Saturday, February 28, 2009

Getting Leaner

The National Council of Churches had this featured item:

The figures indicate that the Catholic church lost 398,000 members since the appearance of the 2008 Yearbook.

This isn't good, but I wasn't convinced that it was all bad either. I'm sure the Church shed a few members after Nicea and Chalcedon. If the loss was a bunch of modernists/Protestants who finally got tired of calling themselves Catholic, it is a tragedy, but at least they will cause less damage to the faith of others now. I was thinking that until I got to this part:

According to the 2009 Yearbook, among the 25 largest churches in the U.S., four are growing: the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (up 1.63 percent to 5,873,408; the Assemblies of God (up 0.96 percent to 2,863,265); Jehovah's Witnesses (up 2.12 percent to 1,092,169); and the Church of God of Cleveland, Tenn. (up 2.04 percent to 1,053,642).

I read this, and I am disturbed. My family does not turn away missionaries at the door. Naturally, this means that I've had my fair share of Mormon and JW interaction. That the Arians have made this much of a comeback is foul beyond my ability to express.

St. Athanasius, defender of the Incarnation, pray for us!

As an aside, the Pentecostal growth I expected simply because emotionalism always sells, and nobody provides sentiment like they do.

Friday, February 27, 2009

So Much for Conscience

Taking another step into the abortion debate, the Obama administration Friday will move to rescind a controversial rule that allows health-care workers to deny abortion counseling or other family-planning services if doing so would violate their moral beliefs, according to administration officials.

This is from the Chicago Tribune. Of course, this is all Ok because:

Officials stressed Thursday that the administration is looking for input from people across the ideological spectrum before it finalizes the rollback after the standard 30-day comment period."We believe that this is a complex issue that requires a thoughtful process where all voices can be heard," said one official, who was not authorized to speak on the record.

Of course. Obama's really shown a willingness so far to look for and gather pro-life input. Right before he wipes his butt with it.

This is further proof of the rank hypocrisy of the pro-abortion ranks of the left. Allow me to roll the clock back a years to 2006. If you'll recall, that was when 55 congressional heretics claiming to follow the True Faith wrote a letter containing the following textual turd:

In all these issues, we seek the Church's guidance and assistance but believe also in the primacy of conscience. In recognizing the Church's role in providing moral leadership, we acknowledge and accept the tension that comes with being in disagreement with the Church in some areas. Yet we believe we can speak to the fundamental issues that unite us as Catholics and lend our voices to changing the political debate -- a debate that often fails to reflect and encompass the depth and complexity of these issues.

Hypocrites. And The Master commented on their ilk quite often:

Hypocrites, well hath Isaias prophesied of you, saying: This people honoureth me with their lips: but their heart is far from me.

Matthew 15:7-8

And, of course:

The lord of that servant shall come in a day that he hopeth not, and at an hour that he knoweth not: And shall separate him, and appoint his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Matthew 24:50-51

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Notre Dame Getting Something Right

Just wanted to bring this out from Todd's comment below.

My alma mater seems to be stepping up to the pro-life plate a bit.

Go here for details.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Next Time You Hear Someone Talk About Terri Schiavo

Remember this article from Zenit. This is referencing the murder of Eluana Englaro, who was in a position like that of Terri and suffered the same fate.

Since 1989 Father Trento has been one of the best-known missionaries of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Charles Borromeo in Paraguay. He is 62 years old and is the head of a clinic for the terminally ill in Asunción.

I think of little Victor, a child in a coma, who clenches his fists. All we do is feed him through a tube. Faced with these situations, how can I react to the case of Eluana?

Yesterday they brought me a girl who was naked, a prostitute, in a coma, who had been dumped in front of a hospital. Her name is Patricia and she is 19. We washed her. Yesterday she started to move her eyes.

Celeste is 11; she suffers from a very grave form of leukemia; she was never taken care of and they brought her to me just to bury. Today she is walking. And she laughs."

Make sure you go read the whole thing. Then ask yourself how we got to the point of discarding people as though they were just things.

Is There Anything Good Left at Georgetown?

The guy in the picture is Pope Clement XIV. Most folks don't know much, if anything, about him. Frankly, there aren't a whole lot of positives to bring up. He's mostly remembered for suppressing the Jesuit order back in the 18th century. Both John Paul II and Benedict XVI have expressed reservations over the Society and its orthodoxy in recent years.

Georgetown is a good example of the public collapse of the order. Rod Dreher mentions the most recent illustration, namely an entire event structured around discussions of sexuality that bear little resemblance to Catholicism. Here are a couple of the presentations:

Jenny Block reads from her memoir Open: Love, Sex, and Life in an Open Marriage and Tristan Taormino reads from her book Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships. Their readings will be followed by a question & answer and discussion about monogamy, non-monogamy, and the state of love and relationships today. This event is co-sponsored by Georgetown University Pride as part of their Sex Positive Week and by Whole DC.

This event will is important to open dialogue around pornography and how it affects our lives. It is important to be open to discussion about arguably alternative forms of pornography that are not supposed to be exploitative, but rather radical and empowering. The question of the day: Can pornography be sex positive?

How lovely.

Before the hate mail comes in, I'm not saying that all Jesuits are bad or that the order itself is bad. I am a huge fan of Sts. Ignatius, Peter Canisius, Robert Bellarmine, and Francis Xavier. I also like more modern guys like Frs. Vincent Micceli and Mitch Pacwa. It seems more and more, though, that these guys are the exceptions now, rather than the rule.

Two popes in a row have been concerned enough to bring it up in public. I don't think I'm imagining things here.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Reformation Lemmings, Cont.

A good while back, we talked a bit about how Protestants seemed to be overly willing to rush into the abyss of relativism that is swallowing the Anglicans whole, specifically in the area of sanctioning homosexual clergy.

Looks like the attitude is spreading, per CBS42 in Alabama:

The controversial stance of keeping homosexuals from joining the Presbyterian clergy has just been dropped. A group representing the majority of Presbyterians in Alabama has cast a vote that could call for a big division within the denomination.

Thursday's vote to change the fidelity and chastity clause has broken the barring for homosexuals in the Presbyterian clergy. The North-Central Alabama body of the denomination favored to drop the language set over a decade ago.

Watch that first step, friends. It's a doozy.

Yesterday's Gospel

This will probably sound stupid, but that's what I'm best at, so why suppress such a talent?

Anyways, I was thinking of yesterday's Gospel on my way in to work today, specifically the following bits:

They came bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men.Unable to get near Jesus because of the crowd,they opened up the roof above him.After they had broken through,they let down the mat on which the paralytic was lying.

When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic,"Child, your sins are forgiven."

It's from Mark 2, by the way.

I was thinking first about the bit where Jesus works the miracle not because of the paralytic's faith, but apparently because of his buddies' faith. Note the comment that He saw "THEIR faith."

So I'm thinking about that, and it occurred to me that they lowered this guy down from the ceiling. It was the faith of those above that got him healed. I wondered if this was some sort of hinting at the communion of saints in heaven helping us folks down here. It's a bit attenuated, I know, but an old priest of mine used to say, "Scripture has no coincidences." I tend to read the Bible with that in mind.

One other thing that kicked this idea off. If you're in habitual sin, your will tends to be completely broken when it comes to stopping it. This is something that gets referred to by a lot of names: killing the conscience, blinding the moral sense, hardening the heart, etc. You are, in effect, paralyzed. This, I think, is clearly implicated by the passage. The actual grace needed to bump you to repentance ultimately does come from God, but it is often through the prayers of the saints that one is delivered to His mercy. Ask any mother who has had long conversations with St. Monica about a wayward child.

Just rambling here. Move along . . .

And thanks to Karl for letting me know how he puts the cool label things on posts.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

And We're Worried about the SSPX?

Judging from this bit from CathCon (which looks to be a pretty neat blog itself), we should be worried about the theologians from Charles University over in Prague. The whole shpiel is basically a letter about the SSPX situation and the Williamson comments in particular. In the midst of the theology faculty's statement, though, is this bit:

We welcome the effort of Benedict XVI at the Church unity. By this gesture he made a great step towards the Society of Saint Pius X which is now to react. It is the acceptance of the Second Vatican Council conclusions, still rejected by the Society in their decisive parts, which must be considered at most. The recognition of religious freedom and the freedom of conscience, as well as recognition of Judaism as an autonomous path of redemption, belongs substantially to the self-conception of the Catholic Church. The Society of Saint Pius X which excluded itself from the Catholic Church by the forbidden but valid consecration of four bishops in 1988 still stresses that the compliance is not possible until the Catholic Church persists in the conclusions of the Second Vatican Council.


Let's start with the first bit. Religious freedom and freedom of conscience "belong substantially to the self-conception" of the Church. Let's take the quoted part at face value for a moment, despite theologians' propensity to use big words for little meaning. In other words, they are saying that the Church cannot even consider Herself without including these "freedom" concepts. What then, of the Social Kingship of Christ? Or the fact that the Church has long thought of Herself without such concepts, and even condemned them outright?

This shameful font of indifferentism gives rise to that absurd and erroneous proposition which claims that liberty of conscience must be maintained for everyone. It spreads ruin in sacred and civil affairs, though some repeat over and over again with the greatest impudence that some advantage accrues to religion from it. "But the death of the soul is worse than freedom of error," as Augustine was wont to say. . . Experience shows, even from earliest times, that cities renowned for wealth, dominion, and glory perished as a result of this single evil, namely immoderate freedom of opinion, license of free speech, and desire for novelty. . .

Nor can We predict happier times for religion and government from the plans of those who desire vehemently to separate the Church from the state, and to break the mutual concord between temporal authority and the priesthood. It is certain that that concord which always was favorable and beneficial for the sacred and the civil order is feared by the shameless lovers of liberty. But for the other painful causes We are concerned about, you should recall that certain societies and assemblages seem to draw up a battle line together with the followers of every false religion and cult. They feign piety for religion; but they are driven by a passion for promoting novelties and sedition everywhere. They preach liberty of every sort; they stir up disturbances in sacred and civil affairs, and pluck authority to pieces.

Pope Gregory XVI, Mirari Vos

That's light stuff compared to the bit about Judaism, though. What the hell is that? Judaism is an "autonomous path of redemption"? What can we conclude from this except that Christ was an utter superfluity? Apparently, we could all renounce Christ, buy yarmulkes, and it wouldn't make one bit of difference.

And I'm supposed to be worried about the SSPX and one bishop's comments about the math being off on how many Jews died in the Holocaust (note again: not IF any died, but how many)? That is more important than theologians, who I am allegedly in communion with in the Catholic Church, denying that the Incarnation and all that goes with was just bells and whistles?

A large chunk of the Catholic world is up in arms about this Williamson stuff, yet blatant heresy is passed over. What is wrong with people?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Pelosi Meets the Pope

From MSNBC, here's Nancy's account of how the meeting went:

She said it was with "great joy" that she and her husband, Paul, met with Benedict.

"In our conversation, I had the opportunity to praise the Church's leadership in fighting poverty, hunger and global warming, as well as the Holy Father's dedication to religious freedom and his upcoming trip and message to Israel," she said.

Of course, we know that Nancy is a liar, so it's not like we can really buy her version of things. Strangely enough, the Vatican discussion of the meeting implies a slightly different tone.

"His Holiness took the opportunity to speak of the requirements of the natural and moral law and the Church's consistent teaching on the dignity of human life from conception to natural death ..." a Vatican statement said.

It said such teaching "enjoins all Catholics, and especially legislators, jurists and those responsible for the common good of society, to work in cooperation with all men of goodwill in creating a just system of laws capable of protecting human life at all stages of its development."

Since this was an admittedly brief meeting (15 minutes, per the article), I wonder how she and Pope Benedict got the chance to squeeze in all that stuff about global warming, etc in such a small amount of time. I'll admit that it would have been all kinds of awesome if he had met her at the door with bell, book, and candle, but it's a good start. Considering the rumors that his next encyclical is going to be on social justice, I'm wondering if he's going to take the opportunity to call out the Pelosis of the world on their manifest sin.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Profound Thoughts from Amy Welborn

I just wanted as many people as possible to read this.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Musings on Today's Readings

The first reading was the bit from Genesis where Cain kills Abel. I'm probably a very bad person for this, but I can never read that bit of Scripture without thinking of Nino Brown in New Jack City.

The Gospel, however, was short and sweet and a bit unnerving. It's Mark 8:11-13.

The Pharisees came forward and began to argue with Jesus,seeking from him a sign from heaven to test him.He sighed from the depth of his spirit and said,"Why does this generation seek a sign? Amen, I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation."Then he left them, got into the boat again,and went off to the other shore.

I read this, and I couldn't help but think of the multitudes of people who are asking God for signs these days. They range from your average Pentecostal type, who thinks that they get signs every time they look around, all the way to your atheists, who mock God by asking for signs and then rejoice when they don't get them. These kinds of behaviors both creep me out.

Given the way things are going these days, I'm pretty fearful of the next signs that we get. I'm not the kind of guy who goes around proclaiming that the end is nigh, but you can't help but see some of the world's madness and not at least consider the possibilities. And folks, I got some bad news. The end is not going to be all that pleasant.

There is no rapture. If the end comes, we're going to be sitting right in the middle of it, so stow your cowardly notions of missing out on all the persecution right now.

It made me feel better that I'm not the only one who had this in mind. If you check a Haydock Commentary, there is a quote from Theophylactus that nutshells the whole thing nicely:

Jesus Christ did not consent to the petition they made him, because there will be another time for signs and wonders, viz. his second coming, when the powers of heaven shall be moved, and the moon refuse her light. This his first coming is not to terrify man, but to instruct and store his mind with lessons of humility, and every other virtue.

You want signs? Be careful what you ask for.

When Scoundrels Seem Faithful

The Legion of Christ has been known as a supposedly magisterial order, faithful to the pope and to the the teachings of the Church. This makes the current scandal of their founder's evil deeds more shocking--after all, wasn't he doing so much good?

Con men and scoundrels will often do good, in order to do evil. It is a good strategy to put on the mask of piety, if one wants to defraud or debauch.

Years ago, when I was in seminary, there was another seminarian in my class who was somewhat famous as a visionary, a seer of visions of the Virgin Mary. I remember elderly ladies gushing about what a saintly young man he was. He would sit entranced during the daily holy hour, and those sitting near him would sometimes smell roses as he prayed.

He was thrown out for homosexual behavior, and was later arrested for child pornography, and is now serving time in jail. A thoroughly dishonest man, playing us all for fools, but in conversation as earnest and saintly and orthodox a man as you could want.

The dishonest will use orthodoxy as an angle, a way to take advantage of pious people. It happens all the time.

How can you guard against it? You can be as wise as a serpent. Suspect those who offer you spiritual goods, especially if they do it in a way that magnifies themselves. The genuine spiritual father or mother will not ever point to self, but only and always to Christ.

Legion of Christ Delenda est!

You may have heard, or you may not have heard, but the LC's founder, Fr. Maciel, turns out to have been a scoundrel, having fathered children, misused funds, and abused young boys.

LC priests and Regnum Christi members talk as if the order can go on. It cannot. It just can't.

You cannot have a religious order whose founder was a pedophilic liar and fornicator.

LC priests should be given the choice of incardinating into the diocesan priesthood, petitioning for entrance into other orders (after a suitable novitiate), or putting aside their vocation.

The schools should be put under diocesan control immediately, and all of Maciel's spiritual writings should be banned.

Look, if it happened to the Knights Templar (permanently) and the Jesuits (temporarily), it can happen, and should.

I'll let you know if Pope Benedict takes my advice on this.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Boston College, the Stupidity Magnet

I'm not saying ND is perfect. We've got McBrien, after all. However, judging from this article in the Boston Herald, BC is utterly infested with morons. There is currently a tremendous uproar over the decision to place crucifixes in the classrooms.

Yes, you heard that right. An ostensibly Catholic university is actually having to deal with internal criticisms over the image of our Savior. Not only that, but they are citing the "Jesuit tradition of tolerance" as a reason why the crucifixes should be removed. Seriously, I couldn't make this stuff up.

Some Boston College professors and students are raising a holy ruckus over the Catholic school’s return to its religious roots by hanging crucifixes in all its classrooms, calling the move “offensive” and a break from the Jesuit tradition of tolerance.

Images of Christ are offensive. Iconoclasm lives at BC.

“There is no choice if you don’t think it’s appropriate. You can’t turn it around,” said biology professor Dan Kirschner, faculty adviser for BC’s chapter of Hillel, a Jewish student group. “I think it is being insensitive to the people of other faith traditions here.”

Perhaps it's insensitive for you to attempt to dictate to a university founded on Catholic principles. Not to mention stupid.

Amir Hoveyda, head of BC’s chemistry department, blasted the school in an e-mail to the Herald for “not being interested in an exchange with its faculty members.”

You're right. If they are real Jesuits, they are interested in converting you. Amir also calls crucifixes offensive, denigrating, and insulting. He should be fired for denigrating and insulting Catholicism, not to mention insubordination for attempting to undermine the Church's presence at Her own university.

Finally, I can't help but notice the brilliant mind of this particular sophomore:

But sophomore Alex LoVerde, 20, believes a crucifix “pushes the Catholic religion” and does not belong in a classroom. “I think the Jesuit tradition is more of openness and tolerance,” LoVerde said. “I think that an overt display of crucifixes is not what the Jesuits would have had in mind.”

What exactly would Jesuits have in mind? Overt displays of the Sacred Heart? Let's hope and pray that Alex and his student brethren actually learn something about Jesuits while they are in college. Like their attempts to destroy heresies, root and branch. Let's also hope that the Jesuits return to their heritage and not contribute to this bastardized caricature of themselves any longer.

Friday, February 13, 2009

We've Come a Long Way Since Pong

Now you can get video games where the objectives are rapes and forced abortions. According to LifeSite, Amazon has decided not to sell the game. What sort of thought process is really needed to make such a "decision"?

Gaming web sites that have reviewed the simulation describe the "tears glistening in the young girl's eyes" as the player attacks her in graphic detail.

Owners of the game begin it by assuming the role of a man who stalks a mother on a subway in Japan before violently sexually assaulting her. They eventually move on to attacking two daughters described a virgin schoolgirls.

The Rapelay game, made for the Microsoft Windows platfform, also includes a "freeform mode" where the player can rape any woman and get friends to join in on the attacks.
According to a post in a gaming forum, the game also includes abortions. Every time a rape is committed there is a chance the victim could become pregnant.

"If she does become pregnant you're supposed to force her to get an abortion, otherwise she gets more and more visibly pregnant each time you have sex. If you allow the child to be born then the woman will throw you in front of a train," the post explains. "Take that pro-life movement!"

Prepping the Fans in China

Because it looks like a major load is about to hit. Sandro over at Chiesa brings us the latest. Most of the article is a good lesson on what's gone before. Pope Benedict thinks the "Patriotic" church is a bad thing. The Vatican starts working for some kind of unity. The Chinese continue to persecute the faithful and their shepherds. It's a pretty regular story up to that point.

Then there's the stuff that I hadn't heard. Apparently, Cardinal Bertone sent a letter to the bishops in China that was a bit "timid" to use the words of the article. This has been accompanied by a growing sentiment that bishops there are becoming more and more submissive to the communists. Cardinal Zen, who is pretty freaking awesome for holding down the fort over there, has basically said that this crap is going to have to stop.

In an article published last 4 January in the diocesan weekly "Gong Jiaobao"" (later reprinted in English by the Sunday Examiner), the cardinal urged Chinese bishops and priests to follow the example of Saint Stephen, the first Christian martyr, and always resist the government when it says or does something that is contrary to the faith. In his article "Inspiration from St. Stephen’s Martyrdom," Cardinal Zen analyzes developments in China’s Catholic Church over the last two years, noting the number of illicit ordinations in 2006, attended by a dozen bishops approved by the Vatican, who went out of fear or deception.

In other words, says Cardinal Zen, to hell with fear and deception.

In the article, Cardinal Zen says that some members of the Chinese Church are praising compromises and ambiguity. "Some people, talking to the brothers in the underground community, seem to be saying: ‘We are very smart to accept a compromise! We are in communion with the Holy Father and at the same time are recognised by the government. They give us money and we take care of our faithful. You instead prefer to go to prison; you would rather die. And then what of your faithful; abandoned, with no one taking care of them’. "

The cardinal continues: "So, martyrdom has become a stupid thing? That’s absurd; a short-sighted view! Reaching compromises might make sense as a short-term strategy but it cannot last forever. Being secretly united with the Holy Father and at the same time affiliated with a Church that declares itself autonomous from Rome is a contradiction."

Beautiful stuff really. And a strong reminder that martyrdom is not some fabled thing wrought by the ancient pagans on the Early Church. It's a present reality that many do not have to deal with and ignore the plight of those who do.

St. Stephen, pray for us and our brethren in China.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Hans Kung: Comedian

Sure, we all knew that Hans was a heretic, but who knew that he had such a sense of humor? Catholic Culture brings you his opening monologue:

The dissident theologian Hans Küng has suggested that Barack Obama would be a better pope than Benedict XVI. “The mood in the church is oppressive," Küng told a German outlet. “Benedict is unteachable in matters of birth control and abortion, arrogant and without transparency and restrictive of freedom and human rights." The theologian who once argued for greater democracy in the Church suggested that the Pope should follow Obama's example and issue executive orders to bring about radical changes in Church doctrine and discipline, "using the power of his executive office to issue decrees."


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Vladimir Putin is an ABBA fan?

I got this emailed to me today. It's from SkyNews. It doesn't have anything to do with the Church, but I couldn't get over the fact that the Russian Boogeyman is getting live performances from ABBA tribute bands. This is about a 9 on the weirdness scale.

Of course, Vlad denies all this, per The Independent. Yeah, Vlad, given that I have a Y-chromosome myself, I'd deny that I was an ABBA fan, too. Seriously, can you imagine an ex-KGB, Russian Prime Minister, strongman, judo black-belt, thug breaking it down to this:

Me neither. The guy would be toast the minute his enemies found out. Needless to say, don't be surprised if this tribute band disappears under mysterious circumstances.

If You Want to Feel Depressed and a Whole Lot Dumber

Check out this NYT article. It's about the recent trend of promoting indulgences to the faithful. When you read the piece, recall two things:

1. Someone was actually paid money to be this wrong.
2. The people quoted are Catholics.

On a cautionary note, there is a throwaway bit from our favorite theological prostitute towards the end. I'm not going to reproduce it here, though. He's sullied this blog enough lately.

It starts with the obligatory "Vatican II changed all that."

Like the Latin Mass and meatless Fridays, the indulgence was one of the traditions decoupled from mainstream Catholic practice in the 1960s by the Second Vatican Council, the gathering of bishops that set a new tone of simplicity and informality for the church.

I could write a whole series just on the stupidity of that one paragraph.

Then, of course, the author has to throw in some stuff about indulgences that is completely false. For example:

There are partial indulgences, which reduce purgatorial time by a certain number of days or years . . .

Of course, the time period attached to an indulgence had to deal with the equivalent penance the indulgenced act was good for, not for the timeframe of punishment in purgatory, but hey, why worry with facts? It's the New York (expletive deleted) Times, after all.

Now the depressing part:

“It’s what?” asked Marta de Alvarado, 34, when told that indulgences were available this year at several churches in New York City. “I just don’t know anything about it,” she said, leaving St. Patrick’s Cathedral at lunchtime. “I’m going to look into it, though.”

Karen Nassauer, 61, said she was baffled by the return to a practice she never quite understood to begin with. “I mean, I’m not saying it is necessarily wrong,” she said. “What does it mean to get time off in Purgatory? What is five years in terms of eternity?”

That's right. These people are Catholic and have no idea what this is all about. Their pastors and instructors should be beaten. And almost as bad:

The latest offers de-emphasize the years-in-Purgatory formulations of old in favor of a less specific accounting, with more focus on ways in which people can help themselves — and one another — come to terms with sin. “It’s more about praying for the benefit of others, doing good deeds, acts of charity,” said the Rev. Kieran Harrington, spokesman for the Brooklyn diocese.

It's not that this is wrong so much as a complete bass-ackward emphasis. What it's "about" is that there are people suffering, and we aren't doing anything about it. What is so different from their suffering and that of people going hungry, etc. It's still suffering that we are callously allowing to continue by not working to alleviate their pain. That's what it is about. It's about becoming holier by showing charity to those who are forgotten and left to their torments.

Do unto others, folks. If it was you being roasted (or whatever purgatory feels like), you'd want someone on this side having Masses offered or Rosaries prayed to spring you from the flames.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Even scarier than Nancy Pelosi. From

Scholars from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) expressed concern that the church continued to dismiss the dark arts as mere superstition, thereby unwittingly helping the devil advance his reign.

For that reason, Christians who suffer because of witchcraft are often dismissed by priests as being superstitious, the scholars said. Because they do not get adequate help from pastoral agents, they seek the assistance of witchdoctors or join the mushrooming evangelical denominations that offer healing, exorcism and deliverance, they said.

Many African priests fear witchcraft or are ignorant of their own power to confront the devil, the scholars said, adding that Christians visit diviners and magicians to seek practical solutions which the church and science apparently do not offer.

And folks here worry about Harry Potter. There is serious supernatural stuff going on in the world and I don't think a lot of people are aware of how bad it is. We've discussed this here before. What I can't understand is how people can see the progressively worse headlines (like so) in the world and still not take note. To many Fr. Karrases. Not enough Fr. Merrins.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Speaking of Politicians and Abortions

Archbishop Burke, who is the head of the Vatican's equivalent to the Supreme Court, has come out again on the issue of pro-abortion politicians and reception of the Savior in the Holy Eucharist:

He told, "I don't understand the continual debate that goes on about it. There's not a question that a Catholic who publicly, and after admonition, supports pro-abortion legislation is not to receive Holy Communion and is not to be given Holy Communion."

"The Church's law is very clear," said Archbishop Burke, who was appointed last year by Pope Benedict XVI as the head of the Church's highest court, the Apostolic Signatura. "The person who persists publicly in grave sin is to be denied Holy Communion, and it [Canon Law] doesn't say that the bishop shall decide this. It's an absolute."

To the Archbishop's credit, he brings up the issue that most often gets ignored in this entire debate, namely, the denial of the Eucharist is done out of concern for the souls of the politicians in question.

"The Holy Eucharist, the most sacred reality of our life in the Church, has to be protected against sacrilege. At the same time, individuals have to be protected for the sake of their own salvation from committing one of the gravest sins, namely to receive Holy Communion unworthily."

This is meaningless talk to the Bidens/Pelosis of the world, but any priest who is really worried about the salvation of his parishioners' souls should be doing this and making no bones about why. It is the Year of St. Paul, after all.

Therefore, whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord.

1 Corinthians 11:27

Sunday, February 8, 2009

"There is no God who condones taking the life of an innocent human being. This much we know."

Not my words. Or Pope Benedict's. These words were actually spoken by Pres. Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday.

What we really know from this comment is that Pres. Obama is either a hypocrite or extraordinarily reckless.

Consider his well-known support for greater access to abortions. Now note that he has just affirmed that God does not condone the taking of an innocent life. What is the immediate question to be asked?

"Mr. President, when do you think life begins?"

We already know his response. He claims that such a thing is "above his pay grade," hence, he admits that he does not know. If one truly believes that God prohibits the taking of innocent life and also claims ignorance as to when life begins, what is the only rational and moral approach to the abortion issue?

One must be as pro-life as possible. The very possibility that the life of millions of unborn children could be slaughtered should make someone recoil from anything that would encourage such actions. Take the Mexico City Policy, for example. Is it logical to disburse funds and increase access to abortions unless one is absolutely certain that the unborn child is not a child? I suggest not. Such an action is reckless beyond words. Obama doesn't know if he's assisting in the murder of children, but apparently it fits into his pay grade enough not to care.

The President has shown a willingness to accept the murder of a child and render an offense against the Almighty so significant that he regards it as a truth about God knowable to everyone, despite their specific religious beliefs. There are only two possibilities here. Either he is a hypocrite and believes none of these things, or he is reckless when faced with the deaths of millions of innocents.

Which is it?

Saturday, February 7, 2009

So Where Does Your State Rank?

Gallup has come out with this little ditty on how religious our states happen to be.

Your top 10:

1. Mississippi
2. Alabama
3. South Carolina
4. Tennessee
5. Louisiana (woohoo!)
6. Arkansas
7. Georgia
8. North Carolina
9. Oklahoma
10. Kentucky (tie)
10a. Texas (tie)

Seems to be a common geographic thread here.

Here's your bottom ten:

1. Vermont
2. New Hampshire
3. Maine
4. Massachusetts
5. Alaska
6. Washington
7. Oregon
8. Rhode Island
9. Nevada
10. Connecticut

Big surprises here. Freaking Yankee infidels. The South might have its share of heretics, but at least we haven't abandoned the supernatural altogether.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Please Pray for Amy Welborn and Michael Dubruiel

Mr. Dubruiel has passed away. His How-To Book of the Mass was the first Catholic book I ever bought for my convert wife.

Amy Welborn is one of my favorite Catholic bloggers and writers. She needs our prayers, as do her and Mr. Dubruiel's children.

Eternal rest, grant unto him, O Lord
And let the perpetual light shine upon him.