Meanwhile, the Catholic faith tradition has, as its greatest saint, universal patron, Mother of the Church and Queen of Heaven … the Blessed Virgin Mary … the Holy Mother of God … already truly blessed beyond measure … the authentic, God-ordained role model for every faithful Catholic … regardless of gender.

In light of all this (and more)
it seems to me, the ladies are winning!

May God bless you, shower you with his abundant grace, and lead you to eternal peace and harmony in Jesus Christ, our savior.

Doug

Brief editorial in light of the recent Father Corapi announcement and all the other sad, weird things transpiring in the Catholic Church, these days.

by Doug Lawrence

If I thought the Catholic Church was just another corporate entity, I would have “sold all my stock” and “washed my hands of it” many, many years ago.

It’s not. So I didn’t.

I think Father Corapi has indeed been wronged, is suffering from some sort of illness, is not in his right mind, and is in need of our continued prayers, assistance and support … not in starting up a new organization … but in being once again reconciled with the church, his religious order, and the Catholic ministerial priesthood.

It would be a real shame and a grave sin to do anything less.

I have faith that someone in authority will step up to champion this process. And at this point, it doesn’t matter whether the allegations against Father Corapi are ever substantiated or refuted. Reconciliation is what’s necessary … and in the Catholic Church, reconciliation has never required judgment, or even a definitive finding of fault.

In fact, the opposite is true.

God is willing to forgive as soon as we admit that we may have fallen short, that we are truly sorry for all of our failures, and we resolve to make a good faith effort to try to do better, in the future. Reconciliation eliminates the need for judgment, clearing the way so grace can supernaturally operate, for the benefit of the whole church. That’s the beauty of it!

Why should we, who are encouraged to imitate Jesus Christ in word and deed, even attempt to apply any other standard to the Corapi affair?

The man Corapi has been a good and faithful priest for twenty years. Preaching the truth in a particularly effective way, he has brought countless souls to Jesus Christ. The allegations made against him are not particularly outrageous or grievous. Certainly not unforgivable! How is it then, that we all seem to be willing to throw in the towel, pridefully retreat to our respective corners, claim victory, and simply walk away?

If all parties involved in this mess can’t get together and sign-on to a joint, traditionally Catholic reconciliation strategy, then perhaps my assessment of the supernatural nature of the Catholic Church is wrong after all, the Body of Christ is in much worse shape than anyone ever suspected, and it’s time to do some strategic short-selling.

God, help us gracefully recover from this terrible scandal. Please!

Complete article summary and chronology of the Father Corapi affair

On the Role Of Women In Modern Society And the Church

Women who express a desire for the ministerial priesthood are doubtless motivated by the desire to serve Christ and the Church. And it is not surprising that, at a time when they are becoming more aware of the discriminations to which they have been subject, they should desire the ministerial priesthood itself. But it must not be forgotten that the priesthood does not form part of the rights of the individual, but stems from the economy of the mystery of Christ and the Church. The priestly office cannot become the goal of social advancement; no merely human progress of society or of the individual can of itself give access to it: it is of another order.

It therefore remains for us to meditate more deeply on the nature of the real equality of the baptized which is one of the great affirmations of Christianity: equality is in no way identity, for the Church is a differentiated body, in which each individual has his or her role. The roles are distinct, and must not be confused; they do not favour the superiority of some vis-a-vis the others, nor do they provide an excuse for jealousy; the only better gift, which can and must be desired, is love (cf. 1 Cor 12-13). The greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven are not the ministers but the saints.

The Church desires that Christian women should become fully aware of the greatness of their mission: today their role is of capital importance, both for the renewal and humanization of society and for the rediscovery by believers of the true face of the Church.

Read INTER INSIGNIORES Vatican Document

Reflections on Holy Thursday and the Last Supper

At the Last Supper, Jesus instituted the New Covenant, and he also gave us the definitive sacrifice of that Covenant, his very own body, blood, soul and divinity, under the traditional auspices of ordinary bread and wine. Doing so, Jesus perfectly fulfilled all the institutions, holy days and sacrifices of old, particularly the Jewish Passover, making them, along with the totality of the Old Law, things of the past.

If this were not the case, then there would have been no reason for Jesus to give us a “NEW” Covenant at all, since the “OLD” (with a few strategic alterations) might have then sufficed.

2Corinthians 5:17 –

“If then any be in Christ a new creature, the old things are passed away. Behold all things are made new.”

What had only been prophesied before in scripture, through mysterious types and shadows, was now a new, eternal and saving reality.

Jesus was the lamb whose blood would be poured out, in order to save the people of God from Satan, sin, and eternal death.

The ancient Passover observance was always about Jesus. And once Jesus fully revealed himself and completed his work, all of the ancient observances and feasts would be divinely incorporated into just one universal (Catholic) New Covenant observance of the Paschal Mystery, that we know today as the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

Lest anyone doubt this is true,  all we need do is consult the Old Testament Book of Malachi, written around 400 years before the Last Supper, where this singular, eternal, and uniquely “unbloody” sacrifice was described and clearly foretold.

Malachi looks forward to a time when only a “clean” (unbloody) sacrifice would be offered up to God … not by the Jews … not only in Jerusalem … but by Gentiles (non-Jews) the world over.

Malachi 1:11

“From the rising of the sun, even to the going down, my name is great among the Gentiles, and in every place there is sacrifice, in every place there is a clean oblation (unbloody sacrifice) for my name is great among the Gentiles, says the Lord of Hosts.”

From this it should be absolutely clear … it’s no accident that today, every hour of every day, every day of every year, in virtually every nation, all around the world … Jesus, in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass … is offered up to God, for the needs of the whole world. And in this sinful and seriously misguided world, it’s very nice to know that somewhere, there’s always a few good people still faithfully heeding Christ’s personal instructions: “Do this in memory of me.”

Anticipated at the Last Supper, fulfilled at Calvary, made present for us (and for every generation) at Mass … this one time, once for all, eternal sacrifice serves as the “engine of divine grace” that in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, perpetually empowers the Church and sanctifies its members, courtesy of Jesus, our perfect victim, high priest, mediator, God, risen brother and king.

The “token” which confirms God’s promise of salvation is none other than the Holy Eucharist, wherein the same Christ, truly present under the auspices of bread and wine, personally reaffirms his new, sacred and saving  covenant, each and every time we receive him. A better example of a real, close, personal relationship with Jesus Christ is available only in Heaven!

This is why Catholics have priests, rather than ministers, since the primary function of a priest is to offer sacrifice to God, for the people, and the Mass is indeed a true, liturgical re-presentation of Jesus Christ’s singular, perfect, and eternal  sacrifice on the cross, at Calvary. An image of the crucified Jesus on the cross … the crucifix … serves to remind us of this.

It’s also no accident that at the Last Supper, Jesus  instituted the Ministerial Priesthood of the Catholic Church, making the apostles the first New Covenant priests, since the fullness of the ministerial priesthood will always be essential to the basic work of the church (teaching, sanctifying, governing, in Jesus’ name).

It wasn’t until a few days later, when the apostles encountered the risen Christ, that they began to truly understand how all this actually worked. The scriptures explain that Jesus made things pretty clear for them:

Luke 24:44-48  And he (the risen Jesus) said to them: These are the words which I spoke to you while I was yet with you, that all things must needs be fulfilled which are written in the law of Moses and in the prophets and in the psalms, concerning me.  Then he opened their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures.  And he said to them: Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer and to rise again from the dead, the third day:  And that penance and remission of sins should be preached in his name, unto all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.  And you are witnesses of these things.

Jesus spent another 40 days working with the apostles, before he ascended to Heaven, promising:

John 14:26  … the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring all things to your mind, whatsoever I shall have said to you.