Monday, January 31, 2011

Thoughts On Egypt

When it comes to the effects of all this on us Christians (an element currently being ignored in the media coverage of how this will all shake out), I can't help but be reminded of the movie Aliens vs. Predator. We'd have to call this version "Seculars vs. Islamists."

Whoever wins, we lose.

Bishop Vasa To Santa Rosa

I saw this from Rocco over at Whispers. This is another big move for a shepherd that has made some news for defending the Faith over the last few years. Recently, for example, we've seen him openly criticize the USCCB, as well as providing a denunciation of the Obama invite to ND and pro-abortion politicians in general.

One item I didn't know was that he was making all the folks in his diocese who teach catechetics to sign a statement of Faith.

This came about after we adopted the Charter for the Protection of Children. I support the Charter and its efforts to protect children from emotional and physical abuse; there is certainly no greater crime. But it dawned on me that if we don’t do something likewise to protect children from spiritual harm, then we’re not really minding the flock as we should.

Our policy requires us to do criminal background checks on everyone who has any contact with children. So also, I wanted anyone who taught the faith or who is held up as a public witness for the faith—such as lectors, extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, cantors, and catechists—to attest to the fact that they affirm and believe the basic teachings of the Church as found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. This includes declaring such things as: I believe in God, the virgin birth, the existence of purgatory, the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. I also accept the Church’s moral teachings, such as the evil and sinfulness of contraception, homosexual activity, and adulterous behavior.

It’s a Creed, yet it adds what I consider to be those important moral issues some Catholics seem to have the impression they can openly and publicly dissent from without any kind of consequence.

I'm surprised folks didn't howl over his labeling the teaching of heresy as child abuse. I mean, that's what it is, but I would have expected a lot of teeth-gnashing over such a comment. Maybe now we can bring back the Anti-Modernist Oath.

Anyways, not only did he do that, he pulled an Olmsted by removing the Catholic sponsorship of a local hospital that had gone off the rails of Truth. In fact, we should probably say that Olmsted pulled a Vasa since this was 15 years ago. Still, it's an interesting fact that I didn't know.

Fifteen years or more ago, the city of Bend issued a civic bond to fund the hospital. This gave the impression that it was a community rather than Catholic hospital. The hospital was turned over to a lay board, and there were not suitable protections of the inherent Catholicity of the organization. The board operated without direct episcopal oversight; despite being bishop of the diocese, I did not have any legal authority to intervene in the actions of the hospital.

The lay board followed the religious and ethical directives of their choosing, not necessarily in accordance with Catholic teaching, and did not understand that this was a condition for maintaining their Catholic identity. I believed it was a condition. We went back and forth for years, until there was no possibility for the meeting of the minds. I also discovered that sterilizations were being performed at the hospital in opposition to Catholic teaching, and they had no intention of discontinuing this practice.

I thought, here is another issue regarding adherence to Catholic teaching which led me to adopt the Affirmation of Personal Faith. How can I continue official sponsorship of a hospital which is acting on a belief system that is contrary to the Catholic faith? I cannot.

Bravo to His Excellency.

This is all very promising stuff. You can read the whole interview here at the Catholic World Report.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

News Freaking Flash: Joel Osteen Thinks That Something Is A Sin!

Known for his focus on uplifting Christian messages and ability to stay away from controversial social and political issues (Read Newsweek's "No Politics From This Pulpit"), Texas megapastor Joel Osteen has found himself in the headlines this week for telling CNN's Piers Morgan that homosexuality is a sin.

Of course, the weird part in all this has nothing to do with homosexuality and everything to do with Osteen actually even using the word "sin" at all. Given that the entirety of his programming is dedicated to the "best life now" rather than eternity, this is pretty shocking. He didn't really bother to mention anything about salvation, but at least we now know that he thinks that there are worse things one can do than "have a bad attitude."

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Does Anyone Actually Agree With The Following Statement?

At the heart of liberty is the right to define one's own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.

Really? Think about this for a second. The heart of liberty. A right to define one's own concept of existence. Meaning. The universe. The mystery of human life.

Does it strike anyone else as somewhat unreasonable to think that a person has the right to DEFINE any of these things? Maybe, just maybe, such things are beyond the subjective opinions of a single individual. Of course, if it is beyond the ability of a person to define such things, then it seem absurd to speak of having a "right" to define them. How can one have the right to do something which is impossible for them to do?

Not only does it seem absurd to say that a person can define these things, it seems downright insane to say that such a right is "the heart of liberty." Yes, yes, I know. The Enlightenment completely screwed up the concept of liberty. It is instructive, however, to make a note of this kind of lunacy and how it relegates such petty things as virtue to the level of superfluity. Clearly, the concept has no place in this equation of liberty. In fact, one could argue that from the above perspective virtue doesn't even exist. If everyone is defining these sorts of things for themselves, they sure as hell can't deal with something as objective as virtue or the common good. And people wonder why license is so easily substituted for liberty these days.

Is the author of the quote actually saying that you can't have a free society unless you cede this "right" to the citizenry?

And what of God? Is there any room for the Almighty in this formulation? After all, isn't that whole defining of existence/meaning/mystery of life stuff strictly the province of God? Last I checked, none of us set the foundations of the world or anything. Until you get thinking like the quote above. You know where else that kind of thinking gets you?

Before Christ's second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the "mystery of iniquity" in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh.

Catechism of the Catholic Church #675

That's right, straight into the reign of the AntiChrist. Not that this should surprise anyone given current events.

By the way, the source of the quote above?

The Supreme Court of the United States of America in Planned Parenthood of SE Pennsylvania v. Casey (505 US 833 at 852). Probably didn't expect that, did you?

If they had just stopped at blasphemy, that would have been bad enough. Instead, the plurality added hypocrisy with the very next sentence:

Beliefs about these matters could not define the attributes of personhood were they formed under compulsion of the State.

Consider the dumbness of this remark in light of what the Court actually has done. The Court has annihilated the ability of the State to compel beliefs on such matters in the name of personhood. It does this while simultaneously eradicating the ability of anyone to define the unborn as persons, all under the compulsion of the State.

If you have the time, read the whole thing. The plurality opinion is the height of judicial douchery, while Blackmun's hysterics in his dissent nicely flaunt his complete intellectual and moral bankruptcy that spawned the original Roe v. Wade decision. A warning, though. It's a lengthy bit and mind-numbingly stupid at points. The discussion by Rehnquist & Co. is worthwhile. I should probably mention that.

Just some food for thought next time you hear about freedom and liberty for all. As long as you aren't protecting unborn babies or promoting the Kingship of Christ.

From The Obvious File

Contraception can't halt abortion's rise

It's weird that folks still argue this, but they do. If I had a nickel for every time someone told me that, if the Church was really serious about getting rid of abortions, it would ok contraception. The problem is that both are poisonous fruits from the same corrupt weed. It was neat to see somebody actually pointing this out to people, though.

Contraception actually increases the abortion rate. This has been known for decades. In 1970, Malcolm Potts, a former medical director of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, said, "Abortion and contraception are inextricably intertwined in their use. As the idea of family planning spreads through a community there appears to be a rise in the incidence of induced abortion at the point where the community begins to initiate the use of contraceptives."

Ms. Camp said it was clear that black and Hispanic women continued to account for a disproportionate share of abortions because they had relatively high rates of unintended pregnancies. Since the 1970s, Planned Parenthood has targeted blacks and Hispanics by placing its facilities in urban areas, making contraception readily available to them. Sixty percent of black pregnancies and 40 percent of Hispanic pregnancies in New York City end in abortion, clearly showing that abortion is being used as the ultimate contraceptive. Even the Supreme Court in the 1992 Casey decision recognized that surgical abortion is a necessary backup for contraception because Americans "for two decades organized intimate relationships ... on the availability of abortion in the event that contraception should fail."

Here's a second item I've seen thrown around recently but still very much from the Obvious File. Pope Paul VI made three predictions in Humanae Vitae of what would happen if contraception ever really caught on. They are:

A. Let them first consider how easily this course of action could open wide the way for marital infidelity and a general lowering of moral standards.

B. Another effect that gives cause for alarm is that a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection.

C. [C]areful consideration should be given to the danger of this power passing into the hands of those public authorities who care little for the precepts of the moral law. Who will blame a government which in its attempt to resolve the problems affecting an entire country resorts to the same measures as are regarded as lawful by married people in the solution of a particular family difficulty? Who will prevent public authorities from favoring those contraceptive methods which they consider more effective? Should they regard this as necessary, they may even impose their use on everyone. It could well happen, therefore, that when people, either individually or in family or social life, experience the inherent difficulties of the divine law and are determined to avoid them, they may give into the hands of public authorities the power to intervene in the most personal and intimate responsibility of husband and wife.

Does anybody want to even try to argue that he was wrong? I haven't found anyone. The rationale now seems to be that all these things were worthwhile societal sacrifices so that folks could bang freely.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Creeping Dhimmitude

This is a topic that deserves to be revisited every now and then. It's one thing for the press to give token coverage of the murder of Christians in the Middle East. That's nice and all, but note that they really don't go into the broader context of what is going on, which is basically enslavement and genocide.

Al-Azhar, the chief centre of Sunni Muslim learning, suspended on Thursday its ties with the Vatican, accusing the pope of attacking Islam, but the Holy See says it wants to continue its bi-annual meetings with the Egypt-based institute.

"The freeze was prompted by the repeated attacks on Islam by Pope Benedict XVI of the Vatican. The Pope has reiterated that Muslims oppress non-Muslims who are living with them in the Middle East," said an Al-Azhar statement carried by the official Mena news agency.

An advisor to Al-Azhar grand imam Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayyeb criticised remarks by the pontiff as interference in internal affairs.

"The pope has repeatedly alleged that non-Muslims are being persecuted in Muslim countries in the Middle East region, which is far from the truth and is an unacceptable interference in the internal affairs of Islamic countries," Sheikh Mahmud Azab said in remarks carried by MENA.

Yeah, clearly we should all just stand back and let these folks be butchered. We wouldn't want to be "interfering" with any of that. Hey, as long as nobody burns a Koran, everything should be ok. Killing scores of people should be acceptable, but the minute somebody burns a copy of a book, all hell has to break loose because we just can't be having any of that. Then we have to get Ban Ki-Moon on the phone.

Of course, it's not like this "dialogue freeze" or whatever the hell they call it is some kind of big freaking loss. These kinds of discussions don't even meet the criteria of inter-religious dialogue. It's not like some crew of prelates is going into these situations with a serious argument for the divinity of Christ. These kinds of talks are diplomatic negotiations and should be treated that way.

The second prompt for this post is the lesser-known story regarding the resignation of Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir. The Maronites are largely based in Lebanon, home to some of the world's worst terrorist scum.

Sfeir who has been very critical of the political situation said on December 20 :”Hezbollah appears intent on seizing power in Lebanon” and warned against the party’s attempt to unilaterally rule the country saying justice was more important than stability.

“The way Hezbollah is acting and their talk about becoming a significant force leads us to believe that if the party continues to pursue its plan it could seize power. The dangers of such a step, if it takes place, lie in the fact that Lebanon cannot be ruled by one party,” Sfeir said in a
interview with MTV television.

Sfieir who is also concerned over the situation of Christians in Lebanon and the entire Middle East said during an interview with CNN on January 5th that all the Lebanese people are worried and not only the Christian Lebanese.

Sfeir described the situation of the Christians in the Middle east as tragic and specially in Iraq.

Sfeir told CNN that the situation for Christians in Lebanon has completely changed because in the past, they represented the majority of the population and occupied a special position in Lebanon, but demographics have since changed.

He said Christian families are satisfied with three to four children, while Muslim families could have 10 to 15 children.

“This is why Muslims have now greatly outnumbered the Christians, especially since Christians and some Muslims have emigrated,” the patriarch said.

Asked whether he believes Lebanon would ever have president who is not Christian, Sfeir replied: “I don’t know, maybe if matters developed further and the Christians became a minority.”

He added that this issue is up to the Lebanese themselves and maybe, if the Muslims continue to outnumber the Christians in Lebanon, some new demands may be raised for such a change.

In a nutshell, it is only a matter of time. The light of Christianity will be extinguished in the Middle East, and the secular world will rejoice. After all, holocausts of this sort are great tragedies worthy of world-wide intervention, except when Christians are targeted.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Counter-Counter-Syllabus

In his pre-Pope days, Cardinal Ratzinger once referred to Gaudium et Spes, Vatican II's pastoral constitution on the Church and the world, as a "counter-syllabus." This was a reference to the document as a balancing item when compared with Blessed Pius IX's Syllabus of Errors. On a side note, he was also known to have commented that Gaudium et Spes was "positively Pelagian."

Weird stuff, I know.

Thanks to EWTN via Rorate, we now have access to a call from Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Kazakhstan for a Counter-Counter-Syllabus that would condemn the misinterpretations of Vatican II and provide authoritative guidance of the conciliar teachings in the light of tradition. Such a document would be so trou-droppingly awesome that I can't even begin to put it into words.

I haven't made it through the whole thing. Yet. I will post a full review when I have, though. In the interim, take a look for yourselves and prep some comments for when I get my own post up about it.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Reading The Rite


I just finished The Rite by Matt Baglio. This is the book that allegedly was the inspiration for the new movie with Anthony Hopkins. First, regarding the book itself. No big spoilers or anything.

This was a very well-written, journalistic account of an exorcist's training in Rome. For folks looking for a replay of Hostage to the Devil, you will be sorely disappointed. This isn't a knock against Hostage. There's a place for that kind of narrative on things. If you're looking to strip things down to the brass tacks, and tell the story of demonic possession in a way that a non-believer can walk away interested as opposed to incredulous, this is how you do it. Baglio evens mentions Hostage in an end note and believes that Fr. Martin's account is exaggerated. Maybe. Maybe not. My personal recommendation is that folks should read both books.

Anyways, Baglio's take on things comes off as subdued and objective. He gives the whole course of scientific and Scully-ish "rational explanations" their time so that nobody can accuse the Church of looking for demons under every rock and bed. He emphasizes many, many times how exorcisms are not all what you see in movies. Sometimes, they are even downright boring. From an informational perspective, this is refreshing. By my reckoning, the demonic is behind way more problems than most people care to imagine. When such activity is trivialized by the carnival acts that pass themselves off as exorcisms these days, real damage is done to the cause of trying to liberate people from Satanic oppression.

This is an area that will hopefully mine a lot of interest for the Church. People like this subject, even if it's just because they've seen all the movies about it. Once they start hearing the stories, though, my own hope is that it will humanize things a bit. Maybe even lead them to a greater curiosity for Christ's Church. Maybe even to conversion/reversion. Baglio says at the end that he was basically led back to the Faith by his work on this project.

Let me also say that the theology involved was very solid and very well-referenced. There's some stuff in there that folks could probably quibble with, but that's always going to be the case, especially on a topic like this where there is so much mystery and variation involved. This was a relief, considering how readily people are willing to slander the Church as primitive and superstitious, with exorcism cited as a prime example. The theological discussions were sophisticated enough to impress a non-believer, I think, but not so much as to deliver headaches.

Stuff I never thought about: curses. Holy smokes. The book is worth reading for this topic alone. I knew curses existed, but I never really thought about them or how they might work. There's a good treatment of the subject here. Sure, Fr. Martin talks about them in Hostage, but The Rite is much more striking in how it talks about them, probably because it's just so mattter-of-fact about it.

If there was an "Easter egg" to the book, it is how often Baglio brings up the role of the Blessed Mother. The demons are terrified of her, with most not even daring to speak her name. This should come as no surprise to anyone who has read even the first three chapters of the Bible. God wasn't joking about putting "enmity" between her and the Serpent and between her seed and his seed. Perhaps some will discover the importance of Marian devotion in all this. The demons certainly respect the significance of a relationship with Our Lady. She "burns" them and rightfully so.

Now onto the movie. Going by the previews, I have no idea what the movie has to do with the book, other than that they deal with possession. Hopefully, there isn't too much "hollywoodization," as this would but against everything the book seemed to stand for. From my read, the point was to provide information on an oft-misrepresented and misunderstood topic. Conflict is good to portray. The book doesn't shy from the graphic examples, but it doesn't dwell on them either. It's about the simplicity of there being evil and such evil seeks to destroy us. Sometimes, the Adversary breaches our defenses, and extraordinary measures must be taken. As much as I like The Exorcist movie, I don't want to see The Rite turn into stuff like Fr. Karras jumping out of windows.

When I see the movie, I'll post a review of it as well.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Legacy Of Roe V. Wade

I waited until today to post this, simply to illustrate the absurdity that using different methodologies for murdering innocents can somehow make it ok. There is no real difference between what this guy did and your typical partial-birth abortion. Nor is there any difference between this and what President Obama endorsed in his attempts to defeat the Born Alive Infant Protection Act (which would have required emergency assistance to be rendered to babies born after failed abortions; the President, during his time as a legislator, voted to let these children die).

To attempt a distinction based on technique is the lowest form of sophistry. Yet so many still try. People can be weird in their attempts to rationalize evil.

A doctor accused of running a filthy "abortion mill" for decades in an impoverished Philadelphia neighborhood delivered babies alive, killed them with scissors and allowed a woman who had survived 20 years in a refugee camp to be overmedicated and die at his clinic, prosecutors said.

Dr. Kermit Gosnell, 69, was charged Wednesday with eight counts of murder for the deaths of seven babies and one patient. Nine employees also were charged, including four with murder.

Prosecutors described the clinic as a "house of horrors" where Gosnell kept baby body parts on the shelves, allowed a 15-year-old high school student to perform intravenous anesthesia on patients and had his licensed cosmetologist wife do late-term abortions. A family practice physician, Gosnell has no certification in gynecology or obstetrics.

God, please have mercy on us for permitting such abominations to occur.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Beatification

I apologize for the lack of updates. The universe has been overly complicated lately.

By now, everyone has heard about the beatification of JPII, which has been scheduled for May 1. It's so much news that I'm not even going to bother with a link. I've mentioned before that I particularly think this is a good idea.

Pontificates are weird things, and I'm not sure that they can be evaluated all that well less than a decade from their close. There's a lot of bad stuff that has come out regarding John Paul II's reign just recently (eg- Fr. Maciel). Whatever one's thoughts about the former pontiff's personal holiness, it seems like applying a bit of caution here might be for the best. Sure, JPII could be in heaven, but granting him beatification or any other measures rushing through his cause could cause a great deal of scandal to Catholics and the world at large even if more bad stuff doesn't come out.

I'm just not sure why there's such a rush.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

You Want To See Something Really Scary?

The above line has been a running gag in my family ever since Dan Aykroyd killed John Lithgow in the opening of The Twilight Zone movie. I ask it now with seriousness.

If you want to see something really scary, check out this article and make sure you look at the Catholic numbers. Sure, these are 2008 numbers. And yes, I remember when this study came out and that the numbers were depressing. Holy smokes, though, the graph makes it look way worse.

On a brighter note, Catholicism is growing in the South. Immigration has a lot to do with that, I know. The thing that saddens me the most is that Louisiana is the only state in the South that's losing Catholics. Losing a lot. As in, more than just about every other state in the country.

On the flip side, Louisiana picked up more "other Christians" than any other state. The remaining "other Christian" notices for other states were in decline (except Rhode Island).

For those professing "no religion," every single state saw a gain, many of them quite substantial.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Schismatics Of St. Stanislaus

Their day in court is finally here.

The linked article gives the whole story. Do not underestimate the significance of this. While this case does involve some pretty specific and detailed circumstances, there are a lot of cracks that could let a foot get in the door for the cause of stripping bishops of their power to govern their dioceses.

Pray for wisdom for the judge and Archbishop Carlson. Then pray for penitence on the part of the schismatics involved. Their sins against the unity and charity of the Church have placed their souls in danger. Let us hope that they realize this before it is too late.

A Jesuit Atheist

Insert joke here.

He started by saying** ““modern science” have brought to light that the universe follow its own laws, is autonomous and is not directed from the outside.”

It then follows, he says, that all religion should be an “atheistic faith” and

“What then of this modern, but also Christian image of God? It must be atheistic and, thus, contain a rejection of everything that has to do with the God-on-high. And this is no small undertaking, for the Creed and the Bible and the liturgy and the whole morality and the church history are full of God-on-high, “he says...

Father concludes that he considers himself to be a “religious atheist.”

I'm sure I'll get emails (or maybe even comments for all to see? Maybe?) from the usual Jesuit support group who will insist that there is nothing wrong with the Society.

Yes, yes. All is well.

Monday, January 10, 2011

We All Need A One-Child Policy

According to Ted Turner, at least. Geez, how did I miss this one for a month? Thanks to Greg for pointing it out.

Ted Turner, the founder of CNN, called on world leaders Sunday to address the global warming crisis by drastically reducing the number of people on the planet. Maintaining that the very future of humanity was at stake, Turner urged immediate action: "If we're going to be here [as a species] 5,000 years from now, we're not going to do it with seven billion people," said Turner, who went on to propose the immediate adoption of a global one-child policy.

The media mogul has long been infatuated with Chinese-style "family planning." Appearing on National Public Radio on May 7th of this year, he praised the Chinese government for "wisely institut[ing] . the one-child family policy, . put[ting] in penalties, tax penalties and so forth, for people that have more than one child."

Now the father of five, who has often publicly regretted having so many children, wants to extend China's policy to the rest of us.

Turner makes it clear that he is not proposing an unplanned pregnancy be viewed as a criminal act, and that women who violate his one-child policy should not be forced to have abortions and sterilizations. In fact, he flatly denies that such things happen in China at all, instead claiming that the Beijing regime has enforced the policy "without, as far as I can see, Draconian steps."

Is it just me, or are just about all of the billionaires out there completely crazy? Having a billion dollars might be a sweet deal, but I'm not sure that I'm willing to sacrifice my sanity in order to get it. Between Turner wanting everyone to be like China, Soros's apparent embrace of euthanasia/eugenics, Phil Knight's endorsement of Oregon's football uniforms, etc., you have to wonder what it is about money that rots the brain.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Catholic Universities And The Secular Dictatorship

This is some more stuff that I missed in the madcap hijinks that constituted the Throwback Family's holiday season.

Cardinal Burke went to Boston and gave a speech addressing the issue of Catholic universities. Of course, both Karl and I have an interest in this topic, given our status as ND alums and our well-documented opinions on how ND has essentially forfeited any claim to being associated with the Faith.

An examination of His Eminence's comments and ND's actions might be illustrative:

In a lengthy discussion of the nature of Catholic higher education, he said that a Catholic university faithful to its identity will help students give an account of their faith and help them resist “the secularist dictatorship which would exclude all religious discourse from the professions and from public life in general.”

Some folks might be insisting at this point that the Obama invitation to speak at ND was a good thing, given that it provided such a discourse. The problem is that this isn't what happened. What happened was an incidence of scandal that degenerated into a platform for secularism to preach its values with impunity. Most of us ND folk are still waiting for all those "dialogue" goodies that were promised by Fr. Jenkins.

“A Catholic college or university at which Jesus Christ alive in His Church is not taught, encountered in the Sacred Liturgy and its extension through prayer and devotion, and followed in a life of virtue is not worthy of the name,” he told attendees.

Jesus’ presence is not something “extraneous” to the pursuit of truth because he alone inspires and guides professors and students to remain faithful in their pursuits and not “fall prey to the temptations which Satan cleverly offers to corrupt us.”

One would think that such things are self-evident. Catholic universities should promote Truth and seek to extinguish error. The Catholic nature of the institute should inform everything that it does. I'm not sure how promoting heretics to positions of authority and holding classes that are overtly encouraging the demolition of the Church have anything to do with this mission. I wonder how having dorm Masses that are billboards for liturgical abuse are supposed to foster the Truth the Church has been charged to defend. Or does it actually foster the destruction of faith by presenting Church teaching as being changeable and dependent solely on the whims of the audience?

The Catholic university is needed more than ever in a society “marked by a virulent secularism which threatens the integrity of every aspect of human endeavor and service,” he said.

“How tragic that the very secularism which the Catholic university should be helping its students to battle and overcome has entered into several Catholic universities, leading to the grievous compromise of their high mission,” he commented.

The American-born cardinal said that rather than exemplifying secularism, the Catholic university’s manner of study and research should “manifest the bankruptcy of the abuse of human life and human sexuality … and the bankruptcy of the violation of the inviolable dignity of human life, of the integrity of marriage, and of the right order of our relationship to one another and to the world.”

It's noteworthy how Cardinal Burke doesn't present Catholicism and secularism as forces that are seeking rapprochement or mutual understanding. He rightly describes it as a battle. This is what the Jenkinses of the world don't seem to understand. Errors are destructive. To keep them from being destructive, they must be refuted. Providing a public forum during which they can be spewed among the populace is foolish. Unless you are planning on denouncing them, that is.

On the issues of creating curricula and hiring professors, Cardinal Burke advised “special care,” noting the poor religious formation of many young Catholics.

“Given the religious illiteracy which marks our time and in fidelity to the seriousness with which university studies should be undertaken, there is really no place for engaging in speculative theology and certainly no time to waste on superficial and tendentious theological writings of the time,” the cardinal contended.

Yeah, that has McBrien's name all over it. I wonder how serious ND (or any Catholic university) really is about that sort of thing. While there are bright pockets here and there, the Faith is largely forgotten in favor of social projects that even atheist groups might initiate. Check the ads during football games. Have you ever seen one that proclaimed ND as "Fighting . . . for the salvation of souls"?

The Cardinal's words are well-spoken. The deaf ears at ND will not hear, though.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Let's civilly disobey!

May I suggest that the faithful refuse to move feast days? Celebrate Epiphany on January 6. Celebrate Ascension Thursday on Thursday. Fight the power!

A grass-roots movement is clearly needed. And probably T-shirts.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Yes, I've Heard About The New Assisi Thing

See here for what I'm talking about.

No, I don't like it. I'm hoping that it doesn't happen, or if it does, in a manner radically different from what we've seen in the past.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy Epiphany!

Sort of. I'm not a big fan of this move of Epiphany from January 6. Especially when it all seems to be nothing more than an accommodation of sloth.

Still, I hope all is well with you, reader.

Leave your Christmas decorations up until the 6th anyway.