Common sense suggestions for a reform of the reform … from a priest

Is the Second Vatican Council some kind of sacred cow that can’t be reformed? I ask this in all seriousness. The reason why I ask this is that we all have been taught since the Second Vatican Council that the Church is always in need of reform. Since a council, specifically the Second Vatican Council is but a small part of the Church, should not that old adage also apply to the Second Vatican Council?

There are FIVE areas where the Second Vatican Council could use some reform…

Read more

The false, dark and often deadly modern concept of self fulfillment

Just as the Church opened the windows, the “Spirit of ’68″ swept through Western civilization. I recently found a rather dark article commenting on this cultural tsunami. Describing the summer of 1968, the author said, “A second hideous year of hippies with their ‘summer of love’…was just an excuse for selfish, spoiled college kids to get high, fornicate and think they were some how doing a noble thing”. Out-of-control hippies, along with protests and demonstrations, assassinations, riots, and “wars and rumors of wars” made it feel like society was collapsing.

In fact, society was collapsing. A good part of the social structure of every human society (before the present one) is the bulky but necessary walls and dams maintained by our ancestors; moral laws and social conventions designed to keep us and the people around us from doing whatever we feel like doing. There is a darkness that lurks in the human heart, and we are capable of incredible acts of destruction, and people have to be carefully formed to know what is right and prevented from doing what is wrong. This protects all of us from being damaged by the people around us and by our own bad inclinations. The “Spirit of 68″ is exactly the attitude that these moral and social restraints don’t matter, and a person should be free to do whatever feels good. The terrible truth is, sometimes it feels good to do evil.

Read more

This Week’s Smoke of Satan: How “bogus” psychological counseling is used to expel good men from “Catholic” seminaries.

In 1972, Pope Paul VI observed,

“From some fissure,
the smoke of Satan
has entered the Temple of God.”

The purpose of this weekly column is to help wake
the bulk of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics
from their self-imposed slumber
and powerfully remind them of who they are,
and what they are called by God, to be.

This week’s story: Chapter 7 – Go See the Shrink! How “bogus” psychological counseling is used to expel good men from “Catholic” seminaries.

“If one or two years of psychological counseling
on a fee for services basis is not successful in alienating
the the man from his faith in the Church, he is given
a negative recommendation from the psychologist
which usually means another dismissal
and another lost vocation.” – Dr. John Fraunces,
psychologist and member of the Catholic Medical Association

Read more of Goodbye, Good Men: how liberals brought corruption into the Catholic Church, by Michael S. Rose

Despite the generally positive (2008/PDF) Report of the Vatican’s Apostolic Visitation of U.S. Seminaries, not much has really changed. In fact, the summary of that report was very critical of seminaries run by religious orders, and probably avoided being more critical of diocesan seminaries, only for political reasons.

In short … with few exceptions … little or nothing has changed!

Read the Vatican Report (allow time for PDF file to load)


Any ideas or suggestions? Anything that’s working well
in your parish? How about things that are NOT working,
but should be? Let us know about it!

Click here to send in
your detailed comments and suggestions.
We’ll post them every Tuesday
in our new weekly column

“Dispersing the Smoke of Satan”

Your comments and suggestions are very welcome.

Thank you!

Catholic Etiquette: The who’s, what’s, where’s and why’s of polite, respectful Catholicism


(Key: in formal address, as indicated in the following: (a) direct speech or conversation; (b) correspondence. The abbreviation, add., is for the address on the envelope; sal., the salutation of a letter.)

THE POPE – (a) Your Holiness. (b) Add.: To His Holiness, Pope … Sal.: Most Holy Father.

CARDINALS – (a) Your Eminence. (b) Add.: His Eminence (Christian name) Cardinal (surname). Sal.: My Lord Cardinal.

LATIN PATRIARCHS – (a) Your Excellency. (b) Add.: His Excellency the Patriarch of … Sal.: Your Excellency or Most Reverend Excellency.

EASTERN PATRIARCHS – (a) Your Beatitude. (b) Add.:His Beatitude the Patriarch of … Sal.: Most Reverend Lord.

APOSTOLIC DELEGATES AND NUNCIOS – (a) Your Excellency. (b) Add.: His Excellency Archbishop (or Monsignor) … Sal.: Your Excellency.

ARCHBISHOPS – (a) Your Excellency. (b) Add.: The Most Reverend …, D.D., Archbishop of … Sal.: Your Excellency.

BISHOPS – (a) Your Excellency. (b) Add.: The Most Reverend …, D.D., Bishop of … Sal.: Most Reverend.

ABBOTS – (a) Father Abbot or My Lord Abbot. (b) Add.: The Right Reverend …, Abbot of … Sal.: Right Reverend Abbot.

ABBESSES – (a) Lady Abbess or Mother Abbess. (b) Add.: Lady Abbess …, Abbess of … Sal.: Dear Mother Abbess.

PROTHONOTARIES APOSTOLIC (Domestic Prelates and Vicar-General) – (a) Monsignor. (b) Add.: The Right Reverend Monsignor …, P.A. orV.G. Sal.: Right Reverend and Dear Monsignor.

PROVOSTS AND CANONS – (a) Provost or Canon. (b) Add.: The Very Reverend Provost (or Canon). Sal.: Very Reverend Provost or Dear Canon.

PAPAL CHAMBERLAINS – (a) Monsignor. (b) Add.: The Very Reverend Monsignor … Sal.: Very Reverend Monsignor.

RECTORS OF SEMINARIES – (a) Father (or title). (b) Add.: The Very Reverend … Sal.: Very Reverend and Dear Father (or title).

PROVINCIALS OF RELIGIOUS ORDERS – (a) Father Provincial. (b) Add.: The Very Reverend Father Provincial … Sal.: Very Reverend and Dear Father Provincial.

PRIORS – (a) Father Prior. (b) Add.: The Very Reverend Father Prior … Sal.: Very Reverend and Dear Father Prior.

PRIORESSES – (a) Mother Prioress. (b) Add.: The Very Reverend Mother Prioress … Sal.: Very Reverend and Dear Mother Prioress.

RURAL DEANS – (a) Father. (b) Add.: The Very Reverend … Sal.: Very Reverend and Dear Dean.

PRIESTS, DIOCESAN – (a) Father. (b) Add.: The Reverend … Sal.: Reverend and Dear Father.

PRIESTS, RELIGIOUS – (a) Father. (b) Add.: The Reverend Father … Sal.: Reverend and Dear Father.

CLERICS (BELOW ORDER OF PRIESTHOOD) – (a) no title. (b) Add.: The Reverend Mr. … Sal.: Reverend Sir.

BROTHERS – (a) Brother. (b) Add.: Venerable Brother … Sal.: Venerable and Dear Brother.

SISTERS – (a) Sister. (b) Add.: Venerable Sister … Sal.: Venerable and Dear Sister.

PAPAL KNIGHTS – (a) Sir. (b) Add.: The Honorable …, K.S.G. (or K.H.S.) Sal.: Honorable and Dear Sir.

Read more

For 80 percent of men and 30 percent of women, on-line pornography can be a powerful addiction

In a 2008 article entitled Pornography, Electronic Media, and Priestly Formation published in Homiletic and Pastoral Review, Sister Weber warned of the “profound impact” of widely and instantly available pornography and its detrimental effect on the Church in North America.

Personal interviews, she said, have taught her that Internet pornography and “inordinate use of electronic media” are common among priests and religious, and therefore issues crucial to the Church’s holistic functioning.

“Pornographic images are imbedded into the memory, affect brain function, and never completely leave the memory where they are stored. Researchers describe the effect as addictive, as mind-altering as cocaine! As a psychiatrist I see the ruined lives and shattered vocations.”

Internet Addiction Disorder, she said, is slated to be added to the next edition of The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Psychiatry, the official manual of recognized psychiatric disorders.

“Because pornography is addictive, once ingrained into the psyche it can thrive for years,” said Sister Weber. “Boys from 12-17 are large consumers, and for that reason, targets. Ninety per cent of these teenagers routinely view online pornography while doing their homework.” As bad as Internet pornography is for users, for victims it’s even worse.

“The industry,” said Sister Weber, “feeds on the vulnerable, poor, abused and marginalized. Exploiting the weak, especially children, is gravely sinful. Whether need, confusion, or alienation leads people to become objects, their choice to do so certainly cannot be seen as free. Producers and distributors of pornography leave a wide path of broken and devalued men and women in their wake. This destruction of the innocent is an unspeakable act of violence.”

Read more