Thursday, June 30, 2011

Department of Veterans Affairs censoring the words "God" and "Jesus" during funeral services at Houston National Cemetery

Veterans in Houston, Texas claim that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is censoring their prayers by banning the use of the words "God" and "Jesus" during funeral services at Houston National Cemetery.  According to a Fox News story, "Three organizations - the Veterans of Foreign Wars, The American Legion and the National Memorial Ladies -- allege that the cemetery's director and other government officials have created 'religious hostility' at the cemetery and are violating the First Amendment. According to court documents filed this week in federal court, the cemetery's director, Arleen Ocasio, has banned saying 'God' at funerals and requires prayers be submitted in advance for government approval.."

Government approval?

Increasingly we are witnessing hostility from the government toward Christianity.  Military chaplains who object to homosexuality because of their Christian faith are being threatened with court martial.  And while there are those who are attempting to censor Christians and marginalize Christianity, witchcraft and satanism are finding governmental approval.  In fact, the Air Force Academy has opened a chapel for pagans.  See here.

In an article published in Polish in Panorama and written by Dr. J. Coleman, an Intelligence officer, Dr. Coleman is quoted as having said that, "The One-World Government is going to consist of hereditary oligarchs who will divide the power between themselves. There is going to be only one legal religion and only one state church. Only Satanism and Luciferism will be the legal religious subjects in state schools. No other schools (private, Catholic, etc.) will be allowed. All present Christian education systems are going to be destroyed (and the fact is — they are destroyed in the most part) from inside, and become extinct. Satanism is already considered to be a 'true and legal religion'. In fact, in some U.S. military bases, they already celebrate black masses and worship Satan."

We are approaching the day prophesied by Romano Guardini in The Lord, "One day the Antichrist will come: a human being who introduces an order of things in which rebellion against God will attain its ultimate power. He will be filled with enlightenment and strength. The ultimate aim of all aims will be to prove that existence without Christ is possible - nay rather, that Christ is the enemy of existence, which can be fully realized only when all Christian values have been destroyed.." (p. 513).

Inflated in their rebellion against the God-Man, the Sons of Satan, those committed toward the atheistic program of attacking the Church from without and undermining it from within in preparation for the Man-God, will continue to intensify their persecution of craftiness and subversion until it reaches its culmination in an explosion of hate-filled rage which will bear much blood and death. Father Livio Fanzaga, writing about the Antichrist, says that, "Catholicism alone will resist him. How then do we destroy this superstition which alone obstructs the world's self-revelation? How do we destroy this superstition which divides mankind and which prevents man from being truly brotherly and free? The true Antichrist is revealed in the replies to these questions. Here is perceived his profound being as the man of iniquity. He will not tolerate the idea of men who adore any god other than himself. His intolerance obliges him to make an exception to his pacifism and his philosophy of non-violence. He is the greatest pacifist in the history of the human race, but because peace and justice really reign on earth he will make an exception to kill and destroy the great superstition of Catholicism, once and for all time..." (Wrath of God: The Days of the Antichrist, p. 124).

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Chair of St. Cecilia's "Rainbow Ministry" in Boston: committed to chastity?

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that, "Homosexual persons are called to chastity.  By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection." (CCC, 2359).

Is John Kelly, Chair of Saint Cecilia's "Rainbow Ministry" in the Boston Archdiocese, committed to this teaching?  At an internet profile page which may be found here, Mr. Kelly says: "I am a gay man looking for a sincere relationship...I am a gay retired man who is single and enjoying life.  I am active at my Church [and serve] as Boston chair of the Rainbow Ministry....My motto in life is 'Live and Let Live."

Live and let live? 

Pope John Paul II, in Christifideles Laici, No. 16, has this to say: "We come to a full sense of the dignity of the lay faithful if we consider the prime and fundamental vocation that the Father assigns to each of them in Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit: the vocation to holiness, that is, the perfection of charity. Holiness is the greatest testimony of the dignity conferred on a disciple of Christ.

The Second Vatican Council has significantly spoken on the universal call to holiness. It is possible to say that this call to holiness is precisely the basic charge entrusted to all the sons and daughters of the Church by a Council which intended to bring a renewal of Christian life based on the gospel. This charge is not a simple moral exhortation, but an undeniable requirement arising from the mystery of the Church: she is the choice vine, whose branches live and grow with the same holy and life-giving energies that come from Christ; she is the Mystical Body, whose members share in the same life of holiness of the Head who is Christ; she is the Beloved Spouse of the Lord Jesus, who delivered himself up for her sanctification (cf. Eph 5:25 ff.). The Spirit that sanctified the human nature of Jesus in Mary's virginal womb (cf. Lk 1:35) is the same Spirit that is abiding and working in the Church to communicate to her the holiness of the Son of God made man.

It is ever more urgent that today all Christians take up again the way of gospel renewal, welcoming in a spirit of generosity the invitation expressed by the apostle Peter "to be holy in all conduct" (1 Pt 1:15). The 1985 Extraordinary Synod, twenty years after the Council, opportunely insisted on this urgency: "Since the Church in Christ is a mystery, she ought to be considered the sign and instrument of holiness... Men and women saints have always been the source and origin of renewal in the most difficult circumstances in the Church's history. Today we have the greatest need of saints whom we must assiduously beg God to raise up".

Everyone in the Church, precisely because they are members, receive and thereby share in the common vocation to holiness. In the fullness of this title and on equal par with all other members of the Church, the lay faithful are called to holiness: "All the faithful of Christ of whatever rank or status are called to the fullness of Christian life and to the perfection of charity". "All of Christ's followers are invited and bound to pursue holiness and the perfect fulfillment of their own state of life".

The call to holiness is rooted in Baptism and proposed anew in the other Sacraments, principally in the Eucharist. Since Christians are reclothed in Christ Jesus and refreshed by his Spirit, they are "holy". They therefore have the ability to manifest this holiness and the responsibility to bear witness to it in all that they do. The apostle Paul never tires of admonishing all Christians to live "as is fitting among saints" (Eph 5:3).

Life according to the Spirit, whose fruit is holiness (cf. Rom 6:22;Gal 5:22), stirs up every baptized person and requires each to follow and imitate Jesus Christ, in embracing the Beatitudes, in listening and meditating on the Word of God, in conscious and active participation in the liturgical and sacramental life of the Church, in personal prayer, in family or in community, in the hunger and thirst for justice, in the practice of the commandment of love in all circumstances of life and service to the brethren, especially the least, the poor and the suffering."

All of Christ's followers are invited and bound to pursue holiness.  Cardinal O'Malley, does it seem as if Mr. Kelly is committed to chastity and holiness?  Or rather hedonism and relativism?  You know the answer Your Eminence.  And you know what you should now do.

I am praying for you.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Cardinal Sean O'Malley: Will you exercise your pastoral authority so that the Father of Lies will not take hold of the minds and hearts of the faithful?

Three days after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill allowing same-sex couples to marry, Archbishop Timothy Dolan reaffirmed the Catholic Church's position on marriage.  Speaking to reporters following a Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral, His Excellency said that, "We as Catholics would oppose any attempt by anybody to redefine marriage...We just don't believe that marriage can be changed and radically altered to accommodate a particular lifestyle." See here.  Archbishop Dolan has said that same-sex "marriage" is "detrimental to the common good" and a "violation of natural law."

In its 2003 document entitled Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith refuted the notion that legalizing homosexual unions would not harm the common good:

"In this area, one needs first to reflect on the difference between homosexual behavior as a private phenomenon and the same behavior as a relationship in society, foreseen and approved by the law, to the point where it becomes one of the institutions in the legal structure.  This second phenomenon is not only more serious, but also assumes a more wide-ranging and profound influence, and would result in changes to the entire organization of society, contrary to the common good.  Civil laws are structuring principles of man's life in society, for good or ill.  They 'play a very important and sometimes decisive role in influencing patterns of thought and behavior.'  Lifestyles and the underlying presuppositions these express not only externally shape the life of society, but also tend to modify the younger generation's perception and evaluation of forms of behavior.  Legal recognition of homosexual unions would obscure certain basic moral values and cause a devaluation of the institution of marriage."

Considerations goes on to explain that, "The inevitable consequence of legal recognition of homosexual unions would be the redefinition of marriage, which would become, in its legal status, an institution devoid of essential reference to factors linked to heterosexuality; for example, procreation and raising children.  If, from the legal standpoint, marriage between a man and a woman were to be considered just one possible form of marriage, the concept of marriage would undergo a radical transformation, with grave detriment to the common good.  By putting homosexual unions on a legal plane analogous to that of marriage and the family, the State acts arbitrarily and in contradiction with its duties."

Now Cardinal Sean O'Malley has reaffirmed this teaching of the Church at his Blog.  What is not understandable, however, is his toleration of a homosexual "rainbow ministry" at St. Cecilia's Parish in Boston's Back Bay which has distorted Catholic teaching on homosexuality while promoting same-sex "marriage."

In a Keynote Address entitled Good Shepherd: Living Christ's Own Pastoral Authority*, which was delivered at the 10th Annual Symposium on the Spirituality and Identity of the Diocesan Priest on March 18, 2011, Bishop Samuel J. Aquila had some important things to say about the role of Bishops.  His Excellency noted that:

"Perhaps most difficult for us who lead in the Church today, due to the influence of the secular world with its rejection of God and the authority of God, along with a real skepticism of authority, is the exercise of the office of governance. Benedict XVI reminds us as bishops and priests again to turn to Jesus Christ to learn how to exercise this authority. No one is really able to feed Christ's flock, unless he lives in profound and true obedience to Christ and the Church, and the docility of the people towards their priests depends on the docility of the priests towards Christ; for this reason the personal and constant encounter with the Lord, profound knowledge of him and the conformation of the individual will to Christ's will is always at the root of the pastoral ministry. (General Audience, May 26, 2010).

Jesus at times was direct in calling people to conversion – to change their way of acting and thinking. This directness makes many of us uncomfortable today. We should follow his example and language, even if we do not use his precise words. His language is good to contemplate and definitely should challenge us to look at how we correct the faithful, including priests and bishops, and speak the truth especially with those who say they are with Christ and the Church but do not accept the teaching of Jesus and the Church.

One has only to read Matthew 23 to hear the forceful language Jesus uses when speaking with the Pharisees and Scribes. He refers to them as ―hypocrites, blind guides, and white washed tombs and towards the end asks them the question, ―You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell?  In our politically correct world this type of language would never be tolerated today, and yet the Gospel writers were not hesitant to pass on these exhortations of Jesus.

Furthermore, when Peter began to remonstrate with Jesus about going up to Jerusalem, he did not softly tell Peter, ―You do not understand. Rather Jesus spoke the vigorous words, ―Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me; for you are not on the side of God, but of men (Mt 16:23). Jesus speaks these words with force to the apostle he has chosen and the one whom he made first among the apostles. In love Jesus makes these direct statements to open the eyes of those whose hearts and minds are hardened. His straight talk, given in love for the person, desires the conversion and holiness of the person to the ways of God.

Jesus provides the Church and her leaders with the criteria for correcting a brother or sister. ―If your brother sins against you; go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector (Mt 18:16-17).

The steps in this passage are clear and Jesus is teaching us, but do we listen and follow his example? If this criteria had been followed with dissenting theologians, priests, religious and faithful in 1968 with the encyclical, Humanae Vitae, would we still be dealing with the problem today of those who dissent on contraception, abortion, same sex unions, euthanasia and so many other teachings of the Church?

One must honestly ask, how many times and years may a Catholic politician vote for the so called ―right to abortion, ―murder in the words of John Paul II in Evangelium Vitae (58), and still be able to receive Holy Communion? The continual reception of Holy Communion by those who so visibly contradict and promote a grave evil, even more than simply dissent, only creates grave scandal, undermines the teaching and governing authority of the Church and can be interpreted by the faithful as indifference to the teaching of Christ and the Church on the part of those who have the responsibility to govern. If we honestly pray with the Gospel we can see that hesitancy and non-accountability are not the way of Jesus Christ, but rather are a failure in the exercise of governance.

Bishops and priests, as an act of loving obedience to Christ, must return to a full exercise of the governing authority of Christ witnessed in the Gospel. If we do not exercise that authority, are hesitant to exercise it, or doubt it, then it only leads to the ―father of lies taking hold of the minds and hearts of the faithful, and their continuing to act in the ways of man and not the ways of God.

Pope Benedict XVI, in his conversation with Peter Seewald in the book Light of the World, made the following observation concerning the sexual abuse crisis among clergy, after speaking with the Archbishop of Dublin. In their conversation they spoke to a mentality prevalent after Vatican II. ―The prevailing mentality was that the Church must not be a Church of laws but, rather, a Church of love; she must not punish. Thus the awareness that punishment can be an act of love ceased to exist. This led to an odd darkening of the mind, even in very good people. Today we have to learn all over again that love for the sinner and love for the person who has been harmed are correctly balanced if I punish the sinner in the form that is possible and appropriate. In this respect there was in the past a change of mentality, in which the law and need for punishment were obscured. Ultimately this also narrowed the concept of love, which in fact is not just being nice or courteous, but is found in the truth (emphasis added). And another component of truth is that I must punish the one who has sinned against real love (Pages 25-26)."

It is time for Boston's Cardinal to exercise his pastoral authority.  If he does not, the Father of Lies will be emboldened and will continue to sow dissension and discord as minds become steeped in darkness.

*  Full Address here.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Encouraging a silent apostasy in Boston

In his Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Christifideles Laici, Pope John Paul II spoke of the silent apostasy which is gradually infecting the world.  He wrote, "Whole countries and nations where religion and the Christian life were formerly flourishing and capable of fostering a viable and working community of faith, are now put to a hard test, and in some cases, are even undergoing a radical transformation, as a result of a constant spreading of an indifference to religion, of secularism and atheism. This particularly concerns countries and nations of the so-called First World, in which economic well-being and consumerism, even if coexistent with a tragic situation of poverty and misery, inspires and sustains a life lived 'as if God did not exist'. This indifference to religion and the practice of religion devoid of true meaning in the face of life's very serious problems, are not less worrying and upsetting when compared with declared atheism. Sometimes the Christian faith as well, while maintaining some of the externals of its tradition and rituals, tends to be separated from those moments of human existence which have the most significance, such as, birth, suffering and death. In such cases, the questions and formidable enigmas posed by these situations, if remaining without responses, expose contemporary people to an inconsolable delusion or to the temptation of eliminating the truly humanizing dimension of life implicit in these problems.

On the other hand, in other regions or nations many vital traditions of piety and popular forms of Christian religion are still conserved; but today this moral and spiritual patrimony runs the risk of being dispersed under the impact of a multiplicity of processes, including secularization and the spread of sects. Only a re-evangelization can assure the growth of a clear and deep faith, and serve to make these traditions a force for authentic freedom.

Without doubt a mending of the Christian fabric of society is urgently needed in all parts of the world. But for this to come about what is needed is to first remake the Christian fabric of the ecclesial community itself present in these countries and nations.

At this moment the lay faithful, in virtue of their participation in the prophetic mission of Christ, are fully part of this work of the Church. Their responsibility, in particular, is to testify how the Christian faith constitutes the only fully valid response-consciously perceived and stated by all in varying degrees-to the problems and hopes that life poses to every person and society. This will be possible if the lay faithful will know how to overcome in themselves the separation of the Gospel from life, to again take up in their daily activities in family, work and society, an integrated approach to life that is fully brought about by the inspiration and strength of the Gospel.

To all people of today I once again repeat the impassioned cry with which I began my pastoral ministry: 'Do not be afraid! Open, in deed, open wide the doors to Christ!

Open to his saving power the confines of states, and systems political and economic, as well as the vast fields of culture, civilization, and development. Do not be afraid! Christ knows 'what is inside a person'. Only he knows! Today too often people do not know what they carry inside, in the deepest recesses of their soul, in their heart. Too often people are uncertain about a sense of life on earth. Invaded by doubts they are led into despair. Therefore-with humility and trust I beg and implore you-allow Christ to speak to the person in you. Only he has the words of life, yes, eternal life.'

Opening wide the doors to Christ, accepting him into humanity itself poses absolutely no threat to persons, indeed it is the only road to take to arrive at the total truth and the exalted value of the human individual.

This vital synthesis will be achieved when the lay faithful know how to put the gospel and their daily duties of life into a most shining and convincing testimony, where, not fear but the loving pursuit of Christ and adherence to him will be the factors determining how a person is to live and grow, and these will lead to new ways of living more in conformity with human dignity.

Humanity is loved by God! This very simple yet profound proclamation is owed to humanity by the Church. Each Christian's words and life must make this proclamation resound: God loves you, Christ came for you, Christ is for you 'the Way, the Truth and the Life!' (Jn 14:6).

This re-evangelization is directed not only to individual persons but also to entire portions of populations in the variety of their situations, surroundings and cultures. Its purpose is the formation of mature ecclesial communities, in which the faith might radiate and fulfill the basic meaning of adherence to the person of Christ and his Gospel, of an encounter and sacramental communion with him, and of an existence lived in charity and in service.

The lay faithful have their part to fulfill in the formation of these ecclesial communities, not only through an active and responsible participation in the life of the community, in other words, through a testimony that only they can give, but also through a missionary zeal and activity towards the many people who still do not believe and who no longer live the faith received at Baptism.

In the case of coming generations, the lay faithful must offer the very valuable contribution, more necessary than ever, of a systematic work in catechesis. The Synod Fathers have gratefully taken note of the work of catechists, acknowledging that they 'have a task that carries great importance in animating ecclesial communities'. It goes without saying that Christian parents are the primary and irreplaceable catechists of their children, a task for which they are given the grace by the Sacrament of Matrimony. At the same time, however, we all ought to be aware of the 'rights' that each baptized person has to being instructed, educated and supported in the faith and the Christian life."

There are those who oppose this call for a re-evangelization.  For such people, moral norms constitute "mere rules" which others may find offensive.  Therefore, Catholics should avoid preaching on these norms because such preaching amounts to "judging, carping, and condemning."  But the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which these confused souls obviously do not spend much time with, teaches clearly that there are explicit kinds of human acts, specified by the object of moral choice, that are always morally wrong because the willingness to choose an object of this kind is evidence of a disordered will (for example moral evil, CCC, 1755).

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches clearly that homosexual acts are "intrinsically disordered," that they are "contrary to the natural law," and "under no circumstances can they be approved (2357). It also teaches that the homosexual inclination "is objectively disordered." and that those who suffer from this disordered inclination are called to "fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition." (2358). Nowhere in the Catechism are homosexual persons encouraged to take pride in their disordered inclination or in gravely sinful homosexual acts by proclaiming "God made me this way."

If we are to re-evangelize a sin-sick and hurting world, we must speak Gospel truths.  Some of these truths will be difficult for others to accept.  But we must remain faithful to received teaching, to Revelation.  We must remember that when others condemn us of "judging, carping and condemning" for simply stating and defending the Church's authentic teaching (especially in the area of sexual morality), this is nothing more than a cheap semantic weapon designed to silence and intimidate us.  From the Catholic standpoint (which is the rational standpoint), compassion is false when it does not aim at the real good of one's neighbor.  And what could be more good than his eternal salvation?

We need a solid and authentic re-evangelization.  A cotton-candy Catholicism and a sacharrin spirituality will not produce saints.  It will not restore our society to sanity and sanctity (actually the two are the same, for sanctity is sanity).  It will only lead us further into an ever-increasing darkness.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

St. Cecilia's Parish in Boston: Promoting legalism and false compassion

Dr. Germain Grisez, in a talk entitled "Legalism, Moral Truth and Pastoral Practice" given at a 1990 symposium held in Philadelphia, had this to say: "Theologians and pastors who dissent from received Catholic teaching think they are rejecting legalism because they set aside what they think are mere rules in favor of what they feel are more reasonable standards. Their views are thoroughly imbued with legalism, however. For dissenters think of valid moral norms as rules formulated to protect relevant values. Some even make their legalism explicit by denying that there is any necessary connection between moral goodness (which they restrict to the transcendental level of a love with no specific content) and right action (which they isolate at the categorical level of inner-worldly behavior). But whether their legalism is explicit or not, all the dissenters hold that specific moral norms admit exceptions whenever, all things considered, making an exception seems the best - or least bad - thing to do. Most dissenters also think that specific moral norms that were valid in times past can be inappropriate today, and so they regard the Church's contested moral teachings as outdated rules that the Church should change."

Dr. Grisez reminded his listeners at the Philadelphia symposium that, "During the twentieth century, pastoral treatment of repetitious sins through weakness - especially masturbation, homosexual behavior, premarital sex play and contraception within marriage - grew increasingly mild. Pastors correctly recognized that weakness and immaturity can lessen such sins’ malice. Thinking legalistically, they did not pay enough attention to the sins’ inherent badness and harmfulness, and they developed the idea that people can freely choose to do something that they regard as a grave matter without committing a mortal sin. This idea presupposes that in making choices people are not responsible precisely for choosing what they choose. That presupposition makes sense within a legalistic framework, because lawgivers can take into account mitigating factors and limit legal culpability. But it makes no sense for morality correctly understood, because moral responsibility in itself is not something attached to moral acts but simply is moral agents’ self-determination in making free choices. Repetitious sinners through weakness also were handicapped by their own legalism. Not seeing the inherent badness of their sins, they felt that they were only violating inscrutable rules. When temptation grew strong, they had little motive to resist, especially because they could easily go to confession and have the violation fixed. Beginning on Saturday they were holy; by Friday they were again sinners. This cyclic sanctity robbed many people’s lives of Christian dynamism and contributed to the dry rot in the Church that became manifest in the 1960s, when the waves of sexual permissiveness battered her."

Dr. Grisez then went on to explain that, "Pastors free of legalism will teach the faithful how sin makes moral requirements seem to be alien impositions, help them see through this illusion, and encourage them to look forward to and experience the freedom of God’s children, who rejoice in the fruit of the Spirit and no longer experience the constraint of law..They will explain that while one sometimes must choose contrary to positive laws and cannot always meet their requirements, one always can choose in truth and abide in love. They will acknowledge the paradox of freedom - that we seem unable to resist freely choosing to sin - the paradox that Saint Paul neatly formulates: ‘I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate’ (Romans 7:15). But they also will proclaim the liberating power of grace, and help the faithful learn by experience that when one comes to understand the inherent evil of sin and intrinsic beauty of goodness, enjoys the support of a community of faith whose members bear one another’s burdens, begs God for His help, and confidently expects it, then the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead raises him from his sins, and he discovers that with the Spirit’s grace one can consistently resist sin and choose life."

St. Cecilia's Parish in Boston, home of the "Rainbow Ministry" which refuses to call people to holiness, has an article written by Kathy Coffey in its latest bulletin.  Ms. Coffey, who obviously suffers from the same legalism described by Dr. Grisez above, also views received Catholic teaching as "mere rules."  The article is entitled "No more time to waste: Challenges for the Church."  Ms. Coffey writes, "Where would I like to see the Catholic Church move next?  In a radical direction, meaning 'back to its roots'....Unfortunately, many now know Catholics only by what they oppose: same-sex marriage, women's ordination, abortion, etc.  In the future, let's be known by what we advocate.  Let's focus on the positive.." 

Ms. Coffey insists, "Given the challenges the human race will face in the next century, Christians can't waste time judging, carping, and condemning.  Let's get on with the task of being Christ to a hungry, hurting world." 

What Ms. Coffey fails to understand is that it is our duty as Catholics to remind others of Gospel truths and to expose those who are promoting sin or error. Often we will find ourselves being criticized (even by other Catholics, whose commitment toward Catholic teaching is, at best, questionable) for doing so.  We will be accused of "judging" and "condemning." This should never deter us. When such people accuse us of "negativity," [or even as "threatening peace and order"], we should recall the words of Dr. Dietrich von Hildebrand: "..the rejection of evil and of sin is a response which is purely positive and morally called for, and it possesses a high moral value. One cannot truly love God, without hating the devil. One cannot really love the truth, without hating error. One cannot find the truth and grasp it clearly as such, without seeing through errors. Knowledge of truth is inseparably linked with knowledge of error, with the unmasking of error. All talk about the superiority of 'yes' over 'no,' about the 'negativity' of rejecting that which should be rejected, is so much idle chatter." (The Cult of the 'Positive').

Indeed, as John Cardinal Newman said in his Grammar of Assent, "I would maintain that fear of error is simply necessary to the genuine love of truth." In his Introduction to the Devout Life, that precious and popular work, St. Francis de Sales, a Doctor of the Church, says that, "If the declared enemies of God and of the Church ought to be blamed and censured with all possible vigor, charity obliges us to cry wolf when the wolf slips into the midst of the flock and in every way and place we may meet him."

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

Simply put, Kathy Coffey is wrong.  She is not a Pope.  She is not a saint.  She may honestly believe that it is her God-given role to "correct" the wisdom of the Church and her saints.  But sane people will know better.

Friday, June 24, 2011

St. Cecilia's "Rainbow Ministry": Faithful to Church teaching or rejecting the teaching of the Magisterium?

We all know that the "Gay Pride" Mass is back on at St. Cecilia's Parish in Boston, re-scheduled for July 10th thanks to the Boston Archdiocese and its distorted notion of evangelization.  Now we have Joe Sacerdo reporting that, "..we have the vice chairman of the parish council encouraging youth confused about their sexuality to “come out “as gay or lesbian. No mention of turning to Jesus Christ, no mention of abstinence and chastity as the route to holiness consistent with God’s plan, no prayer advised, no spiritual counseling advised, no psychological or family counseling advised, no medical risks of unsafe sexual behavior to be concerned about. Just “come out” as gay or lesbian and you’ll get “new energy and life”! How is this leading people with same-sex attractions to a deeper relationship with Christ and a life of virtue and holiness?" (See here).

Now this is disturbing on every level.  The Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in its document Persona Humana - Declaration on Certain Questions Concerning Sexual Ethics, denounced the moral subjectivism which many theologians were defending based on a misguided pastoral approach, one which the "Rainbow Ministry" at St. Cecilia's appears to have embraced. 

Persona Humana reminds Catholics that morals are not dependent upon human whims or changing cultures but rather on the natural law.  The document teaches clearly and concisely that every sexual act outside of marriage is sinful thereby condemning pre-marital sex, cohabitation, masturbation and homosexuality (Persona Humana, 7, 9).  The document condemns the flawed conclusion that a stable homosexual relationship may be analogous to marriage or justified:

"No pastoral method can be employed which would give moral justification to these acts on the grounds that they would be consonant with the condition of such people.  For according to the objective moral order, homosexual relations are acts which lack an essential and indispensable finality." (Persona Humana, 8).  See full text of Persona Humana here.

Is this teaching accepted by St. Cecilia's "Rainbow Ministry"?  If so, as J. Sacerdo notes, why is it that there is "no mention of turning to Jesus Christ, no mention of abstinence and chastity as the route to holiness consistent ith God's plan"? Could it be that those who run the Rainbow Ministry at St. Cecilia's parish, the same people who want to give us a "Gay Pride" Mass, could care less about what the Church teaches?

John Kelly, the chair of the "Rainbow Ministry," told one Boston Globe Magazine reporter back in 1998 that "His faith has nothing to do with what the Vatican says, but only with what he experiences every Sunday at the Jesuit Urban Center."  More than 30 years ago, Mr. Kelly "turned his back on his Church" according to the Globe article.  Why?  Because, during confession, he told his parish priest that is a homosexual and the priest responded, "May almighty God have mercy on your soul."  Kelly says that he walked out of the confessional feeling "defeated and abused."

You see, because this good and faithful priest was not accepting of the homosexual "lifestyle," because he believed - as the Church teaches - that no pastoral method can justify homosexual acts, and because he had the audacity to pray that God would have mercy on John Kelly's soul, Mr. Kelly stormed out, turning his back on the Church founded by the Lord Jesus. (Full Boston Globe Magazine article here).
Later he would tell the Boston Globe reporter that he felt "abused" by the faithful priest who had the gall to challenge his sin.  A Catholic priest who would have undersood these words from Archbishop Oscar Romero, the martyred Archbishop of San Salvador, given shortly before he was gunned down: "A preaching that does not point out sin is not the preaching of the gospel. A preaching that makes sinners feel good so that they become entrenched in their sinful state, betrays the gospel's call. A preaching that does not discomfit sinners but lulls them in their sin leaves Zebulun and Naphtali in the shadow of death. A preaching that awakens, a preaching that enlightens -- as when a light turned on awakens and of course annoys a sleeper -- that is the preaching of Christ, calling, "wake up! Be converted!" this is the church's authentic preaching. Naturally, such preaching must meet conflict, must spoil what is miscalled prestige, must disturb, must be persecuted. It cannot get along with the powers of darkness and sin."

Indeed.  Which is why those of us Catholic bloggers who remain faithful to the Church's Magisterium and who oppose the false "gospel" of "Gay Pride" are accused of being "haters," and "bigots."  Meanwhile, it would appear that St. Cecilia's "Rainbow Ministry," and the Archdiocese of Boston in general, is content with leaving sinners entrenched in their sinful state.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Archdiocese of Boston says it is committed to evangelization, but what sort of evangelization?

In an essay on the meaning of evangelization, Father Vincent Miceli, S.J. wrote, "Being the work of God and man in cooperation, it must ever be a thrilling and awesome adventure.  We can say, however, that this sanctifying activity proclaims Christ to those who do not know Him, preaches the Gospel to them through catechesis and missionary sermons, confers Baptism and other sacraments and tirelessly exhorts converts to scale the heights of sanctity.  Jesus Christ, Himself, the Good News of God, was the very first and greatest evangelizer.  He proclaimed an absolute Kingdom of God, making everything else relative.  He proclaimed salvation, namely liberation from sin, Satan, death, a liberation that bestowed upon sinners returned to God grace, resurrection in immortality and glorification in the triune God.  He proclaimed the price man must pay for his salvation, namely that men must gain Heaven by violence, i.e., through a life of penance, toil, and suffering accepted in the spirit of the Suffering Servant of God.  And above all He proclaimed that man must undergo that interior renewal which the Gospel calls metanoia, that is the radical change of heart and mind which destroys 'the old man of sin' and creates 'the new man of grace.'"

Fr. Miceli then explains that there are obstacles to evangelization.  He writes, "St Thomas Aquinas teaches that three things are necessary for a soul to find, follow and embrace Christ.  First, a person must know what he ought to believe.  Second, he must know what he ought to desire.  Third, he must know what he ought to do.  Now ignorance is the first great obstacle to evangelization.  Catholics, therefore, should grow in a profound knowledge of their Faith through a constant reading and reflection on the Gospels and a faithful following of the teachings of the Magisterium.  Only thus will they come to appreciate the Catholic Faith as a gift of God that is true, good and beautiful.  They then will be moved by the Holy Spirit to bring non-Catholics to share this gift from God with them..."

Finally, surveying the Catholic Church in the United States, Fr. Miceli writes, "Unfortunately, the fact is that the Church in the United States, instead of being the crusading, courageous, evangelizing society Christ founded it to be, has become a cream-puff chaplaincy to the converted - and because of this attitude is failing to hold on even to these...How are we to stir up again the spirit of evangelization?  Pope Paul VI in Evangelii Nuntiandi gives us our marching orders:

'On us particularly, the pastors of the Church, rests the responsibility for reshaping with boldness and wisdom, but in complete fidelity to the content of evangelization, the means that are most suitable and effective for communicating the Gospel message to the men and women of our times.'" (Fr. Vincent P. Miceli, citing Pope Paul VI in Evangelii Nuntiandi, No. 40).

Note this passage.  What does Pope Paul VI mean by "complete fidelity to the content of evangelization"?  The Holy Father means that pastors of the Church must offer the men and women of our times what Pope Benedict XVI has said is the entire plan of God.  That is to say, the full content of Catholic teaching - including, and especially, those hard truths which the world does not want to hear but which faithful Catholics must share with hurting souls who wander about without a shepherd.  This is what evangelization is all about!

But it would seem that the Archdiocese of Boston has something else in mind when it refers to evangelization. Joe Sacerdo writes:

"It’s pretty bad in Boston. The Archdiocese of Boston, where 'relativism' remains a household word, has flip-flopped yet again becoming the 'John Kerry' of firm decision-making by now firmly backing a Catholic Mass to celebrate Gay Pride.

First the Archdiocese was allowing Mass for the purpose of celebrating and commemorating Gay Pride at St. Cecilia’s in Boston. Then they said it had to be cancelled, but there would be a Mass in the future to welcome the community, but not specifically gays and lesbians. Now, the 'Mass marking gay pride is back on' with the full endorsement of the archdiocese. This hit the Monday morning news after Catholic bloggers including us revealed how for years St. Cecilia’s has been sponsoring speakers who support gay marriage, in direct opposition to Catholic teachings.

Here’s the statement issued by the archdiocese on June 19:

June 19, 2011 – Archdiocese of Boston statement regarding prayer service at St. Cecilia Parish Boston

'The Archdiocese of Boston is committed to evangelization and to being a welcoming Church for all of God’s people. St. Cecilia’s is a wonderful example of the exceptional parishes in the Archdiocese which seek to serve the Catholic faithful with grace, dignity, respect, compassion and love and being devoted to the Gospel and Christ’s saving ministry.

The reports that the Mass, originally scheduled for June 19th, was cancelled are not accurate. Rather the Mass was postponed. As indicated in the statement of the Archdiocese on June 10, a Mass welcoming the wider community of the faithful, including gays and lesbians, will be held. The Mass has been rescheduled to Sunday, July 10th at 11am.

We respect the desire of those individuals organizing and participating in the prayer service. We know that the postponement of the June 19th Mass has been disappointing to them. Our hope and prayer is that we can come together as one community of Catholics sharing in the Lord’s divine love for each of us.'

How can St. Cecilia’s be devoted to the Gospel and Christ’s saving ministry if they they’ve been promoting gay marriage for years?

Mass day in and day out is intended to commemorate Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. Why is any Mass being hijacked to celebrate Gay Pride at all, let alone any category of sinners–adulterers, those engaging in pre-marital sex, liars, etc.? Is the archdiocese that ill-informed about the purpose of Catholic Mass and Gay Pride that they still don’t understand this?" (Full post here).

Indeed.  To which I would add: How can the Archdiocese seriously suggest that it is "committed to evangelization" when it permits a Catholic parish under its authority to undermine Church teaching through a "rainbow ministry" and dissident speakers who have agitated for same-sex "marriage" and "Gay Pride"?  In what way is this "complete fidelity to the content of evangelization" and the "entire plan of God"?

What is going on at St. Cecilia's may be called evangelization.  But it is far from the authentic evangelization of the Church, an evangelizaton which exhorts people to reach for the heights of sanctity under the guidance of the teaching Magisterium.  Instead, it may be called an evangelization for Hell.  An education in the ways of pride and degradation.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Boston Archdiocese decides in favor of "Gay Pride" Mass.

The Boston Archdiocese has decided to allow a "Gay Pride" Mass at St. Cecilia's Parish in South Boston.  I learned of this just this morning from Michael Brown's Spirit Daily.  Michael had published a link to The Boston Globe article informing the public that the Mass will be held on July 10th.  And then I received a comment from a parishioner of St. Cecilia's which is very revealing.  The anonymous individual wrote, "It is happening in three weeks, on July 10 and there's nothing you can do about it. Yap, write letters, wring your hands, and spew forth your anti-Christian bile all you like, it's happening and the entire parish, as well as the Archdiocese, couldn't be more pleased. It will be prayerful, as are all liturgies at St Cecilia's, there will be good music, a packed church, and good preaching. Come by if you want to see a real community that gathers to worship God in action. Of course, you won't though. So, start writing to Rome, you have less than three weeks to keep showing the world how pathetic and uncharitable you all are."

It's easy to see that love is a strong suit in this person's brand of Catholicism.  Those of us who have the sheer unmitigated gall to accept the Church's teaching regarding homosexual acts and same-sex "marriage" are deemed to be "pathetic and uncharitable" characters who are spewing "anti-Christian bile." We have been accused of "bigotry, hate and injustice" and of fostering an atmosphere of "prejudice."

It shouldn't surprise us that the Boston Archdiocese would allow a "Gay Pride" Mass.  For the Boston Archdiocese has succumbed to the leaven of infidelity.  Why a pride Mass?  Cornelius a Lapide, a brilliant Scripture scholar, has explained that, "First among the vices of Sodom is pride.  Then the satiety of bread, or rather of food, delicacies, banquets.  Third, the abundance of goods, of luxury and pleasure.  Fourth, idleness.  Fifth, lack of mercy...

Hear St. Jerome: 'Haughtiness, satiety of bread, the abundance of all things, idleness, pleasures, such were the sins of Sodom.  Because of these, they forgot God, since the continual presence of riches seemed perennial and thus there was no need of recourse to God to obtain them.'  Therefore, we first encounter pride in the sins of Sodom.  Then God chastises the proud, permitting them to fall into a great and ignominious lust, as can be deduced from Rom 1:27.." (Commentaria in Scripturam Sacram, Commentaria in Ezechielem Prophetam, Paris: Vives, 1880; Vol. 12, pp. 618-619).

Pride.  Vanity.  Saint Paul so vividly describes this process of degradation in the first chapter of the book of Romans.  He explains how pride leads to idolatry and how God abandons such people to their own passions:

"Instead, they became vain in their reasoning, and their senseless minds were darkened.  While claiming to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for the likeness of an image of mortal man or of birds or of four-legged animals or of snakes.  Therefore, God handed them over to impurity through the lusts of their hearts for the mutual degradation of their bodies." (Romans 1: 21-24).

And what does this mutual degradation consist of?  St. Paul (or more accurately the Holy Spirit through St. Paul) explains that this mutual degradation is the practice of homosexuality: "Their females exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the males likewise gave up natural relations with females and burned with lust for one another.  Males did shameful things with males and thus received in their own persons the due penalty for their perversity." (Romans 1: 26-27).

St. Paul notes the unfortunate consequences which result from this process of degradation: "They are filled with every form of wickedness, evil, greed, and malice; full of envy, murder, rivalry, treachery, and spite.  They are gossips and scandal-mongers and they hate God.  They are insolent, haughty, boastful, ingenious in their wickedness, and rebellious toward their parents.  They are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless." (Romans 1: 25, 28-31).

Haughty and boastful.  Qualities which jump out of the anonymous comment left at this Blog.  By allowing a "Gay Pride" Mass, the Archdiocese of Boston has given the green light to celebrate the first sin of Sodom.  The darkness continues to spread.

When I read the following words from the anonymous commenter, I had to do a double-take: "There will be good music, a packed Church, and good preaching...Come by if you want to see a real community that gathers to worship God in action."   I say this because I remember years ago a Christian woman saying the very same thing about her church, the People's Temple. 

I'm not suggesting that the people of St. Cecilia's Parish are going to drink cyanide-laced Kool-Aid.  But it would certainly seem to be the case that a Catholic parish is embracing something even worse than a Jim Jones.  Pastor Jones led his congregation to a physical death in French Guyana.  But the "Gospel of Sodom," the "Gay Pride Gospel," will lead souls to final impenitence and an eternity in Hell, all under the guise of advancing something "Christian."  It was Saint Cyprian of Carthage, writing against the Greco-Roman pagan world and its vices, who said: "That Jupiter of theirs is not more supreme in dominion than in vice, inflamed with earthly love in the midst of his own breaking forth by the help of birds to violate the purity of boys. And now put the question: Can he who looks upon such things be healthy-minded or modest? Men imitate the gods whom they adore, and to such miserable beings their crimes become their religion." (Letters 1:8).

Pray for the people of St. Cecilia's, that they will come to understand that while it is noble and Christian to affirm people, there is nothing noble or Christian in affirming others in their sins or their dissent from Church teaching.
Photo above is of a "Gay Pride 2011" demonstrator.

Suggested reading: Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 1867, which lists the "sins that cry to Heaven for vengeance."

Times of diabolical disorientation...

On June 11, 1988, Our Lady told Father Gobbi, "Satan, my Adversary, with snares and by means of his subtle seduction, has succeeded in spreading errors everywhere, under the form of new and more updated interpretations of the truth, and he has led many to choose with full knowledge - and to live in - sin, in the deceiving conviction that this is no longer an evil, and even that it is a value and a good. The times of the general confusion and of the greatest agitation of spirits has come. Confusion has entered into the souls and the lives of many of my children. This great apostasy is spreading more and more, even through the interior of the Catholic Church. Errors are being taught and spread about, while the fundamental truths of the faith, which the authentic Magisterium of the Church has always taught and energetically defended against any heretical deviation whatsoever, are being denied with impunity....In these times, in the Catholic Church, there will remain a little remnant who will be faithful to Christ, to the Gospel, and to its entire truth. The little remnant will form a little flock, all guarded in the depths of my Immaculate Heart. This little flock will be made up of those bishops, priests, religious and faithful who will remain strongly united to the Pope, all gathered together in the cenacle of my Immaculate Heart, in an act of unceasing prayer, of continual immolation, of total offering to prepare the painful way for the second and glorious coming of my Son Jesus..."

We are living in a time which has been spiritually crippled by a diabolical disorientation.  And this should hardly comes as a surprise.  As Dr. Germain Grisez has explained, "Insofar as they are in sin or remain emotionally attached to it, people not only cling to thoughts and feelings inconsistent with moral truth but are unreceptive to other thoughts and feelings without which they will probably not reach it, will perhaps not recognize it if it is reached, and will hardly welcome it if it is recognized.  Sin leads them to shun the bright light of moral truth; living in sin, they prefer the shadows of self-deception and rationalization (see Jn 3:19-20).  Like a blind person unable to tell that he or she is in the dark, one cannot discover one's evasions of moral truth and root them out by any direct effort.  The only way to get rid of them is by praying for the healing of the Spirit and making good use of the sacrament of penance, with sincere contrition for one's sins (see Ps 51: 6-12).

The only way to get rid of them is by praying for the healing of the Spirit and making good use of the sacrament of penance.  This is what Pope Benedict XVI said again recently as he warned of danger for the Church.

Prayer and penance!  The message of La Salette!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A parishioner from St. Cecilia's Parish in Boston provides us with further evidence that Fr. Unni has not been faithful in presenting the Church's teaching relative to homosexuality

In his Encyclical Letter Deus Caritas Est (God is Love), Pope Benedict XVI writes, "It is characteristic of mature love that it calls into play all man's potentialities; it engages the whole man, so to speak. Contact with the visible manifestations of God's love can awaken within us a feeling of joy born of the experience of being loved. But this encounter also engages our will and our intellect. Acknowledgment of the living God is one path towards love, and the 'yes' of our will to his will unites our intellect, will and sentiments in the all- embracing act of love. But this process is always open-ended; love is never 'finished' and complete; throughout life, it changes and matures, and thus remains faithful to itself. Idem velle atque idem nolle —to want the same thing, and to reject the same thing—was recognized by antiquity as the authentic content of love: the one becomes similar to the other, and this leads to a community of will and thought. The love-story between God and man consists in the very fact that this communion of will increases in a communion of thought and sentiment, and thus our will and God's will increasingly coincide: God's will is no longer for me an alien will, something imposed on me from without by the commandments, but it is now my own will, based on the realization that God is in fact more deeply present to me than I am to myself. Then self- abandonment to God increases and God becomes our joy (cf. Ps 73 [72]:23-28)." (No. 17).

Jesus gave us this new Law of Love.  He said, "If you love Me, keep My commandments." (John 14:15).  And through the centuries many have demonstrated their love for Him by obeying His commands, even unto martyrdom. Others have followed Him indifferently or have turned away from Him entirely, abandoning that faith which is the pearl of great price.

Those Catholics within the Boston Archdiocese who are agitating for "gay pride" and even same-sex "marriage" have embraced a false notion of "freedom."  For such people, there can only be true freedom if they are permitted to engage in homosexual acts or marry a member of the same-sex.  And anyone who resists this immoral agenda which embraces a counterfeit notion of freedom is denounced as a "hater" and a "bigot" or as one who fosters "prejudice."

In a comment left at Bryan Hehir Exposed, a Catholic lay woman from St. Cecilia's Parish in Boston (the same parish which has promoted same-sex "marriage" and which had planned a "Gay Pride" Mass until it was cancelled by the Boston Archdiocese), wrote: "Joe Sacerdo, stop hiding behind a pseudonym and speak out at service, in front of all your fellow parishioners if this issue makes you so uncomfortable. It is evident from your posts, that you attend mass on Sundays…so go for it...Promoting bigotry, hate and injustice has NO place in the Catholic Church or anywhere, for that matter, especially not in our beautifully diverse St. Cecilia Parish. If you have such a problem with the parish, leave–It’s pretty simple. Our parish is meant to be welcoming not discriminating. I hope that God will help guide you to realize that your bigoted agenda stems from your own prejudices....Sincerely, Anne B."

If moral opposition to homosexuality and same-sex "marriage" is evidence of "bigotry, hate and injustice" in the mind of Anne B, what is this but further confirmation that Father Unni has not been faithful in presenting the Church's teaching relative to these subjects?  After all, in its 2003 document entitled Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith stated clearly that, "There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God's plan for marriage and family.  Marriage is holy, while homosexual acts go against the natural moral law...Under no circumstances can they be approved." (No. 4).

Does Anne B believe the CDF to be promoting "bigotry, hate and injustice"?  If so, was this belief instilled by Father Unni?  Was this the purpose of the "rainbow ministry" at Saint Cecilia's Parish?  Is this why Blog posts from the "rainbow ministry" were recently deleted?  I cannot help but think of Father Emile "Mike" Boutin deleting posts from his "Men in Black" Blog which were critical of Cardinal Bertone and the Church's teaching regarding homosexuality and celibacy.

What is most ironic in Anne B's accusation is that it really applies to those who refuse to accept Jesus' Commandments while insisting on the "right" to engage in homosexual acts or to marry a member of the same-sex.  Pope John Paul II explains in his Encyclical Letter Veritatis Splendor that, "Human freedom and God's law are not in opposition; on the contrary, they appeal one to the other.  The follower of Christ knows that his vocation is to freedom.  'You were called to freedom, brethren' (Gal. 5:13), proclaims the Apostle Paul with joy and pride.  But he immediately adds: 'only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love be servants of one another.'' (No. 17).  John Paul goes on to explain in No. 18 of the same encyclical that, "Those who live 'by the flesh' experience God's law as a burden, and indeed as a denial or at least a restriction of their own freedom.  On the other hand, those who are impelled by love and 'walk by the Spirit' (Gal 5:16), and who desire to serve others, find in God's Law the fundamental and necessary way in which to practice love as something freely chosen and freely lived out.  Indeed, they feel an interior urge - a genuine 'necessity' and no longer a form of coercion - not to stop at the minimum demands of the Law, but to live them in their 'fullness.'"

Because Joe Sacerdo has chosen to follow the Lord Jesus' Law of Love, because he would like to see his fellow Catholics at St. Cecilia's Parish in Boston embrace this Law of Love, he is accused of being a "hater."

Our strange time.  The photo above shows a "Gay Pride 2011" demonstrator.  What do you think: Does this person walk by the Spirit or the flesh?

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Church's ministers must ensure that homosexual persons in their care are not misled by homosexual propaganda

In its 1986 Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith had this to say:

"..increasing numbers of people today, even within the Church, are bringing enormous pressure to bear on the Church to accept the homosexual condition as though it were not disordered and to condone homosexual activity. Those within the Church who argue in this fashion often have close ties with those with similar views outside it. These latter groups are guided by a vision opposed to the truth about the human person, which is fully disclosed in the mystery of Christ. They reflect, even if not entirely consciously, a materialistic ideology which denies the transcendent nature of the human person as well as the supernatural vocation of every individual.

The Church's ministers must ensure that homosexual persons in their care will not be misled by this point of view, so profoundly opposed to the teaching of the Church. But the risk is great and there are many who seek to create confusion regarding the Church's position, and then to use that confusion to their own advantage.

The movement within the Church, which takes the form of pressure groups of various names and sizes, attempts to give the impression that it represents all homosexual persons who are Catholics. As a matter of fact, its membership is by and large restricted to those who either ignore the teaching of the Church or seek somehow to undermine it. It brings together under the aegis of Catholicism homosexual persons who have no intention of abandoning their homosexual behaviour. One tactic used is to protest that any and all criticism of or reservations about homosexual people, their activity and lifestyle, are simply diverse forms of unjust discrimination.

There is an effort in some countries to manipulate the Church by gaining the often well-intentioned support of her pastors with a view to changing civil-statutes and laws. This is done in order to conform to these pressure groups' concept that homosexuality is at least a completely harmless, if not an entirely good, thing. Even when the practice of homosexuality may seriously threaten the lives and well-being of a large number of people, its advocates remain undeterred and refuse to consider the magnitude of the risks involved.

The Church can never be so callous. It is true that her clear position cannot be revised by pressure from civil legislation or the trend of the moment. But she is really concerned about the many who are not represented by the pro-homosexual movement and about those who may have been tempted to believe its deceitful propaganda. She is also aware that the view that homosexual activity is equivalent to, or as acceptable as, the sexual expression of conjugal love has a direct impact on society's understanding of the nature and rights of the family and puts them in jeopardy." (Nos. 8, 9).

In No. 15 the CDF says, "We encourage the Bishops, then, to provide pastoral care in full accord with the teaching of the Church for homosexual persons of their dioceses. No authentic pastoral programme will include organizations in which homosexual persons associate with each other without clearly stating that homosexual activity is immoral. A truly pastoral approach will appreciate the need for homosexual persons to avoid the near occasions of sin.

We would heartily encourage programmes where these dangers are avoided. But we wish to make it clear that departure from the Church's teaching, or silence about it, in an effort to provide pastoral care is neither caring nor pastoral. Only what is true can ultimately be pastoral. The neglect of the Church's position prevents homosexual men and women from receiving the care they need and deserve.

An authentic pastoral programme will assist homosexual persons at all levels of the spiritual life: through the sacraments, and in particular through the frequent and sincere use of the sacrament of Reconciliation, through prayer, witness, counsel and individual care. In such a way, the entire Christian community can come to recognize its own call to assist its brothers and sisters, without deluding them or isolating them."

These guidelines have not been followed within the Boston Archdiocese.  In my last post, I noted how Father John Unni has promoted radical homosexual activists Rabbi Devon Lerner and Charles Martel and their organization called "Religious Coalition for the Freedom to Marry," an organization dedicated toward promoting "gay marriage." 

The CDF teaches us that "Only what is true can ultimately be pastoral."  And yet, Father Unni has promoted an organization which is not concerned with the truth about homosexuality but which seeks instead to condone homosexual activity.  His proposed "Gay Pride Mass," which had the initial go-ahead from the Archdiocese, would have presented yet another problem.  For the CDF says in No. 17 of this same letter that, "All support should be withdrawn from any organizations which seek to undermine the teaching of the Church, which are ambiguous about it, or which neglect it entirely. Such support, or even the semblance of such support, can be gravely misinterpreted. Special attention should be given to the practice of scheduling religious services and to the use of Church buildings by these groups, including the facilities of Catholic schools and colleges. To some, such permission to use Church property may seem only just and charitable; but in reality it is contradictory to the purpose for which these institutions were founded, it is misleading and often scandalous."

I guess the Archdiocese of Boston simply forgot these guidelines.  Maybe they simply chose to ignore them?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Father John Unni claims he has no idea what the Gay Pride agenda is and that he just wants to be inclusive

This past Sunday at Holy Mass, Father John Unni, "pastor" of Saint Cecilia's Parish in Boston which had planned a "Gay Pride Mass," engaged in falsehood before God and the parishioners present saying, "In the past week, folks have talked about the Gay Pride agenda.  I confess to almighty God and my brothers and sisters that I don't know what that group is.  I apologize for my stupidity and ignorance.  We put ads in the bulletin saying all are welcome."  See here.

Sure.  And I play spin-the-bottle with Carmen Electra every Friday night.

In past bulletins, Fr. Unni has promoted presentations given by Rabbi Devon Lerner and Charles Martel.  Rabbi Lerner has served as the Executive Director of the Religious Coalition for the Freedom to Marry (RCFM) and Charles Martel, a militant homosexual activist and clinical social worker in Boston who received his BA and MSW from Catholic University of America, has worked for Catholic Charities within the Diocese of Worcester and for the Family Counseling and Guidance Center in Braintree, Massachusetts, a clinic which is affiliated with the Boston Archdiocese.  Mr. Martel served as a member of the Board of the Religious Coalition for the Freedom to Marry and recently co-founded Catholics for Marriage Equality.

The Massachusetts Religious Coalition for the Freedom to Marry, website may be found here, has the following mission statement: "The Massachusetts Religious Coalition for the Freedom to Marry consists of more than 1000 rabbis, ministers, and faith leaders, as well as congregations and faith-based organizations from more than 20 faith traditions. We support civil marriage rights for same-sex couples and families as a matter of religious freedom and civil rights. We help citizens understand the distinction between civil and religious marriage. We provide religious support and pastoral care for same-sex couples and families as well as educational programs and projects that support the full inclusion of same-sex families into our society."

If Fr. Unni is not in support of the "Gay Pride" agenda, why has he promoted two individuals who agitate for same-sex "marriage"?  In one bulletin, which may be found here, there is the following promotion: "'Called by Name' Prayer Service for GLBT Community.  The Catholic Gay and Lesbian Concerns ministry at Saint Ignatius Church, Chestnut Hill, is hosting a prayer service, 'Called by Name: Praying for Tolerance & Understanding' on February 23 at 7:15 p.m. in their upper church.  This is a service of welcome and affirmation for the GLBT community as well as for their parents and family members...For further information, please contact Charles Martel.."  The same Martel who founded the dissident group "Catholics for Marriage Equality, which describes itself as encompassing,  "faithful Roman Catholics throughout the United States who through prayerful discernment are supporting civil marriage for same-sex couples" and which asserts that member's consciences "are informed by..Catholic social justice tradition based in Hebrew and Christian scriptures."  See here.  

So here's where we're at: Father John Unni is now claiming that he has no idea what the "Gay Pride" agenda is all about even though his June 5th parish bulletin states, "The Rainbow Ministry of Saint Cecilia Parish invites all friends and supporters of the LGBT community to a Mass in celebration of Boston's Pride Month."

The same priest who has promoted radical homosexual activists who work for same-sex "marriage" has the full confidence and support of the Boston Archdiocese.

God help us all!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Boston Archdiocese decides it has no objection to a "gay pride" prayer service as Father John Unni implies in a homily that God made people homosexual

Joe Sacerdo over at Bryan Hehir Exposed is reporting this morning that, "The scandal over the St. Cecilia Church’s Rainbow Ministry Gay Pride Mass canceled by the Archdiocese of Boston got deeper with word in Monday’s Boston Globe that the archdiocese has flipflopped and now has “no objection” to a “prayer service” by the same group at the same time for the same purpose as before. The pastor publicly accused concerned Catholics of “hate” during his Sunday homily, and a diocesan auxiliary bishop who was there on Sunday is apparently OK with both the prayer service plans and the accusations of hate against orthodox Catholics.

After the archdiocese’s initial response canceling the Mass that sounded strong and courageous, things are now spiraling out of control. At the end of this post, we’ll tell you how to Take Action about the growing scandal, which now involves the pastor, Fr. John Unni, Bishop Robert Hennessey, Cardinal Sean O’Malley and his spokesman, Terry Donilon. If this scandal continues beyond the next few days, someone will probably need to resign.

First there was the Mass planned to celebrate Boston Gay Pride described in this way: 'The Rainbow Ministry of Saint Cecilia Parish invites all friends and supporters of the LGBT community to a Mass in celebration of Boston’s Pride Month.'...Then concerned Catholics complained and the archdiocese insisted the Mass to celebrate Gay Pride be cancelled. The archdiocese said, the 'wording and placement of a bulletin notice announcing that the St. Cecilia Rainbow Ministry will be joining the parish at a Mass on June 19 may have given the unintended impression that the Mass is in support of Gay Pride Week; it is not,' said Terrence C. Donilon, a spokesman for the archdiocese. 'The pastor will clarify this issue at the Masses this coming weekend.' Donilon declined to answer questions about the apparent contradiction of the church’s bulletin and his statement.

Clarify the issue, the pastor did. Monday’s Globe reports Fr.John Unni said this in his homily: 'You are welcome here, gay or straight, rich or poor, young or old, black or white,' Unni said as he paced up and down the center aisle. 'Here, you all can say, ‘I can worship the God who made me as I am.'" (Full post here).

There you have it folks: the same priest who has the full confidence and support of the Cardinal and the Boston Archdiocese is implying that God created people as homosexuals.  This is to suggest that God owes the people of Sodom and Gomorrah an apology for sending them His wrath.  For if He created them as homosexual, by what right did He destroy them with fire?  Father Unni is also implying in his homily that the Word of God is a lie.  For in the Book of Jude, verses 3-7, we read:

"Beloved, although I was making every effort to write to you about our common salvation,  I now feel a need to write to encourage you to contend for the faith that was once for all handed down to the holy ones.

For there have been some intruders, who long ago were designated for this condemnation, godless persons, who pervert the grace of our God into licentiousness and who deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. I wish to remind you, although you know all things, that (the) Lord who once saved a people from the land of Egypt later destroyed those who did not believe. The angels too, who did not keep to their own domain but deserted their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains, in gloom, for the judgment of the great day.  Likewise, Sodom, Gomorrah, and the surrounding towns, which, in the same manner as they, indulged in sexual promiscuity and practiced unnatural vice,  serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire."

Likewise, Saint Paul, in his Epistle to the Romans, explains why an idolatrous people will fall into the vice of homosexuality.  He teaches clearly that the root cause of this vice is substituting the worship of the true God with a man-made imitation, an idol or idols:

"The wrath of God  is indeed being revealed from heaven against every impiety and wickedness of those who suppress the truth by their wickedness. For what can be known about God is evident to them, because God made it evident to them. Ever since the creation of the world, his invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity have been able to be understood and perceived in what he has made. As a result, they have no excuse; for although they knew God they did not accord him glory as God or give him thanks. Instead, they became vain in their reasoning, and their senseless minds were darkened. While claiming to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for the likeness of an image of mortal man or of birds or of four-legged animals or of snakes. Therefore, God handed them over to impurity through the lusts of their hearts for the mutual degradation of their bodies. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and revered and worshiped the creature rather than the creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. Therefore, God handed them over to degrading passions. Their females exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the males likewise gave up natural relations with females and burned with lust for one another. Males did shameful things with males and thus received in their own persons the due penalty for their perversity.
And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God handed them over to their undiscerning mind to do what is improper. They are filled with every form of wickedness, evil, greed, and malice; full of envy, murder, rivalry, treachery, and spite. They are gossips and scandalmongers and they hate God. They are insolent, haughty, boastful, ingenious in their wickedness, and rebellious toward their parents. They are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know the just decree of God that all who practice such things deserve death, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them." (Romans 1: 18-32).

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches clearly that homosexual acts are "intrinsically disordered," that they are "contrary to the natural law," and "under no circumstances can they be approved (2357).  It also teaches that the homosexual inclination "is objectively disordered." and that those who suffer from this disordered inclination are called to "fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition." (2358).  Nowhere in the Catechism are homosexual persons encouraged to take pride in their disordered inclination or in gravely sinful homosexual acts by proclaiming "God made me this way."

It is most significant that certain Archdiocesan officials are anxious to encourage "gay pride" even as they attempt to paint Catholic bloggers faithful to the Magisterium as being "evil" or as "haters" who are harming community.  Here's why.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Father John Unni has the full confidence and support of Cardinal O'Malley and the Archdiocese of Boston

The Boston Globe reported yesterday that, "Opposition to the Mass [the so-called "Gay Pride Mass" which had been planned for St. Cecilia's Parish in Boston's South End] grew out of a post by a local blogger who writes under the pseudonym Joe Sacerdo and who has criticized the Archdiocese of Boston for what he describes as 'relativism’' and deviation from doctrine.

Sacerdo also criticized the parish for sponsoring an upcoming trip to the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus, which it also advertised in its most recent bulletin.

'I think it’s the right thing to do,’' he said yesterday of the archdiocese’s decision. 'There’s not a place for a Mass like that in the Catholic Church.’'

In his blog post Wednesday, he questioned Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley’s commitment to church doctrine: 'What’s next, NY Rep. Anthony Weiner and Tiger Woods giving a talk at the church on the topic of marital fidelity?’'

'Celebrating a ‘Gay Pride’ Mass isn’t expressing the moral teachings of the church with clarity and fidelity or telling people their behavior is unacceptable — it’s telling them their behavior is just fine,’' Sacerdo said.

He called on O’Malley to put the pastor on leave.

Donilon said that would not happen. “Father Unni has the full confidence and support of the Cardinal and the archdiocese,’’ Donilon wrote in an e-mail. “He is a great pastor."

Apparently the Archdiocese of Boston has some rather unique ideas as to what constitutes "a great pastor."  Vatican II teaches us authoritatively that, "Among the virtues that priests must possess for their sacred ministry, none is so important as a frame of mind and soul whereby they are always ready to know and do the will of him who sent them and not their own will (cf. Jn 4:34; 5:30; 6:38)...Aware of his own weakness, the true minister of Christ works in humility tring to do what is pleasing to God (cf. Eph 5:10)...the priestly ministry, since it is the ministry of the Church itself, can only function in the hierarchical union of the whole body.  Pastoral charity, therefore, urges priests, as they operate in the framework of this union, to dedicate their own will by obedience to the service of God and their fellow men.  In a great spirit of faith, let them receive and execute whatever orders the Holy Father, their own bishop or other superiors give or recommend." (Presbyterorum Ordinis, No. 15).

And in No. 4 of the same Vatican II document, we are told that: "The People of God are joined together primarily by the word of the living God. And rightfully they expect this from their priests. Since no one can be saved who does not first believe, priests, as co-workers with their bishops, have the primary duty of proclaiming the Gospel of God to all. In this way they fulfill the command of the Lord: 'Going therefore into the whole world preach the Gospel to every creature' (Mk 16:15), and they establish and build up the People of God. Through the saving word the spark of faith is lit in the hearts of unbelievers, and fed in the hearts of the faithful. This is the way that the congregation of faithful is started and grows, just as the Apostle describes: 'Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ' (Rom 10:17).

To all men, therefore, priests are debtors that the truth of the Gospel which they have may be given to others. And so, whether by entering into profitable dialogue they bring people to the worship of God, whether by openly preaching they proclaim the mystery of Christ, or whether in the light of Christ they treat contemporary problems, they are relying not on their own wisdom for it is the word of Christ they teach, and it is to conversion and holiness that they exhort all men."

According to the Council, the task of priests is "not to teach their own wisdom but God's Word." And this task is of no less importance for the priest than his offering of the Eucharistic Sacrifice. Both of these are inseperably linked to each other: "The ministerial priesthood has the task not only of representing Christ - Head of the Church - before the assembly of the faithful, but also of acting in the name of the whole Church when presenting to God the prayer of the Church, and above all when offering the Eucharistic sacrifice." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 1552).

For this reason, priests have the very serious obligation to teach the faithful under their care that it is never licit to have sexual relations outside of marriage; that a Catholic cannot (having been validly married in the Church) after divorce, marry another or otherwise pretend that sexual relations with another individual are somehow "marital"; that "formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense" and that '"the Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life" (CCC, 2272); and that "every action which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible, is intrinsically evil.." (CCC, No. 2370, citing Humanae Vitae, No. 14).

The Church proposes these (and other teachings) as true and it does so in the name of Christ. The priest is not to question them. He is not to ignore them or neglect them out of a false sense of "compassion" or "charity." It was Pope Paul VI who said that, "To diminish in no way the saving teaching of Christ constitutes an eminent form of charity for souls." (Humanae Vitae, No. 29). Pope John Paul II reiterated these words in Familiaris Consortio, No. 33."

During a meeting with priests and religious from the Diocese of Rome on March 10, Pope Benedict XVI called upon priests to exhibit "full-time" fidelity to their vocation as priests, "being with Christ and being ambassadors of Christ." The Holy Father also called upon priests to proclaim "the entire plan of God," stressing that, "The Apostle does not preach Christianity 'a la carte,' according to his own tastes, he does not preach a Gospel according to his own preferred theological ideas; he does not take away from the commitment to announce the entire will of God, even when uncomfortable, nor the themes he may least like personally.." (See here).

Father John Unni may have the full confidence and support of the Cardinal and the Archdiocese, but there are serious questions about his fidelity to the teaching of the Magisterium and his vocation which is to "announce the entire will of God, even when uncomfortable" and not his own "preferred theological ideas."  In one of his parish bulletins, for example, Father Unni advertised a presentation entitled "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," which was given by Chuck Colbert, who has served on the board of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association and has written for various "gay" and lesbian publications such as Boston Spirit Magazine.

Mr. Colbert is a propagandist for the homosexual lifestyle.  His association with the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association is most significant.  As Bernard Goldberg wrote in his book entitled Arrogance: Rescuing America from the Media Elite, " other newsroom lobbies, by definition the NLGJA represents a constituency - and that constituency is not the public at large.  The National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association has an agenda, which is to make sure that gay-related stories are reported with what it regards as the appropriate slant and the necessary sensitivity...Can anyone imagine the howl if the NLGJA stood instead for the National Law-Abiding Gun-Loving Journalists Association, whose goal was to ensure that gun owners' perspectives were prominently featured in every story about firearms?" (pp. 172-173).

The Archdiocese of Boston may insist that Father John Unni is "a great pastor."  But, like Joe Sacerdo, I dispute this.  A great pastor is always first and foremost a lover of souls who fully embraces and preaches the entire plan of God as interpreted by the Magisterium of the Church.

Father Unni's promotion of a homosexual propagandist and his desire to have a "Gay Pride Mass" at his parish are not the hallmarks of "a great pastor."  We should ask ourselves what Saint Jean Vianney would have done.  Would the Patron Saint of Parish priests have promoted homosexual agitprop and homosexual liturgies?

You know the answer.  And for that reason, it is not only Father John Unni who is suspect but a Cardinal and his Archdiocese which gives him its "full confidence and support."

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Boston "Gay Pride" Mass cancelled

This crisis may be over.  But it was merely one skirmish in an Archdiocese which is increasingly compromising with the demon.  See here.  There can be no doubt that the conflict between the children of the new religion and the faithful of Holy Mother Church is escalating.  The enmity between the children of Mary and the children of Belial.

It was Saint Louis de Montfort who explained that, "Mary must become as terrible as an army in battle array to the devil and his followers, especially in these latter times. For Satan, knowing that he has little time - even less now than ever - to destroy souls, intensifies his efforts and his onslaughts every day. He will not hesitate to stir up savage persecutions and set treacherous snares for Mary's faithful servants and children whom he finds more difficult to overcome than others.

It is chiefly in reference to these last wicked persecutions of the devil, daily increasing until the advent of the reign of anti- Christ, that we should understand that first and well-known prophecy and curse of God uttered against the serpent in the garden of paradise. It is opportune to explain it here for the glory of the Blessed Virgin, the salvation of her children and the confusion of the devil. "I will place enmities between you and the woman, between your race and her race; she will crush your head and you will lie in wait for her heel" (Gen. 3:15).

God has established only one enmity - but it is an irreconcilable one - which will last and even go on increasing to the end of time. That enmity is between Mary, his worthy Mother, and the devil, between the children and the servants of the Blessed Virgin and the children and followers of Lucifer.

Thus the most fearful enemy that God has set up against the devil is Mary, his holy Mother. From the time of the earthly paradise, although she existed then only in his mind, he gave her such a hatred for his accursed enemy, such ingenuity in exposing the wickedness of the ancient serpent and such power to defeat, overthrow and crush this proud rebel, that Satan fears her not only more than angels and men but in a certain sense more than God himself. This does not mean that the anger, hatred and power of God are not infinitely greater than the Blessed Virgin's, since her attributes are limited. It simply means that Satan, being so proud, suffers infinitely more in being vanquished and punished by a lowly and humble servant of God, for her humility humiliates him more than the power of God. Moreover, God has given Mary such great power over the evil spirits that, as they have often been forced unwillingly to admit through the lips of possessed persons, they fear one of her pleadings for a soul more than the prayers of all the saints, and one of her threats more than all their other torments.

What Lucifer lost by pride Mary won by humility. What Eve ruined and lost by disobedience Mary saved by obedience. By obeying the serpent, Eve ruined her children as well as herself and delivered them up to him. Mary by her perfect fidelity to God saved her children with herself and consecrated them to his divine majesty.

God has established not just one enmity but "enmities", and not only between Mary and Satan but between her race and his race. That is, God has put enmities, antipathies and hatreds between the true children and servants of the Blessed Virgin and the children and slaves of the devil. They have no love and no sympathy for each other. The children of Belial, the slaves of Satan, the friends of the world, - for they are all one and the same - have always persecuted and will persecute more than ever in the future those who belong to the Blessed Virgin, just as Cain of old persecuted his brother Abel, and Esau his brother Jacob. These are the types of the wicked and of the just. But the humble Mary will always triumph over Satan, the proud one, and so great will be her victory that she will crush his head, the very seat of his pride. She will unmask his serpent's cunning and expose his wicked plots. She will scatter to the winds his devilish plans and to the end of time will keep her faithful servants safe from his cruel claws.

But Mary's power over the evil spirits will especially shine forth in the latter times, when Satan will lie in wait for her heel, that is, for her humble servants and her poor children whom she will rouse to fight against him. In the eyes of the world they will be little and poor and, like the heel, lowly in the eyes of all, down-trodden and crushed as is the heel by the other parts of the body. But in compensation for this they will be rich in God's graces, which will be abundantly bestowed on them by Mary. They will be great and exalted before God in holiness. They will be superior to all creatures by their great zeal and so strongly will they be supported by divine assistance that, in union with Mary, they will crush the head of Satan with their heel, that is, their humility, and bring victory to Jesus Christ." (True Devotion to Mary, 50-54).
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