Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Feast Day of Christ the King

On the Feast Day of Christ the King I thought about what the significance of the Feast was. Not for the Church or for the World but for me, in my heart. I heard a priest once talk about how Our Lord came to us as an infant because who can resist the charms of a baby? Who can refrain from caressing His fine head, kissing his plump cheek, drawing near to his warmth? But if we are meant to cuddle the Infant we are also to listen to the Preacher, respect the Lawgiver, marvel at the Miracle Worker, reverence the Lamb and Adore Our Lord, Christ the King.

Somehow (especially with our democratic propensities) it seems hard to get our mind around the image of Christ as King. Our last earthy image of Our Lord is on the Cross and then in His resurrected body still bearing the wounds of his crucifixtion and torture.

A King?

Feared first as King of the Jews, Herod tried to kill Our Lord as an infant. He failed. Worshipped before birth Our Lord was foretold in the Old Testament and then adored in his preborn state by St. Elizabeth and St. John the Baptist, also unborn.

Our King was then worshipped as an Infant by the shepherds, the Magi, His mother, His foster father, the Doctors and Priests of the Temple. Worshipped as an Infant even before His miracles, His teachings, His Resurrection, His Ascension to the throne of Heaven.

I asked my children what they thought of when they heard the phrase, Christ the King. They responded with this hymn by Patrick Brennan and George Elvey:

Hail Redeemer, King Divine

Hail Redeemer, King Divine,
Priest and Lamb the throne is thine
King whose reign shall never ceaste
Prince of everlasting peace.

Angels, saints and nations sing,
Praise be Jesus Christ our King
Lord of life, earth, sky and sea,
King of Love on Calvary

King most Holy, King of Truth,
Guide the lowly, guide the youth,
Christ thou King of Glory bright,
Be to us eternal light.

King whose name creation thrills,
Rule our minds, our hearts, our wills,
Til in peace, each nation sing,
With thy praises, King of Kings.

Archbishop Fulton Sheen gave a talk on Christ the King, available from Keep the Faith. I have yet to hear it but can't imagine it would not be worthwhile.

A Religious Brother once gave a talk about how we are to make of our heart a throne for Our Lord to reside upon. A fine sentiment. Going about it is our challenge.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Just in case you were wondering...

...if time travel is really possible.

It is.

Scroll down for the Emma dresses.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Monastery: the Reality TV Series on TLC

I suppose it highlights the world's fascination with what is holy and sacred. Though it seems a bit like we are casting pearls before swine I suppose some heart may be touched.

The premise of the show is that guests are to spend 40 days at the desert Monastery Our Lady of the Desert in New Mexico. This Boston Herald article mentions 5 men staying with the monks while this USA Today article reveals that an equal number of women will stay with the sisters.

It seems that a majority of the participants are atheists, agnostics or malcontents who engage the monks in debate about "women rights and gay rights". How tiresome and completely predictable.

In researching the website of the Monastery I discovered that this community makes monastic caskets to sell. Rather than seeming morbid it seems quite fitting and beautiful.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Thursday, October 19, 2006

What is Apostasy?

And how do you know when you have apostasized? A commenter challenged me that Rod Dreher didn't exactly apostasize and that led me to the question of what is apostasy exactly. In this article by Fr. Tom Euteneuer, president of Human Life International this definition is given:

The Catholic Catechism defines apostasy as “the total repudiation of the Christian faith” and with it heresy as “the obstinate post-baptismal denial of some truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith” (n. 2089).

The whole article is really excellent and names Hollywood Elites and Conservative commentators who have rejected their Faith by their actions and their words and according to Fr. Euteneuer have satisfied the requirements to be called apostates. Further. Fr. says that his father always pointed out these so-called Catholics to him and explained why they were not Catholic. Excellent advice for any parent.

Finally, though it may seem harsh to say that someone has apostasized by converting to the Orthodox religion let me ask you- Is it Christian to permit abortion, birth control and divorce and remarriage? I think the acceptance of those horrors puts one firmly outside of the Christian faith.

Thanks to Jeff for asking the question.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Defection of Rod Dreher

This news has been all over the internet and the standard response from Catholics seems to be that we should not condemn him for what he has done and we are to decry the "harsh" comments being made to him.

This reminded me of something. When my daughter was taking CPR as part of Lifeguard training they were told that when you perform chest compressions on an elderly man or woman you will hear cracking sounds. That sound is the ribs breaking. I asked her if that meant you should stop CPR. She said, no because they still need to breath and the ribs will heal. I think that is a good analogy of how sometimes the remedy or response to something can be painful but it is still necessary, as necessary as air to breath.

Rod Dreher is a Catholic journalist who distinguished himself when he published the book, "Crunchy Cons". A book where he discusses a new breed of Conservative Republicans who are Catholic, organic food eating, homeschooling, and economic liberals in some ways. When I read the book I was struck by an arrogance in tone and thought this is a book that Mr. Dreher will regret writing, though he will not regret the revenues it has produced. In one passage in the book he describes sitting in a bar, enjoying a bottle of white wine and doing some reading. He concludes that there are worse ways to spend a Saturday afternoon. This I would expect of Hemingway but a Catholic husband and father? It seemed to me that many of his appeals were from the basis of self indulgence, the taste of good food, the warm fuzzy feelings you get from homeschooling, the moral superiority you feel from being "authentic".

Additionally though preaching the glories of homeschooling, in fact a whole chapter is dedicated to it, the Dreher family is no longer homeschooling their son. Homeschooling did not “work for him”.

And now the Catholic Faith is no longer “working for” Mr. Dreher. His stated reasons for “converting” are the abuse scandals in the Church. To me that is a sad and pathetic excuse and I doubt it is the real reason. Where is your strength of conviction when you allow your disappointment in mere man to allow you to abandon the Truth and salvation? What makes this situation more dire is the fact that his family is led by him and his decisions.

Now most of his “support” from Catholics can be directly attributed to the heresy of Indifferentism. Indifferentism is defined a denial that it is the duty of man to worship God by believing and practicing the One True Religion. This is one of the dangers of in a misdirected view of some “intellectuals” who advocate reading any protestant author- C.S. Lewis, Dorothy Sayers, T. S. Eliot on theological topics. I’m not saying you should never read those authors but it should be done on the advice of a good solid priest. It is easy for relativism to enter into your thinking.

But what’s wrong with the Orthodox Church?

1. They are schismatic and do not accept the authority of the Holy Father.
2. They accept abortion, divorce and contraception.
3. Their filoque tempest in a teapot.
4. Denial of papal infallibility

Some more recent explanations on Mr. Dreher’s blog at Beliefnet.com lead me to a greater concern that there was a spiritual and supernatural element to this conversion that he has not recognized as demonic. St. John of the Cross said that those who wish to see signs and wonders will have them, in abundance and from the devil.

If I had a dream about myself practicing or dabbling in another religion I would not wake up and convert. I would take a good, hard look at where my faith was weak and take this as a warning sign. I pray that Mr. Dreher will listen to those who are appealing to him not to abandon ship and not just any ship but THE SHIP. Man overboard. Throw him a lifeline.

Since I have written these words I've just noticed something else. It was on October 10th that Rod Dreher posted his 5600 word "Theses" and nailed them on the door of his blog. At the end of his statement he writes: "I have no intention of talking about this conversion further, either on the comboxes or this blog." Since that writing there have been not one but three more posts on this very topic entitled 1. Clarifying 2. Gratitude, and today's offering 3. The Spider and the chotki.

I think in summary that Mr. Dreher is a writer who makes sweeping statements and then does not conform to them.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

This ....

is Getting Hard to Ignore.

Now when the other persistent rumors would surface I don't remember them being picked up by the secular press. But maybe I just don't remember.

Of course the article is riddled with errors but why wouldn't it be since this is the U.K. Times? I've learned its best to expect that.

You can start with the perjorative claim that this is the Rite that "divided the Church". Excuse me? Perhaps they mean like the lambs and the goats?

I'm sorry- that is harsh but that is what is expected of Traditionalists so I try hard not to disappoint.

The real question remains, how will the Bishops be able to subvert this? And believe me they will.

1. Forbid priests to say the Latin Mass.


2. Suspend priests who say the Latin Mass for ANOTHER "transgression". Check.


3. Ascertain that the Seminaries will not teach the rubrics.


4. Reject any candidate for the Seminary who is rigid, unpastoral or masculine i.e. wants to say the Latin Mass.


5. Claim they lack the Staff to provide the Latin Mass.


6. Claim that NO PRIESTS WANT to say the Latin Mass and he cannot force them to go against their conscience. (well in this instance anyway).


7. Claim that NO PEOPLE WANT to attend the Latin Mass and it would be unfair to impose something upon them. (well in this instance anyway).


8. Offer the Novus Ordo in Latin and pretend he thought that that is what the Holy Father meant.


9. Provide a priest who a)hates the Latin Mass b) hates the people who attend the Latin Mass c) will spend all his sermon excoriating Tradition d)all of the above.


10. Claim that the government will take away their tax exempt status if they offer the Latin Mass in their dioceses. Why not it has worked on the abortion issue.


Friday, October 06, 2006

Divorce and the Dignity of Women

Reflection on the first readings of the Sunday liturgy
By Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk

God's plan of loving providence

Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time (B), Genesis 2:18-24.


This is where our Sunday reading begins. To grasp the meaning of what follows, it is important to remember that in the world in which these various accounts of creation were set down, women were generally regarded as inferior beings, a kind of lower creature, often looked on as property.

As our reading proceeds, we see that the man that God has created is not really complete when he is alone. He needs a partner. So God creates all kinds of living creatures and puts the man in charge of them, but it's not enough. No bird or wild animal was enough to make man complete.

So God creates woman. First God puts Adam to sleep so that he will not witness the mysterious creative process that God engages in. God makes woman out of Adam's rib to demonstrate that she is of the same nature and dignity as he is, equal to man in the very basics of his humanity. In woman, man encounters another self, a self for whom future men would move away from the most basic familiar relationships - his father and mother - and give himself to something deeper and better, to a union in which the origin of woman from man's body is expressed again as the two of them become one flesh.

These verses of Genesis have been chosen for this Sunday's first reading because their conclusion is quoted by Jesus in the Gospel (Mark 10:2-16) as He disputes with the Pharisees about the permissibility of divorce. Man and wife are not really two beings, Jesus says, but one.

Jesus' point is that allowing either man or woman to walk away from a marriage into which either has entered is simply wrong. Granted, there may be circumstances in which the two should not live together, but, because of the nature of man and woman, because of the nature of their marriage relationship, they cannot simply undo the relationship they have entered.

In Jesus' time, as well as in the time that the material that became Genesis was written, divorce was simple and easy. For practically any reason whatsoever, a man could dismiss his wife and marry another. She didn't count for very much. She was easily replaceable.

Both Genesis and Jesus teach that such an attitude is unacceptable to the Lord. Woman was not to be looked on as a throw-away product. She was of the same nature, the same dignity, the same worth as man. Once they joined in marriage, they were indivisibly one.

Over the years, indeed, over the centuries, the dignity of woman has not always been appropriately recognized. For most of human history the teaching of these two readings has been quite countercultural, in disaccord with the standard practices of the world in which they were proclaimed.

Still today, in many parts of the world, women are looked upon as property, to be disposed of when they no longer seem useful. In the church, as well as in the society in which we live, women have not always been given the respect that the words of Scripture seem to demand for them. This suggests that the teaching of this Sunday's readings are not only relevant to our time and our culture but are absolutely essential for it if we are going to live according to the will of God.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Heart of a Priest

I have learned from fellow Leaguer Thomas Fitzpatrick at Recta Ratio that the incorrupt heart of St. Jean-Marie Baptiste Vianney is coming to Boston.

The schedule for veneration is here on the Official Archdiocesan website.

The initial Globe article here.

For more about this amazing saint you can read here and here and here.

The final link being the piece de resistance- St. John Vianney's Cathecism of a Priest. Notable quotes from this document:

Go to confession to the Blessed Virgin, or to an angel; will they absolve you? No. Will they give you the Body and Blood of Our Lord? No. The Holy Virgin cannot make her Divine Son descend into the Host. You might have two hundred angels there, but they could not absolve you. A priest, however simple he may be, can do it; he can say to you, "Go in peace; I pardon you. " Oh, how great is a priest! The priest will not understand the greatness of his office till he is in Heaven. If he understood it on earth, he would die, not of fear, but of love.


The priest is not a priest for himself; he does not give himself absolution; he does not administer the Sacraments to himself. He is not for himself, he is for you. After God, the priest is everything. Leave a parish twenty years without priests; they will worship beasts. If the missionary Father and I were to go away, you would say, "What can we do in this church? there is no Mass; Our Lord is no longer there: we may as well pray at home. " When people wish to destroy religion, they begin by attacking the priest, because where there is no longer any priest there is no sacrifice, and where there is no longer any sacrifice there is no religion.

If I were to meet a priest and an angel, I should salute the priest before I saluted the angel. The latter is the friend of God; but the priest holds His place. Saint Teresa kissed the ground where a priest had passed. When you see a priest, you should say, "There is he who made me a child of God, and opened Heaven to me by holy Baptism; he who purified me after I had sinned; who gives nourishment to my soul. " At the sight of a church tower, you may say, "What is there in that place?" "The Body of Our Lord. " "Why is He there?" "Because a priest has been there, and has said holy Mass. "

Can Anything Good Come from the USCCB Fall Meeting ?

One shudders to think what this will yield.

Media Advisory - November Bishops' Meeting

October 3, 2006

Dear Editor/Station Manager:

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) will hold its fall meeting at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront hotel, November 13-16, 2006. The agenda will include: approval of a reorganization plan for their national conference; approval of a revision of the Lectionary for Mass for selected days in the season of Advent, and a directory for music and the liturgy for use in the dioceses of the United States; approval of two documents from their Doctrine Committee- a proposed statement on receiving the sacrament of the Eucharist worthily, and proposed guidelines for ministry to persons with a homosexual inclination; and a document from the Pro-Life Committee offering pastoral guidance on the Church’s teaching concerning contraception, linked with a culture of life. The bishops will also elect a new Conference Secretary and several committee chairmen.

Please complete the required form if you seek accreditation to cover the meeting for your news organization. You must be a member of the news media to be considered for accreditation.

If you need a room at the Marriott, please call the hotel at 1-800-228-9290. Mention the USCCB group code USCUSCA.

Please let this office know if we can be of assistance to you.


Bill Ryan

It is nice to note that the recent budget cuts by the USCCB will not affect their conference amenities. For a photo tour of the hotel you can go here.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

A Child's Book of Lullabies

I just discovered this book and am enraptured. Why am I writing about this on Against All Heresies? Because by promoting motherhood, raising children and in general romanticizing family life we are fighting the modernist heresies of sterile individualism and self determinism.

The book is a collection of traditional lullabies, each accompanied by a Mary Cassatt painting. The audiotape has the lullabies beautifully played and sung. Each page of lyrics includes the piano music. Can't you just imagine a young lady playing these lullabies for her little sister or brother? I just ordered my copy from Half.com but make sure you get the book AND the audio tape.

And then I found this coloring book. In the series there is also a Degas coloring book for your little ballerina.

In general I do not tolerate sentimentalism. My preferred level of sentimentality would best be embodied by any one of the films composing the Rambo Trilogy. But this book, in my opinion does not fall victim to that regretable trap of overt, simpering sentimentality.

I think this will become my newest baby gift. Another excellent gift is the book Explaining the Mass to Young Children by Maria Montessori.

Milingo and pals, serving the Church

Like a lot of good articles I found this on Catholic World News affectionately known as the Catholic Drudge Report.

It is an editorial trying to promote sympathy for Bishop Milingo who is now excommunicated. The headline is eye catching- Did Milingo Marry Out of Vatican Frustation? it reads. Now that is a new way of describing one of the Seven Deadly Sins and I don't mean pride by the way. My thought was typical liberal tripe, not worth responding to or commenting on until I noticed the author:


Now it may be that Fr. Joachim is of another religion- perhaps episcopalian or the Moonie Church.

And from the article another adherent to the "new religion" of Milingo:

Bishop Milingo has been backed by a Kenyan priest Fr Godfrey Shiundu, who was recently relieved of his priestly duties after he married Stella Nangila in May this year, joining 150, 000 priests who have defied the Vatican’s mandatory law of celibacy.

According to Shiundu, Milingo did nothing wrong to warrant excommunication because the need to have Catholic priests marry is a feeling that is shared by many in the church, including priests who also want this freedom.

And is it just my imagination or is there an obvious reference to evolution here?

And with this statement:

In his book, Fished out of Mud, Milingo claims that Rev Moon had intended to use him to establish an African Catholic Church with him as its head, a gift he says he didn’t want to ignore.

we see that Milingo has done all this- marry, defy the Vatican, foment schism, for the sake of Ecumenism. Rationalization is an insidious thing. The Inquisition is too good for some people.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Bai McFarlane Back in Court Thursday

For anyone who has been following the sad events related to the McFarlane divorce, you may be interested to know that Bai will be back in court Thursday. The children's attorney, who made the recommendation to give the man who committed divorce custody of the four children, is after more money from Bai.

Her letter can be read here. I'm sure that any friends who can attend and lend their support would be most appreciated.

Bud McFarlane, who rakes in over $100,000 per year as head of the "non profit" (and I think we all know how that game works) Mary Foundation seems to be doing just fine. Bai who committed herself for life to the marriage and dedicated herself to homemaking and homeschooling, now has to find a job and pay him child support.

And that's Catholic marriage in the post modern world.

When they say Traditional they mean Antiquated

You know I got my hopes up when I saw the headline:

Four justices attend traditional church service before start of Supreme Court's new term.

But hey we'll take it

WASHINGTON -- An audience that included four of the Supreme Court's Roman Catholics heard Washington's new archbishop on Sunday describe how religion has been a guiding principle in American history.

In a worship service traditionally held the day before the high court's new term, Cabinet members and foreign ambassadors joined the capital's legal community at the annual Red Mass.

Four of the five Roman Catholics on the high court -- Chief Justice John Roberts, Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy and Clarence Thomas -- came to worship at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle.

Archbishop (soon to be Cardinal)Wuerl had some good thoughts:

In his first Red Mass in Washington since being appointed in May, Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl spoke of religion's relationship to public life.

"Morality and ethical considerations cannot be divorced from their religious antecedents," Wuerl said in his homily. "What we do and how we act, our morals and ethics, follow on what we believe. The religious convictions of a people sustain their moral decisions."

Wuerl said politics, law and faith mingle "because believers are also citizens. Church and state are home for the same people."

He called religious faith a "cornerstone in the American experience."

"May our religious faith, as a foundational part of our national experience, continue to nurture and sustain each branch of this society so that by its very connectedness to the vine, we can blossom and flourish," Wuerl said.

The origin:

Celebration of the Red Mass dates to the 13th century and is conducted to ask the Holy Spirit for guidance for those who seek justice. The Mass takes its name from the red vestments, symbolizing the Holy Spirit, worn by the celebrants.