Daily Archives: May 16, 2009

Liberation Theology at its worst: Venezuelan Government censures priests in favor of liberal priests: Sign of what’s next for the US

Two priests in Venezuela, Eduardo Cardenas and Maximo Ochoa, have been suspended of faculties for celebrating a Mass without their bishop’s approval. It’s a bit confusing, especially since most of the sources are in Spanish, but apparently, according to this site, there is some traditional “Blessing of the Sea” in Puerto Cabello, Venezuela. It’s been going on for 147 years.

It’s kind of both a local religious tradition and major town festival. The local bishop, because of disagreement with the reigning socialist government and the current mayor, forbade the mass from being said and refused to participate in the events (though he had his own Mass at the Cathedral).

The two priests, who have ties to many, er, “progressive” groups, *did* participate in the official event. So the bishop suspended their faculties. They claim that, since the Mass took place on a boat, they weren’t subject to their bishop’s authority.

Here’s the thing: the Venezuelan socialist government voted to reprimand the bishops and ordered the Church to lift the penalties, under the grounds that they were interfering with religious freedom!

I’ve suspected this one was on the way. It’s the argument liberal Catholics use when they talk about “conscience”: they say that the Church’s teaching on religious freedom doesn’t just save them from government interference, but from having to listen to the Church herself.

Here’s what the priests said to the government:

Fathers Ochoa and Cadenas visited the National Assembly on May 14 and testified against their Bishops: “We have done no crime in order to apologize. We would rather walk along with the simple folk, of our people, according to Liberation Theology, than with the dominating class. The reprisal happened [for choosing] to lead a Christian life and for the preferential option for the poor.”

So, Liberation Theology means allegiance with socialists and opposition to legitimate ecclesiastical authority, calling one’s bishop “the dominating class,” etc.

Some Good News

Gallup Poll shows that, for the first time, a majority of Americans identify themselves as “pro-life”

Homeland Security pulls controversial report that says if you’re a conservative you’re a terrorist.

_Bones_ on artificial insemination.

“It’s still doing it even if you’re not doing it the way it should to be done.”

Evangelium Vitae: The "guilty" still have dignity

Contrasting the idea, often stated in defense of capital punishment or torture, that there is a difference between “innocent” and “guilty” life, John Paul II writes, in Evangelium Vitae

And yet God, who is always merciful even when he punishes, “put a mark on Cain, lest any who came upon him should kill him” (Gen 4:15). He thus gave him a distinctive sign, not to condemn him to the hatred of others, but to protect and defend him from those wishing to kill him, even out of a desire to avenge Abel’s
death. Not even a murderer loses his personal dignity, and God himself pledges to guarantee this. And it is precisely here that the paradoxical mystery of the merciful justice of God is shown forth. As Saint Ambrose writes: “Once the crime is admitted at the very inception of this sinful act of parricide, then the divine law of God’s mercy should be immediately extended. If punishment is forthwith inflicted on the accused, then men in the exercise of justice would in no way observe patience and moderation, but would straightaway condemn the defendant to punishment…. God drove Cain out of his presence and sent him into exile far away from his native land, so that he passed from a life of human kindness to one which was more akin to the rude existence of a wild beast. God, who preferred the correction rather than the death of a sinner, did not desire that a homicide be punished by the exaction of another act of homicide”.13

Evangelium Vitae on Conscience Rights of Physicians

The end result of this is tragic: not only is the fact of the destruction of so many human lives still to be born or in their final stage extremely grave and disturbing, but no less grave and disturbing is the fact that conscience itself, darkened as it were by such widespread conditioning, is finding it increasingly difficult to distinguish between good and evil in what concerns the basic value of human life. (John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae, Ch. 1, pt. 4).

Evangelium Vitae on Medical Ethics

Even certain sectors of the medical profession, which by its calling is directed to the defence and care of human life, are increasingly willing to carry out these acts against the person. In this way the very nature of the medical profession is distorted and contradicted, and the dignity of those who practise it is degraded. (John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae, Ch. 1, pt. 4)

The Playboy and the Pope

To see the full exposition of Christopher West’s controversial “Hugh Hefner” comparison, please view his lecture at this link. I can’t find a way to embed the video. Click on the tab that says “List,” and then click on “The Playboy and the Pope.”

West reads a passage from Hefner’s biography, talking about the Puritanical atmosphere in which he was raised, to the point that his parents never even loved him. This is what West was referring to: that the extreme of Dualistic rejection of “the flesh” always leads to the other extreme of lust. This is no better expressed than in the pre-Christian life of St. Augustine: Manichean dualism separated the body from the spirit to such a degree as to say that, while the body was inherently evil (the Puritan view), sin was inevitable, and, therefore, one bore no guilt for indulging in the pleasures of the flesh. Or look at the two equal and opposite errors drawn from the “Gnostic Gospels”: Gnosticism said the Resurrection was a fraud. So the Gnostic Gospels, written to say that Jesus was pure spirit, not a man, and that the Crucifixion and Resurrection were a fraud because no true God could assume evil flesh, get used by those who worship the flesh to say that Jesus faked His death and ran off with Mary Magdalene.

In the proper exposition of his analogy, Wests explains that Hefner embodies a partial attempt to raise the goodness of creation from the “trash”, but keeping it in its distorted form, whereas Karol Woytyla, around the same time, began crafting a vision that tried to recreate what God intended “from the very beginning.”

The Latest "Republican Shill" Bishop is None other than Donald Trautman.

We keep hearing that the 70+ bishops who have criticized the University of Notre Dame for honoring U.S. President Barack Obama are simply trying to win votes for the Republican Party. That’s the spin that liberal Catholics would you like you to take on it, even though at least one of the most liberal current-reigning bishops in the US, Robert Lynch, was one of the first to speak out.

Now, we have a statement on the subject from none other than the Most Rev. Donald W. Trautman, STD, SSL, bishop of Erie, PA.

Now, back when I didn’t know much about Trautman, he was one of my heroes. You see, in the early 1990s, he made a name for himself as being one of the most outspokenly pro-life bishops in the U.S. When it came to “Life Issues,” he was right up there with Cardinal O’Connor. In fact, Trautman was one of the bishops who pushed for an official then USCC/NCCB (now USCCB) policy forbidding pro-abortion Catholics from being honored by or speaking at Catholic institutions. Trautman also has the credit of being for the whole “consistent life ethic” thing, opposing abortion and the death penalty, war, etc. Of course, his diocese is home to Pax Christi USA.

In Trautman’s case, he very eagerly applied this policy to former Pennsylvania governor Tom Ridge, a Republican, who had until that point a tradition of speaking at Cathedral Prep and Gannon University in Erie. Since Ridge is both pro-choice and pro-death penalty, Trautman forbade him from speaking in any institution owned by the Diocese of Erie.

So, in other words, this approach to pro-choicers not speaking at Catholic institutions was originally used by liberal bishops to punish “pro-choice” Republican Catholics.

Also, renovation of St. Peter’s Cathedral was a big issue in Erie when I was growing up. Former Bishop Michael Murphy had some very radical plans for renovation, including a stage for liturgical dance. Trautman’s changes were not so drastic, but still rather gaudy and, ultimately, inconsistent. He basically spliced a bunch of modernistic elements, such as a huge wooden crucifix, over the top of the existing Gothic accoutrements. Moved the Tabernacle to a weird side thing, and didn’t take out the old High Altar completely, but put the aforementioned Crucifix in front of it. Still, it wasn’t as bad as Murphy would have done.

So on those two grounds, I thought at first Trautman was fairly conservative.

Then, as time went on, I learned of his far-left views on liturgy, and how some bishops from the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments replied to an article he wrote in America by saying that Trautman was advocating a de facto schism.

He’s responsible for the horrid (and disapproved by Rome) “inclusive language” “revised Psalms” in the New American Bible. He thinks laity are too dumb to know what a “chalice” is.

He hates Mother Angelica, and has on several occasions been aligned with Mahony, Weakland and Lynch where EWTN and/or liturgical issues are concerned. For example, IIRC, Weakland, Trautman and Lynch co-authored an open letter in Roger Mahony’s support during his infamous 1997/1998 feud with Mother Angelica.

He told Fr. John Trigilio, an Erie native who serves in the Diocese of Harrisburg, that he is not allowed to exercise priestly functions when he visits the Diocese of Erie due to his contribution to Michael Rose’s Goodbye, Good Men. (Let’s refer back to Trautman’s allegiance with Mahony and Weakland in this context).

And, just to be petty, according to a friend of mine who was considering the seminary at one point, Bishop Trautman wears purple glasses, which my friend found to be kind of creepy.

This guy is no Republican shill. This guy is no right winger. He’s genuinely pro-life, and has a few other good qualities. But he’s one of the most liberal bishops in our country, heading up one of the most liberal dioceses in our country, with such luminaries as “Earth Mother” Joan Chittister and her Dancing Erie Benedictines, Pax Christi USA, and Mercyhurst College (see my post on New Ways Ministry).

So what does *that* tell you about the Notre Dame situation?