[John Sonnen sent these the NLM's way, and they in turn came from a friend of his. They show the Mass of Palm Sunday at the "Palazzo Altemps" in Rome, celebrated by Familia Christi. The images particularly struck me insofar as they give a glimpse of the architectural and artistic beauty of both the chapel and the loggia.]
To tell the back-story of what actually happened in the Father Murphy case on the local level;
To outline the sloppy and inaccurate reporting on the Father Murphy case by the New York Times and other media outlets;
To assert that Pope Benedict XVI has done more than any other pope or bishop in history to rid the Catholic Church of the scourge of child sexual abuse and provide for those who have been injured;
To set the record straight with regards to the efforts made by the church to heal the wounds caused by clergy sexual misconduct. The Catholic Church is probably the safest place for children at this point in history.
The identity of St Prisca is uncertain. One tradition claims that she is identical with Priscilla, who is mentioned in the New Testament, another that she was the daughter of Aquila and Priscilla. In the Acts of the Apostles (Acts XVIII, 1-4), it is written that St Paul stayed with Aquila and Priscilla, Jewish Christians exiled from Rome, when he was in Corinth and again in Ephesus after they had moved there. Later, they were apparently able to move back to Rome, as St Paul sends his greetings to them there (Romans 16, 3-5). The tradition claims that this was her house. This has been challenged, and Prisca may be another woman altogether. No private house has been found underneath the church - in fact, a temple to Mithras was found during excavations in 1940 and 1958. It has, however, been established that Christian worship was established here at an early time, as ancient terracotta lamps with the chi-rho monogram has been found. The commonly accepted date for the church is the 4th or 5th century.
The first documentary evidence of the church is from 489, when it is mentioned in an inscription. It is also mentioned in the list from the Roman Synod of 499.
The church has been altered several times throughout the centuries, and the only clearly identifiable ancient remains are the columns and the parts that are underground.
It was damaged by the Normans under Robert Guiscard in 1084.
In 1094, Pope Urban II invited monks from Vendõme to serve the church. The Catalogue of Turin, c. 1320, mentioned that the church has black monks ("monachos nigros"), which must be a reference to the black-clad Benedictines. The order left the church in 1414.
The most comprehensive restoration took place in 1660. The ancient columns were embedded in pilasters, and a new façade was constructed.
Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York brought hearty approval from a standing-room-only crowd at St. Patrick's Cathedral on Palm Sunday when he defended Benedict XVI against "unrelenting insinuations" in the scandals of sexual abuse.
The archbishop asked the congregation for a couple of minutes of patience at the end of the lengthy Mass, and then said the "somberness of Holy Week is intensified for Catholics this year" by a "tidal wave of headlines about abuse of minors by some few priests, this time in Ireland, Germany, and a re-run of an old story from Wisconsin."
"What deepens the sadness now is the unrelenting insinuations against the Holy Father himself, as certain sources seem frenzied to implicate the man who, perhaps more than anyone else has been the leader in purification, reform, and renewal that the Church so needs," Archbishop Dolan stated.
The 60-year-old prelate suggested that Sunday Mass is "hardly the place to document the inaccuracy, bias, and hyperbole of such aspersions," but it is "the time for Catholics to pray for Benedict our Pope."
According to the Associated Press report of the archbishop's words, the congregation responded with 20 seconds of applause.
Archbishop Dolan suggested that Benedict XVI is suffering "some of the same unjust accusations, shouts of the mob, and scourging at the pillar, as did Jesus.
Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, against the man who stands next to me," says the LORD of hosts. "Strike the shepherd, that the sheep may be scattered.."
One of the basic characteristics of a shepherd must be to love the people entrusted to him, even as he loves Christ whom he serves. “Feed my sheep”, says Christ to Peter, and now, at this moment, he says it to me as well. Feeding means loving, and loving also means being ready to suffer. Loving means giving the sheep what is truly good, the nourishment of God’s truth, of God’s word, the nourishment of his presence, which he gives us in the Blessed Sacrament. My dear friends – at this moment I can only say: pray for me, that I may learn to love the Lord more and more. Pray for me, that I may learn to love his flock more and more – in other words, you, the holy Church, each one of you and all of you together. Pray for me, that I may not flee for fear of the wolves. Let us pray for one another, that the Lord will carry us and that we will learn to carry one another.
The first church here ... was one of the tituli, the first parish churches of Rome, known as Titulus Praxedis. The first definite mention of the church is from 489.
The present church is the one built by Pope Adrian I c. 780, completed and altered by Pope St Paschal I c. 822. It was enlarged at that time mainly to serve as a repository for relics from the catacombs. It was the first church in Rome since Santa Sabina to be modeled on San Pietro in Vaticano.
It was granted to the Vallombrosian Benedictines by Pope Innocent III in 1198.
Some changes were made in the 16th century by St Charles Borromeus, with Martino Longhi the Elder as architect. His restorations were not altogether successful. Later, Ludovico Cardinal Pico della Mirandola also had it renovated.
The sanctuary and crypt were rebuilt in the 18th century.
Before the NLM is deluged with photographs of Holy Week celebrations, I thought I would share some final images from Lent. These were taken on March 7, the third Sunday of Lent, at the Carmel of Jesus, Mary and Joseph in Valparaiso, Nebraska, very close to the F.S.S.P.'s seminary in Denton; the Mass was celebrated by members of the Carmel of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Powell, Wyoming. Both of these institutions are very much dedicated to the contemplative side of the Carmelite tradition. The women's house in Valparaiso follows the liturgical traditions of the 16th-century Discalced Reform in utroque usu; the men's house in Wyoming, however, uses the ancient Carmelite liturgy, adopted by the friars from the Latin-rite Canons of the Holy Sepulcher at the time of the Crusades. The men who served as deacon and subdeacon are studying for the priesthood at OLG; they were both ordained deacon the previous day by His Excellency Arthur Seratelli, Bishop of Paterson, N.J. It is greatly encouraging to see a young religious order striving to maintain the liturgical customs proper to its own tradition.
Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, and they that were with him: How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the loaves of proposition, which it was not lawful for him to eat, nor for them that were with him, but for the priests only? Or have ye not read in the law, that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple break the sabbath, and are without blame?
But I tell you that there is here a greater than the temple. And if you knew what this meaneth: I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: you would never have condemned the innocent. For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath
...And Jesus said to them: A prophet is not without honor, but in his own country, and in his own house, and among his own kindred. And he could not do any miracles there, only that he cured a few that were sick, laying his hands upon them.
...And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.
...Then were little children presented to him, that he should impose hands upon them and pray