For some reason, though, I haven't seen these items in any mainstream outlets.
First, in a condemnation of the Mafia, Pope Francis said the following, per Zenit:
This life you are living now, it won’t bring you pleasure, it won’t give you joy, it won’t bring you happiness. The power, the money, that you possess now from so many dirty jobs, from so many mafia crimes, is blood money, it is power soaked in blood, and you cannot take it with you to the next life. Convert, there is still time, so that you don’t end up in hell.
Aww, man. What a buzzkill. Imagine the nerve of the Holy Father! Wanting to keep people out of hell! Or suggesting that someone might actually go to hell! Or even mentioning that there is a hell in the first place!
After all, who is he to judge?
Make sure nobody tells the universalists who have embedded themselves so firmly in the Church. I wonder if Scalfari is still holding on to that "the Pope abolished sin" crap.
To follow that up, the Pope had the audacity to bring up the reality of the Devil and demonic possession:
Pope Francis said, “There are some priests who, when they read this Gospel passage, this and others, say: ‘But, Jesus healed a person with a mental illness’. They do not read thus, no? It is true that at that time, they could confuse epilepsy with demonic possession; but it is also true that there was the Devil.”
“And we do not have the right to simplify the matter,” said Pope Francis, “as if to say: ‘All of these [people] were not possessed; they were mentally ill.’ No! The presence of the Devil is on the first page of the Bible, and the Bible ends as well with the presence of the Devil, with the victory of God over the Devil.”
As for his comments on Satan and other demons, the Pope said, “Some may say, but, Father, you're too old fashioned. You're frightening us with these things.’ No, it's not me! It is the Gospel! And these are not lies: it is the Word of the Lord. Let us ask the Lord for the grace to take these things seriously. He came to fight for our salvation. He won against the Devil. Please, let's not do business with the Devil. He wants to come back home, to take possession … Don't accept relativism, be vigilant. And always with Jesus!”
How disturbing and delightful at the same time! File these away for when you hear from all the alleged Pope Francis fans who like him because they think he's a modernist heretic.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
For some reason, though, I haven't seen these items in any mainstream outlets.
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Remember, no matter what you hear about Christians being persecuted, it isn't true.
"It is the same thought process that has been the genesis for prohibitions on blasphemy in other jurisdictions. The whole idea behind blasphemy laws in some parts of the world is that you don't want to offend different religions, and so what they (the Quebec government) do is argue that they promote tolerance and understanding, but rather they want to control what is said," Gerald Chipeur, Q.C., of the Canadian firm Miller Thompson LLP, told The Christian Post in a phone interview on Wednesday.
I wonder how long before we'll this this sort of thing in the US.
The Catholic high school has argued that it does not object to teaching the 2008 government-mandated ethics and religion course, which is required to be taught in all private and public schools, but asked to be allowed to teach the course in good conscience. The problem they found with the course was that it insisted that all religions, including Wicca and pagan rites, are equally valid. The government has also prohibited teachers from expressing preference for any one faith.
Imagine that. Catholic teachers at a Catholic school can't express a preference for Catholicism. We are truly through the looking glass.
But yeah, I know. "It could never happen here," said everyone in every country where the previously referenced "it" happened shortly thereafter.
Monday, March 24, 2014
Whether it's being persecuted by Mohammedans or being pressured into the acceptance of sodomy by the West, they are in a tough spot.
They do have a bunch of good bishops there, though, and one of them recently blasted the West for its hypocrisy on these matters. A huge hat tip to Tancred, who seems to come up on these stories earlier and more often than anyone else (yes, I know Rorate mentioned his follow-up, but Tancred was first).
Anyways, Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama of Jos in Nigeria was scathing in his criticisms.
Archbishop Kaigama stressed that the position of the Church in Nigeria corresponds exactly to the teaching of the Catholic Church. He said, "We defend the moral values of the Bible, the tradition of the Nigerian people." "The defense of the moral value of the Bible can never be discrimination," said the chairman of the Bishops' Conference of the most populous African country.
The archbishop also criticized the one-sidedness of the West, "though always with you when it comes to the so-called gay rights in Nigeria" you run, but to the ongoing terror attacks by the Islamic militia Boko Haram you only stammer. "Constantly new violence, burned and mutilated bodies, women and children who are killed in a terrible rhythm: this is the emergency afflicting our country," but nothing from Europe on this. But for "gay rights" the EU, the European Parliament and other international institutions will mobilize.
Such courage from this shepherd! Would that we had more like him!
He didn't stop there, though. In a shot against the Ra's al Gores of the world, he continued:
"In all the villages of Nigeria, there are women who have no education and girls who do not attend school. They can not read or write, but they have the morning after pill . When they are questioned, they know which pill they have when to take abort. How can that be? Who tells them that and gives them the morning after pill, pushing it into her hand? It is the western governmental and non-governmental organizations that impose their ideas on us. And these 'values' mean birth control. This is worth much money and effort from the West. And why do they do that? To ensure that our government gets international economic aid, they must accept this Western policy. But that is called coercion. A culture and a mentality is imposed that is not ours, for we Nigerians do not despise life."
Yet the secularists, with their boatloads of hypocrisy, will give lip service to how great they think African culture is and how refreshing it is in comparison to Western decadence. All the while, they are trying to turn Africans into us by baptizing them into the cult of Thanatos.
And for all the "who am I to judge?" groupies, Archbishop Kaigama had a final offering:
To the law against "gay marriage" said Archbishop Kaigama: "We say very clearly: We don't hate anybody. We respect homosexuals as people, and we support them when their rights are violated as a human beings. The Church has there then and defends them. But we also say quite clearly that homosexual acts are contrary to nature. They flatly contradict what we defend. Powerful organizations who blackmail our government would like us to legalize gay marriage. And when they say that there are occasional homosexual tendencies in Africa, we say quite clearly that they are aberrations. We respect the dignity of marriage between a man and a woman. We will not give in to the West, just because it has money with which it can put pressure on us," said Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama of Jos.
It's good to hear someone who isn't willing to sell their souls and those of their flock for a few dollars. Bravo, Your Excellency! Keep fighting the good fight.
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
And let the perpetual light shine upon him.
Bishop Joseph was bishop of Shanghai. He passed away Monday. He was 96 years old and had been under house arrest for a long, long time. You might remember him from this article which we've posted before and which you should read and then re-read. My wife had been assigned to pray for him every day for the last several years. He was a great man.
Naturally, the scum that runs the Chinese government deprived His Excellency of a proper funeral Mass. Please pray for Bishop Joseph's soul. He suffered a dry martyrdom for the rights of the Holy Catholic Church. It's amazing how many people take communion with Rome so flippantly while guys like Bishop Joseph are basically willing to die for it.
Pray for the Church in China as well, especially Bishop Thaddeus Ma Daqin, who saw the error of his ways and returned to the Church after being affiliated with the fake "Patriotic Church." Pray for the government of China that they will abandon their persecution.
Finally, support the Cardinal Kung Foundation.
Monday, March 17, 2014
At the close of this marvelous St. Patrick's Day, I have been thinking about the role of guys like him in the early days of the Church and what it must have been like to work in evangelizing the pagans.
Then I considered something that Pope Francis recently said from a Zenit article:
Jesus, the Pope explained, "firmly rejects all these temptations and reiterates His determination to follow the path set out by the Father, without compromising with sin and with the logic of the world. … This is why Jesus, instead of entering into a dialogue like Eve, chooses to take refuge in God's Word and responds with the power of this Word. We should remember this when we are tempted ourselves: do not argue with Satan, always defend ourselves with the Word of God. And this will save us".
The Pope hear criticizes the idea of entering into a dialogue with Satan. St. Paul would seem to agree with this:
Bear not the yoke with unbelievers. For what participation hath justice with injustice? Or what fellowship hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath the faithful with the unbeliever? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God; as God saith: I will dwell in them, and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore, Go out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing: And I will receive you; and I will be a Father to you; and you shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
2 Corinthians 6:14-18
Now, if we are to believe the Holy Spirit and the Psalmist:
For all the gods of the Gentiles are devils
In other words, all these pagan deities are demons. The Psalmist is clear on this. St. Paul is clear on this. If you don't believe me, check with the Fathers as well. I've yet to find an interpretation in them that yields an alternative view. St. Augustine's City of God, for example.
So here's my question.
If we aren't supposed to dialogue with the Devil, it would stand to reason that we aren't supposed to dialogue with his ministers. If these false religions are demonic in nature, then their ministers are tools of Satan, regardless of how sincere they are. Why then does it seem like the Church's main interaction with these false religions nowadays consists solely in dialogue? Why are we still seeing Assisi events and the like?
Would St. Patrick have invited the pagans to such things? When St. Boniface was cutting down the pagans' sacred tree, was he interested in dialogue? These guys got results and they did it by looking at false religions for what they are, namely, things that destroy people. Out of love for these lost souls, they didn't see their false religion as something to be admired. They saw it as something to be annihilated.
But now, we have dialogue. The Fathers' view converted whole civilizations. Our current posture has led to indifferentism and ruin.
St. Patrick, pray for us.
Thursday, March 13, 2014
But when I read this article from Zenit about Cardinal Kasper, and I read comments like this:
“My main intention was not to speak about divorced and remarried people but to speak about the Gospel of the family …. I think the majority of young people want stable relationships, want to live in a family….and therefore the Church has to help them so I wanted to build up a new, better, more deep understanding of family life.”
“Then I spoke also about the situation when people fail with their family life….and the Church has to be close to them, to help, support and encourage them and there my proposal (was) to find a way between ‘rigorism’ (strictness) – which cannot be the way of normal Christians – and a pure ‘laxism’ (leniency),” he said. “I think this can be the only approach of the Church today.”
I can't help but think of this:
Further, none is more skillful, none more astute than they, in the employment of a thousand noxious arts; for they double the parts of rationalist and Catholic, and this so craftily that they easily lead the unwary into error; and since audacity is their chief characteristic, there is no conclusion of any kind from which they shrink or which they do not thrust forward with pertinacity and assurance. To this must be added the fact, which indeed is well calculated to deceive souls, that they lead a life of the greatest activity, of assiduous and ardent application to every branch of learning, and that they possess, as a rule, a reputation for the strictest morality. Finally, and this almost destroys all hope of cure, their very doctrines have given such a bent to their minds, that they disdain all authority and brook no restraint; and relying upon a false conscience, they attempt to ascribe to a love of truth that which is in reality the result of pride and obstinacy.
Pope St. Pius X, Pascendi Dominici Gregis
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
The headline from the National Review says it all:
More Black Babies Aborted than Born in New York City
It even provides the actual stats:
In 2012, black women in New York City aborted over 6,500 more children than they gave birth to. Data from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene shows that, among non-hispanic black women, there were 31,328 “induced terminations” to 24,758 live births, according to a CNS News report.
In total, there were almost 74,000 abortions in New York in 2012, meaning that 42.4 percent of all abortions were of black children. Hispanic children accounted for 31 percent of those aborted in the city at a total of nearly 23,000.
Altogether, black and Hispanic abortions were 73 percent of the total of 73,815 abortions in New York in 2012.
For years, New York has had the highest abortion rate of any city in the nation.
Here's a weird thing. The disproportionate number of minorities who are subjected to the death penalty has long brought accusations of racism against the judicial system regarding how capital punishment is applied. Yet when we see numbers like 73% of all babies murdered in NYC were minorities, nobody bats an eye. In fact, the response to this kind of stuff is to try and make abortion more readily available. Yes, a response even by those who are allegedly Catholic.
It's not a popular book of the Bible, but it's times like this when I recall the first chapter of Habakkuk:
 How long, O Lord, shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear? shall I cry out to thee suffering violence, and thou wilt not save?  Why hast thou shewn me iniquity and grievance, to see rapine and injustice before me? and there is a judgment, but opposition is more powerful.  Therefore the law is torn in pieces, and judgment cometh not to the end: because the wicked prevaileth against the just, therefore wrong judgment goeth forth.  Behold ye among the nations, and see: wonder, and be astonished: for a work is done in your days, which no man will believe when it shall be told.
Read the rest of it at the link above. At some point, God will have had enough of all this. Then, we'll be sorry. Just remember, though. We all got it comin'.
Monday, March 10, 2014
Per Zenit, we now know the red hat members of the new Council for Economic Affairs that is supposed to have some sort of role with the new Secretariat for the Economy that will be charged with managing the Vatican's finances. Again, I have to wonder how all this new bureaucracy yields reform. Regardless:
The appointed members are:
- Cardinal Reinhard Marx, archbishop of Munich and Freising, Germany (coordinator);
- Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne, archbishop of Lima, Peru;
- Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, archbishop of Galveston-Houston, U.S.A.;
- Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier, archbishop of Durban, South Africa;
- Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard, archbishop of Bordeaux, France;
- Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera, archbishop of Mexico;
- Cardinal John Tong Hon, bishop of Hong Kong, China;
- Cardinal Agostino Vallini, vicar general of His Holiness for the diocese of Rome
If you are looking for a diverse group of views on theology and economics, this group has it all. For example, I don't think you'd normally see a lot of similarities between the views of Cardinals Thorne and Carrera vs. those of Cardinals Marx and Napier, for example. Overall, I'd say it's a more positive group than not.
I still don't quite get how all these new entities are supposed to work, though.
Saturday, March 8, 2014
Jesus saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at the customs post.
He said to him, “Follow me.”
And leaving everything behind, he got up and followed him.
Then Levi gave a great banquet for him in his house,
and a large crowd of tax collectors
and others were at table with them.
The Pharisees and their scribes complained to his disciples, saying,
“Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”
Jesus said to them in reply,
“Those who are healthy do not need a physician, but the sick do.
I have not come to call the righteous to repentance but sinners.”
I love Caravaggio's work, and this one and this Gospel are good items to ponder. There aren't a lot of positives about Matthew/Levi anywhere in Scripture. He was a sinner. As was Peter. As was Paul. And so forth. As are we.
We forget that a lot, though. Not the part about others being sinners. We typically have zero problems recalling that. Ourselves? We are immaculately conceived and the swellest folk that God ever ordained to walk the earth.
We all deserve hell. All of us. It is only through an act of extraordinary and supernatural mercy that God forgives us, so much so that we can partake of His own divine nature. Yet we have people who can proclaim that sin is abolished by the authority of the Pope himself (as if such a thing were possible) and be taken seriously.
Let's ask the Holy Father about sin:
“This thing can happen to all of us,” he said. “We are all sinners and we are all tempted and temptation is our daily bread. If one of us said: ‘I never had a temptation’, either you’re a cherubim or a bit stupid, no?”
“Struggle is normal in life and the devil is never calm, he wants his victory. But the problem - the most serious problem in this passage - is not so much temptation and the sin against the 9th commandment, but how David behaves. And David here does not speak of sin, he speaks of a problem that he needs to resolve. This is a sign! When the Kingdom of God is lessened, when the Kingdom of God decreases, one of the signs is that the sense of sin is lost.”
Judgment for our sins will come. May God grant that we have responded like Matthew rather than Judas.
Monday, March 3, 2014
Consider this while living as a Catholic in a society that is increasingly enamored with death and sterility:
Thus saith the Lord of hosts the God of Israel, to all that are carried away captives, whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem to Babylon:  Build ye houses, and dwell in them: and plant orchards, and eat the fruit of them.  Take ye wives, and beget sons and daughters: and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, and let them bear sons and daughters: and be ye multiplied there, and be not few in number.
It's pretty self-explanatory, yes? Jeremiah is bringing God's message to those carried away in the Babylonian captivity. Even in their exile, God instructs them to have babies. Then make sure that their babies grow up, get married, and have more babies.
We find ourselves exiled in a world that has surpassed Babylon in our desire to insult God. And our solution has been to embrace a neo-pagan outlook and give ourselves over to sin and vice, eschewing what was heretofore known as not only a basic principle of existence, but even a badge of honor. How many times does Scripture speak of children as a blessing and the happiness of those with large families?
In our resounding non serviam, though, we have opted for fruitless couplings and the murder of the unborn accidentally conceived.
It's just weird to see things like this in Scripture and such a blase attitude about it among Catholics and Protestants alike.
Sunday, March 2, 2014
Saturday, March 1, 2014
While the world sits idly by watching Putin reconstitute the Soviet Union, please pray for our brethren in Ukraine.
First, Russia has a bad habit of periodically murdering lots of Eastern Catholics, stealing the Church's property, and generally trying to wipe any remnant of Catholicism off the map.
Second, Putin is ex-KGB, along with probably at least a good bit of the Russian Orthodox hierarchy. Old grudges die hard.
Third, in a age of widespread ecumenism (good or bad), Russia has been engaged in some hardcore ecclesiastical aggression. When you throw in the already-existing bad feelings against Catholicism in Ukraine, this all adds up to a bad situation and probably lots of martyrs.
Right now, I hope that a lot of the "traditionalist" Catholics who have been all moon-eyed over Putin as the last great defender of Christianity think a bit on all this and regain their sanity.
I also hope that Pope Francis makes a direct intervention. Sure, the Holy Father doesn't have any divisions to send in, but there might be other stuff he could do. Pope Francis has a lot of good will right now. For decades, we've tried to play nice with Moscow, despite that particular see's cold shoulder. It's time to take whatever stand is possible.
Raise Kiev to the highest ecclesiastical level possible. Make it a patriarchate. Try to demonstrate how serious the Church regards all this. It's not much, but it might be enough to at least spare some of the more overt bloodshed of our brothers and sisters.
St. Josaphat, please pray for Ukraine and the persecuted Church all over the world.