Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Troubles with the LCWR

These "religious sisters" are out there spinning tall tales trying to make the church look bad. 'Oh that mean old church is trying to stop us from helping the poor.' Not so. These women have go so far afield. They demand the ordination of women to the point of rejecting the Eucharist.

A few months back, I saw a profile about the inquiry on Good Morning America. What a bunch of schlock that was. Still, it pictured these cute little old ladies. Dominicans on Long Island. Aww, aren't they sweet? Mean mean ol church.

Well, I had read in "Making of an Exorcist" that some religious sisters in Amityville had taken up witchcraft. Doesn't surprise me. After seeing the GMA clip, I knew it was those cute little old ladies.

Sure enough, here is a partial transcript of a 1997 radio show from "Living On Earth"

"Sister Jean Clark points to some newly plowed ground with a few green shoots poking through the late winter soil. Growing an organic garden is just one of the ways the Amityville sisters are reconnecting with nature. They perform outdoor rituals on the winter and summer solstices and the spring and autumn equinoxes: ancient Earth festivals which some Catholics still regard as Pagan. And recently, they passed a resolution which expands the definition of their religious community to include the land and its nonhuman inhabitants."

They reject the Eucharist and perform solstice rituals. Why do they even call themselves Catholic any longer?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

One Yahoo headline today reads "Vatican orders crackdown on US nun association." The comments below the article are loaded with ignorance.  But then, so is the article.

The Leadership Conference of Women Religious has nothing to do with nuns. They are an "association" of religious sisters.

What's the difference between a nun and a religious sister? Vows. Nuns take solemn vows and go to a cloister. Religious sisters take simple vows. They usually live in a community of their order. But these days many live in private homes. Most have shunned the habit. Looking over the LCWR website, not a single one is in a habit. 

Why is the habit important? It is an outward sign of service. I am neither a nun nor a religious sister. But people seem to recognize me as a religious person. Probably due to my long skirts and my Tau, the symbol of my order. Third order. Many people come to me for comfort and advice. To shun one's habit is to shun one's life of service to others.

This article claims that the "conference's" 1500 members represent 80% of the women religious in the US. This is not just an exaggeration, but an outright lie. These people should be ashamed of themselves.

If you take a good look at their website you can see that these women have left Catholicism behind. From their very own website. And yet this article paints them as unjustly accused.

I will tell you from personal experience, back home, I had two such sisters who lived up the street from me. They rented a small house. Looking at them, you would not know they were religious at all. Talking to them you would not know they were religious.  They were Mercy Sisters. They supported themselves by runnng a massage parlor out of their home. Did they have a bible study? No. Did they serve at the church across the street? No. Did they assist at hospitals, food banks or homeless shelters? No.

While other sisters are giving freely to those in need, these sisters are charging. For MASSAGE! That is not sisterish at all. It is not a ministry.

I attended a Divine Mercy Conference with a friend. A Vincentian religious sister. Sister does wear a habit. Her ministry is prisons. She goes to prisons to bolster the spirits of individuals there. She gives spiritual advice and religious education. We bumped into the two Mercy Sisters there. They looked down their noses at her in her habit. Dear Sister was undaunted and utterly kind in the face of their rudeness.

Many of these free wheeling sisters have embraced ideas that are outside of Catholicism. As such they should excuse themselves from Catholicism. Rather than throwing tantrums about being questions, just admit to having beliefs outside of the church and leave their orders. Stop claiming to be representative of something that you are not - and may never have been. And definitely STOP claiming you speak for others who are in agreement with the church.

Fr. Frank Parvone immediately issued a thank you to the Holy See for it's review of the LCWR. Their stance, or lack thereof, on abortion and euthanasia goes against everything we as Catholics stand for. These ladies reject priestly ordination, and thereby question the Eucharist as source and summit of our faith - since it requires a priest.

Go ahead, disagree with the church. Tell Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament that he is not welcome in your worship because he requires a priest and you reject that. But when you do these things -- do not call yourself a Catholic organization.

LCWR Assessment

Thursday, April 12, 2012

New Mass means new missal.

Mass is not Catholic Entertainment, people. It is participatory. We are meant to pray along. It's called "assisting at mass." We all assist the priest by praying along.

It's taken me until April to figure out what to buy. So many of the American missals aren't available yet. I do not understand that.

I've been using an older version of the "Daily Roman Missal" for years. It's one of the earliest published ones where the readings were still from the original 1966 "Jerusalem Bible," which is what Catholics use overseas. It was the first bible updated using the very old Hebrew scrolls found in the caves of Qumran. I love the "Jerusalem Bible." It is an elegant read, at a college reading level. Since the 60's it has been the ONLY bible that did not white-wash all the names for God to "Lord." It is far superior to the "New American Bible" or the "NAB Revised Edition." These are both written at a 6th grade reading level.

Please note, there is more than one Jerusalem Bible. American translators created the "New Jerusalem Bible" by editing the original "Jerusalem Bible" to be "politically correct." Thereby significantly changing the meaning of some passages. It is NOT approved by the Holy See. The European "New Jerusalem Bible" has not been corrupted this way, but was not sold here due to copy-right infringements. Same name, different bible. Still, you can find a copy of it second hand on Amazon now and again.

Anyway, I used the older "Daily Roman Missal" because it had both the "Jerusalem Bible" readings and the mass text in Latin along side the English. I love my Ecclesiastic Latin!

The Catholic Truth Society (CTS) has come out with the New Catholic Bible which contains the original 1966 Jerusalem Bible edited to contain the 1963 Grail Psalms. I plan on buying one as soon as I have a little extra money. I want a compact version to carry with me. This one has been edited to white-wash all the names for God. It makes me sad. I do understand what Cardinal Arinze means about not offending our Jewish brethren. However, my private bible reading shouldn't offend anyone. I wish they'd just changed it in the missals. The Holy Father's guidance was only that God's special names, such as Yahweh, not be used during public worship.

The CTS has put out two missals. Daily and Sunday. These both also use the 1966 "Jerusalem Bible and 1963 "Grail Psalms." There is a seller on Amazon who is carrying CTS items. You can also buy from the CTS website directly. They are set up for sale sand shipping to the US. Prices are marked in both Euros and Dollars.

I purchased the Sunday missal from a local seller on Amazon. It arrived very quickly. This missal is sublime. The text is crystal clear. The images are gorgeous. The rubrics are clear. Just another reason more people need to be using a missal. So few people know what is going on during mass. The rubrics tell you what you should be doing. There are times when I am the only one standing. The English text is right next to Latin text.  It is very easy to follow.

It is not meant to be used in the US. So the texts are slightly different. The US uses the "New American Bible." Mind you, the US recently got approval for NEW translation of the Grail Psalms.  I don't know why. The 1963 Grail Psalms are used in our US version of the Liturgy of the Hours and Christian Prayer. With the (substandard in my opinion) New American Bible texts. The 1963 version is lovely. It reads very well.

The Proper of Saints in the CTS missal is very small. Only a handful of holy days. Not so important for me as a professed Franciscan. We have a two booklet supplement which is meant to be used with the St. Joseph's missals. It contains all the very important saints for me. Still, I think I'll keep my old "Daily Roman Missal" on hand for some of my favorite non-Franciscan saints.

Very few priests announce which Eucharistic Prayer they are going to use. Most parishioners do not pray along making it generally unimportant. So my one recommendation is to enlist the help of a slip of lined paper as a book mark. Write the prayer number with the first line of text and the page number it begins on. It makes it easier to flip to at the appropriate time.

The CTS missal has plenty of additional prayers. The prayers for before and after mass are lovely. As well as the section on not being able to get to mass, which contains a prayer of spiritual communion. Also plenty of guidance texts from various popes and saints.

I do wish they had soft version. Even the leather version of the new CTS bible has a hard core. It does make it easier to use during mass as nothing is bending back. But I like the feel of soft covers better.