Liturgy of the Hours

Thursday, August 28, 2008

"You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you."

"You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you."
- Saint Augustine

Saint Monica (August 27) and Saint Augustine (Today, Auguist 28).

Saint Agustine Parish, Mendez, Cavite

Holy Cross Parish, Tanza, Cavite

Lord, renew in your Church the spirit you gave Saint Augustine. Filled with this spirit, may we thirst for you alone as the fountain of wisdom and seek you as the source of eternal love. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

US Bishops: Pelosi Got Church Teaching Wrong

House Speaker Misrepresents Catholic Understanding of Life

WASHINGTON, D.C., AUG. 26, 2008 ( The chairmen of the U.S. bishops' Committees on Pro-Life Activities and Doctrine affirmed that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi misrepresented Church teaching on abortion during an interview on national TV.

Pelosi was asked on NBC-TV's "Meet the Press" on Sunday to comment on when life begins. She responded saying that as a Catholic, she had studied the issue for "a long time" and that "the doctors of the Church have not been able to make that definition."

Cardinal Justin Rigali, chairman of the U. Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Bishop William Lori, chairman of the Committee on Doctrine, said her answer "misrepresented the history and nature of the authentic teaching of the Catholic Church against abortion."

They noted that the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches, "Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law."

And the prelates explained: "In the Middle Ages, uninformed and inadequate theories about embryology led some theologians to speculate that specifically human life capable of receiving an immortal soul may not exist until a few weeks into pregnancy. While in canon law these theories led to a distinction in penalties between very early and later abortions, the Church's moral teaching never justified or permitted abortion at any stage of development.

"These mistaken biological theories became obsolete over 150 years ago when scientists discovered that a new human individual comes into being from the union of sperm and egg at fertilization. In keeping with this modern understanding, the Church teaches that from the time of conception -- fertilization -- each member of the human species must be given the full respect due to a human person, beginning with respect for the fundamental right to life."

For the record

Other bishops also released statements clarifying Church teaching.

Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C., noted that bishops are entrusted with the responsibility to interpret and teach Catholic doctrine.

"We respect the right of elected officials such as Speaker Pelosi to address matters of public policy that are before them, but the interpretation of Catholic faith has rightfully been entrusted to the Catholic bishops," he said in a statement. "Given this responsibility to teach, it is important to make this correction for the record. […]

"From the beginning, the Catholic Church has respected the dignity of all human life from the moment of conception to natural death."

And from Denver, Archbishop Charles Chaput and Auxiliary Bishop James Conley addressed an online letter to their faithful, titled "On the Separation of Sense and State: a Clarification for the People of the Church in Northern Colorado."

The letter affirms: "Ardent, practicing Catholics will quickly learn from the historical record that from apostolic times, the Christian tradition overwhelmingly held that abortion was grievously evil. In the absence of modern medical knowledge, some of the Early Fathers held that abortion was homicide; others that it was tantamount to homicide; and various scholars theorized about when and how the unborn child might be animated or 'ensouled.'

"But none diminished the unique evil of abortion as an attack on life itself, and the early Church closely associated abortion with infanticide. In short, from the beginning, the believing Christian community held that abortion was always, gravely wrong."

Cardinal Edward Egan released a statement this morning saying he was "shocked to learn" of Pelosi's remarks. He said her statements were "misinformed."

The cardinal affirmed that the unborn have "an inalienable right to live, a right that the speaker of the House of Representatives is bound to defend at all costs for the most basic of ethical reasons."

"Anyone who dares to defend that they may be legitimately killed because another human being 'chooses' to do so or for any other equally ridiculous reason," he added, "should not be providing leadership in a civilized democracy worthy of the name."

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On the Net:

Statement of Denver bishops:

Statement of Archbishop Wuerl:

Statement of Cardinal Egan:

Another Chinese Bishop Arrested

BEIJING, AUG. 25, 2008 ( Shortly before the spectacular closing ceremonies of the Olympics, Chinese authorities arrested another bishop.

Bishop Julius Jia Zhiguo of Zhengding, who had already been under house arrest with 24-hour surveillance, was taken away by police Sunday. His current location has not been disclosed.

According to AsiaNews, the bishop had celebrated Sunday Mass in the cathedral earlier that morning. At about 10 a.m., he was taken away by four police officers.

One priest told the news agency, "After the Olympics, everything is back to the way it was before in China."

Bishop Jia, 73, has already spent 15 years in prison, from 1963 to 1978. Since 1989, he has been under strict police monitoring. His arrest on Sunday marks the 12th time he has been detained by police.

In a message regarding the Olympics from Hong Kong's Coadjutor Bishop John Tong Hon, he listed six more prelates (besides Bishop Jia) who are missing or under arrest. He characterized these seven bishops as just "a few" of the "prominent cases."

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Assumpta est Maria in caelum

The queen stands at your right hand, arrayed in gold.
(Psalm 45:10c, as used in today's Responsorial Psalm)

Ave Regina Caelorum is a popular Marian antiphon from around the 12th century. It appears to be of monastic origin and the author is unknown. Herman Contractus (+1054) is often suggested as the author, for he wrote several popular Marian antiphons arround then. This antiphon is one of the traditional concluding antiphons for Compline in use since the 13th century. It is traditionally recited from the Feast of the Purification (Feb. 2) until Wednesday in Holy Week. The traditional collect, which is not a part of the antiphon proper, is also given below. As noted by St. Jerome, the versicle and response originally appeared in the writings of St. Ephrem the Syrian (306-373).

AVE, Regina caelorum,
Ave, Domina Angelorum:
Salve, radix, salve, porta,
Ex qua mundo lux est orta:
HAIL, O Queen of Heav'n enthron'd,
Hail, by angels Mistress own'd
Root of Jesse, Gate of morn,
Whence the world's true light was born.
Gaude, Virgo gloriosa,
Super omnes speciosa,
Vale, o valde decora,
Et pro nobis Christum exora.
Glorious Virgin, joy to thee,
Lovliest whom in Heaven they see,
Fairest thou where all are fair!
Plead with Christ our sins to spare.
V. Dignare me laudare te, Virgo sacrata.
R. Da mihi virtutem contra hostes tuos.
V. Allow me to praise thee, holy Virgin.
R. Give me strength against thy enemies.
Concede, misericors Deus, fragilitati nostrae praesidium; ut, qui sanctae Dei Genetricis memoriam agimus; intercessionis eius auxilio, a nostris iniquitatibus resurgamus. Per eundem Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.
Let us pray
Grant, O merciful God, to our weak natures Thy protection, that we who commemorate the holy Mother of God may, by the help of her intercession, arise from our iniquities. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

From the Roman Breviary. Translation of the antiphon itself by Fr. Edward Caswall (1814-1878).

Treasury of Latin Prayers

Grr. . .

The suppression of a Latin-loving parish

Saturday, August 9, 2008, 12:45 PM GMT
by Damian Thompson (

I have been passed some correspondence which tells the shocking story of the apparent suppression of a traditionalist Catholic parish in the diocese of Leeds.

The New Mass being celebrated at St John the Evangelist

One hundred parishioners of St John the Evangelist, Allerton Bywater, have petitioned their bishop, the Rt Rev Arthur Roche, to allow the parish to celebrate Mass only in Latin, in both the old and new forms. Instead, he is closing the church this month and has told the parish priest, Fr Mark Lawler, that he will not be appointed to a new parish because his ministry is "divisive".

Fr Lawler told me today: "This is a parish that does exactly what the Holy Father tells us to do, celebrating the Mass reverently in the old and new forms. The bishop is determined to squash it, and to destroy me because he doesn't want me moving to another parish and doing the same thing."

The parish pastoral council has written to Bishop Roche asking why he has ignored its two formal petitions for the status of a "personal parish" celebrating Mass only in Latin, in accordance with Article 10 of Summorum Pontificum, Pope Benedict's apostolic letter liberating the traditional Latin Mass.

It has now retained the services of a leading canon lawyer to challenge Bishop Roche's decision to close the parish as part of a wider programme of closures.

Relations between Bishop Roche and Fr Lawler have been strained for years. The bishop told Fr Lawler some time ago that he wanted him to say Mass facing the people, and that because he had told him what to do it was therefore the will of the Holy Spirit.

Pope Benedict, in contrast, has written at length defending the ancient practice of celebrating the Eucharist facing east. He has also given priests the legal right to celebrate a public Mass in the traditional rite if they are approached by a stable group of the faithful, however small. At St John's, the vast majority of regular worshippers have asked for the old rite to be made available. On August 17, their church will be closed by the diocese.

Fr Lawler says he asked for a meeting with Bishop Roche, but to no avail. Instead, the Vicar General, one Mgr McQuinn, has written to him, telling him: "The Bishop ... believes your ministry to be divisive, is uncertain that ordinary pastoral care of parishioners is taking place and does not have confidence that you will celebrate the Ordinary Form of the Mass with a generous heart for the vast majority of parishioners who expect Sunday and weekday Masses to be in English and at an altar facing the people."

In an open letter to his parishioners, Fr Lawler describes this claim as "a slur on my character, an attack upon my priesthood and totally without foundation."

Clearly, this matter must now go to Rome. Perhaps the pontifical commission Ecclesia Dei might be persuaded to take a closer look at the scandal unfolding in Allerton Bywater.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Requiescant in pace

Please pray for the eternal repose of the soul of my beloved maternal grandmother, Marcela Angcao +, who passed away early this morning (4:20am).

Psalm 129. De profúndis

OUT of the deep have I called unto thee, O Lord; * Lord, hear my voice.
2 O let thine ears consider well * the voice of my complaint.
3 If thou, Lord, wilt be extreme to mark what is done amiss, * O Lord, who may abide it?
4 For there is mercy with thee; * therefore shalt thou be feared.
5 I look for the Lord; my soul doth wait for him; * in his word is my trust.
6 My soul fleeth unto the Lord before the morning watch; * I say, before the morning watch.
7 O Israel, trust in the Lord; for with the Lord there is mercy, * and with him is plenteous redemption.
8 And he shall redeem Israel * from all his sins.

ETERNAL rest grant unto her, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her. May she rest in peace. Amen.