VOL. 5, NO. 5
November/December 2002

Dear Readers:

In this issue of the Defender we have included a letter written by the Most Reverend Sean P. O’Malley, O.F.M. Cap, the bishop of the Diocese of Palm Beach, Florida. He states that he will be in Washington, D.C. this year, as he has for the past thirty years, to join in Mass at the National Shrine and to participate in the March for Life. In his letter he praises the actions of the thousands of young people who annually make this pilgrimage. He is a priest who stands up to be counted where issues of life are concerned. His letter should inspire all of us, as our Holy Father has instructed, to place the “Right to Life” above all other considerations of society.

Jim Fritz has chosen Brother Bartolo Longo for his article on modern day saints. His life story makes very interesting reading, as we follow him through his life of rebellious behavior, hostility toward the Church, association with occultists, and finally mental depression, before his reunion with the Church and his subsequent evangelization of the Pompeii valley residents using the power of the Rosary. John Paul II mentioned Blessed Bartolo in his recent letter.

A commentary by John Burke decries the condition of moral decay which our society, our nation, and in some cases, our Church is suffering today. This decay is the result of our turning away from God, and the cure has to be returning to the Love of God and allowing Him to fill our lives. He also cites the many apparitions of our Blessed Mother, where she asks us to return to God. She warns us of the chastisements facing us if her suggestions are not followed. We have witnessed the truth of her admonitions when they are ignored.

We have another commentary on the new mysteries of the Holy Rosary known as mysterii lucis, which translates into the Luminous Mysteries, or the Mysteries of Light. The new mysteries, covering the period of ministry in the life of our Lord Jesus Christ, come between the Joyful Mysteries and the Sorrowful Mysteries. The article gives a small history of the Rosary, and the changes to which it has been subjected over past centuries. Some sources denounced the Pope for tampering with a long observed tradition, but actually this is not Apostolic tradition and can be legitimately changed. These new Mysteries of Light touch upon very important mileposts in the life of Our Lord, from His baptism by John until He instituted the Holy Eucharist at the Last Supper.

Our catechetics subject in this issue has been written about in previous issues, but in view of what we observe in so many Churches, it warrants additional mention. If Catholics accepted completely what our Holy Mother Church teaches concerning the Holy Eucharist being the actual Body and Blood of Jesus Christ there would be no need for us to mention it again. However, this is not the case in so many parts of our Church. In some case people completely ignore Church instructions on how to act when in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. No Church Council ever addressed the question before the Council of Trent in the sixteenth century, but only because it had never been questioned as strongly as it was by the Protestant Reformation, when it was denied. Our Church has issued rubrics instructing us on how to act, and what postures to assume when in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, but many people ignore these. Hopefully it is only a sign of disobedience, and not a denial of Magisterial teaching.

Fred Paschall

CC Most Reverend Bishop Bernard W. Schmitt
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