Another Catholic Book on the Scandals will be out …

Another Catholic Book on the Scandals will be out this August. Author/Editor Paul Thigpen writes:

I also got a call from the Times today to discuss a new book I’m editing, coming out with Servant Publications, entitled Shaken by Scandals: Catholics Speak Out About Priests’ Sexual Abuse. It will appear in August. In it, fourteen contributors from various walks of life (priest, parent, journalist, moral theologian, church historian, and so on) address various aspects of the crisis. They are all faithful Catholics, loyal to the Church and the Tradition, but outraged by the abuse and the cover-ups and insistent that it’s time to cleanse the Temple.

I think it’s critical that Fr. Groeschel’s book and ours give a voice to loyal Catholics, because there’s a spate of new books coming out in the next few months written by people who are hostile to the Church and who want to undermine the Tradition. So keep up the good work in providing thoughtful, faithful commentary. The worst revelations, I fear, are yet to come, but–as St. Augustine never tired of saying–our God is so great that He can bring great good even out of great evil.

Rare Blasts? One of our staff just returned fro…

Rare Blasts?

One of our staff just returned from New York, where he stayed next to the Empire State Building. While there he reported that manhole covers were blowing up in the street. Evidently this nerved up quite a few people. “Not to worry,” city officials counseled.

Seems that the same thing has happened in Indianapolis now.

I did an interview with the New York Times toda…

scandaltohope.jpg I did an interview with the New York Times today about From Scandal to Hope by Father Benedict J. Groeschel C.F.R. The story will focus on what publishing house’s are doing in response the the current crisis within the Catholic Church. Our Sunday Visitor will be the first publisher to do anything that directly addresses this situation.

Amy has pictures of our Chicago trip posted. Sorry…

Amy has pictures of our Chicago trip posted. Sorry, though, there are not pictures of her!

Troubles in Palm Beach continue. Now it’s mone…

Troubles in Palm Beach continue.

Now it’s money embezzled that has gone unreported. The bishop (Symons–who was the head of the “treasury committee” when I taught at the seminary) worked out a very neat deal where the embezzeler could pay back over $400,000 at $200 a month. Now there is a loan that any of us would’nt mind paying off. Check it out in the Palm Beach Post.

The Diocese Report Has Posted the 1961 Vatican Doc…

The Diocese Report Has Posted the 1961 Vatican Document that spells out who cannot be admitted to the novitate. Now that I read through the document, I recall having read it before in Jerusalem in 1979 in a religious bookstore there. It was never used as a guide in the seminary that I taught at, in fact if it had we would have had to close down for lack of suitable candidates (which probably is a testimony of how bad things are). It forbids allowing:

1. Those who are weak willed or obsessed with sex. Think here the guy who preaches about it all the time or the guy who looks like he can’s say “no” to a good meal even when the doctor tells him that its killing him.

A candidate who shows himself certainly unable to observe religious and priestly chastity, either because of frequent sins against chastity or because of a sexual bent of mind or excessive weakness of will, is not to be admitted to the minor seminary and, much less, to the novitiate or to profession. If he has already been accepted but is not yet perpetually professed, then he should be sent away immediately or advised to withdraw, according to individual cases, no matter what point in his formation he has already reached.

2. Those who have problems with solitary acts (masturbation). It is amazing how vague they are when they write these things (maybe they lose something in the translation.

Consequently, any candidate who has a habit of solitary sins and who has not given well-founded hope that he can break this habit within a period of time to be determined prudently, is not to be admitted to the novitiate. Nor can a candidate be admitted to first profession or to renewal of vows unless he has really amended his ways.

3.Those who sin with someone of the same-sex (homosexual acts). Unless they are seduced and penitent.

If a student in a minor seminary has sinned gravely against the sixth commandment with a person of the same or the other sex, or has been the occasion of grave scandal in the matter of chastity, he is to be dismissed immediately as stipulated in canon 1371, except if prudent consideration of the act and of the situation of the student by the superiors or confessors should counsel a different policy in an individual case, sc., in the case of a boy who has been seduced and who is gifted with excellent qualities and is truly penitent, or when the sin was an objectively imperfect act.


Advancement to religious vows and ordination should be barred to those who are afflicted with evil tenencies to homosexuality or pederasty, since for them the common life and the priestly ministry would constitute serious dangers.

4. Those of a “sensitive” nature.

Very special investigation is needed for those students who, although they have hitherto been free of formal sins against chastity, nevertheless suffer from morbid or abnormal sexuality, especially sexual hyperesthesia or an erotic bent of nature, to whom religious celibacy would be a continual act of heroism and a tryring martyrdom. For chastity, in so far as it implies abstinence from sexual pleasure, not only becomes very difficult for many people but the very state of celibaby and the consequent loneliness and separation from one’s family becomes so difficulty for certain individuals gifted with excessive sensitivity and tenderness, that they are not fit subjects for the religious life.

5. Then for the rest:

In addition, special attention must be paid to those who give evidence of neuropsychosis and who are described by psychiatrists as neurotics or psychopaths, especially those who are scrupulous, abulic, hysterical, or who suffer from some form of mental disease (schizophrenia, paranoia, etc.). The same is true of those who have a delicate constitiution or, particularly, those who suffer from weakness fo the nervouse syastem or from protracted psychic melancholia, anxiety or epilepsy (can. 984, 3) or who are afflicted whith obsessions. Similarly, precautions are needed in examinining the children of alcoholics or those tainted with some hereditary weakness, especially in the mental order (cf. Stat. Gen., art 33; 34, :1). Finally, those young men are in need of special attention who manifest exaggerated attachment to the comforts of life and worldly pleasures. Superiors should carefully examine all these types and subject them to thorough examination by a prudent and expert Catholic psychiatrist who, after repeated examination, will be in a position to determine whether or not they will be able to shoulder, with honor to that state, the burden of religious and priestly life, especially celibacy.

Lest this be seen as an attack on “just” homosexual candidates, I think a careful reading would exclude just about every candidate I’ve ever known which is probably why it never was enforced. Even for some very “celibate” priests, the last one which deals with the “comforts of life” and “worldly pleasures” would have gotten them–think of the priest with the big expensive car and the fine art collection.

Contemporary Art Still Sucks! I was hoping that…

Contemporary Art Still Sucks!

I was hoping that I could link to some examples of what I witnessed in Chicago. But evidently they don’t take any of this stuff seriously either. So use your imagination (not much required here though):

1. “Red Blank”–a board painted red leaning against the wall.

2. A large Kleenix box with a pipe through it.

3. A string of lights plugged into a wall socket lying on the floor.

4. A pile of hard candy lying on the floor in the corner of the gallery with a spotlight overhead.

We saw Katie pawing through this “work of art”-to our horror. Amy told her to get away and Katie took her to the description of the piece with lo and behold encouraged the viewer to take a piece (the candy is replaced from time to time.

That’s all I can remember right now and in another day I won’t even remember these–which is the genius of this type of art–it is totally unrememberable.

Some notes of interest from our Chicago wanderings…

Some notes of interest from our Chicago wanderings:

Soldier Field is in ruins.

John Allen of NCR thinks the Nicaraguan Cardinal will be the next Pope. (My vote–but I don’t have one of course–goes to Cardinal Arinze or my #1 pick, Francis Xavier Cardinal Nguyen Van Thuan) Click on Cardinal Van Thuan’s name for info on his books detailing his 12 years of imprisonment, click on Cardinal Arinze’s name for a book that I worked with him on.

Turns out that:

the largest, most complete, and best preserved Tyrannosaurus rex fossil yet discovered” is smaller than an elephant.

Father Bernard Bro is writing a new book in French and there are plans to translate it in English.

John Foppe
is just as neat a guy in person as he seemed when I read about him and talked with him a few years ago on the phone.

There are people who read this blog outside of Indiana. One of them is associated with this site.

One diocese supposedly is doing exorcisms around the clock because of the problems you and I are reading about.

Campus Ministry is dominated by aged 60 plus nuns who don’t wear habits and pray to the four winds–which in a round bout way fits because it harkens back to the Tridentine Mass (if they know that perhaps they’ll stop).

Residence Inn is the place to stay if you are traveling with the family.

You can get a good meal at Harry Carry’s in Chicago.

Contemporary art still sucks-(I’ll give a separate entry to this above in a few minutes). But everything that came before it can help you to see life in a completely different light.

The Art Institute of Chicago is a great art museum.

The Daughters of St. Paul have nice Catholic Bookstores. The one in Chicago, typical of their stores has a Chapel inside.

Mary Louise Kurey has a new boyfriend who shares her views on chastity and religion. If you want her to come and speak at your school, visit her site for contact info–or visit it to buy her book detailing a former Miss Wisconsin who is a virgin.

Where Your Stewardship Monies are Going In LA N…

Where Your Stewardship Monies are Going In LA

Nice to know that they have all the “right” concerns out there in Los Angeles. From the AP:

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles tapped Sitrick & Co., a Century City-based company that has dealt with high-profile cases.

The company’s clients have included troubled energy company Dynegy Inc., Global Crossing during its bankruptcy, actress

Halle Berry following a traffic accident and comedian Paula Poundstone after her child-endangerment case.

Sexual Harassment at Peyton Place or Manning Sex…

Sexual Harassment at Peyton Place


Manning Sexual Harassment Suit Revealed (and I don’t mean Cardinal Manning)

A Lakeland, Florida woman who used to work for the University of Tennessee is suing Peyton and Archie Manning for defamation, but the real clincher in this story is that she has already been paid $300,000 for a sexual harassment suit against the University that involved Saint Peyton. From the AP:

Jamie Ann Naughright filed suit in Polk County Circuit Court on Wednesday, seeking more than $15,000 in damages because Peyton Manning said she had a ”vulgar mouth.” She said the comment in ”Manning” hurt her career.

Manning, who wrote the book with his father, was speaking about a 1996 incident in which he exposed his bare backside as Naughright bent over to examine his foot.

Peyton Manning, who now plays for the Indianapolis Colts, was Tennessee’s quarterback at the time. Naughright was director of health and wellness and associate football trainer at the school.

Although Manning said he intended to play the prank on another athlete, Naughright later received a $300,000 settlement after including the incident among 33 sexual harassment allegations she made against the university.

"Michael Dubruiel"

This is a continuation of the 73 Steps to Spiritua…

This is a continuation of the 73 Steps to Spiritual Communion with God. The previous posts are below and in the archives to the right. This is the 43rd step:

(43) But as to any evil in himself, let him be convinced that it is his own and charge it to himself.

This counsel follows from the previous one. If God has created us as “good” then any evil is from our free choice to do other than what God wills for us. We should understand that what is “evil” is bad for us, to the point that if we persist in evil it leads to our self-destruction.

If God has created us as good, then anything that is not good can not be from God, it must have another source, St. Benedict concludes rightly that it must come from ourselves.

There are many maladies in life that may seem evil but really are not. Someones genetic makeup may make the prone to an early death and on the surface that may seem like an “evil” but in fact it is only our perception again of what our idea of “good” is. A person whose life is limited by their genetic or physical condition still has been put on this earth by God and still has a mission. They can do much good with the talents that God has given them. To bury the talents because of their perceived bad condition is to squander the good.

A woman born in a physical condition that gave her little chance to live beyond her twenties, described an incident that she says happened to her on the day of her birth. “God,” she says, “asked me if I wanted to do something special for Him.” She says that she responded, “Yes.”

Virginia Cyr spent her short twenty-something years praising God in a body racked with pain, in and out of orphanages after her mother abandoned her, sexually abused by a drunken priest who took advantage of her physical condition which prevented her from running away–through it all she thanked God for the mission, He had blessed her with on her day of her birth.

Now this Indiana woman lies waiting the resurrection in a grave in Lafayette. The orphanage where she lived in Fort Wayne, no longer is there. Perhaps an answer to some prayer that God answered because she had so faithfully carried out His mission.

No matter what, evil is our choice and the good is God’s blessing.

More of Chicago today….

More of Chicago today….

Exorcisms? Met up with a friend attending a cam…


Met up with a friend attending a campus ministry seminar at O’Hare who told me tales of exorcisms that are being performed in one diocese that has been hard hit by the recent scandals. No doubt there is a demonic element at work not only in the abuse cases but in the general state of confusion on the part of many in the Church.

Met up with John Foppe yesterday. John has a book …

Met up with John Foppe yesterday. John has a book out with Thomas Nelson that I originally wanted OSV to publish but he wanted it out sooner than we felt we could do it. I highly recommend the book—check out his site for more info. Below is a synopsis from his site:

What’s Your Excuse?

Making the Most of What You Have

John Foppe shares his story of conquering the physical and emotional struggles of being born with no arms and teaches how attitude, self-respect, and faith in God can help anyone overcome obstacles.

John Foppe, born without arms, has faced obstacles – both physical and emotional – his entire life. While some see his condition as a debilitating handicap, John disagrees. “Our only handicaps are those mental and emotional ones that prevent us from participating fully in life.” John is a creative problem solver, and his inspiring story will enable you to see that the only things preventing you from accomplishing your goals are self-imposed limitations. His education in clinical social work and his experience as a professional speaker give him unique insight on overcoming adversity. Here he reveals how to break through negative thinking and allow God to empower you to do great things.

This is a continuation of the 73 Steps to Spiritua…

This is a continuation of the 73 Steps to Spiritual Communion with God. The previous posts are below and in the archives to the right. This is the 42nd step:

(42) To refer what good one sees in himself, not to self, but to God.

If we have lived long enough, and are in touch with what motivates us, I think we will come to see the truth that there is a great good that is essential to who we are at our deepest core. God created us and as God says in the Book of Genesis when he looked upon his creation-He saw that it was “good.”

God is responsible for the goodness that is at the core of every human being. It is there and we can both see it in others and in ourselves.

When God became Man, He had no problem recognizing the “good” that was in all of creation. Where some saw prostitutes or tax collectors, the Son of God saw precious creatures that had the same basic goodness as all who have been created by God.

When the rich young man called Jesus, “Good teacher,” Jesus corrected him, “Why call me good? Only God is good.” Here we have an application of this counsel by Jesus Himself.

Yes, only God is good, but He has shared that goodness in His creation. We are part of God’s creation. Therefore when we worship Him, we come to know ourselves as we truly are and we come to see the goodness that is at the heart of who He has created us to be.

This original goodness has been marred by Original Sin, sadly people do not realize the great value that they possess. Often they are confused about their purpose in life and unfortunately many waste the talents that they have been blessed with because they take the definition of who they are from other people or from some other ideal of who they should be.

Jesus’ death and resurrection make it possible for us to understand that God loves us. By being baptized the original goodness that is in us can come to the fore.

We are “good” because God created us. Our actions are good as much as we act out of the self that God created us to be. All is from God and God deserves all the praise both for who we are and the good that we do.

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