Oct 31, 2005

Gobs and gobs of great 'gay' guys in the priesthood

Bishop William Skylstad, Bishop of Spokane and President of the USCCB, in a letter to his flock writes ...

"There are many wonderful and excellent priests in the Church who have a gay orientation, are chaste and celibate, and are very effective ministers of the Gospel. Witch hunts and gay bashing have no place in the Church."

'Making the Church safe' for converts and other living things


(WACO, TEXAS) - A pastor performing a baptism was electrocuted inside his church Sunday morning after grabbing a microphone while partially submerged, a church employee said.

The Rev. Kyle Lake, 33, was standing in water up to his shoulder in a baptismal at University Baptist Church when he was electrocuted ...

The woman Lake was baptizing was not injured, Dudley said.

"He was grabbing the microphone so everyone could hear," Dudley said. "It's the only way you can be loud enough."
This is a sad story and not one to be made light of, but ...

Baptists could take a few lessons from L.A. Catholic priests when it comes to safely performing baptisms.

First, if you really must use a microphone, go wireless like Jesuit Father Michael Mandala pictured below.

Or do what Paulist Father Hensely does: forget the microphone altogether.

This way BOTH HANDS are free to really celebrate baptism. But watch it, Father. Possible "boundary violation" there.

Of course, as Cardinal Mahony and Monsignor Kostelnik demonstrate in this photo, FOUR HANDS are even better than TWO.

Which reminds me, how many clerics does it take to change a diaper?

Oct 30, 2005

L.A.'s iron maiden

Alias, 'Our Lady of the Angels'

It's pretty bad, I know, but it could have been a lot worse. Click HERE. WARNING: Rated PG-13.

To see what else bronze artist Robert Graham has produced, go HERE. WARNING: Rated R.

Mahony's openly 'gay' deacon designs new website for Archdiocese

Featuring a dramatically enhanced photo of Robert Graham's bronze "iron maiden" which hangs over the entrance of Mahony's cathedral, the Archdiocese's new website is a vast improvement over the one it replaces. Its designer is 'gay' activist, Eric Stoltz, who was ordained a permanent deacon by Cardinal Mahony in 2004.

One innovative feature on the new website is Liturgy in your own language. This link shows the wide array of languages in which Mass is celebrated in L.A. and where they can be found.

Among the more exotic languages mentioned are Garifuna, Tongan, Haitian, Aramaic, and, yes, African-American. Do they mean Ebonics?

Oddly enough, English Masses are not mentioned, but multitudes of Spanish Masses are.

Conspicuously not listed are the very few places where the Latin indult Masses are offered in the Archdiocese. This comes as no surprise since Cardinal Mahony has never been particularly solicitous of "those who are attached to the Latin liturgical tradition," in spite of the Holy See's admonition that there be a "wide and generous application of the directives" of Pope John Paul's motu propio, Ecclesia Dei.

I think that an excellent service provided at the new archdiocesan website is the "parish-finder," which allows you to type in a zip code and find the parishes nearest you. This will be particularly useful as more and more parishes are taken over by PLD's (Parish Life Directors). This way when you really need a priest rather than just a hug from Sister Susie, you'll know where to go.

A website designed by L.A.'s openly 'gay' deacon would not be complete without a Gay and Lesbian link. Here one finds support groups for "gays and lesbians" as well as for the parents of "gays and lesbians." In addition, at this link are listed those parishes which are considered "welcoming," that is, (although the term is not used) "gay friendly."

As at the old website, the "homosexual fish" pin is featured rather prominently along with the following explanation:

See in the fish pin a sign of recognition of our lesbian and gay sisters and brothers.
I guess that means if your "gaydar" isn't working that well, the "gay fish" pin is evidently a good backup.

The "gay and lesbian" page states that it was the Cardinal himself who founded the Archdiocese's unique and groundbreaking "Ministry to Lesbian and Gay Catholics." It is curious, however, that not a word is said about Father Peter Liuzzi, O. Carm. He is the reportedly 'gay' priest who was the face of Mahony's "outreach" to homosexuals until the "ministry" folded in 2002 due ostensibly to budget cuts.

The new website includes a "photo album" page where you may not only view archived photos but even submit your own photos of events related to Catholic life in L.A.

How about sending an e-card to that special loved one or nemesis? The newly built website allows you to do just that and to accompany your greeting with images such as THIS ONE.

In appearance, if not in content, the all new L.A. archdiocesan website is a huge improvement over the old one which was, frankly, quite embarrassing (especially since L.A. is, like, the media capitol of the world!).

Before I do another thing, I am going to send an e-card with this HALLOWEEN THEME IMAGE to Deacon Stoltz to congratulate him on a job well done. You can do the same right HERE.

Visit the new and improved L.A. Archdiocesan website HERE.

L.A. Masses

Did Mass in your parish look anything like the horrid cover of this infamous booklet?

Oct 29, 2005

O.C. Catholics plan protest

A grassroots organization of lay Catholics in the Diocese of Orange is planning a "peaceful and prayerful vigil in front of the Bishop Tod D. Brown's mansion."

Sunday, November 6

2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Bishop Tod D. Brown's "mansion"
18152 Darmel Place
Santa Ana (map)

THE LAITY OF THE DIOCESE OF ORANGE is sponsoring the event. The purpose of the vigil is to expose what they argue is widespread "corruption" in the Diocese of Orange under the leadership of Mahony crony, Bishop Tod D. Brown.

For more information, call (562) 544-0505 or visit the organizing group's website HERE.

(Photo/Orange County Register)

Oct 28, 2005

L.A. cathedral will hold funeral Mass for pro-abortion politician

EDWARD ROYBAL, former California congressman and father of congresswoman, Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, died earlier this week of respiratory failure. He was 89.

In an obituary which all but canonized Roybal a saint, THE LOS ANGELES TIMES described the first Latino to sit on the L.A. City Council since the 1880's, as one " ... who championed the rights of the underprivileged and the elderly during 30 years in the House of Representatives and was the mentor to scores of Latino lawmakers in Los Angeles."

He may have championed the rights of the underprivileged, but there was just one hitch: if they were unborn, they were out of luck. That's because throughout his long career Edward Roybal was an unflinching supporter of abortion. He spawned a "dynasty" of hispanic politicians who, like Roybal himself, claim to be Catholic but at the same time tenaciously hold to the so-called "pro-choice" doctrine: a women's right to kill her unborn baby trumps all other rights.

Among these is his own daughter, Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA). She received a 100 per cent approval rating from NARAL, the National Abortion Rights Action League. Others include L.A. mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa, known to be a "good friend of Planned Parenthood," Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA), yet another NARAL star, and Board of Supervisors member, Gloria Molina, all of whom voiced high praise for the late politician.

One of Edward Roybal's most enthusiastic backers is none other than Cardinal Roger Mahony. A number of years ago when a group of Catholics attempted to have Roybal's Knights of Columbus membership revoked, His Eminence came to the rescue by writing a letter of support in which he stated:

"Congressman Roybal is a faithful Catholic, one of our best examples of an Hispanic Catholic in public office who is not afraid to live out his Catholic life with pride. I have known him and his family for over thirty years, and I have the highest respect for him as a member of this Archdiocese."


On Monday, Mahony's cathedral will serve as the venue for Roybal's funeral Mass. It is not known whether the Cardinal will be back in time from his month long sabbatical in China to offer the Mass. We can be sure, however, that Roybal will be eulogized as a great Christian and humanitarian.

There will also be innumerable sacrilegious communions that day as scores of pro-abort politicians glibly step forward to receive the Sacred Body and Blood of Christ.

In his inaugural homily on the day Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral was dedicated, L.A.'s archbishop said:

"Be assured that the fullness of the Gospel of Life will be proclaimed here, and each human life, from its earliest moments to its eldest years, will find in this place nurture and respect."

Don't believe a single word.

See previous post: Mahony's Cathedral and the Gospel of Life.

Oct 27, 2005

Teenager dies from Planned Parenthood abortion

Holly Paterson was given RU-486 at a Planned Parenthood. Now she's dead. See the video news report HERE.

Find out the truth about Planned Parenthood HERE.

Our daughters' abortions

Lister to two callers to a San Diego radio program (THE ROGER HEDGECOCK SHOW) tell the sad story of their underage daughters' abortions.

Caller #1

Caller #2

Go to the PARENTS' RIGHT TO KNOW website.

Californians, VOTE YES ON 73.

Oct 26, 2005

'Snoop Sister'

(Myung J. Chun/LA TIMES)


"At 16, Mario Rocha was convicted of murder as an adult. A nun has fought nine years to free him. To her, it's about more than one boy.

For nine years, the dedication, zeal and self-acknowledged pestering of the 75-year-old Roman Catholic nun have spurred a campaign to free Rocha. The case has galvanized members of California's Catholic community, prompted filmmakers to make a documentary on juvenile justice, and attracted the pro bono commitment of the high-powered law firm Latham and Watkins.

Petitions filed by the firm have persuaded an appeals court to hear new oral arguments in Rocha's case. A hearing is scheduled for today."
Go HERE for full story.

'Wilma' crashes sodomite party

WORLD NET DAILY reports ...

Despite the attempt to dodge the impact of Hurricane Wilma by changing the dates for the annual Fantasy Fest, the storm has deluged any hopes for the homosexual debauchery party this week, and could force a complete cancellation.

Oct 25, 2005

CA voters, YES on 73

Take a look at this brief clip explaining the "Parents right to know initiative," Proposition 73.

'Feisty nun'

From Father McCloskey's review of Raymond Arroyo's book on Mother Angelica ...

"One of the adjectives most often used to describe Mother is "feisty," and Arroyo does not shrink from revealing that side of her at length and in depth. Well-known and not so well-known contretemps with bishops, cardinals, elements of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and even some of her staff and financial backers, are recounted fairly and judiciously."
Read about Mother Angelica's famous feud with L.A.'s own Cardinal Roger Mahony HERE.

'The Triumph of Rita Rizzo'

"How did Rita Rizzo, the sickly girl who, with only a high school diploma, fights her way out of poverty and single handedly creates the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), the largest religious broadcasting empire in the world – succeed where all the bishops of the United States (and several millionaires had failed)?

This new biography by Raymond Arroyo comes closer than anyone has yet done to explaining Mother Angelica – The Remarkable Story of a Nun, Her Nerve, and a Network of Miracles (Doubleday, 2005, $23.95). It is a welcome sign of the burgeoning Catholic book market's coming of age when a prestigious house such as Doubleday picks up this biography and heavily markets it."
Father C. John McCloskey writes an approving review of Raymond Arroyo's new book on Mother Angelica.

Read the review HERE.

Tijuana priest murdered

TIJUANA, Mexico (AP) - A Roman Catholic priest was found shot to death in his car with his hands cuffed in the rough border city of Tijuana on Monday, in what police said appeared to be an organized-crime killing.

For full story, go HERE.

Good News for Hollywood

Clayton has started a new blog: RCIA Hollywood. Check it out HERE.

Disposable babies

Luis Sinco/LA Times

This is the dumpster where USC architecture student, Holly Ashcraft, threw away her baby.

According to the LOS ANGELES TIMES, the pretty and popular high achiever from Montana, "... was investigated -- but not arrested or charged -- in April 2004 after she arrived at a downtown Los Angeles hospital having just given birth but without a baby. She told authorities the child in that earlier case was stillborn and that she had disposed of the body on her own."

Make that TWO disposable babies.

Ashcraft has been charged with murder just for the one.

Two for the price of one.

It is a safe bet that Holly was a girl out of control, caught up in the orgiastic culture that prevails at college campuses all across the country.

"She went out and had fun," is how one of her friends described Holly. She obviously also went out and had sex. And she was no stranger to alcohol.

Holly's family and friends are understandably upset and at the same time completely supportive of her. "She is a distinguished and wonderful girl, and I am very proud to be her parent," Holly's mother reportedly told the TIMES. She didn't indicate how it feels to be the grandmother of two dead grandchildren, however.

Which brings me to what is most troubling about this admittedly tragic story. No one -- at least among Ashcraft's cadre of backers -- is troubled by the fact that Holly's baby who was born alive was left to die in a trash bin.

It's all about Holly who now sits in jail in lieu of $2 million bail. Her attorney, in true lawyerly fashion, is implicitly making the case that his client didn't really throw away a baby because the child was a few weeks short of being full term.

I am very sad for Holly Ashcraft. But it isn't all about her. There is also the innocent child who was robbed of his life and whose tiny body was thrown out with the garbage. Somewhere out there, too, is the father of that child. In fact, it's quite possible that there is more than one young man who is wondering, if he has any conscience at all, was that my baby?

And he must have been a beautiful baby.

Holly Ashcraft

Oct 24, 2005

This is shocking!

Did you know that you can see anyone's Driver's License on the Internet, including your own? I just searched for mine and there it was ... picture and all! Thanks Homeland Security! Where are our rights? I definitely removed mine. I suggest you do the same.

Go to the web site and check it out. Just enter your name, city and state to see if yours is on file. After your license comes on the screen, click the box marked "Please Remove". This will remove it from public viewing, but not from law enforcement.


Mysterious illness prompts mid-Mass evacuation

WETHERSFIELD, Conn. -- A mysterious illness forced the evacuation of hundreds of parishioners in the middle of a Mass Sunday at a local church.

Police, fire and environmental crews responded to The Church of Incarnation during 11 a.m. Mass after getting reports that several people had fallen ill.

The symptoms included dizziness, nausea and, in one case, fainting, said Deputy Fire Marshal Jeffery Morrissette. About a dozen people were affected and at least two were taken to the hospital.

1 Corinthian 11

27 Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man prove himself: and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of the chalice. 29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord. 30 Therefore are there many infirm and weak among you, and many sleep.

The thought occurred to me ...

'Wimpy Award' goes to Bishop Michael Sheridan

(AP) COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. Bishop Michael Sheridan has apologized for remarks by his assistant that Roman Catholics shouldn't attend Protestant worship services because they could "confuse" some Catholics.

Sheridan's executive assistant, Peter Howard, also told The Gazette of Colorado Springs this week that Catholic participation in Protestant services denigrates the Catholic faith. He made similar comments in an Oct. 7 article in the diocesan newspaper.

In a letter regarding Howard's comments to The Gazette, Sheridan said Howard is free to express his views but said he doesn't agree with them.

Full story HERE.

The L.A. Catholic 'Wimpy Award" should not be confused with THIS.

Can't understand how Mahony escapes criminal prosecution


"It is very hard for us to understand the fact that Cardinal Bernard Law (former archdiocesan leader in Boston) and Cardinal Mahony have never been criminally indicted," [Mary Grant] says. "It's hard for us to comprehend why prosecutors can't obtain every file they need. When someone has been covering up crimes for decades, as Mahony has done, it's just incomprehensible that there can't be any (prosecutorial) intervention."

What shame! How lame!

St. Brigid Church, San Francisco (1931)

There are two reasons why the Archdiocese of San Francisco sold one of the city's oldest Catholic churches ...

1) To pay for civil damages incurred by the sinful actions of mostly sodomite priests.

What shame!

2) To continue to provide social services to the needy.

How lame!

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE - A group of Catholics risked arrest Friday when they formed a human chain to stop the San Francisco Archdiocese from removing religious artifacts from St. Brigid Church.

By the time the dramatic showdown ended late in the day, doors had been slammed, tears shed, and building inspectors and police called to the scene. The archdiocese, which sold the church to the Academy of Art University, said it simply wanted to remove property that was not included in the sale of the building.

Parishioners said items such as the statuary and the Stations of the Cross are sacred and as integral to the building as the granite walls.

St. Brigid, one of the oldest churches in the city, was closed June 30, 1994, due to a decline in attendance and high costs of seismic retrofitting work. The archdiocese said this year that it needed to sell the long-shuttered building to pay for clergy abuse settlements and to continue to provide social services to the needy. The church was sold to the Academy of Art for $3.75 million.

HELP ST. BRIGID website.

Oct 23, 2005

Taken out of context

Clayton Emmer at THE WEIGHT OF GLORY has memed me.

Here are the rules for this meme:

1. Go into your archives.
2. Find your 23rd post.
3. Post the fifth sentence (or closest to it).
4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.
5. Tag five other people to do the same thing.

Here is my sentence from May 2005.

Why argue with success?

HERE is the context.

I hereby tag ...

G. Thomas.

Cardinal Mahony's 'broad' vision of church

"Liturgical leadership" is the title of this TIDINGS photo

L.A. Masses

In L.A., the land of zero liturgical abuses, there's probably not anything interesting to report.

The Quotable Mahony

"Since Roe v. Wade, there have been a lot of Catholic politicians doing and saying things that would not be in line with the church's teaching."
And not just Catholic politicians, Your Eminence, but even, as shocking as it may sound, CATHOLIC BISHOPS!

No to married priests, yes to Latin

L.A. Times

ROME — Roman Catholic bishops gathering here from all over the world broached taboo topics and gave the public rare glimpses of policy debate within the Vatican. But as the three-week meeting draws to a close today, the clerics have chosen not to break new ground or stray from tradition.

The Synod of Bishops on Saturday approved a 50-point package of "propositions" to be handed to Pope Benedict XVI that reinforced long-standing policies, including an enthusiastic endorsement of celibacy for priests and the denial of Communion to Catholics who have divorced and remarried.

Although the critical shortage of priests dominated deliberations, the bishops recommended maintaining the church's ban on married priests, according to information released by the Vatican and first reported in the Catholic press. They also encouraged a greater use of Latin in religious services.

Oct 22, 2005

The Quotable Mahony

"I'm very close to the pro-life movement."

Oh, really?

A wolf in shepherd's clothing

This dated photo shows Father Robert Drinan, SJ, four term member of the U.S. House of Representatives, who has been nominated to receive the Congressional Medal of Freedom.

During his years in the House, Drinan was a militant advocate of abortion rights and his views have remained unaltered. The Jesuit priest went so far as to support President Clinton in his 1996 veto of the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act.

Drinan will be 85 in November.

Oct 21, 2005

Blurred vision


"The Archdiocese of Los Angeles is a case study in the confusion of roles that is becoming more and more a part of the Church in the United States. In many cases, there seems to be an earnest effort to blur the distinctions between the ordained ministry / priesthood and the lay apostolate."

Where did they go?

Patricia E. Bauer

"In ancient Greece, babies with disabilities were left out in the elements to die. We in America rely on prenatal genetic testing to make our selections in private, but the effect on society is the same.

Margaret's old pediatrician tells me that years ago he used to have a steady stream of patients with Down syndrome. Not anymore. Where did they go, I wonder. On the west side of L.A., they aren't being born anymore, he says."
It is well worth the minute or so to read the entire piece. Go HERE.


Oct 20, 2005

While Father Larry looks on ...

(Paula Doyle/THE TIDINGS)

The TIDINGS caption which accompanies the above photograph says it all ...

PARISH LEADERS --- St. Stephen parish life director, Sister Susan Slater, SHCJ (far left) helps to distribute catechetical materials during a recent Sunday liturgy while Father Larry Estrada looks on.
Even as Cardinal Mahony calls for a Year of Prayer for Priestly Vocations, he is aggressively moving forward with a plan to appoint non-ordained persons (typically women religious of this variety) as surrogate "pastors" of parishes. This, the Cardinal has said, is the way of the future.

"Furthermore, I am committed to the implementation of this form of parish leadership, which is not a stopgap measure or temporary solution [emphasis mine] to the diminishing number of priestly and Religious vocations." [source]
Sister Susan Slater is one of the pioneers of this "new way of being church." She is the "Parish Life Director" of St. Stephen's Parish in the L.A. suburb of Monterey Park. Father Larry Estrada is the "Sacramental Minister" who comes in from the sidelines only when something needs to be done ex opere operato. Otherwise, Sister's in charge.

According to THE TIDINGS,

"[Sister Slater] likes to promote the idea, which she has voiced to anxious parishioners wondering who will pastor them, that 'many people pastor you.'"
This, of course, flies in the face of what the Church teaches about the unique and indispensable role of the priest for the life of the parish community. In the introduction to the document, THE PRIEST, PASTOR AND LEADER OF THE PARISH COMMUNITY, Pope John Paul II wrote:

"It is therefore of fundamental importance for the parish to have a priest as its pastor and the title of pastor is specifically reserved to the priest. The sacred Order of the presbyterate represents the indispensable and irreplaceable condition for him to be appointed pastor validly (cf. Code of Canon Law, can. 521, 1). Certainly, other faithful can actively collaborate with him, even full-time, but because they have not received the ministerial priesthood, they cannot replace him as pastor."
Sister Slater arrived at St. Stephen's as its first "pastoral associate" a number of years ago. In an October 2003 edition of THE TIDINGS it was explained ...

"After Sister Slater's pastor took a leave of absence from the parish in February, Auxiliary Bishop Gabino Zavala and the Vicar for Clergy's office recommended she be given extra responsibilities as parish director for five months until a new priest administrator could be named for the parish in July. Sister Slater was able to perform child baptisms, offer Communion services (not Mass), preach the Word, direct funeral liturgies and witness marriages."
A new priest administer was never appointed.

Here is Sister Slater today, "embracing a parishioner [boundary violation?] in St. Stephen's vestibule."

(Paula Doyle/THE TIDINGS)

Sister told THE TIDINGS that ...

" ... she has been accepted as a pastoral leader by parishioners. When she wore an alb on the altar for the first time at a prayer service, "a lot of women said it was nice to see me up there --- even older women," confided Sister Slater, who feels Catholics can adapt to pastoral leadership changes."

Working six days a week, and always on Sunday, Sister Slater balances administrative and pastoral duties such as bereavement counseling, marriage preparation and visiting the sick. "I do whatever the pastor would have done," said Sister Slater. She greets parishioners before Mass and makes announcements following the liturgy. Parishioners know she is there for their spiritual needs.
"I do whatever the pastor would have done."

Yes, Sister is doing whatever a priest does except transubstantiate. Theoreticaly, she can even hear confessions. That is to say, she can listen to peoples' sins; she just can't absolve them. But very likely Sister doesn't believe in all that hocus pocus anyway.

The Quotable Mahony

"It's very helpful to move forward, and we're all learning. There's nothing the church can do that's failsafe. You can't inaugurate something that's not going to have hiccups and pros and cons. We've got to be open to the Spirit, and I think the Spirit is leading us in the right direction."
I think I have a headache.

You're fired!

THE OTTAWA SUN reports ...

PETERBOROUGH -- An Eastern Ontario Catholic priest has been stripped of his duties for suggesting women could someday become priests. Rev. Edward Cachia "can no longer be relied upon to celebrate the Eucharist within the Church as Christ intended," states a letter from Peterborough Diocese Bishop Nicola De Angelis. Cachia served at St. Michael's parish in Cobourg. Following an unofficial ordination of nine women on a tour boat on the St. Lawrence River near Kingston in July, Cachia told the Cobourg Daily Star that he hoped the ceremony was "the beginning of a new and awesome change in the life of the church."

Bad news for Roger


Los Angeles County prosecutors have reopened a child-abuse investigation into a priest who was allowed to remain in ministry after admitting to Cardinal Roger M. Mahony that he had molested children, law enforcement sources and the boys' attorney said.
The priest in question is Father Michael S. Baker who is alleged to have abused as many as 23 boys and girls from 1974 until 1999.

The new investigation involves two brothers who say they were molested more recently. The investigation had been stalled because the brothers now live in Mexico.
Last spring, however, Los Angeles prosecutors obtained U.S. visas so the brothers could be interviewed in Arizona, according to the brothers' attorney and law enforcement sources.
In 1986, Baker told Mahony that he had abused children. Rather than notify the police, the Archbishop sent the priest away for treatment and then assigned him to a series of 9 different parishes.

Mahony has expressed regret over the way he handled Baker, calling the case the one "that troubles me the most." In a May 2002 letter to priests, Mahony apologized for failing "to take firm and decisive action much earlier."

J. Michael Hennigan, church attorney, said the archdiocese isn't proud of the Baker case. "It is a case that taught us painful lessons," he said.

In the year 2000, a $1.3 million settlement was negotiated for the brothers by their civil attorney, Lynne M. Cadigan. According to the L.A. Times ...

The Archdiocese paid $325,000.
Insurers paid $400,000.

And Father Michael Baker paid $500,000.

Wow! For a guy who was supposedly away on therapy for a good part of the time and who while on the job was allegedly doing other kinds of "jobs," Baker sure knew how to rake in the bucks!

Oct 19, 2005

Mahony's most troubling case

Ric Francis/AP

Father Michael Baker. Now this is a case that just might (or at least should) keep Roger Mahony from getting a good night's sleep.

LIFESITE reports ...
The case of Baker is illustrative and it was the one which Cardinal Mahony has referred to as the case “that troubles me the most.” Some have speculated that the part most troubling to Mahony is the indication from prosecutors that Baker could be called upon as a state’s witness.
It would be a gross understatement to say that this would be very bad news for Cardinal Roger M. Mahony.

Catholic-Baptist dialogue advances


Tip to the Curt Jester.

An excellent essay on homosexuals and the priesthood

CATHOLIC CULTURE'S Jeff Mirus weighs in on the question with a succinct but penetrating analysis ...

Homosexuality is a heavy cross, and we must be sympathetic to all those forced to carry it. No one should want to add to its weight. But the prudential reasons for refusing ordinartion to homosexual men are also weighty, and deserve the most careful consideration.

Read it HERE.

Tragic end for pro-life priest


October 19, 2005 -- The Rev. James Pilsner was a devout pro-life activist who boasted of saving more than 200 children from being aborted, but when it came to saving himself, the young Catholic priest could not overcome the demon of depression that plagued him, family and friends said yesterday.

Pilsner, 35, hanged himself Monday night in the rectory of Our Lady Queen of Peace Church in New Dorp, Staten Island, after being depressed for more than a year.

"He was one who promoted life," said the Rev. Aloysius Thumma, who worked with Pilsner from 2001 to 2004 at Our Lady of the Assumption Church in Pelham Parkway in The Bronx. "It must have been a deep depression that made him lose touch with reality."

May these posts about Father Pilsner bring us to our knees in prayer for his soul and for his grieving parents and family.

Father James Pilsner, R.I.P.

Read about the 2001 ordinand HERE.

See related post HERE.

Pupilla oculi

Archbishop Burke of St. Louis has written a beautiful letter about the importance of the seminary.

His words are reminiscent of what Pope John Paul II said in extemporaneous remarks made in an address to the clergy of Rome in 2002.

The words stay with me: "the apple of his eye" (pupilla oculi). The "apple" of the bishop's eye is the seminary, because through the seminary, he sees the Church's future. I am prompted to say this by the experience I have had of being bishop for so many years, first in Krakow and then in Rome: in Krakow for 20 years, in Rome already for 24. This is very true, this is the "apple of his eye".
One would be hard pressed to make the claim that the "apple" of Cardinal Mahony's eye is the seminary. After all, the future he sees for the Church in L.A. is one with fewer and fewer priests, which Mahony considers, as dippy as it sounds, "a sign of God's deep love for the Church."

Undoubtedly, the "apple" of Mahony's eye is NOT the seminary. But if I had to guess what in fact it is, I'd put my pesos on this ...

How do you like them apples?

Don't do it!


A Roman Catholic bishop has caused uproar in Ireland over his plans to redesign a neo-Gothic cathedral built by one of the most celebrated ecclesiastical architects.

Wikipedia, caveat emptor

Blogger, TOCQUEVILLE, makes a good point about WIKIPEDIA. Some threateningly disagree.

Caveat emptor.

Diogenes is evil.

I don't think so.

But Tom Kreitzberg over at DISPUTATIONS does.
"What "Diogenes" does at "Off the Record" is evil.

Gravely evil. Mortally sinfully evil. Putting his immortal soul at risk of damnation evil.

By their formal support for "Diogenes," the editors of Catholic World News are formal cooperators in this grave evil. Formal cooperation in grave evil is gravely evil."
What DIOGENES does at "Off the Record" is "mortally sinfully evil." CWN are "formal cooperators" in this grave sin. Why? A link made by DISPUTATIONS to Mark Shea is supposed to explain the reason for this excessive remark.

I can't wait to hear what the Openbookblogger has to say about this. She abides the raffish rants of Rocco Palmo without a word of judgment, but obviously has reservations about the "perspective" of blogs such as this one.

It will be interesting and indeed very telling to see how she as well as other Catholic bloggers sort themselves out over this.

I have benefited much from both DISPUTATIONS and MARK SHEA and include them in my blogroll. But I could not disagree with them more on this particular "disputation".

Oct 18, 2005

L.A. fruitcakes

What's the matter? Did you have another type of fruitcake in mind?

Get yours HERE.

Priest suicide

Stories like these fill me with a profound sadness. I pray for his soul and for divine assistance for his poor family.

New York Post reports ...

A Staten Island priest hanged himself in an apparent suicide last night inside his church's rectory, police said.

The priest, identified by the pastor of Our Lady Queen of Peace Church in New Dorp as the Rev. James Pilsner, 35, had been missing since 3 p.m., law-enforcement sources said. Another priest went to Pilsner's room and noticed the door was locked. He went to get a spare key and, when he opened the door, found Pilsner hanging from a rope attached to a chin-up bar, the sources said.

Pilsner was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

"All I can tell you is Father James Pilsner died this evening in the rectory," said the pastor, the Rev. John Sheehan.
Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2282-2283

Grave psychological disturbances, anguish, or grave fear of hardship, suffering, or torture can diminish the responsibility of the one committing suicide.

We should not despair of the eternal salvation of persons who have taken their own lives. By ways known to him alone, God can provide the opportunity for salutary repentance. The Church prays for persons who have taken their own lives.

A new breed of 'ambulance chasers'?

A law firm with a very specialized practice ...

Click on box or go HERE

Alleged victim demands Mahony's resignation

THE MERCURY NEWS reports ...

LOS ANGELES - A woman who claims she was sexually abused by a Roman Catholic priest as a child in the 1970s called for Cardinal Roger Mahony's resignation Monday, a week after the Archdiocese of Los Angeles released summaries of personnel records of dozens of accused priests.

The archdiocese posted the documents, which detailed allegations of past abuse, on its Web site early last week after a state appeals court ruling cleared the way for the disclosure.

Jackie Dennis, 44, said Mahony had ignored 85-year-old George Neville Rucker's 40-year history of alleged abuse against dozens of girls, allowing "him to retire in good standing" almost two decades ago.

"Cardinal Mahony has patted Rucker's back, when he knows Rucker committed felonies against children," Dennis said.
The Cardinal's spokesman, Tod Tamberg, said that ...

... he considers Dennis a "brave woman" and is horrified by her story.

"I think, however, that what happened in the '70s is not how the church would handle it today. I think Cardinal Mahony has been at the forefront of making the church a safe place for young people."

Oct 17, 2005

Europe's sympathy for the devil

George Neumayr writes in the American Spectator ...

Europe, according to Newsweek, is too enlightened for the Vatican's exorcisms. But it is not too enlightened to host a growing number of demonic cults. The Devil's greatest triumph, it's said, is to convince man that he doesn't exist. But this saying needs revision. Europe displays an even greater triumph for the Devil -- not ignorance of his designs but respect for them.
Read The Exorcism of Europe and find out about the true story behind the movie, The Exorcism of Emily Rose.

If only she had killed "it" just a little bit sooner ...

A newborn infant with umbilical cord still attached was found near a dumpster not far from the USC campus. Holy Ashcraft, 21, a coed at the University, is being held on suspicion of MURDER and CHILD ABUSE.

The irony is that if the baby had been killed sometime before birth or even during birth, this would not be considered a murder investigation.

Go to the KTLA news video report HERE.

One woman, commenting on the story, said:

"She could have dropped "it" off at any, like, fire station."

True believer

He is the driving force behind California's Proposition 73 (Parents' right to know and child protection initiative) plus ...

Los Angeles Lay Catholic Mission
San Diego News Notes
San Francisco Faith
La Cruz de California


At Planned Parenthood in San Diego, President Mark Salo said Holman's low-profile but critical support for Proposition 73 does not surprise him. For years, as he entered the driveway at the agency, Salo would pass a lone abortion protester. The man never yelled or bothered anyone, but he did hold a sign bearing an enlarged color picture of a fetus.

"It was Jim Holman," Salo said, "just standing out there with his sign."
More ...

Oct 16, 2005

Stand up, girl.

Help for girls in trouble HERE.

Jane Roe speaks to East L.A. audience

LOS ANGELES (CNS) -- More than 100 parishioners from a dozen East Los Angeles parishes turned out Oct. 8 at Resurrection Church for a Spanish-language respect life program featuring Norma McCorvey, the "Roe" of the Roe vs. Wade 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion.

Go HERE for more.

L.A. Masses

Cardinal Mahony at the 2005 Religious Education Congress "Closing Liturgy"

Tell us about your Sunday "liturgy."

John Paul II Day

"He was a man of peace and hope. He pointed out to the whole world, to every community, to all men and to each man that life can be made more human, and taught how it is possible, keeping one's own faith, to give respect and love to others."

Statement in Polish Law affirming John Paul II Day.

Tip to Custos Fidei.

Tip to an L.A. Catholic reader. Yesterday a park in a Los Angeles parish was dedicated to Pope John Paul II. They even erected a statue of the late pontiff. I am not familiar with this parish but they must be doing something right. I guess not all the news in L.A. is bad news.

Go HERE for the story.

Bruce Hazelton / Daily Breeze

L.A. (scandal) Times

THE LOS ANGELES TIMES continues with its exposé of clergy sexual abuse in L.A.

I wonder why they don't cover THIS STORY.

Life on the streets in L.A.

A suspected addict on L.A.’s skid row, where thousands of people live and heroin is easy to come by. (photo by Francine Orr/LAT)

LA TIMES' Steve Lopez gives a VIDEO REPORT on the harsh reality of life on the streets in L.A.

Oct 15, 2005

Are anti-Mahony forces gaining momentum?

THIS LOCAL TV NEWS REPORT (KTLA) suggests that the public outcry against Cardinal Mahony is gaining steam. At this point, however, I am not convinced that what happened in Boston will happen in L.A. There are several reasons for this.
  1. Up until recently, the L.A. Times has not given front-page attention to this story. This is quite different from Boston in that the Globe (which is probably even more hateful toward the Church than the Times) was relentless in its daily, front-page coverage of the Boston clergy scandals.
  2. Many Boston clergy openly criticized Boston's Cardinal Law. L.A. priests have scarcely made a whimper, although everyone knows there is widespread dissastifaction with Mahony among local priests. Thus far, L.A.'s archbishop has managed to keep his priests in tow because he cultivates a climate of fear among the clergy and has been known to mercilessly crush those who dare to cross him.
  3. Cardinal Mahony, unlike Law, is the consummate politician who always manages to outsmart his opponents. He is always 10 steps ahead of his foes.
See related post HERE.

Oct 14, 2005

Planned Parenthood covers up sexual abuse of minors

Now here's the cover-up you're not going to hear about in the mainstream media ...

Here's shocking info to help parents understand why it's important to vote Yes on Prop 73 in California on November 8th.

It's a link to eye-opening transcipts and audio taped phone
of a 14-year-old girl calling dozens of Planned Parenthood abortion centers, and other abortion facilities in California -- you'll here the girl asking for an abortion, and asking how to keep it a secret from her parents.

Planned Parenthood operators tell the young girl, NO PROBLEM, abortions and distribution of "birth control" will be kept a "confidential" secret from her parents, and it's fine for her 22-year-old boyfriend to bring her in for the secret abortion.

Listen HERE.

CALLER: Well, like I was actually wondering if you guys do abortions.

CLINIC: Yes, we do.

CALLER: You do? Like do you know if there's like an age limit for that?

CLINIC: No, there is not.

CALLER: Because like I'll be 14 in March, so.

CLINIC: No. There is no age limit, no parent consent needed.

CALLER: Okay. Well, it's just -- does anybody have to know at all?



CLINIC: All we need to do is make sure that you, if you want to be under sedation or asleep that you have somebody that's going to drive you to and from the clinic.

CALLER: Is it all right if my boyfriend does it? He's old enough to drive. He's 22.

CLINIC: Yeah, that's fine.

CALLER: All right.

CLINIC: Do you want to set up an appointment?

CALLER: Yeah. I guess.

CLINIC: Okay. Hold on one second. How old are you?

CALLER: I'll be 14 in March.

CLINIC: Really?


CLINIC: And do your -- I mean, this is just out of curiosity, but do your parents know that your boyfriend is 22?

CALLER: Yeah. They just really don't like him.

CLINIC: Really?

CALLER: Yeah. They think he's too old for me.

CLINIC: That's a big age difference.

CALLER: But -- why?


CALLER: Yeah. I mean, I don't understand.

CLINIC: As long as you guys both are happy that's all that matters.

CALLER: Oh, okay.

CLINIC: But no, I'm just --

CALLER: We're going to get married and everything.

CLINIC: Really?


CLINIC: Oh, well, I wish the best for you. That's great. But I really don't hear too many teenagers like with somebody that's that much older. As long as you're happy, that's of course all that matters.


To hear more, click HERE.

Californians, vote YES on Proposition 73.

NPR on L.A. clergy sexual abuse

"The Catholic Archdiocese in Los Angeles revealed summaries of the confidential files of 126 priests accused of sexual misconduct Wednesday. Though the files were made public, they are not comprehensive, and one victim calls the release a "sanitized version" of the abuse."
Listen HERE.

Mahony, what part of 'no' do you not understand?

Cardinal Mahony's forte is definitely not composing prayers.

In his prayer for the Archdiocese's "Year of Prayer for Priestly Vocations," Cardinal Mahony says ...

[Father] ... bless us with priestly vocations so that we can continue to be a truly Eucharistic Church ...
Can it be that Mahony has never read Ecclesia de Eucharistia wherein Pope John Paul II wrote, "The Church draws her life from the Eucharist"?

There is only one kind of Church and that is a truly Eucharistic Church. Without the Eucharist, there is no Church. That is literally what the Latin words ecclesia de eucharistia mean.

Let me make it very simple for the Cardinal.

No Eucharist, no Church.

And also ...

No priests, no Eucharist.

Your Eminence, what part of "no" do you not understand?

Opposition is mounting against Mahony

This video news report from CBS News San Francisco shows the mounting opposition to Cardinal Roger Mahony for his handling of clergy sexual abuse cases in his archdiocese. Appearing in the report is a man who claims he was abused for a period of 10 years by Father Michael Baker. The report shows Mahony attorney Michael Hennigan making a feeble attempt at damage control ...

Did we learn slowly? Absolutely.
Could we have done better? Of course we could have.
Are we embarrassed? We are.
Is this the beginning of the end for Mahony? Is the teflon coating finally wearing off? No doubt millions are praying that it is so.

A new arch-priest for a Roman basilica?

DIOGENES has an idea.

Oct 13, 2005

Mahony calls for 'Year of Prayer for Vocations'

Cardinal Roger M. Mahony is calling upon the Catholics of the Archdiocese to observe a "Year of Prayer for Priestly Vocations," which is to last from November 1, 2005 until October 31, 2006.

The Cardinal has composed a special prayer for the occasion.

Frankly, I wonder sometimes if Mahony might be suffering from MPD, multiple personality disorder, because it is often impossible to reconcile what he says at any given moment with what he might say next.

Case in point: Declaring a year of prayer for vocations to the priesthood. Who can argue with that? But how does this square with everything else he has done and is still doing to usher in a new and even "exciting" era of parishes without priests?

In the latest TIDINGS, we have yet another article extolling the glories of PLD's or PARISH LIFE DIRECTORS. The title of the article?

'New ways of being church with fewer priests'

Blusters in the loggia

"I get the human temptation to scapegoat someone. I understand revulsion at the works of sin. What I don't understand is persistent delight in the brokenness of others."

These are the words of Clayton Emmer (THE WEIGHT OF GLORY) to Rocco Palmo (BLUSTERS IN THE LOGGIA) for his tasteless post about Father Ryan Erickson.

As usual, Clayton is supremely charitable in reproving Rocco. But don't expect Rocco to be anything other than his boorish self in response.

No comment from the Cardinal

Cardinal Mahony, who is wont to call a press conference at the drop of a hat, is not available for comment these days.

Find out why HERE.

Perfect timing, wouldn't you agree?

Mahony strategy backfires


The clergy abuse litigation in Los Angeles is the largest such litigation that remains unsettled nationwide -- and that, too, increases pressure on Mahony and the archdiocese, said Marci Hamilton, a professor at Cardozo Law School at New York City's Yeshiva University who consults with plaintiffs on constitutional law.

''The handwriting is on the wall," she said. ''I think what's going on is the Los Angeles Archdiocese knows that it's either settlement or very extensive trials with extensive damages. They're trying to manage the crisis by releasing these descriptions. Then they have deflated some of the news coverage at that point."

L.A. Times op-ed on release of file summaries

More frightening is that the documents represent only brief, sanitized information that the archdiocese wanted to release in an effort to settle pending suits. That makes one wonder what may be in church records that Cardinal Roger M. Mahony continues to resist giving to prosecutors, despite two court rulings ordering their release.
More ...

Oct 12, 2005

Newspaper conducts study on L.A. clergy sexual abuse


Although the sexual abuse scandal has been the subject of more than 560 court claims and a report by the archdiocese, basic information on the dimensions of the problem have remained sketchy. The Times analysis is the first to quantify the breadth of the scandal in the archdiocese.

Molestations have been alleged at roughly 100 parishes. But because the accused priests moved around the archdiocese on average every 4.5 years, the total number of parishes in which alleged abusers served is far larger — more than three-fourths of the 288 parishes, according to the study, which examined records back to 1950.
More ...

From saving souls to saving face

From a memo sent to priests, deacons, religious and parish staffs, from Msgr. Royale Vadakin, Moderator of the Curia/Vicar General.

"You might wish to highlight that the Archdiocese is committed to ensuring that all of our ministries remain safe for all people."
It is clear that what matters most to Cardinal Mahony is not SAVING SOULS, but SAVING FACE. His priority is not THE SACRED MYSTERIES, but rather SAFE MINISTRIES.

This is sick.
This is evil.

L.A. Catholic is grateful to the anonymous source which provided the above-mentioned memo.

Mahony's latest publicity stunt

Fellow Angelino and blogger in Christ, Patrick Coffin (SIEZE THE DEI), offers a stinging commentary on the release of the so-called summaries of abusive priests' files. Read The Artful Roger.

Mahony's most troubling case

Out of the numerous cases involving clergy sexual abuse of minors, the one which Cardinal Mahony finds most troubling is that of Father Michael Baker. And troubled he should be. In December of 1986, Father Baker came clean with Mahony about his "problem with boys" and was subsequently sent away for treatment. 9 months later he is back in the Archdiocese and thereupon begins a flurry of assignments, interspersed with therapy and other violations, all the way up to the year 2000 when Baker is finally removed from ministry.

DIOGENES sifts through the data to provide us with a poignant summary of the summary of the confidential file of Father Michael S. Baker. Go to AND MORE FUN WITH THE FILES.

Father Michael Baker

Cardinal Mahony has called the case of Father Michael Baker the one "that troubles me most."

The following is a copy of the Archdiocese's bare-bones summary of Father Baker's confidential priest file.

Graduates from St. John’s Theology with M.A. in Religion.
Ordained for Diocese of Los Angeles.
Assigned to St. Joan of Arc Parish (Los Angeles) as Associate.
Assigned to St. Paul of the Cross (La Mirada) as Associate.
Assigned as Associate Pastor at St. Hilary Church (Pico Rivera).
Assigned as Administrator of St. Hilary Church.
Assigned to St. Catherine Laboure parish as Associate Pastor (effective January 1, 1987, after return from Sabbatical).
Takes four-month Sabbatical leave to attend continuing education program at Notre Dame University, Indiana (August 1, 1986 through December 1986).
Pursuant to Cardinal Mahony’s invitation during a retreat for priests to talk with him about their problems, requests meeting with Cardinal.
12/22/86 and 12/23/86
Meets with Cardinal Mahony and Vicar for Clergy Curry to discuss and his relationship with two boys from 1978 to 1985.
Placed on sick leave through 08/31/87.
Leaves for evaluation by Servants of the Paraclete, Foundation House, in Jemez Springs, New Mexico.
Evaluation report from Servants of the Paraclete re Baker.
Commences residential treatment by Servants of the Paraclete.
First report from Servants of the Paraclete re Baker.
Second report from Servants of the Paraclete re Baker.
Third report from Servants of the Paraclete re Baker.
Vicar for Clergy (Curry) meets with Baker and staff at Servants of the Paraclete in New Mexico.
Fourth and final report from Servants of the Paraclete re Baker.
Returns to Archdiocese; staying temporarily at St. Elisabeth (Van Nuys).
Ministry restrictions formalized. Baker to participate in therapy.
Assigned to Catholic Charities, Department on Aging, until 7/31/88.
Assigned to Residence at St. Thomas the Apostle (Los Angeles).
Participates in Follow-Up Workshop at Servants of the Paraclete, New Mexico.
Report from Servants of the Paraclete re Follow-Up Workshop.
Report re group therapy.
Completion of Baker’s work with Catholic Charities, Department of Aging.
Assigned to work with retired priests and restricted to no contact with minors.
Assigned to Residence at St. Elizabeth Church (Van Nuys), subject to restrictions.
Meeting of Vicar for Clergy, pastor, and Baker to discuss a breach of restriction by Baker at St. Elizabeth’s re contact (non-sexual) with a minor.
Assigned to St. Linus Church (Norwalk) as Administrator Pro-Tem.
Assigned to St. Gerard Majella Church (Los Angeles) as
Administrator Pro-Tem.
Assigned to St. Mary Church (Palmdale) as Administrator Pro- Tem.
Assigned to St. Lucy Church (Long Beach) as Administrator Pro- Tem.
Assigned to Sacred Heart Church (Lincoln Heights) as
Administrator Pro-Tem.
Assigned to Residence at St. Elizabeth, Van Nuys.
Assigned to Residence at St. Columbkille Parish (Los Angeles).
Assigned to Vicar of Clergy’s staff responsible for Ministry to Sick and Retired Priests (Archdiocesan Assistant for Retired Persons).
Assigned to St. Columbkille Parish (Los Angeles) as Administrator Pro-Tem.
Note re a breach of restrictions by contact (non-sexual) with minors observed by pastor.
Report to Vicar of Clergy re a breach of restrictions by contact (non-sexual) with a minor.
On Sabbatical from 8/1/96 through 12/31/96.
Sexual Abuse Advisory Board (SAAB) ecommendations re Baker.
09/06/96 09/08/96
Treating doctor’s reports.
Assigned to St. Camillus de Lellis (Los Angeles).
Progress meeting of therapist, Vicar for Clergy’s staff therapist, and Baker.
First complaint by a victim: Attorney for victims (Castellanos) sends draft of complaint.
Removed from ministry.
Report that Baker had performed two Baptisms.
Cardinal Mahony signs Decree Opening Canonical Investigation pertaining to Baker’s violation of duty of obedience by performing baptisms.
Baker laicized.
Adult’s letter re alleged abuse by Baker as a minor.

Archdiocesan website publishes file summaries

Go HERE for pdf file.

These are scant outlines of each accused priest's file.

Oct 11, 2005

Archdiocese to release sanitized summaries of confidential files

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles has turned over to the New York Times the "cliff notes" version of files of L.A. priests accused of sexual abuse of minors. Mahony's representatives will be releasing the abridged files to the general public in a few days, according the NY Times report.

The archdiocese is releasing them in part to make good on a promise to parishioners to come clean about the church's actions in the scandal, church officials said. It also hopes that the release will spur settlement talks, which appear to have stalled in recent months.

Raymond P. Boucher, the lead lawyer for those suing the church, said the versions of the files released by the church were cleansed of much of the damaging details of the accusations and the church's response. Their release was chiefly a public relations move by the church as both sides prepared for the first cases to go to trial, Mr. Boucher said.
"Unfortunately, these files do not contain the full story of the participation by the church in the manipulation and movement of these priests," he said. "The full files would show how deep and pervasive this problem was and how much the church put its own interests ahead of those of the children and others who were molested by the priests. That is a broader and deeper story."
The NY Times makes specific mention of the case of Father Michael Baker ...

... who voluntarily revealed in 1986 to then-Archbishop Mahony a sexual relationship with two young boys from 1978 to 1985. Archbishop Mahony did not report the abuse to the police, but rather sent Father Baker for counseling and prohibited him from having any close contact with minors, the documents show. But he was soon assigned to parishes where he found it easy to prey on young boys again. After several more unsuccessful efforts at therapy, Father Baker was finally removed from the priesthood in 2000, but only after it was learned that he had molested as many as 10 victims over the previous 20 years.

The Stones in L.A.

Not the Rolling Stones, but the Mahony Stones.

What was this about the cathedral being paid for? If that is the case, why is the Cardinal looking for money wherever it can be found.

"You, and the generations that come after you are the ones who fill the pews, sing the hyms (sic), hear the words of guidance and hope, and praise the Lord. It is people such as you who build (sic) the great cathedrals of the past, one stone at a time. This is a rare opportunity to be part of your cathedral, the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, once (sic) stone at a time."

The person who wrote the above copy was appropriately "stoned" (sick) at the time.

$ 50 ... Chapels & Ambulatories
$ 100 ... Side Aisles
$ 250 ... Baptistry
$ 500 ... Main Aisle
$ 1000 ... Sanctuary
$ 2,500 ... Blessed Sacrament Chapel
$ 5000 ... Closest to the Altar

Now you understand why Cardinal Mahony said, "We are the Church of the poor."

Explosion of homosexuality

Father Robert Altier preaches on today's reading from St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans, chapter 1:16-25.

It is well worth listening to. Go HERE. (requires DSS player)

To download DSS player, click HERE.
Macintosh users, click HERE.

Oct 10, 2005

Quotable Mahony

Cardinal Roger Mahony at $40 per person "prayer breakfast" ...

"We are the Church of the poor."

I don't make this stuff up.

Low marks for L.A. cathedral

Slate evaluates the architectural styles of various mega-churches, including Mahony's cathedral.
Regarding the exterior:

Megachurch congregations rarely hire big-name architects. Perhaps they are afraid that the messenger will outshine the message. Not so for the Catholic Church, whose shortlist to design a new cathedral for Los Angeles included Frank Gehry and Rafael Moneo, both Pritzker Prize winners, and Thom Mayne (who would win the Pritzker a few years later). Moneo got the job and produced an abstract design that is as nontraditional as any megachurch. The heavy, pigmented concrete walls, as well as the stylized campanile, are intended to evoke the traditional adobe of early Californian mission churches. Yet the abstract forms and louvered windows make this graceless building look more like a power plant than a cathedral. Moneo's earnest minimalism is more fashionable than Lakewood Church's clunky design, but it is no more evocative of religious feeling.
And the interior:

The bright interior of Our Lady of the Angels is a modern version of a traditional church. But the wooden ceiling is a poor substitute for a fan vault, just as the alabaster panels in the windows have none of the numinous quality of stained glass. The 100-foot-tall nave, which holds 2,600 people, feels squat rather than soaring. The artworks attached to the walls, presumably intended to humanize the architecture, feel makeshift, as if the large space were originally designed for some other function and had been converted into a sanctuary. This busy and confusing interior points to the peril of trying to "update" a traditional architectural idiom. It's as hopeless as translating Shakespeare into hip-hop.
Tip to the Openbookblogger.

A successful cathedral?

I do not believe it has ever happened that the words "successful" and "cathedral" have been juxtaposed ... until now.

You will find this odd pairing of words on Mahony's cathedral website. On the homepage you will see a new tab labeled, WAYS TO GIVE, which takes you to a webpage which says:

Be a Part of the Cathedral Success Story ...

Unlike some of the cathedrals of Europe, there is no charge [half-truth] to enter the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels and to enjoy its renowned art [lie], architecture [lie] and music [maybe that is true; I don't know].

The Cathedral truly belongs to everyone because the whole community contributes to its ongoing success, whether financially or through friendship ...

The "through friendship" part is boiler plate. What they're really interested in is the "financially" part, as indicated by the 4 links listed at the bottom of the WAYS TO GIVE webpage:

What do you need to join the Cathedral associates?


There are two categories of membership in this select group of cathedral backers.

(1) the PASTOR'S COUNCIL: the required ANNUAL GIFT is $1000-$4999.

(2) the CARDINAL'S COUNCIL: To join this even more elite group, an ANNUAL MINIMUM GIFT of $5000 is required.

Sound like a lot of moola?
Not really.
Just look at all you get in return!

Cathedral Associates receive many benefits including a special Mass, a reception with the Cathedral Pastor, Monsignor Kevin Kostelnik or dinner with His Eminence [if you pay the bigger bucks] Cardinal Roger Mahony. Benefits include a Cathedral Gift Shop discount, free parking [that will save you a ton of loot], annual donor recognition at the Cathedral Center, and more.

Who could want anything more?

I don't get it.
The cathedral is really successful.
Then why all the money grubbing???

Something doesn't add up.

What was it that Mother Teresa said about the pre-eminence of FAITHFULNESS over SUCCESS? Instead of spinning so many wheels in order to salvage the cathedral project which was a colossal failure from the start, Cardinal Mahony ought to work on being FAITHFUL for a change and just then maybe everything else will fall into place.

Oct 9, 2005

Historic mission parish gets interim leader


The death of Monsignor Patrick J. O'Brien left some large shoes to fill at San Buenaventura Mission, where the adored Irish priest presided for a quarter-century.

His interim replacement, for now, is walking gingerly. He's vowed to carry the torch of what O'Brien achieved -- not light his own -- and help parishioners grieve.

"My job, honestly and simply, is to love the people," said the Rev. Alexander Lewis, who befriended O'Brien and spent time at the historic Ventura mission three years ago while researching a book. "The big thing is to really be sensitive to what is already happening here."

Clayton Emmer over at THE WEIGHT OF GLORY will get a kick out of this. Check out his post on "Father Alexander" HERE.

Also, go HERE to see L.A. Catholic's post about the mission's new priest .

L.A.'s next archbishop

Read about him HERE.

Any Hollywood types interested in Catholicism?


L.A. Masses

TIDINGS photo by Victor Aleman

Were there any dragons that you had to do battle with in your parish this Sunday?

A shrine to 'La Virgencita'

This article about a popular shrine dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe in Des Plaines reminded me of the fact that in L.A. there really aren't any "shrines" or places of pilgrimage.

If Mahony had been smart, instead of spending $200 million on a ugly building that nobody likes -- and nobody knows exactly how much the thing cost since Mahony is not prone to "full disclosure" about anything -- the Cardinal of L.A. would have used some of that money to build a shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe somewhere in his archdiocese (maybe out in the Lancaster-Palmdale area). This would have been a wise thing to do, both pastorally and even financially speaking. The largest concentration of Mexicans outside of Mexico City resides in Los Angeles. And besides, faithful Catholics of every stripe love Our Lady.

Synod bishop says mega-Masses not conducive to dignified worship

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - In an address to a synod of bishops meeting at the Vatican, Bishop Javier Echevarria Rodriguez said such large-scale celebrations could sometimes be a detriment to the "sacred nature" of the mass.

According to an excerpt of his speech given out to reporters and a briefing by a spokesman, Echevarria said the Church should "re-think whether Eucharistic celebrations (masses) with an excessive number of concelebrants is opportune".

This was not a popular thing to say in light of the fact that mega-Masses were a unique feature of the pontificate of the beloved John Paul II, but I think the good bishop has a point.


Oct 8, 2005

Dumb and dumber

VATICAN CITY (CNS) - Coadjutor Bishop Arnold Orowae of Wabag, Papua New Guinea, who favors ordaining married men as priests, questioned whether it was necessary for a priest who had to serve poor, often illiterate people in remote areas to have "years of intellectual formation in philosophy and theology."

He stressed ministers would have to have the proper and "necessary training required," but that they would be ordained for the task of only celebrating the Eucharist.

Let me get this straight. The bishop is saying that we need to dumb down the priesthood because, after all, poor, illiterate people don't need much other than someone to perform "the task of only celebrating the Eucharist."

The problem with this is that it reduces the priesthood to a mere function and completely overlooks the munus docendi (the power to teach) conferred by ordination to the priesthood. Furthermore, it truncates the priestly munus sanctificandi (the power to sanctify) by reducing the priest to the level of a mere functionary who is ordained solely to confect the Eucharist. And what about the Sacrament of Penance? How can one fruitfully participate in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass without confession? And in order to faithfully carry out this "ministry of reconciliation" a priest must have a certain level of learning in the Sacred Sciences as well as in other disciplines.

It seems to me that the Church must make it a priority to form holy and learned priests. There are far too many "HACKS" in the priesthood and lowering the standards will only make matters worse.

Oct 7, 2005

Mahony at $40 prayer breakfast: 'We are the Church of the poor'

It must have been a very big Egg McMuffin, Your Eminence.

THE TIDINGS reports ...

"We are the church of the poor," the cardinal reminded those present [at the pre-breakfast 7:00 a.m. Mass], citing the example of St. Vincent de Paul, whose feast day is Sept. 27.
Cardinal Mahony invited those attending to "look around and make the marginalized objects of our prayer, care and concern."
Do I qualify as marginalized since I couldn't afford the $400 required to feed my poor Mexican family of ten at the cathedral prayer breakfast? And by the way, I thought that the object of our prayer was supposed to be God?

At the breakfast itself, Msgr. Kevin Kostelnik, Cathedral pastor, introduced Denise Jackson and her mother Audrey Forte, who had been homeless since the hurricanes and flooding affected New Orleans. The Cathedral parish --- in line with what other parishes around the U.S. have been doing since the hurricanes left thousands homeless --- has adopted Denise and her mother.

I guess this is to show that the Cathedral parish is a sharing and caring community. What I want to know is does this mean that Denise and Audrey moved into the Cardinal's palace on Hill Street?

One of the "dignitaries" present at the prayer breakfast was Mahony crony and pro-abortion Catholic mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa. He led everyone in the pledge of allegiance. The new mayor is becoming a regular feature at Mahony's cathedral. The next thing you know the Cardinal will be commissioning a bronze likeness of Villaraigosa to hang up next to one of those "hellish looking creatures with scorched wings."

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