Quotes Suitable for Framing: Saint John Chrysostom

Monday, January 5, AD 2015

Churchill Redistribution

 

 

Should we look to kings and princes to put right the inequalities between rich and poor? Should we require soldiers to come and seize the rich person’s gold and distribute it among his destitute neighbors? Should we beg the emperor to impose a tax on the rich so great that it reduces them to the level of the poor and then to share the proceeds of that tax among everyone? Equality imposed by force would achieve nothing, and do much harm.

Those who combined both cruel hearts and sharp minds would soon find ways of making themselves rich again. Worse still, the rich whose gold was taken away would feel bitter and resentful; while the poor who received the gold form the hands of soldiers would feel no gratitude, because no generosity would have prompted the gift. Far from bringing moral benefit to society, it would actually do moral harm. Material justice cannot be accomplished by compulsion, a change of heart will not follow. The only way to achieve true justice is to change people’s hearts first — and then they will joyfully share their wealth.

Saint John Chrysostom, from On Living Simply, Homily XLIII

Update:  I have been unable to properly source this with any of Saint John’s work available on the net. The quotation is cited as coming from On Living Simply, a compilation of sayings from the writings of Saint John.  I can see no evidence of the quote itself on the net prior to 2007.  Unless this quote can properly be sourced to an original writing of  Saint John, I am going to assume that it is a fake internet quote, one of the minor banes of modern life.  Sorry for my error in posting this.

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19 Responses to Quotes Suitable for Framing: Saint John Chrysostom

  • Hear! Hear! Truth!

  • Is this a topical homily or from one of his series on a particular book?

  • Holy cow, sixteen centuries ago and someone got it….

  • I am trying to source it Father and I am beginning to get concerned that I have been unable to do better in locating it yet. It is taken from a collection of the homilies of Saint John, but unfortunately the author did not cite where he got them:

    http://www.amazon.com/On-Living-Simply-Golden-Chrysostom/dp/0764800566

  • “Should we require soldiers to come and seize the rich person’s gold and distribute it among his destitute neighbors?” …or keep the wealth for himself?
    .
    Foxfier : “Holy cow, sixteen centuries ago and someone got it….”
    .
    America needs a whole cattle ranch of your Holy Cows, Foxfier. St. John Chrysostom got it, because Jesus gave it and St John passed it on. If we lose it, then, we have lost Jesus.
    .
    Thank you, Donald R. McCleary, for pointing to the saints.

  • One approach might be to contact the author/editor of this work for help. I looked him up, and I’ve provided below a link to a brief biographical citation that I found for him.
    http://www.spckpublishing.co.uk/authors/robert-van-de-weyer/

  • A quick internet search, and it does appear to be consistent with St. John Chrysostom’s writings. I can’t vouch for its authenticity (or that of anything else on the internet, for that matter).

  • It looks very slightly similar to the last bit here:
    http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/220143.htm

    And this I say not as laying down a law, neither as forbidding more, but as recommending a deposit of not less than a tenth part. And this also do thou practise not in selling only, but also in buying and receiving a recompense. Let those also who possess land observe this law in regard to their rents: yea, let it be a law for all who gather their incomes in an honest way. For with those who demand usury I have no concern, neither with soldiers who do violence to others and turn to their own advantage their neighbors’ calamities. Since from that quarter God will accept nothing. But these things I say to those who gather their substance by righteous labor.

    Yea, and if we establish ourselves in this kind of habit, we are ever after stung by our conscience if ever we omit this rule; and after a while we shall not even think it a hard thing; and by degrees we shall arrive at the greater things, and by practising how to despise wealth, and by pulling up the root of evils, we shall both pass the present life in peace, and obtain the life to come; which may it be the portion of us all to attain unto, etc. etc.

    I’m slowly working through all his writings on New Advent that could be called the 43rd. 😀

  • Holy homily hopping, Pinky– I see what you’re saying about it being consistent!
    http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/240234.htm

  • I can’t even tell if this is a variation on the first link I posted!
    http://www.ecatholic2000.com/alms/untitled-05.shtml#_Toc384506859

  • Oh, dear, look at the note here: apparently we have a lot of surviving letters, besides the homilies; it’s possible that whoever translated the line in the book was drawing from one of those, too, using yet a third organizational method.
    http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1917.htm

  • Yes Foxfier, Saint John left a vast sea of material, and quite a bit of it has never been translated into English.

  • And of course you have the problem of things being translated into English more than once, changing the phrasing. The quote Donald presented included this line: “The only way to achieve true justice is to change people’s hearts first”, which struck me as phrasing too modern to be authentic, but that could just be the result of choices made by a very contemporary translator.

    What strikes me, looking over a few of these quotes, is that there appears to be a strain of Catholic economic tradition that I was completely unfamiliar with. I’ve always known that Catholic thinking on the topic extended back before 1891, but I didn’t expect this.

  • “Sorry for my error in posting this.”
    …wait.

    “Worse still the rich whose gold was taken away would feel bitter and resentful; while the poor who received the gold from the hands of the soldiers would feel no gratitude, because no generosity would of prompted the gift.”

    Welfare state explained so well.

  • Pinky– the ECatholic one especially hit me on that; it recognizes some concerns that are…ah… not commonly addressed in popular Catholic economic theories that I’m familiar with.

  • Philip: ““Worse still the rich whose gold was taken away would feel bitter and resentful; while the poor who received the gold from the hands of the soldiers would feel no gratitude, because no generosity would of prompted the gift.” Welfare state explained so well.”
    .
    Obama and Pope Francis’ agenda came to mind. Eva Peron and Imelda Marcos gave little packets of powdered milk to the poor when they were spotted living in high style off the backs of the people.

  • ““Worse still the rich whose gold was taken away would feel bitter and resentful; while the poor who received the gold from the hands of the soldiers would feel no gratitude, because no generosity would of prompted the gift.”
    “The only way to achieve true justice is to change people’s hearts first”
    Communism denies the individual and the individual’s personal choices, his conscience, his freedom, his very existence, his life, unless the individual exists solely for the state, the communist group. Both Obama and now, Pope Francis believe that because they are elected, that they have a “mandate” to violate the free will of man, something that God does not do, not even to the devil, and impose their half-baked agenda without recourse to the citizens and the parishioners, whose property, which is given to the people by God for their free will exercise of the virtue of generosity and their practice of charity and the joy of giving is taken from them by another for no reason at all except extortion and pilfering.
    Obama’s and Francis’ agendas are perfect, if their agendas did not have to be operated through stealing. Both Obama and Francis do not own the possessions that they are so generously giving as their own. So, that is a lie.

  • Involuntary charity is extortion but in the case of Pope Francis it is blackmail. Dr. Peter Kreeft said it better: “(The definition of) the violation of the law of non-contradiction is being forced to do something voluntary in an involuntary way. Intellect and free will do not come from the state, nor from the Pope.
    .
    The secular humanist says that laws come from nature, as if man is not a natural human being. The nature of the devil is liar and murderer. The secular humanist reserves to himself the authority to define law.

Why Was Christ Baptized?

Sunday, January 12, AD 2014

 

Saint John Chrysostom explains to us why Christ was baptized when He had no need of it:

 

 

Hence it is evident, that He came to Jordan not for the forgiveness of sins and not for receiving the gifts of the Spirit, but so that some from those present then should not think that He came for repentance like others.  Listen to how John precluded this:  What he then spoke to the others then was, “Bear ye fruits worthy of repentance.” But listen to what he said to Him: “I have need to be baptised of Thee, and Thou art come to me?” (Matthew 3:8, 14). With these words he demonstrated, that Christ came to him not through that need with which people came, and that He was so far from the need to be baptised for this reason—so much more sublime and perfectly purer than Baptism itself. For whom was He baptised, if this was done not for repentance, nor for the remission of sins, nor for receiving the gifts of the Spirit? Through the other two reasons, of which the one the disciple speaks, and about the other He Himself spoke to John. Which reason of this baptism did John declare? Namely, that Christ should become known to the people, as Paul also mentions: “John therefore baptised with the baptism of repentance, so that through him they should believe on Him that cometh” (Acts 19:4).  This was the consequence of the baptism. If John had gone to the home of each and, standing at the door, had spoken out for Christ and said: “He is the Son of God,” such a testimony would have been suspicious, and this deed would have been extremely perplexing. So too, if he in advocating that Christ had gone into the synagogues and witnessed to Him, this testimony of his might be suspiciously fabricated. But when all the people thronged out from all the cities to Jordan and remained on the banks of the river, and when He Himself came to be baptised and received the testimony of the Father by a voice from above and by the descent of the Spirit in the form of a dove, then the testimony of John about Him was made beyond all questioning. And since he said: “and I knew Him not” (John 1:31), his testimony put forth is trustworthy. They were kindred after the flesh between themselves, “wherefore Elizabeth, thy kinswoman, hath also conceived a son”—said the Angel to Mary about the mother of John (Luke 1: 36).  If, however, the mothers were relatives, then obviously so also were their children.

Thus, since they were kinsmen, in order that it should not seem that John would testify concerning Christ because of kinship, the grace of the Spirit organised it such, that John spent all his early years in the wilderness, so that it should not seem that John had declared his testimony out of friendship or some similar reason. But John, as he was instructed of God, thus also announced about Him, wherein also he did say: “and I knew Him not.” From whence didst thou find out? “He, having sent me that sayeth to baptise with water, [is] the One [Who] did tell me” What did He tell thee? “Over Him thou shalt see the Spirit descending, like to a dove, and abiding over Him, that One is baptised by the Holy Spirit” (John 1:32-33). Dost thou see, that the Holy Spirit did not descend as in a first time then coming down upon Him, but in order to point out that preached by His inspiration—as though by a finger—it pointed Him out to all. For this reason He came to baptism.

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8 Responses to Why Was Christ Baptized?

  • According to the calendar used in the Ordinary Form, today is the Baptism of the Lord. Jesus had no need of baptism, but chose to be baptized to establish the Sacrament for his apostles and those who would succeed them.

    In the Extraordinary Form today is the Feast of the Holy Family. We are made aware of the example set by Mary and Joseph to work to have a holy and happy family life. Such has never been an easy thing to accomplish, in the US or anywhere else, even in the days when Catholics in this nation had a “Catholic culture”. I find myself striving for this and often coming up short.

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  • Baptism makes a difference. Pope Francis said baptism changes us in his Wednesday teaching.
    He baptised the baby of an unmarried couple in the Sistine Chapel on this day celebrating the baptism of Jesus. I don’t know if he gave any pastoral counsel to these parents about getting married and living a good life passing on the faith in practice and by example.

  • excuse me- they were married but not in the Church-

  • “He baptized the baby of an unmarried couple in the Sistine Chapel” Pope Francis was taking back the child from the secular culture. That the parents wished to have their child baptized is very encouraging.

  • Yes I didn’t explain all that in my comment last night. I agree with the pope on this approach, given that there is exhortation / catechesis for these parents

  • I read somewhere that one of the reasons that Jesus chose to be baptized was so that in the future we could not say, in our pride and vanity, “Jesus wasn’t baptized, why should I be?”

  • I guess that was stated in other words by St. John Chrysostom……sorry.

Saint John Chrysostom on Epiphany

Sunday, January 5, AD 2014

 

 

When Jesus therefore was born in Bethlehem of Juda, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying: Where is that is born king of the Jews. For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to adore him.

Isaias had foretold that this would come to pass, saying: The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Madian and Apha: all they from Saba shall come, bringing gold and frankincense: and showing forth praise to the Lord.[Isa. 60: 6] This is He, Christ the Lord, Whom the Magi, having seen the sign of the star, announce as the King of the Jews.

Things unheard of, and exceeding the measure of human astonishment, all took place together at the Birth of Our Lord. An angel appears and speaks to Zachary, promising that to Elizabeth, his wife, a son will be born, and he, not believing the angel, is stricken dumb: she that was sterile conceives: in the womb of a Virgin a Child takes life. John, inspired in his mother’s womb, leaps for joy: Christ the Lord New-Born is announced by an angel. He is proclaimed by the shepherds as the salvation of the world. Angels exult, the shepherds rejoice. Upon this glorious nativity joy and gladness rise up both in heaven and on earth.

The new sign of a star in the heavens is pointed out to the Magi; through this sign it is made known to them that the Lord of the heavens is born King of the Jews; He of Whom it was written: A star shall rise out of Jacob and a sceptre shall spring up from Israel[Numbers 24: 17], so that from the symbol of a star the union of man with the Son of God, of human nature with the divine, might become known.

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5 Responses to Saint John Chrysostom on Epiphany

  • Matthew 2 calls Jesus a child & says he was in a house when the wise men visited Him. Regardless of that– this is an awesome post.

  • The Person of God is reverenced by the Magi, the Wise Men at Epiphany. Would that We, the people, in America return to reverence the Sovereign Person of God, the Sovereign Person of God in each and every human soul, the Sovereign Person of God in each and every public square. Little Christmas.

  • The wise men researched scrolls that went back to Daniel’s prophecies regarding the 70 weeks, or so I am told. In the middle of the last week the Prince was to come who would put an end to sacrifices and offerings. So the time of Christ’s Incarnation was predicted.

  • “So the time of Christ’s Incarnation was predicted.”
    as was Christ’s crucifixion and death and resurrection by the prophets. The Holy Scripture is the inspired word of God.

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WJBA? In 2010 Would Jesus (Along With His Apostles & Saints) Be Arrested For Hate Speech?

Wednesday, August 4, AD 2010

A few short years ago the mere suggestion that the Son of God, His Apostles and Saints would face arrest for hate speech would have seemed absolutely ludicrous. However, events have spiraled out of control across the western world. In his opinion that strikes down California’s recently voter approved marriage law, Judge Vaughn Walker wrote that those who speak in the name of religion to put across their views that same sex marriage is wrong are “harmful to gays and lesbians.”

Across Europe and Canada, faithful Christians speaking out for traditional marriage face the threat of being hauled off to court for citing the teachings of the Catholic Church and various Evangelical Churches. Where will this all end? Some see a great persecution coming against the Christian faithful. Though possible, one need remember that the Christian faith always grew when persecuted.

The Catholic Church has long taught that some individuals have an inclination toward same sex attraction; they are to be loved as all people are to be loved. The Church teaches that these feelings are not to be acted upon. The Church goes on to teach that all individuals are given a cross to carry in this world and for those who are same sex attracted; this is their cross. An organization exists for those who are same sex attracted called COURAGE. It has many chapters and members.

Recently a profile was done in The New York Times on same sex attracted Eve Tushnet, the Ivy League educated Catholic daughter of Harvard Law professors. She has chronicled her growth in Catholicism and the logic of the Church’s teachings on sexuality. For years the Catholic Church took some heat from some quarters of Christianity for not stating that anyone who is same sex attracted would be going to hell. The Church now is facing a maelstrom of vitriol from those who claim the Church hates homosexuals.

For the Church to change her teachings would be to deny not only what Christ said (Matthew 11:20-24,) but his Apostles, not to mention Saint Paul’s lengthy discourse on the subject (Romans 1:26-28, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10.)  In addition to the Apostles and saints, there is a rich history of saints writing on the subject, particularly the Early Church Fathers like Saint Augustine, St Justin Martyr, St. Basil and St John Chrysostom as well as Church intellectuals like St Thomas Aquinas, Saint Albert the Great (the greatest scientist of his time,) along with mystics like St Catherine of Sienna to name but a few. To say that the greatest minds of their respective eras were all wrong is simply breathtaking.

Many who disagree with the Church tend to forget that homosexuality was much more common and approved of by the Roman government in the early Christian era than it is even in 2010. Many in the upper echelons of Greek and Roman culture experimented with all sorts of sexual practices. It would have been far easier for Jesus, the apostles, saints and popes to approve of this conduct than it would to disapprove of it. Christianity might have grown at a faster pace. However, there was a reason for this swimming against the tide, and the faithful accepted it.

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4 Responses to WJBA? In 2010 Would Jesus (Along With His Apostles & Saints) Be Arrested For Hate Speech?

  • Great column as usual, Dave. It just blows my mind that our nation is no longer a republic of, for and by the people but an elite and arrogant oligarchy that is unleashing one perverted social experiment after another on us.

    The far left have the nerve to needle the conservatives for wanting to have less government yet have government restrict marriage. Quite the contrary, we want to be able to decide how our society should function, not have the government do so.

    It’s a shame that the voters in my state of California were robbed once again, but we can still hope for the Supreme Court to save the day. In the meantime, this should serve as a wakeup call for the voters, especially those in the 45 states who have kept marriage to one man and one woman, to vote the radicals out in the fall and make sure the Democrats never control government again as long as the militant secularists who are ruining this nation continue to call the shots for the party.

  • This is almost a grand slam!

    This is government hate speech against, and injurious to, Christians, Jews and Muslims.

    Oh, that’s okay!?

    Never mind.

    Thanks for voting for them dems.

  • Prepare for the worst. There is little doubt that in the near future Christians will be arrested and imprisoned by the American Socialist State if they continue to preach the gospel and traditional morality. The American politicians have created their long desired Atheistic State which will have no tolerance for believers. Prepare for the dark days of persecution but the good news is that it will separate the wheat from the shaff and the sheep from the goats.

  • But Jesus and the Apostles were arrested and even put to death for their speech.

    When DeGaulle was reproached for not taking more care against assassination, he replied: “It comes with the job”.

7 Responses to Stealing From The Poor

  • Poverty comes in many forms. Some of us are in dire “poverty” yet are given even less by many who should know better, thus causing immense suffering.

    There is not sufficient reflection on this reality. As such, it is an occasion of grace for those afflicted………but a yolk upon those who chose to ignore how their actions, in word and deed, injure another, already almost unable to bear their cross.

    Nice post. Thanks.

  • Does the Church teach that you will be judged by your personal charitable/corporal works; that is what YOU DO with YOUR money and your time/talents?

  • Really good article.

  • “However, the investment of superfluous income in secureing favorable opportunities for employment […] is to be considered […] an act of real liberality, particularly appropriate to the needs of our time.”

    In other words, one way (though certainly not the only way) that rich people can help the poor is by starting up businesses that provide jobs for them! Score at least one for the economic conservatives 🙂

    “It will be necessary above all to abandon a mentality in which the poor – as individuals and as people – are considered a burden, as irksome intruders trying to consume what others have produced.”

    Very true; however, that raises the question of whether the growth of high-tax nanny-state liberalism hasn’t done a lot to contribute to the perception of the poor as “irksome intruders trying to consume what others have produced.”

  • Elaine, I agree about the rich starting up a business, but we have to admit that there are many other rich who start up business ventures with not a care for those being employed thereby. I am thinking, especially, of all the CEOs and vice presidents of corporations who think nothing of taking a 1Million or 3M salary, while at the same time causing the company to need to downsize to maximize profits. Truly, a real board of directors should say to such money-grubbing CEO wannabes: “You say that your requested 3M salary is the ‘going rate’ for truly qualified executives. We say that no executive who would ask for such a salary could possibly be morally qualified for the job. We’ll look elsewhere.”

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  • The mega corporations and the excessively compensated executives cannot exist without the incestuous relationship of Big Government and Big Business. Mutual funds are a trick to get people to fund corporations without having any voting rights. The wealth of all is controlled by a very few. This is a problem that must be dealt with or everyone will become a slave, begging the government/corporations for a handout and charity (caritas, love) is not something that corporations or governments can engage in.

    As for our excess wealth, this is a relative area for us to discern. What may constitute excessive wealth in sub-Saharan Africa is not the case in the USA. We have tax obligations that they do not, we have transportation costs that they do not, we have many costs that they do not have and what we have in excess has to be looked at from that perspective. Additionally, money is not wealth. Having a few dollars in money market, CD, etc. is not wealth, it is merely a temporary store of currency that is losing value faster than it can be earned or profited from. a 10,000 sq. ft. home with only two children, that could be excessive – but, a 10,000 sq.ft. home with a dozen children, maybe not.

    This article is excellent because it summarizes Church teaching and, at least to me, it seems to stress the necessity of a free market, restrained government, strong Church and men who desire to lead a life of virtue. Sadly, our culture of duo-opolies intentionally clouds our thinking about such matters. Big Government vs. Big Business, Democrats vs. Republicans, Capitalism vs. Socialism, Thesis vs. Antithesis – all are two paths to the same perdition. We need to break free of this dualistic thinking, making us think we have choices. There is really only one choice: God or man. Hard as it is sometimes, especially with vestiges of ideology trapping my thinking, your’s too I suspect, we need to be more Catholic – we are so far short of the mark following years and years of minimalism.

    It is time for Maximum Catholicity and this article appears to summarize exactly that sentiment. Thanks for the reminder. Can you do it again tomorrow? 🙂

What The Week Long LeBron James Ego Charade Can Tell Us About The State Of the World, As Well As The Catholic Church

Friday, July 9, AD 2010

UPDATE  Check Back On Monday To See What Time The Scheduled Appearance On The Al Kresta Show Will Take Place. Al Kresta Is Heard On EWTN Radio ( Over 100 Affiliate Stations) Check Your Local Listings Or Click Here To Listen Live

The LeBron James saga was particularly painful for those of us who live in Ohio and are Cavaliers fans. However a cursory glance at some of the national columnist’s reaction, to the week-long ego charade broadcasted by ESPN, gives me hope that many others have seen through this smoke screen as well. (Check these columns here here and  here.) What we witnessed Thursday night and the excuses made for it, along with sucking up by some of the national powers that be, gives us some insight on a world full of instant gratification and the desire to party on in South Beach, rather than roll up their sleeves in places like Cleveland. Talk about a metaphor for the Catholic Church.

For years now many faithful orthodox minded Catholics have painfully watched friends and loved ones leave the Catholic Church for either the local hoopty do mega church (Mother Angelica’s words,) or for no church at all, claiming they needed to feel better. They didn’t like a Church who couldn’t get with the times, had too many sinners in the pulpit, or talked to much about sin and not enough about heaven. Perhaps the LeBron James fiasco has given us the perfect recipe for what we should do; give it right back to them.

I grew in a small town (or city depending upon your classification) full of hard working class folks (and farmers who came into town from the outlying areas) where flowery words were few and far between and one would be easily called out for his actions. Now we all know the Church has had some difficult times in the last few years. However, this is because we wanted to be liked, instead of doing it God’s way, whether that was politically correct or not.

Today we have a new crop of orthodox-minded young seminarians, priests and women religious who are pious, but not above calling people out concerning their phony excuses for not taking their Faith more serious by not practicing it, or leaving it all together. In my book, The Tide is Turning Toward Catholicism, I outline the increase in vocations, especially in dioceses which are more openly orthodox in their approach. The Father McBrien’s and Kung’s of the world are being replaced by younger versions of Father Corapi and Father Pacwa. Though these two priests have different approaches, they are not above calling out the phony reality show world we often seem to celebrate in our culture and religion.

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20 Responses to What The Week Long LeBron James Ego Charade Can Tell Us About The State Of the World, As Well As The Catholic Church

  • LeBron will be lucky to get any contracts to endorse anything outside of Miami. The last athlete to fall this hard was OJ Simpson. No good comes from stabbing people in the back.

  • Strange the comments were about Lebron and not the comparing of the event to so called ‘catholics” in the pew, who have forgotten or have been swayed by the glitter of change and culture. They have forgot or never understood, our Lord did not give us rules that were elective in nature, but tenets that were set for all eternity regardless of occurences or changes in our world and scripture that fully explain what occurs when we forget that fact.

  • I read the letter to the Cavs fans by the owner guaranteeing that the team will win a title before LeBron does. If that happens, he’ll be left feeling like the Prodigal Son, ashamed of himself for letting greed and glitter get the best of him.

  • Lebron who?

    re: getting people back on the road to eternal life. The Pelosi-Obama-Reid regime may be a blessing in disguise. Tens of millions of unintended consequences of their misrule and the devastations of the economy and our way of life may bring people to realize that this glitzy world is a chimera and their true home is Holy Mother Church and in Heaven after repenting, confessing, doing penance, amending their lives and through good works glorifying Almighty God, through Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior, in the Unity of the Holy Spirit.

  • Goodbye Clevland.
    Turn down the rock and roll
    Turn out the light.
    Goodbye Clevland.
    Goodbye, Good luck and goodnight.

    ~ Robert Earl Keen

  • Sorry, I have not been following the Lebron thing, and don’t follow basketball in general. But I don’t see much of a comparison between Lebron and the state of the Catholic Church.

    Lebron left because apparently he believes the Cleveland team is not good enough to win a championship. He decided that winning one was important to him , so he left for team that he thinks could get him there (an he could get them there). Has Lebron played for several teams for short periods of time? Has he hopped around a lot (I don’t know)?
    I can’t blame him – how many of us would leave their current job for one they felt was better (either better pay or better conditions, or maybe both?)? More importantly, how many of our employers would keep us around if we started sucking at our job? How long would the Cavs have kept Lebron if he suddenly started to suck (and how many fans would be clamouring for him to be cut)? Loyalty is a two way street my friend, and Big Sports, like any other big business treats it one way only.

    In the end, Lebron’s situation is an employee/employer one, not anything having to do with loyalty to one’s faith (employer/ee loyatly died decades ago). Just completely different situations.

  • LeBron who indeed.

    What an appalling waste of time, energy, effort, talent, and other human resources, speculating about the fate of a ball tosser.

    Enjoy it on your own time, have a beer, cheer when your team scores, boo when the other guys do, fine. To get this involved in a sports game and a sports figure is… I can’t use the word I’d like to use, but it begins with f, ends with ing, and is followed by ridiculous.

    Our Church is in crisis, and our government is out of control. Our southern border is menaced by marauders, Europe is being overrun by Islam, and the US is on the verge of another Great Depression.

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article19205.htm

    “If the world is unwilling to continue to accumulate dollars, the US will not be able to finance its trade deficit or its budget deficit. As both are seriously out of balance, the implication is for yet more decline in the dollar’s exchange value and a sharp rise in prices.”

    Worry about that. Not where some ball player decides to continue putting the ball in the net.

  • A couple of points. Yes, the whole LeBron fiasco is pretty ridiculous, which is what the article was attempting to point out. However, we don’t live in the world of our choosing, we have to deal with the cards we are dealt. Perhaps, this is why St Paul used sports anologies. If he didn’t, he would have been just another egg headed itinerant preacher in the 1st Century Roman Empire. Geeks by their very nature don’t attract crowds, perhaps this is why St Paul among many others through the centuries, including our present Magesterium have brought in sports anologies. Our own beloved Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI used the World Cup in his remarks to highlight the need for teamwork in the realm of Faith.

    This blog is revelant because it addresses many current issues, I believe Tito and myself have thrwon in sports anaolgies simply because sports is a mainstay of our society, and yes we enjoy it.

    The second point: As for why LeBron James. He is a Akron St Vincent-St Mary’s grad, a historic Catholic high school in northeast Ohio. He has donated money to the school and helped to promote. In addition, he received one of his NBA most Valuable Player Awards at his high school, something that I believe has never happened.

    The point I was making about his shameless treachery of self promotion is very pertinent in our world where faith takes a back seat to me first promotion. Sadly, it seems LeBron has taken that road, a road he promised he would never take. As much I detest all of this pop culture nonsense, to ignore it, or pretend it doesn’t exist would simply be sticking our heads in the ground. We are not called to be Essenes but to live in the world, just not be of the world.

  • Dave,

    You certainly make some valid points. But this goes too far:

    “The LeBron James saga was particularly painful for those of us who live in Ohio and are Cavaliers fans.”

    Painful? Really? It caused you pain?

    St. Paul may have used sports analogies (where was this exactly?), but he never endorsed the gladiator games at the Colosseum. I’m not saying you endorsed the modern equivalent, but when I look at the madness that overcomes sports crowds – especially in a time of political, economic and social crisis – I don’t see a bunch of regular people enjoying sports.

    I see the bread and circuses of Rome, with which the people were distracted while civilization collapsed. A pacifier, a placater, a sedative – followed by irrational emotional outbursts and torrents of rage, all directed at some ridiculous non-event instead of at the people who are imposing a new tyranny upon us.

    I agree fully with the need to relate to people and their interests. I’m no ivory tower intellectual, I detest alienating and obtuse language, esoteric jargon, etc. But at a certain point, people do need to be slapped in the face with the truth, and they need to be told bluntly that every second of real and genuine PASSION they waste on a sports figure subtracts from the struggle they could be mounting against the growing threat to our liberties and security as citizens.

  • Joe, a very interesting post. I shall do my best to answer questions. With regard as to do I really feel pain regarding LeBron James leaving the Cavs. Yes, I do. Now pain comes in many stages for example; I have been stung on my left hand by a bee and that was painful but rather scant compared to the pain experienced when I broke that hand some years later. I hope you get my drift. I recently felt a sad pain when a fellow Catholic told told me that his business partner, also a practicing Catholic, took liberties with the business and the money causing great scandal and hardship. I felt pain for the injured and the knowledge that some non believers would get a kick out of the matter. To say that one can only feel pain when something major happens to them or some great tragedy in the Church, nation or world sounds rather cold and Dr Spock like to me.

    As for the whole Roman bread and circuses analogy first floated by the American Left in the early half of the last century and floated again by the likes of Libertarian Alex Jones, it just doesn’t make sense. The Roman population was by and large illiterate and caught up in violence and warfare. Are your really saying that modern sports fans want to see others torn apart in their local stadiums?

    The interesting assertion made is that intelllectuals in Europe are not sports minded and therefore Americans are rather ignorant. As a matter of fact TV ratings for soccer’s World Cup dwarf that of the US Super Bowl American TV ratings. Henry Kissinger has often commented that European intellectuals, espeically in Germany and England often treat World Cup defeats as some sort of national period of mourning and or deep period of introspection abou their place in the world.

    We must remember because of social engineering, sports is one of the few places where honest to goodness competition can take place, which is perhaps why Europe with all of their Social Democratic-Statist governemnts likes sports so much.

    I can’t help but think of the Saturday Nighr Live skit (of all things circa December 2000) when the presidential outcome was still up in the air. The skit consisted of a spook of the future if each of the candidates, GW Bush or Al Gore were elected. The future showed a relentlessly sighing (remember those odious debate sighs) Al Gore bemoaning the poor performance of Americans on his interactive quiz results. He would leture the public for hours on end concerning Western Civics, Economnics and the Environment and still not everyone was up to his standards.

    Joe, do you really think the problems in the Church and the world of politics would be solved if everyone was as smart as you think they should be? Perhaps this why Jesus said the poor will always be among us when Judas and some of Apostles threw a hissy fit at the pentitent woman use of the expensive perfumes on Jesus. Perhaps it was the Jesus’ way of saying; don’t think your way can fix every problem. Even if everyone watched TV news, read a plethora of newspapers and websites; the problems would remain. Perhaps this is why the late WIlliam F Buckley said he would rather be goverened by the first 1,000 names in the Boston Phone book, than by the Harvard Faculty.

    Whether it is Faith or Governance, it isn’t all about knowledge, it is courage and perserverance and lots of prayer that are needed for success. For example, General McClellan graduated 2nd in his class from West Point, while General Grant graduated in the bottom half of his class. However, as Shelby Foote noted; General Grant had 4:00 in the Morning Courage and General McClellan had none during the Civil War.

    The Church is going through a tough time now, but it has been far, far worse. After the Reformation, many Northern European cities had few if any priests to administer the sacraments. Check out the life of St Francis DeSales; when he arrived in Geneva as bishop he was treated to rotten fruit being thrown at him and few if any little old ladies in the pews. When he died, half of Geneva had come back to the Church. I am sure had he convened a strategy session of the best and brightest; they would have said your talents would best be served in a more receptive location. Well, just some of my thoughts on what you wrote.

  • Since we’re engaged in a spiritual battle for souls, it’s only fitting that sports analogies be used. The recent firing of the Catholic professor at the University of Illinois is one example of the intelligentsia putting down the “small people” for wanting to take the path that is hard and narrow but leads to life in Christ rather than the path that is wide and easy but leads to destruction–or in the case of the French soccer players who don’t do hard work, a trip back home in coach class.

  • Dave,

    On your personal pain: different strokes, I suppose. But you didn’t quantify it originally. A “small” amount of pain is fine. The utter grief that some appear to be going through is, in my view, a disproportionate response.

    You say of the bread & circuses argument:

    “it just doesn’t make sense”

    Well, it does make sense, and you don’t seem to be arguing against the “sense” of it as much as you are its mere existence.

    ” The Roman population was by and large illiterate and caught up in violence and warfare.”

    Our population isn’t illiterate by Roman standards, but it is less educated by the standards of the developed world. And there is plenty of apathy to go around, even if people have basic reading skills.

    As for violence, have you paid no notice of our sex and violence saturated entertainment “culture”? It’s everywhere, it’s a constant feed of increasingly horrific stimuli.

    “Are your really saying that modern sports fans want to see others torn apart in their local stadiums?”

    The rioting that takes place on occasion suggests that at least some are. So is the immense popularity of professional wrestling, “ultimate fighting championship”, and other increasingly bloody “sports” contests.

    In any case, the main argument is that people are distracted. I don’t have to prove that they are violent, or potentially violent, in order to show that they are investing time and resources in sports that would better be invested in politics.

    Frankly I think the American founders would be horrified at the cult of sports in this nation. Entertainment, or what the founders in their classical republican worldview called luxury, was considered to be the enemy of moral AND civic virtue. The extent to which the people indulge in games and vices is the extent to which they diminish as the sort of responsible citizens that a free republic needs to exist.

    As for Europe: I couldn’t care less. I’m not hung up on Europe, I don’t idolize Europe. I don’t see the relevance.

    Please don’t compare me to Al Gore. I don’t want to bore people with lectures. But as student of Aristotle’s “middle way”, I recognize that there is another extreme we want to avoid, which is hyping people with meaningless distractions.

    We have to appeal to both the passions and the intellect. In fact I’m much more about appealing to passions right now than I am intellect, because many issues are over-intellectualized. But I want to direct that passion AWAY from sports and entertainment, and TOWARDS politics. Politics can be as passionate and competitive as any game or any concert – and it is precisely because of this truth that these other distractions are dangled before the people.

    So I think you misunderstand my aim, especially when you ask,

    “Joe, do you really think the problems in the Church and the world of politics would be solved if everyone was as smart as you think they should be?”

    It is NOT about intelligence, so no, I absolutely do not think that. What I think is that people, regardless of their intellectual abilities, should care more about politics than they do sports or the media-created popular culture. One does not need intellect to participate in politics, any more than they do religion.

    ” Even if everyone watched TV news, read a plethora of newspapers and websites; the problems would remain.”

    I submit that they would be less severe with a politically active populace, and this was the unanimous opinion of the founders of this republic. This is what self-governance means. This is what liberty requires. Slavery and oppression are the defaults of this fallen world; freedom is rare and must be actively fought for and maintained.

    “Perhaps this is why the late WIlliam F Buckley said he would rather be goverened by the first 1,000 names in the Boston Phone book, than by the Harvard Faculty.”

    I think he said it because the elites at Harvard, moreso now than even in his day, are self-hating, self-destructive, and isolated from the people. I agree with his sentiment entirely – but in order to govern, those 1,000 names would have to put down the beer and the remote.

    It is precisely because I DON’T want an elite to run our lives that I DO want the people to stop focusing on nonsense and become better citizens. Don’t you see that? You can’t just say that sovereignty lies with the people, and expect it to stay that way without their involvement. If the people don’t exercise their power, others – the elites – will do it for them. Nature abhors a vacuum. If the people create one through the abrogation of self-government, then the masters will step right back into their comfortable position.

    It is vital that you and others understand this.

  • Joe, I think you are completely missing the point here. No one that I have heard is saying that people shouldn’t take their civic responsibility seriously. Believe me, I have spent 20 years in Catholic education, not to mention the five years I have been doing writing and speaking (all of which at little pay) to answer a call that I believe God has for all of us to be involved with Church and State. However, that doesn’t mean that all of the problems will be solved if we all get involved.

    It seems you don’t understand what I am saying about sports and entertaintment. First of all professional wrestling is not sports, it is entertainment which is why the World Wrestling Federation had to change their name from that to World Wrestling Entertainment. The reason people like sports is that our culture is so involved in social engineering that it has taken away our God given talents and the right to compete with them.

    The pop culture silliness such as who Paris Hilton is dating has nothing to do with competition. She hasn’t done anything with whatever talents God have her; she has merely been born to enabling parents who let her do whatever she wants. There is a big difference between that and the field of athletic competition.

    The three men most attacked by the intelligentsia for their lack of supposed intellect were President Truman, President Reagan and President GW Bush. Do you really think the nation would have been better served with the likes of Governor Dewey, Vice President Mondale and Vice President Gore?

    I am for civic participation, I have spent my life doing it and teaching the necessity of it. However, I am under no illusion that by simply doing it, we will live in a better world. According to your line of thinking the state of Vermont and the US citiies of Cambridge, Massachusetts, Berkeley, California and the Dutch city of Amsterdam would be the greatest places to live, because they have one of the highest civic participation rates in the world.

  • Dave,

    I wasn’t aware that there was only one point – I tried to address all of your points.

    “However, that doesn’t mean that all of the problems will be solved if we all get involved.”

    Who said it meant that? Certainly not I.

    And it just doesn’t matter. See, I think you’re missing the point with things like that. It doesn’t matter whether or not all problems will be solved, such a guarantee is not and never should be the requisite of political participation – the bottom line is that no problems at all will even be addressed by an inactive citizenry. That’s certainly what the elite wants.

    You say I don’t understand your argument about sports. I submit to you that I do understand it, and disagree with it.

    “There is a big difference between that and the field of athletic competition.”

    Insofar as both serve as a distraction from issues that matter, there is no difference. Other differences may exist, but they are not relevant to me.

    “Do you really think the nation would have been better served with the likes of Governor Dewey, Vice President Mondale and Vice President Gore?”

    Why are you asking me this? I invite you to read my previous post for the answer to this question. Carefully, perhaps, this time.

    “ccording to your line of thinking the state of Vermont and the US citiies of Cambridge, Massachusetts, Berkeley, California and the Dutch city of Amsterdam would be the greatest places to live, because they have one of the highest civic participation rates in the world.”

    I’m not sure what “civic participation rate” is, or measures – you can break that down for me if you like.

  • Joe, this could go on and on. However, I think we can agree that our western culture is too pop culture oriented and more people should attend Mass, know what the Catholic Faith is all about, and become more participatory in our civic responsibilities. However, to say that sports and entertainment holds too much sway on our society is bordering on nanny statism and eggheaded pontification. I am sure you wouldn’t suggest the following. However, it could lead to some actually thinking that if Broadway, Hollywood, Major League Baseball, the World Cup and the National Football League and college football took the rest of the year off, and everyone went to town hall meetings to resolve the various problems plaguing our country and world, the world would be a better place.

    Sadly, some people don’t care about their souls, or the state of the world or country, try as we might and pray as we might, they all won’t change. I have tried to illustrate this in my previous posts, using examples from all over the world. I will throw in a couple more. In the last five years or so, my writings have taken me to see and hear many great things happening in the Church. As you can probbaly figure out from the title of my book, “The Tide is Turning Toward Catholicism,” I am an optimist. However, I am a realist as well. Some people just don’t care and some people who claim they care, just want to control others.

    For example, you asked about what I meant by participation rates in reference to my statement that the state of Vermont and the cities of Cambridge, Massachuseets, Berkeley, California and the Dutch city of Amsterdam have high participation rates. What I meant was voting participation and membership in civic clubs, neighborhoood groups, school organizations etc.

    These whacky far left locations would hardly be my cup of tea. Their foil of civic responsibility is really a foil for state control and the opportunity to attack religion, i.e. the Catholic Church at every turn.

    Some people chose to be ingorant and or commit various sins ad nauseam. The late Bishop Sheen spoke of a man he met in Paris (I believe it was the 1920s.) This man, (who was British) played piano in the lobby of the hotel that then Father Sheen was staying. They chit-chatted during one of his breaks and the British piano player agreed to have dinner with Father Sheen. The piano player seemed to boost to the future famous bishop that women couldn’t keep their hands off him, some had even left their husbands. The piano player went on to say that after a few months he gets bored with each woman and then moves on to another. Obviously Bishop Sheen was shocked so he met with the man for the next few days. When the time seemed right, he took him to Sacre Coeur to pray before the Blessed Sacrament. The man stayed all night and thanked Father Sheen for his insights, prayers and time. The piano player said he was a changed man. A few days later they agreed to meet again for dinner. When they did, the piano player came with another woman on his arm. It has happened again the man explained. Father Sheen pulled him aside to see what was really happening and the man explained the sinful life was far more enjoyable, even if it could result in a horrible end for his soul. What I am trying to say is that not everyone does what they should.

    Jesus was faced with two similar situations. The first occurred when the penitent woman poured perfume over him and Judas and some of the other Apostles protested saying it could have been sold and helped many poor people. Jesus answered; “The poor you will always have among you.” It was his way of remdinding the Apostles that though we should help everyone we can, it still doesn’t mean that it will be solved the way we think it should be. One more example involves the parable about the rich man asking to go back from (hell or purgatory) and tell those other rich relatives and friends of his to change their ways lest they end up in the same horrible predicament that he was encountering. Jesus told him that they wouldn’t listen to the prophets, why would they listen to him. Joe, I think we can agree that we should all be more involved in Church & State affairs. However, trying to tell people that sports and entertainment should be severely curtailed when so many of our saints and Holy Fathers were involved with both sounds a bit over the top.

  • Dave,

    You’re simply wrong. I don’t know if it is a logical or a rhetorical issue. Only you do.

    “However, to say that sports and entertainment holds too much sway on our society is bordering on nanny statism and eggheaded pontification.”

    It really is no such thing at all. Stating what I believe to be a mere fact in no way necessitates a nanny-state, and it is hardly an observation limited to the ivory tower.

    I could just as well say that ignoring the sway that these forces hold over society is to engage in bad citizenship and willful ignorance – but I don’t.

    To fail to participate is NOT an intellectual failure – IT IS A MORAL FAILURE. All but the mentally handicapped are culpable for their moral choices, regardless of their intellect.

    So you’re really barking up the wrong tree with this constant accusation of eggheadery. If intellect is the requisite for voting, then we have no business with a democracy or even a republic – we need Plato’s philosopher king. But it isn’t. It is virtue, not intellect, that is the primary requisite for voting. It is a free choice made by individuals, and not innate abilities, that is responsible for this decision.

    Now, if you don’t get my clearly stated point this time, what else can I conclude other than that you’re making excuses for people’s civic sloth?

    ” if Broadway, Hollywood, Major League Baseball, the World Cup and the National Football League and college football took the rest of the year off, and everyone went to town hall meetings to resolve the various problems plaguing our country and world, the world would be a better place.”

    Language is key. I absolutely believe it would be a “better” place – I don’t think it would become a perfect place, a utopia with no problems. It might be a little bit better, it might be a whole lot better – participation isn’t the only thing that makes a society bad or good. But I’d submit that while it is not sufficient for a good society, it is necessary.

    If it WOULDN’T make society a better place, then it is nothing but a baby’s pacifier granted by the elites to their stupid pets, serving no actual good and right purpose. It would have no rational justification, even if it can be said that voting is, or is the result of, a natural right.

    Is there a rational justification for universal suffrage, or is it just a societal ornament? If there is a rational justification for it, then we can only conclude that a widespread failure to use that right is irrational.

    “I am an optimist. However, I am a realist as well. Some people just don’t care and some people who claim they care, just want to control others.”

    But this is all off the main point.

    Here’s my question to you – is it your view that invoking the drama of LeBron James will politically galvanize folks who otherwise wouldn’t pay attention to anything? They’ll make the transition from sports to politics this way?

    If that happens, and it works, I’ll eat my shoes with ketchup. In all seriousness, I’d be interested to know if that works, or if it ever has. If it has, I say, go with what works.

    ” What I meant was voting participation and membership in civic clubs, neighborhoood groups, school organizations etc.”

    Those are all good things in themselves. It is unfortunate that secular leftists would seem, if your claim is accurate, to have a leg up in that department, since the vision of the founders was for this to be a universal phenomenon.

    I also have no problem with Vermont. I like their gun laws more than I dislike Bernie Sanders. And I say, ultimately, that power belongs to those who take it. Within our political system, Christians have the means to become just as involved, and have their values just as represented. It is simply irrational for them to cede the arena to hostile forces.

    “What I am trying to say is that not everyone does what they should.”

    For goodness sakes, you say that as if it is novel. Who the heck argued otherwise?

    But does this fact somehow absolve us of a responsibility to proclaim the truth, to proclaim what ought to be done? Again, I am with Aristotle. There are two extremes – there is pie-in-the-sky idealism on the one hand, that says anything is possible and people are capable of anything. Then there is fatalism – the view that things are what they are and cannot be changed.

    The rational, position is genuine realism – understanding what can be changed, and what cannot be changed. Understanding what can be influenced, and what cannot. Understanding what your power is, and what the limit of that power is.

    Your view, to me, is closer to fatalism than realism. The Church proclaims that civic participation is a moral obligation. It doesn’t matter if “people don’t do what they should” – people shouldn’t have abortions either, but the Church will never cease to proclaim that it is wrong, and that they should choose life.

    So I will continue to proclaim, along with the Church, and in the spirit of the American founders, the importance of civic virtue and I will continue to denounce those influences that weaken and corrupt it.

    “Joe, I think we can agree that we should all be more involved in Church & State affairs. However, trying to tell people that sports and entertainment should be severely curtailed when so many of our saints and Holy Fathers were involved with both sounds a bit over the top.”

    This is your problem – I said no such thing. When did I say “severely curtailed”? This was a false inference, or, poor choice of words. A fallacy or a gaffe.

    I do not propose to infringe upon ANYONE’s right to be a lazy idiot. But I certainly do propose that we use our first amendment rights to remind people of their moral and civic obligations, and to denounce the garbage that obstructs them.

    Do you understand that it is possible to oppose a thing without violating another person’s right to that thing? If so, then we have no quarrel, sir.

  • Over on another blog I found a list of humorous Twitter responses to the LeBron James announcement…. among them was the following:

    “I wanted to announce my Second Coming at 9 p.m. tonite, but it looks like you all had other plans — Jesus Christ.”

  • LeBron James had every right to leave Cleveland. You talk about his “week-long ego charade” but that entire week LeBron said very little to the media. LeBron made no appearances on ESPN or any other network until his special. You’re blaming LeBron for the fact that everyone on TV was talking about him non-stop. Further more you failed to mention the fact that LeBron’s marketing firm agreed to only do the special if the sponsorship dollars would go to The Boys and Girls Club.

    The reason so many people have left the church isn’t because they want some razzle-dazzle experience when they go to church. No, it’s because of the fact that for the last sixty plus years a small portion of priests and clergy members have been raping and sexually exploiting children around the world. Every clergy member who ever abused a child and every church official who covered it up and didn’t report these people to the authorities should be thrown in jail. So before you start criticizing completely innocent and upstanding athletes clean up your church first.

  • Chris Russo, then how do you account for the fact that many fans are quick to forgive and forget the sins of the Kobe Bryants and Tiger Woods of the world rather than ditch them? I don’t see that happening for the priests who betray their flock, so that says a lot about the effect of pop culture’s alluring but false promises of fame and riches on society, especially those who build their homes on shifting sand rather than rocks. Perhaps LeBron may be like the Prodigal Son and find that his ego got the best of him.

    Thankfully there are many other priests to do us Catholics proud, including superstars like Archbishop Raymond Burke, who certainly wouldn’t pull a LeBron act despite the Creative Minority Report humorously imagining such a possibility: http://www.creativeminorityreport.com/search?q=LeBron

  • ESPN’s ombudsman vindicates Dave, blasting the network for its LeBron coverage: http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/post/ESPN-ombudsman-blasts-network-for-LeBron-coverag?urn=top-257681

Is Bishop Roger Morin Mendaciously Defending CCHD?

Thursday, November 19, AD 2009

Bishop Roger Morin is the Chair of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) Subcommittee that directs the CCHD.  In theory the CCHD works towards ending poverty and injustice in the United States by basically offering grants to organizations that support these goals.  But reality is far harsher than what is written.

Numerous organizations have investigated the CCHD and have uncovered many nefarious groups that are diametrically opposed to the teachings of Jesus.  Many of these groups promote abortion to ‘gay marriage’.  What is striking is that the CCHD doesn’t do anything to end the funding unless a very bright light is shined on them such as the case with ACORN.

Bishop Roger Morin continues to issue memorandums defending CCHD’s vetting process and grants.  Yet time and time again he has been proven unequivocally wrong.  From the Young Workers United to the Chinese Progressive Association, CCHD apparently sees no evil… anywhere.

Is Bishop Roger Morin being mendacious in his continual defense of the indefensible.  I am having a really hard time believing that he could be so obtuse to such an important matter as this.

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35 Responses to Is Bishop Roger Morin Mendaciously Defending CCHD?

  • With so many Catholic charitable organizations, why is yet another overreaching organization necessary? Except perhaps to provide jobs for the bureaucrats in the USCCB?

    And what is “human development”? Does it not sound like one of those philanthopically mush words, with no specifics? I recall J.D. Rockefeller’s Committee for Uplift”.

    Is not the Church chiefly concerned with salvation?

  • Four words: Saint Vincent (de) Paul Society (SVDS).

    Their Catholic and they do fine social work.

    Give the money you normally give to CCHD to SVDS.

  • Charity is one side of the coin. Another is justice. And while I realize that many conservatives and Republicans seem to prefer charity as a way of keeping people in their place, the fact is that when the poor have authentic political advocacy, people can be permanently lifted out of poverty. If for no other reason that they in turn can help others.

    That said, the local SVDS is a worthy charity. Giving there is an improvement over pocketing the CCHD money for oneself.

    As for the post, another conservative Catholic calls another bishop a liar. Yawn.

  • Todd,

    I’m reporting what the good bishop is doing.

    And I’m Catholic first, conservative second, third or fourth.

    You need to remember that we are Catholics before we are anything else.

  • Holy smokes are you harsh on Morin.

    It seems the CA contacts, not surprisingly, gave some money to groups that when exposed, were de-funded. Outside of CA though, it does not seem to be a widespread problem, as there are almost no examples. It is not surprising that this is true in CA or that a few examples, given the number of groups that receive funding. occur. Even the highest diligence can result in errors-many of us have heath insurance plans that we did not know cover abortion; many of us shop at companies that support one or more causes we Catholics oppose.

    Perhaps that’s enough to make you concerned about making a donation to CCHD and I don’t care whether you donate or not. But that Morin’s skull ought to pave the road to hell? Absolutely no evidence that he deserves that kind of bashing. As a layman and a Catholic, you owe a bishop (or any other human being for that matter) far greater deference.

  • “the fact is that when the poor have authentic political advocacy, people can be permanently lifted out of poverty.”

    I’d say the trillions in anti-poverty efforts by government since the Great Society demonstrates how well unearned government handouts work in lifting anyone out of poverty.

  • Michael D.,

    Excellent point, but when this sort of thing has been going on for many years. And when the CCHD ignores others (like ourselves) who point out the error of their ways and yet they still ignore, then that is a totally different animal.

    As Todd has so clearly and ironically demonstrated that the CCHD seems more partisan than Catholic. Their blind loyalty to everything in the Democratic Party platform has jaded them to the point of being laughable.

    Laughable meaning reading Bishop Morin continously defend the indefensible.

    Believe me I have deference. You’ll know it’s me when you see me bend to my knee to kiss Cardinal DiNardo’s ring in a busy airport. I’m not ashamed of being Catholic.

    Unlike Bishop Morin who will find any excuse in the book to stick to the Democratic Party platform Catholic teaching be damned.

  • But is Morin defending the indefensible? He’s arguing the indefensible does not apply to this situation, and that the CCHD is committed to making sure the indefensible does not occur.

    You can disagree with that statement, as it’s a statement of fact. But it seems to me that Morin here has good intentions and if nothing else pushes that standard that the CCHD must hold the groups it funds accountable and needs to improve in carrying out that mission.

  • Defend the indefensible?

    Like when I suggested to you to move to Houston?

  • I am making a point of giving an extra large donation to the CCHD development this year, to counter those whose bizarre and Beckian acorn-fixation has trumped their support of a key Church program. I would note that despite its reputation in secular right-wing circles, “community activism” has a long history in Catholic social teaching. We call it subsidiarity. I would also note that the call for Catholics to donate to the CCHD stands at the top of the USCCB’s website. In my own diocese, it was the subject of a heart-felt letter by Bishop Knestout.

  • Actually I will be giving my money to Salt and Light radio which my diocesan newspaper strangely ran an editorial that was negative. Also that will go for the money I usually give to the annual Bishop’s appeal. Still doing good – just in a different way and in a way I can specify.

  • Tony, since you are a Leftist, of course you approve of the funding choices made over the years by the CCHD. Lord only knows why any other Catholic should.

    http://bellarmineveritasministry.org/

  • Here is something else that I have always considered odd about CCHD: why in the world is the Catholic Church in this country funding groups that are not Catholic? There are legions of Catholic groups in this country helping the poor. Why not fund them? For the answer, read what Father Neuhaus wrote last year:

    “What most Catholics don’t know, and what would likely astonish them, is that CHD very explicitly does not fund Catholic institutions and apostolates that work with the poor. Part of the thinking when it was established in the ideological climate of the 1960s is that Catholic concern for the poor would not be perceived as credible if CHD funded Catholic organizations. Yes, that’s bizarre, but the history of CHD is bizarre. The bishops could really help poor people by promptly shutting down CHD and giving any remaining funds to, for instance, Catholic inner-city schools. In any event, if there is a collection at your parish this month, I suggest that you can return the envelope empty—and perhaps with a note of explanation—without the slightest moral hesitation.”

    http://the-american-catholic.com/2008/11/13/not-one-dime/

  • That’s a true Catholic for you — deliberately give more money to anti-Catholic organizations just out of spite for other Catholics for not being leftists.

  • Suggesting mendacity is morally beyond the pale.

    If not slander it is at least detraction.

    Sins of this type require restitution. There’s a serious obligation to undo unjust harm done to another’s reputation.

    The eighth commandment is still operative, if I’m not mistaken.

  • I don’t think that I support the theory that Bishop Morin is being mendacious in his defense of the CCHD, nor the idea that he’s essentially doing it for resume material or visible credit. However, as I read around about the collection it strikes me as a rather poor idea that it specifically restricts itself to:

    a) Non-Catholic groups (groups that are specifically Catholic will not be funded by the CCHD, it’s purpose is to fund non-Catholic groups)

    b) Programs that do not seek to directly alleviate poverty (by providing food, housing, money, clothing, etc. to those in need) but rather to social programs which seek to change society in ways that will alleviate poverty in the long run.

    Particularly in light of the second, it strikes me as a bit dishonest that the marketing for the campaign this year is all focused around the current recession and “how long can you hold on” themes. The CCHD programs will specifically _not_ help families hold on and get back on their feet.

    In this regard, I think suggestions of focusing (especially this year) on Catholic programs that seek to directly help those in need (such as St.VdP) are entirely reasonable. Reading over the list of groups which were funded last year on the USCCB site, I see very few that I would choose to donate to over the charities that I already fund. And coming two weeks after the annual diocesan appeal (which I support very, very strongly) it’s not at a good time in our diocese anyway.

  • “Mendacious” well, it’s a nice Latin way of calling someone a liar.

    Still, this post has been up all day and Donald has likewise had all day to consider the distinction between charity and justice. And he still doesn’t get it. For an educated man, willful ignorance is a sorry sight to see.

  • “For an educated man, willful ignorance is a sorry sight to see.”

    Actually Todd some of the most willfully ignorant individuals I have encountered during my life have been the best educated. Those without much formal education I have generally found to be eager to learn. As to charity and justice they are both essentially about love, and a key element of love is truth and not pleasing illusions about bishops or collections.

  • the fact is that when the poor have authentic political advocacy, people can be permanently lifted out of poverty

    When people have their health and acquire trade skills they can be permanently lifted out of poverty.

  • I am giving my money… wait a minute… never mind. Maybe next year…

  • Todd,

    When overwhelming evidence is showing how much evil these organizations do and the good bishop is willfully ignoring it, then he’s causing scandal.

    Donald,

    I agree. The most educated always find creative and innovative ways to lie through their teeth. Hoping that they find moral loopholes and ethical backdoors to continue lieing through their teeth.

  • Is Bishop Roger Morin Mendaciously Defending CCHD?

    IMHO YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Personally, I’m not getting too worked up over this. I agree with those who say that organisations that are not Catholic but help serve the poor (and in ways other than strictly soup kitchens, etc.) are worthy recipients. IKnowing mankind and burocracies, I think erros inevitable. The key questions are: are errors identified as such and acted on in ernest? What measures are taken to prevent them in the future. Tied to the later, was the issue really just an error or was it something endemic or nefarious?

    Frankly, I don’t think it is uncharitable or unreasonable to question the program or the judgment of those who run the operation. Excluding Catholic organisations strikes me as terribly imprudent and contrary to our the mission of the Church, which is in part to serve. The selection of some of these organisations is horrific and I can’t believe they were done in ingnorance. This is indeed a problem and IMO the only possible correction is to revisit the mission and operating plan, and start from ground up again.

  • Charity and justice are two different but complementary things. I would venture to suggest that while charity (tending to individual, immediate, short-term needs) is an area where church leaders and church institutions do well, justice (tending to the long-term needs of society) is more the job of the laity.

    Pope John Paul II more or less acknowledged that when he banned priests from running for public office — he was saying it’s not their job, that belongs to lay people exercising their properly formed convictions.

    C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity also said in a chapter about how “the Church” is supposed to lead the way in creating a just society, that this can be understood in two ways. If it means that active Christians ought to become politicians, business leaders, etc. and devote themselves to putting Christian principles into action, that is true.

    But if it means “the bench of bishops getting together to put out a political program,” that is wrong and silly, just as expecting Christian literature to come from priests and bishops writing plays and novels in their spare time, rather than from talented writers and poets who also happen to be Christians, would be silly.

    With that in mind, I think CCHD represents the official Church hierarchy trying to do something they were not really called to do.

  • “Tony, since you are a Leftist, of course you approve of the funding choices made over the years by the CCHD. Lord only knows why any other Catholic should.”

    By your argument, Donald, the US bishops are leftists, and God knows why Catholics should support them on this one.

  • I have issues with some of the funding decisions which CCHD has made to the point that I probably won’t contribute this year. *But*, I enthusiastically support the idea of trying to address human development in a systemic fashion (cf. Caritas in Veritate in general on human development). I give a more of my annual tithe to organizations that provide direct service to those in need (e.g. SVdPS), but I’d like to be able to contribute to an umbrella organization that provides funds for systemic solutions, much like CCHD intends to do.

    Anyone have any recommendations?

  • Tony I have no doubt that some Bishops lean as far Left as you do. A bigger problem is that most of them pay no attention and let USCCB bureaucrats run the show and almost all of them are on the political Left. The whole purpose of the CHD is not to help the poor but rather to fund political pressure groups of the left. The ACORN funding was not a bug but a wad of this annual tithe that Catholic parishioners unknowing pay to the Left in this country.

  • The question arises: why is the good bishop refusing to go slowly in examining the organization being funded by CATHOLIC money? Is it right for the good bishop to complain about sheep who bleat? It is certainly not right for him to accuse them of bad faith.

    I note that in my diocese money is to be directed to Albuquerque Interfaith. This is a group founded by Saul Alinsky, whose underlying purpose is to organize for political action.

    Meanwhile we have FOOD FOR THE POOR, ALBUQUERQUE RESCUE MISSION, the various groups helping the local Indian reservations, PREGNANCY HELP and so on. These are small groups who do actually feed the poor, and advise about pregnancies and the like.

  • Gabriel, I don’t fault CCHD for not funding organizations that provide direct assistance… their mission is to address problems at a systemic & structural level, which often entails political involvement. I welcome such an intention… I only wish that CCHD didn’t so often fund organizations with views in opposition to Catholic doctrine.

  • Its so sad that at a time when we are closing catholic schools in the inner cities, we are also giving money to groups like these.

  • The problems with the CCHD can be found right in its granting process. It grants only to those organizations that have the “involuntary poor” on their boards of directors. This defies common sense. If the poor understood the “root causes” of poverty and knew the remedies for them, then (Hello) they wouldn’t be poor, would they.

    The poor in this country have largely been conditioned to believe that the solution to poverty is government handouts. Therefore, the action to take to end poverty would be to register the poor to vote for those politicians who will give the most government(taxpayer) funds to the poor. Hence you have ACORN who’s main work was voter registration as a recipient of CCHD funds.

    Also, I would like to say that it is very devious how the Bishops go about getting this money. They should make it clear that the money will not be used by the
    Church directly but given to secular groups to do the work they cannor or will not do. If the Bishops want the faithful to give to these groups, they should issue pastoral guidelins saying so, not collect money under false pretenses then redistribute the moeny to these groups. The Bishops should put out their list of recommended charities, then let us decide which onnes we wnt to donate to.

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  • Another November CCHD collection to which I did not contribute. I have only so much money, and that will go to charities that I am certain are unquestionably Catholic. CCHD is not one of those.

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