USCCB meeting: Card. Dolan hits it out of the park! (Listen to the audio here.)

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I am pretty cynical about USCCB meetings.  But this time I am pretty fired up.

I just listened to Cardinal Dolan’s address as President of the conference.

In his address His Eminence spoke about Christ, first and foremost, before all other issues.

He spoke about the renewal of the SACRAMENT OF PENANCE!  The Sacrament of Penance is “the sacrament of the New Evangelization”.

He proposed that bishops should go to confession and promote confession.

He even mentioned the renewal of Fridays for penance and mentioned even returning to Fridays all year long for abstinence.

I couldn’t be more pleased.  What have I been pounding away at here?

Here is the audio which I captured. Click the arrow or download.


The text of the address is available now HERE.

Excerpts with my emphases:


I would suggest this morning that this reservoir of our lives and ministry, when it comes especially to the New Evangelization, must first be filled with the spirit of interior conversion born of our own renewal. That’s the way we become channels of a truly effective transformation of the world, through our own witness of a penitential heart, and our own full embrace of the Sacrament of Penance.


To be sure, the sacraments of initiation – – Baptism, Confirmation, the Eucharist – – charge, challenge, and equip the agents of evangelization. Without those sacraments, we remain isolated, unredeemed, timid and unfed.

But, the Sacrament of Reconciliation evangelizes the evangelizers, as it brings us sacramentally into contact with Jesus, who calls us to conversion of heart, and allows us to answer his invitation to repentance — a repentance from within that can then transform the world without.

?What an irony that despite the call of the Second Vatican Council for a renewal of the Sacrament of Penance, what we got instead was its near disappearance.


The work of our Conference during the coming year includes reflections on re-embracing Friday as a particular day of penance, including the possible re-institution of abstinence on all Fridays of the year, not just during Lent. Our pastoral plan offers numerous resources for catechesis on the Sacrament of Penance, and the manifold graces that come to us from the frequent use of confession.


UPDATE 13 Nov 1455 GMT:

Video is HERE.  Go to 36:15 for the address itself.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Denise says:

    Yes! Yes! Yes! However, as enthusiastic as I am about this and as sure as I am that this must be a piece of the New Evangelization, this push for Confession must be accompanied by real catechesis on sin. How can one confess sins when there is no recognition of sin? I have heard many Catholics say that as long as they are “following their conscience” they cannot sin and therefore, they are free to defy any and all Church teachings. I propose that included in any catechesis be what I call spiritual informed consent. In addition to being taught what the Church teaches and why it teaches what it does, there must be clear information on the ramifications of rejecting Church teaching.

  2. DisturbedMary says:

    Listening live . Do you suppose when when we start to hear about the sacrament of Penance, we hear about “sin” and Catholic life? If my conscience is happy, what’s penance got to with it? How can I forgive Cardinal Dolan for his terrible and costly silence about the election. When the coming persecution begins in earnest, and the State treats the Church as it does the unborn, should I listen in silence to sermons about the need for penance?

    Oh no, now the Dolan is congratulating the passage of the Dream Act and hearing about the failure of California abolition of the death penalty efforts.

    What was that about forgiveness in yesterday’s gospel? Time for me to go to confession.

  3. catholicmidwest says:

    What’s going to happen in the next year or so is going to shake the faith of many Catholics, no matter which path is taken.

  4. Dr. Edward Peters says:

    Deo gratias.

  5. Flambeaux says:

    The call to penance is a good start. But the rest of his remarks suggest he, and by implication most of the rest of the bishops, still don’t get it. I suspect they won’t get it until it’s too late, if even then.

    Sad, really.

  6. Magash says:

    His Eminence is one of the good ones. I refuse to second guess his prudential actions as long as he continues to carry the mantel of the apostles with the obvious holiness that I see in him. Like the bishops of the early Church he contends with both the powers and principalities and their human agents.
    Anyone who thinks that the U.S. Immigration system isn’t broken or believes that the death penalty is anything but a poor last resort needs to brush up on both history and Catholic theology.
    Until the progressives got control of government in the early 20th century the U.S. recognized immigrants as one of our most valuable resources. Immigration was tightened to keep out Jews and Eastern European Catholics in the days prior to WWII. If we forget that we will be on the wrong side of this issue. Yes we need to control our borders, but only to keep out criminals and terrorists. When the Republican party realizes that the Hispanic vote, which is made up of people who should be their natural allies, those who support family and church and natural law, only support the Dems because they fear xenophobic laws, then they will go with their natural allies and support reasonable immigration. Catholic brothers and sisters amnesty is not a dirty word. At its heart is forgiveness. Who here does not need that?
    Of course the USCCB supports restriction of the death penalty, as should we. There are times and places where it is necessary, and so has the Church said, but the Holy Father himself has questioned its applicability in this time and place. Do you consider your judgment on this matter superior to his? To that of God’s shepherds the bishops? Do we care more for vengeance than for the salvation of the sinner’s soul? If we do perhaps we should look to more to the salvation of our own soul that to judgment on the criminals.

  7. Minnesotan from Florida says:

    Thank you, Magash, for every word that you have so wonderfully said!

  8. Lynne says:

    I’ll second what others have said about the need to hear about sin too as in “what do you need penance for if you don’t sin”. I’m surprised he came out with the idea of the possible re-institution of abstinence on all Fridays of the year. He said of the British effort, that it was like trying to get the toothpaste back into the tube. Maybe he has heard how well-received it’s been in the UK.

    Well, brick-by-brick!

  9. APX says:

    I think there needs to be a total overhaul done on catechizing Catholics on the theology of the sacrament, grace, and the nature of sin, and how to make a proper and valuable examination of conscience (not a grocery list, but not a discussion either), and how to properly go to confession. Every time I see some workshop/talk/whatever on “The Sacrament of Reconciliation” which criticizes the proper way of confessing sins as required by the Council of Trent (number, kind, circumstances) and instructs people to “engage in an open dialogue with the priest to discuss what is going on in their moral life” and to “not focus so much on what they did wrong, but on what they did right” I become aggravated severely. With Catechesis like this, I feel very sorry for the traditional priests who help out with penitential services and have to patiently deal with such “confessions”.

  10. benedetta says:

    I think this is very positive. I have heard Catholics who go through hard times whether due to employment issues or unemployment, family problems, health issues, or other concerns say often enough, “I don’t know what I would have done without the Eucharist”. And I quite agree however I have found in my own life that when going through major stressors or periods of intense difficulty for one reason or another that it was the grace found in the sacrament of confession that enabled me to keep going, and even overcome whatever hardship. It seems somewhat counterintuitive, to emphasize that sacrament when one can easily feel sorry for one’s self and legitimately claim some victimhood status, but, mysteriously, even when one feels that all is against, that the cards are against, that there is no way out, and that one is a victim of horrible circumstance, that sacrament is tremendously uplifting, encouraging and empowering. It is very easy for us to rationalize that when in times of distress (or duress) that we do not also simultaneously commit sin. Yet precisely in those times when we are sorely challenged we are often most mightily tempted and fall. In our time we have misunderstood the sacrament terribly and have interpreted it as a pronouncement on our worthiness to be loved by God and so we have been steered away from it. Yet its power mysteriously lies in the fact that our worthiness in God’s eyes, sinners and all, is unconditional. This is the sacrament that brings us face to face with that fact and far from wearing at our self esteem, it only has the effect of encouragement, and peace of heart.

  11. wmeyer says:

    APX said: I think there needs to be a total overhaul done on catechizing Catholics on the theology of the sacrament, grace, and the nature of sin, and how to make a proper and valuable examination of conscience (not a grocery list, but not a discussion either), and how to properly go to confession.

    I think there needs to be a total overhaul done on catechizing Catholics. In my former parish, there are vary many there whose knowledge of their faith is small, and made smaller by their belief that their “conscience” negates many of the Church teachings. To correct these many deficiencies requires a full reset.

  12. CatholicMD says:

    My guess is Cardinal Dolan wouldn’t have mentioned returning to abstinence on Friday if there weren’t a very good possibility it would happen. As small as it may seem, it would help tremendously with our Catholic identity. It will require a little catechesis but as we saw with the new translation, the faithful will follow when their shepherds lead. Imagine the potential for evangelization if a Catholic is asked by a friend a friend or co-worker why he is not eating meat and can respond “because Jesus Christ suffered and died for me on a Friday afternoon”.

  13. Odin777 says:

    Amen Cardinal. But I do agree with the basic sentiment of the responses. As someone who has recently finished almost 10 years of Jesuit education and influence I can tell you that my generation is in a very dangerous spot. Too many disregard the importance of Mass on Sundays…the basic notion that has become dominate among many c atholics is that if God is so loving and forgiving how can I be damned for something that seems so insignificant. The concepts of self excommunication and the need for frequent confession have become lost. Many do not understand the need to confess sins to a priest when God knows them already. It is a very scary time. But when I read Father Z’s posts and the vast majority of the responses I am given hope. There is still so much energy that exists at the core of Church teaching…the New Evangelization and the Year of Faith also give me hope. But it is a long road ahead…and we need Church leaders to be outspoken and fight for the soul of the Church. The college campus has become the ultimate weapon against the teachings of the Church and morality…I have seen this first hand. It was once said that the Church may have to become smaller and lose its place in the world in order for things to improve…and I think that time may soon be coming. We need better catechesis from the beginning…but we also need our Church leaders to speak out against the common misconceptions…against this casual c atholicism that has become so rampant. There is one Church…not many personal ones. We have the message…we just need to start delivering it in a more effective way. And I firmly believe it starts with discipline actions against those who would twist the faith and lead many astray…I have already seen too many. The cult of liberalism and progressivism has become the new religion for many who try to call themselves c atholics. We must start fighting back…and it might take some big moves to get the message across.

  14. Maria says:

    This is nice from PBXVI during his visit at Rebibbia prison last December 18, 2011 (made me go to confession regularly):

    My name is Gianni, from section G8. Your Holiness, I was taught that the Lord sees and reads inside us. I wonder why is absolution delegated to priests? If I asked for it on my knees alone in my room, turning to the Lord, would he absolve me? Or would it be another kind of absolution? What would the difference be?

    PBXVI: Yes, you are asking me an important and true question. I would say two things.
    The first: naturally, if you kneel down and with true love for God pray that God
    forgives you, he forgives you. It has always been the teaching of the Church that
    one, with true repentance — that is not only in order to avoid punishment,
    difficulty, but for love of the good, for love of God — asks for forgiveness, he
    is pardoned by God. This is the first part. If I honestly know that I have done
    evil, and if love for goodness, a desire for goodness is reborn within me,
    repentance for not having responded to this love, and I ask forgiveness of God, who is the Good, he gives it to me. But there is a second element: sin is not
    only a “personal”, individual thing between myself and God. Sin always has a
    social dimension, a horizontal one. With my personal sin, even if perhaps no
    one knows it, I have damaged the communion of the Church, I have sullied the
    communion of the Church, I have sullied humanity. And therefore this social,
    horizontal dimension of sin requires that it be absolved also at the level of the
    human community, of the community of the Church, almost physically. Thus,
    this second dimension of sin, which is not only against God but concerns the
    community too, demands the Sacrament, and the Sacrament is the great gift in
    which through confession, we can free ourselves from this thing and we can
    really receive forgiveness in the sense of a full readmission to the community of
    the living Church, of the Body of Christ. And so, in this sense, the necessary
    absolution by the priest, the Sacrament, is not an imposition —let us say — on
    the limits of God’s goodness, but, on the contrary, it is an expression of the
    goodness of God because it shows me also concretely, in the communion of the
    Church, I have received pardon and can start anew. Thus, I would say, hold on
    to these two dimensions: the vertical one, with God, and the horizontal one,
    with the community of the Church and humanity. The absolution of the priest,
    sacramental absolution, is necessary to really absolve me of this link with evil
    and to fully reintegrate me into the will of God, into the vision of God, into his
    Church and to give me sacramental, almost bodily, certitude: God forgives me,
    he receives me into the community of his children. I think that we must learn
    how to understand the Sacrament of Penance in this sense: as a possibility of
    finding again, almost physically, the goodness of the Lord, the certainty of

  15. St. Louis IX says:

    Started to watch and listen to him, But Sorry I kept seeing the image of him with the President.
    Maybe watching Cardinal Mahoney speak just prior to him , set the wrong mood.
    Just tired of words being only words.

  16. jlmorrell says:

    Does anyone know how well received the idea of re-establishing abstaining from meat on all Fridays will be? I realize that the English Bishops just re-instated this obligation, but what do those who follow the USCCB think of the likelihood of it being done here. I’m personally all for it, but don’t know enough about the current make up of the U.S. episcopate to discern whether it has a good chance of passing.

  17. poohbear says:

    I’m sure they all smiled, nodded, and applauded politely. Now they will go back to their Dioceses and continue to allow dissent and probably preach some of their own. I’m not convinced there will be any change at all.

  18. DisturbedMary says:

    Maria!! Thank you. You cleared my head and made my afternoon by sharing this lovely, gentle, graceful, generous, clear and holy explanation from Pops. I missed this exchange but will surely go looking for more of it to refresh my soul.

  19. theidler says:

    Awesome, but I thought Fridays were always a day of abstinence year round? I’ve been abstaining from meat and all the rest every friday anyways…

  20. thickmick says:

    Pleeeze….forgive me, Father, but this guys full of it. Lord have mercy on me, and help me to be obedient to these blow hards.

  21. monmir says:

    Too little too late, but we have to start somewhere. Our Cardinal has started EMHC when before priests on staff would come to distribute communion, I will not even discuss applause during mass.
    I thought religious and priests where supposed to go to confession weekly? His Eminence told Catholic New York that he goes to confession every 2 weeks.
    I was told to go to confession every week if I wanted my spiritual life to improve and what a difference! When in trouble it is twice. St Louis Bertrand had confession every morning before offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
    Your Eminence how about it?

  22. CatholicByChoice says:

    Regarding skipping meat as an evangelization opportunity, just a note to say that I have been a vegetarian for about 25 years, and it is extremely rare for anyone to notice or comment on the fact that I am not eating meat. Even people whom I have never met before. Refraining from meat is quite common these days. Along with thousands and thousands of vegetarians, now it is becoming more common for local governments to encourage the “green” initiative of “Meatless Mondays.” These days I am not sure that many people will identify a meatless meal with being Catholic. It is just become very normal and common to skip meat. Pax.

  23. JKnott says:

    Last year during Lent, His Eminence, ran a video contest on the Sacrament of Confession in the Archdiocese of NY. Young people in high school and college even created short YouTube videos encouraging participation in the sacrament. The winners were the ones who received the most “likes”. So everyone was promoting “views” in order to win. It was interesting to see their creativity and a great idea to encourage going to Confession.

  24. JKnott says:

    This is the link for the videos on confession in New York

  25. JKnott says:

    A friend just told me that his pastor said that after the last election there were lines of penitents confessing having voted for Obama.
    I wish His Eminence would say something like this priest now that the election is over:

    Will Obama’s Catholics Realize What They Have Done?

    Posted: 11 Nov 2012 08:02 PM PST
    By Fr. John Hollowell: Brave Heart is obviously a classic. In the film, Robert the Bruce, the dashing young man from the video above, betrays William Wallace for money, lands, and titles. He regrets it after looking into Wallace’s eyes and seeing the wreckage that his decision has on his country.

    I firmly believe that when Catholic hospitals are closing, when priests are being arrested for not marrying Adam and Steve, when our country starts aborting children with tax money, when the Catholic Church is completely turned on and the movement by secular atheists to annihilate the Church begins in full force, then the utterly horrendous, morally bankrupt nature of the voting practices of the cafeteria Catholics will finally be realized, and a lot of Catholics who voted for Obama will say the same thing Robert Bruce said above:

    “Money, lands, titles, power..nothing…those pro-life Catholics fight for something that I’ve never had, and I took it from them when I betrayed them and I saw it in their faces on the battlefield, and it’s tearing me apart.”

  26. Chick says:

    Given the probable resistance from the laity to a restoration of Friday abstinence, I would think a good first step would be for the bishops to impose it as a discipline on the clergy and let their example speak to the people.

  27. wmeyer says:

    Awesome, but I thought Fridays were always a day of abstinence year round? I’ve been abstaining from meat and all the rest every friday anyways…

    After the Council, it is my understanding that the previously universal Friday abstinence was made one option for the always required penance. It became possible then to select a different and more personal approach to penance and sacrifice. It was not a cancellation of the requirements.

  28. The Masked Chicken says:

    “It was not a cancellation of the requirements.”

    How many people got the message? Even a good friend, who is a loyal orthodox Latin Catholic, only found out a few years ago that Friday was still a day of penance. When I was growing up, the only message we heard was that they did away with meatless Fridays. No one said a word about penance.

    If you did a blind, honest poll of the Catholic in the Street (CITS), I’ll bet you will find, probably, 80% of them think that Vatican II did away with everything having to do with Fridays outside of Lent. Where is the PEW Foundation when you need them?

    The Chicken

  29. The Masked Chicken says:

    The Masked Chicken and Chick…I sense a superhero team…saving the world, one cluck at a time.

  30. tominrichmond says:

    And how about upping the Eucharistic fast from the exceedinly lame one hour to at least 3?

    But honestly, even in this thread it’s obvious that Catholic catechesis has fallen far, far short of the mark, and this fellow and his confreres bear a lion share’s of the blame.

    Yeah, cases in point: Gee, it’s only being Christian to permit essentially unchecked illegal immigration, or to hold illegal immigrants resonsible for the consequences of their actions; and how mean is our meanie government for punishing less than 1% of murders with a death sentence.

  31. wmeyer says:

    tominrichmond, yeah, why even consider CCC #2241?

  32. netokor says:

    I will try to become enthusiastic, but Cardinal Dolan and so many other leaders have long ago ceased to be relevant in my life. I will keep him in my prayers.

  33. Sword40 says:

    Meatless Fridays is a great start. (we’ve been doing that since I became a Catholic back in 1970)
    The whole liturgy needs improvement first. I have quit going to OF Masses and now attend the EF. Burn lots of fuel too.

  34. Chris Garton-Zavesky says:

    Consider what might happen if — just consider — the bishops made this pronouncement to re-establish Friday penance (and meatless Friday, specifically) and they found Catholic organizations such as the Knights of Columbus getting behind the effort to assist in the catechism? What if serious-minded Catholics praised the bishops when they (their Excellencies) took even one step back from the brink of the abyss?

    Following Fr. Z’s logic on how to help spread the traditional form of the Mass — wouldn’t it be wonderful if, instead of whining about what spineless men we have for bishops, we helped encourage the use of the Sacrament of Penance by using it ourselves, and by practicing Friday abstinence both in a public and a private manner? Priests would see, as would their shepherds, that we WANT them to teach the truth, not the meaningless pablum which has passed for catechesis for so long. The whiners would then be on the other side, and we would have the backs of our bishops. Imagine what a phalanx that could make!

  35. Clinton says:

    @Chris Garton-Zavesky: Yes, absolutely!

  36. fwbear says:

    Yes, I totally agree with Archbishop Dolan and I think we need to recede further in our past and resume burning witches, heretics and Jews.

  37. skypilot777 says:

    @JKnott: Amen!

    I’m sorry folks. After hearing this latest, I’m wondering if his Eminence has a split personality or perhaps he suffers from blackouts. I suppose I’m grasping for some mitigating circumstance to exonorate him from what I see as some appalling mistakes and mis-wordings.

    Re-introducing meatless Fridays and re-emphasizing Confession is a good move, but coming from His Eminence so shortly after a disastrous re-election of a persecutor of the Church, for which he himself is greatly responsible… Well, I hope Cardinal Dolan does follow his own advise and redoubles his penances.

    As for the rest of the American bishops, I don’t expect much. I suspect that they will be even less a help to good Catholics than the Mexican bishops were to the Christeros. Sure there are a precious few that are good, but there are hundreds of thousands of good Catholics out there who have never known their bishop to do or say anything truly Catholic or good.

  38. poohbear says:

    I already follow meatless Fridays, and as far as promoting it among others, both C and c Catholics, they just laugh and shake their head at one they see as ‘clueless about VII’ and ‘trying to be holier than the Pope’.

    Its nice to think people would listen to the bishops, but they won’t.

  39. robtbrown says:

    IMHO, there are two main causes for the deemphasis of the Sacrament of Penance.

    The first is obvious–it is simply not very available. Most parishes around here have only at best 30 minutes regular availability every week.

    The second is more subtle and is IMHO the key to the situation: The disappearance of the doctrine of Purgatory and its liturgical analogate–the replacement of the Requiem Mass with the Mass of the Resurrection. Almost every Novus Ordo funeral I have attended has been a canonization of the deceased. Even when it wasn’t, there was no mention of Purgatory or the necessity of praying for the dead.

    I even heard one priest say at a Sunday homily following the death of Mother Teresa that she and Princess Diana (who had died a few days before MT) were now together in heaven. Such garbage made me wonder whether air sickness bags should be provided in every pew (perhaps “pugh” is more relevant).

  40. netokor says:

    Sword 40, you said it best! “The whole liturgy needs improvement first. I have quit going to OF Masses and now attend the EF. Burn lots of fuel too.” Imagine Cardinal Dolan agreeing with the humble troops who love the Latin Mass. The EF is where the Church is regrouping in the absence of so many leaders who for so long made it possible for our new King Hussein to breeze through a crucial reelection. Unless it is an absolute emergency, I will NEVER set foot in a new order mass.

  41. Fr AJ says:

    I personally abstain from meat every Friday so I have no issue with this. However, I think we should tie it more closely to the seasons of the Church year. My reasoning being that our people may grasp it better. My thought would be to abstain from meat in ordinary time, Advent, and Lent and then no abstinence during the Easter or Christmas seasons. During Lent I would increase the amount of penance done compared to what we do now. I just think it makes little sense to people to be fasting during Easter or Christmas time when we are telling them to rejoice. At the same time, I think we are asking the absolute minimum during Lent which is a shame and perhaps something extra could be added for Advent as well.

  42. acardnal says:

    Fr. Z, have you considered poll asking who regularly observes Fridays as a penitential day or as a day of abstinence throughout the calendar year?

  43. Nancy D. says:

    Father, I am sorry to say, even if it appears that Cardinal Dolan hit one out of the park, in light of his “big tent” comment at the Al Smith Dinner, I am not sure that we are all on the same team. Cardinal Dolan referred to the two Vice President candidates as being Catholic, even though one cannot be in communion with Christ’s Church, while denying The Word of God Is The Word of God, simultaneously. In fact, I would argue that the big tent mentality has kept many from receiving The Sacrament of Penance, because in the big tent, one can always deny that sin is sin.

    Sour Grapes Award

  44. Nancy D. says:

    Why the sour grapes award? What is wrong with calling a spade a spade, or the recycling of The Arian Heresy, the recycling of The Arian Heresy? I find what is going on inside Christ’s Church both disturbing and heartbreaking.

  45. StWinefride says:

    Nancy D.

    You are right.

    Fr Z, I for one protest the issuing of the Sour Grapes Award to Nancy D.!!!

    Withdraw it SUBITO! ;)

  46. Nancy D. says:

    How to have a Great Apostasy, that if it were possible, it would deceive even the elect? You could adopt a “big tent” theory of The Catholic Church, and then allow those who have left Christ’s Church spiritually, to remain within His Church physically, causing chaos and confusion as they lead many astray. One need look no further than the “big tent” catholic theological society, and the so called mandate on the Bishop’s USCCB site, that is not a Mandate. According to the USCCB, their definition of a Mandate, gives permission for theologians, who, after all, are not to be considered Catechists, teach according to their image of God, which, for many, does not reflect the personal and relational essence of the human person, created in The Image of God to reflect Love.

    To claim that a Catholic Vice President can deny the personhood of the son or daughter in their Mother’s womb, or believe that we have not, from The Beginning, been created male and female, to live our life in relationship as husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters…, would be a lie from the start. What follower of Christ would claim that we have been called to live our lives in relationship according to sexual desire, as heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, transexual, polysexual…, in direct violation of God’s own Commandment regarding lust and the sin of adultery?

    There is no such thing as a thing that is human, and there is no such place as a place that is human, because every human being, from the moment that human individual was created at their conception, is a person. This is not sour grapes, it is the truth as affirmed by Truth Himself. Our call to Holiness, from The Beginning, is a call to order our lives as we live in relationship, to the ordered, complementary communion of Perfect Love that Is The Blessed Trinity.

  47. Nancy D. says:

    This is not to say that there are not many good Bishops, but rather, if you truly desire Salvation for your beloved, you would not be afraid to tell them about The Truth of Love, our Savior, Jesus The Christ.

  48. StWinefride says:

    “Oh no!” … the Sour Grapes award still stands.

    Two brave sheep, and one of them very eloquently, have dared to speak …. the Truth!

    Sigh …

    Suddenly, they see … Him!

    “Fear not, little flock” says the LORD, as all the sheep hurriedly gather round to hear the wise words of their True Shepherd. Today is the 14th November 2012 and through today’s Gospel (Extraordinary Rite), I shall tell you a Parable:

    “I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd giveth his life for his sheep. But the hireling and he that is not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming and leaveth the sheep and flieth: and the wolf casteth and scattereth the sheep, And the hireling flieth, because he is a hireling: and he hath no care for the sheep. I am the Good Shepherd: and I know mine, and mine know me. As the Father knoweth me, and I know the Father: and I lay down my life for my sheep. And other sheep I have that are not of this fold: them also I must bring. And they shall hear my voice: And there shall be one fold and one Shepherd.”

    AMEN! bleeted all the sheep.

  49. acardnal says:

    If the Church in the USA is going to make an effort to promote and encourage the use of the sacrament of penance, they better first start with an ongoing catechesis on the role of conscience because a large number, if not most, (ahem . . . Biden, Pelosi, Kerry, et al) believe that their conscience informs them what is and is not sin . . . not the Bible, Jesus Christ or His Church.

  50. Imrahil says:

    I believe the Sour Grapes Award was not given for calling a spade a spade, but for disagreeing with something you do not really disagree with because it comes from Cdl Dolan who happens to have done some other thing you disagree with. That way, you can critizise everything to the ground.

    That’s that.

    Besides, let us go to the beginnings and state that “Catholic” is not a praise-word for a moral and non-erring person. The word “Catholic” admits of a clear definition: Catholic is he who has been baptized into the Catholic Church, not publicly committed the crimes of apostasy, heresy or schism, and not been declared a vitandus excommunicate. (Cf. Ludwig Ott, Dogmatics.) There may be Catholics who have, by guilt or bad information, non-Catholic positions.

    Where VP Biden has committed the Arian heresy (which, if that was meant as explicitly doing so, would be serious even in this respect) I do not know.

    Under your term “big tent ideology” you deplore something which really is to be deplored; however, the very power of the concept is that the Catholic Church is a big tent. A big tent which, as any tent, has boundaries; that’s what must not be overstepped; but yes, all humanity – going farther, even all authentically religious feeling from the false religions – does have a place in the Catholic Church.

  51. Nancy D. says:

    With all due respect, all though it is true that at the hour of our Death, we will see God in all God’s Glory, and those, like The Good Thief, whose heart had not been hardened like a pillar of salt, may, like The Centurion, come late to The Fold, this does not change the fact that false religions are religions that are not authentic, because those who are in communion with false religions cannot be in communion with The One True God.

  52. Nancy D. says:

    Communion, like being naked and no longer clothed with The Word of God, not being a matter of degree, as you are either with God or against Him.

  53. StWinefride says:

    acardnal, very true.

    But honestly, an ongoing catechesis on the role of conscience? They can’t even get the basic catechesis right. It’s too late.

    They changed the Faith: the new Book of Blessings that doesn’t actually bless anything, they give the Exorcists a blunt weapon with which to fight Satan, they remove the Exorcisms from Baptism…

    Satan? he’s no more than a myth.



    Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.
    St Michael the Archangel, pray for us.

  54. Nancy D. says:

    No doubt, what is needed is a Miracle, and every Miracle requires an act of Faith. I am not surprised that the veil was lifted at our Lady’s University, or that our Lady desires that the schism in her Son’s Holy Catholic Church be healed from the beginning, for there is only One Word of God, The Only Son of The Father, and thus there can be only One Spirit of Love between The Father and The Son.
    At this hour it is late, but not too late.

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