Sunday, July 22, 2018

Dancing With Mr. D: Uncle Ted, Cardinal Farrell and the Family

Kevin Joseph Farrell, appointed Bishop of Dallas and later Prefect of the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life (elevated to Cardinal in 2016)

Why is this significant? Cardinal Ferrell was once an auxiliary to "Uncle Ted" McCarrick in Washington, D.C.

Farrell was sent to Dallas to deal with the mess left by retired Bishop Charles Grahmann. Then he went on to Rome, to work in the Curia, elevated to cardinal by Pope Francis. Cardinal Farrell is in charge of next month’s big World Meeting Of Families in Dublin, which will be attended by Pope Francis. The meeting is intended to celebrate the Holy Father’s “Amoris Laetitia.”

There has been controversy over whether or not LGBT families should be included. Gay couples were included in the original promotional materials for the event, but removed after an outcry from conservatives. Still, the foremost US advocate for LGBT inclusion. Jesuit Father James Martin, is a scheduled keynote speaker in Dublin. The heterodox are complaining that LGBT families are being marginalized by the meeting.

Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, president of the World Meeting of Families 2018, said Fr Martin’s  Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity,” has the backing of three US cardinals, including Cardinal Farrell. 
Thus, a McCarrick protégé in the Vatican is overseeing family policy for the Church, and is MC for this family festival in Dublin intended to celebrate Pope Francis’s teaching on love and family. Now guilt by association is wrong, but one does wonder in our current climate what Cardinal Farrell knows, and what if anything he had to do, and/or abstain from doing — to gain the patronage of Cardinal McCarrick.
Two other U.S. Cardinals have openly endorsed Building a Bridge: Cardinal Blase Cupich, the Francis-appointed Archbishop of Chicago, and Cardinal Joseph Tobin, the Francis-appointed Archbishop of Newark, McCarrick’s old bishopric. Catholic journalist Rocco Palmo cited Francis’s moving Tobin to Newark as the work of Cardinal McCarrick.Palmo’s blog on the New York Timed piece about McCarrick’s molesting “James” reports:
Francis confidant and favorite of McCarrick’s who was sent to New Jersey’s top post at the latter’s behest, Tobin said in a statement that he would “discuss this tragedy with the leadership of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in order to articulate standards that will assure high standards of respect by bishops, priests and deacons for all adults.”  OREMUS.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Now For Something Completely Different...

In recent years, the statesmanship of FDR (who I rank behind Washington and Lincoln), in his handling of Soviet affairs, has come under attack in historical studies. As we know, FDR’s performance at Yalta is the topic of much historical writing. Those who perhaps hyperbolically argue that FDR “gave away Eastern Europe” fault him for his supreme confidence in his own powers of persuasion, his profound ignorance of the Bolshevik dictatorship, his projection of humane motives onto his Soviet counterpart, his determined resistance to contradictory evidence and advice, and his wishful thinking based on geopolitical designs. Together these elements shaped a false view of US-Soviet relations and fostered a policy loosely connected with reality. As an illustration, they induced the President to walk into a surveillance trap, not once, but twice.
Normally, US presidents stay in their own country’s embassies or other diplomatic buildings, swept by instruments able to discover listening devices. When FDR went abroad to meet Stalin, he wanted to gratify him, seeing him as a key figure in the postwar division of powers, and so did not insist on such accommodations. As a result, at the conference in Teheran (November 1943) and again at Yalta (February 1945), he stayed in Soviet quarters and was bugged like no other American president in history.
In his assessment of Soviet politics, FDR was much closer to Joseph E. Davies, America’s second Ambassador to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, than to his first, William C. Bullitt. Ambassador Bullitt never missed an chance to warn FDR of Stalin’s deceitfulness. In a famous exchange, FDR stated:

“Bill, I don't dispute your facts; they are accurate. I don't dispute the logic of your reasoning. I just have a hunch that Stalin is not that kind of man. Harry [Hopkins] says he's not and that he doesn't want anything but security for his country, and I think if I give him everything I possibly can and ask for nothing in return, noblesse oblige, he won't try to annex anything and will work with me for a world of democracy and peace.” (William C. Bullitt, “How We Won the War and Lost the Peace,” Life, 30 August 1948, p. 94.

FDR’s projection of humane motives onto his Soviet counterpart, Harry Hopkins’ rosy reports on Stalin, and Ambassador Davies’ boundless trust in the Soviet regime were the President’s counter arguments to Bullit’s admitted facts about Hitler’s one-time ally, “Uncle Joe” (as FDR called him) Stalin, history’s greatest mass-murderer, and the sole ruler of a party and state dedicated to worldwide communism.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Libido Redux" A False Taxonomy

As I have documented on these pages, people are being seriously hurt because of the words of false prophets in the Church like Fr. James Martin....
Fr. James Martin, S.J.
Recall that Humanae Vitae taught that, alongside true sexuality properly ordered toward procreation, there was a perverse non-procreative heterosexuality that needed to be condemned (feelings, desires-stemming from libido). With the sexual revolution, the impulse to normalize sexual desire and satisfaction not ordered to the unitive and procreative functions of sex succeeded. Separating the procreative from the unitive function of God’s gift of sex became the new “normal.”

Once heterosexuals successfully severed any meaningful connection between sex and procreation, the “homosexuals could unite without fear of retribution from its newly-freed heterosexual counterpart. Remember—the main reason both groups were once viewed as disordered is that they were both non-procreative. Contracepting heterosexuals could never argue against nonprocreative homosexuals unless they he wished to undermine their own social recognition. So opened the floodgates. Everything sexual came to be driven entirely by either feelings or desires. Procreation was for “breeders” only.

Enter  homosexualists like Fr. Martin, guided not by the centuries-old moral teaching of the Church but, by  psychologists who insist that every letter of the LGTBQIA…sexual taxonomy (there are more letters) is a normal variation of human sexuality and/or gender. The LGBTQIA taxonomy takes captive one’s authentic human identity as either man or woman. To “come out” imprisons one in another kind of enclosure, one undermining the dignity of the human person.

SO… on this issue, Catholics must take Pope Francis’ advice and “make a mess.” Be not afraid to challenge those who pronounce the untruthful taxonomy
currently driving our cultural and ecclesial erosion. Aren’t things already a mess? Make a bigger one.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Dancing With Mr. D.: The Socialist Impulse

Some 25 years after its collapse in Eastern Europe and Russia, many Americans, especially college-age students, once again see socialism as best amongst political economies, even  American Catholics. Let us remember, though, that Saint John XXIII reaffirmed the instruction of Pope Pius XI that “no Catholic could subscribe even to moderate socialism.” Saint John Paul II pointed to “the fundamental error of socialism,” specifically, that it “maintains that the good of the individual can be realized without reference to his free choice.” Nevertheless, these days we see good and intelligent people styling themselves “democratic socialists”, or “Christian socialists.” Why?

Many people find socialism irresistible. Life is unfair, as we all know, but unfairness can often be remedied over time, as the American story demonstrates. When one thinks that life is unfair, justice demands a solution. The key questions here: isn’t it the responsibility of government to establish justice? Is it desirable to establish bureaucratic control of social life for the sake of fairness? In a prosperous modern society, does fairness/justice mean that  could include providing everyone should be provided with all things necessary for well-being? A yes answer labels one a socialist at present, never mind the traditional definition of socialism as state ownership of the means of production and distribution. Listening to Bernie Sanders, or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, our present view of socialism seems to refer to the open-ended expansion of government activity to redress life’s unfairness.
Historically, has socialism proven efficient? Does it deliver on its promises? The record shows that it offers not “justice” but attempts “equality” and so divests people of responsibility for their situation. History shows that it concentrates power, displaces traditional institutions like family and religion, and makes it impossible for associations independent of a state bureaucracy to exist. The result? A society under a corrupt, ineffective and unchecked government. Since socialism abolishes personal feelings of responsibility, those in government are hardly motivated to sacrifice their personal advantage to for the common good.
If the goal of the socialist state is to guarantee and equalize material goods, including incorporeal goods like social respect, then these will be seen as the greatest social good. If this is the highest good, it will be argued that the country owes them this no matter what their lifestyle. If this is the case, then how concerned will a socialist electorate be about achieving their personal responsibilities?
In my experience, the socialist-minded think  debates about “people’s responsibility for their own situation” is blaming the victim and should therefore not be part of the discussion. Also, if what sustains the institutions of family, local community, and religion is government failure to deal with social injustice, then they are the “opiate of the masses” and are thus unworthy of safeguarding.           
As I argued in my book, the sense of the eternal and transcendent has been waning, leaving social action as the main focus of the Church. Perusal of left-of-center social media sites indicates that bureaucratic management is the preferred way to deal with problems. Socialists argue  the democratic claim that action by the state is action by the people, so genuine Catholics should be socialists, for God’s kingdom for them is all about efforts to advance universal justice.  So—to beguided by historical experience, reason, and the teachings of Saints John XXIII and John Paul II, Catholics must change the basic understandings that  lead down the destructive path to present-day socialism. We must come to understand:
  1. Acts of government and acts of the people are two different things. Confusing the former with the latter, history has shown, is the road to totalitarianism and other madness.
  2. Catechesis on the Church’s understanding of man based on classical natural law rather than technology is also in order. Bureaucratizing a society composed of natural institutions like the family and cultural community destroys rather than perfects it.
  3. The Church must renew commitment to bringing about a rebirth of the sense of the eternal and transcendent that places earthly affairs in perspective to be able to deal with them according to the theological virtue of prudence rather than a this-worldly emphasis. As Saint John XXIII noted in Mater et Magistra: “The most perniciously typical aspect of the modern era consists in the absurd attempt to reconstruct a solid and fruitful temporal order divorced from God.” OREMUS.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Dancin' With Mr. D: St. Gallen

On Aug. 31, 2012, Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, S.J., died at the Jesuit infirmary in Gallarate, near Milan. Before his death Cardinal  Martini eerily called himself an “ante-pope,” a “precursor and preparer for the Holy Father.” (Pope Francis)

Martini was the leading antagonist to Popes John Paul II and Benedict—a Jesuit famous for groaning that the Church was “200 years behind.” In Night Conversations with Cardinal Martini, he cringed at the “major damage” caused by Humanae Vitae. The Church spoke “too much” about the sixth commandment and sin. He said legal abortion was, ultimately, “positive.” Now, we see a diabolical development in this.

Not Everybody Knows

In the book I noted that a grave moral crisis facing the Church, of which the public is misinformed, is not a "pedophile priest" crisis, but a crisis which stems from an inordinate amount of  active homosexuals as ordained priests and some inattentive bishops who have run interference for them, all the consequences of a failure to uphold and live the Church’s sexual moral teaching. For the doubting Thomases out there, please read Rod Dreher's recent piece.