Monday, July 29, 2013

The Pope, the Press and "Gays"

Renouncing a right to "judge" others is something that goes back to Jesus. It does not mean a refusal to recognize the moral character of others' behavior. One can form a moral judgment that what someone else is doing is wrong (Jesus obviously does not forbid that) without having or showing malice toward them. Francis’ statement that homosexuals should not be marginalized is old news- in keeping with the Holy See's approach to the subject, as 1992 Vatican document On the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons. His statement that same-sex attraction "is not the problem," is also nothing new. "The problem," is going beyond merely having a sinful tendency--a temptation to which one is subject. Obviously, temptations are a problem, but if we resist temptation we do not sin. "The problem," on this understanding, is giving in to the temptation and sinning or--worse--building an ideology around the sin and trying to advocate the sin, thus calling evil good and good evil. The Pope’s statement that "they're our brothers" is also not innovative. Christians, like everyone, have fought to resist acting on every sort of temptation. Same-sex attraction is just one temptation among numerous others, and the fact that a person suffers from this temptation no more denies him of the status of brotherhood in Christ than does any other. But here also is what is not new: the media are painting a fabricated picture by contrasting the "good" Francis to the “bad" Benedict. None of Francis's remarks are antagonistic to the approach Benedict took during his papacy. Benedict himself (as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger) was the signer of the previously mentioned letter on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons, as well as the follow-up document on non-discrimination regarding homosexual persons.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

You Cannot be Right or Left Wing on the Apostles' Creed!

MONDAY last I posted that Pope Francis might not be all that the secular media consider him to be, recommending a First Things piece on the matter. Today we read of Archbishop Chaput's interview with John Allen of the National Catholic (?) Reporter, in Rio for WYD. What caught my attention was the Archbishops's comment that alienated, non-serious Catholics perhaps interpret the Pope's openness as being less concerned than his predecessors with doctrine, and that it is already true that "the right wing of the Church" has not been happy with his election. As I argued in The Smoke of Satan, and as George Weigel has eloquently posited in Evangelical Catholicism,  the political terms left and right are woefully inadequate as measurements of one's standing in the Body of Christ. There are only the orthodox, and the heterodox.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Pope Francis May Not Be the Kind of Pope the Media Makes Him Out to Be.

First Things has an accurate assessment of the Pope which may depress the heterodox. A sample:

No sooner was Francis elected than did dissenters start elevating him at the expense of his two predecessors, suggesting he would finally fulfill Vatican II’s promise. But Pope Francis does not see Vatican II as a charter for dissent any more than did Blessed John Paul II or Benedict. Francis has firmly said that to know Jesus is to be in full communion with the Church and Magisterium; one cannot be a faithful Catholic and practice an independent, free-floating spirituality. 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Oremus! Otherwise we will be among the "many"!

Let us reflect on pope Francis' admonition to us to pray unceasingly:

Good News: At Nation's Colleges 4 in 10 Students Either Virgins or Had Intercourse with Only One Person

How often has this scene occur ed in the experience of young women of late:

Catherine, a Penn senior, had found hooking up in college to be a continual source of heartbreak. She had repeatedly made the mistake of thinking that because she was sleeping with someone, they were in a relationship, only to be disabused when the guy broke things off abruptly. 

This experience called to mind a scenario I came across when researching my chapter on libido, which took place as follows:

After a recent talk given by Naomi Wolf, sharing her findings on pornography’s effect on relations between male and female, Ms. Wolf inquired of a young man who had been in the audience why he thought it necessary to move to sexual activity early in the acquaintance:
Why have sex right away? Things are always a little tense and uncomfortable when you just start seeing someone. I prefer to have sex right away just to get it over with. You know it’s going to happen anyway, and it gets rid of the tension.
“Isn’t the tension kind of fun?” Wolf asked. “Doesn’t that also get rid of the mystery?”
Mystery? I don’t know what you’re talking about. Sex has no mystery.”

  It appears the law of nature is increasingly being discovered on campuses across the United States, as I have mentioned before in these pages, the latest example of which can be found in a heartening piece from the First Things blog.

St. Michael Redux!

Back on July 8 I posted on Pope Francis'  Dedication of the Statue of St.Michael the Archangel in Rome, at which Pope Emeritus Benedict was present. Perusing the blogs which I follow, I was intrugued by this excerpt from one of them, and so I include it here:

On October 13, 1884, after Pope Leo XIII had finished celebrating Mass in the Vatican Chapel, attended by a few Cardinals and members of the Vatican staff, he suddenly stopped at the foot of the altar. He stood there for about 10 minutes, as if in a trance, his face ashen white. Then, going immediately from the Chapel to his office, he composed the prayer to St. Michael, with instructions it be said after all Low Masses everywhere. When asked what had happened, he explained that, as he was about to leave the foot of the altar, he suddenly heard voices - two voices, one kind and gentle, the other guttural and harsh. They seemed to come from near the tabernacle. As he listened, he heard the following conversation: 

The guttural voice, the voice of Satan in his pride, boasting to Our Lord: "I can destroy your Church" 

The gentle voice of Our Lord: "You can? Then go ahead and do so." 

Satan: "To do so, I need more time and more power." 

Our Lord: "How much time? How much power? 

Satan: "75 to 100 years, and a greater power over those who will give themselves over to my service."

Our Lord: "You have the time, you will have the power. Do with them what you will." 

To read more, go here.

Friday, July 19, 2013

"Most of us would not come within a mile of Catholic youth ministries...."

In my book's chapter on catechesis, I noted the following observation by Marian Crowe:

I am continually struck by the irony that in the years since the Second Vatican Council, the Catholic Church has done everything possible to make Catholicism more “attractive” to young people. Gone is the emphasis on sin and hell. Gone is harsh, proscriptive moral teaching—especially about sex. Gone is Mass in Latin. Gone are “silent” retreats where we listened to sermons, read devotional books, said the rosary (on our knees), and went to confession. Instead, we have continual reminders of God’s love; an emphasis on peace and joy; folksy, casual Masses with peppy contemporary songs; and “noisy retreats,” where we sit on the floor and have discussion groups, sing along with the guitar, and celebrate “who we are. Yet I don’t think there has ever been a time in time history of the Church when there such a wholesale rejection of the Church by the young. Does anyone really care?

It seems there are vestiges of the attempt to make the church "relevant" to young people, as evidenced by this scandal at the NFCYM. See here as well. If I were young, I'd journey to World Youth Day in Rio with Papa Francis instead. See why!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Devil Gotcha? Always Masturbating to Porn? Check it out!

In Chapter Three of The Smoke of Satan in the Temple of God, I recounted  Pope Paul VI's insight that the human libido was one way that Satan could most effectively penetrate the Body of Christ  the Church. My Peace I Give You: Healing Sexual Wounds with the Help of the Saints, despite its subtitle, is not only for those who have sexual wounds (e.g. those who have addictions to pornography or masturbation, or who have grown up in an environment that does not respect their dignity and modesty). My Peace I Give You is for all of us who have been wounded, particularly for those of us whose childhood has been wounded or taken away from us through circumstances beyond our control. - See more.

BISHOPS BISHOPING!! UK bishops lament 'gay marriage' approval :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

UK bishops lament 'gay marriage' approval :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

WATCH, MUST SEE For All Americans – Ann Barnhardt: Islamic Sexuality – A Survey of Evil - Tom O'Halloran

WATCH, MUST SEE For All Americans – Ann Barnhardt: Islamic Sexuality – A Survey of Evil - Tom O'Halloran

Monday, July 15, 2013

Lambs Among Wolves-FR. NNAMDI MONEME!

To be a Catholic is also to be a member of the Church MILITANTThe Church Militant is so named because we as committed Catholics struggle daily against the devil, the world, and our flesh, defending the faith against Hell's attempt to prevail in its war against Christ's Church. Here is one of the best accounts I have read of late of what membership in the Church Militant entails!

Monday, July 8, 2013

LIBIDO REDUX!! book on the modeling industry

Kylie Bisutti, former Victoria's Secret model discusses her new book on the modeling industry and how to help girls with self-body image issues! Guys, A MUST SEE!!! If this video interests you... see here.

Defend Us in Battle: Benedict XVI and Pope Francis Consecrate the Vatican to Michael the Archangel

As the nineteenth century drew to a close, a journal from Rome published in 1947 gives an account of a priest who worked at the Vatican during the time of Leo XIII, Fr. Domenico Pechenino. Fr. Pechenino related that while the Pope was attending Mass, he began to look upwards and displayed an unusual expression on his face. He left Mass and went to his private office, and a short time later called for the Secretary of the Congregation of Rites, handing him a document. This document contained a well-known prayer, which the Pope made part of a set of prayers to be recited on behalf of the Church at the end of Low Mass. This prayer was taught to every member of the faithful, as Dr. Peter Kreeft has written, until:

….the 1960s. And that was exactly when the Catholic Church was struck with the incomparably swift disaster that has taken away half its priests, two-thirds of its nuns and nine-tenths of its children's theological and moral knowledge by turning the faith of our fathers into the doubts of our dissenters. It's been a diabolical reversal of Christ's first miracle at Cana, converting the wine of the gospel into the water of psychobabble, an antimiracle by the Antichrist.

Pope Leo wrote:

Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host --
by the Divine Power of God --
cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Devil in the Details

I am encouraged by a recent article which corroborates my thesis in The Smoke of Satan in the Temple of God, particularly this peroration from the author: "Praying for the deliverance from evil,working for its destruction, is at the very center of our Catholic faith because when we act this way we recognize that only God can truly save us from the power of the devil, who enslaves us with sin and evil. So be at peace, be unafraid, as St. Paul tells us, “we bear the marks of Christ on our bodies” through baptism and the Holy Eucharist, as we are being“sent out into the world as lambs among wolves” where “the harvest is rich and the laborers are few”  where “the world is crucified to me and I to the world.”  So rejoice because “your names are written in Heaven” and “as a mother comforts her child – so God will comfort you.” Pope Francis is also prescient on the Devil here.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

A Famous Cardinal Speaks his Mind on "marriage" of Homosexuals

Now that so-called Same-sex marriage is being termed "inevitable" in the United States, I thought it interesting  to look at an Argentinian prince of the Church on the topic, given that as Cardinal, he faced a situation analogous to that faced by the bishops in the U.S.
What “gay marriage” does is bring the attack on the family to a new level by destroying the basis of marriage in human nature. It means that marriage is a creature not of nature or natural law or metaphysics but of what particular people want and law provides for them. This reflects the "dictatorship of relativism's" rebellion against the rights of God.