Saturday, July 31, 2010

No principle at all, however holy, authentic, ancient, and certain..."

"O homines ad servitutem promptos!" - Tacitus.

Just prior to the Reign of Antichrist, Venerable Bartholomew Holzhauser tells us that, "During this unhappy period there will be laxity in divine and human precepts. Discipline will suffer. The Holy Canons will be completely disregarded, and the clergy will not respect the law of the Church. Everyone will be carried away and led to believe and to do what he fancies, according to the manner of the flesh. They will ridicule Christian simplicity ; they will call it folly and nonsense, but they will have the highest regard for advanced knowledge...As a result no principle at all- however holy, authentic, ancient, and certain it may be, will remain free of censure, criticism, false interpretations, modifications, and delimitation by man.

These are evil times a century full of dangers and calamities. Heresy is everywhere, and the followers of heresy are in power, almost everywhere. Bishops, prelates, and priests say that they are doing their duty, that they are vigilant and that they live as befits their state of life. In like manner therefore they all seek excuses. But God will permit a great evil against His Church; Heretics and tyrants will come suddenly and unexpectedly; they will break into the Church while Bishops prelates and priests are asleep. They will enter Italy and lay Rome waste; they will burn down the churches and destroy everything."

The Reign of Antichrist will witness a celebration of sin and perversion the likes of which few can imagine. Pleasure is the new principle par excellence. If pleasure can justify homosexual behavior (and increasingly that is what our sin-sick society is saying), then other deviant forms of sexual activity which are viewed as pleasurable by some will also be logically justified. This will include pedophilia, pederasty, ephebophilia, gerontophilia, necrophilia, sadism, masochism and bestiality.

Marriage is being redefined everywhere. In Canada, where polygamy has been illegal since the nineteenth century, the Supreme Court in British Columbia is going to decide whether or not the law prohibiting polygamy is constitutional. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches clearly that "polygamy is not in accord with the moral law" and that "Conjugal communion is radically contradicted by polygamy" (CCC, 2387). Which is exactly why some are anxious to legitimize it. "No principle, however holy..."

Father Pascal Huchede writes, " shall he [Antichrist] deprive the world of Christianity and have himself adored as God? Alas, it is only too true that the minds and hearts of men are admirably disposed for revolution and consequently ready to accept and bear the cruel yoke of such a tyrant..." And then, after noting that men will abandon the reasonable and supernatural religion of Jesus Christ to worship the demon, Fr. Huchede adds, "What frightful immorality must follow in the train of this shameless prostitution of religion! Never has the threefold concupiscence made greater ravage among mankind. And this is the religion sought and hoped for as the cherished boon of the aspirations of our modern free thinkers." (History of Antichrist, pp. 13-14).

Friday, July 30, 2010

The Greater Depression...

Courtesy of The Coming Depression Blog:

It is necessary to provide only a short list of economic problems to see the critical condition we are in:

Virtually everything you look at is broken and unfixable, from both a mathematical and political standpoint. All democratic welfare states are insolvent and incapable of meeting their obligations. Sovereign defaults are likely and will likely occur in domino fashion.

Insane economic policies and regulations are making matters worse. Businesses are not hiring or investing because of the uncertainty that has been imposed on the country. Wealth, intellect, and corporations will flee this country.

More than half of the states are likely to default on their obligations. Most major municipalities have pension obligations that will be unable to be met.

Individuals are still over their heads in debt with no hope in sight. The housing market has farther to go on the downside.

Foreclosures will accelerate. Commercial real estate is a disaster that has not yet hit full force. Joblessness is not improving and will get worse. Infrastructure has deteriorated. There are no funds available upgrade it to proper standards.

Private pensions and union pensions are grossly underfunded and likely to become worse when financial markets tank. The welfare system is unsustainable and has to be dismantled.
Generations have grown accustomed to entitlements and will not take kindly to the necessary reductions and eliminations. Education has deteriorated to levels such that many graduates are literally unemployable at a minimum wage, or at any wage.

The banking system is insolvent, with many banks unlikely to survive. Social Security and Medicare are unsustainable programs that will collapse or have benefits so reduced as to make them virtually unrecognizable.

Government guarantees of Fannie, Freddie, FHA, and a host of other programs will likely require $2 trillion-plus to honor at taxpayer expense.

Anything the government touches, it destroys, be it social programs, the post office, Amtrak, education, or (soon to be) the entire credit system, General Motors, student loans, etc. -- and finally, the entire economy.

The FDIC is in a deep hole from which there is no escape other than additional taxpayer bailouts.
This economic list is off the cuff and not comprehensive. Geopolitical risks, if considered, would produce another frightening list.

The world is headed for a Depression much greater than the 1930s. That is unavoidable at this point. An Economic Dark Age is about to descend on the civilized world. Every welfare state, to avoid failure, will have to cut entitlements and benefits. These solutions will be met with resistance and probably violence. The government model known as democratic socialism is dead. It will be dismantled one way or another. The power elite will not give up their roles willingly.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

More on Stuart Reid and what it means to be a Christian...

"Wherefore the Church does in every place, because of that love which she cherishes towards God, send forward, throughout all time, a multitude of martyrs to the Father; while all others not only have nothing of this kind to point to among themselves, but even maintain that such witness-bearing is not at all necessary." (St. Irenaeus, Against Heresies, Bk. 4, Chap. 33).

When Mr. Stuart Reid over at The Catholic Herald [an English Catholic newspaper] wrote a piece somewhat critical of the new website Protect the Pope, I responded by refuting his arguments. One concern I had was Mr. Reid's assertion that, "Catholics may one day be persecuted as Jews once were, in which case they will have two choices: either to be brave and die as martyrs or to deny their religion and join their persecutors. The Jews of the Holocaust had no such choice."

I responded to this statement by writing, "This says much about his level of faith. For the authentic Christian, there is no choice. We cannot abandon Christ."

Now Mr. Reid has written that, "Mr. Melanson should sit down in a darkened room and have a little think. One of the key beliefs of Christianity is that we have free will: No free will, no Christianity. For the authentic Christian therefore there is the choice I outline...but the Jews of the Holocaust had no such choice...They could not stop being Jews.."

Now, I never denied the reality of free will. But our free choices have consequences. This point was addressed by Peter [a regular reader of this Blog], who wrote:

"No serious Catholic would consider that a real choice Mr. Reid. Our Catholic identity is deeper than you would acknowledge. Just as Jews cannot 'stop being Jews,' the authentic Christian cannot 'stop being Christian.' We don't put on our faith and take it off as a coat. Baptism imparts a sacred character. If we use our free will to reject Christ, then we place our salvation in peril. Maybe that's a choice for you. For those of us who are Catholic in more than name, it is not."

Through Baptism, the Christian is made an adoptive member of the divine family. Which is why, "When we cry, 'Abba! Father!' it is that very spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God." (Romans 8: 15-16). Just as families live together, so the three Divine Persons dwell in those have received the gift of faith and who are faithful to it: "Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them." (John 14: 23).

Martyrdom bears witness to faith. The martyr prizes heavenly glory more than any other good, even life itself. To choose to abandon the Catholic faith and Christ Jesus to avoid martyrdom would mean placing limits on fidelity to the Lord Jesus. Which is why I wrote, "For the authentic Christian, there is no choice." The authentic Christian will not abandon the Lord Jesus or His Mystical Body which is the Church. He or she will not set limits on his or her fidelity to the Divine Master.

As Peter so eloquently put it: "We don't put on our faith and take it off as a coat." We do not abandon our Divine Family to avoid persecution or even death. Instead we keep His Word and hold onto it at all costs. Even unto death.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Catholics want the truth not sentimental paternalism...

In an essay entitled "People's Needs, Moral Truths and Priests," Dr. William E. May, a professor of moral theology, wrote, "Jesus' yoke is sweet and his burden is light for those who love him and the truth that he came to give us. Like his, their will [priest's] is to do the will of the Father, to shape their lives in accordance with the truth, even if this means that they too must take up their cross and bear it. Catholics have, through baptism, died to sin and have risen to a new kind of life. They know that their baptismal commitment requires them to love even as they have been and are loved by God in Christ. They know that at times fidelity to Christ and his truth will cause them to suffer, but they likewise know that by uniting their lives and sufferings with Christ's they can come to share ever more deeply in his redemptive work, a work that reverences fully the great and good gifts of human existence, the goods meant to flourish in human persons, the goods protected by absolute moral norms. They know, too, that with God's unfailing grace they can choose in ways that fully respect these goods. They want the truth, not sentimental paternalism. And they know, deep in their hearts, that the priest speaks the truth if and only if he affirms Church teaching and offers them the help and support they need to make it real in their lives."

In an interview with The Boston Globe Magazine back in 2006, Father Richard Erikson was quoted as having said that, "I expect people to judge us by our actions. I can go down to the Boston Common with a megaphone and proclaim Christ, but it's how are we living our lives, and how are we leading, are we healing? And are we doing so in a way that would imitate what Jesus Christ would do out of love and care? And let me say something about upholding Christ. It may sound almost arrogant, unlivable - you know, I'm going to uphold Christ? He doesn't need me to uphold him. But I need to uphold him. It's about what I need to do to be centered in Christ. Because if my life here becomes primarily about finances and about structure and about corporations, and if I'm more concerned about the heater than I am about people's souls, then I have lost perspective.

When asked what his priorities were for the Archdiocese, Father Erikson responded, "The priority is leadership in the Catholic Church. Our priority is to continue Cardinal O'Malley's effort of healing, of rebuilding trust, of welcoming people home to the Catholic Church who've gone away, continued care and outreach and support of victims of sexual abuse. And also, besides sexual abuse, there are other people who've been hurt by actions of the church, and reaching out in a healing way to them. Those are the structural priorities. And my personal priority is to uphold Jesus Christ and bring whatever leadership and healing I can in his name." (See here).

Father Erikson spoke of being a "father figure" during his interview with the The Boston Globe Magazine. But, as Dr. May has said, Catholics have a very definite idea of what a loving father should be. They are looking for truth and not sentimental paternalism. And yet, when faithful Catholics have expressed their legitimate concerns over dissent within the troubled Boston Archdiocese, the response they have received from Father Erikson is not that of a loving father concerned with people's souls, but that of a bureaucrat anxious to dismiss complaints with a wave of the hand while accusing those who have meticulously documented their concerns of engaging in falsehood. This is not the proper approach if one is sincere about "rebuilding trust."

Father Erikson has gone on record as having said that he expects people to judge Archdiocesan officials by their actions. That they are now beginning to do so should not then come as a surprise.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

BBC engages in pro-homosexual agitprop and anti-Catholicism....again

As this Zenit article makes clear, "The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is not known to be one of the Catholic Church's closest friends. Although it has a worldwide reputation for high quality programming, the vast state-funded broadcaster has often been accused of treating the Church and the Catholic faith unfairly at best, and maliciously at worst.

Many examples back up this accusation, beginning with a number programmes over the past 10 years that have been blasphemous and highly offensive to Catholics.

In 2003, the BBC broadcast -- to a large international audience -- a documentary entitled "Sex and the Holy City," which intentionally misrepresented the Church and its teaching on condoms and AIDS. Two years later, it aired 'Jerry Springer the Opera,' a blasphemous and very offensive programme that ridiculed Jesus and the faith in general. Earlier, the BBC had spent £2 million ($3.13 million) on a program called 'Popetown' -- an animated series set in the Vatican that mocked the Church and included plotlines about bestiality. Due to protests, it was banned in Britain but broadcast overseas and sold in Britain on DVD.

The BBC has also been accused of failing in other areas when it comes to Catholicism. The persecution of Catholics in the Middle East or Asia is rarely covered or warranted adequate attention; the immense good work that Catholic priests, religious and laity do around the world is generally passed over; and the Church's invaluable contribution to Western culture tends to be disparaged in favour of focusing on the sins of Church members in the past.

The BBC has also been blamed for more subtle instances of anti-Catholic bias. Discussion panels, news reports and web articles tend to focus on the sensational; they also often comprise contributions from secular figures or dissenting Catholics but hardly ever from orthodox Catholics who will properly convey the Church's teaching.

The corporation's treatment of clergy not infrequently involves interrogations by disparaging and dismissive presenters who seem to view them as guilty until proven innocent. Stephen Glover, a non-Catholic British newspaper columnist, wrote how a BBC television interviewer, quizzing English Archbishop Vincent Nichols in 2007, 'treated him like a member of some extreme sect, interrupting him continually, and sneering at him as though he were a half-wit.'

Most of this bias is attributed to a predominantly secular mindset in the corporation that embraces, or is sympathetic to, the culture of death, whether it be abortion, radical feminism, the homosexual agenda, euthanasia, or unethical science such as embryonic stem cell research. 'The BBC," Glover once wrote, "represents a materialist, mechanistic consensus which has rejected God, and deludes itself that science is capable of providing a complete explanation of existence.'

Even one of the BBC's most accomplished journalists, Andrew Marr, admitted the difficulty the corporation has in offering unbiased coverage. 'The BBC is not impartial or neutral,' he told a secret summit of BBC executives in 2006. 'It's a publicly funded, urban organisation with an abnormally large number of young people, ethnic minorities and gay people. It has a liberal bias not so much a party-political bias. It is better expressed as a cultural liberal bias.'

At that same meeting, one veteran BBC executive was reported in the British press as saying there was 'widespread acknowledgement that we may have gone too far in the direction of political correctness' and that much of this mentality is 'so deeply embedded in the BBC's culture, that it is very hard to change it.' It was also reported that 'nearly everyone' at the summit agreed the Bible could be thrown into the bin on a comedy show, but not the Koran for fear of offending Muslims."

Now BBC Radio 4 has broadcast a play about John Cardinal Newman written by Stephen Wyatt and entitled "Gerontius." This play regurgitates the hateful and calumnious accusation that Cardinal Newman was a closet homosexual, an asinine notion which has already been thoroughly refuted by the Cardinal's biographer Father Ian Ker.

In 1989, two Harvard-educated homosexuals, Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen, wrote a book entitled "After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear & Hatred of Gays in the 90s." This book was to be a "gay manifesto for the 1990s." In their own words, "The campaign we outline in this book, though complex, depends centrally upon a program of unabashed propaganda, firmly grounded in long established principles of psychology and advertising.' (p. XXVIII). Part of this propaganda campaign was the idea of depicting great personages from the past as having been homosexual to gain acceptance for homosexuality. The idea was that people would associate homosexuality with greatness. Which is no doubt why the historically anti-Catholic BBC would present a play portraying the great Cardinal Newman as a closeted homosexual.

If the BBC is really interested in exploring for skeletons in closets, it need look no further than to its first Director General, Mr. John Reith. Mr. Reith had pro-fascist sympathies. In fact, after the National Socialists exterminated dissidents within Germany, Reith wrote, “I really admire the way Hitler has cleaned up what looked like an incipient revolt.” Mr. Reith also had an admiration for Benito Mussolini.

When can we expect a BBC program which examines these issues?

Monday, July 26, 2010

"There are those who consider such relativism an essential condition of democracy.."

Pope John Paul II, in his Encyclical Letter Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life) tells us that, "Decisions that go against life sometimes arise from difficult or even tragic situations of profound suffering, loneliness, a total lack of economic prospects and anxiety about the future. Such circumstances can mitigate even to a notable degree subjective responsibility and the consequent culpability of those who make these choices which in themselves are evil. But today the problem goes far beyond the the necessary recognition of these personal situations. It is a problem which exists at the cultural, social and political level, where it reveals its more sinister and disturbing aspect in the tendency, ever more widely shared to interpret the above crimes against life as legitimate expressions of individual freedom, to be acknowledged and protected as actual rights. ...These attacks go directly against respect for life and they represent a direct threat to the entire culture of human rights." (Evangelium Vitae, No. 18).

As documented over at Bryan Hehir Exposed, Father J. Bryan Hehir has been quoted as having said that, "If you think of the conscience clause protecting the professional, then you have to think about access to service [and here he is referring to access to abortion] on the part of clients of various kinds, patients, or clients of social service agencies."

What of this? In the same Encyclical Letter, Pope John Paul II teaches that, "Abortion and euthanasia are thus crimes which no human law can claim to legitimize. There is no obligation in conscience to obey such laws; instead there is a grave and clear obligation to oppose them by conscientious objection. ..."we must obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29).' (Evangelium Vitae, n.73).

And again, "The passing of unjust laws often raises difficult problems of conscience for morally upright people with regard to the issue of cooperation, since they have a right to demand not to be forced to take part in morally evil actions. Sometimes the choices which have to be made are difficult; they may require the sacrifice of prestigious professional positions or the relinquishing of reasonable hopes of career advancement. ... In order to shed light on this difficult question, it is necessary to recall the general principles concerning cooperation in evil actions. 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.' (Evangelium Vitae, No. 74).

And in No. 89 of Evangelium Vitae, the Holy Father says that, "A unique responsibility belongs to health care personnel: doctors, pharmacists, nurses, chaplains, men and women religious, administrators and volunteers. Their profession calls for them to be guardians and servants of human life. ... Absolute respect for every innocent human life also requires the exercise of conscientious objection in relation to procured abortion and euthanasia.(Evangelium Vitae, n.89)

Father Hehir is really suggesting that we need to consider not only the right of the health care professional not to cooperate in practices wich are contrary to God's law, but the "right" of patients to have access to abortion. This is merely a variation of the "personally I'm opposed but..." argument. Some Catholics insist that while abortion is morally wrong it would also be wrong to allow personal religious convictions to prohibit access to abortion. This argument is, of course, rejected by the Church. Most notably by Pope John Paul II in Evangelium Vitae:

"...we have what appear to be two diametrically opposed tendencies. On the one hand, individuals claim for themselves in the moral sphere the most complete freedom of choice and demand that the State should not adopt or impose any ethical position but limit itself to guaranteeing maximum space for the freedom of each individual, with the sole limitation of not infringing on the freedom and rights of any other citizen. On the other hand, it is held that, in the exercise of public and professional duties, respect for other people's freedom of choice requires that each one should set aside his or her own convictions in order to satisfy every demand of the citizens which is recognized and guaranteed by law; in carrying out one's duties, the only moral criterion should be what is laid down by the law itself. Individual responsibility is thus turned over to the civil law, with a renouncing of personal conscience, at least in the public sphere...At the basis of all these tendencies lies the ethical relativism which characterizes much of present-day culture. There are those who consider such relativism an essential condition of democracy, inasmuch as it alone is held to guarantee tolerance, mutual respect between people and acceptance of the decisions of the majority, whereas moral norms considered to be objective and binding are held to lead to authoritarianism and intolerance." (Nos. 69-70).

The dictatorship of relativism seeks to impose its immoral agenda on Christians in the name of "tolerance." But this "tolerance" is a sham. It is simply an attempt to make an idol out of a false conception of freedom. Pope Benedict XVI explains that, "..what clearly stands behind the modern era's radical demand for freedom is the promise: You will be like God...The implicit goal of all modern freedom movements is, in the end, to be like a god, dependent on nothing and nobody, with one's own freedom not restricted by anyone else's...The primeval error of such a radically developed desire for freedom lies in the idea of a divinity that is conceived as being purely egotistical. The god thus conceived of is, not God, but an idol, indeed, the image of what the Christian tradition would call the devil, the anti-god, because therein lies the radical opposite of the true God: the true God is, of his own nature, being-for (Father), being-from (Son), and being-with (Holy Spirit). Yet man is in the image of God precisely because the being-for , from, and with constitute the basic anthropological shape. Whenever people try to free themselves from this, they are moving, not toward divinity, but toward dehumanizing, toward the destruction of being itself through the destruction of truth. The Jacobin variant of the idea of a rebellion against being human in itself, rebellion against truth, and that is why it leads people - as Sartre percipiently observed - into a self-contradictory existence that we call hell. It has thus become fairly clear that freedom is linked to a yardstick, the yardstick of reality - to truth. Freedom to destroy oneself or to destroy others is not freedom but a diabolical parody. The freedom of man is a shared freedom, freedom in a coexistence of other freedoms, which are mutually limiting and thus mutually supportive: freedom must be measured according to what I am, what we are - otherwise it abolishes itself."

And Father Hehir has been described as one of the world's "leading experts in ethics?"

Related reading here.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Stuart Reid gets it wrong...

Stuart Reid over at The Catholic Herald, one of England's leading Catholic newspapers, isn't very happy with the new website founded by Deacon Nick Donnelly entitled Protect the Pope. Mr. Reid writes, "What troubles me especially is that they seem to encourage a ghetto mentality among the faithful....On their website they encourage frightened and intimidated Catholics - when was the last time you met a Catholic who was genuinely frightened and intimidated? - to register complaints about hate crimes with their local police force.." (See full article here).

I don't actually have to look very far Mr. Reid. I was personally threatened by a homosexual activist who promised to execute me with his high-powered rifle simply because I promote and defend the Church's authentic teaching regarding homosexuality which includes respect for the homosexual person. Does that work for you? One could just as easily ask how many homosexual persons have been genuinely frightened and intimidated. And yet the homosexual community continues to claim victim status as part of its propaganda campaign to advance the homosexual lifestyle. There is more than ample evidence of a mounting Christianophobia throughout the world. See here for some specific cases.

Mr. Reid would appear to defend a freedom of expression which is divorced from Catholic teaching. He writes, "The Protect the Pope website declares: 'Of course people in this country have freedom of expression, but this does not mean they have the right to create a climate of hostility and fear.' But that, of course, is precisely what it does mean, in practice..." This might indeed be the accepted notion of freedom of expression 'in practice," but Mr. Donnelly is correct, such a notion of freedom of speech is distorted. Reid continues, "It is by creating a climate of fear and hostility that press barons sell newspapers, political parties win votes and Boots the chemist sells deodorants."

But are we not called to something better Mr. Reid? Or have you bought into the secularistic-materialistic mindset to such an extent that you see no problem whatsoever with such manipulation carried out by the media? Inter Mirifica, the Decree on the Media of Social Communications of Vatican II, had this to say, "Since public opinion exercises the greatest power and authority today in every sphere of life, both private and public, every member of society must fulfill the demands of justice and charity in this area. As a result, all must strive, through these media as well, to form and spread sound public opinion." (No. 8).

The Decree continues, "The principle moral responsibility for the proper use of the media of social communication falls on newsmen, writers, actors, designers, producers, displayers, distributors, operators and sellers, as well as critic and all others who play any part in the production and transmission of mass presentations. It is quite evident what gravely important responsibilities they have in the present day when they are in a position to lead the human race to good or evil by informing or arousing mankind. Thus, they must adjust their economic, political or artistic and technical aspects so as never to oppose the common good." (No. 11).

In short, freedom implies responsibility Mr. Reid. There is an intimate relationship between freedom and truth. Thus the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us that, "The more one does what is good, the freer one becomes. There is no true freedom except in the service of what is good and just. The choice to disobey and do evil is an abuse of freedom and leads to 'the slavery of sin." (CCC, 1733).

The choice to do evil is an abuse of freedom. Which is why Deacon Donnelly said that people have a right to freedom of expression but not a right to create a climate of hostility and fear. There can never be a right to do evil. Such a notion is an abuse of freedom.

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

Which is why we are now facing what Pope Benedict XVI has rightly termed a "Dictatorship of Relativism." It is this dictatorship of relativism which is gradually placing Catholics in a ghetto. Not the actions of devout Catholics like Deacon Donnelly who love the Vicar of Christ and the Mystical Body of Christ which is the Catholic Church.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Father J. Bryan Hehir and Faithful Citizenship

As mentioned in a previous post, Fr. J. Bryan Hehir of the Boston Archdiocese has said that, "We [Catholics] could, on the basis of living in a pluralistic society, remain silent on the contraception question in the public policy area..." Fr. Hehir even argued that such an approach is consistent with Catholic tradition because, “Catholic tradition doesn’t always try to translate internal policy into public policy."

Now the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, in a statement entitled "Faithful Citizenship: A Catholic Call to Political Responsibility," had this to say: "Today's democratic societies . . . call for new and fuller forms of participation in public life by Christian and non-Christian citizens alike. Indeed, all can contribute, by voting in elections for lawmakers and government officials, and in other ways as well, to the development of political solutions and legislative choices which, in their opinion, will benefit the common good. In the Catholic tradition, responsible citizenship is a virtue; participation in the political process is a moral obligation. All believers are called to faithful citizenship, to become informed, active, and responsible participants in the political process. As we have said, "We encourage all citizens, particularly Catholics, to embrace their citizenship not merely as a duty and privilege, but as an opportunity meaningfully to participate [more fully] in building the culture of life. Every voice matters in the public forum."

In its Decree on the Mission Activity of the Church (Ad Gentes) No. 21, Vatican II had this to say: "..the lay faithful fully belong at one and the same time both to the People of God and to civil society...their main duty, whether they are men or women, is the witness which they are bound to bear to Christ by their life and works in the home, in their social milieu, and in their own professional circle. In them there must appear the new man created according to God in justice and true holiness (cf. Eph 4: 24). But they must give expression to this newness of life in the social and cultural framework of their own homeland, according to their own national traditions. They must be acquainted with this culture; they must heal it and preserve it; they must develop it in accordance with modern conditions, and finally perfect it in Christ, so that the faith of Christ and the life of the Church are no longer foreign to the society in which they live, but begin to permeate and to transform it...Let them also spread the faith of Christ among those with whom they live or have professional connections - an obligation which is all the more urgent, because very many men can hear of Christ and of the Gospel only by means of the laity who are their neighbors. In fact, wherever possible, the laity should be prepared, in more immediate cooperation with the hierarchy, to fulfill a special mission of proclaiming the Gospel and communicating Christian teachings, so that they may add vigor to the nascent Church.."

The People of God are not called to "remain silent" but to engage the larger culture and to work for the renewal of the temporal order. Gaudium et Spes, No. 43 of Vatican II affirms that, "The laity must take on the renewal of the temporal order as their own mission; led by the light of the gospel and the mind of the Church, and motivated by Christian charity, they must act in that order directly and in a distinct way, cooperating as citizens with other citizens, using their own expertise, and acting on their own responsibility, everywhere and in everything seeking the justice of God's kingdom."

Catholics are called to bring Jesus' truth and love to bear in healing and transforming the body politic. Why then would Fr. Hehir suggest remaining silent on contraception which is contralife?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Father Bryan Hehir on the ordination of women...

Father Bryan Hehir of the Boston Archdiocese has said that, "The ordination of women raises doctrinal questions that have to be worked through in a Church that takes doctrine seriously." See here. As I said in the comments section of Bryan Hehir Exposed:

"In his Apostolic Letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, No. 4, Pope John Paul II said that, “..the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women” and that “this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful.”

Canon Law, specifically Canon 750, states that: “each and everything set forth definitively by the Magisterium of the Church regarding teaching on faith and morals must be firmly accepted and held; namely, those things required for the holy keeping and faithful exposition of the deposit of faith; therefore, anyone who rejects propositions which are to be held definitively sets himself against the teaching of the Catholic Church.”

Therefore, Fr. Bryan Hehir is setting himself against the teaching of the Church by treating the ordination of women as “an open question.” Deliberate nonassent is a grave matter. This situation is all the more serious since the judgment of Pope John Paul II (and he invoked his supreme authority in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis) is to be “definitively held by all.”

Because nonassent is serious in and of itself, and because deliberate nonassent interferes with communion in the Church and serves to polarize people, it is a grave matter. Pope Pius XII, in Humani generis, explains that once a pope makes a point of settling a matter which is disputed among theologians, it can no longer be treated as an open question.

This situation is very serious and needs to be addressed immediately by His Eminence, Cardinal Sean O’Malley."

If anyone questions why Joe Sacerdo over at Bryan Hehir Exposed or the other members of his Blog team desire to remain anonymous for the moment, I would like to demonstrate why there is ample reason for concern. As I mentioned in a previous post:

"A few years ago I attended a vocation retreat at La Salette Attleboro as part of my discernment process (a period of some 15 months during which I was never even considered as an applicant or taken seriously - I suspect because of my orthodoxy). It was at this retreat that I overheard a couple of La Salette priests suggest that there is "wiggle room" on the question of ordaining women to the ministerial priesthood.

I wrote an email to the La Salette religious who had attended this retreat as well as to the other retreatants who were looking into the La Salette community (we had all been given an email list of retreat attendees). I expressed my concerns over being given the "run around" for some 15 months as well as my concerns over not being taken seriously because of my commitment to Magisterial teaching. I also addressed what La Salette priests had said about ordaining women to the priesthood. I received two very different responses from La Salette religious. The first response I received was from Fr. Dan Bradley, M.S., who said, "Paul, I am sorry you have not been dealt with by our community in a forthright manner. I cannot speak for the others you address this letter to, only to myself. I am not sure that your position on the teaching of the Church would be a sufficient reason for neglecting to dialogue with you about your vocation and our community. We do have a mix of people whose opinions vary, and who have different theological perspectives...Again, sorry that those charged with this responsibility did not do more to respond to you...hopefully your own experience will be a learning experience for us."

The second email was from Fr. Joe Bachand, the Provincial Superior of the La Salette Missionaries. Fr. Bachand dismissed my concerns over being given the proverbial run around ( I had said in my email that " has been fifteen months since I first approached the La Salette Missionaries and I am not one step closer to being admitted - or even considered - as an applicant) and wrote, "If I ever needed evidence of the evils of the internet, you have supplied it...If someone said something about women's ordination, it was not as part of the program."

Actually, it was "as part of the program." All of the candidate retreatants were sitting in the same room engaging in a conversation with the La Salette priests who suggested that there is "wiggle room" on the question of women's ordination. In fact, we had all been led to this room by La Salette priests conducting the retreat."

I stood up for the Church's teaching as I have my entire life. I was therefore rejected and not even considered as an applicant to the La Salette Missionaries. And even though the Church's teaching that women cannot be admitted to the ministerial priesthood is to be "definitively held by all," I was assured there is "wiggle room" on the subject.

I was accused of "evil" by the La Salette Provincial Superior. The cost of discipleship.

Update on the Juda Myers fiasco on Facebook

"But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach (to you) a gospel other than the one that we preached to you, let that one be accursed! As we have said before, and now I say again, if anyone preaches to you a gospel other than the one that you received, let that one be accursed!
Am I now currying favor with human beings or God? Or am I seeking to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a slave of Christ." (Galatians 1: 8-10).

Over at Human Life International's Facebook page, a Catholic named Cynthia Labutka, who is apparently a good friend or at least an acquaintance of Juda Myers, wrote the following comment:

"We belong to Mother Church, Paul. We must always be welcoming and forgiving concerning positions others might hold about us due to a lack of knowledge of our positions and expect differences, answering them in truth and charity. As a convert, I can assure you that there will be no such denominational differences among the Elect in Heaven. Did you show charity to my sister Juda?

My response:

"Forgiving yes. But we must also defend the Mystical Body of Christ if we really love the Church. Which is exactly what the Catholic League does every day.

Charity? Charity is a supernatural virtue which induces us to love God above all things and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God. See 1822 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

As Fr. Felix Salvany, a noted Catholic priest and philosopher has explained, "Charity is primarily the love of God, secondarily the love of our neighbor for God's sake. To sacrifice the first is to abandon the latter. Therefore to offend our neighbor for the love of God is a true act of charity. Not to offend our neighbor for the love of God is a sin.

Modern Liberalism reverses this order. It imposes a false notion of charity; our neighbor first, and, if at all, God afterwards. By its reiterated and trite accusations of intolerance, it has succeeded in disconcerting even some staunch Catholics. But our rule is too plain and to concrete to admit of misconception. It is: Sovereign Catholic inflexibility is sovereign Catholic charity. This charity is practiced in relation to our neighbor when in his own interest, he is crossed, humiliated and chastised. it is practiced in relation to a third party, when he is defended from the unjust aggression of another, as when he is protected from the contagion of error by unmasking its authors and abettors and showing them in their true light as iniquitous and pervert, by holding them up to the contempt, horror and execration of all. It is practiced in relation to God when, for His glory and in His service, it becomes necessary to silence all human considerations, to trample under foot all human respect, to sacrifice all human interests, and even life itself to attain this highest of all ends. All this is Catholic inflexibility and inflexible Catholicity in the practice of that pure love which constitutes sovereign charity. The saints are the types of this unswerving and sovereign fidelity to God, the heroes of charity and religion. Because in our times there are so few true inflexibles in the love of God, so also are there few uncompromisers in the order of charity. Liberal charity is condescending, affectionate, even tender in appearance, but at bottom it is an essential contempt for the true good of men, of the supreme interests of truth and of God. It is human self love usurping the throne of the Most High and demanding that worship which belongs to God alone."

Now my question to you: Did Juda practice charity toward God by attacking His Mystical Body? Read and meditate on Acts 9:4. Jesus asked Saul (who was persecuting the Church), "Why are you persecuting Me?"

Did Juda Practice charity toward me by attacking the Church I love without provocation? Was she welcoming?

But most importantly: Why are you so concerned with the feelings of men and so little concerned over attacks against Our Lord's Mystical Body? Are you suggesting that the good folks at the Catholic League, who defend the Church against such attacks every day, are also wrong?

Welcoming? Yes. Understanding theological differences of opinion? Yes. Tolerating attacks against the Mystical Body of Christ? Never.

You should be more concerned over the fact that Juda accused the Catholic Church of killing and greed. That you are not speaks volumes about you."

And then the following exchange took place:

Cynthia Labutka: I am critical of the MANNER in which you are defending the Church. You are looking for a fight. That is not Christian."

Myself: My manner has been appropriate Cynthia. It would seem that, based upon your friendship for Juda, you care nothing for the demands of truth.

Cynthia Labutka: Many of the radical Catholic apologist types are just too hostile. It is a turn off for many and does not advance our cause - which hopefully is the same cause for Life and Christ. Keep your eyes on the prize not on the fight.

Myself: I'm not radical Cynthia. Like the good folks at the Catholic League I love my Church. You should agree that Juda's accusing the Catholic Church of killing and greed is "radical" and "hostile." What a shame that you care more for her than Christ's Mystical Body which is the Church. Goodbye."

This is what passes for "Catholicism" for some. The Church, the Mystical Body of Christ on earth, is simply "another denomination." And anyone who defends the Church, even if they do so in a calm manner, is guilty of being "radical" and "hostile."

God preserve us from such nonsense.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Juda Myers: Living in the Truth?

After previously threatening me with a lawsuit because of my accurate Blog posts detailing her hateful comments about the Catholic Church, Juda Myers wrote me a new message on Facebook stating that, "..after direction from the Lord based on the bible, I am not going to pursue legal actions."

Translation: I spoke with an attorney who told me I have no case.

The legal definition of libel:


1) n. "To publish in print (including pictures), writing or broadcast through radio, television or film, an untruth about another which will do harm to that person or his/her reputation, by tending to bring the target into ridicule, hatred, scorn or contempt of others. Libel is the written or broadcast form of defamation, distinguished from slander, which is oral defamation. It is a tort (civil wrong) making the person or entity (like a newspaper, magazine or political organization) open to a lawsuit for damages by the person who can prove the statement about him/her was a lie."

The statement has to be a lie. The problem for Ms. Myers is that I have copies of our exchanges.

Now Ms. Myers is attempting to demonize me on Facebook. She has accused me of being "angry" and is asserting that I need "someone to attack." The hypocrisy is so thick it's almost unbelievable. This from the woman who wrote, "I am sorry that you have been deceived to think that the CATHOLIC church killing, stealing, overpowering, ostentatious, and filled with the greed for supremacy has any resemblance of Jesus our humble Savior who DIED for His followers. He NEVER sat on a throne on earth and NEVER even suggested for anyone to sit on a throne and be kissed and bowed to...There is a way that seems right unto a man but the end leads to destruction. Their mouths honor me but their hearts are far from me (Jesus' words) Many will say in that day, 'Lord Lord didn't I do this in your name.' and He will say 'Depart from me. I never knew you!' You'd better be absolutely sure the god you serve will save you. Pope of any kind will answer to God almighty. I will go straight to the throne for my headship..." Yes, clearly I'm the one with the anger management problem who's looking for a fight.
This is most unfortunate. For, as the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us, "The Old Testament attests that God is the source of all truth. His Word is truth. His 'faithfulness endures to all generations.' Since God is 'true,' the members of his people are called to live in the truth." (CCC, 2465). And again, "Truth or truthfulness is the virtue which consists in showing oneself true in deeds and truthful in words, and in guarding against duplicity, dissimulation, and hypocrisy." (CCC, 2468).

This obligation is very serious. In 1 John 1:6, we are told that, "If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not live according to the truth."

I call upon Juda Myers to apologize for her hateful characterization of the Catholic Church, the Mystical Body of Christ. To accuse the Church of evil is to accuse Christ of evil. To attack the Church is to attack Christ Jesus Himself. When the Lord Jesus appeared to Saul, who had been persecuting the Church, He asked him, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?" (Acts 9:4).

Join Deacon Nick Donnelly in defending the Holy Father

Monday, July 19, 2010

More commentary on the Catholic Church from Juda Myers...

In my previous post on Juda Myers, a pro-life activist who has appeared on EWTN and who has been affiliated with various pro-life groups, some of them Catholic, I highlighted some of Ms. Myers anti-Catholic sentiments. What follows is more commentary from Ms. Myers. This particular response came after I told Ms. Myers of my devotion to the Holy Rosary:

"My only concern is that the rosary hails Mary more than Jesus. Jesus didn't acknowledge her when she and his brothers came where He was. Matthew 12: 46 While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him. 47 Someone told him, "Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you." 48 He replied to him, "Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?" 49 Pointing to his disciples, he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers. 50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother." I know that Mary was a very special woman indeed to have carried our Savior but she too needed Him to save her.

Jesus said [in] Matthew 6:7 But when you pray, use not vain repetitions There is so much spoken in the Catholic bible that goes unused and rejected. Even the part where Jesus tells us to call no man "father, teacher or rabbi" as we have only one father in heaven who teaches us. He warned against calling people that as an elevation or position. Matthew 23 Then there's the case for not getting married: 1Timothy 4:1 Now the Holy Spirit clearly says that in the later times some people will stop believing the faith. They will follow spirits that lie and teachings of demons. 2 Such teachings come from the false words of liars whose consciences are destroyed as if by a hot iron. 3 They forbid people to marry and tell them not to eat certain foods which God created to be eaten with thanks by people who believe and know the truth.

The Catholic church starting forbidding priests to marry because the first born was to inherit the wealth of the church and also carry on the priesthood. When many refused but took the wealth, the church instigated marriage to be forbidden. Also the not eating of meat on Friday is not a biblical command.

The Catholic church has piled so many man made laws onto the body of Christ..."

I responded to Ms. Myers fundamentalist interpretation of the Scriptures by referring her to an excellent work by Paul Whitcomb entitled "The Catholic Church has the answer." A booklet which may be found online here.

I asked Ms. Myers repeatedly to refrain from writing me on Facebook. But still she contacted me with several more messages.

Pray for Juda Myers. Anti-Catholicism has been called the deepest bias in the history of the American people (Schlesinger). It is clear that even in some pro-life circles, it is alive and well.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Juda Myers: A Hatred for the Catholic Church

Rev. James J. LeBar, an authority on cults, sects and the New Age Movement, describes fundamentalism for us: "Fundamentalism is not a religion of itself. It is a philosophy of a religious way of life that has been assumed by preachers of many denominations...Fundamentalists have developed the notion that they, and they alone, have the only way to eternal salvation.." (Cults, Sects, and the New Age, pp. 51, 54).

Many if not most fundamentalists engage in anti-Catholicism on some level. For example, the fundamentalist group "Mission to Catholics International" has stated that its purpose is "to expose the deceptive teaching and practice of Roman Catholicism in the light of Scripture, to discourage conversions to Roman Catholicism, and to bring Catholics into Biblical Christianity." One of their brochures entitled "The Church of Rome in Perspective," begins with these words, "Pope Paul VI, archpriest of Satan, a deceiver, and an antichrist, has, like Judas, gone to his own place." On July 29, 1984, fundamentalist Jimmy Swaggart suggested that Mother Teresa would go to hell if she were not born again.

A couple of days ago Juda Myers, a pro-life activist whose website may be found here, and who has been promoted by New Hampshire Right To Life while contributing comments to Human Life International's Facebook page, wrote the following to me within a Facebook message:

"Time is running out. We as humans only have a short period to seek and know God here on earth. (Again Catholics talk about a false pergatory (the word is actually Purgatory) - the bible says 1. there death and the judgement 2. to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord) I do not hate you for believing differently as you seem to have issues with those that disagree with you....Jesus said you will know those who love Him by their love for others. That's a great place to start. He loved us all the way to the cross and we owe it to Him to love others. He even commanded we love our enemies. Not too much of that going on in any of the churches."

I did not solicit this comment and had no desire to engage in an exchange with Ms. Myers. She initiated the discussion thread. In a previous comment, Ms. Myers demonstrated her version of "Christian love" by writing, "I am sorry that you have been deceived to think that the CATHOLIC church killing, stealing, overpowering, ostentatious, and filled with the greed for supremacy has any resemblance of Jesus our humble Savior who DIED for His followers. He NEVER sat on a throne on earth and NEVER even suggested for anyone to sit on a throne and be kissed and bowed to...There is a way that seems right unto a man but the end leads to destruction. Their mouths honor me but their hearts are far from me (Jesus' words) Many will say in that day, 'Lord Lord didn't I do this in your name.' and He will say 'Depart from me. I never knew you!' You'd better be absolutely sure the god you serve will save you. Pope of any kind will answer to God almighty. I will go straight to the throne for my headship..." Feel the love. Ms. Myers is actually implying that Catholics are damned and that we serve a false "god." This is why she writes, "You'd better be absolutely sure the god you serve will save you." For Ms. Myers, Catholics are following "deceiving spirits."

Ms. Myers actually wrote me several comments. The last assured me that my "hatred" would destroy me. This after referring to the Church founded by Jesus Christ, His Mystical Body on earth, as an institution which "kills, steals and overpowers" and which is filled with greed and ostentation. Yes, it's obvious that love plays an important role in Ms. Myers brand of Christianity. This charitable soul assured me that even my Rosary devotion is suspect since "the rosary hails Mary more than Jesus."

I suggest that sincere Catholics have nothing to do with Juda Myers.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The leaven of infidelity to the Holy Spirit rises in the Boston Archdiocese

“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.” (Pope John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Veritatis Splendor, No. 113).

It should come as no surprise that dissent within the Church leads to polarization and undermines truth which is the principle of the Church’s communion. In its Instruction on the Ecclesial Vocation of the Theologian, No. 40, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith said that, “The Church ‘is like a sacrament, a sign and instrument, that is, of communion with God and of unity among all men’ (LG, 1). Consequently, to pursue concord and communion is to enhance the force of her witness and credibility. To succumb to the temptation of dissent, on the other hand, is to allow the ‘leaven of infidelity to the Holy Spirit’ to start to work.”

We are now witnessing such polarization within the Archdiocese of Boston where a false pluralism has been advanced; a pro-abortion, pro same-sex politician has been honored; and a high-ranking priest has issued praise for those who promoted Obamacare (which includes federal-funding of abortion).

The warning of Pope Paul VI, given during his Homily at Holy Thursday Mass on April 3, 1969, has been largely ignored:

"There is talk of renewal in the doctrine and in the conscience of the Church of God; but how can the living and true Church be authentic and persistent if the complex structure that forms it and defines it a spiritual and social 'mystical body', is today so often and so gravely corroded by dissent and challenge and by forgetfulness of its hierarchical structure, and is countered in its divine and indispensable constituent charism, its pastoral authority? How can it claim to be a Church, that is a united people, even though locally broken up and historically and legitimately diversified, when a practically schismatic ferment is dividing it, subdividing it and breaking it into groups which are more than anything else zealous for arbitrary and fundamentally egoistical autonomy, masked by Christian pluralism or liberty of conscience?"

Indeed. And that is the question in Boston.

Pray for the Archdiocese of Boston. Pray for its leaders. That they may all come to understand that dissent leads to polarization and harms the Church's credibility and her witness. What must change? The structure of the Church or that of the human heart?

Related reading here. And here.

Friday, July 16, 2010

"I saw how baleful would be the consequences of this false church..."

"Among the strangest things that I saw, were long processions of bishops. Their thoughts and utterances were made known to me through images issuing from their mouths. Their faults towards religion were shown by external deformities ... I saw what I believe to be nearly all the bishops of the world, but only a small number were perfectly sound. I also saw the Holy Father - God-fearing and prayerful. Nothing left to be desired in his appearance, but he was weakened by old age and by much suffering. His head was lolling from side to side, and it dropped onto his chest as if he was falling asleep ...Then I saw that everything pertaining to Protestantism was gradually gaining the upperhand, and the Catholic religion fell into complete decadence. Most priests were lured by the glittering but false knowledge of young school-teachers, and they all contributed to the work of destruction. In those days, Faith will fall very low, and it will be preserved in some places only, in a few cottages and in a few families which God has protected from disasters and wars....

As we came nearer, however, the fire abated and we saw the blackened building. We went through a number of magnificent rooms, and we finally reached the Pope. He was sitting in the dark and slept in a large arm chair. He was very ill and weak; he could no longer walk. The ecclesiastics in the inner circle looked insincere and lacking in zeal; I did not like them. I told the Pope of the bishops who are to be appointed soon. I told him also that he must not leave Rome. If he did so, it would be chaos. He thought that the evil was inevitable and he should leave in order to save many things beside himself. He was very much inclined to leave Rome, and he was insistently urged to do so....

I also saw the various regions of the earth. My Guide (Jesus) named Europe and pointing to a small and sandy region, He uttered these words: 'Here is Prussia (East Germany), the enemy.' Then He showed me another place, to the north, and He said: 'This is Moskva, the land of Moscow, bringing many evils'...

I saw also the relationship between two popes ... I saw how baleful would be the consequences of this false church. I saw it increase in size; heretics of every kind came into the city of Rome. The local clergy grew lukewarm, and I saw a great darkness...

I had another vision of the great tribulation. It seems to me that a concession was demanded from the clergy which could not be granted. I saw many older priests, especially one, who wept bitterly. A few younger ones were also weeping. But others, and the lukewarm among them, readily did what was demanded. It was as if people were splitting into two camps.

I saw that many pastors allowed themselves to be taken up with ideas that were dangerous to the Church. They were building a great, strange, and extravagant Church. Everyone was to be admitted in it in order to be united and have equal rights: Evangelicals, Catholics, sects of every description. Such was to be the new Church ... But God had other designs...

I saw again the strange big church that was being built there in Rome. There was nothing holy in it. I saw this just as I saw a movement led by Ecclesiastics to which contributed angels, saints, and other Christians. But there in the strange big church all the work was being done mechanically according to set rules and formulae. Everything was being done according to human reason ...I saw all sorts of people, things, doctrines, and opinions. There was something proud, presumptuous, and violent about it, and they seemed very successful. I did not see a single Angel nor a single saint helping in the work. But far away in the background, I saw the seat of the cruel people armed with spears, and I saw a laughing figure which said: 'Do build it as solid as you can; we will pull it to the ground'...

I saw again the new and odd-looking church which they were trying to build. There was nothing holy about it ... People were kneading bread in the crypt below ... but it would not rise, nor did they receive the body of our Lord, but only bread. Those who were in error, through no fault of their own, and who piously and ardently longed for the Body of Jesus were spiritually consoled, but not by their communion. Then my Guide (Jesus) said: 'This is Babel'...

I saw deplorable things: they were gambling, drinking, and talking in church; they were also courting women. All sorts of abominations were perpetrated there. Priests allowed everything and said Mass with much irreverence. I saw that few of them were still godly... All these things caused me much distress....

Then I saw an apparition of the Mother of God, and she said that the tribulation would be very great. She added that people must pray fervently with outstretched arms, be it only long enough to say three Our Fathers. This was the way her Son prayed for them on the Cross. They must rise at twelve at night, and pray in this manner; and they must keep coming to the Church. They must pray above all for the Church of Darkness to leave Rome... These were all good and devout people, and they did not know where help and guidance should be sought. There were no traitors and enemies among them, yet they were afraid of one another...

I saw more martyrs, not now but in the future ... I saw the secret sect relentlessly undermining the great Church. Near them I saw a horrible beast coming up from the sea. All over the world, good and devout people, especially the clergy, were harassed, oppressed, and put into prison... Whole Catholic communities were being oppressed, harassed, confined, and deprived of their freedom. I saw many churches closed down, great miseries everywhere, wars and bloodshed. A wild and ignorant mob took violent action. But it did not last long... " (Venerable Anne Catherine Emmerich, The Life and Revelations of Anne Catherine Emmerich).
More than ever faithful Catholics need to pray for the Holy Father and for those Bishops, priests and religious who remain faithful to the Magisterium. There is in preparation a schism the likes of which few can imagine. Ecclesiastical masonry seeks to build a counterfeit church within the true Church, one which is based on a humanitarian religion which will serve the Antichrist. Our Lady told Fr. Gobbi of the Marian Movement of Priests, "When there will have entered into her the man of iniquity, who will bring to fulfillment the abomination of desolation which will reach its climax in the horrible sacrilege, as the great apostasy will have spread everywhere, then my Immaculate Heart will gather together the little faithful remnant which, in suffering, in prayer and in hope, will await the return of my Son Jesus in glory." (May 13, 1994).

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Quod scripsi scripsit or "I'm inflexible and refuse to consider evidence"

After writing his insightful analysis of Charles Pierce’s sophomoric article entitled “What I Believe” which appeared in the Boston Sunday Globe Magazine, Joe Sacerdo invited Mr. Pierce to his Blog to comment and to clarify his views. Mr. Pierce responded by writing, “Thank you for giving the piece such a careful reading. I’ll pass, I think….I’ll let the piece speak for itself. Quod scripsi scripsit, as someone once said.” (See here).

That someone was Pontius Pilate. The same bright light who quipped, “What is truth?” and walked away without waiting for answer (John 18: 38). This is the attitude of the ideologue, the person who refuses to reconsider his opinions and who prefers to live without self-criticism. In his allegory of the cave (Republic 8.514-17), Plato compares this desire to believe what is convenient and to act on false opinions with living in a cave, a world of shadows and illusions rather than the world of daylight, of reality.

It was Socrates who said that “an unexamined life is not worth living.” Which is why Dignitatis Humanae of the Second Vatican Council tells us that, “It is in accordance with their dignity as persons – that is, beings endowed with reason and free will and therefore privileged to bear personal responsibility – that all men should be at once impelled by nature and also bound by a moral obligation to seek the truth, especially religious truth. They are also bound to adhere to the truth, once it is known, and to order their whole lives in accord with the demands of truth.” (Dignitatis Humanae, No. 2).

The ideologue rejects this notion. Crippled in personality, he stubbornly refuses to change his mind even when presented with objective truth. He is inflexible rather than certain. Dr. Montague Brown explains the difference between certainty and inflexibility thusly: “Certainty pertains to knowledge: it is knowing without doubt that something is so. Certainty is a result of having considered the matter thoroughly and having found sufficient evidence to justify our position. Although certainty is something that I have within me, it is outward looking. That is, I appeal to objective criteria to substantiate my position. If I refuse to change my mind, it is because no objective evidence has been given, nor can I conceive of any, that would shake my certainty. Certainty is not a consequence of being proud or overbearing; rather, it is the result of being humble before the truth….

Inflexibility pertains to will: it is a decision not to consider that we might be wrong. It is a refusal to be convinced by any amount of evidence against our position, no matter how overwhelming it may be. Unlike certainty, which is outward looking, inflexibility is a turning inward. That is, my understanding of objective truth does not cause my inflexibility; it is caused by a subjective attitude: my desire to be right. The reason I do not change is that I do not want to change. Since my inflexibility is not based on evidence, even if new evidence surfaces that proves me to be mistaken, I still will not change.” (The One-Minute Philosopher, pp. 6-7).

This is a teaching moment for Catholics in and around Boston and beyond. Joe Sacerdo has examined Mr. Pierce’s article with fairness and objectivity. Even Mr. Pierce acknowledged this when he wrote, “Thank you for giving the piece such a careful reading.” But Mr. Pierce refuses to examine evidence which might prove him wrong. Therefore he writes, “Quod scripsi scripsit” – What I have written I have written.

Some people prefer to live in Plato’s cave.

Related reading: Making an accusation and failing to support that accusation with sufficient evidence.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Our Lady of La Salette, pray for us...

In these troubled times, let us all have recourse to Our Lady of La Salette, Reconciler of Sinners:

Remember, dear Lady of La Salette, true Mother of Sorrows, the tears which thou didst shed for me on Calvary; be mindful also of the unceasing care which thou dost exercise to shield me from the justice of God; and consider whether thou canst now abandon thy child, for whom thou hast done so much. Inspired by this consoling thought, I come to cast myself at thy feet, in spite of my infidelity and ingratitude. Reject not my prayer, O Virgin of reconciliation, convert me, obtain for me the grace to love Jesus Christ above all things and to console thee too by living a holy life, in order that one day I may be able to see thee in Heaven. Amen.

Constructive criticism or condemnation?

“We invite you to criticize our institutions without reserve. One is not insulted by being informed of something amiss, but rather gets an opportunity for amendment, if the information is taken in good part, without resentment.” – Plato, Laws, Bk. 1, 635a

Joe Sacerdo writes, “About 3 weeks ago, we wrote criticizing how Fr. Bryan Hehir helped reinforce a ‘wound to Catholic unity’ by praising the Catholic Health Association’s leadership as they celebrated the passage of CHA-backed ‘Obamacare.’ Now we see the first federal funding of abortion, and the concerns of the Catholic bishops and millions of other Catholics and pro-lifers alike have proven true. We hope Fr. Hehir and his supporters in the Archdiocese like Vicar General Erikson and Cardinal O’Malley are pleased with the result.

As you will recall, the CHA backed Obamacare in direct opposition to the Catholic bishops, and Bryan Hehir later commended the head of the CHA, Sr. Carol Keehan for her ‘intelligent and courageous leadership’ of this organization. Hehir also said there ‘multiple voices’ in the debate (the CHA, the U.S. bishops, and others) as though all of the voices had equal merit and the teaching authority of the Church had no more weight than any other voice. And amidst those multiple voices, ‘there was foundation for the different judgments made on the bill in the Catholic moral tradition.’ Multiple readers excoriated Hehir for his statements, and our post prompted a response from the Vicar General, who said our blog posts were disrepectful, inappropriate, and inaccurate in criticizing Fr. Hehir..”

It is most significant that the Vicar General, Father Richard Erikson, doesn’t provide any specific examples of posts which he feels were “disrespectful, inappropriate and inaccurate.” For this would suggest a certain dishonesty on his part. It is important, especially for Christians, to be truthful in every communication. This because it is only by testifying to the truth that Christians can spread the truth of the Gospel and do their part to build up the Kingdom of God. All men have an obligation to seek the truth. Dignitatis Humanae of the Second Vatican Council teaches that, “It is in accordance with their dignity as persons – that is, beings endowed with reason and free will and therefore privileged to bear personal responsibility – that all men should be at once impelled by nature and also bound by a moral obligation to seek the truth, especially religious truth. They are also bound to adhere to the truth, once it is known, and to order their whole lives in accord with the demands of truth.” (Dignitatis Humanae, No. 2).

I suspect the Vicar General is confusing criticism with condemnation. Dr. Montague Brown explains the difference between the two nicely: “Criticism is the honest appraisal of the value of ideas or actions…Pursued in the right spirit, it is a positive undertaking whose purpose is to gain an accurate understanding for the sake of growing in wisdom and virtue….Condemnation goes beyond evaluation of an idea or action to a declaration of the worthlessness of a human being. It is never fair and is a wholly negative judgment, referring only to weaknesses. Because condemnation is unreasonable, it serves no purpose in our quest for wisdom and virtue.” (The One-Minute Philosopher, pp. 28,29).

Since Father Erikson has asserted that criticism of Father Bryan Hehir has moved beyond criticism and into condemnation, the burden is on him to demonstrate how this is so. Thus far, he has failed to do so. At any rate, the Code of Canon Law is clear:

Can. 212 ß1 Christ's faithful, conscious of their own responsibility, are bound to show Christian obedience to what the sacred Pastors, who represent Christ, declare as teachers of the faith and prescribe as rulers of the Church.

ß2 Christ's faithful are at liberty to make known their needs, especially their spiritual needs, and their wishes to the Pastors of the Church.

ß3 They have the right, indeed at times the duty, in keeping with their knowledge, competence and position, to manifest to the sacred Pastors their views on matters which concern the good of the Church. They have the right also to make their views known to others of Christ's faithful, but in doing so they must always respect the integrity of faith and morals, show due reverence to the Pastors and take into account both the common good and the dignity of individuals.

Related reading here.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Father J. Bryan Hehir: A Corroding and Ambiguous Pluralism Which Leads to Dissolution, Destruction and the Loss of Identity

As reported here, Father J. Bryan Hehir, Secretary for Healthcare and Social Services, has argued that, “We [Catholics] could, on the basis of living in a pluralistic society, remain silent on the contraception question in the public policy area while upholding the Church’s teaching internally.” Father Hehir further argued that such an approach is consistent with Catholic tradition because, “Catholic tradition doesn’t always try to translate internal policy into public policy.”

While it is true that a legitimate pluralism exists within the Church, one which, for example, includes diverse rites and spiritualities as well as theologies which reflect the one faith, a pluralism which leaves room for diverse world views, the sort of pluralism advanced by Fr. Hehir, is dangerous because it can occasion relativism. In the Church, such a pluralism has no place. As Pope John XXIII taught, “..there is no other truth than the one truth she [the Church] treasures…there can be no ‘truths’ in contradiction of it.” (Ad Petri Cathedram, AAS 51 (1959) 513, PE, 263.70). The Synod of Bishops, Second Extraordinary Assembly, recognized this truth when it said that, “The pluralism of fundamentally opposed positions” does not build up the Church but “instead leads to dissolution, destruction and the loss of identity.” (Synod of Bishops, Second Extraordinary Assembly, 1985, Final “Relatio”, 2.C.2, EV 9 (1983-1985) 1764-65, OR, 16 Dec. 1985, 7.).

In his wonderful book entitled “A Crisis of Truth: The Attack on Faith, Morality, and Mission in the Catholic Church,” Ralph Martin explains that, “Pastoral leaders today often fail to exercise their responsibility effectively because they have inadequate models for leadership and employ inadequate criteria to judge their own work and the work of others.

Pastoral passivity is often justified as an appropriate posture for leaders of a ‘pluralist’ Church. Indeed, pluralism in the Church can be a very good thing. The life of the Church is enriched by a certain kind of diversity in cultural expression, pastoral approach, and even theological and philosophical expression of the faith. Yet pluralism is legitimate only if it involves diverse expressions of the one faith as definitively interpreted by the teaching authority of the Church over the centuries.

Today, calls for ‘pluralism’ are often pleas to abandon the one faith. Many of those who work for the ‘pluralistic’ Church of the future, in contrast to the ‘monolithic’ Church of the past, are actually working for the destruction of the Church and any meaningful measure of unity of faith. Pope Paul VI called this kind of indiscriminate pluralism, the kind that lacks any clear criteria, ‘corroding and ambiguous.’ It is indeed at work in the Church today.

Often an uncritical pluralism is combined with a conception of the pastoral leader as someone who is a ‘unifier.’ Of course, those responsible for families, parishes, and other segments of God’s people need to work to unify their people. But they should not achieve unity at just any price. The unity appropriate to God’s people is a unity based on a common adherence to Christian truth and the person of Christ. Saying ‘yes’ to the teaching of the Church in areas of faith and morals is to say ‘no’ to those who undermine and challenge them. Unity is based on truth. Yet many pastoral leaders today are presiding over a ‘unity’ which contains contradictory elements, a ‘unity’ which includes both acceptance and rejection of Christ, His Word, and the teaching of the Church. To tolerate the corruption of Christian truth in the name of unity or pluralism is to make a mockery of the genuine function and role of pastoral authority. It is, in fact, to preside over that corroding of Christian faith which Paul VI warned about.

Sometimes such corroding pluralism is tolerated because of a muddled or vague understanding of the wheat and the tares parable and other scripture passages that talk of problems within the Church. In this connection it is frequently said that: ‘The Catholic Church is a church of sinners, a broad church that includes everybody; it is not a sect.’ Besides often incorporating an imprecise and often incoherent use of the sociological categories of ‘church’ and ‘sect,’ such formulations are, more seriously, based on a misinterpretation of such scripture passages. The point of such passages is often to describe actual or future situations that can never be remedied simply by human effort, but can ultimately only be fully resolved by an action of God himself. The point of such passages though is not to counsel the advocacy of a lukewarm, passive, indifferent vision of Church life, in which the corruption of Christian truth and God’s people is benignly presided over.

Such false applications of the parable have been common previously in Church history to justify a distorted approach to Church life, and St. Augustine addressed this situation squarely:

‘In answer to these persons I would say, first of all, that in reading the testimonies of Sacred Scripture which indicate that there is presently, or foretell that there will be in the future, a mingling of good and evil persons in the Church, anyone who understands these testimonies in such a way that he supposes the diligence and severity of discipline ought to be relaxed altogether and be omitted is not taught by those same writings but is deceived by his own conjecture. The fact that Moses, the servant of God, bore most patiently that mixture of good and evil among the chosen people did not prevent him from punishing many, even with the sword….In our times, when the sword has ceased to be visible in the discipline of the Church, what must be done is pointed out by degradations and excommunications.’” (A Crisis of Truth, citing St. Augustine, “Faith and Works,” 1737a).

The Council of Trent teaches definitively that the Gospel is the source of all saving truth and authentic moral teaching. As Catholics we are not called to “remain silent” about the Gospel in the name of “pluralism.” We are called, as Dei Verbum of the Second Vatican Council reminds us, “ hold fast to the traditions” which we “have learned either by word of mouth or by letter (cf. 2 Thes 2:15), and to fight in defense of the faith handed on once and for all (cf. Jude 1:3)…” (Dei Verbum, No. 8).

Monday, July 12, 2010

"The Catholic hierarchy must say a forceful mea culpa..."

It was Pope Paul VI who said that, "The tail of the Devil is functioning in the disintegration of the Catholic world." And this disintegration includes an inclination to deny the reality of Satan and demonic activity. As a result of secularization within the Church, many have come to believe that evil is simply a lack of human goodness and that the Devil is merely a personification of humanity's dark side. Which is why, "the practice of exorcism has largely disappeared except for extraordinary cases -- and only after approval of psychologists or psychiatrists who rarely believe in demonic phenomena to begin with. Though Jesus admonished His followers to cast out devils -- and did so Himself on numerous occasions -- in many cities this charism has been all but lost. 'I must point out that too many churchmen are totally disinterested in these problems, and so they leave the faithful defenseless,' writes Father Amorth. 'I believe that taking the exorcisms out of the baptismal ritual was a grave mistake (and it seems that Paul VI shared my opinion). I believe that it was a mistake to have eliminated, without a suitable replacement, the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel that we used to recite after each Mass. I am convinced that allowing the ministry of exorcism to die is an unforgivable deficiency to be laid squarely at the door of the bishops. Every diocese should have at least one exorcist at the cathedral, and every large parish and sanctuary should have one as well. Today the exorcist is seen as a rarity, almost impossible to find. His activity, on the other hand, has an indispensable pastoral value, as valuable as that of the preacher, the confessor, and those who administer the other sacraments....The Catholic hierarchy must say a forceful mea culpa..' continues Amorth. 'I am personally acquainted with many Italian bishops; I know of only a few who have ever practiced or who have assisted during an exorcism or who are adequately aware of this problem, I do not hesitate to repeat what I have written elsewhere; if a bishop, when faced with a valid request for an exorcism -- I am not talking about the request of some demented person -- does not address the problem, either personally or by delegating the task to a qualified priest, he is guilty of a most serious sin of omission..'" (See here for full article).

We are experiencing various signs of demonic activity throughout our troubled culture and our shepherds have not taken this seriously. Demonic abortion continues to be practiced even while our society rushes to embrace a culture of sodomy and same-sex "marriage." Many individuals, including Catholic priests, have abandoned themselves to sexual perversions, violence, and drug use.

In Boston, a pro-abortion politician who is also supportive of same-sex "marriage" was honored by the Boston Archdiocese. The same Archdiocese which has been plagued by dissent from Church teaching and priest-predators who sexually abused innocent children.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in its document entitled "Les formes de la superstition," helped the faithful better understand the Church's teaching regarding demonic spirits. The document said that, "It would be a fatal mistake to act as if history were already finished and redemption had achieved all its effects, so that it were no longer necessary to to engage in the struggle [against the Devil and demons] of which the New Testament and the masters of the spiritual life speak...To maintain today, therefore, that Jesus' words about Satan express only a teaching borrowed from his culture and are unimportant for the faith of other believers is evidently to show little understanding either of the Master's character or of his age. If Jesus used this kind of language and, above all, if he translated it into practice during his ministry, it was because it expressed a doctrine that was to some extent essential to the idea and reality of the salvation that he was bringing....Satan whom Jesus attacked with his exorcisms and confronted in the wilderness and in his passion, cannot simply be a product of the human ability to tell stories and personify ideas nor a stray survival of a primitive culture and its language...Satan's action on man is admittedly interior but it is impossible to regard him as therefore simply a personification of sin and temptation....It was for all these reasons that the Fathers of the Church were convinced from Scripture that Satan and the demons are the enemies of man's redemption, and they did not fail to remind the faithful of their existence and action..."

Pope Paul VI, in a general audience on November 15, 1972, said, "What are the Church's greatest needs at the present time? Don't be surprised at our answer and don't write it off as simplistic or even superstitious: one of the Church's greatest needs is to be defended against the evil which we call the Devil..."

Why then are so many in the Church's hierarchy not responding to this need? How many fail to answer this need because they have already lost their faith?
Jesus said that we would know a tree by its fruit. What then shall we say about an Archdiocese which honors a politician who approves of this?
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