.- Last week at their 30th annual convocation, the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy--a group of priests and deacons dedicated to the pursuit of personal holiness and loyalty to the Pope and Magisterium--announced their 2005 resolutions which include new commitments to preaching the Gospel and a strong condemnation of the killing of Terri Schiavo. The group--founded in 1975 in an effort to see the Second Vatican Council’s Presbyterorum Ordinis, which calls for ongoing intellectual, spiritual and pastoral formation of the local clergy, to be implemented throughout the Church--met in Alhambra, California, from August 1st through 5th to formulate their new resolutions.
Those resolutions include a pledge of obedience, respect and support for Pope Benedict XVI as he begins his new pontificate. They also honored the late “Pope John Paul the Great” for the tremendous legacy he leaves with the Church.
The Confraternity voiced their prayers for the upcoming Synod of Catholic Bishops and said that they would “urge each and every diocesan bishop around the world to fully implement and norms and rubrics of the Revised Roman Missal of 2000 as contained in the Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani.”
They also committed to and vowed to “ask all our brothers in Holy Orders (bishops, priests and deacons) to celebrate the Sacraments reverently, prayerfully and faithfully according to the universal and legitimate local liturgical laws.”
“As we continue the Year of the Holy Eucharist,” they said, “we remind our brethren of the centrality of the Sacred Liturgy as the source and summit of Christian life and we urge a complete adherence to proper celebration while denouncing and all abuses or illicit innovations.”
Pointing out that according to Vatican II, the primary duty of a priest is to faithfully preach the Gospel and noting that most faithful learn about Christ at weekly Mass, the group promised to “prepare and to preach orthodox homilies to the best of our abilities and urge our brother priests and deacons to do likewise.”
“In order to be effective and convincing preachers of the Word,” they added, “the Church asks all clergy to foster ongoing spiritual and theological formation through prayer, study and fraternal support.”
Recalling the recent starvation death of brain-damaged Terri Schiavo, the group pledged their “unequivocal support for the moral obligation to always provide normal care and ordinary means of medical treatment for all patients, especially the terminally ill and the physically and mentally disabled.”
They likewise stressed the “recent official papal teaching that nutrition and hydration (food and water), regardless of the method they are delivered to the patient, are to be given to everyone, even those in a persistent vegetative state and to withhold or withdraw them while still effective is completely immoral.”
Lastly, the group encouraged ongoing research into medical advancements using adult and umbilical stem cells which, they point out, “do not involve the killing of innocent unborn life.”
The resolutions also praised a recent statement of the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference of Bishops, reminding “all our Catholic voters and politicians, judges and legislators, that embryonic stem cell research is intrinsically evil since it requires the destruction of innocent human life. Anything which directly kills the human embryo or fetus is forbidden by divine and moral law.”