Monday, June 30, 2014

On Marriage and Family

Today should one attend a wedding, it is quite possible that the parents of either the bride or groom in attendance will be married, either in the Catholic Church or outside it, to someone other than the one they were first married to. In such a case, one would find oneself praying that the offspring of said marriage will not meet with the same fate. 

The state of marriage today is what it is in part due to poor sacramental preparation in the years immediately following Vatican II for reasons I take up in my book, another fruit of the “sexual revolution”. Sad, but as is well-known, many young Catholics these days are delaying marriage, hooking up, practicing birth control, and cohabiting before getting married. Traditional marriage is under assault, and many baptized Catholics are joining in the attack, especially in favoring “same-sex marriage.” Thus it is inspiring to see the shepherds of the flocks gathering in synod to discuss “the pastoral challenges of the family in the context of evangelization.’ I say again, the synod will deal with the family in its various aspects – not with the single issue of Communion for the divorced and remarried.

Fr. Reese at National Catholic Reporter has described the document as boring and joyless.” Well, I find the situation described in the first paragraph of this post as such. Boring might only be true for the synod if one did not understand the genre of the document or if one was indifferent to the pastoral concerns of the shepherds. The bishops (and I) have the joy of hope for a new springtime for the family, which they believe will be led by young people who appreciate the value of a stable, enduring relationship, and express a real desire to marry and form a family.

From what I can gather, the bishops see the need for an encounter with Christ on a personal and communal level. True, the lack of comprehension of the biblical and magisterial teaching on the family is legion; in addition, many Catholics lack a felt encounter with Christ and his Church, and so in turn misunderstand who man is, and who he is to God and to his community. From Part I of the Catechism on the Profession of Faith:

Jesus knew and loved us each and all during his life, his agony, and his Passion and gave himself up for each one of us: “The Son of God . . . loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal. 2:20) He has loved us all with a human heart. For this reason, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, pierced by our sins and for our salvation (cf. Jn 19:34) “is quite rightly considered the chief sign and symbol of that . . . love with which the divine Redeemer continually loves the eternal Father and all human beings” without exception.

Significantly, the bishops also express a desire “to defend and encourage forms of popular piety in support of the family". I for one have always preferred the image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, as it serves as a reminder to wish to be with Christ, to make one’s heart like his.While Fr. Reese may ridicule the hope of the Synod, I find it joyful to see that the Church herself always tries to make her heart like Christ’s. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Bergoglio and Montini

In an earlier post I noted a similarity between the current Pope and Pope Paul VI. Soon the Holy Father, Pope Francis will decide whether or not to approve communion for the divorced and remarried. The Pope’s decision will come at the end of 2015 or at the beginning of 2016, under pressure of a public opinion that at that point is likely to be almost exclusively expecting a yes.


As I discussed in my book, this is much the same as the pressure for change in the licentious decade of the 1960's, when Paul VI had to decide on the legitimacy of contraceptives, with many theologians, bishops, and cardinals in favor. As is now legendary, in 1968 Paul VI decided against in his encyclical, Humanae vitae, an encyclical that suffered bitter contestation on the part of whole episcopates, and disobedience from countless among the faithful. Always the Pope to do the unforeseen, he will take Paul VI’s encyclical as his frame of reference, as stated in a March 5 interview with Corriere della Sera:

"Everything depends on how 'Humanae Vitae' is interpreted. Paul VI himself, in the end, urged confessors to be very merciful and pay attention to concrete situations. But his genius was prophetic, he had the courage to take a stand against the majority, to defend moral discipline, to exercise a cultural restraint, to oppose present and future neo-Malthusianism. The question is not that of changing doctrine, but of digging deep and making sure that pastoral care takes into account situations and what it is possible for persons to do."


From Pope Francis one can truly expect anything, so that even that on the question of communion for the divorced and remarried he may in the end make a decision "against the majority": a decision reconfirming as intact the doctrine on indissoluble marriage, although tempered by the mercy of pastors of souls in the face of concrete situations.


Saturday, June 21, 2014

Shalom aleichem, Salam?

In his introductory Remarks during his meeting with Shimon Peres and Mahmoud Abbas, Pope Francis gave an insightful analysis of why peace has been so evasive in the Holy Land:

“History teaches that our own powers do not suffice. More than once we have been on the verge of peace, but the evil one, employing a variety of means, has succeeded in blocking it. That is why we are here, because we know and we believe that we need the help of God. We do not renounce our responsibilities, but we do call upon God in an act of supreme responsibility before our consciences and before our peoples.”

Here is the text of The Holy Father's Prepared Speech: 
The Pope with P


Distinguished Presidents,
Your Holiness,
Brothers and Sisters,

I greet you with immense joy and I wish to offer you, and the eminent delegations accompanying you, the same warm welcome which you gave to me during my recent pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

I am profoundly grateful to you for accepting my invitation to come here and to join in imploring from God the gift of peace. It is my hope that this meeting will be a path to seeking the things that unite, so as to overcome the things that divide.

I also thank Your Holiness, my venerable Brother Bartholomaios, for joining me in welcoming these illustrious guests. Your presence here is a great gift, a much-appreciated sign of support, and a testimony to the pilgrimage which we Christians are making towards full unity.

Your presence, dear Presidents, is a great sign of brotherhood which you offer as children of Abraham. It is also a concrete expression of trust in God, the Lord of history, who today looks upon all of us as brothers and who desires to guide us in his ways.

This meeting of prayer for peace in the Holy Land, in the Middle East and in the entire world is accompanied by the prayers of countless people of different cultures, nations, languages and religions: they have prayed for this meeting and even now they are united with us in the same supplication. It is a meeting which responds to the fervent desire of all who long for peace and dream of a world in which men and women can live as brothers and sisters and no longer as adversaries and enemies.

Dear Presidents, our world is a legacy bequeathed to us from past generations, but it is also on loan to us from our children: our children who are weary, worn out by conflicts and yearning for the dawn of peace, our children who plead with us to tear down the walls of enmity and to set out on the path of dialogue and peace, so that love and friendship will prevail.

Many, all too many, of those children have been innocent victims of war and violence, saplings cut down at the height of their promise. It is our duty to ensure that their sacrifice is not in vain. The memory of these children instils in us the courage of peace, the strength to persevere undaunted in dialogue, the patience to weave, day by day, an ever more robust fabric of respectful and peaceful coexistence, for the glory of God and the good of all.

Peacemaking calls for courage, much more so than warfare. It calls for the courage to say yes to encounter and no to conflict: yes to dialogue and no to violence; yes to negotiations and no to hostilities; yes to respect for agreements and no to acts of provocation; yes to sincerity and no to duplicity. All of this takes courage, it takes strength and tenacity.


History teaches that our own powers do not suffice. More than once we have been on the verge of peace, but the evil one, employing a variety of means, has succeeded in blocking it. That is why we are here, because we know and we believe that we need the help of God. We do not renounce our responsibilities, but we do call upon God in an act of supreme responsibility before our consciences and before our peoples. We have heard a summons, and we must respond. It is the summons to break the spiral of hatred and violence, and to break it by one word alone: the word “brother.” But to be able to utter this word we have to lift our eyes to heaven and acknowledge one another as children of one Father.

To him, the Father, in the Spirit of Jesus Christ, I now turn, begging the intercession of the Virgin Mary, a daughter of the Holy Land and our Mother.

Lord God of peace, hear our prayer!

We have tried so many times and over so many years to resolve our conflicts by our own powers and by the force of our arms. How many moments of hostility and darkness have we experienced; how much blood has been shed; how many lives have been shattered; how many hopes have been buried… But our efforts have been in vain.

Now, Lord, come to our aid! Grant us peace, teach us peace; guide our steps in the way of peace. Open our eyes and our hearts, and give us the courage to say: “Never again war!”; “With war everything is lost.” Instil in our hearts the courage to take concrete steps to achieve peace.


Lord, God of Abraham, God of the Prophets, God of Love, you created us and you call us to live as brothers and sisters. Give us the strength daily to be instruments of peace; enable us to see everyone who crosses our path as our brother or sister. Make us sensitive to the plea of our citizens who entreat us to turn our weapons of war into implements of peace, our trepidation into confident trust, and our quarreling into forgiveness.

Keep alive within us the flame of hope, so that with patience and perseverance we may opt for dialogue and reconciliation. In this way may peace triumph at last, and may the words “division,” “hatred” and “war” be banished from the heart of every man and woman. Lord, defuse the violence of our tongues and our hands. Renew our hearts and minds, so that the word which always brings us together will be “brother,” and our way of life will always be that of: Shalom, Peace, Salaam!

Amen.


I

Dancing With Mr. D: Pope Francis and Gender

In a recent post I told of Pope Francis' statement that "Gender ideology is demonic!" We now read of a 73-year-old American transsexual who has just won a verdict that Medicare must pay his/her medical expenses for genital reconstruction surgery. He (or she) had been living as a woman off and on ever since he was a teenager, but at the age of 68 he decided to make a permanent sex reassignment. Given that same-sex marriage is legal in 19 states, many are pushing the cause of transgender people as the new new civil rights movement. The complete normality of transexualism is becoming the new accepted view, as people are increasingly afraid of saying no to any desire as long as it hurts no one else. Before jumping on this bandwagon, it might behoove us to consider the the fruits of this procedure. Those with transsexualism, after sex reassignment, have considerably higher risks for mortality, suicidal behavior, and psychiatric morbidity than the general population. Findings suggest that sex reassignment, although lessening gender dysphoria, may not suffice as treatment for transsexualism, and should inspire improved psychiatric and somatic care after sex reassignment for this patient group. Yes, patients who suffer from gender dysphoria deserve sympathy and psychiatric treatment, not government funding for mutilating surgery.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Acton U: Now More than Ever

Fr. Z has been king enough to put together his day experiences at Acton U, though these days can be tiring.... As a teacher in an all-girls Catholic school I was captivated by Fr.'s encounter with a compatriot in the battle, as he recounts:

"At breakfast a young fellow who is a religion teacher at a Catholic all girls high school told me that, during Lent, he started class each day by playing my podcasts, and, so he related, the girls really liked them. I am left with the amusing image of a class room full of teenage girls listening to Fulton Sheen and Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet."  

Never too old to learn!
Fr. Sirico with Ross Douthat

Libido Redux: Porn Stats

If one types "Libido Redux" on this blog's search engine, you will see various events which corroborate Pope Paul VI's prophecy that the human libido is a "crack" through which Satan can play havoc with souls. Here is the latest in the series, which should enlighten the reader, the stats on children and Christians in particular. 

From one who knows the truth of Paul's prophecy:

"I have posted on a number of other articles about porn, but I wanted to post here as well to reach out to anyone else who, like me, is a porn addict. I tried for the first 9 years of marriage to stop looking at porn, and I could not. I asked God to help me stop, I went to confession, I received the Eucharist daily, but I could not stop. It was not enough for me to do it on my own with God. I had to ask for help from other people, see a counselor, and get into a 12-step recovery program, and that is how God is healing me. I believe the numbers here because I understand the power of porn. I have been held captive by it. This is an incredibly powerful addiction, as any of my SA (sexaholics anonymous) brothers or sisters will tell you. If you think you have a problem, join us. We all have one goal: sexual sobriety. Look us up, and come to a meeting."

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Acton University: Now More Than Ever



A dear friend is attending Acton University in Grand Rapids, MI. She is determined to get me to attend next year (it is expensive). I must admit, I am considering it since running across Fr. Z's personal reports from the conference.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Dancing with Mr. D: Gender Ideology

In a private conversation with Bishop Andreas Laun on January 30 as part of the Austrian bishops’ ad limina visit, Pope Francis strongly condemned “gender ideology.” In so doing he follows the example of Pope Benedict, who is on record as saying that gender ideology is “a negative trend for humankind,” and a “profound falsehood,” which “it is the duty of pastors of the Church” to put the faithful “on guard against.”
Bishop Laun

The Austrian bishop stated, “In response to my questioning, Pope Francis said, ‘Gender ideology is demonic!’” As I have chronicled on these pages, the Holy Father often refers to the work of the devil. Of gender ideology, Bishop Laun explained that “the core thesis of this sick product of reason is the end result of a radical feminism which the homosexual lobby has made its own.” “It asserts that there are not only Man and Woman, but also other ‘genders’. And furthermore: every person canchoose his or her gender,” he added.

“Today,” he said, “it is promoted by governments and VIPs and substantial amounts of money are spent on spreading it, even in teaching materials for kindergartens and schools.”
Gabriele Kuby
Bishop Laun encouraged the reading of the latest book by famed German Catholic sociologist Gabriele Kuby, The Global Sexual Revolution: Destruction of Freedom in the Name of Freedom. Kuby is nonplussed at calling gender ideology demonic. “Gender ideology is the deepest rebellion against God that is possible,....Man does not accept that he is created as man or woman, no, he says, ‘I decide! This is my freedom!’ - against experience, against nature, against reason, against science!” Non serviam.
She views it as "the ultimate perversion of individualism,” for “It robs man of the last remnant of his identity, that is, to be a man and a woman, after having lost faith and family and nation. It is indeed diabolical,....that an ideology, which every person can discern as a lie, can capture the common sense of people and become the dominant ideology of our time.” I could not agree more, for reasons amply discussed in my book on Catholic teaching on spiritual warfare.


Update on Bishop Cordileone Bishoping!

 I have a copy of the Bishop's response to San Fran Nan Pelosi's warning to The Archbishop:



THE ARCHDIOCESE OF SAN FRANCISCO
OFFICE OF THE ARCHBISHOP

ONE PETER YORKE WAY, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94109-6602 (415) 614-5500



June 16, 2014

California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom Gabriel Blau, Executive Director, Family
California State Senator Mark Leno Equality Council
California Assemblymember Tom Ammiano Fr. Roy Bourgeois, Founder School of
California Assemblymember Rich Gordon the Americas Watch
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD),
San Francisco Treasurer Jose Cisneros Gary Buseck, Interim Executive Director
San Francisco Supervisor David Campos Rea Carey, Executive Director, National Gay and
San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener Lesbian Task Force
Dr. Michael J. Adee, Director, Global Faith and Faith Cheltenham, President, BINET USA
Justice Project, Horizons Foundations, Francis DeBernardo, Executive Director, New
San Francisco, California Ways Ministry
The Very Rev. Dr. Brian Baker, Dean of the Roger Doughy, Executive Director, Horizons
Cathedral, Trinity Cathedral, Sacramento, Foundation
California Marianne Duddy-Burke, Executive Director,
Selisse Berry, Founding Chief Executive Officer, Dignity USA
Out & Equal Workplace Advocates Rev. Michael Ellick, Minister, Judson Memorial
 Church


Dear Fellow Citizens,

Your letter sharing with me your thoughts on the upcoming “March for Marriage” in Washington, D.C.,
was forwarded to me while I was attending meetings out of town, and I have reflected on what you
have to say. I appreciate your affirmation of my Church’s teaching—not unique to our religion, but a truth
accessible to anyone of good will—on the intrinsic human dignity of all people, irrespective of their stage
and condition in life. That principle requires us to respect and protect each and every member of the
human family, from the precious child in the womb to the frail elderly person nearing death. It also
requires me, as a bishop, to proclaim the truth—the whole truth—about the human person and God’s will
for our flourishing. I must do that in season and out of season, even when truths that it is my duty
to uphold and teach are unpopular, including especially the truth about marriage as the conjugal union of
husband and wife. That is what I will be doing on June 19th.

With regard to your request that I not attend the March, and the reasons you give for this request, allow
me to explain the following points.

1. The March for Marriage is not “anti-LGBT” (as some have described it); it is not anti-anyone or
anti-anything. Rather, it is a pro-marriage March. The latter does not imply the former. Rather,
it affirms the great good of bringing the two halves of humanity together so that a man and
a woman may bond with each other and with any children who come from their union. This is
precisely the vision promoted by Pope Francis, who recently said, “We must reaffirm the right of
children to grow up in a family with a father and mother.” Rest assured that if the point of this
event were to single out a group of individuals and target them for hatred, I most certainly
would not be there.
2. While I cannot go into all of the details here of your allegations against the sponsors of this
event and scheduled speakers, I do know that at least some of what you say is based on
misinterpretation or is simply factually incorrect. For example, it is not true that the National
Organization for Marriage connects homosexuality with pedophilia and incest. What is true is
that three years ago a conference was sponsored in Baltimore by the group B4U-ACT for the
purpose of finding ways to encourage tolerance for pedophilia. A statement on NOM’s blogpost
objecting to this conference affirmed that this is something that would outrage people in the gay
community as well. Unfortunately, many conclusions are being drawn about those involved in
the March for Marriage based on false impressions.
3. It gives me assurance that we share a common disdain for harsh and hateful rhetoric. It must be
pointed out, though, that there is plenty of offensive rhetoric which flows in the opposite
direction. In fact, for those who support the conjugal understanding of marriage, the attacks
have not stopped at rhetoric. Simply for taking a stand for marriage as it has been understood
in every human society for millennia, people have lost their jobs, lost their livelihoods, and have
suffered other types of retribution, including physical violence. It is true that historically in our
society violence has been perpetrated against persons who experience attraction to members of
the same sex, and this is to be deplored and eradicated. Sadly, though, we are now beginning to
see examples, although thankfully not widespread, of even physical violence against those who
hold to the conjugal view of marriage (such as, most notably, the attempted gunning down of
those who work in the offices of the Family Research Council). While it is true that free speech
can be used to offend others, it is not so much people exercising their right to free speech that
drives us further apart than people punished precisely for doing so that does.
4. Please do not make judgments based on stereotypes, media images and comments taken out of
context. Rather, get to know us first as fellow human beings. I myself am willing to meet
personally with any of you not only to dialogue, but simply so that we can get to know each
other. It is the personal encounter that changes the vision of the other and softens the heart.
In the end, love is the answer, and this can happen even between people with such deep
disagreements. That may sound fanciful and far-fetched, but it is true, it is possible. I know it is
possible, I know this from personal experience. When we come together seeking to understand
the other with good will, miracles can happen.
When all is said and done, then, there is only one thing that I would ask of you more than anything else:
before you judge us, get to know us.

Sincerely,




Most Reverend Salvatore Cordileone
Archbishop of San Francisco

Monday, June 16, 2014

A BISHOP BISHOPS!

Archbisop Cordileone
Minority Leader Pelosi
Pope Francis has said recently that the Devil wants to destroy the family. This is interesting, since Nancy Pelosi has cited Pope Francis ("If someone is gay and is searching for the Lord and has good will, then who am I to judge him?") in warning San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone  not attend the National Organization for Marriage’s June 19 march on the Supreme Court in Washington D.C. Archbishop Cordileone, who has admitted, "The ultimate attack of the evil one is the attack on marriage," is scheduled to speak at the march.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

MTD and Thee?

Fr. Longenecker
Father Longenecker has has observed a contemporary phenomenon which presents a target-rich environment for the New Evangelization--Moralistic Therapeutic Deism: 
“MTD” is deadly because it eventually kills off true religion. Because “MTD” mimics true religion people think it is true religion, but then they draw the obvious conclusion: if religion is only about therapy and making the world a better place, then why do you need God? If the Deist God is sitting on the other side of a cloud doing nothing then why bother going to church to worship him?The reason why the Catholic faith is shutting down in so much of Europe and North America is because millions of Catholics are infected with “MTD.” They have had no direct experience of the living God in their lives and believe he is an old grandfather who resides in heaven never being involved in this world. They have assumed that religion is no more than just another self help method and that being a Christian simply means being a nice person. Then have then drawn the conclusion that they can be a good person and make the world a better place without sacraments, canon law, liturgy, prayer, devotions, and the discipline of going to church.

How is it that this present crisis of faith has come about? After teaching for 36 years in the Catholic Church, (CCD, Higher and Secondary Ed., and RCIA), I decided to write about why the answer to this question was given by none other than Pope Paul VI.  At the close of Vatican II, 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. On June 29, 1972, Paul delivered another assessment of the state of the Roman Catholic Church since the close of Vatican II. 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, of searching and uncertainties.

His fears of demonic penetration of the Church were even stronger in a later statement:

The opening to the world [aggiornamento or “updating”] became a veritable invasion of the Church by worldly thinking....We have perhaps been too weak and imprudent.

As a Council Father, Cardinal (soon to be Pope) Montini was clearly in the so-called “progressive" cabal of Council Fathers, who wished to throw open the windows of the Church to let in what the modern world had to offer. That the Holy Spirit came to the Vicar of Christ and led him to the truth of what was happening in the Mystical Body of Christ I have no doubt, which is why I wrote my book, which I think goes a long way to answering why it is that Catholics have been, as Father says, “infected with MTD.” More:







Friday, June 13, 2014

Rolling Stone Gathers Pope Francis

Final thoughts on the Rolling Stone feature on Pope Francis…


The article attempts to show Francis’ break from the supposedly “conservative” Church of old, in the process remaking Pope Francis as the hero of the liberal left. It uses the scandals of Vatican finance and sexual abuse, coupled with old stories about Opus Dei and the Latin Mass, to fashion Pope Benedict XVI as a “conservative” conniver. In short, Francis is portrayed as the populist leader of a movement to “liberalize” the Catholic Church.

Certainly the article contains a great deal of untruth. Inconvenient facts, like Francis’ theological orthodoxy, are ignored. Rolling Stone draws arbitrary conclusions from selected illustrations drawn from the Pope’s life. Why would this pop cultural icon do this?

Easy. Sexual and social relativists wish to refashion Christianity such that they may claim Christ, and his vicar, as their supporters, for their social agenda is more appetizing to people if it complements, rather than competes with, the enduring Christianity history and tradition. In the language of C.S. Lewis, Screwtape has no interest in eradicating Christianity if he can sublimate it to his own purposes. This is a new twist on the traditional view of the Devil’s greatest trick—it isn’t convincing the world he doesn’t exist, but convincing the world that Jesus Christ is the champion of his causes.

Well-formed Catholics in the blogosphere are amply setting down the orthodoxy of Pope Francis. His work on economics, which has sparked media controversy, nevertheless is in keeping with Catholic social teaching since at least Leo XIII. His call for more widespread participation by laity, particularly women, was a matter close to Benedict XVI’s heart. His expressions of charity toward those afflicted with same-sex attraction are deep-seated in the Church’s teaching. For ill-formed Catholics, the media has set the Pope apart from his predecessors by focusing less on substance than misleading sound-bites.

The Rolling Stone piece seems to be successfully refashoning Francis’ public image in the popular culture, which is why it is paramount for the Church (which includes us!) to use the means of social communication to prevent secular media from further hijacking the truth, and to give witness to the truth. Catholic media is important, but a way must also be found to penetrate secular media if in the end the Church is to be successful in this. This highlights Vatican II’s call to holiness for us all—the exhortation to live charitably, joyfully, and boldly in discipleship of Jesus Christ, and commit to the new evangelization.

The promise of the Gospel is that authentic commitment to the truth—and a refusal to separate a commitment to social justice from a commitment to orthodoxy and piety—leads to conversion. What I try to do in these pages, among other things is to use the pop culture’s new-found fascination with the Holy Father for reiterating Vatican II’s call to holiness, which necessitates personal conversion to suffering souls. As the reader may have experienced, one who lives the Gospel, is, (or soon will be) vulnerable to far more than pop-culture persecution. But persecution is a part of the Christian mystery. Fear not. Our Lord has already overcome the pop culture.


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Libido Redux: The Sex Factor

Here is an update on the baptized Catholic Duke woman who intends to avoid her college Debt at Duke through commission of the sin of engaging in pornography:

Oremus.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Pope's Pentecost


Pope Francis drew the theme for his June 5th homily from the Gospel reading for the day, from John 17:20-26, and Jesus’ prayer that there would be unity among His followers, not divisions and conflict, this as we observe Pentecost and its recounting of Jews from all over the world hearing the disciples and understanding, despite their many different tongues. 

The pope signalled out“Uniformists” who are "are rigid!,”  who “call themselves Catholics, but their rigid attitude distances them from the Church.”  Who might he have had in mind? Catholic traditionalists, who are critical of Francis much as they were of his predecessors? Many in the blogosphere think so. 

The Pope also mentioned “Alternativists,” those who hold alternative teachings and doctrines and thus have “a partial belonging to the church,"not recognizing that its teaching is based on the preaching of Jesus and the apostolic tradition.  Are these the same as those I wrote about in my second chapter, the so-called “progressive” groups in the public square today--Call to Action, Voice of the Faithful, Women‘s Ordination Conference, the Catholic Theological Society of America, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, and Catholics for a Free Choice? It would seem so.

In response to these groups, the Pope reminds us that "in the Church you must give your heart to the Gospel, to what the Lord has taught, and never have an alternative for yourself!"  Francis reiterated his plea for unity in the Church in Jordan, when he said:  
“The mission of the Holy Spirit… is to beget harmony–He himself is harmony–and to create peace in different situations and between different people.”
 Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy Faithful, and kindle in us the fire of Thy love.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

A Bishop Bishops!



It is in the person of the bishop that Our Lord is present in the midst of the Church community, wherein through his service Christ preaches the Word of God, administers the sacraments, incorporates new members into His Body and guides the faithful to their eternal destiny, the Beatific vision. The bishops have no less than the responsibility of taking “the place of Christ Himself, teacher, shepherd, priest and to act as his representatives (in eius persona)....


Bishop Robert C. Morlino of Wisconsin in response to Federal Judge's Ruling on Marriage:


First, it bears repeating that, we must respect, love, and care for every individual we encounter, regardless of who they are, where they come from, or how they define themselves. This will never change. It is at the core of who we are as members of Christ’s Church. Christ, Himself, invites each individual to know and love Him and live a life in response to His love. His love and mercy can heal all divisions that separate us; however, we must acknowledge the divisions that exist -- notably those we choose through our actions. All are invited to this love and these graces offered by Christ, through His Church. This a pplies to all who sincerely seek the Truth.
Marriage is, and can only ever be, a unique relationship solely between one man and one woman, regardless of the decision of a judge or any vote. This is not based on any private sectarian viewpoint, but on the natural moral law that is universally binding on all peoples, at all times, and inscribed into our human nature, as man and woman from the beginning of creation. It behooves us to safeguard the sacred ecology of all nature, especially of our human nature.
In striking down the constitutional amendment in our state which protects marriage, the court has, once again, shaken one of the most precious and essential building blocks of our civilization. There can be no question that the best formation for children is in the home of their biological mother and father, generally speaking, and we should always have a greater concern for future generations than we do for ourselves.
Marriage, between one man and one women with openness to children, is an element of the veryfirst “domino” of civilization. The very nature of marriage naturally generates life. When that first “domino” falls, everything that is good, true, and beautiful, which is rooted on the natural family, is seriously threatened. If the “domino” of true marriage falls, then fall all subsequent “dominos.” This is demonstrated, too often, in a culture that increasingly chooses death over life.
And so, I cannot find myself otherwise than deeply saddened. We trust that every avenue of just recourse will be examined and pursued by competent authorities, including the state attorney general. The Diocese of Madison will participate in the way that seems most prudent. For my own part, I will continue to speak strongly about the truth and beauty of marriage and encourage my brother priests and deacons, and all the lay faithful, to do the same.
Let our fervent prayers not be lacking in the days ahead.


Libido Redux: Girls, We Love You...

Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.
-Colossians 3:1-5


Pope Paul VI wrote of four evils that would result from a disobedience to Church teaching set down in his encyclical:

·       that widespread contraceptive practice would lead to “conjugal infidelity and the general lowering of morality”
·       men… would “lose respect” for women and no longer care for their physical and psychological enjoyment
·       the contraceptive mentality would “place a dangerous weapon…in the hands of those public authorities who take no heed of moral exigencies”
·       contraception would lead humans into thinking they have unrestricted authority over their bodies.

It is easy to show from the historical record that the Holy Spirit had guided the heart and mind of Paul VI to see clearly the consequences of the intrinsic evil of contraception. Jesus, “the Way, the Truth, and the Life,” teaches that the truth sets us free. Pope Paul VI was the Lord’s herald in Humanae Vitae, and so understanding and assimilating its teaching is the key to human freedom in our sexually befuddled world. The fulfillment of Pope Paul’s predictions has been recounted in numerous theological studies. All show convincingly the negative fruits in the areas of abortion, divorce, family disintegration, wife and child abuse, STDs, illegitimate births, and the objectification of the human female. These studies also show the dehumanization of women as males were released from accountability for their sexual aggression. Finally, the studies also reveal in vitro fertilization, cloning, genetic engineering and embryonic stem cell research for what they are: the fruits of the contraceptive mentality. Sadly, I have found no shortage of Catholics intellectually dishonest in spouting off on this topic not having read these studies in light of Humanae Vitae and the tradition of the Church.

So I am delighted to report on a group that it doing something about this. It is Beauty Redefined. For now, watch and pray:



Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Dancing with Mr. D: Alyssa Funke

 A 19-year-old college student committed suicide just two weeks after making her first pornographic video for website CastingCouch-X. The 19-year-old was a straight-A student at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, but took her life after the abusive messages via Twitter and Facebook soon began to role in.

It turns out upon a little investigation that women in the pornographic film industry, who were created never to separate their emotions from their sexual faculty, often become depressed fter shooting scenes, and then often do things to take their minds off of the sinful activity, i.e. getting drunk or doing drugs like Xanax, cocaine, or ecstasy to fight the depression.

Alyssa Funke
Michelle Truax, who works with the anti-pornography non-profit XXXChurch, says that almost all – if not all – of the women who have been mentored through its ministry have suffered with bouts of depression. Truax: "It goes so much deeper than just the obvious. We have found that all of the women we have mentored have had issues in their past that caused them to seek out this type of work in the first place. Some will tell you that it started with stripping and the high they got from the attention was incredible for them, because they had never received that kind of attention before."

According to Truax, however, "then it escalates into other things." She says that "ultimately it is a false high, a big letdown, because the attention is superficial." Deep, healthy relationships based on love are not found, "so it further tears at the core issues that were already under the surface before."

Craig Gross, who founded XXXChurch, says that his organization has "a mentor program in place for women that does not discriminate. In other words whether you are in the industry, or out of the industry, or somewhere in between, we have a network of women to mentor and walk with these gals." Would that Alyssa had known.... May God have mercy on her.



Sunday, June 1, 2014

Be Holy!

Pope St. John Paul II
Pope John Paul II has said of the humanist cosmology strongly ingrained in both theology and philosophy at the opening of the Second Vatican Council that,“by exchanging relevance for truth, this form of modernism shows itself incapable of satisfying the demands of truth to which theology is called to respond”. Nevertheless, it remains among prominent laity, religious and priests today, in effect a rejection of Catholic teaching on divine revelation, human nature, and God’s gift of reason as capable of leading us to Him. Fr. de Lubac noted that the apostasy of this man-centered “society” developed under the pretext of “renewal, ecumenism, or adaptation” to modernity. We as Catholics should be attentive to Church teaching in acknowledging the reality of and the need to combat evil in the world through our adherence to the teachings of the Second Vatican Council and its primary message, the universal call to holiness.