Les Femmes

***The Silence of the Lambs’ Shepherds is Shameful!
Despite the bishops voting to keep the language that abortion is the “preeminent” moral issue in the U.S., the shameful silence by many shepherds is deafening. Some are not only silent but undermine the faith with their blather. One bishop, preeminent in this respect, is Robert McElroy of San Diego. In a recent lecture at San Diego University he spouted the latest version of Cardinal Bernardin’s “seamless garment” by equating abortion with...get ready ...climate change. Yes, climate change is more important than contraception which is “intrinsically evil [but]… it is a far greater moral evil for our country to abandon the Paris Climate Accord than to provide contraceptives in federal health centers.” Apparently, McElroy doesn’t know that many so-called contraceptives are abortifacients. Or he doesn’t, in fact, care. He went on to say “Abortion annually results in the deaths of “more than 750,000 unborn children [a gross underestimate] ....[but] the long-term death toll from unchecked climate change is larger and threatens the very future of humanity.” Clearly, then, it’s morally imperative to vote for a pro-abort candidate who supports massive payouts to fight climate change rather than a pro-life candidate who only wants to save God’s least ones. Heaven save us from the likes of McElroy who joined Cupich at the USCCB’s Fall meeting to oppose the idea that killing children is the preeminent moral issue.

***Who’s Next on the List of Abortionists – Barbers? Remember when the pro-aborts insisted that abortion was a decision between a woman and her doctor? No more! In Virginia a bill recently passed by both houses guts all protections for women as Democrats make abortion safe and legal for abortionists, especially Planned Parenthood. Among the changes? Less qualified medical providers, i.e., physicians’ assistants and nurse practitioners may commit abortions. Wow! Back to the middle ages when barbers performed surgery, pulled teeth, and did blood-letting. Every protection for women is gutted (just like the babies). Who benefits? Planned Parenthood, of course. And the vote in the state senate was a tie with Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax, an accused rapist, casting the deciding vote. Abortion is an easy out for predatory men like Fairfax who want their little sex toys to be recyclable! Every Catholic in Virginia who voted Democrat gave us this atrocity. There will be hell to pay for them on Judgment Day (literally) if they don’t repent!

***While Virginia goes whole hog for murdering babies the Virginia Catholic Conference (VCC) waxes eloquent about the “success” of last year’s March for Life at the state capitol which did nothing to suppress Democrats’ killing spree. What a head scratcher! What’s to celebrate and where’s the “success?” The two Virginia bishops never admonish Catholic pro-abortion politicians and their murderous policies. Tim Kaine, Gerry Connolly, and other Catholic pols residing in Virginia, the congressional bedroom, are often admired in their home churches. So while we give two thumbs up to laity and clergy who march for life and then go home to fight for the babies, we give thumbs down to Virginia’s silent bishops, enablers of pro-abort politicians! Most of the bishops in the U.S. are eunuchs supporting the “seamless garment” lie by their words and actions. Stay tuned, the VCC will no doubt be chortling soon about “successes” like banning guns, eliminating the death penalty (except for innocent babies with no day in court), and fighting climate change. Yippee!

***Meanwhile, Let’s examine the state of the Diocese: The 2019 annual report shows significant declines in many areas over the past two years. Since 2017, registered parishioners are down over 10,000 despite a slight uptick in households. There were fewer baptisms, confirmations, and marriages. Enrollment in Catholic schools and religious ed programs declined. But, no worries, the Herald celebrates renovations to parish buildings! And the diocese hired a new COO (Chief Operating Officer). Growing the Church bureaucracy offers us all new hope, right?

***Revolting Synodal Path to Hell Begins in Germany Following the Amazon debacle which coincidentally was primarily a project of the German bishops, Cardinal Marx et al are charging ahead with their plans to revamp the Church in the image of Martin Luther. Nothing is off the table in the “working document” including ordination of women, married priests, blessing homosexual unions, and advocating contraception. Homosexual activity is approved since “homosexual acts also realize positive meaningful values, insofar as they are an expression of friendship, reliability, loyalty, and support in life.” Ah the blessings of sodomy! No surprise then that masturbation gets a thumbs up too: “The joyful experience of one’s own body (self sex) can also mean a responsible approach to one’s own sexuality.” Oh those silly saints who threw themselves into thorn bushes to subdue their unruly passions.

***Dissing Pope Leo XIII & St. Michael the Archangel Several readers were disturbed by the pastor’s letter in the St. Bernadette Bulletin January 19th. Fr. Don Rooney explained why he won’t allow the St. Michael prayer after Mass. (Not for the first time, a parishioner at his former parish, St. Mary’s in Fredericksburg, told Les Femmes.) Father apparently got his “history” of the prayer from Wickipedia, a source well known for liberal bias. He insulted Pope Leo XIII implying questionable motives on his part: “The prayer was added to restore the worldly splendor of the Church.” What nonsense! Father said nothing about the vision Pope Leo experienced during Mass witnessed by others including his personal secretary, Msgr. Rinaldo Angeli. (While the exact date is unkown it likely took place shortly before the prayer was promulgated in 1886.) Pope Leo heard a conversation between God and Satan giving the devil free rein for 100 years. While Leo never publicly described the event, others who witnessed it did. In 1955, Father Domenico Pechenino, who worked at the Vatican during Leo’s reign, shared what he observed with the Roman Journal, Ephemerides Liturgicae. Before that, the story circulated widely after 1933 when it was reported in a German Sunday newspaper.

***What Exactly Did Fr. Pechenino & Others Observe? Only Pope Leo himself could report the words of the conversation, since only he heard it, however Fr. Pechenino described what he saw:

I do not remember the exact year. One morning the great Pope Leo XIII had celebrated a Mass and, as usual, was attending a Mass of thanksgiving. Suddenly, we saw him raise his head and stare at something above the celebrant’s head. He was staring motionlessly, without batting an eye. His expression was one of horror and awe; the color and look on his face changing rapidly. Something unusual and grave was happening in him. Finally, as though coming to his senses, he lightly but firmly tapped his hand and rose to his feet. He headed for his private office. His retinue followed anxiously and solicitously, whispering: ‘Holy Father, are you not feeling well? Do you need anything?’ He answered: ‘Nothing, nothing.’ About half an hour later, he called for the Secretary of the Congregation of Rites and, handing him a sheet of paper, requested that it be printed and sent to all the ordinaries around the world. What was that paper? It was the prayer that we recite with the people at the end of every Mass. It is the plea to Mary and the passionate request to the Prince of the heavenly host, (St. Michael: Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle) beseeching God to send Satan back to hell."

(Fr. Domenico Pechenino, quoted in the 1955 Roman journal Ephemerides Liturgicae V. LXIX, pp 54–60)

Another cleric, Cardinal Nasalli Rocca di Corneliano, reported in the same article that the pope’s private secretary Monsignor Rinaldo Angeli… [said] Leo had seen a vision of demonic spirits who were congregating on the Eternal City (Rome) [inspiring him to write] the Saint Michael prayer.

Fr. Rooney’s letter claims the prayer violates an official instruction of the Church Inter Oecumenici which Pope Paul VI promulgated in 1964 which did “suppress” it. However, liturgist Fr. Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy and dean of theology at the Regina Apostolorum university, says restoring the prayer is permissible: bishops have the authority to mandate the recitation of public prayers within their diocese. In the present circumstances, however, they have not issued decrees but in general, have limited themselves to letters recommending the practice after Mass. Each priest can decide to adopt it or not.

***So, What Does Our Diocese Say about the Prayer?

In an email exchange between Les Femmes and the Office of Divine Worship, Director James Stark wrote:

Thank you for emailing the Diocese of Arlington regarding the policy on reciting the St. Michael the Archangel prayer after Mass. The policy currently in force is that each Pastor determines if the prayer is to be recited, is not to be recited, or is to be left to the discretion of the individual celebrant at the celebration of Masses at the Parish. Priests who celebrate Mass at a Parish are asked to follow the determination of the local Pastor.

So...Fr. Rooney is within his rights to refuse to allow the prayer, but his reasons are spurious. Pray for him. Les Femmes never suggests parishioners disobey pastors unless they violate canonical rights, e.g., by refusing Communion to those who kneel. However, Catholic laity may bring their concerns to their pastors and may do it over and over like the woman demanding rights from the unjust judge. One could circulate a petition or write frequent letters, for example. But the action that shouts the loudest is the power of the purse! Imagine if 50 or 100 parishioners put a weekly note in their parish envelopes saying, “Dear Father, Our weekly donation is being put in an escrow account until the St. Michael the Archangel prayer is resumed.”

***Fr. Rooney isn’t the only St. Michael Antagonist! At least two other parishes have suppressed the prayer after Mass. Please pray to St. Michael for laity in those parishes and doe their short-sighted pastors. We need all the help we can get these days and calling on St. Michael and the Blessed Mother’s “legion of angels” makes good sense!

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