Monday, March 12, 2012

Catholic Free Press columnists and falsity...

Falsity is the heart of immorality.  And the Diocese of Worcester, Massachusetts has been crippled for years by the spirit of falsity.  In a previous post, I said that: "Any priest who convinces those entrusted to his care to rationalize sin is no lover of souls but is instead an enemy of souls. When a person is encouraged to rationalize what is known to be wicked in the sight of the Lord, that person opens a chasm between themselves and God which continues to grow wider and wider until they can no longer hear His call and discern the word of truth that He has spoken."

Recently, I received an anonymous comment accusing me [falsely] of "slandering" a couple of columnists who have been featured in The Catholic Free Press.  This because I exposed their errors.  I usually don't respond to anonymous comments [anyone who refuses to use their real name when making an accusation isn't really worth the time after all], but I do so here to once again highlight the spirit of dishonesty which has infected the Worcester Diocese like a cancer.  Calumny, as defined by the Catechism of the Catholic Church [something this confused soul should spend some time with],  consists of "remarks contrary to the truth" which results in harm to "the reputation of others" while giving "occasion for false judgments concerning them." (CCC, 2477).

Now the two columnists which I am supposed to have "slandered" are Father John Catoir and Stacy Trasancos.  The first, as noted here, is promoting what amounts to subjectivist conscience.  And, as Dr. Germain Grisez tells us: "The sin of deliberate nonassent is committed by those who rationalize their failure to assent as following their 'conscience,' using the word in a subjectivist sense.  Conscience truly so-called is formed by moral truth, which can be known with certitude by the help of the Church's teaching.  'Conscience' in a subjectivist sense refers to one's own opinions and preferences, treated as more authoritative than any practical truth or requirement originating beyond oneself.  But to treat one's own opinions and preferences as more authoritative than the Church's teaching is deliberate refusal to give that teaching the assent it deserves; and this refusal is only rationalized, not justified, by saying: 'My conscience tells me it is right for me to do X, so it is right for me, no matter what the Pope says!'"

In his Encyclical Letter Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul VI teaches clearly that spouses, "are not free to do as they like in the service of transmitting life, on the supposition that it is lawful for them to decide independently of other considerations what is the right course to follow.  On the contrary, they are bound to ensure that what they do corresponds to the will of God the Creator."  What is this if not a complete rejection of subjectivist conscience?

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in its Instruction on the Ecclesial Vocation of the Theologian, explains that, "..argumentation appealing to the obligation to follow one's own conscience cannot legitimate dissent.  This is true, first of all, because conscience illumines the practical judgment about a decision to make, while here we are concerned with the truth of a doctrinal pronouncement.  This is furthermore the case because while the theologian, like every believer, must follow his conscience, he is also obliged to form it.  Conscience is not an independent and infallible faculty.  It is an act of moral judgment regarding a responsible choice.  A right conscience is one duly illumined by faith and by the objective moral law and it presupposes, as well, the uprightness of the will in the pursuit of the true good."

So much for Fr. Catoir, purveyor of a subjectivist conscience.  The second, Stacy Trasancos, I dealt with here.  I wrote, "In a Blog post on the subject of women's ordination, Mrs. Trasancos writes, "We know that by the end of the first century the Roman Catholic Church was established and there can be little doubt that the cultural influences of that time and place affected the doctrine [that only men are called to the ministerial priesthood]. We do also know that the Church has evolved over time and that part of theology's goal is to communicate faith to changing cultures. For these reasons, maybe the question of women in the priesthood will remain unsettled. There isn't any hard logic to support the idea that the concrete forms of the ecclesiastical offices cannot be changed....Whether women should or will someday be priests, isn't for this single writer to say." (See here).

I appealed to the CDF's document Inter Insigniores to refute Trasancos' falsehood [that the Church's doctrine was affected by cultural influences] as well as her assertion (via a quotation she cites) that there isn't any "hard logic to support the idea that the concrete forms of the ecclesiastical offices cannot be changed."  And then I cited Pope John Paul II in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, No. 4: " order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the Church's divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32) I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church's faithful."

When one sets oneself against a teaching of the Church which must be held definitively, one sets oneself against the teaching of the Church.  This truth is made clear in Canon 750 of the Code of Canon Law.  Archbishop J. Francis Stafford of Denver has said [correctly] that the issue of women's ordination has been explored exhaustively, and now "it is time to move on...The Church's teaching is definitive, and has been set forth infallibly by formal declaration. It will not and cannot change. Therefore, for those who see with the eyes of faith, the matter is resolved"

For Trasancos to suggest that the matter isn't necessarily resolved is dishonest. 

I'll say it again: falsity is the heart of immorality.


Jonathan said...

Trasancos would object that she accepts the Church's teaching no doubt. But to suggest that this definitive teaching COULD change is to avoid firmly accepting and holding it.

The new text of Canon 750 reads in pertinent part: "Each and every thing definitively proposed by the magisterium of the Church regarding faith and morals..must also be firmly accepted and held; one who denies [such] propositions…opposes the doctrine of the Catholic Church."

At the same time Canon 750 was modified, [Ad Tuendam Fidem], Canon 1371 was amended to state that anyone who violates Canon 750, as amended obviously, can now be punished by a "just penalty."

Trasancos needs to accept that the Church's teaching regarding women's ordination is definitive and cannot change. In fact, it is disrespectful for her to be raising this issue rather than simply "moving on" as she should.

Ted Loiseau said...

Anthony Zamarro expresses my anger and sadness when he writes, "The thing that irks me the most about the Catholic Free Press is what it could be, and is not. It could be an organ for bringing the beauty of the Catholic Christian faith to the people of Worcester, but instead it is a limp rag that services a readership that is in marked decline - first, the old; and second the theologically liberal. I suppose it is analogous to so many things in our culture today - by seeking to be relevant to the times first and faithful to the truth second, it has ceased being either."

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

You know, it's funny, but I received another comment from anonymous attacking me with more false accusations. I checked the IP Address which corresponds with the exact time the comment was left: 11:53 AM, and it is: 64.30.78, an IP Address which originates from Shrewsbury, Massachusetts with the Internet Service Provider being Shrewsbury Electric & Community Cable.

Why is this so interesting? We read at Patheos, at an article entitled "Christians Do Not Need a Gamaliel Moment," that: "Stacy Trasancos, Ph.D., a former research chemist for DuPont, is now a full-time homemaker and grateful wife and mother to a family of nine. Stacy is in the process of attaining an MA in Theology at Holy Apostles College and Seminary. She and her husband are raising their family in Shrewsbury, MA. She blogs at Accepting Abundance."

I'll leave it to my readers to decide if this is coincidence or not.

Derek said...

That is interesting. Was anonymous defending Trasancos?

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

Actually, yes. How did you guess? I have another regular reader from Shrewsbury (different IP Address from the one which left the anonymous comment accusing me of "slandering" CFP columnists.

I'm still waiting for this person (Trasancos ?) to provide the evidence which supports the accusation that I have engaged in calumny against Father John Catoir and/or Stacy Trasancos.

I would hate to have to stand on my head while awaiting a response.

Jennifer Goguen said...

I'm willing to bet it is her. But whoever it is, it's very revealing that they can find the time to criticize you for no reason but have NOTHING TO SAY about Fr. Catoir's dissent from the Church's teaching.

HolyCross2011 said...

The Diocese should ask Trasancos for her IP Address. If it is 64.30.78 and her ISP is Shrewsbury Electric & Community Cable, she shouldn't be published in the CFP. If one of their columnists is going to post hateful and calumnious comments anonymously at websites, does the Diocese really want to continue being associated with her?

ACatholicinClinton said...

The culture of dissent is still in place here in Worcester. But the CFP isn't read by many anymore and parishes are emptying out and the youth have largely given up on the diocese. I see a lot of gray heads and very few young adults with families.

Michael F Poulin said...

Dear Paul,
I have written three letters over the past two years to complain to Bishop McManus about the "Catholic-Free" Press giving print space to dissenting Catholics. I am glad to have discovered your blog. I am also glad I am not the only one who has noticed this trend. My courageous and faithful pastor has dumped the CFP from our parish.

I urge all faithfull men of the diocese to boycott CFP and dump into the trash this newspaper until Margeret Russell resigns and an independent editorial board can be set up so that anti-Catholic dissent cannot be surreptitiously published.

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

Thank you for the kind note Michael. It is always encouraging to learn that there are other Catholics who are concerned over the direction of The Catholic Free Press and the Diocese of Worcester in general. I'm curious about two things: 1. Did you ever hear back from Bishop McManus? and 2. Who is your pastor? I'd like to shake his hand.

Michael F Poulin said...

Dear Paul,
In answer to your queries:
1) No, I did not get a response from our Bishop, however I did not expect one as I am sure he is a very busy man and cannot field every letter. Let's pray for him and our priests often for the Holy Spirit to strengthen them. I wrote my letters because it is my right as a Catholic to receive the authentic teaching of the Church from all of its organs, and my duty to admonish the sinner, and to support and defend my Church.

2) My holy and fearless pastor is Fr Becker at St. Paul the Apostle Church in Warren.

If you want to see the Holy Catholic Faith really alive, come visit us some Sunday at 10:30 Mass.
Our parish has one of the few "Latin" Masses in the diocese. We have had at least one baptism every other month since this Mass was started. We have plenty of seriously faithful young couples with lots of wonderful kids who have moved here, or come from far away to attend. This Mass is growing in attendence and I must say, over half the people there are under 16 years old! We have a veritable phalanx of reverent altar boys who know the Mass. We have people receiving Holy Communion reverently on their knees at a real altar rail. We have young ladies singing "Agnus Dei" and "Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus" like angels. We are loyal to the Pope and the Magisterium. We have Bible studies. We have active Knights. We've had several converts from protestantism. We have Holy Hours and Eucharistic Adoration and Rosaries for life and Processions and Public Stations of the Cross that even have even been attendend by some protestant families. Small miracles happen here regularly!

The future is orthodoxy, and it is like a fence surrounding a playground.

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

That sounds wonderful Michael! An oasis of hope shining brilliantly across a bleak landscape. The Latin Mass is a youth movement. So I am not surprised that the youth of your area are attracted to reverence - the smells and the bells.

Have you read Dr. Dietrich von Hildebrand's case for the Latin Mass? It may be found at this blog.

I hope some day to check out the Holy Mass at St. Paul the Apostle Church. In the meantime, please tell your friends about this Blog and encourage them to comment. Our voices need to be heard.

God love you!

Michael F Poulin said...

The Catholic Free Press and other so-called Catholic newspapers have supported socialism in its editing and selection of articles for years. Their all-out full tilt support for a national “health care” system is one of the proofs. They made themselves the Champions of Obamacare and now they too have blood on their hands. In this regard, they have supported the enemies of the Church.
Perhaps the people there should read Pope Leo XIII Rerum Novarum.
Pope Leo XIII specifically condemned the errors of socialism and defended the rights of both workers and owners, the rights to private property, and the rights of the family and Church in His prophetic 1930 Encyclical.
The American Catholic Church has consistently ignored this exhortation which specifically condemns the basic tenets taught by the socialists.
For too long the Catholic Church in America has been flat on its back in bed with the socialists. Their error has been to interpret the gospel message to give alms as a giant giveaway program, instead of the way to save people’s souls. The Sermon on the Mount’s exhortations are primarily aimed at the individual; an individual’s judgment on the Day of the Lord will not be affected at all by government welfare programs. Jesus will ask you individually, “What did you do?”

I highly recommend reading Rerum Novarum.


Site Meter