Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The problem of truth and human fellowship

Readers of this Blog will no doubt see similarities between the liberal dissent group which calls itself "Voice of the Faithful" and the anti-Semitic Saint Benedict Center which calls itself "traditional" ( or conservative). Both these groups have relied on slogans as a substitute for thought. One seeks a more "democratic" Church in its own image and likeness and quotes selectively from Vatican II documents to further its agenda which is summed up in its mantra: "Keep the Faith, change the Church." The other seeks to interpret Catholic dogma according to its own likes and to advance its own conception of Church, one which is rooted in anti-Semitism and a very narrow interpretation of just who is "outside the Church." The agenda of both these groups serves to highlight an ongoing problem which is of great concern for our society. A problem which the French philosopher Jacques Maritain addressed 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).

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Prayer Request

Please pray for the repose of the soul of Leo F. Moisan, Sr. and for the family he left behind. Our hearts are restless O Lord, until they rest in Thee.

What must change: the structure of the Church or that of the human heart?

In its document on change entitled "Discerning the Spirit: A Guide for Renewing and Restructuring the Church," Voice of the Faithful (VOTF), an organization established in the wake of the clerical abuse scandal, provides us with a glimpse of its loss of the sense of truth and of the sense of the Church.

In a desperate attempt to convince the faithful that the structure of the Church must change and become more democratic, this VOTF guide quotes the following passage from the Vatican II document Lumen Gentium: "Thus every layman, by virtue of the very gifts bestowed on him, is at the same time a witness and a living instrument of the mission of the Church herself." (LG, No. 33).

But the lay involvement referred to in this passage is a far different thing from the "democratic" Church envisaged by members of the flagging dissent group. If we read just a little further into the same Vatican II document, we are told that: "The laity should promptly accept in Christian obedience what is decided by the pastors who, as teachers and rulers of the Church, represent Christ." (LG, No. 37). Why doesn't the VOTF "guide" quote from that passage?

While it is true that some practices in the Church are similar to those of a representative democracy, for example, Bishops who are united with the Pope share authority with him, and their leadership is collegial (LG, No. 22), and the lay faithful have a right to make their needs and desires known while appropriately expressing their opinions (LG, No. 37), still, authority in the Church has a different foundation from authority in a representative democracy. Not to mention a different function. Leaders in a representative democracy govern in the name of the people. But within the Church, pastors govern in the name of the Lord Jesus. By appointment, mission and commission, Jesus has provided for the continuation of His royal office. The hierarchy of jurisdiction, therefore, is a divine institution (LG, No. 18). This hierarchy constitutes the external framework of that organism in which Jesus Himself lives and of which He is both the juridic and mystic Head, namely, His Mystical Body the Church.

Members of the primitive Church understood this as do faithful Catholics today. They knew that the Apostles had received from Jesus their power to teach, rule and sanctify. They understood that even Jesus’ teaching is not His own and that the Spirit does not speak on his own (Jn 7:16; 16:13). In short, they understood that everything comes from the Father (Jas 1:17-18).

Sadly, there are those who still insist that the structure of the Church must change. Father William J. Byron, SJ is one such individual. In an column written for the Catholic News Service and published in the October 26th edition of The Catholic Free Press, Fr. Byron refers to VOTF as "a reform movement." And speaking of the "structural change" which this dissent group calls for, he writes, "...faithful Catholic people want to have a voice in the selection of their parish priests and local bishops...It is worth noting that structural change never happens suddenly, but structural adjustments are happening all the time. Enlightened criticism from Voice of the Faithful will bring about structural adjustments, which eventually will lead to noticeable change. For this to happen, however, the movement needs staying power..."

VOTF is a reform movement which offers enlightened criticism? Far from it. Any authentic reform movement in the Church has its foundation in Magisterial truth and understands that it is not the Church which must change but the human heart. Writing to the Ephesians, St. Paul said, "Put off the old man who is corrupted according to the desire of error, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind: and put on the new man, who according to God is created in justice and holiness of truth" (Eph. 4:22-24).

And as Dr. Von Hildebrand explains, "These words of St. Paul are inscribed above the gate through which all must pass who want to reach the goal set us by God. They implicitly contain the quintessence of the process which baptized man must undergo before he attains the unfolding of the new supernatural life received in Baptism." (Transformation in Christ, p.3). Dr. Von Hildebrand goes on to explain in this work of critical importance that there is a certain type of man, "who, while not lacking a certain elan, refuses to take account of his limitations and is thus driven to magnify his stature artificially." He continues: "Suppose he is present at some discussion of spiritually relevant topics: he will take part in the debate as though he were fully equipped to do so; he will claim impressions as deep as the others; he will not yield to any other man as regards intellectual proficiency or even religious stature. Thus he works himself up, as it were, to a level which he has not reached in reality - and which he may not even be able to reach, so far as it is a matter of natural capacities. He is not without zeal; but that zeal is nourished at heart by pride. He misjudges the limitations of the natural talents which God has lent him, and consequently lapses into pretense. He is fond of speaking of things which far transcend the limits of his understanding; he behaves as though a mere mental or verbal reference to such subjects (however poorly implemented with actual knowledge and penetration) would by itself amount to their intellectual possession. This cramped attitude of sham spirituality is mostly underlain by an inferiority complex, or by a kind of infantile unconsciousness. Stupidity in its really oppressive form is traceable to this pretension to appear something different from what one is in fact, and by no means to a mere deficiency of intellectual gifts." (Transformation in Christ, pp.23-24).

Why am I relating all of this? Because, Dr. Von Hildebrand teaches us that such false self-appraisals actually hinder our readiness to change or to "put on the new man" as St. Paul instructs us to do. And what Dr. Von Hildebrand refers to as a "cramped attitude of sham spirituality" is part and parcel of the VOTF movement. Members of VOTF have their own thoughts as to what must change. But this is because they fail to listen to the Word of God as given to us by the Apostle to the Gentiles. Insisting that it is not they who must "put on the new man" in Christ Jesus but that it is the Church which must change, these intellectually and spiritually cramped characters evaluate the abuse crisis within the Church and issue an arrogant vestra culpa (your fault) while refusing to issue a humble mea culpa (my fault). These sophomoric souls, anxious to assign blame to the Church for the sins of some of Her members, forget 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)."

VOTF members will no doubt continue to live in denial while loudly proclaiming the need for "structural change" within the Church even while remaining unsure as to what this actually means. This is why their movement is destined to fail. But there is another and no less important reason for their movement's decay. And it is this: most Catholics in this country understand what they themselves do not: namely, that the Church founded by Jesus Christ the Incarnate Word is a perfect society which is immutable. They know and understand this because such is the teaching of the Church. It was Pope Pius XII, in his encyclical letter Mystici Corporis, who taught that:"..The Church, which should be considered a perfect society in its own right, is not made up of merely moral and juridical elements and principles. It is far superior to all other human societies; it surpasses them as grace surpasses nature, as things immortal are above all those that perish...The juridical principles, on which also the Church rests and is established, derive from the divine constitution given it by Christ.."

Such authentic Catholics accept the teaching of Vatican I that, "...the pastors and the faithful of whatever rite and dignity, both as separate individuals and all together, are bound by the duty of hierarchical subordination and true obedience, not only in things which pertain to faith and morals, but also in those which pertain to the discipline and government of the Church which is spread over the whole world, so that the Church of Christ, protected not only by the Roman Pontiff, but by the unity of communion as well as of the profession of the same faith is one flock under the one highest shepherd. This is the doctrine of Catholic truth from which no one can deviate and keep his faith and salvation." (Dogmatic Constitution I on the Church of Christ, Session IV).

VOTF rejects this clear and unambiguous teaching of Holy Mother Church. This is why the movement is held in "low esteem" by most Catholics in this country and beyond. With all due respect for Fr. Byron, it is not the structure of the Church which must change. It is the structure of the human heart which must change. Until our hearts are conformed to that of the Sacred Heart of our Lord Jesus Christ, our criticism will never be constructive or enlightened. It will only be bitter.

Let us all pray: Sacred Heart of Jesus, make my heart like unto Thine. Amen.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Continued dishonesty at the SBC Richmond

At the website of the Saint Benedict Center (Richmond, New Hampshire), there is a response to the Chronicle episode which aired last Thursday. According to the SBC, "A fraudulent claim that the followers of Father Feeney are 'not Catholic' went uncorrected."

This is false on two levels. First of all, I never made the claim that all of those who have a love for Fr. Feeney are "not Catholic." There are communities in Still River, Massachusetts which have been regularized and which are in communion with the Church. These communities have not embraced - and propagated - a rabid anti-Semitism.

However, I was referring to the Saint Benedict Center in Richmond, New Hampshire. In a letter to Mrs. Terri O'Rorke (which was referenced in the Chronicle piece) we read:

"I write to you in reply to your letter dated May 24, 2007. I share your concern about the ongoing controversy and difficulties with the Saint Benedict Center. As you know, the Saint Benedict Center has no permission or authority to exercise any Ministry on behalf of the Roman Catholic Church in New Hampshire.

Bishop McCormack has and will continue to do all that he can to encourage people to refrain from participating in any of the spiritual exercises at the Saint Benedict Center. For my part, I will continue to make it clear that Saint Benedict Center has no affiliation with the Roman Catholic Church in any way.

Please know that I will continue to pray for you and all those who are affected by difficulties that have been created by the Saint Benedict Center.

With every good wish, I remain
sincerely yours in Christ
Edward J Arsenault
Moderator of the Curia
Manchester NH

No affiliation. This could not be more clear.

The SBC also posted the following statement: "The vicious portrayal of our founder did not present a true picture of the zealous priest whose love for God and man led him to great lengths in his defense of Catholic doctrine and his work for the salvation of souls."

As with most statements issued by the SBC in Richmond, this one is long on emotion and short on substance. I have already documented Fr. Feeney's viciousness and sheer hatred for those he deemed unworthy of eternal salvation here:

And Fr. William Most, an internationally-acclaimed theologian and Scripture scholar has responded to what he so aptly describes as the "tragic errors of Leonard Feeney" here:

Fr. Most writes:

"In the late 1940s Leonard Feeney, S. J. began to teach that there is no salvation outside the Church. He was correct in saying that there were official teachings, even definitions, on that score. But his tragic error came when he adopted Protestant method*, thinking that in that way he would be one of the only true Catholics! We spoke of his protestant method with good reason. First, he was excommunicated for disobedience, refusing to go to Rome to explain his position. Then the Holy Office, under Pius XII, sent a letter to the Archbishop of Boston, condemning Feeney's error. (It is known that Pius XII personally checked the English text of that letter).

...the very first paragraph pointed out what is obvious: we must avoid private interpretation of Scripture -- for that is strictly Protestant. But then the letter said we must also avoid private interpretation of the official texts of the Church. To insist on our own private interpretation, especially when the Church contradicts that, is pure Protestant attitude. What the disobedient Feeney said amounted to this: he insisted that all who did not formally enter the Church would go to hell. Hence he had to say, and he did say, that unbaptized babies go to hell. Further, all adults who did not formally enter the Church - get their names on a parish register - would also go to hell, even if they never had a chance to hear there was a Church, e.g., those in the western hemisphere during the long centuries before Columbus. Therefore Feeney consigned literally millions upon millions to hell, even though He gave them no chance. Not just the documents of the Church as interpreted by the Church should have kept him from this: merely common sense, and the realization that God is not only not a monster, but is infinitely good - that alone should have stopped him.

We have, then, most ample reason for calling his error tragic. Even the sexually immoral do not deny that God is good. Feeney does worse than they."

Amen Father Most. Amen.

* Please note: Fr. Most's reference to the "Protestant method" of interpreting Sacred Scripture is not intended in any way as an insult to those who belong to any of the Protestant churches. However, as Catholics, we believe - as Vatican II re-emphasized in its document Dei Verbum - that the task of authentically interpreting the Word of God belongs to the Magisterium and not private individuals.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

More thoughts on Chronicle's story "A Town Divided."

During her interview with Louis Villarrubia, Mary Richardson quoted from Fr. Feeney's publication The Point:

Mary Richardson: "'Jews, as an organized force, are the implacable declared enemies of Christianity: Its tenets, its traditions, its moral code, its very culture.' Do you believe that?"

To which Louis Villarrubia responded, "As I said, our interest in the Jews is the same as our interest in Methodists, Presbyterians, um Hindus, bring them to the true faith. That is our interest."

Mary Richardson pressed on: "But if Fr. Feeney is your hero, do you repudiate what he said here? Did he say this at a different time? Was this wrong?

And Mr. Villarrubia replied, "I think you're getting the idea that what we really hold is that somehow.. um.. Jews as Jews are bad people."

Notice how Mr. Villarrubia evades answering Mary Richardson's rather specific question? Instead of providing her with an honest response as to whether or not he repudiates Fr. Feeney's anti-Semitic article quoted from above, he attempts to convince Mary (and her many viewers) that she is somehow misunderstanding his - and his followers - stance with regard to the Jewish People.

Gee, where would Mary Richardson get the idea that Louis Villarrubia and SBC members hold that Jews as Jews are bad people? Could it be because Douglas Bersaw (also known as "Brother" Anthony Mary) has referred to the Jewish People as the "Synagogue of Satan"? Maybe it's because Louis himself has described the Jewish People as a people who "undermine public morality"?

And what exactly does Mr. Villarrubia mean by such a statement? I guess we'll never know. I (and many others) have consistently challenged him to provide us with an answer to that question. Mary Richardson asked it during her interview. But just as Mr. Villarrubia has failed to provide us with an answer, so he refused to answer the question when Mary asked it.

If anyone ever doubted that Mr. Villarrubia and his SBC cult are not acting in good faith, now they're not.

"I'm no historian"

During the Chronicle episode entitled "A Town Divided," there was the following exchange between Mary Richardson and SBC leader Louis Villarrubia (known to his followers as "Brother" Andre Marie):

Mary Richardson: "Do you believe in the Holocaust. That the Holocaust actually exists?"

Louis Villarrubia: "That's not our issue....I'm no historian...I'm not... I'm not capable of speaking to the, to the, to the issue of the Holocaust....uh, all the different subtleties there."

Mary Richardson: "So you don't know whether it happened?"

Louis Villarrubia: "Did Jewish people die during World War II? Absolutely."

Mary Richardson: "Did six-million people die?"

Louis Villarrubia: "I don't know, I'm not a historian."

I should say not. Thankfully, the Holocaust or Shoah is well-documented and acknowledged by any reputable historian. At the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's website:, one may read articles on the Holocaust, view actual photographs of the genocide and learn more about the horrible atrocities carried out against the Jewish People by the Third Reich.

No, Louis Villarrubia is no historian. If he were, he would have had no difficulty answering Mary Richardson's very simple question. But does one have to be an historian to answer a question which any grade-school student could answer by the fifth or sixth grade?
The photo above is taken from the website of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum and shows piles of corpses after the liberation of the Mauthausen camp in Austria after May 5, 1945.
And what do we make of Mr. Villarrubia's use of the word "subtleties" to describe the events of the Holocaust? The word "subtle" is defined by the American Heritage Dictionary as follows: "So slight as to be difficult to detect or analyze...not immediately obvious." What exactly is it about the Holocaust that Mr. Villarrubia finds so subtle? The millions of murdered corpses, many of which were thrown into mass graves? The human skin which the Nazis would use for lamp shades? Or perhaps the gold teeth which were cut out of the mouths of murdered victims?
Subtleties Mr. Villarrubia? You're right. You are no historian. And you're attitude toward the Holocaust is just plain chilling.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Tonight on Chronicle: A Town Divided

Tonight the popular television news-magazine Chronicle will be examining the controversial Saint Benedict Center in Richmond, New Hampshire, recently listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. For more information visit: scroll down and click on Chronicle HD.

Any questions regarding this Blog may be addressed to myself at:


Monday, October 22, 2007

On consistency

People don't really need a reason to leave the Church. But very often they will manufacture one. One recent excuse for deserting the Mystical Body of Christ has been the clergy abuse scandals. For more than ten years now I have been telling anyone who will listen that sexual abuse of children (both adolescents and pre-adolescents) has been far more widespread in the public schools and throughout society in general. Read here:

Presumably the same people who abandoned Holy Mother Church because of the actions of a comparatively smaller number of errant priests will now remove their children from the public school system.

Or will they?

Monday, October 15, 2007

As documented here:, Fr. Michael McFarland attempts to justify the presence of Planned Parenthood and NARAL at a conference at the College of the Holy Cross by insisting that, "It is not and has never been the mainstream Catholic position, and certainly is not the Jesuit position, that we should run away from public discussions of issues that are important to us just because of the presence of those whose positions or activities we find to be wrong."

Really? Then why did the College of the Holy Cross ban the Boston Church of Christ from its campus? Read the following statement issued by Holy Cross:

Granted, this statement says that, "Generally, the ban is a result of the group's tactics rather than its theology." But what about the well-documented tactics of Planned Parenthood and NARAL? Holy Cross had absolutely no problem banning the Boston Church of Christ because it is a deceptive cult - the activities of which Holy Cross found to be wrong.

And is there anyone who can honestly assert that Fr. McFarland would tolerate the presence of Stormfront, Aryan Nation or the Ku Klux Klan at a Holy Cross Conference under the pretense that the institution should not "run away" from public issues that are important to us "just because of the presence of those whose positions or activities we find to be wrong"?

That argument didn't work for Columbia University. And it doesn't work for Holy Cross.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Open and respectful dialogue?

In his Encyclical Letter Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life), Pope John Paul II wrote that, "In the case of an intrinsically unjust law, such as a law permitting abortion or euthanasia, it is..never licit to obey it, or to 'take part in a propaganda campaign in favour of such a law, or vote for it." (EV, No. 73).

And in No. 74, His Holiness reminded us that: "Christians, like all people of good will, are called upon under grave obligation of conscience not to cooperate formally in practices which, even if permitted by civil legislation, are contrary to God's law. Indeed, from the moral standpoint, it is never licit to cooperate formally in evil. Such cooperation occurs when an action, either by its very nature or by the form it takes in a concrete situation, can be defined as a direct participation in an act against innocent human life or a sharing in the immoral intention of the person committing it. This cooperation can never be justified either by invoking respect for the freedom of others or by appealing to the fact that civil law permits it or requires it. Each individual in fact has moral responsibility for the acts which he personally performs; no one can be exempted from this responsibility, and on the basis of it everyone will be judged by God himself (cf. Rom 2:6; 14:12).

To refuse to take part in committing an injustice is not only a moral duty; it is also a basic human right. Were this not so, the human person would be forced to perform an action intrinsically incompatible with human dignity, and in this way human freedom itself, the authentic meaning and purpose of which are found in its orientation to the true and the good, would be radically compromised. What is at stake therefore is an essential right which, precisely as such, should be acknowledged and protected by civil law. In this sense, the opportunity to refuse to take part in the phases of consultation, preparation and execution of these acts against life should be guaranteed to physicians, health-care personnel, and directors of hospitals, clinics and convalescent facilities. Those who have recourse to conscientious objection must be protected not only from legal penalties but also from any negative effects on the legal, disciplinary, financial and professional plane."

This point is not understood by columnist Dianne Williamson. In an article entitled "High-profile defiance applauded," (Worcester Telegram & Gazette, October 14 edition), Ms. Williamson castigates The Most Rev. Robert J. McManus, Bishop of Worcester, for basically saying the same thing. Ms. Williamson writes, "..Bishop Robert J. McManus conveyed the shock, positive shock, of his flock that the president of the College of the Holy Cross has allowed the school to rent space for a conference sponsored by a group that aims to reduce teen pregnancies and serve at-risk teens. While such efforts should be applauded - even from a Catholic perspective - the conference will include workshops by Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice, which 'are notorious for their policies and practices that directly reject the Church's teaching on artificial contraception and abortion,' according to a stern statement from the Bishop." But is the Bishop's statement really "stern"? How so? Because it enforces a Magisterial teaching which Ms. Williamson considers unpleasant? Perhaps a more suitable adjective to describe His Excellency's statement would be "accurate."

In her article, Ms. Williamson quotes from a letter written by the president of Holy Cross College to a student who asked him to cancel the conference: "It is not and has never been the mainstream Catholic position, and certainly is not the Jesuit position, that we should run away from public discussions of issues that are important to us just because of the presence of those whose positions or activities we find to be wrong....To the extent that the church has tried it [pro-life strategies to shun Planned Parenthood], all it has done is marginalize its own voice, which is tragic. By refusing to take part in broad-based efforts to help young girls and their children, we play into the hands of Planned Parenthood, who want to portray us as only caring for our own ideology and not for the welfare of women."

The Church has refused to take part in broad-based efforts to help young girls and their children? With all due respect for the president of Holy Cross College, I think he needs to spend a little time at a Crisis Pregnancy Center or with popular pro-life movements such as Human Life International and Priests for Life, movements which have done so much to help young women and their children.

Concluding her article in which she sides (is anyone surprised?) with the president of Holy Cross, Ms. Williamson wrote, "The Rev. McFarlane understands this and favors an open, respectful exchange of ideas. Bishop McManus doesn't. Instead, the church once again condemns all who fail to march in lockstep with its rigid [ read faithful and uncompromising with regard to truth] ideology, regardless of the casualties."

Of course, Ms. Williamson is really interested in "an open, respectful exchange of ideas." Which is why she asserts in her piece that opposition to the conference at Holy Cross is "clearly orchestrated" by a "fringe anti-abortion group" and that the president of Holy Cross "has shown great courage and integrity by refusing to capitulate to the narrow-minded demands of a bishop who was apparently called to action by fringe pro-life activists."

Indeed in reading her column, one can just feel Ms. Williamson's warmth and dedication to the ideals of a sincere dialogue based upon "an open, respectful exchange of ideas." Goebbels would be proud. Fr. McFarland and Dianne Williamson will no doubt continue to play semantic word-games while capitulating to the culture of death. All the more tragic as innocent human persons continue to be put to death in the womb.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Holy Cross College in Crisis

But thank the Lord Jesus for a faithful Bishop who will not stand for a culture of death mentality.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

A prayer to St. Michael

By Pope Leo XIII,
from the Roman Ritual,
Rite of Exorcism

PRINCEPS gloriosissime caelestis militiae, sancte Michael Archangele, defende nos in proelio et colluctatione, quae nobis adversus principes et potestates, adversus mundi rectores tenebrarum harum, contra spiritualia nequitiae, in caelestibus. Veni in auxilium hominum, quos Deus creavit inexterminabiles, et ad imaginem similitudinis suae fecit, et a tyrannide diaboli emit pretio magno. Proeliare hodie cum beatorum Angelorum exercitu proelia Domini, sicut pugnasti contra ducem superbiae luciferum, et angelos eius apostaticos: et non valuerunt, neque locus inventus est eorum amplius in caelo. Sed proiectus est draco ille magnus, serpens antiquus, qui vocatur diabolus et satanas, qui seducit universum orbem; et proiectus est in terram, et angeli eius cum illo missi sunt.

O GLORIOUS Prince of the heavenly host, Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in the battle and fearful warfare that we are waging against the principalities and powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, against the evil spirits. Come thou to the assistance of men, whom Almighty God created immortal, making them in His own image and likeness and redeeming them at a great price from the tyranny of Satan. Fight this day the battle of the Lord with thy legions of holy Angels, even as of old thou didst fight against Lucifer, the leader of the proud spirits and all his rebel angels, who were powerless to stand against thee, neither was their place found any more in heaven. And that great dragon was cast forth, the ancient serpent, who is called the devil and satan, who seduces the whole world; and he was cast forth upon Earth, and his angels were sent with him.

En antiquus inimicus et homicida vehementer erectus est. Transfiguratus in angelum lucis, cum tota malignorum spirituum caterva late circuit et invadit terram, ut in ea deleat nomen Dei et Christi eius, animasque ad aeternae gloriae coronam destinatas furetur, mactet ac perdat in sempiternum interitum. Virus nequitiae suae, tamquam flumen immundissimum, draco maleficus transfundit in homines depravatos mente et corruptos corde; spiritum mendacii, impietatis et blasphemiae; halitumque mortiferum luxuriae, vitiorum omnium et iniquitatum.

But behold! the ancient enemy of mankind and a murderer from the beginning has been fiercely aroused. Changing himself into an angel of light, he goes about with the whole multitude of the wicked spirits to invade the earth and blot out the Name of God and of His Christ, to plunder, to slay, and to consign to eternal damnation the souls that have been destined for a crown of everlasting life. This wicked serpent, like an unclean torrent, pours into men of depraved minds and corrupt hearts the poison of his malice, the spirit of lying, impiety and blasphemy, and the deadly breath of impurity and every form of vice and iniquity.

Ecclesiam, Agni immaculati sponsam, vaferrimi hostes repleverunt amaritudinibus, inebriarunt absinthio; ad omnia desiderabilia eius impias miserunt manus. Ubi sedes beatissimi Petri et Cathedra veritatis ad lucem gentium constituta est, ibi thronum posuerunt abominationis et impietatis suae; ut percusso Pastore, et gregem disperdere valeant.

Be favorable to Thy Church, the Bride of the Lamb without spot, whose enemies have filled to overflowing with gall and inebriated with wormwood. They have laid profane hands upon Her most sacred treasures. Where the See of the most blessed Peter and the Chair of Truth has been constituted as a light to the nations, there they have placed a throne of their abomination and impiety; so that with the Pastor struck, they may prevail to disperse the flock.

Adesto itaque, Dux invictissime, populo Dei contra irrumpentes spirituales nequitias, et fac victoriam. Te custodem et patronum sancta veneratur Ecclesia; te gloriatur defensore adversus terrestrium et infernorum nefarias potestates; tibi tradidit Dominus animas redemptorum in superna felicitate locandas. Deprecare Deum pacis, ut conterat satanam sub pedibus nostris, ne ultra valeat captivos tenere homines, et Ecclesiae nocere. Offer nostras preces in conspectu Altissimi, ut cito anticipent nos misericordiae Domini, et apprehendas draconem, serpentem antiquum, qui est diabolus et satanas, ac ligatum mittas in abyssum, ut non seducat amplius gentes. Hinc tuo confisi praesidio ac tutela, sacri ministerii nostri auctoritate [si fuerit laicus, vel clericus qui ordinem exorcistatus nondum suscepit, dicat: sacra sanctae Matris Ecclesiae auctoritate], ad infestationes diabolicae fraudis repellendas in nomine Iesu Christi Dei et Domini nostri fidentes et securi aggredimur.

Therefore, most invincible Leader, be with the people of God against this spiritual wickedness and bring about victory. Thou art venerated by Holy Church as Her guard and patron; Thou art glorified as our defender against the impious powers of earth and of hell. Unto thee the Lord hath handed over the souls of the redeemed to be placed in happiness above. Entreat the God of peace, to obliterate satan beneath our feet, lest he prevail further to hold men captive, and to injure the Church. Offer our prayers in the sight of the Most High, so that the mercy of the Lord may swiftly overtake us, and apprehend the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the devil and satan, and send him bound into the abyss, so that he may seduce the nations no more. Henceforth having been confided to thy escort and protection, we sacred ministers by our authority [if recited by a layman, or cleric who has not yet taken up the order of exorcist, say instead, "by the authority of Holy Mother Church ], do undertake to repel the infestations of diabolical deceit in the Name of Jesus Christ, Our God and Lord.

V. Ecce Crucem Domini, fugite partes adversae.

V. Behold the Cross of the Lord, depart from us, our adversaries.

R. Vicit Leo de tribu Iuda, radix David.

R. The Lion of the tribe of Juda, root of David, has conquered.

V. Fiat misericordia tua, Domine, super nos.

V. Let Thy mercy be upon us Lord.

R. Quemadmodum speravimus in te.

R. As much as we hope in Thee.

V. Domine, exaudi orationem meam.

V. O Lord, hear my prayer.

R. Et clamor meus ad te veniat.

R. And let my cry come unto Thee.

Si fuerit saltem diaconus subiungat

If recited by at least a deacon add the following

V. Dominus vobiscum.

V. The Lord be with you all.

R. Et cum spiritu tuo.

R. And with thy spirit.

Oremus Deus, et Pater Domini nostri Iesu Christi, invocamus nomen sanctum tuum, et clementiam tuam supplices exposcimus ut, per intercessionem immaculatae semper Virginis Dei Genetricis Mariae, beati Michaelis Archangeli, beati Ioseph eiusdem beatae Virginis Sponsi, beatorum Apostolorum Petri et Pauli et omnium Sanctorum, adversus satanam, omnesque alios immundos spiritus, qui ad nocendum humano generi animasque perdendas pervagantur in mundo, nobis auxilium praestare digneris. Per eundem Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

Let us pray O God, and Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ, we invoke Thy Holy Name, and we humbly implore Thy clemency so that, through the intercession of Mary, the Immaculate ever-Virgin Mother of God, of blessed Michael the Archangel, of blessed Joseph, the Spouse of the same blessed Virgin, of the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and of all the Saints, Thou may deign to offer us aid against satan, and all the other unclean spirits, who wander through the world to injure the human race and to destroy souls. We ask this through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

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