Saturday, March 25, 2006

From the newsletter of the New Hampshire Pro-Life Council:

"Pro-abort radicals have long proclaimed the 'right' to abortion should be guaranteed by international law as restricting them leads to high maternal mortality. This is false according to data found in 'The World Mortality Report: 2005' published by the United National Population Division the first of this year. It measures mortality, including maternal and infant mortality, for all the nations of the world. In particular the United States, with almost no restrictions on abortion, has a rate of 17 deaths for every 100,000 births."


Saturday, March 18, 2006

The Empire of Christ

The Empire of Christ:

In his encyclical letter Annum Sacrum, His Holiness Pope Leo XIII reminded us that, "The empire of Christ the King includes not only Catholic nations, not only baptized persons who, though of right belonging to the Church, have been led astray by error, or have been cut off from her by schism, but also all those who are outside the Christian faith; so that truly the whole of mankind is subject to the power of Jesus Christ."All men are subject to the rule of Jesus Christ the King. And this for two reasons: first, because He is our Creator and we are His created subjects. Without God, we would not exist. Therefore, we owe Him everything while He owes us nothing. And it follows that no one has a right to withhold his obedience to God. Secondly, as Pope Pius XI explains to us in his encyclical letter Quas Primas, we must subject ourselves to Christ the King because He is our King by acquired right as well as by natural right, because He is our Redeemer: "Would that those who forget what they have cost our Saviour might recall the words: 'You were not redeemed with corruptible things, but with the Precious Blood of Christ, as of a lamb unspotted and undefiled.' We are no longer our own, For Christ has purchased us 'with a great price'; our very bodies are the 'members of Christ.'"That we are Christ's subjects both by natural and acquired right, the Holy Spirit explains to us through St. John in Revelation, Chapter 17. We read there that Christ is "the ruler of the kings of the earth" (v. 18). Since the kings of the earth (nations and those who govern them) are subject to the Kingship of Jesus Christ, Christ has a right to over entire societies as well as individual persons.Jesus is our brother and also our friend. But let us not forget that He is also our King and our Judge. And that we are His creatures who owe Him our total obedience.


Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Controversial Notre Dame priest accused of plagiarism…again

For years I opposed Fr. McBrien's column in the official newspaper for the Diocese of Worcester, Massachusetts "The Catholic Free Press." Finally, in 1998, his column was removed because of his lack of fidelity to the Magisterial teaching of the Church.


Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Ex priest arrested for assault:

According to this article in The Star Ledger, defrocked priest James T. Hanley, who is at the center of a notorious sex abuse case, faces assault charges following an alleged dispute with a clerk at a hotel in Secaucus, New Jersey. Hanley was charged with aggravated assault and possession of a weapon according to the Associated Press.



Monday, March 13, 2006

Continued prayer need: Crisis continues in Worcester, Massachusetts:

Important Notice From Mr. Russell Pond of the New Hampshire Pro-Life Council:

CACR-34 is a marriage amendment by Michael Balboni of Nashua and defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman----the tradition! It comes up for discussion on the 21st. And it is necessaryfor you to contact your legislator right away and let them know you support it. Be sure to give them your mailing address so they will know you have the ability to vote for or against them when they come up for re-election.
Points: Marriage as the union of one man and one woman has been defined as such in all cultures, even those which are not Christian, down through the years. It is natural and provides stabilization for the family built around it.
Also, (stay alert) for, as a State Rep just asked me when I mentioned this Alert would go out---------"please include a request for calls to support (prolife side) on fetal homocide, life begins at fertilization, against embryonic stem cell research, and for a bill to require parental consent before the morning-after pill."


Amen. Let's all respond to Mr. Pond's invitation to prayer and action in these matters.


Saturday, March 11, 2006

La Salette Journey Blog: Questions or comments:
Spiritual Children of Saint Rita:
News Tips or leads:
Prayer Intentions:


Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Canon 212 and constructive criticism

Throughout the Church's long history, God has used the laity - the People of God - to keep clerics on the straight and narrow path through constructive criticism. During his long and important pontificate, Pope John Paul II of happy memory regularly reminded the Church of this fact and often spoke of the right of the laity to engage in such constructive criticism.

The fact that the Church allows (and even encourages) constructive criticism is easily proven. The Code of Canon Law (specifically Canon 212) states that:

"The Christian faithful are free to make known to the pastors of the Church their needs, especially spiritual ones, and their desires. According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, they have the right and even at time the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons."

Notice, however, the important qualifier at the end of this passage: ..."with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons." This point is missed by some. For example, a woman who writes a Catholic Blog covering issues in and around the Archdiocese of Boston seems to have forgotten this. On a regular basis this woman is critical of nearly everything Archbishop O'Malley (just appointed a Cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI) does. In the process, she refers to His Eminence as "Sean" and many of the priests within the Archdiocese by their first or last names and omits the title "Reverend" or "Father."

The saints often engaged in constructive criticism when there was a real need for such criticism. However, they were never disrespectful toward their pastors within the Church. Saint Catherine of Sienna was one such saint. While she fought against the vice of homosexuality within the ranks of the clergy in her own day (and spoke out on many other legitimate issues), not once did she refer to Pope, Cardinal or Bishop by their first name and criticize nearly everything they said or did. To put it simply, they knew their place. They understood that reverence was due to their pastors even when they disagreed with those pastors on certain points and pastoral practices.

Getting back to that woman who refers to His Eminence Sean O'Malley as "Sean" and whose criticism is often far from being constructive. Referring to her Blog and the little movement she seems to have inspired, she often writes "This is not a cult." One has to wonder why she feels the need to post this disclaimer on a regular basis. Perhaps her conscience is rebelling at her own tactics.

It is very easy to succumb to delusions of grandeur as a Catholic who engages in criticism of the Church and her hierarchy. This is why all such criticism should be constructive and should demonstrate a reverence toward pastors. Once a Catholic begins to believe in his or her own importance (and this usually results from a lack of humility and an insufficient prayer life), he or she begins to believe that he or she is on a special "mission" to correct the Church's hierarchy on nearly every point and that the Church's pastors are not as "deserving" of respect as the Church's teaching and Canon Law would tell us. This attitude is often accompanied by wild and exaggerated claims by the person who has succumbed to pride and a distorted view of reality which are designed to impress others and to build a cult of personality around themselves. The woman referred to above asserts that some 20,000 readers view her Blog every month.

It is important to pray everyday for the Holy Spirit's seven gifts. If we do, He will breathe His Holy Fire into us and fill us with the fortitude we need to engage in constructive criticism and the Cardinal virtue of prudence to do so with due reverence toward pastors and with a view toward promoting the common good.

Until next time,
God love you
Paul Anthony Melanson

Monday, March 06, 2006

Joan Vennochi asks: "Should liberals leave Catholic Church"?

In an editorial published in the March 5 edition of The Boston Globe, Joan Vennochi writes, "Church doctrine states that allowing children to be adopted by same-sex couples 'would actually mean doing violence to these children.' Gay adoptions are 'gravely immoral.' If you agree with those principles, you are, according to the Vatican, a Catholic in good standing. If you don't, you're not. Liberals raised as Catholics refuse to accept this reality. We think we can be pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, pro-gay adoption, and in favor of married and female priests and can still call ourselves Catholic. The people who make the rules say we don't meet the criteria. Every pronouncement from Pope Benedict XVI draws another line between official church doctrine and liberal ideology. When do liberals choose one side or the other?"

But what is it that makes Ms. Vennochi believe that liberals who think they can be "pro-choice," "pro-gay marriage," "pro-gay adoption," and "in favor of married and female priests" have not already left the Church? Haven't they already done so? According to the teaching of Vatican II, such people have already abandoned the Church in their hearts:

"They are fully incorporated in the society of the Church who, possessing the Spirit of Christ, accept her entire system and all the means of salvation given to her, and are united with her as part of the visible bodily structure and through her with Christ, who rules her through the Supreme Pontiff and the bishops. The bonds which bind men to the Church in a visible way are profession of faith, the sacraments, and ecclesiastical government and communion. He is not saved, however, who, though part of the body of the Church, does not persevere in charity. He remains indeed in the bosom of the Church, but, as it were, only in a 'bodily' manner and not 'in his heart." (Lumen Gentium, No. 14).

The above paragraph could not be more clear. Unless you're Joan Vennochi or one of the liberals she is writing about. For such people, the teachings of Vatican II and "every pronouncement from Pope Benedict XVI" (as well as all the other Popes) are simply "rules" made by "conservative Catholics" who "hold the power."

I have always found it amazing that so-called "liberal Catholics" (jumbo shrimp anyone?) refer to themselves as "Vatican II Catholics" and constantly speak of the "spirit of Vatican II" while remaining ignorant of what the Council actually had to say regarding full incorporation in the society of the Church. When Vatican II says that a Catholic must accept the Church's "entire system" in order to be fully incorporated into her society, how do such people understand these words? When the Council Fathers said that each and every Catholic must be "united with her (the Church) as part of her visible bodily structure and through her with Christ, who rules her through the Supreme Pontiff and the bishops" if they desire to be fully incorporated into her society, how do these "liberal Catholics" understand this teaching?

Should liberals leave the Catholic Church? I would say, along with Vatican II, that they already have. And I would urge them to return to fidelity via a good read of what Vatican II actually had to say regarding fidelity and obedience to the Church's hierarchy (for example in Lumen Gentium, No. 25).

One cannot speak of the "spirit of Vatican II" with any degree of credibility if one hasn't actually read the Conciliar documents.

Paul Anthony Melanson

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Vatican II and same-sex adoptions

Vatican II's Declaration on Christian Education (Gravissimum Educationis) teaches us that: "Since parents have given children their life, they are bound by the most serious obligation to educate their offspring and therefore must be recognized as the primary and principal educators. This role in education is so important that only with difficulty can it be supplied where it is lacking. Parents are the ones who must create a family atmosphere animated by love and respect for God and man, in which the well-rounded personal and social education of children is fostered. Hence the family is the first school of the social virtues that every society needs. It is particularly in the Christian family, enriched by the grace and office of the sacrament of matrimony, that children should be taught from their early years to have a knowledge of God according to the faith received in Baptism, to worship Him, and to love their neighbor. Here, too, they find their first experience of a wholesome human society and of the Church. Finally, it is through the family that they are gradually led to a companionship with their fellowmen and with the people of God. Let parents, then, recognize the inestimable importance a truly Christian family has for the life and progress of God's own people." (No. 3).

There is an old proverb which says, "The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world." And there is much truth to that axiom. This is precisely why adoptions by same-sex "couples" are so alarming. If the hand that rocks the cradle belongs to an individual with a warped personality whose sexual orientation is "intrinsically disordered" (CCC, 2357), then, as Fr. Vincent P. Miceli has noted, "the world will not be ruled but ruined."

Do we really believe what Vatican II teaches? Do we really believe that "the family is the first school of the social virtues that every society needs"? Or are we willing to abandon innocent children to the corrosive atmosphere and negative influence of a psychopathology? Do we really believe that, as Vatican II teaches, it is "particularly in the Christian family, enriched by the grace and office of the sacrament of matrimony, that children should be taught from their early years to have a knowledge of God according to the faith received in Baptism, to worship Him, and to love their neighbor"? Are we prepared to deny innocent children their fundamental right to experience both a "wholesome human society" as well as the domestic church within a normal family with a mother and a father? Or will we sacrifice these innocent children to the perverse influence of crippled personalities who lack the grace which comes from the sacrament of marriage and which enables parents to fulfill their very great responsibility?

Only time will tell.

Paul Anthony Melanson

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Paul Anthony Melanson and his nephew Joseph pictured here
with Snoopy, Christmas 1985.

This photo of me was taken in Manchester, New Hampshire, 1984.

More scandal from the Diocese of Worcester

This is truly heartbreaking. The Rev. Joseph A. Coonan, a priest of the Diocese of Worcester, Massachusetts who was removed from ministry at St. John's Roman Catholic Church in 2002 after allegations of inappropriate contact with children dating back to the 1970's, has now been charged with domestic assault and battery, assault and battery on a person over 65 years of age (his mother), and one count of intimidating a witness according to court documents.

According to the police report, Rev. Coonan had been drinking at the time of the incident.

While this story saddens me, it does not surprise me. I grew up in the Worcester Diocese. And for many years I opposed dissent from Church teaching at both the parish and diocesan level. I wrote more letters to the editor of the Catholic Free Press then I can remember. In fact, it was because of my continued opposition to the column of dissident moral theologian Rev. Richard P. McBrien within the pages of that newspaper that the column was eventually dropped.

For years I tried to warn anyone who would listen that there were serious problems within that Diocese which needed to be addressed: the homosexual problem/agenda, dissent from Church teaching (and especially in the area of human sexuality), New Age practices, liturgical abuses, and so on and so forth.

Our Lord Jesus said that we would know a tree by its fruit. And while there is much within the Diocese of Worcester which has borne good fruit, there are also so many stories like Rev. Coonan's.

There is a real prayer need here. Pray for the Diocese of Worcester. Pray that there is a renewal there. Pray that these serious problems will no longer be swept under the rug in the vain hope that they will "just go away." And pray for those who make excuses for people like Fr. Coonan or who attempt to dismiss serious and well documented charges against priests or others who have acted inappropriately.

There is sadness here to be sure. But there is also the opportunity for growth. While we cannot succumb to despair over such matters and must retain our hope at all times, we cannot - we must not - adopt the ostrich attitude and bury our heads in the sand of denial. We simply cannot afford to do so any longer. If the New Evangelization called for by Pope John Paul II is to take place, we must not only talk the talk. We must walk the walk. It is our holy example more than anything else which will convert the world.

Let's do it!

Paul Anthony Melanson

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Supreme Court rules against abortion clinics

Those of you from the Diocese of Worcester, Massachusetts will no doubt remember Bill Cotter and what the State subjected him to for demonstrating peacefully against abortion. The times are changing.


Mississippi House votes to ban abortions

The culture of death is gradually crumbling. Watch for other states to follow.


This is a photo of me being sworn into the Air Force (1986).
I served with Air Force Intelligence and specialized in Counterintelligence.

This photo of me was taken in 1985.
I was a student of Tae Kwon Do and Tang Soo Do
and competed throughout New Hampshire. Later I would
teach Tae Kwon Do while serving at my first duty station.
Site Meter