Tag: Catholic Priests

Why Do Catholic Priests Kiss The Altar At The Beginning Of A Mass?

Why Do Catholic Priests Kiss The Altar At The Beginning Of A Mass?

 

Why Priests Kiss the Altar at the Beginning of a Mass.



The practice of reverencing the altar with a kiss is one of the most ancient liturgical traditions and can be dated back to the 4 th century with certainty. 



The Roman Catholic Mass begins with the procession. Each member genuflects at the altar, and the priest and deacon kiss the altar in an act of veneration.

The Altar of Sacrifice.

In Roman Catholicism, the altar is both the sacrificial table and the place where the paschal feast takes place. During the first centuries of Christianity, when the Eucharist was still illegal, Christian altars were constructed from wood and often resembled ordinary house tables. This practise continued until the Middle Ages when, in 517, the provincial council of Epeaune in France decreed that altars should be made of stone to signify “Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone” of Catholicism. Venerated relics were conserved in cavities in the stone altars of newly built Basilicas, which were then placed directly above the tomb of a martyr to evoke those times during the persecutions of the church when martyrs’ tombs were utilized as places of Eucharistic celebration.

In Remembrance of Me.

The Eucharist is housed in the Tabernacle, which is present in the sanctuary. It is customary to genuflect in reverence to the Tabernacle when entering the sanctuary. According to Catholicism, Jesus Christ established the Holy Eucharist prior to his death on the cross by informing the twelve apostles to “do this in remembrance of me.” The Eucharist involves the Roman Catholic concept of Transubstantiation: the bread and wine take on the substance of Christ, maintaining their literal taste and appearance while becoming, in essence, his body and blood.

The Altar.

An act of veneration, the holy kiss, or kiss of peace, occurs three times during the Mass, the first of which is at the altar. Like the cross on Calvary, where the Bible says that Jesus Christ sacrificed his life and was crucified, the altar is considered a place of sacrifice. In kissing the altar, the priest symbolizes the bond between Christ and his church; acknowledges the sacrifices of those martyrs (relics) who gave their life for the furtherance of the faith; and, when performed with the deacon, is an extension of peace to the community. The final kiss is also given at the altar to venerate the table as a symbol of Christ, as well as being the place where the faithful offer their bodies as a “living sacrifice.”

The Living Word.

The next holy kiss seals and venerates the Word after the liturgy of the Word at the Ambo. The Ambo is a lectern where the deacon or priest carries the Gospel book. The Gospel is seen to have within it the power to transform the lives of the faithful. According to Catholicism, just as Christ became the living Word, so the faithful should seek to do the same.

Filipino Priest Flies Into Hiding, As President Duterte Orders ‘Death Squad’ Against Him

Filipino Priest Flies Into Hiding, As President Duterte Orders ‘Death Squad’ Against Him


“I couldn’t go out for biking, running, walking due to security concerns,” Father Picardal told CBS.


A Filipino priest who has been an outspoken critic of extrajudicial killings in the country says he has gone into hiding after several sightings of what he believes to be members of a death squad searching for him.

Father Amado Picardal has spent 20 years advocating against extrajudicial killings in the Philippines, and more recently against President Rodrigo Duterte’s brutal war on drugs. He has served as the spokesperson for the Coalition Against Summary Execution and aided in preparing the International Criminal Court case against a prominent death squad in the country.

He said his advocacy has put a target on his back.

In a recent blog post, the priest said he was first made aware of threats to his life in 2017 and again in March 2018 but believed himself to be safe at the mountain hermitage where he was living.

“Before I left Manila last March to start my life as a hermit, I received a text message from a reliable source confirming that I was indeed going to be targeted for assassination by a death squad,” Fr. Picardal wrote on Aug. 26.

“I anticipated that if they knew that I was in Cebu, the first place that they would put under surveillance would be the Redemptorist Monastery in Cebu. I still felt confident that they won’t find my hermitage in the mountain.”


Over the last few months, however, monastery personnel have reported seeing men on motorcycles, with their faces hidden by helmets, loitering outside the monastery.

Fr. Picardal said the gardener was approached by two unknown men on July 7 and August 2, asking if the priest was around. He added that the monastery’s security guard informed him that six men on motorcycles had been stationed at the entrance from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. on August 11.

“That was usually the time I would go out to the supermarket and the coffee shop. I immediately concluded that they were the death squad and I was the target. Had I gone out, there would have been no escape for me.”

As a result, Fr. Picardal said he has moved to a new location to continue his life of prayer and advocacy. 

 

“I am ready to accept martyrdom if they catch up with me, but I do not seek it nor do I make myself an easy target,” he said.

Thus, I have decided to temporarily vacate my hermitage up in the mountain and continue to spend my life of silence, solitude, prayer and writing in a more secure location. I will continue to speak out against evil in society through my writings and will fast and pray that the Lord will deliver us from evil.”


While assigned in Davao, Philippines, where Duterte served as mayor before his election to the presidency, Picardel said that he helped compile a report on the extrajudicial killings that had taken place there between 1998 and 2015.


This is most likely one of the reasons that I am being targeted by the death squad,” Picardal said according to the CBS report.


Since Duterte took office in 2016, he has launched a brutal crackdown on drug trafficking and use in the country. Some 4,000 Filipinos are estimated to have been killed by police. While police say the killings have been acts of self-defense against armed gangs, critics allege that police forces are conducting unauthorized, extrajudicial executions. Vigilante groups are also reported to have committed murder in the midst of the drug war.

Catholic leaders in the Philippines have been some of the most vocal critics of Duterte’s deadly war on drugs, and in recent months the Philippines strongman has lashed out publicly at the Catholic Church.


In a televised speech in June, Duterte ridiculed Catholic doctrine, saying, “Who is this stupid God? This son of a b**** is then really stupid.”


In recent months, at least three priests have been killed in the Philippines, where local Church officials have spoken out repeatedly against the government-sponsored violence.

Last year, the Filipino bishops hosted a rosary campaign against the drug war. Catholic priests have also offered their churches as “sanctuaries” for those who believe they are on the police hit lists, the Guardian reported in February.

Sources:

Catholic News Agency (CNA), 

CBS.

Two Catholic Priests Arrested For Pro-Life Witness Inside Abortion Center

Two Catholic Priests Arrested For Pro-Life Witness Inside Abortion Center

Two Catholic priests and two pro-life activists were arrested for refusing to leave an abortion facility on Tuesday 24th July morning, where they distributed red roses and begged the mothers inside to choose life.

Father Fidelis Moscinski of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, Father Dave Nix of the Archdiocese of Denver, Will Goodman, and an unidentified woman entered Capital Women’s Services, the abortuary operated by Steven Chase Brigham at 6323 Georgia Ave NW, Suite 210 shortly after 9:00 a.m.

They were inside for roughly two hours, and then, because they refused to cooperate with the police on scene, were carried out one by one. Goodman and Fr. Nix eventually stood up to get inside police cars; Fr. Fidelis and the unnamed woman, who goes by “Baby Jane Doe” in solidarity with aborted children, were both limp as officers loaded them into police vehicles. “Baby Jane Doe,” who participated in a May 26 Red Rose Rescue at the same facility, will not give her name to the police. After her last arrest, the charges against her were dropped and she was released from police custody without ever revealing her name.

Image
Police drag “Baby Jane Doe” out of Steven Brigham’s D.C. abortuary.Claire Chretien / LifeSiteNews

The priests and activists were conducting what they call a “Red Rose Rescue,” inspired by Canadian pro-life activist Mary Wagner.

Tuesday’s rescue was scheduled to coincide with the sentence hearing of two other pro-life activists, Julia Haag and Joan McKee, for their December 2, 2017 rescue at Capital Women’s Services. They were sentenced to 18 months of unsupervised probation with the stipulation that they do not trespass at that abortuary again.

The “Rescue” movement began during the early days of the pro-life movement. It was normal for pro-life activists to enter abortion facilities to counsel women and even chain themselves to abortion equipment to prevent abortions from occurring. Many babies were saved this way.

Then, President Clinton signed the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, which makes it a federal crime to physically block women from obtaining abortions, forcing the pro-life movement to switch tactics.

So far, no one in any of the eight Red Rose Rescues in the U.S. has been charged with violating FACE, although some rescuers have spent time in jail. Pro-lifers have been arrested at all of those rescues but one.

It was Fr. Nix’s first Red Rose Rescue, but Goodman, Fr. Fidelis, and “Baby Jane Doe,” had all been arrested rescuing before. Goodman was arrested for his role in a Red Rose Rescue in Michigan on June 1, 2018; Fr. Fidelis has participated in a rescue at Capital Women’s Services and one in Alexandria, Virginia.

Image
Father Dave Nix inside Capital Women’s ServicesClaire Chretien / LifeSiteNews

As their comrades risked arrest, disrupting the abortuary’s daily operations and witnessing to the women inside, roughly 15 pro-life activists stood outside the abortion center praying in pouring rain. Among that group were veteran Red Rose Rescuers Dr. Monica Migliorino Miller of Citizens for a Pro-Life Society, Father Stephen Imbarrato of Priests for Life, Lauren Handy of Mercy Missions and the Gloria Dei apostolate, and long-time pro-life activist Joan Andrews Bell.

Red Rose Rescues will continue “until the end of pre-born child killing,” Fr. Imbarrato told LifeSiteNews. “That’s without a doubt.”

Image
Police arrest Will Goodman.Claire Chretien / LifeSiteNews

The priest noted Brigham “has lost his license in six states.”

“He’s a dangerous guy,” he said.

The pro-life watchdog group Operation Rescue has dubbed Brigham “the worst abortionist in America.” In 2012, he was charged with murder, but those charges were dropped because the state couldn’t prove five murdered babies had been killed in Maryland.

Police found the bodies of 35 aborted babies at an illegal late-term abortion facility Brigham was running. Some of those babies were as old as 36 weeks gestation.

Brigham has a history of harming women, medical license revocation, and being forced to shut down filthy facilities. The New Yorker even profiled some of Brigham’s offenses in a 2014 piece about his “chain” of unsanitary abortion centers.

It did not appear that Brigham was at the facility on Tuesday but Fr. Imbarrato said it was likely another abortionist, possibly Myron Rose, was.

Capital Women’s Services shares a building with a D.C. Department of Health office.

Miller, who this summer served jail time for just over a month alongside Goodman after they violated a judge’s probation terms that they stay 500 feet away from every abortion center in the U.S., told LifeSiteNews it was “edifying” to see Catholic priests witnessing for the lives of pre-born babies in such a strong way.

“Fifty percent of the people who are willing to defend the unborn are ordained Catholic priests,” she said of the day’s activities. And “babies here had two hours of someone defending them.”

Image
Police carry a handcuffed Father Fidelis Moscinski out of Steven Brigham’s D.C. abortuary as he clutches a red rose.Claire Chretien / LifeSiteNews

We believe in the Red Rose Rescue that love doesn’t have a boundary,” Miller explained. “There’s no boundary line. The abortion clinic  – they’re the ones that draw those boundaries. Our love has to go past that boundary. The women are sitting there, ready to get their abortions – this is a peaceful, loving act of charity on behalf of those moms and on behalf of their innocent unborn children. And all I can say is that they deserve this defense and we hope to continue to give them the defense that’s involved with Red Rose Rescues.”


Pray for Aborted babies and pray also for an end to abortions!

How The Early Catholic Church Dealt With Priest Sex Offenders 

How The Early Catholic Church Dealt With Priest Sex Offenders 


Cases of child sexual abuse by Catholic priestsnuns and members of religious orders, has been a high profile scandal within the Catholic Church. Subsequent cover-ups, in the 20th and 21st centuries have led to numerous allegations, investigations, trials and convictions. The abused include boys and girls, some as young as 3 years old, with the majority between the ages of 11 and 14. The accusations began to receive isolated, sporadic publicity in the late 1980s. Many of these involved cases in which a figure was accused of decades of abuse; such allegations were frequently made by adults or older youths years after the abuse occurred. Cases have also been brought against members of the Catholic hierarchy who covered up sex abuse allegations and moved abusive priests to other parishes where abuse continued.

Most recently, the detestable accusations against Cardinal Theodore “Uncle Ted” McCarrick have rocked the Church and re-opened the discussion on how to handle cases of clerical abuse.

Cardinal McCarrick posing with one of the young men who has accused him of sexual abuse

While it may be tempting to encapsulate clerical abuse as a modern phenomenon, fallen human nature and sin have existed since the Garden of Eden, along with it those who would use their position within the Church to sexually prey on victims.

In our modern world, the Church has responded to the sex abuse crisis with guidelines on how to deal with those accused of transgressions. From Pope Francis’ “zero tolerance” policy to guidelines issued by the USCCB, the Church has tried (and often failed) to properly handle cases of sexual abuse within the Church. These methods often include psychological assessments, 3rd party investigations, canonical punishments, removal from public ministry, laicization, and handing over the case to secular authorities.

But in the ancient Catholic Church, the punishments for clergy who sexually preyed on victims were not as relatively urbane as these modern approaches.

Saint Basil the Great, a Doctor of the Church, writing in the 4th-century, described how the early Catholic Church dealt with those guilty of sexual abuse among the clergy.

“Any cleric or monk who seduces young men or boys, or who is apprehended in kissing or in any shameful situation, shall be publicly flogged and shall lose his clerical tonsure. Thus shorn, he shall be disgraced by spitting in his face, bound in iron chains, wasted by six months of close confinement, and for three days each week put on barley bread given him toward evening. Following this period, he shall spend a further six months living in a small segregated courtyard in custody of a spiritual elder, kept busy with manual labor and prayer, subjected to vigils and prayers, forced to walk at all times in the company of two spiritual brothers, never again allowed to associate with young men.”

This harsh punishment may seem barbaric to the modern sensibility, but given the gravity of crimes of sexual nature, especially perpetrated by clergy, perhaps the time has come to listen to the wisdom of the Church Fathers and apply this type of justice.

In the 11th-century, another Doctor of the Church, Saint Peter Damian, stormed against the widespread clerical sexual abuse and sexual misconduct of the time. He decried the impunity with which bishops and abbots conducted themselves, as clerics were above, and not subject to the secular authorities.

In a letter to Pope Leo IX, Saint Peter Damian demanded reform, ecclesial accountability, that priests be handed over to secular authorities for punishment, and other actions to weed out the cancer of sexual abuse in the Church.

Aiming directly at the hierarchy who enabled such an environment, he wrote:

“Listen, you do-nothing superiors of clerics and priests. Listen, and even though you feel sure of yourselves, tremble at the thought that you are partners in the guilt of others; those, I mean, who wink at the sins of their subjects that need correction and who by ill-considered silence allow them license to sin. Listen, I say, and be shrewd enough to understand that all of you alike are deserving of death, that is, not only those who do such things, but also they who approve those who practice them.”

Do you think it is time to listen to the Doctors of the Church and use harsher penalties to address sexual abuse in the clergy? For me such punishments are too harsh… Share your comments below!

%d bloggers like this: