Sunday, January 25, 2015

My challenge to Pope Francis: One which will, of course, go unanswered

Most of you are aware of Pope Francis' concern over the size of Catholic families.  The pontiff suggested the use of Natural Family Planning while quipping that married couples do not have to "breed like rabbits."

As I said on Facebook: "It's true that married people do not have to "breed like rabbits." But then, priests don't have to float around the altar like Liberace around his Steinway or resemble Judy Garland."

Where is the Holy Father's concern over homosexual priests?  At the onset of his pontificate, when asked about the Vatican's alleged "gay lobby" [read Lavender Mafia] the Pope asserted that while a lobby might be an issue, he doesn't have any problem with the inclination to homosexuality itself: "Who am I to judge them if they're seeking the Lord in good faith?" he said.

Now obviously this comment includes priests who suffer from a homosexual inclination.

The problem?

Before entering into any state of life, a divine vocation is necessary. This because without such a vocation, it is difficult if not impossible to fulfil the obligations which pertain to that state and to obtain salvation. This is particularly true for the ministerial priesthood or any other ecclesiastical state. After all, it was Our Lord Who said: "He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up another way, the same is a thief and a robber" (John 10:1).

Consequently, the man who takes holy orders without a call from God is convicted of theft in taking by force a dignity which God has not called him to and does not desire to bestow upon him. This is the teaching of Saint Paul:"Neither doth any man take the honor to himself, but he that is called by God, as Aaron was. So Christ also did not glorify Himself that He might be made a high priest; but he that said unto Him: Thou art My Son; this day I have begotten Thee." (Hebrews 5:4,5).

It matters not then how learned or prudent or holy a man may be. No man may place himself into the holy sanctuary unless he is first called and introduced to the same by Almighty God. Jesus Our Lord was certainly the most learned and holy among all men, full of grace and truth (John 1:14), the Son of Man in Whom were (and are) hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:3). And yet, Jesus required a divine call to assume the dignity of the priesthood. This is the teaching of the Council of Trent. That the Church regards the man who assumes the priesthood without a vocation not as a minister but as a robber: "Decernit sancta Synodus eos qui ea (ministeria) propria temeritate sibi sumunt, omnes, non Ecclesiae ministros, sed fures et latrones per ostium non ingressos habendos esse" (Session 23, cap. 4).

Those who seize the priesthood without a vocation may labor and toil exhaustively. But their labors will profit them very little before God. In fact, the very works which would be considered of much merit when performed by others will deserve chastisement for such souls. Because such men are not in conformity with the divine will, not having a vocation to the state of life which they have usurped, the Lord Jesus will not accept their toils: "I have no pleasure in you, saith the Lord of hosts, and I will not receive a gift of your hand" (Malachi 1:10).

Not only will God refuse the gifts of their hand, He will punish the works of the minister who has entered the sanctuary without being called; without a vocation:"What stranger soever cometh to it (the Tabernacle) shall be slain." (Numbers 1:51).

Bearing all of this in mind, please read the following which first appeared in The Wanderer [I submitted it back in 2001] and may be found at the Faithfulvoice.com website:

On October 1, 1986, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith published an instruction entitled, Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on Pastoral Service for Homosexual Persons, signed by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger and approved by Pope John Paul II. In this Instruction, Cardinal Ratzinger writes, "It is necessary to point out that the particular inclination of a homosexual person, though not a sin in itself, nevertheless constitutes a more or less strong tendency to an intrinsically evil behavior from the moral standpoint. For this reason, the very inclination should be considered as objectively disordered." (No. 3).

This would appear to be especially significant since Canon 1040 of the Code of Canon Law states that: "Persons who are affected by a perpetual impediment, which is called an irregularity, or a simple impediment, are prevented from receiving orders."

Now, irregularities arise either from defect (ex defectu) or from crime (ex delicto). It seems clear to me that a homosexual inclination, which Cardinal Ratzinger has referred to as "objectively disordered," constitutes an irregularity ex defectu. In fact, when asked by a Bishop if it is licit to confer priestly ordination to men with manifest homosexual tendencies, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments replied with a letter signed by Jorge Cardinal Medina Estevez which stated that, "Ordination to the diaconate and the priesthood of homosexual men or men with homosexual tendencies is absolutely inadvisable and imprudent and, from the pastoral point of view, very risky. A homosexual person, or one with a homosexual tendency is not, therefore, fit to receive the sacrament of Holy Orders."

What say you Pope Francis? We have seen that you are most adept with the slogan.  Perhaps Your Holiness would be so kind as to explain to the rest of us why the homosexual inclination would not constitute an irregularity ex defectu?

Holy Father?


Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Diocese of Baton Rouge and the attack on the priest-penitent privilege


Washington D.C., Jan 21, 2015 / 05:03 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear a petition from a Louisiana Catholic diocese that fears a civil lawsuit could force a priest to violate the seal of confession or go to jail.

The Diocese of Baton Rouge and diocesan priest Father Jeff Bayhi were disappointed by the decision, which the diocese said has “significant ramifications for religious freedom in Louisiana and beyond.”

“The diocese and Fr. Bayhi will continue their efforts to protect the guarantees of religious freedom set forth in our state and federal constitutions, and are confident that those efforts will, in due course, be successful,” the diocese said in a Jan. 20 statement.

The diocese and the priest are considering “a number of options” for other constitutional challenges in the case.

The U.S. Supreme Court has let stand the Louisiana Supreme Court’s May 2014 ruling that a court hearing is necessary to determine whether state law protects a priest’s conversation during confession with a minor about an alleged sexual abuser in the parish.

Catholic priests are bound to observe the seal of confession and cannot not reveal to anyone the contents of a confession or whether a confession took place. Priests who violate the seal are automatically excommunicated.

At issue is a civil lawsuit involving a woman who said that in 2008, when she was a minor, she told Fr. Bayhi that she was being abused by a parishioner. The alleged conversation with the priest took place during the Sacrament of Confession. The woman is now in her early 20s.

The young woman's family is now suing the priest and the diocese for damages, saying they were negligent in allowing the abuse to continue, The Times-Picayune newspaper reports. The estate of the man who allegedly molested the woman is also named in the suit. The accused man died in 2009.

A trial court had denied the diocese's motion to prevent any plaintiffs from testifying about any confessions that may have taken place between the then-minor and the priest. However, a state appeals court had ruled that the alleged confession was legally confidential and that the priest was not a mandatory reporter.

Later, the Louisiana Supreme Court overturned the appeals court. It said that a fact finding hearing should determine whether the priest had the duty to report alleged abuse under the state's mandatory reporting law. It noted that Louisiana law requires any mandatory reporter to report suspected abuse “notwithstanding any claim of privileged communication.”

The Louisiana Supreme Court also ruled that under state law the priest-penitent privilege belongs to the penitent, not to the priest, and if the penitent waives the privilege then the priest “cannot raise it to protect himself.”

In September 2014, the diocese characterized the legal issue as something that “attacks the seal of confession” and an “attempt by the plaintiffs to have the court compel testimony from the priest.”
Thomas McKenna, the president of the San Diego-based group Catholic Action for Faith and Family, also expressed disappointment that the U.S. Supreme Court declined to give a hearing to the question.

“We had hoped that the Supreme Court would clarify the issue once and for all,” said McKenna, whose organization joined several other groups in filing legal briefs in support of the Baton Rouge diocese and the priest.

He suggested that the plaintiff attorneys modified their position in response to the briefs and began to voice uncertainty about whether they would call the priest to testify about anything he allegedly heard in confession.

“That’s a success,” McKenna said. “Because all these briefs were filed, they changed their tone, and that’s probably why the Supreme Court didn’t accept hearing the case right now.”

If the plaintiff attorneys do call the priest to testify, he said, “we would revisit the case again.”

However, McKenna warned that the case threatens to advance a significant change in American culture when respect for religious freedom is already on the wane.

“This is unprecedented in the history of our country,” he said, saying that a state supreme court has never before ruled that a priest would have to violate the seal of confession.

“We have a civil court calling a priest and disregarding his religious perspective, saying that this is a civil matter and we don’t care what your religion says. You have to tell us.”

“The state has no right to demand from him that he break his vow. That’s what’s very concerning and scary,” McKenna continued. “What you have is the state telling the religion that they have to re-structure and re-order its religion.”

McKenna encouraged Catholics to pray for Fr. Bayhi.

__________________

This is extremely disturbing and has implications across the country.  The priest-penitent privilege has a long history in American jurisprudence, stretching back more than 200 years.

The earliest and most influential case acknowledging the priest-penitent privilege was People v. Phillips, where the Court of General Sessions of the City of New York refused to compel a priest to testify or face criminal punishment.

The Court rightfully asserted that, "It is essential to the free exercise of a religion, that its ordinances should be administered - that its ceremonies as well as its essentials should be protected. Secrecy is of the essence of penance. The sinner will not confess, nor will the priest receive his confession, if the veil of secrecy is removed: To decide that the minister shall promulgate what he receives in confession, is to declare that there shall be no penance..."

Attacks against the priest-penitent privilege have multiplied in recent years as the State seeks to encroach on religious freedom.  The Termite Nations seek to punish clerics who refuse to commit the crime of violating the seal of the confessional.

Canon 983: "The sacramental seal is inviolable; therefore, it is a crime for a confessor in any way to betray a penitent by word or in any other manner or for any reason."

Any law which seeks to violate the seal of confession is no law at all.  The doctrine on the necessary conformity of civil law with the moral law is in continuity with the whole tradition of the Church. This is clear for example from the teaching of Pope John XXIII who said that,  "Authority is a postulate of the moral order and derives from God. Consequently, laws and decrees enacted in contravention of the moral order, and hence of the divine will, can have no binding force in conscience...; indeed, the passing of such laws undermines the very nature of authority and results in shameful abuse".

This is the clear teaching of Saint Thomas Aquinas, who writes that "human law is law inasmuch as it is in conformity with right reason and thus derives from the eternal law. But when a law is contrary to reason, it is called an unjust law; but in this case it ceases to be a law and becomes instead an act of violence". And again: "Every law made by man can be called a law insofar as it derives from the natural law. But if it is somehow opposed to the natural law, then it is not really a law but rather a corruption of the law".


Monday, January 19, 2015

American Sniper and bloodlust


General Douglas MacArthur, in his farewell speech given to the Corps of Cadets at West Point on May 12, 1962, spoke of duty, honor and country and what these words entail for the professional soldier.

General MacArthur spoke of the bloody battles and the heroic sacrifices made by the soldier on countless battlefields. But he added, "This does not mean that you are warmongers. On the contrary, the soldier above all other people prays for peace, for he must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war."

This point is not understood by everyone.  It is least understood by those who have never served in the Armed Forces.  In a post on Facebook, Mr. Deal Hudson writes, ""American Sniper,' in my opinion is NOT TO BE MISSED. The 500 persons in the theater walked out in absolute silence. I've never witnessed that kind of a reaction to a film before, ever. Bradley Cooper is wonderful and Clint Eastwood's direction is masterful."

Various people chimed in fully agreeing.  One woman wrote, "I agree, it is a great movie!!! Thank God for Chris Kyle & others who serve our nation, their wives, children & families.

Another wrote, "Amen Mary. He saved the lives of a lot of Marines." And another, "Saw it Friday, took my very breath away!"

One woman added, "My husband (marine who served in Iraq and Afg) took our 17 year-old son last night. The entire audience reacted the exact same way - complete silence."

One individual wrote, "Heard this movie has lefty heads exploding, so naturally I must see this soon!"

Marcus Grodi, of EWTN's The Journey Home, wrote: "Couldn't agree more. Deeply moving. But a subtle point of the story: why the demands of some Callings require or should require celibacy. Celibacy allows a person the complete freedom to risk all for the good of his task—as it does or should for a priest. Marriage makes some Callings difficult—as it did for Chris when he was in the process of looking for threats to 'take out' to protect the troops while on his cellphone with his wife who was challenging his Calling. There are married men like Chris in harms way every day — like unappreciated policemen — protecting our lives: they need our prayers and support."

Only one individual, Stephen Hand, expressed concern over the film and it's glorification of a man some might consider sociopathic.  He wrote, "Er, the Church opposed that war. We opened up the gates of hell (ISIS). Read John Paul II and Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger who at the time warned us," and included this link with his comment:

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jan/06/real-american-sniper-hate-filled-killer-why-patriots-calling-hero-chris-kyle

And then added: "The real American Sniper was a hate-filled killer. Why are simplistic patriots treating him as a...[hero]?

Deal Hudson responded, "Stephan [Stephen], I don't agree with but I'm not going to argue it out in public in a thread that honors the memory of a man and his comrades who fought for our nation."

Stephen Hand replied, "I don't want to do an injustice to anyone. But his officers had a duty to remove him from combat. Or remove themselves if they were the ones who exhibited psychopathic tendencies. That was always military code and honor."

Deal Hudson answered, "Like I said, Stephen, I understand the point you want to make but this is not the place."

But it is the place to honor a man [sniper Chris Kyle] who publically quipped, "The enemy are savages and despicably evil,” and that his “only regret is that I didn’t kill more.” Kyle made these statements in his best-selling book, “American Sniper,” on which the film is based.

This is not what General MacArthur had in mind when he spoke of Duty, Honor and Country.  And what a tragedy that a man who came to enjoy killing so much that he actually wanted to kill more and regretted not being able to do so should be glorified in the cinema.

In his excellent and prophetic book Trousered Apes, Professor Duncan Williams documented extensively the banishment of God from society in the West and said that as a result, "the Western world and its culture is saturated with violence and animalism....We are teaching savagery and are naively appalled at the success of our instruction."

Professor Williams continues, "What shocks an audience today will be acceptable tomorrow and thus the contemporary dramatist [or reality show producer, my note] is constantly impelled to seek further excesses to gratify a warped taste which he has himself implanted in the public mind....The whole modern cult of violence and animalism is in essence an admission of defeat.  Since we cannot be men to any idealistic extent, let us lapse into barbaric animalism but, still clinging to vestiges of a past which we hate but cannot escape, let us clothe our defeat in high-sounding terms: 'alienation,' 'cult of unpleasure,' 'realism,' and similar jargon.  Yet all this fashionable phraseology cannot conceal the fact that the Emperor has no clothes....The contemporary playwright or producer might well take as his motto, Apres moi, la secheresse (After me, the drought), and congratulate himself that he is writing before a morbid public appetite demands scenes of such repellent realism that actors and actresses will have to be killed on stage in order to satisfy it."

Welcome to the Theater of Lust, the Theater of Violence, the Theater of Antichrist.

God help us all!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Pray for the success of this endeavor....

Charlie Butts, writing for One News Now, notes that: "State lawmakers in Mississippi are gathering endorsements to make the Bible the state book.

Representatives Tom Miles and Michael Evans note that Mississippi has state symbols ranging from a state flower to a state toy, and after hearing from people they represent, they decided to approach the subject of creating a new state symbol – the Bible as the state book.


“It seems like the world is just in such bad turmoil, and every time you turn on the TV something just awful is happening,” Miles tells OneNewsNow. “And some constituents suggested to us that maybe as legislators we ought to try and do something different to make people think about the world in a different way.”

He suggests that making the Bible the state book could be one way of encouraging people to read the Bible and practice its tenets such as love, kindness, compassion and understanding. He adds that it would not force residents of the state who are Muslim, Buddhists, Jews or of any other religious preference to read or be influenced by the Bible.

“I think we are a Christian state and a Christian nation, but we're not trying to force religion on anyone and this doesn't require anyone to read the Bible,” he says. “This doesn't require a person to go out and purchase a Bible. This is just a symbolic gesture such as having a state flower or state tree or any other state symbol.”

The proposed bill already has 20 bipartisan sponsors, and Miles and Evans are looking for even more encouragement from constituents as they pursue making the Bible the state book of Mississippi."

Papal preacher Raniero Cantalamessa: Our culture isn't en route to Hell but is journeying to an encounter with God

“We are not heading for an eternal void and an eternal silence but we are on our way to an encounter, an encounter with Him who created us and loves us more than mother and father.” (Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, see here).

Only a delusional mind could advance such a hypothesis.  At a time when children are being slaughtered in the womb, governments are promoting sodomy and so-called "gay marriage," terrorism and other forms of violence are on the rise, there is general immorality with people engaging in and condoning various mortal sins, and the Churches are emptying, we are supposed to believe that we are not heading for the void but for the Kingdom of God?

In his powerful classic entitled, "The Flight from God," the eminent Swiss philosopher Max Picard writes: "In every age man has been in flight from God. What distinguishes the Flight to-day from every other flight is this: once Faith was the universal, and prior to the individual; there was an objective world of Faith, while the Flight was only accomplished subjectively, within the individual man. It came into being through the individual man's separating himself from the world of Faith by an act of decision. A man who wanted to flee had first to make his own flight. The opposite is true to-day. The objective and external world of Faith is no more; it is Faith which has to be remade moment by moment through the individual's act of decision, that is to say, through the individual's cutting himself off from the world of the Flight. For to-day it is no longer Faith which exists as an objective world, but rather the Flight; for every situation into which man comes is from the beginning, without his making it so, plainly a situation of flight, since everything in this world exists only in the form of the Flight." (The Flight from God, Gateway Editions, 1951, pp.1-2).

Picard goes on to explain in this critically important work that, "The man of the Flight cannot bear the feeling that there is one thing and one thing only: the Flight. He needs something wholly other, something, now threatening, now friendly, which is above him, like a heaven beneath which he can make his journey...This is Art...The very existence of Art in a sphere of its own already means that it is 'wholly other,' and from the beginning it is other than reality itself. The strange thing about Art is that a work of art is indeed made by man, but that once it is made it stands there independently of man. This gives it a semblance of otherness." (The Flight from God, pp. 138-139).

This is of the utmost importance for "modern man" as he flees from his God Who is Wholly Other. Nature abhors a vacuum after all. And so, in his flight from the Divine Other, man in the flight substitutes "Art" for the Divine Being as the Wholly Other." Picard explains that the cinema "..is the perfect Flight" and that here is where "men may learn how best to flee." For this reason, "..cinemas are everywhere erected, examples of the Flight. The figures on the screen are fashioned only for the Flight, they are disembodied. Like one in a hurry who drops his luggage, the figures have laid down their bodily substance somewhere in the background, while they themselves make off in the foreground of the screen, outlines only of their bodies. Sometimes they are still for a moment, looking backwards fearfully, as if there was one who pursued them. Alas, it is only a game, they do but pretend to be afraid. No one can reach them, these things without being. And now, as if they want to fool the one who pursues them, they move more slowly, they even translate a movement which ought o be fast into a slow one; they demonstrate slowness in the Flight, so sure are they that nothing can reach them, these things without being. Here in the cinema it is as if there were no more men, as if the real men were somewhere in safety, had for long been in safety, and as if these shadows had been left behind simply to flee in place of the real men. They only pretend to be in flight and even the men who sit in front of the screen in order to gaze at the shadows there seem nothing but dummies, arranged to complete the illusion,while the real men have long since departed." (pp. 8-9).

Dr. Von Hildebrand was right when he said that, "Modern man has lost that consciousness of being a creature which even the pagan possessed, and he lives in the illusion that by his own powers he can transform the world into a terrestrial paradise." (The New Tower of Babel, Sophia Institute Press, 1994, p. 21).

Having decided against God, "modern man" has embraced the Flight. This flight from the Divine Other has led to the decline of man's confidence in the powers of human reason to attain reality and truth. Man in the Flight has concluded today that all truth is relative. In the same way that Pilate asked Our Lord, "What is truth?" and hastened in his flight to the judgment-hall without waiting for an answer (John 18:38), so "modern man," in his embrace of relativism, joins the flight without any thought of inquiring for the truth. Instead, he settles for illusion, rejecting the permanent authority of truth as founded by the Divine Other in reality, reason and revelation while setting himself up as the autonomous source of all truth:"Before Christ's second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the 'mystery of iniquity' in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 675).

The Antichrist is behind the Flight, urging "modern man" to hasten in his Flight and not to look back. How will this Flight end? In the words of Romano Guardini:"One day the Antichrist will come: a human being who introduces an order of things in which rebellion against God will attain its ultimate power. He will be filled with enlightenment and strength. The ultimate aim of all aims will be to prove that existence without Christ is possible - nay rather, that Christ is the enemy of existence, which can be fully realized only when all Christian values have been destroyed. His arguments will be so impressive, supported by means of such tremendous power - violent and diplomatic, material and intellectual - that to reject them will result in almost insurmountable scandal, and everyone whose eyes are not opened by grace will be lost. Then it will be clear what the Christian essence really is: that which stems not from the world, but from the heart of God; victory of grace over the world; redemption of the world, for her true essence is not to be found in herself, but in God, from whom she has received it. When God becomes all in all, the world will finally burst into flower." (The Lord, p. 513).

Are we not approaching the Reign of Antichrist? "Modern man" strives to build a godless world where he is subject to no one but himself. Having eliminated God from this world, "modern man" deifies and absolutizes himself. Having rejected his place as a creature dependent upon God, "modern man" is moving, "..not toward divinity, but toward dehumanizing, toward the destruction of being itself through through the destruction of truth. The Jacobin variant of the idea of liberation...is a rebellion against being human in itself, rebellion against truth, and that is why it leads people - as Sartre percipiently observed - into a self-contradictory existence that we call hell." (Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Truth and Tolerance, p. 248).

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Attorney General Eric Holder wants the "Supreme Court" to set itself in opposition to the Author of Marriage


High court to hear gay marriage cases in April
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (January 16, 2015) — Setting the stage for a potentially historic ruling, the Supreme Court announced Friday it will decide whether same-sex couples have a right to marry everywhere in America under the Constitution.

The justices will take up gay-rights cases that ask them to overturn bans in four states and declare for the entire nation that people can marry the partners of their choice, regardless of gender. The cases will be argued in April, and a decision is expected by late June.

Proponents of same-sex marriage said they expect the court to settle the matter once and for all with a decision that invalidates state provisions that define marriage as between a man and a woman.

Attorney General Eric Holder said the Obama administration would urge the court "to make marriage equality a reality for all Americans."

On the other side, advocates for traditional marriage want the court to let the political process play out, rather than have judges order states to allow same-sex couples to marry.

"The people of every state should remain free to affirm marriage as the union of a man and a woman in their laws," said Austin R. Nimocks, senior counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom.

Same-sex couples can marry in 36 states and the District of Columbia.

That number is nearly double what it was just three months ago, when the justices initially declined to hear gay marriage appeals from five states seeking to preserve their bans on same-sex marriage. The effect of the court's action in October was to make final several pro-gay rights rulings in the lower courts.

Now there are 14 states in which same-sex couples cannot wed. The court's decision to get involved is another marker of the rapid change that has redefined societal norms in the space of a generation.

The court will be weighing in on major gay rights issues for the fourth time in in 27 years. In the first of those, in 1986, the court upheld Georgia's anti-sodomy law in a devastating defeat for gay rights advocates.

But the three subsequent rulings, all written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, were major victories for gay men and lesbians. In its most recent case in 2013, the court struck down part of a federal marriage law in a decision that has paved the way for a wave of lower court rulings across the country in favor of same-sex marriage rights.

The court is extending the time it usually allots for argument from an hour to two-and-a-half hours. The justices will consider two related questions. The first is whether the Constitution requires states to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The other is whether states must recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere.

The appeals before the court come from gay and lesbian plaintiffs in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee. The federal appeals court that oversees those four states upheld their same-sex marriage bans in November, reversing pro-gay rights rulings of federal judges in all four states. It was the first, and so far only, appellate court to rule against same-sex marriage since the high court's 2013 decision.

Ten other states also prohibit such unions. In Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, South Dakota and Texas, judges have struck down traditional marriage laws, but they remain in effect pending appeals. In Missouri, same-sex couples can marry in St. Louis and Kansas City only.

Louisiana is the only other state that has seen its gay marriage ban upheld by a federal judge. There have been no rulings on lawsuits in Alabama, Georgia, Nebraska and North Dakota.

In his Encyclical Letter Libertas Humana, Pope Leo XIII explained that:

"It is manifest that the eternal law of God is the sole standard and rule of human liberty, not only in each individual man, but also in the community and civil society which men constitute when united. Therefore, the true liberty of human society does not consist in every man doing what he please, for this would simply end in turmoil and confusion, and bring on the overthrow of the state; but rather in this, that through the injunctions of the civil law all may more easily conform to the prescriptions of the eternal law . . . the binding force of the human laws is in this, that they are to be regarded as applications of the eternal law, and incapable of sanctioning anything which is not contained in the eternal law, as in the principle of all law . . . where a law is enacted contrary to reason, or to the eternal law, or to some ordinance of God, obedience is unlawful, lest while obeying man we become disobedient to God."

Human laws are "incapable of sanctioning anything which is not contained in the eternal law." This is crystal clear Catholic teaching. There is no room for doubt. All other "laws" are unjust and are, therefore, not laws at all. And Catholics are not bound to obey them. In fact, Catholics have a duty to resist them. As I mentioned in a previous post, "Any law supportive of same-sex 'marriage' is no law at all. This because any law which is promulgated must correspond to the divine law. No human authority can declare what is morally evil to be morally good. Laws permitting slavery, abortion, euthanasia, divorce and "marriages" between persons of the same gender are immoral, and therefore unjust (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, I-II, q. 96, a.5)."

Men might actually believe that they have the right to change the definition of marriage, but this is merely symptomatic of an illusion which is rooted in pride. As such, it represents a form of insanity. Men are not free to change God's eternal law to suit their own pleasures. Recall the teaching of Pope Pius XI in his famous Encyclical "On Christian Marriage":

"First of all, let this remain the unchanged and unshakable foundation: Matrimony was neither established nor restored by man but by God. It has been protected, strengthened, and elevated not by the laws of men, but by those of God, the author of human nature, and of Christ who restored that same nature. Consequently, these laws cannot be changed according to men's pleasure, nor by any agreement of the spouses themselves that is contrary to these laws. This is the teaching of Sacred Scripture (see Gen 1:27; 2:22f.; Mt 19:3ff.; Eph 5:23ff.); this is the constant, universal tradition of the Church; this is the solemn definition of the holy Council of Trent, which in the words of Sacred Scripture teaches and reasserts that the permanent and indissoluble bond of matrimony, its unity and strength, have their origin in God."

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, Nos. 1603-1605, explain marriage in the order of creation:

"The intimate community of life and love which constitutes the married state has been established by the Creator and endowed by him with its own proper laws. . . . God himself is the author of marriage." The vocation to marriage is written in the very nature of man and woman as they came from the hand of the Creator. Marriage is not a purely human institution despite the many variations it may have undergone through the centuries in different cultures, social structures, and spiritual attitudes. These differences should not cause us to forget its common and permanent characteristics. Although the dignity of this institution is not transparent everywhere with the same clarity, some sense of the greatness of the matrimonial union exists in all cultures. "The well-being of the individual person and of both human and Christian society is closely bound up with the healthy state of conjugal and family life."


God who created man out of love also calls him to love the fundamental and innate vocation of every human being. For man is created in the image and likeness of God who is himself love. Since God created him man and woman, their mutual love becomes an image of the absolute and unfailing love with which God loves man. It is good, very good, in the Creator's eyes. And this love which God blesses is intended to be fruitful and to be realized in the common work of watching over creation: "And God blessed them, and God said to them: 'Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it.'"


Holy Scripture affirms that man and woman were created for one another: "It is not good that the man should be alone." The woman, "flesh of his flesh," his equal, his nearest in all things, is given to him by God as a "helpmate"; she thus represents God from whom comes our help. "Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh." The Lord himself shows that this signifies an unbreakable union of their two lives by recalling what the plan of the Creator had been "in the beginning": "So they are no longer two, but one flesh."

Again, we may choose to reject these truths. But in so doing, we lose our grip on sanity as it were. In the words of the late (great) F.J. Sheed:

"..if we see anything - ourself or some other man, or the Universe as a whole or any part of it - without at the same time seeing God holding it there, then we are seeing it all wrong. If we saw a coat hanging on a wall and did not realize that it was held there by a hook, we should not be living in the real world at all, but in some fantastic world of our own in which coats defied the law of gravity and hung on walls by their own power. Similarly if we see things in existence and do not in the same act see that they are held in existence by God, then equally we are living in a fantastic world, not the real world. Seeing God everywhere and all things upheld by Him [such as marriage, my note] is not a matter of sanctity; but of plain sanity, because God is everywhere and all things are upheld by Him...To overlook God's presence is not simply to be irreligious; it is a kind of insanity, like overlooking anything else that is actually there." (Theology and Sanity, p.6).

The choice is ours: We either view marriage within the context of the order of creation with God as its Author, or we sink into insanity.

If this nation continues to set itself against the Author of marriage, the Eternal Lawgiver, it will find out soon enough what the judgment of the real Supreme Court is.





Friday, January 16, 2015

Pope Francis: This is why there cannot be any authentic dialogue with Islam

In his Encyclical Letter Ecclesiam Suam, Pope Paul VI told us that, "The Church must enter into dialogue with the world in which it lives. It has something to say, a message to give, a communication to make." (No. 65).

The Holy Father goes on to say that, "Dialogue, therefore, is a recognized method of the apostolate. It is a way of making spiritual contact. It should however have the following characteristics:

1) Clarity before all else; the dialogue demands that what is said should be intelligible. We can think of it as a kind of thought transfusion. It is an invitation to the exercise and development of the highest spiritual and mental powers a man possesses. This fact alone would suffice to make such dialogue rank among the greatest manifestations of human activity and culture. In order to satisfy this first requirement, all of us who feel the spur of the apostolate should examine closely the kind of speech we use. Is it easy to understand? Can it be grasped by ordinary people? Is it current idiom?

2) Our dialogue must be accompanied by that meekness which Christ bade us learn from Himself: "Learn of me, for I am meek and humble of heart." It would indeed be a disgrace if our dialogue were marked by arrogance, the use of bared words or offensive bitterness. What gives it its authority is the fact that it affirms the truth, shares with others the gifts of charity, is itself an example of virtue, avoids peremptory language, makes no demands. It is peaceful, has no use for extreme methods, is patient under contradiction and inclines towards generosity. 

3) Confidence is also necessary; confidence not only in the power of one's own words, but also in the good will of both parties to the dialogue. Hence dialogue promotes intimacy and friendship on both sides. It unites them in a mutual adherence to the Good, and thus excludes all self-seeking.

4) Finally, the prudence of a teacher who is most careful to make allowances for the psychological and moral circumstances of his hearer, particularly if he is a child, unprepared, suspicious or hostile. The person who speaks is always at pains to learn the sensitivities of his audience, and if reason demands it, he adapts himself and the manner of his presentation to the susceptibilities and the degree of intelligence of his hearers....In a dialogue conducted with this kind of foresight, truth is wedded to charity and understanding to love." (Nos. 81, 82).

As faithful Catholics, we must recognize and embrace these characteristics of authentic dialogue, even when our partners in dialogue refuse to accept these principles. For we will often encounter those who have succumbed to relativism or who do not possess a love of objective truth. For such people, the purpose of dialogue is not to attain truth but rather to achieve personal victory and to triumph at any cost. As Dr. Montague Brown explains in his wonderful book "The One-Minute Philosopher" (Sophia Institute Books): "An argument (emotional, not rational) is a disorderly confrontation based on an unwillingness to learn from one another. Desire for victory takes precedence over love of truth, with the result that agreement becomes impossible....in an argument, I simply want my position to be the right one and you to agree with me. I am, indeed, looking for agreement, but on my terms, not in terms of objective truth." (p. 33). An authentic dialogue (which such people are not really interested in) is, "..an orderly confrontation based on a mutual willingness to learn from one another. It involves the presentation of evidence by each party and then a good-faith attempt of the participants in the discussion to come to agreement...In a discussion [or dialogue], I do not primarily want to disagree: I want to know the truth.." (The One-Minute Philosopher, p. 32).

It was Pope John Paul II, in his Encyclical Letter Ut Unum Sint, No. 36, who said, "There must be charity toward one's partner in dialogue, and humility with regard to the truth which comes to light and which might require a review of assertions and attitudes."

In order for dialogue to be authentic, all parties involved must be charitable toward others in the dialogue and possess humility with regard to the demands of truth.

As Franklin Graham just said on Facebook, "..followers of Islam are raping, butchering, and beheading Christians, Jews, and anyone who doesn't submit to their Sharia Islamic law." Clearly one cannot dialogue with such people.  Anyone who believes differently is simply not in touch with reality.

Those who attempt to argue, as Pope Francis has, that there is nothing inherently violent about Islam, are being dishonest.  As this website correctly notes, "The strangest and most untrue thing that can be said about Islam is that it is a Religion of Peace.  If every standard by which the West is judged and condemned (slavery, imperialism, intolerance, misogyny, sexual repression, warfare...) were applied equally to Islam, the verdict would be devastating.  Islam never gives up what it conquers, be it religion, culture, language or life.  Neither does it make apologies or any real effort at moral progress.  It is the least open to dialogue and the most self-absorbed.  It is convinced of its own perfection, yet brutally shuns self-examination and represses criticism.

This is what makes the Quran's verses of violence so dangerous.  They are given the weight of divine command.  While Muslim terrorists take them as literally as anything else in their holy book, and understand that Islam is incomplete without Jihad, moderates offer little to contradict them - outside of opinion.  Indeed, what do they have?  Speaking of peace and love may win over the ignorant, but when every twelfth verse of Islam's holiest book either speaks to Allah's hatred for non-Muslims or calls for their death, forced conversion, or subjugation, it's little wonder that sympathy for terrorism runs as deeply as it does in the broader community - even if most Muslims personally prefer not to interpret their religion in this way."

Thursday, January 15, 2015

A rising Islamic world: We are coming for you!

"An awakening and rising Islamic world — a more militant faith than Christianity or secularism — is saying to the West: We want you out of our part of the world, and we are coming to your part of the world, and you cannot stop us." - Pat Buchanan.  See here.

There are still some, including sadly many within the Church such as Bishop Robert McManus, who believe that the Church and the West can "dialogue" with Islam, which is a manifestation of Antichrist.

Apparently the message of 9/11 was lost on such people.  The date of this heinous and cowardly act of terrorism was not an accident of history.  It was chosen to send a message to the [largely] Christian West: "We are coming for you."

September 11th is the date on which the Battle of Vienna took place in 1683.

You're probably thinking: What does that have to do with a rising Islam and the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center buildings and the Pentagon?

Much.  You see, this battle between the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation in league with the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth versus the Muslim Ottoman Empire was decisive and really marked the turning-point in the Ottoman–Habsburg wars, the 300-year struggle between the Holy Roman Empire and the Ottoman Empire.

In other words, September 11, 2001 was considered [by the sick minds who orchestrated the terrorist attacks] to be both "payback" and a way of announcing that militant Islam was back.

In his book entitled Truth and Tolerance: Christian Belief and World Religions, Pope Benedict XVI makes a few observations which some Catholics would apparently find problematic. The Holy Father writes, "To what extent the new surge forward of the Islamic world is fuelled by truly religious forces is..open to question. In many places, as we can see, there is the danger of a pathological development of the autonomy of feeling.." (p. 104).

On page 204 of the same book, Pope Benedict XVI writes, "...even with Islam, with all the greatness it represents, is always in danger of losing balance, letting violence have a place and letting religion slide away into mere outward observance and ritualism."

A rising and militant Islam intends to conquer the entire world and to destroy the Church.  And we're supposed to dialogue with that?

Insanity!



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