Fathers Are The Priests Of The Home!
By: Fr. Wade Menezes
I. Develop an intimate, personal relationship with Jesus, allowing Him to forgive you of your past, to talk to you, to heal you and to guide you. Then, trust the Holy Spirit in all things. Trust Him to provide everything you need, including financial help.
II. Get your priorities in order: Jesus first, your wife second, your children third, your work fourth, etc. Develop a weekly schedule, blocking out quality time for the Lord, your wife, each child and the family as a whole. A husband’s most important time during any given day is the first five minutes when he gets home from work and the love and attention he shows his wife and children at that time. Remember that your human fatherhood is rooted in the Divine Fatherhood of Almighty God (cf. Ephesians 3:14-15; cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2214).
III. Realize that you are the “priest” of the home. It is your primary responsibility to oversee the TV and its influence, the internet and its influence, as well as the books and magazines that enter into your home. You must stand firmly against all evil influences, asking constantly for God’s strength and guidance to lead your family in living a pure, holy and non-violent lifestyle. Esto vir! (Be a man!). A father fosters moral virtue within his home first and foremost by example. Get into the habit of blessing your children – both alone and with your wife – before they go to sleep at night or before they leave the house in the morning.
IV. Make sure you know what your children are being taught at school regarding morals and values. All teachers teach “in your place” as you and your wife are the primary educators of your children. If objectionable subjects or materials are being taught in the classroom, you must stand strong. The primary place for Christian morals and values to be taught and practiced is within the family home – your home, which you oversee. This is an awesome responsibility given both to you (as the “head” of your household) and to your wife (as the “heart” of your household). Realize that your headship is to be modeled after the headship of the wise and prudent king who loves and rules over his kingdom and its inhabitants. Your headship is not to be modeled after the headship of the master who rules over his slaves. You do not exist as the head of your family to have your needs met, but rather to have your family’s needs met. Your headship is not about you being served, but rather about you serving. Your headship is about sacrificial love and service. As head of the family, you are called to great responsibility. Many husbands and fathers want headship without the responsibility it demands. Dare to discipline with love and firmness. The wise and prudent king loves all of the subjects within his kingdom and wishes to see them prosper in the fullness of beauty and Truth. He desires to bring them all to the fullness of Truth and prosperity. Jesus Christ Himself is the Head of His Church; He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. St. Augustine calls the family the “domestic church.” You are the “head” and “king” and “lord” of this domestic church: “The place and task of the father in and for the family is of unique and irreplaceable importance. In revealing and in reliving on earth the very fatherhood of God (cf. Ephesians 3:14- 15), a man is called upon to ensure the harmonious and united development of all the members of the family” (Pope John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio [The Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World], 25).
V. Pray with your wife and regularly so. Try to keep a simple, but sincere spiritual journal and share it with her, even if your entries are just short, inspirational sentences. Trust the Lord to guide, purify and sanctify your relationship with your wife. She is the “heart” of the home. Reverence her as such. Love her with the same love and affection Christ has for His Church. Remember that your sons will grow up to relate to women much in the same way that they saw you relate to your wife. Similarly, your daughters will learn from their father what to expect from men in a relationship. Share with your wife her burdens, her sorrows and her joys. Ask the Lord for the strength to love her with the same love and purity with which He loves His Bride, the Church.
VI. Spend quality time with each child. Treat each child in a unique and personal way. The power of a father’s affirming love is tremendously overwhelming and something truly wonderful. Children need it. They require it for their full and proper development. Let each child share his or her ideas, feelings, fears and problems with you. Do everything in your power to ensure that your child can always approach you in any matter. Be sure to share periodically with your wife your insights concerning each child. Discipline with firmness and love (again, your model here is that of the wise and prudent king who rules over the inhabitants of his kingdom with a firm, but great love and not of the master who rules over his slaves).
VII. Consecrate your home to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Set up a “prayer corner” within the home in the room where the family most gathers. In this room should be an “altar-table.” On this table place a Bible, a good condensed version of the Lives of the Saints and a copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. On or around this table also place images (statues, pictures or icons) of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The daily family Rosary is a powerful prayer. If your children are still small, pray only a decade of the Rosary and/or vary it daily with the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. A wonderful, fixed time for daily family prayer and spiritual reading (say, a total of just 15 or 20 minutes) is immediately after supper each evening. Included here could be the Readings from the Mass of the day; purchase a daily Roman missal for this. Again, remember that you are the priest of the home. As such, you are called to be a true leader. A child will remember well into his adult life these early family practices of the Faith. They will never be forgotten. A father must be the first Christian witness to his wife and children. This is both a duty and a responsibility. Also, be sure to foster the use of sacramentals among your family members. Sacramentals are “sacred signs which bear a certain resemblance to the Sacraments and by means of which spiritual effects are signified and obtained through the prayers of the Church” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, Glossary). Examples of sacramentals include the Sign of the Cross, holy water, enrollment in the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, religious medals, blessings, pilgrimages, processions, the Stations of the Cross, sacred art, rosaries and the veneration of relics. While sacramentals do differ from the seven Sacraments, they are still very important in the life of a Catholic Christian. Also, promote visits to the Blessed Sacrament with your family members, for instance, when in town running errands.
VIII. Do not let sports or outside activities become more important to you or to your children than Christ and family. Sports have become a false god in America today – especially on Sundays – and we tend to overemphasize them. Spend fun time at home. Do things together as a family. This calls for creativity, imagination and frequent planning in advance. Seek suggestions from your wife and older children in this regard.
IX. Pray that each one of your children may answer the call to the vocation that Almighty God has chosen for him or her from all eternity. Never ask your children, “What do you want to be?” Rather, ask each child, “What do you think God is calling you to be?” Help them to discern their states-in-life, whether it be singlehood, the married state or consecrated religious life. Have this discussion often with your children, especially after they reach the age of 15.
X. Ensure the frequenting of the Sacraments by your family members. The Sacrament of Confession should be partaken of at least monthly and the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist should be partaken of at least weekly. You must make sure that your family’s sense of sin is never dulled. Take your family to Sunday Mass precisely as a family. Do not give your teenagers an option here. If you do, you are not fulfilling your vocation as a father. Foster among your family members a great love of the Holy Eucharist. Tithe regularly and devotedly. Do everything in your power (as the wise and prudent king of your home) to truly make Sunday the Lord’s Day and a day of family togetherness; that is, a day of prayer, relaxation and recreation. Again, this calls for creativity, imagination and frequent planning in advance. Seek input from your wife and older children in this regard. Remember, any good and wholesome recreation is really a “re-creation” of both body and soul. (Inspired by and adapted from Superabundant Family Love by Fr. Bill McCarthy, MSA)
PRAYER FOR OUR FAMILY Heavenly Father, most good and gracious God, sustain our family in Your love. Make our family home a place where holiness and love abound. In our daily actions, help each one of us to learn to be more like Jesus. Aid our family to imitate the Holy Family of Nazareth: Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Help our family to learn from the good example of those families that especially please You in their way of life. May our family members learn to give good example always by living lives in true Christian faith, hope and love. Assist our family in learning to bear pain and suffering as Jesus did. Aid our family members, too, in overcoming difficulties and carrying their crosses. Help our family life to lead to Jesus Christ, the Source of all Truth and happiness. We ask this through Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, Who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. AMEN.
FAMILY PRAYER TO OUR BLESSED MOTHER, MARY Holy Mary, Virgin Mother of God, we seek your patronage and we invoke you under your title “Queen of Families.” O Blessed Mother, you were conceived without sin. May every family choose you this day as the model for their household, along with St. Joseph, your most loving, chaste and caring spouse. Through your Immaculate Conception, preserve all families from every disaster, from all violence and from every misfortune. O Holy Virgin, bless and protect all families, strengthen them in trial and keep them from every evil. AMEN.
Bishop Donald W. Montrose
The Occult Constitutes A Serious Threat To Our Spiritual Well Being
By the “occult,” we are speaking of some supra-human or supernatural influence that is not from God. We commonly associate the occult with that which has demonic influence. In the United States today the occult has become much more popular than it was twenty years ago. Today, there is popular Satanic music, Satanic street gangs, an increase in Satanic worship, a more widespread use of the horoscope and study of the signs of the zodiac, and Satanic games that can be purchased. In spite of this, many people do not take the occult seriously. They laugh off the notion of the Power of Evil as actually being a part of the “real” world in which we live.
I do believe that demonic influence is very real and that it constitutes a dangerous threat to our spiritual well-being. What is written here is, at best, a brief summary of a reality that I have no desire to spend much time exploring. My purpose is simply to give you enough knowledge to be able to at least suspect the presence of the occult so that you can avoid it completely.
In the letter to the Ephesians (1:3-10), St. Paul tells us that God chose us in Jesus Christ before the world began. We are called to be holy and without sin in his sight. God called us to be his children through Jesus Christ. In Jesus and through his Blood we have been saved and our sins forgiven. This is how generous God our Father has been with us. And He has given us the wisdom to understand this mystery, this plan He revealed to us in Christ.
We are Baptized and Confirmed Christians. In both of these sacraments we have renounced Satan, all his works, and the empty promises of the kingdom of darkness. In these Baptismal promises we profess our faith in Jesus Christ and in the Church. Now the kingdom of God is absolutely opposed to Satan’s kingdom. Salvation in Jesus Christ presupposes our rejection of the kingdom of darkness. Our life, though, is a spiritual warfare. In the first letter of St. John (1 Jn. 5:18-20) he tells us two things. First of all, we who are born of God (by Baptism and the Holy Spirit) are protected by God so that the Evil One cannot touch us. But he also tells us that the whole world is under the Evil One.
The Evil One can tempt us, but he cannot touch us directly unless we open the door for him. We should not fear Satan nor should we be constantly looking for him in the ordinary happenings of our life.
Do not concentrate on the Evil Spirits, but fix your eyes and your faith upon Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We are saved by Jesus Christ alone, through prayer, our adherence to the Word of God in the Bible, and through the sacraments, especially through the presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist.
In our prayer we should not forget to involve Mary, the Mother of God, who has crushed the head of the ancient serpent (Gen. 3:15). Devotion to Mary is a powerful means of protection in our daily life.
What is the kingdom of Satan, the kingdom of darkness like? It is a lie that seeks to resemble the Kingdom of God. Read Isaiah (14:12-15). It is about Satan. The prophet tells us that in his heart Satan is determined to be like God.
Therefore, in Satan’s kingdom he wants everything that is in the Kingdom of God. But his kingdom is a lie; it is false. In the kingdom of darkness, there is false worship and adoration; there is evil prayer. He offers us false happiness and peace. He holds out to us dark wisdom and knowledge. This is how he tempted Adam and Eve (Gen. 3:5). Satan said: “No, God knows well that the moment you eat it (the forbidden fruit) your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods who know what is good and what is bad.” In his kingdom, Satan also offers us a health that is unto death, and a protection that is false. Just as we picture the angels of heaven singing and worshipping God, there is also a special music that is evil in the kingdom of darkness.
Satan’s kingdom is a lie. He wants to be like God. But in the very first of the Ten Commandments, God told Moses: “I am the Lord your God. You shall not have strange gods that are proposed to us in the kingdom of darkness. ” St. Paul tells us to be on our guard: “The Spirit says clearly that some men will abandon their faith in later times. They will obey lying spirits and follow the teaching of demons” (1 Tim. 4:1). Let us hold fast to our faith in the Lord Jesus and his Church. Our salvation is brought about by Jesus Christ alone, through prayer, by reading and studying the Word of God in the Bible, and through the presence of Jesus in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in our tabernacles.
When the Israelites were about to come into the promised land, the Lord God gave them many commandments that had to do with the true worship that He desired, and the false worship that He hated. These same commandments hold for us today.
“When you come into the land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to imitate the abominations of the people there. Let there not be found among you anyone who immolates his son or daughter in the fire, nor a fortune teller, soothsayer, charmer, diviner, or caster of spells, nor one who consults ghosts and spirits or seeks oracles from the dead. Anyone who does such things is an abomination to the Lord, and because of such abominations to the Lord, your God is driving these nations out of your way. You, however, must be altogether sincere toward the Lord, your God” (Deut. 18:9-13).
The Lord says that we must be sincere with Him. We cannot have it both ways. Jesus said: “He who is not with Me is against Me” (Matt. 21:30). We have to be firm in our resolution to follow the Lord alone.
Let us now consider some examples of forbidden knowledge and power.
When we talk about forbidden knowledge, we simply mean knowledge that is obtained outside of God’s influence or the normal way that human beings obtain knowledge. None of us knows the future; from our knowledge of particular circumstances we can know what might possibly happen. This is one thing. But to seek knowledge of the future or intimate knowledge about another person, apart from God, and through the help of clairvoyance or spirits is what is meant by forbidden knowledge.
Forbidden power is a kind of magical power that produces effects apart from God and in a way that is beyond ordinary human means.
The Kingdom Of Darkness And Forbidden Knowledge
“Do not go to mediums or consult fortune tellers, for you will be defiled by them. I, the Lord, am your God” (Lev. 19:31). “Should anyone turn to mediums and fortune tellers and follow their wanton ways, I will turn against such a one and cut him off from his people” (Lev. 20:6).
Astrology, Horoscopes Are Pagan Customs
Fortune tellers try to predict the future through the use of occult, magic, or superstition. It is forbidden to seek knowledge of the future by using playing cards, tarot cards, the crystal ball, the study of the hand, the stars, examining the liver of dead animals, shooting arrows, the Ouija board, or any other superstitious means.
A medium is a person who has immediate or secret knowledge either by some questionable power of his own or through the power of an evil spirit that works through him. In l Samuel chapter 3, read how King Saul consulted a medium and died the next day. 1 Chronicles 10:13 says that Saul died because of this.
Astrology And Horoscopes
Jeremiah 10:2—”Thus says the Lord: Learn not the customs of the pagans and have no fear of the signs of the heavens, though the pagans fear them.” By studying the stars and planets an astrologer casts a horoscope on the basis of the month and the day of an individual’s birth. The horoscope is a prediction of events likely to occur in a person’s life based upon the movement of the stars and planets. Even though millions of people follow horoscopes with greater or lesser interest, this is still a type of fortune telling. Even if you say you do not believe in horoscopes, and only read your own for fun, you should abandon this practice. The daily horoscope can easily influence us from time to time. It is a way in which we open ourselves to the occult.
If you want to live in the Kingdom of God, renounce horoscopes and all other means of fortune telling. Any playing cards, Ouija boards, or other things used for fortune telling should be destroyed.
The Kingdom Of Darkness And Forbidden Power
Witchcraft or superstitious magic is used to produce effects that are beyond the power of man. These effects may be good or bad and are brought about by the use of magical words or gestures, or the use of magical herbs, powders, liquids or similar things. There is often a specific invocation of the devil. Physical evils are directed against individuals because of hatred or jealousy. We have all heard about sticking pins in dolls, the evil eye, the eating of cursed food or drinking a liquid, that through the power of darkness is to cause harm, sickness, or death. This is witchcraft. Today, witches can be found almost everywhere, and often they are presented in a positive light. Just remember everyone involved in false worship, seeking forbidden knowledge, or using forbidden power should be absolutely avoided.
There is also an increased interest in African witchcraft—voodooism. The gods of voodooism are good and bad. Usually a voodoo service begins after sunset and ends in the early morning. It often includes a bloody sacrifice of a goat or chicken. There is prayer and singing. The gods are supposed to briefly enter into the persons during the ritual.
In voodooism and witchcraft, Catholic objects such as images of saints, crucifixes, candles, holy water and Catholic prayers are sometimes used, as well as other objects and prayers. Do not be fooled by the apparent religious nature of what happens.
If you have any objects or written prayers that have been used in witchcraft or given you by a witch, they should be completely destroyed.
If you have been involved in witchcraft you must renounce the devil, renounce the witchcraft in which you have been involved and all witchcraft, ask God’s pardon, and confess your sin to a priest. In Confession (the Sacrament of Reconciliation) there is Divine Power needed to free one from the influence of evil.
Spiritualists Or Spiritualistic Churches
Spiritualism involves a communication with the dead or with the spirit world by some psychic or occult means.
Great care is to be used because many people are fooled. There can be the use of the Bible, holy water, statues of saints and Catholic hymns. Spiritualists often believe in the Fatherhood of God, doing good to others, personal responsibility for what one does, reward for good deeds and punishment for evil deeds. Many are Christian or even Catholic and profess faith in Jesus.
But there is always a dangerous attempt to communicate with the dead or with spirits in some way. It can be through a seance, or perhaps the person just seems to go into a trance.
Sometimes spiritualists are involved in healing, witchcraft, fortune telling or even blessing homes to protect them. Sometimes they believe in reincarnation as well.
In our day, hard rock music played by “satanic” musical groups presents additional problems. This music often glorifies Satan and also, at times, awakens desires to commit suicide, to use drugs, and to misuse sex. The music is also known to encourage physical violence. Even hell is proposed as a desired end of life. The evil is found in the musical combination of words, rhythm and noise. Records or tapes of this kind should not be kept in the home but should be destroyed, even if they have cost a considerable amount of money. Choose the Kingdom of God!
It goes without saying that praying to the devil, worshipping Satan, reading the Satanic bible, or taking part in a Black Mass which mocks the crucifixion of Jesus and the Eucharist are among the most serious sins that one can commit.
In some Satanic worship, there is at times sacrifice to Satan by a horrible killing of animals, and even the murder of human infants. The secrecy surrounding this activity enables the “Church of Satan” to obtain a certain respectability in our society. It has the same legal standing as any other church.
Do not be deceived; being involved in this false church is a very serious matter. Catholics who wish to repent must resign from the false religion at whatever cost, renounce Satan and their sin in all their heart, and confess this sin in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
The New Age Movement
Although virtually unknown a few years ago, this movement is gaining in popularity on an international level. On the surface it appears to be a “peace” movement, but in my estimation, it definitely belongs to the occult. This is because it presents some basic characteristics that are identified with the occult, even though Satan is not mentioned.
For example, the “god” of the New Age is not the God of Christianity and Judaism. The New Age god is more like an impersonal energy or force of which the whole universe consists. This is a form of pantheism. For us God is Creator and Lord of all. We are his creatures. In the New Age, Jesus becomes one of the many spiritual masters who discovered his higher self. It is believed that in the New Age we can also be enlightened, and this through our own efforts not through revelation and the grace of God.
The New Age Movement is sometimes called a peace movement. Somehow, it is said, that when we become a part of this “Harmonic Convergence” we can bring to bear a mighty power that is beyond ourselves for achieving world peace. But when we talk about any power that is not from God, and beyond ourselves we are really talking about the occult.
Do not be deceived by the talk about ecology, the beauty of nature in the world, and the fundamental goodness of the apparent goals of this movement. Those who join the New Age Movement are entering a movement dealing with occult spiritual power. It is not a spiritual power that comes from God, but from the Kingdom of False Light and Darkness.
The Kingdom Of Darkness
This kingdom offers a false peace and happiness in sin. Man is capable, especially in heaven, but even here on earth, of experiencing a deep joy and a deep peace given by God. Many of us have experienced this. The false joy offered, for example, in the sin of drunkenness or drug abuse. This false joy is also offered in the sins of sex before marriage, adultery after marriage, or homosexuality.
When people are deeply involved in these sins, or in murder, violent anger or in deep hatred, jealousy and unforgiveness, they are really living in the kingdom of darkness and can open themselves up to the possibility of direct attacks from the evil spirits.
The danger today is that sin has become very “respectable” in our society. Sex before marriage, adultery, heavy social drinking, abortion, and homosexuality have all attained a certain “respectability.” They do not seem so bad. That is because they are not bad in the kingdom of darkness.
In The Home—Seeking God’s Presence And Fighting The Powers Of Darkness
Although you are not a priest, as a baptized Catholic you have a power that you do not realize. St. Paul, in his letter, told the Ephesians this truth (Eph. 1:19): “How very great is his power that works in us is the same as the mighty strength which He used when He raised Christ from death and seated Him at his right side in the heavenly world. ” Think about that for awhile! The power of prayer is greater than we know.
Although we do not have the power of an ordained priest, we can ask God to protect and bless our homes. It is good for us to keep blessed water in our homes and use it frequently. If we wish to ask God’s blessing on our own homes, we can say a simple prayer of blessing and then sprinkle holy water in each room. Such a prayer of blessing could be something like the following:
“Heavenly Father, we ask your blessing upon our home. In the name of your Son Jesus we ask to be delivered from sin and all evil influence. Protect us from sickness, accidents, theft and all domestic tragedies. We place our home under the Lordship of Jesus and consecrate ourselves to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. May all who live here receive your blessing of peace and love.”
An “Our Father” and “Hail Mary” could also be recited.
The consecration of the family and the home to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is another beautiful Catholic custom. We need to have a crucifix and pictures of the Sacred Heart and Our Blessed Lady in our homes. We want home to be a sacred place.
There needs to be a place in the home where the members of the family come together to pray. In some Mexican families the custom of having a little altar with pictures or statues, not only of Jesus, Mary and the saints, but also pictures of members of the family is observed. It reminds us to pray for them.
Freeing My Own Self From The Power Of Evil
Through his passion, death, and resurrection, Jesus has broken the power of the Evil One. When the influence of evil is perceived in one’s own life, it most frequently comes about from personal sin. Family members suffer because of the sin of an individual member of the family. It is through the sacred power that the Lord has placed in his Church that the evil of sin is conquered.
Through medicine, psychology and other human means, suffering can often be alleviated. But Jesus in his Church, has given us basic helps that are often neglected.
In our day the Sacrament of Reconciliation has fallen into disuse. There exists a power in this sacrament to break the power of the Evil One and sin that is not possible otherwise.
Our faith in the Eucharist is weakened. In this sacrament is the power and presence of Jesus Himself. Persons who have actually needed exorcism from the power of the Evil One have been cured by sitting in church in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, an hour each day, for one or two months. These were very difficult cases.
Our Blessed Mother has been designated by God as the one who crushes the head of the serpent (Gen. 3:1s). The Rosary is a very powerful means of protection and salvation. Many sons and daughters have been saved from the power of sin and the loss of faith through the perseverance of their parents in saying the Holy Rosary.
There are many and varied ways in which sin and evil are presented to us in an attractive way. This article presents some ways that many of us rarely think about. I pray this article will be a source of knowledge and help for those who read it.
Originally Posted at: Catholic Parents On-Line (edited for length)
Stop Perpetuating The Genocide In Our Own Country!
By Fr. Brian Sistare – We are a very critical point in our nation’s history. It seems like we are on the verge of going to war with Syria. The evidence seems to be clear, that over 1000 people were killed in Syria by chemical warfare, and by their own president. How should the United States react to what happened? Should we go to war with Syria over what happened in their country? I do not know if there is a clear answer to these questions, but I do know that every American should turn to prayer at this critical moment.
Hopefully, war can be avoided. Let us pray for the “leader” of our country to make the right decision, and that he consults with his own congress before making this decision that will affect so many. What I would like to point out in the midst of this difficult moment is the sheer hypocrisy of our government “leaders”. The Secretary of State John Kerry said that what President Assad did was a “crime against conscience, and a “crime against humanity”. Obama also spoke of the heinous crimes that were done to the Syrian people by their own president, mentioning that children were killed. He said that “we can not accept a world in which people are gassed on a terrible scale”, and that “we don’t want the world to be paralyzed”. It is hard to take both of these men seriously in what they say because of their full on support for the death of innocent children in the womb through abortion. Both of these men not only support the right to kill innocent children in the wombs of their mothers, but also advocate this “crime against conscience” and “crime against humanity”. The little, innocent victims of abortion are even being killed “chemically” by such Contraceptives/abortificients such as the morning after pill, the IUD, the NuvaRing, and even high dosages of the birth control pill. ”Chemical warfare” against our own people has been happening for over 40 years now, and the current “leader” of our country has no problem with it, even adding insult to injury by asking God to bless one of the major suppliers of these chemicals used in the warfare against the innocent, in the organization known as Planned Parenthood.
My brothers and sisters, let us pray for our nation and its leaders. Let us pray that we don’t need to go to war, that the peace of Christ reign in the hearts of all leaders throughout the world, and that we as a nation stop the genocide that is going on in our own country. God bless!
Originally posted at: Proud To Be Catholic: Living The Fullness Of Truth!
Discover 13 Similarities of Those Suffering Same-Sex-Attraction!
Father Derek Lappe – Although I am not at all surprised, I am certainly disappointed in the recent decision of the Boy Scouts of America to change their membership policy. The incredible legacy of the Boy Scouts of America and the amount of good they have done for so many years, creates a particular sadness that they would compromise the good of their mission and the good of the boys they serve for the sake of political correctness.
The exact policy change is this: “to remove the restriction denying membership to youth on the basis of sexual orientation alone.” That is to say that those young men aged 10 to 18 who identify themselves as “gay” or “homosexual” will not be excluded from scouting based on the fact of that self-identification.
I do not feel that it is possible for us to live out, and to teach, the authentic truth about human sexuality within the confines of the Boy Scout’s new policy and so I would like to give an explanation as to why it will be necessary for our parish to part ways with the New Boy Scouts.
For many years we have seen headlines that proclaim a genetic origin for homosexuality. Various groups in concert with a willing media have tried to convince people that being “gay” is a genetically defined trait, as if being sexually attracted to a person of the same sex is no different an expression of DNA than one’s height or the color of one’s skin. The reality however, is that there is nothing scientific or logical in such a position.
The genesis of same-sex attraction is much more complicated. As the Catholic Medical Association pointed out in their document, Homosexuality and Hope (November, 2000):
“Individuals experience same-sex attractions for different reasons. While there are similarities in the patterns of development, each individual has a unique, personal history. In the histories of persons who experience same-sex attraction, one frequently finds one or more of the following:
1) Alienation from the father in early childhood, because the father was perceived as hostile or distant, violent or alcoholic, (Apperson 1968 ; Bene 1965 ; Bieber 1962 ; Fisher 1996 ; Pillard 1988 ; Sipova 1983 )
2) Mother was overprotective (boys), (Bieber, T. 1971 ; Bieber 1962 ; Snortum 1969 )
3)Mother was needy and demanding (boys), (Fitzgibbons 1999 )
4) Mother emotionally unavailable (girls), (Bradley 1997 ; Eisenbud 1982 )
5) Parents failed to encourage same-sex identification, (Zucker 1995 )
6) Lack of rough and tumble play (boys), (Friedman 1980 ; Hadden 1967a )
7) Failure to identify with same/sex peers, (Hockenberry 1987 ; Whitman 1977 )
8) Dislike of team sports (boys), (Thompson 1973 )
9) Lack of hand/eye coordination and resultant teasing by peers (boys), (Bailey 1993 ; Fitzgibbons 1999 ; Newman 1976 )
10) Sexual abuse or rape, (Beitchman 1991 ; Bradley 1997 ; Engel 1981 ; Finkelhor 1984; Gundlach 1967 )
11) Social phobia or extreme shyness, (Golwyn 1993 )
12) Parental loss through death or divorce, (Zucker 1995)
13) Separation from parent during critical developmental stages. (Zucker 1995)
Through no fault of their own, through the breakdown of families, through the failures of society at large young people can find themselves struggling with same-sex attraction. The question is, what is the best way to help them? How do we offer hope and healing?
The New Boy Scouts are basically offering a program of ratifying a label of “gay”, which the young man has placed on himself, and which so many elements of society also are happy to place on him.
A survey was done to poll the scouting community as to their opinions concerning the possibility of a policy change, following is one of the questions (the questions were extremely leading, as you can see):
Tom started in the program as a Tiger Cub, and finished every requirement for the Eagle Scout Award at 16 years of age. At his board of review Tom reveals that he is gay. Is it acceptable or unacceptable for the review board to deny his Eagle Scout award based on that admission?”
Pretty obvious what answer they are looking for.
Based on the more scientific and research backed approach of the Catholic Medical Association here would be a series of more pointed questions which would actually get to the issues that could lead to hope and healing for the boy, rather than imprisoning him in that self-identification for the sake of political correctness:
Tom’s father was an alcoholic; he abandoned the family when Tom was five. To compensate, Tom’s mother was overprotective and began to depend upon Tom even from a very young age. Because of this, Tom never got to play with other boys his age and never played sports. Tom was molested by one of his mother’s boyfriends. Since the age of 12 Tom has been confused about his sexual desires and fantasies and thinks he might be gay. Is all of this acceptable? Should we all tell Tom that this is normal? Should we affirm that this 16 year old boy is, in fact, “gay”?
Or should we not have the courage and the love to stand up and say this is a tragedy, an all too common heartbreaking disaster? Should we not admit that it is sad and wrong from beginning to end– and that we are going to do everything we can to help kids like Tom?
Our Lady Star of the Sea parish and our youth programs are willing to accept Tom as a casualty in the disaster that is so often the modern family. We are willing to accept him as confused, as unsure of his masculinity, as having had a hard life, as a kid who needs help, compassion, love, mentoring, guidance – and most importantly we are willing to share the love and healing of Jesus Christ with him. But I’m not willing to put the definitive label “gay” on him.
The CMA document continues with some very important points, which guide my thinking on this issue:
“While a number of studies have shown that children who have been sexually abused, children exhibiting the symptoms of GID (gender identification disorder), and boys with chronic juvenile unmasculinity are at risk for same-sex attractions in adolescence and adulthood, it is important to note that a significant percentage of these children do not become homosexually active as adults. (Green 1985 ; Bradley 1998)
For some, negative childhood experiences are overcome by later positive interactions. Some make a conscious decision to turn away from temptation. The presence and the power of God’s grace, while not always measurable, cannot be discounted as a factor in helping an at-risk individual turn away from same-sex attraction. The labeling of an adolescent, or worse a child, as unchangeably “homosexual” does the individual a grave disservice. Such adolescents or children can, with appropriate, positive intervention, be given proper guidance to deal with early emotional traumas.”
So what are we going to do?
Our parish cannot be involved with a group that has decided to ratify or approve the self-identification of a 10-18 year old boy as “gay” or “homosexual”. To me it is cruel, and abusive and absolutely contrary to the Gospel to in any way confirm a teenager in the confusion of same-sex attraction, which is what the New Boy Scout policy will do.
And so, we are going to redouble our efforts to create a community that is supportive of happy, healthy, holy marriages. In our marriage preparation we are going to help couples through a serious process of discernment in preparation for the vows they will make of lifelong, faithful love which is open to life. We will do offer more for the enrichment of marriage in terms of retreats and workshops to help couples in living out their vows. We are going to teach the full truth of human sexuality – especially the truth about contraception as the greatest destroyer of marriage and family life.
We are going to continue to preach the truth from natural law and Sacred Scripture that kids should have a mom and a dad who love each other and who love them – that kids do best in that environment. But we are also going to try to help the great number of families, who, through no fault of their own, or through past mistakes find themselves in difficult situations and in less than optimal circumstances – and we are going to do our best to help them and to provide whatever we can for them to be as successful as possible. We are going to try to provide family activities for moms and dads, single parents, divorced parents, grandparents raising their grandkids – really for anyone who is striving to live the Catholic faith in the mixed up mess of a modern world that we live in.
We are going to provide youth activities for any and all youth. And in our programs we will have strong mentors, good examples of Christian men and women; we will teach the Gospel; we will challenge kids to live the virtues; we will teach the truth in a very confused world; and we will invite our youth into a friendship with Jesus Christ that can heal any past hurts. Our current Fraternus and Fidelis programs are well equipped to help cultivate authentically masculine and feminine identities. We will also develop new programs to help replace what we will be losing from the legacy of Scouting.
I am very aware that my objection to the change in the New Boy Scouts is increasingly considered bigoted and backward. I know that there are many good people within the Catholic Church who will disagree with me. I am aware that in many people’s minds “homosexual” identity is the new civil-rights issue and that there has been huge swing in public opinion on this issue over the past few years.
But I won’t put public opinion ahead of the good of the boys and young men in my parish, and I won’t pretend that polls can trump the truths about sexuality and humanity that are revealed to us, first of all by natural law, and confirmed in Sacred Scripture and the teaching of the Catholic Church.
Originally posted at: Star of the Sea.net
“All Men Are Bound By A Moral Obligation To Seek Truth.”
Don’t judge me! How many times have you heard this?
Father Samuel Medley – It is a fascinating phenomenon that the more a person or a culture strays from right conscience, from the law that is written on every human heart and is perceptible to anyone of good will, the more guilty they feel, and the more quickly they will cry out, “Don’t judge me!”
When I walk down the street dressed in my religious garb it is quite common for me to get this exact look, as if by representing Jesus Christ on the street I was already manifesting a judgment on this generation. It is not uncommon for some to scurry away as if at the sight of a religious priest the moral cops had just come for a bust.
Because we live in a faithless generation it is generation hypersensitive to judgment, kind of like someone whose eyes are really sensitive to light who has to cover their eyes when it shines out.
In the Gospel for today, Jesus explains why faithlessness brings about a guilty conscience. “Whoever rejects me and does not accept my words has something to judge him: the word that I spoke.”
Yet, Jesus “did not come to condemn the world but to save the world.” Faith is a decision. It is a moral decision. If you choose to reject what you know is right, to believe in Jesus Christ, you sin. If you chose to believe him, you do a good and holy thing.
The Second Vatican Council teaches this in the beautiful document on conscience, Dignitatis Humanae, the Declaration on Religious Freedom.
“All men are bound by a moral obligation to seek the truth, especially religious truth. They are also bound to adhere to the truth, once it is known, and to order their whole lives in accord with the demands of truth.” (Dignitatis Humanae 2)
Let me repeat, Vatican II says that it is a sin to not believe in Christ if he reveals himself to you. It does not say, you can believe what ever you damn well please. Here I would like to point out that the word “damn” is a descriptive adjective, for by believing something to be false that you know very well to be true you commit a sin and therefore incur damnation.
Vatican II teaching on conscience basically rephrases Jesus’ teaching from today’s Gospel:
1. Jesus came to save us, but if we reject him we reject the salvation he offers.
2. We are free to accept or reject him
3. We are bound in conscience to accept him once he reveals himself to us.
4. He has not been revealed to us if the witness – the person or culture or congregation – who is proclaiming Christ is not living a Christian life and therefore we are still not responsible for accepting him.
5. If we respect people’s consciences, we will live our faith that Christ may be revealed to them and that they might be saved.
6. Catholics have a special moral obligation therefore to preach the truth both in word and in deed.
7. “In order to be faithful to the divine command, ‘teach all nations’ (Matt. 28:19-20), the Catholic Church must work with all urgency and concern ‘that the word of God be spread abroad and glorified’ (2 Thess. 3:1).” (Dignitatis Humanae 14)
The World Needs Authentic Witnesses To Christ
The first reading for today, where St Paul and St Barnabas were set apart for the preaching of the Gospel has not at all been outdated. In this faithless generation, there is a terrible urgency for missionaries to go out, not just to people who have never heard of Christ, but to people who have never seen real witnesses of Him.
May Our Lady, star of the New Evangelization, pray that new saints of our times may go forth to proclaim the saving truth of the Gospel.
Originally posted at: Catholic On-Line
Preach To Save Souls, Not To Flatter Ears!
Father Marcel Nault – When I am invited to preach, I remember the words of Christ: “the Holy Spirit will speak in you and through you.” And when I think about the Apostles, I do not imagine them going from town to town with their computer, their microphones, their recording machine, their filing cabinet. They go and they let the Holy Spirit speak. Because it is the Holy Spirit that changes the heart of sinners, I put all my trust in the wisdom and the strength of the Holy Spirit.
I preach everywhere the message of Our Lady of Fatima. What will I preach? I preach what I think is the most important. I preach what is the most important teachings of Our Lord Jesus and when Jesus Christ came on earth, He came for one reason, to save souls from Hell.
St. John Chrysostom, a beloved Father of the Church, used to say and repeat that the Lord Jesus preached more often on the Catholic Dogma of Hell than any other subject.
Some people say it is better to preach on Heaven. I believe that the more a person meditates on that truth which we call Hell, the more that meditation produces many fruits of conversion.
St. Benedict, the founder of the Benedictines, was in Rome and the Holy Spirit told him, “You are going to lose your soul.” He left Rome and he went into solitude to meditate on the Holy Gospel. He meditated, prayed and did penance, and the Holy Spirit spread the word and people flocked to him. Holiness attracts souls.
Why do you think St. Augustine changed his life? Because of the fear of Hell. I preach often on Hell because the Lord Jesus and Our Blessed Mother asked me to preach on Hell and when I preach on Hell, you feel, you know, that I believe in the reality that we call a Roman Catholic Dogma, Hell.
Pope Pius IX, who gave us the Roman Catholic Dogma on the Immaculate Conception; Pope Pius IX, who has given us the Syllabus, used to preach and ask preachers to please, please, preach more often on Hell.
The thought of Hell makes saints. Curiously, saints are afraid to go to Hell. The Curé of Ars was afraid to go to Hell. St. Therese of the Infant Jesus was afraid to go to Hell. Saint Simon Stock, the Superior General of the Carmel priests, said that his monks were even afraid to go to Hell despite the fact that they were fasting, praying and living out of the world.
Mary, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, appeared to Saint Simon Stock and told him: Don’t be afraid anymore, I’m giving you Carmelites a special vestment; all those who will die wearing that vestment will not go to Hell.
I wear the Brown Scapular inside my vestment, and I have another one in my pocket because I never know when people will ask me to preach, and when I preach, I preach the Holy Rosary and the Brown Scapular.
Mary said, “Through the Rosary and Scapular I will save the world.”
One cannot specialize and preach everything, but the Lord Jesus invited me to preach on Hell. A monsignor said to me, “Marcel, don’t preach on Hell. People don’t like that, you scare them.” And in a very friendly way that Monsignor said to me, “Marcel, I have never preached on Hell and look at the position I have. I will never preach on Hell.”
After a long silence, I looked him in the eye and said, “Monsignor, you are on the road to Hell for all eternity. You preach, Monsignor, to please the crowd, instead of preaching to please Christ.”
When God sent prophets in the Old Testament, it was to remind the people to come back to the truth, to come back to holiness. Jesus came, Jesus preached. He sent His Apostles into the world to preach the Holy Gospel.
The serpent came and spread his poisons of heresy, and the Lord Jesus decided to send His Beloved Mother, the Queen of Prophets, to earth to destroy heresies. And it is written by the Fathers of the Church that the Mother of God is the hammer of all heresies.
On July 13, 1917, Mary came to Fatima as a prophet of The Most High to save souls from Hell. Our Lady lowered Her hands and suddenly, the three children saw a hole in the ground.
That hole, says Lucy, was like a sea of fire in which she saw the forms of humans, men and women, shouting and crying in despair. And she saw demons in the forms of ugly animals. The vision was so horrible that the children feared that they would die from fright.
And Mary said to the three children, “You have seen Hell where the souls of poor sinners go.”
Each time you say the Rosary, my children, do say after each decade, “O My Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell, lead all souls to Heaven, especially those most in need of Thy Marcy.”
Mary came to Fatima to save souls from Hell. The Curé of Ars, the patron of all parish priests, used to preach that the greatest act of charity towards your neighbor is to save souls from Hell. One day when he was hearing confession in a little church, the devil, in the form of a man, raged and screamed, “I hate you. I hate you because you stole from my hand 85,000 souls.”
You Excellencies, Cardinals and we priests, when we come to the judgment, Jesus will ask one question. “I made you a priest, a bishop, a cardinal, a pope. How many souls have you saved? How many souls have you saved from Hell?”
The Curé of Ars saved more than 85,000 sinners. How many souls have we saved? When you read the Fathers of the Church, the Doctors of the Church, the Saints, you are struck by one thing: they all preach the Holy gospel of Jesus; Heaven, Purgatory, and they never fail to preach on the Roman Catholic Dogma of Hell.
Read the Fathers of the Church, the Doctors of the Church, all those priests, magnificent apostles of Jesus Christ. They all preach on the Catholic Dogma of Hell because when we meditate on Hell we become a saint.
I don’t want to criticize the bishops, but it is sad for me to say that in my thirty years of priesthood I have never heard a bishop, my bishops or any other bishop, preach on the Roman Catholic Dogma of Hell. I suppose in India and elsewhere they do, but in America, we don’t preach on Hell.
Preach to save souls not to please
In many dioceses I have often heard bishops recite the Rosary, but they decline to add the little Fatima prayer after each decade because “the people don’t like that.”
We are not there preaching to please the crowd but to save souls, to prevent them from going to Hell for all eternity. And I think the little prayer of Our Lady of Fatima given to the children on July 13, 1917, is more powerful and more pleasing to God than any kind of meditation. The meditations that we priests write down and pronounce, they might be nice, but after each decade do you know a meditation more powerful, more holy than the prayer given by Our Lady of Fatima? Please, after each decade, do recite it.
I preach often on Hell. My friends, you have received your catechism, you have received your gifts from God. For me, Jesus wants me, Jesus asks me, Jesus begs me, Our Lady of Fatima begs me to preach Hell.
There are many revelations that we can read in the holy books and some souls in Hell have spoken, given the privilege by God, to help us in our faith. And those souls in Hell say, “We could accept to be in Hell a thousand years. We could accept to be in Hell a million years, if we knew that one day we would leave Hell.”
But no, my friends, we must meditate, not only on the pre-destination of seeing God in Heaven, we must also meditate on the eternity of Hell. I heard a priest in the charismatic conference with about 10,000 laypeople and 300 priests present. He was preaching, “My friends, God is love, God is mercy and you will see His Infinite Mercy at the end of the world, delivering souls from Hell.”
What heresy! Yet his bishop did not remove his faculties, and he was allowed to continue to preach such heresy. With our little human intelligence we make a little “philosophic reasoning”. God is love, God is our Father. How can a loving Father take His little Peter and throw him in to the furnace of Hell? Why that would be an insult to God, Who is love.
How many times have you heard that hypocrisy? My friends, Hell exists. Hell is eternal. I can go into Hell. You can go into Hell. And if God had called me to my eternal reward some years ago, I would have gone to Hell for all eternity, weeping, crying. Not for a million years, not for a thousand million years, but for eternity.
And in gratitude to the Most Holy Trinity, to Our Blessed Mother, I go to Confession every week, I recite my 15 Mysteries of the Rosary every day, my breviary, I wear my Brown Scapular, and I preach the Rosary and the Brown Scapular to everyone. I preach to bishops like I preach to everyone because bishops too have a soul to be saved.
The Lord Jesus has chosen us among men to make us priests for one reason, to offer sacrifice to the Almighty Father and save souls from Hell. When I preach at parish retreats, I always end with the preaching on Hell.
Devotion to the Rosary is a great sign of pre-destination
I am not holy but I pray my Rosary, I wear my Scapular, I say my breviary, seven days a week. I say my Mass every day, I go to confession every week and I hope (I’m not sure, nobody is sure) to go to Heaven.
Nobody is sure unless they have a private revelation from God. Why not take all insurance Our Lady of Fatima has given us: “Devotion to My Rosary is a great sign of pre-destination.”
She has given us another insurance, “that anyone dying in this habit [the Brown Scapular] shall not suffer eternal fire.”
If only one bishop among you would come to Fatima and go back to his diocese and beseech his people, “I am your bishop. I am here to save your souls from Hell. Please accept my teaching today, listen to my teaching today. Meditate on my teaching today. And please, my priests, imitate your bishop, preach on Hell.”
If only you would do this, you will be doing the greatest act of charity of your priesthood, of your episcopal apostolate.
Preach Hell and Jesus will bless you, Jesus will forgive you your weakness, Jesus will forgive your sins if you do preach Hell. By preaching Hell, you are making a terrific act of charity because those that will hear you, they will believe, they will change their lives and they will go to Confession.
Saints go to confession, Saints go to confession! And those that go to confession frequently become Saints.
Originally posted at: www.olrl.org Note: Courageous Priest does not support all of the views on this site.
“A Catholic Cannot Say, I Believe The Church Offers The Saving Truth Of Jesus, And Then Reject What The Church Teaches!”
Detroit Free Press (edited)
By, Naraj Warkioo – Detroit professor and legal adviser to the Vatican says Catholics who promote gay marriage should not try to receive holy Communion, a key part of Catholic identity.
And the archbishop of Detroit, Allen Vigneron, told the Free Press Sunday that Catholics who receive Communion while advocating gay marriage would “logically bring shame for a double-dealing that is not unlike perjury.”
The comments of Vigneron and Edward Peters, who teaches Catholic canon law at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, are part of a polarizing discussion about gay marriage that echoes debate over whether politicians who advocate abortion rights should receive Communion.
In a post on his blog last week, Peters said that Catholic teachings make it clear that marriage is between one man and one woman. And so, “Catholics who promote ‘same-sex marriage’ act contrary to” Catholic law “and should not approach for holy Communion,” he wrote. “They also risk having holy Communion withheld from them … being rebuked and/or being sanctioned.”
Peters didn’t specify a Catholic politician or public figure in his post. But he told the Free Press that a person’s “public efforts to change society’s definition of marriage … amount to committing objectively wrong actions.”
Peters, an attorney who holds the Edmund Cardinal Szoka Chair at Sacred Heart, was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010 to be a referendary of the Apostolic Sinatura, which means he helps advise the top judicial authority in the Catholic Church. Peters’ blog, “In Light of the Law,” is popular among Catholic experts, but not everyone agrees with his traditional views.
Peters has said before that liberal Catholic Democrats, such as U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, should be denied Communion because of their statements and positions.
In 2011, Peters said that Cuomo should not receive Communion because he is an outspoken proponent of gay marriage. Last month, Peters said, “Pelosi suffers from one of the most malformed consciences in the annals of American Catholic politics or … she is simply hell-bent on using her Catholic identity to attack Catholic values at pretty much every opportunity.”
In 2002, Catholic Jennifer Granholm’s support of abortion rights became an issue in the gubernatorial race a month before the election, when Detroit Cardinal Adam Maida released a letter saying Catholic politicians had a “special moral obligation” to oppose abortion.
Last month, Vigneron said at a news conference that maintaining views that oppose abortion and support traditional marriage are important for Catholics.
“Were we to abandon them, we would be like physicians who didn’t tell their patients that certain forms of behavior are not really in their best interest,” said Vigneron, who oversees 1.3 million Catholics in southeastern Michigan.
Asked by the Free Press about Catholics who publicly advocate for gay marriage and receive Communion, Vigneron said Sunday: “For a Catholic to receive holy Communion and still deny the revelation Christ entrusted to the church is to try to say two contradictory things at once: ‘I believe the church offers the saving truth of Jesus, and I reject what the church teaches.’ In effect, they would contradict themselves. This sort of behavior would result in publicly renouncing one’s integrity and logically bring shame for a double-dealing that is not unlike perjury.”
Vigneron said the church wants to help Catholics “avoid this personal disaster.”
The Question About Voting For Abortion Is Not Catholic Law, But Divine Law!
By, Michael W. Chapman, (CNSNews.com) – Cardinal Francis Arinze, who is among some of the favored candidates to be the next Pope, remarked that Catholic politicians who say they are “personally” opposed to abortion but believe it is okay to be “pro-choice” is akin to saying one is “personally” against shooting members of Congress but others can do so because “it’s just pro-choice for that.”
During a question-and-answer session at a conference held at Familyland USA in Bloomington, Ohio in 2007, Cardinal Arinze was asked about Catholic U.S. politicians who vote for abortion and then present themselves for Holy Communion and what could the Church do about the issue.
Arinze said, “The question of voting [for] abortion is not Catholic law, but Divine law. So, those who kill unborn babies are breaking not the law of the Church but the law of God. … They have gone against Divine law: Thou shall not kill.”
He continued, “To the person who says, ‘Personally I am against abortion but then, if people want to do it, and let them free,’ you could say, ‘You are a member of the Senate or the Congress — personally I am not in favor of shooting the whole lot of you, but if somebody else wants to shoot all of you in the Senate or all of you in Congress, it’s just pro-choice for that. But personally, personally I’m not in favor.’ That is what he is saying.”
“He is saying that, ‘Personally,’ he’s not in favor killing these millions of children in the womb, but if others want to do it, its pro-choice. That’s what he is saying,” said the cardinal.
As for those pro-abortion Catholic politicians who present themselves for Holy Communion at Mass, Cardinal Arinze said, “Do you really need a cardinal from the Vatican to answer that?”
He continued, “Get the children for first communion and say to them, somebody votes for the killing of unborn babies, and says, I voted for that, I will vote for that every time — and these babies are killed, not one or two, but in millions, and that person says I am a practicing Catholic — should that person receive communion next Sunday?”
“The children for First Communion will answer that at the drop of a hat. You don’t need a cardinal to answer that,” he said.
Cardinal Francis Arinze, who is from Nigeria, is the prefect emeritus of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. He is also the Cardinal Bishop of Velletri-Segni (near Rome, Italy), a position that was previously held by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger before he was elected Pope Benedict XVI.
Pope Benedict announced his resignation from the papacy on Feb. 11, a position he will leave at month’s end. On March 1, 117 cardinal-electors will meet in the Sistine Chapel to vote for the next pope. Cardinal Arinze, because he is 80, cannot vote in the conclave but he is eligible for the papacy. According to news reports, he is among the favored candidates.