Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Diocese of Worcester and the ordination of homosexual men

Although I have had extensive psychological testing and screening for the United States military (as part of my security clearance for military intelligence) and while looking into a religious community which turned out to have a modernist agenda in opposition to the Magisterial teaching of the Church (as expressed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Papal Encyclicals and Conciliar documents) and have received glowing reports which indicate that I am free of any pathologies - including a homosexual inclination, I am not permitted even to APPLY for priestly studies within the Diocese of Worcester.

Meanwhile, the Diocese of Worcester has ordained homosexual men to the priesthood.  For example, a psychological evaluation in 1977 prior to the ordination of Fr. Jean Paul Gagnon  indicated that the candidate had possible "sex role identification" problems. See here.

Strange huh?  Especially since, as I warned in the pages of The Wanderer back in 2002, Canon 1040 of the Code of Canon Law states that: "Persons who are affected by a perpetual impediment, which is called an irregularity, or a simple impediment, are prevented from receiving orders." 

Irregularities arise either from defect (ex defectu) or from crime (ex delicto).  It seems clear that a homosexual inclination, which the Church teaches is "intrinsically disordered," would constitute an irregularity ex defectu.  And, as Father Heribert Jone, O.F.M. Cap., J.C.D. explains: "An irregularity is not a penalty, but a means to safeguard the dignity of the clerical state and office by excluding those who are unqualified for the service of the altar."

Why then did the Worcester Diocese ordain Jean Paul Gagnon?  If a psychologist warned that he had possible "sex role identification problems" why did he receive the green light for ordination?  Was/is the diocese actively recruiting men with homosexual tendencies for the priesthood?  If so, how does this safeguard the dignity of the clerical state?  And is a man with a homosexual inclination validly ordained?  I submit that such an ordination is not valid.  The homosexual inclination, "though not a sin in itself, nevertheless constitutes a more or less strong tendency to an intrinsically evil behavior from the moral standpoint.  For this reason, the very inclination should be considered as objectively disordered." (Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on Pastoral Service for Homosexual Persons, No. 3).

We know that the Diocese of Worcester has permitted a culture of dissent for years.  Those of us who follow the Holy Father and the Magisterial teaching of the Church know that the current Bishop - Robert McManus - usually ignores our concerns expressed charitably in countless letters.  But does the diocese have an agenda to actively recruit homosexual men for the priesthood while turning orthodox heterosexual men away?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The New Paganism leads to Satanism

In his work entitled Essays of a Catholic, Hilaire Belloc predicted that, "when the gods of the New Paganism come they will not be merely insufficient, as were the gods of Greece, nor merely false; they will be evil.  One might put it in a sentence, and say that the New Paganism, foolishly expecting satisfaction, will fall, before it knows where it is, into Satanism."

Having succumbed to this New Paganism, many within the Church (priests, religious and laity) have come to resemble the demons they now serve (see here for example).  Our Lady of Fatima speaks of repentance and conversion, two ideas not at all popular in the "modern Church" today.  Today the psychotherapeutic revolution has replaced the concept of sin with guilt which is to be "cured" through therapy.  Archbishop Fulton Sheen noted that, "Under traditional Christianity [which is fast-disappearing], a man was a theological creature, an adopted son of God and a member of the Mystical Body of Christ; in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries man became a philosophical thing bound to God by some vague ties of creaturehood.  But man today is only a biological phenomenon with no other destiny than that of the worm he crushes under his heel.  Once man loses hold on the primary dogma that man has a moral end, and that his actions, thoughts and words in this life are all registered in the Book of Life, and therefore will one day determine his eternal destiny, sin becomes meaningless.  The modern mind has forgotten the dogma of man, and hence cannot avoid forgetting the morals of man, for one is the corollary of the other.  Deny that God is interested in the behavior of men and you immediately create a society in which man is uninterested in the behavior of his fellow man." (Essay entitled The Sense of Sin).

Today, in centers of learning, Holy Scripture is openly mocked.  Many of our priests and religious have lost their faith and, with a false show of scholarship, openly repudiate God's Holy Word and the Church's Tradition.  Others simply remain silent having succumbed to sins which they can no longer denounce since they practice them in secret.  Having reduced the Gospel message to mere superstition, these children of the Devil are robbing countless youth who need to be nourished "not by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God."  As a result, these poor youth are spiritually starved to death by the lies which proceed from the mouths of Satan's children.  Small wonder so many youth have abandoned the Faith altogether. 

Our Lord denounced the religious leaders of the Jews for doing the same thing - refusing to accept the truth and falsifying His message:

"You are of your father the devil and your will is to do your father's desires.  He was a murderer from the beginning and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him.  When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies...He who is of God hears the words of God.  The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God." (John 8: 34-37).

Do not wait for the call to repentance to come from the clergy (generally speaking).  For many, not all but many, of these no longer hear the Word of God.  Place yourselves in the hands of the Immaculate Mother of God - your Mother.  For the Days of Noah have returned - Matthew 24: 37-41.

Many will scoff at this notion.  But look around you.  What do you see?  Sodomy is being rationalized and even sodomite "marriage."  Abortion continues to take countless millions of innocent children, sacrificed to Moloch.  Contraception is justified and is given to the youth.  Crime, terrorism, wars breaking out everywhere.  Not a Civilization of Love but a hellish Civilization of Sin and hatred of God.

God's wrath is approaching.  Those who have ears to hear will heed the Spirit and the emerging Signs of the Times.  Those destined to an eternity in Hell will continue to justify sin and a culture which embraces it.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Bishop Robert McManus, the Diocese of Worcester, and vocations

As I noted in a previous post (see here), the Diocese of Worcester has some sort of animus against men who feel called to the priesthood but who accept, promote and defend the Church's Magisterial teaching.  There really is no denying this.  Candidates such as Jonathan Joseph Slavinskas are entirely welcome within the diocese (see here), but I am not permitted to even apply as part of a discernment process.

This is most unfortunate.  Dr. Germain Grisez explains that, "Since the ordained priesthood and diaconate provide the necessary ministries of the word and sacraments to the whole Church, every member shares a common duty to foster vocations to this service."

This duty, which pertains to all Christians, is codified in Canon Law:

"A duty rests upon the entire Christian community to foster vocations so that sufficient provision is made for the needs of the sacred ministry throughout the entire Church; Christian families, educators and in a special way priests, especially pastors, are particularly bound by this duty.  Since it is principally the concern of diocesan bishops to promote vocations, they should instruct the people entrusted to them concerning the importance of the sacred ministry and the necessity of ministers in the Church; therefore they are to encourage and support endeavors to foster vocations by means of projects especially established for that purpose." (Canon 233).

Paragraph 2 of the same Canon also states, "Moreover priests, and especially diocesan bishops, are also to be solicitous that men of a more mature age who consider themselves called to the sacred ministries are prudently assisted IN WORD AND DEED and duly prepared."

When I contacted the Worcester Diocese to express my interest in DISCERNING a priestly vocation, I received no response whatsoever.  When I wrote Bishop Robert McManus expressing my interest, again, no response.  This is promoting vocations?  This is being "solicitous" for mature vocations while assisting such in "word and deed"?

Of course not.

Every so often local parishes will offer a prayer intention for vocations.  But without any real effort to promote and foster vocations to the priesthood and religious life, such prayer intentions amount to little more than a dog and pony show.  Bishop McManus apparently has such disdain for me (pesky magisterial Catholic that I am) that when I phoned him to inform him that my "pastor" at the time (Fr. Joseph Jurgelonis) and his "pastoral staff" wouldn't schedule a Mass for my departed father, he actually laughed.

Feel the love of Christ Jesus.

Folks, if we really want to turn the tide within and outside of the Church, we will need to be more accepting of men who are orthodox in their faith and who feel called to the priesthood.  The laborers are few.  Can we afford to prohibit men faithful to the Magisterium from having a place at the table?

Related reading here.


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Luis Sérgio Solimeo on chastisement

A couple of Catholics have written me with questions as to why good people [including devout Catholics] are also punished during various chastisements.  I offer the following:

Excellent article from TFP on natural disasters and chastisement

By Luis Sérgio Solimeo

The string of natural calamities and man-made tragedies afflicting the world and the United States, particularly Hurricane Katrina in late August, have stimulated many people to reflection. Some see these tragic events as God’s chastisement of a sinful mankind; others see them as yet one more merciful warning from Providence; others yet deny both options and give various reasons.

Modern society’s staggering apostasy from the truth of the Gospel prompts many to ask themselves if God is not trying to send a message to the world through these calamities. Could He be saying: “Such as I love, I rebuke and chastise. Be zealous therefore and do penance. Behold, I stand at the gate and knock”?1

Could God be showing His supreme displeasure with the reigning amorality and libertinism, loss of faith and dissemination of sins that “cry out to heaven for vengeance” such as abortion and homosexuality?2

If we consider just abortion, for example, could these calamities be a Divine chastisement for the blood of millions of innocent victims that rises to heaven clamoring for justice? “They have poured out the blood of the Saints as water, round about Jerusalem. And there was none to bury them. Avenge, O Lord, the blood of Thy Saints, which has been shed upon the earth.”3

An Archbishop’s WordsCommenting on 2005’s Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the retired Archbishop of New Orleans, Most Reverend Philip M. Hannan was very much of the opinion that these tragedies were Divine chastisements for sin:

“I’ve been speaking at local parishes, and here's what I kept telling the people I say, look, we are responsible not only for our individual actions to God, but in addition to that, we are also citizens of a nation and in the Old Testament as well as the New Testament, it says that a nation has a destiny and we are responsible whether we cause it or not for the course of morality in that nation. We are responsible as citizens for the sexual attitude, disregard of family rights, drug addiction, the killing of 45 million unborn babies, the scandalous behavior of some priests – so we have to understand that certainly the Lord has a right to chastisement.… We have reached a depth of immorality that we have never reached before. And the chastisement was Katrina as well as Rita.”4

That people who deny the existence of God would summarily write off Archbishop Hannan’s courageous assessment is understandable. However, we see some Catholics rush to join the opinion of such atheists – perhaps unwittingly – emphatically denying any spiritual significance to these disasters. How can these Catholics be so sure that these calamities are not “signs of the times?”5

That they are not chastisements? Or warnings from God?

A First Objection: If It Can Be Explained Scientifically It Cannot Be Divine Intervention Among these Catholics are some who suggest that natural catastrophes can be explained scientifically and that there is no need, therefore, to bring Divine intervention into the picture to understand what happened. This argument is only partly correct.

God Uses the Natural Causes He Created to Intervene in History Science can explain the mechanics of natural disasters, but not their transcendent meaning. For this, we must look to philosophy and theology.

Indeed, to suggest that the forces of nature act wholly on their own, to the exclusion of any Divine plan, is to deny that they are God’s creatures. It is to affirm either that the Creator made things without an end and purpose, or that He is unable to intervene in His own creation.

However, if God were to have made things without a purpose, He would not be wise; and if He were unable to control events and direct them toward the end He had in mind when He created them, He would not be almighty. This would be tantamount to denying His existence, for the sheer possibility of an imperfect God contradicts the very idea of God. Either He is an absolutely perfect being, or the very idea of God makes no sense.

Nothing in Creation Escapes God’s GovernmentIndeed, not only did God create all beings through a sovereign act of His Divine Will, but He sustains them in existence and directs them toward the end for which He created them: His extrinsic glory. In other words, all of Creation is under Divine government and is subject to God’s wise designs. As Saint Thomas teaches:

“God [is] the ruler of things as He is their cause, because the same gives existence as gives perfection; and this belongs to government. Now God is the cause not indeed only of some particular kind of being, but of the whole universal being. Wherefore, as there can be nothing which is not created by God, so there can be nothing which is not subject to His government.… Now the end of the Divine government is the Divine goodness. Wherefore, as there can be nothing that is not ordered to the Divine goodness as its end, so it is impossible for anything to escape from the Divine government.”6

Saint Thomas further explains that while this Divine government is direct and immediate from the standpoint of design, this does not mean that God cannot use secondary means for the ultimate execution of His plans. Consequently, He can use the angels or even men to intervene in History. He can use natural forces and the physical laws that are derived from the nature of beings as He created them and their relationships with each other.7  However, just because God usually uses these secondary causes to execute His plans, this does not mean that He is not directing, in a superior fashion, all things to their true purpose, which is His glory.8 Therefore, just because God does not suspend the laws of nature, as He did when opening the Red Sea for the Chosen People, that does not mean events are not obeying His designs.9

In fact, God’s absolute perfection demands that He act continuously in history. This is abundantly confirmed by Holy Scriptures and the writings of the Church Fathers.10 Therefore, when analyzing the present catastrophes, God’s government in the world must be taken into consideration.

A Second Objection: God is Goodness Itself, So He Never Chastises MenOther Catholics disagreeing with Archbishop Hannan’s assessment raise a second objection: “God is supremely good, in fact He is Goodness itself, therefore He never chastises men.”

Actually, since God is the absolute perfect being, and the cause of all perfection, He must have in Himself all possible perfections.11 Thus, He is not only infinitely good and merciful, but also infinitely just. As the Psalmist so aptly says: “Mercy and truth have met each other: justice and peace have kissed.”12

Therefore, while God reserves definitive reward or punishment for the next life, as seen in the parable of the wheat and the chaff,13 He also chastises on this earth. This truth is formally found in Revelation. Some examples are: the plagues of Egypt, 14 the Flood,15 the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah16 and the destruction of Jerusalem.17

God Does Judge and Chastise Men, and Each Man IndividuallyAlso, Saint Paul says that earthly authority “is God's minister: an avenger to execute wrath upon him that doth evil.”18 Clearly, human authority could not be a “minister” or agent of Divine justice if God Himself did not meet out earthly punishment.

According to the Apostle, man cannot escape Divine justice, be it in this life or the next: “And thinkest thou this, O man … that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? … But according to thy hardness and impenitent heart, thou treasurest up to thyself wrath, against the day of wrath and revelation of the just judgment of God: Who will render to every man according to his works.”19

Finally, Mary’s prayer, the Magnificat, teaches that God’s mercy is manifested “to them that fear him.”20 It is because God judges and chastises that we should fear offending Him.

A Third Objection: Since the Calamity Affected Both Good and Bad It Cannot Be Divine Chastisement – God Would Never Chastise the GoodOther Catholics bring up a third reason why they would disagree with Archbishop Hannan: “These natural disasters, did not only affect evil men, they also brought untold suffering to good people. Thus, they cannot be a chastisement from God. Were God to punish the good, He would not be infinitely just.”

To properly address this objection we must first recall some basic teachings of our Catholic faith:

a) God is the Lord of life: We owe our existence to God and just as He freely gave us life, He is free to take it from us. There is no injustice when He does so, regardless of the stage of life, be it that of an infant, a child, an adult in the full vigor of manhood, or one who has reached venerable old age.

b) Eternal, not earthly, life and happiness are our ultimate goal: Moreover, our earthly life and happiness are not ends in themselves. They are not the supreme reason for our existence. They are the road, the means, for us to attain eternal life, our true goal. Thus, Saint Paul reminds us, “Our citizenship is in heaven.”
21 God’s way of acting becomes incomprehensible when we lose sight of eternal life and heavenly happiness.

c) God punishes collective sin, collectively: When sin becomes generalized, is greatly tolerated, or is committed by particularly representative individuals, it involves the whole family, city, region, nation, or even historical eras. This collective dimension makes sin particularly grave and offensive to God and the result is that Divine chastisement is also collective. Both good and bad suffer. The first suffer to become more perfect; the second as a chastisement for their faults.

Saint Augustine Explains Collective Chastisement The great Saint Augustine, Bishop of Hippo in Northern Africa, and Doctor of the Church, lived during the barbarian invasions that brought about the fall of the Western Roman Empire. Indeed, the Vandals were storming at the city gates as he died.

During this troubled period, pagans blamed the Church for the collapse of Empire and civilization. If the Empire had not become Christian, they argued, Jove and the other gods of Rome would have saved it from destruction. Moreover, they added, the God of the Christians was no god at all since He had not spared the Christians from the barbarians.
Saint Augustine wrote The City of God to defend the Church and shore up the faith in hearts. In his masterwork, he explains the reason for collective chastisements. His reasoning can be summed up as follows:

1. Since nations as such do not pass to eternal life, they are rewarded or chastised in this life for the good or evil they practice; good and bad alike feel the effects of both reward and chastisement.

2. As for the good, the chastisement purifies their love of God, and may even take them from the tribulations of this life to the eternally happy life of Heaven; “Job’s case exemplifies that the human spirit may be proved, and that it may be manifested with what fortitude of pious trust, and with how unmercenary a love, it cleaves to God.”

3. On the other hand, very often the good are justly chastised for a certain selfishness, a lack of courage and apostolic fervor, that prevents them from pointing out to the bad, the evil of their ways: “Because they weakly relish the flattery and respect of men, and fear the judgments of the people, and the pain or death of the body; that is to say, their non-intervention is the result of selfishness, and not of love.”

4. As for the bad, they are chastised by “Divine Providence, which is wont to reform the depraved manners of men by chastisement.”22

Such is also the teaching of Saint Thomas who says: “Justice and mercy appear in the punishment of the just in this world, since by afflictions lesser faults are cleansed in them, and they are the more raised up from earthly affections to God. Likewise, Saint Gregory says: ‘The evils that press on us in this world force us to go to God.’”23

Our Lady at Fatima: A Prophetic and Maternal WarningProphets in the Old Testament continually warned the Chosen People of chastisements that would come on account of their apostasies. Hence, we read of the prophet Jeremias warning of the Babylonian captivity. In the New Testament, Our Lord warned that Jerusalem would be destroyed because it had rejected Him.24

In 1917, the Blessed Mother appeared in Fatima to warn that if the world did not convert and do penance it would be chastised: “When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given you by God that he is about to punish the world for its crimes, by means of war, famine, and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father.… [Russia] will spread her errors throughout the world.
The good will be martyred… various nations will be annihilated.”25  At her last apparition in Fatima on October 13, 1917, Our Lady performed the famous miracle of the sun, perhaps to give us an idea of the natural or man-made cataclysms that could strike mankind, if we do not convert. The miracle was witnessed by 70,000 people and was reported extensively in the Portuguese anti-clerical secular press of the time.26

Has the world converted and done penance during these 88 years since Our Lady made her request? Archbishop Hannan’s words suggest that it has not. He mentions a few of the evils that plague us, but many more can be added to the list. The world has fallen into an almost universal apostasy. Its immorality is unparalleled since the advent of Christianity. More than just an aggressive libertinism, this sad state of things represents a sin of the spirit whereby moral aberrations are esteemed and even protected by law. Massive public parades that glorify homosexual vice have become frequent in nearly all of the world’s major cities. In 2000, a world “homosexual pride” festival took place in Rome. And in August 2005, another 10-day one was to have taken place in Jerusalem, but the vigorous reaction from residents forced the organizers to postpone it for a year.

New Orleans: Tears of Maternal Sorrow and Warning In this regard, it is certainly significant that the International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima, one of the four statues carved under the direction of Sister Lúcia, the main Fatima seer, shed tears in New Orleans in July 1972.27

One month after that miraculous weeping, the beautiful port city saw the beginning of Southern Decadence – days filled with the public display of naked flesh and homosexual lewdness28 – and with every passing year, New Orleans became increasingly a symbol for those who ignore Our Lady of Fatima’s message of conversion.

Could Our Lady have chosen New Orleans for this miraculous weeping because, in weeping over New Orleans, She was weeping over everything it would come to symbolize?

A Call to Conversion and PenanceThis brings us back to the original question. How should we look at Hurricane Katrina and the string of tragedies that have befallen our nation and the world? As a chastisement? As a new warning from Divine Providence?
The answer is that regardless if the causes of tragedy are natural or man-made, we cannot exclude Divine Providence’s wise and unfathomable designs. Rather, for all the reasons laid out above, and particularly Our Lady’s message at Fatima, it seems to us that prudence demands we give serious consideration to the possibility that God is warning us of our faults and calling us to repentance.

God does not want the death of the sinner, but his conversion. However, if the world does not heed Our Lady’s call to conversion, we cannot be surprised if even worse tragedies afflict the world – the annihilation of whole nations, for example, as mentioned by the Blessed Mother at Fatima.Whatever the future may have in store for us, however, we should always remember that Our Lady also foretold at Fatima both mankind’s ultimate conversion and her final victory, “Finally, my Immaculate Heart will triumph!”May the series of catastrophes that have befallen America and the world help us to take to heart Our Lady’s maternal call to conversion.

1. Apoc. 3:19-20.
2. “The catechetical tradition also recalls that there are "sins that cry to heaven": the blood of Abel, (Gen. 4:10) the sin of the Sodomites, (Gen. 18:20; 19:13) the cry of the people oppressed in Egypt, (Ex. 3:7-10) the cry of the foreigner, the widow, and the orphan, (Ex. 20:20-22) injustice to the wage earner (Deut. 24:14-15).” Catechism of The Catholic Church (Second Edition, n. 1867.
3. Adaptation of Psalm 78:3, 9-10, Tract of the Mass of the Holy Innocents, Martyrs, (Feast day December 28) old Latin Roman Missal.
5. When the Pharisees and Sadducees asked the Divine Master for “a sign from heaven,” He answered: “When it is evening, you say, it will be fair weather, for the sky is red. And in the morning: Today there will be a storm, for the sky is red and lowering. You know then how to discern the face of the sky: and can you not know the signs of the times?” – Matt. 16:1-3. (Our emphasis).
6. St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, I.q. 103, a.5.
7. “In government there are two things to be considered; the design of government, which is providence itself; and the execution of the design. As to the design of government, God governs all things immediately; whereas in its execution, He governs some things by means of others.” (Ibid., a. 6).
8. Of course, God respects men’s free will and, in case of sin, reestablishes his offended glory by exercising His justice.
9. God commonly acts in history without suspending the laws of nature but by steering them to obtain certain results. For example, when the Prophet Elias prayed for rain in Israel, which was suffering from a terrible drought, God caused many clouds to come together and rain heavily (1 Kings 18:41-45). At other times He suspends the laws of nature, as when the Israelites crossed the Red Sea (Ex. 14:16).
10. Summarizing the central thesis of St. Augustine’s famous work, The City of God, Fr. A. Rascol says that it is Divine Providence that orders favorable events and allows adversities, regulating the joys and afflictions of the just, and punishing some faults while saving others for the day of definitive judgment (Cf. A. Rascol, s.v. “Providence, S. Augustin,” in Vacant-Magenot-Amann, Dictionnaire de Théologie Catholique, (Paris: Letouzey et Ané, 1936), Vol. 13, col. 963. On the role of Providence in Scripture, see Leslie J. Walker, s.v. “Divine Providence,” at
11. Thus, St. Thomas says: “Since therefore God is the first effective cause of things, the perfections of all things must pre-exist in God in a more eminent way.” (Summa Theologica, I, q.4, a2.
12. Psalm 84:11. (Douay-Rheims.)
13. Cf. Matt. 13:24-30.
14. Cf. Exodus, Chapters 7-8.
15. Cf. Genesis, Chapters 6-8.
16. Cf. Genesis, Chapter 19.
17. Cf. Matt. 24:1-2.
18. Rom. 13:4.
19. Rom. 3:6.
20. Lk. 1:50.
21. Phil. 3:20.
22. Cf. St. Augustine, The City of God, Book I, Chapters 1 and 9. The thesis that nations are rewarded or chastised in this earthly life is an underlying thesis found throughout The City of God, but particularly in Books IV and V.
23. Summa Theologica, I, q.21, a.4.
24. Cf. Lk., 19:41-44; Matt. 23:37.
25. Cf.
26. Cf. John M. Haffert, Meet the Witnesses, (Washington, N.J.: Ave Maria Institute, 1961). Mr. Haffert provides his interviews with numerous eyewitnesses of this awesome miracle.
27. We read on the web site of the International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima: “New Orleans, LA, July, 1972: During Her tour of the New Orleans diocese, the statue shed tears on numerous occasions.… That was the first time it was discovered that the moisture was human tears and also the first time photos began to circulate.” Cf. also Plinio Correa de Oliveira, “Tears, a Miraculous Warning,” Folha de S. Paulo, Aug. 6, 1972.
28. This August, the homosexual event was officially cancelled because of hurricane Katrina although two unofficial parades were held in New Orleans and Lafayette. The festival’s immorality is evident from this description found on a New Orleans’ tourist web site:“Leave your prudish friends and family at home“Parades and non-stop parties aside, Southern Decadence may be most famous (or infamous) for the displays of naked flesh which characterize the event …. the atmosphere of Southern Decadence has stayed true to its name and public displays of sexuality are pretty much everywhere you look. Like I said, you might want to leave your more prudish friends and family at home…. August 31-September 5, 2005.”
29. “Is it my will that a sinner should die, saith the Lord God, and not that he should be converted from his ways, and live?” Ezek. 18:23

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

"I shall be pleased to break the pride of the wicked much more when the world will be most hostile to all that is supernatural"

It is becoming ever more clear that America is suffering through a series of earthly and spiritual scourges as part of the chastisement in the broad sense, a chastisement which will reach its peak with a divine intervention with Three Days Darkness.  Blessed Anna Maria Taigi said that after a series of earthly punishments, a heavenly scourge will come which will de directed solely against the impenitent.  "This scourge," said the great mystic, "will be far more frightful and will be mitigated by nothing, but it will take place and act in its full rigor."

We are now living in the times foretold by Elizabeth Canori-Mora when, "God will employ the powers of hell for the extermination of those impious and heretical persons who desire to overthrow the Church and destroy it to its very foundation....He will punish these impious blasphemers by giving permission to the infernal spirits to come out from Hell.  Innumerable legions of demons shall overrun the earth, and shall execute the orders of Divine Justice by causing terrible calamities and disasters; they shall injure individual persons and entire families: they shall devastate property and alimentary productions, cities and villages."

Do we believe this?  Even with the devastation witnessed in Oklahoma?  Because America is entrenched in sin, even the earth is revolting: "Because their land has become defiled, I am punishing it for its wickedness, by making it vomit out its inhabitants." (Leviticus 18: 25).

America is too proud.  And this pride will be shattered completely.  We consider ourselves to be "strong" when we should  be striving instead to be holy.  See here.

Martha Robin, the famous stigmatist who subsisted on the Eucharist alone from 1928 to 1981 and who had apparitions of Christ, Mary and St. Therese the Little Flower, was told by Our Lord: "I play with the plans of men.  My right hand prepares miracles and My name shall be glorified in all the world.  I shall be pleased to break the pride of the wicked much more when the world will be most hostile to all that is supernatural.  And much more admirable and extraordinary will be the event that will come out of our encounter.  In place of the throne of the Beast two glorious thrones will arise, one of My Sacred Heart and the other of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Then it will be understood that neither human power nor demons nor genius of industry will end the conflict, but that will end only when reparation has been consummated.  Be courageous!  The Kingdom of God is near.  It will begin with something that will come so suddenly as to be entirely unexpected." 

Atheists and counterfeit Catholics refuse to believe this.  Such have lost their faith in supernatural realities.  But these will come to believe.  Their pride will be broken.  And every knee shall bend at the name of Jesus. - every knee (Philippians 2:10).

Friday, May 17, 2013

Bishop Thomas John Paprocki on Islamic violence

While Bishop Robert McManus doesn't understand the inherent dangers posed by Islam, which often leaves room for violence, Bishop Thomas John Paprocki does.  Below is an excellent article from His Excellency:

What we need for real conversation about religion

It was a more innocent day when I ran the Boston Marathon on April 20, 1998. The biggest security issue back then was dealing with the "bandits" who would run the race without qualifying, without registering, and without paying the entrance fee. They would not get a medal at the finish line and their time was not officially counted, but every year a few thousand bandits would sneak in to run the 26.2 mile course from Hopkinton, Mass., into downtown Boston.

Running and training for marathons has also been a diversion for me from the stresses and worries of everyday life. Whether training with friends or running alone with my thoughts or while praying Hail Marys on my finger rosary, the experience of long-distance running would always transport me far away not only physically, but also mentally and spiritually.

All of that was shaken profoundly last month on April 15 with the jihadist bombings at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Although I officially qualified and ran the Boston Marathon just once, over the years I have run stretches of the course with my friends who live in Boston. I have also watched the Boston Marathon as a spectator several times, most recently two years ago. Thankfully I did not go to Boston this year and my friends who live in Boston were not hurt, but a friend of mine from the Chicago area who was in Boston to watch her daughter run the marathon was not so fortunate. Beth was at the finish line cheering her daughter Becky who had just crossed the finish line when the explosion occurred. Her left knee was fractured by a projectile and she underwent surgery and hospitalization. Two people that were standing in front of her were killed.

The running community is a close-knit group of people, so I feel a personal connection with those who were affected by this tragedy. They are very much in my prayers. Being familiar with the course and the area around the finish line also brought this all too close to home. But that will not deter my commitment to running. If anything, I am strengthened in my resolve not to let terrorists change my lifestyle or my outlook on life. But that does not mean that we should be oblivious to threats or to their causes.

Identifying the threats and their causes, however, has been obfuscated by the curious way that some of the media have been reporting the motives of the alleged bombers. For example, the front page headline in the April 22 issue of The Wall Street Journal, which stated, "Turn to Religion Split Bomb Suspects' Home," mistakenly identified "religion" as the problem that led to the senseless violence at the Boston Marathon. The reporters who wrote the story under the headline got it right when they wrote, "Law-enforcement officials trying to understand what happened in Boston are looking into whether Tamerlan Tsarnaev had taken a turn toward radical Islam." But then the reporters fudged too by writing, "The upheaval in the household was driven, at least in part, by a growing interest in religion by both Tamerlan and his mother." The former attorney general of the United States, Michael Mukasey, got it right in his opinion piece in that same issue of The Wall Street Journal, which was entitled, "Make No Mistake, It Was Jihad."

Generically blaming "religion" for terrorist bombings misunderstands the true nature of religion. Authentic religion binds people together in peace and harmony with each other and their Creator. The problem is not religion, but radical Islamist jihadism. It is highly unlikely that a "growing interest" in Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity or any other major world religion would have resulted in the Boston Marathon bombings. Blaming "religion" appears to offer a non-offensive euphemism for those who do not want to insult Muslims, but doing so has the effect of defaming all religions and provides an easy but mistaken scapegoat for those seeking to justify their secularist views.

Identifying radical Islamist jihadism as the motivation for so much brutal terrorism will undoubtedly bring outcries from those who will complain that this unfairly labels all Muslims, but those energies would be better spent if peaceful Muslims would very vocally disavow the radical Islamist jihadists and publicly denounce their violent version of Islam. Perhaps then we could have a real conversation about how people of all religious faiths could live together peacefully in a pluralistic world.

May God give us this grace. Amen.

Of course, the problem isn't just with "radical Islamist jihadism."  I noted that here.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Bishop Robert McManus pleads guilty

As this article explains, Bishop Robert McManus has decided to take responsibility for his recent hit and run episode in Rhode Island.  This is encouraging.  Most of us are aware that sin destroys our relationship with God and that it also undermines our relationships with family members, friends and others with whom we come into contact. Reconciliation refers to that precise effect of Christ's redemption of the human race by His sacrificial death on the Cross which restores our relationship with God and breaks down the barriers of sin which prevent us from engaging in authentic relationships with others.

In the words of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, "Conversion is accomplished in daily life by gestures of reconciliation, concern for the poor, the exercise and defense of justice and right, by the admission of faults to one's brethren, fraternal correction, revision of life, examination of conscience, spiritual direction, acceptance of suffering, endurance of persecution for the sake of righteousness. Taking up one's cross each day and following Jesus is the surest way of penance." (1435).

In other words, our transformation in Christ, our daily conversion, is made manifest by such gestures of reconciliation by which we demonstrate our commitment toward the theological virtue of charity "by which we love God above all things for his own sake, and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God" (CCC, 1822). We are told in Sacred Scripture that a faith without works is dead (James 2:14-19). An authentic reconciliation, therefore, will show itself in a charity which embraces both God and neighbor. As Jean Jaouen so eloquently puts it, "..Christian compassion cannot be a cerebral, fleshless reality. It is completely impossible for one who loves people coldly to dissociate eternal salvation from the temporal well-being of a human person. A person is a whole. Time is eternity already begun yet still not completely visible. The conflict will be resolved if Christian apostles learn to live with their people while remaining present to the Lady who, with her Son, weeps over both the death of souls and the death of little children. 'Lady of heaven, empress of earth.' Through the Virgin Mediator and Queen, apostles will find a balance between the demands of heaven and those of earth." (Jean Jaouen, m.s., "A Grace Called La Salette: a story for the world," pp. 327-328, grassroots publishing international, Enfield, New Hampshire, English edition 1991).

I continue to pray for Bishop McManus.  I pray that he will find it within himself to treat Catholics faithful to the Magisterium with dignity and respect and that he will not continue to ignore our legitimate and charitably expressed concerns.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Rosary of Our Lady of Tears

A powful devotion for our troubled times:

Opening Prayer: Crucified Jesus! We fall at your feet and offer you the tears of her who with deep compassionate love accompanied you on your sorrowful way of the Cross. Grant, O good Master, that we take to heart the lessons which the tears of you most holy Mother teach us, so that we may fulfill Your holy will on earth and be worthy to praise and exalt you in heaven for all eternity.

For each mystery of the Seven Sorrows,

On the large beads say:

O Jesus, look upon the tears of her who loved you most on earth, and loves you most ardently in Heaven.

followed by the meditation for that mystery (see below).

On the small beads say:

O Jesus, hear our prayers for the sake of your most holy Mother's Tears.


In Honor of the Seven Sorrows of Mary the Meditations are to be prayed on the large beads:

1. O Jesus, for the sake of the tears of Your Most Holy Mother shed during Simeon's Prophecy that a sword will pierce Her Heart, grant, O good Master, that we take to heart the lessons which the tears of you most holy Mother teach us, so that we may fulfill Your holy will on earth and be worthy to praise and exalt you in heaven for all eternity.

2. O Jesus, for the sake of the tears of Your Most Holy Mother shed during Her Flight into Egypt, grant…

3. O Jesus, for the sake of the tears of Your Most Holy Mother shed during Her Search for You, grant…

4. O Jesus, for the sake of the tears of Your Most Holy Mother shed during Your Painful Way of the Cross , grant…

5. O Jesus, for the sake of the tears of Your Most Holy Mother shed during Your Agony on the Cross, grant …

6. O Jesus, for the sake of tears of Your Most Holy Mother shed when Your Sacred Body was taken from the Cross and placed into Her arms, grant…

7. O Jesus, for the sake of tears of Your Most Holy Mother shed when You were placed in the Sepulcher , grant…

On the each of the last three beads

O Jesus, look upon the tears of her who loved you most on earth, and loves you most ardently in Heaven.

Closing Prayer:

O Mary, Mother of love, sorrow and mercy, we beg you to unite your prayers with ours so that Jesus, your Divine Son, to whom we turn, may hear our petitions in the name of your maternal tears and may give us in addition to the favors we ask, the crown of everlasting life.


Meditations for Our Lady of Tears

1. The Prophecy of Simeon. I grieve for you, O Mary, most sorrowful, in the affliction of your tender heart at the prophecy of the holy and aged Simeon. Dear Mother, by your heart so afflicted, obtain for me the virtue of humility and the gift of holy fear of God.

2. The Flight into Egypt. I grieve for you, O Mary, most sorrowful, in the anguish of your most affectionate heart during the flight into Egypt and your sojourn there. Dear Mother, by your heart so troubled, obtain for me the virtue of generosity and the gift of piety.

3. The loss of the Child Jesus in the Temple. I grieve for you, O Mary, most sorrowful, in the anxieties, which tried your troubled heart, at the loss of your dear Jesus. Dear Mother, by your heart so full of anguish, obtain for me the virtue of chastity and the gift of knowledge.

4. Mary meets Jesus carrying His Cross. I grieve for you, O Mary, most sorrowful, in the consternation of your heart at meeting Jesus as He carried His Cross. Dear Mother, by your heart so troubled, obtain for me the virtue of patience and the gift of fortitude.

5. The Crucifixion. I grieve for you, O Mary, most sorrowful, in the martyrdom, which your generous heart endured in standing next to Jesus in His agony. Dear Mother, by your afflicted heart, obtain for me the virtue of temperance and the gift of counsel.

6. Striking of Jesus with the lance. I grieve for you, O Mary, most sorrowful, in the wounding of your compassionate heart, when the side of Jesus was struck before His Body was removed from the Cross. Dear Mother, by your heart thus transfixed, obtain for me the virtue of fraternal charity and the gift of understanding.

7. The Body of Jesus is placed in the tomb. I grieve for you, O Mary, most sorrowful, for the pangs that wrenched your most loving heart at the burial of Jesus, Dear Mother, by your heart sunk in the bitterness of desolation, obtain for me the virtue of diligence and the gift of wisdom.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Tom Horn and Cris Putnam deny Mary's sinlessness

In their latest work of anti-Catholic theology-fiction, Tom Horn and Cris Putnam, who were recently featured on Sid Roth's program 'Its Supernatural," attack Saint Jerome's translation of the Greek kecharitomene because the great scripture scholar, who was highly proficient in both Latin and Greek, used the Latin circumlocution gratia plena - "full of grace." (Luke 1: 28).

These two confused souls write, "Official Roman literature states, 'In consequence of a Special Privilege of Grace from God, Mary was free from every personal sin during her whole life.'  The only ostensibly scriptural argument given for this is from the Latin Vulgate rendering of Luke 1: 28 when the Angel addresses her, 'Hail, full of grace!'  Farfetched as it seems, this is the basis ffrom which they argue, 'since personal moral defects are irreconcilable with fullness of grace' then she must be sinless...we..argue that the phrase 'full of grace' is an erroneous Latin rendering that is even corrected in the NAB to read simply 'favored one.'  The Vulgate's distorted translation was the entire basis for the mistaken notion that sinless grace defined Mary's entire life.  Exegetically, it is also quite clear in the context of the passage that it is only a reference to her state at that moment when the Angel spoke." (Petrus Romanus, pp. 324-325).

And Cris Putnam is touted by this book as a "respected theologian and apologist."  Really?  Did he take his degree from an institution which advertises on the inside cover of a matchbook?  Luke 1:28 uses the perfect passive participle, kecharitomene.  The perfect stem of a Greek word denotes "continuance of a completed action" (Blass and DeBrunner, Greek Grammar of the New Testament, 175); and "completed action with permanent result is denoted by the perfect stem" (Smyth, sec. 1852:b.).

As Father Mateo explains, "On morphological grounds, therefore, it is correct to paraphrase kecharitomene as 'completely, perfectly, enduringly endowed with grace'...gratia plena is not at all a mistranslation.  It is a felicitous phrase, as close to the Greek as Latin can come and much to be preferred to modern efforts to improve it: 'favored one' (NAB [1986], RSV), 'highly favored' (NIV), and the monstrosity, 'highly favored daughter' (NAB [1970])...Catholics are not alone in this reading of kecharitomene.  In his Personal Prayer Book (1522), Luther wrote, 'She is full of grace, proclaimed to be entirely without sin...God's grace fills her with everything good and makes her devoid of all evil...'

Dave Armstrong adds, "Another important aspect of Luke 1: 28 should be noted.  The angel is here, in effect, giving Mary a new name ('full of grace')...It was as if the angel were addressing Abraham 'Hail, full of faith,' or Solomon 'Hail, full of wisdom' (characteristics for which they were particularly noteworthy).  The biblical and Hebraic understanding of one's name was quite profound.  God was very particular in naming individuals himself (e.g., Gen 17:5, 15, 19; Isa 45: 3-4; Matt 1: 21).  God renamed persons to indicate regeneration (as in Gen 17: 5, 15; 32: 28) or condemnation (as in Jer 20: 3).  For the ancient Hebrews, names signified the character, nature, and qualities of a person and were much more than mere identifying labels.  Thus, God chose His Son's name (Matt 1: 21).

Tom Horn and Cris Putnam should refrain from writing about things of which they have little knowledge.  They are only succeeding in making themselves look very foolish.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Bishop Robert McManus arrested

Pope John Paul II, in his book Rise, Let Us Be On Our Way, emphasizes that, "Just as a father shapes the faith of his children primarily by his example of prayer and religious fervor, so also a bishop inspires his faithful by his behavior.  That is why the author of the First Letter of Peter begs that bishops be 'a living example to the flock' (1 Peter 5:3)...A bishop is called to personal holiness in a particular way so that the holiness of the Church community entrusted to his care may increase and deepen...A bishop must guide and lead.  The faithful will listen to him and love him [to the degree that he imitates Christ, the Good Shepherd]..." (pp. 46, 48).

A bishop inspires his faithful by his behavior.  He does not inspire them by allowing dissent in his diocese or by getting arrested for DUI and hit and run - see here. 

When I learned of Bishop Robert McManus' arrest this past weekend, I was not entirely surprised.  For Bishop McManus has been very callous in his treatment of Catholics who are faithful to the Magisterial teaching of the Church.  He has ignored our heartfelt and charitably expressed letters.  He has refused to dialogue with me regarding my vocation.  He rescinded Robert Spencer's invitation to speak at the Catholic Men's Conference without contacting Mr. Spencer to allow him the dignity of making his case as to why he should be permitted to give his presentation.  So why bother to stop after hitting another automobile while driving under the influence?

Are you beginning to discern a pattern here?  The same bishop who has called upon others to increase their "spiritual stamina and fortitude" would do well to follow his own advice.  In a statement issued to the press, Bishop McManus indicated that he would accept the consequences of his actions.  This morning, standing before a judge, he pleaded "not guilty."  So much for spiritual stamina.

How do we put Bishop McManus' attitude in perspective?  Father Bede Jarrett, O.P., a master of the spiritual life - and an authentic model of holiness - explains that, "I can never value others, nor act charitably toward them, until I am fully conscious of the worth of my own soulWithout that appreciation, I can never be of real service to any of them.  Once I have perceived my own dignity, I can perceive the dignity of others, and realizing the importance of saving my own soul, I shall be led also to help others to save theirs.  The proverb is indeed justified: 'Charity begins at home.'" (Classic Catholic Meditations, p. 100).

I pray for Bishop McManus every day while meditating on the mysteries of the Holy Rosary.  I pray that he will begin to perceive his own dignity so that he will begin to perceive the dignity of others.  Until then, he will never be able to authentically shepherd.  You cannot manage a diocese with a hit and run attitude.

Friday, May 03, 2013

Bishop McManus claims that Catholic-Muslim inter-religious dialogue has produced a good harvest; But has it?

In a previous post, I noted how Bishop Robert McManus (Diocese of Worcester, Massachusetts) - the same Bishop who couldn't find the time to dialogue with me regarding my desire to discern a priestly vocation within the diocese - has asserted that the Catholic Church's inter-religious dialogue with Muslims "has produced a harvest of mutual respect, understanding and cooperation throughout the world and here in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

This is the sort of statement which is so asinine that only someone whose mind is far-removed from reality can actually believe it.  Islam, as Hilaire Belloc reminds us, "began as a heresy, not as a new religion.  It was not a pagan contrast with the Church; it was not an alien enemy. It was a perversion of Christian doctrine.  Its vitality and endurance soon gave it the appearance of a new religion, but those who were contemporary with its rise saw it for what it was - not a denial, but an adaptation and a misuse, of the Christian thing." (The Great Heresies, p. 42).

This perversion of Christian doctrine, which denies that Jesus is the Christ and that He died on the cross to atone for our sins, makes the claim that it alone is destined to become the religion of all mankind.  Islam divides the world into two camps: those who are lost and those who are the elect, the Dar al-Harb and the Dar al-Islam respectively.

Is an authentic dialogue with Islam even possible?  In any inter-religious dialogue, Pope John Paul II insists that, "There must be no abandonment of principles nor false irenicism, but instead a witness given and received for mutual advancement on the road of religious inquiry and experience, and at the same time for the elimination of prejudice, intolerance and misunderstandings." (Redemptoris Missio, No. 56).

But as Father Piero Gheddo has said, "In no Islamic country are Christians totally free, unlike Muslims in the West...The Muslims should examine their own consciences with regard to their collective behavior: the systematic violation of human rights, terrorism, oppressive practices against women and children, the lack of democracy, religious and social formalism that crushes the individual." ("Islam, accordo impossibile," Global Foreign Policy, March/April 2004).

And Bishop McManus insists that inter-religious dialogue with Muslims has produced "a harvest of mutual respect, understanding and cooperation"?  More like a harvest of shame Bishop.

For some people, the purpose of dialogue is not to attain truth but rather to achieve personal victory and to triumph at any cost. As Dr. Montague Brown explains in his wonderful book "The One-Minute Philosopher" (Sophia Institute Books): "An argument (emotional, not rational) is a disorderly confrontation based on an unwillingness to learn from one another. Desire for victory takes precedence over love of truth, with the result that agreement becomes an argument, I simply want my position to be the right one and you to agree with me. I am, indeed, looking for agreement, but on my terms, not in terms of objective truth." (p. 33). An authentic dialogue (which such people are not really interested in) is, " orderly confrontation based on a mutual willingness to learn from one another. It involves the presentation of evidence by each party and then a good-faith attempt of the participants in the discussion to come to agreement...In a discussion [or dialogue], I do not primarily want to disagree: I want to know the truth.." (The One-Minute Philosopher, p. 32).

Take note of what Dr. Brown is saying here.  Authentic dialogue involves the "presentation of evidence by each party."  Why then did Bishop McManus rescind Robert Spencer's invitation to speak at the Catholic Men's Conference?  Where is the mutual willingness to learn from each other?

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