Thursday, April 24, 2008

Catholic Catharsis

Like criminal investigators on CSI, many are trying to do a post mortem on the recent papal visit to discern what really happened, i.e., what did the Pope's visit actually accomplish in light of what was intended to happen. I know many are melancholic to an extent. Liberals wanted him to loosen up Church discipline and dilute doctrine to warm up to non-Catholic Christians in an irrational scheme to effect a form of Ecumenism based on the lowest common denominator (being NICE). Conservatives wanted him to crack the whip and chastize the dissidents and miscreants who have wreaked havoc on the Church for 40 years in the infamous "spirit" of Vatican II. B16 arrived not as a politician nor as a policeman. He came as a shepherd. The pastor of the universal church came to invigorate the faithful remnant as well as encourage the growing number of neophytes. He came to show support by his mere presence. The Pope came to America and because he loves the Church in America. He may not like everything that is said and done by particular individual Catholic Americans, but he came for Mystical Body of Christ which is partially located in the United States.

His words of healing extended to the victims of clergy sexual abuse were not political; they were paternal. He was sorry that some of his sons misbehaved and misbehaved badly. It was like a father who apologizes for the crimes and sins committed by his offspring. The priests who abused children and the bishops who covered it up were nonetheless sons of the Church. Every family has its dirty laundry and the Holy Father wanted to express shame and sorrow that these horrible things ever took place. It was not his fault they happened. But he is the father of the family of faith we call the Catholic Church and like the father of any family, he extended a hand of remorse and reconciliation to those harmed by his own family members. Imagine how Adam felt when he learned that his own son Cain committed fratricide and killed Abel.

Our spiritual father also spoke to the other shepherds, the bishops. He reminded them that they have a lot of homework to do. They must repair the loss of trust many of the faithful have in light of how things were handled during and immediately after the scandal. They must also repair the loss of trust many priests have in their bishops after being thrown to the wolves and treated like a bunch of degenerate felons just paroled. The bishop has to be a FATHER rather than a MANAGER. The paradigm must be one of FAMILY not one of BUSINESS. Many problems continue in the USA because parishes and dioceses work like corporations. Liability, cost effectiveness, productivity, downsizing, risk management, etc. Terms used in boardrooms now permeate Catholic lingo in the dioceses and parishes alike.

The Pope warned of the dictatorship of relativism. He is not stupid. He is very intelligent and very German, which means he is also very efficient. No one fooled him into thinking everything is A.O.K. over here in the States. No one deceived him into thinking we have no problems with liturgical abuses, dissident theologians and meglomaniac ecclesiastical bureaucrats in middle management. Oh, it looked good on TV. Everyone made 'bella figura' even to the sneaky clandestine giving of Holy Communion to notorious pro-abortion politicians.

I don't think the wool was pulled over the papal eyes, however. Rather than reading the riot act, this German pope will quietly, prudently but efficiently take care of the major problems we have in the USA and around the world. His Summorum Pontificum is the best example of his modus operandi. He wants the natural process of give and take (eros and agape) to occur so that what is best and beneficial in both new and old (ordinary and extraordinary) can mutually enhance one another. He knows we have lots of liturgical abuse occuring here in America and he knows we also have a problem with heterodoxy being proliferated in colleges, universities and seminaries. He knows we have a problem with devout faithful being beaten up for showing reverence for the Holy Eucharist when they kneel or genuflect for Holy Communion while priests who use illicit matter and form (if not quasi-invalid) go unscathed. But he also knows that the best way to handle things is to move prudently and methodically. Show viable alternatives to the dissent and abuse occuring in pulpits and sanctuaries around the world.

Let people see and experience the sublime beauty and majesty of the Church's patrimony, especially our liturgical heritage for two millennia. Rather than give in to the pseudo-dichotomy of the pre-Vatican II and the post-Vatican II Churches, B16 has started the process by which the Extraordinary form and the Ordinary form of the Roman Rite can be ACCESSIBLE and AVAILABLE to anyone and everyone. Latin and the vernacular, old and new, extraordinary and ordinary; they speak of the great "BOTH ... AND" (et ... et) whereas the heretics and renegades seek to divide and conquer by imposing a false "EITHER ... OR" (aut ... aut). Just as the Church has two lungs in terms of the Western and Eastern liturgical traditions, so, too, within the Latin Rite we have various legitimate expressions which when done reverently and properly and when understood in the light of orthodox theology, mutually help and enhance each other.

It will take a longer amount of time to clean up the mess left by the recalcitrants who thought their pseudo-Vatican II mandate to whitewash authentic art, dilute authentic doctrine and distort authentic authority would last a thousand years. The Fourth Reich died as quickly as the Third. The distorters and perverters of what Vatican II ACTUALLY said and intended are now cashing in on their social security checks. They are not the vibrant youth of today. They are the antiestablishment hippies of the past.

I have great hope that Pope Benedict XVI will gradually but consistently, prudently and efficiently repair what was broken while nuturing what has been good and growing within the Body of Christ. Some may have thought they fooled the 80 year old Bavarian as if dirt were swept under the carpet. He is too smart for that. He knows the machinations, the politics and the skullduggery some of our ecclesiastics are renown for as well as the cultural and social malaise infecting many of our faithful. He knows too well that we live in a culture of CONVENIENCE and have made convenience a religion if not a god itself. Catholic Americans are blessed with many economic and political privileges and opportunities other nations only dream of, yet we also succumb to the incessant hunger for CONVENIENCE. Liturgy, theology and morality --- all must be CONVENIENT, otherwise, people will drift away. This is the dictatorship of relativism, not just an absence of OBJECTIVE REALITY in terms of eternal truths, but also the addiction to comfort and convenience. Suffering, even salvific, is alien to a culture where people believe the Church, the State and even the Family owe them (the individual) something. It is no longer the 'pursuit of happiness' along with LIFE and LIBERTY that are seen as inalienable rights, but now it is the idea that the world and God Himself OWES me a comfortable and convenient life. Truth and Goodness, the objects of the intellect and will, become mere options. The end that a dictatorship of relativism seeks is MEDIOCRITY. Truth and goodness, holiness and sanctity, grace and virtue, etc., have no place in such a system.

Thanks be to God, Pope Benedict XVI is here to continue the work of Pope John Paul the Great. VERITATIS SPLENDOR says it all. True worship, true doctrine and true moral behavior are the only sources of real happiness and fulfillment for mankind. Communism, Socialism, Consumerism and Materialism tried to make lies appear appetizing to civilization. Once society abandons truth it ceases to be a civilization and deteriorates into culture of death.

PRAY for Pope Benedict that the Lord bless him with many years of good health, with good advisors and good assistants so he can continue his mission of healing and reinvigorating the Church in this new millennium.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Boycott HBO

WARNING: very graphic and offensive language below. All of it originates from one source, Bill Maher. Nothing has been done to censure him or cancel his show. Don Imus was properly reprimanded for his racist remarks about the ladies basketball team from Rutgers.

Bill Maher spews out similar hate-language against Catholicism and nothing happens. Had Maher issued similar insults against Islam or Judaism, he would have been fired the next day. Anti-Catholicism remains the last vestige of politicall correct prejudice.

Please contact HBO and cancel your monthly subscription until Maher is FIRED once and for all.

If your stomach can tolerate the filth, read what he recently said on the air. Both quotations are enough to warrant a total and complete ban. It would be a sin of ommision were a Catholic to stand by and say nothing. Repudiate Maher and denounce his show.

Bill Maher just recently compared the Texas Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints scandal and its latest alleged abuse with the sexual abuse scandal that rocked the Catholic Church in the United States in 2002. "I'd like to tip off law enforcement to an even larger child-abusing religious cult," Maher told his audience. "Its leader also has a compound, and this guy not only operates outside the bounds of the law, but he used to be a Nazi and he wears funny hats."

On his May 18, 2007 edition of "Real time with Bill Maher," the host compared Holy Communion to homosexual oral sodomy and called for turning homosexuality into a religion. "Gay men, don't say you're life-partners, say you're a nunnery of two," said Maher. "We weren't having sex officer, I was performing a very private Mass, here in my car. I was letting my rod and my staff comfort him. Take this and eat of it, for this is my roommate, Barry. ... "

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Arrivaderci, Papa Benedetto

Pope Benedict leaves the United States after a fantastic but brief visit. His detractors were proved wrong when they predicted at his election that the Ratz-weiler would bark and growl at anyone who dared defied his authority. The perennial gentleman, B16 never felt it necessary to bully anyone. His papacy is the same as his priesthood, his episcopacy and his cardinalate. The strength of his arguments, rooted in philosophical and theological truths are what conquer the weak errors of his opponents. He has no need to resort to some German caricature of a goose-stepping soldier yelling commands to subordinates. Joseph Ratzinger and Benedict XVI are the same man and he continues to act as he has always acted, with SINCERITY and with HONESTY. As Prefect for the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, he vigorously defended the precious gems and jewels of the Magisterium, i.e., the Deposit of Faith. He did this because he loves the Truth and ultimately, God is truth as much as God is love.

What I found offensive this week is the hint of conspiracy. Evidently, someone in the press has learned that a few prominent and notorious Catholic politicians who openly and obstinately support abortion were not only given Holy Communion, but allegations are that they were pre-arranged to do so. In other words, some priest or God forbid some bishop, made provisions so that John Kerry and Nancy Pelosi were told beforehand which priest to approach and thus be given Holy Communion without any hesitation or hinderance.

It is reprehensible that any politician who knows that the Holy Father has previously stated that anyone who openly supports and persists in supporting abortion in a public manner are ineligible to receive Holy Communion, would disregard this and casually take Communion anyway. Worse yet, however, is the clergy or prelate who premeditatively arranged such a sacrilege. Bad enough that a Catholic politician defies canon law, but it is contemptuous at least to have an ordained minister participate in such a defilement of the Most Blessed Sacrament. I have more patience and respect for a priest or bishop who is caught off guard or who acts even out of fear when a notorious pro-abortion politician approaches seeking Holy Communion. At least we can blame human weakness or MISGUIDED COMPASSION as Mother Angelica used to call it. When it is premeditated; when it is pre-arranged and pre-approved by an ordained minister; then it is REPREHENSIBLE.

Why not the effort and time spent on convincing the defiant politicians to NOT go to Holy Communion out of respect for the Sacrament and respect for the Pope? No, the effort went into the skullduggery and cloak-and-dagger of puuling the wool over the eyes of the Pontiff. SHAME. The same secret and clandestine behavior which made the clergy sex scandal what is was is happening again. Instead of dealing with a problem head on and instead of boldy standing up for what it right and against what is wrong, we have the resort to the old way of doing things: sweep it under the carpet. Pretend nothing is wrong and maybe nobody will notice.

Did anyone of the conspirators think for one second that the media would miss such a duplicity? If viewers of EWTN can identify Nancy Pelosi and John Kerry, so can viewers on CNN, ABC, NBC and CBS. These two openly pro-abortion politicians could have been persuaded to quietly sit out Communion. No, they were encouraged to go to Communion, according to reports revealing themselves as the Pontiff leaves for Italy. MATERIAL COOPERATION in evil, plain and simple, if anyone advised or coordinated the giving of Holy Communion to these notorious pro-abortion politicians.

If a Catholic who is in an invalid marriage and is in need of an annulment in order to have the current relationship convalidated, he or she is ineligible to receive Holy Communion. Imagine if someone said, "just go to Father X's line and he'll give you Communion." No different than giving Communion to a politician who supports abortion. Both should not take the sacrament (for different reasons, of course). What about the non-Catholic who merely wants to join the crowd at Communion time? Do we not have some restrictions on WHO can go to Communion?

I have seen Catholics defy Church doctrines and disciplines go to Communion regularly. I preach that such activity is wrong and should cease. Problem is that these people can and will find another priest or another bishop, another parish or another diocese and do what they want to do anyway.

Recall the Gospel injunction against leading others astray, 'better to have millstone tied around your neck and be thrown into the sea" than to lead one soul down the wrong path. Whoever was involved in this trasvesty should repent, recant and repair the damage done. Things can be done PROPERLY and yet DISCREETLY and PRUDENTLY. There is never any need to resort to subtegfuge and deceit in a false claim of making the best of a bad situation.

Otherwise, the papal trip was a success IMHO. The Pope spoke to the UN, to America, to Catholics and to non-Catholics, to clergy and to laity, to youth and to us all. He gave us reason to be PROUD and HOPEFUL as Catholic Christians. He did not come as a policeman but as our Holy FATHER. But he NEEDS all of us to help him. Mostly, if we LISTEN and OBEY the Will of God, no matter how difficult, how painful, how inconvenient.


Mother Angelica celebrates her 85th birthday
ad multos annos
God grant her many years

As Pope Benedict XVI leaves the USA for Rome tonight, it behooves us to publicly thank Mother Angelica for founding EWTN. Her international Catholic network of television, satellite, radio, internet and short-wave paved the way for Pope John Paul the Great and now Pope Benedict to fully use broadcast media to its full extent. Before EWTN, we could only rely on the sporadic and not so objective eye of the secular media to cover Papal events. Even with cable and satellite, we were limited to CBS, NBC, ABC, PBS, CNN, MSNBC, FOX, etc. Since the advent of the Eternal Word Television Network, we have FULL and unbiased, untainted and unadulterated coverage of papal visits, World Youth Day and other critical events involving the Successor of Saint Peter. Despite the ad hominem attacks, slander, and often diabolical lies thrown upon her sterling reputation, Mother Angelica has endured and survived her opponents and hostile enemies. Sady, some of her most vituperative attackers have come not from the secular media, but from within our holy church. How pathetic that any priest, bishop, deacon or religious feels it justified to villify a nun who has consecrated her entire life to our holy religion. How cowardly to attack a holy woman dedicated to spreading the true teachings and doctrines of Catholicism. Too often, I have heard clergy make not only uncharitable but downright obscene and heinous comments about Reverend Mother mereley because they object to her simple, honest and unabridged defense of the truth. "By their fruits, ye shall know them." Look at the extent of EWTN today. Look at how many people around the world know B16 and his writings thanks to EWTN. Not just global exposure but in depth coverage. Rather than sound-bytes, EWTN gives us fullness and accuracy when it comes to Vatican news and papal teachings. Catholic Culture itself, from music to literature, from history to theology, philosophy and art, are all given air space on EWTN.

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