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Veritatis Splendor

"Keep your eyes fixed upon Jesus, who inspires and perfects our faith" --Hebrews 12:2

Pope Benedict XVI before our Lord

And only where God is seen does life truly begin. Only when we meet the living God in Christ do we know what life is. We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution.
Each of us is the result of a thought of God.
Each of us is willed,
each of us is loved,
each of us is necessary.
There is nothing more beautiful than to be surprised by the Gospel, by the encounter with Christ. There is nothing more beautiful than to know Him and to speak to others of our friendship with Him.
~Pope Benedict XVI, Homily April 24th, 2005

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Darth Sibley says...

Now that's a bulletin back page even I would look at! Go Fr. Sibley, our Saintly Salmagundi! :)

In the same bulletin, Fr. Bryce urges all parishoners who are being troubled by Jehovah's Witnesses or Mormoms to feel free to let them in, but then put them in another room while calling him to come over to talk to them!! What a pastor!

Go here for the full bulletin

Friday, April 29, 2005

"An ultimately boring question: how little can I believe, and how little can I do, and still remain a Catholic?"

George Weigel's latest commentary, on the death toll for the "progressive" movement in the Catholic Church -- read it at What Benedict XVI means

Quote: Conventional wisdom notwithstanding, the great divide in world Catholicism these past several decades has not been between "liberals" and "conservatives," "reformers" and "integrists." It's been between bishops, priests, religious and laity who see the church primarily in terms of its evangelical mission, and bishops, priests, religious and laity who see the church primarily in terms of institutional maintenance and the exercise of intra-institutional power. The conclave of 2005 was a rout for the latter and a smashing triumph for the former.

The conclave of 2005 also repudiated what might be called "50-yard-line Catholicism" --- the attempt to find the safe, comfortable, unthreatening "center" between "the extremes." Pope Benedict XVI, like his immediate predecessor, is emphatically not a 50-yard-line bishop. If one end zone is the truth of the world, and the other embodies a false story about the world and about us, you can't split the difference and rest comfortably at midfield. Benedict XVI, to press the imagery a little further, will not play to avoid the interception; he'll play for the touchdown.

"Terri of the Bronx" has died

Quietly, and without news attention, Teron Francis, a 13-year-old boy in the Bronx has died, as of 5:05pm (EST) 4/28/05.

His situation had been compared to Terri Schiavo's (though in his case he was on a ventilator), with his doctors fighting in the courts to remove his life support and his family wanting them to keep their son alive.

In this case, however, it seems that the judge had ordered the hospital to keep him on the ventilator, but then later, citing the agreement of the family, sent an order to have the ventilator removed.

Regretfully I have not kept up on this case as I would have liked to, so I am still not entirely sure of the circumstances, but no matter what - a young boy has died, perhaps before his time, and he and his family are in need of our prayers.

Further information is available at: BlogsforTerri

Help get Silent No More MN to UST!

Anne Marie Cosgrove, leader of Silent No More MN, a pro-life group that helps to give post-abortion women a voice to tell the world of their pain and regret, is trying to get onto the UST campus to have a rally. UST alumni/students/faculty, can you help?

Full details over at The Seventh Age

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Great collection of Papal editorial cartoons!

Check out Jeffrey Lloyd's blog for a fabulous collection of various newspaper editorial cartoons related to Pope John Paul II, with a few newer ones about Pope Benedict -- Once upon a midnight dreary...

I think this one is my favorite:

Our blogging friend Jeff has made the big time...

The Catholic Educator's Resource Center - Now with B16!

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Pope Benedict's first general audience

Wednesday, 27 April 2005

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

It is with great joy that I welcome you and also greet those following this audience through radio and television. After the holy death of my beloved predecessor, Pope John Paul II, I come before you today for my first General Audience. Filled with sentiments of awe and thanksgiving, I wish to speak of why I chose the name Benedict. Firstly, I remember Pope Benedict XV, that courageous prophet of peace, who guided the Church through turbulent times of war. In his footsteps I place my ministry in the service of reconciliation and harmony between peoples. Additionally, I recall Saint Benedict of Norcia, co-patron of Europe, whose life evokes the Christian roots of Europe. I ask him to help us all to hold firm to the centrality of Christ in our Christian life: May Christ always take first place in our thoughts and actions!


I extend a special welcome to the English-speaking pilgrims here today, including groups from England, Wales, Ireland, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Australia, Vietnam, India, Pakistan, Singapore and the United States of America. Thank you for the affection with which you have greeted me. Upon all of you, I invoke the peace and joy of Jesus Christ our Lord!

Kinda amusing... if a bit overreactive

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Benedict Bears!

A handmade commemorative teddy bear dressed as Pope Benedict XVI is pictured in a teddy bear manufactures in Bavarian town of Coburg April 26, 2005. Traditional German Teddy Bear Manufacture Hermann have created a limited edition 265 bears, the same number of bears as there have been popes elected in history. REUTERS/Alex Grimm

New Papal Coat of Arms

Hat tip to Quodlibeta!

Stand Firm Pope Benedict XVI, For Some in Your Flock Have Strayed

Instead of truly embracing diversity and allowing the Catholic Church to remain steadfast in its belief system, progressives want to change historic doctrine and remake the religion into one of moral irrelevance. The conflicting factors between traditionalists and progressives up for ethical and moral debate are abortion, homosexuality, euthanasia, women in the priesthood, marriage for male priests, embryonic stem-cell research and birth control. If these progressives truly championed diversity, they would accept the teachings of the Catholic Church as the historical entity that it is; yet imposing progressive ideology on others seems to be the modus operandi for those wanting the Catholic Church to evolve.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Suppose We Had a "Liberal" Pope

Fr. Schall does it again -- in this recent article he asks the question, just what would happen if the Church was led by a "liberal" [heterodox] Pope, and did not have the protection of the Holy Spirit to prevent contradiction with the established deposit of faith?

Such people do not understand that the only claim the Church has to our belief is its faithful consistency to the deposit of faith, which it did not somehow "make up" by itself. Once this position is internally and intrinsically undermined–as it would be if the Church approved these things–it would have absolutely no claim to anyone’s belief, or even anyone’s taking it seriously.

Under the rubric of the advent of a "liberal" pope, we have, in fact, the desire that the authority of the papacy to credibility be itself eliminated. This is what is at stake in the election of a pope. We should not doubt it.

Really, I agree that Schall's words are right on, but I think they point to something even deeper in the psyche of the liberals clammoring for "change" -- those whose deepest desire is to make the Church "liberal" don't want a Church at all. They could care less about the Church losing it's claim on our belief, no matter what twaddle they screech at us about their supposed "love" for the Church.

But then again, that's the kicker ain't it? It is an utter contradiction for most of them to try to be both Catholic and anti-Catholic. For all logical purposes, these people should want nothing to do with the Church. And yet they still want Her. The Holy Spirit calls each soul to Himself, no matter who they are or what they profess... for all their earthly pilgrimage, He never gives up hope for their return to His Love.

And so, perhaps deep down, in the hidden recesses of the heart, even deeper than the hatred of the Truth the Church proclaims, is a tiny voice crying out for God. It is this, perhaps, that senses the need for the Church, but is so buried in disordered decisions and desires that it twists its understanding of its need for the Church into incoherence.

Our hearts are restless, until they rest in Thee
~St. Augustine

"The Cafeteria is Closed"

Get yours today, courtesy of the Saintly Salmagudi himself, Fr. Bryce Sibley! :)

Sunday, April 24, 2005

The "Terri of the Bronx"?

Pro-lifers take note - here is information about a case of a 13 year old boy named Taran in the Bronx, NY... apparently the hospital is calling him brain dead and wants to take his organs before pulling the plug on him. His family, on the other hand, doesn't want them to do it, but they have insisted on doing it, going to the courts to trump the family's wishes and kill the son instead of caring for him.

I do not know any more about this case, or about the boy's situation, but it certainly is a case for our prayers! A judge has currently halted the hospital's plans, and will be meeting with the family and hospital tomorrow.

The Catholic church does allow for withdrawl of artifical (note: feeding tubes are not artifical, anymore than a baby bottle is "artificial"!) life support when the aid that it provides is outweighed by the harm it causes (or by the ineffectiveness of its use, in the case of true brain death).

Particularly since this is regarding the care of a minor, all of us should be significantly concerned about this situation, until further information is known. Let us pray that life will be respected, here and everywhere.

Check out BlogsforTerri, which has been keeping up on this story: Judge Stays Montefiore's Termination of Taran :: News :: BlogsforTerri

Friday, April 22, 2005

Time to boycott eBay

eBay's response to a friend of mine who wrote to complain about the sale of the Eucharist on eBay--read it, and then urge all your friends and family members to join you in boycotting eBay, and don't forget to write eBay yourself to communicate your displeasure (e-mail rswebhelp@ebay.com or call 1-800-322-9266 or 1-888-749-3229).

Hello [name],

Thank you for taking the time to write us. We know your time is valuable and we appreciate you taking a moment to express concern over this particular item.

We understand that you are upset at having seen certain Catholic items or items related to the Pope on eBay, including item #6169851381. Because eBay's community is a diverse, international group of more than 135 million users with varied backgrounds and beliefs, there are times when some items listed on eBay by sellers might be offensive to at least some of our users somewhere in the world. At times, members may see listings that they may consider morally wrong or objectionable. However, even though these listings may be offensive to some, please remember that most of the time the law does not prohibit the items.

Due to the fact that eBay's focus is to have a free and diverse community, we are reluctant to interfere with listings that are not illegal. Regarding offensive items, there are many items that are considered sacred to many people of various religions, and we sometimes hear complaints about these items. Examples would be Catholic relics of saints, Mormon (LDS) garments, certain Buddhist tablets, etc. However, eBay has made the decision not to prohibit any item only on the basis of the item being endowed with sacred properties by certain religious groups. In general, eBay will remove items for a violation of our Offensive Materials policy only in extreme examples in which the listing explicitly promotes hatred, violence, or racial intolerance. However, we do not remove religious items that are otherwise legal for sale and do not violate any other eBay listing policy.

Please keep in mind that many of us at eBay may also share your distaste with an item, and may not support the sale. In fact, eBay has many Catholic employees. However, we do our best to understand and tolerate the many viewpoints held by our worldwide community. The Eucharist is not illegal to sell, and is generally allowed on eBay as long as the seller does not otherwise include hateful text or images in the listing.

Although we realize that you may not agree with this decision on eBay's part, we hope that you can respect the diverse and open nature of eBay's marketplace.

Again, thank you for your report. We appreciate your help in keeping eBay a safe and reputable forum to conduct business.


eBay Community Watch

"His first miracle is Benedict XVI"

Read more: OpinionJournal - Peggy Noonan

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Fr. Andrew Cozzens' -- Update from Rome

Earlier I had passed along a reflection on John Paul II's funeral by one of our Archdiocesan priests who is studying in Rome. He has written a new reflection on the "White smoke!" and seeing Pope Benedict XVI for the first time, it is online over at The Weight of Glory, go check it out!

Hey, I'm, like, a Minnesotan (kinda)!

Your Linguistic Profile:

75% General American English

15% Upper Midwestern

5% Midwestern

5% Yankee

0% Dixie

Two pictures are...

...Worth much more than 2000 words!

Catholic Reaction - Lets Study

Ut Unum Sintrum - Now with B16!

I don't often do this, since I think most people who visit this blog are well aware of the Curt Jester blog's utter coolness -- but I can't help it! Jeff is known for his great sense of humor and creativity, but this takes the cake (especially since I've been hollering "The B-16 Bomber is in da' houuuuse!" for two days now to all "friendlies" I've come in contact with :) Here's another form of B16 -

The Curt Jester: Now with B16!

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Pope Benedict's first full address

Excerpt: I recall and go back at this moment to the unforgettable experience lived by all of us on the occasion of the death and funeral rites of the late John Paul II. Around his mortal remains, carefully placed on the naked earth, were gathered the heads of nations, persons of all social classes, and especially young people, in an unforgettable embrace of affection and admiration. The whole world looked to him with trust. To many, it seemed that that intense participation, amplified to the ends of the earth by the means of social communications, was like a unanimous request for help addressed to the Pope by today's humanity which, troubled by uncertainties and fear, wonders about its future.

...I think in particular of young people. To them, privileged interlocutors of Pope John Paul II, I direct my affectionate embrace while waiting, God willing, to meet them in Cologne on the occasion of the next World Youth Day. With you, dear young people, future and hope of the Church and of humanity, I will continue to dialogue, listening to you expectations in an attempt to help you to encounter ever more profoundly the living Christ, the eternally young.

Zenit: Benedict XVI's Message to Cardinals

Video of Benedict XVI's appearance

Many folks have been wondering if there was a place online to view the video of the announcement of Pope Benedict, and his first appearance at the balcony... Here ya' go!! Relive the moment!

Announcement/Appearance - large

Announcement/Appearance - small

And here is video of the white smoke!!

White smoke - large

White smoke - small

Shock - New Pope A Catholic

Great op-ed piece that scorns the mass media's shocked reaction at the election of "God's Rottweiler" as Pope Benedict XVI -

Did the likes of The Guardian, the BBC or The New York Times think there was someone in the Church’s leadership who was going to pop up out on the balcony of St Peter’s and with a cheery wave, tell the faithful that everything they’d heard for the past 26 — no, make that 726 — years was rubbish and that they should all rush out and load up with condoms and abortifacients like teenagers off for a smutty weekend? Or did they think the conclave would go the whole hog and elect Sir Bob Geldof (with Peaches, perhaps, as a co-pope) in an effort to bring back the masses?

It has been fun (and revealing) to watch as the cardinals’ deliberations have been portrayed, with so little imagination or understanding, as a classic left-right battle between conservatives (bad, of course) and progressives (good). But it bears little reality to the way the Church’s leadership really thinks about its future.

Full piece online at Opinion - Gerard Baker

Chatty cardinals?

Interesting article citing comments from various voting cardinals, spilling some news about the conclave. In the excitement of their countryman's election, the Germans in particular seemed a bit open (Germans?? So much for German Stoicism.) to spreading the "good news."

Tidbits - Ratzinger was elected on the 4th vote, the first of the afternoon sessions. He got more than the 2/3rds necessary support. There was spontaneous applause by the cardinals as soon as it was realized that Ratzinger had been elected! (And one of the German cardinals "burst out crying"!)

Ratzinger was reported to have looked "a bit forlorn" upon announcement of his election, but recovered well and looked "very much like the pope" by dinner.

US Cardinals also talked a little bit (though not at all as specifically as the Germans!), the most telling thing they said were these words by Cardinal Rigali, "We were looking for a successor of Peter, we were looking for a successor of John Paul II. All of us were talking about the incredible qualities of John Paul II, knowing the world is calling him 'The Great.'"

Not bad, the full article is linked below. Hopefully the German cardinals will be forgiven their transgressions against the secrecy vow in their excitement! :)

Some Cardinals Get Chatty After Conclave

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Catholic and Enjoying It!

Catholic blogging favorite Mark Shea has emerged again out of his self-imposed silence to comment on the historic election of Papa Benedictus XVI -- check it out at Catholic and Enjoying It!

Ratzinger -- our new German Shepherd!


I had my wireless internet laptop in my Philosophy class this morning, and had the EWTN webcam on -- when the confirmation of the white smoke came, I threw up my hands and exclaimed Habemus Papam!!! We have a Pope!! Everyone froze, it took a moment to sink in, and then half the class (mostely seminarians :) cheered and leapt up to go find a TV, thankfully our prof is also a strong Catholic and she just called out, Break! and everyone went to go find a TV set... well, we never did go back to class :)

I ran all the way to Catholic Studies' department house from way across campus, all the way going to myself, Ratzinger or Arinze, Ratzinger or Arinze... The vote happened so fast, I KNEW it had to be one of the frontrunners! I screeched into Catholic Studies, pounded up the stairs, and practically ran into a KSTP newsperson blocking the hallway, they were filming the group of students gathered around the little TV set in the front office... Out of breath I asked the lady, "who??", she said "Ratzinger" and I threw up my hands and screamed WHOO-YES VIVA PAPA! and blew by her to sit with the rest of the group, just in time to hear the Urbi et Orbi and get the plenary indulgence and ABSOLUTION!! Whoo-hoo! Then KSTP interviewed a bunch of us (look for us on the 5pm or 6pm news :) and as we were "winding down" (not really... more like dispersing to bring giddiness to all other corners of campus) we looked out the front window and saw.... A guy in T-shirt and shorts running wildly down Summit Ave carrying a huge flagpole with Vatican flag streaming behind him!! :) Sweet!

Viva il Papa, God bless Pope Benedict XVI, who once was known as God's Rottweiler, and is now our German Shepherd!!

I am GIDDY! God is good!

Habemus Papam!!! We Have A Pope!

Eternal Word Television Network, Global Catholic Network - Habemus Papam! - We Have A Pope!

Monday, April 18, 2005

1st Vote - Black Smoke

The See of Peter is still vacant.

Not surprising, I suppose, but still... Keep those prayers coming!!

Cardinal Ratzinger's last exhortation before the conclave

"Let us now, above all, insistently pray to the Lord that, after the great gift of Pope John Paul II, He again gives us a pastor according to the dictates of His heart, a pastor to lead us to knowledge of Christ, to His love, to true joy."

Click here for complete homily text

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Moving video tribute to Pope John Paul II

Complete with audio -- you've gotta see this!

Crazy thing is, it's from the Associate Press website, and once it finishes playing you get taken to the typical secular reporting about the Pope... However, it is so worth it to hear Papa say "John Paul II, he loves YOU!" to the young people at World Youth Day!

AP - Papal Tribute

Pray for the cardinals as they enter conclave!

"It is here, beneath this wondrous Sistine profusion of color
that the Cardinals assemble;
the community responsible for the legacy of the keys of the Kingdom.
They come here, to this very place.
And once more Michelangelo wraps them in his vision.
'In Him we live and move and have our being.'
Who is He?
Behold, the creating hand of the Almighty, the Ancient One,
reaching towards Adam;
In the beginning God created;
He, who sees all things;
The colors of the Sistine will then speak the word of the Lord:
Tu es Petrus ; once heard by Simon, son of John.
'To you I will give the keys of the Kingdom.'
Those entrusted with the legacy of the keys
gather here, letting themselves be enfolded by the Sistine's colors,
by the vision left to us by Michelangelo;
So it was in August, and again in October,
in the memorable year of the two Conclaves,
and so it will be once more, when the time comes,
after my death.
Michelangelo's vision must then speak to them.
'Con-clave': a shared concern for the legacy of the keys, the keys of the Kingdom.
Lo, they see themselves in the midst of the Beginning and the End,
between the Day of Creation and the Day of Judgment;
It is granted man once to die, and thereafter, the Judgment!
Final transparency and light.
The clarity of the events;
the clarity of consciences;
During the conclave Michelangelo must teach them ;
Do not forget: Omnia nuda et aperta sunt oculos Eius.
You who see all, point to him!
He will point him out..."

~Pope John Paul II
"Meditations on the Book of Genesis at the Threshold of the Sistine Chapel"
(from "Roman Triptych: Meditations," a compilation of the Pope's poetry)

Letters From Rome -- Fr. Mitchell

A ways back I had been forwarded an e-mail from Fr. Peter Mitchell, which I posted below. Well, I knew there were other letters (thanks to some seminarians in my philosophy class) but wasn't sure where to get them -- today I found them without looking!

Godspy has archived in one post a series of Fr. Mitchell's letters, currently through April 11th (more to come with the conclave I would imagine). Some fine reading here, and definitely not the stuff you will find on CNN or NBC News!

Letters From Rome: A Young Priest's Day-by-Day Witness to the Death and Burial of Pope John Paul II, by Father Peter Mitchell

Friday, April 15, 2005

Non-stop confessions amid a peaceful and respectful Rome

In today's entry from Fr. Neuhaus's "Rome Diary":

...And then a word about those millions of people, mainly young people, who came to the funeral last Friday. I have seen several accounts, and heard worldly wise reporters, describing the 'rock star' attraction of John Paul. In fact, the crowds, stretching more than three miles beyond St. Peter's, were wondrously solemn and prayerful. The Legionaries of Christ and other religious orders posted priests all along the way and there was a brisk business in confessions around the clock. One Legionary priest tells of his non-stop hearing of confessions--from five o'clock in the afternoon until six o'clock the next morning. The mayor of Rome said that not one serious crime was reported in the city during the days when millions were waiting up to 26 hours to view the body. That is hard to believe, but that is what he said.

John Paul went to the world and the world came to him, and they knew why they had come. "

"Didn't promote hatred toward Catholics"

The eBay/Eucharist story that broke a couple of days ago takes a new turn -- apparently eBay doesn't mind if sacred religious items are sold so long as they "don't promote hatred toward" the religion (though one wonders what would happen if someone tried to sell a sacred Jewish item and the Jews complained to eBay...)

It's bad enough when eBay becomes the clearinghouse for body parts, ie, Catholic relics (they typically don't do anything about those either, even though they explicitly forbid the sale of body parts on the service), but it is an absolute outrage when they condone the selling of the most sacred "item" of a religion, just because THEY don't see how that promotes hatred "toward" the religion.

We need to e-mail eBay right quick, to express our absolute disgust and displeasure towards their demeaning attitude toward our faith (and, rumor has it, the faith of one of the eBay founders, who is supposedly Catholic himself). I for one, who have done much business and bought many things through eBay, refuse to do business through them anymore until they show that they can be "tolerant" of the Catholic faith as well as the Zoroastrians and Scientologists.

Communion wafer from papal Mass auctioned on eBay

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

"Omnes cum Petro ad Iesum per Mariam"

Let us pray for the coming conclave: "All with Peter, to Jesus, through Mary."

Letter of the Prelate of Opus Dei on the occasion of the Conclave

The liberals' lament goes on...

What? Even the young priests and seminarians from the "developing countries" are "following the party line" of John Paul II's "unflinching conservatism?" How shocking.

Newsday.com: Disciples of Pope John Paul

+ John Paul the Great, ora pro nobis!

"First Things" -- Rome Diary

Fr. Richard John Neuhaus does it again.

Read it, now: "First Things" -- Rome Diary

Monday, April 11, 2005

Timeout: Fra Angelico images!!

I think we all need a timeout from all the stress we've been feeling lately, and I just discovered a fabulous website featuring the artwork of Bl. Fra Angelico, my absolute favorite artist and a fine Dominican to boot.

High-res images and a good selection, check this site out at http://www.christusrex.org/www2/art/beato.htm

Wondering what the Eastern Rites' part in the Pope's funeral was?

Via Fr. Tucker over at the Dappled Things blog, here's a link to another blog by a fellow very knowledgable about both the Western and Eastern Rite Catholic/Orthodox practices and beliefs.

I must say, the Eastern Rites' contribution to the funeral Mass for Pope John Paul II was a blessed surprise, I was grateful to see that our Holy Father's forceful belief regarding the "two lungs" of the Church, the East and the West, was being honored so publicly. Of course, the media got it all wrong, and managed to be as distracting as possible with their ignorant prattle during the ceremony. Here's the REAL scoop on what was done and said:

Russian Choir and the Panikhida at the Pope's Funeral

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Cardinal Ratzinger's homily from the Papal funeral

From Zenit: "He Roused Us From a Lethargic Faith"

Text of document buried with JP II

"Rogito": the Document Placed in Pope's Coffin


In the light of Christ risen from the dead, on April 2 of the year of the Lord 2005, at 9:37 p.m., as Saturday was coming to an end, and we had already entered the day of the Lord, octave of Easter and Sunday of Divine Mercy, the beloved pastor of the Church, John Paul II, passed from this world to the Father. The whole Church, in prayer, accompanied him in his passing.

John Paul II was the 264th Pope. His memory remains in the heart of the Church and of the whole of humanity.

Karol Wojtyla, elected Pope on Oct. 16, 1978, was born in Wadowice, a city 50 kilometers from Krakow, on May 18, 1920, and was baptized two days later in the parish Church of the priest Francis Zak.

He received his first Communion when he was 9 years old, and the sacrament of confirmation when he was 18. His studies interrupted, because the Nazi occupation forces had closed the university, he worked in a quarry and, later, in the Solvay chemical factory.

In 1942, aware of his call to the priesthood, he began courses of formation in the clandestine seminary of Krakow. He received his priestly ordination on Nov. 1, 1946, from the hands of Cardinal Adam Sapieha. Then he was sent to Rome where he obtained a licentiate and doctorate in theology, with a thesis entitled "Doctrina de fide apud Sanctum Ioannem a Cruce."

He returned to Poland where he had several pastoral duties and taught the sacred disciplines. On July 4, 1958, Pope Pius XII named him auxiliary bishop of Krakow. He was nominated archbishop of the same see by Paul VI in 1964. In this capacity, he took part in Vatican Council II. Paul VI created him cardinal on June 26, 1967.

He was elected Pope by the cardinals in the conclave on Oct. 16, 1978 and took the name John Paul II. On Oct. 22, the day of the Lord, he solemnly began his Petrine ministry.

John Paul II's pontificate was one of the longest in the history of the Church. In that period, under several aspects, many changes were witnessed. Counted among them was the fall of some regimes, to which he himself contributed. He undertook many trips to various nations for the purpose of proclaiming the Gospel.

John Paul II exercised the Petrine ministry with untiring missionary spirit, dedicating all his energies driven by "sollicitudo omnium ecclesiarum" and by open charity to the whole of humanity. More than any predecessor, he met with the people of God and leaders of nations, in celebrations, general and special audiences and pastoral visits.

His love of young people led him to initiate World Youth Day, convoking millions of youths in several parts of the world.

He successfully promoted dialogue with the Jews and with representatives of the other religions, convoking them at times to prayer meetings for peace, especially in Assisi.

He notably enlarged the College of Cardinals, creating 231 (plus one "in pectore"). He convoked some 15 assemblies of the Synod of Bishops, 7 ordinary general and 8 special. He erected numerous dioceses and circumscriptions, in particular in Eastern Europe.

He reformed the Western and Eastern Code of Canon Law, and created nine institutions and reorganized the Roman Curia.

As "sacerdos magnus" he exercised the liturgical ministry in the Diocese of Rome and in the whole world, in total fidelity to Vatican Council II. He promoted, in an exemplary way, the liturgical and spiritual life and contemplative prayer, especially Eucharistic adoration and the prayer of the Holy Rosary (Cf. apostolic letter "Rosarium Virginis Mariae").

The Church entered the third millennium under his leadership and celebrated the Great Jubilee of 2000, according to the guidelines indicated in the apostolic letter "Tertio Millennio Adveniente." She then faced the new age, receiving guidelines in the apostolic letter "Novo Millennio Ineunte," in which the faithful were shown the path of the future time.

With the Year of the Redemption, Marian Year and Year of the Eucharist, he promoted the spiritual renewal of the Church. He gave an extraordinary impulse to canonizations and beatifications, to show innumerable examples of holiness today, which would give an incentive to the men of our time. He proclaimed St. Therese of the Child Jesus Doctor of the Church.

John Paul II's doctrinal magisterium is very rich. Guardian of the deposit of faith, with wisdom and courage he did his utmost to promote Catholic, theological, moral and spiritual doctrine, and to oppose during the whole of his pontificate tendencies contrary to the genuine tradition of the Church.

Among his principal documents are numbered 14 encyclicals, 15 apostolic exhortations, 11 apostolic constitutions, 45 apostolic letters, in addition to the catecheses proposed in the general audiences and the talks given all over the world. With his teaching, John Paul II confirmed and enlightened the people of God on theological doctrine (especially in the first three important encyclicals -- "Redemptor Hominis," "Dives in Misericordia" and "Dominum et Vivificantem"), anthropology and social issues ("Laborem Exercens," "Sollicitudo Rei Socialis" and "Centesimus Annus"), morals ("Veritatis Splendor" and "Evangelium Vitae"), ecumenicism ("Ut Unum Sint"), missiology ("Redemptoris Mission") and Mariology ("Redemptoris Mater").

He promulgated the Catechism of the Catholic Church, in the light of tradition, authoritatively interpreted by Vatican Council II. He also published some volumes as a Ph.D.

His magisterium culminated, during the Year of the Eucharist, in the Encyclical "Ecclesia de Eucharistia" and in the Apostolic Letter "Mane Nobiscum Domine."

John Paul II left all an admirable testimony of piety, sanctity and universal paternity.

(Signatures of the witnesses of the burial ceremonies …)



Semper in Christo vivas, Pater Sancte!

Terri's case making a difference already

This quietly broke the news (in the wake of the Holy Father's final sickness and death) over the past week or so, and praised be Jesus Christ, Mae now seems to be being taken care of appropriately. Read more at WorldNetDaily: 'Grandma' airlifted to medical center

In other news related to Terri, it has been announced by the Diocese of St. Petersburg that Bishop Lynch is transferring the priest who went to great lengths to support the Schindlers in their grief over the murder of their daughter Terri, to a parish in Valrico, reported to be "far away." Why? Only the Bishop knows... Read more at SpiritDaily: http://www.spiritdaily.com/lynchtransfers.htm

Fr. Andrew reflects on the Papal funeral

I just got this e-mail yesterday from Fr. Andrew Cozzens, a young priest for our Archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis who has been studying in Rome for the past couple of years--he wrote to share his own reflections on his experience at the funeral of our Holy Father, Pope John Paul II. Fr. Cozzens gave permission for me to repost his letter here.

Dear Family and Friends,

Here are my reflections on the Funeral of Our Holy Father.

You have all heard about the crowds in Rome this week, and it was truly amazing. Many people reported waiting 10-15 hours on Wednesday to try and get into to see the Holy Father's body. And yet those same people said they were so grateful for the opportunity to say goodbye. On Thursday I was able to go in to see the body with Archbishop Flynn and the other priest and seminarians from St. Paul (Fr. Scott Carl, Deacon John Gallas, and Tim Schiebe). We were able to spend about an hour in the Back of the Basilica as people continued to process through the main basilica to see the body. Archbishop got to kneel and pray very close for as long as he wanted. They also brought through the back all the handicapped people in wheel chairs and other sorts of dignitaries. It was such a moment to see the whole Church. So many people coming to pay their respects to Our Holy Father. It really made me so grateful to be a Catholic -- to be a member of this household of God.

For the Funeral mass, I was sitting in the middle of the general section reserved for all priests at the front of the Piazza on the left, just down from the main altar (those of you watching on T.V. saw a big section of white - - that was us). I was about 100 yards from the Altar and could see the casket during the whole ceremony. Because I arrived in a car with my Archbishop, Harry Flynn, I was saved the trouble of having to fight through the long lines to arrive at the Piazza. The students from the University of St. Thomas Catholic studies house, had camped out all night to get a place in the Piazza. In fact all the streets around St. Peter's will filled with hundreds of thousands of young people camping out all night to get a good place -- it seemed like the last night to keep vigil with Pope John Paul II as they had done many times at World Youth day.

The mood in the crowd was beautiful, both somber, sad, and also at times joyful. When the body came out the crowd errupted in applause. During the homily by Cardinal Ratzinger he was interupted at several times by applause. Especially when he welcomed the young people. The square was filled with flags from many nations, but especially from the Pope's beloved Poland. The priests in my section seemed to come from almost every country. I heard them speaking around me, Polish, Spanish, French, and English. They were for the most part very somber and at certain points it seemed almost all of us were openly weeping.

As the funeral mass was ready to begin the dignitaries were being seated. Only the Holy Father could bring together so many heads of state who normally don't get along. I was able to see our own President enter with his wife Laura and behind him Presidents Clinton and Bush (senior) and Condoleeza Rice. The procession began with bringing in Our Holy Father's body in its simple wood Casket with the Cross and the M for Our Lady standing at the foot of the Cross. Then in processed the large group of Cardinals, which included all the Cardinals, not just the 122 who will be
voting. Finally Cardinal Ratzinger who would lead the ceremony because he is the Dean of the College.

The Homily was for me surprisingly personal. (Read it at:http://www.ewtn.com/JohnPaul2/funeral_homily.htm) He focused not on Pope John Paul II's great achievements: he did not mention that he has written more than all the other Popes combined or traveled more or beatified more. Rather, he focused on John Paul II as a disciple, a Christian who was asked at several times in his life to say "yes" to Jesus. Based on the Gospel which was so beautifully chosen from Our Holy Father's own life where Jesus said to Peter -- Do you love me? (Our Holy Father had preached on this same Gospel at the 25th anniversary of his pontificate 18 months ago -- he said he always tried to answer with Peter, "Yes Lord you know that I love you.") The Cardinal focused especially on Jesus' last words to Peter: Follow me. The Cardinal went through the Holy Father's life and spoke of all those times Jesus had said to Him: follow me. Even mentioning how he was on a canoe trip when he was made a bishop. He showed how at every turning point in Our Holy Father's life the Lord was inviting him more and more to lose himself -- to let go of his hopes, desires, dreams in order to follow him -- to lose himself so that he might find himself. Until finally at the end of his life the Holy Father had given up himself so much that he was conformed to Christ (as St. Paul said -- It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me). Cardinal Ratzinger pointed out how deeply our Holy Father lived his priesthood -- so deeply that like the good shepherd he gave himself completely for his sheep.

Then we celebrated the Eucharist and after communion, the funeral ended with the commendation of the Body. This was done in Latin with the traditional: "In Paradisium" (May the Angels lead you into paradise...) and also with a special commendation from the Eastern Rite Catholics sung in Greek. During the different pauses you could here the young people in the crowd chanting as they did at World Youth day in all the various languages (John Paul II we love you!). Then as the Body was lifted up by the Papal Household Chamberlains and begun to be carried back into the Basilica there was simply a sustained applause. The Choir sang, "Magnificat anima mea Dominum, et exsultavit spiritus meus in Deo salvatore meo (Luke 1: 46-47)" The Chamberlains stopped and turned the body one last time towards the crowd, lowering the feet and lifting the head. We all wept as we knew we were saying goodbye for the last time. Then the body was turned again feet towards the altar and disappeared into the basilica. It was taken down stairs and immediately entombed. The Bell of St. Peter's tolled for him. It was as if he passed into the next life at that moment, and now we were left alone.

After making sure the Archbishop got back to his hotel I walked home alone in silence. It is a real time of mourning. It is hard to believe that our Holy Father is gone. It makes one realize just how important he was to you when you feel so profoundly his absence. I can only be grateful thinking of all the ways he impacted me especially as a priest. His love for Our Lady encouraged me to read St. Louis De Montefort and understand true devotion. His love the Eucharist affected the way I treasure daily Mass and daily adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. As Cardinal Ratzinger said he was a priest "fino in fondo" (to the depths of his being), which makes me want to be a priest all the more also giving my life for Christ and his Church. The depths of Our Holy Father's own self gift to Christ are also seen in his spiritual testament. Where it becomes so clear that he saw his whole life as belonging to God alone, entrusting himself always to Jesus through Our Lady, he made a gift of his life for us and for the Church. Again quoting Cardinal Ratzinger's homily: "To the Lord's question, "Karol, do you love me?," the Archbishop of Krakow answered from the depths of his heart: "Lord you know everything; you know that I love you." The love of Christ was the dominant force in the life of our beloved Holy Father. Anyone who ever saw him pray, who ever heard him preach, knows that." May we seek to be so profoundly rooted in Christ as he was. To love Christ above all things is the example he left us. So that they can say of us... anyone who ever saw him pray, or heard him preach knows he loves Christ.

Hopefully we have now a week of relative quiet as we await the beginning of the Conclave on the 18th. Having really only known one Pope in my life it is difficult to think yet of another one. But we must pray for the Cardinals that they will follow the Holy Spirit in this difficult job.

Totus Tuus,

Fr. Andrew Cozzens

Slideshow Tribute to JPII

Here is a link to a nice online slideshow tribute to Pope John Paul the Great, with some excellent photos from the Vatican newspaper archives.

Pope John Paul II Online Tribute

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Cardinal George's homily on the death of the Pope

Just found this online, the Archdiocese of Chicago posted Cardinal George's homily from Divine Mercy Sunday. Awesome. (Audio file)


The Funeral of the Ages

Friday, April 08, 2005

My Favorite JP II Pictures

Yeah, I bet it's being done all around the Internet, but I wanted to compile for myself a collection of my favorite pictures of "the Papa of my youth," at least the ones I can find on here. As I find others I will probably edit this post to add them.

Accepting the election

Fra Angelico's Annunciation