Silent Prayer: by
Greetings Brothers and Sisters,
Father Elias invited me to share with you my experiences
and insights in how to use silent prayer to better listen to the voice
of God within ourselves. Most commonly, when we think of prayer what comes
immediately to our minds are the prayers that we either say in the various
liturgies or in the prayers where we petition God to help us in some manner.
But there is also another type of prayer.
This is prayer where we open our hearts and minds and begin to listen
to what God is trying to tell us. By listening to this voice, we can come
to understand and actually live out what God wants us to do with our lives.
Rather than using words, we rely on silence to enter a newer deeper relationship
and ultimate Communion with God. Our prayer is surrounded by silence rather
than with all the noise we constantly hear throughout our busy days. One
way to get started with this type of contemplative prayer is to use the
techniques associated with Lectio Divina.
is a slow, deliberate, and contemplative reading and praying of the
We can be most effective with this type of prayer if we set aside
a specific time a n d p la c e in our busy lives to pray. By doing
this we can begin to discover a new spiritual rhythm to our day. Most
of us encounter feelings of frustration throughout our daily lives.
We all have days filled with the natural problems associated with
our families and work that can result in anxiety, depression, or feelings
By setting aside time in a special quiet manner through Lectio Devina
we can discover in our daily lives a new special underlying rhythm.
This rhythm can help us to establish a new relationship with God our
Father and enable us to enter a newer fresher relationship with His
Son, Jesus Christ.
We begin to open ourselves to receive the many graces given so freely
by God. By being surrounded in silence we can tune out the distractions
around us and focus on God in a new profound manner.
By internalizing what we read in the Scriptures we gradually become
much more attuned to what the Scriptures are calling each of us to
do with our lives. We begin to focus less on our own individuality
and begin to think and act in Communion with God and our neighbors.
In silence we are able to bring our concerns, our relationships, our
hopes, and our aspirations and intertwine them with the beautiful
message of the Scriptures in our mediations. We can begin to unify
our body and our soul to become receptive to hearing and then living
out the voice of God.
In future Bulletins I will explain in more details the actual techniques
of Lectio Divina that I use. Today, I just wanted to share with you
my overview of praying in silence.
Saint Rocco Church: Music Director, Theresa
Bissex. She will officially start her position in November, but she will
be helping out in the coming weeks as her schedule permits. We are all
excited and amazed that such an excellent candidate should have come to
us so quickly as I had feared it might have taken a long time to find
someone. Theresa brings a range of expertise as organist, choir director
Kelsey McManus. arrived a little over a month ago to
work with us in serving God in Glen Cove. To this end, I am pleased to
announce that she is working at All Saints and in our parishes as the
new "Promoter of Catholic Life".
This new pastoral ministry encompasses a wide scope of duties at All Saints
as well as in Saint Rocco and Saint Patrick.
In this role, she will work to foster Catholic Life in its various aspects
of faith formation for adults and children, young adult ministry and respect
Kelsey has much to offer and I hope that you will benefit from her faithful
service to God and our Catholic community. Kelsey grew up in Fairfax,
VA with her parents, two brothers and a sister and belonged to Holy Spirit
Catholic Church (my first assignment - when I had less grey hair!).
Kelsey earned a Bachelors of Science (in Science Business) from the University
of Notre Dame, where she also played in the Notre Dame drumline. She has
played percussion since fourth grade, especially enjoying the marimba.
Kelsey enjoys working with Catholic teens in retreats, service projects
and weekly activities. She is passionate about promoting respect for human
life in all stages. In her spare time, she reads, hikes, travels, plays
trivia and loves spending time with family and friends. God has indeed
blessed us with a talented young woman who will be sharing her many gifts
with our parishes and school.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ. I want to share Bishop Murphy’s recent
article, “When a Catholic Votes” with you. I hope you will find it as valuable
as I have. God bless, Father Elias.
Catholic social teaching is a treasure for us Catholics. From Leo XIII
in 1891 through St. John Paul II, Benedict and Francis, the Church has
developed principles based on Scripture, the Church’s experience and right
reason that we are called to apply into the world as our way of contributing
to the good of the communities we live in. My inspiration in this column
comes from Pope Benedict XVI, in two of his letters: God is Love (Deus
Caritas Est, 12/25/05) and Charity in Truth (Caritas In Veritate, 6/29/09).
With these two letters, Pope Benedict took the principles of Catholic
social teaching and infused them with the profound and beautiful truth
that the God who created us in his image and in love, sent his Son to
redeem us and is present to us in all our daily living, in the choices
we make and the way we interact with one another. Thus God is actively
present in our application of these principles and we act guided by a
loving God who wants us to build up a world that more and more shines
forth as a world redeemed by Jesus Christ. Faith. Love and ethics are
interwoven as a single entity …
Love of neighbor is thus shown to be possible
in the way proclaimed in the Bible, a freely bestowed experience of love
from within to be shared with others (Deus Caritas Est) …
This is a force
that builds community, it brings all people together without imposing
barriers or limits, called into being with the God who is love. (Caritas
in Veritate) Within this perspective of God and God’s love, we are called
to live the truth in charity and apply the principles of Catholic social
teaching to a very concrete act: FOR WHOM SHALL I VOTE IN THE COMING ELECTIONS?
To that end, I want to offer two couplets, a few examples and a conclusion
inspired by Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus
FIRST COUPLET: The Human Person and the Common Good
These go together. The human person has dignity because every person is created in God’s image and
by our very being we are social,
born to live in society that respects every person’s dignity. This includes human rights and human
responsibilities. But note the source: our dig- nity and unique value are that we humans alone are
created by God in his image. Thus, we are intrinsically social for the same reason: God, who in his
very Godhead is communal - Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Our life in society mirrors the community
of love of the triune God. Therefore, we have rights because we are human — not because we are male
or female - regardless of our background, our sexual orientation or any other individualistic
When St. Teresa of Calcutta spoke at Harvard, she reminded her audience, and us, that a society
that destroys its own children in the womb is bent on its own destruction. All human life deserves
reverence and protection. Human life is the one created reality that images God. Thus, every human
being has human dignity, human rights and responsibilities, because they are God’s highest
expression of life. Because human life is not individualistic, but social and communal, we can
achieve fulfillment in this life only in a social and communitarian way of living. That is the
common good. We need healthy societies. The first and fundamental one is the family, the only truly
natural society, without which no other society can flourish. Hence this couplet reminds us that
when we vote, we vote pro-family. When we vote, we also have to vote to promote the common good.
Our rights and responsibilities are exercised in relation to others. The common good recognizes
that our own legitimate desires and aims must not ever be at the expense of the common good of all.
This is a responsibility for all of us, according to our capacity to further the good of the person
and the good of society, spiritually as materially. The opposite is going on in our society today.
Individuals claim, as their Individual “rights,” false values that are, in truth, selfinvented
privileges. They insist that their privileges are seen as absolutes. The common good of society is
by and large ignored. When you lose the sense of responsibility for the common good, you are left
with a cacophony of voices, each looking out for itself at the expense of the whole. If they are
rights, they must be in harmony with God and inhere to all as humans, not be- cause someone feels
aggrieved or some group wants special privileges.
SECOND COUPLET: Subsidiarity and Solidarity
The first protects our local family and our organization of local social, economic and civil life.
We are free to join together for the good
of the person, the family and our own shared interests. Groups that share common goals and
interests should be left to govern themselves and to achieve their own legitimate goals, so long as
they do not do so at the expense of the common good of all. Solidarity is the recognition that, as
human beings, social persons, in need of one another, we build the structures that guarantee that
persons and smaller groups are protected from exploitation. Solidarity is based on our common
humanity and the political and civic groups we need to guarantee the good of all. It is what gov-
ernment does when the challenges are bigger than we could possibly handle locally. It mirrors our
common humanity and serves that common good. At the same time, subsidiarity is so related to
solidarity that they exist in a healthy tension. Solidarity guarantees that we do not take our
football and go home. Subsidiarity guarantees that the power of the state or other type of force
does not take our football away from us and regu- late every aspect of our lives, private and
public. This is exactly what is wrong with our American society today. Let me give a few examples.
LABOR UNIONS The right to organize to pursue the good ends of just wages, fair labor laws, good
working conditions and a family income are all proper for this important intermediate and powerful
force in society. Yet that does not mean that labor unions can pursue their own goals at the
expense of other legitimate groups. And when unions decided that they would become part of one
party, they lose their inner connection to the common good and become captive to the political
party through which they want to exercise their power. The common good is lost sight of, and they
have sold their legitimate goals to political power.
UNIVERSITIES - Universities play a very important role in our society.
But what has happened? Once they accept any and every handout the government
offers them, then they risk losing their own legitimate goal of seeking
truth. They become pawns of the government world. They get hooked. They
raise their tuition rates. They opt for whatever the government wants
to shell out. Then parents and kids are fooled into thinking that student
loans can go on and on; they will not come back to bite them because they
are not told that universities are now hostages to govern- ment regulations.
Truth is compromised. The universities are compromised into becoming “politically
correct,” insisting that their students be the same.
WHAT IS HAPPENING? Society starts to split into pressure groups. The more
powerful use their power to advance themselves at the expense of the rest.
Think of “Occupy Wall Street”. That kind of crass pressure of street politics
is destructive of serious dialogue because its aim is to destroy the enemy,
not to advance common good or solidarity. Another example was the embarrassing
spectacle of the sit-down in the Congress last spring. A favorite tool
of this is the vocabulary of victimization. Destructive and disruptive
actions are justified because of claimed past or present exploitation.
Thus, such actions are justified to gain control, while, at the same time,
denying any voice to another point of view. Society is wrong. So the pressure
groups have the right to whatever they want. These are the very tactics
Lenin used in 1917 to steal the revolution from the socialists. This is
bolshevism. Bernard Lonergan rightly called this the spiral of decline.
An unholy alliance of special interest factions with wealthy donors and
politicians whom they have bought to advance this agenda make a very potent
force for the bad. And this will continue. Or will it? The spiral of decline
can be reversed. However, it is not easy, because the new elites have
a lot to lose if we restore a society based on human dignity, common good,
subsidiarity and solidarity — in short, civic and social harmony and peace.
So I come to my conclusion. This will continue until enough people get
sick and tired of it. Here you come in. Will you together stand up and
insist on honesty, integrity and truth?
MY EXAMPLES ARE REAL! The education tax credit bill benefits all children
in public as well as private, Catholic and Jew- ish schools. However,
the teachers’ union in this state has the power to block it — and does.
I care as much for public schools on Long Island as I do our own schools,
because our children are in them. They are true schools that guarantee
our future. Simple justice calls for the education tax credit bill to
be passed. Yet Catholic bishops and laity are treated as offenders in
the halls of Al- bany; and even at times are subject to subtle threats.
As currently presented, the Markey-Hoylman bill regarding protection of
minors who have been abused is an unjust bill that targets the Catholic
Church, but exempts public institutions like the schools in the city where
there has been more than a few instances of this horrible and disgusting
crime. Yet will the speaker allow debate on the Cusick-Lanza bill, which
extends the statute of limitations and offers protections to children
and training for adults that the Catholic Church has been using these
past 12 years?
BUT, above all and over all, the no. 1 issue that is more fundamental and crucial than any other is
abortion - the direct taking of innocent life, which is financed by government funds to Planned
Parenthood. That organization is the essential tool of the hidden,
left-wing billionaires who want to undermine our society. Support of abortion by a candidate for
public office, some of whom are Catholics, even if they use the phony “personally opposed but”
line, is reason sufficient unto itself to disqualify any and every such candidate from receiving
our vote Let me close with what Carl Anderson, a great American and one of the leading lay Catholic
voices in our country, said at the Supreme Convention of the Knights of Columbus in Toronto in
August: “Abortion is not just an- other political issue, but in reality a legal regime that has
resulted in more than 40 million deaths. What political issue could outweigh this human
devastation? Abortion is different. Abortion is the killing of the innocent on a massive scale. We
need to end the political manipulation of Catholics by abortion advocates. It is time to end the
entanglement of Catholic people with abortion killing. It is time to stop creating excuses for
voting for pro-abortion politicians.” Dear friends, we have to begin to reverse the spiral of
decline in our society. We have truth and virtue on our side. We need to become the purveyors of
that truth and that virtue until our country, our nation, our society are all
ready to embrace truth not falsehood; good not evil; life, not death.
TWENTY-NINTH SUNDAY IN ORDINAY TIME
Last week I wrote about the tremendous success of the evangelization of
Africa. We see the future importance of the Church in Africa for the whole
Church in leaders such the great Cardinal Sarah of Guinea, Pope Francis'
Prefect for the Congregation of Divine Worship and Sacrament. Cardinal
Sarah has just published a new book in French – La Force du Silence –
Contre La Dictature Du Bruit (The Strength of Silence - Against the Dictatorship
of Noise) - which calls on all Christians to rediscover the primacy of
the contemplative and mystical dimensions of our faith especially through
the appreciation of silence.
In a recent interview in Le Nef (The Nave), Cardinal Sarah explains the fundamental reason for
writing this new book: “ 'God’s first lan- guage is silence.' In commenting on this beautiful,
rich insight of Saint John of the Cross, Thomas Keating, in his work, Invitation to Love, writes:
'Everything else is a poor translation. In order to understand this language, we must learn to be
silent and to rest in God.' ”
Imagine my delight and surprise to see Cardinal Sarah quoting Father Thomas
Keating, the Trappist monk who set forth the practice of Centering Prayer
more than forty years ago. For a long time and in some quarters, Centering
Prayer has been held in suspicion as if it were not a proper Catholic
way to pray. But with one citation from the Pre- fect of Divine Worship
and Sacraments, we see a beautiful new synthesis between those who love
and appreciate the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite and Centering
Prayer as a way to encourage and pre- pare for contemplative prayer. Admittedly,
what I am claiming here is an extrapolation from the Cardinal's comments,
but I think it is war- ranted inasmuch as I have walked on a similar path
these last few years, growing in love for both Centering Prayer and the
Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.
Indeed, only two weeks ago I delivered a presentation on the mutual enrichment of the two forms
of the Roman Rite in our parish Bible Study in the light of the last nine years of their
coexistence. As a priest
who regularly celebrates both forms, I have found this experience to be
a great blessing and an expansive expression of the freedom of the children of God to worship God
in differing and complementary ways. In the years to come, I expect to witness a dramatic and
beautiful development of the Roman Rite in which the strengths of each form will help to
compensate for their often self-evident weaknesses. In this respect, the Holy Spirit is guiding
the Church into a new phase of spiri- tual fruitfulness in which the authentic aspirations of the
Second Vatican Council as a faithful and contemporary expression of the living and sacred
Tradition will be brought to light and to life.
"Silence is more important than any other human work because it expresses God. The true revolution
comes from silence; it leads us toward God and toward others so that we can place ourselves humbly
at their service." In these words, Cardinal Sarah beautifully expresses the connection which Father
Keating describes, namely, that the bene- fits of contemplative prayer are not found in experience
of the prayer itself, but rather in the increasing presence of the fruits of the Holy Spirit (Gal.
5:22) in our daily lives and in our relationships.
You can learn more about Centering Prayer by attending a meeting
-- it lasts about an hour -- on Saturday mornings at 9:45 am on the second floor of the convent at
God bless you,
La settimana scorsa ho scritto del grande successo
dell'evangelizzazione dell'Africa. Vediamo la venuta importanza della
Chiesa in Africa per tutta la Chiesa nei leader come il grande cardinale
Robert Sarah di Guinea, il Prefetto della Congregazione per il Culto
Divino e Sacramento, che è stato nominato da Papa Francesco.
Il cardinale Sarah ha appena pubblicato un nuovo libro in francese - La
Force du Silence - Contre La Dittatura Du Bruit (La Forza del Silenzio -
contro la dittatura del rumore) - che invita tutti i cristiani a riscoprire il
primato della dimensione contemplativa e mistica della nostra fede
soprattutto attraverso l'apprezzamento del silenzio.
In una recente intervista a Le Nef (La Nave), il cardinale Sarah spiega
la ragione fondamentale per aver scritto questo nuovo libro: " 'Primo
linguaggio di Dio è il silenzio'. Nel commentare questa bella, ricca visione
di San Giovanni della Croce, Thomas Keating, nel suo lavoro, Invito ad
amare, scrive: 'Tutto il resto è una cattiva traduzione. Per capire questo
linguaggio, dobbiamo imparare a tacere e per riposare in Dio.' "
Immaginate la mia gioia e la mia sorpresa di vedere il cardinale Sarah,
citando Dom Thomas Keating, il monaco trappista, che ha enunciato il
metodo di Centering Prayer più di quarant'anni fa. Per lungo tempo e in
alcuni ambienti, il metodo di Centering Prayer è stato tenuto in sospetto,
come se non fosse un modo corretto cattolica a pregare. Ma con una
citazione dal Prefetto di Culto Divino e dei Sacramenti, vediamo una bella
nuova sintesi tra coloro che amano e apprezzano la forma straordinaria del
Rito Romano e la Centering Prayer come un modo per incoraggiare e
preparare la via per la preghiera contemplativa. Certo, quello che io
sostengo qui è una estrapolazione dai commenti del cardinale, ma penso
che sia giustificato in quanto ho camminato su un percorso simile in questi
ultimi anni, crescendo nell'amore sia per il metodo di Centering Prayer e la
forma straordinaria del Rito Romano.
Infatti, solo due settimane fa ho tenuto una presentazione sul reciproco
arricchimento delle due forme del rito romano nel nostro studio della
Bibbia alla luce degli ultimi nove anni della loro convivenza. Come un
sacerdote che celebra regolarmente entrambe le forme, ho trovato questa
esperienza di essere una grande benedizione e l'espressione espansiva della
libertà dei figli di Dio per adorare Dio in modi differenti e complementari.
Negli anni a venire, mi aspetto di vedere uno sviluppo drammatico e bello
del rito romano in cui i punti di forza di ciascuna forma contribuiranno a
compensare le loro debolezze di per sé evidenti. A questo proposito, lo
Spirito Santo guida la Chiesa in una nuova fase di fecondità spirituale, in
cui le aspirazioni autentiche del Concilio Vaticano II come espressione
fedele e contemporanea dei vivi e la sacra Tradizione saranno portati alla
luce e alla vita.
"Il silenzio è più importante di qualsiasi altra opera umana
perchés il silenzio esprime Dio. La vera rivoluzione viene dal
silenzio. Ci conduce verso Dio e verso gli altri in modo che
possiamo mettiamo umilmente al loro servizio." In queste parole, il
cardinale Sarah esprime meravigliosamente la connessione che
Padre Keating descrive, cioè, che i benefici della preghiera
contemplativa non sono trovato nella esperienza della preghiera
stessa, ma piuttosto in presenza crescente dei frutti dello Spirito
Santo (Gal. 5,22) nella nostra vita quotidiana e nelle nostre
È possibile saperne di più su di centraggio preghiera per
partecipare ad una riunione - che dura circa un'ora - il sabato
mattina alle 9.45, al secondo piano del convento di San Patrizio.
Dio vi benedica,
TWENTY-EIGHTH SUNDAY IN ORDINAY TIME
Now for some good news. Often one hears lamentations about the decline of the Church in this place
or that place or even in our own community. Sure, there is some truth to every one of these
observations, in some places, the Church is getting smaller. But when we focus on just a piece of
the picture, as opposed to the whole picture -- the global picture -- we will miss what is really
going on. That's the point of a recent article from the American historian of religious, Philip
Jenkins, entitled, "Catholicism's In- credible Growth Story".
Jenkins has written many interesting and challenging books on the Catholic Church and Christianity
as well as a classic and in- sightful analysis of the sociological context of the children abuse
crisis in the Catholic Church, "Pedophiles & Priests", which I can
In his recent article, Jenkins notes the phenomenal growth of the Catholic Church in the last sixty
five years, "In 1950, the world’s Catholic population was 437 million, a figure that grew to 650
mil- lion by 1970, and to around 1.2 billion today... By 2050, a con- servative estimate suggests
there should be at least 1.6 billion Catholics".
This reflects not only the growth in population of countries, which have been Catholic for
centuries, such as Brazil, Mexico and Philippines, but also the rapid evangelization of Africa over
hundred years. Jenkins notes, "...in 1900, the whole of Africa had
just a couple of million Catholics, but that number grew to 130 million by the end of the century,
and today it approaches 200 mil- lion. If current trends continue, as they show every sign of
doing, then by the 2040s there will be some 460 million African Catho- lics. Incredibly, that
number would be greater than the total world population of Catholics as it stood in 1950". "Within
just a genera- tion from now, -- Jenkins adds -- a list of the 10 nations with the largest Catholic
populations will include several names where Ca- tholicism was virtually new in 1900: African lands
such as Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo".
The Catholic Church is the first truly global community. True to its name, she embraces the entire
human race as no other religion ever has. Unlike the empires of the past or the present, the Church
invites the entire human race to promote integral human develop- ment, that not only benefits our
world today, but will bring it more and more in accord with God's dream of a New Creation.
Although the Church faces many challenges from within and without, She ultimately belongs to Her
Spouse, Christ, who is vic- torious of sin, death and the devil. Since we too share in this vic-
tory, we should advance the cause of human dignity everywhere it
is belittled or denied.
I conclude with Jenkins's conclusion: "Back in the 1890s, Mark Twain sagely observed that: 'In this
world we have seen the Roman Catholic power dying…for many centuries. Many a time we have gotten
all ready for the funeral and found it postponed again, on account of the weather or something
…Apparently one of the most uncertain things in the world is the funeral of a religion.' See you at
God bless you,
Ora, per qualche buona notizia. Spesso si sente lamenti per quanto riguarda il declino della Chiesa
in questo luogo o quel luogo o anche nella nostra comunità. Certo, c'è qualcosa di vero per ognuno
di queste osservazioni, in alcuni luoghi, la Chiesa è sempre più piccolo. Ma quando ci
concentriamo solo su un pezzo del quadro, in contrasto con il quadro completo - il quadro globale -
ci mancherà ciò che realmente accade. Questo è il punto di un recente articolo dal storico
americano dei religiosi, Philip Jenkins, dal titolo, "L'incredibile storia della crescita del
Jenkins ha scritto molti libri interessanti e stimolanti sulla Chiesa cattolica e la cristianità,
nonché un'analisi classica e penetranti del contesto sociologico della crisi degli abusi sui
minori nella Chiesa
cattolica, "Pedofili & Preti", che vi posso consigliare vivamente.
Nel suo articolo recente, Jenkins fa notare la crescita fenomenale della Chiesa cattolica negli
ultimi sessanta-cinque anni, "Nel 1950, la popolazione cattolica del mondo è stato 437 milioni, una
cifra che è cresciuto a 650 milioni nel 1970, e per circa 1,2 miliardi di oggi. Entro il 2050, una
stima prudenziale suggerisce che ci dovrebbe essere almeno 1,6 miliardi di cattolici".
Ciò riflette non solo la crescita della popolazione dei paesi, che sono stati cattolica per secoli,
come il Brasile, il Messico e le Filippine, ma anche l'evangelizzazione rapida d'Africa nel corso
degli ultimi cento anni. Jenkins osserva, "... nel 1900, tutta l'Africa ha avuto solo un paio di
milioni di cattolici, ma che numero è cresciuto a 130 milioni entro la fine del secolo, e oggi si
avvicina a 200 milioni. Se le tendenze attuali continuano, in quanto mostrano ogni segno di fare,
poi dai 2040 ci saranno circa 460 milioni di cattolici africani. Incredibilmente, tale numero
sarebbe maggiore rispetto alla popolazione totale del mondo dei cattolici come si presentava nel
1950". “Nel giro di una generazione da ora, - aggiunge Jenkins - l'elenco delle 10 nazioni con le
più grandi popolazioni cattoliche includerà diversi nomi in cui il cattolicesimo era praticamente
nuovo nel 1900: terre africane come la Nigeria, l'Uganda, la Tanzania e la Repubblica Democratica
La Chiesa cattolica è la prima comunità veramente globale. Fedele al suo nome, lei abbraccia
l'intera razza umana come nessun'altra religione ha mai. A differenza degli imperi del passato o
del presente, la Chiesa invita l'intera razza umana per promuovere lo sviluppo umano integrale,
che non solo oggi avvantaggia il nostro mondo, ma porterà sempre più in accordo con il sogno di
Dio di una nuova creazione.
Anche se la Chiesa deve affrontare molte sfide da dentro e da fuori, Lei infine appartiene al suo
Sposo, Cristo, che è vittorioso del peccato, la morte e il diavolo. Dal momento che anche noi
questa vittoria, dobbiamo portare avanti la causa della dignità umana,
dovunque è sminuita o negata.
Concludo con la conclusione di Jenkins: "Già nel 1890, Mark Twain aveva saggiamente osservato
che:. 'In questo mondo si è visto che il potere cattolico muore ... per molti secoli Più di una
volta eravamo pronti per il funerale e poi abbiamo trovato che è stata rinviata ancora una volta, a
causa del tempo o qualcosa del genere ... a quanto pare una delle cose più incerte nel mondo è il
funerale di una religione
'. Ci vediamo al tomba? "
Dio vi benedica,