Daily Archives: March 28, 2009

Casey backs out of St. Vincent’s Appearance

Casey has been criticized by some conservative Catholic groups, including
the Cardinal Newman Society, for his positions on federal funding of
contraception and legalization of same-sex marriages. The Newman group protested
when Casey spoke at Catholic University in 2006, where Casey received his law
degree.

The Choir Does Need to be Preached To

My wife lost a friend recently.

An internet friend, with whom she’s corresponded on a listserv for several years now. They saw each other as kindred spirits.

This woman was a very devout, conservative, pro-life convert, former Baptist. She and her husband were certified Couple to Couple League instructors. Her husband, also a convert, was a Gulf War (1991) veteran. He suffers from some serious mental illnesses.

I forget how many children they have total, but, when their fifth or sixth child was born, the wife suffered a serious cardiovascular childbirth complication and nearly died. Their families, hostile to the Church, offered little help. The doctors said she should never get pregnant again or she’d die.

Her husband had almost a total mental breakdown at one point. He went in the hospital for a while. She found out horrible things about him she hadn’t known. His counselors convinced him that his wife and kids were the problem. When he got out of the hospital, he left her for a while.

He committed emotional, if not physical, adultery.

It was a mess, but, eventually, he came back. They reconciled.

They were trained CCLI instructors, but she struggled with her own charts. Trying to “do it all,” she hit the usual barriers: Mass, the kids, the finances, education, etc. She considered giving up homeschoolnig and sending her kids to Catholic school, but it was too expensive, and the school wouldn’t offer assistance.

The response to their struggles was “abstain completely,” but that wasnt’ an option. They conceived a baby on what they thought was a “safe day.”

That was in early 2008. For forgiving her wayward husband and being radically open to life (living very profoundly the teaching of Casti Connubii), she was shunned by her real world Catholic “friends” and by her parish. Rather than helping her, people condemned her.

This horrible election happened. 54% of Catholics voted for Barack Obama. She lives in the Atlanta area. Her bishop, Wilton Gregory, not only failed to *oppose* Obama but actively spoke and wrote in favor of him.

Her husband, in the meantime, had a vasectomy. A few months later, he decided to make one last attempt at reconciliation with the Church. In his extremely frail psychology and spirituality, he came for one last plea before he succumbed, relative to the Church, to despair.

He came to Confession. There was a long line. The priest came promptly out when the scheduled time for Confessions was over, and said that Confessions were over; disperse.

So he did. Her husband turned his back on the Church that daily, feeling the Church had turned Her back on him.

They began talking with some Mormon missionaries. They left the Church.

This woman who was trying to live the Gospel so radically was driven away from the Church by the spiritual neglect of her pastors and the pharissaism of the laity.

One of the claims being levied against Bishops like Raymond Burke, Charles Chaput and Thomas Tobin is that they’re just ‘rallying the troops’ or ‘preaching to the choir,’ and that they’re not ‘winning converts’ or ‘convincing anyone in the middle.’

But the “faithful” do need to be preached to. The Church takes “orthodox Catholics” for granted . Those of us who believe the Church’s teachings can be kept in line, they figure, by our fear of going to Hell if we leave. They don’t stop to think that maybe the older brother on the porch needs some love and attention, especially when the older brother has only recently come back from his own sojourn of prodigality.

But there are always the Rod Drehers, and sometimes I wonder if Rod Dreher has a point.

I don’t at all condone Mary’s friend’s apostasy to the Mormon cult. Mormonism is so obviously a false religion, I can’t see how anyone believes it other than by brainwashing or demonic possession. But I have a hard time faulting anyone who joins the Orthodox Church or the Society of St. Pius X.

Her friend received many replies online–including from Mary–to her apostasy that she refused to dialogue any further. Mary wrote to Wilton Gregory, telling him he was responsible for these lost sheep, that his scandalous leadership drove them from the Church, and he should seek them out, personally, and bring them back to the fold. She never heard back.

The Choir does need to be preached to. Our faith does need to be nourished. It gets very discouraging. The job of priests and bishops is to teach and preach and inspire the laity. *Our* job is to engage the world, in whatever appropriate style we feel called.
But we need support.

When we see our pastors and our ordinaries kowtowing to rich elites and to politicians who deny the Natural Law, we get discouraged. We need an example.

We need encouragement and strength. As Bishop Tobin wrote ten years ago regarding Mother Angelica, conservative Catholics get criticized for being “angry,” yet we’ve been marginalized since the 1960s for merely trying to teach and practice what Catholicism always taught and practiced before the 1960s. We’ve been told our opinions don’t matter, that we’re obsolete, that we’re unChristian.

We try to fight the evil in the world. We see all the anti-Catholic positions out there, and then we see our fellow Catholics agreeing with those positions.

Then we look to religions like Mormonism, and Islam and Orthodoxy, and fundamentalist Christianity. Depending upon whcih aspects of the faith are most important to us, we see in those religions a similar zeal, or a similar devotion, or a similar respect for Natural Law.

We see in those religions a sense of community, that they have a functioning “ghetto system,” and it works quite well. Go look up Mormonism in the phone book. Mormons have “services” for every aspect of life, listed in the phone book, based out of their local “temple.”

That’s why people leave the Church for these other religions: they *want* the “Catholic ghetto,” and Catholics don’t have it. They want bishops who actually act like shepherds, and they figure ,”If he’s not going to try and keep me in the fold, then obviously Catholicism isn’t that important to him. If it’s so unimportant to a bishop, why should it be important to me?”

Wow! A Great Piece on the Dangers of Modernism in the Church

Found it on “Catholic Sensibility” blog, where they think Roger Mahony is a conservative. Their review/analysis of the piece was all I read at first, and their tone was that author James Kalb is a hypocrite, condemning “liberals” for things “Republicans” also do.

Yet it is very clear from the original article that Kalb is criticizing “liberals,” in the Classical sense, of both the Left and the Right. He says that Vatican II only embraced “liberal Modernism” as the least of the evils when faced with Fascist Modernism and Marxist Modernism, but that the admixture of Modernism and Catholicism is still dangerous to the faith.

What’s especially impressive is that this comes to us via Zenit, owned by the anti-traditionalist Legion of Christ.

Cardinal Stafford: Bankers must repent

It’s funny. When James Francis Cardinal Stafford criticized Barack Obama, the media called for him to “apologize.”
Now that he condemns corrupt bankers, his name is all over th eplace. However, there are some who are still saying the Church has no business in economics, which is really laughable.

Now, would *someone* at the Vatican please talk about the real cause of this economic crisis?

An appeal to Catholics on the Internet from a different "Fr. Z.’

all caps are his, not mine.

Sent: Monday, March 23, 2009 9:14 PM
Subject: (no subject)
II Chron. 7:14

AFTER A DAY OF CONTEMPLATION AND SOUL SEARCHING, I HAVE DECIDED TO REACH OUT TO MY FRIENDS AND RELATIVES AND ASK YOU TO DO SOMETHING THAT HAS BEEN TROUBLING ME FOR A LONG TIME.
OUR NATION IS/HAS BEEN ON THE SLIPPERY SLOPE FOR A LONG TIME. IF YOU LOOK AROUND YOU WILL FIND CORRUPTION, GREED, MORAL DECAY AND A STEADY MOVE AWAY FROM THE THINGS THAT MADE US GREAT. THE PRINCIPLES UPON WHICH THIS NATION WAS FOUNDED ARE NO LONGER OUR BACKBONE. HOWEVER, WE CAN REVERSE THIS TREND.
IN GOD’S WORD HE STATES,”IF MY PEOPLE WHO ARE CALLED BY MY NAME WILL HUMBLE THEMSELVES, AND PRAY AND SEEK MY FACE, AND TURN FROM THEIR WICKED WAYS, THEN I WILL HEAR FROM HEAVEN, AND WILL FORGIVE THEIR SIN AND HE AL THEIR LAND.”
I AM CONVINCED THAT WE MUST PRAY FOR OUR NATION AND ITS LEADERS AND ASK FOR FORGIVENESS. SO I ASK YOU TO JOIN ME IN THIS PLEA TO OUR LORD.
WOULD YOU PLEASE SEND THIS TO AT LEAST 25 PEOPLE IN YOUR ADDRESS BOOK, (SEND IT TO ALL OF THEM). ASK THEM TO PRAY EVERYDAY. 25 TO THE 5TH POWER IS 9,765,625 PEOPLE. IMAGINE IF EACH PERSON REACHES TEN OTHERS. IF YOU DO AND THEY COMPLY, WE WILL LIFT UP MILLIONS OF PRAYERS A DAY TO OUR CREATOR. HE WILL HEAR US AND IN FAITH WILL ANSWER.
Let me just add a quote from Ronald Reagan –
“If we ever forget that we’re one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under.”
I truly believe this is why the United States of America is in the shape we are in today. Most people have forgotten that we are ONE NATION UNDER GOD! Let us as Christians stand up and remind people of this.~ Have a Blessed Day!

In Christ’s Peace
Fr. John Zimmerman
St. Ann’s Parish
113 South Kemp Street
Florence, SC 29506
843/661-5012

The Choir Does Need to be Preached To

My wife lost a friend recently.

An internet friend, with whom she’s corresponded on a listserv for several years now. They saw each other as kindred spirits.

This woman was a very devout, conservative, pro-life convert, former Baptist. She and her husband were certified Couple to Couple League instructors. Her husband, also a convert, was a Gulf War (1991) veteran. He suffers from some serious mental illnesses.

I forget how many children they have total, but, when their fifth or sixth child was born, the wife suffered a serious cardiovascular childbirth complication and nearly died. Their families, hostile to the Church, offered little help. The doctors said she should never get pregnant again or she’d die.

Her husband had almost a total mental breakdown at one point. He went in the hospital for a while. She found out horrible things about him she hadn’t known. His counselors convinced him that his wife and kids were the problem. When he got out of the hospital, he left her for a while.

He committed emotional, if not physical, adultery.

It was a mess, but, eventually, he came back. They reconciled.

They were trained CCLI instructors, but she struggled with her own charts. Trying to “do it all,” she hit the usual barriers: Mass, the kids, the finances, education, etc. She considered giving up homeschoolnig and sending her kids to Catholic school, but it was too expensive, and the school wouldn’t offer assistance.

The response to their struggles was “abstain completely,” but that wasnt’ an option. They conceived a baby on what they thought was a “safe day.”

That was in early 2008. For forgiving her wayward husband and being radically open to life (living very profoundly the teaching of Casti Connubii), she was shunned by her real world Catholic “friends” and by her parish. Rather than helping her, people condemned her.

This horrible election happened. 54% of Catholics voted for Barack Obama. She lives in the Atlanta area. Her bishop, Wilton Gregory, not only failed to *oppose* Obama but actively spoke and wrote in favor of him.

Her husband, in the meantime, had a vasectomy. A few months later, he decided to make one last attempt at reconciliation with the Church. In his extremely frail psychology and spirituality, he came for one last plea before he succumbed, relative to the Church, to despair.

He came to Confession. There was a long line. The priest came promptly out when the scheduled time for Confessions was over, and said that Confessions were over; disperse.

So he did. Her husband turned his back on the Church that daily, feeling the Church had turned Her back on him.

They began talking with some Mormon missionaries. They left the Church.

This woman who was trying to live the Gospel so radically was driven away from the Church by the spiritual neglect of her pastors and the pharissaism of the laity.

One of the claims being levied against Bishops like Raymond Burke, Charles Chaput and Thomas Tobin is that they’re just ‘rallying the troops’ or ‘preaching to the choir,’ and that they’re not ‘winning converts’ or ‘convincing anyone in the middle.’

But the “faithful” do need to be preached to. The Church takes “orthodox Catholics” for granted . Those of us who believe the Church’s teachings can be kept in line, they figure, by our fear of going to Hell if we leave. They don’t stop to think that maybe the older brother on the porch needs some love and attention, especially when the older brother has only recently come back from his own sojourn of prodigality.

But there are always the Rod Drehers, and sometimes I wonder if Rod Dreher has a point.

I don’t at all condone Mary’s friend’s apostasy to the Mormon cult. Mormonism is so obviously a false religion, I can’t see how anyone believes it other than by brainwashing or demonic possession. But I have a hard time faulting anyone who joins the Orthodox Church or the Society of St. Pius X.

Her friend received many replies online–including from Mary–to her apostasy that she refused to dialogue any further. Mary wrote to Wilton Gregory, telling him he was responsible for these lost sheep, that his scandalous leadership drove them from the Church, and he should seek them out, personally, and bring them back to the fold. She never heard back.

The Choir does need to be preached to. Our faith does need to be nourished. It gets very discouraging. The job of priests and bishops is to teach and preach and inspire the laity. *Our* job is to engage the world, in whatever appropriate style we feel called.
But we need support.

When we see our pastors and our ordinaries kowtowing to rich elites and to politicians who deny the Natural Law, we get discouraged. We need an example.

We need encouragement and strength. As Bishop Tobin wrote ten years ago regarding Mother Angelica, conservative Catholics get criticized for being “angry,” yet we’ve been marginalized since the 1960s for merely trying to teach and practice what Catholicism always taught and practiced before the 1960s. We’ve been told our opinions don’t matter, that we’re obsolete, that we’re unChristian.

We try to fight the evil in the world. We see all the anti-Catholic positions out there, and then we see our fellow Catholics agreeing with those positions.

Then we look to religions like Mormonism, and Islam and Orthodoxy, and fundamentalist Christianity. Depending upon whcih aspects of the faith are most important to us, we see in those religions a similar zeal, or a similar devotion, or a similar respect for Natural Law.

We see in those religions a sense of community, that they have a functioning “ghetto system,” and it works quite well. Go look up Mormonism in the phone book. Mormons have “services” for every aspect of life, listed in the phone book, based out of their local “temple.”

That’s why people leave the Church for these other religions: they *want* the “Catholic ghetto,” and Catholics don’t have it. They want bishops who actually act like shepherds, and they figure ,”If he’s not going to try and keep me in the fold, then obviously Catholicism isn’t that important to him. If it’s so unimportant to a bishop, why should it be important to me?”

"I Danced in the Morning": Pagan worship disguised as Catholicism

I’m surprised that, in all my reading about liturgy in _Adoremus_, _Crisis_, etc., I have never come across this before.

I’ve read articles about inclusive language, about how songs where we sing the lines of God (“Here I Am Lord”, “I am the Bread of Life,” “Blest are They,” etc.) confuse the roles of God and us, and can be seen as promoting “New Age” (really Gnostic) beliefs about people becoming God.

I’ve seen articles about tastelessness, improper clarity on the Eucharist, etc. Articles on the alleged homosexuality of ex-priest Dan Schutte or the fact that Marty Haugen isn’t even Catholic and is hostile to certain moral teachings of the Church.

But I have *never* seen an article talking about the real ideology behind “I Danced in the Morning.”

It turns out that the “Lord of the Dance” is a Hindu God, Nataraja. The article I cited the other day on the New Age talks about Fr. Bede Griffiths, OSB. I was wondering why I knew the name: he was a former student and close friend of C. S. Lewis.

Griffiths was a Benedictine who eventually adopted an almost totally Hindu style of religion and monastic life, one of the founders of the movement that has infected Catholicism with Hindu beliefs.

According to Dr. John Shea, in “The Church and the New Age Movement”:

Siva Nataraja, the Cosmic Dancer, has become for many of different
backgrounds, the symbol of Creative Energy. “The Supreme Intelligence dances in
the soul… for the purpose of removing our sin” (Unmai Vilakkam – Tamil text).
The late Father Bede Griffiths, O.S.B., has stated that Christians must see
Nataraja as the symbol of the risen Christ. The danger in his Neo-Hindu
Christianity has been described as “a superficial attempt to give Hindu concepts
Christian meaning and Christian concepts Hindu meaning. The result is a system
which is neither truly Hindu nor Christian.”
Footnote: Robert Fastiggi (Associate Professor of Religious Studies at St.
Edward’s University, Austin, TX), and Jose Periera, Crisis, 1814, ½
N. Street NW, Washington, D.C.
Read the above-linked Wikipedia article and then consider the lyrics to “I
Danced in the Morning.”

It is Nataraja Shiva, not Jesus Christ, who allegedly “Danced in the morning when the world was begun”.

If someone wrote a song where “Jesus” sang something like, “I am the Sun, and I rise in my chairiot in the morning!”–wouldn’t we see the obvious reference to Apollo?

I mean, it’s one thing to say that pagan deities prefigure Christ, to help point people to the True God.
It’s one thing to say we can “plunder the Egyptians” and use the pagan myths for allegorical purposes.
And there’s nothing wrong with some poetic language (though the primary purposes of hymnody should be prayer and catechesis, and poetic license should not impede those functions).

But when one sees the intentional movement of some Catholics to try and integrate Catholicism with Hinduism or Buddhism, and then we see that a hymn is based as much on Hindu “scriptures” as on the Bible, that ought to raise a serious red flag.

Wow! A Great Piece on the Dangers of Modernism in the Church

Found it on “Catholic Sensibility” blog, where they think Roger Mahony is a conservative. Their review/analysis of the piece was all I read at first, and their tone was that author James Kalb is a hypocrite, condemning “liberals” for things “Republicans” also do.

Yet it is very clear from the original article that Kalb is criticizing “liberals,” in the Classical sense, of both the Left and the Right. He says that Vatican II only embraced “liberal Modernism” as the least of the evils when faced with Fascist Modernism and Marxist Modernism, but that the admixture of Modernism and Catholicism is still dangerous to the faith.

What’s especially impressive is that this comes to us via Zenit, owned by the anti-traditionalist Legion of Christ.

Why are we Catholic?

As I’ve often said, the problem with most “Catholic” groups in contemporary public life is that they are not particularly Catholic.
I don’t mean that they’re necessarily un-Catholic, but that there’s nothing particularly to identify them as Catholic, other than their claim to so being. A recent post at Vox Nova touches on this idea, but from a different direction.

What I mean is that Catholic organizations of the Right and the Left try their best to “fit in”. Even ALL tries to distance itself from the label of being “Catholic.”

If the basis for condemning freemasonry, as I’ve discussed and quoted before, is that freemasonry doesn’t distinguish between religious differences, the same is true of most “Catholic” groups in American public life. Liberal Catholics regularly ally themselves with Marxists, Hindus, and people from other non-Catholic belief systems, emphasizing “what brings us together” over “what divides.”

Similarly, many pro-life Catholics see no problem with being involved with groups like Focus on the Family (which, sadly, given its endorsement of contraception by married couples, has a very subsidiarist name).

I mean, I admire C. S. Lewis greatly. He’s obviously one of the patrons of this website. But I also realize he has serious flaws from a Catholic perspective. I just consider him one of the best that non-Catholic thought has to offer.

I always say that the main reason I am the kind of Catholic I am is that I’ve always studied the saints–their lives and writings–since I was a little kid. I try to live the faith that they did, albeit imperfectly.

But you don’t see a lot about the Saints on most Catholic sites. You might see pretty pictures. You might see pithy quotations. Liberals like to quote John XXIII’s statement about “in questionable matters, liberty; in certain matters, unity; in all things, charity,” or whatever. They like to quote “preach the Gospel always ;if necessary use words.”

But, when you go to Catholics United, or Vox Nova, or National Catholic Reporter, how often do you see specific quotations or anecdotes from St. Thomas Aquinas or St. John of the Cross or St. Ignatius of Antioch or St. Teresa of Avila or St. Pio?

The best most liberal Catholic sites can muster is Dorothy Day, and the argument can be made that, had she lived longer, Dorothy Day would probably have been a “Reagan Democrat.”

You also don’t see much about saints on “conservative” sites, at least not in the sense of addressing the whys of things. You see more talk about Tolkein and Chesterton than Jerome or Louis of France or Tarcisius

You might see pithy quotes from or about St. Pio or St. Maximilan Kolbe, but you don’t really see passages being discussed from _The Imitation of Christ_ or _The Introduction to the Devout Life_ to show what they should tell us about our lives as laity, particularly in our political and social action.

Where is the expression of the hope to die before ever commiting a mortal sin among those whose primary raison d’etre is to figure out just how much they can compromise with the world and still be Catholic?

How would most “let’s be civil” American Catholics today react to knowing more about St. Martin of Tours than that he cut half his cloak off and gave it to a begger. I grew up thinking that’s all he ever did. I knew it would say, “St. Martin of Tours, bishop,” but I somehow had it in my head that he did that thing with the beggar while he was a soldier, and then he got executed by Rome for doing it.

In reality, St. Martin of Tours led a long and controversial life as a bishop, including making a habit of burning down pagan temples.

Do you use the Church to push your political agenda? Or do you use your political agenda to promote the Church?

One of the most laughable accusations of the fastly regenerating Catholic Left (including many Republicans who’ve been comfortable with the view that “The Catholic Church began with Vatican II”) is that pro-lifers are a group of Republican activists who are trying to use the Church to push our political agenda.

This image is not helped by certain people who really are Republican activists.

However, I find this particular straw man highly laughable. It’s like Hillary Clinton’s “vast right wing conspiracy.”

Yes, one could argue that the pro-life movement is, in political terms, a “conspiracy.” We tend to read the same books, read the same magazines, read the same websites, listen to the same speakers, etc. It’s also just called a movement. It’s nothing surreptitious.
Just like all liberal Catholics read the same literature, and they have a few common leaders like Chris Korzen and Joan Chittister (is she even bothering to go by “Sister” anymore).

Technically, a conspiracy has to be a secret, and there’s no secret here, except to those who really don’t care.

We pro-lifers may listen to Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity, but only because of mainstream access. Given our druthers, we’d rather listen to Fr. Groeschel, Fr. Euteneuer or Fr. Pavone.

We’re accused of seeking our own Obama-type “political savior” just because we have some heroes.

The Cardinal Newman Society is hardly a Republican organization. Its goal is not to get any Republicans elected to political office . Its goal is to renew our Catholic Colleges and make sure they’re *Catholic*. On several occasions, the US Bishops have said that those who hold pro-choice views should not speak or be honoredin Catholic venues. No less a liberal than Bishop Donald “God is a She, and I wear pink glasses, and I like hiding tabernacles in closets” Trautman was actually one of the first bishops to publicly censure a pro-choice politician, when he banned Republican Tom Ridge from speaking in institutinos of the Diocese of Erie, particularly Ridge’s alma mater, Cathedral Prep High School.

So how could the work of the Cardinal Newman Society in its “Commencement Speaker Watch” be considered Republican partisanship ? Pro-life partisanship ? Darn tootin’.

For example, the Newman Society highlighted a visit by John McCain to Villanova, emphaszing that McCain’s support for embryonic stem cell research negates his claim to being “pro-life.”

There is one major pro-life organization which seems more interested in promoting the Republican cause than in the pro-life cause: the National Right to Life Committee. NRLC is not a Catholic organization, in principle or in foundation. I don’t even know who its current president is. I don’t check its website for “pro-life news,” because _Gonzalez v. Carhart_ was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me: I haven’t trusted NRLC since they supported the verdict in _Planned Parenthood v. Casey_. These so-called incrementalists apparently don’t really care about proceeding in their increments, because they’re still hung up on partial birth abortion which, at least at present, is against federal law.

I don’t see NRLC making a comment about politicians receiving communion, for various reasons. One major reason would be that NRLC is pro-contraception, and NRLC is in favor of the use of medical treatments derived from fetal tissue research, arguing that the use of those treatments does not constitute endorsement.

OK, so what other “Republican activist” groups are there? Oh, yeah, American Life League and Human Life International, both of which have recently condemned Sen. Sam Brownback as a traitor for his support for Kathleen Sebellius. Both of which have led the charge against Michael Steele for his ambiguous statements on abortion.

How exactly are ALL and HLI “Republican” front groups trying to push their agenda on the Church?

What Catholic Ghetto?

A standard reply of “progressives” and many “conservatives” to traditionalists and/or to those of us who say we should be at least a little less “in the world” and a little less “of the world”:
“You don’t want us to return to the Catholic ghetto, do you?”

What did the “Catholic ghetto” give us?
First, Catholic families lived close together and supported each other. You could walk to Mass at your local neighborhood parish. You had a whole community of neighbors and extended families to help when times were tough. One man’s “ghetto” is another man’s Jeffersonian “homogenous community”.

But the “Catholic ghetto” comment is used to raise the spectre of “anti-Catholicism,” of lack of acceptance in pluralistic American society. . . .

Were we really that “outcast?”

Let’s look at movies (I’m watching Going My Way as I write this):

Let’s start with directors. Frank Capra and Alfred Hitchcock were both Catholics, whose films tend to see the world from a Catholic lens (Capra’s from an optimistic Catholic lens; Hitchcock’s a pessmistic one, but both are Catholic). Highlghts include It’s a Wonderful Life (Capra) and I Confess (Hitchcock)

The movies:
The Song of Bernadette (1943)
The Sign of the Cross (1932)
The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)
A Man for All Seasons (1966)
The Miracle Worker (1962)
Going My Way (1944)
Diary of a Country Priest (1950).
Angels with Dirty Faces (1938).

And
The Bells of St Mary’s (1945)
The Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima
The Miracle of Marcelino (1955)
Lilies of the Field (1963)
The Robe (1953)
Becket (1964)
The Keys of the Kingdom (1944)
Quo Vadis (1951)
The Trouble with Angels (1956)
Joan of Arc (1948)
Angels in the Outfield (1951)
Come to the Stable (1949)
The Miracle of the Bells (1948)
Francis of Assisi (1961)
The Flowers of St. Francis (1950)
The Detective (1954)

Let’s not forget all the biblical epics and Christian films that weren’t specifically “Catholic.”
Now, granted, researching this article, I was shocked at how many good Catholic films really have been made in the past few decades.

But we got all those films accomplished in the time when Catholics were supposedly second-class citizens and social outcasts, and these were mainstream major motion pictures, many of which are popular today. Also, their *view* of Catholicism is very optimistic, and they’re often films about priests and nuns who are very saintly and trust in Providence.

Then there were the TV series: Fulton Sheen’s Life is Worth Living, Fr. Peyton’s Catholic Family Theatre, and The Catholic Hour.

Celebrities: Danny Thomas, Bing Crosby, Loretta Young, Jane Wyman, and so on. .. . . They weren’t always exactly super Catholics, but much better than most “Catholic” celebrities today.

And the popular music: not only were many of the top performers practiciing Catholics, but you had non-Catholic singers like Andy Williams and Johnny Mathis singing “Ave Maria,” and songs about the Rosary and St. Bernadette.

So, why exactly were things so bad?

Cardinal Stafford: Bankers must repent

It’s funny. When James Francis Cardinal Stafford criticized Barack Obama, the media called for him to “apologize.”
Now that he condemns corrupt bankers, his name is all over th eplace. However, there are some who are still saying the Church has no business in economics, which is really laughable.

Now, would *someone* at the Vatican please talk about the real cause of this economic crisis?

An appeal to Catholics on the Internet from a different "Fr. Z.’

all caps are his, not mine.

Sent: Monday, March 23, 2009 9:14 PM
Subject: (no subject)
II Chron. 7:14

AFTER A DAY OF CONTEMPLATION AND SOUL SEARCHING, I HAVE DECIDED TO REACH OUT TO MY FRIENDS AND RELATIVES AND ASK YOU TO DO SOMETHING THAT HAS BEEN TROUBLING ME FOR A LONG TIME.
OUR NATION IS/HAS BEEN ON THE SLIPPERY SLOPE FOR A LONG TIME. IF YOU LOOK AROUND YOU WILL FIND CORRUPTION, GREED, MORAL DECAY AND A STEADY MOVE AWAY FROM THE THINGS THAT MADE US GREAT. THE PRINCIPLES UPON WHICH THIS NATION WAS FOUNDED ARE NO LONGER OUR BACKBONE. HOWEVER, WE CAN REVERSE THIS TREND.
IN GOD’S WORD HE STATES,”IF MY PEOPLE WHO ARE CALLED BY MY NAME WILL HUMBLE THEMSELVES, AND PRAY AND SEEK MY FACE, AND TURN FROM THEIR WICKED WAYS, THEN I WILL HEAR FROM HEAVEN, AND WILL FORGIVE THEIR SIN AND HE AL THEIR LAND.”
I AM CONVINCED THAT WE MUST PRAY FOR OUR NATION AND ITS LEADERS AND ASK FOR FORGIVENESS. SO I ASK YOU TO JOIN ME IN THIS PLEA TO OUR LORD.
WOULD YOU PLEASE SEND THIS TO AT LEAST 25 PEOPLE IN YOUR ADDRESS BOOK, (SEND IT TO ALL OF THEM). ASK THEM TO PRAY EVERYDAY. 25 TO THE 5TH POWER IS 9,765,625 PEOPLE. IMAGINE IF EACH PERSON REACHES TEN OTHERS. IF YOU DO AND THEY COMPLY, WE WILL LIFT UP MILLIONS OF PRAYERS A DAY TO OUR CREATOR. HE WILL HEAR US AND IN FAITH WILL ANSWER.
Let me just add a quote from Ronald Reagan –
“If we ever forget that we’re one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under.”
I truly believe this is why the United States of America is in the shape we are in today. Most people have forgotten that we are ONE NATION UNDER GOD! Let us as Christians stand up and remind people of this.~ Have a Blessed Day!

In Christ’s Peace
Fr. John Zimmerman
St. Ann’s Parish
113 South Kemp Street
Florence, SC 29506
843/661-5012

"Who painted it?"

The Curt Jester reports that, shortly after receiving her “Maggie” award from Planned Parenthood (an award she shares with “pro-life” Hollywood “Catholic” Martin Sheen), Hillary Clinton visited the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City.

She asked the priest who was escorting her through the shrine, “Who painted it?”
He replied, “God.”

Bishop Tobin: Obama’s supporters need a "conscience transplant"

Bishop Tobin’s been one of my heroes for a long time, between his support for Mother Angelica versus Cardinal Mahony and a great column he wrote in 2000 about the secularization of Catholic weddings.

Where’s the anathema?

Here’s a really great article on what Pope John XXIII meant by Vatican II being a “pastoral council,” from a traditionalist perspective, but arguing against what many traditionalists say. The gist of the argument is that many take “pastoral council” to mean “only dealing with liturgical or administrative matters’ whereas, by “pastoral,” John XXIII meant “adapting the expression of our message to modern audiences.” OK, that’s what I always took it to mean.

However, the point of this emphasis is that Bl. John XXIII did *not* call the council to proclaim new doctrine.
This website by one Fr. Jerome specifically quotes John XXIII saying,

” There will be no infallible definitions. All that was done by
former Councils. That is enough”

Then he gives the following cited quotation:

When, during the rebellious first session of the Council, he [Pope John
XXIII] realized that the papacy had lost control of the process, he attempted,
as Cardinal John Heenan of Westminster later revealed, to organize a group of
bishops to try to force it to an end. Before the second session opened he
had died. –Anne Muggeridge, The Desolate City (revised & expanded
ed./1990), p. 72; letter from Fr. Joseph W. Oppitz, C.S.s.R. in “America”
magazine of April 15, 1972

Yet that is precisely what happened. Here are several quotations from and relating to Paul VI:

In view of the conciliar practice and practical purpose of the Council, this sacred Synod defines as binding on the Church only those matters of faith and morals which it has expressly put forward as such. — Pope Paul VI had read to the Fathers as they prepared to vote on the Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium, this declaration by the Theological Commission of the Council, March 6, 1964 (Austin Flannery, ed., Vatican Collection, I, p. 423).

The magisterium of the Church did not wish to pronounce itself under the form of extraordinary dogmatic pronouncements…. –Pope Paul VI, discourse closing Vatican II, December 7, 1965

There are those who ask what authority, what theological qualification, the Council intended to give to its teachings, knowing that it avoided issuing solemn dogmatic definitions backed by the Church’s infallible teaching authority. The answer is known by those who remember the conciliar declaration of March 6, 1964, repeated on November 16, 1964. In view of the pastoral nature of the Council, it avoided proclaiming in an extraordinary manner any dogmata carrying the mark of infallibility. –Pope Paul VI, General Audience of January 12, 1966

Differing from other Councils, this one was not directly dogmatic, but disciplinary and pastoral. –Pope Paul VI, August 6, 1975, General Audience.

So, in other words, teachings of the Council documents are *only* dogmatic *if* a previous Council or Papal decree has declared them such.

John XXIII tried to stop the Council. St. Pio pleaded for its end.

Even Lumen Gentium contains an explanatory note that it is distinguishing dogmatic proclamatinos from those which are not.

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger wrote in 1988 that the Council proclaimed no new dogma at all.

Fr. Jerome’s article goes on to some interesting analysis that I agree with wholeheartedly. However, one key point they make that I’ve never thought of before is this:

Every time a doctrinal Council has declared a new dogma, it has *not* sought “reconciliation” with the heretics. Yes, it’s called on them to recant, but it has not sought “dialogue” with members of heretical groups (other than the Orthodox). Usually, just the opposite. The Councils, like Jesus in John 6, say, “This is the doctrine of the Church. If you don’t like it, leave.”

This time, however, the Church (at least the Pope and certain cardinals), rather than totally shunning the traditionalists, has done its best to dialoguie with them and bring them back into the fold.

Also, Fr. Jerome includes several quotations of Paul VI, including the “famous smoke of Satan” speech, which speak of how he feels the Church is “self-destructing” and has fallen under assault from the Devil.

Now, here’s my gloss on this: there are no anathemas. Try to search the documents of Vatican II for “anathema.”

Here’s the complete text of Lumen Gentium. Click on the link. Go to your browser’s page search tool and type in “anathema”. If you use Internet Explorer, it will come back “Finished searching the document.”

Now, do the same thing with Gaudium et Spes.

OK, IT’S NOT THERE!

Whenever the Church proclaims a dogma, there is an anathema attached: “You must believe this, or you will be anathema.”

So, if Vatican II says something, for example, the controversial Paragraph 52 of Gaudium et Spes, with its vague statement about “responsible transmission of life.” Coupled with certain statements by Karol Woytyla in books that he wrote prior to becoming Pope, this passage in Gaudium et Spes is taken by advocates of Natural Family Planning to override the previous teaching of the Church, as expressed, among many other places, in Casti Connubii.

There are certainly extreme circumstances when NFP is highly advisable. However, to impose a moral obligation to selective or permanent abstinence on a couple is to put them in a very real occasion of sin, and to obligate that they defy the essential nature of matrimony. It creates the Pharisaical standard which many of us call the “contraceptive mentality” among NFP “groups”: the adopting of Malthusian assumptions about child spacing and family size limitations, as well as the condemnation of couples who remain open to life despite severe circumstances.

Let’s say that a Catholic couple have severe economic hardship. The husband has a genetic disorder and is disabled. The wife learns that she also has a previously undiagnosed genetic disorder and will likely become disabled. They already have four kids.

According to Castii Connubii, they have three choices:

1. Contraception or masturbation, which are mortally sinful
2. Abstinence, if they can handle it (noting that abstinence technically goes against the calling of marriage and my present a serious occasion of sin).
3. If abstinence doesn’t work, or they make a mistake in NFP, they should trust Divine Providence and remember that Jesus calls us to sacrifice our health and wealth for the Gospel, for it is better to go to Heaven maimed than to enter whole into Hell.

However, certain NFP fanatics offer the following choices:

1. Contraception or masturbation, mortally sinful
2. Abstinence, “which is really the higher Christian state, and it’s marriage building, and you’ll be so morally pure and superior!” If you are having trouble figuring out NFP, then just abstain completely!
3 .”If you say you ‘can’t abstain,; you’re obviously lusting over your spouse, and you’re an evil, selfish individual . If you decide to have intercourse during a possibly fertile time ,then you’re commiting the sin of lust! And you’re engaging in irresponsible fertility, in violation of Gaudium et Spes. If any children result from your union, we NFP fanaticss, as good Republicans, will deny that you have any right to financial or personal assistance in raising your kids, because you should have known better. So, for doing what the sacrament of holy matrimony was meant for, we’ll label you a lustful heretic loser who’s socially beneath us!”

Of course, the problem with Option 3 for Greg Popcak and his followers is that there’s no “anathema” in Gaudium et Spes! If there were, they’d be right. However, there is no obligation to accept this innovative teaching of Vatican II.

And the same goes for certain other innovative teachings that conservatives are condemned for.

There are actual things the Church teaches, attaching “anathemas” to them that, if you bring those topics up with your average progressive Catholic, or even many “conservative” Catholics, they’ll say, “Vatican II got rid of that,” or they’ll accuse you of being judgemental and extremist. They’ll tell you “Judge not lest ye be judged.” They’ll give reasons why they don’t have to listen to the Magisterium on it.

Yet, express disagreement or discomfort with one of the innovative teachings of Vatican II, which are only pruudential pastoral pronouncements and not mandatory dogmae, and you will be labeled a heretic, a schismatic, and a “RadTrad.”

The Text of the Terry/Burke interview

And to all those who are criticizing Randall Terry in this: where were you when they were killing Terri Schiavo?

Here’s the text. Where, directly, does Burke “criticize” is “brother bishops”? I’ve put my comments in Times, Randall Terry’s in Courier, and Archbishop Burke’s in Verdana.

Terry: Your Excellency, it’s a delight to be with you. Thank you so much.
Pleased to have you come, and to visit with you.
For the umpteenth time, I and the others are asking, under Canon 915 what should or should not be done?
The Canon is completely clear, it is not subject in my judgment to any other interpretations. When someone is publicly and obstinately in grave sin we may not administer Holy Communion to the person. And that, basically, for two reasons: number one, to prevent the person himself or herself from committing a sacrilege, and secondly, to protect the sanctity of the Holy Eucharist. In other words, to approach, to receive our Lord in Holy Communion, when one insists on remaining in grave sin, is such a violation of the sanctity of the Holy Eucharist, so that Communion must not be given to people who are publicly, obstinately, in grave sin.
And so does that apply to politicians of any party that are saying: “Yes, it’s okay to abort children” –to kill children?
Yes, for someone who in any way contributes in an active way to the murder of innocent defenseless infants in the womb—children in the womb—from the very inception of human life, this is the greatest of sins. And such a person, until he or she has reformed his or her life, should not approach to receive Holy Communion.

Straightforward so far, and no different than what Cardinal Arinze has said.

And if they do approach, the person who is administering Holy Communion should say, “No.”?
Right. In fact, the Canon puts the burden upon the minister of Holy Communion whether it’s the ordinary minister which would be a bishop, a priest, a deacon—or an extraordinary minister—it doesn’t make any difference. It says they’re not to be admitted to receive Holy Communion. Normally speaking, in my experience, when I have spoken with, for instance, Catholic politicians who have insisted on supporting pro-abortion legislation and told them they should not approach any more to receive Holy Communion, in my experience they don’t. Now, where Bishops have not applied the Canon, often times it’s said that this will cause some kind of disorder at the time of distribution of Holy Communion. That’s not verified. It’s not using Holy Communion to make a statement at all, it’s simply respecting this most sacred gift we have – namely, the Body and Blood of Christ—which can only be received when one has repented of his sins. And I would also make the point—and I believe that it is true that on the contrary – those public figures—Catholics—who are consistently promoting pro-abortion legislation and policies—use reception of Holy Communion to try to justify what they are doing; in other words, to present themselves as devout Catholics, when in fact they are sinning against the most fundamental teaching of the moral law. [Thou shall not murder.]

The following is Randall Terry, not Archbishop Burke, specifically singling out Wuerl, Loverde and O’Malley:

When the election was approaching, Bishop Martino said he would not serve Communion to Vice Presidential Candidate Joe Biden. There were a handful of other bishops who made similar statements, for which the laity and the faithful were rejoicing.
But the deafening silence from so many other Bishops—and also the bishops who stepped up such as in Washington D.C., Virginia, others …Massachusetts…[and] said that we will serve communion—was so painful for us. What word of encouragement would you give, first to the laity on our struggle to bring orthodoxy back, and then to your brother bishops and priests? (Emphasis added: in his “clarification,” Archbishop Burke said he thought the interview was meant only for pro-life workers. Here he is giving a message of encouragement to pro-lifers, not a declaration to the general public. That is how Randall Terry phrased the question).

I think simply to say: reflect upon this norm of the Church’s discipline—Canon 915—which is one of the most important canons to safeguard the greatest treasure that we have in this life, namely, the communion that we have with our Lord Jesus Christ, and His true body and His true blood; and to, in every way work so that also public witness is given to the sacredness of the Holy Eucharist. And so I would encourage the faithful when they are scandalized by the giving of Holy Communion to persons are publicly and obstinately in sin, that they go to their pastors, whether it’s their parish priest or to their bishop, to insist that this scandal stop. Because, it is weakening the faith of everyone. It’s giving the impression that it must be morally correct to support procured abortion, in at least in some circumstances, if not also generally. So they need to insist that their parish priest and the bishops, and for the rest…to my brother bishops and brother priests…simply to say: the service of the Church in the world today has to begin first and foremost with the protection of the life of those who are the most defenseless and the most innocent, namely the unborn, and certainly has to extend also to those who are gravely ill, or burdened with serious illness, who have special needs; and also now more and more their lives are being threatened by a culture of death which sadly has infected our nation. So I would just urge my brother bishops and my brother priests to see as the most fundamental witness and service which they can give in leading also the faithful in their pastoral care is the apostolate of the respect for human life. (emphasis added) How is this even insulting to his fellow bishops? He doesn’t attack them in any way. He just says their primary concern should be protecting human life . He doesn’t criticize them for not denying communion to politicians. He says that they *should* do so. He says that laity, if scandalized by these politicians, should appeal to their pastors to speak up. But Burke never indicates either that he is aware of Randall Terry’s purpose or that he supports it.

The election of Obama sent shock waves around the world concerning the right to life of babies because of his commitment to pursue FOCA, to try to force hospitals – Catholic hospitals – into giving the morning after pill, other things – [the repeal of the] Mexico City policy. From your vantage point here in the Vatican, what kind of fruit around the world is this poison that’s percolating in America producing?
There is no question, and I certainly see it here, living now here in Europe, and Italy, and also with the kind of communication within all of Europe that Barack Obama—President Obama—is a charismatic figure. And there was a great deal of—especially through the media—a great deal of publicity and so forth regarding the “hope,” the word that he used so much, that he offered—not only for the United States— and for the world. And so you can be certain that the whole world, and especially the English speaking world—which let us recall, is a great part of the world—is following very carefully and attentively what this man is doing—this world leader—which he is. And therefore, it becomes more incumbent upon us then ever, also in our responsibility for the scandal and the harm being done, not only in our own nation which is in itself— which we think about 50 million since the Roe v. Wade decision, 50 million unborn infants murdered—but also to consider the effect that our nation is having on the whole world in this culture of death.
America has the call to lead—to use its influence in the way that will give glory to God and will serve the common good in its most essential element: and that is by turning around this culture of death, and especially protecting the right to life of the unborn. So our responsibility is even greater than just for our own nation – which is in itself such a weighty matter. But we have to see how this is also having, adding a tremendous influence in the English speaking world, but also in the whole world, because of the charismatic nature of our present President. But in any case, no matter who is the President of the United States, here is a world leader with a tremendous capacity to promote the common good, but at the same time sadly, who could—by promoting and implementing anti-life legislation measures—could be an agent of death.
If I was a Catholic in another country, I would be watching the news unfold in America hearing the silence of so many Catholics, the debate over communion, and it might have the effect of me just saying, “Well, we have abortion here, they’ve got it there, let’s just all learn to live with it and go on about our business.”
Well, I think this is precisely the effect that it has had. The communications today are instantaneous. The whole world knows that a very high percentage of Catholics in fact voted for this very anti-life candidate and so they watch this very carefully, and what the world needs to see now is a strong witness on the part of all Catholics and we can’t be content with the fact that some 55% – or whatever it is – who for whatever reason, supported this anti-life program. They have to see now that Catholics in the United States are alive and faithful and that they are going to work to protect human life, and above all, to let the President of the United States know that this is the number one issue.
There are many Catholics who believed that to vote for Obama – knowing his promises to extend child-killing even further – that to knowingly vote for him under those circumstances was a type of cooperation with moral evil. It was cooperating with evil. Do you concur with that and if so, why?
Well, the fact of the matter is, it is a form of cooperation, because by voting we put a person in office. And people say, “What does my vote matter?” Well, your vote is either a vote to put someone in office who will do what is right and just, or someone who won’t. And so if you, knowing that abortion is a grave crime against human life – is the killing of an innocent, defenseless human life – and you vote for the candidate who says that he intends to make that more available – that practice of infanticide – you bear a responsibility. That is, you have cooperated in the election of this person into office, there’s no question about it.
Archbishop, thank you for your time. Do you have any closing comments or exhortations?
President Obama uses this word “hope” in a way that for us is very disturbing. We need to have hope, the hope that is founded in Jesus Christ, alive for us in the Church; Jesus Christ who gave His life for everyone without exception, and with a particular love for the suffering and for those who are the most defenseless. And so we have to be filled with hope and give ourselves more than ever to His work, to His mission of protecting human life, and so I ask God to bless you very much in what you are doing to advance the cause of life.

So, yes, Randall Terry clearly–in the transcript at least–does not present his proper purpose. Archbishop Burke’s answers are no different than what Cardinal Arinze has said on the subject or what Pope Benedict has said on the subject.

I can’t see how Burke was “pressured” into the recent “apology” for saying this.

I can’t see how it can be taken as a “personal attack” on a “brother bishop” anymore than Cardinal Arinze saying American bishops aren’t doing their jobs. In fact, Terry tries to bait Archbishop Burke, and he doesn’t take the bait.

Terry definitely manipulated the persentation of the interview to the media.

I think that the follow-up statement was not so much an apology by Burke as a statement of outrage at what has happened.