Monthly Archives: August 2007

Some Good advice on Confession/Sacrament of Reconciliation

Most of it can be heard many places, but she says one thing really neat. Normally, we’re taught to pray to the Holy Spirit to guide *us* in making a good confession. But she suggests praying for the priest, as well, that he be a good confessor, and she says it’s had amazing results.

Now, for a good virtual retreat to help you make a good confession, I strongly suggest Fr. John Corapi, SOLT’s Mercy! DVD set, including his conversion story, “Why does God allow Pain and Suffering,” “How to Make a Good Confession,” and “The Spiritual Roots of Addiction.” That set is the best value, but you can also get “Mercy!” on CD, or you can get the four episodes individually on video cassette (linked above).

If you are battling depression, addiction, or sin, or if you’ve been away from the Church a while and are coming back, Fr. Corapi’s talks can be a very powerful help, especially if you listen to them in conjunction with doing the Spiritual Exercises, which I will be posting for thirty days, starting today.

Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, Annotations

This is the introduction to the Spiritual Exercises. Read this the day before you officially begin. The link above is for Christian Classics Ethereal Library (great website): May require login.

Otherwise, here’s the whole thing.

Whether "any sexually active person is at risk for AIDS"

While searching for something else, I came across this About.com article on whether lesbians can transmit AIDS to one another. Here’s what this lady, Kathy Belge, says,

“Let’s start with the basics. Anyone who is sexually active is at risk for HIV.”

Untrue. My wife and I are sexually active, and we are not at risk for AIDS. Neither one of us had sexual relations with anyone before we married. Neither of us has committed adultery.

Therefore, we are not at risk of getting AIDS (from sexual contact).

An excellent column from Judie Brown on the fight over the Gonzalez v. Carhart decision, and how the Colorado Right to Life ad was not an “attack” on James Dobson, but a “wake up call”:

Mrs. Thatcher once reminded her countrymen that when consensus among a
particular group of people becomes more important than the principles upon which
that group of people claims to stand, “abandoning all beliefs, principles,
values and policies” is the result. Such appears to be the case among those who
have for so long supported a politically-motivated effort that has resulted in
nothing of substance.

And here’s what Dr. Alan Keyes had to say about it:

I am of course not surprised or dismayed that there should be disagreement
among pro-lifers. I have been deeply disappointed, however, that instead of
answering the lucid arguments being made by people like Judie Brown and myself,
the Gonzales v. Carhart cheering section has chosen petty maneuvers and power
plays aimed at damaging or silencing their critics.

Now, the same can be said of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

What to the Vatican, Chile, El Salvador, and Malta have in common?

They’re the only countries where abortion is always illegal, with no exceptions.

Pontifical Academy for Life on Incrementalism

If you go through the staff and membership of the Pontifical Academy for Life, you will see many names from the USA. Many are people I’ve never heard of. One is John Haas of National Catholic Bioethics Center. One is Dr. Thomas Hilgers of the Paul VI Institute (Creighton Method and NaPro Technology). Down at the bottom, under “Correspondents,” you will see the name of Judie Brown, the executive director of American Life League, who is currently serving a second term in the PAL.

Now, one might respond that the she was on the PAL before the current situation (here’s her EWTN Q&A on the controversial “open letter”), but there are two problems with such a judgement. First, this is not the first time Judie has taken the USCCB or individual bishops to task. Secondly, this particular case is not nearly as direct as those past cases were. The worst they accuse the USCCB or Priests for Life of is being “misled” or “misinformed.”

Anyway, if you look on the PAL membership, you won’t see anyone from NRLC.

Continuing on the series about _Evangelium Vitae_, then (I tried to include this quote in the last post, but the formatting got messed up), let’s hear from the PAL’s document on the fifth anniversary of the encyclical (my emphasis bold):

“We accept the urgency and difficulty of this task, knowing well that Christians are called to be active in the real world of today: uncertain and changing, tempted to sacrifice transcendence to immanence and the supreme values to prosperity, they are also prompted to take refuge in pragmatic and utilitarian conventionalism, rather than to ally themselves with truth and reason. However, our hope is based not only on help from the Lord of life but also on the conviction that the sacred value of human life can be recognized in the natural law alone, written in the human heart, disregard for which is at the root “of a tragic obscuring of the collective conscience’ (Evangelium vitae, n. 70).”

John Paul II on "incrementalism"

The usual defense of incrementalism is based upon a passage from John Paul II’s 1995 encyclical _Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life)_. In it, he states that a politician, who is known to have “absolute personal opposition to procured abortion” may in good conscience vote for measures which will restrict or limit abortions when there is no other alternative (paragraph 73.3). That does not say that Catholic politicians *should* pursue an overall “incrementalist” agenda, but merely that they can vote for incrementalist laws while actively working for a more immediate end to legalized abortion and contraception. It certainly does not mean that a Catholic can actively support an agenda or organization which leaves exceptions in its ultimate goals (e.g., “outlaw abortions except in cases of rape, incest or life of the mother” or “I favor outlawing abortion, but not contraception”).

Earlier in the document, he writes that, in response to the popular acceptance of legalized abortion,

“we need now more than ever to have the courage to look the truth in the eye and to call things by their proper name, without yielding to convenient compromises or to the temptation of self-deception” (paragraph 58.2; my emphasis bold).

He later says,

“In the proclamation of this Gospel, we must not fear hostility or unpopularity, and we must refuse any compromise or ambiguity which might conform us to the world’s way of thinking (cf. Rom 12:2)” (82.3; my emphasis).

In February, 2000,Pope John Paul II gave an address to commemorate the fifth
anniversary of _Evangelium Vitae_, in which he says (my emphasis bold),

“there is no reason for that type of defeatist mentality which claims that laws opposed to the right to life – those which legalize abortion, euthanasia, sterilization and methods of family planning opposed to life and the dignity of marriage – are inevitable and now almost a social necessity. On the contrary, they are a seed of corruption for society and its foundations. The civil and moral conscience cannot accept this false inevitability, any more than the idea that war or interethnic extermination is inevitable” (Address at the
Commemoration of the Fifth Anniversary of the Encyclical “Evangelium
vitae”, 14 February, n. 4; L’Osservatore Romano English edition, 23
February 2000, p. 4
).

What does the USCCB have to say about this?

I just received an e-mail about an anti-illegal immigration rally being cancelled due to threats from Latino terrorist groups, MS13 and “Latin Kings”. I find the name of the latter group interesting, becaues the last time there was a true Latin King was the rape of the Sabine women, which led to the foundation of the Roman Republic. And if these people call themselves “Latins,” why don’t more of them support the Traditional Latin Mass?

Anyway, here’s the text:

PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT THE LAKEWOOD, NJ RALLY PROTESTING ILLEGAL
IMMIGRATION ON AUGUST 25TH HAS BEEN COMPLETELY CANCELLED!!!!

I HAVE
JUST SPOKEN TO OUR POLICE CHIEF HERE IN LAKEWOOD; WE HAVE CONCLUDED, AFTER
RECEIVING THREATS FROM GANGS SUCH AS MS 13 AND LATIN KINGS HAVE THREATENED THE
SAFETY TO OUR SPEAKERS, ORGANIZERS AND SUPPORTERS:

AND

WE DO NOT HAVE THE HUGE AMOUNT OF FUNDS TO OFFER SUCH
PROTECTION AS WAS GIVEN IN HAZELTON AND MORRISTOWN THEREFORE, WE MUST TAKE INTO
CONSIDERATION THE SAFETY OF OUR TOWNSHIP OUR WONDERFUL SPEAKERS AND OUR
SUPPORTERS.

I WANTED TO PERSONALLY THANK AGAIN, ALL THOSE SPEAKERS
WHO AGREED TO COME AND SPEAK AT THE RALLY – YOU WILL NEVER KNOW HOW MUCH IT
MEANT TO ME. I WANT TO THANK ALL THOSE WHO I NEVER EVEN MET, WHO HELPED ME
IN COUNTLESS WAYS – WITHOUT ANY OF YOU, I WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ABLE TO DO
ALL THAT I DID.

I REFUSE TO ALLOW THE HATRED OF OTHER AMERICAN
CITIZENS AND ILLEGALS TO DESTROY AND GIVE ANY OF US A BAD NAME –

PLEASE POST AND PASS ON THE WORD THAT THE RALLY HAS BEEN
COMPLETELY CANCELLED SO THAT NO ONE SHOWS UP FOR A RALLY THAT WILL NOT BE TAKING
PLACE.

GOD BLESS YOU ALL FOR THE LOVE OF YOUR COUNTRY –
THIS IS
MERELY A BUMP IN THE ROAD, AND IT CERTAINLY WON’T STOP ANY OF US FROM DOING WHAT
WE FEEL IS RIGHT AND PRESERVING OUR NATION – THE BEST DAMN COUNTRY IN THE ENTIRE
WORLD!!!

please print this pass it around
email and send it
out
call others and let them know
NJ PATRIOT

Paul
Streitz
www.americafirst2008.com
amfirst@optonline.net

Great column from Judie Brown on the real agenda of National Right to Life Committee

Judie Brown, of American Life League, has long been a critic of the NRLC’s “incrementalist” stance, and in recent years, as NRLC has used that to excuse various Republican abominations, has been upping the ante on her criticisms. This particular article deals with how NRLC excused Bill Frist’s support for embryonic stem cell research.

This is interesting

Turns out that noted Canon Lawyer Pete Vere has been doing some research I’ve long wanted to do: on the historical link between contraception and witchcraft. Consider this case: last year, pro-choice “Catholic” Gov. Tim Kaine of Virginia, pardoned VA’s only “convicted witch.”

What’s interesting about this case, though, is what she was accused of. She was a midwife, and she was accused of causing women to have miscarriages. In other words, she was an abortionist!

I’ve seen other things over the years tying historical witchcraft cases to contraception, and I’ve seen references in early Christian literature. What makes Mr. Vere’s study interesting is that he shows how many of the biblical references to “witchcraft” really pertain to “potions,” and are listed among sexual sins, implying contraception.

Disobedient Saints

St. John Chrysostom once said that the floor of Hell is paved with the skulls of bishops. The history of the Catholic Church is the story of saints holding themselves and others to a higher standard that makes their religious superiors and the secular authorities uncomfortable. When the secular authorities come into play, the saints end up as martyrs. But when religious superiors and bishops are involved, the saints have often sought recourse from Rome, receiving not only exhoneration but complete support and validation from Rome.

For example, in 1997, Mother Mary Angelica, PCPA, a conservative nun who owned the world’s largest Catholic television network and was already known for her “scraps” with the US bishops, challenged a document by Cardinal Roger Mahony. The document emphasized the idea that the Eucharist was a “communal meal,” relegating the doctrine of the Real Presence to a footnote. Mother Angelica criticized the document on the air. Mahony threatened to charge her in both civil and canonical courts for damaging his reputation and challenging his authority as a bishop. A few months later, Mother Angelica, who had been crippled for over forty years by a spinal injury and required braces to walk, was miraculously healed. Mahony kept up his crusade against her for quite some time, eventually taking it to Rome. After meeting with the Holy Father and with the head of the Congregation for Religious, Mahony dropped the subject. A few years later, John Paul II sent Angelica the gift of a monstrance that had, in turn, been given to him by the members of one of the parishes in Poland when he was Cardinal. While Mother Angelica is still alive, she has clearly been given a great deal of support and endorsement from Rome, including Pope John Paul II, Cardinal Ratzinger/Pope Benedict (who did his first English language television interview on EWTN a couple years before being elevated to the papacy), Cardinal Arinze, and Cardinal Schönborn (who, while not “from Rome,” was the editor of the _Catechism_).

In 1918, a young Capuchin priest named Pio, already known for great physical suffering and for experiencing physical and spiritual assaults from the Devil, offered himself to God as a sacrificial victim for the end of World War I. He experienced a ttransverbation, a mystical stabbing in the heart. The transverberations eventually led to full-fledged stigmata. His fame grew, and people came from around the world to see him because of the mystical phenomena that surrounded him. He would spend most of his day saying masses and hearing confessions of pilgrims. These confessions, in turn, added to his fame because of his strict asceticism and his ability to read their souls. Throughout the 1920s and beyond, he was falsely accused of many things: falsifying his stigmata, misappropriation of funds, and of sexual misconduct with both women and teenaged boys. For several years, he was suspended of all priestly faculties except private masses. In 1933, saying, “I have not been badly disposed toward Padre Pio, but I have been badly informed,” Pope Pius XI restored his ability to say public Masses, and eventually his entire public ministry. He enjoyed the favor of every subsequent Pope, enduring many false accusations until Paul VI dismissed all those accusations. He was canonized in 2002 by Pope John Paul II, who knew St. Pio personally and had long admired him.

In 19th century Italy, the Church found Herself, as She often does, in a precarious situation between disparate political movements. On the one hand, the aristocrats considered anyone who helped the poor or worked with children to be a socialist. On the other hand, the socialists hated Christianity and wanted to turn the youth and the poor into revolutionaries, so they opposed any Christians who did work in those apostolates. Thus, John Bosco, who took poor boys off the street and gave them an education, was considered “dangerous” by both the Socialists and the Aristocracy. In turn, his bishop saw him as causing trouble, and repeatedly called on him to tone it down. His brother priests considered him a madman and a troublemaker. Numerous attempts were made on his life and freedom, yet his ministry endured. Finally, when his bishop forced his hand in obedience, he appealed his case to Bl. Pope Pius IX. Pius had already heard of John Bosco and been an admirer. He approved John Bosco’s request to start a new religious order and took the priest under his wing. He was canonized in 1934, a mere 46 years after his death.

In the 1560s, Fr. Juan de Santo Matia joined Mother Teresa de Jesus in her attempt to reform the Carmelite Order to a more strict observance of the Rule, as they felt the Order had become too wealthy and worldly. This scandalized the other Carmelites, who felt that Teresa and John were requiring more of their fellow Carmelites than they should. In 1577, John was arrested for violating his superior’s orders to stop associating with the reformers. For nine months, he was imprisoned and tortured. Throughout the rest of his career, St. John of the Cross endured constant pressure from the “moderates,” who did everything they could to bring charges against him so they could expel him from the Order and the priesthood. They never succeeded, and he was canonized in 1726.

In the 1530s, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England voted to go long with King Henry VIII and Parliament in breaking with Rome. Thomas More, however, refused to accept the Act of Supremacy. He was criticized for being disobedient to his King and His bishops. His response? “I am the King’s good servant, but God’s servant first.” He was beheaded, then canonized in 1930.

A hundred years earlier, in 1429, a teenaged girl who reported having locutions from St. Michael, St. Catherine of Alexandria, St. Margaret and St. Genevieve, led the French forces to successfully repel a British invasion. Captured by the British, she was given a speedy and unjust trial for heresy, overseen by a British-supporting bishop, while the Grand Inquisitor was out of the country. Joan of Arc was exhonerated 24 years after her execution and canonized nearly 500 years later. Among her other patronages, she is patroness of Catholics who are persecuted by the Church.

In the early 1200s, Giovanni Francesco di Bernardone was a rebellious young rich kid who drank and partied with his friends. A brief stint as a soldier ended with Francis as a POW. After returning home and resuming his party life, he suffered a long illness. Ultimately, a spiritual vision changed Francis’s life. A request from Jesus to rebuild the Church led Francis to think he was supposed to rebuild dilapidated church buildings. He collected money to support these projects and gave money to the poor. Instead of spending his father’s money on profligacy, he began spending it on the poor and the Church. His father took him before the bishop, who ordered him to give back everything he ever took from his father. Francis obeyed the bishop, stripped off his clothes, handed them to his father, and turned himself over to the Church. After he collected a group of followers around him, he went to Rome for permission to form an Order. St. Francis of Assisi died in 1226 and was canonized in 1228.

A young man named Yochanan appeared along the Jordan river, calling himself a prophet. He dressed, lived and spoke like a madman, but he drew thousands of people who came to hear him preach and to be baptized. One of his favorite topics of preaching was the corruption of the Jewish leaders. He called the Pharisees a “brood of vipers.” He publicly denounced King Herod Antipas for living in an illicit and adulterous marriage. Herod arrested him for defamation of character and had him beheaded. St. John the Baptist was never formally canonized, but tradition holds that, as he was “sanctified in his mother’s womb,” he was free from personal sin.

A relative of his named Yehoshua came out of Nazareth around the same time and went through Galilee, preaching along the same themes. While He did not overtly condemn the political authorities, as John did, He did condemn the religious leaders for their hypocrisy. They found His preaching to be scandalous, especially since He claimed to be God. They arrested Him, and had Him tried by several courts. The Romans, whose major concern in criminal law was to prevent riots, would give a death sentence to anyone who “made too many waves” in society. Agreeing that this Jesus of Nazareth, called Christ by some, was causing strife and division by his strict preaching, the Romans executed Him. A few days later, He rose from the dead.

More thoughts on Incrementalism

How would it sound if someone said, “I am against terrorism, but I think it’s a good step if we can just stop terrorists from blowing up big buildings.”

How would it sound if someone said, “I’m against slavery, but I’m going to fight it incrementally, by freeing my own slaves after I die” Oh, yeah, that’s what the early Americans said, and we know how well their policies worked.

How would it sound if someone said, “I think Hitler’s dangerous, but maybe he’ll stop if we let him have Czechoslovakia? Who cares about Czechoslovakia, anyway?” Oh, wait, they did say that, and look what happened.

How would it sound if someone said, “I think the holocaust is bad, but let’s fight it incrementally”?

Good news for EWTN: bad news for us

Go figure. Every time I move to a new place with a really cool bishop and/or pastor, they leave.

So, I moved back to SC, partly in enthusiasm over Bishop Baker, a friend of Cardinal Arinze who supports the Latin Mass and bans pro-aborts from receiving Communion.

He’s also a supporter of EWTN, which is why he’s just been appointed to Birmingham. Good news for EWTN, especially since it seems to indicate Vatican support for EWTN.

However, it means that our diocese will be without a bishop.

NRLC is not Pro-Life

National Right to Life Committee pushes this idea of “incrementalism,” which has done absolutely *nothing*. They praise the idea that, after 30+ years of abortion on demand, we get one nominal ban for just *one* kind of abortion procedure, and the only reason *that* ban exists is that there are alternative forms of abortion to achieve the same end. And that ban took over ten years from its original introduction until the Supreme Court decision in Gonzalez v. Carhart. And all that incrementalism won’t save a single life. It just gives the Republicans a way to pat themselves on the back and encourage naive pro-lifers to vote for them to spend another 10 years doing *nothing* to stop the senseless slaughter of innocent babies.

How can anyone who is pro-life claim that this ban is a good thing, when it specifically allows for other forms of abortion?

I remember sitting in front of the TV in 1992, waiting for the Supreme Court to announce its decision in _Planned Parenthood v. Casey_. Now, keep in mind that the 1989 PA Abortion Control Act was an “incrementalist” law, specifically written to meet the requirements under which _Roe_ said abortion could be regulated (which had never been put into use previously). So it was naive to hope that the Supreme Court would overturn _Roe_ in this case.

What did the Supreme Court say? That abortion had become accepted as a fundamental “right” and that it was not right to overturn _Roe_.

Bush got elected by appealing to pro-lifers. Clinton wrote *three* executive orders, within hours of his inauguration, that provided sweeping funding for abortion from the federal government. Bush only overturned *one* of those executive orders, leading to a long legislative fight (where does that stand, anyway?)

We had a solid Republican majority in the House and Senate, with a Republican president, and all we got were two Supreme Court justices who said they didn’t have any intention of overturning _Roe_, a position voiced by the President *after* they were confirmed (anyone remember Harriet Miers?)

Meanwhle, the NRLC has been a consistent cheerleader for Bush.

If Giuliani were the GOP candidate in 2008, he’d get glowing endorsements from NRLC.

But the worst sign of NRLC’s evil is the South Dakota abortion ban, which NRLC specifically campaigned *against*. It is one thing to favor an incrementalist stance. But to actively oppose a non-incrementalist law shows that the NRLC has no real interest in ending abortion.

Its entire existence is to immunize the pro-life movement against the evil of abortion in America.

There’s an old story about putting a frog in cold water and gradually turning up the heat until the frog unwittingly boils. The incrementalists have used this anecdote to justify their approach.

Nevermind that abortion on demand came into the US by one sweeping Supreme Court case, and not by any “incrementalist” action. But in 35 years, the only people who’ve made “incremental” gains are the pro-abortionists. In 35 years, abortion in the mind of the American public has gone from a taboo, a scandal which was considered, at best, a “necessary evil,” to a fundamental right.

Meanwhile, pro-life groups cheer loudly against smoke-and-mirrors, Phyrric “victories” like _Gonzalez v. Carhart_. When _Roe_ came out, pro-lifers mourned. Today, the Supreme Court says, “abortion is permissible” and “a fetus is an organism,” and pro-lifers say, “Yay!”

So who’s the frog the incrementalists are trying to boil?

ALL, HLI, Alan Keyes vs. Focus on the Family, NRLC and USCCB

Apparently, the long-standing rift between “incrementalists” and pro-life absolutists like yours truly has hit a head.

My own respones to the recent Gonzales v. Carhart decision were mixed. I agree with Judie Brown and Fr. Euteneuer, as I do on most issues, that there are dangerous flaws in this decision, in some sense throwing a bone to pro-lifers. The president has said, many times that he has no intention of overturning _Roe v. Wade_, and Alito and Roberts have made similar assurances. I also agree that it is unwise to *applaud* a decision that basically says to the pro-abortionists, “You went about your case the wrong way; here’s the way to fix it.”
On the other hand, the case *does* establish certain precedents that could undermine _Roe_. But the problem is that it still vociferously affirms _Roe_, and the lack of rights of the fetus. So to applaud that decision, as various pro-life groups have done, is scandalous to the cause.

So, Colorado Right to Life wrote an open letter to Focus on the Family, criticizing Dr. Dobson for his position on Carhart (2007). I’m no fan of Dr. Dobson. I *am* a big fan of CRTL, which was, until recently, the only state branch of NRLC that actively supports the campaign for ethical vaccines.

I say “until recently,” because NRLC has ousted CRTL for writing this letter.

Now, I am informed that Michael Moses, a lawyer for the USCCB, an organization known for following its lawyers, accountants and PR hacks above the Gospel, has issued orders to Diocesan leaders to ostracise ALL and HLI for their participation in this Open Letter. They’ve accused Judie Brown and Fr. Eutenauer of “causing scandal.”

So, it’s not scandalous, according to the USCCB for politicians to *support* abortion on demand, but it *is* scandalous for orthodox Catholics to call their bishops on the carpet for comprosing with evil? If Jesus were walking around today, the USCCB would accuse Him of causing scandal. Oh, wait! That’s just what the Sanhedrin and Pontius Pilate accused Jesus of!

And let’s not forget that the USCCB, through its liturgical spokesman Donald Trautman, accuses the Vatican of causing scandal by requiring the use of some Latin at every Mass and requiring that translations of the Mass be taken literally from Latin, using the official theological terminology.

Score one for the Pharmacists!

Now, this only applies in Illinois, which specifically has a conscience law, but it’s still a cool victory, especially in regard to Wal-Mart, which changed its entire corporate policy 100% based upon two states and two threatened lawsuits from the femi-Nazis.

Great advice for all societies

How to run a society like Heaven.