Sunday, November 16, 2014

What Are We To Make of Pope Francis?


Having written on the causes of the crisis of faith bordering on apostasy in many Catholic circles in these troubled times, and troubled times are nothing new to the faithful disciple of Christ, I from time to time watch "Church Militant TV." Now, mind you, do not be dissuaded by use of the term "militant." If we are in a spiritual war, and we are, then the fight against evil we are all called to by virtue of our baptismal promises will from time to time employ bellicose terminology: From St. Paul to the Ephesians:

Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 

Now, to the subject of Pope Francis. I have chatted with many who think he is the only relevant thing the Church has going for her these days, and with those who believe his pontificate will oversee a schism soon, reminiscent of the Great
Western Schism of 1054. What to make of the controversy coming out of Rome of late if one is a regular occupier of a pew each Sabbath? As of yet I have not found anything that is not tried and true on Church Militant TV. It is balanced an accurately assesses the crisis of faith I wrote about in The Smoke of Satan. Give it a try.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

What Went On at Vatican II?

As I recount in my book, a school of thought exists which interprets Vatican II as an “event,” i.e., that the Council canonized an overriding and ongoing dynamic process of change—overriding, that is, the specific provisions of conciliar constitutions and the contexts in which they were formulated, and ongoing in that this view mandates that conciliar texts must be re-interpreted today in the light of this dynamic: “What would the Council have said now,” etc. This elevation of process into a hyper-hermeneutic, however is foreign to the historical reality of Council itself. This following of a so-called “spirit of the Council” rather than its “letter” is a way of reading into the Council documents whatever one wishes regardless of what they in fact say. 


There remains at present a very widespread attitude in the life of the Church―not only in respect to the Sacred Liturgy―that “Vatican II changed all that.” This is the popular slogan that summaries what Benedict XVI called “a hermeneutic of rupture.” This is what the “spirit of the Council” meant at grass-roots level. My recommendation? There is no substitute for reading the Vatican II documents for themselves. I did, which inspired me to pen The Smoke of Satan in the Temple of God: The Church in the United States Since the Second Vatican Council.


Saturday, November 8, 2014

Hell Hath No Fury....




In Catholic theological circles historically there has been the question of whether or not hell has any occupants. Much of this can be traced to the proposal of the “Anonymous Christian”, the controversial notion introduced by the Jesuit theologian Karl Rahner that declares that people who have never heard the Christian Gospel might be saved through Christ. Non-Christians could have "in [their] basic orientation and fundamental decision," Rahner wrote, "accepted the salvific grace of God, through Christ, although [they] may never have heard of the Christian revelation. I find all of this difficult to square with a close reading of Sacred Scripture, of which Monsignor Charles Pope offers only one example. Read and live each day God has given you as though it were your last....

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

As we Await the ExraordinarySynod on the family....

The extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family will meet at the Vatican Oct. 5-19, bringing together the presidents of national bishops' conferences, the heads of Eastern Catholic churches and Vatican officials. The world Synod of Bishops, which will include more bishops -- many elected by their peers -- will meet at the Vatican Oct. 4-25, 2015.

Clearly the traditional family has been under attack for some time. The Holy Father has remarked the the devil is trying to“destroy” the family because that is where children are born and learn to love. Pope Francis spoke of how the devil “attacks the family so much. The demon does not love it and seeks to destroy it.”


Less than a month after the end of a turbulent Synod of Bishops on the Family, Pope Francis will thus return to the Vatican’s synod hall on Nov. 17 to revisit the controversies raised by that summit from the perspective of how men and women relate to one another.
The key idea of the three-day meeting is “complementarity,” meaning that men and women have distinct roles which complement one another in the family, in married life, and in the Church itself. With this in mind watch the video presentation over view of the Humanum series, and pray for the family.



Saturday, November 1, 2014

Pope Francis and the Devil (Again)


In his homily of October 30, once again Pope Francis returned to a favorite theme, saying that the devil is more than an idea, and in order to fight him, Christians must follow St. Paul’s instructions and “put on the armor of God” which protects us: “In this generation, like so many others, people have been led to believe that the devil is a myth, a figure, an idea, the idea of evil. But the devil exists and we must fight against him,” said the Pope.

The day’s first reading was from St. Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians, in which the apostle warns against the temptations of the devil, telling Christians to clothe themselves with the armor of God so they can resist. The Holy Father said that a Christian life requires both strength and courage, and needs to be defended because it is a constant battle with the devil, who tempts with worldly attractions, the passions and our flesh.

“From whom do I have to defend myself? What must I do?” he asked, saying that St. Paul tells us to “put on God’s full armor, meaning that God acts as a defense, helping us to resist Satan’s temptations. Is this clear?”

Would that many who style themselves faithful Catholics understood what Francis does, that no spiritual or Christian life is possible without the need to resist temptation. Our battle is with the principalities and ruling forces of this world, which are rooted in the devil and his followers.

The Pope also pointed out that many Christians no longer believe in the devil, but rather think of him as “a myth, a figure, an idea, the idea of evil.” In this he echoes the famous homily of Paul VI of November, 1972, in which because of this disbelief, the Church’s greatest enemy thus became the need to defend her from Satan. The devil does exist, and Francis rightly teaches that we must constantly be on guard. “Paul tells us this, it’s not me saying it! The Word of God is telling us this. But we’re not all convinced of this,” said His Holiness. Pope Francis then narrated St. Paul’s description of the armor of God, of which the apostle says there are different types.

Paul urges the Ephesians to stand firm with the truth as “a belt around your waist,” the Pope observed, saying that the devil is a liar, and that in order to defeat him we always fight with the truth and with faith in God. Like Saint Paul says, our faith in God is a shield to defend ourselves against Satan, who “doesn't throw flowers at us (but) burning arrows” intended to kill, the pontiff expounded. “Life is a military endeavor. Christian life is a battle, a beautiful battle, because when God emerges victorious in every step of our life, this gives us joy, a great happiness,” the Pope continued, saying that our joy lies in the fact that it is the Lord who is the victor within us, giving us the free gift of salvation.

Francis also cautioned that “we’re all a bit lazy, aren’t we, in this battle and we allow ourselves to get carried away by our passions, by various temptations.” Why? Because each one of us is a sinner, he said, telling those present to not be downcast, but rather to have courage and be empowered by the awareness that the Lord is with us!


LIBIDO REDUX: "Why Can't We Just Let Teenage Girls Enjoy Their Sexuality?"

Here is why we cannot. And the remedy to the ever-present saturation? Explore here.

Advice in Defense of Marriage

How can the pro-family movement – pro-family individuals – effectively fight back? Can the homosexual pseudo-marriage steamroller be stopped? Here is sage advice from Life Site News:

  1. Understand the “gay marriage” battle. In the short run the “gay marriage” fight is all about forcing the normalizing of homosexuality on society. In their own way, that’s even how the courts see it. If you already concede that “domestic partners” or “civil unions” are fine, or that the behavior is not destructive and must be respected, then logically you eventually lose the argument. In the long run it’s about removing the timeless basis of morality from all our laws. We mustn’t let it get that far.
  2. Change your mindset to offense, not defense. Our side spends all its time in a defensive posture, reacting to things. Constant defense leads to eventual surrender. That’s become our mindset. We need to start becoming aggressive, taking ground, and charging forward. And think that way. That’s easier said than done, of course. But we’re focusing on that more than anything.
  3. Tell the truth. Use the vast storehouse of medical dangers, diseases,  psychological problems, addictions, domestic violence rates, multiple partners, “gay pride” perversions, or suicidal behavior, etc. associated with homosexuality, in this battle. Talk about the emotional trauma suffered by children growing up around homosexual behavior. Talk about the ex-gay movement (proof that homosexuality is not inborn) and the changes that come with healing. Don’t avoid this just because the Left doesn’t like it.
  4. Natural law and morality are winning arguments. If these were good enough for Martin Luther King to use, why can’t we? Homosexual acts are intrinsically against nature. The left absolutely hates to hear about that. But natural law and morality have a ring of powerful truth that penetrates deeply. 
  5. Don’t concede any of the other side’s talking points. This is among the worst things the pro-family establishment does. For example: Homosexuality is not a legal “class” of people, i.e., born that way.  It’s a disordered behavior that tragically affects individuals. Something that hurts individuals and society is not deserving of “respect.” There is no such thing as “transgender students.” And of course, terms like “bigot” and “homophobe” are simply harassment techniques with no legitimacy whatsoever.
  6. Don’t use dumb arguments just because it feels good. For example, the “every child needs a mother and a father” argument is completely ineffective in this fight. Everyone knows that lots of homosexuals don’t get “married” but still raise kids. Getting "married" doesn't change that. And there are millions of single-parent families that this argument offends. Trust us on this: Dumb arguments make our side sound stupid. 
  7. Stop over-intellectualizing about marriage. Another cop-out, in our opinion. Nobody outside of the pro-family movement, especially judges and politicians, cares about the historical underpinnings of marriage as a social institution, or cares to read musings on conjugal union. If people were willing to engage in deep thinking and a rational dissection of ideas, we wouldn’t be in this mess. This war is about emotion, not reason.
  8. Get over your fear. The 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence risked certain death for doing so. Many of them suffered greatly and lost everything before the Revolutionary War finally ended.  It’s a good thing they’re not around today to see the waves of cowards on our side who are afraid to do or say the wrong thing, because the homosexuals (or liberals) might call them names, etc.
  9. Do we hide behind Scripture to avoid confronting the issue? There’s no question that the demonic nature of what we’re fighting brings us all closer to God. But there’s been no religious-based movement in America up until now where people claimed that Biblical teaching puts being “respectful” and “tolerant” on a higher level than protecting children from being seduced by profoundly destructive influences, or society from degradation.
Change of Action
  1. Do something! We outnumber the other side but their activists do much more that’s effective. We wring our hands, read a lot of bad news, and send emails to each other. Occasionally we’ll go to meetings, rallies, or marches, which rarely accomplish anything. In the New Movement, people need to confront the politicians, corporations, the media, and others. Even ten minutes a day can be effective. That’s how things get done!
  2. Challenge and confront. As mentioned above, this is something our side rarely does. But it really makes a difference. Challenge the judges (and their clerks) who are openly biased taking these cases. Confront the school boards that push this in the schools. Confront the reporters who twist the facts in their articles. Confront the businesses who march in their parades and fund their organizations. Confront the politicians who use your tax money to support their agendas, or who extend the “public accommodation” laws to include perverse behaviors. And stand up to liberals everywhere who seek to intimidate you in social or business settings.
  3. Civil disobedience, I.  We could write a thesis on this. This is hugely important. Do not recognize the absurd fiction of “gay marriage” in any legal, business, or social venue. If you’re a baker, do not bake their cake and be very public about why. Do not go along with their agenda on any level, no matter what the price you must pay.
  4. Civil disobedience, II. Public officials in states where “gay marriage” has been maliciously imposed by the courts need to be strongly encouraged to ignore the out-of-control federal courts and hold to their state constitutions. This is already starting to happen in a few states. The framers of the US Constitution never intended judges to be able to act as unelected dictators, creating, changing, and removing laws as they pleased, and re-defining basic terms. And the federal courts have no authority over state law on marriage.
  5. Work against pro-LGBT candidates for office. Why is this so hard for us to figure out? What has happened in Houston and Idaho, and similarly in other places across America where religious and civil rights are squashed under harsh LGBT laws, happens because there’s no price to pay for supporting that agenda. That’s also why it’s now become prevelant in the Republican Party.