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Wednesday 1 August 2012

Many posts today

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On the Congregation for Catholic Education

This part of the Curia should be very busy these days.

I think if I just kept up with all the Vatican documents and read all of St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine, I would be so happy and busy for the rest of my life.

A document on fostering priestly vocations has come out this year. Did you know there is a Congregation relating to this in the Vatican? Here is the Profile and then back to the document in a following post.

In 1588, with the Constitution "Immensa," Pope Sixtus V erected the "Congregatio pro universitate studii romani" to supervise the studies at the University of Rome and other notable universities of the time, including Bologna, Paris and Salamanca.
Leo XII, in 1824, created the "Congregatio studiorum" for the schools of the Papal States which, starting in 1870, began to exercise authority over Catholic universities. The 1908 reform by St. Pius X confirmed this responsibility. Seven years later, Pope Benedict XV erected in this Congregation the section for seminaries (which existed within the Consistorial Congregation), joined to it the "Congregatio studiorum," and gave it the title of "Congregatio de Seminariis et Studiorum Universitatibus."
Pope Paul VI in 1967 gave it the name "Sacra Congregatio pro institutione Catholica." Today's name - the Congregation for Catholic Education (in Seminaries and Institutes of Study) - was received in 1988 with John Paul II's "Pastor Bonus."
As do all congregations, it has a prefect, secretary and under-secretary who are, respectively, Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, Archbishop Jean-Louis Brugu├Ęs, O.P., and Msgr. A.Vincenzo Zani. It has 31 members - cardinals, archbishops and bishops - a staff of 25, and 31 consultors. Within this congregation is the Pontifical Work of Priestly Vocations, whose president is Cardinal Grocholewski.
This dicastery has authority in three diverse sectors: over all seminaries (except those falling within the jurisdiction of the Congregations for the Evangelization of Peoples and for Oriental Churches) and houses of formation of religious and secular institutes; over all universities, faculties, institutes and higher schools of study, either ecclesial or civil dependent on ecclesial persons; over all schools and educational institutes depending on ecclesiastical authorities.
Activity within the Office for Seminaries includes apostolic visits to Catholic institutions, preparation to receive bishops during their "ad limina" visits, nomination of rectors and the erection of seminaries. It has produced the "Directives on the Preparation of Educators in Seminaries" and constituted the Commission for a More Just Distribution of Priests in the World. It also produces a magazine entitled "Seminarium."
The congregation's second section, the Office for Universities, is responsible for, among other activities, approving new statutes for new or existing educational centers, nominating or confirming rectors and deans and approving the conferment of "honoris causa" doctoral degrees. It has published norms - due to an increased request - for those institutes or universities wishing to merge.
The Office for Catholic Schools collaborates with other dicasteries of the Roman Curia on questions of mutual interest, has contacts with bishops and with pontifical representatives abroad to remain abreast of the educational systems throughout the world and maintains relations with national and international Catholic organizations on matters concerning Catholic education.
Some of the issues treated by this office regard the teaching of sex education in Catholic schools, problems related to the teaching of moral or religious matters in public schools, the closing of Catholic schools in some countries or, in others, the juridical recognition of Catholic schools and ecclesial goods and properties.
In 1994 the Congregation for Catholic Education, in collaboration with the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, organized the 1st Latin American Continental Congress on Vocations, which took place in Sao Paulo, Brazil, from May 23-27. The 32nd World Day of Prayer for Vocations occurred this year.
The congregation yearly publishes statistics on the number of seminarians and priestly ordinations throughout the world: these appear in both the Activity of the Holy See and in the Pontifical Yearbook or "annuario."

Great Britain, Mission Country

One in twelve people in Great Britain are Catholic, which means about five million people. Only one million attend Mass regularly. Great Britain is a missionary country greatly in need of both vocations to the priesthood and to the married life.

I know some families with lots of children-they are SSPX families. I do not know large Catholic families outside the TLM parishes. Why? We know the reason is the general rejection of Humanae Vitae and the refusal of so many priests to preach the truth about this encyclical.

St. Edmund Campion

Missionary countries need strong men and women to catechize and be good examples for the rest of the society. In a missionary country, one cannot sit back and pretend that the status quo is fine. Sadly, even some missionary priests from missionary orders are not as strong and upfront as they should be with the Faith.

That the Church was persecuted for hundreds of years here makes a difference to the pysche of some people. There is a fear culture about religion which does not exist in the States, yet. That fear culture here is based on the history of persecution and on too many "mixed marriages". Catholics are afraid to be Catholic. One can hope and pray that the next generation, who are chosing to live the life of Faith more outwardly than their parents can turn the tide. But, it will take something more than a generational change, it will take another persecution to make the Church grow and be strong here.

God has His ways to bring people to themselves and to salvation. We must pay attention, pray, decide, act.

Pray for missionaries.

Hampshire and Berkshire in Bloom

England in the countryside is truly beautiful. Traveling though Berkshire and Hampshire, one sees the roses blooming, baskets of annuals, swans in the small rivers and lakes, Copper and Purple Beeches, and chaffinches.

England at its best is not London today, but the old villages and towns with churches, small lanes which end up in pubs, children playing everywhere in the parks and old couples walking by the streams.

Forget the Olympics. Go for a walk in the country.

If you don't read, you should

A Reminder of a Great Prayer

God has crated me to do Him some definite service. He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have my mission. I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons. I shall do good and be a preacher of truth in my own place." Blessed John Henry Newman adapted....

Relativism and Naivete

Relativism causes naivete. I have realized that those young people and maybe not so young who make assumptions about the past or the present without study and without a moral view become increasingly relativistic.

The crusades were one subject and Islam was the other being discussed.

If one has not studied the past and if one has not looked at the reality of such news as comes out of the Middle East and Europe daily, and if one has no moral or religious framework with which to judge things, then all religions look the same.

That the Catholics fought for freedom is a reality. We have two days in our liturgical calendar which celebrate victories over the old armies of Islam. Some Catholics may not want to be reminded of that truth:September 12th, honors Mary giving Catholics and the West victory at the Battle of Vienna. October 7th, the Feast of the Most Holy Rosary, celebrates Mary intercession at the Battle of Lepanto.

Catholics have views on such things. We have a long tradition of freedom and the realization of a loving Father. We are sons and daughters of a king, not slaves.

The second problem in discussions concerning Islam and the Crusades is that some people want to make the argument personal. That is, because they know one good person who is a moderate Muslim, than all criticisms are not charitable.  Sadly, the moderate Muslims are those who are not practicing their own faith-they may not believe in sharia law. They could be ostracized by some in their own religion.

Relativism deadens the mind and pretends there are no differences in creeds or laws. Relativism is historically blind. The lack of true Catholic and classical education has led to this stage of denial in our cultures in the West.

Let us pray for all involved that their minds may be enlightened and they may desire truth.

Again, on private revelations.

I cannot repeat enough that private revelations do not have to be believed by Catholics. That some people become angry when their favorite apparition is not accepted is not charitable.

I do not mean, of course, the ones which are on the universal or even local calendars of the Church Liturgical year. Those are obviously approved. Therefore, the Catholic Church universally honors Mary as Our Lady of Fatima and Our Lady of Lourdes, among other older ones, and local names.

If the apparitions have not been approved, these are not on the calendar. The same is true for visions of Our Lord, such as the Divine Mercy and The Sacred Heart of Jesus. These wonderful visions and gifts to the Church are on the universal Church calendar.

Thanks to Wiki

I would hope that charity would prevail among those who follow newer and non-approved visions. These are not dogma or doctrine. One must not judge those who choose not to believe in apparitions or visions. If one has had a spiritual experience of the Holy Spirit through some apparition, be grateful, but do not assume that others must accept an unapproved apparition.