Papal visit results in big jump in positive view of Benedict and Church, poll shows

One third now more likely to vote and be more active in community and church

(NEW HAVEN, CT) – A poll taken immediately following the conclusion of Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to the United States shows that it had a powerful impact on public attitudes toward the pope, the church, and a willingness to live their faith more fully. The nationwide poll of 1,013 adults was commissioned by the Knights of Columbus and conducted by the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion between April 22 and April 24, 2008. Marist conducted a similar poll prior to the pope’s visit, allowing before-and-after comparisons.

Among the highlights of the poll results:

  1. 65% of Americans have a more positive view of Pope Benedict as a result of what they saw and heard during his visit
  2. 52% have a more positive view of the Catholic Church
  3. The proportion of Americans with a favorable view of Pope Benedict jumped from 58% prior to his visit to 71% afterward
  4. The proportion describing the pope positively as a spiritual leader went from 53% to 62%
  5. The proportion describing him as a good or excellent world leader went from 41% to 51%
  6. 56% see his ability to promote good relations between the Catholic Church and other religions as good or excellent, up from 40% prior to his visit
  7. More than a third (35%) say they are now more in touch with their own spiritual values as the result of the pope’s visit
  8. Even more importantly, nearly half (49%) now have a better understanding of the Catholic Church’s positions on important issues, and a significant proportion of Americans are prepared to change their personal involvement as a result:
  9. About four in ten say they are more likely to lead a moral life and make family a bigger part of their lives
  10. One in three are more likely to participate in elections, community activities and their churches as a result of the papal visit

Supreme Knight Carl Anderson of the Knights of Columbus said that the poll results “show clearly that Pope Benedict has presented the Catholics of the United States with a tremendous opportunity. Americans are a religious people, and they responded very positively to the message of faith, hope and love that the Holy Father delivered throughout his visit. It is now up to all of us in the Catholic community to walk through the door he has opened for us, and work together to build a civilization of love.”

The complete poll results can be found at:

Pope Blesses Statue of Pharmacists’ Patron

VATICAN CITY, APRIL 30, 2008 ( Benedict XVI blessed today in the Vatican a statue of St. John Leonardi, the patron of pharmacists.

The statue, 5.4 meters (17.7 feet) tall and weighing 27 tons, was placed in an outside lateral niche of St. Peter’s Basilica. It is the work of the Italian artist Paolo Cavallo.

John Leonardi (1541-1609) founded the Clerks Regular of the Mother of God. He was canonized by Pope Pius XI in 1938. The saint was proclaimed the patron of pharmacists in 2006 by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments.

John Leonardi was himself a pharmacist. In helping the poor in his native city of Lucca, he discovered his priestly vocation. The congregation he founded is dedicated to catechizing the youth and the apostolic renovation of the clergy. He became one of the protagonists of the Counter Reformation.

John Leondardi collaborated in the foundation of what would later become Rome’s Urban College for the Propagation of the Faith, a center for the formation of missionary seminarians that is still important today.


Cardinal Mahony’s Ballons

From our new TLM friend, Mr. Paul Nichols from Catholic Cartoons from Littlestown, PA.

The Forum: Cardinal Egan’s rebuke to Giuliani: important subtleties

by Phil Lawler
special to

Apr. 29, 2008 ( – In his public rebuke to Rudy Giuliani for improperly receiving Communion during Pope Benedict’s visit to New York, Cardinal Edward Egan raised two subtle but very interesting points. First, the cardinal says that Giuliani should not receive the Eucharist because of his support for legal abortion; he does not base his argument on Giuliani’s irregular marital status. Second, the cardinal reveals that he had reached a quiet agreement with Giuliani. The former New York mayor violated that agreement– apparently for his own political purposes.

But before discussing those rather subtle aspects of Cardinal Egan’s message, let’s begin with the obvious. Cardinal Egan deserves praise and thanks for his public statement, in which he shows himself to be a leader, a teacher, and a pastor of souls.

By emphasizing the gravity of support for the legalized killing of the unborn, the cardinal takes a strong stand in defense of human life. Since Giuliani is not currently a candidate for political office, the cardinal’s statement cannot be misinterpreted as a partisan gesture. Rather, he is using an opportunity to instruct the faithful.

At the same time, the cardinal is protecting the Church from further scandal. And as a pastor he is showing his concern for Giuliani, who is endangering his own soul by receiving the Eucharist improperly. The cardinal’s message should not be lost on countless other Catholics who are receiving Communion while in a state of serious sin; in that respect, too, his is a valuable pastoral statement.

In all these respects, Cardinal Egan’s statement stands in stark contrast to the official silence from Washington’s Archbishop Donald Wuerl after several prominent pro-abortion Catholics– most notably Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senators John Kerry and Ted Kennedy– received Communion during the papal Mass in that city. Although these prominent politicians had indicated beforehand that they planned to receive the Eucharist, the archbishop made no statement to discourage them or to indicate to the public that they would be receiving Communion in violation of Church law. A spokesman for the US bishops’ conference issued only a lame statement: “People go to church and people go to Communion if they feel in their heart they are prepared to receive Communion.”

After the fact, Archbishop Wuerl had another opportunity to clarify Church teaching. He remained silent, and his silence appeared to give consent. Perceptive reporters like John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter and Bob Novak of the Washington Post concluded that the net effect of the papal visit had been to encourage the notion that “pro-choice” Catholics are eligible to receive Communion– a notion that the future Pope Benedict himself very clearly rejected during his exchange with American bishops in 2004.

The public statement from Cardinal Egan, then, corrects the record and prevents the further dissemination of a very misleading and damaging perception about Catholic Church teaching and pastoral practice. For that reason, too, the cardinal deserves our thanks.

But the value of Cardinal Egan’s statement goes beyond that, for the two reasons mentioned above. Notice, in the text of the statement, the passage which I have highlighted here:
The Catholic Church clearly teaches that abortion is a grave offense against the will of God. Throughout my years as Archbishop of New York, I have repeated this teaching in sermons, articles, addresses, and interviews without hesitation or compromise of any kind. Thus it was that I had an understanding with Mr. Rudolph Giuliani, when I became Archbishop of New York and he was serving as Mayor of New York, that he was not to receive the Eucharist because of his well-known support of abortion. I deeply regret that Mr. Giuliani received the Eucharist during the Papal visit here in New York, and I will be seeking a meeting with him to insist that he abide by our understanding.
While there is some debate among American bishops as to whether a pro-abortion politician should receive the Eucharist, there is no debate about Catholics who have divorced and remarried outside the Church. They are not eligible to receive Communion. Rudy Giuliani is divorced and remarried. Therefore he should not receive Communion. That logical and canonical argument is airtight. So it is noteworthy that Cardinal Egan does not invoke that argument. Instead he says that Giuliani should not receive Communion “because of his well-known support for abortion.” Thus the cardinal’s statement underlines the point that support for legal abortion is a grievous offense.

More than that: By basing his argument on Giuliani’s advocacy for abortion, Cardinal Egan has sharpened the contrast between his stand and the stand (or non-stand) taken by Archbishop Wuerl. If the cardinal had cited Giuliani’s marital status as the factor that disqualified him, the argument would not have applied to Pelosi, Kerry, and Kennedy, all of whom are properly married (with annulments in place where appropriate) in the eyes of the Church.

Notice, too, that Cardinal Egan mentions he “had an understanding” with Giuliani. Some American bishops have said that they think it would be improper to take the very public action of barring a prominent Catholic from the Eucharist. But the first step– a private meeting with the erring individual– need not be public. Cardinal Egan had taken that step. Evidently the cardinal had spoken quietly with Giuliani, hoping to avoid both a public confrontation and a public scandal. He had done his pastoral duty by warning Giuliani against receiving Communion; there was no urgent need, then for a public statement as long as the former mayor abided by their “understanding.”

When he was apprised of the cardinal’s rebuke, Giuliani responded through a spokesman with a statement claiming that his Catholic faith “is a deeply personal matter and should remain confidential.” But if he had really wanted to keep the matter confidential, he would have abided by his agreement from Cardinal Egan. Instead he received Communion at the very time when his action would receive the most widespread publicity. He richly deserved the cardinal’s rebuke.

Raised A Conservative Jew, Rosalind Moss is starting a Roman Catholic Religious community in St. Louis

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (CNS) – Rosalind Moss, an author who is an Eternal Word Television Network TV host and one of the network’s radio hosts, announced Feb. 13 that she is starting a new community of sisters in the Archdiocese of St. Louis with the permission of Archbishop Raymond L. Burke.

The new group will be called the Daughters of Mary, Mother of Israel’s Hope, she told an audience of more than 200 at the Catholic Breakfast Club of Sacramento.

Moss, 65, said she hopes to move to St. Louis within a few months, intends to fulfill as many of her scheduled speaking engagements in the coming year as possible, and plans to continue her radio program from St. Louis.

Confirmed: Vatican sees miracle in Newman’s cause

Birmingham, Apr. 25, 2008 ( – An official spokesman for the cause of beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman has confirmed that the Vatican has given preliminary approval to the authenticity of a miracle attributed to Cardinal Newman’s intercession.Final approval of the miracle would clear the way for the beatification of the Cardinal Newman, a towering figure in English Catholicism in the 19th century.

Peter Jennings, press secretary to the Fathers of the Birmingham Oratory for the cause of Cardinal Newman, announced on April 24 that the postulator for the cause, Dr. Andrea Ambrosi, had authorized him to reveal that medical consultants in Rome had certified that the cure of Jack Sullivan, a Catholic deacon from Massachusetts, could not be attributed to natural causes.

The apparently miraculous healing of Sullivan from a debilitating spinal ailment–which took place on the feast of the Assumption, August 15, 2001– will now be studied by theologians for the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. If the theologians give their approval, the case will go to the full Congregation for approval.

The Institute of Christ the King helps along the TLM in the Diocese of Lafayette in Indiana

Carmel, Indiana (Una Voce Carmel) –  Last Sunday, April 20th The Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest sent Father Andreas Hellman, Abbe Joseph Jessel and Abbe Georg Emmel to help the Diocese of Lafayette in Indiana continue The Mass of the Ages.  This was the second Traditional Latin Mass (TLM) for the Carmel Deanery.  The first TLM was held April 6, 2008.  His Excellency, Bishop William A. Higi has supported a proposal that has brought the TLM to the Carmel Deanery.

Assisting the Mass were Abbe Georg Emmel, Joshua Brown, Nicholas Hoffmeister and Tiberius Thunell.  Abbe Joseph Jessel played the organ and chanted.

Father Hellmann’s wonderful sermon can be seen and heard here.


Fr. Andreas Hellmann’s Sermon

Sunday, April 20th, 2008 a.D. at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Roman Catholic Church

Thousands flock to venerate Padre Pio

San Giovanni Rotondo, Apr. 24, 2008 ( – An estimated 15,000 people attended Mass in San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy, as the remains of St. Pio of Pietrelcina were exposed for public veneration.

Cardinal José Saraiva Martins, the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, presided at the Mass in the church that Padre Pio made famous. The body of the Capuchin friar, who died in 1968, was then placed on display in a glass coffin.

Padre Pio gained worldwide fame during his lifetime as a confessor and a stigmatist. Thousands of pilgrims flocked to San Giovanni Rotondo to meet him and ask favors, recognizing his reputation as a miracle worker. He remains one of the most popular saints of the 20th century; about 300,000 people attended his canonization in June 2002.

His body was exhumed on March 3, and discovered to be in excellent condition. Embalmers have since prepared the remains for public viewing. Already 750,000 people have made reservations to venerate St. Pio’s remains through the remainder of this year.