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Saturday 30 March 2013

As I am running off to Vespers, I encourage all to go to Confession

North Korea has declared itself in a "state of war". 15 post day...because I love my readers.

Europeans-Britains, remember to set your clocks ahead

Spring forward, fall back

We lose an hour here tonight.

Remember to change your clocks.

And, in a sad, sad week, we have snow predicted for April 4th here in London.

Sigh....the nuns in fifth grade told us we were going into an ice age. They were right!

Wake up time!

Well, now, common sense in Russia

I am sure some will be yelling "fascism" about this.

I guess I have to post this again--Ordinatio Sacerdotalis

Venerable Brothers in the Episcopate,
1. Priestly ordination, which hands on the office entrusted by Christ to his Apostles of teaching, sanctifying and governing the faithful, has in the Catholic Church from the beginning always been reserved to men alone. This tradition has also been faithfully maintained by the Oriental Churches.
When the question of the ordination of women arose in the Anglican Communion, Pope Paul VI, out of fidelity to his office of safeguarding the Apostolic Tradition, and also with a view to removing a new obstacle placed in the way of Christian unity, reminded Anglicans of the position of the Catholic Church: "She holds that it is not admissible to ordain women to the priesthood, for very fundamental reasons. These reasons include: the example recorded in the Sacred Scriptures of Christ choosing his Apostles only from among men; the constant practice of the Church, which has imitated Christ in choosing only men; and her living teaching authority which has consistently held that the exclusion of women from the priesthood is in accordance with God's plan for his Church."(1)
But since the question had also become the subject of debate among theologians and in certain Catholic circles, Paul VI directed the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to set forth and expound the teaching of the Church on this matter. This was done through the Declaration Inter Insigniores, which the Supreme Pontiff approved and ordered to be published.(2)
2. The Declaration recalls and explains the fundamental reasons for this teaching, reasons expounded by Paul VI, and concludes that the Church "does not consider herself authorized to admit women to priestly ordination."(3) To these fundamental reasons the document adds other theological reasons which illustrate the appropriateness of the divine provision, and it also shows clearly that Christ's way of acting did not proceed from sociological or cultural motives peculiar to his time. As Paul VI later explained: "The real reason is that, in giving the Church her fundamental constitution, her theological anthropology-thereafter always followed by the Church's Tradition- Christ established things in this way."(4)
In the Apostolic Letter Mulieris Dignitatem, I myself wrote in this regard: "In calling only men as his Apostles, Christ acted in a completely free and sovereign manner. In doing so, he exercised the same freedom with which, in all his behavior, he emphasized the dignity and the vocation of women, without conforming to the prevailing customs and to the traditions sanctioned by the legislation of the time."(5)
In fact the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles attest that this call was made in accordance with God's eternal plan; Christ chose those whom he willed (cf. Mk 3:13-14; Jn 6:70), and he did so in union with the Father, "through the Holy Spirit" (Acts 1:2), after having spent the night in prayer (cf. Lk 6:12). Therefore, in granting admission to the ministerial priesthood,(6) the Church has always acknowledged as a perennial norm her Lord's way of acting in choosing the twelve men whom he made the foundation of his Church (cf. Rv 21:14). These men did not in fact receive only a function which could thereafter be exercised by any member of the Church; rather they were specifically and intimately associated in the mission of the Incarnate Word himself (cf. Mt 10:1, 7-8; 28:16-20; Mk 3:13-16; 16:14-15). The Apostles did the same when they chose fellow workers(7) who would succeed them in their ministry.(8) Also included in this choice were those who, throughout the time of the Church, would carry on the Apostles' mission of representing Christ the Lord and Redeemer.(9)
3. Furthermore, the fact that the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God and Mother of the Church, received neither the mission proper to the Apostles nor the ministerial priesthood clearly shows that the non-admission of women to priestly ordination cannot mean that women are of lesser dignity, nor can it be construed as discrimination against them. Rather, it is to be seen as the faithful observance of a plan to be ascribed to the wisdom of the Lord of the universe.
The presence and the role of women in the life and mission of the Church, although not linked to the ministerial priesthood, remain absolutely necessary and irreplaceable. As the Declaration Inter Insigniores points out, "the Church desires that Christian women should become fully aware of the greatness of their mission: today their role is of capital importance both for the renewal and humanization of society and for the rediscovery by believers of the true face of the Church."(10)
The New Testament and the whole history of the Church give ample evidence of the presence in the Church of women, true disciples, witnesses to Christ in the family and in society, as well as in total consecration to the service of God and of the Gospel. "By defending the dignity of women and their vocation, the Church has shown honor and gratitude for those women who-faithful to the Gospel-have shared in every age in the apostolic mission of the whole People of God. They are the holy martyrs, virgins and mothers of families, who bravely bore witness to their faith and passed on the Church's faith and tradition by bringing up their children in the spirit of the Gospel."(11)
Moreover, it is to the holiness of the faithful that the hierarchical structure of the Church is totally ordered. For this reason, the Declaration Inter Insigniores recalls: "the only better gift, which can and must be desired, is love (cf. 1 Cor 12 and 13). The greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven are not the ministers but the saints."(12)
4. Although the teaching that priestly ordination is to be reserved to men alone has been preserved by the constant and universal Tradition of the Church and firmly taught by the Magisterium in its more recent documents, at the present time in some places it is nonetheless considered still open to debate, or the Church's judgment that women are not to be admitted to ordination is considered to have a merely disciplinary force.
Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the Church's divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32) I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church's faithful.
Invoking an abundance of divine assistance upon you, venerable brothers, and upon all the faithful, I impart my apostolic blessing.
From the Vatican, on May 22, the Solemnity of Pentecost, in the year 1994, the sixteenth of my Pontificate.

1. Paul VI, Response to the Letter of His Grace the Most Reverend Dr. F.D. Coggan, Archbishop of Canterbury, concerning the Ordination of Women to the Priesthood (November 30, 1975); AAS 68 (1976), 599.
2. Cf. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Declaration Inter Insigniores on the question of the Admission of Women to the Ministerial Priesthood (October 15, 1976): AAS 69 (1977), 98-116.
3. Ibid., 100.
4. Paul VI, Address on the Role of Women in the Plan of Salvation (January 30, 1977): Insegnamenti, XV (1977), 111. Cf. Also John Paul II Apostolic Exhortation Christifideles laici (December 30, 1988), n. 51: AAS 81 (1989), 393-521; Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1577.
5. Apsotolic Letter Mulieris Dignnitatem (August 15, 1988), n. 26: AAS 80 (1988), 1715.
6. Cf. Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, n. 28 Decree Presbyterorum Ordinis, n. 2b.
7. Cf. 1 Tm 3:1-13; 2 Tm 1:6; Ti 1:5-9.
8. Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1577.
9. Cf. Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, nn. 20,21.
10. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Declaration Inter Insigniores, n. 6: AAS 69 (1977), 115-116.
11. Apostolic Letter Mulieris Dignitatem, n. 27: AAS 80 (1988), 1719.
12. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Declaration Inter Insigniores n. 6: AAS 69 (1977), 115.

I had this in my office when I worked in the government...

I left it there. Too bad, as it had a really nice frame and Dogbert was wearing a red cloak as well. Things have not changed since 1996...

A little tiny note for Holy Saturday

One of my spiritual directors said, "Remember, confusion is always from the devil."

Link from 2008

Reuters will not let bloggers post photos, so if you are interested, go to this link.

Yet, another reminder on infallibility and Quo Vadis, Petrus?

Not everything the Pope says or does is infallible  folks. I know even highly educated people who are confused on this one. Remember Assisi 1986?

He, the Pope, can make mistakes. Big ones. He cannot teach false doctrine from the Chair of Peter. But, he can do symbolic actions which cause confusion. Not all popes are saints when elected, but hopefully, become one in the process of being pope......

A brief thought for Holy Saturday

St. Bernard of Clairvaux reminds us on this sad day when we await the Resurrection, that the devil cannot read our minds but only our actions. However, the very intelligent and clever demons, out to catch us and bring us to hell watch us very carefully.

They watch our physical habits, which is why abstemious behavior is good. They watch our spiritual habits, which is why prayer silently is best. They watch and listen to our speech, which is why silence and less talk rather than more is good.

They cannot, according to Thomas Aquinas, move our will. Only God and ourselves can move our will.

None of this, "The devil made me do it", stuff.

We control our wills, but these wills are weakened by a lack of temperance, prudence, justice and courage. If we show fear, they rush in to terrify us. If we exhibit piggishness in eating, a lack of temperance in food or talk or drink, they encourage our bad habits.

If we lack justice, which is connected to holiness which we owe to God through His creatures, they jump in and make us selfish.

If we do not pray and act with impetuosity, they encourage us to more imprudence.

If we let our emotions dictate our lives, we shall never be holy.

I am thinking of Mary, the Sorrowful Mother today.

She was in shock, I am sure, after watching the brutality inflicted on her Son.

She was grieving, like all loving mothers, but more so, in Perfect Love.

Yet, she trusted in God.

This is what we must do-trust in all things, at all times.

Trust in God and His ways, putting on the Mind of Christ.

Peaceful you all.

My comment on a famous blog this morning...

I am grieved by the divisions all this is causing (in reference to the washing of the feet of a woman). I live in Great Britain where heresies are so common that one is hard put to find an orthodox layperson.
So many of the priests are so overworked they cannot contain the rot. Symbolic actions are so important, more than articles, which the vast majority of people do not read.
I meet Gnostics daily here. They have not read the CCC; they have not conformed their minds to the mind of the Church. And, actions which contradict previous ones add fuel to their rebellious brains.
What has happened to lex orandi lex credendi?
I really am grieved. I have heard and seen more division in the Church in the past month, as every liberal has her bit between the teeth.

Tough Love

I look at the Crucifixion today and I think on all the people I have met this week who want religion without pain. Most of the people I have met this week, and I mean laity, want a religion which has NO laws, only what they call "kindness". Is Caravaggio's painting above "kind"?

The heresy of universal salvation, which states all people go to heaven, is rift in Great Britain and among the Irish.  The heresy which denies the affects of Original Sin and even denies Original Sin is rife in Great Britain.

Even Catholics deny the efficacy of baptism.

So, why did Christ endure excruciating pain and horrible public abuse is there is no need for salvation?

The denial of salvation is a denial of the entire Passion event. It is a denial of the very reason for the Incarnation.

People say to me, "Well, I think Christ came to earth just to show us how to love."

YES. and He died for Love. He died.

This is tough love.

Someone said to me that it takes all kinds of persons to make up the Catholic Church.

But, not those who refuse to learn the beauty of the Church's Teachings.

I grieve. Christ did not abolish the Law but fulfilled it. He Himself is the New Covenant, the Lamb of God.

He is mocked by His own here in London today.

More on Easter Meals

If you do lamb, you can  merely make about 18 slices into the leg and place fresh garlic in each slit and then pour olive oil all over it and forget it for two and one-half hours. If your family prefers beef, here is a fancy recipe for Easter.

Stuffed Flank Steak With Paprika Potatoes
(serves 4-6)
1 flank steak ( 1 1/2 – 2lb.)
1/3 cup olive oil
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 medium onion, passed through a box grater
1 tsp. salt
fresh ground pepper
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
1/4 cup dry red wine
1 1/2 cups fresh bread crumbs
1 cup of blanched or thawed from frozen spinach (squeezed of excess water), chopped
1/2 cup of slice scallions (green part only)
1 1/2 cups grated smoked Metsovone (or smoked gouda) cheese
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1/2 tsp. salt and fresh ground pepper
Additional ingredients
Dijon style mustard
olive oil
salt and pepper
Paprika potatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
4-6 large potatoes, peeled, halved & cut into chunks
1/4 cup hot water
2 tsp. smoked paprika
salt and pepper
Pre-heated 400F oven
  1. In a shallow casserole dish, add all the marinade ingredients and mix with a spoon then adjust seasoning according to taste. Now take your flank steak and place on your work surface and place plastic on it and pound/flatten the meat with a mallet to about 1/4 inch thickness. Now place the flank steak in your marinade and cover both sides with it, cover with plastic wrap and place in your fridge for 2 hours.
  2. In the meantime, prepare your stuffing ingredients: make your bread crumbs by placing day old bread in your food processor and mixing it with the sliced scallions, spinach, grated cheese, pine nuts and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well and keep in a cool place.
  3. After two hours, take your flank steak out of the fridge and allow to come to room temperature. In the meantime, peel your potatoes and place in a baking vessel with the olive oil, water, smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Pre-heat your oven to 400F and place the potatoes in to bake for about 40-45 minutes.
  4. Wife off the excess marinade and reserve. Now place the flank steak brush about a Tbsp. of Dijon mustard on the entire surface and spread the filling on top.  Now roll up lengthwise tightly like a jelly roll and tie/secure with butcher’s twine.
  5. Place a large skillet on your stovetop over medium-high heat and season the rolled flank steak with salt and pepper. Drizzle the skillet with olive oil and sear on all sides then place in the oven for about 30 minutes, basting as needed with reserved marinade (I did it every 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and tent for 10 minutes while the meat is resting.
  6. Your meat and potatoes should be ready around the same time. Now snip off the butcher’s twine and slice your flanks steak and arrange on a platter. Lay the paprika potatoes right beside it and pour any of the liquid left from the potatoes over the meat and potatoes.

This second roast is spicier. But, who does not like lamb!

Hello from London

Well, this is the day my family would make colored eggs.  My mom would hide the entire Easter basket for each of us, not merely the eggs and we would find them on Easter morning.

Since we were in choir, and my parents as well, we would frequently go to two Masses-the Vigil and one in the morning.

What are your family customs?

I would always cook a Greek Meal or Easter Day-lamb, baklava, spanikopita, dolmathes, etc. And here is a great recipe for dolmathes: make them today!

Dolmathes (Meat-Stuffed Grape Vine Leaves)
  • 1 jar grape leaves in brine (about 35-40 leaves) -- these can be bought at a Greek specialty shop
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 3 or 4 scallions, thinly sliced, including some of the green tops ( 1/4 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 2 teaspoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 whole tomatoes from a can, drained with the juices reserved (fresh is OK, too)
  • 3/4 cup raw converted white rice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons reserved liquid from tomatoes
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
Carefully remove the brined grape leaves from the jar. (They are packed in rolls resembling fat cigars.) Spread leaves in a single layer in a large shallow pan. Add enough boiling water to cover the leaves generously and set aside to soak and soften until the water is cool.
Meanwhile, prepare the filling by combining all ingredients except chicken broth and lemon juice. Use hands to mix thoroughly.
Rinse the leaves with cool water and blot dry with paper towels. Snip the woody stem from the bottom center of each leaf. Lay each leaf flat, vein side up, on work surface, overlapping bottom of the leaf slightly where the stem has been removed.
Place the filling about 1/2 inch up from the bottom and roll the leaf up over filling about halfway. Fold in the sides and continue rolling -- not too tightly -- to make a packet.
Lay any extra or torn leaves at the bottom of a heavy saucepan. Lay the stuffed grape leaves, folded side down, fitting them together neatly next to one another. When the bottom of the pan is full, begin another layer and continue until all leaves are used.
Mix the chicken broth and lemon juice and pour over the stacked grape leaves just until covered, adding a little water if necessary. Place a heavy plate slightly smaller than the diameter of the saucepan on top to keep them from rolling and unwrapping during cooking.
Cook at a slow simmer for about one hour or until the rice is tender and meat is cooked. If serving at room temperature, put dolmathes in container drizzled with olive oil to keep them from drying out.
Serve with lemon wedges and drizzled with olive oil. Makes 15 to 20 packets.

Vexilla Regis by David Jones: Holy Saturday of Holy Week