Sunday, October 31, 2010

Christ the King Celebrates Christ the King!

Today was the feast of Christ the King at Christ the King, Sarasota, Florida. It is fitting that the feast falls on Halloween this year. With the growing secularization of our culture it seems as if Halloween is fast becoming the most popular day of celebration. This is most unfortunate, but today we have set before us the choice of two kings. We can worship and serve the one true King, Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, or we can choose to serve Satan and ourselves instead. Father James Fryar, FSSP pointed out today that there are few who actually claim from their lips to honor Satan as their king, yet there are many who serve him. On the flip side there are many who claim from their lips to honor Jesus as their King, yet few who actually serve Christ in their actions.

Today we had a beautiful Mass at Christ the King where we worshiped and payed tribute to our King, the one true God, Jesus Christ. Following Mass we had a procession around the Church property bringing our King to the world in the Blessed Sacrament. This was a real procession, rose pedals and all! We ended the day with a cookout, topped off with the best cake I have ever seen! Below are some of the pictures that I took today. Happy Feast of Christ the King, from Christ the King! Enjoy!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Bishop Frank J. Dewane Has Dinner With Christ the King

Tonight Christ the King Chapel of Sarasota, Florida had a wonderful dinner with Bishop Frank J. Dewane of the Diocese of Venice. Bishop Dewane has been very supportive of the Latin Mass community at Christ the King since he established it in April of 2009. We are certainly blessed to have him as our shepherd here in our diocese. The bishop spent the evening dining with us and then took the time to meet with everyone. After dinner, our parish presented a gift of a replica on canvas of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, which was hand painted by one of our parishioners at Christ the King. (See picture above) The original hangs in the Christ the King Chapel. Tomorrow the chapel celebrates its feast, that of Christ the King. We will have a special procession to honor our name day. I will take pictures tomorrow and post them up. Below are a couple of pictures of this evenings dinner. I took them with my phone so they are not the best quality.

Intercessors of the Lamb Update: Archdiocese Tells Catholics To Discontinue Reading Their Material

A commenter on my last post pointed me to a new statement by the Archdiocese of Omaha, NE, regarding the reading material sold by the Intercessors of the Lamb. After Nadine Brown released her statement telling her followers that they would continue on as a separate 501C corporation nonaffiliated with the Catholic Church, the Archdiocese has responded with a firmer notice telling all Catholics to cease reading her material and joining their intercession groups. This is welcome news to see the Archbishop putting the kibosh on this material. On the 29th the Archdiocese released the following letter to Catholics.

October 29, 2010 

To the Former Lay Companions of the Intercessors of the Lamb 

Lay companions and prayer groups of the former Intercessors of the Lamb should discontinue using all manuals, books and other materials published by the former Intercessors of the Lamb community and discontinue all discernment ministries. One of the tasks given to the Archbishop of Omaha’s trustee was to review the teachings and resources authored by Nadine Brown for theological accuracy and conformity to the teaching Magisterium of the Catholic Church. As a result of the suppression, this review has not taken place. It is therefore not possible to state that the teachings of Nadine Brown are free of doctrinal error. Moreover, lay companions should understand that the former Association of the Hermit Intercessors of the Lamb received canonical recognition in 1992 and 1998 from the Church; however, the companion group – the Intercessors of the Lamb – never received canonical recognition from the Church.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Intercessors of the Lamb Will Continue As 501C Corporation.

As stated in my previous post, the Intercessors of the Lamb's Nadine Brown has stated that they will continue on with their ministry. There is a stipulation however. They will operate as a separate 501C corporation completely separate from any affiliation with the Catholic Church. At least that is how it appears in today's press release. The press release was very short and did not go into any detail. It merely said that they will obey the Archbishop, and instead continue on as a 501 C corporation to which anyone could still donate their money to and receive a tax write off. They also have stated that they will continue to sell their books and tapes as well as offer prayer meetings and intercessory prayer for anyone interested.

Nadine quoted the Archbishop and used his own words to justify continuing their ministry privately. She writes, "Archbishop Lucas has stated in his news release of October 15, 2010 “Of course, Catholic faithful are always welcome, in virtue of their Baptism, to associate together and to pray. I would encourage those companions and associates to continue to pray for the former vowed members of the Intercessor community, for the Church, and for the needs of the world.” This means that your prayer groups are able to continue to gather together for intercession. Please let us know if you would like us to continue visitations to your groups." I am not sure if this was what the Archbishop had in mind when he said this, never the less they are continuing on with their prayer groups, etc. It seems however that they will obey and not continue in any capacity in relation to the Catholic faith. They cannot have Mass on property, etc. So far no word from the Archdiocese on the press release. Nadine closed by saying, "We continue to welcome your prayer requests and your requests for discernment." So it seems at this point that the Intercessors will continue on with a workaround to avoid any conflict with the Archdiocese. As far as Catholics go however, the Archdiocese has written the following regarding their written material.

"Lay companions and prayer groups of the former Intercessors of the Lamb should exercise caution when using resources authored by Nadine Brown or resources published by the former association."

I just love the limp language used by the Archdiocese. Use caution! Either the material is fit for consumption by the Catholic faithful or its not. You don't tell your kids to go play in the middle of the superhighway and just use caution when doing so. You tell them not to play in the highway, no?

See Update Here. Archdiocese puts the kibosh on the their reading material.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Intercessors of the Lamb's Mother Nadine Set to Disobey Archbishop?

If you have not heard, the group known as the Intercessors of the Lamb in Omaha, NE was shut down recently by Archbishop Lucas of Omaha. The charismatic group was known to give spiritual advice and host retreats at their property in Omaha. The Archbishop pressured their foundress, Mother Nadine Brown, to step down, and he also shut down their entire operation after they apparently refused to cooperate with him. “What began as a desire for pastoral solicitude and an effort at positive reform resulted in a refusal to accept the assistance and jurisdiction of the church by a majority of the lay board members,” Lucas said. The Archdiocese further clarified the suppression by saying, “Public worship and the celebration of the sacraments are prohibited on the Intercessors' property; priests and deacons are forbidden from ministering at the property; donors are advised that their contributions will not go to support the mission of a Catholic organization; Intercessors of the Lamb, Inc, is no longer affiliated with the Catholic Church; and the chapel on the campus is no longer a Catholic chapel. Moreover, the vows of the members ceased at the moment of suppression.”

A news release gave the following reasons for the suppression. 
"...errors in governing documents; serious disunity within the community; widespread dissatisfaction with leadership; lack of safe environment policies; questionable financial practices; violation of its own proper law; use of intimidation tactics to secure obedience from members; inability of members to articulate the Intercessors’ charism; lack of financial transparency; violating norms governing alienation and acts of extraordinary administration; a flawed understanding of prayer and spiritual discernment; absence of good human resources; confusion and violation of internal forum and external forum in formation and governance; absence of adequate economic stewardship; illegitimate and irreverent custody of the Blessed Sacrament; and confusion over the administration of Mass offerings."

This happened on October 15th and if you go to the Archdiocese of Omaha website, they have an updated list of articles on the suppression. I cannot find anything that alludes to the Archbishop changing his mind on the matter. If anyone knows anything different then let me know. It appears now that the Intercessors are going to continue on anyways against the wishes of the Archbishop. If you go to their website, they have the following posted. "We are still here. An official statement will be coming from our foundress right here." What I also find to be interesting is that on the website the following is in all capital letters. "We remain dedicated to the contemplative formation of ALL Christians." Does this mean that they are going to continue on outside of their original Catholic identity? It will be interesting for sure to see what she posts. If she is going to continue on against the will of the Archbishop, this is indeed very disturbing.

The last release by the Archdiocese was yesterday and this is what it said.

Regarding Intercessors of the Lamb resources 
Lay companions and prayer groups of the former Intercessors of the Lamb should exercise caution when using resources authored by Nadine Brown or resources published by the former association. These resources and titles were never reviewed or approved by the Archbishop of Omaha. Moreover, lay companions should understand that the former Association of the Hermit Intercessors of the Lamb received canonical recognition in 1992 and 1998 from the Church; however, the companion group – the Intercessors of the Lamb – never received canonical recognition from the Church.

See update here.  10-27-10

Friday, October 22, 2010

New Cardinal Manning Publication Soon To Be Released

In the coming weeks the Cardinal Manning Society will be printing its first publication promoting Manning’s Ecclesiastical Sermons. The first of the series will feature his sermon on Pope Pius IX’s Syllabus of Errors. The sermon has been retype set and the entire sermon is reformatted for modern publication. I have also included a written introduction explaining the historical and theological background to the sermon. Below is a snap shot of the proof of the upcoming front and back covers. After some final editing and a few modifications are completed the publication will be available. Stay tuned for more information on how to get your copy.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Blogs, Hecklers and Complaints

Every now and again I get a disgruntled reader who does not like my blog posts. They like to come over and tell me what I should and should not be writing. I don't mind complaints, and everyone has their opinion. But what I find amusing is that people are insistent on trying to force my hand on what I post on, as if I should change everything I write based on their personal opinion. Here is the deal. This is my blog, I write what I want, and if people like it, they will read it, if not they can go elsewhere. I am not one to mince words, and I have little use for effeminate cream-puffs who are afraid to voice concerns about problems in the Church. I am upfront about what I believe, and I trust in everything Holy Mother Church prescribes me to believe, because Jesus Christ speaks through His one Catholic Church.

Those who think I am a hardliner because of that, too bad. Those who want to paint every doctrinal teaching with an ambiguous gray undercoating, I have no use for. I will continue to promote the Catholic faith and I will continue to rebel against anyone or anything that threatens that faith to the best of my means and ability to do so. If you like my posts, great, if not so be it. But don't expect me to pander to you if you do not agree with me. Its not going to happen. If you want to debate a particular theological issue, or something pertaining to the Catholic faith, I am glad to do so. I have a couple of projects going on now and I am not putting up as many posts here as I usually do. I am spending a great deal of time on the promotion of the Cardinal Manning Society, so my time is limited over here for the time being. For all of the compliments I have received over the last couple of years since launching the blog, thank you!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Archbishop Burke Named Cardinal- (Other US appointment not so good.)

It seems that we have at least one good appointment to the Cardinalate from the US, Archbishop Burke. Pope Benedict has announced his list. Among the list of names, one other US archbishop was named to be Cardinal. Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl of Washington. How he determined this is a mystery to me. Tell me, how one can put both of these men on the list to be named Cardinal? 
Pope Benedict XVI has named Archbishop Raymond Burke, archbishop emeritus of St. Louis and prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura in Rome, as a cardinal.
The pope announced the names of new 24 cardinals at the end of his general audience Oct. 20.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Rationalism vs Faith (Protestantism vs Catholicism)

Rationalism vs Faith (Protestantism vs Catholicism)
Matthew J. Bellisario 2010

'They who have not the truth whole and perfect, must always be inquiring, 
always doubting. Not so they who are "taught of God."' 
Henry Edward Cardinal Manning

When one breaks down the essential difference between Catholicism and Protestantism, the ultimate breakdown lies between reason guided by faith, and faith determined by reason. The Catholic believes God based on the living authority and living Voice (The Holy Spirit) He gave to those chosen to spread the Gospel. The Catholic believes that man has the capacity to comprehend the infallible Word of God by his reason, but his reason does not determine what he will and will not believe. In other words, his reason is able to comprehend and analyze that which is revealed by God to him through His living voice in the Church, but man does not determine individually what he will or will not believe based on his own rational faculties. 

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Forgotten Champions of English Catholicism.

With all of the hype going on about the beatification of John Henry Newman, I find it disturbing that the two most influential and outstanding Catholic clergymen of the same time period have been largely ignored by most Catholics today. Concerning the reestablishment of English Catholicism in the mid to late nineteenth century, there is no question that Cardinal Nicholas Wisemen and Cardinal Henry Manning are by far the two most important and influential English Catholics of the day. Not only were they both brilliant theologians, excellent orators and men of outstanding character, but they were also instrumental in bringing the Catholic faith back to life in England by getting their hands dirty on the ground. These two men were not faint of heart and they were not ones to sob in the midst of extreme trial and tribulation.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Why Do Catholics Have Such Short Memories?

I find it quite alarming these days to find that few Catholics have read anything about their faith written before 1960. It seems that the New Catechism and a few documents from Vatican II is all that makes up their Catholic repertoire. This is sadly the same for most of our Catechists, Directors of Religious Education as well as those running the formation programs for the diaconate, etc.  Why doesn't anyone seem to realize that there is 2000 years of other material to read in addition to these few sources? It is almost as if 1960 is the cutoff point. A document written in 1907 like "Lamentabili Sane," was forgotten about over the course of 50 years and was never heard from again after the 60's. Below is a small recommended reading list to pass along to your fellow Catholics who you may run across here and there that may given them a more well rounded understanding of their faith.

Catechism of the Council of Trent

The Syllabus of Errors

The Syllabus of Pius X "Lamentabili sane"

Quanta Cura- Pius IX

Ineffabilis Deus- Pus IX

Aquinas- The Summa Theologica

The Writings of Cardinal Manning

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization

Pope Benedict XVI has instituted a new Pontifical Council for Evangelization. Perhaps the document explaining the details will be printed in English soon. Here is the article on it.

"In an official decree, Benedict said the new office would work with bishops to promote church doctrine, use modern communication methods to get the church's message out and mobilize missionary-type activities using members of religious orders and new religious movements."

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Launching of the Cardinal Manning Society.

You may have noticed that I have not been posting as much as I usually do on this blog lately. The reason is, I have been busy building a new website dedicated to the late great Henry Edward Cardinal Manning. You can visit the new site at ( Below is my written introduction to the website. If you prefer to have it read to you, then click on the audio recording below.

About Cardinal Manning

Henry Edward Cardinal Manning is sadly a well kept secret in the Catholic world today. Although well known throughout England in the mid to late 19th century for feeding the poor, educating children of lesser means, resurrecting Catholicism in England, being one of the instrumental theologians at Vatican I, and standing up for the Catholic faith against the new wave of modernism, he was quickly dismissed by the following new crop of modern theologians as being rigid and Ultramontane. When the great Cardinal went to his repose on Jan 14th, Victorian London had never witnessed such a large funeral. What happened in the short time after his death that virtually erased his memory from the minds of the Catholic world? How did his reputation become so controversial? Often accused of being self centered, Ultramontane and rigid, he quickly fell under the shadows of other English converts such as John Henry Newman, who had nowhere near the influence or reputation that Manning had when the two were alive.

Manning unfortunately fell prey to a biographer who did not like Manning, and his reputation was quickly scarred by his biased attitude towards the Cardinal. As Fr. James Pereiro writes in his book ‘Cardinal Manning,’ “Manning was unfortunate in having Edmund Sheridan Purcell as his first biographer.” It seems that Purcell published his biased work which painted Manning as Pereiro writes, “in the mould of the ambitious authoritarian and unscrupulous schemer,…” At least two authors read Purcell’s work before it was published who knew Manning, and they tried to convince Purcell to rewrite his scathing mischaracterization. Unfortunately Purcell persisted and it was his biography that took hold in the imagination of the masses concerning the Cardinal. Since then there have been a few other biographies written to correct Purcell’s work, but the sands of time seem to have already covered the life and thought Cardinal Manning, and has seemingly sealed it off forever in the dusty annals of history, only to be discovered by blessed few who may accidentally stumble upon him when researching that era of English history.

Despite this heavy cloud that now hangs over the great Cardinal, it is the light of God that will eventually break through the obscuring cover. Fortunately for us, we have all of the Cardinal’s formal works available to us today, many in the public domain which are easily accessible to anyone with an internet connection. We also have most of his written correspondence that he had with many people like Gladstone, the Wilberforces and Newman. We have many testimonies to the great heart and spirit of Manning from the lips of both Protestants and Catholics, applauding his work in the realm of social justice, that is the social justice in the true sense of the term. Likewise they recognized his efforts to feed the poor and educate the children of England. He rightfully believed that education was not only for the elite class, but for everyone. Manning always tried to bring the Catholic faith into action in the lives of working men and women, that is he sought to bring it to the “average Joe.” What impresses me about the Cardinal as a theologian was, he did not write theology for an elite class in an ivory tower to be discussed among some haughty inner circle of theologians who shared in some cryptic language that only they could understand. He wrote theology for the enrichment of all Catholics so they could live their lives in the love of God, not for the pride of theological knowledge. Manning did not set out to stretch the boundaries of the theological realm to make a name for himself as so many have done after him. He wrote simply to communicate the known Catholic faith to anyone who sought to understand it, embrace it and live it.

What other testimony is greater than that of Pope Pius IX who welcomed Manning with open arms, having him ordained a priest just 10 weeks after coming into the Church. Later Pope Pius IX would reject the opinion of other bishops to appoint someone else other than Manning to Archbishop of Westminster, and instead moved Manning straight from priest to Archbishop. By the conservative orthodox Catholics, he was viewed as a champion of the faith, by the later arrogant “New Theologians” he was viewed as a simpleton, who was too rigid in his thoughts. Yet who’s ideas were used at the Vatican Council I when the dogma of infallibility was defined? Who was appointed to the Committee “De Fide” to help define the dogma? No it was not John Henry Newman, it was Henry Edward Manning.

When Manning’s writings and life are closely examined, I believe that we as Catholics will come to realize what a tragedy it has been to neglect this long lost friend of ours. It is with great joy that I present to you this website promoting the life and work of Henry Edward Cardinal Manning. Take the time to enrich yourself with his writings and use them to deepen and strengthen your faith. I have made his writings easily accessible in both written and audio book formats. Spread the word about the Cardinal so he can become once again a great friend to all Catholics and non-Catholics alike. Perhaps he may even intercede on your behalf from the heavens above!

May God bless and keep you always,
Matthew J. Bellisario. Oct 8, 2010

Do not fear to be thought over-strict ; do not fear to be reproached as extreme ; do not fear to be in a minority. Cardinal Manning.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

New Podcast Sermon: Fr. Howard Venette, FSSP

We had the pleasure this past weekend of having Fr. Howard Venette, FSSP, fill in for Fr. James Fryar, FSSP, while he was away on retreat. Thankfully we were able to record his sermon and share it with you. You can listen here or drop it on your MP3 player through iTunes. Just search for Catholic Champion in the store.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Read More- Let Technology Do Some Work For You!

I spend quite a bit of time reading, but as you know, there is hardly enough time in the day to read all that you would like. With the growing amount of great Catholic material being made available in the public domain on the Internet, there is no end in sight to my reading list. I have over 100 books on my Sony E-Reader now but I can't get to it all. I ran across this great software called Natural Reader, that does a great job of converting text to speech. It will not only read to you text from any document on your computer, but it will also convert it over to an audio file and import it directly into iTunes so you can listen to it anywhere! How cool is this? With all of the time I spend driving with my job this will certainly allow me to absorb more material. I recommend that you break the books up into chapters so you can keep the files small and manageable. Go to the website and check it out for yourself. There is a demo-box where you can type in some text and have it play back. I like the UK English dude, he sounds more scholarly. Technology has come a long way from the terrible robotic voice.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Cardinal Henry Manning on Truth

Here is a thought to carry with you this week by the great Cardinal Manning.

‘. . . God knows I would rather stand in the lowest place within the Truth, than in the highest without it. Nay, outside the Truth, the higher the worse. It is only so much more opposition to Truth, so much more propagation of falsehood.’ Cardinal Henry Edward Manning