Archbishop Chaput's Stunning Letter to Philadelphia

12/09/2011 Comments (226)

On December 8th, the feast of the Immaculate Conception, Archbishop Charles Chaput, the newly-installed archbishop of Philadelphia, released a pastoral letter to the faithful of his archdiocese. It will be read this weekend at Masses, even as Archbishop Chaput is returning home from his ad limina visit to Rome.

A copy of the letter was obtained by Whispers in the Loggia and has now been published online.

Pastoral letters from bishops can range from being “ho-hum” letters to being “Wham!” letters. Archbishop Chaput’s is definitely at the “Wham!” end of the spectrum.

Let’s read it together.

The letter begins with the kind of gentle, winning tone that one would expect in a pastoral letter...READ MORE

Filed under charles chaput, justin rigali, parish mergers, philadelphia, priest scandals, school, sex abuse, sex abuse scandal, sex scandal

Praying for the Holy Souls in Purgatory

12/06/2011 Comments (52)

A reader writes:

I know that it is always good to pray for the souls in Purgatory.  Otherwise, the souls won’t make it to Heaven.  However, is it O.K. to pray that all of the souls in Purgatory be released and allowed to go to Heaven.  In fact, the moment all souls would be released (if God wants to do this), then a new batch would come into Purgatory and take their place.  Am I correct in this?  Or, are we only supposed to pray for people we know that have died?  Let me know (if you would). Thank you so much.  Happy Advent (it’s still not Christmas yet).

Thank you for the questions! And Happy Advent to you as well (good point about it not being Christmas yet!).

Allow me to go through...READ MORE

Filed under all souls day, benedict xvi, eternity, holy souls, prayer, purgatory, time

New Mass Translation Outside Mass; Bad Confession Advice; Customer Responsibility; and More!

12/03/2011 Comments (4)

So the new Mass Translation has gone into effect! (Woo-hoo!) But there are still questions about it that need to be asked.

For example: If you’re in a *different* liturgy (not the Mass, one of the other sacraments) and the priest says “The Lord be with you,” what are you supposed to say? The old “And also with you” or the new “And with your spirit”?

Or what if you’re saying the Confetior in another service? Or how about using the Collect from Mass in the Liturgy of the Hours? Or taking Communion to an elderly person who suffers from dementia and is only used to the old translation?

Also, what should you do if a priest tells you in confession not to confess all your mortal sins? Does this...READ MORE

Filed under animal rights movement, communion, confession, consumer, consumerism, customer, economics, liturgy of the hours, mass, moral theology

Secret, Closed-Door Vatican Smackdown?

12/01/2011 Comments (19)

Back on November 10, well-respected Vaticanista Sandro Magister reported:

Precisely when the G20 summit in Cannes was coming to its weak and uncertain conclusion, on that same Friday, November 4 at the Vatican, a smaller summit convened in the secretariat of state was doing damage control on the latest of many moments of confusion in the Roman curia.

In the hot seat was the document on the global financial crisis released ten days earlier by the pontifical council for justice and peace. A document that had disturbed many, inside and outside of the Vatican.

The secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, complained that he had not known about it until the last moment. And precisely for...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, documents, economics, g-20, holy see, john thavis, magisterium, pontifical commission for justice and peace, sandro magister, secretariate of state

The Four Liturgists of the Apocalypse

11/27/2011 Comments (87)

The Register recently asked me to do a post on what I saw at Mass this Sunday, the first Sunday of Advent, the first Sunday using the new translation of the Roman Missal.

Happy to oblige! So here’s what happened . . .

I arrived at Mass a few minutes early and took my seat in the pew. The particular parish I was attending had not done a lot of prep work for the new translation.

In fact, I saw that the Roman Missal they had was still in its shiny, new shrinkwrap.

And behold, there were seven seals upon its shrinkwrap.

I heard the cantor proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the Missal and break its seals?”

And no one in the parish was able to open the Missal or to look...READ MORE

Filed under humor, liturgy, mass, roman missal, translation

Did Jesus Quote the Deuterocanonicals? Receiving the Holy Spirit in Acts. Should I Quit My Job?

11/26/2011 Comments (13)

You often hear that Jesus and the apostles quoted from the deuterocanonical books of the Bible—those that aren’t in the Protestant Old Testament. Did they? If not, what does the New Testament’s use of the Old Testament tell us about the canonicity of those books?

In Acts 8 Luke describes a situation where a group of people have been baptized, but he says that the Holy Spirit hasn’t fallen on them yet. If we receive the Holy Spirit in baptism, how can we explain this?

What if you work in a hospital that performs In Vitro Fertilization or other immoral procedures. If your own work is doesn’t involve those, do you still have to quit your job?

These are among the questions we explore in this...READ MORE

Filed under acts, apocrypha, charismatic, confirmation, deuterocanonicals, ethics, holy spirit, hospital, in vitro fertilization, ivf

New TV Program on 1st Female Pope?

11/23/2011 Comments (57)

A still from the movie "Pope Joan"

The other day a press release lands in my email inbox and blares:


The Incredible Legend of the Only Female Pope

Two-Part Television Miniseries Event Premieres Sunday and Monday, December 18-19, 2011 at 8pm ET and at 8pm PT

Oh, great. The “Pope Joan” thing again.

REELZCHANNEL? I’ve never heard of that before. And it’s no wonder with a name like REELZCHANNEL. What were their corporate branding people thinking? That Z for S substitution in the middle of two words slammed together is just painful to think about.

But back to the story . . .

(Albuquerque, NM) Tuesday, November 22, 2011—REELZCHANNEL—TV About Movies® today announced...READ MORE

Filed under anti-catholic, dan brown, film, history, legend, movie, movies, pope joan, television

How to Solve Moral Dilemmas (Plus: How to Recognize Hypocrisy)

11/21/2011 Comments (6)

There are many times in life where we’re confronted with moral dilemmas. It seems like all of our options are bad—even sinful. But are they really? What are we supposed to do in these situations? How can we solve the dilemma? 

For example, suppose your child is desperately sick and the only cure is one that was derived from unborn babies who were killed for medical research. Can you use the vaccine to save your child’s life? Does doing so mean you’re cooperating with the culture of death?

And if you use the cure, does that make you a moral hypocrite? How can we assess charges of hypocrisy?

These are among the questions we explore in this week’s episode of the Jimmy Akin Podcast!

Click Play...READ MORE

Filed under cooperation with evil, dilemmas, embryo, embryonic research, hypocrisy, hypocrites, moral theology, stem cells, televangelists

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About Jimmy Akin

Jimmy Akin
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Jimmy was born in Texas, grew up nominally Protestant, but at age 20 experienced a profound conversion to Christ. Planning on becoming a Protestant pastor or seminary professor, he started an intensive study of the Bible. But the more he immersed himself in Scripture the more he found to support the Catholic faith. Eventually, he entered the Catholic Church. His conversion story, "A Triumph and a Tragedy," is published in Surprised by Truth. Besides being an author, Jimmy is the Senior Apologist at Catholic Answers, a contributing editor to Catholic Answers Magazine, and a weekly guest on "Catholic Answers Live."