Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Downfall Of Cardinal Mahony

Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles, the guy who said that the vocations crisis was a great fruit of Vatican II, who spawned numerous liturgical nightmares, who claimed that the Mass used in the Latin Rite for 1500 years doesn't instill the spirit of Christ, now seems to have overseen even worse horrors. From the looks of things in LA, he reigned over an epic protection racket for child molester priests.

Mahoney and other top Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles officials maneuvered behind the scenes to shield molester priests, provide damage control for the church and keep parishioners in the dark, according to the church personnel files. 

As Vicar for Clergy, [Auxiliary Bishop Thomas] Curry was responsible for "promoting the spiritual and physical well-being" for all priests and deacons in the archdiocese, including those who were inactive, sick or on leave, according to the archdiocese’s website. He also doled out assignments for priests and deacons.

Cardinal Mahony has long been a favorite of the "social justice" crowd, drawing rave reviews for his stance on immigration reform, for example. That stance? Comparing folks in favor of reform to the Nazis.

Considering his status with these folks, I'm going to make a prediction. In five years, whether he's in jail or not, +Mahony will be even more exalted by his followers in these circles. All of this stuff will be forgotten, and his popularity will make the revisionism being given to Rembert Weakland look tame by comparison.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Does One Match The Other?

Take a look at this:

Now this:

Now, take a look at what St. Paul says in 1 Corinthians about speaking in tongues and such.

Do the videos seem to follow the rules that St. Paul is laying down?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Whether St. Thomas Is Fittingly Called Boring

This is from a Dominican's blog, which automatically makes it more awesome. Not only that, but it's a Dominican who went to Notre Dame. Not only did he go to Notre Dame, but he seems to have graduated and not completely lost his faith in the process.

Yeah, I know that sounds bad, but the fact is that I knew way more people who abandoned Catholicism in their 4 years there than did otherwise.

But anyway, I thought this blog entry was phenomenal and deserved some props:

Whether Thomas Aquinas is fittingly called boring?

Objection 1: It would seem that Thomas Aquinas is fittingly called boring. The works of Thomas are composed of impersonal statements and arguments, which are boring. Now, every agent acts in accordance with its nature to produce something like unto itself (omne agens agit sibi simile). Just as nothing can effect heat unless it is hot, so too no one can produce boring writings, unless he is boring. Hence it is seen that since Thomas’ works are boring, Thomas is fittingly called boring.

Objection 2: Thomas Aquinas is well known to have been of considerable girth. A man possesses phlegmatic humor in proportion to his size. The more phlegmatic a man’s disposition, the more he is perceived as dull, wearisome, and uninteresting. Thus, as a result of his girth, Thomas is fittingly called boring.

Objection 3: Those who are always correct in all things are annoying. Those who are annoying are also boring. Thus, Thomas, who is typically correct on account of the soundness of his reasoning and the brilliance of his intellect, is fittingly called boring.

Check out the responses at the link above.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Re: Russia

We talk about Russia a lot here. There's are reasons for that.

First, it is the de facto leader of Eastern Orthodoxy in the world. Depending on who you ask, it could be appropriate to say that the Russians were the last of the Orthodox to break from the Church. As things stand today, if they were ever re-integrated with Rome, the rest of the East would almost certainly follow.

Second, it is the most dangerous of the Eastern churches from the standpoint of oppressing our Catholic brethren. If you don't believe me, ask Metropolitan Hilarion, who asserted that Stalin's liquidation of the Eastern Catholic communities was perfectly legitimate.

Third, especially now in the days of Anglicanorum Coetibus, the Orthodox are the only group worth ecumenical efforts, since Protestants lack central authority to deal with on such topics.

With that out of the way, I highly recommend that everyone look at this article from Reason and brought to our attention by Haskovec. If you read our prior posts on this subject, you'll find that our greatest fear has been the return of imperial Russia, backed by the most powerful force in Orthodoxy. This is the picture painted in the article. Which is bad.

We've always known that Patriarch Alexei II was a KGB puppet. Now, it looks like the current patriarch, Kyril I, had just as many ties to the agency. This all makes sense considering just how married he and Putin appear to be these days.

In case you wonder about where the Russian Church's influence extends and what use it has in larger Russian society, consider the following:

Abortion, which is as unacceptable in Orthodoxy as it is in Catholicism, remains not only legal but free at public clinics. In 2011 the Patriarch’s plea to end government funding for abortions was briskly dismissed by the ruling United Russia party, and legislation introducing some restrictions, such as spousal consent for married women, died in the Duma (the Russian parliament); the only actual policy change was tighter regulation after the first trimester. Church advocacy on this issue has been fairly low-key and deferential; when Kirill raised it in his meeting with Putin, it was to concede the pro-choice tilt of popular opinion and beg for better incentives for women to make other choices.

The effort to bring Orthodoxy into public education has yielded mixed results at best. A few years ago, proposals to make “the basics of Orthodox culture” a required subject for middle school students met with a strong backlash, including an open letter from a group of concerned scientists whom the church assailed as relics of militant Soviet atheism. Then Putin’s docile Duma nixed a resolution condemning the critics, and Putin himself warned that religious indoctrination in state schools would be illegal. As if on cue, church spokesman Chaplin made a conciliatory statement calling for a pluralistic approach to religious studies. The solution was a class in “secular ethics and world religions” (which recently became mandatory nationwide after a two-year pilot program), with several options from which parents can choose. So far less than a third of students have enrolled in the Orthodox track, compared to more than 40 percent for secular ethics and 20 percent for world religions. The Patriarch blamed the church’s comparative failure on “the liberal press.”

When do you hear the Russian Church's voice the loudest? When it's backing Putin and talking about how awesome he is. Or when it's denigrating the West, in general. That tells you just about everything you need to know.

Right now, it seems the secular world and media don't have much of a grip on how much religion, beyond Islam (and sometimes Judaism for stories in Israel), shapes events. They've missed this boat when it comes to Anglicanism in the Global South, and they're missing it again when it comes to Eastern Orthodoxy. There is a lot of dangerous potential in Russia right now, and a refusal to understand how the Russian Church (and even the See of Constantinople) plays into all this is a grave, grave error.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Abortion Is Satanic, Pt. 2

In case our prior post wasn't convincing enough, consider this entry over at Salon, who is perfectly willing to admit that abortion kills a baby. She just doesn't think that's all that important. Not only does she confess this belief herself, she urges all of her pro-abortion cohorts to go ahead and admit the obvious. Abortion kills a baby. Her call for these folk to embrace reality is refreshing, but it is bone-chilling in how blatantly evil people are willing to be.

Oh, and if you're wondering at all about the Satanic angle, check out her language in closing.

My belief that life begins at conception is mine to cling to. And if you believe that it begins at birth, or somewhere around the second trimester, or when the kid finally goes to college, that’s a conversation we can have, one that I hope would be respectful and empathetic and fearless. We can’t have it if those of us who believe that human life exists in utero are afraid we’re somehow going to flub it for the cause. In an Op-Ed on “Why I’m Pro-Choice” in the Michigan Daily this week, Emma Maniere stated, quite perfectly, that “Some argue that abortion takes lives, but I know that abortion saves lives, too.” She understands that it saves lives not just in the most medically literal way, but in the roads that women who have choice then get to go down, in the possibilities for them and for their families. And I would put the life of a mother over the life of a fetus every single time — even if I still need to acknowledge my conviction that the fetus is indeed a life. A life worth sacrificing.

Yes. She just approved of human sacrifice. To a deity? Probably not consciously, but can it seriously be argued that taking this position isn't making a deity of the self?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Abortion Is Satanic

As is evidenced by this:

This video was produced by the Center for Reproductive Rights. You know how some folks say that there's no such thing as a "pro-abortion" person? I wonder what they think after watching this.

How utterly horrific that they chose a black man to star in their ode to genocide. How much worse that he actually agreed to the proposition.

I submit that only a mind completed overtaken by the demonic could have come up with something this disgusting.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

What Would A Lutheran Ordinariate Look Like?

Fr. Zuhlsdorf had a recent bit on a Vatican Insider article that discussed the possibility of an ordinariate for dissident Lutherans (such an ironic phrase) along the lines of what came out of Anglicanorum Coetibus.

I'm a bit weirded out by this suggestion. From my experience dealing with the Anglicans who came over, they were far more schismatic than heretical. Once they got over the whole popery deal, everything else was ok. Eucharist? Check. Confession? Check. Soteriology? Check. There was so much doctrinal casualness in the Anglican Communion that all they really had to do was to come to terms with the primacy issue. Since the Wreck of King Henry had screwed things up enough, it got way easier for them to accept.

How does this work with Lutherans? Eucharist? Umm no. Confession? Double no. Soteriology? Absolutely not. There's a hell of a lot of theological baggage to sort through here. Let me be clear. I don't know any Lutherans who actually believe what Luther thought about 90% of relevant items. The problem is that they've tended to ditch anything he held that was still remotely Catholic.

I know that anecdotes aren't data, and that's all I've got to go on. As "ecumenical" as a guy like Oscar Cullman was, though, do you really think he'd be in line to convert? Probably not. Likewise with the bulk of the rank and file Lutherans out there, given that we aren't talking about a shift in ecclesiology, like with the Anglicans. Instead, we're looking at the wholesale junking of their entire system in favor of the Truth.

If we're going to be honest and appropriate with this, and look for sincere converts rather than just Lutheranism with a Catholic label slapped on it, there should be a lot of caution in making such an offer.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Scriptural Observation

Something I noticed for the first time in today's Gospel. I've probably heard the story of the Wedding Feast at Cana dozens of times, but this is only just now registering.

And when the headwaiter tasted the water that had become wine, without knowing where it came from . . . the headwaiter called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves good wine first, and then when people have drunk freely, an inferior one; but you have kept the good wine until now.”

Of course, Jesus is referred to as "the bridegroom" all throughout Scripture. Take today's First Reading, for example. It occurred to me today that this passage has a very Old Covenant/New Covenant ring to it. God provided the Jews with the former but later revealed the latter to all the world. He saved the good wine for the appropriate time later on.

I'm sure someone else has thought of this before. Just surprised at how it seems so obvious, yet I'm just now catching it.

Friday, January 18, 2013

On Weirdness

I was sent this email a couple of days ago and debated on whether or not to post it. I know a couple of folks who have followed the odder things about this trial, so I know a bit about it second-hand. Here's the news report:

Here's the deal. The events surrounding Fr. Robinson don't really end with him. His defense rests mostly upon the existence of an entire group of Satanic priests who engage in full-on Black Masses and killed this nun as part of one. According to the other folks I mentioned above, there have been multiple other parties that have come forward with similar accusations in the course of this investigation and trial who have said the same thing and been ignored.

I'm not here to say anything about Fr. Robinson's guilt or innocence. He's been accused of ritual abuse himself. I throw this out because this isn't the only time these sorts of allegations have come up. The Frank Pellegrini murder comes to mind, as well as the murder of Fr. Alfred Kunz.

Just weirdness.

Monday, January 14, 2013


By now, most have heard about the horrific rape and murder of the Indian girl who was only trying to take a bus ride. It has happened again, with pretty much the exact same circumstances. The national and international outcry over these events is intensifying.

Please note that what I'm about to write is in no way meant to ignore the tragedy and significance of these events.

That being said, did anybody hear an outcry when nuns were being raped while the police watched? Or when bounties were being offered to people for assassinating priests? Or when dozens of Catholics were murdered and thousands of their homes were being burned in Orissa, to the point where Christmas celebrations were cancelled out of fear? Or when priests were being murdered, with all of their bones being broken and their eyes being gouged out of their sockets? Even Protestants seem to have the go-ahead to persecute our brothers and sisters there.

And nary a word. Utter and complete silence. Because when it's Catholics dying, nobody gives a crap.

So Bishop Williamson Might Have Finally Lost His Mind

Per Rorate:

Today, we were contacted by a worthy source claiming that H.E. Bishop Richard Williamson, formerly of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), was to come to the United States in a couple of weeks to consecrate a bishop.

Rorate independently contacted one of the priests said to be organizing the consecration ceremony. Although we asked repeatedly, the priest refused to deny the consecration would be taking place, only saying there's nothing to report to the "general public."

If true, you can't say that nobody saw this coming. And in saying that, I mean saw it coming a decade ago. My only question is whether he'll just come out and openly declare himself a sede.

Rorate's source is a separate blog that indicates a bigger schism on the horizon. My question on that is whether this will be something that drives the real SSPX closer to Rome.

Time will tell, I guess.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Let Me Tell You About A Bishop

I had never heard of this man until a few years ago. My family and I starting throwing our support to the Cardinal Kung Foundation. I was sent a card telling me about Bishop James (Jacob) Su Zhimin and asking me to pray for him every night.

He is bishop of Baoding (Hebei) in China. His predecessor died under torture from Chinese authorities. He is regarded as an enemy of the state by Beijing. Why? Because he remains loyal to the Christ's Church and His Vicar. This resulted in his being kidnapped by government thugs in 1997. Nobody has seen him since 2003, when he had been admitted to a hospital. This wasn't His Excellency's first stint in prison. In the course of his life, he's spent over four decades in captivity for Christ.

His memory is so feared by the Communists that they banned praying for him in 2011 on the occasion of his 80th birthday.

A recent entry from AsiaNews indicates that there is a chance he might be set free.

Since the beginning of this year, in fact, the reformed penal code has passed into law which, at least in intention, aims to "respect and protect human rights." An example of this is that under the new law no one should be forced to incriminate themselves and all arrests must be based on evidence "obtained in a legal manner", i.e. not through torture.

The law also ensures immediate access to a lawyer within 48 hours of a request being made, and that the relatives of the suspect are to be informed of the circumstances and place of detention. Moreover during the period of detention, the suspect must be guaranteed an adequate diet and sleep. Finally, the police can not detain a person without charge for more than six months.

A Hebei priest told AsiaNews that under these new laws, enacted in the era of Xi Jinping, Msgr. James Su Zhimin, the underground bishop of Baoding (ds in the photo), 80, who disappeared in police custody 15 years ago, should be able to return home. His family every year, on the anniversary of his kidnapping, ask the police where their relative is being held, as of this year they will finally have an answer different from the one received in the past ("We do not know!") .

Of course, this is China, so the law doesn't necessarily mean much. Some folks are more equal than others, after all. It is a cause for hope, though. Please offer your prayers for this brave and holy man, as well as for all of our persecuted brethren in China. Support the Cardinal Kung Foundation.

I also will make a suggestion. If you find yourself ever questioning your faith because of the cowardice, heresy, or other scandal from a bishop, reflect on the courage shown by these men in the face of martyrdom. They shepherd their flocks under infinitely worse conditions than we see here. They stand firm. They suffer. Not only that, but nobody cares. There is no international outcry, no sanctions, no nothing. And still His grace is sufficient for them.

One does not forsake Peter because of Judas. It does really inspire to see those who stay faithful to Peter, despite Satan's attempt to sift them like wheat.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Book Recommendation- Godly Seed: American Evangelicals Confront Birth Control

What with the HHS mandate being such a big deal these days, it's pretty easy to get drawn into conversations with Protestants about contraception and why Catholics think it's bad. From my experience, most of us are woefully unequipped to deal with arguments on the issue, though. Lots of Catholics, assuming their Protestant brethren to be pro-life, will default to arguing about the pill's abortifacient character. Even if you can get the other person to believe that (which is difficult enough), that doesn't deal with other method, like, say, condoms.

The best route might be to try and show the Protestant just how novel the acceptance of birth control is by their own religious tradition. Allan Carlson's book, Godly Seed, is the perfect guide for doing so.

Dr. Carlson basically takes the entire history of Protestant thought on contraceptive and tracks it all the way from Luther and Calvin to Billy Graham and the modern age. Very few people these days are aware of how universal the condemnation of birth control was until less than a hundred years ago. It was considered a vile practice by every stripe of Christian. When I use the word "vile," I'm not exaggerating. Some of the Protestant language about contraception makes Catholic discussion look tame by comparison.

More than just tracing the religious doctrines about birth control, Godly Seed also paints a picture of how those doctrines affected the legal landscape in the United States. How many people these days have heard of Anthony Comstock or the laws named after him? Is there anyone who would imagine that the history of legal bans on contraception in this country were entirely the result of Protestant lobbying? Doubtful.

As the book progresses, Dr. Carlson shows how the cracks began to appear in the monolithic anti-contraception mentality. Naturally, it was the Anglicans who caved first at the Lambeth Conference of 1930. But what brought them to make such a radical break with what had previously been standard Christian practice?

Essentially, Protestants were duped into the waters of antinatalism by Margaret Sanger, who really was just a real piece of filth. Sanger used a dual approach of promoting eugenics on one hand, while stoking the fires of anti-Catholicism on the other. Eventually, the mainline Protestant faiths threw up an intellectual white flag to the former, while the fundamentalists succumbed to the latter. It's pretty depressing stuff. Granted, the onset of the sexual revolution didn't help, but the main point of Godly Seed is that the foundation for any religious resistance had already been ripped from its moorings even before then. All the sexual revolution did was formalize the break and sweep away any lingering vestiges of resistance.

As an aside, it might also be surprising to many Protestants at how divisive the issue of abortion was over time. It wasn't as cut-and-dry as saying, "The Bible says 'Thou shalt not kill.'"

The first huge advantage this book has is that Dr. Carlson is not Catholic. He's Lutheran, so nobody can point fingers about denominational biases. I can't overstate how valuable this is in breaking down the initial walls of resistance.

The second huge advantage actually comes from the fact that it's not very well written, at least as far as conventional notions go. The book has very little material directly from Carlson himself. Every page is almost entirely made up of quotations from the original sources. This was annoying at first, but I can understand why it's written this way. It's almost as though Carlson went into this project knowing that a lot of his audience wasn't going to believe him, so he felt he had to over-document everything and cut out as much of his own ideas as possible. This results in a book that is entirely informational, with very little in the way of narrative or style. If you are looking for dynamic and engaging language, you won't enjoy this work. However, you will learn stuff, and for that reason, you should read it anyway.

The final advantage of the book is that it has an unintentionally topical element as well. As Protestant circles became more and more accepting of birth control, the concept of marriage itself came under scrutiny. Historically speaking, marriage was regarded in very similar terms as what Catholicism would claim. While Protestants rejected it as a sacrament, they did maintain the view that the primary end of marriage was procreation and the begetting of children. Naturally, if contraception was to be legitimized in Protestant religious practice, fertility's place had to be degraded. In other words, marriage had to be redefined to reduce children to a secondary role, while the mutual support of the spouses was made not only the primary end, but the sole one as well. After all, children were now optional altogether.

This may resonate with modern Protestants troubled by the current societal desire to redefine marriage as included homosexual unions. Regardless of their feelings on how Biblical a practice may be, perhaps the practical side of how dangerous it is to arbitrarily alter such a bedrock concept will have some influence.

Godly Seed isn't very long. It was about 170 pages, I think, but a lot of that was end notes. It is a densely-packed, thorough examination of how Protestants abandoned their heritage as Christians out of fears of too many handicapped, too many blacks, and too many Catholics. Once the lack of sexual accountability became comfortable, there was no reason to consider past arguments, and everyone was content with the new status quo. I strongly encourage all Catholics to read the book for themselves and then circulate it among your Protestant friends.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Sobering Thought

Again, as for another objection, stated in the question, Wherefore does He create souls for those whom He knows to be destined to an early death? we may reply, that by the death of the children the sins of the parents are either reproved or chastised. We may, moreover, with all propriety, leave these things to the disposal of the Lord of all, for we know that he appoints to the succession of events in time, and therefore to the births and deaths of living creatures as included in these, a course which is consummate in beauty and perfect in the arrangement of all its parts; whereas we are not capable of perceiving those things by the perception of which, if it were attainable, we should be soothed with an ineffable, tranquil joy. For not in vain has the prophet, taught by divine inspiration, declared concerning God, He brings forth in measured harmonies the course of time. For which reason music, the science or capacity of correct harmony, has been given also by the kindness of God to mortals having reasonable souls, with a view to keep them in mind of this great truth. For if a man, when composing a song which is to suit a particular melody, knows how to distribute the length of time allowed to each word so as to make the song flow and pass on in most beautiful adaptation to the ever-changing notes of the melody, how much more shall God, whose wisdom is to be esteemed as infinitely transcending human arts, make infallible provision that not one of the spaces of time alloted to natures that are born and die— spaces which are like the words and syllables of the successive epochs of the course of time— shall have, in what we may call the sublime psalm of the vicissitudes of this world, a duration either more brief or more protracted than the foreknown and predetermined harmony requires! For when I may speak thus with reference even to the leaves of every tree, and the number of the hairs upon our heads, how much more may I say it regarding the birth and death of men, seeing that every man's life on earth continues for a time, which is neither longer nor shorter than God knows to be in harmony with the plan according to which He rules the universe. 

St. Augustine, Letter (166) to St. Jerome

Don't believe him? Recall a man after God's own heart and what happened to him.

And David said to Nathan: I have sinned against the Lord. And Nathan said to David: The Lord also hath taken away thy sin: thou shalt not die. Nevertheless, because thou hast given occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, for this thing, the child that is born to thee, shall surely die.

2 Samuel 12:13-14

We should never assume that the consequences of our sins are ours alone.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy Feast Of The Mother Of God!

What was born of Mary was therefore human by nature, in accordance with the inspired Scriptures, and the body of the Lord was a true body: It was a true body because it was the same as ours. Mary, you see, is our sister, for we are all born from Adam. 

The words of St John, the Word was made flesh, bear the same meaning, as we may see from a similar turn of phrase in St Paul: Christ was made a curse for our sake. Man’s body has acquired something great through its communion and union with the Word. From being mortal it has been made immortal; though it was a living body it has become a spiritual one; though it was made from the earth it has passed through the gates of heaven. 

 Even when the Word takes a body from Mary, the Trinity remains a Trinity, with neither increase nor decrease. It is for ever perfect. In the Trinity we acknowledge one Godhead, and thus one God, the Father of the Word, is proclaimed in the Church.

St. Athanasius, from the Office of Readings