Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
And we wonder WHY an Apostolic visitation is need, these nit wits are a good reason. Moving beyond Christ INDEED, some of you vat 2 sisters are asses, there I said it, get over it, smell the coffee and GROW UP
from the Catholic Key Blog
In 2006, two long-serving Benedictine Sisters from Wisconsin renounced their vows and left their order. The Vatican concurred in releasing them.
Nothing surprising there - Religious leave their orders all the time. What is unique about this case is that the two women figured out how to take all of their former order’s assets with them. In October, a group of leaders from men’s and women’s religious orders will learn how to do the same.
Here’s the background. In 2007, Sinsinawa Dominican Sister Laurie Brink gave the keynote address at the annual convention of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious held in Kansas City. Titled, "A Marginal Life: Pursuing Holiness in the 21st Century"(pdf), her talk looked at different ways various communities of women religious were dealing with decline and evolving. One possible way was to be a “sojourner”:
Sojourners have left the religious home of their fathers and mothers and are traveling in a foreign land, mapping their way as they go. They are courageous women among us. And very well may provide a glimpse into the new thing that God is bringing about in our midst. Who’s to say that the movement beyond Christ is not, in reality, a movement into the very heart of God? A movement the ecclesiastical system would not recognize. A wholly new way of being holy that is integrative, non-dominating, and inclusive. But a whole new way that is also not Catholic Religious Life. The Benedictine Women of Madison are the most current example I can name. Their commitment to ecumenism lead them beyond the exclusivity of the Catholic Church into a new inclusivity, where all manner of seeking God is welcomed. They are certainly religious women, but they are no longer women religious as it is defined by the Roman Catholic Church. They choose as a congregation to step outside the Church in order to step into a greater sense of holiness.
One problem with sojourning “beyond Christ” in a way “the ecclesiastical system would not recognize” is that you have to leave behind the good will of being a Catholic religious sister and begin anew. When you leave the Church, you also leave behind the trappings of the Church – the monastery, the land, the endowment. All of these things were entrusted for an ecclesial purpose and you have chosen to no longer serve that purpose. If you quit the convent, you have to find a new roof.
But the two Benedictine sisters in Wisconsin who wanted to leave their order were in a unique position. They were the last two active members of their community. They had no one to return the keys to. So they took them.
According to the National Catholic Reporter, Benedictine Sisters Mary David Walgenbach and Joanne Kollasch started thinking about leaving the Catholic religious life and starting a way of life the Church would not recognize in 1992. In 2006, they were officially released from their vows.
Between 1992 and 2006, they had a lot of work to do. According to public records, in 1998, they set up a Non-Stock Corporation headed by themselves called the Benedictine Women of Madison, Inc. The new corporation was non-canonical, ie., not connected to or bound by any of the laws of the Church.
In late 2000, the two sisters signed over the deeds for the various parcels of land belonging to their canonical, ecclesial religious order to the non-ecclesial corporation run by themselves. A separate, non-ecclesial foundation was also set up for the benefit of the new Benedictine Women of Madison, Inc.
When the two sisters finally were released from their vows in 2006, they had already transferred the ecclesial property of their order essentially to themselves. They took new vows to their non-Church related order and now run the Holy Wisdom Monastery on the property of their old order’s former high school.
Holy Wisdom Monastery has one other professed member, a Presbyterian minister. They are open to accepting “sisters” of other faiths, but so far no takers. Madison Bishop Robert Morlino has forbidden priests from offering Mass at the monastery, but in late August, they began “sharing the Bread of Life around a common table” at a weekly, inclusive, ecumenical Eucharist at their just-constructed $8 million eco-friendly monastery.
Are there any other religious orders contemplating quitting the Church and taking the Church’s patrimony with them? The Resource Center for Religious Institutes must think so.
RCRI is an organization formed by the merger of two religious resource groups sponsored by the Leadership Conference of Women Religious and the Conference of Major Superiors of Men. At their National Conference on October 23, participating religious leaders will have the opportunity to attend a workshop called “Going Non-Canonical”. It will be led by the former sister from Wisconsin, Mary David Walgenbach, and Benedictine Father Dan Ward, the canon lawyer who helped the Benedictines of Madison quit the Church. Here’s the description, my emphases:
The story of a small Benedictine community’s journey of becoming non-canonical. The content includes their ecumenical ministry, visioning process, development of an ecumenical board, relationship with the Federation of St. Gertrude and canonical and civil procedures for the transfer of assets.
Why would any leader of a religious community need to learn that?
I feel as if I know the President. Like I have met him before.
Some years back I worked with a man who I will call Drew. Drew was the epitome of the Peter principle. Promoted to a level of gross incompetence, in this case a Vice President in a large international firm, Drew was in way over his head. Drew was tall and extroverted to the Nth degree giving him the illusion of command and competence. He spoke real fast and had command of litany of buzzwords that could make your head spin. I suppose this is part of what helped him make it to his position.
I remember when I first met him (he had recently been promoted) he wanted me to get something done for him quickly that had been ignored by him and his staff for some time. Drew was already in way over his head and he knew it and his tail was on the line and he needed me to help him save it. But rather that asking me to do help him out in a pinch and acknowledging the lateness of his request he decided to threaten me while dropping the fact that he was a vice president at least five times in a three minute conversation. When I told him I had my own problems he decided to go above my head. Unfortunately for Drew, the CFO of the company at that time was patient and listened to facts. He chastised Drew for his tardiness and threatening behavior and asked me to see what I could do to help.
That is the way it is with charismatic demagogues particularly when they are in way over their heads. They live in perpetual fear of being found out and they constantly feel the need to double down when they are already out of chips.
So it is with the President. I write this on the eve of the President's speech to congress attempting to save his reputation and his troubled healthcare reform. The President, in over his head and too clever by half, tried to force this health care bill down our throats quickly and by using Congress as cover insulate himself from any criticism. That manifestly did not work. The public outcry against the liberal wishlist of ideas is like nothing that has been seen in this country in recent memory. But rather than reassess his approach and his plans, all indications are that the President intends to double down and force a vote - public option and all. If he does he may succeed in destroying his own party.
Back to Drew for a moment. His general incompetence at last made manifest, Drew was given notice that his contract would not be extended and they allowed him to work for a few months before showing him the door. But Drew, so fearful of admitting his own shortcomings spent those final months tirelessly trying to ruin the reputations of all with whom he was associated. Blaming anyone and everyone else for his own failures. Eventually, they asked Drew not to come to work anymore.
This is the way it works folks. Like the drowning man, the exposed charismatic demagogue will take all around him down with him rather than ever admit he cannot swim. The Democrats in Congress should be wary of trying to save this drowning man lest they be dragged to the bottom as well.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Dad was at or near the front lines in Italy one day when an officer came down the line. "Any Catholics here," he began. "There's a priest about to say Mass in the next field." Dad took his helmet and rifle and headed over to the next field, as did several other Catholics.
He was appalled when he arrived. The field was wide open, easily visible from the Germans, and exposed to any kind of enemy fire. The men immediately looked for a hill, a shell hole, a rock, a furrow- anything that might give them any sort of cover. Meanwhile, in the middle of the field stood the priest, carefully setting up his Mass kit on a big rock, taking his time and doing it properly, appearing as if he had no concern in the world other than this, and going about it as if he were in a parish back home, and there was no war to trouble anyone or anything.
If there was ever a time for a Tridentine speed Mass, this could have been it. But, to Dad's horror, (and he knew, because he used to be an altar boy at a Cathedral) the priest said the Mass slowly and carefully, doing every movement as prescribed, omitting no prayer, while gunfire raged around them.
At last the priest turned, holding the consecrated host. "Come to Communion!" he shouted out to the men hiding in the field. "I grant you all full absolution. Come!"
Dad's reaction was: "He's got to be kidding." But then he saw it: the soldiers making their way forward to receive communion. Granted, they approached the priest at a dead run, and left at a dead run as soon as it was received. But still they came. Dad, emboldened by the other men, came forward himself, received, thanked God, and raced away.
He stayed in his furrow watching as the priest put away his Mass kit as properly as he set it out, and, when finished and having said his final prayers, the priest snapped his case shut and walked away.
That's the story. Not the best punch line, but the family liked it. I like it for it reminds of a good man I once knew and shall never see again in the flesh. It reminds me that there were other good men like him, once upon a time. Men who believed there were things to stand for, things to fight for, things that were worth risking your life for. And on that list of things worth risking your life over was Mass, and the chance for Communion.
by intern Anne Marie
Perhaps the best-kept secret of modern medicine is the link between oral contraceptives and increased breast cancer risk.
While combined oral contraceptives, better known as The Pill, rank as Group I carcinogens according to a 2005 report released by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, an arm of the World Health Organization, doctors continue to routinely prescribe the pill for a variety of conditions, ranging from acne to birth control (American Cancer Society, 2008)....
Combined oral contraceptives are composed of estrogen and progesterone or progestin, a synthetic form of progesterone. Estrogen and progesterone are female sex hormones; estrogen thickens the lining of the uterus, and progesterone/progestin prepares the endometrium for implantation of the egg. (National Cancer Institute, 2006).
The reasoning behind a combination of estrogen and progesterone/progestin is that estrogen given on its own increases the risk of uterine cancer. Taking a combination of the 2 confers protection from uterine cancer but increases breast cancer risk.
In short, the science behind the increased breast cancer risk stems from 2 primary mechanisms. In both instances, progesterone/progestin becomes a double-edged sword, as it confers protection from increased uterine cancer risk but "gives permission" for estrogen to negatively affect breast DNA.
First, the combination of estrogen plus progesterone/progestin functions as a genotoxin, meaning it directly damages DNA in the breast. Several estrogen metabolites, or breakdown products, including 4-hydroxy-catechol-estrogen quinine, have been proven to function in this manner (Lanfranchi, 2007).
Second, estrogen functions as a mitogen, or cancer promoter, and estrogen promotes cancer in 2 ways. As seen in the graph, it stimulates an explosion of rapid proliferation of cells in breast lobules, causing a greater likelihood of mutations with the increased rate of division.
Additionally, estrogen promotes speedier development of any already-cancerous cells in the breast (Lanfranchi, 2007).
Why doesn't the American public know about the increased risk? Why is the teenage girl on the pill for acne unaware of the health risks involved? Women deserve better.