Religion and the Zeitgeist

Monday, August 25, AD 2014

 

 

I rejoice that in this blessed country of free inquiry and belief, which has surrendered its conscience to neither kings or priests, the genuine doctrine of only one God is reviving, and I trust that there is not a young man now living in the United States who will not die a Unitarian.

Thomas Jefferson, 1822

For a very, very long time individuals have been proposing that if churches wish to survive in future they must “modernize”, which usually comes down to agreeing with the person giving the advice.  The hilarious fact is that churches that accept such advice normally rapidly lose members and become pale shadows, at best, of what they once were.  Alexander Griswold gives, at The Federalist, examples of what has happened to churches that have modified their doctrine in regard to homosexuality:

But a number of Christian denominations have already taken significant steps towards liberalizing their stances on homosexuality and marriage, and the evidence so far seems to indicate that affirming homosexuality is hardly a cure for membership woes. On the contrary, every major American church that has taken steps towards liberalization of sexual issues has seen a steep decline in membership.

The Episcopal Church

In 2003, Gene Robinson became the first openly gay, noncelibate man to be consecrated as a bishop of the Episcopal Church. In the wake of his consecration, entire dioceses severed ties with the Episcopal Church, eventually creating the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA). But the Episcopal Church continued to liberalize its sexual teachings, lifting a moratorium on any more gay bishops in 2006 and creating a “blessing ceremony” for gay couples in 2009.

In 2002, the number of baptized U.S. members of the Episcopal Church stood at 2.32 million. By 2012, that number had fallen to 1.89 million, a decline of 18.4 percent. Meanwhile, attendance has fallen even more steeply. Average Sunday attendance in its U.S. churches was 846,000 in 2002, but had fallen 24.4 percent by 2012 to only 640,000. Other signs of congregational liveliness have fallen even further. Baptisms have fallen by 39.6 percent, and marriages have fallen by 44.9 percent.

As for the ACNA? It’s seen its membership rise by 13 percent and its Sunday attendance rise by 16 percent in the past five years. Since 2009, the ACNA has planted 488 new congregations. In 2012, the entire Episcopal Church managed to plant four new churches.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America

The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) was formed in 1987, when three Lutheran denominations merged to create the largest Lutheran church in America. For most of its history, gay men and women were permitted to be pastors, so long as they remained celibate. But in a narrow vote at its 2009 Churchwide Assembly, ordination was extended to gay men and women in “committed monogamous relationships.” In addition, the Assembly passed an amendment allowing churches “to recognize, support and hold publicly accountable life-long, monogamous, same-gender relationships.”

From ELCA’s formation in 1987 to 2009, the average decrease in membership each year was only 0.62 percent. But after the liberalization of the ELCA’s stance on sexuality, membership declined a whopping 5.95 percent in 2010 and 4.98 percent in 2011. Since 2009, more than 600 congregations abandoned the denomination, with almost two-thirds joining conservative Lutheran denominations like the North American Lutheran Church and Lutheran Churches in Ministry for Christ.

By the end of 2012, ELCA had lost 12.3 percent of its members in three years—nearly 600,000 people. If the present rate of defections holds steady, ELCA will cease to exist in less than two decades.

The United Church of Christ

The United Church of Christ (UCC) has long had a reputation for unfettered liberalism, sometimes bordering on the radical. In 2008, for example, the pastor of the largest UCC congregations in the country was one Rev. Jeremiah Wright. The UCC’s tendency for pushing traditional boundaries has led to unquestionably positive developments (such as the first African-American pastor as early as 1785) and the unquestionably silly (such as the first hymnal that refuses to call Jesus male). Needless to say, in 2005 UCC became the first U.S. mainline Protestant denomination to support same-sex marriage, and has been an outspoken voice in the gay marriage debate ever since.

While UCC has been bleeding members for decades, its decline rapidly accelerated after the gay marriage vote. Since 2005, UCC has lost 250,000 members, a decline of 20.4 percent over seven years. While an average of 39 congregations left UCC annually from 1990 to 2004, more than 350 congregations departed in the following three years. The UCC’s own pension board called the 2000’s decline “the worst decade among 25 reporting Protestant denominations,” and admitted that “…the rate of decline is accelerating.”

2013 marked a particularly grim milestone for the denomination, as membership finally fell below one million. If the post-2005 rate in membership losses doesn’t taper out, the denomination will cease to exist in 30 years.

 

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21 Responses to Religion and the Zeitgeist

  • Pope Leo XIII wrote in his encyclical Libertas, “But many there are who follow in the footsteps of Lucifer, and adopt as their own his rebellious cry, ‘I will not serve’; and consequently substitute for true liberty what is sheer and most foolish license. Such, for instance, are the men belonging to that widely spread and powerful organization, who, usurping the name of liberty, style themselves liberals”
    .
    How can “churches” who in the face of Romans 1:18-32 and 1st Corinthians 6:9-10 claim they serve God when they sanctify what God has expressly prohibited? Thus, those who are truly Christian, recognizing this, will leave and those who were never Christian to begin with, consistent with the cry “Non Serviam,” will not even serve their newly “liberated” churches.
    .
    Liberalism is a vile cancer that brings death and decay to all that it touches.

  • So many of these liberal denominations are run by 60’s style liberals. They care not for God’s law…or His gospel. They just want to be liked and to “save the world”. Not realizing that this world and everyone in it, is not progressing…but are being brought to an end, by the Living God.

    I happen to belong to a church that is officially in the ELCA. But we (because our pastor knows the score) don’t have anything to do with them anymore. We had a vote to leave, but there are just too many ignorant and liberal members of our congregation to have that vote passed. So we just continue to proclaim God’s law and His gospel. And every once in a while…someone hears it and comes to faith.

  • I forgot to add, that our pastor rips into the ELCA every now and then, in his sermons.

    Calling a spade a spade, where it is needed.

  • Thomas Jefferson believed in “their Creator”, our Father in heaven. Thomas Jefferson believed that man is created by God. Thomas Jefferson did not see the need for a Redeemer of mankind, the Second Person of God, Jesus Christ, Who, with the Father, acknowledges the Holy Spirit, the Three Persons in one God, the Holy Trinity, because Thomas Jefferson was not evangelized more completely to understand and accept the Trinitarian God. This understanding of the Trinity would have given Thomas Jefferson a greater ability to defend and define the human person, sovereign personhood and the gift of freedom endowed into the human person by “their Creator”. Jesus Christ’s free will choice to love His Father in heaven, even unto crucifixion and death; Christ’s obedience to His Father and Scripture unto His Resurrection defines perfect freedom, love and citizenship.
    .
    The current trouble with Allah is that Allah has no son to love and no son to love him, and therefore no Holy Spirit. Most of the other religions are adaptations of another human being’s understanding of God, Bhudda, Confucius, Ghandi and a myriad of beliefs thrown together without love or understanding, lacking all wisdom and the fear of the Lord, the beginning of wisdom.
    .
    There has got to be something in religion for me outside of license and that being the Beatific Vision.

  • Ditching the Gospel and doubling-down on the zeitgeist might be bad for
    these denominations, but it doesn’t seem to have a downside for their churches’
    leadership. In fact, once the leaders teach themselves not to care that these
    communities are self-destructing, there probably isn’t another down side
    this side of the Judgement Seat. After all, they have job security. They enjoy
    respected social position as clergy. They can smugly congratulate themselves
    that they aren’t like those rubes that actually believe all that Gospel ‘nonsense’.
    They probably believe that no one ever did a good thing for the poor until
    they came along. And let’s not forget that they often hold title on their churches’
    properties, which can be sold off as congregations evaporate.

    I think the same dynamic can be seen in many of our decadent Catholic orders
    and congregations of sisters. They seem not to care that they are presiding
    over the implosion of their congregations, so long as they can congratulate
    themselves on cleaving to their leftist ideology. Despite the fact that most of these
    orders haven’t seen novices in years, they refuse to rethink their allegiances.
    In my opinion, they are no longer Brides of Christ, but brides of the zeitgeist.
    And they Do. Not. Care.

  • More’s the pity for them in the very long run Clinton. Also, I wonder if that is the case since all of these groups have futile plan after futile plan to increase membership.

  • Caramba!. this short video is wickedly funny!

  • Those Protestant sects have been disappearing for decades. Eventually they will wither away into dust and be blown about by the wind. The “Reformers” reformed nothing. They hated the Catholic Pope and became Popes of their own domains. Sola Scriptura becomes sola – pop cultura.

    The Catholic Church in the West has not been immune from kowtowing to the prevailing winds. Just look at the nonsense that goes in in most Catholic parishes on Sundays. In the Tridentine Mass it was not too much work for the priest to perform the Scripture readings and if assistance was needed for Communion there was another priest available.

    Bad music, hand-holding during the Our Father, the sign of peace that should be dispensed with as they do in the EWTN televised masses, a constant stream of laity leaving the pews to read the first reading, the responsorial psalm, the second reading, the introduction to the Gospel, the mass intentions, bringing the wine, water and host to the altar from the main aisle where it has never belonged, and distributing Holy Communion – as Pope Emeritus Benedict said, “Full and active participation has been confused with mere “doing”.

    The orders that have lost most of their membership are on a death spiral. There will be new orders to replace them. Pope Francis can send out a lieutenant to virtually suppress the FFI, but Pope Francis will not be pope forever and new orders will emerge.

  • A local UCC church has one of those digital message boards out front; this week their message is “God Bless Everyone, No Exceptions”. Well, sure. And… then what? Was there someone who prays to God to withhold blessings from someone else? What if I pray to God that every child is blessed with a mom and a dad?

    So we’ll see. If turning itself inside out to ensure that no one ever feels like they are on the outside looking in… wins the day, then UCC will win the day. This day? The Last Day? I guess there are no Last Days, there is only your last day on earth. And you are saved from worrying about whether or not you are saved.

  • They can read the signs of the times in the pop culture so to hustle and jostle to keep up; but not read the signs that their plan is failing.

    Luke 12:56 “You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?”

    So much division even within the Church– the scene that Old Adam describes of the division with the congregation is common to each congregation. How should we interpret the present time. God bless us and help us to divide rightly the word of truth

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  • When the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Sweden was disestablished in 2000, the government, to widespread approval, nevertheless resolved to continue to pay the salaries of the clergy, to maintain church buildings and to fund the theological faculties at the universities.

    Quite simply, the government and the majority of its electors regard Christianity in Sweden as a moribund superstition that will simply wither away and they are prepared to let it do so slowly and without fuss. They are a compassionate people and they do not want to shock or distress the handful of elderly believers, who still seek the consolations of religion and who have been accustomed to receive them without cost to themselves in every parish in the kingdom. So, they are willing to maintain, at a decent salary, the ministers of a ritual that has lost all vitality, confident that Christianity over time will simply vanish away and that the present generation of ministers, or the next, will probably be the last.

    Most state churches in Europe increasingly resemble the Church of Sweden.

  • More’s the pity for them in the very long run, Clinton. Also, I wonder
    if that is the case since all of these groups have futile plan after futile
    plan to increase membership.

    .
    I’ve always found it interesting that those protestant denominations (as
    well as those decadent Catholic orders and congregations of sisters), which
    choose to address their implosion will always opt for a futile plan.
    Reiki, New Age, labyrinths, clown masses, drive-in services, ‘youth’ music
    no teen would voluntarily listen to, wreckovation of beautiful sanctuaries,
    stilted “inclusive” readings, images of a female “Christa” instead of a male
    Jesus, etc., etc. —- there seems to be no embarrassment these groups are
    not willing to try in their effort to be appealing and fashionable.
    .
    The only thing these groups are absolutely unwilling to try is a return to
    tradition. That is a bridge too far, and they would rather die off than try that.

  • “More’s the pity for them in the very long run, Clinton. Also, I wonder if that is the case [that they Do. Not. Care] since all of these groups have futile plan after futile plan to increase membership.”

    Of course, a major problem is that each plan is made in the absence of any spiritual orientation to God. It is doubtful that the Apostles and other early Christians had a ‘plan’ in the modern sense of the word. Indeed, from the viewpoint of modern project management the Apostles were likely ‘planning to fail’ by not having a plan at all.

    No, the futility of these plans are not in their details or methodology or execution. The futility is in their underlying substitution of the zeitgeist for God. Hence the point of the original article. Thanks Don.

  • Oh I agree, TomD. As I said earlier about some of our congregations of
    sisters, they’ve swapped being Brides of Christ for being brides of the
    zeitgeist.

  • Penguins Fan,

    The subject matter is the sad disintegration of the liberal Protestant denominations not your preference for the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite, nor your hypercritical remarks about the Ordinary Form. You don’t see Melkite Rite Catholics questioning the faith etc of Byzantine Rite Catholics nor of Latin Rite Catholics. Catholic means both “universal” and ‘the whole (teaching)’ The Tridentine Liturgy is a beautiful Rite not an ideological fortress.

  • Botolph, I can’t lightly dismiss Penguins Fan’s objective observations about a standard N.O. liturgy: in fact his comments are in line with the norm of banality and proper correctness one regularly experiences in the parishes. And here in the SF Bay Area, it is banality and proper correctness on steroids.
    Even the artificially created terms “Ordinary Form” (a term invented and in use only since 2007) vs. “Extraordinary Form” (to avoid allowing the use of the Traditional Latin Mass, which is an acknowlegment ipso facto of the a-traditional Novus Ordo).
    Klaus Gamber, an eyewitness and peritus at Vat 2, reiterates in his landmark work, ” The Reform of the Roman Liturgy: Its Problems and Background”, that the Rite of the Council wasalways in fact the TLM: otherwise, after the approval of Sacro Concilium and the 1965 Missal, why would the Council Fathers have approved the printing of tens of thousands of Missale Romanum copies, only to have them instantly obsolete with the Bugnini-Consilium produced Novus Ordo in 1968-1969. Gamber says no one in their wildest dreams ever conceived of the jettisoning of the Mass of Trent. Remember, Gamber was praised as a “true prophet” of the liturgy in an era of many false prophets by none other than C. Ratzinger/Benedict XVI.
    Or, you can read in Abp. Weakland’s autobiography, “A Pilgrim in a Pilgrim Church” (pp. 203-ff) how he describes how he collaborated with Bugnini starting in 1967, particularly in January of that year, after the Council Fathers had gone home, how he and Bugnini (with at least 6 Protestant observers) “created” the 3 experimental liturgies that were then performed for Paul VI during 3 evenings in January and February of that year at the Sistine Chapel; Weakland describes before, during, and after, his close relationship with Bugnini and one can see how they both cultivated a warm and manipulative relationship (in my view) with regard to Paul VI, convincing him that this is what “the experts” had recommended to be the New Mass of Vatican II—even though the Council Fathers had spoken on this matter during the actual council.

    Now, even, if you dont accept these observations, I urge you to read in its entirety, these as a starter: Romano Amerio’s “Iota Unum,” a keen eyewitness- history of the Council by a top shelf peritus and first rate mind; Roberto de Mattei’s Vatican II (“2nd Vatican Council: An Unwritten Story”) [Even I have read where you have already dismissed de Mattei as a reactionary, unfortunately without apparently reading his monumental opus]; Yves Congar’s “My Journal of the Council”, andlastly, if you havent already read them, “Pope John’s Council” and Pope Paul’s New Mass” by the late Michael Davies. These are just for starters: but as more and more original information comes to light from journals and 1st-hand accounts of the era, at least you will get a different view point on what happened at V2, where this liturgy came from, and why expert Joseph Gelineau said, “The Roman Rite as we knew it no longer exists: it has been destroyed” (1976).

  • Steve Phoenix,

    Steve, while we have been down this road several times before, in the interest of substantive dialogue, I will respond in kind.

    I am old enough to have witnessed and served the Tridentine Mass. What I witnessed while in the sanctuary would also be considered banal, although obviously not the same shallowness of which you speak concerning the Vatican II Mass ( we can agree I assume that two Councils brought forth two forms of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass). As an example of that banality. I would offer these three examples
    1) High Mass was rarely celebrated; no Mass in the Sunday schedule was slated as the High Mass although we had three Masses w/choirs: bboys, women, men
    2) While I was not a youthful Latinist I knew enough that the Latin was “said” fast, often slurred; the pastor used to give Holy Communion to three people while saying the prayer he was supposed to say for one
    3) the priests would come out and begin Holy Communion as soon as the Consecration was finished

    In speaking about either Mass it is important to keep iN mind what the Church calls for in the ritual-not the failures found in the celebration of either Rite

    We are speaking about Rites, the many forms in which the substance of the Mass. Has been and is celebrated. Rites are the necessary way in which the Liturgy is incarnated, but the Church. Has many families of Rites-including in the history of the Western Latin Rite. The Latin Church has never had only one form:: the Roman Rite (in fact the Latin Rite has had many expressions, some no longer extant, but all of them quite valid forms of the celebration of Mass

    The Tridentine and Pauline Litugies will continue on being celebrated, just as the Ambrosian, Anglican Usage in the Latin Rite will continue and the multiple Rites of the Eastern churches will as well. This is the Catholic Church, Faith and Liturgy we participate in and from which we are sent forth in mission. Denigrating valid rites of the Church is not something we do, recognizing the catholicity of the Church, which is built on its unity, holiness and apostolicity

  • Very good discussion. I do agree with Penguin’s remarks as relates to this post about the precipitous slide of some denominations after what I will call “modernizing” and I see the idea that similar such “modernizing” – such as Bad music, hand-holding during the Our Father, mere “doing” may also be a warning to Catholics.

    I also understand, Botolph, that the “form” without the heart doesn’t matter.

  • Botolph wrote, “I am old enough to have witnessed and served the Tridentine Mass. What I witnessed while in the sanctuary would also be considered banal…”

    I recall attending Low Mass in Notre Dame de Paris – the choir, from the chancel arch to the high altar is 36m and the transept adds a further 14m, so someone in the front pew was 50m (162 feet) from the priest, under a vault 33m (108 feet) high. The nave is 60m (197 feet) long, so someone at the back was about 100m from him – about the length of a football field. There was no sound system.

    That is, perhaps, an extreme case, but even in the typical parish church, the distance from altar to front pew was often a good 20m (65 feet).

    A Low Mass was completely inaudible and the Sanctus bell served a very practical purpose. When the priest turned to us, we knew, of course, that he was saying “Dominus vobiscum,” but, had he said « Salut les copains » only the server would have been any the wiser.

    The celebrant’s manner tended to be brisk, but reverent, and his gestures restrained; without a homily, mass lasted for some 20 minutes.

    Now, I happen to regard Haydn’s Nelson Mass (Missa in Angustiis) as one of the great moments of Western Music, I love Mozart’s Coronation Mass and Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis and I know few things more lovely than Fauré’s In Paradisum. I am enough of a romantic to enjoy Verdi’s Requiem. I yield to no one in my admiration for the early composers – Josquin des Prez and Guillaume Dufay, but it is the music, rather than the form of the rite it accompanies that is important here.

  • Botolph,

    The first thing is that I would expect Mr. McClarey to make a correction of me if I have created a distracting thread drift. It is his blog, not yours.

    Second – I did not make hypercritical comments about the Ordinary Form. I reported observations of the Ordinary Form that I have experienced in recent years in my home parish and the home parish where I grew up and where my mother continues to attend Mass. The Ordinary Form of the Mass of the Western Church has too often been a laboratory for silliness just as the former mainline Protestant churches. Pope Benedict was very much in favor of proper celebration of the Liturgy, in whatever form, in all particular Catholic Churches.

    Third – I will now compare and contrast the special Masses the Diocese of Pittsburgh celebrates for two separate Feasts of Our Lady – Our Lady of Czestochowa, which occurs on August 26, and Our Lady of Guadalupe, which occurs on December 12. Both are celebrated at St. Paul Cathedral in Pittsburgh’s Oakland neighborhood.

    Four Our Lady of Czestochowa, which is more sparsely attended due to the Western Pennsylvania Polish diaspora being in its fourth generation and thus not as attracted to things Polish, the choir was in the choir loft. There were several children dressed in suits and dresses carrying flowers. The Polish Falcons carried the icon of Our Lady. The choir sang traditional Marian hymns in Polish, accompanied by the organ and other classical instruments. In short, they were heard, not seen, as a choir should be. The Mass was in the Ordinary Form.

    I understand just a few Polish words I learned from my late grandma, whose parents emigrated from partitioned Poland. They hymns were beautiful, reflecting centuries of Catholic worship and devotion to Our Lady, which is still deep seated in Polish culture. I love those hymns. Actually, that doesn’t cover it. I listen to those Polish hymns and I want to cry like a baby. At not time was it about the choir, but at all times it was about the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and “to Jesus through Mary”.

    For the Mass of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which was more heavily attended, there was also a procession with the image of Our Lady. The “singers”, who I hesitate to call a choir, were stationed in front of the side altar, in view of all. I know a lot more Spanish than Polish and I know most of the songs. None of them are classical Spanish hymns. The annoying things are – the singers have to be in front, acting as performers in competition with the priest, they have to use a guitar and every sung response is to the same melody whether or not the words fit. In general, there is a lower level of reverence at the Mass of Our Lady of Guadalupe than at the Mass of Our Lady of Czestochowa. I have frequently seen this lesser reverence in Masses for Latinos in the US. I can say this because my wife is from Colombia and my two sons are officially minorities – Hispanics.

    To sum it up, Boltoph, it ain’t the Mass, it’s the way it’s done. I have been to the Byzantine Divine Liturgy, the Maronite Quorbono, and the Liturgy of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church (Indian). None of them abuse the Mass like I have seen in the Ordinary Form.

PopeWatch: Liberal Christianity

Monday, October 28, AD 2013

VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

Dale Price at Dyspeptic mutterings has an interesting series in which he discusses the problems he has with Pope Francis.  The problems PopeWatch believes boil down to a concern that Pope Francis may turn out to be an advocate of Liberal Christianity, that place where Christianity goes to die:

 

He was a beloved itinerant shepherd who lived simply, residing in a single spartan room when he wasn’t visiting the flock. Known for his humility and down-to-earth speaking style, he was deeply beloved by Catholics and non-Catholics alike. He emphasized ecumenism to an unprecedented degree, and believed that the Second Vatican Council was the watershed event in Catholic history. He encouraged modern biblical study, presenting historical-critical hypotheses from the pulpit, chided Catholics who “looked backward” to older ways, and urged the embrace of dynamic change.

His name was Kenneth Untener, and he was the bishop of Saginaw from 1980 until his death in 2004. The parishes in his domain were my first experience with progressive Catholicism, and they stirred and shaped my–there is no other word for it–hostility to the entire progressive religious project. Now, let me clarify one thing here: there is a distinction between religious progressivism and the political version. For my part, I think one can be a devout Catholic and support what are generally regarded as progressive political policies. The late, great Robert Casey, Sr. of Pennsylvania (but not his wayward, sail-trimming fraud of a son) embodied this possibility–and did so well. But, as with Catholics who align toward the right side of the spectrum, if you’re doing your faith right, you will inevitably conflict with certain political shibboleths of your non-Catholic brothers in arms. Or at least you’d better. And it is clear that getting your hands dirty living and working with the poor, a la Catholic Worker, is wholly, utterly and unimpeachably Catholic.

These are to be distinguished from religious progressivism, which is diagnosed comprehensively here. It is always and everywhere bad news. Which is not to say that people who hold modernist views are to be treated like bad news–they shouldn’t. But you have your work cut out, no question. The contemporary flavor of modernism is fond of emotivism and is less susceptible to, or even interested in, logical argument. And if they’re in power, buckle up and heads to the storm.

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14 Responses to PopeWatch: Liberal Christianity

  • A quibble about these remarks: a social democratic or syndicalist bias is congruent with the orthodox Catholic faith. With regard to contemporary ‘progressives’, that sort of thing is just not where their proverbial g-spots are. Subcultural affiliations, consumer tastes, cues and idioms, social and cultural issues, occupational sectors, and social class all matter a great deal more in differentiating ‘us’ and ‘them’. Even with regard to social democratic and syndicalist measures, contemporary progressives are reliable advocates for bureaucracies of helping and caring and rather less reliable advocates of the economic welfare of impecunious wage earners. You can be a loyal Catholic and be the sort of welfare-labor Democrat common in 1948, but you cannot be the latter and be a contemporary ‘progressive’ because you will advocate too many things that are deal-breakers for contemporary ‘progressives’.

    The problem with the Commonweal crowd and the Sojourners crowd and the ordinary run of mainline clergy, dissenting Catholic priests, and the church-o-cracy in all denominations is that they are contemporary progressives who speak intermittently in a Christian idiom.

    The problem with many peace-and-justice Catholics is that they are so fanatical on the subject of certain political questions that they confound their sometime adversaries with their real antagonists.

  • In short, they’re Liberals first, and foremost, and christians number ten or further down the list.

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  • “For my part, I think one can be a devout Catholic and support what are generally regarded as progressive political policies.”

    Really? What exactly are Progressives progressing towards? The goal – just like the phrase “I have a right to choose” – is unstated. Do progressives in their hubris think that by their good works they can establish a man-made kingdom of God on Earth by government taxation of those who work to benefit those who refuse to? That makes the latter addicted to the teat of the public treasury, forever dependent on Caesar instead of on God.

    2nd Thessalonians 3:10 states:

    “For even when we were with you, we gave you this command: If any one will not work, let him not eat.”

    BTW, In John chapter 6, after Jesus fed the multitude with the loaves and fishes, He and the disciples went around the lake to the other side, and the crowd, awakening in the morning, found Him gone and sought after Him. When they caught up with Him, “…they said to him, ‘Rabbi, when did you come here?’ Jesus answered them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of man will give to you; for on him has God the Father set his seal.'” (Verses 25-27)

    The crowd did NOT get a second free handout. It ain’t about filling empty bellies. It’s about conversion and repentance. As 2nd Chronicles 7:14 says:

    “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

    What the poor to get better? Stop the sin!

    —–

    No more liberalism. No more progressivism.

  • Sorry you feel that way, Paul, but you’ll never convince me Bob Casey Sr. was a bad Catholic. And while Catholic social teaching has been greatly misused and misrepresented by those who worship the State, it is impossible to square genuine CST with libertarianism.

  • I remember well Bp Untener, and his leadership and “teaching” was the greatest evidence, as I was recently trying to relate to someone else, of the discontinuity of Vatican II (“V2″) with the previous Church we had.

    Let’s just look at Sacro. Conc (On the Liturgy): no where was the Traditional Latin Mass abolished in the text of SC or any other V2 document—yet it was forbidden by V2! Even by its own document, SC contradicts V2: the liturgy is to remain normatively Latin (no. 36), Gregorian chant is the proper musical form (no. 116), and the pipe organ is the normative liturgical instrument (no. 120). Is that the way the liturgy is celebrated in your parish each Sunday? If so, they must be “radical traditionalists?”

    The theological “experts” who advised the bishops and cardinals —Congar, Rahner, Kung, Chenu, others—quickly formed their own clandestine operations with deliberate efforts, well-documented now in their own personal diaries, to break with “ultramontanism” and in fact to contest the authority of the pope and place all authority in “a council of bishops” (see deMattei, The 2nd Vatican Council, an Unwritten Story).
    Card. Suenens exulted that V2 had become “1789 in the Church”, a new French Revolution and a break with the past. Even then-Cardinal Ratzinger commented in 1988: “The Second Vatican Council has not been treated as part of the entire living tradition of the Church, but as an end of Tradition, a new start from zero. The truth is that this particular Council defined no dogma at all, and deliberately chose to remain on a modest level, as a merely pastoral council; and yet many treat it as though it had made itself into a sort of super dogma which takes away the importance of all the rest. ” (1988 address. Chilean Episcopal Conference).
    Yves Congar, one of the V2 periti, remarked with satisfaction that “The Church has had, peacefully, its October revolution.” Schillebeeckx admitted, “We have used ambiguous phrases during the Council and we know how we will interpret them afterwards.” Congar also affirmed that Vatican II’s Declaration on Religious Liberty is contrary to the Syllabus of Pope Pius IX, saying: “It cannot be denied that the affirmation of religious liberty by Vatican II says materially something other than what the Syllabus if 1864 said…”
    After decades of this nonsense, and the new Pope claiming “we have to put into effect V2”, forget it for me. The only ones that are making sense and that have a consistently harmonious and undemagogued liturgy are the trad groups, curious as they are: but Untenauer and a certain one-time bishop of Phoenix who was his twin separated at birth have done it for me and a good part of my family.

  • Many of Dale’s commenters urge patience; reading Francis through Bergoglio, so to speak. A hermeneutic of biography?

  • For those who already interpret Vatican II as discontinuous with the whole Catholic Tradition, I can only say that this flies in the face of the actual Documents of Vatican II, the Popes since Vatican II, the Extraordinary Synod of 1985 (precisely on the authoritative interpretation of Vatican II, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church (which both quotes Vatican II and interprets it in its Teaching). If an interpretation of rupture were accurate the promises of Christ of the Spirit Paraclete as well as His promise that the gates of hell shall not prevail against the Church built on Peter would be empty and futile.

    It is important not to confuse the Extradordinar Form (TLM) with other issues of so called traditionalists groups

    As for the above article concerning Pope Francis as a so called progressive,nthe author actually was stating Pope Francis is a “”Modernist”” (as described by the Magisterium of Saint Pope Pius X). Modernism states that we take Catholic Teaching, empty it of content so as to make the teaching in line with “modern thinking”

    This did not take place in Vatican II, in any magisterial teachings of the popes since Vatican II and has not happened in any preaching/teaching of Pope Francis

    Despite all signs pointing otherwise some still are afraid of this Pope. I find no substantial basis for this anxiety and fear

  • It is not fear of the Pope that motivates many of us, but fear of his exceptionally poorly worded interviews and other public comments. Particularly how they are read and used by others. For example:

    http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/news/inside-higher-ed-catholic-colleges-accused-of-ignoring-the-pope/2008498.article

    Being in a public institution myself, these are stormy times added to by Pope Francis’s lack of foresight. But it is early in this pontificate and I suspect there has already been a fair amount of fraternal correction of the Pope guided by the Holy Spirit.

  • Fair enough Philip. I had pointed out In a response sometime ago, that it was interesting that there have been no interviews since his meeting with the council of 8 cardinals. I still find this fact interesting. As Cardinal Brogoglio, he did not like interviews. That tells me that he lacked experience in giving interviews. To be honest I felt that the “Jesuit interview” was the best and more insightful into ‘the man’.

  • Steve Phoenix

    Not only Cardinal Yves Congar, but Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (as he then was) called Gadium et Spes a counter-Syllabus.

    “If one is looking for a global diagnosis of the text [of Gaudium et spes], one could say that it (along with the texts on religious liberty and world religions) is a revision of the Syllabus of Pius IX, a kind of counter-Syllabus …. the text [of Gaudium et spes] plays the role of a counter-Syllabus to the extent that it represents an attempt to officially reconcile the Church with the world as it had become after 1789.” Here is the original French text: «Gaudium et Spes est (en liaison avec les textes sur la liberté religieuse et sur les religions du monde) une révision du Syllabus de Pie IX, une sorte de contre-Syllabus. […] Ce texte joue le rôle d’un contre-Syllabus dans la mesure où il représente une tentative pour une réconciliation officielle de l’Église avec le monde tel qu’il était devenu depuis 1789. (Cardinal Ratzinger, Les Principes de la théologie catholique) »

    I believe the attempts to suggest a discontinuity between Pope Francis and Benedict XVI are misconceived

  • Well thanks be to God that you are hear to clarify the pope’s words for us, given your deep insight into his inner voice and heart. Man, I thought I was lost for a moment.

  • Actually, Michael P-S, I was asserting the discontinuity between the Church prior to V2 and the church after. Ratzinger in his own memoirs recounts how disconcerted he was by news from the V2 newly formed bureaucracies, especially the Consilium on the Liturgy, radically altered what many of the Council Fathers thought they were voting for at V2. Ratzinger spent much of his episcopate “walking back” V2 (just one example: most notably the sacrmental words of institution (“For you and for all” vs. “For you and for many” – If ever there was a prima facie evidence of a rupture, a break with the past just acknowledge that change, not done by the V2 congregation, but by Cicognani’s shadow committee which operated form 1964 to 1969. But for those of you who care to know the truth (other than Botolph,who apparently has a programmed function key to smear people like me as “radicals”, and prefers to remain in the dark), just read Romano Amerio’s Iota Unum, give Roberto de Mattei (The 2nd Vatican Council: an Unwritten Story) at least a reading (he corroborates Amerio’s eyewitness account point-by-point, and finally read Mark Fellows’ Twilight at Fatima, all voluminously researched works with incontrovertible evidence that something went off the rails at V2 (as if you cant tell the tree by its fruits).

  • er. correction. I meant “Ratzinger spent much of his pontificate walking back” V2 (not “episcopate”).

11 Responses to Quotes Suitable for Framing: H. Richard Niebuhr

  • Who was it said that the preaching of the Harvard Divinity School was limited to the fatherhood of God, the brotherhood of man and the neighbourhood of Boston?

  • “A God without wrath…”
    Thank you. Yes, I’m Crawling out from under a rock. H. Richard Neibuhr hits a world class homerun. Thanks agian for this introduction.

  • Pingback: Bringing the Catholic Back to a California Parish - BigPulpit.com
  • Folks at my old parish were well into the stage of valuing their faith “because it may produce social justice.” Or, immanence. The certainty that when you die you are no more. You only transcend while you live and work for “social justice” as a member of the Body of Christ.

    I keep hoping Pope Francis will come out in favor of Heaven.

  • Every person has a vocation, a call from God, to be who he must be. Every man who is called to be a priest by God ought to respond by becoming a priest. No woman has come forth claiming a vocation, a call from God, to the priesthood. Therefore, the demands of the LCWR for a vocation, a call from God, to the priesthood is not being obeyed by the bishops. Sadly, only belief in the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady, the Blessed Virgin Mary, will bring understanding of our own conception as innocent sovereign persons in the womb of our mothers. If these women weren’t so mean, I would be embarrassed for them. The fifth Horseman of the Apocalypse, unbridled ignorance, rides again.

  • I wonder if they have read, or believe, the messages from La Salette, Fatima, Garabandal, and Akita?
    My guess is that they would say they’re from the devil – if they believe in him.

  • Mgr Ronald Knox has a rather good description of the kind of religion Niebuhr pilloried and which he was expected to teach, as an Anglican schoolmaster.

    “I think, then, it should be said at the outset that public [i.e. English private boarding-schools] 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.”

  • Archbishop Fulton Sheen; “If God wanted women in His priesthood then He would of made Mary the Blessed Virgin to have been the first.”

  • “If God wanted a person to become a priest, God would have created that person a man” Mother Angelica

  • If Man wanted to become God, he (man) would call himself liberal.

Liberal Christianity as a “Religion”

Sunday, August 4, AD 2013

 

 

Christopher Johnson, a non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels in defense of Catholicism so frequently that I have named him Defender of the Faith, explains why liberal Protestantism deserves a place on the endangered species list:

Why is mainline Protestantism withering on the vine?  Because as Gertrude Stein once said about Oakland, California, there is no “there” there:

Liberal Protestantism is dying. Rod Dreher says so in a recent column in The American Conservative, and the statistics back him up: for decades, liberal and mainline Protestantism has been on the decline in the US, with some denominations (such as the United Church of Christ) losing adherents so quickly that their future is in peril. Meanwhile, more conservative and evangelical denominations have generally held their own, or even experienced growth (see graph below). But liberal Protestantism in many ways exemplifies the best of what religion could be: it’s tolerant of differences, non-judgmental, open to scientific knowledge. Good stuff, right? So why is it that the open-minded liberal churches are dying out? 

Golly gee willickers, it has to be painful to be this clueless.  “Liberal Protestantism in many ways exemplifies the best of what religion could be,” only to someone who has absolutely no idea what religion actually is.

I guess I’m going to have to try to dumb this down even further and for the sake of brevity, I’m going to stick with the monotheistic religions but these principles apply to all religions.  So here goes not much of anything.

There are people out there who believe that there is a God.  They believe that this God is responsible for existence itself as well as their presence in that existence.

Once they accept that, they’re kind of forced to accept three more concepts.  Even if they never figure out what it is, there’s a reason why they’re here; after all, if you’re talented enough to speak existence into existence, why would Christopher Johnsons ever just sort of randomly turn up?

So if you’re here for a reason, even if you never ever understand what that reason is until you die, if then, does that not imply that the God who deliberately made you exist feels that your existence is important?  And if your existence is important, does that not rather obligate you to try to live the way the God who made you exist wants you to live?

You can’t do that as well as you want to, of course.  God, in His mercy, understands that and has provided vehicles of escape, the most sensible and efficacious being, according to this Christian, that vehicle provided by the Christian religion.  That fellow on the Cross.

Then there are people who don’t believe any of that.

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5 Responses to Liberal Christianity as a “Religion”

  • At the heart of liberal Christianity lies the belief that religion is purely immanent.

    It was precisely this that Maurice Blondel so vigorously attacked: “No, Christianity does not emerge from nature by a subconscious and spontaneous evolution. No, it is not an emanation of the religious conscience of humanity. It proceeds from a positive intervention and a gratuitous and miraculous condescension of God; it is constituted by the historical fact of the Incarnation; it is essentially a supernatural gift, an interior gift of grace that feeds the Christian life, an exterior gift of the teaching and precepts of Christ, which, confided to the apostles, is communicated to us by the Church and her infallible head. To the thesis of efference that draws the dogmas and the virtues of Catholicism from below and, so to speak, from the depths of nature or the guts of humanity, the thesis of afference is radically opposed that affirms the character, specifically supernatural, free and gratuitous of the entire Christian order. And we adhere to this absolutely fundamental truth with our entire soul.”

    But he was alive to the danger of the opposite tendency: “First, the scholastic ideology, which still exclusively dominates, includes the study neither of religious psychology nor of the subjective facts that convey to the conscience the action of the objective realities whose presence in us Revelation indicates; this ideology only considers as legitimate the examination of what objectively informs us about these realities as designated and defined. Moreover, and especially, everything is instinctively resisted that would limit the authoritarianism born of an exclusive extrinsicism. And, without formulating it, the conception is entertained according to which everything in religious life comes from on high and from without. Only the priesthood is active before a purely passive and receptive flock.”

    It was left to Cardinal Henri de Lubac and his colleagues to resolve the tension.

  • Catholicism is like one of those universal constants that physicists can’t explain. If gravity were a billionth stronger, or a billionth weaker, the universe would end. Anything that isn’t Catholicism, no matter how close it is, will eventually collapse in on itself or explode outward in wasted entropy. Protestantism only survives to the extent that it’s similar to Catholicism, but “close” isn’t close enough, even if it takes 500 years longer than most heresies to disperse.

  • A good overview on the subject indeed! This “Liberal Christianity” will die the “fools death” if for no other reason than at its head are ill-advised, ill educated leaders & followers who have little real understanding of what “Faith” really is in their “Cafeteria Christian” world.We are taught in the Scriptures Hebrews 11:1 what faith is. We do these “Brothers & Sisters In Christ” NO justice by letting them continue to hold on to their beliefs that being a real Christian is easy & indeed trouble-free in and of itself! Again Jesus instructed us to council with them in His ways & Word! To fail in this duty will cause all of us to be judged harshly in The Almighty’s sight! Excellent article as well.

  • Did anyone follow all the way back to the original source?
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/scienceonreligion/2013/07/why-is-liberal-protestantism-dying-anyway/

    Check the last paragraph:

    Which is too bad, because the theology of liberal Protestantism is pretty admirable. Openness to the validity of other traditions, respect for doubters and for skeptical thinkers, acceptance of the findings of science, pro-environmentalism – if I had to pick a church off a sheet of paper, I’d choose a liberal denomination like the United Church of Christ or the Episcopalians any day. But their openness and refusal to be exclusive – to demand standards for belonging – is also their downfall. By agreeing not to erect any high threshold for belonging, the liberal Protestant churches make their boundaries so porous that everything of substance leaks out, mingling with the secular culture around them.

    So what if liberal Protestants kept their open-minded, tolerant theology, but started being strict about it – kicking people out for not showing up, or for not volunteering enough? Liberals have historically been wary of authority and its abuses, and so are hesitant about being strict. But strictness matters, if for no other reason because conservatives are so good at it: most of the strict, costly requirements for belonging to Christian churches in American today have to do with believing theologies that contradict science, or see non-Christians as damned. What if liberal Protestantism flexed its muscle, stood up straight, and demanded its own standards of commitment – to service of God and other people, to the dignity of women, and to radical environmental protection? Parishioners would have to make real sacrifices in these areas, or they’d risk exclusion. They couldn’t just talk the talk. By being strict about the important things, could liberal Protestant churches make their followers walk the walk of their faith – and save their denominations in the process?

    Why won’t it work? Because most people get that in their every day lives ANYWAY. So what will separate these churches from the pop culture?

    What I find even funnier is that no one really wants to ask the real question: What is the truth? Not sure many liberal denominations want to answer that question…

  • Nate Winchester

    In his novel, “Loss and Gain,” Chapter XVII, Bl John Henry Newman asks a series of questions; the following seem pertinent, and not only as applied to the English church:

    “4. Does not Scripture speak of it [the Church] as a kingdom?

    5. And a kingdom which was to last to the end?

    6. What is a kingdom? and what is meant when Scripture calls the Church a kingdom?

    7. Is it a visible kingdom, or an invisible?

    23. Is it necessary, or possible, to believe any one but a professed messenger from God?

    …..

    24. Is the English Church, does she claim to be, a messenger from God?

    25. Does she impart the truth, or bid us seek it?

    26. If she leaves us to seek it, do members of the English Church seek it with that earnestness which Scripture enjoins?”

Ross Douthat Asks if Liberal Christianity Can be Saved and His Readers Answer No

Sunday, July 15, AD 2012

 

 

It is always amusing to read conservative Ross Douthat’s columns in The New York Times and read the visceral negative reaction of almost all his commenters.  The New York Times of course is Holy Writ for most liberals in this country, and their seeing a conservative opinion piece in it is simply beyond the pale for most of them.

Today , Douthat asked if liberal Christianity can be saved, noting that liberal denominations are going the way of the passenger pigeon, the Edsel and conservative Democrats:

IN 1998, John Shelby Spong, then the reliably controversial Episcopal bishop of Newark, published a book entitled “Why Christianity Must Change or Die.” Spong was a uniquely radical figure — during his career, he dismissed almost every element of traditional Christian faith as so much superstition — but most recent leaders of the Episcopal Church have shared his premise. Thus their church has spent the last several decades changing and then changing some more, from a sedate pillar of the WASP establishment into one of the most self-consciously progressive Christian bodies in the United States.

As a result, today the Episcopal Church looks roughly how Roman Catholicism would look if Pope Benedict XVI suddenly adopted every reform ever urged on the Vatican by liberal pundits and theologians. It still has priests and bishops, altars and stained-glass windows. But it is flexible to the point of indifference on dogma, friendly to sexual liberation in almost every form, willing to blend Christianity with other faiths, and eager to downplay theology entirely in favor of secular political causes.       

Yet instead of attracting a younger, more open-minded demographic with these changes, the Episcopal Church’s dying has proceeded apace. Last week, while the church’s House of Bishops was approving a rite to bless same-sex unions, Episcopalian church attendance figures for 2000-10 circulated in the religion blogosphere. They showed something between a decline and a collapse: In the last decade, average Sunday attendance dropped 23 percent, and not a single Episcopal diocese in the country saw churchgoing increase.       

This decline is the latest chapter in a story dating to the 1960s. The trends unleashed in that era — not only the sexual revolution, but also consumerism and materialism, multiculturalism and relativism — threw all of American Christianity into crisis, and ushered in decades of debate over how to keep the nation’s churches relevant and vital.       

Traditional believers, both Protestant and Catholic, have not necessarily thrived in this environment. The most successful Christian bodies have often been politically conservative but theologically shallow, preaching a gospel of health and wealth rather than the full New Testament message.       

But if conservative Christianity has often been compromised, liberal Christianity has simply collapsed. Practically every denomination — Methodist, Lutheran, Presbyterian — that has tried to adapt itself to contemporary liberal values has seen an Episcopal-style plunge in church attendance. Within the Catholic Church, too, the most progressive-minded religious orders have often failed to generate the vocations necessary to sustain themselves.

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38 Responses to Ross Douthat Asks if Liberal Christianity Can be Saved and His Readers Answer No

  • Of course it cannot be saved because liberal Christianity does not exist. The Catholic Church continues to grow because it does not change in faith and morals. It is the church founded by Christ and Christ entrusted the Church to St. Peter and his successors. People are abandoning liberal Christian churches and joining the Catholic Church for that very reason.

  • Should liberal Christianity, whatever that is, be saved?

    I vote, “present.”

  • Liberal-ISM:

    I – Self – Me

  • PS, Rev Scotty McLennan just doesn’t get it, but he will one day.

  • “Why has the liberal voice been muted in liberal Christianity?” The question is: “Why has the voice of Christianity been muted in liberalism. The Sermon on the Mount is no longer allowed in the public square. The liberal Jesus Christ, God, the Father, God, the Holy Spirit is prohibited in the public school. Jesus could not give His Sermon on the Mount. The Lord, God cannot celebrate His Birthday at Christmas, because some “liberal”, “progressives” have disenfranchised the Lord, God, Jesus Christ, using HIs name to finagle their political ends. “Liberal” is an adjective to describe a person, not a group of individuals as the word “Christianity” does. As a “liberal” or “progrssive” I ought to be free to be a “liberal” or a “progressive” as I define liberalism, not as “a group of liberals” define me. When a “group of liberals” begin to redefine liberal Christianity, I, as an individual person, lose my liberty. Therefore, liberal Christianity is an artificial construct of persons who have been disenfranchised.

  • Mary wrote, “The Catholic Church continues to grow because it does not change in faith and morals.”

    What growth? First off, Catholicism is about finished in Europe and is in declining in America. Evangelical Christianity is cutting into Catholic numbers in Latin America, especially Mexico, and Islam is making greater strides in Africa at Catholicism’s expense.

    Vatican II a spawned a serious of disasters, wrote Catholic author Pat Buchanan.

    Here are some grim statistics he cited of Catholicism’s decline:

    Priests. While the number of priests in the United States more than doubled to 58,000, between 1930 and 1965, since then that number has fallen to 45,000. By 2020, there will be only 31,000 priests left, and more than half of these priests will be over 70.

    Ordinations. In 1965, 1,575 new priests were ordained in the United States. In 2002, the number was 450. In 1965, only 1 percent of U.S. parishes were without a priest. Today, there are 3,000 priestless parishes, 15 percent of all U.S. parishes.

    Seminarians. Between 1965 and 2002, the number of seminarians dropped from 49,000 to 4,700, a decline of over 90 percent. Two-thirds of the 600 seminaries that were operating in 1965 have now closed.

    Sisters. In 1965, there were 180,000 Catholic nuns. By 2002, that had fallen to 75,000 and the average age of a Catholic nun is today 68. In 1965, there were 104,000 teaching nuns. Today, there are 8,200, a decline of 94 percent since the end of Vatican II.

    Religious Orders. For religious orders in America, the end is in sight. In 1965, 3,559 young men were studying to become Jesuit priests. In 2000, the figure was 389. With the Christian Brothers, the situation is even more dire. Their number has shrunk by two-thirds, with the number of seminarians falling 99 percent. In 1965, there were 912 seminarians in the Christian Brothers. In 2000, there were only seven. The number of young men studying to become Franciscan and Redemptorist priests fell from 3,379 in 1965 to 84 in 2000.

    Catholic schools. Almost half of all Catholic high schools in the United States have closed since 1965. The student population has fallen from 700,000 to 386,000. Parochial schools suffered an even greater decline. Some 4,000 have disappeared, and the number of pupils attending has fallen below 2 million – from 4.5 million.

    Though the number of U.S. Catholics has risen by 20 million since 1965, statistics show that the power of Catholic belief and devotion to the Faith are not nearly what they were.

    Catholic Marriage. Catholic marriages have fallen in number by one-third since 1965, while the annual number of annulments has soared from 338 in 1968 to 50,000 in 2002.

    Attendance at Mass. A 1958 Gallup Poll reported that three in four Catholics attended church on Sundays. A recent study by the University of Notre Dame found that only one in four now attend.

    Only 10 percent of lay religious teachers now accept church teaching on contraception. Fifty-three percent believe a Catholic can have an abortion and remain a good Catholic. Sixty-five percent believe that Catholics may divorce and remarry. Seventy-seven percent believe one can be a good Catholic without going to mass on Sundays. By one New York Times poll, 70 percent of all Catholics in the age group 18 to 44 believe the Eucharist is merely a “symbolic reminder” of Jesus.
    ==============================================
    Google “decline of Catholicism” and you get 66,000 hits.

  • @ Joe Green: This is the pruning of the branches that St. Paul discusses in Romans 11. There will be growth in orthodoxy. But the dead liberal branches will have to be pruned first. That’s makes for some bad statistics when it comes to mere numbers, but it makes for a healthy Church in the long run.

  • @Paul. Too much pruning and you’re down to a dead stump.

  • True, Joe, but the Lord is doing the pruning and we should trust Him.

  • Actually Joe there are about 5000 more priests in the world today than there were in 1999. Ordination rates are climbing in Africa and Asia, and among orthodox dioceses around the world including in North America and Europe. The Church has ever been in flux and has usuallly had a shortage of priests particularly in the New World. The statistics for priestly ordinations in this country in the fifties were unusually high for a number of reasons, many World War II veterans becoming priests on the GI BIll for example, and do not reflect the normal trend in ordinations in this country. In the future priests in this country are going to be much more orthodox than their predecessors and that should lend itself to more ordinations. Orthodox orders of nuns and sisters are doing quite well in obtaining new postulants. Mr. Buchanan is as reliable as to the future of the Church as he is in regard to the history of World War II.

    http://www.pacatholic.org/catholic-education/number-of-catholics-priests-seminarians-grows-worldwide/

  • What is disconcerting is that Douthat is as ever Douthat. Whatever his is, amusing or trenchant he is not. He is for the most part drily discussing a social phenomenon familiar to anyone who has been paying attention the last forty years, and even contrives a shot at evangelicals in the course of it (in his typical fashion). The man writes like David Broder and gets 323 paroxysms in response. The people commenting would do well to look at themselves in the mirror and ask if there is not something wrong with them (were they the sort to do so).

  • The fate of the liberal churches springs from the fact that those who reject authority will never succeed in imposing their own authority on others

    The Reformers having challenged the authority of the Church, on the basis of scripture, it was only a matter of time before Semler, Ernesti, and others challenged the authority of scripture on the basis of reason and private judgement. Strauss and the Tübingen School inevitably followed.

    Why, after all, should the Thirty-Nine Articles or the Westminster Confession be of more authority than popes and councils?

  • @Joe Green – Here’s a link that speaks to the growth of the Catholic Church. We have to remember that the Catholic Church is universal. While Europe is in a state of decline that is not true for the remainder of the world. Women entering religious orders are delcling in the existing orders affiliated with the liberal LCWR but if you take a look at the religious orders that are orthodox they are booming. I agree with Paul, the Holy Spirit is doing some pruning. http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/vatican-statistics-show-catholic-growth/

  • I think Joe agreen’s point is well taken. The concept of quality over quantity assumes that you have enough. The quality of a necessary product, whether it be wheat or priests, is important but there must be enough to feed the community.

    That having been said, it should be noted that the clergy accused of sexual abuse and non-criminal perversions peaked in the late 1970s and early 1980s among priests who entered the seminary in the 1960s. Couple that reality with Christ’s divinity denying nuns, Transubstantiating denying Jesuits, and drunken Christian Brothers, and you have a virtual whirlpool of intellectually decaying, Baby-Boomer Catholic Religious, dragging themselves and their charges into hell.

    We simply have to be better off without them.

  • The fate of the liberal churches springs from the fact that those who reject authority will never succeed in imposing their own authority on others

    I will go out on a limb and suggest that there was a seminal tendency of people seeking agreeable low-pressure employment, intellectuals not satisfied with digesting and making small incremental additions to a body of theological understanding who want to be ‘innovative’, and addled bourgeois who have a taste for cloying lectures and hymn singing. What you get is the Episcopal Church.

  • “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” – Mt. 7:24-27

    Parts of the Church were being built upon sand in the Bernardin days, introducing the values of Man and not clinging to the values of God; now the rains have come, the streams are rising and the winds are blowing and beating against it. Those parts of the Church not built upon the Rock will, and have already begun to, fall with a crash.

    Let the tempest rage.

  • @Mary, not to be disrespectful, but you are in denial, and so is Don, cherry-picking a few “positive” stats. A macro view undeniably shows not only Catholicism in decline but Christianity as a whole. Even other religions are losing adherents as reason and science make greater strides. In the O.T. the “curse of the law” was disease, poverty and death. If Christ was the end of the law, then why do we still have disease, poverty and death? Religion, whatever one you choose, fails on all accounts.

    I understand why people cling to religion in such an abysmal world. They need something/anything to believe in. As a cradle Catholic, I, too, once believed. But the experience of 70 years has demonstrated to me unequivocally that a) Life is not fair b) God is the author of Life c) God is unfair. We not only live in a world that is demonstrably imperfect but terribly flawed in countless respects. A world in which the supreme creature — man — is the worst of the lot; made, we are told, “in the image of God,” yet prone to evil and doomed to suffer. At bottom, Man is vile, (anagrammically evil) stupid and unworthy and I cannot believe in a God who would his waste time trying to perfect such a pathetic creature. I’d rather live in a world of dogs, which are superior in every way but so-called “intelligence.”

  • Joe, your woe is me agnosticism is as tiresome as your inability to accept data that contradicts the pessimism that you wallow in as a pig does her filth. Peddle your bitter angst elsewhere.

  • Zummo dismisses me as an “ignorant ass” and you call me a “pig wallowing in filth.”
    Yes, Jesus was right about one thing: “By their fruits ye shall know them.”

  • Yep Joe. Your fruits are bitterness and hopelessness and I have had enough of both. You are banned from this site.

  • Joe wrote, “But the experience of 70 years has demonstrated to me unequivocally that a) Life is not fair b) God is the author of Life c) God is unfair.”

    Ezekiel 18:25-29 says:

    25 “Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ Hear now, O house of Israel, is it not My way which is fair, and your ways which are not fair? 26 When a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, commits iniquity, and dies in it, it is because of the iniquity which he has done that he dies. 27 Again, when a wicked man turns away from the wickedness which he committed, and does what is lawful and right, he preserves himself alive. 28 Because he considers and turns away from all the transgressions which he committed, he shall surely live; he shall not die. 29 Yet the house of Israel says, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ O house of Israel, is it not My ways which are fair, and your ways which are not fair?

    —–

    We are getting precisely and exactly what we deserve.

  • Addendum: God did create life, but life is unfair not because of God, but because of Adam and Eve’s rebellion against God. It is sin that has made life unfair, not God. Indeed, it is our sin that has done that. It may seem like a remarkable example of the transitive law of logic to say, “a) Life is not fair b) God is the author of Life c) God is unfair.” But it is flawed logic because it is missing that key point: man rebelled, so God, being a Gentleman, gives man up to what he wants (i.e., sin) and the consequences thereof (i.e., disease, injury and death). St. Paul makes this very point over and over again in his Epistles.

  • To paraphrase Chesterton:

    “It’s not that liberal Christianity has been tried and found lacking, it’s that it’s…well, actually, now that you think about it…um,…well….ok, forget I said that.”

  • I can understand your banning of Joe (it does get tiresome). You would think he has never heard of free will. And image and likeness does not mean exactly the same. Like our Creator, we are given free will. The similarities don’t go much beyond that.

    Yes, his syllogism sucks. It should be A) God created life, B) we mucked it up, C) we suck.

  • The pessimism of Joe Green is sad. God is love and He continually calls us to conversion. Let’s hope that God’s grace can permeate Joe’s heart.

  • Yeah, I get a little tired of despair, but I feel for Joe. When you get to his vantage point, you see a lot of stupidity and horrible behavior. But his mistake is in seeing that as the sum total of man, or his basic essence. Man is a “ruined god,” to crib a turn of phrase from a sci-fi writer whose name I forget (Anderson?).

    Whether that ruin is tragic or contemptible depends upon one’s perspective. I think it’s both, but Joe chooses only contempt, which is at the root of his error.

  • While Joe accuses others of cherry picking facts, he does the same thing.

    Fact, the number of Catholic Priests worldwide are on the increase.
    Fact, the number of Catholics worldwide are on the increase too.
    Fact, liberal elements of the Church are dying while orthodox elements are growing.

    These are simple facts easily verified with minimal research by those that want a balanced view.

    In response to Zummo Joe quoted a snippet from Matthew 7:16, “By their fruits ye shall know them.” Unfortunately and typical to those of a liberal, agnostic or atheistic persuasion, his quote is totally out of context. To put it into context Joe needs to read

    Mt. 7:15-21 –

    “[15] Beware of false prophets, who come to you in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. [16] By their fruits you shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? [17] Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, and the evil tree bringeth forth evil fruit. [18] A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can an evil tree bring forth good fruit. [19] Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit, shall be cut down, and shall be cast into the fire. [20] Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them. [21] Not every one that saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the
    kingdom of heaven: but he that doth the will of my Father who is in heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.”

    I think verse 15 describes Joe perfectly….his bitter views of mankind, the unfairness of God, the Church et al are certainly not good fruits. But Joe’s salvation is more important than arguing with him. He should read Mt. 7:21 above and take it seriously. Below is a link to a document that explains Catholic belief (doctrine) that outside the Church there is no Salvation (before other posters go bonkers please read the article). In this article it explains that unless one can claim ‘invincible ignorance’ of Catholic doctrine they cannot be saved outside the Church. Unfortunately it doesn’t appear that Joe can make this claim.

    We should all pray for his return to the faith.

  • Oooops, I forgot the link…here it is:

    http://www.ewtn.com/expert/answers/outside_the_church.htm

    Sorry about that.

  • My own reflection on humanity mirrors that of Stephen Vincent Benet in The Devil and Daniel Webster:

    “Then he turned to Jabez Stone and showed him as he was — an ordinary man who’d had hard luck and wanted to change it. And, because he’d wanted to change it, now he was going to be punished for all eternity. And yet there was good in Jabez Stone, and he showed that good. He was hard and mean, in some ways, but he was a man. There was sadness in being a man, but it was a proud thing too. And he showed what the pride of it was till you couldn’t help feeling it. Yes, even in hell, if a man was a man, you’d know it. And he wasn’t pleading for any one person any more, though his voice rang like an organ. He was telling the story and the failures and the endless journey of mankind. They got tricked and trapped and bamboozled, but it was a great journey. And no demon that was ever foaled could know the inwardness of it — it took a man to do that.”

    God became one of us, and gave His life for us. Two very salient facts for those who have only despair for Man.

  • That’s a good quote, Don.

    I was starting a little further back, though. Until you can get a glimpse of the idea that there was a Fall–that there is something still noble in us, despite our ruined visage, despite the nastiness we deck ourselves with–redemption doesn’t (yet) make sense.

  • It was in God’s mind to send His only begotten Son as Savior of manknd even before man sinned. It is God’s prerogative. The Fall removed our innocence but not our soul.

  • “But the experience of 70 years has demonstrated to me unequivocally that a) Life is not fair b) God is the author of Life c) God is unfair.” “Life is unfair” because man sinned against God. God is the author of a perfect life. “God is unfair” is victim bashing.

  • Catholicism is booming in Africa. I’m having trouble finding a consistent data source, but there are something like 100 million more African Catholics now than there were forty years ago. It’s not just population growth, either: the percentage of Catholics in Africa is increasing as well. The number of African priests has increased 25% since 2000.

    It’s true that the evangelicals have expanded a lot at our expense in South America. And a lot of the faster-growing parts of Africa are largely Muslim. But Catholicism overall is trending upward.

    Once you get past the percentages game, you can see that Asia has the greatest potential for changing the absolute total of religious membership. The relationship between China and the Church is worth watching.

  • Oh, and back to the point of the original article: these aren’t watered-down religions that are booming. Evangelical Protestantism, Islam, and Catholicism tend to be pretty serious. Even the, say, Anglicanism that’s expanding in Africa tends to be highly devout and moral. Not that African Catholicism is perfect: I was reading recently about the treatment of women in Africa, even within Catholic countries. Shocking rates of rape. But back to the main picture, again, people are more attracted to more demanding religions.

  • Pinky wrote, “…people are more attracted to more demanding religions.” A religion that demand little gives little, and a religion that demands nothing gives nothing.

    God requires everything, even our lives. What He gave in return was His only begotten Son – His very self.

  • a) Life is not fair b) God is the author of Life c) God is unfair.”

    Job… the poster child for life/God being unfair. God may be unfair, but he is just.

  • Asians are no less materialistic than Westerners yet the churches here are overflowing. The relative decline in church attendance is in large part due to the lack of continuous enforcement over the young. Now given a choice most youngsters would rather prefer to stay in bed than attend Sunday mass. This is excused as an expression of free will, which is of course a sacred right in the West; the rest of the world does not suffer from this to the same extent.

    Mr Green if your questing is sincere then God owes you an explanation. He is the Father after all. By doing all that is right, you will find Him as affirmed in one of the Easter prayers.

  • Ivan I agree with you. Materialism is not the whole problem. Our liberal culture gives youth in the culture too much latitude …. and unfortunately it can take a long time to get over some of the mistakes we make when young.
    Now for us to expect that teens can decide whether or not they should go to Mass is only the tip of the iceberg. Some think 7 and 8 year olds can self identify as gay, or born in the wrong sexual identity, or ask the government abortion through the public school system without the parent’s knowledge. As these young people encounter the results of their own actions they become more conservative and wiser as they grow older. Until then parents should exercise their traditional perogatives.

    Many of the 22 year olds who voted for Obama in 2008, will be 26 for this election and will not make that mistake again.

Bringing Tim Tebow & Others To The Fullness of Truth That Is The Catholic Church

Wednesday, December 14, AD 2011

A very interesting debate broke out recently following my article on the attacks Denver Quarterback Tim Tebow is coming under from militant liberal secularists concerning his public displays of faith. Catholic writer David L Gray wrote this piece and of course there have been many others. The debate shifted to Tim Tebow’s father who is an Evangelical leader and who takes missionary groups to Catholic countries like the Philippines so the people can “Hear the Gospel.” These kinds of statements either make Catholics laugh or get them angry. Whenever I hear these groups say that they are taking the Gospel into Catholic countries I think we should all say, “We have been preaching the Gospel since before the Canon of the Bible came to be,” or “When did your church start?  Actually, we have been under the same management for 2,000 years.” The crux of the matter is how do we willingly lead people to a place we think they most certainly want to go?

I have always found that outside of a few fundamentalist crackpots, most Evangelicals respect us when we humbly but boldly tell them about Church History, Apostolic Succession, the Real Presence and other Sacraments. Why? They sincerely want to know all they can about Jesus and with the aforementioned they aren’t even getting the Readers Digest version let alone the Fullness of Truth.

In some ways Evangelicals are the low hanging fruit of the religious world. They are eager people who want to know Jesus and boy can we show them Jesus. What about the Catholic Church Abuse scandals some say; shouldn’t that prevent them from coming home to Rome? Evangelicals are familiar with scandals, in many ways they have a belief that if a scandal brews it is the work of the devil and where the devil is you know that somewhere nearby the Gospel is being preached, otherwise the devil wouldn’t be there. The devil doesn’t waste his time fighting against with fluff, because fluff never saved souls. I dare say that some Evangelicals might also take to sites such as this or even sites like Michael Brown’s Spirit Daily that delve a little into Catholic Eschatology.

Some may say what about Catholics who have fallen away? Of course it is important for our lost brothers and sisters to come home. However, many are working on that, including Catholics Come Home which is doing amazing work bringing Catholics back home. Recently in Phoenix, 92,000 fallen away Catholics registered in Phoenix parishes thanks to a concerted diocesan campaign implement by Catholics Come Home, which included commercials on television and radio.

Some may say that reconciling the split with the Orthodox Church which took place in 1056 is the most important step, after all aren’t they closest to us in ideology and practice, and hasn’t reconciliation with the Orthodox Church been the primary push by Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI? Yes the last two pontiffs have made a big push with our liturgical friends to the East. However, here are a couple of points. There are more Evangelicals in the United States alone than there are Orthodox Christians in the entire English speaking world. Time is running out to bring our Evangelical brothers and sisters home. Why? Sadly most Evangelical organized churches outside the Southern Baptists are in a statistical freefall due to being raided by non-denominational mega churches. These mega churches which are increasingly becoming entertainment oriented churches have no sound theology to which to build their foundation. We all know what Jesus said about what you need to build your foundation on.  (You might want to read the following article one on what liberals have done to churches in an article entitled: If You Want Liberals To Run Governments Look At What They Have Done To Religion; Left It In Tatters & the effect of entertainment churches on society in an article entitled; Margaritaville Christianity, God’s Way or Our Way?

This leads us to one of the most underreported religious stories of the year; the Catholic Diocese of Orange, California buying Dr. Robert Schuler’s Crystal Cathedral, the nation’s first mega church which had gone bankrupt.  Some folks got caught up in the argument over whether a Catholic Church could even use something that hardly looks like a traditional church. However, think of the significance of the event. Rev, Robert Schuler was such a powerful name, his words were listened to and his church started an entire movement. Yet, look where his church ended up, going back home to Rome. What a metaphor for going full circle back to the Fullness of Truth, the Catholic Church.

While working on our upcoming national cable television show Non Negotiable, Producer & Director Christian Peschken talked about this very subject. Christian implored me that I needed to make this a bigger deal than it already was going to be for my upcoming book. He felt the symbolism of this the nation’s first and once most powerful mega church being turned over to the Catholic Church could not be understated. They who built their foundation on sand have now put their foundation on the Rock of Peter.

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17 Responses to Bringing Tim Tebow & Others To The Fullness of Truth That Is The Catholic Church

  • The debate shifted to Tim Tebow’s father who is an Evangelical leader and who takes missionary groups to Catholic countries like the Philippines so the people can “Hear the Gospel.”

    I’m pretty sure the Tebow family was around Mindanao, the Muslim area– that’s where he went back to talk to school kids not so long ago.
    The Moro Islamic Liberation Front could stand to hear the Gospel, and if the Evangelicals can get around the hate to get them to listen, more power to them.

  • I wonder if our atheist trolls will return to raise havoc with this blog entry. BTW, very good, David Hartline! My family is all Pentecostal Evangelicals. I am the only Catholic, so anything they learn about the Faith probably comes from me.

  • Until I had read Dave’s earlier piece about Tebow, I had just assumed he was another Phillip Rivers, what with his pro-life other Catholic-like stances. So that tells me that he just may be the kind of person who could easily cross the Tiber, if not plunge head-long toward his true home much like he does against his opponents despite his father’s anti-Catholic views. I’ve seen stranger conversions, after all.

    By the way, I just saw on the news a report about a controversy involving a rabbi, who says that the pro-Tebow crowd will go nuts and burn down mosques if the Broncos end up winning the Super Bowl.

  • Joel T.: I saw that, too.

    Sic semper tyrannis.

    They murdered 100,000,000 in the 20th century. Using the same “logic”, there ought to be a bounty on atheists.

    Liberals aren’t just evil and hate-filled. They are freaking stupid, too.

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  • I recently posted a couple of articles on Tim Tebow also as I am am becoming increasingly saddened by the lack of willingness to understand Tim Tebow’s enthusiasm for serving the Lord Jesus Christ. Feel free to check them out.

    http://catholicboyrichard.wordpress.com/2011/12/15/is-time-tebow-gods-gift-or-something-methinks-so/

    Jesus once was asked by His disciples if they should forbid some other people who were preaching in His Name but did not follow with them. Jesus said, surprisingly “NO.” He further said that “those who are not against Me are for Me.”

    Tim Tebow is our Christian brother and should be respected as such. That is the teaching of our Church and Catechism (reference 817-820). His family is doing a marvelous work in a needy place. Do I wish they brought the Gospel from a strictly Catholic perspective? Of course. But I would rather see a good Protestant who deeply loves Christ than a bad Catholic who snoozes through Mass any day. For us to condemn their work as “anti-Catholic” because they do not follow the hierarchy is ludicrous.

    I say let’s pray for Tebow, and hard. His job is not easy and the temptations are very real in the world he now lives in. satan and not a few women would love to see him fall. Perhaps, just perhaps, he will surprise us all and become a Catholic priest one day. It just could happen.

  • “I say let’s pray for Tebow, and hard. His job is not easy and the temptations are very real in the world he now lives in.”

    I agree, as long as we are not referring to pass completions or fourth quarter comebacks, etc. We pray that Tebow follows and obeys God’s will, whatever that may be. Praise God always, even after a spectacular, improbable, nationally-televised failure. God has a plan for each of us, and we pray for the grace and the wisdom to make the right choices at the right time. Our chosen profession is not always the one God wants for us, and failures — small or spectacular — can be a way of telling us we need to move on.

    Marion Barber deserves my huge respect and prayers for comments he made after his spectacular, improbable, nationally-televised failure:
    http://www.suntimes.com/sports/football/bears/9397550-606/marion-barber-keeps-the-faith.html

    I respect Tebow for the adversity he has overcome, not (yet) for on the field success.

  • Richard,
    I agree with most of what you say, but (i) I think your notion that some Catholics view Tebot’s work as anti-Catholic is a pure red herring and (ii) your description of Catholicism as following the hierarchy is a disappointing trivialization of who we are.

  • Foxfier,
    Although there is a significant Muslim population in Mindanao, Catholics still make up 63% of the population there. Besides this, Tebow built his hospital in Davao which is 95% Catholic.

  • “This leads us to one of the most underreported religious stories of the year; the Catholic Diocese of Orange, California buying Dr. Robert Schuler’s Crystal Cathedral, the nation’s first mega church which had gone bankrupt. Some folks got caught up in the argument over whether a Catholic Church could even use something that hardly looks like a traditional church. However, think of the significance of the event. Rev, Robert Schuler was such a powerful name, his words were listened to and his church started an entire movement. Yet, look where his church ended up, going back home to Rome. What a metaphor for going full circle back to the Fullness of Truth, the Catholic Church.”

    So what does the Church of Nicea being turned into a mosque mean? Secondly, I don’t understand why Muslims need converted if the Church says that they can reject Christ and still inherit eternal life. Not being combative, just some honest thoughts.

  • I like to remind some people of some Gospel-biblical Truth. Jesus told the apostles when they told Him some people are teaching your material but are not with us. His reply, those who are not against us are with us. Revelation gives us the crude truth that if we are lukewarm, not hot or cold, Jesus will “puke” us out! Too manyespecially older Catholics today who do attend Mass are out the door as soon as Communion starts or walk out when they receive the sacrament. I witnessed that so much in a US resort area. St Paul is the patron saint of those who were so full of hate he met Jesus and he sure accepted Him as Lord and Saviour and showed he believed Him when Jesus said why persecute ME, the Church and zealously filled up and built up that Church until they chpped his head off in Rome. The Tebows are doing Jesus’ work and please GOD they will do a Paul on the road to Damascus and make it “all better” as the little ones say, and do not join a parosh where Mass is over for most of the congregatiom while the Supper of the Lamb is being served to the other guests.

  • Thanks for your post G Burch. What does the Church at Nicea being turned into a mosque mean? Sadly, it means the people of the day were taken over in a bloody invasion that saw what is now modern day Turkey become Muslim. Our old friend Mack who posts here occasionally refers to Istanbul as “Occupied Constantinople.” I never give up hope because the Church is who she says she is, “The Fullness of Truth.” I don’t say this out of pride or arrogance but only because Christ said He was the Way the Truth and Light.” He passed that light via the keys of leadership to St Peter and every other successive Pope. The Church says that other religions have pieces and or slivers of the truth. However, the Fullness of Truth belongs to the Church Jesus founded, the Catholic Church. Jesus will judge us all and He knows the ins and outs of all of ours souls. I hope that helps.

  • Us Catholics should be ashamed. Where does the “press” go to find out the “truth” about our Church? Biden, Kerry, Pelosi, “sister” Teresa Kane, “SNAP”, “catholics” for choice, etc.. Even though Tim & his family don’t have all the truth, at least they are standing up for Jesus as in Col. 3:17, which is something that we are not doing very well, are we? Didn’t Jesus say that all men will bend the knee to Him (also, God said the same in the O.T.) & now, men that wouldn’t dare to bend their knee in public (not very manly) are doing the same on national T.V., even though it is in mockery, but who knows just how & when the Holy Spirit will hit them. It will be a wonderful day the the Tebows became Catholic. Can you imagine the horror from the press when a Catholic will do the same as Tim on the field & in front of a microphone? Glory & Praise the Lord. +JMJ+

  • JMJ, yes it is very sad that so many Catholics are CINO’s (Catholic In Name Only.) However, the Fullness of Truth marches on and is examplified in the fine work of many people, some of which I mentioned in the article. While we may be angry at those who let down the Faith, we should never forget those who show her best side to others. Maybe we will have our own version of Tim Tebow someday, or maybe just maybe someone will show him The Fullness of Truth!

  • There are 23 truly ancient churches of varying shades of heresy and schism to the Catholic church. These range from Nestorians and Copts to the Armenian Church and the Chaldeans, Ethiopian church etc. ALL venerate Mary as a unique channel of grace. ALL of them are hierarchal, venerate images and share dozens of beliefs and tendencies with the Catholic church. NONE of the most ancient churches are remotely like the ‘primitive’ church the protestants cooked up from historical ignorance, pride and fantasy. For two hundreds years the apostolic church subsisted without ‘the’ Bible’ which is the gift of the church guided by the Holy Spirit to all Christians. History + Protestantism + Bibliolatry = 33,000 Protestant sects and growing.

  • I am a Filipino and I’m grateful to what Tim Tebow is doing to serve the underprivileged and the needy in my country. I certainly admire Tim for his courageous witness of how to be a true follower of Jesus Christ as he knows it. I’m a Catholic and would be overjoyed to hear the news someday about Tim entering the Catholic Church but I leave that work to the Holy Spirit. I can only pray so much for him. Whether he becomes a Catholic or not in the future, as long as he remains faithful to God until the end, I see no problem with that.

  • Well, Tebow and his team saw their winning streak come to an end against the Patriots. At least he will be keeping his lamp that is his faith out for all to see rather than hidden under a table.

The Coming Open Rebellion Against God Part II

Sunday, February 6, AD 2011

In my first article The Coming Open Rebellion Against God, I spoke of a time where God would reveal his omnipotence and some would simply leave their faith behind.  Why? Because just as in John 6, some would say it simply doesn’t make sense and walk away. Some have prayed that if only God would show His omnipotence; many would fall on their knees and believe. I truly believe the time is coming when some of our intelligentsia, including clergy will see the hand of God and say; “No thanks, this doesn’t mesh with my worldview.”

Father Dwight Longenecker recently wrote a review of the movie The Rite Starring Sir Anthony Hopkins, a movie somewhat inspired by a real life Italian exorcist. The movie was given praise by many Catholic writers including Father Longenecker for actually showing the Church in a positive light. Perhaps this was due to the film’s producers using a California based exorcist Father Gary Thomas who actually was present at the filming of the movie. In a key passage Father Longenecker pondered the fact that far too many in this modern rationalistic world see the idea of the devil and demonic possession as beyond them, even though if they truly followed their rationalistic approach, they would come to see that there simply was no medical or scientific explanation for some cases. Sadly, for too many the sin of pride all too often is their downfall.

Recently Father Gary Thomas was interviewed by Leticia Velazquez of Catholic Exchange; some of his remarks about the way in which the teachings of the Church with regard to evil were defiantly rebuked by some within the Church including bishops were more than a little disconcerting. This movie review of The Rite by Father Raymond Schroth SJ associate Editor of America Magazine is one such example. As you can see, the devil is so passé to Father Schroth SJ. It hardly jibes with the high mindedness of those to which he and his urbane friends associate. Check out the comments section in the article, some of the comments left are as elitist and depressing as his treatise on who God is and who He should be.

George Weigel has noted the sad state of some quasi dissident bishops that Pope John Paul II and now Pope Benedict XVI have had to confront. They came from a mindset that preferred the adulation of the dissident intelligentsia of the Ivy League rather than the working class Catholic roots from which many came.

With regard to Jesus and the devil, Jesus spent a good deal of his time fighting the devil and his minions, but alas those who don’t believe in such things seem to indicate that Jesus and the Gospel writers got it wrong, Jesus was not fighting demonic powers but those who were dealing with bouts of depression and epilepsy. According to these liberal dissident elites, Jesus was the precursor to Dr Phil and Deepak Chopra helping those poor seemingly possessed people get their groove back and find their Zen destiny. Never mind what the Church teaches on the subject or the fact that both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI have specifically spoken of evil and the needs for more exorcists in the Church, these elites know better. Talk about hutzpah, Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI have been labeled as intellectually brilliant, even by their detractors, but no matter to those who don’t believe in such archaic things as the devil. Perhaps we should ask those in the Church, especially in the Church Hierarchy, if you don’t believe what Jesus said about the devil and the manifestation of evil, what else don’t you believe?

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5 Responses to The Coming Open Rebellion Against God Part II

  • Thank you for referring to my interview of Fr Gary Thomas. When I read the book, I was impressed at how deeply their experience of the devil moved both Fr Gary and the book’s author Matt Baglio. I was therefore thrilled to hear that the US bishops had a special meeting about exorcism before their general meeting last November.
    As you assert in your book, the tide is turning. Let us pray that it is in time to save our fellow Catholics, many of whom are hostage to the enemy, thanks to poor catechesis and their own selfishness.

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  • FIRST OF ALL THE RITE WAS AN EXCELLENT MOVIE….BUT TO SAY THE DEVIL IS PASSE IS SAY FOR ANY PRIEST….BUT KNOWING FR. SCROTH, SJ HE PROBABLY THINKS THAT GO IS PASSE TOO…SAD FOR ON JUDGEMENT DAY…HE MAY HAVE TO BEG TO THE MERCY OF JESUS….

  • Slight spoiler

    The Rite was very well done. Respectful of the Church and enough spookiness to keep you on edge without overplaying ala The Exorcist. Maybe overplayed the “doubting young priest out to prove science over belief” a bit, and showed the Church to be a little too “faith over reason,” in particular I am recalling a scene where our hero challenges his exorcism instructor with scientifically based rationals for the various instances of possession, and the intsructor’s comeback was rather weak – sort of a “you gotta have faith” and left it at that.

    I also think the movie left you with the impression that the Church believes possession occurs far more often than the Church actually believes it does. But then, they gotta sell tickets, don’t they.

  • and by faith over reason, I mean portraying the Church as pitting faith against reason, as opposed to recognizing them as complementing each other.

AP's Article On The Catholic Blogosphere & NPR's Firing Of Juan Williams Are Par For The Course

Monday, October 25, AD 2010

National Public Radio’s ludicrous firing of Juan Williams and a subsequent mainstream media article on Catholic bloggers may seem to be two separate issues. Some may say what does the overwhelmingly conservative leaning Catholic blogosphere have in common with the liberal leaning Juan Williams? The answer is quite simple; both scare the mainstream media because Juan Williams and the majority of the Catholic blogosphere put forth interesting solutions to often discussed questions.

The modus operadi of some in the mainstream media is to find a couple of unnamed fringe Catholic bloggers, who few read, and then make them become bigger players than they really are. Combine this with a Juan Williams quote which most of America agrees with and voila you have it; the ultimate straw man from which you can tear apart any minority who appears on Fox News or any Catholic blogger who faithfully defends the teachings of the 2,000 year old Catholic Church.

In this Associated Press article on the Catholic blogosphere, the piece mentions Thomas Peters and Michael Voris (who is known for his videos not his blogging,) but focuses on harsh unnamed Catholic bloggers. The article quotes John Allen who calls elements of the Catholic blogosphere “Taliban Catholicism.” The highly respected Mr. Allen, who though working for the dissident leaning National Catholic Reporter, is often known for his many high ranking Church contacts and his fairness. He should have know better than to give the quote that he did. To take a few bloggers from the right (or even from the left) and call them the Catholic blogosphere is the type of journalism that would not pass muster for a high school paper, let alone the AP. This would be akin to taking the worst rated college or pro football team and telling the world this is the best of American football, or perhaps watching the Walla Walla Community theater production of Hamlet and saying this is Hamlet at its finest. John Allen should have realized where this article was going and chosen his words more carefully.

The AP article continues by naming a Church official who seems worried about the Catholic blogosphere. One wonders if the Church official would know the difference between Father John Zuhlsdorf from Father Richard McBrien, Amy Welborn from Aimee Semple McPherson, Mark Shea from Mark Sanford, Rocco Palmo from Rocco Mediate, or Tito Edwards from Tito Santana. I worked for years in a diocesan office and I have yet to meet, even in my travels, a diocesan official who is well versed in the blogosphere. It seems to be a generational thing and most diocesan officials are not to be confused with the younger, more conservative seminarians or young priests being ordained.

While some in the mainstream media snicker at the Pope and Magisterium (the teaching authority of the Catholic Church) they in reality have their own magisterium. In their secular magisterium anyone who believes in the Catholic Church’s authority is hopelessly outdated, because according to gatekeepers in the mainstream media, true thinkers are those in the dying liberal churches who don’t know what they believe. Sadly, GK Chesterton prophetically predicted this would happen. He said, “It’s not that atheists and agnostics believe in nothing, they believe in everything.” In modern parlance, “It’s all good.” How sad that some who proclaim to be “open minded” can’t see the obvious; liberal Christianity is dying on the vine.”

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19 Responses to AP's Article On The Catholic Blogosphere & NPR's Firing Of Juan Williams Are Par For The Course

  • Pingback: AP’s Article On The Catholic Blogosphere & NPR’s Firing Of Juan Williams Are Par For The Course: The American Catholic « Deacon John's Space
  • Keep preaching brother!

    I nominate the following excerpt to be the quote of year here at The American Catholic.

    “One wonders if the Church official would know the difference between Father John Zuhlsdorf from Father Richard McBrien, Amy Welborn from Aimee Simple McPherson, Mark Shea from Mark Sanford, Rocco Palmo from Rocco Mediate, or Tito Edwards from Tito Santana.”

  • Nothing to “wonder” about. The answers are self-evident.

  • Well said, excellent, wonderful!

  • Uh…it’s “magisterium.”

    Good piece, though.

    🙂

    -Theo

  • It’s not clear to me that Allen was interviewed for the AP story. He was using “Taliban Catholics” in his own writing at least as far back as February.

  • Great piece with good insight. I especially like your quote about people not knowing the difference between Catholic bloggers and others.

    One note: Allen’s quote reveals more about himself than it does about Catholic blogging or orthodox Catholics. For all those who believe him to be fair, you might want to read his work more closely and don’t forget that he chooses to work for the dissident Reporter. His work displays some real blind spots.

  • It’s just funny that in article that to some extent is bemoaning in the incivility of the blogosphere, the term “Taliban Catholic” is so casually tossed about as though there is nothing uncivil about that comparison.

    But that, of course, is par for the course for people who yelp the loudest about tone and the harshness of dialogue. What it really is is an attempt to change the topic and avoid having to defend indefensible positions.

  • Defending the indefensible?

    As in an article that defends the civility of Michael Sean Winters but paints Catholics who are righteously standing up and saying enough as fringe.

    30-40 thousand readers a month may be ‘nobody reading’ to you, but I think it is enough to get an army of Catholics to get folks who espouse the opinions of dissent, silenced.

    It is half past time we take our parishes and schools back.

    We’ll look forward to more armchair criticism from you.

    Carry on.

  • Someone should ask John Allen when was the last time a Catholic blogger destroyed millenia-old works of art. Or shot a woman in the back of the head as halftime entertainment at a soccer match. Or sponsored terrorists who flew airplanes into buildings killing 3000 people.

    For the life of me, I’ll never understand why people who should know better consider John Allen to be “fair”. “Fair” people don’t make such idiotic comparisons.

  • We’ll look forward to more armchair criticism from you.

    Umm, what? I was critiquing the Allen quote and the condescending tone of the AP article, not Dave’s post.

  • Please, please, please – check your spell-check and correct “magEsterium” to “magIsterium”. The word comes from the Latin – magister.

  • Paul,

    Yes, my comments were about the article, not your comments which I completely agree with and thank you for stepping up to the plate to say.

  • p.s. I am not of the opinion that the article had coded message in it that needed to be cracked.

    There are many of us that are finished with letting teachers and priests preach and teach dissent and we area shutting it down by exposing what is going on with teaching, sanctifying and governing.

    Writing intellectual treatises on the internet is swell but it is not helping our children down at the local school being hoodwinked by Sister Mary Wear the Pants and Fr. Hehirtic. We have had to flee from our parishes, pull our children out of schools.

    What are we running from? It’s time to go back and demand our religion be taught.

    1. Pour through every bulletin and expose every problem, naming names and exercising your gifts by explaining the theological problems and consequences to our children.

    2. Start holding the priest accountable.

    3. If the priest won’t be held accountable, go to the Bishop.

    4. If the Bishop won’t be accountable, go to the Nuncio.

    5. If the Nuncio won’t hold them accountable, go to the Holy See.

    Round up as many in your area who are willing to do it.

    If in time, they do not intercede and do something to stop the people poisining the wells our children are drinking from, start a campaign to hold up the money on the annual Bishops appeal.

    Build it and they will flee.

    People may call it harsh. People like this author will call it fringe. Whatever hits you have to take from the author of this article on The American Catholic or anyone in the AP – Do it anyway.

    :O)

  • Anna, I do hope your not talking about me as being part of the dissent, or just sitting at my computer composing essays while Rome burns. I do think my bona fides as a writer, educator (working in the Church and taking a lot of heat from Church liberals) etc should fit pass muster. I would hope so anyone, considering how many nasty names I have been called by the liberals in the Church. If I have misinterpreted your remarks, please forgive me. However, it would appear to me that you think this article is somehow not orthodox enough. I don’t know how that is possible. It would seem to me that the first three or four commentors (among others) like what I have to say. Anyway, God Bless & take care!

  • David,

    I actually never knew you existed before I found your article, but I can see that you are not a dissident.

    It has been such a refuge to come to the internet and read solid opinions. But we need those opinions to get into our schools and parishes and it is time to do something a little different.

    As a Boston activist who is part of the blogging community described in the AP, those of us on the ground doing this difficult ministry not only get called ‘names’ by dissidents, we are undermined by people on the right, sitting staring at their computers using their orthodoxy and bonafides to take cheap shots at us.

    ” to find a couple of unnamed fringe Catholic bloggers, who few read, and then make them become bigger players than they really are. ”

    Is blogosphere a game of “who is the bigger player”? Is it about chumming around with folks who post comments telling you how great you are?

    Oh wait…

    Look, I’ve done my share of years of writing and defending the Magisterium.

    But you know what we realized?

    Not a single dissident in our children’s schools been removed from teaching children by the things we are writing on the internet (myself included)

    A lot of us have been parish shopping for ten years.

    It’s time to go to plan b.

    I can appreciate your frustration with the article that they failed to recognize the big wazoos who have been banging away at their keyboards. But the work we are doing is critical new work and the author of the AP article knew more about that then you did!

    Nobody on the ground is a threat to your thunder. We will not be competing in who is the greatest of them all contests. At ease.

    We are people who are trying to focus getting orthodoxy to our own children, family and friends while you bang away at your ministry doing it for people in the com boxes. Not as worthy as the work you are doing, but it is nonetheless, worthy work that did not deserve your cheap shot.

    The kicker was your respectful attitude towards John Allen, who in between working with Joan Chittister, Tom Roberts, Michael Sean Winters and Bishop Gumbleton (talk about fringe!) serving up poison to Christ’s souls, characterized parents fed up with dissent that is continuously being taught no matter how much you write with concerns to your Bishop, as lecherous murderers.

  • Goodness Anna I think the liberals have got the best of you. I spoke kindly of John Allen? I took him to task for his comment. I only said he was respected by many. Have you ever read what Father Zuhlsdorf says about John Allen? Father Z calls him “his friend and highly respected.” Do you think Father Z has gone wobbly too?

    I understand what you must be going through living in Boston. You may remember that I mentioned in my article that my childhood parish was scourged with not only one priest sent to the slammer for molestation, but two. Some of those these two deviants molested were my friends, so believe me I don’t need any lectures on that subject.

    I would suggest you take some time to pray over the whole matter, calling those that are on your side not wholly orthodox doesn’t help. God Bless & take care!

  • David,

    I must not be making myself clear.

    I have the greatest respect for Fr. Z. But I disagree with his characterizations of John Allen. I am NOT attacking Fr. Z or his orthodoxy. Nor, am I attacking your orthodoxy. Nor am I attacking you.

    Phew.

    There is no need to be defensive. Be at peace.

    The AP wrote an article about a new ministry in the Church and your reaction to it was a knee-jerk.
    Look here:

    ” to find a couple of unnamed fringe Catholic bloggers, who few read, and then make them become bigger players than they really are. ”

    The good people in Boston are getting off their fannies and taking our schools and parishes and chancery back. That’s what the article was about.

    What is it about that you wouldn’t embrace?

  • Anna, there is nothing about what you said that I wouldn’t embrace. God Bless you and the good people of Boston who are helping turn the tide. May God Be With You All!

Two Momentous But Little Remembered Dates In Western & Church History

Tuesday, October 12, AD 2010

Recently two momentous events in Western and Church History passed with hardly a mention. Actually, these events may be better known in the Muslim world than the Christian world; the Islamic army’s desecration of St. Peter’s in Rome, along with St John Lateran and other churches in 846, and the stunning defeat of the Islamic military onslaught by Charles  the Hammer Martel at Tours, France in 732. Though these two events occurred over 100 years apart, they do point out that until the Ottoman-Turkish Islamic defeat in 1683 at the gates of Vienna; Europe was facing a never ending threat from radical Islam. Yet how is it that according to the mainstream media it was the fault of Christians, and specifically Catholics? In my last article, I wrote of the naval Battle of Lepanto in 1571 and the land at the Gates of Vienna in 1683. Some wondered why I didn’t right about Charles the Hammer Martel and some of the earlier Islamic incursions into Europe. Now is a good time to delve into that subject. (For more on Charles the Hammer Martel and the Battle of Tours please read this excellent article by my colleague Donald McClarey.)

Ask most practicing Catholics, Evangelicals and mainline Protestants who Charles the Hammer Martel was and you would probably get blank stares. Perhaps a few young people might be under the false impression that he is some sort of up and coming professional wrestler. However, you would probably stand a better chance of having someone in the Islamic world tell you about Charles the Hammer Martel. The same might be true for the sack of Rome in 846 by Muslim forces who disembarked at Ostia (the Tiber port) and marched right into Rome desecrating holy sites like St Peter’s and St John Lateran and leaving the Eternal City with their plunder. Many in the western world might be surprised why they have never heard this and why those who reside in the Islamic world are better informed of these events than in the Western World. Let us peer back into time to see what we can learn about the past and what it might mean for the future.

It is said that God can make the best out of the worst. As Charles Martel grew older and realized that his mother was simply a consort of his regal father, Charles must have realized that he could have been abandoned to poverty, or worse yet aborted (if that had happened Christianity might have been confined to Ireland!) Charles must have developed a thick skin and a courageous spirit that enabled him not to run at the first sign of trouble. Europe was in a state of near panic by 730 as the well seasoned professional Islamic Army had laid waste to much of the Middle East and North Africa leaving the homes of those past saints like Augustine in ruins. Europe was in the Dark Ages, armies were merely feudal in their makeup, a far cry from the type of regimented units needed to stop the largest invading armies Europe had seen since the days when Rome ruled the world.

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4 Responses to Two Momentous But Little Remembered Dates In Western & Church History

Why Is Paris' Notre Dame Cathedral In Al Qaeda's Crosshairs?

Sunday, October 3, AD 2010

The target of the Notre Dame Cathedral seemed a bit out of place. Every other Al Qaeda target listed by the captured Ahmed Sadiqui was secular in origin, be the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Brandenburg Gate and Alexander Platz TV tower in Berlin, or the United Kingdom movements of the British Royal family. Why Notre Dame (which means Our Lady in French i.e. the Blessed Virgin Mary) and why not any other churches like St Paul’s in London or St Peter’s or St Michael’s in Munich make the list which has caused world governments to issue terror warnings and travel updates? To understand this question one has to understand the mindset of Al Qaeda. To the tried and true jihadist, Western Europe was almost under their control until two critical events occurred; the Battle of Lepanto in 1571 and the Siege of Vienna in 1683, when Our Lady intervened and stopped the Islamic armies in their tracks.

Now some would falsely point out that the Crusades of the 11th and 12th centuries were western victories and thus Islamic sore points, this is far from the truth. The Crusades actually were seen as a great victory in the Islamic World. Though we are now told by those in the mainstream media that the Crusades were a heinous act, they were in fact a small defensive action taken by the west to defend themselves against the Islamic armies who had been invading historical Christian lands for centuries. Long before they were Islamic lands, the Middle East and North Africa were filled with vibrant Christian centers and revelatory figures like Saint Augustine.  The very argument that Christianity was not appealing to the masses was left empty by the need of the Islamic armies to have a military conquest. Now my colleague Joe Hargrave has written a great piece on the Crusades which I highly encourage you to read. It is not my intention to go into any further detail about the Crusades for this article. I would again refer to the above link for Joe’s article or a similar article I wrote entitled; A Review of Al Qaeda’s Little Reported On War Against The Catholic Church.

Getting back to the 1571 Naval Battle of Lepanto and the land battle outside the Gates of Vienna in 1683; they were the turning point for Islamic military conquest and military failure. Islamic armies would never again threaten the heart of Europe. The hoped for world Caliphate did not come to fruition. To the militant jihadist it must have seemed as if defeat was snatched out of the jaws of victory. For the faithful Christian, especially the faithful Catholic the Islamic defeats were miraculous seen as the Hand of God working through His Son Jesus Christ and specifically His mother Mary.

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72 Responses to Why Is Paris' Notre Dame Cathedral In Al Qaeda's Crosshairs?

  • The news is saying Ramstein AB personnel are being advised to beware and not wear uniforms downtown.

    In addition to Our Blessed Mother’s aid in Lepanto and Vienna, the French intelligence service has been strong in counter-terror efforts.

    No US Catholic targets?

  • Pingback: Why Is Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral In Al Qaeda’s Crosshairs? « Deacon John's Space
  • “The defeat for the Turks at Vienna came about because of a last minute appearance on September 11 and 12, 1683, by the Polish cavalry under the leadership of Jan Sobiesksi. He had his men pray the Rosary before their lightning appearance.”

    The Polish winged-hussars were certainly an important part of the victory, but some credit has to be given to the Austrian infantry in the relief army, who fought their way into the Ottoman camp.

    “As for the battle, military tacticians still can’t figure out how the superior Ottoman Turkish Navy was defeated.”

    Prayer and superior firepower. The Holy League had more, and far more powerful, cannon than the Turks. The six sailing ships at the front of the Catholic formation that had been converted into firing platforms caused substantial damage to the Ottoman line.

    Niccolo Capponi has a great book on Lepanto, called Triumph of the West, that came out a couple of years ago.

  • Anyone interested should also read Yelena Chudinova’s novel “Mosque of Notre Dame 2048”. The English language version is not yet published but the Russian original is readily available.

  • Thank you for this post. I have a book on the battle of Lepanto that I have not yet read that I will now surely check out.

  • I re-read Chesterton’s fine poem LEPANTO every year at this time.

  • Last I heard the Cathedral of Notre Dame is owned by the French government, and that the politicos graciously let Catholics borrow state property under certain conditions alla revolucion.

  • This summer I traveled with Bob and Penny Lord as we traced the life of Saint Peter Julian Eymard and in Toulouse France on the hill over looking the river is a Shrine to our Lady where he visited often.
    Inside this shrine is the most magnificent mosaic of the Battle of Lepanto that exists. We plan to incorporate this mosaic in the program because of its importance to what happened then to keep it from recurring. Our Lady pray for us.

  • I would go back further to 732 and Charles Martellus “The Hammer”. Radical Islam simply can’t get past this one. If one believes the prophecies of hundreds of Catholic Saints (Catholic Prophecy by Yves DuPont), another French hammer is on the way. Deo Gratias

  • The Battle of Tours was on October 10th, 732 btw.

  • We need more people like you. Great post.

  • Every Catholic School in the world ought to have the pictures of Don Juan, King Jan Sobieski and Charles “The Hammer” Martel on the walls of every classroom (In a less prominent position than that of the Crucific, picture or Our Lady and the portrait of the Divine Mercy)

  • “Every Catholic School in the world ought to have the pictures of Don Juan, King Jan Sobieski…. on the walls of every classroom.”

    Check this out — I hope this link works for you:

    If this link doesn’t work, google “Rome of the West,” a blog by St. Louis resident Mark Scott Abeln, and click on his link to pictures of “Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Springfield, Illinois”.

    This is a stained glass window depicting Jan Sobieski kneeling on the battlefield to thank God for his victory over the Turks at Vienna. The windows here all show great moments in Catholic history both in Europe and in the United States, up to the 1920s when the cathedral was built.

  • Notre Dame is in the crosshairs as a chastisement because the French are the most wicked, promiscuous and blasphemous of the “Catholics”.

  • Aside from Mickey, great comments everyone. We certainly shouldn’t forget Charles Martel. Where would we be without him? I hope to get a chance to write about him, as well as the heroic martyrs of the Middle East, North Africa and southern Europe. Mickey, you might want to be a little more charitable with your posts for it sounds as if you are posting from some cave in Pakistan.

    Everyone let’s keep the comments coming and perhaps even throw out some names of famous Catholics who fought the good fight and perhaps were even martyred. Sadly, even among practicing Catholics, I am sure many of the saints and heroic figures mentioned in the article or in your comments, are not known.

  • good article but we forgot what happened at the battle of Covadunga Spain thats why the battle of Lampato happened. at Covadunga Spain angels were seen to fight on the side of Catholics on the verge of being annihilated.

  • in response to who owns Our Lady of Notre Dame guess who owns the tomb of St. Teresa of Avila and St John of the Cross the European union.guess who owns the Sistine chapel the japan government.

  • Interesting article on the Blessed Virgin, however one must also note that Catholics and Christians are not at present at war with Islam, in fact the Vatican and many Islamic centers want to keep the peace – therefore I wouldn’t use history as to re-ignite the wars of religion – as many christian sects would love to see – however for your perusal I have cataloged most Marian intercessions in times of war – Vienna and Lepanto are only 2 out of at least 90 intercessions during well known battles, for this please see the following – the major war today is in the hearts and minds of men and women, the soul is the battle ground –
    click here
    .

  • Our firm decision is to work from this focused center: One man died for everyone. That puts everyone in the same boat. He included everyone in his death so that everyone could also be included in his life, a resurrection life, a far better life than people ever lived on their own.

    Because of this decision we don’t evaluate people by what they have or how they look. We looked at the Messiah that way once and got it all wrong, as you know. We certainly don’t look at him that way anymore. Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We’re Christ’s representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them. We’re speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he’s already a friend with you.

    How? you ask. In Christ. God put the wrong on him who never did anything wrong, so we could be put right with God (2 Corinthians 5:14-21)

  • Another blow to Turkish pride was their defeat in Malta in 1565. Sicily and the Italian peninsula would have succumbed. Though it must be added that the Knights of Rhodes recently settled in Malta had done their utmost to provoke the Turks.

  • “French are the most wicked, promiscuous and blasphemous of the “Catholics”.

    Mickey, why such a heinous and false comment about French people? I feel peculiarly offended.
    Do you want I list all the sins that deserves an equal chastisement to America and England?
    Yes France will be chastised and America and all the west countries will be chastised too, due to their current apostasy.
    France was the most catholic country for centuries and was at the tip of the fight against Islam and heretics. She provided the greatest saints in the Chuch’s history.
    Without the French priests, monks, nuns and laymen who went in America long ago before the Brits, how many would be the Catholics here?

  • Jacques, thank you for reminding us about the great French saints. In my next article, I may write about them as well as Charles Martel. As for Mickey, I doubt he is English, American or Christian. Maybe he is posting from some cave in Pakistan.

    Mario, thank you for reminding us about the faithful in Malta who have been a beacon of hope and courage to the Christian world for centuries.

  • I don’t remember seeing this in the article, but Oct 7 is also the anniversary of US and allied forces taking care of things in Afganistan. I took great comfort that day, knowing the feast day and its history.

  • The claim the Catholic fleet was superior in firepower and size is secular lies and totally untrue. In fact Protestant countries, including Britain, either actively or tacitly supported the Islamic attempt to wipe out Catholicism. For this sin Queen Elizabeth I will be punished in hellfire as only Catholicism is the true Faith.
    I have no doubt Our Lady would truly have been weeping when England, her ‘Dowry’, sided with the enemies of the true Faith and the true Faith is Catholicism.

  • Bravo Jacques for speaking out for the Holy Kingdom of France. I study the History of Catholic France (is there any other history in France?) and this history is simply amazing. France is truly the Land of the Blessed Virgin, the Eldest Daughter of the Church and if we are to believe hundreds of Catholic Saints (and why wouldn’t we?), France will someday soon rule the ENTIRE world.

    France was given such rich gifts by God starting with the Faith which her missionaries then took around the world. France was blessed with the most incredible gifts of culture, natural resources, and people. However, the evils of rationalism, socialism, communism, and freemasonry flourished first in France and then spread around the globe like an virus. France also killed their divinely appointed King. Thankfully, by the grace of God, Luis XVII was NOT killed and the monarchy will return.

    For these crimes will France pay dearly and her people will turn back to the faith after this chastisement. France is the eldest daughter of the Church and she is supposed to set the example. There are some dark days ahead for France but peace will be restored with the lily returns to the throne.
    An excellent dvd about the Catholic history of France is “The Heart of the Lily” and “Where the World Begins”. It runs on EWTN every so often.

  • Brian Gregory, I am glad you reiterated my point that the Ottoman Turks had far superior naval firepower at Lepanto. It was Divine Providence accompanied by the courage of the Catholic Fleet that led to the Ottoman Turks defeat. I don’t see how anyone can get around this fact.

  • Seeing the images of King Jan Sobieski during a Google search, I couldn’t help but notice a similarity in looks with Lech Walesa when he was younger and had darker hair. As we all know, Walesa had a lot to do with the toppling of communism, apparently like Sobieski did with the Muslim marauders.

  • When I was in grade school ( Immaculate Heart of Mary ) I was the first to crown the new statue of the Blessed Mother. This reading has brought me back to her. Thank you.

    John Claypool

  • I’m sorry Pax Christi of Bakersfield but Lech Walesa had nothing whatsoever to do with the collapse of Communism. The secular press often associate the collapse of Soviet Communism with the American president of that time (Ronald Reagan),the British primeminister of the time (Mr. Thatcher)and Mr. Gorbachev.However,Mr. Reagan, Mrs. Thatcher and Mr. Gorbachev all acknowledge the role of the Holy Father in the collapse of Soviet Communism – neither they nor the Holy Father say ‘SOLIDARITY’ brought down Communism. It is claimed in the secular media which is athiestic the Holy Father helped fund ‘SOLIDARITY’, however, ‘SOLIDARITY’s’ uprising was put down in 1981.Soviet Communism did not fall until the Holy Father consecrated the world and especially Russia to her Immaculate Heart on 25 March 1984 (‘The Feast of the Annunciation’ or ‘Lady Day’). Mr. Gorbachev did not come to power until after then unless I am mistaken but that is irrelevant. The Soviet coup took place in August 1991,during the octave of the Assumption,but ended peacefully on the vigil of the Queenship of Mary (August 22nd).Those who use the ‘Extraordinary Form’ of the Mass will know August 22nd in the traditional calendar is the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the vigil of which is on 21 August. Mr. Gorbachev about the USSR officially on 25 December 1991. Our Blessed Mother told the shepherd children at Fatima in 1917 the Bolshevik (Communist) uprising would take place one year before it did (in 1918). She also promised if Russia was consecrated to her Immaculate Heart there would be peace. Russia was and there has been peace between Russia and the west, however,to save many souls Our Blessed Mother asked for the Five First Saturdays’ Devotion.

    Referring to England – England was called ‘Mary’s Dowry’ or ‘Our Lady’s Dowry’ because there was a large shrine to Our Lady at Walsingham in Norfolk with a replica of the Holy House. This vision was seen by Lady Richeldes de Faverches in AD1061. The shrine was destroyed by Henry VIII,however, three shrines were built there in the early 1900s.
    An Anglican shrine http://www.walsinghamanglican.org.uk/,for history see http://www.walsinghamanglican.org.uk/the_shrine/the_story_so_far.htm;an Orthodox shrine which is contained in the Anglican shrine http://www.westernorthodox.com/walsingham and the Catholic shrine http://www.walsingham.org.uk/romancatholic/ see history http://www.walsingham.org.uk/romancatholic/history.html
    In fact many events and services are truly oecumenical with members of other Christian denominations taking part as well.

    There is also the Shrine of Our Lady of the Taper in Wales http://www.ourladyofthetaper.org.uk/

  • My other comment are taken from my blog on MYSPACE.

    ‘NOTIFICATION: ‘CHRISTIAN CONCERN FOR THE BENEFIT OF CHURCH AND NATION’ has launched it’s campaign ‘NOT ASHAMED’ http://www.notashamed.org.uk/ calling on all Christians to wear the symbol of our Faith – the Cross or the ‘NOT ASHAMED’ emblem especially on national ‘NOT ASHAMED DAY’ which is on Wednesday 1st December 2010

    I hope all believers, throughout the world, irrespective of their denomination, rich or poor, famous or unknown will visit their website, offer their support and wear the Sign of our Faith and if possible the ‘NOT ASHAMED’ emblem on ‘NOT ASHAMED DAY’ – Wednesday 1st December 2010.’

    Please consider doing this and letting everyone know about this UK event which I hope will go global.

    My other ‘MYSPACE’ blog I would like to draw your attention to is:
    ‘MAKING OUR FAITH MORE VISIBLE: I hope all believers will consider making their faith more visible by making the Sign of the Cross, saying ‘”God bless you”‘ and if possible wearing a cross or crucifix. Please read the Archbishop of Westminster’s 24/09/2010 ‘PASTORAL LETTER’ http://www.rcdow.org.uk/diocese/default.asp?content_ref=3031

    Thank you

  • I cannot compare better the Lepanto victory but to that of Midway: The balance of strength was strongly in favour of the Japs and truly it was a MIRACLE that the Navy’s aircrafts could drop their bombs and their torpedoes onto the japanese carriers at the very moment when the japanese hunters couldn’t take off for momentary technical reasons (they were all being replaced their bombs for torpedoes) to protect their carriers.

  • Mario, the defeat of the Turks against Malta in 1565 was also a miracle since the Turkish troops were half a million vs 30000 Malta’s knights and soldiers.
    But they were much helped by a bubonic plague outburst that occured among the turks.
    This makes me remind of the capture of Malta by the french troops of Napoleon 2 centuries later in a couple of weeks. Then the knights of Malta were only the shadows of themselves.

  • “The claim the Catholic fleet was superior in firepower and size is secular lies and totally untrue.”

    I never said the Catholic fleet was larger. The Turks had more ships. But the Holy League had much greater firepower. Capponi does an extensive analysis of the armament on the different types of ships present. The Catholic fleet was more technologically advanced, which people probably find hard to believe because of the disinformation they have been fed on the Church and science.

    “Brian Gregory, I am glad you reiterated my point that the Ottoman Turks had far superior naval firepower at Lepanto. It was Divine Providence accompanied by the courage of the Catholic Fleet that led to the Ottoman Turks defeat. I don’t see how anyone can get around this fact.’

    Because it’s not a fact. The use of the six Galleasses at the front of the Catholic formation and the devastating firepower they produced had a tremendous impact on the course of the battle. That was part of the plan put together by the Catholic leaders. Give the men who plannned and fought the battle some credit.

  • “Give the men who planned and fought the battle some credit.”

    I haven’t really heavily studied Lepanto or any of the other great Christendom vs. Muslim battles, but even if the Catholic fleet at Lepanto was not quite as outnumbered or outgunned as we have been told — does that really make its victory any less an answer to prayer? The same way that a healing accomplished through ordinary medicine may not be a bona fide miracle but is still just as much an answer to prayer as if it were.

  • “but even if the Catholic fleet at Lepanto was not quite as outnumbered or outgunned as we have been told — does that really make its victory any less an answer to prayer?”

    Don’t get me wrong. The Turks had more galleys, had veteran crews, and were led by very experienced commanders. It was a hard fought battle and certainly could have resulted in a disasterous defeat for the Catholic fleet.

    There are plenty of instances where prayer could be regarded as the difference in the multitude of events that made up the battle.

    Beyond the battle itself, it is almost a miracle that Pius V had been able to weld together the bickering factions that made up the Holy League to create a fleet that was able to defeat the virtually invincible Ottoman fleet.

  • On the contrary Brian English it is a fact. I don’t care what Capponi says.
    Victor Davis Hanson tells us Capponi announces at the outset of his book: ‘I also admit to having something of a soft spot for the Turks as a fighter,my great-great-grandfather,a Crimean War veteran, describing them as the best soldiers in the world.’ http://www.victorhanson.com/articles/hanson071207.html

    Hanson,quoting Capponi,writes: ‘How did the Christians win the battle? They were probably outnumbered, both in ships and men. Lepanto was fought in Turkish-controlled waters near the Ottoman winter port at the mouth of the Gulf of Corinth opposite Patras, the present-day Naupaktos. The Venetians had lost Cyprus and were demoralized from increasingly bold attacks on the coast of Italy.’
    http://www.victorhanson.com/articles/hanson071207.html

    First of all there is no ‘probably’ about it – we were outnumbered. Just by using the word ‘probably’ shows Capponi is attempting to ‘revise’ history. Will he dare say next the Turks were outnumbered?

    Yes,Capponi does mention the use of the six galleasses,however,I reject his claim and that of pseudo-science the galleasses would have been as successful even if God,through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin,had not willed it to be so.If the galleasses,were successful,it was because Our divine Redeemer willed it that way in response to the prayers of Our Blessed Lady because of the Masses, Rosaries and prayers offered for our victory.

    At least Capponi admits we ‘were outnumbered,both in ships and men’ and that ‘Lepanto was fought in Turkish-controlled waters near the Ottoman winter port at the mouth of the Gulf of Corinth opposite Patras, the present-day Naupaktos.’He also tells us ‘the Venetians had lost Cyprus and were demoralized from increasingly bold attacks on the coast of Italy.’http://www.victorhanson.com/articles/hanson071207.html

    Hanson,again referring to Capponi’s book,tells us ‘The Christian League ….. was never really much more than the galley fleets of Spain, the Papal States, and Venice. England and France kept clear. Both had long ago cut their own deals with the Ottomans. Indeed, during the winter of 1542 the French had even allowed the Ottoman corsair Barbarossa the use of their harbor at Toulon to refit, as he conducted raids along the Italian coast.’http://www.victorhanson.com/articles /hanson071207.html

    Brian English and perhaps Niccolò Capponi seem to imply we could have won at the Battle of Lepanto without the aid of Our Lord and Our Lady – because of superior firepower. Interesting point. Why then were the Soviet Russians defeated by the Taliban in Afghanistan? Why on the three (or four occasions) in the past when Britain has been in Afghanistan have we been defeated? Why is it the west,in spite of it’s superior firepower and inspite of the secular media which claims to the contrary,did we lose in Iraq and are losing in Afghanistan?:
    (i) The Soviet Russians being athiest denied God.
    (ii)Britain had rejected the true Faith, the Catholic Faith,at the Protestant Rebellion (or Revolution).
    (iii)The western allies consisted of nations which had either become athiestic or rejected the true Faith (the Catholic Faith).
    The only way to win a war against terrorism is to ask the protection and help of Our Lord and Our Lady.

    9/11/2001 does have one thing in common with the Battle of Vienna – the date. The Battle of Vienna ran from 9/11/1683-9/12/1683.

  • “On the contrary Brian English it is a fact. I don’t care what Capponi says.”

    No, it’s not.

    “Brian English and perhaps Niccolò Capponi seem to imply we could have won at the Battle of Lepanto without the aid of Our Lord and Our Lady – because of superior firepower.”

    See my response to Elaine.

    “Why is it the west,in spite of it’s superior firepower and inspite of the secular media which claims to the contrary,did we lose in Iraq and are losing in Afghanistan?:”

    Wrong again.

    “(i) The Soviet Russians being athiest denied God.
    (ii)Britain had rejected the true Faith, the Catholic Faith,at the Protestant Rebellion (or Revolution).
    (iii)The western allies consisted of nations which had either become athiestic or rejected the true Faith (the Catholic Faith).”

    Last time I checked, the Taliban didn’t follow the True Faith either.

  • Brian Gregory you have a warped view of history and of reality.

    The Soviets and British were defeated by a race of people who lived and breathed war. As soon as there hands could support weight they were holding AK-47’s. That coupled with Afghanistans extremely inhospitible geography gives you a war that cannot be won. Alexander the Great and Geghis Khan, two of historys greatest conquerers were unable to defeat the Afghans, how do you expect us to?

    And to suggest that human beings werent capable of defeating the Turks at Lepanto as well as Vienna is frankly insulting to our species. To suggest that winning battles is “all in the hands of god” is bringing us back to a very medieval viewpoint which is honestly dangerous. You want to live in an age of faith? Go check out Naples in 1342 where they would burn you alive for questioning the Pope. Or if you want a modern example, check out Saudi Arabia and see how great religion is at running that country.

    By the way, your idea that Catholiscm is the “one true faith” only causes more conflict and is pretty much the reason why thousands of people died in the 1600’s. Accept peoples differences and move on or else your going to have serious problems in the future.

  • Steve what is the point of your post? Is it to advance ego, pride or the atheist cause? What is this nonsense about Naples and the pope in 1342? The Catholic faith was started by Jesus, who was both human and divine, quite unlike the beliefs systems started by the likes of Voltaire, Marx, Stalin or Mao. Whatever your likes or dislikes are concerning Christianity, during the first 300 years the Faith grew by love and compassion, all the while the faithful were being vicioulsy killed for the kindness they exhibited. There never was a peaceful era under the likes of Voltaire, Marx, Stalin or Mao.

    We have too many examples of the pride of man thinking he could do better than God. What a disaster; from the bloody French Revolution to the Soviet death camps, to Hitler’s death camps to Mao’s Culutal revolution to Pol Pot. They all thought they knew better than God and didn’t need God. Look at where it got them. There are over 100 million dead because of it. Keep that in mind, as the people who you mock on this site pray for you.

  • In 1342 (Rennaisance period) in Naples, which was aligned with the Papacy, you could be burned alive for heresy, which would be disagreeing with the Pope.

    Yes but the teachings of Jesus are just as unreasonable as those of Mao and Stalin. In fact if you look at Christianity’s fundamental teachings, there purely Communist! Lets make everyone equal and lets share everything. Draw your own conclusions.

    I love how Christians love to point out all the things “atheists” have done, but never what they have done. And I love how Christians always point out how great there matyrs were, dying at the hands of those evil romans. Then again, Christians have been killing atheists since they have been in control. In fact, once we see Christians begin to lose power we see them become more “moderate”. If they had any power they would be exactly like the Taliban or the Saudis.

  • In fact I’d like to point out I’m not an atheist, I believe in god just I feel what he and his chruch has to say is a bunch of crap

  • Steve: you bring up 1342 – the atheists in China and the USSR were murdering tens of millions in the 20th century, not 700 years ago! You blithely ignore that the Christian wars of religion ended hundreds of years ago, while the Communist atheists got “warmed up” during the French Revolution – killing many thousands in the Vendee – and really came into their own in the century just past, slaughtering 100 million. The Inquisition was child’s play compared to the gruesome evil committed by those who believe they will not have a God to answer to.

    Your equivalence of Saudi Muslims and Christians makes me believe you are woefully ignorant of the basic tenets of both religions. You are, in fact, a prime example of the suicidal tendencies that have infected the West. No other culture on earth tears down its founding religion and the building blocks of its culture the way Western atheists attack the foundation of their society. Atheistic society will not survive. In Europe, secularism is giving way to Islamic fundamentalism. If you are European, your children and grandchildren might very well find themselves longing for the good old days of “Christianists.” I promise you, Islam will not be as gentle with you as modern-day Christians are.

  • PS. A clarification to my post above: the murderous atheist ideologues of the French Revolution were not “Communists.” The French Revolution was, however, the birthplace of the modern Left and the Great Terror has been copied many times by those who wish to place “Man” at the center of the Universe, while not hestitating to slaughter all those humans who stand in the way of “Progress.”

    That includes Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge, many of whom studied in Paris in the 1950’s and learned the lessons of the French Revolution well. Ah, yes, Steve, you atheists have really done well in the world. I’m sure that eventually you’ll get it right – maybe after your crew kills 100 more people or so.

    What does it matter to you anyway? After all, humans are only glorified animals in your book. It’s not like they have souls, or are endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights. Nope, according to an atheist, we’re no better than any other animals (just ask PETA). Why not kill the humans you deem troublesome? There can no higher morality in your book… no good reason NOT to murder people….

  • In fact I’d like to point out I’m not an atheist, I believe in god just I feel what he and his chruch has to say is a bunch of crap

    Goody for you, Steve-o! And you feel free to say it because you know darn well nobody is going to blow you up or issue a fatwa on you for insulting Catholics.

    My, my, what a brave fellow you are!

  • Donna V, excellent posts. It seems to me that Steve represents this sort of new (but very old) way of thinking that yes there is a God, but He’s not doing it my, so he’s wrong. Talk about hubris, pride and narcissism. Yet, isn’t this the same line of thinking we saw displayed in Lucifer when he said, “I will not serve!”

  • Ah but were they killing in the name of atheism? Did Stalin say “lets go kill all the christians because there christians?” No, he just killed people for his political goals, to turn Russia into a modern country and to unify it under the Soviet banner. In fact, Stalin promoted the Orthodox church as a source of Russian nationalism.

    You dont understand the context of the French Revolution, where the church literally had oppressed people for hundreds of years. Why wouldnt they slaughter all the priests then? If a priest had taxed your family to starvation, taken your house, then said you were going to hell, wouldnt you want to kill him too?

    The Saudi government is pretty much the way much of Europe was run until the 1700’s. The Church had all the power and didnt allow anyone to think or learn or anything. In fact once society starts to become secular (starting with the Rennaisance) the society begins to progress. Religion holds people back from realizing there full potiential.

    You dont understand that Christianity and communism are one in the same! Jesus taught communism and the early Christians practiced it. Our country wasnt founded on Christianity. The founding fathers detested it, I think Jefferson called it the “most digusting institution on earth”. Ben Franklin was in fact a Satanist. Look at our Constitution and then look at the Satanic bible and you’ll see some striking similaritys.

    I dont think people are glorified animals, in fact the opposite. I believe mankind is the greatest of things to ever come to this planet, it is Christian theology that makes people seem worthless and unimportant. We needed to be “rescued” and “saved” because we are scum and filthy and sinful. Everything we do is wrong. Humanity is fantastic, but Christianity by nature is pessimistic about it.

    Of course Catholics arent going to issue a fatwa (or Crusade in Christian terms) on me, but if they had any sort of real power they sure would. All religions are the same in the sense that there all intolerant once they are in charge.

    And what is your obsession with killing people? Just because I am non-religious doesnt mean I want to kill people. Perhaps you have some feelings toward ending anothers life, but are halted by the news they will go to hell after they die. Religion is a crutch for people who are fundamentally miserable and need something to make them feel good about themselves because they havent done anything of any importance.

  • The French Revolution Dave was planned and begun by the illuminized Masonic order in France and this is a fact.
    http://www.freemasonrywatch.org/frenchrevolution.html

  • A website that trafficks in conspiracy theories is not a fact site Brian

  • So ‘The New Encyclopedia Britannica’ does not deal in facts but you do and the Masons themselves are lying when they actually acknowledge they were behind it?:

    ”The New Encyclopedia Britannica’ tells us that in France there arose a political system and a philosophical outlook that no longer took Christianity for granted, that in fact explicitly opposed it… The brotherhood taught by such groups as the Freemasons, members of secret fraternal societies, and the Illuminati, a rationalist secret society, provided a rival to the Catholic sense of community.”‘

    The same website tells us: ‘Secret society researcher and author Nesta H. Webster was even more pointed, writing in 1924, “The Masonic book ‘A Ritual and Illustrations of Freemasonry’ contains the following passage, ‘The Masons… originated the Revolution with the infamous Duke of Orleans at their head.'”

    Still Steve you know best don’t you?

  • “Ah but were they killing in the name of atheism? Did Stalin say “lets go kill all the christians because there christians?” No, he just killed people for his political goals, to turn Russia into a modern country and to unify it under the Soviet banner. In fact, Stalin promoted the Orthodox church as a source of Russian nationalism.

    You dont understand the context of the French Revolution, where the church literally had oppressed people for hundreds of years. Why wouldnt they slaughter all the priests then? If a priest had taxed your family to starvation, taken your house, then said you were going to hell, wouldnt you want to kill him too?”

    In regard to Stalin, he waged a war of extermination against the Orthodox Church explicitly because they were Christian. The war entered a period of remission during World War II when Stalin needed the support of Christians for the war effort. Agressive and murderous atheism was always a hallmark of the Bolshevik movement.

    As for the Church under the Old Regime in France, it had almost no secular power, and was noted for its good works in helping the poor. The war waged on the Church by the French revolutionary regime was massively unpopular in France which was the main reason that Napoleon as First Consul engineered a concordat with Pope Pius VII in 1801.

  • The Church had all the power and didnt allow anyone to think or learn or anything.

    Statements like that indicate that ignorance is alive and well and that the Church cannot be held culpable for it.

  • Steve asks: “What is your obsession with killing people?”

    Now that’s rich. Steve pops in here, accuses the Church of murder and then, when it is pointed out that secular regimes have murdered far more people, turns around and accuses us of having an “obsession with killing people. It’s always funny to me that people who attack religion for its’ “irrationality” are seldom models of reason and logic themselves.

    Steve, who thinks the Church “didnt allow anyone to think or learn or anything” apparently never learned that the modern university system was founded by the Church, as were hospitals. Do you think the Sorbonne or Oxford and Cambridge started out as secular institutions? Have you ever wondered why the vast majority of hospitals in this country have (or once had) some sort of religious affiliation? I realize that’s not the sort of thing that occurs to someone who apparently has learned his history from Bill Maher and Jon Stewart, but you really should try broadening your reading a little (if you read). You might find that Church history is a bit more complex than the simplistic cartoon you have your head.

    Finally, ah ha, the old “religion is a crutch” accusation. Gee, we’ve never heard that one before! Clearly, you’re not miserable and you do many things of great importance – like seeking out Catholic blogs so you can berate believers. My, what a highly significant existence you lead, Steve – unlike, say, a devout Catholic physician friend of mine who spends time working in Haiti as a medical missionary every year. No, attempting to destroy the faith of other people by is doing so much more for humanity, Steve.

  • Ha! Its obvious you Christians have misenterperted my statement. You continued to mention how it would be cool for me and my “crew” to kill people, as well as my apparent lack of morality which would lead me to kill people because they werent “worthy”. After all, all atheists are essentially bad people who would rape and murder if they had the chance.

    Yea thats great, but who were those unviersitys open to? Only the rich. Even earlier universities were used as priest training centers. They were by no means open to all, which you see only happening when secular authorities took over education. Religion is always exclusive.

    Haha more atheist cliches! Yea sure I dont have anything to be proud of, except I’m getting a Army commission in June and begin work in the Intelligence branch. I’m going to be making desicions that can potientially effect the foreign policy of our country. Yea sure I live an unfufilled life.

  • God help the Army if an ill educated bigot like you is actually receiving a commission. By the way, a second lieutenant doesn’t get within shouting distance of having any impact on this country’s foreign policy. Oh, and I hope you are covering your internet tracks well. Military Intelligence background checks tend to be very comprehensive.

    In regard to Universities in the Middle Ages, poor scholars regularly studied at them. Your knowledge of history is as rudimentary as your spelling.

    “After all, all atheists are essentially bad people who would rape and murder if they had the chance.”

    Not all atheists, but I wouldn’t lay any bets on you, considering your belief that it was fine that thousands of priest were murdered during the French Revolution.

    Piece of free advice: stop acting like a jackass and actually do some hard study of both history and theology.

  • Wow so I’m suddenly not qualified to lead soldiers because I dont agree with you? When have I ever said anything bigoted, I came here simply to inform Mr. Gregory that he was wrong on his warped history views.

    I think the real bigots in this community are YOU. Ever since I got here I’ve been talked to like a child, which I am not at all surprised because from exprience most Christians treat non-religious this way.

    And I never condoned the French priest killings, I merely stated I understood why the French would do that.
    Keep letting religion to rule your life, see how much you enjoy it with a god who wont even let you use your free will

  • Steve, why don’t you go back to HuffPo or Daily Kos or I Think Church Sux. com or some other site where nobody will argue with or challenge your goofy and semi-literate assertions. You’ve been talked to like a child here because you write and think like one – a nasty, bigoted one. You sound like a 14 year old who knows nothing and thinks he knows everything.

    As Donald noted, Army standards really are going down the tubes. I thought a basic knowledge of the English language was required of our military officers. You do know that many, many servicemen and women are believers, don’t you? I feel very bad for any enlisted Christian men and women who end up under the command of a such a narrow-minded bigot.

    “Keep letting religion to rule your life, see how much you enjoy it with a god who wont even let you use your free will”

    You have us confused with Calvinists. Do you know what Calvinism is? Do you know how it differs from Catholicism? No, you are ignorant of just how ignorant you are, which is why your attempts to “instruct” us are so risible.

    Good night to you.

  • “I think the real bigots in this community are YOU. Ever since I got here I’ve been talked to like a child,”

    You are a child Steve K. You are a high school student apparently at a Catholic high school. Unfortunately the money that your parents spent to send you to parochial school has been wasted, and you have developed a hatred for the Church. Oh well, you are young and have a lot of life ahead of you. Study hard, work hard and see a bit of the world after you enlist in the Army and check back here in a few years. I’ll be interested to see what you have learned. Good luck to you.

  • Donald, if Steve K. really is a high school kid, I have been a bit too harsh on him. I said similarly silly things when I was 18 (I cringe when I recall coming out of the movie theater after seeing “Reds” and saying “I think I’m a Communist.” That was, as I’m sure you can guess, before I actually knew something about Communists.)

    Your advice is sound. I hope Steve follows it.

  • I remember some of the things I said and did in High School and College Donna and I cringe even three decades later.

  • My last name starts with a C, what are you talking about? I did indeed go to Catholic school and that is indeed where I lost my faith but I have no idea where you got the idea that I’m still in high school.

    I think its disturbing that Mr. McClarey actually went looking for me online, but if you actually think my real name is Steve you are sadly mistaken.

    I am now leaving this discussion. Goodbye Christians, get off the train before it crashes into the mountains.

  • I do wish Dr Charles Krauthammer could take a look at “Steve’s” posts. If “Steve” had went to a liberal Catholic high school, he could have been turned off by their ideoloy and thought Catholicism as being silly. However, “Steve” seems quite certain of God’s existence, but questions God’s ways. I wonder if Steve went to a pretty orthodox minded Catholic school and either realizes a flaw in his own character and doesn’t want to change it, or was of another faith tradition (outside Christinaity) and refuses to acknowledge the truth of what he was taught.

    Whatever the case, I will pray for Steve and if you are reading this Steve know that we all have flaws. God points them out to us so we can become better human beings. Please keep this in mind and know that people are praying for you that haven’t the slightest clue of how you look, where you live and what you think of them. They pray for you because an interior calling brought up by their faith beckons them to pray for people they have never met, but whom they care about nonetheless. They do so because for centuries the saints and simple believers asked God to help those they never met as well following the teachings and practices of Jesus and His Apostles, along with those who initially persecuted the faith, but came into the light like St Paul.

  • Steve, you didn’t “lose” your Catholic faith at a Catholic School, you never had any faith, perhaps our Lord will give you some soon. But in the meantime please write nothing further. Your inane arguments about communism are quite dull. Just skimming your first two posts I can see you’re one of those who literally believe “religion has killed more people than all war in history.” This liberal balderdash you heard somewhere along the way during your liberal education and now you come here to talk about the truth as if you know. But the reality for all to see here is that you don’t know anything but the brainwashing bs taught in liberal schools.

    If you actually knew anything about the French revolution, for example, you’d understand that the average French person at the time of the revolution had a higher standard of living than any country in Europe and probably the world. But, like the good communist that you are (based on your writings), never let an opportunity pass to distort the facts and pedal lies.

  • “My last name starts with a C, what are you talking about? I did indeed go to Catholic school and that is indeed where I lost my faith but I have no idea where you got the idea that I’m still in high school”

    Steve, when you comment on this blog and we have your ip address and your e-mail address, it takes no great skill to learn quite a bit about people who contact us. I looked you up because of your statement about being commissioned in the army which I found hard to believe. If you are going to troll on blogs, truly a waste of time, you need to conceal your internet footprints with greater skill.

  • I suggest Steve you grow up. When the true and only Church God founded, the Catholic Church,was the Church in England before Henry VIII dared think he could make himself Pope by picking what he should and shouldn’t believe(just as you sound like you are doing)there were many chantry chapels set up in peoples’ wills to offer the Mass for their souls after death and the wealthier as part of their Mass bequests left an amount to help the poor and needy. Attached to these chantry chapels were schools to educate poor children. It was only after the 1600s, under Protestantism,that children were indoctrinated with anti-Catholic hate and teaching poor children was thrown out in favour of ‘the work house’. Perhaps you should read Charles Dickens’ novel ‘Oliver Twist’which shows how Protestant Churches really treated orphan children.
    In fact it was a Church of England clergyman in real life, the Revd. Thomas Malthus, who speaking of the poor and starving,who said ‘”the poor should die and decrease the surplus population.”‘However, this Anglican clergyman was Satan’s fool as there was not a surplus population and there never will be.
    In his short story ‘A Christmas Carol’ Dickens has Scrooge say this at the beginning – only later is it revealed to him by the Ghost of Christmas Present, quoting Scrooge back at him,that it was not for him to decide who should live or die (an arrogance of the wealthy).

    Thanks Dave,however,as I will show later while Communism is athiestic Karl Marx,it’s principal founder,as Marxism is just another word for Communism was not an athiest but a Satanist intent on bringing the world to ruin,not bettering it,who knowing he would not go to Heaven because he had chosen to side with Satan so would end up in the Abyss (Hell) which is where he wanted all mankind to go. This is in his own writings. I’ll put a link to some of them later to prove it as I never make statements unless I can back what I can say.

    As for you Steve,if you are at a school labelling itself ‘Catholic’,I wonder if your parents know the anti-Catholic,unhistorical,pro-Communist,pro-Protestant drivel you’re being taught because whoever is teaching it shouldn’t even be in a ‘public’ school (state school)teaching.

  • So,Steve, which is it? Are you at school or in the military? And if you are not a practising Catholic what are you? Lapsed Catholic,a convert to another Christian denomination or another religion!!!! Or are you an agnostic or athiest?

    I believe we have the right to know.

  • I have little doubt that Steve lost his faith at a Catholic high school. Our local Catholic high school works hard at doing this. That way, when they get to Catholic colleges, they are primed for becoming Communists.

  • I’m facebook friends with a few old high school classmates (a Jesuit school) that are defiantly atheist. Looking back on my high school education, this is not surprising.

  • A couple of points to consider: Who knows what if any truth came out of Steve’s keyboard. I have no idea if he is in high school (public or private) is in the military, or wants to be in the military. However since he says he believes God exists and still hates His ways, then we know one thing for surel Jesus said the evil one was the master of all lies.

    Another point as far as Catholic schools goes, I have worked in them and worked as an administrator in a diocesan office. There are some bad ones, but we shouldn’t discount the fact that there are some good ones. I can tell you in some of the schools I have been at recently, the religious instruction and religious curriculum is far superior than when I was a student in the 80s. Order run schools probably have the bigesst disparity. Sadly as Paul pointed out there are far too many Jesuit schools that are known for their high academic standards (which is all the parents care about) and goofy “Zen” oriented religious classes.

    A rather new phenomena to Catholic education are the students who are far more orthodox than their parents. They are serious about their faith and eagerly go to Sunday Mass (and sometimes Daily Mass at school) while their parents nurse a hangover. A recent study showed that those under 25 who go to Mass are more orthodox in their views (especially supporting the Church’s teachings on life) than their parents or grandparents.

    Yet, far too many Catholic youth don’t go to Mass because after having them baptized their parents never taught them thing one about Catholicism. I am increasingly meeting young people who say they were baptized Catholic but never went to Catholic school, CCD, and have only a vague memory of going to Mass for someone’s wedding or funeral. However, I think it should be pointed out that many of the new, more orthodox priests being ordained did go to Catholic school and want to correct the abuses that took place in the Church in the time of their parents generation.

  • I’m not in the military I’m training for the military, I get my commission in June.

    I’m a maltheist. I believe that god is a cruel and unjust and is therefor unworthy of my worship. He is a liar and a thief. I realize worshiping god only gives him more glory, glory which he does not deserve. It does not benefit me in any way to be with god or follow his base teachings.

    Thats my opinion

  • Steve this might be the most ridiculous post I have ever read. You aren’t smart enough to know the history of all the events you recite, and you are all of 18, 19, 20 21, maybe 22. In addition, you hide behind a false name and then you tell us that you are smarter than God and think that He’s doing it all wrong? Steve this is akin to a child who is barely able to mouth a few words telling a Nobel Prize Winner in Physics that he’s wrong. Please tell us that you are yanking our chain. You can’t be this ignorant.

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CNN Joins The Hit Piece Parade Against Pope Benedict XVI and The Catholic Church

Sunday, September 26, AD 2010

It would appear that those in the mainstream media who want to do hit pieces on Pope Benedict XVI need to take a number. The latest to engage in Yellow Journalism is CNN. The “network of record” dispatched Gary Tuchman to do the dirty work. One might recall that it was none other than Tuchman who remarked how distressing it was travelling in the heartland during the 2008 Election campaign. He complained that some who recognized him told him that their Middle American views and ideas were repeatedly mocked by the mainstream media, all the while those of the liberal establishment were hailed. Tuchman’s words were quite revealing when it comes to this story.

CNN has been advertising their hit piece on Pope Benedict XVI as if he was already guilty of some sort of cover up, even though during the Abuse Scandal it was none other than the New York Times who praised then Cardinal Ratzinger for tackling the tough problems. What tough problems did he tackle? The most notable example being Father founder of the Legionaries of Christ. Father Marcial Maciel was one of the few prominent conservatives caught up in the Abuse Scandal, most of the abusers were Church liberals who wanted to change the Church. Cardinal Ratzinger took on Father Maciel at the height of his power and popularity. One might recall that Father Maciel was quite close to Pope John Paul II. So from this example we can see that Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) showed no favorites and pulled no punches. The Legionaries of Christ were shaken to the core and as pontiff, Pope Benedict XVI removed their leadership and installed his own, hardly the work of someone who was timid.

The CNN piece was perhaps even more despicable than the New York Times hit piece, because in the interim much of the modus operandi of the Old Gray Lady was exposed. Still CNN used the same material and claimed that they had something new. There is nothing new here. The crux of their argument comes from material provided by Jeffrey Anderson the attorney who has made millions off the scandal. Anderson says he is one a mision to “reform the Church.” What kind of reform would that be? Some Catholic dioceses have been forced into bankruptcy, which means the poor whom they dioceses assisted through their social programs are left in the cold. For all his concern of “reform”  Anderson hasn’t provided a penny to these particular poor.

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18 Responses to CNN Joins The Hit Piece Parade Against Pope Benedict XVI and The Catholic Church

  • This is a message for Dave Hartline:
    I was in Woodlawn in Chicago during the early years of
    The Woodlawn Organization when it was taken over by the
    Alinsky operatives, including, Fr. Egan, Nick Von
    Hoffman,et.al. I was one of two clergy who opted out
    of the movement for moral and ethical reasons. I read
    your article with comments on Alinsky and the”Radical”
    modus operandi in Fr. Dick Kim’s blog last week. You
    have a far different perspective than the Chicago Diocese at that time. Interesting.

  • Thank you for your post. I do believe there were many people like Alinsky who had great influence on those in the pre Vatican II Church. It was reported that Pope Pius XII wanted to convene the Conference but became too ill to do so. In some US Archdiocese, as well as a few in France and Belgium, movements arose that today one would view as being heretical or schismatic. I do recall the Catholic author Dave Armstrong (who was brought into the Church by Father Hardon SJ) saying that Father Hardon would often say, “The Revolution began…” Dave Armstrong couldn’t remember the precise date but it was sometime in the 1930s or 1940s.

    Anyway, what I am getting at it is before the modern communications era there were folks like Alinksy who claimed to be in line with what the Church was teaching (even though Alinsky was an Agnostic.) In reference to those who say that Alinsky’s book, “Rules for Radicals,” which was dedicated to Lucifer among others was really sort of tongue and cheek. One generally doesn’t dedicate books to the leader of the dark side as some sort of joke. I find that dedication intersting because it happened in 1971, the twilight of his life. Why didin’t he dedicate his previous books to Lucifer? The reason I feel this happened is because it would have caused a stir. Perhaps in the twilight of his life, Alinsky was being more open about his agenda.

    The first time I had heard of Alinsky occurred in my freshman year of college when some radical graduate students were quoting him like most fervent believers would quote the Gospel. In the turmoil that was the Church in the 1970s, I don’t think many people paid much heed to the role of these radicals until recently. However, I dare say that the likes of Father McBrien were quite familiar with the lofty aspirations of Alinksy and those of a similar mindset. This doesn’t even touch on those in the media who were influenced by Alinsky, and who today run those organizations. Does anyone think that the hit pieces on Pope Benedict in particular and the Church in general would have been possible had not these poeple been calling the shots?

    Fortunately as I have said before the tide is turning. I can’t help but refer back to a priest I know who was ordained some five years ago. There was quite a stir when he made no bones about his orthodox or conservative views. I spoke with him recently and he laughed saying, “those in the seminary now make me look like a milquetoast moderate.” Now that is what really drives the left up a wall, they thought the Election of 2008 would end any talk of conservatism prevailing in any sector of society. With the coming election, it appears that it is liberalism whose back is against the wall.

  • For my taste, Mr. Hartline, you seem too optimistic.

    Also, not just from you but from others I keep hearing of how good “new” seminarians are but I have not seen much to bouy my spirits among those have seen.

    Benedict is too little too late. The trials are upon us.

  • Karl with all due respect, it isn’t about your taste or mine, it is about facts. The fact is the Church was ruderless in the 1970s, Pope Paul VI said as much when uttered his famous words, “The Smoke of Satan had entered the Church.” However, Pope John Paul II’s Springtime of the Evangelization is here. We didn’t get into the mess we are in overnight, and we won’t get out of it overnight either. However, with Pope Benedict at the helm (perhaps fulfilling St John Bosco’s vision of the Twin Pillars) we will make great strides. The trials have been upon us many times before; the Islamic Invasions, the Protestant Reformation, the French Revolution, the 1960s Cultural Revolution, and yet here we are still Fighting the Good Fight!

  • I see the same facts but interpret them differently. It is not about taste though, you are spot on. The shoes we walk in influences our take. I remember into the early sixties. I have lived throughout this tempest. I believe we have seen, nothing yet.

  • In light of the customary, infernally low level of intellectual honesty in the Commie News Net pile-on piece of journalistic excrement, here’s my proposed response:

    Keep the Faith.

  • Karl, I certainly agree with you on your concluding point. However, I think we are in much better shape that we were 35 years ago. Pope John Paul II and now Pope Benedict XVI, through their leadership and those seminarians, women religious and laity whom they influence, are at least beginning to waft out the Smoke of Satan that had entered the Church.

    T Shaw, the Haku War Dance. I wonder if the Knights Templar did something similar before battle? May God Keep Us All Safe from enemies within and without!

  • “All one has to do is read the writings of those who started the French Revolution (which is often widely praised and celebrated in the West)…”

    During the 1780’s, many who made up the Third Estate, particulary the bourgeoisie (merchants, bankers, lawyers, etc), were fed up with the inequities of the ruling class.

    The First Estate (Clergy) and the Second Estate (Nobility) were a small minority of privileged men who made up the Aristocracy. As a result of the blurred lines between the two classes,(holding high positions under the Church’s provision, for example) the Aristocratic ruling class was exempt from almost all taxes. Many of the bourgeoisie were also exempt, which left the burden of paying for wars, affairs of state, etc. on the backs of the peasantry.

    The causes of the French Revolution were many and historians still argue over them but there are aspects of the Enlightenment that conservatives, particularly American conservatives, should appreciate and identify with.

    Those who advocated for change at the time, pushed for positions in government, the Church and the military to be open to men of talent and merit. They fought for a constitution and a Parliament that would limit the king’s power. Religious toleration and fair trials were also part of their agenda.

    Now, as we all know, the French Revolution got totally out of hand but there are reasons for those of us in the West to identify with the philosophes of the 18th century.

  • DP

    It was Louis the XVI who called the Estates General. The likes of Robespierre, Danton et al were not interested in what you suggest above they wanted real power and to remake society as they saw fit. They wanted to import their revolution to all of Europe.

    You know sort of like Lenin and Stalin.

  • Afghani Stan, excellent point. I would also ask that our friend DP consider that some of the ideas that Enlightenment is given credit for dates back to the Magna Carta. In addition, there were already primitive forms of government in some Swiss Cantons (Catholic cantons at that) which espoused early democratic ideals. Sadly, Ulrich Zwingli tried to put a stop to that, which in some ways was the start of the Left’s War on Rural Inhabitants.

  • If memory serves (John Robinson, Dungeons, Fire and Sword), the Templars entered battle assuring each other that, “Whether we live or whether we die, we are The Lord’s.”

  • Stan and Dave,

    Yes, Louis XVI did convene the Estates General at the last minute but only after a hiatus of 170+ yrs and to no avail.

    Robespierre was, of course, an extreme leftist and a tyrant as well. But there are other Enlightenment notables such as Locke (a champion of America’s Founding Fathers), Newton and Montesquieu who contributed a great deal with regard to the expansion of thought and science in secular society.

    In fact, Pope Benedict XIV respected Montesquieu and the advances of the Enlightenment (especially tolerance) even though many of his bishops didn’t share his sensibilities at the time.

    In any case, some of the ideas and ideals of the philosophes should be celebrated by both the West and the Church.

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The Pope Of Christian Unity, Pope Benedict XVI Is In The UK

Thursday, September 16, AD 2010

Many in the mainstream media have failed to see the obvious concerning Pope Benedict XVI’s trip to the United Kingdom, the truth of the Catholic Church has won out. The Pope of Christian Unity (as he is often called by the blogging Father Z) is reaching out to serious minded Christians. The Holy Father is asking them to unite as they once were under the leadership of the Successor of Saint Peter. Now I realize Pope John Paul II went to the UK, but the Anglican Church is in a far more dilapidated condition than it was then.  In addition, I am aware that many in the United Kingdom, and Western Europe for that matter, have little to do with religious matters, but the same could be said in the early days of the Roman Empire. Against all odds, three centuries later Catholicism would be the dominant faith.  It can happen again.

The Holy Father is about to beatify John Cardinal Henry Newman. He was a towering figure in the 19th century state run Anglican Church. He came to the Catholic Church and gave us this memorable quote; To go deep into history is to cease to be Protestant. I am not bringing this up in the spirit of triumphalism but in the spirit of truth. Christ promised us that the gates of hell would not prevail against the Church, and though it has been through many rough patches (we are currently in one) the truth is winning out. (Matthew 16:15-20.)

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13 Responses to The Pope Of Christian Unity, Pope Benedict XVI Is In The UK

  • Just a small point Dave.

    The pope is going to beatify John Henry Newman – not canonise him. 🙂

  • God bless the Holy Father and good Queen Elizabeth.

  • Thanks Don, I didn’t realize that I got ahead of myself and had Pope Benedict making him a saint!

  • Poor Europe being led by hateful,intolerant,godless fools who know nothing about religion.They have turned away from God and have built and worship their golden calf of secularism.They revolve their lives around perishable things of the world while their enemies grow within their borders.They promote a culture of death through abortion and gay rights which produces no life while the Muslims continue to multiply…the liberal left that espouse diversity,tolerance and promote sin will be the first to taste the fruits of persecution that they have sown and nurtured by setting themselves up against God.Open your eyes Europe..turn back to God and stop living sel centered lives where everything is based on passing pleasures.

  • Be sober in spirit and the truth will be made clear. Pope John II once referred to Queen Elizabeth II as the queen of Israel. There is an ancient truth here that supercedes “the truth of the Catholic Church” (as you refer to it). Jesus was fully aware of this truth Matthew 10:6. The real house of rebellion is not the “Protestant” house, it is the house of Israel herself. The Catholic Church would do well to be honest about what she already knows, and submit to the Lords will concerning the lost sheep, being careful not to impose her own agenda over them.

  • Excellent article…@John your comments ring so true. But we all aren’t without recourse. This article is one of hope: the promise that is sure to come and triumph: victory by preservering love and sacrifice. We also have recourse in prayer before the Eucharist in adoration and benediction, recourse in prayer through Mass
    in Communion, and recourse in prayer through the Rosary and Liturgy of the Hours. This staves off the tide if error, quiets the crashing sea foam of sin through its reparation and its remission, and facilitate the conversion of those souls obstinate in sin. I suggest you knights and prayer warriors put your man-on and gear-up to battle by the above means. Of course by all means go to confession (on a regular basis) like all good soliders before entering the battle. For it is good to be here while the mouthpiece of our Lord, the Pope, implement his prophetic strategies and embattlements among priests, with universal authority, among the faithful.
    Roll on, Good Pope, God’s Representative, Roll on!

  • @Chris I would have to disagree. The Queen of Israel is the Spouse of Christ, the Mother Church he founded. The queen in judaic culture has always been the mother of the king…not the wife of the king! Queen Mother of the Catholic Church is the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of Jesus. As for truth: the Church, the mystical body of Christ, and her Groom are one in the same as for Truth. However, we, as members of this same Mystical Body, have much to suffer and gain in our response and to living this Truth.

  • Winkyb.. Thank you for your response and your desire to follow Him. I was relaying what was reportedly said by Pope John Paul II when he visited England several decades ago… We agree on this. The spouse of Christ are His people the Church. What we do not agree on is the exclusivity of the Roman Catholic Church in that role. For one thing, without past decent by His people, God’s word would be quite different than it is today. Witness the politically correct changes in the New Catholic bible, hymns…etc. Done seeming incredulous to the warnings of Revelation 22:18-19. To be blunt, I’ve seen American Catholicism turn more young people away from Christ than I can number. When 70,000 nuns give congress the out they needed to turn their back on the Hyde Amendment and the innocent lives it protected, you can begin to see why the young have turned away (not to mention the more obvious issues). As a non-catholic, I went to mass for 30 years. I have known priests who confided to me their doubts about faith as they faced death, and priests who left the church altogether. All of it a shame, because Christ came to give us abundant life free from fear and doubt. Please be sober in Spirit, we all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Why not strengthen your Anglican brothers and sisters rather than cannibalize their membership and destroy them in their weakness.
    Yours in Christ ~Chris

  • @Chris your rhetoric keeps redefining the truths and traditions of the Faith of Christ, the Apostolic, True Vine, which evangelized the Anglo-Saxons and founded the Catholic Church in England. Your country still celebrates to this day as St. Ninian. The Archbishop of Canterbury also acknowledges the reality of this True, Apostolic Vine and also its respective title of the Peter and Chair, the Pope, Benedict XVI as The Servant of Servants. The ArchBishop of Canterbury also acknowledges the Apostolic See of Pope and Saint: St Gregory the Great and his influences on the Catholic Church of England. The ArchBishop of Canterbury also incensed, knelt, and prayed before England’s titled Defender of the Faith and king, St. Edward the Confessor whose feast day is stlill celebrated on the litugical calendars of the Catholic Church and Anglican. Chris you keep taking things out of context and redefining them e.g. “The spouse of Christ [are His people-error] (is-truth) the Church. I recommend that you speak the truth. The Archbishop of Canterbury today at Vespers in the present of the Pope, Anglican hierarchy, and media does not even refer to the State Church of England as Catholic but rather as Christain. There is no such thing as American Catholicism: there is only One, True, Holy, and Apostolic catholic church. In America the Latin Rite is practice but there are rites such as Maronite Rite, Byzantine Rite, etc all of one faith and still in union with the Apostolic Chair of Peter. No one is disputing the state church of England abdication from the Church in Rome with its self appointed Head as British Monarch no one disputing that the Queen Elizabeth and Archbishop of Canterbury both references itself as Christian entity despite its historical catholic roots and heritage. No one is disputing that this abdication was vilolently solicited by the king’s demand for adultery and divorce as evident by writ and auguments displayed in the Lambeth
    museum. No one is disputing the martydom of England’s innocent catholic citizens and chanchellor in defense of this state church. And as evident by the invitation of the Queen and acceptance of the Pope that there is a great love and a great moment in between these two kingdoms and among christain brethren 1500 years ago which I will enjoy very much with every replay on the telly for what I see is a joyous occassion despite history. I will say it would be even more joyful if the entire Anglican church reconcile to its true roots and true faith under it Roman Latin Rite for England’s kinship is clear to even those with a blind eye. Lastly, we, Christ’s True Church are not cannibalistic but we do love a bit too much: enemies and friends alike. But how can you do otherwised with Jesus’ arms so much suffered nailed to the Cross to remain opened to all. Cheer up ‘ole boy… today is a great day!
    do hug fr

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  • God Bless our good Pope

  • It is heartwarming to see Pope Benedict reach out to those that want NOTHING to do with the Catholic Church. May God bless his witness.

  • @Nancy, correction: The pope didn’t crash the party he was invited by the prime minister and received by the queen. Your view contradicts the 65,000-100,000 in attendance to Mass, the 125,000 lining the streets to view the pope in his pope mobile…and the attendance/host of the archbishop of Canterbury, Anglican bishops and priests and British hierarchy vying to greet and
    shake his hand. Not to mention worldwide media coverage…look like everyone wanted something to do with the pope…you even bother yourself…about the pope…with an unrealistic comment.

The Jesus The Professional Left Chose To Ignore

Monday, September 13, AD 2010

Jesus Christ has always been an enigma to those on the left. Some liberal idealists embraced Him; many others on the radical left did not. Some on the radical left actually attacked Jesus by either saying He didn’t exist (a rather strange way of dealing with someone) or claiming he was demented. However, after World War II a rather cunning adaptation of Jesus was embraced by the Professional Left.  The solution thought up by the Professional Left was as simple as it was devious; simply say Jesus was one of them.

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Progressive-Church.Com

Wednesday, September 8, AD 2010

The Episcopal Church?

Cardinal’s Mahony or O’Malley’s Archdioceses?

If you guessed any of these you’re pretty darn close!

(Hat Tip:  Creative Minority Report)

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As The September 11 Anniversary Nears, A Review Of Al Qaeda's Little Reported-On War Against The Catholic Church

Tuesday, September 7, AD 2010

While most of the world mourns the nearly three thousand who were brutally murdered by Al Qaeda on September 11, 2001, many assume all of Al Qaeda attacks stem from a warped political motive. Most may not be aware that since the day of its inception many of Al Qaeda’s targets have involved the Catholic Church and her holy sites.

Less than one year before the September 11, 2001 attacks Al Qaeda was planning a spectacular Christmas attack at the large and historic Strasbourg Cathedral in France. While this attack was foiled, an attack on the Catholic cathedral in Jakarta, Indonesia was not thwarted, resulting in the deaths of several churchgoers and those on a nearby street.

Yet, five years before this brazen plan, an even more sinister plan was nearly carried out by the chief planner of the September 11, 2001 attacks, Khalid Sheik Muhammad, which he coordinated to coincide with the visit of Pope John Paul II to Manila for World Youth Day in January of 1995. The plan called for the pontiff to be killed along with countless of the faithful who was planning to see him in Manila that day. Incidentally, some speculate that the crowd that came to see the Polish pontiff that day was nearly the same size that came to see his funeral some ten years later. Some speculate it may have been the largest religious gathering at one place in our known history, some five to seven million strong.

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21 Responses to As The September 11 Anniversary Nears, A Review Of Al Qaeda's Little Reported-On War Against The Catholic Church

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  • Excellent article, Dave!!

    While I was aware of some of what you stated, your post gave me both further and great insight into Al Qaeda’s war against the Catholic Church. I will be passing this along. God Bless.

  • Good paper. Keep up your good work.
    We are, and have always been, in a “moral and
    religious” war. That war is between those that
    believe in (faith in) the God of the Bible that
    gave us individual UNalienable rights of life
    and liberty vrs. those that believe in arbitrary man made collective INalienable privilages.
    Read more on the link below. Begin with the
    article on the “paper” menu and then review the
    references.

    http://www.unalienableproject.com/

  • Thanks for putting this out for everyone to know.

  • I can’t thank you enough for this post. My husband and I will spend Saturday at a seminar on spiritual warfare by Fr. Corapi. You make the case for warfare very real. God Bless you in your work.

  • Thanks for this article. You are very brave to voice out facts that most Catholics could only whisper. God bless.

  • Sorry David, dig deeper in your research please..Al Quaeda was founded by, trained by, and still bankrolled by the CIA…The CIA is in cahoots with the Mossad and the English CIA…they are a tool of the conspirators that are out for total control of the world…at the highest levels they worship satan and are out for the total destruction of Christian Civilization..they may win but only for a short time…lets start telling the truth about world events…thanks…Rob Epperly/Author.Sons of Thunder.

  • Step one: turn off your TV
    Step two: meditate on the Gospel daily.
    Step three: stay out of debt…zero credit cards..
    Step four: simplify, live within your means..give away your possesions to the poor.
    Step five: (should be step one) reconciliation and holy communion.
    Step six: holy reading.
    STep seven: pray that all Christians unite against this juggernaut anti-christ we call illuminati. Unite all Christians against satan..

  • St. Michel the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil, may God rebuke him we humbly pray, and do thou o prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, throw into hell satan and all evil spirits that prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls, amen.

  • David, please submit this to Columbia magazine. I have shared it with my immediate fellow Knights of Columbus. Note: Operation Bojinka was hatched in Manila in 1996, the same year that the training camp at Salman Pak Iraq opened. reporter Jayna Davis recorded Terry Nichols wife saying how he had visited persons in Manila at that time.

  • “Sorry David, dig deeper in your research please..Al Quaeda was founded by, trained by, and still bankrolled by the CIA…The CIA is in cahoots with the Mossad and the English CIA…they are a tool of the conspirators that are out for total control of the world…at the highest levels they worship satan and are out for the total destruction of Christian Civilization..they may win but only for a short time…lets start telling the truth about world events…thanks…Rob Epperly/Author.Sons of Thunder.”

    Your tinfoil hat needs loosening Robert.

  • i might go with trained by and bankrolled by, but not founded by, the CIA isn’t 1600 years old….

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  • Thanks for the kind words everyone. As for those who spew nutty conspiracy theories; unless we suffer from mental illness, we will be held accountable for the crazy things we say.

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  • The Crusades were small defensive actions fought by amateurish Christian soldiers who truly felt they were answering the call of God. They were hardly in it for the gold and the girls that so many ridiculous movies and research articles have asserted.

    True. Eleventh-century Europeans making war “for the gold and the girls” accompanied William the Conquerer in 1066. He led his armies west, away from the Holy Land.

  • “Your tinfoil hat needs loosening Robert.”

    I’ll say. You know, I always wonder at these people who think the Mossad – an admittedly crack team working for a country the size of a potato chip – run the world. For one thing, the number of the Jews on the entire planet is something like 14 million. That doesn’t even amount to a Chinese statistical rounding error. The Mossad is a teensy tiny fraction of a teensy tiny fraction. When gentiles whisper about “the Jews” or “the Mossad” what they are actually saying is that a miniscule fraction of Jews are so incredibly smart they are able to control all the dumb gentiles in the world. It just shows how contemptuous characters like David are of the goys – he thinks we’re so stupid the brilliant Jews can easily dupe us.

    My boss is Jewish. She’s a nice lady but I wouldn’t call her an Einstein. Nor do I think all us goyim are as dense as David obviously thinks we are.

    David, if you think all Jews, or all Israelis, are so incredibly intelligent that they can run the world with the mass of gentiles remaining dumber than sticks of gum, all I can say is “Speak for yourself, dude.”

  • Also, it seems to me that if the Israelis control PR, someone is obviously sleeping on the job, judging from the barrage of criticism the Israelis are subjected to. These world-class geniuses somehow can’t keep a lid on the Guardian, BCC, CNN or MSNBC and yet we’re supposed to think they control governments – yeah, sure.

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