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    AmP Countdown: Time left to demand that Congress make health care reform pro-life: 2009-11-07 18:00:00 GMT-05:00


    Thursday, August 13, 2009

    AP: Catholic basketball coach paid for mistress's abortion

    An AmP reader sent me this sad story of the men's basketball coach Rick Pitino, a Catholic father of five, who apparently paid his mistress $3,000 to have an abortion.

    Being a party to an abortion results in an automatic excommunication, so in addition to the significant legal problems Mr. Pitino is facing, he also ought to urgently seek reconciliation with the Church.

    The Associated Press article claims that Pitino "brings along a priest who's a close friend and spiritual adviser on many team trips". 

    I hope that this priest is helping Mr. Pitino and his family.

    Let's say a quick prayer for men whose job keeps them away from their families for long periods of time. I'm not condoning at all what Mr. Pitino did but certainly this can be an occasion of temptation.

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    Wednesday, March 18, 2009

    Outrageous: Take them at their word - Excommunicate them.

    How Robert S. McElvaine slunk his way into a Washington Post's "On Faith" column I'll never know. Unless the column is a joke.
    McElvaine's entry ("impeach the pope") sure is laughable and - I would argue - actionable. It's clearly offensive. Some quotes:

    "Amid all the justified outrage we all feel at Bernie Madoff and the AIG bandits, let us save some intense outrage for Pope Benedict XVI."

    "I am a Catholic and the idea that such a man [as Pope Benedict] is God's spokesperson on earth is absurd to me."

    "Let's start a movement within the Catholic Church to impeach Pope Benedict XVI and remove him from office. While we're at it, let's replace him with a woman.
    He reversed the excommunication of a Holocaust denier. Will he excommunicate me for pointing out that he is a misogyny denier?
    If this be heresy, make the most of it."

    Well heck, fine with me. Excommunicate him if that's his wish. He's certainly guilty of being an idiot.
    Plus he has insulted a figure beloved by literally hundreds of millions of people. Plus he's ignorant of basic truths of historical fact, demonstrating absolutely no good will or honest desire to verify his libelous claims about the Catholic Church in the process. Plus he does all of this as a Catholic - causing grave scandal to the faithful.

    "On Faith" should be embarrassed to welcome such malevolent contributions.

    And while we're at it, let's add another to the excommunication docket:

    The pope's comment was "irresponsible and dangerous", said Jon O'Brien, head of Catholics for Choice, adding that "few Catholics and even fewer medical personnel agree with his stance." (AFP) [More damning evidence here.]

    At least O'Brien is bought and paid for, McElvaine is trying to draw attention to his new anti-Catholic book.

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    Monday, March 16, 2009

    Vatican backtracks on brazilian excommunications?

    There is now an attempt to explain the Church's reaction to this difficult situation (blogged before here):

    A senior Vatican official has criticized the excommunication of a Brazilian woman whose nine-year-old daughter had an abortion after being raped, as well as the medical team who performed it.

    ... "Unfortunately the credibility of our teaching took a blow as it appeared, in the eyes of many, to be insensitive, incomprehensible and lacking mercy."

    ... Brazilian bishops said Thursday the excommunication of the mother and doctors of the girl, who was pregnant with twins and allegedly raped by her stepfather, was wrong and would not be applied.

    The National Conference of Bishops of Brazil decided that the child's mother acted "under pressure from the doctors" who said the girl would die if she carried the babies to term.

    ... Dimas Lara Barbosa, the body's secretary-general, told reporters the mother therefore could not be excommunicated. "We must take the circumstances into consideration," he said.

    As for the doctors, there was no clear case that they should be expelled from the church either, he said, contrary to the position taken by Archbishop Jose Cardoso Sobrinho, who announced the excommunications.

    Barbosa said only doctors who "systematically" conduct abortions are thrown out of the church. (Agence France-Presse)

    Explaining why the Church does something is never a bad idea. In the meantime, we'll have to see what happens. It's always better for the Church to be an active voice in the debate, otherwise the enemies of the Church will be happy to create their own narrative. And you can guess what that will look like - we've all seen it before.

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    Saturday, January 24, 2009

    Breaking: Pope lifts excommunications of Lefebvrite bishops

    CNS:
    Pope Benedict XVI has lifted the excommunication of four bishops ordained against papal orders in 1988 by the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. The move was considered a major concession to the archbishop's traditionalist followers.

    The Vatican said the decree removing the excommunication, signed Jan. 21 and made public three days later, marked an important step toward full communion with the Society of St. Pius X, founded by Archbishop Lefebvre in 1970.

    It said some questions remain unresolved with the society, including its future status and that of its priests, and that these issues would be the subject of further talks.
    The entire CNS article is worth the read. See also:

    Thoughts?

    update: an initial reaction from an informed canonical source.

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    Friday, November 21, 2008

    Automatic excommunication for FOCA voters?

    Matt Hadro of CNSNews.com tried to get Cardinal George to say as much, but he wasn't biting. Jeff Miller adds some helpful comments and Deal Hudson outlines some reasons why it should.
    I think this is an interesting question to raise, but will become urgent should FOCA be introduced.

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    Saturday, November 15, 2008

    Update: Fr. Bourgeois to appeal excommunication, but it doesn't matter

    Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. In this case, two pictures and a few words will suffice.

    When you do this:

    You'll end up like this:

    Get the picture? I hope he does.

    {more backstory here.}

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    Thursday, October 30, 2008

    Excommunicate, already!

    "Sign it. Seal it. Deliver it." says Canon Lawyer Ed Peters:

    The more modernistic the liberal clerical cohort in Australia tries to become, the older are the heresies that they promote. Lately, one Fr Peter Dresser is promoting his own brand of Arianism, a heresy that basically denied the divinity of Christ, and which was solemnly rejected by the Council of Nicaea (325). "No human being can ever be God," writes Fr. Dresser in a booklet distributed to the faithful, "and Jesus was a human being. It is as simple as that."

    Okay, here's my version of simple: "No Catholic priest may deny the divinity of Christ, and Dresser is a Catholic priest. It's as simple as that." If Fr. Dresser really denies the divinity of Christ (among several other things!), declare his formal excommunication and expel him from the clerical state. Do it quickly, do it cleanly, and do it without rancor. But do it.

    Nice of Fr. Desser to make things easy on us.

    He also claims Joseph was the biological father of Jesus, and the Virgin Mary had six children.

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    Picture: St. Louis Claims First *Pregnant* Catholic Priest

    "A little over a year ago, 26-year-old Jessica Rowley shattered the stained-glass ceiling, so to speak, by being ordained a Catholic priest. Now the St. Louisan is on the verge of giving birth to her first child, and a Washington, D.C.-based group that advocates for women’s ordination says that makes Rowley the world’s first pregnant Catholic priest."

    Her husband is a United Church of Christ minister. So which church will the baby be baptized in?

    "That's a good question," says Rowley, with a laugh. "It's a topic of conversation in our home a lot. We're going to baptize him in both churches."

    Why, of course! Why didn't I think of that? I'm so narrow-minded with my solutions sometimes....

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    Tuesday, August 26, 2008

    Response: Pelosi decides to fight it

    The text hasn't been published online, but has been leaked numerous places, and I present it here. This email was sent out this afternoon from Pelosi's spokesman, Brenda Daly:

    “The Speaker is the mother of five children and seven grandchildren and fully appreciates the sanctity of family. She was raised in a devout Catholic family who often disagreed with her pro-choice views.
    Nice but irrelevant. Having children doesn't mean you understand why the Church believes it is wrong to kill them, necessarily.

    “After she was elected to Congress, and the choice issue became more public as she would have to vote on it, she studied the matter more closely. Her views on when life begins were informed by the views of Saint Augustine, who said: ‘…the law does not provide that the act [abortion] pertains to homicide, for there cannot yet be said to be a live soul in a body that lacks sensation…’ (Saint Augustine, On Exodus 21.22)
    She didn't face the issue of choice until Congress? This cannot be true. She served in CA well after Roe v. Wade was issued. And her sole source of argument is this obscure passage in Augustine? I have actually studied this passage of Augustine. So let's clear it up quick:

    1. Augustine did not know from the evidence had available to him at the time whether or not all abortions killed a human being, but if they did, he held that clearly such an act would be murder.

    2. Modern science has demonstrated that yes, an embryo is a human being, from the moment of conception, and therefore killing it at any stage of development is an act of murder.

    Augustine subsequently discusses accidental abortions in which the old law (as in old testament!) still required the transgressor to undergo a severe punishment. Does Pelosi believe people who procure and conduct abortions should be treated similarly? If not, she isn't following Augustine.
    “While Catholic teaching is clear that life begins at conception, many Catholics do not ascribe to that view. The Speaker agrees with the Church that we should reduce the number of abortions. She believes that can be done by making family planning more available, as well as by increasing the number of comprehensive age-appropriate sex education and caring adoption programs.
    Her argument is not actually an argument at all. It's a statement of fact, and again, it is irrelevant to what she actually said in Meet the Press. She doesn't even admit she was wrong in everything she claimed. Oh - and her solution? Contraception, which is also not permitted by the Church. How much more dense can you get?

    “The Speaker has a long, proud record of working with the Catholic Church on many issues, including alleviating poverty and promoting social justice and peace.”
    Also irrelevant. She might have worked for decreased summer working hours among young people. Who cares? That's not what is under debate here.

    A couple global observations:

    • Pelosi does not even respond to the criticisms herself. She farmed it out to a surrogate. One would thing that an ardent, practicing Catholic would care enough about the public condemnation of her combined bishops enough to personally address the situation.
    • This is not an apology. There is a phrase for this: obstinate, public dissent. And that should be treated a certain way.
    • Pelosi had her chance to apologize. I believe she is testing the waters by having her spokesman respond first, reserving to herself the later option of disowning the spokesman's words and actually apologizing - but only if the issue is pressed.

    Okay, have at it. This isn't over.

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    Tuesday, July 29, 2008

    Noted: Excommunication Lifted for 3 in St. Louis

    See? You can get un-excommunicated:

    Three leaders of a former St. Louis parish who incurred excommunication for hiring a suspended priest have been reconciled with the Church.

    According to a statement last week from the Archdiocese of St. Louis, Bernice Krauze, Stanley Rozanski and Robert Zabielski, members of the Board of Directors of St. Stanislaus Parish Corporation, met in June with Archbishop Raymond Burke to be reconciled fully with the Church.

    "They are once again in full communion with the Catholic Church and are no longer under any censure," the archdiocese reported. (Zenit)

    The Church takes far more joy in welcoming someone back from being excommunicated than excommunicating them in the first place (the only joy to be had in the first place is that the offender hopefully clearly understands the gravity of their offense and may then take the necessary steps to reconcile, as happened in this case).

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    Friday, March 14, 2008

    Breaking: Abp. Burke excommunicates *two more* persons today

    Wow. Archbishop Burke is on a roll:

    I have communicated with both Mr. Rozanski and Ms. Krauze that the Board of Saint Stanislaus Kostka Corporation is in schism, the parish had been suppressed, and that if they joined the board, they would be knowingly joining a sect that held and professed views outside the communion of the Catholic Church. Because they joined the board knowing this information, they excommunicated themselves from the Catholic Church. Church law requires me to publicly declare the excommunication.

    The situation of Mr. Rozanski and Ms. Krause is sad for the whole Church. It is cause of great concern for me as archbishop. Please join me in praying that both will be reconciled with the Church and that the great harm which has been caused to the Church, with the help of God’s grace, will be healed.

    A Q&A for this set of excommunications has been available here.

    That brings it up to five excommunications in two days. Someone decided to clear off his desk before Easter.

    Ph/t: TheTimman of St. Louis Catholic, who has much more on the story.

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    Thursday, March 13, 2008

    Abp. Burke excommunicates three women involved in attempted ordination

    update: Archbishop Burke has excommunicated two more persons today, more on that story here.

    original story: Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis has today excommunicated three women of the archdiocese who participated in an attempted ordination on November 11th, 2007.

    Burke, as his info page describes, is truly "one of the world’s foremost authorities on Roman Catholic Canon Law," and he has chosen to use the medicinal penalty of excommunicaton to "safeguard the unity of the Catholic Church and protect the souls of the faithful."

    From the Archdiocese of St. Louis website:

    As Archbishop of St. Louis, it is my responsibility to safeguard the unity of the Catholic Church and protect the souls of the faithful.

    I have communicated with Ms. Fresen, Ms. Hudson, and Ms. McGrath, and informed them that if they participated in an attempted female ordination, they would be excommunicating themselves from the Catholic Church. In the apostolic letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, Pope John Paul II reaffirmed that the Catholic Church has no authority to confer priestly ordination on women. This teaching is to be held definitively by all the faithful as belonging to the deposit of faith. Because they participated in the attempted ordination, Church law requires me to publicly declare the excommunication.

    The situation is sad for the whole Church. It is cause of great concern for me as archbishop. Please join me in praying that both will be reconciled with the Church and that the great harm which has been caused to the Church, with the help of God's grace, will be healed.

    update: expert commentary from Canonist Ed Peters:


    I would like to say that Abp. Raymond Burke's excommunication of three women who recently participated in a pseudo-ordination in Saint Louis is a "text-book illustration" of how (non-judicial) excommunication is supposed to be applied in the Church today, but I can't say that: Why not? Because Abp. Burke's attention to juridic detail and his provision for the pastoral care of the people in his care so exceeds what the textbooks teach, that it is the textbooks that must copy from him, not him from the textbooks.

    [Read why here]
    Peters (my father) has also published a book on excommunication, entitled "Excommunication and the Catholic Church: Straight Answers to Tough Questions."

    The Archbishop almost immediatly placed the women in question under interdict (AP) after the mock ordination.

    He is also taking canonical action against renegade local priest Marek Bozek, who on March 5th refused to show at his hearing, opening him up to be dismissed from the clerical state by Rome. It's a long story.

    St. Louis Catholic beat me to the punch on this story by about an hour, and with good coverage.

    update: more background....


    A picture of Fresen simulating an ordination of Hudson and McGrath:

    The event took place, St. Louis Jewish Light reports, at a Jewish synagogue by the name of "Central Reform Congregation." However, "The Jewish Community Relations Council .... released a statement that CRC's decision to host the ceremony does not represent the greater Jewish community." Indeed, they've done everything they can to distance themselves from it.

    Not so Pamela Schaeffer of the National Catholic Reporter, who was all agog at the development. Hudson and McGrath are listed on the "Roman Catholic WomenPriests" website as "ordained." At the time, Womens Ordination issued a press release which read: "Over 600 Cheer at Ordination of Two Roman Catholic Women Hosted by a Synagogue in St. Louis."

    Finally, Bridget Mary, herself a "woman priest", notifies us that each of the excommunicated women received a decree at their respective homes by a courier. Some justifications for women's ordination she lists?


    Recent scholarship affirms that women were ordained in the first twelve hundred years of the church’s history. The first half of the church’s history provides us with images and accounts of the inclusion of women in Holy Orders that contradict the later prohibition. The evidence provides a tradition we reclaim.
    With facts like this one, I wonder how they can claim that the Catholic Church is out of touch.

    In all seriousness, we should pray for these women that they may realize the gravity of their actions, the peril of their souls, and joyfully be reconciled to the Church. What's really going to get me is when the media reporters chime in and support their delusion. That's no help.

    We should support Archbishop Burke because he is bravely performing the duties of his office.

    update: the first AP "breaking news" report is accurate and balanced. We'll see what follows it.

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    Saturday, February 02, 2008

    Canon Law: Fr. Maciel was not 'suspended' (+ Brazilian excommunication clarification)

    From the In the Light of the Law blog (which was recently described in the National Catholic Register as the "only canon law blog on the internet" - a factually arguable but functionally correct assertion), comes this important clarification regarding the ex-leader of the Legionaries of Christ:

    "I would caution against describing Maciel having been "suspended" or "penalized" by the Holy See."

    [Read why here.]

    See also (unrelated to Maciel, but related to Canon Law): "Brazilian excommunication warning."

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    Monday, January 14, 2008

    Milingo arrives in Rome, is promptly denied Communion

    This Italian priest knew his duty, (and wasn't afraid to perform it) as CNS reports:

    At the start of a visit to Italy, excommunicated Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo was denied Communion when he attended a Mass at a local parish church near Naples.

    The former Zambian archbishop and his wife, Maria Sung, attended an early evening Mass at a local church in Pompeii Jan. 10, one day after his arrival in Italy from South Korea.

    When the archbishop approached the celebrant -- Father Francesco Soprano -- he refused the Eucharist to the archbishop, who then reportedly blessed the celebrant and lightly touched his head, according to Italian media reports.

    Why is Milingo in Rome?

    In response to reporters' questions upon his arrival in Rome Jan. 9, the archbishop said he was in Rome also to work on another new book and a DVD "that talks about my life." He said he had doctors' appointments to check on a knee that was operated on a few years ago and an eye exam for a possible cataract removal.

    Related: Previous AmP posts on excommunicated Milingo.

    [picture: source.]

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    Wednesday, May 30, 2007

    Canon Lawyer Ed Peters assesses recent claims re: excommunication in First Things

    In the Light of the Law:

    [Ed Peters says:] Robert Miller's important essay for First Things (30 May 2007), wherein he says that, in accord with Canon 1398, "the Church should declare openly that [Catholic politicians] have incurred the penalty of excommunication latae sententiae", must be carefully read before considering my remarks.

    ...

    But if Miller, with everything he brings to the discussion, is wrong in asserting that Canon 1398 can reach pro-abortion Catholic politicians, and I think he is wrong, does that not mean that the time has come to conclude this particular debate and focus on other ecclesiastical responses, including canonical ones, to the grave scandal these people give?

    [Read the full essay here.]

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    Wednesday, May 16, 2007

    Honduran Cardinal further muddies excommunication waters

    Time Magazine claims says in a recent interview that "some say Honduran Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga has the stuff to one day become Pope." Well, in terms of problematic public statements regarding excommunication and pro-abortion politicians, it seems that Maradiaga is actually well ahead of Pope Benedict and the Vatican press office.

    In the Light of the Law tries to clean things up:

    Prescinding for a moment from who said it, a recent interview with a conscientious priest on the subject of abortion, excommunication, and denial of the Eucharist, illustrates well just how widespread is the confusion in this area. In my opinion, these fundamental points must be sorted out, once and for all, so that those who must apply the norms to real cases can do so responsibly.

    I make some suggestions toward that goal here (the analysis chart is easier to read on my website).
    Phil Lawler of CWNews has his own comments here (subscriber access - which I don't have - needed to read the full story).

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    Sunday, May 13, 2007

    Sunday: Benedict in Brazil (Fifth & Final Day)

    Today is Pope Benedict's fifth and final day in Brazil, during which he will celebrate Mass at the famous shrine of Aparecida and inaugurate the fifth general conferences of Latin American and Caribbean bishops, before departing and flying back to the Vatican in the evening. Once again, this post will be updated and expanded throughout the day, so keep visiting. Thanks!

    NB: Complete roundup of my coverage here, the best photos from the trip are available here.

    Sunday's papal itinerary (all times EST):

    9:00AM - Holy Mass in the square in front of the Shrine of Aparecida [Homily of the Holy Father] + Recitation of the Regina Caeli [Address of the Holy Father]
    3:00PM - Arrival at the Conference Hall & Inauguration session of the Fifth General Conference of the Latin American and Caribbean Bishops' Conferences [Address of the Holy Father]
    6:40PM - Farewell ceremony at the Airport of São Paulo [Address of the Holy Father]

    Top News & Breaking Reports:


    Important general links:

    Papal texts and transcripts:


    Notable St. Blog's coverage:

    Catholic media coverage/analysis:

    Mainstream coverage (linked not necessarily for accuracy, but to remain informed):

    The rest:

    Special thanks to Amy Welborn, Domenico Bettinelli, Gerald Augustinus and Rocco Palmo for inviting their readers to my coverage. Special thanks also to Teresa Benedetta and the other regular contributors of the PapaRatzingerForum for their incredible industry and dedication to all things Papa Benny!

    Note: For the especially-motivated, even more interesting facts, photos & video here.

    Note: I will try to watch EWTN's live coverage of the Pope inaugurating the conference of bishops at 3pm, and "liveblogging" some of my reactions in the combox below.

    [photo credit & captions: (1) Pope Benedict XVI blesses the crowd as he arrives for the opening mass of the V Latin American Episcopal Council in Aparecida, Brazil, Sunday, May 13, 2007. (AP Photo/Dado Galdieri) (2)Pope Benedict XVI blesses faithful catholic wearing an Arab headscarfduring the opening mass of the V General Conference of Latin American Bishops in Aparecida, Brazil, Sunday, May 13, 2007. (AP Photo/Dado Galdieri) (3) General view of the grounds of the Aparecida Basilica during the opening mass for the V General Conference of Latin American Bishops celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI in Aparecida, Brazil, Sunday, May 13, 2007. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)]

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    Saturday, May 12, 2007

    Saturday: Benedict in Brazil (Day Four)

    Today, Pope Benedict continues his apostolic journey to Brazil for a fourth day, visiting a center for drug rehabilitation and then praying the rosary at the famous Shrine of Aparecida. Once again, this post will be updated and expanded throughout the day, so keep visiting!

    NB: Complete roundup of my coverage here, the best photos from the trip here.

    Highlights of Saturday's papal itinerary (all times EST):

    10.30AM - Arrival at the Fazenda da Esperança in Guaratinguetá [Greetings & Address of the Holy Father]
    11.45AM - Luncheon with the representatives of the Fifth General Conference of the Latin American and Caribbean Bishops' Conferences at "Bom Jesus" Seminary in Aparecida
    5PM - Arrival at the Shrine of Aparecida; Recitation of the Holy Rosary and meeting with Priests, Men Religious, Women Religious, Seminarians and Deacons at the Basilica of the Shrine of Aparecida [Address of the Holy Father]
    7:30PM - Transfer by car from the Shrine of Aparecida to "Bom Jesus" Seminary

    Top News & Breaking Reports:

    Important general links:

    Papal texts and transcripts:

    Notable St. Blog's coverage:

    Catholic media coverage/analysis:

    Mainstream coverage (linked not necessarily for accuracy, but to remain informed):

    From this morning's Vatican Information Service:

    VATICAN CITY, MAY 12, 2007 (VIS) - Today, Saturday May 12, having celebrated Mass privately in the chapel of the "Bom Jesus" seminary, the Pope will visit the church of the "Fazenda da Esperanca" in Guaratingueta.

    He will then go on to meet members of the "Fazenda da Esperanca" community, which is dedicated to the rehabilitation of people with problems of drug abuse.

    At midday he will return to the "Bom Jesus" seminary for lunch with representatives of the presidency of the Fifth General Conference of the Episcopate of Latin America and the Caribbean.

    At 6 p.m. (11 p.m. in Rome), he will travel to the shrine of Aparecida to pray the Rosary and meet with priests, religious, seminarians and deacons of Brazil.

    The rest:

    Special thanks to Amy Welborn, Domenico Bettinelli, Gerald Augustinus and Rocco Palmo for inviting their readers to my coverage. Special thanks also to Teresa Benedetta and the other regular contributors of the PapaRatzingerForum for their incredible industry and dedication to all things Papa Benny!

    Note: For the especially-motivated, even more interesting facts, photos & video here.

    Note 2: tba

    [photo credit & captions: (1) Faithful greet Pope Benedict XVI at the 'Fazenda da Esperanca' or 'Farm or Hope' drug rehabilitation center in Guaratingueta, Brazil, Saturday, May 12, 2007. (AP Photo/Victor Caivano) (2) Pope Benedict XVI hugs children during a visit to a drug rehabilitation center called 'Fazenda da Esperanca' or Farm of Hope in Guaratingueta, Brazil, Saturday, May 12, 2007. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan) (3) People attend an event with Pope Benedict XVI at a drug rehabilitation center called 'Fazenda da Esperanca' or Farm of Hope in Guaratingueta, Brazil, Saturday, May 12, 2007. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)

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    Friday, May 11, 2007

    Friday: Benedict in Brazil (Day Three)

    Today, Pope Benedict continues his apostolic journey to Brazil for a third day, celebrating the canonization Mass of Brazil's first native-born saint (Bl. Fr. Antonio Galvao) and then spending the night near the famous Shrine of Aparecida. Once again, this post will be updated and expanded throughout the day, so keep visiting!

    NB: Complete roundup of my coverage here, the best photos from the trip here.

    Highlights of Friday's papal itinerary (all times EST):

    8:30 AM Canonization Mass of Blessed Frei Galvão at Campo de Marte in São Paulo
    3:00 PM Vespers with the Bishops of Brazil in the Catedral da Sé in São Paulo
    7:00 PM Arrival at the heliport of the Shrine of Aparecida; Welcome by the local Authorities; Transfer by "popemobile" to the "Bom Jesus" Seminary in Aparecida [where he will spend the night]

    Top News & Breaking Reports:

    Important general links:

    Papal texts and transcripts:

    Notable St. Blog's coverage:

    Catholic media coverage/analysis:

    Mainstream coverage (linked not necessarily for accuracy, but to remain informed):

    From this morning's Vatican Information Service:

    VATICAN CITY, MAY 11, 2007 (VIS) - Today in Sao Paulo's "Campo de Marte" field at 9.30 a.m. (2.30 p.m. in Rome), the Pope will preside at Mass during which he will canonize Blessed Antonio de Santa Ana Galvao O.F.M., known as Frei Galvao, who will thus become the first native-born Brazilian saint.

    At 4 p.m. (9 p.m. in Rome), having bid farewell to his hosts at the monastery of Sao Bento, the Holy Father will meet and address Brazilian bishops in Sao Paulo's "da Se" cathedral.

    At 6 p.m. local time, the Holy Father is due to depart by helicopter from Campo de Marte airport and fly to Aparecida, site of Brazil's most famous shrine which each year welcomes around eight million faithful.

    The origins of the Aparecida shrine date back to the discovery of an image of the Virgin in the year 1717. Three fishermen, after various fruitless attempts at a catch, threw out their nets once more and drew up a small statue of Our Lady, dark in color and without a head. Casting their nets again, they discovered the head and, at the third attempt, drew in their nets full of fish. The three recognized in this event a sign of the divine protection of the Virgin. From that year on, veneration of Our Lady started to spread among the people who called her simply "Aparecida."

    Having landed at the shrine's heliport Benedict XVI will go to the "Bom Jesus" missionary seminary where he will dine and spend the night.

    The rest:

    Special thanks to Amy Welborn, Domenico Bettinelli, Gerald Augustinus and Rocco Palmo for inviting their readers to my coverage. Special thanks also to Teresa Benedetta and the other regular contributors of the PapaRatzingerForum for their incredible industry and dedication to all things Papa Benny!

    Note: For the especially-motivated, even more interesting facts, photos & video here.

    Note 2: tba

    [photo credit & captions: (1) Pope Benedict XVI celebrates mass in the Campo de Marte military airport in Sao Paulo May 11, 2007. Friar Galvao, born in 1739 in the nearby city of Guaratingueta as Antonio de Sant'Anna Galvao, ordained a Franciscan priest and considered the author of many miracles during his lifetime, will be canonized by the Pope during the mass. REUTERS/Caetano Barreira (BRAZIL) (2) Pope Benedict XVI carries a censer during his visit to Campo de Marte in Sao Paulo. Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims have filled a Sao Paulo park for an open-air mass during which the pontiff canonized Brazil's first saint. (AFP/Antonio Scorza) (3) A priest watches an image of Jesus in front of a picture of Brazilian Franciscan monk Antonio Galvao before a mass for his canonization by Pope Benedict XVI in Sao Paulo, Friday, May 11, 2007. (AP Photo/Dado Galdieri)]

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    Thursday, May 10, 2007

    Day Two: Benedict in Brazil

    *Day Three Coverage HERE*
    Pope Benedict continues his sixth apostolic journey for the second day today. This is his first papal trip outside of Europe (excluding Turkey), traveling in the most populous Catholic country in the world, Brazil. Please stay tuned for complete coverage.

    NB: Complete roundup of coverage here, top photos of the trip here.

    Thursday's papal itinerary (all times EST):

    8.00-10:30 Private Mass at the Chapel of the Monastery
    11.00-12:00 Visit to the President of the Republic
    12.30 Meeting with the representatives of other Christian confessions and religions
    13.15 Luncheon with the representatives of the Episcopal Conference of Brazil (CNBB)
    18.00-20:00 Meeting with the youth at "Paulo Machado de Carvalho" municipal Stadium [Address of the Holy Father]
    20.30 Arrival at the Monastery of São Bento, São Paulo.

    Best of the Best & Breaking News:

    Important general links:

    Papal texts and transcripts:


    Most recent headlines:


    Notable St. Blog's coverage:

    Catholic media coverage/analysis:

    Mainstream coverage (linked not necessarily for accuracy, but to remain informed):

    From this morning's Vatican Information Service:


    Summary of Apostolic Trip to Brazil (May-9-10):

    CHRISTIAN VALUES WILL NEVER BE ERADICATED
    POPE REPLIES TO JOURNALISTS' IN-FLIGHT QUESTIONS
    VISIT TO PRESIDENT LULA AND MEETING WITH YOUNG PEOPLE

    The rest:

    Special thanks to Amy Welborn and Domenico Bettinelli for inviting their readers to my coverage. Special thanks also to Teresa Benedetta and the other regular contributors of the PapaRatzingerForum for their incredible industry and dedication to all things Papa Benny!

    Note: For the especially-motivated, even more interesting facts, photos & video here.

    Note 2: I intend to watch Pope Benedict's visit with young people on EWTN today [here] at 5PM EST, and might do some "live blogging" in the commentbox below....

    [photo credit & captions: (1) Pope Benedict XVI is cheered by faithful as he leaves Sao Bento Monastery - AP Photo/L'osservatore Romano. (2) Brazilian nuns wait for a public meeting with Pope Benedict XVI outside Pacaembu stadium - AP Photo/Dado Galdieri. (3) Catholic pilgrims cry after Pope Benedict XVI appears on the balcony of the Sao Bento monastery - AFP/Martin Bernatti.]

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    Wednesday, May 09, 2007

    Day One: Benedict in Brazil

    *Day Two Coverage HERE*

    Pope Benedict begins his sixth apostolic journey today, his first papal trip outside of Europe (excluding Turkey), to the most populous Catholic country in the world, Brazil. Please stay tuned for complete coverage.

    Today's papal itinerary (all times EST):

    4:30 - Arrival at the International Airport of São Paulo/Guarulhos.
    Welcome ceremony at the International Airport of São Paulo/Guarulhos [Papal address]
    5:30 - Transfer by helicopter from the International Airport of São Paulo/Guarulhos to the Campo de Marte Airport in São Paulo
    6:00 - Arrival at Campo de Marte Airport in São Paulo. Welcome by the local authorities
    6:10 - Transfer by "popemobile" from Campo de Marte Airport to the Monastery of São Bento in São Paulo
    6:45 - Arrival to the Monastery of São Bento in São Paulo
    Greeting and blessing from the balcony of the Monastery of São Bento in São Paulo [Papal address]

    Best of the Best & Breaking News:

    Important general links:

    Papal texts and transcripts:
    Most recent headlines:

    Notable St. Blog's coverage:

    Catholic media coverage/analysis:

    Mainstream coverage:

    From this morning's Vatican Information Service:

    VATICAN CITY, MAY 9, 2007 (VIS) - At 9 a.m. this morning, the Pope departed by plane from Rome's Fiumicino airport bound for Brazil. The 9,477-kilometer flight is expected to last twelve and a half hours and the papal plane is scheduled to land at the international airport of Sao Paulo / Guarulhos in Brazil at 4.30 p.m. local time, 9.30 p.m. in Rome.

    The Holy Father will be greeted at the airport by Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the president of the Federal Republic of Brazil. Following the welcome ceremony, during which Benedict XVI will deliver a talk, the Pope will travel by helicopter to the "Campo de Marte" airport where he will be received by the local authorities.

    At 6.10 p.m. (11.10 p.m. in Rome), the Holy Father will travel by popemobile to the monastery of Sao Bento where he will be staying during his time in Sao Paulo. The complex of buildings includes, apart from the Benedictine monastery, the Sao Benito College, one of the most prestigious schools in Sao Paulo, and the basilica of Our Lady of the Assumption.

    Following a moment of prayer in the monastery's chapel, the Pope will appear at the balcony to greet and bless the faithful gathered below.
    The rest:

    Special thanks to Amy Welborn and Domenico Bettinelli for inviting their readers to my coverage. Special thanks also to Teresa Benedetta and the other regular contributors of the PapaRatzingerForum for their incredible industry and dedication to all things Papa Benny!

    Note: For the especially-motivated, even more interesting facts, photos & video here.

    Note 2: I'll be posting comments in the comment box below as I watch live TV coverage of the Pope today. You are more than welcome to do the same!

    [photo credit: REUTERS/Dario Pignatelli (ITALY)]
    [photp captions: (1) Pope Benedict XVI descends from his personal helicopter as he arrives at Rome's Fiumicino International airport to leave for Brazil. (2) The Alitalia Boeing 777-200 plane, with Pope Benedict XVI onboard, leaves the Rome's Leonardo da Vinci international airport. (3) Pope Benedict XVI boards an Alitalia Boeing 777-200 plane at Rome's Leonardo da Vinci international airport.]

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    Vatican's clarification re: Pope's comments on excommunication, abortion, etc.

    The Associated Press has a follow-up (underlining mine):

    Pope Benedict XVI denounced Mexico City politicians Wednesday for voting to legalize abortion, saying they should no longer receive Communion.

    Flying to Latin America, Benedict was asked about comments by Mexico City church officials that the lawmakers would be excommunicated for having voted last month for the legislation legalizing abortion in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

    "It's nothing new, it's normal, it wasn't arbitrary. It is what is foreseen by the church's doctrine," Benedict told reporters aboard a plane to Brazil in his first full-fledged news conference since becoming pontiff in 2005.

    Reporters flying with the pope took his comments to mean that he endorsed the comments by Mexican churchmen that the lawmakers should be excommunicated.

    But the Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, later issued a statement approved by the pope clarifying the remarks. The statement said the pope did not intend to excommunicate anyone. Politicians who vote in favor of abortion should not receive the sacrament of Holy Communion, Lombardi said.

    "Since excommunication hasn't been declared by the Mexican bishops, the pope has no intention himself of declaring it," said Lombardi, who was on board the plane. "Legislative action in favor of abortion is incompatible with participation in the Eucharist. ... Politicians exclude themselves from Communion."

    Pressed further by journalists if the lawmakers were excommunicated, Lombardi reiterated: "No, they exclude themselves from Communion."

    Which, I believe, is prettymuch exactly what my father just got done saying in his post.
    [photo: REUTERS/Tony Gentile (BRAZIL)]

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    Monday, February 05, 2007

    Muddled in Austria

    In the Light of the Law takes a look:
    News reports that Salzburg (Austria) auxiliary bishop Andreas Laun has excommunicated one Richard Lugner for allowing an abortion clinic to open in one of his shopping malls, are a mess. No wonder Vienna's Christoph Cdl. Schoenborn is keeping his distance. [More...]

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