Pope Paul VI and the Smoke of Satan

Sunday, October 19, AD 2014


(The day of the beatification of Pope Paul VI seems like a good day to repost this post.)

I have long heard about Pope Paul VI having referred to the “smoke of Satan” having entered the Church.  Usually most references to it do not mention when it was said and in what context.  The quote apparently was said on June 29, 1972 by Pope Paul VI on the ninth anniversary of his coronation during a homily given at a mass for the solemnity of Saint Peter and Saint Paul.  The Italian text is here.  As far as I know there is no official translation.  On November 13, 2006 Jimmy Atkin posted at his blog  a translation done of the homily by Father Stephanos Pedrano.  Please note that the text that is translated is a summary of what the Pope said and not a word for word transcript of what the Pope said.  Father Pedrano’s translation is as follows (I have placed in red the portion of the text that refers to Satan):

Continue reading...

6 Responses to Pope Paul VI and the Smoke of Satan

Dying Nuns, Liberalism, and Time Magazine

Tuesday, September 2, AD 2014

Soon to be Extinct Nun

Time magazine, yes it is still being published, serves one useful function.  It normally gives insight into how doctrinaire liberals view the world.  It is often unintentionally hilarious as the writers demonstrate a cluelessness about the subject that they are writing about, which would rise to the level of Swiftian if it were intentional, instead of being the product of a mentality that cannot rise above the purely parochial mindset of the left that dominates most of those whose scribblings are published by Time.  Case in point:  Jo Piazza and her take on the coming extinction of liberal nuns:

Why would a generation of young women raised to believe that they can be anything join an institution that tells them there is something they absolutely cannot be, that there is a certain level they will never reach? Many of the women who are nuns today joined the vocation because it was a way to become highly educated, travel the world and dedicate themselves to a higher good without being beholden to a husband or children.

Young women today can do that with a passport and a Kickstarter account.

Continue reading...

12 Responses to Dying Nuns, Liberalism, and Time Magazine

  • No woman, female human, has ever claimed that Jesus Christ has called her to Holy Orders. Even the New York Times cannot testify to a woman being called to Holy Orders unless they own that person, which is unconstitutional.
    It is patently nonsense for a female to hold up the bread and say: “THIS IS MY BODY”, the words of Consecration, because it is not. The bread is confected into the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, true God and true man by the will of God, the Father, God, the Son, Jesus Christ, and the actions of the Holy Spirit, through the Catholic Church by a man ordained through the Catholic Church to the Sacrament of Holy Orders. ORDERS, ORDERS are indeed orders, even when holy, are not being observed by these heretical persons. Unless the woman claims to be a man, a finite man, the woman bears false testimony in a court of law and commits blasphemy. Blasphemy against the Son of God, Jesus Christ is perjury in a court of law and heresy in the Catholic Church.
    Too many individuals refuse to accept the fact that a new human being comes into existence as science has proved through DNA, time and time again, (perhaps not the New York Time(s), pun intended), that the frozen embryos are persons who are cheated of a warm and nourishing womb in a woman body through “in vitro fertilization” test tubes, imprisoned in liquid nitrogen, and at the mercy of cold, merciless individuals. The three choices the parents of an in vitro fertilized human child are given are: 1. Freeze the living child for future implantation. 2. Destroy the child. (kill the child) 3. Put the frozen child up for adoption.
    When these frozen children are adopted and allowed to grow in a warm and nurturing woman’s womb these living, human children are called Snowflake Babies, several of whom have testified and bear testimony to being human beings from the very first moment of existence. The Snowflake Babies are scientific proof that a sovereign person exists from the very first cell of a fertilized human egg.
    This comment must end here. But unfortunately, the women running around like chickens with their heads cut off, with nothing but political correctness, are an embarrassment to themselves, other women and the Catholic Church.
    Has anyone any suggestion that would enable these misguided, pitiable creatures to ascertain for themselves the truth? The whole world is watching this circus act of idiocy and using these laughable creatures as items for their stories. Or maybe this is the beginning of hell?

  • Pingback: Anti-Christian Hate Crime by Muslims - BigPulpit.com
  • Disobedience is not a virtue.
    Eve’s disobedience opened the beginnings of hell on earth.

    The woman of obedience brought forth the dawn of salvation. If wayward nuns could adopt Mary the Blessed Virgin as model, then the lives of nuns would be forever fruitful and fulfilling.

    If Jesus wanted women to hold “more power and leadership roles,” then Jesus would of elevated His Mother in those terms. Instead He gives us His mother as a model of humility and obedience.
    Nuns who find this out of date need to review their vocation…possibly give it up and join the ranks of the disoriented liberal (c)atholic church.

  • No one has more power or more leadership than a mother, whether she be a mother physically or a mother spiritually. These liberal nit wits are incapable of comprehending that by her fiat, the Blessed Virgin Mary through submission contained within her womb more Power than any mortal man could ever possess. The three worst words in the English language are liberal progressive Democrat followed closely by feminist and environmentalist.

  • The author’s “Swiftian cluelessness” was indeed hilariously highlighted in another phrase from the original Time article:
    “Nuns are dying out because their population is aging and young women are not joining their ranks in the numbers they once did.”
    Umm, yah, righhhht…d’ya think?
    In an age of heightened nihilism and lack of purposefulness in life, a young woman should join THESE unconsciously self-parodying nit-wits? Havent you answered your own inquiry, Ms Piazza?

  • Nuns For Choice – how utterly pathetic these women are. It’s a good thing that these liberal leftist orders are dying out. They don’t belong in the classroom poisoning young minds. “Save the Baby Whales”. No, “Save the Baby Humans”, Sister. Ms Piazza should have done more research; she would have found that orders that are traditional have vocations.

  • CAM: “Nuns For Choice”
    In vitro fertilization and implantation (test tube babies) and DNA are scientific proof that a new human being comes into existence and life with the first individual cell. The newly begotten human being worships God by being a human being. Peter Singer of Princeton likes to define the new person by citing self awareness and conciousness.
    One cannot drive a car without a car. One can imagine or think about driving a car without actually owning a car to drive. The soul of the person imagines having a brain to think about thinking and the brain comes into being. In the stillness of the womb the baby grows a brain. The thinking person comes into being.
    These people are cheerleaders for Satan, the devil’s spawn. Halloween is coming.

  • Actually the statististics show that the fall in the numbers of nuns/religious sisters, which had continued at a steady pace from 1970 to 2005, has slowed remarkably in the past 10 years and it appears it will soon turn around and the numbers will start growing again. Tracing the same path as the numbers of priests, and, more recently, religious brothers/monks.

  • Ronk, Thanks. Yes… the Nashville Dominicans is one order that has had a large increase in vocations. I doubt Ms. Piazza would have used the statistics because it doesn’t fit her agneda.

  • Ronk, you are certainly right about (as CAM observes) reasonably traditional Novus Ordo Sisters’ orders recovering in terms of numbers, but here on the VL (Very Left, as in Vladimir Lenin) Coast, I work closely with two women’s religious orders, one of which has participated in the infamous “Nuns on the Bus” protest tour group, for example, as well as prominent openly documented activism in the most explicitly and publicly pro-choice aspects of the LCWR: and they couldnt buy a novice if you paid them (Maybe I should suggest that to them…Naw!). One of the orders hasnt had a novice in about 4 years, and their median age must be 65…or more.. So, by their fruits ye shall know them.

  • Alas. No light on the Piazza.

  • Jo Piazza’s garbage is typical of Time Magazine, a liberal victim’s rag. I can’t believe it didn’t go financially bankrupt decades ago. Miss Piazza doesn’t address the legitimate reasons for Vatican concerns. These include fidelity to Catholic teaching, arrogance and contempt towards authority to which they professed vows, obsession with “women’s ordination,” the compulsion of many nuns to revel in their delusional “victim” status ad nauseum. Miss Piazza reminds me of those radicals who came of age in the 1960s (Hillary Clinton, and her ilk) who never grew up and can’t stop their adolescent rebellion again the relentless oppressors who are everywhere. Like Time Magazine, they never wanted to grow up and become adults, and will die as miserable ranting and raving rebels because that’s all they know and are capable of doing.

Translation: Cardinal Schonborn Expressly Approved The Unholy Mass

Sunday, July 11, AD 2010

A commenter, Dave Hahn, asked if anyone bothered to translate the gloria.tv report on the Unholy Mass.

Well someone did.

Here is a direct quote from the video of the priest in his homily:

In his homily, Father Faber made a point of saying that Cardinal Schönborn expressly approved this celebration. Despite the fact that Gloria TV had documented liturgical abuses during the previous years, Despite international exposure and world criticism, Cardinal Schönborn stands behind the event.

The following is the complete translation of the gloria.tv video of Cardinal Schonborn’s expressly approved Unholy Mass:

On the 29th of June, the pastor of Vienna’s Cathedral, Father Toni Faber celebrated the so called Western Mass at the Danube Island Festival, for the third time. The Danube Island Festival is an annual large open air music festival in Vienna.

Continue reading...

12 Responses to Translation: Cardinal Schonborn Expressly Approved The Unholy Mass

  • In fairness, the priest’s report of Cardinal Schonborn’s speech, even if accurate as reported, cannot reasonably be construed to imply or entail approval of the “Western Mass” as such – the Cardinal only sends his blessings and greetings to Fr. Faber’s flock.

  • Perhaps a result of the thinking of the Eucharist only as a meal. Along with this throw in the denial of the Real Presence. If the Eucharist is only a meal, why not have others join in by sharing and eating what they also brought along.

  • The whole thing is lunatic. Fortunately it won’t really play in Peoria; most people surfeited with barbecued meat, beer and ciggies don’t care for the religious stuff. Why go chomp on a thin wafer when you can open a bag or two of tortilla chips and some hot salsa? And what’s with the gospel music anyway? Turn on some freaking Aerosmith!

  • Pauli,

    You’re right.

    If they’re going off the deep end like they want to, why do it halfway.

    Even when they try to be worldly they still get it wrong.

  • Chris has a good point. Bishops, cardinals, and popes send “blessings and greetings” to people all the time without necessarily expressing approval of all their actions. For example, Veronica Lueken, the supposed visionary of Bayside, used to parade a routine blessing given to one of her followers by Pope John Paul II as “proof” that her shrine and her visions had received Church approval. Does Gloria TV or anyone else have clear evidence that Cardinal Schonborn not only gave permission for a Mass to be celebrated at the festival, but also approved the MANNER in which it was celebrated?

  • How in heaven’s name could any Cardinal approve of this fiasco as a Mass. One has therefore to believe the Cardinal did not know the extent of what was planned, however, if the presider only assumed this was a normal “blessing of the event” was permission than where is the rebuttal and denial of approval from the Cardinal as to the acutal event that took place.

  • AFL,

    Considering that Cardinal Schonborn celebrated the infamous “Balloon Mass” and defended his participation in it and being the prelate of Austria where there was a revolt in the See of Linz when an orthodox bishop was appointed because the priests didn’t want to give up their girlfriends, then I can see this happening.

    Cardinal Schonborn may be orthodox, but he’s what I call “personally orthodox, ecclesiastically incompetent” type of bishop.

  • Tito, this all seems like pretty thin gruel if you are looking for muck to sling at the cardinal. Why are you on this crusade against him?

  • JohnH,

    Thin gruel?

    That’s a very interesting choice of words considering the mountain of evidence in the video that says otherwise.

  • Well, I suppose if you assumed the worst at every turn, it would seem like a mountain of evidence.

    I’ve been to a World Youth Day where worse things than were shown in the Austrian video happened. Given that WYD was organized by Pope John Paul II, can I assume that the misbehavior I witnessed was “expressly approved” by Pope John Paul II?

    I’ve also been to a conference back in the 1990’s that included some truly atrocious charismatic liturgies, including one where a priest handed hosts to everyone to hold while he did the consecration. Given that Archbishop Chaput was one of the clergy at the conference, can I go tell people about how he “expressly approved” this?

    I don’t think so. But if I already had a grudge against Archbishop Chaput or Pope John Paul II, I might try to make a case of this. Which makes me think you have something against Cardinal Schonborn. So, I’d ask again: Why are you on this crusade against him?

  • JohnH,

    I see where you are coming from.

    No, I do not have a grudge against him.

    I like him a lot based solely on his work of the Catechism.

    I am just reporting a “pattern” of behavior that I have noticed in one of my favorite prelates.

    It is deeply disturbing to think that I use to read through his many writings soaking up all the knowledge.

    To think that I looked up to this good man as a model of ecclesial leadership, substance, and scholarship makes me think twice on many other prelates that I look up to.

    I am heartbroken and dismayed by the recent spate of actions he has involved himself in that I now question his judgment on anything he does.

  • JohnH I understand your points, but do not feel your comparison is a fair one. There is a major difference between one to be holding a large event as YD where each individual occurence can not be controlled and one is critical of the occurences. This event evidently scantioned by a “priest” who had acknowledged a blessing of the event ( certainly not a Liturgal event according to the rubics ) has not been openly critized by his Bishop and this case the Cardinal is truly amazing regardless of the Cardinal’s past history. How about after all the publicity some comment from the Cardinal as how and why the event took place in the first place.

Unholy Mass in Austria With Explicit Approval of Cardinal Schonborn

Monday, July 5, AD 2010

Updated below with still photographs.

Christoph Cardinal Schonborn has had a series of blunders these past 18 months.  From his participation in a balloon Mass to criticizing a high ranking Cardinal of the Vatican.  He has been verbally and personally reprimanded by the Pope himself.

Now comes this ‘Wild Western’ Mass caught on video being celebrated in Austria with his explicit approval.

You be the judge:

A Mass is celebrated in Austria with the explicit approval of Cardinal Schonborn. Shown in this Mass being celebrated in German are sacrilegious, blasphemous, and unholy desecration’s of the Holy Mass.

Continue reading...

49 Responses to Unholy Mass in Austria With Explicit Approval of Cardinal Schonborn

  • I see and hear of things like this and wonder why Cardinal Schonborn and his like are allowed to still call themselves Catholic. This is the same as the sex, idolatry and heresies that plagued the early Church. Persecution by the pagan Romans was never the greatest threat. Rather, it was dissension and discord and disobedience from within. The same is true today.

  • The Austrian Church seems far worse than the Belgian Church.

    If you recall the near riot that occurred when an orthodox bishop was installed in Linz. It had to be withdrawn because many priests and their girlfriends complained of his orthodoxy.

  • Tito,

    Hmmm. Much inappropriate here, but I have a few points of clarification:

    The video shows the Open Air Gospel Mass was celebrated as part of a three-day country music festival in Vienna, Austria (Danube Island Festival Country and Western site)in 2008. The program for the 2009 version of the fest (including the Mass on Sunday) can be found here: http://2009.donauinselfest.at/index.php?lang=de&module=programm&showInsel=17). The costumes are almost certainly part of the festival and not something worn specifically for the mass. Also, in Germany the Confederate battle jack is the symbol of country music; I would assume the same holds true in Austria. I very much doubt it was being used as a political symbol here.

    All that considered, the middle of a fest isn’t the best place to hold a mass, with the eating, drinking and talking sure to be going on in close proximity.

    My German isn’t great (in fact it’s lousy), but I think non-Catholic Christians (who profess belief in the Real Presence) are being invited to Holy Communion. Now that’s a real problem.

  • Sorry, the above comment was from Dminor – I forgot to change the settings!

  • DMinor,

    “Much inappropriate”?

    For what? For posting this video of a poorly celebrated Mass?

  • Much inappropriate with the way the Mass was conducted.
    I’m pretty much with you on this one.

    I worried that some of the cultural context (European Country Music Festival) was misinterpreted as central to that Mass. Some of the things that were cited in your post (i.e. costumes, flag) were functions of where the Mass was being held, rather than a plan for the mass. Having said that, there was much in that Mass with which to take issue.

  • DMinor,

    I see now what you mean.

    I can agree with you all of your points.

    Though the priest celebrating should also avoid “perceptions of scandal”.

    It’s sad all the way around.

  • I am one who happens to like the Confederate Battle Flag, after all it is the flag of the army of Northern Virginia and I am a proud resident of enemy-occupied Northern Virginia. Also, please note that the Battle Flag displays St. Andrew’s cross – a Catholic symbol.

    That being said, the only flag I would consider appropriate at a Mass would be the flag of the country that the Mass is being celebrated in and the Papal flag. The beautiful Stars & Bars has no place at a Mass, outside my home Commonwealth and the rest of the CSA – in the 1860s! Of course, the flag is the least of the problems with this irreverant debacle.

    Thanks for posting this, Tito. Many of us can take comfort in knowing that the poor liturgy and innovative rubrics at some of the Masses at which we assist is not nearly this bad. Even a bad NO is better than this.

    Why can’t the Vatican ORDER all Bishops to force their priests to read the black and do the red, exactly as is required? I suppose the rubrics were open to less individual interpretation prior to 1962.

  • “I am a proud resident of enemy-occupied Northern Virginia.”

    Oh grow the hell up.

  • Sydney,

    Do you love here in No. VA?

  • Pingback: What is going on with Cardinal Schoenborn? « A Blog for Dallas Area Catholics
  • I think I agree with some of the comments on Fr. Z’s blog about this video: It looks pieced together with different sets of video, and it’s difficult to determine that there weren’t two separate events (BBQ and Mass) being intentionally presented as happening simultaneously. Though it is clear that there are smokers there during the actual liturgy while the priest is clearly visible. Being outside doesn’t help. I don’t speak German so can’t speak to what is being said here. Perhaps we should study this a little more before throwing up a rope.

  • Alan,

    I agree.

    The tee pee’s, rebel flag, cigarettes, cowboy dress, and people eating both the steak and Jesus were all photo-shopped.

    I can’t believe I actually believed what I saw.

  • Pingback: Funkyzeit mit Christoph « Splintered Sunrise
  • “The tee pee’s, rebel flag, cigarettes, cowboy dress, and people eating both the steak and Jesus were all photo-shopped.”

    Note that this was not my assertion. Obviously there are abuses. However I am trying to ascertain whether some of the more BBQ-ish elements (buying food, drink, eating, etc) actually took place sometime before or after the liturgy rather than during. Distinctions are important.

  • So, you want me to believe that someone approached the cardinal with a request along the lines of “Hey, can we have a Mass combined with BBQ, country music, ashtrays and beer?”

    I highly doubt that.

  • How about write to the Cardinal, asking for clarification? Or write to the Holy See, asking for clarification. No one is allowed to judge cardinals, that is what the Pope said in his meeting with Cardinal Schonborn.

  • The author of this article is an idiot. If anyone is mocking the mass, it is a priest with poor judgment and the author of the article who is promoting scandal from a continent away. We are either with the church, or you are with her enemies.

  • Nick,

    I’m just presenting the video.


    Don’t attack the messenger.

    And you need to read the comments policy before commenting.

  • I’m not impressed by the decision that the ULTIMATE atrocity is the display of the Confederate flag. Is it inappropriate? Yes, certainly in this case it is. Any flag (certainly including the US flag) is a symbol for all that is good about a country, and also for all that is bad. A display of the Confederate flag would not be inappropriate at a Mass for the repose of the souls of those who died in the War Between the States. In this case, as is often the case, it seems to mean little more than “I like country music”, which is neither good nor evil. It is trivial, but its effect is evil: It trivializes the Mass.

    By the same token, though, it is wrong to use “patriotic songs” like America the Beautiful (which was the recessional at the Mass I attended this past Sunday) in place of actual hymns. The Mass is supposed to be centered on Christ, not Uncle Sam. Or do you only have a problem with the side shown so much honor by Blessed Pius IX?

  • Pingback: An Unholy Mass in Austria « Biblicus Semitae
  • Actually, I’m glad I saw this because a few weekends ago my 18 year old son attended a weekend music festival in Tennessee. When he returned home Sunday night I asked him if they had a Mass available there. He told me that would have been insane because, “people would have come crashing through in a drunken mess not even knowing what was happening.”

    That said, perhaps the whole “…except when on vacation or a Mass is otherwise unavailable” Sunday obligation business has been carefully considered and we Catholics should be cautious as to when and where we want to have the sacrifice of the Mass.

  • Pingback: Unholy Mass in Austria With Explicit Approval of Cardinal Schonborn « SoCon Or Bust
  • Is this the same Cardinal who wrote the Catechism? Ouch!

  • …or actually edited it? wow! what a turnabout face..

  • This is just weird.

    On a side note one of the most beautiful masses I have ever attended was while I was visiting Vienna a couple of months ago. It was at Stephansdom and it was in German but with a chorale and a chamber orchestra. I think it was the 10:00am Sunday Mass.

  • So I have a few questions. Number one is there only one diocese in Austria? If not how do we know this happened in the Cardinals diocese and not some other Diocese. How do we even know this happened in Austria? I’m not saying it didn’t but we are suppose to believe simply because someone said it did. Maybe there is more proof somwhere but wouldn’t one look stupid if they believed this was the case and it wasn’t the case? I for one need more proof that it actually tok place in Austria and it actually tok place in the Cardinals Diocese. Another question I have is if it actually took place in the Cardinals Diocese how do we know that the Cardinal gave explicit approval? Again because someone said it did. Did you ask the Cardinal if he gave explicit approval. If you haven’t fully found out the truth of the matter and the Cardinal didn’t give explicit approval and was perhaps even appalled that such a thing took place, assuming it did take place in his diocese, than isn’t the one who said he gave explicit approval guilty of some kind of sin?

    I’m just asking. If there is more evidence that this is actually in the Cardinals Diocese and he that he gave approval I would like to see it. I will wait to hear more on this before I make a judgment. I really find it hard to believe that the main author of The CCC would do things he is accused of.

  • Dave H.,

    If you’d like more evidence I suggest you follow through on your questions.

  • The priest is trying but unfortunately he had little control over the event and crowd to insure proper respect was accorded the mass. Hence poor judgment to offer the mass at that event, at that time. I’d like to redirect your attention to my website where the crucified Christ is paraded. He is revered by some. Yet in Mexico, the Catholic Church has to undo 70 years of ungodliness and teach the younger generations how to worship God. But in Austria too?

  • Excuse me…He had every control of the Mass cuz he knew what was going on in the crowd and decided to do it anyway. The priest needs to go back to the seminary and re-learn his Catechism.. 😉

    The Priest should no better than to say Holy Mass in front of an eating and drinking crowd. And what about the crazy non religious music in the back drop? Was he unaware of that, too? Please stop..

  • Maybe St. Paul encountered the same. Read this chapter/verse.. Hauntingly similar..

    1 Cor 10:21 — Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of demons: ye cannot partake of the table of the Lord, and of the table of demons.

    1 Cor 11:33-34 — Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, wait one for another. If any man is hungry, let him eat at home; that your coming together be not unto judgment. And the rest will I set in order whensoever I come.

  • Dave H. –might I suggest you try the link my DH posted above? It’s the program for the 2009 fest (the video is of the 2008 fest.)

    Can we separate the sheep from the goats here?

    Authorizing Mass at a large fest so that staff and participants who might otherwise not be able to get away for Mass at the Cathedral can worship together=good. The Sabbath was made for man, etc.

    Arranging to hold that Mass in the middle of a busy, garishly decorated biergarten in an enormous festplatz where doubtless some less trafficked space could have been found=unbelievably poor judgement. Deliberate blasphemy? Can’t say–don’t read minds.

    Opening up Holy Communion beyond the usual dictates without a serious justification (if you didn’t catch this, freeze-frame the video at the Mass handout. If you don’t read German, copy it and run through a machine translator)=Violation of Church teaching and probable sacrilege. Whoever authorized that deserves blame.

    Having an Evangelischer (probably Methodist) choir not only perform (and I’m sure it’s not the first time Protestants have been engaged to sing at a Mass) but select “We are the World” as the after-Communion hymn=astronomically bad judgement. Though as bad was done often back in the 70’s. (My German is rudimentary, but this was described by the narrator so I’m taking her word for it. Otherwise, based on the video I couldn’t have said whether the song was being sung during Mass or outside of it.) Deliberate blasphemy? Again, I don’t read minds.

  • Europe has suddenly become a pagan nation. You all are in my prayers

  • Let’s be careful with how we assign the blame here. It is one thing to say that Cardinal Schoenborn allowed that a mass be said at a festival and quite another to state that he approved THIS mass with all its flaws. The “shocking” headline on NewAdvent.org reads “Austrian Catholics mock the mass” but that is more than a little misleading since many of those pictured in the story may not even be Catholics. Having said this, I for one deeply lament the abuse of Vatican II and the serious erosion of Christian culture in Europe and the West in general.

  • I am disgusted. All I can say is that Christ foresaw all these offenses to the Trinity while in the garden and suffered enormously for ungrateful, irreverent mankind. That’s what the deity did. Now, on the flip side, what man does, when flippantly participating in Holy Mass, or worse, when unworthily receiving Holy Communion, is heap myriad woes upon himself. He will find out just how so at the particular judgment.

  • We sometimes get the ad hoc masses because a few priests have become performers and can’t bring themselves to get off the stage. Headsets? The liturgy is abused.

  • The Guitar Mass is a big flag for me that the priest is either not in control of the liturgy or wants to be popular with the kids at the expense of the souls that are driven away due to the lack of solemnity and reverence in the Mass.

  • Looks to me like he is evangelizing. Does the Bible say there is something wrong with this? The two “1 Corinthians” quotes are out of context because they didn’t bring the food to the Liturgy, they brought the Liturgy to the festival. In the early days of the church the church met at peoples’ homes. They had the body and blood at each others’ homes. They sang whatever songs they were inspired to sing – at each others’ homes, and where ever they happened to be. They ate, drank, and probably cut a few farts. You guys are getting too formal, and adding too many of your own legalistic traditions. God’s people worship from the heart with true love and true feelings. They don’t just show up, go through the ritual and go home. Jesus, John the Baptist, Peter, Paul, and the rest showed examples of worshiping outdoors. The night He was arrested, Jesus prayed to the father outdoors. Jesus’ first miracle was making water into wine at a wedding party. I’m sure that if they had and enjoyed cigarettes, and God thought someone was going to make a big deal about it, He would have pointed out some one smoking cigarettes. Remember the petty arguing about eating various animals? Jesus cleared that up by saying ‘It’s not what goes in that defiles you. It’s what comes out of you.’ Despite that, Peter still had to have a vision, later, too clear that up. I think the priest is evangelizing by bringing his Liturgy to the public. In a country that has few people who have observed a mass during the last 500 years, crashing a party to have Jesus eat with the sinners seems like an honest attempt. What would Jesus do? Oh yeah, he ate with sinners. THE POINT IS TO GET THEM SAVED!!! More important that all the formalism that does go on would be to actually read the Bible in or out of church. Remember what Jesus said to Peter three times? “Peter, do you love Me?” Peter said you know that I love you. Jesus said “THEN feed My sheep”. One of the proof that we love Jesus is if we read the Bible to others. It seems this guy found a way to do that. If you think it is too wild of a technique, you need to read Ezeikiel, the last two writings of Daniel, etc. God has specifically commanded prophets to use weird techniques to get people’s attention. The priest isn’t doing anything to desecrate God’s holy anything. If he got one more person saved, I’ll bet that person will be thankful on judgment day. We should all do whatever it takes to get others saved.

  • Henry,

    Thank you for that enlightening thought.

    Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?

  • “Authorizing Mass at a large fest so that staff and participants who might otherwise not be able to get away for Mass at the Cathedral can worship together=good. The Sabbath was made for man, etc.

    “Arranging to hold that Mass in the middle of a busy, garishly decorated biergarten in an enormous festplatz where doubtless some less trafficked space could have been found=unbelievably poor judgement. Deliberate blasphemy? Can’t say–don’t read minds.”

    The practice of offering Sunday or holyday obligation Masses at a large fair, festival, convention, etc. is nothing new. However there is a right way and a wrong way to do it.

    For example, there is a Mass scheduled at the Illinois State Fair on each Saturday evening of its run and on the Solemnity of the Assumption (when it is a holyday of obligation). It’s listed on this year’s schedule as well:


    Note that said Mass is offered in an auditorium inside a permanent building — NOT out on the midway, or in a beer tent, or in the grandstand. I note also that a 90-minute time period is set aside for this Mass, although the Mass itself almost certainly doesn’t take up the full 90 minutes, to allow for setting up and for taking everything down afterward.

    I haven’t personally attended this Mass so I can’t say how reverent it is, or isn’t, but obviously some effort is being made to minimize distractions. There are Lutheran and Church of Christ services offered on Sunday mornings during the fair in the same auditorium so there seems to be general agreement that this is a suitable “worship space,” for lack of a better term. If there was a permanent building or ampitheater available at this Austrian fest site, that is where the Mass ought to have been held.

  • I don’t care how much you like the flag or how little space there was or how “other” churches do it there. Ya don’t say Mass in front of people smoking, drinking, carousing, and eating! Gimmie a break people! When you have dinner at your home, is there any decorum? Is it a free for all? I think not. So why here where God becomes Bread to eat for us!????

    Card. Schonborn, IF, he knew about the happenings would not have allowed it. I am sure of it. This priest was totally and utterly innefactual at best and ignorant like a stone to the least!

    And what about the music he had in the back during Mass? What’s that all about and got to do with Eucharist?????????????????

  • FWIW:
    The link posted above by Dominikus Klein is basically visitor info for this year’s fest and most of it is about the fest. The Google translator version of the segment mentioning the mass is below:

    Zwtl.: Gospel Mass
    Sunday at 10 clock, the traditional open-air “Country
    Gospel Mass “instead. Cathedral Priest Toni Faber of the Vienna St. Stephen’s Church will celebrate this mass. Okemah takes musical accompaniment.

  • Okemah is a U.S. based folk rock group and are on the internet, if you want to look them up. Not sure what their church music background is.

    I’m risking a flaming saying this, but I’m married to a church guitarist and it’s not the instrument, it’s what you do with it. There are plenty of songs–many of them very nice songs and some even with religious themes– that should never be played as part of a Mass, even on a pipe organ. But a guitar is not an inevitably inappropriate supplement to reverent worship music (remember Stille Nacht?). I’m not crazy about the term “guitar mass”–it suggest the Mass revolves around guitars which should not be the case. Nor should it revolve around an organ or a Gregorian choir, however.

    BTW, Knight, though I know it’s hairsplitting, that’s the Southern Cross battle flag–the Stars and Bars was modeled on a design similar to the U. S. flag that has since been incorporated into a few Southern state flags, including the current Georgia flag.

  • cminor,

    Correct about the flag; however, based on some the responses I have received in the past when showing my Southern Patriotism, I doubt most on here would know. Additionally the Southern Cross may also refer to the Union Jack flag represented in the flags of various Anglo-sphere countries like Australia. The American Southern Cross sure is a beautiful flag. It has been stolen by racists far too often and we need to remember that it does not represent racism, although it did represent slave-owning states – taken in the context of the times – that was not unusual and although ignorance is no excuse – a mortal sin does require full knowledge. Sadly at the time, Anglos were of the mind that other races were inferior – all of them, not just the African. Some still hold this warped view, as do a number of black men with the name Shabazz. It is a fallen world.

    Nevertheless, the American Southern Cross is a military flag and no matter how you feel about the conflict – all the soldiers who fought it were American, brave and honored to fulfill their duty – Of course, the Yankees weren’t as gallant as our boys 🙂

    Of course, as stated before – as much as I love this flag, IT HAS NO PLACE AT A MASS!

    I often fear that I am out-of-line when I criticize what I view as irreverence – who am I? I am just a sinner that needs to judge himself and seek amendment. However, are we to stay silent when we see irreverence? Is it the priest, the pastor, could it be the Cardinal (I doubt that)? Is it the people, is it the culture? Aren’t we supposed to identify and correct, with charity of course? We are called to love each other, but that love can only come from love of God – if we truly put Him first, then shouldn’t we ensure that we do all we can to pay Him homage, praise and worship as He sees fit?

    People are offended by the slightest tinge of political incorrectness or ‘hate speech’. The world goes ape if you call a Sodomite a Sodomite, but we are supposed to allow irreverent behavior, that may be acceptable elsewhere, in the midst of Calvary, table of the Last Supper and the Wedding banquet in heaven!!!! Seriously. Our laxity is offensive and I will be the first to admit that I am not nearly as reverent as I should be. I have difficulty with the bad music (not directed at you cminor), poor attire, sign of conviviality, host in the hand of lay people, lay people in the sanctuary, bad vernacular translations, female alter servers, on and on. I know I should not let these Novus Ordo distractions affect me but they do. I can’t imagine cigarettes, BBQ, rock and roll – all things I actually like (well perhaps not the cigarettes) at Mass.

    This is just wrong. Haven’t we hurt Him enough already. Sancta Maria, ors pro nobis.

  • I think I’ve figured it out… this was the first liturgy to be offered in the newly promulgated Redneck Rite of the Catholic Church 🙂

  • Elaine I know you meant that in jest; however, I think we do have a ‘Redneck Rite’. Although the South doesn’t have as many ‘catholics’ as the North, Catholics down here tend to be more traditional/conservative. Yes, right in the middle of the Protestant Bible Belt.

    I suppose that gives a whole new meaning to the South shall rise again!

  • Pingback: Translation: Cardinal Schonborn Expressly Approved The Unholy Mass « The American Catholic
  • Pingback: Messa indignosa approvata dal Card. Schonborn

6 Responses to If Dissident Catholics Had Their Way

2 Responses to The Worst Dressed Priests In The World

  • Not to say that we don’t have our share of bad vestments in the Catholic church, but the majority of these were Episcopalian/ Anglican. Things seem to be getting better in the local parishes (I know…how could they possibly get worse?) One of the young priests has beautiful fiddleback chasubles made for him by a Chinese woman in Brooklyn. Such an improvement from the polyester.

  • I had difficulty myself distinguishing between Catholic and Episcopal/Anglican vestments.

    Fortunately, I have been witnessed to less and less of these bizarre togas these many years.

How to Reverse the Catholic Exodus

Saturday, June 12, AD 2010

Let us pray for all those change agents that are striving to bring back the authentic Catholic culture inside parishes, chanceries, and apostolates.

To view RealCatholicTV click here.

For RealCatholicTV’s The Vortex click here.

For the RealCatholicTV YouTube Channel click here.

Continue reading...

5 Responses to How to Reverse the Catholic Exodus

27 Responses to My Thoughts on the Guitar Mass

  • Guitar Mass. Ah the unspeakable horrors that simple phrase contains!

  • If they made use of instrumental pieces by Segovia at various points, that would not be offensive. Why not ditch the organ and just have plainchant?

  • Of course, there is no place in the documents of Vatican II where they specify that the organ should be replaced with the guitar. There is also no place where they specify the organ is the only acceptable liturgical instrument.

    In fact, quite the opposite is the case.

    112. The musical tradition of the universal Church is a treasure of inestimable value, greater even than that of any other art. The main reason for this pre-eminence is that, as sacred song united to the words, it forms a necessary or integral part of the solemn liturgy.

    Holy Scripture, indeed, has bestowed praise upon sacred song [42], and the same may be said of the fathers of the Church and of the Roman pontiffs who in recent times, led by St. Pius X, have explained more precisely the ministerial function supplied by sacred music in the service of the Lord.

    Therefore sacred music is to be considered the more holy in proportion as it is more closely connected with the liturgical action, whether it adds delight to prayer, fosters unity of minds, or confers greater solemnity upon the sacred rites. But the Church approves of all forms of true art having the needed qualities, and admits them into divine worship.

    The argument is or has been made by liturgical reformers that this is grounds for the legitimacy of guitars and other instruments. And by the manifest practice of Benedict XVI, guitars and other instruments are licit for use in the Holy Mass if they are incorporated in a solemn, dignified and reverent manner that is consistent with the Traditional Beauty of the Mass.

    I say this as someone who greatly prefers traditional styles of liturgical music; modern music is too busy, too self-centered, and too indulgent. Often times the words of liturgical music promote misunderstandings or at worst even bits of heresy.

    I lament the death of beauty and the sense of the numinous that used to be the Catholic Church’s bread and butter. But this is not an excuse to suggest everything that happened in liturgical reforms is somehow illicit. Following Father Corapi and many others, we should not reject the reforms of Vatican II but embrace what they actually are as recorded in the documents that were actually written, for these documents profess the true “Spirit of Vatican II”, which is nothing but the Catholic spirit of repentance and reform writ large.

  • Zach,
    I think you misunderstand. The statement that “I have still failed to find anything in the documents of the Second Vatican Council where it said to replace the organ with the guitar” is simply in response to the common assertion that the introduction of guitar masses was required by Vatican II. I don’t think anyone is even suggesting that guitar masses are illicit; just that the music is almost always insipid and fails the test you quote above. Yes, there are people who like the music, just as there are people who to this day don’t get why Bluto violently interrupted the Riddle Song.

  • Personally, I think Michael Iafrate would have been justified in socking Belushi in the nose.

  • Hi Mike,

    Fair enough, I didn’t see in this post the assertion that “the introduction of guitar masses was required by Vatican II”. I also didn’t know anyone thought this. What a silly idea!

  • I never used to hate guitar music, or guitars, until I turned Catholic back in 2000 and endured the happy-clappy-crappy guitar masses with the uber-banal schlock “music” that seriously infests too many Catholic masses in Mahoneyland. (Far more offensive are the schlockmeister guitar cantors who also shake rattles during the “Gloria” or elsewhere in the Mass, or plink background noise during the consecration as if they think their semi-skilled “guitar stylings” somehow add something worthwhile. to the Sacrifice of our Lord Made Present.) Too many masses I suffered through down there had the musical trashiness of that Animal House scene. Thank God there were Byzantine Catholic parishes down there where I could worship without being musically tortured. I wish had discovered THAT option sooner!

    I totally cheer the Belushi character. In fact, back when I still lived in LA before moving to a city where I can now attend the Glorious Mass of the Ages every week, I used to spend much of Mass fantasizing piling ALL the guitars in the world in a huge heap then watching as a herd of bull elephants in rut galloped over them, reducing all to a smoking pile of splinters. Somewhere in the fantasy was the additional one that all plans and diagrams for making new guitars would also be destroyed.

  • Bravo Alice!

  • Alice Ramirez: Could not have said it better.

    The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

  • As a traveler who has attended masses in a variety of locations, it is interesting to me when I see the multi-varied approaches. I am not sure I have seen the situation that Alice describes. Mostly, I see a singular guitar that is played quietly as background music to the piano/organ/keyboard and the vocalists.
    Is the “guitar mass” something more?
    If it is, then I would have to definitely have to agree with the chorus here that denounces said guitar masses, especially if accompanied by clapping and other carousing.
    If it is my experience, then I am not sure of the issue.
    I would, however, hope that each church would announce a standard mass in addition to the guitar mass.
    My two cents…. 🙂
    TheWriter @ http://www.goodwrites.com

  • Gary,

    Nothing in the Second Vatican Council mandated the imposition of guitars in the Mass.

    For more information click here:


  • Guess you wouldn’t like the fact that I’ve played banjo in church, eh, Tito?

  • You are from West Virginia after all.


  • I thought banjo masses were great when I was thirteen.

  • Phillip, how many “banjo masses” have you attended? I’m from West Virginia and have attended zero “banjo masses.” When I played banjo at mass (which was once) it was in Toronto.

  • Hmm.

    I have yet to endure a guitar mass of a type comparable to the strumming doofus above. I have however witnessed many “contemporary music” masses with praise-band style accompaniment.

    My reaction to what I heard was, in essence: Why do Catholics have such a hard time putting together an ensemble of skillful players, singers, sound engineers, writers, and arrangers? Why must every parish ensemble have so many hacks and weak links?

    Too Many Hacks

    For that is really what I heard: A lack of skill. In some cases I heard one or two talented individuals, but they were undermined by the poor quality surrounding them. If it wasn’t that the other musicians in the ensemble were low on talent or practice, then it was the selection of music or poor sound reinforcement or both.

    Now the best worship leaders and worship bands and sound technicians and writers and arrangers among Evangelicals can, in fact, produce music worthy of a Mass. They don’t always: Sometimes they’re pretty atrocious, too. But the best ones — the type you find at the Evangelical churches known for having excellent music — can do it, and in fact do achieve it on a regular basis.

    But apparently the Catholic roster at even a very large and well-funded parish, such as the one where I attend Mass, is one or two persons deep when it comes to this skill set.

    This, I think, is one source of all the complaints from Catholics, and their predisposition to write off the entire genre of instrumentation as unfit for liturgical use. They think to themselves, “I’ve heard what a contemporary ensemble sounds like, and it’s rubbish.” What they’ve heard is rubbish: But it’s rubbish because it was mostly bad songs with mostly bad melodies and mostly bad chart, poorly arranged, played by beginner-level or intermediate-level musicians after insufficient rehearsal, and sung by mostly unskilled or unsuitable singers, badly miked, through a bad sound system, inexpertly mixed by some zero-experience kid or other, selected on the basis that he was the only one who volunteered for the job.

    Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose…

    Now pipe organs were, to be perfectly precise, the original analog synthesizers. Organ music was the original synthesizer music, and its introduction a few hundred years back scandalized traditionalists. Those of us with an appreciation of good pipe organ music can look back on that time and wonder why the traditionalists of that era regarded it to be such a wild and unsuitable innovation.

    But the traditionalists’ arguments would have been greatly strengthened had the introduction of most Catholics to this kind of church music involved a player of low caliber on an instrument of low caliber played through low-quality pipes in a church building unsuited to the instrument. (Keep in mind many historic churches and cathedrals were build around a pipe organ; that is, the architectural layout was engineered specifically to make the organ sound good.)

    That is entirely comparable to what Catholic parishes are dealing with now. (If the excellence of Catholic worship music begins to increase, then I suppose in another few hundred years our descendants wonder what the traditionalists of our era were going on about.)

    The Numbers Game

    And then there is the problem of numbers and the mobility of Protestants between churches. Let us say that in a given parish’s geographical area, there are five hundred musicians capable of playing at the skill level needed…and there are twenty churches attempting contemporary-instrumentation music, one of which is the Catholic church.

    Now if one or two of those churches have particularly talented bandleaders, their quality of music will begin to go up. As a result of this, other musicians will want to attend that church: Not necessarily to play in the worship band, but because they have the ears of a skilled musician and it hurts their ears to sit in the pews at a church where the music is bad.

    Now amongst Protestant evangelicals folks really may attend a particular church for this reason and no other — in their view the theological differences between denominations are just the fruitless debates of navel-gazing theologians, so you might as well go to church at a place where your soul is, or at least your ears are, being fed. So once a few churches begin to have good music, their pews fill with skilled musicians, giving them a “deep bullpen” from which to draw…and the music keeps getting better and better.

    But notice that this process doesn’t touch the Catholic church. A Catholic musician can’t go elsewhere, and none of the Protestant musicians are likely to show up at the Catholic church unless they’re reading the Church Fathers and considering converting. The result? The “bullpen” for a given parish is as deep as whichever Catholics are within convenient driving distance of the building.

    The Textual Issue

    I think there may also be another problem, and perhaps an insoluble one: Some of the musical parts of the Mass involve particular texts: The Gloria, the Kyrie, and so on.

    For these texts the Latin is generally well-metered and each line has the same number of syllables and the same pattern of stresses; it was written with the possibility of being set to music in mind. But the English translation of these texts is done for exactness without regard for syllable count, regular stress patterns, or any other attributes which govern lyrical suitability. And of course the grammar of Latin involves regular endings for words based on gender or tense or on whether a word is the subject or the object: Rhymes fall into place with the ease of a ripe apple falling from a tree. Not so in the English language, let alone text translated into English from other languages!

    Now don’t get me wrong: I don’t want people taking liberties with the words of the Mass: I want the real deal. I am just observing that it is difficult to set these parts of the Mass to music for the reasons stated above. Frankly it might be better to opt for the Latin text in those cases: It might lend itself more easily to musical arrangement.

    In The End

    In the end, I don’t know whether the Catholic Church will ever do contemporary-instrumentation worship music well, and if she doesn’t, perhaps she’s better off sticking to what she’s good at.

    But it’s a shame, because it lends false credibility to the notion that certain instruments are unsuited to worship of God. This is false: But certain things played on those instruments can be unsuitable, and certain ways of playing them can be unsuitable (most notably, playing them poorly).

    I hope instead that some movement for excellence in this area will begin to build in the Church, as it did with that crazy newfangled sci-fi sounding pipe organ centuries ago. I hope that centuries hence, the life of the Church will be thus enriched, as it was by the pipe organ.

    Of course, in the end, all instruments and voices will be stilled, and three things will remain: Faith, Hope, and Love, and we know which is greatest. But until then, there is room for the use of lesser gifts, and of those talents of which God makes us the stewards.

    Provided we use them well.

    A postscript: You may have noticed that throughout this post I have leaned on the terms which focus on instrumentation, such as “contemporary-instrumentation worship.” I do that because I am focusing on the appropriateness of electric guitar, folk acoustic guitar, synthesizer, and drums in worship music. I avoided the term “praise and worship music” because while all the music which falls under that heading uses the instruments listed above, not all of it is suitable for mass even when played well. This is part of what I meant about what passes for contemporary instrumentation music in parishes which attempt it: They select some truly awful numbers which probably embarrass even the Protestants who wrote them, and present this to the parishoners as “praise and worship music.”

  • RC,

    With due respect,

    The following statements of yours:

    “Now the best worship leaders and worship bands and sound technicians and writers and arrangers among Evangelicals can, in fact, produce music worthy of a Mass.”

    “the notion that certain instruments are unsuited to worship of God. This is false…”

    Are… questionable.

    The first statement, because I don’t see why an Evangelical with technical skill would understand what the Mass really is, or what sort of music is worthy of it.

    The second, because it actually has been set down in encyclicals what instruments are and are not acceptable at Mass. Of course no one cares to follow those instructions.

    My hope is that Benedict’s “reform of the reform” will put a stop to liturgical abuse, including musical abuse, and bring about the widespread reinstatement of Gregorian and polyphonic chant.

    I absolutely reject, and the Church has historically rejected, even a hint of musical relativism, the argument that one form is as good as any other provided that the “content” is somehow sacred. Forms can be profane in themselves, regardless of whether or not the words refer to saints or the most vulgar sex acts.

    To God, we are to offer up only the best. The historical distinction between sacred and profane music ought to be restored in full. I don’t object to a “Christian band” or whatever playing at a youth group meeting or some other event. But it has absolutely no place in Mass.


  • Joe! Happy to see you. (Okay, to read you.)

    The bit in the encyclical (with which you answer the second of the two statements you’re debating) is something I’d read before, and I think I have not misunderstood the purpose and intent of it.

    But you’re correct to call me out on it, because I was thinking in the back of my head “the notion that the instruments I have in mind are unsuited to worship of God is false” but what came out of my fingers was “the notion that certain instruments are unsuited to worship of God…is false.”

    Not the same thing, and I should have been more careful! For certain instruments are so utterly inflexible in their sonic palette that they simply can’t generate the kind of sound needed at Mass. The harmonica, the kazoo: Instruments, to be sure, and instruments with a part to play in the soundscape of life, but, for Mass, c’mon.

    So, you got me. I said that wrong. I hold that what I was thinking was correct…but I botched it; I didn’t say what I was thinking with sufficient precision.

    So to say what I should have said: “The instruments of a praise band are capable of being played in such a way as to evoke the majesty, the sense of the numinous, the joy (quiet or exultant) called for at Mass; they are however also capable of being played with the style of a honky-tonk band; to play them in the latter fashion at Mass is execrable, but the instruments themselves are not intrinsically unsuited.”


    Before you answer that by saying, “Better, but I still have a problem with it…,” let me anticipate one possible objection: You might say, “Better, but there’s a difference between an instrument being capable of the right kind of sounds, and an instrument easily and naturally producing the right kinds of sounds.”

    Which is a reasonable objection, but not an insurmountable one. Consider the electric guitar: One can play horribly unsuitable stuff with this instrument, or wondrously suitable. But the same is true with the violin, especially when traveling under its alternative identity, as the fiddle. Trumpets have been used in worship since the psalms were written: But not, one hopes, using the stylistic flourishes that Maynard Ferguson adopted when playing the theme song to Hawaii Five-0, such as the “rip off release.”

    In short, these are issues which are surmountable through the use of well-written arrangements played by skilled musicians: Tell ’em what to play, and they won’t get creative and start popping and slapping their fretted electric bass when you turn your back. (And another benefit to the use of well-written charts is that it weeds out the less-trained musicians. Old joke: “Q: How do you make the guitar player in a high-school band be quiet? A: Put sheet music in front of him.”

    Regarding the other statement you questioned:

    I said, “Now the best worship leaders and worship bands and sound technicians and writers and arrangers among Evangelicals can, in fact, produce music worthy of a Mass.”

    You replied, “…I don’t see why an Evangelical with technical skill would understand what the Mass really is, or what sort of music is worthy of it.”

    Well, he probably wouldn’t, until he was in the Church!

    But that doesn’t mean he hasn’t already made that kind of music, in Evangelical worship services or elsewhere, at moments when his artist’s soul and/or the Holy Spirit directed him that something special and awe-inspiring is called for at this moment.

    My point was not that an Evangelical, comfortable in his utter unfamiliarity with the origins of the Bible or the Church Fathers or the doctrines which defined the Christian faith for the first three quarters of its history, already knew what was suited to a Mass when he probably has never attended one, unless he had a Catholic friend or family member who either got married or died.

    My point was that a sliver of the music produced by these talented musicians does rise to the level and character required at Mass, even though they themselves have never thought about it that way: They were just trying to produce really excellent, well-thought-out music with a particular character to it.

    As for Benedict’s reform of the reform, I’m all for it. And if that seems contrary to what I’ve written above, remember that I’m calling for excellence here. If the contemporary instrumentation can’t be used excellently, then it shouldn’t be used! (But I hold — have indeed witnessed — that it can, so naturally I hope that it will.)

  • RC,

    I wonder if there might be a possible conflation here of music that might not necessarily be offensive to God, and music that belongs at Mass.

    Lets take the guitar, electric or acoustic, or the trumpet. Now, I don’t deny the possibility that one can make music on these instruments that is not offensive to God and perhaps even worthy of Him.

    I’m still not sure if that rises to the level required to be worthy of the specific occasion of the Mass. Trumpets are loud. Guitars are romantic. Neither is appropriate to the occasion of the Mass, which is a sacrifice. So I would say these instruments are not capable of producing sounds suitable for the Mass.

    Mass is one, perhaps two hours out of the week. I see no good reason to insist that the traditional music be replaced.

    It would be better for no one to go to Mass ever again than to sully it with profanity, musical, visual or otherwise, so that people did show up. You can quote me on that. There are appropriate venues for profane or vulgar music, so no one ought to feel denied or discriminated against.

    On a tangent that has nothing to do with anything you’ve proposed, I must say:

    Sometimes the reason for musical innovation is subversive – to use the objective power of music to change hearts and minds on critical issues. The music industry knows nothing that the ancients and the Church have always known – that music does have power, it does and alter moods and thought patterns, that it is not mindless entertainment devoid of any psychological effects.

    That is why the Papacy has always taken liturgical music extremely seriously.

  • “a sliver of the music produced by these talented musicians does rise to the level and character required at Mass”

    Eh… maybe a sliver.

  • maybe a sliver

    Now that’s a bit too optimistic for me, but a clock can be right twice a day.

  • Joe:

    Fair enough; I think our experiences differ too widely for me to argue you to a different opinion on this (or you either, Tito!). And of course I wouldn’t want to argue you to a different aesthetic sense, only on the capacity of certain instruments to deliver the appropriate results.

    So really the only thing in your (Joe’s) last note I’ll challenge — no, challenge is the wrong word. The only thing that made me go, “Whaa?” with a befuddled look and a cocked eyebrow, was this: “Guitars are romantic.” Romantic?

    Hmm. Okay, let me break this down. There are four basic kinds: Nylon-strung acoustic, steel-strung acoustic, hollow-body electric, and solid-body electric. All require amplification to be audible unless the church is a tiny one (Mass at my parish regularly has, I estimate, eight hundred in attendance). The least flexible is the nylon-strung, or classical. It sounds either (a.) almost just like a harp, (b.) Spanish, in the flamenco or true classical style a la Segovia, or (c.) 70’s singer-songwriter-esque, which I suppose comes across as “romantic.”

    Next comes the steel strung-acoustic, which sounds (a.-c.) like any of the nylon-strung options, (d.) like a harpsichord, arpeggiating with a high-end sparkle if a plectrum is used, (e.) like a richer rolling piano left-hand figure if played fingerstyle, as exhibited in some Irish music and Irish influenced tunes, and (f.) like the Indigo Girls, which is least appropriate.

    After that comes the hollow-body electric, which is best at the “jazzbox” sound, and beyond that can offer every sound that the solid-body electric can offer, but usually in an inferior way because it was designed to offer the jazzbox sound. All other sounds involve compromise.

    That leaves us with the solid-body electric, which sounds like…everything. Like a piano, like a single violin, like a cello, like a string quartet, like a harp, like a harpsichord. There is no instrument so flexible save an actual synthesizer. Buzzsaw distortion would be horribly unfit for Mass, but roll off the high end and use volume swells, and suddenly you have the sound of a cello, but with more control. Clean up the sound and turn on the echo/reverb, and the piano itself cannot roll high-octave arpeggios with such a combination of crystalline sparkle and quiet resonance, like wind chimes. And, sure, one could also make the thing sound like, oh, I don’t know, Keith Richards. But one can also make the church piano sound like Scott Joplin.

    Well. That’s enough. Time to dress and go to Mass. All this won’t change what I hear today, sadly. On with reform, to a godly end!

    (Postscript: I notice you say that trumpets are merely “loud.” I wonder if the size of the parish influences our respective judgments? As I said before, my parish has several hundred folks in even its 7AM Sunday Mass. But that’s not uncommon in the Atlanta area, where churches tend to have large numbers of congregants. I guess your parishes smaller?)

  • what is wrong with traditional catholic music for mass? what is wrong with latin chant? why doesnt the choir stay in the choir loft? that noisy guitar music makes me sick.

  • Pingback: A Second Look at Weapons of Mass Destruction « The American Catholic
  • I never cease to be amused by all the anal retentive, pharisaical prudes who, in their quest to “elevate” worhsip, do nothing more than reduce the discussion to the same banal patter you’d find at a wine tasting club.
    Jesus’ most harsh conndemnations were reserved for religious purists who effected religion without redemption…or rather, style over substance.
    The organ was banned from Christian worship for centuries because it was a pagan instrument viewed as being profane. The only reason it came into favor was that a bishop at some point was given an expensive one as a gift and decided he liked it.
    What we call “classical” music was widely condemned just a few hundred years ago as being profane and common.
    Stringed instruments have a far longer and more well-established role in our salvation history and liturgy than any other kind, perhaps except some wind and percussion instruments.
    I personally enjoy the organ when its played well, just as I enjoy guitar or ensemble when played well. Which instrument prevails is based entirely on how best to help people respond in thanks and praise to the pashcal mystery. There are some songs I love and would never play on guitar (Lift High The Cross), but there are many that the organ is too much for.
    The bottom line is that it does come down to skill and cultural relevance, and this is made clear in Church teaching, both worldwide and by the various bishops’ conferences.
    However, I had to laugh when I read “Sing to the Lord” the American Bishops’ document… it encouraged the use of the organ for “evangelization.” This is where the rubber meets the road. The aformentioned naval gazing prudes would be hard-pressed to drag their pipe organs out onto street corners among the poor and Godless who need to hear the Gospel.
    Christ himself tells us that the surest path to hell is to imitate the pharisees. Catholics are in greatest danger of this because we have such a well developed structure in our religion, theology, and liturgy. After nearly 35 years of being a Catholic liturgical musician (guitar) and with a Masters in Theology/Liturgy, I find pharisaism to be strongest in liturgical circles. It is the perfect place to be self-centered and in control but devoid of faith.

  • Tony,

    Thank you for your charitable and insightful comments.

    //sarcasm off.

  • Anytime! Thanks for your substantial, insightful reply!!// sarcasm off.

Father Zuhlsdorf Rants About Sand in Holy Water Fonts

Tuesday, March 2, AD 2010

The abuse of removing Holy Water from fonts during the season of Lent is a manifestation of the Spirit of Vatican II.  Well meaning priests misinterpreted or altogether made up their own discipline by removing Holy Water.  Father John Zuhlsdorf has followed this up during the course of Lent 2010 with his most recent posting clarifying why Holy Water should never be removed during the season of Lent except for Good Friday and Holy Saturday:

To all the priests out there still… unbelievably still putting sand in holy water fonts during Lent…


And if you go into a church where you see this sort of idiocy… for the love of God, DON’T bless yourself with SAND.

Continue reading...

9 Responses to Father Zuhlsdorf Rants About Sand in Holy Water Fonts

  • Our parish moved the holy water to containers in urns in the aisles and filled the holy water fonts with vinegar.

  • Our “holy” water usually has mossy/seaweed-looking debris floating in it. There’s a penance for you.

  • I think Father’s idea of sneaking fast growing seeds and a little water into the “Holy Sand” is fabulous.

  • Must be a Northern Hemisphere thing.

    Never seen it of even heard of it Downunder.

    Why not a font full of salt? More appropriate than sand. 🙂

  • Don,

    You are very fortunate to be in a parish or diocese that has a low threshold of dissident Catholics.

    You are truly blessed!


  • Sand in the holy water fount means rocks in the collection plate. I forget who suggested it , but think its quite brilliant. Also it’s in keeping with the Lenten theme. All the whackado personal symbolism has got to stop. Just contribute less money to buy all that sand.

  • I’ve never seen or heard of sand in the holy water fonts before. I’m glad we’re behind the times when it comes to this particular innovation.

    These days, I wouldn’t be surprised if they started filling the fonts with hand sanitizer. And considering that I have a rare talent for sitting next to the kid who wipes his nose on his hand or the lady with the bad cold who coughs and sneezes all the way through Mass and then wants to hold my hand during the Our Father, well, hey, a little hand sanitizer would be welcome…

  • Hehe, I now appreciate the literal holy-water-fountain (not as bad as it sounds…OK, the little wading-pool it pours into is kinda eyebrow-raising…) at my church.

  • I buried some rubber tarantulas in the sand that was placed in the holy water founts a few years ago. We haven’t seen sand since.

Fr. Frank Pavone Defends John Carr of the USCCB

Saturday, February 6, AD 2010

Here is the text:

I received some inquiries recently regarding John Carr, who serves as the Executive Director of the Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development at the United States Catholic Bishops’ Conference. The inquiries, stemming from controversies over the Catholic Campaign for Human Development and the Center for Community Change, essentially asked if John is pro-life and committed to the goal of securing protection for the lives of unborn children.

Because I am in a position to answer that question, and because of the fact that hurting people’s reputations never serves our cause, let me state for the record that the answer to that question is “Yes.”

I have had many opportunities to talk to and listen to John over the years, in public and in private, to read his articles, and to discuss our common goal of seeing social justice and peace applied to our neighbors in the womb. His record is clear, and unlike some others, when he talks about justice and peace and human development, he does not fail to include the unborn.

I share with you below his own comments, as well as those of Richard Doerflinger, the Associate Director of the Secretariat for Pro-life Activities of the US Bishops’ Conference. As we work together to resolve the problems that do exist in our Church and in our culture, let’s do so with great caution to preserve the good reputation to which all of our colleagues have a right.

Fr. Frank Pavone

The statements referenced in the letter can be found here.

Update: Additionally, Catholic News Service reports that many bishops have come forward to defend Mr. Carr.

Update 2: Tom Peters has a level-headed take on the matter here. In particular, I think his observations regarding “RealCatholicTV” are worthy of consideration:

The situation has not been helped, either, by the sensationalist reporting at RealCatholicTV.com, which in a recent report claimed that the allegations of misconduct at the CCHD was what Pope Paul VI was referring to when he warned that the “smoke of Satan has found its way into the Church” … seriously? I don’t follow RCTV directly but the American Catholic does.

As I’ve said before, I agree with Mr. Peters (and many of our commenters) regarding RCTV. I do not doubt that the folks at RCTV are well-intentioned. Similarly, I do not doubt that there are some problems with CCHD and the USCCB. I simply think the RCTV coverage of this scandal has been too sensationalistic, and that their reporting should not be relied upon without independent verification.

Continue reading...

82 Responses to Fr. Frank Pavone Defends John Carr of the USCCB

  • Let’s keep the issues straight here!! Nobody is questioning John Carr’s personal beliefs. What is in question is how he can work for, support, and promote organizations directly opposed to authentic Church teaching.

  • What I find sad is this: what exactly is charity? People are saying “defend CCHD” and “just start giving to other Catholic charities.” Ok, but does that mean the other Catholic charities will not be giving money to people which end up giving material support for evil? Obviously all charity has that potential; give money to the homeless beggar on the street, and they might buy crack with it. Does it mean we should not try to help him? Some might say “give him food.”

    Fine, but then that means he can afford buying the crack the next time someone gives him money!

    Using the logic being given, that means you are still promoting crack!

    That’s the problem with this argument. It ignores that all charity as charity is going to give opportunity for evil.

    Jesus gave charity to a centurion of all people. And samaritans to boot. Imagine what 1st century Jewish bloggers would have done with that! “Is there no end to the evil this Jesus fellow won’t support? He helps Roman occupation! The soldiers are given support!” etc.

  • defend CCHD should have been defund

  • I wonder if this “guilt by association” thing isn’t getting a bit out of hand. By the logic being applied here, any Catholic who works or has ever worked for the state or federal governments (like me) “supports” a “pro abortion” organization (even if their job has absolutely nothing to do with abortion, same sex marriage, etc.) and is a source of “scandal” who has no business participating in any parish or diocesan endeavor or in any apostolate. Maybe I should quit this blog before Real Catholic TV decides that I’m a source of scandal to readers?

  • Henry,

    You are a liberal, left wing Marxist. Period. To your kind, there is only one gospel, the false gospel of social justice, the common good and peace at any price.

    But in reality (where you obviously don’t live) there is only one true Justice: God’s Justice, and if we continue to tolerate abortion, gay filth and all manner of putrid, sinful refuse, then we can and should expect the full measure of God’s justice.

    CCHD has funded pro-abortion, pro-gay rights groups. Period. And USCCB defends it. How horrible! Don’t you understand anything? You don’t get social justice, the common good, and peace without repentance and conversion first. Read 2nd Chronicles 7:14 and Matthew 6:33. Righteousness, holiness and virtue must come first, and have to come first before all these social and economic problems we have can possibly get fixed.

    I have zero tolerance for any of you liberals. You never discuss turning away from sin as THE prerequisite. What did Jesus say in conclusion to the woman caught in adultery? GO AND SIN NO MORE.

    Do you get it, liberal? Do you?

  • This is not to deny, of course, that there are some big problems with CCHD, but simply to emphasize what Fr. Pavone said, that it doesn’t give us license to play the guilt by association card against everyone that works there.

  • On Father Pavone’s blog, there is this comment which I believe is pertinent:

    “Benedicta says:
    February 5, 2010 at 12:03 pm
    The question of whether or not John Carr is pro-life is a straw dog. That’s not the problem the Reform CCHD coalition has been pointing to. They are saying that despite his attitudes towards abortion, he was in a leadership position with an organization (CCC) many of who’s member organizations (and most likely it’s stated mission, too?) had very “progessive” positions on gay and reproductive rights. Many of these groups were and still are funded by CCHD.

    This was sort of inevitable because CCHD’s mission forces them into such coalitions. They don’t do direct charity. They are commissioned to work with community organizing groups battling the causes of poverty. These types of groups are traditionally leftist and the left eschews the human rights of the unborn. I should know, I was one of them. To prove the point – is CCHD funding any chastity or anti-abortion grassroots groups? If there are such groups to fund, why bother to fund those that compromise church teaching? The connections are there between promiscuity, availability of abortion, as a backup to it, and poverty if you don’t abort after being brainwashed into promiscuity. Read Wilcox et al.

    People have recognized CCHD’s strong connections with Alinsky-style and/or founded organizations for years. No ones’s questioning Carr’s pro-life position. Only how he (read USCCB) carries it out politically. We at the grassroots – who struggle every day with Culture of Death’s brainwashing of our neighbors and friends – are waiting for the bishops (John Carr’s bosses) to take the bull by the horns. Perhaps these entanglements with “the dark side” are part of what’s keeping their hands tied.”

    As I have indicate before, rather than huffing and puffing at critics, the USCCB should be explaining certain things, among them:

    They should explain why they were shoveling money into an organization that one of their staffers served as the head of. Can they even spell “conflict of interest”? Rather than attacking the people who are bringing this to light they should be ramping up their own investigation. They might also wish to explain why Carr omitted noting his involvement with the CCC from his USCCB bio. They might also explain why Tom Chabolla, associate director of CCHD programs until 2008, and who worked under Carr, took Carr’s place on the CCC board after Carr left, during a time period when the CCC became involved in pro-abortion advocacy, and whether Chabolla and Carr maintained contacts about the CCC. Chabolla since leaving the CCHD is now assistant to the President of the Service Employees International Union. Finally, perhaps they can explain why, when this all came to light, the first reaction from the CCHD was to scrub their website of all mention of ties with the CCC.

    In regard to the CCHD, Tom Chabolla concerns me far more than John Carr. Chabolla’s involvement with the CCC and the CCHD while the CCC was becoming involved in pro-abortion advocacy, and his subsequent attempts to convince Catholics to vote for Obama, notwithstanding Obama’s strident pro-abortion stance, leads me to wonder how many CCHD staffers share the Church’s opposition to abortion, and how this plays out in regard to the groups that are funded.


    Time for the USCCB to stop shooting the messengers and to conduct internal investigations and clean house.

  • Paul, do not personally attack fellow commenters. That is not helpful. I share your concerns to the full regarding CCHD, but you can express them without attacking Karlson personally.

  • “Henry,

    You are a liberal, left wing Marxist. Period. To your kind, there is only one gospel, the false gospel of social justice, the common good and peace at any price.”


    First of all, I’m not a liberal. Second, I’m not a Marxist. Third, Catholic Social Teaching is a part of the Catholic Church and its teaching. False Gospel? No. Christ calls us to charity. That’s the truth. Justice is God’s — right indeed. But that is truth in charity. God’s justice doesn’t demand us to ignore the needs of people just because they sin. The common good is indeed why Christ died. And peace at any price — Christ gave the ultimate price.

  • Elaine Krewer

    That’s exactly the kind of point I’ve been trying to make. This is mere guilt by association which is fallacious; and if one follows through with this, anyone who does any work with anyone can be found to be associated with sinners and doing things which ultimately helps people to sin in one way or another. Of course, Voris would do well to remember the principle of double effect.

  • I agree with you John Henry that Thomas Peters has a level headed take on the situation. I agree with his recommendation that the CCHD needs to be defunded.

    “Here’s my take: I think there are real problems with how the CCHD allocates its money. I must seriously question why the USCCB even needs to have such a department. There are, after all, so many excellent Catholic charities that disburse money, so I see no reason why Catholics ought to continue giving money to an organization that has now repeatedly been shown to have misused funds in the past (ACORN, for instance). And remember – these are funds that come from the pockets of Catholics in the pews.

    My personal hope, at this time, is to see the CCHD not reformed, but defunded, even though I highly doubt this will happen.”

    Time for the Bishops to find another mechanism to help the poor, and this time through Catholic organizations loyal to the Magisterium.

  • I am glad Fr. Pavone spoke up in defense of John Carr; Pavone is a straight shooter, and it’s not the first time I have known him to rise to the defense of people attacked as insufficiently Catholic for our self-styled guardians of orthodoxy. But I also find it ironic that Fr. Pavone is regarded as more of an authority on authentic Catholic teaching than our own bishops are. The Church teaches us very clearly where we should look for guidance on faith and morals. The “guru shopping” in which our religious right-wing so often engage is just another form of the cafeteria Catholicism they claim to deplore.

  • It seems to me that the CCHD has outlived its moment. The impetus behind its creation is gone, and the problems with some of the charities associated with it demonstrate that there are major problems with CCHD that have not been addressed. Perhaps the people in charge of it really can’t address the problems, because their method of carrying out the aims of Catholic Social Teaching doesn’t allow them to address these new or formerly less significant problems — the things the sort of organization CCHD funds do today have shifted from what they did 30 years ago.

    Some of the charities CCHD fund in our Archdiocese do excellent things — others, not so much. Should the good ones lose their funding because of the problematic ones? That is what defunding CCHD would mean. But unless the bishops and their offices do their investigations, those of us who see what is wrong with the problematic ones are left with only two choices: donate or don’t donate. Especially because our contributions don’t go only to our own dioceses, but are pooled and distributed throughout the country, it’s important for us to discern the best use of our “talents and treasures,” as the social justice people like to say.

    Giving money to or volunteering with charities who further the aims of Catholic Social Teaching is required of us as Catholics. Giving money to a particular charity recommended by the bishops is not.

  • The last I looked, CCHD proceeds were usually divided 75 percent to the national organization and 25 percent kept in the diocese where collected for local organizations. Why not just drop the national collection and make it all local? Some dioceses may still fund questionable projects that way but at least the more orthodox ones won’t have to.

  • If this is “guilt by association,” then could someone please explain to me what business people like Paul Booth, Fr. Thomas Reese, or Dr. Diana Hayes have at a USCCB-sponsored event?


  • “I do not doubt that the folks at RCTV are well-intentioned.”

    A fascinating choice of words. Good intentions are the close bedfellows of the skulls of bishops, so prominently mentioned in these reports.

    Heck, gossipmongers have good intentions, too. That doesn’t make them moral or even accurate in their reporting.

    The fact is that many bloggers and countless Catholic commentators have been duped by this issue. You’ve been led deeply into the sin of calumny, and isn’t it a good thing Lent is close to arrival? No concern about getting dates, facts, and people straight. And even an otherwise-reliable organ like OSV had to do considerable backtracking. Why any sensible person would rely on internet video gossip masquerading as television for reliable information is beyond me. Regular tv journalism isn’t real news these days, so I can’t imagine folks with no pretense of journalism would count for anything more.

    The movement to defund the CCHD is just frowny-faced Catholic Republicans simmering that they never had the good idea of addressing the systemic problems that lead too many unfortunate individuals into needing charity. I’m sure if conservatives ever bothered to come up with a small-guv plan to address the root problems of poverty, they would get a CCHD grant. Heck, you may even end up as poster children if you played your cards right.

    Meanwhile, thanks a whole lot for painting pro-lifers as mindless, insensitive, and sinful detractors. You’ve just set the movement back another several months. Who cares about the money? You haven’t given to the CCHD in years, if ever. You’ve just been cooperating with evil to snipe at your own, and tossed another few hundred thousand of the unborn into the trash heap.

    What about an investigation of RealCatholicTV? How do we know thesefolks aren’t on the PP or NARAL payroll?

  • Nice attempt to avoid discussing any of the relevant issues Todd.

  • Todd,

    Attack the messenger.

    Old bag of tricks for liberals.

  • “Many bishops” comes in the guise of three left-wing bishops.

    Yes, we’ll see what other bishops steps forward to defend a compromised executive such as John Carr.

    John Henry,

    You failed to point out that it is not the stance of John Carr, but his conflict of interest that is in question.

  • Pingback: Another Shining Moment for Political Catholics « Catholic Sensibility
  • Unfortunately for the Cause, Donald, Tito, the issue was made to be John Carr. And now that that line of attack has shown itself to be pretty impotent, I think it’s quite correct to shine some light on gossipmongers. If that makes it uncomfy for you, I’m not sympathetic. Usually when people do sinful things, there are consequences–and I don’t mean in the afterlife.

    But if you want to stick to the original post, since when do good intentions make up for sin?

  • Todd,

    That is amazing commentary from a guy who is an open dissident Catholic and voted for President Obama, the most pro-abortion president in the history of the United States of America.

    If being called a gossip-monger is to report the conflict of interest of John Carr with CCC then we’ll let you live in bizarro world.

    You being unsympathetic shows again that you are a Catholic in name only.

  • Tito, it’s a classic strategy of human (not liberal) denial to attack the messenger. You do need a history lesson since I would count at least two presidents as more pro-abortion than Mr Obama: Mr Nixon, because it was largely his SCOTUS, and Mr Clinton who was a tad more enthusiastic than the current president.

    I know it stings to get taken to task on morals by a liberal, but there you have it …

  • Tito, no interest in addressing the moral relevancy of “well-intentioned” sinners, eh? I don’t mind straying off topic, if you don’t.

  • Todd,

    This isn’t my post.

    It’s my esteemed colleague John Henry’s post.

    As for “well-intentioned sinners”, what do you mean and to what reference?

  • Nixon was pro-abortion because it was “his” Supreme Court that decided Roe? That’s a bit of a stretch.

    Let’s see, of the 7 justices who decided in favor of Roe only 3 (Burger, Blackmun, and Powell) were Nixon appointees. Marshall was appointed by LBJ; Stewart and Brennan were Eisenhower appointees; and Douglas’ appointment went all the way back to FDR. Dissenters Rehnquist and White were appointed, respectively, by Nixon and JFK.

  • Also, don’t forget that SCOTUS justices have minds of their own and often disappoint the presidents who appoint them assuming they will be reliable “conservative” or “liberal” votes. Earl Warren did that to Ike, and Sandra Day O’Connor did the same to Reagan.

    As for Clinton, yes, he did indeed push for FOCA and for repeal of the Mexico City Policy, and for a national healthcare plan — I unfortunately don’t recall whether it was supposed to include abortion coverage or not — but what else did he do that made him “more enthusiastic” a pro-abort than Obama?

  • “I’m sure if conservatives ever bothered to come up with a small-guv plan to address the root problems of poverty, they would get a CCHD grant. ”

    They have. It’s called letting people keep the money they earn (instead of giving it to the government through taxation) so that they can better support their families, spend more on housing and other goods, and so that those who are inclined can start businesses and projects that create jobs, which in turn, lift more people out of poverty. A prominent conservative who “addressed the root causes of poverty” very well was the late Jack Kemp.

    Another very prominent small-guv or no-guv idea for addressing the root causes of poverty is the notion that people should get married BEFORE having sex and thereby having children (which can happen regardless of whether they have access to contraception or not; no method is 100 percent foolproof, other than abstinence). Single parenthood is one of the major “root causes” of poverty.

    I’m not a hard core anti-government or “all taxes are evil” libertarian by any means, but liberal programs and ideas aren’t the only ones that benefit the poor.

  • Todd, your statement that Nixon was more pro-abortion than Obama is laughable and demonstrates the lengths to which you will go to rationalize your positions. And on balance the notion that Clinton was a bigger pro-abort than Obama does not wash either.

  • I’ve decided to withhold my weekly parish offering until the Bishops get their act together on this issue of funding groups that promote murder-in-the-womb and pro-homosexual lifestyles because, even if I withhold donations from CCHD specific collections, how can I trust that the bishops aren’t giving money to these groups from their general funds or some other fund that my donations have gone to?

    Instead, I’ll give targeted funds for parish-specific collections such as energy, building fund etc. but also to worthy, faithful, and transparent pro-life and lay religious groups – in reparation for some of the damage that is being done. I will no longer allow my money (God’s money) to be funneled to the culture of death. I’ve lost trust for now.

    American Life League: http://www.all.org
    Human Lifer International: http://www.hli.org

  • “There are times when an abortion is necessary. I know that. When you have a black and a white,” he told an aide, before adding, “Or a rape.”


    That promotes the use of abortion, not just leaves it as a choice. Seems to be more pro-abortion than Obama’s “leave it be as a choice.” He wanted inter-racial babies killed. That’s pro-abortion and not just pro-choice.

  • Spelling correction:

    Human Life International: http://www.hli.org

  • “Unfortunately for the Cause, Donald, Tito, the issue was made to be John Carr.”

    Nice try Todd. The issue was always USCCB funding of groups like the CCC. The groups bringing this to light took pains to note that they were not attacking John Carr’s personal bona fides:

    “Once again, please keep in mind that in no way are we stating or implying that any bishop or staff member of the USCCB holds pro-abortion views. We have conversed and exchanged correspondence on a number of occasions with USCCB staff and have nothing but the highest regard for the strength of their convictions. However, we cannot avoid the conclusion that there is a disturbing pattern of cooperation between the USCCB and organizations that do not share the same fundamental vision of human dignity as the Catholic Church.”


  • Nixon indeed said years after he had left office that he had no problem with abortion being legal, but that the government should not pay for it. That is a far cry from Obama’s position that the government should always pick up the tab when women cannot afford the hit fees on their offspring.

    This was the stand that Nixon took publicly on abortion while he was president on April 3, 1971:

    “HISTORICALLY, laws regulating abortion in the United States have been the province of States, not the Federal Government. That remains the situation today, as one State after another takes up this question, debates it, and decides it. That is where the decisions should be made.

    Partly for that reason, I have directed that the policy on abortions at American military bases in the United States be made to correspond with the laws of the States where those bases are located. If the laws in a particular State restrict abortions, the rules at the military base hospitals are to correspond to that law.

    The effect of this directive is to reverse service regulations issued last summer, which had liberalized the rules on abortions at military hospitals. The new ruling supersedes this–and has been put into effect by the Secretary of Defense.

    But while this matter is being debated in State capitals and weighed by various courts, the country has a right to know my personal views.

    From personal and religious beliefs I consider abortion an unacceptable form of population control. Further, unrestricted abortion policies, or abortion on demand, I cannot square with my personal belief in the sanctity of human life–including the life of the yet unborn. For, surely, the unborn have rights also, recognized in law, recognized even in principles expounded by the United Nations.

    Ours is a nation with a Judeo-Christian heritage. It is also a nation with serious social problems–problems of malnutrition, of broken homes, of poverty, and of delinquency. But none of these problems justifies such a solution.

    A good and generous people will not opt, in my view, for this kind of alternative to its social dilemmas. Rather, it will open its hearts and homes to the unwanted children of its own, as it has done for the unwanted millions of other lands.”

  • “Once again, please keep in mind that in no way are we stating or implying that any bishop or staff member of the USCCB holds pro-abortion views. We have conversed and exchanged correspondence on a number of occasions with USCCB staff and have nothing but the highest regard for the strength of their convictions. However, we cannot avoid the conclusion that there is a disturbing pattern of cooperation between the USCCB and organizations that do not share the same fundamental vision of human dignity as the Catholic Church.”

    And who are they to make this decision? As I pointed out, will they judge Jesus guilty of supporting Roman occupation in Jerusalem? Of the Samaritans for his promotion of the good Samaritan? Will they tell people who pay sinners the money they are owed for working, because they pay sinners, they are cooperating with evil and should rather not pay until the sinner stops sinning? That’s the issue. People who get charity will often be sinners; giving them charity is not the promotion of sin. Otherwise God is the biggest sinner of them all.

  • Nixon said abortion is necessary for inter-racial couples. And you say he isn’t pro-abortion? Who cares who pays for it! It’s not the paying of it but the demanding of it as necessary which indicates someone far more pro-abortion than someone who doesn’t demand any abortions!

  • So I take TAC is now guilty of being pro-aborts and Catholics in name only because some people on here are now defending Nixon!

    See how this works?

  • Henry, it seems to me that what Nixon was expressing was the reverse of the “personally opposed, but” stance you often see today. Apparently, Nixon was “personally in favor, but” for what he considered “hard cases.” But in the same taped conversation, he expressed concern that legalized abortion on demand would lead to “permissiveness” and to a breakdown of the family.

    In any event that remark, distasteful as it is, comes from a private conversation with an aide that was never made public until long after his death. In his PUBLIC statements and policy moves Nixon never endorsed legalized abortion on demand, as far as I know, whereas Clinton and now Obama have.

  • I’m sure if conservatives ever bothered to come up with a small-guv plan to address the root problems of poverty, they would get a CCHD grant.

    If I am not mistaken, Milton Friedman’s first article on the negative income tax hit the presses in 1962; I doubt the Catholic Campaign for Human Development ever noticed.

  • Don, thanks for the clarification.

    Apparently Nixon was more amenable to legalized abortion than I realized (I was only 10 years old when he left office and wasn’t paying attention to his abortion views at the time), but still, his stance is a far cry from what Obama is pushing today. Also, there is no evidence that Nixon ever sought as a matter of public policy to “demand” that interracial couples abort their children; that was merely his own personal preference.

    I’m not “defending” Nixon or his point of view, by the way, just pointing out that it can’t justly be compared to what Obama is doing via the healthcare plan, removal of conscience protections, revocation of Mexico City Policy, and expressed support of FOCA or something similar.

  • Elaine in his public stance as President, and in his actions as President, Nixon always acted against abortion. This is a far cry from Obama who is publicly and privately in favor of abortion. Karlson, of course, as usual, is carrying water for the Left and Obama in attempting to obscure this point.

  • So, it’s ok for him to say it is necessary for people to have abortions and he ends up not being pro-abortion? Very odd indeed. But I expect it. The same people who talk the talk end up bowing before the GOP before it is over.

  • If it were Obama who had said it and not Nixon, or if it were John Carr instead of Nixon, you can be assured both would be used by the people who defend him now. It is more important to point out the defense of Nixon’s “it is necessary to kill them” speech puts the people doing so not only in cooperation with evil but in its promotion!

  • Karlson, I am sure you are not so obtuse as to fail to understand the difference between a private opinion revealed more than a decade after Nixon’s death and his public statements and policies as President. Nice try however in attempting to run interference for the most pro-abortion President in our nation’s history.

  • Like I said, Nixon was “personally in favor, but” when it came to abortion. He didn’t feel he could “impose his personal views” FAVORING abortion on the nation or on individual state governments that weren’t ready to accept them.

  • The most pro-abortion president? Pretty sure that would be Nixon. Let’s keep in mind that the original drive to decriminalize abortion came from Republicans lobbied by the medical establishment.

    Lies about John Carr. Misguided errors about CCHD. Not tracking important dates like the establishment of the CCHD in 1970. The real question is: why do we even bother with conservatives these days? Completely unreliable.

  • Todd, still trying to salve your conscience for your vote for Obama, the most pro-abortion President in our nation’s history? Your attempt to rewrite history is as misguided as your vote. The move to legalize abortion was overwhelmingly from the radical feminists, the group that still owns body and soul your party on the issue of abortion.

  • “Let’s keep in mind that the original drive to decriminalize abortion came from Republicans lobbied by the medical establishment.”

    The Republicans in question were probably the more liberal leaning ones like Nelson Rockefeller, not Nixon, who relied heavily on a conservative “Southern strategy” to get elected.

  • As I said, the defense for President Nixon here and his stand on abortion and his belief it was necessary to kill interracial children says enough. It really does. It’s all it takes to do an expose. Ask Voris.

  • I guess you truly are much more obtuse than I thought Karlson.

  • Henry,

    You seem to reserve a special level of irrationality and intentional obtuseness for moments when you think you have some “gotcha” against conservatives. It would probably be a good idea if, when you have this feeling of “Ha! Now I have them saying something truly ludicrous,” you went off and did something else for a while, because these exercises never do you much credit.

    But to address the substance:

    No one here has defended the Nixon quote or claimed that Nixon is a role model on the abortion issue — what people have objected to is Todd rather strange claim that Nixon was a more pro-abortion president than Obama. (And come to that, that Clinton was — by just about any measure other than the wishes of his more deceived supporters, one would have to see Obama as more pro-abortion than Clinton. If you want a figure more pro-abortion than Obama, you’re going to have to go for someone like Barbara Boxer.)

    Your interpretation of Nixon’s comment (a comment which, as I said, is reprehensible) seems selective and intentionally obtuse. On the face of it, it would seem pretty clear that Nixon was listing of situations in which he thought that people might justifiably demand access to abortion because they considered it “necessary”. That interracial children was the first example that came to his mind certainly does him no credit, but one can hardly argue that Obama’s views are substantively different on issues of abortion being “necessary”. Think of the implication: Does Obama think that abortion is (as he claims) a regrettable and unfortunate thing, but insist that it should be allowed even though he believes it it’s never actually necessary (as in the only right thing to do) for someone to have one? In other words, he thinks that abortion is bad, but he insists that it be available at all times despite it’s being, at any given point, entirely optional? Surely not. If he insists that abortion be available he clearly thinks that in some cases people will find it necessary to have one. Indeed, if he thinks that it’s entirely optional as a medical and personal procedure (like what? teeth whitening? breast augmentation?) and yet nevertheless insists on its absolute availability over the moral concerns that he’s expressed, that actually puts him in a far worse light than if one accepts that he thinks it is at times a “necessary evil”.

    Goodness, what do they teach them in school these days?

  • DH,

    I’ve decided to withhold my weekly parish offering until the Bishops get their act together on this issue of funding groups that promote murder-in-the-womb and pro-homosexual lifestyles because, even if I withhold donations from CCHD specific collections, how can I trust that the bishops aren’t giving money to these groups from their general funds or some other fund that my donations have gone to?

    Weekly collections go primarily to the local parish, with roughly 10% usually going to your local diocese. They do not go to the USCCB or to other national programs. I would strongly recommend against refusing to support your parish because of a fairly minor USCCB program.

  • I think Obama’s statement that babies conceived of unplanned pregnanacies are a burden is quite contrary to Catholic Social Teaching also. We know he jokes about the Special Olympics in public. Who knows what he says in private.

    Bottom line about CCHD, just like we should not reward researchers who aborted babies with stem cell funding we should not reward organizations that fund anti-life, anti-family policies.

  • Todd, still trying to salve your conscience for your vote for Obama,

    I will wager it goes deeper than that.

  • Todd,

    The movement to defund the CCHD is just frowny-faced Catholic Republicans simmering that they never had the good idea of addressing the systemic problems that lead too many unfortunate individuals into needing charity. I’m sure if conservatives ever bothered to come up with a small-guv plan to address the root problems of poverty, they would get a CCHD grant. Heck, you may even end up as poster children if you played your cards right.

    This is just a dumb attack. (Sheesh, why is it that you’ve become so much more politically bitter since your guy won? It’s supposed to work the other way around.) Conservatives are widely supportive of small businesses, which is where most new jobs in the country show up. (While the more regulatory approach pushed by progressives normally helps large corporations keep small businesses from playing — though progressives often don’t seem to realize this.)

    The beef that a lot of conservatives have with the CCHD is twofold. First, they tend to fund some programs which run by organizations which also have programs which are directly contrary to Catholic teaching. Second, conservatives are not always as optimistic that funding groups which often just “raise awareness” or help people petition the government for things actually do all that much to “break the cycle of poverty” as compared to directly helping them with immediate necessities so they can get back on their feet or support themselves, or helping get businesses off the ground which actually provide people with employment. The former of these is a pretty good target for charitable work, the latter often doesn’t work out so well. (If you give people grants to start a business, because they don’t have investors and can’t get a small business loan, it often turns out the reason they couldn’t get a small business loan or investors is that their business plan wasn’t all that viable in the first place.)

  • DC

    When someone says “but still, his stance is a far cry from what Obama is pushing today,” and using that to make Obama is worse — yes, they are positing a defense of Nixon in relation to Obama. The problem is one said abortion is a choice, the other, necessity. And the people who are acting like “abortion is a necessity” is no big deal in comparison to someone saying “choice” show again the politics. This is not “gotcha.” This is just applying the standards in these threads. Wasn’t it the Peters piece which said “cooperation with evil” is evil? Cooperation with Nixon, who thinks killing innocent children is a necessity, falls under this, no?

    Of course many people see through this. What you call irrationality is the whole point. This whole “scandal” and the means by which it gathers evidence is irrational.

    This has nothing to do with “conservative” or “liberal,” because again, the so-called conservatives here are quite liberal (small government) indeed!

  • “onservatives are widely supportive of small businesses” even when they give cooperation for abortion (see health care insurance).

  • Henry,

    This is precisely where you intentionally being obtuse: It takes a massive stretch to argue that the Nixon quote meant “necessary” in the sense of “we must force this person to have an abortion whether they like it or not, because it’s an absolute necessity for society”. Whereas if one accepts the quote to mean that there are situations in which people will feel abortion to be their only option — then he means exactly the same as what Obama says.

    And what the heck are you talking about with “cooperation with Nixon”? The guy is dead, has long been politically irrelevant, and no one is taking him as a guide for modern conservative policy.

    I’ve not no interest in defending Nixon or his ideas about abortion, but claiming that he is “more pro-abortion” than Obama makes no sense when Nixon’s policies were far more anti-abortion than Obama’s and even this utterly reprehensible quote says nothing that Obama wouldn’t say himself (other than the underlying racism.)

    “onservatives are widely supportive of small businesses” even when they give cooperation for abortion (see health care insurance).

    Again, your “gotchas” are invariably foolish. Are you saying that conservatives would do better to only support small businesses which refuse to provide health insurance? Or are you claiming that being in favor or an economic environment which makes it easy for small businesses to establish and thrive somehow encourages them to elect to cover abortions in their insurance policies? I suppose the test case would be: Ask yourself, would conservatives prefer a small business which provided health insurance to its workers which excluded abortion, or a small business which provided health insurance to its workers that included abortion. If you answer the latter, you have a case.

  • One person says abortion is necessary; the other says it is up to the people, and the one who says it is necessary is less pro-abortion. I get it!

    What I learn on here.

    Yes. I’m obtuse! Teach me more!

  • DC

    “Again, your “gotchas” are invariably foolish. Are you saying that conservatives would do better to only support small businesses which refuse to provide health insurance?”

    Let’s take this one by one. STOP USING THE WORD CONSERVATIVE. False word. Next, I am saying the “scandal” with the USCCB is valid, than this applies across board. And sorry to point out, all the people supporting companies which have health insurance that gives abortion is “cooperation with evil” and “funding abortion.” What is difficult to see in this? Why is it that the same people who always speak about political point of views never do anything with the real promoters of abortion — the insurance companies? Why no laws to stop this? Why the constant funding of it? Why?

  • You people just slay me: tie yourselves up in knots to justify your relativism. Personally, I have no problem with my vote for Mr Obama. There was no real pro-life distinction coming from Mr McCain, especially on matters in government hands like ESCR and torture. So I voted for the Illinois senator. So what? Lots of independents voted for him. He was a bit too conservative for my tastes, but there wasn’t a real third party choice, in my view.

    Getting back to Fr Pavone’s defense of Mr Carr, let’s face it: the anti-CCHD crowd had no compunction about throwing a fellow pro-lifer under the bus, and trying to justify the lies and exaggerations to get it done. And you can ask yourselves: how many unborn people did it save? How many converts did you make for the cause? All because you’ve redefined “scandal” to mean something that bothers you.

    Jeez, with conservatives like you, I have no reason at all to be angry or bitter. All I have to do is visit here every week or so, point out your moral errors, get under your skins, and I have my entertainment.

    Take the last word, gents. You’ve worked hard enough in the trenches of relativism to earn it. Give us another justification or two, then watch the religious event of the day.

  • Translation Todd: you do not give a damn about abortion.

    “Take the last word gents.”

    You inevitably say that Todd, and you inevitably come back to comment on this blog.

  • Karlson is unable to distinguish between a President who makes a private pro-abortion statement and who makes public statements and policies against abortion, and the current incumbent who makes private and public statements in favor of abortion and who is dedicated to pro-abortion policies. Grad students have sadly declined in reasoning capacity.

  • Actually the latest turn in this thread is quite funny when you think about it. People are sincerely debating who is worse, Obama or Nixon and it was the Obama supporters who introduced that extremely low bar.

    I’m no fan of either, but clearly Nixon’s despicable “necessary” term wasn’t calling for a mandate and is more in keeping with Obama’s line about not wanting his kids punished with an unwanted child. It’s the same mentality of feeling the need to sacrifice the unborn for to avoid a consequence or perceived loss of good.

  • “Take the last word gents.”

    You also convieniently forget about the one “lady” blog member among these “gents” who completely agreed with the initial premise of this thread — that the attacks on John Carr and his past affiliation were not really valid criticisms of CCHD. However, that doesn’t change the fact that there are still lots of OTHER reasons to be critical of CCHD.

  • Elaine, I am sure that the implication that Todd is a sexist will pierce his conscience to the quick, and I mean that sincerely!

  • Also, I question the wisdom of voting for an Illinois senator for any office above dogcatcher 🙂

  • One person says abortion is necessary; the other says it is up to the people, and the one who says it is necessary is less pro-abortion

    One of the great things about the internet is that you’re never quite sure where a comment thread will go. I have to say, I didn’t expect the topic of Nixon, Obama, and abortion to dominate this thread. But since it has, I’ll just say I think Henry’s argument is based on an exceptionally weird reading of the word ‘necessary’. It’s obvious that Nixon means ‘in some circumstances abortion has to be available,’ rather than something like ‘abortion is necessary in all such cases.’ He was talking about how abortion laws should be structured, not opining about when people need to get abortions (my assumption is that not even Nixon would tell a woman who had been raped that she had to get an abortion). I can’t imagine how Henry could understand it otherwise. As to Obama, he certainly has the most extreme public record on abortion of any U.S. President, although on the plus side of the ledger, he is probably not a racist (like Nixon).

  • Getting back to Fr Pavone’s defense of Mr Carr, let’s face it: the anti-CCHD crowd had no compunction about throwing a fellow pro-lifer under the bus, and trying to justify the lies and exaggerations to get it done. And you can ask yourselves: how many unborn people did it save? How many converts did you make for the cause? All because you’ve redefined “scandal” to mean something that bothers you.

    You know, reading this last comment of Todd’s I’m getting the impression that he thinks that John Henry was attacking Fr. Pavone in writing this post. Which, if true, is certainly amusing.

  • Which, if true, is certainly amusing.

    Yeah, I had to laugh, when Todd told me above that I had “been led deeply into the sin of calumny, and isn’t it a good thing Lent is close to arrival?”

    This, for posting Fr. Pavone’s defense of John Carr and saying not a negative word about anyone other than the RCTV folks. It doesn’t seem to have occurred to him that my post is primarily a defense of John Carr of the USCCB, and a response to some of the USCCB’s less disciplined critics. Oh well, I guess Todd wanted to upbraid somebody and my post caught his eye.

  • that not even Nixon would tell a woman who had been raped that she

    Mr. Nixon was rather vindictive about the opposition and was willing to countenance unprofessional behavior and violations of the law to get at them. Regrettably, he was in a position to see that such things were done: Morton Halperin’s phone was tapped and the pornographer who produced Tricia’s Wedding got his tax returns audited. It could have been worse.


    Mr. Nixon’s mundane life was, however, free of severe blemishes. Most of us are not in a position to have someone raked over the coals by the U.S. Attorney, and its a good thing too.

  • The most frustrating part, John Henry, is that your response will be met with silence.

    I wish it were not so.

  • I’m a bit late to this discussion, but nevertheless it takes an appalling lack of judgement to suggest that Obama is not the most radical, pro-abort, “Party of Death” candidate ever to step foot in the Oval Office

    It is an unfortunate fact but no one in the history of the POTUS has uttered these words except for one man, who is Barack H. Obama:

    “But if they [my daughters] make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby”


    His position is so far outside of the mainstream that as an IL Senator he voted against the Infant Born Alive Protection Act. Let it be known that this man despises life and has actively used his political power in a way directly in conflict with Church Teaching on Natural & Moral Law.

  • If you recall, Nixon was close to being impeached by the House of Representatives for several counts of abuse of power. He resigned because he thought that, even if he could get (1/3 + 1) of the Senate to vote for acquital, the efforts focused on the trial would leave the nation weakened against foreign opponents for an extended period.
    By the time W. Clinton was impeached, the possible threat from other nations had receded to the point that the nation could endure a couple of months of distraction with little or no harm in foreign affairs.
    The reaction of the Senate at the time of Clinton’s impeachment in effect was “Lying about sex? Everybody does it, so the fact that Pres. Clinton did it is no big deal.”
    If bloggers who favor Pres. Obama’s policies want to compare him with Pres. Nixon, I see no problem with that.

  • Here’s something to remember, John: there is a thread of conversation in here, and you should look to one of your co-bloggers and how they entered into it. Then you might appreciate Todd’s responses. He didn’t say you did anything; there was a conversation and he was responding to that.

  • John Henry is surely reading all the comments. He’s a sharp guy and has gotten me to rethink some of my decisions.

    He’s just being prudent.

  • Well, Teapot562, there are disputes between authorities over the severity of Clinton’s offences per the positive law. The tainted Lawrence Walsh said Kenneth Starr’s line of inquiry was outlandish and Richard Posner said that prosecutorial discretion would not have saved Clinton had he been an ordinary citizen and that the federal sentancing prescribed 30 to 37 months in prison for the sort of offences of which he was guilty. Please note also that Clinton was disbarred, that Susan McDougal spent 18 months in jail rather than testify at grand jury proceedings, and that James McDougal died before his testimony could be offered to a petty jury.

    Please note also that Clinton has retained throughout a degree of respect in certain circles that Nixon never re-acquired.

  • Well the bottom line remains, the CCHD remains a major source of scandal today regardless of what Nixon said forty years ago.

  • I’m with Phillip on this still.

  • 1. I admire Fr. Pavone, but he has plenty of his own issues (saying it’s OK to vote for a pro-choice Republican over a pro-life Democrat, supporting the NRLC’s “keep abortion legal as long as possible” agenda with its numerous compromises, supporting the do-nothing “partial birth abortion ban”, etc.) In other words, I admire Fr. Pavone for what he himself says and does. I’m not a fan of the organizations he chooses to support, especially when his career was springboarded by Judie Brown to begin with.
    2. I think it’s *very* important to distinguish between “the bishops” and “the USCCB,” which is a useless bureaucracy in DC that, in the end, has very little to do with “the bishops.” The merger of the old “NCCB” with the old “USCC” (where all these problematic associations occur) is the real problem, IMO.
    3. There is a big difference between charity, social justice and political activism. Charity is a personal choice. The merit in charity is in one person’s free will decision to perform an act of love for another person. Jesus acted in charity to centurions and Samaritans, but He did so in love for them as indiviuals, to help them as people. He did not support them qua being centurions or Samaritans.

    Social justice is the remediation of economic ills the way criminal justice is the remediation of interpersonal ills.

    Much of this funding question has to do with neither. It has to do with the bishops giving money to activist organizations when they should be giving that money directly to people who need it. I would have just as much problem with the USCCB funding NRLC as ACORN.

    When we give our money to the Church, our expectation is that that money will go to actually help people or build up the Church. I’d rather tthe USCCB fund crisis pregnancy centers and adoption agencies than fund ALL or NRLC. If they want to support the poor, send the money directly to shelters and food pantries. Better yet, give the money back to Catholic religious orders that engage in these ministries.

    Imagine if this money were just paid back to Catholic schools, hospitals and ministries, instead of paid to secular organizations.

    4. Yes, “Guilt by association” is a bit overdone. But much of this goes beyond “guilt by association.” We’re talking about organizations that actively support agendas contrary to the faith, and officials at USCCB who have either worked for those organizations or served on their boards of directors, etc.

  • Re: John Carr: “Tell me who your friends are, and I’ll tell you what you are.” Fr. Pavone is a good priest but a very naive one. Or perhaps he fears the power of the USCCB.

  • Mike,

    There is no need for that type of demonization of the USCCB. Although I don’t agree with the direction they’re heading, I don’t find it necessary to degrade it.

As Our Modern, Western Culture Begins To Implode, The Catholic Church Is Our Last, Best Hope

Sunday, January 31, AD 2010

Channel surfing the other night, I came across a slew of 1980s “coming of age” movies on cable television. With all of their flaws (too much sexual innuendo, which is mild by today’s comparisons,) one can easily see a positive theme of a bright future and endless possibilities running through this genre of films. I had almost forgotten that in the 1983 film Valley Girl, Julie played by Deborah Foreman actually chastises her hippy parents for their suggestion that if she and her new boyfriend Randy, played by Nicholas Cage, want to explore their sexuality it would be alright by them.  Julie rebukes her parents for having such beliefs as well as the nostalgia surrounding their involvement in the 1960s anti war movement; after all it was the era of Ronald Reagan. Everything seemed possible; it was Morning in America again. Many of these movies were set in California which at the time exuded excitement for those of us growing up in colder, Midwest climates. Economically, California was booming and it was also the heart of a growing and diverse music scene.

Fast forward some 25+ years later and many of today’s films have a dark undercurrent with more than a little subtle leftwing political and cultural propaganda running through them. While there are certainly hopeful signs in Hollywood, especially with the advent of stars like Eduardo Verastegi and his movie Bella and associated Metanoia Films, (Click here for my interview with Eduardo Verastegui,) the secular film industry has fallen even farther into the cesspool. Sadly the Golden State’s economic boom seems but a distant memory, which was bound to occur when California’s Big Government mentality rivaled that of Sweden or the Canadian province of Quebec. The bigger question remains; is California setting the trend once again for the nation and the western world, and if it is what hope is there? The hope remains as it always has not in mortal man and the latest left wing hypothesis about the world’s failings, but in the teachings of the Catholic Church.

Continue reading...

4 Responses to As Our Modern, Western Culture Begins To Implode, The Catholic Church Is Our Last, Best Hope

  • Pingback: The Coming Open Rebellion Against God « The American Catholic
  • Pingback: Lent 2010; The Tide Continues To Turn Toward Catholic Orthodoxy « The American Catholic
  • Fulton Sheen said that the time of evil would come upon mankind. Pope John Paul said a great darkness has descended on the earth. And we are living in this age of darkness and evil made transparent . The light of Christ is shining so brightly now that all of mens hearts and actions are coming into the light and being exposed for who and what they are. This is a great time of purification and God is getting ready to move mankind into a very important direction. You are either with Christ or against Him, There will be no middle ground. That is why it seems that it is all imploding but what is really happening is a time of great grace before the time of great judgement!

  • Man, where have I been for not finding your web site earlier – loved every word spoken.

    will be e-mailing you later brother. Praise Christ for you taking a stand and speaking His truth. We are so hungry for JUST the truth. Fr. John Corpie tells it like it is – and there is standing room only when he speaks somewhere. Holy Mother Church needs to feed her sheep – I am so tired of shim milk. Where is the beef that I may feed on the deep things of God.

    God bless brother – Later.

    In Christ,

If You Want The Political Left To Run Governments, Look At What The Religious Left Has Done To Religion (Left It In Tatters)

Monday, January 25, AD 2010

There is a undercurrent in American society that somehow believes that if the mafia ran things, the country would be better off. There was one city (Newark, New Jersey) where the mafia once controlled much of the city. When their grip on power was done, the city was in tatters. The same could be said for liberals running religion.

Continue reading...

40 Responses to If You Want The Political Left To Run Governments, Look At What The Religious Left Has Done To Religion (Left It In Tatters)

The Construct of Rebellion

Monday, January 11, AD 2010

In 2010 the Catholic Church in particular and Christianity in general are under attack because age old truths are being abandoned for the Dictatorship of Relativism. One might ask; how did we get here? It didn’t happen overnight; as a matter of fact many of those doing the rebelling actually think they are doing us all a favor.  Centuries and millennium evolved into a construct of rebellion where self appointed leaders who thought knew better than the Church and society itself tried to change all that was sacred and holy into something, they but most importantly their friends in the intelligentsia, could accept. Too many cooks in the kitchen can be bad for your acquired culinary tastes, but when truth is watered down it is something entirely different and far more serious. In this instance, we are talking about souls, not taste buds.  If this is so then how could the thesis of my book, The Tide is Turning Toward Catholicism be true? The answer is simple because the world is getting closer and closer to the precipice. Some may chose to jump but thankfully more will chose to come back from ledge into the world of reality and when they do they will see the many positive developments happening in the Church. One’s own mortality has a way of causing self preservation.

Continue reading...

55 Responses to The Construct of Rebellion

  • Well said, Dave. Thank God for Mary’s heel crushing the head of the serpent that is rebellion, or the whole place would have turned into one boring, childish, real-life version of “Wayne’s World.” It’s no wonder so many folks despise her as she has done what they ought to be doing.

  • What is the evidence for The Porsche?

  • My compliments for a well argued post. I am unaware of the O’Brien site or books, but I cannot disagree with any of your assessment nor your conclusions. I have been making a similar argument via my Canadian blog (http://www.frtimmoyle.blogspot.com) trying to point out the logical contradiction of modern day relativism – a contradiction that exists because moderns no longer possess a knowledge or sense of the role of the church in times past. I offer the following taken from one of my posts written when the European court ordered the removal of the crucifix from Italian classrooms:

    Where I freely admit that the governing authority of any school should be able to either choose or not to present this symbol of Christian/Catholic faith, it is entirely another thing to deny the right to express their faith/convictions/belief in the public square. The principle that is expressed as “separation of church and state” also implicitly includes the freedom to express those values that we believe are the path which leads to the betterment of all humanity.??Read the story, and ask yourself whether the secular argument that leads to this European suppression of the freedom of speech of believers is any different from the agenda that marks the direction of North American society today.??This story is proof positive of the price of failing to argue in defence of the principles which are the accumulated human reasoning that stretches back to the earliest days of recorded history. Whether the moral principles of our modern civilization evolved as the refinement of simply human wisdom, or whether it is a still imperfect vision of God’s will, they have brought Western civilization to the point where we are today. The “rights” that are now so suddenly being tossed aside in the last twenty-five years are the foundations upon which the right itself is rooted. The poisoned fruit of the civilizational tree now endangers the root from which it sprang. ??Freedom of expression of faith in the public square must be respected; it is the essential corollary of the freedoms of thought and speech. I pray that leaders of our faith, our Bishops, would look to the European (or Québécois for that matter) social experiment and heed the need to “teach”, in every forum possible, the wisdom and teaching of our Church: to educate those raised in the “sex, drugs and rock and roll” generation (the first generation of essentially uncatechized “C & E” Catholics (i.e., “Christmas and Easter”) who now have moved into society’s corridors of power) of the wisdom of these first principles before they use the levers of power to shape the debate. ??Freedom of life… Freedom of belief… Freedom of speech: these are the Bishops’ menu of first principles to defend in full. Let’s pray that they fashion sumptuous salad of arguments, no matter how appealing the dessert table secularism seems to offer. ??Society needs strong bones to grow and prosper. We eat of the poisoned fruit at our own peril.

    Fr. Tim

  • Excellent commentary, Fr. Tim, which very much reflects why us California voters are now being put on trial for having the temerity to vote for changing the Constitution to limit marriage to one man and one woman.

  • Pingback: Helping A Fellow Warrior Member… | The JosephRatliff.com Blog
  • Lest one begin to think that this is all new, I quote St. Basil to the western bishops in the 4th Century:

    “The dogmas of the Fathers are despised; apostolic traditions are set to nought; the discoveries of innovators hold sway in the churches; men have learned to be speculatists instead of theologians… The aged sorrow comparing what is with what was; more pitiable the young as not knowing what they are deprived of”. [Ep.90]

  • Thank you Dave for letting history teach us, at least some will repeat the errors and call for a “king” to rule and guide or other idols instead of our Lord and Savior. Your recent Times article was excellent also.

  • Dave, you’ll be thrilled to know that Spirit Daily posted this today in its second most prominent spot.

  • Thank you for writing this. Thank you for mentioning the Blessed Mother crushing the devils head.I attend morning mass and pray the daily rosary for conversions and repentence(for many years) and within the last month have had 3 people say they want to come back to the church and I have been taking them to Sunday mass with me. One has already talked with the priest.The other I am taking to a Catholic healing service. The 3rd is actually an unchurched person who accepts what I am teaching him and wants to talk to the parish priest. When the Blessed Mother said she will give graces of conversion and repentance when you say the rosary, she means it. Thank you.

  • Great article !! Truer words were never spoken. We need to hear more of the truth to stir all Catholics
    into reality and into standing up for the Church and our rights.

  • There are 3 essentials ingredients in the Church that keep any soul on the correct road. The Eucharist. Confession and the Rosary. Stay faithful to these and you and your household will be saved. The world is passing away and we are passing through it to something that we can not even begin to understand. Show mercy to all those who are in darkness.

  • As a simple un-educated mother of seven I read the whole article Construct of Rebellion, and thought it was most informative and full of truth.
    However, what it was lacking was the matter of placing some blame on the church itself for the departing of so many Catholics from their true faith during the 2000 years of excistance.
    I asked should the church not have been more alert and listened to the complaints from the faithful on some liturgical customs and for the lack of education in the full deep meaning of scripture and the bible, also the lack of explaination the dogmatic reasons for truth?
    Even the fathers of the church were weak at times and had to also endure the evil one.
    Now we have at least been assured through the workings of the wonderful Popes we have had with John Paul and Benedict that the church will always remain. Both of them have used the media and every other medium to prove that the Catholic church is the only true one to embrace all of the world’s people.

  • as one person commented I echo: Confession, Mass, the Eelfucharist….and let the world blow its up and fall into hell…..or let it REPENT FAST.

    sanctuaryhouse.tumblr.com…….. CALL IT UP…

  • In Worcester, Massachusetts, a Diocese is coming unglued because it embraced dissent and New Age occultism. Visit: http://lasalettejourney.blogspot.com

  • I am wondering which diocese in Worcester Roger is talking about.Eileen George gives monthly

  • teachings there and she is veryorthodox andoutstanding catholic

  • The same diocese which hosts a “Commission for Women” which has New Age links. The same diocese where numerous children have been sexually abused. The same diocese where a Holy Cross professor (and ex priest) promotes homosexuality and is “married” to another man. I could go on but you wouldn’t accept the facts.

  • How does Eileen George feel about the College of the Holy Cross sponsoring Planned Parenthood on its campus? How about the Newman Center at Fitchburg State College promoting homosexuality as a simple variant of normal sexuality as well as homosexual “marriage”? Is she concerned that the Diocesan Commission for Women has links to Joyce Rupp? Read what Donna Steichen and other orthodox Catholics have had to say about Rupp.

    With all due respect for Eileen George, the Diocese of Worcester is losing many of the faithful (75 of 120 parishes are in economic crisis by the Diocese’s own admission) for a reason.

  • Holy Cross has engaged in homosexual agitprop:

    Sorry Martha, Eileen George’s presence in the Worcester Diocese doesn’t justify that.

  • While I agree with your basic outline, there are two things that bother me with what you wrote: 1) The many grammatical and typing errors. Sorry, but when people have a good idea and they’re trying to communicate it, it helps to do so with correct punctuation and without typos.

    2) Whether or not people believe what Michael Brown wrote in his book or posts on his site is no indication of their adherence to the truth or lack thereof and no one should take it as such. Mr. Brown may be a Pulitzer-nominated journalist, but that doesn’t mean everything he writes is of the same quality as his work on Love Canal. Mr. Brown is not the sum total of the Catholic Faith. That comes to us from the apostles and their successors.

  • Pingback: The Construct of Rebellion « Mary’s Anawim
  • Thomas, while you may claim to be an excellent grammarian, you might want to brush up on your reading skills. Where did I say or insinuate that Michael Brown is the sum total of the Catholic faith?

  • “Sadly, the construct of rebellion is prevalent in all areas, even among some faithful Catholics.” A construct of rebellion implies that there’s something authoritative against which one can rebel. One cannot rebel against one who does not have authority and Michael Brown does not have authority.

  • “…self appointed leaders who thought [they] knew better than the Church…” It’s the authority of the Church that’s being rebelled against. Not Michael Brown.

    Thomas, are you simply here in an attempt to wear down the author of this article?

  • No, John, I’m not. I made two observations about what I consider to be an otherwise well-constructed argument – grammar and saying that not liking Michael Brown’s book is part of the construct of rebellion.

  • No Thomas, you wrote: “A construct of rebellion implies that there’s something authoritative against which one can rebel. One cannot rebel against one who does not have authority and Michael Brown does not have authority.”

    No one said that Michael Brown is the authority being rebelled against. Instead, the author of the article wrote about, “..self appointed leaders who thought [they] knew better than the Church..” That’s the Church. Not Michael Brown.

    You are engaging in dishonesty.

  • On the contrary, John. The author writes (with my edits): “However, the pull of being accepted by the world is tough even for self-professed, orthodox-minded Catholics. For example, the secular scholarly world rolls its eyes and snickers at modern day miracles and apparitions. One of the most popular Catholic websites, Spirit Daily, is one such site that makes mention of both. However, mention you read this site and you are bound to be looked at with suspicion even in the world of orthodox-minded Catholicism…It would seem that for some, the fear of being lumped in with those who see the Blessed Mother in every scrap of burnt toast or every dilapidated barn door holds far more sway than believing that the Blessed Mother has appeared in human history to bring attention to her Son, the Savior of us all. Sadly, the construct of rebellion is prevalent in all areas, even among some faithful Catholics.”

    Hence my statement that in order to rebel, one must have something authoritative against which to rebel. Just because people don’t like what Michael Brown writes — no matter how well researched it is — doesn’t mean they’re part of the construct of rebellion. I certainly accept that Mary appears in the world and that God works miracles. I don’t necessarily like Michael Brown’s approach.

  • This kind of dialogue appears to be feeding the egos of the individuals. Are we working for our own glory or God’s. I think the best road to travel is the one of Humilty and Love. Why not focus on ourselves individually and see where we are on the road of repentance and reconciliation.

    Better still why don’t we focus on Christian Unity and do positive things, – let us do the will of the Father and not our own, let us take this opportunity to love one another and at least celebrate Easter on the same date every year. At least the rest of the world will see that we are united on the essence of our faith; the death and resurection of Jesus Christ.
    It is only through unity that we will have :
    Peace, Love and Reconciliation
    Mary Joanne

  • I don’t appreciate your unfair criticism Mary. I was merely attempting to defend what the author wrote. Hiw words are being twisted. There is no peace without truth Mary. It is the truth which sets us free (John 8:32), not falsehood.

  • The author wrote, “…It would seem that for some, the fear of being lumped in with those who see the Blessed Mother in every scrap of burnt toast or every dilapidated barn door holds far more sway than believing that the Blessed Mother has appeared in human history to bring attention to her Son, the Savior of us all. Sadly, the construct of rebellion is prevalent in all areas, even among some faithful Catholics…”

    What the author is saying is that because some rebel against the Church’s authority, they even reject or disregard Our Lady’s appearances to mankind. Our Lady always leads people to Jesus her Son and His Church. The author is not saying. or suggesting in any way, that Michael Brown is some sort of ersatz Magisterium of the Church or Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

    To suggest otherwise is to engage in dishonesty.

  • Thomas, you are demonstrating the pedantic nature of the “lawyerly” arguments for Relativism. Argue all the brush strokes away and soon the painting itself will no longer exist for you.

  • “Just because people don’t like what Michael Brown writes — no matter how well researched it is — doesn’t mean they’re part of the construct of rebellion. I certainly accept that Mary appears in the world and that God works miracles. I don’t necessarily like Michael Brown’s approach.”

    I agree. I read Spirit Daily, probably more than I should, and I always come away from the site with confusion, not peace.

    What has always bothered me about Michael Brown is his very heavy reliance on non-Church approved apparitions, particularly the “1990 prophecy”. It’s clear to me that he believes all of them, even those which have not received Church approval. I certainly believe Mary has and still does appear in the world, but there are so many alleged apparitions, and many of them contradict each other.

    I certainly don’t believe they should all be thrown out, but they need to be examined. Michael Brown is always going on about today’s Church “throwing out the mystical”, but I don’t believe that’s a fair claim. Why is it so “bad” to discern these apparitions, and if something about one doesn’t make sense, discard it? Why did God give us intellects if He doesn’t want us to use them?

    Michael Brown may be well-intentioned, but the net result of reading his site is confusion.

  • Elizabeth writes “What has always bothered me about Michael Brown is his very heavy reliance on non-Church approved apparitions, particularly the “1990 prophecy”. It’s clear to me that he believes all of them, even those which have not received Church approval.”

    Elizabeth, calumny is a sin. I would refer you to what the Catechism of the Catholic Church has to say in that regard. Mr. Brown has said – repeatedly – that we MUST accept the Church’s final decision on ANY apparition site. And this includes Medjugorje. For you to imply that Mr. Brown is someow failing to discern the authenticity of an apparition site or that he does not accept the Church’s ultimate authority is preposterous.

    Gaudium et Spes (specifically No. 28) forbids judging a person’s interior dispositions. I suggest you meditate very carefully on that teaching.

  • In Fides et Ratio, No. 16, Pope John Paul II teaches us that, “The world and all that happens within it, including history and the fate of peoples, are realities to be observed, analysed and assessed with all the resources of reason, but without faith ever being foreign to the process. Faith intervenes not to abolish reason’s autonomy nor to reduce its scope for action, but solely to bring the human being to understand that in these events it is the God of Israel who acts. Thus the world and the events of history cannot be understood in depth without professing faith in the God who is at work in them. Faith sharpens the inner eye, opening the mind to discover in the flux of events the workings of Providence. Here the words of the Book of Proverbs are pertinent: “The human mind plans the way, but the Lord directs the steps” (16:9). This is to say that with the light of reason human beings can know which path to take, but they can follow that path to its end, quickly and unhindered, only if with a rightly tuned spirit they search for it within the horizon of faith. Therefore, reason and faith cannot be separated without diminishing the capacity of men and women to know themselves, the world and God in an appropriate way.”

    Faith and reason are described by His Holiness in this important Encyclical Letter as two lungs. Imagine how difficult it is to breathe properly with only one lung!

    Michael Brown is all for discernment of private revelation. But, along with St. Paul, he believes that we shouldn’t despise prophecy. Understand the difference?

  • peter santos: You accuse Elizabeth of sin because she expresses concerns about a Catholic writer and speaker. You accuse her of “judging a person’s interior dispositions”, and then lecture her on how she should meditate on Church documents.

    Elizabeth states that, in her opinion, Michael Brown relies heavily on non-Church approved apparitions, particularly the “1990 prophecy”. This is not judging Mr. Brown’s “interior dispositions”, but simply stating fact. On Spirit Daily, Mr. Brown mentions the “1990 prophecy” VERY frequently, and is quick to defend Medjugorje. Yes, he does state clearly that we should accept the final decisions of the Church on these matters. But, that does not negate what Elizabeth wrote.

    It seems to me that because you disagree with Elizabeth YOU assume evil motives on HER part. She says nothing in her post that would constitute the “sin” you claim she has committed. YOU are the one who has accused someone of sin because of a post. Elizabeth makes no such accusation.

    As an aside, I follow Spirit Daily and have for about 4 years now. I enjoy reading both the links and Mr. Brown’s own articles. Much discernment is needed in digesting these writings, clearly, as Mr. Brown’s opinions do not constitute official Church teaching. Stating that plain fact is NOT a sin, Peter.

  • For Elizabeth to assert that Michael Brown believes all apparitions or private revelation, “even those which have not received Church approval,” is calumnious. It’s a lie. He has written against certain private revelations which were obviously false. The rest he commends to the Church.

    Calumny is, objectively speaking, sinful. It may even constitute grave sin. It offends against both charity and truth. It is a violation of justice.

  • For Elizabeth (and anyone else who falsely accuses Michael Brown of accepting all apparitions), I submit the following words of Mr. Brown himself from 2005:

    Discerning Apparitions A Difficult Process

    [Q & A by Michael H. Brown]

    In the past twenty years there has been an explosion of alleged apparitions, locutions, stigmatics, and healers. Which are real and which are not?

    I would never attempt such a list, because I don’t have the authority to do so. We simply go by what the Church has decided, unless there is not yet a decision, in which case we try to exercise discernment.

    How do you tell if an apparition is real?

    This is one of the hardest questions in the world to answer. The process of what we call “discernment” is intensely complex. It’s also very personal. There is no formula. Some apparitions miss certain criteria and yet bear signs of authenticity while others seem to fill most standards but have problems at their very root. In the end, only through prayer and fasting can we get a true inkling. It is the spirit — not the mind — that discerns.

    You mean a “gut feeling”?

    No. I mean a feeling in the depths of the spirit after a period of fasting. When we fast, we are more sensitive to evil. We are more likely to know if it is present. This is very important.

    But aren’t there some tips to discernment?

    In the Bible it says that “by their fruits you will know them,” and so this is certainly one major facet. But we have to be careful about what we consider “fruits.” I have seen many cases in which people adhering to what turned out to be a deceptive circumstance had a great first impression, or even found the visit a major step in their return to the faith, to their conversion. God can take good from evil. He can draw with crooked lines. It is for that reason that we must be careful in speaking negatively about a circumstance, even if there are indications of problems; we don’t want to discourage those who have had good experiences.

    Are there often problems?

    Most claims of apparitions, visions, or locutions are a mix — in other words, there are parts that seem inspired, parts that come from the person’s subconscious, and parts that may be from a source that is deceptive or demonic. All of us are in touch with God and those who feel they have a special “line” of communication may in some cases have such a special gift, although too frequently this leads to ego, and ego leads to a person putting his or her own spin on what they think they have been “told.” This is very common, and why so many predictions do not materialize: The prophecy was not a direct communication but filtered through the ideas, preconceptions, and feelings of a person. It is the demonic component that of course concerns us the most. A demonic influence can cause not only spiritual trickery but also deep discouragement, division, and illness.

    Is divisiveness a standard of discernment?

    Certainly, it’s one. Now, remember that even with the authentic apparitions like Fatima or Lourdes or Medjugorje, which the Pope discerned as worthy of devotion (in recently publicized private letters), there is resistance. There is spiritual warfare. And that can lead to division. There will be some division. But that division usually is far outweighed by good fruits such as conversion. If division is the main effect, or if there is constant, lasting rancor, and a lack of peace, then there is a problem with the apparitions. We can also say to watch out for pride among the seers, attempts at self-promotion, and the spawning of a cult-like following. Cults in the bad sense of that term are a bad fruit (there are also holy cults, when proclaimed as such by Rome). Those who begin to exclude others because they don’t believe in a certain apparition are not in tune with the Holy Spirit, Who tells us through the Church that we don’t have to accept a private revelation. Meanwhile, we must watch for prophecies that are too gloomy and dark, that give messages of tremendous specificity, that ramble on at great length, and that contain messages threatening people who don’t believe in the particular revelation. There are some messages that have denounced anyone who won’t help purvey a private revelation. As soon as I see that, I know there is deception.

    What about those that mention the anti-christ?

    We have to weigh these with special caution. In my discernment there is truth to the coming of a personage of evil, and certainly major events, but we have to be cautious about believing that the coming scenario will exactly fit the scenarios spawned by those who have speculated on specific end-times schedules. Are we in the end times? We are at the end of an era. It is a very, very important time. It is not the end of the world. What is about to happen will fit the general prophetic pulse we have heard now for nearly 25 years (since the onset of Medjugorje, which caused an explosion in private revelation), but it will occur in ways we don’t specifically anticipate and that make sense (the feeling of, “oh, yeah, of course”) only in retrospect.

    What percent of seers are authentic?

    It’s impossible to say. What we can say is that very, very few are corporeal apparitions at the level of a Lourdes or Fatima. “Corporeal” is to see the Blessed Mother as a full-bodied, multi-dimensional apparition similar to the way we see another person: with eyes wide open. Some who claim this are imagining it, are projecting a “vision,” and a vision can be authentic, but it is not at the level of an apparition.

    How prevalent is actual demonism in alleged revelations?

    It is not uncommon. That is one way to put it. This is the fast lane of mysticism, which is one reason the Church is cautious. I might add that I am always perplexed by why a local bishop usually uses the term, “no evidence of the supernatural,” to dismiss a troublesome apparition. Often, there is plenty of evidence of the supernatural, but it’s supernaturality that is coming from the wrong source. At the same time, and overall, private revelation is of great benefit and as in Jesus’ time, among the Pharisees and Sadducees, it is sorely neglected by the official Church.

    Is the U.S. Church more closed and skeptical toward apparitions and phenomena like weeping statues than other nations?

    Yes, due to our scientific bent, much more skeptical.

    Why do you believe in Medjugorje?

    I have been there I think seven times, and I didn’t believe in it the first few hours I was there. I thought it was collective hysteria. Then I started to see phenomena myself — a lot of it — and tremendous, tremendous fruit, whereby virtually everyone who was going there was experiencing a deepening of faith or outright conversion unlike any other religious encounter with which I was familiar, just really profound and in most cases lasting. I had never seen people touched on such a massive scale. Dozens of millions have been affected in a way that can be compared only with older sites such as Lourdes or with trips to the Holy Land. Medjugorje leaves a feeling of peace and well-being and conversion.

    Whereas a false apparition?

    Another way of discerning a false apparition or a false anything is that it tends to drain you. It takes your energy. This is a hidden means of discernment: it takes more than it gives. It is temporary. This is often a good way to evaluate any situation, although like everything else in this field, there are exceptions (no foolproof means of discernment). We are very open to mysticism — it is crucial to our time and to any time — but we urge folks not to become involved in new such claims unless they are fasting and staying close to the New Testament. Daily reading of the Bible puts us in the correct frame of mind and is probably the best way to discern an apparition.


    As for his acceptance of Medjugorje, there is nothing against faith there. A decision has not been made regarding that alleged apparition site. Mr. Brown has already said that he will ACCEPT THE CHURCH’S DECISION.

    Elizabeth is engaging in calumny. She should make this right.

  • I don’t understand where you’re coming from. How can you be so bold as to assume I’m in a state of mortal sin? Isn’t that up to God to judge? Not you?

    What exactly IS the “1990 prophecy”? Has it undergone Church scrutiny? Has it been submitted to any Church authorities for discernment and/or approval? I have been reading Spirit Daily for about 5 or 6 years. This is what I meant by an unapproved private revelation. There is no source and no mention of it ever being submitted to the Church.

    Medjugorje is different. It hasn’t been formally approved by the Church, but the Church is more than aware of it, so to speak. Not so with the 1990 prophecy.

    There is good on his site (his articles on Maria Esperanza, but much that leaves me, and others I’m sure, scratching their heads. There is a lot of stuff from his “mailbag” that makes me wonder. How much of this is real, and how much of it is coming from people’s overwrought imaginations? He needs to be more careful when presenting these viewpoints and some sites he links to. It’s all very confusing and doesn’t help the average person on their spiritual journey. That is all.

  • Elizabeth, Peter never said you are in “a state of mortal sin.” Your dishonesty is showing again. He wrote, “Calumny is, objectively speaking, sinful. It may even constitute grave sin. It offends against both charity and truth. It is a violation of justice.”

    You falsely accused Mr. Brown of accepting ALL private revelation, “even those which have not received Church approval.” This is – objectively speaking – calumnious. But rather than acknowledging that your post was false and unjust, you now assume a defensive posture and accuse Peter of judging your soul.

    When will your dishonesty cease? You are behaving very poorly.

  • I know what I wrote. I don’t appreciate Elizabeth’s false accusation against me.

  • This is the time I will ever read or visit this site. I’ve been accused of being a poor reader, of trying to wear down an author after a mere two posts, being dishonest, being egotistical, twisting words which were clearly written, and of being a relativist. Elizabeth comes along and gives her opinion that Michael Brown relies too heavily on Marian apparitions and personal revelation and she’s accused of calumny. There is no engagement of ideas here, only personal animus. The impression one is left with is that if one does not agree with everything written at this site, then that one is necessarily part of the construct of rebellion. Not exactly the best impression to leave with anyone.

  • Sorry, meant to say “This is the last time I will ever read or visit this site.”

  • Thomas, you’re not here to participate in a “dialogue.” Like Elizabeth, you’re here to level false accusations. Read Peter’s post of Michael Brown’s article from 2005. He does not accept all private revelation uncritically. Nor has anyone (including himself) held up Mr. Brown as “the authority” on all private revelation.

    As Christians, let us refrain from such falsehoods.

  • I will never cease to be amazed how the internet has the capacity to take a solid, well formed argument for the faith, and transform it into this demonstration of the classic “my father can beat up your father” form of analysis (or in this case, “my Mary can beat up your Mary” such as this thread has morphed into.

    Will wonders ever cease.

    Yes indeed, a great illustration of how the the internet is a wonderful tool for the faith… or is it that the internet is the place to witness the faith of tools?

  • Apparently Fr. Moyle has no problem with calumny. Maybe he should brush up on his Catechism. If this thread has “morphed” into something unproductive, it is because of unfair allegations and misinterpretations.

    Asinine comment Father. With all due respect for your priestly office. Asinine.

  • “Detraction and calumny destroy the reputation and honor of one’s neighbor. Honor is the social witness given to human dignity, and everyone enjoys a natural right to the honor of his name and reputation and to respect. Thus, detraction and calumny offend against the virtues of justice and charity.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2479).

    I would exhort those who visit this thread to read Michael Brown’s 2005 article on discerning private revelation and hold Elizabeth’s false accusations up to the light of truth.

  • I agree with you Peter. Where was Father Tim when Elizabeth was leveling a false accusation against Michael Brown? He chides you for exposing Elizabeth’s false accusation against Michael Brown and showing it for what it is and describes it as a “my father can beat up your father form of analysis.”

    Father is a disappointment.

  • I am closing this thread.

    In the future please stay on the topic at hand.

  • Pingback: If You Want The Political Left To Run Governments, Look At What The Religious Left Have Done To Religion (Left It In Tatters) « The American Catholic
  • Pingback: As Our Modern, Western Culture Begins To Implode, The Catholic Church Is Our Last, Best Hope « The American Catholic
  • Pingback: The Coming Open Rebellion Against God « The American Catholic
  • Pingback: Lent 2010; The Tide Continues To Turn Toward Catholic Orthodoxy « The American Catholic
  • Pingback: Why They Attack Pope Benedict XVI « The American Catholic
  • Pingback: Liberal Dystopia of Political Correctness « The American Catholic
  • Pingback: Margaritaville Christianity; God’s Way Or Our Way? « The American Catholic