December 18, 1997   vol 8, no.55

     SECTION ONE     
To print out SECTION TWO, click here

One Week until Christmas

      The true countdown to Christmas morning has begun as we scurry to complete all that is on our pre-Christmas itinerary. As we do, don't forget Advent is a time for preparation and in this final week of Advent, in order to worthily receive the Messiah in the Holy Eucharist at Holy Mass, we need to prepare our souls and cleanse our souls and hearts of any transgressions against God and our neighbors. The Sacrament of Penance is the perfect way to accomplish this and we remind you most parishes this week are offering extended hours for confession. Don't let this opportunity pass you by or there may be no room at the "Inn" - the everlasting Inn, when it's your time to check in. Today's capsule paragraphs on catechetical teaching of the Sarament of Reconciliation treats the effects of sin and how confession erases sin from our souls but we still need to pay for them - either here or in Purgatory. Click on CATECHISM CAPSULES

Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation

    The Sacraments are part and parcel of our lives and so we continue our "capsule series" on each of the Sacraments, bringing you a few capsule paragraphs each day from both the new Catechism of the Catholic Church and the old Baltimore Catechism. It is appropriate that we begin Advent with the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation, better known as "Confession." There are various terms for this sacrament of healing. It has often been called the key to the door, for without this key sacrament we cannot receive Jesus in Holy Communion nor can a candidate be confirmed. The Sacrament of Penance reminds us of our humanness and our total dependence on the Mercy of God. Along with the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick or Extreme Unction, Penance/Reconciliation is a sacrament of healing.

No. 1472 and 1473, page 370 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church: The Celebration of the Christian Mystery; Chapter Two - The Sacraments of Healing; Libreria Editrice Vaticana: Urbi Et Orbi Communications:

      To understand this doctrine and practice of the Church, it is necessary to understand that sin has a double consequence. Grave sin deprives us of communion with God and therefore makes us incapable of eternal life, the privation of which is called the "eternal punishment" of sin. On the other hand every sin, even venial, entails an unhealthy attachment to creatures, which must be purified either here on earth, or after death in the state called Purgatory. This purification frees one from what is called the "temporal punishment" of sin. These two punishments must not be conceived of as a kind of vengeance inflicted by God from without, but as following from the very nature of sin. A conversion which proceeds from a fervent charity can attain the complete purification of the sinner in such a way that no punishment would remain. (Cf. Council of Trent (1551): DS 1712-13; (1563): 1820).

     The forgiveness of sin and restoration of communion with God entail the remission of the eternal punishment of sin, but temporal punishment of sin remains. While patiently bearing sufferings and trials of all kinds and, when the day comes, serenely facing death, the Christian must strive to accept this temporal punishment of sin as a grace. He should strive by works of mercy and charity, as well as by prayer and the various practices of penance, to put off completely the "old man" and to put on the "new man." (Ephesians 4: 22, 24).

From the Baltimore Catechism No. 4; Benziger Brothers, Inc. and Tan Books and Publishers, Inc. Nos. 420 and 423.

Q. What kind of punishment are due to sin?
A. There are two kinds: the eternal punishment of hell, due to unforgiven mortal sins, and temporal punishment, lasting only for a time, due to venial sins and also to mortal sins after they have been forgiven.

Q. Where do we pay the debt of our temporal punishment?
A. We pay the debt of our temporal punishment either in this life or in Purgatory.

Mary and Joseph enroute...

      The Holy Couple had left Nazareth, enroute to Bethlehem on the dusty road. Mary must have been considerably uncomfortable as her due date drew near and riding atop the beast of burden couldn't have helped her constitution, but yet she persevered and prayed as Joseph kept steady sentinel at her side as we shuffled alongside. Perseverance and prayer are the essence of the messages imparted to the Hidden Flower of the Immaculate Heart with messages one hundred twelve, after one hundred eleven which the Hidden Flower depicts the interior vision she was given. Click on "I SOLEMNLY TELL YOU..."

Message One Hundred Eleven: September 24, 1991

(An interior vision Imparted to the Hidden Flower of the Immaculate Heart)
           I now see in interior vision Medjugorje. In its very center there is a golden light, as of a flame which flickers but does not go out. All around is a horrible blackness as if it were a living thing. This blackness increases in depth and height pressing against the golden light. From above I see Our Blessed Mother suspended in the heavens. Clad in a black dress, her head is bowed sorrowfully, her hands at her breast. Tears fall from her eyes. Her hands fall and open and her mantle seems to sweep across the universe. When she does this I see millions of tiny flickering golden lights in millions of places. Each golden light ascends to her mantle where, like embers brought to glorious life, the universe begins to glow with an indescribable light. The small light in Medjugorje grows at an astounding rate, joins with all the other golden rays that in an instant the entire universe is swept by the light and the blackness is gone. Above in the firmament, Christ's cross appears and is immense. Many looks up, adoring the Cross and she offers it to us on earth. She beckons us to join her at the foot of the cross, and the golden light breaks into countless smaller crosses. I understand these are the faithful remnant. The little ones beneath her mantle.

      O! How she loves us. She begs us to convert, to love, to receive God's peace. We must all be beacons of light and join our feeble efforts to her Son's infinite merits. God shall conquer. The justice comes. Pray! Pray! Pray!

Message One Hundred Twelve: October 1, 1991,

(Imparted to the Hidden Flower by the Immaculate Heart of Mary)
(Feast of St. Therese of the Child Jesus, the Little Flower)

      Beloved Hidden Flower, to all my beloved little ones I say: Offer every day of the month of October to God for my intentions. Commit yourselves to say one full decade of the Rosary every day. Fast at least once a week and do it with joy. Go to Mass and Holy Communion as often as possible and to Confession at least once a month. Do all you can for my intentions, but do at least these things:

      Remember Medjugorje and also the whole world.

      Daily baptize all aborted babies and pray for all involved.

      Pray constantly to expiate your sins and those of the world.

      Pray for the world, but do so by starting with your whole family.

      Live each moment in the presence of God and neglect nothing in order to please Him.

      Pray for full conversion of heart for yourself, your family and for the world.

      I need all your prayers, sacrifices to offer my Son. This is a time to renew dedication and consecration to the Sacred Heart and to my Immaculate Heart. I want to save and lead all my children to Jesus. But everyone must help. Assist with your absolute faith, firm trust and deep love. I will help you.

      This month can be a storehouse of graces for all the world if only you heed my request. You need to store up graces in abundance for the changes descend rapidly upon a slumbering world.

      There are few, too few, who strive with hearts flame for the eternal kingdom. Pray, my children. You cannot conceive all that is to come. Put aside self in all things. Be one with God through me.

      Thank you for responding to my Call.

NEXT WEEK: Message One Hundred Thirty Five - a special Christmas Message

The manger is empty, awaiting its Prize

      Meanwhile in Bethlehem, as the innkeepers readied rooms for the expected influx of overflow visitors to their city for tax recording, a small stable tucked within a cave at the foothill of the city, cast a winter shadow over the village as animals ate and slept in the tiny confines of their abode. There were no shepherds here, only bovine and sheep who fed from a trough called a manger, replenished with hay. In one week they would give this up as their gift to the new born babe in swaddling clothes, providing their meal as meagre mattress for the new-born King. But for now it remained empty, in much the same manner as hearts do today in the face of countless persecutions and politically correct agendas which downgrade and ridicule Holy Mother Church in the media and through the vehicle Hollywood controls. Sadly, many Catholics are playing an unknowing role in this tragedy by saying nothing. Like the oxen and the sheep, they only baah and nod, plodding on with their lives with nary a thought to God's Divine Will. In the twenty sixth installment of our on-going feature megaseries we address this and specific media attacks prejudiced against the Church in the nineties as well as the manipulation and fabrication of polls that paint a picture which is totally incorrect but, in their eyes, politically correct. For the thirteenth clarion call against the false prophets of the American Church entitled "Puffed-up pontificating pushes pc poison in pursuit of parting the power of Peter", click on WHERE IS HOLY MOTHER CHURCH HEADING AS WE NEAR THE MILLENNIUM?

Wake-up Call to all Catholics the twenty sixth clarion

installment fifty-one

Beware of False Prophets in the American Church - part thirteen:
puffed-up pontificating pushes pc poison in pursuit of parting the power of Peter

      If the above sub-title seems alliterate, it is meant to be since that is our perogative in the face of political correctness today which disdains such freedoms. And the sub-title tells it all for the false prophets are wind-bags who have promoted the cause of political correctness today, sacrificing values and principles for the sake of bringing down established institution. Their main target, the most established institution in the world today: the Roman Catholic Church, founded by Jesus Christ and bequeathed to Saint Peter and continued through nearly two centuries with the unbroken line of apostolic successors - from Peter to John Paul II - the target of Catholic bashers everywhere.

      Prior to the eighties, it had always been non-Catholics attacking the Catholics, which provided a rallying point for the entire Catholic family to put aside whatever internal squabbles they might have to fend off, in a unified effort, the attacks of Catholic bashers. Now that unity was severed. Movies such as "Agnes of God" and "The Name of the Rose" were produced by these dissidents which did all in its power to "expose" the superstition aspect of the Church, relinquishing Holy Mother Church as the culprit in striving to blame the Church for the malcontents she had produced in the nuns and monks, specifically the main characters played by the national spokeswoman for liberalism in the eighties - Jane Fonda as the psycho nun and Sean Connery as the mad monk. The film industry's portrayal of Catholic clergy and teachings of the Church were cleverly undermined in subtle, subliminal ways in countless television programs - from sitcoms to dramas - where questions of abortion, marital fidelity, the seal of Confession, conduct of religious, and homosexuality were intertwined into the scripts and the negative bent seemed to always be preached by the "hero" of the program. The public began to suspect the Church was wrong because Hollywood said it! Excellent plays like "We're no angels" were rewritten into such obnoxiousness as "Nuns on the Run" to show the Church in a dumb, out-of-date light where the main characters were superior to anyone associated with the Church. Comedy shows openly criticized the Church and we all laughed. NBC's weekend staple "Saturday Night Live" began taking vicious attacks on the Church in depicting the Pope, the cardinals, priests and nuns, as well as "dumb" Catholics feeling so much guilt. To make the sign of the cross became a mockery on television and everybody was doing it.

      The sacred became truly obscene in the late eighties and early nineties when film producer and director Martin Scorsese, a fallen-away Catholic released his take on the Passion and Death of Jesus with his blasphemous "The Last Temptation of Christ." Hollywood followed suit in the ensuing years with more sordid tales of established icons in the Church with such filth as "The Pope Must Die," "The Rapture," "Priests" and recently "Primal Fear" starring the avowed Buddhist Richard Gere in which the Chicago archbishop was killed by a former altar boy for child molesting. This was an example of life imitates art for the late Cardinal Joseph L. Bernardin was accused of child molestation by a former altar boy in Cincinnati. Though the charges were dismissed because facts were fictionalized by the accuser, fiction became fact in the movie that was set in Chicago. Coincidence?

      In the early nineties, many subjects heretofore held sacred within the Church and very infrequently questioned, began going under the microscope with many noble leaders of the Church being scrutinized by the "so-called experts" - the secular media. To reinforce "their view" they enlisted modernist thinkers within the Church which further eroded the trust and confidence people once had for the Roman Catholic Church. Such an example was a "Nightline" feature on the subject of exorcism. ABC recruited modernist theologian Richard McBrien from that once noble University of Notre Dame as a supposed spokesman for the Church. News monitor Ted Koppel quizzed him constantly about Church practices and rather than defending Holy Mother Church, McBrien used it as a forum to spout his new gospel and attack the Church subliminally and directly, lashing out that the sooner the Church got rid of these superstitions including Rosary beads, praying all the time, and begins de-emphasizing the Virgin Mary, the better off the Church will be! Who's Church? McBrien's or Christ's? Yet millions of Catholics saw this program and presumed that, since McBrien was speaking "for" the Church because he was a priest (though you couldn't tell it since he went sans collar in favor of a suit and tie) that he must be right and the Church needed to change because he said so. Folks, we have underestimated the ignorance of the American people and American Catholics - many of whom bought McBrien's tirade hook, line and sinker! The priest ABC selected to depict the more traditional aspect of Holy Mother Church was a New York priest with no television presence and totally intimidated by the more media-savvy McBrien. Oh, if only a Father Ken Roberts or Scott Hahn could have been there to counter McBrien's myths! If so, many Catholics would have been alerted to the holes in McBrien's logic and realized the fraud he is, but that went on unnoticed because the hand-picked "Casper Milquetoast" opponent ABC chose cowered in a corner with nary a rebuttal.

     Also in the nineties a new phenomenon hit the scene: Gallup polls. These cleverly and insidiously fabricated questions made it a fait accomplis what the result would be just by the way they made their queries and to whom they were addressed. Soon the news spread throughout the nation and the world that 75% of American Catholics no longer believed in the True Presence. Where did they get these inflated numbers? They asked a sampling of liberal parishioners in five parishes across the nation, four of which were leaning heavily towards modernism. Out of this they deducted that this small cross section of Catholics represented the entire nation. We think not. Let us rephrase that to say: We know for a fact that is not true. Case in point as we wrote in our editorial last week: Had these figures been true, then the radical organization "We Are Church" would have had no problem acquiring their intended one million signatures calling for change in the Church that they would present personally to the Holy Father. With the kind of figures Gallup blared all over the press, one million signatures could have been attained in less than a few months. Keep in mind that this group announced their goal over a year and a half ago at a cleverly-controlled conference with Maureen Fiedler, a purported nun in the modern woman's garb, garnering the attention of media nationwide with a special endorsement by the liberal mouth of the Catholic media: the National Catholic Reporter. Last month Fiedler sheepishly admitted that her organization had only acquired 37,000 signatures. That's 963,000 short of her objective. Where were all those who Gallup claimed no longer believed and wanted drastic changes? To make matters worse for the modernists and credibility of Gallup and the rest of the media hound-dogs, a group of zealous Catholic High School students at Seton High in Virginia decided, on their own, last spring to counter the "We Are Church" campaign with their own loyalty drive under the moniker "We Are Catholic." Aided by such organizations as Human Life International, this small, but determined body of traditional Roman Catholic youth gathered 90,000 which they presented to the Pope last month. Take that Gallup, Fiedler, and McBrien! The Church is alive and thriving, despite the exaggerated reports of her demise!

      Yet, Hollywood and their bed-partner - the media - continue to beat a dead horse in bashing Catholics. They have feasted on elevating programs and policies that fly in direct contrast to all Holy Mother Church and God teach. The false prophets have canonized the homosexual, while damning the homophobe; they have praised the rebellious, while rebuking the loyalist; they have excused the abusers, while accusing the abused...tracing it all back to the Church as the culprit for foisting on us modern and enlightened thinkers the archaic, medieval practices of an "out-dated religion." Sin is accepted and brushed off, abstinence and virtue is ridiculed and painted as preposterous. No wonder our country has deteriorated so. Look at our administration; look at our media; look at who they have placed on the PC pedestal: Bill Clinton and Ellen DeGeneres. Give us a break!!! Programs in the late eighties and in the nineties have openly questioned Church teachings and beliefs in every aspect. While such trash as "Ellen" openly flaunts all that is holy, programs like "Picket Fences" made Catholic beliefs a main storyline, almost always depicting the Catholic as either superstitious, un-educated or misinformed...or worse, maladjusted. The media would leap at even a hint of abuse by a priest or nun. When the new program "Nothing Sacred" made its debut this past September on ABC touting life in an inner-city Catholic parish, few Catholics blinked at the tremendous fallacies this program spouted. Written by two dissident Jesuits, it subliminally attacked all that is sacred in the Church by spouting the new creed of the American Church. Only the Catholic League, led by William Donohue saw the dangers and rightly alerted the public to the agenda of the writers and producers of the show, as well as the carrier - ABC, now owned by Disney which has been chronicled in many articles in these pages. The difference in the scenario of the sixties and seventies compared to today is that Hollywood capitalized on the split within the Church and few loyal Catholics have bothered to object. Because of that, the Catholic bashing continues unabated with only a few voices crying in the vast wilderness - such as Donohue and his cohorts. One of those allies of the Catholic League is Jim Trageser who recently wrote an editorial in the North County Times which we will bring you in the next issue - on Christmas Day - when we present: "Catholics: Targets for the PC Police" as part of our continuing clarion call to all Catholics to wake-up and expose the false prophets of today for the sake of Christ and His One, True, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Faith.

To review all past installments of this on-going series, go to Archives beginning with the inaugural A CALL TO PEACE internet issue in January 1996. volume 7, no. 1.

Mary's journey necessitated her leaving her cousin Elizabeth, now occupied with her new-born son John

      After spending several months helping Elizabeth and bonding with her cousin, it couldn't have been easy for the Blessed Virgin to part company, but she knew that this glorious moment was near and, always complying with God's Will, she willingly undertook the journey with Joseph. As she inched along the road to Bethlehem her thoughts must have flashed back to Elizabeth's tiny baby who she held in her arms - the tiny infant Zacharia had called John - the same one who had leapt in the womb because Jesus was within Mary's womb. The two men would be reunited at the shores of the Jordan when John would baptize Jesus thirty years later. The beautiful sacrament of Baptism and the abuses that have taken place are the focus of today's Instructions handed down by the Holy See last month to rectify liturgical abuses and clarify for the laity and clergy their proper roles. We continue bringing you this entire document with the twentieth installment - Article 11 of Practical Provisions dealing with "The Minister of Baptism." Click on THE VICAR OF CHRIST SPEAKS

INSTRUCTION on Certain Questions regarding the Collaboration of the Non-ordained Faithful in the Sacred Ministry of Priest

Twentieth installment: PRACTICAL PROVISIONS - Article 11
The Minister of Baptism

Particularly praiseworthy is the faith with which many Christians, in painful circumstances of persecution, or in missionary territories or in special cases of necessity, have afforded and continue to afford the Sacrament of Baptism to new generations of Christians in the absence of ordained ministers.

Apart from cases of necessity, canonical norms permit the non ordained faithful to be designated as extraordinary ministers of Baptism (109) should there be no ordinary minister or in cases where he is impeded. (110) Care should be taken however to avoid too extensive an interpretation of this provision and such a faculty should not be conceded in an habitual form.

Thus, for example, that absence or the impediment of a sacred minister which renders licit the deputation of the lay faithful to act as an extraordinary minister of Baptism, cannot be defined in terms of the ordinary minister's excessive workload, or his non-residence in the territory of the parish, nor his non-availability on the day on which the parents wish the Baptism to take place. Such reasons are insufficient for the delegation of the non ordained faithful to act as extraordinary ministers of Baptism.

NEXT ISSUE: PRACTICAL PROVISIONS - Article 12 Leading the Celebration at Funerals

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December 18, 1997 volume 8, no. 55         DAILY CATHOLIC

December 1997