Monday, January 30, 2012

Father Robert Bruso: "It seems as if we can no longer have a disagreement without questioning the other's integrity.."

In a guest commentary written for the January 27th edition of The Catholic Free Press, Father Robert D. Bruso of Saint Anthony of Padua Parish in Fitchburg, Massachusetts writes, "We've all witnessed the negative TV ads of the presidential primary.  It seems as if we can no longer have a disagreement without questioning the other's integrity....It's a battle between the forces of goodness and truth (anyone who agrees with me) versus the forces of evil and darkness (anyone who disagrees with me).  In the Church, we should be able to do better."

But sometimes it is necessary to question another's integrity.  Especially when that person is dissenting from the Church's teaching.  Catholics faithful to the Church must resist dissent for the sake of an authentic peace.  Pope John XXIII said that, " 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).

So we are involved in "a battle between the forces of goodness and truth versus the forces of evil and darkness."  Father Bruso presents all disagreement within the Church as being nothing more than a clash of different "opinions" and personalities each seking to demonize the other: "anyone who agrees with me" versus "anyone who disagrees with me."  But this is too simplistic.  When the faithful Catholic defends the Church's teaching and exposes those who seek to undermine it, he is not insisting that everyone must agree with his opinion, he is instead insisting that every Catholic must conform to the teaching of the Church.  And that teaching is not opinion.  The Church's teaching represents the mind of Christ.

Pope John Paul II, in his Encyclical Letter Veritatis Splendor, No. 113, reminds us that: "While exchanges and conflicts of opinion may constitute normal expressions of public life in a representative democracy, moral teaching certainly cannot depend simply upon respect for a process: indeed, it is in no way established by following the rules and deliberative procedures typical of a democracy. 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. Opposition to the teaching of the Church's Pastors cannot be seen as a legitimate expression either of Christian freedom or of the diversity of the Spirit's gifts."

In a previous post at this Blog, I noted that "Father Robert Bruso of Saint Anthony Parish in Fitchburg, Massacusetts, was among many area Catholics who signed a May 14, 2004 statement which read: "On May 17th the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will begin issuing civil marriage licenses to same sex couples. This has provoked considerable controversy. Many in our state are opposed and many are in favor. As members of the Catholic community and people of faith, we are reminded of the pastoral message the United States bishops issued to parents of homosexual children, 'always our children,' and recall the guidance they offered with reference to a previous Vatican document:

'Respect for the God-given dignity of all persons means the recognition of human rights and responsibilities. The teachings of the church make it clear that the fundamental human rights of homosexual persons must be defended and that all of us must strive to eliminate any forms of injustice, oppression, or violence against them.' (cf. the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons, 1986, No. 10).

But, as this article makes clear, the controversial document 'Always Our Children' was issued on October 1, 1997, without following the bishops' normal review procedures. It was subsequently revised in June 1998 after a firestorm of criticism erupted over its theological flaws, including its advice to parents to adopt a 'wait and see' approach toward adolescent children suspected of experimenting with homosexual behavior. The admonition has since been eliminated from the document, amidst other modifications made following protests by Father John Harvey, founder of Courage, a Catholic group that helps people struggling with homosexuality live chastely, and other concerned Catholics."

The theologically-flawed document was co-authored by Father James Schexnayder, the founder of the National Association of Catholic Diocesan Lesbian and Gay Ministries, a radical organization which has been unapologetic in its support of the homosexual "lifestyle" and same-sex "marriage."

Among the others who signed the statement with Father Bruso were Father Richard Lewandowski (who was removed from any and all pastoral duties), Deacon Ben Nogueira of the Newman Center at Fitchburg State College and Professor James Nickoloff of Holy Cross College, a former Jesuit priest who has admitted that he is personally engaged in homosexuality and is "married" to another man."

Is this why Fr. Bruso is now so concerned about questioning "the other's integrity"?  Because he has now faced questions about his commitment to Church teaching?

For Father Bruso, everything today is cast "in apocalyptic terms."  Could that be because, as Pope John Paul II warned us, "We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, of the Gospel and the anti-Gospel...It is a trial which the whole Church ...must take up." (Wall Street Journal, November 9, 1978 edition).

Could it be that many of the laity are waking from their slumber and realizing, as Archbishop Fulton John Sheen said, "We are living in the days of the Apocalypse - the last days of our era...The two great forces of the Mystical Body of Christ and the Mystical Body of Antichrist are beginning to draw up the battle lines for the catastrophic contest."  Got that?  The two great forces of the Mystical Body of Christ and the Mystical Body of Antichrist!  So it is a case of "us versus them" after all isn't it?  The battle lines are now becoming ever clearer and the dissidents are upset.  That's because it's becoming ever more difficult to fool people.  Camps are being formed.  Each side can see the other more clearly now.  Isn't this what really upsets Fr. Bruso?

Even within the Church the smoke of Satan has entered and those who have succumbed to practical atheism turn on their fellow Catholics with hatred and enmity. Our Lady told Father Gobbi that, "Practical atheism spreads by false ideologies, by the sects, by the errors which are spreading more and more, even within the Church...Practical atheism has spread everywhere the wound of unbridled egoism, of violence, of hatred and of impurity. Impurity is proposed as a value and a good, and it is propagated throughout all the mass media. Sins of impurity are presented as a way of exercising one's personal freedom, and so impure sins against nature [e.g., homosexuality], which cry for vengeance in the sight of God, become justified and exalted. The world has now been reduced to an immense desert, completely covered with filth." (September 2, 1996).

The enmity between the Children of Mary and the Children of Belial is intensifying as St. Louis de Montfort prophesied it would:

"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."

So it IS a battle between the forces of goodness and truth versus the forces of evil and darkness after all according to St. Montfort.  He continues:
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).

We are now living these times. At my last parish, the homilies never mentioned sin or the need for repentance. There were no homilies condemning abortion, homosexual acts, contraception, fornication etc. Not a word. But there was something which absolutely angered the clerics there; something which filled them with rage: my arriving early for each Holy Mass to pray the Holy Rosary. For I was looked upon with scorn and even attacked while praying the Holy Rosary during Christmas Mass.

And we're not in a spiritual war?  These are not apocalyptic times?  Guess again.  There is apostasy and there is dissent posing as Catholicism.


Wendy said...

Remember Rodney King? He asked "Can't we all just get along"? The short answer is: no! And Christ is the dividing line. He came to bring division. Remember folks?

Ellen Wironken said...

Whether Fr. Bruso acknowledges it or not, there is a battle between good and evil within and without the Church. That is exactly what Abp Sheen meant when he referred to the two camps of the Mystical Body of Christ and the Mystical Body of Antichrist.

How can any solid Catholic priest not know that we are involved in a spiritual war against the organized forces of the devil? Whatever happened to priests preaching clearly?

I do find Fr. Bruso to be suspect. Anyone who signs a document like the one you mention and who forms alliances with another Catholic priest who promoted homosexuality and one who left the Jesuits to "marry" another man and to promote sodomy is suspect in my view.

I do question his integrity.

Stewart said...

The statement Fr. Bruso signed - along with homosexual activists Lewandowski and Nickoloff (who engages in homosexual sex) said, "..the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will begin issuing civil marriage licenses to same sex couples. This has provoked considerable controversy. Many in our state are opposed and many are in favor...The teachings of the church make it clear that the fundamental human rights of homosexual persons must be defended and that all of us must strive to eliminate any forms of injustice, oppression, or violence against them."

In other words, it was implied in this statement that denial of same-sex "marriage" is tantamount to "injustice and oppression."

Fr. Bruso was supporting same-sex "marriage" by signing this statement. And he should have been stripped of his pastorate under Canon Law.

ShrewsburyCatholic said...

From the Dongeal Daily:

The Catholic Bishop of Raphoe Dr Philip Boyce is being investigated by the Director of Public Prosecutions following a formal complaint that a sermon in Knock amounted to 'incitement to hatred', it was revealed today.

Gardai have confirmed to former Fine Gael election candidate John Colgan that they have prepared and forwarded a file to the DPP after he made allegations that the address by Dr Boyce was in breach of the Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act, 1989.

The homily, entitled: "To Trust in God" was delivered to worshippers during a Novena in Knock last August where the Bishop referred to the church being under attack by a 'Godless culture.'

Kildare man Mr Colgan, a humanist, made a formal complaint over two passages in the Donegal bishop's sermon.

Dr Boyce had referred to the church being "attacked from outside by the arrows of a secular and godless culture".

jac said...

Praying the Rosary during mass, that is exactly what the modernists couldn't accept of the pre-conciliar times masses. One of them told me that when the mass was in latin, some old illiterate women were paying the Rosary during mass since they couldn't understand the latin prayers the celebrant recited.
Now all people can "participate".

jac said...

When the same-sex marriages were leagalized in Netherlands, one could imagine that all that country's homosexuals were rushing "en masse" to the cities halls to require _their new "right"_ being married.
The mountain gave birth to a mouse: Only 6 per cent of homosexuals are married.
I don't speak of the rate of the divorces which is much higher than among the heterosexual couples.

Ted Loiseau said...

Fr. Bruso was only one of many Massachusetts priests and religious supportive of homosexual unions.

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