Saturday, March 31, 2012
Friday, March 30, 2012
Let’s keep something clear. My role as a priest, and the bishops’ role as bishops, is to form and support the laity for their proper role in the public square. It is the role of lay people to shape the world around them according to their vocations. I (or, even more, the bishops) will teach, give you the sacraments, and support you. The work of the public square is really your work, lay people, not mine. Remember that when you think bishops aren’t being strong enough in the public square. We clerics know that you lay people often face in your daily lives challenges that would make many of us roll up in a ball and hide under the covers. On the other hand, the Enemy of your soul hates priests and bishops with surpassingmalice. We live every day knowing that we go to our judgment with Holy Orders upon our souls and to those to whom God has given much, more will be expected. As Augustine said, “I am a bishop for you, but I am a Christian with you.” Neither portion of God’s poor little servants should fall into the trap of thinking that the other has anything easy in life.
If you are p.o.’d that a bishop isn’t jumping around with his hair on fire in front of the White House, waving his arms, and telling you whom to vote for, then maybe you should be doing that according to what Holy Church has taught you and in keeping with your vocation. And if the priests and bishops in your life have not been stellar in their roles of teaching (read = they are human, they are sinners, they are … x, y, z….), then put on your own big-boy underwear and get to work anyway. Things will improve. Priests and bishops will find their way to the spines they need, or in some cases abandoned. And they will do it faster if you are with them rather than against them. Believe me: carping at priests doesn’t generally make them do things either faster or better. I know this by experiential knowledge and not merely by theoretical. Help them out by prayers and encouragement and example.
There is only so much the bishops can accomplish in the public square on their own: the rest is yourjob. Don’t shirk your role even if you think bishops and priests are being lazy or craven. Stand up and get to work right now, even if you are disappointed that bishops aren’t beaming lasers out of their eyes or issuing decrees of excommunication while they levitate to the strains of Verdi’s Dies Irae.
Thursday, March 29, 2012
From the Catholic Herald:
A former Anglican bishop ordained a Catholic priest is one of the stars of an anti-apartheid musical in South Africa, it emerged today.
Fr Robert Mercer, 77, was deported from South Africa in 1970 for his stand against apartheid, along with several other Anglican priests.
He and other members of the Anglican Community of the Resurrection defied segregation laws by running a multi-racial parish.
They were, says Fr Mercer, “deemed to be a corrupting influence on students” at Stellenbosch University, where they worked as chaplains. One of the Anglican priests was jailed.
Their stand has been dramatised in a multi-media pop musical calledBrothers, which ran for five nights at Stellenbosch University, the country’s top Africaans university.
The musical was performed in September 2010 in a mix of Africaans and English and was directed by playwright Peter Krummeck.
Fr Mercer, who grew up in Zimbabwe, went on to become Bishop of Matabeleland, Zimbabwe, in the Anglican Province of Central Africa, in the midst of a civil war.
He was bishop for 11 years before leaving the Anglican Communion to join the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada, part of the worldwide Traditional Anglican Communion. He served as metropolitan bishop from 1988 to 2005, when he retired to England.
Fr Mercer became a Catholic in January and was ordained a priest for the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham on Monday.
He said today that Pope Benedict XVI’s offer of an ordinariate to Anglicans in 2009 was “an answer to our prayers, to our dreams”.
He said he had been longing for Christian unity since the early 1980s, when Pope John Paul II and Robert Runcie, Archbishop of Canterbury, issued a joint declaration thanking God for “the progress that has been made in the work of reconciliation”.
He and his clergy in Zimbabwe began working through ARCIC documents and even met Vatican officials in Rome.
In 1985 Fr Mercer met Cardinal Johannes Willebrands and Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, then prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, to talk about the prospect of Anglicans reconciling with Rome.
Fr Mercer said that Cardinal Ratzinger was “the humblest, gentlest, most sympathetic person I think I’ve ever met”.
He said: “I could never understand, therefore, all the talk of ‘the Rottweiler’ and ‘Panzer cardinal’… I came away thinking if ever I had done wrong and wanted to tell someone about it, it would be him I’d want to tell.”
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
After holding consultations across the province last year, on Mar. 22 the committee recommended the legalization of euthanasia for people experiencing constant, unbearable physical or psychological suffering.
"From the outset of the committee's consultation, Quebecers were guaranteed that their voices would be heard and that the direction they gave would be followed,” said Dr. Andre Bourque, president of LWD. “On the basis of that promise, Quebecers spoke forcefully against opening the door to euthanasia and assisted suicide.”
“The committee has arrogantly and dangerously broken its word to the very people it promised to heed," he said.
An independent analysis revealed two-thirds of persons submitting briefs to the committee opposed any loosening of laws against euthanasia or assisted suicide, Bourque pointed out. One third supported euthanasia, while only two per cent supported assisted suicide.
The percentage of Catholic weddings has dropped 74 per cent in Canada over the past 34 years. The picture is similar in the United States or other western countries, said Christian and Christine Meert, directors of the Colorado Springs diocese’s office of marriage and family life.
And of those Catholics who do want a Church wedding, 90 per cent of engaged couples are already sexually active, using artificial contraception and plan to continue using it after marriage, they said.
The Meerts said Catholic priests and marriage preparation leaders may be afraid to bring up the Church’s teachings on human sexuality for fear of scaring young people away.
The Meerts have developed an approach based on John Paul II’s teachings on the Theology of the Body (TOB) that lays a theological foundation step by step, so couples can receive the tougher questions concerning abstinence and family planning. By the time the questions of contraception and abstinence come up, most are willing to consider natural family planning and refraining from sex until after marriage, the Meerts said.
Monday, March 26, 2012
Saturday, March 24, 2012
Friday, March 23, 2012
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Here they are, though not in the seasonal order.
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Let's take it as read that Rick Santorum is weird. After all, he believes in the sanctity of life, the primacy of the family, the traditional socio-religious understanding of a transcendent purpose to human existence. Once upon a time, back in the mists of, ooh, the mid–20th century, all these things were, if not entirely universal, sufficiently mainstream as to be barely worthy of discussion. Now they're not. Isn't the fact that conventional morality is now "weird" itself deeply weird? The instant weirdification of ideas taken for granted for millennia is surely mega-weird — unless you think that our generation is possessed of wisdom unique to human history. In which case, why are we broke?
Sunday, March 18, 2012
Saturday, March 17, 2012
Metaxas, a Yale grad and humor writer who once wrote for the children’s seriesVeggie Tales, began his speech with several jokes and stole the show early on when he noted that George W. Bush, often accused by his critics of being incurious, had read Metaxas’s weighty tome on the German theologian Bonhoeffer; he then proceeded to hand a copy to the president while intoning: “No pressure.”
Obama came to the prayer breakfast with a tidy speech that was clearly designed to lay those doubts to rest. He spoke of his daily habit of prayer and reading, his regular conversations with preachers like T. D. Jakes and Joel Hunter, and even told a story of the time he prayed over Billy Graham.
But before the president could utter a word, it was Metaxas who delivered a devastating, albeit apparently unintentional critique of such God-talk, recounting his own religious upbringing which he described as culturally Christian yet simultaneously full of “phony religiosity.”
“I thought I was a Christian. I guess I was lost,” he matter-of-factly stated.
Standing no more than five feet from Obama whose binder had a speech chock full of quotes from the Good Book, Metaxas said of Jesus:
“When he was tempted in the desert, who was the one throwing Bible verses at him? Satan. That is a perfect picture of dead religion. Using the words of God to do the opposite of what God does. It’s grotesque when you think about it. It’s demonic.”
“Keep in mind that when someone says ‘I am a Christian’ it may mean absolutely nothing,” Metaxas added for good measure, in case anybody missed his point.
The eerie feeling that Metaxas was answering Obama on a speech he had yet to give continued, as he spoke about the uniqueness of Jesus Christ and the Christian religion. Moments after Metaxas finished his speech and sat down, Obama took great pains to describe the other great religions of the world as mirroring his own Christian faith.
Friday, March 16, 2012
Having had the misfortune to have spent half my life among the atheists and religion-haters, though, I know how embittered and unrelenting are the supposed disciples of science. They are in fact religious fanatics of the worst kind. You can’t make a deal with them. After they come for the Catholics, they will come for us. They already are coming for us all over the world.
It isn’t happening in the United States — not yet, except for a laughable referendum in San Francisco last year to prohibit circumcision. But it’s happening in England, where the country’s highest court has ruled that the religious definition of Jewish identity is racist. It’s happened in several European countries as well as New Zealand, which have banned or might ban kosher slaughter.
Contraception is not the issue. The issue is whether science has the right to decide the ultimate matters of life and death, or whether this is reserved to faith. We can argue the practical consequences all day and not get anywhere. It’s not as if contraception has ushered in a glorious era of human reproduction in which every child is planned and wanted. More than half of births to American women under 30 now occur outside of marriage, the New York Times reported Feb. 18, and overwhelmingly to working-class women who are economically unprepared for single motherhood. And 71% of total African-American and 53% of Hispanic births are out of wedlock as well. The cultural shift from the nuptial mystery of religion to the blandishments of recreational sex has left us with a catastrophic rate of illegitimacy and the prospect of a self-perpetuating underclass.
Please read the whole thing.
Sunday, March 11, 2012
Friday, March 09, 2012
She's had the courage to stand up in public and demand that someone else (and this is where one is obliged to tiptoe cautiously, lest offense is given to gallant defenders of the good name of American maidenhood such as the many prestigious soon-to-be-former sponsors of this column who've booked Bill Maher for their corporate retreat with his amusing "Sarah Palin is a c***" routine ...)
Where was I? Oh, yes. The brave middle-age schoolgirl had the courage to stand up in public and demand that someone else pay for her sex life.
Well, as noted above, she's attending Georgetown, a nominally Catholic seat of learning, so how expensive can that be? Alas, Georgetown is so nominally Catholic that the cost of her sex life runs to three grand – and, according to the star witness, 40 percent of female students "struggle financially" because of the heavy burden of maintaining a respectable level of pre-marital sex at a Jesuit institution.
One of these days we will see a shift from blatant Kulturkampf to Kirchenkampf, the battle of the American Patriotic Catholic Association under its leader against the Holy Catholic Church. Parish priests: If you hear about some prayer rally organized by enemies of the Church and the 1st Amendment, please think about organizing your own “rally”, perhaps in the form of Exposition with a sermon and confessions.
Thursday, March 08, 2012
Strip-searching a father because his four-year-old sketched a toy gun at school paints a perfect picture of progressive public education: absurd yet sinister.
On the Keystone Kops side, if police took the girl’s now-vanished doodle of her father fighting monsters and bad guys seriously, why not search his home for villains, or werewolves, before a gun? And why handcuff Jesse Sansone then strip-search him, including making him lift his personal bits? Don’t cops know a gun won’t fit down there? Did they also check his armpit for a tank, or his ear for a sword?
On the Big Nurse side, the police arrested Sansone for illegal possession of a firearm without any credible evidence he even had a gun, let alone illegally. They “walked through” his home without a warrant. Social services grabbed his three eldest children and interrogated his pregnant wife. And they are unrepentant.
Waterloo Regional School district superintendant Gregg Bereznick told QMI Agency’s Kris Sims: “We do work hand-in-hand with these families because we co-parent, so we hope that we could move forward.”
Co-parent? Neither Sansone nor anyone else ever went on one knee to his beloved then invited the school board into the marriage as co-parent. And the state clearly regards parents as subordinates, not partners. Note how Leviathan’s tentacles converge on hapless citizens like Sansone, from school boards to social services to police and beyond.
Canada’s Supreme Court just said parents can’t withdraw kids from Quebec’s religion and ethics class because such conduct “amounts to a rejection of the multicultural reality of Canadian society and ignores the Quebec government’s obligations with regard to public education.” Which trump parental desires.
Meanwhile, Alberta’s new Education Act won’t let home-schoolers and religious schools express “disrespect for differences”. A ministry spokesperson burbled: “You can affirm the family’s ideology in your family life, you just can’t do it as part of your educational study and instruction.” But doesn’t instruction include what you teach at the dinner table? Again, the state overrules parents in classrooms, and if they home-school it follows them home.
This is not co-parenting. It is taking over.
Tuesday, March 06, 2012
The state no longer criminalizes a belief in transubstantiation, mainly because most people have no idea what that is. But they know what sex is, and, if the price of Pierre Trudeau's assertion that "the state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation" is that the state has to take an ever larger place in the churches and colleges and hospitals and insurance agencies and small businesses of the nation, they're cool with that. The developed world's massive expansion of sexual liberty has provided a useful cover for the shriveling of almost every other kind. Free speech, property rights, economic liberty, and the right to self-defense are under continuous assault by Big Government. In New York and California and many other places, sexual license is about the only thing you don't need a license for.
And so the peoples of the West are enlightened enough to have cast off the stultifying oppressiveness of religion for a world in which the state regulates every aspect of life. In 1944, at a terrible moment of the most terrible century, Henri de Lubac wrote a reflection on Europe's civilizational crisis, Le drame de l'humanisme athee. By "atheistic humanism," he meant the organized rejection of God — not the freelance atheism of individual skeptics but atheism as an ideology and political project in its own right. As M. de Lubac wrote, "It is not true, as is sometimes said, that man cannot organize the world without God. What is true is that, without God, he can only organize it against man." "Atheistic humanism" became inhumanism in the hands of the Nazis and Communists and, in its less malign form in today's European Union, a kind of dehumanism in which a present-tense culture amuses itself to extinction. "Post-Christian Europe" is a bubble of 50-year-old retirees, 30-year-old students, empty maternity wards . . . and a surging successor population already restive to move beyond its Muslim ghettoes.
The irrationalism of the hyper-rational state ought by now to be evident in everything from the euro-zone crisis to the latest CBO projections: The paradox of the Church of Big Government is that it weans people away from both the conventional family impulse and the traditional transcendent purpose necessary to sustain it. So what is the future of the American Catholic Church if it accepts the straitjacket of Obama's "freedom to worship"? North of the border, motoring around the once-Catholic bastion of Quebec, you'll pass every couple of miles one of the province's many, many churches, and invariably out front you'll see a prominent billboard bearing the slogan "Notre patrimoine religieux — c'est sacre!" "Our religious heritage — it's sacred!" Which translated from the statist code-speak means: "Our religious heritage — it's over!" But it's left every Quebec community with a lot of big, prominently positioned buildings, and not all of them can be, as Montreal's Saint-Jean de la Croix and Couvent de Marie Reparatrice were, converted into luxury three-quarter-million-dollar condos. So to prevent them from decaying into downtown eyesores, there's a government-funded program to preserve them as spiffy-looking husks.
The Obama administration's "freedom to worship" leads to the same soulless destination: a church whose moral teachings must be first subordinated to the caprices of the hyper-regulatory Leviathan, and then, as on the Continent, rendered incompatible with public office, and finally, as in that Southampton homeless shelter, hounded even from private utterance. This is the world the "social justice" bishops have made.
t certainly seems as if we worship the same God. After all, we call God by the same name. Arabic-speaking Christians, including Eastern Catholics such as Maronites and Melkites, use the word “Allah” for the God of the Bible.
But are they the same God?
The question is not answered by simple linguistic identity, as evidenced by St. Paul’s complaint to the Corinthians: “For if some one comes and preaches another Jesus than the one we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you submit to it readily enough” (2 Corinthians 11:4). The “other Jesus” that was being preached among the Corinthians was not a different person of the same name, but a view of Jesus of Nazareth that was so radically different from Paul’s that he termed it “another Jesus” altogether.
In the same way, it is possible that the Qur’an and Islamic tradition present a picture of God so radically different from that of the Bible and Catholic tradition that it would be difficult, if not impossible, to maintain the proposition that they are the same Being in both traditions, apart from some minor creedal differences.
But wait a minute. Don’t Catholics have to believe that Christians and Muslims worship the same God, because the Second Vatican Council says so? The Dogmatic Constitution on the Church tells us that the “plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator. In the first place amongst these there are the Mohammedans, who, professing to hold the faith of Abraham, along with us adore the one and merciful God, who on the last day will judge mankind.” (Lumen Gentium 16)
Monday, March 05, 2012
In other words, he out-ACORNed ACORN, and that, I think, spurred most of the venom against him: It was not just that he had countered the message of the Left, but he often humiliated it by employing its own tactics in a way that made himself either safe from their criticism or the critics of his technique abject hypocrites.
Under the old “truth to power” orthodoxy, considerations of race, class, and gender supposedly excused the boisterous conduct and occasional crass invective of the Al Sharpton, Michael Moore, Code Pink, or Cindy Sheehan sort. Breitbart demolished that exemption, and more or less warned that he could employ the same sort of agitation as the Left, but to endorse and enhance the ideals of a free-market and individual liberty, and he dared his opponents to reject his methods on grounds that they were somehow crude or unfair.
Let me explain something to you here. This robocall controversy is less than meets the eye. There is far more smoke than fire.
Let me say it again, if there is any evidence of illegal activity prosecute those responsible. Put them in jail. Even if it is the prime minister.
But something really stinks about this idea that tens of thousands of Canadians spontaneously contacted Elections Canada nine months after the election because they suddenly remembered getting a strange phone call.Simply put, this hasn’t happened.
What has happened is that the left has imported what they claim they hate.
That’s right Pat, American-style dirty tricks from your side to try and force a public inquiry and push for by-elections in key ridings so that the results of the election can be overturned.Think I’m nuts, look at the website of this group, Leadnow.ca.
This group has an entire campaign to push people to contact Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the other party leaders, RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson and William Corbett, the Commissioner of Canada Elections – he’s the lead investigator for any wrong doing in the election.
They have a full template set up right there to email all these guys at once and they are bragging about how many people they have put on to Elections Canada.
Avaaz.org is doing the same thing.
Avaaz is out of New York City, this is a group that tried to get Sun News shut down before we even launched.
These are high level Americans with deep ties to the left wing of the Democratic Party are now trying to overturn Canadian democracy.-snip-
This is not a grass roots movement, this is an orchestrated campaign – not even one to deal with legitimate complaints but one aimed at making as much noise as possible, to push for a public inquiry and to overturn Canada’s democracy.
My awakening took place before 9/11 and I was already out of the stifling political correctness of the Mainstream Media at that time.
But last night, something snapped.
12 years of silence. 12 years of cowardice. 12 years of humiliating self-censorship. 12 years of hiding what I think, who I am and what I believe in order to protect my livelihood.
And Andrew Breitbart is dead.
It all just started bleeding out of me, white hot, 140 characters at a time. All my rage. All my indignation. Like the jetting pulse from a slashed carotid, for the whole world to see.
In the national conversation Americans are currently having over the federal government takeover of health care, what gets obscured is the distinction between the public sector and the voluntary sector, that is, between the state and the Church.
It’s the role of members of any church to practice charity. The state’s role in our lives is, with our consent, coercive. But its coercive power should be limited.
If you allow the distinction between the political and religious spheres to be blurred, and if you begin romantically to think of the state as a kind of big religious community, you will end up thinking just like Mussolini: the state should own everything and provide you with all your needs.
When religious behave like this we call them a community.
When states behave like this we call them fascist.
Saturday, March 03, 2012
Friday, March 02, 2012
I can't wait until we can organize one of these for our Ordinariate-bound Canadians!