Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Restoration in Progress: Latin Mass Returning to St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia!

From Zenit:

"Summorum Pontificum" In the Seminary

Cardinal Rigali on Introducing Seminarians to the 1962 Missal

By Annamarie Adkins

PHILADELPHIA, MARCH 14, 2008 ( Since Benedict XVI has said that the Mass celebrated according to the 1962 Roman Missal promulgated by Blessed John XXIII should be available to those who prefer it, seminarians should be taught to say it, says Cardinal Justin Rigali.

The Pope clarified in his apostolic letter "Summorum Pontificum" that there are two forms of the liturgy in the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church: ordinary and extraordinary.

To learn what some bishops are doing to implement the document in seminaries, ZENIT spoke with Cardinal Rigali, archbishop of Philadelphia, about his plans to introduce seminarians at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary to the extraordinary form of the Mass.

Cardinal Rigali also suggested why priests already in active ministry should become familiar with the Missal of 1962.

Q: What practical steps are being taken to incorporate "Summorum Pontificum" into the life and curriculum of the seminary?

Cardinal Rigali: First there will be a lecture offered on the "motu proprio" that elucidates the theology underlying the 1962 missal so that the seminarians are afforded a clear understanding of the "motu proprio" and the Holy Father's pastoral concern for the faithful who have a deep love for the Tridentine liturgy.

Since nearly all of the seminarians at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary have grown up attending Mass according to the "Novus Ordo" -- Missal of Paul VI -- it is important to offer an exposition of the Mass according to the 1962 missal -- Missal of Blessed John XXIII.

Further, seminary course work in theology, liturgy and Church history will cover and expound upon the Holy Father's initiative. It will be helpful for them to see the continuity between the two expressions, but will also afford the opportunity to address the changes that took place in the liturgy following the Second Vatican Council.

Sometime in the spring semester, after the lecture, Holy Mass according to the extraordinary form will be celebrated once for the entire St. Charles Borromeo Seminary community. This will demonstrate to the seminarians the liturgically correct manner in which the extraordinary form of the Mass is to be celebrated.

Q: What about "Summorum Pontificum" has led you to support the incorporation of that document into the life of St. Charles Borromeo seminary? Are you foreseeing a greater demand for the traditional form of the Mass in the future?

Cardinal Rigali: The Holy Father has indicated that the Mass according to the extraordinary form as well as celebration of the sacraments should be available to the faithful when there is a genuine pastoral need.

Many of our clergy have never celebrated Mass or administered the sacraments according to the 1962 missal and the other liturgical texts. In order to provide for the pastoral needs, should they arise, the current seminarians should have the opportunity to be properly educated as to the rituals involved and the theology that underlies these forms.

At present I do not foresee a great demand for celebrations according to the extraordinary form of the Mass. In the Archdiocese of Philadelphia the requests we have received are very few. Most Catholics today find spiritual satisfaction in the Mass as celebrated using the Missal of Paul VI, and this remains the ordinary form of the celebration.

This being said, we are blessed to have two parishes in different areas of the archdiocese that celebrate Mass in the extraordinary form, who had already for some time been offering Mass with the Tridentine Missal by grant of the necessary indult. I am grateful that these parishes provide for the spiritual and pastoral needs of those faithful who prefer the extraordinary form.

Q: Some analysts of "Summorum Pontificum" have said that it is primarily directed at priests, and is a gift to them. What is your view?

Cardinal Rigali: The "motu proprio" is issued by the Holy Father for all Catholics.

With regard to priests, any statement from the Holy Father on the liturgy or any change in the liturgical forms or formula afford the priests an opportunity for thought and reflection on the mysteries they celebrate in the liturgy.

Many priests find in these opportunities a renewed sense of awe and appreciation for the liturgy and an opportunity for recommitment to celebrate these liturgies in a more reflective, reverent and respectful manner.

In this sense, "Summorum Pontificum" is a gift to all priests, because it encourages them, through the sacred liturgy, to draw all people into a deeper communion of holiness with the Lord.

Q: Seminaries are in the business of formation, particularly liturgical formation. What formative effect do you believe learning and celebrating the extraordinary form of the Mass will have upon seminarians?

Cardinal Rigali: Studying about and learning the Mass according to the 1962 Missal will afford the seminarians an opportunity to experience the continuity between the older and newer forms.

So much of our faith is based on continuity and tradition, handing on of the faith from one generation to the next. Sometimes the rituals change and develop but at the core they remain the same.

Benedict XVI stated in his letter to the bishops that accompanied the "motu proprio," "There is no contradiction between the two editions of the Roman Missal. In the history of the liturgy there is growth and progress, but no rupture. What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be of all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful. It behooves all of us to preserve the riches that have developed in the Church's faith and prayer, and to give them their proper place."

The liturgical training St. Charles Borromeo seminarians receive forms them in reverence and holiness, which in turn will serve the faithful to whom they will minister once they are ordained.

Q: Will saying Mass according to the Missal of Blessed John XXIII affect the way a priest says the "Novus Ordo" Mass?

Cardinal Rigali: Any priest who is unfamiliar with the extraordinary form, or who has not celebrated the liturgy according to this form for some time, will probably, and quite naturally, reflect on the manner in which he celebrates Mass according to the "Novus Ordo."

Such a reflection is positive because it cannot help but lead to a more reverent and worthy celebration of the liturgy.

Q: What can priests do to incorporate "Summorum Pontificum" into their own priestly ministry?

Cardinal Rigali: St. Charles Borromeo Seminary is offering a course for priests who wish to be educated and trained in the proper celebration of the Mass according to the Missal of Blessed John XXIII to ensure competence in the Latin language and the rubrics of the extraordinary form.

Prior to engaging a "practicum" experience, the theology behind the liturgy and the "motu proprio" will be studied. I have encouraged any priest who may wish to learn to celebrate this liturgy to seek such educational opportunities so that the liturgy may be celebrated in a prayerful and reverent manner.

Friday, March 14, 2008

More News From the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei

From the news Bulletin of the Holy See Press Office:

The Holy Father Benedict XVI named today Monsignor Camille Perl Vice-President of the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei", and has named the former Adjunct Secretary, Monsignor Mario Marini, to Perl's former position as Secretary of the same Commission.

The Definitive Text of Motu Proprio Published in Acta Apostolica Sedis

From Rorate Caeli:

Friday, March 14, 2008

Definitive text of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum published

Gianni Cardinale reports in today's issue of the semi-official daily of the Italian Episcopal Conference, Avvenire (transcript), that the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum has been finally published in the official gazette of the Holy See, the Acta Apostolicae Sedis (dated September 7, 2007, and including the official acts of the preceding months), with the following changes:

  • A subtitle was given to the motu proprio: «De usu extraordinario antiquae formae Ritus Romani» ("On the extraordinary use of the ancient form of the Roman Rite");

  • In article 1, the word «conditiones» was replaced with the more correct form «condiciones», with no change in meaning ("conditions");

  • In article 3, the word «plerumque» was replaced with «habitualiter» (our translation remains "habitually");

  • In article 5, § 1, «continenter» was replaced with «stabiliter», avoiding the notion that the group of faithful would have to be continuous in a certain parish - it only has to exist in a stable, but not necessarily in a permanent and continuous fashion;

  • In article 7, «non potest» ("cannot")was replaced with «non vult» ("does not want"): «Art. 7 If a group of lay faithful, as mentioned in art. 5 § 1, has not obtained satisfaction to their requests from the pastor, they should inform the diocesan bishop. The bishop is strongly requested to satisfy their wishes. If he does not want to arrange for such celebration to take place, the matter should be referred to the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei”.»

The Institute of Christ the King Needs Your Help

Dear Bloggers:
There is no better way to aid the Catholic restoration than to support those groups and organizations which are already laboring to preserve sacred tradition. Many of you are familiar with the Institute of Christ the King, Sovereign Priest. If you are not, please take a moment to view their website The Institute has many projects as part of its vast apostolate, but one of the most important projects is the restoration of the Shrine of Christ the King in Chicago. "Please Donate to this Worthy Project and Be a Part of History. Initial PhaseTower, roof, tuck pointing, window frames, foundations $1,300,000 est. Construction Phase (current)Internal construction work, scaffolding, HVAC and electrical wiring, ceiling, floor $2,950,000 est. Final PhasePainting, plaster repair, altars, artwork, statuary, pews
$2,500,000 est. Total Estimated Cost: $6,750,000. Work on the interior will continue in stages as funds allow. Therefore, your generous support is needed. Please consider a generous, tax-deductible donation to this most worthy project of rehabilitating a magnificent architectural edifice in Chicago. Donors will receive a receipt of payment for tax purposes. Thank you most graciously."
You can donate securely online with a Visa or MasterCard.

Donations for the building fund are gratefully received at the Shrine's neighboring office building in person or by mail, or can be taken over the phone.
ATTN: Cristina Borges, Development Director
Address: Shrine of Christ the King 6415 S. Woodlawn AvenueChicago, Illinois 60637-3817
Phone: (773) 363-7409
Fax: (773) 363-7409
May God Bless and Reward Your Generosity!
Instauratio Catholica

Feast of the Seven Sorrows of Our Lady

Dolores gloriosae recolentes Virginis Dominum pro nobis passum, Venite, adoremus.

Sancta Mater, istud agas,
Crucifixi fige plagas,
Cordi me valide,
Tui nati vulnerati,
Tam dignati pro me pati,
Poenas mecum divide.
Fac me tecum pie flere,
Crucifixo condolere,
Donec ego vixero.
Juxta crucem tecum stare,
Et me tibi sociare,
In planctu desidero.


Thursday, March 13, 2008

A Note to Newcomers...

Just a small note to newcomers. It is the policy of Instauratio Catholica not to post comments from anonymous sources. If you want to be heard, let us know who you are. If you are not comfortable with this policy please email Instauratio at Tell us that you want to be anonymous or that you wish your comments to be kept anonymous.

Parents Still Have a Right to Homeschool

As a follow-up to an earlier post, please check out the latest from California's State Superintendent of Public Instruction. (Editor's comments in red)

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell announced today that the California Department of Education has completed a legal review of the February 28 California Court of Appeal ruling regarding homeschooling. O’Connell issued the following statement:

“I have reviewed this case, and I want to assure parents that chose to homeschool that California Department of Education policy will not change in any way as a result of this ruling. Parents still have the right to homeschool in our state. (While our modern understanding deems a "right" as a good and as something freely given, it nevertheless implies something that could be taken away. The Nineteenth Amendment gave women the right to vote, yet another amendment could conceivably take that away. The Constitution grants concessions for man's right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, yet the history of our country is full of times when those "rights" were supplanted to the "rights" of the state. While Mr. O'Connell should be applauded for clarifying what the ruling is or is not, now is not a time to sit back as if everything is going to be ok.)

“Every child in our state has a legal right to get an education,(do children have a legal right not to get an education in California?) and I want every child to get an education that will prepare them for success in college and the world of work in the challenging global economy.

“As the head of California’s public school system, I hope that every parent would want to send their children to public school. However, traditional public schools may not be the best fit for every student. Within the public school system there are a range of options available. (This is called the "good cop" approach) Students can take independent study classes, attend a charter school, or participate in non-classroom-based programs. But some parents choose to send their children to private schools or to homeschool, and I respect that right.

“I admire the dedication of parents who commit to oversee their children’s education through homeschooling. (Here comes the "bad cop" approach) But, no matter what educational program a student participates in, it is critical (what exactly does this mean?) that the program prepares them for future success in the global economy. (Who determines what prepares children for future success in the global economy?) I urge any parent who is considering or involved in homeschooling their children to take advantage of resources and support available through their county or district offices of education.”(The reason, Mr. O'Connell, that parents are homeschooling their children is precisely because they cannot or do not want to utilize any resources the state offers their children in education!)

Never trust individuals who admit that they have anything to do with the public school system, especially in California! -Instauratio Catholica

Update from HSLDA Regarding the Recent Court of Appeals Ruling in California

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:
The following is an update on the developing situation in California from Michael Farris, Chairman, Home School Legal Defense Association.
State Superintendent Supports Homeschooling
On Tuesday, March 11, Jack O'Connell, California Superintendent of Public Instruction, announced that he believed that homeschooling is still legal in California. O'Connell's statement is welcome news. To read it visit . Some might conclude that the statement ends the controversy. However, it is not the end of the matter; it is just an important step along the way.
His clarifying statement was probably the result of the massive public outcry against the February 28 decision of the California Court of Appeal which effectively ruled that homeschooling is illegal in California unless conducted by a credentialed teacher and that parents have no constitutional right to homeschool.
O'Connell's statement is helpful, but the courts will undoubtedly take the position that their determination of the meaning of state law is final even though they should give serious deference to the position of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.
It should also be remembered that local school districts make the decision about when to initiate prosecutions for truancy, and they are not officially controlled by the state agency on these matters.
However, many local officials may be influenced by O'Connell's positive statement.
Did the February 28 Ruling Intend to Affect All Homeschooling Families?
Some have contended that the decision of the Court of Appeal in In Re Rachel L. only affects that particular family. While a court order can only direct one family to stop homeschooling, the case clearly sets a legal precedent that will be binding against all other families if this case is not reversed. (Technically, the decision is binding only in the Second District which consists of Los Angeles, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura counties. However, other appellate districts will normally treat it as persuasive precedent. If ratified by the Supreme Court of California, it formally binds all California
There are two basic issues in the case:
1. Does state law allow parents to homeschool without a state teaching credential?
2. If not, is this law unconstitutional?
Below are three short quotations from the case which give the clear
"It is clear to us that enrollment and attendance in a public full-time day school is required by California law for minor children unless (1) the child is enrolled in a private full-time day school and actually attends that private school, (2) the child is tutored by a person holding a valid state teaching credential for the grade being taught."
"California courts have held that under provisions in the Education Code, parents do not have a constitutional right to school their children in their own home."
"We agree with the Shinn court's statement that 'the educational program of the State of California was designed to promote the general welfare of all the people and was not designed to accommodate the personal ideas of any individual in the field of education."
In the first quote the court makes it clear that it believes that parents may not operate their own private schools. In the second they deny that a parent has a constitutional right to homeschool, and in the third they concur that California law does not accommodate parents pursuing their own education program for their children.
As you can see, the decision is categorical and was not written to be limited to just the facts of this case.
Due to the scope of the court decision, HSLDA is pleased to be working with other self-identified pro-homeschooling organizations, including Christian Home Educators Association of California (CHEA), Homeschool Association of California (HSC), California Homeschool Network (CHN), and Family Protection Ministries (FPM) in order to oppose this ruling.
We are all in this one together.

What is HSLDA's Immediate Plan of Action?
We plan to:
1. Support the family's petition for review to the California Supreme Court.
2. File an amicus brief on behalf of all our members, and others we represent, if the California Supreme Court accepts the case for review.

What Can California Homeschoolers Expect in the Short Run?
We believe that it is highly unlikely that local officials will begin proceedings against homeschool families until this present case is resolved.
This ruling has obviously caused great concern among California homeschoolers. We want to remind all California homeschoolers that you should stay calm in the face of this decision. Please continue to operate your homeschool, because we believe that our interpretation of the law is correct and will ultimately prevail in the court system.
We must remain vigilant, however. If you are a member of HSLDA, and you are contacted by a school district, please contact HSLDA immediately.

Long-Range Solution

On another front, later today I am meeting with a half-dozen congressmen to plan a strategy to push for a constitutional amendment on parental rights. We have been receiving numerous calls from members of Congress wanting to respond to this decision. See for more information.

Final Thoughts/Conclusion
The way the homeschool law has worked in California for the past two decades has been successful for all homeschoolers. If we can keep what we have today that would be a significant victory for homeschool freedom.
We also understand that the current situation has caused much stress for California homeschool families. We are praying, and we encourage you to pray, that the threat we face will be swiftly removed and that homeschool freedom in California will be preserved.
We have seen God's hand of protection on the homeschooling movement for the 25 years we have been working together for this cause. There is no reason to begin to doubt God now.

Michael Farris
Chairman, Home School Legal Defense Association

Practical Distributism: The Do's and Dont's of Catholic Living

1. Join or start a neighborhood association.
2. Bank with a credit union.
3. Patronize locally owned stores, microenterprises, co-operatives, and worker owned businesses.
4. Grow some of your own food.
5. Eat with the season.
6. Patronize a farmers' market, or purchase food directly from farmers/producers.
7. Form or join a housing cooperative.
8. Build a meeting hall.
9. Support local currencies.
10. Avoid corporation-debt (borrow from credit unions).
11. Home school.
12. Support a community garden.
13. Avoid commodified entertainment in favor of personalist entertainment such as local baseball, picnics, dances, social events, quilting bees, fairs, etc.
14. Support live music by listening and by making your own music.
15. Create your own job, or join with others to create a cooperative or worker owned business.
16. Organize an employee association at your work.
17. Start moving towards alternative, non-centrally generated power.
18. Write letters to the editors of secular and religious publications.
19. Write letters to politicians.
20. Volunteer at a homeless shelter.
21. Live in a Catholic Worker house. (Or start one.)
22. Invite a poor family to move in with you.
23. Reuse, recycle, reduce. Waste not, want not.
24. Spend your money wisely, prudently, and intentionally.
25. Adopt children.
26. Sponsor children and the elderly in the overseas missions.
27. Give food to a food bank or St. Vincent de Paul circle, or other program that feeds the poor.
28. Donate generously and sacrificially to the Catholic Campaign for Human Development and Operation Rice Bowl of Catholic Relief Services.
29. Shop at flea markets, swap meets, and garage sales.
30. Join a food co-op.
31.Keep extra food on hand (typically, 2-4 months, this supports frugal shopping and household management)
32. Read the newspaper intentionally -- with open eyes, ears, spirit, mind.
33. Start a justice and peace commission at your church, or join an existing one.
34. Visit those in prison and their families.34. Plant trees.
35. Talk about distributism, justice, and peace (a lot).
36. Learn about justice and peace. Study and pray over (lectio divina) the "social justice canon"of magisterial teachings.
37. Get involved with a mentoring program such as Big Brothers/Sisters, or an after school tutoring program (or start one).
38. Teach people to read.
39. Register voters.
40. Teach English as a second language.
41. Pick up trash in public places and dispose of it properly.
42. Kill your TV, or at least, grievously wound it (apologies for the violent language). If you have a TV, don't watch it -- study it.
43. Teach logic and rhetoric and also (while you're at it) learn how to understand, interpret, and mediate modern mass communications, especially the nature and identification and purpose of propaganda, and then tell everyone everywhere what you have learned and how you learned it.
44. Ignore most advertising, or watch it "intentionally" for what it tells us about our communities. Teach your children to ignore most advertising. Encourage them to teach their friends to ignore most advertising.
45. Practice the theological virtues (faith, hope, love), the cardinal virtues (prudence, justice, fortitude, temperance), and the civic virtues (self-discipline, respect, cooperation, responsibility, honesty, motivation, friendship, courage, non-violence, work) so you eventually will get good at them. (Practice makes perfect. If you can't do perfect, do good. Then do better.)
46. Volunteer at a school, library, hospital, or agency/apostolate in service to the poor.
47. Tithe your time and your money (generously and sacrificially).
48. Give somebody without a car a ride.
49. Start a transportation co-operative (ride sharing, car pooling, kid picking up/delivering, etc.)50. Avoid sweatshop clothing and products.
51. Pray the Rosary for economic justice and social peace and harmony.
52. Go to mass regularly and devoutly participate, receiving the Body and Blood of our Savior as spiritual sustenance, hearing the Real Presence of Christ in the proclamation of the Word, and fellow shipping with the Real Presence of Christ in the assembly gathered in that place.
53. Become a catechist of economic justice (distributism) and social peace and harmony.
54. Pray and publicly witness for life, beauty, and human dignity; offer practical and safe alternatives to those who feel they have no choice but to violate human life and dignity. Speak for those who have no voice or power. Respect life from the moment of conception to the time of natural death.
55. Distribute literature and information about economic justice and social peace and harmony.
56. Pray with lectio divina over the Holy Scriptures relating to justice and peace.
57. Practice kindness everywhere.
58. Make your own bread and teach others how to do this. Build an outdoor bread oven as a community project.
59. Move to a poor or working class neighborhood.
60. Give books to a library.
61. Donate stuff to thrift stores.
62. Make intelligent use of pre-evangelistic techniques and materials, i.e. advertising, bumper stickers, tracts, prayer cards, greeting cards, stickers, etc.)
63. Make friends with poor people; be a good neighbor to them.
64. Adopt voluntary poverty as a lifestyle. Seek a certain indifference about material things and a humble gratefulness for the bounty of Creation.
65. Help students apply for college/job training and help them navigate the financial aid process.
66. Help students with their homework. Provide educational opportunities.
67. Give fish as necessary, but also teach fishing. Help provide fishing gear and tackle, and build fish ponds.
68. Give a pregnant unmarried mother a home in your own home. Treat her as though she was your own daughter.
69. Avoid economic reductionism.
70. Support political initiatives that protect a place for the economic activity of poor people, such as allowing vending/food sales at highway rest stops, public stadium parking lots, sidewalks, lawns of public buildings, also deregulation of personal transportation for hire (so that poor people can operate cabs, jitneys and buses); home businesses, food delivery, garment-making, crafts, and other microenterprise endeavors. Necessary reforms include regulatory/zoning/tax relief, loan funds/access to credit, an end to urban policies that destroy poor and working class neighborhoods, hiring people who live in poor neighborhoods to work on community development initiatives in their neighborhoods.
71. Support affordable housing: oppose redevelopment and tax increment financing schemes, support Single Room Occupancy hotels, enact affordable housing building codes that allow for alternative (and less expensive) construction methods such as straw bale, rammed earth, COB, oppose fake privatization schemes that benefit corporate interests and destroy housing for the poor.
72. Produce a public access cable show or a video on economic justice and peace.
73. Give away cassette tapes on economic justice and social peace issues.
74. Don't give your kids toy guns.
75. Learn, practice, and teach non-violent conflict resolution alternatives.
76. Start a Catholic social justice publication, e-zine, list-serv, webzine, or website.
77. Tear up your credit and debit cards.
78. Learn to sew and teach others.
79. Practice a regular discipline of fasting and abstinence.
80. Teach people how to cook tasty, frugal, and nutritious meals. Prepare such food for your family and share it with others.
81. Be prepared for emergencies.
82. Avoid the television news except during emergencies.
83. Eat with your neighbors, regularly. Pot luck dinners provide immediate instant gratification for practicing distributism.
84. Compost.
85. Don't waste energy.
86. Support ballot access for minor parties.
87. Take in stray cats and dogs.
88. Join an intentional distributist community. (Or start one.)
89. Encourage your catechists, priests, and bishops to provide proper formation in social justice.
90. Create yard and neighborhood shrines.
91. Speak at government meetings.
92. Listen to and learn from elders. If you are an elder, share your wisdom and experience.
93. Call in to talk radio programs and discuss issues from the perspective of justice and peace.
94. Smile at people you meet and leave them with a blessing of peace.
95. Drive kindly.
96. Oppose corporate welfare.
97. Support debt forgiveness for poor countries.
98. Welcome legal and illegal immigrants with hospitality.
99. Include global concerns in your participation in justice and peace.
100. Help the Church be just in its actions and relationships, and to make its resources available to support distributive initiatives. E.g., encourage parishes and dioceses to purchase from microenterprises, to make church buildings available for food banks and shelters, and church properties available for community gardens. Encourage composting at all church properties. Advocate that dioceses and parishes make capital investments in distributism, such as building community canning kitchens.
101. Breast feed your babies.
102. Use cloth diapers.
From The ChesterBelloc Mandate. Original version of article published in Just Peace.

More from the Religion of Peace-RIP Archbishop Rahho

Report: Bishop Kidnapped in Iraq Dead
52 minutes ago
ROME (AP) — A Chaldean Catholic archbishop kidnapped in Iraq last month has been found dead, the news agency of Italian bishops' conference reported on Thursday.
The SIR news agency says Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho was found dead near the Iraqi city of Mosul, where he had been abducted.
"Monsignor Rahho is dead. We have found him lifeless near Mosul," the agency quoted the auxiliary bishop of Baghdad, Monsignor Shlemon Warduni, as saying. "The kidnappers had buried him."
Rahho was kidnapped on Feb. 29 soon after he left Mass in Mosul. Three people who had been with him were killed by the kidnappers. Pope Benedict XVI immediately called for his release and said the abduction was an "abominable" act.
The Chaldean church is an Eastern-rite denomination that recognizes the authority of the pope.

New Grand Master of Sovereign Military Order of Malta Installed-Deo Gratias!

Fra' Matthew Festing, 58, an Englishman, becomes the 79th Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta, elected this morning by the Council Complete of State (the Order’s electoral body). In accepting the role, the new Grand Master swore his Oath before the Cardinal Patronus of the Order, Cardinal Pio Laghi, and the electoral body. He succeeds Fra’ Andrew Bertie, 78th Grand Master (1988-2008), who died on 7 February. The new Grand Master affirms his resolve to continue the great work carried out by his predecessor. Fra’ Matthew comes with a wide range of experience in Order affairs. He has been the Grand Prior of England since the Priory’s re-establishment in 1993, restored after an abeyance of 450 years. In this capacity, he has led missions of humanitarian aid to Kosovo, Serbia and Croatia after the recent disturbances in those countries, and with a large delegation from Britain he attends the Order’s annual pilgrimage to Lourdes with handicapped pilgrims. Educated at Ampleforth and St.John’s College Cambridge, where he read history, Fra' Matthew, an art expert, has for most of his professional life worked at an international art auction house. As a child he lived in Egypt and Singapore, where his father, Field Marshal Sir Francis Festing, Chief of the Imperial General Staff, had earlier postings. His mother was a member of the recusant Riddells of Swinburne Castle who suffered for their faith in penal times. He is also descended from Sir Adrian Fortescue, a knight of Malta, who was martyred in 1539. Fra' Matthew served in the Grenadier Guards and holds the rank of colonel in the Territorial Army. He was appointed OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) by the Queen and has served as her Deputy Lieutenant in the county of Northumberland for a number of years. In 1977 Fra' Matthew became a member of the Order of Malta, taking solemn religious vows in 1991. As well as his passion for the decorative arts and for history, for which his encyclopaedic knowledge of the history of the Order is legendary, as is his very British sense of humour, Fra' Matthew spends any free time possible in his beloved Northumberland countryside.