Monthly Archives: September 2012

The New Food Tower Arrives in Alma, Michigan

Sister Mary Christiana is from St. Louis---photo on the right.

Father Anthony smiling in Alabama

The EWTN Franciscans

Paul Lennon’s Mission: Holding the Legion of Christ Accountable

Paul Lennon’s Mission: Holding the Legion of Christ Accountable

With the Florence flu by Roman ruins
Here is a Video of my interview with Steve Hassan, cult specialist, a good summary of my life work hounding the Legion of Christ.
It is a year old but Steve helped me formulate my “Critique” of the Legion of Christ -and by extension of Regnum Christi- in half an hour. I talk in the pensive way psychotherapists do! I believe it will be worth your time. A year later the following reflections flow:
I did not not go looking for the Legion of Christ; the Legion of Christ, through its legendary recruiter, James Coindreau, came looking for me and told me it would be good for me. I was told I had a vocation; and struggled 23 years to “keep” whatever that was. Then, after years of agony, I left and started thinking… Really thinking…for the first time in 23 years. I began my “Third Journey”, what turned out to be my true vocation: holding the Legion of Christ accountable, against impossible odds, the Legion faithful -some even extremists, threatening and telling lies about me, penniless against and Million Dollar Institution,linking with other former members, relatives and concerned Catholics, creating a web page and a discussion board. Some considered me “The Legion’s Public Enemy #1” a title I certainly never sought. One day Legion leaders came after me and exacted revenge. But I survived the Legion for the second time. God has allowed me to live to be almost 69. Some of my old confreres, fellow Dubliners, are still in the Legion, “Faithful to their vocations”, “fully integrated members”: John Devlin, Thomas Moylan, Raymond Cumiskey… While I, the unfaithful traitor, will carry my demand for truth and justice to the end. Then I shall meet my Creator, and Jesus the love of my life, on the other side. And I will know the Truth: had I been trying to “destroy the Work of God”, or was I right to unmask a farce?


1972–2012 Fortieth Anniversary of the Vatican Radio Interview of Jean Cardinal Daniélou SJ — 23 October 1972

An interview with Jean Cardinal Daniélou on Radio-Vatican:


In an interview given on Radio-Vatican on October 23, 1972, Jean Cardinal Daniélou, who participated in the plenary meeting of the cardinals and bishops who are members of the Congregation for Religious, where he gave a lecture on the general conditions of religious life, stated that it is undergoing a very grave crisis. To overcome this, the Cardinal said, we have to shift from the false orientation followed by many congregations. Cardinal Daniélou came to the conclusion that, if necessary, the superiors must allow the religious who “want to remain faithful to the constitutions of their order and to the directives of Vatican II” to form separate communities.


Question: Your Eminence, does there really exist a crisis of religious life, and can you describe its dimensions?

Answer: I think that there is today a very grave crisis of religious life and that we must not talk of renewal but rather of decadence. I think that this crisis mainly affects the Atlantic world – Eastern Europe, as well as African and Asiatic countries, presents in this regard a better spiritual health. This crisis appears in all areas. The evangelical counsels are no longer considered as a consecration to God, but viewed in a sociological and psychoanalytical perspective. Group dynamics is substituted for religious obedience; under the pretext of reaction against formalism, all regularity of prayer life is abandoned and the consequences of this state of confusion are first of all the disappearance of vocations, for youth requires a serious formation. And, on the other hand, there are the many and scandalous defections of religious who betray the pact that bound them to the Christian people.


Question: Could you tell us what are, according to you, the causes of this crisis?

Answer: The essential source of this crisis is a false interpretation of Vatican II. The directives of the Council were very clear: a greater fidelity of men and women belonging to religious orders to the requirements of the Gospel, as they are expressed in the Constitutions of each Institute and, at the same time, an adaptation of the modalities of these Constitutions to the conditions of modern life. The Institutes that are faithful in observing these directives know a true renewal and have vocations. But, in many cases, the directives of Vatican II were replaced by erroneous ideologies that are spread by many magazines, workshops, theologians and, among these errors, we can mention:

Secularization Vatican II declared that human values must be taken seriously. It never said that we were entering into a secularized world where the religious dimension would be no longer present in civilization. It is in the name of a false secularization that religious men and women give up their religious habit and abandon the adoration of God for social and political activities. And this is, furthermore, counter to the spiritual need manifested in the world of today.

A false conception of liberty that induces the depreciation of the institutions and rules, and exalts spontaneity and improvisation. This is so much the more absurd, as western society suffers in our times from the absence of the discipline essential to liberty. The restoration of firm rules is one of the necessities of religious life.

An erroneous conception of the changing condition of man and of the Church. If environments change, nevertheless the constitutive elements of man and of the Church are permanent and to question the constitutive elements of the Constitutions of the religious orders is a fundamental error.


Question: But do you foresee remedies to overcome the crisis?

Answer: I think that the unique and urgent solution is shift from the false orientations taken in a certain number of Institutes. For that, we must stop all the experimentations and all the decisions which are contrary to the directives of the Council; we must be on guard against the books, magazines and workshops where these erroneous conceptions are diffused; we must restore in their integrity the practice of the Constitutions with the adaptations asked by the Council. In the places where this appears to be impossible, it seems to me that we cannot refuse to the religious who want to be faithful to the Constitutions of their Orders and to the directives of Vatican II the right to form distinct communities. The religious superiors are obliged to respect this desire. These communities must be authorized to have their own houses of formation. Experience will show if vocations are more numerous in the houses of strict observance or in the houses of less strict observance. In the cases where superiors would be opposed to these legitimate demands, recourse to the Sovereign Pontiff is certainly authorized.

Religious life is called to an immense future in technical civilization; the more this develops, the more the need for the manifestation of God will be felt. This is precisely the goal of religious life. But to accomplish its mission it must find again its real meaning and radically break from a secularization that is destroying it in its essence and preventing it from attracting vocations.

By Jean Cardinal Daniélou
Translated from the French by Reverend Maurice F. De Lange
Franciscan Herald Press
1434 West 51st Street, Chicago, 60609
pp. 165-168

Letter of Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio to Cardinal Timothy Dolan on the subject of Canon 277 § 1

December 17,2011


Proto 13095 / 2011

Your Excellency:

I refer to your letter of April 8, 2011 in which Your Excellency has requested this Pontifical Council to clarify whether married permanent deacons, so long as their marriage lasts, are bound to observe the perfect and perpetual continence indicated by can. 277 § 1 CIC. The question was raised because some have expressed the opinion that permanent deacons are also bound to the obligation which the said canon imposes on clerics in general.

It should be noted that often the canonical discipline on a given topic is not inferred from the wording of a single legal precept, but rather from the whole set of existing regulation on the matter in the law of the Church, always in harmony with what has been stated by the Church’s Magisterium. This is what can. 17 CIC prescribes.

With regard specifically to the question above, after consultation with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and having made the necessary studies, this Pontifical Council offers the following observations.

1. In can. 277, § 1 CIC, the requirement of perfect and perpetual continence is inseparably linked to the obligation of celibacy to which all clerics, in principle, are bound.

Also, can. 1037 CIC requires that unmarried candidates for the permanent diaconate must assume the obligation of celibacy prior to ordination. Furthermore, can. 1087 CIC establishes an impediment to marriage for those in sacred orders. For this reason, permanent deacons who are widowers cannot marry, unless being dispensed, and therefore are bound to observe perfect and perpetual continence.

The particular discipline of these two last canons, 1037 and 1087 CIC, applicable to certain situations of permanent deacons, explains on the one hand why can. 288 CIC did not exempt in a general way “all” permanent deacons from the obligation of continence established by the can. 277 § 1 CIC; and on the other hand how it is evident from all these norms that the canon wanted to exempt married permanent deacons from such obligation of continence so long as their marriage lasts.

2. Indeed, can. 1031 § 2 CIC admits married men to the clerical state in the particular case of permanent deacons, but states nothing about a hypothetical obligation to observe perfect and perpetual continence, as the Legislator would indicate if such an obligation were to be established.

Ultimately, the fact that in order for a married man to be admitted to the Order of the diaconate, the consent of his wife is required (cfr. can. 1031, § 2 CIC) implies that an explicit consent would have been required for reasons of justice if the condition of permanent deacon had entailed the obligation of perfect and perpetual continence (cfr. Can. 1055 CIC).

3. Naturally, this canonical discipline does not state anything apart from what the Church’s Magisterium has already affirmed in this regard. In fact, the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen gentium, n. 29 (§ 2), and other successive normative documents of the Holy See, appear to take for granted that married permanent deacons live their marriage in the ordinary way (cfr., above all, CONGREGATIO DE INSTITUTIONE CATHOLICA Ratio fundamentalis institutionis diaconorum permanentium, Institutio diaconorum of February 22, 1998 (nn. 36-38, 62-63, 68); CONGREGATIO PRO CLERICIS, Directorium pro ministerio et vita diaconorum permanentium, Diaconatus originem of February 22, 1998 (nn. 7, 27, 33, 45, 50, 59-62, and particularly n. 61).

In conclusion, the current canonical discipline does not require married permanent deacons, as long as their marriage lasts, to observe the obligation of perfect and perpetual continence established by can. 277, § 1 CIC for clerics in general.

I hope that these clarifications, briefly presented in this letter, may be helpful to Your Excellency in indicating what the content of the canonical discipline is at this point.

While remaining at your disposal for any further clarifications, I take this opportunity to extend to you and the members of your Conference my sentiments of personal esteem and prayerful best wishes for a Blessed Christmas and a fruitful New Year.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

+ Francesco Coccopalmerio

+ Juan Ignacio Arrieta
Most Reverend TIMOTHY M.DOLAN, D.D.
Archbishop of New York
President, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
3211 Fourth Street NE Washington, DC 20017-1194

Bradley J. Birzer: “Sanctifying the World, The Augustinian Life and Mind of Christopher Dawson”

Chapter 1
Dawson the Convert

ON OCTOBER 12, 1889, MARY LOUISA AND HENRY PHILIP DAWSON GAVE birth to a son, Henry Christopher. The blessed event took place in a twelfth- century Welsh castle, known as Hay Castle, in the Wye Valley in Herefordshire. Both the date and the place of his birth are auspicious, steeped in myth and tradition, and bringing together both sides of his family. October 12 was the Feast of St. Wilfrid, an eighth-century bishop of York, the ancestral home of Dawson’s father. St. Wilfrid famously stood by Roman Christian customs rather than Celtic ones and convinced many of his brother priests to do the same at a time when the customs were stridently in opposition to one another. Legend records that St. Wilfrid converted the South Saxons to Christianity, freed numerous slaves throughout the British isles, founded several monasteries in Mercia, and patiently suffered much opposition from his enemies.

The Influence of Place and Family

The place is also important, as the castle is connected in popular Welsh memory to a rather mysterious person known as Maude of St. Valery or Matilda of Hay, who supposedly built the castle in a single night while carrying the stones in her apron. But whatever may have happened in the twelfth century, by the late nineteenth century, the castle belonged to Christopher’s mother’s family. The men of his mother’s side, of Welsh decent, had a long tradition of being High Church Anglo-Catholic clergymen, both priests and bishops. His mother’s family, therefore, had great standing in the region, which Dawson remembered as “a sort of Anglican theocracy” as “the landowners were largely clergymen and the clergy were either landowners or brothers of landowners, so that there was a complete unification of political, religious, economic and social authority and influence.”

The rural culture into which Dawson was born was very traditional, steeped in many layers of natural and inherited authority Those around young Christopher reverenced the role and tradition of family, the beauty of nature, the Anglican Church, the Celtic saints and folklore, the Queen, and God. Each of these “layers” represented an ever ascending level of natural authority In their outlook, political views, cultural influences, and faith, Dawson’s family may have been more at home in the early eighteenth century than in the late nineteenth century. But in the late nineteenth century, there was a still a purposefulness and security in the holding of such deep and cherished traditions. “Never perhaps in the history of the world,” Dawson reflected in 1926, “has there been a society more secure, more certain of itself and more externally prosperous than that of England in the Victorian age.” By the 1940s, though, that security and purpose were gone, and Dawson deeply regretted the loss of the world in which he was raised. “The world and my childhood is already as far away from the contemporary world as it was from the world of the middle ages—in many respects even further,” Dawson lamented in the notes to his memoirs. He had been raised in a premechanical world, and, for the sake of the future, he felt compelled to record his experiences as quickly as possible. “If we do not record a lot that used to be taken for granted, it will be lost for good, and the understanding of the past will become even more difficult than it is already,” he feared. “Certain ways of human experience will become inaccessible, even to the historic imagination.”

Dawson’s beliefs went beyond mere nostalgia. Something had happened between his childhood and the modern world of the early twentieth century. There was at some point a “great divide,” a break between the old world and modernity. While ancient and medieval western men seemed to Dawson noble and generally virtuous, modern western man was “an imperialist, a capitalist and an exploiter.”

Dawson did not stand alone in these fears. Romano Guardini, a contemporary of Dawson’s, recorded the same process at work while watching one area in Italy, Lake Como, change from a closely-connected rural community tied together by the Church to a region in which rising industry mechanized the community, atomizing one person from another, and destroying the organic nature of society. The greatest change, he argued, came from the modern desire to dominate and exploit nature rather than live with it. Ironically, the human attempt to dominate nature through mechanization had led to the loss of control. “It is destructive because it is not under human control,” Guardini wrote. “It is a surging ahead of unleashed forces that have not yet been mastered, raw material that has not yet been put together, given a living and  spiritual form, and related to humanity.”  In his 1954 Cambridge inaugural address, C. S. Lewis said much the same thing. The rise of the machine had fundamentally changed the very nature of the relationship of man to man, man to the world, and man to God. In this brave new world, Lewis argued, “the new most often really is better and the primitive really is the clumsy.”  The machine, Lewis continued, takes on a religious significance to the poorly educated. “From the old push-bike to the motor-bike and thence to the little car;  from the gramophone to radio and from radio to television; from the range to the stove; these are the very stages of their pilgrimage,” the Cambridge don concluded. Dawson agreed with both of these sentiments. No person “can look at the history of western civilization during the present century without feeling dismayed at the spectacle of what modern man has done with his immense resources,” Dawson wrote. Like his fellow Christian Humanists, Dawson spent much of his scholarly work attempting to uncover and explain the reasons for the break with the past and the development of  modern western man.

Influenced by his mother’s family, and especially by the deep respect he held for his mother, Dawson stood strongly entrenched in the Anglo-Catholic tradition before attending Oxford. Still, he saw significant weaknesses in the Anglo-Catholic position. “It was lacking in authority,” Dawson explained. “It was not the teaching of the official church but an enterprising minority which provided its own standard of orthodoxy.” And though Dawson later converted to Roman Catholicism, he admired the Anglican Church for the remainder of his life, crediting it with teaching him the value of the liturgy and the weight of tradition. He once told his closest friend, E.I. Watkin, “that his Anglican education had enabled him to appreciate aspects of Catholicism he might have missed had he been what is now termed ‘a cradle Catholic?’To an interviewer in 1961,  he said, “Brought up an Anglo-Catholic, I was always familiar with Catholic books and ideas.” While Anglo-Catholics remained distinct from Roman Catholics, seeing Roman Catholics as too fundamentalist, “they were even more completely separatist from the Protestant Nonconformists—The Dissenters.”And though the Roman and Anglo mind remained separated, the two had much in common, Dawson believed. One can find Dawson’s greatest appreciation for Anglo-Catholicism in his 1933 centenary re-examination of John Henry Newman and his allies, The Spirit of the Oxford Movement.

[for convenience, the notes have been omitted]

The Superior Catholic Herald, vol. 142, ed. 16 [13 September 2012], p. 18.

Superior-born Jesuit celebrates

30th anniversary

ALMA, Mich. — Jesuit Fr. Brian Van Hove, who was born and raised in Superior, observed his 30th anniversary of ordination to the priesthood June 11.

He was ordained in St. Louis, Mo., and celebrated his first Mass in Superior’s Cathedral of Christ the King on June 20, 1982.

Fr. Van Hove’s sister, Julie Ann Van Hove, lives in Superior. Her twin, Judy Kay MacDonald, lives in Las Vegas, Nev.

During his 30 years as a priest he has been a teacher, spiritual director, hospital chaplain, asso- ciate pastor and a retreat director in the St. Louis area, including White House Retreat and the Shrine of St. Joseph there. He earned a Ph.D. in church history from The Catholic University of America in 1999.

Fr. Van Hove now lives near St. Louis, Mich., where he is chaplain to the Religious Sisters of Mercy of Alma, Mich.

He is a member of the Missouri Province of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) and blogs at https://frvanhove.wordpress. com.

The Diocese of Superior is in Wisconsin….
There is a Saint Louis, Missouri, and a Saint Louis, Michigan, which is in the Diocese of Saginaw, Michigan.