Thursday, June 29, 2006

Involved with a Miracle of Mother Teresa

Involved in a Miracle of Mother Teresa

Q. How and why did you become a priest?

A. Since I was four years old I wanted to be a priest. The vocation grew with me as I grew older. However, many difficulties came to me. A week before entering the seminary in Managua, Nicaragua, my homeland, I had to leave the country with my family because the Sandanistas took over the government. I went to the U.S., then to Rome where I studied theology and philosophy. In 1987, I developed many different illnesses. The ordination couldn't take place because my condition wouldn't allow any stable responsibility. So, in 1997 Archbishop Jose La Boa, who was the apostolic nuncio to Malta and Libya, called me and told me, 'You have a vocation, and a vocation can never be wasted. When I go to Rome, I will present your case to the Holy Father to request a pontifical indult for you to be ordained.' [Archbishop La Boa did this, and] the Holy Father only required that I have a bishop. So, the Archbishop -- knowing of my relationship with Archbishop Giuseppe Bernardini in Turkey -- contacted him to present the situation. Archbishop Bernardini without any hesitation accepted me as his priest. He flew all the way from Turkey on December 1997 to ordain me. I was ordained on Dec.13.

Q. Why are you in the Bay Area?

A. I am here due to my heath situation. I suffer from rheumatoid arthritis especially on my right lung. I have a disorder called meningitis, and many other different problems. Archbishop Leveda welcomed me in his territory as a guest priest until I leave the United States. He issued a canonical statement of faculties in March 1998.

Q. What was your experience with the Sandanistas?

A. I found myself in a situation with a completely alien form of philosophy. All of us know what the Communists are. Wherever you go their philosophy is the same. They persecuted the Church. Poverty is the daily bread since they took over. It was a painful experience because number one, I had to leave my homeland, and number two, to see what they did to Nicaragua. It used to be a very beautiful country -- peaceful and clean. Now, it's a completely different story.

Q. What is your opinion of the Bay Area?

A. Like every place in the planet, we find lights and shadows. We find sin and grace. We know that in the Bay Area as well as in the rest of the planet, we have holy people and sinners. But, in the end as we all know the victory is Christ's.

Q. You were involved with a miracle of Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Can you tell us about it?

A. In April of this year, Reverent Mother Teresa of the Child Jesus from Mexico was dying. She was in a monastery in Lincoln, Nebraska. The doctor said there was no hope for her and she was going to die any second. I flew Nebraska with a first class relic of Mother Teresa of Calcutta that was given to me by her house, the Gift of Love, in San Francisco. When I saw Mother in her cell she was ready to die -- all the vital organs were collapsing. So I celebrated Mass in her cell and administered the sacrament of the sick. After Mass, I blessed her with the relic and left it in her hands. The morning after, Mother was healed. After this, we were asked to write a letter to the Holy Father and to the Congregation for the Cause of the Saints. Some time later we got a letter from Rome acknowledging that the Holy Father had received the letter. Mother's heart and lung conditions that were killing her are completely healed and disappeared. She is ninety years old; and, I can tell you she is more alert than I am.

Q. Can you tell us about the photo with you and the Pope?

A. I asked the Holy Father if I could have his cap. He said, 'So you want to be pope.' I said, 'Are you crazy?' He said, 'So you think I'm crazy?' We both laughed.
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Saturday, June 24, 2006

The Scandal is "about Homosexuality, not Pedophilia" says Former Catholic School Superintendent

The Scandal is "about Homosexuality, not Pedophilia" says Former Catholic School Superintendent

Monsignor Edgar McCarren is a former superintendent of schools from dioceses in New York and Arizona. He served at Our Lady of Peace in Santa Clara for over a decade.

Q. How and why did you decide to become a priest?

A. Well, I was in the 6th or 7th grade, and I started thinking about becoming a priest. One reason was because there was a priest that I admired as a priest. I started to think about going to the preparatory seminary, but I was afraid to mention it to anyone, including my parents. Then in the eight grade a Josephite nun called me to the front of the class. She asked what school I was going to go to next. I said St. James. She said, "No your not. You are going to the preparatory seminary." And that was what I wanted, but I was afraid to mention it.

This was in the middle of the depression in the 30s. When I told my parents, they didn't bat an eye, even though it cost. I learned later that my mother was praying that one of her sons become a priest. Both of them did.

Q. What is your most difficult experience as a priest?

A. In the mid-sixties the Catholics tried to change the New York State constitution, which was biased against the Catholic Church. I was a superintendent of a diocese in the state of New York. We put on a campaign. I spoke to the leader of the state assembly and appeared on TV a number of times to debate. The answer the opponents gave was that this would cost the state of New York a lot of money, which was greatly exaggerated. But, we couldn't overcome it. We lost when the time came to vote.

Q. Tell us about Our Lady of Peace?

A: I was [at Our Lady of Peace] for eleven to twelve years. It is a unique parish. The Blessed Sacrament has been exposed around the clock for 20 years. There are confessions before every Mass on weekdays and on Sunday.

Q. I understand you have a lot of knowledge in psychology. What is your take on the "pedophile crisis" in the Church?

A. I have a PhD in education from the Catholic University in Washington DC, but most of my classes were in psychology. On this subject there are some scholars who have investigated this. They say pedophile is not the right word to use in this case. Almost all the problems -- in this cases -- with priests is with teenagers not children. And almost all the priests are homosexuals. So, the crisis is really about homosexuality, not pedophilia.

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