"Are we prepared to promote conditions in which the living contact with God can be reestablished? For our lives today have become godless to the point of complete vacuity. God is no longer with us in the conscious sense of the word. He is denied, ignored, excluded from every claim to have a part in our daily life." - Alfred Delp, S.J.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

The Wild lost their season opener tonite too.

People do not want me to talk...




I just got this email:
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I read your latest piece.

RE: scandal- is it not scandalous to live with another man and yet rail endlessly about the gay agenda and the lavender mafia?

You said you don't take scandal lightly- can you see the scandal you could potentially cause your gay brothers and sisters who strive for theosis (and who don't, by the way, at least in my case, live with a man)?

I think the best thing Fr. Z ever put on his blog was a comment verifier- "Think before you post."

(I say this all in love, even though my hands are shaking.)


Peace, and Happy Feast of St. Francis,

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Blogger X
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My response:
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Tell me what is wrong with sharing a house with a friend who happens to be a man? Don't sink too low (name withheld) - other people have tried to threaten me with this as well.
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UPDATE: Thanks to all who commented on this post, I very much appreciate what you have had to say. Nevertheless, I decided not to publish comments so as not to make this into a big deal or cause any more offense to anyone. God bless each of you. Thanks.

Letterman

Who cares? What does one expect from a man like this?

Friday, October 02, 2009

N'Obama.


No Olympics for Chicago, USA.
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Obama and his wife, Michelle, had taken their star power to the Danish capital to make Chicago's case, ignoring the carping from Republican opponents who charged it was a bad time to go with foreign policy challenges in Iran and Afghanistan and the U.S. Congress bogged down in a domestic healthcare debate.
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"I'm asking you to choose Chicago. I'm asking you to choose America," Michelle Obama told committee members.
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Her husband said, "If you do, if we walk this path together, then I promise you this: The city of Chicago and the United States of America will make the world proud." - Story
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Obama's is making the U.S. look weak. He ought to have stayed out of it and concentrated on his day job.

Another look at what scandal is and does.


From my POV.
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Many people now know about the arrest of Canadian Bishop Lahey on child pornography charges.
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Once hailed as a brave advocate for survivors of child sexual abuse, Mr. Lahey faces one count of possession and one count of importation of child pornography, after the discovery of images on his laptop computer at Ottawa's airport while he was returning from a foreign visit on Sept. 15.
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Mr. Lahey is well known in Nova Scotia as the bishop who did what no previous Catholic leader had done before: accept responsibility and apologize -- without any resort to litigation -- for the sex-abuse crimes of a former priest in his diocese.
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The victims of that abuse, dating back to the 1950s, are now eligible for compensation from a $15-million out-of-court settlement Lahey negotiated earlier this year.

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Mr. Lahey was in the midst of a difficult fundraising effort across his diocese to generate money for the settlement, when he was pulled aside by Canada Border Services agents for a random check of his laptop at Ottawa International."
Read more: http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=2055255#ixzz0Sn7PPfOg
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I think it possible, and I hope it is true, that this bishop is innocent of the charges and that the material on his laptop was simply part of his private investigation and research. In the meantime, I noticed on another blog that people in his diocese are talking about leaving the Church if these rumors prove to be true.
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Commenter's mean well when they say things like, "I will not leave because of some man's sin or bad example. If these people really knew their faith - they would not leave the Church." On one level that makes sense and I understand the goodwill behind that statement - nevertheless a bishop's fall from grace, if it be true, is huge. Bishops are our shepherds in the faith - they are our leaders and teachers in the faith. When they fall, or when a priest falls, it is a terrible scandal.
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The effects of scandal.
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Scandal leads to sin and many times, loss of faith. One's faith can be shaken even when one claims to know one's faith. The bishops and priests who scandalize the faithful by their sins and or apostasy, they too know their faith - just as well if not better than the people they lead. And yet - they betray the faith, fall into sin, and sometimes apostatize entirely.
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So we should never think we are safe from scandal because we know our faith. We shouldn't be too harsh about those who leave the Church because of scandal. Catholics have to understand that this is exactly what scandal does and means - to scandalize someone is to cause them to sin, to lose faith. If the accusations against Bishop Lahey are proven to be true, this bishop scandalized his people.
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We need to pray for the real victims - the people who are scandalized and the victims of the pornography industry. As for the Bishop, if the charges are true, unless he repents and makes amends it would have been better if he had never been born.
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St. Paul explains that our brothers and sisters in faith who are scandalized are weak - Christ refers to them as little ones - they have faith, but it is weak, and scandal can rob them of it.
"Extend a kind welcome to those who are weak in faith... we must no longer pass judgement on one another. Instead you should resolve to put no stumbling block or hindrance in your brother's way." - Romans 14. Knowledge of the faith is not a competition, someone who appears to be unaffected by a public sin because his faith is strong is not better than the believer whose faith is weak and suffers scandal. It is not the same thing as priding oneself upon scholastic achievement while disparaging the under-educated.
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Little children (simple, ordinary folk) do not have to understand the faith in order to believe. In truth, anyone can have the gift of faith taken away or destroyed by those who cause scandal. Especially when the ones who cause scandal are those who know the faith, who understand the faith - those who have ears to hear, eyes to see, and so on.
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People have to understand this and stop feeling sorry and making excuses for the bastards who take advantage of their positions to exploit the weak and give scandal to little ones. "Scandals will inevitably arise, but woe to him through whom they come. He would be better off thrown into the sea with a millstone around his neck than giving scandal to one of these little ones." - Luke 17
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Intellectual pride.
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Today we place so much emphasis on intellectual knowledge and knowing the answers to theological questions, that isn't a bad thing at all. That is why the Catholic Church has a catechism, and why those in positions of leadership and teaching are trained in theology. It is a good thing. Nevertheless, our knowledge and academic achievements often become for us a source of pride and self-assurance. Our knowledge will not save us - our faith will. Yes, we must nurture our faith with prayer, the sacraments, and study, and exercise it in good works - but we need to remember it is a gift and can be lost... Lost though it can be, one still retains all of that knowledge.
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Think of the people who left the Church who know our religion, our faith better than ourselves. I know a woman at a Catholic company who knew just about every Vatican document, understood dogma and knew her scriptures. She left the Church and returned to her old religion, Wicca. She still works at the same company because she is so knowledgeable about the faith and Catholic devotions.
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I know another woman who had been a novice with a well known religious order - a "good one" as people like to qualify them. Her spiritual director was a fine priest from a traditional order, well known for his sound theology and spirituality, a priest faithful to prayer - rising in the night for adoration - even when he was spending the night in the same bed with his little novice. They both knew their faith, and practiced the devotions to sustain it. Father had been helping sister through some sexual difficulties through his interpretation of JPII's theology of the body. Kind of scandalous huh? She is no longer a candidate for religious life and is having troubles with her faith.
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I once prided myself on believing so firmly and completely in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, my faith "fixed on Jesus" convinced me that my own faith could never be shaken. Until two religious superiors I greatly esteemed abandoned their vocations, one to found a new order, the other to pursue an academic career and "come out". I knew my faith. I had experienced many graces. My eyes were fixed upon Jesus. I couldn't admit it at the time, nevertheless I was deeply scandalized - my faith was shaken, and I fell away - for a couple of years. It is a miracle that I came back.
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I hope to never, ever again say things like - "How can they leave just because some man sinned or disappointed them - I know my faith, I understand my faith - I'm not going."
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Understand the faith - what does that mean anyway? Can anyone explain the Trinity? Transubstantiation? The Virgin Birth? The Immaculate Conception? Peter knew Christ was the Son of God, yet he denied him. Judas, who was anything but honest, betrayed him. They both knew their faith. A person could speculate that one man, Peter, had been scandalized and therefore fell away. While the other man, Judas, became a part, if not the source of scandal - thus it was better for him to have never been born.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

More Rembert Weakland stuff...


What happened to the Catholic Church in the United States.
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Though I often play the fool, I really do know that the official documents of Vatican II do not say what the spirit of the Council advocates have always said they do. I had to study the Vatican II documents, and I continue to reference sections every so often - I also grew up with the spirit of the Council propaganda. This fight is 40 years old now... yet only now does it seem a remnant of faithful Catholics are waking up to realize the enemy was within. That "smoke of Satan" thing people couldn't figure out...
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It is not that we weren't warned either - it was what Traditionalists were saying all along, but now, after the scandals exposed chinks in the great facade of the American Church, along with tell-all books like archbishop Weakland's memoirs, we are getting a much better perspective on what happened to diminish Catholic identity and practice after the Council.
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That said, Russell Shaw, who worked for the bishop's conference as Secretary of Public Affairs from 1969 to 1987, has an insightful review of Weakland's lament - memoir - and he succinctly sets forth, what I think is a very accurate interpretation of the post conciliar upheaval. Shaw poises two points of view.
(I apologize for the length.)
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"A Pilgrim in a Pilgrim Church needs to be read by faithful Catholics: not, God knows, to be persuaded by it but to learn from it. It’s like studying photographic negatives—reality reversed, dark turned into light, light into dark. In these plodding pages it becomes clear how some prominent and not-so-prominent people in the Church went disastrously wrong in the last 40 years and why correcting the harm they did is so difficult now.
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Rembert Weakland was more intelligent than most bishops of his day and his sexual foibles were atypical, but he was a representative American bishop all the same. Usually, he notes, he’s called a “Jadot bishop,” a reference to the late Archbishop Jean Jadot, apostolic delegate in the United States from 1973 to 1980, who did so much to reshape the American hierarchy along “pastoral” lines—pastoral in this instance meaning more permissive, less concerned about orthodoxy and discipline, more open to voices of diversity and liberal dissent.
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But Archbishop Weakland prefers the designation “Dearden bishop,” and in this he’s correct. Cardinal John Dearden was archbishop of Detroit from 1959 to 1980. As the first post-Vatican II president of what was then called the National Conference of Catholic Bishops/United States Catholic Conference (now, the USCCB), he gave the Church in America the national episcopal conference in its modern, bureaucratized, activist form, as later he was to give it the notorious, left-leaning Call To Action Conference of 1976. His influence is visible in the careers and leadership styles of a generation of American bishops with names like Bernardin, Quinn, Roach, and Malone. It persists even now via the old-boy patronage system in the hierarchy.
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At this point it’s useful to recall that there are two radically different versions of the story of American Catholicism in the four decades after Vatican II. Which you subscribe to tells much about where you come down on many key issues in the Church.
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The first version sees these years divided into two sections. The first, starting with the council’s close in 1965 and continuing until 1978, was filled with turmoil and dissent. Rectories, convents, and seminaries emptied. New vocations to the priesthood and religious life fell precipitously. After the brave gesture of Humanae Vitae in 1968 and the violent reaction against it, Pope Paul VI grew increasingly weary and depressed. The Church seemed to be rushing toward collapse. But 1978 brought the election of John Paul II as pope, and collapse was averted.
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Version number two divides this era the same way, but sees the two periods very differently. In this view, the years from 1965 to 1978 were in many ways a golden age when heroic figures battled reactionaries over the renewal of Catholic life, by and large (except for setbacks like Humanae Vitae) emerging on top. Then came 1978, the death of Paul VI, the election of John Paul II. Suddenly the emphasis in Rome was on thwarting renewal—a project that continues to this very day under Benedict XVI.
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Archbishop Weakland subscribes to this second version of history. As Abbot Primate in Paul VI’s Rome during the post-council years he was a Vatican insider and, in his own sphere of influence, an important player in renewal. He returned to America in 1977 as archbishop of Milwaukee full of hope. Under John Paul II, however, a new ice age set in—an age of authoritarianism, centralization, and repression. From being an insider, the archbishop suddenly found himself part of the “loyal minority.”
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Many things that happened in the postconciliar era are best understood in light of Archbishop Weakland’s diagnosis of immaturity and narcissism among the clergy (to say nothing of women religious), both those who left and those who stayed. The pre-Vatican II formation system produced many admirable priests and religious, but its rigid structures and rules also produced many who proved to be ill-equipped for the fluid and ambiguous ecclesiastical situation immediately after the council.
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In these years, for long stretches of time, a fundamentally adolescent spirit dominated the much-heralded American Church. Significantly, Archbishop Weakland reports that “sexual awareness”—apparently he means awareness of his homosexuality—arrived for him at the advanced age of 45. Many other priests and religious were similarly late bloomers for whom sexual self-discovery and sexual experimentation belatedly became pressing issues in their lives." - Catholic World Report
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Links:
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Inside Catholic
PewsitterNews
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Photo: Separated at birth photo - Phil Silvers as Weakland.

The Little Flower

Many of us prefer the photographs of the Saint to most paintings of her, even this one painted by her talented sister Celine. But did you know that Celine modeled the expression we see here from that of how Therese looked immediately after death?
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"...In 1905, at the urgent request of the community I painted a picture of Therese as she appeared immediately after death. For a model, I used the photo taken in the infirmary on October 1. The sisters who had been her contemporary considered my portrait a perfect likeness of our Saint. It was this picture that was published in all the editions of Histoire d'une Ame, after 1906." - My Sister St. Therese
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A blessed feast day to all on this joyful feast of Little Therese.

The United States new image under Obama...

Iconic.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

How the USCCB spends...

Why do we even have a USCCB?

Transitus of St. Therese.


Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face
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Little Therese died on September 30, 1897 at 7:20 in the evening, after a prolonged agony. I have been reading Sr. Genevieve of the Holy Face (Celine) book, My Sister, St. Therese for my novena in preparation for the saint's feast day tomorrow. Celine was a real artist - an accomplished painter, and I think I understand her temperament. Little Therese always told her, "You are too little... to understand... or to do this or that..." and so on. I get that.

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Once in the infirmary - just a few days ago (1897) in fact, Celine relates:

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I had been going to and fro in the Infirmary, and became upset because something had gone wrong. Therese called, "Bo-bonne, no interior anxiety if you please!" (September 3) I can almost hear her say that.

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Therese always knows when something is wrong.

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Her dying reminds me so much of the death of love Our Lord suffered... today she cries out:

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"Oh! It is pure suffering, because there is not a drop of consolation, no, not one."

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No, I would never have believed that it was possible to suffer so much... never, never. I can only explain it by my extreme desire to save souls." (September 30)

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Celine says, "She was trembling from head to foot..."

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At one point she told Celine, "Va, va, ma Celine, je serais avec tois..." "Go on with courage... I shall be with you."

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Finally, gazing on her crucifix, Little Therese cried out:

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"Oh!... Je L'aime!... Mon Dieu, je... vous... aime!" "Oh! ...I love Him! ...My God, I ...love ...you!"

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These were her last words.

"Vicious" - defined.

Main Entry: vi·cious
Pronunciation: \ˈvi-shəs\
Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French vicios, from Latin vitiosus full of faults, corrupt, from vitium vice
Date: 14th century
1 : having the nature or quality of vice or immorality : depraved
2 : defective, faulty; also : invalid
3 : impure, noxious
4 a : dangerously aggressive : savage
b : marked by violence or ferocity : fierce
5 : malicious, spiteful
6 : worsened by internal causes that reciprocally augment each other

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So there you have it, a word I too will use on occasion and frequently misspell - I always think there is an "s" in it. I will have to remember the etymolology: visios, vitiosus: vice.
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I used it in a post yesterday referring to homosexuals who attack the Church and manipulate Her teachings, scriptures, devotions, and liturgies to advance their agenda.

Monday, September 28, 2009

What writing does for me.


"Me too!" - said the Pope.
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In an interview with John Allen (NCR), the Holy Father replied to a question concerning the healing of his wrist, saying he was pleased to be able to write again, explaining: "My thinking develops above all through writing."
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That is exactly the same for me, it is the reason I write - and paint. My thinking develops above all through writing and painting - if not one, the other.
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The Holy Father is so humble.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Longest running apparition.



Nothing supernatural.
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So anyway. Fr. Ray has two very good posts on the Medjugorje evangelical revival serial. The comments on the post are also very good. I almost got fooled into believing in this one.
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Photo: Grownup seers of Medjugorje.