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A Bishop Talks Anna Nicole
WITL ^ | February 23, 2007 | Rocco Palmo

Posted on 02/23/2007 2:12:04 PM PST by NYer

It may still be news to some people, but, indeed, bishops read the news, and watch it, and digest it as much as -- if not more than -- the rest of us do. And for anyone whose daily diet involves even a pinch of CNN, FOX, MSNBC or practically any newspaper here in the States, it's been near-impossible to get away from the news-channels' latest free-for-all: the death at 39 of the model/reality TV star/former Playmate Anna Nicole Smith two weeks back.

You shouldn't be shocked to hear that the Anna Nicole story's being watched with more interest by more of our people than, say, the wave of parish closings and reconfigurations sweeping the East Coast. (Given the way some of the latter have panned out, however, it's up for grabs as to which has become more of a circus.) And not a few would see the former's developments, like a family fight over Smith's burial spot, warring claims over the paternity of her newborn daughter, and her history of revolving-door relationships and drug abuse, as a bit of a third rail.

In light of all that, there's really been no ecclesiastical engagement of the story... that is, until now.

Writing yesterday in his weekly diocesan-paper column, Bishop Robert Morlino of Madison connected the lessons of Anna Nicole's life and death with the wisdom of Tradition and the observance of Lent.

The effort alone is worth a bounty of bonus-points. Here's a snip:

During these days I am praying frequently for the repose of the soul of Anna Nicole Smith and I don't mean in any way to judge her - I do feel sorry and pray for her. But in her tragic life, the marriage bond has been tinkered with repeatedly, in terms of multiple partnerships and lately a quasi-marriage. The result is that her new-born baby could have one of six natural fathers; the rights of next of kin in this case will have to be determined by the courts. There will be custody battles among the candidates for natural father who are still alive, regardless of the identity of the natural father, and the connection between the new-born baby and almost a half-billion dollars from the estate of the deceased husband of Anna Nicole, all of these are in the legal mix.

There is pending litigation about the house in which she lived and even over her human remains, as to funeral arrangements. It has been said that the litigation surrounding her death at this point is going to be the most complex litigation of this sort in all of history. It will take many years, and it will cost millions of dollars.

When the state does not protect and reinforce the marriage bond and the true definition of marriage, everything is left to the courts and there is a lot of money to be made. The civil law was meant to reflect the law of reason - the natural law - and when it doesn't, there can result profound excesses in the litigation sphere as is evident here. When civil law opened the door to no-fault divorce and in-vitro fertilization, civil law started down the slippery slope that led us to the present moment.

Tinkering with the marriage bond and with the definition of marriage empowers the courts to usurp decisions that belong to the traditional family and affords great wealth to eager litigators. The natural law is the guide both to freedom and to conscience in these very sensitive matters. I will try to write more about the natural law during this holy season, because the education and formation of human freedom and of human conscience depend very much on a correct understanding of the natural law.

Of course all the education in the world does not give us a heart rooted in Christ. Prayer, along with works of penance and charity, form the core of our Lenten observance. When we receive ashes, and I am always thrilled at the number of people who want to participate in this beautiful rite of the Church, we are telling the Lord, we are telling the faith community by this public gesture, and we are telling ourselves that our Lenten observance will include more prayer, more works of penance, and more works of charity.
Some might remember that Morlino -- a onetime Jesuit -- gave the keynote at last year's National Catholic Prayer Breakfast in Washington.

The 2007 edition of the breakfast is fast-approaching; this year's falls within Easter Week. Its main speaker doesn't have to travel far at all this time: The Donald will be giving The Keynote.


TOPICS: Current Events; Moral Issues; Religion & Culture; Religion & Politics
KEYWORDS: anna; annanicolesmith; ans

1 posted on 02/23/2007 2:12:05 PM PST by NYer
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To: Lady In Blue; Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; Notwithstanding; nickcarraway; Romulus; ...


2 posted on 02/23/2007 2:12:46 PM PST by NYer ("Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church" - Ignatius of Antioch)
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To: NYer

Thanks


3 posted on 02/23/2007 2:21:30 PM PST by Jaded ("I have a mustard- seed; and I am not afraid to use it."- Joseph Ratzinger)
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To: Jaded

It is too late to pray for Anna Nicole Smith, for her life is over, and she has passed away, and no one can live her life for her or change it.


4 posted on 02/23/2007 2:47:36 PM PST by tessalu
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To: NYer

WAIT A MINUTE: Aren't bishops these days supposed to look at stuff like this and say, "Well, who are we to judge?"


5 posted on 02/23/2007 2:59:07 PM PST by madprof98 ("moritur et ridet" - salvianus)
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To: NYer

Smith was a lost soul. I do hope God forgives her. It's just sad that she didn't appear to find Him in this life.


6 posted on 02/23/2007 3:02:26 PM PST by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: tessalu

God is outside of time. He knows what prayers people will say and for whom, even if they aren't born yet. He knows the grace that will be sought, no matter when it is sought.

It is NEVER too late to pray for some one. To say otherwise is to restrict God to the confines of time.


7 posted on 02/23/2007 3:47:51 PM PST by mockingbyrd (peace begins in the womb)
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To: tessalu
It is too late to pray for Anna Nicole Smith, for her life is over, and she has passed away, and no one can live her life for her or change it.

Well, as to your assertion that it is too late to pray for Anna Nicole Smith, I wouldn't be so hasty. Nobody on earth knows the state of her eternal soul. Yes, if that eternal soul was utterly separated from God, it is too late to pray for her. Yes, if died in God's grace and friendship, then she is in heaven and is not in need of our prayers. However, if she died in a state of strained friendship, her soul definitely needs our prayers for her purification in purgatory.

Look to the example of Judas Maccabees (2 Macc 12:38-46)

Judas rallied his army and went to the city of Adullam. As the week was ending, they purified themselves according to custom and kept the sabbath there.

On the following day, since the task had now become urgent, Judas and his men went to gather up the bodies of the slain and bury them with their kinsmen in their ancestral tombs.

But under the tunic of each of the dead they found amulets sacred to the idols of Jamnia, which the law forbids the Jews to wear. So it was clear to all that this was why these men had been slain.

They all therefore praised the ways of the Lord, the just judge who brings to light the things that are hidden.

Turning to supplication, they prayed that the sinful deed might be fully blotted out. The noble Judas warned the soldiers to keep themselves free from sin, for they had seen with their own eyes what had happened because of the sin of those who had fallen.

He then took up a collection among all his soldiers, amounting to two thousand silver drachmas, which he sent to Jerusalem to provide for an expiatory sacrifice. In doing this he acted in a very excellent and noble way, inasmuch as he had the resurrection of the dead in view;

for if he were not expecting the fallen to rise again, it would have been useless and foolish to pray for them in death.

But if he did this with a view to the splendid reward that awaits those who had gone to rest in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought.

Thus he made atonement for the dead that they might be freed from this sin.

So it is obviously highly appropriate for a bishop to pray for the repose of the soul of Ms. Smith.

8 posted on 02/23/2007 3:55:27 PM PST by markomalley (Extra ecclesiam nulla salus)
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To: NYer

>> Tinkering with the marriage bond and with the definition of marriage empowers the courts to usurp decisions that belong to the traditional family...


The courts are merely the weapon.


9 posted on 02/23/2007 4:07:27 PM PST by Gene Eric
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To: mockingbyrd
It is NEVER too late to pray for some one. To say otherwise is to restrict God to the confines of time.

Sorry but:
Hebrews 9:27 And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this {comes} judgment,
b'shem Yah'shua

10 posted on 02/23/2007 4:38:23 PM PST by Uri’el-2012 (you shall know that I, YHVH, your Savior, and your Redeemer, am the Elohim of Ya’aqob.”Isaiah 60:16)
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To: XeniaSt

I don't dispute that judgment immdiately follows death.

I am just saying that God is outside of the bounds of time. He knows our actions even though they have not yet occured. He knew that this Bishop would pray for ANS even before either one of them were born. We don't know when God choose to dispense the grace that the Bishop sought for ANS.


11 posted on 02/23/2007 4:44:00 PM PST by mockingbyrd (peace begins in the womb)
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To: tessalu

And I said that where? The bible talks about praying for the dead.


12 posted on 02/23/2007 5:25:41 PM PST by Jaded ("I have a mustard- seed; and I am not afraid to use it."- Joseph Ratzinger)
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To: markomalley

Kudos on 2 Maccabees!


13 posted on 02/23/2007 5:44:39 PM PST by NYer ("Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church" - Ignatius of Antioch)
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To: NYer

I too have been praying for the repose of the soul of Anna. For some reason, my heart has been heavy for her.

I pray that in her last moments, there was repentance.


14 posted on 02/23/2007 6:30:37 PM PST by diamond6 (Everyone who is for abortion has been born. Ronald Reagan)
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To: mockingbyrd
Even in her state, she may have been surfing the tv dial,perhaps came across a Christian program and prayed the sinners prayer??? We don't know, God bless her!!!

On a somewhat related note, I have a soft spot for Anna`s mom Virgie. I believe that Virgie loves her daughter with all her heart.I am praying for her that she is able to take the body of her daughter back to Texas as well as her grandson, I also would like to see her raise her grand daughter in at least some capacity if not totally.

Her daughter was out of her mind. Anna took from her, herself,her grandson and now her grand daughter.Virgie was a great mom,she taught he right from wrong,took her to Church etc. The rest of the family turned out fine. On several occasions Virgie walked into strip clubs and dragged her home by the hairs of her head.

Don't be fooled, Anna was only in Bahamas to avoid the laws in regard to her child. It was only a stop over,she had no intention of living there.

We also don't know for sure that she wanted to be buried in Bahamas.Even if she did it really does not matter,there is nothing happening in the grave anyway.As Christians we ought to know this.

For Anna's body to be buried in the Bahamas is only a victory for Howard Stern.

God Bless Anna's mom, Virgie!!!
15 posted on 02/24/2007 5:59:06 AM PST by thepresidentsbestfriend (God be merciful to me a sinner. I have no respect for persons that trash GW Bush.)
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To: tessalu

"It is too late to pray for Anna Nicole Smith, for her life is over, and she has passed away, and no one can live her life for her or change it."

Exactly.

We are all individually responsible for how we chose to live. When we die, we are accoutable for that life.

2Cor.5:8

[8] We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

I don't know where Anna is ... for beleivers to be absent from the body IS to be PRESENT with the Lord.


16 posted on 02/24/2007 7:03:23 AM PST by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God) .)
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To: nmh

If anybody is in Purgatory, they are present with the Lord (in that God is everywhere); and they will soon be present with the Lord in a more intimate sense (in that, with a soul made glorious and scrubbed from even the tiniest smudge of sin, they will finally be "pure of heart" and will see God.)

I want for Anna Nicole Smith what I want for myself: a cleansing of my stained, smudged soul by the merciful hand of God.


17 posted on 02/24/2007 7:14:36 AM PST by Mrs. Don-o
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To: Mrs. Don-o

There is no such thing as "purgatory".

I take the Word of God over mere fallible mortals ... .

2Cor.5:8

[8] We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

I don't know where Anna is ... for beleivers to be absent from the body IS to be PRESENT with the Lord.

To be in hell is to be SEPARATED from God. God is not in hell.



18 posted on 02/24/2007 7:27:54 AM PST by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God) .)
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To: diamond6

Pray for Anna Nicole Smith. Yes. But we all ought to begin praying for ourselves, our children and the society we live in as we're all going to hell in a hand basket.


19 posted on 02/24/2007 6:10:47 PM PST by veritas2002
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To: nmh; Mrs. Frogjerk; Fiddlstix; cowtowney; xsmommy; TitansAFC; coton_lover; SoCalPol; ...
+

Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic Ping List:

Add me / Remove me

Please ping me to all note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of interest.

nmh says:
There is no such thing as "purgatory".
Please help educate her.
20 posted on 02/24/2007 6:13:39 PM PST by narses ("Freedom is about authority." - Rudolph Giuliani)
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To: nmh; Mrs. Don-o
There is no such thing as "purgatory".

1Cr 3:11 For no other foundation can any one lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

1Cr 3:12 Now if any one builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw--

1Cr 3:13 each man's work will become manifest; for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done.

1Cr 3:14 If the work which any man has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward.

1Cr 3:15 If any man's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.

21 posted on 02/24/2007 8:34:12 PM PST by markomalley (Extra ecclesiam nulla salus)
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To: diamond6

You and me both. What a story her life was.

Better to not judge the state of a person's soul, pray out of the generousity of spirit and forgiveness that Jesus encouraged in us and let God do the judging of the soul of a departed one than to find out you failed to do the right thing by being too hard nosed about it here in life.

Christians, especially all the ancient churches, have been praying for the dead since someone thought to write about it, and the Jewish people did, too, and still do.

As a catholic, I feel it is one of the works of mercy to pray for both the living and the dead. Prayer is never wasted. God will use it how he sees fit. My job is to be merciful, as the Father is merciful to both the holy and the selfish and sinful.

O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those most in need of your mercy. Amen.


22 posted on 02/24/2007 8:47:58 PM PST by Knitting A Conundrum (Act Justly, Love Mercy, and Walk Humbly With God Micah 6:8)
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To: Knitting A Conundrum

Immaculate Heart of Mary, please offer to the Eternal Father, the most precious blood of Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of sinners, the salvation of the dying and the holy souls in purgatory, and (add your petition here).

This is becoming one of my most favorite prayers.

To those of the non-Catholic faith, ... please do not address my post and tell me that I can pray straight to Jesus. Please respect my beliefs.

Thank you for your consideration.


23 posted on 02/25/2007 10:02:02 AM PST by diamond6 (Everyone who is for abortion has been born. Ronald Reagan)
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