Between Thanksgiving and Christmas my bride and I usually send Christmas donations to groups we support. This is the time when we also make a substitute donation to Catholic groups we endorse in lieu of contributing anything to the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. Despite window dressing efforts at reform, the CCHD is still in the business of handing out money, given by good-hearted Catholics who think they are contributing money to help people down on their luck, to left-wing pressure groups, many of whom espouse causes directly contrary to the teachings of the Church.
The Lepanto Institute gives us some details on just what a corrupt organization the CCHD is:
The newly launched Lepanto Institute published a report today, which shows a conflict of interest for Ralph McCloud, the Director of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.
McCloud, who approves grants distributed to community organizing groups on behalf of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, is a member of the board of directors of Interfaith Worker Justice (IWJ). Two affiliates of Interfaith Worker Justice received CCHD grants for fiscal year 2014-2015.
The IWJ philosophy is another issue of scandal for an organization that is part of the Catholic Church.
“Ralph McCloud was provided with the facts in 2012, with our showing that the leadership of Interfaith Worker Justice is filled with self-professed pro-abortion, pro-homosexual Marxists,” said Michael Hichborn, president of the Lepanto Institute. “By joining the board of directors of IWJ, McCloud has created for himself the very definition of a conflict of interest, and accepted the role of overseeing distribution of funds to an organization in conflict with the Catholic Church’s teaching.”
A report on the leadership of Interfaith Worker Justice is available here.
“In 2012, my colleagues and I published a report on one of the two IWJ affiliates that are currently receiving grants from the CCHD which are in violation of CCHD guidelines,” Hichborn said.
“How can an individual serve the Church while sitting on the board of IWJ, and in fact approve grants for affiliates of this organization? It seems impossible,” Hichborn concluded. “Our Blessed Lord said that man cannot serve two masters, but in the case of IWJ and the CCHD, that is precisely what McCloud is trying to do.”
The Lepanto Institute issued a report exposing the activities of an organization which received a $35,000 grant from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD). According to the report, the Northwest Bronx Community & Clergy Coalition (NWBCCC) launched its own gay straight alliance in 2014, participated in a homosexuality activism coordination event in 2013, and its director of operations signed a letter supporting same-sex marriage.
“CCHD grant guidelines are very clear. CCHD says it will not fund organizations which are taking actions in violation of Catholic moral teaching,” said Michael Hichborn, president of the Lepanto Institute. “This is just one more in the long list of failures in the CCHD’s self-proclaimed rigorous screening process.”
The CCHD’s grant guidelines state, “Organizations that receive CCHD funds must not participate in or promote activities that contradict the moral and social teachings of the Catholic Church.” The Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraph 2357 specifically states, regarding homosexual acts, “under no circumstances can they be approved.”
“What’s perplexing is that in 2012, The Reform CCHD Now coalition sent a profile on the problems with NWBCCC to the Archdiocese of New York, and the response we received was that they decided not to fund that organization before we even sent them the letter,” said Hichborn. “So, why are they funding them this year, now that it’s clear that things have gotten worse?” →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading
It is a common trope of the defenders of the current Pope, that the Holy Spirit picks our popes. They are wrong on that, as then Cardinal Ratzinger pointed out in an interview in 1997. However, if the Holy Spirit did pick Pope Francis, apparently He had some help.
Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, the former leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, helped to orchestrate a behind-the-scenes lobbying campaign which led to the election of Pope Francis, a new biography claims.
The choice of the largely unknown Argentine cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio as head of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics came as a surprise to Vatican watchers and the faithful alike when the announcement was made in March last year.
The conclave to elect a successor to Benedict XVI, the first pope for more than 600 years to step down, was viewed as wide open, although most predicted that the Italian Cardinal Angelo Scola or Cardinal Marc Ouellet of Quebec would be elected.
But a biography of Pope Francis, to be published next month, discloses that there had been a discreet, but highly organised, campaign by a small group of European cardinals in support of Cardinal Bergoglio
Go here to read the rest.
The blog From Rome, explains why such electioneering could be a major problem for Pope Francis:
London, Nov. 25, 2014 — A remarkable letter to the editor, if ever there was one. A denial, which draws more attention, than the matter would otherwise merit. In today’s Daily Telegraph Letter’s Page, print edition, Maggie Doherty, the press-secretary to Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor, denies a key fact in the reporting by Austen Ivereigh, a British journalist who just published a book exposing a concerted effort among Cardinals of the Roman Church to canvass for votes on behalf of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, in the days prior to the Conclave of March 2013, which elected the latter as successor to Pope Benedict XVI. The on-line edition of the Telegraph has a short story about this, by John Bingham, which opens thus:
Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, the former leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, helped to orchestrate a behind-the-scenes lobbying campaign which led to the election of Pope Francis, a new biography claims.
The Election of Pope Francis has seen a great deal more publicity than any in modern times, especially concerning the remarkable novelty of revelations coming from Cardinals themselves — remarkable, since according to papal law, to make such revelations is punished by automatic excommunication!
The papal law is Universi Dominici Gregis, promulgated by Pope John Paul II on the Feats of the Chair of St. Peter, February 22, 1996 A.D.. The key paragraphs regarding this excommunication are as follows:
- Those who, in accordance with the prescriptions of No. 46 of the present Constitution, carry out any functions associated with the election, and who directly or indirectly could in any way violate secrecy — whether by words or writing, by signs or in any other way — are absolutely obliged to avoid this, lest they incur the penalty of excommunication latae sententiae reserved to the Apostolic See.
- In particular, the Cardinal electors are forbidden to reveal to any other person, directly or indirectly, information about the voting and about matters discussed or decided concerning the election of the Pope in the meetings of Cardinals, both before and during the time of the election. This obligation of secrecy also applies to the Cardinals who are not electors but who take part in the General Congregations in accordance with No. 7 of the present Constitution.
However, today’s denial regards another requirement of the papal law, regarding Conclaves: the express prohibition of canvassing for votes prior to the commencement of the Conclave. John Paul II’s Apostolic Constitution of 1996 makes that a high-crime, punishable by automatic excommunication.
- The Cardinal electors shall further abstain from any form of pact, agreement, promise or other commitment of any kind which could oblige them to give or deny their vote to a person or persons. If this were in fact done, even under oath, I decree that such a commitment shall be null and void and that no one shall be bound to observe it; and I hereby impose the penalty of excommunication latae sententiae upon those who violate this prohibition. It is not my intention however to forbid, during the period in which the See is vacant, the exchange of views concerning the election.
- I likewise forbid the Cardinals before the election to enter into any stipulations, committing themselves of common accord to a certain course of action should one of them be elevated to the Pontificate. These promises too, should any in fact be made, even under oath, I also declare null and void.
- With the same insistence shown by my Predecessors, I earnestly exhort the Cardinal electors not to allow themselves to be guided, in choosing the Pope, by friendship or aversion, or to be influenced by favour or personal relationships towards anyone, or to be constrained by the interference of persons in authority or by pressure groups, by the suggestions of the mass media, or by force, fear or the pursuit of popularity. Rather, having before their eyes solely the glory of God and the good of the Church, and having prayed for divine assistance, they shall give their vote to the person, even outside the College of Cardinals, who in their judgment is most suited to govern the universal Church in a fruitful and beneficial way.
The Reason for the Press-Secretary’s Denial is now manifest
If Maggie Doherty had not gone to the lengths of issuing a denial in such language, I would never have taken notice. But now that she has, having consulted the papal law on Conclaves, it appears manifest why she has. If Austen Ivereigh’s book contains verifiable evidence that any of the Cardinals who voted for Jorge Mario Bergoglio canvassed for votes in the manner forbidden, especially if he tacitly consented to this, then by that very fact (ipso facto) they fell under the penalty of excommunication in the same moment they agreed to do such and/or did such. And, if Bergoglio tacitly agreed (that is, had knowledge, and consented without opposing what they were doing), then he, too, would have been excommunicated prior to the Conclave. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading
As we prepare for Thanksgiving tomorrow, and as we recall our blessings and thank God for each and every one, let us also remember the humble turkey and the various disasters that result when that proud bird is not treated with the care that it deserves, dead or alive. Oldtimers like myself will recognize the above video as part of the famous “Turkey Drop” episode from WKRP, a sitcom from the Seventies.
Of course Turkey Disasters are not, unfortunately, restricted to the realm of fiction. Deep frying a turkey poses various risks.
Here we have a case of the flaming avian:
William Shatner warns of the dangers of deep frying turkeys:
Of course there are those among us who revel in the destructive possibilities of cooking turkey.
If deep fry a turkey you must, follow these tips: →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading
A Georgetown student writes about his mugging:
Last weekend, my housemate and I were mugged at gunpoint while walking home from Dupont Circle. The entire incident lasted under a minute, as I was forced to the floor, handed over my phone and was patted down.
And yet, when a reporter asked whether I was surprised that this happened in Georgetown, I immediately answered: “Not at all.” It was so clear to me that we live in the most privileged neighborhood within a city that has historically been, and continues to be, harshly unequal. While we aren’t often confronted by this stark reality west of Rock Creek Park, the economic inequality is very real.
Year after year, Washington, D.C., is ranked among the most unequal cities in the country, with the wealthiest 5 percent earning an estimated 54 times more than the poorest 20 percent. According to the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute, just under 20 percent of D.C. residents live below the poverty line.
What has been most startling to me, even more so than the incident itself, have been the reactions I’ve gotten. I kept hearing “thugs,” “criminals” and “bad people.” While I understand why one might jump to that conclusion, I don’t think this is fair.
Not once did I consider our attackers to be “bad people.” I trust that they weren’t trying to hurt me. In fact, if they knew me, I bet they’d think I was okay. They wanted my stuff, not me. While I don’t know what exactly they needed the money for, I do know that I’ve never once had to think about going out on a Saturday night to mug people. I had never before seen a gun, let alone known where to get one. The fact that these two kids, who appeared younger than I, have even had to entertain these questions suggests their universes are light years away from mine.
Go here to read the rest. This emasculated Zeta Male is a senior in the school of foreign service. His surrender-immediately-and-blame-himself instincts makes him a natural for the Obama State Department. The reaction of his readers is a healthy sign that he does not speak for all of his generation: →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading
According to the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, on November 20, 2014, three of Michigan’s Great Lakes had ice starting to form. Lake Superior and Lake Michigan were one-half percent ice covered, while Lake Huron had one percent ice. Lake Erie was not reporting any ice as of Nov. 20, 2014.
Decent early season ice coverage records date back to 1973. Last Friday was the earliest date that all three Great Lakes already had ice since the better reporting of early season ice began. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading
Mark Shea has taken his agree-with-me-on-these-issues-or-you-are-not-really-pro-life routine to the pages of the Jesuit rag America:
But weirdly, when the topic is not the unborn, many allegedly pro-life people often forget their wisdom. Result: on many issues ranging from war to torture to refugees to the death penalty, it is extremely common to run into people who are anti-abortion, but not pro-life.
And so self-identified pro-life people, in a solid majority, favored the launch of the Iraq War, despite the fact that it failed to meet a single criterion of Just War teaching, was sternly denounced by Pope John Paul II, warned of by the world’s bishops, and dismissed as folly by then-Cardinal Ratzinger, who famously remarked that the “concept of a ‘preventive war’ does not appear in the Catechism of the Catholic Church” and who warned that it would result in catastrophe—as the destruction of the Chaldean Church, the deaths of at least 100,000 people and the transformation of Iraq into chaos eloquently attests.
Relatedly, self-identified pro-life Christians supported, in greater percentages than the general U.S. population, the use of torture against prisoners. Indeed, along with Evangelicals, self-identified pro-life Catholics may constitute the single most enthusiastic supporters of torture in American public life. This is despite the fact that the church describes torture as gravely and intrinsically immoral—exactly the same terms in which she describes abortion.
Similarly, the death penalty is sometimes treated as an issue in which the church’s guidance to inflict the punishment only if absolutely necessary is rejected on the theory that God “commands” rather than reluctantly permits the death penalty. Some even go so far as to declare the church, not merely entitled to an opinion from which they dissent, but actually “wrong” and work to execute as many victims as possible.
Finally, there is the strange spectacle of some Catholics opposing pre-natal help for low income women (thus increasing the likelihood of abortion for poor families who fear they cannot afford another child) and the even stranger spectacle of self-identified pro-life people brandishing guns and screaming for desperately poor refugee children from Central America to be sent back to the extreme dangers of rape, sex slavery and murder.
→']);" class="more-link">Continue reading
Americans used to have the quaint custom of not putting out Christmas decorations until after Thanksgiving. That custom seemed to bode ill for the American economy in 1939 with Thanksgiving falling on November 30. President Lincoln had established the custom of Americans nationally thanking God for His blessings on the last Thursday in November. Now another president was going to make a change in this custom.
1939 was a lackluster year for the American economy, and President Roosevelt made the decision in August that Thanksgiving would be celebrated on the fourth Thursday instead, November 23. Polls indicated that a majority of the American people opposed the change with Republicans most opposed.
Twenty three states used the new date, twenty two states used the old date, and three states had holidays on both dates. The confusion this caused was fodder for comedians with Curly in a Three Stooges short No Census, No Feeling, remarks on the Fourth of July being in October. When Moe is incredulous, Curly responds, “You never can tell. Look what they did to Thanksgiving!” →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading
Once more upon the plains of Manassas have our armies been blessed by the Lord of Hosts with a triumph over our enemies. It is my privilege to invite you once more to His footstool, not now in the garb of fasting and sorrow, but with joy and gladness, to render thanks for the great mercies received at His hand. A few months since, and our enemies poured forth their invading legions upon our soil. They laid waste our fields, polluted our altars and violated the sanctity of our homes. Around our capital they gathered their forces, and with boastful threats, claimed it as already their prize. The brave troops which rallied to its defense have extinguished these vain hopes, and, under the guidance of the same almighty hand, have scattered our enemies and driven them back in dismay. Uniting these defeated forces and the various armies which had been ravaging our coasts with the army of invasion in Northern Virginia, our enemies have renewed their attempt to subjugate us at the very place where their first effort was defeated, and the vengeance of retributive justice has overtaken the entire host in a second and complete overthrow.
To this signal success accorded to our arms in the East has been graciously added another equally brilliant in the West. On the very day on which our forces were led to victory on the Plains of Manassas, in Virginia, the same Almighty arm assisted us to overcome our enemies at Richmond, in Kentucky. Thus, at one and the same time, have two great hostile armies been stricken down, and the wicked designs of their armies been set at naught.
In such circumstances, it is meet and right that, as a people, we should bow down in adoring thankfulness to that gracious God who has been our bulwark and defense, and to offer unto him the tribute of thanksgiving and praise. In his hand is the issue of all events, and to him should we, in an especial manner, ascribe the honor of this great deliverance. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading
Sandro Magister at his blog Chiesa recognizes that the Catholic Church is in a war, something that the highest ranks of the Church utterly fail to comprehend:
The Islamic caliphate that has taken hold just beyond the Turkish border, between Syria and Iraq, pulverizing the old geographical boundaries, is global by nature. “The triumphant march of the mujahideen will reach all the way to Rome,” caliph Abu Bakr al Baghdadi proclaimed in the middle of November.
It has received declarations of obedience from patches of Islam in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Algeria, and Libya, opposite the coasts of Italy. In Nigeria and nearby Cameroon, Boko Haram has extended the caliphate to sub-Saharan Africa. New followers are streaming in from Europe and North America.
Christians are among the many victims of this puritanical Islam, which calls itself the only true form and also wants to make a desert of what it considers the greatest betrayals of original Islam: the Shiite heresy with its epicenter in Iran and the secularizing modernism of the Turkey of Kemal Atatürk, from whose mausoleum Pope Francis will begin his voyage.
In Ar-Raqqah, the de facto capital of the caliphate and the Syrian city from which the Jesuit Paolo Dall’Oglio disappeared, on the 15 out of 1500 Christian families that have survived the new Islamic State has imposed the jizya, a protection tax of an exorbitant 535 dollars a year, on pain of the confiscation of their homes and possessions.
It is impossible not to see in this the features of a “war of Islam” pushed to the extreme, fought in the name of Allah. It is illusory to deny the Islamic origin of this unbridled theological violence. This has been published even by the officially supervised “La Civiltà Cattolica,” only to be contradicted afterward by its fearsome director, Antonio Spadaro, the Jesuit who plays the role of Francis’s interpreter.
The bishops of the dioceses of the Middle East are calling upon the world for effective armed protection, which never comes. In Rome, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran publishes the most detailed denunciation of the atrocities of the caliphate, and declares an end to all possibility of dialogue with those among the Muslims who do not stamp out violence at its roots.
But when the secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, speaks in New York from the tribunal of the UN, as he did on September 29, he carefully avoids the taboo words “Islam” and “Muslims,” and pays the obligatory tribute to the mantra that denies the existence of that conflict of civilization which is plain for all to see. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading
In 1864 the Union League decided to raise a fund to supply Thanksgiving dinner on November 24, 1864 for the Union soldiers and sailors fighting in the East. The reaction of the Northern public to this plan was overwhelming. over $56,000 in cash was raised, an enormous sum at the time, 250,000 pounds of fowl, and enormous contributions of foodstuffs of every type. The Union soldiers and sailors loved their feast and the reminder that they had not been forgotten by the folks back home. For Confederate soldiers, on starvation rations, there was of course no feast, a fact underlining the overwhelming tragedy of the Civil War. Here is the Union League appeal which was printed in the New York Times on November 8, 1864. Note that Theodore Roosevelt, the father of the future president of the same name, is the Treasurer: →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading
It’s difficult to gauge precisely how many Catholics—in particular, those who are genuinely concerned about the Catholic identity of U.S. Catholic higher education—are feeling like Howard Beale, the fictional anchorman for the UBS Evening News in the film Network. Beale had a difficult time accepting the social ailments and depravity existing in the world he was reporting to his viewers. The image of Beale—his beige coat and wet, gray hair plastered to his head—standing up during the middle of his newscast and proclaiming, “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!” is arguably one of the most memorable scenes in cinematic history.
But, when it comes to U.S. Catholic higher education, the scene is memorable not because Beale had grown insane. No, it’s memorable because Beale was prophetic, correctly discerning the “signs of the times.”
Yet, although many of Beale’s viewers shared his outrage, they didn’t voice their frustrations. Why?
- Perhaps some figured they would live their lives the way they saw fit and allow others to do the same. “Live and let live,” they thought. After all, who were they to judge?
- Perhaps others figured those social ailments and depravity would eventually disappear, collapsing upon themselves of their own weight of the unhappiness they bring. Isn’t that what the natural law teaches?
- Perhaps yet others lived in fear of those who were actively promoting those social ailments and depravity. They asked, as did Rodney King, “Can’t we all just get along?”
For a very long time, some Catholics have been “mad as hell” about the direction U.S. Catholic higher education has taken. Yet, they have remained silent for whatever reason, just like many of Beale’s viewers. However, those Catholics may now be at the point they’re “not going to take this anymore.” Their decades-long, simmering discontent may be at the boiling point and close to boiling over. To wit:
- A professor of theology at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Randall Smith, recently argued in Aleteia that something must be done about those universities and colleges which self-identify as “Catholic,” yet are less-than-supportive of Catholic students, faculty, and Church teaching. Smith noted the hostility demonstrated at many nominally Catholic universities in recent decades that has rendered some of them what Smith called “hot-beds of anti-Catholicism.”
- A Marquette University political science professor, John McAdams, recently posted an article at the Marquette Warrior in which he voiced his concern about the way the concept of social justice is communicated and typically understood at Marquette. McAdams noted how opposition to hot-button issues—like abortion and same-sex marriage—is not a part of the University’s version of social justice. “On the contrary, any opposition to gay marriage is called ‘homophobia,’” McAdams wrote.
- James Schall, SJ, formerly a member of Georgetown University’s faculty, recently published “The Catholic Difference” at The Catholic World Report. In his post, Fr. Schall emphasized the importance of maintaining a Catholic distinction in this secular world. “Catholics see themselves being…separated out because of a radical cultural change that they did not always notice,” Schall wrote. However, this isolation “is not so much because of any specific doctrinal issue peculiar to Catholics but because of issues of reason and natural law concerning human life and family, the very pillars of civilization.” Losing sight of the search for truth through sober reasoning that’s rooted in natural law, Fr. Schall argued, those institutions are forsaking their Catholic identity at a time just when young people need to experience it most.
- In Reclaiming Catholic Social Teaching, a Providence College professor of English, Anthony Esolen, has argued that many of the nation’s Catholic universities and colleges have narrowed the rich tradition of Catholic social teaching. How so? By limiting it to papal writings of the last couple decades and, in particular, papal concerns about society in the post-industrial West. What this narrowing of the tradition has accomplished, Esolen believes, is to divide Church teaching into neat compartments—like sexual morality, marriage, family, and economics—rather than to present the integral whole that it is. In the end, “progress” has been made synonymous with “dispensing [with] the wisdom of the ages.”
The singular problem is the largely unchallenged motive that most academic administrators at those institutions have evidenced for nearly six decades. In short, they want their institutions to be exactly like their secular peers with a patina of Catholic—not too much, not too little, just enough to convince the folks that their institutions are genuinely Catholic. Moving those institutions in this direction is nothing new, tracing its history back to the Land O’ Lakes conference in the late 1960’s.
After nearly six decades, the outcome is a system of higher education that, in most of its policies, classrooms, and dormitories, consists of 240+ universities and colleges that are discernably similar to their secular counterparts.
For those Catholics who are frustrated with the current state of U.S. Catholic higher education, this history raises some fundamental questions:
- If those institutions aren’t going to be distinctively Catholic and educate students in a decidedly Catholic body of tradition, for what purpose do they exist?
- How would the virtue of justice adjure administrators who advertise and promote their institutions as “Catholic” when their fundamental motivation is to imitate their secular peers?
- If a student is not going to receive a distinctive education in the Catholic tradition, is this not tantamount to “false advertising” or, worse yet, theft for charging tuition for something that’s knowingly not going to be provided whole and intact?
When conservatives raise questions like these, they are routinely accused of being interested only in “indoctrinating” students. However, it’s the conduct of those making this accusation that ought to be critically examined. Have they not been using “Catholic” social justice as their Trojan Horse to indoctrinate students into their ideology?
That long-term project and its success is what makes conservatives “mad as hell.” Evidently, some of them are “not going to take this anymore” and are beginning to speak out.
To read Randall Smith’s article, click on the following link:
To read John McAdams post, click on the following link:
To read Fr. Schall’s article, click on the following link:
To learn about/purchase Anthony Esolen’s book, click on the following link:
To read The Motley Monk’s daily blog, Omnibus, click on the following link:
Pat Archbold calls a spade a spade:
How much longer we will have to endure this sort of disingenuous dreck of what amounts to little more than Catholic cover of democrat party initiatives?
In his statement on President Obama’s constitution-busting executive orders on immigration, Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, M.Sp.S., auxiliary bishop of Seattle and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on Migration twice references the extra-legality of the move by saying that any such actions must be “within its legitimate authority” that these “pastors” (yes, the scare quotes are appropriate) welcome ANY action “within these limits.”
WASHINGTON—Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, M.Sp.S., auxiliary bishop of Seattle and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on Migration, welcomed the news today that the Obama administration will defer deportations for many undocumented immigrants and their families.
“We have a long history of welcoming and aiding the poor, the outcast, the immigrant, and the disadvantaged. Each day, the Catholic Church in the United States, in her social service agencies, hospitals, schools, and parishes, witnesses the human consequences of the separation of families, when parents are deported from their children or spouses from each other. We’ve been on record asking the Administration to do everything within its legitimate authority to bring relief and justice to our immigrant brothers and sisters. As pastors, we welcome any efforts within these limits that protect individuals and protect and reunite families and vulnerable children,” said Bishop Elizondo.
By welcoming this action, an action for which the President himself publicly claimed no less than 25 times that lacked legitimate authority, the USCCB adopts a “by any means necessary” approach to its public policy preferences. That smacks of consequentialism, don’tcha know.
That the action lacks legitimacy and authority is implicitly acknowledged and dismissively side-stepped in the double “doth protest too much” reference of the statement to legitimacy and limits. The apparatchiks at the USCCB know full well that the President lacks the authority to conduct this action, they just don’t care. In this way, they are just like the progressives whom they unflaggingly support. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading
If I should write the truth, I believe that I ought to flee all meetings of bishops, because I have never seen any happy or satisfactory outcome from any council, nor one that has deterred evils more than it has occasioned their acceptance and growth.
(St Gregory of Nazianzus, Letter 131 from 382 AD; cf. PG ).
I have always liked that our liturgical year now ends with the feast of Christ the King. It reminds us not only of the Last Day when Christ will reign in Judgment over all men who have ever lived, but also that beneath the showy pomp of human history, the Captains and the Kings who march through its pages are of infinitely of less account than, as the atheist historian HG Welles put it, the penniless preacher from Galilee who is the center of History. Just after the beginning of World War II the hero pope Pius XII wrote the encyclical Summi Pontificatus in which he reminded all of humanity that in the final analysis Christ, not Man, is King.
To consider the State as something ultimate to which everything else should be subordinated and directed, cannot fail to harm the true and lasting prosperity of nations. This can happen either when unrestricted dominion comes to be conferred on the State as having a mandate from the nation, people, or even a social order, or when the State arrogates such dominion to itself as absolute master, despotically, without any mandate whatsoever. If, in fact, the State lays claim to and directs private enterprises, these, ruled as they are by delicate and complicated internal principles which guarantee and assure the realization of their special aims, may be damaged to the detriment of the public good, by being wrenched from their natural surroundings, that is, from responsible private action. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading
When the Pope visits the US next year, I hope he can find time to come to Livingston County Illinois. I would be happy to be his tour guide and host. There is a lot to see in the County, but like most of our foreign visitors I think he would be captivated by our farms. Central Illinois has some of the most fertile soil on Earth, and our endless seas of corn and soybeans are a sight to see in the growing season. I could take him to visit some of the farms, and he would meet the farmers who produce an agricultural miracle of productivity year after year. Most of them are members of families who have been tilling the soil here year after year since the Civil War. He could hear from them how much toil and capital it takes each year to make a crop. The Pope could see their high tech combines and tractors, etc, and talk to the men and women who routinely put in 16 hour days, six days a week during harvest time. He could learn just how risky a business farming can be, dependent on weather, and prices around the globe. No doubt the Pope would be served food wherever he went because that is how our farm wives treat guests, so he should leave plenty of room for pies, cakes, fried chicken, watermelons, etc.
After the tour, I think I would hold a meeting where the Pope could address the farmers, and I would also invite to the meeting all those dependent upon the agriculture industry in the county, and that would include seasonal laborers, grain bin owners, truckers, bankers, etc. It would be a very respectful and civil meeting and the Pope could say whatever he wished.
However, I would also ask the Pope about this statement he made this week at a UN conference on nutrition held in Rome.
Nowadays there is much talk of rights, frequently neglecting duties; perhaps we have paid too little heed to those who are hungry. It is also painful to see that the struggle against hunger and malnutrition is hindered by “market priorities”, the “primacy of profit”, which have reduced foodstuffs to a commodity like any other, subject to speculation, also of a financial nature. And while we speak of new rights, the hungry remain, at the street corner, and ask to be recognised as citizens, to receive a healthy diet. We ask for dignity, not for charity.
I would ask His Holiness what system in the world has fed more people than the free market system. I would further ask the Pope if free market economies have a better record feeding the poor than command economies. I would finally ask the Pope what system, if that is what his frequent criticisms of market economies is leading to, he would wish to substitute. In regard to farmers, no free market tends to mean that farmers become the serfs of the State, and the land of the farmers is
stolen nationalized. I think the farmers I know would have quite a few questions at that point.
After the meeting all of us would sit down and eat, and perhaps I could then mention to the Pope the food banks run throughout the County by churches and private charities and groups, the food directly contributed to the poor by ordinary people like my family, especially at this time of the year, and how many of the farmers do mission work to help teach people overseas new farming techniques. In a small county, in population but not in size, like ours the poor are not an abstraction but people we often know, who frequently have family roots that go back far in the history of the County. The Pope, I hope, would leave Livingston County with fond memories, a bellyful of food to digest and maybe a few things to think about.