Sep 29, 2007

Report: Sisters of Bethany can stay in Santa Barbara

My sources in Santa Barbara report that the Santa Barbara News-Press (click on this post's title) this morning (Sept. 29) had a front-page article, "Nuns can stay in S.B. after all -- Sale of convent prompts outpouring of public support."

The article -- I don't have a link to the full article, because to see it you have to register and all that -- quotes a Jim Garcia of Catholic Charities of Santa Barbara as saying so many citizens wrote the Mother Superior in support of the Sisters that she now says they can stay in Santa Barbara.

I don't know any more details than this, or the accuracy of it. There is word that a grassroots citizens' group is raising money for the Sisters.

Sep 27, 2007

""...[The Latin Mass] remains sacred and great for us too..."

In today's (September 27) edition of the ZENIT daily e-news, Elizabeth Lev provides one of the very greatest quotes from Pope Benedict XVI in his letter that accompanied his motu proprio "Summorum Pontificum":

"What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful."

Yet our U.S. bishops basically DID "entirely forbid" the Latin Mass, and most of them, and many U.S. priests, too, DID "consider [it] harmful."

So when are they going to apologize for stealing the Latin Mass from us for 40 years, and when and how are they going to make restitution for that theft?

They could START by repenting of their BIAS against the Latin Mass, and by cooperating with the Pope and making the Latin Mass widely available to us.

Sep 24, 2007

Cardinal Mahony's 13th Annual Public Policy Breakfast, 8 a.m. this Friday, Sept. 28

The Archdiocesan web site is announcing (click on this post's title) that the Cardinal's public policy breakfast theme this year will be "California's Health Care Crisis: Action for Reform."

Yes, we have a crisis -- but it's also true that politicians label something a "crisis" to stampede the public into accepting undesirable "solutions." So we need to beware of all proposed statist "solutions" that will loot taxpayers' hard-earned dollars and implement pro-death measures such as "rationing" (read: REFUSING) nourishment and treatment to the elderly, infirm and poor.

Wonder if the taxpayer-funded aborting of hundreds of thousands of California babies yearly will be on the agenda? What are the odds on that?

The Archdiocese says: "The Public Policy Breakfast is an opportunity to engage elected officials, business and community leaders, and key religious representatives from throughout the region in discussion on issues of concern to our respective constituencies." Wonder if they'll take questions?

There will be "4 selected speakers." Wonder if any or all are pro-abortion, pro-contraception, pro-euthanasia? What are the odds on that?

The $25 confab will be at the Shriners Hospital, 3160 Geneva Street, L.A.

Sep 23, 2007

Update on the Sisters of Bethany

The "Latest News" section on the main page of the web site of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles (click on this post's title) has a couple of items on the Sisters of Bethany, who are losing their home because the Archdiocese is selling their convent to pay the cost of settling the molestation-coverup lawsuits.

Also on that page, by the way, is an unrelated photo with this caption: "Dancer carries the lectionary during opening prayer service of the Religious Education Congress, 2005. Photo by Sr. Nancy Munro, CSJ."

Anyway, the one item is a notice from Sister M. Anncarla Costello, S.N.D., the Archdiocese of L.A.'s Vicar for Women Religious, which fingers Sister Angela (of the Sisters of Bethany in Santa Barbara) by name and which introduces a letter from Mother Luz Elena Ordonez Quezada, C.V.D., superior general of the Sisters of Bethany. The Archdiocese posted Sister Anncarla's notice on Sept. 21, but the notice's internal evidence dates it at Sept. 14.

The other item is a Sept. 11 statement by the Archdiocese.

Mother Luz's letter is dated Sept. 13. She says her Order has decided to "return the house in Santa Barbara" [to the Archdiocese].

A commenter or two has said at this blogspot that Mother Luz's letter apologized for the behavior of the Sisters of Bethany in Santa Barbara. But that is not precisely what her letter says:

"In my name and from our congregation I express all our pain and hurt for the sad events, because we are church, daughters of the church, and anything that hurts or injures our Mother Church, injures all of us in general."

"I express all our pain and hurt" does not sound like a typical apology. And "for the sad events" is so general that it certainly can be read to encompass the whole situation, including the Archdiocese's (mis)handling of it.

Would the Archdiocese be nicer to the Sisters of Bethany in Santa Barbara if they were liturgical dancers, pastorettes or something equally trendy?

Let's pray for the Sisters of Bethany during this sad time.

Sep 16, 2007

A little follow-up on the Sisters of Bethany

The Associated Press yesterday had a follow-up story (click on this post's title) about the Archdiocese of Los Angeles's eviction-in-progress of the Sisters of Bethany from their longtime convent in Santa Barbara to help fund the $660 million molester-and-cover-up settlement.

The article says, "...the order's general superior indicated in a letter Thursday that there been a plan to sell the convent for years. Mother Luz Elena Ordonez Quezada wrote that she had intended to move the nuns after [Sister Angela] Escalera, 69, had retired two or three years ago.

"'Our plan was to expand the property we own in Oxnard so they can live there, especially since Sister Angela needs lots of care and attention due to her limited condition,' [Mother Luz] wrote from Guatemala.

"She said an alternate plan called for moving the nuns to the order's other convent in Los Angeles."

The objective observer will wonder why anyone would feel this matter so urgent as to "wr[i]te from Guatemala" about it, unless a certain Cardinal had ordered her to, so as to take the heat off him.

Did Mother Luz write "sub compulsione" -- under compulsion? It is interesting that commenter "Liam" wrote the following here last week:

"Turns out, according to a priest who knows more than the L.A. Times, that these Sisters' superior in L.A. has been trying to get them out of that house for years. Mother Superior should now come forward and publicly set the record straight instead of letting the Archdiocese of L.A. take the heat."

What a coincidence that defenders of Cardinal Mahony should make this suggestion, and the suggestion should quickly come to pass -- all the way down in Guatemala, yet!

The reality remains that for the Archdiocese to order the sisters evicted without kindly looking out for them, taking care of their needs and working things out with them first, is bizarre - and unnecessary. It is also a public relations blunder that has given a black eye to the Church.

Sep 15, 2007

More on Oakland's new cathedral

Today's (Sept. 15) San Francisco Chronicle has a front-page article (click on this post's title) on Oakland's under-construction Cathedral of Christ the Light.

Among other things, the article says:

"Scheduled to open next September on 2.5 acres at the intersection of Harrison Street and Grand Avenue, the new center will include the 1,500-seat cathedral, a public plaza, a cafe, a bookstore, a mausoleum, chancery offices, a 500-seat conference center, a 200-car garage, and residences for Bishop Allen Vigneron and cathedral pastor Father Quang Minh Dong.

"Parishioner Mary Cwalina of Pinole said the center will provide resources to the broader East Bay community and uplift the downtrodden. The Oakland Diocese each year provides food, shelter, medical care and social services to 400,000 people."

How about adding a pro-life (yes, anti-abortion) counseling center?

Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us!

Today, as we know, is the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. The illustration above is from Women for Faith & Family, whose site has a very good page (click on this post's title) with much to say about Our Lady of Sorrows.

The page includes the Stabat Mater Dolorosa in English and Latin.

May we always repent of our sins, go to Confession, perform our assigned penance, make a firm purpose of amendment and make reparation for our sins and those of all the world.

Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us! Amen.

Another accuser

Today's L.A. Times has a story (click on this post's title) about a man, 54, who has been making claims of sex abuse 40 years ago against Bishop Tod Brown of the Diocese of Orange. Bishop Brown has denied the charges in the past and continues to deny them.

The story says this:

"Ryan Lilyengren, a spokesman for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange, said the allegations had been thoroughly investigated and were found not credible by church officials and law enforcement, and that Brown had been thoroughly questioned about the allegation under oath.

"According to a statement released by the diocese Friday, 'Bishop Brown was cross-examined extensively regarding this issue by an adversarial lawyer in the presence of a judge with a certified court reporter and fully answered all appropriate questions. The transcript has been made available to the public.'"

Sep 14, 2007

Feast of the Triumph of the Cross

Adoramus te, christe, et benedicimus tibi, quia per crucem tuam redemisti mundum. / We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee, because by Thy cross Thou hast redeemed the world.
May we each resolve to take up our cross this day and every day and follow Jesus, and may we never boast except in the Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
"Though he was in the form of God, he did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.
"Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." -- Philippians 2:6-11

The illustration above, and the verses, are from Women for Faith & Family, at The illustration is a detail of the apse mosaic in the Church of San Clemente in Rome.

Sep 13, 2007

Santa Rosa Diocese in $5 million settlement

Today's (Sept. 13) San Francisco Chronicle carries a report (click on this post's title) that the Diocese of Santa Rosa reached an agreement on Aug. 27 to pay 10 plaintiffs a total of more than $5 million.

The pact will settle a sex abuse lawsuit involving allegations against the Rev. Francisco Ochoa-Perez that span 1985-2006. He is thought to have fled to Mexico in May 2006 to avoid arrest.

Santa Rosa Bishop Daniel Walsh has decided to pay $20,000 of the more than $5 million himself.

The article says:

"Last year, Walsh agreed to undergo a four-month counseling program rather than face misdemeanor charges for failing to notify Sonoma County law enforcement officials immediately about Ochoa-Perez's alleged molestations."

The report says that in the past decade, the Diocese of Santa Rosa has paid nearly $20 million to settle sex abuse lawsuits.

Sep 12, 2007

Archbishop Burke strikes again!

In a meticulously reasoned and thoroughly researched article (click on this post's title) in the PERIODICA DE RE CANONICA, vol. 96 (2007) pages 3-58, Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis concludes:

"Can. 915 of the Code of Canon Law and can. 712 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches articulate an essential element of the shepherds' responsibility, namely, the perennial discipline of the Church by which the minister of Holy Communion is to deny the Sacrament to those who obstinately persevere in manifest grave sin."

Archbishop Burke preceded that conclusion with this statement:

"The application, therefore, is more necessary than ever, lest the faithful, led astray by the strong cultural trends of relativism, be deceived concerning the supreme good of the Holy Eucharist and the gravity of supporting publicly the commission of intrinsically evil acts. Catholics in public office bear an especially heavy burden of responsibility to uphold the moral law in the exercise of their office which is exercised for the common good, especially the good of the innocent and defenseless.

"When they fail, they lead others, Catholics and non-Catholics alike, to be deceived regarding the evils of procured abortion and other attacks on innocent and defenseless human life, on the integrity of human procreation, and on the family."

This should be essential reading for the pastors, other clergy and members of the hierarchy in Los Angeles who are giving, or have given, Communion to pro-abortion, pro-homosexual politicians.

Remember that Cardinal Arinze has said, in almost so many words, if they [pro-abortion politicians] should not receive, they should not be given.

They should not be given!

Sep 11, 2007

This opinion piece sympathizes with the Sisters of Bethany

An opinion piece (click on this post's title) in today's L.A. Times sympathizes with the Sisters of Bethany and the poor people they serve in Santa Barbara.

It also says this:

"The impoverishment of the [C]hurch compounds the tragedy defined by damaged lives, disillusioned believers and blameless priests who now must minister under a cloud of suspicion created by their faithless colleagues. But the blame for this state of affairs belongs not to the victims or their lawyers but to an ecclesiastical culture that embraced the false gospel of 'least said, soonest mended.'"

What do you think?

Offers of help overwhelm Sisters of Bethany

As ole Q hoped, Santa Barbarans and others across the Southland are offering to help the Sisters of Bethany avoid eviction by the Archdiocese of L.A.

A story (click on this post's title) in today's L.A. Times has the details.

Sep 9, 2007

Who's turning whose back on Whom?

The liberals misleadingly say that in the Mass that was the Catholic Mass for 1,500 years until the last 40, the priest "had his back turned to the people."

Well, in Mass in the last 40 years, doesn't the priest have his back turned to the Blessed Sacrament? That is, if the Blessed Sacrament is still behind the altar.

And if the Blessed Sacrament has been hidden away in a chapel to the side, in the back or even outside the church, don't the members of the congregation all have their backs, or at least their sides, to the Blessed Sacrament?

Something to think about, no?

By the way, the illustration above is from

Sep 7, 2007

Another $198 million down the tubes

Here we go again:

The Associated Press today reports (click on this post's title) that the Diocese of San Diego "has agreed to pay $198.1 million to settle 144 claims of sexual abuse by clergy, the second-largest payment since the U.S. abuse scandal erupted in 2002."

Let's see...$660 million in L.A., $198 million in San Diego, $100 million in Orange. To paraphrase the late Sen. Ev Dirksen of Illinois, a hundred million here, a hundred million there, and pretty soon you're talking about real money.

Cardinal Mahony evicting elderly Sisters of Bethany to pay his molestation / cover-up settlement

Today's Los Angeles Times (click on this post's title) reports that to help pay the gazillion-dollar clergy molestation / hierarchy cover-up settlement, Cardinal Mahony is going to sell the Santa Barbara convent of the Sisters of Bethany.

These three dear sisters have spent years -- one of them, 43 years -- helping desperately poor people, mostly Hispanic, on Santa Barbara's lower Eastside. No good deed goes unpunished, however, and now the sisters' reward is to have the Archdiocese sell their home out from under them.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if some apostolic Catholic would buy the house and let the sisters keep living there? If nobody rescues them, the sisters will have to abandon their service to poor people and move to their motherhouse in L.A.

It is not unreasonable, though, to wonder whether the Archdiocese has already made a deal to prevent the sisters from staying.

Didn't the Archdiocese say just a month or two ago that the gargantuan molestation / cover-up settlement would hurt no essential services? Guess the Archdiocese considers helping poor Hispanics in Santa Barbara not essential.

I thought the Cardinal has been telling us to be in solidarity with poor people.

Does the Cardinal care about Santa Barbara's poor Hispanics, and the Hispanic sisters who serve them in so Christ-like a way? He seems to care about rich pro-abortion Hispanic politicians he greets at the $200 million Cathedral.

According to the Times, the Cardinal's spokesman Tod Tamberg says the decision to sell the sisters' home is difficult but necessary. What would he say if the Cardinal was selling his house out from under him?

People concerned for the Sisters of Bethany and those whom they serve could take a deep breath and calm themselves, and wait a while, and then politely contact the Archdiocese:

Archdiocese of Los Angeles
3424 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90010-2202
213 637 7000

Sep 5, 2007

Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, pray for us!

As we know, Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta entered eternal life 10 years ago today. Click on this post's title to visit the web site of her official cause for canonization.

As we know, we need to be imitating Mother Teresa's love for Jesus, her service to poor, rejected people and her opposition to aborting babies.

The photo above of young Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu is from

Here is the web site of the Lay Missionaries of Charity. They ask, "How can I become a true disciple of Christ?"

Blessed Mother Teresa, pray for us now and always!

Archbishop: Latin Mass not relic or reversion to the past

Yesterday (Sept. 4) the Catholic News Agency reported (click on this post's title) that Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Birmingham, England, said this to the Latin Mass Society last week in Oxford:

"Please remember that what you study here is not a relic, not a reverting to the past, but part of the living tradition of the Church. It is, therefore, to be understood and entered into in the light of that living tradition today."

Something for all of us to cite to those foes of the Latin Mass who continue to object to, belittle and misrepresent it even after the Pope's motu proprio.

Sep 4, 2007

"You can't be truly pro-life unless..."

Liberal Catholics like to tell pro-lifers, "Oh, you're not truly pro-life unless you are against the death penalty and for a host of our liberal issues."

So when any liberal Catholics tell you that, be sure to reply, "You can't be truly pro-life unless you are against aborting babies and you do something about it."

Most liberal Catholics want the "not truly pro-life unless" equation to work only one way, in their favor. They would rather drop dead than associate with real pro-lifers to fight abortion and save babies.

Some California pro-lifers say to liberals, "Okay, we'll be happy to fight the death penalty, which kills less than one person a year in this state, if you will fight abortion, which kills hundreds of thousands of babies here every year. What are your priorities, and where should they be?"

Felicidades, Los Angeles! Our city's 226th birthday

Today is the 226th birthday of Los Angeles. As this commemorative Cross on Olvera Street shows, Jesus and His Catholic Church were front and center in the hearts and souls of many at the founding of our pueblo in September 1781.

May it ever be thus in our city!

Our Lady, Queen of Angels, pray for us sinners! Nuestra Senora, Reina de los Angeles, ruega por nosotros pecadores!

You can go to to find the above photo and many more about Olvera Street.

Sep 2, 2007

What Duncan Stroik says about Oakland's new cathedral

This is it -- Oakland's new cathedral. Well, not really; it's the outline of it, back in 2005, before construction began. Completion is set for Fall 2008, said an Associated Press article about it yesterday (click on this post's title).

The AP article actually quotes a traditionalist. He is Duncan Stroik, a professor of architecture at Notre Dame who specializes in cathedrals. He says, “The concern always is that while it [a current cathedral] maybe seems very innovative at the time, that it goes out of date very quickly."

Here is another excerpt from the AP story:

"Stroik, who favors a traditionalist approach, also questioned whether the artistic goals of modernist cathedrals, often designed by architects renowned for their secular work, overshadow the spiritual.

“'It should be a work of faith, and it should express eternal verities,' he said. 'If the architect doesn't believe those things ... is it possible for him to express those things?'”

In the AP article, Bishop Allen Vigneron of Oakland says the cathedral's planning was done with a "liturgical consultant." He says, “The cathedral is an occasion and catalyst for the rededication of Catholics of the East Bay."

The AP story continues: "Diocese officials favored the 21st-century aesthetic to mark the cathedral's place in time and culture, and show that 'we are not an antique or a relic of yesteryear,' Vigneron said."
You can read about the Cathedral of Christ the Light at its web site, which is the source of the photo above:

Sep 1, 2007

Did Vatican II really say to stop...

Did you see the L.A. Times story (sorry, I don't have the link) yesterday on Catholics not going to Confession anymore?

Why is it that in the past 40 years so many Catholics have stopped doing so many Catholic things? Obviously, many Catholics till do these Catholic things, but it's indisputable that many do not. Such as:

Going to Mass, revering the Blessed Sacrament, going to Confession, making the Sign of the Cross, availing yourself of the many sacramentals, having holy water in your home, having a Crucifix in your living room and wearing the Scapular.

Many Catholics who do not do these things say it is because we've "had" to "update" the Faith and the Church has "had" to "keep up" with "the times."

What gave them those ideas? WHY would we HAVE to "update?" Why is today's brand of "the times" any different from "the times" of any other century?

The liberals' false interpretation of Vatican II is the father of all these lies, and is the reason so many Catholics have stopped acting Catholic.

What else Catholic have we stopped doing that we should still be doing?
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