Sunday, February 12, 2017

Libido Redux: Church of Perverts

Wild Bill is a Protestant brother, but he is right on here, and Paul VI would agree....

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Kreeft defends belief in angels and demons from modern ‘snobbery’ - The Michigan Catholic

Kreeft defends belief in angels and demons from modern ‘snobbery’ - The Michigan Catholic:

'via Blog this'

Mass Confusion in the Body

I would like to share a reflection by Fr. Longenecker. Reflecting on his conversion to the Church some 13 years hence, he remarked:
Famous converts to the Church

"What I was not prepared for was to find two Churches within Holy Mother Church. These two churches are very difficult to identify and define because the two different groups cannot be separated according to outward criteria alone. It is too easy to divide these two groups according to ‘liberal’ or ‘conservative’; ‘charismatic’ or ‘traditionalist’; ‘right wing’ or ‘left wing’. The two groups I am talking about exist within all these preferences. The two groups are distinguished not so much by what they do, the way they worship or the causes they espouse, but by their underlying understanding of just what the Catholic Church is for."

In writing my book on the Church after Vatican II, I ran across the following observation from a prominent Jesuit after the Council:

It is clear that the Church is facing a grave crisis. Under the name of 'the new Church,' 'the post-conciliar Church,' a different Church from that of Jesus Christ is now trying to establish itself; an anthropocentric society threatened with immanentist apostasy which is allowing itself to be swept along in a movement of general abdication under the pretext of renewal, ecumenism, or adaptation.

                                                             -Cardinal Henri de Lubac, S.J., Christian Witness (1967)

I spent 7 summers researching and writing about just  how this schism in the Body of Christ came about from the perspective of one who is a cradle Catholic, and agree with Fr. Longenecker that many are in ignorance of "what the Church is for". To find out, the confused need only read the documents of Vatican II, or my synopsis. 

Fr. added a succinct summary of catechetical teaching on the reason Jesus established his Church:

 "[The Church] is about a supernatural transaction between God and mankind. It is the old, old story of a race fallen into sin, and a God who lowers himself to seek and to save that which is lost. Life, and especially the Christian life is about our search for the God who is searching for us. It is about stepping out on the adventure of faith to search for a city whose founder is God. It is about engaging in the war for our souls, and being determined never to sacrifice our eternal happiness in a search only for happiness in this life. Where this old story is preached and lived with dynamic discipline, hearty good humor and joyful abandon the faith will flourish. Where it is abandoned the faith will soon falter. It is vitally necessary within our catechesis, the formation of our children, the instruction of priests and the teaching of the whole church that we renew the foundations of our faith. If we do not there will soon be no faith left. If we do, the faith will flourish and we will build a church which will have the strength, the power and the glory to welcome home many more of her lost and wayward children."

I argue in my book that the gates of hell will never cease in the effort in "the war for our souls." We as the Body of Christ must never cease efforts to reverse the comtemporaryand search only for happiness in this life at the expense of our eternal happiness. To quote Ralph Martin, "Will Many be Saved?"

The Devil is in the Details in Aleppo

This brave priest has an interesting analysis of the conflict in Syria....

written by wierd duk
saturday february 4, 2017

Flemish Father Daniël Maes (78) lives in Syria in the sixth-century-old Mar Yakub monastery in the city of Qara, 90 kilometers north of the capital Damascus. Father Daniel has been a witness to the “civil war” and according to him, Western reports on the conflict in Syria are very misleading. In short: “the Americans and their allies want to completely ruin the country.” 

Interviewer: You are very critical of the media coverage on Syria. What is bothering you?

Father Daniel: “The idea that a popular uprising took place against President Assad is completely false. I’ve been in Qara since 2010 and I have seen with my own eyes how agitators from outside Syria organized protests against the government and recruited young people. That was filmed and aired by Al Jazeera to give the impression that a rebellion was taking place. Murders were committed by foreign terrorists, against the Sunni and Christian communities, in an effort to sow religious and ethnic discord among the Syrian people. While in my experience, the Syrian people were actually very united.

Before the war, this was a harmonious country: a secular state in which different religious communities lived side by side peacefully. There was hardly any poverty, education was free, and health care was good. It was only not possible to freely express your political views. But most people did not care about that.”

Interviewer: Mother Agnès-Mariam, of your Mar Yakub (“Saint Jacob”) monastery, is accused of siding with the regime. She has friends at the highest level.

Father Daniel: “Mother Agnès-Mariam helps the population: she has recently opened a soup kitchen in Aleppo, where 25,000 meals are prepared five times a week. Look, it is miraculous that we are still alive. We owe that to the army of Assad’s government and to Vladimir Putin, because he decided to intervene when the rebels threatened to take power.

When thousands of terrorists settled in Qara, we became afraid for our lives. They came from the Gulf States, Saudi Arabia, Europe, Turkey, Libya, there were many Chechens. They formed a foreign occupation force, all allied to al-Qaeda and other terrorists. Armed to the teeth by the West and their allies with the intention to act against us, they literally said: “This country belongs to us now.” Often, they were drugged, they fought each other, in the evening they fired randomly. We had to hide in the crypts of the monastery for a long time. When the Syrian army chased them away, everybody was happy: the Syrian citizens because they hate the foreign rebels, and we because peace had returned.”

Interviewer: You say that the Syrian Army protects civilians, yet there are all sorts of reports about war crimes committed by Assad’s forces, such as the bombardments with barrel bombs.

Father Daniel: “Do you not know that the media coverage on Syria is the biggest media lie of our time? They have sold pure nonsense about Assad. It was actually the rebels who plundered and killed. Do you think that the Syrian people are stupid? Do you think those people were forced to cheer for Assad and Putin? It is the Americans who have a hand in all of this, for pipelines and natural resources in this region and to thwart Putin.”

Saudi Arabia and Qatar want to establish a Sunni state in Syria, without religious freedom. Therefore, Assad must go. You know, when the Syrian army was preparing for the battle in Aleppo, Muslim soldiers came to me to be blessed. Between ordinary Muslims and Christians, there is no problem. It is those radical Islamic, Western-backed rebels who want to massacre us. They are all al Qaeda and IS. There are not any moderate fighters anymore.”

Interviewer: You once mentioned Hillary Clinton to be a "devil in holy water," because as Secretary of State she deliberately worsened the conflict.

Father Daniel: “I am happy with Trump. He sees what every normal person understands: That the United States should stop undermining countries which possess natural resources. The Americans’ attempt to impose a unipolar world is the biggest problem. Trump understands that radical Islam is a bigger threat than Russia.

What do I care whether he occasionally takes off his pants? If Trump practices geopolitics the way he has promised to do so, then the future looks bright. Then it will become similar to Putin’s approach. And hopefully then, there will be a solution for Syria, and peace will return.”

Interviewer: You understand that your analysis is controversial and will encounter much criticism?

Father Daniel: “I speak from personal observation. And no one has to believe me, right? But I know one thing: The media can either contribute to the massacre of the Syrian people or help the Syrian people, with their media coverage. Unfortunately, there are too many followers and cowards among journalists.”

Reprinted with author's permission from Algemeen Dagblad. Translation: SOTT. Photo: Sjoerd Mouissie

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Libido Redux: California's Proposition 60

The Catholic Church, founded by Jesus Christ, remains the great exception to the sexual revolution.  Facilitated technologically by the oral contraceptive and culturally by rapid secularization, this revolution successfully separated sex from babies, and, in short order, sex from marriage, sex from love, and even love from marriage, if love is understood to have a sacrificial, enduring character (think “no –fault” divorce).

The sexual revolution has crushed everything in its path, including most, (not ALL) Christian churches in the West, which it rendered both impotent and sterile.  The Catholic Church has been the lone institutional holdout, earning for itself puzzlement from her friends and ferocious hostility from enemies.  Catholic teaching has insisted that both natural reason and biblical revelation teach that sex, love, marriage and children all belong together in the complementarity of men and women made in the image and likeness of God.  For both human happiness and holiness, Catholic teaching holds that what God has joined together, man must not put asunder.

The sexual revolution put everything asunder.  For 50 years its devotees have waited for the day of the great capitulation, when a great collapse would befall the Catholic Church, and it would make its peace with the sexual revolution.  Let us remember that  that the role of the Church is to transform the culture, not to be transformed by the culture…. On this blof I have documented instances of the influenced of the demonic on the secular viewpoint on human sexuality. Some examples here, here, and the latest, California's Proposition 60. As I have said in my book, Paul VI prophetically casts light on the darkness produced by the sexual revolution:

"It is also to be feared that the man, growing used to the employment of anti-conceptive practices, may finally lose respect for the woman and, no longer caring for her physical and psychological equilibrium, may come to the point of considering her as a mere instrument of selfish enjoyment, and no longer his respected and beloved companion."  Humanae Vitae, Encyclical Letter of Pope Paul VI on the Regulation of Birth (July 25, 1968).

Let the marchers take note.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Divide et opera

Division within Christ’s Church, such as that which exists at present over Amoris rlaetitia, Pope Francis' post-synodal apostolic exhortation  is a clear attack by the evil one. Satan’s strategy here is the time-honored one of divide et impera  –  divide and conquer. Remember Jesus’ words to the Pharisees? “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand.” Quite simply, no ideology, no matter how sincerely embraced, may substitute for personal conversion, for, in the case of divirced and remarried Catholics,  entering the narrow gate.

When Pope Francis issued Amoris Laetitia it produced a controversy around an unanswered question—whether or not divorced and remarried Catholics might be admitted to the Eucharist in certain circumstances. At two synods the proposal, pushed by prelates handpicked by Francis, faced strong opposition from many bishops and didn’t achieve consensus. The document produced by the 2015 synod came up with an ambiguous formula, essentially fudging the issue.
After the synod all eyes were on The Holy Father to see if he would intervene with a clear decision. When it arrived, alas the answer, hidden away in two footnotes, was still ambiguous.

The current fallout centers largely on how the Pope’s words are to be interpreted. The German bishops’ conferences seems more or less united in favor of liberalizing the discipline, while Poland’s insists that nothing has changed. The bishops of Buenos Aires wrote a document suggesting that the way is now open for Communion for the remarried in some cases where subjective guilt might be diminished. Francis answered with a private letter commending this interpretation as the right one. In what has become a familiar aspect of disputes around the Pope’s real intentions, the purportedly private exchange was leaked – a transparent attempt to give momentum to the liberalizing tendency.

The division also divides episcopal conferences internally. Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia published norms for his diocese which made it clear that the discipline there would remain unchanged. Those in irregular unions might receive Communion only if they lived in continence. Cardinal Kevin Farrell criticized Chaput and implied that such a policy should be more open to Francis’s favored “option of mercy”.

Then a letter was made public, addressed to the Pope by four cardinals in the form of dubia, “doubts”, traditionally addressed to the competent Roman authority by those seeking clarification of points of Church teaching or canon law deemed insufficiently clear.

Of the cardinals concerned, only one is currently serving, albeit in a role of reduced importance. He is Cardinal Raymond Burke.The other three cardinals are all retired.

The dubia made reference to Pope Saint John Paul the Great’s landmark texts Familiaris Consortio and Veritatis Splendor. It is evident that its questions’ intent was to suggest that there are difficulties in reconciling Amoris Laetitia with established Catholic doctrine.

Because the Pope refused to response to the four cardinals, they decided to make the dubia public, a seeming direct challenge to Francis, suggesting that the Holy Father is possibly teaching error.

If Francis were to state that the principles taught by St John Paul II were no longer part of the Church’s teaching, he would provoke open revolt among those who cling to the entire Catholic tradition as it has evolved over the centuries, and relativize his own teaching authority.

If Francis reaffirms the previous teaching, then he must either give up his attempts to reform the discipline of the sacraments, or show that the contradiction is not a reversal of former teaching but a development of doctrine, which it is not.

Challenging the judgments of a pope doesn’t render one a renegade from the Catholic faith. What is concerning is the anti-intellectualism which seems present in those in favor of the heterodox view. One such shepherd admonished the four cardinals for making “sophisticated arguments,” as if this were a sin. Pope Francis has said that “realities are greater than ideas”. This is indicative of Pope Paul VI’s view, outlined in my book, that a contempt for rationality and logical discourse risks handing over the Church to the reign of the emotive and the sentimental in a way which cannot in the end sustain its efforts to evangelize, which is the Devil’s primary desire. Paul wrote:

He (the Devil) is the malign, clever seducer who knows how to make his way into us through the senses, the imagination and the libido, through utopian logic, or through disordered social contacts in the give and take of our activities, so that he can bring about in us deviations that are all the more harmful because they seem to conform to our physical or mental makeup, or to our profound, instinctive aspirations.

Popes are human beings whose job is to teach Christian doctrine, and in cases of necessity to intervene to restore unity on the basis of truth. They can make errors of judgment in pursuing this task, as they have in the past and doubtless will in the future. They teach and govern in union with their collaborators – the bishops – who have a role in advising them and, if necessary, urging caution.

Pope Francis has chosen to open a debate, and as shepherds of the faithful he or one of his successors will be called upon to close it with the help of His brother bishops. Oremus.