Monday, May 29, 2006

Obedient to God or Man?

Lest you fear that priests are no longer preaching about mortal sin. Let me reassure you.

Fr. Tran:

Kneeling "is clearly rebellion, grave disobedience and mortal sin," Father Martin Tran, pastor at St. Mary's by the Sea, told his flock in a recent church bulletin. The Diocese of Orange backs Tran's anti-kneeling edict.

But the parishoners say:

Kneeling is an act of adoration. You almost automatically kneel because you're so used to it. Now the priest says we should stand, but we all just ignore him.

Judith M. Clark, 68

The Experts who you can always count on to get it wrong:

Because the earliest Christians viewed Jesus as God and man, Madden said, they generally stood during worship services to show reverence and equality. About the 7th century, however, Catholic theologians put more emphasis on Christ's divinity and introduced kneeling as the only appropriate posture at points in the Mass when God was believed to be present.

Things started to change in the 1960s, Madden said, when Vatican II began moving the church back to its earliest roots. What has ensued, he said, is the predictable struggle of an institution revising centuries of religious practices.

The heresy of antiquarianism trotted out so predictably to justify destroying people's faith.

I'm waiting for this one to go all the way to Rome.

The Terrible Truth Exposed

Representative Ted Harvey, Colorado State Legislature

To all interested parties,

I want to share with you an awesome experience I recently had in the
Colorado House of Representatives. It is a humbling experience to look
back and realize that God used me to play a role in His divine
orchestration. As I was leaving the House chambers for the weekend when our Democrat
Speaker of the House mentioned that the coming Monday would be the final
day of this year's General Assembly. He went on to state that there were
still numerous resolutions on the calendar which we would need to be
addressed prior to the summer adjournment. Interestingly, he specifically
mentioned that one of the resolutions we would be hearing was being
carried by the House Majority Leader Alice Madden, honoring the 90th
anniversary of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains.

As a strong pro-life legislator I was disgusted by the idea that we would
pass a resolution honoring this 90 year legacy of genocide. I drove home
that night wondering what I could say that might pierce the darkness
during the debate on this heinous resolution. On Saturday morning I took my eight-year-old son up to the mountains to go white water rafting. The trip lasted all day. As we were driving home,exhausted and hungry, I remembered that I had accepted an invitation to attend a fundraising dinner that night for a local pro-life organization.

One of my most respected mentors had personally called me several weeks
earlier and asked me to attend, so I knew I'd have to clean up and head
over. After our meal, the executive director of the organization introduced the
keynote speaker. I looked up and saw walking to the stage a handicapped
young lady being assisted to the microphone by a young man holding a
guitar. Her name was Gianna Jessen.

Gianna said "Hello," welcomed everyone, and then sang three of the most
beautiful Christian songs that I have ever heard.She then began to give her testimony. When her biological mother was 17 years old and 7 ½ months pregnant she went to a Planned Parenthood clinic to have an abortion. As God would have it, the abortion failed and a beautiful two-pound baby girl was brought into the world. Unfortunately, she was born with cerebral palsy and the doctors thought that she would never survive. The doctors were wrong. Imagine the timing! A survivor of a Planned Parenthood abortion arrived in town just days before the Colorado House of Representatives was to celebrate Planned Parenthood's "wonderful" work.

As I listened to Gianna's amazing testimony the Lord inspired me to ask
her if she could stay in Denver until Monday morning so that I could
introduce her on the floor of the House and tell her story. Perhaps she
could even begin the final day's session by singing our country's
national anthem! To my surprise she said she would seriously consider it. If she were to agree, she wanted her accompanying guitar player to stay as well. A lady
standing in line behind me waiting to meet Gianna overheard our
conversation and said that she would be willing to pay for the
guitarist's room. Gianna then said that she would think about it.
As I was driving home from the banquet my cell phone rang. It was Gianna
and she immediately said, "I'm in, let's ruin this celebration." Praise
God! When Monday morning came, I awoke at 6:00 to write my speech before
heading to the Capitol. As I wrote down the words I could sense God's
help and I knew that this was going to be a powerful moment for the
pro-life movement. Following a committee hearing, I rushed into the House Chambers just as the opening morning prayer was about to be given. Between the prayer and
the pledge of allegiance I wrote a quick note to the Speaker of the House
explaining that Gianna is an advocate for cerebral palsy. I took the note
to the Speaker and asked if I could have my friend open the last day of
session by singing the national anthem. Without any hesitation the
Speaker took the microphone and said, "Before we begin, Representative
Harvey has made available for us Gianna Jessen to sing the National

Gianna sang the most amazing rendition of the Star Spangled Banner that
you could possibly imagine. Every person in the entire chamber was
completely still, quiet, and in awe of this frail young lady's voice.
Due to her cerebral palsy, Gianna often loses her balance, and shortly
after starting to sing she grabbed my arm to stabilize herself, and I
could tell that she was shaking. Suddenly, midway through the song, she
forgot the words and began to hum and said, "Please forgive me I am so
nervous." She then immediately began singing again and every House member
and every guest throughout the chambers began to sing along with her to
give her encouragement and lift her up.
As I looked around the huge hall I listened to the unbelievable melody of
Gianna's voice being accompanied by a choir of over 100 voices. I had
chills running all over my body and I knew that I had just witnessed an
act of God. As the song concluded the Speaker of the House explained that Gianna has
cerebral palsy and is an activist to bring awareness to the disease. "Let
us give her a hand not only for her performance today but also for her
advocacy work," he said. The chamber immediately exploded into
applause.she had them all in the palm of her hand.

The Speaker then called the House to order and we proceeded as usual to
allow members to make any announcements or introductions of guests. For
dramatic effect, I waited until I was the last person remaining before I
introduced Gianna. As I waited for my turn, I nervously paced back and forth praying to God that he would give me the peace, confidence and the courage necessary to
pull off what I knew would be one of the most dramatic and controversial
moments of my political career.

While I waited, a prominent reporter from one of the major Denver
newspapers walked over to Gianna and told her that her rendition captured
the spirit of the national anthem more powerfully than any she had ever
heard before. Finally, I was the last person remaining, so I proceeded to the
microphone and began my speech: "Members, I would like to introduce you to a new friend and hero of mine-- her name is Gianna Jessen. She is visiting us today from
Nashville, Tennessee where she is an accomplished recording artist.
She has cerebral palsy and was raised in foster homes before being
adopted at the age of four. She was born prematurely and weighed only two pounds at birth. She remained in the hospital for almost three months. A doctor once said she
had a great will to live and that she fought for her life. Eventually she
was able to leave the hospital and be placed in foster care.
Because of her cerebral palsy her foster mother was told that it was
doubtful that she would ever crawl or walk. She could not sit up
independently. Through the prayers and dedication of her foster mother,
she eventually learned to sit up, crawl, then stand. Shortly before her
fourth birthday she began to walk with leg braces and a walker.
She continued in physical therapy and after a total of four surgeries,
she was able to walk without assistance.

She still falls sometimes, but she says she has learned how to fall
gracefully after falling for 29 years. Two years ago she walked into a local health club and said she wanted a private trainer. At the time her legs could not lift 30 pounds. Today she can leg press 200 pounds. She became so physically fit that she began running marathons to raise money and awareness for cerebral palsy. She just returned last week from England where she ran in the London Marathon. It took her over 8 ½ hrs to complete. They were taking down the course by the time she made it to the finish line. But she made it none the less. With bloody feet and aching
joints she finished the race.

Members would you help me recognize a modern day hero. Gianna Jessen?
At this point the chamber exploded into applause which lasted for 15 to
20 seconds.Gianna had touched their souls. Ironically, Alice Madden the Majority Leader and sponsor of the Planned Parenthood Resolution walked over to Gianna and gave her a hug. As the applause began to die down I raised my hand to be recognized one more time. "Mr. Speaker, members, if you would allow me just a few more moments I
would appreciate your time.

My name is Ted Harvey not Paul Harvey but please let me tell you the rest
of the story. The cause of Gianna's cerebral palsy is not because of some biological
freak of nature, but rather the choice of her mother. You see when her biological mother was 17 years old and 7 ½ months pregnant she went to a Planned Parenthood clinic to seek a late term abortion. The abortionist performed a saline abortion on this 17-year-old girl. This procedure requires the injection of a high concentration of saline into the mother's womb which the fetus is then bathed in and
swallows which results in the fetus being burned to death, inside and
out. Within 24 hrs the results are normally an induced still-born

As Gianna can testify the procedure is not always 100% effective. Gianna
is an aborted late term fetus that was born alive. The high concentration
of saline in the womb for 24 hrs resulted in a lack of oxygen to her
brain and is the cause of her cerebral palsy. Members, today we are going to recognize the 90th anniversary of Rocky Mountain Planned Parenthood,"
BANG! The gavel came down. Just as I was finishing the last sentence of my speech.The climax of the morning.The Speaker of the House gaveled me down and said,
"Representative Harvey, I will allow you to continue your introduction
but not for the purposes of debating a measure now pending before the

At which point I said,"Mr. Speaker I understand, I just wanted to put a face to what we are celebrating today". Silence.Deafening silence. I then walked back to my chair shaking like a leaf. The Democrats wouldn't look at me.they were fuming. It was beautiful. I have been in the legislature for five tough years and this made it all worthwhile. The House Majority Leader wouldn't talk to me the rest of the day.
Was it because I introduced an abortion survivor, or was it because we
touched her soul? She could hug an inspirational cerebral palsy victim
and advocate, but was outraged when she discovered that the person she
hugged was also an abortion survivor. The headline in the Denver Post the next day read Abortion Jab Earns Rebuke. The Majority Leader is quoted as saying "I think it was amazingly rude to use a human being as an example of his personal politics,"
Yes Representative Madden, Gianna Jessen is a human being. She was when
she was in her mother's womb and she was when she sang the National
Anthem on the Floor of the Colorado House of Representatives.
The paper went on to quote Gianna Jessen, stating she was glad Harvey
told her story.

"We need to discuss the humanity of it. I'm glad to be able to speak up
for children in the womb," she said. "If abortion is about women's
rights, where were my rights?" Leslie Hanks, one of the matriarchs of the pro-life movement in Colorado, was in the House Chamber that morning and told me that it was the single greatest moment she had witnessed in the State Legislature in the 20
years that she'd been lobbying in the Capitol. All I can say is, "Glory to God!" He orchestrated it all, every minute of it, and I was so honored to have been chosen to play a part. May we all continue to be filled with and to fight for the passion of our Lord Jesus Christ!
In His service,
Ted Harvey
Assistant Minority Leader
Colorado House of Representatives

Miss Gianna Jessen

Friday, May 26, 2006

O'Malley Forces Resignation of CEO, Finally

Cardinal O'Malley is beset once again with problems. At least this time isn't not the clergy. The President of Caritas Cristi, the hospital system, is a serial sexual harasser. The Cardinal's first instinct was a slap on the wrist and the pervert keeps his job. Maybe it was hoped that this would keep the story out of the press and demoralize any accusers, thereby discouraging them from bringing a lawsuit. When the head of Human Resources got wind of it her dismay provided the perfect angle for the Boston Globe. "The Cardinal hates women" second only in popularity to "The Cardinal protects sex abusers".

The whole article can be read here. Faced with protests and negative publicity the Cardinal changed course and the Haddad resigned taking 10 months severance.

This case illustrates the difference between men and women and how they make decisions and how pressure is being brought to bear on O'Malley to make decisions the way women do. Women make decisions by consensus. We like to poll our trusted friends and relatives and form a judgment based on what we hear. Men (traditionally) make decisions unilaterally. It's called leadership. I will be the first to point out that the decisions they make are not always infallible but it doesn't matter. If they mean well and are honorable they will be effective and the results will be good. This inspires trust.

But feminists don't want that- male leadership. That is, to them, anathema. So the pressure has been brought to bear on O'Malley before- everytime he has caved in-
1. When he attempted to continue the practice of washing the feet of men on Holy Thursday. A little pressure was brought to bear and he capitulated.
2. When Feminism was called an evil- he was denounced. He acquiesced and then apologized.
3. The latest firing decision. And while I support the decision to fire Haddad, it is a dangerous pattern to go with public opinion especially when it really isn't the public opinion as much as that opinion which the press is manufacturing.

It is disconcerting to find that public opinion, a desire to avoid future lawsuits and pandering to women are the criteria that are shaping O'Malley's leadership. O'Malley strives for humility in keeping with his Franciscan charism. But someone needs to explain to him that humility is not the absence of leadership.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

The Ascension of Our Lord

"Full authority has been given to me both in heaven and on earth; go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations. Baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.' Teach them to carry out everything I have commanded you. And know that I am with you always, even to the consummation of the world."
Matthew 28:18-20

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Faith, Football and Formation: And When It All Comes Together

Ben Kessler, "Tommie of the Year" gave a Commencement address at his graduation from St. Thomas University in Minneapolis a few days ago. Seems he upset a few people. Which is why he attracted our attention.

Who is Ben Kessler? Ben is a Seminarian who also happens to play college football as Defensive Tackle for the University. He graduated from the Seminary program with a 4.0 gpa majoring in Philosophy and Business. He will attend the Pontifical College in Rome for his studies next year.

During the speech Kessler referenced some controversial events of the prior school year. First he mentioned a food fight at the Spring formal that became so out of control that Security had to be called to restore order. Next the University had to institute a Travel Policy that prohibited unmarried school employees from sharing hotel rooms on trips because of the rank scandal that existed. In both cases he said that the people involved had acted selfishly. And then the real outrage- he said that women who use birth control are selfish.

The reaction- people booed. People walked out. Thomas Rochon, the University Chief Academic Officer followed his remarks by saying that "it takes courage to express your convictions." Oh, how Mr. Rochon will pay for that remark I'm afraid.

The fallout- the University President, Fr. Dennis Dease is doing damage control. He has disavowed the speech and said that "it was inappropriate for Kessler to express his opinions." Now this is where I have a problem- they were HIS opinions- they were, they are the teachings of the Holy Catholic Church. (Right Fr. Dease?)

I regret that it seems that Kessler has apologized for his remarks in that they offended some people. I would have told him never apologize when you haven't done anything wrong. How will Mr. Kessler fare in the seminary? I fear, not well. I fear he will be called "unpastoral". I fear he will be called opinionated and I fear he will be found rigid. And I hope he retains all those qualities and is ordained as soon as possible. We want some mo' ! We want some mo'! (from Remember the Titans).

To read more articles about Ben Kessler go here and here. Better yet, print them out for your sons to read. If you want to congratulate Ben Kessler on his graduation and his graduation speech you can contact him at

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Randall Terry, now Catholic

I have been notified by Mr. Joseph Landry, an associate of Randall Terry, that he has, in fact received an annullment for his 19 year marriage to Cindy Terry.

I appreciate the correction.

Randall Terry, former president of Operation Rescue has entered the Catholic Church. The National Catholic Register has this article which provides some depth.

A brief timeline of his life:

1987 Terry, an evangelical christian, arrested for the first time in Atlanta. Operation Rescue begins and results in 70,000 arrests protesting abortion. Joe Scheidler, Catholic prolife activist says that Randall Terry must have read his book, published in 1985 called "99 Ways to Stop Abortion" because in Chapter 3, rescue is described.

1998 Terry runs for Congress in New York State. Loses badly. Meets his new girlfriend a younger campaign aide and leaves his wife of 19 years Cindy and their 5 children.

1999 Divorces Cindy and is censured and excommunicated by his church.

2000 Remarries and moves to Nashville to record 2 music albums.

2001-2003 Fights homosexual marriage in Vermont and Hawaii. Founds Society for Truth and Justice.

2004 His son Jamiel writes an article stating he is Randall Terry's son and he is gay for Out Magazine. Maya Keyes, daughter of Alan Keyes also declares that she is gay.

Alan Keyes sends out a fundraising letter (I received one) asking for money for Randall Terry. He buys a 2 story house in Florida that he calls the house that Alan Keyes built.

2005 Terry protests starvation of Terri Schiavo and decides to run for Congress in Florida.

2006 Terry converts to the Catholic Faith.


Terry's first marriage has not been annulled. He "understands" it was an invalid sacrament. Whatever.

When I first heard of this- the free association went like this:

Florida- Ave Maria College- Tom Monaghan- Catholic deep pockets.

I hope I'm wrong. But I can't help but be a little cynical. Randall Terry has been a lot of places and done a lot of things. I hope the Catholic Church isn't just one of them.

Attachment Parenting: A Critical View

Attachment Parenting, according to a few experts it is the best way of parenting and results in happy children and devoted parents. I haven't seen it. Having known too many children raised with "Attachment Parenting" and seeing their resentful parents who are dealing with hostile, insecure children, it is easy to see where the errors in attachment parenting lie.

It is a difficult topic to discuss because if you are against AP, you are a "detached", uncaring, selfish parent. If your child is expected to sleep alone in their own bed and God forbid in their own room, they are said to be in a state of "learned helplessness". The propaganda is powerful and appeal to the emotions. AP is all about "feelings". Feeling good about yourself as a parent and making your baby or child feel good. Anything difficult or hard is to be avoided. You could call it the novus ordization of parenting.

But what is Attachment Parenting?:

1. "Baby wearing" or carrying your child in a sling for most of their waking moments.
2. Extended breastfeeding until the child self weans. This can means years. Some children are breastfed until the age of 6 or 7. If a new baby comes along both children are breastfed called tandem nursing.
3. Co-sleeping, the family bed. The children who want to (and who wouldn't?) sleep in bed with Mom and Dad for as long as they want to - oops I mean need to.
4. No spanking, for any reason and at any time.

The biggest promoters of this method of parenting are Dr. William Sears, and Catholic author and social worker, Gregory Popcak. Mr. Popcak on his blog, Heart, Mind, Strength asked for comments about AP. He has declared that empirically AP is the best method of parenting. As we corresponded, Mr. Popcak expressed astonishment that anyone could oppose or argue with AP and questioned if deep down I was not as happy as I said I was and was protesting too much. He attempted that old trick, if you disagree with me you must be crazy. Maybe a child raised through AP would have fallen for that but unlike most people Mr. Popcak deals with I have a little more confidence than that.

What happens with Attachment Parenting?:

Physically, Mom and Dad are exhausted and soon become resentful and frustrated. They never get enough sleep because the children are sleeping with them. The children never get enough sleep because everyone is tossing and turning all night. The day begins with everyone cranky and overtired, and goes downhill from there. The parents never spend any time alone because the "needs" of the children come first. Mom is breastfeeding one or more children for years. The constant exposure to breast milk can cause dental caries in children. Two of my friends who practiced extended breastfeeding and co-sleeping had to have their toddler's front teeth pulled because they had rotted. Wearing a child (what a dehumanizing concept as if a child were an accessory!) causes physical delays. One mother became concerned when her 22 month old did not walk or speak. He required occupational therapy and speech therapy. Being carried in a sling, in a zombie like state, reduced his opportunities for tactile experiences and physical exertion. Though he never cried (why would he?) he was being neglected, though quite unintentionally.

The parents resort to NFP to delay or forgo any further parenting. How can they possibly be open to life when they are completely overwhelmed? And besides if it is all about "feeling good", having another baby just doesn't meet that criteria. The result is smaller families, fewer children and selfishness is reinforced.

Emotionally, the child learns that the whole world revolves around him. He never learns self control, self denial, coping mechanisms or independence. Implicitly he is being told that he is incapable. Naturally he feels his parents' resentment. Emotionally the marriage suffers because Mom is totally wrapped up in her children. They occupy the master bedroom while Dad is left to fend for himself. Sometimes even resulting in the Dad in the basement syndrome that this author discusses.

What you have is the appeasement and indulgence of children as a parenting method. Though it sounds so compassionate, much like liberalism, its results are extremely hostile, selfish and insecure children. I don't know about you but I have never met an hostile, selfish and insecure person who managed to be happy. The "experts" mistake contentment or physical satisfaction for joy. AP parents teach their children to avoid all pain, inconvenience and discontent. Christianity is the antidote for this though that would require thinking rather than just feeling.

If we are raising saints, missionaries and martyrs, children must learn sacrifice, austerity, self control, self denial and responsibility. Are we raising saints or consumers? Catholics or pagans? A child has needs but those needs must be distinguished from wants. AP tells us that any "want" a child expresses is really a need and the parents have to respond accordingly. Does this sound like a role reversal? The wisdom of the innocents must be listened to by the adults? So we repudiate what parents know is correct in favor of what a 2 year old thinks he needs. And we repudiate generations of parenting.

To be a good parent- listen to your parents, your grandparents and learn what works. Learn what actually produces happy, well adjusted, confident and unselfish children. You can see the results. You know the children as adults. That is success. When we adopt AP we think back on all the "mistakes" our parents made. We become self pitying, ungrateful little wretches. The world doesn't need any more of those. There are enough liberal democrats.

"Too many parents make life hard for their children by trying too zealously, to make it too easy for them." Goethe

Monday, May 22, 2006

May Procession and Crowning 2006

Saint Benedict Center
Still River, Massachusetts

Bring flowers of the fairest,
Bring flowers of the rarest,
From garden and woodland and hillside and dale.
Our full hearts are swelling,
Our glad voices telling,
The praise of the loveliest Rose of the vale.

For more pictures of the procession go to Section Seven.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Vatican Press Office Communique

Here it is.

Fr. Marcial, founder of the Legionnaires and Regnum Cristi, is suspended from public ministry. Taking into account his advanced age, he is 86, he has not been laicized.
is a group that helps former members of the Legionaires and Regnum Cristi who have suffered as a result of their involvement in the group.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Fr. Maciel, founder of Legionnaires on Restricted Ministry

Read on Whispers.

Interpreted as an acknowledgement that at least some of the accusations are well founded.

This judgment is long overdue and yet I am very sorry for the good priests and laypeople involved with the Legionnaires and Regnum Cristi, though I continue to be wary of them.

John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter broke the story.

From the Reporter:

"After the case was reopened in 2004, the congregation's promoter of justice, Maltese Msgr. Charles Scicluna, began to collect additional testimony. Sources told NCR that the eventual number of accusers who came forward against Maciel was "more than 20, but less than 100."

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Washington Gets Wuerl

Bishop (soon to be Cardinal) Wuerl has been named as the replacement for the retiring Cardinal McCarrick of the Diocese of Washington, D.C. Being the seat of the Nation's capitol in some ways it could be said that this is the most prestigious and influential Bishopric in the country. Naturally with that amount of power comes massive responsibility.

Bishop Wuerl is a big believer in collegiality. Collegiality has become on of those "uh-oh" words. It signals a horizontal model of liberal leadership rather than hierarchical. And on no issue is this approach more flawed than on the matter of abortion. During the 2004 Presidential election, Senator John Kerry, a self professed Catholic who supports abortion anytime and anyplace without restriction, was censured by a few (way too few) Bishops; Bishops who stated publicly that if John Kerry presented himself for Holy Communion he would be denied.

However the liberal Bishops sought to find a way to protest that though they say they are prolife they do not expect John Kerry to be prolife. That would be asking Way Too Much. After all Senator Kerry is from Boston (and France)and we have transcended all that sentimentality here and do not tolerate Catholicism in our politicians.

Cardinal McCarrick first spun a document from the Vatican that declared proabortion politicans should not be given Holy Communion and concluded that it said the exact opposite. Unfortunately, McCarrick was not alone in this approach. His willing accomplice was Bishop Wuerl. In this letter on the subject, Wuerl states the following:

Refusal of Communion implies, according to applicable Church law, that the person who is not admitted to Holy Communiion is one who is excommunicated or interdicted, or obstinately persisting in manifest grave sin. (cfC915)

Seems to me that that is the very basis for refusing Communion to proabortion politicians. But then Wuerl parses and parses some more. I think he will be a natural in Washington.

Given the long standing practice of not making a public judgment about the state of the soul of those who present themselves for Holy Communion, it does not seem that it is sufficiently clear that in the matter of voting for legislation that supports abortion such a judgment necessarily follows. The pastoral tradition of the Church places the responsibility of such a judgment first on those presenting themselves for Holy Communion.

Don't understand that conclusion? Well, no one does because it doesn't make any sense. Ever courageously, Wuerl goes on to state that there may be Other Sanctions. He proposes:

- Proabortion politicians being made unwelcome at Catholic Colleges
- Proabortion politicians not receiving honorary degrees and awards from Catholic colleges, and
- Proabortion politicians being barred from using Catholic facilities.

Guess that didn't work out too well.

Bishop Wuerl proposes a "national collegial" approach:

"One such approach would be an actual mechanism of the conference to facilitate some consensus and unified pastoral practice," he said. "Another approach, which would be less formal but perhaps more effective, would be the commitment on the part of all the bishops to discuss beforehand, through some conference structure, decisions that will impact all of the bishops and the church as a whole."

He said a formal mechanism of review by the conference before barring a politician from Communion would require either a two-thirds vote of the bishops and a mandate from the Vatican or a completely unanimous decision by the bishops.

This would effectively tie the hands of any Bishop who wanted to correct anyone. And I guess that is the goal. Silence the few courageous bishops and our opposition to abortion becomes merely rhetorical and theoretical. Afterall it's not as if babies are really dying or anything. Oh, right, I guess they are.

Bishops Rule Parents Can Avoid Religion Class Sex Ed

Does it seem like this isn't getting any coverage? Hmmmm. From the Catholic News Service.

Parents allowed to remove children from sex abuse training programs

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- New regulations issued May 15 by the U.S. bishops allow parents to remove their children from diocesan-sponsored training programs in child sex abuse prevention. The programs are part of the bishops' policies to prevent child sex abuse. But parents in some dioceses have objected to such programs, saying the training constitutes sex education, which they feel is the primary responsibility of the parents. Dioceses and Eastern-rite eparchies are required to provide the training -- known as safe environment programs -- to children attending church-run schools and those who participate in church programs. Such training is also required for clergy, religious, lay employees, parents and volunteers who come in contact with children. Under the new regulations adopted by the U.S. bishops' Administrative Committee, dioceses and eparchies are still required to provide the safe environment programs. Parents, however, can choose not to have their children participate

Isn't it nice of the bishops to "allow" parents to protect their children from sex ed programs? Not really since it is the parents' right under Canon Law to protect their children from sex ed. The word on these programs was that NO ONE could opt out. No question the Sacraments will be used as a bargaining chip by the Dioceses in an attempt to force compliance but hopefully parents will stand strong and not fall for it.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Asta la Vista Baby

Isn't it funny that some people know when it's time to say goodbye?

And some people don't?

Cardinal Pell Gets It

photo of Cardinal Pell blessing the juventum pilgrims at World Youth Day.

In this article Cardinal Pell explains the value and meaning of celibacy. The definition of the meaning is apparently necessary because a large number of priests "decided" in the 60s and 70s that immoral acts between persons of the same sex did not violate the vow of celibacy. I don't know whether to call that wishful thinking or intentionall idiocy. I suppose either definition is appropriate.

And this quote made me laugh:

Marriage and family life are the basis of all civilization, but they can fluctuate between heaven and hell and always take hard work, time and energy.

Truer words were never spoken. And they say priests don't understand married life- ha! I think that sums it up pretty well. Heaven and hell baby, heaven and hell.

Monday, May 15, 2006

The Sacred Weblog of the Universal Inquisition: The Closing of the Council of Trent

The Sacred Weblog of the Universal Inquisition: The Closing of the Council of Trent

Colombian Bishops Decry Crime of Abortion

Cardinal Rubiano is determined
not to make the mistake that the American bishops made when abortion was being legalized here. That was to do nothing.

Bogotá, May. 12, 2006 (CNA) - In response to a ruling by Colombia’s Constitutional Court making the country the first in Latin America to legalize abortion, the country’s bishops said Thursday that civil disobedience may be necessary to resist the new immoral law. Likewise, Bogotá’s Archbishop, Cardinal Pedro Rubiano Saenz is threatening excommunication against the responsible lawmakers.

The president of the Bishops’ Conference of Colombia, Archbishop Luis Augusto Castro, rejected the Court’s decision to legalize abortion in certain cases and said it was a crime against human life. “A door is being opened toward the elimination of the innocent lives of so many children who will not be allowed to live, we have always said this is wrong,” the archbishop said.

“We continue to say that this is an act against the life of the unborn and it is immoral.”

Likewise, Cardinal Rubiano told Columbia’s El Tiempo newspaper that “all those who commit the crime, the sin of abortion, will be excommunicated immediately."

“This applies as well to those who foster or assist abortion,” he added, insinuating that the justices who passed the ruling to allow abortion in some cases, might be included in this excommunication, without mentioning them explicitly.

Cardinal Rubiano lamented that the justices did “open the door” for a broader legalization of abortion. “Draw your own conclusions,” he added, stressing that abortion is “a deliberate murder in the womb of the mother.”

For his part, Archbishop Castro said that “We must have a two-fold perspective, that is, to see the situation of the mother and help her in every way, but also look after the child, because nobody does it…Nobody looks after the baby, there is no consideration for a child that has been conceived, who tries to move forward in this world but has his possibilities cut off.”

The archbishop noted that in the conception through rape, “the child is innocent…the criminal should be punished and put in jail for a longtime, but the child should not have to pay for the sins of another. He is an innocent baby. In this sense we defend the life of the baby as well.”

While Archbishop Castro underscored that a child conceived through rape is “the result of a deplorable action,” he emphasized that what exists in the mother’s womb is a child who committed no crime. Many women who have conceived through rape, he noted, “accept their babies because they understand that the child is one thing, and the person responsible for the rape is another.”

The bishops of Tunja and Engativa decried the Justices for taking the easy way out and they noted that “not everything that is legal is moral.” They said Colombians should question the legitimacy of the ruling.

“It is sad that the Justices have chosen the easy way, which is the path to crime,” said Bishop Hector Gutierrez Pabon of Engativa. “In the Catholic Church, there is no such thing as a first, second or third class citizen and it should be this way also in society.”

“Many people will think that because it is legal it is okay. No! What is legal is not always morally licit,” he added.

Families Fear Life

Though it should be obvious and I'm tired of repeating it, having children is a good thing. An understatement you say? Not when you are fighting the forces of the culture which puts material goods, freedom, physical comfort and self actualization ahead of bringing children into the world. Or as one friend put it, cooperating with God to bring forth an immortal soul. And it cannot be said often enough when you are fighting the imposition of anti-child attitudes from Catholics who should know better.

Immortal, get that? Not a 2 week paycheck that you blow on clothes or a vacation, not a new car that loses 20% of its value when you drive it off the lot, not even a perfect figure. There I've said it. Having a baby is even better than having a perfect figure.

Seems the Holy Father agrees with me. From Zenit today:

"The historic moment we are living calls for Christian families to attest with courageous coherence that procreation is the fruit of love," said the Pontiff.


"At times it seems families are besieged by fear in the face of life, paternity and maternity," Benedict XVI continued. "It is necessary to give back confidence to them so that they can continue to fulfill their noble mission of procreation in love."

Desperate Feminist Wives

In this article by Meghan O'Rourke from The Slate a sociological study is examined that claims that women who are "progressive" (make that liberal) have more trouble being happy in their marriages. The conclusion- liberal women are too hard on their husbands and they make it difficult for their husbands to be happy. So, in a strange way, a way that would be anathema to liberal women, you could claim that women who make their husbands happy- by not nagging them, not having unreasonable expectations, appreciating their husband's work, and tolerating their gender differences will be happy themselves. Isn't it amazing how it still takes millions of dollars and all manner of sociological studies to reaffirm Christianity all over again?

From the article:

The sexual revolution tried to free women and men from set-in-stone roles. But the irony turns out to be that having a degree of certainty about what you want (and being in a peer group that feels the same way) is helpful in making people happy. Having more choices about what you want makes you less likely to be happy with whatever choice you end up settling on. Choosing among six brands of jam is easy. But consumers presented with 24 types often leave the supermarket without making a purchase. In much the same way, the more you scrutinize a relationship, the more likely you are to find fault with it. The study's authors, W. Bradford Wilcox and Steven Nock, speculate that fault-finding on the part of wives makes it hard for men to do the emotional work that stabilizes marriages. Meanwhile, traditionalist women—a significant portion of whom are Christian—expect less emotional work from their husbands, Wilcox and Nock speculate, which makes it easier for them to shake off frustrations, and less likely to nag. Whether or not any of this is the case, we do know that traditional marriages have the advantage of offering clearly defined roles. And traditionalist wives have a peer group fundamentally in agreement about what it wants and expects from husbands, creating a built-in support system.

Consider the evidence that evangelical women—who in general endorse traditional gender roles—are better at adjusting psychologically to situations they don't find ideal than feminists are. Studies of evangelical wives who have to work for financial reasons show that, as rigid as gender roles are in their community, women are fairly adept at being what sociologist Sally Gallagher calls "pragmatically egalitarian." That is, they continue to be happy with the division of labor, and to see their husbands as providers, even though they'd prefer to be at home. It's a kind of utilitarian double-think, Gallagher and others argue—and it helps explain why traditionalist women who work might consider themselves happier than feminists who are still struggling to feel secure in their decisions.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Rick Santorum Sanitizes Stem Cells

In this article, it appears that Rick Santorum has once again compromised his pro life beliefs (if he ever held any) in an effort to win re-election. Two years ago he campaigned for and endorsed proabortion Arlen Specter. Now Santorum is running against Bob Casey, Jr. a prolife Democrat- if there is such a thing.

The stem cell legislation:

U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum (R., Pa.) yesterday called for federal funding of research that would involve creating an altered human embryo [kind of like a baby Frankenstein]- one that could yield precious stem cells but not implant in a uterus.


"There are some who believe that... there is controversy around these new entities - these collections of cells - as to whether it is an embryo or not," [there are some- wow it almost sounds like he is talking about other people]Santorum said during a news conference at the University of Pennsylvania. "I feel comfortable, given all of the conversations I have had with a number of bioethicists, that these are appropriate steps to take."

Well ya know what Rick. I don't feel at all "comfortable" because I don't trust you. You had no problem setting aside your prolife beliefs to campaign for the Specter of death and now you have no problem finding a way to support stem cell research- killing babies earlier is what it amounts to.


But yesterday, Santorum came out in favor of another "attempt to bridge the gap," namely the 2005 report by the President's Council on Bioethics. This report outlines what it calls "ethically uncontroversial" concepts for getting embryonic stem cells - including creating an embryo engineered so that it could not keep growing.[why don't we take people who are dwarfs and experiment on them and kill them because they are unable to keep growing? Idiots.]

"I think Sen. Specter would say [the bill] is not exactly what he wanted. And it raised some concerns for me," Santorum said. "Both of us have compromised."

Compromised, sold out, reneged, capitulated, lied, there are so many verbs to express what you have done but it all comes down to the same thing- you blew it in the name of expediency.


Yesterday, lead researcher Rudolph Jaenisch of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research in Cambridge, Mass., said he was glad that his experiment is spurring legislative debate aimed at funding an acceptable compromise. But at the International Center for Technology Assessment, which neither advocates nor opposes embryonic stem-cell research, bioethicist Jaydee Hanson said making "defective embryos" is no solution.

"Simply redefining something as 'not an embryo' doesn't make it not an embryo," he said.

The other novel approach for obtaining embryonic stem cells involved removing a single cell, called a blastomere, from an eight-cell mouse embryo. Cambridge, Mass., stem-cell researcher Robert Lanza tricked the blastomere into becoming an embryonic stem cell, while the embryo was implanted and developed normally in a mouse. But since a single human blastomere is theoretically able to develop into an embryo, this method, too, raises ethical questions about what constitutes a human life.

Exactly right, Mr. Hanson. Redefining life, is not going to help you Senator Santorum, cooperating with the Specter of death is not going to help you, and prolifers are not going to help you. We are so done with you so just take your pansy good looks and go back to wherever you came from. Even worse than a proabort is someone who pretends to be prolife, promotes himself as prolife, lies to his constituents and supporters while cooperating with evil.

Fr. Robert Altier's New Assignment

According to Spirit Daily, Fr. Robert Altier has been assigned to the Regina Medical Center. It is well known that when a priest has lost favor with the bishop he is relegated to the nursing home, hospital chaplaincy or prison ministry. Fr. Altier's crime was opposing the diocesan sex education program called Virtus. The program is supposed to be to protect children from sexual abuse. Seems these days you can get silenced and suspended for opposing the sex abuse of children (via sex ed) faster than you can get silenced and suspended for actually abusing children. Disturbing.

Now that Fr. Altier's radio ministry has been shut down and he will no longer be giving sermons in public, someone very helpful has been posting links to his homilies here in the comments section. It appears that the homilies of Fr. Altier are available from 2001 to 2005.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Red Cross Wants Homosexuals to Give Blood

Dr. D.F. Joseph sent me this note saying that the Red Cross had petitioned the FDA to allow them to receive blood donations from homosexual men. I was relieved to find that their petition had been rejected but then I read this:

FDA medical officer Andrew Dayton asked the Blood Products Advisory Committee (BPAC) whether it was prudent to change the donor deferral policy to ban only men who disclosed having sex with another man within the last five years. Dayton and his colleagues analyzed the projected risk that relaxing the donor deferral rule would have on the nation's blood supply and presented the committee with this data. After much deliberation, the BPAC members voted 7 to 6 to maintain the current deferral policy.

By a vote of 7 to 6. So you know what that means- it's coming.

Even more alarming:

The serological tests routinely performed on all donated blood to detect HIV and other blood-borne viruses are sensitive enough to prevent all but about 10 HIV-infected units from entering the blood supply each year, said Dr. Michael Busch of the University of California-San Francisco. The infected blood that does defy the rigorous testing protocol causes two to three HIV infections each year, he said.

So, ten HIV infected units enter the blood supply each year and 2 to 3 cases of HIV result. Frightening

For Anyone Prolife....

This story: NSA has Massive Database of Americans' Phone Calls is just NOT news.

Bishop Robert Finn: Our Goal- Heaven

Bishop Finn of Kansas City, St. Joseph, Missouri

What had begun as an attack against Bishop Robert Finn by the National Catholic Reporter has become a blueprint touted by Catholics as a way to free Diocesan offices of the shackles of years of dissenting, overpaid, power drunk liberal bureaucrats who have mismanaged the Church for the last 20-30 years.

Entitled Extreme Makeover, the article begins:

"Perhaps nowhere in America has the transition from a church focused on social engagement and lay empowerment to one more concerned with Catholic identity and evangelization been more dramatic, or in some ways more wrenching, than in the Kansas City-St. Joseph, Mo., diocese since the appointment of Bishop Robert Finn.

Finn has brought the diocese, for decades a model of the former category of church practice, to a screeching halt and sent it veering off in a new direction, leaving nationally heralded education programs and high-profile lay leaders and women religious with long experience abandoned and dismayed."

You know it's going to be good. It's laughable that the Reporter frames this question in terms of "social engagement and lay empowerment" versus "Catholic identity and evangelization". If those are our two choices I pick Door # 2! What did Bishop Finn do to dismay the liberals?

High Crimes and Misdemeanors

# Dismissed the chancellor, a layman with 21 years of experience in the diocese, and the vice chancellor, a religious woman stationed in the diocese for nearly 40 years and the chief of pastoral planning for the diocese since 1990, and replaced them with a priest chancellor.
# Cancelled the diocese’s nationally renowned lay formation programs and a master’s degree program in pastoral ministry.
# Cut in half the budget of the Center for Pastoral Life and Ministry, effectively forcing the almost immediate resignation of half the seven-member team. Within 10 months all seven would be gone and the center shuttered.
# Ordered a “zero-based study” of adult catechesis in the diocese and appointed as vice chancellor to oversee adult catechesis, lay formation and the catechesis study a layman with no formal training in theology or religious studies.
# Ordered the editor of the diocesan newspaper to immediately cease publishing columns by Notre Dame theologian Fr. Richard McBrien.
# Announced that he would review all front page stories, opinion pieces, columns and editorials before publication.

And then it got serious:

As his first year in office unfolded and as budgets were prepared for a new fiscal year, the new bishop’s priorities emerged:

* The budget of the Office of Peace and Justice was cut in half. One of two full-time staff positions was eliminated, and the other may be reduced.
* Support of the Diocesan Bolivian Mission, a relationship established with the La Paz archdiocese in 1963, was cut from $50,000 annually to $10,000 annually. Fr. Michael Gillgannon, the diocesan priest missioned to Bolivia since 1974, learned of the cut while home on leave in April.
* The Vocation Office went from a part-time priest vocation director to a full-time priest vocation director with a part-time priest assistant and additional support from the head of the newly established Office for Consecrated Life.
* A separate Respect Life Office was established to handle pro-life issues and battle stem-cell research.
* The diocesan-sponsored master’s program, administered for eight years by the Aquinas Institute of Theology, a Dominican school affiliated with Jesuit-run St. Louis University, was transferred to the Institute for Pastoral Theology at Florida-based Ave Maria University. Ave Maria is being developed by former Domino’s Pizza magnate Thomas Monaghan, who has funded a host of conservative Catholic efforts.
* Finn upgraded a Latin Mass community, which has been meeting in a city parish, to a parish in its own right and appointed himself pastor. Later, he asked the parish that the Latin Mass community will be leaving to donate $250,000 of the estimated $1.5 million the Latin group needs to renovate the old church Finn gave them.

His Defense:

A bishop’s job is to help Catholics respond to their baptismal call to holiness, grow in the sacramental life and be closer to God, in short, to help everyone become saints. “You can’t say it more simply or profoundly than that,” he said. “Our goal is to get ourselves to heaven and take as many people with us as we can.”

And on the role of the laity:

“We have to understand where the power of the laity is,” [Finn] said. “It’s in the family, the workplace, the marketplace. That’s where [the transformation of society] has to happen.

We've waited a long time. Too long but finally we are seeing some progress in the Church in the United States. Bishop Finn, you give us hope and you make us proud.

N.B. to the NCR- a makeover is a good thing and an extreme makeover is even better.

More subversive action by Bishop Finn as he participates in Lifechain- an abortion protest.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Who Says Ya Can't Go Back?

From Quo Primum:

Furthermore, by these presents [this law], in virtue of Our Apostolic authority, We grant and concede in perpetuity that, for the chanting or reading of the Mass in any church whatsoever, this Missal is hereafter to be followed absolutely, without any scruple of conscience or fear of incurring any penalty, judgment, or censure, and may freely and lawfully be used. Nor are superiors, administrators, canons, chaplains, and other secular priests, or religious, of whatever title designated, obliged to celebrate the Mass otherwise than as enjoined by Us. We likewise declare and ordain that no one whosoever is forced or coerced to alter this Missal, and that this present document cannot be revoked or modified, but remain always valid and retain its full force notwithstanding the previous constitutions and decrees of the Holy See, as well as any general or special constitutions or edicts of provincial or synodal councils, and notwithstanding the practice and custom of the aforesaid churches, established by long and immemorial prescription - except, however, if more than two hundred years' standing.


Therefore, no one whosoever is permitted to alter this notice of Our permission, statute, ordinance, command, precept, grant, indult, declaration, will, decree, and prohibition. Should know that he will incur the wrath of Almighty God and of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul.

Given at St. Peter's in the year of the Lord's Incarnation, 1570, on the 14th of July of the Fifth year of Our Pontificate.

I especially like that big about incurring the wrath of Almighty God. We could do with more directives from Rome that include that.

"The Mass basically a seder meal & synagogue service" Cardinal O'Malley

The Boston Globe has this article about how Cardinal O'Malley, in the midst of a $46 million financial mess, still recovering from the sex abuse scandal after having pretty much swept under the rug the controversy over the diocesan sex ed program, "Talking About Touching" has decided to try something different.

Not fundraising.
Not restoring the people's trust in the Archdiocese.
Not banning diocesan sex ed.
Not increasing vocations.
Not lifting the silencing of Fr. David Mullen.
Not opening and funding Catholic schools.
Not defining the role of a Catholic college to Boston College, Holy Cross, St. Michael's College or any other school in New England.

What is more important than addressing these serious problems?

Improving Catholic- Jewish relations.

Now a cynical person would say why? We have already gifted Brandeis University with Fr. Walter Cuenin. How could you possibly improve on that?! And the very cynical answer is that this IS about fundraising.

I found this article about Cardinal Law's support of Jewish interests in the Archdiocese.

Bette Wineblatt Keva writing for the Jewish Journal spoke of Cardinal Law and the sex abuse crisis has this quote:

In his 18 years in Boston, Law became close to Leonard Zakim, the late executive director of the Anti-Defamation League of New England. In 1986, Zakim, Kitty Dukakis, wife of the governor, and Sonia Weitz, co-founder of the North Shore Holocaust Center of Peabody, joined Law and a contingent of high ranking Catholics in a pilgrimage to Poland. They traveled to Auschwitz and Birkenau.

James Rudolph, past chairman of the Anti-Defamation League Executive Committee for New England and Chair of the North Shore Advisory Committee, says Law "used to joke about working for the archdiocese six days and the ADL on the seventh."

And then the quid pro quo spelled out:

Mark Jaffe, past chairman of the North Shore Advisory Committee for the ADL, with his wife, Marsha Glassman-Jaffe, went with Law on a pilgrimage to Israel and Rome in 1999.

"The feeling we got from Cardinal Law was that Jewish people are close relatives to Catholics and we want to be treated as family. I just don't believe that was taught 30 years ago. Under Law's tutelage, anti-Semitism is just not accepted," said Jaffe.

Jaffe said he recently attended a Catholic Charities fund raiser at the Hawthorne Hotel in Salem. "I've gone three of the past four years and I'm not the only Jewish person there," he said explaining that working to improve interfaith ties goes both ways. [emphasis mine]

Now in the process who gets thrown under the bus?

O'Malley says the following:

''The Catholic Church comes out of the Jewish religion; the church is the daughter of the synagogue," he said. ''The Mass, which is the center of our spiritual life, is basically a synagogue service and a Seder meal brought together. . . . Christianity and Catholicism can be understood only in light of our Hebrew roots."[emphasis mine]

The Mass is basically a synagogue service and a Seder meal brought together???? Can you say antiquarianism? And Our Lord who gave his life on the cross? Superfluous. Unnecessary. Pre-Vatican II sentimentality.

And if that wasn't enough of a divorce from reality how about this?

In the 1930s and 1940s, anti-Semitic priests like the Rev. Charles E. Coughlin and the Rev. Leonard J. Feeney were wildly popular here and tolerated by the church. But that changed radically under Cushing, whose censure of Feeney led to the priest's excommunication in the 1950s.

Now Fr. Feeney was excommunicated for... anti-Semitism. Wow. At Christmastime Fr. Feeney was guilty of a hate crime because according to the Globe he was the type of person who would say, "Merry Christmas" and now he was excommunicated for anti-semitism. According to Mark Twain there are three kinds of lies- lies, damn lies and statistics. I think we can safely assign this to the "damn lies" category.

A good summary on the case of Fr. Feeney is here. And while I am tempted to say this isn't about Fr. Feeney, what it is about is salvation and that was the real issue that certain people have with Fr. Feeney.

How is salvation gained? Is it through the sacrifice of Our Lord on the cross or is it through a seder meal and a synagogue service? What is at the pernicious root of these "improved relations" is that everyone is saved. Contribute to the fundraising efforts of the Archdiocese, be a good person, love everyone, don't torture small animals and soon we will all be smiling and holding hands in heaven.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Announcing a new blog

Bringing sarcastic diatribe to a whole new level.

Madeline at Section Seven.

And if you have to ask what the title means- well you just wouldn't understand.

Truth in Advertising

Baby Killer.

Vocations, Ordinations and Big Families

Nice article about twins, John and Joseph Campbell who will be ordained priests. Catholic Online has the article here.

Openness to Life:

"My parents gave us an unwavering witness of selfless, self-sacrificing love and fidelity," said Deacon Joseph. "They inspired us to be holy by the witness of their lives and through their instruction in the faith."

Living the Faith:

"We raised our children the way we were brought up," said John Campbell, who was born in Scotland. That included attending Mass each morning and saying the rosary together each evening.

"Once the children got involved in sports, sometimes they would have to finish their rosary on the way to practice," Dolores Campbell said in an interview with Faith magazine, a publication of the Erie Diocese. "But we'd start it out together. I think that has really blessed our marriage and family life."

A simple formula for vocations- a family life that includes:

1. Daily Mass
2. Family Rosary
3. Confession
4. Catholic school (and I mean Catholic!)
5. Sacrifice
6. Generosity
7. Unselfishness

The Holy Father on vocations:

"Christian marriage is a vocation to holiness in the full sense of the word, and that the example of holy parents is the first favorable condition for the flowering of priestly and religious vocations."

Bishop Vasa on Contraception

Bishop Vasa has written an essay on Contraception in The Catholic Sentinel. You can read it here.

On Who Can Receive Communion:

I was further struck by the reading from the second century martyr, St. Justin, who writes: “No one may share the Eucharist with us unless he believes that what we teach is true, unless he is washed in the regenerating waters of baptism for the remission of his sins, and unless he lives in accordance with the principles given us by Christ.”

It appears that the tendency to believe that one may reject certain teachings of the Church and that this rejection has no impact upon either our love for God or upon the appropriateness of sharing in the Eucharist is not something new. Jesus dealt with it, St. John dealt with it and St. Justin the martyr dealt with it. This is the same question raised in reference to Catholic politicians and others who reject the clear teachings of the Church about the sinfulness of abortion. Yet, the concept is not limited to these sex-related sins. A man who somehow believes that his excessive drinking, his spouse abuse, his child abuse, his adultery, his theft from his employer, his dishonesty, his missing of Sunday Mass, and the like have no impact on his love for God would be equally mistaken and in serious need of conversion. The apparent difference between these behaviors and abortion or contraception is that these sex-related sins have achieved a high degree of societal acceptability. This societal acceptability has given the impression to Catholics that God really has nothing of value to say about these life issues.

The Schizophrenia of Contraception:

The truth is that it is simply not possible to say on one hand, “I do love the Lord with my whole heart, mind and soul” and at the same time to say, “My decisions about how to deal with the most marvelous God-given gift of fertility has nothing to do with God.” The claim that one loves God with one’s whole self while exempting a very significant element of that self from the sphere of God’s dominion, indeed from the sphere of God’s love, must answer to the First Letter of St. John, Chapter 2, Verse 4.

Why Isn't the Teaching on Contraception Taught?

The one question which stands in the tape as a condemnation to all teachers and preachers within the Church is simply, “Why haven’t we been told this clearly and consistently?” The answer is as difficult as the question. I suspect that if we took some liberties with the Scripture we could envision Jesus saying: “You cannot love God and contraception at the same time. You will either love one and hate the other or be committed to one and despise the other.” There it is then. If God is really saying, “If you love Me then abide by my commandments including My Church’s teaching about the sinfulness of contraception” then many in the Church are faced with the same conflict which led to conversion for this One More Soul speaker. We cannot separate the concrete realities of our lives from the love of God.

It is not an easy thing to present this very personal and emotional subject in such direct black and white terminology but the truth is that Jesus and His Church either include contraception in the list of prohibited practices or they do not. There may be huge numbers of Catholics who reject this teaching but I do not know of any who deny that it is what the Church clearly and consistently teaches.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who would argue that the teaching of the Church is not upheld by priests. If it were it would be preached about. If it were, in Confession, Catholics would not be told that using birth control was "up to their own conscience". And if it were, large families would not be treated like they have done something wrong by having more than a boy and a girl by priests and their fellow parishoners. Conclusion, if one is using contraception they may not receive Communion. It's radical; so is the teaching. It's also unchanging.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Representative Patrick Kennedy- Special Treatment?

How could anyone suggest such a thing? Representative Kennedy, D of Rhode Island has been in the news quite a lot over the last few years.

Last night he crashed his convertible mustang (I know I thought the same thing- how bourgeousis!) and was seen staggering about at 2:45am. Thankfully no one was injured which is a rare circumstance when a Kennedy is involved. He claims the prescription medication was to blame.

The hostess of The Hawk and Dove claims he was drinking last night. Fortunately for him no field sobriety tests much less a breathalyzer were administered. It is regrettable that he was not taken to the hospital because if someone was involved in a car accident, staggering (possibly from a concussion), suffering from an unfortunate drug interaction you might think a visit to the hospital would be called for.

Since no hospital visit was prescribed I think we can safely assume that the smell of alcohol on his breath, and the visible signs of intoxication assured the police that he just needed to be driven home to sleep it off. And that is exactly what happened. Ten years in the House and the people of Rhode Island just can't seem to get enough.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Ex Marks the Spot

Photo of the Bishops of the Schismatic Chinese Patriotic Church

The Vatican announces the excommunication of the 2 bishops "installed" in the last 3 days by the schismatic church and the excommunication of the 2 bishops who installed them. Strong words from the Vatican.

The Facts:

Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls cited Article 1382 of the Roman Catholic Church's canon law. That article states that "both the bishop who, without a pontifical mandate, consecrates a person a bishop, and the one who receives the consecration from him, incur a 'latae sententiae excommunication,'" which means they are automatically excommunicated.

Earlier, Navarro-Valls said
Pope Benedict XVI was deeply saddened by news of the ordinations, which have occurred in recent weeks.

"It is a great wound to the unity of the church," Navarro-Valls said in a statement.

Not Gonna Happen:

"The criticism toward the Chinese side by the Vatican is groundless," that statement said. "We hope the Vatican can respect the will of Chinese church and the vast numbers of priests as well as its church members so as to create good atmosphere for the improvement of Sino-Vatican ties."

Ya Think?

The Vatican statement said officials had received information indicating that "bishops and priests have been subjected — by institutions not related to the church — to strong pressures and threats, in order for them to take part in the ordinations that, because they were not approved by the Vatican, are illegitimate and go against their conscience."

"We are therefore faced with a grave violation of religious freedom," Navarro-Valls said, adding the Vatican "had thought and hoped that such despicable events belonged to the past."

There's a new diplomatic breeze blowing and it's reaching gale force winds. The Holy Father will not be trifled with and the sooner the Chinese Communists realize it the better. Supposedly they were afraid of Pope John Paul II because of his role in bringing down Communism in Poland. I think they should start worrying about Pope Benedict. If I were them I'd be afraid. I'd be very afraid.

Too Good Not to Link- Diogenes on the Vatican and Condom controversy

Read it all. It's worth it!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

What a Difference a Week Makes

Last week we thought that the Vatican's Relationship with the Chinese government was improving.

And this week we find
that the Chinese Communist Government has installed two Bishops in 3 days without Rome's approval.

I think this is a positive development. I was getting sick of all the liberals articles about how the Catholic Church in China (the underground Church) and the Schismatic Patriotic Catholic Association were really all on the same page except for a few hardliners who were unwilling to "forgive" those who attended the CPA. The way they frame the issue is really something, isn't it?

This will add clarity to the issue. Because when Catholic Bishops loyal to the Pope are being arrested and so-called Bishops elevated by the Communists are being celebrated I don't think you can really say we're all the same page.

Vatican says Number of Priests Declining

The Vatican releases statistics on the declining number of priests worldwide. The largest decrease is seen in Europe which has lost 20% of its priests.

The whole article is here

I find it ironic that the picture joined with the article shows altar servers- at least two of whom are girls. Of course no one is connecting the dots and I wouldn't want to be the rain on their Springtime of Vatican II.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Priestly Training for the Universal Indult

In this article by Brian Mershon is repeated a "concern" I'm hearing more frequently. On the subject of the Universal Indult which some very optimistic traditionalists believe is inevitable, a fear is expressed that once the Mass is "freed" hordes of priests will be rashly, charging about, saying Tridentine Masses without the proper training and instruction.


No priest who desires the supreme liturgical expression of the Old Mass will do that. I don't believe anyway. I think what we have is a desire on the part of Indult orders to become the new gatekeepers in exchange for their elder brother role they have cast themselves in according to the Prodigal son parable.

No Seminary Formation:

"I would not raise my hopes too high when it comes to seminary formation, at least not in the near future," said Fr. Thomas Kocik. "After all, few are the seminaries that train men to celebrate the Mass of Paul VI in a traditional manner, such as in Latin, with Gregorian chant, priest and people facing the same direction," he said. "So can we really expect widely available training for the traditional rite, even if its use is unconditionally approved?"

"A Guided Freedom"

Fr. George Gabet, North American district superior for the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP), expressed his concerns regarding a freeing of the Classical Roman rite for all priests in a recent interview with The Wanderer. He reiterated the same messages given about this question by Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz, bishop of the Diocese of Lincoln, Neb., and Bishop Alvaro Corrada, SJ, of the Diocese of Tyler, Texas. Both bishops said that while they were open to any and all of their diocesan priests offering the Traditional rite, they ensured the priests knew Latin well enough, and had some training in the rubrics of the Mass prior to allowing them final permission to offer it. This might be classified as a "guided freedom."


Fr. Joseph Santos, pastor of Holy Name of Jesus Parish in Providence, R.I., offers the Novus Ordo and the Classical Roman liturgy every Sunday. "One thing that must be underlined is the competency of priests to celebrate the old rite in Latin," Fr. Santos said.

"Many have no knowledge of the language; good intentions are not enough," he said. "A general indult could make things worse, not better, with a multitude of well-intentioned, but inept celebrations."

Fr. Robert Fromageot, a priest with the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP), who offers the Classical Roman Mass and sacraments exclusively, is studying at the Angelicum in Rome. He agrees entirely with Fr. Santos' cautions.

"The concern is a just concern," Fr. Fromageot said. "The Classical Roman rite has not been available everywhere for a long time, so when you just have it freed, it just doesn't begin again as if it were here just yesterday."

Fr. Fromageot affirmed that it would be a matter of justice for a document to come from the Holy See to reaffirm the legitimacy of the Classical Roman rite. "In a way, these restrictions that we have had, while they may be seen as unjust, and on some level they are unjust, nevertheless, they do provide a certain quality control to the growth of this Classical Roman rite that has occurred since 1988."

Who will be the Guides to Freedom?

In other words, Fr. Fromageot is suggesting that for those diocesan priests who are interested in offering the Classical Roman rite, the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter and the Institute of Christ the King may organize workshops and opportunities to train priests in the rubrics of the Traditional rite.


And in a final vote of confidence:

And offering concerns similar to those of Fr. Santos, Fr. Fromageot added, "I mean, God help us if priests learn how to use this rite and do a sloppy job of it."

The only complaints I hear about Latin Masses that are not said reverently and appropriately are directed at priests who are thrust into the role of saying the Latin Mass unwillingly by their Bishops who are satisfying the letter if not the spirit of the Ecclesia Dei directives. It is well known among Indult circles that the priests who are traditionally minded and desire to say the Latin Mass are forbidden it and the priests who are antithetical to tradition are assigned the indult.

The tone of these comments is so hopelessly condescending and insulting to the priests who have been longing for permission to say the Mass it would be a wonder, or at least an acute act of humility for a priest to now approach one of these priests or one of these orders to request training in saying the Latin Mass.

Besides the fact that we still don't have the universal indult and may never have and if this isn't borrowing trouble I don't know what is.

The Road to Perversion is being Paved with Pornography

Article by Concerned Women for America about the pornography addiction problem. Essential reading for anyone who has teenagers who use the internet and for anyone who doesn't know about

For any parents out there whose child has a myspace profile- go on myspace and look around. I think you'll be shocked. And I think you will make your child take down their profile.

My bulk folder has suddenly become bombarded with hardcore pornography adverts. It's sickening. I've emailed the FBI to complain about the worst of it- which is illegal and made complaints on this website.

So I can't say I'm too excited about the new "Catholic" myspace being built.

Our Lady of Good Counsel

This is the cover of a notecard showing my daughter Anastasia (almost 16) and Edmund aged 2 years posing as Our Lady of Good Counsel and the infant Jesus. The notecards come with envelopes and benefit the Traditional Catholic school they attend, Immaculate Heart of Mary in Still River, MA. The side of the card says:

Hail bright star of ocean,
God's own Mother blest,
Ever sinless Virgin,
gate of heavenly rest...
Taking that sweet Ave,
which from Gabriel came,
Peace confirm within us,
changing Eva's name.
Break the captive's fetters,
light on blindness pour,
All our ills expelling,
every bliss implore.
Show thyself a Mother;
may the Word Divine,
Born for us thine Infant,
hear our prayers through thine.