Archive for the ‘by Fredi D’Alessio’ Category

Pope Francis,

You said:

“The apparitions, the presumed current apparitions: the report has its doubts. I personally am more nasty, I prefer the Madonna as Mother, our Mother, and not a woman who’s the head of a telegraphic office, who everyday sends a message at such hour. This is not the Mother of Jesus. And these presumed apparitions don’t have a lot of value. This I say as a personal opinion. But, it’s clear. Who thinks that the Madonna says, ‘come tomorrow at this time, and at such time I will say a message to that seer?’ No.”

The one person by whom the Holy Mother of God should never be insulted is the Vicar of her Divine Son.

The Holy Spirit has the freedom to do whatever pleases Him or He deems necessary. If He chooses to send Blessed Mother Mary to convey messages to all of humanity (via apparitions or locutions) for the salvation of our souls (including yours), we should be grateful (despite your personal opinion that “these presumed apparitions don’t have a lot of value”).

One thing savvy Catholics can be sure of is that there is much more deceit perpetrated by high ranking members of the clergy than anything they should be wary of via private revelation.

Excerpt from Fr. Benedict Groeschel’s book ‘A Still, Small Voice’ regarding Medjugorje:

“In such a complex situation it is surprising to find someone [the bishop] in such a no-lose situation. The worst that can happen is that the bishop may have to make some apologies to the Virgin Mary – but then we have it on the best authority that she is very benevolent and understanding. One might assume that with a couple of Rosaries the bishop will be out of trouble with the Blessed Mother. My problem with the bishop and his advisors, as well as with everyone else except the visionaries themselves, is that they are all so sure of their respective positions. The visionaries have at least a subjective excuse for being certain. I had the opportunity to interview one of the young visionaries, Maria Paprovick, for over an hour, through an interpreter. I found her to be a rather levelheaded, sensible peasant girl. Without clear evidence of fraud or mental illness, how can anyone else be so certain in completely rejecting their accounts?

More on Medjugorje: https://fjdalessio.wordpress.com/2015/06/10/medjugorje

 

Read Full Post »

The Venerable Pope Pius XII was the pope of my youth. His moral strength and integrity are much needed today. 

Excerpts from ‘Prophetic Speech of Pope Ven. Pius XII Warns of “a Church which Weakens the Law of God” [Source]:

Romans! The Church of Christ is following the road traced out for her by the divine Redeemer. She feels herself eternal; she knows that she cannot perish, that the most violent storms will not succeed in submerging her. She begs no favours; the threats and disfavor of earthly authorities do not intimidate her. She does not interfere in problems purely economic or political, nor does she occupy herself with debates on the usefulness or banefulness of one form of government or another. Always eager, in so far as she is able, to be at peace with all (cf. Rom 12:8), she renders unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s, but she cannot betray or abandon that which belongs to God.

Now, it is well known what the totalitarian and anti-religious State requires and expects from her [the Church] as the price for her tolerance and her problematic recognition. That is, it would desire:

a Church which remains silent, when she should speak out;

a Church which weakens the law of God, adapting it to the taste of human desires, when she should loudly proclaim and defend it;

a Church which detaches herself from the unwavering foundation upon which Christ built her, in order to repose comfortably on the shifting sands of the opinions of the day or to give herself up to the passing current;

a Church which does not withstand the oppression of conscience and does not protect the legitimate rights and the just liberties of the people;

a Church which, with indecorous servility, remains enclosed within the four walls of the temple, which forgets the divine mandate received from Christ: Go forth to the street corners (Matt 22:9), teach all peoples (Matt 28:19).

Beloved sons and daughters! Spiritual heirs of an innumerable legion of confessors and martyrs!

Is this the Church whom you venerate and love? Would you recognize in such a Church the features of your Mother’s face? Can you imagine a Successor of the first Peter, who would bow to similar demands?

The Pope has the divine promises; even in his human weaknesses, he is invincible and unshakable; he is the messenger of truth and justice, the principle of the unity of the Church; his voice denounces errors, idolatries, superstitions; he condemns iniquities; he makes charity and virtue loved.

Can he [the Pope] then remain silent when in a nation the churches which are united to the center of Christendom, to Rome, are snatched away through violence or cunning; when all the Greek-Catholic bishops are imprisoned because they refuse to apostatize from their faith; when priests and the faithful are persecuted and arrested because they refuse to leave their true Mother Church?

Can the Pope remain silent, when ….

Read the rest here.

Status of the Church at the end of Pope Pius XII’s reign:

Read Full Post »

This year my birthday falls on Divine Mercy Sunday. A reminder that I am much in need of God’s mercy and, as all birthdays remind us seniors, my time to plead for that mercy is not far off. As a younger man, I didn’t expect to live beyond the age of sixty. More recently, I didn’t expect to live beyond my mid-seventies. Now that I’ve reached the age of seventy-one, I think I’ll give up all thoughts of my proximity to death. After all, it really doesn’t matter when I die, if my soul is ready to meet its Maker. Meeting that criterion is all that I should be concerned about. Hopefully, visitors to this site share or come to share that same concern. If we take that concern seriously and succeed in fulfilling God’s expectations of us, we can be sure that those whom we love will not be disappointed in us for putting God first in our lives. For it is through Him that we are able to serve others. Being faithful to God is the best example we can offer to others and that example is the most important service we can render them. Especially during the current crisis the Catholic Church is going through.

I have grave concerns about what is currently going on in the Church (and I do mean “in the Church), which I think may be Satan’s last battle. We all know that Satan had lost the war from the outset, but since he never knew or accepted that fact, he continues his attempt to satisfy his voracious craving for more souls to join him in hell. Only God Himself will declare when the last battle will be fought. But I have hope that it has begun and I know for certain that those who are not of the mind of Christ will lose. May his Divine Mercy save their souls from eternal damnation.

Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world. For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

 

Read Full Post »

As a follow-up to my post about the “uplifting” Easter Sunday “talk” I heard that had nothing to do with the readings of the liturgy for that most glorious of all Catholic solemnities (Christ’s resurrection), I share with you the following uplifting comments from Msgr. Charles Pope.

“… Even now, though, the Lord, by the grace of His passion, death, and resurrection, has purchased for us a new life—a life transformed and increasingly free from sin, sorrow, regret, anger, greed, lust, and all forms of negativity. To be a new creation in Christ is to be more confident, serene, joyful, virtuous, and chaste. It is to live a life that is orderly and properly directed to our noble and glorious end: life with God forever. Jesus, in his resurrection, manifests this capacity for us to walk in newness of life.”

Easter Sunday Sermon – A Missed Opportunity

I heard a very beautiful, sentimental, loving, uplifting, tear-inspiring “talk” at Easter Sunday Mass this morning. No one could have left the church without loving the presiding priest due to his humble, sincere and loving demeanor and the message he conveyed along with his personal emotionally affecting anecdotes. The standing-room-only attendees applauded Father for his “homily”. I didn’t, but I understood why everyone else did because I was as emotionally moved as were they. However, Father’s “homily” did not relate to the readings in the least regard. In fact, they were not even referred to. The presiding priest was not our pastor. He is a priest from a far northern state who visits our Florida parish annually for Easter week and helps the pastor cover all the Masses. So many people come from all parts of the country and beyond to spend time in our beautiful climate and surroundings that our parish must have two Masses simultaneously on Easter Sunday. In addition to the Vigil Mass, we have four morning Masses, two in the church and two in the parish hall (for those for whom there is no room remaining in the church). There is also a Spanish Mass at 1:30 pm and a fourth (actually a fifth) English Mass at 3:00 pm.

Based on percentages that we are all familiar with, I can’t help but presume that many of our Mass participants do not attend Mass every Sunday and Holy Day of obligation. A gentleman sitting next to my wife told her that he had to walk around outside the church (our church has a marvelous prayer garden) before he could enter it. I took that as a feeling of guilt and if so, it was actually a healthy feeling for him to have. He did, however, probably along with 99 or more percent of the attendees, approach for communion (I can’t say that he or everyone else that approached actually received).

The point I’d like to make is that however emotionally moved everyone was, I didn’t hear anything in Father’s “homily” that might provoke a good many of his listeners to attend Mass next Sunday. I wouldn’t be surprised if some, if not many, don’t attend another Mass until next Christmas.

What a missed opportunity to inspire – more truly, to instruct – those who rarely attend Mass to do so every Sunday and holy day of obligation. And to remind them of the obligation to be in a state of sanctifying grace when they receive communion. Could priests not at least say “if you haven’t been to confession since you last failed to attend Mass on a Sunday or holy day of obligation, and yet were truly quite able to do so, please do not receive communion”? They could also add “you are welcome to come forth to “one of the priests” distributing communion for a blessing”. Okay, rephrase the message to be as gentle as you wish, but make the point! How else will they learn what they are missing out on, now, and might for all eternity?

Read Full Post »

I heard a very beautiful, sentimental, loving, uplifting, tear-inspiring “talk” at Easter Sunday Mass this morning. No one could have left the church without loving the presiding priest due to his humble, sincere and loving demeanor and the message he conveyed along with his personal emotionally affecting anecdotes. The standing-room-only attendees applauded Father for his “homily”. I didn’t, but I understood why everyone else did because I was as emotionally moved as were they. However, Father’s “homily” did not relate to the readings in the least regard. In fact, they were not even referred to. The presiding priest was not our pastor. He is a priest from a far northern state who visits our Florida parish annually for Easter week and helps the pastor cover all the Masses. So many people come from all parts of the country and beyond to spend time in our beautiful climate and surroundings that our parish must have two Masses simultaneously on Easter Sunday. In addition to the Vigil Mass, we have four morning Masses, two in the church and two in the parish hall (for those for whom there is no room remaining in the church). There is also a Spanish Mass at 1:30 pm and a fourth (actually a fifth) English Mass at 3:00 pm.

Based on percentages that we are all familiar with, I can’t help but presume that many of our Mass participants do not attend Mass every Sunday and Holy Day of obligation. A gentleman sitting next to my wife told her that he had to walk around outside the church (our church has a marvelous prayer garden) before he could enter it. I took that as a feeling of guilt and if so, it was actually a healthy feeling for him to have. He did, however, probably along with 99 or more percent of the attendees, approach for communion (I can’t say that he or everyone else that approached actually received).

The point I’d like to make is that however emotionally moved everyone was, I didn’t hear anything in Father’s “homily” that might provoke a good many of his listeners to attend Mass next Sunday. I wouldn’t be surprised if some, if not many, don’t attend another Mass until next Christmas.

What a missed opportunity to inspire – more truly, to instruct – those who rarely attend Mass to do so every Sunday and holy day of obligation. And to remind them of the obligation to be in a state of sanctifying grace when they receive communion. Could priests not at least say “if you haven’t been to confession since you last failed to attend Mass on a Sunday or holy day of obligation, and yet were truly quite able to do so, please do not receive communion”? They could also add “you are welcome to come forth to “one of the priests” distributing communion for a blessing”. Okay, rephrase the message to be as gentle as you wish, but make the point! How else will they learn what they are missing out on, now, and might for all eternity?

Read Full Post »

If you click here, you’ll find that over the years I have rarely mentioned Medjugorje. But a few moments ago, I had an impulse to make a statement regarding Medjugorje and I’ve decided that I should indeed do so.

The impulse was inspired while I was listening to a comment made by Frank Walker of stumblingblock.org as he was commenting on a headline posted at canon212.com which read: “FrancisEnvoy Abp. Hoser on Medjugorje farce: I can’t speak to the truth of the visions. That’s Card. Ruini’s job. All I can say is it’s dynamic, spiritually special, see?”

Walker made clear that he believes Medjugorje is a farce and obviously, the person who drafted the headline from which he quoted shares his opinion. The story behind the headline had to do with an interview conducted on April 5 in the village of Medjugorje with Archbishop Henryk Hoser and members of the press from various countries. Rather than read someone’s summary of or comments on the interview, you can watch and listen to it in fullness here.

My purpose for this post, as I have previously stated, is to fulfill an impulse to make a statement. It is not to expound on why I believe the apparitions are authentic or to debate with those who hold the opposite opinion.  I merely wish to state that I find it astonishing that any Catholic could believe that it is impossible for the apparitions at Medjugorje to be authentic and I find it sad that those who come across as orthodox Catholics could take such a stance.

One day, we all will be certain of what is the truth. Not necessarily by what anyone has said, but by proof positive.

 

Read Full Post »

Dear Readers,

Today marks the 12th anniversary of the death of Terri Schiavo. A needless death and as far as I and many others believe, a death by murder. Personally, I think this marks a day of shame for America as a country and as a people, including religious and political leaders and representatives. I am especially ashamed of those who are Catholic and more especially of those who were bishops – every single one of them who did not take a forceful stand against Terri’s local bishop. In fact, four days after Terri’s feeding tube was removed, one of them stated that “The bishops and lay faithful of Florida have the task of leading American Catholics in the Terri Schiavo case. They’re working hard to provide that leadership. Our job, outside Florida, is to support Ms. Schiavo and all those concerned for her well-being with our prayers. We especially need to pray for Ms. Schiavo’s family”. Nonsense! The local bishop did nothing to save Terri or to help her family. What Terri and her family needed (in addition to prayers) was intercessory action. Lacking that, many Americans including bishops, failed them.

Please read Bobby Schindler’s story about his sister (below) and (if you haven’t in the past) my reflection on the twelve days I spent in Florida supporting Terri, her family and others who supported and fought for them. At the time, I was one of those “non-Floridians” and I didn’t see many “lay faithful of Florida” or from anywhere else. [see Calvary in Pinellas Park.] One further comment: never assume others are doing the job God has called each of us to do – we must be Christians without borders.

From Bobby Schindler:

Hi Fredi – Last year I wrote about my sister in National Review [original publication]. It’s as relevant now, and I’m sharing it today in case there’s someone in your life who could benefit from learning her story. [See full story copied below because Bobby wants his story shared and I find that most readers don’t click on external links.]

I wrote earlier this week about what we’re doing for Terri’s Day, and I wanted to update you to let you know there’s still time to support our mission and have your name placed in our special “Guest Book” that we’ll be presenting to my mother in honor of your support and in memory of my sister.  [Learn about Terri’s day here.]

Our work continues only with support from you. Please consider a gift in honor of Terri today, during this painful time of year for my mother and our family. [Go to https://lifeandhope.nationbuilder.com/2017terrisday]

God bless you,

Bobby

What Terri Schiavo Still Can Teach Us

by Bobby Schindler March 31, 2016

Her name — my sister’s name — is seared into the national memory as a face of the right-to-life movement, but it’s now been more than a decade since her death. Many are now too young to remember her witness, or they have forgotten.

At the age of 26, Terri experienced a still-unexplained collapse while at home alone with Michael Schiavo, who subsequently became her guardian. After a short period of time, Michael lost interest in caring for his brain-injured but otherwise young and healthy wife. Terri was cognitively disabled, but she was not dying, and she did not suffer from any life-threatening disease. She was neither on machines nor “brain dead.” To the contrary, she was alert and interacted with friends and family — before Michael placed her in a nursing home and eventually petitioned the courts for permission to starve and dehydrate her to death.

It was this decision by Michael that made my sister’s story a national story rather than simply a family story. It was this decision — to deprive my sister of food and water — that transformed our family’s struggle. Rather than trying to work with Michael to care for and rehabilitate Terri as aggressively as possible, we now were battling against Michael to fight for my sister’s life.

Michael finally testified, after many years of legal maneuverings against my family, that Terri had told him before her accident that she would not have wanted to live in a brain-injured condition. It was this hearsay evidence that led the media and others to deny Terri’s right to life, and instead speak of “end of life” issues and advocate for her “right to die.” On the order of Judge George W. Greer, and despite the efforts of Saint John Paul the Great, a president, Congress, and a governor, Terri was deprived of water and food. After 13 days, my sister died of extreme dehydration on March 31, 2005.

We couldn’t save my sister, though millions of advocates did succeed in speaking for the fundamental dignity of every human life, regardless of circumstance or condition.

It was the trauma of our experience fighting for my sister that led my family to create the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network a decade ago, both in memory of my sister and in service to medically vulnerable persons today. Unbeknownst to my family at the start of our struggle, the method of Terri’s death — the fatal denial of food and water — was not altogether uncommon. It has only become more common in the decade since her passing, as Wesley J. Smith so routinely documents.

Indeed, new “rights” to death are paradoxically being enshrined through the international medical system, reshaping a vocation meant to care for and heal the sick into one that eliminates suffering by eliminating the sufferer. Increasingly, medical professionals do this — end life — even without the patient’s consent. A stranger, in other words, may very well decide how and when you die.

It was once true, for instance, that food and water were considered “basic and ordinary care.” Yet now the presence of a tube (as distinct from a spoon) to deliver food and water means that basic nourishment is considered “extraordinary” and a form of “medical treatment.” Yet tubes are often used for the same reason that automation is revolutionizing the work force: They’re cheaper and more efficient than round-the-clock human care. It is now legal in every U.S. state to deny food and water, leading to fatal dehydration. This is simply one step on the path to controlled and regulated access to all forms of food and water, including whatever a bureaucrat decides can be placed on your mother’s nursing-home supper tray.

Hospital ethics committees are often leading the effort to reshape medicine, giving themselves unilateral power to decide whether a patient deserves to receive treatment or whether life-affirming treatment will continue when there is a dispute within a family. The tragic case of Chris Dunn, who was filmed last year literally begging for his life in a Texas hospital, illustrates all too well what happens when an ethics committee decides to appoint itself as a legal guardian in order to deny treatment — even when such a course is opposed, as it was in Dunn’s case, by both the patient and his guardian-mother.

Not only is death often imposed, it is now also encouraged as if death itself were a form of medicine. As of last year, more than half the states in the country were considering a form of physician-assisted suicide legislation. It appears likely that suicide will, within the next five years, be enshrined as a personal “health” right in most of the country. In this, we would only be following some of our European neighbors. In the Netherlands and Belgium, as Wesley Smith recently documented, Alzheimer’s patients, infants with disabilities, the aged, and the chronically ill are routinely encouraged to die or have death imposed upon them.

Brittany Maynard, who committed suicide in November 2014 after already having outlived her doctor’s terminal-brain-cancer prognosis, was able to choose her death by suicide, but how many now will die not because they embrace that sort of death but because they feel pressured — by smiling physicians or hovering children and heirs — to accept it? To die without hope seems the furthest thing from death with dignity. Other, less fortunate patients will face what Smith explains is considered “termination without request or consent,” a wonderfully anodyne way to describe murder through terminal sedation or the denial of food and water.

My experience in fighting for my sister, and the experiences of assisting more than 1,000 patients and families through the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network over the past decade, have strengthened my resolve and my belief that we can do better as a culture, and for those requiring authentic medical treatment, than what our present attitudes and laws suggest.

It’s why the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network affirms essential qualities of human dignity, including the right to food and water, the presumption of the will to live, due-process rights for those facing denial of care, protection from euthanasia as a form of medicine, and access to rehabilitative care. Each of these were rights my sister was denied, and they are rights of every patient that are often at risk or contested outright.

As we mark the anniversary of my sister’s death, I’m hopeful that we can remember some of these genuine means of upholding human dignity. If we do, we can be assured that when we face crisis in our own lives and the lives of those whom we love, we will meet the moment with a dignity and grace that elevates us in our weakest moments — regardless of the outcome.

That was the promise of medicine once, and it’s what my sister continues to inspire me to fight for daily.

— Bobby Schindler is president of the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network, author of A Life That Matters: The Legacy of Terri Schiavo, and an internationally recognized pro-life advocate.

[See Calvary in Pinellas Park.]

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »