Share your tips on how to pray the Rosary well. And any stories you wish to share about the power of the Rosary are most welcome!
Let’s remember, too, to pray for the repose of the soul of Father Nicholas Gruner, in this month of the Rosary. Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen.
Letter of Philip Egan, Bishop of Portsmouth (pictured below)
to His Holiness Pope Francis
22nd August 2018
Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary
His Holiness, Pope Francis Apostolic Palace Vatican City
Most Holy Father,
I am writing in the light of the terrible scandals of the abuse of minors by clergy revealed by the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report. To these can be added the scandals in Chile, Australia, Ireland and now here in England too, in light of the Independent Investigation into Child Sexual Abuse. Clerical sex abuse seems to be a world-wide phenomenon in the Church. As a Catholic and a Bishop, these revelations fill me with deep sorrow and shame. I pray for the healing of the poor victims. I pray for the forgiveness of the perpetrators. I pray too for myself, and for all our clergy and people, that by our penance we will grow in holiness.
I wanted to make a constructive suggestion. Would it be possible to call an Extraordinary Synod on the Life and Ministry of Clergy? The Synod might begin with a ‘congress,’ attended by the bishops but formed of laity and others expert in the clergy abuse scandals and in the safeguarding of children and the vulnerable. The fruits of this could then be taken forward into a Synod of Bishops proper. I suggest the Synod be devoted to the identity of being a priest/bishop, to devising guidance on life-style and supports for celibacy, to proposing a rule of life for priests/bishops and to establishing appropriate forms of priestly/episcopal accountability and supervision. Canon Law could then be revised in the light of the outcomes and each Diocese be required to apply it bydeveloping its own Directory for Clergy.
As a Bishop, I seem to have few tools to facilitate the day to day management of clergy. For example, when I was a seminary formator, we spent several years devising a balanced system of annual assessments and scrutiny, based on Pastores Dabo Vobis, to help an individual student take responsibility for his formation. By contrast, once ordained, priests/bishops have few formal ongoing assessments or ministerial supervision. It ought to be possible to devise mechanisms to help bishops in their responsibilities towards clergy and to help clergy realise they are not ‘lone operatives’ but ministers accountable to the direction and leadership of the diocese – nihil sine episcopo.
Most Holy Father, please be assured of my prayers for you in your daunting ministry. I look forward to meeting you soon for the Ad Limina.
Bishop Egan’s initiative is to be warmly welcomed. At last a prelate showing the need for practical steps to end this scandal of clerical sexual abuse of young people. Will the Pope take up his suggestion though? And what sorts of “mechanism” and “rule of life” would YOU like to see adopted for priests? How might priests react to the introduction of measures of accountability and supervision, having become used to the kind of laxity we have seen in the seminaries (none left in Scotland, as a result) and in their priestly lifestyle. They seem to be a law unto themselves at the moment. How might they react to restrictions being imposed on them now? Is it too late? Or, as the saying goes, is it never too late?
A news item was published recently in several media reports that the retired bishop of Warsawa-Praga and archbishop ad personam Henryk Hoser, embarked upon his assignment as the Apostolic Visitor for Medjugorje. The very information itself has caused a lot of reactions in the virtual world. Once again, the battlefield has been opened between those who hold the Medjugorje apparitions as absolute and those who consider them unbelievable. When along with this news, another item was published that the Bishop of Mostar-Duvno, Ratko Perić, [pictured left] as the bishop on whose territory the parish of Medjugorje is located, received archbishop Hoser and Luigi Pezzuto, the Apostolic Nuncio to Bosnia-Herzegovina, and that on this occasion he expressed his respect for the Holy See’s decision, he offered archbishop Hoser his cooperation and wished him God’s abundant assistance in fulfilling his mission, he then reiterated clearly and unequivocally what has been the constant position of the Diocesan Chancery of Mostar – that he does not consider any “apparition”, any “message”, any “secret” and any “parchment” as authentic, including the first seven or ten days of the so-called apparitions, the reactions turned into open insults and hostility.
The Queen of Peace or the Queen of Unrest
Even just a quick look at the comments made on a few of the most popular portals, both secular and religious, leads one to conclude that there is very little decentness and objectivity in them, and instead a lot of sarcasm, bitterness and gross insults. On the secularist side, the tones generally range from ridicule to the denigration of all sides, which can be understood regarding the approach and credentials of those commenting. Yet it is very sad to observe how on the so-called religious portals, as well as on official and personal profiles on the social networks, the largest number of commentators-believers present scandalously rude insults. In this regard, what is particularly sad is the way the advocates of the Medjugorje apparitions, those who readily refer to the Medjugorje Gospa (ie. Our Lady) as Mother and Queen of Peace, are so full of unrest and such intolerance, that one’s blood freezes in one’s veins due to their attacks against bishop Perić, in wishing that he would croak, to accusations that he is a KGB agent, a hardened materialist and nonbeliever, even going as far to claim that he is Satan incarnate…
We ask ourselves the question: how can one properly understand the decision of the Holy See to appoint an apostolic visitor and thereby, probably, completely relieve bishop Perić of his jurisdiction over the parish of Medjugorje? Even though the mandate of archbishop Hoser has been provided by the Holy See, and although it is exclusively of a pastoral character, we do not believe that with this appointment, bishop Perić is left with any authority for administering that parish but that it has, de facto, become a parish under the jurisdiction of the Holy See. This might itself seem unfair to bishop Perić, even as a sign of his downgrading and a reflection of incompetence, but it really does not have to be so. Before we discuss what we mean by this, we would like to say a few words about Bishop Ratko Perić himself, and how we see his role in the context of the Medjugorje phenomenon.
The role of Bishop Perić within the Medjugorje phenomenon
Bishop Perić and his closest associates, as well as his predecessor, bishop Žanić and his associates, have done a great deal to reveal the lies of Medjugorje, though very slowly. While there are still a far greater number of those who unquestionably accept the Medjugorje apparitions as credible, one should not ignore the fact that many are asking more and more questions and coming to one of two conclusions: that they are a simple manipulation or that it is not a question of the apparition of Our Lady, but of an apparition of the Devil, as “Fra” Bože would say. However, this time not in the person of bishop Perić, but of “the One who divides” from head to toe. In this light, the role of bishop Perić, and his closest associates are praiseworthy, because they have shown incredible strength and faithfulness in the defense of orthodoxy, while the sacrifices and insults they have had to bear and keep on bearing, confirm their level of concern in defending the Mother of God and the Mother of the Church from the Queen of Peace of Medjugorje, who is spreading unrest all around her. For us then, as we have already mentioned in a previous text, bishop Perić, due to his clarity and strength, is similar to St. Athanasius, who in defense of true faith, had to flee into exile five times due to the attacks of the Arian heretics of his time. Or even more beautifully, the title of “Athanasius of Mostar” belongs to him, as was attributed to him for the same reasons by the President of the Croatian Bishops’ Conference, Archbishop Želimir Puljić. Read the entire article here…
There is no shortage of evidence to prove that Medjugorje is a non-apparition, whether a deliberate hoax or a diabolical phenomenon, who knows, but the worry is that it is taking people away from Fatima. It’s been argued that the Fatima Message – and pilgrimages/events at that shrine – is being diminished and even ignored, due to the drive to promote Medjugorje. What do you think? And how did you vote in the poll?
American Cardinal McCarrick’s resignation, house-arrest and forthcoming canonical trial following allegations of child sexual abuse has hit the headlines the world over. Click here to read one of the many reports…
Not quite so well known, however is the fact that McCarrick’s long time friend, who shared a home with him for six years, Cardinal Kevin Farrell, is the person in charge of the Youth Synod. Guilt by association, of course, is unjust. However, watch his performance in this short video report and then read the comments from YouTube, some of which are copied below, for ease of reference.
Then ask yourself – would YOU want this man in any kind of position where he can influence any child of yours, with his upside down view of the role of young people in the Church? He doesn’t see them as requiring the teaching and guidance of the Church – he thinks these uncatechised young people should be running the Church! We’ve a bishop here in Scotland who thinks the same – if you recall, not so long ago, we discussed this same ambition of the Bishop of Paisley (John Keenan) to hand his diocese over to his uncatechised youth. Seems to be catching on – can’t wait for the polling on that one in a year or two…
Watch the clip below, where he reacts to the “news” (not likely news to him) of Cardinal McCarrick’s credibly alleged sordid behaviour, the consequences of which are now coming home to roost. Then check if your own thoughts chime with the YouTube commentators below.
Comments from those who watched the video on YouTube… to read all comments click here
…Will Farrell denounce the actions of McCarrick? Where is that?
…Not buying it at all. This Cardinal Farrell was the guy who invited weirdo homosexualist priest Father James Martin to speak at the World Meeting of Families in Ireland. Why would they want to turn the World Meeting of Families into a big gay pride parade? This guy is behind having this stuff at the Ireland meeting and should never have been made a Cardinal. This clown also said that priests have nothing to offer when it comes to preparing people for marriage. He is a disgrace to the church.
…Haul this guy into court and have him testify under oath
…Cardinal, as you can see from the comments below, no one believes one word you say about this. You’re only adding to the shame the Church must shoulder because of the acts of the mitered dirt bag McCarrick. We in the pews are sick of pious lies of the kind we hear in this interview.
…Translation: “I lived with a pedo for many years and never noticed anything odd!” If true, this just tells us that Farrell is a very naive and unintelligent man. And that’s probably the best scenario we can hope for. His choice of words also make him suspect. A person with a properly formed conscience in this case would use words like “disgusting,” “repugnant,” and “despicable.” Instead he’s just talking about himself and how “overwhelmed” he is. Not convincing.
…I don’t believe him at all
…I don’t believe this. Sorry. Total liar. They know very well what’s going on. Sickening… totally sickening.
…He seems to care only about himself, not for any victims. This is so disheartening as a Catholic.
…Play at slower speed to hear that I am recording this accurately. 0:53 And I was involved 0:58 heavily involved in Washington, 1:00 ahh in the whole … from 2000 on 1:06 in the sex abuse 1:09 ammm 1:12 so I really 1:16 don’t have any knowledge or ‘anything’ to add about 1:20 more than that
…If this “interview “ was supposed to help Cardinal Farrell it totally backfired. “I, I, I, I, I, I…” Any sense of shame, indignation and compassion for the terrible damage done to others? I don’t think so. He’s just thinking about how to get out of this.
…“…heavily involved”… “in the sex abuse…”… hmmm. Anyone else think that’s a “strange” remark? Notice he did not say sex abuse SCANDAL!?!
…Utter rubbish. Every priest in the Archdiocese had heard about this.
…What was the question? Is he saying he’s only “shocked” to hear Cardinal McCarrick preyed on minors? Or is he shocked by all the accusations, including that Cardinal McCarrick was an active homosexual? Because Cardinal Farrell lived with Cardinal McCarrick for several years, during a time when “everyone know” (including several journalists) about McCarrick’s behavior. Of course, the obvious answer is that of course Cardinal Farrell knew and that he should be taken down by all this too.
…No sense of being indignant by the accusations against McCarrick. No sense of shame, or caring for the victims. This man is typical of why the sex scandal went on for so long.
…he looks like he’s hiding something. His gaze looks more like “I dare you to find something on me” rather than one of contrition. A normal human would say something like “I WISH I had heard something so I could have stopped the abuse” or “I was shocked…McCarrick played us all for fools”, but his comments are entirely defensive and self-centered. If Cardinal Farrell won’t stick up for us lay people and our kids, which bishop will?