Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Church remains spotless....She is without sin

In these times of scandal it is critical to remember that the Church remains spotless even when Her members sin. There is absolutely no doubt that the human history of the Church, like all of human history, has its dark pages. But if anyone cares to take an objective look at this history, one must quickly acknowledge that the doctrine of the Church has always implicitly condemned abuses introduced by Her members.

In the words of Dr. Dietrich Von Hildebrand, "There were sinners in the Church yesterday and there are sinners in the Church today. But the Church Herself, in her divine teaching, emerges gloriously unspotted in a history stained by human weaknesses, errors, imperfections, and sins." In the words of the great Cardinal Journet:

"All contradictions are eliminated as soon as we understand that the members of the Church do indeed sin, but they do so by their betraying the Church. The Church is thus not without sinners, but She is without sin. The Church as person is responsible for penance. She is not responsible for sins....The members of the Church themselves - laity, clerics, priests, Bishops, and Popes - who disobey the Church are responsible for their sins, but the Church as person is not responsible...It is forgotten that the Church as person is the Bride of Christ, 'Whom He has purchased with His own blood.'" (Acts 20:28).

"..the grandeur of this restoring and life-giving forgotten and even scorned by ungrategul men.."

"See and contemplate the grandeur of this restoring and life-giving Sacrament of Penance, so forgotten and even scorned by ungrateful men, who in their foolish madness, do not realize that it is the only sure means of salvation after one has lost his baptismal innocence. What is most grievous is that even the ministers of My Most Holy Son do not give to it the value that they should, viewing with cold indifference this valuable and precious treasure, which has been placed in their hands for the restoration of souls redeemed by the Blood of the Redeemer. There are those who consider hearing confession as a loss of time and a futile thing. O, alas! If priests were given to see directly that which you are now contemplating and were enlightened with the Light that now illuminates you, they would then recognize this gift!..." (Our Lady to Sister Marianne de Jesus Torres, Quito, Ecuador 1634).

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman: "Death Panels" will save "a lot of money" for the government

"The advisory panel which has the ability to make more or less binding judgments on saying this particular expensive treatment actually doesn't do any good medically and so we are not going to pay for it. That is actually going to save quite a lot of money." - Paul Krugman.
The New York Times portrayed Sarah Palin as a liar for warning the people about such an "advisory panel." See here. President Obama dismissed the notion of "death panels" becoming a reality, saying: "The rumor that’s been circulating a lot lately is this idea that somehow the House of Representatives voted for 'death panels' that will basically pull the plug on grandma … this arose out of a provision in one of the House bills that allowed Medicare to reimburse people for consultations about end-of-life care, setting up living wills, the availability of hospice, et cetera. So the intention of the members of Congress was to give people more information so that they could handle issues of end-of-life care when they’re ready, on their own terms. It wasn’t forcing anybody to do anything. This is I guess where the rumor came from." (See here).

As I warned last year, "Having abandoned the God of love, the Supreme Creator, 21st-century man is now ready to worship himself and to usurp the divine powers of creation and destruction. In the words of Dr. Edmund Leach of King's College at Cambridge: 'The scientist can now play God in his role as wonder-worker, but can he - and should he - also play God as moral arbiter?...There can be no source for these moral judgments except the scientist himself. In traditional religion, morality was held to derive from God, but God was only credited with the authority to establish and enforce moral laws because He was also credited with supernatural powers of creation and destruction. Those powers have now been usurped by man, and he must take on the moral responsibility that goes with them' (Edmund Leach, "We Scientists Have the Right to Play God," The Saturday Evening Post, November 16, 1968, p. 16).

But make no mistake about it, when man becomes God society becomes, in the words of the French philosopher Gabriel Marcel, 'a termite colony.' We are still in the twilight. But unless we take a stand now, we will have the Moloch state. As at Auschwitz, men will determine who has quality of life and who should be "mercifully terminated."
Related reading here.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The New York Times has donated monies to an anti-Catholic organization

"..the fanatic never sees himself as a fanatic; it is only the non-fanatic who can recognize him as a fanatic; so that when this judgment, or this accusation, is made, the fanatic can always say that he is misunderstood and slandered...Fanaticism is essentially opinion pushed to paroxysm; with everything that the notion of opinion may imply of blinded ignorance as to its own nature....whatever ends the fanatic is aiming at or thinks he is aiming at, even if he wishes to gather men together, he can only in fact separate them; but as his own interests cannot lie in effecting this separation, he is led, as we have seen, to wish to wipe his opponents out.

And when he is thinking of these opponents, he takes care to form the most degrading images of them possible - they are 'lubricious vipers' or 'hyenas and jackals with typewriters' - and the ones that reduce them to most grossly material terms. In fact, he no longer thinks of these opponents except as material obstacles to be overturned or smashed down. Having abandoned the behaviour of a thinking being, he has lost even the feeblest notion of what a thinking being, outside himself, could be. It is understandable therefore that he should make every effort to deny in advance the rights and qualifications of those whom he wishes to eliminate; and that he should regard all means to this end as fair. We are back here again at the techniques of degradation." (Gabriel Marcel, Man Against Mass Society, pp. 135-136).

As this article explains, the New York Times has donated monies to Planned Parenthood, an organization with an anti-life and anti-Christian bias. Responding to the paper's failure to report a Pro-Life March of some 300,000 people, Don Feder correctly noted that the paper's ideology determines its reporting. See here.

In a previous Blog post, I noted that, "Planned Parenthood is virulently anti-life and anti-Christian. In one pamphlet, Planned Parenthood says: 'In every generation there exists a group of people so filled with bigotry and self-righteousness that they will resort to any means - even violence - to impose their views on society. Today, such fanatics dominate a movement ironically called 'the Right-to-Life,' a movement which threatens the most basic of all human rights.'" And, as Dr & Mrs Willke explain, "Planned Parenthood has promoted a pro-abortion 'comic book,' geared for teenagers, entitled Abortion Eve. On the back cover is a caricature of the 'Assumption of the Blessed Virgin' depicting a pregnant Mary with the idiot face of Mad Magazine's Alfred E. Neumann. The caption says, 'What, me worry?'"

George Weigel has written of the New York Times descent into tabloid journalism. But the newspaper has degenerated to such a point that one might justifiably compare it to a Jack Chick publication. In other words, a hate publication.

Monday, March 29, 2010

George Weigel on the New York Times descent into tabloid journalism

"To be persuasive we must be believable; to be believable we must be credible; credible we must be truthful."

"Just because your voice reaches halfway around the world doesn't mean you are wiser than when it reached only to the end of the bar."

- Edward R. Murrow.

Effort to Legally Qualify the Catholic Church as a Criminal Organization

Vienna-based attorney Georg Zanger wants to sue leading members of the Catholic Church on grounds of membership in a criminal organization. See here. The Rev. P. Huchede, in his work entitled "History of Antichrist," explains the religious preparation, both intellectual and moral, for the Reign of Antichrist: "But how shall he deprive the world of Christianity and have himself adored as God? Alas, it is only too true that the minds and hearts of men are admirably disposed for revolution and consequently ready to accept and bear the cruel yoke of such a tyrant. Revolution as the word itself implies means a subversion, but a subversion of all that is true, good, beautiful, and grand in the universe. It is the subversion of religion, representing its dogmas as myths and its moral teachings as tyranical. It is the subversion of authority. Licentiousness under the name of liberty becomes the order of the day; each one is invested with the right to govern himself. It is the subversion of reason: and do we not find leading minds in some of the most enlightened nations denying the principle of contradiction and maintaining the absolute identity of all beings? Revolution is therefore essentially destructive, and it becomes cosmopolitan by the action of secret societies scattered throughout the world. Is it not true to say that the 'mystery of iniquity' is prepared in secret revolutionary dens? But it does not suffice to destroy; it is absolutely necessary to build up again. The world cannot subsist long in a vacuum. It must have a religion; it must have a philosophy; it must have an authority. Revolution will furnish all these. Instead of the reasonable and supernatural religion of Jesus Christ, Revolution will preach Pantheism. The God-humanity will impart the theurgic spirit and thus lead men to adore the demon as the author of universal emancipation...What frightful immorality must follow in the train of this shameless prostitution of religion! Never has the threefold concupiscence made greater ravage among mankind. And this is the religion sought and hoped for as the cherished boon of the aspirations of our modern free thinkers. To our Christian philosophy, the honor of humanity's revolution will substitute a babel of extravagant and absurd ideas. Instead of a mild and efficient authority consecrated alike by Church and state, despotism* and anarchy will rise up and contend for the shreds of religious liberty and human policy...if the state of perversion continue for a while longer, he [Antichrist] will find the world prepared to receive and serve him." (Rev. P. Huchede, History of Antichrist, pp. 13-14, Tan Books).

Related reading here.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Philosopher Sam Harris advances the "Heaven is escapist" argument...

No one can accuse philosopher Sam Harris of being original. During a recent interview with CNN, which may be seen here, Mr. Harris asserted that, "Religion causes people to fixate on issues of less moral importance....Religion has convinced us that there's something else entirely other than concerns about suffering. There's concerns about what God wants, there's concerns about what's going to happen in the afterlife..." In other words, concerns about supernatural realities such as God's Holy Will and Heaven are "escapist" because these "distract us" from the concerns of this world.

It was C.S. Lewis who so eloquently answered this charge of "escapism" with the simple question "Who talks the most against 'escapism'? Jailers." No doubt this point would be lost on Mr. Harris.

Heaven is not escapist because it is real. An idea is only "escapist" if it is a lie. By asserting that the afterlife is somehow "escapist," Mr. Harris is presupposing atheism. But if Heaven is real (and it is), it is escapism not to think about it and realistic to do so. One can almost hear Mr. Harris responding, "There is no scientific evidence to show that Heaven (or the "afterlife") exists." But this argument also falls flat. Where is the scientific evidence proving the notion that nothing exists except what may be proved by scientific evidence? There is no scientific evidence for such an assumption. In fact, such an assumption represents merely a desire to narrow the bounds of reality to that which may be demonstrated by the scientific method.

If Heaven is real and it is our ultimate destination, then it is really our primary task. Which is why we are commanded to "strive first for the kingdom of God" (Matthew 6: 33) because "our citizenship is in heaven." (Phil 3: 19-20). And what of Mr. Harris' assertion that "Religion causes people to fixate on issues of less moral importance"? What could be more important than saving one's soul and attaining eternal life in Heaven with God? How is such an issue of "less moral importance"?

Does concern for the afterlife necessarily distract one from "concerns about suffering"? Did it serve to distract Moses, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Avicenna, Augustine, Aquinas and, of course, Jesus the Christ from such concerns?

God preserve us from such nonsense!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

An unholy agenda resurfaces....

"You seem to be blinded by the ability of Ratzinger and Co. to engage in an international conspiracy to obstruct justice..." (Attorney Daniel Shea in a 2003 email written to me).

Vatican City, March 25, 2010 (

The following is the full text of the statement given to the New York Times on Wednesday by Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican press office.

The tragic case of Father Lawrence Murphy, a priest of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, involved particularly vulnerable victims who suffered terribly from what he did. By sexually abusing children who were hearing-impaired, Father Murphy violated the law and, more importantly, the sacred trust that his victims had placed in him.

During the mid-1970s, some of Father Murphy's victims reported his abuse to civil authorities, who investigated him at that time; however, according to news reports, that investigation was dropped. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith was not informed of the matter until some twenty years later.

It has been suggested that a relationship exists between the application of Crimen sollicitationis and the non-reporting of child abuse to civil authorities in this case. In fact, there is no such relationship. Indeed, contrary to some statements that have circulated in the press, neither Crimen nor the Code of Canon Law ever prohibited the reporting of child abuse to law enforcement authorities.*

In the late 1990s, after over two decades had passed since the abuse had been reported to diocesan officials and the police, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith was presented for the first time with the question of how to treat the Murphy case canonically. The Congregation was informed of the matter because it involved solicitation in the confessional, which is a violation of the Sacrament of Penance. It is important to note that the canonical question presented to the Congregation was unrelated to any potential civil or criminal proceedings against Father Murphy.

In such cases, the Code of Canon Law does not envision automatic penalties, but recommends that a judgment be made not excluding even the greatest ecclesiastical penalty of dismissal from the clerical state (cf. Canon 1395, no. 2). In light of the facts that Father Murphy was elderly and in very poor health, and that he was living in seclusion and no allegations of abuse had been reported in over 20 years, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith suggested that the Archbishop of Milwaukee give consideration to addressing the situation by, for example, restricting Father Murphy's public ministry and requiring that Father Murphy accept full responsibility for the gravity of his acts. Father Murphy died approximately four months later, without further incident.

* Readers of this Blog know that I addressed this fact years ago here at La Salette Journey. See this post and this one.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Vatican says media engaged in "ignoble attempt" to smear the Pope...

"Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in Heaven." (Matthew 5: 11-12).

"Respect for the reputation of persons forbids every attitude and word likely to cause them unjust injury. He becomes guilty...of calumny who, by remarks contrary to the truth, harms the reputation of others and gives occasion for false judgments concerning them." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2477).

Throughout the history of the Church, there have been many saints who were wrongly accused. For example, Blessed Miguel Pro was executed in 1927 by Mexican authorities after being charged with attempting to assasinate government officials. There was no evidence against him. But that didn't concern those who had their own agenda to discredit the Church and her ministers.

Likewise, Pope St. Paschal I was falsely accused of instigating the murder of two of his own papal officials who opposed one of his decisions.

We can expect such attacks to escalate. There are forces determined to undermine the Church's authority in order to advance an unholy agenda. We must now rally behind the Holy Father. We must come to the defense of Christ's Vicar on earth. We must pray for Peter's successor. Just as those who hated the Church assasinated Blessed Pro, so now there is an effort to assasinate the character of our beloved Holy Father.

Related reading here.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

"Is there not a vigorous and united movement in all countries to cast down the Church of Christ from power and place?"

Cardinal John Henry Newman was a prophet. He saw the foundations being laid for apostasy in his own time. He was able to see the signs of sickness within the Body of Christ as surely as a physician today is able to detect a cancer in the human body. In a sermon dealing with the times of Antichrist delivered more than a century ago, his Eminence asked, "And is there no reason to fear that some such Apostasy is gradually preparing, gathering, hastening on in this very day? For is there not at this very time a special effort made almost all over the world, that is, every here and there, more or less, in sight or out of sight, in this or that place, but most visibly or formidably in its most civilized and powerful parts, an effort to do without religion? Is there not an opinion avowed and growing, that a nation has nothing to do with religion; that it is merely a matter for each man's own conscience,-which is all one with saying that we may let the truth fail from the earth without trying to continue it? Is there not a vigorous and united movement in all countries to cast down the Church of Christ from power and place? Is there not a feverish and ever busy endeavour to get rid of the necessity of religion in public transactions? for example, an attempt to get rid of oaths, under a pretence that they are too sacred for affairs of common life, instead of providing that they be taken more reverently and more suitably? an attempt to educate without religion,-that is, by putting all forms of religion together, which comes to the same thing? an attempt to enforce temperance, and the virtues which flow from it, without religion, by means of societies which are built on mere principles of utility? an attempt to make expedience, and not truth the end and the rule of measures of state and the enactments of law an attempt to make numbers, and not truth, the ground of maintaining, or not maintaining this or that creed, as if we had any reason whatever in Scripture for thinking that the many will be in the right, and the few in the wrong? An attempt to deprive the Bible of its one meaning to the exclusion of others, to make people think that it may have a hundred meanings all equally good, or in other words, that it has no meaning at all, is a dead letter, and may be put aside? an attempt to supersede religion altogether, as far as it is external or objective, as far as it is displayed in ordinances, or can be expressed by written words,-to confine it to our inward feelings, and thus, considering how transient, how variable, how evanescent our feelings are, an attempt in fact, to destroy religion?

Surely, there is at this day a confederacy of evil, marshalling its hosts from all parts of the world, organizing itself, taking its measures, enclosing the Church of Christ as in a net, and preparing the way for a general apostasy from it. Whether this very apostasy is to give birth to Antichrist, or whether he is still to be delayed, we cannot know; but at any rate this apostasy, and all its tokens, and instruments, are of the Evil One and saviour of death. Far be it from any of us to be of those simple ones, who are taken in that snare which is circling around us! Far be it from us to be seduced with the fair promises in which Satan is sure to hide his poison! Do you think he is so unskillful in his craft, as to ask you openly and plainly to join him in his warfare against the Truth? No; he offers you baits to tempt you. He promises you civil liberty; he promises you equality; he promises you trade and wealth; he promises you a remission of taxes; he promises you reform. This is the way in which he conceals from you the kind of work to which he is putting you; he tempts you to rail against your rulers and superiors; he does so himself, and induces you to imitate him; or he promises you illumination,-he offers you knowledge, science, philosophy, enlargement of mind. He scoffs at times gone by; he scoffs at every institution which reveres them. He prompts you what to say, and then listens to you, and praises you, and encourages you. He bids you mount aloft. He shows you how to become as gods. Then he laughs and jokes with you, and gets intimate with you; he takes your hand, and gets his fingers between yours, and grasps them, and then you are his."

Man is being conditioned to worship himself. The crisis of faith is a crisis of the supernatural. Once this crisis of faith has reached its zenith, once men have deified themselves, the one whom St. Paul calls "the man of iniquity" will reveal himself to the world. For he can only reveal himself within the context of apostasy, loss of faith - open rebellion against God. Until then he is restrained.

Dostoyevsly makes this point in The Brothers Karamazov:

"Once humanity to a man renounces God (and I believe that period, analogous with the geological periods, will come to pass) the old outlook on life will collapse by itself without cannibalism and, above all, the old morality too, and a new era will dawn. Men will unite to get everything life can give, but only for joy and happiness in this world alone. Man will be exalted with a spirit of divine, titanic pride, and the man-god will make his appearance. Extending his conquest over nature infinitely every hour by his will and science, man will every hour by that very fact feel so lofty a joy that it will make up for his old hopes of the joys of heaven..."
Related reading here and here.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Sewer of Hell...

Most of you are aware of what Vice-President Joseph Biden, a Catholic, said to President Obama after the Senate Health-Care bill was passed. This sad situation is addressed here.

Most priests today will no doubt remain silent on this issue. But the Patron Saint of Parish Priests did not. This is what he had to say about such language.

St. Jean Vianney:


"There is yet another form of wrongdoing which is all the more deplorable in that it is more common, and that is licentious talk. There is nothing more abominable, my dear brethren, nothing more horrible than such talk. Indeed, my children, what could be more out of keeping with the holiness of our religion than impure language? It outrages God, it scandalises our neighbour. To put it even more clearly, loose talk releases all the passions. Very often it requires only one immodest or unseemly word to start a thousand evil thoughts, a thousand shameful desires, perhaps even to cause a fall into an infinite number of other sins and to bring to innocent souls evil of which they had been happily ignorant.

Can the Christian really afford to occupy his mind with such horrible images, a Christian who is the temple of the Holy Ghost, a Christian who has been sanctified by contact with the most adorable Body and precious Blood of Jesus Christ? Oh, Lord, if we had but some small idea of what we do when we commit sin! If our Lord has taught us that we may judge the tree by its fruit, you may judge after listening to the talk of certain people what must be the corruption of their hearts; and yet such corruption is very commonly encountered

What sort of conversation do you hear among young people?

Is there anything in their mouths but this kind of loose talk?

Go -- I dare to say it with St. John Chrysostom -- go into these cabarets, into these haunts of impurity! What does the conversation turn upon, even among elderly people? Are they not trying to make a name for themselves by seeing who can be the most outrageous? Their mouths are like some sewer that Hell makes use of to spew its filth and its impurities over the earth and drag souls down to its depths. What are these bad Christians -- or rather these envoys from the nether regions -- doing?

Instead of singing the praises of God, their songs are shameful and hideous; they are songs which ought to make a Christian die of horror. Oh, great God, who would not tremble at the thought of what God's judgment of all this will be! If, as Jesus Christ Himself tells us, not a single idle word will be unpunished, alas! What will be the punishment for these licentious conversations, these indecent topics, these shameful and horrible images, which make the hair stand on end? If you would imagine how blind these poor unhappy people are, just listen to them talking after this fashion: "I had no bad intention," they will tell you, "it was just for a laugh; these things are only trifles, little stupid things, that mean nothing at all."

Is that so, my dear brethren? A sin so horrible in God's eyes that sacrilege alone surpasses it in evil! This is a trifle to you?

No, it is your hearts which are destroyed and corrupted! No! No! No one can afford to laugh or joke about something from which we should fly in horror, as we would from some pursuing beast which wanted to devour us. Besides, my dear brethren, what a crime it is to like something which God wants us to detest with all our hearts! You may tell me that you had no bad intentions, but tell me this, too, miserable and wretched tool of Hell, what about those who are listening to you -- do they have less bad thoughts and criminal desires after they have heard you? Will your harmless intention stay the workings of their imaginations and their hearts? Be honest and tell me that you are, in fact, the cause of the loss and eternal damnation of their souls! How many souls are hurled into Hell because of this sin?

The Holy Ghost tells us that this ugly sin of impurity has covered the whole surface of the earth.

I will say no more now on this subject, my children. I will return to it in an instruction when I shall do my best to depict it for you again with even more horror."

Meditation: Matthew 12: 34.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Dragon's Tail...

New scandals in Spain and Austria.

Our Lady told Sr. Marianne de Jesus Torres (17th century - Our Lady of Good Success, Quito, Ecuador):

"The Church will find itself attacked by waves of a secret sect ... corrupted priests will scandalize the Church ... Moreover, in these unhappy times there will be unbridled luxury which, acting thus to snare the rest into sin, will conquer innumerable frivolous souls who will lose themselves. Innocence will almost no longer be found in children, nor modesty in women, and, in this supreme moment of need of the Church, those whom it behooves to speak will fall silent."

“As for the Sacrament of Matrimony, which symbolizes the union of Christ with His Church, it will be attacked and deeply profaned. Freemasonry, which will then be in power, will enact iniquitous laws with the aim of doing away with this Sacrament, making it easy for everyone to live in sin and encouraging the procreation of illegitimate children born without the blessing of the Church. The Catholic spirit will rapidly decay; the precious light of Faith will gradually be extinguished until there will be an almost total and general corruption of customs. Added to this will be the effects of secular education, which will be one reason for the dearth of priestly and religious vocations. “The Sacrament of Holy Orders will be ridiculed, oppressed, and despised, for in this Sacrament, the Church of God and even God Himself is scorned and despised since He is represented in His priests.

The Devil will try to persecute the ministers of the Lord in every possible way; he will labor with cruel and subtle astuteness to deviate them from the spirit of their vocation and will corrupt many of them. These depraved priests, who will scandalize the Christian people, will make the hatred of bad Catholics and the enemies of the Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church fall upon all priests. "This apparent triumph of Satan will bring enormous sufferings to the good Pastors of the Church, the many good priests, and the Supreme Pastor and Vicar of Christ on Earth, who, a prisoner in the Vatican, will shed secret and bitter tears in the presence of his God and Lord, beseeching light, sanctity, and perfection for all the clergy of the world, of whom he is King and Father. Our Lord told her: "My Justice will be tried to the limit by the evils and sacrileges of the 20th Century ... I shall punish heresy, blasphemy and impurity."

"Then all the earth will writhe in convulsions..."

Once again the Pro-Life movement has been betrayed as the Culture of Death advances. The forces behind the Socialist Society will not be deterred. They are determined to destroy the old society in order to build an atheistic society on its ashes. Archbishop Fulton Sheen writes, "Dostoyevsky, who understood atheism better than Nietzsche and who saw it coming in his own beloved land, knew that atheism had to be associated with the destruction of the old society. There was some suggestion that an overplanned or socialistic society had to be the prelude of an atheistic society. As he made one of his characters say: 'If Aloysha had not believed in God, he would have become a socialist.' For the man-god to grow in age and wisdom, two conditions must be fulfilled. The heavens must be emptied, and man must be secularized. Both will be achieved by turning freedom into license. Men will be asked to give up God because His Commandments 'enslave' and because our will often runs counter to His. When finally everyone has his own will and does whatever he pleases, then there will be a chaos due to the conflict of egotisms. It will then be necessary for Big Brother, or the state, to organize this chaos into a closed socialist society and the formulas given by the character, Shigalev, the theorist of the Communism to come: 'Having set out from unlimited freedom, I have ended up with unlimited despotism.' What Dostoyevsky was predicting through his characters, Nietzsche was saying through his philosophy. As he put it: 'I heralded the coming of the tragic era. We must be prepared for a long succession of demolitions, devastations, and upheavals...There will be wars such as the world has never seen. Europe will soon be enveloped in darkness. We shall watch the rising of the black tide.' And in another work, he wrote: 'A catastrophe is at hand. A catastrophe whose name I know*, whose name I shall not tell...Then all the earth will writhe in convulsions.'" (Fulton Sheen, essay entitled "The Death of God").

* John 5: 43.

It could never happen here......right?

As shown here, the National Socialists attempted a transformation of German music by banning Jewish performers and conductors and any music written by Jews or which was felt to be inconsistent with the Nazi worldview. Of course, this could never happen in the United States. We cherish freedom here. Right?

Or do we?
Related reading here and here.

Monday, March 22, 2010

En route to tyranny...

"As the modern-day freedom fighters begin to organize and strategize, the government chooses not to reform, but to entrench and expand its control over the people. The similarity is remarkable, between the rise of the Democratic Socialist Party now in control of Washington and the rise of the National Socialist Workers Party of Germany in the 1930s." - Mr. Henry Lamb, author of "The Rise of Global Governance."

Related reading: The myth of the pro-life Democrat.

Related reading: A secular messiah A secular messiah Part II.

Related reading: Obama poised to create New World Order
Update: The change we need or preparation for the Reign of Antichrist? See here.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Deacon Jim Couture of Saint Joseph's Parish in Fitchburg promotes Fr. John Powell S.J. at Holy Mass

During the 9 AM Mass at Saint Joseph's Parish in Fitchburg, Deacon Jim Couture spoke approvingly of Father John Powell's book entitled "He Touched Me." Father John Powell, S.J., is well-known in liberal circles and published more than 30 books on the subject of love. He is also an admitted sexual predator who, as this article explains, abused "at least six the late 60's and 70's." Father Powell is also well-known as a priest-abuser as this article makes clear.

I remember reading a couple of his books in the 1980's when he was being heavily promoted on PBS. I was immediately struck by the fact that Fr. Powell was a liberal priest with some very strange ideas. For example, in one book he mocks the Salve Regina as being something of an exercise in morbid spirituality since it refers to life as a "vale of tears." The Salve Regina (Hail, Holy Queen) dates from the eleventh century. It is attributed to various authors and was added to the Liturgy of the Hours by Pope St. Pius V in the sixteenth century. (See Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 966).

Why would Deacon Jim Couture want to cite anything from Father Powell's books? With all the Saints and Doctors and Fathers of the Church, he chooses to promote the work of a predator-priest?

Lord Jesus, Maranatha!

Related reading here.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The world wishes to be seduced...

In the last days leading up to Antichrist, there will apear many anti-christs. Indeed, this is the chief sign by which we will know that the hour of the great trial is at hand. During this time, evil will abound more than at any other period in the history of the world. As darkness descends upon the Church, fiction will be preferred to truth. We have arrived at the time when the world wishes to be seduced.

It is now the time referred to by Saint Augustine, Father and Doctor of the Church, "For then shall Satan be loosed, and by means of that Antichrist shall work with all power in a lying though a wonderful manner...they shall be such signs and wonders as shall seduce those who shall deserve to be seduced, 'because they received not the love of the truth that they might be saved.' Neither did the apostle scruple to go on to say, 'For this cause God shall send upon them the working of error that they should believe a lie.' For God shall send, because God shall permit the devil to do these things, the permission being by His own just judgment, though the doing of them is in pursuance of the devil's unrighteous and malignant purpose, 'that they all might be judged who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.' Therefore, being judged, they shall be seduced, and, being seduced, they shall be judged. But, being judged, they shall be seduced by those secretly just and justly secret judgments of God, with which He has never ceased to judge since the first sin of the rational creatures; and, being seduced, they shall be judged in that last and manifest judgment administered by Jesus Christ, who was Himself most unjustly judged and shall most justly judge." (City of God, Modern Library edition, p. 740).
"The liberties of our country, the freedoms of our civil Constitution are worth defending at all hazards; it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors. They purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood. It will bring a mark of everlasting infamy on the present generation – enlightened as it is – if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or to be cheated out of them by the artifices of designing men."

Samuel Adams

Related reading here.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Christianophobia in Fitchburg (and beyond)...

Recently, the Sentinel & Enterprise published a letter to the editor which I wrote in response to comments made by Fitchburg City Councilor Kevin Starr to the effect that pro-life views have "no place" at City Council meetings. Several hateful comments have been left in response to my letter to the editor. One individual wrote:

"You Jesus freaks are outright stupid. This debate has nothing to do with religion, it has to do with whether or not an organization (with state funding) should be allowed to operate in our city. An organization mind you, that will provide free birth control and contraceptives to your $LUT daughters and your horny sons, and keep kids still in high school from having kids that the taxpayers have to pay to support. Planned Parenthood is a great organization who has positively served thousands of cities in the country for years. Go hide behind your crucifix just don't complain when your 14 year old daughter gets knocked up by some PR kid behind Market Basket and expects a handout from uncle sam. Begone hypocrites.

Kevin Starr is right. His comments ensure that both he and the city council stay on issue and dont get swayed by talks of the second coming of jesus and how god wouldn't want the state handing out condoms to kids who are just gonna **** with or without them. That's the truth, deal with it." (See here).

This debate has nothing to do with religion asserts this unhappy individual as he labels opponents of Planned Parenthood "Jesus freaks" while exhorting them to "go hide behind your crucifix."

Hatred for the crucifix is growing as intolerance and discrimination against Christians continues to widen. In Bad Soden, Germany, crosses were removed from hospital walls and thrown into trash bags [much as aborted babies are thrown into trash bags] as patients watched.

Fanaticism, as proven by the items listed above, stems from the will to power and not religion.
The French philosopher Jacques Maritain addresses this fact in his work entitled "On the Use of Philosophy," which is actually a compilation of three essays.

His second essay is entitled "truth and human fellowship." He writes:

"'O liberty, how many crimes are committed in thy name!' Madame Roland said, mounting the scaffold. O Truth, it may be said, how often blind violence and oppression have been let loose in thy name in history! 'Zeal for truth,' as Father Victor White puts it, 'has too often been a cloak for the most evil and revolting of human passions.' As a result, some people think that in order to set human existence free from these evil passions, and make men live in peace and pleasant quiet, the best way is to get rid of any zeal for truth or attachment to truth. Thus it is that after the violence and cruelty of wars of religion, a period of skepticism usually occurs, as at the time of Montaigne and Charron. Here we have only the swing of the pendulum moving from one extreme to the other. Skepticism, moreover, may happen to hold those who are not skeptical to be barbarous, childish, or subhuman, and it may happen to treat them as badly as the zealot treats the unbeliever. Then skepticism proves to be as intolerant as fanaticism - it becomes the fanaticism of doubt. This is a sign that skepticism is not the answer. The answer is humility, together with faith in truth...

The problem of truth and human fellowship is important for democratic societies; it seems to me to be particularly important for this country [United States], where men and women coming from a great diversity of national stocks and religious or philosophical creeds have to live together. If each one of them endeavored to impose his own convictions and the truth in which he believes on all his co-citizens, would not living together become impossible? That is obviously right. Well, it is easy, too easy, to go a step further, and to ask: if each one sticks to his own convictions, will not each one endeavor to impose his own convictions on all others? So that, as a result, living together will become impossible if any citizen whatever sticks to his own convictions and believes in a given truth? Thus it is not unusual to meet people who think that not to believe in any truth, or not to adhere firmly to any assertion as unshakeably true in itself, is a primary condition required of democratic citizens in order to be tolerant of one another. May I say that these people are in fact the most intolerant people, for if perchance they were to believe in something as unshakeably true, they would feel compelled, by the same stroke, to impose by force and coercion their own belief on their co-citizens...

The only remedy they have found to get rid of their abiding tendency to fanaticism is to cut themselves off from truth. That is a suicidal method. It is a suicidal conception of democracy: not only would a democratic society which lived on universal skepticism condemn itself to death by starvation; but it would also enter a process of self-annihilation, from the very fact that no democratic society can live without a common practical belief in those truths which are freedom, justice, law, and the other tenets of democracy; and that any belief in these things as objectively and unshakeably true, as well as in any other kind of truth, would be brought to naught by the preassumed law of universal skepticism....

It is, no doubt, easy to observe that in the history of mankind nothing goes to show that, from primitive times on, religious feeling or religious ideas have been particularly successful in pacifying men; religious differences seem rather to have fed and sharpened their conflicts. On the one hand truth always makes trouble, and those who bear witness to it are always persecuted: 'Do not think that I came to send peace upon earth; I came not to send peace, but the sword.' (Matthew 10:34). On the other hand - and this is the point we must face - those who know or claim to know truth happen sometimes to persecute others. I do not deny the fact; I say that this fact, like all other facts, needs to be understood. It only means that, given the weakness of our nature, the impact of of the highest and most sacred things upon the coarseness of the human heart is liable to make these things, by accident, a prey to its passions, as long as it has not been purified by genuine love. It is nonsense to regard fanaticism as a fruit of religion. Fanaticism is a natural tendency rooted in our basic egotism and will to power. It seizes upon any noble feeling to live on it. The only remedy for religious fanaticism is the Gospel light and the progress of religious consciousness in faith itself and in that fraternal love which is the fruit of the human soul's union with God. For then man realizes the sacred transcendence of truth and of God. The more he grasps truth, through science, philosophy, or faith, the more he feels what immensity remains to be grasped within this very truth. The more he knows God, either by reason or by faith, the more he understands that our concepts attain (through analogy) but do not circumscribe Him, and that His thoughts are not like our thoughts: for 'who hath known the mind of the Lord, or who hath become His counselor.' (Isaias 40:13). The more strong and deep faith becomes, the more man kneels down, not before his own alleged ignorance of truth, but before the inscrutable mystery of divine truth, and before the hidden ways in which God goes to meet those who search Him....

To sum up, the real problem has to do with the human subject, endowed as he is with his rights in relation to his fellow men, and afflicted as he is by the vicious inclinations which derive from his will to power. On the one hand, the error of the absolutists who would like to impose truth by coercion comes from the fact that they shift their right feelings about the object from the object to the subject; and they think that just as error has no rights of its own and should be banished from the mind (through the means of the mind), so man when he is in error has no rights of his own and should be banished from human fellowship (through the means of human power).

On the other hand, the error of the theorists who make relativism, ignorance, and doubt a necessary condition for mutual tolerance comes from the fact that they shift their right feelings about the human subject - who must be respected even if he is in error - from the subject to the object; and thus they deprive man and the human intellect of the very act - adherence to the truth - in which consists man's dignity and reason for living." (Jacques Maritain, On the Use of Philosophy: Three Essays, pp. 16, 17, 21-23).

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The repudiation of the sovereignty of God and the denial of the primacy of the spiritual...

"..right is based, not upon men’s opinions, but upon Nature. This fact will immediately be plain if you once get a clear conception of man’s fellowship and union with his fellow-men. For no single thing is so like another, so exactly its counterpart, as all of us are to one another…And so, however we may define man, a single definition will apply to all." [ Cicero, Laws I x 28-30]

Lifesite News is reporting that Planned Parenthood once acknowledged (in an October 1952 pamphlet), that abortion "...kills the life of a baby after it has begun" and that "it is dangerous" to a woman's "life and health." But Mayor Lisa Wong and certain members of the Fitchburg City Council appear determined to welcome Planned Parenthood and its anti-life agenda into the city.
It was the first Bishop of Worcester, John J. Wright, in an address to the Worcester Ministers' Association given on January 15, 1952, who said, "The undermining of God's standard in community affairs has been further hastened by the denial or neglect of the primacy of the spiritual, with a consequent debasing of human personality and degradation of human society. Ours is a technical civilization, a know-how rather than a know-why civilization, and therefore one in which material and mechanical values tend to dominate thought and action. Excessive emphasis on know-how and impatience with know-why have produced the cult of the body, the predominance of the material, the worship of the gadget, an indifference to the spiritual and a repudiation of the moral...In the practical order, from the repudiation of the sovereignty of God and the denial of the primacy of the spiritual, comes the refusal, born, as it were, out of the blend of the two, to acknowledge the necessary relation which must exist between all human positive law worthy of the name and the moral law that God has writ in nature, that He causes to echo in the healthy conscience and that He has clarified through Revelation....

Before the appeal to conscience can recover its ancient power to change men, to renew the very face of the earth, there must be universal all-out witness to the sovereignty of God, the spiritual responsibility of man and the all-inclusive application of His law....Against the idea of God's Law there are a host of rival norms of conduct which plague our generation. Expressions such as my life is my own affair or I may do as I please or who cares? or in politics, anything goes or all's fair in love and war - all betray a gross misunderstanding of the moral order of those interlinking relations among men and nations of which God's standard is the only correct measure. All human rights and duties have their source in God's law*; otherwise they are meaningless.."

* Exodus 20:13

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

"...democracies...which seem at times to have lost the ability to make decisions aimed at the common good."

In his Encyclical Letter Centesimus annus, No. 47, Pope John Paul II reminded us that: "Following the collapse of Communist totalitarianism and of many other totalitarian and 'national security' regimes, today we are witnessing a predominance, not without signs of opposition, of the democratic ideal, together with lively attention to and concern for human rights. But for this very reason it is necessary for peoples in the process of reforming their systems to give democracy an authentic and solid foundation through the explicit recognition of those rights. Among the most important of these rights, mention must be made of the right to life, an integral part of which is the right of the child to develop in the mother's womb from the moment of conception; the right to live in a united family and in a moral environment conducive to the growth of the child's personality; the right to develop one's intelligence and freedom in seeking and knowing the truth; the right to share in the work which makes wise use of the earth's material resources, and to derive from that work the means to support oneself and one's dependents; and the right freely to establish a family, to have and to rear children through the responsible exercise of one's sexuality. In a certain sense, the source and synthesis of these rights is religious freedom, understood as the right to live in the truth of one's faith and in conformity with one's transcendent dignity as a person.

Even in countries with democratic forms of government, these rights are not always fully respected. Here we are referring not only to the scandal of abortion, but also to different aspects of a crisis within democracies themselves, which seem at times to have lost the ability to make decisions aimed at the common good. Certain demands which arise within society are sometimes not examined in accordance with criteria of justice and morality, but rather on the basis of the electoral or financial power of the groups promoting them. With time, such distortions of political conduct create distrust and apathy, with a subsequent decline in the political participation and civic spirit of the general population, which feels abused and disillusioned. As a result, there is a growing inability to situate particular interests within the framework of a coherent vision of the common good. The latter is not simply the sum total of particular interests; rather it involves an assessment and integration of those interests on the basis of a balanced hierarchy of values; ultimately, it demands a correct understanding of the dignity and the rights of the person."

Men have succeeded in using the courts to attain legal approval for many types of immoral conduct, including abortion and homosexuality, without any consideration for the common good. And this is precisely why America is deteriorating, it has succumbed to a moral cancer which will ruin it from within. In the words of English correspondent Ian Brodie: "The keys to this personality change [from God-fearing nation to pagan society] are a number of Supreme Court decisions which virtually outlaw censorship and decree that obscenity is not illegal...It is a curious irony that the Supreme Court, dedicated to preserving the freedom which is the foundation of American life, has confused it with license. In doing so it has given its seal of approval to the sick society which will undermine the United States from within." (Sir Arnold Lunn and Garth Lean, Christian Counter-Attack, London: Blandford Press, 1969, pp. 50-51).

Or as Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn so eloquently warned: "Destructive and irresponsible freedom has been granted boundless space. Society appears to have little defense against the abyss of human decadence, such as, for example, the misuse of liberty for moral violence against young people, motion pictures full of pornography, crime and horror. This is considered to be part of freedom, and theoretically counterbalanced by the young peoples' right not to look or not to accept. Life organized legalistically has thus shown its inability to defend itself against the corrosion of evil." ("A World Split Apart," Commencement Address at Harvard University, June 8, 1978, reprinted in National Review, July 7, 1978).

Where is all of this leading? Initially to a thinly disguised and then an eventually open totalitarianism. When man becomes God, as Gabriel Marcel noted, society becomes a termite colony and collapses from within. Enter the Man of Sin and the concentration camp. - for this is where atheistic humanism will lead us. To absolute despotism.

Related reading: The first Bishop of Worcester and the common good.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

"...And his tail was dragging along the third part of the stars of heaven and he dashed them to the earth.."

"'And a great sign appeared in heaven,' wrote St. John in the twelfth chapter of his Apocalypse. 'A woman clothed in the sun, and the moon under her feet, having on her head a crown of twelve stars...and I heard a voice in heaven saying: Now is come salvation and strength and the kingdom of God and the power of His Christ.....And another sign was seen in the heaven, and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his head seven diadems. And his tail was dragging along the third part of the stars of heaven and he dashed them to the earth.'

Most Scripture scholars agree that the sign of the Woman in heaven has a double symbolism, referring to Mary and to the Church. The sign of the red dragon and the beast, who comes up from the abyss to wage war against the camp of the saints, refers to Satan and the Antichrist. Earlier in chapter nine, St. John depicts the confusion and division, through heresy and schism, that these two agents of evil will bring upon the Church and the whole world in the last days.

Once again it is profitable to apply St. John's vision of falling stars, but this time with special application to the relationship between Mary and her priests. In her many apparitions Mary constantly requests prayers, reparation and compensation for the sins of priests. As the most valiant of all women, indeed, of all saints, she wants to bestow on all who have been ordained into the holy priesthood of her Son a high degree of her own heroic faith, fidelity and zeal. For she knows how necessary these virtues are for priests if they are to dedicate their lives wholeheartedly to attaining the glory of God and the salvation of souls. Mary knows, too, that priests are the special target of Satan's malice who would destroy her Son's Church through the corruption of His priests. St. John, using striking dramatic metaphors, reveals the destructive tactics of Satan and the Antichrist.

'And I saw a star which had fallen from heaven to the earth, and there was given to him the key of the bottomless pit, and there went up from the pit a smoke like that of a furnace; and the sun was darkened and the air, by reason of the smoke of the pit. And out of the smoke locusts went forth upon the earth and they were harm only such men as have not the seal of God upon their forehead.'

Now in prophetic symbolism falling stars almost always refer to tepid, weak or apostate bishops and priests who are harbingers of grief and disaster to the whole world. The key to the shaft of the abyss is an emblem of their apostasy. Such traitorous religious leaders and teachers ally themselves with the rebellious angels. Instead of using the keys of the kingdom of God, which they have received from the Church through their priesthood and the mission of teaching the Gospel so as to suppress and defeat the satanic forces incarnate in wicked men while advancing the holiness of the faithful, they rather abuse their powers to foster and propagate error and evil. They opt to open the abyss and let loose upon the earth the plagues of darkness and wickedness.

Today too many fallen stars - rebellious bishops, priests, theologians, philosophers, nuns and Catholic intellectuals - are abusing their sacerdotal powers and intellectual gifts to seduce, enslave and precipitate into hell vast numbers of wayward sheep. Out of the darkness of the pit they have loosed the forces of error, evil and scandal. The smoke streaming from the pit darkens the sun of Christ's truth and obliterates the splendour of His holiness; it infects the air with decadent, immoral odors. Everything is cast into confusion; gloom infests the world of religion and reason; grace, the life-giving oxygen of the soul and body, is strangled out of the supernatural organisms of the children of God. Moreover, the darkening sun and sky betoken the eclipse of the Teaching Authority of the Church, the lowering of men's respect and love for her, their loss of reverence for her Master and the demeaning of both Christ and His Church to the level of being mere natural, defective organs of society lusting after domination over men's souls and bodies through the accumulation of material riches and political power.." (Fr. Vincent P. Miceli, S.J., The Antichrist: Has he lauched his final campaign against the Savior?", pp. 260-261).
More than ever today, we need to pray for Christ's priests. This is not a time to engage in anti-clericalism. Faithful priests need our support. They need our prayers. We are now facing the final confrontation between two camps: the one belonging to Our Lord Jesus and His Mother and the other to Satan and the Antichrist.
Pray and offer reparation. Offer your Holy Mass and your Holy Rosary every day not only for your own spiritual needs but for priests.
Related reading here.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Greater Fitchburg for Life

There is a new Pro-Life Blog covering the ongoing moral crisis which has descended upon the city of Fitchburg. The Blog is called Greater Fitchburg for Life and may be found here. These good people who are fighting for life "feel a need to proclaim it and bear witness to it in all its marvelous newness since it is one with Jesus himself who makes all things new and conquers the 'oldness' which comes from sin and leads to death." (Evangelium Vitae, No. 80, citing St. Irenaeus and St. Aquinas).

This is an ongoing spiritual battle. It would be a grave error to believe that this battle may be won by human action alone (as important as such action is). It will only be won through prayer and fasting. This because some demons are only driven out in this manner.

Won't you offer your prayers - and especially at Holy Mass and while praying the Holy Rosary - for the success of the Pro-Life movement in Fitchburg. Together with the help of God's grace, Fitchburg can (and will) be made new.
Read this and reflect upon the fact that Mayor Lisa Wong wants Planned Parenthood in Fitchburg.

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Sentinel & Enterprise is to be a point.

"The partisan, when he is engaged in a dispute, cares nothing about the rights of the question, but is anxious only to convince his hearers of his own assertions." - Socrates, Phaedo 85.

In an editorial entitled "Councilor Starr, Old Glory's a symbol of freedom of speech," (Friday, March 12th edition of the newspaper, the Sentinel & Enterprise rightly chides Fitchburg City Councilor Kevin Starr for inappropriately lashing out at pro-life advocates saying, "We couldn't disagree more with Starr's comments. First of all, one of the most important things the American flag stands for is freedom of speech. That means when people, including his constituents, take the time to show up at City Hall to speak out about an issue, they have the absolute right, and we believe responsibility, to tell city councilors how they feel. We think it's exactly the kind of discussion that should be taking place at City Hall and frankly are puzzled with Starr's comments about the a city councilor, we believe Starr has a responsibility to listen to his constituents' concerns, as long as they are presented in a civil way, even when he disagrees with them."

But then the newspaper drops the ball toward the end of this editorial when it says, "We don't believe that Starr owes anyone an apology, because we believe firmly that Starr, like the pro-life advocates he criticized and like Hughes [Rev. Thomas Hughes, Pastor of New Creation Community Church in Fitchburg], has the solemn right to say what's on his mind."

This misses the point entirely. Mr. Starr doesn't owe anyone an apology for exercising his free speech rights. He owes an apology to the community because, as an elected governmental official, he expressed a desire to restrict expression because of its message or content.

There is a paramount principle in American jurisprudence that "above all else, the First Amendment means that government has no power to restrict expression because of its message, its ideas, its subject matter, or its content." Police Dep't of Chicago v. Mosley, 408 U.S. 92,95, 33 L. Ed. 2d 212, 92 S. Ct. 2286 (1972); see also Consolidated Edison Co. v.Public Serv. Comm'n, 447 U.S. 530, 537, 65 L. Ed. 2d 319, 100 S. Ct. 2326(1980). And that: "For the State to enforce a content-based exclusion it must show that its regulation is necessary to serve a compelling state interest and that it is narrowly drawn to achieve that end." Perry Educational Ass'n v. Perry Local Educators'Ass'n, 460 U.S. 37, 45, 74 L. Ed. 2d 794, 103 S. Ct. 948 (1983). Cannon v. Cityand County of Denver, 998 F.2d at 871-72

Just as Mr. Starr's constituents have a responsibility to present their views to him [and other government officials] "in a civil way," so too Mr. Starr owes his constituents the courtesy of remaining civil while not attempting to restrict expression because he doesn't happen to like the message.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Letter to the Editor: Sentinel & Enterprise

To the Editor:

Ward 4 Councilor Kevin Starr, speaking at a recent City Council meeting about pro-lifers who oppose a Planned Parenthood proposal to open an office in the city, said that he “will not tolerate those morals being pushed on me and these members of the Council” and added that people should “keep their personal beliefs to themselves.” Apparently Mr. Starr doesn’t believe that he should keep his personal beliefs to himself.

Mr. Starr has a distorted notion of tolerance. Tolerance is the willingness to accept actions which we believe are inappropriate or even wrong because it would be worse to take action against them. In other words, tolerance is community oriented. But to tolerate crimes such as rape and murder (and abortion is murder) would be wrong since tolerating them would do greater harm to the community, to the common good, than correcting them would.

I submit that Mr. Starr is not really advocating “tolerance” but relativism, which is profoundly anti-community. Why is relativism anti-community? Because if there are no standards of morality to which we should adhere, tolerance is no better than intolerance. It was C.S. Lewis who reminded us that, “…if truth is objective, if we live in a world we did not create and cannot change merely by thinking, if the world is not really a dream of our own, then the most destructive belief we could possibly believe would be the denial of this primary fact. It would be like closing your eyes while driving, or blissfully ignoring the doctor’s warnings.” (“The Poison of Subjectivism,” in Christian Reflections).

Not long after the City Council meeting, Mr. Starr maintained that some of the pro-life advocates are “narrow-minded.” This was obviously intended as an insult. But Mr. Starr may have inadvertently paid the highest tribute to these pro-lifers. After all, reality is terribly narrow. It was the Christ who warned us to, “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many. How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few.” (Matthew 7: 13, 14).

Perhaps Mr. Starr is too “broad-minded”?

Related reading here.

Massachusetts: On the verge of totalitarianism

In his Encyclical Letter Centesimus Annus, Pope John Paul II warned us that, "....totalitarianism arises out of a denial of truth in the objective sense. If there is no transcendent truth, in obedience to which man achieves his full identity, then there is no sure principle for guaranteeing just relations between people. Their self-interest as a class, group or nation would inevitably set them in opposition to one another. If one does not acknowledge transcendent truth, then the force of power takes over, and each person tends to make full use of the means at his disposal in order to impose his own interests or his own opinion, with no regard for the rights of others. People are then respected only to the extent that they can be exploited for selfish ends. Thus, the root of modern totalitarianism is to be found in the denial of the transcendent dignity of the human person who, as the visible image of the invisible God, is therefore by his very nature the subject of rights which no one may violate — no individual, group, class, nation or State. Not even the majority of a social body may violate these rights, by going against the minority, by isolating, oppressing, or exploiting it, or by attempting to annihilate it.." (No. 44).

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Fitchburg City Councilor Kevin Starr: "No place" for pro-life views

As reported in the Sentinel & Enterprise, Fitchburg City Councilor Kevin Starr, speaking of pro-life Christians who oppose Planned Parenthood opening an office in the city and who wish to express their views to local government, has said that he "will not tolerate those morals" and that "there's no place for those discussions to take place in here" [City Council meetings]. See here.

The United States Supreme Court, in its Opinion in Lamb's Chapel v. Center Moriches Union Free School District (June 7, 1993), said that, 'The principle that has emerged from our cases is that the First Amendment forbids the government to regulate speech in ways that favor some viewpoints or ideas at the expense of others." And yet, Fitchburg City government appears to be doing just that as Catholic blogger JayG reports here.
Related reading: Mayor Wong and recycling.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Pope Benedict XVI emphasizes that the laity are co-responsible for the Church

In other words, the laity are not "second-class" citizens within the Church.

"Since, like all the faithful, lay Christians are entrusted by God with the apostolate by virtue of their Baptism and Confirmation, they have the right and duty, individually or grouped in associations, to work so that the divine message of salvation may be known and accepted by all men throughout the earth. This duty is the more pressing when it is only through them that men can hear the Gospel and know Christ. Their activity in ecclesial communities is so necessary that, for the most part, the apostolate of the pastors cannot be fully effective without it." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 900).

In his Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Christifideles Laici (The Lay Members of Christ's Faithful People), Pope John Paul II reminded us that, "The voice of the Lord clearly resounds in the depths of each of Christ's followers who, through faith and the sacraments of Christian initiation is made like to Jesus Christ, is incorporated as a living member in the Church and has an active part in her mission of salvation." (No. 3).

Sadly, there are all too many clerics who haven't really embraced this authentic teaching of the Magisterium. For such clerics, the laity are second-class citizens who are tolerated but not really embraced fully as collaborators in the life and mission of the Church. This is most unfortunate. It was Pope Pius XII who said that, "The Faithful, more precisely the lay faithful, find themselves on the front lines of the Church's life; for them the Church is the animating principle for human society. Therefore, they in particular, ought to have an ever-clearer consciousness not only of belonging the Church, but of being the Church, that is to say, the community of the faithful on earth under the leadership of the Pope, the head of all, and of the Bishops in communion with him. These are the Church..." (Pius XII, Discourse to the New Cardinals, February 20, 1946: AAS 38 (1946), 149).

The truth of lay participation in the priesthood of Christ follows logically from the doctrine of the Mystical Body. Everyone who is incorporated into the Mystical Body participates in the dignities, honors, and offices of the Mystical Head (Jesus). "Because Christ is our head," says St. Thomas Aquinas, "that which was conferred upon him, was also in him conferred upon us" (Summa Theologica, III, q. 58, a.4, ad 1). Or, as Pope John Paul II put it: "Referring to the baptized as 'new born babes', the apostle Peter writes: 'Come to him, to that living stone, rejected by men but in God's sight chosen and precious; and like living stones be yourselves built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ ... you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people, that you may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light' (1 Pt 2:4-5, 9).

A new aspect to the grace and dignity coming from Baptism is here introduced: the lay faithful participate, for their part, in the threefold mission of Christ as Priest, Prophet and King. This aspect has never been forgotten in the living tradition of the Church, as exemplified in the explanation which St. Augustine offers for Psalm 26: 'David was anointed king. In those days only a king and a priest were anointed. These two persons prefigured the one and only priest and king who was to come, Christ (the name "Christ" means "anointed"). Not only has our head been anointed but we, his body, have also been anointed ... therefore anointing comes to all Christians, even though in Old Testament times it belonged only to two persons. Clearly we are the Body of Christ because we are all "anointed" and in him are "christs", that is, "anointed ones", as well as Christ himself, "The Anointed One". In a certain way, then, it thus happens that with head and body the whole Christ is formed..'

In the wake of the Second Vatican Council, at the beginning of my pastoral ministry, my aim was to emphasize forcefully the priestly, prophetic and kingly dignity of the entire People of God..." (Christifideles Laici, No. 14).

Related reading here.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

There are demons at work there...

"The cruise company had prepared a special treat for that evening. As dusk settled over the Nile, the Gants and the other guests were escorted by uniformed guides down the long Avenue of the Sphinxes that connects Karnak and the temple of the old gods. There they were, those gods, scores of them: ram-headed, floodlit, and magnificent, crouching stark against a background of palms and a sky the color of cobalt. Costumed light bearers had been stationed at intervals, each holding aloft a flambeau. It was kitsch but it was breathtaking. It was calculated to set the mood for the remainder of the evening.

Aperitifs were served in the colonnaded temple. Thereupon the guests entered the magnificent open-air dining area and were seated at tables laid with white and gold linen. Candlelight bathed the scene, and the floodlit, ancient columns formed a stunning backdrop on three sides. The air was laden with rich spices and the aromas of the East. Waiters in traditional costume glided from one table to another, serving a four-course dinner as music emanated from a classical quartet.

'This is the life, eh?' someone said. 'Sure beats an all-you-can-eat shrimp supper down at Al's Seafood Diner.' His friends chuckled. The food was excellent, the company convivial. The wines, too, were fine and copious.

Halfway through the meal, however, just as the musicians had ended one piece and were about to embark on another, the tranquil atmosphere of the evening was shattered. A terrifying scream rent the air, sending a chill through the assembled diners.

'It was like a wounded animal, not human at all,' Malachi recalls, 'and it frightened the life out of everybody, because everybody stopped eating at once. You could've heard a pin drop, as they say.' All eyes were fixed on a solitary man at one of the tables. He seemed oblivious to what he had just done and sat staring into the middle distance, at something it appeared only he could see. Moments later he got to his feet, letting the chair fall back with a clatter. Malachi recognized him; he had spoken with him earlier - the usual friendly chitchat. His name was Walter Ehrlich and he seemed an amiable sort. He had been to Egypt on a previous occasion, he said, many years before. His wife had been with him then but she had died in 1978. This year he had come alone.

Perhaps that brief conversation had endeared Malachi to Ehrlich, because he now appeared to single him out. Slowly but deliberately, he approached the Gants' table, a glass of wine in his hand. The other guests could only stare; some were frightened, others uneasy. Their hosts seemed unsure of what to do.

'Where did you say you were from?' Ehrlich asked, fixing Malachi with a look of mild aggression.


'Catholic, right?' He emptied his wine glass and replenished it at once from a decanter. In a loud voice he said: 'All you Irish are Catholics, that right?'

Somebody tut-tutted. Mr Ehrlich was introducing a very sour note into what should have been a perfect evening.

He pointed directly at Malachi and lowered his face to meet the Irishman's eyes. For a fleeting moment, Malachi could not believe what he was seeing. Even now, years later, his voice quavers as he recalls the incident.

'God Almighty, I'll never forget that face,' he says. 'Blenny saw it too and she was very upset.'

The face before him was no longer that of Walter Ehrlich. The features had transmogrified into something thoroughly freakish, a mask of utter malevolence. The lips were pulled back in a terrible grimace. And the eyes - they were no longer the eyes of a human but hooded, like those of a cold-blooded creature predating mankind.

'Let's go, Malachi,' Blenny urged.

He felt her hand on his wrist. She was trembling. But he was already recoiling from that awful face. He felt that he could not get far enough away from it.

Walter Ehrlich was not through with him just yet, though. As quickly as the dreadful, reptilian aspect had taken hold of his features, so did it seem to leave. The face returned to normal. Walter straightened and stepped back from the table.

'F*** you!' he roared. He looked fiercely about him, and Malachi will never forget the shocked expressions of the other diners. 'F*** you all! We f*** you all, and to hell with the lot of you. There's no God here. Your God is dead!'

To everyone's astonishment, the troubled guest emitted a loud squeal, ran in the direction of the pillars to one side of the temple, and vanished into the darkness beyond. All present - dinner guests, organizers, waiters, musicians - were appalled.

'Alcohol,' muttered the Egyptian maitre d', shaking his head, his Islamic sensibilities repelled by the display. 'To drink so much, not good.'

'I don't think so,' said a white-haired man, turning to Malachi. 'No, I don't think it's alcohol. There are demons at work there.'

'You're joking,' said Malachi.

'No joke'....When a man starts using that kind of language - and referring to himself in the plural - it's pretty clear that there are demons at work.'" (The Dark Sacrament: True Stories of Modern-Day Demon Possession and Exorcism, pp. 198-200).

Apostasy is spreading everywhere...

"The great trial has come for the Church, so violated by the evil spirits, so divided in its unity, so darkened in its holiness. See how error has flooded throughout it, error which leads to the loss of the true faith. Apostasy is spreading many are those pastors who grope about in the mist, become speechless out of fear or compromise, and who no longer defend their flocks from the many rapacious wolves!...The faithful are being drawn in by the enticements of a world which has become pagan, or by the countless sects which are spreading more and more.

The hour its great trial has above all come for the Church, because it will be shaken by the lack of faith, obscured by apostasy, wounded by betrayal, abandoned by its children, divided by schisms, possessed and dominated by Freemasonry, turned into fertile soil from which will spring up the wicked tree of the man of iniquity, the Antichrist, who will bring his kingdom into its interior." (Our Lady to Father Stefano Gobbi, January 1, 1993, Rubbio (Vicenza, Italy).

Friday, March 05, 2010

The House of God will be deserted....

"After the birth of Antichrist and shortly before the rise of the Great Monarch, the false doctrines were to multiply and spread to such an extent that even Catholics would doubt many of the articles of faith, resulting in their perversion, this to apply not only to the laity but even to many priests and some of the hierarchy. The zeal of these latter will be greatly affected by this lack of faith. There will be dissensions among the clergy. Many will be proud, selfish, unjust, covetous, and even forgetful of vows made at ordination regarding chastity. Many will even offer Mass and confer the Sacraments sacrilegiously. When the zeal of the clergy fails they will see the faithful leaving the churches and turning to the world. The House of God will be deserted, singing of hymns will cease, and the observance of festivals abandoned. The relics of saints will be considered powerless and any contributions the laity will make to the Church will be made grudgingly. In many religious houses humility and poverty will be forgotten, pride and desire for worldly luxuries will characterize the inmates instead of the spirit of simplicity which is the mark of a true religious. Because of these defections Catholics will be severely punished, for only by chastisements can God bring back to the minds of His people, a realization of their dependence upon Him. As a consequence, widespread persecution of priests and people will come upon the Church in order that faith and love of God may be revived, for as surely as night follows day, so will civilization crumble and the world become steeped in the darkness of ignorance, hatred, misery and vice when God, who is the Light of the World, will no longer rule in the hearts of His people....In these days fiction will be preferred to truth because the people of the world will wish to be seduced....The prophets say also that evil and falsehood will increase as the world grows weaker with age.." (Rev. R. Gerald Culleton).

Brave New World....

"There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You had to live - did live, from habit that became instinct - in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized."

George Orwell (Eric Blair), 1984.

Related reading here and here.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Tolerance is for external conduct...

"For generations now, we have denied the food of revealed truth to our
children; and we have permitted the moral polluters to dump their garbage
into our culture with abandon. Why then, are we surprised that ours
has become a stunted and sick society?" - Patrick J. Buchanan

In his book "Apologetics: A Philosophic Defense and Explanation of the Catholic Religion," Monsignor Paul J. Glenn, Ph.D, S.T.D., writes, "Let Catholic apologists..not surrender the cause of a milk-and-water philosophy of tolerance. Tolerance is for external conduct; it is not for the mind; the mind cannot tolerate error for an instant." (p. 278). And this because error and truth are not "equally good." In other words, we must always strive to tolerate people [including those who disagree with us; and our worst enemies], but we cannot tolerate error. Differing opinions are not equally valid.

And in his important work "The New Tower of Babel," Dr. Dietrich von Hildebrand explains that, "Although the dethronement of truth manifests itself in the most drastic and radical way in Nazism and Bolshevism, unfortunately many symptoms of this spiritual disease are also to be found in democratic countries. For example, in discussions we sometimes hear the following argument: 'Why should your opinion be more valid than mine? We are equal and have the same rights. It is undemocratic to pretend that your opinion is preferable.' This attitude is extremely significant because it reveals the complete absence of the notion of truth, the tacit elimination of truth as the determining norm for the value of an opinion....The immanent theme of every opinion is truth; the only thing that matters here is whether or not it is in conformity with reality..This brings us to another slogan disclosing the dethronement of truth. It is the often repeated statement 'It is true for me, but it may not be true for you.' The truth of a proposition is essentially objective; a truth which as such would be valid for one person only is a contradiction in terms. A proposition is true or false, but it can never be true for one person and false for another. The statement that a certain action is morally good may be true or false; but if it is true, it can never be false for any other person.." (pp. 56-58).

Some might be tempted to believe that the rejection of error and falsehood [ and here, again, we are speaking of ideas not persons] is something "negative" and even cult-like. But such is simply not the case. Again, Dr. Hildebrand explains: "Perhaps never before has there been as much intellectual fraud as there is today. In the mass media - and even in discussions on university campuses - this intellectual fraud appears chiefly as the manipulation of slogans designed to bluff the hearer or reader, and prevent him from thinking clearly. For a typical example, let us consider how the terms positive and negative are now most often used to discredit the refutation of pernicious errors and to give credit to the most shallow speculations. The intellectual swindlers who play such an important role in public discussions will often denominate as 'positive' propositions and attitudes they favor. They thereby seek to forestall questions of truth and value by enveloping their prejudices in a vague suggestion of 'creativity,' 'originality,' 'openness,' 'unaggressiveness.' This is the device of the cuttlefish. The moment one tries to grasp it, it emits a murky substance to confuse and deceive.

In reality, the popular slogan usages of positive and negative is a distortion of the genuine meanings of the terms. In proper usage they can refer to existence and nonexistence or to value and disvalue. They can refer to desirability and undesirability, or to answers to questions and demands, or to results of tests and inquiries. But when these terms are applied to attitudes of mind or to theses - by way of suggesting an evaluation - an intellectual fraud is committed; for they are then being used to evoke vague associations that distract from the question that alone matters - namely: Is this attitude objectively called for? Or: Is this thesis true?...It is the nature of truth to exclude every contradiction of itself. Thus, the rejection of errors and falsehoods can never be separated from the affirmation of truth. The one implies the other...

To give the impression that affirmations are 'positive' and denials 'negative' is to misrepresent completely the nature of judgments and propositions. This abuse of the language transforms the terms positive and negative into deceptive slogans and thus amounts to an intellectual swindle..." (The Charitable Anathema, pp. 45-47).

When others falsely accuse you of seeing only "black and white" because you accept the authoritative teaching of Jesus Christ as made known through His Church's Magisterium, remind them that you aren't dealing with "black and white" but right and wrong. Remind them that while we must respect persons, still "..the task of authentically interpreting the Word of God, whether written or handed on, has been entrusted exclusively to the living teaching office of the Church, whose authority is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ.." (Dei Verbum, No. 10 of the Second Vatican Council).

If we insist that 2 + 2 = 4, this does not make us cult-like or "negative." If we respect the demands of truth while still respecting the person who disagrees with us, we are not cult-like. We are being faithful to Christ and His Church.
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