Saturday, March 29, 2014

Kaliko Estates, LLC and its Property Manager Douglas Pochini want to evict the widow of a career military non-commissioned officer


The French preacher Lacordaire once said that the vocation of a soldier is next in dignity to the priesthood, not only because it commissioned him to defend justice on the field of battle and order on the field of peace, but also because it called him to the spirit and intention of sacrifice.

It is the soldier's high calling to the defense of justice and freedom which makes him (or should) so loved.  It was a soldier who first spoke the words recalled by the Church during every Mass at Holy Communion: "Lord, I am not worthy to have Thee come under my roof; but only say the word, and my servant will be healed." (Mt 8:8).

The Breviary, which priests pray daily, praises Judas Machabeus, who refused to surrender to superior enemy forces and died saying: "Far be it from us to do such a thing as to flee from them.  If our time has come, let us die bravely for our brethren, and leave no cause to question our honor." (1 Macc 9: 10).

The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us that, "Those who are sworn to serve their country in the armed forces are servants of the security and freedom of nations.  If they carry out their duty honorably, they truly contribute to the common goodof the nation and the maintenance of peace." (2310).

One soldier who served his country selflessly for twenty years was Camille "Joe" Melanson, my father, a non-commissioned officer who served in two wars - the Korean and Vietnam conflicts.  See here: http://www.leominsterhigh.com/lhs-military00.htm

During peacetime, he was always accompanied by his loving wife Rita, who, as with other military wives, also sacrificed so much for both country and family.

Joe Melanson passed away on September 19, 2000.  My mother has been a widow for nearly fourteen years now.  She should be enjoying her remaining years in peace and security.  But instead she has been served an eviction notice from her landlord (she sold her home in 2001 to make life easier - or so she thought) simply because she has stood up for her rights.  The Notice to Quit was signed by Douglas Pochini, a real estate broker who serves as the Property Manager for Kaliko Estates. 

Kaliko Estates, LLC, a landlord management company which owns and operates townhouses in Athol, Massachusetts, has served her with a Notice to Quit because she found it necessary to file complaints with the local Board of Health because of maintenance needs which were not being addressed and because Kaliko Estates was billing her [in violation of Massachusetts law - M.G.L., Chapter 186, Section 22] for water and sewer services without a written rental agreement.

The Athol Board of Health charged Kaliko Estates for various issues such as mold growth over her shower and a toilet which would back up.  And they charged Kaliko Estates a second time for billing for water and sewer without a written rental agreement.  When my mother asked for the monies back, Mr. Pochini, a truly despicable individual, replied, "I'm not going to refund the monies."  She took him to Court and won the monies back.  Such was the animus agianst my mother that Kaliko Estates made her go without a working stove for nine months.  In order to cook, she found it necessary to purchase a griddle and a steamer.  Mr. Pochini also accused her falsely of "pounding on walls" in retaliation for her legitimate complaints - in essence: for wanting to live with some dignity.

And so a military widow, whose husband received a letter of commendation from President George W. Bush which reads: "This certificate is awarded by a grateful nation in recognition of devoted and selfless consecration to the service of our country in the Armed Forces of the United States," is being threatened with eviction by Kaliko Estates and Mr. Douglas Pochini.  This company wants to make a military widow homeless. 

This is not gratitude for selfless service to the United States of America.  This is ingratitude.  And it is shameful!

Update: Eviction failed, see here.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Supertradmum is right in saying that the Church is not a democracy; but wrong in suggesting that the laity should not fraternally correct or rebuke prelates



Just a few years ago, Pope Benedict XVI insisted that the role of the laity in the Church is essential.  In other words, he reminded us that the laity are not "second-class" citizens within the Church.  See here.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us that: "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." (CCC , 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).

In his Address to the Bishops of the Episcopal Conferences of the Pacific and of New Zealand on their Ad Limina visit, Pope Benedict XVI reminded the Bishops that, "..the lay faithful’s role in the well-being of the Church is essential since the Lord does not expect pastors 'to undertake by themselves the entire saving mission of the Church' (Lumen Gentium, 30). I understand from your reports that your task of spreading the Gospel often depends on the assistance of lay missionaries and catechists. Continue to ensure that a sound and ongoing formation be afforded them, especially within the context of their associations. In so doing, you will equip them for every good work in the building up of the body of Christ (cf. 2 Tim 3:17; Eph 4:12). Their zeal for the faith under your continued leadership and support will surely bear much fruit in the vineyard of the Lord."  See here.

Vatican II, in its Decree on the Mission Activity of the Church (Ad Gentes), has this to say: "The Church has not been really founded and is not yet fully alive, nor is it a perfect sign of Christ among men, unless there is a laity worthy of the name working along with the hierarchy. For the Gospel cannot be deeply grounded in the abilities, life and work of any people without the active presence of laymen. Therefore, even at the very founding of a chrch, great attention is to be paid to establishing a mature, Christian laity. For the lay faithful fully belong at one and the same time both to the People of God and to civil society...They also belong to Christ, because they were regenerated in the Church by faith and by Baptism, so that they are Christ's in newness of life and work (cf. 1 Cor 15: 23), in order that in Christ, all things may be made subject to God, and finally God will be all in all (cf. 1 Cor 15: 28)." (Ad Gentes, No. 21).

One of the reasons for the rapid decay which is corroding the Catholic spirit in the United States and elsewhere is the spread of a so-called liberalism (neo-modernism) which fosters a secularist attitude in Christians, one that creates an animus against the Faith and works against evangelization.  The lay faithful who remain committed to the Church's teaching and who take seriously their vocation to convert those outside the Church are most often not encouraged.  Often they are discouraged (in the name of an unhealthy pluralism) from engaging in evangelization.

Pope Paul VI, in an allocution given on July 2nd, 1975, warned against this attitude: "In practice many peoplewho call themselves Christians think so [that the field of faith can be separated from that of activity], believing that the adherence to religion does not involve other duties than some specific observances, such as Sunday Mass and the fulfilling of the paschal precept.  We must note, in fact, a certain allergy on the part of modern Christians to action qualified by their own religious sentiments, owing to a misrepresentation of so-called pluralism, as if every doctrinal opinion were admissible, and therefore it was not worthwhile to propose as necessary one's own faith to others; or because of an exclusive authority attributed to subjective conscience, to the detriment of the objective principle that must inform conscience itself."
Can the laity correct or rebuke a Bishop?  Yes.  Even if this woman believes otherwise.

 In the Summa Theologica, Question 33, Article 4, of the Second Part of Part II, St. Thomas has this heading: "Whether a Man Is Bound to Correct His Prelate?" His reply to that question runs as follows: "I answer that: A subject is not competent to administer to his prelate the correction which is an act of justice through the coercive nature of punishment; but the fraternal correction which is an act of charity is within the competency of everyone in respect of any person towards whom he is bound by charity, provided there be something in that person which requires correction." St. Thomas reinforces this teaching by a statement from St. Augustine: "Augustine says in his Rule: 'Show mercy not only to yourselves, but also to him who, being in the higher position among you, is therefore in the greater danger'." To this Aquinas adds: "But fraternal correction is a work of mercy. Therefore even prelates ought to be corrected." As to the manner of this correction, St. Thomas says: "Since, however, a virtuous act needs to be moderated by due circumstances, it follows that when a subject corrects his prelate, he ought to do it in a becoming manner, not with imprudence and harshness, but with gentleness and respect." Then, discussing the issue of St. Paul's reproof of St. Peter at Antioch, as mentioned in Paul's Letter to the Galatians 2:11, a rebuke that took place in public, St. Thomas states: "It must be observed, however, that if the faith were endangered, a subject ought to rebuke his prelate even publicly. Hence Paul, who was Peter's subject, rebuked him in public, on account of the imminent danger of scandal concerning faith, and, as the gloss of Augustine says on Gal. 2:11: 'Peter gave an example to superiors, that if at any time they should happen to stray from the straight path, they should not disdain to be reproved by their subjects'."

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Deacon Nick Donnelly: His charity is perfect but his superiors charity is not

Writing for LifeSiteNews, Hillary White reported last Friday that Bishop Michael Campbell, "...has pressured one of his deacons to cease blogging in a move described by critics as an effort to silence the deacon’s lively defense of orthodox Catholic doctrine and the papacy."  White continues: "Deacon Nick Donnelly’s well-travelled blog, 'Protect the Pope,' now carries the note, 'From its inception to the beginning of March 2014, Rev. Nick Donnelly, was the main author and editor of this blog. At this time he is in a period of reflection and prayer.'


Deacon Nick Donnelly

The diocese of Lancaster issued a statement this week saying that Bishop Michael Campbell had invited Deacon Donnelly to stop posting, and to enter a period of 'reflection and prayer … on the duties involved for ordained bloggers/website administrators to truth, charity and unity in the Church.' No reasons were given for the bishop’s action. Donnelly’s wife, Martina, has taken over posting and has invited other authors to contribute, and Deacon Donnelly himself has said that he has no control over what is posted.

LifeSiteNews contacted Bishop Campbell’s office but was told there would likely not be any further comment."

Is anyone surprised?

White continues:

Donnelly told LifeSiteNews that he has been able to speak to Bishop Campbell, but prefers to keep the details of his face-to-face discussion private. He added, however, that bishops in general have a 'very low opinion of blogs' and cited a speech by Westminster Archbishop, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, who accused Catholic bloggers of 'spreading gossip and complaints and destroying love in the Church.'

Donnelly launched his blog in 2010 in response to the frenzy of attacks against Pope Benedict XVI by the secular press in the lead-up to his state visit to Britain that year. Its popularity on the internet is without question, with over a million hits per year and readers logging in from 188 countries around the world. Donnelly is a permanent deacon for the diocese of Lancaster, but includes a disclaimer on the blog that says, 'Protect the Pope is a private initiative and is in no way officially associated with the Diocese of Lancaster.'

Donnelly strongly denied that his blog has ever been used to spread 'gossip' and insists that it only commented on material available in the public domain. But Donnelly strongly defended the rights of Catholics to object to the near-universal disintegration of the faith.

'Don’t we have the right to complain when dissent is disseminated in the Church? Don’t we have the right to challenge the betrayal of the Faith entrusted to us by Our Lord Jesus Christ? Blogs are often the only way that faithful Catholics have a voice in the Church.'

 'When I ran Protect the Pope I was often privately contacted by Catholics who wanted to tell me about their concerns and complaints about dissent and disobedience in their parish or diocese because they had been given the brush off by their parish priest or bishop when they approached them,' he told LifeSiteNews.

Bishop Campbell’s decision has caused a considerable backlash, and other clerical and lay Catholic bloggers have commented that bishops who hope to stave off controversy by suppressing writers are accomplishing only the opposite result..."


Indeed.  What is most ironic is that Archbishop Vincent Nichols and Bishop Michael Campbell should express concerns over charity.  Father Felix Sarda Y Salvany, in his classic work entitled Liberalism is a Sin, reminds us that, "The Catechism of the Council of Trent, that popular and most authoritative epitome of Catholic theology, gives us the most complete and succinct definition of charity; it is full of wisdom and philosophy.  Charity is a supernatural virtue which induces us to love God above all things and our neighbor as ourselves, and this not just in any way, but for the love of God and in obedience to His law.  And now, what is it to love?  Amare est velle bonum, replies the philosopher.  'To love is to wish good to him whom we love.'  To whom does charity command us to wish good?  To our neighbor, that is to say, not to this or that man only, but to everyone.  What is that good which true love wishes?  First of all supernatural good, then goods of the natural order which are not incompatible with it.  All this is included in the phrase 'for the love of God.'  It follows, therefore, that we can love our neighbor when displeasing him, when opposing him...If it is shown that in displeasing or offending our neighbor we act for his good, it is evident that we love him, even when opposing or crossing him.  The physician cauterizing his patient or cutting off his gangrened limb may nonetheless love him.  When we correct the wicked by restraining or by punishing them, we do nonetheless love them.  This is charity - and perfect charity." (pp. 92, 93).

The new Catechism of the Catholic Church (see 1822), promulgated by Pope John Paul II, gives us the same definition of charity.  While Deacon Nick Donnelly has shown us such authentic charity, his superiors have not.  As another Vicar of Christ once said, "All the evils of the world are due to lukewarm Catholics."  Apparently the sort of Catholic Bishops Campbell and Nichols would prefer.  Nevertheless, as my Latin professor used to repeat so often, "Si palam res est, repetition injuria non est" - To say what everybody knows is no injury.

Saint Thomas Aquinas taught that the laity (as with the ordained) possess the right - an absolute right - to expect and demand both sound doctrine (see Veritatis Splendor, No. 113) and good example on the part of the clergy and Church leaders.  And, if this is not given to them, they have the right to press for the reform and the removal of corrupt elements.

Pope John XXIII taught us in his Encyclical Letter Ad Petri Cathedram: On Truth, Unity and Peace: "Anyone who consciously and wantonly attacks known truth, who arms himself with falsehood in his speech, his writings, or his conduct in order to attract and win over less learned men and to shape the inexperienced and impressionable minds of the young to his own way of thinking, takes advantage of the inexperience and innocence of others and engages in an altogether despicable business." (No. 11).

And what should our response to such a "despicable business" be? Our Beloved Holy Father Pope John XXIII again provides an answer:

"...as long as we are journeying in exile over this earth, our peace and happiness will be imperfect. For such peace is not completely untroubled and serene; it is active, not calm and motionless. In short, this is a peace that is ever at war. It wars with every sort of error, including that which falsely wears the face of truth; it struggles against the enticements of vice, against those enemies of the soul, of whatever description, who can weaken, blemish, or destroy our innocence or Catholic faith." (No. 93).

Deacon Nick, like myself, has chosen to dedicate his life to the Lord Jesus Christ by waging a war against every sort of error.  Should he punished for such or should his superiors be rebuked by Christ's Vicar?

You know the answer.

Is Archbishop Vincent Nichols interested in authentic charity?  If so, why does he tolerate dissent?  See here.

Monday, March 24, 2014

New evidence that Hitler was a homosexual...



In an article which may be found here, Paul Bedard writes:


Newly discovered notes from a U.S. Army interview of former Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler doctors reveal that the madman had homosexual tendencies, did not sleep in girlfriend Eva Braun's bedroom, and was doped up with multiple drugs including female hormones.

Written in erratic shorthand, Army interrogator Herman Merl, a Vienna-born medical technician enlisted to interview Hitler's doctors, Karl Brandt and Theodor Morell, scribbled "Homosex" in his notebook where he sized up the mass murderer's sexuality.

He then wrote: "Eva Braun = separate rooms" before adding "female hormone - injection 50,000 units." Elsewhere he wrote, "His sexual life and intercourse with Eva Braun was told to me."
The notebooks are going up for auction later this month at one of the nation's leading sellers of historical artifacts, Alexander Historical Auctions of Chesapeake City, Md. Alexander has offered other important Third Reich relics, including a tea set from Hitler's mountain hideaway and Josef Mengele's diaries. Often the items are sold to Jewish collectors and museums.
   
Merl's notes further confirm other post-war interviews with Hitler's caretakers that he was "hysterical," a "megalomaniac," and suffered from several ailments, notably flatulence for which he took drugs to stop passing gas. He also suggested that Hitler had Parkinson's disease.

A previous Alexander auction included notes detailing how Hitler was shot up with bull semen. The new notes add that bull semen shots were used to regulate his level of testosterone. But proving that his doctors used many experimental treatments on Hitler was Merl's mention that the fuhrer was also receiving female hormones. Those can be used to treat various ailments, but are dangerous and often interfere with male sexual functions.

Alexander President Bill Panagopulos told Secrets that there are five notebooks for sale and he expects the sale price to be $5,000-$7,000. He noted that Dr. Morell was Hitler's primary physician and a rival of Dr. Brandt, an SS officer who also headed the Nazi euthanasia program.


The push to portray active homosexuals as victims of systematic Nazi attack contrasts with a recently growing body of evidence indicating wide-scale Nazi embrace of homosexuality.In her 2006 study “The Pink Swastika as Holocaust Revisionist History,” renowned expert on sexuality Judith A. Reisman of the Institute for Media Education revealed that the 1995 “The Pink Swastika: Homosexuality in the Nazi Party” by Scott Lively and Kevin Abrams demonstrates that many key actively homosexual Nazi officials protected many homosexual individuals from harm.

Lively and Abrams… document the homosexual movement as the agents that ensconced National Socialism (the Nazi party) and Adolf Hitler, thus triggering a holocaust which engulfed all of Europe,” wrote Resiman." (Source: http://www.lifesitenews.com/).

Two Harvard-educated homosexuals, Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen, authored what can only be described as a blueprint for marketing the radical homosexual agenda in the United States. In their book entitled "After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear & Hatred of Gays in the 90's," the authors recommend demonizing those who are morally opposed to homosexuality, painting them as evil as possible until the general public comes to view such people as intolerant and bigoted and avoids them. To achieve this goal, the authors suggest that Christians and others who are opposed to homosexuality should be labelled Klansmen, Nazis, racists or unbalanced freaks.

What is most ironic is that supporters of the homosexual lifestyle should be exhorted to label those who oppose homosexuality as "Nazis." As the LifeSiteNews article explains:

"While Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” degraded Jews, Marxists, Negroes, Chinese, Arabs, women, and Eastern Europeans, the Fuhrer had no negative remarks for homosexuality.
Instead, Hitler chose actively homosexual men as influential youth leaders.

An actively homosexual teacher, Karl Fischer, founded the 'Wandervogel' boys’ group that became the Hitler Youth in 1933 under renowned pederast, Hans Blueher. Similarly, convicted Nazi pederast Edmund Heines was given leadership over Schill Youth.
Other homosexual and bisexual leaders cited by these and other authors included Bladur von Schirach, Hitler Youth Leader; Hans Frank, Hitler’s Minister of Justice; Wilhelm Bruckner, Hitler’s adjutant; Walther Funk, Hitler’s Minister of Economics; friend and advisor Hermann Goering, Hitler’s second in command (who dressed 'in drag and wore camp make-up')..."

Propaganda and revisionist history. Two of the tools employed by advocates of the homosexual hate movement.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Entertaining a distorted notion of forgiveness, some demand a license to perpetrate wrongs on others...



"..Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, “Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone I shall repay it four times over.”b 9* And Jesus said to him, “Today salvationc has come to this house because this man too is a descendant of Abraham. 10* d For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost.” (Luke 19: 8, 9).


So many people today, including sadly those who profess to be Catholic, possess a distorted notion of the Christian spirit of forgiveness.  There are those, for example, who want nothing less than a license to perpetrate wrongs on others while demanding forgiveness from those they have offended without first repenting of their wrongdoing.

But where there are bonds of friendship or love, as D. Dietrich von Hildebrand explains, "..it is strictly required by the logos of the relationship that our partner shall recognize and regret the wrong he has done to us....Most certainly we must forgive him..but here we must desire that he recognize and repent of his wrong, not merely for his own good but for the sake of our relationship itself - of the restoration of that intimate union of hearts which essentially demands the clearing up of all misunderstandings and the healing of all disharmonies.."

We can never achieve true peace by ignoring objective evils.  Dr. von Hildebrand explains that, "the attitude of rancorous enmity is not the only antithesis to the Christian spirit of forgiveness.  Another attitude opposed to it is that of simply ignoring the wrong inflicted upon us, as though nothing had happened.  This aberration may result from laziness, from faintness of heart, or from a sickly, mawkish clinging to outward peace.  We hold our comfort too dear to fight it out with our aggressor; or again, we feel terrified at the thought of any tension or hostility, and fear lest a sharp reaction on our part should exasperate the adversary; or perhaps we yield just out of respect for the abstract idol of peace.  This is  akind of behavior far remote from the genuine love of peace or from a genuine spirit of forgiveness.  It can never achieve the true harmony of peace, but at best a superficial cloaking of enmity, a mood of false joviality which drags our souls towards the peripheral...Also, people who behave thus fail to consider the moral damage that their supineness is likely to inflict on others.  It is very often necessary to draw a person's attention to the wrong he has done to us - in fact, necessary for his own good.  To pass over it in silence may easily encourage him in his bad dispositions."

This used to be understood by nearly all Christians.  But today, ignorance of the Scriptures has infected even many of our clergy.  In the Gospel of Luke, Our Lord says, ",,if your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him; and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, and says, 'I repent,' you must forgive him." (Lk 17: 3, 4).

If he repents.  The word "if" in this sentence makes this a conditional statement.  Those of you who have studied philosophy or mathematics know that a conditional statement is often used to assert a connection of some sort between the antecedent and consequent.  For example, an equation which states "if X = 5 and Y = 3, then X times Y = 15 represents a conditional statement.  When Jesus says, "If your brother sins [against you] and if he repents, forgive him," He is saying that authentic reconciliation involves, first of all, repentance for wrongs committed. 

Reconciliation is not possible otherwise.  Only what Dr. von Hildebrand so eloquently refers to as a "superficial cloaking of enmity."  As Christians, we are called to an authentic Christian spirit of forgiveness.  We are not called to live a lie.  While we must always forgive those who have wronged us, glossing over wrongs committed or pretending they never happened is not the road toward authentic reconciliation.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Worcester Diocese under attack from militant sodomites and Attorney General Martha Coakley



Writing for the Christian Post Reporter, Michael Gryboski notes that, "A Roman Catholic diocese in Massachusetts that refused to sell a historic mansion to a gay couple is facing mounting legal pressure. Massachusetts' Attorney General Martha Coakley recently filed a brief in support of the gay couple who are suing the Diocese of Worcester alleging discrimination. Filed before superior court earlier this month on behalf of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Coakley argued that the diocese's actions constituted 'sexual orientation discrimination.' 'The commonwealth's compelling interest in protecting gays and lesbians from discrimination derives from their status as a politically vulnerable minority that has suffered a history of discrimination, which continues to this day,' reads the brief in part. '… though the diocesan defendants assert a sincerely held religious belief, their free exercise claim fails the rest of the compelling interest test, and they are not entitled to an exemption.' The Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General provided The Christian Post with a press release sent out last Thursday, wherein Coakley stated that her office respects the freedom of religion."  See here.
But what is tolerance? How do we define it? Dr. Montague Brown, a professor of philosophy at St. Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, provides us with an excellent definition of tolerance. He writes, "Tolerance is the willingness to accept actions we believe to be inappropriate or even wrong because it would be worse to take action against them. Tolerance is community-oriented. Ideally, all bad behavior should cease, but it is unrealistic to think that society could succeed in enforcing this ideal. Tolerance understands this." (The One-Minute Philosopher, p. 166).

And how would we define relativism? Again, Dr. Montague: "Relativism is the assumption that there is no right or wrong. No action is considered better or worse than any other. If this is so, all actions are equally acceptable. Relativism is profoundly anti-community. If there are no standards of morality to which we should adhere, tolerance is no better than intolerance." (The One-Minute Philosopher, p. 167).

Does the Martha Coakley possess an adequate understanding of what constitutes tolerance?  Freedom of religion? Such would not appear to be the case.

As I've warned so many times before at this Blog, the same radical homosexual activists who continually cry for more "tolerance" are anything but tolerant. This is a spiritual war. The homosexual movement is not a civil rights movement. It is an attempt at moral revolution. An attempt to change people's view of homosexuality. Writing in the Chicago Free Press, even homosexual activist Paul Varnell admitted this. He wrote, "The fundamental controverted issue about homosexuality is not discrimination, hate crimes or domestic partnerships, but the morality of homosexuality. Even if gays obtain non-discrimination laws, hate crimes law and domestic partnership benefits, those can do little to counter the underlying moral condemnation which will continue to fester beneath the law and generate hostility, fuel hate crimes, support conversion therapies, encourage gay youth suicide and inhibit the full social acceptance that is our goal. On the other hand, if we convince people that homosexuality is fully moral, then all their inclination to discriminate, engage in gay-bashing or oppose gay marriage disappears. Gay youths and adults could readily accept themselves. So the gay movement, whether we acknowledge it or not, is not a civil rights movement, not even a sexual liberation movement, but a moral revolution aimed at changing people's view of homosexuality." (Paul Varnell, "Defending Our Morality," Chicago Free Press, Aug 16, 2000).

We are involved in a spiritual war.  Martha Coakley's legal brief - see here - really represents a thinly disguised totalitarianism.  The twilight has become darkness.





 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Rosary of Our Lady of Tears

About the Image of Our Lady's Tears


Our Lady of Tears to Sr. Amalia: "Through this rosary the devil will be conquered and the power of hell will be destroyed."

Our Lady spoke to Sister Amalia: "Do you know why I wear a blue mantle? To remind you of heaven, when you are feeling weary from your labors, and carrying the cross of your tribulations. My mantle reminds you of heaven, to give you indescribable joy and eternal happiness , and this will give courage to your soul and peace to your heart, to continue the struggle until the end!" Do you understand the significance of my purple-violet tunic? I will tell you that you should remember, as you stand before the image of Tears, of the colors I wear, purple signifies pain. The pain the Jesus felt when they beat him, barbarically, on his body. My mother's heart and my soul were also lacerated by pain, on seeing Jesus.""My child, I will explain to you why I wear this white veil , around my breast and covering my head. White signifies purity, and being the white flower of the Holy Trinity, I could appear without this whiteness. The sweet smile you see traced on my lips is for the immense happiness to be able to give mankind such a precious treasure!"

"I will explain to you the reason I appear with my eyes inclined downward. Inspired painters have recorded my eyes looking upward to sing the glory of my immaculate conception. Then why are my eyes inclined downward in this apparition, into which you entrust yourself to my blessed tears? It signifies my compassion toward humanity, because I have come from heaven to alleviate your suffering. My eyes will always be directed to your sorrows and afflictions, whenever you ask my Son through the tears I shed. And as you are near my image, see that I gaze at you with eyes of compassion and tenderness."

"My child, I will tell you about the rosary in my hands. I have named it the Crown (chaplet) of Tears . When you are near me, seeing this chaplet in my hands, remember that it signifies mercy, love, and pain... this chaplet of my blessed tears signifies that your Mother loves you. Use all its privileges, resort to it with confidence and love."

(Source: Catholic Devotions)

Get this chaplet here, pray it often as a powerful spiritual weapon against the devil.


How to Pray the Rosary of Our Lady of Tears

The rosary transmitted to Sister Amalia by the Mother of God consists of forty-nine white beads, which is divided into seven parts by seven larger beads of the same color -- similar to the rosary of the seven sorrows of Mary. At the end, there are attached three more small beads and a medal of our dear Lady of Tears. Through these instructions we are directed to honor Mary our Mother on account of her sorrows, for which she shed many tears. The medal of our Lady of Tears is an essential part of the rosary, but it must be the way it was revealed to Sister Amalia by the Mother of God on April 30, 1930. In Germany, this medal is made with the specified inscription in all the European languages.

On the Medal to Jesus

(flipside of Medal of Our Lady's Tears)O crucified Jesus, we fall at Your feet and offer You the tears of the one, who with deep compassionate love accompanied You on Your sorrowful way of the Cross. O good Master, grant that we take to heart the lessons which the tears of Your most holy Mother teach us, so that we may fulfill Your holy will on earth, that we may be worthy to praise and exalt You in Heaven for all eternity. Amen+


In Place of the Our Father: (and on the final three beads) V. O Jesus, look upon the tears of the one who loved You most on earth,R. And loves You most ardently in heaven.

In Place of the Hail Mary: V. O Jesus, listen to our prayers,R. For the sake of the tears of your most Holy Mother.

On the Medal to Mary: O Mary, Mother of Love, Sorrow and mercy, we beseech you to unite your prayers with ours so that Jesus, your Divine Son, to whom we turn, may hear our petititons in the name of your maternal tears, and grant us, not only the favors we now ask, but the crown of everlasting life. Amen+

Promises

1. Jesus to Sr. Amalia: ""If you want to receive favors, ask me for the sake of My Mother's tears."

2. "My daughter, whatever people will beg Me for the sake of the tears of My Mother, I shall lovingly grant them. "

3. Later, My Mother will hand over this treasure to our beloved Institute as a Magnet of mercy." This took place on November 8, 1929

4. Mary to Sr. Amalia: "My Son wants to honor me in a special way through these invocations, and so, He will grant all graces that are begged for the sake of my tears."

5. "This rosary will provide for the conversion of many sinners, especially those possessed by the devil."

6. "Through this rosary the devil will be conquered and the power of hell will be destroyed. Get ready for this great battle."



(Source, Pamphlet Our Dear Lady of Tears.ImprimaturBuchweiser, Gen. - Bit.Munchen, 22. Marz 1935)



Courtesy of my friend Sanctus Belle.  Author of Our Lady's Tears (see link to her Blog on the sidebar of this Blog.).

Friday, March 14, 2014

In America, there is a long history of portraying Catholic priests as predators

In an article which may be found here: http://www.crisismagazine.com/2014/pope-francis-stop-using-church-as-sexual-abuse-scapegoat, Dr. William Oddie notes that, "Pope Francis has now once again (though to judge by the so far sparse coverage, you’d think he’d never said or done anything before) expressed his abhorrence of clerical sex abuse. Previous popes—indeed most senior clergy—are normally too reticent, however, to do what he has now done as well, that is to say, he has defended the Catholic Church’s record on tackling the sexual abuse of children by priests, by declaring what is now the simple truth: that “no one else has done more” than the Church to root out pedophilia.


The Catholic Church, he said in an interview with Corriere della Sera published March 5, 'is perhaps the only public institution to have acted with transparency and responsibility. No one else has done more. Yet the Church is the only one to have been attacked. The statistics on the phenomenon of violence against children are shocking, but they also clearly show that the great majority of abuses are carried out in family or neighborhood environments.'

He’s not in fact the first pope to point out that child sex abuse is a problem for society as a whole, and not just for the Church. Pope Benedict, having acknowledged that clerical sexual abuse has 'profoundly wounded people in their childhood, damaging them for a whole lifetime,' was quoted by Dr Pravin Thevathasan, in his booklet The Catholic Church and the Sex Abuse Crisis (CTS, 2010), as saying that "'the crimes of priests, while reprehensible, should be seen in the context of the times in which these events took place.' Citing the rise of child pornography and sexual tourism, he concludes that moral standards in society at large have broken down.”

We are not the only ones, Benedict XVI was rightly saying then, and Pope Francis is in effect saying now. This does not mean that the Pope is saying that we don’t have a real problem: just one priest child abuser would be a scandal. But this is principally, tragically (and to me incomprehensibly) a major problem for society as a whole. The percentage of priests accused of this unspeakable crime is in fact lower than that of males in the population at large. It ought to be a lot lower than it is: it ought to be non-existent. But as long as the Church is singled out in the scandalous way it was recently by the UN as the major sex abuse scapegoat, so long will a profound problem for society at large not be taken seriously.

I will of course (as I know from weary experience) be intemperately attacked for this post whatever I say. All the same, let’s be rid early on of the nonsense that this Pope doesn’t take clerical sex abuse seriously. He said in the interview that the abuse cases 'are terrible because they leave very deep wounds.' Pope Francis praised his predecessor Benedict XVI—the first pope to apologize directly to abuse victims—saying he had been 'very courageous and opened up a path' to changing the Church’s attitude towards predatory priests. Francis himself has said that Catholics should feel 'shame' for such abuse. In December he created a commission to investigate sex crimes, enforce prevention and concentrate on care for victims. According to Cardinal Se├ín O’Malley, whose particular concern the new commission will be, the Vatican’s focus so far had been on legal procedures. The new body, he said, would represent a more pastoral approach. The cardinal said the commission would study a number of areas, including programs to educate pastoral workers in signs of abuse, psychological testing and other ways of screening candidates for the priesthood, and also, and not least, the Church’s 'cooperation with the civil authorities, the reporting of crimes.'

Whatever was the case 25 years ago (on which the UN’s intemperate attack seems largely based) the Church has learned its lessons and has acted on them, unlike many other institutions in modern society in which the same problem (with its attendant cover-ups) is still endemic. The facts are clear enough: but the media, and institutionally Left-wing organizations like the UN, refuse to acknowledge this, or even indeed that this is a problem for our whole society. This is now a long-standing problem for us. 'When,' asked the Catholic blog La Salette Journey four years ago, 'will the media acknowledge that the sexual abuse of children is not a ‘Catholic problem’?' The fact is, suggests the writer, Paul Anthony Melanson, that 'the media are not so much concerned with the welfare of children as they are with unfairly portraying the abuse of children as a ‘crisis in the Church.’

For example, the American state school system has a considerably higher rate of sexual abuse than the Catholic Church: according to a report prepared for the US Department of Education entitled Educator Sexual Misconduct: A Synthesis of Existing Literature, “9.6 percent of all students in grades 8 to 11 report … educator sexual misconduct that was unwanted.” This report was virtually ignored by the media.

Around the same time, an article by Jim Dwyer in the New York Times reported that the New York state legislature was addressing the fact that child abuse was not only a problem for the Church, but for the whole of society. Should it be possible, asked Dwyer 'to sue the city of New York for sexual abuse by public school teachers that happened decades ago? How about doctors or hospital attendants? Police officers? Welfare workers? Playground attendants? … there is little evidence to show there is more sexual abuse among Catholic priests than among clergy from other denominations, or, for that matter, among people from other walks of life.'"

It should come as no surprise that many Americans, including some of those who produce our secular media, are anxious to paint the abuse of children as a "Catholic problem" or as a "crisis in the Church."  Many of the major networks have done this.  There is a long history in the United States of anti-Catholicism.  And this includes the attempt to portray Catholics - and especially the clergy - as monsters who pose a threat toward children.

America’s founders were generally hostile to the Roman Catholic Church. Thomas Jefferson, for example, doubted that any 'priest-ridden people' could maintain a free and Democratic form of government.

Well into the 19th century, many politicians hitched their wagon to a rising tide of anti-Catholicism. While the 1830s and 1840s saw vast numbers of immigrant Catholics from Ireland and elsewhere arriving desperate and poor in U.S. cities, conspiracies involving the pope and the Catholic Church were hatched. Particularly attractive to many Americans were the kidnapping plots, which suggested that nuns and priests were out to nab Protestants and forcefully convert them. One example being the popular best-selling book "The Awful Disclosures of Maria Monk," published in 1836 — just two years after a convent near Boston was torched by a vicious anti-Catholic mob.

As First Things noted, "Books about sexual deviancy among Catholic priests and nuns were popular in the nineteenth century. Maria Monk, published her Awful Disclosures of the Hotel Dieu Convent of Montreal, or The Secrets of the Black Nunnery Revealed in 1836. Morris estimates it sold 300,000 copies before the Civil War. “It has been called the Uncle Tom’s Cabin of anti-Catholicism,” Morris writes, “or the anti-Catholic equivalent of the anti-Semitic Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”


The Protocols of the Elders of Zion , not so long ago thought to be permanently discredited, is now enjoying a resurgence of popularity, particularly in Islamic countries. Like the threatening images of the Protocols , the images of foreign, secretive, power hungry, and sexually deviant Catholic cabals go underground in some decades, only to re-emerge in others.

One hundred and twenty years later, the cartoons of reptile-human hybrids, bishops on the hunt for America’s children, have reappeared. Nast’s trope of the alien, not quite human, Catholic has come out of hibernation to be printed in newspapers and magazines all over the United States and the world."

Thomas Nast's cartoon (see above), published in the September 30, 1871 edition of Harper's Weekly, captured the attitude of so many anti-Catholic bigots of his day.  Catholic Bishops were portrayed as predatory reptiles, their mitred hats became the sinister jaws of crocodiles, attacking the children of the republic.

Is it any wonder that some Americans today, influenced by more than 200 years of rabid anti-Catholicism, are anxious to portray the sexual abuse of children as "a Catholic problem"?  The hatred may have become a bit more subtle today.  But it is still with us.




Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Romeo Marquis promotes heretic Dr. Thomas Groome

At a website run by Mr. Romeo Marquis, Associate Dean for Academic Technology and Distance Education at Framingham State University and Executive Director at The Learning Curve, are a series of Lenten meditations beginning with a Lenten video series with former priest and heretic Doctor Thomas Groome.  The program begins with a piece entitled "What Keeps us Catholic" with Dr. Groome. 

What keeps us Catholic?  Mr. Groome's theology is anything but Catholic.  See here and here for example.

The history of the Church testifies to the truth that men have a natural inclination to divide Christ's Deposit of Faith and to choose only what they want to believe. For those who are Catholic in more than name (a much smaller group than most realize), all questions of faith or morals are answered in a Deposit of Faith (Depositum Fidei) which has been revealed by God and entrusted to a Custodian (the Church's Magisterium) established by God Himself which has been endowed with infallible protection against any change or error.

But for the Catholic in name only, the reason for belief is private judgment rather than the infallible teaching authority established by God. The issue, ultimately, is who speaks for the Church? Who has the authority to speak in the name of Christ and to settle disputes which may arise within the Mystical Body of Christ? Vatican II, in its Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, No. 10, teaches authoritatively that: "...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. This teaching office is not above the Word of God but serves it, teaching only what has been handed on, listening to it devoutly, guarding it scrupulously and explaining it faithfully in accord with a divine commission and with the help of the Holy Spirit; it draws from this one deposit of faith everything which it presents for belief as divinely revealed."

If one is to be faithful to Christ and His Church, one cannot assert that what the Magisterium teaches is false and that the faithful are free to reject this teaching and substitute it with their own opinions or those of theologians. But this is precisely what dissent entails. The dissident looks upon the moral teachings of the Magisterium as mere legalistic rules instead of seeing them for what they really are: beautiful truths intended to enable the People of God to live the Christ Life.

Dissent represents an act of violence directed against Christ's faithful. Pope John Paul II drove this point home in his Encyclical Letter Veritatis Splendor (No. 113) when he said, "Dissent, in the form of carefully orchestrated protests and polemics carried on in the media, is opposed to ecclesial communion and to a correct understanding of the hierarchical constitution of the People of God." Dissent represents an act of violence because it violates "the right of the faithful to receive Catholic doctrine in its purity and integrity.." (VS, 113).

Mr. Marquis should begin his Lent by repenting of his promotion of a known heretic.

Friday, March 07, 2014

Pope Francis is not considering homosexual civil unions....he cannot!


Many publications, such as The Huffington Post, have falsely asserted that Pope Francis indicated he is open to homosexual civil unions.  Elizabeth Dias correctly notes this is false.  She writes, "First, it is important to be clear about what Pope Francis did and did not just say. He did not affirm gay marriage. He did not announce Holy See support for civil unions. He reiterated, yet again, the traditional and non-changing Catholic teaching that marriage is between one man and one woman..."  Read her full Blog post for Time here.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in its Instruction entitled "Considerations Regarding Proposals To Give Legal Recognition To Unions Between Homosexual Persons," has this to say in nos. 2-4:

"The Church's teaching on marriage and on the complementarity of the sexes reiterates a truth that is evident to right reason and recognized as such by all the major cultures of the world. Marriage is not just any relationship between human beings. It was established by the Creator with its own nature, essential properties and purpose. No ideology can erase from the human spirit the certainty that marriage exists solely between a man and a woman, who by mutual personal gift, proper and exclusive to themselves, tend toward the communion of their persons. In this way, they mutually perfect each other, in order to cooperate with God in the procreation and upbringing of new human lives.

The natural truth about marriage was confirmed by the Revelation contained in the biblical accounts of creation, an expression also of the original human wisdom, in which the voice of nature itself is heard. There are three fundamental elements of the Creator's plan for marriage, as narrated in the Book of Genesis.

In the first place, man, the image of God, was created "male and female" (Gen 1:27). Men and women are equal as persons and complementary as male and female. Sexuality is something that pertains to the physical-biological realm and has also been raised to a new level — the personal level — where nature and spirit are united.

Marriage is instituted by the Creator as a form of life in which a communion of persons is realized involving the use of the sexual faculty. "That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife and they become one flesh" (Gen 2:24).

Third, God has willed to give the union of man and woman a special participation in his work of creation. Thus, he blessed the man and the woman with the words "Be fruitful and multiply" (Gen 1:28). Therefore, in the Creator's plan, sexual complementarity and fruitfulness belong to the very nature of marriage.

Furthermore, the marital union of man and woman has been elevated by Christ to the dignity of a sacrament. The Church teaches that Christian marriage is an efficacious sign of the covenant between Christ and the Church (cf. Eph 5:32). This Christian meaning of marriage, far from diminishing the profoundly human value of the marital union between man and woman, confirms and strengthens it (cf. Mt 19:3-12; Mk 10:6-9).

There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God's plan for marriage and family. Marriage is holy, while homosexual acts go against the natural moral law. Homosexual acts "close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved."

And in an Instruction entitled "Some Considerations Concerning The Response To Legislative Proposals On The Non-Discrimination Of Homosexual Persons," issued on July 22, 1992, the CDF had this to say: "'Sexual orientation' does not constitute a quality comparable to race, ethnic background, etc. in respect to non-discrimination. Unlike these, homosexual orientation is an objective disorder and evokes moral concern." (No. 10). And again: "Including 'homosexual orientation' among the considerations on the basis of which it is illegal to discriminate can easily lead to regarding homosexuality as a positive source of human rights, for example, in respect to so-called affirmative action or preferential treatment in hiring practices. This is all the more deleterious since there is no right to homosexuality which therefore should not form the basis for judicial claims. The passage from the recognition of homosexuality as a factor on which basis it is illegal to discriminate can easily lead, if not automatically, to the legislative protection and promotion of homosexuality. A person's homosexuality would be invoked in opposition to alleged discrimination, and thus the exercise of rights would be defended precisely via the affirmation of the homosexual condition instead of in terms of a violation of basic human rights." (No. 13).

Anyone who believes that Pope Francis has the authority to contradict the Magisterial teaching of the Church just doesn't understand the nature of the papacy.

Related reading here.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Let's all commend the courageous students at Immaculate Heart of Mary School in Still River Massachusetts!

As reported here, students at the Immaculate Heart of Mary School in Still River have taken a courageous stand to withdraw from the Saint Patrick's Day Parade in Boston this year because of its capitulation to the Culture of Sodomy.

It's not enough that parade organizers will allow homosexuals to march provided they don't carry signs or wear clothing agitating for the homosexual "lifestyle."  No, the sodomite community demands the right to march as sodomites.

Students at the Immaculate Heart of Mary School should be commended for their courageous stance against the Culture of Sodomy.


Too many Catholics today, poorly instructed in their faith, believe that all judging is wrong. These Catholics apparently believe that love of enemies means condoning vice and sin. In the words of Dr. Germain Grisez, one of the finest moral theologians of our time, "It might seem to follow that love must accept everyone, even enemies, just as they are, and to affirm them even in the error or sin which is present in them. But the law of love does not require indiscriminate affirmation of everything about other persons (see Saint Thomas Aquinas, S.t., 2-2, q.34, a.3). One's love must be like Jesus'. He loves sinners and brings them into communion with himself in order to overcome their error and sin. When the scribes and pharisees bring a woman caught in adultery to Jesus, he not only saves her from being stoned to death but warns her not to sin again (see John 8:3-11). In a true sense, Jesus is not judgmental, he sets aside the legalistic mentality, readily forgives sinners, does not condemn the world, and points out that those who refuse to acknowledge their sinfulness are self-condemned by the truth they violate (see John 3:16-21). But he realistically recognizes sinners as sinners and never accepts error as truth...
Similarly, if Christians' love of neighbor is genuine, it not only permits but REQUIRES THEM both to 'hold fast to what is good' and to 'hate what is evil' (Romans 12:9)."And again, according to Dr. Grisez, "Vatican II neatly formulates the prohibition against judging others" 'God alone is the judge and searcher of hearts; for that reason, he forbids us to make judgments about the internal guilt of anyone' (Gaudium et Spes, No. 28). This norm, however, does not preclude JUDGMENTS necessary for determining that one should try to dissuade others from committing sins or to encourage them to repent if they have sinned."

It is obvious that the students at Immaculate Heart of Mary School possess the Cardinal Gift of Fortitude.

I only wish we could say the same about our Bishop.

Monday, March 03, 2014

Nemo dat quod non habet!

Writing for the Catholic Herald, Francis Rocca reports that, "Pope Francis has said that bishops should act not like ambitious corporate executives, but humble evangelists and men of prayer, willing to sacrifice everything for their flocks.

'We don’t need a manager, the CEO of a business, nor someone who shares our pettiness or low aspirations,' the Pope said yesterday. 'We need someone who knows how to rise to the height from which God sees us, in order to guide us to him.'

Pope Francis’s words came in a speech to the Congregation for Bishops, the Vatican body that advises him on the appointment of bishops around the world.
He stressed the importance of self-sacrifice in a bishop’s ministry, which he described as a kind of martyrdom.

'The courage to die, the generosity to offer one’s own life and exhaust one’s self for the flock are inscribed in the episcopate’s DNA,' he said. 'The episcopate is not for itself but for the Church, for the flock, for others, above all for those whom the world considers only worth throwing away.'

Pope Francis listed several desirable virtues in potential bishops, including a 'capacity for healthy, balanced relationships,' 'upright behaviour,' 'orthodoxy and fidelity' to Church doctrine; and 'transparency and detachment in administrating the goods of the community.'

The Pope laid special emphasis on a bishop’s ability to evangelise and pray.
In preaching the Gospel, bishops should be appealing rather than censorious, upholding Church teaching 'not in order to measure how far the world falls short of the truth it contains, but to fascinate the world, enchant it with the beauty of love, seduce it by offering the freedom of the Gospel.'" (Full article may be found here).

Pope John Paul II, in his book entitled "Rise, Let Us Be On Our Way," in a chapter entitled simply "The Shepherd," writes, "Christian tradition has adopted the biblical image of the shepherd in three forms: as the one who carries the lost sheep on his shoulders, as the one who leads his flocks to green pastures, and as the one who gathers his sheep with his staff and protects them from danger

In all three images there is a recurring theme: The shepherd is for the sheep, not the sheep for the shepherd.  He is bound so closely to them, if he is a real shepherd, that he is ready to lay down his life for the sheep (John 10:11).  Every year during the twenty-fourth and twenty-fifth week of Ordinary Time, the Liturgy of the Hours presents Saint Augustine's long sermon 'On the Shepherds.'  With reference to the Book of the Prophet Ezekiel, the bishop of Hippo strongly rebukes evil shepherds, who are concerned not for the sheep but only for themselves.  'Let us see how the word of God, that flatters no one, addresses the shepherds who are feeding themselves, not the sheep.  'You take the milk, you clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fatlings; but you do not feed my sheep.  The weak you have not strenghtened, the sick you have not healed, the crippled you have not bound up, the strayed you have not brought back, the lost you have not sought; any strong one you have killed; and my sheep are scattered because there is no shepherd.'" (pp. 63-64).

And in the chapter entitled "Courageous in Faith," the Holy Father, citing Stefan Cardinal Wyszynski, writes, "'The bishop has the duty to serve not only through his words and through the liturgy, but also through offering up his sufferings.'  Cardinal Wyszynski returned to these thoughts again on another occasion: 'Lack of courage in a bishop is the beginning of disaster.  Can he still be an apostle?  Witnessing to the Truth is essential for an apostle.  And this always demands courage.'  These words are also his: 'The greatest weakness in an apostle is fear.  What gives rise to fear is lack of confidence in the power of the Lord; this is what oppresses the heart and tightens the throat.  The apostle then ceases to offer witness.  Does he remain an apostle?  The disciples who abandoned the Master increased the courage of the executioners.  Silence in the presence of the enemies of a cause encourages them.  Fear in an apostle is the principal ally of the enemies of the cause'...Truly, there can be no turning one's back upon the truth, ceasing to proclaim it, hiding it, even if it is a hard truth that can only be revealed at the cost of great suffering.  'You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free' (John 8:32): this is our duty and our source of strength!  Here there is no room for compromise nor for an opportunistic recourse to human diplomacy.  We have to bear witness to the truth, even at the cost of persecutions, even to the shedding of our blood, like Christ Himself..." (pp. 190-191).

Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz (God love him) has displayed the courage of a real shepherd.  Back in 1996, His Excellency warned that membership in certain dissenting groups "is always perilous to the Catholic Faith and most often is totally incompatible with the Catholic Faith."  See here.

It would appear that the Bishop of Worcester, Massachusetts, lacks this same courage.  When the faithful write him with concerns over liturgical abuses or doctrinal dissent, they are most often ignored.

When I wrote the Bishop expressing interest in the priesthood, I received no response whatsoever.  See here.  I guess Bishop McManus considers me worth throwing away.

If we want to "enchant the world with the beauty of love," we must first practice love ourselves.

There is an old Latin saying: Nemo dat quod non habet!

And it applies here.

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