Sunday, August 21, 2016

How the Devil Works

As I relate in my book, Paul VI Paul VI offered libido as one way Satan, the “malign, clever seducer” undermines man’s sexual morality with his “sophistry.” The Devil’s strategy here, as the Pope cautioned, is “eminently logical.” He approaches man with what amounts to a false reason in his mind, which, if dwelled on, can influence the will by rousing him to do something evil which seems to be good. Deceit is basic to his strategy.

A contemporary demonstration:

During the Synod on the Family in 2015 Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge argued against using the terms “intrinsically disordered” or “evil” to describe homosexual acts.  Moreover he argued that the traditional Catholic understanding of loving the sinner while hating the sin “no longer communicates” “in the real world” where sexuality is “part of [your] entire being.” Result? The moral legitimzation of mortal sin as revealed by the Creator!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Ain't No Sunshine?

At the close of Vatican II, Blessed Pope Paul VI remarked that Christianity, the religion of God-Incarnate, had encountered the religion of man-made God. He was of the opinion that much of the Council was given over to demonstrating the compatibility of Enlightenment belief with Catholicism.  Several years hence, on June 29, 1972, Paul delivered another assessment of the state of the Roman Catholic Church since the close of Vatican II. As Cardinal Silvio Oddi recalled it (in an article first published on March 17, 1990, in Il Sabato magazine in Rome) the Holy Father told a congregation:

We have the impression that through some cracks in the wall the smoke of Satan has entered the temple of God: it is doubt, uncertainty, questioning, dissatisfaction, confrontation. And how did this come about? We will confide to you the thought that may be, we ourselves admit in free discussion, that may be unfounded, and that is that there has been a power, an adversary power. Let us call him by his name: the devil. We thought that after the Council a day of sunshine would have dawned for the history of the Church. What dawned instead was a day of clouds and storms, of darkness, ofsearching and uncertainties. 

Sunday, August 14, 2016

A View from the Bottom

The following discourse took place on social media, concerning Hilary Clinton's view that  the Unborn Person Doesn’t Have Constitutional Rights’: 

Susanne Sadly many women vote democrat on this one issue ... most of them have ZERO clue as to what third trimester abortion is or that the unborn "person" would likely survive birth. Makes me sick!

Rose Thank you for sharing Donald.

Donald What you also notice and what I think God will judge more harshly than disbelief in God, are this folks who claum to be Christian but don't speak out against abortion. This of course, makes them hypocrites but far worse than that in God's view. It takes courage to speak out. Most people are not courageous.

Kim I know many people who claim to be Catholic but are pro abortion. I just don't know how the justify this in their head and heart...

Did you ever notice that when people take issue with Catholic teaching, rarely does it concern the Hypostatic Union, the Vatican’s guidelines on road rage, or the Vatican Conference on Extraterrestrial Life? No, those things with which they take issue bear directly or vicariously on their sexual lives — homosexuality, same-sex “marriage,” premarital sex, adultery, contraception, masturbation, population control, abortion, divorce, remarriage, in vitro fertilization, etc. Remember Our Lord’s words on this: "What comes out of a man is what defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, fornication, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a man." Recall too that, as Fr. Charles Curran has reminded us, dissent from Humanae Vitae “was paradigmatic of the dissent in all specific moral questions.” My advice to those who still doubt in our sexually-befuddled world is that it is a fatal error not to observe “how Lucifer actually works and why he is so intent on perverting our sexuality.”  Indeed, a Catholic understanding of human sexuality gives us “a glimpse of the ‘great mystery’ of God’s plan to unite all things in Christ.”

Friday, August 12, 2016

Deliver Us From Evil

Pope Paul VI became of a mind that by 1972 an “adversary power” which he called by his name  –   the Devil  –  had entered the Church. Bishop Fulton Sheen warned us in his popular retelling of the life of Christ, The Eternal Galilean: "Do not mock the Gospels and say there is no Satan. Evil is too real in the world to say that. Do not say the idea of Satan is dead and gone. Satan never gains so many cohorts as when, in his shrewdness, he spreads the rumor that he is long since dead." Such an attitude only leaves the devil freer than he would otherwise be to work to gain souls for hell. “I am who am not.”
A 1997 survey of beliefs about Satan revealed that 69 percent of Catholics believe that “Satan is only a symbol of evil;” only 26% believing that “Satan is a living being.” Pope Paul instructs us that the former position is “a departure from the picture provided by biblical Church teaching.…” This appears as one little “crack in the wall” through which the smoke could enter. Priests, catechists and religious who take the Devil lightly are indeed the easiest target for what St. Paul termed “the mystery of iniquity.”  What the Sisters of Notre Dame De Namur taught me regarding the reality of the Devil prior to Vatican II is no different from what the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches today:

The doctrine of original sin, closely connected with that of redemption by Christ, provides lucid discernment of man's situation and activity in the world. By our first parents' sin, the devil has acquired a certain domination over man, even though man remains free[emphasis added]. Original sin entails 'captivity under the power of him who thenceforth had the power of death, that is, the devil. Ignorance of the fact that man has a wounded nature inclined to evil gives rise to serious errors in the areas of education, politics, social action and morals.

This originally good angel, the Devil, is a powerful spiritual creature whose goal is to destroy us by turning us against the Father. Christians refer to him every time they pray the Lord’s Prayer—“deliver us from evil” refers to the Evil One, of and to whom Jesus spoke regularly in the Gospels, the angel who opposes his Father. The Catechism broadens this teaching, noting that “heresy, apostasy, and schism--do not occur without human sin: Where there are sins, there are also divisions, schisms, heresies, and disputes.” Thirty years of teaching in Catholic schools, all of them since the time of Vatican II, has taught me that the Church has witnessed the aforementioned errors in the Sacred Liturgy, religious life, catechesis, social action, and morals, all of which have divided the People of God.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Faith in Teens

I am one of the generational Catholics schooled in the Faith by the teaching of the Baltimore Catechism prior to Vatican II, which the post-Vatican II religious education establishment branded as defective pedagogy. My quarrel with them is not over their contention concerning the style of teaching, but rather their view that the truths of the Catholic faith on the existence and nature of God, the creation and Fall, the Incarnation and Redemption, and the Church set down in the Baltimore Catechism were defective as well. My experience after 36 years of teaching in Cathodic schools, all of them since Vatican II, is that CAtholic students are still doctrinally illiterate when compared with pre-Vatican II students. Here is proof.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Party Platforms and the Family

I realize that whoever wins the Presidency, he or she is not bound by their party's platform. An analysis of the major parties’ platforms nonetheless reveals a difficult truth: Neither party is committed to the family in the same way or to the same extent to which Catholic social teaching demands.

Republicans, while implying an understanding of the nature of the family and its centrality to society, fail to consider its well-being consistently across the board. Democrats on the other hand, support some policies that provide needed relief to families, but this comes almost in spite of the severely flawed, individualistic, adult-centric vision of family life and marriage that they advance.
Thus, the believing Catholic must pray for our elected officials in the hope that they will develop a more profound reverence for the family and commit themselves to protecting and promoting it, and with it, the common good. Catholics must also continue to strengthen families in the culture and in our own communities, recognizing that public policy alone cannot solve the crisis of family life in this country.

Finally, Catholics across our country must acknowledge that much-needed changes in the political landscape will not come without our active participation, if not leadership, in the public life of our communities, states and nation.

Friday, July 29, 2016

The Domestic Church (the Family) and Domestic Politics

The Church considers the dignity of the human person to be the foundation of its social teaching; indeed, the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church tells us that the family is “the first natural society” and places it at “the center of social life.” The natural family, or the “domestic church,” is the context in which all men and women either live out their vocations or are prepared for them.
So—what’s good for the family is good for both the individual and for wider society, and good public policy is, therefore, family policy
Yet we live at a time when the family in America is being ripped apart by many social and market forces. All the crises our nations faces — from identity to economic — are either caused by the breakdown of the family or directly contribute to it.

Remember that Pope Francis says in his post-synodal apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love), “the welfare of the family is decisive for the future of the world and that of the Church” (31). So as Campaign “16 begins, seriously consider the vision of the family offered by the Republican and the Democratic Parties, as well as how the planks of their platforms will help or hurt families. (to be continued….)