Friday, April 28, 2006

Holy Father Failed Marriages Lack of Love

From the AP Article here.

Pope Benedict XVI said Friday that a lack of true love was behind an increase in failed marriages and a decrease in birth rates in much of the developed world.

Benedict told members of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences that children nowadays also aren't as valued as they once were, in part because of the economic, social and cultural changes in the globalized world.

"Often, instead of feeling loved and cherished (children) appear to be merely tolerated," he said.

Fewer Marriages:

"Perhaps the lack of such creative and forward-looking love is the reason why many couples today choose not to marry, why so many marriages fail and why birth rates have significantly diminished," he said.

Cherie Blair Taken to Task?

Participating in the conference was Cherie Blair, wife of British Prime Minister Tony Blair. The Vatican said she and Benedict met Friday, but gave no details.

What No Talk of NFP?

Benedict has spoken out several times in favor of large families and called for legislation to help support families with children.

European Union statistics put the average number of children per woman at 1.5. But in some countries, including Catholic Italy and Spain, the average is down to about 1.3.

A decided shift in tone from reducing birthrate and limiting births through the use of NFP to being open to life and love. It is a refreshing change. Wouldn't you LOVE to be a fly on the wall for Cherie Blair's little tete a tete with the Holy Father?

You don't think it could possibly have anything to do with this do you?

Photo of Cherie Blair at a Planned Parenthood event offering a condom to the journalist. Blair is a supporter of Planned Parenthood and has hosted their Lust 4 Life condom distribution campaign at 10 Downing Street. Yes, Mrs. Blair is Catholic.
Photo from
Catholic World News.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Beatification in India

Good news. Fr. Augustine Thevarparambil will be beatified in Kerala, India on April 30th. Special permission has been given to have the beatification held in the parish church of the saint.

A first:

This is for the first time that the Vatican has given permission for conducting the beatification ceremony of an Indian sainthood candidate in his own village church.

Pope Benedict XVI has given permission to Major Archbishop Cardinal Varkey Vithayathil of Syro Malabar Church to conduct the beatification ceremony of the Venerable Servant of God Augustine Thervarparampil at Ramapuram.

The Vatican has also asked Cardinal Vithayathil him to preside over the ceremony in the name of the Pope.

His Life;

He was born in the village in on April 1, 1891. He was ordained priest, belonging to the diocese of Pala, in 1921.

Interestingly during most of his priestly career, Kunjachan stayed in his own parish, the St. Augistine’s church at Ramapuram as one among the three assistant parish priests for more than 40 years.

Kunjachan died on 16th October 1973. Soon after his death, his tomb at the St. Augustine Church became a center of pilgrimage for people from far and wide.

I guess that is one diplomatic way to show opposition to the anti-conversion law in India. Though comprising only 2.4 % of the population, the Catholic missionary efforts are obviously a big threat to the Hindi status quo. The effects of the mission of St. Thomas the Apostle are still being felt.

Arthur of the Angry Twins blog has more information about the cure and a nice picture of Fr. Augustine "Kunjachan" here. N.B. Way better than this blog entry and I'm not afraid to admit it!

All the Tawdry Details

Reading this story from Venezuela about a priest murdered and discovered in a compromising position, gave me pause because I understand that sometimes stories are intentionally or unintentionally exaggerated, misunderstandings develop and the truth takes a back seat to selling newspapers. I guess the reporting seemed a little too gleeful.

Well it turns out that according to Whispers in the Loggia the news web source is a known propaganda organ for the very anti-Catholic Chavez. But are the details in question?

Today the Archbishop of Venezuela, Robert Luckert releases this statement condemning the Attorney General for releasing inflammatory details of the crime scene:

"Carlitos, the problem is that a man was killed, not if he was gay."

That sounds disturbingly like an acknowledgement that 1. the priest was gay and 2. the circumstances of his murder were a result of immoral behavior. The Archbishop believed that the attorney general was making the statements so people would conclude that the priest deserved to be murdered because he was gay. Now it's true that whether or not this individual was gay is not technically a problem for the Attorney General but it sure is a problem for the Archbishop and the priest and his parishoners. In fact we have gone from a ban on ordaining homosexuals (which wasn't enforced) to a ban on active homosexuals who have not been celibate for the 3 years prior to ordination to the priesthood. In spanish I would call that a grande problemo.

I'd like to think that this story isn't true. But what is saddest of all is that the Church has made become a very easy target for these types of stories because most people will read it and believe it. The stereotype of the homosexual priest has become, well a stereotype and it is going to take more than 3 years of celibacy prior to ordination to change that.

Today Rorate Caeli says that the document about homosexuals and ordination has been adjusted, finessed and the result seems to be a "don't ask, don't tell" loophole for gay seminarians. Seminarians are said to have the right to keep their own counsel and no one is to violate that. So secret homosexuality whether a tendency or a lifestyle is still protected. You have to wonder how that will change the current climate in the Church of a homosexual subculture and a lay distrust of the hierarchy who have almost given up the expectation that only straight, celibate men will be ordained.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Bishop Bruskewitz to the Rescue

Bishop Bruskewitz has refused to allow that National Review Board to audit the Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska. Laughably members of the Board have asked that "strong fraternal correction" be directed toward the Bishop. Personally, I'd like to see another bishop, perhaps one who is declaring bankruptcy, selling Church properties, holding press conferences to explain why molesters aren't being arrested or at LEAST removed from ministy "fraternally correct" Bishop Bruskewitz.

It would be funny if it wasn't so painful.

The Bishop on why he has taken this position:

“It is well known that some of the members of Ewers’ Board are ardent advocates of partial birth abortion, other abortions, human cloning and other moral errors. It is understandable then how such persons could dislike the Diocese of Lincoln, which upholds the moral teaching of the Catholic Church.”

What the Bishop is doing:

“The Diocese of Lincoln has in place a very strong program of instruction and training for all priests, religious and lay people in the diocese who are in any way, directly or indirectly, connected with children and youth. There are very careful and thorough background checks done for all people who are employed by the diocese, or by institutions, parishes or agencies which have any connection whatever with the diocese. All people, including all children and youth, are regularly instructed to report any incidents of abuse immediately to law enforcement authorities.”

In addition, any credible allegations of abuse will be presented to the diocese’s own lay review board “and then appropriately acted upon in accordance with the canon law of the Catholic Church,” he said.

Not for Lincoln but other dioceses may need it:
“My personal experience with the Charter and the audit process has led me to conclude that it is fundamentally a costly and expensive undertaking that brings forward little result, at least as far as the Diocese of Lincoln is concerned,” Bruskewitz said. “It may be that the Charter and the audit process are useful or even necessary for other places, but neither have much relevance to the Diocese of Lincoln.”

Bishop Bruskewitz has a simple formula for success. He upholds the teachings of the Catholic Church. He encourages vocations of straight, celibate men. He does not permit or encourage disobedience to the Church on moral issues. So the good Bishop does not need a diocesan wide sex education program (which I think is what is motivating his opting out of the audit), nor does he need liberal dissenters poking through his files precisely because Bishop Bruskewitz has nothing and no one to hide.

Martini Meddling

Cardinal Martini has started a bit of a furor by questioning Church teaching on the use of condoms for married couples when one of the spouses has AIDS. This is a familiar scenario it's the compassionate exception which leads to the loophole you can drive a truck through. The article is here.

The issues are abortion, condom use and frozen embryos:

Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, the former archbishop of Milan and the head of the Roman Catholic Church's liberal wing, said in an interview that legal abortions and the use of frozen embyros to produce children were also acceptable.

"Certainly the use of condoms can, in certain circumstances, constitute a lesser evil," Martini told weekly magazine L'Espresso, in reference to the dangers of contracting HIV/AIDS through sex.

The 79-year-old Jesuit cardinal also said the legalisation of abortion was a "positive" development in the sense that it had "contributed to reducing and eliminating illegal abortions".

This change in the Church's teaching on condom use has been denied here.

John Allen, from the NCR claims a "new document" is coming out that will change the teachings. Read here.

All this reminds me of the story that the Church has formed a commission to study the Church's teaching on Limbo and effectively discard the teaching. Of course the report of that Commission has never been released or approved.

I had heard Cardinal Martini described as liberal but I had no idea how liberal he is. Some of the positions he has expressed are advocacy for women deacons, change in the teaching on contraception, abandoning celibacy for priests, a more democratic model for the Church (i.e. that will allow "freedom" from Rome and doctrinal anarchy- well more than we have now).

Maybe it is time for another Suppression of the Jesuits.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Born of Water

The reason for the blogging hiatus over the weekend. Our newest godson, Michael baptized April 23rd at St Benedict's Chapel, Chesapeake, Virginia. Baptism performed by Fr. Kevin Willis, FSSP.

O'Malley on the "Mission" of the Church

Diogenes over at Catholic World News has a comment on Cardinal O'Malley's decision to capitulate to the State of Massachusetts on same sex adoptions. The commentary and readers responses are here.

O'Malley stated that a legislative battle would have been costly [and since we're $46.5 million in the red that won't work] and since he wants to convince people that the Church's teachings aren't "vindictive and meanspirited" [we have no guts and don't really believe all that archaic stuff anyway] the Church quit the adoption business. [author's interpretation]

But what I found most interesting was this comment from O'Malley:

O'Malley on fighting the decision legislatively:

"we thought it would only cause greater divisions, more controversy, and in the long run, would only cripple the mission of what we're trying to do."

So instead of a decision that will "cripple the mission" we abandon the mission? And that is supposed to equal success?

So what mission if not providing homes for foster children is more important? Once again you follow the money and realize that what Cardinal O'Malley means when he says "cripple the mission" is "cripple the fundraising" which has become the mission in the Archdiocese of Boston.

Crippled? I think the fundraising is on life support. Crippled would be a big step up.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Laity versus their Bishops

Spirit Daily has an article about this growing phenomenon here. The question can the trust of the people be restored? What will it take?

Boston Archdiocese Deficit $46 million

In spite of closing over 50 parishes, several schools and the sale of the primary residence of former bishops and cardinals who resided in Boston, the archdiocese continues to lose money. This year it was $8.3 million while last year was only $2.5 million. The overall deficit is $46 million. Dire.

The Herald lays it out for us here.

Reuters also has an article about the financial problems that continue for Boston here.

In summary, $151 million has been spent on the sex abuse scandal. That number includes settlements, counseling, prevention programs, litigation and insurance contributions.

Cardinal O'Malley has said: "We're poised to stop the bleeding," and he is hoping for a balanced budget by 2008.

Very interesting when the Archdiocese just released information that claimed more people were attending Mass than ever before. I don't know if anyone really believed that story. I know I didn't. I just chalked it up to another public relations gaffe like when the Archdiocese was claiming that some of Paul Shanley's victims had been abused by their own fathers. That trial balloon was floated here from the Globe.

The future:

To date the Church has settled claims with more than 650 victims, but at least 200 more are working their way through legal channels, according to Mitchell Garabedian, one of the lawyers representing the plaintiffs.

Still unreported are the salaries of the top officials in the Archdiocese something I would be very interested to see. Priests have been told to expect "pension adjustments". That should make vocations skyrocket.

Vermont Abuse Case Settled for $965,000

...against Fr. Edward Paquette. The whole article here.

How they will pay for it:

Diocese settles priest abuse case for $965,000
Church officials said in a statement later Wednesday the diocese would take out loans to pay the $965,000 to Gay. "No existing programs or charities will be affected and absolutely no Bishop's Fund monies will be used to satisfy this settlement," the statement said in part.

Once again:

"Nowhere, in any document, do you ever see Bishop Marshall express any concern for the boys," O'Neill said. "Every time, it's a concern for scandal, it's a concern for people not putting up with him ... In effect, what he was doing was providing Paquette with new victims." Marshall died in 1994.

Stuff and Nonsense:

Cleary conceded the diocese had failed to prevent the abuse Gay incurred but said it was relying on medical advice in a time when it was commonly believed that such sexually deviant behavior was curable.

The history:

According to the documents, Paquette allegedly began molesting boys at parishes in Mansfield and New Bedford, Mass., possibly as early as 1955. He was removed from the parishes in 1963 and, after undergoing psychiatric treatment in Boston, was transferred to the Fort Wayne-South Bend diocese in Indiana in 1964.

"I can hardly return him to active duty in this diocese," Bishop James Connolly of Fall River, Mass., wrote Bishop Leo Pursley of Indiana on Feb. 24, 1964. "However, it could quite be he has overcome his difficulty. I feel that you might help him, if you feel interested to try."

The Indiana diocese agreed to take Paquette, only to have him accused in 1971 of having molested boys at three Indiana parishes over six years. He was again ordered to undergo electric shock treatment.

In 1972, Paquette approached Marshall, hoping for an assignment in Vermont. When Marshall asked Pursley for his input, Pursley wrote back and suggested Paquette be placed in an "institutional chaplaincy" where there was "less likelihood of relapse."

Instead, Marshall assigned Paquette to the Christ the King Church in Rutland, on condition that he continue treatment under a psychiatrist. According to diocesan lawyer William O'Brien of Winooski, Marshall acted after receiving a letter from Hillenbrand recommending him for "any type of assignment ... including parish work."
Complaints continue

In 1974, the pastor in charge of the Rutland parish wrote Marshall to report he had received new complaints about Paquette.

"Father Paquette sexually molested two young men while on communion calls in the hospital," the Rev. James Engle wrote Marshall on Oct. 21, 1974.

"It is imperative that Father Paquette be removed from the Rutland area immediately ... I would also suggest that ... it should be done without fanfare or farewell parties and that it be publicly announced as sick leave."

After more treatment, Paquette was transferred to St. Augustine Church in Montpelier and, in 1976, to Christ the King Church in Burlington, which operates an accompanying elementary school. O'Neill alleged Paquette molested boys in Montpelier, but acknowledged there is no evidence Marshall was told about it.

By early 1978, the Burlington parish was fielding a steady stream of complaints from parents, alleging Paquette had molested their sons and describing other strange behavior by him.

"Several indicated they would not go near the church while Father Paquette was around," the Rev. John Fradet wrote in an April 20, 1978, memo to Marshall summarizing the situation. "Feelings were high. (Name deleted) felt we were treading on 'very thin ice' -- he was aware of six other parents."

The documents show that Marshall was torn about dismissing Paquette.

"Despite the demands of two sets of irate parents that 'something be done about this,' Father Paquette's pastor and I are determined to take the risk of leaving him in his present assignment," Marshall wrote to the head of a priest therapy retreat in Whitinsville, Mass., on April 4, 1978.

By April 17, Marshall had changed his mind. The next day, he wrote Paquette, saying he could no longer serve in any diocesan parish.

"The serious weakness that you have shown and your unwillingness or inability to cooperate with your counselor ... has forced this decision upon me," Marshall wrote

A priest who had a 23 year history of abuse. Number of victims- impossible to calculate- damage done also impossible to calculate. Financial cost- this is the tip of the iceberg.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Homosexuals use Children to Promote Agenda, Again

It really isn't anything new but if one was paying attention, one would see that yet again the homosexuals demonstrate that the children they are raising are their vehicles to social change and social acceptance. The article about the Easter Egg hunt at the White House can be read here. To identify themselves they wore rainbow leis. Naturally, the double entendre is intentional.

The article itself is a fine example of "advocacy journalism". There is no pretense at objectivity because it's all about uhhh human rights.

From the article:

Colleen Gillespie, an assistant research professor at New York University's Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, was one of the originators of the group visit. She said the idea arose after Education Secretary Margaret Spellings last year criticized an episode of the PBS children's program "Postcards From Buster" because it featured lesbians raising children. PBS declined to distribute the episode.

Gillespie said Monday that the dispute over the episode left her and her partner, Alisa Surkis, feeling vulnerable, "and we wanted to fight back."

I think it's normal to base my feelings on how the Buster Bunny cartoon is received? Are these people for real?

Like others, the gay and lesbian parents had waited overnight in a line to pick up time-specific tickets Saturday morning.

Now I'm outraged. Why did the homosexuals have to wait in line????????? They should have had their tickets fedexed to them. Fuming.


Although skies began to clear Monday afternoon, a drenching rain was falling just before noon when the group made its way to the White House grounds.

Many in the group wore leis made of yellow, purple, red, green, blue and orange silk and plastic flowers. The leis added a touch of color, meant to symbolize diversity, to an otherwise gray day.

Just as the homosexuals showed up God cleared the weather. Clearly it was a sign of divine approval. Their presence, their diversity was the only color, the only life, the only meaning to the gray day. I think this journalist could really make some money on the side writing harlequins.

Gillespie and Surkis' daughter, Ella, 3, set out with a straw bonnet, decorated with a pink and yellow flower, beneath the hood of her red rain slicker.

This is very nice because we have demonstrated for us that Ella is being cared for exquisitely. She has her Easter bonnet on but her rain coat too. These people should be giving parenting classes. They know how to dress children. It's beautiful.

Chrisler said her 4-year-old twins, Tim and Tom, had their own motivation for attending. They were interested in meeting the Easter bunny because, looking ahead to another holiday, they figured he could "put in a good word with Santa Claus," she said.

4 year old twins and they are already experienced lobbyists for their own cause. Truly this is revealing. So, 100 people out of 16,000 and the sun shines, they bring joy. Maybe next year the Gay Pride parade could replace the Easter Egg roll. Now that would be progress, that would show love and acceptance and humanity.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Pick Up Your Cross and Follow Me, Literally

Since 1946 the Crucifixion has been re-enacted in the Philippines on Good Friday. Men build and carry their own crosses through the streets after scourging themselves. Some pictures can be seen here and here.

Though officially discouraged I imagine it is very moving to witness as well as to undergo.

This year a documentary was being filmed about a tv producer's decision to undergo the crucifixion. This would have made him the second Westerner to do so but he changed his mind after carrying the cross he had made. The whole article is here.

When does zeal become excess and how does culture play into the end result?

It Is Consummated.

Feria Sexta in Parasceve

Faithful Cross, O throne of mercy,
Tree all noble and divine!
There's no tree on earth that carries
Fruit and flower such as thine:
Sweet and holy, nails and wood,
Sweet the burden, pure and good.

From the hymn Crux Fidelis, by Venantius Fortunatus written for a procession that brought a part of the true Cross to Queen Radegunda in 570.

Bishop of St. Lucia Saved by Roman Collar

This news story is dedicated to all the priests who do not like to wear their clerics.

In summary, Bishop Kelvin Felix, Bishop of Trinidad and Tobago was attacked by a 26 year old man armed with a knife. The assailant attempted to slash his throat. Apparently his roman collar saved the Bishop. (And throughout the course of his life it is impossible to say how many others were saved, encouraged and fortified by the mere sight of the Bishop wearing his collar.)

The article is here.

One note caught my eye:

A report was made to the police and after investigations were conducted, a 26-year-old man who lives in a depressed area of the capital, was arrested.

The press just can't leave out the fact that the man was from a "depressed area". And since he is impoverished he obviously cannot be held to account for his attempted murder because he is poor and therefore virtuous and only attempting to make a political statement about the oppression of the poor.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Disturbing Trend: Baptisms Way Down

Fra Angelico's Baptism of Jesus

USA Today has an article which reveals some disturbing trends. Baptisms are way down eventhough the total number of Catholics has almost doubled since 1954.

From the article:

For Christians of all denominations, "even if they never darkened the door of a church any other time in their life ... there's a tendency to hold onto this life-cycle marker," says the Rev. Paul Sullins, a sociologist at Catholic University in Washington, D.C.

Could it possibly be diminishing in significance because of the attitude of the clergy to Baptism? I mean really- "life-cycle marker"? I guess that was the sociologist in him talking but what is wrong with the word Sacrament?

The reasons why?

Behind the drop, experts see pressures ranging from fewer babies since the postwar boom, to increased secularization and interfaith marriage, to more "seeker churches" that downplay tradition.

Among Catholics, Sullins says, the rate of baptisms has fallen faster than the rate of decline in births.

Baptism isn't the only source of new members. The church's U.S. numbers — up from 31.6 million in 1954 to 67.8 million last year — also have grown through immigration. And at Saturday's Easter vigil, the church will receive tens of thousands of adult converts.

The sociologist also links fewer infant baptisms to two trends involving marriage. Fewer Catholics are choosing to marry in the church, and Sullins says they may be less "attached to the sacraments." And, since a change in church law in 1983, Catholics who marry non-Catholics no longer must promise to baptize and rear their children as Catholics.

Oh yes 1983, a watershed year when the Code of Canon law was watered down, err changed.

Now the church requires only "a general recognition by the couple that the Catholic partner's faith will be respected."

"The more you see more inter-faith marriages or couples where one partner is lukewarm or hostile to organized religion, the more you will see baptism taper off," says the Rev. James Martin, associate editor of the Jesuit magazine America and author of My Life with the Saints

"I know friends who themselves are strongly Catholic but who married people inimical to the church, and it's hard to agree on what they should do with their baby. At the very least, it delays baptism. The more delayed, the less likely it is to happen at all," he says.

All the denominations that emphasize infant baptism, such as Catholics, Methodists and Lutherans, struggle with a contemporary culture that rejects the very idea that humanity is born into sin or that parents should steer children's spiritual development, says the Rev. Gayle Carlton Felton, author of the United Methodist Church's statement on baptism theology and practice, This Gift of Water.

The Modern parents' approach:

There are now baptism-style ceremonies where God is never mentioned by parents seeking to initiate their children into a world of all faiths, says Ema Drouillard of San Francisco, who runs the website

She conducted such an event for Kirsten and Farnum Alston of Marin County, Calif., for their baby, Greer, in 1998. "We just wanted a larger spirit to guide our daughter, but we didn't want to get specific. I wanted all her bases covered," says Kirsten Alston. The couple grew up Presbyterian, but now "we just do Christianity L-I-T-E" for Greer, who "believes in angels and fairies, leprechauns and Santa Claus."

And Finally:

Even if baptisms aren't rising in numbers, they're on the rise in significance, McLaren says.

And the final conclusion which makes no sense at all- fewer Baptisms but the ones taking place have greater importance. You know what it's Holy Thursday so don't even bother trying to figure it out.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Holy Week Schedule for the Holy Father

The Pope's Holy Week Schedule from the article:

Pope Benedict XVI urged Catholics on Wednesday to go to confession during Holy Week, Christianity's most solemn period, when the faithful recall the last days of Christ's life and his resurrection on Easter.


"A good confession before Easter remains an obligation that should be fully valued and gives us the opportunity to start anew," Benedict told several thousand pilgrims and tourists gathered in a sunny St. Peter's Square for his weekly public audience.

Holy Thursday

As part of his busy Holy Week schedule, Benedict will travel across town Thursday to the Basilica of St. John Lateran, where he will wash the feet of 12 priests, recalling the Gospel account of Christ washing the feet of his 12 apostles before the Last Supper.

I guess that takes care of the thorny problem of women wanting their feet washed. 12 priests- good call.

And what a coincidence! Happy Birthday to Our Holy Father and Happy Easter as well.

Afterward, the pope, whose 79th birthday falls on Easter Sunday, plans a brief vacation at the papal residence in Castel Gandolfo, in the Alban Hills south of Rome.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Big Happy Family in Britain.

Just read this nice essay from a mother of five. A mother who understands what is important in life and is passing that value onto her children. The essay is here.

She says:

Whenever I admit to having five children, people's eyes tend to pop. A decade ago, the brave used to ask: "Are you Catholic?" (answer: no), but today that is no longer the question. Now, what everyone wants to know is: "How on earth can you afford it?" So I wasn't surprised to learn this week that Britain's families are shrinking at an alarming rate, and that the root cause of this reluctance to breed is money.

What you learn:

Being one of a heap teaches you things that no curriculum can encompass - give and take, sharing parental time, looking out for one another, even doing your bit to help in order to show up the laziness of the rest.

Being part of a larger family not only makes a child aware of the limits of their own ego, it forces them to be self-sufficient in order to get some personal space. When the noise levels at home are just too high, my children have to engineer their own escape routes. This may be playing the guitar, reading a book, or going down the road to a friend's house, where there is a calmer atmosphere. Inevitably, they get less attention than they would if they were fewer in number, but benign neglect is overdue a revival. Few children actually want to bask in the full beam of parental attention beyond babyhood. They would rather get on with their own lives and seek out an adult only when they want something.

And money:

That something is often couched in monetary or material terms - "I need a new pair of shoes" - but rarely is the request to be taken at face value. I have found that money in families is shorthand for love. When a child is complaining or demanding something, he or she often needs a cuddle, not cash, not an expensive treat but someone who wants to hear about their battle with a schoolfriend or why they weren't picked for the football team.

What I want to know is when does the book come out? A good writer and with a lot of common sense about children and human nature, how rare is that?

Monday, April 10, 2006

St. Michael's College in Vermont: Catholic?

St. Michael's College in Winooski, Vermont is well known in New England. Founded by the Edmundites in 1904, its mission statement reads:

It is the mission of Saint Michael’s College to contribute through higher education to the enhancement of the human person and to the advancement of human culture in the light of the Catholic faith.

In light of the Catholic faith. Hmmm. Last week Bishop Matano, Vermont's new Bishop fired a warning salvo over the bow of St. Michael's. In an interview with the Bishop (transcript here) concern is indicated about the president of St Mike's who according to the Vatican is supposed to be Catholic. The President is a gay Unitarian. Though I don't blame the strong pro gay atmosphere of St Mike's on the president, rather his selection is only further evidence of it. The Bishop is also concerned about events like proabortion rallies on the College campus.

The Edmundites' influence at St. Mike's is waning right along with their numbers. There are currently 41 priests worldwide left in the order. One former priest- Fr. Many was accused of child abuse, though no longer a Catholic priest he is "pastoring" for Dignity in Vermont. (But please repeat there is no connection between child molestation and homosexuality). Article here. Many claims that the accusations against him are a witchhunt. Regrettably I disagree.

In a student op-ed, some statistics are being given about how Catholic St Mike's is.The article is here. The numbers are hard to refute:

57% of students call themselves Catholic
11% attend Mass weekly
15% believe they are more religious than when the entered St Mike's
26% say they are less Catholic

Amazing isn't it what Catholic parents are getting with their $35,000 tuition and room and board. Really I don't think you can put a dollar value on it.

And other campus news:

*Student wins Madeline Kunin award for AIDS activism.
*New Political Science Professor joins Faculty. His speciality AIDS policy. He and his partner Steven are looking forward to being a part of St. Mike's community.
*Peter Harrigan, tenured Fine Arts professor was a plaintiff in the lawsuit that brought Civil Unions to Vermont.
*student GLBT website
* Catholic Lesbian website lists St. Michaels as gay friendly Church

Prediction- Bishop Matano will remove the Catholic designation from St. Michael's College but it is happening so embarassingly late. I mean Vermont already has Civil Unions, in part because of a St. Michael's professor.

Alpha Program Approved for Boston Archdiocese

Cardinal Sean O'Malley (I'm sorry I just can't bring myself to call him Cardinal Sean) has officially approved the Alpha Program for use in the Boston Archdiocese. Alpha is an evangelization program that was developed in England by an Anglican Pastor Nicky Gamble. The press release is here.

The gist of the program:

The Alpha program, which originated in an Anglican church in London, is a 10-week course on the basics of Christianity. Participants spend one evening a week having dinner together, watching a video presentation and discussing the material in small groups. Sessions cover faith, the life and death of Jesus as well as prayer and Scripture. Alpha also involves an overnight retreat toward the end of the course.

From a promoter of the course:

“The call to the new evangelization can be heard loud and clear throughout the Catholic Church,” Dave Nodar, director of ChristLife Evangelization Ministry in the Archdiocese of Baltimore, said in a statement. “What has not been so clear is how we as Catholics can answer the call in a practical, yet comfortable, way. Alpha for Catholics offers an excellent first step for parishes that are looking for a way to respond.”

That really struck me- practical and yet comfortable because that is what evangelism in America, catholic-style is all about. If it's not practice and comfortable just count me out.

The Alpha program has generated some controversy in the past. Paul Likoudis wrote an article citing his concerns here.

And Gillian Van Der Lande wrote about the program and her experience with it for Christian Order- article here.

It has been linked to such outrageous cults as The Toronto so-called Blessings where people (under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit you understand) grunt like pigs, bark like dogs, laugh uncontrollably and roll around on the ground. Sounds more like the spirits that Jesus used to cast out of people than the Holy Spirit.

This program sounds a lot like Cursillo, Couples for Christ and any other groups that try to use "fellowship" to evangelize. They are attempting to personalize religion in a way that allows for mass marketing. The message is simple, "Christianity Lite", a pleasant evening, worship music, and dinner. The problem is participants want to keep their religious fervor at the tepid level that is so appealing. Since the participants "found God" or "renewed their Faith" or whatever they call it, in a safe, nonchallenging environment they come to believe that that state is the Christian Life and anything that moves them out of their comfort zone is unchristian; like protesting at an abortion clinic for instance or being open to life or going to Mass or even (gasp) Confession.

These program are not the way to evangelize. The disciples didn't convert whole nations with slick advertising, creating a comfortable atmosphere and generating warm feelings. The disciples challenged people in their errors and called them to the Truth. The truth is not easy, comfortable and personally I find it very impractical but programs that are based on the telling of faith fairytales gets sort of boring after a while.

I can think of two priests who preached the Truth, painful and uncomfortable as it was for them and their listeners. So painful they have both been silenced. Anyone remember Fr. David Mullen and Fr. Robert Altier?

Friday, April 07, 2006

The Anachronism of Parenthood

Fr. McBrien has an article today in the Tidings (where else) that is an effort to promote the idea of adoption by homosexual couples. Fr. McBrien attempts to pull our heartstrings about how mistreated homosexuals have been by the Church and contrast their persecution with their intention to "help children". Naturally we are to conclude that out of feelings of guilt and pity we will acquiesce again and grant homosexuals another level of societal acceptance and endorse their family aspirations.

The article is here.

From the article:

Throughout this controversy, there have been constant --- but unspecific --- references to the Vatican's condemnation of such adoptions as "gravely immoral."

That judgment appears in a document issued by the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) on July 31, 2003, entitled, "Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons." Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, was prefect of the Congregation at that time.

The pertinent section reads as follows: "As experience has shown, the absence of sexual complementarity in these unions creates obstacles in the normal development of children who would be placed in the care of such persons.... Allowing children to be adopted by persons living in such unions would actually mean doing violence to these children, in the sense that their condition of dependency would be used to place them in an environment that is not conducive to their full human development. This is gravely immoral...." (n. 7, para. 3).

Fr. McBrien asks:

Is there evidence that "violence" is, in fact, done to children placed in adoptive households of same-sex couples, as the CDF asserted?

And strangely enough I found the answer to that question in today's news. An article entitled:Custody Court hands sisters over to mother's lesbian lover

From the article:

Two young sisters at the centre of a bitter custody battle were taken from their biological mother yesterday and sent to live with her former lesbian lover following a landmark court ruling.

The Court of Appeal ruled that although the natural mother had blood ties to the girls, that would no longer be deemed an advantage when both parties had brought the children up.


The judge said: "We have moved into a world where norms that seemed safe 20 or more years ago no longer run. In the eyes of the child, the natural parent may be a non-biological parent who, by virtue of long settled care, has become the psychological parent."

Ah, the psychological parent, very chilling indeed given what it will mean to all families when this precedent is applied.

the rest:

The girls' natural mother, referred to as CG, had a seven-year relationship with her girlfriend, referred to as CW. She gave birth to the seven- and four-year-old sisters, known as A and B, via artificial insemination. None of the parties can be identified to protect the girls' anonymity.

The court heard that the relationship broke down in 2002 and CG moved to a neighbouring house until she found a new lesbian partner in Leicester. They recently "married" in a civil partnership.

CW, 47, was denied access and any parental responsibility by a county court judge but this was overturned by the Court of Appeal last April and she was granted shared contact. The judges said shared responsibility was "vital" for the girls' psychological health.

But as the children spent their summer holidays with CW, CG, a "headstrong and selfish" teacher, and her new partner secretly sold their house in Leicester and bought one in Cornwall, registering the children in a new school, a move the judges called "an appalling decision made in an afternoon". It was "a flagrant breach of the court's control of the arrangements for the children and an elaborate deception of CW".

When the family was tracked down, the High Court granted primary care of the children to the former partner, a decision ratified by the Court of Appeal yesterday.

The only hesitation noted was minor:

Lady Justice Hallet said she dismissed the appeal but "with a degree of hesitation".

"I am very concerned at the prospect of removing these children from the primary care of their only identifiable biological parent who has been their primary carer for most of the young lives and in whose care they appear to be happy and thriving."

So, happy and thriving children are awarded to a "psychological" parent presumably to assure the psychological parent that we value her and want to make up some rights to give her self esteem. Fr. McBrien asks for specifics about the violence done to children of homosexual couples- how's this for specifics? Homosexuals are disordered. When they act on their disorder and pair off, marry, create a civil union or whatever word you want to use for their immorality and then introduce children into their sick little worlds you have victims who are preyed upon by those who are supposed to be their caregivers. Homosexuals are not capable of unselfish love, hence their lifestyles. If you are not capable of unselfish love you are not capable of parenthood. Biologically, or psychologically for that matter.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Hopes Dashed

We had such high hopes when Rev. Jenkins, C.S.C., president of Notre Dame a Catholic University banned performances of The V Monologues, except in the context of a class (or some such nonsense). We thought he was simply phasing it out slowly.

The wealthy alumnae must have had their way.

Unfortunately in his letter which can be seen here- he has decided to permit the Play in the future without any restrictions on it.

The pertinent paragraph is here:

Thanks to the efforts of some faculty members, this year's performance of The Vagina Monologues was brought into dialogue with Catholic tradition through panels which followed each performance. Panelists presented the Catholic teaching on human sexuality, and students and faculty engaged one another and these issues in serious and informed discussion. These panels taught me and perhaps taught others that the creative contextualization of a play like The Vagina Monologues can bring certain perspectives on important issues into a constructive and fruitful dialogue with the Catholic tradition. This is a good model for the future. Accordingly, I see no reason to prohibit performances of The Vagina Monologues on campus, and do not intend to do so in the future.

Dutch Want to Punish Educated Stay at Home Mothers

It's hard to know how to respond to this type of idiocy.

Dutch Feminazis Want to Punish Educated Stay at Home Mothers.

But when you realize it's the Netherlands where abortion, euthanasia, prostitution and drug use are legal it all sort of make sense. The country has its own quick start reference to their embarassing social policies here.

I looked up the Royal Family to try to figure out why they didn't have more sense and I discovered that the former King was a member of the Hitler Youth Movement and a Nazi. Brief bio sketch of the family here. A very strange coincidence I guess.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

A Simple Lesson

...about how Freedom of the Press and Freedom of Religion cannot exist under Socialism. In a Lifesite News article- here- we learn that EWTN pulled some programming for their Canadian and European markets on homosexuality because of hate speech laws.

The gist:

In response to questioning about a show on homosexuality not being aired in Canada, as was scheduled and aired in the United States, Amalia C. Zea, the producer of the popular program Life on the Rock responded, "I apologize that you didn't get the show that you were expecting. Due to the new hate crimes regulations in Europe and Canada, it is against the law for us to air shows whose main topic deal with same sex attraction."

The missing show in question was the March 2nd airing of Life on the Rock which featured Stephen Bennett, a former homosexual who is now happily married with children. The theme of the program was "Homosexuality to Heterosexuality Happens."

The program was not the first EWTN program dealing with homosexuality pulled from Canadian and European audiences. Another Life on the Rock episode, which aired December 15, 2005 was also yanked from EWTN's Canadian and European feeds. contacted EWTN for more information. Scott Hults, Vice President, Communications at EWTN first told that Zea is a "junior producer" and as such she was mistaken. The network, he said, was just being "cautious".

He said, "We were sensitive to the issues in Canada . . . the market is very important to us." He added, "We worked very hard to be part of the cable television and satellite community in Canada . . . The decision was we'd produce a Canadian feed, and because of that we also have to be sensitive to what you guys want, what you expect, what you are looking for. We do different programming for you, we're sensitive to your needs and we respond when appropriate to what you want us to do. Everybody seems to be very happy with us."

He assured that the programs in question will air in Canada, and the reason it did not was that the network was concerned that the program was aired live, without the opportunity to bleep out any material that may have been sensitive. The airing of the programs, he said was "delayed" in case participants said something live that "would blow your minds there."

When asked if Canadian government officials had warned EWTN not to broadcast such material in Canada due to our hate crime laws, Hults, after consulting with executives replied in the negative. Asked whether other programming dealing with controversial subjects such as abortion or euthanasia would also be subject to "cautious" delay or censorship, Hults again said no.

Hults explained that the reason for the "cautious" approach was a complaint against an episode of EWTN's Life on the Rock Program dealing with homosexuality filed in the UK in September 2005. EWTN successfully defended the case but that experience has made them "cautious" on such episodes dealing with homosexuality, he said.

Asked if the station's foundress Mother Angelica, would have acted in a similar "cautious" fashion, Hults replied, "we don't know."

I miss Mother Angelica. And I'm not the only one.

Lennon to head Cleveland Diocese.

Bishop Lennon has been named as the replacement to the Bishop of Cleveland and will replace the retiring Bishop Pilla. Pilla is retiring for health reasons.

Aren't they all?

The Boston Globe has an article here.

You know how one action or event can forever define someone? Lennon's fine work on the sex abuse cases in Boston stand out though he can be somewhat reticent to take full credit.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Mormonism Grows in Catholic Northeast

A Reuters story reveals that Mormonism is growing in a heavily Catholic region of the country. Story here. One reason given is the sex abuse scandals by Catholic clergy. That is pretty ironic since some Mormons practice polygamy which is really pedophilia masquerading as marriage given that many 2nd and subsequent "wives" are young teenage girls.

What does make Mormonism attractive is its strict moral code, emphasis on a clean cut personal appearance and the importance placed on the family. Come to think of it those were things that used to be said about the Catholic Church back in the 1950s. That would be before the Springtime of Vatican II, for those who are on the look out for the fruits of the Council. Keep looking. Let us know when you find some.

Further Dispelling the Stereotype of the Noble Savage

Just in case there is anyone who is not yet convinced.

A New Book and an Old Question

How do we address the abuse crisis as faithful Catholics?

A new book entitled Epistles of Clergy Abuse by Vincent J. Nauheimer has been published. Mr. Nauheimier's son was abused by a priest. His book is about his efforts to have the abusing priest suspended. Matt Abbot does an excerpt here. You can purchase the book here. This book is only $19.54 and I mention that because of some unfortunate complaints about the price of the last book I recommended. Ahem.

Mr. Abbott either neglected to realize or neglected to reveal that Vincent J Nauheimer is a member of Voice of the Faithful and has written poetry describing the clergy sex abuse crisis as a vehicle for the laity to liberalize the Church and take control.

An excerpt from his poem published in the VOTF newsletter:

The power of God is in every human being
The hierarchy can't prevent us from seeing
Voice of the Faithful has got good news
The power of God is still in the pews.

Now some good Catholics have said that the victims of clergy sex abuse are "wolves in sheep's clothing". So, somehow acknowledging that there has been abuse and it was covered up is attacking the Church in some misguided minds. These are the same people who were attending Mass at the Cathedral in Boston during the revelations to "support Cardinal Law".

Now when the Church played legal hardball by accusing Gregory Ford's father of abusing him, despite the fact that he was a victim of the notorious Paul Shanley and when they responded to civil lawsuits by accusing parents of negligence in "allowing their children to be abused" which you can read about here and here and here if you really don't know this part of the story, we are supposed to justify and excuse that? That my dear friends is not how a faithful Catholic responds.

Do I trust the Voice of the Faithful? Of course not. Do I understand how someone could join such a group after their child had been abused and then they, as parents had been lied to? Of course. When the only ones who acknowledge the abuse are the liberal dissidents you have a problem. It is not disloyalty to complain that child rapists are wearing priest's collars and maintain positions of trust. It is blatantly simple common sense.

Ignore the victims and malign them if you want, but we are going broke doing so. And that may not be a bad thing.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Could It Possibly Be True?

The Universal Indult has been signed by His Holiness?

Rorate Caeli says so.