Monday, September 26, 2011

Caption Contest

I got this from Fr. Z. His commentary is right on. The jokes pretty much write themselves.

The fact that they used Daleks in one poster is priceless beyond words. Because, hey, if you want to make a point about the eternal Truth about who can receive the indelible mark of Holy Orders on their soul in order to serve as a priest of the Almighty God, what could be better symbol than a collective of homicidal cyborgs bent on conquering the universe?

Pope Benedict In Germany

Here's the headline from Bloomberg:

Pope Benedict Disappoints German Protestant Leaders Seeking Common Ground

Looking at the article, it would have been more accurate to caption it:

Protestants Disappointed That Pope Is Catholic

Since the author of the article appears to be lacking some journalistic skills, I'll translate as best I can.

Pope Benedict XVI disappointed Protestants seeking common ground with Catholics by stressing differences between the two groups, as he continued a four-day journey in his native Germany.

Pope Benedict XVI disappointed Protestants by being honest.

The Evangelical Church of Germany, or EKD, an umbrella group of German Evangelical and Lutheran denominations, had raised the issue of joint communion for married couples of different Christian denominations. Speaking in the eastern city of Erfurt today, the Catholic leader rebuffed expectations by saying that one can’t “think through or negotiate” faith.

A bunch of heretics and schismatics approached the Pope with a proposal to commit sacrilege. His Holiness said no.

While the meeting between the 84-year-old pontiff and leaders of Germany’s protestant denominations was “open and friendly,” Bishop Johannes Friedrich, head of the United Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Germany, said he would have wanted to see closer ties. He also expressed disappointment that Benedict declined to discuss the Reformation Jubilee in 2017, five centuries after Luther issued the 95 theses that represented his movement’s rupture from the Catholic Church.

“The pope unfortunately didn’t concretely discuss the Reformation Jubilee in today’s talks,” Friedrich said in a statement posted on the group’s website.

The Pope was polite enough not to bring up the origins and devastating effects of the various heresies and schisms that were wrought by the tragedy often labeled as the Reformation.

There's a tidbit in the end that says the Holy Father praised Luther as a theologian. Having read the whole address over at Whispers, I'm not quite sure how much praise is going on. He basically says that Luther asked important questions, then ignores his answers. He could probably say the same stuff about Ayn Rand. But hey, after the aforementioned massive disappointments, I can see why they'd be looking for a silver lining.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Consider The Following Words

"I said: 'Today, it is we Catholics who are destroying our Catholic Church. We need only look at the number of abortions among Catholics, look at the homosexuals, and ourselves.' (That's when I pointed at my chest - through that action I wanted to say, we the priests) and I continued saying: We are destroying our Church ourselves. And that's when I said that those were the words expressed by Pope John Paul II. At that point, in the St-Léolin church only, I added: 'We can add to that the practice of watching gay parades, we are encouraging this evil' ... What would you think of someone who seeing what was happening on (Sept.) 11, 2001, the crumbling of the towers, had begun clapping? We must not encourage evil, whatever form it takes."

Apparently, this is the sort of talk that gets a priest barred from saying Mass. In Canada, at least. This was from a homily given by 85-year old priest Fr. Donat Gionet of the Diocese of Bathurst. As a response, Bishop Valéry Vienneau appears to have prohibited him from offering Mass. The rationale is pretty astounding:

Rev. Wesley Wade, vicar general of the Diocese of Bathurst, said Gionet's teachings don't meet the diocese's goal of following Christ's example of loving unconditionally.

"We have to respect people on their own journey," Wade said.

"The first message of Christ was to reveal to us a loving father and a merciful father and that we are all called to be his children and that we are all loved unconditionally by Him."

While the Church gets criticized as a judgmental institution, Wade said the reality is "it's full of compassion."

I suppose Christ's warnings about Gehenna and all that other badness associated with sin has been forgotten. He didn't seem to respect the Pharisees all that much when He called them a brood of vipers. Is the above what passes for love these days? What loving father stands idly by while His children sow the seeds of their own destruction without reprimand? That's why He gave us the Church. To warn us about the consequences of our actions so that we don't wind up damned to eternal torment. I'm sure God will be perfectly ok with our having waved the souls of our acquaintances on by during their journey to hell as long as we were respectful about it.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A Jesuit Article You Should Read

Fr. Schall is a Jesuit at Georgetown. Don't hold that against him as you read this article. He describes what we all fear (or should fear) as the direction of secular government.

Almost everything is now in place for a full-scale legal persecution of the Church, all concocted under the aegis of government protection of “human rights.” The meaning of “rights” the government itself defines in the name of “freedom” and “equality.” It is noble-sounding, but as Plato said: “Entreaties of sovereigns are mixed with compulsion.” This admonition includes democratic sovereigns.

World News Daily (September 17) reports that PayPal investigates Christian Internet sources said to be involved in “hate language” because of their criticism of certain gay activities. Addressing this issue is not affirmation of a “right to speak,” but a subject of state investigation. Certain central teachings of Christianity will be legally prohibited as threats to “human rights.”

A situation analogous to that in China can be foreseen: an “official” break-away church that follows government decrees and an underground church that still maintains the central truths of reason and faith. One suspects that the degree of hatred for the Church is more widespread and deeper than we like to admit. The situation, however, is not so different from what Scripture would have us expect.

Things change almost too rapidly for us to appreciate their scope. With legalized same-sex “marriages,” as they are equivocally called, in which children are adopted, we will have mandates to educate them in Catholic schools as if no problem exists. The children, legally deprived of a mother or a father, will be presented as from “normal” families. Several writers have suggested that parents teaching children that problems exist with homosexual life or adoption will be investigated for “child abuse.”

The child-abuse cases themselves have shown how to undermine the financial stability of the Church. In addition to properly investigating malefactors, legal procedures have permitted lawyers to make enormous wealth from Church funds. Ironically, since most of these abuses were rooted in homosexuality, not pedophilia, the corporate Church on the one side is required to pay for the abuses and on the other is forbidden to say that anything is wrong with this form of life.

The legal undermining of the family as a favored, natural union of wife and husband is far advanced. Abortion is an established “right.” Few really care about the millions of human infants slaughtered. Opposition to this system is considered “inhuman” and, again ironically, “against women.” What is defined as “human” is now solely a matter of civil law. Relativism is the established religion of the realm, backed by force.

That's only about half of it. I post this to try and demonstrate that it's not just tin-foil hat types who are worried about this and to show that not everything that comes from a Jesuit is bad.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

What Would You Fight For?

This is the name of an ad campaign that ND runs during their football games. Basically, they take a cause (hunger, criminal justice, disease, learning disabilities, etc.) then show how someone connected to the university is "fighting" on the right side of the cause. See, cause they're the "Fighting Irish," so they're supposed to fight for stuff. How clever. I'm waiting for them to emphasize the Irish part and show clips from Boondock Saints.

Anyways, here's the one that ran this past weekend:

I'm sure everyone is completely breathless over how awesome this was, but let's try to take a look at it from the standpoint of Catholicism, rather than that of some indifferentist New Age-ism.

First, I'm very happy this guy isn't being tortured anymore and that he labored against causes like apartheid. I'm very sad, though, that his experience in prison left him with such radically erroneous concepts about God.

"The Spirit of God dwells within all of us," he says. Why would an allegedly Catholic university have a guy spouting this off on a commercial for the school? We know from prior commercials in the series that the university wants itself associated with the content promoted by the speaker. Can we all agree that his comment is not Catholic even in the most remote of senses? The Spirit of God lives within the baptized who are in a state of grace. It does not live within those who are in a state of mortal sin. Period. So the imam is gravely mistaken and ND has given him a public platform to espouse such views in a way that ties them to the university (and the Church as well unfortunately).

Anybody remember an ND commercial or campaign that featured people fighting for the spread of the Gospel? And no, I'm not talking about social justice causes that are devoid of evangelical content. I'm talking about something specifically directed at conversions. I don't, but I'm more than willing to be proven wrong. Perhaps something about the underground Church in China or some other group of martyrs. Today is the Feast of Andrew Kim Taegon, Paul Chong Hasang and their Companions. All of them were tortured and died for the Church of Jesus Christ. Can't have that. Instead, let's talk about the tragic case of a guy being tortured and then turning towards a false religion for his consolation.

Oh, hey. There's Desmond Tutu. That makes it ok. A faux bishop from a schismatic and heretical sect is giving the "Amen" to what the imam says. If an Anglican and an imam agree on it, it must be true. By the time this spot was over, I couldn't help but think that the whole thing was like a weird virtual Assisi meeting except Catholicism wasn't invited. The worst part is that whoever vetted this thing for the university probably had the same thoughts and smiled when they saw the end result.

Peace among religious people is a great goal. However, let's keep in mind that false religions are a hindrance to salvation and hence bad. In this sense, there can be no peace among religions. Truth always strives against error. For those who proclaim the Truth to simply adopt the "I'm ok/you're ok" version of the world is not only hypocritical but monstrous in its disregard for the souls of their neighbors.

What is ND fighting for with these spots? Probably money and the applause of the world.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Another Bishop Sheen Miracle?

From The Catholic Post in Peoria:

That James Fulton Engstrom is celebrating his first birthday on Friday is amazing. In fact, some would call his life a miracle.

Considered stillborn on Sept. 16, 2010 after a healthy pregnancy and “a beautiful, short labor,” James was without a pulse for the first 61 minutes of his life. It was only when doctors at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria were ready to call the time of death that his little heart started beating.

His parents, Travis and Bonnie Engstrom, believe James is alive due to the intercession of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, Servant of God.

What a marvelous story. Continue to pray for the advancement of Bishop Sheen's cause. As God wills, of course.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Here's A Sobering Thought

We live in a world where parents can sue doctors and win $4.5 million because the doctors robbed them of the opportunity to kill their child. From the Orlando Sentinel:

Almost 3, Bryan Santana longs to play with toys and run alongside other children. But because he was born without arms and with only one leg, normal toddler games elude him.

On Friday, a jury awarded his West Palm Beach parents $4.5 million to help them buy prostheses, wheelchairs and other medical services experts say he will need to live any semblance of a normal life.

After nearly nine hours of deliberation over two days, a jury of four men and two women agreed that a Palm Beach Gardens obstetrician and the clinic where she works were negligent for not detecting the boy's horrific disabilities before he was born.

Had Dr. Marie Morel and an ultrasound technician properly administered a sonogram, they would have discovered the abnormalities, the jury found. Had Ana Mejia and Rodolfo Santana known, they said they would have terminated the pregnancy.

Is it just me, or do the first couple of paragraphs there come this [] close to saying that the child really would be better off dead anyway?

I wonder how mom and dad will explain all the money to him as he gets older. "Well, son, if we'd known that you were going to be born like this, we would have killed you way beforehand. Some doc or ultrasonographer screwed up, though, so we were stuck with you."

Ours is a doomed culture.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

How Did I Miss This?

So last night, I turned on Jack Van Impe in the middle of his broadcast. As usual, he's spouting off a 10-minute stream of Bible verses, so you have to wait to hear what he's actually talking about. When he gets done with that, he starts blasting the Trinity Broadcast Network and the junior Crouches (sons of the founder). Holy smokes. Jack basically calls them apostates looking to censor the Word of God because they won't let him rip Muslim/Christian syncretism ("Chrislam" as Jack calls it) and how he'll never be on TBN ever again.

How did we get here? When did all this happen and why didn't anyone tell me.

There's articles about it all over the place. June? This all blew up back in June? I'm not sure if I'm humiliated for just now finding out or just ticked off because none of the other Jack fans I know bothered to tell me. Maybe they just figured I already knew.

You can hear Jack talk about it here:

As you might know, Hal Lindsey left TBN back in 2006 over similar stuff but returned a year or so later.

Anyways, I couldn't find the actual broadcast that I was watching last night, but Jack was all over the place. He blasted the Crouches, Rick Warren, Joel Osteen, and said something about somebody's momma before it was all over with. Not only is Chrislam a problem, but there's no more preaching on sin and church services look more like night club entertainment than worship.

Sure, he's given rants about these last topics before but not while calling people out by name. Wild stuff and more reasons why the J to the V to the I is Bible-quoting awesomeness in a coat and tie. Seriously, it was like that scene in Network:

Two things that I'm wondering about going forward. First, will this re-center some Protestants on the importance of doctrine? Second, Jack praises DayStar for showing his program twice a day. As anyone who has seen DayStar programming can tell you, they are the media hotspot for exactly the kind of squishy doctrine and disco church service that he was just condemning. Will he speak out against those other preachers as well?

Make it three things. Jack, when are you going to stop all this other nonsense and become Catholic? We know you had a soft spot for JPII. You enjoyed reading the Catechism. You mention the Church Fathers in your broadcasts all the time. Home is waiting, sir, and you are welcome.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Holy Smokes

I'm speechless. This is the rationale used by a Canadian judge for why a mother who strangled her newborn child shouldn't get jail time.

“The fact that Canada has no abortion laws reflects that ‘while many Canadians undoubtedly view abortion as a less than ideal solution to unprotected sex and unwanted pregnancy, they generally understand, accept and sympathize with the onerous demands pregnancy and childrbirth exact from mothers, especially mothers without support,’ she writes.

The judge noted that infanticide laws and sentencing guidelines were not altered when the government made many changes to the Criminal Code in 2005, which she says shows that Canadians view the law as a ‘fair compromise of all the interests involved.’

‘Naturally, Canadians are grieved by an infant’s death, especially at the hands of the infant’s mother, but Canadians also grieve for the mother.”

Read that a couple of times, folks. Then suffer awe at God's mercy by allowing such an evil world as ours to remain in existence.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Update: Bishop Fellay's Response

There's not much here, but that's probably ok. Nothing bad. He did put the whole situation with the talks in a positive light, though. This is good considering that the last interview +Fellay gave didn't sound all that great. He addresses this in his comments. Looks like we'll be waiting a couple of months for anything definitive.

Keep praying, folks.

Pray For Success

The first part of the talks between the SSPX and the Vatican have kind of come to a head. It's popping up everywhere from Rorate to FoxNews. Much of the reporting centers around a "doctrinal preamble" that's been provided for the SSPX to review. The gist seems to be listing a certain number of principles that all must agree on, while admitting that other areas are open for debate. Which is pretty much what everyone has been saying this whole time.

Hopefully, we'll know an answer soon, as well as the contents of this document. In the interim, pray for a successful meeting.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Thought

As I review the reports and commentary following the epic hilarity that ensued at yesterday's ND/Michigan game, I can't help but notice something. ND fans are more concerned about the administration's handling of the football program than its handling of matters touching the Faith. The scandal of honoring Obama is forgiveable. Starting 0-2 (again) is not. How sad.

Something about reaping and sowing comes to mind. Once Fr. Jenkins & Co. have completed their annihilation of the football program, and ND's finances with it, perhaps they will finally have time to get around to all that dialogue they've been meaning to do.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

New Anglican Catholics

I picked these up from Fr. Z. Basically, the first story is about the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada voting to become Catholic. It's apparently only about two dozen congregations, but every little bit helps. This is another step for the ordinariate process.

The second item is actually a collection of articles about Fr. John Hepworth, who as an Archbishop of the Traditional Anglican Communion, has spear-headed that group's reconciliation with Christ's Church. I had no idea how terrible his journey had been. He entered the Catholic seminary at 15 and was repeatedly raped by priests there. This drove him out of the Church to Anglicanism. Now, he is returning home. Warning- some of the content in the articles is very graphic. Please pray for this man. He deserves as many as we can give him.

Reading of his seminary experience, the shadow of Windswept House loomed large in my mind.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Mel Gibson And The Maccabees

Even before Apocalypto came out, Mel Gibson was talking about doing a movie based on the Maccabean Revolt. Personally, I think that's a freaking awesome idea for a film. As we all know, Gibson's career got a bit side-tracked as he seemed to completely lose his mind. Even beyond the personal harm to him and his family, this was a shame because his Catholicity was well-known. It was pretty scandalous stuff. As I've said before, I'm not sure one can rule out some variety of demonic attack. It was that bad.

Now, reports are coming out that the Maccabees movie is back on. The screenwriter? Joe Eszterhas, another Catholic who did some bad things but came back to the Church. From a movie-making stand-point, this could be pretty promising.

Naturally, the Abe Foxman crowd is up in arms. I'm not sure why anyone should care. Nobody cared when Dan Brown was airing blasphemy. I hate to tell Abe & Co., but the stories of the Old Testament are just as much ours as theirs. Moreso even, but saying that definitively would probably get me branded as an anti-Semite. Really, this comes down to my inability to understand why (a) Abe Foxman can still get publicity and (b) the role of forgiveness in these people's minds. At least Gibson apologized. Has Dan Brown or any of his ilk ever apologized for their slights against Christianity? Joy Behar has her own show now. The New York Times editor can openly ridicule the Eucharist. Haven't heard any apologies from them. Have Foxman et al ever offered to pray for Mel Gibson?

I'm sure Hollywood will rise up in collective contempt for Gibson's new effort. This will be done in the same breath as the newest accolades heaped upon whatever Roman Polanski's latest film happens to be.

On a very side note, if it gets made, this movie will be an excellent way of introducing Protestants to some of the missing parts of their Bibles.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

"That Could Never Happen"

This is the refrain of countless millions throughout history who don't think they could ever possibly be screwed over by the government. Catholics, in complete denial over historical and present realities, have been saying it to themselves for years. Even ignoring past precedent, the fact that petitions like the following can be seriously made should at least give such people pause.

Mike Weatherley, the Conservative MP for Hove, has called for churches to be banned from holding marriages if they refuse to perform civil partnerships for gay couples.

He says that the idea will bring more equality for gay couples.

In a letter (see below) to prime minister David Cameron, Mr Weatherley wrote: “As long as religious groups can refuse to preside over ceremonies for same-sex couples there will be inequality.

“Such behaviour is not be tolerated in other areas, such as adoption, after all.

“Until we untangle unions and religion in this country we will struggle to find a fair arrangement.”

Mr Weatherley said that 2005′s Civil Partnership Act was an “uneasy truce” between religious groups and gay rights campaigners and that lawmakers knew an “inherent inequality” would persist.

Once the Muslims refuse to do this, I'm sure folks will be free to call it a persecution. That's assuming they don't get some kind of waiver or pass. Unfortunately, I'm afraid this is only the beginning.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

More Vatican II Insight From Roberto De Mattei

This is from Rorate and is worth checking out. It's basically about how most of the bishops at Vatican II weren't in either theological camp, but were instead swayed by the more effective organization of the Rhine group. We've talked about this a little in the past and mentioned that the orthodox bloc were blind-sided at the opening bell by Cardinal Leinart's shenanigans and then played from behind for the rest of the game. The Rhine camp, on the other hand, had been planning for some time about how they would go about "refusing to accept the tyrannical rules laid down by John XXIII."

To this point, I don't think de Mattei's book is in English, which is a shame. I eagerly await a translation, though. In the interim, check out the excerpts at the link and marvel at what a well-organized machine can do in a campaign for votes.