Monday, April 30, 2012

Saint Mary's Church in Seattle deserves better than Tricia Wittmann-Todd

Tricia Wittmann-Todd, the "pastoral life coordinator" who refused to circulate petitions in support of Referendum 74, the ballot measure to roll back Washington's same-sex "marriage" law, even though Archbishop J. Peter Sartain asked parishes throughout the Archdiocese of Seattle to do so, is at it again.  This time, in her weekly message to parishioners of St. Mary's Church in Seattle, Tricia is commenting on the sixth and seventh chapter of Acts to imply that same-sex unions are called for because of the demands of "justice." 

She writes, "This story is a good reminder that ours is a very long and complicated history, and that the Holy Spirit chooses to manifest Herself in first one and then another.  Certain things remain constant in our faith: worshipping God, care for the widows and orphans...and a radical equality for justice that includes all people all the time."

Note Ms. Wittmann-Todd's use of vertical inclusive language when referring to the Person of the Holy Spirit.  This even though the Vatican has made it clear that, " keeping with the Church's tradition, the feminine and neuter pronouns are not to be used to refer to the Person of the Holy Spirit." (See here).  Apparently Wittmann-Todd has a problem not only with her Archbishop's authority but with authority in the Church in general.  For this reason alone, her competence to serve in any capacity, even at the parish level, is in question.

In her weekly message, Wittmann-Todd writes, "Many have expressed concern and anger that Archbishop Sartain has been appointed to 'overhaul' the Leadership Conference of Women Religious...What will this mean for the countless women religious who have been and continue to be foundational for most of us in our spiritual lives.  They have taught us the faith in school and church..."

Some foundation.  We are witnessing its fruits in the United States today: emptying churches, seminaries and convents and a Church which needs to be re-evangelized, a mission territory where so many Catholics, like Wittmann-Todd herself, do not even understand the fundamentals of the faith.

If Wittmann-Todd had been given a solid foundation in the faith she would understand, as the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith affirmed in its document entitled Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons, that "civil law cannot contradict right reason without losing its binding force on conscience.  Every humanly-created law is legitimate insofar as it is consistent with the natural moral law, recognized by right reason, and insofar as it respects the inalienable rights of every person." (No. 6).  Thus, "laws in favor of homosexual unions are contrary to right reason...the State could not grant legal standing to such unions without failing in its duty to promote and defend marriage as an institution essential to the common good." (No. 6).

Wittmann-Todd lacks a solid foundation in the Catholic faith.  For this reason, she should be removed immediately from her position as "pastoral life coordinator."  Faith, as defined by the Catechism of the Catholic Church, is "..a personal act - the free response of the human person to the initiative of God who reveals himself" (CCC, 166).  Faith is a response to what has been divinely given.  In other words, a response to divine revelation.  Faith is not merely a subjective feeling which we work up within ourselves.  St. Thomas Aquinas says [Summa Theologiae II-II, I, 2, ad 2] that: "The believer's act [of faith] does not terminate in propositions, but in the realities which they express."

If Wittmann-Todd has difficulty accepting the Church's teaching, which is divinely revealed, and her authority, how can she faithfully serve a Catholic community?

Archbishop Sartain?

Sunday, April 29, 2012

A response to Fernando Cavada-Guzman regarding vocations...

When God calls someone to follow Him more closely in the priesthood or religious life, that call comes softly and quietly though insistently..  This call is made known in a sincere desire to live a life dedicated to the service of God.  Pope Benedict XVI is once again asking us to pray that young people may hear the call of Christ and follow him as priests or consecrated persons.  We are reminded here that our prayers are needed because the world makes it difficult for young people to hear that call.

The same website quotes Fernando Cavada-Guzman, a layman, father, grandfather, and the vice president of communications for Serra International, as having said that, "Certainly the Lord calls, certainly he is calling now and will never cease to call, but this call needs a response from the man or woman who is called. This response is blocked today by the secularism and materialism that consume our societies - and that is where the Holy Father asks us to intervene."

Vatican II's Decree on Priestly Training (Optatam Totius) says that, "The duty of fostering vocations pertains to the whole Christian community, which should exercise it above all by a fully Christian life...All priests especially are to manifest an apostolic zeal in fostering vocations and are to attract the interest of youths to the priesthood by their own life lived in a humble and industrious manner and in a happy spirit as well as by mutual priestly charity and fraternal sharing of labor. Bishops...are to encourage their flock to promote vocations and should be concerned with coordinating all forces in a united effort to this end. As fathers, moreover, they must assist without stint those whom they have judged to be called to the Lord's work." (No. 2).

Unfortunately, this duty is not taken seriously by many within the Church. In fact, many vocations have been sabotaged by dissident priests and religious anxious to exclude those who are deemed "too rigid" or too "pre-Vatican II." Recall Michael S. Rose's book "Goodbye, Good Men." What Fernando Cavada-Guzman does not mention is that the response to the Lord’s call isn’t just blocked by “the secularism and materialism that consume our societies” but also by people who want to change the Church’s agenda and who, as a result, block or discourage candidates loyal to the magisterial teaching of the Church
Because I accept everything which is taught in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and because I defend the teaching authority of the Church's Magisterium, I am treated with nothing but contempt in my own diocese. I am not permitted to test my vocation to the priesthood.  In fact, when I contacted my diocese to express my interest in discerning a priestly vocation, twice I received no response.

As Archbishop Elden Curtiss explained: "There is much media hype these days about the present and projected shortage of priests and its effect on the sacramental life of the Church. It is time to pay close attention to the dioceses and religious communities reporting increasing numbers of candidates. There have to be reasons for these increases that bear objective analysis from which some conclusions can be drawn.

I personally think the vocation 'crisis' in this country is more artificial and contrived than many people realize. When dioceses and religious communities are unambiguous about ordained priesthood and vowed religious life as the Church defines these calls; when there is strong support for vocations, and a minimum of dissent about the male celibate priesthood and religious life loyal to the magisterium; when bishop, priests, Religious and lay people are united in vocation ministry—then there are documented increases in the numbers of candidates who respond to the call.

It seems to me that the vocation 'crisis' is precipitated and continued by people who want to change the Church's agenda, by people who do not support orthodox candidates loyal to the magisterial teaching of the Pope and bishops, and by people who actually discourage viable candidates from seeking priesthood and vowed religious life as the Church defines the ministries.

I am personally aware of certain vocation directors, vocation teams and evaluation boards who turn away candidates who do not support the possibility of ordaining women or who defend the Church's teaching about artificial birth control, or who exhibit a strong piety toward certain devotions, such as the Rosary.

When there is a determined effort to discourage orthodox candidates from priesthood and religious life, then the vocation shortage which results is caused not by a lack of vocations but by deliberate attitudes and policies that deter certain viable candidates.

And the same people who precipitate a decline in vocations by their negative actions call for the ordination of married men and women to replace the vocations they have discouraged. They have a death wish for ordained priesthood and vowed religious life as the Church defines them. They undermine the vocation ministry they are supposed to champion."

The late Senator Edward Kennedy received a Catholic funeral even though he dissented from the Church’s teaching.  In fact, he was eulogized by the clergy present as “our brother and friend.”  I am a cradle Catholic who has publically defended the Church’s teaching my entire life.  And I am a pariah within my own diocese.  Maybe if I supported same-sex "marriage" or abortion or contraception I too would be welcome as "brother and friend." 

No thanks.  I'll stay with the Lord Jesus and His Vicar. 

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Victoria Kennedy's atheistic humanism

According to Catholic faith, every sin can be forgiven during life because of God’s surpassing love (DS 349). However, the Scriptures speak of sins that cannot be forgiven in the sense that they constitute a terrible offense against the truth and the light, against the Holy Spirit (Mt 12: 31-32; 1 Jn 5:16). In speaking of sin this way, the Scriptures refer to a sin more radical than most mortal sins, for it is a sin whose nature blocks forgiveness. Since the time of Saint Augustine, theologians have provided us with a list of sins against the Holy Spirit, proceeding from initial impenitence through obduracy, presumption, despair, rejection of known truth, envy of the grace given to others, to final impenitence. Final impenitence leads to Hell, the eternal separation from God begun in this life through our free self-determining choices to turn from God and His law of love and to cling inordinately to some created good that, in effect, one puts in God’s place.

It is this final impenitence which Victoria Kennedy promotes when she advances the idea of a subjectivist conscience.  In an op-ed piece for The Washington Post, Ms. Kennedy wrote, "The pro-choice position recognizes that the United States is a diverse, pluralistic society where a woman has a constitutional right to make a decision based on her own conscience, religious beliefs and medical needs."  This is how Ms. Kennedy, who views herself as a "good Catholic," attempts to justify the killing of an unborn child.

It is most ironic that Dianne Williamson, enraged that Bishop Robert McManus has decided to rescind Victoria Kennedy's invitation to speak at Anna Maria College in Paxton, would write an opinion piece accusing Bishop McManus of closing his ears on Victoria Kennedy.  For this is what the Culture of Death advocates doThey close their ears to the Lord Jesus.  When a person rationalizes what is known to be wicked in the sight of the Lord, that person opens a chasm between themselves and God which continues to grow wider and wider until they can no longer hear His call and discern the word of truth that He has spoken.

Margaret Sanger was determined to free sex from the restrictions of Christianity.  This, she said, would bring about an earthly paradise freed from te shackles of limitations on sexual desire.  In her Pivot of Civilization, Sanger made it clear that she wanted everyone to reject the next world and any hope of obtaining Heaven and to replace this goal with that of building the earthly paradise based upon worldly happiness:

"I look, therefore, into a future when men and women will not dissipate their energy in the vain and fruitless search for content outside of themselves, in far-away places or people.  Perfect masters of their own inherent powers, controlled with a fine understanding of the art of life and of love, adapting themselves with pliancy and intelligance to the milieu in which they find themselves, they will unafraid enjoy life to the utmost....Interest in the vague sentimental fantasies of extramundane existence, in pathological or hysterical flights from the realities of our earthliness, will have through atrophy disappeared, for in that dawn men and women will have come to the realization, already suggested, that there close at hand is our paradise, our everlasting abode, our Heaven and our eternity.  Not by leaving it and our essential humanity behind us, nor by sighing to be anything but what we are, shall we ever become enobled or immortal.  Not for woman only, but for all of humanity is this the field where we must seek the secret of eternal life."

Victoria Kennedy is an atheistic humanist.  She just hasn't steeled herself to admit this.  She has succumbed to a humanistic, pragmatic philosophy, a progressist atheism in which religion, as Harvey Cox put it in his Secular City, " in a sense the neurosis of culture."  For Cox, "secularization corresponds to maturation, for it signifies the emancipation of man first from religion and then from metaphysical control."  And humanity "must cease worshiping certainties.  For when certainty enters a question, authority also enters as the implacable enforcer of certainties."  And authority is viewed as the enemy of free intellectual research, scientific advancement, social development and moral maturity.

Dr. Dietrich von Hildebrand, in his book The New Tower of Babel, stressed that, "The egocentric sovereignty that modern man arrogates to himself bans everything that has the character of coming from above, of imposing bonds upon us, and of calling for an adequate response.  Modern man also shuns all the factors in life which are gifts, which he cannot grant to himself: they remind him of his dependence upon something greater than himself and above himself. Thus truth in its implacable sovereignty - absolute truth that judges our reason instead of being judged by it - is denied." (p. 19).  And ironically, those who want to shake off the demands of absolute truth and who come to view the Christian faith and its teachings as mere "superstition," fall "into the web of the most naive, uncritical (not to say superstitious) worship of unfounded opinions," for "He who shirks episteme (knowledge) inevitably becomes a disciple of doxa (opinion). (p. 19).

Our Lord told us that if we love Him, we will keep His Commandments.  And loyalty to the commands of Christ is inseparable from loyalty to the commands of the Church He founded, of which He is the Head and with which He identifies Himself.  Victoria Kennedy rejects this.  She rejects Our Lord's commands made known through His Church.  She has opted instead to work for Margaret Sanger's idea of an earthly paradise where man is his own god.

But this road of self-will doesn't lead to paradise.  It leads to an eternity in that place where self-will has been embraced to the point of final impenitence: Hell.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Victoria Kennedy supporters are angry and demand that Bishop Robert McManus explain himself to her

The Worcester Telegram & Gazette is reporting that:

"Two national religious organizations today will formally ask Bishop Robert J. McManus to reinstate Victoria Reggie Kennedy as the commencement speaker at Anna Maria College.

The small Catholic liberal arts school in Paxton withdrew its invitation last month after the bishop raised concerns with college officials about positions taken by the widow of former U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy on abortion, gay marriage, contraception and other social issues of interest to the church.

The school has yet to announce a new speaker.

Representatives of Catholic Democrats are expected to deliver a petition to the chancery on Elm Street requesting the bishop to reverse his decision. The petition has about 20,000 online signatures.

The petition drive was organized by Faithful America, an online interfaith organization concerned with moral and social justice issues.

'We’re glad to receive the petition, but I can’t comment on it since I haven’t seen it,' said Raymond L. Delisle, the diocesan spokesman.

Those scheduled to deliver the petition include Steven D. Krueger, the national director of Catholic Democrats; Maureen McCullough, an Anna Maria alumnus, and George Shea of Uxbridge, who worked for Mr. Kennedy in his 1994 re-election bid.

Petition organizers charge that the bishop has associated Mrs. Kennedy with political and social organizations that promote points of view that are contrary to fundamental church teachings, but they said he has not substantiated those claims.

They said the bishop — through two intermediaries — has declined to speak to Mrs. Kennedy to explain his opposition.

Mr. Krueger said Bishop McManus’ action is just another example of a political tilt to the right by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

'This issue affects the public square beyond the Diocese of Worcester,' said Mr. Krueger. 'Basically, she’s not being allowed to speak because her last name is Kennedy.'"

Got that?  Supporters of Victoria Kennedy, angry that Bishop Robert McManus will not permit her to speak at a Catholic college, are demanding that he explain himself to Ms. Kennedy.  Now popes and bishops serve God's revealed word, which they are commissioned to hand on (see Lumen Gentium, No. 25 and Dei Verbum, No. 10).  Their teaching is not their own.  Rather it is a teaching which has been received from the Lord and which they must guard as inviolable and expound with fidelity.  A bishop answers to the Holy Father.  He answers to God.  He does not answer to politicians or certain individuals who happen to have a famous (or infamous) last name.

As the Telegram & Gazette article notes, the petition drive to reinstate Victoria Kennedy as the commencement speaker at Anna Maria College was organized by "Faithful America."  This organization, is anything but faithful.  It is rather, a liberal ultra-leftist organization which supports the radical homosexual agenda.  The organization has referred to the Family Research Council as a "hate group" because of its opposition to the homosexual agenda.  It has also worked with homosexual Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson, a rabid anti-Catholic bigot, in an effort to get MSNBC to take Family Research Council President Tony Perkins off the air.

A domain registrant search shows that the website for "Faithful America" is maintained by Rev. Jennifer Butler, the Executive Director of Faith in Public Life who has served as the Presbyterian Church (USA) Representative to the United Nations.  Rev. Butler, referring to Catholic Rick Santorum, has said that, "few politicians exhibit greater hostility toward gay and lesbian Americans."  This because he opposes same-sex "marriage."

Should the Bishop pay any attention to a petition organized by Catholophobic individuals who are bent on promoting the radical homosexual agenda and progressive policies which are not consistent with Catholic moral teaching?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Dignity2012 in Massachusetts: Saying no to an anguished plea for help and love

In its Declaration on Euthanasia issued on May 5, 1980, the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith had this to say:

"Human life is the basis of all goods, and is the necessary source and condition of every human activity and of all society. Most people regard life as something sacred and hold that no one may dispose of it at will, but believers see in life something greater, namely, a gift of God's love, which they are called upon to preserve and make fruitful. And it is this latter consideration that gives rise to the following consequences:

1. No one can make an attempt on the life of an innocent person without opposing God's love for that person, without violating a fundamental right, and therefore without committing a crime of the utmost gravity.

2. Everyone has the duty to lead his or her life in accordance with God's plan. That life is entrusted to the individual as a good that must bear fruit already here on earth, but that finds its full perfection only in eternal life.

3. Intentionally causing one's own death, or suicide, is therefore equally as wrong as murder; such an action on the part of a person is to be considered as a rejection of God's sovereignty and loving plan. Furthermore, suicide is also often a refusal of love for self, the denial of a natural instinct to live, a flight from the duties of justice and charity owed to one's neighbor, to various communities or to the whole of society - although, as is generally recognized, at times there are psychological factors present that can diminish responsibility or even completely remove it. However, one must clearly distinguish suicide from that sacrifice of one's life whereby for a higher cause, such as God's glory, the salvation of souls or the service of one's brethren, a person offers his or her own life or puts it in danger (cf. Jn. 15:14).



In order that the question of euthanasia can be properly dealt with, it is first necessary to define the words used. Etymologically speaking, in ancient times Euthanasia meant an easy death without severe suffering. Today one no longer thinks of this original meaning of the word, but rather of some intervention of medicine whereby the suffering of sickness or of the final agony are reduced, sometimes also with the danger of suppressing life prematurely. Ultimately, the word Euthanasia is used in a more particular sense to mean 'mercy killing,' for the purpose of putting an end to extreme suffering, or having abnormal babies, the mentally ill or the incurably sick from the prolongation, perhaps for many years of a miserable life, which could impose too heavy a burden on their families or on society.

It is, therefore, necessary to state clearly in what sense the word is used in the present document. By euthanasia is understood an action or an omission which of itself or by intention causes death, in order that all suffering may in this way be eliminated. Euthanasia's terms of reference, therefore, are to be found in the intention of the will and in the methods used. It is necessary to state firmly once more that nothing and no one can in any way permit the killing of an innocent human being, whether a fetus or an embryo, an infant or an adult, an old person, or one suffering from an incurable disease, or a person who is dying. Furthermore, no one is permitted to ask for this act of killing, either for himself or herself or for another person entrusted to his or her care, nor can he or she consent to it, either explicitly or implicitly. nor can any authority legitimately recommend or permit such an action. For it is a question of the violation of the divine law, an offense against the dignity of the human person, a crime against life, and an attack on humanity.

It may happen that, by reason of prolonged and barely tolerable pain, for deeply personal or other reasons, people may be led to believe that they can legitimately ask for death or obtain it for others. Although in these cases the guilt of the individual may be reduced or completely absent, nevertheless the error of judgment into which the conscience falls, perhaps in good faith, does not change the nature of this act of killing, which will always be in itself something to be rejected. The pleas of gravely ill people who sometimes ask for death are not to be understood as implying a true desire for euthanasia; in fact, it is almost always a case of an anguished plea for help and love. What a sick person needs, besides medical care, is love, the human and supernatural warmth with which the sick person can and ought to be surrounded by all those close to him or her, parents and children, doctors and nurses."

Dignity2012, which describes itself as "a coalition of concerned citizens supporting the proposed Massachusetts Death with Dignity Act," has gathered nearly 80,000 signatures from Massachusetts residents when only about 70,000 signatures are required to put a measure on the ballot.  If you're not concerned about this, you should be.  You should be very concerned. 

Stephen Crawford, spokesman for Dignity2012, argues that the petition, " not physician-assisted suicide in the sense we traditionally think of it.  These are self-administered drugs."  Maybe so Mr. Crawford.  But, as the Church teaches us, "Intentionally causing one's own death, or suicide, is therefore equally as wrong as murder."  And history has shown us, Mr. Crawford, that mass murder can begin with very small steps until a society becomes desensitized by all the killing.

The drugs might be "self-administered" under the "Death with Dignity Act," but patients would still be "under the care of a physician" who would guide them through the process of euthanasia even though they have taken the Hippocratic Oath and sworn to "do no harm." 

Death with Dignity you call it.  Adolph Hitler issued a decree in October of 1939 which was back dated to September 1, 1939, and which widened, "the authority of certain physicians to be designated by name in such manner that persons who, according to human judgment, are incurable can, upon a most careful diagnosis of their condition of sickness, be accorded a mercy death."  See photo.

And we all know where Nazi Germany went from there.  Soon after, Jews, Catholics and others who were ideologically unwanted (not to mention those who suffered from developmental disabilities) were put to death.

"Death with Dignity" sounds very much like "Mercy Death."

The Psalmist tells us that, "Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it" (Psalm 126). This scriptural truth holds for the building of families, societies, nations, international communities and, most of all, Churches. Ignoring this immutable truth, the culture-of-death advocates are determined to create a Moloch state where the God of love is replaced by "the god of technocracy who experiments and flouts the law of love in the laboratory" (Fr. Miceli).

Having abandoned the God of love, the Supreme Creator, 21st-century man is now ready to worship himself and to usurp the divine powers of creation and destruction. In the words of Dr. Edmund Leach of King's College at Cambridge: "The scientist can now play God in his role as wonder-worker, but can he - and should he - also play God as moral arbiter?...There can be no source for these moral judgments except the scientist himself. In traditional religion, morality was held to derive from God, but God was only credited with the authority to establish and enforce moral laws because He was also credited with supernatural powers of creation and destruction. Those powers have now been usurped by man, and he must take on the moral responsibility that goes with them" (Edmund Leach, "We Scientists Have the Right to Play God," The Saturday Evening Post, November 16, 1968, p. 16).

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Terence Weldon: A pathological need to justify the sin of homosexuality

Terence Weldon, the angry homosexual activist who has blasphemed against Christ by suggesting that He had a homosexual relationship and who has accused Pope Benedict XVI of having a homosexual inclination, is at it again.  This time the sophomoric soul is advancing the strange idea that the early Church celebrated same sex relationships.  He writes, "In Jewish /Christian history, there are numerous examples of same – sex relationships: David and Jonathan, Ruth and Naomi, Jesus and the Beloved Disciple, Sergius and Bacchus, and many more. Some of these pairs are named in the liturgical rite of church blessing for same – sex unions described by John Boswell – and also named, in pairs, in the Eucharistic Prayer of the modern Catholic Mass.

The medieval church showed many examples of honouring close male relationships for their spiritual value, from Aelred of Rievaulx’s book, 'On Spiritual Friendship', to the love letters and poetry addressed by many bishops and abbots to their own beloveds.

In the Western Church, the practice of making 'sworn brothers' included liturgical rituals, celebrated in church with the Eucharist, and created legal ties of kinship between the families: an equivalent term for 'sworn brother' was 'wedded brother'. Same -sex weddings, in church, are hardly new, although the earlier meaning was not the same as current usage.

In 4th and 5th century Macedonia, and later in the Western church, there is archaeological and tombstone evidence of another way in which these relationships were honoured by the church: same – sex pairs buried in shared graves, just as many (opposite – sex) married couples were. A much later example of this is the well – known example of Cardinal John Henry Newman, who specifically asked to be buried alongside his beloved Aubrey St John (a request that does not appear to have caused any surprise to his community)." (See full post here).

Now the lie that Cardinal John Henry Newman was a homosexual who requested to be buried next to his "lover" is a popular myth propagated by radical homosexual activists.  Deacon Nick Donnelly has addressed this lie here.

As for the early Church, the Fathers (who are witnesses of Divine Tradition) condemned homosexuality in their writings.  For example, Saint Justin the Martyr (100 - 165 AD), in his First Apology, which was addressed to the Emperor Titus, explains the Christian mysteries and highlights the immorality of the Greeks and Romans.  He writes, "But as for us, we have been taught that to expose newly-born children is the part of wicked men; and this we have been taught lest we should do any one an injury, and lest we should sin against God, first, because we see that almost all so exposed (not only the girls, but also the males) are brought up to prostitution.  And as the ancients are said to have reared herds of oxen, or goats, or sheep, or grazing horses, so now we see you rear children only for this shameful use; and for this pollution a multitude of females and hermaphrodites, and those who commit unmentionable iniquities, are found in every nation.  And you receive the hire of these, and duty and taxes from them, whom you ought to exterminate from your realm.  And any one who uses such persons, besides the godless and infamous and impure intercourse, may possibly be having intercourse with his own child, or relative, or brother.  And there are some who prostitute even their own children and wives, and some are openly mutilated for the purpose of sodomy." (See here).
Saint Irenaeus of Lyons (130 - 202 AD) reiterated the Church's condemnation of homosexuality: "In addition to this blasphemy against God Himself, he [the heretic Marcion] advanced this also, truly speaking as with the mouth of the devil, and saying all things in direct opposition to the truth - that Cain, and those like him, and the Sodomites, and the Egyptians, and others like them, and, in fine, all the nations who walked in all sorts of abomination were saved by the Lord." (Adversus haereses, Book I, Chap. 27, No. 3).  See here.

Athenagoras of Athens, a philosopher who convreted to Christianity in the second century, wrote his Plea for Christians to the Emperor Marcus Aurelius around 177 AD.  In this document, Athenagoras, while defending Christians from the false charge of immorality [issued by pagans who misinterpreted Catholic worship] shows that the pagans, steeped in immorality themselves, did not even refrain from sins against nature: "But though such is our character...the things said of us are an example of the proverb, 'The harlot reproves the chaste.'  For those who have set up a market for fornication and established infamous resorts for the young for every kind of vile pleasure - who do not abstain even from males, males with males committing shocking abominations, outraging all the noblest and comeliest bodies in all sorts of ways, so dishonoring the fair workmanship of God." (A Please For The Christians, Chap. 34).  See here.
Tertullian (160 - 225 AD), an apologist of the early Church, in his work entitled "On Modesty," highlights the attitude of the Church toward sins against nature such as homosexual acts: "But all the other frenzies of passions - impious both toward the bodies and toward the sexes - beyond the laws of nature, we banish not only from the threshold, but from all shelter of the Church, because they are not sins, but monstrosities." (On Modesty, Chap. 4).  See here.
Saint Jerome (340 - 420 AD), is both a Father and a Doctor of the Church.  In his book Against Jovinianus, notes how a sodomite needs repentance and penance in order to be saved: "And Sodom and Gomorrah might have appeased it [God's wrath], had they been willing to repent, and through the aid of fasting gain for themselves tears of repentance." (Against Jovinianus, Book 2, no. 15).  See here

I could go on and on and on.  But I've made my point.  Terence Weldon's idea that the early Church was accepting of homosexuality and same-sex unions/relationships is a fantasy.  In his pathological desire to justify his sin and rationalize what is an abomination in the sight of the Lord - as well as His Church - Weldon will weave the most intricate stories.  Not just for himself.  But for all those who want to have their ears tickled.

And Archbishop Vincent Nichols, Terence Weldon's Bishop, does nothing. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

I call upon the Diocese of Worcester to renounce the evil spirits which plague it

Father Jeffrey Steffon is an expert on Satanism and the occult.  He has worked counseling victims of satanic ritual abuse and is a popular conference speaker.  In his book entitled "Satanism: Is it real?," Fr. Steffon, addressing the popularity of the New Age movement, says that the movement is not new, but is a revival of paganism.  He writes, "This revival includes the resurgence of goddess worship.  Through ritual, celebration, and myth, NAM and neo-pagans attempt to reharmonize themselves with the Whole or the One, which many groups refer to as the goddess.  Neo-pagans believe that patriarchal religions are responsible for the exploitation of women and nature.  They believe that people must move beyond God the Father and be nurtured by the goddess within. The real issue in worship of a goddess is the transcendence of God.  It appears established that the Father image lends itself more readily to the dimension of transcendence, the maternal more to immanence.  Maternal images bespeak closeness, connectedness to the earth and creation, and thus more easily lend themselves to pantheism.  While pantheism proclaims an immanence without transcendence, the Judeo-Christian worldview holds to an immanence that presupposes transcendence, and this is expressed and preserved in various ways in the tradition, one of which is the Fatherhood of God, enriched but not replaced by maternal images of closeness.  The father image, of course, runs the risk of overemphasizing the distance between God and his people; but the prophets preferred to overcome this danger by incorporating maternal imagery into the father title than to run the risk of identifying Israel's God with the process of nature by using a maternal title.  Jesus himself sought to express and convey the intimacy of God within the tradition of God's fatherhood.  New Agers value 'unity in diversity,' but the ground for this unity is pantheism.  In New Age thought so-called traditional Christianity is blocking the evolution of the human race, threatening the global unity necessary for racial survival.  In a New Age world there would be no tolerance for true Christianity." (pp. 97-98).

Fr. Steffon rightly insists that, "Followers of New Age philosophy do not believe in the God of the Bible.  They believe God is an impersonal energy force.  Both Judaism and Christianity reject this essentially Hindu concept and affirm an unshakable monotheism - a personal, benevolent, and loving Deity who is immanent within his creation and yet transcends it by infinity because he is its Creator.  'So we know and believe the love God has for us.  God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him' (1 John 4: 16)....New Agers will admit that Jesus Christ is God, but he is no more God than anyone else.  The difference between Jesus and other people is that Jesus realized and demonstrated the divine (Christ)potential that everyone has.  For New Agers the 'Christ' is a divine principle, a 'Christ consciousness' attainable by all people." (P. 93).

This New Age philosophy has made significant inroads into the Diocese of Worcester, Massachusetts.  This Blog has documented the New Age occultism and relativism promoted by the diocese's "Commission for Women."  And the diocesan newspaper has done its part to promote New Age spirituality and New Age advocates over the years.  Currently, The Catholic Free Press is promoting New Age advocate Joyce Rupp, a Servite sister who has been promoting the demonic for some time.

For many years, the Worcester Diocese has been plagued by evil spirits of occultism, dissent [disobedience] and illicit or unnatural sex.  And there needs to be repentance.  There needs to be a renunciation of occultism, a renunciation of disobedience or dissent, and a renunciation of illicit or unnatural sex.  You see, a demonic spirit [or spirits] can attach itself to a person through involvement in the occult, through hardened disobedience to Christ, Who teaches us through His Church, or from a repeated sinful action or sinful tendencies.  But the good news is that prayer and repentance can bring freedom the oppression of Satan.  It is necessary though to close the doors which are open to demonic oppression.

The Worcester Diocese has succumbed to darkness and negativity.  But the Good News is Jesus, Who became man to free us from demonic influence.  Roughly one quarter of all Jesus' miracles involved the casting out of demons.  Jesus is our Savior Who came to free us from evil: "The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work" (1 John 3: 8).

Can the Diocese of Worcester truly claim to be "accepting abundance" while opening the doors to demonic oppression?

Let us pray:

Spirit of our God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Most Holy Trinity, descend upon me. Please purify me, mold me, fill me with yourself, and use me. Banish all the forces of evil from me; destroy them, vanquish them so that I can be healthy and do good deeds.

Banish from me all spells, witchcraft, black magic, demonic assignments, malefice, maledictions and the evil eye; diabolic infestations, oppressions, possessions; all that is evil and sinful; jealousy, treachery, envy; all physical, psychological, moral, spiritual and diabolical ailments; as well as all enticing spirits, deaf, dumb, blind, mute and sleeping spirits, new-age spirits, occult spirits, religious spirits, antichrist spirits, and any other spirits of death and darkness.

I command and bid all the powers who molest me—by the power of God Almighty, in the name of Jesus Christ our Savior—to leave me forever, and to be consigned into the everlasting lake of fire, that they may never again touch me or any other creature in the entire world. Amen.

Recommended reading: Catechism of the Catholic Church, 394, 407.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Catholic Free Press promotes New Age Advocate Joyce Rupp

The basic credo of the New Age Movement, which looks to usher in a New World Order, is that a person creates their own reality according to what feels right for them. For example, a person may choose to be homosexual, bisexual, monogamous or polygamous and it's "okay" as long as it's "right for me." A person may choose whether or not to have an abortion. And so on. Of course, this is nonsense. For, as Dr. Dietrich von Hildebrand reminds us, "The truth of a proposition is essentially objective; a truth which as such would be valid for one person only is a contradiction in terms. A proposition is true or false, but it can never be true for one person and false for another." (The New Tower of Babel: Modern Man's Flight from God, pp. 57-58).

This New Age relativism is promoted by the Worcester Commission for Women [Diocese of Worcester, Massachusetts]. The Commission for Women has had Sister Joyce Rupp as a guest speaker at its "Gather Us In" Conference and their website links to her website.  The Commission for Women also published a prayer by this New Age advocate in which she said, "We will make choices and decisions in 2010 of how we create our reality" while praying that we will all "..let go of aversion and avoidance of the unwanted" so that we will, "welcome people and events disturbing [our] comfort zone."

In a previous post, I noted how Sister Rupp, a self-proclaimed spiritual midwife who feels that she resonates with mystical islamic sufism, has extolled New-Ageism as valuable and claims to have stretched herself "beyond the safe world of heterosexuality" while attending a "gathering of lesbians." And this certainly explains what she means when she prays that we "let go of aversion and avoidance of the unwanted." In an interview with US Catholic (April 2000), Sister Joyce Rupp said that, "In many ways, New Age has become the new enemy. That's unfortunate because some things about New Age are valuable...I think some Church people are envious about New Age, because it does draw people toward spiritual growth."

Johnette Benkovic, at her website Women of Grace, writes:

We have received several questions regarding the orthodoxy of a Servite nun and author named Joyce Rupp who is a popular speaker on the Catholic retreat circuit these days. The following information should prove helpful.

There are some very serious issues with Sr. Rupp.

Let’s begin with her authorship of several books about a quasi-divine entity named Sophia, which she describes in her article “Desperately Seeking Sophia” as being “another word for the radiant presence of the Holy One.” Sophia is supposedly derived from the Greek translation of the word “wisdom” in Scripture – which is Hagia Sophia.

Rupp treats Sophia as a kind of goddess of inner wisdom in her books, and even admits to struggling with the question of whether or not Sophia is Divine. Apparently, she never really answers that question for herself because although she refers to Sophia as another name for God, she treats this “person” as someone we’re supposed to discover, open ourselves to, pray to and turn to for all our needs in life – sort of like what most of us do with God.

“I count on Sophia to influence my attitudes, values, and beliefs, to help me make good choices and decisions,” she writes. “I pray to her each day to guide me as I try to reflect her love in all I am and all I do. Whenever I am in doubt as to how to proceed in my work and relationships, I turn to Sophia for wisdom and courage. She has never failed to be there for me.”

This very troublesome presentation of God, which could easily lead those of weak faith into idolatry, comes from Rupp’s own dislike of Church hierarchy, something she does nothing to hide. For instance, in a Dec. 2008 interview with the National Catholic Reporter, she said that the reason her retreats are attended by mostly women is because “Women haven’t trusted their own spiritual experiences because the church for so long told them, and all of us, what to do and how to act.”

That she is heavily invested in the New Age is beyond doubt. First, it should be noted that she holds a degree in transpersonal psychology from the Institute for Transpersonal Psychology in Palo Alto, California. The Journal of Transpersonal Psychology describes transpersonal psychology as “the study of humanity’s highest potential, and with the recognition, understanding, and realization of unitive, spiritual, and transcendent states of consciousness” (Lajoie and Shapiro, 1992:91).

If this definition sounds a bit “iffy” – it is! Transpersonal psychology, which attempts to bridge the gap between science and spirituality, has received no serious recognition from the scientific community and was described by the authors of the Pontifical document, “Jesus Christ the Bearer of the Water of Life” as “the classic approach to the New Age.”

It’s interesting to note that the Institute where Sr. Rupp received this “prestigious” degree also offers classes in shamanism, the goddess, ESP and Eastern spirituality.

Evidence of Rupp’s involvement in the New Age becomes even more apparent when visiting the website of the retreat center she founded along with Sr. Margaret Stratman, known as the Servite Center of Compassion. Located in Omaha, it offers courses in Tai Chi, the Enneagram, yoga, and dreamwork.

Sr. Rupp is also known to speak at conferences where occult practices are featured, such as the 27th Annual Women and Spirituality Conference that was held in 2008 at the Minnesota State University-Mankato. During this conference, classes were offered in tarot, astrology, communicating with the dead, yoga and psychic powers.

That Rupp will surely introduce retreatants to the syncretism in which she freely indulges is evident in an interview that appears on her website: “I am in tune with a lot from Native American spirituality, partly because of the way it connects with nature. I also like it because it brings the body into prayer, for example, standing and praying toward the four directions [a pagan ritual]. I’ve also learned a lot from the Buddhist perspective about compassion, and it has greatly enhanced my Christian compassion. And I resonate with the Sufi tradition, the mystical branch of Islam. I find that it connects very much with the Roman Catholic mystical tradition of lover and beloved. The Sufis started the Dances of Universal Peace, which have been very important in my spiritual life. They are simple movements with prayers from different traditions that are chanted and danced in a circle. I find that very compelling and a wonderful way to connect with people. From Buddhism, I value the practice of mindfulness, being aware and present to the moment.”

There’s a lot more that could be written about Sr. Rupp, but I think this is enough to give you a good enough idea of who she is."  (Post may be found here).

It is enough if you are a person of good will who is interested in meeting the demands of truth.  It is enough if you are authentically Catholic as opposed to being such in name only.  However, the Commission for Women, which seeks to promote confusion and dissent, is still promoting this New Age advocate and angry feminist and The Catholic Free Press, the official newspaper of the Worcester Diocese, continues to assist the Commission for Women in this violent endeavour.

On page 8 of this week's edition of the CFP, in the Diocesan Calendar, we read that: "The diiocesan Commission for Women will present Sister Joyce Rupp in a day-long retreat for women with the theme 'The Gift of Self-Compassion' on September 29 from 9 a.m. -3 p.m. in St. Anne's Parish Hall, 130 Boston Tpke. in Shrewsbury."  The listing mentions that Sister Rupp is a member of the Servites but says nothing about her bizarre New Age beliefs or her dislike of the Church's hierarchy.

Several years ago I tried to get The Catholic Free Press to list a Marian Movement of Priests Cenacle in the Diocesan Calendar of Events.  I was not successful.  Margaret Russell, the paper's editor, denied my request.  And yet, Ms. Russell apparently has no problem whatsoever with promoting an event featuring a New Age advocate whose views are hardly consistent with Catholic teaching and spirituality.

How sad.

More on Joyce Rupp here.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Melinda Gates: I'm rich so listen to me!

"The most important men in town would come to fawn on me!

They would ask me to advise them,
Like a Solomon the Wise.
"If you please, Reb Tevye..."
"Pardon me, Reb Tevye..."
Posing problems that would cross a rabbi's eyes!
And it won't make one bit of difference if i answer right or wrong.
When you're rich, they think you really know!"

C-FAM is reporting that Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and a Catholic, is telling governments to dismiss the controversial link between contraception and population control and explicitly rejects Catholic social teaching along the way...Speaking at a TedxChange conference in Berlin, Germany, Gates argued that contraception has been mistakenly associated with population control, abortion, forced sterilization, and mortal sin and insisted they are 'side issues.'"  See here.

The Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World (Gaudium et Spes), No. 51, says that, "..God, the Lord of life, has conferred on men the surpassing ministry of safeguarding life in a manner which is worthy of man.  Therefore, from the moment of its conception life must be guarded with the greatest care, while abortion and infanticide are unspeakable crimes."  Abortion is not a "side issue."  It is an unspeakable crime.

The same document teaches that, "...sons of the Church may not undertake methods of birth control which are found blameworthy by the teaching authority of the Church in its unfolding of the divine law." (No. 51).

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, citing Humanae Vitae, the Encyclical Letter of Pope Paul VI, teaches 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.." (2370).

But Melinda Gates believes that she knows better than the Pastors of the Church.  Pope John Paul II, in his Encyclical Letter Veritatis Splendor (The Splendor of Truth) teaches that the Church's more-than-human authority "is apparent from the living Tradition" and then confirms this by citing a key passage from Dei Verbum, Vatican II's Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, which reminds us that, "the task of authentically interpreting the word of God, whether in its written form or in that of Tradition, has been entrusted only to those charged with the Church's living Magisterium, whose authority is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ" (Veritatis Splendor, No. 27, with internal citation from Dei Verbum, No. 10).

Faith demands a renunciation of the sinful self.  Pride must give way in every Catholic's life to humility, which is but a readiness to accept everything good as God's gift and to than Him for it (see Aquinas, S.t., 2-2, q. 161, aa.2-3).  When we allow ourselves to succumb to pride, humility is viewed as a threat to the self.  As a result, sinners who lack faith and believers whose faith has been weakened through habit to sinning will be the more tempted to reject faith in order to avoid self-renunciation - the renunciation of their sinful selves (John 3: 16-21).

Melinda Gates is chained by abundance.  Her material wealth has contributed to a pathological pride.  And this pride has led her to embrace self-assertion.  Dr. Germain Grisez explains that, "Removed from its evangelical context, the Christian insight into each individual's worth is perverted to rationalize sin.  Thus, post-Christian humankind is susceptible to a distinctive moral pathology: egoistic individualism, which exalts the well-being and satisfaction of individuals above every community, even the family.  When colored by this pathology, pride is not expressed exclusively by the quest for positions of social superiority; also, and even more arrogantly, it is seen in every individual's effort to be his or her own sovereign.  Thus, the contemporary attachment to liberty to do as one pleases: 'No one can tell me what to do.'  This attitude leads to rejection of authority generally as well as an unwillingness to accept any social responsibility toward people for whom one has no personal feelings.  Other people are to be ignored except to the extent that they are relevant to one's own purposes or can be made so.  Then they are to be dominated and manipulated, so that at least they will allow one to gain one's ends and at best will serve one's purposes."

The real tragedy is that many will no doubt be confused or led astray by Melinda Gates because, as Topol expressed in song, "When you're rich, they think you really know!"

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A web page at the website for the Archdiocese of Boston which is most revealing

Pope John Paul II in Familiaris Consortio, says that, "Christian revelation recognizes two specific ways of realizing the vocation of the human person in its entirety, to love: marriage and virginity or celibacy. Either one is, in its own proper form, an actuation of the most profound truth of man, of his being created in the image of God.'"

The Archdiocese of Boston, at the vocation page of its website, recognizes the vocation to the priesthood, the vocation to religious life, and the vocation to marriage. Nothing about the single vocation.  See here.  This is most significant.  The implication is that single people do not have a vocation or a purpose; that we are unnecessary.

Father Pat Umberger has noted that, "Being single. For some of us it is the way we live our Vocation. For others it is a temporary state. For some it brings much joy. For others sadness and a feeling of incompleteness. Not all single folks are called to a Vocation of priesthood or consecrated life. Single people come in all age ranges, from the 20's through old age. Single people have needs and goals. We don't always fit into the society we live in. Sometimes there is a perception that we cannot be happy or fulfilled while we are single. We can buy into that perception. The Church can be quite helpful to us. Sometimes it can hinder us as well. It is true that much is said about married life, children, teenagers and other groups within the Church, but not much about single people. The Church can unconsciously discriminate against single people by sponsoring mostly "couples only" events, inviting "families" to bring up the gifts, or seeing singles as the pool from which to draw helpers to complete tasks nobody else wants to do."

Cardinal Sean O'Malley has given much lip service to inclusion.  Indeed he has decided that Catholic schools in his Archdiocese can partner with homosexual parents who refuse to live in accordance with Catholic moral teaching.  Apparently it's only Catholics faithful to the Magisterium and single people who aren't entirely welcome.

Please join with America Needs Fatima in protesting this blasphemy

As New Advent Encyclopedia explains: "Blasphemy, by reason of the significance of the words with which it is expressed, may be of three kinds.

1.It is heretical when the insult to God involves a declaration that is against faith, as in the assertion: "God is cruel and unjust" or "The noblest work of man is God".

2.It is imprecatory when it would cry a malediction upon the Supreme Being as when one would say: "Away with God".

3.It is simply contumacious when it is wholly made up of contempt of, or indignation towards, God, as in the blasphemy of Julian the Apostate: "Thou has conquered, O Galilaean".

Again, blasphemy may be (1) either direct, as when the one blaspheming formally intends to dishonour the Divinity, or (2) indirect, as when without such intention blasphemous words are used with advertence to their import.

Blasphemy is a sin against the virtue of religion by which we render to God the honour due to Him as our first beginning and last end. St. Thomas says that it is to be regarded as a sin against faith inasmuch as by it we attribute to God that which does not belong to Him, or deny Him that which is His (II-II.13.1). De Lugo and others deny that this is an essential element in blasphemy (De just. et jure caeterisque virt. card., lib. II, c. xiv, disp. v, n. 26), but as Escobar (Theol. mor., lib. xxviii, c. xxxii, n. 716 sqq.) observes, the contention on this point concerns words only, since the followers of St. Thomas see in the contempt expressed in blasphemy the implication that God is contemptible--an implication in which all will allow there is attributed to God that which does not belong to Him. What is here said is of blasphemy in general; manifestly that form of the sin described above as heretical is not only opposed to the virtue of religion but that of faith as well. Blasphemy is of its whole nature (ex toto genere suo) a mortal sin, the gravest that may be committed against religion. The seriousness of an affront is proportioned to the dignity of the person towards whom it is directed. Since then the insult in blasphemy is offered to the ineffable majesty of God, the degree of its heinousness must be evident. Nevertheless because of slight or no advertence blasphemy may be either a venial sin only or no sin at all. Thus many expressions voiced in anger escape the enormity of a grave sin, except as is clear, when the anger is vented upon God. Again, in the case where blasphemous speech is uttered inadvertently, through force of habit, a grave sin is not committed as long as earnest resistance is made to the habit. If, however, no such effort is put forth there cannot but be grave guilt, though a mortal sin is not committed on the occasion of each and every blasphemous outburst. It has been said that heretical blasphemy besides a content directed against religion has that which is opposed to the virtue of faith. Similarly, imprecatory blasphemy is besides a violation of charity..."

America Needs Fatima is leading a protest against yet another pro-homosexual production which blasphemes against Christ.  See here.

Let us pray:
O Jesus, my Savior and Redeemer, Son of the living God, behold, we kneel before Thee and offer Thee our reparation; we would make amends for all the blasphemies uttered against Thy holy name, for all the injuries done to Thee in the Blessed Sacrament, for all the irreverence shown toward Thine immaculate Virgin Mother, for all the calumnies and slanders spoken against Thy spouse, the holy Catholic and Roman Church. O Jesus, who has said: "If you ask the Father anything in My name, He will give it to you," we pray and beseech Thee for all our brethren who are in danger of sin; shield them from every temptation to fall away from the true faith; save those who are even now standing on the brink of the abyss; to all of them give light and knowledge of the truth, courage and strength for the conflict with evil, perseverance in faith and active charity! For this do we pray, most merciful Jesus, in Thy name, unto God the Father, with whom Thou livest and reignest in the unity of the Holy Ghost world without end.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Richard Wagner wants us to know (gasp) that there have been homosexual priests and religious throughout the Church's history

Richard Wagner, a confused soul who resides in Seattle, Washington, has a brief biography at the website for the "Center for Progressive Christianity" which may be found here.  This lost soul says that he works to "heal" professionals including religious leaders and that he has facilitated "support groups for gay clergy of numerous denominations for many years."  Mr. Wagner offers his advice at a website titled

Why am I even writing about him?  Because this lost soul who suffers from the psychopathology of homosexuality describes himself as a "gay priest."  His website, which may be found here,  and his Blog both offer the same old tired homosexual agitprop.  At his Blog, he asserts that, "For centuries homosexuals have been villified and persecuted by the Catholic Church, but throughout all of its history the Church has had a very inconvenient secret."

And what is this great secret?  That there have been clergy and religious men and women who were homosexual!  Gosh, who would have thought?  Saint Catherine of Siena, a great mystic and Doctor of the Church, fought for reform at a time when many clergy had succumbed to the vice of homosexuality.  So this doesn't exactly come as a news flash, unless of course you have been ignorant of the Church's history.  In her Dialogues, St. Catherine said that, "...these wretches not only do not bridle this fragility [of a weak nature], but do worse, committing that accursed sin against nature, and as blind as fools, with the light of their intellect darkened, they do not know the stench and misery in which they are."

Saint Peter Damian, another Doctor of the Church, a Cardinal and great reformer of the clergy, wrote an entire treatise entitled the Book of Gomorrah against the inroads made by homosexuality among the clergy.  In his important work, St. Damian describes the iniquity of homosexuality as well as its psychological and, more importantly, its moral consequences:

"Truly, this vice is never to be compared with any other vice because it surpasses the enormity of all vices...It defiles everything, stains everything, pollutes everything.  And as for itself, it permits nothing pure, nothing clean, nothing other than filth....The miserable flesh burns with the heat of lust; the cold mind trembles with the rancor of suspicion; and in the heart of the miserable man chaos boils like Tartarus [Hell]....In fact, after this most poisonous serpent once sinks its fangs into the unhappy soul, sense is snatched away, memory is borne off, the sharpness of the mind is obscured.  It becomes unmindful of God and even forgetful of itself.  This plague undermines the foundation of faith, weakens the strength of hope, destroys the bond of charity; it takes away justice, subverts fortitude, banishes temperance, blunts the keenness of prudence.  And what more should I say since it expels the whole host of the virtues from the chamber of the human heart and introduces every barbarous vice as if the bolts of the doors were pulled out."

Because the soul en route to Hell has lost faith and is utterly miserable, it seeks company on its journey to final impenitence and, ultimately, eternal damnation.  Which is why Mr. Wagner advances the now exhausted argument that anyone who stands with the Church's moral teaching and opposes homosexuality because of divine revelation and or the natural moral law is a "homophobe" who secretly pines for a homosexual encounter.  He asserts that, "one's level of homophobia" is in direct proportion to one's own brutally closeted desire for homosexual sex."  Wagner argues that "the more you wail against something" the more likely it is that you are attracted to that thing.  Operating on this theory may we assume that those heroic souls who opposed National Socialism in general and the Nazi Party more specifically were closeted Nazis?  Perhaps Simon Wiesenthal hunted Nazi butchers because he secretly admired their genocidal mentality?  And what of those who railed against the Ku Klux Klan or Atheistic Humanism with its record of genocide and sheer brutality?

Wagner, as with many of his associates in the homosexual hate movement, employs this argument because he has nothing substantive to offer.  It is nothing more than a cheap attempt at intimidation: "If you oppose homosexuality I'll tell evreyone that you are a closeted homosexual."

If Richard Wagner was really a Catholic priest at one time, I'd like to know how and why he was ordained. But if this mental midget believes that he's telling us something we don't already know when he says that there have been priests and religious throughout the Church's history who were homosexual, he is deluding himself. 

What of it?  Alexander VI was a notorious sinner too.  Does that mean we should all join him?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

America: Will we be inspired by Sparta or Calvary?

It can no longer be denied that America has become a "seething cesspool of filth and corruption."  America has become a haunt of demons and of every foul spirit.  Today, even those who present themselves as "Catholic" have lost the sense of sin.  Archbishop Fulton Sheen warned that, "Man is powerless to resist evil if he does not recognize it as such, and deceives himself when he becomes indifferent to evil; his whole personality immediately begins to dissolve, for the power of conscience is inseparably bound up with the denunciation of evil. And this is precisely what our world is doing today; the very beliefs on which the best culture of the world was built are now called in question.  Even the distinction between good and evil is lost, and now only a sense of civic loyalty remains.  The prophet Isaias sounded such a decadence in his day: 'Woe to you that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.'  If we called sin by its name it would lose all of its seductiveness.  Hell can be made attractive, only by surfacing it with the gold of Paradise." (Essay entitled The Sense of Sin).

Today, evil is called good and good is called evil.  Catholics faithful to the Magisterium are portrayed as "divisive" and "offensive" even as active homosexuals are celebrated and told to have "pride" in their behaviors. 

On April 6, 1941, Bishop Fulton John Sheen gave a sermon on his radio show "The Catholic Hour" in which he reminded listeners that, "The basic spirit of the modern world for the last century has been a determination to escape the Cross." He told his audience as well that, "There is no such thing as living without a cross. We are free only to choose between crosses." And then he asked them: "Will it be the Cross of Christ which redeems us from our sins, or will it be the double cross, the swastika, the hammer and sickle, the fasces"? Bishop Sheen believed, as I do, that America is at a crossroads. In his own words, "We in America are now faced with the threat of that double cross...Our choice is not: Will we or will we not have more discipline, more respect for law, more order, more sacrifice; but, where will we get it? Will we get it from without, or from within, Will it be inspired by Sparta or Calvary? By Valhalla or Gethsemane? By militarism or religion? By the double cross or the Cross? By Caesar or by God? That is the choice facing America today.

The hour of false freedom is past. No longer can we have education without discipline, family life without sacrifice, individual existence without moral responsibility, economics and politics without subservience to the common good. We are now only free to say whence it shall come. We will have a sword. Shall it be only the sword that thrusts outward to cut off the ears of our enemies, or the sword that pierces inward to cut out our own selfish pride"?

Thus far, America has chosen the double cross. Fleeing from the Cross of Christ and the supernatural kingdom established by the Son of God; one of sacrifice and sanctity, America has chosen to pursue a terrestrial kingdom of pleasure and power founded upon a distorted idea of what constitutes liberty or freedom. But this city of man, which has certainly achieved astounding advancements in various spheres while increasing the affluence of some, has also contributed to a climate where men are regarded as mere machines whose only value is to be found in what they produce or consume. This in turn destroys the individual’s sense of personal dignity and responsibility. Americans, in their tragic desire to flee from the Cross of Christ, have rushed to embrace this distorted notion of "freedom" and have forgotten that, as created beings, they only possess contingent rights. That is to say, rights which are accorded by Almighty God. Consequently, in their zeal to promote the fallacious idea that the basis of public morality should be whatever the majority of citizens are prepared to accept, they have also forgotten that man does not possess, and never will possess, the right to perform or engage in any act which is displeasing to God.

And where has this flight from the Cross of Christ led us up to this point? Was Bishop Sheen being an alarmist? In the words of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, taken from his Commencement Address at Harvard University entitled "A World Split Apart": "Destructive and irresponsible freedom has been granted boundless space. Society appears to have little defense against the abyss of human decadence, such as, for example, the misuse of liberty for moral violence against young people, motion pictures full of pornography, crime and horror. This is considered to be part of freedom, and theoretically counterbalanced by the young peoples’ right not to look or not to accept. Life organized legalistically has thus shown its inability to defend itself against the corrosion of evil."

Getting back to Bishop Sheen. What did he mean when he said that, "Our choice is not: Will we or will we not have more discipline, more respect for law, more order, more sacrifice; but, where will we get it"? I believe Pope Benedict XVI was providing us with a hint toward an answer when he spoke of the "dictatorship of relativism." Americans who have gleefully embraced the tenets of liberalism have not learned the lesson the concentration camp and the gulag. These unfortunate souls refuse to acknowledge that atheistic ideology (and make no mistake, the current idea of "freedom" which has taken root in America is itself rooted in atheistic ideology) always, and without exception, gives birth to sheer violence. This is the lesson of atheistic humanism. A lesson which the majority of Americans would rather not think about.

Who would deny that Bishop Sheen’s warning, issued 71 years ago, was highly prophetic? America, and the West in general, is at a crossroads. We have before us two crosses: The Cross of Christ and the double cross (which may also be referred to today as the "dictatorship of relativism"). Which will we choose in the end? Will we continue on our present course or change direction and finally come to embrace the Cross of Christ? Will we embrace Christ and His kingdom of sacrifice and sanctity or continue to rush headlong into the idolatry of unbridled hedonism while declaring ourselves, even if only tacitly, to be God?

If we continue to choose the latter, then we should remember the words of Fr. Vincent Miceli, S.J., "When man becomes God, history testifies that then millions of men become imprisoned slaves, terrified automatons and murdered corpses. Society, in the words of Gabriel Marcel, becomes a ‘termite colony.’" (The Gods of Atheism, p. 463).

Monday, April 16, 2012

Tricia Wittmann-Todd would deny youth who are questioning their sexual identity an authentic understanding of joy

In Galatians 5: 22-23, the Holy Spirit tells us through Saint Paul that, "the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control."  Tricia Wittmann-Todd, Pastoral Life Coordinator at Saint Mary's Parish in the Central Area of Seattle, Washington, would deny the youth of her parish an authentic understanding of joy.

Ms. Wittmann-Todd, having succumbed to the erroneous idea that Catholic moral teaching would in some way harm the youth of her parish, has refused to circulate petitions in support of Referendum 74, the ballot measure to roll back Washington's recently passed same-sex "marriage" law.  Her reasoning?  Wittmann-Todd asserts that she is, "particularly concerned about our youth who may be questioning their own sexual identity and need our support at this time in their lives."  See here.

Ms. Wittmann-Todd is so concerned about the youth of Saint Mary's Parish that she has decided to set an example for them on how to be disobedient to the Church's Pastors.  She has also decided to deny these youth an authentic understanding as to what constitutes joy. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us that, "By the power of the Spirit, God's children can bear much fruit.  He who has grafted us onto the true vine will make us bear 'the fruit of the, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.'  'We live by the Spirit'; the more we renounce ourselves, the more we 'walk by the Spirit.'.." (CCC, 736).  And again: "The fruits of the Spirit are perfections that the Holy Spirit forms in us as the first fruits of eternal glory.  The tradition of the Church lists twelve of them: 'Charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, chastity.'" (CCC, 1832).

You see, we live in the Spirit when we renounce ourselves.  We are not living in the spirit if we engage in sinful behaviors such as homosexual acts.  Those who do live such a lifestyle will not have joy.  The Lord Jesus promises heavenly joy to those who suffer the consequences of following Him [and this demands picking up our cross and following Him daily] and calls for its anticipation saying, "Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven" (Matthew 5: 12).  Dr. Germain Grisez explains that, "St. Paul teaches that Christians always should call on God's help by constant prayer, rejoice in hope, be patient, and not be anxious (see Rom 12: 12; Phil 4: 4-6).  Since Christian joy presupposes hope, Jesus' and Paul's injunctions to rejoice can be fulfilled only by nurturing hope.  But hope grows in a kind of virtuous circle: joy amid suffering helps faithful Christians endure what they must, this endurance conforms their character to that of Jesus, and likeness to Jesus increases their confidence and further intensifies their hope (see Rom 5: 3-4; cf. Phil 3: 8-21)."

Dr. Grisez goes on to explain that the fear of Hell is essential for Christian hope (and remember, Christian joy presupposes hope).  He reminds us that, "..if one becomes forgetful of the possibility of hell and loses all fear of it, heaven seems a sure thing, with the bad result that it no longer is possible to have Christian hope for it or live a life shaped by that hope.  Christian hope is the intention of the kingdom as one's end, and some good can be intended as an end only if one's action is expected to help bring about that good.  Thus, someone confident of sharing in the kingdom no matter what, simply cannot intend it as an end and live for it, although such a person still may think about heaven for solace when loved ones die and during other times of suffering.  In consequence, someone who forgets the possibility of hell ignores the kingdom when deliberating and making choices.  Unable any longer to order his or her life to the kingdom, that person becomes motivated by other interests and desires, and these alien ends, pursued independently of faith and hope, make their own incompatible demands.  Thus, the life of a Christian forgetful of hell becomes indistinguishable from the life of a nonbeliever.  Consequently, while properly Christian fear depends on hope, hope also depends on fear.  And while hope for the kingdom always should dominate, fear of hell never should be entirely excluded.  Thus, meditation on the last things, which appropriately begins from Sacred Scripture, should reflect the balanced approach of the New Testament, which focuses on heaven but never entirely loses sight of hell."

Christian joy presupposes hope.  And the fear of Hell is essential for Christian hope.  How quickly some forget this.  We hear much nonsense today from those within the "homosexual community" about "the joys of gay sex."  But there is no authentic joy apart from living in obedience to God's Commandments.  Joy is a fruit of living in the Spirit, not of living in the flesh.

One would think Ms. Wittmann-Todd would want to impart this truth to the youth of St. Mary's Parish.  But apparently she would rather sow confusion in this area.  And we wonder why Our Lady weeps?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Tricia Wittmann-Todd believes she knows what's best for "her" Catholic Parish

As this article notes, even though Archbishop J. Peter Sartain has asked parishes throughout the Archdiocese of Seattle, Washington to circulate petitions in support of Referendum 74, the ballot measure to roll back Washington's recently passed same-sex "marriage" law, several parishes have refused to do so.  One of these parishes, St. Mary's Parish in the Central Area, issued a statement through its "pastoral life coordinator" Tricia Wittmann-Todd.

In her "weekly message," Ms. Wittmann-Todd writes:

"Dear People of St Mary's,

I am writing to share with you my decision regarding collection of signatures at St Mary's for Referendum 74, to repeal the redefinition of marriage. This is a very sensitive issue, impacting people at the very core of our lives. Archbishop Sartain has sent a letter to all Catholics. I have attached the letter. He has given permission to parishes to collect signatures for the Referendum and encouraged us to do so. He has also expressed that each parish leader must decide how best to proceed, given the pastoral considerations within the parish. After much prayer and reflection, I have decided we will not collect signatures at the parish. I am certain you will find ample opportunity elsewhere to sign whatever petitions you choose.

This decision is based on two primary considerations. St Mary's mission is "House of God, Home for Everyone". One of our highest values is inclusion and welcome. I fear that the collection of signatures would be hurtful and divisive to our parish. I am particularly concerned about our youth who may be questioning their own sexual identity and need our support at this time in their lives.

The second consideration is that as Catholics, each of us is asked to form our conscience and decide how to vote on this and other issues, ie tax policies, services to the poor, environmental laws, capital punishment, etc. We form our conscience through studying the Word of God in the Bible, listening carefully to the teachings of the church from our Tradition and the discernment of the Spirit within our own experience. Many of our parishioners have not had sufficient opportunity to form their consciences and those who have represent a wide variety of beliefs. Some believe the church should marry all committed couples, others that the state should marry all but not the church, others that the term "marriage" should be preserved for a man and a woman, while other relationships are "domestic partnerships", and there are those who believe only heterosexuals should have partners. Our Archbishop is trying to help us in the process of conscience formation by articulating the reasons he believes we should support Referendum 74. I ask you to prayerfully read his letter, hearing all that is being said. In addition, read the Bible, particularly those passages cited by the church on marriage. (you can find these documents at the USCCB website.) Finally, pray and reflect on your own experience of marriage and listen to what God is telling you. Sometimes I think when God is speaking to us, we respond-"call the Bishop, I don't have time to listen. " But as Archbishop Sartain writes "The church calls everyone to holiness."

I hope to have a gathering soon where we can learn more about how to form one's conscience in general and particularly on the question of marriage. In this, as in all things, I pray we will treat one another with love and respect, building up our community of faith.

Please feel free to share your thoughts and questions with me.

Blessings on this Easter Season,


Well, you asked us to share our thoughts Tricia.   Here are mine.  Vatican II, which you obviously have little or no respect for, teaches quite clearly that, "In forming their consciences, the Christian faithful ought to give heed to the sacred and certain doctrine doctrine of the Church.  For the Catholic Church is, by the will of Christ, the teacher of the truth.  It is her duty to give utterance to, and authoritatively to teach, that truth which is Christ, and also to declare and confirm by her authority principles of the moral order flowing from human nature itself." (Dignitatis Humanae, No. 14).

The faithful have a responsibility, a duty, to assent to the Church's teachings and to obey the Church's pastoral leaders just as the Lord Jesus obeyed the Father.  The duty of the faithful to obey the Holy Father and one's own Bishop is analogous to the responsibility which the faithful have to give religious assent to their teachings which call for such assent.  Canon Law makes this clear: "The Christian faithful, conscious of their own responsibility, are bound by Christian obedience to follow what the sacred pastors, as representatives of Christ, declare as teachers of the faith or determine as leaders of the Church." (Can. 212).

In your arrogance, you have decided that St. Mary's Parish will not collect signatures in an effort to oppose homosexual unions even though your Archbishop has asked the faithful under his care to do so.  As a result, you are not only being disobedient to your Archbishop but you have set yourself against the teaching of the Church.  The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in its document entitled "Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons," makes it clear that the homosexual movement takes advantage of legal tolerance to promote its idoelogy and to place people at risk, particularly youth.  The very youth you claim you are concerned about.  And this authoritative document warns that "the approval or legalization of evil is something far different from the toleration of evil." (No. 5).  And even where homosexual unions have been legalized, "clear and emphatic opposition is a duty." (No. 5). 

What do the words "clear and emphatic opposition is a duty" mean to you Tricia?  Jesus is Our Lord.  And the Church's Pastors govern in His name. And yet you have chosen to reject the clear and unambiguous teaching of the Church's Pastors. Reflect on these words of Pope John Paul II Tricia: "Being of sacramental origin, this authority is exclusively of divine origin, and remains such; it has no need, therefore, of ratification by anyone else." (Address to the Bishops of Brazil, February 26, 1990).

You have succumbed to pride Tricia.  You are opposing the Church's Pastors.  This means you are opposing the will of Christ.

I am praying for you.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Wanted: Little children consecrated to Mary who will form her "heel"

Our world is in a mess isn't it?  We need holy men and women who are on fire for the Lord Jesus and who recognize their poverty, their smallness. What we need is children of Mary - the same children (despised by this proud world) whom Saint Louis de Montfort says, "..will become, in Mary's powerful hands, like sharp arrows, with which she will transfix her enemies." (True Devotion, No. 56), It is such prayer-warriors who "..will be like thunder-clouds flying through the air at the slightest breath of the Holy Spirit. Attached to nothing, surprised at nothing, troubled at nothing, they will shower down the rain of God's word and of eternal life. They will thunder against sin, they will storm against the world, they will strike down the devil and his followers and for life and for death, they will pierce through and through with the two-edged sword of God's word all those against whom they are sent by almighty God." (True Devotion, No. 57).

This isn't a time for hand-wringing. Neither is it a time to look to so-called "experts," intellectual frauds who rely on their own intelligence. Fools. Now is the time to have recourse to Mary. The victory has been promised to the simple sandalled maiden. This is something the proud cannot understand or accept. Our Lady will crush the Devil's head - the seat of his intellect - and she will accomplish this without an academic degree or countless meetings. She will accomplish what the proud cannot. And she will do this through her children, her heel, those little souls consecrated to her who are despised by the world.

And so, remembering the words of the Cure of Ars St. Jean Vianney (the Patron Saint of parish priests): "Humility is to the various virtues what the chain is to the Rosary; take away the chain and the beads are scattered, remove humility and all virtues vanish," we pray:

O Lord,

all our powers of body and spirit,

every gift both natural and supernatural,

outward and inward,

comes as a blessing from You

and reveals Your goodness,

generosity, and love,

for You have given us all that is good.

You know what is best to give each one;

and since it is clear

to You what each one's merits are,

it is for You and not for us to decide

why one has less and another more.

And so, O Lord God,

I can even consider it a great blessing

if I do not have much to bring me

praise and glory from man;

for when one does not have much,

he can look at his poverty and worthlessness,

and far from being burdened and sorrowful and dejected,

he can feel comforted and glad,

for it is the poor and humble

and despised in the eyes of the world

that You have chosen,

O god, to be familiar members

of Your household.

For when I am weak, it is then that I am strong.  We must not rely on ourselves.  When David and Goliath faced off in battle, Goliath relied on his strength and his natural abilities.  David relied on God; on His supernatural strength.  The rest is history.

Won't you join me in offering a Rosary and intercessory prayer each and every day for the needs of the Church and for our broken, hurting world - a world crippled by sin?
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