We just hit two years on the blogging circuit.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
During a recent outing, we were blessed to have a day with fine spring weather. I'm an autumn guy myself, but spring usually comes in second when we actually have one. All too often, we skip spring and head right on into summer, with the 90+ degree heat and 80% humidity.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Sort of. This is from a little book called The Ways of God from Sophia Institute Press, though it appears to be out of print now. They are having a big sale now, by the way, and you should probably check them out.
But we, miserable as we are, if a monk is guilty of some excess, we reproach the whole convent and the entire Order and even every monk without exception, with the fault of a single one.
If one of our enemies offends us, we pursue a great number of innocent people with our hatred, all his descendants, his friends and associates. That is something that the Law of God forbids. "The soul that sins, the same shall die, the son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, and the father shall not bear the iniquity of the son; the justice of the just shall be upon him, and he wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him." (Ezekiel 18:20). "For everyone shall bear his own burden" (Galatians 6:5).
Monday, April 26, 2010
The Holy Father's Fifth Anniversary didn't get much coverage. There was far too much calumny going on to focus on such a minor occasion.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Will we ever see one? I'm not so sure. It's amazing to me how so many bishops can gripe and moan, in the name of collegiality, about the slightest action taken by Rome, yet completely abdicate all their responsibility in situations that demand the chastisement of the Church's admitted enemies.
In the latest episode in an ongoing controversy, Fr. Michael Pfleger has again publicly voiced his support for women's ordination, this time in a comment posted to his Facebook fan page. In that comment, he also notes that the archdiocese made him issue the apology he put out on Wednesday.
“Sunday, I mentioned in my Sermon that I believe in married Priests and Woman Priests,” the Facebook comment reads. “I was then told that I had to apologize for saying it durning [sic] a Sermon because that is not allowed, even though that is my opinion.
His comment follows a Wednesday statement published on the Archdiocese of Chicago's website, which has since been removed. In the statement he admits that he advocated for women priests and bishops in his homily, but then says that, “While this is my personal opinion, I do respect and follow the Catholic Church teachings and I am sorry I failed to do this.”
The student advocacy group suggested that the school's insistence in keeping the links may be related to the presence of Sr. Margaret Farley, a Sister of Mercy, on its Board of Trustees. Farley, who earned her Ph.D. at Yale Divinity School, was one of 40 Catholic religious who infamously signed a 1984 statement by "Catholics for Choice" upholding abortion as justifiable from a Catholic standpoint. Several of the co-signers were subsequently excommunicated.
Since then, Farley has published her dissention from Catholic Church teaching on several key issues, including abortion, homosexuality, same-sex "marriage," masturbation, sterilization, divorce, and women priests. Many of these viewpoints are available in her 2006 book "Just Love: A Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics," in which Farley challenges the "simpler ways of interpreting human experience" of traditional Catholic values on marriage and sexuality, with a new framework for "just" sexual gratification outside of marital relations and family life.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Friday, April 23, 2010
Well, not exactly dying off, but getting so old that they become less of a voice, at least by comparison to the young and the zealous on the pro-life side.
NARAL's Nancy Keenan told Newsweek last week that she considers herself a member of the "postmenopausal militia" – a phrase that captures the situation of pro-abortion leaders who are aging across the board, including the leadership of Planned Parenthood, and the National Organization for Women. Newsweek's Sarah Kliff notes that "these leaders will retire in a decade or so."
"I just thought, my gosh, they are so young," Keenan said about stumbling on this year’s March for Life in Washington. "There are so many of them, and they are so young."
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Previously, we talked about how folks might re-consider what all this abuse stuff was going to mean for JPII's legacy. The NYT has picked up on this. Most of it is contrasting the JPII style with that of Pope Benedict. It's not overwhelmingly unfair or anything. It just makes me wonder how much of this is going to turn into a attempt at demolition as far as possible on the Church.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
This is from the Mirror of Justice:
Over the past three years, "Chris" (let's call him) has experienced a pronounced attraction to other males-for one old friend from high school in particular. A crush, maybe, or an infatuation. Whatever it was, he knew it wasn't healthy. And though he had never acted on the attraction, he explained, it led to fantasies and lusts he didn't want. So he made a resolution never to embrace them as essential to his identity or accept them as permanent or untreatable-a resolution he has kept practically alone, without the support of community, family, or friends.
Sounds typical enough, right? Read on:
Chris' situation is sad, but it seems to be moving somewhere. He told me how he had cried daily for the first two years of his same-sex attractions, knowing that he was becoming someone he didn't want to be. But during the third year he found a good therapist and began making progress. He set out to find "healthy male affirmation through deep, non-erotic same-sex friendships"-along with a "purification of memory regarding the hurts of the past" and a more masculine view of himself. Without any reason to exaggerate his progress, he assured me he is "100 times happier and healthier than before-though not yet whole." Even friends and relatives who do not know about his struggles have remarked on his increased serenity and joy.
Very positive, yes? Read on:
Like many schools, Chris' university has an LGBTQA center (an official office supporting "lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, queer, and allied" students). Had he been seeking advice on how to embrace his same-sex attractions, perform sexually as a gay man, or develop a romantic homosexual relationship, he would have been welcomed. Wanting instead help to live chastely, he found nothing. Worse than nothing, he found rejection. Such centers routinely sponsor public lectures attacking Christian responses to same-sex attractions, calls to chastity, and attempts to seek therapy.
You might think Chris could find help at the university's religious-life center. But with pink pride triangles on every interior door, that office, too, has embraced the gay-pride movement. The college hosts an annual Pride Sunday Liturgy in lieu of regular chapel worship-for pride, apparently, is the proper liturgical response to homosexuality-and sponsors public lectures with titles such as "Overcoming Christian Fear of Homosexuality."
There you have it. Modernity's obsession with sex and irrational disregard for sin made manifest. For a guy like Chris, he either chooses to be defined by his sexual desires and yield to his impulses or he is functionally worthless to those who claim to help people in his situation.
Yet Chris marches on.
In the end, though, I found myself feeling grateful. Grateful for knowing Chris. Grateful for the chance to see him carry a cross he did not choose. Offering up his daily struggles, he strives for holiness, refuses surrender, and resists temptations. He labors to remedy the unwanted causes and side effects of attractions he never desired, aware all the while that a cure isn't certain, that in this fallen world some disorders may always be with us.
I am witnessing my friend's unique path to holiness: a remarkable instance of grace working through a broken earthly vessel, making all things new, and leading to fullness of life. I think how blessed I am that I've been fortunate enough to witness it and find inspiration for my life in his struggles.
St. Joseph, please intercede for this brave man.
Don't tell Wills, Foxman, or Cornwell, but it actually happened:
The New-York based Pave the Way Foundation said that its representative Michael Hesemann found a large series of documents from 1930 to 1933.
The documents indicate that any Catholic who joined the Nazi party, wore the uniform or flew the swastika flag would no longer be able to receive the sacraments.
This policy set three years before Hitler was elected chancellor made clear that the teachings of the Church were incompatible with Nazi ideology.
Among the documents is a handwritten letter from a leading member of the Nazis, Hermann Goering, requesting a meeting with Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli (the future Pius XII), which was flatly refused.
There are also documents asking for a removal of the excommunication, which was also denied.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Bishop Thomas Wenski of Orlando is heading to Miami to replace Archbishop Favalora. I don't know anything about him, other than what we've covered in the past, which is good news. In case you don't recall, Bishop Wenski offered a Mass of Reparation for Obama's invitation to ND. The homily was great.
In other news, Bishop Thomas Paprocki, an auxliary from Chicago, is going to Springfield. I don't know anything about him, other than his condemnation of Rod Blagojevich's executive order requiring pharmacists to provide contraceptives. That's good news, too, I suppose.
Thanks to Whispers in the Loggia for getting the word out on this.
I know I said that I was doing a quick run-down of the scandal stuff on Sunday, but I saw this and knew that it should have a distinct post. This is from the Pope's homily to the Pontifical Bible Commission:
“We talk of things that are useful to the world,” continued Pope Benedict, “we show that Christianity can help make the world a better place, but we do not dare say that the end of the world and the goal of Christianity is eternal life – and that the criteria of life in this world come from the goal – this we dare not say. . .”
"Now, under the attacks of the world, which speak to us of our sins, we see that to be able to do penance is a grace – and we see how necessary it is to do penance, that is, to recognize what is wrong in our lives: to recognize one’s sin, to open oneself to forgiveness, to prepare for pardon, to allow oneself to be transformed.
The pain of penance, the pain of purification and transformation – this pain is grace, because it is renewal – it is the work of the Divine Mercy."
Monday, April 19, 2010
Things aren't really improving there, per the Union of Catholic Asian News. To the contrary:
The communiqué for the third plenary meeting released on March 25 said the commission unanimously hoped that all mainland bishops could avoid gestures that run counter to communion with the Pope.
It specifies such gestures like: sacramental celebrations (with illegitimate bishops), episcopal ordinations (without a papal mandate) and participation in meetings (like the planned National Congress of Catholic Representatives of the “open” Church community in China).
Bishop Peter said the communiqué’s advice is difficult to follow practically, since bishops will find it “hard to say no” to government officials who will coerce them to attending the congress or illicit ordinations.
“We bishops feel perplexed about what to do. We no longer have room for maneuver since the papal letter came out. We can only choose between surviving in the cracks and breaking off relations with the government,” he lamented.
“The open community is unwilling to break the good relationship with the government, which it has struggled to build over a long period of time,” he explained.
“I will passively attend the meeting to gain space for pastoral work and not to embarrass local officials,” he said. He believed the majority of open bishops will also attend, adding that it is unrealistic not to go.
Those who wish to follow the Vatican’s advice should be prepared for poorer relations with the authorities and stronger controls, which is another way of being God’s witness, he said.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
I figured I'd just give a quick run-through on some of the more highlighted articles going around on the abuse scandal and the continuing media hatchet job.
The crimes are comparable pretty much and well-attested and well known from enquiries here and in Germany, the US and Ireland. Why then do we not bomb the Vatican and obliterate Italy for harbouring this criminal mastermind, this known protector of evil predators? Why do we not pursue him through the sewers of Europe and riddle his corpse with bullets?
One of the eight victims of sexual abuse who met Pope Benedict XVI today in Malta described the encounter as "very emotional," saying most of those present were crying, and even the pope had "tears in his eyes."
"I made peace with the church," said Joseph Magro, one of the victims who met the pope.
This is all very good. However, do not doubt that the attacks will continue. Fear does weird things to people, especially whackjobs like Bob Ellis and Richard Dawkins. Before this is all over, I wouldn't be surprised at all if someone tried to implement a lower-level version of the Ellis Solution by taking a shot at Pope Benedict. If whoever it is manages to pull it off, mark my freaking word, the prevailing sentiment among the media will be that the Holy Father deserved it.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Such is the trope these days, that the sex-abuse scandal would never have happened if only nuns were in positions of authority. Peggy Noonan recently opines thus.
Of course, women never do anything wrong, certainly not like celibate old men. Except when they do.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
How many people would be offended by such a statement? Would it be worth holding an ecumenical council (and one with far more urgency than Vatican II)? How many would find it so reprehensible that they would be willing to endure torture and death?
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Listening to some recent talk about homosexuality has me wondering about something. The specific topic was about how homosexuals are genetically predisposed to be that way. That being the case, they must have been made with same-sex attraction. Ergo, God actively desires homosexual relationships.
Monday, April 12, 2010
If there's one thing that I've learned from the recent coverage of the abuse scandal, it's that the mass media, without a doubt, believes in the dogma of infallibility. Their own.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Bishop Gomez will be succeeding Cardinal Mahony upon his retirement. I first saw it confirmed over at Whispers. Interesting note from the story: San Antonio has 28 seminarians now. That's double what +Gomez found upon his arrival. This is a heavy departure from Cardinal Mahony's insistence that fewer priests was a good thing.
I'm very anxious to see how this will work out. If Bishop Gomez is like the other Opus Dei folks I know, his take on lay spirituality alone is going to be an epic adjustment from what has been presented in Los Angeles over the last couple of decades.
Monday, April 5, 2010
There are reports that Cardinal Mahony's replacement has been named. The projected shift would take the Diocese of Los Angeles away from a guy who applauded the priest shortage, engaged in numerous liturgical abominations, and carried one of the worst records in terms of responding to the abuse scandal. In his place, you'd have a guy from Opus Dei.
Based on earlier reports that Cardinal Mahony is stepping down at 75, from American Papist, we have a report as to the identity of the man who will head the wealthiest and possibly most troulbed Archdiocese in the world.
According to Maximilian Hanlon, and other sources, the replacement for Cardinal Mahony should be the Opus Dei Archbishop from San Antonio, His Lordship, Jose Gomez.
Bishop Gomez was sent to the San Antonio See in 2004 and had been shepherding the Archdiocese of Denver as Auxiliary Bishop prior to that.
Friday, April 2, 2010
Karl posed the question below:
Or is there some other reason why Catholicism has become the worst thing in the world, according to the NY Times?
This was something else that came to mind last night. Why do I suck at prayer? I can stay riveted to an episode of SuperHero Squad, but I can't focus on my correspondence with the Almighty for more than 2 seconds before my mind wanders.
Well now suppose that thou hadst committed treason against some mighty worldly prince, which were at his liberty either to kill thee or save thee, and this notwithstanding that he would be so merciful unto thee, as upon thy repentance and humble suit for his gracious favour again, be content favourably to change the punishment of death into some fine and payment of money, or further upon the effectual proof and declaration of thine hearty and exceeding shame and sorrow for thy fault, clearly release thee of altogether. Now when thou comest in presence of this prince, suppose thou wouldst unrever-ently, as one that carelessly passed not what he did, tell thy tale unto him, and while he sat still and gave good ear unto thee, in the uttering of thy suit all the while jet up and down before him, and when thou hadst jetted thy fill squat thee down fair and well in a chair, or if for good manners' sake thou thoughtest it most seemly for thee to kneel on thy knees, yet then that thou wouldst call somebody first, to fetch thee a cushion to lay underneath thee, yea and besides that to bring thee a stool and another cushion therewithal to lean thine elbows on, and after all this gape, stretch, sneeze, spit, thou carest not how, balk out the stinking savour of thy ravenous surfeiting, and finally so behave thyself in thy countenance, speech, gesture, and thy whole body beside, that he might plainly perceive that while thou spakest unto him, thy mind were otherwise occupied; tell me now, I beseech thee, what good, trowest thou, shouldst thou get at his hand by this tale thus told afore him?
Thursday, April 1, 2010
We all learn the Prayer to St. Michael at some point. The short version. I post the long version here after reflecting on the bit in the Gospel where Christ was strengthened by an angel while He prayed in the Garden.
O Glorious Archangel St. Michael, Prince of the heavenly host, be our defense in the terrible warfare which we carry on against principalities and Powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, spirits of evil. Come to the aid of man, whom God created immortal, made in his own image and likeness, and redeemed at a great price from the tyranny of the devil.
Fight this day the battle of the Lord, together with the holy angels, as already thou hast fought the leader of the proud angels, Lucifer, and his apostate host, who were powerless to resist thee, nor was there place for them any longer in Heaven. That cruel, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil or Satan, who seduces the whole world, was cast into the abyss with his angels. Behold, this primeval enemy and slayer of men has taken courage. Transformed into an angel of light, he wanders about with all the multitude of wicked spirits, invading the earth in order to blot out the name of God and of his Christ, to seize upon, slay and cast into eternal perdition souls destined for the crown of eternal glory. This wicked dragon pours out, as a most impure flood, the venom of his malice on men of depraved mind and corrupt heart, the spirit of lying, of impiety, of blasphemy, and the pestilent breath of impurity, and of every vice and iniquity.
These most crafty enemies have filled and inebriated with gall and bitterness the Church, the spouse of the immaculate Lamb, and have laid impious hands on her most sacred possessions. In the Holy Place itself, where has been set up the See of the most holy Peter and the Chair of Truth for the light of the world, they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety, with the iniquitous design that when the Pastor has been struck, the sheep may be scattered.
Arise then, O invincible Prince, bring help against the attacks of the lost spirits to the people of God, and give them the victory. They venerate thee as their protector and Patron; in thee holy Church glories as her defense against the malicious power of hell; to thee has God entrusted the souls of men to be established in heavenly beatitude. Oh, pray to the God of peace that He may put Satan under our feet, so far conquered that he may no longer be able to hold men in captivity and harm the Church. Offer our prayers in the sight of the most High, so that they may quickly conciliate the mercies of the Lord; and beating down the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, do thou again make him captive in the abyss, that he may no longer seduce the nations. Amen.
Behold the Cross of the Lord; be scattered ye hostile powers.
The Lion of the tribe of Judah has conquered, the root of David.
Let thy mercies be upon us, O Lord.
As we have hoped in thee.
O Lord, hear my prayer.
And let my cry come unto thee.
Let us pray.
O God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we call upon thy holy name, and as suppliants we implore thy clemency, that by the intercession of Mary, ever Virgin immaculate and our Mother, and of the glorious Archangel St. Michael, thou wouldst deign to help us against Satan and all other unclean spirits, who wander about the world for the injury of the human race and the ruin of souls.