WomenPriests and their supporters: “Strike three and you’re out!”

Monday, March 31, AD 2014

 

It’s pretty easy to tell that the folks over at the National Catholic Reporter (NCR) aren’t happy campers these days. Some of their heroes fighting on the front lines for women’s ordination are being “disciplined.”

According to a recent NCR article:

A longtime peace and human rights activist arrested countless times, Franciscan Fr. Jerry Zawada has been removed from public ministry for concelebrating Mass with a woman priest in 2011.

Poor Fr. Zawada! After all he’s done over the decades to promote the cause of social justice. He’s been jailed numerous times and now at the age of 76, one would think the Vatican would overlook Fr. Zawada’s minor infelicity for merely concelebrating “Mass” with the Roman Catholic “WomanPriest,” the Rev. Ms. Janice Sevre-Duszynska.

The enemy in the NCR’s narrative is the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), which reviewed documentation related to the November 22, 2011 “Mass.” NCR obtained a copy of the CDF’s private letter which stated:

Having carefully examined the acts of the case, and the vota of the former Minister General and the Rev. Zawada’s Provincial Superior, this Dicastery has decided to impose on Rev. Jerome Zawada, OFM, a life of prayer and penance to be lived within the Queen of Peace Friary in Burlington, Wisconsin.

The letter also forbids Fr. Zawada from presenting himself in public as a priest or celebrating the sacraments publicly. However, Fr. Zawada is allowed to concelebrate Mass with other friars at the friary and in private.

Zawada isn’t too pleased. He told the NCR:

I don’t mind the prayer part, but when they called, when they say that I need to be spending time in penance, well, I’m not going to do penance for my convictions and the convictions of so many others, too.

Apparently, CDF isn’t going to wink and ignore any priest who concelebrates “Mass” with so-called “WomenPriests.”

And that’s only the cases that the priests involved have made public.

“You’re out!” the umpire yells after a batter takes three strikes.

And, by the way, the baseball season opens today.

Perhaps those priests who support the cause for the ordination of women should place their money on the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series this year. Both have about an equal chance of happening anytime soon.

 

 

To read the NCR article, click on the following link:
http://ncronline.org/news/peace-justice/longtime-peace-activist-removed-ministry-after-concelebrating-mass-woman-priest

To read The Motley Monk’s daily blog, Omnibus, click on the following link:
http://www.richard-jacobs-blog.com/omnibus.html

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15 Responses to WomenPriests and their supporters: “Strike three and you’re out!”

  • I am embarrassed for the priest and the woman. For a woman to be ordained, she would have to have testicles. Consecration at the Mass would have to be “This is a symbol of my Body” As Flannery O’Connor said: “If the host is only a symbol, it can go to hell” The Real Presence of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, is present on the altar in every Catholic Church. Without the Real Presence, there would be no Catholic Church. And the devil would dance at his wedding with this liar.

  • Inherit in the word priest is the fact that a woman cannot be a priest. Now she may be a priestess. But Christ never ordained priestesses. So being a priestess is non-Christian.

    A man on the other hand cannot be a priestess. He may however be a priest, and since Christ ordained only men, this is fitting.

    I see this same sort of thing happening elsewhere. For example, Allison MacFarlane is called Chairman of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission. But being a woman, she cannot be a Chairman – a man who sits in the Chair over the other four US NRC Commissioners. She can however be a Chairwoman – a woman who sits in the chair over the other four US NRC Commissioners. Likewise a man may be a chairman but never a chairwoman.

    In the same way a woman cannot be an actor or a hero. She may be an actress or a heroine. Likewise a man cannot be an actress or a heroine, but he may be an actor or hero.

    This mix up in gender terminology is a confusion done deliberately to perpetuate the mistaken notion that men and women are equal in function. They are not. However, all humans – men and women – are created equal in dignity. Nevertheless, Robert Heinlein in his Notebooks of Lazarus Long has a particularly interesting take on this:

    “Whenever women have insisted on absolute equality with men, they have invariably wound up on the dirty end of the stick. What they are and what they can do makes them superior to men, and their proper tactic is to demand special privileges, all the traffic will bear. They should never settle merely for equality. For women, ‘equality’ is a disaster.”

    That a woman can be a mother, bringing new life into the world, lends a certain credence to what Heinlein wrote and is likely what he intended. Indeed, being a priest (or even priestess) will not make a woman equal to a man, and even if it did, as Heinlein indicated, women would ultimately end up with the short end of the stick. But such ideas are anathema to today’s contraceptive, abortive mentality held by most modern women and not a few modern men.

  • “Perhaps those priests who support the cause for the ordination of women should place their money on the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series this year. Both have about an equal chance of happening anytime soon.”

    I disagree. The Cubs have a much better chance of winning the World Series this year. It may be about 10,000 to 1, but at least the Magisterium of the Church doesn’t forbid it (although long-suffering fans might sometimes wonder about that!).

  • The womanpriest cannot fulfill the desire of God to “give us this day our daily bread”, the petition of The Lord’s prayer taught to us by Jesus, and does not act “In persona Christi”, in the person of Christ. The womanpriest cannot act in the person of Christ or confect the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, to give us this day our daily bread, because she is a woman. Jesus Christ is a man, true man and true God.
    .
    A woman who will not accept her sexuality is only half a person and unfit to serve in any office of the Catholic Church. And anyone who encourages her to reject her womanhood is evil.
    This is the will of God and of Jesus Christ, the God made man.
    .
    Paul W. Primavera: “Inherent” is the word you are looking for because the truth inheres in what you say. The truth may also be “inherited” and the truth is our heritage. So, we are both correctedly.
    .
    Baseball is good after Mass.

  • Paul W Primavera wrote, “Inherit in the word priest is the fact that a woman cannot be a priest. Now she may be a priestess. But Christ never ordained priestesses. So being a priestess is non-Christian….” Unfortunately, your point does not work in Latin, where “sacerdos” is common gender.

    That is why I have always found the claim that the early Church did not ordain women for cultural reasons.
    Priestesses were very common in the ancient world. The most revered sanctuary in Greece was the shrine of Phœbus Apollo at Delphi, where the oracle was uttered by the Pythian priestess. Readers of Plato will know that the temple of Zeus at Dordona was also served by priestesses. Both Apollo and Zeus, it should be noted, were male deities. The play “Iphigegnia in Taurus” contains no suggestion that there is anything unusual in a woman being a priestess.

    In Latin, as I said, the word “sacerdos” is common gender. The SC De Bacchanaliis of 184 BC, which is preserved in monumental inscriptions, as well as literary sources, forbids women to offer sacrifice by night, except when celebrating the rites of the Good Goddess. Why, if they were not permitted to offer sacrifice at all? That the Vestals were priestesses is affirmed by Gaius, a very careful jurist and the Sybil at Cumæ was a priestess, according to Vergil.

    It would be a cheap display of very trite learning to multiply examples, but the cultural argument really does not wash.

  • I meant to say, “That is why I have always found the claim that the early Church did not ordain women for cultural reasons implausible.”

  • MPS, your right. Sacerdos, anistes, antestes (a variant in spelling), consacerdos (concelbrant) include both genders. Antistita however is high priestess exclusively.

    Agricola – farmer – suffers from a similar problem. It is first declension which is usually feminine, but it can refer to a male farmer (as most were men).

    I wonder about Koine or New Testament Greek, however. The masculine word presbyteros was used to refer to priests or elders in the New Testament. Doesn’t iereia however mean priestess (unless I am mistaken)? Is there a presbytera variant that the ancient Greeks used?

  • Paul W Primavera

    English “priest” and Latin “presbyter” are the same word – in Old English it was “presbt” It is from Greek πρεσβύτερος or elder.

    Now, Latin Presbyter was used of priests in contradistinction to bishops, whereas sacerdos embraced both and is invariably used in liturgical texts. The root meaning of sacerdos (from sacer) is one who sets something apart for the gods, particularly offered in sacrifice. Sacer can mean hallowed or accursed, for, in either case, the notion is of something or someone given over to the unseen powers.

    You are right about ἱερὸς being masculine, but, in the NT, it is used exclusively of the Jewish priests, never of Christian ones. Some Protestants famously use this to dismiss the idea of a sacrificing priesthoos in Christianity at all.

    Antistes is Latin from anti-sto to stand before and means a leader or overseeer; it is a literal Latin rendering of ἐπίσκοπος. English bishop is simply the Anglicised form of the Greek – the shift from hard c or k to h also occurs in cornu-horn from the same Indo-European root and in centum-hundred.

  • “The longtime vegetarian and his girlfriend passed away in their Berlin bunker.”

    What does this guy’s record on peace have anything to do with the story? (I’d make the same comment about his human rights activism, but that’s where the problem lies: they see the priesthood as a human right.)

  • Thank you, MPS! I knew that the Greek epi-skopos meant literally “over” “seer” from “epi” and “skopos” respectively (skopos going into our English word scope as in telescope).

    I did NOT know however that the Latin antistes was a combination of the verb antire (to go before – anti being the imperative singular go before) and the verb stare (to stand – sto meaning I stand). I studied Latin and Greek, and obviously I still have a lot to learn. Thanks you! Fascinating!

    I still think however that the idea of a Christian priestess would have been anathema to the Apostles and early Church Fathers. And I simply cannot all these woman “priests” when they are not.

  • Strike three indeed. This is not an issue of human rights or equality of men and women. The Church has stated that She [notice the gender] has no ability to ordain women as priests and bishops. It is not that she refuses or won’t; she cannot. Therefore these women and their male supporters are talking about (and practicing) something that simply is not Catholic. Period.

    These women are not celebrating Mass, or consecrating hosts-they are doing nothing but baking cookies!

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  • Thank you Paul W. Primavera and Michael Paterson-Seymour. I have enjoyed your exchange immensely.
    .
    “And I simply cannot call these woman “priests” when they are not.”
    .
    It is not that the women are not priests, it is that they are blasphemers, telling God instead of following their vocation..

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Christ and History

Monday, March 31, AD 2014

 

 

You will find that a good many  Christian political writers think that Christianity began going wrong in  departing from the doctrine of its founder at a very early stage. Now this idea  must be used by us to encourage once again the conception of a “historical  Jesus” to be found by clearing away later “accretions and perversions,” and then  to be contrasted with the whole Christian tradition. In the last generation we  promoted the construction of such a “historical Jesus” on liberal and  humanitarian lines. We are now putting forward a new “historical Jesus” on  Marxian, catastrophic and revolutionary lines. The advantages of these  constructions, which we intend to change every thirty years or so, are manifold.  In the first place they all tend to direct man’s devotion to something which  does not exist. Because each “historical Jesus” is unhistorical, the documents  say what they say and they cannot be added to. Each new “historical Jesus” has  to be got out of them by suppression at one point and exaggeration at another  point. And by that sort of guessing (brilliant is the adjective we teach  humans to apply to it) on which no one would risk ten shillings in ordinary  life, but which is enough to produce a crop of new Napoleons, new Shakespeares,  and new Swifts in every publisher’s autumn list. . . . The “historical Jesus,”  then, however dangerous he may seem to be to us at some particular point, is  always to be encouraged.

CS Lewis, Screwtape Letters

 

 

 

 

Bart Ehrman, the New Testament scholar who transitioned from teenage evangelical, to liberal Christian, to agnostic, desperately wants to remake Christ in his own faithless image and therefore is popular with atheists and agnostics.  He has a very old act, as the argument that he makes, that the Resurrection never happened and that Christ was but a man, has been made by anti-Christians since the Crucifixion.    He puts old wine into a shiny new wineskin.  He isn’t really very good at it,  as Stephen Colbert, of all people, demonstrated several years ago.  Go here to Creative Minority Report to view that.

Christopher Johnson, a non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels so frequently for the Church that I have named him Defender of the Faith, turns his attention to Ehrman:

 

All sorts and conditions of men turn up at this site from time to time.  Protestant, Roman Catholic and Orthodox Christians regularly comment here, disagree with one another’s theology now and then but do it, for the most part, respectfully.

That’s because of most of you, not me.  You guys set the tone for this joint a long time ago.  But if I do see what I consider to be disrespect in the comments, which happens, I’ll quietly edit the comment or remove it entirely.  And if things get too intense in a comment thread, which sometimes happens, I won’t hesitate to shut that thread down.

I honestly wouldn’t mind seeing atheists comment here a lot more often than they do.  I’m not talking about some douchebag whose default position is, “Christians are brain-dead morons” or who claims to collapse on his or her fainting couch at the mere sight of a Bible verse, a Christian Cross or any other Christian image.

I refer to that rare breed of atheist who doesn’t believe there’s a God but is comfortable with the fact that some people disagree and who doesn’t feel the need to insult or belittle religious believers.  I can respect and even be friends with a person like that.

What I can’t and, indeed, refuse to respect are those atheists who still pretend to be Christians but who think that they’ve finally discovered What Actually Happened Two Thousand Years Ago And What It All Means.  Guys like Bart Ehrman, say:

Jesus was a lower-class preacher from Galilee, who, in good apocalyptic fashion, proclaimed that the end of history as he knew it was going to come to a crashing end, within his own generation. God was soon to intervene in the course of worldly affairs to overthrow the forces of evil and set up a utopian kingdom on earth. And he would be the king.

Insert “but” here.

It didn’t happen. Instead of being involved with the destruction of God’s enemies, Jesus was unceremoniously crushed by them: arrested, tried, humiliated, tortured, and publicly executed.

Which is why Jesus’ influence ended right then and there and is also why absolutely no one anywhere, with the exception of obscure Middle Eastern scholars, has any idea who Jesus of Nazareth was.  But for this bizarre reason, that’s not what actually happened.  Stop Bart if you’ve heard this one.

The followers of Jesus came to think he had been raised because some of them (probably not all of them) had visions of him afterwards. Both Christian and non-Christian historians can agree that it was visions of Jesus that made some of Jesus’ followers convinced that he was no longer dead. Christians would say that the disciples had these visions because Jesus really appeared to them. Non-Christians would say that (several of ) the disciples had hallucinations. Hallucinations happen all the time. Especially of deceased loved ones (your grandmother who turns up in your bedroom) and of significant religious figures (the Blessed Virgin Mary, who appears regularly in extraordinarily well-documented events). Jesus was both a lost loved one and an important religious leader. As bereaved, heartbroken, and guilt-ridden followers, the disciples were prime candidates for such visionary experiences.

Once the disciples claimed Jesus was alive again but was (obviously) no longer here with them, they came to think that he had been taken up to heaven (where else could he be?). In ancient Greek, Roman, and Jewish thinking, a person exalted to the heavenly realm was divinized – himself made divine. That’s what the earliest Christians thought about Jesus. After that a set of evolutionary forces took over, in which the followers of Jesus began saying more and more exalted things about him – that he had been made the son of God at his resurrection; no, it was at his baptism; no, it was at his birth; no, it was before he came into the world; no – he had never been made the son of God, he had always been the Son of God; in fact, he had always been God; more than that, he had created the world; and yet more, he was an eternal being equal with God Almighty.

That Kierkegaard quote’s on the top of this page for a reason.  That an alleged “scholar” can seriously advance a view so fundamentally unscholarly, so absolutely unsupported by anything remotely resembling actual evidence, convinces me that a great deal of “Christian scholarship” is, as the Great Dane observed, as monumental an intellectual scam as the world has ever known.

Where to begin?  Say what you want about him but Mohammed’s followers thought he was a prophet of God.  No doubt, the Buddha’s disciples intensely revered him.  Yet none of the followers of these two men, or any other great religious leader in world history, for that matter, ever invented a resurrection from the dead for their particular “prophet” and made that “resurrection” the basis of their religion.

Only the Christians did.

It seems to me that if you and all your associates somehow convince yourselves that you’ve seen the risen Jesus when you haven’t, you are, at some point, going to come down from your mass hallucinations.  At which point, you can either admit to yourself that you were wrong or continue with the charade and maybe get yourselves executed at an early age for something that you know deep down is a lie.

And did any of you happen to notice who Ehrman leaves out here?  I’ll give you a few hints.  A devout Jew, he was not only not connected to the Apostles and Christ’s early believers in any way, he was, by his own admission, actively hostile to the new movement, imprisoning many of Christ’s followers and having others killed.

He received authorization to travel to Damascus in order to do more of this sort of thing.  On the way there, he claimed that he saw a vision of the risen Christ, a claim from which he refused to back down to the end of his days, and began to preach Christ and Him crucified almost immediately.  When they heard of it, the Apostles and most of the disciples initially and quite understandably didn’t trust him.

The man’s claim compelled him to plant Christian churches all over the eastern Mediterranean and to write letters to many of these churches, encouraging and/or upbraiding their members as the need arose.  And this man’s claim about what he saw on that road to Damascus ended up prematurely costing him his Earthly life.

I’m pretty sure that the guy had a short name.  Don’t hold me to this but I think that it began with a P.  It’s right on the tip of my tongue.

I don’t know about you, Ehrman, but I can’t make myself die for an illusion.

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13 Responses to Christ and History

  • It has frequently struck me that those engaged in the quest of the historical Jesus lack an elementary sense of chronology.

    In the cathedral at Lyons, one can see a list of the bishops of that see. The third is St Irenaeus. He was born in Izmir in Turkey in 130 and died in 202. In 200, in point of time, he stood to the Crucifixion, as we today stand to Keble’s famous Assize Sermon that marked the beginning of the Oxford Movement. Bl John Henry Newman was present when that sermon was preached and I, who am not yet seventy, spoke in the 1950s to two old people in Birmingham, who remembered Newman.

    There is a close parallel in the case of St Irenaeus. As a boy in Izmir (then known as Smyrna) he had seen and heard the local bishop, St Polycarp (69-155) Now, both Irenaeus and Polycarp himself have left an account of how Polycarp was present, when Polycarp’s bishop, St Ignatius of Antioch “talked with John and with others, who had seen the Lord.”

    Impressive as this is, it cannot have been unique; there must have been any number of people in the first half of the 2nd century who remembered the apostles. Justin Martyr (100-165) would have grown up among such people in Syria and Palestine. Again, many at the end of the century would have remembered those first hearers of the apostolic teaching, witnesses scattered all around the Mediterranean sea. Now, this was the age that received and accounted as canonical the four gospels and no others; yes, there was early doubt in the West about John, just as there was early doubt about Revelation in the East, but it was settled in this period.

    The surviving testimony of the faith of the Nicene Church is abundant and beyond serious question; the evidence from the previous century, which was one of persecution is sparse in comparison, but the testimony of St. Irenaeus, St. Hippolytus, St. Cyprian, St. Gregory Thaumaturgus, St. Dionysius of Alexandria, and St. Methodius is all one way, in confirming a tradition from Ignatius to Nicea. Heretics, like Sabellius and Arius are individuals, representing no tradition (and contradicting each other) There is but one continuous tradition and it has no rivals.

    No less important, at this moment, Cardinal Barbarin sits in the chair of Irenaeus In Lyons, the last of an unbroken line of witnesses to the apostolic tradition “by saints proclaimed, by saints believed,” in that ancient and august see.

  • “It has frequently struck me that those engaged in the quest of the historical Jesus lack an elementary sense of chronology.”

    Exactly.

  • Ages ago in Analog I read a mock lecture by a future historian about a newly discovered cache of records of WW2. The story is obviously an apocryphal morality tale; the crimes describes are too horrendous to be believed; the very names show the power of religion (Church-hill), beauty (Rose-field) and industry (Man of steel) over a monster with a meaningless name.

    I only learnt about text criticism and its application to Scripture later and much of it strikes me as about the same level as the spoof in a SciFi pulp.

  • “Post-moderns” recognize that history is malleable and that truth is whatever people will believe.

  • “I only learnt about text criticism and its application to Scripture later and much of it strikes me as about the same level as the spoof in a SciFi pulp.”

    Indeed.

  • The Hypostatic Union, that Jesus is true God and true man is denied by the “historical Jesus”. Heresy is a half truth, the other half of which is used as a cudgel to oppress the Catholic church. If the “historical Jesus” is not God, none of us is saved.

  • “In ancient Greek, Roman, and Jewish thinking, a person exalted to the heavenly realm was divinized – himself made divine.”

    Jewish? JEWISH? Enoch was considered divine? Elijah? The Messiah wasn’t even considered divine by the Jews. The idea that a person could be divinized was blasphemy. (Actually, it was blasphemy to the Greeks too. Go around claiming it and you’ll find a bird pecking out your liver for eternity.) (For that matter, the Romans would consider it blasphemy. The emperors typically claimed divine ancestry, as did the Pharaohs and the Emperors of Japan. No one claims to become a god who doesn’t claim to already be partly divine.) (But that’s off the point. A Jew would never, ever claim that his rabbi became divine.)

  • “The idea that a person could be divinized was blasphemy”

    Which is why the Jews sought to stone Jesus when He said before Abraham was, I AM. To the Jews the idea that a Man could be God would have been considered the very essence of blasphemy. To the Greeks the idea that a dead Jewish carpenter was a God would have been an absurdity. To the Romans the idea that a man crucified by a Roman Procurator as a rebel against Rome could be divine would have seemed utter treason. All of these reactions are quite common in anti-Christian tracts during the rise of Christianity in the ancient world.

  • Thomas Collins

    As Mgr Ronald Knox said, “I do not so much mind the Germans applying the same critical methods to St. Mark which they apply to Homer; but I do object to their applying the same uncritical methods to St. Mark which they apply to Homer. And here steps in a very pestilent psychological influence. The lecturer who combats Kirchhoff, or exposes Ferrero, can do so without any imputation of narrow- mindedness. He has, in this instance, clearly no axe to grind. But if he be a Christian, and a fortiori if he be a clergyman, he is afraid of the imputation of narrow- mindedness if he takes up the same attitude towards Harnack or Spitta. When Mr. Cornford writes about Thucydides, Oxford historians cheerfully dispose of him in half a lecture, but when he writes about Christianity, Oxford theologians see cause for much searching of hearts and wagging of heads. But is there any reason for this difference, except that we are all in such craven fear of being thought illiberal?”

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  • “The idea that a person could be divinized was blasphemy”
    .
    To be “divinized” according to Zeus or Jupiter, made-up gods as the Caesars were is not the same as to be called into sonship with the true God. The Jews carried the prophecies about the Son of God, the coming Messiah.

  • In ancient… Jewish thinking, a person exalted to the heavenly realm was divinized – himself made divine.
    –Bart Ehrman

    I entirely missed the divinization of Enoch and Elijah in the Hebrew Scriptures. Where did Bart Ehrman find that–is he also a Muslim who claims the Jews and Christians altered the Scriptures?

PopeWatch: Confession

Monday, March 31, AD 2014

5 Responses to PopeWatch: Confession

  • I was once told the story (in France) of an Englishman who committed a murder. He got away with it, but his conscience troubled him and so, one Saturday evening, he went to the local church and asked the vicar (who was very High Church) to hear his confession.
    “Of course, of course,” said the delighted incumbent, as he led him into his study, “Now, just talk to me as if I were your own father.”
    “Father, I’ve committed murder…”
    “What! And you come here to tell me this! I am not sure it is not my duty as a citizen to hand you straight over to the police, but it is certainly my duty as a gentleman not to allow you to remain in my house a moment longer.”
    So, the murderer ran from the house in despair and eventually he found himself in the outskirts of the town, where he saw a little, tin Catholic chapel with the lights on. He went in and saw a queue of people waiting for confession. After some time, when all the people had left, the priest came out of the confessional and went to kneel in the front pew.
    The murderer went and knelt in the pew behind him and coughed.
    “Father, I’m not of your faith, but I would like you to hear my confession.”
    “I am listening, my son.”
    “Father, I’ve committed murder.”
    There was a pause, which, to the man, seemed like an eternity and then the priest asked gently, “How many times, my son.”

  • MPS-
    Good story.

    Forgiveness from God is an extraordinary gift..a new life!

    Thank God for this sacrament.

  • “I am listening, my son.” “Father, I’ve committed murder.” There was a pause, which, to the man, seemed like an eternity and then the priest asked gently, “How many times, my son.”
    .
    This would be funny if it weren’t so necessary.

  • I unfortunately doubt this will translate into respect or increased utilization of the sacrament. Most people like it when leaders humble themselves, because they already feel superior to the putative leader – or at least not in need of one.

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Rocky Versace: The Bravest Man You Have Never Heard Of

Monday, March 31, AD 2014

Captain Versace

 FOR THE ROCK and the children and sugar people of NamCan

Dedication of the book The Fifteenth Pelican by Marie Teresa Rios Versace

 

For his entire life Captain Humbert Roque ‘Rocky’ Versace was on a mission.  His first mission was as an Army Ranger.  His second mission was to be a Catholic priest and to work with orphan kids.  He had been accepted to a Maryknoll seminary but then fate intervened.  The son of Colonel Humbert  J. Versace from Puerto Rico and his wife Marie Teresa Rios Versace, a novelist and poet who, among many other books, wrote The Fifteenth Pelican on which the TV series The Flying Nun was based, Rocky was an unforgettable character.  A graduate of West Point in 1959, he was an Army Ranger and a soldier as tough as they come.  He had an intelligence of a high order as demonstrated by his fluency in French and Vietnamese.  He loved to laugh and have a good time.  At the same time he was deeply religious and a fervent Catholic.  In short, he was a complete man.

Volunteering for service in Vietnam, he began his tour as an intelligence advisor on May 12, 1962.

Rocky fell in love with the Vietnamese people, especially the kids.  In his free time he volunteered in a Vietnamese orphanage.  He believed in his mission and regarded it as a crusade to prevent the people he loved living under Communism.  During his tour he received news that his application to attend a Maryknoll seminary had been accepted.  He planned after ordination to return to Vietnam and work with Vietnam orphans as a priest.  He agreed to a six month extension of his tour since that fit in with his plans to attend the seminary.

On October 29, 1963 he was serving as an intelligence advisor with the 5th Special Forces Group (Green Berets).  He accompanied several companies of South Vietnamese Civilian Irregular Defense (militia) that were seeking to remove a Viet Cong command post in the U Minh Forest.  They were ambushed and Rocky gave covering fire to allow the South Vietnamese to retreat and get away.  He was captured.  The Viet Cong murdered him on September 26, 1965.  What happened in between made Rocky a legend.  He was taken to a camp deep in the jungle along with Lieutenant Nick Rowe and Sergeant Dan Pitzer.  After their eventual release they told all and sundry what they witnessed Rocky do.

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2 Responses to Rocky Versace: The Bravest Man You Have Never Heard Of

God’s Not Dead; There’s Something Happening Here

Sunday, March 30, AD 2014

There’s something happening here, but what it is ain’t exactly clear…The opening words to the Buffalo Springfield (the band that would introduce to us the likes of Stephen Stills and Neil Young) classic song written in 1966, but released in 1967 certainly resonated to those who heard it whatever their political leanings. There was a sense even before the famous or infamous 1967 events, like the Newport Folk Festival and San Francisco’s Summer of Love that something in society was changing. The same could be said today in light of a flurry of religious themed movies that have come out in the first three months of 2014.

One could argue that the first signs of the secular sea change we have been under were first seen after the mid-term elections of 2006. By November of 2008 there was no doubt the western world was changing. However, for every action there is a reaction. It may have taken the world of faith a bit longer to react but it has. Already in 2013, the Bible mini-series caught the attention of those in Hollywood who notice TV and cultural move watching habits. The Bible mini-series, the brainchild Mark Burnett and Roma Downey literally spun off into the Son of God film which is currently one of the year’s early top grossing films.

However, it seems that what is bubbling under the current is what catches everyone by surprise, and so it is with the year’s first big surprise, God’s Not Dead.  The film’s entire production budget was between 1-2 million dollars, the mere advertising budget of most medium size films. The screenwriters are faithful Catholics Cary Solomon and Chuck Konzelman, whom I met some four years ago while giving one of my talks at Family Theater in Hollywood (founded by Servant of God Father Patrick Peyton CSC also known as The Rosary Priest.) I was impressed by Cary and Chuck, their frequent Mass attendance during the week, their fervent study and practice of the faith (as evidenced by the St. Thomas Aquinas type logic used in some of their arguments in God’s Not Dead,) and their embrace of the sacramental life, especially the Sacrament of Penance.

Both men weren’t living some fantasy of wanting to hobnob with Hollywood’s hipsters. They had been down that road successfully working and mingling with the likes of Sylvester Stallone among others. Cary and Chuck felt called to write faith based scripts. In an interview with me featured in the National Review both men spoke of the hypocrisy that the faithful have to endure in the public square.

  Hartline: I think a faithful Christian, or anyone of faith, feels a lot has changed in the last five or six years. People of faith are often mocked or belittled in popular culture, and the faithful are accused of all sorts of bigotry and ignorance. We are told to get with the times, as if our consciences could really leave the truth behind. It seems the movie is addressing that underlying feeling in the faith community.

Solomon and Konzelman: Yes, that’s definitely the nerve that’s been touched. Secular humanists insist that Christians in general — and Catholics in particular — are supposed to leave their belief system at home when it comes to matters in the public sphere. So according to the rules they propose, their belief system is allowable . . . and ours isn’t. Which is a deliberate attempt to subvert the whole democratic process. As someone else pointed out: Democracy is supposed to be about more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.

 I then posed the question as to why some are willing to defend their faith as did the college student in God’s Not Dead, but sadly most do not.

Hartline: College student Josh Wheaton appears to be the nondescript everyman. While everyone else accedes to the professor’s atheistic rants, Josh decides to take up the challenge, even though he’s far from being a theologian. Is there a message there for most of us?

Solomon and Konzelman: It’s a question of being willing to try . . . and fail, if necessary. Mother Teresa got it right: God does not require us to be successful, only faithful. Secular humanism has really been racking up the score in the culture wars lately, largely because of the unwillingness of many Christians to counter their efforts. Unfortunately, doing nothing is doing something: It’s enabling the other side. Every time we roll over and don’t confront the challenge, our forfeit shows up as a win in the other team’s column and encourages them to push further.

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11 Responses to God’s Not Dead; There’s Something Happening Here

  • Very encouraging! Here’s something else: http://www.nicaeathemovie.com/ .

  • God is Not Dead. Only the love of God in some men’s hearts is dead. If man is called to love God with his whole heart and man refuses, it is man who has no heart. It is man who becomes heartless, a bully and a hypocrite and practices bigotry.
    When a self-professed atheist says: “I AM”, using God’s name in vain, the atheist contradicts himself. When an atheist breathes God’s air, the atheist confounds himself. When an atheist exercises his free will, the atheist bears witness to his immortal human soul. When an atheist enjoys his freedom, the atheist gives testimony to God. When an atheist exists in time, the atheist is the proof of God.
    Only the love of God is dead in some men’s hearts. As nature abhors a vacuum of the love of God in men’s hearts, the atheist will soon come to the realization that God is love and man is made for love.
    The freedom of religion must remain absolute so that when the atheist comes to the knowledge of God, the atheist may be free to express his love for and his belief in God. The atheist must be free to acknowledge God.
    The atheist will have found freedom from discrimination, prejudice, bullying , hypocrisy and ignorance.

  • Something else is happening here. The NY Times is out flogging the priest sex abuse garbage again.
    I wish Catholics would boycott that birdcage lining waste of ink. Can somebody please advise why that rubbish is “influential”?
    In a somewhat related note, I read a review of the new Jesus movie in Yahoo. In the review, the critic, who is a young Jewish woman, calls Catholic icons (such as her former boyfriend’s crucifix) “trinkets”, and concludes that Judas is the real hero of the passion.
    We should all feel good that the media is taking a brief respite in their war on on our beliefs and morality, but do not kid yourself for a second. Trashing Christianity (and Catholicism in particular) sells. To me, it looks like they may be simply re-setting the target for a fresh onslaught in the near future.

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  • The Supreme Sovereign Being is infinite and everlasting from age to age, before all ages, infinite, and cannot die. God, our Creator, is infinite, the Endower of unalienable rights and the reason there is a First Amendment.

  • Me, my wife, my three kids, and two of my kids’ friends went to go see God’s Not Dead yesterday. We all loved it. Instead of wasting their money on something like Noah, Catholics should be going to see this movie.

  • The infinite God is infinite. God’s Not Dead
    .
    God and The Son of God, Jesus Christ, had to be vanquished from the public square before the government could ignore man’s dignity and confiscate the work of his hands.
    .
    “They shall live in the houses they build, and eat the fruit of the vineyards they plant; they shall not build houses for others to live in, or plant for others to eat. They shall not toil in vain, not beget children for sudden destruction; for a race blessed by the Lord are they and their offspring. Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hearken to them.” Isaiah 65: 21- 24.
    .
    The New york Times must be flooded with the truth. Why is the statute of limitations without limit for the Catholic Church for the prosecution of child sexual abuse and only 90 days in New York Public schools? See the open thread at Starry, Starry Night for some rather unpleasant antics of the courts. The Catholic League and Dr. William Donohue will have something to say too.

  • The atheist must be tolerated. Atheism is unconstitutional. Atheism denies the freedom of religion to respond to the gift of faith from God, a relationship between God and man that cannot be interdicted by anyone claiming to be an atheist. No one has ever claimed to be atheism, not ever and especially not even the devil. The devil is not an atheist. The devil knows that God created him and the devil spends eternity frozen in the bottom of hell rejecting God.
    .
    I hope and pray that the New York Times does not join the devil frozen to the bottom of hell rejecting God.

  • Loved this movie! Went to see it with my wife and 6 children!! Also loved the Louisiana flavor as I’m a former Tiger! So thankful for the courage and wisdom infused in this movie as I believe God has called us all to fight!! As St. Francis of Assissi said “Go and spread the Gospel, and when necessary use words”.

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Religious Cleansing in the Crimea

Sunday, March 30, AD 2014

4 Responses to Religious Cleansing in the Crimea

  • To be fair, there was one Russian czar who allowed the Jesuits to stay in his realm when, under the urging of certain French and Spanish royalty, the Society of Jesus was being suppressed.

    The Russian government, whoever runs it, hates the Catholic Church because –
    The Orthodox Church in Russia has almost always been under government control;
    The Catholic Church is something from the feared and hated West (e.g., Poland).

    I read a few news stories about the supposed decline of the Catholic Church in Poland. An unbelievably stupid 20-something was quoted as saying that she wanted Muslims to come to Poland to add to the cultural diversity and that she was an atheist who thought the Church has too much influence in Poland. This appears to be a much too common belief in Poland among those born after the fall of Communism.

    If nothing else, Putin has sounded a wake up call. The young people that thought they had nothing to gear from Russia will have to learn the hard way…and it wasn’t atheism or Muslims who kept Poland alive during the Partition or during Communism.

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  • The Orthodox see Eastern Catholics not as Catholics, but as Orthodox quislings. The Russian Orthodox see the creation of the Eastern Catholic Churches as a illegitimate union forced on Orthodox Christians by Catholic Poland and/or Austria as these nations expanded eastward in history. The most Catholic part of Ukraine in the West was part of Austria until WWI and part of Poland between the wars. Continued loyalty to the Catholic Church after the “Great Orthodox Nation” has driven these “foreigners” out is thought of not as a religious choice, but as loyalty to the foreign powers. Furthermore, WWII is still a sore spot as many Ukrainians sided with Hitler against Stalin. Let’s just say it is a very nasty history all around.

  • “The Orthodox see Eastern Catholics not as Catholics, but as Orthodox quislings.”

    Russian Orthodox have often been Russian first and Orthodox a very poor second, and it is traditional for the rulers of Russia to use the Russian Orthodox Church as an organ of state power, especially since “Russia” has always contained large minority groups not pleased at all to be ruled from Moscow or Saint Petersburg.

Atlanta’s “Archbishop Bling”? The mainstream media and liberals in the Catholic press have been silent…

Sunday, March 30, AD 2014

 

When it comes to clerical “careerism,” ostentatious “princely” lifestyles, or even the mode of transportation, Pope Francis has sent a new standard—one of humility and poverty—for clerics. It’s been called the “l’effet Francois” (“the Francis effect”).

Members of the mainstream media and liberals in the Catholic press love it and have been quick to jump on the bandwagon to criticize clerics who have crossed the line that Pope Francis has drawn in the sand. Arguably, the most roundly criticized cleric to have crossed that line is “Bishop Bling,” the Most Reverend Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst of Limburg, Germany. He constructed a new residence and office complex costing nearly $43M.

According to the National Catholic Reporter:

Not only did Tebartz-van Elst spend a ton of money on all the wrong things, but he did so just after the cardinals elected a pope who is making austerity and humility the hallmarks of a bishop in today’s church. Francis wants prelates to “smell like the sheep,” not pricey cologne, and he doesn’t want them to act with the sort of authoritarian and dismissive manner that Tebartz-van Elst displayed.

In fact, as the resignation of Tebartz-van Elst was being announced Wednesday, Francis was telling thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square that “a bishop who is not in the service of the community does no good.”

In addition, Tebartz-van Elst in November paid a court-ordered fine of nearly $30,000 to avoid a perjury charge over his false claims that he did not fly first class to India on a charity trip. That’s three strikes.

Okay, Bishop Bling deserved to be “fired,” although technically that’s impossible. Removed, yes. Fired, no. His conduct was egregious, although similar conduct certainly was not in the early- to mid- 20th century.

But, will those media outlets and liberals in the Catholic press be as vociferous when it comes to the Archbishop of Atlanta, the Most Reverend Wilton Gregory?

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Archbishop Gregory recently moved into a new, 6,196-square-foot home built at the cost of $2.2M. His previous residence—adjacent to the Cathedral of Christ the King—is also slated to be renovated as a rectory for the priests assigned to the Cathedral residence. The price tag for those renovations, which includes the purchase of additional property, is another $2.2M.

That’s a total of $4.4M for two residences.  That’s not quite $43M. Plus the money comes from a $15M bequest. So, technically, all of this housing is “free.”

But, is it consistent with the “l’effet Francois” that the mainstream media and liberals in the Catholic press on this side of the pond have been propounding as the standard for criticizing clerics?

Some believe Archbishop Gregory should have used the money for schools and the poor. “This is an excessive lifestyle,” said one parishioner of Christ the King, Beth Maguire.

Both Archbishop Gregory and the Cathedral’s Rector, the Reverend Monsignor Frank McNamee, call the expenditures “necessary.” Gregory said the new residence will allow him to “smell like the flock,” providing him a residence where he can more easily mingle with his sheep.

Isn’t that what Pope Francis said bishops should do?

Once again, will the mainstream media as well as liberals in the Catholic press who have been so quick to denounce Bishop Bling be as quick in denouncing Archbishop Gregory?

Time will tell. So far, they’ve been silent.

Why?

The answer is unknown. But, there are at least three possible answers:

  1. The magnitude of his expenditures for suitable housing is only a little more than 10% that of Bishop Bling. If so, is this a new standard for judging the nation’s bishops and cathedral rectors that the mainstream media as well as liberals in the Catholic press have deemed acceptable?
  2. The mainstream media as well as liberals in the Catholic press perceive Archbishop Gregory to be a theological liberal and kindred spirit. It would be indecorous to take one of their own to task, would it not? But, if a conservative bishop were to do the same, then watch how quickly he will be denounced.
  3. They don’t want to attack one of the nation’s most respected Black Catholic leaders. But wouldn’t that be using a double standard?

Atlanta’s “Archbishop Bling”?

Pope Francis may not be as silent. He may speak by denying Archbishop Gregory a red hat because of that new residence.

But, all of that doesn’t really matter. What matters is the perception of duplicity on the part of the mainstream media and liberals in the Catholic press.

 

 

To read the National Catholic Reporter article, click on the following link:
http://ncronline.org//news/vatican/pope-francis-fired-bishop-bling-will-more-follow

To read the Atlanta Journal-Constitution article, click on the following link:
http://www.ajc.com/news/news/state-regional/church-spending-ignites-debate/nfGBP/

To read The Motley Monk’s daily blog, Omnibus, click on the following link:
http://www.richard-jacobs-blog.com/omnibus.html

 

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24 Responses to Atlanta’s “Archbishop Bling”? The mainstream media and liberals in the Catholic press have been silent…

  • What matters is the perception reality of duplicity on the part of the mainstream media and liberals in the Catholic press.

  • Some local color: the Buckhead area of Atlanta is frightfully expensive, with small condos easily reaching into the $2mill plus range. Christ the King spending 2mill to renovate a full building in that area, which houses 10 priests I believe (certainly more than the number of priests simply assigned to the Parish) is well within reasonable bounds for the area.

    I can not speculate as to the archbishop’s new residence. I have no information about it. However, so long as His Emmenence is not intending to live there alone (ie house other priests there as well) then I have little to critique him on.

  • Archbishop Aguila in Denver is doing the same thing. Our Catholic Conference was canceled for lack of money, but he’s building a residence as a resource to entertain and raise more money. No one cares what Liberals do against the people because their words tickle the ears.

  • Wealth has more than once been the undoing of the institutional Church. During the Reformation, many rulers saw religious orders, decayed in zeal and numbers, but with great endowments, as a popular target for confiscation.
    Similarly, before the Revolution, the French bishops were unpopular, numerous and enormously rich. The States-General had been called to deal with the budget deficit – the government was bankrupt – and Jean de Dieu-Raymond de Cucé de Boisgelin (splendid name), Archbishop of Aix proposed to the Finance Minister and former banker, Jacques Necker that the bishops should buy up the deficit, to the tune of £16m (at least £4.8 bn in modern terms), for ready cash, so that they would become the government’s only creditor (at 4%).
    Originally, Necker was for accepting, but the Neckers were Swiss Protestants and his wife Suzanne, the daughter of the village pastor of Crassier in Vaud, told him that this compact would establish Catholicism for ever as the State Church in France, so Necker broke off negotiations.
    Boisgelin’s offer may well have suggested to the Assembly where ready funds were to be had. In the Civil Constitution of the Clergy, they confiscated the church lands and put the clergy on a salary, a system that continued until 1905 (and still does in Alsace-Moselle) Even then, the ecclesiastical budget amounted to to 42,324,933 francs or $8,464,986; current real value about $470,653,221 – still less than a twentieth of the rental value of the old church lands. The state also maintained the church buildings, bishop’s palaces, rectories &c and still does, for those built pre-1904.

  • If your mansion is here on earth, you won’t get one in Heaven.

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  • Here is Vatican II on Bishop’s homes as needing to be approachable by the poor:

    DECREE ON THE MINISTRY AND LIFE OF PRIESTS
    PRESBYTERORUM ORDINIS
    PROMULGATED BY HIS HOLINESS,
    POPE PAUL VI
    ON DECEMBER 7, 1965
    ” Led by the Spirit of the Lord, who anointed the Savior and sent him to evangelize the poor,(53) priests, therefore, and also bishops, should avoid everything which in any way could turn the poor away. Before the other followers of Christ, let priests set aside every appearance of vanity in their possessions. Let them arrange their homes so that they might not appear unapproachable to anyone, lest anyone, even the most humble, fear to visit them.”
    …………………………

    This is not being observed in Newark where the Archbishop’s “working” retirement home is halfway across the state and has 8 rural acres where he could have actual sheep and smell them if he so desired…along with an outdoor pool and the addition costing $500K which will have an indoor endless pool and whirlpool bath and three fireplaces for a post 72 year old man which means he’ll need a handyman on salary to cut that wood. Nothing preaches contraception inadvertently, more than a double mansion/ waterpark for one person because it says….we all need lots of space. So whether the Archbishop is on paper conservative or liberal, mansion space for one person sends a message to laity that we all need mucho space. In this area, Pope Francis is really preaching the opposite of the mansion inclined hierarchy.

  • I cannot believe the blindness of the bishop in Germany, or these two Archbishops in America. A bishop does not need a palace, His Master did not even have a roof over His Head. A bishop needs two rooms, a bedroom,and a study just like their priests have. He can have an office etc in some other location. As for rooms large enough for entertaining 300 [a statement of Archbishop Gregory] How often does that happen? Are the poor and homeless included in those 300? Or perhaps he is having the 300 Spartans over for a ‘last meal’ lol

  • You state: “Pope Francis may not be as silent. He may speak by denying Archbishop Gregory a red hat because of that new residence.” There is absolutely no reason to believe that Pope Francis could even be contemplating creating Archbishop Gregory a cardinal. So there is even less than absolutely no reason to believe that he may “speak by denying” him a red hat. I know that in Wikipedia it is written: “Before deciding to elevate Archbishop Daniel DiNardo of Houston to the Sacred College of Cardinals in 2007, Pope Benedict XVI had reportedly considered Archbishop Gregory for that honor.” But reported by whom? Certainly not by anyone with any knowledge of what was actually going on in the apostolic palace. And by the by, I attended the consistory in 2007 and,as a Scotsman, was greatly impressed by the pilgrims accompanying Cardinal diNardo. They contributed mightily to a wonderful atmosphere..

  • Bill Bannon wrote, “the Archbishop’s “working” retirement home is halfway across the state and has 8 rural acres where he could have actual sheep and smell them if he so desired…”
    A Scottish Provincial Council, held at Perth 1249-1250 decreed that every parish priest should have assigned to him glebe land of four acres of arable land or sixteen acres of pasture for his support, so eight acres seems quite modest for an archbishop. As for the sheep, in my part of the country, we reckon five to the acre.
    Botolph
    A bishop’s residence, however humble, is a “palace.” The original “palace” was the hut of Romulus on the Palatine, which is why, in Europe, the local magistrates’ court is the “palace of justice.”

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  • Apparently Archbishop Gregory has apologized for building a $2.2 million mansion to use as his home, a move that made him the object of derision and complaint, and said he may sell it. The archdiocese would begin the process of selling the mansion “if it is the will” of Church and other advisers. See report here -http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/01/us-usa-georgia-archbishop-idUSBREA300GM20140401

  • Michael PS,
    The 8 acres are producing nothing in this case excepting an inflated ego but may well and should make New Jersey taxpayers take another look at what kinds of Church related lands are tax free.

  • Boltoph,
    I have attended functions at Archbishop’s Residence many many times. He hosts functions for all manner of Catholic organizations, such as the Serrans, the St. Thomas More Society, major parish or archdiocesan donors, Catholic Charities, etc.; and these functions can be quite large. Whether that renders the recent decisions optimal either in substance or optics are different questions, but yes indeed the Archbishop hosts many events that are appropriate and helpful to the Archdiocese. He has be told that he should hold more such events, such as for SVDP volunteers and the K of C, but his current space is quite inadequate. As for the poor I cannot say, but I’m not inclined to criticize too much until I start inviting homeless people into my home like you do.

  • Here’s a note that the Archbishop sent out to the Archdiocese this morning.

    What I Have Seen and Heard: The archbishop responds

    By Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory

    “We are disturbed and disappointed to see our church leaders not setting the example of a simple life as Pope Francis calls for. How can we instill this in our children when they see their archdiocesan leadership living extravagantly? We ask you to rethink these decisions and understand the role model the clergy must serve so the youth of our society can answer Jesus’ call. Neither our 18- or 14-year-old sons understand the message you are portraying.”

    So went just one of many of the heartfelt, genuine and candidly rebuking letters, emails and telephone messages I have received in the past week from people of faith throughout our own Archdiocese and beyond. Their passionate indictments of me as a Bishop of the Catholic Church and as an example to them and their children are stinging and sincere. And I should have seen them coming.

    Please understand that I had no desire to move; however, the Cathedral Parish has a problem, albeit a happy one. The Cathedral of Christ the King is one of our largest, most vibrant and fastest growing parishes-but it is landlocked. The site of the current rectory could be used for expansion if the priests could be moved to a new rectory nearby. Because of the proximity of the Archbishop’s house to the Cathedral and the way it is configured with separate apartments and common space, the rector of Christ the King one day summoned the courage to ask me if I would give some thought to letting the parish purchase the residence from the Archdiocese to repurpose it for its rectory. It made more sense for them to be in walking distance to the Cathedral than I, so I said yes, knowing full well that literally left the Archbishop without a place to live.

    Soon thereafter, the Archdiocese and the Cathedral Parish received a generous bequest from Joseph Mitchell, including his home on Habersham Road, to benefit the whole archdiocese, but especially his beloved parish, the Cathedral of Christ the King. Through the extraordinary kindness of Joseph Mitchell, we had a perfect piece of property nearby on which to relocate the Archbishop’s residence.

    Some have suggested that it would have been appropriate for the Cathedral Parish to build a rectory on the Habersham property and have the priests each drive back and forth, and in retrospect that might be true. At the time, though, I thought that not giving up the Archbishop’s residence, which was so close to the Cathedral Parish, would have been perceived as selfish and arrogant by the people at the Cathedral Parish and might damage my relationship with them!

    So I agreed to sell the West Wesley residence to the Cathedral Parish and set about looking for a different place for me and my successors to live. That’s when, to say the least, I took my eye off the ball. The plan seemed very simple. We will build here what we had there-separate living quarters and common spaces, a large kitchen for catering, and lots of room for receptions and other gatherings.

    What we didn’t stop to consider, and that oversight rests with me and me alone, was that the world and the Church have changed.

    Even before the phenomenon we have come to know as Pope Francis was elected to the Chair of Peter, we Bishops of the Church were reminded by our own failings and frailty that we are called to live more simply, more humbly, and more like Jesus Christ who challenges us to be in the world and not of the world. The example of the Holy Father, and the way people of every sector of our society have responded to his message of gentle joy and compassion without pretense, has set the bar for every Catholic and even for many who don’t share our communion.

    As the Shepherd of this local Church, a responsibility I hold more dear than any other, certainly more than any configuration of brick and mortar, I am disappointed that, while my advisors and I were able to justify this project fiscally, logistically and practically, I personally failed to project the cost in terms of my own integrity and pastoral credibility with the people of God of north and central Georgia.

    I failed to consider the impact on the families throughout the Archdiocese who, though struggling to pay their mortgages, utilities, tuition and other bills, faithfully respond year after year to my pleas to assist with funding our ministries and services.

    I failed to consider the difficult position in which I placed my auxiliary bishops, priests, deacons and staff who have to try to respond to inquiries from the faithful about recent media reports when they might not be sure what to believe themselves.

    I failed to consider the example I was setting for the young sons of the mother who sent the email message with which I began this column.

    To all of you, I apologize sincerely and from my heart.

    We teach that stewardship is half about what you give away, and half about how you use what you choose to keep. I believe that to be true. Our intention was to recreate the residence I left behind, yet I know there are situations across the country where local Ordinaries have abandoned their large homes, some because of financial necessity and others by choice, and they continue to find ways to interact with thefamilies in their pastoral care without the perception, real or imagined, of lavish lifestyles.

    So where do we go from here?

    It is my intention to move deliberately forward and to do a better job of listening than I did before. When I thought this was simply a matter of picking up and moving from one house to a comparable one two miles away, we covered every angle from the fiscal and logistical perspectives, but I overlooked the pastoral implications. I fear that when I should have been consulting, I was really only reporting, and that is my failure. To those who may have hesitated to advise me against this direction perhaps out of deference or other concerns, I am profoundly sorry.

    There are structures already in place in the Archdiocese from which I am able to access the collective wisdom of our laity and our clergy. In April I will meet with the Archdiocesan Council of Priests, and in early May our Archdiocesan Pastoral Council (a multi-cultural group of Catholics of all ages, representing parishes of all sizes, who serve as a consultative body to me) will convene. I will ask for the Finance Council of the Archdiocese to schedule an extraordinary meeting. At each of these meetings I will seek their candid guidance on how best to proceed.

    If it is the will of these trusted representative groups, the Archdiocese will begin the process of selling the Habersham residence. I would look to purchase or rent something appropriate elsewhere.

    It has been my great privilege and honor to be your Archbishop for the past nine years. I promise you that my service to you is the reason I get up each day-not the house in which I live or the zip code to which my mail is sent. I would never jeopardize the cherished and personal relationships I have built with so many of you over something that personally means so little after all.

    I humbly and contritely ask your prayers for me, and I assure you, as always, of mine for you.

  • This is a good statement. He recognizes the havoc and chaos he unintentionally released. He is “returning’ to his consultative bodies, which always is wise. This is the second ‘ bishop’s residence’ issue we have had recently in America, may it be the last.

    In the meantime we can move forward.

  • While Buckhead can be expensive the $2.2 million for one Bishop was egregious as it was hypocritical. Archbishop would not allow the two Auxillary Bishops to live at either Mansion. One lives in an inexpensive condo and one lives 15 miles away in a Parish rectory in the suburbs. It is a colossal waste of money. The only people invited to Archbisop Gregory’s parties are his cronies, flu kids and donors.

    A total of roughly $5,500,000 out of roughly $11,000,000 designated for Archdiocese of Atlanta and Christ the King Parish was allocated for two homes and at most 10 Priests. That is not being a good steward. That is abusing Christ’s Flock.

    And this is only tip of iceberg with Gregory.

  • Leaving aside the unseemly closing innuendo, I agree that the proposed use of the funds was sub-optimal, but (i) Buckhead is indeed expensive, (ii) CTK does need the rectory space for its programs, (iii) it is ridiculous to expect the AB not to invite donors and friends to his home, and (iv) I have been to the AB’s residence many times for functions honoring the work (not the donors) of various Catholic organizations. I am also a donor, I’m now proud to be a crony too.

  • The 8 acres are producing nothing in this case excepting an inflated ego but may well and should make New Jersey taxpayers take another look at what kinds of Church related lands are tax free. ”
    .
    All church property is held in trust for all future generations. The parishioners have paid their fair share of taxes as citizens. Two taxes, one vote.Taxation without representation.
    How the land will be used by future generations is not known. Many good priests have foreseen the need for future generations and supplied them with the land to build their churches.

  • Mary de Voe wrote, “All church property is held in trust for all future generations”

    Indeed, and ecclesiastics are not always the most conscientious trustees. In the aftermath of Vatican II, many liturgical reformers in France were for removing the ancient rood-screens to give the congregation, or rather audience, an unobstructed view of the sanctuary. Fortunately, in France, the churches are public property and the government would not allow national treasures to be vandalised

    Here is the rood-screens at Albi Cathedral
    http://www.france-voyage.com/visuals/panoramas/eglises/albi-2.jpg

    at Bourg-en-Bresse
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/43/Broukerkdoksaalengewelf.JPG/250px-Broukerkdoksaalengewelf.JPG

    and at Saint-Étienne-du-Mont, Paris (where Pascal is buried)
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/a0/Jube_Saint-Etienne-du-Mont.jpg/300px-Jube_Saint-Etienne-du-Mont.jpg

    In Scotland, we have not been so fortunate

  • Yes, Michael Paterson-Seymour, these churches are national treasures, all built for the Real Presence of Jesus Christ by people who love God.

  • There is no need to seek guidance from the various council’s and have extraordinary meetings. The AB already knows what he must do. My fear is that he gathers a group of sycophant’s for advise in this matter when one phone call to the Pope will will clear everything up.

  • Leaving aside the fact that bishops do not have some mythical hotline to the Pope, it is probably true that the various lay advisors surrounding a bishop tend to be somewhat deferential in their behavior. That does not make then sycophants, however, and I know Archbishop Gregory well enough to be confident that he does and will genuinely want their candid counsel. I do not always agree with our Archbishop, but he is a good man who does love his flock. I tend to think he did make an error in judgment as to the use of the funds, but we all make such mistakes and there is no need for the uninformed one-sided vitriol. I was especially close to his predecessor and admired him greatly, yet I disagreed with some of his decisions regarding Catholic schools and told him so. Yet, I never challenged his good faith and intentions. Archbishop Gregory deserves the same fair treatment.

  • I have long been a severe critic of pusillanimous prelates in the Catholic Church, whom I hold responsible for much of the current chaos wreaking havoc in the Holy Roman Catholic Church, but I am obliged to admit that I have not read a communication on the lines of Archbishop Gregory before. We should have the Catholic courtesy to believe him and what he has written, it must have been an effort to summon up the courage to write like that.

    PLease people, hold your horses for a bit.

Saint Augustine: Late Have I Loved Thee

Sunday, March 30, AD 2014

st-augustine-of-hippo7_opt

 

Continuing on with our Lenten series in which Saint Augustine is our guide, go here  , here  ,here  and here to read the first four posts in the series, we come to the whole purpose of Lent.  We repent our sins and turn away from them, but these are not ends in themselves.  We do them to help reawaken in our souls our love of God.  God loves each of us with a love the intensity and magnitude of which we, in this life, cannot hope to fathom.  It has been said that God loves each man as if he were the only one.  He loves us enough to die for us, the creator of life suffering an ignominious human death to bring us to Him.  Blinded by sin and the follies of this Vale of Tears we are often unable to see that the sweet loves we encounter in this life are but pale reflections of His love.  Saint Augustine, after a wasted youth, did finally understand that love, and wrote about his discovery in imperishable words:

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7 Responses to Saint Augustine: Late Have I Loved Thee

The Long Lent of Venezuela

Sunday, March 30, AD 2014

10 Responses to The Long Lent of Venezuela

  • Obama has no interest in Venezuela. Obumbler has no interest in anything. Maduro (means “hard” in Spanish) wants to be another Castro. Chavez idolized Castro. Cubans, sent by the Castro dictatorship, are all over Venezuela helping the Maduro dictatorship.
    Chavez wanted to foister a “Bolivarian” revolution all over Latin America, politically led by himself and Fidel, with Venezuelan oil money making it happen. Leftists took power in Ecuador (who hid FARC narcoterrorists from Colombia) and in Honduras (since thrown out) and ol’ Evo Morales in Bolivia.
    Chavez’ dream has largely failed.

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  • Another socialist government, whose only method of holding power when their failed form of economy fails, is to resort to totalitarianism and suppression of the people.

    Why people continue to support socialist governments, who promise them heaven and deliver hell, totally evades me. Lying politicians who crave power to enrich themselves are simply tools of the Great Deceiver.

    You in the USA are experiencing this with Obama, the Bumbler and Liar in Chief. When is the revolution going to happen?

  • há uma versão inglesa deste local?

  • I don’t understand the question. This is the one and only site of this blog and it is in English.

  • Don the Kiwi,

    Obumbler has or had a certain appeal to guilty white leftwingers and certain Latinos (not all of them). Obumbler cobbled together a coalition of groups with certain similar ideologies and got himself elected twice. The people who elected him aren’t smart. Some were educated and some were indoctrinated and some were just plain lazy and wanted the government check.

  • I suppose it is just another example of American exceptionalism that the Democratic party retains its popularity, whereas, in Europe, the Trotskyite and Maoist parties, like the Socialist Workers in Scotland or, in France, Lutte Ouvrière (Workers’ Struggle), LCR (the Revolutionary Communist League), PG (the “Parti de Gauche”) and the NPA (Nouveau Parti Anticapitaliste), can only muster a handful of deputies.
    Even the more moderate PC (Parti Communiste), which long retained a certain cachet as the « le parti des 75 000 fusillés » [the party of the 75,000 shot] because of its important role during the Resistance, could obtain only a dozen deputies in the 2012 elections.

  • “I suppose it is just another example of American exceptionalism that the Democratic party retains its popularity, ”

    Not really. The Republicans control the House and are likely to control the Senate after the November elections. Republicans control more state legislatures than at any time since the 1920’s before 2010 and currently have 29 of the 50 state governors.

  • By “the Democratic party retains its popularity,” I meant “has not dwindled to the same utter irrelevancy as the Hard Left in the UK and France”
    Figaro quipped, with a degree of hyperbole, that their deputies could meet in a telephone kiosk

  • In our two party system both of the parties have a hard core of support below which it is well nigh impossible for them to go. This hard core is about 40% each. They each have regions they completely dominate: New England currently for the Democrats and much of the South for the Republicans. The multiplicity of parties known in much of Europe simply does not exist here in the US, at least parties that have a chance of winning a meaningful number of elections.

Anchors Aweigh

Saturday, March 29, AD 2014

Something for the weekend.  Anchors Aweigh.  The fight song of the United States Naval Academy, it was composed in 1906 with music by Charles A. Zimmerman and lyrics by Alfred Hart Miles.  Universally regarded as the song of the United States Navy, it has never been officially adopted, although that has not stopped it being loved by most of the sailors who have served in Uncle Sam’s Yacht Club.

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4 Responses to Anchors Aweigh

  • Thanks! my dad and brother were sailors- Dad was a signalman in the Pacific during the war and and my brother during Vietnam- remember the Forrestal?
    Anyway I have sang that song growing up and teaching myself semaphore from Dad’s old manual- now I “dance” and march to it with my infant granddaughter while playing my ipod.
    Just until today while listening to these great renditions, I realized that no PC person has yet forced them to quit singing “my boys” in favor of some gender neutral term.
    It can’t be that the point has been conceded (that sailing on warships is mostly a boy thing. Maybe is just that “gender neutral” is now as out of vogue as a standing army. Gender specific is the mode of the day– with hot new genders daily!

  • The opening notes are those of the Regina Coeli. Coincidence?

  • Don’t be deceived, “my boys” is sung here for purely nostalgic purposes. Look at the choir. If there were men singing the song that would be different, but there’s not.

    It’s all fun and games, and gender theories, until the bombs start falling.

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PopeWatch: Women

Saturday, March 29, AD 2014

5 Responses to PopeWatch: Women

Sister Jane Tells It Like It Is

Friday, March 28, AD 2014

Sister Jane Dominic Laurel

In a testament to just how bad so much of what passes for Catholic education is today, note this reaction to Sister Jane Dominic Laurel preaching basic Catholic doctrine:

Charlotte Catholic High School has invited parents to a meeting Wednesday night to air concerns many of them – and their kids – had about a recent speaker’s comments about homosexuality, divorce and single parents.

Sister Jane Dominic Laurel, a Dominican nun based in Nashville, Tenn., addressed a student assembly on March 21. Days later, some students launched an online petition that called her comments “offensive and unnecessarily derogatory.”

A record of the comments  was not available. But students attending told their parents she criticized gays and lesbians and made inflammatory remarks about single and divorced parents.

The petition, which has drawn more than 2,000 supporters, listed 10 objections to her remarks, including this: “We resent the fact that a schoolwide assembly became a stage to blast the issue of homosexuality after Pope Francis said in an interview this past fall that ‘we can not insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods.’ We are angry that someone decided they knew better than our Holy Father and invited (this) speaker.”

Some students told their parents that a few teachers left the assembly in tears.

In addition, parents called for a letter-writing campaign, sending out emails that listed the addresses of the Diocese of Charlotte, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, even the pope in the Vatican.

Shelley Earnhardt, who is divorced and who sent one of the emails, wrote that “in my home, there was outrage, embarrassment, sadness, disbelief, and further reason for my 16-year-old to move as far away from her religion as possible and as soon as she can.”

Other parents faulted the school for not notifying them about the sensitive nature of Laurel’s planned remarks. “It’s too big of a topic for parents to be surprised,” said Casey Corser.

Diocese spokesman David Hains acknowledged parents were not told ahead of time that Laurel would speak. But he said she has spoken frequently in the diocese and has a doctoral degree in sacred theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome.

“We have seen the petitions, and we have gotten the emails,” Hains said. “And we really hope to be able to answer their questions and address their concerns” at the meeting, which he said will be closed to the media.

The Rev. Tim Reid, pastor of St. Ann Catholic Church, sent an email lauding the nun, saying “she represented well the Catholic positions on marriage, sex, same-sex attraction and proper gender roles … The Church has already lost too many generations of Catholic schools students to … a very muddled and watered-down faith.”

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105 Responses to Sister Jane Tells It Like It Is

  • Wait…. “Nun does talk on binding Catholic teaching in Catholic school; students and teachers outraged”?

  • Well, first of all, she clearly looks to me very threatening and dangerous. Just look at her. 🙂

    Second, this part of the school petition smells of other forces at work:
    “We resent the fact that a schoolwide assembly became a stage to blast the issue of homosexuality after Pope Francis said in an interview this past fall that ‘we can not insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods.’ We are angry that someone decided they knew better than our Holy Father and invited (this) speaker.” I don’t think high school students alone crafted this petition. Some organization is involved.

    Now, thirdly: Let’s go macro:
    Going back to this summer, when the present pontiff announced his motto as the “Who-am-I-to-judge?-Pope on the flight back from Buenos Aires Youth Day in summer 2013, as well as since then, it has been obvious that we are on the road to schism, persecution, and profound conflict in the Church. A pope who uses unparalleled immoderate language at best, poisonously insulting at worst (“this priest is an unfruitful bachelor”; this religious sister is a “spinster” (Sept 30 America publication of prior interview); or, smearing traditional Catholics as “self-absorbed neo-pelagians”,; or, saying “But I have met many Marxists in my life who are good people,”etc) –excuse my ‘dangerous’ impertinacity—is not the brightest pontiff in memory and is energizing enemies of the Church—for example, in this case, as they attack Sr Jane. Again, I cite PF’s failure to complete his Ph.D (only reported in German language news sources, such as Die Tauber Zeitung, by the way), and we can conclude as to why, just by reading his wandering, undisciplined thinking proces, for example, in Evan. Gaudium. I cite his weakness as leader, showing a clear insecurity in deferring to Kasper and Muller to define where the Church will go and what it will believe, and permitting confusion to brew like a hurricane.
    I have warned other Catholics, and they, in turn have—like a tuning fork on the same wavelength—warned me: it is time to take defensive measures, whether by withdrawing more and more from associations with parishes or dioceses, or by getting new employment in secular organizations, certainly by concealing one’s traditional Catholic beliefs, and/or also by retreating from associations with the general Novus Ordo world. In San Francisco area Catholic schools, it is now unacceptable to criticize the pan-sexual lifestyle (see: http://cal-catholic.com/wordpress/2014/03/26/gay-totalitarianism-at-schools-of-the-sacred-heart-san-francisco/
    A certain South Bay bishop has defended Dr. Lisa Fullam at Santa Clara University for her pan-sexual-ethic advocacy as “Pope Francis’ encouragement for open and free theological discussion…of our different perceptions of the one truth.” It is different if you dont have a family to protect, but if you do, you must measure the impact that one’s faith position will have on them. And act accordingly. Soon it will be too dangerous to post. This will have to be one of the last.

  • I have met Father Tim Reid who lauded Sister Jane Dominic Laurel. I live in Charlotte. I have this to say to all those students and parents who do not like what she said: she is right and you are wrong. Homosexual behavior is sin and will send the perpetrator to hell. Adultery and fornication are sin and will send the perpetrator to hell. Do you want your children to go to hell? Sister Jane doesn’t and she therefore demonstrates greater love than you apparently do. If you don’t like that and want to continue in rebellion, then why don’t you go all the way and join the Episcopalian heretics. Think not for one moment St Paul or St John would tolerate your sickening and putrid liberal progressivism.

  • The Church has already lost too many generations of Catholic schools students to … a very muddled and watered-down faith.
    Good take-away quote, by Fr. Reid.

  • I would be interested to know the sum of the good works performed by the students at Charlotte Catholic, and particularly the sum of the good works performed by the students and parents who signed the petition criticizing a woman who has devoted her entire life to learning and sharing the Catholic message.

    What a bunch of bullies! I hope they have A LOT of good works in the ledger.

    Also, their rugby team sucks. Xavier will beat the hell out of them.

  • I just sent this email to St Ann’s:

    Dear Father Tim Reid,

    I saw this article about liberal progressives whining over Sister Jane Dominic Laurel telling the truth regarding sodomy, adultery and fornication.

    http://the-american-catholic.com/2014/03/28/sister-jane-tells-it-like-it-is/

    I assure you of my support and my prayers. Keep preaching the truth and tell Sister Jane to pay no heed to the critics of what she rightly said. She is a Deborah, a Judith, an Esther, and I say bravo.

    Deus te et Sororem Ianam in omnibus vestris operibus benedicat. Vester amicus in caritate Christi.

    Paul Primavera

  • I never heard any nuns talk like Sister Jane and Mother Angelica. I wish I did.

  • “A record of the comments was not available…”
    One would think that a frequent speaker (and a Doctor of Divinity) intending to deliver a controversial address would have taken the precaution of recording it or of reading it from a prepared script.
    I find myself recalling more and more often Maurice Blondel’s remark, more than a century ago now, “With every day that passes, the conflict between tendencies that set Catholic against Catholic in every order–social, political, philosophical–is revealed as sharper and more general. One could almost say that there are now two quite incompatible “Catholic mentalities,” particularly in France. And that is manifestly abnormal, since there cannot be two Catholicisms.”
    Responding to a national survey in 1907, Blondel articulated his sense of the “present crisis”: “[U]nprecedented perhaps in depth and extent–for it is at the same time scientific, metaphysical, moral, social and political–[the crisis] is not a “dissolution” [for the spirit of faith does not die], nor even an “evolution” [for the spirit of faith does not change], it is a purification of the religious sense, and an integration of Catholic truth”
    These remarks were written just before the Catholic world was riven apart by Lamentabili and Pascendi on the 3 July and 8 September of that year; divisions that were only partly healed by the Second Vatican Council, despite the great work during the fifty years that preceded it of theologians like the Dominicans, Chenu and Congar and the Jesuits, Lubac, Daniélou and Maréchal and lay philosophers like Blondel himself and Maritain.

  • “One would think that a frequent speaker (and a Doctor of Divinity) intending to deliver a controversial address would have taken the precaution of recording it or of reading it from a prepared script.”

    Giving an orthodox talk on Catholic doctrine to high school kids is now controversial? How bizarre the world has become.

  • Steve Phoenix: “Well, first of all, she clearly looks to me very threatening and dangerous. Just look at her. :)”
    .
    Sister Jane Dominic Laurel: a joy to share.
    .
    “We resent the fact that a schoolwide assembly became a stage to blast the issue of homosexuality after Pope Francis said in an interview this past fall that ‘we can not insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods.’ We are angry that someone decided they knew better than our Holy Father and invited (this) speaker.” I don’t think high school students alone crafted this petition. Some organization is involved.”
    .
    Hatred of God is the “other issues” Pope Francis addressed in his speech. Who can love his neighbor if he hates God? God, WHO is love.
    .
    The issue is not “homosexuality”. The issue is the free will act of sodomy, read “so dumb ye”, the practice, the violation of the created virgin, hatred of God. Desecrating the human being in existence by separating his body from his immortal soul is a disgrace, a sin and human sacrifice, more hatred of God. Contraception is separating God from His married love for mankind and is hatred of God.
    .
    This group of malcontents has nothing but hatred of God venom to spew. What are they doing in a Catholic school besides trying to subvert the TRUTH? Get them the hell out.
    .
    Thank you. Paul W. Primavera, Your letter is clear and effective. Glad that you sent it.

  • Donald R McClary wrote,”Giving an orthodox talk on Catholic doctrine to high school kids is now controversial? How bizarre the world has become.”

    I find it hard to believe that the response was entirely unexpected, for the reasons I went on to develop.

    Given the situation in which we find ourselves, what is the best way to address it? At the time of the Modernist crisis, Abbé Henri Brémond used to recommend only two books to the many would-be converts who came to him seeking instruction – the Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis and Introduction à la vie devote of St François de Sales. He often quoted Pascal’s “Voilà ce que c’est que la foi parfaite, Dieu sensible au cœur » [This, then, is perfect faith: God felt in the heart.] The convert, said Brémond, does not need book-learning, but the contact and certainty that comes through prayer.

  • – the Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis and Introduction à la vie devote of St François de Sales.” Perfect.

  • “Given the situation in which we find ourselves, what is the best way to address it?”

    By preaching the Truth continually and incessantly whether people wish to hear it or not. Combined with good works that has been a winning formula for the Church for a very, very long time. What has obviously proven a flat-busted failure is cowardice and the fear to preach the Truth for fear of offending some precious snowflake. That has basically been the policy of huge segments of the Church since 1965, at least in most of the West, with disastrous consequences.

  • I think it is in Oregon where a male vice-principal at a ‘catholic’ high school ‘married’ a man and was dismissed from his position for doing so and the young people were outraged. Catholic schools for decades have not been a place –in a general sense–for our youth to learn or remain Catholics. Thanks be to God, I had to remove my son from the ‘catholic’ school due to an abusive situation. My children, now in their 20s, are practicing Catholics but we know of only perhaps one other person from the class that is. They have been sold the secular mindset. The off the cuff remarks from this Holy Father only convince them of the correctness of their immoral thinking.

  • Donald R. McClarey: “the fear to preach the Truth for fear of offending some precious snowflake” –
    .
    that word is snowfakes

  • This article reminded me of the following quote.
    In 1931, Monsignor Fulton J. Sheen wrote the following essay:

    “America, it is said, is suffering from intolerance-it is not. It is suffering from tolerance. Tolerance of right and wrong, truth and error, virtue and evil, Christ and chaos. Our country is not nearly so overrun with the bigoted as it is overrun with the broadminded.”

    “Tolerance is an attitude of reasoned patience toward evil … a forbearance that restrains us from showing anger or inflicting punishment. Tolerance applies only to persons … never to truth. Tolerance applies to the erring, intolerance to the error … Architects are as intolerant about sand as foundations for skyscrapers as doctors are intolerant about germs in the laboratory.

    Tolerance does not apply to truth or principles. About these things we must be intolerant, and for this kind of intolerance, so much needed to rouse us from sentimental gush, I make a plea. Intolerance of this kind is the foundation of all stability.”

    Bravo to Sister Jane and all those who teach the Faith without reservation. Souls are at stake.

  • Well, it looks like our education system under the guidance of the NEA has accomplished one of it’s goals; to turn the children of this country into good little Brown Shirts. You think this is bad wait until they ram through Common Core.

  • Steve Phoenix wrote: “I don’t think high school students alone crafted this petition. Some organization is involved.” It would not be surprising if this were true. Not one bit.

    I do have to disagree with Steve’s “macro view” prescription. Yes, there may be times when doctrinal forthrightness may be counterproductive. I think we all to some degree pick and choose our battles now. However, a complete disengagement of orthodox Christianity from the mainstream culture is certainly wrong. Be careful of despair.

  • Thank God for Sister Jane. I assume the assembly was planned and all, students and parents knew ahead of time what the topic was. However, that being said, a Catholic High School teaching Catholic doctrine is well within its identity and mission-did students and parents sign up for simply a better education? [this is a rhetorical and tongue in cheek question. The answer is obvious]

    I remember seeing a web site for a local Parochial school in which a parent complained that the education was great but there was just too much emphasis on Jesus. More of it.

    To your point Donald it is true there are many many Catholics who [and I am sure this would be a surprise to them] are not only not in full communion with the Catholic Church [teaching, sacraments and governance] but in all but factual schism. The sad thing however it is not just a phenomenon of so called ‘progressive Catholics’. Very very sad indeed

  • How perverse it is that a straight-forward presentation of Moral Truths by a straight-forward Catholic nun discharging her forsworn promise to spread the Good News evokes such bad responses from the “people of God”! This is a clear sign that indeed the devil has settled himself quite well with this people: even the Pope himself can be his spokesman (according to the protesting ones); and it is but a sign that guilty consciences are bursting at the seam to protest too much. God bless Sr. Jane and her work. St. Michael defend her in the day of battle. Amen.

  • I also sent an email to Fr. Reid expressing my support and prayers. I think everyone should do this. He needs it.

  • A few years ago, I was asked to conduct 35 two-hour presentations on basic Catholic theology at a California parish. At the end of the second session, the last question of the evening was about Church teaching on contraception. I believed the class of 115 were not ready to hear the answer and had hoped the question would not come up until I had time to build a proper foundation. The class agreed to extend the program 30 minutes to hear what I had to say on the subject. When I completed my explanation, I said to myself, “Half these people will not come back.” The following session had 65 attendees. I was disheartened. At the end of that evening’s class a woman came to me and said that she had been scheduled for a tubal ligation three days after the previous class. She and her husband had five sons and thought they had given God opportunity enough to provide them with a little girl. She told me that they had discussed the issue till 2 A.M. She happily told me that she had cancelled the appointment and would be open to life. Another woman explained that her husband had cancelled a scheduled vasectomy. A year later the husband proudly showed off his newborn son.
    While at the time, I reluctantly explained Church teaching, I subsequently realized the Holy Spirit had been in charge all along.
    We should always be ready to share the Faith, however, it should be done with compassion and tact.

  • Victor-
    Selfishness on the part of the dissidents.

    Blessed Archbishop Fulton Sheen wrapped up one of his “Life is Worth Living” sermons with this; ” Sometimes a cloud can hide a star. And sometimes our selfishness can hide God. Despite the clouds and despite our selfishness, the star still shines and God still loves.”

    That beautiful Sister is shining brightly. A living testimony that Truth can never be snuffed out. It will light this darkened world as long as the Holy Spirit still finds Chambers within men to dwell.

    men / women 🙂

  • http://www.ratemyteachers.com/charlotte-catholic-high-school/23887-s/2

    Notice the grades given to the religion instructors at the schools

    ” Rate my teacher” site.

    It explains the disgusting reaction from the students and parents.

  • Can anyone say Vatican II? Sister Jane is absolutely right. She has courage and grace.
    Can any of those people say where she was wrong on Catholic teaching? It has only
    been since Vatican II that the teaches of the church has deteriorated. As St Thomas More said, if you gain the world and loose your soul, what have you gained? God Bless Sister Jane!

  • In today’s world, an unborn baby is not safe in his mothers womb it should not surprise us that Lay and Religous Catholics are not safe in Catholic Churches, Catholic Schools etc. Very Sad that some can be so far off the mark.

  • Let me further clarify, by safe i mean more along the lines of not being verbally attacked for what we believe and feeling like strangers in our Holy Mother Church’s womb.

  • This article points yet again to how much work we have to Evangelize our own who think they are Catholics. Two or more decades of “it’s all about me and what I want” Catholics actually do not know what our Church teaches. How very sad and especially if they are raising children.

    I bet the parents wouldn’t have reacted if one of the LCWR who identifies as a catholic sister spoke. Of course, she wouldn’t be promoting Church teachings.

  • Justme wrote, “It has only been since Vatican II that the teaches [sic] of the church has deteriorated.”
    That is not my own experience. The teaching at my Catholic boarding school in the ‘50s and early ‘60s exactly mirrored the Anglican schools described by Mgr Ronald Knox – “I think, then, it should be said at the outset that public schools are trying to teach the sons of gentlemen a religion in which their mothers believe, and their fathers would like to: a religion without ” enthusiasm ” in the old sense, reserved in its self-expression, calculated to reinforce morality, chivalry, and the sense of truth, providing comfort in times of distress and a glow of contentment in declining years; supernatural in its nominal doctrines, yet on the whole rationalistic in its mode of approaching God: tolerant of other people’s tenets, yet sincere about its own, regular in church-going, generous to charities, ready to put up with the defects of the local clergyman. This religion the schoolmaster is under contract to teach; it is left to him, if he be a sincere Christian, to attempt the grafting onto this stock of supernatural graces which it does not naturally develop: self-sacrifice, lively devotion, worthy reception of the Communion, and so on . That is the proposition.”

    When, at about the age of 14, I encountered Olier’s Journée chrétienne, “It is necessary for the soul to be in fear and distrust of self; … It should make its pleasure and joy depend on sacrificing to Jesus all joy and pleasure which it may have apart from Him. And when taking part in those things in which by Providence it is obliged to be occupied, such as eating, drinking, and conversation with creatures, it must be sparing in all, must discard what is superfluous, and must renounce, in the use of them, the joy and pleasure to be found therein, uniting and giving itself to Jesus as often as it feels itself tempted to enjoy something apart from Him and not Himself,” it seemed to me almost a different religion.

  • The situation is much like that of the height of the Arian heresy, which much of the Church followed in the Fourth Century. It got to such a point, with even the Emperor supporting the position, that St. Athanaisus was considered the Empire’s most wanted criminal for clearly teaching the Catholic Faith.

    Now, it seems, the only thing our “tolerant” society will not tolerate is the truth plainly discussed and forthrightly defended. Would that we had more like Sister Jane and St. Athanasisus.

  • Well, it looks like our education system under the guidance of the NEA has accomplished one of it’s goals; to turn the children of this country into good little Brown Shirts. You think this is bad wait until they ram through Common Core.

    I will offer you an alternative hypothesis. One states a proposition with implications which in turn influence or govern one’s behavior. You have strata of human behavior, with some dispositions and actions deemed better than others. You also have prevalent attitudes and conventions and social intercourse in light of those. When the proposition conflicts with what is fashionable or conventional or in conflict with commodious living, crisis ensues in the mind of the person contemplating these alternative, and the expression of that crisis is emotion: a poorly reasoned indignation.

    It does not have much to do with the NEA. I could have at one time introduced you to a Seven Sisters graduate who was educated in fine urban public schools in the 1940s ‘ere the NEA ever functioned as a union and ‘ere there was serious conflict over school curricula. Her mind worked just this way.

  • Perhaps it is because I have reached the winter of my life that I have been preoccupied with my desire for eternal life. Not a day goes by when I do not review my conduct in light of the Gospel, and do my utmost to remain in a state of grace. In doing so, have an assurance of salvation.
    It seems to me that those who dissent from Catholic moral teaching must live in a continual state of flux; cognitive dissidence, if you prefer.
    One the one hand, they know, down deep, that the teaching of Jesus as promulgated by the Catholic Church is certainly correct. On the other hand, their moral compass has been shaped by the satanic view of the world and believe they can always confess – tomorrow.
    I am certain most of you will agree that our society is preoccupied with sex and self pleasure. Sexual intercourse is meant to be a sacred act, simply because God is involved. When God infuses the soul, a new human being comes into existence. When artificial contraception takes place, the act becomes profane, selfish, and no different than what takes place in a barnyard.
    I have read estimates that as many as 95% of fertile Catholics contracept in one way or another. In doing so, they place their salvation in serious jeopardy.
    We were created to live a holy life, rather than being slaves to sin. Being in submission to the moral teachings of the Church provides the “peace that passes all understanding.”

  • I have read estimates that as many as 95% of fertile Catholics contracept in one way or another. In doing so, they place their salvation in serious jeopardy.

    I remember reading the source for that at one point– they include all forms of the rhythm method (and thus NFP) in the estimate, plus I think things like hysterectomies that can be from actual medical care, not for sterilization. (Sadly, some religious even misrepresent vasectomies.) They also had to include baptized-never-practiced Catholics and nominal Catholics.

    It’s an attempt to manufacture an overwhelming force. Don’t stop fighting it, but recognize that it is NOT what they try to promote.

  • This is such a depressing report: a RC high school that doesn’t know or believe their own values. Sigh.

    I felt sick after trying to read the comments in response to the original article in the Charlotte paper. Comments from atheists and anti-RCs were not surprising and, thus, “easy” to stomach. What nauseated me were the comments from RCs, especially parents and former teachers. They made Judas appear saintly.

    I found a tonic to this situation in a post by Msgr Charles Pope: http://blog.adw.org/2014/03/many-who-seek-to-reform-the-church-fundamentally-misuderstand-her-mission-and-purpose-a-response-to-a-recent-church-critic/

    The local bishop would be wise to close this school and start over with new staff, administration. Or if that is not within his power, he should officially and disassociate the diocese from the school. This school apparently has experienced a major failure. In such a catastrophe, it is often considered prudent to pause and take stock to discover the cause of the failure and take appropriate action in order to prevent further occurrences or repeat disasters.

    Some may consider such action to be overly severe. However, we need strong, courageous RC leaders who are willing to BOLDLY speak out for the faith. Continued weak response by bishops and priests and nuns will only reinforce the misguided.

    Some may take refuge in that a dialogue session is scheduled for parents. While this is certainly an opportunity to reinforce RC teaching, it likely will be met with a similar response to Sr. Jane’s presentation.

  • Foxfier,

    While I am sure you did not intend to do so you included all forms of rhythm and NFP in the numbers of contraceptive Catholics. The rhythm method was approved by Pope Pius XI in
    1931 in Casti Connubii, and while NFP had not been completely discovered in 1968, Pope Paul VI in Humanae Vitae, in continuity with Pope Pius XI showed that ‘natural’ forms of the regulation of birth were not contrary to natural law.

    I would not argue that a selfish intent can indeed motivate those who use natural methods but no one should impugn those who with good intention seek to preserve the unitive and creative element of conjugal charity in the spacing of children.

  • Keep up the great work Sister Jane! Fight the Good Fight!

    Does anyone know how I can contact this beautiful nun so I can tell her how appreciative I am of her fearless efforts?

    Food for thought:

    “I didn’t go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don’t recommend Christianity.” – C.S.Lewis

  • Humanae Vitae and Artificial Contraception

    There has always been a long-standing general Christian prohibition on artificial contraception and abortion, with such Church Fathers as Clement of Alexandria and Saint Augustine condemning the practices. It was not until the 1930 Lambeth Conference that the Anglican Communion changed its long-standing position by allowing for contraception in limited circumstances. All other mainline Protestant denominations have since removed prohibitions against artificial contraception.
    In a partial reaction, Pope Pius XI wrote the encyclical Casti connubii (On Christian Marriage) in 1930, reaffirming the Catholic Church’s belief in various traditional Christian teachings on marriage and sexuality, including the prohibition of artificial birth control even within marriage.
    Pope Paul VI issued the encyclical, Humanae Vitae concerning the transmission of human life, in which the longstanding teaching of the Church which proscribes the use of artificial contraception was reaffirmed. Promulgated on July 25, 1968, Humanae Vitae re-affirmed the traditional teaching of the Roman Catholic Church regarding abortion, contraception, and other issues pertaining to human life.
    This encyclical is the probably the most talked about of any papal pronouncement. Paradoxically, few Catholics have actually read it, and although the encyclical is not lengthy, nor difficult to read or understand, even fewer have studied it. Yet from the day it appeared it provoked reactions and debate of historic proportions. The work is divided into three chapters. Chapter I, New Aspects of the Question and the Competence of the Magisterium; Chapter II – Doctrinal Questions; and Chapter III, Pastoral Directives.
    In summary: The encyclical opens with an assertion of the competency of the Magisterium of the Church to decide questions of morality. It then goes on to observe that circumstances often dictate that married couples should limit the number of children, and that the sexual act between husband and wife is still worthy even if it can be foreseen not to result in procreation. Nevertheless, it is held that the sexual act must “retain its intrinsic relationship to the procreation of human life”, and the “direct interruption of the generative process already begun” is unlawful.
    Abortion, even for therapeutic reasons, is absolutely forbidden, as is sterilization, even if temporary. Similarly, every action specifically intended to prevent procreation is forbidden. This includes both chemical and barrier methods of contraception. All these are held to directly contradict the “moral order which was established by God”.
    Therapeutic means which induce infertility are allowed (e.g., hysterectomy), if they are not specifically intended to cause infertility (e.g., the uterus is cancerous, so the preservation of life is intended). Natural family planning methods (abstaining from intercourse during certain parts of the woman’s cycle) are allowed, since they take advantage of “a faculty provided by nature.”
    The acceptance of artificial methods of birth control is then claimed to result in several negative consequences, among them a “general lowering of moral standards” resulting from sex without consequences, and the danger that men may reduce women “to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of [their] own desires”.
    The encyclical acknowledges that “perhaps not everyone will easily accept this particular teaching”, but points out that the Roman Catholic Church cannot “declare lawful what is in fact unlawful”.
    “The teaching of the Church on the regulation of birth, which promulgates the divine law, will easily appear to many to be difficult or even impossible of actuation. And indeed, like all great beneficent realities, it demands serious engagement and much effort, individual, family and social effort. More than that, it would not be practicable without the help of God, who upholds and strengthens the good will of men. Yet, to anyone who reflects well, it cannot but be clear that such efforts ennoble man and are beneficial to the human community” (HV 20).
    The encyclical closes with an appeal to public authorities to oppose laws which undermine the natural moral law, an appeal to scientists to further study effective methods of natural birth control and appeals to doctors, nurses and priests to promote the method.
    Mainly because of its prohibition of all forms of artificial contraception, the encyclical has been controversial.

  • Botolph-
    if you read again, you’ll notice I was pointing out that the folks trying to pull an “everybody does it” argument had to include “not having sex” in with “break your reproductive system and/or mutual masturbation* to avoid pregnancy” methods.
    I very much dislike such equivocation, even if technically “contraception” might be hammered so that avoiding sex when you know you are likely to become pregnant would be included.
    .
    * various barrier methods. Makes sense if you think of the mechanics involved.

  • Incidentally, NFP is not just a way to avoid pregnancy– it’s also good for getting pregnant, and in theory you could use it to slightly increase the chance of having a boy or a girl. I was able to help a friend conceive her first child with some of the more basic things.

    Really wish that they’d covered some of the stuff in “health class”– understanding one’s own body is rather important.

  • Foxfier,

    My apologies. Need to adjust my glasses better. Thanks for receiving my comment in the spirit I meant t. I was afraid people reading would think rhythm and NFP were forms of contraception which, of course, they are not. Thanks again.

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  • While the rhythm method and NFP may not technically be contraception, they are typically presented as “Catholic Birth Control.” Thus, promotion of NFP methods lead too many to assume that since NFP is okay then it is ok to use artificial BC because it is being used for the same end as (typically) NFP. After decades of promoting NFP to engaged couples, it is no wonder why so many dismiss RC morals and values as mere technicalities that are trumped by personal choice. Unfortunately, despite good intentions, many parishes have inadvertently “caused their brother to stumble” [Rom 14:21] by pushing Catholic Birth Control.

  • Botolph-
    Blame it on getting so mad your eyes cross; heaven knows it has that effect on me at times.
    On the upside, if they thought they were right, they wouldn’t cheat!

    I’d kind of like to see these parishes that push it… up until recently, I never even heard opposition to abortion at Mass.

  • Rather fittingly, this was in my email just now:
    http://winteryknight.wordpress.com/2014/03/30/do-atheists-have-a-lower-divorce-rate-than-christians-2/

    Study controlled for other factors like age when first married, etc, and found that while “Christians” aren’t protected from divorce, active Christians are. (They used weekly attendance.)

    That makes sense, since the majority of the American population is Christian, so unless you’ve got a group of marry-and-divorce-daily non-Christians, the average is going to track.
    Unfortunately, we also have a large population of “Uh… Christian” whose faith isn’t fed and cared for, it’s more of a cultural background.

  • (Note: the “Uh… Christian” is not a “I’m dumb” type “uh,” it’s an “I’m thinking about it, give me a moment…guess I’d say I’m Christian” type answer. This is the internet, figured I’d mention that.)

  • red,
    NFP is not unqualifiedly good and can be used wrongly. The reason for this is subtle and needs to be stated carefully, because there is a popular, although erroneous, belief among some Catholic couples that NFP is “second best,” and that if a couple is seriously Catholic, they will not self-consciously plan the children they conceive, but simply “let God send them.” I do not mean to offend anyone’s practices, but this “come what may” attitude is found nowhere in Catholic teaching on procreation in the last 150 years. There is no decision more serious to a Catholic couple than whether or not to participate with God in bringing a new human person into existence. The more serious a decision, the more it is due prayer, discussion and discernment. God has a plan for every married couple; that the plan includes how many children they should have; and therefore if a couple is concerned about doing Jesus’ will, they should try to discover whether Jesus wishes them to have more children. They should have all the children that Jesus wants them to have, no less, and no more. Therefore, whenever they are conscious that they might become pregnant, they should discuss and pray over the question: “Does Jesus want us to have another child?” The idea that this question is intrinsically tainted with selfish motives is rigoristic and should be rejected. Every potentially fertile couple, as well as infertile couples capable of adopting, has the responsibility to ask it.

  • Victor R. Claveau, MJ: “and no different than what takes place in a barnyard.”
    .
    Sorry, barnyard animals, all animals are innocent and plot not to avoid the offspring. It is in plotting to avoid the offspring that the sin of selfishness occurs. Natural Family Planning, if accomplished with the intent to accept joyfully any children who beget, is not only within God’s design but with God’s blessing. Children are an expression of God’s glory. The sex act, devoid of charity, is a sin and a lie against the vows taken at Matrimony, the vow “til death do us part.”
    .
    Every heresy is a half-truth. the untrue half accepted as truth, is a lie, a lie that is used against the truth. Every human soul has come into the world because of procreation and through procreation.

  • Victor R. Claveau, MJ: fRED means “peace”. thought I would mention.

  • Would Sister Jane become the next principal of the school?

  • I just finished an argument over contraception with a liberal Catholic and a Protestant Pentecostal. Nothing I pointed out from Sacred Scripture or Papal Encyclicals or the early Church Fathers (e.g., Lactantius) made any difference. These women are convinced that contraception is the responsible thing to do. Except for God’s grace, we have lost these people. They will sterilize themselves out of existence and I told them so.

  • @Victor Clavieau:

    It is very easy for a couple to decide that their want is God’s want. Easy proof of this is when they decide that God wants them to have another child, but none is forthcoming. Of course if they decide God doesn’t want them to have a child, and none comes because they avoid the fertile period, it is exceedingly easy to use that as an affirmation of God’s will. The deck is stacked in this case against having more children.

    Now suppose that a couple decides that they will simply accept the children who come? Not that everyone should do that, but there are some couples who make this decision. Under the contraceptive mentality masquerading as “Catholic” teaching, this couple should be chastised for their charity. It’s a strange Catholicism that would condemn this. I say this as a man who didn’t think he should have more children at particular times in my life but instead found wonderful blessings who changed my life. God will make God’s decisions and man will make man’s decisions. Don’t confuse one for the other. To do so is to baptize the hardness of heart that won’t accept children as somehow Catholic and call it charity.

  • The bottom line is that all sexual intercourse should take place in a marital relationship and be open to life. If, for a serious reason, a couple should decide that another child would be a overwhelming burden at a particular time, they should abstain from the marital act during the fertile period. That’s where NFP comes into play. NFP is not meant to be a means to circumvent God’s will and prevent conception. It is a means to responsibly regulate the size of a family.

  • Absolutely correct. But what is problematic is when its use becomes a mandate. That’s my real concern. When people argue that people are breeding irresponsibly they usually have no idea what they are talking about.

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  • Victor R Claveau MJ’s remark about the barnyard is singularly misplaced.
    As a peasant, I can assure him that most female mammals, (except humans) are sexually receptive only during œstrus, when ovulation occurs and conception can take place.

  • This morning during my Bible reading, the Holy Spirit (apparently) showed me that the opinion I expressed yesterday (above) regarding my recommendations for the bishop and the high school were rather over the top. Likely, several of you observed my weakness but were too kind to mention it at the time – in the spirit of Rom 14:1 “Welcome those who are weak in faith but not for the purpose of quarreling over opinions.” [NRSV]

    It appears that the bishop/dioceses is trying to practice Rom 14:1 via the parental meeting scheduled for Wednesday. Hopefully, grace and truth [Jn1:14c] will prevail. Undoubtedly, it will in some cases-Acts 13-14 demonstrates that.

    Rom 14:19 seems like good advice for all parties: ” Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.” [KJV] Oh, may it be so.

  • Sex in the barnyard is done instinctively. Sexual intercourse between humans has been designed by God to be unifying. When God is removed from the equation, by artificial contraception, the unifying aspect is absent. Deliberate sterilization destroys it altogether. I have spoken to a good number of men who after sterilization, stated, in almost the same words, “Now when I make love to my wife, I can’t get close enough to her. Something is missing.” There is always a consequence to defying God’s will.

  • This reminds of a quote from an ad/trailer for the “Blue Ray” DVD of the latest “Hobbit” movie. A female elf asks, “When did we allow evil to become stronger than good?” Or, it was something to that effect.

  • Victor R Claveau MJ wrote, “Sexual intercourse between humans has been designed by God to be unifying” Indeed. Its purpose is, to unite the gametes of two individuals, thereby ensuring genetic diversity within the species: a purpose not confined to humans, but common to all forms of sexual reproduction.

  • Michael,
    I suppose I should have said “spiritually unifying”, however I was under the impression that my response would have been understood. Marital relations are God’s way of unifying a couple in the most intimate way. Two become one. Why is it that a marriage is not considered to be legal or canonically binding until it is consummated?
    Sexual intercourse outside of marriage and contraception within marriage is a mortal sin. When a couple contracepts, those involved separate themselves from God and the sanctifying grace that comes with the worthy reception of the sacraments. Married life can be difficult at times and we need all the help from God that we can get. I have spoken to a number of divorcees that said that the beginning of the downward slope of their marriage was when they began contracepting.
    Cutting ourselves off from the sacraments is not the way to strengthen a relationship. Finally, and most importantly, immortal souls are in jeopardy.

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  • If we reduce human gender, sexuality and marital issues to the merely ‘biological’, ‘what we have in common with the animals, especially mammals, we are really going off track-is this not what the secularist world does, reducing everything to the biological and ‘mechanics’ of the thing?

    Paul VI in Humanae Vitae gave as the first attribute of ‘conjugal charity’ as that it was ‘human’. In my younger and far less experienced years, I poo pooed this as being an unnecessary statement. “Of course it is ‘human'”, I thought. [I accepted the teaching of HV from the time it was issued] And then I watched the category five hurricane called the sexual revolution hit America and the rest of the West.

    We are human and not animals, even primates. We are who we are because we are created in the ‘image of God’, we have ‘dominion over all the animals’, we are not just one more species of animal [although we certainly share many things in common with them; but then again we do with the angels as well] . Ethics (the good) is proceeds from the truth of being.
    We will never get our morality right if we do not get our ‘(Christian) anthropology’ right.

    To be human means to be destined, called to communion with God. No other material creature has that dignity. This means that we are embodied spirits, or incarnate souls. Everything that we do, including ‘sex’ is on a totally different plane, and level of existence.
    Even the secularist world recognizes this instinctively when they/we use the term ‘making love’. Animals have instinctual sex; human beings ‘make love’: choose to love. No matter how passionate and reckless a human being is in ‘making love’, they are still using their free will and are certainly not acting on pure instinct and hormones alone. That’s why it has a moral dimension.

    Conjugal Charity involves [requires’] 1) the appeal of body and instinct 2) the power of feeling and affectivity 3) the aspirations of the human spirit and will. All of these aim toward a union beyond flesh, to a union of heart and soul as well. This mutual self-giving demands 1) indissolubility 2) faithfulness and 3) openness to children see Catechism of the Catholic Church 1643

  • Botolph.
    Bravo!

  • It’s clear that sending your child to a regular diocese Catholic Schools does not guarantee they will leave with the correct understanding of Catholic teaching or proper formation. Although, some schools are better than others to varying degrees.

    I’m not sure why anyone would be surprised by this?

    Catholic schools today admit students from families that do not even practice their Faith, and are not questioned why they don’t do the basics like attending Sunday Mass. They also admit students of non-Catholic faiths if their quotas of baptized Catholics are not met.

    So it’s pretty obvious to assume that Catholics schools have students from divorced families, even families with same-sex family members.

    Knowing the obvious, why would you then plonk a good orthodox Catholic nun at these non-orthodox schools to give a talk about the evils of homosexuality and single parent and divorced families and be shocked when there is public outcry? She was inadvertently criticizing the children from these families- of course they will defend their families, whether right or wrong. Sinful or not. Most people would.

    Unfortunately, If you want your children to have good Catholic formation, you have to swim against the tide, and teach them yourself. Don’t expect today’s Catholic diocese schools to do the job. Its out of touch with reality to be shocked that the culture at the Catholic school isn’t fully Catholic.

  • EZ

    I agree with two of your points. Education really takes place at home and cannot be passed off to the ‘professionals’ no matter how good or (as in this case) how orthodox they are. I also agree that Catholic Schools are ‘catholic’. They see as their mission to educate in and with the Catholic vision of the marriage of faith and reason. The problem comes when those enrolling their children want no part of ‘the faith’. Catholic schools while pretty much being better than public schools must keep their identity and mission clear for themselves and all who come to them. These are Catholic Schools. They are going to teach Catholic teaching in faith and morality

    I remember a big rowe in my parish when a CCD parent got all hot and bothered that their child was being taught the necessity of Sunday by Mass by the catechist. While of course they didn’t get anywhere with their complaint they did cause a big ‘noise’ about it. I often wonder if people like this ever really think.

  • Botolph I hear you.

    We are in an age where it’s forbidden to teach young children about the devil in Religious education classes because it may frighten them. Or like you said, tell them that Sunday Mass is obligatory to our Faith as a weekly minimum, because it will cause them to question their parents lack of attendance.

    Our Cardinal George Pell, soon to leave to take up a major post at the Vatican, was asked once by a Catholic parent which is the best Catholic schools he would recommend to send his children to in Sydney. He didn’t even bother naming a Catholic diocese school, of which he presides over (note that the Cardinal was having a hard time putting through reforms to tidy up the Catholic system).

    Instead, He gave the names of two Independent schools run by Opus Dei (not under the Catholic Archdiocese). I went to the girls school growing up, and although not all perfect (no school is), there is one thing you are guaranteed to have once you leave- good Catholic Formation.

    I think the weak Catholic diocese schools of today have a weak Priest. I also think it all stems from the liberal streak that infiltrated the Formation of Priests decades ago. Many would get cranky if you took Holy Communion on your tongue. They insisted you take it in your hand, by instilling the fear of the evil eye and the deliberate slamming it on the tongue (of which used to happen when my mother would go up to receive Communion on her tongue- I used to tow the line of receiving it in my hand until I switched schools at the age of 8).

    I was told, with great confidence that the new generation of Priests coming through are being scrutinized more closely, to ensure that they are formed in a more orthodox manner. So I’m hopeful for the new generation of Priests and Parishioners.

  • Whilst I do not disagree with Victor R. Claveau, MJ and Botolph about the human dimension of marriage, I would argue that we do need to lay greater stress than we commonly do on the vertical dimension, which is related to our social nature.
    As the Roman jurist, Paulus wrote “pater vero is est, quem nuptiae demonstrant.” (Marriage points out the father) [Dig. 2, 4, 5; 1] Marriage ensures that the legal, biological and social realities of paternity coincide. It ensures, in St Augustine’s words, that “the child is accepted in love, is nurtured in affection, is brought up in religion.”

  • EZ

    I see now you are an Aussie 😉 While things are far from golden here in the States, I get a sense that things are far more liberal in the Church and related institutions such as schools-in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and now I see “down under”. A real Catholic vision is neither liberal nor conservative because it is never ‘either/or’ but ‘both/and’. In the meantime we all can pray and work in the new evangelization toward that ‘golden mean’

  • MJS

    You almost never can go wrong with Saint Augustine

  • And Botolph, I totally agree that these dim parents, who kick up a stink that their children are taught Catholic teaching at a Catholic school, do not think. AT. ALL.

  • “A real Catholic vision is neither liberal nor conservative because it is never ‘either/or’ but ‘both/and’. In the meantime we all can pray and work in the new evangelization toward that ‘golden mean’”

    Amen.

  • What a disaster it is that we are in a position where we can no longer trust Catholic schools to teach our children the Faith. Perhaps it would be more honest for a diocese and/or parish to give up the ghost if so many of the students are non-catholics and RC Faith is not being emphasized.

    The reasons for the failure of RC education are likely legion. Several reasons spring to mind: lack of qualified teachers and cost of tuition. By qualified teachers, I mean spiritually qualified (as well as competent in their specific field). Post-V2 there has been a mass exodus of nuns (and priests) from the teaching ministry. In their place are secular teachers of all types, who require more financial resources for compensation. A Catholic education is a stretch for many middle class families. So it is heartbreaking to realize that these parents who trusted the RC church to teach their children the Faith have double crossed them. (I know-someone is going to chime in that education begins at home. It does. Hence, home schooling for some; but many do not have this option – and the Common Core curriculum that is being foisted on us will make it even more difficult to home school).

    This failure has been going on for some time: decades. 15 years ago we looked at sending our son to the local RC school but chose not to after attending an open house where almost nothing was said about spiritual/religious formation and class prayer was at the OPTION of the teacher. My wife’s aunt is a RC nun who taught elementary school for years. She recently retired and there is no longer any clergy teaching at her “RC” school. It’s no wonder so many are choosing to home school rather than pay exorbitant tuition for a pseudo RC education.

    Finally, it is imperative (for the salvation of many souls) that parishioners speak boldly for immediate action by our shepherds to get the ship back on course. And not sometime in the future. A complacent clergy is a key reason for many families to try to take the initiative. This adds to the chaos as it appears that everyone is left to their own tent. Of course, the Prophets warned of this and it is still valid.

  • fRED,

    Whence the need for “re-evangelization”

  • The Church in the western world has to decide on a fundamental question. Do you present the entire teaching on human sexuality or not? What would happen if parish priests were required to announce at EVERY mass that those who were contracepting were in an objective state of mortal sin and should not come forward to receive communion? Since 90 percent of Catholics of child bearing age contracept, my guess is you would have an awful lot of Church closings. Because of the evil American constitution, people have a veritable cornucopia of religions to choose from. My guess is that the vast majority would take advantage of that “freedom” and the Church would become very small indeed.

  • Tom M

    You present a very important as well as interesting point. The Church does indeed need to present her entire teaching on human sexuality, however while it includes such ‘prohibitions’ as contraception, it cannot be reduced to it by a long shot. If I could use this phrase to summarize all the moral teachings in the area of human sexuality-we need to keep and teach all the “don’ts” but the People of God still need more than this. They need to come to believe and understand the underlying ‘vision of man’ that leads to and gives us these ‘don’ts’ and then learn to grow in the “do’s” [commonly called chaste love]

    We have been called into communion with the Triune God. Coming to know all the “don’ts” is only half the battle [avoid sin]. The rest is growth in virtue and coming to love, a love that has been perfected through the Paschal Mystery and affective conversion.

  • Should the Catholic Church ever decide consciously teach on the unpopular issues of Homosexuality, Abortion, and Birth Control, it would find itself no longer the Catholic Church. The church is obligated to teach the deposit of faith in full.

    It should also be noted that judging and rebuking are not the same. This is a most misunderstood teaching. These young people and parents crying out about “bigotry” are not open to the scripture and teaching in general. If they were rebuked as Our Lord proposed in Luke 17:3 would lead these ignorant people to repentance and forgiveness. Instead, they walk around blind and deaf, probably have never broken open a Bible or a Catechism to ponder what the word means, and thus persist in sin; reveling with as many other as they can who also persist in sin.

    Much prayer and fasting will be needed.

  • I sent a supporting email to Fr. Reid – his response was:

    Thank you for your support, Mary. Please pray for the chaplain of the high school, Fr. Matthew Kauth, as he is the one bearing the brunt of this situation.
    -ftr

  • Praying for Fr. Matthew Kauth. May he stay strong in the face of this evil attack and not apologize or back down. It’s terribly sad that these young people are so unaware of Catholic teaching that they don’t recognize truth.

  • Diocese spokesman David Hains acknowledged after the meeting that the Rev. Matthew Kauth, the school’s chaplain, apologized to the parents for a March 21 speech by Sister Jane Dominic Laurel that was not the one he expected her to give.

    Ach. Capons everywhere.

  • Yeah, my reaction too — but in fairness (i) Father Kauth probably did have a pretty imperfect understanding of Sister Jane’s expected presentation and (ii) some of the stuff she is alleged to have said, if true, is pretty kooky (and he probably would never have approved of them). That said, the tragic fact is that the vitriolic response was in no way limited to the handful of kooky statements; instead they reveal a rather wholesale rejection of Church teaching on matters of marriage and sex.

  • “…some of the stuff she is alleged to have said, if true, is pretty kooky…”

    I don’t have the text of the talk and only know what I’ve read online. What is kooky?

  • I only know what I’ve read online too (which means it is unreliable though could be a fair indicator of what students thought they heard, as opposed to what was said). That said, two examples are her assertions that (i) gays and lesbians are not born with same-sex attractions and (ii) children in single-parent homes have a greater chance of becoming homosexual. While the cause or causes of same sex attraction are not remotely scientifically resolved, the weight of the evidence thus far favors some genetic predisposition. In any case the Church has no position on the cause of such predilections, but simply says that acting on them is sinful. The second assertion can only be charitably regarded as oddly eccentric. She also allegedly suggested that homosexuality was the product of parental shortcomings, another somewhat idiosyncratic belief that has nothing to do with Church teaching.

    One can reasonably argue that these beliefs, even if not widely shared by experts, are not in and of themselves kooky. But what is undeniably kooky is conflating them with Catholic teaching.

    All that said, the angry responses from students and parents are not remotely limited to the kooky. They plainly take exception to basic Church teaching, and quite arrogantly so.

  • One aspect of this ‘controversy’ remains unclear to me. How well was this ‘assembly’ communicated to students and parents [parents (even parents who want only an alternative education to public education and have no desire for Catholic teaching) have a right to discern what they want their children to hear, especially in terms of sexuality. Parents after all are the prime educators and know their children best (or at least should). If this suddenly was ‘thrurst’ on the students and then along with genuine Catholic teaching some more ideosyncratic things were presented, such as Mike Petrik relayed above, then what you have is a perfect storm: several potential issues all coming together at a particular time, which probably would not have happened if the even had been well communicated, the role of Catholic teaching in Catholic education was well understood by all, and the speaker stuck only to actual Catholic teaching and not ideosyncratic ideas and theories.

  • “While the cause or causes of same sex attraction are not remotely scientifically resolved, the weight of the evidence thus far favors some genetic predisposition.”

    Actually the evidence for genetic dispostion is very scant. The thought is it must be given rates for identical twins, but this does not rule-out an environmental cause.

    “children in single-parent homes have a greater chance of becoming homosexual.”

    I am not sure of the date on this. Clearly children in single parent homes have more problems and some studies have associated the lack of a male figure with increased same-sex attraction. In fact, reparative therapy in homosexuals primarily focuses on studies which show that there is not a genetic, but familial causation.

    Anyway, the data is mixed with clear evidence supporting a non-genetic, familial role. Far from kooky.

  • While the cause or causes of same sex attraction are not remotely scientifically resolved, the weight of the evidence thus far favors some genetic predisposition.

    Not so. Antecedents and correlates may have heritable components. It is understood that homosexuality itself is not genetic, which is why people pushing biological causation have shifted ground to examining perinatal phenomena.

  • If only people, when teaching Catholic teaching would stick with what the Church teaches we would all be much better off. For example, concerning homosexuality [see CCC 2357-2359].
    The Church very carefully states this: “It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained….”

  • I agree Boltoph.

    Fair enough, Art. But the prenatal phenomena to which you refer are actually pretty promising in terms of explaining why these appetites are not merely environmental or decisional.

    Phillip, what is kooky is presenting very speculative psychological/sociological theories as Catholic teaching to high schoolers.

  • Fair enough. But its not clear she did.

  • But the prenatal phenomena to which you refer are actually pretty promising in terms of explaining why these appetites are not merely environmental or decisional.

    They publish literature reviews of embryology, sociology, and psychology in law journals?

  • Phillip, what is kooky is presenting very speculative psychological/sociological theories as Catholic teaching to high schoolers.

    Who says it is speculative, and who says she presented it as ‘Church teaching’ rather than referring to in the course of presenting Church teaching? There’s reams of research on the sociology of sexual behavior. The number of academic journals covering sociology and anthropology is in the three digits. What set of literature reviews did you get hold of which (1) denied that any literature showed a correlation between single-parent origin and sexual behavior or (2) demonstrated all such research was methodologically flawed?

  • Art, you know very well her putative theories are quite speculative and not related to Catholic teaching, and it is possible that she carefully distinguished her shared speculations with such teaching, but I’ll wager 20 to 1 she didn’t. Take me up on it? And if she did so distinguish then I’d further wager that her speculations were not germane to her advertised presentation. As Boltoph said, she should have stuck to Catholic teaching.

    That said, as I’ve emphasized before many of the parental reactions transcend Sister Jane’s controversial speculations, but instead express hostility to settled Catholic teaching. A statement from the Diocese that consistent with that would have been appropriate.

  • So we’ve gone from “some of the stuff she is alleged to have said, if true, is pretty kooky” to “well, she shouldn’t have claimed it was Church teaching, and I’d just bet she didn’t say it wasn’t!”
    .
    She didn’t go along with the “born that way” claim, just like she didn’t go along with the “gay is OK” claim; that’s the actual problem folks had. Not possibly stating the best evidenced theory of homosexuality in a manner insufficiently differentiated from official teaching.

  • I am shocked that a Catholic Nun would want to speak the Truth of the Catholic Doctrine to a group at a Catholic school. Why would you want to be in the Catholic Church if you do not believe in the truth of it’s doctrine. Sister Jane has nothing to apologize for.

  • Art, you know very well her putative theories are quite speculative

    I know nothing of the kind. I do not know that she was speculating. I do not know they are her theories. I do not know that they are properly termed theories rather than hypotheses or models. I do not know what literature reviews she was making use of, what studies she consulted, or what methodology she was using. Do you honestly think it never occurred to some sociologist to do a panel study or a longitudinal study or a cross-sectional study to ascertain the association between single-parent upbringing and homosexuality controlling for who knows how many other variables?

    I am familiar with lay summaries of twin studies, and unless someone can discredit the studies (or show me that the summaries were misreported), the notion that homosexual dispositions are some sort of recessive trait heritable like green eyes is hogwash.

  • Are the sheep to be masters of the shepherd? It’s past time for Church leaders to call the bluff of bad Catholics who threaten to leave the Church if they cannot control the dogma. Let them go. Assist them out the door even. The Church will be infinitely better off without them.

  • Its about time someone spoke catholic truth from the housetops .we sure aren’t getting it from rome .we’ve had nothing but fluff for 50 years coming out of rome. instead of preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ we’ve had the humanist social gospel being preached. Jesus Christ has been lowered and pride of man has replaced him. you can’t even find our lord in the churches anymore. but you can surely spot the presider’s chair. God help the Catholic church. Bella Dodd was right the communist infiltration will remake the church so that you meaning the people living in the 40’s 50’s won’t recognise it They have pretty well usurped the faith which was their goal all along.

  • Well said Timothy Sullivan. Time to call a spade a shovel. Time to recognise the malignant, orchestrated masonic conspiracy to destroy the Church from within, starting at the top. The True Catholic Faith will not be found in a novus ordo sect environment. Sedevacantism is the only home for a true Catholic today.

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  • Where do I sign the petition in support of Sister Jane?

End Times

Friday, March 28, AD 2014

 

Michelangelo Last Judgment

 

 

Steve Skojec  has an interesting post over at his blog pondering whether we are in the End Times.  It appropriately is entitled Something Wicked:

 

Is there a part of you that aches when you feel a storm coming? An old injury, a creaking joint, maybe your sinuses? For me, it was always my left arm. Could be a bright, sunny, cloudless day, but if it started throbbing in just that certain way, I knew: before too long, the dark clouds would be rolling in.

I don’t know if it’s possible for our souls to feel something similar, but I’ve talked to a number of people who have serious spiritual aches.

There’s just this feeling that something bad is coming. Nobody can put their finger on it. It could be spiritual, or temporal, or possibly even both. All I can say is that it’s as if we’re watching the world stage, and the house lights have gone down, and we can just barely make out that the scenery is being rearranged by people dressed all in black. We can’t see them with any clarity. There’s just the sense of deliberate and hasty movement, as pieces are being put into place for a big scene.

I’ve never been given to apocalyptic fantasies, but it’s hard not to wonder if when the curtain comes up, we will be witnessing the beginning of the final act.

In this essay, I hope to try to stitch together some of the disparate factors I see coalescing, and others I merely suspect. I have no special gift for divining the course of the future; I receive no private revelations. But I have a sense that something is very much not right in the world, and I am trying to address that for myself. I have chosen to also share my attempt to make these connections with you.

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24 Responses to End Times

  • Many “right to choose” believers often hurl the accusation that pro-life individuals want to impose their beliefs, their pro-life religion on them.
    .
    Well, it is true. Pro-life religion believers believe that God is the giver of life. “I place before you life and death, choose life then that thou may be holy, for I the Lord, your God am holy.” But for those who wish to remain unholy and free to choose death, let them remember that God is the God of life, their life and all life. God makes it rain and the sun shine. God is the God of every breath they take. When God takes their breath away, they will perish like the grass. A word to the wise is sufficient.
    .
    The devil is a murderer from the beginning. To embrace Satan’s lies is to ask for death, one’s own death. Will the ‘right to choose death” mob accept their own judgment.
    .
    Isn’t this what global warming is all about? At first I thought it was a gimmick to extort taxes and tribute from the people, but it is really the “right to choose death” individuals becoming unhinged realizing that they cannot breath CO2. And shaking their fist at God’s commandments, laws that God, Himself, keeps perfectly, they cannot make a single breath of life for themselves, nor can they make the rain, rain, and the sun shine, nor can they create a single instance of life for themselves. The shoe is on the other foot, now. The abortionists are dying off.

  • Social Justice!

    Consider the following posted at Zero Hedge on 3/26/2014: ZH: “What is the shelf life of a system that rewards confidence-gaming sociopaths rather than competence? Those in power exhibit hubris, arrogance, bullying, deception and substitute rule by elites for the rule of law. The status quo rewards misrepresentation, obfuscation, legalized looting, embezzlement, fraud, a variety of cons, gaming the system, deviousness, lying and cleverly designed deceptions.

    “Our leadership was selected not for competence but for deviousness. What’s incentivized in our system is spinning half-truths and propaganda with a straight face and running cons that entrench the pathology of power.”

  • Mr Skojec’s piece called to mind the reaction of a certain Doctor of Divinity I knew at Oxford, on being informed that one of his former students, a clergyman, was writing a commentary on Revelations. He sighed and shook his head, “Oh dear! So very sad! Such a promising young man – and with a young family, too.”

  • It is always good to remember that we have been in the End Times since the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ and the bountiful giving of the Spirit at Pentecost.

    Now whether we are entering a particular moment in these End Times which legitimately raises eyebrows, anxiety and fear, I cannot not definitely say but I would not presume to make light of it.

  • We have been in the End Times since the Annunciation. Bad things have happened before and will happen again. I try to trust in the Lord.

  • Penguins Fan: “I try to trust in the Lord.”
    .
    “In God We Trust”

  • You are right Donald! Very intriguing… and my defense shields seem to be agnosticism.
    I think of the story of Chicken Little — the sky didn’t fall, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t real danger to Chicken, Henny Penny, Ducky Lucky etal. Foxy Loxy had his own nefarious plan. So while the gang worried about a cosmic threat (sky falling) the real personal and immediate danger was ready to pounce one at a time.

  • Botolph and Penguins Fan are right, the end times have been underway for nearly 2000 years. I personally have always taken the admonishment “No one knows the day or the hour” very seriously, and history shows that belief in the imminence of the Second Coming is a mistake, so far. However, any serious look at history will also show that really bad things are common and so no Christian can be complacent about their worldly future.

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour, I like that Doctor of Divinity you knew. It reminds me of something I recently discovered: the liturgies of the Orthodox churches never make use of the Book of Revelation. It is apparently seen as too mysterious and apocalyptic (in the original ‘hidden’ meaning of the word) to be used in the liturgies.

    But then again, Wormwood DOES translate to Chernobyl in Russian…

  • I just skimmed through the Steve Skojec article. It looks like a mixed bag. Unfortunately I won’t have time for a full read until late tonight or tomorrow. I’d LOVE to read commentaries on it (hint hint).

  • Chernobyl is in Ukraine, a gift to the Ukrainian people from the Soviet Communist dictatorship.

  • Too close for comfort?

    Off of SpiritDaily today. Movie goers in LA we’re witnessing the “end of world scene,” in the first opening of the motion picture Noah. As the people in Noah started running for their lives, the 5.1 quake struck.
    The comments from the audience is mixed. Some were truly moved in their hearts…some couldn’t of cared less.

    Wake up call? 🙂

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  • Hmmm…. I’d just like to get a reaction to two statements. “It may be that the United States of America comes to an end, but the End is not yet.” “It may be that England comes to an end, but the End is not yet.”

    We tend to be just like 1st century Jews. They really could not conceive of the Temple being destroyed unless the whole world went with it, as is clear from how the Apostles asked their questions and from the answer they received. In spite of that, after the Temple was destroyed, life went on. Americans tend to have substantially more unfounded ideas that the only thing that can destroy America is the Antichrist — if, that is, even he can do that. Inspired by this confidence, we work steadily to destroy the USA ourselves, expecting that somehow the same laws of cause and effect that work everywhere else in the world will not apply here.

    I don’t think the chastisement that faces the world, and the West in particular, will be in any way miraculous. On the contrary, it will be entirely natural, and future historians will look back on our times and ask, “How could they not foresee that this would come of their actions?”

  • Howard,

    I will take a shot here in response to what you said. Your words are a bit apocalyptic but then again we are speaking about the End Times. As I stated above the End Times began with Christ’s Death [sun darkened, earth quaked] and resurrection [resurrection of the dead: Christ is the First Fruits] and the Sending of the Spirit at Pentecost[Joel’s prophecy of the abundant outpouring of the Spirit].

    I believe we are going through another cultural-civilization paradigm shift such as last took place at the Renaissance-Reformation-Tridentine Reforms. What ended back then was the Middle Ages; what began was what has been known as the Modern Age. Now we are witnessing the Modern Age coming to an end and a new one appearing “the Post-Modern Age” [I am sure they will eventually think up a better name]. While it is true that the West still has certain remnants of Western Civilization within it, the radical cultural revolution known as the Enlightenment has swept much of the tradition away (and still is doing so). The issue is this. Much of what we now have come to see as western culture and socio-political and economic life is based on the Enlightenment-including much of the United States’ own self-understanding. If the Enlightenment is ending with the end of the Modern Age……………? See what I mean? You are right, I do not understand why people cannot see what is plainly happening before their eyes. Unless America sinks our foundations deeper into Western Civilization including Natural Law what indeed will be our future?

  • @Botolph — We are on the same page. I would actually characterize my comment as anti-apocalyptic, at least as the term is usually understood. Just as none of us, I hope, thinks he is so important that his death could only come at the climax of some great, world-changing confrontation of Good and Evil, we should not mistake our familiar political and cultural institutions from being that important, either. The USA could decline slowly over centuries before breaking up, like the Ottoman Empire, or over decades, like the British Empire, or over months, like the Soviet Union, or it could come in all the violence and drama of the American Civil War, the English Civil War, or the French Revolution. The point is, though, that all these empires declined and all these wars came, but as the Gospel says, “The End is not yet.” So it will likely be with us.

  • As long as people pray, God gives more time.

  • Per Omnia Saecula Saeculorum

    In the Latin text it is
    Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto,
    Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum.
    We translate it “for ever and ever” or for ages and ages but in KJV or Anglican they say “world without end”
    As I said in my reference to Henny Penny above, we can study and look for the cosmic end or we can deal with our personal one.

  • Gloria Patri ….. et in saecula saeculorum.

    We translate it “for ever and ever” or for ages and ages but in KJV or Anglican they say “world without end”
    As I said in my reference to Henny Penny above, we can study and look for the cosmic end or we can deal with our personal one.

  • I have never understood why one should fear the end of the world more than a falling slate, or the tortoise that, according to Valerius Maximus, an eagle dropped on the bald head of Aeschylus, mistaking it for a rock.

    There is a fragment of a Greek tragedy, of unknown authorship and of which nothing else survives (Tragicorum Fragmenta Adespota, 513 Nauck):

    ἐμοῦ θανόντος γαῖα μιχθήτω πυρί•
    οὐδὲν μέλει μοι• τἀμὰ γὰρ καλῶς ἔχει.

    When I die, let earth and fire mix:
    It matters not to me, for my affairs will be unaffected.

    Perhaps, Lucretius was alluding to this verse:

    scilicet haud nobis quicquam, qui non erimus tum,
    accidere omnino poterit sensumque movere,
    non si terra mari miscebitur et mare caelo. (De Rerum Naturae 3.840-842)

    Certainly then, when we do not exist, nothing
    at all will be able to happen to us nor excite our senses,
    not even if the earth mixes with the sea, and the sea with the heavens.

  • “Certainly then, when we do not exist, nothing at all will be able to happen to us nor excite our senses, not even if the earth mixes with the sea, and the sea with the heavens.”

    Wrong. We do exist after death, in eternal life. The author of the poem does not believe in the immortal soul, and so, he undoes all of creation. Well, what about the rest of us? Thank God for Divine Providence.

  • As Miss Anscombe says, “If the principle of human rational life in E.A. is a soul (which perhaps can survive E.A., perhaps again animate E.A.) that is not the reference of “I.” Nor is it what I am. I am E.A. and shall exist only as long as E.A. exists.” St Thomas teaches the same (Summa Ia q 75:4) The soul is not the person, unless one is a Cartesian.

  • We are in the last decades of man’s existence on earth as we know it. First (because of the shenanigans and promiscuity of the last 50years) the city of Rome will go down like Jerusalem did in 70 AD; then shortly after the Lord Jesus will appear on the clouds of Heaven in Glory. All these within a generation and half a generation.
    Some people alive now, will be living witnesses to these events as they unfold.
    Read more: http://www.prophetamos3m.com

  • I see now where obstinate schism takes people.

PopeWatch: Obama

Friday, March 28, AD 2014

17 Responses to PopeWatch: Obama

  • “…similar …to his meeting with Pope Benedict…”

    As Obama extended his hand to the Pope, His Holiness called for the Papal Ruler again?

  • Comment removed. Hon. Barack H. Obama does not have the wherewithall to be insulted.

  • What a waste of time and money for Obumbler to go to Rome and have pictures taken.

  • Uh….beg to differ….The Vatican’s statement and zerO’s do not COMPUTE.Radically different statements about WHAT was discussed.Do your homework before posting absolute DRECK !

  • Gordon, you might contemplate the possibility that whatever you have read on the internet PopeWatch already knows. That Obama came out with a self-serving rendition in no way alters the Vatican statement. PopeWatch trusts the Vatican infinitely more than PopeWatch does Obama.

  • An individual stopped me in the grocery store. He was very excited about Pope Francis welcoming the divorced and “remarried”, perhaps ordaining women to the male priesthood and gay-marriage. The Love of Jesus for His Father in heaven, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth is a Person, perfect Love. Perfect Love cannot be violated.

  • I am pretty surprised you have not posted and commented on the story of Obama “getting his start” in the Catholic church. I have to assume you have not seen it?

  • Seen it. It will be the subject of a future post although not under PopeWatch. More research needs to be done.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/23/us/the-catholic-roots-of-obamas-activism.html?_r=0

  • While done in completely diplomatic terms, actually between Pope Francis and his Secretary of State, POTUS was confronted strongly. However, since this administration is completely secularist, they did not understand the language. From a American Catholic perspective however, Rome has completely backed the American bishops on their three major issues with the White House [that is no surprise] and POTUS did not get his ‘ringing endorsement’ that he so desperately needs and desired

  • Why was there so much fuss and bluster about this meeting, anyway? Unless Pope Francis had intended to put on his Exorcist hat, or had a miracle-wand in his hand, Mr. O’s hardened heart was going to remain turned towards himself, and his will to bludgeon the laws of nature and God immune to reform. We could not expect much neither from the Pope and certainly not from the O.

  • Don’t look at the timed photos. Watch the video of the meeting minus the commentary.

    Watch the body language and judge for yourself.

    Pope Francis does not look enthusiastic. AT. ALL. He appears as though he is going through the motions.

    Alas Obama! Well, lets say he doesn’t read the situation well, and like a true narcissist, carries on as though he was the guest of honor at a cocktail party.Obama is doing a lot of sucking up, swagering and over exaggerated laughing- patronizing and highly unprofessional.

    And seeds for the leader of the Catholic Church? Hahaha. Why didn’t he just take Michelle’s freshly baked muffins whilst he was at it. No class.

    I cringed watching it.

    I’m so relieved Obama is not my leader. How demoralizing and humiliating to those he leads.

  • Sydney O. Fernandes wrote, “Mr. O’s hardened heart was going to remain turned towards himself, and his will to bludgeon the laws of nature and God immune to reform.”

    But no one can know that in advance. As St Augustine says, “who would dare to affirm that God has no method of calling whereby even Esau might have applied his mind and yoked his will to the faith in which Jacob was justified? But if the obstinacy of the will can be such that the mind’s aversion from all modes of calling becomes hardened, the question is whether that very hardening does not come from some divine penalty, as if God abandons a man by not calling him in the way in which he might be moved to faith. Who would dare to affirm that the Omnipotent lacked a method of persuading even Esau to believe?”

    The Doctor of Grace also says, “For the effectiveness of God’s mercy cannot be in the power of man to frustrate, if he will have none of it. If God wills to have mercy on men, He can call them in a way that is suited to them, so that they will be moved to understand and to follow… because God has mercy on no man in vain. He calls the man on whom He has mercy in the way He knows will suit him, so that he will not refuse the call.” That is why scripture says “I will have mercy on whom I will, and I will be merciful to whom it shall please Me” (Exod. 33:19) and “To you,” said Our Saviour, “it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.” (Matt. xiii. 11)
    That is why St Augustine says, “If, therefore, you confess that to persevere to the end in good is God’s gift, I think that equally with me you are ignorant why one man should receive this gift and another should not receive it; and in this case we are both unable to penetrate the unsearchable judgments of God.”

  • PopeWatch did not expect anything of importance to come out of this photo op,

    Flying this man and his entourage around the globe requires four jet aeroplanes. The purpose is what??????

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour’s extensive quotes are acknowledged, and uncontested. The point here is the swirl of public comments from all and sundry, including myself, on what appears on the epidermis, if you will, of reality. Very much in the same vein as Pope Francis’ comment “Who am I to judge?” was the baton for those who wanted it “their way.” We all hope for the conversion of every last sinner, as Christ died for every last one of them, including Judas. But human opinions are just that: human: based of the evidence–or not–of human behavior. Point/counterpoint is a duel that will continue to be practiced.

  • There were, as I understand, two versions of the encounter. Obama’s, which claimed that they did not get into the details of Obamacare and the HHS Mandate; and the Vatican’s which stated that they did indeed discuss details of matters the Holy See finds troubling. Did Obama not anticipate the Pope having a duty of fraternal correction? Perhaps not. Obama is at least a remote occasion of sin. Proximate I do care to be. I do not hate Obama. I (Deep breath) will not hate Obama. I don’t like him even a little bit and that’s a right of my integrity as a person. We must love all others but we need not – cannot – like all others. We love people as a duty toward other creations of God. We like those who benefit us and make us happy. One is an intellectual decision, the other an emotional response. I recall a discussion years ago with a friend about Clinton. I said, I do not despise Clinton but merely find him to be despicable, while loving him as a fellow child of God for whom I wish no harm. My friend considered it a “fine Jesuitical distinction”. 🙂

  • Whoops! Please insert “not” between “do” & “care”. Mea culpa. ~wpw

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Hannibal Hamlin: Forgotten Man of the Lincoln Administration

Friday, March 28, AD 2014

Thomas E. Marshall, Vice-President under Wilson, summed up the historical fate of most Vice-Presidents in this joke he used to tell:  There were two brothers.  One was lost at sea and one became Vice-President.  Neither were heard from again.  That was certainly the case with Hannibal Hamlin, Lincoln’s first Vice-President.  In an administration where almost everything has been examined endlessly by tens of thousands of historians with magnifying glasses, Hamlin is a complete void.  At the time Hamlin knew that he simply did not count in the Administration, although Lincoln was cordial on the rare occasions they met.  I am the fifth wheel of a coach is how Hamlin described his non-role in shaping the affairs of the nation during his term as Vice-President.

The most prominent politician from Maine, both before and after his term as Vice-President, perhaps Hamlin regretted his four years in political oblivion as Lincoln’s Veep.

Hamlin began his political career in 1836 when he won election to Maine’s house of representatives as a Democrat.  Serving in the Federal House of Representatives in 1843-47.  Appointed to serve out a term in the US Senate in 1848, Hamlin elected to a full term in his own right in 1851.  In 1856 he became a national celebrity when he broke with the Democrat party over slavery, and joined the Republicans.  Elected as a Republican as Governor of Maine in 1856 and  serving briefly, he resigned to take up a seat next year as a Republican, being one of the few members of the Senate to serve in that body as both a Democrat and a Republican.

He was placed on the Presidential ticket for regional balance and for the fame he had won as a former Democrat who left the party over slavery, a natural vote getter among anti-slavery Democrats.  Hamlin and Lincoln did not meet for the first time until after the election.  During the campaign Democrats spread the rumor that Hamlin was a mulatto.  Hamlin did have a swarthy complexion, but there was no truth in the allegation.  The same charge was made against Lincoln, racism being a weapon wielded freely by Democrats in both 1861 and 1864.

Hamlin as Veep advocated Emancipation and the use of black troops.  Less presciently, he also supported placing Fighting Joe Hooker in command of the Army of the Potomac.  Hamlin was left off the ticket in 1864 in order to broaden the ticket.  Hamlin was firmly associated now with the radical wing of the Republican Party, and Lincoln believed that a War Democrat would be a better choice in what was likely to be a close contest.  Andrew Johnson thus ultimately became President and Hamlin missed his opportunity to be something other than an historical footnote.

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5 Responses to Hannibal Hamlin: Forgotten Man of the Lincoln Administration

5 Responses to Is There A “Right” to Birth Control?

  • Q: “Is there a ‘right’ to birth control?”

    A: “I dunno. Is continence a ‘right’ or a ‘duty’?”

  • No. But I don’t think anyone has a right to sex. We were commanded to multiply and fill the earth. That implies to me more of a duty.

  • As I commented over at Crisis, “The word “right” is used in a number of different senses and much confusion results from failing to distinguish them. There are, for example “claim-rights,” such as the right to payment of a debt, which can be enforced against some specific person and presuppose a correlative obligation. Then there are rights in the sense of mere liberties – I have a right to watch my neighbour dig his garden and he has a right to grow a hedge to prevent me. This means no more than that I am committing no wrong by doing so.

    My right to walk down the road is a mere liberty, but any attempt to prevent me will probably give rise to a claim-right, a right to a reparation in damages for assault, for example.

    For the sake of completeness, we also talk of rights, in the sense of powers, such as the right to leave someone a legacy, which creates in him a claim-right against my estate to receive it. Then, there are rights in the sense of immunities – a thief can deprive me of possession of my goods, but not of my right of ownership, which becomes a claim-right against the possessor.

    I have a right to buy bread, if I can find a willing seller; this is a mere liberty. Having purchased it, I have a claim-right against the seller, if he fails to deliver it. The two are, nevertheless, quite distinct meanings of the word.”

    Often we encounter arguments ringing the changes on these different senses; equivocation, in its literal sense.

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour: Thank you for your understanding of the concept of “Rights”. With you permission I am saving it for myself to remember later. Thank you again.
    .
    Some people may believe that there is a God-given right to abuse oneself and another person by not loving them perfectly and further by violating one’s vow and opportunity to sacrifice for one another and their promise to cherish one another.
    .
    Birth control, not used, transforms into tenderness and affection, charity in the intimacy of sexual expression, a special gift, unique and timeless, personal and universal, if universal may be used to describe eternal love.
    Birth control, not used, becomes respect and appreciation. Birth control, not used, is life-giving to the non-users.
    .
    While there may even be the freedom to exercise a “right” to birth control, since that “right” to birth control is not inscribed in any of our founding principles, it may be that the “right” to birth control may be sough other than in the USA or from American citizens.
    .
    If the “right” to birth control is found in the Constitution, birth control including abortion will become the Law of the Land and will imposed and dictated to the last person.
    Penumbras and emanations are for séances, not the Supreme Court. Conjuring is for witches not Justices.

  • Mary De Voe, Thank you for : “Penumbras and emanations are for séances, not the Supreme Court. Conjuring is for witches not Justices.” What a wonderful opportunity to photo-shop a group portrait of the SCOTUS. The black robes can stay with pointy hats, a boiling kettle and a few black cats added. 🙂